Thoughts from an Expanding Mind

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20171019

The wisdom of life is reflected all around us.

As there are seasons in our lives, there are the four seasons of the year.

As there is a cycle to our life, there is the reflection of the cycle of life all around us.

A flower starts from a seed, that is watered and nurtured until a plant springs up from the ground.

The plant grow from the earth, takes in water, air, and light to grow. Eventually we see buds start to form.

The buds grow larger and larger and then burst open. Before long a beautiful flower emerges.

The beautiful flower shares its fragrance and colors with the world. Then it starts to fade.

Then the flower is gone. All that remains is the memory of the beautiful flower.

And that is our life. Beautiful. Changing with the seasons. With a beginning and an end.

So let us share our beauty with the world while we are here. Knowing, as with all things, one day we will no longer be here.

That is life…

20171017

What if we assumed that the trauma we experience in our life was here to teach us instead of hurt us?

What if we decided that life was here to support us, support our soul’s development, and help us grow as people, instead of something to be conquered or fought against?

What if we could make a positive, empowering meaning out of everything we experience in our life, instead of feeling like a victim of circumstance?

Maybe life isn’t as harsh and brutal as we are sometimes led to believe. Maybe life is a great teacher that helps us to be more of who we really are, grow in ways we never could imagine, and become more evolved?

Our assumptions and our expectations shape our experience of life. The meaning we make from all the little, and great, things that we experience decides how we will feel about it, and how it will shape us.

We are individuals who experience life. How we choose to interpret what we live, is up to us.

What’s a more empowering interpretation you make of your own life?

20171012

We all strive to create community in our lives, one way or another.

First, we are part of the community that is our family. When the family unit is functioning well, it becomes our primal community.

When the family unit is not functioning well, or we feel disconnected or alienated from our family unit, we then seek to find community in our friendships.

Friendship can be a foundation for community, if there is enough common ground and aligned intent to stay together. Often there is not.

Some use religion to find community, with the promise of brotherhood and sisterhood to bind the group together. When we find too much hypocrisy in the religious organization, we leave that community disappointed.

As we progress and find more of what we truly believe in, we almost inadvertently start to attract people into our life that are more like-minded and like-hearted to us.

So the more we become individuals, the more we know ourselves and do the deep inner work, the more we find the very thing that has been so elusive throughout our life – community.

20171010

Does success in “the world” mean success in your life?

We have a tendency to measure our success by society’s standards.

Do we have a big house? A car? A spouse? Kids? And most importantly, a good paying job or a successful business?

Yet we can have all these things and still feel empty inside. We can have all these external trappings of a successful life and still feel unfulfilled, disconnected, and that we are not contributing to the world.

At the same time, we can have none of those symbols of society’s expectations, and still achieve inner peace, profound relationships, and create community among like-minded people and feel fulfilled and whole.

The real question is, what are our own standards by wish we measure success in our lives?

Is it knowing ourselves on a deep level? Is it having a life free of responsibility and being able to travel the world? Is it living close to the land and learning how to grow your own food and be self-sufficient?

Deciding what we want for ourselves, and not allowing the external world to dictate our dreams and our standards, is perhaps the most important form of success we can achieve.

20171005

We often have expectations of life that don’t manifest quite the way we expect.

We expect to have a normal life, yet challenges that appear in our life transform our path into an amazing journey.

We expect to have a comfortable life, yet the ups and downs of life bring us to places we would never normally tread, and especially the downs teach more about ourselves than anything else.

We expect certain people to always be around, until they’re not, and the sense of loss or abandonment shows us how to appreciate those that are still in our life even more.

We expect to have a certain career or job path, and then our industry gets decimated by a new app or we get laid off in middle age forcing us to reinvent ourselves in a manner we could never have foreseen.

Life is rarely what we expect of it, and that’s okay. The mystery of life is what causes us to grow, to find ourselves, and to learn more deeply what it means to be human, sentient, and conscious.

How has life surprised you?

20171003

When we work with others, as a profession, vocation or avocation, we sometimes think it’s all about them.

Actually, it’s all about us.

When we work with a group, whether it’s our tribe, our following or our bowling league, the group has come together because of common energy. The issues that arise are issues for everyone, in some way, not just an issue for the one person that triggers it.

It does not matter if you’re a workshop facilitator, a healer, a shaman, an athletic coach, a teacher, or an executive consultant, the faces may look different, the clothes (or uniforms) may be far apart, yet the underlying energies and patterns are still present.

If we find ourselves getting annoyed at someone in the group who is not contributing or not participating fully, then we must ask ourselves, How are we not contributing or participating?

When we find someone not doing their own work or not doing their homework, how are we not doing our own work?

