Bring your unique thoughts, emotions, perceptions, and experience to the altar of life. There is no one on this earth exactly like you, nor will there ever be again. Do you realize what a marvelous gift you’ve been given? Stop hoarding it. It has been given to you to give away to others. Share this unique gift that is you with the world.
Climb your own personal mountain. Overcome your fear of heights. Overcome your fear of being different. You are different and are intended to be different. Your unique differences are the very gifts you’ve been given to give to the world. Overcome any feelings of alienation you may have because other people don’t think and feel the way you think and feel. Revel in the differences. Respect the differences. Understand the differences. Learn and grow from the differences. We are all on different paths to the same unifying consciousness. Share the benefits and abundance of all these wonderful gifts. It takes courage to stand alone with your own perceptions, thoughts, and feelings, but you are never truly alone if you choose to believe that the universe is supporting you through all your ebbs and flows. The universe supports the tide’s ebbs and flows. Why shouldn’t it support yours?
Polish all the facets of your diamond personality. Every life contains a multitude of realities. Get to know all of your own and nurture those you want to expand. Do you love your gentleness, your devotion, your spontaneity? Gently polish them every day so they may shine more brightly. Have you noticed your fears, your obsessions, your treacheries? Forgive yourself and be compassionate toward yourself. Only then can you forgive others and be compassionate toward them.
Play your role in life to the hilt. William Shakespeare said, “All the world is a stage, and the people the players thereon.” Is there a real you or is everything simply fantasy and illusion? Does it really matter? You have a purpose for being on this earth. That purpose is to create. Take yourself and your perceived purpose seriously, yet allow another part of you to sit outside and laugh at your seriousness. Be the actor (the emotional self), the producer (the rational self), and the audience (the passive self) of your own play.
Make your play your life’s work. What fascinates you? What do you love to do? What activities can you immerse yourself in and lose track of time? These are places where your creative spirit is already at work. Enhance these and find a way of supporting yourself financially with these activities.
Know yourself well. Keep learning and expanding. Believe you know everything and know you know nothing. Act as if you know exactly what you’re doing, even when you haven’t the foggiest idea. Believe in your perceived purpose. Trust your inner nudges. Continually fine-tune the rational and linguistic tools your left-brain loves to play with. Keep your head and heart in the present moment and bring them back when you notice they’ve strayed. Trust the universe and pray for guidance from a Higher Power you don’t know exists. Is this insanity? It’s about as sane as any of us is going to get. Laugh at yourself and laugh at the universe!
Transform the energy of your anger into constructive action. Your anger is yours. It emanates from your personal perception of what is happening around you. If you feel anger, what choices can you make to change the situation? Can you stay away from the people and places where you feel anger? Can you take a long, brisk walk? Go to the gym and work out? Can you share what you are feeling and why? Can you change your friends? Your job? Can you throw yourself fully into creating a win/win resolution?
Focus on becoming more and more functional. Detach from other peoples’ dysfunctions. You can’t force dysfunctional people to be functional. You do have the power to work on your own dysfunctions. One of those dysfunctions is trying to run other peoples’ lives. Another dysfunction is lack of personal centeredness and integrity. A third dysfunction is getting sucked into other peoples’ fights or dysfunctions. Your first job on earth is to work out your own karma, not somebody else’s. Until you are fully functional and powerful yourself, you won’t know how to influence others to become more functional. Stay serene and detached when others are upset and fighting. Visualize a white shield surrounding you and protecting you from all that negative energy. Trust that others have the intelligence to resolve their own issues and if they don’t, they’ll reap the consequences. Surrender into the silence and allow the energy to manifest as it will. Give help only when asked.
Allow yourself to feel your anger. Sometimes anger is a stepping stone to action, increased self-esteem, courage, and determination. Allow yourself to notice it so you can move on. Your anger is bringing you a message that you need to hear and decipher. If you allow yourself to feel your anger as soon as it arises, it won’t fester inside or explode in reaction. You’ll avoid the feelings of separation, self-alienation, and other-alienation. You’ll avoid the I/you dichotomy. Simply say to yourself, “Thank you, anger, for sharing. What message are you bringing me? What do I need to do differently?” Anger and compassion are simply different forms of the same energy. If you are not capable of anger, you won’t be capable of compassion.
Trust your personal perceptions. Distrust other peoples’ words (including mine). Do you remember the game “Whisper Down the Lane”? The players would stand in a line. One player would think of a phrase and whisper it to the next. The second player would then whisper what s/he heard to the third. By the time the phrase traveled from mouth to ear to mouth to ear, it was totally distorted. So it is with news broadcasts and what your neighbor heard about John, not to mention advertisements and press releases. All these words are nothing but distillations of one person’s perceptions, whispered down the lane until they become totally distorted. Don’t trust them. Do you become angry when you hear news reports? Be wary. Did you personally see the story happen? If not, be careful. The words you hear are a façade for something both much more simple and much more complex. If your anger emanates from your personal perceptions, what action did you take to change the situation? If you didn’t take action, why not? Fear? Then you’ve got something in yourself to work on. If you did take action, that’s enough. Forgive yourself for less than perfect results and resolve to learn from the experience and do better the next time. Focus your energy on things you can change.
