Affirming Peace. The only way to bring peace to this world

Have you ever wondered what would happen if war was declared and no one showed up?

There is much discussion around the world about creating lasting peace… and yet there is more fighting going on globally than any other time in our history. Why?

I believe that it is because of our belief that we have to fight to have peace!

Fighting for Peace!

Sounds like an oxymoron in my books!

The question I put forth is this:

Why do we need to fight for something we already have?

Peace is not something we need to go get or go find. We certainly do not need to take it from someone else. It is not a tangible asset we can own.

Peace is only ever a state of mind. We are created with the capacity to live in peace by the very structure of our being.

We are living in the most important era of man’s history on this planet. We are in the transitionary time that the Christian Bible calls Armageddon while the Mayan’s celebrate this time with the completion of the turning of the wheel of the Mayan Calendar and the Astrologists call it the Coming of the Age of Aquarius.

No matter what your beliefs are, I am sure you will agree that we are in a time filled with much turmoil.

Massive turmoil is a sign of dramatic change.

Our inner spirit is telling us that things need to change… and are changing whether we like it or not. We feel  restless, angry, scared. We don’t know what to do.

We feel nervous so we lash out to protect ourselves at the expense of what we most want for ourselves and for all others… Peace.

Fighting for Peace does not work. Fighting is counterproductive no matter the cause.

Many people say we need to stand up for peace. This is much better but it is not enough!

Just verbalizing a desire for peace is like asking for a drink of water without taking the action of drinking it. Without action, all we have is rhetoric.

So how can we have peace?  How can we have long term peace for ourselves and  the whole world? How can we stop the fighting?

By taking ownership of peace for ourselves.

By Affirming our own commitment to peace.

We are born peaceful. It is in our nature. It is also in our nature to grow and expand and become more aware of our world. Unfortunately, we have chosen to grow and expand as individuals at the expense of others rather than as individuals within a community.

We have learned in this process that peace is created through controlling external forces.

The truth is that true lasting peace begins from within the individual. The external world is, and only is ever, a reflection of our own inner world!

We all have battles going on inside ourselves as we struggle to master this life we live. We continue to seek peace through material gain, through going to church, through “living right” but it is not working.

These paths are not incorrect, they are just insufficient. In order to truly attain peace, we must own peace. It must be a complete inner conviction that forms the true basis of our life.

We must choose to know and accept ourselves as the experience that we are…  both for the acceptable and the unacceptable.

We must learn what it feels like to be affirmed in the energy and notion of peace letting it form the true basis of how we process the experiences we find in our lives.

We must learn to recognize the experiences that serve us well as the amazing human beings we are while we learn to recognize, accept and recreate the experiences that cause us to feel separated from the peace that is us.

It is only through the process of truly affirming and embracing peace within ourselves that peace can begin to manifest in the world around us.

What would you rather do if you were called to fight for peace? Wouldn’t it be better if we just forgot about fighting altogether?

Let’s create the new world that is upon us by each individually choosing to affirm peace in our own lives!

War cannot exist where true peace is the basis of our life expression.

Loving Boundaries Are The Best Gifts A Parent Can Give A Child

How many times have you been in a public place that you have witnessed a child screaming its head off for no apparent reason?

How many of those times that you witnessed the child screaming did you also witness the parent or caregiver screaming as well?

I think it is sad to realize that this situation happens far too often and that it is (in most situations) completely preventable.

The two questions that come to mind for me in regard to this situation are:

  • Why is the child really screaming?
  • Why is the parent really screaming?

I think the answers to both questions are intertwined. The caregiver likely cannot get past their own fears of lack of control while lacking good parenting skills that would help this person to understand the child’s situation and reframe it making it more positive and healthy for both of them.

I feel it is a major problem in our society today that adults often do not understand the value (or often the existence) of creating and implementing proper structure and boundaries in the lives of their children. The result being children that do not feel properly loved (and thus safe) or taken care of often develop low self-esteem and poor life skills.

Children need boundaries. It is part of the “safety net” they must have in order to function and develop well as they learn about their world. Can you imagine how scary it is for a child to not know the boundaries that are necessary to keep them safe?

Children naturally seek boundaries in their lives. Children who have parents who understand this concept who steadily provide healthy boundaries grow up to be mentally healthy adults. Parents who are mentally healthy will raise mentally healthy children.

