Slowing Down

Most of the time when I sit down to write in this journal/blog I have no idea what I am going to say or write about, like this morning. I often sit down to do it because it is a practice for me of contemplation and it a way for me to bring up to my consciousness what is lurking below in mySelf. Often I begin after I have done some sort of meditation and sometimes I just begin it because I know it’s good for me. This is of course when I am following this practice. When I sit down at the computer I see on it all of the things I am working on, my email, calendar, facebook, games, and other things that occupy my time at my desk. I open my MacJournal program and put it on full screen and presto I have a blank computer screen that is a pleasant sky blue waiting for me to write something. When I write it comes out in a nice purple font that is big enough to see without any squinting. So there I am with a blank screen patiently waiting. I stretch my body in the chair and look out the window at the beauty surrounding me for inspiration. Sometimes I’ll sit there for quite a few minutes, like this morning just staring at the large rock here in front of my temporary office window, with the blue sky above it, wisps of white cloud floating and the grasses surrounding it with the endless ocean out beyond. I’ll just sit there wondering what there could be to write about. Thoughts will come to my mind, some of the thoughts will be “important” thoughts that “should” be thought about, some will be fears or concerns or things that piss me off that would be “vulnerable and real” to write about, some will be self realizations or observations that want to flow out in a Ken Kesey steam of consciousness kind of way “the crazy interior revealed”, and some are just what my fingers type and are as close to not thinking as I can get “could be a disaster and boring to both me and you”. I then filter through those thoughts, take a breath and start typing and see what most wants to emerge. I think today it is more of the later two. I think today that I have no idea what I am going to write and I will just have to discover it as I go along with more blankness then I am used to.

This meditation I am doing, again after a loooong hiatus, is these Holosync recordings where the sound waves take my brain into different cycles and do some interesting syncing of the different parts of the brain and provide the opportunity to open up neural pathways. I have recorded affirmations and declarations that are recorded in beyond normal hearing frequencies that are played at the same time as the journey of cycling through the different brain waves. So there are some neural pathways being created and solidified in my brain that are more integrated with the way I am wanting to move in my life. Anyway that is the way it is supposed to work and who knows what is really happening. All I do know is that when I come out from underneath the headphones I feel like I have been taken out of my normal day to day experience and on a journey. I know I have spent time outside of my thinking brain, similar to other meditations and the way that I experience my body is different for awhile after I put the headphones down.

So here I was a half hour or so ago in somewhat of an altered state, staring at my blank screen and my rock feeling quite peaceful and wondering what to write about.

Slowing Down.

Cosmo - You can't see the cosmic swirl on his forehead. It might have migrated to his chin

My puppy Cosmo is an unusual puppy, besides being amazingly cute and smart he is also “mellow”, When we go out for a walk he’ll sometimes just stand with his nose up. It looks to me like he is looking at something, so I look and can’t see anything that he is looking at, so then I imagine he is just sticking his nose in the air and smelling things I have no idea about. It could be he just isn’t in a hurry and he is literally just stopping to take time to look, smell and listen in this moment. Sure he loves to run and play and his favorite game is chase, sometimes he likes to be the chaser and sometimes the chasee, he loves to run, he loves to go down into a deep play bow and invite play with every other dog and person he runs into with his tail wagging so hard and fast you would think he would take off like a helicopter and fly butt first around the beach. In all those ways he is like a typical puppy, and he also does this slow down and contemplate thing that I haven’t experienced in many other puppies I’ve had in my life. We picked Cosmo out of the litter, when we met the whole litter, because he had this little white swirl in the middle of his forehead that looked for all the world like the swirling cosmos. We also picked him because he had this loving quality and loved to cuddle up next to you. So like the cosmos our Cosmo appreciates slow as much as he loves fast. He reminds me about slowing down and paying attention.

When I add the reminders from Cosmo to the altered and relaxed state that emerges from the meditation I am aware that so many of us humans have completely forgotten how to slow down, open our eyes, nose and ears to our world and just take in what is there in front of or inside of us. There is so much around us and within us to open ourselves to in this moment and yet we are in such a hurry to get to the next moment that we miss it all.

