The Most Underrated Virtue

My friend Maria Hill wrote a beautiful article recently about the distinction between humility and humiliation. Go read it, because I am not going to repeat that, but this theme keeps coming up everywhere I turn, so I have some thoughts I’d like to share.

Humility is not a lack of self esteem, self-confidence, or assertiveness. It is not a lack of anything. Rather, it is evidence of a fullness and a completion of character. The root of humility is simply the ability to perceive value in other people.

In the culture I grew up in, this is grossly undervalued and misunderstood. The widespread idea that you get ahead by crushing and using others is a lie. To the extent you believe this, you are sabotaging yourself.

You might gain temporarily through such behavior. It might feel good, if your conscience is atrophied. But you do not ultimately gain much of importance in life through your own isolated efforts. You ultimately gain in life because you work at being the sort of person that people want to help.

Rugged individualism and independence have their place, but we live in societies. To thrive in a society you cannot effectively compete with people who are tapping into networks of dozens or hundreds of people willing to help them. And you will fail utterly if your behavior inspires people to gang up on you.

Humility has to be cultivated because it takes time for experience to teach you that there is more to life than winning all the time. It feels great to win; I’m a big fan of winning. But outside of games, winning can easily cost the winner more than it is worth.

Life is not itself a game or contest. It is a team activity. In gamer terms it’s PvE not PvP. Cooperators consistently and easily beat lone wolf competitors in “real life.” Cooperative people have immensely greater resources at their disposal. Lone wolves will always be there because some people choose to sacrifice long-term gain for small immediate payoffs. This is the definition of immaturity.

Real humility is a cultivated willingness to appreciate differences in others and receive the value they freely offer us through every interaction. It’s the result of a higher perspective from which you can see that the synthesis of opposition is superior to the simple triumph of either opponent. It is realizing that most of the people you initially view as opponents would be more beneficial to you, and you would be more beneficial to them, as friends and allies: win-win is better than win-lose.

Humility is the counterweight that balances and moderates the innate craving of the ego for ever more conquest. Humility harnesses the drive and raw power of the selfish side of our nature and channels it toward overall success. An ego harnessed this way is the only ego worthy of being called “healthy.”

Humility is an indicator of a mature character, a beautiful soul, because without it, the character cannot help but be stunted by a poverty of input and feedback. When I meet a person who shines with humility–and they do shine–I know they have developed a wide range of virtues, because humility makes a vital contribution to personal growth. Humility amplifies every other virtue. Confidence, for example, is hardly more than a form of foolishness when it is not balanced and informed by humility.

Humility is not just a social virtue, it is a personal one. That same willingness to acknowledge and take into account the value outside of yourself extends to all of life. Other people have much to teach us, but the larger humility of being willing to receive inspiration, and to learn from life itself, is the most underrated key to success and happiness.

Share/Bookmark
Posted in Virtue | Tagged , , | 2 Comments

The Cross-Country Imagination Express

Spark your Creative Genius on the Way to Work Tomorrow

My morning commute takes about thirty minutes. It is often the most productive part of my day.

In the sanctuary of my car I’ve solved a lot of problems and formed many creative solutions. I’ve resolved complex programming issues, untangled emotional knots, received flashes of inspiration and let my imagination run free. I learned how the hard way.

* * *

I had been working free-lance jobs in California. One lonely winter when twinkle-lights appeared on palm trees, I longed for family, the girl I loved and an Ohio Christmas. My old motorcycle would never make it across the country and I wouldn’t survive the ride in winter. I resigned myself to a California Christmas.

Then the mafia solved my problem.

A coworker got into gambling trouble and needed money fast. He offered to sell his ‘72 Mustang. For an older car, the mustang was solid. He settled for $800 cash.

1972 Ford Mustang Mach 1

It was December 22, if I was going to make Cleveland by Christmas Eve, I had to drive non-stop. Snowstorms blasted the northern part of the country so I pointed the old muscle car south to Albuquerque and settled into the long drive. An hour later, I discovered the radio didn’t work. The drive would be longer than I thought.

I made Dallas, stopping only for coffee and gas, but part way through Arkansas I hit the wall. I was exhausted, nodding off dangerously, my mind a gray, soupy cloud. Just after dark I pulled over and walked in an open field beside the highway.

I had to focus and stimulate my hazy mind.

Back on the road, I began a deliberate, series of experiments.

