Soul Workout – 2

Your soul loves its job. Your soul loves being your soul.

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This is the Red section. For lack of eloquence it can be plainly stated your Soul wants routine. It wants you to get stuff done so there is a sense of realization that can then be repeated. In the same action you get satisfaction. Your Red Art is to seek experience that delivers soul realization and personal satisfaction.

Find a way to make your seeking repeatable. And fun, intriguing, fruitful, inspiring. Find a way to share – other than Facebook. What are the many things you want to learn as a result of seeking for your soul.

Understand your Magnetic Strip. Like the black strip on your credit card that identifies your resources. What is your magnetic strip? What resources do you have because of your soul? What resources do you provide your soul? Like higher emotional content that is you wanting something greater than you. That can be in family or business or community.

Soul Workout – 1

Soul workout

Your soul loves its job. Your soul loves being your soul. It loves receiving the variety of information you deliver to it on daily and devotional levels.

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Cardio exercise for your soul is you reading an interesting book, creative writing, gardening, nature connection meditation.

There are myriad ways you can do soul body building. In fact there are five aspects of your soul that you can work with.

Here is the first. Let’s call it White. To feed White you will Seek what’s next. You will have vision for how to grow and generate your own opportunities. Read books. Ask questions. Listen to interesting people.

Inside of what you hear and read seek to understand the motivation of others as you develop and refine your vision for your soul experience.

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Question: what do I seek – for my soul/ as a man/ for my marriage?

Be sure to heed what your ego wants and what your devotional life is nudging you towards.

Habit, Routine and Ritual

Like a flower has roots, stem with leaves and the flower carrying seeds, our scale of Habit-Routine-Ritual is a structure for growth.

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Habits are the roots that connect us in daily life. Routines are the leaves that receive the light of today. Rituals are the flowers that are abundant with potential.

Habits are important because they are the foundation for growth. Routines are important because it is the stage that connects daily life with higher realms. Rituals are important because they are what makes us human. In your Rituals your human potential is enlivened by these higher powers. This higher source influences your sense of purpose thus creating the New You. The New You has greater clarity of vision and belief in human qualities that make their way into your habits and routines.

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This is the daily/devotional relationship that ends up being your personal religion. With active and true Habits, Routines and Rituals your personal religion will flow into your Rituals. Your Way will overflow into your routines and rain on your habits.

You Call It Self Care

I call it self love. Perhaps it is the same thing. Reading here may reveal we are on the same page or not. I would imagine we are.

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The Book of Self-care by Mary Beth Janssen can be found here: https://www.chapters.indigo.ca/en-ca/books/the-book-of-self-care/9781454926313-item.html. Exercises and activities are always useful to get from advice to action. So check out the ones in this book.

It is important to note that maintenance is not growth. Maintenance is the soil for the seed of the soul. You germinate your higher soul with your sense of self love. Self love grows into the light, the warmth and transformative qualities associated with it.

Discover and share the unique of others. Highlight and refine the unique of you.

Unique U.

As a natural act of appreciation a Hamilton, Ontario radio station is asking listeners to call in with the first name of a front line worker (nurse, doctor, police) they want to say thank you to. ‘Sue, who is a paramedic from St. Catherines – thank you!’ Great initiative: simple and inclusive to recognize professionalism and dedication.

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In these times of global worry what can we do to participate in societal protection and our communal recovery?

Like me if you are not working in a hospital or related services it can feel helpless to be confined at home. Although staying home is of great service to your family and all of the communities you are a part of so we don’t get sick or get others sick, it can feel passive.

What else can I do to help?

Seek the best in others. Offer the best of yourself.

Living without many of our daily habits, having our routines compressed or put on hold can put us on edge. Maybe you are taking care of and educating children. We can be impatient. Frustrated. Out of our element. Being limited by new health based protocols and regulations, that are for our own well being, can reveal we have to find new ways to live. Can we find topics of conversation so we are not accumulating fear by only focusing on the virus?

Yes! Go back to school. Enrol in Unique University. Unique U. is where we learn more about ourselves, others, marriage, parent roles, stages in life. We can learn jokes, new recipes, some Yoga, paint a picture, plant a few veggies in starter pots. We could get better at singing or realize what we already knew – that we will never be a good singer:)

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In the tutorials of Unique U. we are the student one moment and the teacher the next. Our emotions (daily / devotional) and human qualities are the curriculum. Seek the one-of-a-kind of each of us that can easily get lost in the rush and demands of daily life.

Offer to read out loud to someone an interesting few lines from a book and seek their perception about it. Seek to understand the ‘why’ of yesterday to offer better vision of the ‘how’ for tomorrow. Seek satisfaction for yourself to offer fulfillment to others.

This can help us update our beliefs about ourselves. Highlight that you are versatile, creative and resourceful. It can also remind us our family members are funny, quirky, spontaneous and caring.

The Seesaw

I’m pretty sure I’m not the only one who said ‘ok’ to the playground bully when he said, ‘Hey jump on’ to the other seat of the painted green wooden playground seesaw.

