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You Might Could

“You might could” is a real Southern phrase. It’s laced with nuance, as most Southern vocabulary is, yet has a specific meaning for each instance it is used. In this case, it reveals the Opportunity in our lives. “Might” expresses permission, liberty, probability, or possibility. “Could” denotes ability to perform a task or have an experience. So the phrase “You might could” says to us you have the freedom to act. And you do. You have the freedom to be Who You Really Are. You have the Liberty to do the things you need to do as that person.
Being Who You Really Are is doing what makes you come alive. We all know what those things are for each of us. They’re the things that we do regardless of what happens to us, regardless of whether we get paid to do them or not.
“But I can’t do that! I don’t have _________!” You may not. But look to see what you do have, and be Grateful for it. Once you start to see what the Good is in your Life, then you can bring your Imagination into play. Savor the Good feelings you get from the Good stuff in your Life. Revel in the pleasure of Good experiences. That adds positive stories to your Personal Mythology. Enjoying those stories strengthens them, and crowds out the stories that aren’t you anymore.
Now, it might take time to get past all the stories of the past that don’t fit your Personal Mythology now. It might not. It’s different for each of us. But a regular Gratitude practice can start you on your way to seeing where your Blessings are. As you savor those Good things in your Life, you begin to see more of them. You see possibilities in what you experience.
As I said yesterday, there is much uncertainty to Life. Uncertainty carries a LOT of Opportunity. Deepak Chopra calls the uncertainty of Life “the field of pure potentiality”, where anything can happen. What you receive from uncertain situations is based on your Personal Mythology, the thoughts, beliefs, & perceptions that shape the choices you make. As you Imagine the Possibilities you generated with positive stories and Gratitude, you open your eyes to see the things that “might could” be.
REMEMBER – I AM savoring the Good in My Life. I AM reveling in Good experiences.
And So It Is!
~ Inspired by events in My Life
LUV U!!!!!!!

Peace & Grace,
Jeff

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Begin Again…and Again

“In the beginner’s mind there are many possibilities…”
– Shunryu Suzuki

“I love being a beginner again. I love following impossible instructions. I love failing gloriously! …What if we had that approach to everything we did? What would life be like?”
From zenhabits.net

I’ve written about the concept of beginner’s mind before. Beginner’s mind is a mind without expectation. “It refers to having an attitude of openness, eagerness, and lack of preconceptions when studying a subject, even when studying at an advanced level, just as a beginner in that subject would.” Beginner’s mind is usually combined with “I don’t know”, which is a powerful statement of creation in itself. By cultivating a beginners mind, you open yourself to the Creative force in the Universe. In that opening, you put yourself into the flow of Energy that Creates the Universe! By being Aware of that Power, you are better able to access it to create your Life. But having access does not mean having control. There is much uncertainty to all this flow. Uncertainty is a field of pure potential, where anything can happen. Your Intentions, the “I AM” statements based on understanding what matters most to you, are your guides through uncertainty. The Intention of Living Life with a beginner’s mind opens you up to Opportunity. Because uncertainty is not simply risk: it is Opportunity!
I know what you’re thinking. Isn’t an Intention a kind of expectation? No. EXpectations are EXternal. INtentions are INternal. Expectations are how we want something or someone to make us feel. Intentions are how we are, regardless of what happens.
Here’s an example. If I go to a movie expecting it to make me feel better, and it doesn’t, my expectations haven’t been met. I think “what a $#!((% movie!”, and I feel worse. If I go to the same movie with a beginner’s mind and the Intention “I AM Happy!”, the movie might still be awful, but My Life isn’t affected by it’s quality. As a Happy person, I might even laugh about how bad it was.
Beginner’s mind opens us up to great possibility contained in Life’s uncertainty. Intention is our guide through uncertainty to Opportunity.
REMEMBER – I AM Living My Life with a beginner’s mind. I AM guided by My Intentions through uncertainty to Opportunity.
And So It Is!
~ Inspired by the Intention of “I AM Happy”, and the failed expectations I’ve encountered.
LUV U!!!!!!!

