The following excerpt from ‘Crisis. What Crisis? Struck me as particularly pertinent for two reasons;
Firstly that I am still very much considering the same issues as I was a couple of years ago when I first started to pen the book, (so, plus ça change . . . . )
And secondly, by how much I have developed my own theories on me and the world in the interim period.
Day 32 Two steps forward . . .
I have taken a few days off from updating my journal. The main, but not the only, reason for this is my attempt to start walking Dr Chopra’s talk. I have been fairly diligent with my finding silence. I live alone. I deliberately exclude my dog as communicative partner as even in his more active moments his lucidity is minimal. This does mean that I tend to have the upper hand in our more abstract discussions but I get the distinct impression that he doesn’t care. So I don’t. Much.
My silent periods intended for internal reflection are easy to orchestrate. There is nobody around. I am even finding it easier by the day to ignore the monkey in my head. I have managed some success I feel not due to any transcendental or epiphanous moment but by a far more mundane technique – I ignore it. I let it chatter away, listen to the mutterings and ignore it. It’s very liberating if you can keep it up. There are still times when it clearly gets the upper hand; times when the sickening nag of anxiety seeps through but I know that I am making progress. This in itself gives me still more reasons for self-congratulation and that’s not a bad thing (provided you don’t expose it to your neighbours!)
So, progress on two fronts. And the coffee-flavoured Revel in the mixed handful? Judgment. And I was doing so well, honestly I was! I am aware that my current tendency to judge is directly influenced by my circumstances – a new business venture, the rather gloomy economy, single-dom and this all on the day of the week that most people pull a sickie – and my ego. I have worked on my ego for a while. I have had deep and confused exchanges with my soul guide (and great friend) about the role of the ego. She has advised me that the ego has more than one side and that the positive ego, in the form of self-value and love, is a good thing. ‘You cannot truly love anyone else until you love yourself Phil’. BUT, and it is a rather big but, I have, in a past life, seen ego dominate all things. I even allowed the insidious beast to stalk me and get hold of my higher feelings. I lost context, empathy and even some integrity. I fell out of love with me and just about everything else. I am wary to the extreme of letting this form of ego arise from the depths it has been banished to. With all that said, how and why did this unwelcome visitor appear to peer so menacingly in? Not bad manners, not failure to indicate, not even Jeremy Kyle. No, it was stirred by a Tweet. The details are irrelevant but the comment made my teeth grind and sent me into a spell of tutting and puffing. The topic? Integrity. Authenticity.
I will return to this I later I think because it holds my world together but for the moment I will close with this. If you do not live with integrity, if you are not authentic, then who are you really kidding? Who do you actually impress? What purpose do you actually serve? How do you look at yourself in the mirror?
What is most important to me now, at this very moment, is that I am stronger in saying ‘I don’t care what you think.’ I don’t do this rudely or without decorum. Sometimes I only say it in my head but I say it all the same.
I now have enough self belief to be able to say I understand that it is only me who judges, me who lives with the judgement, me who analyses the judgement. I do care. I am a caring sort of person but now, more than ever before, I care about me. This is not from some sense of egotism. This is not about competition, winning or rewards. It is about being comfortable enough with myself to trust my instincts, actions and behaviour. To set my own rules and to be he only true and real judge of whether I am meeting my own standards.
I wonder just how many of us can really say that and how many more can truly commit to living and being that way? ‘There is no failure, only feedback.’ As the mantra goes. I have created my own, unique and effective feedback loop and it is always there, always gentle and always right. For me, anyway. All I need to keep doing now is to trust it.
I decided that if I was going to make a reasonable and rational decision on the efficacy of such teachings then I would have to live them. In fact, this I believe is the only way to ‘test’ such theories. Since my ‘journey’ with the good Dr and his ‘Seven Spiritual Laws of Success’ I have had this approach reinforced and re-iterated; the ONLY way to truly know about something is to experience it.
We can read, listen, watch etc and in fact engage all of our wonderful physical senses (VAKOG – visual, auditory, kinetic, olfactory, gusatatory) from a semi-detached perspective but it is the experience of something, the doing of it, that totally embeds it into our physiology and mind.
So that’s what I did. Over a period of about 14 months I lived and breathed Dr Chopra’s laws.
The result? Well, you will have to read the book but I will be including similar excerpts, written as diary posts, over the coming months for the 3rdi magazine. I hope that you enjoy, or at least engage with it.
More excerpts next month in the3rdimagazine.
The book will be available for kindle shortly.
Contact Phil directly via firstname.lastname@example.org to reserve your copy