TODAY'S "REALITY" QUOTE!

The thing about staying focused in reality is you're never surprised, never disappointed, never fooled, because you're never idealizing, never glossing over and never having expectations. Reality is the best place, because reality is the only place. Think about it.

PL

"AFTER ENLIGHTENMENT, THE LAUNDRY!"

This is my FPL spin on Jack Kornfield's book, "After the Ecstasy, the Laundry" - 

I have always felt that a calling of mine as a guide/therapist/teacher/student was to discover enlightenment in every day living, in everyday ways, with everyday people. I realized early on in my spiritual journey that being incarnated as a human being wasn't a mistake or a hardship or some kind of karmic punishment, but rather a soul choice that was meant to lead ultimately to experiencing the fullness of physical life in a joyful, pleasure-filled, loving, creative expression of my true self.

Seeking self-actualization as a human being is a challenge, yes, but in the way that climbing Mount Everest or running a marathon is, in the way that composing a musical piece or a screenplay is, in the way that falling in love is. It requires that you strive for your highest excitement with a "whatever-it-takes" attitude, that you accept full self-responsibility as a privilege, not a burden, that you move through life's events alive with passion, that you stay awake.

Here's an excerpt from Interesting piece on the Huffington Post entitled: "WHAT IS ENLIGHTMENT?" by Natasha Dern:

"This state of beingness is easy to attain or maintain in an ashram, monastery or somewhere up in the mountains far removed from the challenges of modern life. There's nothing wrong with pursuing a monastic life or dedicating your life to simplicity and seclusion; this has its time and value on the journey. But how much of that pursuit is authentic, versus escaping the demands of the world? When you live in seclusion, you bet it's easier to maintain a consciousness of love and compassion. So what is enlightenment? How about coming down from that mountain and putting your unity consciousness to the test amidst mortgage payments and credit card debt, divorce lawyers and aging parents, nasty bosses and health problems, wars and poverty?"

So, get into it, folks. Do some laundry and have some fun!

REPOST: "ARE YOU READY TO HATCH? FEAR NOT!"

Inevitably, when someone working with me has a breakthrough and breaks out of their character structure (that conglomerate of defense mechanisms created to survive childhood) the response is typically like they've just hatched from an egg or awoken from a dream. The sense of freedom, exhilaration and clarity is striking initially, like they're seeing the world around them for the first time, and it is often startling, as well.

It is almost assured at some point early on that said "hatchling" will express dismay in this way to me: "Oh my God! Everywhere I look, everyone seems crazy!" I reassure them, sort of, by confirming that perception with a calm, "Yes. Most people are."

The next very important phase of acclimation to sanity and freedom, then, is to adjust to that reality. Being a sane person in an insane world can stir up fears of being isolated and lonely forever, and even inspire wishes to be insane again, so as not to be alone.

Undaunted, I continue on: "Yes, most people regularly lie, even to themselves." "Yes, most people cannot truly love, but substitute co-dependence for the real thing and call it love, utterly confusing the children they bear in far too many numbers." "Yes, most people resist growth and change vehemently, at times even violently, and call it being 'traditional' or having 'values." "Yes, sadism, the flip side of the rampant masochism infecting most people, is experienced as pleasure, while affection and sensuality are decried as weakness." "Yes, running up deficits to start wars and give tax cuts to subsidize the extravagant lifestyles of the rich is not thought of as spending, but using public funds to build better roads or schools or environmentally safe industries is thought of as wasteful." "Yes, it seems like we live in the Bizarro World of the Superman comics where up is down, square is round and bad is good." "And yes, Glenn Beck is really getting paid big money to break down and have psychotic episodes on television."

But not to worry, I insist. True loneliness comes from being alienated from yourself, from living inside the cocoon of a character structure, separated artificially from life. As you get used to being free internally, the fear of loneliness will be replaced with a confident, grounded, empowered sense of self and a oneness with all of those around you, even with those whose toxicity may be such that you cannot directly engage with them. You will realize that while we are all human, we are not all the same, and especially not all the same in terms of "soul age." Many people on Planet Earth, in fact, are still relatively young in that regard, and so still given to the delusions and dictates of the ego. Your presence as a mature, older soul, whatever chronological age you are, will ultimately be a guiding light for those who only appear to be in power.

