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Category: UN-SEEING

questioning assumptions, cliches and group-think, different perspectives

GO OUT AND PLAY (An Un-Seeing Exercise)

GO OUT AND PLAY (An Un-Seeing Exercise)

I just stumbled over a quote from the amazing Maya Angelou that resonates with me enormously, especially during this time of lockdowns and disconnection:

Life is pure adventure, and the sooner we realize that,

the quicker we will be able to treat life as art.”

The lady knew.  To become fully human, we have to go out and play.  Then we need to come back inside and tell each other our stories.

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CHOOSE A STANCE AND CHANGE YOUR PROBLEM

CHOOSE A STANCE AND CHANGE YOUR PROBLEM

One of the most-quoted (often illustrated) inspirational bits hanging about on the Internet platforms and in assorted posts and books is this one:

“Happiness is a journey, not a destination. For a long time it seemed to me that life was about to begin—real life. But there was always some obstacle in the way, something to be gotten through first, some unfinished business, time still to be served, a debt to be paid. At last it dawned on me that these obstacles were my life. This perspective has helped me to see there is no way to happiness. Happiness is the way. So treasure every moment you have and remember that time waits for no one.”

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ALL OF US ARE FREEDOM’S SLAVES

ALL OF US ARE FREEDOM’S SLAVES

“Freedom’s slave.”

This phrase is fascinating to me.  The words evoke a sense of mayhem and magic, and of paradox and painful lessons.

A world-traveling friend gave the words to me as a gift.  (He knows I collect such things.)  He told me he had seen a tattoo of that phrase two different times in his many years of travel.

One of the tattoos was inked on the forearm of a fellow traveler, a scammer and nascent chaos-hound traveling through Southeast Asia.

The other one, which he saw years later, was on the chest of a European refugee living in Ecuador and working on stabilizing a life for himself and his lady who was earning large as a mercenary soldier in some Middle Eastern skirmish somewhere.

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UN-SEEING: Mastering Surrender

UN-SEEING: Mastering Surrender

So, I’m sitting there grousing about how dizzy I’m making myself trying to get a handle on the paradoxical concept of “Surrender”.

The Light of My Life does his Mysterious Mystic grin and tells me, “Surrender is the seed of beginning to see that you are the source of your world.  IF YOU ARE FIGHTING AGAINST YOURSELF, YOU LOSE.

My jaw dropped.

He retells one of my favorite stories, about the time when he was a youngster living in a palapa on the beach for a few months at Playa de los Muertos in Puerto Vallarta before it became a tourist destination.

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TO YOURSELF BE KIND (Another IPS)

TO YOURSELF BE KIND (Another IPS)

One day I happened to overhear a good friend of mine – one of the most generous and selflessly giving people I know – beating up on herself unmercifully.

She was spazzing about how she had fallen down off her (very high) standards-of-conduct bar because she had not stopped to listen (yet again) to a high-maintenance friend’s continuing saga about how everybody was picking on her and how not-right everything in her life was.

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BEYOND STUFF-LOVE (Part 4): On Wabi-Sabi

BEYOND STUFF-LOVE (Part 4): On Wabi-Sabi

As a Perfectionist in remission, I am here to tell you that wabi-sabi — a Japanese way of seeing the world — works as an antidote to the never-good-enough, shiny-new-thing madness induced by the classical hyper-focus on perfection and the kind of seamless orderliness that arises from the mathematical, mechanical precision that evolved in the super-industrialized Occidental West where more is always better.

I grew up in a pineapple plantation camp on Molokai.  Many of my neighbors were Issei, first-generation immigrants from Japan, who brought it with them from their homeland.  I was marinated in wabi-sabi.

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MULTIPLY THE FUN (An Un-Seeing Exercise)

MULTIPLY THE FUN (An Un-Seeing Exercise)

Consistently over the years, assorted research has shown that job dissatisfaction is a problem for about two-thirds of the people in America.

This “disengagement” has wide-ranging effects.  Gallup tells us that this job irritant issue has cost as much as $350 billion a year in “lost productivity.”

(It can also suck a soul dry, and turn your life into a desert, but nobody scientific ever mentions that.)

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BEYOND STUFF-LOVE (Part 3): A Touch Test

BEYOND STUFF-LOVE (Part 3): A Touch Test

18th-century British textile designer, poet, writer and socialist activist William Morris famously advised:  “Have nothing in your house that you do not know to be useful, or believe to be beautiful.”

It’s become a sort of go-to standard that organizers, minimalists and de-clutterers of every ilk use to look at the stuff with which we all surround ourselves.

These days every time you hear that phrase, you can pretty much expect that somebody is going to try to persuade you to get rid of some beloved something.

The perpetrator of the phrase may even hand you some sort of condescending, mealy-mouthed, holier-than-thou thing about your “unhealthy” attachments to “mere material objects.”

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BEYOND STUFF-LOVE (Part 2): Material Mind

BEYOND STUFF-LOVE (Part 2): Material Mind

Probably since the beginning of time the love of stuff has ruled the world.  And as long as there has been stuff-love, there probably also have been those who growl about all this rampant “stuff-ism.”

According to those grouses, making and getting and keeping and trading and maintaining and so on and so forth goes against “right” thinking and the proper order of something or other.

Stuff-ism is going to destroy the world as we know it, they say, or at least put a heavy dent in it.

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EMBRACE SHADOW (An Un-Seeing Exercise)

EMBRACE SHADOW (An Un-Seeing Exercise)

Here’s a thing.  On your way to any dream of yours, there are always going to be people telling you what you “should” do and how you “must” move, pointing out paths that suit their own propensities and agendas.

Every course you take, every video you watch, every book or post you read, every other person you talk to probably will have some embedded assumptions that might not resonate with your own.

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