Pictureby Fernando Silveira http://www.flickr.com/photos/fernandosilveira/
Fear is the cheapest room of our house?

It may be a room in our own home (self) but it is not cozy, peaceful, or truly happy. 

I say fear (in all its forms) is the most expensive prison cell. This prison cell has a window and a mirror.  

It is the most expensive cell because the cost is high for maintenance and the sentence seems to be life without parole.  

The window is there showing us possibilities.  The window shows us how others are free, their lives may not be perfect, but, they are living with more choices than we seem to have.  

The reality is that this expensive prison cell even if it is unfair imprisonment has become our very cramped yet comfortable space. The window is there but sometimes we are too comfortable to even look out.  Looking out reminds us of all that we once either had or had hoped for. 

The possibility of freedom is scary.  In the expensive prison cell we seem powerless, because we do not have to be responsible. 

Freedom is terrifying.  There are many more options with freedom.  

Options mean choices and decisions about what we really want.  If we get what we want, it means touching the depth of despair.  Despair and sorrow emerge over the true fear.  The real fear is believing we are unworthy. 


Pictureby all aboutcars19 http://www.flickr.com/photos/30555345@N05/
The possibility of getting what we want is the true fear.  


If we get what we want, then we have to feel the pain of not believing we are worthy of having our desires.  If we don't get what we want, it confirms our belief in our unworthiness. 

Rather than go through the pain of unworthiness, we look away from the window.  Why escape through the window, we would get caught, right? 


We believe we can prevent rejection, but, that is false control or power.


We hand over our freedom to authorities of our own making.  We give up responsibility for our life.  It is too painful to see what we've done to be where we are and to forgive what's been done to us.  In this high cost prison no one else gets hurt, so long as we are locked up.


The only adversaries are the prison guards, the shadows and ghosts of our past.  These adversaries are the mirror if we are willing to look.  

The benevolence of the Universe reaches this compact prison cell.  

These adversaries are there to help us look within at those aspects that we rather not admit live within us.  These aspects are disowned behaviors within us that we judge harshly in others.  We cannot see that these aspects are our shadow which is neither good nor bad.  

Sometimes we also get visits from those who reflect our pure nature, but, we cannot believe they see anything good in us. 


Pictureby Alan Levine http://www.flickr.com/photos/cogdog/
Our shadow scares us, but, if we could recognize that it is not threatening, healing would speed up.  


The healing doesn't have to be all work and no play. We can dance with our shadow.


Once, I was a prisoner of all my disowned parts or shadow. 


For instance, I didn't like being resentful.  I would throw my hands up in the air, metaphorically giving up.  I often told myself that with all the years of counseling and at my age, I should have made more strides.  More inner work seemed like too much when I had already "suffered" and struggled enough. Thinking like that ensured I remained in the comfort of my cell prison.


It was until I was willing to embrace where I was and feel the pain that life didn't seem like a struggle or unbearable. 


Embracing where I am is setting myself free without changing anything. 

Embracing what is, is a space of non-resistance.  I may have been lost but I was never incapable of finding my way. 


Pictureby couldbe/robert dolan http://www.flickr.com/photos/robert-dolan/
The reality of the fear of rejection is that it, is fear of unworthiness.  


The truth is that we are scared of getting what we want.  Getting what we want means being responsible for what comes into our lives.  


True freedom is being responsible for our lives.  


The beauty of life is the continual encounter with all that we need to melt into the grace and power of the Universe within and all around us.      

I'm working on finding full-time work that will allow me to take more responsibility for my life.  For now, I am grateful for all that has been, what is, and what is to be. 


What I know is that peace emerged once I began to love, that which I loathed, disliked, feared and couldn't even look at -out of shame.   



Do you dare look in the mirror and escape through the windows of your expensive fears?

Picture
by BBM Quotes http://www.flickr.com/photos/142195798@N08/

 
 
Pictureby Judite B http://www.flickr.com/photos/cards/
Feeling...

my body through my skin

feeling what it is like to be

be in my body. 

My body inspired to touch...

Touch the infinite.

Infinite wisdom stretches me. 

Stretched beyond reason....

Reason cannot know what I am.

I am unreasonable....

