Sunday, December 18, 2011

Comprehending Judgment

I thought I would take a moment to address the subject of appearance.  Most of us know the way we look is based on subjective interpretation.  To say we look good or bad is based on our perception of what particularly looks good or bad.  For example if you think heaviness is unattractive, then anytime you feel you are of a heavy stature in comparison to another, you are going to feel that you do not look good.  Likewise if you see another who is heavy-set, you are going to think that person does not look good.

What fascinates me about perception is that if you perceive someone in a negative way, that negative emotion doesn't necessarily affect him or her, but it always affects you.  Our minds are programmed in such a way that hearing negative things, whether directed at ourselves or others, will result in feeling negative.  When you say someone else is ugly your subconscious hears it as if you feel you are ugly.  The proof in this is how we feel after we express a negative opinion.  Try sitting in negative statements for a few minutes and then take a moment to check in on how you feel.  Go through a fashion or gossip magazine, for example, and state all the negative opinions you can about the models and celebrities.  Then check in with yourself, how do you feel?  Something doesn't feel quite right, no? 

We are all one and the same, we are all human with bodies, hearts, skin.  We all on some level want to love and be loved.  We want to avoid feeling pain and bathe in joy, whatever each of those may be for you or for me may be different, but nevertheless each at its core is the same, everything is for the sake of pleasure or pain. 

If we are all one and the same, what you want for yourself should be what you want for everyone else.  That's not always the case though.  We walk around day after day judging everyone who passes our way.  This person is fat, her shoes are hideous, his outfit looks like he just pulled it out of a trash can.  These are all things we say to ourselves or similar to people who pass us by, whether in person, on a computer screen, or on the television.  The question is why?  Why do we have a need to observe that someone is the way they are in comparison to us or another we're seeing as the standard? Just as we decide how we ourselves look, we are hoping everyone will look a certain way for our pleasure.  It's a defense mechanism: when everyone looks a way to our liking we feel safe.  But the truth is, you nor I can control the way anyone looks.  We can look the way we want to, but never is everyone going to look a certain way for our security.

What if you could accept love in all of its shapes and forms regardless of the packages it came in?  Meaning, what if you could see everyone as simply a being of love and nothing more or less?  In this sense there is no need to say someone is fat or thin, muscular, or flabby, even secure or insecure, we're all simply beings on a quest to find and give love.  Everyone is simply appearing in a way they've chosen.  I'm not talking about romantic love when I say love, I'm simply referring to the offering of and exchange of attention.

It's a wonderful thing to love and be loved.  Even the little things, someone drops a paper and you pick it up for them, when they say thank you you can feel their love.  Whenever you start to form an opinion of yourself or others, pause for a moment and simply remind yourself that we are all beings of love.  How are you expressing love?  How is this other person trying to express love?  The answers to these will help you cease the need to judge, and little by little, everyone you meet will have something wonderful to give you.

Monday, December 12, 2011

Perception in Circumstances

Today it is raining in Los Angeles.  There was a time when I couldn't handle the rain.  On rainy days I would shut down.  I became angry, irritable, and overall just too tired to accomplish anything.  Everything I ate on rainy days always upset my stomach.  I hated going outside on rainy days because it was so uncomfortable to walk back into the house or get into the car all wet and with dirty shoes.  They say there are people who are addicted to sunlight, that when the sun is not out they fall apart emotionally.  For a while I thought I was indeed one of them.

Although today it is raining, I do not mind it so much.  I used to try to reason with myself, saying that a day is a day, and just because the sun isn't out doesn't mean today is any different from another.  And yet, I could not use substitution, I couldn't break the fact that the weather just made me feel awful.  I couldn't pretend today was just like any other day.  The reason now I don't mind rainy days so much is because instead of focusing on what I hated about them, or what rainy days lacked in comparison to sunny days, I now focus on what's good about them.  Rain and clouds are a like a barrier the sky puts up between ourselves and the sun, and the need for that barrier is so we can see the day differently.  Rainy days are a time for reflection, if the rain is out we stay indoors; it's a metaphor: to go inside means to look inside.  In other words, rainy days can be used as a time for reflection.  Although I still dislike going out in the rain and getting wet, I find it quite wonderful to stare out a window and watch the rain fall.  I find it inspiring.  It gets me thinking on a deeper level about what I have been going through lately, and so I truly believe that is the beauty behind a rainy day. 

