Monday, July 27, 2009

Working on Becoming Something

Sometimes, those of us who feel victimized by our mistakes, failures, disappointments, and lack of resolve to continue working on ourselves, might find it useful to begin defining the something we are working to become.

Perhaps this type of clarity will assist us with understanding the expectations and results we desire from our actions. At least, it will illumine our minds to understand that work for the sake of work is meaningless without clearly defined results.

Meanwhile, there's not a day that passes without most of us thinking about what life would be like if we could overcome our current difficulties. This form of daydreaming besieges our minds with thoughts about how inadequate, incomplete, unfulfilled we feel about our current lives.

So it becomes our goal to work on changing the things -- money, health, status, relationships, etc. -- that cause us to think we are inadequate. We muse coyly, "if we could only overcome these problems, then our lives would be complete. ..." Yet, the more we work on overcoming the things preventing us from feeling adequate, the more inadequate we feel.

For some of us, working on achieving enlightenment (empowerment) is like working on a calculus problem without having first mastered basic mathematics. That is, the harder we work, the less progress we make because we lack a basic foundation in the work we are doing.

Nevertheless, a well-thought out spiritual, freethinking, open mind is necessary for us to have if we ever expect to properly interpret the results we receive from our actions, prayers, meditations, and hopes.

There's very little, if any, incentive to work on becoming a bum, an addict, criminal or some other undesirable type of victim. Most of us are quite content with our victim accomplishments, at least when compared to less desirable victims.

So our motivation for working on ourselves is determined by our desires to become something greater than what we are now. And since we already believe we are better off than some other less accomplished individuals, we have fairly good ideas about what we don't want to become. It's more difficult to decide when it comes to what we want to become.

Let's assume like the Vedanta's do that you don't need to do anything to be the person you were created to be. In other words, you were originally created by the Creator with everything you need to express your life's purpose.

For many of us, this type of philosophy seems a little quirky, a little too simplistic. We have been taught all of our lives that we must work hard to achieve success in the world. By not working hard, we are considered lazy, shiftless. The idea of thinking of ourselves as complete and adequate is frightening.

The thought of a world of complete and adequate individuals seems out of the realm of human understanding. What we would do about teaching all the inadequate people how to achieve enlightenment, salvation, and getting closer to the Creator? Obviously, many well-intentioned spiritual and religious practitioners would become unnecessary.

We function because we believe we are inadequate. We believe it is part of our existence to have success and failure, pain and suffering, need and fulfillment. The thought of our lives without these disrupts the work we are doing to become something like that which we don't believe is possible.

If enlightenment (empowerment) is our vision (goal), then it must mean we believe at some point in our lives we will become complete, adequate. By achieving our life's goal, we become free from working on ourselves.

On the other hand, if don't believe we can achieve this type of awareness during our lifetimes, then we must believe we will get it in heaven or some other place where we don't have to work anymore.

Nevertheless, in either situation, we are the ones creating the expectations based on the results of the work we are currently doing to overcome the things in our lives. The results from our working on ourselves will exists in the something we have defined as enlightenment (empowerment).

Monday, July 20, 2009

The Light from the Darkness of our Minds

When we stop the busy work and quiet our minds to hear beyond the victims' voices, there's a deep pain in the darkness of our minds that's screaming for our help. This unbearable pain lives and thrives in our victim consciousness.

Now that we are working diligently to overcome the pain and suffering in our lives, the cancerous victim cells can no longer thrive in our minds. That's why, suddenly, they are screaming, albeit silently, for us to release them from our illumined thoughts so they can seek new hosts (victims).

Whenever we hear the silent screams in our minds, we know we have found the passage to our intuitive consciousness -- that part of our minds that remain unconditioned, unchanged by our dysfunctional victim behavior.

From this awaken position, which most of us have already achieved, we can now become our own spiritual enablers. This action means we are now responsible for changing our actions. And with this level of responsibility, we must remain awake to know that we must change our emotional, psychological, spiritual and physical diet and exercise programs.

Furthermore, when we assume responsibility for our actions, we also assume responsibility for overcoming the deleterious victims' beliefs causing us to think we are too helpless to solve our own problems.

