Prism Thinking – Design Your Mind

Archive for the ‘Balance’ Category

The Case for Humanity

Today I saw on Facebook a video posting on what someone considered a sad state of humanity where an animated character marches through life using and destroying all of nature in his path as he leads a life of inconsiderate convenience, luxury and technology.  The video, which I might add is very clever and creative, was captioned Humans Don’t Deserve Earth. So, it got me thinking as I frequently do about most things. This talented person who clearly took the time, effort and creativity to make this video while perceiving life on an unrealistic macro scale, obviously believes that all humans do this thing.Speck That we go through life abusing all our natural resources, all of nature and have no compassion for anything within our ecosystem. Don’t we? Before we all get emotionally swept away in self-righteous indignation from a freeze-frame snapshot of one aspect of humanity perhaps it would be in good counsel to look at all aspects down to some of the finer details.

Firstly, I am annoyed.  Yes, annoyed by small-mindedness, tunnelled vision, ignorance, and people who are offended. Is that somewhat of a paradox? Those who take the view of the video creator, how do they view our ecosystem? Our free will? Our individual feelings of accountability? Responsibility? Charity? Our sacrifices? How we interact within nature? One with natureAt the top of the predatorial food chain, humans as homosapien apex predators have it a bit more complex in our overall abilities, capabilities and expectations than our fellow members below in the chain. In that we all have our roles to play to exist and to live. We all make sacrifices from the littlest member to the largest, from the ones that act purely on instinct to the ones that must make difficult decisions throughout the day.  Cause and effect is how we live in our environment – one with nature or separate, one with humanity or separate.  We cannot possibly simplistically equate lives within our system. We have beliefs and feelings and we act on them, sometimes – or we sacrifice our feelings for what we believe to be for the highest good, sometimes. We have principles. We battle between chaos and order, harmony and dissonance.

In Judaism, the Torah teaches in Genesis that the first thing the Creator had Adam do was to name every creature from every species on land, ocean and air. The names Adam gave to each creature in Hebrew till today, is the meaning of the essence of each being.  Adam first had to have an understanding of each individual creature’s essence to accurately name it. What does that tell you of the essence of the human? The mental, spiritual and emotional faculties we were given above all else to resonate with nature.  And yet… we must eat, we must hunt, we must clothe ourselves, we must have shelter, we must commune, we must interact, we must communicate, we must understand – and sometimes – because we may not always be able to achieve these things, we must fight, we must survive, technologywe must advance, we must win in order to do so – and sometimes – we will lose, but we must also learn – all the time, every time. Even to love, respect and honor.  Even amongst ourselves, we must be the better man – or woman, not only to be better than the other, but also better than we were yesterday, a moment ago. We make choices, we make sacrifices, we are human – for all intents and purposes. We evolve.

So, you think it’s a sad state that the proverbial human marches through life abusing and destroying everything?? Look again into the finer details. Gain a vaster perspective. It’s a bit more complex than what you once thought.

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Beyond the Fun-House Mirror: Putting This “Morphic” Thing Back in Order

with Jeff Schoener, the NLP Wordsmythe

While the medical PR community comes up with new disorders on a continuous basis, before we get sucked in to the new millennium’s version of hypochondria, remember this vital information given from an insider in the medical profession: These disorders are merely new names given for symptoms not yet deciphered by the medical community in order for pharmaceutical companies to sell their wares.  There are so many self-diagnosed disorders today that, much like the communities of wordsmiths, NLP and other brain language and belief experts, it would behoove us to make use of the etymology of language before we fall into the traps. Getting to the root of the language may actually also help us get to the root of our so-called disorders.

I would like to use as a newly common example, Body Dysmorphic Disorder.  According to the Mayo Clinic, “Body dysmorphic disorder is a type of chronic mental illness in which you can’t stop thinking about a flaw with your appearance — a flaw that is either minor or imagined. When you have body dysmorphic disorder, you intensely obsess over your appearance and body image, often for many hours a day.” Now, can you think of how this perceived disorder goes far beyond the physical? In fact it goes beyond how one sees themselves; it’s also what we tell ourselves – how we talk to ourselves, what we hear, how we feel.

Physical dysmorphia may not just be seeing ourselves in a warped view. How do we “see” ourselves?  In the physical – pretty, ugly, average, gorgeous, plain, nice but flawed? As a person – intelligent, stupid, kind, confident, shy, a success, a failure? How are we telling ourselves that we are these things? What and whose voices do we hear? Our own, a critical parent, sibling or other family member? Our old school-mates, friends, bullies, teachers? How do we feel when we do this? If it makes us feel crappy, why do we do this? Would you ever define yourself as a masochist? Most wouldn’t, yet if we break it down, sadly many of us are.

