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Weekly Word of Wisdom

Both Sides Now

“Bows and flows of angel hair and ice cream castles in the air

 And feather canyons everywhere, I’ve looked at clouds that way

 But now they only block the sun, they rain and snow on everyone

 So many things I would have done, but clouds got in my way…”

From <https://www.songfacts.com/lyrics/judy-collins/both-sides-now>

As a pilot, I discovered that during daylight, the sky is always blue. All I had I had to do, was to fly above the clouds to witness it.

The true ‘clouds’ in my life are the never-ending thoughts that seem to create all manner of negatives, especially fears in my mind. The solution for me was to rise above these clouds and live in that space.

I came to understand my true identity is me, not the thoughts in my mind. The ‘thoughts in my mind’ are placed there by the Ego – the speaker. I am the listener.

The purpose of the Ego (the voice speaking thoughts in my mind) is to protect me from doing or saying things that might be harmful and from me taking unnecessary risks.

Here’s the crux of the matter; the Ego cannot discern between risk and opportunity, it simply sees everything in my life as risk!

What is most important though, is how I respond to what I hear. If thoughts engender such things as fear, doubt, anxiety, and multitudes of other negatives, I simply observe them and then, allow them to drift out of my mind. If thoughts of love, joy, peace excitement and such fill me, I embrace them fully.

Above all, I need to decide to take risks when necessary in order to seize opportunities, or else lose them.

The skill needed in my life is wise thought management; considering that thoughts become actions and these will have a future consequence, it is vital I choose correctly. If I do not conscientiously manage the moment-by-moment stream of thoughts overwhelming my mind, I become victim to many negative feelings and even depression at some level.

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My Authentic Self

My life is what I made it to be, but my life has not made me, because me is my true authentic self!

My soul made visible to all around me is my authentic self. A transparent soul is my perfect gift to the world around me.

I was enslaved to fear in its many forms and searched for freedom from this prison. One day I found freedom, alongside fear, in the one place I never before looked – both were in my mind!

From very young, I had learned fears of many sorts: failure, rejection, abandonment, and poor self-image to name a few. Unknowingly I developed a defense system against these in my mind. I made up all manner of stories about my life and who I really was. Many of these thoughts in my mind, I acted out physically and as a result, I behaved in a ‘larger-than-life’ manner.

In my adult life I surrounded myself with people and material wealth as a means of proving to myself and others that I was someone that I wasn’t; a typical ‘Walter Mitty,’ probably best described my behavior. This conduct had disastrous consequences in the end.

Many years later I was to discover the difference between who I perceived myself to be and the real me. How I saw myself was not who is really was.

The real me is a person, who is untainted by his upbringing, or his life experiences. In reality, the authentic me is a courageous, peaceful, self-assured person of integrity. He fears nothing because he has no understanding of the word, ‘fear.’

I understand, by what the Guru’s say – we all have an authentic self, deep within us – waiting to be discovered.

When I discovered my true identity, the experience was exhilarating, my true identity was absolutely authentic, it needed no burnishing! On that day I bade fear farewell and have never looked back since.

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Weekly Word of Wisdom

Change 2

Changing Attitude

Mostly, changes, in all their forms came about unexpectedly in my life. Some were dramatically quick, others so slow that I didn’t even notice until they were upon me. In particular small changes were often like this.

If I give some thought; changes that I liked, I accepted; changes that I didn’t like, I resisted. Yet, I recall that often the changes that I embraced, were, in the long run not beneficial to me, and changes that I resisted became lost opportunities. In other words, accepting changes I enjoy was not always the right thing for me and similarly, those I resisted, because they did not appeal to me, would have been the better option.

What I discovered over the years was this; I am not always the best judge of what changes to accept and which to resist.

If I was to accept changes that came into my life without resisting, then I could in due course apply these changes, ultimately to my benefit. If I could not apply them to my benefit I would accept them until such time as I was ready to make other arrangements.

I think of recent lockdown regulations. Here was change affecting people on a global basis. As these changes were introduced by law, none of us could have resisted them, except under pain of heavy fines. We all accepted the changes and began to adapt to the situation, awaiting a day when we could return to, at the very least, a semblance of our previous lifestyles.

Change
Nothing is Forever, Everything Changes

Many of us started to work from home, adapting to being almost completely housebound and not enjoying the physical company of our fellow workers, family or friends. Many were put off work, some were paid state benefits; airline pilots were painting houses, change was the order of the day in every phase of our lives. For the most part it was, ‘adapt or die.’

I noticed in the beginning of this bizarre state, I resisted the enforced changes in my mind. But as time passed, I realized this attitude was fruitless and on the advice of several articles I read, relating to the subject of change, I did just that – I changed my attitude!

