Filed under: disability, NLP, success | Tags: Darren Eden, feelings, greatness, illness, Joseph Campbell, Landmark Education, nlp, TMLP, Werner Erhard, Your Call To Greatness
I was in the process of writing a greatness blog when I fell ill with a very nasty virus, a sort of “Man Flu Plus”. An expression came to mind, “I don’t feel great” and this led me to wonder, what happens to our greatness when we don’t feel great?
The first thing I see is that greatness is not predicated upon feeling. As anyone who works with Darren Eden will be aware greatness arises from following what you love and not being stopped by “threshold guardians” or, if you prefer, circumstances. I could go further and say that greatness lies not only in not being stopped, but in bending the circumstances, the guardians, into service of what you love, I think this is consistent with Joseph Campbell’s articulation of the hero’s journey.
I used not to be stopped by flu, I worked through it, travelling around the country, running courses, chairing meetings, attending conferences until I was struck down by Chronic Fatigue and Immunodysfunction Syndrome. I spent six months virtually bedridden, a year as an invalid. In time I learned to manage my life so that I was no longer stopped by CFIDS. Of course, as we learn in Your Call To Greatness, as well as being focused on what we love we must take appropriate action; sometimes this means being realistic, pursuing what we love while ignoring the voice of our intuition is, ultimately, counterproductive and contrary to the process. This is why it is not only important to develop our intuition but also to trust it when it holds us back from what we enjoy.
For me, now, the obvious action is to rest. So far, despite my forced inaction, I have not rested because my focus has been on my frustration at not being able to do the things I wanted, there is nothing restful in frustration. However what I love is experiencing life in its fullness, my frustration means that my focus had shifted from what I love to the obstacles in the way. In the field of personal development we talk a lot about transcending our limitations, breaking through our barriers, not being stopped by limiting decisions and other things that can make us feel actively guilty when we are not obviously progressing our goals; some times this urge to achieve is positively harmful, as Werner Erhard says, “It is as bad to be half-assed, whichever cheek you’ve got left!” Resting is not being forced to do nothing, resting is choosing to do nothing as a deliberate course of action, when, and only as long as, it is appropriate.
As I lay in my bed beating myself up over the schedule I was unable to follow, I heard, in my head, the voice of Werner Erhard saying, “What you resist, persists!” Now I’ve been resisting having flu; I’ve thrown everything at it, self-hypnosis, energy healing, I’ve demanded it reveal its lesson to me so I could get on with my life, all resistance! So “just for today”, as we say in Reiki, I am being kind to myself. I am not resisting, I am accepting, temporarily, the limits imposed by the current conditions. I am treating my body and mind with gentleness and compassion.
There is a process I once learned in Landmark, I think on the Team Management and Leadership Program, but possibly on a Communication Course, where of everything I do I ask, “What am I building?” It is what in NLP we call “chunking up”. Each time we ask the question it reveals a greater purpose served by that action, ultimately what should be revealed is our true purpose, the thing we love upon which we focus; the corollary is that, if it reveals as the outcome something other than what we love, we should reconsider our action. Add to this the test of ecology used in NLP, the questions of the Cartesian coordinates, “What will happen if I do this?”, “What will happen if I do not do this?”, “What will not happen if I do this?” and, “What will not happen if I do not do this?” and we have a powerful decision checking process. I have a tendency to act first and think later. I realise that as I lie back and let my flu take its course, unforced it presents its lessons to me; isn’t life great?
Filed under: autism, disability, Scotland, success, Technology | Tags: AS, asd, asperger's, autism, Autism Resource Centre, Autism symptoms, coloured lenses, Ian Jordan, visual problems
Well this is strange, but my world feels different. New glasses may, reasonably, be expected to cause me to see the world differently, but to feel differently? Interesting, and strange.
When I was diagnosed with Asperger’s, Anne Marie Gallagher of the Autism Resource Centre suggested I might want to visit an optician, Ian Jordan, in Ayr, who has had some success in treating the symptoms of autism with coloured lenses. This year, at last, after a long delay, I have finally got around to having him test my eyes and today I got my new glasses, happily at no greater cost than I would normally pay.