Peace & Grace,
Jeff

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Be FOR Something

As I have looked at Myself, as I have looked at the things referred to as “My Shadow”, I have begun to notice something. If I can simply look at all of the things I have repressed in a slightly different way, they can become a positive force in MY LIFE. Anger, for instance, can be a corrosive, aggressive force that tears down. But it can also lead to a passionate “energy that inspires great movements for freedom & social justice”. It’s still painful, but it destroys the old in order to Create the new.
I want to look at anger for a moment, because it’s such a part of the “sound and fury” that dominates conventional society. People that are angry get very loud, they speak out, they get lots of attention from the media. Is that anger constructive? My first thought is absolutely not. All that hate and bile spewed out even by candidates for President of the United States! And it certainly has brought out so much of the racism and greed and fear in US society. It’s almost like an infection that has festered to the point of erupting.
And on second look, I think that’s what it is. As with an infection, all of the poison has to come out. All of that stuff has to be looked at, and talked about, and faced before we can go on to Who We Are As A Nation. Otherwise, the fear and anger just fester until it pops out somewhere again. And as a nation we have a choice; do we react to that Shadow behavior with anger and fear of our own? Or do we create something based in Love? It’s no easy task either way. As a nation we come down on the side of anger more often than we do on the side of Love. Can we change it? I think we have to. So how?
Last week in another post, I mentioned this in a different context. Here’s a portion:
“Simply put, we can “Be the change we want to see in the world”. I’ve used this Gandhi quote many times because I think it is the real source of Powerful change in the world. If you want a Loving world, be more Loving. And Unconditional Love is the most Powerful form of Love. If you seek a Peaceful world, add more Peace to your own world. And that includes working on your own drama. We don’t need to be perfect. But I think we do need to have Intention behind what we’re doing. And we need to understand what we mean when we say something like, “I AM Unconditionally Loving”. That means ALL of creation. Everybody. Everything. Please note that we don’t have to LIKE everything. As Dr. King said, “Hate cannot drive out hate; only Love can do that”. That’s a big step. But I think it’s one we need to take.”
Being FOR something, and supporting that something based in an Unconditional Love and with a genuine Compassion, is a big step toward creating the world you Live in. That doesn’t mean you are passive in the face of aggression from those who are against. It DOES mean that you Consciously, Lovingly, Compassionately, choose what you are for. It means you are well-informed about what you are for. It means you have strong Intentions toward what you are creating. It means you act out of Love in a Conscious, Intentional manner. This goes beyond politics, economics, race, gender, anything.
Be FOR something. Be for Love. Be for Compassion. Be for each other. Be the change.
REMEMBER – I AM creating My World with how I Live My Life. I choose Love. I choose Compassion. I choose to be those things. I AM Love and Compassion.
And So It Is!
~ inspired by creating Intentions about what I want to create in My World.
LUV U !!!!!!!

Peace & Grace,
Jeff

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The Projection Room

I don’t know if this is done anymore, but in the past, directors and producers would gather in a little theater to critically review film footage in great detail. This was called the projection room. You could see everything wrong or right projected up on the screen. We have that capacity as well, but we do it in our minds. If you want to know what parts of you are in your Shadow, pay attention to what you see in other people. When we see something Good or bad in another person, we are “projecting” our own selves onto others. If gossip bothers you, there’s something about judging others and putting them down that bothers you. If pompous, arrogant people get on your nerves, then you have some issue to deal with regarding how you feel about yourself, and/or how you see yourself in public. I’m not saying that the people that you’ve encountered don’t gossip or aren’t arrogant. What I am saying is that you really notice these things and they set you off because you don’t like those things about yourself. And they may not be exact mirrors of your issues. You may never gossip to somebody else, but you might very well keep up a running internal dialog with yourself about the failures and foibles of every person you see. Arrogance may not be a trait others assign to you, but you might have a deep-seated fear of coming across as a moron in public, and so you try to always be the smartest person in the room. Since I am recovering from “Not Good Enough” syndrome, I can speak to this with some authority.