When children are raised in an atmosphere of any of the following:

  • Boundaries that are not clearly maintained or are substantiated by threats
  • No clear boundaries at all
  • Boundaries that are excessive
  • Boundaries that are maintained through physical violence or emotional deprivation

Will produce children and later adults that have not been able to develop a clear understanding of how the world functions in a healthy way. The result is anything from adults who function at a basic survival level to violent criminals who believe there are no repercussions for their choices.

Many of the ills of today’s society can be attributed to this philosophy of letting children figure out life for themselves without parental influence. After all, “What do we know about parenting?”

Due to the low levels of effective boundary development afflicting our society we now have a generation or more of people who believe that

  • the established rules for safe driving are just the starting point for getting from point A to point B.
  • it is completely acceptable to ignore the rights and feelings of other people in order to get what they want just because they want it.

The time for teaching boundaries has to be in the early formative years of the child (prior to age 7 including during pregnancy) as this is the time that most of the basic or core beliefs are created that shape the perspective of the adult in later years.

I love watching young parents who understand the importance and value of this concept. One couple in particular that I know have learned how to effectively deal with their child when the child inappropriately starts making a big fuss in a public place.

These parents automatically know that they are responsible to keep their heads on and work the situation through into a safe and healthy outcome for all in a reasonably quick time frame.

The key step is to encourage the child to express their concern in words. “Use your words” they say calmly. “I do not understand what you are trying to say unless you use your words”. Then they patiently wait. Soon the child understands that he or she is being heard and will eventually proceed to verbalize what they were trying to say through screaming. When they discover that screaming does not get them the desired attention, they will cease to use it as a tool for communication. So much better for all of us!

It is all a matter of training. The parents need to understand that the child does not have the understanding or the skill to know what is appropriate and what is not. The child only understands that they are not having their “needs” satisfied and are attempting to communicate as such. It is through the repetitive training provided by the adults that the child learns how to communicate. It is up to the adults to determine whether it is through screaming or words. After all training is training.

It is also absolutely critical that when adults take on the role as parent or caregiver that they understand the importance of creating and maintaining loving boundaries suitable to the age and maturity of the child.

Parents must be diligent at not vacillating on the boundaries enforcing them lovingly and in a supportive manner at all times. The fastest way to lose the child’s respect is to place a boundary on their actions and then not uphold it. Boundaries need to be thought out and reasonable. They need to be enforced through love not by fear.

Boundaries can be adjusted as the child matures but they still need to be enforced. Too often in our society today, teenagers are allowed to believe that they have the same rights as adults and therefore are not subject to boundaries being placed on them by their parents.

The result is often children who feel angry and lost who go out of their way to find those invisible boundaries by driving too fast, being ignorant and self-focussed towards other people and generally believing that they are “entitled” to whatever they choose or believe is rightfully theirs.

Big or little, we all need to have structure and boundaries in our lives. Even animals have rules in their societies. We all know that from watching animal shows on TV and by experiencing nature first hand.

What is to become of our society if we continue this program of anarchy that we are teaching to our children?

In order for our society and its members to grow as individuals, we all need to have and maintain healthy appropriate boundaries. Without appropriate boundaries for each individual member of society, we will see our lifestyle continue to sink to lower and lower levels of depravity.

The rising costs of our social support networks along with the rising costs of crime can be reduced significantly through conscious parenting and effective healthy appropriate boundaries.

It is never too late to start instilling healthy rules for living. It requires constancy and gentle persuasion but it can be done if all parties involved are willing.

 

Racism is a Learned Concept

Racism is a Learned Concept

Living in the Lower Mainland of British Columbia Canada we are given the opportunity to experience many, many different mix of adultscultures than our own.

Life has changed dramatically since the days of my childhood back in the 1960s when 99% of the people in my life were Western European Caucasians who spoke English, although possibly with a bit of some European accent.

With the evolution of the world’s societies and major events such as the return of Hong Kong to China, the face of our society has dramatically changed. Along with the influx of Oriental Asians, we have also experienced a major influx of people from South Asia including large masses of people from India and Viet Nam to mention a couple.

As a person who grew up in a predominantly “White” society, it was a bit unnerving to see my hometown take on a very unfamiliar face. In fact, it became very scary although for no apparent reason. Sometimes change is a scary thing!

The change was so rapid that there was no opportunity to make an easy adjustment. It used to be that everyone looked the same but now, it is not uncommon for a “white” person to be in the minority in any situation where many people are gathered.

I recognized the fear I felt brought on by the change of demographics. I am sure that many of my fellow “Canadians” felt the same way.

