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Breaking Free of Comparison

   Evening Thunderheads - Bring On the Rains

Evening Thunderheads - Bring On the Rains

You are not separate from creative Source. … the creative Force of the Universe is creating without any evaluatory bent. … your greatest creative defeat is often that you have set yourself up in some kind of comparative mode that is working against you. Gregge Tiffen (Open Secrets: Creative Power Released – July,2011)

Comparison is a trap that has us believe that we are separate from Source and from one another.

Comparison and competition are antithetical to the Universe. Just look at nature. In the woods out back the pines don’t compete or compare themselves to one another or to the cottonwoods nearby. They simply (or not so simply if you dive deep into the science of these woods) live, breath, and grow with the season. They do so without regard to standards the world sets about how a pine tree should be. Likewise, they don’t give a wit about how they grew last week or last year.

It’s tempting to say pine trees have an easy life, but in a year of drought, I doubt the pine would agree. They deal with such challenges in their authentic way, honoring the pattern of the seed from whence they broke through the ground. They are tapped into the creative power that is the Universe without the blocks and barriers to that Source that we humans create with our awareness and our intelligence. (Yep, I find that humorous too!)

Universal humor aside, our awareness and intelligence are the ground from which the gift of free will is called forth. We say that we’re connected to Source, but the truth is we ARE Source. Free will is the right and responsibility to choose how we direct that energy. The more we know about and honor our uniqueness, our blueprint, our ‘seed’ if you will, the more ease we experience.

Sadly we live in a world that operates under the false belief that comparison is beneficial and that good, better, best are real measures of success. We compare our lives, our work, our financial wealth, our health (and the list goes on) with others. We’re surrounded by messages – some of them very well-meaning - that success means measuring up to whatever the world declares as standards (and it keeps us in chaos by constantly, often subtly, changing those standards). Rather than learning from what we’ve experienced, we often compare our experience today with that of last week or last year.

Personally, I unconsciously gravitate to comparison when I’m feeling a little off, having lost awareness of the reality that I’m not separate from Source. From this place, I simply don’t measure up to what others have done/are doing or to the world’s standards or to what I’ve done in the past.

Comparison is a trap that has us believe that we are separate from Source and from one another. Breaking free and staying free of the trap requires practice and awareness. From the point of awareness that you’ve fallen into to the comparison trap, here are some useful techniques for breaking free:

  • Move (stretch, shake it off, or better yet, get outside for a walk)
  • Touch the earth (a few minutes with my feet in the sand is a great elixir)
  • Remind yourself that you are not separate from creative Source and feel into that energy
  • Return to gratitude
  • Engage curiosity (how can I live more fully into what I know?)
  • Laugh (and the world laughs with you! – how silly of me to forget who I AM)

Enjoy a comparison free week!

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Much Ado? Or Not?

   A Blessed, Snowy, May Day!

A Blessed, Snowy, May Day!

Nothing is hidden from the Universe. … We cannot hide anything from anyone else whether we think we can or not. Gregge Tiffen (The Journey Continues: Sight Seeing – May, 2010)

Until each of us digs down deep, diminishes our fear and our personal greed, they will dominate our lives and allow us to be dominated by others.

I have a theory. It’s contrarian, not what most people seem to be thinking and saying (surprise!). And, it’s a theory. It might be accurate. It might not. It might be both, or neither. Here goes:

We are putting way to much attention on what technology giants (Facebook, Google, and the list goes on) and others (government, business, etc.) should be doing to protect us and too little attention on the choices we make (about what we read, engage, believe etc.) and what we do individually as a result.

Said another way: the ‘ado’ or fuss we put on ‘them’ might be better placed (or at least its distribution shared) on ourselves and our choices. Yes. (Gasp!) I’m suggesting that there is a different way to look at this and other situations in life. What if we looked at each event as an opportunity to consider (gasp, again!) our role in the situation’s creation and our individual responsibility for the choices we make. Our true power lies there – not in what ‘they’ say or do to compel us to behave in ways that benefit ‘them’.

We might also consider that the ‘Facebook breakdown’ is one of many symbols of things falling apart. Our systems are crumbling under the weight of greed, fear, dominance, and confusion; failing because their foundations are not naturally aligned with Universal Law. The pine trees out my window are not fighting over the moisture in the snow that’s gently falling. They are simply there, receiving what is being offered. (I add the gratitude.)

With our thoughts and our actions we contribute to our world. We are a part of and we use the very systems we blame. Life is tricky, it is. I contribute to the culture of greed when I have a thought about lack and trigger fear about not having enough. I contribute more when I act from that fear. In a culture steeped in more ‘stuff’ than we need, we find ourselves wanting it to be cheap or even free.

If it’s accurate metaphysically that nothing can be hidden, what do we gain by putting so much attention on events like this? What are we allowing ourselves to be distracted or diverted from? Most importantly, what is the best choice for each of us individually in how we navigate these events in our chaotic world? What choices will help us build a society and systems that are true to our nature?

