Relative Something

*this* John W. Hays' take on things and experiences

Posts Tagged ‘choice

Grazing Again

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There is a jarring amount of stupid that is getting mixed in with the amazing and sacred energy to which we have access these days. It all flows right over the top of us. We dash headstrong into it. It sashays past when we aren’t paying attention. Sometimes it just lays there and waits to be noticed.

The brilliant, the inspiring, the spectacular light of pure love, and then some dingy gunk getting smeared around with reckless abandon.

Have you ever noticed how some people are able to move through the gunk without allowing it to leave a mark, while others end up covered with it? There are some from the latter distinction who even thrive on the mess and seek out more.

All this energy, the good and the other, is like the air we breath. Many people don’t ever think about breathing, and similarly, many people don’t pay attention to the energy, both from within as well as from other sources.

It is very helpful to notice energy if you are interested in becoming teflon to the gunk.

However, it usually takes more than just noticing. I recently enjoyed some success using what we learned from our horses, along the lines of getting “back to grazing.”

After any of our horse’s many instances of practicing critical evacuation maneuvers when they run emergency response drills, they have a remarkable ability to quickly return to grazing, as if nothing dramatic had just occurred. It’s a skill that I have come to cherish.

It’s a skill I would like to master for myself.

I’ve been practicing, and when I am successful, it works wonders. Consciously choosing to instantly give up whatever just triggered a critical response, and becoming fully aware of my breathing and energy –to return to love and a healthy mindset– is truly life-changing.

Yeah, teflon to the gunk.

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Written by johnwhays

November 17, 2017 at 7:00 am

My Choice

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The other day I picked up a pitchfork and worked up a sweat stirring compost. It was late afternoon and I was already tired from a full day of chores, so my energy was waning. My arms sent a notice of complaint to my brain.

“Tired. Don’t feel like working anymore.”

It occurred to me that, despite a prevailing mindset to use machines to do all our exhausting tasks, I prefer the precise control I can achieve with hand tools. I’m not as fast as a machine, and I tire easily, but I get more satisfaction.

In my head, I imagined someone interrupting my effort to suggest I use the bucket on the tractor, because I was huffing and puffing, straining at the effort, and breaking a good sweat.

I actually like the exercise, despite my body complaining that it is tired.

How hard is it to convince yourself to get up early and go to the gym for a healthy workout? The body would rather remain at rest, for sure. But to be physically fit, we have to push ourselves out of that resting comfort zone.

Next, I imagined myself at the gym, huffing and puffing at the effort to work my arms, lifting weight. Would someone suggest that there is a machine to do that for me, so I don’t have to work so hard?

I choose my pitchfork.

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Written by johnwhays

September 13, 2017 at 6:00 am

Powerful Thoughts

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Remembering things that have long ago faded from view is an art to be cherished. It does many things for us, but most significantly, it keeps alive those who are no longer physically here. Our mental processing happens the same for information arriving through our open eyes as it does for conjured memories. When we think about those who are not with us, it turns out that they actually are.

Arriving yesterday afternoon for a funeral service, Cyndie and I could feel the love and the grief before we saw it on the faces and in the hugs. Love and emotion radiates from the intensity of powerful thoughts.

Last night my dreams were as real as ever and traveled to one of my childhood homes, accompanied by faces and personalities of my present day. This morning the aroma of wood smoke from the warm flames in our fireplace reaches deep into my being and magically mixes the present moment with hundreds of equally pleasant fires of my past.

Most powerful of all, I get to choose where I will direct my thoughts to go. Shall I nurture the angst I feel over disturbing news reports and harrowing unethical prospects of late, or will I focus the power of my imagination on virtually hugging the globe and all its inhabitants in an embrace of love and compassion?

Yesterday, while editing an article Cyndie wrote, I was reminded of how much impact our mental energies have on outcomes.  She described her journey of transformation in defiance of a particular diagnosis of permanent disability, choosing to purposefully embrace the power of possibility, in lieu of passively accepting untested limitations.

My mind would be far less able and aware if it wasn’t for Cyndie’s influence. I’m embarrassed for the number of years I dragged my less-enlightened self, kicking and screaming in resistance, behind her bold explorations of potential for better possibilities.

“I dwell in possibility,” she would always tell me.

“Yeah, it’s possible this could all go wrong,” would be my natural reaction.

Proof lies in the pudding, and I’ve seen enough results now to recognize the beauty of her powerful thinking.