Fortunately, we tend to be a pretty accepting group of people! We embrace change, albeit reluctantly. It actually became an amazing adventure watching the attributes of many cultures proliferate our local landscape. New stores, restaurants and churches appeared everywhere while many languages filled our ears.

Being a real people person I found a great deal of excitement and enjoyment in chatting with our new friends. It was great to learn about many of the countries and their peoples around the world, all without even leaving home!

Now that we are over twenty years into the process of reinventing our society, it is exciting to see how many of the cultures are intermarrying creating a much more inclusive brand of people.

Watching kids living their lives and experiencing the similarities and differences in the lives of their schoolmates, one of the most obvious occurrences is seen everywhere—

Kids just play with kids! It does not even enter their minds that the children they are playing with look different. They are just enjoying each other as fellow human beings!young boys

So what does this tell us?

Back in the day, over the history of the world, so much of the violence that man has perpetrated on other men has been based and justified on the belief that only their particular species of humanity was acceptable. Others needed to be feared and destroyed!

We have seen so many, many events in our histories empowered by the fear of accepting and rejoicing in the differences between people and societies. Even in today’s world, we are still experiencing the lack of acceptance of others who “are different” in some way.

And yet —

Inclusion is all around us!

So how do we bring racism to a complete and total conclusion? Can we remove words like “racism” and “prejudice” from our dictionaries?

The first and biggest step that will begin this one factor—

Racism is a learned habit!

We learned to be afraid of other “different” people from the society we grew up in. We learned that some people were “bad” just because they looked different or believed different ideologies.

We “knew” people were different because we saw the authorities who managed our societies perpetuate racist beliefs, we watched prejudice as a basis for television programs, we watched ‘war” movies annihilate people because they were “bad guys”.

The sad thing is that this problem is still raging in our society today. Most of the major films released for our “enjoyment” base their stories on “good guy-bad guy” and the fear of others in order to earn multi-millions of dollars and to shape the mindset of society.

Our governments pass legislation that promotes racism in the guise of creating equality! Laws are being regularly passed and enforced that give one sect of society special privileges supposedly in order to make life “more equitable”.

The truth is that every time one sect of society is given “a special position” in society, it also manifests as a prejudice against everyone who does not benefit.

Here’s a novel thought! How about if we pass and enforce laws that make all people equal! How about if we give everyone special privileges!

If we truly want to end racism, it is up to each of us as individuals to recognize our own racist actions and reframe them to be inclusive. It is also up to each of us to tell the governments and other social influencers such as movie makers, game creators, etc to promote inclusion not fear.

It requires recognizing that every one of us, no matter who we are, has learned to be racist in some way by recognizing and promoting differences!

It does not matter what race we were born into, or what church we do or do not attend, or what our sexual preferences are, we have beliefs that promote separation and therefore racism.

Every time, we demand recognition and special favours that are based on our “special” differences, we promote racism.

If every individual could just recognize that their demands for recognition of being different are based on a personal fear, rather than love, we could truly begin to heal as individuals and as a society.

The second step is to teach our children to be inclusive of themselves and any others. This step requires consciously teaching children to love themselves as they are and to enjoy and embrace the people they encounter in their lives as loving individuals without emphasizing any differences.young kids

Kids are fortunate in their ability to see other individuals clearly as the individuals they are without seeing the differences. We need to encourage this ability so it stays with them for a lifetime.

Children who do not see differences cannot be prejudiced or racist if they don’t know the concept to start with!

It is up to each of us as individuals to come to terms with our own fears, especially the fears that express as separation and racism and reframe them so the fear loses its power as it evolves into the universally powerful energy of love.

When we choose to live our lives based in love and inclusion, our children will as well.

Racism can be allowed to die a natural death as the energy of the thoughts change from separation to inclusion.

It is up to every one of us no matter what our “difference” is to recognize and choose to embrace inclusion.

Are you willing?

Speak to children at their level

Speak to children at their level

The other day I was relaxing at the local pool when I witnessed a really special event that unfolded in front of me.

A young man was sitting in the hot tub with his 5 year old son. It was obvious they had a really special relationship as they chatted in the warm water.dad and boy at pool

While they chatted, the son said that he wanted to go down the water slide. A young lady who was a life guard overheard the conversation and told the boy that the slide would be open in about ten minutes.

The boy appreciated what the life guard said but had a very puzzled look on his face.

His dad, immediately understanding what was going on, turned to the boy and said to him “You know how to count to 100 right?”

The boy nodded and his dad continued. “If you count to 100 six times, the slide will be open.”

