Cycles of life.

We know they exist but we never really pay attention to them unless something unpleasant happens to us.

What would happen if we were to look at every cycle? We might learn a few things.

Take a look and see if you agree:

  1. Cycles have a beginning and ending. Always.
  2. Cycles have phases; a beginning, a middle, and end.
  3. Cycles are the natural balancer of the universe. Earth has enough cycles to keep us bewildered for centuries.
  4. Knowing that the cycles exist for all of us takes away the power the cycle has over you.

Cycles are good. We need cycles to scrap or recycle old stuff so that it can be used again. We learn new things in every cycle, and have a chance to master those things DURING the cycle.

There is no good and bad, only cycles of progression and regression.

How can I say this?

Progression happens before regression and regression happens before progression. The dual sided nature of everything is the other balance in life. Sometimes when it seems you aren’t moving forward is when you’re actually working the hardest at learning, so it seems like a regression.

Other times when we think we are progressing, we are actually missing the point, and therefore regressing.

What does this mean?

Everything has a dual nature and a cycle. From our days, minutes, hours, moving in or out of an apartment, job cycles, learning cycles, laundry machines, dishwashers, sleeping, working out, eating, the cycles can be applied to everything.

So what did we learn?

Just when you think you can’t go anymore, think about what part of the cycle you may be in, and make your decision based on how you believe the cycle will most probably end.

Most times the cycle ends and you’re a better person because of it. This leads to new cycles.

Other times the cycle ends and you have to do it all over again.

Why Life IS a Beautiful Struggle

Short, boring post from me today. Why? Because maybe just a few boring words will do. Just this once.

For some of you who are ahead of me in time (all of you) this post should reach you either as you’re heading to sleep, or waking up in the morning. I just want you to do something for me:

Accept it. All of it.

Everything, including the moment that you chose to read this post, has happened to allow you to be here, now, having pressed that button, which would mean you may just have needed to hear those words.

Our human experience is based one being able to accept all of the good and the “bad” because one cannot exist without the other.

No Joy without Pain. No sadness without happiness. Lying within each the struggle of existing on two sides of the same coin, the beautiful struggle within. The balance of one truth enveloping the other.

Your growth in understanding comes with acceptance that once you understand/accept the duality of life, you can move past that “ebb and flow,” the swinging pendulum of life that throws you around, leaving most hanging on for dear life.

Have questions? Email me or comment. Have a great weekend.

Every now and then a “soul-nourishing experience” – a good meal, trip, escapade with friends, A drink, etc. – heals it of the discipline it has endured, just as discipline strengthens the spirit. What feels good to the soul, dampens the spirit eventually, and what feels good to the spirit(i.e. discipline) also dampens the soul in the same way.

-James Taylor

The Art of Confidence

Redefining Definitions

By the end of this post, you should be able to:

  • Understand the full meaning of “art” and “confidence”
  • Grasp the power that lies within words
  • Be able to understand why you struggle with “confidence”
  • Understand how to “build” confidence

The Meaning of Art and Confidence

Art in its simplest form is a form of communication. Because art is an expression or application of a human skill it always means exactly what the artist intends for it to.

The -ist on art means that an artist is a person who practices or is concerned with something, in this case, the art of creating, building, and keeping confidence.

Confidence can be broken down into a word with a suffix added on. Confide and the suffix -ence.

To confide means to place complete and total trust or belief in. Our belief that confiding means that we are telling a high priority secret to a best friend is exactly why so many of us struggle with confidence.

The suffix -ence implies a state of having a particular quality or the action or process of doing something. What does this mean?

To confide in oneself is a constant state of being created by the constant work of art that is the creation and maintenance of confidence. To have COMPLETE trust and belief in one’s SELF and one’s actions or abilities (a WHOLE other topic) is TRUE confidence.

The Actual Power within Words

I watched this whole video kind of disinterested. It had the whole piano thing going and the blind guy asking for money and in general most basic emotional ploys just don’t work with me anymore.