I think this is true about the things we admire in others, as well. We see courage in another’s action and we want to act in the same way. We might also see bravery because we have had to be brave in a particular circumstance. We can better appreciate that which we have experienced. Happiness in someone else’s Life is admired by many folks, because we all want more Happiness in our Lives. When we see someone Happy, it resonates with us.
Projection is a positive thing when it builds up and brings us closer to Who We Really Are. Projection is negative when it tears down and makes us feel bad. Each of the instances I’ve mentioned could be positive or negative. The realization we’re judging others can lead us to cultivating Unconditional Love. Arrogance is the Shadow side of self-confidence, which we all need. Seeing another’s courage could lead to jealousy or self-doubt. Happiness could also lead to jealousy and anger. I’ve experienced that as well.
Here’s the thing. We all have a lot to work on. We have a lot of stuff in our bag, as Bly would say. Our energy is better spent working on emptying our own bag before we start messing with someone else’s. And as we do that, we are better able to help others from a place of Love instead of judgement. Since WE are the ones we’ve been waiting for (to save the world, end world hunger, bring world Peace, you name it), it behooves us to work on that Masters Degree in Spiritual Alchemy so we can do the work we came to do. We can be Who We Really Are, beings of Love and Creativity and Abundance.
REMEMBER – I AM not afraid of My Shadow because it points me toward becoming Who I Really Am.
And So It Is!
~ Inspired by my research on the shadow and something I saw on TV

Peace & Grace,
Jeff

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The Shadow in Service

“…the shadow performs its service to protect us…this shadow is a teacher, a protector, and encourager in service to us.”
– Dr John Burton, “Loving Your Shadow into the Light”
In my research on the Shadow, there seems to be several different viewpoints. Some see the Shadow as just “the dark side” of us. Others add all of the things we aren’t aware of or don’t believe about ourselves. Those things might be Who We Really Are. If we were scolded as a kid for being too active or daydreaming or doodling when we were supposed to be “learning” something, we might have the mistaken idea that we aren’t an artist. We might even have been told, “There’s no money to be made as an artist! Find something that makes money! Whether you like it or not isn’t the point! You have to make a living! You can enjoy yourself when you retire!” I heard versions of that in the Guidance Counselor”s office and other places when I was in school. So we tend to put things off, to suppress our desires, in order to “make a living”. I’m not sure that making a living without concern for Happiness is true anymore, if it ever was true to begin with. But the point here is that suppression of desire creates the Shadow. I believe that My Shadow has a lot to reveal to me about me. And to see it as simply “the dark side” is to not see the whole picture.
Jung said the we have to deal with our Shadow. We can do it consciously, or we can just wait for it to pop out on its own unannounced. Robert Bly said the we spend the first half of our Lives putting things in our bag (his version of the Shadow) and then we spend the second half of our Lives taking stuff out of the bag. So it sounds like it’s gonna happen regardless. I think I’ll try the conscious approach.
As Buddhism spread into Tibet, monks encountered native deities that were fearsome monsters. Instead of seeing these beings as some kind of heresy, they were seen as allies and made protectors of forests and fields. Why not see My Shadow in that light? Who else is willing to point out the areas in MY LIFE that need work? Who else would shout out to me, “Watch out! You’re going to mess up!” But I do wish that My Shadow wouldn’t be so damn dramatic about it! And stop embarrassing me in public!! Hmmm…I wonder if that might be part of the lesson? Why AM I so dramatic? Why do I even care about what others think? If I consciously pay attention early enough in the process, I can discern what Shadow is trying to say before drama ensues. And if I listen in Love instead of anger or fear or frustration, I might get the message without the drama or embarrassment. And even if I do get a healthy dose of being pissed off for no apparent reason, I can still learn something from that.
So I AM WILLING to believe that the giant hairball of insecurities, fears and anger can be a positive presence in MY LIFE. I AM WILLING to see that maybe it’s not a giant hairball of insecurities and fears, but a course of study for my Masters Degree in Spiritual Alchemy.
REMEMBER – I AM WILLING to see My Shadow as a teacher.
And So It Is!
– Inspired by Shadow research and the Tibetan Buddhist practice of changing demons into allies.

