Flavoured Water

Every morning I drop one or two wrinkled pods of dried cardamom into my coffee/spice grinder to grind with the coffee beans. The fine grind is flecked with the light green of the ground cardamom. I love the smell of fresh ground coffee probably more than drinking the coffee itself.

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We actually just got back from an autumn weekend in a rented cabin and all my coffee paraphernalia came with us. It means we are not buying coffee that is more costly and generates waste vía cups, lids and stir sticks. Before bed we have started drinking a cinnamon/ginger brew to boost our immune system. My favourite drink during the day is a bit of fresh hibiscus tea mixed with sparkling water. Super refreshing.

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Whether it is tea or coffee, cola, wine or whiskey. Coconut water, kombucha or beer. All of these are water based drinks. Some have sugar or fruit. Others are healthy. Again others fermented. Some are popular drinks because they taste good, a few for their rejuvenation factor and others are a success of marketing.

Water is to our body as oil is to the car engine. We are 70% water each of us. That kind of makes us, or our body, a bottle of water. How do we flavour our water?

Dr. Masaru Emoto pioneered the research into the consciousness of water. Based on experiments with water and music he concluded that we flavour our corporeal water with what we think, feel and do. The residue of these impressions settles in our blood, bones and organs where the water is at work. We flavour our water with life; good and bad, high and low, as a victim or author of our response to each stage of development.

But often it is the label of our human water bottle that we focus on most of the time.

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We get caught up in the image so often that the ingredients, or their production, gets minimized.

We are born with 2 eyes, 10 fingers and a little hair all of us. What anchors your existence is a planetary soul. That soul gets imprinted with the genes you are going to give expression to in your daily life and give continuance to by your life journey. So those eyes might be green. Those fingers could be brown. And that hair might be black. We all have eyes, fingers and hair but we are all so different. Why?

Race, religion, culture, upbringing and education. All of these are ingredients that get integrated into your soul. It takes a strong desire and sensitivity to interpret the soul and not get distracted by the ego of the image.

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What does it take to be a Sommelier of the soul? Because, if you think about it, we are flavoured water. How would the sommelier describe your soul? A hint of creativity, bold and upfront, goes great with fish? Refreshing! No bitter aftertaste:)

The Bridge 2 – Lead Laterally

The Bridge connecting your emotions with your words

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We all admit there are areas where we can improve. It’s painful to the ego but a dose of humility can keep many things at bay.

My wife told me I had become very militaristic in my communication with our teenage daughter. I had no idea. Of course I thought I was showing up to do my dad job by instilling good habits. Good intention with poor execution. The reality for my family was that I was now irritating; at best. And my approach would have become alienating if my wife had not mentioned it to me.

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The point is to get more references/ education/ feedback/ input. These are the materials to build a bridge to cross from the ignorant side of the river to the other side. So there can be change from one reality to another – also known as growth:).

Change doesn’t make us wrong. It means we can grow. Especially for adult men this can be a bridge we don’t want to be seen crossing. Often we don’t know how to accept being wrong, or deal with feedback. Especially from our wife or children. Likewise we don’t know how to express ourselves. We don’t know how to say that we want to grow but don’t know how. We don’t know love can be expressed in words as well as actions. Small words, quiet words.

So to help to grow let’s picture a bridge that can help us cross from one perspective – our current outlook – to integrate a new mentality into our range of options. Your bridge can be made of wood and rope straddling high above the river. Or it can be an abandoned wooden railway bridge, made of massive steel beams or a beautifully designed stone bridge with arches.

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We switch from the side of loneliness to the other side various times in an hour, day, life depending on our emotional equilibrium.

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You crossing the bridge may be an act of desperation because you feel left out and lonely. Paying attention to your spouse according to their need now has relevance to you. Or crossing the Bridge of Strength can be because you want to offer your spouse a good relationship.

The challenge here is manifold. However the response is singular: build a bridge through belief in action.

It’s your bridge. Build it as you wish so that others can experience the best of you. So your family can benefit from your accumulated wisdom from a history of accomplishments. Which is what you want too.

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Build your bridge because you want to understand and accompany your spouse with respect. Even if you don’t really know what you are doing (be that on the dance floor or in bed or at an awkward social gathering or talking about your marriage or stages in life). But there you are – participating.

It’s you leading – laterally. Which moves your marriage forward – simply in a sideways spiral – meaning you won’t be alone.

 

Where’s The Bridge ?

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There is a swampy bit near the end of our walk in the park ravine where our golden retriever just loves to romp around chest deep in the muck. No doubt the muddy water would be cooling on a hot day but this is April. In Ontario. In a few nooks of shade there can be found caches of snow. Vestiges of a long and beautiful winter. So a dog wouldn’t be needing to cool down too much but for her there is so much exploring to do following the scent of the local fox, rabbit or squirrel.

As she emerges happy as can be now mud black on all four legs her next stop is the slow running river we cross to get back to the parking lot. She trots into the water and takes a few gulps as I take off my shoes and socks. She can sense what is coming up. She plays around a bit more and I get her by the collar now myself knee deep in the more than chilly spring water. It is invigorating for about a minute and turns to numbing soon after. So I scoop water onto her with my free hand. She absolutely hates baths but puts up with them in the river or lake. I get her looking clean but the swampy smell will only become apparent when we are back in the confines of the car.