Immediately the boy’s face lit up. He now understood how long it would be until the slide opened. The conversation continued until the required time passed and the dad took the boy over to the slide.

It was a very simple situation that went well. However, if the dad was not so well versed in understanding how to communicate with his son; it could have gone very wrong.

This situation is a perfect example of a major challenge parents face in raising children that I feel many do not recognize or know how to deal with.

Language is a learned process. Children learn to speak the native tongue of their parents by listening and interacting with them. If this was not true, children would create their own language!parent and child talking1

Learning a language and comprehending the concept of what has been said is a gradual process that unfolds over many years. Therefore, when parents speak to their children, it is essential that they understand the level of comprehension their children are at in their development.

One of the big problems that occurs when parents don’t understand this very important aspect of parenting, communication between parent and child can become ineffective even to the point of creating trauma and hostility between the parties. A definite lose-lose situation!

An example I witnessed a while ago went down like this:

A woman was walking down a very steep street near where I lived at the time. She was pushing a stroller with one child while a young boy walked at her side.

All of a sudden, the boy began running ahead of his mom. The street was not busy but, being a big city, the situation could easily change. The mom realized this and started yelling at the boy “Stop”. Stop”. She kept yelling but the boy kept going.

The boy finally stopped and turned back to face his mom with a very quizzical look in his face. What his mom did not understand was that what she was speaking at too high of a level for the child.

The boy did not understand what “stop” meant.

What made the situation worse was that the mom had let her emotions get out of control. She felt afraid and projected that fear to her son. Now her son felt that he had let his mom down because he understood that the way she was speaking to him told him that he had done something wrong (but did not understand what). This did nothing for his confidence! It did nothing to enhance their relationship.

child and parent talking 3When parents speak with their children, it is absolutely essential that they need to speak to them at a level the child understands. This does not mean treating them like babies, it means recognizing what their cognitive level is so the parent can communicate appropriately.

Another aspect that is important for parents to understand and implement is that all forms of sound and body language that a child produces are forms of communication.

It is very challenging to be “thrown into” parenthood even if it is well planned out. The requirements of effective parenting are beyond the present knowledge of most people as they begin the journey of being mom and dad. However, if the parents are mature enough and capable of staying quiet and present in trying times, they will soon learn to understand the language the baby is using to communicate its needs.

Progress in building relationships with children absolutely requires the adult being able to learn to understand how communication works at the child’s level. It cannot be the other way!

The next step in developing functional and positive communication with a child comes as the child starts to form concepts and express them. When a child does not have language skills adequate to express their needs, they resort to whatever method they are capable of. This often includes screaming, crying and acting out physically.

When the parent understands that what is considered “acting out” is a form of communication, they can stop the child from acting in this manner by assisting the child in expressing themselves in a more acceptable, functional and understandable manner.

For example, a young couple I know who I consider to be masters of parenting were very good at this concept. When their daughter would start acting out by screaming or crying, they would squat down to her level and very quietly but assertively tell her “It is important to me to understand you so please use your words.” Then they would wait quietly for her to stop. This would take a minute or so, and then she would tell them in English what she wanted.child and parent talking 2

By being consistent with this training, the child eventually recognized that “acting out” was not an effective way of communicating. She then would automatically “Use her words”.

The most important aspect I would like to leave you with about communicating with your children is this—

You are in charge of how your child will communicate. You can let them learn how to communicate on their own so you can both struggle or you can start right from the start when they are born and consistently work at helping them to communicate in a manner that builds confidence and love.

It is your choice.

 

 

Having a Shouldy Day

Having a Shouldy Day

Part of Walking the Camino experience is having chats with other peregrinos as we trek along the 500 mile route to Santiago in northern Spain. One of the great phrases that came to me from one of my many companions burst into life when she asked me if I was having a “shouldy day”.

The intention, of course, is for it to be said in its more familiar form which I will not include.

As one walks the Camino, the days become quite simple. The routine is: left foot, right foot, left foot right foot and so forth. Any other configuration puts you back into the normal life of walking in circles.

Stress becomes a distant memory. The pre-occupation with supporting the many, many “shoulds” that have infested our lives to the point that they have become our reason for living has faded into black. In fact, all of life fades away, even the day of the week, the date, the last village and even which part of the movie “The Way” we are currently acting out!

Life has become so simple. It has only 2 rules. Left foot right foot over and over and follow the yellow arrows or you will get lost.

