The Ramblings of the Titanium Don

Explorations of Conscious Reality Creation and Other Matters

Month: August 2014

Pathwalking 139

It is vitally important that you work on a positive attitude when Pathwalking.

I have mentioned rather frequently that positivity is terribly important. If you do not remain positive, you might find yourself easily trapped in any number of undesired matters.

Yet there are going to be days where remaining positive feels impossible. No matter what you do to restore your mindset, you just feel…off. You feel blue.

This is particularly rough if, like me, you might be known to suffer from depression from time to time.

Distractions can only do so much. I cannot tell you how much time I will give to a lame video game either on Facebook or my iPhone. For a time, it takes my mind away from the things that are making me feel negative. But that is not long enough, and the negativity returns.

Why is positivity better than negativity? Simply because like attracts like. “Once you start down the dark path, forever will it dominate your destiny,” Yoda told us. If you allow the negative to take root, it will continue to build and grow, and instead of a strong base of positive attitude, you have one of negative. Positivity is growth and development, while negativity is stagnation and decay. Which do you prefer?

What do I need to do in order to set these things aside and let positivity dominate my thoughts?

The first challenge is to identify the what. What is it that is making me feel like this? It can be as simple as sleepiness or hunger or such. But in all likelihood it is a thing, such as news that I have read or financial concerns or a tangible or semi-tangible outside influence having its effect on me.

Without a doubt the what can easily be more than one thing, or any combination of all of these. We are complex, multifaceted creatures, you and I. So while there may be a singular answer the odds are it’s a combination of matters. Determining the what is the first step.

Once I know the what, the next matter is determining the why. Why is this matter or these matters bothering me? Why are these things making me feel negative, and why are they dominating my attitude? Why?

Along this same line comes the determination of the how. How is this making me feel negative? Is it due to something I can or cannot control? Is it anger, fear, frustration or such? How is this negative thing making me feel negative?

The questions of what, why and how can really open up the root of the problem. Currently, it is a combination for me of fear and frustration. A situation I am in has triggered certain fear responses, and at the same time the what of the matter is a cause of consternation. These negative emotions are very very powerful, and the knowledge of the power of negativity over Pathwalking and my want to be happy actually magnifies the frustration.

So I know what, I know why, and I know how. I know what is causing me to feel negative, and I know how and why I am feeling this way. The trick now is to do something about it.

The first question is – is the what in this situation within my control? Whether partial or total control, this will help me determine if there is anything to be done about the matter of what.

Second question – is the why and how of this under my control? The why and how may be separate and apart, so while the one may be in my control the other may not. The why in my current situation is causing me to feel certain emotions, and those negative emotions are the how. I cannot control the why, but I can take charge over the how.

Which brings me to the third question – based on the what and why and how, what can I do? What am I empowered to do in this matter to change my mindset, escape from the negativity and return my focus to positivity?

This presents to me the single greatest challenge I routinely face. My mind gets trapped within negative thoughts and emotions, and I have to fight to focus on the positive I need to manifest the life I want, and walk my chosen path. I have been struggling with this all my life, really, and more so since I began Pathwalking.

The truth is that I have no definitive answer. What’s more, what works for me one day may not work on another. The means to return my mind to positivity today fails completely tomorrow. And just to add another complication, even if I had a surefire means that worked for me, chances are it might not work for you.

I skipped a workout at the gym today to sit outside at a picnic table and write this out. It has not wholly pulled me from the negativity I have been fighting, but it has given me perspective. That is important, because without perspective, I cannot begin to work on changing negativity to positivity, and more successfully walking my path.

I will continue this exploration next week. Thank you for continuing to be a part of my path, as you travel upon your own paths.

Do you see why positivity is important to Pathwalking?

 

This is the one-hundred thirty ninth 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. Feel free to re-blog and share.  Thank you for joining me.

The first fifty-two weeks (Year One) of installments of Pathwalking is available in print and for your Kindle.

Positivity: Education

School is about to start up again. While certainly some kids will miss the freedom of the summer, education is, we adults know, hugely positive.

