Monday, September 28, 2009

Reflections on Empowerment

Several years ago, when I began my search for empowerment, I wrote something that crystallizes the thoughts of an empowerment neophyte, "I am that person, which I am aware of being. I am neither inferior or superior, equal or unequal, but a consciousness capable of creating an infinite number of life expressions."

Most of us probably find it amusement to reflect back on how we felt on beginning our journeys. There's a lot of pain. The challenges seem overwhelming, and there are many times we want to stop, quit, and end our journeys even before we have been on them for several weeks. Such is the life of an empowerment-seeker.

There's never a day that goes by when some of us don't have regrets about making the decision to seek empowerment. And even after years of working on ourselves, it's difficult to remain committed to the goal of empowerment. It seems so far away.

To those of us unaccustomed to working long periods of time without financial compensation it's a little unnerving to continue living in this manner. Our hearts burn with intense desires for completion. We want the work to have an ending. While we yearn for an end, we constantly remind ourselves that the work will never end during our lifetimes.

Meanwhile, even the most ardent proponents of hard work, loyalty, and dedication find it difficult to accept work without some type of completion. For many of us, there's completion at retirement. While others find completion by switching jobs and careers. Nevertheless, we find it difficult to imagine work without and end.

Today, we find joy in empowerment because there's joy in the knowledge that our lives are to be lived until the end. The work we do determines the outcome. If we are working for things -- money, personal possessions, approval, and so forth -- then we might not find too much joy when we no longer have those things. In other words, our end comes from our separation from the things we believe brought us joy.

To truly understand empowerment, we must relearn the power of imaging ourselves as colorless, faceless, and formless individuals. This conception of ourselves empower us to see the world from the prism of freedom and power. There are no restraints placed on a colorless, faceless, and formless person. From this perspective we are complete.

The search for empowerment is the search for completeness. We want to feel that our lives are complete, fulfilled. We believe anything less than this represents an unfilled life. And without fulfillment, there's no end.

Whenever we think of an end for empowerment, we limit ourselves to being just human beings tattooed with societal labels of race, gender, class, religion, and so forth. Empowerment has no beginning or end. It is our perceptions of ourselves that ascribe time to our journeys. So, one person's beginning is similar to, but not the same as another persons' journey.

The truth about us is found in our reflections on empowerment. When we look closely at our journeys, we clearly see the growth from where we started to where we are now. That's what's important.

Today, I think of a quote from "Seeds from the Ashes," which I find helpful to me and some others:

"When you awaken with thoughts of grief and despair, it's time to focus on the desires that have the power to overcome the problems. Listen to the silent voices with the great power. The silent voices from your intuitive consciousness are your desires prodding you to do something with your life. Listen to them rather than the loud voices of spin doctors."

This wonderful book, "Seeds from the Ashes" will be available soon.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

The Power from Within the Victim

Today, there's quite a bit of uncertainty in our lives. Few of us seem to know what's going to happen with the economy -- jobs, layoffs, furloughs, etc. While many of us are frighten because it seems like everyone is frighten. For some victims, this is a sad time in our lives.

Our fears about money, jobs, bills, and so forth have plunged us into deep depression. And it's from this prism that we perceive ourselves existing in the world. Like so many others caught in this financial quagmire, we're waiting on things to get better.

Our leaders are extolling us to hold on, be patient, because things will turn around soon. And since we have been conditioned to believe if we are patient long enough, everything will be okay. Unfortunately, many of us are feeling the pains --the realness of unemployment, mounting debts and imaging bleak futures -- that makes patience our enemy.

For some of us, the job market may have passed us by. While for others, changing technologies have created obsolesce in our lives. Many of us have misconceptions about who we are, and what abilities we have to overcome our current doldrums. While others are waiting, hoping, and praying for something magical to happen. This is our own form of patience.

It is our willingness to believe in magical solutions that keep us tied to victim beliefs. We equate patience with waiting on something to happen rather than doing something to create something different in our lives. In other words, we equate patience with powerlessness.

For some of us, we believe patience is a virtuous act that's empowering us to become more holy, more spiritual. It's an escape mechanism we use to procrastinate and to validate our victim status in the world. And as victims, we find patience to be godly assurances of our existence.