I am love's unreasonable manifestation.

A body of love that moves and stills me.

Still, I expand...

Fade into the ether....

Through her I experience my humanness.

She is fragile and yet so resilient.

She holds me delicately like I hold a small flower in my hands. 

She is my faithful companion.

She carries me and reminds me of where I come from....


Pictureby Tobylyn Marjeta http://www.flickr.com/photos/26227586@N05/
Come from above and below....

Soar beyond her yet...

grounded in her.

She makes me visible.  

Visible to care for.

She is mine to care for like precious art. 

Caring for her is my sweet labor of love. 

Her well-being is my happiness. 

Caring for her makes her visibly vibrant. 

Thanks to her, I can be seen, heard, felt...


Pictureby Racheal Anilyse http://www.flickr.com/photos/rachealanilyse/
Thanks to her, I feel connected.

Connected to what is seeing and hearing me.

Connected to the Witness of my passion.

Passionate fire of love. 

Love's fire painted on my skin.

My skin asking to be touched. 

She my borrowed art. 

Art that needs to be touched. 

Feeling from the inside out. 

Pure touch that lasts beyond the moment. 

An art of being in the body but not attached to it. 

She is felt art. 

For she is Love's creation. 

Love's Art is felt.

 
 
Pictureby Boudicca http://www.flickr.com/photos/boudiccaamat/
Connection....

In the echoless sacred dance floor...

In the spaciousness of openness...

With NO WHERE TO RUN and NO WHERE TO HIDE 

Invited to be witnessed...

Seen and heard...

Nothing to achieve, to confess, and nothing to prove.

Moving spontaneously or restlessly immobile, or somewhere in between.

There we meet-- space and a me? 

Darkness and Light?

Meet as we are on the dance floor of life.

The kinesthetic connection that is ever present. 

Pictureby Prairie Kitten http://www.flickr.com/photos/prairiekittin/
I dance to my inner music.

My dance is an expression of what has been and where I am.

Sometimes my dance is a series of movements in the direction of where I see myself headed. 

What is certain is that she exists.

She stretches me, she is my body.
She is alive.  

I move in place or across the dance floor, being stretched by Her. 

Life she gestures me to move...  

If I resist, she feels it and aches.  If I flow with Her, she is a master of divine lessons.  She graces me with loving experiences that are forever mine.

She is alive in every move and in every breath. 

She feels me.  She has my back.  I shed tears of tenderness for all the less than gentle moves or choices.... She is unconditionally there. 

Pictureby laura grafie http://www.flickr.com/photos/45878539@N08/
The kinesthetic connection....

Moving, stretching, unwinding the spaces within that hold stories, memories and dreams.

In each move, there is so much expressed.

She expresses her prayers....

Silent prayers moved through her. 

Felt, heard and seen? 

She is seen as she prays. 

She is felt in touchless moves.

She is heard in wordless moves.


Pictureby Robin Norgren http://www.flickr.com/photos/wellofcreations/
Beauty in saying nothing.

Beauty in feeling with or without touch.

Beauty in hearing without lips moving. 

True beauty in connecting. 

By hearing, seeing and feeling through the heart, there is connection.


No value to prove. 

Just being witnessed by Her.

Others witnessing me.

Being witnessed, oh so vulnerable.

Vulnerable, in my humanness.

So alike and yet so unique. 

Intimate dance of getting to know oneself through fellow dancers.  

Connecting to the deepest unheard, unseen and unfelt spaces within.

A kinesthetic connection that is always available if I can imagine moving, she will not only meet me but caress me. 


Have you experienced the kinesthetic connection of moving your body and Life moving you? 

Connection by being seen in our own eyes, the eyes of others and being heard by our ears and those of others.

Do you see and hear by feeling with the most precious and brave part of us, our hearts?

 
 
Pictureby Andreas Steinkogler http://www.flickr.com/photos/andreassteinkogler/
What is your self-confidence built on? 

Are you part of the cult of appearances? 

What happens when external circumstances and inner fears confront our sense of self-esteem? 


As I said in my last post, self-esteem is over-rated in our western culture society.  Believing in ourselves is healthy, but what if it comes at a cost to others?  

