Are Emotions Important

The Quality of our Life is Measured in Emotions, Love, Happiness, vs. Fear, Shame, Anger.

Emotions: The Key to Changing the Quality of your Life
Why is it difficult to change our habits? Often we notice our own disruptive habits, want to change them, and yet don’t. Habits may be as extreme as abusive behaviors with alcohol or relationships, or as simple as repeated negative thoughts and judgments.

All the logical intellectual understanding of why we should break our disruptive habits are known. If we know so much, and we know exactly what we want to change, and we decide we really want to change, why is it still so hard? Why do we so often not make a permanent change?

A pop new age answer is that to change your habit, you just need to change what you believe. That is a concise and tidy answer, but how does it help a person who wants to get out of an abusive relationship. Why not just drop the intellectual concept of not being worthy and pick up the concept that one is worthy and deserves better? While it’s a nice idea, I just haven’t seen it happen yet.

What keeps people trapped under these concepts is the emotional attachment they have to these beliefs. The anchor that holds these beliefs in place is emotion. It is the emotion of unworthiness that holds the belief of unworthiness in place. We can cast the concept of unworthiness away from our mind with an affirmation, but it doesn’t change how we feel about ourselves. But when a person feels that they are truly worthy, then they really believe it. It becomes more than a concept, it becomes your nature. When you feel worthy, you really believe you are. Often when people go back to an old behavior, even after breaking a habit, it is because they are reverting to an old emotional state.

It is my experience that changing emotions is not a simple task. It is more than putting on a happy face. That’s making the outside prettier but doesn’t last, and doesn’t change how we feel deepd down. To make deep down changes requres changing core beliefs and point of view.

Real change is not an intellectual process. If you want to change how you think and act, then start with changing how you feel. The key to unlocking and creating real change in your life is through awareness of your emotions. What we think, is not as important to us, or nearly as powerful, as how we feel about ourselves and our life. Our intellectual thoughts take us to where we are “supposed to” and “should” go. Using awareness to follow our emotins take us to love and happiness.

The Game of Life

Being a Toy in the Game of Life

When you become wise you become free again like a child.

Some time ago I had a dream. In that dream I was visiting a planet. It was a very strange planet. It was a planet inhabited by toys and I was one of those toys. These toys played all the time. But this isn’t what made this planet so strange. The strangest thing about this planet of toys is that most of them didn’t know they were toys. It was so strange because it was so obvious that they really were toys.

I looked around and began to just observe the toys. It was amazing what they pretended to be. They almost always pretended to be very serious. When they were serious they weren’t very happy. It didn’t make sense to me why a toy, that could be anything would pretend a role that wasn’t much fun. I was very confused. I studied some more.

I began to see one of the biggest games of the toys. I don’t know what they called it, but I called it, “I’m right and you’re wrong.” They played it very seriously. Some even played it to their death. Some toys would pretend to play the game as lawyers or teachers. Some toys played the game as parents. I think this is where the younger toys learned the game. It’s hard to tell because the toys played it almost all the time. Funny thing about the game is that it wasn’t fun and yet they played it so often.

Now there were some toys that played like real toys. Most of them were about 2 to 6 years old. They knew how to be what they were. They would play as a toy cop or robber and have fun. Then in a moment they would play as a cowboy or a fireman. In a moment they would switch roles and be something else. These were really master toys of playing all the time. They didn’t care what anyone thought of them. I noticed though, that as the toys got older they would start to play only one role.

I studied them some more. It seemed the toys would practice that one role as they got older until they were a master at just that one role. It was like they forgot how to be anything else. And they would take their role very seriously. These toys were very believable characters. If it wasn’t so obvious to me that they were toys, I probably would have started believing them. It was funny watching these toys play these very serious games.

But after a while I was tired of the “right wrong game”, the judgment game, the jealousy game, all those high drama games. Most the game I saw them play were no fun.

What is stranger is that I am still dreaming that dream. I see the world filled with people that could be having such fun playing at life. Instead they fill their life with serious drama and games that nobody wins. I can’t wait for all those wonderful toys to wake up from their characters and dream a better game of life.

Temptation and Illusions in the Mind

A subtle shift in point of view and we create suffering

Be watchful of the mind’s changing perspectives

It was a crystal clear night when I crawled into the sweat lodge. The sun had just set and the stars hadn’t yet made themselves known to the darkness. I had sweated before and I was once again among friends. The first few sweats had been the most difficult. Over time they had become easier, even enjoyable at times. I had thought I was just becoming use to them. In fact I was learning to win over the temptation of my own mind.

