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16 December 2017 6 Comments

Holiday Blessings & Brief Message

Holiday Blessings & Brief Message

Holiday Blessings to you and yours!

I recorded a holiday message for your entertainment and health:

 

Here a a few images from selection of Madonnas I photographed last year. The range and scope of the images was fascinating, involving vastly different personalities and moods.

Sensual and Lovely

Protective & Bigger than Life

 

 

28 October 2017 4 Comments

Cell Phone Addiction. What Happens to Our Dreams?

Cell Phone Addiction. What Happens to Our Dreams?

We dream while we are awake, same as we do asleep, just as stars are in sky in the day, hidden by light. Thoughts and images of the outer mind, like light, distract us from our inner dreaming, in which lives: inspiration, insight, intuition, aspiration, what we are drawn to in our deepest selves, our guidance, what we are called to bring forth. These interior experiences give our lives meaning and shape our lives. They truly integrate us with the greater world; they connect us.

Meditative consciousness, deep feeling, unity with all life, our values . . . All pulse and breathe behind the scenes. When we are inundated from the outside we are unaware of them. They are inward aspects of our selves.

Our interiors anchor the pulse by which we know our own essence and realize our real selves. They do not thrive on the surface, in the noise. They arise TO the surface, often silently, often gently, through a stray image, an impulse, a feeling, a longing, a need—perhaps even through our discontent. When we sit with IMG_1255discontent, feel into it, we find ways to hold ourselves accountable for meaning in our lives. We find ways to inspire ourselves by discovering what matters to us truly, and feel our way, if blindly, into giving things that matter shape and form on our outsides, expression, perhaps even life direction.

How do you think cell phone addiction and Facebook addiction impact our ability to experience and breathe with these subtle and essential states, pathways, impulses, insights, and realizations?

What do you think happens when we are jolted at random by little alarms throughout the day, something beeping, buzzing, vibrating, demanding our attention regardless of our rhythms, focus of attention, productivity and flow?

What happens to our interior rhythms?
What happens to our access to ourselves?
What happens to the waves of our inner dreaming and what now washes up on the shores of our awareness?

What happens when sensationalistic fear-based news constantly demands action, time, money, feeling and attention without respect to what we have to give, and we’re not even sure all of it true?

Certainly we have a part in the causes of the world. If these causes are not our own—or even if they ARE our own—what happens when they are louder than our own inspiration and meaning, and begin to take the place of our inner worlds and dreaming?

We also may be jolted, alarmed, drawn in, called forth and asked to respond to those who text when they are out of balance, when they feel hurtful or want to bully others or damage relationships with gossip, when they boast, when they encounter difficult moments without first settling in to the deeper source of their essence or reaching into their hearts but instead reach for their phones—their need for love calling them to do so, but they broadcast the trivia of their egos and the toxins of reactive states instead of mutually connecting, for they have forgotten that they impact you.

What happens when we forget the breadth of our feelings, our bodies, and our breath and take what other people think as the measure of who we are?

If we begin to identify with our reactions to the superficial group mind, rather than taking meaning and purpose from our inner values, personal beliefs, integrity, sense of honor, chosen and cultivated values, and what we are drawn to love, the opinions and reactions of multiple people begin to displace Presence and self awareness. What happens to conscience?

When contact with others is virtual, how do you come to understand real results?
What happens to your ability to perceive your environment, to partake in the beauty of nature, and to experience joy without reason?

The trend is to make our inner world, our dreams and the people right in front of us less important than whatever comes to us electronically. What comes of this?

It starts because initially, those who can reach us are the ones who are most important to us. Then the related behaviors become habitual.
What results from constantly favoring the immediacy of an electronic contact over the people and environment around us?

If fast-food-style connection substitutes for realtime relating, and we lose touch with our depths, what happens to our capacity for soul-to-soul contact?

What begins as more easily connecting can create a riveting preference when the immediacy of it and the habits it creates make it mechanical, compelling, and often irrelevant or even destructive to what we value more.

Ironically, the more desperately one turns to multiple contacts through electronics, seeking connection, the more disconnected one often becomes.

It takes a sense of self to feel connected and allow love in.

 

Someone sent me this quote after this blog was published:

Albert Einstein: 

“I fear the day when the technology overlaps with our humanity.

The world will only have a generation of idiots.”

