Archive for April 2015

The Warrior’s Way, LLC: Nimitz – Glenn Bott

Here is an excellent example of what the power of a positive attitude can accomplish in your life.  The life we live is all about our point of view and our internal dialogue.

Untitled-1In the following example, the reality of the situation was that the US had just been surprise attacked and our Pacific fleet severely damaged.  Admiral Nimitz accepted this reality while reviewing the damage.  His unique and positive viewpoint can be credited with the ultimate success the US Navy had in the Pacific.  He had a vision and held strong to that vision.  He KNEW that all was not lost.  He KNEW that repairs could be made in short order.  He KNEW that God/Spirit was on his side.

While we’ll probably never know what his internal dialogue was, we can be certain it wasn’t that of a defeatist.  I’m confident he had faith, KNEW we would get our ships back in operation, and was strategizing on how to move forward throughout the day.  He was single-minded on getting his fleet back in operation.  His determination and focused intent is what inspired those around him to move forward with equal confidence.  The entire attitude was one of “we can do this”.

To live our life to its fullest – we need to adopt the same attitude and internal dialogue.  Focus on what we want.  See the end result.  Find a way.  Trust in Spirit.

Remember – the Universe ALWAYS says YES!

From “Reflections on Pearl Harbor ” by Admiral Chester Nimitz.

Sunday, December 7th, 1941–Admiral Chester Nimitz was attending a concert in Washington D.C.   HeUntitled-2 was paged and told there was a phone call for him.  When he answered the phone, it was President Franklin Delano Roosevelt on the phone.  He told Admiral Nimitz that he (Nimitz) would now be the Commander of the Pacific Fleet.

Admiral Nimitz flew to Hawaii to assume command of the Pacific Fleet.  He landed at Pearl Harbor on Christmas Eve, 1941.   There was such a spirit of despair, dejection and defeat–you would have thought the Japanese had already won the war. On Christmas Day, 1941, Adm. Nimitz was given a boat tour of the destruction wrought on Pearl Harbor by the Japanese.  Big sunken battleships and navy vessels cluttered the waters everywhere you looked.

As the tour boat returned to dock, the young helmsman of the boat asked, “Well Admiral, what do you think after seeing all this destruction?”  Admiral Nimitz’s reply shocked everyone within the sound of his voice.

Admiral Nimitz said, “The Japanese made three of the biggest mistakes an attack force could ever make, or God was taking care of America .  Which do you think it was?”

Shocked and surprised, the young helmsman asked, “What do mean by saying the Japanese made the three biggest mistakes an attack force ever made?” Nimitz explained:

Mistake number one: the Japanese attacked on Sunday morning. Nine out of every ten crewmen of those ships were ashore on leave. If those same ships had been lured to sea and been sunk–we would have lost 38,000 men instead of 3,800.

Mistake number two: when the Japanese saw all those battleships lined in a row, they got so carried away sinking those battleships, they never once bombed our dry docks opposite those ships.  If they had destroyed our dry docks, we would have had to tow every one of those ships to America to be repaired.

As it is now, the ships are in shallow water and can be raised. One tug can pull them over to the dry docks, and we can have them repaired and at sea by the time we could have towed them to America .  And I already have crews ashore anxious to man those ships.

Mistake number three: Every drop of fuel in the Pacific theater of war is in the ground storage tanks five miles away over that hill.  One attack plane could have strafed those tanks and destroyed our fuel supply. That’s why I say the Japanese made three of the biggest mistakes an attack force could make or God was taking care of America.

I’ve never forgotten what I read in that little book.  It is still an inspiration as I reflect upon it.  In jest, I might suggest that because Admiral Nimitz was a Texan, born and raised in Fredricksburg , Texas — he was a born optimist.  But anyway you look at it–Admiral Nimitz was able to see a silver lining in a situation and circumstance where everyone else saw only despair and defeatism.

President Roosevelt had chosen the right man for the right job. We desperately needed a leader that could see silver linings in the midst of the clouds of dejection, despair and defeat.

Ownership – Rev. Stephen “Clyde” Davis

Many years ago I was a neophyte member of a similarly freshly-formed men’s group. I was struggling to find meaning and purpose and hoping to stumble on it alongside fellow seekers. At one point I found myself vigorously defending a member of the group whose communications I felt had been consistently attacked by other group members. I was full of righteous indignation as I wielded my verbal sword on his behalf. Suddenly, I realized the focus of the group had shifted to me – not a very comfortable awareness for me at that time.

