I subscribe to daily emails from the Hicks - quoting Abraham from a variety of seminars - they are the only emails I read everyday as most cause a lift in my spirit. In other articles I will update the focus wheel play I have been doing and the power of their meditations - easing into life that is a living iparadise right here and right now - sound good? All of us can do it!
But for now here is today's thought as I just knew I should pass it on.
Being happy is the cornerstone of all that you are! Nothing is more important than that you feel good! And you have absolute and utter control about that because you can choose the thought that makes you worry or the thought that makes you happy; the things that thrill you, or the things that worry you. You have the choice in every moment.--- Abraham
It is my intent that people who are looking for this mix of science, metaphysics and just plain common sense will find my work and writings - if you know someone else who would appreciate words of experience on reinventing life with ever increasing love and happiness - no matter what your age but definitely over 60 - then please pass this link on to them.
Looking forward to hearing from you,
In my learning about the frontiers of science, mixed with years of practice in yogic traditions, I have become fascinated with issues of: time, nonduality, subjective reality, and the changing norms around these perceptions. Have you ever noticed how mutable time is? What effect it has on our psychological well-being? For these reasons I am interested in and enchanted by this video. I hope you enjoy it as well.
Having adopted life in Kinsale, County Cork Ireland over five years ago now we have become adept at managing the celebration of Thanksgiving, a holiday specific to one country when living in another. Upon reflection, the changes we have experienced are instructive of our settling in and making connections within our community.
The first year I remember both celebrating and ruing the differences in what it took to get things done. On the one hand, there were no lines in the markets and we could purchase a free range turkey with no bother because few others wanted them in November. However, we had to do without pumpkin pies as there was no filling to be found and the real pumpkins had all been sold earlier in the season. Our guests were neighbours, older gentle and interesting folk who had graciously included us in the small gatherings that happened in the neighborhood. Much of the conversation around the table made little sense to us, and in truth the Cork accents were often so strong as to render us incapable of reply.
The second year was an experiment in mixed cultures, one that perhaps did not lead to the best entertainment experience of our lives. We had sorted the pumpkin pie issue by simply bringing cans home in a suitcase after travel to the US. The turkey was the best we had ever had, coming as it did from the local butcher. Our guest list included a younger couple who we knew from the town, the older gentleman who manages the works of our village, and an American who had rented one of the houses close by. Unfortunately the American was of the sort who felt that his way was the best way and “What was wrong with the locals that they didn’t…?” Not answering his emails being at the top of his list. The one brief moment of connection for me was when I explained to him what I had learned from my Rotary group in Cork - that people here are so closely connected that they seldom resort to emails, at most texting. Why move to the impersonal when you can go downtown for lunch and run into everyone you need to see? What we were experiencing was our lack of connection rather than their rudeness. The Irish couple concurred and I felt as though I had won a prize in multicultural understanding. When the older gentleman fell asleep at the table it seemed a proper comment on the evening.
Our third year felt as though we were finally at home and Thanksgiving modeled much of the lessons we had been learning. We were flexible, resulting in a bigger dinner on the Saturday while we took the heart of the celebration of our holiday to our multicultural group meeting on the Thursday by sharing pumpkin pie. Having built real homey connections with people, our guest list including the folks with whom we walked our dogs, worked, and lived close to, all of them people who shared other events regularly with us. We understood 95% of what was said throughout the evening, only really breaking down at the end when our guests fell into politics and sports. There was only one man whose accent was strong enough to cause me to have to ask him to repeat himself so I could answer a question. And best of all people stayed, talked and laughed until well after 1:00am. Great craic!
It wasn't until the fourth year that we unpacked the China, and rolled out the bits and bobs that truly make the celebration one with historic memory by including grandmothers silver, the tablecloth we picked up in Hungary, and the centerpiece that included the little bits of handmade crafts from Africa.
Perhaps, in retrospect, that is the greatest gift of moving to Ireland for us, that we become increasingly part of the world culture because travel is easier and the community norm allows for greater multicultural mix. That is the reason that this year we are moving both towards and away from what would have been our traditional celebration and taking Thanksgiving to a new high by incorporating our regular group of friends in a feast that stretches the tradition to include chopsticks.
We found that it didn't work for us to have a meal on any day but Thursday so we are back to the traditional day while being adventurous instead with the food on the table. Our friend from China, Tina, will be making the feast and we are adding Chinese traditions to our American norm. In China, it is bad luck to have an odd number of main dishes so we will have a small amount of soup and then six dishes to be shared together: a couple of types of dumplings, a vegetable and potato salad, and a stuffed tofu and a spicy tofu. Tina and her friend Grace will teach us how to make all these, thus adding to the repertoire of our lives.
Thanksgiving continues to teach us many things as it helps us to reflect on our lives, and how much we have to be grateful for in our adopted home echoing the original Thanksgiving feast. Those settlers long ago found warmth and helpfulness in their new neighbours, who taught them new skills, literally keeping them alive over the first winter. While nothing in our journey has been so extreme, we continue to find the connections with other people in the appreciation of the wide world in which we live in as sources for our deepest gratitude.
