Captain America in a Turban

I love it when people come up with ways to challenge stereotypes and deeply held assumptions. I stumbled upon this article about a Sikh gentleman who decided to shake things up by putting on a Captain America costume and walking down the busy streets of New York. The responses were mixed but it sounds like it was an overall good experience.

http://www.salon.com/2013/09/10/captain_america_in_a_turban/

I have a lot of respect for this guy and am now thinking about how I might shake things up a bit for myself and others – maybe without spandex though 🙂

Paul T

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Through

By Cinova

“….the best way out is always through” (‘A Servant to Servants’ by Robert Frost)

I was woken by thunder and lightning in the early hours of the morning. And as I lay in bed listening to the wind and rain, I found myself embracing the wild weather and accepting the melancholy of my loneliness. Perhaps one of the most comforting certainties in life is that at some point, the sun will burst through rain-clouds. Increasingly I find myself paying attention to that moment in which the first rays shine through, creating that special glow just before the clouds disperse to reveal blue skies. The sun knows how to cut through clouds. Water knows how to move around rocks, finding its way through fine crevasses. The wind knows how to whip through a dense forest, caressing and confronting all that lies in its path.

We humans so often look for the easy way out. We take detours, seek distractions and avoid obstacles. If there is an exit sign, we will invariably find it instead of staying on a seemingly endless highway and just seeing where the road takes us. If there is a vacuum or broom nearby, we are quick to suck up the dirt or sweep it under the rug, instead of sitting beside it for a while. Or we stir it up by over-analyzing and throwing more dirt into the mix, instead of allowing the dust to settle and simply observing how this makes us feel. And if there is a closet, we will lock those skeletons away and conveniently forget where we have hidden the key, instead of opening the closet doors and inviting those bones to dance alongside us.

If I have learned one thing from the losses I have experienced in the past three and a half years, it is the importance of being present with pain and suffering, confronting the hard stuff and working through whatever life delivers. Denial, distraction and avoidance serve a temporary purpose, in alleviating the pressure, easing anxiety or lifting the veil of depression…. until the next emotional trigger. I know this because I have intimate experience of these ways ‘out’ of my own emotional turmoil. About ten weeks ago, I disclosed something to my 73 year old mother, a secret that I had kept to myself since childhood.  My gutsy decision to do this was brought on by my deep sense of emptiness and grief over the death of my father (three years ago) and the end of a significant relationship (one year ago). These losses have helped me understand that the only way out of a deep and consuming sadness is through it. To use a common metaphor, the only way out of a tunnel is through it. And sometimes going through it takes a long time, much longer than one would like, as we encounter debris from the past and fallout from the present.

Importantly, since that conversation with my mother, something has shifted. It’s as if the sun has finally broken through a massive cloud cover for the first time in 35 years. Until now, I had not realized how much of a burden I have been carrying and how this has impacted all my relationships, including that with my mother. It may be a cliche, but it’s also a truism, the truth does in fact set you free.

My mother has resilience, a quality that I probably underestimate in myself. She endures because most days she wakes up the next morning and does what she needs to do; while some days she simply accepts that she cannot ‘be’ in the world and allows herself the time and space to go through whatever she needs to go through. My mum and I deal with hardship and heartache very differently. She internalizes, I verbalize. She comes across as stoic, while I can collapse in a heap. She cries for precisely 30seconds, takes a deep breath and carries on, whereas I can quite easily sob myself to sleep. I sometimes wonder if I would find a ‘way out’ of my problems more easily if I was more like my mum.

Then again, maybe I could be more like water, wind and sun.

Original post: http://cinova.wordpress.com/2013/09/27/travel-theme-through/

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Grown Ups

This week, a comic.  PT

Capture

What does being a grown up mean to you?

Originally posted here: http://xkcd.com/150/

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The Opportunity of Seeing the World Differently

Nothing like checking your inbox and finding the perfect article to share. (Thanks Irshad). Paul T

The Opportunity of Seeing the World Differently by Joshua Becker

“When old patterns are broken, new worlds emerge.” – Tuli Kupferberg

I am still amazed at the fullness of life that minimalism and simplicity offer: freedom, opportunity, meaning. I wish I had found it sooner. Unfortunately, for most of my life, I had been told something different. I had been told that joy could be found in material success—that the more I owned, the happier I would be. But they were wrong. I’m far happier today owning less than I ever was pursuing more.

Which got me wondering… what if some of the other messages I have been told are also wrong? What if some of the other views of the world promoted by our culture and society don’t actually lead to joy and fulfillment? What if true meaning and passion is found in the opposite?

What if there is unspeakable opportunity in seeing the entire world differently?

What if there is more opportunity in “desiring less” than “acquiring more?”

The trouble with acquiring more is that we can never have enough. There is always more to acquire and always someone else who has already acquired it. The philosophy renders contentment unattainable. The surest pathway to true contentment is to desire less. Less brings freedom, more doesn’t.

What if there is more opportunity in “seeking justice” than “getting rich?” 

Cultural and individual greed have ruined friendships, exploited billions, and destroyed our planet. The desire for power, control, and resources have left many without adequate supply. But when justice is fully realized, everyone becomes more empowered—including us. Unfortunately, we can’t desire more for ourselves and justice for others at the same time.

What if there is more opportunity in “building others up” than “tearing others down?”

Too often we think of life as a zero-sum game. We believe someone else must be brought down to make more room for us at the top. But it’s not true. The pie is not finite. You don’t have to blow out someone else’s candle to make yours shine brighter. In fact, some of the people who rise to the top the quickest are the very ones who helped others get there first.

