The Ramblings of the Titanium Don

Explorations of Conscious Reality Creation and Other Matters

Month: October 2013

Pathwalking 96

The future is unwritten.

The future cannot be known.  It can be surmised, it can be analyzed, it can be guessed at.  But it cannot be known.

Living for the future can be nearly as dangerous as living in the past.

Once again I am talking about the extremes.  Like black and white, love and hate, up and down, past and future are the extremes of time.  Last week I explained why the past is past, and living in the past does not serve your present.

The thing is, living in the future ALSO does not serve you.  Why?  Yoda states it rather simply – “Always in motion is the future.”

Since for every action there is an equal and opposite reaction, so too does this apply to the future.  The choices I make today are going to vastly change the outcome of the future.

What’s the purpose of Pathwalking if the future goal is not the point?  Pathwalking is choice.  Most paths have an end goal, but as I have explained over and over when you make your choices and start down a particular path, you may find that you wind up somewhere you did not set out to be.  The importance of the choices and the paths themselves are the key.  Pathwalking is choosing to live life, rather than let life live you.

I am not saying that having goals and ideas and plans for the future is bad.  On the contrary, that is why we strive for the things we strive for.  The issue is not imagining, planning for and thinking about the future – the issue is living only for the future, and not in the now.

Like the problems with living in the past, you cannot just live in the unwritten future.  There are so many variables that will get us there, that we need to be present in the here and now to appreciate and to direct our paths to the future.

What does living only for the future mean?  Examples of this include people who, rather than enjoy what life has to offer here-and-now, focus only on the afterlife.  People who do not deal with present matters awaiting future changes like inheritances or promotions at work or relationship status changes.  People who work only on seeing the future, for better or ill, but do nothing to change their current life for their own good.

We have been promised may things in the 21st century in the past.  Scientists and fiction writers have presented us with visions of things both realized and not.  Where are our flying cars and jetpacks, for example?  Androids?  Meals in pill form?  But by the same token we can find moving sidewalks and aircraft crisscrossing the skies and a world connected by invisible signals and computer networks.

How did the reality of those past ideas become our present when they were about the future?  At the time, when certain people were living in the here-and-now of that time, they worked to create these things.  In the present people are continuing to create for the future.   But to bring about the future, we have to work on the here-and-now.

This does not just apply to inventions and global changes to come.  This is also applicable in deeply personal ways.  For example, if you want to be married and have children and grandchildren and wealth and abundance and health – are you doing the things NOW that will bring you that future?  Are you in a relationship?  Working a job you love?  Taking care of your diet and exercise?  These seemingly simple things will affect the future you will reach.  But if we do not work on them here and now, that future will get further and further away…until it might just evaporate and never be realized.

The here-and-now also can present many surprises.  You may encounter unexpected finds and discoveries that will change the future now; but they can only be encountered if you are living in the present.

We live in endless possibility.  We are limited only by our minds, our desires, our actions.  We can manifest the life we want, IF WE CHOOSE.  And that is Pathwalking.  Making the choices in the present to guide our paths to reach a future we would most desire.

The past is the past.  And the future is unwritten.  Lessons from the former and dreams of the latter will make me into the person I am today, but I can neither live in the past or for the future.  It is paramount I choose to live in the here and now.  Every moment is unique, and can be as great or insignificant as I choose to make it.  And that is why I am Pathwalking.

 

This is the ninety-sixth entry in my series. These weekly posts are specifically about walking along the path of life, and my desire to make a difference in this world along the way. Thank you for joining me.

The first year of Pathwalking is available in print and for your Kindle.

Pathwalking 95

The past is, simply put, past.

People all too often look to this event in the past or that event of yesterday, and define almost everything in the now based upon the past.

The trouble is – you cannot change the past.

Pure and simple – you can’t undo past events or actions.  They have happened.  You can’t change them, you cannot undo them, you cannot redo them.

Knowing this and accepting the truth of this matter, here is the even more important part – you should not define your present or your future based on your past.

Yet every day we are inundated with examples of attempts to do exactly that.  We have this incredible fascination with wanting to turn back the clock, to make the past come back into the present, to step back into that time and place and either relive its glory or stop the damage that it caused.  This can be seen on a deeply personal level, like trying to return to a failed relationship, and on a grand scale like politicians trying to undo legislation that has already passed instead of creating new laws.

The past cannot be changed.  You can only live in the here and now, and contemplate how the actions, thoughts, and emotions of the here-and-now will affect and bring about the future.

I am not my past.  My mistakes, my successes, my failures of the past are not who I am now…they are who I WAS.  They are behind me, they are in my past, and they can only define who I am in the here and now if I let them.

