Friday, December 28, 2012


Most of us have opinions about what is happening in our lives and in the world around us. And let’s face it, there is absolutely nothing wrong with that. It gives us a way to see where we stand concerning an issue ~ and as such it helps us discern what we want in our lives; what we want to be part of and what ‘is not for us’.

That being said it is also true that opinions tend to be polarizing. Especially in this time in which pretty much everything that is happening has its polarities ~ leaving hardly any middle ground to navigate. And when opinions start to polarize an issue, it is really easy for the balance to be lost.
After all, we know our opinion is the right one, and therefore the other person must be wrong. And if they fail to come around to our perspective, our point of view on the matter, then it doesn’t take long before either party draws a line in the sand...

And funnily enough it is not just the negative, or ‘against something’ opinions that can have this effect.  I have found that even positive, or ‘in favor of something’ opinions can pit the parties against one another. Although I have to admit that the issue or topic at hand does make a difference.
Let’s face it, very few people are against world peace ~ we pretty much all can agree on that achieving  world peace is a good thing.

Just reading posts on for instance Facebook it seems that two things can really get people to express their opinions:
The sense that something is taken away from us.
The sense that another person or group tells us what to do ~ in other words authority.

Obviously these points are related. Something that is taken away from us, usually touches us on a personal ~ even emotional ~ level. An authority that tells us what to do and how to do it may actually push buttons that are buried deep down in our make-up ~ perhaps even in our subconscious levels ~ and sparks a reaction that can border on rebellion. Either way it is very understandable that we have an opinion about what is happening...

From a more spiritual perspective, having strong opinions does have a caveat. If we are not careful our opinions can become judgements rather than the expressed discernment about that particular situation. And as soon as we start judging others because of their beliefs, their ideals, yes even their opinions ~ we can suddenly find ourselves in a negative spiral that some may say even has karmic repercussions.

Opinions can be productive as different opinions can show different sides of an issue ~ to use them constructively, the ultimate goal should be to resolve the issue...

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

The joy of giving

Christmas is the one occasion when the joy of giving is just as much, or perhaps even a greater part of giving gifts than any other occasion during the year ~ like birthdays, weddings, and other celebrations.
Yes there is still that underlying current that says one doesn’t want to give less to a loved one than other family members might ~ in other words, there is a certain status to the gift giving ~ yet still a lot of it is for the joy of giving...

Giving to others makes us feel good. Both for seeing the joy of the other person receiving the gift as well as feeling good about ourselves for having given to the other person.
It’s a win win experience.

And as it is something that makes both the receiver as well as the giver feel good ~ it makes me wonder why we are doing it only a certain time of the year, or at certain occasions.

There is the expectancy of receiving gifts just as you have given gifts ~ a give and take that goes along lines that say: ‘If I give them this gift they owe me one...’ And while that is a very human thought, it does seem to take away from pure joy of giving; the act of giving in and by itself.
And of course there is a price tag. The actual cost of the gifts is something hardly anyone can afford on a whim throughout the year.

Yet if it is all about the joy of giving, there are many gifts we have to give to another person that don’t have that hefty price tag...
Like a smile. Or a phone call, a text message, a card... Taking the time to truly listen to what the other person has to say, or being patient enough to let the other person talk it out... Helping another person with what they feel they need help with rather than with what we ‘know’ they need help with... The tolerance that allows the other person to be different, and to live their life in their own ~ yet different ~ manner.
They are all gifts that are hard to come by in the world today.
They are also gifts that don’t have an actual price tag ~ they are priceless!

All they require is an attitude that there is always joy in giving, and a willingness to truly see the other person at face value.
And when we allow ourselves to live our lives that way ~ the season of giving lasts throughout the year!

Friday, December 21, 2012


When we allow our expectations to live a life of their own, it can spark all kinds of surprising outcomes.

For one, other people hardly ever live up to our expectations ~ especially when they are not aware of them. It would be so much easier if we would let them know that there are certain things we expect of them ~ whether that is in a relationship, in a work environment, or just with friends or acquaintances. Yet as far as expectations go, we may have a tendency to keep quiet about them ~ setting ourselves up for disappointments as the people around us are not living up to our expectations.
There are also events that we have expectations about. For instance that winter starts at the winter solstice; providing us with a beautiful white Christmas. Or that come the spring equinox the weather will turn to this nice, soft, sunny, mild temperature. Either one of those hardly ever happens where I live. And while one can always hope for it ~ it would be silly to expect it.

The big one event that is wrapped in all kinds of expectations ~ good and bad, funny or logical ~ is the ‘end of the world’. It has been predicted to happen any number of times in any number of ways... And every time the date that was set in the prediction goes by I have this anti-climactic feeling. Like something big you sort of are looking forward to experience happens in some unobtrusive way that is hardly noticeable at all. The ‘end of the world’ expectation that has arguably received most attention over the las decade or so stems from the Mayan calendar. Of course the Mayans had an incredible grasp of time, and a sophisticated way in which to measure time ~ so when that yard-stick of time that they set up ran out, the expectation became that something would happen to the world. Something major. Something severe. Something...
As that day arrived it has left me once again with this sense of experiencing an anti-climax. Other than a slight sense of chaos ~ which is not that unusual for me ~ nothing big happened.

Of course it makes sense. Mayans kept track of cycles of time. So it is not that the world would end; it is likely that just this current cycle of time ended to give way to the next cycle of time...

Yet, no matter how we look at it or perceive it, the fact that a point of time, an event goes by so uneventful really is an anti-climax.

Tuesday, December 18, 2012


Every once in a while there is a day that has a certain stillness to it, a sense of calm.
It is not because there is nobody outside, or nothing is happening. It hardly ever has anything to do with the weather. Or the time of day... However it does seem that such a day filled with stillness is more apt to come along closer to the Winter Solstice...
It is just that sense of quiet that invites us to listen rather than to spring into action.

A day like that can be a pensive one. It can be a day to step back from all the activity and to take a look at life ~ to observe where you spend your time and energy. To see what things bring happiness into your life, and where true fulfillment comes from. To separate the meaningful from the superficial ~ the productive from the frivolous...

A day like that may encourage you to look at who you are. Your hopes and dreams, wishes and desires. At the things you are anticipating and your expectations. The self-imposed rules and limitations ~ attitudes. Even the righteous indignation that pops up every once in a while...

And so a day like that can become a day to take stock. To observe where you are at, and to look where you are going. A day like that can instigate the desire to change things if you don’t like what you are seeing.
Now that you have taken that step back from all the normal, day to day happenings chances are that suddenly you become aware of the things that are no longer needed in your life, things that can be ~ or perhaps even should have been ~ released from your life. Things you have carried along for a long, long time that all of a sudden you can let go of.

In the stillness of that day, new ideas can come up, new plans may be made. It is like we get a new compass in that energy of stillness, the ability to change direction.
And while such a day filled with stillness is not necessarily a life altering event in itself ~ it gives us the opportunity to turn inside of ourselves, examine where we are at, evaluate our lives, and start the creation of a new base, a new foundation from which to move forward.

So while the stillness in itself doesn’t change us ~ through the stillness we change ourselves...

Friday, December 14, 2012

Jumping out of the box

Like the children’s toy Jack-in-the-box ~ when we decide to jump out of the box, it often comes as a surprise. To ourselves as well as to others...

When we jump out of the box ~ out of the fixed space we were in and away from the known things we were doing ~ we are suddenly confronted with a world full of possibilities and potentials. The only thing that in all likelihood doesn’t work for us anymore is doing the things we have always done the same way we have always done them...
Jumping out of the box can be like putting on a pair of glasses that allow you to suddenly see the whole world around you with 20/20 vision; and only when you have that experience do you realize how little of that world you were actually seeing before.
Jumping out of the box can be a truly life-altering experience as it prompts us to leave behind the fixed ideas we have had and puts us on a journey of discovery into the things we really like, we really want, we really need. Bringing us realizations as to what is truly meaningful and fulfilling in our lives.

It can bring surprises into our own lives in the sense that once out of that box we are no longer bound by its limitations ~ whether they were real or imagined ~ and therefore we can begin to explore new avenues, check out new things, wander into new directions. In doing so we may discover that the things we thought we liked are okay, yet there are better things that up to now we had never given any attention. By the same token there may be things out there we always dreamed about, but now that we actually have them within reach they aren’t quite as enamoring as we always thought we would be.

To the people around us, seeing us jump out of the box ~ the structure that is predictable and easy to understand ~ and into the flow of energies and situations that is happening all around us can be somewhat bewildering. All of a sudden we are not quite that predictable anymore. We may react differently, start doing different things, attract new friends and acquaintances into our lives. Perhaps develop new interests, new hobbies; trying out new sports. Or even changing careers.
To the people around us, as soon as we have jumped out of the box we are no longer the person they have always known...

Yet in this multi-faceted time, with its flow of energy, its patterns, in a sense even its newness ~ there is a lot to be gained by jumping out of the box!

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Out of the box

It seems to me that as time progresses, the energies around us are becoming ever more fluid. Hardly anything is ‘set in stone’ anymore. The solidity we have grown up with is more and more giving way to a flow of things.

And that can be a flow of events, a flow of situations where one leads to another and another... It also applies to our thoughts as one concept can lead to another, and another... Even our energy, our vitality seems to be more of a flow these days rather than a fixed state of being.

