Connecting to the Tempo

In the PossiDude Drum Workshops I do we talk about tempo.  The speed at which we play.  What I’ve noticed is that when someone loses the tempo they generally get louder and play faster.   It occurred to me, isn’t that what happens when we lose our temper in our life, we get louder and go faster?   In either case…  actually any time I start going fast and get loud, it’s an indicator that I’ve lost my tempo/temper, which means I’ve lost connection to the common-unity I’m in.  When I’m alone and this happens, it means I’ve lost my connection to my source/soul.  The only way I can get reconnected is to stop…. stop thinking… listen… and feel my connection.  Then I am reconnected to who I really am and I can connect to the world around me.

We can never really lose our tempo because we didn’t create it, we can only temporarily get off track.

Power and How to Align with It

I was driving, and, in L.A., everything is an hour away.  I learn alot on the freeways!   My mind tends to wander on useless stuff, and I didn’t want to get into any negativity so I asked the universe, “What should I be thinking about?”.  What is truth anyway, and what is the power that runs everything, where’s it come from?  Nothing heavy, mind you, just your standard run of the mill questions.

I know gratitude always make me feel good, so I began thanking the universe for the car I was driving.  Thank you very much for the car, thank you for this steering wheel, thank you for all the people that made the steering wheel, thank you for all the people that got the materials for the steering wheel, thank you for the plastic material that it’s made of, thank you for the machines that made it, for the people who came up with the idea for the steering wheel, thank you for all the people that transported the materials to make the wheel, thank you for the people that assembled the steering wheel…    and that’s just the steering wheel.

The truth is, the entire universe conspires to bring me everything I need, all the time, even stuff I don’t know I need.  I should be in a state of continual gratitude.  I should be in awe, all the time…    Well, maybe I am and I just don’t recognize it because I choose not to believe I am (interestingly enough that’s God’s name according to Moses).  But, what if it’s true?  I don’t have to believe in gravity for it to be true.  One and one is two, I can argue with it all I want, but it’s still true.  So the truth is always true, even if I can’t see it temporarily.  Maybe I’ve been believing a lie and just acting ungrateful for so long I forgot the truth?

I know it sounds crazy, but of course the truth would sound crazy to a crazy person, wouldn’t it?  Who wants to admit, let alone accept, that they’re crazy?  Maybe, underneath all the crazy thoughts, there is truth… something that is always true… something I can depend on… the power that operates in, as, and through, me.  All I have to do is let go of all my beliefs to the contrary and be willing to start living from that truth!

Ah, but how do we let go of all our old ideas you ask?  One idea at a time, just like the hour drive I mentioned earlier.   I let go of what my mind had to say about the drive and focused on a truth, in this case gratitude.  It could have been the recognition that it’s all good, or any other truth, for that matter.  The question is am I focused on problem solving or the recognition of a good life, right now?

The problem is the problem, and the solution is not in the problem.

I get caught up in my mind trying to figure it out, and that’s the problem.  My mind is there to show me what stands in the way of the truth, once I see what it is, I have awareness.  I have to stop thinking about the problem and concentrate on a truth.  Underneath the seeming problem there is peace, calm, beauty, tranquility, abundance, and love.  I can ask the universe to show me who I am.  That’s the solution and because the truth is always true, it never fails, I can only fail to recognize it.  In which case I only have to try it again and dig a little deeper.  I need to remember, I’ve been believing what my mind tells me about everything for so long, it’s going to take awhile to uncover all the crap I put on top of the truth, so I’ll have to be content with patient improvement.  The only thing that matters is that I make a beginning and keep on trying.  If I don’t quit, I can’t fail!

 Reply to this post, I’d be interested to hear your comments!

Inspiration, 4th of July

The word Inspiration came to mind.  Inspiration… inspire-ation…. in-spira-tion… in-spire-a- nation…  our nation… one nation… one nation under God….inspired… all men are created equal… we hold these truths to be self-evident.  Inspired, not mind made, not created by man’s intellect, but inspired by something greater.  We couldn’t live under another nation’s man made rules, we had to be free.  So we dumped the tea in the bay, we knew it wasn’t going to be easy, but we couldn’t live that way anymore.  It was time.  We didn’t have to think about it, the truth was so plainly evident.  We just needed to make a beginning and rely on inspiration, and we did, not so very long ago.  And we created the greatest nation the world has ever known, created by applying self-evident truths.

Maybe it’s our time.  Maybe it’s your time.  Are you living under a tyrant?  A mind that tells you what everything means and very rarely has anything good to say?  A dictator that tells you what you need to worry about, how you’re failing, or what can go wrong, a tyrant that, no matter how much you pay, or how hard you try, it’s always just a little short?   It’s time to let go of the old nation, the nation governed by the mind.

Maybe it’s time to build a new, internal, nation.  One nation, under God, conceived in liberty, dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal.  A nation based on self-evident truths.   Sure it’s going to take work and it won’t be easy, but we just can’t live under the old rule anymore.