I see "self-esteem"  as often built on promotion of one's image that tends to be artificial and even fragile.    

When my self-esteem depended mostly on what I did for work and how I was perceived, my mood fluctuated.  External circumstances can change and did change.  

The truth is that what I do...can build my self-confidence, but, it can never give or take from my humanity or what I am.  


What matters at any given moment is how I am being in the world.  


And how others perceive me will always vary.  Taking in others perceptions of me is not wise because those perceptions are not necessarily objective truth. 


Pictureby Amy http://www.flickr.com/photos/jirsy/
The outer world can be unobjective and filled with many phony messages such as: "get the most out of life, you deserve it."  

The messages focus on images of achievement, success and fun that emphasize individualism and de-emphasize concern for others, or altruism. 

These messages and images are interwoven in our social-cultural world thanks to publicity and media. 


Like cults they brain wash us to believe what self-confidence and success look like and how to achieve it.  But, I am not what I wear, how much I have in my bank account, drive or don't drive...!

Outer appearances are just that, they do not necessarily speak of our heart and soul.  Confidence with an over-emphasis on self-esteem weakens our ability to empathize and bond socially.
  
Being focused on appearances, isn't vulnerable so we cannot truly connect at the heart.  Overtime, the cult of appearances erodes our natural strength and inclination toward concern for others well-being or altruism and ultimately our happiness.


In my experience authentic self-confidence is born out of balance with self and develops from humility. 

Humility is knowing we are imperfect and have our own limitations as human beings. That allows us to be more supportive and forgiving of ourselves and others.  

When our self-esteem is too high, we expect more of ourselves and can be more aggressive in pursuit of achieving goals and success.  If we are aggressive with ourselves, we won't be gentle with others and that is unkind. 

I've been told I am quite humble and my thought is, what is there for me not to be humble about?  

If I achieve success by most standards, it will be because others helped me along the way.  I believe I will remember vividly the challenges that forged the foundation of any of my achievements.  

Pictureby BK Symphony of Love http://www.flickr.com/photos/pictoquotes/
So far what I know is that being confident does not mean I do not have inner fears.  


My inner fears allow me to be vulnerable with myself and to grow through kind bravery.  

Kindness allows me to be more easy-going about what is challenging for me and smile when I "goof."     

I rather confront my inner fears with courage and compassion than to live as if "I'm so- together" that I no longer think I have anything to learn or forget to be a kind human being. 

It makes my life more simple to go anywhere as I am without pretenses knowing that there is substance to me.  I do my best to honor what is alive in me while respecting what is alive and true in others.  

Our humanity rests on the caring altruism of our being, more than on any outer achievements or accomplishments.  Perhaps it is when we are most humbled that unexpected success begins to brew. 

The foundation of self-confidence may be different on your journey as our journeys are unique.  

What is common to all human beings is that we are fallible and all began as bundles of love.  Imagine if we could just honor that vulnerability and purity in everyone.  

Are you aware of the images or appearances that are important to you that add or diminish to your self-esteem? 

What inner fears keep you humble or enslaved to a cult of appearances?

Can you show up as you are, without a need to uphold images or appearances?
Picture
by Brett Jordan http://www.flickr.com/photos/x1brett/
 
 
Pictureby Bernadean Giles http://www.flickr.com/photos/bgflickr-articlewritercom/
Self-esteem is never enough in the face of abuse or trauma?

Why is that?

The tragic consequences of the absence of love are pretty obvious in the world we live in. 

We see homeless, hungry, mentally and emotionally unstable humans, violence on streets, etc. 

Suffering abuse or trauma leaves us prone to self-destructive behaviors and/or violence against others.  

Most of us have or will face some abuse or trauma that leave us feeling stripped of our humanity.  

Specifically, trauma and abuse leave an internalized sense of shame that needs the presence of kindness. 

If you have followed my blog since its inception you will know that I used to feel shame.  What I know and understand now is that the invalidation of feelings and needs in my childhood along with trauma left me feeling ashamed for having needs.  Parents and caregivers who are unable to face their own shame, transfer it and create shame-based generations of humans. 

Compassion regenerates us.  

Altruistic love is at the core of compassion.  It is inherently part of what we are. 


