Is Humility A Taboo?

Is humility a dirty word? It seems we avoid it, and I think it is important to ask why.

My hunch is that humility and humiliation are closely connected in the minds of many people although they are very different. Humility is gentle; humiliation is aggressive. Humility is often considered a social position of one down. while humiliation is often used to reinforce a superior position. Humility has a generous sharing quality; humiliation is an assault on our dignity.

Humility is more about service than domination. Unfortunately, service carries an association with servility and subservience.  Hierarchical organizations which dominate our society reinforce the idea of superiors and inferiors and our winner-take-all competitive structure creates many situations of loss. It is no wonder that humiliation can become the typical experience of many people.

In an individualistic and aggressive world, humble work is often done by those who are providing others with a stepping stone to success.  Rankism which is abuse based on rank often accompanies humble work. Most if not all of us have experienced the condescension and nasty treatment of someone who “outranks” us and it is not a pleasant experience.

The Benefits Of Humility

Being humble has great benefits. In particular, it enables us to be open to possibility and therefore our own creativity. Wabi-sabi is an ancient and smart Japanese philosophy that values that which is humble. Humble is the quality of life that acknowledges that nothing is permanent. The edge of existence is where life happens.Being humble keeps us in that moment of constant change and becoming, and in doing so makes it possible for us to be a part of the larger journey of life. It keeps us in the ongoing creation of the universe.

Humility and wabi-sabi are the antitheses of aggressive individualism.  They are the opposite of control and status.  There is no veneer or pose to protect in being humble and living wabi-sabi.  Their gifts to us are honesty and authenticity and real relationship and the opportunity to live in our creative selves.

The Baby Step Method Of High Productivity

 

High productivity is something everyone wants. It is wonderful when we find our efforts and results connecting in a positive way. It feels rewarding and nourishing.

So why does it often elude us?

How Living In Your Head Gets You In Trouble

High productivity comes with a requirement: we have to engage with reality. So often we work from an idea or ideal without considering the reality constraints that we are working with. Inevitably, then we will fail in some way or suffer a setback because we were not in touch with the issues and requirements to achieve our goal. We lose our productivity.

There is nothing wrong with having an ideal or idea for what we want in life. The problem comes from how we relate to reality.

If you wanted to play professional basketball, but were a 5 foot tall man, unless you were exceptionally hard-working or gifted the odds would be against you. If you wanted to created a new fashion line and had no training in tailoring, or design and wanted the line to be available in one week, you would also be guilty of unrealistic expectations. Unrealistic expectations cost us our not only our productivity but over time can damage our spirits.

The problem is not to make you “realistic” in the sense of assuming you can never succeed. The idea is to understand reality so that you can then create a way to succeed based on reality not in defiance of it.

How Baby Steps Help Your Productivity

Baby steps are a great model for learning how to succeed. Like the baby in the image, each step is an engagement with the present and present reality and one follows and succeeds another. The baby cannot jump too far ahead, but delights in taking each step.

That kind of thinking lets you see each step in your process to achieving anything as something precious to be honored and treated well. Honoring each step is a great way to increase your productivity.

When you do that you consider each step in full context and with all the information you need to make the best of it. You are not rushing to a conclusion. You are joyfully creating your success.

Honoring The Creative Process

As Robert Fritz, author of The Path Of Least Resistance, has written, each time you honor each step of the creative process you are allowing real hope to enter your life.

There is a gift to each of us in honoring our work in all of its aspects, by being thorough and attentive to the work, that gives us a quiet joy and leads to our feeling hopeful. Taking one step successfully, being centered in our work, lets us know that we can take the next step.

Once we know we can do it we have real hope that comes from our own efforts. Our hope is not wrapped up in anything but our own effort, and that puts it under our control and not at the mercy of others.

That is a wonderful gift to give to yourself. So increase your productivity and take a chance on yourself by taking baby steps.

Entering The Aliveness

Aliveness!

We all seek it and it is all around us.

As a highly sensitive person, I love just being in the natural aliveness around me.

Aliveness And Its Substitutes

I have a hard time with all the substitutes for aliveness: entertainment, overwork, war. They jangle my nerves. I do not like drama all that much – mostly because it does not ring true but also because it seems so escapist.