From a victim's perspective, life is always hard. So any downturn in the economy is what we expect. We believe we're some to live within the uncertainties of life. By not know what's happening to us, keep us from accepting responsibility for what's happening to us now. We absolve ourselves of it by blaming in on economic vicissitudes.

The most troubling problem victims face is our unwillingness to acknowledge we are victims of our thinking. By believing we are powerless in certain situations, we embrace negative concepts about the real value of our power.

Whenever we reach the point in our development that we are able to give ourselves power, we immediately change how we think about ourselves. In other words, we redefine our conception about victims. This is the point where we begin to define ourselves as beneficiaries of enlightenment (empowerment). And now we clearly know everyone, including those who believe they are victims, has the power to overcome obstacles already present within them.

Meanwhile, we come to grips with enlightenment being that which we already possess. It is not something we are going to get later on in life. Nor is enlightenment an exclusive privilege for certain people. It is the inherent privilege given to all victims.

Obviously, if we are seriously depressed about something it's difficult to believe this great power already exists in us. Moreover, when we're experience great pain and suffering, it's difficult to separate ourselves from our problems. The magnitude of our problems determine who we believe we are in that moment.

Today, for some of us suffering personal grief, financial difficulties, and deep anger over our present conditions, it seems incredulous to think this great power is within us. Somehow, it just doesn't feel right. There's no visceral realness attached to this notion of power. And there's no visible proof to confirm it. So, we doubt its existence.

Whenever we feel something is missing from our lives, we begin to question what we are doing. We want our lives to be complete; free from pain and suffering. So, if we have lots of money, we buy lots of things. If we crave praise, we do things to give us lots of praise. Yet regardless to the things we do we still cannot escape the feeling that something is missing in our lives.

Nevertheless, we continue to search for what's missing by adding more things into our lives. And by doing so, we create more pain and suffering. While we're busy bringing more things -- people, money, places, and so forth -- into our lives, we believe this is the happiness we need to overcome the pain and suffering in our lives. Unfortunately, this is what's causing the pain and suffering.

Many of us believe we live better with things -- money, status, power, fame, etc. -- because it elevates us beyond the victims we are working desperately to escape from. We dress differently, we talk differently, we walk and basically act as differently as we can from those whom society has bestowed the label of poor and powerless victims.

When we think of living victim-free lives, we believe we have an abundance of power. We imagine we will have this power in the future. It will come from all the hard work we are doing now to change our lives. Some of us believe our newly acquired power will empower us to have more things - people, money, places, and so forth -- to ensure we live our lives more abundantly. This type of thinking is what keeps us tied to victim beliefs.

To extricate ourselves from victim beliefs, we must change our visions of our lives from thinking like victims to like empowered. This is done by using the power already present in us. It's not something new, but something discovered. It is the transformation of the power from within victim consciousness into enlightenment.

The decisions we make are what create victims. Regardless to our status, rich and famous or poor and unknown, we struggle with the notion we are still incomplete. There's more to life than where we are now. The sickness from victim consciousness makes no distinctions about our societal status. We all suffer from the same virus. This means the problems faced by the poor and rich are the same. Both are searching for the missing pieces that will make them feel complete.

The poor and powerless are in this position because of what they think of themselves and their abilities to overcome the habits they have acquired over the years. The same goes for the rich and powerless. In other words, we are poor and powerless or rich and powerless because these are the positions we have thought ourselves into.

In the meanwhile, all that's missing from our lives -- poor, middle-class, rich, and so forth -- is the knowledge of how to access the vast power buried deep in our minds. To do this requires us to make a lifetime commitment to overcoming victim beliefs, and to seeking enlightenment (empowerment).

Whenever we stop thinking we are powerless, we open our minds to see beyond our limitations. We place ourselves in positions to see the limitless possibilities existing in the invisible thoughts in our minds. This empowers us to know victims do have power, we just don't recognize we do.

For some of us on the enlightenment road, who feel from time-to-time as victims, we must know we have the power to change within us. Regardless to the duration of our problems, we must remain committed to achieving our goal of enlightenment.

