Identity and Stillness

I’m back! I really must apologize for my unannounced absence. I am adamant about my belief that this blog should never be a job, so when I begin to grow thin with the time I have available to work on it, if I do not feel inspired, I refuse to force the words. But I’m back, and if you’re still around, please know that your support through this time means everything to me.

ice-crack

Breaking the ice is a mind game. (Photo credit: adstream)

Where do I begin after so long? As is with anything, after such a time of absence, a form of mental barrier is created. Breaking the ice of writing on this blog has become more than just an issue of inspiration or time, but of defeating a psychological obstacle. Imagine how you feel when trying to return to a barely–started project.

It’s not all bad, though. There are things I have discovered during my time away. For example, despite my efforts, I had come to identify with this blog. It became fuel for my ego – that I was successfully writing every day, and above all else, receiving significant traffic and praise. I don’t like that I was that way, but it was what it was.

finger print

Still stuck on my false ideas, I didn’t know who I was. How do you define such a thing as identity? (Photo credit: Cahaya Dalam Kegelapan)

As I struggled more and more each day to write, (Every single piece requires complete focus for up to several hours of time that I may not have) my ego was confronted with an issue – how was I going to keep my identity? I mention the ego, because it is the key factor in this entire equation – and it’s important to remember that one’s ego and identity aren’t really as healthy or important to one’s existence as one may think. It’s an amazing thing, how stepping back just a little changes your entire perspective – for the first time, I may have experienced what many adults seem to experience later on in life, when the vital question is finally asked – who the hell am I really? Without this blog to define me, was I becoming less meaningful/valuable as a person?

Unfortunately, I did what most people do: instead of dis-identifying with the things around me, I dove straight into them with the hopes that somehow I would feel better. By some great misconception, I had the idea that a damaged ego is a bad thing, and that it needed tending, it needed care. What’s worse, it wasn’t as though I was consciously thinking it, it was that society had ingrained that way of thinking as a truth within me. And if I think in that way, who doesn’t? We’re all so brain-washed by our own selves that we treat the ego like a broken arm. Yikes.

Stillness

Stillness. (Photo credit: david.ian.roberts)

Because of the way society is set up, particularly in the 21st century, the “real world” is literally run by the material. And with the right perspective, one would see that it is that material-based mindset that dictates far too much of our lives. And in many ways, it really is. Like I’ve written about before, there is always someone who’s more experienced, better, smarter, faster. This is a tough world we live in. But what we so easily forget is that these things that we use to fuel feelings of self-importance, these things that we use to judge others on intelligence or competence of any kind, don’t matter at all. We must remind ourselves that the truly important things in life, whatever they may be for you, are immeasurable – still, contentment, happiness, love – their importance is not diminished but forgotten in the huffing and puffing that has become life. I lost contact with one of those things, and in doing so, I learned something truly powerful:

Identity and inner-stillness cannot co-exist.

So that’s it from me today. I hope all of you enjoyed your Thanksgiving, although I’d like to add that true appreciation and thankfulness is a year-around thing.

–mrprose 🙂

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Limits Exist Solely In The Mind

We are our own greatest obstacle when it comes to what our limits are.

It’s easy to look around and find reasons to blame things for your limitations, your failures. In fact, it’s so easy, we all do it, if even just a little. It’s a simple escape from the hard reality that stares at us all the time, and we’re human after all. It’s something that needs to be recognized, because the lack of ownership people have of themselves and their actions is one of the leading contributors of why there are so many issues in our world today.

Ultimately, we are the creators of our own limits. As I have said before, I always find it fascinating how we run our lives, through our choices, our energy, our mindset. Questions of fate and freewill, of our thoughts manifesting things in our lives, of the way we choose to live, (with or without awareness, etc.) are always very intriguing to me. These questions pertain to our own selves – human beings are incredible mysteries with hidden wonders. But what’s more, once the answers to these questions are found through personal exploration, one’s life will change greatly – a clarity that did not previously exist will pervade throughout one’s existence.