From the personal responsibility perspective, we know that God, the Creator, has endowed us with the power to make choices about what we eat, the types of people we associate with, the manner in which we treat others, and the type of jobs or careers we devote our life hours.

The road to enlightenment (empowerment) runs through our minds. It's not in another person, place, or thing. It's not on television, in a best-selling book or in a building. The truth about us is found only in our thoughts and actions. Our actions are exact impressions of our thoughts.

For many of us, our thoughts don't seem that important when we are deciding to attach ourselves to some person, place or thing. We do it so naturally; as effortless as blinking our eyes. Yet it this effortless action that causes us to become slaves (victims) to our thoughts.

In the meanwhile, we can accept ourselves as victims or we can act to free ourselves by becoming masters of our thoughts. For us to master our thoughts, we first must understand how they function, where they get their power, and what's their purpose.

We can begin by examining our own thoughts to see how they are functioning. We clearly know they get their power from us, and we also know their purpose is to create pain and suffering in our lives. With this awareness, we are in a position to change how we think and live.

The first thing we need to do is change the purpose of our thoughts from thinking as victims to thinking as empowered individuals. To do this, we must establish a clear goal (vision) of us existing without pain and suffering. We must focus on this goal until we feel the realness of it. Now we can embrace it, nurture it to life. And we must work on this everyday in much the same manner as we work on our jobs.

Similarly, since this is our job, and we are accustomed to being paid for our work, we must change our thinking about compensation. In our new jobs as enlightenment-seekers, we are compensated based on the hours we work each day. If we spend eight hours working on our vision, we will be compensated with more enlightenment insights than if we work only thirty minutes.

Nevertheless, when we seek enlightenment (empowerment), the rules of life change. We must be willing to embrace the new rules without comparing them to the old ones. They are what they are, different and more rewarding.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Cultivating a New Attitude

Most of us like to brag about having a positive attitude towards life. There's little doubt that sometimes our attitudes don't measure up to our expectations. And when this happens, we begin to moan and groan about how unfortunate things are in our lives.

Whenever old attitudes collide with our desires to change, we have chaos. Chaotic behavior makes us distrust ourselves. Many of us begin to search outside of ourselves for the answers. And it is during these vain attempts to discover why we feel so badly, that we discover who's the real culprits. It is us.

As my friend Sage told me, "all roads lead back to us." Whatever we seek in life, we must seek it from within our minds. And by doing this we encounter some disappointment, success, happiness, sadness, and so forth. Yet, it is from our seeking answers (solutions) that we discover the essence of our attitudes toward life.

If we dislike the way we are acting, we can rewrite the script by changing how the protagonist (us) thinks and acts. We can make ourselves into anything we desire. All that's required of us is to create a new attitude about the things we seek in the world.

Let's play the mind game by creating a new person. As a new person, we desire to have more of life than less. We desire to have happiness over sadness, love over hatred, peace over turmoil, success over failure, fulfillment over money, and compassion over selfishness.

By having more of life rather than less, we must redefine the meaning of life. In this particular case, life is having the power to live each day as an expression of our manifest purpose. The more we express the qualities contained in our vision (goal), the greater abundance we have in our lives.

When we are happy, we are free of sadness. To express happiness from an enlightened awareness is drastically different from the happiness we experience from our awareness of ourselves as victims. Enlightened happiness is a happiness that's detached from the illusions we receive from the things -- money, people, fame, etc.

By expressing love toward others is far more rewarding than expressing hate. Enlightened love is beyond the selfish boundaries of victim beliefs. Enlightened love is self-contained love that requires no action on the part of others. It expresses itself freely and openly to everyone we come in contact with.

When we experience enlightened peace all the turmoil dissipates from our lives. From this perspective, peace is born from the ashes of turmoil. In other words, peace can only live if turmoil dies.

For us to live successful lives, we must first learn how to live without judgments. It is our judgments about things -- events, goals, people, etc., -- that create the failures in our lives. At the enlightened level of awareness, there are no failures, only clear thoughts without judgments.