And to boot, your health will improve - physically, mentally, emotionally, financially and sexually - and again, regardless of what age you are when you break through.

So, come on out. It's not only safe out here in the light, it's fun!

MURDER AND MAYHEM GOT YOU DOWN? CHANGE THE CHANNEL!

This is a repost from the first month of 2015. Seemed appropriate to put it up again given the recent murder and mayhem.

Okay. Take a breath. And answer this question - What channel are you tuned into? The Prosperity Channel? The Vibrant Health Channel? The Love, Eros and Sex Channel?

Or are you tuned into the old 3D Network where you can find the "Disaster and Calamity Channel?" Perhaps you're a fan of the "Be Afraid, Be Very Afraid Channel?" Maybe the "All Terrorism All the Time" station?

You see, here's the deal, folks. We're in the transition to 5D. And as I've said many times, if you're reading this blog, you're in it! You're "ascending," meaning you're raising your vibration, your consciousness. We all are, one way or another. Easy or hard, fast or slow, on the planet or off, we're all on the 5D train, now.

Many people are experiencing this raising of our frequency as very exciting indeed, though some are reacting to this shift with fear, especially of what is loosely referred to as "the unknown" (a confusing and illusory concept in and of itself because the future is the present when we get there, and therefore, the future is always the unknown until we create it). 

Fear, of course, is the best way to slow down your own personal ascension process. And of course, many elements in the media are more than glad to contribute to your delay with flashy and horrific fear-mongering. And it's not that those stories of murder and mayhem aren't "real," it's that they are occurring in a particular dimension, and the old 3D media continuously broadcasts on the goings on in that dimension.

But that doesn't mean those disasters are what are mainly happening in this reality. READ THIS and THIS for more info. 

However, for those of you who are determined and dedicated to actively and consciously moving forward in your evolutionary process, you will find that this is a time of great acceleration and near instant manifestation. And you can rest assured that you will not inadvertently contract ebola  anytime soon. Nor will you become destitute and homeless or spend the rest of your life alone. In fact, except for some necessary cleansing/purging experiences, you will find your life expanding towards your highest excitement and fulfillment in quantum leaps.

Okay, but can you say more, PL, about why I don't need to worry about terrorism and random acts of violence?

Well, first of all, on a mundane, practical level, because worry is an energy drain and a negative meditation that eventually attracts the very thing you worry about. The quote often posted on FPL - "Hating war is not the same as loving peace" - is a reminder of this. But more importantly, you don't have to worry about plagues or terrorism because you can literally change the channel and live on one of the parallel Earths where such things no longer exist. You can acknowledge and observe, if you find it compelling, that disastrous events are occurring on 3D Earth, but for all intents and purposes, 3D Earth is a network that only shows period pieces, the old era in this case being the 3rd Dimension of consciousness, where dualism, conflict and limitation ruled.

In January of 2013, I launched a series of posts (HERE) that started with one entitled: "IT'S 2013! WHICH EARTH ARE YOU ON?! (HERE), in which I outlined the new rules of 5D Earth. It is useful to check into the new understanding of how the game has changed, so you can play it with more grace and ease. Something that would help you in the transition process greatly, by the way, would be a change in the way you define things. Occurrences that you once habitually referred to  as "problems" or "obstacles" can be addressed instead as opportunities for trying out the new rules of 5D, and physical symptoms, formerly labelled as signs of "illness," "disease" or "damage," can be understood as manifestations of cleansing and purging one's system to make room for higher levels of creative energy.

The best thing you can do today is to generate joy, laughter and love in your own personal energy field. It is the best vaccine and a truly invincible, impenetrable defense against negative experiences.

Enjoy your day!

EVERYTHING IS WHAT YOU SAY IT IS!

Over recent years, I've posted information that linked to studies and articles indicating that ample exposure to the sun, taking frequent naps, eating beans and bacon regularly, drinking alcohol and coffee moderately, and having plenty of orgasmic sex were all good for your health and longevity.