25 January 2017 0 Comments

Managing Unwelcome Changes by Creating Values, Purpose & Self Care

Managing Unwelcome Changes by Creating Values, Purpose & Self Care

World changes that offend our sensibilities and values can overwhelm our ability to adapt, leaving us with diminished vitality and weakening immune responses. Current energies and world changes are bringing up a sense of being wounded, overwhelmed, out of control, powerless, and/or hopeless for a lot of people. Last night one of the strongest, clearest people I know said he wanted to hide under a blanket.

When we get overwhelmed, confused about our values, or depleted, organizing moment-to-moment activities often becomes difficult. Retirement can also cast one into the odd mire of not knowing how to organize one’s time, activities and priorities. No matter how it comes about, not being sure what to give value to takes the wind out of our sails.

Meaning, purpose, and motivation are enlivening and energizing. They give life rhythm. They are intimately related to our values.

An inner call to live out and actualize our values and ideals contributes to overwhelm. We feel we must DO something but are not sure what to do, where or how much to give, or how to make a difference. Reconsidering values brings up conflicts that challenge or alters our concepts about ourselves. This takes a great deal of energy. It is important at such junctures to step back before we step forward, to consider whether or not any particular action calls to us or has our name on it. Once we detach a bit it is easier to sense whether or not we are truly called to any specific action.

Not having a sense of what truly matters to us or how to move forward is debilitating. Our energy cannot rally. Uncertainty is tiring.

Uncertainty can make it hard to organize ourselves to do anything, to stay well, or to recover from illness. When we are overwhelmed or cannot find a clear sense of how to move forward into life, returning to foundational self care is essential. We need a manageable, concrete priority. Self care is an excellent priority. Intensifying self care can serve as a temporary goal.

Learning to be kind to one’s self is healing. I am not talking about indulgence, although healthy pleasures can be kind. I am talking about the types of kindness that don’t have a backlash. Here are a few examples:

Find and feel into any places inside that hurt. Accept the sensations and emotions you encounter by allowing that they are there instead of IMG_7516rejecting them. Intentionally breathe tender compassion and love into those places, feeling them, yet gradually filling the body and heart areas they occupy with kindness and gentleness.

Nurture yourself with the clear intention of making yourself feel better, not by numbing or distracting, but by building yourself up with excellent nutrients and kindness.

—Don’t force yourself—invite. Alternate doing things that will improve your conditions, however small, with rest, nourishment, and gentle exercise.

Lie on the floor and stretch a bit.
Walk: It puts your body in rhythm, which is strengthening and reduces stress.

Face losses squarely and grieve if you need to. Sometimes creating a loss that you can control is therapeutic. Getting rid of something that is broken and can’t be fixed, throwing out a plant that cannot thrive, cutting down a sick tree, or giving clothes you don’t wear to charity are ways to concretize a sense of loss—constructively. Constructive loss allows us an avenue to move though our feelings and opens the way for something new.

Create rhythm in your life by keeping some activities steady and consistent, at the same time every day or week. This may sound boring but it is an antidote to chaos and overwhelm. Rhythm helps us to keep moving instead of becoming further overwhelmed by having to determine what to do all over again. Rhythm can make the difference between being productive and feeling stuck.

Here are additional suggestions for creating a short-term sense of purpose to give you focus, rhythm and organization when you don’t know what to do or you’re going through transitions:

Aim to give yourself a clear focus with a strong priority. Pick something possible now, as a spacer until you can deal with the longer term.

Clear the decks so your life is smooth and things are open when you get busy down the line. Do the things you have been putting off. This can bring relief and make you feel virtuous. Get rid of anything that doesn’t serve you in your ongoing.

Face anything you can finally finish. Confronting and removing the obstacles brings a sense of completion. It makes us feel stronger and more clear. These can be small things like straightening out a billing issue, returning a product, working through piles of paper, or doing the laundry. Taking on the ordinariness of these tasks can help us feel unstuck and provide a sense of continuity. We can give them meaning by noticing that it is a kindness to ourselves to reduce our sense of burden and overwhelm in any small way we can.

If you can manage it, identify something you have been wanting to do for a long time but have not been able to get to. It could be a project around the home, an online training you paid for but did not view, or digging a garden plot. Make this project a priority. Welcome the activity as a way to organize yourself.

Which of these interventions speak to you at this point in time?

22 September 2016 4 Comments

Travel Experiences 1: Travel Can Be Intense

Travel Experiences 1: Travel Can Be Intense

Sorry for dropping of the map for the last few weeks. I didn’t realize how much recovery time I would need upon my return.