I imagined characters, painting intricate details and passionately explaining each to a phantom audience. I imagined a resurrected Benjamin Franking riding shotgun and asking questions. I spent hours explaining technology, culture and world events. I asked and answered difficult questions as deeply and broadly as I could. Through the night a few things became apparent.

Driving is unique for several reasons.

  • The rhythmic, autonomic process of driving can establish a near meditative state.
  • As part of your mind is occupied with driving, the rest is free to roam.
  • The car is a psychological sanctuary unbounded by social restraint.

Drives are perfect for creativity and problem solving.

Eventually I developed a reliable technique for putting my drive time to use, one question at a time.

The Question Technique

1. Priming

Start the night before. Prime your subconscious with a question you want to explore the next morning. Ask and consider the question as you fall asleep. This gives you the benefit of hours of sub-conscious consideration. This leads to more fruitful consideration the following morning.

 2. Drive

Turn your radio off and eliminate distractions.

As you drive, explore answers to your question. Answer the question from different perspectives or as different people with different outlooks.

Let the answers roll through your mind and off your tongue. Don’t hold back. Nothing is right or wrong and no one is watching, just let the answers flow.

3. Review

At the end of your drive review your answers, repeating the highlights to yourself. If satisfied with your answers move to the next question. If not, you can repeat the process until you feel you’ve exhausted the topic.

Time on the road can be an amazing source of creativity. Imagination, like muscle, grows with exercise. With a little practice in your rolling gym, you’ll be amazed at the growing strength of your imagination.

* * *

I made it home Christmas Eve, driving through a few hallucinations in KY. I had been awake for almost 60 hours and had driven 2,700 miles. Surprising everyone, I stumbled into my parent’s home to hugs and kisses. After a long shower, I fell asleep until Christmas Morning.

It was snowing – just like I imagined.

Posted in Freedom | Tagged , , | 6 Comments

Change The World Slow: The Power Of Thinking Small

Honey bee on dandelion flower.Changing the world: politics; religion; personal growth; happiness. These matter. They’re big things. So it’s natural to look for big complex answers. People have plenty to offer, but no one has answers quite big enough to satisfy everyone. Big answers are still too small it seems.

Somewhere in us, we know the answers must be simple somehow. The best solutions tend to be quite elegant. Yet every time we apply simple solutions to the biggest problems, they don’t work any better than the complex ones did.

That’s because they are not quite simple enough. When we get our thinking small enough, the best ways to apply them will be clear.

Thinking small leads to small answers. Small answers are humble, but real. Understandable. Achievable, even easy.

Small steps are what our feet were designed to take. Small steps are what movement is made out of. Once you’re moving, you’ve harnessed one of the most fundamental laws of nature: Inertia holds us back, momentum propels us forward.

One smile is reciprocated by another smile. That is a 100 % return on investment in seconds. Smiling, laughter, relaxation, forgiveness: small things like these are highly contagious. And they are their own reward.

A small step meets little resistance. The worst you can do is make a small mistake.

And small steps fit nicely in the spaces between other things we’re busy with, so they do not have to fight your life’s main current. They cost only a moment.

Taken together, these attributes make thinking small a powerful thing. So use your power. Change the world the most efficient way–slowly. One small step at a time.

  • Smile
  • Forgive
  • Share
  • Praise
  • Act
  • Help
  • Love
  • Appreciate
  • Relax
  • Learn
  • Laugh
  • Thank

Is that it? No, that’s just a small list. But it will take you far.

Posted in Purpose | Tagged | 6 Comments

Sutra Walk

Walking Your Way to Wisdom and Learning the Sacred Art of Sutra

The sound of crickets and tree-frogs rise to meet the dead-eyed moon. I rock beneath the porch light, focused, desperate. Carefully, hand shaking, I choose words to carry heavy loads and ink the footprints of insight across the pages of my notebook.

I’m struggling. Devastation has visited my life, eating its heart and breaking bones. I’m bleeding pain, it covers me, staining everything with the shades of misery.

I’m tired from the long walk but I hold a spark of understanding waiting on my pen.

* * *

I walk to observe and learn. Some of what I learn is best captured in sutra.

Sanskrit Writing on WoodBefore writing, knowledge was passed from the deep memory of a people by their oral traditions. Knowledge had to be distilled, in a memorable, often melodic way. The sutra of Buddha, the Vedas, or the words of Jesus hold the core, the essence of fundamental truths.

