B.E. I.N. F.L.O.W. — The 7 Desires that Construct Fulfillment

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Inspired by Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, I wondered what, specifically, is needed to feel fulfilled?

I do not claim to know why…I am just distilling my observations of what I know so far about human behavior through history & the commonality of all religions & our great philosophers…

here’s what I came up with:

BE IN FLO”  (referring to the “Flow State” of being enlivened by being fully engaged  )

Based on everything I’ve learned to date, it seems that humans need, above all else, some sense of progress to feel sustained happiness.

The hierarchy of driving human desires that need satisfaction for a person to feel fulfilled, in my view, occur mostly in this order as adults:


1. Betterment — growth & progress
2. Empowerment — to feel capable & up to the challenges that  confront us
3. Individualism — independent freedom for creative self-expression
4. Novelty — perhaps the most uniquely human desire, we are innovative beings who crave the stimulus of assimilating new things; ideally, to inspire the creation of  something original
5. Fellowship — belonging; Interdependence seems to be a fundamental law of nature 
6. Love — perhaps because our existence is so dependent on others, Love seems to be both the fundamental core of our spiritual existence & the ambition.
7. Order — like meaning, we need things to make sense. We need the assurance of dependability. The is a comforting sense of “Home” in a from which place to begin. Ironically, Limits are what give us the focus, to pick a place to begin, for unlimited creativity.

 

 

 

 

9 Surprising Strategies for Happy Sleep

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My bedside so far

 

This is my bedside, so far. I have that hideously orange towel to absorb the sweat from my gallon jug filled with ice, so that if I am thirsty, I have very cold water (speeds up metabolism) & I do not have to get up, but also, so that, by morning, the urge to urinate helps me to get out of bed & moving. That is just the 1st of my strategies to balance the power of my circadian rhythm.

Here are 9 more:

1. Program my brain to be sleepy, by the associative properties of a routine. (sensory input of: pajamas, dim lights, brush teeth, wash face). I have noticed, that I am often too tired to muster the motivation to brush my teeth & wash my face before bed, so my new strategy here is to dim the lights 2 hours before I want to be asleep & wash my face & brush my teeth 1 hour before my target sleep time, before I am too sleepy. This has the added benefit of having the associated sensations triggering my brain to unwind & get sleepy. It’s fascinating how quickly I’ve come to crave the feeling of washing my face & how it relaxes me.

 

2. Avoid the blue light of my electronics (phone, ipad, tv, etc.) at night Exposure to blue light (like the sky) before sleep distorts your natural (circadian) rhythm and causes an inability to fall asleep. Light pollution has even been linked to breast , prostate 7 other types of cancers.