Drama is often a substitute for living. It is a great way to organize people and harness their energy for some purpose, necessary or not. When we opt for drama we give up the precious aliveness of space. I think it is a poor trade.

Drama As Loss

Whenever I am around drama I experience such a sense of loss. I feel the loss of a precious home. I feel the sullying of perfect silence. Perhaps I am simply not endowed with an effusive love of busyness because it often seems silly. Some people seem to love it.

Perhaps I just miss the joy of space.

Why Do We Need To Get Ahead?

I do not understand all of the getting ahead.

Why?

When you see that we are all part of the universal energy, then what is there to get ahead of? Or perhaps who? The minute you separate yourself from the universal energy, you essentially are operating from an adversarial mind and not embracing the whole. Then you are definitely creating drama and missing out on simple joy.

Animals know this. That is why the animal kingdom is sometimes smarter than we are. There is no one to get ahead of. We are all part of the universe. I know that that idea is considered naive by some, but it is really dangerous to think otherwise because when we do we are creating the adversity that we do not like. The human mind can be a blessing or a curse. The more we engage in competition and comparisons ,the more adversarial we are and the less we live in the peace of space.

So why get ahead when you can simply be in the luxurious silence of wholeness?

I Love To Just Be

I love to just be, it’s my favorite thing to do. I have to keep reminding myself not to turn it into an aspiration, though. Learning to just be is not easy. It has taken many years of meditation to begin to relax. Probably because I am so sensitive.

I have to remind myself that I do not have to fix everything, I do not need to be necessary or essential and then I can relax.

Sometimes I have trouble relaxing because I see so many things that need doing. Since I am sensitive the things undone can be a source of irritation and make it hard for me to relax. I keep at it though, because no matter how much I get done nothing makes me happier than just being in the universal silence.

Then I feel I am at home.

Embracing The Primal Yumminess

I have been thinking about how we often get in our own way and why it is so difficult to change that. How do we get so bogged down in minutia, problems, relationships, work, money problems?

Learning From Animals

Every morning my cat , Kelly, marches me outdoors. It does not matter what the temperature – winter or sumer, out we go. (She does give me a break during a hurricane!)

I have enjoyed her sense of necessity as we go outside and sit in the emerging light of morning. We usually just sit and listen and notice. Sometimes the feral cats come to greet us and the birds line up in the trees waiting for me to put out the morning food. We sit for awhile until we are fully immersed in our experience of nature and the emerging day. When we have filled up with it we are ready to come inside and have some breakfast.

The Safety Of Primal Yumminess

It is pretty obvious  that animals have a better attitude about life than most humans. I often have wondered why that is and where we humans have missed the boat. Animals do not seem to carry the baggage that we do or the neurotic agendas. Watch any animal and it is obvious that they recognize the dangers of life. Yet they have a fairly relaxed attitude about their daily experience.

Is it because they lack egos like humans? Is it because they are not as smart or perhaps because they are smarter than us? Perhaps they lack our industry? Or perhaps they know that they are not here just to work.

I have a different theory: animals are connected to the primal universe. It is their home and how they are able to feel safe in a challenging world.

Entering The Thereness That Never Goes Away

When I go outside with my cat, we share the experience of bonding with our outdoor home. I have noticed that her attitude is different than mine. I often think of myself as being in nature. I get the sense that she sees herself and nature as one and the same. Nature is her greatest and most important connection. It is also her anchor. It is what is real to her so she does not get wrapped around the axle about the little things in life.

She has a sense of and connection with Source that most of us can only dream of because we are all stuck in issues with the everyday details of life. I have always been impressed by her natural sense of priority. It is interesting how animals grow into their maturity much more easily than we humans do.

Some might call me crazy, but I am grateful to my cat. Thanks to her I get to experience a deeper connection with the universe every day. I can enter the thereness that never goes away and that’s before I have done my morning meditation. There is something wonderful about the experience of the thereness of the universe. I feel that when I enter the alive thereness, I am entering my own alive thereness and that is when all feels right with the world.

Embracing The Primal Yumminess

In finding the thereness that does not go away, I am also experiencing the primal yumminess of the arising of everything and the possibility of anything.  I get to experience the eternal glue of creative energy that supports each breath. I also get to experience the benevolence of that energy and so I am able to find a source of hope separate from human cultural systems which are often disappointing.

