Courage Versus Self-Righteousness

February 27, 2012 by  
Filed under Featured

Interesting post – pasted below – by Russell Bishop from today’s Huffington Post. In it Russell discusses the difference between courage and self-righteousness.

I must confess I know a thing or two about being self-righteous.  I have spent a lifetime standing on a soapbox telling others what is wrong with them and the world.  Now, there isn’t really anything wrong in sometimes pointing to others different ways of being and living.  What was wrong – at least with me – was the motivation.  I wasn’t being courageous in putting myself out there to point to the truth.  I was just being self-righteous.  I wanted others to know how smart and intuitive I was.  Because of that motivation, my actions weren’t deeply rooted and could be knocked out easily.  It also didn’t produce the satisfaction I was looking for.

Real courage is based on inner-knowledge and thus wise and deep.  Real courage is brave without having to call upon the whole world to see it is taking place.  Real courage happens because it must.

Noise due to self-righteousness is frail and is a reflection of an ego in need of pampering.  It might feel good for a minute or two, but it will soon crumble.

So, next time you feel motivated to speak-up or stand on a soapbox, ask yourself what your true motivation is.  Go deeper than the ego chatter to find out what the self really wants.  By doing that you will be in harmony and coherent with inner-self; a goal worth standing on a soapbox for.

Please read on.

Soul-Talk: Are You Courageous or Just Self-Righteous?

By Russell Bishop

What’s the difference between true courage and the sometimes foolish or insensitive dogged determination that runs roughshod over other people in the name of some sacrosanct goal?

True courage takes many forms, few of them characterized by bravado and none of them insensitive or unkind…Continued


We’re Not Responsible For Other People’s Happiness

February 23, 2012 by  
Filed under Uncategorized

One of the most difficult things to understand is that we’re not responsible for other people’s happiness. Better yet, that we have no control over it.

The reason it is so difficult is that sometimes someone who is close to us chooses time and again to see and experience life in the darkest way possible.  We try to show them there is a different way, but they are stuck in their dark perception.  They are unhappy and unnecessarily so.  It is frustrating and painful. But it is their choice and there is nothing we can do about it.  Insisting in the same methodology of trying to show light points to our incapacity to accept our own limitation.

I’m not suggesting giving up in being present in the lives of people we love who choose to be unhappy.  I’m suggesting we accept the fact that we can’t make anyone change if they don’t want to.  I suggest not adding to the situation by embracing the unhappiness and frustration ourselves.

Getting to a place of acceptance can be difficult because we often think there is one more thing we can try or we think we can change others if we only apply ourselves a little more.  But, the truth is we know it really isn’t up to us.

Accepting that others have the control of their experience is an indicator of our own growth.  We can offer compassion and friendship, but as we are responsible for our happiness so are others for theirs.


Letting Go Of The Need To Be Perfect

February 20, 2012 by  
Filed under Blog

I have always wanted to be perfect. Not because I think I’m better than anyone, but because I always thought I had the means and the possibility.  Simply put my thinking was:  “I should know better and just do right.”  And when I didn’t feel I acted “right”, the backlash was huge.

Of course, when I write this I am reminded of the silliness of such goal.  But, I’m afraid I’m not alone.  There are many of us in this world that keep ourselves on a short leash and demand nothing less than perfection.

While for the less informed that can seem like a lofty ideal, the reality is imbued with much suffering and chastising.

What is perfect? It depends on the situation and who we ask.  So, if we can’t even define perfection how could we aim to achieve it?  And how can we expect ourselves to deliver the right action in every circumstance?

The only antidote for people like myself is another very powerful drug; compassion.  As we struggle to achieve the impossible, compassion comes-in as a way to allow us to see ourselves for who we truly are; human beings.  And to be reminded that at every second of our existence we are making choices from a high-wire.

We walk a thin line through chaos and uncertainty trying to do the best we can.  Sometimes the results are exactly what we want and sometimes they are not.  But, if we apply compassion towards ourselves we will realize we are deserving of forgiveness.  We’ll also realize we are not commander in chief of life itself.

Living means inter-acting with others which means we cannot hold ourselves to be the only voice in any relationship or situation. We all have our conflicts and difficulties that we have to work through which we do as live our lives.

I’m working hard at letting go of my want to be perfect.  These days I use the phrase: “I’m doing the best I can.”  And that is all I can ask of myself.

What about you? Are you asking yourself the impossible?


From Tourette Syndrome To Grammy Nod

February 12, 2012 by  
Filed under Inspiring People


The Steps Of Change

February 11, 2012 by  
Filed under Blog

“Do one thing every day that scares you” – Eleanor Roosevelt

Change is messy.  Change is uncomfortable. But change is the only path to getting where we want to go.

Anyone over the age of thirty, know that as we get older we hold onto who we are and what we have with iron fists.  We get settled in our ways and little by little we stop seeing different possibilities of being and living.  The consequences of settling is that we stop learning and experiencing.  Something inside us starts to feel bored and trapped.  Sameness takes over.

The first step of change is to give voice to the restlessness.  What is it that of lack of satisfaction I’m feeling is trying to tell me?  What in my life needs to change?