Reflective Water

You already have the answers, just look at them. (Photo credit: Ricky Romero)

The methods of finding these answers, and even the answers themselves, vary greatly for each and every one of us. Always though, these keys to pure living lie within, and the further you go, the more you will find yourself. Superficial living doesn’t in anyway reinforce personal growth. You have to look deeper.

What I have found is that it is one’s own self that is the greatest preventer. I more than anyone or anything, control my life, and it is my own fears that dictate my boundaries. Perhaps the simplest example – I cannot ride roller coasters. They fill me with fear and thus I cannot bring myself to ride them. The fear comes from my mind. My soul, my “I” does not know fear. It is beyond material pains and pleasures.

Now I do not mean to say that the world does not limit us in any ways, for it does. We have incarnated into imperfect bodies after all. But it is not physical limits that I am addressing. It is not about how many miles one can run, but how far they can push themselves beyond pain. Pain, after all, is our greatest teacher on this planet, but that too exists only in the mind. Your soul does not know pain. But I believe we have come down to Earth to be in physical bodies for a reason. And perhaps that reason is to transcend limitations.

To be your full potential, your true self, you cannot not hold with you the restrictions of the physical. Sadly though, we all have them. They exist. Where do they come from? What manifests them? Limits exist solely in the mind.

At the same time, you create your opportunities. I believe the mind plays a part in that as well, manifesting things into being. Sending intentions. Staying positive. Finding the will to break through deterrents.

Limitations.

You are looking at a reflection of your fear. Walls provide a false security. (Photo credit: Alpha Beta Photography)

It’s quite amazing, really. And it creates this wonderful dichotomy of construction and destruction. We are architects, but we are also demolitionists. It all depends to how we choose to use the tools we have – our bodies, our intellect, our imagination. We can contribute to this limitless universe. We can be this limitless universe. Or we can enclose our worlds with mental walls of fear and anxiety. It is always your choice.

The walls surrounding you? They are yours. You can do what you wish with them.

–mrprose

Awareness

The following is a post by a new monthly contributor to this blog, ZF, about his view on awareness. Enjoy.

There is something fascinating about awareness, our abiliy to step back and see things in a different light – when we choose to, of course. So much time and energy is wasted in our daily lives when we are stuck in our ways, married to our beliefs, and therefore see nothing but what our heads tell us to see in front of us.

Meditation

Let your true “I” emerge. (Photo credit: Moyan_Brenn)

At any time, you can choose to view things from the perspective of the soul – the still part of you, the true “I.” You let your true “eyes” see things as they are, without panic, without letting fear and other emotions take you to places you ultimately would rather not go. How is this accomplished? By creating distance from your mind – your thoughts, your physical self – and letting the silent witness observe what’s there. Every time I do this, I realize there’s more to the picture than I am seeing, and what a difference that makes! I may still be afraid, or angry, or sad, but then THAT becomes the thing (the emotion) that needs my attention, not the reaction to it. I am then able to pay attention to what I’m feeling rather than being consumed by the reaction that wants to take over (the mind, the ego).

Chaos

Who is responsible for the chaos?(Photo credit: Moyan_Brenn)

It’s not easy, of course, at least not at first, and requires practice to strengthen the muscle. But next time you are spinning out of control – thinking too much, talking too much, doing too much, reacting in a negative way to the smallest things – ask yourself what is truly happening, how could it all be so convoluted if not for your actions and your own perspective? Who is the “Convoluter” creating all this chaos? The mere asking will create space and allow you to see better what is going on. To see that you are not your thoughts, you are not even your emotions – those are all a part of our false identification. We are beings – beings who have experiences, who feel, who are here to evolve. Our true selves are much grander and much more expansive than we even allow ourselves to know.