When we have fulfillment of purpose, we have little or no need for money to enrich our lives. When we express fulfillment from an enlightened consciousness, we have achieved the abundance, happiness, love, peace, and success necessary to keep us awake and alert about what we are doing in the world.

So, today, we are now ready to express compassion in our lives. Compassion toward all beings is the quality of life that is born from a new attitude towards life. When we express compassion, we have reached the highest level of enlightenment. At this level, pure compassion encompasses all there is in life. This is the attitude we must cultivate if we are to change the way we think and live.

Friday, July 3, 2009

Overcoming the Blind Spots in Life

Sometimes it's painful to watch victims struggling through life without a clear vision of enlightenment. For those of you who are new to the blog, a victim is someone who feels powerless to change the way they think and live, especially when facing difficult obstacles. The victim is rich or poor, black or white, influential or powerless.

Victim beliefs affect our behavior at every level. From billionaires to powerful politicians to blue collar factory workers to inner-city ghetto dwellers. In other words, all unenlightened individuals are victims of their beliefs and desires. They are blinded by their doubts, and they need the light from enlightened consciousness to see where they're going.

There are some days when we find it difficult to see clearly what's in front of us. We become blinded by our cravings, our desires to maintain our victim status in the world. Unfortunately, these passions are responsible for the doubts causing the darkness in our lives.

During a recent conversation with my friend about the problems victims face in changing their lives, she opined that victims are like blind people. According to her, as the blind person needs a cane, dog or someone to help him or her cross a busy street, so do victims need someone to assist them with taking the next step on overcoming the doubts clouding their vision to achieve enlightenment.

We can imagine the initial horror a blind person faces when confronted with taking that first step to cross the street. The sheer noise from the passing automobiles is enough to cast doubts on the wisdom of taking that first step. And like the blind person, the loud voices spewing doubts about you and your place in the world are not only deafening, but frightening.

Nevertheless, when we have to face countless life-changing decisions on the enlightenment road, they become our fears, our doubts. And as we become engulfed by their presence in our lives, we sometime find it difficult to overcome them.

Meanwhile, if we are to succeed in achieving our goal of enlightenment, we must find the courage to take the next step. And even if we don't want to, we must trust that the work we have done so far to overcome our victim beliefs will provide us with the courage to continue on our journeys.

For us to stop now will only increase the pain and suffering. And as our pain and suffering increases so do I desires to be free. Now our desires focus on basking in the light of enlightenment. However, we know from the work we have already done to change our lives that desires without action are meaningless. So, action is always an important piece of the enlightenment goal.

Sometimes when the obstacles turn into blind spots, we must take the time to stop for a few moments to meditate on our vision of enlightenment and pray for the resolve to remain committed to it. By meditating and praying on achieving enlightenment, we empower ourselves to move through the blind spots.

With our minds empowered with the light to see where we are going, we know that light to see is contained in our enlightenment goals. This simple awareness of where our light comes from will always remind us to remain focused on our goal to achieve enlightenment. And, it's just that simple. For us to move beyond our obstacles, we first must turn our attention away from the obstacles (problems) and focus it on the goal of achieving enlightenment.

The task of shifting our attention from one thing to another is effortless. We do it all the time. We usually ignore this occurrence because it's such a seamless transition. Yet, this seamless transition becomes a powerful tool when we are aware of it happening. And to assist us with clearing our minds to recognize when we are changing our focus, perhaps we can use the following suggestions:

1. When we become blinded by our ego-driven desires, it's the opportunity for us to work to detach ourselves from them.
2. During moments of great stress and doubts, trust ourselves to act from an empowered position.
3. Move forward even without knowing what's in front of us.
4. Become a giver. When the darkness in our lives become intense, take the time to give something to someone.
5. Embrace the darkness as a gift to assist us on our journey.
6. Free our minds from clinging to things that weaken our resolve to remain committed to our work.
7. Surround ourselves with individuals who are working to change their lives.
8. Strengthen our minds and bodies with healthy ideas and foods.
9. Exercise our minds and bodies vigorously each day.
10. Employ laughter in our lives throughout the day.

The suggestions are just that, suggestions to encourage us to continue on our journeys toward enlightenment.