The Haunted House

“my thoughts inside my head, get lost inside the haunted house”      Ryan Adams

The road of personal growth is fraught with challenges = it’s hard work with lot’s of pitfalls and ways to get knocked down. My mind is by far the most dangerous space I can go into; a personal cocktail mix of self-pity, frustration and fear.  When I find myself slipping down into the rabbit hole, I stop and disconnect myself from this built in messaging and projection system.  Slip to far and it could take me hours or days to regain what I’ve lost.

The way I self-correct is to practice deep breathing; feeling the different parts of the body react to the inhalation and exhalation of the breath. I stay there for 5 – 10 minutes. No thinking, just being aware of what’s going on inside. I slowly bring myself to a state of evenness and calm.  After this practice, I find myself with more awareness to what got me thinking in the first place.  This practice is necessary; an act of self-love.

You’ll be amazed how much clarity comes back to you when you stop the “naughty neighbor upstairs” (Arianne Huffington).  The key is to catch yourself before the mind takes over. Don’t give up or grow frustrated if you slip and fall. We all do.

That’s the other thing. The struggle with our minds is life itself. No one is above it or has complete control over it (mind).  Just notice and breath. There are no days off when dealing with the “haunted house”.

Advertisements

How drugged are we?

I am on my second day of no caffeine.  Let’s just say, I’m not exactly a spark plug in the morning.  I started this process to help my gut heal; a short-term step to improve my health.  But this experiment has me looking deeper into why I like coffee and the impact it has on my life.

We are a culture of addiction with most of us are under the influence of some form of drug, i.e., caffeine, drugs, alcohol, and/or sugar.  Think about this for yourself.  Like me, do you wake up daily to the aroma of freshly brewed coffee or a heavenly sweet danish?  Caffeine and sugar; what better way to start your day.

This minor break from caffeine for me has me observing all kinds of behavioral and emotional shifts.  For example, I have no bounce in the morning the first couple of hours at work.  Flat, no energy.  I’m foggy and lack the clarity I’ve experienced in the past.  Coffee was my propellant.

And of course there are the minor withdrawals – a headache in the morning.  A longing for coffee (aka. caffeine) around 2:00 pm.  I’m thinking about an espresso as I write.

So what’s your drug?  Literally?  What gets you through the day or night? If you remove that attachment from your life, how would your life be different?  What would it take to make you give up your attachment?  My encouragement to you is to look at your attachments and addictions and look to make a change…even if it’s only a small step like giving up coffee or sugar for one week.

I don’t know how long my experiment will last, but if what I read earlier today is true –

” If we stay present to our discomfort, we will also feel something else arising, something more real, capable, sensitive, and exquisitely aware of ourselves and our surroundings.”

It just might be worth the effort.

Mentoring – building the super mentor

A quick glance through the internet and you’ll see countless programs focused on youth mentoring programs.   Inc. magazine regularly covers stories on mentoring in the workplace and why it’s important to their overall culture.

So much demand for mentoring, yet very little in reference to “building mentors”.   Why it this?

Being a mentor is a serious, well-being experience. But, mentors are not built over night. Nor do they grow on trees. Mentors are built and honed with years of hard work, personal experience and the slow cooking of time. World-class mentors understand the totality of their gift and the long road they traveled to get there.

Here are a few traits to consider when thinking of a mentor:

1. The are generous – will to offer their experience and knowledge in support of “others” growth.

2. They are approachable.

3. They are curious and have excellent listening skills.

4. They are honest.

5. They are objective and fair.

6. They are direct.

7. They are genuine and compassionate.

8. They are good communicators.

So the question I seek to answer is how do we find mentors whom represent these traits in all that they do in their lives.

If you think you these traits resonate with you or someone you know, I’d like to talk with them as part of my research on how to build great mentors.

Simply reply to this post or visit my contact page at www.tengraces.com

How does your father see you?

My father still calls me Will or Billy, names I stopped being years ago. Our conversations always drift back to a time when I was still a boy, a child; his son.

You see, it is as if my father took a mental picture – a snapshot if you will – of me as a children.  I was probably 4-6 years of age.  My father was most comfortable relating with me from this space (he the adult, I the child).  He still relates this way some 44 years later.  It is impossible for him to see me for who I am today.

This is my biggest charge in relating with both my parents – They never saw me as a child.  They cannot relate with me as an adult today.

How do you relate with your parent(s)?  How does your father see you?  Your mother?  Can you be complete and uncompromising in their presence?

This is my work.

 

 

 

 

The importance of structure

Structure is what you build when you engage yourself; in meditation, in your will and in your life. It is a process, much like bodybuilding; the more you work or engage, the stronger you become.

Without structure, we succumb to many of the maladies of our contemporary world – stress, depression, fatigue – so we feel lost or helpless.

To accept or to push – what is the limit?

“If I return to Europe I’ll be bored sick straight away,” she said. “Here I am fighting for a revolution, for freedom, equality. I can die and know that I’ve lived.”

Kimberley Taylor, foot soldier for YPJ, Northern Syria

I am, a big believer of using challenges to engage my will power.  But as I sat at home today on a rather snowy spring day, the following question arose in me in contemplation – at what point do I stop pushing and accept the reality of my life or situation (or both).

Very early on in my life, I came to the conclusion on how I didn’t want my life to look – estranged from others, struggling with money – leading a quiet life of desperation.  It took awhile to realize with all of the energy focused on what I didn’t want, I was neglecting the opposite possibility; how I did want my life to look?

So about 12 years ago I began to make radical changes in my way of being in the world.  I stopped lying to myself and made  difficult decisions that had an impact on the lives of people I loved.  If a challenged brought fear up in me, I moved into the fear  to break the “old beliefs” that had been apart of my psyche.  Like a pendulum, swinging from one extreme to another, I wanted to find the equilibrium that would bring balance to my life.

So as the snow falls, I can feel that I’m still in motion; swinging with life’s ebb and flow.  Wondering:

Do I keep pushing for the change I want to see?

Or

Do I accept what is there and stop the swing?

Watching the flakes whirl about as if possessed by some devilish dance.  I can’t help but imagine that I too am whirling through space looking for what it means to be alive.  What is the edge I must walk to feel life, yet at the same time, be able to accept what lies before me.  A place where I know that I can see both possibilities – to stop the swing or to push forward.

Gladly, this is a choice that I can make and not a choice made for me.  For some of us, we are whirled about not by choice, but rather by the actions of others. There is nothing to contemplate.

Can I accept that?