Symbolism and deeper layers of meaning allowed a subtle range of knowledge to be conveyed. Beneath the surface, you’ll find deeper levels of meaning that fit into greater bodies of truth. To get there, a seeker had to explore the wider context of knowledge, had to acquire an education in the wisdom tradition. Only then, was the seeker ready to unwrap the symbolism and discover the full range of meanings.

Studying sutra can open infinite doorways of insight and understanding. However, a very effective way of ingraining your insights, is to do the work of actually writing sutra. You only need a willingness to open your perceptions and work at it.

You can teach yourself to see beyond the surface to the naked light of the living universe. The Sutra Walk is a technique for just that purpose.

Walk with focused calm

  • Walk slowly, taking long deep breaths. Let your mind relax and follow the gentle pace of your footsteps.
  • Once you are calm and distractions have grown quiet in your mind, begin observing.

Open Your Senses to Patterns

  • Scan the scenery looking for patterns. Patterns are the easiest things to see at first. Latch on to them and explore them with all your senses.
  • Ask yourself what patterns form in the rain riding the leaves or the hawk etching spirals in the sky? What patterns do you hear in the busy stream and the bee’s flight? What patterns do you smell in the morning air and in the freshly turned soil? What patterns do you feel in the breath of evening air or the stone sleeping in your hand? What patterns do you taste in the mid-day dust and the well’s cold cup? Ask yourself and let the answers into every sense.

Contemplate

  • When you find something, roll it out in your mind. Turn it over and tease out the essence. Then, when you understand it, look for like-patterns elsewhere. When you see the similarities, you’ll start to understand the connections.
  • Note your perceptions, describe them to yourself.

Widen Your Field

  • With every walk widen the field of your observation and contemplation. Move from thoughts of the tree to thoughts of the forest. Keep expanding the fields and terrain of your contemplation.
  • Then, think about yourself. Open yourself to self examination. Learn the flavor of your passion, the wellspring of your fear and the secrets of your heart.
  • Step by step your wisdom will grow. You’ll see farther and deeper. Subtle and breathtaking vistas will emerge as you open to progressively greater perceptions.

Write

  • At the end of a sutra walk note the essence of your observations. Don’t worry about being profound or artful. Just call forth a few simple words. You’ll find it in yourself. You’ll capture a spark of truth and that’s all you need.
  • Keep practicing.

Seeing requires a free and open mind. Understanding requires reason and wisdom, but capturing that essence requires creativity. Like other skills, it matures with practice. Once adept, you can pen lines whenever inspiration moves you, but first you must approach the process systematically, like a child learning to write.

Walk and observe. Open your mind to the living universe and note what you see.

Find one thing, one twinkle, one spark that offers a bit of fleeting insight. Then capture it. Nothing fancy, just words, like fireflies in a jelly jar. Simple as that.

As wisdom takes root, creativity will blossom into a sacred art ready to capture the shades of truth in life and spirit, joy and pain.

* * *

My notebook falls to the porch floor and the pen rolls to a snug space between boards. I pull my knees to my chest and wrap my arms around shins. My hands stop shaking and I close my eyes.

Some of the ink still shines under the porch light.

Standing in smoke and ruin,

broken, bruised, battle lost,

understanding finds you,

clean as ash,

soul ringing

from the blows,

lighter than moonlight

and stronger than fate.

Posted in Virtue | Tagged , , , | 8 Comments

Being and Becoming

My friend Noch Noch commented on “Forge Thyself”, and she made a great point.

She alluded to the fact that self-improvement has to be balanced by, and informed by, the matching pursuit of greater authenticity.

When we try to say anything in words we necessarily imply that the opposite is not true. If it is the day, it really is not night. That is how logic works and it is perfect for expressing the truths of many domains of experience.

For some domains, though, and in particular for our inner life, that is not always the case. As Niels Bohr, one of the pioneers of quantum mechanics, said:

The opposite of a fact is falsehood, but the opposite of one profound truth may very well be another profound truth.

Profound yin truths may very well be balanced by profound yang truths.

My motto emphasises the yang, Noch’s “Be Myself” emphasizes the yin. They are not opposed. Being yourself and forging yourself are dancers, what really matters is the dance.

A dance exists in the interaction. As soon as we look at one partner or the other, the dance vanishes. The whole point of the dancers is the dance.