Knowing that I was helpless to resist the enforced changes I adapted to applying a different way of living, with a view to ‘putting a finger in the dyke’ until I could repair the hole.

I had no trouble sleeping after that.

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Railway Track photo by Michael & Diane Weidner on Unsplash

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Failings are not Failure

Failure 3
Brett Jordan Avatar of user Brett Jordan Brett Jordan @brett_jordan @brett_jordan

The overriding failure in my life was seeing my failings as a failure, when, in truth, they were simply steps on the ladder of my ultimate success.

I turned my life around, simply because it wasn’t working for me. I woke up to the fact that the reason for this was; I was living in my past.

It is said; with age comes wisdom. I’m not sure if this is true as I recall asking for wisdom, and progressively, over the years I was aware of growing in wisdom.

Wisdom has revealed to me; I can learn from my past experiences, I can plan for the future, but I must live only in this moment now.

Not only did wisdom come to me, it also brought along its close friend, adventure. How I know this is, I started to become exceptionally curious. Curious about everything not only of myself, but the world around me. This led to many of the most amazing discoveries I began to make in all the different aspects of my life.

Failure
Photo by the blowup on Unsplash

As a writer, I constantly crawl the net for information and am daily amazed at what I discover there.

Today’s technology has provided a mammoth library; the most dynamic ever established in the history of humankind. And, it’s largely free!

Along with this new experience, I began to practice self-development in many of its different forms; the discovery of me and how I can I improve myself.

Finally I established a daily routine of meditative prayer, meditation and mindfulness.

I never knew adventure could be both so exciting and interesting.

I see my life as ever-changing, each moment of every day and yet, the direction of my journey remains constant toward refining the relationship I have, the Spirit within me and I.

Thankfully, I no longer look to my past, as that door is firmly shut, yet I plan for my future, but above all – I live to the full in this moment now, there is no place like it!

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Weekly Words of Wisdom

Boy Day-Dreaming

Keep Dreaming

What used to get me into trouble when I was a little person in junior school was my imagination and propensity to dream. Yet, it turned out later to be the trailer to the upcoming blockbuster of my life.

From young I was told by my teachers that I was a dreamer. Well, they’re all passed now and I’m within reaching distance of eighty years, having had a wonderful life.

I’ve never gone hungry, never been without sustenance, always had a roof over my head, fine clothing to wear, cars to drive, airplanes to fly. I am married to a beautiful lady who loves me and I have accomplished many things along the way.

By the way, I have never stopped dreaming, the difference today is, I don’t have to look over my shoulder fearing the onslaught of an angry teacher!

So I say, “John you done well Son – keep dreaming!”

Feature Picture Credit: Photo by Idzard Schiphof on Unsplash

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Wife in a Million

She is a woman among women, is my wife. She loves me in the truest sense of that beautiful word. She has always cared for me in every aspect of my life, nurturing me in my aspirations and applauding my successes, no matter how small.

She is compassionate, kind, and thoughtful in so many ways. She is fiery though, and never tolerates a wrong word or action from anyone and especially not from me! She is the hardest worker I know and is fully committed to performing her tasks, both domestic and business. Everything she does is done well.

She is a spotlessly clean lady who always looks top drawer and I’m proud to be seen with her. She keeps our home in prime condition and me trim too. Laughing is one of her favorite activities and she loves me reading stories to her. We have never lost the art of kissing and expressing our love for each other; and at at the end of each day she tucks me up in bed and gives a goodnight kiss.

I am a man, blessed out of my socks!

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Weekly Word of Wisdom

Man With Arms Up

Freedom

My freedom is a matter of my choice, no one else on this planet can give me freedom. I might be released from prison, but that is not the essence of freedom, because there are those who, whilst imprisoned, experienced freedom. There are those who cannot find freedom after being released from prison or without ever having been in a physical prison.

I can be enslaved in multitudes of prisons in this life. Toxic relationships, soul-destroying employment, poverty, fear, anxiety. The list is endless.

By contrast the quintessence of freedom is not found in multitudes of expressions. It is essentially in my state of  mind and it’s a state which understands; water flows in the direction of least resistance until, over  millennia, sometimes, overcomes the resistances in its path.

 I allow my mind to follow the line of least resistance, thus freeing my journey in flowing to my destination. Many times, in pursuing  that approach, I also overcome the resistances in my path.

Through all this, I am the captain of my ship and my decision must be final.

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Meditation Magic

Flying Birds Eye View

I love meditating and indulge myself daily in this liberating experience. This discipline has made a remarkable improvement in the area of my spiritual, mental, and physical strength.

I journey through my body, from the top of my head and on to the soles of my feet, using a homespun mantra of thanksgiving for the perfect health of every component in this precious body of mine.