There is an incredibly infinite number of things to be learned in this world. There is information on every single topic, past present and future, to be gleaned. Education is an incredibly positive influence.

Education is how we have learned that the earth is round, that there are good and bad microscopic bacteria effecting our health, that two plus two equals four, that up is the opposite of down, and so on. Education is how we identify the amazing variety of species of plants and animals that also make up our world.

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We never stop learning. Some people choose to work on furthering their education throughout their lives, while some people just sort of pick up new information along the way, willingly or otherwise. There is and will always be something to be learned. There will always be something new to discover, something unique to learn.

Education is why we can communicate instantaneously across the globe. Education is why we can study the cosmos and the micro-cosmos.

It is by educating ourselves about this world that we can find new ways to make it a better place. When we learn about how the things that make us all different are really, when you get right down to it, largely the same, we can see that intolerance and hate and disloyalty truly do not belong. All of us want to be happy, we want to feel we are empowered, we want to love and be loved, and we can learn that while the means may be different, the desired ends are pretty much all the same.

We have so much more to learn. It is by educating ourselves that we might find cures for the most devastating diseases; we can discover alternatives to fossil fuels; we can feed the hungry across the globe. Education should be encouraged, and expanded. The more we know, the more we WANT to know, I believe.

I have learned that a positive mindset feels better than a negative one. I have studied many sources to uncover this, and I share this every week because I believe that everyone should learn this as well.

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Some people believe education is a negative. How, I ask, can anything that expands our knowledge and understanding of the world we live in be anything but positive? Knowledge is not simply power, knowledge is empowerment. Empowerment is a very positive thing, because it lets us choose to create more positivity for our lives.

Finding positivity is not hard, it just requires action. Knowing that there is always something more to be learned, ever more to educate ourselves about, we can broaden our perspective. Broadening our perspective lets us see more around us, and opens our minds. When we open our minds and strive to learn more about the world we live in, this can help us in generating a positive attitude. Positive attitude begets positive energy, and that is always a good thing.

 

This is the thirtieth entry of my Positivity series.  It is my hope these weekly messages might help spread positive energies for everyone.  Feel free to re-blog and spread the positivity.

Pathwalking 138

There is some scary stuff happening in the world around us right now.

In the United States we have this surreal situation in Missouri. I had really thought we left the hatred and fear and racism of the 1960’s back in the 20th century, but we seem to have all of that back again here and now.

In the Ukraine we have separatists who are likely backed by the Russians stirring up nationalistic troubles.

The Israelis and Palestinians of the Gaza Strip cannot come to peace and are killing one another once again.

As if that wasn’t enough, we are inundated with news of various acts of nature like storms and wildfires and potential volcanic eruptions and such. To call it all disheartening is an understatement.

All of these awful things beg one question. Why bother? Why bother to make and choose a path in this life when so many random awful things can interfere and disrupt that path?

The simple answer – because we have no control over these things. I cannot control what is happening in the world, I cannot control the actions of others.

I CAN, however, control my own actions, my own choices, my own destiny. In fact, this is one of the few things in the world over which I have nearly absolute control.

So what? You might go on and question, Isn’t control over anything at all an illusion? Plain and simple – no. While there are a finite number of things in life we have control over, control is not just an illusion.

I can control my emotions. I can control where I place myself in the world at large. I can control whom I associate with, and what I do with the people I spend time with in my life. I can control what I do with my time, and I can control day to do who I am. Certainly there are times this is not so easy, and without a doubt sometimes these are difficult matters, but I am still in control of them none-the-less.

I know there are finer points and semantics to be argued on this topic. Sometimes controlling how you feel is difficult at best due to outside influences. If I am lacking in money where I will be might be limited. Despite the control we can choose to wield, sometimes we still do not, even arguably cannot take it for ourselves.

Pathwalking is about finding and choosing your own path in life. It is making your own way in the world, discovering and exploring your own destiny. I have reiterated the point time and again that Pathwalking is about taking control over who you are, and what you do in this life.