While these are compelling changes that give us a lot more freedom of movement whichever way you want to look at it and truly let us step out of the box ~ they do come with their own challenges.
When events, thoughts, or even our energy starts flowing ~ it can become harder to focus on any one thing, while it is still difficult to observe the patterns in the flow. Therefore, getting stuff done becomes more complicated...

Often, how this happens can be more easily observed outside of ourselves as inside of our lives we can be so caught up in life itself that we hardly notice things are moving in and out of it differently than they may have done a couple of years ago.
Yet when we look at those around us, it may strike us as so obvious how they are not focused, trying to do multiple things all at once and nonetheless failing to get any one thing done.
Because the way we used to do them doesn’t work quite as efficiently anymore...

To make things even more chaotic, this is true for every aspect of our lives.
The fairly fixed understanding that could easily be grasped that says: “When I do this the result will be that...” is fading into history while we are scrambling to discover what will actually work in this new and exciting energy.

One field where this seems to become more and more obvious is healthcare.
Where not so long ago a certain set of symptoms equated to a specific disease, this seems to be less and less true nowadays ~ leaving treatments non-effective...

The only thing that is totally and thoroughly obvious is that the new energy is out of the box!
And rather than holding on to the way thing were, we are likely to be better off when we start looking at the flow of energy. Learn how to discern patterns in that flow ~ and act on those patterns rather than on any one specific detail.
The energy is out of the box; it is time for us to jump out as well!

Friday, December 7, 2012

The weight of words

Have you ever noticed that words, besides their energy, also carry a certain weight?
Words like ‘responsibility’, ‘discipline’, ‘obligation’ seem to have a much greater weight than words like ‘playfulness’, ‘vacationing’, or ‘yoga class’.

I have found that there are few words, however, that carry a greater weight than ‘I have to...’
I have to put the garbage out. I have to do this job. I have to be home in time.
And with every ‘I have to...’ it seems the burden becomes greater.

Often everything we ‘have to’ do is placed sometime in our future. It can be something that ‘has to be done’ today, or perhaps this week, or this month. Either way it is something that we are not doing right now. Because right now we are juggling in our minds all the thins we ‘have to do’, with the usually limited time we have available to do them.
It seems that the more we think about it, the heaver the load gets to be. And we haven’t even started yet...

And that could well be at least part of the problem.
By thinking about all the things we are going to do because we ‘have to do them’, we have put our focus into the future. We are aware of what problems may be laying ahead if something we intend to do drops off the list sometime later that day or that week. We are totally conscious that this may cause a problem down the pike. It is a mighty burden!

The only thing we are not focused on anymore is what is happening right now. Right here.

It is one of those things that is very helpful to become aware of as how we put things into words can give us a hint as to whether we are doing the best we can with what we got ~ or whether we are burdening ourselves with an extra weight...

Now, having a good understanding of everything on our todo list is a good thing. But once we have our todo list, we may be better served by saying things like ‘I am starting with...’, or ‘I am going to...’ rather than ‘I have to’.

Keeping our focus and our awareness in the present lessens the weight.
Using words or statements that enforce us being in the present allows us to be busy without being overburdened.
It permits us to do the things we intend to do on a lighter note, with a spring in our steps.

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

The energy of words

Words have energy. They not only convey a message through their meaning, they also carry an energy that gets the message across on an entirely different level. And sometimes that energy that is set into movement every time that particular word is used, becomes more important than the meaning of the word itself.

For instance, every time I start a sentence with the words ‘I can’t’ ~ even if the rest of that sentence is totally logical, truthful, and perhaps even somewhat innocuous ~ the energy it brings across is that I can not. I am not able to do that.
The subconscious picks up on that and pretty soon there are more and more things in my life that I feel I cannot do. Whether I am lacking in the proper education, in time, in energy ~ it doesn’t matter. I have succeeded in giving myself the message that I can not...

By the same token, every time we approach a situation from a positive (that is without being in denial about what is really going on) ~ telling ourselves that we can handle it. That we will get the help we need when we need it. That even as our lives are a little chaotic at the moment ~ we will find our ways through it and bring a comforting flow back into our lives. The energy of those words is also picked up on by our subconscious ~ however these words or statements are more empowering to us.

In general one can say that all words or statements that have a confining feel to them ~ like ‘I cannot’ ~ have a tendency to make our world smaller and can make us feel less empowered, whereas words or statements that have an expansive feel to them will make our worlds bigger and yes, enhance our sense of empowerment.

This means that it is a good idea to ~ every once in a while ~ listen to the words we use. Whether we use them in a conversation with others, or in an inner conversation ~ whether we are saying those words out loud, or just thinking them to ourselves...

‘I cannot...’ can have multiple meanings from the implied ‘I am unable to’, to ‘I don’t feel like it’, or ‘I have other plans’. In many cases either of the alternatives can work out better for us in the long run as neither alternative is carrying the same debilitating energy of ‘I cannot...’

Friday, November 30, 2012


Every once in a while the things I see happening around me are absolutely baffling to me. I have to admit ~ recently more so than say a decade or even longer ago. Back then things seemed to make a lot more sense. They seemed to have a certain order to them, a certain predictability. And looking back I have come to realize that I liked that...

In those days when in the Fall the leaves first colored in reds and yellows, and then fell from the trees ~ that was part and parcel of Autumn. And while they would be swept away from the streets to prevent  a slippery layer to be formed ~ in parks and gardens, and of course in the forest plenty fallen leaves were left for the kids to play in and for all kinds of small critters to seek shelter from Winter’s cold.
Throughout Winter the grass would stop growing and turn brown or even disappear completely ~ only to return again as soon as the warmer days of Spring would come.

Nowadays, as soon as the first leaves start falling off the trees, city workers appear with hearing protection and leaf blowers ~ not just on the streets, but also in the parks. And yes, even clearing the leafs off the shoulders of roads well away from the city center. Leaving every nook and cranny of town immaculately leafless...

And yes, this is one of those things that baffle me.
In this time of economic hardship in which the City Fathers are tightening their belts kicking and screaming ~ they have still managed to allocate the money for each and every last leaf to be picked up in Fall.
Perhaps even more baffling ~ in this day and age in which so many people feel it is so important to do the ‘right thing’ for our environment, without a second thought all the little life-saving hiding places  for little critters like the field mouse and the hedge hog are cleared out. Taken away. Gone...
And pretty soon so are the hedge hogs... And the field mice...

Without the leaves, the kids really do need to go to the forest to find any to play in.
Without the leaves the grass stays green a little longer. Only to turn brownish anyway when it gets colder. And having taken the leaves, the natural fertilizer, away in the Fall, come Spring I’m sure those city workers will re-appear to spread some artificial fertilizer...

It just doesn’t make sense to me at all.
Truly baffling.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

The Inner Voice

The inner voice is that which speaks from our core; from our connection to our source. It is that quiet stream of information that knows all we would ever need to know...

In a sense ‘the inner voice’ is a misnomer as a lot of people ~ even those who listen to it on a regular basis ~ may not actually hear a voice, yet rather receive sensory information from this quiet, all-knowing place. In other words, the information comes through a sense of feeling, a sense of knowing. And yes, there are also those that ‘get it’ through the sense of sight, of taste, or indeed through the sense of hearing.

As the inner voice stems from a quiet place it makes sense that we need to be quiet ourselves in order to actually ‘hear’ it; receive the information it is giving us through whichever sense is easiest for us to pick up on it...

That is where meditation comes in.
Meditation can be described as seeking a connection to our core, our source. It also allows us to be quiet enough to ‘listen’ to what we need at that moment. Whether that  which we need is a plan to reach our goals, a way to handle a certain situation, or to take a day of rest.

And while taking the time to listen to our inner voice, to meditate, can be very helpful in our life ~ we also need to be aware enough to register what our inner voice is actually telling us...
In our busy lives, even when we take the time to meditate, to listen, we often still need some trigger from outside of ourselves to truly become aware of what we are being told. And these triggers can be anything! Anything that gives us the right association.

It can be a picture, or a story, or a color. It can be a question someone is asking you. It can be something as down to earth as ‘that movie’ being shown on TV. And yes, even an advertisement ~ whether on a billboard along the freeway or a commercial on TV ~ can do the trick.

The only thing it requires to work as a trigger is that you are on the lookout for it; that you are aware what it is telling you on an inner level ~ that you are listening...

Once you have become aware of what your inner voice is telling you ~ it is up to you to either use that information, to act on it, to shelve it, or to discard it.
Your inner voice gives the input; what you do with the input is free will choice...

Friday, November 23, 2012


Tell me about the things you know...

Each and every one of us knows a lot of things. Whether it is something we have learned, or something we know about a friend. We all know common sense type of things like it is a bad idea to step out into traffic without looking both ways.

And then there are perhaps even more things we think we know. Like we think we know how someone will react, we think we know how we are supposed to behave in a certain situation. We think we know how other people see us, or think about us...

Yet as soon as it is about us ourselves ~ we seem to be at a loss about what to think.
We appear to not know anything. And that does strike me as odd.
Because we do know a lot of things about ourselves. We know what foods we like and don’t like. We know how to do all kinds of things. We know which colors suit us and which colors we shouldn’t wear at any time.
But those are all fairly superficial things.