Much of this information runs counter to "conventional wisdom" (an oxymoron, in and of itself), but that's not exactly my point here. My point, posed as a question is - what do bacon and sunshine, beans and sex, drinking and napping have in common that make then beneficial to our well-being?

The answer is... nothing. That's right. Nothing. Sort of.

Okay, so let me explain.

Consciousness creates everything, and everything is made from the same particles and waves of energy. Quantum physicists have known this for decades. Mystics have known it for millennia. So, essentially, the bacon and beans you're eating, or the couch you're sitting on, or the Uber car you're riding in, or the hair on your head are all made of the same stuff, and that stuff is given form and "meaning" according to the dictates of your consciousness. At the physical level, that means your thoughts and beliefs, and the emotions they stimulate you to feel, create your reality. (As Dr. Joe Dispenza puts it: "Thoughts are electric and emotions are magnetic," and together, they form physical matter.)

Therefore, what you eat, what you have, what you do affects you positively or negatively only in accordance with your beliefs and feelings about what you eat, what you have, and what you do. It's another variation on the "placebo effect," which I've written about extensively on this blog, or what "Bashar" refers to as "permission slips."

In other words, if you believe that something is good for you, (truly believe, by the way, not ambivalently believe) then it will be good for you. So, the "magic" is not in the bacon or naps, but in you, in your thoughts.

Get it?

Okay, well, there's one caveat - some things are created from negative intentions and/or fear. Processed foods, most drugs, inhumanely raised animals for consumption, weapons, etc., are all created for the purposes of greed and wanton material gain, without empathy or conscience, often laced with paranoia. Therefore, since we're all part of a collective consciousness, you will be effected negatively by these things if you blindly consume or use them without first transforming their negatively charged particles with healing thoughts and a focus which, frankly, takes a lot of energy. That is why most conscious people in these days of ascension prefer to eat organic, fresh and humanely raised food, prefer not to have assault rifles in their homes, or take the prescription drugs offered by doctors and drug companies. It takes too much work to reverse their low-vibrating energy fields. Better, and easier, to buy, own, and consume things made consciously with love and light.

So, be it bacon or beans, coffee or bourbon, naps or sex, everything is what you say it is, folks. Everything.

So, off I go to have another espresso.

Have a great day!  

TODAY'S "YOU ARE ALL YOU ARE YET TO BECOME" QUOTE!

"In this moment, you are all you are yet to become. For 'time,' as you know it to be, is not a factor in what is transpiring in what you consider to be 'the Now.' All that is to happen has happened, energetically. What is left to achieve is the physical manifestation of that expression of energy. This would explain why, at times, you are seemingly drawn to a particular set of circumstances. This would explain why you experience what you would consider to be 'synchronicity.' And this would explain why you experience a sense of disharmony when you resist suggestions that nudge you to act upon certain opportunities."

("ONENESS" by Rasha)

TODAY'S ORGASM QUOTE!

"Orgasms provide healing for the physical body. With an orgasm, you are refreshed and enlivened on a cellular level, and you are reconnected with the essence if your spiritual self. You are suspended between probabilities within the various layers of your body - mental, physical, emotional and spiritual - lifted up and aligned. At the peak of orgasm, your body is pulsating with vitality, which bursts forth into the atmosphere, distributing what you want and who you think you are into the field of existence. You can learn to focus your attention by riding the energy of your orgasm through breath synchronization with your partner, and by directing the energy with your imagination. People have long used sex for building psychic energy to transcend the bounds of physical reality. With the right partner, and in harmony with cosmic law, sexual energy can be used to venture just about anywhere you choose to travel."
Barbara Marciniak ("Path of Empowerment")

MORE ON: YOU SAY IT'S WORLD PEACE YOU WANT? LOOK INSIDE!


I just keep building on this post, I suppose because so many people are concerned right now about what they see in the world. Humbly put - here's how you change the world!