What if there is more opportunity in “serving others” than “reaching for the top?”

Learning to serve others flips our world upside down. Rather than striving to be the one served (and becoming frustrated when we aren’t), find freedom in learning to serve others. The quickest path to joy in life is to help someone else discover it in theirs. Their lives will be improved. And so will yours.

What if there is more opportunity in “showing mercy” than “acquiring power?”

From playgrounds to boardrooms, most people are looking for any angle to lord power over others and subsequently, stepping on anyone to get there. Yet, the most fulfilled people I know live exactly the opposite. They show compassion, forgiveness, and grace toward others… even when it is within their power to punish or harm them.

What if there is more opportunity in “developing humility” than “having pride?”

Humility allows us to be ourselves—we no longer need to prove to everyone that we’ve got it all together. Humility allows us to learn and grow—when we admit our weaknesses, we have taken the first step in learning to address them. And humility allows people into our lives—true, authentic friendships are not possible without the ability to be humble and completely transparent with one other.

What if there is more opportunity in “giving” than “receiving?”

The bumper stickers have always said, “Whoever dies with the most toys wins.” But all scientific research indicates that generous people are happier, healthier, and live more fulfilled lives. In other words, whoever gives away the most is the real winner, not the one who stored the most.

What if this world doesn’t revolve around me after all? What if the world isn’t here to make me happier, but I am here to make this world happier for someone else? Now that, would change some things.

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Real is the New SEXY

Hello all. I hope you had a good summer. Time to buckle down and get ready for the fall. For me that means it’s time to start blogging again. I’ve had an interesting year with lots of fodder for this blog. While I put some new content together, I offer you this interesting post from Jamie Catto. Is it just me, or are genuine people not magnetic?  Paul T

By Jamie Catto

Original post: http://jamiecatto.wordpress.com/2013/08/09/real-is-the-new-sexy/

It’s so radical to be authentic these days that it has an enigma all of it’s own.

It’s very powerful to be visible with your vulnerabilities, it shakes people up in the places where they are too scared to be so visible. Listen to their judgements. They give you the map of exactly where those folks are stuck. Feel your reactions in your body, it’s the map of where you believe them.

it’s powerful and disruptive to be generous and to not run your life and business with the usual scarcity-addicted model, but to be inclusive and open handed, that takes courage, cultivates trust and is progressive. Notice how hard some find it to receive your generosity, how uncomfortable receiving can be for them even when the gift is freely given. Notice who warns you to be less giving.

It is powerful to show your neediness some days, to show your unreasonable anger, your inappropriateness – it takes courage to be so visible and risk the approval vanishing. It is revolutionary to wear no masks, no hats and be the same ‘you’ in business as at home. Why do we exhaust ourselves wearing masks for people who need us to be other than our real selves? I recommend removing the masks and seeing who stays. The ones that do really get you and are the ones you want to hang out with and work with.

Authentic people are enigmatic because most people are so comfortable in their hiding, conforming, disempowered state that someone brave enough to be simply real is fascinating.

Where have you been hiding? What mask is it time to take off?

business-businessman-mask-370x229

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Closing Doors

Okay, so I couldn’t resist. I found this on Facebook and it spoke to me. I’ve gone through a lot of change over the last year – I can definitely attest to the fact that it’s tough sometimes to let go of the past and let the present be…

Paul T

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CLOSING DOORS

By: Paolo Coehlo

One always has to know when a stage comes to an end. If we insist on staying longer than the necessary time, we lose the happiness and the meaning of the other stages we have to go through.

Closing cycles, shutting doors, ending chapters – whatever name we give it, what matters is to leave in the past the moments of life that have finished.

Did you lose your job? Has a loving relationship come to an end?

Did you leave your parents’ house? Gone to live abroad? Has a long-lasting friendship ended all of a sudden?

You can spend a long time wondering why this has happened.

You can tell yourself you won’t take another step until you find out why certain things that were so important and so solid in your life have turned into dust, just like that.

But such an attitude will be awfully stressing for everyone involved: your parents, your husband or wife, your friends, your children, your sister.

Everyone is finishing chapters, turning over new leaves, getting on with life, and they will all feel bad seeing you at a standstill.

Things pass, and the best we can do is to let them really go away.

That is why it is so important (however painful it may be!) to destroy souvenirs, move, give lots of things away to orphanages, sell or donate the books you have at home.

Everything in this visible world is a manifestation of the invisible world, of what is going on in our hearts – and getting rid of certain memories also means making some room for other memories to take their place.

Let things go. Release them. Detach yourself from them.

Nobody plays this life with marked cards, so sometimes we win and sometimes we lose.

Do not expect anything in return, do not expect your efforts to be appreciated, your genius to be discovered, your love to be understood.

Stop turning on your emotional television to watch the same program over and over again, the one that shows how much you suffered from a certain loss: that is only poisoning you, nothing else.

Nothing is more dangerous than not accepting love relationships that are broken off, work that is promised but there is no starting date, decisions that are always put off waiting for the “ideal moment.”

Before a new chapter is begun, the old one has to be finished: tell yourself that what has passed will never come back.

Remember that there was a time when you could live without that thing or that person – nothing is irreplaceable, a habit is not a need.

This may sound so obvious, it may even be difficult, but it is very important.

Closing cycles. Not because of pride, incapacity or arrogance, but simply because that no longer fits your life.

Shut the door, change the record, clean the house, shake off the dust.

Stop being who you were, and change into who you are.

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See you in September

Hello all – just wanted to let you know that I will be taking a break until September. If you have a blog post relating to conscious change I would love to post it here. Otherwise, I will see you in the fall. Thanks for following.

Paul T

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