Pictureby TraumaAndDissociation http://www.flickr.com/photos/traumaanddissociation/
I've come a long way from the downward spiral of shame.  My own self- kindness has been the gentle and understanding healing balm.  

    
When we are too hard on ourselves, self-critical, self-hating, &/or judgmental our self-esteem tools will fails us.  

No human can consistently offer us "serene acceptance," like we can.  

It used to be so hard to offer myself acceptance for my deep anger when it was a part of my disowned shame.  That is when others loving presence was a restorative experience.  It reminded me that I too could do that for myself.  

Self-compassion is the altruistic love that regenerates us.  It is the vital presence that lessens harsh self-criticism, self-hate, and self-judgment when self-esteem falls short.  

Self-esteem is over-rated in our society and often fails us.  

1. Self-esteem fails us because it is not truly based on unconditional love.  Few of us experienced unconditional love in our childhood because we live in an uncivilized world.  An uncivilized world is violent, corrupt, and inhumane.  A civilized world would be taking care of all sentient beings.      

2. Self-esteem fails because the voice and image of shame have been internalized, disowned and therefore unhealed.  

3. Self-esteem fails because it doesn't hold a balanced awareness of our experience without ignoring or exaggerating our pain and our strengths.  This lack of mindfulness makes self-esteem miss the recognition of our common humanity by emphasizing 'me and my above we and ours.'  

While our humanity can never really be taken from us.  As humans we are challenged to remain compassionate and wise when we face the tragic consequences of lovelessness.


We all experience lovelessness during the course of our lives.  The beauty of our humanity is to respond from our core altruistic nature when needed either for ourselves or our fellow brothers and sisters.  

We are humanized by care, affection, kind presence and warm touch.  Let us be kind to ourselves, so we can be that for others.  

The strength of LOVE and it's absence is at the heart of humanity's healing. 


Imagine now how your tender kindness can replace any less than loving self- talk, shoulds or judgments that leave you feeling depressed, enraged, or less than human.  This is a security zone within you. 

Imagine replacing healthy self-esteem techniques with kind compassionate understanding when you are distressed.  This is striking the core of any shame and trauma with human presence and warmth. 


Can you identify or increase awareness of any voices and images of shame you've disowned that lurk from unresolved trauma or abuse?


Warm and kind waves of LOVE to all.  
 
 
Pictureby Vincent Brown http://www.flickr.com/photos/vintuitive/
Are boundaries enough to prevent empathic fatigue?

The beauty of humanity is caring so much that there is no question of acting in service of life.     

But, sometimes the boundaries we set to self-care or decrease fatigue from caring are walls that prevent us from both receiving and giving care. 

Like empathy, compassion isn't about fixing.  Compassion is a loving presence that humanizes us. 

In my experience, sometimes our own trauma causes us to resonate so much with another's distress that we cannot be there for them even when our nature is to care.  

Too much resonance with another or our own distress is empathy's downfall.  Too much resonance traps us.  Too much empathic resonance prevents the free flow of love. 

What is interesting to discover and learn for ourselves is how empathy and compassion feel and what these experiences do for us.  

Compassion and empathy are felt experiences.  The beauty of being held in the the loving presence of one who is offering compassion without words is powerful.  

As an empath without strong inner boundaries, I used to experience fatigue.  Empathic fatigue causes burnout and while developing better boundaries is helpful, it is not necessarily enough to prevent fatigue or burnout.  

What I've learned through experience is that Love is restorative and fuels us like no other super pill.  It is why there are stories of persons who heroically did what we as humans think nearly impossible.  Our caring or altruistic nature make us divine. 

Love is a tireless energy.  

That energy of Love is powerful and fuels our desire to care in compassionate and empathic ways without burning out.  

It is the difference between holding my loved one in distress or feeling powerless to change what is distressing them.  While I may not be able to change circumstances I can still be a loving presence that supports without crumbling within. 

Love is our authentic power and it is unlike any other power we seek to have over others. 

In my experience it is power-lessness over something be it a person or situation that can fuel distress.  

Pictureby dee_dee_creamer http://www.flickr.com/photos/79510655@N08/
Distress is resistance to what is, has been or might be.