The next few blogs take place in the context of recent travel.

Travel is considered expansive. Awareness stimulated by new experiences expands us as we open to embrace additional insight and inspiration. We have an opportunity to drop or relax habits and habitual viewpoints, p1010336duties, personality traits, and activities we normally identify with and carry along though daily life. Viewing our usual orientation as irrelevant creates room for expansion. At the same time, our focus of attention may simultaneously contract as visiting interesting locations for short periods of time rivets attention on the immediate environment.

When I travel I am keenly aware that I will probably never pass this way again, sharpening my focus within the moment and making simple things precious. This local focus enfolds everything around me. It sometimes includes where I initiated my day and where I am headed. During the most salient moments, whether or not they are pleasurable, my world consists of what I experience around me and my trajectory through it.

Ideally we would live in the moment most of time during daily life as well, bringing attention fully forward into the immediacy of life. Our capacity for attention tends to fall asleep among the people and things we see daily. We may substitute what we think we know about people and situations for actually interacting with who they truly are in the moment. We also tend to take for granted that we will be here tomorrow, but we may not.

Foreign travel vigorously challenges assumptions. Without language and prior experience as sources of understanding, we must open to What Is and take nothing for granted. We have to find out how to get places, what a bus stop looks like, what a coin or bill is worth, whether to tip, where to buy a ticket, how to find acceptable food, and so forth. This takes a lot of energy. It can be invigorating or harrowing, depending how we manage our self care, and what the universe throws our way.

Seeking new ways to meet our needs and negotiating unfamiliar terrain causes us to interface with life at a lot more seemingly-random points of contact, meeting more people. Many of these people are also in motion. Liberated from our usual contacts, we are more available for interaction. When we are in motion it’s as if the world is a huge pinball machine and we are one of the balls, bouncing around and available to intersect with others in seemingly-random yet cosmically-ordained timing.

Travel can make immediate and direct the reflections life throws back to us. Our points of contact can be invitations to experiment with what how we want to be as we explore new feedback from the people in our environment. To some extent we can re-create who we are in a new place. The reflections we receive are not predicated on past impressions from former interactions. The reflections we receive from others are thus more direct.

Intensive travel, where we throw ourselves into full engagement with a larger slice of the world, is not the same as a vacation. It is not always comfortable. Full immersion in a foreign environment is not about relaxing, escaping responsibility, or luxuriating, although these may occasionally occur. Intensive travel is active, vulnerable, and demanding. Recovery time can be required afterward.

To what style of travel are you primarily drawn?

What values do you or would you support through this selection?

13 August 2016 6 Comments

Dealing with External Energies, Part 4: The Role of Clarity & Discernment

Dealing with External Energies, Part 4: The Role of Clarity & Discernment

In the last post I introduced the project of becoming transparent to unwholesome energies and influences to prevent taking on external energies. Let’s now explore the skills that support transparency: Clarity and discernment. Contemplating these rather abstract words makes it easier to access the parts of ourselves that can actively apply these gifts in daily life.

Discernment is the ability of the mind to perceive differences between things without cloudiness or obstruction. Clarity is a state of Being that allows light and insight to penetrate and pass through you.

Understand that clarity and discernment are not just something you HAVE or LACK. They are skills we cultivate with practice, and they contribute to success in every life arena.

Clarity is similar to transparency. The word clarity implies perception and intelligibility. Clarity is coherent—whole. Transparency is open and free from pretense. I am using the word transparency with respect to letting energy come though without sticking, and the word clarity to refer to your interior state.

Note that when you put on pretenses, your energy changes. It becomes kind of clumpy and inconsistent, and you will be far more likely to pick up external energies than you are in your authentic state.

Clarity:

  • Implies the peace that comes when we are not entangled
  • Allows light and energy to pass through
  • Is a prerequisite for discernment
  • Supports accuracy of inner vision
  • Aids in general effectiveness and personal mastery

Clarity is an extraordinary asset that contributes directly to all business and personal affairs.

Clarity is not an across-the-board attribute. One may be clear in some contexts or states of mind and muddy in others. As we explored in the Inner Work series [link], our level of over-all clarity exists in direct relationship to our ability to integrate inner wounds. Blind spots caused by wounds bias vision and response. Some of the most dangerous people identify themselves as being very clear because they are intelligent, discerning, and take bold action, while blind spots the size of Texas inform some of their motivations.