1/1/2012

Happy New Year

On this revolution of the earth around the sun we humans make up that we have the chance to complete something old and start something new. We have invented a way to measure time that is based on the relationship of the earth to the sun. One revolution of the earth on it’s axis is a day that we have broken down into 24 pieces of time that we call hours, each hour we have again broken down into 60 pieces called minutes, each of which we then decided to break down again into 60, this time calling them seconds. From a second down we go back to base 10 which is our favorite way of counting things and go into micro and milli etc etc. When we go up from that 12 month year we also tend to go back to base 10 and celebrate the 10th and 100th years more then others and a large portion of us get freaked out at 1000 years. The numbers that we assign to years somehow got determined to be before or after the life of Jesus, which is apparently not that scientific. We measure time before Jesus as before his birth and after Jesus as after his death. The time of his life we don’t measure. We also aren’t quite sure when his life actually was so the numbers are all made up anyway.

Anyway we humans took time and put it all together somehow and came up with this way of measuring time that I happen to live in. In this interesting and slightly bizarre way of measuring time I am sitting here on the first day of the year 2012, which according to the Maya is the last year in their calendar. That too is supposed to be somehow terrifying due to some stuff that we made up. I have to tell you that right now sitting at my desk and looking out at the light hitting Tomales point and the surf rolling in with a bright blue sky and the wind towseling the trees it is hard to believe any of that stuff. It is a lot simpler to look out the window and be eternally grateful to be alive in this moment and time, to be able to use these amazing senses to perceive the world around me and to interpret with my astonishing brain that what I behold is beautiful.

Because I am a human being living in this paradigm that measures time the way we do. I sat down with my beloved Karen last night and participated in a ceremony. (now ceremonies and rituals are wonderful consequences of this unusual relationship with time that we humans have created) In this ceremony we first of all made some delicious appetizers and pulled out an excellent bottle of champagne. We went out to the hot tub with the champagne and watched the sunset on 2011 and we had some completion of the year conversations and did some last minute designed alliance around the ceremony that we were already engaged in (don’t you just love this Co-Active Model?) and then when we were fully cooked we put on our robes and grabbed our glasses and sat out on our chairs on the deck and watched the final colors of the sunset fade away. We moved into the living room with our delicious appetizers and another bottle of champagne and began writing down our 2011 lists of “Wins, Breakthroughs, & Successes” and “Failures, Breakdowns & Disappointments”. We read those lists to each other off our ipads, commenting and remembering our year as we went along and then instead of burning them as we used to we did a count down as our fingers headed to the delete key and at the same time created blank ipads on which to create the new year.

Now it was time to create an as fresh as possible new year. Because integrity is such a high value to both of us we started with bringing over our list of incompletions and then we added to that a breakdown of desires and intentions for this next 12 month period of time. Then we began to prioritize and look at which of those desires and intentions were the “big rocks”, the ones we wouldn’t or couldn’t put down and only allowed ourselves a handful of those as we sorted the rest into lower priorities. Then filled with all sorts of swirling possibilities we headed off to sleep through the ball dropping on the “New Year”.

This morning after we initiate some of the intentions that we set we will complete the process and get a pretty good idea of how we will theme and grow this coming year. I know that a lot of it will be growing our ability to look out the window and be grateful for the beauty that is there.

ME & WE, A Paradoxical Dance At So Many Levels

This blog entry started out as an entry on my SparkPeople Blog, which is devoted to my body’s fitness program. But I decided to include it here for all to see. And the beat goes on.

Hello SparkPeople Blog and Henry’s Body

I come back to you after being out in the world creating amazing and powerful transformations. I come back to you because you need to continue to move through your transformations as well.

I also come back to you despite an amazing pull on my energies to continue to allow myself to be pulled away towards the global transformations I am working towards. I have to keep remembering that when I keep my promises and commitments to mySelf I am keeping my promises and commitments to the Universe and vice versa. I am so aware of being pulled out of mySelf as I do the creative work that I do, the teaching work that I do, the thought leader work that I do, the lights that I turn on in the eyes of others. I love doing that work and I could easily forget about the work I need to do on my own inner world, my wonderful body that needs attention to keep getting fitter and trimmer so that I can do the work that I want to do in this world, my amazing spirit needs to find quiet time and meditation time to be able to keep growing my consciousness, my emotions and passions need attention and to be harnessed and worked with more powerfully as I channel them towards the work I want to do in the world and on mySelf. My mind with all its beliefs, attitudes, knowledge, wisdom, instincts, intuitions and also it’s judgments, assumptions, criticisms, tap root limiting beliefs needs to be pointed, managed and occasionally turned off so that I can sleep and care for the other parts of me more effectively.

