Whittling

Each day is a raw, rough, heavy block of wood. Or stone. Or clay. You’re the artist, you pick the medium.

Your job is to feel it, to sit with that substance and gauge its spirit, then release it. Craft something beautiful out of the material you have to work with.

Since beauty is in the eye of the beholder, what you make of your day has absolutely no need to meet someone else’s approval. Even if you work for someone else, when you let go of your self-expectations and simply feel your potential, things tends to fall into place to meet your obligations incidental to your ultimate purpose.

Whittle away at the extraneous. Carve out the core which aches for expression that day. Look at the grain and heart of what is in front of your eyes and surrender to its shape. Smooth out rough edges, buff it to a shine, and sigh with satisfaction as you admire your handiwork of the day.

That could be as simple a task as a well-made bed or as momentous an endeavour as launching a satellite. Since the value and satisfaction is assigned by you and only you, both are of merit. Satisfaction comes from finding balance in your day, not accolades from outsiders.

Synergy gives us what we need each day to survive and flourish. No matter our starting point, the raw materials for the day are there to be honed into something satisfying. We must look with our wise mind at what we are given, opening our eyes to the limitless possibilities available to everyone who knows how to perceive them.

Manufacturing Gratitude

It’s ok not to be grateful. Especially for something you never asked for. Especially when you do not feel grateful. Especially if someone is telling you to be grateful.

Shame on them.

Gratitude is an emotion. Emotions happen when they happen, not when you tell yourself to feel them. You are sad when sad, glad when glad and mad when mad. Emotions simply are. A product of the material world, they are a sensory response to the current social environment. You can’t tell your fingers to feel warm in a snow storm. You can’t tell your face not to feel hot in the sun.

Why do you think you can tell your feelings to experience gratitude?

Gratitude bubbles up from inside you when conditions feel balanced and satisfactory…TO YOU. Your personal definition of balance or satisfaction may be wildly different than someone else’s, and there is absolutely nothing wrong with your perspective. Being told you should be grateful is being treated with contempt. It is telling you to judge yourself and your feelings, and find yourself guilty.

Beware giving yourself that same message! When you ponder your feelings and determine you shouldn’t have them, you are being unfair to yourself. Try telling your hand not to feel the burner under your palm. Same task, but because we fail to recognize our intangible emotions as an extension of our nervous system, we treat them like a part of our soul.

Emotions are information. Not actions nor facts.

Gratitude is a breathtakingly glorious emotion and it’s understandable those experiencing it want you to feel it too. Fake it til you make it, practice gratitude, choose thankfulness. Great ideas, but missing the point.

Manufacturing a facade of an emotion does generate pathways of practiced nerve patterns. Acting out routines does create habits. This much is true. But the emotion of gratitude is spontaneous and joyful, not habitualized and mechanical.

Funny thing, when it wells out of you, you realize it doesn’t want to follow those practices, routines and habits! Gratitude wants to playfully take you out of your comfort zone into your curiosity. It drives you to tears with its intensity but not to acts of creating lists.

You are grateful, or you are not. There is no try. And that’s just fine.

Dissatisfaction is a sign you are ready to grow. No matter how well-appointed the nursery might be, every child reaches the stage of needing to experience more, explore more, discover more. Gratitude and satisfaction go hand in hand, with imbalance chasing both of them away.

What imbalance exists that is pressuring for change? Curiosity demands an exploration when gratitude is nowhere to be found in a situation. And in the Moment when the source of imbalance is revealed, appreciation will flow through your veins because suddenly the game is afoot and your journey will begin!

So embrace a lack of gratitude as being the summons to the post, where you are to begin a steeplechase toward a higher level of understanding yourself. From discomfort comes growth and after growth comes gratitude!

Event Horizon

Human perception keeps us at the ‘equator’ event horizon, taking the long straight path through time and space.

Our perception is as of an event horizon, only moving forward, one Moment at a time. Linear. The tapestry of the universe is being woven ahead of us and the threads in the present tend to follow into the future the established pattern already engaged, so we feel like we are trapped in the present. But change is possible. Patterns can be modified. Small adjustments make massive changes over time and time is limitless ahead of us.