Discernment:
When it comes to accurate perception and energy protection it is quite useful to be able to tell the difference between (for instance) your anger, someone else’s anger, anger from a third party impacting you, irritation from liver overload, suppressed helplessness or grief hiding under anger, and numerous subtle influences that feel similar.

You need to have a clear inner mirror or remarkable detachment to discern and sort out external influences. At least you need to know which smudges were already on your mirror when you begin sorting things out. Self-awareness is essential.

You may think you don’t need to know the difference between various inputs like the example above unless you’re doing advanced healing or guidance work. If you think about it you’ll realize that being able to tell yourself apart from assorted external influences and knowing what drives you is integral to being awake and aware. It also contributes to happiness. Being confused is a drag.

Positive thinking without discernment is not necessarily an asset. Note, for example, the way someone who views power as abusive and themselves as powerless uses power abusively. This person does not need to THINK to create the sense of abuse. He or she can repeat positive surface thoughts ‘til the cows come home and as long as the inner wound is screaming out energy, emotional reactions will trump any new soundtrack grafted over the top. Substituting surface dressing for self-awareness is not ultimately positive. Positive thinking is a wonderful tool when combined with Inner Work.

Bottom line: There are many types of energy and many reasons for susceptibility. Energy protection is often approached as a simple one-size-fits-all technique. Such techniques offer partial protection or Band-Aid approaches, some of which have undesirable side effects. These techniques may be useful or essential in the short term. In the long run ongoing application of clarity, discernment, good boundaries, and Inner Work lead to profound benefit and develop natural immunity to unwholesome energies. This is an ongoing and rewarding process.

Did you ever notice that the clearer you feel the more safe you feel? What do you notice about the relationship between pretenses and your feeling of safety?
Tell us your favorite practices for energy protection.

6 August 2016 10 Comments

Dealing with External Energies, Part 3: Transparency as a Key to Energy Protection

Dealing with External Energies, Part 3: Transparency as a Key to Energy Protection

Transparency, in the context of energy, means letting energy pass right through you without sticking. Transparency is essential because it provides a way to interface with someone’s energy without cutting yourself off from the other person or taking on their energy. This skill is especially valuable in work or play that involves touch, such as healing or dance. Without this skill you either take on energy from others or wall them out and block your own flows.

I once won the respect and gratefulness of a chiropractor who had been suffering for years from almost-debilitating hand and foot pain. I noticed energy blockage when I saw him work and asked him what was going on. He told me he had been using specific visualizations to block clients’ energy from coming into his hands or entering through his feet. He learned this technique from someone who was teaching it to practitioners. Somehow I managed to correct this condition about five minutes. His pain went away completely and did not come back. He called and emailed his gratitude several times over the next six months.

In order to pick up energy from someone you have to be in some sort of relationship with that specific energy, just as an argument takes two parties. Your role may be minimal, but must exist for energy to transfer.
I go into details about why this occurs in my book. [link]

Blocking yourself off doesn’t work well. If it does keep energy from coming in, it also blocks your most direct source of feedback about yourself. The way your energy interacts with external energy provides powerful and precious feedback—guidance. Personal cultivation is greatly aided by staying open to the mirroring that occurs between our personal experience and the rest of life. Awareness and intelligent response are the high road. Protection may be necessary under specific conditions, but personal cultivation and mastery are more much more meaningful in the long run.

Dealing with personal issues is the one most effective way to enhance energy safety. This is why I write about addressing inner wounds. Inner cultivation with respect to these wounds is critically important and frequently overlooked in self-development programs.

Profound self-knowledge is an essential precondition when it comes to accurately discerning energy influences. We cannot be clear about what is going on externally when we are adding our own issues into the mix. Lucid discernment of energy depends on having a clear baseline. Self-knowledge and personal clarity provide this baseline.

When we get confused about which energies and emotions belong inside versus which do not, we lose clarity. Energies that do not belong with us compromise our transparency like a log in a river gathers debris.

Learning to become transparent to influences that might undermine wellbeing keeps us safe from taking on energies that do not serve us. Transparency also enhances our ability to discern between different types of influences. The self-development work necessary to learn to do this improves every aspect of daily and work life.

We’ll go into more detail about clarity and discernment in the next post.

What have YOU noticed about blocking energy as a means of protection?
How do you feel in relation to other people when you wall them off?