I must admit I am surprised at how quickly they have made a difference. I had expected them to help cut out excess light, I had not expected the other benefits. The first, and most obvious benefit, is that my new blue lenses reduce the brightness of the light I receive. One of the unforseen, but welcome benefits is that my lower back and sacroiliac pain fades while I am wearing them, it does mean that my glasses go on as soon as I wake. Another reason for putting my spectacles on when I awake is that when I am brushing my teeth I can comfortably brush the molars at the back of my mouth; in the past because of my strong gag reflex it has been uncomfortable to brush my teeth, but now it presents no difficulty.
I enjoy a sense of calm when I wear my blue lenses and it is my impression, admittedly I have not measured it, that both my stimming and involuntary movements are reduced. Another welcome benefit is that I can successfully see people’s faces as a whole rather than individual features commanding my attention so that their faces had the appearance of a collage. At one point I took my glasses off and remarked to my wife that I had not hitherto realised how hypersensitive I was, she replied, “Oh I had!” She also observes that I am calmer and less prone to obsession, which she explained by saying that, normally, if I am doing something I will go on and on, refusing to pause, exploding at interruptions, until I was finished, but now I am more relaxed. I still have my tinnitus, but it seems less intrusive. However when I take off my spectacles I am assaulted by a cacophony of stimuli, auditory and visual, calmed instantly when I replace them.
I don’t believe there is a cure for autism. Behavioral interventions can alleviate some of its effects, some of its comorbid conditions can be treated too. I do know that some of the symptoms I experience are now alleviated by my glasses, not cured, they return when my glasses are off, but I’m happy with that. In the past I have not wanted to wear my spectacles and have tended not to, now I find I don’t want to take them off.
Filed under: autism, disability, Gardening, NLP, Scotland, success | Tags: Daily Greatness Journal, Darren Eden, Lisa Nolan, My Future Listography
My second week using my Daily Greatness Journal could have been blighted by a bug which slowed me down somewhat. However looking back on the journal I can see how productive even a week smitten by a virus can be. That is one of the benefits of the journal it helps keep a realistic sense of proportion.
Going into my Circle of Sovereignty every day meant I approached even my illness positively and powerfully. Rather than endure the frustration of a thwarted schedule, I allowed the illness to teach me patience. I learned that if I have enough planned alternatives in my schedule I need not feel thwarted (I love that word, so expressive!), I merely select the best alternative. Darren Eden might describe it as the most appropriate bridge to move my focus from my beliefs and back to what I love.
One of the things I discovered this week thanks to Neelam is Lisa Nola’s “My Future Listography”. I learned a long time ago that just writing my goals gives them an energy that makes their accomplishment more likely. My Future Listography is a journal of lists of all the things I’d like to do, it is subtitled, “All I Hope To Do In Lists”; each alternate page has space for a list with headings like, “List modes of transport to take.”, List places you could see yourself living.”, or, “List things you hope to receive someday.” and each facing page a picture for inspiration. My Future Listography is not a goal planner, but a book for dreams and visions to create an unlimited space into which to live; it is, above all, fun.
One of my symbols in meditation was not an image, but a phrase, a voice told me to take, “The Sunny Side of The Street towards joy”. I only mention it because it felt so good, and to remind people that a symbol is not always an image, but may occur in any “Rep System”, in this case, auditory. I am definitely on the sunny side of the street, reviewing my gratitude daily reminds me that I have so many reasons to be joyful and so much for which to be grateful.
Reviewing my journal I realise how many lessons each day offers up. Perhaps my big lesson of this week is that, Intuition and feeling are as important as logic when it comes to setting my goals. So every day I begin in my Greatness Circle, my Circle of Sovereignty and I end my day in my Circle suffused with a sense of well being and accomplishment; the accomplishments may not be huge, but at least I am aware of them, and upon that of which I am aware I can build.