 The cause is the photoreceptor in your eyes, called Melanopsin. This receptor is sensitive to a narrow band of blue light in the 460-480nm range which suppresses your pineal gland’s Melatonin production – a hormone not just responsible for your healthy sleep-wake cycles, but also a powerful antioxidant with strong improving influence over ADHD, obesity, thyroid functioning, cancer, depression, learning & memory —>The list goes on, I am clear that I want my body to produce melatonin. Some supplemental melatonin users report an increase in vivid dreaming. Extremely high doses of melatonin (50 mg) dramatically increased REM time and dream activity (* I may experiment with this & report back later)
In 2001 it was discovered that it is only the blue component in ordinary white light that causes melatonin suppression. So, blocking just the blue light is sufficient, versus all light.
I found blue-blocking gel covers for my iPad (Sticky filters by SleepShield fit over your laptop, smartphone and tablet to reduce the amount of blue light that reaches your eyes at night)
& special amber light bulbs. & I downloaded a very cool app called Twighlight.
 The Twilight app makes your device screen adapt to the time of the day. It filters the blue spectrum on your phone or tablet after sunset and protects your eyes with a soft and pleasant red filter. The filter intensity is smoothly adjusted to the sun cycle based on your local sunset and sunrise times.
Then I had an idea! I bought amber safety glasses! By wearing $8 UV coated amber safety glasses I can enjoy  normal evening activities (TV, Computer) while maximizing melatonin production. Again, when my evening becomes amber, this is another sensory input switch for my brain & body to wind down.
My Blue-wave light blocking night glasses
3. Bright Days & Dark nights: The more I study the chronobiology of humans, the more important I understand that it is critical to have complete blackness when sleeping & to get sunlight on my skin & into my eyes as early as possible every morning. (Vitamin D, Grehlin, Leptin, etc.)
My strategy here, is:
—I removed all unnecessary light sources (blinking electronics, glowing clock, etc.) & got a dim projection clock that projects the time on the ceiling corner, so when if I wake & wonder what time it is, I do not have to move to see, but there is no light pollution, interfering with my quality of sleep.
Projection Clock
—I’ve swapped out my night light for an very low light red LED one that only comes on by a motion detector, so i put it near the floor, so it only illuminates my feet & where I step.
—I bought a comfortable eye mask. I bought an alarm clock which mimics sunrise & sunset wavelengths of light. & I have resolved to watch the sunrise every morning.
— My Favorite! new gadget is my Philips Wake-up light! I set my alarm & it mimics the sunrise & slowly increases its light from a dim burnt umber through amber to a sunny yellow & at the time of my alarm it is a bright happy white. The alarms are actual birds chirping! The principle is that our bodies release chemicals and start the process of waking up when the sun hits our eyelids, before you’ve consciously woken up.. This new version also has a dusk simulator, with gradual decreasing light to help you enter the land of nod.
Philips Wake-up light
4.  Consistent Sleep Schedule on the 90 min cycle: The main thing is to have a consistent sleep schedule, even on weekends & holidays. I live a very social life & going to bed too early would be met with conflict. But I also want to start working out & reading, researching, & writing before the onslaught of interruptions of my workday begin, so i need to get up early if I want some quiet, reflective time. & now that I know that all of my biological systems are cued by light, I want to see the sunrise every morning. Also, I like the idea of seeing the sunrise every morning.
The earliest sunrises in 2015 will be June 5th-June 21th, the 21st being the summer solstice of course, at 6:09am.
So I will want a habit of waking up at 6am.
So I aim to be home no later than 10pm to get ready for bed, so that I am in bed to read by 10:30pm, & asleep by 11pm. It is important to be asleep by 11pm, because the body creates a cortisol surge to keep you up & alert after 11pm.  This means, I can be up, dressed, have a little quiet time to  enjoy the sunrise, write & start my day off without the hormonal & mood impact of dodging bullets 1st thing! Every day can start off with peace & intention.
Ideally, I will wake up at the end of a 90 min cycle, subjects report feeling much more refreshed when waking up nearer the 90min mark, the time it takes the brain to go through all the stages of sleep. So, I’ll shoot for being in bed by 10pm & falling asleep while reading around 10:30, would have me wake up at 6am, at the end of a 90 min cycle, 7.5hrs later.
As long as I am asleep by 11pm & up at 6am…
This gives me 7 hours of continuous sleep. To be happiest, researchers suggest 7 hours total sleep per 24 hours (not the prescribed 8-10hours, which causes the over-production of depressogenic substances in the brain.)
  — According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the Average American gets 8 hours & 45 min sleep per 24hrs, So I have almost 2 extra hours to be productive over the average person!
If I ever end up staying up late (I get really excited by what I read sometimes or I’m just being bad & not yet done having fun) or have to get up earlier, it is better to get 6 hours, say 11pm – 5am, or midnight to 6am, so that it is a multiple of the 90 min cycle. The extra 15min snooze will only create grogginess & won’t do anything to have me feel better rested.
5.  Supplements: 5-HTP, L-theanine, melatonin, GABA, L-tyrosine, huperzine A, valerian root. It is also better to supplement calcium & magnesium at night. I’ll post more about this later, as this is a very important subject. For now, I will just say that this gives my brain everything it need for me to wake-up smarter than I went to sleep.
6. No Caffeine after 2:30pm.
After 9pm: No alcohol greater than 4oz, No exercise,  No worrying, No working, No eating after 9pm ( with the exception of a lite evening snack of melatonin rich foods like cherries). Everything we consume has a bio-chemical effect. It takes 2 hours for the stomach to completely empty. Caffeine & alcohol in particular, adversely disrupt sleep patterns.
7.  I  sleep on my right side to make it easier on my spine & heart.
8. I have a CPAP machine, (Controlled Positive Air Pressure) that I don’t necessarily need, but it facilitates proper breathing while sleeping & prevents my airways from becoming so relaxed that they collapses & deprive my brain & body of oxygen, by inflating my airways slightly & comfortably with air. This prevents the potential cumulative brain damage from all the times a person stops breathing per night. I also, have a Snore Shield chin strap, to gently keep my mouth closed & force me to breathe through the CPAP.
ResMed S8 AutoSet™ II Auto CPAP Machine
9. I bought a Smart Pillow, ergonomically designed to facilitate proper neck posture while sleeping.

