Playground Trash | On Judgement and Acceptance of Other

I visit the neighborhood playground at least twice a week to do pullups and on my daily walks. What I often find is trash strewn about the playground. Empty bottles, tops removed. Styrofoam with half eaten chicken. Junk food wrappers. Plastic bags wind wrapped around metal playground poles. A mess!

At first, my reaction each time has been somewhere in the vicinity of, “these trashy people”, “these people have no respect”, “didn’t their mother teach them better”, “this is why we cant have nice things”, etc…JUDGEMENT!

Here I am on my high horse, picking up the playground and patting myself on the back for being so pious. As I pick up the trash I devote the action to Gaia and feel the satisfaction of my actions affirming life. A difference is apparent. Between my righteous actions and the actions of these disrespectful people.

Questions emerge. Do these humans really know better? If they didn’t, then how can they be blamed? If they did, and littered anyway, isn’t there some other distortion guiding their action? What if this is just the level if consciousness that they’re at?

What if there’s no action or person to judge? Can I see in their actions myself? Yes. I’m no saint. I’ve littered. Been careless. Know what it’s like to assume in youthful arrogance that my mess is someone else’s problem.

Then an evolution in perception occurs. The difference between us shrinks. All of the sudden, there is no “they”. I see me, what I’m capable of. What I have the choice to do or not do. I see that a person’s actions are the outward manifestation of their level of consciousness. There can be no other way.

All the grotesque and vile behavior, from my judgement, just is. It’s where the person is at. If these people felt connection with Gaia, symbiosis with the ecosystem, understood the complexity of our systems and the small role their actions, perhaps they would make a different choice. But they don’t. Clearly.

The evolution of consciousness happens in it’s own time and space. Conscientiousness blooms differently for us all, or never. And that’s okay. I see my option is to either accept you as you are. Or judge you from my high horse named Hubris’ Folly.

Compassion forms. I remember when I operated from that level. “It’s someone else’s problem.” I remember not being accountable for my actions. Even if you cant, can you relate to the possibility of that being true within yourself?

A line from the bible that has resonated recently is Luke 23:24 “Forgive them, for they know not what they do.” There’s no way you can really know what you’re doing that is against another (which is ultimately against the self), and still do it. When you get it, *feel it*, in your heart, and emanate this level of understanding, your action changes. Being preceded doing.

Smiles. I smile much more often now. I see things that stick out to me. Conspicuous consumption. Behaviors meant to convey an image. Many more cigarette smokers in Lansing. I judge not.

One of my favorite quotes is “Comparison is the thief of joy.” And I’ve always taken it to mean, don’t compare myself with those who I perceive to be more successful, attractive, wealthy, blah, blah, blah than me. It works the other way too. Comparison requires a difference. When I look and judge myself to be at a higher level of consciousness because I pick up the trash that others leave, I am affirming theres a difference between us. It is not so.

On one level, of course there is a difference. Our physical actions, presumably our attitudes and beliefs. Yet I see in others myself, my human possibility to have been or be, now or in the future, existing at their level of consciousness from which flows actions that I now choose not to judge.

Joy comes from seeing others as they are, how they show up and through their actions, and accepting them wherever they’re at. Full acceptance of self cannot occur without the acceptance of the other. This includes racists and corrupt politicians.

I’ve watched with great interest over the last weeks the polarity between the BLM movement and those opposed to its ideals. It’s a wide chasm between the two with many different viewpoints on all sides. I recently watched the video of the “attempted lyching” in which white people are restricting a sovereign being’s free will and using disgusting language against another. Its abhorrent to life, and thus ourselves, to treat another like this.

Do I blame these perpetrators? No. Do I see them as victims themselves? Maybe (though victimhood is a whole separate conversation in itself). Are they the product of cultural or familial programming installed and imprinted during childhood? Maybe. Do I see that their actions emerge from the level of their consciousness? Yes. Can I see that in the range of all possibilities, every human is capable of those despicable actions (even Mother Theresa a woman universally regarded as a recent living saint)? Yes. It is possible. Can I see how those that occupy the patterns of fear, Xenophobia, or racism “know not what they do”? Yes.

This doesn’t mean I condone any of this. Just that when I look, I accept that this is where they’re at. They can be in no other state of being, until they are. It’s where we’re at. It’s where I’m at, seeing myself as part of the collective, which highlights the necessity for us all to do the personal and inner work, first and foremost.