Filed under: autism, disability, Justice, NLP, Parenting, Politics, Saivism, Scotland, success, Writing | Tags: Aneurin Bevan, death, Harold Wilson, immortality, Lao Tzu, legacy, Margaret Thatcher, memorials, memory, Tony Blair
Some further thoughts on death and people’s relationship with it
What is all this concern that people have about leaving a legacy? I am not talking about leaving some cash for those we leave behind, but this desperate need some people seem to have to be remembered after they have gone. It seems to be a particular concern of politicians and other people in public life. I suspect it is motivated primarily from guilt and from feelings of inadequacy. When we look at the legacy of politicians very few of them leave anything of which to be proud. There are some who left a worthwhile legacy; Aneurin Bevan left us with a national health service and Harold Wilson , the Open University. On the other hand Margaret Thatcher left the legacy of a divided Britain; divided between rich and poor, North and South, trades unions and employers. She left the British people with an abiding distrust of and contempt for politicians, a political class more interested in feathering their own nests than on serving their constituents. And she drove a wedge between the peoples of England and Scotland that will never be removed. Although Tony Blair has not yet died, I think we all know that his legacy will be equally contemptible. He will be remembered for waging war on women and children without the sanction of the United Nations , and condemning hundreds of the children of the people of his country to die overseas , while keeping his own children safe at home.
I am pleased to know that some industrialists do leave a positive legacy obviously we have Andrew Carnegie but also more recently Warren Buffet and also the Bill Gates Foundation. I know that some say that the Bill Gates Foundation’s work in India is geared more to opening new markets then to helping people, but I think this is unfair, besides whatever his motivation he is doing good. Another group that seems to be desperate to be remembered are the artists, when I say,”artists” I refer to the creative professions as a whole. However whether it be politicians, soldiers, actors writers, industrialists or musicians, people seem to be gripped with a terrible fear of being forgotten. There is little point in telling them they cannot take anything with them when they go and most go only when they have no other option.
When people say they need to “leave a legacy” , I am inclined to respond with the NLP Meta Model challenge , ” Who says you need to leave a legacy?” There have been some spiritual giants who have left behind them philosophies and religious orders, but there have been very many more content to pass through the world almost unnoticed and to leave nothing behind. Werner Erhard says, “All there is to do today is what you get to do today.” The same may be said of life; a successful life is not necessarily one that leaves much behind, but rather one that is lived well and lived completely. Of what value is a legacy that leaves behind obligations, it is nothing more than a burden however well intentioned? The greatest gift anyone can have is the freedom to live their own life unconstrained by debt and obligation and to be allowed to find their own way and walk their own path. Lao Tzu was correct wham he said that when a great leader finishes his work the people say, ” We did it ourselves”.
The wise do not seek to be remembered for that is an attachment, it is better to be unthanked and free than feted and bound by the needs of others, worse still by one’s own need. Better to leave no footsteps for others to follow than walk looking over one’s shoulder rather than at your way ahead; let the wind erase your footprints while you walk towards your own light.
Filed under: autism, disability, Gardening, Parenting | Tags: children, food, fun, gardens, Hoarders, hoarding, housework, takeaway
Some people have problems with hoarding, I do not dismiss their problems, so here are ten simple rules to help bring back the joy to your hoarding .
1. A shelf is a shelf.
2. A bed is a shelf except when it’s a table .
3. A table is a shelf. Eat your meals off the footstool .
4.The footstool is a shelf. Eat your meals off a lap-tray.
5. Lap-trays are shelves, balance your plate on your knees.
6. If you use your knees as a shelf, when you stand everything will fall on the floor .
7. The floor is a shelf .
8. In the garden winding paths between flower beds and shrubberies bring opportunities for surprise discoveries.The same is true inside the house; winding paths between piles of books and other stuff can bring opportunities for happy discoveries like the television or the fridge,perhaps even long forgotten children.
9. If you still cannot find the fridge, eat takeaway. Takeaway can be eaten straight from the box so when you’re finished you won’t need to try and find the dishwasher, just drop the rubbish in the pedal bin… Ah!
10. The pedal bin is NOT a shelf.The good news is that after a few weeks of warm weather, at least you should be able to find it’.
l hope these few simple pointers have helped. Have fun, and remember if there’s a gap there’s always something to fill it!
Filed under: autism, disability, Saivism | Tags: asperger's, autism, bereavement, death, Doctor Who, friendship, grief, Omg Prakash Bakshi, Strictly Come Dancing
I recently commented that I make it a principle not to miss people. I see very little point in missing people, It serves no useful purpose. However it should not be assumed that I do not remember people fondly after they have left my life, but memory is valuable, what most people think of as “missing” can be debilitating.
