Does Everyone Have to Face the Dragon?

(“Dragons hoard gold because the thing you most need is always to be found where you least want to look.”)

An example:

People end up alone in life because they hang on to their particular criteria for companionship and refuse to look in an “inferior” or threatening place (which might require serious humility or honesty).

Face the dragon. Do we really have to?
Isn’t there another way to get what we want?
Can’t we just do what we’ve always done
Rather than risk exposure on a battlefront?

An example close to home:

I have tried for years to get an idea off the ground for suicide prevention and I know I should keep trying because it can save lives, but…

I have perfectly good reasons
Not to follow my heart’s suggestion
Courage is such hard work and
Uh…okay…I really hate rejection

Let’s encourage each other. I’ll face my dragon if you face yours.

But, I Thought There Was a Shortcut!

From Horace to Dr. Oz, numerous medical and psychological studies have proven that a daily practice of quieting the mind and transcending day-to-day survival adds years (worth living) to our lives.

So, why do most of us try to live our lives without it?

  1. It’s much easier to focus on what is in front of us?
  2. What we do seems more important than what we are?
  3. We believe we are the general manager of the universe?
  4. We have forgotten the unfathomable mystery of our existence and how utterly dependent we are on the force behind that mystery?

The only way out of fear, confusion, anger, negativity, disappointment, exhaustion, and pain…is in.

Don’t wait until it’s over to discover there was no shortcut.

Happiness Formula

I Think I Am Enough = Happiness

I Think I Am Not Enough = Unhappiness, Pain, Boredom, Anger, Anxiety, Hatred, Jealousy, Depression, Fear, Despondency, and all other forms of Lack

In my experience, believing I am enough involves:

  • finding the courage I have inside and untapped

  • rejecting jealousy and comparisons to people who I think are cooler than me

  • accepting myself and my circumstances (especially the things I do not like)

  • saying nice things to myself when I screw up

  • changing my self-talk to forgiveness and understanding versus judgment and shame

You always were enough.

Ultimate Position of Power

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When I am afraid of what I might lose

When I am trying to get something from you

I am not free to wield the power of integrity

The power of character

Or the power of courage

 

After speaking today, several people complimented “my energy” and “my unique power.”

I was keenly aware that their impression came solely from the battle I had waged against myself (for days) to be in that surrendered place of power and not in the place of fear and need.

The ultimate position of power is bringing all of who we are to the moment minus attachment to an outcome.

(By the way, that power position is reflected in the following quote (and was a turning point in Cranston’s career.)

Image result for bryan cranston quotes on acting

Laugh at the Rest

Especially since laughter is, and always will be, the best medicine.

Derek Sivers, author of Anything You Want, asks himself, “Should I worry about this?” If the answer is, “I don’t know.” Then, he asks, “Will it make any difference if I worry?” If the answer is “Probably not,” he doesn’t worry.

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The Music beneath the Noise

Rabbi Lord Jonathan Sacks’ definition of faith:

“The ability to hear the music beneath the noise.”

I have been working on this for decades;

  • the ability to silence worry and believe in the hidden redemption in all circumstances, and
  • the ability to listen so carefully in the moment that all the clamoring of my ego is muted.

The better I get at this, the more steady and drama-free I become…and the more useful I am to this world.

Superficiality Isn’t What It’s Cracked Up To Be

Duh.

Appearances are not everything. In fact keeping up a superficial front causes more mental illness and dysfunction in families than anything else…even drugs and alcohol. Ask any therapist. We are only as sick as our secrets.

Reading Herman Hesse’s Steppenwolf reminded me of the complexities and contradictions we all carry around. The cool thing about Herman Hesse is how honest he was. That’s the kind of person with whom I love to hang out: someone who has quit lying to themselves about who they are and quit trying to “market”  and compare their ideal self to others.

Only when we quit the hype and/or hiding will there be real energy to improve.

And, this is the truest freedom.

Image result for herman hesse quotes

Painful Advice When Hurting

Nobody wants to live in the present when it is unpleasant. Here are some incentives:

1. We can become our own hero – the movies that inspire us are about people who endure suffering and rise above it, right? That’s you at this moment. You are the star. Shine!

2. We need the training – otherwise, we will be wimps.

3. This moment has hidden treasures – and we must be present to win, to find them, to see them. Trading the moment in for the next is always a bad move. Bird in hand better than two in bush. Really. Our time is limited…a millisecond in eternity.

4. Present people are sexy – and refreshing, and rare, and like meditation music.

Make Thoreau proud…and all of creation. Take the advice…find your eternity in each moment.

Free from Anxiety

I’ve seen enough of life (and HBO) to know that wealth, fame, unbelievable good looks, or an insane level of talent cannot free a person from anxiety. Sometimes the possession of those things just amplifies it!

Obviously, all of the “If-I-just-had-__________, -I’d-be-happy” talk is bull.

So, do we have to be dead to be at peace?

It is always such a struggle when life is asking for things we don’t want to yield.

So, when I quit worrying about losing my time, plans, money, freedom, health, youth, relationships, or possessions and just share them freely and easily, as if I were dead, I can experience amazing peace and freedom from anxiety without having to “off” myself.

Hasn’t life been asking me to do that all along?

Image result for nothing to lose quotes

Image result for nothing to lose quotes

That’s fearlessness. That’s courage.