Distress causes us to miss out on life. The good news is that it is right in front of us to dance with. 

So, the moment I can bring my attention to the emotion (the body sensation caused by my thoughts), I begin to engage what is alive in me.  The distress begins to lessen as it is in the presence of my own compassion. But, the moment I resonate too much with the emotion, I am swept by empathy's downfall and lose strength/power. 

So, while empathy is healing it can also be a source of pain or distress.  

A wonderfully humbling reminder that there are moments in all our lives when we cannot will things to change nor have the power, authority or ability to control what is.  Some things are just not within our territory of influence. 

What comes to mind is Byron Katie's The Work.  As she says there are three kinds of business: mine, yours and God's.  She says that if we are mentally hurting we are out of our business.  

As Byron Katie puts it: 

Whose business is it if an earthquake happens? God’s business.

Whose business is it if your neighbor down the street has an ugly lawn? Your neighbor’s business.

Whose business is it if you are angry at your neighbor down the street because he has an ugly lawn? Your business.


There is definite strength in what Byron Katie refers to as "loving what is."   That is a liberating way to live and be in the world.  Although, sometimes it seems challenging, it is much tougher resisting what is through our thoughts and feelings. 

I know this to be true as my happiest moments are when I am disengaged from internal power -struggles with what is.   

There can be no power-struggle whether internal or external when I understand my needs.  Being in touch with my feelings and needs is self-empathy.  Getting to the unmet needs is what is healing. 


Love helps us understand moment by moment our needs so we can also be present to understand others needs.    


So,  when we feel fatigue or caught in distress, we can remember that we have either gone into territory that is not ours, or over-resonated with our own or another's distress.  


While setting boundaries is loving, expressing them without compassion only causes disconnection with ourselves and others.  We all have a choice whether to meet our own or others needs.  


What restores our strength is Love.  Love fuels our body to take baby steps and even leaps of faith.  

Outward changes come about from steady inner progress.  

We are all on a unique journey although needs are common to all humanity.


Are you clear in this moment about what you need and how to receive it?


Picture
by Amy http://www.flickr.com/photos/jirsy/
 
 
Pictureby Teddy Lambec http://www.flickr.com/photos/teddylambec/
Technology is constantly upgrading, but is it upgrading the quality of my environment and life? 

The environment is critical in shaping perceptions of the world or reality. 

Why aren't there equal standards of living? 


Experience is a true teacher of life and values. 

I grew up not really knowing first hand what poverty was.  My father worked long hours to provide for us.  He slept on average 4 hours a night with no days off.  I've heard that when they first arrived to the U.S. they went through many hardships and deprivation.  It is never the same to imagine than to experience. 

Some will judge me for what I am about to express and that is okay.  It is not my business to know what others think of me.

I feel frustration with the reality of the way this world operates and my resistance to join it.  I have to work to earn money to continue to survive. If I don't I may be labeled as 'lazy,' or a burden to society.  No one wants to be a burden or be burdened.  But, there is no equity in the world we live in.  

There is inequity in economic society's based on hierarchy and money systems which mean that to have a higher standard of living, others must be below us.  

Standards of living have built into them values we strive for, but, that are part of an exploitative system.  


Pictureby David Stone http://www.flickr.com/photos/builtbydave/
Humans turned against each other and our own environment.   

It is very sad that as humans we are willing to sacrifice lives for concepts we created.   

Hierarchy like money are man-made concepts.  These concepts and tools sadly do more harm than benefit to everything on planet earth. 

We need each other through compassionate relating and cooperation not through coercive and shaming tactics.  


Prior to 2016, I had not heard of Jacque Fresco or The Venus Project. There are many movements out there working on causes for humanity.  

According to Jacque Fresco of The Venus Project, science and technology can serve humanity by intelligently managing our planet's resources.  It is not opinion based, but, rather based on common language such as math.  This type of socio-economic structure makes money obsolete thereby eliminating greed and many of the problems that come from pursuing it.  It upgrades human behavior to reflect values that are not life-alienating but life-enhancing. 


PictureBy Ryan Rivera http://www.flickr.com/photos/calmclinic/
I hold great hope in my heart that in my lifetime over the course of the next 50 years there will be a compassionate transition to a resource based economy and way of living. 