This is a quote from Paul Selig's "The Book of Mastery" - 

"When you think something must be there, it is brought into form. And when you believe it must be there, whether it’s a high creation or a very low creation, you are aligned to it, in acceptance of it, and in that choice, 'I see this thing before me, it must be so,' you give it merit and you add to its structure. If you can understand that: When you think of something in a certain way you bring to bear the vibration of that thought on the thing you see. Your perceptions, you see, are informing the vibration not only of your relationship to your own thought but upon the thing itself. When you believe something must be there, you give it credence, and there are things you give credence to that do not need to be there. Here is a list of things that do not need to be there: Fear, in all its forms and in all its creations. And here is what is fear: war, poverty, greed, anger, abuse, and violence. These are all things you see out-pictured that you think must be there. 'Well, they must be there, they’ve always been there, how will they leave? I don’t buy this for a moment.' Here is how they leave: The light that you are in its full expression has the ability to move a mountain. The alignment you have individually is much more powerful than you can imagine."

Previous post on this subject:

These are some amazing lyrics, surely channeled by Mick Jagger, a few decades ago now, that recently came into my consciousness and beautifully connect to what I wrote in the recent FPL piece: "YOU SAY IT'S WORLD PEACE YOU WANT? LOOK INSIDE!" (see below) It is also relevant to the moral outrage many people are feeling in response to recent events.

Here's Jagger:

"I shouted out Who killed the Kennedys?
When after all it was you and me."


Now, how many times have you heard that passage and just continued on bopping and singing along without considering what he was saying. We killed the Kennedy's. Me and you. Not just a crazed lone gunman, nor a nefarious group of secret conspirators. Me and you.

You and me.

Jagger brilliantly goes on: "Just as every cop is a criminal and all the sinners saints."
Woah! Not one or the other. Not a cop or a criminal, not a sinner or a saint.

You see, folks, the time that we are in, the dimensional shift of consciousness that is taking place, heralded by many songwriters and musicians that came out of the Sixties, is towards the full awareness of oneness, towards the realization that everyone is connected, all are part of the greater whole of collective consciousness. The more aware of this we become, the more we can truly change our world by changing ourselves, by waking up. (See the Hundredth Monkey below)

So, the next time you're listening to the Stones' "Sympathy for the Devil," and Mick Jagger proclaims that "What's puzzling you is the nature of my game," consider that the nature of the game is seeing everyone as a reflection of an aspect of yourself. And read or reread the post below.


YOU SAY IT'S WORLD PEACE YOU WANT? LOOK INSIDE!

This is yet another quote from the extremely quotable book, "ONENESS":

"You may ask then, what are you to do when confronted with the opposing viewpoints of another being or an expression of collective will. You begin not with the scrutiny of the other party’s motives, but with your own. You begin by digging honestly beneath the surface of the stance you’ve taken and exploring the real basis for your own position. Chances are, if you approach this exercise in full honesty with yourself, you will recognize a fortress built on a foundation of ego—an expression of will rooted in the fear of suppression by the will and ego of another. This is hardly the recipe for Oneness—much less for the world peace to which you all pay much lip service. Stop looking for the self-serving motives of the other side and begin looking at the self-serving motives that underlie your own actions. That is the basis for the true harmony you all yearn for at the deepest level."

Now, take a deep breath, and the next time you get fired up about the police, racism, misogyny, terrorism, greed, corruption, or Donald Trump...reread the above. The greatest, most worthwhile, transformational gift you can give yourself, and the world, is to see your reflection in everyone, everything, and every event in your field of vision.

What, PL?! I'm not a racist or misogynist. I'm not violent, and I certainly have never killed anybody or stolen anyone's pension or 401K. Perhaps not. But... do you still adhere to a consciousness of separation or lack, believing in your own abandonment or "bad luck" or the superstition of pessimism? Do you still believe that your worth as a being has to be earned, and then measured by other people's outward opinions of you? Do you still indulge in anger, resentment, grudges, self-righteousness or perhaps self-pity and victimhood as a way of stimulating yourself and filling the void of what you perceive to be the unknown?

If your honest answer is yes, and you can sincerely, with compassion, without judgment, admit that inner state of being, then forgive yourself, erasing the karma left over from 3D, your life and interactions with others will come into a state of harmony. And then, as the Hundredth Monkey, you will change the world.




No joke .             .

CRAVING OYSTERS? ANCHOVIES? MORE ON: "THE TRUTH ABOUT EVERYTHING, PART FIVE: THE BODY NEVER LIES!"