I still remember one of the very few Dr. Phil advice or techniques that I have ever agreed with. A guest on his show had issues with motivation, self-esteem and was constantly in bad relationships, come to find out her father was verbally abusive to her as a child. However her father had long been deceased, but she kept replaying his words in her head. Finally Dr. Phil said to her, “He’s been gone for many years and you are an adult woman; STOP continuing on his abuse for him!” Are we standing in our own way to well-being, success and the life we desire? Interestingly enough, I also remember many years ago, I found myself saying something negative about me, when my husband Jeff retorted to my surprise, “Hey! Nobody speaks to my wife that way! Not even you!” That woke me up and I began to pay closer attention to the conversations I was having with my Self!

When Jeff works with clients within this range of issues, he finds that,

“When perception and illusion are out of balance, attempting self control based upon internal perception leads individually to distress and depression cycles.  The more the individual attempts to either control the cycle or avoid the cycle the worse the symptoms seem to get.  Do not attempt to get a handle on this.  In many cases my clients are battling the emotions not the issues that begin the cycle.“

So what can we do consciously to become more aware of our unconscious self-talk and beliefs about ourselves, and what can we do to change that?

  • Regress in order to egress.  Taking note of what you do, see, hear or feel before you ‘see’ yourself in ‘that way’ will offer you greater insight into what this is truly about.
  • Pay attention.  Most of the processes that drive these behaviors and emotions begin just outside of your conscious awareness.  If you were to pay attention to how this cycle is triggered, the better chance you have of making it a thing of the past.
  • Have faith.  What occurs behind our eyes is far more important than what we think we see. Our eyes are designed to invert an image onto our retina.  There is a direct translation process that happens in our brain.  Seeing is not always believing, for many believing is seeing.
  • Stop the blame game.  If you or someone else caused this cycle, blaming will only serve to distract from the cycle and fed into the emotional drama that helps keep you stuck.
  • Be more forgiving and be kind to yourself.  The more anger, anxiety and frustration occur, the more one becomes locked into their emotional drama. This is not the source of the issue, only the result.
  • Gain perspective and release control.  By becoming more a friend to your Self, many of these issues become just a little less important.

Begin following these tips and you will start getting more accustomed to paying attention to the language used by you and by others. Using appropriate language and finding congruence between your mind, body and spirit becomes the basis of making better brain chemistry and resulting in making healthier decisions. It goes like this: The better things you tell yourself, the better your brain chemistry, the better decisions you make and the better things turn out – it’s a happier cycle! Doing the opposite will give you adverse results. So keep practicing, keep healthy and stay happy!

For your viewing pleasure…here’s a more direct and humorous approach!

About Flip Your Brain

Judgments of the Non-Judgmental, the Spiritual and the Need to be Right

Have you ever heard someone make blanket statements about other people being judgmental while simultaneously insinuating their own judgmental attitude against “the Others” that aren’t like them?  In my experience these may be the very people who will tell you how wrong you are for being selfish, arrogant, stupid, greedy, rich, lazy, poor, unambitious, unloving, unspiritual and judgmental! All because you may not agree with their opinions or views.

I hear all too often from supposed non-judgmental people, “I’m spiritual, I don’t believe in organized religion like those religious nuts!” Or, “I care so much about people, not like those other kinds of people…”  While these are paradoxes, within the paradoxical labeling, lies the judgment. Frankly I don’t believe there is such a thing as being completely without judgment. If you have an opinion, you’re forming a judgment; if you have a strong opinion you may want to be careful about how you allow others to form theirs as well.

If I were to practice being non-judgmental, it would be to freely hear and understand all perspectives, in the hopes of learning something new so that I could form my own. Arguing would only lead to animosity and enforce the need to be right. I’d rather be educated and pay it forward. Folks can learn according their own merits and circumstances and are entitled to their views, whether or not I agree, I can at least respect.

So what of the self-proclaimed non-judgmental who are also usually the self-proclaimed spiritual, because for some reason these two go hand-in-hand.  There are those who are so uncannily threatened by opposing opinions, they become outright violent and abusive.  This of course, is a contradiction to their self-described character. Perhaps because they want to change the world to their perceived utopia and “the Others” get in the way. Perhaps it’s because they’re so non-judgmental that they want everyone to be so. Either way, it negates the commonly-accepted very quality of a non-judgment, doesn’t it?

Then there are those on the opposite end of the spectrum. They say “live and let live”, often turning a blind eye and a deaf ear to all kinds of, what “the Others” consider atrocities, injustice and sometimes even tragedies. But even that isn’t all conclusive, because by doing nothing, they form a judgment by default. Sure they can say live and let live on a global level and stay obliviously unaffected, but can they on a personal level?

So how do we all perceive of ourselves, and how do others on the outside perceive us? How do we perceive of others? Are we being fair in our assessment? Do we give others the personal right to express their opinions? And if we don’t share the same views, should we argue our point? Should we just shake our heads righteously and say, “Those poor things, not as enlightened as I am; not at my level; one day they will learn…” I’ve heard those sentiments quite often, but I can always tell the facial expression saying, “I’m not saying anything, but you’re wrong.”

