Category Archives: Lifestyle

My Favorite Bob Proctor Quotes

I could listen to this guy 24×7. There’s almost nothing this guy says that doesn’t “Light Me Up.” And by the way, that’s a very simple, yet enormously effective way of discerning your Dharma and following your bliss. Start to notice the things in your life that “Light You Up.” Those are clues, the keys, the signs showing your the way as to why you are here.

  • In absence of clearly-defined Goals, we become strangely loyal to performing daily trivia, until ultimately we become enslaved by it.”
    [Youtube Link to Bob saying it] – {Actually this quote is from Robert Heinlein, but I hear Bob say it so much as part of his talks, and it resonates with me so much in terms of changing your Psychology as to what is the centerpiece of your life.}

The Essence of the Marie Kondo KonMarie Decluttering Philosopy

“When you pick up an item, feel it and think, ‘Does this make my heart skip a beat?'” – KonMarie, [Youtube Video Link]

“In the KonMari Method even the contents of a drawer that is hidden away should spark joy in you.” – [12:08 Mark in NHK Video]

“It is very important to choose what you want to keep rather than what you want to throw away in tidying.”  – [10:36 mark in NHK Video]

“The Goal of my tidying method is not just to reduce what’s in a room and remove clutter. My criterion is whether or not, you, as its occupant are comfortable being in that room.”
– [2:42 minute mark in this Video Link]

“Keep only things that bring joy,” she writes. The rest should be thanked and then discarded. – The Japan Times

“Anything doesn’t make you feel happy, get rid of.”  – Marie Kondo, [Youtube Link]

“If you’re not sure, ask yourself if it’s suitable for you. Does it create the image you have of yourself? No? Look back over the memories you shared with it and say, ‘Thank you.’ You’ll end up with only the items you really like.” – Marie Kondo, [Youtube Link]

“It’s paradoxical, but I believe that precisely because we hang on to such materials, we fail to put what we learn into practice.” – pg. 101 “The Life-Changing magic of tidying up”

It may seem rather drastic, but I’m convinced that letting go, at least once, of anything that doesn’t bring you joy is the ultimate way to experience what it’s like to surround yourself only with things that do bring you joy.
“It might come in handy.” Believe me, it never will. You can always manage without it.
– pg. 21, “Spark Joy”

The Key That Makes the KonMarie Method Work Better than Others

The Indians addressed life as a ‘thou.’ I mean trees, stones, and everything else. You can address anything as a “thou,” and you can feel the change in your psychology as you do it. – Joseph Campbell The Power of Myth, Ep. 3, The First Story Tellers, 25m 32s

Holding an old pair of Eddie Bauer Khakis, asking not just my conscious mind, but also my “feeling body,” whether they “spark joy,” I suddenly realized that this method allows you to take the time, that it puts you in another state of mind. I walked into my closet, just now, on about “Day 3” of  my “KonMarieing” adventure, and that’s the exact thought that popped into my head along with a very calm, opening of the heart feeling:

“It allows you to take your time. It puts you in another state of mind.”

I think this is the key why this method works whereas many others don’t.

We’re so used to rushing in every area of our lives: making appointments, phone calls, paying bills, getting this or that done by the end of the week or month. It puts a stress on the subconscious, on the soul.

And you would think that a project like “decluttering” would also demand such a sense of rushing and stress. And when I first started, I found myself almost spontaneously trying to rush, thinking,  “Oh I’ve got to get this row of clothes done in the next hour!”

But here’s the special key: Hoarding is a psychological problem, not a time one.

So the part of her program where you actually hold each and every item allows you to slow down and bring calmness into the picture. It becomes a ritual. Your spirit is invited to the party. A transformation of consciousness occurs. This is the essence of a ritual. And a ritual like this, one that’s sincere and from the heart, allows the hoarder to break the psychological bond. And that’s freedom.

You can feel it.

Although not large, the space I live in is graced only with those things that speak to my heart. My life-style brings me joy.    – KonMarie, “The life-changing magic of tidying up,” pg. 31

What Marie Kondo Means by Spark Joy

“You can also define things that spark joy as things that make you happy.” – Marie Kondo, “Spark Joy,” pg. 82

“It is very important to choose what you want to keep rather than what you want to throw away in tidying. In other words, you choose from what’s in your house things that you feel happy to keep, things that you can cherish, and things that strike your fancy. That’s what it means to choose what ‘sparks joy in you.'” – KonMari [10:36 Mark in NHK Video]

I finished reading “The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up.”