The more we resist each other, the greater the energy we feed into the conflict. The more we affirm difference. THOSE people…are me. Human beings traversing a calamitous and confusing world offering our souls the opportunity to learn important lessons. These lessons are the evolution of self-awareness itself moving towards high complexity.

As we evolve, we begin to both individuate at the same time we realize the lack of fundamental distinction between “out there” and “in here”. Those whose awareness has not expanded beyond their service to themselves are easily capable of trashing a playground or hating another for their skin pigmentation. Those whose awareness includes empathy and service to others are capable of picking up the trash or rooting out racism. Neither is “better”. That’s the value judgement.

We are all somewhere on the spectrum of awareness, and our personal thoughts, feelings, beliefs, and actions reflect our current stage of development.

This understanding is crucial to our healing right now. The rift between US vs THEM continues to grow and its fueled by judgement about the other. As long as we see them, we are incapable of transcending our own limitations. For those who prescribe to either political ideology, we must look upon the other not as the opposing force who trashes the playground but/and as humans who embody 1the possibility inherent within ourselves.

Those on the left must look within themselves to understand their own desires for individual freedom. Those on the right must look within themselves to understand their own desires to serve the common good and all in society. I see in me, you! I see in you, me! The Hermetic philosophy calls this the Law of Correspondence. As within, so without. As without, so within.

The ability to hold differing and conflicting perspectives in mind, to embody opposite polarities, is a specific practice that yields acceptance and an understanding of the other as self. On any issue that you believe (or even any idea, emotion, etc…), hold it in mind at the same time as honestly exploring the merits of the “opposing” viewpoint. Neither is right. Merely different. And in that difference, we can come to know ourselves.

Perhaps most importantly, I fear not. While it is very easy to look at our world right now, from any ideological perch, and see plenty of reasons for despair in our division, fragmentation, hatred, etc…what I know is that evolution is occurring. We are at a point in which the separation from ourselves, through extreme separation from others, is climaxing. This too is our lesson. Difference is at its max; its lesson being that any perceived difference is really separation from self.

To be clear, I am not a black man. Nor a white supremacist. Both of these people are of course physically different in the third dimension of length, width, height, and solid matter. Yet in their essence, I see the black struggle as my struggle. I see the white supremacist as coming from a level of consciousness that I’ve never been at AND whose evolution is my story, and all of our story.

Just as I once carelessly littered as a teenager and have evolved to a deeper level of understanding, so too can we all heal and evolve. There isn’t any other way.

So keep doing you. I accept you.

If you litter, I will not judge you. I’ll hold open the possibility of you evolving. I pick up the trash, and look within myself to better know the litterer.

If you are racist, I will not judge you. I’ll hold open the possibility of you evolving. I’ll stand in solidarity with my black brothers and sisters, and look within myself to better know the racist.

Healing — and unification — is an inside job.

In Service Of What?

What questions are you asking yourself? I want to know.

Because the questions we ask ourselves are incredibly powerful in shaping our future. In our society, we often acclimate more to determined answers and finality. Better to know and understand than dwell in the realm of not knowing and inquiry. For those of us dedicated to personal growth and spiritual evolution, these questions we ask are the catalyst to new explorations that will ultimately unfold new layers of our experience.

The question I had been asking myself for the past two years is, “What do I want to be the best at?” What do I want to give myself to so fully that it’s 2pm and I’ve forgotten to eat because I’m so engrossed in what I’m doing? Having demonstrated time and time again that I am capable of anything I put my mind to, what is it that lights me up, that I find totally riveting, and that I am willing to put in the 10,000 hours to develop true mastery? What do I want to master?

At 31, I am happy to share I do not know the answer to this question. And proud to have been asking it. I refuse to settle for not knowing this answer. I refuse to look at my comfortable life and say that it’s good enough to not find this answer. When it is known, I greatly look forward to the new cascade of questions that will lead to deeper understanding. Being a lifelong learner is peeling off the layers of an onion that keeps regenerating from the inside. We’re never done unraveling!

Questions have the ability to be North Stars, aligning actions over decades, careers, and lives. When a question is held in mind, the incredible processing power of our brains begins to churn over reality sifting through the enormous data inputs and our memory bank to organize around the question. Depending on the question sometimes the answer flashes brightly like a sign on the Vegas strip. Other times it is much like tracking an animal in the wild. A track in the mud, a snapped twig, and a pattern in the grass suggest we alter course Southwest. This is momentum. And in this process it’s difficult to tell how close or far we are from arriving at our destination, the answer to our inquiry. Yet we are being pulled toward something. It beckons. The answer wants to be known.