The more you practice this, the more you will begin to see life differently – your work, your time with people, your time alone. This isn’t to say that you won’t feel things in the process! Of course you will, but by spending time with your emotions – without letting them consume you – you will have an opportunity to learn something about yourself.

Standing Tall in the Morning Light

“When you change how you see the world, your whole world changes.”(Photo credit: Brian Hathcock)

It’s a different way of looking at life and a way to live it more richly and fully. Relationships blossom and the world around you is very different, because you’re different and you start seeing everything in a new light. This reminds me of the following quote:

“When you change how you see the world, your whole world changes.”

–Aman Motwane

It starts with you.

It’s a work in progress, no doubt, and it’s completely useless to bash on one’s self because one is not yet “there.” Getting there takes time and patience. I’m living proof and there’s no rushing it, only gently trying to create that space over and over again till it becomes the normal. After all, practice doesn’t make perfect, it makes normal. And what a wonderful way to live when full awareness is our everyday norm. ZF.

The ‘I’ Is Constant

Hello again,

I must say, this was a difficult question that I posed for all of you on Friday. The struggle for me is how to answer this without going to a heady place. If I did that, I would not find an authentic answer. So here we go.

As can be read in the title, I believe that each and every person has a ‘higher self’, a part of themselves that transcends the physical. That soul, that spirit, or that ‘I’ as I like to call it, is unchanging, it is constant. Ultimately, I believe the I is never truly affected by the material world. You change forms – your physical body will not and cannot last forever – but your essence, your true self, is always there.

who am i?

Do our experiences make us who we are? (Photo credit: paurian)

So then there is the question of where experiences play their role, because life and everything that comes with it (the challenges, the comforts, the pains, the triumphs, etc.) does change you. It’s inevitable. It’s unavoidable.

I look at what exactly the ‘I’ is. What exactly is it that composes our essence? Can it even be defined?

I’ve often explored what the I is that I am. There are many definitions we can place on such a concept of life, and through our various experiences, we all most likely have different definitions. For myself, I see my soul, my I as being part of the greater energy that everything came from. It may seem like we live in a separated world full of isolations, and it may seem like we are two different people, you and I, that we share nothing in common. But we are all connected in ways we cannot yet comprehend. We are all from the same greater energy, and this is just the form we are taking right now.

I Am the Sea of Permutation

I am. (Photo credit: Thomas Hawk)

I see God living within me, as I see myself living within God. If I stripped myself of all my ego, of all my materialistic values, of all the things I identify myself with that create my identity, there is something still there. It is the true I that is beyond experiences. It is energy at it’s purest form. It is God.

So where do experiences play their part? They have their value too.

I can say with full honesty, that my experiences have completely changed me. Whether they occurred because of my choices or not, I am a different person from last year, last month, last week.

But maybe ‘change’ and ‘different’ aren’t the right words. Maybe my experiences aren’t so much changing me, as they are shaping me in this level of existence or consciousness. And maybe I’m not changing and becoming a different person, but rather I am discovering more of myself, and my experiences are leading me closer and closer to I.

Dean K. Miller commented something that stood out for me: “My experiences are just that….my experiences. I am not them, nor are they me. But they make up the framework of who I choose to be, moment by moment, lifetime after lifetime. The experiences come and go, here for a reason, recognized or not.”

I connected with those words – experience absolutely makes up the framework of who I am as a human being. It does shape me here on Earth. But saying that I am the sum of my experiences is to look only at one’s identity.

And you are much more than just your identity. You are something much, much more beautiful.

–mrprose

The Magic of Exploration

Hi there,

It’s a light-hearted piece for today, one born out of my joy of having this blog.

Let me first say that the last three-and-a-half months have been quite eye-opening. By that, I mean that life and has begun to feel more and more rich. Things are starting to look clearer, and I feel like I’m getting things a bit more. Life is appearing more fruitful to me.

