Thursday, June 18, 2015

6/18/15—Contemplating Extinction

Looks like someone needs a new fishin' spot.
Here's a classic post for your reading pleasure...

There's a special place along the river where I like to sit and just be. Years back I had a habit of going to this particular spot a couple of times a week. It's within a heavily wooded shoreline and the trees on either side of the sittin' spot frame the river and view perfectly. It was cool to see the seasons change from that same vantage point. Spring to summer. Summer to fall. Fall to winter.

I must have started there in spring, because I enjoyed quite some time there before the littering started. Then every time I would go to this spot back in the woods, there would be soda bottles and bait cups and all manner of chip bags strewn about. The fishermen didn't even try to bag their trash. They just left it—and the bags it came in—where they used it.

So each time I visited, I brought a trash bag. And I picked their trash up. And I deposited it in the trashcans back in the parking lot. The same trashcans the litterers passed every time they came there to fish. And after a while I started thinking, "they probably think a fairy comes by and cleans up after them. So I'm really just enabling their behavior."

Gaia killed the dinosaurs for less.
I thought of making a sign and posting it on one of the trees. Instead, I just visited less often. And after a while, I grew so weary and disheartened that I just abandoned the spot altogether and found another.

After a month or two, it was spring again and I missed my spot. So I thought I'd give it a try. I loaded up with trash bags and hiked back into the woods to my special place, braced for all the trash I would find there. But there was none! Nothing!

I plunked down in my spot and took in everything. The sun sparkling on the river. The beauty of the opposite shoreline. The ducks and ducklings paddling by. And I looked up to see the fresh green leaves on the trees overhead and....there were at least three fishing lines and hooks caught up in the branches. It seems that, when the leaves started to come, the canopy prevented the fishermen from casting their lines!

At first I chuckled at Mother Nature's brilliance. Then it hit me. There I was worrying about saving the planet when we should all be worried about saving ourselves! Mother Nature was here billions of years before us. She survived methane air, the dinosaurs, geomagnetic reversal and all sorts of scary crap. And she came out of it looking pretty darned awesome and bountiful.

It's time to start calling a spade a spade. The earth isn't in any danger from our emissions and littering. We are. Instead of talking about climate change, we should be talking about species change. Because soon it will behoove her to choke us out, rather than suffer the case of the sniffles we're inflicting on her with our holes in the ozone and non-biodegradable toxin-infused trash. In 100 years, she'll have covered all evidence of us being here. In 1000 years, she will have recovered from our actions. And in 10,000 years, they'll have to use sonar and soil samples and carefully calibrated instruments to even know we ever existed. And Mother Nature? She'll have aged the equivalent of maybe two human weeks. 

This is an unfortunate reality of most urban shorelines.
Of course, we don't choose to see it this way, but what's going on here is a war. It's humans vs. Gaia. And we somehow have the arrogance to think we could possibly win when 99.9% of everything that's ever lived on this planet has lost. Who's the only one that's won? The gentle, unassuming ferns, that's who! To the earth, we're just another self-important species going extinct. Like the Cave Lion, T Rex and Quagga. What's a Quagga? Critters will be asking the same thing about humans a couple hundred years from now. 

So this week, consider what's really at stake with the choices you make each day—and beyond your relationship to the earth. Consider other things you may have a skewed perspective on. A pet owner may think nothing of letting their dog run off leash—until it gets hit by a car. A person may think nothing of smoking cigarettes—until they get lung cancer. A husband may think nothing of having a passing affair—until he loses his wife and children.

There is something ingrained in the human psyche that a) makes us think we're the most important and powerful thing on earth b) makes us seem beyond extinction as a species and c) allows us to justify and/or blind ourselves to things we KNOW are wrong or against our best interests.

As far as the things we justify are concerned, we know what those things are because they're the things we don't openly discuss with others. So start there. What wouldn't you tell your cubicle mate about your life? And how can you turn your thoughts around on that so that you clearly see what's at stake?

There are spiritual folk who believe earth is just one of many places a soul goes to learn lessons. And they say earth is the most beautiful and difficult of all those places. It would suck to cut your time short here only to end up in some brown, chalky, dimly lit desert in the next lifetime. We could all do well by sparing a moment to take inventory of what it means to be worthy of this place, this body, this opportunity and this gift we call life.

