“Break the Mold…Be Yourself – Be Bold”

This is an article I came up with when I didn’t want to write; AND it CAME from writing something really silly.    I was in a bad mood, with low energy; but I knew that I needed to write something, because I had set a promise to myself that every day I would write SOMETHING.  Here follows that silly bit of writing, which over a period of two days…(about twenty to thirty minutes each day), produced the main article:

I don’t want to write right now.  It doesn’t feel ‘right’; but that’s my anxiety.  That’s me playing a trick on me to keep me from becoming free.  It’s like the 5 – Tibetan Yoga that I didn’t want to do.  Maybe I felt that I didn’t have the energy to be authentic to gain anything from the experience.  Maybe I felt that to be me was not enough at that present moment and I wanted to avoid the discovery of not being enough, typed out in black and white.

 

And Here is the writing that followed from the stream of consciousness, above:

I’ve got this mantra…just created it today that goes like this:  “My Anxiety is just an energy not easily defined.  Yet I will transform that energy, in time, into the energy of my desire.”

We all come against ourselves.  This is the true test:  Not what one does to us, or what the world does to us.  The true test is what we do to ourselves.  When one comes against one’s self, they have a choice…to push on, or to retreat.  Coming against one’s self, is actually pushing against what is NOT one’s self – pushing that aside to discover what IS one’s self.

I am pushing against the non-creative, non-writer, perception of myself.  I’m pushing against the perfectionist who is too scared to move ahead, for fear of making some irreconcilable mistake.  I’m pushing against entrenched beliefs, structured into entire paradigms, which control every waking decision I make.  It is hard to do this, because it takes venturing forth in unknown territory where ANYTHING might happen.  That can be frightening; but it can also be exhilarating.  It also takes a bit of faith – that you will be ok, even if something goes wrong.

We grow up in this world, and here in the United States, anyway, we are shipped off to Kindergarten, then Grade School, Middle School, and finally High School, before going off to a college, University, or a trade school.  This is the traditional model.  And along the way, it is drummed into us all through this process, that mistakes are bad, collaborating with other people is bad (when it comes to tests and quizzes – which by my standards, in the real world…equate to projects) and it is extremely important to memorize or store up a bunch of facts and figures.

The APPLICATION of that knowledge doesn’t seem as important, as the accumulation of it (to our institutions of learning).  And then, creativity is discouraged when those teaching us ask, “Well, what is the right answer?”  Often times, in life, there are a number of right answers; and most times, that answer depends on who is asking and what their perspective is.  So, we are taught to get very good at guessing what someone else thinks is the right answer, but not what WE think those right answers might be.  We are taught to move away from trusting ourselves; and instead, are penalized if we don’t put that faith in someone else.

No wonder, when trying new things, we are afraid to commit any energy or much of our time to it.  I mean, what if we get it WRONG?!  That’s the worst thing that could happen, according to what our schools have been teaching us.  So, if we don’t have a ready-made set of rules for success or getting the right answer…a lot of us will steer away from anything that might smack of not being in that particular familiar style of textbook-multiple-choice, fill-in-the-blank; but-only-choose-one scenario that we’ve all become so accustomed to.  It takes real courage to break out of that and become our own voice, our own seekers, and, ultimately, our own masters!

Oh, at times, we will need a mentor or a teacher; but their job is only to share with us a possible way; not to try to cram their whole theory into our heads.

Search for any of the great teachers in life; and you will find something perhaps startling…they all tend to ask many more questions while teaching, than facts.  It takes way more intelligence for a person to be led through a particular path of inquiry, and to make their own connections and ‘aha!-s’; than it does to simply remember some facts and figures.  And, it makes the learning become personal and ingrained, because the insights which the student comes to, is arrived at through the drawing from their own, unique life experiences.  I’m fairly certain, that to learn, one must have some kind of an established framework.  If the teacher simply hands over the answer, how likely is it that the student will work to pull together connections from their past knowledge in order to make new connections?

So go out there and be bold; and try new things.  You might be surprised to see who you could really become!

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“My Jar Analogy as a Basic Blueprint for Understanding Key Success Principles”

“My Jar Analogy as a Basic Blueprint for Understanding Key Success Principles”

I have often thought that the concept of the rate of growth and desire to speed up that growth, could be best illustrated by the analogy of a tiny man or woman in, and at the bottom, of a jar when they are born.

 

Below, I will attempt to examine this further:

 

The jar is a metaphor for the set of conditions and circumstances we are born into.  The bottom represents the time and place of our entering this world.  The small person represents us, as we learn and grow and apply what we know and have learned.  The sand or clay represents challenges and opportunities presented to us on a daily or even more frequent basis.  The stones simply represent bigger opportunities or challenges.  The lip of the jar represents the point in time when we are able to get past our set of circumstances, thought patterns, or habits.  The outside of the jar represents the rest of the Universe or almost limitless possibilities waiting for us to grasp once we learn certain lessons and achieve certain applied skills.

So, imagine a man trying to get out of a jar; but the only tools he is given is that of gradual grains of sand or clay being dropped into the jar from above.  One would think that it would be much faster if you put a bunch of stones in instead, as stepping stones.  That is the solution that seems to come to mind quickest, once we become impatient for things to change in our lives.

 

In order to do that, though, we have to build from the bottom – up.  We have to create with what we were originally given.  Take a poker player for a moment – the best ones, I’ve been told, are not necessarily the ones with the best hands; but the ones with the best strategy and know how to read people and circumstances and to even bluff at times.

 

I know that I’m mixing metaphors, here, but if you stay with me for a bit more, where we’re headed may become more clear…

 

So, there you are: a tiny man or woman, at the very bottom of the jar (at birth).  Life begins tossing in grains of sand or grains of clay.  If big boulders dropped on us, they could instantly kill us.  Now, imagine that we can let this stuff continue to fall on our heads, and bury us alive; or we can somehow make room and step on those grains,(skillfully spread around and stacked upon one another), once they make it to the bottom of the jar.  We begin to do this, and soon, we are standing on a nice foundation that we’ve even managed to smooth out.

 

Now, let’s say that as time goes on, we decide that we’re no longer satisfied with these itty-bitty grains of clay and want to move faster in our life; so we beg for huge boulders again.  Besides, getting smashed in the head, what happens if we have actually been able to build with these boulders or stones and now are leaping merrily up the mountain?  What happens if we miss-step and fall all the way back down to where the sand or clay is?  – We get battered and bruised along the way down.  We may even die while smashing from rock to rock, until we finally cease our descent.

 

Yet, we haven’t discussed the other dynamic going on, here.  Eventually that little person grows into a bigger person, stronger mind, will, imagination, knowledge base, and sets of skills.  If we take this into account, as well, then, we see that our rate of success can merge almost seamlessly with our rate of growth.  And when I speak of growth; I’m not just referring to going from a child to an adult; but am including the things I mentioned above, as well.  Eventually, when you’ve gotten big enough, you will be too large to fall into the cracks of those stones.  In essence, your person or soul or life power/personal power will be big enough so that you will actually NEED larger sized grains of sand/clay; or even stones.

 

1)  Please leave a comment or tell your story, or just give an example from your own life, if this resonates with you.  All are welcome!

2)  AND – if you know how to get rid of the annoying hidden characters which keep showing up at the top of my blog, from Microsoft WORD – help!

 

And thanks for taking the time to read my blog!

 

David Lee Madison, Jr.

~Nate – street name ,

~KnavetheMage on Twitter

 ~ZenNinja

~Nate Love

~Dreamweaver

WordPress – Synergy, KnavetheMage, suprememasterjedi

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Saturday, December 7, 20139:32