Several members attempted to explain to me how I was projecting my discomfort onto the person I thought I was defending. And how, at the same time, that person was not owning his process. That threw me for a loop. I was unfamiliar with the concept of ownership and not inclined to admit I was projecting anything. In fact, I was so sure I was doing the right thing, I continued to energetically defend myself and my fellow group member for weeks, even going so far as calling the two most egregious members “Ownership Nazis,” as they continued their (as I saw it) assault.

I was taking this whole thing very personally and I remember feeling incredibly defensive and overwhelmed by this sudden “unfair” treatment and “bullying.” I was often near tears for not being able to see or appreciate this new perspective. I was also full of shame that I wasn’t even aware because I was so entrenched in such unconscious behavior.

And here these guys, these Ownership Nazis, were persevering in their efforts to make me “see the light” and “win me over…” Well, I was hardly going to open myself up to that sort of vulnerability – no way! As long as I could keep the focus on the other guy and his shortcomings, I would be safe…

I wouldn’t have to admit that my defense of him was really a defense of me.

Only after what seemed an interminable period of time did I begin to get a glimmer of understanding.

I was protecting myself by talking about someone else’s issues.

It was always easier to see someone else’s issues more clearly than my own. I was speaking globally about issues I held dear, and hiding behind terms such as “we,” “everyone,” “you,” “they,” “always,” and “never.” Somehow by using general terms and implying that my experience was universal, I was staying safe and less likely to be confronted or held accountable. I mean – how can anyone disagree with me if I am speaking the obvious and unassailable truth?!

It never occurred to me at that time that the only truly unassailable position, the only really true thing, was my own personal experience.

I couldn’t conceive of standing in my truth if it wasn’t everyone’s truth.

I was so terrified of saying anything that was true for me that wasn’t true for everyone else because I might be wrong. And holding a wrong position meant that I was wrong, which led to more shame.

It took years of diligent attention on my part to finally learn the value of speaking only for myself, to share my individual experience, to stop assuming that what was true for me was automatically true for everyone else. It was very challenging to begin to hear myself and see how often I defaulted to “groupspeak” and projection to keep the focus away from me.

Eventually I came to see that ownership was actually a path to freedom.

I am free when I assume responsibility for myself alone. What is true for me is only true for me – and may change tomorrow. No one can disagree with my truth because it is only my truth. As long as I own my experience and don’t force it on anyone else, as long as I allow you your experience, your truth, and affirm it as yours, I am free.

Taking on the responsibility to act independently of everyone around me, to speak only for myself, and to fully own my experience is what makes me free.

Ted Lothammer, the founding father of People House, said it best: “I am 100% responsible for me, you are 100% responsible for you, and the universe is responsible for everything else.”

Until next time,

Clyde

GROWING PAINS: It’s a Human Thing – Lydia Taft

Yesterday morning I woke up from a dream that reminded me of my true self: I am vibrational energy and my body is a manifestation of the vibration I am tuning into.  I was quite satisfied with this train of thought and I got out of bed expecting I was going to continue through a day of learning on vibration and manifestation.  I was really pleased with this idea… right up until the moment I leaned over to reposition a piece of furniture and in a split second a very familiar sharp pain shot through my lower back! In the moment, my day’s path was abruptly altered.

I’ve often imagined that there are always two paths laid out ahead of me. 

One path is gorgeous with streaming light and warmth.  This path meanders through a lovely meadow and trees and flowers decorate the side of the road.  The other path is darker and I am only able to see what’s directly in front of me.  This path winds into the unknown through gnarly branches that might tear and grab at me as I travel.  There’s no doubt in my mind that the lighted path is easier.  I however have a tendency to take the darker path. 

I can’t really explain why I experience life the way I do. 

I suppose I like real life, physical, in my face experiences.  The thought runs through my mind, “It’s a human thing.”  The process goes:  Feel it. Think it. Live It. Know It.  I’m sure there are other ways to learn things.  I just happen to be really good at learning this way.  I’ve heard others relate to this idea.  I am again reminded: It’s just a human thing.  It’s how you expand.  It’s how you appreciate. 

That’s fine, I answer a bit exasperated with the idea.  I get it.  I have tuned myself into the pain vibration station and when I am tired of suffering I can tune myself into the non-pain vibration station.  Easy!  I decided to go to the chiropractor.  She pulled and pushed and realigned my crooked body.  I wonder now if the manipulations could have aligned my crooked thinking as well.  I’m willing to believe her technique was helpful.  It’s helped before. 

