Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Emotional Hindrance

Our emotions are the truth and we should always follow our emotions. But there is a difference between changing a situation/improving a situation we feel bad about and judging something as bad. One is brief and done in order to understand ourselves, the other is to have others feel sorry for us (manipulating others) or getting things and others to change for us.

This is something to always remember: we, literally, make up what is labelled good and what is labelled bad. This is why we have so many differences in opinions about things, let alone different emotional reactions about things that we try to cover up with contradictory words.

Most of the time we don't accept something because we fear change, even change that improves us. More accurately than "we fear good change," our minds (and to an extent our bodies, if you like) react to and judge the onset of change as "bad," which is why we start doing weird things when things start feeling unfamiliar. Aside from this just being a bad habit we just picked up by mimicry, it is in part biology - the idea of homeostasis. I can stand outside in the cold and come inside in the warmth and my body will maintain a temperature of 36C, plus or minus 1 degree.

Unlike the body however, emotionally, our state of homeostasis is determined not by biological functions but by our emotional functions, which are usually determined by what we might call our "programming." This comes from our upbringing - our parents, siblings, those around us, those we go to school with, our community, our country, etc. And it works the same way as our biological homeostasis. This is what Gay Hendricks calls the "Upper Limit Problem," which is written in more detail in his book The Big Leap.

For instance, when people first meet me they find that I am very easy to talk to and generally, "happy and energetic." While these are good qualities that have given me more opportunities that I've enjoyed than not, how much of it really is consciously determined by me in this life period? In other words, while we choose our circumstances before we are born (in my cosmology), in this lifetime, how much of it was a conscious choice? Of course our "subconscious" and what not is a part of us, but the question of "deservingness" comes in (my philosophical tendencies). Yet even if I do not "deserve" my "good fortune" and those who are poor do not "deserve" their "bad fortune" (these are judgments which are made up), nothing permanent will come from the "good" being shared with those who do not have as much "good," unless it creates an inner change.

-Catt xxx

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Gratitude Alienation

When I tell people about my "favourite" "philosopher," it goes something like this:

Random Person Asking About My Major: Whose works do you admire the most?
Catt: Karl Marx.
RPAAMM: Marx?? Like, the communist Marx??
Catt: Yes but don't tell anyone. Shhhh.
[RPAAMM From Italy: How can a smart girl like you be a Marxist in the United States?]

I'm not embarrassed that I find Marx's works most sensible and grounding, but I am always hesitant to tell people the truth (sometimes I will just opt for Adam Smith, but even that gets "isn't he an economist?") because Marx is so misinterpreted amongst 99.8% of people I run into, whether they are pro-"Marx" (ie, what they think Marx is) or against-"Marx" (usually the same impression of Marx as the pro-Marx people) (and the 0.2% is my philosophy professors).

What most touches me about Marx's works is that occasionally, when I am present and very into how I am feeling at the moment, I can see it everywhere. Today there was an occasion for this.

I was in the dining hall, and I was practicing some mind control in the form of autosuggestion (I still haven't found anything more beautiful than "I love myself," Thank you Kamal!) and being really present. I saw a dining hall worker who I've seen many times and she's known by our students to be kind of "mean," as she doesn't let kids off the hook when something isn't going exactly right and is super strict with the rules. Today she was wiping the tables, and she had her normal expressionless expression on her face (she doesn't look mean or happy) and I watched her reaching from one side of the table to the other, wiping the tables..

I suddenly thought "I love you." I suddenly had a genuine appreciation for what she was doing and how she made it easier for me in school, and that without her there would be a lot more chaos in the dining hall and a less clean dining hall.

And the strangest thing was I wondered why, after being at the same school for two years, I had never been in that state of mind. There were a lot of dining hall workers I was friends with or were super nice so evvveryone loved them, but where was the state of mind that was appreciation/gratitude? Why has that been absent?

I guess my mind went directly to feeling guilty about not having appreciated the dining hall workers (and others for that matter) ever until today, even though I always say thank you and I always am polite and I'm not one to bitch about things as much as I've heard other people do so.

But as my mind went to feeling guilty (a bad habit), it went to another automated method of thinking: she's getting paid not bad.

And then there it was, Ah, Marx. It is okay for me not to be genuinely appreciative because there is monetary compensation independent of my genuinity. And this is essentially where the whole thinking-habits of not appreciating got started.

Marx didn't mean that we won't need government and money in the way we use it now because we give up all our material pursuits, but it's because the appreciation of individuals is fully experienced. We will do things because we are fulfilled, and we are fulfilled by the things we do.

But as I have experienced today, we have alienated ourselves from fulfillment. And it's impossible to experience fulfillment without appreciation and gratitude for who we really are.

Be genuinely grateful!

-Catt xxx

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Worry and Negativity

I once read that thinking negatively does literally nothing for you, and it became so strange when I really sat to think about it.
Thinking negatively, does NOTHING at ALL of benefit for you.
It is one thing to sit there and debate whether this is true or not, but having read so much personal development and if you've been in contact with this material, at some point you "accept" it as the truth. Yet still think negatively.
Why would I do something that does NOTHING at ALL of benefit to me, especially as one who is passionate about living her life fully?
I actually had to stop and realize that I had been spending so much time in negative thought and that it was like knowingly doing something that's terrible for you yet not realizing you are doing it.

While I was born in a "good" environment where no one close to me smoked or did drugs or abused [too seriously] alcohol, I had my own sets of addictions and diseases, namely, thinking negatively and worrying.

I have a friend. She worries. So. Much. Maybe I have more than one of these friends, but especially her, and it drags her down and she's definitely addicted to it, thinking that the more she worries the less she will be caught out and screw up. Well it's just strange that she finds herself in so many situations to worry about. If it were working and she actually stopped getting caught out and screwed up. So then she partially subscribes to the fact that the world just sucks and there's such thing as luck. But come on I know we're not meant to judge the lives of others or compare, but there MUST be people out there who think and live without worrying and can handle their stuff well, and to top it off live abundantly. We somehow think people are poor because they didn't worry well enough. Well in my experiences, the more poor (I mean this in terms of finances and how much one has the life they desire (I've generally been around those who are financially pretty well off)), the more they worry. Hmmmmmmmmmmm.

There is NO space for worrying in the life of your dreams, that is by definition. If you worry then it is not the life of your dreams. Unless you're talking about physically, ie. gorgeous husband, gorgeous house, gorgeous car, gorgeous kids, gorgeous hairdresser, gorgeous me, whatever. Why would you want to be there if you still worried anyways?

Worrying is a disease that crushes all the wonderful, life-affirming, creative functions of the mind into failure. It is a disease, and it is surely physical, but it is invisible. I say it is physical because if you take the fact that your mind is creative and it creates the circumstances you find yourself in, and you don't have the life you desire, it is most surely physical - the results say it all.

I found a school with a wonderful philosophy today. It is that nothing permanent changes from changing the external world. The world is your mirror. Okay this is a tangent explaining a principle but anyways back to worrying and negativity.

This stuff is doing NOTHING to improve your if you want to improve your situation, they must go.

It starts by observing, and being aware that it happens, and most importantly, accepting it. Accept accept accept. Accept that there is negativity going on and accept that you worry.

That is step one and almost all you need to get rid of it forever.

-Catt xxx