The group reflects the individual and the individual reflects the group. It cannot be any other way or we would not be with that particular group, or they would not be with us.

The issues may not be directly correlated, perhaps someone is cheap with you because your are cheap with yourself or your family, even though you are generous with your friends. We just need to learn to be more figurative in our interpretations, not quite so literal.

It is not easy to see our own nonsense reflected back to us from other people. In fact, one of the hardest lessons to learn is that it’s all our nonsense, in some manner, that we are being triggered by.

If it wasn’t, it wouldn’t trigger us…

20170928

On the path to trust, we first come across acceptance.

Ultimately, we all want to develop that deep sense of trusting ourselves. The first step is to accept ourselves.

We start by learning to accept ourselves as human – which means we make mistakes, we’re not perfect, nor do we have to be.

We learn to then accept ourselves as perfect – yes, we are fallible, and we are also perfect in who we are. There is no one else quite like us, we are unique and perfect in our imperfections. We are the best manifestation of our spirits that we can be.

We then learn to accept ourselves as we are – if we could do better, we would, always!

Which leads us to accepting ourselves without judgment – we are not good, we are not bad, we are who we are and we make the best choices and decisions we could possibly make given our personality, our history and our experiences. We can do no better and no worse than we already are.

The amazing thing is how all this leads up to – accepting others as they are. We may not trust them, we may not like them, we may not want to be in their presence (and nothing says you have to), and you can still accept that they are who they are, and they are doing the best that they can.

And what kind of world would we be living in if we trusted our ability to accept things just as they are? That does not mean we don’t strive to make things better, yet we can accept that things are the way they are without judgment and still work towards evolving, awakening, and creating a better world for us all…

20170926

Trusting ourselves is one of the greatest challenges, especially if we are conscientious.

Because we know all the things we have done wrong in the past, because we are acutely aware of all of our impure motivations, because we are keenly sensitive to all the harsh judgments we have witnessed our whole lives, trust in oneself may be hard to come by.

Can we trust ourselves enough not to second guess our choices?

Can we trust ourselves enough to know that our intentions are good, if not pure?

Can we trust ourselves enough to believe in our dreams even when no one else does?

Can we trust ourselves enough to keep going when everything seems to be against us?

Trust is built slowly, one baby step at a time. First, let’s start with trusting ourselves that we are showing up the best that we can.

Then, let’s trust ourselves to walk the path in front of us, first slowly, then trusting we can pick up the pace.

Then, how about we learn to trust not only our choices and our decisions, but our ideas, our connections, and our leadership as well?

We can build trust in ourselves, if we are willing to start small, count every little victory, and then keep our focus on all the things we do right.

Repeat after me, “I trust myself!”

20170921

The inter-connection of the the tribe is much deeper deeper than we normally perceive.

We usually just consider that the leader leads the tribe, and the tribe follows. If the leader does well, the tribe does well.

Yet there is something much deeper happening that we don’t often see.

It is not just about how the leader is, nor is it about the state of the tribe, the reflection of the leader in each member of the tribe, and the reflection of each member in the leader, is far more intertwined.

In fact, if we look closely enough, over a long enough period of time, everything happening within each member of the tribe, every dream, every accomplishment, every fault, every fear and every trauma, plays out in the relationship of the leader to the tribe.

So does every aspect of the leader’s psyche get played out in the tribe’s relationships not just with the leader, but with each other as well.

Indeed, as we all have massive collections of neurons in our brains that collectively add up to make one whole mind, the collection of tribe members add up to be one whole unit that reflects the leader’s soul.

The real question then becomes, did the leader’s presence call the tribe into being, or did the tribe’s being call in the leader’s presence?

And who evolves first? Does the leader grow as the tribe evolves, or does the tribe grow as the leader evolves?

This tight relationship between leader and tribe is always there, regardless of the type of tribe or the type of leader.

Whether we are part of the tribe or whether we are the leader (and we are all both in some aspect), it is our responsibility to evolve and grow and support each other, so the other may evolve and grow and support us as well.

So who is your tribe? Who are you leading? And are you evolving?

20170919

Feeling home is not about where you are or a particular house or apartment.

Feeling home is not (necessarily) about being with relatives or childhood friends.

Feeling home is about much more than familiarity or comfort.

Feeling home is actually about safety, connection and like-heartedness.

We generate that internal feeling of belonging, of completeness, of joy when we are with those who uplift us, who accept us as we are, and who support us with all our failings.

Home may be where the heart is, yet if there is no one to share that heart with, then home is a lonely place indeed.

We are home with our tribe, with those whom we resonate with, with those whom we can share space with without having to say a word.

Home is that indescribable feeling that no words can do justice to, yet we all know it when we feel it.

When was the last time you felt Home, and what can you do to cultivate that feeling now?