Sometimes, however, especially as you cross through the Meseta, the flat middle part of the walk, the “shoulds” rear their ugly heads. “Aha” they think. There is nothing else for you to think about, so here we are. Think about this! They say!

Through the quiet, they roar back into life. For a moment, you are back home living in the exquisite joy of having “shouldy days”. The heart races, the mind gets filled up, the breath gets tight and shallow.

But you are a veteran of the Camino by this time. You watch the “shoulds” come up just like watching your favourite episode of “The Trailer Park Boys”. You continue walking watching your feet to make sure you are in fact doing it right. Left foot, right foot. Eventually the episode ends, you smile and take another step.

The “shoulds” no longer have a hold on you. They are just another illusion that has bit the dust.

By the end of the Meseta, three quarters of the way through Walking the Camino, you cannot even remember what the word “should” means. You just remember: left foot, right foot and life is bliss.

How will life be when we return to the world where we are constantly reminded that our list of “shoulds” is there to be completed asap?

I think the challenge will be for the “shoulds” not for us, for we have learned how to live life without them.

A “shouldy” day will be a momentary adjustment as we quickly remember that the rules of life belong in this moment, not based on dredged and putrified memories erupting from a dysfunctional and very dead past.

Buen Camino

 

Rekindling The Light In Your Life

Sometimes life really sucks! The daily routine of going to work, raising the family and all its inherent issues, driving in the worst traffic in the world and so on. You know what I mean!

Living life on a day to day basis can become very tiring. How many times do we hear people say, ”I need a vacation!”

And they do need one. We all need a vacation!

So off we go to our favourite beach or golf resort or what have you for two glorious weeks of absolute pleasure…. Only to return to the same old world we tried to escape from.

For a few weeks everything is rosy again. We can deal with the traffic, the sick kids, the bills….

In reality, nothing has changed. Nothing has changed because we did not change.

The world we live in is an illusion!

The world we live in is an illusion expressed through what we believe about life. As we become older, we become more entrenched in the process of living in our illusion. Our beliefs become so real that we actually believe them. We believe in them to the point where we lose our connection to the beauty and possibilities of life.

We may not even be aware that this has happened. Life moves so quickly that we take no notice of the fact that we have not shared time with our best friend for a long time or shared a special evening with our special partner or laughed with our children or gone for a walk in nature. All we remember is the drudgery of our jobs, the awful traffic, the illness we currently are wrestling with.

Life has become a stale boring place.

Is it time for another vacation?

Yes, but this time it needs to be a real vacation! It needs to be a vacation that forces you to step out of your old life. It needs to be a vacation that is long enough and different enough that the beliefs that “run” your day to day life cannot go with you.

A month of golf won’t do it. Six months on a beach won’t do it.

It has to be a vacation that forces your beliefs to be tried over and over again. It has to be a vacation where your reserves on all levels are pushed to the breaking point. It has to be a place where you expose yourself to other human beings sharing the same experience.

Until we place ourselves in a difficult situation with other like-minded souls for a long period of time, we can never truly drop the facades that define the life we called our own. It requires allowing ourselves to meet new people on an ongoing basis, kindling new friendships with people who come from outside our bubble. It requires allowing ourselves to be reliant on others for support in every way,,,, from a kindly smile to a band aid, to emergency help.

When we become integrated into such a process, we eventually begin to see that life is not about politics or having the best home in the neighbourhood. It is not about being a member of the right church or having the best children or the best car.

As we get older, we become jaded about life. The frustrations and failures of life often become the ruling energy. We lose the belief about life as it was really intended to be.

And this is why God created the Camino!

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By walking the Camino (Road or Way in Spanish) we take the opportunity to step out of our life as it has been. The only familiar aspect of the old life you have left is yourself.

One foot in front of the other… again and again…. Mile after mile walking in some of the most beautiful scenery the world has available. Walking mile after mile…. With the most beautiful person you know…. Yourself.

Eventually, the world of the past dissolves away. The focus is left foot, right foot, left foot right foot. Nothing else is important.

Before long, your life becomes the Camino. The people, the sights, the towns, the local people, the food, sleep or lack of, the open spaces with no traffic.

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As you really let go and get into the rhythm of your days, miracles begin to happen. You notice a pretty flower, a tasty bunch of grapes placed on a bench by a local for you to enjoy, a perfect stranger comes to your rescue or even better, you get to help someone else out. You get to enjoy the beauty of new friends from other lands who may not even speak your language.

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Soon you begin to find that the old jaded self has eroded and dissolved into its own illusion. You begin to feel the light of the spirit that always was within you waiting to reappear. The joy of being alive and sharing with others.