Connection, safety, possibility, creativity and hope. Did I leave anything out?

Each morning I feel that I am getting a gift and it feels good. If you have a cat (or dog), I recommend going outside in the morning and taking it all in. Drink in the primal yumminess. Embrace the comforting presence and see if your days feels better as a result.

Mine do.

Are You A Pink Tutu Person?

A funny thing happened one day – I fell in love with a pink tutu.

Actually, I really fell in love with a couple, their story and the healing effects of a pink tutu.

I hope you will too.

Who Knew, Pink Tutu?

In 2003 Bob Carey put on a pink tutu and took pictures. His images became a blessing to him and to others. Why? Because his wife had been diagnosed with breast cancer and he was seeking to support her healing.

Cancer is tough as is any serious illness. His wife, Linda, was diagnosed with cancer in the early 2000s and recovered only to be rediagnosed in 2006. Obviously, her journey is a difficult one. Bob donned the tutus to cheer her up and help her heal. She would share her tutu photos with other cancer patients and they would all have a lightening laugh. Lightness can be very difficult to achieve when you have a serious illness but is also very healing. It brings fresh energy into the body which can release stuckness and stagnant energy. That release can facilitate healing.

Bob and Linda and their story are beautifully documented in this video. The images are a hoot!

Bob’s work has been published and is the foundation for the Carey Foundation and the Pink Tutu Project for Cancer awareness. You can visit here.

Happy Valentine’s Day!

You Can’t Escape The Wild And Why You Don’t Want To

We have been conditioned to think that the wild of nature is a dangerous place.

Perhaps in some ways it is.

However, the wild is also a fantastic place.

The wild is where the magic happens.

There Is No Certainty

Certainty does not exist. We create it in our minds but it is our creation.

We nurture certainty, demand stability and in the end are usually sorely disappointed.

All of our attempts to secure our lives usually do not work.

Many sages have said as much over the centuries, but that does not prevent us from trying.

Why Stability Is A Poor Goal

Stability and order have been a desire and goal of humans for thousands of years.

We have been seeking “shangri-la” like conditions of security from our earliest beginnings.

When you think of the effort and resources put into these desires you would think that we would have been successful by  now.

The fact that we are not is worth considering and asking why?

Living For The End

When we seek stability and order we are living from a number of ideas that may not be helpful:

  • we treat stability and order as ends to be achieved as if they are reasonable and realistic goals.
  • we assume that stability is a more desirable goal than whatever alternative we envisage.
  • we assume that stability and order are achievable.
  • we assume that our will, for stability and order, is more important and greater a factor than anything else.
  • we assume that natural processes are our enemy and must be controlled.

Order and stability, the way we humans have constructed them, are contrary to natural processes. The reality is that nature and natural processes do not care about our desire for order. It is our job to respect them, not their job to cater to our demands.

An excellent example of this is in an article recently on climate change where the author made the point that climate change is about physics. Physics is physics and does not answer to our demands or assumptions.

Nature has always provided us with clues on how to live. To really live in harmony with our world we have to give up the desire for order and the domination of nature and others.

Why?

Because life is a dynamic process. It is not linear, it is not logical, it is a never ending series of ever changing dynamics.

So far we have be unable to accept reality.

Why Order Is Destructive

Order makes demands on our resources and time. It also requires a lot of maintenance.

Anytime we spend our time supporting a structure that is out of touch with reality, we essentially become weaker. We support systems that consume us rather than protect us.

But order can be systematized and nature cannot. As much as we try to dominate it, we are only kidding ourselves.

By walling ourselves off we loss our strength and our resilience.

Unfortunately there is an additional cost to our demand for order and stability: we lose ourselves.

Order And The Loss Of Self

Systematized cultures can be very complex. They can seem very demanding as a result and often are.

However, the demands are the kinds of needs that spring from the system itself, which is often antithetical to nature. In other words, they are not demands that spring for an dynamic living organism. They are demands that spring for a static structure.

The result is that our attention gets directed to noticing “something wrong” or out-of-place. We no longer focus on understanding and working with natural processes. Our energy is directed to maintaining a fixed system that attempts to control any surprises and changes.

