self-awareness – Perspectives & Possibilities

Tag: self-awareness

"what's the answer" | Author: Erich Ferdinand | License: CC BY 2.0

Quests and Questions

As long as humans have told stories, we’ve shared tales about people going on quests. There is a long list of these tales about quests of one sort or another in history and in literature. Here are a few of the more famous quests. About 2,000 BC, Gilgamesh embraced the quest to find the secret to eternal life. He started out as a cruel despot who raped any women he fancied. After losing his best Read More

The Fragility of Freshness

“If you can’t smell the fragrance, don’t come into the garden of love.”  –Rumi “Let me not die while I am still alive.” –Hasidic prayer   Knowing when to cut your avocado is a tricky task. One day too early and the fruit inside is too hard. One day too late, and it turns brown and mushy. Finding optimal freshness is a challenge with fruit and with life. I hate it when my strawberries get Read More

facade | Author: mitchell haindfield | Flickr | | License: Attribution 2.0 Generic

Bubbles, Beliefs, and Behaviors

I grew up in a bubble. It was a very common bubble for a lot of folks in our country: Mid-western, white, Christian, republican, working class, conservative, and rural. I had very little understanding about the lives of people outside my bubble and no awareness that I was even in a bubble.

My first bubble was burst in 1968 when I served in Vietnam with Army Intelligence.

Michigan fall landscape, by Rick Bellingham

Emptiness

I remember the knock on the door. It was 1982, and we were living in Basking Ridge, NJ. A fresh-faced and earnest 10 year-old wanted to know if he could mow our lawn. He said he was saving up to buy a car. Even though I was perfectly capable of mowing the lawn myself, I said, “Fantastic, you’re hired.” Today, 34 years later, we are still friends. Richard is now a 5th degree black belt Read More

www.thezendiary.com

Observation

When I look in the mirror these days I’m shocked that the old and withered face I see doesn’t reflect the way I think or feel. The image makes me acutely aware of how differently I’m viewed by people with whom I come into contact. Strangers see me as an old and irrelevant man – three steps from the nursing home. My friends know differently. And I feel more vital than I ever have in Read More

"Lego Wars," Credit: FFCU on Flickr. https://www.flickr.com/photos/free_for_commercial_use/ (License: CC BY-SA 2.0)

Letting Go and Letting In

It seems like we always have to let go of stuff. As babies, at some point, we have to give up our pacifiers or security blankets. As young adults, we have to let go of our dependence on parents and become independent. As we grow older, we need to let go of our defensiveness in order to let in constructive feedback. Over the course of our lives, our security blankets and dependencies change, but we Read More

Title: Patterns of your past | Author: Aristocats-hat | Source: Flickr | License: CC BY-NC 2.0

Wishing and Willing

I am. I can. I wish. “I am” is being. “I can” is becoming. “I wish” is aspiring. Gurdjieff suggested that using these words could motivate us to tune into our higher selves. In his book, Life is Real Only Then, When “I Am”, Gurdjieff said these three impulses must arise and manifest themselves in an evolving person. These words are essential for “the entire sensing of the whole of oneself.” These words reflect the genuine “I” of a person who has reached responsible age.

Meeting Barack Obama

Thank you, thank you, thank you

Every morning in my daily meditation, I give thanks for the earth, water, the sun, air, the time I have on this planet, the knowledge I have access to, the vastness of space, the healing energy of Light, my ability to think and process, sounds that I hear, love that I feel, hope that I cling to, the senses that let me experience the world, my sexuality, and my roots. Yup, starting the day with Read More

"Porst SP Old Plank Road 2," by Flickr user J Jakobson https://www.flickr.com/photos/30811353@N04/

Concepts and Skills

Stephen Ambrose, in his new book describing the construction of the Transcontinental railroad, Nothing Like It In the World, suggests that trains were the primary vehicle for introducing the industrial revolution. He quotes an engineer who said, “where a mule can go, I can make a locomotive go.” The poetry of engineering requires both the imagination to conceive and the skills to execute. We use concepts to frame our imagination, we use skills to build Read More

Mirror Pond at Belton House, by Flickr user Rich Bamford (https://www.flickr.com/photos/myrialejean/)

Awareness with Acceptance

Call it serendipity. Call it luck. Call it random events that just happened to be connected. Call it anything you want, but I just experienced a strange coincidence that boggles my mind a bit. I had been thinking about a new post (yes, that’s what I do with most of my free time) about the notion of awareness and acceptance. Incidentally, my process for writing posts is to latch onto an idea from something I have read, Read More

"The Sad Hulk," by Thomas Hawk

Connect, Create, Collaborate

I recently attended a week-end workshop on Calm Clarity conducted by Due Quach (pronounced Zway Kwok), a Vietnamese boat refugee who grew up in a drug infested and gang ridden inner city and then went on to: graduate with honors at Harvard, complete a Masters Degree at Wharton, work for one of the most prestigious consulting firms in the country, scour Asia for the most enlightened spiritual sources, and create the Calm Clarity organization which Read More

Photo by Sérgio Rola | License: CC0

Range and Reach

I recently visited the Picasso Sculpture exhibit at the Museum of Modern Art in NYC. It was a stunning display of the range and reach of Picasso’s work over five decades. As the introduction to the exhibit suggests, Picasso upended categorical distinctions. The retrospective collection provides ample evidence to support that observation. What struck me as I moved from room to room through MOMA’s beautiful exhibit spaces was Picasso’s range of materials (plaster, bronze, wood, Read More