I think the bottom line is we all have opinions, and it doesn’t matter what people say about being non-judgmental, I’ve found there is always underlying judgment somewhere in differences of views. Even when there is a visceral discord in the exchange of opinions, there will be judgment in the unspoken.  What we can do is to at least stay non-judgmental for the duration of the time it takes for us to form our own opinion. Whether something serves us or not, or whether it serves humanity or not, we can debate, we can stay on separate sides, we can change our minds about things, we can stay open. Above all we can gain perspective and we never stop learning.

About Flip Your Brain

Why Complain?

It saddens me when I hear people constantly complain.  Why complain? If you were to ask the complainer this question, there will always be an answer; they will always justify it. They might attempt to camouflage it by reframing it as a vent, needing to use you as a sounding board, etc. But you on the receiving end know it’s a complaint, a rant, a tirade – normally fully of vitriol and venom.  There’s a reason for the urban phrase of “burning another’s ears” as a slang for venting.

My suggestion is, if you don’t like the hand you’ve been dealt, then change it; if you can’t – then change you! Rise above it! You will see the situation change or at least your perspective of it and its effect on you. The more you mull and seethe over the negatives – the aggravation, the frustration, the more it eats away at you. And whom do you call when you do? Who do you think is the lucky recipient of your venom? Sadly, not the object of your complaint but most probably a loving member of your friends and family circle.

Before we pick our lucky recipient to help make us feel better, realize that this is someone who loves us. Is this really the gift we want to bestow on those that love us the most, the ones we feel most comfortable? What about their un-ease and discomfort of being on the receiving end? How do they feel about how their love is being reciprocated? How are we telling them that we appreciate them? Certainly not by sapping their energy and spirits.

While we have to be mindful of how we off-load to those who love us the most, realize that even when on the receiving end, our boundaries matter and would serve us best to be enforced.  Even if it is your own detachment to the emotional toxicity as you listen compassionately. Remember to ask if advice is wanted. If someone is constantly complaining, especially about the same issues, they probably are not looking for solutions. Remember too, that constant complaining keeps us constant victims.  Have you ever noticed that after the complaints, you rarely receive the news of how it all worked out? Have you ever received the ‘good news’ call about the issues having been resolved? And what do you normally do when you have been the one doing the venting?

On the other hand, if you ever feel like complaining, remember when you wake up and ask how you can bring joy to someone else’s life that day, complaining to them isn’t one of the ways! If we care for others then it would make sense to be mindful of how we treat them. Confiding and sharing with someone about a problem is not the same as a complaining tirade.  What about their day? Maybe they’ve not shared with you their problems. Ask yourself, would you rather be someone that lifted their spirits, or be the one to add to their burden?

Share after you’ve at least detached from the heat of the moment, long enough to gain some perspective and resolution. Telling someone else our problems after we’ve become a little detached from the negative emotions is probably going to be more productive than just venting (even in the word ‘venting’, you can imagine steam emitting off your person in another’s direction).

So why complain? I can’t think of a justifiable reason, now can you?

 

About Flip Your Brain

Are We Ready For the Freedom of Relativity?

While this blog offers perspectives that help open up our world, giving us more dimensionality, the theory of relativity is no longer a theory, but a reality we experience everywhere.  The universe is relative, Einstein told us, and true at that. Relativism, when embraced and realized gives way to literally mind-flipping possibilities.  Possibilities and potential that perhaps our Creator knew that while on Earth, the duality of our current state cannot be completely understood until we would have evolved into another state of being and thus of awareness and acceptance.  Quite an opener, isn’t it?

While the universe is relative as are we, there are laws on which it runs. At the same time we were also given laws for several reasons.  We have all heard of the states of order and chaos within the universe haven’t we?  The universe runs on laws to maintain order and avoid chaos.  Relativism offers us infinite possibilities which if rendered without responsibility will wreak havoc on our lives.  We see this more and more every day, whether or not you have noticed.

We as a species have grown and gained much over millennia, but have we enough? We seek today, to be our own lord and master, yet have we gained the infinite perspectives within our limited state to claim that in its entirety?  Can we fully comprehend the enormous scope of this knowledge of relativity? Do we understand that with the freedom that knowledge of relativity brings, comes also a vast responsibility in governing ourselves? Yes we may defy laws; we may rationalize about why they are unnecessary, who created them, we may make excuses that satisfy and comfort our ego. But let’s really face the fact that the universal laws we are required to live by help us maintain some aspect of order and balance.  We may attempt to defy some laws or at least defy within the frame-work, we may attempt to push the thresholds; but everything that we ultimately protest or abide in our lives reside within the spectrum between order and chaos – good and evil, right and wrong, positive and negative, light and dark.  We may also sometimes tend to swing the pendulum too far the other way, often forfeiting balance for our own ego’s irresponsible wants, sometimes placing inappropriate obligation, and sometimes relinquishing accountability, holding us even more hostage to our situations than the freedom that having relative perspectives truly offers.