Maybe it’s time to get back to our common-unity, not what we think about, but what we know to be true, individually, one person at a time.  We can make a beginning by living by these self-evident truths, and quit, a little at a time, being so self-centered.  Reconnect to the One nation under God.  We can’t listen to the old nation (our mind) tell us how to behave anymore, it’s never satisfied.  There’s no such thing as enough in that nation.

In the new nation there are no pat answers but the truth is known by all.  We know no one should go hungry, or be in need of healthcare, all should have a safe place to be, sheltered from the elements.  All are deserving of love, kindness, and compassion.  Just because we don’t have all the answers doesn’t mean we shouldn’t live from those truths, individually.

The revolution is at hand. Ask each day, consciously; what can I do to live from what I already know is right?  If we don’t ask, we can’t receive.  If each of us asks, the one nation under God, for one thing we can do to live towards these truths each day; we can live in that new nation.  The old nation constantly tells us how it’s too hard… it will never work… who do you think you are… ad infinitum.  There’s no amount of work we can do to save the old nation, we need a new one.  It begins right now, with me and you.  Hug someone you don’t know today.  Make an extra sandwich and eat lunch with someone new.  Ask a stranger who they are and listen to them, or just make a list of the things you can do, and then start doing them!

There’s a PossiDude (positive attitude dude) in each of us. 

It’s who you really are!

“New” Character Building

Even though you don’t want to, even if you know it won’t work, even if you already think you know all about the God thing, if you do this consistently, with all the passion you have at the moment, you will come to have a new relationship with a higher power… guaranteed!

Upon awakening:

Hit your knees (metaphorically or physically)

  • Ask a power greater than yourself to be with you, and to stop your mind from racing.   Pause for 1 minute.
  • Ask for one thing you want, something none tangible, peace, unconditional love, calm, joy, balance, bliss, order, abundance, prosperity, laughter, etc.
  • Then ask yourself three questions:
    • How would I feel if I had that right now?   Spend one minute imaging-in how it would feel.
    • How would I look at my day if I had that right now?  Again, one minute pondering that.
    • How would I act with the people I meet today, if I had that right now?  One minute pondering.

If opposing thoughts come up when pondering, just let them go and continue pondering.

Then share what you got with someone else.  Do it every day.  It only takes 5 minutes.  This is what step three means when it says, “determined and persistent trial”.  Even if you don’t think you are getting anything out of it, keep doing it, it is working!  Sometimes you just don’t see it right away.                    (951) 751-7541         

Return to Day Care (Two)

In my example of my friend’s daycare (see post Return To Day Care), why was I so impressed?  Looking at what she does, I can see how simple it really is, these principles she teaches.  First, she gets the child’s attention by calling them by name until they look at her.  If they don’t respond she confronts them face to face.  Once she has their attention she asks a question, maybe “what do we do with our toys when we are done playing”.  If they won’t answer they go in time out to think about it.  If needed, instruction is given in time out.  Eventually, they learn, “we put them away”, and they do.  Being children, this process is repeated over and over and they learn appropriate behavior.

What about us big kids?  Nobody is there to get our attention, stop us, and ask us questions about our behavior.  Sometimes I think there should be.  When we are questioned, we act defiantly.  We have our reasons to justify our behavior.   We’re grownups, don’t you know!  And boy do we use that excuse for all kinds of absurd behavior.

What we are all learning is, behavior modification.  It seems like the answer in how to get along in the world and to a large extent, it is.  However, let’s take a little closer look at this.

In daycare, initially, awareness is presented to our consciousness by something outside of us, which is appropriate for little children.  They are then stopped from doing what they’re doing, again, by something outside of them.  A question is then asked, basically, “What is the appropriate action right now?”, which forces them to ask themselves the question.  They then go to their mind for the learned response to the question, and get the “approved” right answer.  Works well, but….    

Without being shown, by example, the spiritual application of these principles (not the job of a day care), and having it modeled for us, we just learn compliance…  how to behave while the “authority” is there.  When the authority is not there, we make our own rules.  In other words, “I know what you want me to do, but when you’re not here, I’ll do what I want”.  (my friend’s comment is always that parents don’t model and teach appropriate behavior at home)

It is truly awful to admit, as adults, that is all too often, how we behave.   So how can we expect our children to behave any differently?  So, what is the solution?

Same principles apply:   We are presented with an awareness that we are off…  you might say our higher power, or consciousness, taps us on the shoulder and says “hey bud, you’re blowin it here”.  It’s an inner authority, not your mind…   just like in day care, we have to build that awareness by repetition over and over, because there’s no one on the outside of you getting your attention, it’s an inner knowing….   that knowing requires us to stop for just a minute… again, there’s no one there forcing us, it has to be an act of our own will… we then have to ask, “what is the appropriate action in this case”, we are not asking our mind with it’s limited knowledge, but one who has all power, all knowledge…  (no belief is required, just ask)… we will then get an answer.  Often we mis-read the answer (always because we missed a step or acted in haste) and fool ourselves, but the more we practice the clearer and clearer the answer comes through…  We then need to act on it, each time. 