Being inundated by so much negative and unsettling news can really do a number on you. And while it is good to stay informed, it is not necessary to let ourselves be overwhelmed. There is ALWAYS something happening out there that will rile us up, make us angry, make us upset and frustrated. I am not stating that as a negative thing, just a fact. That’s simply the nature of the media and our modern instantaneous news cycle. But since we can control how we allow ourselves to feel, we can choose to not let this affect us.

Again, I am not at all suggesting anyone be ignorant of the world around them. But we all need to keep more open minds, and we need to focus less on what we cannot control, and more over what we can. It is certainly a possibility that some world event will directly effect a course you might choose. It may be part of your path to join a protest or start an organization to do something about a problem in this world. Pathwalking recognizes no limits to possibilities.

I also believe that if we focus more on the things we can control, and we spend more time on our own lives and our own happiness, that will have its own impact on the world. Many of the scary things out there have to do with disempowerment and misery and sadness. People caught up in terrible situations who have no control, swept up in situations that leave little to no room for personal control or escape. I believe that the more empowerment we take, the less we will be caught in out-of-control extremes.

Watching and reading and discussion all the dark and scary world events around us feeds them energy. Go ahead and learn about them, but don’t linger with them. If we take them into ourselves and let these things become a part of our paths, we are giving away empowerment. I know I do not like the feeling of being powerless, and I am pretty certain that neither do you. Nor does anyone.

Let’s focus on our own lives, and the paths we are walking. We can be mindful of the world around us, and all that is happening, but we should not allow those things to dominate our thoughts and actions…unless that IS our path.

Lastly – if you find you have been thrown from your path by an outside influence such as world events, don’t feed negativity and annoyance and anger and frustration at the problem, or more importantly at yourself. Remember, that negativity impacts your path and your ability to walk it. Let it go, and focus instead on empowering your life. We all have days that are bad, we all get distracted from our paths by various influences, and we all make choices that prove to be wrong. Don’t let that throw you off…take a deep breath, release it and keep moving forward.

We can control if we learn of these things and continue walking our paths, or if we let them overwhelm us and shake us from what we want to do.

How do you take your news, and how do you let it influence your Pathwalk?

 

This is the one-hundred thirty eighth 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. Feel free to re-blog and share.  Thank you for joining me.

The first fifty-two weeks (Year One) of installments of Pathwalking is available in print and for your Kindle.

Positivity: Support

I understand your struggle, and I support your efforts to make your life what you want it to be.

It is amazing how good knowing you are supported can make you feel. When you are doing pretty much anything with your life, great or small, there is nothing quite like receiving support.

Sometimes it is just a matter of someone saying they understand. Sometimes its an offer of help and encouragement. Sometimes it involves nothing more than emotional support, sometimes you need a helping hand or financial backing. But when you receive support, you feel more positive.

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When you are in a situation in opposition to another, whether of your own choosing or otherwise, finding you are supported can make a tremendous difference. It is incredible how much better you can feel when you are told “you are right” or “I agree with your position” or even a less committed “I understand”.

It is hard enough to find positivity sometimes. But when you are in a situation feeling you are unsupported, it is an even greater challenge…in especial when those you seek support from are important to you.

When you know that you are supported, it can generate a tremendous amount of positivity. That positive energy can help you find focus and take matters to the next level, and it can help you to build all that you need in order to make a better life for yourself.

I know first hand how hard it can be when you need support from certain people, and it does not come. It can be disheartening, and it can make generating positive energy difficult at best, outright impossible at worst. But when you know you have people on your side it can make things far better.

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Remember that while you need support, you should also give support. Certainly there are times that your loved ones and your friends do things you cannot support them in. But when they are doing good things, or making good efforts, offering your own support to them can be an incredible and energizing action.

Finding positivity is not hard, it just requires action. Knowing that there is someone offering you support can make any situation you are in better, and build up positivity. When we give our own understanding to others, we start a cycle that can build up tremendous positivity, and it is an amazing vehicle for generating a positive attitude. Positive attitude begets positive energy, and that is always a good thing.