The beauty behind a rainy day.  Essentially that is what we need to do for everything and every person that we dislike.  By finding what is beautiful about this thing or person, we come to understand its purpose in our lives.  Any sense of hate for these things if not right away, gradually fades when we consider what in fact is beautiful or even wonderful about the circumstances we are facing.  This is true of ourselves as well: when we can see parts of ourselves we once saw as ugly or undesired now as beautiful and essential to our existence, we can let go of the negativity we once had.  For example, it used to frustrate me that I was too short to be a model.  Rejection after rejection from agencies because of my height made me furious.  Eventually I admitted I can't do anything about how tall I am, so I needed to surrender.  So I asked, "what is good about my body?"  The truth is, I am just the right height for the platform heels I perform in because I'm at a height where it looks natural on camera.  At the same time I also know from modeling for drawing workshops that if you measure my body from head to toe, I have near perfect textbook proportions in relation to the measurements one does when drawing or painting with the pencil.  Seeing that I am perfect at the height I am for those reasons, I now fully appreciate my stature.

It's all about perception.  How you see the situation you're in determines whether you have a positive or negative experience with it.  So learn to see the good in what you're going through, not only is it simple, it's the best thing you really can do.

Friday, December 9, 2011


Most people know what affirmations are, those little phrases that are like words of wisdom.  They encourage us to be better people.  Examples include "I am happy and grateful for all that I have, and all that is on the way," or "Everyday in every way, I'm getting better and better," or "I am one with Spirit, and in Spirit all things are possible." 
It's knowing how to use them that can be tricky.  You may have one you live by, but on some level may feel it's simply words, they have no real power.  That is true, words you do not make use of have no power because they have no emotion attached to them.  Think of how a person's angry words effect you when they shout them at you.  You may even feel the fear from those words all the way to your gut.  You can feel the emotion behind those words.  Although that's a case of negative submission rather than positive affirmation, the emotion behind the words is what is emphasized.  Another example of word power is when you tell someone you love them.  Telling someone you see everyday you love them, such as a parent, usually doesn't have the same feeling power for you as telling someone you're romantically involved with that you love them for the first time.  The latter may make you sweat with nervousness, and if that reciprocates a wave of excitement may come over you.
The reason we say affirmations is to encourage us, to make us feel good, but their real power comes from the absorption into our subconscious of the word's meaning, for when our subconscious takes in the meaning of them our lives will reflect them.  If you are able to absorb the words "Everyday in every way, I'm getting better and better" into your subconscious, your life indeed will start to improve bit by bit because you have turned your focus to these words and your subconscious truly believes them.  Now sometimes it's hard to attach emotion to such words, we can indeed bring up images of our life improving as we say the words, but that may or may not give us enough energy to bring the words into our psyche.  There are two ways for our subconscious to take in things we pay attention to, either through intense emotion or repetition.  Affirmations work best with the latter.  Dr Emile Coue came up with the affirmation "Everyday in every way, I'm getting better and better" for his patients and believed these words could heal any physical or mental ailment they had.  He prescribed them to take a chord with 21 knots in it, and three times a day while holding the chord and pulling it through their fingers, they were to say the affirmation each time they got to a knot while visualizing the circumstance improving.  I can say from experience that this exercise does indeed work if you work it, but indeed it does take discipline remembering to both do it three times a day as well as stay connected to the words using visualization each time.
Coue's method might not work for everyone, but what will work is if you work your affirmations.  Say them frequently, remind yourself of the words not only when clouds are gray, but when the sun is shining too.  Say them when you wake up in the morning, before eating a meal, after coming home, or everytime you get into a car.  Affirmations work if you work them.  It may take a little practice, but so did a lot of things in your life, remember what it was like to learn how to walk ;).

