Tuesday, February 27, 2018

No Mistakes

Have you ever made what you thought was a bad decision? If you think so, then you've probably experienced the frustration of things not working out the way you had hoped they would. However, I would like for you to ponder this: What if there is no such thing as a bad decision? What if there are only decisions? What if it’s impossible to make a mistake in this life? What would happen to this frustration if you dropped the belief that mistakes are possible? Is the idea that things could or should be different than they are actually at the root of frustration?

Each and every move we take has a different set of possible outcomes. We do our best to make the “right” move, but when we decide outcomes are “bad” then we look at what led to them as a mistake, either on our part or the part of others. We will then either seek to blame ourselves or others for unpleasant circumstances. However, from my experience, every apparent “bad” situation always has positive repercussions. It may take a little while for the benefits to be shown, but I can always find several positive outcomes that were brought about by a seemingly negative situation.

This may seem like a “rose colored glasses” approach to viewing life, but I have been in a number of seemingly hopeless situations, and I have seen how life always works out in my favor despite what may seem hopeless. Having been tested over and over again with challenging situations, I have learned to see every circumstance as an opportunity for growth. The gift of stressful situations is in the opportunity to go beyond our beliefs about what should or shouldn’t be. If we operate from the perspective that mistakes are not actually possible, then it frees us to act from a place of fearlessness and integrity, knowing that the outcome will be for our benefit, even if it seems challenging at first. It also alleviates the burden of thinking we know what’s best for us and reduces our attachment to certain outcomes.

When I find myself in a situation where something I did or said seemed to cause someone else distress, I own my role in that and try to see the situation from the other person’s perspective. It’s important to know that their distress is not ultimately caused by us but by their own beliefs on how things should be. But it’s also important not to dismiss the feelings of others, and instead look for the truth in any accusations or blame that comes our way. We gain insights into ourselves and others when we can welcome their criticisms instead of defending against them. The key is not to get caught in judging ourselves negatively because someone else blames us for their frustration. Instead, we can recognize that we did the best we could do, and we did it perfectly. A friend of mine once told me, “You can’t do it wrong, you can only do it Trey.” You could also say that the only mistake is the belief that mistakes are possible.

When we cease to believe in mistakes, challenges can be welcomed as part of what’s necessary for our personal growth, and things can be seen as unfolding in our favor. When the burden of self-doubt and the fear of doing something “wrong” is lifted, each moment is perfectly fine no matter what happens. The past and present are accepted as part of what could not have been avoided, and the present is experienced as one welcome occurrence after another. We can then realize that we are always living in a happy ending that never ends.

I invite you to see what it’s like to release the idea that you, or someone else, could make a mistake. See what happens when you stop labeling things as good and bad. Things always are as they are and nothing anyone can do will change that. Only one thing can be changed and that’s how you see things. Could it be that our happiness is a belief away?

Tuesday, January 02, 2018

Mother Nature

Dear friends and family,

I hope your 2018 is off to a good start and that you have enjoyed (and survived) the holidays :) I've been feeling a lot of gratitude recently due to the single digit temperatures we are currently experiencing. I'm so grateful for electricity and central heat. I feel so warm in my house that I just feel blessed, as well as deep compassion for those who are not as warm and comfortable. I'm also in awe of those who lived through tough winters long before the modern conveniences of home life. I can only imagine the effort it took, heating with wood in drafty log homes with no running water or electricity. I'm warm, comfortable and grateful, and I hope where ever you are you are as well :) This leads me to my latest blog post on Mother Nature. I hope you enjoy.

Happy new year!

Almost all of the things you see and touch everyday come up out of our magical Earth. In fact, I can’t think of anything that did not originate in this planet.  Humans have developed this uncanny ability to extract things from the ground and create an unimaginable array of objects. We have learned through modern technology how to take minerals from the dirt and manufacture wonderous things, even generate electricity. I find myself thinking about this sort of thing regularly and it has built up a sense of awe and appreciation for even the most mundane things. I look around and I see the miraculous existence of all things and recognize that everything is brought to us by Nature, then feel the gratitude for its gifts. This is why I would like to invite you to spend a little time and attention contemplating the sacredness of all things.

First, think about how much metal goes into making cars. How many thousands of pounds make up a car or truck? Think about how many cars there are on the highway near you on any given day. There are thousands of cars traveling down the interstate near me on a daily basis, and I live in a relatively small town (i.e. a speck of dust in a planet full of small towns and major cities). So how many cars are there in the world? If you Google that you’ll see that there are well over a billion. Now, think about how they were all made of metal that has been mined from the Earth, then melted, molded and put together in intricate ways. Not just metal, but also the fossil fuels that go into making plastic and rubber, and the minerals that go into making the glass. The natural resources that go into making a car is mind boggling, much less a billion of them.

Pick anything at random and consider where it came from and just how much was needed to make it. For example, think about how many trees it takes to build a house, or an apartment building. How much sand is needed to build a single bridge or make a house full of windows? What about the fabric in your clothes and furniture? Your dishes, your furnishings, your toiletries, your computer, your book, your phone. It all originates in this beautiful Earth and is mass produced by its brilliant inhabitants. I invite you to look around at something, anything, and recognize it as a gift from our planet, brought to you by the ingenuity of human beings just like you.

I just want to say, “Thank you, Mother Earth.” You are like the giving tree, always allowing us to enjoy your living breathing body 😊 And to my fellow planet-mates, thank you for being a crucial part of what makes society work as well as it does.

Much love,