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.

Photo Thao Le Hoang Unsplash

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.

The Avenue of Cedar

 

How many times have I ordered a coffee or a burger and the minimum wage worker has not had a good attitude, a fake smile or even given me a ‘Hi, welcome to my low pay part time burger hell can I take your order!!’   Can you blame them?

The thing is they are obviously not happy at work.  That is not the fault of the people in their family waiting for them at the end of the day.  Likewise if their family life is a disaster then that is not my fault if I am just looking to grab a quick coffee and have a question or two.

But it happens to us all.  Things build up from all sides of life.  We can’t complain or speak up at work for fear of repercussions.   So we bring our frustration home.  Which is unfair to our spouse and children and pets.  So to keep us out of trouble and therapy or the bar, here are a few suggestions.  Using your mind to get you into a better space quickly you will walk through your front door and offer your family the real you – the real deal!

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The Avenue of Cedar – Whether you are stepping into the hallway from your office towards the elevator or from the elevator to your condo to walk down the hall to your home this is an excellent technique to decompress from your crazy day.

Picture the hallway lined with tall, verdant cedar trees.  Growing at various angles, thick with branches and home to many birds.  Breathe in the fresh air they generate.  Breathe out your ________________ (fill in the blank with your frustration, disappointment, anger, disdain)  .  Repeat.  Breathe in clean forest and breathe out daily refuse.  Make good notice of the bright green of the cedar leaves.  Know that they are full of life and they clean you of the static energy you have collected in your day.  Picture the Avenue of cedar.

 

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Daily Cascade – as you go down the elevator at lunch or the end of the day envision you are enveloped in a long, cascading waterfall. Feel the water refresh you as it sprays and sparkles. Breathe in the clean, charged air.  Imagine the swirling pool at the bottom and the moss covered rocks bright green in the rays of the sun.  Close your eyes and stay in the moment.  Breathe in again and … walk out of the elevator rejuvenated.

Let me know how it goes …

Stop The Presses

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Photo by Jordan Pulmano on Unsplash

The Joker is mesmerized by the photo of Vicki Vale in a photo and says …
you guessed it,
“Stop the presses!!!”

That was from the Batman movie of 1989 with Jack Nicholson falling in lust for Kim Bassinger.  That was when we knew what the phrase meant and where it actually came from.

Even with the decline of print media it is still a great phrase to communicate your amazement at something that takes you by surprise – like when you walk by your teenager’s room freshly cleaned room?!:)

The ‘presses’ being alluded to here are a few incumbent processes on our developing lives.  Depression is getting more air time these days and that is great for those who can use the relief of being able to just talk about what they are feeling as a way to ‘take out the garbage’ and move on.  That is one of the presses: depression.  One of the pressures we feel as we grow and struggle with everything from identity to career choice to life partner choice to adding and subtracting to our beliefs.  Unto itself depression is sickening but it can somehow deliver a sense of belonging that can confuse us into thinking we want to stay under that cloud. That we are happier where we are depressed?!?

Repression of emotions is another effective and common press – ure we feel on a daily basis.  We don’t speak our mind at work about our feelings regarding incompetent politicians that seem to be multiplying internationally. Or we resist challenging cultural assumptions like polite Canadians, ignorant Americans, feminism or manism (what it means to be putting authentic man into the world).  These are daily emotions that we may not speak, we repress, for fear or repercussions.

Repression continues when we resist answering any kind of higher calling.  A higher calling doesn’t imply the priesthood – but it comes from the same source for the same reason.  This is where our society (education, religion, corporate) is failing – in a big bad way.  Soul satisfaction is calling, is available, is normal/natural/necessary and we aren’t sure who is calling, why, what the message is and how to respond.  We repress our searching urge with elegant distractions like shopping, social media, hobbies, travel and even religion.  In fact none of these things is bad and some are excellent manners of personal growth but not at the expense of souling.  Feeling lost is the best thing that can happen to you if can locate the desire, the external help, the internal resources to forge your path into the future.  We can’t kid ourselves – there are very few of us in our daily lives who use same the tools and techniques of living a modern life to investigate and understand what to do about fate and destiny.  We repress the real reality of being called to a development journey and its painful.

Compressor – compression – compress – that’s the name of the game.  Take life and get the residue out of it that is valuable for daily success and elevated connection. Go for it!  Try it.  Think about it.  Ask the morning breeze about it as you walk through the park early morning, lunch break, late evening.