So as my brilliant brother Sam would point out I still hold a polarity of energy pulls. One pole seems to pull me outside of mySelf and away from caring for mySelf and my own world and the other pole seems to pull me into mySelf so much that I am pulled away from my world and all that I know I need to be doing and being in these urgent times. I know I need to be conscious of this polarity of outside and inside and I know that I need to resolve them and learn to dance in this particular paradox with more agility.

I am headed to a place where I can move with certainty in this universe and know that all of my attention and love is pointed in both directions at 100%. I am sure that this state of consciousness I am stepping towards is what is needed and I sure ain’t there yet. I am tugging on my heart to care about me right now while I am so engaged in caring about we. ME & WE – What a trip I just noticed the polarity of the first letter of both of those words. The only difference, in english, between them is that they are mirrors for each other. What happens when they become one?

Well SparkPeople and Body I wanted you to know that I am clearly still being pulled in both directions and that I am forcibly pointing my attention in your direction to find that dance. I will be going to the gym this afternoon and every day until I leave again on Sunday. I am tracking my food and will continue to do so and I will post blog posts in both of my blog locations. Some will be separate posts and some, like this one, will be going in both locations.

Body, a final word of gratitude for you. I put you through a lot of stress over the last couple of weeks and the rest I let us have was not as great as we would have liked, AND you were brilliant. You didn’t get sick and you never let me down, you kept going and let the light shine through with every heartbeat and every breath, thanks.

Inspired

Thanks for the inspiration Sis!!

My sister RevJvh (her SparkPeople name, and I am posting both here and in SparkPeople this blog) is inspiring me these days. She has enthusiastically gone about shifting paradigms, literally leaping from one life into another, leaping from reality, way of being and living into another one. She has found a way to, at age 56, move from a pretty enrolling sedentary life where movement was to be avoided at all cost and when movement occurred it was going to be done with drama (in her youth) or pain (in later years) to a life where movement is enthusiastically embraced and included in on every day activities and on vacations. Yes, vacations, vacations to tropical places which is one of those places where many of us mortals look to recline on a beach chair and have cute young people bring an endless stream of tropical drinks and nibbles. But not the inspiring RevJvh, oh sure she enjoyed plenty of “vacation like activities with friends and margaritas”, she didn’t stop there nooo, she climbed the Mayan pyramids, she zipped on a gynormous zip line out over the Caribbean, she snorkeled, and generally had fun moving and hiking or doing water aerobics every day. Wait let me say that again she had FUN doing these things. Ladies and Gentlemen you are witnessing transformation right in front of your eyes, you are seeing someone who used to breathe water now breathing air, and you are seeing someone who has shed over 150 pounds and still excitedly moving towards her goal. You go Sis!!!!

Now my sis got this whole thing started as a result of circumstances becoming completely intolerable and life needed to change. This is often the case prior to an evolutionary leap. The other way a leap can happen, I believe, is a creative burst that is inspired by all sorts of surrounding circumstances some of which may seem intolerable and some of which are just not acceptable any longer combined with either insight or deepened consciousness.

This is where I enter this picture. I declared here on this blog a couple of years ago when I began that it had become intolerable that my body and I were so disconnected and that I abused my body the way I did and that if I were to evolve to what was next for me in my life I needed to bring integrity, compassion and love into that relationship and wholeness into all parts of me. I also knew that I needed to deepen my consciousness to include and trust information about my body from my body. I had to let go of outsiders telling me all the different ways and theories of how to take control of my body and lose weight and get it together. I had to trust the wisdom of close to 50 years of yo-yoing diets and learning and being educated that I had learned and been educated. So I created a consciousness program for myself of moderation and restraint when it came to food and exercise and I noticed that first and foremost my relationship with my body changed as I started listening and loving my body. I started to move more and be moderate in what I consumed. This led to the most integrated that I have ever felt in my life and I allowed that consciousness to grow from that integration and my whole universe seemed to grow and become more clear to my expanding consciousness.