Part Five from the "Truth About Everything" series - "THE BODY NEVER LIES!" - starts with this:

First coined in mass consciousness, as far as I know, by Alexander Lowen, creator of the mind-body-emotions therapy process known as Bioenergetics, this simple, direct statement - "The body never lies" - should change everything in the same way that the other Truths About Everything should. What Lowen extensively demonstrated in several seminal books, including, Language of the Body, was that our physical bodies "speak" openly and clearly, continuously and unequivocally to us and to others. If you want to know the state of a person's inner life, beliefs and attitudes, even their emotional, physical and psychological history, you can literally read their body language like a book.

Well, there is another way that the body never lies, and that is through its genuine cravings for whatever it needs in the way of nourishment and physical support. Now, I emphasize the word "genuine" for a reason. Many of our so-called cravings do not initiate with the body, but rather in the mind, and more specifically, in the ego.

Here's the way that works - if a human being is chronically sad, for instance, which means that there is stockpiled sadness caused by unreleased grief from childhood being held in the body, the ego will take the need for emotional comfort, for getting some "sweetness" out of life, and seek a substitute fast fix solution for the problem. One such very common fix, readily available in our culture for the above reason, is... sugar! Yeah, sugar, and in large and then larger doses, too!



You see, the problem is, whenever any kind of food, substance (drugs, alcohol) or activity (work, sex) is employed as a substitute for an emotional need, addiction ultimately results because the external thing isn't meeting the true need, so more and more of the thing is sought after. ("Just one more cupcake, shot, bump or hump and I'll be nice, right?" Nope.)

Okay, back to the point of this post. The body is essentially a receiver and a messenger. It receives information from the various organs and systems that comprise our physical selves about what is currently needed for optimum health, and it transmits that information through cravings and intuitions to the mind, ideally bypassing the ego. (See the FPL post "FULL PERMISSION EATING" for more details.)

In other words, if you have done the self-work necessary to be in touch with your emotions, and therefore with your body, you can trust your desires, and you will not be prone to excess over time... once you get used to the freedom! And you won't need to rely on medical doctors or nutritionists or books to tell you what you need. You'll sense it, feel it.

So, recently, I started having a craving for oysters and anchovies and broccolini, finding their tastes and textures irresistible. That was the craving part. And I trusted it. I even found a guy in a fish market who would shuck the oysters for me... after a few attempts to do it myself, resulting in a couple of nice holes in the palm of my hand!


Simultaneously, I noticed I'd been getting a lot of muscle cramps at night, recently, and that I wasn't sleeping well, either. That's where the intuition part came in. I put the cravings and the cramps and the erratic sleeping pattern together, and what did I get?

Calcium!

My body needed more calcium. Calcium deficiency was causing those classic symptoms of same, and it "turned out" that the foods I was craving were all good sources of calcium.

The body never lies!

                                         
Bon appetit!!



TODAY'S QUOTE!

There is no such thing as the unknown, only the temporarily hidden.

REPOST: STOP TRYING SO HARD!

Okay, check this out. THIS is a link to a piece and a video of a 5 YEAR OLD BOY, Ariel Antigua, who can hit a major league fastball and field like a professional. He was featured on the cover of SPORTS ILLUSTRATED a while ago.

Think about it. Five! As in... years old!

In linear terms, no child of that age, so close to having been in diapers and fairly recently learned how to walk, can learn or develop through practice the ability to consistently hit a baseball coming at him at 85 miles an hour. The few grown ups who are able to do that are paid millions of dollars because the talent is so unique.

So, what does this tell us?

Whenever a child demonstrates these kinds of gifts - from Mozart (made his debut at 6 years old) to Bobby Fischer (U.S. chess champ at 14) to Wayne Gretzky (who was skating with 10-year-olds at the age of six) - we are amazed, and consider it an anomaly. But what if the presence of these kids among us is a message to all of us, one that is in fact relevant to all of us?

What if we all have a great gift inside of us waiting not to be developed by intense practice or hard work, but rather waiting simply to be channeled through us?