Friday, September 18, 2009

Self-discovery Fears

One of the greatest misconceptions we have about achieving enlightenment is that it's a pain-free experience. Well, it's not additional pain, but the pressure we feel from releasing our existing pain and suffering.

For those of us who might be afraid to trust ourselves, we must take the time to understand the intrinsic value that self-discovery contributes to our work of achieving enlightenment. As much as we might desire to achieve enlightenment without having to do the necessary work, we know it cannot be done.

So the process to change our lives begins with us. Few of us ever find it enjoyable to examine our own lives. It's analogous to a visit to the dentist. We delay it as long as possible until the pain becomes unbearable. Then, and for some of us, only then, are we willing to do whatever we can to relieve ourselves of the pain.

Well, the pain and suffering has reached this level with many of us and we still delay the inevitability of having to examine our own lives first. We find it easier to continue doing the things to create more pain and suffering in our lives.

As we know, from the work we are doing on ourselves, it's much easier to examine others than ourselves. Perhaps many of us feel this way, because we fear what we will find if we dig too deeply into our minds.

And like an untreated mouth, filled with decaying teeth, bleeding gums, and suffering from years of neglect, many of our minds are similar to this condition. Whenever we sit in the dentist's chair, awaiting the outcome of his or her examination, we seem shocked when we hear how much it's going to cost to fix our teeth. Yet, for some of us, we already knew we had shabby dental preventive care programs.

For some of us, our enlightenment preventive care programs are just as shabby as the example. In other words, we know we haven't done the work necessary to free ourselves from the intense pain and suffering; however, we seem shocked to learn the amount of time, energy, and commitment it's going to take to correct years of spiritual neglect.

Regardless to how we feel about the time, energy, and commitment that's required to heal ourselves of pain and suffering, we know the longer we procrastinate, the worse the situation will become. This is how we feel when we learn how much it's going to cost us in time and commitment to heal our diseased-latent behavioral actions.

In the meanwhile, some of us are bogged down so deep in emotional quagmires of pity, regret, and failure that we don't dare unravel the mess we have made of our lives. And whenever someone suggests that we do, we make half-hearty attempts that barely skim the surface of our consciousness.

The fear of self is the greatest of our fears. It causes us to distrust ourselves and trust others. Nevertheless it's our lack of confidence in our worthiness to make empowered decisions that inextricably tie us to victim consciousness.

And from the prism of victim consciousness, we believe there's something unknown and frightful lurking deep in our minds. Even though we don't believe or want to accept it, we know exactly what it is: It is our fears of uncovering things we don't want to face and other people to know about us.

After years of reading and listening to individuals telling personal growth stories about the pain they experienced by opening themselves up to face their demons -- unknown problems -- and their subsequent freedom, we cringe at the thought of inviting more pain into our lives. Moreover, some of us are working on ourselves now to remove the pain, not to create additional pain.

To delay work on removing the pain and suffering from our lives is murderous to our vision of empowerment. For us to procrastinate on beginning the self-discovery process makes us unworthy to lay claim to our commitments to achieve enlightenment. We cannot achieve our goal without first examining our own lives.

For many of us, self-discovery is a major deterrent to our achieving enlightenment. It's something dreadful painful about self-discovery, because it keeps us tied to victim lifestyles. And as victims, we are constantly searching for magical solutions to help us bypass the self-discovery process.

Whenever our pain and suffering overwhelms us, we feel powerless; victims of our own fears. There's nothing inside of us to fear, except the images we have created of ourselves. Our images are carefully hewed from our egos into individuals we believe are pleasing to others. These are the images we are afraid to disturb.

Nevertheless, the truth about us is known only to us. WE know what we have done and are doing now. There are no hidden secrets buried in our minds. We know everything that's there. And, for many of us, we want what's there to stay right where it is. Unfortunately, in our deliberateness to bury our regrets with pain and suffering, we discover we need an endless supply of pain and suffering to keep them buried.

Our hidden secrets are the things -- regrets, failures, misdeeds, and so forth -- we buried to prevent our images from being tarnished. And as long as they remain buried, we can continue to shape our images to become even more pleasing to the public. Unfortunately for us, the arduous work we are doing to maintain our secrets are taking a toll on us.