 

This is the twenty ninth entry of my Positivity series.  It is my hope these weekly messages might help spread positive energies for everyone.  Feel free to re-blog and spread the positivity.

Pathwalking 137

Some of the brightest, the funniest, the wisest of us suffer depression.

Unlike many diseases, depression is utterly silent. It is probably the most internalized disorder you can possibly imagine, and it can take a terrible toll and extract a terrible price on its sufferers.

I know this struggle intimately. I have spent most of my life fighting depression.

I am not ashamed of this fact, but I do not feel the need to advertise it to the world. But I am very much not alone in this, and it is something we all need to talk about and address more readily and with less angst than we currently do.

Depression claims many lives, in many ways. Some people withdraw within themselves, and never show the world who they are, or what they may be capable of. Some people put on a mask to disguise the sensation and keep the depression from ever showing. Some people choose to end their lives rather than fight against this illness.

The world lost a profound entertainer in Robin Williams. He was a brilliant comedian, he was an inspired actor, and by all accounts he was a good man. But like millions, he suffered with private demons, and he fought depression. Unfortunately for us all, he lost that fight and took away a bright light away from our world.

I admired him. I believe that Robin Williams very much walked his own path. Here was a man who went from manic comedy to serious stagecraft, who could alternate from hilariously funny to tear-jerking serious, who made a wide-ranging career of brilliant material. He made his own way, and he leaves behind many fond memories of his performances.

Depression does not care if you are famous or unknown. Depression does not care if you are rich or poor. Depression does not care if you treat it with drugs or psychotherapy or some combination therein or nothing at all. Depression is the dark cloud that overshadows every accomplishment great or small, every achievement you gain, every success and every failure. Depression is a waterfall, sometimes rushing down in a torrent, sometimes just a drip, but always there.

The loss of Mr. Williams is a tragedy, but the real tragedy would be in ignoring the terrible burden he fought. Depression for some is a moment in time, but for many of us it is an over-arching shadow, no matter how bright the sun and how hard we strive to find peace and happiness and good and positive things.

Over the years I have taken various roads to combat depression. I have been diagnosed with clinical depression, and at different times have sought out different coping mechanisms. I have gone through psychotherapy, I have taken Prozac, I have worked on meditation and Zen practices to make peace with my depression and keep it at bay. I have used combinations of all of the above to deal with and overcome my depression.

Pathwalking was created in part as a means to combat depression. I have found many of my past choices to have increased my depression, and determined that if I chose to find and walk my own path, perhaps I could find a direction where the shadow of depression will be less.

I can honestly say that, yes, Pathwalking has done its part in the war as an effective weapon against depression. I am far more content knowing that I am on paths of my own devising.

When we are inundated by negativity and we see a world in darkness it is hard not to let depression overwhelm us. I see too much potential in all that life has to offer to voluntarily depart from this world, but I can understand why anyone fighting this particular monster might make that choice. I may have never considered suicide as an option, but I can understand why others have.

We are not alone. Many of us are fighting together to overcome this foe. No matter what options you choose, please know that you are by no means the only one fighting this battle. I know. I understand.

Do not be afraid to reach out for help. Do not fear how others might react if they learn you are fighting this fight. Don’t withdraw from the world to hide from depression. Know that you can battle it, and you can win against it.

I have chosen to walk my own path. I recognize that depression will likely be a companion on any path I travel, but I believe I can overcome it, and I can find paths that will minimize its effect on me. It is my hope that as I share my journeys, you will also find solace in this notion, and if you also suffer from depression you will see that there are alternatives, and there are ALWAYS options.

These paths we choose are a means to make our lives how we want them to be. Pathwalking is a means to find peace, to find happiness, and to combat depression. I am not afraid to share my own struggle with you, and I am unashamed to admit that I fight this battle too. But this is an armor we can don that will help us to win the fight, and to continue on and learn all the possibilities before us.