Smart-Pillow

 

Pal-power & Friendfluence

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Entourage

 

I’ve been researching the psychology & sociology of happiness. A lot of what I’ve read all seems to tie in directly or indirectly with the types of friends you’ve had or have. We’re social creatures.

I asked myself how I might quantify the degree to which a friend is “Good”. What metrics might I use to measure the value of any social relationship & how, exactly, do those relationships differ from familial, romantic, business, etc? What are the potential costs/risks of a friend? What are the benefits? Practically speaking, If I want to be a good friend, I need to celebrate their birthday, & least some of the other holidays. We’d need to have “hang time”. I would need to be supportive through slumps & offer assistance when & where I can. How many hours per year does one need to budget to live up to what it means to be a “good friend”? How much more is a “best friend”?

This is totally unscientific & I’m just throwing together a guesstimation to find a better sense of perspective, but…

(not thinking about a “friend” or an acquaintance or an associate…)

To be a close friend is at least:

dinner or lunch once a month (2hrs x 12 = 24hrs/yr)

1-2 outings together/mo (4hrs x12 = 48hrs/yr )

1 needs the other = 2hrs/mo (24hrs/yr)

at least 5 holidays & celebrations/ yr ( 20hrs/yr)

text / phone /email , etc. (3-4hrs /mo x 12= 48hrs/yr)

so… I think close friendship is at least 144 hours a year / 12 hours a month / 3 hours a week

Doing a scribbled tally on the back of an envelope,

I think a best friend may be more like…, interestingly, around 365 hours a year  / an hour a day  if you spread it out evenly / 7 hours a week 

 

 

I don’t have infinite time & after fulfilling my responsibilities, I have things I want to accomplish…. so given the actual amount of time I have, if I divide it by the time it may take to be a “good friend”, … how many friends could I be a good friend to?

There are 168hrs in a week & you’re going to sleep around 56hrs

say your 2.5hr morning routine & round-trip travel to & from work (1hr) + 45hr work week + 30min/day avg errands = 65hrs a week

if your nighttime routine is 2hrs a night = 14hrs

easily shave off 3hrs a week for just plain head-scratching, distraction, & forgetting what you were supposed to be doing

So, the average person might have as much as 30hrs a week as a total time budget minus all current commitments (family, groups, organizations, volunteering, spiritual practices, projects, etc.)

But let’s assume your friend needs you outside your current interests & pursuits, how much time should you allow to be available socially without sacrificing your own goals & dreams?

30hrs/wk x 52 weeks = 1560 freetime hours a year. divided by 144 = means maybe you could have as much as 10 close friends, but that leaves almost no room for solitary pursuits & how would  handle the likely conflict of a plurality of friends needing assistance in different places at the same time??.

1560 divided by 365 = 4 close friends, but again, no solitary time.