I don’t mean that now everything is all happy and lighthearted, because that’s not the case. No, there are still the occasional times when everything seems awful. I’m only human, after all. But something has definitely changed. Maybe it’s a bit early to identify reasons as to why that is, but I honestly think that it’s has a lot to do with this blog.

A green and red Perseid meteor striking the sk...

Don’t you feel so tiny sometimes? (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

There is so much out there. Ignorance won’t get you anywhere. If you really want to find what exactly it is that’s ‘out there’, you have to sit down and really articulate your jumbled thoughts. True exploration is the discovery of yourself. You may think there are things out there that you have not seen, that aren’t a part of you, but they are. When you try to make sense of the world around you, the things you see and hear and feel, you’re really just trying to make sense of yourself. Why? Because it all starts within you.

It’s not so much about survival for many of us anymore. Instead, I think we are searching for purpose, for definition, and we don’t know where to look. Many of us don’t want to look, because we fear what we can’t see.

Moving beyond the fear is everything. You cannot truly see when you are afraid to look.

If you are serious about examining life, about writing or articulating what you have to say, you must begin digging, no matter the fear. If you are truly curious, if you have the thirst to learn, the passion to discover, the will to move beyond what you know, you will continue to dig. And you won’t stop until you find something.

The magic in that is that what you will find will change your life.

Black & White Droplets

Can you see the color? (Photo credit: wenzday01)

I try to see beyond the surface of things, and despite my young age, I feel as though I’m already unearthing incredible things. Like I said before, I feel my experience in life has become richer, my understanding stronger. I believe what I believe a bit more passionately. I feel a little bit happier, a little more awake. And those seemingly small changes really change everything.

The magic of exploration is that life becomes a more dynamic place, a more beautiful place. And that’s because you become a more dynamic, beautiful person.

–mrprose

What Is Real Living?

What is true, real living?

This is a question I ask myself all the time. Perhaps it is because there is little voice inside of me, a little piece of me that has recently awoken, that has just begun to point the way for me. It’s constantly reminding me that there is something more, something I knew but have long forgotten. Maybe, in one of my recent past lives, I began my search. I know that I haven’t quite found what I seek, because I still feel the grip of a greater slumber holding onto me. I don’t want it anymore.

Now, it’s one thing to say you want to shake off the blanket of awareness you so want to let go of, and quite another to actually do so. I’m in that position right now – I want to go, but I don’t know where exactly I’m going, nor how to get there. Maybe I never will. But I’m going to use that little piece, that little voice within me to guide me. I must find what is under that blanket, under that cloak or shallow living.

Tenzin Gyatso, the fourteenth and current Dala...

That guy has got some serious wisdom. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The Dalai Lama, when asked what surprised him most about humanity, answered:

“Man. Because he sacrifices his health in order to make money. Then he sacrifices money to recuperate his health. And then he is so anxious about the future that he does not enjoy the present; the result being that he does not live in the present or the future; he lives as if he is never going to die, and then dies having never really lived.”

Wow. Do me a favor and re-read that quote.

Sun Pillar

Whatever is there, beyond the blue skies and bright sun is waiting for us. The beauty is that it’s within you, hidden until it is found. (Photo credit: Axiraa (away))

I truly believe that how we come to answer this great question – What is true living? – is unique to each and every one of us. Thousands of years ago, The Church enforced only one way to the “truth”, but those were times when people hadn’t yet explored critical thinking or feeling like we do today. For some, the way is still in the bible, still in the following Jesus. And you know what, that is completely, 100% fine. Of course, our interpretations of such things vary greatly, and as long as they feel right within the deepest crevices of our beings, why shouldn’t we allow ourselves to believe what we so deeply feel?

So with that thought, I always encourage every person I meet to always, always explore what they believe. We all come from diverse backgrounds, but I believe we’re all going to the same place.

Beyond guidance, I do not believe what I or anyone else can say will enlighten anyone by any means. It’s a journey you and you alone can take for yourself. Like I said, there can be guidance and help along the way, but just as a train does not move without fuel to power it, you will not move forward without your passion to lead the way.