(Reposted from 2/12/12)

Sunday, June 14, 2015

6/15/15—Letting Go of Worry

So there's this one lesson that I seem to learn over and over again. Which is to say, I haven't really learned it...haha. But I am getting better and better at it. 

For many, it's one of the hardest lessons to learn—the absence of worry is far more constructive than worry.

The reason it's so hard to learn is because our default setting is worry. Dread. Planning. Controlling. Fear. Something inside us tells us that if we slack off, even just a little, everything will go to shit. 

But one of the things I've learned over the years is that a certain percentage of efforts go to shit and a far greater percentage of efforts pay off in some way. And even the efforts that go to shit pay off in some way or another. So there are really no outcomes that produce nothing of value. And, get this, all of this happens whether you worry or not. 

You can argue that worry makes sure nothing goes wrong and no deadlines are missed. And you can also argue that worry taints the outcome with the acidic bile of its own juices, by shaping it into some abnormal vision of what the universe originally meant it to be...haha. So, in essence, the drawbacks of worry cancel out the benefits and make it nothing more than a waste of energy. 

When you're trying to manifest something in your life or create change of any kind, your thoughts and your attitude are key. Let's place "magic" to the side...the way you carry yourself when you're thinking good thoughts makes you more open and attractive in the world than worry does. That alone makes a huge difference in whatever you're able to accomplish. 

But if you do believe that thoughts shape our outcomes, then worry is a poison you pour over your best intentions. And there are many other ways of believing...if you believe in chaos theory or existentialism or anything like that, then what's going to happen is going to happen anyway. If you're a Christian and you've prayed to Christ, then worry is kind of like slapping him in the face, right? It shows you don't trust in whatever answer he deems suitable to your prayers. So no matter how you slice and no matter what you believe (unless you're part of some weird tribe that worships worry) worry has no value. 

Depending on what you believe, your manifestation, fate, Christ, intention or just your own focused actions are what matters. Trusting in that helps. Distrusting in it just makes you crazy and it may even make matters worse. 

Over the last couple of months, I've had something to worry about. And, instead of worrying, I just let go and let it work itself out. In fact, I forgot I even had something worth worrying about. And by the time I remembered, the solution had already manifested!

Now, I can see how that would worry a worrier. But here's the beauty part...if you're a worrier, you're not going just going to wash your hands of all responsibility. You're going to be present to push the proper buttons when button pushing time comes to help your prayer along. You just don't have to sweat it until that times comes. You'll recognize the me, the universe didn't go through all the trouble of setting you up just to let you blow it in the clutch. And in the meantime, you haven't been there trying to shove a square peg into a round hole just to get your pain over with. 

When you want to create something new in your life, the first step is to name it. And I always recommend that people ask for a feeling rather than a thing. Because it's the feeling you want—the love, the happiness, the power, the stability, whatever—not the guy named Stan, the house on the ocean, the promotion or the money. All those things are good and may come to you, but they're nothing if they don't deliver the feeling you want from them. For example, if your home ends up being in a salt marsh instead of on the ocean...if it makes you happier than you've ever been, are you really going to split hairs?

And the second step is the hardest. The second step after you name what you want, is that you have to let go of it. You have to let go of how it comes to you, when it comes to you, what it looks like when it arrives and all that other stuff. You just have to trust. Trust that what you'll receive will be what's right for you at this time. Trust that you will recognize your cue to take the reigns. Trust that you really can't make any mistakes, even if you make a "mistake."  Trust, I guarantee you, makes whatever you manifest all the sweeter, because it leaves room for magic to happen...magic you weren't clever enough to imagine, but God was. 

Life is not a success-only journey. Sometimes we get exactly what we wanted and we get it quickly. And sometimes, we have to learn a thing or two before we're capable of making space for thing we asked for. Things like worry and, btw, giving up and stomping off because we don't like the way things are turning out, are like canceling your order before it's filled. So just sit back and relax. Stop trying to make things happen and let fortune wash over you, whatever form it comes in. Everything is an answer to your prayer. But first you have to learn how to trust.