However the end instantly moved ME. The first way the sign was written (let’s forget that he was blind and wrote a sign) I honestly didn’t feel any certain way about. But I was curious about what this woman in black wrote on the sign.

Something that EVERYONE can understand.

The right word, the right phrase, the way it’s said in context with events and experiences can pierce the coldest of hearts. This is important because reaching people is cool, but MOVING people changes things.

You can only use words how they are supposed to be used when you UNDERSTAND the power that lies within each letter of every word. How every letter, word, sound, and phrase work together to deliver harmony to one’s ears, mind, and soul.

Struggling with Confidence

The best part about struggling? We don’t struggle when we understand. We struggle when we have an issue comprehending how something works, naturally.

The constant work of confiding, or placing complete trust in, one’s SELF as an ongoing process of creation IS a struggle for most not because they don’t want to be positive, but because they don’t understand what that means.

You have to get wins or personal, moral victories that resonate in your soul as part of the process of placing complete and total trust in one’s own abilities (again, this is not what we think it is, it’s completely different).

Building Confidence

Fear of change keeps us from moving forward, but building confidence is a state of understanding things will not always go our way, but we MUST keep trying. To improve, one must constantly go beyond comfort.

Comfort comes when things have settled into a place of understanding in our minds and we do them with ease. The things you used to consider hard are now easy. Imagine being able to say that about the things you consider hard now. Fear is what keeps us from trying.

Whenever fear creeps in just go “NAA”:

  • Do things that are NATURAL to your innate talent, find things you like to be productive at, and work at them, keeping track of getting better to build small keystones of confidence
  • Always build on the confidence, stay ACTIVE at the things you are good at, and keep looking for ways to improve in that, while gaining talent in other areas, aiming to NEVER STAY THE SAME
  • ACCEPT the challenge of constant change. It will be hard. You will want to quit and eat a pint of ice cream and watch TV. Do that, but get right back to work.

Attaining a state of confidence means that you will always know that you really can “do anything you put your mind to. Be natural to your SELF, be active at those things, and accept the challenge that comes with change.

Last Words

Break down anything you don’t understand. Break it down until you can see the building blocks and put it back together so that you can understand in a way that makes the action do-able for you.

Confidence is key when you have a goal in mind. If you don’t know if you can do something, chances are you will probably never try once past a certain age.

Use these keys to build confidence for yourself. I’d love to hear from you!

Perception and Ego

“To see a thing uncolored by one’s own personal preferences and desires is to see it in its own pristine simplicity.”

Bruce Lee

Our perception is clouded by all the things we believe and hold true in our lives. How we grew up, the people we were around, the things we saw or didn’t see, and the goals that we currently have.

Everything just is. Our perception is the coloring agent of the world.

The Enemy of Development is the Phobia of Pain

Because we are mostly unwilling to accept any pain at all in our lives, whether emotional, physical, or mental, we cannot experience development without some type of uncomfortable circumstance or experience.

Get Rid of Your Attitude

Until you can open yourself up completely without the fear, without perceptions which are mainly untrue, and express yourself fully, you will have an attitude about the way things are.

What is your internal reality? How does that compare to your external form? If your external does not reflect your internal, learn to express and let go completely so that it can.

The Obstacle of Ego

Ego in its first form acts as a protective layer for our beliefs and preferences, whether these preferences and beliefs are right or wrong. This means that any ego that runs unchecked will perform a block of acceptance to anything outside of its realm of preference.

Man and woman must learn to USE the ego, and not be used by it or blinded by it.

To be used by the ego:

Is to let your perceptions and beliefs control your actions, emotions, and environment.

To be blinded by the ego:

Is to let ego color the world the way it is NOT. This is where unfounded opinions about what a small percentage of what’s going on come from. We believe, so we find something that tells us what we believe, and based on the small amount of info we have based on an even smaller study, we act, or don’t.

One Cannot See Through Others if They Cannot See Through Themselves

Ponder this:

To not be able to see one’s own:

  • Failures/Mistakes/Lessons
  • Shortcomings
  • Lesser nature
  • Opportunities to get better
  • Lack of ability or surplus of

Means that one can never see those in other people. If you can see through your own self told lies, stories that aren’t real, etc. then it’s highly probable that you can see other people for who and what they are, also without cloudy vision or judgement.