During this same time my beloved Karen was trying to work through her issues with her body with Weight Watchers and working out with a trainer and her yoga practice and my sister RevJvh was engaging with SparkPeople and working out with her trainer. I was pretty resistant to these “outsiders” and feeling a bit fragile about my newfound sense of integration and consciousness. As time went by I noticed that my body wasn’t changing much, my moderation and restraint program wasn’t producing the transformation that I was intending. My consciousness was growing, I was growing and my body wasn’t shrinking. For awhile I was excited enough about the evolving and integration, and even the closer connection that I was having with my body, that I was engaged in that I could ignore or live in a bit of denial about my body staying pretty locked in the shape that we had created together over the years.

Then along came my sister with not only her impressive weight loss, it was the transformation that was so inspirational. So as many of you already know I joined Spark People too and started tracking my food and exercise. This time though I believe I am able to come at the whole thing from a place of conscious choosing and not from a place of victimhood or judgment or losing myself to follow another plan. This time I began by creating my own plan based on my body and it’s needs and my mind, emotions and spirit based on their needs. This time I designed an alliance with my beloved Karen to do this interdependently (both alone and together). This time I have my sisters in front of me inspiring me and I am in it for the long haul, as in the rest of my life. I have even stopped being fragile about owning a scale and have ordered a really cool one that sends my measurements through wifi directly to Spark People and that doesn’t freak me out or make me feel like a victim, and if it does I will bury it somewhere in the garage. I bought this armband that pretty accurately measures all the calories I burn, both in activities during the day and even while I am sleeping, so that I can be curious about the distinctions between calories in and calories out without having to guess and cheat like I used to. So I have increased the toys, which is always good, and I have increased the ability to be conscious which is even better. Now being conscious has to do with both the inside conversation AND the outside data and with the two together I believe that I too can shift my paradigm like my inspiring sister the Rev did.

It’s Cold

OK, now this is interesting. I got up at 6:30 this morning and got dressed in my sweats and headed out for my walk down the hill in the dark and the wind was blowing and it was cooold out there, much colder then my sweats would protect me from. I knew that I had good fleece top and that I didn’t have any bottoms that would keep me warm enough. I also saw that it was going to be a clear and sunny day and that means it would warm up as the sun came out. So I took my shivering butt in and began my other practices saying that I would walk down to the PO at lunch.

Now this has often been the beginning of the tolling of the bell of disaster for me around exercise. Some excuse as to why I couldn’t get out first thing in the morning with a promise to myself that I would do it later in the day and then with absolute count-on-ability I would forget or those nasty little voices would have completely convinced me that I don’t need to or something else REALLY important would come up and I would not do that promised exercise later in the day. Today however I have told both Karen and Art who is here doing some design work that I am going to walk at lunch. I have said to myself that this is as much an experiment as yesterday was. Yesterday I proved to myself that I could walk that bloody hill and enjoy the view, take my time, and feel completely virtuous. Today I get to prove something else to myself, I get to prove that I can deliver on a promise to myself no matter what time of day or what the circumstances are. I get to prove that there are no rules when taking care of myself, except to do it. I get to prove that I CAN take a walk down the hill at lunch, who knows maybe on Thursday I’ll take a walk before dinner and on Friday I’ll take a night time walk after dinner (although if it stays this cold I might want to pick up some fleece pants first :-)) It may be that this whole being cold this morning thing was a divinely inspired opportunity to break up the “reality” I have created around exercise, walking and even practices. I have so wired myself to think that practices that I put in place to care for myself are “morning practices” and that I just won’t do them at any other time of the day.

Maybe this morning I get to land in another land of possibility that my practices are not something I just have to get through each day. They are not something that I “should” do in the morning or they won’t get done and they are not some new tool that I can scold myself for not using right or in order. Maybe this could be the day that my practices begin to folded into my life rather then shoved in. Maybe this is the day when I can say to my day, right in the middle of it, Stop I am going on a walk or sit down in a meditation, OK, thank you day now where were we. Wow could I be conscious enough to enfold my practices into my day as my day opens up? Nah not yet, but boy I would love to be that conscious in my life. No I know that I still need to hold myself to a certain rigor around my practices or those very vocal gents who are roaming around the universe of Henry will gain all sorts of footholds in the activities that take me away from caring for myself and being conscious. So I am going to get some gear for myself that can have me walk in any weather and still plan to perform my practices in the morning prior to starting my day. However I AM going to ALSO practice adding extra practices into my day at different times and loosening up the hold that the “rules” of practicing has on me and who knows as I expand my consciousness I will be able to have my entire day be a series of practices that are indistinguishable from each other as ways to care for myself and my world.