Meanwhile, after we think about it for a moment: what's so dreadful in our lives that we are unwilling to face? For some of us it might be things we believe others would think less of us if they knew about them. In other words, it is our unwillingness to face ourselves that's creating most of our pain and suffering.

On our journeys to achieve enlightenment, we must look closely at how we make decisions and the power behind these decisions. On every level of our activities, we must perceive ourselves existing with bountiful supplies of power and freedom.

For us to achieve enlightenment (empowerment), we must first achieve awareness of who we really are. To do this requires a commitment to empowering our minds to think and act from positions of power. And from this perspective, there's nothing in our lives off limits to us.

"Seeds from the Ashes" is coming soon. Get your copy from Amazon.

Friday, September 4, 2009

Struggling to Live

One of the greatest stumbling blocks we face in our pursuit to change the way we think and live is the idea that we have to struggle to achieve happiness. Some of us inherit this notion from our environment, while others use it to justify their actions. Yet, it is from the maelstrom of victim consciousness that our struggles begin.

Whenever we bend our heads down, shuffle our feet, blink our eyes, and shameful take all kinds of abuse for a slither of happiness, we confirm our victimization. These actions symbolize our struggles to become somebody.

Regardless of our circumstances, too many of us have been taught to believe struggle is a noble virtue. From our lowly positions in society, it's easy to become victims of the struggle-to-live syndrome. And from this perspective, we view our actions from the prism of struggle where we embrace our struggles as virtuous victim actions.

As we know, the mere thought of associating ourselves with victims is unbearable. Some of us find it difficult to even admit we are struggling to live. That's why we continue doing the same things to achieve our elusive goals. Even though we find ourselves stuck, mired in the stench of defeat and failure, we continue digging (struggling) for lost treasures. We have lost sight of our commitment to search for enlightenment.

Now is the time to stop digging (struggling) ourselves deeper into the abyss of defeat and failure and to recognize that enlightenment is not the results of our struggles. Enlightenment is the soft breeze of knowledge blowing effortlessly in our minds. It's the ethical force guiding our actions.

During the campaign for civil rights, many of the leaders embraced struggle as the essence of the work done to achieve their goals. To struggle endowed them with creditability. For them, struggle was a badge of honor and courage they used to galvanize a community of victims into warriors committed to fighting for their freedom.

Today, many of us believe struggle means something else. We equate it with other people, not ourselves. Nevertheless, it affects all our behavior because we all have been tainted by its pungent taste. Whether we struggle by working two jobs, twelve- hour days, constant travel, and the seemingly endless pursuit of acquiring more and more things, or by trying to become someone other than we know ourselves to be, we remain victims of our beliefs.

As we know, it's difficult for some of us to envision ourselves as victims when we have achieved so much in life. To believe we are not free of struggle is blasphemous. That's why some of us find it easier to believe we are actually the illusions, and not their creators.

Nearly every day of our lives, we allow the illusions to manipulate us into believing we are struggling to achieve our goals. We use money, jobs, education, and status to hide the shameful behavior of our deep-seated victim beliefs choking the happiness out of our lives.

Nevertheless, even with this information, we continue to create new illusions to validate our behavior and beliefs on struggle. Somewhere, within us is the glimmer of light pointing us in the direction of enlightenment. To recognize and use the light, we must overcome our beliefs in struggle, and clearly know there is no struggle in empowerment.

Similarly, it is during those infrequent moments when we escape from the luxurious-living syndrome that we are able to feel and know something is missing from our lives.

For some of us, particularly, when we are feeling lowly, we might admire those who struggle to achieve money, power, fame, and so forth. From where we are in our thoughts, they seem happy and successful. After all, they have what most people are working to achieve.

In the meantime, when we look at the stars and planets moving effortlessly around us, we clearly don't see the concept of struggle present. Moreover, we don't perceive struggle when walk on the solid surface beneath our feet. Nor do we perceive it as the Earth rotates around the Sun.

Apparently, all of the important things in the universe exist without struggle. So there's no reason to believe we are not endowed with the same existence. And regardless of how we might feel now, we must clearly believe we have the power to create without struggling to do so.

For those committed to achieving empowerment, the work must continue in spite of what we hear and see.