There’s no “right” action every time, even when it looks like the same situation.  Remember…  we’ve been trained to think in terms of “right” and wrong our whole life…  That’s how our ego’s have captured our very souls.  Learning to align our will with our creator’s is the beginning of a lifetime practice. 

Applying these principles in the order formed described will produce the appropriate answer for each and every situation.  Is this hard work?  You bet it is.  Growing up always is…

 especially when you’re almost sixty!

Your comments are always welcome!

Recovery From Major Illness

In 1999, I was diagnosed with colon cancer.  I’ve never written about it before.  I wasn’t avoiding it or anything.   I talk to anyone that asks about it.  I just never realized how valuable my experience might be to others.   Which is pretty funny seeing how I’ve been in a twelve step program for over 27 years, you’d think I would have known.  But isn’t that part of the problem? 

I’m not going to talk about the devastation you feel…  how alone…  scared…  and confused you are, or how the world… as you know it,  just collapsed.  Or, how crushed you feel at first…  and then your mind takes off…  telling you what it all means…  desperately racing for an answer.  Or how hopeless…   victimized you feel…  as a puppet of the medical establishment.   And I won’t talk about how…  everyone seems to have advice for you, that you just have to follow…  with the best of intentions…  and how your head aches from the confusion of it all…  and you just don’t know what to do…   all the time you’re gripped by a fear that you can’t seem to get away from for more than a minute…  and, most of all…  most of all…   I’m not going to talk about how you, hate yourself, for the self-pity you’re feeling.  Because maybe, you don’t feel that way, but I did!

But it is your life, it has to be your decision, even if you chose to do nothing and die.  No one can tell you that it’s the wrong choice, because it’s your life.

If you decide to live however, I want to pass along this little bit of information I got from my O.M.D. (Oriental Medicine Dr) that really helped me a lot.  When I asked him how he looked at illness, this is what he told me:  You have a body, a mind, and a spirit or soul.  When you have a problem with your body, you feel it physically.  If you feel bad long enough, you start thinking,  “is this ever going to go away”  and your mental attitude takes a nose dive.  Eventually you start to, question, or blame God.  Your whole being is out of whack! 

It makes no difference where you start, he said, but you have to begin somewhere.  I’m a doctor so I get your physical body feeling better, then your attitude changes, and you thank God again for your life.  (In my case he did that by nourishing my body with MSM and supplements that my body desperately needed.)  He was right of course.  When I felt physically better my attitude changed and I was thankful to be alive.

I still had to have surgery later, as the tumor had gone too far.  The depression I felt after the radiation and chemo was horrible.  I couldn’t seem to find one good thought.  One day, after cursing myself one more time for being such a coward and not ending it all.  I looked at my 15 year coin from AA lying on the nightstand. On the back were the words, “to thine own self be true”.  Once again I had to use my OMD’s advise and take action in one of those areas.  Since I couldn’t concentrate on a book or anything, and I couldn’t do anything physically.  I had a friend pick me up and drive me to a meeting.  I was too weak to walk on my own, so he half carried me in.  I didn’t want to go, but I knew I had to do something. 

I didn’t know what I was doing at the time but by showing up in the meetings, I was working on the spiritual part by applying spiritual principles.  I was willing to take action to get out of my sense of isolation, I was listening to other people and their struggles, I was exposing what my mind was telling me, so it wasn’t a secret, eating at me, and I started to get better. 

It’s been twelve years.  I still go to meetings.  I work at exercising and eating better.  I maintain a positive outlook by reading uplifting literature and I pray and meditate daily.  My experience has been, the more fervor (passion) I put into the three areas of my life, the more connected I am, the more life I have to give.  The last twelve years have been the best years of my life.  I am more alive and happy today then I’ve ever been and I know tomorrow is going to be even better!

Your comments and experience are welcome here and for more information on getting connected, groups, or principles, visit other posts on this blog.  Or start with this one:

Only One Power

Naturally occurring truths are unaffected by what we think of them. Take gravity, it doesn’t matter what we call it. It isn’t necessary that we know it by the name gravity; it just is what it is and remains unaffected by us. It benefits us to know about it, not so much by name but the way it operates. It’s not even important that we know how or why it works. However the more we learn to cooperate with it the more we can utilize the power that is already there to benefit our lives. Often our “great ideas” come from just observing these truths and aligning ourselves with them.  Sometimes we go about forcing things to happen, which is the way we overcome, temporarily, the natural power that is always there. Because we use our minds to do this, consciously or unconsciously, we begin to think we, individually, are the power, and not just the recipient of it. We tend to forget that power will win over force every time. It just might take a while, but power wins every time.

Suppose there is only one power and it operates in, as, and through everything? How would we align ourselves with that power? By principle it would work the same way as gravity works. If we lean over too far in any direction we fall, so we have to stay in balance. Rather than force the flow, go with it, might be another thing to keep in mind. The more we come to recognize our oneness, the closer we are to the source power. It is in our relationship to the One that we stay in balance. Avoid then, the illusory thoughts of anything but our oneness. So awareness of the One power as our source is the only truth needed to connect us to our true power.     So… Get Yourself Connected.

                   PossiDude (It’s who you really are!)