The idea of forging the self is not to make a plan and just impose it. Nothing will shape a goldfish into a rhino. The forging I speak of is a process of cooperation with being, an alignment with being that recognizes a current within being: the current of becoming.

To forge yourself is to align yourself with that becoming and take part in it, to actively participate in your becoming.

The Yin and Yang of Being and Becoming (Mark Kenski)

And from Noch Noch’s beautiful blog, I know she is dancing just as I am, even though I describe that dance with my motto “Forge Thyself” and she with hers “Be Myself.”

Posted in Freedom | Tagged , , | 4 Comments

Forge Thyself

Socrates bust, Louvre Museum
Socrates, Louvre Museum (Photo by Eric Gaba)

Socrates is famous for his formulation of the essence of philosophy: “The unexamined life is not worth living.”

The examined life is opening your mind to what your senses reveal of Nature: science and philosophy.

And Socrates is said to have had the motto, “Know Thyself.”

To know thyself is opening the mind to the natural realms within. Having an examined self makes possible the art of life–of applying both creativity and knowledge to the shaping of one’s own being.

Such concise crystals of timeless wisdom.

But I take this one step further. With my motto, I commit to the lifelong struggle to practice that sacred art. Thus, my motto is: “Forge Thyself.”

Posted in Purpose | Tagged , , | 2 Comments

Discovering the First Power

A single choice begins the soul’s journey.

I’m drinking the morning’s first coffee, looking out the window. The sun isn’t up yet but the sky is soaking up color from the East, staining the gray-black sky with an edge of oranges and red.

It’s snowing, big flakes drifting slow through the house lights. The scene reminds me of winter camping and the day I realized a simple truth.

 * * *

When Mark and I were boys we spent much of our time in the forest surrounding our childhood town. Winter didn’t diminish our need to escape our parents’ world and seek the freedom of our forest sanctuary.

We packed our tent, surplus sleeping bags, gear and all the necessary provisions we could carry. We hauled our gear down the road and forest trails giddy with anticipation for the adventure ahead.

 

Winter sun

 

We had a favorite camping spot we used throughout the year. We knew the best places to raise a tent, collect wood and build our fire. Returning was a homecoming.

The key to winter camping was fire. First, we gathered wood – lots of wood. A pile of dead wood was like money in the bank. It bought you warmth, hot meals, dancing light and precious campfire time. When you had twice the wood you figured you needed, you could then, and only then, set up camp.

The campsite was only complete when a fire burned at its heart. The simple, artful pleasure of arranging kindling and limbs into a combustion machine was ever-satisfying. Then, seeing a single match grow into a roaring fire was pure pleasure.

One year was particularly cold. The temperature dropped to -5 Fahrenheit over night. I remember sitting very close to the fire, enduring the sting of smoke for warmth and the sweet smell of burning logs. We filled canteens with boiling water for the sleeping bags before we turned in. 

Later that night it started to snow, big flakes, crisp and slow. By first light the tent walls rested on us. A deep layer of snow had buried the camp.

We put on our burning-cold boots and jackets and pushed through the snowdrift at the tent’s zipper door.

The camp was excavated with shuffling feet, pine boughs and gloved hands. Under the light, crisp snow we found the warm embers of our fire. Soon flames worked hard to melt an earthy circle in the snow.

By mid-morning Mark and I were thawing out our boots and warming our feet while sipping steaming cups of tea.

I remember a profound satisfaction as I sipped that tea and watched the fog of my breath drift toward the evergreens. The winter was beautiful, harsh and unforgiving. It made you think and plan and cope. It made you better because you had to be.

It felt good to challenge myself, to do something difficult and see it through to morning. The power of that started to dawn on me in those woods.

We laughed, cooked badly, sipped more tea and dreamed. The day was ours to spend in precious, wide open freedom.

Later I watched the smoke rising slowly against the tide of falling snow, relaxed, mind adrift. 

Something important occurred to me like a sudden breeze in the sparkling branches. Freedom was a choice. We could fall to earth like the fated snowflakes or we could rise from the fire of challenges.

Freedom isn’t real unless you chose it and exercised it. Making that choice, choosing freedom, was the start of life.

  * * *

I still hold that moment in my mind like a talisman. There’s magic preserved in that memory, clear and bright.

The power to choose freedom is the first power of an awakening soul.

 

Posted in Freedom | Tagged , , , | 12 Comments

Compassion Is The Bridge

Since way before the beginning of history, there has always been the them.

The us, and the them.