Our true power is swirling in this muck. Until each of us digs down deep, diminishes our fear and our personal greed, they will dominate our lives and allow us to be dominated by others through events aimed at stoking the fire of fear. Competition to establish who dominates will continue between nations, businesses, interest groups and individuals. Confusion and chaos will continue to reign.

The exciting part is – the choice is ours with every choice we make. I’m deepening my curiosity about how to live more aligned with the pines – receiving what is offered and being generous by allowing my bounty  to simply fall to the earth.  Live like a tree! What’s yours? How might we do THAT?

   Snow Resting in the Pines

Snow Resting in the Pines

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Cheerful Journey Inward

   Snowy Trail on the Journey

Snowy Trail on the Journey

Let us look to Nature for guidance as our code book for everything we need to know or to understand. Gregge Tiffen (Tax Time: Are You Taxing Yourself? – April, 2007)

I saw my first meadowlark of the season (a Western Meadowlark for those birders among you) on April 1st (no joke!) and heard its song the following morning, a snowy one, on a hike to the Ziggurat. The cheerful song accompanied beautiful views in all directions: the Great Sand Dunes and Blanca Peak to the south, San Juan Mountains to the west, the Collegiate Peaks to the north, and, our home, the Sangre de Cristo Mountains to the east.  The beautiful, vast San Luis Valley floor surrounded us on three sides.  Ah, nature.

   The Great Sand Dunes and the vast San Luis Valley

The Great Sand Dunes and the vast San Luis Valley

This vastness is in contrast to the woods that surround us here at the Dragonfly House.  Except for a few glimpses of Crestone and Kit Carson Peaks, there’s little indication of the vastness to be seen a short walk away.  Here I see each tree, up close and personal.  I see the unique form each has taken on its journey of life. I see how shape is formed by how much light, space and moisture are available and by storms that have broken or redirected limbs.  I can gaze with contentment on a tree for a very long time, imagining its stories.

Nature speaks deeply and wisely. I wonder how deeply and wisely I’m listening.  Meadowlark reminds me to let the journey inward be a cheerful one (Ted Andrews – Animal Speak).  Much like me, meadowlark lives and stays close to the ground, home, the self.  I’m reminded to not stray too far from that which is my responsibility.

Nature reminds me that in life there is no purpose for complaint, for blame, for competition or comparison. These distractions are created by man. They separate us from our true nature and from nature herself.

I smile knowing that in my humanness I engage in such acts, even though I know that they contribute nothing to my growth or to happiness and joy. They hold no beauty, harmony or love. The smile acknowledges nature’s wisdom so much deeper than my own.  In nature I see acceptance, cooperation, and the unfolding of its blueprint as each seed falls on fertile ground.  Nature has much to teach me.

Again, I wonder how deeply and wisely I’m listening. 

Before my walk this crisp, clear morning, that was the last sentence of this week’s post. But nature held a different plan. She gently reminded me of another attribute: there is no death, no end.  Snow melts or evaporates. That’s a simple change of form. A tree ceases to add new growth and slowly rots, providing housing for many creatures before it crumbles and returns into soil. 

And, so it is with you and with me.  At some point the body ceases to function, and it changes form.  Consciousness, the soul, moves onward as well, just as it has for eons of time, if only we remembered just how long our true journey has been.

   Beauty Without End. Amen!

Beauty Without End. Amen!

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The High Cost of Competition

   Sometimes life seems as rocky as, well, THE Rockies.

Sometimes life seems as rocky as, well, THE Rockies.

The first thing school teaches you is to compete which is the worst influence in the world because it is anti-spiritual, anti-metaphysical, and it is anti-spiritual. Gregge Tiffen (Open Secrets: One Original Thought, September, 2011)

I woke one morning this week with the thought that ‘the essence of competition is separation’. The thought caught my attention from both personal and global perspectives. On the personal side, I’m navigating a situation where, from my perspective, competition has overtaken collaboration.  Self-honesty requires that I own a part in that.

It seems in our culture today that speaking one’s conviction sets up competition. Rather than curiosity about other points of view and looking for common ground, we’ve been taught to win. When someone wins, another must loose.  What is society loosing as a result?

When we take the position that we are ‘better than’, then the other is seen as ‘less than’. Honest, pure communication cannot exist in this condition. Conflict thrives in this environment. We posture. We strategize. We waste energy and lose sight of the common good and our common humanity. I’ve found myself doing just that, in total contradiction to what I want and to who I know that I am.

The evidence (or perhaps carnage is a more apt description) is all around: cheating in sports, manipulation in business, rancor in politics, military conflicts around the globe, anger in the streets and threads of social media. And sadly, that only names a few of the consequences of competition being so deeply embedded in our consciousness, our culture. 

At the personal level competition can breed fear, lack of trust, lack of self-worth and self-confidence. And, at least for me, it wears me out and distracts me from the simple joys of life. Cool Hand Luke can testify to that!

I plead guilty to contributing and I long to find a different way forward.  Renewing my commitment to that path – NOW!

   Fall is in the air!

Fall is in the air!

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