A new question has emerged which eclipses my old question in importance. In Service Of What? Very simply this question calls forward to the purpose of my life. What is my mission? On behalf of what am I willing to dedicate my precious time and life energy to? This question calls on something greater than my life, comfort, earnings, etc… This question taps into macro movements that would come through me, assembling my life effort’s in a mosaic of humans beyond simple comprehension. In what lineage of thought and practice am I to take up the mantle in? What frontier is begging me to fulfill its purpose in being known? What reverberates loudly like a giant monastery bell, it’s gong resonating so deeply as to shake every cell of my being and declare, “THIS!”? Beyond simply setting my mind to accomplish something, this question begs the passion of my soul to set alight the fires of true inspiration, alignment, and authenticity.

This question is now begging to be answered. When I first came across this question, I heard it as “In Service To What?”. I’ve pondered, is it TO or OF? Words matter. Even the tiniest of prepositions can change the meaning of the inquiry and the subsequent outcome. The definition of TO is “expressing motion in the direction of (a particular location).” The definition of OF is “expressing the relationship between a part and a whole.” TO is giving to the one being served. Good but not like OF which is me serving on behalf of a larger whole.

The journey to wholeness can be perilous and it probably always has been amidst the daily requirements of “making it” in a society. Ultimately, this inquiry is about discovering what’s true for me at the level of my soul beyond career aspirations, normative expectations, and superficial appeasements. I will not stop until I answer this question or my life’s momentum in realizing this answer brings a new question into focus.

This is MY question. What is yours?

Photo by Jamie Street on Unsplash

The Next Iteration…

Hey Folks! It’s been a wild ride in 2018. The learning and growth is coming at an unbelievable pace across all domains. With new growth comes space for integration and the completion of the metamorphic process that births the next iteration of one’s self – and by extension one’s website I suppose. I’m doing a little construction. Stay tuned 🙂

I AM (Alignment)

I wrote this in 2012 when I was 24 years of age…how many r-evolutions have occurred since then! Writing is beautiful in that it captures us in a moment in a time…

Expressions of non-duality in our non-linear existence are the ultimate manifestations of our vibrationally-aligned thoughts. If as above is as so below and the law of attraction exists, then maybe I am nothing more than energy residing at a certain frequency, my physical form being the simplest expression of my spiritual body bound by the universal language of love to achieve my highest good.

If I am you and he is we and we are all together, then we are all connected with the One, the source and singularity whose bountifulness created a universe so magnificent it mystifies our human comprehension.

If science is the study of what is, and if what exists is innately divine, then the lines between spirituality and science have already begun to blur. Isn’t karma, the universal return of the energy we put out, the same phenomenon as Newton’s Third Law of Motion, for every action there is an equal and opposite reaction? Doesn’t quantum physics bend the laws of space and time hinting at the very truths which still take a leap of faith to arrive upon?

For all of our science, with the largest telescopes and most powerful microscopes, we have not even scratched the surface of the universe’s mysteries. We constantly receive love and light from the universe, the ascended masters and our spirit guides all of whom help us to realize the truth that has always existed. We strive to achieve full alignment, a state where there are no questions, only answers. If we decide to listen, we turn our focus inwards, finding that we are ourselves the very essence of truth.

Sometimes we make great leaps in personal progress only to take several steps back. No matter. It is our desire for transformation which ultimately catalyzes our metamorphosis.We will likely have to work through our deeply rooted limiting beliefs and baggage from previous reincarnations. It is our privilege to recognize such opportunities (not obstacles) and our goal to release those attachments, making as much spiritual progress as is healthy for our being.

Often, we are too busy to pause and listen to the truth within us, too engrossed in the minute details of our daily lives to maintain the optimal state of self-awareness. In mindfulness we come to know the nature of our thoughts, the intent underlying our actions and the triggers of our emotions. As we begin to take personal inventory of ourselves, we must face our weaknesses. Addressing these vulnerabilities requires patience, self-love and acceptance of our perceived flaws. In actuality, our “flaws” are expressions of our perfection.  All is exactly as it should be.

As we practice mindfulness while acknowledging our flaws and releasing our attachments, we begin to shed our ego-centric tendencies. No longer are we the center of existence. The ego becomes just one of our many tools to achieve our highest good. As our false ego fades away, we realize that the issues we notice and attribute to others is many times our own blockage.