One thing to mention here and take to heart – not learning from my past mistakes, successes, failures and so forth will have an effect on my present and future.  I may not be my past, but that does not at all mean the lessons learned back then are not invaluable.  But with those learned lessons, the past must be left where it is, so that I can forge ahead to be who I am and to become whom I want to be.

Lamenting the past, yearning for what was, striving to undo what has been done becomes an obstacle to any path at all you may be choosing.  The past needs to be left where it has fallen, and we have to move onwards.  Forward motion is how you get from point ‘a’ to point ‘b’.  Going back and looking back to the past cannot move us forward.  Looking back and moving forward are diametrically opposed.

Ok, fine.  But aren’t those who neglect history doomed to repeat it?  Yes.  As I said before, we have to take our lessons from the past, learn how we succeeded or failed, learn how we loved or lost, in order to move forward along our path as we would most wish to choose.  However, too many people define themselves by their past, rather than learning from it and leaving it behind.

I am who I am now because of who I was.   This is true.  Our past does color who we are in the here and now.  But the problem we have a very hard time grasping (and I am having an interesting time explaining) is that whether it was good or bad, the past is neither the now nor the future.  We have to take what we have experienced in the past, and while we leave it in the then, we have to live in the now.

Living in the past is impossible.  This is true for several reasons.  The first is that while time is cyclical, and relative, we still measure it on a line.  That line moves forward, and as such we cannot go back and continue on.  Very much in line with Pathwalking.  Another reason is a bit more subjective – how we recall the past is often either romanticized or over-dramatized.

The “good old days” and that “simpler time” were probably excellent.  But memory is a strange thing.  And when we tie the mind with strong emotion, sometimes the mind embellishes a bit.  I am sure times were good, but I think probably less amazing than our recollection is.  The same is true of the “bad days” and that “difficult time”.  I do not discount that they were probably awful, but the mind may embellish this as well, and our recollection is far worse than reality was.

Why do we choose to live in the past?  Why do we hold onto the past rather than leave it behind?  Because it is familiar.  Because we know what to expect.  The pain and pleasures of the past are known.  The present is only sort of known, and full of choices.  The future is utterly uncertain.  But this is where Pathwalking comes in.  We always have choices, and we can leave the past where it is, live in the present, and make choices to journey as we would most desire in order to influence the outcomes of the future.

Who I am, right at this moment, is in part made of who I was in the past.  However, I can choose to live in the now, with eyes forward to the future, and if who I am is not who I want to be, I can make the choices to become that person.  I can take the lessons of my past, learn what I can from them…and if there are parts I want to repeat, then I can choose how to take that forward from the now to the future.  But who I was is past, and who I am is the person choosing the paths I will walk, now.

It seems to some degree a circular argument.  Past is past, but still important to the now.  But living in the past is not living in the now.  And that is the important thing to take away from the statement that the past is past.

Do you live in and for the past, or in and for the now?

 

This is the ninety-fifth entry in my series. These weekly posts are specifically about walking along the path of life, and my desire to make a difference in this world along the way. Thank you for joining me.

The first year of Pathwalking is available in print and for your Kindle.

Pathwalking 94

You are stronger than you realize.

I am not talking about your physical strength here.  I mean that you are mentally, emotionally, and spiritually stronger than you realize.

Every day we deal with tests of our strength.  Some are rather minor and simply inconvenient – traffic on the way to work, the line at the grocery store, unruly clients on the phone, family members trying our patience.

Some, though, are fairly large and complicated – accidents causing serious injury, bankruptcy, divorce, serious illness and death.  These will stretch you to the point where you consider the limits of your strength to be.

But the only limits to your strength are set by you.  Yes, it really is that simple.

This is extremely important to Pathwalking.  The unwavering belief and faith in your own path requires not only conviction, a healthy sense of self, gratitude, intention and hope…but strength.  Strength to face the unexpected turns, challenges, and bumps in the road inherent in life.

I could choose any number of overused, cliché platitudes here.  But they are merely words, and words are just the expression of the idea, not the action or feeling behind it.

Back in the year two-thousand, I had suffered a major accident.  I’ve discussed it previously, but these particular points bear mentioning here:  I was told it would be one-three YEARS before I might walk again, and once I did walk again, it would be with a permanent limp.  I was told I may or may not regain total use of my right arm, but I might have permanent limitations with it.

I was presented with limits.  I was told how things would likely be.  I did not for an instant, however, accept this.  I believed that I was stronger, that I was more able and more capable than the doctors knew.  I would push my strength past the limits I was given, and I would accept nothing less than total recovery.

Seven months after my accident, I was walking again.  Around a year after it, I had regained total use of my right arm.  I do not walk with a limp.  Unless I show you my scars, or tell you the tale of the tragedy that occurred, you would have no knowledge that I was ever injured.