Children are naturally open channels to the spirit, and so through a child can come the magnificent expressions of our true nature. Unfortunately, parents and teachers and society at large do their unconscious best to try and close those channels in early childhood by forcing children to "work" instead of play, to sit still instead of move, to memorize facts instead of explore the world around them. And even worse than being forced to follow such spirit-crushing dictates, kids are forced to feed the hungry egos of said parents, teachers and society.

Okay, well, that damage done, you are an adult, now. You are your own parent, in a very real sense. That's great news! You can consciously reconnect to your soul, and the best way to do it is through the spirit of play, which is the way the soul does its "work."

Yes. Stop trying so hard to be someone or to be "good" at something, folks. You're already great! You already have amazing gifts to bring to this life, to this planet, to us all. If you stopped "working" at it, and started playing at it, you'd be laughing your way to the bank... or the major leagues!

Come on... let's play!

ALL OUR HIGHER SELVES!


Many FPL readers are versed in the five basic Character Structures, those sets of defense mechanisms, beliefs, body distortions, attitudes and inhibitions that form the cocoon within which we strive to survive the slings and arrows of childhood, while living under the influence of un-self-actualized parents, living in an un-actualized culture.

Dismantling one's character structure aspects is an essential part of a self-work process that seeks to free the "caterpillar" that grows up to become the "butterfly" from the cocoon of one's character structure.

But exactly who and what is the butterfly that we can become in adulthood?

It is essentially the Adult Self expressing in human form what is called the Higher Self, or the True Self. It is the essential energy and essence from which each character structure is formed. It is the you that was always there, no matter how hidden from view by your personality distortions. It is the you that you are becoming aligned with. And every Higher Self is exactly that - the highest vibration of you as an incarnate being that you can be.

So... below, extracted from the Character Structure charts, are the Higher Self aspects of each character structure for your perusal.

Enjoy seeing yourself as you really are!


SCHIZOID CHARACTER STRUCTURE HIGHER SELF ASPECTS

Strong connection to and awareness of the profoundly spiritual nature of life;

Access to vast universal wisdom and the capacity to teach others how to make the connection to that wisdom;

Great courage and fearlessness to connect with feelings;

Great capacity to create and appreciate beauty, including through artistic abilities.


ORAL CHARACTER STRUCTURE HIGHER SELF ASPECTS

Great capacity to give to others in a deeply nurturing, truly healing way;

An appreciation for the vastly abundant nature of existence and the joy of sharing;

Genuine independence, autonomy and self-confidence with full capacity to surrender to the oneness with another;

Powerful intuitive abilities and the capacity to follow insights through to fruition by sustained, patient effort.


MASOCHISTIC CHARACTER STRUCTURE HIGHER SELF ASPECTS

Great capacities for pleasure, humor, optimism, playfulness and joy;

Genuine supportiveness, strength and desire to be of service to others;

An expansive, open heart with deep compassion, true kindness and understanding;

Positive assertiveness and healthy aggression with substantial amounts of energy;

Ability to be spontaneously creative in the moment, surrender ego control and trust the natural order in all things;


PSYCHOPATHIC CHARACTER STRUCTURE HIGHER SELF ASPECTS

Great leadership and executive qualities and capacities to bring people with differences together in a harmonious effort;

Strong abilities to guide and inspire others to accomplish their chosen tasks in life and see their own specialness without competitiveness or separation;

True innovators and adventurers able to travel “the road not taken”, or “to boldly go where no one has gone before”, without recklessness or excess;

A genuine seeker of truth, with genuine humility, honesty, loyalty and unwavering integrity;

A truly big heart full of love and fearlessness to surrender to the flow of feelings, life and the Higher Self.


RIGID CHARACTER STRUCTURE HIGHER SELF ASPECTS

Tremendous passion and connection to the sensuality of human relationships, with a true appreciation for and capacity to express the wonder of coming together physically in love with another;

Great capacity to let go and surrender to the flow of love, to fall in love with life and with others;

Genuine capacities to make and sustain commitments;

Strong organizational skills combined with flexibility, patience and acceptance of new approaches to situations;

A deep appreciation for the beauty of physical life, and sensibilities to integrate the elements of form to create beauty.



YOU ARE NOT VULNERABLE WHEN YOU'RE OPEN. YOU'RE VULNERABLE WHEN YOU'RE LITTLE!