On top of that we all know more about the more inner things, even important things. We know that feeling that something ‘is not right’. We may not know how to react to that immediately ~ yet it is clear that there is ‘more to it’.

From a spiritual perspective it is often said that we know all we need to know ~ even if we don’t know what that is. That ~ for instance through meditation ~ we can reach to our Source for the answers to pretty much any question we might have.
So from a spiritual perspective, we know a lot of things!

So between that inner sense that there is ‘more to it’, and the spiritual perspective that we know everything we need to know ~ we most definitely know how we are doing. We can tell another person the things we know about ourselves, about how we feel. Perhaps about an uneasiness, or something that seems to have changed within ourselves just recently.
And while we may not be able to put the pieces together and make sense of it all ourselves ~ for someone who doesn’t know us that is often a lot easier. To someone who is a good listener, the things that to us seem to be unrelated, unimportant things about ourselves ~ can speak volumes. They can paint a picture that is clear and succinct.

So, if we know all these things ~ it makes me wonder why it is so hard to become aware of them so that we can act on them...

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Too small

Have you ever noticed that a space that is quite reasonable in size tends to shrink really quickly as soon as animals are involved?

Just the other day I saw a picture on Facebook of a three-sitter couch with no room to sit on it. And cars have a similar problem; a fairly big SUV seems to shrink to the size of an old 'mini morris' as soon as the dogs jump in. Equally, a sizable living room feels like less than half its size when a dog gets excited and starts to playfully run around in it.

In my living room the furniture is covered with nice, soft, fluffy fleece blankets to accommodate the three cats.
Yet the problem occurs in the bedroom.
The bed that is easily big enough for my partner and me, is definitely too small for three cats. And when I am claiming my space, taking up part of the bed a quiet scuffle ensues: which cat gets the right to cuddle up. And again, the bed has become too small...

The funny thing is that in all these cases at least part of us thinks that what is happening is cute!

When any of the above situations would involve another person, or even a couple of other people ~ then there is nothing cute about it anymore.
Like when someone comes to visit unexpectedly, telling you that they are just dropping in for a few minutes ~ yet two hours and a continuous stream of complaints later the visitor finally takes off, leaving you totally exhausted; almost feeling like you were a stranger in your own space.
Or someone coming asking for help, for counseling without ever intending to do anything about the situation they are finding themselves in; taking your time and space ~ and energy...
Either way, the space has shrunk to a somewhat uncomfortable small size.

The question that comes up is why we often happily give up (part of) our space to our pets ~ and feel it is a nuisance when it concerns other people.
Part of that may be that pets offer their energy, loyalty and friendship in return for taking over our space ~ unconditionally. With people that is usually more complicated.
Another question, and perhaps this is the more important question, is why we seem to have a tendency to give up our space to begin with ~ be it to our pets or to other people ~ and to then come to the conclusion that the space we are in has become too small...

Friday, November 16, 2012


Headaches are no fun.
Whether it is about a real headache, the painful affliction; a migraine even ~ or more like a problem that refuses to solve itself; they are no fun.
And come to think of it ~ one may actually cause the other...

This in itself should be reason enough to have a look at what is causing the headache...

A person suffering from a literal headache usually knows the underlying cause. It can be stress, tiredness, too much work at the computer ~ whatever it is for that individual.

The problem that we may be nudging, kicking, screaming at, reasoning with; and still it refuses to get solved ~ to get out of our hair ~ can have entirely different causes.
In being unique, individual human beings, what is bothersome to one person is great fun to the next. What is a nuisance to me, might be just where you always wanted to be. As such two people may be working against each other solving an issue as their goals can be vastly different.

From a more spiritual perspective, there is always the possibility that while we have our eyes set at one thing, yet the universe has something entirely different in mind for us ~ chances are our troubles with solving the issue aren’t going to be over anytime soon...

And this then gives a direction to look at...

My wise teacher Julian ~ ~ used to say: “A problem is an obstacle in the flow to a predetermined outcome.”
In other words if we are dead set to handle a situation or issue in a certain manner without looking at alternatives, we may be setting ourselves up for trouble...

But alternatives for what?
There are always different ways to go about handling a situation. If you can’t reach your goal turning right ~ then turn left and go the other way around...
But what if it is the goal itself that needs an alternative? What if the goal is a step along the way at best; and all the while we are treating it as if it is the ultimate solution? And the closer we get to resolving the issue, the more we find ourselves pushed to keep going ~ like an irritation, a bother that every time you think you got it solved pokes up its head again...

It seems that for those headaches it is necessary to think outside of the box. To start thinking of not just another goal or a different path to a solution ~ it is likely to be very beneficial to think of an ultimate goal. Something we always wanted to do and never thought we would, or could. And when turning our attention to that ultimate goal, we may suddenly realize that the headache that has been bothering us for so long has quietly disappeared.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Falling through the cracks

Every once n a while there are things that not get done because they have fallen through the cracks. On average those are things that are not that important in the grand scheme of things ~ however at some point in time most of them do need some attention. They need to get done.

Thinking about that it brings a series of interesting picture to mind... Starting with the question ‘What crack are they falling through precisely?’
The picture of big fishing nets works up to a point. The smallest fish that can escape through the spaces in the netting were never meant to get caught ~ so for them to disappear is a good thing!
The picture of a crack in the floor through which things can fall down seems a better visual. Although the things that might fall through a crack like that are usually small, yet not always unimportant.
And as I see those type of pictures in my mind’s eye, I can’t help but wonder ~ a crack in time; what does that look like?

Because that is what is happening. The things that do not get done have a tendency to fall through a crack in time. We didn’t have time to give them the attention they needed at that moment; they didn’t get done. Physically they still linger, waiting for us to ‘make time’ to handle them. Uhm... Making time?

On one hand all of this has to do with scheduling, with commitments, and ultimately with the choices we make.
On the other hand, it brings up these questions about ‘time’. How we use it, deal with it, view it. And how things fall through the cracks when somehow the things we have scheduled and actual time don’t match up. And, possibly through the tension this brings about, a rift occurs. A crack in time through which the less important things disappear.

They disappear from our schedule; they disappear from our view. But do they truly disappear, and if so where to?
To another point in time? To another universe?
And if so, what happens with them there?

It is to some extend a philosophical question.
We don’t seem to be totally aware of all the implications of how ‘time’ works.

That being said, it does seem true that the more time (and energy) we spend on things that already have happened ~ on the past ~ or on thing that are not yet ‘in their proper time’ ~ so they are still in our future ~ the shorter our time in this moment seems to be.
And the easier it gets for things to disappear through that rift in time; for things to fall through the cracks...

Friday, November 9, 2012

‘I cannot...’

One of the easiest ways to create a blockage in the flow of our lives is that little statement that starts with ‘I cannot’...

While it is true that there are things that are truly outside of our ability, we tend to use that phrase often as an excuse to not do something, to not make that appointment at that time, to not get engaged in ~ for instance ~ the setting up of the new internet connection or TV channels.
In doing so, we tell the world and ourselves that there are things we cannot do. Whether that is an actual truth or not...

Usually it is not as much that we really are unable to set up that appointment at that time ~ or even are unable to learn how to set up the internet connection ~ as that we don’t feel like doing it. We don’t want to get involved in it. Or at the least we don’t want to spend our energy learning it ~ or doing it ~ right now.
And to veer away from the (possibly long) explanation on why you don’t want to do ‘it’ right now ~ whether it is an appointment or anything else that comes up in life ~ we may feel it is a lot easier to say: “I am so sorry, but I really can’t do that right now...”

The way we live our lives, knowing that everybody is quite busy keeping things together between work, family etc. ~ our response is taken as a factual statement, resulting in us being ‘off the hook’.

When we observe it from that perspective, the ‘I cannot...’ phrase seems to work well for us!
Not only do we not have to enter in a long explanation as to why we don’t want to do something, why now is not the best time to learn something we don’t feel a great affinity with ~ but also those around us have a tendency to take our ‘I cannot...’ statement as fact, allowing us to do the things we want to do in our own way, in our own time.

The caveat comes within ourselves...
Each time we use that ‘I cannot...’ phrase, our subconscious registers that we are unable to do something. Anything. And as our subconscious rules a lot of the things we do seemingly automatically in our daily lives ~ every time we give it that message that ‘we cannot...’, we create a blockage in the flow in which our subconscious operates.
And bit by bit, we make it harder and harder for ourselves to get things done.

We are probably a lot better off telling ourselves: “I can, I can, I can ~ I really think I can!”
And then solve the other ‘stuff’ in our lives as it comes up...

Tuesday, November 6, 2012


Listening is important. It allows us to hear and understand what other people are telling us, and in doing so two things happen: we start learning what the other person is all about, and we enter into a meaningful interaction with another person.

And talking about ‘listening’, we often understand this as something we do with our ears... But there is a lot more to it!

Just in an interaction with another person the words that are said are only a very small part of the communication. As it turns out we get a lot more information from the intonation the words are spoken with and their body language ~ the manner in which they move, whether they make eye-contact or keep looking away... All these things turn out to be equally as, if not more important than the actual words spoken.

Of course the words are important as well, as they hold the content of the actual message.
And again, they can tell us a whole lot more than just that. There are people who approach everything they talk about from a negative. Recounting the things that don’t work, that cannot be done ~ rather than speaking about how they are going to make things work. On the other hand, there are people who approach things from a positive. Sometimes even to the point that when everything in their lives seems to break apart ~ they just look at you smiling and happily say: ‘What a wonderful learning opportunity have I been given on my path through life’.