I was stronger than I believed I might be.  I was stronger than anyone else believed that I might be.  And I pushed, and I prevailed.  One of the reasons I have created Pathwalking, to be frank, is to recapture that drive, to renew that same energy, passion, and strength I had all those years ago.  If I can make my body heal faster and more completely than was expected mainly through the strength of my mind, my belief, and my spirit, then I should be able to have the strength to tackle any other obstacle or challenge that comes my way.

Big surprise, this is not easy!  But life is so very much bigger than the small places in the world we occupy.  The world is full of wonder, possibility, and opportunity.  We can have, we can be, we can do virtually anything we put our minds to – but we have to believe that we are even stronger than any limits we see.

My potential is only limited by my own actions, inactions, and imagination.  When I do not believe, do not KNOW that I am stronger than I realize, I get mired in the mundane.  I am my own worst enemy, my own greatest critic, my own deepest skeptic.  And I know I am not the only one with this issue.

You are stronger than you realize.  Unless you give in, unless you accept limits, unless you impose limitations upon yourself, unless you let outside influences tell you who you are, what you can be and do, you ARE stronger than you realize.  Nothing and no one can stop you from choosing your own path to walk UNLESS YOU LET THEM.

There are days when this seems impossible.  There are days where no matter how much strength you use, how much you endure, how far you go, you will feel that you have reached your limits.  You will feel your strength has given out, you have nothing left to give, and you need to give up and move on.

But if this is the path you desire, if you know what you are choosing, and what you want with that choice, then you HAVE the strength to push through this moment.  Because you are stronger than you realize.  You are more powerful, more empowered, more capable, my able to handle anything and everything that comes your way.  It does not matter who you are, if I know you or not, it does not matter where you are, what you are, have, or will be enduring…you are stronger than you realize.  Know this.  Accept this.  And use this to your advantage.

You ARE stronger than you realize.

 

This is the ninety-fourth entry in my series. These weekly posts are specifically about walking along the path of life, and my desire to make a difference in this world along the way. Thank you for joining me.

The first year of Pathwalking is available in print and for your Kindle.

Pathwalking 93

Do you care for and love your self as you ought to?

In today’s society, we have become so focused on our jobs, our families, our friends, our coworkers, our education, our finances, our possessions, our weekends, and so on and so forth – that we have become utterly negligent of the self.

I came across this notion of Pathwalking – and choosing my own life’s path – because I took a look at who I was, and determined I wanted to focus on myself.  I wanted to seek out, choose, explore, and share the walk along my path.  I determined that I was not alone in this desire, and so began to write about my journey.

We have become indoctrinated in the idea that this is selfishness.  Too much focus on the self, we have come to believe, leads automatically to selfishness, arrogance, greed, corruption…and as a consequence we will become uncaring, socially unacceptable creatures unfit to walk amongst the rest of humankind.  But this is a lie that prevents us from getting to know ourselves.

We are taught from an early age to share, and to think about others, and to consider the feelings of those around us.  I am not saying that this is a bad thing in any way, but what we neglect to explore is the connection between the self and the person we are sharing with, how we think about ourselves, and considering our own feelings.

I must iterate here that there is nothing wrong with selflessness – except when it involves the utter lack of attention and energy to the self.  When all you do is give, and sacrifice, and disregard your own needs and desires, you create an immense imbalance in your own energies.  As I have said many times before, balance is necessary in life.

We have become creatures of extremes.  Society places tremendous attention and focus on the extreme opposites: male versus female, Republican versus Democrat, heterosexual versus homosexual, rich versus poor, fat versus thin, and so forth.  But life is very seldom defined by the extreme opposites, most is balanced somewhere in the middle.

When it comes to time on the self and time for others, we cannot neglect the self and have balance.  But because we are so acutely aware of these opposite extremes, we forget that there is a line between self care and selfishness, and that we cannot ignore the one because of fear of the other.

We see all kinds of examples of selfish acts.  Greed, betrayal, lies and deceptions, hatred and cruelty, hoarding and on and on are constantly being displayed across social media, in the news, and elsewhere.  These selfish examples are held up as standards of bad people and behavior, and they are used to discourage others from being the same.

But self care, self love, and self talk are NOT selfish.  They are utterly necessary.  If we neglect the self and sacrifice our wellbeing, our happiness, and our desires just to be selfless, we are only hurting ourselves.  In truth, we selfishly give in order to keep up appearances.

That makes no sense.  Giving to others is not a selfish act, no matter if it is time, money, energy or whatever.  That’s true.  But when you sacrifice your principles, your ideals, your own goals and desires and happiness in the act of giving, why are you doing that?  Because you selfishly need to show others what a good, giving, kind and caring person you are.

Yes, I am going right to the extremes I was decrying just a few paragraphs before this.  But in our society we have become far too accepting of all-or-nothing approaches and attitudes.  It is in this way that we have become increasingly neglectful of the self, and justified that neglect by observing the ways we sacrifice and share and give to others around us.