Help yourself. Help others. Every airline begins its flight with a message about oxygen masks. “If oxygen becomes necessary, put your own mask on first, then help children or others travelling with you who need help.” The same message is true in every area of life. Until you are functional yourself, you won’t be able to help others. Your first (and perhaps only) job is to put the focus where it belongs: on you. Get clear about your own needs and wants and perceptions. Communicate those needs and wants and perceptions to others. Listen to other peoples’ needs, wants and perceptions (which may be different from yours). Continue dialoging until there is some kind of clarity and integration for both of you. Continue dialoging until there is mutual understanding and consciousness-expansion that satisfies both.
Keep an open mind. This is a very self-serving mindset. You aren’t doing this to be kind to others. When you keep an open mind, you free yourself from the prison of rigid ideologies. You continue to learn and grow. When you dialog with others, your own consciousness will always expand.
Dance the dance of your own consciousness. Free your body to use your life force in its own creative way. Swing and sway. Who says you have to be consistent? Consistency is a mindset of little people. Just be.
Weave the colors of your life thread into the tapestry of human consciousness. Have you ever watched a weaver create a beautiful cloth with multi-colored threads of different hues. You don’t know what the whole will look like when the weaver is done, yet each thread is vital to the overall result. You, too, are vital to this world and what it can become. Weave your colors brightly and in harmony with the other threads.
Communicate clearly with the important people in your life. In the Old Testament Book of Genesis, the people were growing arrogant and decided to build a tower to reach God. When God saw what they were doing, he confounded their speech. Our speech is still confused. Good communication requires two people: a clear speaker and an attentive listener. As a speaker, be specific. Give examples of what you mean. Instead of saying, “That guy in the store was busy,” say “John, the produce clerk in Albertson’s who was stocking the romaine shelf, moved faster than a cat chased by a dog.” As an attentive listener, ask questions when the speaker isn’t clear. “Which guy? Which store?” “What do you mean ‘busy’?” If I’m talking about the “guy in the store” and you’re thinking about the young man in the jewelry store selecting an engagement ring for his sweetheart, my statement won’t make any sense to you, and we won’t be communicating.
Surround yourself with creative friends. You can be creative by yourself, but you’ll be exponentially creative when you develop dynamic interactions with others. Pick people of good will and intent. Pick people who have learned from the school of experience. Pick people who also know how to live from the core of their being. Pick open-minded people.
Learn and grow from your mistakes. Everyone makes mistakes. We’re all human. When you think about it, how could you have done anything other than what you did, given your consciousness at the time. The purpose of the ”old reality” you created then was to teach you the same age-old lessons about why you should do things differently next time. This is called ‘working through your karma’. We all do it. That’s what life’s about. Moreover, you didn’t create that bad karma all by yourself. You did it in relationship with others. Do it differently the next time.
Form mastermind groups. Meet regularly, either in person or by phone conference calls, with like-minded people who can support you along your life path. Provide information and contacts to one another. Praise one another. Thank one another.
Forgive yourself. Forgive others. We’re all in this together. Please forgive yourself for the mistakes you’ve made. What good are you doing by continuing to beat yourself up? Forgive those who have hurt you, but don’t forget what happened. Forgiveness has nothing to do with remembering the hurt. You need to remember so you can protect yourself the next time. If you don’t remember, you didn’t learn the lesson the experience was intended to bring. Don’t forgive to be nice to the person who hurt you. Do it for yourself so you can move on in your life path.
You’ll never know Reality, so learn well the multitude of perspectives about reality and how they dance with one another. Study the many facets of your own personality. When you’ve lived from all the perspectives and facets, you’ll know them well. When you recognize them, you can do what you need to do to bring them into balance and harmony. When you recognize them in yourself, you’ll recognize them in others. When you can be compassionate with yourself, you can be compassionate toward others.
Liberate yourself. Liberate others. None of us gets liberated until we all do. It is all very simple. You have only one responsibility: to liberate yourself. When you free yourself from the shackles of imprisoning word structures, you will be able to model freedom and abundance to all. Do you think freedom is a goal that you reach and never lose? No, freedom is a continual process of moment-by-moment choices. You are free now. You will always have new challenges. You will always have new things to learn. Stay aware and open so you can remain free.
Build an inclusive community. Counter cultures simply create another we/them separation. Build a culture or community with other conscious people that welcomes and respects all who want to join. Exclusion or separation then occurs only because of the limited thinking of those who choose to remain outside – those who are alienated, for whatever reasons, from a community that welcomes their participation.
Risk imperfect action. You’ll learn from your mistakes. Are you afraid you’ll hurt others if you express your creative spirit? There’s always tension between fear and creativity. Release your fear to the universe and create in the image of Your Maker.