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I admit I feel lighter now.  I am looser and more flexible.  A bit of soreness remains, but it’s only an ache, a ghost of pain that will disappear the second I quit remembering it.  I am willing to allow it to go away.  I think I’ll take Ibuprofen and it will disappear.  And then in the forgetting of the pain I will be able to realign myself with the better feelings and thoughts.   

And in the forgetting this particular, very human, experience will be completed. And I’ll find myself experiencing a better feeling energetic frequency.  And yes… I am reminded to appreciate my health.  And maybe I might want to encourage a limber and strong body with stretching exercises and more movement.  But as far as the path I now find myself on, it’s just a human thing.

Fluid and Flawed – Monica Myers

The concept is a bit of an oxymoron. A flawed human being…and a saint?

 I recently watched the movie St. Vincent, starring Bill Murray.  Bill Murray plays a retired curmudgeon who befriends 12 year old Oliver, a lonely kid who gets bullied by a bigger classmate. As his single mom tries to make ends meet, Oliver spends more and more time with his “old man” neighbor and the two form an unlikely bond. Oliver begins to see in Vincent something that no one else is able to: a misunderstood man with a good heart. In the touching conclusion (spoiler alert!!), Oliver chooses Vincent as his subject for a school assignment on saints. The movie is a bit sentimental—it is Hollywood after all–but it is a sweet reminder of a potent lesson—we are all flawed human beings. And despite our flaws, we are good and loveable.

 As spiritual people, we often strive, mistakenly, for some sense of perfectionism.  We think that if we commit to leading a spiritual life that that should equate to an absence of more ‘profane’ experiences. If we are truly on the path, we tell ourselves, our life should be all bliss, and happiness, and peace, right? Certain emotional experiences, like anger, fear, irritation, distress, or depression, don’t look spiritual to us, and we don’t want to experience them. In fact, we go to great lengths to deny, hide, displace, ignore, medicate and reframe them. We berate ourselves for feeling them.  But are we really serving ourselves by labeling such emotional states as ‘negative’ and unhealthy? Is perfectionism really the true goal?

We grow up in a culture that teaches us to judge, label and categorize our emotional experiences as positive and negative. This discrimination has taught us to resist what doesn’t feel good. Recently, though, a deeper understanding of our emotional experience is beginning to reveal itself as we realize how intimately emotions are intertwined with our health and wellness.

Neuroscientists, therapists, psychiatrists, and the world’s leading health and wellness experts agree that unprocessed life experience and emotions are held in our nervous system as stress. In this sense, there is wisdom in emotions.  Matthew Hutson states the following in the January/February 2015 edition of Psychology Today:

We have the wrong idea about emotions. They’re very rational; they’re means to help us achieve goals important to us, tools carved by eons of human experience that work beyond conscious awareness to direct us where we need to go. They identify trouble or opportunity and suggest methods of repair or gain. They are instruments of survival; in fact, we would have vanished long ago without them.

Emotions are a record of our past experience; they constitute our subconscious speaking and are stored in the body when they build up and are denied expression. Trapped emotional energy will often result in physical dysfunction. Over time, when emotions are consistently suppressed, this affects our immune system, levels of anxiety, and our ability to be our best selves.

The American Medical Association (AMA) estimates that 80 percent of all health problems are stress related, and even the conservative Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has stated that 85 percent of all diseases appear to have an emotional element. Our emotional baggage may literally sabotage our health.

The irony/paradox of the ‘perfection myth’ is that as we open spiritually, the emotional places that are still congealed or triggering will naturally arise more into our consciousness and demand our attention. The only way out is for us to look at, respect, sit with and embody these unprocessed experiences. So, the idea of achieving some kind of ‘perfection’ as a human being, free from uncomfortable emotion, can actually get in the way of our spiritual maturation and alienate us from ourselves and other people.

What would it be like to let go of this ideal of perfection, this striving to be something we are not and attempting to ‘fix’ ourselves? What would it look like to surrender to our “perfect imperfections” and… to just be ‘ourselves’? What would happen if we moved closer to these places we’ve been trying to overcome, and met them with an attitude of welcome friendliness? Yes, there would be discomfort and vulnerability. But ultimately, you might find that your life takes on a new quality of expansiveness, richness and vitality. When we stop striving, we start living. The truth is, there is beauty in sorrow and without it, how would we come to know joy?