I may use the term, “missing”, but when I do so I generally mean, “think of often”. In fact the only person who really comes into that category is my Father in law, Om Prakash Bakshi, and that is to some extent because we have his photo in our living room. He was a lot of fun and probably had the best grasp of advaita of anyone I have known. He eventually forgave me for marrying his daughter and became a very good friend. He came to enlightenment late in life, but lived his final years in childlike joy, yet with a wisdom much appreciated by those navigating between the factional rivalries of the old people’s centre on whose committee he sat. He was extremely intelligent, funny and good to have around.
It is appropriate to miss people when first they leave one’s life, although I tend not to, because of the changes to one’s routine and daily expectations the departure occasions. What is, in my opinion, inappropriate is to be, some months later, carrying a debilitating grief. On reflection grief is inappropriate and as useless as regret as an emotion (are there any useful negative emotions?). Personally I feel that the appropriate reaction to someone’s departure from one’s life is to make appropriate adjustments for their departure and move on with a new schedule. Having said that, my Saturdays are in some confusion because Strictly Come Dancing has finished and Doctor Who has not yet returned; I really don’t want to adopt a new schedule what I know I’m just going to have to change it again!
I suppose some people will say that there is a difference between the absence of a person and that of a television program, but I don’t see why. Other people, like television programs, are external to my body and perceived through the same senses and cognitive processes. I have known Doctor Who for fifty years which is far longer than anyone I define as a friend, and I am told my definition is less exacting than most humans. It seems only logical that the absence of Doctor Who should affect me more than an ordinary person, I have known him longer and seen him more often and more regularly than anyone else.
I do go to funerals, I even left flowers when Nelson Mandela died, as a gesture of respect, but I find it hard to get to grips with some of the public outpouring of grief when celebrities die. I did not know Mandela, but he and apartheid defined a large period of my life. I don’t miss apartheid, I don’t miss Mandela, I think of him rarely, but I thank him for his inspiration. There are many I remember, many with affection, but none I think I miss in the usual sense of the word. Indeed when I look back over my life and I realise how many people I have known have died, and when I add them to the people whom I have not personally known but who have impacted my life, I am relieved I don’t miss them, if have little time not energy for more important things.
Filed under: asperger's syndrome, autism, disability, Justice, Politics, Scotland, Technology | Tags: asd, asperger's, austerity, autism, depression, disability, George Osbvorne, independence, Scotland, spending cuts, Yes Scotland
Am I the only person who find it obscene that multimillionaires feel that the only way to take the UK’s debt is to cut the benefits of the disabled and purple on low incomes. I watched disgusted as yet again George Osborne announced that, yet again, the poor and disabled are to bear the brunt of the cuts. He wants to make savings of twelve million this year from the welfare budget, when you bear in mind that last summer he committed to spending thirty million pounds to building a totally unnecessary garden in the middle of London’s commercial district, this cut is shown to be the obscenity it is. Osborne is taking food from the poor of Britain to pay to prettify the City. Everyone outside London as well as the poor of London have a right to be angry.
George Osborne says that a further twenty five billion pounds of cuts are needed, buy he shows no sign of taking it from the rich, he will still subsidise the banks and the poor will pay again. If he is serious about cutting twenty five billion pounds from the budget there is an obvious place to make the cut, unnecessary military spending. If we refuse to replace Trident we will make the required saving, we don’t need nuclear weapons and in Scotland we don’t want them. If we were to cut the other unnecessary spending on aircraft carriers and planes bought from the USA the saving would be more than double, perhaps four times what is required. Britain could have a substantial surplus. However the Conservatives in Westminster seem to be determined to continue on their current path of forcing people into poverty.
Here in Scotland we are faced with further cuts inflicted upon us by a government for which we will not have voted. It seems increasingly certain that the power of Holyrood to protect Scotland from the worst excesses of Westminster will be drastically curtailed. Now more than ever we need to be free of Westminster before they plunge us further into poverty. If I needed a reason to vote Yes, George Osborne has provided it.