In the beginning the heat would almost overwhelm me. The steam from the water poured on the hot rocks made breathing difficult. At times the steam filled air had became so hot I could feel my mouth burn, and then my throat, as the air traveled towards my lungs. I immediately stopped inhaling only to realize that my lungs were empty. I learned to inhale ever so slowly so the steam could cool as it traveled. My mind would race with criticisms of the heat, the duration of the round, even why people were taking so long. “Didn’t they realize I was suffering over here!” “Couldn’t they hurry it up!” My thoughts were loud and unhappy.

Often my thoughts would run wild with the voice of a victim. “Why are they putting more water on the rocks?” “What are they trying to do to me.” “I need air, I can’t breath.” Other times I would be filled with happiness. The body would be pouring sweat, the lungs would be breathing softly, and I would be happy. I never knew what my experience would be.

This night in the lodge was different than any had been before. I sat in serenity for a while enjoying the flushing of sweat through all my pores. In a certain moment, the voice of the victim came in and wanted out of the heat. It demanded that people shorten what they said, so we could finish the round. The victim voice demanded that I forget what other people think of me and just exit in the middle of the round to get some cool air. I sat and listened to a voice in my own mind noticing the feeling of peace slipping away as I began to think it was mine.

I stopped listening and shifted my attention back to my lungs. The serenity strengthened. A few moments later the victim began complaining again. This time it was about the discomfort in my feet from the way I was sitting. I listened to it and the feeling began to slip away. As the feeling slipped the voice got stronger. As I listened more closely it took the opportunity to complain about other parts of my body. The feeling faded, and I watched it do so. I thanked the voice for its opinion and focused on my breathing. I was now the one choosing my own thoughts.

This was my bout with the temptation to suffer, to be a victim. The battle was over my own attention. As I shifted my attention, my whole experience shifted.

I crawled outside the sweat lodge and laid in the dirt staring at the night sky. So beautiful was the world, and so filled with possibility with the awareness to choose my point of view.

Hope Against Hope

When you have Faith in Life you no longer need Hope

“I hope the world will change.” “I hope (fill in a person’s name here) understands when I tell them….” “I hope the boss recognizes my hard work.” “I hope my wife, (pick one) girlfriend, husband, boyfriend, doesn’t get mad at me when I…”

Any of this sound familiar? What is this song of hope that our hearts and minds play?

Hope isn’t what I thought it was. And upon some inquiry with others, I found that hope isn’t what they believed it was either. In our culture we are taught to revere hope. “Don’t give up hope.” “There is nothing to do now but hope and pray.” Pray makes some sense to me, but what is hope? Hope sounds like something we conjure up when we feel hopeless.

Let’s discover the truth about hope. Read this paragraph and take the few second to do what is described before reading on. I want you to think of something that you are hopeful for. I want you to close your eyes and put yourself in a state of hope. Fully hope for what you want. Allow that feeling of hope to fill your body. Allow yourself time to get there completely. Be completely hopeful. Once there I want you to put your attention on what you feel. What are all the emotions that you feel in this state of hope? Now do the exercise and see what you notice.

When people do this exercise, they often find that there is fear and anxiety laced within their wishful feelings. This fear is the apprehension around not having the outcome one is wishing for. This is actually to “hope against hope” or to wish without any real expectation of fulfillment. This can’t really be that great attribute of hope. This is a kind of hope corrupted with fear and doubt.

The definition and some truth about hope. Hope as a verb: to envision something not yet true, or to cherish with an expectation of obtainment. As a noun: trust, reliance, a belief in fulfillment. There is no mention of fear, doubt, or anxiety here, which is the way we typically experience hope.

The spiritual warriors know about hope. They know it is a big demon that can trap them in a place of inaction. The convoluted hope can become so strong in people that they sit and hope and don’t take action to change their lives. People can get trapped in “hoping” something in their life will change. For years they hope and for years they take no actions and get no results.

To master hope is an art. The Christians call it Faith, with it one can move mountains. To the Toltecs it is the Mastery of Intent. Master Toltecs can hold their attention on a vision with such belief that it will manifest. With the power of their attention they create a whole reality, any reality. They choose to create a life of unconditional love for themselves and the world. The action they take is to express love unconditionally. It doesn’t necessarily mean that they will change the outside world or anybody else. It just means that they use their faith and expression of love to change their own world. This is the power of prayer and faith in action. When we hope against hope we are splitting our intent between what we desire, and what we fear in effect canceling our our intent.

Spiritual warriors don’t get paralyzed in the fear and doubt of hoping against hope. They utilize the real hope, which is an action born out of faith. What do they put their faith in? Spiritual warriors put their faith in the unfathomable force of life and unconditional love. This is the path of heart that a Spiritual Warrior takes.