Who are we then, to dispute the universal laws of balance, even as we perceive of ourselves as specks of dust in the primordial soup or as infinitely great as God itself? Without this responsibility, even the logistics of aerodynamics within the framework of the law of gravity would fail; if we don’t abide the rules within the movement of air, gravity will pull us down; and if we go too far we would float about aimlessly.  What would happen if the oceans of the world or the planets in our solar system decided that they didn’t need rules and laws just because it was relative to them and they had choices that their free-will compelled them to exercise? Take away the appropriate obligation and there would be chaos.

As with mighty empires that have fallen throughout recorded and unrecorded history, as worlds begin and end like the fabled Lemuria or even Atlantis, what if worlds as we knew them would end as we have forged on ahead of ourselves, so far ahead as to put ourselves in front of the yet unexplained or more appropriately, unfathomed mysterious forces which hold us together?  Are we to dispose of the pieces of hardware that came with the do-it-yourself piece just because they weren’t clearly indicated in the instructions? Someone who is familiar with the design and rules of carpentry might know better and help you put the pieces together.  Maybe we should be holding on to those pieces until we can understand how and where they fit, and always keep asking, “Is that all there is?”

Appropriate asked by the illustrious Peggy Lee…

About Flip Your Brain

Note: These are just a few perspectives. I have more—as should we all.

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Is All Fair in Love and War – and In-Between?

The other day I came across an article in the Washington Post by Charles Krauthammer about Hillary Clinton’s comment of praise regarding a known tyrant of a Middle-Eastern country, President Assad of Syria. The article was about how mixed remarks about clear objectives can cause confusion within our foreign policies.  This blog of course isn’t about our foreign policies or politics. It got me to thinking about diplomacy in terms of everyday choices we make in how we interact or convey our public views and personas. Is diplomacy fairness? Is it appeasement? Is it an avoidance of confrontations? Is it a need to secure future bridges? How clear or cloudy does it become?

Being fair isn’t about pleasing all sides or not taking any.  Being fair requires us to make a judgment, albeit a favorable one.  What does this mean, to judge favorably?  It means that regardless of what you are in favor or to what you oppose, your decision has to come from a place of knowing all the parts and sum of the parts, and their effects. Being fair is acknowledging the pros and the cons, doing the simple mathematics of the pluses and the minuses, and making a judgment call based on this.  And whose view is this based on? Yours, of course.  You may gain support with some and you may not with others. Feelings may be hurt, but others have the right to exercise this responsibility too.  No it’s not a whim or a frivolous fancy, it is a responsibility.

How do you feel about the concepts of judgment, justice, fairness and mercy? In today’s world are these just merely dogmas or are they to be incorporated into our everyday lives? What do you perceive of them each in their own merit and now, how do you feel when you combine them with say, attributes of wisdom, knowledge, understanding and even loving-kindness?  How does it feel to you when you combine justice with mercy? Or judgment with wisdom? How about knowledge with kindness? How much of an investment in these would you need in order to part the layers of chaos and confusion?  How would you enlighten and educate others with your view without the attached emotions and feelings of defensiveness? How do you balance your passion with your fear of being challenged and threatened? Defensiveness, fear and the vitriol sometimes attached—these are useless emotions that serve as barriers to true wisdom, knowledge and understanding.

In your prism view, the facets are like windows into another world, or another’s world and from which other realities can stem.  You can look in and learn; you don’t always have to embrace everything about them. They offer us an expansion in dimensional views so that we can make the best choices for us and those we love with less limitation.  Remember everything is connected in some way and every action or lack of action has its own ripple effect. When you next hear someone say things like, “It’s not fair”, “It’s cruel”, “It’s wonderful”, “It’s much needed”; remember to ask to whom, whose version and from whose perspective are you making that judgment call?

While it’s true that concepts of right and wrong, good and bad are something relative to the observer, awareness of how this relativity relates to others is an important and even valuable understanding.  It always seems that when the lines become fuzzy, we cross over into confusion. When we seek to please and appease the masses, however your masses are comprised, we run the risk of clouding our core knowledge of right and wrong, and then our judgment. On the other side, when our strong beliefs are attached to fear and loss we lose sight of our pure intention. Sometimes we are the mirrors that reflect others. When we look at ourselves, what and whom else do we honestly see reflected? When you make choices based on your fairness-meter, consider what comprises your beliefs and core understanding of your subject and look into your dimensional prism to compare the ripple effects of how you decide. It really could be more than an eye-opener in a life wake-up moment.