Neither extreme ~ be it the negative approach or the overly positive approach ~ are entirely realistic.
Even when you cannot see it at that moment, there usually are things that are beautiful or positive in life next to the things that don’t work in your life. And it is okay to permit yourself to have a ‘bad-hair-day’ every once in a while when things are not working out the way you would want them to...

All of this means that perhaps the most important thing to listen to is ourselves.
When we listen how we put things into words; when we become aware of how we carry ourselves and move about when life happens ~ it can give us information on how we really feel about whatever is happening...
Sometimes it may show us that ~ while things that are happening are working out and our plans are coming together ~ we still have a slightly negative attitude about it. This can be because we are so busy that we are in an overload situation; or perhaps because we are not quite as certain about the plan as we thought we were.

Either way, that little voice inside of us can help us out.
And all we need to do is to listen to it...

Friday, November 2, 2012

A Universal signal

Every once in a while I am looking for a signal. A sign that will point me the way ~ that will tell me what to do. Or at least what to do next...

In other instances I would wish to receive an omen even. Especially when it is about things that happen in my life where I am not certain how to react. Should I call the person on it? Or is it best to just let it go; to not worry about it? Being proactive, or more laid back ~ and see if the situation will work itself out.

More often than not I find myself not picking up on any signal, any pointer or omen that can help me make up my mind. The result is that over say a year or so there are a number of unresolved issues ~ usually things that are perhaps not hugely important, but still lingering in the back of my mind.
And as life happens and other activities or situations are needing attention more urgently ~ that is exactly where those issues stay; in the back of my mind. Hidden from day-to-day focus, yet as more unresolved issues are added to the stack they seem to start take up more space, and even weigh heavier on my mind.

That in and of itself is no help when I am looking for a sign. A signal from the universe or a higher force indicating what I should do with these issues...

Until the other evening I was watching CSI New York on television, and there it was!
Well not the signal itself, but certainly a doable way to handle these, often minor yet unresolved things.

In the program the lead CSI character, Mac Taylor, suffers from a near death experience after having been shot. And while fighting for his life, he appears in the lives of his co-workers and has advice for them; sets things straight. Says the things one wouldn’t want to leave unsaid when there is that chance one wouldn’t make it...
One of the co-workers asks him why Mac hadn’t reported him. The answer was that he is good at his job; and by the way the Giants won that year. Huh??

Turns out the Mac Taylor character creates a ‘Universal signal’ to determine what to do with the accumulated unresolved issues on a year by year basis by picking an ‘improbable possibility’. If this ‘improbable possibility’ actually happens, he just lets go of all those things. If it doesn’t happen, he takes the time to resolve them.

That is brilliant! Why wait for a signal when you can set yourself up to receive one...
At least then you know what ‘Universal signal’ you are looking for in the first place. And on top of that it will give a clear indication whether to sit back and relax, or to step up and take action on that stack of stuff lingering in the back of your mind...

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Heaven and Earth within

Heaven and Earth, each in their own way are so grand that it seems close to impossible for us a an individual human being to influence either one of them...

But then I am thinking: ‘Heaven and Earth’, ‘As above, so below’, ‘As within, so without’... And suddenly I am looking at a macrocosm and a microcosm ~ where Heaven and Earth are the macrocosm, and a human being is the microcosm.

The implication is that not only is it possible to influence the balance and wellbeing of Heaven and Earth; the apparent process is ~ at least in theory ~ quite possible as it would suggest that by changing the microcosm, the macrocosm is changed as well and vice versa.

It would mean that the macrocosm ~ Heaven and Earth ~ are mirrored not only in our lives, but in our unique, individual Self as well. It would paint a picture in which our triangular balance of ‘mind, body and spirit’ is a reflection of a similar triangular balance of ‘mind, body and spirit’ of Heaven and Earth.


Heaven and Earth, as above so below, as within so without ~ it not only gives us a manner in which we can actually meet that enormous system of Heaven and Earth; it provides us with a way in which our individual actions can actually influence and change the system of Heaven and Earth...
If we, as the microcosm, get more balanced, so does the macrocosm of Heaven and Earth. When we enter a state of being that is more peaceful; so do Heaven and Earth.

Now, if it really is that easy, why are we not doing more of it? Why is it so hard for us to not only create that more balanced, more peaceful space within ourselves and at the same time forge more balance and peace within Heaven and Earth?

It is called ‘life’. Life happens. And between rush hour traffic, work, family, grocery shopping, and on and on and on, it is easy to be more focused on matters at hand ~ the situations that require our immediate attention and action ~ that pretty soon we get so caught up in it that ‘balance’ and ‘peace’ are the things we wish for, rather than that we are emanating them...
Of course the beauty is that it is a ‘two way street’. When we need more balance and a greater sense of peace in our every-day lives, Heaven and Earth provide it for us.

Yet wouldn’t it be nice if we would return the favor ~ and not only create that greater balance and that peacefulness within our selves, but also radiate it into the system of Heaven and Earth?

Friday, October 26, 2012

Heaven and Earth

When thinking about polarities we usually choose one or the other. For instance in ‘good or bad’, we would like to pick ‘good’. In ‘warm or cold’ it is a matter of personal preference ~ yet we have a tendency to choose one or the other. And when I look around me, I see either people who are incredibly busy, or people who seem to be unable to ‘get stuff going’...
It is how polarities work, as they are two extremes of the same energy. So when that particular energy pops up in our lives, or in the country or culture we live in ~ both extremes come into play.

This is precisely what makes ‘Heaven and Earth’ such an interesting polarity!
See, the way we talk about it, or write about it, we don’t say: ‘Heaven or Earth’ ~ we say ‘Heaven and Earth’. While we can make a good argument about them being two extremes of the same energy ~ our environment ~ Heaven and Earth provide us with the arena we live and grow in; the space for our personal paths to unfold. And as such we don’t choose one or the other, but rather than seeing them as polarities we view them as a whole.

There are many ways to express this whole; Heaven and Earth, above and below, within and without, the God-father and the earth-mother... And then there are also past and future, day and night, Summer and Winter...To a certain extend they are all polarities that create a wholeness rather than to break apart the energy of which they express the extremes...

And in order to keep the arena in which we live our lives, walk our paths, from falling apart ~ we don’t choose a side to operate in; we want both. We want that wholeness. Because if there is a wholeness outside of ourselves, chances are we can find that wholeness inside of ourselves.

It is a balance created through bringing both polarities together.
And in that balance we, as human beings, tend to function well!

Which begs the question why we permit ourselves to leave so many other polarities unbalanced within ourselves and within our space. And yes, that does include the ‘biggies’ as well: peace or war, love or hate... Because the moment we get angry about the injustice of war, we have lost the peace within ourselves; and in a sense contribute to its polarity...

As long as we are confronted with these polarities, we may be best off to find in ourselves a state of grace, a tolerance that allows us to stay balanced within ourselves. To count our blessings.
To reach for both, Heaven and Earth...

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Life is amazing

Life never ceases to amaze me.
Especially when I listen to people who are telling me what is happening in their lives at this moment.

Now you may think that the stories I am referring to are grand, or special ~ but more often than not they are the uniquely individual stories of people like you and me. Stories that aren’t even looked upon as being that remarkable by those who are recounting them.

The only thing they seem to have in common is that the people involved say they are getting tired of the things that seem to be happening in their lives over and over and over again. Like a TV-series that is repeated over and over again.
It is something that we may well relate to at one time or another, as we all seem to encounter situations that appear to be repeating themselves in our lives every once in a while.
That in and of itself is not that amazing.

However, the thing that is truly amazing to me is that the story I am being told ~ the situation described ~ is met with a matter of fact sense of normalcy.
It is true that while that particular situation in that person’s life often has grown over some time ~ perhaps even years ~ which makes it a lot harder to gauge whether what is happening in that situation is still within the bounds of ‘normal’, it does also show how hard it is to step back from any specific situation to evaluate it as to its ‘normalcy’.

The result is in many cases that this situation that is experienced as unwanted, annoying, tiring, yet matter-of-factly ‘normal’ by one person ~ when told to another person, sounds weirder than ‘Alice in Wonderland’ to them. Possibly sparking remarks like “How do you put up with that?”, or “I don’t think I could do that” ~ which then are met with a shrug. After all, that’s life, right?

Now everybody has their own unique, individual path ~ with their own life lessons etc. So no-one should judge anyone else on how they are living their lives, how they handle the curve balls life throws at them. When it comes down to it ~ we are all doing the best we can with what we have...

Nevertheless, I can’t help but standing in awe listening to some of the stories of other people’s lives; being truly amazed that what they consider ‘normal’ in their lives ~ to me is so far out; so far beyond what I can even imagine.
And then I realize that in all likelihood the same is true for what is happening in my life...


Friday, October 19, 2012

On Edge

It seems like the whole world is a little on edge these days.
Whether you look at the traffic around you when you are going some place; or just watch the news on TV ~ it seems like everybody reacts somewhat ‘over-assertive’ to whatever is happening around them.
And I have to admit; I find myself on edge as well.

Sometimes I even think it is something in the weather, a change in the energies around us that we ~ consciously or subconsciously ~ react to. And suddenly all the things that we had organized so nicely, everything that should work so well, appears to get a life all its own...