Synchronicity

I’ve heard it said by people who say great things, I have had it happen to me many times before in my life and yet when it happens it still surprises me and causes a whole range of mixed emotions, responses and even ego reactions, Synchronicity.

Two years ago I was out on the same land my beloved wife is on right now in New Mexico learning from the land and my teachers all about Intention and Dreaming. We were asked to do a walkabout and pick up a rock that symbolized our dedication. I walked around for awhile on the edge of the canyon, rocks all around me, in the midst of a deep contemplation about what I was dedicated to. Often my mind would fill with thoughts so that I couldn’t see the rocks and then I would empty out my mind, stand still, look at the sky and the ground and see rocks. After one of these emptying moments I started to walk again and my boot kicked this fist sized rock over. I picked up this roundish rock with the rough edges and looked at it closely and saw that it was veined. If the rock were a sort of squished globe with the poles being dimpled in a bit, then the veins were moving around the rock from pole to pole north to south, south to north. Each of the poles became eyes of sorts and into my mind popped…

“I am dedicated to the brightening of the diamond of human consciousness and fostering it’s evolution.”

Well I was quite moved by the way that all came about and with the dedication itself. I could feel mySelf swell with the truth and the responsibility of it. I returned home and wrote about it here in my blog and I began to include it in conversations I was having with my tribe, my people. I began looking around and seeing the truth of this dedication in me in the work I have done previously and I also looked at how I could reshape that work to carry forth my dedication more powerfully. I worked with brilliant collaborators who shared my dedication or maybe to be more accurate had clear purposes and dedications of their own that aligned perfectly with mine.

I say “mine or my dedication” and it sounds possessive and my ego has a field day trying to attach itself to this dedication as some sort of “big new” thing. Well all I can do is say to my ego “You do your thing guy, there is work I need to do here, just don’t get in my way.” So off goes my ego to grow more hands and fingers so that he can grab a hold of this growing beautiful thing, bye bye for now.

Information starts to flow in from the universe from all sorts of sources who are thinking about and have been thinking about this same stuff for quite awhile. New names of great thinkers plop themselves down in front of me to look at and learn from. People like Brian Hall, who I am going down to visit today, who wrote a book called “Values Shift” in 1990, right about when I was starting coaching and coaching training. Laura Whitworth and I collaborated to create this way of mining for values from a very experiential and practical direction and then clarifying them and prioritizing them that seemed to work very well for people, at the same time Brian Hall was doing amazing work with values through a more scientific method and combining them with skills, developmental stages and cycles. I never heard of Brian Hall until I put my dedication into high gear and began co-creating the Co-Active Summit and Jeremy Stover one of the co-creators put up Brain’s stages of development and my jaw dropped in recognition and my brain began firing off as it looked at all the models that seemed to be similarly represented here. Synchronicity.

We went on designing and developing the Summit and more and more synchronicity began showing up and then yesterday my friend Cherie Beck forwarded an email with a link to me that was many thought leaders that I admired had gotten together two months ago at a Summit of their own called “Evolutionary Leadership”. I went to the site (link is included here) and saw people I admired who I have known to be talking about other things and seemed pointed in their own directions had gathered and were talking about the same things that the rock on the canyon wall told me to be talking about 2 years ago. Synchronicity.

Here is where my ego started throwing up a silent little hissy fit. “Oh so you thought you were da man. You thought you were stepping out into some unknown mystery and taking people where they haven’t gone before, you are a eensy weensy inconsequential speck of silicon in that rock you picked up.” It’s a bit sad that after all that work growing more hands and fingers to hold so tightly onto that growing dedication all he could come up with was this spittle.