Our attention gets corrupted and so we lose our resilience and other  adaptive skills that derive from living in tune with the dynamics of nature.

We lose our connection with that which supports our life and begin to treat it like an enemy.

Losing the wild makes us mechanical, fearful, negative, and self-protective rather than creative.

We hate our vulnerability so much that we end up lsing what is precious about ourselves.

It is no wonder that we are often feel that something is missing.

The Gift Of The Wild

The wild of nature offers us many gifts.

It teaches us to bend with changes in weather, learn to find the good in different circumstances, when to give and when not to.

The wild is intelligence in action – which is what we are also.

The wild is necessary for our development, our strength and resilience.

I think it is precious and worth becoming acquainted with, cherishing and loving, in ourselves and the natural world around us.

It takes a dynamic world to create a strong person. In a way you could say that the dynamics of the wild world of nature reflects our own needs for development.

So instead of seeing it as an enemy, we could see it as a gift and be grateful.

 

How The Creative Process Helps Highly Sensitive People

Many people think the creative process is some sort of magical inspirational event.

Actually the creative process is a wonderful process of engagement.

It can be enormously helpful for sensitives who want more control over their lives.

What Is The Creative Process?

The creative process is simply a process that lets us create something that did not exist before we created it.

If you research the creative process you will find many different answers about what the creative process is and how many steps there are in creating.

Most people believe that the creative process starts with an idea.

Not so fast, according to creativity expert, Robert Fritz, who has written The Path Of Least Resistance and Creating Your Own Life.

Mr. Fritz, a composer and film maker, consults with many organizations on the creative process.

He identifies the start of the creative process as the time when you decide on something that you want to create. You might have an idea for world peace, for instance, but that does not neessarily mean that you want to create world peace.

Once you know what you want, then you have to discover your current situation before you can begin to develop the steps you need to bring what you want into being. If you want to write a symphony and do not know what the scale is, then you have to educate yourself before you can begin. Your skills are an important factor in what you want to create.

So many people who want to create something become bogged down and give up. Often it is because they do not fully engage with their desire and where they are in order to determine how to proceed. Then they bump into limitations that deter them and give up. It is better to embrace the reality of a learning curve and resource limitations so that you can deal with them effectively.

The Creative Process Can Keep You Grounded

When you know what you want to do and where you are at the current moment, then you are always in touch with reality, which gives you more control over your life.

It not only helps you to focus on your next steps but also keeps you out of pie in the sky daydreaming that gets you nowhere and can even cause you to become depressed.

The creative process is a great tool to keep you moving forward.

It keeps you focused on where you are and the next step you need to take. one of the beauties of it is that you do not need anyone else’s approval or permission to create whatever you want.

The Special Advantage Of The Creative Process For HSPs

Highly sensitive people often have difficulty maintaining control over their own lives, because they have different priorities from non-HSPs which means that they often have little say over work and social agendas because highly sensitive people are usually outnumbered. Therefore in work and social situations we often get preempted which is very uncomfortable.

However, HSPs are often creative. In embracing the creative process we can start to regain control over our agenda.

The creative process is about setting your own agenda and following it through to completion. When you take back your life using the creative process you start to create freedom for yourself not only by choosing what you want but by becoming so in tune with what is needed to make your goals happen that you start to use that skill in all areas of your life.

You acquire an understanding of what is necessary and what is possible, that no one can take away from you. It helps you in managing not only your time but also your boundaries.

The Creative Process Creates Empowerment

Rolling up your sleeves and getting your hands dirty to make something happen is a wonderful way to grow, learn and get control over your own life. Making something happen provides you with knowledge based on experience. It enables you to notice when the demands and expectations of others are inappropriate. It puts you in charge of what is possible and makes it easier not to be subject to the whims of others.

HSPs have too often found it difficult to protect their boundaries and well-being because their values and priorities are different. However, without enough experience and knowledge, HSPs have no way of defending themselves.

The creative process provides highly sensitive people with a way to their own authority so that they do not have to be subject to the authority of others as much.

It is therefore a wonderful way for the highly sensitive to create a meaningful and healthy life for themselves.

Sounds good, doesn’t it?