From here, taking sound advice from my unofficial distance mentor, Eckart Tolle (‘The Power of Now.’) Who says that we should never chase the thoughts coming into our minds, but rather observe them, without becoming involved, I enter my meditative state.

“Meditation is the discovery that the point of life is always arrived at in the immediate moment.” – Alan Watts

My aim, with no pre-planned strategy in mind, is to silently drift, as clouds do ahead of the winds, in a yoga pose seated on the floor. I have no idea if the pose is essential to a deeper meditation or not, but at the very least, it does wonders for my posture.

More recently, in my meditation, I have taken to ‘flying’ in my body, sometimes only thirty or forty meters above the ground. Because I am invisible to the naked eye, I can observe, unnoticed by humans, animals, and birdlife, as they go about their daily activities. At other times I soar above the clouds and see the curvature of the earth below. I am grateful that I have sufficient ‘pictures’ in my mind to achieve all this. It’s so peaceful, relaxing, and above all – calming. I am slowly learning the art of ‘being.’

For me there are no rules, except to gain maximum from Eckart’s teaching, I steer myself into the now moment and discipline myself to remaining there.

Aaah, sweet bliss, I love this time, first thing in my day.

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My Big Fat Greek Baptism

Greek Church

Featured Image Credit:

Emma Van Sant@emmaView profile@emma

Greek Orthodox Baptism

“We have been invited to my very good friend Lia’s grandchild’s baptism; you ok with going?” my Fiancée enquired. “Sure” I replied, knowing that if my Woman wanted to go along to the service, then so did I. Bearing in mind that where my Woman is, there I wish to be, because not only do I love her, but I love her company, always.
Saturday came and we arrived at the Greek Orthodox Church. I had never been to a Greek Orthodox Church before, but it appeared very similar to the Roman Catholic Church of which I was a member for many years.
As my Fiancée and I stood outside the church, waiting for the previous service to come to an end and people were gathering, ready to move into the church, I became aware of the strong presence of families. There were older folks, younger folks, and a great number of children.

Continue reading My Big Fat Greek Baptism

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The Butterfly Effect

Butterfly Effect

A malachite butterfly lands on the face of a girl during a photoshoot to highlight the ‘Sensational Butterflies’ exhibition at the Natural History Museum in London, in 2015. CARL COURT/GETTY IMAGES

“The butterfly effect is the idea that small, seemingly trivial events may ultimately result in something with much larger consequences – in other words, they have non-linear impacts on very complex systems. For instance, when a butterfly flaps its wings in India, that tiny change in air pressure could eventually cause a tornado in Iowa.”

From <https://science.howstuffworks.com/math-concepts/butterfly-effect.htm>

“What used to get me into trouble when I was a little person in junior school – my imagination and propensity to dream, was a trailer to the upcoming blockbuster of my life.”

I personally do not have the scientific know-how to be able to agree or disagree with the statement of the “Butterfly Effect” above, But I can attest to the statement about the little boy.

How many children in their early school years are berated and ridiculed by their teachers, laughed at by classmates, simply because of their inordinate focus on unnurtured imagination, too often passed off as ‘dreamers’? Resulting in the loss of what might otherwise have been a potential ‘blockbuster of life’ in later years. The ‘little things’ which happen in earlier lives can have catastrophic effects in later lives.

What about the massive drive to ‘save the planet’ as the world reels with the effects of various abuses by humanity on our world’s ecosystem? These abuses have been surreptitiously attacking our planet whilst we unknowingly go about our daily lives. They started off maybe a hundred years or so ago, with the introduction and growth of the industrial revolution and mass production of all manner of goods, some necessary, many not; some beneficial to humanity, many not. Probably the greater proportion assailing our ecosystem.

Fateme Alaie
@banuuu

This brings me to the question; if all the above has been taking place little by little in the past, what is there that you and I can do now in the present, to halt the surge of the butterfly effect and heal the damage? There are those of us that are able to start up or join groups that are actively pursuing solutions to the real global pandemic – the assaulting of our planet’s ecosystem. The greater amount of us are unable (hopefully not unwilling) to start up or join these groups, for one reason or another. What about us?

I found the following piece on the same website, which I feel, offers a solution to each and every one of us:

Alessandro Filazzola says that he does wonder about the indirect effects of his personal actions.

“The items I buy, the people I interact with, the things I say, I believe can each have their cascading effects that ripple through society,” he says. “That is why it is important to try and be a good person, to create a positive influence. One thing I also think about is how these indirect effects are often not as small and removed as I believe many would think.”

Alessandro Filazzola, a community ecologist, data scientist, and post-doctorate fellow at the

University of Alberta.

From <https://science.howstuffworks.com/math-concepts/butterfly-effect.htm>

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