 Mary Oliver, one of my favorite poets, wrote:

 Someone I loved

once gave me

a box full of darkness.

 It took me years

To understand

that this, too

was a gift.

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 Personally, I am learning to give more space to my emotional expression in real time; I appreciate how embodying emotion reveals the truth about my lived experience and my relationship to others and the world.

Many of us are afraid of feelings, especially the so-called negative ones. We are afraid that if we allow ourselves to feel pain or loneliness that it will last forever. But, feelings are by nature impermanent and changeable; I see them as gifts from the heart. And I now understand more fully how experiencing the repressed ones is a necessary part of the healing process—how untangling and unwinding liberates us. The truth is, we are all frequently, fabulously flawed.

 

 

Monica Myers, MPH, MA, LPCC is a teacher and therapist currently accepting new clients. She has offices in Boulder, Denver and Golden. She invites your comments, questions and responses. Find out more about Monica and her practice online at the Boulder Art Therapy Collective.

 

Contact Monica:
monimyers69@gmail.com
720-378-6603. 

 

The Warrior’s Way, LLC: Doing Shapes Our World – Glenn Bott

Whatever you do during the day defines and further cements your reality.  Proceed with awareness!

If your life is the way you want it to be, then keep doing, saying, and thinking the same.  If it’s not, it’s time to make some changes.  Many go through the day and treat it pretty much the same as yesterday.  This ongoing cycle of thoughtless action leads to a life of disillusion and frustration.  You’re on auto-pilot.

Take some time to consciously decide how you want your life to be, what you want to be doing, how you want your relationships to be, etc.  Define these items in as much detail as possible.  Once you’ve got this information spelled out, adjust your day by taking new actions, thinking new thoughts, and saying things differently in your ongoing internal dialogue.  This will change your reality – slowly but surely.  It’s really not difficult, but it does require discipline and a new set of behaviors. 

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A lot of us don’t realize how powerful, creative, and vibrant we are.  When you’re ready to make a change, this is the way to proceed.  Start telling a different story, and reinforce this new story with new actions, thoughts, and routines. 

In the Don Juan book series they refer to this as “not-doing.”  Basically, not-doing is breaking your patterns in order to interrupt your habitual thoughts and create new perceptions.  Don Juan used to have his students walk backward to alter their perception of the world.  This isn’t recommended in the city, but if you’re in an isolated open space or uncluttered room, it’s an excellent way to experiment with new thoughts, habits, and perceptions. 

Instead of your usual perception of the world coming at you, when you walk backward it’s now receding from you.  This creates a subtle, yet powerful change in your visual perception.  Instead of the most recent objects in your field of vision coming toward you, they’re now moving away.  Rather than subconsciously seeing/feeling where your next step will be, you are now moving without your visual clues of what lies ahead.  It’s a great exercise to expand and refine your other senses.  It doesn’t take too long before you start to feel comfortable doing this.

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The importance of doing these drills isn’t to refine your technique to walk backward.  The benefit is in creating new neural pathways in your brain that allow you to process information differently.  Increase your neuroplasticity in today’s medical jargon.  Your awareness and mental flexibility is increased.  The mental stories you tell yourself will begin to shift.  These mental stories, as we’re starting to scientifically prove, have incredible power in determining how we live our lives and what we do and accomplish.

I’ll tell you a little story to illustrate this principle.  After reading about this procedure, I decided to expand my awareness in many different ways.  I was enticed by the concept of walking backward.  I modified this exercise to backing into my garage when parking my truck at home.  At first, this was an exciting and challenging procedure.  With a little practice I got better and better at doing this.  I can now back up my truck, in extremely tight spaces with the best of them. 

In doing this I learned to process information in a different way.  I had to develop new neural pathways, new ways of processing the input, and new motor skills to control the wheels while looking in the mirror and backing up.  None of this sounds particularly beneficial, but in a holistic sense it is extremely useful.  I now know that I can back up my truck in tight quarters, I can easily change my habits, I can learn new things, I can process information in reverse, and I can quickly learn new skills.  This is the new story I tell myself.  I have broadened my capabilities.  I have a more flexible approach to solving problems.  I am creative.