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Shine a Light

Until a few months ago, I sent an affirmation of sorts to family. I wrote it in first person prose so it would be more affective for those that read it. This is a re-post from the archives. – Jeff
“The Shadow includes your deepest fears, shames, regrets, judgments, core beliefs, unconscious contracts/vows, “truths” about life, about others and yourself, AS WELL AS your greatest power, your beauty, your sacred and divine self.  In other words, the Shadow includes all these things about yourself that “you don’t know that you don’t know” or those things that sit in your subconscious.”
– Smadar Efrat Yaish
As I come to find out more about Myself, I discover all of the thoughts, beliefs, & perceptions that help me Create MY LIFE. I’ve come to see that I didn’t pick all of these. Some came from family, some from friends, some from society. Not all of them apply to me anymore, & some do. Today I’m going deeper. I AM WILLING to shine a light into the dark corners of MY LIFE, if for no other reason than to see what’s there. I AM going to do My Best to be nonjudgmental about what I find. I just want to see what’s there first. I realize I may be in for surprises. I may not like what I find. But I may be delighted at what I discover. I will keep a “beginner’s mind” through all of this discovery period. That means I have no expectations, no preconceived notions, no judgements as to “good” or “bad”. Just like a rock can be a tool for building or for destruction, it’s My Choice as to how I use what I find.
Remember – I AM WILLING to shine a light into the dark corners of MY LIFE. I WILL use a beginner’s mind as I do this.
And So It Is!
– Inspired by my research on the Shadow & events in MY LIFE
LUV U!!!!!!!
Peace & Grace,
Jeff
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The Shadow

Yesterday I made this statement, “Strong desire is a good indicator of  Who We Really Are, even if it comes out in a negative way.” I based that on my studies of Carl Jung’s work on archetypes. Simply put, archetypes are the collections of thoughtforms that tend to coalesce around a certain role. The Mother, The King, The Warrior, for instance. These aren’t new, and they aren’t always positive. Because we have so much stuff to deal with, we often have distorted archetypes. These “dark” versions are shadow archetypes.
A year ago, I posted some short pieces on the Shadow. I’ll be revisiting some of those over the next few days. So just what IS a shadow anyway?
The Shadow self “is that part of you that you reject, feel ashamed of, feel guilt over and suppress so that you can ‘fit in’ with what is acceptable in society.” I believe that much of our shadow is created by experiences in Life. And it starts early. One of the first things kids learn to say is “No!” As a parent of three kids, I can tell you that they could say it very clearly, very quickly. We all do. We’re in a learning stage at that age. And as parents, we are learning, too. And we’re passing on what we’ve learned. Some of that’s good, some bad. But I refer back to the earlier description of the Shadow. Part of your shadow is the part you “suppress so that you can ‘fit in’ with what is acceptable in society”. This gets messed up in a lot of ways, but they all tend to be labelled “bad”. So we put them away in a dark corner of ourselves. But if they are part of Who We Really Are, they will want to come out. And once they come out into the light, they cast a…shadow.
For instance, if you experienced the suppression of Unconditional Love as a child because of societal pressure, that desire for Love might come out in unhealthy ways. These ways could include needing validation from your partner before you feel good about yourself, or even avoiding Loving relationships by keeping people at arm’s length. It’s still the desire for Love. It just came out as a Shadow. And yes, these issues are much more complex than I’m making them. I’m not trying to diminish anybody’s experiences. I’m simply illustrating what is often an unpleasant topic.
Every Jungian archetype has a Shadow. Once all these thoughtforms that make up the Shadow come out into the light, we have the opportunity to deal with them. The opportunities to deal with our Shadow are the “Painful Blessings” that Brezsny refers to. Things that REALLY hurt, but bring us closer to Who We Really Are.
So our Shadow is a teacher, or can be, if we let it. At the very least, it can be a very clear example of who we DON’T want to be. Bitchin’ and whinin’ about having to deal with your Shadow is like complaining about a teacher that is really tough and unlikeable, but taught you a lot. And all of the stuff you learned was useable in real life, right away. So you end up with a grudging respect for that &^%$#@!.
Acknowledge your Shadow. Do it sooner rather than later. Acknowledge that It is one of your best teachers. It vividly shows you where you need to work on your Masters Degree in Spiritual Alchemy.
REMEMBER – I AM WILLING to  think about considering how to deal with My Shadow. *
And So It Is!
– Inspired by events in MY LIFE

