Archive for October, 2007

Thoughts are just thoughts

Posted on October 10, 2007. Filed under: Philosophy, Spirituality |

I’ve become aware of a lot of buzz recently about “positive thinking”, “banishing negative thoughts”, and blaming “victims” for their condition. I imagine all these are coming into my awareness as issues that wish to be looked at. I always welcome the opportunity to look at what “pushes my buttons.” (well, maybe not always!…)

A lot of the buzz is about the book and documentary called The Secret, which I’ve referenced on other posts. That production must be very powerful, as it has generated great emotion from adulation to outright hatred and ridicule. As I’ve said before, I think the title is an unfortunate marketing choice–from my position–because it implies, or actually states that the tricks, tools and philosophical amalgams presented are “newly discovered ancient knowledge.”

Many of the principles presented have been taught continuously for millennia, and to imply they are “secrets” discredits many tools which have worked well for a long time. The good thing about The Secret is that it has presented the material to a wider audience. It is my hope that those who are attracted to the ideas in it will look further.

I watched the original documentary, and the Oprah and Larry King shows about it, but have not read the book. I will say that I admire and am inspired by about half of the teachers in the video. I have noticed that a number of them have somewhat distanced themselves from the project, and I can understand this. I think it contributes as much to misunderstanding as it does clarity.

I read a wonderful piece about The Secret by fellow blogger Out of My Head. I hope she won’t mind if I quote part of her quote, particularly if I encourage you to read her post. She has a very reasoned and beautifully presented analysis.

Regarding “Negative Thoughts”: “We just won’t allow them near us. We just won’t allow ourselves to associate with them. And wherever we see them, we will work to eliminate them. For once these negative thoughts are gone, our lives will be everything we ever dreamed.”

Well, if this is a direct quote from the ‘Secret’ material, it’s one of my “button pushing” phrases. I don’t believe there is any such thing as a “negative” thought. Or a “positive” one for that matter, in spite of such book titles as The Power of Positive Thinking. Thoughts are just thoughts, and to assign titles or qualities to them would be to suggest that these qualities are the same for everyone who thinks them. As Out of My Head says there is a sort of robotic quality to these kinds of assertions. Our thoughts are unique, private things. They are our own, and how we relate to them is our own business. I have addressed the issue of “blaming the victim” in another post, so I won’t repeat it here. I will say that a really useful tool for me is to both allow and examine the thoughts I am having. My belief is that our thoughts do create our reality, but not in any blamey, cause-and-effect kind of way that is obvious.

When I allow, even embrace, and then examine my thoughts and emotions, I can ask “Is this belief, response, or feeling serving me?”

“Does the thought advance my well-being, and enable me to take inspired action, whatever that may be?”

If it does, well then, good. If not, THEN it’s time to look into my bag of tricks (and I have some really good tricks in there!) and pull one out to help me refocus upon what will help the most in the situation.

Thoughts are just thoughts. I relax and let them be.

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real blogging: the perilous journey

Posted on October 9, 2007. Filed under: Spirituality |

One more video before I get back to “real blogging”… this covers ‘the perilous journey of becoming a someone‘ and shows in two minutes some questions that I ask.

Self-help books can certainly help self. But the journey must be only my own. I celebrate uniqueness today.

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Take a break and smile?

Posted on October 6, 2007. Filed under: Games, Musings |

  • A few feel-good short videos for a Sunday afternoon…
  • With thanks to Jim Katsoulis of

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    Posted on October 5, 2007. Filed under: Musings, Spirituality |

    A lot of what I write about here is concerning tools I use to live a “better” life. When I ran out of things to say recently, I had to ask myself, “What is ‘better'”? I want to say that it’s more engaged, more centered, more balanced, more compassionate, more reverent, thrifty, brave…I could go on an on. It occurs to me though, that all those things are about being or having “MORE”. Even something like having “More Simplicity”. There’s irony for you.

    How about having less? What about having enough? How about just having–being–doing, without any consideration of “what”? This sounds rather Zen-like in the moment, and that is fine. I’m just not in the mood today for self-improvement, self-development, or even “self”. I’d like to take a breather, and just Be. 8) Salaam.