And pretty soon our timing is off.
Chores that normally take us only a couple of minutes to do, now take us half an hour. Which makes us late for an appointment, so we have to rush through traffic ~ and while we might normally find we get where we need to go before the rush hour traffic, now we get trapped in heavy traffic. Making us even later for that appointment. When we finally get there, there is no parking place to be found close to the entrance; and when we find ourselves a parking place on the other side of the lot, it starts raining. Umbrella in one hand, purse in the other we dash into the place ~ only to find out we are the first to arrive anyway.
This then, instead of making us feel good that we at least made it in time ~ sort of ~ can put us even further on edge. After all, we have really tried our very best, rushed through traffic, dashed over the parking lot ~ only to find that whoever we have that appointment with is late.
How dare they! Don’t they know what you have been going through to get here in time ~ sort of?

As it turns out ~ no they don’t know that.
And they may have an equally ‘on edge’ start of their day...

Probably the best thing to do at this point is to sit down for a moment and take a deep breath. To get centered. To step back from how we got here and move to the point where we can happily say to yourself: “Made it!!”

It is easy in the energy of this point in time to get ‘on edge’. But rather than snapping at everybody around us who ~ whether they are or not ~ at least seem to be in our way; we would do ourselves an enormous favor if we just took a couple of deep breaths.
And then laugh about it...

Tuesday, October 16, 2012


A breakthrough: a sudden, dramatic, and important discovery or development.

I suspect we are all experiencing breakthroughs of some kind in this day and age... Whether it is in our personal lives, or at work; emotional, physical, material, in research... In this point in time it seems that there are many breakthrough’s happening ~ whether we are fully aware of their impact or not.

Personally, I like the word: Breakthrough.
Because in the most literal sense it tells how those discoveries, developments and subsequent changes come about ~ they happen because we break through something.

This implies that before there was something that was limiting us. Something that prevented us from seeing what else was there. Perhaps even something that kept us in the place we had been in for a long time ~ not because we were unwilling to go anywhere else necessarily, but more because circumstances, or even something within ourselves is holding us back from trying.
In other words, in order for a true expansion to occur in our lives, there often is something we need to break through first...

I could list a lot of things that often can hold us back, but the most important ones seem to be:

  • Believe
  • Attitude
  • Confidence

In order to break through into that more expansive space that can lead us to discoveries and developments ~ we first and foremost need to believe that we can! We can do it!!
Then, to be willing to actually step into that new environment that can be so beneficial to us ~ we need to have an open mind that says that there are many ways to accomplish the goal. In other words, we need to adjust our attitude from ‘this is the way I have always done it, it works, so why change’, to  something like: ‘Let’s come up with four or five more ways in which I can get this done; if only to prevent boredom to take over...’
And finally, we need to have the confidence that whatever we may find after we break through whatever limits we are facing is a good thing. Something that will help us move forward on our path. Something that makes our lives easier, happier, more interesting, more fulfilling.

Like most of us, I tend to be quite apprehensive when faced with an imminent discovery or development. At some level there is the realization that once I step through that door, the moment I break through whatever limitation that was holding me back ~ there is no returning.
As soon as you have seen or experienced that other, more expansive space and have made the breakthrough ~ life has changed forever...

Friday, October 12, 2012

Cat Burglar

Returning from a working vacation, we found our three black cats mightily upset and the house in disarray... On top of that one of the neighbor’s cats apparently had claimed our house as her own; pretty much telling our cats off.
Unexpected, and definitely not the way I envision ‘the order of things’ to be.

For the cats to be upset with us leaving them to take care of the house ~ they are guardians after all ~ is not uncommon. Yet this time things were different.
Put two and two together and the only logical conclusion is that the cats and our house suffered from a cat burglar.
In the most literal sense of the word.
As in a cat sneaking in ~ most likely through the cat door ~ and eating the food, laying down in the best places in our house.

In a subsequent fight, a big plant got knocked over ~ leaving the scene as if a more traditional burglary had taken place.
Luckily no such thing happened, and after clearing up the mess everything is back the way it should be.

And that is where it would end; except for the fact that our black threesome is experiencing the emotional aftereffects of the cat burglar’s visit. Just like it can happen for us humans, they are jittery and continuously checking if everything is still alright. Making sure no unsolicited visitors are sneaking in... And being ultra careful when going outside themselves.

Given the fact that the cat door ~ as opposed to all other doors and windows ~ is unlocked, and therefore freely accessible to any neighborhood cat who dares enter our threesome’s territory; I suspect that the other cat made numerous visits while we were away.
And, getting bolder as things seemed to work out for her, she eventually got caught ~ and was fought off.

In a sense it is what can happen to us when we are not clear about our boundaries.
Someone may step over our boundaries, ‘pushing’ us into doing things for them, taking time away from what we really want or need to do ~ and when that situation is not arrested right there and then ~ it may evolve into a situation where our personal boundaries are disregarded on a regular basis, perhaps even to such extend that our energy, our time are decided over by others in an ever bolder fashion...
Until finally there is that point when enough is enough; the other is caught in the act and fought off.
Leaving our lives in disarray.

And then ~ whether one is human or cat ~ it takes some time to recover, to get our confidence back to step out into the world...

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Back in time

Have you ever longed for a simpler life? A life less chaotic, with more time to enjoy the things that really matter to you? And have you ever thought that going back to an earlier time might give you just that? Well, I have...

And then I went on vacation to a place abroad that is in essence just as advanced as the country I live in ~ except that in this country the quietness is highly valued. The fact that there are not a whole lot of people around you. Which means that not many roads are necessary; and the roads that are there are country roads ~ two lane roads that bend from village to village, and curve around rivers.
Out here, a scenic route means that the road winds its way through a scenic landscape ~ not particularly that one can actually see that beauty from the car as tall hedges line the narrow roads.

It gives me a sense of having stepped back in time.
To a time and place without rush hour. To a society where drivers of slow traffic actually signal to help you pass them safely.

But there is another aspect of this stepping back in time...
While here too smart phones are wide spread, the internet is an entirely different thing. Which is surprising as almost everybody talks about using skype or a similar ‘voice over IP’ service. Yet reliable internet connections seem to be harder to come by than one might expect.

And it is at that point that I realize how wonderful the internet really is!

For sharing pictures on facebook, for sending an e-card rather than an actual ‘paper-and-envelope-card’ as the e-card will actually make it in time for the occasion. For keeping track of emails, and as such of what is happening in my ‘real life’ back home.

Now one can make the argument that it is a good idea to leave all that behind when on vacation. To really allow yourself some time away from it all... But does that really give the peace of mind we are after while on vacation?
I guess that depends... For some people it would, for others it might not.

All in all, stepping back into a more quiet, simpler time is not quite as simple as I thought it would be. It brings with it an entirely different structure, a different frame of mind to get things done ~ which in a way can be every bit as hectic as my regular life at home.

I guess the simpler, less chaotic perspective is ~ like so many other things ~ a choice to be made within oneself rather than for it to be found some other place or time...


Friday, October 5, 2012

A nation divided

There are many things that can divide a nation, a country, a town, or a family.
They can be the ‘big topics’, like politics. But more often it is about much smaller things...

This past week a sentence has come up in conversation that sort of stuck in my mind. It was about the difference between living in the ‘big city’ and living in the country ~ and although it may not have been meant that way, it did give me a feeling that it pitched ‘us’ against ‘them’.

While it is often true that different groups of people have different priorities, desires, and perhaps even needs in life ~ as soon as it becomes a matter of ‘us’ versus ‘them’ these priorities, desires and needs seem to be valued as less than our own.
And pretty soon ‘us’ versus ‘them’ becomes ‘right versus wrong’. Of course we are right. How can it be possible that this other way of thinking, this other way of living could be just as good as the way we put our lives together? Let alone ever be better...

Of course there is nothing wrong with really liking life the way we live it. That is the way it should be!
Just like other people with different mindsets, live their lives differently ~ the way they like living their lives. And that is the way it should be...
Us and them, living side by side, and by sharing our differences making a nation, a country, a town stronger.

On a much more personal level, thinking along lines of ‘us and them’ can really put us in a space we don’t necessarily want to be in...
Because on a personal level it evolves often easily into the thought that what is happening to us ~ especially the things that we perceive as making our lives hard or difficult ~ is not of our own doing. After all, we don’t want those things in our lives. So it has to be ‘them’ doing it to us.

If you follow a spiritual line of thought, there is an intrinsic problem with this perspective, as it would state that anything that happens in our lives is of our own making. Not because we want to go through difficult times, but moreover because we on our personal path of spiritual growth requires ourselves to learn certain things.

So maybe it is not a nation divided ~ in whatever way ~ that takes our strength. Perhaps it is how we are divided within ourselves ~ feeling that ‘they’ are better, worse, or even the cause of our predicament ~ that ultimately makes it hard for us to show our true strength.

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Working vacation

If ever there was a contradiction in terms, it is the ‘working vacation’. After all, shouldn’t it be work or vacation? Isn’t vacation the things you have to rest from busy work schedules etc.? And doesn’t ‘vacation’ simply doing nothing ~ or if you rather have a more active vacation, doing those things you don’t get to do while you are not on vacation?