By jettisoning our egos, our surrender to that which is greater than ourselves creates a vulnerability which leads to opening one’s self to new ideas. It allows the acceptance of others and their beliefs, which are the unique result of their personal experience and history. Looking beneath the superficial, we quickly realize the commonality of all major religions and the human experience itself. Recognition of ourselves in others leads to empathy and strengthens the fabric of humanity.

This life, our human form, is only one stop along the cosmic journey of consciousness. We have made a conscious choice to be on Earth during this transformational time and will remain here until we assume another form, human or otherwise, on this dimension or any other vibration or frequency. Life on earth, in this vibrational plane, is a gift bestowed to us for the purpose of expressing our true nature.

We are now at a point in history where our collective conscious is rising. Ascension is occurring on a global level, driven by aging populations and enlightened people who have replaced the materialistic drive with morality, eco-oneness and others-centeredness. This new wave of personal, commercial, financial, educational and political conscience threatens the very mechanisms installed by the enforcers of the status quo who benefit from keeping the masses anesthetized.

Today the tides of laissez-faire capitalism are turning. We are now aligning our livelihoods with the interests of our communities and the planet. No longer are the people of the world and our planetary resources to be exploited and extracted in colonial fashion. The symbiotic relationship that connects us all is undeniable.

Coming to truth, we realize that our personal highest good is humanity’s highest good. Selfless service to others creates a loving world we can happily align with and participate in.

We realize that in universal singularity, improving ourselves is improving others and vice-versa.

The whole is made stronger by the health and vitality of the individual parts. In self-love, we are duty bound to respect our physical, mental, emotional and spiritual bodies. In an age of instant gratification, we must purposefully slow ourselves, taking heed to breathe deep and enjoy the idiosyncrasies and minutia of every moment.

Today, everything is instantaneous; fast food and quick solutions the norm. For our health, we should shy away from adulterated foods and be wary of “get-anything-quick” schemes. Our bodies are our temples. Treating them as such signals our respect for all of life itself. Sound physicality is the bedrock upon which we tend the garden of our mental, emotional and spiritual bodies. As within, so without.

It is important to be patient and forgiving with others in your life. This applies to high school nemeses or close family members. People change. We all progress and mature at our own pace. Holding onto grudges or living with regrets is as useless as a diet of high fructose corn syrup and narcotics. Never forget that people are doing the best they can with the information they have at the time.The person you perceive is a static and shallow representation of who that individual is in actuality. The material and physical endowments an individual possesses can and frequently change rapidly. Paupers turn to princes as often as beautiful or fit people lose their physical or aesthetic prowess. Treat every person you meet with unconditional acceptance and blind love.

When you approach people from love, you no longer have to be judgmental. Instead of judging others, responding with love to all people fosters empathy in your interactions. When you have the opportunity, walk a mile, or a foot, in someone else’s shoes. This stirs the fires of our emotive beings, raising within our hearts the empathy that drives others-centeredness.

Meeting people where they are at in their life places no expectations on the other. It allows you to truly engage and invest in whatever they choose to share. It is not your job to influence others, but if you feel compelled to try and help someone, make sure your actions are devoid of any personal motives; they should be only in that person’s highest interest. Truth must be shared but never forced upon another. Walk the path, show the path, hold someone’s hand down the path but remember, they must walk on their own.

Mind your words, they are far more powerful that you realize. Eliminate words like I might, I can’t, I won’t, I’m trying, I will attempt, possibly, might or should and replace them with words like I will, I am, I know, I can, I feel and I believe. Your words should reflect actualization, your ideal self. You will receive exactly what you expect. Expect your wildest dreams but never lose sight of your current blessings. In an existence made up of thoughts, energies and intention, what you think and say is the most powerful predictor of what will you will attract into your life.

If all is one and all is perfect, a paradox emerges in placing value on circumstances, objects or people. How can something be “better” that something else? How can any stretch of “time” be “more enjoyable” than other? How can anything hold an objective and determined value when every moment, every person and every vibrational possibility is equally perfect in existence itself?

When recognizing that all is truly equal, including ourselves with everything frequently perceived to be external to one’s self, a deep gratitude emerges for the mere opportunity to be a humble witness to the splendor of consciousness. The brain’s highest function is not logic. We must cede our brains to our hearts, yielding logic to emotion in order to find love, empathy and our carnal connection with unity consciousness.

All is Sacred. Respect Life. Love Everybody. Surrender Constantly. Forgive Frequently. Be Thankful Always.