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This playground in front of the winter outdoor hockey rink (and summer tennis courts) also had the big swings that were awesome; you could pump your legs to swing so high. And then jump off at the peak of your follow through which was a good 15 feet above the ground. Way outta control!

There was the long metal slide that heated up to burning hot in the July afternoon sun. You couldn’t slide down without a serious leg burn.

So on this day the local buffoon convinced me to participate and now I am up in the air as he lifts his seat and bashes it back to the ground. This sends me flailing a foot above my seat. I hold onto the metal handle with all my ten year old might.

He laughs the asshole. He loves it. Again he bashes his seat down punctuated by his villainous cackle. Again my legs fly into the air. I’m bucking this green wooden bronco and wondering how to jump off as it looks like he is not going to let me off.

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Likewise the seesaw in relationships can generate a variety of emotions from elated to enraged. I am sure you know what I mean.

Let’s look at the fulcrum which is the part in the middle that is the balance point between the two extremes. According to the little drawing above one side is ‘Self’ and the other being ‘Love’ in our relationship seesaw.

Too much self at the expense of love means a person is in a relationship for personal gain. To feel loved with out offering love in return. Another imbalance is when we don’t love ourselves enough and submit our fulfillment to the satisfaction of our partner.

Somewhere in between the two is an ongoing sensitivity of give and take that looks to somehow feed both at the same time. So make yourself loveable and therefore, in your own way, attract love. Without negating this love you attract, your art is to seek out how to love another for the person they want to be.

The $12 Vacuum

Many a car’s mechanical problems can be related to how often you change the engine oil. The more often you change it the cleaner, the saying goes, it runs. Also it means the mechanic is rooting around under your hood to see or hear if something is wrong. Which not coincidentally generates more business for the garage. If in fact he finds something wrong then you are doing preventative maintenance which is almost always cheaper than repairs. Not only with cars but just about everything else.

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Take our vacuum for example. We bought it second hand because my wife’s experience is that you spend a $150 or usually more on a new vacuum and more likely than not it is giving you headaches within 6 months. Funny when I was growing up we had an emerald green Electrolux whose design was inspired by one of the characters in the canteen from the movie Star Wars. The thing lasted easily 15 years. Suction wasn’t great those last few years. That was still in the day of the vacuum bag that filled up and you had to toss. I think the whole thing was designed around selling vacuum bags because they weren’t very big and it was pretty awkward to empty them out and try and re-use.

Now our vacuum looks like son of Electrolux: turquoise with a mini body for the dirt receptacle. Nowadays we just empty out the dirt receptacle and keep going. And that is what the people who dropped it off at the donation centre where we bought it must have done because I fired it up and the smell as atrocious. A warm, old shoe bad smell filled our condo. Neither the previous guys nor the donation centre thought to clean the filter. Nor did I when I bought it:) So the filter got cleaned and boom the vacuum is awesome and is running to this day. I think it cost $12. No bags. No fuss.

I have seen the same thing happen with our sink, the fan above the stove, the drain in the shower: you have to clean out the filter to keep things running smoothly (and without a nasty smell.). The same applies to people. I remember in my early working days I didn’t have much money so I didn’t eat well. It didn’t help that I was single, living on my own with limited cooking experience. My home cooked food consisted of lots of toast and canned soup for dinner. Breakfast was a coffee and donut. Lunch would have included the occasional veggie. Whadaya know? I ended up in the clinic with an obstructed bowel. It was painful. Just knocked me out for a few days with no energy. No other symptoms. The doctor said I needed fibre which translates into leafy greens and colourful fruit. In other words I needed to unclog the drain or change the oil. I needed to clean my filter. Physically.

That has happened to me mentally as well. Where I need to learn a new concept about someone or something. As our two daughters get older I need to understand that I am not their only source of info and entertainment or decision making. I must realize they are moving through stages in life rapidly and I have to update myself at the same pace or risk making myself obsolete. It doesn’t mean letting them do everything they want and talking about every single meme they find on their phone. It just means be agile with my role as their dad.

With my wife I need to listen to her ever changing situation with menopause. I need to be confident in our connection and lovingly efficient in grasping where we are today. It’s not boring. I prefer it to a habitual life that is not challenging. I am not going to hold menopause against my wife – that would be stupid. There is no time or space to be acrimonious. I prefer to love and be loved. Loving the menopausal version of my wife means I need to have a good memory, want her to be healthy, be able to ride the roller coaster again and again without getting off. Woohoo!! Just be there for her. I am tall enough to ride that ride:)

I see it comes to updating what I want and what I believe. I want my wife to be happy. I believe our marriage is working. Some days it works like a Tesla model X – fast and curious. Other days it’s like a 1973 Westphalia camper van – lots of baggage and going pretty slow.

Photo by Vlad Tchompalov on Unsplash

Even Telsas have filters that need maintenance.

I find if I clean up the filter, be it the backlog of things my wife has asked me to do (throw out my good boxes cardboard goes I have piled up) or not to do (fall asleep on the couch) we do pretty well. Being in good physical shape and having some sense of your soul are other self tasks to keep things turning over.

When was the last time you cleaned your filter?