Rest in peace, Robin Williams. May your passing spark dialogues that will help others to find peace in their own life paths where you could not.

 

This is the one-hundred thirty seventh 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. Feel free to re-blog and share.  Thank you for joining me.

The first fifty-two weeks (Year One) of installments of Pathwalking is available in print and for your Kindle.

Positivity: Home

There really is no place like home.

It is amazing how good it feels to return to the place where you have your stuff. Not just your stuff, but your base of operations. It is your sanctuary, your refuge, your castle, your domain, you inner sanctum. Home.

It does not matter what form it takes, nearly everyone has some place that they can call home.

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For some, home is not a literal place. It is a time, a person, an experience that brings them that sense of placement and comfort. Home is more of an abstract concept, in which one can bask in relaxation and find calm.

Home is where the heart is. Home is that place that makes you feel grounded, content, connected, whole. Home is the idea that you belong somewhere, that you are a cog in a greater machine.

For some people home is that place where you are surrounded by friends and chosen family, enjoying a drink and a laugh and time together. For some home is that tiny room, seemingly cramped but perfect for you to escape the pressures of the day and retreat into a book or some other personal comfort. The what of home is not important, it is the effect of it that matters.

Creating and having such a place is an incredible generator of positivity. We all need a place we call our own, no matter the location, size or composition. We matter how nomadic we are, there is a place we call home, and it brings us peace and comfort.

Home can be a transient place. Home can also be more than one locale. Home is the campsite I just spent a week at with my friends, it is the place where I lay my head and keep my things, it is the store I work at and helped to build. All bring about that positive energy of having a place I call my own, and all have a different role in fostering positivity.

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No matter where and what you call home, there is no place like it. Home is a place to reset and recharge your batteries, and allows you to find and create positive energies in the world.

Finding positivity is not hard, it just requires action. Knowing that there is no place like home, and the heart and soul can rest within that place, you have somewhere from whence to store positivity. When we give our personal space, permanent or transitory, the attention it deserves, we can use that base to build anything we desire. Home is a great place for finding, creating, and ultimately sharing positivity. Positive attitude begets positive energy, and that is always a good thing.

 

This is the twenty eighth entry of my Positivity series.  It is my hope these weekly messages might help spread positive energies for everyone.  Feel free to re-blog and spread the positivity.

Pathwalking 136

We all need to take a break.

I am walking my path on a regular basis, but once in a while there just needs to be a break. More than a break, however, I need to withdraw.

This can come in a number of forms. I might take the time to meditate, I might read a book, I might work on some other project that makes me happy. I could go on a hike or hit the gym or attend fencing practice to give my mind and body an alternate focus.

While it is necessary to take a break from work, it is also necessary to take breaks from life, from your path, from responsibility and the everyday necessities.

Small breaks are important. Everyone needs a chance to let their mind wander, to do things that are a diversion from the norm, and to recharge. At least a few minutes every day should go to this, because without it we get caught up in our routines, and rather than increase our focus is lessens it.

I have been fencing for more than two decades now. I teach new people this arte, and one thing that almost everyone tends to do along the way is to tighten their grip on their sword. We think that if we hold on tighter, we will have more control. The truth is, however, that the tighter the grip, the more control you LOSE. You also weaken your position, and provide opposition an opponent can totally use against you.

This is a metaphor for Pathwalking and life. The tighter you hold onto certain things, the more apt you are to weaken your hold. Life requires a delicate touch, and while it is important to find, walk and experience a path, too much focus and too narrow a path can lead to missteps and a loss of the path and all the complications that come of that.

Thus escaping from your path and loosening your grip is extremely important. It is a matter of both mental and physical health that is all-too-often neglected.

Our society, at least in America in particular, is all about work. Work hard, work harder. We have lost sight of the struggles of those before us who won for us weekends and a standard work week of only forty hours. We push for more out of less, we structure our infrastructure to make due with one where we used to have three. We frown upon more time for rest and relaxation, even though we firmly admit we desperately need it.