She is panting and happy. Me rolling down the window to get some fresh air while recognizing the elongated buzz in my feet from the shallow yet still intriguing rocky cold river.

The water, the river, the flow – all them participants in the physical cleaning, mood healing and soul rejuvenating that we experience without fail.

Another river that catches my attention and awe is the River of Changes.

The River of Changes constantly runs through our life bringing challenges and opportunities.

From one grassy bank of the river we can observe the opposite bank in confusion. With a victim mentality that is paralyzing.

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Other time’s we are moved to grow. That means thinking what we want and what we can do about it. So.

How do you get to the other side: where there should be a different way of looking at the river. A different story for our life. Will you make it to the other side? Will you tip over and put yourself into danger. Do you have any passengers in your canoe? Maybe attempt a crossing and you just turn back as it is difficult to read the currents and avoid the rocks.

Not worth the risk. The uncertainty.

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Or.

Or you can build a bridge. A bridge you build with a pillars made of bricks of communication. Held together with the mortar of the Three Understandings (what, why, how).

A bridge designed to withstand the current of the river of change. What do you call that Bridge? The bridge that takes us from victim mindset to proactive?

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Anti-Aging formula

Be free! Be radical! Just don’t let them run rampant in your body because that is going to make you old, older, oldish. Free radicals cause aging. Smiles and wrinkles are free. Thinking for yourself keeps you right on track with whatever age you are.

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What is the oldest anti-aging product in the history of those sorts of things?

Funny. Use something old so you don’t become old. Is that hypocrisy? Marketing?

Is this one of those ads at the back of a magazine in the classifieds?

The natural way not not to age is to grow.

Obviously:). We are not talking about freezing your body or botoxing or any medical procedure.

We are talking about your mindset. And what life development trajectory that puts you on.

Because we all get old.

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Day by day.

We all get wrinkles, lose hair, slow down, change priorities. That is different from aging.

Aging is when we cannot flow with the progression of life stages. Each life stage offers us the necessary energies and knowings to participate in it. Each stage also requires our participation be regenerative. To be clear being regenerative is taking what you are given and making something positive with it. It might not be fair or fun but it is wise. And wisdom is the residue of operating with an elder mindset. It’s an attitude that can form and construct the foundation for your next stage in life.

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So be nice. And grow. Grow up. Towards the light. Grow more curious and thorough as you grow old. Grow the service aspect of your life. Service to others, the planet, your body, your soul.

Planetary Arts Series – Mars

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My teacher Elliott taught Xing-yi in the park. It was $10 a class or pay what you can. I think at least half the class took the second option. Most of us were 20 something new arrivals in Taos, New Mexico working in cafes or construction waiting for ski season.

This class was my first exposure to martial arts. Elliott was an awesome instructor. I remember he asked if I had any experience – ‘no’. He said that was usually better because I didn’t have any habits to overcome. I went for a few months that autumn and never returned.

However you could say I had been into martial arts most my life.

What is meant by that is illustrated in the following brief writing.

Martial Arts.

Bruce Lee was the man! He was the whole Hollywood package. Taking Kung fu to the people.

Martial Arts, if we break it down, could be said to be the Art of War at an individual level companioning the pursuit of peace at tribal level.

Fighting happens. We need to protect ourselves. Our community and at the same time each one of us. Because of the energies involved in the physical or strategic battles it can be very hard, coarse, adversarial, debilitating, draining. That does not mean it is artless. The very stress of the fight, battle and struggle calls for specific skills. If we can activate our skills of self management in war then we have the way to move beyond it. Fighting is a way to communicate what we value and is not a form of communication in itself. Meaning we are fighting for something. For safety or peace or integrity or dignity.

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Mars was the god of war from Ancient Rome which speaks to the tribal level of martial managment. The Chinese masters have brought forward with dedication through the ages the forms and sequences of self management of the energy of the red planet. Today we are equally tasked to manage what energy we attract, process and how we dispose of it. We dispose of energy in so many simple and natural ways: conversation, sleep, digestión and organ function in the body.

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Said in a conceptual sense, Martial Arts are the system of cleaning, garbage and recycling. So in reality we could say planetary/environmental stewardship is a martial art. At which by majority we have been failing as a group. The human arts of these natural systems are qualities like: forgiveness, making important things important, humour, elevating vision, curiosity plus humility.

On a development journey Martial cleansing activity (yoga, tai chi, aikido) combines very well with the planetary arts of Mercurial vision or earth perception (topics covered in this series).

The art is of thinking ahead. Of engraving mental and emotional pathways in conjunction with life sequences of movements to process life in the moment. Thus maintaining focus on the journey without being sidelined by one’s own reaction or intrusion by bullying. These are forces that cannot grasp the need to hold the apparent contradiction of something in them and not pass judgement.