I read an blog post a while ago entitled, "The One Quality We Often Mistake For Weakness Can Actually Make You Stronger," which extolls the virtues of being "vulnerable." Citing examples from President Obama to the Dalai Lama, the piece gives examples of the strength that comes from being vulnerable. The post refers to a book, "Daring Greatly: How the Courage to Be Vulnerable Transforms the Way We Live, Love, Parent, and Lead," by Brene Brown.

While I essentially support what the post and book are trying to say, the language of the authors demonstrates a very common error which I would like to address here.

"I feel too vulnerable when..."

How often I hear individuals begin a sentence like that. Usually, the person in question who is perceiving themselves as "vulnerable" is talking about being "open" in some situation that is revealing of their inner life to another. But this common connection in one's mind between openness and vulnerability is erroneous. 

You are not vulnerable when you're open.

The definition of "vulnerable" in most dictionaries is: "susceptible to physical or emotional harm." Okay. That's pretty straightforward. So, when are we the most susceptible to harm in those ways? Well, in two situations, mainly: 1. when we are without an option for avoiding danger; and 2. when we are truly dependent on another person or persons who may choose to do us harm. And when are we most likely to be in such situations? Well, unless you are literally a hostage in a terrorist takeover, or a prisoner of war or in jail, the most prevalent time human beings are actually vulnerable to harm is - you guessed it - in childhood!

That's right. In childhood, especially early childhood, we are essentially hostages to our parents and caretakers, without options to avoid the slings and arrows of our environment. And we are utterly and completely dependent on those others for our well-being, even for our very existence. Whatever the vicissitudes of our parents' mental and emotional health, or lack thereof, we, as children, cannot protect ourselves or remove ourselves from harm's way. We can't stop adults from hurting us, nor can we trade in one set of adults for another. In other words... we are vulnerable. Truly.

Now, here's where the confusion comes in and how the erroneous connection gets made.

As children, as newly minted human beings, we are naturally open, physically, mentally and emotionally. We feel everything fully when we're first born, and to some degree, we stay that way throughout the very early years of life. However, because of the undeveloped, un-self-actualized aspects of humanity, we are injured by our environment. Our parents and caretakers hurt us. Yet, we cannot stop them, nor can we leave them.

So what do we do? We begin to shut down, distort, and/or disconnect parts of ourselves physically, mentally and emotionally in order not to feel the pain so acutely. We form a character structure, and initially, it actually does seem to mitigate the pain, which seems to validate the conclusion that open is vulnerable, and closed is safe.

See, we can't understand truly when we're little that we're little. We can't really picture that one day, we'll be adults ourselves, and have the choices adults have. In other words, we can't understand that it's being little that makes us vulnerable, not being open that makes us vulnerable. And so, stuck in the confines of our character structures as time passes, we miss the fact that nature provides the solution to the problem of vulnerability in childhood - we grow up!

In adulthood, we can realize that protecting ourselves emotionally with the armor of character defenses is very inefficient and inhibiting, and most importantly, no longer necessary. Wearing that suit of armor doesn't make for the easy enjoyment of a sunny day, let alone for making love. On the other hand, being fully open to our inner lives, which frees up the mind and body, gives us the energy and flexibility to creatively express ourselves, enjoy life and, if need be, avoid situations that would do us harm, which mainly means not engaging with negativity. Thus, in this realization, we can engage in a healing process, in an holistic self-work process, that can dismantle the armor and allow us to be ourselves fully.

So, let go of the false belief that when you love and reveal yourself to another, you are vulnerable. And Brene, forgive me for suggesting a slight change to the title of your book, but "Daring Greatly: How the Courage to Be OPEN Transforms the Way We Live, Love, Parent, and Lead" would work better for me.

STILL MORE ON: BEANS, NAPS, BOOZE, SEX and IKIGAI!

Here we go again! Another in the series...

Emma Morano, the world’s oldest person at 117, died at her home in northern Italy on Saturday afternoon. Morano’s doctor confirmed the news to the Associated Press, saying Morano’s caretaker informed him she had died peacefully while sitting in an armchair at her home in Verbania. Morano was also believed to be the last person alive who was born in the 1800s, with a birthday in November 1899. Morano, who outlived all eight of her siblings, had attributed her long life to a diet of three eggs a day, two of them raw, the BBC reported. She survived two World Wars, more than 90 Italian governments and a tough personal life, with the loss of her only son at six months old and an abusive marriage.