3 June 2016 5 Comments

Manage Your Energy Part 84: “Can You Tell What I Am Thinking?” Ethics & Intuition

Manage Your Energy Part 84: “Can You Tell What I Am Thinking?” Ethics & Intuition

A housecleaner was leaving my home after his second visit. At the door, we were conversing about whether or not to reschedule. I said, “To be perfectly frank, I like your work and feel you are reliable, but I need to adjust to you being in the house. You have really big energy, and I find myself having trouble concentrating. Perhaps I can do errands when you’re here. Of course I couldn’t do that the first time, but now that you know the house, something like that could work.” 

“Can you tell what I am thinking?” he asked, suddenly and baldly. I smiled and he went on: “I mean, I suppose I do notice energy to some extent—but I’m used to being around people who don’t notice that type Version 2of thing.”

“I get the impression,” I said gently, “that you have had some experience of being invaded by other people.”

“Oh yes! When haven’t I been invaded?!”

“Lots of us have that experience. It’s more normal than you would think. Take, for example, being a teenager and coming home two hours after curfew. You put your hand on the door and most people know at that point who is awake and whether or not they are in trouble. That’s feeling energy.”

“Sure. I did that.”

“It sounds like you are fairly sensitive to energy.”

“I think I may be, but I haven’t really thought about it that much, and I’m not sure I always know what I’m noticing.”

“My friend who was visiting today scanned you when you came in. I think that may have made you uncomfortable.” He shifted around on his feet. “She’s young yet, and doesn’t realize that it’s invasive to scan someone. Here’s how it works: Some things are in the public space and some are in private space. It’s okay to ‘read’ anything someone puts into the public mind-space. It’s not okay to go into their private mind-space without permission.”

He was looking at me, engaged, taking it in.

“Say you are sitting at a table reading a newspaper. If I walk by and I see the major headlines on the outside, that’s normal and acceptable. I may notice but not really try to read the fairly large headings. I do not sit down or bend over and read the articles. It is a violation for me to come around to the side of the paper you are on and read things without your permission. That is how it works. So: I don’t really pay any attention to what you are thinking. It’s not my business—and it takes work to read it.”

The housecleaner looked relieved and we went on to handle scheduling.

I found the encounter interesting because he was forthright about what he needed to know, and asked directly. For every one like him there are likely to be thirty who will not know how to ask, and a few hundred to whom the concept doesn’t even occur, or who shut down their thoughts and feelings about it before they become aware of them.

How do YOU feel when someone scans you?

If you scan other people, do you use any ethical or practical guidelines?

Do you believe that there is or should be an ethic about scanning other people?

If so, what feels right to you and why?

Here’s an old joke: Two psychics were walking down the street. They stopped, smiled, looked one another up and down, and one said, “You’re fine! How am I?”

25 February 2016 0 Comments

The Relative Value of Religious or Spiritual Practice

The Relative Value of Religious or Spiritual Practice

This excellent quote on the relative value of religious or practice nicely summarizes the theme of my last few posts:

“Often the aspirant is concerned in the early phases of his awakening by his attitude towards established religions and their rituals. All of these have a tendency to encourage the spirit of love and worship, and as such they help to a limited extent in wearing out the ego-shell in which human consciousness is caught.  But if they are followed unintelligently and mechanically, the inner spirit of love and worship dries up.  Then they harden the ego-shell instead of wearing it out.

Rituals and ceremonies cannot carry one very far towards the path, and if they are unintelligently followed they bind as much as any other unintelligent action.  In fact, when they are deprived of all inner life they are in a sense more dangerous than other unintelligent action, Version 2because they are pursued in the belief that they help towards God-realization.” ~Meher Baba.

Steady and consistent practice of a discipline has multiple advantages in creating rhythm, momentum, focus, and depth. It can form positive neural networks that persist and assist us for extended periods of time.

The quote is not intended to discourage spiritual practice, but to point out that awareness, engaged personal expression, and open, intelligent application are essential elements.

Whether a particular action or mindset serves development depends upon where we are along the path. Intelligently engaged action furthers. Taking an aware and intentional breath in the line at the grocery store furthers Awakening more than habitual, unengaged spiritual or religious practice. Fully engaged, Present practice aids development significantly.

The benefits of religious or spiritual practice depend as much upon how we bring ourselves to it as on the particulars of the practice. It could be argued that one action, engaged with Presence, has no greater or lesser merit than another, except as a personal preference. This is more true in abstract theory than in practice. In life, learning to engage ways that express our own Highest Option in the particular moment at hand is ideal. Doing so is a function of inner Guidance.