Many things can be done together, & all the research suggests that this enriches experience…. & it is assumed that a large part of compatibility is similar interests… so, let’s say 50/50? So 780hrs divided by 144 = 5 friends.

I declared my mission was:

To serve as a Happy Pathfinder leading others to the access to create maximum benefit for minimum effort & produce exponential results.

so… how to optimize?

My answer : Create a Men’s team of a select 7 men founded on the virtues of fraternity. (If I was a woman, I would create a woman’s team) I’d like us all to meet together for 2 hours each week & at least 1 outing a month, to pool resources & support one another in specifically stated goals. This way we all get the benefits of 7 close friends for far less time commitment, because the time is coordinated & compounded.

I would like the aim of the group to be: How to get more out of life, than we put in.

So I’ve decided to give a working team name of M.E.M.B.E.R #8

because our aim is: Minimum Effort / Maximum Benefit / Exponential Results

& every man will have 7 brothers

& he will uphold the values & commitments our group even if he is the last man standing

& so every man is M.E.M.B.E.R. #8

I’ve invited 3 Good Men so far & we will have our 1st Team Meeting tonight , fittingly on the 8th

M#8 Men's Team

Working more/ Sleeping less, Made me dumber, less productive, sick & …Fat?!?

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First thing’s 1st…

In order to live an Optimized life — to get Maximum Benefit for Minimum Effort, Risk & Cost & Produce Exponential Results; it seems most prudent to make sure I’ve mastered the fundamentals.

Energy seems to be the most critical element.  If, as I’ve previously deduced, all things are made possible by constructive action, & action is not possible without the advent of energy, then the most universally essential factor in all endeavors is energy.

Human energy seems to be a function of sleep, diet, exercise, & interest — in that order.

So I’ll begin with sleep:

I experimented with variations of polyphasic sleep (X evenly spaced Y min nap sessions every Z hrs which total less hrs sleep per 24hrs in aggregate vs 1 long session of 8 hours sleep ) all last year & I can sum up my conclusions succinctly: Don’t do it.

I failed with this miserably. Beyond being logistically untenable, like taking naps during the workday & being decimated if you miss a nap… Its not worth the cost. I learned a lot, though. Most unexpectedly, I learned that beyond the predictable physical & cognitive side-effects, when I am tired, I entertain thoughts which are less than honorable. Everything suffered. my decision making was poor, my will power was depleted & I was a zombie, when I wasn’t really really irritable.   Far more costly than one would even expect… it removed far more quality from my life for the few hours a day it gave me in trade. I’m disappointed in this outcome, as I of course wish that I could report that I tested & proved a method of only sleeping 4 hours (or so) per 24 & so, adding 4 more hours (or so) to each day, 28 extra hours a week, — the equivalent of over 36 extra work weeks per year! but…. whah,wah, waaaahhhhhh… total fail!

Sleepy

 

What I can report is the unexpected opposite:

I’ve recently conducted the opposite experiment: Go to bed early enough to sleep until I’m done sleeping. Interesting that I am often done sleeping after only 7 hours most of the time. In times of stress or healing, I never seem to need more than 8.5hrs.

Quality sleep seems to supercharge my energy & mind. I seem to think faster & clearer. It seems a little counter-intuitive to me, but sleeping a third of my life away, actually has me get more done in a week.

I booked an appointment with Dr. Jason Peck, a board-certified Psychiatrist who specializes in the medical science of sleep. I learned a few shocking facts!:

1.) If you sleep less than 6.5hrs a night, your body:

—over-produces ghrelin (the “hunger hormone”) making me crave sweets & simple carbs

—under-produces leptin (the “satiety hormone”) making me never satisfied

—increased stress levels over-produce cortisol which is known, among other things, for increasing belly fat

see how this may be a perfect storm?… it actually gets worse: all of the above makes you significantly more likely to become diabetic. & it gets even worse…

2.) If you sleep less than 6.5hrs a night, you get dumber… attention, alertness, memory, creativity, problem-solving, etc… name a cognitive function & it suffers; one of the main reasons why is fascinating! it turns out that is what REM sleep is… its your brain organizing all the information you took in. So, in actuality, you take in information throughout your waking hours, but you learn when you sleep!