What is real living to you, and how will you discover it?

–mrprose

The Art of Letting Go

Learn to let go of things in life, even the things you love.

My first impression to that statement is fear and refusal. It doesn’t make any sense. At least, it doesn’t feel like a natural thing to do, as if you almost have to learn the skill. We’re even encouraged in a way, to hold onto the things we have, and that shows me how backwards things are. Material things say nothing about a person. I could be brilliant and poor as a peasant (Mozart for example, didn’t know how to handle his money).

Victorian Mansion - Idlewild

Does a house, even one as gorgeous as this one, really say that much about a person. Does it say anything at all?(Photo credit: blmiers2)

The whole concept of letting go, in fact, is scary. It is to me, at least. When you work hard for something, or you rely on something for support or comfort, you ordinarily wouldn’t want to get rid of it quickly. When that something goes away, you have to break out of your routine, and step out of bubble you were living in. You have to adjust. We center our lives around certain things, and when you hate your life, the few things you hold onto become so much more vital, so much more crucial to stay grounded. They go so far as to remind you of who you are. Or so you think.

Maybe holding on to those things, things in general really, is what holds one back. Maybe the attachments actually get in the way of living. You can’t stop worrying about that muffin top you recently developed. Perhaps your new shirt can never be worn because it looks so nice. Maybe those things take away from the experience of life. Is that a ridiculous thing to think? I know that when I have forced things to happen in the past, the natural flow is shoved aside, and everything turns sour. Part of acceptance is letting things be. Part of living in the moment is letting things happen.

I think the biggest thing about holding onto things that holds one back is that it keeps one attached to material things, earthly objects. If I become too attached to my computer, my clothes, my phone, my books, my furniture, even things like my reputation, I remain living at a shallow level, a level that is held in place by my wants for material pleasure. One may find comfort in objects, but it’s not true comfort. Furthermore, one’s true self really is so much more than a collection of ‘things.’

Everything Must Go - Movie Poster

Everything Must Go – Movie Cover (Photo credit: Brian Sahagun)

As was rather nicely shown in the movie Everything Must Go, the protagonist had to let go of all of his things to move forward in life, to move beyond on all the problems that plagued his life. I think Will Farrell does a fantastic job in that movie in showing that there is so much more out there if you can move beyond the sentimental attachments that we create. If you want to change your life, one of the first steps is to let go of the things you have, which change’s one’s view on objects in general.

Nobody said letting go was easy, and I’m certain not about to say otherwise. I haven’t let go of many things yet myself. I think more than anything, I hold onto my image. It really isn’t anything at all, just an idea I have of myself, but I value it highly and find that I struggle in just shrugging it off. It matters to me, but I must learn to let it go, because image really shouldn’t be where all my attention is put, and let’s not forget that the human body is really only a vehicle for my true self, my soul.

Letting go is an art, something we must discover, something that does not come from a

Let go

Let go (Photo credit: Brandon Doran)

thinking, heady place, but rather a feeling place. Feeling life and going with the flow of the energies around you doesn’t mean giving up investing your enthusiasm and love into living, nor does it mean giving up the things you love in life. Because when you let go, you don’t have to forget and move on, and I believe that when you make a strong connection with something, it doesn’t ever truly die away or leave you. It becomes a part of you. Remember, those things (people, aspects of yourself, experiences) do not solely exist at the material plane. They transcend that level.

And it should be said that you don’t have to hold onto something to have it be a part of your life. The things you love won’t just leave. You may think they will, but they won’t.

Letting go requires a certain level of acceptance and openness towards life. I truly believe we must learn to let go of the many things in life, even things we think we love. If that aspect of your life is meant to be in your life, it’ll stay.

A great question of life is how to live. Must you always do, perform and accomplish, or are you content simply to be?

–mrprose