Well, actually I finished reading it last year, and now, everytime I walk into my closet, I say, “Tomorrow, I’m gonna start!” That’s been going on for a few months.

But today I’ve really started! I’ve just finished filling two garbage bags. But now I’m becoming just a little hesitant, losing a little confidence. A lot of things are easy: Jeans, socks, and sweaters with holes.

Some things caused me to hesitate: There was a long sleeve, rugged, thick shirt perfect for cold days. In fine condition. I paused. But the fact is, it doesn’t bring me any joy. It’s not my color. It’s not embarrassing to wear, but it is a little on the “kids” side of things, if you know what I mean. The style isn’t very adult. So I held it, thanked it for its years of service, and into the trash bag it went. It’ll keep someone else warm this winter. Or the next.

But I’m still hesitating. After two bags, I wondered if there would be anything left in my closet to wear! I wondered if I should go up to Barnes & Noble and buy her latest book “Spark Joy” to get back in the spirit of things. Even though I hate to lose my momentum, I remember that when I was engrossed in her book, one day something clicked in my mind, I and understood it in my soul. (I’m holding her book now and its radiating great energy!)

I also did a little googling. The first thing that came up was this LA Times Article. I think it provides a good summary. I’m going to quote one thing that they actually quoted from her book:

“[Hold the item] firmly in both hands as if communing with it. Pay close attention to how your body responds…. When something sparks joy, you should feel a little thrill,” Kondo says. Conversely, something that doesn’t elicit joy creates a sensation of heaviness. – Bonnie McCarthy, The Los Angeles Times Home

When I was thinking of going to Barnes and then decided maybe to get the Kindle version, I read some reviews. One guy’s review had some good things in it that I will quote:

In a nutshell, the konmari method involves getting rid of anything in your life that doesn’t spark joy. Starting with clothes, you go through each item and decide what stays or goes based on whether or not it sparks joy when you hold it. Joy is the only criterion: ‘If it makes you happy, then the right choice is to keep it confidently, regardless of what anyone else says.’ – Moi Surtout – from Amazon Review for “Spark Joy

See, just doing this is starting to get me back into the spirit. Clothes are interesting, and definitely the best place to start. Does this bring me joy to wear this? Does this make me feel good to wear this? Most of the time with clothes, at least, it has to do with their age. They’re faded, out-dated, or have holes. They’ve lost that “luster.” But that value isn’t always the criterion: I remember a very special T-Shirt that Marie described in her book. It was old. It was maybe considered childish by others. But she loved it, and still loves it. She loves to wear it when she’s at home relaxing alone. It’s one of her favorite things: So she keeps it. I have a similar relationship with a blue Adidas sweat suit: Thing must be almost 20 years old, but no other sweat suit has ever fit me so perfect and felt so good exercising in. I love it. I totally love it!

Try to get the voices of other people out of your head, when you are deciding whether to throw something out. And ask yourself, “Does this make me happy? Does this give me joy to have in my life?”

The answer will be spontaneous.

Meditation: A Guide, Resource, and Encouragement

“The highest form of human intelligence is to observe yourself without judgment.

~ Jiddu Krishnamurti

I think about meditation a lot, and even as I write this, I realize the irony of that statement. Still, even after a long practice, one can become “jaded” and pretty soon even your meditation sessions can come to seem like a “routine.” And that’s very ironic indeed, because if there’s anything I feel that meditation is, it’s a way or tool to break out of monotony and open out to an adventure.

So, whenever I hear or read a fresh way of describing meditation, what it is or how to do it, I thought I’d start keeping a repository in a blog post. These “fresh” ways of putting it tend to break that monotonous hold that sometimes creeps in, and gives me a fresh shot of encouragement.