*I thought it best to ease into Shadow work. If you think you’re ready, go for it!

Peace & Grace,
Jeff

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What I Can Do

There are lots of good things about social media. Being able to share information like I’m doing, for one. There are some things I’m not crazy about, and I normally just scroll past those things on whatever site I happen to be visiting. Last night, a good friend posted one of those things meant to make an issue go viral. Normally, I just pass over those things, as I said. But Kris isn’t a person who does things just to be part of some group. So this time I participated. And it led me to do some thinking about things.
One of those things is, just what can I do to affect a particular world-wide issue? Or how can I affect what goes on in My World? There’s just one of me. Even if I change, what difference will I make? I think that’s a good question to ask, if you ask it in an unselfish manner.
Think about the words in that sentence. “How can I” could mean you feel helpless, which, frankly, is how many people would feel. OR you can ask it it in an empowering way, looking for ways to help. Often, there are ways to help directly. But not always. And these days, controversy and politics clouds issues and makes us uncomfortable with getting in the midst of other folks’ drama. And so we’re back to, “What can I do?”
Simply put, we can “Be the change we want to see in the world”. I’ve used this Gandhi quote many times because I think it is the real source of Powerful change in the world. If you want a Loving world, be more Loving. And Unconditional Love is the most Powerful form of Love. If you seek a Peaceful world, add more Peace to your own world. And that includes working on your own drama. We don’t need to be perfect. But I think we do need to have Intention behind what we’re doing. And we need to understand what we mean when we say something like, “I AM Unconditionally Loving”. That means ALL of creation. Everybody. Everything. Please note that we don’t have to LIKE everything. As Dr. King said, “Hate cannot drive out hate; only Love can do that”. That’s a big step. But I think it’s one we need to take.
“But I’m ONE person. That can’t be enough!” Oh, but it IS enough, if you embody that thing you want more of. Strong desire is a good indicator of Who We Really Are, even if it’s comes out in a negative way (Yes, that needs some explanation.-Jeff). That’s why I always emphasize Love for all of Creation first. If you Love, you’re less likely to harm. And that’s why Intention is so important behind a desire. Otherwise, a desire for freedom could lead to imprisoning those you fear are taking your freedom.
As we become more of Who We Really Are, we have more impact on the world around us. We set an example for others to follow. And that’s where one person CAN have an impact. That one person affects others, they affect others, and all of a sudden, it ain’t one person anymore. It’s change.
REMEMBER – I AM the change I want to see in the world.
And So It Is!
~ Inspired by a “random” post in FaceBook.
LUV U!!!!!!!
Peace & Grace,
Jeff

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Be The Change

This is a re-posting of an earlier article.

Gandhi said, “Be the change you want to see in the world”.  Connect with Who You Really Are. Go be that person.
LUV U!!!!!!!