In my heart I believe that there can be abundance for everyone if we can refrain from sustaining exploitation of resources and one another.  Systems built to exploit cannot simultaneously be compassionate.   

It is our choice to allow technology and science to shine the light of our humanness above anything else.  

Just see the film 'Passengers' and see how meaningless life would be without another human being to share our existence and care about.  


Can a higher standard of living be possible for all or will it phase out?

Below is a short video on The Venus Project. 


"The hope of a secure and liveable world lies with disciplined non-comformists who are dedicated to justice, peace, and brotherhood."  - Martin Luther King Jr. 
 
 
Pictureby Mark Teasdale http://www.flickr.com/photos/bcbusinesshub/
Can happiness be alive in me...

regardless of what I want? 

or when my needs are not being met?

It seems unlikely that I can be happy when what I have is not what I want or NOT sufficient. 

Wants may be compromisable but needs are not.  

Well-being as a human being is dependent on my needs being met. It is hard to be happy when various needs are unmet.  As unmet needs lead to negative feelings/emotions.  Too many unmet needs is to disconnect from life within. 

Disconnection from my own needs is denying life and therefore a slow death.  


So many unmet needs, made me an angry child.  To cope with a very unstable and confusing upbringing I turned my anger in.  Others needs came before my own and it became easy to misidentify my needs.  That habit became depression.  


So, when 'depressed' it is a sure way of knowing needs have been neglected. 



Pictureby Ed Shipul http://www.flickr.com/photos/eschipul/
So, I ask myself am I denying my happiness by neglecting my needs? 

I believe Happiness comes from being in the moment, aware of what is and embracing it. 
Not so easy when there are attachments to how things could be....

Wanting other than what is, is to choose unhappiness. 

Depression never feels like a choice, but, it is a progressive neglect of needs.  Internally life is repressed when needs are not met.  

As an adult I have noticed that I end up depressed when I fail to recognize my needs.  Or I fall back on the old habit of depression, when my choices seem unpleasant or too limited.  It appears easier to depress than to take charge or accept things just as they are.  To take charge requires strength and courage and to accept things requires surrender.  

Pictureby Gisela Giardino http://www.flickr.com/photos/gi/
Needs are universal to all Life forms and seek expression.  To me Life seems to ask only that I take charge of what is within my control and to surrender what is not.  

Perhaps, it is why the serenity prayer asks for wisdom to know the difference between what one can and cannot change.   

Needs are wants that are not compromisable.  To compromise needs is to compromise the life force within. 

To compromise my needs is to sacrifice my happiness and ultimately my life.  I am free to choose Life or to deny it.

At any moment what is alive in me are needs.  Being attuned to my needs is vital to my well-being. 

I choose well-being and happiness by allowing my needs or Life to express themselves.  


What is alive in you at this moment and how are you choosing to express it?


This post is an expression of great hope for humanity that we come together to understand our needs. 


Are we as world community meeting our needs?  

Are we taking care of the planet that holds and nurtures us?  

Are we choosing Life or outdated coping habits that lead us to be an unhappy... world community?


Picture
by Ron Mader http://www.flickr.com/photos/planeta/
 
 
Pictureby Ryan Rivera http://www.flickr.com/photos/calmclinic/
Is there a happiness lifestyle?

What comprises happiness for you? 

For me as a human being 'happiness' seems to ebb and flow.  

I'm happiest when my most basic human needs are met and I am present to Love.  Love is within and all around me as an experience made up of simple moments.   

Moments are made up of fractions of time.  While we all have the same 24 hours a day, each of us spends our time according to our needs and priorities.  Sometimes needs shift and priorities get confused...


Opportunities to spend engaged in what I enjoy or what makes me happy are possible when I have the money necessary to have essential resources.  

Our needs as human beings are dependent on inner and outer resources. 

External resources are necessary as they provide security and a sense of stability.  We need shelter, food, clothes, and tools to make and prepare these basic necessities.  Without money we cannot get resources.  And without work one cannot obtain money.  

It is our internal resources that help us prioritize and fulfill our needs. 