Everybody needs to take a breather. There is no one who cannot and does not benefit from some form of escape, and while those short daily breaks are important, so too are the longer vacations.

Whether it is the weekend, a long weekend, or a full-on vacation, we all need to take breaks. Even Pathwalkers need from time to time to break away, to not be all about their path or paths, and to take time to relax, draw in new perspectives and new ideas by escaping the usual.

As you are reading this I am currently on vacation. Thanks to the wonders of technology I have been able to meet my obligation to myself by posting this as I do every week, but I am in fact not online. I am escaping from my everyday life in more ways than one, and this is something that no matter how much I do not acknowledge the necessity of, it is still something beneficial to me.

Everyone does this differently. Some people might be in a comfy chair on the beach, but still checking in with the world they have left behind. Some have gone to greater lengths and extremes than I to go off the grid and get away. The what and the how are not as important as the action in question, and the why is what I am explaining in this writing.

It is intensely important that we acknowledge our base needs. One of those is the need for escapism. Great or small, it is very important that we take the time to escape from the everyday, even including the paths we are walking.

Know that sometimes in our escapes we find new paths to walk. There are certainly times when the escape we have taken might open up a new avenue, a new idea and a fresh path to walk. Further, taking that break might help redirect you, or even strengthen what path you are already treading upon.

Taking breaks from life is a healthy practice. We all need to allow ourselves that liberty, and not only accept it, but embrace it. The path we return to will still be there, but it may change, and it may be clearer and easier to walk than before.

How do you break from the everyday?

 

This is the one-hundred thirty 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. Feel free to re-blog and share.  Thank you for joining me.

The first fifty-two weeks (Year One) of installments of Pathwalking is available in print and for your Kindle.

Positivity: Escape

Everyone needs to escape from the everyday now and then.

We all need escapes. We all need to get away. This takes different forms for different people, and can be achieved through means both great and small. Escapes can be both short and lengthy, but they can be a very positive thing to make use of.

I don’t know anyone who does not need to take a “time out” once in a while. Whether they are stopping to meditate for ten minutes, read a book, hike the woods, swim in a lake, or go on a vacation away from the everyday, there is nothing like the positive energy escape provides.

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As you are reading this, I am away from my everyday life. I am more-or-less off-the-grid, enjoying time amongst friends and offline. I will call loved ones to check in from time to time, but I have escaped my e mail inboxes, work, and commuting. I am recharging, enjoying a break from my regular routine, and gaining new experiences, perspectives, and energy.

There is nothing as refreshing and revitalizing as a good escape. We need to take time outs for our own sanity. There is nothing wrong with always being on the move, constantly connected, and always on the go. But I have yet to meet anyone who does not NEED and relish in an escape.

Even standing in the sun with your eyes closed, letting the solar energy wash over your face can provide a perfect escape. There is no rule book saying escape needs to be for long, or needs to be complex. It can be simple, it can be short and sweet, and it can take any form that allows you to recover from anxiety and disquiet, and to gain insight and focus and generate positivity.

Some people get caught up in large, diverse and complicated escape mechanisms. If it works for you, and helps you to find and generate positivity, then more power to you. But this can be as simple as stopping what you are doing to spend time petting a cat or a dog, or watching fish swim circles within their tanks.

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The danger of this is that some people would prefer to live in their escapes than in the real world. Escaping reality from time to time in whatever form it takes is healthy, and positive, but like many things in life requires at least a modicum of moderation. In the right dosage, escapism is a huge shot of positivity.

Finding positivity is not hard, it just requires action. Knowing that finding an escape, great or small, can help with perspective, you can make use of escapes to create positivity. When we take a moment of time to escape, however long that moment may be, we can escape negativity, and enjoy a more peaceful and positive sense of self. Escapes are a great means to finding, creating, and ultimately experiencing positivity. Positive attitude begets positive energy, and that is always a good thing.

 

This is the twenty seventh entry of my Positivity series.  It is my hope these weekly messages might help spread positive energies for everyone.  Feel free to re-blog and spread the positivity.

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