Glenn Bott

glenn@warriorswayllc.com
www.warriorswayllc.com

Growing Pains: This Is Fear – Lydia Taft

I just listened to a phone message.  It is something frightening to me…. I don’t understand what it means and I don’t know how to respond.  It feels out of control.  It is out of my hands and I think it can go very bad.  I can imagine the many forms of bad it can take and that sets my heart to beating and my breaths become shallow. My mind races, looking for some way to handle what, at this point in time, is something that I am completely unfamiliar with. 

This is fear, I tell myself.  This is what it’s like to feel fear.

So I race to figure out what I can do, because I hate this panicky feeling.  I hate this uncertainty.  I call my husband and tell him about it.  I want him to take action for me.  I want him to make it either go away or make it something better.  He of course can’t do this for me.  I desperately want to feel better. 

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In my anxiety, I turn to research.  I think to myself, research gives me answers.  I need answers.  I find out that there is even more that I don’t understand and I contemplate the need for an expert… Things feel like they are spinning further and further out of control. I have propelled myself more fully into a fear state.

I know I have to stop. 

I have to stop my mind right now. 

I have to stop racing to every new and more frightening thought.  I’m jumping to conclusions.  I’m catastrophizing.  I tell myself: I don’t know anything about anything yet, so I’m not allowed to think about it anymore.  I’m not allowed to jump to the uncertain future.  I’m not allowed to try and complete a puzzle that I don’t have the pieces for.  I don’t have the full picture yet.  No one can put the puzzle together when they don’t know which pieces form the frame and which form the center.  No one can successfully complete anything when they don’t know what things look like. 

It finally occurs to me to ask myself what do I know?  I don’t know much at all.  I only know that it has touched a fearful place in my being.  It can be bad, but it can also be good.  I can’t predict an outcome.  I can’t say one way or another what this might turn into.  That’s all I know. 

I catch my mind once again racing.  Now I am trying to figure out what I did wrong… what might I have said wrong?  I know I’m wrong in some way.  What?  How am I wrong?  And I get afraid again.  My mind is tricky and I am an expert at playing this fear game.  I recognize it for what it is. 

So I sit with this… I take deep breaths…

Deep, deep, breaths to calm myself. 

Deep breaths to put me back into the center of my being.   I write out this experience understanding that I am afraid.  I remind myself not to jump ahead.  I just have to keep on breathing.  This is fear, I remind myself.  Fear is outside of myself.  I am not fear.  I am not fearful.  This is just fear.  I don’t know what anything is for.  I don’t know why anything happens.

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I remind myself, I am on my path.  My path is unfolding.  Everything will reveal itself in its own perfect time.  I can do the things that are in my hands to do and then I will let the rest go. 

The Warriors Way, LLC: Both Sides Now – Glenn Bott

Untitled-1Noticed how your definition of love has changed through the years?  As a young adult, the world seemed more defined – more black/white.  As I gained years and experience, the gray area expanded.  What used to absolutely, positively be a universal “known” is no longer rock-solid.  In this ever-expanding universe we need to adapt and grow.  This also holds true for definitions we internalized as absolutes.

I now understand love to be like an infinitely faceted diamond.  There’s no end to the beauty and sparkle.  With a slightly different angle on a subject, a new realization is sparked, and your love expands and grows.  This is the beauty of being alive in this mysterious  and wonderful universe we live in.  We’re in an amusement park with an unending supply of wonderment, joy, and love.

To expand your love, begin with the decision that you want to be a happier person.  It’s all in your attitude.  Open your heart and practice loving things during your day.  A lot of us were taught to find differences and focus on these.  Once you focus on differences it’s easy to start categorizing and sorting them.  We can all find differences that will keep us on the top of the heap.  We’ll tell ourselves that we’re the best because. . .  

We fool ourselves and diminish our power because we’re always comparing ourselves to external criteria. 

The only way I know of around this is to start loving yourself and everything and everyone you encounter during the day. 

Find a reason to love. 

All you have to do is change your mind and decide to be more loving.  Find similarities instead of differences.  You’ll soon realize that we’re all in this together.  Let’s help each other and reap the benefits.  This is classic example of 1+1 = 3. 

A nice game you can play with yourself is to find 10 things during the day to love.  Once you’ve developed the attitude and habit, up it to 20 things during the day.  The actual number you set doesn’t really matter.  This is just a tool to build a new habit and find reasons to love. 

 

Glenn Bott
Warrior’s Way, LLC
303-918-4626 | glenn@warriorswayllc.com

People House: a Center for Personal and Spiritual Growth