Have YOU ever felt that the way you are approaching religion or spirituality was keeping you asleep instead of waking you up?

Did you find a more alive and satisfying way to bring yourself to it, or move on to something else?

12 February 2016 5 Comments

What is Genuine Love?

What is Genuine Love?

“How few understand what love really is, and how it arises in the human heart. It is so frequently equated with good feelings toward others, with benevolence or nonviolence or service.  But these things in IMG_0108themselves are not love.  Love springs from awareness.  It is only inasmuch as you see someone as he or she really is here and how and not as they are in your memory or your desire or in your imagination or projection that you can truly love them, otherwise it is not the person that you love but the idea that you have formed of this person, or this person as the object of your desire not as he or she is in themselves.

“The first act of love is to see this person or this object, this reality as it truly is. And this involves the enormous discipline of dropping your desires, your prejudices, your memories, your projections, your selective way of looking . . . a discipline so great that most people would rather plunge headlong into good actions and service than submit to the burning fire of this asceticism. When you set out to serve someone whom you have not taken the trouble to see, are you meeting that person’s need or your own?” ~ Father Anthony de Mello

Contrast this understanding of genuine love with your conditioning about what it means to be loving.

What do you discover about yourself?

5 February 2016 0 Comments

Corrective Insights About Being “Religious” Post

Corrective Insights About Being “Religious” Post

A friend wrote the commentary, below, on my last post, and another friend shared an insight about the topic. I appreciate and welcome these loving and expansive viewpoints, and would like to share them:

“My religious conservative family in Arkansas and many conservatives I know abhor the word spiritual. It has been constructed as the other, much like the word liberal. Folks like this would say they are religious (period) and are offended by the term spiritual (again, think liberal). To the religious, there are specific forms of practice and these forms are required to be called a person of faith.

I grew up in that world. It worked well for me when it worked, and there came a time in my life when everything I had been taught fell apart. But for the rest of my family, it did not fall apart for them. It still works and be careful, because they have experiences of their faith. Experiences, just like Sufis have.IMG_0261 So you cannot divide believers from mystics around experiences. They both have experiences of their faith but they come to them through different means. Both are valid, even if I do not understand how it works for others who are not like me.”

Since thought and insight cannot themselves be Truth—which is ineffable and cannot be rendered into words—every insight opens itself to what is called “a corrective.” A corrective is another insight or truth that does not diminish the first, but augments and modifies it in an important ways, increasing perspective.

It was my intention to stimulate inquiry into the way rigidity of thought can make us uncomfortable directly exploring the Greater Whole. I like my friend’s comment because it makes my own thinking more flexible and comprehensive. It decreases the inadvertent “other” in my previous post.

A few reflections:

—Hypocrisy comes in both spiritual and religious flavors, as do all human issues.
—Superficiality and rigidity have many different types of packaging.
—Dedication to depth and direct exploration of personal experience are more likely to lead to growth than hand-me-down beliefs we do not actively engage through life experience, no matter what we label our experiences or call our belief systems.
—Either/or thinking limits us and exacerbates “other.”
—When there is an “other” group, each group is likely to project what we don’t like in our own group onto the “other,” just as individuals project inner material that is difficult to own onto other people.

The second friend with whom I discussed my last post shared another valuable insight. He said that some people who become “religious,” in the sense of having a rigid and codified way of managing reality, have emerged into this way of being only after living in unmanageable chaos. In this case, sorting reality into manageable categories is a big life improvement. This is one reason people may go from drugs to Jesus.

It is important to allow our beliefs to be flexible, to reach for experience, and to allow our experience to change as our hearts continue to unfold. Then again, we can only start where we are. Rigidity may compensate for fear, overwhelm, uncertainty, or shame.

Behavior and ways of thinking that are an advantage for some are severely limiting for others. The hermit crab needs a shell that is not too cramped and not too big to get around and stay safe. We are like hermit crabs in the way we view and take on life. We cast off beliefs that are too tight and take on the next bigger size, only to jettison that one as we continue to grow.

Whatever perspective we maintain, broadening it is of spiritual benefit—but we can only do that when and as we are able to do so and remain relatively stabile. Maintaining compassion is more important than maintaining any particular point of view.

When you are set in a particular view, what makes that view resistant to change?

How is this resistance structured inside you?