Pictureby Debojit Bhadra http://www.flickr.com/photos/60508893@N03/
Without resources happiness is compromised.  Happiness is tied to resources.  Logically it seems that money can bring security even happiness. 

 
Therefore, well-paid work is important to the happiness equation?

Even when the work I've performed has been enjoyable, the time spent at work seems greater than the time I have left to dedicate to myself and my relationships.  

What happiness is there when our relationships or experiences are not cultivated, enjoyed, and nurtured?  

I hear more and more folks complain that their wages are not enough and that they rarely 'have time.'  Even those who make a very good salary complain that they work too much.  


If you ask me it seems like the lifestyle of servants. 


By contrast, there are those who live in humble even poverty like circumstances, but, who are not concerned with status, success,.... They are rich in spirit and truly seem happy because they have time and basic resources.  They care for each other, live in greater harmony with their surroundings and simply do not take life too seriously.  

Pictureby Kyle Pearce http://www.flickr.com/photos/keepitsurreal/
What lifestyle brings me happiness?

First, what is a lifestyle?

Lifestyle is defined as the habits, attitudes, tastes, moral standards, economic level that together constitute a way of living for individuals and groups. 

What kinds of lifestyle are there?

Lifestyles of the rich and famous, ascetic, bohemian, hippie,...

Many different lifestyle options.  

I cannot imagine a lifestyle that is consistently supportive of my happiness because life is ever changing.  However, what I enjoy and value will always influence the lifestyle that brings me fulfillment and happiness.  


The lifestyle that brings me happiness is one that allows me to have time for myself and others and that allows me to just be and to choose what I want to do.  It is a lifestyle between having ample resources without extreme luxury or void of comfort.  


I imagine this lifestyle to be flexible and interdependent on others goodwill and altruistic nature.  It is lifestyle that I want to co-create, collaboratively to foster unity.  


What's your happiness lifestyle and how have you cultivated it, or how will you?
Is your life in harmony with what you value?
What are your priorities and does your work and lifestyle support it?



Picture
by Quotes Everlasting http://www.flickr.com/photos/quoteseverlasting/
 
 
Pictureby jiva http://www.flickr.com/photos/jiva/
What I get mad about are my unresolved fears?


Getting mad gives an illusory sense of power and security.  


As humans, we want a sense of security or we become anxiety prone.  

Too often the desire for security is pursued through fear based tactics. 

Fear begets fear. 

Getting mad doesn't make anyone "willingly" cooperate.  No one really wins by being mad.  Parents loose when they punish their kids, because kids will eventually resent being "forced."  In employment situations, employees comply with unfair practices out of fear of being fired, but, unethical behavior is sustained so long as there is submission to fear. 

Fear begets fear. 

Anger is energy that works against us.  Anger either immobilizes, fights or flees because it is unresolved fear.  

Fear is an emotion.

Emotions are like children.

Children need attention. 

Therefore, emotions need attention or they get out of control. 


Pictureby Nicki Dobrin http://www.flickr.com/photos/10050473@N08/
In my childhood, I developed the habit of turning anger in.  Anger turned in is depression. 

Depression was a choice that preserved me as a child.   As an adult depression is still a choice that keeps me from lashing out on others.  That is the positive side of depression.  The negative side of depression is that it stifles me. 

Depression is the sad face of feeling powerless.  Feeling powerless is scary.  It is more acceptable to look sad than mad or scared. 

Mad is the face of too many disappointments.

Too many disappointments is heartbreaking.  Heartbreak is painful.  

To avoid further pain, being mad is protective.  Having to protect implies there is fear.  

Unresolved fears will get our attention sooner or later for fear is a prison. 

Pictureby Dean Shareski http://www.flickr.com/photos/shareski/
It is is so natural to avoid the pain of the unknown even when we want it.   

Freedom is different than what is or what I know and am used to. 

Each time I choose the security of no change, I am disappointed.  


While control seeks to avoid the pain of unmet needs it never considers the needs of others.   In the long run anger and control compromises relationships including the one with ourselves. 


Ultimately, control frustrates and exhausts that which we most need and desire, love.  Getting mad is the pain of disappointed love.


Do you know what your unresolved fears are?  

Picture
by Anant Nath Sharma http://www.flickr.com/photos/anantns/