GPS means Good People Soul

 

falco-negenman-676812-unsplashPhoto by Falco Negenman on Unsplash

 

The 3 year old child that lives on the floor above us really doesn’t make that much noise. As in I have never lost any sleep or been woken up by him/her.
I can’t say that about the young guy who used to live beside us and have friends over (they weren’t parties according to him). My daughter would be kept up late at night or woken up many times – and she was really tired the next day.

How we manage our energy determines a lot about what we do and what we become. Personal energy management is exposed to various factors that can challenge its effectiveness. Sleep, as we saw above, or any other aspect of health that is not in well being can be a drag on our physical, mental and personal health.

Since in school we generally are not introduced to the concept of a development journey or the idea of levels of energy it can be really useful to take the time to find a few practical tools that can help us deal with daily life and still have a little time and desire to pursue an active soul life.

Lower levels of energy are heavier or coarser and impede your best you. You won’t be as willing to grow or have the same insights about how to address all the challenges and opportunities of life with coarse energy. Energy, as it elevates is refining and fosters your mind to be agile and look for a positive way forward in life.

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Photo by jcob nasyr on Unsplash

One way to delve further into these gradients of energy is through the 3 levels of you: Ego, Soul, Spirit. Another way you can call them is: You, Man/Woman, Higher self.

Each level of energy is a natural state to be in for any of us. However we don’t spend our whole life in just one level. Nowadays I think it is safe to say that most of us spend 80% of our time in the Ego level. Then perhaps 18 or 19% on the Soul leaving just 1% for the Human Spirit.

If we find ourselves looking for meaning in life or a sense of purpose in our personal and professional life then having a specific strategy for energy management can be useful. Simply put it can be broken down to the Ego level of your life gets FEELING energy. This means it is about how you feel about you in the moment. This is important but not very powerful because it is about just one person.

The next level is the Man / Woman level as we grow into our abilities to use life’s twists and turns to help us develop into an honourable person. This soul level of us gets EMOTION energy. This energy is about human qualities and so it is a much more powerful energy. So in fact the more we want energy and attention for our ego self it is recommended to focus more of our time into the human level of us because being in service to something bigger than oneself makes us more attractive. This may seem like a funny apparent contradiction. However it can pay off for all levels of our life and for those around us as we become a person whose words are congruent with their actions and therefore can be trusted by the people around us to follow through.

Level 3 of 3 – the Higher You; Spirit realms. And quite often unknown territory. We can feel this aspect of ourselves when we are out in the park or forest early morning. A few birds are chirping and a fox lopes away at the sound of our footsteps. There is a connection that has been built overnight in the park between the energies of the natural life that we walk into and are graced by. The energy of this sensation feels peaceful. When we try to visually locate it it seems elusive – dashing behind a tree. It is the finer levels of natural energies that we can connect to and arrive at clarity about what we think about and we are worried about – what we want our life to be about. Because it is about what you want in the spiritual context it is the energy of PASSION. What we want others to know about us as we really are. This can have the greatest impact on: all levels of our life, those around us, those yet to come and the atmosphere of the planet.

Find what words can locate you in each level of your life and use those words to become the person you want to be at each level.

Happy Birthday

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Photo by Tom Henderson on Unsplash

 

Today is the birthday party for the forest.
You are invited!
Dress for the occasion:)
And, well, yesterday was a forest birthday too.
You guessed it, there will be one tomorrow too.
How does that work?

The forest is always growing.
Always giving birth to new plants, trees, flowers, sounds, experiences.

So what are you going to give as your present to the forest – next time you go?
Here are some suggestions: clean up plastic bottles on the riverbed, turn off the music on your phone and try and figure out what the birds are chirping about, chuckle at the sincerity with which the grey squirrel is so attentive with those big eyes and bushy tail, listen to the wind orchestrate the canopy dance way up there.

Or you can offer the forest a person who loves themselves.

All of these are valid gifts to the forest.
The forest loves our attention, our mental focus, our human resonance.

So, bring …
Love of soaking up the fresh forest feel.
Appreciation that the high forest realms love your return.
Accepting being part of the celebration of the growth of the forest.

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Photo by Sebastian Unrau on Unsplash

I have been married for 15 years

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Photo by Jenny Caywood on Unsplash

I have been married for 15 years.  I am not sure what is happening.  I think though it is worth keeping going to try and figure it out a bit more.  At least in my case.  Every marriage is different.  I have found how to mold myself around my family which I really enjoy for the benefits because i get time to myself.  I don’t need a man cave because I just get up earlier than everyone and live in my tiptoe world in the morning.  Take the dog for a walk, write or make funny meditation attempts or clean up and start to make coffee.  I would have not scripted it this way but it really works for me and my wife.   And I really need to be smart with that time because the sun comes up quickly whether you’re married or not.  So marriage …

It’s not an institution – that is where non politically correct crazy people are shipped off to.
What we end up doing to the experience of marriage would indicate that many of us are candidates to be shipped of as well.