Now, for all practical purposes, there is only us–as technology brings people together by an order of magnitude that we have not experienced since the rise of civilization.

Thankfully, we now have a few trillion man-years and woman-years of history recording the efforts we’ve made to live together. We know enough to get this right. There are some holdouts and some throwbacks but we don’t have to let them slow us down, let alone pull us backward and neutralize the progress we’ve paid so dearly for.

In a recent speech by the Dalai Llama, I was struck when he spoke almost entirely about the need to work in, and on, the secular world. He spent the entire session, speaking to a live audience of Buddhist monks and western adherents, explaining that compassion is not the intellectual property of any religion, or even religion itself. The value and power of compassion is a universally apprehensible truth. Secular people can and must also understand and cultivate compassion. This struck me like a lightning bolt. Why?

Because this man is not just the leader of a religion, and a nation. He is considered by Tibetan Buddhists to be the reincarnated Buddha of Compassion. He is considered to be the perfected product of his wisdom-oriented culture and his wisdom-oriented religion.

This makes his advice to the faithful all the more remarkable: what matters is that you discover and share the universal truths, compassion first among them, that you find through your practice, with all the people you come into contact with.

Despite some dispute about the authenticity of quotes often attributed to Hesiod and Socrates, each lamenting the corrupted state of current generations of youth close to three thousand years ago, the idea that culture is currently suffering from decay undoubtedly stretches back to antiquity.

Nevertheless, the Dalai Lama explained that among those that have been alive for a long time, as he has, on the thing that matters most of all–the decrease in man’s inhumanity to man–there is agreement: things have been steadily, visibly, and undeniably getting better. I’d add that there seems to be an analogue of Moore’s Law in operation, such that we are, in a sense, making exponential leaps in humanizing society.

And he regards this as good, as it has always been, but now also necessary for our survival. As we get more intimately linked in this ever-shrinking digital village, with ever-greater capacities to do harm if we choose to, it becomes increasingly necessary that we find ways to live in harmony with one another. Cultivating compassion is the key.

In Mark 12:28-31 in the King James Bible, Jesus summarizes his teaching this way:

And one of the scribes came, and having heard them reasoning together, and perceiving that he had answered them well, asked him, Which is the first commandment of all?

And Jesus answered him, The first of all the commandments is, Hear, O Israel; The Lord our God is one Lord:

And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength: this is the first commandment.

And the second is like, namely this, Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself. There is none other commandment greater than these.

The Dalai Lama echoed this, when he summarized the richly detailed beliefs and practices of Buddhism in one simple concept: compassion. Or “love” if you prefer the wider term.

Compassion dissolves negative emotions, thereby allowing one to slowly overcome a fundamental ignorance–if we were not fundamentally naive, what point would there be in learning anything? As more people overcome the hostility and closed hearts born of ignorance, the world becomes a better place.

The value and power of compassion has been known and taught as far back as we have records. It is the bridge between the us-and-them-world that we traveled through to this point, and the us-world where we need to go from here.

Posted in Virtue | Tagged , , , | 7 Comments

Flash Compassion

A couple days ago Markus wrote about a technique, called Flash Mindfulness, for managing difficult emotions, particularly anger. The technique he explained has a wide range of applications, but it is not the only tool you can use to manage situations by managing yourself.

When I worked in retail, I found myself getting angry several times a day, not losing my temper, but feeling my pulse in my neck and the adrenaline flow. Once the emotions get hot, it can be exhausting to try and fight that to be patient and calm.

People bring all kinds of emotional charges with them into a store, and in an instant you can find yourself dealing with a person who seems intent on provoking you.

My technique was to practice the ability to see them as a person instead of as the role they were playing at that moment. It takes practice because it is natural to keep a personal distance from the momentary contacts one makes in the course of a day of work. It feels weird at first to care about someone who is being hostile toward you.

When I felt anger welling up, I tried to shift my point of view so I saw them as a person who was struggling in this moment, and just carrying too much around to hold it all in. I tried to notice things about them, were they married, what did they do for a living, did they have kids? This made them real to me, in seconds.

With the toughest cases–and I saw my share of people who had had too much to drink for example–I seriously tried to think of their Mom standing beside them, then see them through her eyes. The kid this person used to be. I might not smile on the outside but I could feel myself smiling on the inside.

There were times the results were frankly shocking.