3.) Sleep deprivation severely compromises our immune systems in too many ways to list here… I got the point Fat, Dumb & Sick = less productive per month.

 

I am super-fascinated  & have much more research & experiments to do… like learn-nap, learn-nap — see if that defrags my cerebral hard drive & speeds learning… I’ll get back to you on that.

 

To stay on task—-> here’s my next mission: How to enhance the quality of my sleep? & Experiment with the benefits of power-napping

 

Mission Possible

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mission possible

Impossible is nothing.

Anything deemed impossible, is so called because it can not exist; therefore it is nowhere. That which occupies no space, is intangible; & is said to be nothing. No thing. So “no thing” is impossible.
Nothing is impossible.
Impossibility is made so from there being an absence of energy. An absence of energy is an absence of action.
All things are evidence for the existence of their equal opposites.
Therefore anything is possible through action.

So what possibilities do I want to manifest in my reality? How will I know the right action to take?

This is the point of a mission statement, for me. A mission statement is a guiding line.
^The finer the mission statement, the more portable it is… the faster I can course correct.
In any given moment, I am acting consistent or inconsistent with my mission statement. This kind of quick reference makes productivity possible, which makes all of my dreams possible.

There are plenty of things that I am not dependable for & even more things that I am not particularly good at, but there are a few things that I seem to do well with little effort & enjoy doing:
If you love what you do & what you do helps others & provides for a high quality of life… I think that would be the ideal.
How can I enjoy my life so sustainably, as the sentence above?
What do I enjoy doing that produces value?

I enjoy the sort of deconstructive analysis, that isolates key components. I enjoy distilling the essential essence to increase its potency. I enjoy synthesizing & assimilating in pursuit of optimization. I enjoy acting as a strategist & seeking the most beneficial course for the least cost & minimal risk.

 

 

This is my mission Statement:
To serve as a Happy Pathfinder leading others to the access to create maximum benefit for minimum effort & produce exponential results.

 

 

& so this blog is born,
made possible through my declaration that it be so…
made reality through my simple use of that which is available to me to serve my purpose…
I am enlivened at the notion that this small set of Intentional Actions may change my life EXPONENTIALLY.

GPS — How I found my Purpose

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Purpose

I’ve really thought about this intently, today.
I feel certain there may be no more important task than figuring this out for oneself.
& I haven’t been at all sure how to go about discovering my purpose, though I think of it like this:
Whether I am a complex confluence of random evolutionary mutations or a vastly precise design implemented by an intelligence of incomprehensibly powerful creative genius; either way, I am the way I am. Nothing could be more fitting than to be a full expression of what it seems I am uniquely suited to do.

So here was my approach: G.P.S.

I asked myself what I do best. I asked myself what I seem to do particularly well without much effort, & even that effort which is invested seems to increase my energy rather than deplete it. I listed all of my talents & skills which energize me & called these my “GIFTS”.
Gifts are meant to be given.

I asked myself “What endeavors enliven me?”
I asked myself “Who are my heroes? What are their vocations?
I listed all the subjects which fascinate me so naturally, that I’ve never bothered to wonder why & called these my “PASSIONS”
All passions are expressions of love. To love life, one must be passionate.

Then I juxtaposed these 2 spheres & in the intersecting overlap, I delineated their commonalities…my calling.

Finally, I asked myself how these GIFTS & PASSIONS could become my means of making a living… obviously, getting paid to do, what I would pay to be doing would be the secret to happiness. Directly, I knew, that to get paid would mean that I had produced value for the purchaser. So then final question was then obvious:
How might these qualities be wholly employed to be of service to others?
What problems could I use my GIFTS & PASSIONS to solve, to be of SERVICE?
Great is a synonym for large. To live a “Great” life, it would have to be bigger than myself. Me focusing on me can not even see all of me, so self-involvement is a small & poor life. The more souls I can engage, the larger my life. The more love & laughter in those relationships, the richer my life.