I’ve written in the past about getting a Master’s degree in Spiritual Alchemy, also known as getting my $#!+ together. A big part of that, for me at least,is waking up from all of the social mythology that I’ve been exposed to. From the time we are born, we’re told a lot of different stories that form the raw materials of who we are. They are cultural, racial, gender-based, religious, and economic stories that say, “This is who you are”, the implication being that that can’t change. I believe that’s wrong.
In my pursuit of the degree in Spiritual Alchemy, my world has changed drastically. That’s happened even when I actively resisted the change. And in every case, after some initial upheaval that I usually caused myself, the change has been for the better.
I say this because our world is in a lot of turmoil right now. And we have an opportunity to make a difference. Not by being passive, but by being active.
We have an opportunity to create a world that is a better place for everybody, not just ourselves. That’s the point of the work we do for ourselves, to make us the people that will do what needs to be done to create a better place. Becoming more abundant is useless unless it opens you to sharing and building that world. Wisdom is best practiced with discernment, not simply continuing to do something because it’s always been done that way. Peace is not real unless you carry that Peace to the people that are in turmoil. Love isn’t unconditional until it’s practiced with no thought of Love in return. Empathy is at it’s most effective when you help others with what they need and want, not what you want. Compassion is best practiced in person, not by donations alone.
All of the social mythology we experience is simply raw material. It’s up to us to take those materials and make something beautiful of them. The same energy it takes to oppress or exploit can be used to promote Freedom and Justice.
I’ve written that the Universe/Spirit/God is conspiring to bless you. I believe that’s true. I also believe there are lots of people out there aiding the conspiracy, because I am Blessed by the actions of others every day. So the question becomes, how do I conspire with the Universe in It’s efforts to Bless all of Creation?
REMEMBER – I AM Blessed every day. I share those Blessings with everyone I encounter to make this world a better place.
And So It is!
~ inspired by events in MY LIFE.

Peace & Grace,
Jeff

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Pay Attention II

Yesterday I referred to the maxim, “Energy flows where attention goes”. What catches your attention? Why? For me, it’s always centered around the things I focus on. Here’s a for instance. Some years ago, I was looking for another vehicle. As I did my research, I ran across the Ford Ranger pickup. As I looked into the vehicle more, those things popped up everywhere! They were there before, I just wasn’t focused on them.
Our focus can be conscious or unconscious. It’s our choice, as I’m sure you anticipated. Conscious focus is our Intentions, those “I AM” statements I’m always talking about. Using Intentions to focus on what you really want in Life is a key part of the Creative process. One of the Creative skills that you can learn is observing. Observing is paying attention to certain things. Those things might be behavior (of others or of you), language, trends, or anything else in order to get more information. The more information you have, the better the question you can ask. And a good creative practice comes from asking good questions. Because it’s not the answer that solves a problem. It’s the question. Good questions come from good observation. And if you know what you’re looking for, you’re more likely to see it.
Sometimes it’s OK to be judgmental, sometimes it’s not. By that, I mean be open to whatever your focused observation shows you. By being willing to see things outside of your comfort zone, you might find the very question you need to ask. Rob Brezsny says that once he saw that there were at least 3 sides to every question, he began to get more interesting questions. The same is true for us. His book, “The Televisionary Oracle”, is absolutely the strangest book I have ever read. But that different way of seeing the world opened my eyes to new things. That book, along with his second book “Pronoia is the Antidote to Paranoia” literally changed my way of seeing the world. You can see some of his work at www.freewillastrology.com.
If you need to exercise your observer muscles, pick something at random, and start looking for it wherever you go. Say you picked the color red. Look for it and notice it. Make some notes on it, if you like. What shade of red? Where is this red color? Why is this object red? Who painted it? Who chose the color? When was it painted? You certainly don’t have to go to that much detail, but you’ll learn to observe better and you’ll do it faster if you do go into some kind of detail.
Seeing things with new eyes will give you new information. New information brings better questions. Better questions generate more creativity.
REMEMBER – I AM a Creative Soul. I use My Intentions to see more of what’s around me.
And So It Is!!!
~ Inspired by research for a seminar
LUV U!!!!!!!

Peace & Grace,
Jeff

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