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    The Problems of the World

    Posted on October 3, 2007. Filed under: Musings, Spirituality |

    When you take the problems of the world on your shoulders, your body doesn’t feel good. It’s just that simple. Leave the problems of the world to the individual problem-makers of the world, and you be the joy-seeker that you are.” — Abraham

    This is certainly a provocative statement from the conglomeration of teachers known as “Abraham“. It seems almost impossible to many of us to think that we shouldn’t try to intervene in what we see as wrongs, problems or concerns. I think the guidance referred to: “your body doesn’t feel good”, is an unerring guide. Terms like “gut-wrenching”, and “heartbroken” have crept into our vocabulary. These are not just figures of speech! If something doesn’t feel good to us, our emotions, or our body, then it’s probably something to stay away from.

    Lately, I have not been watching or listening to what’s known as “news”. It’s popular to say that the news is depressing, and since I don’t want to be depressed, I won’t listen to the news. I was in this position a short while ago. Detractors from this philosophy tell me that I need to know “…what’s going on in the world.” I do? Why? How will it help me to know unpleasant things? Particularly if I don’t intend to take any action to alleviate them? As they say in Chicago, “Everyone talks about the weather, but no one does anything about it.”

    If I choose to tune to a local radio station, I could get a daily dose of war news. That would be fine if I were planning to, for instance, go to Iraq to take some action there. It would be prudent for me to know the current situation there before I go. Otherwise, if I do not enjoy hearing about the war, and I’m not going to actively involve myself in the war, it would be much more beneficial for me, and the people who are around me, not to dwell on it. I can help the human condition much more by keeping my connection with source open and alive. And I believe source does not recognize and connect to that which causes me to feel miserable!

    “You see, you’re giving others too much power as you even acknowledge how they make you feel. What you’ve got to decide is how ‘I’m’ going to feel. We would go to a Virtual Reality [imagine a time and place in which I feel wonderful] and we would practice feeling good. Manifestations come on the heels of what you’ve conjured in thought.” — Abraham

    I can only be of any real use–to myself and others–if I come from a place of supporting what I believe, rather than arguing against what I don’t. “What happens in Vegas stays in Vegas”–or so the saying goes–and what happens “out there” stays “out there” unless I go to join it or invite it in to my experience.

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    Blog Action Day is Coming

    Posted on October 2, 2007. Filed under: Musings, Science |

    The Environment is the topic for the first annual Blog Action Day, on October 15.

    I’m pleased that the good folks at (part of a network of socially conscious creative support tools) are inviting bloggers to write in any way they wish about the environment. Global warming real or media hoax? Give your opinion on October 15. Do you have a favorite environmental action organization or cause? Let us know about it then. Maybe you think the environment is a truly boring topic? Blog about how overblown the whole thing is!

    What will I say? You (and I) may be surprised. Thousands of blogs are going to participate. If you’d like to register yours, it will be linked on the Action Day website. See you on Monday, October 15.

    For just one day, we’d like to unite as many of the millions of bloggers around the world and speak about one issue – the environment,” said Collis Ta’eed, an Australian blogger from, and a cofounder of Blog Action Day. “We want to display the potential and the power of the blogging community, which is a disparate community but one with an amazing size, breadth and diversity. By bringing everyone together for one day, we can see just how much can be achieved, and how much we can be heard.”

    Bloggers Unite - Blog Action Day

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    If you KNEW you could have it?

    Posted on October 1, 2007. Filed under: Philosophy, Spirituality |

    I may be starting to “get” how reality works. I think we spend our human experience learning about this. Appropriately, for Monday, I’m including a link to a short video from Monday9am. The person interviewed here, Michael Neill, asks a provocative question: “What ‘want’ would disappear if you knew you could have it?” The quickie, obvious reaction to this is, “Of course I KNOW I can have ANYTHING I can imagine. After all, I’ve read books that say this!”

    And I do believe that, really I do. It’s a different matter, though, to embrace the reality of those wants–to truly embody them. Often, I get involved in a discussion with myself about whether it’s “OK” to want “things” rather than qualities. I try to talk myself into finding the underlying desires behind my wantings. The video puts this into perspective for me. It goes along with a philosophy I’m just beginning to understand–that the only barrier to having Anything I can imagine, is that while I can imagine “It”, I just can’t sufficiently imagine [“Me” with “It”]. If I can fully step into the knowledge that I really, really can have the current “It” of my focus–do I still want it? Whether I do, or not, is absolutely OK, and even more, it’s a great thing to find out!

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