But what if the work you do truly is your passion? Then vacation can become a time that is boring; something that brings restlessness rather than rest in such a way that stress levels can soar. Then again, no matter how much fun your job is ~ everybody needs a break every once in a while. If only in order to be able to step back from the day-to-day running of things and keeping track of our often overfilled calendars. When we take a little time to take that step back, we can come back to our jobs refreshed, even seeing the work we so love doing through new eyes...
It is something we benefit from; just as the work we feel so passionate about does.

So, if taking time off; time to give ourselves a breather is so important to us ~ why then the working vacation?

It all hinges on how much work is involved on the vacation.
If it is a lot of work, then suddenly the cost of our vacation become work related expenses and as such a tax deduction. Is the time off mostly vacation, it can point to an inexpensive research trip which in the future may lead to more extensive work in that area.

The third perspective can be just as interesting, although from a slightly different perspective...
What if the things you do in your work; the things you are passionate about are widely varied to the point that some of them have a tendency to fall by the wayside every once in a while. Then a working vacation can be a terrific way to pick up on that activity and explore new manners of incorporating it into your regular ‘work’ again.
Even if that just means that the pictures taken on your working vacation provide the new artwork for the office walls...

That being said, personally I still feel a little bit ambiguous about the working vacation. Even as the working vacations I have been on always have been a great lot of fun ~ as I get back to every day life; back to work, I never quite know whether what I have done in the past week or so has been work or vacation.
Somehow, in my mind I keep having trouble merging the them...

Friday, September 28, 2012

Memories, again

The memories we have of facts and figures; of situations, things we have learned along the way; whether we have just a sense of recall of them or truly can remember every last little bit of detail about what happened ~ pretty much have entered our memory through the conscious path. In other words, as we experienced it, it became part of our short term memory ~ and after that, either because the event was important to us, or because we put effort into it (like learning things at school which you may have done through repeating the very things that you needed to remember) they have found their way into your long term memory...

Yet, for pretty much everybody their seem to be memories ~ things you seem to clearly remember ~ of situations or events that you have not physically experienced during your life.
For instance the sense you may get of ‘having been there before’ while, from a factual perspective you arrive there for the very first time in your life. Or a clear memory of a situation that took place in a different time, and perhaps even on a different continent...

These type of things would indicate that we remember things across time and space. Or do they?

Some people may say that what we ‘remember’ are no actual memories but more things that for one reason or another ‘we tune into’. We tune ourselves to a certain frequency, a certain field of energy perhaps, where images of some past event become available to us.

This brings up the question how those images, the knowledge of past events is being kept in that particular place, that specific energy.

In a way it seems that humanity is not the only one to have a memory. Somehow important events appear to be kept in the memory of the place where they took place. Like an energy imprint.
The manner in which we gain access to these energy imprints is through meditation; through our sensory awareness.
This may even mean that a place is just a place ~ we may even have visited it many times before ~ until that time that there is something in the atmosphere; a scent, a certain color of the light, a stillness; or sometimes a specific sound that puts us into the state of mind where we can remember whatever it is that is held in the energy imprint of that place...

In other words through a sensory trigger we may suddenly remember things across time and space.
It is important however, to realize that those memories may or may not be our own... And in fact, unless they are accompanied by an intuitive insight as to how they may fit into your life right now ~ they are mostly just ‘interesting stories’...

Tuesday, September 25, 2012


We all have memories ~ some good, and perhaps some not so good...
Some people have great recall for things that have happened in a distant past, while others are more ‘short term oriented’.
Somehow it also seems to be influenced by our realm of interest. Things that are not that interesting to  us are easier to forget; whereas things that are really important to us at that time can be remembered for ever. What is or isn’t important to us is very personal ~ what is important, or even a ‘big deal’ to one person can seem infinitely small to another. So it is not necessarily the factual event that makes something a ‘big deal’, but more the personal, emotional content of whatever is happening.

Looking at the way our memory works, it is divided in short term memory and long term memory, and on top of that in logical or aware memories and sensory or unaware memories.

Something can have happened yesterday and be lodged in the short term memory. If it is important enough it can from there be ‘transferred’ into the long term memory.
Now part of this memory is going to be logical, factual, and aware. In other words, we know what has happened, we can clearly recall the events. Another part of that same memory is sensory, and therefore unaware, or subconscious. Things like scents, sounds, a specific color of the sky; all those things are picked up by our senses and committed to memory ~ without us ever becoming aware of it necessarily.

When later in life a similar sensory signal is picked up again ~ it can bring the (possibly unrelated) memory back to mind.
For me, the scent of a specific kind of cigaret can instantly bring up vivid memories of a tropical country I visited long ago and far away...

In a sense, this is very similar to memories we can have from experiences or even information we may have received while in meditation... While we are still in that subconscious state of mind, we still have access to the memory and can recall that experience. But as soon as we return to our conscious, logical perspective ~ our day to day lives ~ the experience often proves to be fleeting and easily forgotten.

It is one of the reasons why often the advice is given to keep a notebook at hand to document meditative experiences or dreams. Once written down there is a record to fall back on; although often the act of writing the experience or dream down is enough to allow us to become fully aware of what has transpired...

Friday, September 21, 2012


Every once in a while it is a good idea to step back from whatever it is you are doing in order to see it from a different perspective ~ from an overview perspective.
Once we get involved in the ‘nitty-gritty’ of the project, work or chore at hand we can see the details, the immediate things we need to do or take care of ~ but at the same time we may loose track of our greater goal. We may get so overwhelmed by what needs to be done, that we cannot see what could be done in order to reach our objective.

It is that situation when we can help ourselves by taking a deep breath, closing our eyes for maybe 30 seconds ~ so we can disentangle ourselves from what we are doing enough to get a fresh perspective on where we are going. To get an overview perspective...

Yesterday I found myself in a position to have a much more literal overview perspective as I took a short gondola ride over an extensive exhibition.
Looking down ~ even though it wasn’t that high up ~ things looked decidedly different!

Suddenly it was easy to see how the different parts of the exhibit were laid out. People walking around through the same parts of the show we had just left looked much smaller from above. And looking at other components of the display shapes and colors were mosaic-like, rather than the 3-D walk-through experiences that they are from an ‘on the ground’ perspective.

It was a terrific illustration of what happens when you allow yourself to see things as an overview!

The things you already know are placed in their proper perspective. This often means that they are much smaller than you had perceived them before ~ being components of a whole rather than mountainous obstacles.
New things can be seen as a pattern, a mosaic. This way you can see that there are multiple ways to either work with it, or to circumvent it if what is there does not belong in your vision or plan...

Having seen the overview has provided a ‘road map’ to the goal. And while ~ when you are dealing with the ‘nitty-gritty’ of it all ~ small things can be really ‘in your face’, taking up a lot of time and more energy than you intended to give it; stepping back from it to observe what is happening from a distance, an overview, permits you to discern what is really important and what is not.

Yet putting yourself in the position from which you can see that overview perspective is not always easy. Sometimes I just wish I could take a short gondola ride over my life...

Tuesday, September 18, 2012


In the world of today in which there seems to be an ever more predominant focus on the physical, the material; when ‘we want what we want and we want it now’ ~ I do wonder every once in a while if there is still a space for the mystic. A space where balance is created from its essence energy and spread in ways that defy logic...

But then again, perhaps in this time when polarities are ever more visible, those two ways of experiencing life are two sides of the same coin ~ and as such would not be able to exist without the other. If there was not a building focus on spirituality, it might not spark the increasing focus on the material; the physical appearance.
It is how polarities work ~ two perspectives, often on opposite sides of the spectrum; and yet dependent on each other for their very existence.

From that perspective that mystic space seems to be gathering in strength these days, as does its polarity... And yet it is hard to really put a finger on what that mystic space, the mystic energy entails.
The mystic in all of its facets is mysterious...

The way a mystic works is often not recognized as he works with the core energy of that which he perceives as reality. The energy behind the energy that we so easily pick up on when we say ‘that feels good, or right’, or even ‘that doesn’t feel right’. The way a mystic works is therefore non-logical and very personal. The energies he works with, though they seem nebulous, are strong ~ and given the chance can indeed move mountains...

Let me give an example.
When we want to manifest something in our lives, we go through the steps to make that happen:
We create a space for it in our lives.
We visualize it in our lives.
We affirm that it is in our lives.

And pretty soon the manifestation occurs.

The mystic approach is that a need is recognized. This can be a need for balance, or peace; but it can also be a need for transportation, work, or something personal. A true need is like a void, an emptiness  that already exists. The mystic will fill this emptiness, this space, with the core energy of that which is needed.
And where the energy flows, manifestation follows...

I sometimes compare the process to the wind...
A gentle breeze can rustle the leaves of the trees, moving by and leaving the tree unharmed ~ then pick up in strength and hollow out rocks; creating the most magnificent scenery.
Seemingly unplanned. Just by allowing the energy to flow...

Friday, September 14, 2012


We measure many things in life through time. The time it takes to get where you want to go, the time for an appointment, the time for shopping, getting the household chores done... And of course me-time, the time we set aside to just take a deep breath and relax.

Time is for many of us an unending string of events, often planned way closer together than they should be causing us to run out of time on occasion.
Time is arguably the number one excuse used to do things, or perhaps to not do things. “I don’t have time for that...” When this is said it may not mean that a person in actuality doesn’t have time for that particular event or appointment. It often indicates that a person is running out of patience or is fed up with something. Whatever it is, it is not worth spending any more time on than one already has...

