Light and Dark

It seems, for those of us who are sensitive to the externals in our small and big worlds, we can feel overwhelmed. Most of us want to be light and love energy, being caring souls, making decent contributions throughout our days. Yet the dark and fear we see expressed, even by a stranger we may have to deal with who seems permanently angry and ready to strike out, can tap down our nature of hope and trust.

What kind of world do those of us who act from fear in our day -to- day envision is possible? Does fear, being motivated primarily from fear (greed, scarcity, hate, violence, entitlement etc) have a vision for a world or community that will work for everyone? What does it look like once the anger burns out? Will the anger burn out? Does motivation of fear care about others? What does the fear based world look like if the Dark Mongers are in charge?We haven’t seen much laughter, creativity or joy from any of the fear mongers, mostly non-stop anger and steam-rolling. Maybe light and dark need to really talk to each other, as we all have some of each in us, don’t we?

It seems if we are interested in light in our areas of living and functioning, we must keep being love, being curious, being open and being smartly aware. How can we create, build and solve problems from a fear mentality? Creativity comes from being open and relaxed. Fear is the opposite. We contract, tense up, and often are looking for ways to be annoyed or feel disrespected. That seems a narrow tunnel or lens that can keep shrinking if one is threatened by those who speak their truth and want to squash them versus really try to understand their point of view. Even if we disagree, trying to understand would be a good shift. It seems unbelievable that in 2019 different beliefs, desires and ideas cannot be managed in a positive, effective way that serves the greater good. Co-existing is a thing, right?

The archaic model of authority forcing and manipulating what it wants no matter the impact to others, even if the majority disagrees with them, seems still pushing for dominance. May the archaic autocratic model dissolve and disintegrate as the New Renaissance of ethics, integrity and effective models of business and government rise up, demonstrating together we can create a dignified world that works for everyone.

We All Worship Something

We all worship something. We might worship a god, a spiritual set of constructs or people in our lives.  Maybe outer space aliens might imagine some of us worship the gigantic shopping malls that look like Greek theaters. It appears some of us worship money and power, and we direct our time and energy into it as though it were holy in some way. Is it?

There seems a large discontent among people, even with those who seemingly have money and power. Huffington writes in Thrive pages 259-261:

“We now know through the latest scientific findings that if we worship money, we’ll never feel truly abundant. If we worship power, recognition, and fame, we’ll never feel we have enough”…”remember while the world provides plenty of insistent, flashing, high-volume signals directing us to make more money and climb higher up the ladder, there are almost no worldly signals reminding us to stay connected to the essence of who we are, to take care of ourselves along the way, to reach out to others, to pause to wonder, and to connect to that place from which everything is possible.”

In our twenties and thirties, this would be good encouragement and wisdom to hear, to have a mentor or wise person looking out for us in case we got caught up in the externals. We might know something doesn’t feel right but we’re not sure of an alternative.  We don’t always have the perspective in our youth for self preservation, or even the power speaking up can have. Looking to those people and authors we respect who are farther along in the journey of life, can offer us wisdom and insight when we face a tricky situation or a fork in the road. And going inward and listening to one’s own wisdom is an important part of one’s well-being.

Cherokee Legend

There seem many pearls of wisdom and quotes to share from Arianna Huffington’s book “Thrive”.

Like this one:

An old Cherokee is teaching his grandson about life. ” A fight is going on inside me, ” he said to the boy. “It is a terrible fight and it is between two wolves. One is evil—he is anger, envy, sorrow, regret, greed, arrogance, self-pity, guilt, resentment, inferiority, lies, false pride, superiority, and ego.” 

He continued, ” The other is good—he is joy, peace, love, hope, serenity, humility, kindness, benevolence, empathy, generosity, truth, compassion, and faith. The same fight is going on inside you–and inside every other person, too.”

The grandson thought about it for a minute and then asked his grandfather, “Which wolf will win?” The old Cherokee simply replied, “The one you feed.” 

—Cherokee Legend

What’s Right?

How do we know what is right? What is right to do when faced with a choice or a decision? How do we know? Maybe what is right is different for each of us? Is it possible that what is right is a moving target depending on any number of circumstances and issues? We probably need more of these questions asked and grappled with in our conversations, both private and public. In that way we can listen, disagree, agree, advocate, listen some more, contemplate, and maybe ponder in an effort to get closer to some better idea for ourselves of what is right. Right?

Here’s a question to ask oneself as another way to check what might be right: “Is this the right thing to do and for the right reasons?” Right can mean many things depending who is asking the question and his/her own interests.

Right reasons might speak to one’s principles, so we need principles we follow in order to know what is right, at least right for us at any major choice or decision point in our lives and what is at stake. Principles are rules of conduct or action an individual or group or country might profess to live by. Usually our values or principles, what we hold dear and live by, can be seen in our actions, words and deeds. A principle to live by might be to treat others as you would want to be treated. Then each choice or decision would naturally factor that principle into it. Then we’d be living a congruent (what we said and how we acted were aligned) and principled life.

Certain cultures would make decisions based on what was best for seven future generations. Based on that valued principle of looking after the quality of life for hundred of years ahead it focused decision-making and agreements.

Asking “Is it the right thing to do for the right reasons?”can be a helpful question to ask oneself when confronted with a sticky problem or situation. And maybe it helps simplify what needs doing. Start a conversation. What’s right?

Gratitude

Gratitude is important in our lives. It is the appreciation of our days, moments and people. We can pay attention to even small things such as our breath , in and out, as something to feel grateful. Noticing the things throughout one’s day, things or moments one can feel grateful, seems to open one’s heart. Feeling gratitude is said to reduce stress.

Gratitude is also the acknowledgment we did nothing to deserve the goodness that came our way; it was freely given. With a feeling of gratitude, our vibration may get higher as can our mood. Many kind actions and benefits happen to each of us in a day or week. It helps to notice. Maybe someone helped get our car out of a ditch or invited us for dinner or smiled at us.

Here’s an ageless, ageilicious, inspired quote that speaks to gratitude of what is, and having faith in it.

My heart is at ease knowing that what was meant for me will never miss me, and that what misses me was never meant for me.    Imam Al-Shafi’i, an eighth-century Muslim jurist