Behind us, the weave is tighter and more well set but fabric is still flexible and subject to manipulation. Yet, to pull and stitch darts in a finished product creates pinches and imbalances. Better to lay it smooth, examine the threads, and then repair the patterns of the future weave. To accept what was, embrace what is, and surrender to what will be with hope and curiosity.

Synergy gives us what we need in our time of need. She sets the weft and we either go under or over. We warp threads do exactly that, wending up and down on our path. We either surrender or resist. We find satisfaction or discontent. Hope or despair. Joy or sorrow. For true balance, every warp thread must alternate between going over the weft thread and then under, in order to establish a secure weave. Each moment is the event horizon, the weft thread to leap or duck.

And when we are ready, she’ll reveal more of the universe to us, broaden our horizon and break through the barrier of our perceptions. Once we trust that we’re on a ‘need to know’ level of awareness, then we get upgraded to a higher clearance rating. With great power comes great responsibility. Knowledge is power. Power is control. Control creates balance…or imbalance.

One thread can anchor an entire tapestry. One thread can support the weave and set the pattern. One thread can be the change by resonating balance and stability. Any one of us can be the thread keeping everything together and every one of our threads is integral to the integrity of the entire fabric.

Final Destination?

Purpose. Reason. Enlightenment. Truth. Seeking these nebulous yet desirable goals gives a sense of structure and direction for those questing.

But they are not destinations. They are vehicles. Riding within truth and enlightenment gives a much more comfortable and scenic carriage on the tracks than the economy car built on thoughts and feelings. Yet that lounge car is merely a tool, not an end in and of itself. No different than having a full bank account yet striving for more money, being enlightened and basking in that state actually indicates that true enlightenment is yet to be attained.

The wise man secluding himself on the mountaintop to meditate on meaning is surely enlightened, though?

No, not if you truly follow through on the meaning of enlightenment. If you embrace what a precious gift life and the senses and feelings give us, then withdrawing from exposure to the senses is to reject the gift. Insulating from the volatility of others is understandable and certainly safe.

And there it is.

Safety.

Boundaries. Physical, mental, emotional. The more rock solid and impervious your boundaries, the safer your core personality structure. The more you can reside within your wise brain. It makes absolute sense.

But it defeats the purpose of having the sensory and thinking minds if you only dwell in the wise mind. You can use the wise mind to tap into the secrets of the universe but Synergy knows learning by doing is the most effective way to grow. She reveals the secrets to those who listen with all their minds.

But what about those great gurus who teach mindfulness and enlightenment? Aren’t they representing the ultimate in human potential?

Yes, sharing knowledge and understanding with others is a primal drive which we were designed to do. Share. Not direct. Collaborate. Not instruct. Mentoring. Not minding. In the classroom, the people with the most experience outside the halls of academia are the ones the students gravitate toward, embrace, and soak up energy from. Leading by experience and example as a role model is the natural means of teaching, while structured lessons manufactured around set goals and defined topics is simply conveyance of information artificially packaged and mechanically received.

Teaching is noble and necessary. It takes great courage to offer of oneself, and is the essence of vulnerability. Yet it too confines the mind by locking in patterns rather than openness and flexibility since the very act of teaching is predicated on concrete, immutable concepts. Mentoring toward fluid skills is enlightened instruction.

To see truth and enlightenment as the ultimate purpose of life is to lose yourself in the luxury of the panoramic dining car and never disembark the train to touch the desert, swim with the belugas, smell the mountains or feel the wind. There is always more to discover, each day, but it requires immersion in the dirty, messy, painful and admittedly dangerous circus of life as a participant, not a leader nor an ascetic.

Judgement Aside

We are who we are. There is no wrong nor right, good nor evil, bad nor good. There are consequences and fallout from our choices, and those cause balance or imbalance, satisfaction or dissatisfaction.