Photograph of starry sky | Author: Michael Hull (License: CC0)

The Dance

“At the still point of the turning world, there the dance is—and there is only the dance. Yet the enchainment of past and future, woven in the weakness of the changing body, protects mankind from heaven and damnation which flesh cannot endure. Time past and time future—allow but a little consciousness.” –T.S. Elliot Lynnda Pallio vividly describes those wondrous still points in poetic prose in her multiple-award-winning new book, Trusting the Currents. Trusting the Currents Read More

Johannes Vermeer, "A Maid Asleep," ca. 1657-57, Oil on canvas; 34 1/2 x 30 1/8 in. The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, Bequest of Benjamin Altman, 1913 (14.40.611) http://www.metmuseum.org/Collections/search-the-collections/437878

Values, Valuing, and Feeling Valued

I often hear people say they don’t feel valued or appreciated at work. After I respond with something like, “It’s a pretty lousy feeling when you work hard but don’t get the sense that people recognize the importance of what you do.” And then I ask, “What do you value and how do you want to be valued?” The question is usually met with a blank stare that indicates it’s not a question they have Read More

Title: NYC0812 034 Sol LeWitt at MoMA | Author: watz | Source: Flickr | License: CC BY-NC-SA 2.0

Slow Dancing

Remember being back in high school and waiting for the slow dances to play so you could cuddle closely with your friend and enjoy the sweetness of the connection? And how sweet it was. Wouldn’t it be wonderful to be able to create that magical moment without going back to the teenage angst that overwhelmed those tingling feelings? An ever-increasing percentage of people are finding that meditation is one way to capture that feeling of Read More

Title: one size – fits all | Author: Cees Wouda | Source: ceesjw on Flickr | License: CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

Labels, Limits, and Levels

Dr. Bill Anthony, the highly respected, world-renowned, executive director of the Psychiatric Rehabilitation Center at Boston University, initiated classes with new students by throwing the DSM into the waste basket. This dramatic statement was intended to communicate to people entering the mental health field that labels limit our ability to see the potential and possibilities of another human being.

"Stools," by Ai Weiwei | Photo Credit: Daniel Silliman

Stages and States

I just completed an on-line course through MindValley Institute entitled “Beyond Seeking” taught by Ken Wilber, whom I mentioned in my last post. The course triggered so many ideas that I wanted to filter them through my lens and write a post. So here it is. As the title of this post indicates, throughout our lives, we can experience many stages and many states. In my last post, Spiritual Awakening, I constructed scales for Wilber’s Read More

Photo of swingset by Aaron Burden (License: CC0)

Abuse

We are hearing a lot of sordid stories these days about professional athletes abusing their spouses and children. As horrific and wrong as these cases are, they make us think that abuse is mostly physical and is contained within a small sub-section of the population. To me, abuse is more than physical, and it is practically universal. Let me explain. Abuse can be physical, emotional, intellectual, or spiritual. It can occur in blatant and obvious Read More

Title: Interconnect | Author: Samuel

How AND Why

We hear a lot of either/or options in our lives. Either you can do this or you can do that. And how often is an acknowledgement of a different point of view accompanied, by a “but…?” Ya, but I think…! This post addresses the need to see the complementarity of differences and the need to ask “how” AND “why.” As the eastern philosophers would say, “there is a yin is in every yang, and a Read More

Title: The $1.50 Roll | Author: ffunyman | Source: Flickr | License: CC BY-NC 2.0 https://www.flickr.com/photos/ffunyman/3414045884/

Freedom

It’s a terrible feeling and a freeing experience to have your illusions destroyed. As I walked down the streets of Saigon and watched the army trucks full of terrified, tough kids purposely drive through mud puddles so that they could laugh gleefully as the brown, polluted water splashed randomly on the elegant, white, long dresses of the beautiful Vietnamese women I knew my view of the world had been irrevocably shaken.  In the name of Read More

Bell Systems Technical Journal

Getting Distance on Our Problems

Everyone has issues.  They could be physical.  They could be mental.  They could be emotional.  Or they could be a mix of all three.  Some are minor annoyances.  Some are major trauma.  The challenge is to get enough distance on them, so we don’t get lost in them or identify with them.  Our bodies may not work the way we would like them to work…but we are not our bodies.  Our minds might not function Read More

Yosemite National Park | Credit: Erol Ahmed

Attitude

Randomness is. We can’t control the events that happen in life. We can find meaning in what’s not meant to be. There is not always a reason. External causes bombard us from multiple sources. We can only look inward for our own truth. External forces pull us out. There are always compelling reasons to get caught in the flow. We can only shift our attention inward. Internal forces keep us down. We can’t break free Read More

"Saturn's red band," @ Big Huge Labs | Author: rainchurch | License: CC BY-SA 2.0

The Centrality Delusion

In 1632, Galileo angered the Pope when he published a book in which he openly stated that the Earth was moving around the Sun. He was put on trial by the Inquisition in Rome, where he was found suspect of heresy, and forced to say that all of his findings were wrong. He was first imprisoned, and later confined to his house near Florence.  This event was an early indication that debunking myths around centrality Read More

Credit: Mksaunders

Corporate Spirit: Oxymoron or Possibility?

Spirituality is coming to the workplace thinly veiled as mindfulness, awareness, and stress management. As the veil gets lifted, the questions arise: does it belong, can it co-exist with profitability, and what are the dangers?

Does spirituality belong in the workplace? It depends…