These compositions cover topics related to things we can do everyday to help us in our lives and with our growth and development.
All Sales are Final
The Anatomy of Choice
So many lines cross, and where they meet
Lies the choosing but there is no choice to make
The past’s collar has already chosen
We are either on lines that limit
Or the one open to All (1)
They say that the two things one can certain of in life are death and taxes. Obvious chuckle factor aside there are, of course, other things all of us can be certain of and one of them is that we will make choices. In fact, we will make an enormous amount of them and when we do we will carry on with our lives rarely considering how or why we chose one possibility rather than another. When we do consider our choices the focus is on the outcome of our choices rather than the process of making them. That is we tend to notice being pleased, satisfied or not happy with the outcome of a choice. The process may seem unimportant unless one tends to make what seems to be bad choices. However, with this attitude we are overlooking the fact that no choice we make is insignificant and we make far more than we are consciously aware of. Beyond that, our mind will consider our thinking (conscious or otherwise), the choice itself and the outcome when it integrate the experience, most of which are not consciously aware of. Given the importance of choice and the fact that once we make a choice there is no turning back the clock, it's time to take a look at it.
Handling Stress Part 3: Untying The Knots
There are always twists, turns, bumps and potholes on the road of life along with the occasional detour. One can spend a great deal of time trying to avoid them but they are inevitable. We can try to do so but despite our best to avoid them but the result would be that we will end up substituting one set of them for another. Yes, it can be frustrating and stressful in a variety of ways, at the same time it is what makes life interesting. If life were totally predictable and could be controlled the adventure would be lost. Besides, our mind is rooted in the past and by trying to control life what we would end up doing would be to turn it into a series of events spawned by what has been. In trying to control events in our life we would find that rather than being the masters of our destiny we would become the victim of and trapped by what was.
Handling Stress Part 2: Locating the Source of Our Stress
Learning to deal with the stresses and the strains that arise from our reactions to experiences can result is something we all can benefit from. Understanding the way our mind manifests stress gives us a leg up in dealing with it and empowers us to reduce being put under stress in the first place. We looked at this in part one by examining how the mind integrates experiences and the sources of our stress. The next pieces of the puzzle are recognizing when we are under stress, reducing it, finding the source and learning from it.
Handling Stress Part 1: How Our Reactions Rule
Existence is very cool and, among other things, incredibly interesting. This is because the Cosmos in which we exist is rich in majesty, beauty, splendour, diversity and the possibilities of expression and there are mysteries and the unknown wherever you look. On top of that is the gift of being able to express ourselves in so many ways, the variety of experiences we can have and at the root of it all is the fact that we exist and are capable of having experiences. As an example, and paraphrasing an old parable, the gift of taste is not that we can taste a strawberry or jalapeño pepper or anything else, the gift is that we can taste anything at all. It would be nice if we could dwell here and always be amazed and joyous about just being alive and were able to express ourselves to the fullest potential doing whatever it is we choose to do. Alas, for all of us, there are always some rain clouds in our skies.
Our Daily Bread
Every day is a gift and throughout it we have the opportunity to step into it with greater clarity, balance and joy. It is of no consequence that we miss a great many of them, it only matters that we stay open to them and perhaps find a few. Sure we all can find ourselves aggravated, frustrated or bothered one way or another and to varying degrees at times; but, we also can find wonder, things that fascinate and enliven us, brim with appreciation for being alive and able to experience anything at all. Such acts as these help break the separation we have built between us and ourselves and the world, for there are few things that are of more benefit to us than a regular diet of mindfulness, compassion, graciousness and being actively aware (1) as much as possible.