It is our short circuit which leads us to judge. That is not our role. Our role is to live with curiosity and hope, making choices in the Moment that will bring stability to our elemental personality and joy to our Eternal mind.

If we truly embrace Mindfulness and Enlightenment and follow through to the ultimate understanding of reality, then we have to accept that everything is as it has to be. Which means things we perceive as evil or wrong had to happen…thus they are not wrong, they are an adjustment to compensate for imbalance.

Each person acts to satisfy their needs in each moment. Some people are able to do so without cost to others, while some must do it at the expense of someone else. To shame people for these situations is to work against Synergy, to act in judgement and to take a position of superiority. Hubris.

Humility and acceptance cause no harm if given sincerely. False humility, that which feels hurt when not honoured or respected, is not authentic.

True surrender means being walked upon, being martyred, being vulnerable while still understanding there is purpose to the pain and beauty in the sacrifice.

All who live join Synergy in death, their Eternal consciousness freed from the sensory ties and judgements…and temptations…of reality. No matter what they did on Earth, they will find acceptance and comfort. Every act on Earth is an attempt to refine Datter and balance Matter, not elicit evil or judge worth.

To fight the short circuit, to forsake judgement and condemnation, to be open and vulnerable even to those known to exploit and violate, takes immense courage and faith.

And sometimes merely walking out the door in these uncertain times takes incredible courage and faith.

Courage and faith, and patience, get rewarded with peace and joy, in one lifetime or the next.

Walk with hope and curiosity, faith and courage, joy and happiness, and Synergy walks with you.

Schrodinging Everything

Hedge your bets and prepare for all eventualities with the hopes that things will come out hopping when Synergy finally presents the opportunity to open the darn box.

Greeting every day with curiosity, hope and acceptance means being ready for anything in any Moment. Being receptive to whatever springs up on you means you’ll never be disappointed with the chances you didn’t take, the opportunities you didn’t seize or the Moments you missed.

Assume all possibilities are open to you until the moment you know the truth.

This includes options you may perceive as negative. Don’t rule out failure or hurdles…in fact, count on them thus they won’t devastate you. Have Plan A, Plan B, in fact prepare the entire alphabet just in case. The more you understand the parameters and possible outcomes for every decision you face, the stronger your position for satisfaction in a perhaps unexpected form.

We don’t know what is best for ourselves. We don’t know what we need. We often don’t know who we even are, so how can we be certain what is in our best interests?

Synergy knows. But it’s up to us to accept her wisdom and be receptive to her gentle guidance. We blind ourselves with our thoughts and feelings, setting our hearts on things that were never meant to be, because we are trapped in our past or dreaming of our future.

Obstacles, barriers and disappointments are merely rungs on the ladder ascending toward enlightenment and true understanding of self, others, and the universe. Our purpose is to discover our purpose, which can’t be chosen, can’t be predicted, only unveiled.

Every decision has a Moment for making it. Not talking about it. Not planning it. Not dreaming about it. Those are not decisions, those are efforts. Until the Moment of Truth, efforts encompassing all possible outcomes yield the best return on Synergy’s investment in us. So, Schrodinger’s cat is both alive and dead, treat it as such until time to open the box!

Spiteful Pleasure?

We’re told to feel guilt and shame for the thoughts in our head. We self-chastise for offenses we didn’t commit, merely imagined. But…really…it’s NOT the thought that counts.

Thoughts and feelings are mere shadows in the Mattersphere, somewhat perceptible but not able to take action on their own. You are your actions, not your thoughts, in the material world. Even in the Eternal world, you are not your thoughts because thoughts are data fragments floating around in our local hard drive brain, they were not supposed to take up residence! They will not follow us in the present moment or in death.

Ever taken spiteful malicious pleasure in someone else’s misfortune and then felt awful afterward? Even though you had nothing to do with their circumstances and did not bring about their pain, did you feel guilt and criticize yourself for not being a good person?

Why?

What did you DO to deserve your self-condemnation?

You had a thought.

