Sunday, April 25, 2010

Pay Attention!

What do you spend your attention on? Your reality stems from where you’ve put your attention. If I pay a lot of attention to news stories about the kidnapping of children, I’ll see that as a potential threat everywhere. If I pay a lot of attention to my neighbors and my neighborhood and see that not much is going on in the way of kidnapping, I’ll feel safe. Same goes for paying attention to the news about our bad economy. Even if I have a secure job in a prospering industry, if my attention goes to the negative news about the economy, I may end up being afraid of losing my job. It would seem it is much better to spend your attention on your immediate experiences, the place where you can get the truest information for your life.

So what is in your immediate experience? Do you spend all your time and attention on your career or on friends and family? If it’s your career you’ve paid more attention to then your social life may be lacking. Instead of asking: “Why am I lonely?” or “Why can’t I find someone to spend my life with?” you might want to ask: “Where is my attention going?” If your answer is career then you have the answer to the other two questions. If you don’t like your world as it is, know that it can be transformed by changing where you put your attention.

So pay attention to where your focus is and know that is what creates your world. Shift your focus, change your life.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

If You’re Hearing Voices, Should You Listen?

Is that little voice inside our head or that feeling that stirs in our gut, real? We hear something, feel something, but what is it? It does seem to be real, at least to us personally. And it is often right. You know the times when on a multiple choice test you keep hearing “Pick A.”, in your head, but you ignore it only to find out later that A, was indeed, the correct answer. Or the time you have this gut feeling to take another route home and later discover there was a major accident on your usual way home. We call this knowing, intuition, but what is it, exactly?

Some might say its instinct, but instinct is more biological, more hard wired. Intuition is a vague notion. For example, being attracted to someone in such a powerful way that the feeling of wanting to be close to them consumes you is instinct. That little voice that keeps telling you this would be a bad idea is intuition. Your instinct may be more powerful, but if that person is truly trouble then that little voice may become a more visceral feeling in your gut. Something inside you is trying very hard to get your attention, is trying to override those powerful instincts. Why do our instincts seem stronger than our intuition? It’s probably because we’ve spent a lot of time pretending those inklings weren’t real. Besides, how can we possibly know this perfectly nice person is going to harm us when there are no outward signs of this side of their character?

But we do know. We know things, but can’t explain why. Since we’re all connected and share the same Consciousness, doesn’t it seem possible to know more than just what our outer senses can tell us? The more aware we are of this, then the more we can know.

Stay tuned in to that inner voice. It is real. It is a part of the higher reality we all share in. The more we listen the better we’ll get at living the reality we want to live.

Writing Tip: The collective unconscious is an amazing resource for writers and there are many ways to tap into it. We do it often, anyway. An idea hits you, you have no idea where it came from, it’s just the soup of Knowledge we all swim in. Dreams are another way of accessing it. Some of my best ideas have come from dreams. Often writers, when in the flow, are in a trance state which seems to be a direct line to this collective sphere of knowing. One way I get into that trance state, if I’m just not feeling it at the moment, is to listen to music that seems to relate in some way to what I want to write about. What are some of the ways you gain access to the collective Mind?

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Reality Lives in the Moment

Photo by Charles Elliott

So often we wonder how we can change our reality when maybe the reality we want is right in front of us and we’d see it if we opened to the present moment.

Our minds are usually filled with, I have tos, I wish I hads, what ifs, etc. When are we present? Maybe we don’t like our lives because we fill them with so many thoughts about the past and future that we hardly know what the present looks like. What if we just stopped? Just stopped thinking, doing, moving. What would you notice?

Yesterday I visited Rose Hills Memorial Park. Not only is there nothing like a cemetery to put things into perspective, it’s also a very beautiful place. The roses are in full bloom and the graves are covered with Easter flowers and gifts to loved ones no longer sharing this moment in body. I visited the highest point where there stands an amazing Buddhist temple and cemetery. This temple, with Chinese Palace architecture, looks out over a green canyon and in the distance you can see downtown LA. I stood looking out over the green hills with the sounds of Buddhist chants in my ears and the wind or Spirit giving me goose bumps. My eyes, filled with tears, just took in what was right in front of them…reality.

Sunday, April 4, 2010

We Paint Our World With Our Emotions

If I look closely I can see that what I’m thinking is being colored by what I’m feeling. Like right now, after reading an article in the paper about the Mayor’s Prayer Breakfast, I find myself thinking that not only is it exclusive, it is also very arrogant and self righteous (ok, I guess I don’t need to look to hard to see what I’m feeling). This prayer meeting included only readings from the Old and New Testaments and Christian prayers. I feel like saying, “How dare they!” Underneath that thought is, obviously, anger. I’m angry because I know there are others in the community who are not Christian, so this Mayor’s Prayer Breakfast excludes a number of people in the community. I’m one of the non-Christians, but I am very spiritual and so I’m hurt that they haven’t chosen a more inclusive program. If I let go of my emotions for a moment I can think of some positive things about the prayer breakfast. For me, it’s good to know that there is a spiritual component to the people in this town. Another good thing is that such a gathering is a way of creating community.

My emotions aren’t only a negative influence, though. I feel upset by this events exclusivity and so that leads me to thoughts about what such an event means in a diverse community. It leads me to wonder if it’s ok that this is a city council event. My emotions can stimulate thought, not just usurp it.

Our emotions add color to our lives. They can also be a guide as to what is really going on inside us. We may try to point to pure reasoning when it’s really emotion that is affecting our thoughts. For instance, people used to think that Africans were subhuman. They thought it was a perfectly logical conclusion, but it was a thought colored by fear. Look closely at what you think. Is there an emotion behind that thought that has created it? Is there any thinking really going on or is pure emotion being spewed. What is your reality and how are you coloring it? You can feel all you can feel, but learn to remain aware of those emotions and what they can do to our ability to think.

Writing Tip:

Knowing how our emotions affect us is also helpful when creating characters. The complexity of human emotion can be employed to create colorful characters and thereby, richer stories. Use books on character types to help you out. So get out your color palate and start layering on the hues.