Blackadder star and Gove in WW1 row http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-25612369
Filed under: disability, Justice, Politics, Saivism, Scotland | Tags: Eleven, Maruts, peace, Remembrance Day, Rudras, Veterans Day, war
On the Eleventh Day of Christmas my true love gave to me….
A movement forwards. If yesterday was a day for opening our future through the power of the question, today we begin to manifest the answer. The number Eleven reduces to the number two, but as the number Ten is the Zero of this higher cycle, so is Eleven its number One. The first cycle is very much a physical cycle, one of establishing oneself in the world the second is one of growth and self actualisation. There are eleven Rudras, the warrior gods of life, of wind, of breath, these are the Maruts, who ride upon the storm. The Rudras are the gods of the second stage of evolution, where life informs inanimate matter. Siva is Rudra, but the Rudras are his activity in manifest creation, through his Rudras Siva shows mankind both his benevolent and terrible, destructive natures.
The two ones of Eleven concentrate the qualities associated with One. Eleven is not only a number of individuality, but also of stubbornness. It is the number of having come through a cycle, learned lessons, but still finding the strength to continue. The most poignant Eleven I know occurs at the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month of every year as it has since the end of the Great War. This year we remember the start of the Great War, sadly there are too many who want some sort of triumphalist celebration, they tend to be on the upper class right. In some working class communities a whole generation was lost, sometimes in a single day. While Old Etonians drank in their London clubs, in the mill towns of the North, widows mourned while their sisters nursed their crippled husbands, and men coughed unable to breathe comfortably with gas burned lungs.
The Great War was supposed to be the war to end all wars and yet, for the last century, it seems the politicians in Westminster have never passed up an opportunity to send troops to war. Of course it’s easy to send other people’s children to die, I believe that in the event of war all adult children of politicians should be conscripted and put in the front line, perhaps then our politicians would be less gung ho. However we tend to find that while the sons of the working classes, and boys from the colonies are lying dead and wounded on the battlefield the children of politicians, with a few honourable exceptions, are in reserved occupations safe at home. If we are to truly to honour the memory of those who fought in the Great War, then we, the people, must ensure that at the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month the guns will fall silent for ever. And we in Scotland must never allow politicians in Westminster ever again to send Scottish children to die in their wars.
Today’s blog has been brought to you by the number Eleven and the letter W for “Why do we allow the killing to continue?” and “When will will we be free of the dead hand of Westminster?”
Filed under: disability, Justice, Parenting, Politics, Scotland, success, Travel | Tags: 2014, Clydeside, David Betteridge, George Wylie, Glasgow, independence, Neelam Bakshi, Scotland, The Why?s Man, Yes Scotland
A question? Recently, as a thank you for participating in one of his poetry readings, David Betteridge gave Neelam a DVD, “The Why?s Man”. In “The Why?s Man” George Wylie, when faced with the observation on his picture “Scul?ture”, “The question mark is usually at the end.” replies, “I think the question mark should be at the centre of everything”. In the opening titles we see that the Question mark is a hook upon which hangs inspiration. The new cycle ahead of us will be given by the power of the question. If you have read previous blogs you will know how much I love the power of the question, for which I blame Werner Erhard. You will also know that one of my favourite questions is the Access Consciousness question, “How can it get better than this?” and it’s a great question, after a good, Christmas, with which to begin a new year. Actually I’m going to ask, “How WILL it get better than this?” I expect this to be a great year.
I suppose this far into the Twelve Days of Christmas you will be expecting some numerological stuff, so here it is. Ten is a new start. One is the complete cycle just finished and the zero is an empty sheet waiting to be written. George Wylie’s film regretted the passing of shipbuilding and engineering on the Clyde, the ending of a cycle that began when wooden ships, were driven across oceans by the wind. Glasgow has not died nor, despite the best efforts of Westminster Conservatives, has Scotland become an economic wasteland. Our future is given by the question and the question that will give us our future is, “Should Scotland be independent?” and the answer that will give Scotland a future is, “YES”! Twenty Fourteen is the beginning of the new cycle, the birth of the New Scotland.
Today’s blog has been brought to you by the number Ten and the letter X for Xmas and the cross on the referendum ballot, by which you secure Scotland’s freedom.