So there it is, my GPS… the convergence of GIFTS & PASSIONS focused into SERVICE to others.
This is how I found my Purpose…
Now, to live life on purpose.

Seventh Septave

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Seventh Septave

It is New Year’s Day. A whole new year… potential to become a whole new me…
I read that every 7 years, every cell in your body is replaced. You are quite literally, physically, a whole new person every 7 years.
Interesting that the number is 7.

My father retired a few months ago. He’s 63 now (9 cycles of 7). I’m 42… twice the age he was when I was born. 21 years younger than he is now; so I am 3 cycles away from retirement. At, 42 & a half, I am entering the 7th septave of my life, 42-49. I feel like this may be the most vital 7 years… a chance to hit my apex in some regards… likely at least physically…time to embark on all the adventures that I won’t have the youth to do later. I think 50 may be a midpoint; therefore may begin a tapering. I may have as many as 9 cycles left.
The bible mysteriously purports that the 7th son of a 7th son will have the gift of sight… I am fathering a new me. I will encourage myself to trust my insights & intuitions more fully.

What will become of me?
What is my Purpose?

Only an open hand is free to receive

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freehand

I think I’ve just learned a valuable lesson over the past week: I have been going through life as if I can have it all…

While I have capabilities & access & have met with much success, I didn’t consider something key:

If I had it ALL, where would I keep it ALL ? How would I move around with it ALL? How would I keep up with it ALL? It turns out that would be a crowded & heavy & incomprehensible life. I have learned that it is much easier & lighter to recognize & relinquish that which holds me back.  To forgo, for “Go”. Very often, the very reason I can not move forward, is because I am holding onto something. An extended metaphor occurs to me this way:

     If you took a trip to Bali and discovered that there were a Monkey Temple; a cave carved by an ancient people, now a den inhabited by territorial monkeys. Imagine you were warned not to wear any jewelry because the monkeys are quick thieves who snatch bejeweled earrings & pendants & watches & such sparkling gold & silver things. You arrive & promptly notice the sharp teeth & claws of the monkeys & understand why no human has entered that cave in over 300 years of tourism. but then you have an insight: the monkeys are just naturually drawn to eye-catching things. You calmly but courageously cross over the ropes & head toward the cave & its treasure. The monkeys’ chatter quickly becomes alarming screeches, but you expected as much. As you near the mouth of the cave, the perched monkeys seem poised to pounce in attack, but you reach into your pocket to retrieve your watch & ring & sunglasses. You slowly toss your shiny items to lure the monkeys away & enter the cave unmolested. Inside, the light is dimmer, therefore the jewelry has less glitter & it is no wonder the monkeys lost interest & left the items here… the monkeys are not possesive after all & have no problem that you gather 300 years worth of gold & jewels into a leather sack that you find there.

   Now, imagine that you have gathered 50 pounds of gold & jewels, but the airline has a “no carry on” policy & a 50lb weight limit for luggage per person. Do you busy yourself rearranging your belongings? Do you agonize over trying to keep your shorts or sandals or even your toothbrush? NO.

The answer is simple & quick. Leave it all behind, of course.  You can buy more as soon as your plane lands at home! Surely you can survive without your toothbrush for a day of travel. You likely have over $10 million dollars, you can afford to buy another.

  Ok, so that was a bit dramatic, but the principle still holds true under more mundane circumstances:

Isn’t it nice to clean out a closet by tossing out unneeded clutter & discovering the clear serenity of fresh space?  Isn’t there a wonderful purity to letting go of all the second guessing over what you could be doing & freeing yourself to enjoy the lightness of being that comes only from focusing on simply being fully present to what you’re actually doing? If you are clinging fearfully to something anchored in the past, you can not move on until you let go. If you hold firm to your point of view, you can not see around it to a whole new perspective. If tighten your fist to clutch your last dollar, your hand is not open to receive far more. If you go through life taking on more & more without ever giving anything up, you will be buried alive. What are you willing to leave behind?

