Just the two of us…

Just the two of us. Yet, there is only one person standing there, so how is that possible. We don’t know.

As you read this, there are (at least) two of you in your mind reading. One part of your brain/mind is the stable part, what the Psychiatrists like to call : Personality. It is the part of you that remains stable over your lifetime. If you are generally quiet, you probably always have been. If you laugh easily, and a lot, you probably always did. If you are an introvert, or extrovert, you probably always will be- at least to some extent.

That stable personality, is the one most of us, and the people who know us, would recognize as : You. It is your character over time. When you break that mold, folks who know you will say: “Oh, that is not like her at all.” Even you , yourself, might say: “That wasn’t like me. I don’t usually say, act, or do, something like that. ”

So, that is one : You. I am not sure you can change that “you” in any real deep way, you can only polish it a bit, and widen it a bit. Perhaps as an introvert, you can learn to manage a team, run a meeting, or lead a particular event; but, only in context. Once the meeting, event, or team- disbands or is over, then you quietly mind your own business again.

To change your core “You”, well that would be Quantum Change. I know few who truly changed their core. Even folks who changed their core beliefs : discovering a religion after being an atheist, for example. Didn’t really “change”. they just brought their mind, fire, and outlook, to a new viewpoint. They chased their newborn Faith, with the same passion and determination they used to chase their non belief with. Only an idea changed, not the process.

The other you. Well, that is the one you can experiment with, the one where you consciously change something, until it become habit- replacing one habit with another…looks, on the surface – like change. It isn’t. You did change the drapes on the window, but the window is still there. Only the curtains have been replaced by blinds. A big difference, but not a real change. Now, if you took the windows out, and added a door and a patio- then you changed something.

Most of us find real change difficult, and usually not very long lasting. Like lottery winners. Social scientists found that more than half of all lottery winners are broke within a few years of winning the lottery. No matter how many millions they won in that lottery. Closer inspection of the reasons for that, found that most folks couldn’t leave their comfort zones. If they were used to making 50 grand a year, then they did whatever it took, to get back to only having 50 Grand.

Being wealthy, and keeping wealth, turn out to be learned behaviors! You have to learn about money, its management, its limitations, and how you personally feel about money. There are procedures in place now, to educate and train lottery winners to understand and keep their new wealth. Recent studies show that – with help- most lottery winners now keep the majority of their wealth.

So, did they change? Or did they just use that second self, the one that can be changes fairly easily? Or did they actually change ? I am not sure. I don’t even know why I like certain paintings, and not others. I spent months trying to figure what colors, styles, techniques, and even the subjects of paintings attracted me. In the end, well, I just like some paintings and not others. In general, I like bright colors. But , not always. In general, I like pictures with boats. But not always. In general, I like pictures that have no people in them, but, not always.

So, is it the “not always part” that is the part I can change? Where as the larger part of me will always like paintings with boats in them? Boats empty of people?

Are we like icebergs, with a massive core of who we are lying unseen deep with in ourselves? Or do we change the surface things so people see who we think we are? I don’t know, but I do know the two people living in your head right now, are discussing this. In fact, you can have a conversation in your own head, with two viewpoints, and even two tones of voice- and they are both you.

So, think about it. Just the two of you. LOL

 

RE: Micro flash fiction: Stories, in two lines.

Micro-flasssssssshhhhhhhh…… Don’t blink – you’ll miss the story….TL
On Feb 8, 2013, at 4:05 PM, Kevin Hughes wrote:

History weighed heavy on his mind,
squishing all his choices to none.

Love grew, it sparkled, it soared
neither knew why, neither cared.

A rock ,heavy with thought, stayed steady
the ground trembled, an idea wiggled out

he loved her hands, with fingers built to find a piano,
instead they found his hands

She smiled, it was her first love, it wouldn’t be her last-
her love smiled back, as they always do

I am a man, he thought,
then the thought: “What the hell?”

God whispered and the planets moved, God smiled and the sun blazed
Man wondered, and grew

A pebble sat by the side of the path, content
someday, there will be another shoe

Boy meets girl. Woman meets Man.
two heart meet each other, and nothing else matters

They held each other close, they weren’t touching
but close isn’t a distance.

It was a kiss, like most first kisses,
it was awkward, shy, and beautiful

His mind swirled, swept ferociously with ideas
he never shared them, they said he wasn’t smart

The sun peeked out, at its peak.
sometimes just being there is enough.

He looked at the sun, the water, and the sand
never realizing they looked with him

death didn’t bother him, just dying did,
so he left for a moment to go back to being a kid

He watched his daughter, hold her daughter, as his wife held them both
Men don’t have the words for that, so they smile
Okay that’s all I had for today!! Smiles, Kevin

Your body is your mind, so mind your body… ( A small note at the end!)

The New Year is starting, for most of us, it starts with hope for a good year, a better year, an exciting year, a year of growth, of closeness, of happiness, and of contributing. All of those things start with a decision. Most of us, mistakenly believe we made the decision with our mind- alone. No.