Monday, December 5, 2011

Being a Person of Increase

There is a phrase known as being "a person of increase" in many spiritual books.  I first saw this term in Wallace Wattles's The Science of Getting Rich.  The term means being a person who expresses the idea that they are increasing in abundance in everything they do.  Every activity is done in the spirit that it will lead to the increase of abundance in that person's life.  A drugstore employee who treats all customers as if they are millionaires handing him 1000 dollar bills for his services is a person of increase, because even the man who buys a pack of gum from this employee is given the respect that a millionaire is given.  A person of increase will also take the opportunities offered to him even if they see too difficult to accomplish on his own, because he knows by accomplishing the goals in those opportunities he will reach a new level of abundance in his daily life.  A person of increase is someone who knows the more abundance he gives to others, whether that be attention to what another has to say, or lending money to a friend, or helping a stranger carry a heavy load, the more abundance he will receive in return.  Every morning one of the things I write down in my list of things I want to be that day is a person of increase.  Whenever I am puzzled as to a decision I should make, I ask myself, "as a person of increase, how would I handle this situation?" and the answer comes to me.  I encourage you all to try this and see if your life improves at all.  Tell yourself you are a person of increase everyday, and see if the choices you make reflect that title.  It could very well be the answer to lack you have been looking for.

Friday, December 2, 2011

Want Energy

Everything has energy.  It goes back to that science class in high school where you learned the chair you're sitting in is made up of molecules moving so slow that they form what we see as solid matter.  But it's more than that.  When gurus refer to things having energy or vibrations, they also mean feelings.  The chair has feelings *_*?  Indeed, your chair has a feeling tone it gives off.  How do you feel when you have a seat in that chair?  Do you feel comfortable, uncomfortable, agitated, not particularly interested?  These are the emotions the chair gives you when you sit in it.  It's like when you see a cute puppy.  What is the energy the puppy is giving off?  The energy is "love me!"  And in turn we feel compassion for that puppy.

We as people express that same energy but we are not always as brave as the puppy.  We don't wag our tails rapidly when we see someone we want love from, but we do act at a level above a normal calm.  It's destructive sometimes to ourselves to give off that energy too powerfully.  We see it in the night clubs where people get drunk and plead for others they find attractive to take them home for loveless sexual acts.  We see it on the television where the politician dresses in expensive suits and gets a make-over so that he'll look presentable and people will buy whatever he's selling.  Unsure if the love from these people is real he goes and orders hookers to satisfy his yearning for love not quite given by winning strangers' trust.  I once met a man who told me he orders escorts online, and when they arrive his goal is to seduce them sexually to the point that they tell him they don't need to be paid for their time.  He said he feels empowered "out-smarting" the hard working escort, and he rationalizes that he isn't hiring escorts if he doesn't pay them.  It would not surprise me if someone once made this man feel he was unworthy of the love he begs for from others.

We're not puppies, we're adult or on our way to adulthood human beings.  There's no need for us to behave like animals when we have so many more skills.  So the question is, do you want to stay in a place where you're constantly saying "Love me!  I need love!" for the rest of your life?  It is doubtful, because feeling as if you want something you don't have isn't the way to live.  If you want bread you go out and buy it.  You no longer yearn for bread when you have figured out how to get it and then obtain it.  Not only that, but knowing how to get the bread the wanting energy for it is a lot less than the wanting you feel for love.  Think of it this way, when you know how to get something you want, you don't try relentlessly to get it, you just go get it, knowing bread is within your reach.  Love is as abundant as bread in our culture, but we tend to think it's hard to get because so many withhold thier own love.  What would it feel like to get love knowing you are loved, knowing you are capable of loving and being loved when you go out to get love?  It starts from within.  People who feel loved don't abuse themselves, and people who are loving don't abuse others either.  If such is the case, the one who goes out feeling loved and is loving will acheive love because s/he knows it is perfectly natural to acheive love as it is to buy a loaf of bread.

So I encourage you to try it if you are feeling lonely or insecure: give love to yourself by admitting you are capable of being loved, and in the theory that we are all one and the same, admit to yourself that everyone else is capable of being loved, and as such treat them with love.  See with practice over time if you start to see loving people come easier into your life.  The love of your life maybe just around the corner, but if you don't feel loving energy for yourself and others, that person is just going to pass you by.