Life is now unfolding as a shining star that sees the good in young and old alike. The important aspects of life express themselves as beautiful music. Even the discordant sounds of the old way become more beautiful as the old curtains of illusion become tattered and disappear into the truth that we are all connected and we are all a part of this great universe where the light within each of us shines as brightly as it ever could… only now we can see it!

Buen Camino!

 

Loving My Scared Little Self

Loving My Scared Little Self

If you are ever looking for an opportunity to meet your little self in his most timid form, try travelling in a foreign country… especially one that runs on a completely different language from your native tongue!

One really needs to have and maintain a good grounding in themselves to survive and even enjoy the wonders that are offered in these very different lands where you have to create your own support group on the fly.

Having had the privilege of travelling to many countries over my life time I knew what I was getting myself into when I decided to do this trip to Spain. However, this is the first time I have had to completely rely on my own wits and to trust that things will work out.

So far things are going well. Not perfect but well. Allowing myself to be rescued through the kindness of the local people around Andorra was the first big trial. Barely getting past that one, I found myself in the train station at Toulouse completely unable to figure out which train to take to Lourdes.

You see, my little brain thinks that there should be information booths everywhere with people who at least have a modicum of English to help a guy out. However, this is obviously not the perception in Toulouse. My little brain does not respond well in such situations!

My train had run late getting to the station and I knew I only had a brief time to transfer. I ran off the first train and up into the main foyer to look at the scheduling board. Oh Darn! I said (Or something like that). None of the schedules said anything about a train to Lourdes.

Oh. And not one of the 1000 people surrounding me spoke English! I ran around frantically trying to find anyone who could help. Finally after about 10 minutes I saw a janitor. In my very best French I attempted to secure some help. Once he got the drift (probably thought I was an escaped lunatic!) he realized I would get my problem solved if I dropped my best French and returned to speaking English. He immediately motioned for me to follow him for a minute until he found a beautiful African lady who spoke my language.

Whew! I sure seem to be getting rescued by a lot of wonderful ladies on this adventure! (Payback time for all those damsels I rescued in my past, I hope!) Once she understood my problem she walked me to the information booth in the next foyer and acted as translator. Problems solved! I was off to Lourdes.

Having recognized the importance of the little child inside me, I really try to give him voice. It is this child that responds so wonderfully when I walk in the forest or visit a beautiful cathedral and look in awe at the amazing architecture. I do hear him as well when he is scared.

I hear the constant rhetoric in my mind questioning my sanity and my choices as I march along into the unknown. From my perspective, it sounds like every day noise so I just let it go on without becoming engaged.

I do try to listen to my little child’s thoughts though. Sometimes a feeling or a word about a situation or a person nearby from him provides information that makes the day either by warning me of danger or yelling to me about an old lost friend found anew. (Hello John from Leicester!)

Sometimes the voice is just old programs playing out that have no real value in my present world. I really have to work at not letting them have any effect on my immediate situation. (I think I need a sign in my brain that flags these guys as “Old News”.)

When my little child becomes fearful, he becomes hard to manage. Eventually, I have to stop and get myself calmed down by deep breathing and consciously telling myself to get grounded. Using Qi Gong grounding techniques is a real plus in the worst situations.

Once I get back to calm I then ask him what he is trying to tell me. Usually it is not hard to figure out his concerns so I listen to him like a caring parent to their child and figure out how to get him settled down and take the appropriate action.

I think it is important to let my inner child have his voice even when he gets all panicky. He has a big role in the fullness of my life and needs that support and recognition. He adds much colour to my life and keeps me connected to the “joie de vivre” that is so important to living completely.

 Just like a child on the conscious plane he exists, he has needs and has the ability to communicate his needs. I try to remember my little child inside myself and not become a tyrant who suppresses his place in my life when I would rather not give him his due.

I truly hope everyone takes the time to recognize, value and support their inner child especially when things are a little tough.

Conscious Mind Management

 

Trusting that things will work out.

Trusting that things will work out.

One of the great challenges human beings have is trusting that there is a force much bigger than we are that can take care of things if we let it.

I know this is very true for me. I find myself worrying regularly about things that would be better if I had used my mind for other things. In fact, the very fact that I was worrying about the event I was embroiled in likely was inhibiting the universe from working the situation out to its best outcome.

Fear is not always our best friend!