Martin Seligman has a new theory. Who is Martin Seligman and why is this important? Dr. Seligman is the founder and one of the most prolific advocates of positive psychology. He is also a man for whom I have great respect. A maverick at heart, he flew in the face of a psychological tradition that looked for only disease and went on to develop scientific evidence about what leads to a positive and happy life. He took his 45 years of practice and rigorous research and solidified his ideas into five main characteristics or variables which lead to a flourishing life. This article is an overview of PERMA - his acronym to help us remember these five characteristics. As each is discussed, I hope you consider measuring your own life in terms of the relative strengths of each. My family and I have found it to be of enormous help in keeping our minds on the positive. PERMA also gives us a tool for communication when something feels a little off.
Pleasure is of course what most people think about when they think of flourishing. Pleasure, the sensations that give life its juice, contains attributes of happiness, joy, satisfaction, etc.
Engagement or focus or flow, whatever you want to call it, is the ability to be single-minded on a task so that time, and even our awareness of ourselves, stops. This attribute is the reason we play games rather than passively watch media. In my own life, the degree to which I am engaged in a task has huge effects on how much pleasure I take from it.
Positive Relationships are the heart of both PERMA and of our lives. Statistics have always shown that we tend to do well when we are involved in positive relationships. In reverse we may wither, to the point of death, when isolated. Coming from an individualistic family as I do, this is one of the characteristics I have to work on the hardest, which is only to say that not every flourish-creating characteristic comes easily to us.
Meaning is something individual to each one of us isn't it? Culturally bounded, very dependent on what we were taught was right and wrong, even on our spiritual or religious foundations, meaning underpins how we interpret the characteristics of our lives and determines much of our experience of the world.
Accomplishment, success, our ability to create the lives we want for ourselves and our family, drives much of the outputs of the Western world. When coupled with meaning, accomplishment forms much of the value on which people base their lives, at least in the Western world.
In each of the areas of life you can find success or experience failure. Also much of how we interpret whether or not we are flourishing will be determined by how we and other people around us see each of these. Just as relationship is the heart of this theory, feedback we get from others always has the potential to color our own view of our reality. Future articles will look at each of these in more depth, will discuss how action research can be used to increase them, and will share some of Dr. Seligman, and my own, processes. Finally, the ways in which health and vitality interplay with PERMA will add to future discussions.
Much earlier in my life, I spent a great deal of time investigating metaphysics, which I define as ideas based on universally held beliefs across cultures from the beginning of time, with a focus on how the spiritual infuses our life. Along that path I was fortunate enough to participate in A Course in Miracles class and work group, who met once a week for year. Periodically, I come back to The Course and recently I have enjoyed it a great deal because of its connection to the writings/teachings of Esther and Jerry Hicks.
This article investigates the similarities between the scientific quantum realm in terms of its understanding of the role of the observer and the concepts of how our minds create our realities as per both The Course and the ideas of “living with intent.
On page 26 of the Workbook for Students (opened randomly for reading, as is my standard practice) I came across the following:
The idea for today is a beginning step in dispelling the belief that your thoughts have no effect. Everything you see is the result of your thoughts. There is no exception to this fact. Thoughts are not big or little; powerful or weak. They are merely true or false. Those that are true create their own likeness. Those that are false make theirs...
Salvation requires that you also recognize that every thought you have brings either peace or war; either love or fear. The neutral result is impossible because a neutral thought is impossible. There is such a temptation to dismiss fear thoughts as unimportant, trivial and not worth bothering about that it is essential you recognize them all as equally destructive but also equally unreal.
Why are fear-based thoughts unreal? From the point of view of these teachers we live as co-creators with the universal life force energy through the power of our minds. In essence, we live in a heaven of our own making. The Hicks tell us that because of the wonderful contrasts in our world we form strong “rockets of desire,” telling that universal force what it is we want to create. Unfortunately, when our energy and emotions focus on lack and limitation in our lives then we create that instead of what our hearts and minds desire. Those are the unreal equally destructive thoughts of the course in miracles.
What does this have to do with quantum living? Schrödinger's cat is a parable that you may be familiar with – the cat in a box that has been given a pellet of poison but is neither alive nor dead until the observer opens the box to determine which is real. This has to do with the fact that in quantum physics a particle is either a particle or a wave, with the ability to behave as both simultaneously until it is measured. When light particles are sent through a measurement device that looks for particle behavior, they behaved exclusively as we would expect particles to behave and throw the requisite themes of light as we would expect. When we are not measuring for particles the striated beams of light produced correlate as we would expect for a wave.
But where does neuroscience weigh in on this topic? Dr. Karl Pribram, delves into how information is stored (or not stored) within our brains. His holonomic theory summarizes decades of scientific evidence to conclude that how we see the world is transformed by the retina in our eye much as a lens pulls out an entire image from a beam of light forming a holographic image. We have the ability to create the whole of that image in our minds. The interpretation is more in our minds then in objective reality.
This quantum living/subjective reality/scientific and metaphysics/etc. series of articles continues to be a format through which I work out for myself and other curious souls the relationships that appear to exist between science and metaphysics. I enjoy investigating realms or topics previously thought never to converge. The “Whether we see the cup as half empty or half-full “ debate continues to remain a personal choice and becomes one that influences every aspect of our life.
I leave it to you, my reader, to determine for yourself whether and to what extent these analogies portrayed an interesting cross-section of similarity. Perhaps we should take the idea that no thoughts are neutral seriously as we choose how to live our lives?
An expose that is quite intriguing, yet serious life plan.
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