This is a period of introspection.  We must give it room and time.  The answer lies in our ability to stay with the search.  To peel away the layers of chaos and find the clear need within ourselves.  It is there just waiting to be discovered.

One we know what needs to be change we need to commit to this even more uncomfortable phase.  We are people of habits and there is nothing more unsettling than responding to life in a different way. We feel as if we no longer have our baring.

It will be difficult at first.  We will fall back into old habits.  We will be anxious over responding differently.  But, with restrain, thoughtfulness and determination we can succeed.

Change gets us to see the world in a different way.  Change gets us to gain greater wisdom.  Change makes life more exciting and interesting.

Expose yourself to different experiences.  Have the courage to try something outside your comfort zone. Be flexible.  Breathe.

And as John Lennon said: “Life is what happens to you while you’re busy making other plans.”


Riding The Waves Of Change

February 8, 2012 by  
Filed under Blog

Photo By Angie Rubin

“Man cannot discover new oceans unless he has the courage to lose sight of the shore.” -Andre Gide

One of the definitions in Merriam-Webster dictionary for change is: “to make a shift from one to another.”  In psychological terms that is what change means; at the start we are A and when we are done we are Z.

Now, along the way we have to go through the entire alphabet and that is most often extremely chaotic.  The reason is simple.  We are comfortable being A.  We know how to respond to people and things.  When we do get to Z, we will also be okay.  Again we will be comfortable being Z and we’ll know how to think and respond.

The problem with changing is all the uncertainty and uneasiness one needs to go through between being A and being Z.  The journey is the process of breaking down a way of being in life while building a new one.

It is common, while going through the process of changing, to doubt ourselves and where we are going.  It is easy to feel oneself lost in the chaos.

Change usually starts from an intellectual need.  We realize something about us or our lives needs to be different.  Then intellectually we draft a course of action.  Thoughts like: “I’m going to do this from now on in an XYZ way” or “I’m going to feel about this from now on in this new XYZ manner” decorate our planning.

This process of intellectually mapping out our destination is correct.  We need to know where we want to get to.  But chaos starts during the second phase when our psychology and feelings get actively involved in the process.  Now, we are dealing in new territory where every different sensation is a bridge to many other feelings and history.

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The Power Of Compassion

February 4, 2012 by  
Filed under Blog

heart on the beach

Out beyond ideas of wrongdoing, and rightdoing, there is a field. I will meet you there –Rumi

One of the first things I do every morning is read the news.  I believe that is the same for most people.  We want to know what is happening in the world and in our communities.  We want to know how yesterday’s developments will be impacting our lives today.  But as we read about all the wars, poverty, and instability we feel overwhelmed and start to shut down.  Unfortunately, the shutting down to the pain in the news carries on to our daily lives; we start to become disconnected from our ability to feel compassion and to empathize. But, the news is not the only reason.  Our own life’s difficulties and struggles take care of whatever compassion we have left in our hearts.

The human experience is based on exchange and connectedness.  How many times we have a good experience and wonder how much better it would have been if shared with a loved one?

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The Good Fear And The Bad Fear

February 1, 2012 by  
Filed under Blog

Photo by Angie Rubin

Fear is often debilitating but it doesn’t have to be so.

In its “pure” form fear is an instinctual response to potential danger. It is a “good” fear because it gets our senses focused, our pupils dilated, our muscles tightened.  We get ready to fight or flight.

But fear should never be our reaction to experiencing new things. It should not send us into an anxiety attack with the mere thought of us stepping outside our routine or our comfort zone.  When that happens, it is a real shame, because trying something new is the surest way to expand our knowledge and emotional existence. Without risk, without something new the world and we would still be in the caves.

Think of how excited we get when we receive a gift without knowing what it is inside of the package.  The excitement is often greater than the actual gift.  The anticipation where all of our senses come together to imagine what the gift is, is what keeps us vibrant and alive.  Not risking, being afraid of trying something new is like never wondering what is inside of the gift box.

Taking risks – not talking about jumping off a plane without a parachute – forces us to focus, learn and stretch our wisdom.  But many of us equate risking or trying something new with the possibility of losing everything or of putting what we worked so hard for in jeopardy. But without taking risks, without experiencing something new we become passive passengers on our own journey.  We stop making decisions and instead hope nothing will happen.

But if we want to feel energized and curious it is imperative that we balance our fears with the excitement for the new. So how do we do that?

  • Give some thought to the new endeavor/experience remembering the answer you are looking for is not necessarily should we do it or not, but if we do it, will this be of benefit to my life?  To better answer that, imagine what your life will feel like by going through this experience.
  • Once you decide to try something new, take one step at a time.  Like a mountain climber you shouldn’t keep looking at the peak.  It can be overwhelming. Instead think about the next step you need to take. Look at what is right ahead of you.
  • If anxiety hits, remind yourself you have thought through the risks and decided the process of going through the change was worth it.  Then take a deep breath and again think how exciting it is going to be to try something new and how great it will be to achieve your goal.

Once you get used to putting your fear in check, taking risks, growing, changing, will be as exciting as having the greatest ice-cream at a most beautiful beach.