That thought was satisfying to you. Remove judgement from it, because judgement is a construct better left to Eternity. The thought was not malicious or spiteful. It was simply a thought, and your satisfaction in it simply satisfaction. Accept both without guilt or shame.

Synergy created us to be curious and hopeful and to seek satisfaction. Feelings are supposed to be sensory responses to the social environment, not tied to our internal environment. Thoughts are meant to pre-process Datter, and then disappear, not get stuck in loops of thought – feeling – thought – feeling.

The short circuit of our self-awareness makes us judge ourselves about the sources of satisfaction and pleasure, whether a thought or an act, and then society perpetuates that judgement. Notice children have no shame or guilt? If you learn to live in the Moment and accept your thoughts as simply information triggered by the events and circumstances around you, and you let go of contempt and criticism of those thoughts, and even of past behaviours. Did you hurt someone? Let it go but don’t do it in another Moment. Did someone hurt you? Let it go but keep safe boundaries in another Moment.

When you occupy the Now, there is no wrong or right. There is acceptance, curiosity, hope, joy, growth and gratitude. No matter whether the Moment includes pain and strife or ease and comfort, acceptance and satisfaction can be found. Every one of us is trying to survive the best we can in each moment, and each moment is what it needs to be.

Pain and Suffering

Pain is part of the price of admission for living, for growing character and resilience. Suffering is voluntary and arises from resistance to the reality that people will disappoint your expectations, goals will fail to fulfill you, and you will let yourself down when you turn out not to be who you believed you were.

No expectations, only boundaries. Even for your own mind and body. Surrender your self-expectations, too, allowing instead discovery of your purpose. That is how to avoid suffering.

Physical and emotional pain only interfere with life if we allow them to. We hear stories about mind over matter and admire feats of courage where someone overcomes great discomfort in moments of crisis. Are those people different? Do they have a gift?

No, they were present in the Moment and received strength and tools to escape the situation using their own existing core emotional and physical structure. They were not distracted by doubts or fears of not being good enough or making mistakes.

Pain arises from imbalance. Physical imbalance comes from structural or chemical deviations from optimum. One person’s source of pain is not the same as another’s, a debilitating deficit for me is not a source of dysfunction for you. Addressing them requires the use of all the escape room tools and resources available in your situation. The process of healing the imbalance must start from inside yourself, from identifying what it feels like. Physical suffering sometimes comes from the uncertainty and fear of not being able to articulate the nature, quality and parameters of the pain, not necessarily the dysfunction itself.

Emotional imbalance comes from social and relationship deviations from optimum. One person’s source of emotional pain is not the same as another’s, a debilitating toxicity for me may not be a source of dysfunction for you. The process of healing the imbalance must start from inside yourself, from identifying what it feels like. Emotional suffering sometimes comes from the uncertainty and fear of not being able to articulate the nature, quality and parameters of the pain, not necessarily the dysfunction itself.

Each of us is individual and unique. Sometimes we suffer because we are told we should, because another person experienced pain in a similar situation. Pain is subjective, it is in the mind, and can be used for growth.

All pain has purpose. No suffering does. Giving meaning and reason to pain alleviates suffering. Spending a Moment to investigate the pain with curiosity and acceptance will reveal to you the purpose. Embrace the pain, because at the moment it is your reality and all that is, is as it must be.

And, if you have been suffering…forgive yourself. That moment is over and a new one just beginning.

Hopeful Assumptions

We are constantly forced to make assumptions. We are in frequent interactions with others but don’t always receive all the information we need to understand their behaviour by which to choose an appropriate and effective response.

Every single one of us makes judgements, has a running commentary in the back of our minds, forming opinions about those influencing our lives at the moment. This is completely natural and necessary as a safety mechanism to prep us to respond to the moment. To cue us for action based on the circumstances since obviously our behaviour amongst hostile individuals will be drastically different than when surrounded by unknowns or by family.

And there’s where problems can arise.

No expectations, only boundaries. Don’t trust anyone so accept that they have the potential to hurt you. But hope for the best and love them anyway.

We assume familiar people are safe, unfamiliar people may not be, and hostile people are dangerous.