Marriage is a good thing. Put another way marriage is a great thing.
I recommend it to everyone. It is made difficult by our lack of understanding.
Wouldn’t it be crazy to have a Marriage Day in high school. You know, just like Professional Day when a few moms and dads come in and talk to the students about what they do for a living and how they got to where they are now. The idea is that students will make decisions that support their professional growth if they have some reference and guidance about the path of professionalism.
Likewise, for Marriage Day at school the students get exposed to the experience of people in their community as a service to help them form their mind sets on an aspect of their life that has huge impact. So one parent would come in and have 15 minutes to talk to the class about the realities of marriage. Then their spouse comes in and talk for 15 minutes to the same class. Students then discuss what they heard. For example highlighting how the two partners might have very different approach to the same aspect of marriage. No doubt the students would have their own ideas based on their experiences of marriages that they observe. Young people are actually starving to know what is healthy relationship and learn how to live in a healthy marriage. And, when you think about it, not just young people – everyone.

Marriage is its own entity. It actually isn’t your marriage. It is your wedding with the gown, vows, bachelor party, reception, photos. But it isn’t your marriage. You are married not to your husband or wife. You are married to the marriage and the other participant in that marriage is your spouse.
Marriage is a union that petitions us for growth by the virtue of it not being for any one person – for neither person. We get the benefit of companionship and care from our loved one but the marriage gives a result to the history and life of marriage.
Marriage is service. Yes to your partner but that is simply to keep them in good stead so they continue participating in the marriage.
A little weird take on marriage but it can help us understand that marriage is a service industry.
Service to our spouse and to who or what ever benefits from the produce of marriage. Children are the produce of intercourse – not marriage.
Marriage is a human endeavour, one of the many. If you never marry then your human endeavours will be other – seek them out.

The planet is impacted by every single person and every single one of their thoughts, words and actions. Marriage being a service to something greater than oneself (while we receive some personal benefits along the way) is what feeds the planet with higher human produce – electro-magnetic activity. It is the nature of marriage of being not about ones ego as a first principle yet requiring our ego and soul to exist, grow and produce results like: respect, understanding of women, encouraging the man to flourish, learning the many arts of waiting – and of listening, being flexible, forgiving. We molt out of old habits and foster new habits that develop into rituals. The kinds of rituals that feed the marriage and the participants on ego and soul levels.
This produce is available to the next marriage that comes along in the example that is visible to see in daily life and the electrical avenues along which a living marriage can flow.

Marriage is …

Wise Gal

 

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Photo by Daniel Peters on Unsplash

 

Nature is wise.

It is a simple fact that we don’t need to confuse. Nature is the source of your instinct. Not the fight or flight instinct of what may be in our DNA. But rather the instinct of receiving and expressing the truth of the moment.

Put down the phone. Put it on vibrate. You are immersing yourself in nature for the purpose of exercising your instinct connection and strengthening it.
Just to note your immersion can be a small parkette in the core of the city.  Nature  connection is available. Huge waterfalls are beautiful and rejuvenating but a leaf or swirling flock of birds overhead or a ladybug on blade of grass in the parkette can also get the connecting done. The connection is up to us to bring our focused faculty to the engagement with nature and nature will not disappoint.

You may be totally stressed out by the moment.  Just go into nature, breathe, quiet down, radiate the best of you and you will return to daily life a little relieved having deposited some of your stress based, heated thoughts along the way.  Nature heals and love to do so as it is… her nature. Just know that nature provided you with a seamless cleaning service. Thanks Nature!

Go with your mind at peace – or as ‘peacey’ as you can get it transitioning from your hectic life into forest mode. It may take a while in nature to get a little peace but at least go with the intention of being at peace. That gives you a chance to connect with the fine energies arriving in your higher faculty – that live in nature. They live in the roots and tree canopy, in the little stream and and the cluster of mossy rocks that make the walking path curve to the right.
These forces know how to get right into your instinct and give you a hunch or a gut feeling.

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Photo by Amos G on Unsplash

 

So switch manufactured technology – like your phone – for the human technology – like the instinct and higher energy generations that come from associating yourself with the fine forest emanations.

Take a few photos – with your phone – so back at the office you can reconnect to the time you were more connected to you and then go offer that connected you to those around you.