It’s compassion when you boil it down, but it feels like looking deeper, past the roles being played. I sometimes found myself feeling a little sorry for the discomfort they were evidently experiencing. And I found that my anger dissipated almost instantly as soon as I changed my viewpoint.

As a result, some people just moved on, not finding the reaction they were looking for – a fight I guess. But others, remarkably often, actually changed their emotional state, and their behavior quickly followed suit. People have an ability to soften when they do not meet with the customary resistance.

I over think things. I mean, all this could be summed up “be nice to people” but the simplest advice can be really hard to act on without some way of getting a handle on it. “Be nice” might mean ignore your own self worth and give in all the time, let people walk all over you, exude powerlessness. And I certainly don’t mean that.

Quite the opposite. You are taking a position of moral strength and power when you have a compassionate frame of mind despite facing a person projecting hostility.

You can’t fake an emotion or body language. You have to put effort where you have leverage, your viewpoint. This changes your emotions. Your emotions change your body language and behavior. It takes a lot of effort to maintain a completely incongruous emotion–like being mean to someone who is genuinely kind to you– and more often than not, the difficult person will yield.

And when they don’t, at least you didn’t shorten your own life by getting overly upset.

Posted in Virtue | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Flash Mindfulness

Mastery of emotional balance can be yours with a simple technique and plenty of practice

You’ve been there, buried in work with rapidly approaching deadlines. Or the car breaks down on the freeway. Or the furnace goes out in the dead of winter. Or the kids run screaming through the house, markers in hand as you trip over a toy, spilling groceries across the kitchen floor. Real life: raw, frustrating and painful.

I’ve spent a lot of years reading spiritual texts and practicing numerous meditative and contemplative techniques. I like the meditative frame of mind, I like the anchor it provides to deeper places and I enjoy the occasional transcendent experience, but life can throw you off balance.

Life is work and family and chaos. Every day my sanity is tested. Every day I need to reach in and find calm and emotional balance.

I integrate centering moments into my day with a technique I call Flash Mindfulness.

I started the technique years ago as a mason laborer.

Masons 3

I spent one hot summer carrying brick and bags of cement over job sites, mixing mortar and keeping a crew of masons supplied as they worked.

The job paid well but it was brutal. Every day was a physical challenge and an emotional gauntlet. From dawn to evening I had a gang of blue-collar guys screaming at me, cursing me and berating me in fantastically crude, imaginative ways.

When my anger and frustration rose toward an unmanageable level, I began a purposeful practice of taking several deep breaths and changing my perspective. It worked. Everyone lived through the summer. I never broke a shovel over anyone’s head, despite the daily temptation.

At the end of the season, the crew even bought me beers, toasting me as one of their best laborers. It was a hard experience but I walked away stronger and learned to stay calm one brick, one exercise at a time.

I kept working to control my temper. Every time I let anger overcome me, I later reviewed my failing and continued refining the technique. As the technique matured, I used it to combat stress, anxiety and other emotional obstacles.

The technique boils down to four simple steps:

  • Trigger

The trigger is the most important part of the technique. Emotion tends to narrow the focus of your mind, blotting out everything but its focal point. You have to remind yourself again and again to pay attention to your emotions and notice a coming storm.

When you’re becoming angry, stressed or emotionally overwhelmed, note the moment by naming the emotion. Say Angry, Stressed or Worried to yourself. Naming the emotion gives you power over it. With that power you trigger the technique.

  • Breath

Take two or three long, deep breaths as you imagine your mind’s eyes rising through the air. With every breath, a single point of awareness ascends into the sky or to the ceiling.

  • Perspective

From above, imagine yourself looking down on the scene. See yourself and others standing about small and fragile, squabbling and crying like children or bugs or bunnies or whatever little thing you wish.

See it for what it is: nothing in the greater world, nothing worth fighting, crying or worrying over, just tempests of emotion.

Exhale. Imagine the emotion blowing away,

Inhale. Imagine a cool stream of calm and strength flow in.

  • Descent

Imagine your mind’s eye descending, holding that higher perspective.

Roll your shoulders, shake your head and move on with the day.

That’s it.

Play around with the components. Find what works for you. If you learn to recognize the rise of an emotional storm and pull the trigger, you’re most of the way to mastery.

The whole exercise should take less than 30 seconds, yet with it you can remove the clutter of hampering emotion, regain your balance and earn more space for calm and happiness.

You might even save a few lives.

Posted in Freedom | Tagged , , | 6 Comments