In our world of today, time is also equated to money: “Time is money”. If you have time you can use it effectively, productively and permit it to result in earning a living. And there may be instances where ‘having time’ for just about anything one would want to do ~ it in itself becomes worth a lot of money. Money spend to buy time.

In nature, rather than our linear experience, time runs in cycles. The cycles of day and night, the cycles of the moon, the cycles of the seasons. And independent what event is taking place in nature, there is always time to complete the process.
In nature there are no set times in which things need to be finished ~ somehow everything starts and ends at just the right time.
This doesn’t mean that there aren’t energy shifts in nature ~ there are! Those moments in time when the energy moves from one phase into the next. Yet it doesn’t mean that the leaves that started growing in Spring will stop growing with the Summer solstice. They will stop growing when they are mature.

There are shifts in energy noting the different phases of pretty much all cycles in nature ~ day and night, the new and the full moon, and the beginning of each season ~ and these energy shifts ‘keep time’ in a fairly flexible manner.
It seems like they are different, perhaps even polarities expressed in a cyclic or conceivably a spiral manner ~ allowing nature and us to evolve.
In the right and perfect time...

Could it be that this is at least part of the reason why our ‘normal’ days go by so fast where as a day spend in nature seems sheer endless?

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Differences of opinion

We all have our own perspectives, our own ways of experiencing life as we encounter it on a day by day basis. We also have our own way of expressing these differences and the way we think about them ~ our very own opinions.
There is nothing unusual about it. Having our own opinions is a normal part of life.

It is also something that can make our lives interesting. We already know how we think about something, yet chances are that pretty much everybody else has different thoughts, or even different opinions about the same situation.
And if we are patient enough ~ and perhaps above that, tolerant enough ~ to listen to all the different opinions pertaining to the same thing or situation; chances are we will end up with an enormously broadened perspective on it as each opinion may reveal a different aspect of the same thing or situation.

However, for this to happen indeed is unusual...
Normally we have little patience for the opinions of others; we tend to stick with our own. And not only that ~ we are likely to defend our own opinions, sometimes even up to the point of ‘right’ and ‘wrong’: I am seeing this right, and therefore you must be seeing it wrong. As soon as this path is taken there is an ‘us and them’ mentality. We are right, and as they are seeing it differently, or are having a different opinion ~ they must be wrong.
And as they are ‘wrong’ we will have to defend our opinion, because we are ‘right’.

At this point we have allowed ourselves to step into our own, personal ‘crusade’.
What started as having differences of opinion ~ something that can enrich our lives to no end ~ now has become a battle of ‘right’ and ‘wrong’. Something we have to defend, almost at any cost...
At the same time, we have closed our minds to new perspectives, new experiences. Instead of broadening our horizons, we have narrowed our viewpoint such that it only includes the facts as we see them, think about them or feel them as truth ~ with no room for expansion.

Certainly in the energy of today ~ an energy in which polarities are brought to the surface ~ having differences of opinion can easily work both ways. Our ~ different ~ opinion can just as easily become the basis for our personal ‘crusade’ as it can help reveal a different aspect of a situation or something that is going on.
And we ourselves determine whether the differences of opinion are going to be a source of enrichment in our lives ~ or a source of frustration and hostility.
Now, more than ever before, the choice is ours...

Friday, September 7, 2012

‘Running or standing still’

‘Running or standing still’ is an expression from where I grew up. It has nothing to do with running, walking or standing still in itself. As an expression it refers to life as it either moves along very fast ~ even faster than one may feel is comfortable ~ or is ‘standing still’; a situation where nothing at all is happening.

In the energy of today, with polarities playing an ever more important role in the world and in our lives ~ it seems an apt expression.

When life is ‘standing still’, no matter how hard you try to get things moving, to make something happen ~ anything at all ~ it doesn’t work. It is like pushing against a wall. You are loosing all of your energy, but at the end of the day the wall is still standing there...
And then, just when you may be thinking to give up on the project, or direction you had been poring all your energy into ~ without any perceivable effect ~ things start moving. Sometimes because you find yourself at the right place at the right time; or because you meet the ‘right person’ (even when you don’t know you do at the time); or even because of an off the cuff remark you have overheard while getting yourself a cup of coffee ~ whatever it is, it helps break something loose and before you know it things ~ both expected as well as unexpected things ~ are happening at breakneck speed.
And all you can do is start running to keep up with the events that are happening in your life...

I have often wondered what the differences were between ‘running and standing still’ with projects I have launched in the past.
The most obvious reason is likely to be timing. Perhaps not my desired timing, but rather the timing of the universe in which things are to unfold...
Another reason why things may not be happening can have to do with focus. It seems that when you have a singular focus it is easier to set a project in motion than when you are multitasking. The funny thing is though, that when I really started to focus on one activity ~ things started moving on all fronts. And before I knew it, I was multitasking again.

It makes me think that there is a bit more to it.

As it turns out one of the greatest influences on us getting things done is whether we believe we can do it.
All this time we spend planning, uncertain whether we can actually achieve what we dream of doing ~ one way or another we cannot see the pathway to success. And when, for whatever reason we suddenly see how we can accomplish it, things break loose and and we are off and running!

Tuesday, September 4, 2012


Walking ~ in any and all of its forms ~ has many benefits. It gets us where we want to go from more than one perspective...

The most common way to benefit from walking ~ putting it in those words ~ is jogging or running. Wherever you go, you see people running at there own pace; working to stay in shape. Or to get back in shape. Most of them have an energy that seems to be turned inward about them as they are moving by with wires coming from their ears leading to a, usually unseen MP3 device. Running to the beat of the music perhaps. Or at least ‘doing something’ while running...

Research suggests that we don’t have to be jogging or running in order to benefit from walking. Just taking a half an hour every day to go for a walk ~ putting one foot in front of the other ~ can help us maintain a mental balance. As well as the fact that it can help us to stay in shape.

The reasons mentioned for this more mental benefit of walking lies at least partly in the interaction between both hemispheres of our brain. Through walking ~ left foot, right foot, left foot and so on ~ this interaction is activated, and to some extend optimized.
It is one of the reasons why it can be helpful to us to talk out a situation; the things we are thinking about, or the things we want to say while walking ~ as it gives us both the left brain and the right brain views on that particular situation...

This happens equally while walking or running on a treadmill or as you are exercising outside. It is the mechanics of walking that provide us with this benefit.

Walking or running outside does have yet one more advantage to us...
As we are moving through a broader environment, whether it is the city streets or nature, the act of choosing our route, of paying attention to traffic, the people, and things around us broadens our perspectives. It has a tendency to widen our horizons. In a sense, it sets us up to start thinking outside of the box...
And yes, this seems to be more pronounced when you pay attention to where you are at and where you are going with each next step ~ rather than a more inward, ‘listening to music’, or a ‘gotta do something while running’ focus.

What walking in all of its forms has in common is that it moves us forward. It moves us closer to where we want to go. Whether that is the supermarket to pick up a couple of groceries; or the next step on our own, individual, personal paths...

Friday, August 31, 2012


We live in a time in which disclaimers are to be found anywhere and everywhere ~ sometimes in the most unlikely places. There are times that a disclaimer suits the situation ~ in other words it is a warning about something that can be encountered in that particular situation. And while that is a good thing in many cases, it can also seem redundant. For instance when on the internet a disclaimer is found that the opinions expressed are just that, opinions; and not stated factual truth.

To me the most eye-catching disclaimers are the disclaimers about medication which by law now have to be included in the commercial or advertisement for that medication in the U.S. Out of a thirty second commercial, sometimes as much as twenty seconds seems to be a fast spoken summary of all side effects and health problems this very medication may instigate in your body. It often makes me wonder why ~ after having heard all of that ~ a person still would opt for a medication like that...

Since the channel ‘Investigation Discovery’ has made it to Dutch television ~ a whole new range of disclaimers have come to my attention. And with them, an entire new set of ponderings...

The programs aired on ‘Investigation Discovery’ are at least based in reality, and oftentimes are documentaries of things that happen in reality. At the start of many of their programs a disclaimer is both shown as well as spoken that ‘the following program contains images of a violent (or sexual, or graphic...) nature that some viewers may find disturbing’.
Given the content of the program ~ no matter how interesting it may be ~ I keep wondering why it is not disturbing to everybody? What part of our experiences makes us watch narratives of the most gruesome occurrences without feeling a level disturbance? At what moment have we started considering the fact that those things happen in the world ~ let alone them being shown on TV ~ as normal?

A more interesting thing to me is that when I switch channels and land on a ‘whodunit’; a dramatized crime series like CSI ~ no such disclaimers are offered.
Of course those series are rated, and when one is very familiar with the rating system, one can deduce whether there may be disturbing scenes in that program. But how many people really look at those tiny images in the TV guide of their choice? And yet, in those series, similarly gruesome plots play out as they do in the real world documentaries...

Ultimately, disclaimers bring up the question at which point we are going to make our own choices ~ doing our ‘due diligence’ not based in the fear (or fascination) of anything ‘bad’ that may happen, but more out of interest or a sense of curiosity. Then, weighing the risks, we can make an informed decision on what to do next.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012


I like soft, natural fabrics. It is their feel, the way they fold. The way they wrap your body... Just simply the level of comfort they offer when you wear them...