I’m going to send my love today to those who just lost a precious relation, while also renewing the lives of members of my own family by fondly remembering them in the same way my mind did when they were here.

An amazing power, thought.

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Written by johnwhays

March 11, 2017 at 10:17 am

Keeping Calm

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I’m trying to keep calm and carry on. In the past, my prescription for maintaining a positive outlook about the world included turning off the broadcast news. I would, instead, get news from sources which allowed a choice over the content. I could pick what I allowed to infiltrate my thoughts. That involved scanning headlines of online publications or perusing the local paper at the day-job.gnews

It’s not working so well for me anymore.

There are less and less headlines that don’t have something to do with a certain kleptocracy in process.

Now I am struggling with the option of isolating myself completely from the news of the day and focusing on whatever positive happenings I can cultivate from my immediate surroundings.

I can choose to associate with healthy people. I can commune with people who aren’t phobic about things they misunderstand, or are uninformed about.

But something is eating at me about a potential risk in that choice.

Should I turn my back on what is really happening in the world?

Looking back at some horrific outcomes that have played out in history has me wondering how I could live with myself if I chose to turn a blind eye in the way many others did at times when hate and fear became the rule of law.

Today, I’m sending love to those who are poor, suffering, oppressed, at risk, and afraid, even though I’m choosing to not read the latest headlines about their present predicaments.

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Written by johnwhays

January 29, 2017 at 10:45 am

Passenger Pilot

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It occurred to me two days ago how split I feel between being the pilot who directs the activity of my body and a passenger riding along for whatever happens next. Whether it’s a virus that pays a visit or an emotion that elicits a response, there is a constant balance of submission and control.

johnhsgradyoungjacksonbrownersmagWhen I was younger, I wanted to have straight long hair that would fall around my face the way Jackson Browne’s did. My hair style involved inherent waves. I worked desperately to battle my natural flip that keenly mimicked the classic women’s hairstyle of the ’60s.

Achieving 6 foot height was not in the cards for me, either. These things were not in my control. I’m a passenger to the genes determining such features.

At the same time, in the role of pilot, I was making decisions (and learning from my mistakes) on who I wanted to be and how I wanted to behave. I get to choose how I react to the world around me and decide whether I want to make healthy decisions for this body, or not.

It gets tricky at times, because there are a lot of mind/body interactions that happen unconsciously, plenty of it at a cellular level, in the areas of transition between the two perspectives of pilot and passenger. We have the freedom to choose how self-aware we are going to be. Some people think it serves them just fine to be willfully inattentive, even though they often grumble about the eventual outcomes that result.

I struggle to comprehend why our minds so easily overlook information and evidence that indicate negative consequences for our choices or behaviors. Why isn’t there a stronger drive to improve ourselves at every opportunity? It should be an integral part of our survival instinct.

Why would either the pilot or the passenger choose to settle for less than the best?

In time, I figured out a way to stop fighting my hair and instead let it do what it wants to naturally do. It curls. I even took it to the extreme for a while and dreadlocked it. I have yet to perfect the part where I choose not to settle for something less than optimal health —mind, body, & soul. There remain some days when I give in and allow myself to pay no heed to the healthiest choice.

For me, the secret to getting away with that is an intentional effort to ensure those are only temporary lapses. I need for more days than not to involve me getting off my butt and navigating down the center line of my healthy highway.

I think I’d also like to keep relearning how to integrate the two extremes of pilot and passenger that reside within me every day.

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Written by johnwhays

November 30, 2016 at 7:00 am

I’m Curious

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DSCN2961e2If you read yesterday’s Words on Images post about the simple choice that we make every day, how do you interpret the suggestion about accepting the obvious as the only plausible explanation?

After I wrote those words, with one thought in my mind, I got the impression that it likely implied the opposite of what I was thinking. I considered changing it, but then decided to let it go out into the world, as is, for readers to take from it what they will. We each come to our individual conclusions from a place of preconceived notions and personal perspectives that color our perceptions.

I expect some will align with the version in my head, and some will perceive the opposite.

Let me just say that I believe that there are unknowable possibilities, likely beyond imagining, available as explanation for what we sense and experience in our world, which others choose to miss by constraining their options exclusively to the one they construe as obvious.

I may be wrong.

And that’s the key.

Imagine the possibilities of embracing uncertainty.

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Written by johnwhays

March 21, 2015 at 8:27 am

Choice

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Words on Images

Words on Images

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Written by johnwhays

March 20, 2015 at 6:00 am

Posted in Creative Writing

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