Case in point, I am currently travelling in Southern France as I prepare to walk the Santiago del Camino in Spain. After landing in Marseille France I soon discovered that the directions I had been given to get to the hostel at Chateau Bois-Luzy were not as accurate as I would have liked.

Not being a terribly shy person, I regularly asked people I passed if I was going in the right direction. As they affirmed I continued on.

I knew I was getting close but I still did not know exactly what my destination looked like or where it was. As had become my habit, I walked up to a man driving a service truck and asked him for directions. When I said the name of the hostel, he looked very surprised. He immediately indicated that I should get into his truck and he would take me there.

I knew very quickly why his concern. The road up was quite steep and required many zigzags and roundabouts until we finally reached our destination.

Upon reaching the gate, he immediately went over to the access buzzer and called. This was great because my French is pretty iffy at best. No one answered. Then he realized by the little sign above the buzzer that no one would be at the hostel to receive me for four more hours.

Without thinking twice, he asked me if I wanted to go back down the hill to find a restaurant to pass the time. Ten minutes later I was munching on a ham baguette with the three bottles of water he had given me.

This same process happened seven times in the next five days as I travelled through France and into Andorra.

In Andorra, I lost my balance and got all upset about when I discovered that there was a big issue about the transportation to take me back to the train station the next day. In fact, it took me several hours and as many conversations to discover that the only bus in that direction would arrive at the required train station four hours after the train had left. What was I to do?

I let myself get into a panic. I know when I get anxious my temper flares and I can get quite vocal. The more I tried to solve my conundrum, the more upset I got. I felt angry that I could not get the information I wanted in order to solve the problem. The more persistent I was, the more my frustration flared.

Finally, I realized I only had two options: take the bus from Andorra to Barcelona Spain which would put me completely in the wrong direction and many hours behind my desired schedule or trust that I would be looked after and hitch hike to the train or even to Toulouse.

I consciously brought myself down to a healthy level of emotion by deep breathing and focusing on finding peace in myself until the world felt okay again. I chose to trust.

The next morning I was off to discover how my life was about to work out. In deciding to trust, I had even booked my hotel room in Lourdes for that night.

It took me almost three hours to walk down from the hostel and to get to the highway north toward Toulouse. I really had to work on keeping myself connected rather than letting myself slip into victim mode when I had to wait a little bit for a ride.

Three wonderful rides and two hours later I found myself in the village of Ax-des-Thermes, about eighty miles down the road. My trusting that things would work out had paid off and I was now sitting having lunch in this cute little town waiting for my train. I would be in Lourdes tonight!

The great thing about it all was that only one of the people who picked me up spoke any English. Another of my trust issues was eroding through these situations too: my high school French I had learned forty years ago was paying off. I could speak this very foreign language well enough to get by!

The most important lesson from this trip was the recognition of learning to keep myself in a space where I could ask for, realize and accept help from the Universe through my fellow humans. Who knows where I would have ended up without the intervention and support of these kind souls.

In reverence, I give thanks to my God and to the kind human beings who showed me what humans are really made of. I will have to remind myself of this truth every time I complain about other humans that choose to express their lives differently that the way I would!

There really is a force much bigger than we are. Sometimes we need to just get our egos out of the way so the force can act to our benefit. This is true whether you believe in a God of any kind or not. The Laws of the Universe work no matter what we believe… if we let them.

Having a Purpose in Your Life

Having a Purpose in Your Life

 

For the past two years I have been preparing myself to do the “Long Walk”, that is the Pilgrimage to Compostela del Santiago in Spain, a 500 mile solo journey by foot.

Even though I have not even left to do the walk yet, I recognize how important it has been for me to have this purpose in my life.

Like it is for everyone at various times in their lives, my personal life has been extremely challenging for the past several years. What I have realized through the process of deciding and preparing to do my journey is that people need to have a focus in their lives that means something to them in order to both have some quality in their lives and to have a tool to pull them forward out of the muck and mire of their own minds.

Without something to live for and look forward to, it is really easy for the mind to fall into default mode. This space is usually not the best place for out mental health. The longer we live without choosing a purpose to direct our lives to, the deeper we will find ourselves getting caught up in the darkness.

It does not matter what you choose to direct your mind to, whether it is to change your life situation by changing your living circumstances, changing jobs or taking up a new hobby, finding and immersing yourself into a purpose that means something to you will help you to create a happier more fulfilling life.

A word of caution though, make sure that what you choose to do is attainable for you. The first step after choosing what you are going to do is to create a plan that will easily allow and support your achieving a successful outcome. Then enjoy the ride!