MySelf responds by saying that as the Sacred Dream of Life unfolds itself and grows clearer and clearer both in my own being and in the universe created by both my being and the unfolding dream, well of course the ears will open up and start hearing the voices that are also singing the same song, the eyes will open up and see the beauty of the faces, bodies, groups, organizations, communities and nations doing the work and play that is necessary to foster that evolution, the heart will open up with gratitude to all that is that it is in touch with all of the other hearts that love and care for life and humanity, and the spirit will smile with recognition of the important work that we are all doing in this universe.

Re-entry

Here I am again after being away from writing here for what feels like a very long time. For the last week or two I have been contemplating reentering this practice (along with one or two others that also took a summer vacation) and I have been agonizing a bit internally. I know there is continued value in exploring and expanding my consciousness and there is also value in exploring my successes and failures at keeping up with my practices and commitments made to mySelf and my world here in this blog. This blog is the place of accountability. I CAN try to lie to mySelf and my world and start to slip away from my commitments and back into old patterns while putting on a good face and appearing like I am still walking the path of enlightenment. I CAN pretend that everything is proceeding apace in order to impress whoever might read this. I can not lie to mySelf for very long without feeling like crap. I can’t lie to this blog and my world very long and then walk around in that world and look it in the eye with any feeling of integrity.

In the last couple months of my blog writing I was attempting to lie to mySelf and my world. I was pretending to hold myself accountable for the most part and only moving forward in a half-assed sort of way on my intentions and commitments. Oh sure I had times of celebration and times of realizations that were profound for me, like the distinction between practice and performance, now that was a life changer. For the most part though I was slipping backwards and away from those things that I KNOW work for me and towards habits that are deeply ingrained and feel “like normal” to me. The difference of course is that I am completely aware of what I need to do and there is no doubt or feelings of confusion or lostness anymore, there is only certainty of what works for me. And so now I return to those practices with full disclosure to mySelf and my world about the failures and successes. This will unfold in my blog as it did before because my blog is one of those practices. What is different, and what has been pulling on me these last months, is that a large part of me is going through a cycle where I am quite bored with mySelf and with my practices. I know I need to practice them and I need to write here occasionally to keep myself accountable AND….

I am so much more interested in other things these days and I want to write about them in my blog. I am reading new things, creating new things, stepping waaaay outside my box and into places that are scary and exciting for me. My consciousness is looking outwards again and seeing shiny new ideas and fun new goodies. These ideas and goodies are all aligned with my dedication to brightening the diamond of human consciousness and fostering evolution of life. I know that a pattern of mine that is not particularly healthy is to put the focus outside of myself and ignore this amazing universe of me that is growing and developing and struggling and learning and failing and winning and losing. So I am going to attempt to dance in the paradox and keep my attention on both directions at the same time. Inward and outward. The inward effects of looking outward and the outward impacts of looking inward. All are important to expanding consciousness.

There are lots of things that make me nervous about writing about what is happening as I look outwards. I am concerned that I will make people I love, like, work with and play with nervous as I sound out ideas that they are not yet aware of or think that I am thinking in other directions. I have fears and suspicions that there are folks out there who count on some sort of consistency of direction and thought that might get reactive and freaked out if I have thoughts, ideas and notions that don’t tow the line. I apologize in advance to those of you that I may in some way offend or frighten, that is not my intent. It is my intent to fumble my way forward into deeper understandings of things, ideas and directions. There are some out there that will be disappointed, disillusioned, maybe even a bit heartbroken. It breaks my heart to think that might happen. I need to move on not fearing those possible outcomes. I have to breathe into my heart, gut and mind and let what comes come. The truth is I started to get a bit frightened about my impact and started to hold things back more and try to think “strategically”. Like “when is it good to talk about this or that and when is it bad?” This is out of integrity for me. I actually learned a couple of weeks ago that “strategy” is fiction. It is just as made up as economics or fantasy. It is informed guessing about the future of things. I am aware that my strategies are just more reasonable then my fantasies but they are no more real. So to all the people who want me to follow prescribed strategies I want to say “I’ll do my best and if the story changes I am going to follow the story and not the prescribed strategy, sorry.”

So I think I made my point in this post to mySelf and my universe. (there all the same anyway)

Well off to a call with my ‘tribe’. More tommorow.