Learn to accept uncertainty. There are no perfect, left-brain answers. How do you handle this? You live! You clarify and integrate your own thinking, purify your intent, accept your human imperfections and weaknesses and those of others, accept that others will perceive your words and actions thousands of different ways, have the courage to put your words and actions out there anyway, learn and grow from the resulting human dissonance, trust that there is somewhere, somehow, an energy or power that your mind can never analyze that will support you, comfort you, and direct your steps through all our human uncertainty and turmoil.
Be awe-full and awesome. ‘Awe’ is a marvelous word for the Mystery of life. If you live in awe of this marvelous miracle, your life will be awesome.
Sculpt the malleable clay of your life into a beautiful piece of art. Given your current experience and perceptions of that experience, what can you do with it? How can you structure it? How can you think about it? What action/non-action is appropriate? What messages are your emotions giving you? What needs to be done? This approach will allow you to choose compassion when compassion is appropriate, passive resistance when passive resistance is appropriate, tough love, when tough love is appropriate, and boundary-setting when boundary-setting is appropriate. What you act on is malleable, but you, too, are malleable. Just as the clay you act on has its own limitations and requirements, so, you, too, have limitations and requirements. Learn what they are and respect them. You never sculpt alone. The malleable clay which is you interacts with the malleable clay you are sculpting. The result of the interaction is both meaningful and integrating.
Immerse yourself in the immediate. There is only one point from which you can act. That point is now. Time is an illusion or a convenient creation of our minds. The past is history. The future is mystery. You can create them in your mind, but the only time you can act is this moment.
Believe in yourself and believe in your God. Belief is both wordless and capable of infinite words. It is certainty coupled with questioning. It is dynamic stillness. It is both separation and unity. It is love, compassion, commitment, and courage.
Cross-check your emotions and impulses with reason. Cross-check your mind with your feelings. When my ex-husband chose to sacrifice our marriage, home, and family on the altar of his mistress, I was so enraged, my first impulse was to murder them both. I could have acted on that impulse, but my mind intervened. Do you really want to deprive your children of a father? Do you really want to go through a murder trial and get yourself killed or spend the rest of your life in prison? No, I didn’t. The energy of the rage immediately began changing as I allowed my mind to participate in what was happening. My rage at my ex-husband and his paramour turned to anger at myself for having chosen the wrong man to marry – a man who didn’t deal well with differences of opinion, who expected me to support everything he wanted, and who cracked jokes every time I brought up an issue that bothered me. My anger with myself then transformed into intense pain over my inability to provide for myself financially after throwing all my energy into caring for this man and our children for twenty years. That anger then turned into directing all my energy into plowing through law school. Mind is not the whole thing. Emotions are not the whole thing. Use both, but do a cross-check before flying. When everything is in harmony, the action is right.
K.I.S.S. Keep it stunningly simple. You are like a ship sitting quietly on the surface of still water. That is your core being. That is the simplicity of it all. There are no waves, no turbulence, no storms – just peace and harmony. Creativity happens as you move away from the ship and begin exploring all the unlimited and uncharted depths beneath the ship. There you find the complexities of light and dark, life and death. Others may have been there before you and left their own charts and maps for you to follow. Use them as the guides they were meant to be, not as what is really true. Play with what you discover, shape it, and be shaped by it. When monsters arise from the depths, you can always return to the safety of your own still ship on the calm ocean.
Remember that it’s all about you. You, as observer, make all the difference. You can see others as jerks, teachers, fellow human beings, or aspects of yourself. If you see others as jerks, you’ll react with anger, blame, self-righteousness, and attempts to control. You’ll see yourself as superior and become an arrogant judge. If you see others as teachers, you’ll listen with respect and ask yourself what you have to learn, even if the lesson is painful. If you see a fellow human being as an aspect of yourself, you’ll feel compassion and view yourself and the other person as equals, regardless of wealth, jobs, possessions, background, or education. What do you want to see and what do you want to become?
Keep your focus on yourself. When you are driving and someone tries to cut you off, what are your choices? You can see him as a jerk and become angry and frustrated. But why give your power away to a jerk by directing your focus toward him? Shift the focus back to yourself and watch your anger and frustration disappear. Are you driving leisurely or do you have a commitment to keep that requires you to be on time? Are you positioned so that you can hold your course and assert your rights? How far are you willing to go to avoid a collision? If it’s really important to you to prevent him from cutting you off, put all your energy into that and watch him back down. If you’re not in a hurry, let him in. It simply doesn’t matter. If he can cut you off regardless of what you do, let it go this time and vow to position yourself better next time. You’re doing whatever you need to do, you’re releasing your anger and frustration, and that is enough.
Stop “shoulding” on yourself. There are no “shoulds” or externally-imposed commands. There are only needs – yours and mine. The more of them we can satisfy, the more harmoniously we will live together.