When it comes to emotional wounds, those closest to us have the greatest power to hurt us and our assumption of safety puts both sides in a position of expected behaviour which can set them up for failure. Especially if there is emotional dysfunction present making even common courtesy fly out the window in moments of distress.

No adult is responsible for another adult’s well being; as much as we’d all like to assume others will not intentionally hurt us we must accept that they will, given the right set of circumstances. Even the best of us has a breaking point. And no matter how well you think you know someone, no matter how close you think you are to them, you will likely never see how close they are to shattering.

We must have no expectations that anyone will be able to protect us from their sharp edges and broken pieces. But to be a part of society or an organization or a family, we must love them anyway and make ourselves safely vulnerable to them with our boundaries in place. Our trust in them gives them hope that they are trustworthy, a priceless gift which Synergy gives to us every day. Our boundaries give us hope and responsibility for our own safety.

Trust means having no expectations, only boundaries. A boundary is an escape plan if things go wrong. It is not an expectation of behaviour, it is a planned, intentional response to misbehaviour. ‘If she yells at me one more time, I am walking out the door.’ A boundary does not need to be announced, approved, or accepted by others, but advising the perpetrator of their violation and the consequence can be a part of a boundary before acting on the escape plan.

Forwarning is not recommended for emotional abusers because boundaries feel like control to them – boundaries are not control of an abuser, they are control of the victim and since abuse is frequently about control, to assert a boundary shifts control from abuser to abused thus does truly represent a loss of control, control they never should have taken. To notify them they are losing control can trigger worse behaviour.

Assume the worst in any situation, prepare your mind for the worst, accept that the worst might happen, and figure out exactly how trusting this person might harm you. No risk? Great. High risk? Then what are you willing to gamble? Every action you take, if purposeful and deliberate, will have minimal risk with maximum satisfaction, if you surrender to the reality that you alone – with Synergy’s support and guidance – are obligated to take care of yourself. You cannot trust anyone to have your back, but you can hope they do. Cover your back as much as you can, before you give them the gift of exposing it to them. Vulnerability is a treasure that, when shared, increases immeasurably.

Hopeful assumptions mean you respond to the best scenario by allowing situations to play out naturally, only acting if you must. Love them anyway, unless they actually DO trigger the boundary but since you prepared yourself for that you were not surprised.

And if the outcome IS the best, then you get to be pleasantly surprised that your trust and hope were rewarded. Either way, the outcome was meant to be.

Offense verses Defence

Surrender does not necessitate victimhood. Acceptance does not require acquiescence if the moment includes opportunity and tools for defending boundaries.

Again the distinction between expectations and boundaries is crucial. An expectation puts action in the hands of others and is a matter of offensive momentum, creating situations rather than responding to them. To expect someone to meet your expectations is to demand compliance from them and gives them power over your interactions.

A boundary puts action in your hands and is defensive momentum, responding to situations rather than creating them. To expect someone to respect your boundaries is to reward compliance with your ongoing involvement with them, and gives you power over the interaction.

The best offense is a good defence. The high ground is least vulnerable to attack. Every situation has a degree of vulnerability because no two people are completely the same. Most elements on the Periodic table are reactive in the presence of other atoms, even their own kind, with the exception of the Noble Gases which react reluctantly under exceptional conditions. The moment we leave the safety of our own company, when we may need to assert boundaries and respond to the actions of others, we become volatile and reactive unless we exert Noble control.

Reflecting on your boundaries, understanding your limits and your chosen consequences of non-compliance by others, puts you in a defensive position. Awareness of the tools available in the escape room at the moment will guide your defence. Synergy has your back if you trust her. But as soon as you SEEK retribution, as soon as you procure tools rather than accept the ones Synergy offers you when the time is right, you move from a defensive position to an offensive one.

Offense generates resistance. Defence slides through resistance to the core of the purpose Synergy has given the situation. Whether in court proceedings, romance, business, sports, or everyday life, timing is everything and a defensive, open, and curious position at the key moment defines many a rousing win.