Once you’ve decided you want something, it is a useful question to ask yourself, “What am I willing to let go, to make room for what I want?”

Freedom is completion. You do not have to “finish” to be complete.

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White Winter Solstice Sky

Over the past few months, I have gone through the hardest part of a divorce. I have moved into one of my rental properties. I have closed my nightclub. I have closed my bar. I gave a company which I silently owned to the employees. I have written off several investments. I have entered into negotiations to trade my shares of the Foundry I started with my partner to my partner, in exchange for further equity in our other business together, a scrap metal recycling processing yard, & I will buy out his remaining shares, so that he may retire. My 30′s were exciting, but lost in the business of business. I suffered an enormous financial loss in 2008 & 2009 during the economic crisis. I lost $1M dollars a month for 4 months. Some employees panicked & started a competing company & betrayed me in a way that traumatized me. I loved them. In 2009, the man I made president of the electronics recycling company I started, panicked & loaded an overseas container with more than $1M worth of inventory & fled the country. In 2010 & 2011, I was trying to rebuild from scratch & my powerful & amazing wife jumped in head first & was independently trying to save us… the problem was that 2 people can not drive the same bus at the same time… it just leads to wreckage & that’s what happened to our marriage. We’re both fighters & we fought to come out the other side. We are best friends, but we had to amputate the marriage to save the body & life of our relationship.

So… here I am. Everything up to now has seemed such a rush & blur. I am somehow complete with all of my incompletes.
It seems very appropriate that it is Winter… dormancy, seems appropriate.

In my new residence…
My particular street is a beautiful vista of giant live oaks that arch over like a great cathedral. The last of the leaves are pirouetting to the ground like nature’s confetti, as if I was participating in a muted parade. I like that: the trees let go of their leaves which nourish the ground. I am devoting today to letting go of my past. Providentially, today is the Winter Solstice. In 7 minutes it will be 12:00pm EST December 21st, 2014 the exact “noon”, whereupon Winter begins. There is no duration to this, per se, it is an event. I find this an auspicious occasion to celebrate the release of the dead leaves of my thoughts & days leading up to this moment. I declare this as a pivotal event in my life. Today is my clearing. My wiping of the slate. My soil is made fertile by all I have learned & experienced & created up to this point. However, for my future to be whatever it will grow to be, there must be a clearing within which it can arise. So today begins my winter.

I had an insight while walking: it is possible to be “complete”, without finishing. I can simply let go of old frustrations, upsets & disappointments. By holdinging onto them in my mind, I have carried them into my present & I experience frustration, upset & disappointment now, as if something were happening now. I can simply let them go. I am complete with my unfinished business the moment I declare it complete, in the same way a fight is over the instant I quit fighting.

I welcome winter today, as the peace that comes from completion.

Today does not have to be a repetition of yesterday. My future does not necessarily have to have anything to do with my past. Today I let go of all the dead leaves of my past that litter my view. This leaves me free. Freedom is necessary to create. Space is necessary to create.

Today is as cleanly blank as a white winter sky; a halcyon clearing for all the fruitful & blossoming possibilities of tomorrow to occur.

I crave clarity. Maybe clarity only comes once there is a clearing for it to occur.

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S600 merecedes

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I am going to clean out a lot of my stuff from my move, let go of my status symbols & put them on Ebay, Craigslist, donate, gift, trash… I’m even going to sell my S600 Mercedes & my Montblanc pens & my Rolex watches.
I want to declutter & detach.
Also, I am going to let go of a lot of commitments. I am going to resign from the boards on which I currently sit. I am going to withdraw from many of the clubs & groups from which I am no longer receiving as much value. I am going to disconnect from Facebook & other social media. I am going to decline invitations from those people from whom I receive far less than I give.

I am going to learn how to meditate.

I want space.
I want refreshing emptiness.