So there you have your extremes in this matter.  Selfishness on the one hand, sacrifice on the other.  Where is the middle?  Compromise.

It is surprisingly easy to mistake compromise for sacrifice.  The difference with regards to the self is simple – compromise is striking a balance between giving OF, holding FOR and taking FOR the self; whereas sacrifice is unbalanced with giving FROM, holding NOTHING and taking FROM the self.  Compromise acknowledges the necessity of balance in the needs for the self and for giving to others, while sacrifice is giving without any consideration for the healthy needs of the self.

Caring for and loving yourself is immensely important to Pathwalking.  If you do not find balance in giving to and taking for the self, then you might find you really do not know who you are.  Pathwalking requires a healthy knowledge of the self.  The choice of path can hardly matter when the self has been neglected.

Do you have the same healthy love, honor, and respect for the self as you seek to show when giving to others?

 

This is the ninety-third entry in my series. These weekly posts are specifically about walking along the path of life, and my desire to make a difference in this world along the way. Thank you for joining me.

The first year of Pathwalking is available in print and for your Kindle.

Pathwalking 92

A lot of time here has been spent on the topic of gratitude.  But of almost equal importance, we need to also take a look at intention.

Intent is about the outcome.  Intent is about the perception of a choice.  Intent is the answer to how you want whatever it is you are working on to be.

Knowing our intent is of great importance, because if we do not know our intent, we will not necessarily get the outcome we sought in the first place.

I had the best of intentions.  I didn’t intend for this to happen that way.  My intentions were pure.  I intended to do ‘x’ rather than ‘y’.  All of these without a doubt have been something I have said over the years, and I would bet that you may have encountered such as well.

So how do I separate out my intent from my overall choice, and what does this have to do with Pathwalking?  Choice is not just a simple, singular action.  Choice is much farther reaching.

When you choose a path, there is an intended goal.  Paths are chosen to get us from point ‘a’ to point ‘b’ and all points otherwise.  As I have expressed many times before, what we encounter along the path is as important as where we want the path to go.

But sometimes when we set the goal, we do not express to ourselves or even to those around us what our intent is.

Intent is ascribing meaning and significance to a choice or action, to put determination and resolve into that.  It is knowing what the goal at the end of the path is supposed to be.

Yes, it does happen that along the path, the goal may change.  As such, so too might the intent.  But knowing the intent to begin with can make all the difference between a half-baked notion and a fully thought out idea.

Lots of teachers and leaders and spiritual coaches talk about living intentionally.  That, truth be told, is the heart of Pathwalking.  Choosing how you want life to be is living intentionally.  As such, knowing the intent for the end goal is so very important.

This is also where you begin to separate the idea of Pathwalking from the action of Pathwalking.  You can logic and reason this concept and make an effort with little to no effect, or you can not just think it, but intend it, and add the necessary feeling and emotion required for success.

Another thing I have talked about often in these posts has been the fact that Pathwalking is not just choosing a path with your mind, but also with your heart and soul.  You cannot just think and reason your path, you HAVE to feel it.  Emotion and energy must be put into the path, or it will lead you nowhere.

And that is why intent is so important.  Just because I have a goal in mind, if I do not have the intent and the emotions and feelings to go with it, I will find it getting further away, rather than closer.

Personally, this has been one of my biggest problems in walking my own path.  I get sidetracked when I lose focus because of outside influences or lack of sleep or seasonal depression or what-have-you, and my intent falls by the wayside.  I know the idea, I know what I want to achieve, but I lose the feeling, lose the intended result, and one step closer seems to drop me two steps back.

Living life intentionally is the best way to not only make a choice logically, but emotionally.  It takes that blend of head and heart to lead the body and spirit where they most desire to go.  And just like gratitude, intention cannot be just words, it has to have the corresponding emotion behind it to get where we aim it.

Take archery as an example.  I can stand with a target before me, nock an arrow, draw and fire without aiming.  If I fire a dozen arrows in this way, I might manage to hit the target, but that would be blind luck, since there is no intent in my shooting.  If instead I stand with a target before me, nock an arrow, draw, take aim and fire, chances are far greater that I will hit the target.  Because I am aiming, and I intend to hit it.  And with practice, I will hit the target more frequently, and even more exactly where I want to.

Pathwalking without intent is firing the arrow from the bow without aiming.  Intent is the aim, and the result when you aim will be far greater.

I intend to walk my path with a goal in mind.  Living life with intention is a necessity of Pathwalking that cannot be disregarded.

Do you live your life intentionally?

 

This is the ninety-second entry in my series. These weekly posts are specifically about walking along the path of life, and my desire to make a difference in this world along the way. Thank you for joining me.

The first year of Pathwalking is available in print and for your Kindle.

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