“I find that I can actually get my mind to stop talking for 30 minutes…and i’m finding that it’s addicting.” – @serenadyer

“There’s only one wrong way to #meditate, and that is if you think there’s any effort involved.” – @DeepakChopra

‘Flow’ is our essential state when it’s not overwhelmed by the mind. – @DeepakChopra  #Meditation

#Meditation is a process where you allow things to happen.” –@DeepakChopra

 

On Ego, What it Is, What it Does, and How to Cure It

“Because the conscious mind has to be in control, even though it doesn’t know anything.” – Dolores Cannon [Youtube Link]

I’ve heard Dolores say in other interviews that the Conscious Mind is the Ego. That makes the definition pretty simple. If that is the case then the cure would seem to be spending more time with the sub/unconscious parts of our psyches, paying it more respect, i.e., meditation, having the intent to remember and write down your dreams, and respecting the images and messages coming from that deep well. – Stephen

I’ve been thinking a lot about this lately. This post is definitely under construction. It may be so indefinitely. The main reason is: I have a strong sense that Ego is our main problem in life. Ego has hijacked our Consciousness, and it won’t let us be happy. It doesn’t want us to be happy.

But here’s the rub and the reason I created this post: I don’t know why, nor do I know exactly what it is, or how to get rid of it.

The few times in my life that I’ve really meditated, and carried on a sustained practice, it does seem like that exercise had a positive effect on reducing it, much like working out at the gym burns fat.

But somehow the Ego itself, being still in control, seems to stop me in my tracks from doing such things as meditating, anything that would threaten it’s existence. Since it has hijacked and controls the brain it accomplishes this behaviourial control by releasing negative feelings around anything it doesn’t want you to do. Anything that would help you escape from it.

Still, I don’t know what it, Ego, is, exactly. I’m hoping that writing itself, you know how writing is a way of learning, will help me arrive at an answer. If you have any thoughts on this subject, then I would love to hear them in comments.

It occurred to me today that we weren’t born with Ego. It feels like Society somehow injects us with “Ego” little by little, as we grow older, and we don’t notice it, much like we don’t notice our day to day aging, until one day we wake up and our consciousness has changed. The wonderous feeling we had about life as children has disentegrated.

The myths and fairytales, in their picture language, seem to be saying, in an over arching theme that the cosmic or natural energies can’t get through to our consciousness, that they’re being blocked by something. And that if we were to remove the obstruction, those energies would automatically carry us to our destiny. It certainly feels like the Ego is that blockage. So the question becomes, how do we in our modern lives remove that blockage? Certainly the picture language of Myth and Fairy-Tales seem to have a metaphorical answer. As time goes on and things come to me, either through my meditation practice, or reading Myths and Fairytales, themselves, or people like Joseph Campbell and Deepak Chopra, among others, I’ll add to this post. This post may get really long! So what? I do think the answer to this question is the central realization of our lives: To Be or Not to Be? It seems to almost come down to this binary, “Quantum” type answer: Either you’re living your destiny or you’re not.

Ok, since this post is just about writing down the ideas that come to me, that feel true, I’ll start with this:

  • Ego is the sense, the feeling, the belief, that you are separate from the World, the Universe, Nature, everyone and everything around you.

That statement came out of me a few months ago, seemed to come from my “archetypal” self. It felt true when it came out, and although I’m not “feeling” it now, I do remember it, and I want to write it down, so I can refer back to it. That’s good. That’s a start. But it still doesn’t tell me what to ‘do’ about it, how to cure myself from it. Well, I’m gonna ponder this, and hopefully I’ll come back to this post with some more ideas, if not answers.

Update: June 1, 2013.

  • “It’s a mode of existing, it’s a way of existing that sets God apart from anything else”

I just saw this in a lecture about Infinity that the World Science Festival produced last night. It’s talking about ‘Qualitative’ infinity as opposed to ‘Quantitative’ Infinity, an idea that apparently came from Aquinas. This idea of ‘Qualitative’ Infinity as a ‘Way’ of existing produces images in my brain of Purity which strikes me as the opposite or even the ‘Antidote’ to the problem mentioned above of some kind of blockage. A “Pure” connection is unblocked. So how does it relate to this article? It almost seems in this sense that ‘God’ is anyone or anything who is existing in ‘pure being.’ Ego is a psychological ‘impurity.’ So it could be that ‘God’ is simply any ‘being’ that is existing without Ego or any other kind of impurity. That’s a fascinating concept.

http://new.livestream.com/WorldScienceFestival/InfinityEvent/videos/20260843 – (That quote and the talk of the Theologian where I heard it starts at about the 13:22 mark of the video on the page of this link.)