 

Buen Camino!

Monty

Give Peace A Chance

Give Peace A Chance

Recently we celebrated the anniversary of the passing of one of the great leaders of human evolution. This person was John Lennon.

John Lennon was a visionary who believed that the human species could survive and even evolve in spite of itself.

He unveiled the concept of peace to the masses through is song Give Peace A Chance.

Since that time we have managed to kill hundreds of thousands of fellow human beings over the planet. Obviously, we are not getting it!

My perception of the situation is that most of us do not have a good understanding of what it means to give peace a chance. I sincerely hope that John agrees with my stance.

Some of us feel that we have to give up any drive we have, that we need to just go and sit somewhere quietly and contemplate our navels in order to have peace. But how would that further our desire for peace? Is inactivity the same as having peace?

Others believe that we need to go to war to fight for peace as it if was something externally attainable, that we had to go get it somewhere.

And then of course, there are the politicians. They think it can be legislated. We will just pass a law telling the masses that we will punish them if they make any noise or act out. We will just pass a rule ordering us to have peace.

So if peace is not these things, how is peace attained?

First of all, let’s determine what peace is first.

Peace, to me is a state of mind and a state of being that is a natural state found only by going within oneself. It is a profound state of connection with oneself. So how does that differ from the first example of going off somewhere and sitting quietly, maybe in a cave on a mountain top?

True peace is not found by escaping from the life one is living! It is found by living in full connection with one’s own life. It is found by consciously living in the moment.

By being fully aware and conscious of how and why one lives, the connection between the passive mental aspect of self and the active physical aspect is strengthened thereby reducing stress. It could be compared to swimming in a river. A person in peace would be a person happily swimming down the river with the current as opposed to the agitated person would the one who wished he was swimming downstream while he is actively struggling to swim up the river.

I believe that peace can only truly be found by coming to know yourself, by finding the direction of your stream. By recognizing and building on the qualities you like about yourself and recognizing and accepting your challenges you, you can attain a deeper level of peace within yourself. We all have good and not so good parts of our personalities. The importance point to remember is that our personalities are always changeable. All we have to do is be willing and pro-active to make changes it may require.

Do you want to have more peace in the world?

The first and only real step you can take to make our world a better, more peaceful place is by choosing to create more peace in your own life!

How can there be any peace in our world if we continually fight with ourselves?

After all, since everything that exists is composed of energy and the mass of energy reflects the energy that is projected into our world; as long as we keep fighting with ourselves we are furthering the cause of unrest by projecting disruptive energy from our beings into the universal consciousness.

Can there be peace in our world?

I reframe this question to ask: “Do you want there to be peace in your world”?

We live in a world of change, of chaos and of opportunity. The perception we hold of our world is based on our belief systems. If we believe in our minds that the world is evil and dangerous, filled with violence and that we are helpless to change the course of events, there can be no peace.

However, if we recognize that we can manifest peace from within ourselves by anchoring our inner and outer selves together so we can live in safety and communion with self, then we form the basis for creating a world of peace.

Are you willing to accept John Lennon’s request to Give Peace A Chance?

Can you accept that life is manageable through making choices, and that sometimes life does not go quite the way you wanted it to even though you made what you feel was your best choice? If you can, then you can give peace a chance!

Can you accept that there is no need for blame in your life and that your personal safety is not on the line? If you can, then you can give peace a chance!

Can you accept that personal responsibility is not the same as taking blame for something you may have chosen to do? If you can, then you can give peace a chance!

Can you accept that you have to share this planet with other people and that they have needs too? If you can, then you can give peace a chance!

Can you accept that you do not have to be “in control” of others in order to be safe? If you can, then you can give peace a chance!

Life is a chaotic event. However, it can be made less chaotic by making conscious choice. Conscious choice in alignment with acceptance of personal responsibility breeds peace.

We do not have to go to war for peace nor do we have to sit idly in search of peace and we most certainly do not need our politicians to legislate it.

All we have to do is accept peace into our hearts and our minds then get on with our lives, striving to live consciously and in purpose.

I have written a couple of valuable books that can help you to gain some useful tools for understanding yourself, the first step in giving peace a chance.

On my website you can try out a sampling of my visualizations for mind management contained in my book Stamp Out Stress. If you join my RSS feed, you can receive a copy of “Love Is Not Our First Priority”, the first chapter of my book Embracing The Blend absolutely free!

I truly support the cause that John Lennon promoted with his song Give Peace A Chance. After all, peace and love are the basis of all that is good.