Of course this is a personal consideration. Other people may like fabrics that are easy in the laundry, that are fast drying. Or like non-wrinkling fabrics even better.
And in the grand scheme of things it really doesn’t matter what you choose; what matters is that you pick out what suits you best... And that may be one thing at one time, and another at a different time... It may suit a purpose, or be a folly ~ brightly colored or in more earthy tones.

It is not the material you choose but the way we make our choices that make up the fabric of our lives.
That give our lives structure; a framework within which we feel comfortable to live our lives.
As the fabric of our lives is woven, colors and patterns emerge. Sometimes culminating into events that may or may not have been within our realm of influence. And when things have happened, changes have occurred ~ the fabric of our lives is likely to change as well. Following our new priorities; woven in different colors and new patterns.

Whether we weave a strong fabric, or a fabric filled with folly depends on the choices we make. It depends on what we feel suits us, or our purpose, best at that time. What supports our lives best the way we see it right there and then.

From a more spiritual perspective, one might say that the basic fabric of our lives already exists. That all we do as we live our lives is to roll it out ~ moving from one pattern to the next; from one set of colors to another. With ever unexpected hues and colors appearing each time we roll out a bit more of that tapestry that is the fabric of our lives.

Yet again, it is not necessarily what is there ~ it is what we do with it that makes the difference. How we choose to react. How we handle the patterns and colors the fabric of lives has at this very point in time.

No matter how you look at it; whether you feel like you are weaving the fabric of your life or rather see it as an existing tapestry that is rolled out further and further as you live your life ~ it is up to us to choose how we will handle things. To determine what the patterns and colors mean to us; what events are moving in and out of our lives...

And again, it doesn’t matter a whole lot what you choice you make at any one time ~ as long as it feels like it is the right choice for you!

Friday, August 24, 2012

As we change...

There is much talk about change; changes in the world, changes in the climate, changes in the energy, and yes, changes in ourselves...
Yet, often the most profound changes we create for and in ourselves happen unnoticed. Then, when you meet a friend you haven’t seen for some time a remark may be made on how much you have changed and suddenly we do see the changes in ourselves.
Whether they are changes in the way we look, changes in in behavior, even changes in our energy are now visible to us.

So why is it that we don’t see the changes we work so hard to achieve in our lives?

It seems that the closer to ourselves ~ or even the core of ourselves ~ we create changes, the harder it is distinguish what has changed and what is still the same...
It is like growing older; on a day to day basis it is something we know is happening, yet seeing ourselves in the mirror every day we don’t notice the changes. The moment we see a picture of ourselves which was made a year ago, or even five years ago ~ we can instantly see how we have changed, matured, even grown older.

The same thing happens when we decide we want to change something about ourselves, for instance through the use of affirmations. After the first week of using the chosen affirmation, nothing seems to have happened. After three or four weeks of affirming the changes you desire in yourself or in your life, small changes become visible. It may be a couple of months later that you realize you are doing things different; interact different, set your priorities different... The change has been made!

As these type of changes are a gradual process rather than ‘big changes’ that have a tendency to come in with a ‘bang’ ~ sometimes the easiest way to see whether things indeed are changing are to look at pictures of yourself, or to look at your handwriting ~ as it is funnily enough one of the things that reflects changes very rapidly.

Or you can ask a friend.
But just as it can be scary to consider ‘big changes’ ~ after all, we as humans don’t like the concept of having to change much ~ it can be unsettling for a friend to see you change... Some friends may disappear from your life, while new friends come into your presence. And sometimes it is easier, even for someone you think of as a close friend, to simply disregard any changes you have made in and for yourself. It seems safer to keep looking at you the way you once were ~ five, ten, twenty years ago ~ and give you the compliment: “Look at you! You haven’t changed one bit!”

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Rhyme nor reason

Sometimes things come together easily ~ just as was to be expected. Other times there seems to be neither rhyme nor reason to the way things come together. And it seems that the latter is becoming more prevalent in these times...

Whenever there is something to be accomplished, no matter what it is, it is being planned for. The obvious contingencies are thought of and often taken care of ahead of time. And pretty soon the only logical outcome of events would be the achievement of the set goal.

With many things in our lives this is what happens.

Yet when it comes to the important things in life, the things that really matter to us, the things we are passionate about ~ all of a sudden the tried and proves ways of getting things done don’t seem to work quite as well...
Promising leads don’t pan out. In meetings with all the ‘right people’ talks get stuck on minor details ensuring that nothing productive is realized. And no matter how much time and energy you spend on it ~ it just isn’t working...

While all the logical steps are taken, agreements reached, and the desired outcome should be within reach ~ everybody involved seems to want to take it into a different direction.
It just doesn’t make any sense.

A different, perhaps more spiritual way of looking at the situations in our lives that have neither rhyme nor reason in the way they play out, is to view the situation as if an important new player is added to the mix: the universe itself.

Especially in those areas of our lives we feel are important to us ~ the big things in life ~ the universe can step in and make things go more smoothly (for instance by consistently helping us to be at the right place at the right time), creating results that are beyond our wildest dreams. It can also intervene in order to usher us into a different direction; a direction or path that holds greater promise for us, whether we are aware of it yet or not...

When things turn out better than expected, we may say we had luck on our side.
When things fail to come together into a logical result of our actions, we perhaps complain that it doesn’t make sense and get frustrated with it.

Either way these things often happen under the guidance of a higher force. And while there seems to be neither rhyme nor reason to what is happening and why the way we as humans perceive it ~ the universe just wishes the very best for us...

Friday, August 17, 2012


For few of us midnight is the actual middle of the night. For most of us it is somewhere at the end of the evening or the beginning of the night. It is the end of the day and as such the start of the next day. In this manner it is, in a sense, the bridge between the evening of today and the morning of tomorrow...

Midnight blue is the darkest blue you can think of, and yet, the darkest time of night is said to be right before dawn. Unless you live quite close to the polar circle, dawn is quite a few hours away from midnight...

Midnight is when everything is quiet.
However it is a time that is full of life and activity for the creatures of the night ~ animal or human...

The only logical way to look at midnight, is that it is diametrical opposite to midday ~ a time of day for which much of the above is true also; it is hardly the middle of the day, although bright ~ the brightest light is often a couple of hours later, and while daytime is a time of activity, midday somehow has a quiet, a stillness about it...

To really see where the terms come from, we need to look at the cycle of day and night.
This 24 hour time-span is one of the shortest cycles in nature; the time it takes for the earth to make a full, 360 degree turn on its axis.
Midday then is the point when the sun is at its highest point above the horizon; midnight the time when the sun is at its lowest point beneath the horizon.
And looking at the significance of these points in the cycle, it appears that at midday we can see most clearly as the reality, the true nature of things is least obscured by their shadows, showing the shapes and energies as they truly are.
At midnight, when the sun is exactly at the other side of the earth, we can see an entirely different reality. Or perhaps we see different aspects of the same reality, not with our eyes but with our other feelings, even with our intuition. It makes midnight the time for feelings. For those often undefined bits and pieces of information that we feel good about, or not. It is when our ‘gut-feel’ is very clear...

MIdnight, when the energy of the sun is no part of our experience, is the time when our (inner) senses can be relied on. That special smell, a rustle as a soft breeze plays with the leaves of a tree, the sonar calls of bats ~ just outside of our range of hearing; it is all part of that other reality that is so easy to forget about in the light of day...

Tuesday, August 14, 2012


Surprises are unexpected or astonishing events, facts or things... And while sometimes the timing of the surprise may not be totally unexpected ~ for instance in case of a surprise birthday party ~ the event in and of itself is still unanticipated.

The term ‘surprise’ doesn’t really give any indication whether the unforeseen event is pleasant or not. So, from that perspective there can be both truly exciting surprises ~ happy things that happen to you ~ as well as unpleasant, or even nasty surprises. Yet, in my thinking the word surprise is positive! More related to its positive aspects than it is to its negative connotations. The latter I tend to describe more as ‘sudden unexpected events’.
Same meaning, different word, different connotation.

It is funny how language can work that way...

As far as surprises go ~ life is full of surprises!
Unanticipated things that are suddenly right there... Like a sunny day while the weather forecast had been dismal. Or walking into the supermarket and discovering that the item you really need is on sale. Or even an event you signed up for being organized in a way that can be much more beneficial than you originally thought.
Examples are plentiful on the unexpected things that may be coming your way in every day life. From the very mundane ~ like the price of gas having dropped a nickel ~ to the very esoteric.

If this is so ~ then why don’t we feel that excitement of the surprise more often?

Somehow we may have lost our sense of wonder ~ our open approach to life as it comes our way. We ‘hope for the best and expect the worst’. It seems to be a safe attitude to live our lives with as it allows for good things to become part of our lives, yet will prevent us from being caught unaware if something bad might come our way instead.
Inherent in that attitude is that we often put a label, or even a value to an event ~ sometimes even before it happens we have projected how much fun it possible can be, or worst case, what the ramifications of the event might be ~ both immediately as well as in the long run. And if none of those labels turn out to be true ~ it really is surprising (!) ~ but it may give us an uneasy feeling of being slightly out of control...

To experience the world around us as it is ~ filled with surprises ~ it would be good to re-cultivate our sense of wonder; our openness to life...