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Think about these three levels of engagement of your natural Martial art:

Low – not letting yourself get damaged but not being the author of your own story.

Medium – using what comes at you for you – think aikido.

High – using what comes at you to elevate your art of perception that powers your red art.

——

This is a mental model for understanding what you seek with your language and actions, intentions and vision.

AI Versus the Juggler

Juggle.

AI cannot juggle.

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The organization OpenAI has done really impressive work in the territory of robotic manual dexterity. But which robot has a reason to juggle? It has no reason to do so. On the other hand, we all juggle priorities like health, work, relationships and family, income and studying and maintenance of a home. AI is probably integrated into all of those aspects of

life but will never have an overarching need that goes into decisions that determine how the juggling of life is juggled.

So to keep control of our lives out if y the hands of robots we need lives that AI cannot touch. Yes robots and algorithms have their functions. Those functions are to get a result and use the result to get better at getting the next result. But there is no sense of elevating those functions to a transcendent goal.

So should we be scared about AI. You bet! A scan of the lifestyle of our global culture does not indicate that a higher purpose has been identified that influences education systems, youth and corporate, towards any sort of not for profit perception. Therefore we are in direct competition with robots for various functions.

Back to our juggler. She doesn’t look at each ball directly but looks forward to maintain all the balls in the air. Jugglers use a rhythm of letting go and grabbing so they can keep giving attention and direction to everything they have on the go. Whether that be 3 balls in the air or children, their own business, caring for aging parents, improving their education, finding a partner or possibly deepening their religious awareness.

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Developing this religious awareness, or soul life, can open other doors; individually to feel less threatened by a machine and, as a culture we can create an array of service industries based on the thriving soul lives within us that seek learning for self development as a human.

Your Tribe Man

I said yes right away.

My university roommate emailed me to see if I wanted a ticket to the Canada versus New Zealand rugby game in Toronto. We haven’t been in touch very much over the years but he knew I would be interested.

I was as much interested to see the Haka live as the game itself.

Watch this video:

The Haka is simple in message: unity in pursuit of peace. Since it is originally a Maori Dance of War, that pursuit included the possibility of death which tells me they are serious about their rugby.

The Haka is the full-on song and dance the national rugby team of New Zealand performs before every match. And is it effective in capturing their opponent’s attention? Well the All Blacks, as the team is called, from a 2 island nation of just 3 million people, dominate international rugby. I just checked the rankings and the Kiwis are #1 in the world as of September 30,2019. Awesome!

When another national rugby team plays against Australia or the Springboks of South Africa or Wales or France or Fiji – they are playing against a national team. But when you play the All Blacks you are facing a tribe. A tribe, as the song illustrates, who seem to unblinkingly accept the battle that may result in death.

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Singing the song at midfield they are living their culture in a way that they feed it and it feeds them.  The Haka is an assertion of belief in their people, the validity of their past and its vitality in the now.

What’s your Haka?

What’s your song and dance to highlight your past and align your now? How do harmonize the support of your team towards a higher goal? Your team is your: body, blood and brains, mind and soul in conjunction with the intense emotion for satisfaction and purpose. This team in harmony with your DNA can provide a strong foundation for you to sing your song and dance your steps.

It is definitely a struggle to be at the vanguard of your own growth and development. That struggle can be rewarding or debilitating. It can be a confusion due to a lack of self love/understanding, disease, lack of guidance.

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So give your song and dance some direction in both your daily and soul lives. Admire your tribe of physical mechanisms and spiritual workings.  Reflect on the amazing human faculties and your finesse with them. Know that you are the chief of that tribe.

Your daily Haka is the song and dance of your refinement of today’s man. 

 

 

Define Cool

Define ‘Cool’

Tennis great Roger Federer after an awesome back hand winner down the line as he walks pensive to the other side of the court to receive serve. Severely champion cool.

Rupi Kaur the Indian/Canadian poet has her own version of cool: smile, flick of the long black hair with the hand while eyes thinking of how to connect next. Poet cool.

On the inside, after you have done something authentic, you are cooling down.

Your talent, real effort, authentic synthesis for an elevated result.

Now your blood is reorganizing itself based on the impact of your new experience.

From the outside, this is magnetic to people’s attention even if they don’t know why. They usually don’t. This mystical magnetism is what we call cool.

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Create cool.

‘Cool outfit’. ‘Cool car you fixed up’. Cool upholding the truth when someone was bad-mouthing your buddy. Cool fade away jumper.

Professional posers like the Kardashians imitate cool. They are brittle and hollow.

The cool you is agile and spontaneous.

The cool you loves and is loved.

In your blood lives your history, your initiative, your best and your worst. Cool means knowing the worst and bringing your best.  Cool means knowing your mistakes and insisting on growing.

To get to cool you draw on your personal history of struggle, of growing and learning, of visualizing and wanting, recalibrating after a defeat and of allowing yourself to be inspired. Cool comes once you put your vulnerable/yet confident/authentic self out there; living your life now – then you rest and your blood cools down. That’s when you bask in the glow of your cooling blood that loved the vigour of sincere human effort.

That’s cool.  That’s you.