The Meaning of Life

The Seeker, Post #23

“There’s no way James discovered the meaning to life.”

Every Person Reading this Post

You’re damn right I didn’t DISCOVER the meaning to our existence on this planet. But together, with some highly accomplished and talented friends, along with you and your opinions on this piece, we can probably agree on a damn close “loose” definition.

Laura Pratt Photography, sunshine balloon

In this longer piece, we will process the following six ideas, and in doing so, come to an UNDERSTANDING of what it means to live:

  • You can never step in the same water twice
  • Living is a constant process of relating
  • Life simply IS
  • You simply live, not live for.
  • Finding peace of mind is the general goal
  • Life is the world’s best teacher

You can never step in the same water twice.

Bruce Lee

“Like flowing water, life is perpetual movement. There is nothing fixed. To avoid trying to solidify the ever flowing, you must change and be flexible.”

Imagine stepping in a river. All at once you have engaged with something that is ever changing, ever flowing, constantly moving, simultaneously in every moment and still flowing however the terrain deems it flow.

Trying to stop and solidify the ever flowing is not only a ridiculous process, but it will also halt life from springing up downstream, causing an ecosystem breakdown that could have been avoided.

Instead, learn to change and be flexible.

flowing water

Living is a constant process of relating.

Bruce Lee

Always do your best to relate DIRECTLY to what is being said in each moment. To live is to relate.

Each of the cells in our body has a purpose and works somehow in tandem with every other cell, whether they are working together as an organ, tissue, muscle fiber, or firing off synapses to perpetuate thought and action.

Same with the world. Except in the world, each cell (human) somehow seems to think they play a more important role than the next, which leads to trying to influence OR gain approval.

Seek, instead of influencing or gaining approval, to relate to the next cell in every moment. Letting go of past feelings and situations, we can then abide in every moment as freely as the water flowing, adapting to our surroundings and environment, relieving the stress of trying to make our environment fit to us.

Life simply is.

Bruce Lee

Life is a living now. He who is living is not CONSCIOUS of living, for LIVING happens when we allow life to LIVE through us, completely UNHAMPERED in its flow.”

If life simply is, trying to MAKE life happen is the cause of all the stress and problems in the world. In existing in each moment relating to what is happening around us we are able to find total meaning in every moment, being led by life, instead of trying to lead and change the ever flowing.

The key: Be flexible to flow with life.

Flowing Water through the mountains

You simply live, not live for.

You guessed it: Bruce Lee

There can be no former or future problems when we live in the moment. Living for is what causes all of the stress, heartache, anxiety, and pain that we feel in life.

Remember, living is a constant process of relating and being in every flowing moment. Life will always flow, but learning to flow WITH life is paramount.

The goal of life is finding peace of mind.

Bruce Lee

When life is just lived, and not traded or conceptualized or squeezed into a pattern of systems, one can truly find peace of mind.

We all want peace of mind. It’s why we marry people or get a 401k. It’s why we invest, get a second job, and buy houses.

Somehow we never achieve peace of mind.

Take life out of the box, or better yet, take your box out of the water, and flow with the stream of life.

The greatest teacher is life itself.

Bruce Lee

We all have said it: Life teaches us more than any school ever could.

True education draws inner knowledge to the surface. Outside indoctrination seeks to input empirical knowledge, which is NOT ever flowing with life.

Things that have already been discovered can be great things to learn, but we discover more when we LIVE, and these things register as stronger synapses in our minds.

The concept of the meaning of life, can only be understood when we learn to flow with life. It cannot be understood any other way.

Learn to flow with life, relating to your environment and everything that is happening around you in every moment. In this, you gain peace of mind, as you become enamored with constantly learning in each and every moment. In relating we find joy and happiness, and in learning we gain freedom.

The meaning is of your own creation. Whether you flow with that is up to you.