So, why do we do it? What makes it all worthwhile?


In the American remake of the movie "City Of Angels," Nicolas Cage's character, an angel, asks Dennis Franz' character, an angel who incarnated as a human being, why he did it, didn't he miss being able to hear the sunrise over the ocean the way he could in angelic form? Franz says "Yes, I do miss it sometimes, but... I can do this!" as he strips off his clothes and runs naked into the ocean.

So, it's time for a check-in, an update on your "Ikigai,"the Japanese concept meaning “a reason for being,” or as they think of it on Okinawa, “a reason to get up in the morning.” What does it for you? Love, Eros and Sex? Fine food? Music? Painting? Cooking? Playing tennis? Building a house? Watching the final episode of "Mad Men?" (I'm really glad I was here for that!)

Whatever it is that gets you up in the morning, folks, appreciate it. Remind yourself to indulge whatever your greatest pleasures and preferences are. It's why you're here... and there's nowhere else like here!




Below are two previous posts that ran under the heading on FPL:

"MORE ON: 'BEANS, NAPS, BOOZE, SEX and IKIGAI - ARE YOU IN THE BLUE ZONE? (OH, AND PASS THE BACON!)"

Okay, here's the headline: Susannah Mushatt Jones, World's Oldest Person, Eats Bacon Every Day!

Susannah Mushatt Jones turned 116 over the summer and is the oldest person in the world.

So what's her secret? It just might be plenty of bacon. Jones has bacon, eggs and grits for breakfast every morning.

Along with a daily dose of bacon, Jones spends plenty of time snoozing. Her niece, Lois Judge, told The Huffington Post in June that she sleeps about 10 hours a night and also takes regular naps.

And what about Ikigai? "I surround myself with love and positive energy. That’s the key to long life and happiness."

Jones, who was born in Alabama on July 6, 1899, is one of only two known living people who were alive in the 19th century.



[NOTE: Jones is not alone among centenarians in her love for bacon. Pearl Cantrell, who died in 2013 at the age of 105, enjoyed bacon so much that Oscar Meyer sent one of its Wienermobiles to her home to deliver some. Cantrell: "I love bacon. I eat it everyday."]




Here's the earlier post on longevity and Ikigai -

Saw a very interesting interview the other night on Bill Maher with author, Dan Buettner, who wrote the bestseller, “The Blue Zones.” What are the Blue Zones? They are 5 places in the world – from Okinawa, Japan to Loma Linda, California – where people regularly live to 100 years old. (The other 3 Blue Zones are Sardinia in Italy, Ikaria in Greece, and Nicoya in Costa Rica)

Buettner found that: "Blue Zone centenarians have somehow managed to avoid the chronic diseases – heart disease, cancer, stroke and diabetes – that kill the majority of people in industrialized countries around the world, and especially, in the United States.” 

Buettner sought to discover what the people in these 5 places had in common.

You ready? Here it is – every population group had beans as a regular part of their diet, took daily naps, had 2 or 3 drinks of alcohol per day, walked a lot (but no gym) and had sex at least twice a week!

Beans, naps, booze and sex!

Oh, and one more thing, perhaps the most important – they all had “ikigai,” along with some kind of spiritual practice. What is ikigai? It is a Japanese concept meaning “a reason for being,” or as they think of it on Okinawa, “a reason to get up in the morning.”

"Everyone," according to the Japanese, "has an ikigai. Finding it requires a deep and often lengthy search of self."

In a TED Talk, Dan Buettner referenced ikigai as one of the reasons people in the area had such long lives. This ties in with the entire concept of Full Permission Living, of course, and with many posts on FPL, including the recent quote from Lee Carroll channeling "Kryon," that asks the question: "What did you come here for?"

So, folks, find your ikigai. You have one. You do. And the great secret to finding it through your dedicated self-work is this: as much as possible, do what you feel passionate about doing in every moment.

And don't forget the bourbon and beans!

 

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