You body has neurons and neurotransmitters everywhere. It has stress hormones, homeostasis hormones, and all kinds of chemical and molecular soup feeding the entire system. The biggest and most powerful drug you will ever take? Food. Yep, food. All of this molecular and chemical soup starts with the ingredients in your food. Your body can make some really good soup, out of some really bad ingredients, but, you make it work harder than necessary to do that. So, learn how to fuel, your particular body.

Your brain has been hard at work on the decisions you made for this year – for a long time.  Your brain is analogous  to a glass of water. Water,  at room temperature, stays liquid. As it gets closer and closer to freezing- it is still water, albeit cold water. Then suddenly- at exactly 32 F/0 C – Ice! ( Depending on things like pressure, salt content, etc…)

Your brain is much like that, by the time you realize you have made a decision, the decision was already made! Your brain had been slowly been moving towards ” freezing” (making a decision)- without you being aware that in just a second- it was going to become “ice” (the decision is made!).

How can you use your body to control your mind? Listen to your gut. If your gut is happy, you are comfortable. If not, well, something is bothering you. You can’t quite put your finger on it- it just doesn’t FEEL right. Trust that. It is your gut having a feeling.  Your gut doesn’t really have a processing brain, so it is telling your processing brain (the one in your head!) to change something. The the brain tells the body, to produce chemicals, molecules, hormones, etc…to change the Mind! Yep, it is a feedback loop, in constant contact within itself.

The stress hormones, Cortisol, Testosterone, Estrogen are like fire. At a controlled, limited, and small level, fire is good. It heats your meals, warms your home, and keeps you comfortable. At uncontrolled, unlimited, big levels- fire wipes out entire forests, communities, and even lives. Just like the stress hormones. At a small level, those hormones allow us to focus, be excited, and thrilled. At a big level, they can obliterate our common sense, destroy our bodies and hearts, and make the mind become delusional. Making us think we are super smart, super strong, and cocky!

That is why your body and mind, have to be mindful of each other. Here is an example of the two levels in action:

1) High level of stress:

I once knew a girl who didn’t want to go to Grad School. When I asked her how she felt. She said:

“It makes me sick to my stomach to even think about it. I get nauseous, I want to cry. I feel so bad about myself. I feel dumb, and like a quitter if I don’t go. ”

Those feelings came from her gut and mind working together to let her know: “This is not the best thing for you.”

2) Low level of stress:

I asked that same girl, how do you feel about taking the job you were offered, instead of going on to Grad School”

Her whole demeanor changed: her voice became clear and upbeat, her pain and aches went away.  I asked her how she felt when thinking about the new job:

” I feel great. A little nervous, but excited. I know I can do the job, and do it well. I feel anticipation and not anxiety. I feel like I could make a difference. I feel they will be glad they hired me. I can’t wait to get to work!”

Luckily, this woman, chose the latter. She went to work, had a blast, mastered it, and is now looking for a new challenge. Had she followed the first path, well, she may well have become depressed, unfulfilled, and ended up as one of those poor people who say:

“I don’t understand. I did everything they asked me. Why am I so unhappy? I did what they told me to do. ”

Keep your body in shape, to keep your mind sharp. Keep your mind sharp to keep your body in shape. When all is well, with all of you, all of you will be well!

NOTE:  Since I had such a great response to my first set of stories. I shall try and publish 100 stories- in 100 days. I shall start on Monday , January 13th, 2013. Along with my stories, which will sometimes be stories, sometimes parables, sometimes, allegories- but always the best I could do – that day: I will also have another goal. After 100 stories, I hope to have 1,000 followers. If you like my Blog, and my stories,  I would be pleased and honored, if you could send them on to folks you think might like to follow me too.

Let’s see how 2013 goes! I made plans, and my body and mind are on board!

It is your year….

Okay, if the last decade and some change has showed us anything, it is that all of us need to start living our own lives. America has become doggone near a Corporate Conglomerate– which is good for business, but sucks for individuals. In our economy, we need jobs – because it is set up that way. Without work, well, your lifestyle has to be one of frugality, perhaps, or living your day, your way.

So, what can you do this year?

1) Get out of debt. It is what the system wants you to be in. Tied to a job that is killing you, and material things that feel like an anchor. Heck, if you are young, get a backpack and move around. If you are older consider renting, and being self sufficient. If you are old, find a way to downsize, and give back.

2) Think of what you really want to do with your life, and find some ways to make that happen.

3) Make sure you know what your basic needs are, and meet them. Anything after that becomes your life, your way!

4) Find some meaning in your life- things that make you smile.  Things that make you think, or work hard, but for your dreams.

5) Get your body and mind in sync. Don’t look pretty to be pretty – look good because you feel good. Stop thinking about those ten pounds- and feel good about yourself. Can you move without pain? Can you do the physical things you want to do? Well, then, forget about losing those last ten pound to look perfect.

It seems to me, that a lot of us want to wax an already clean car. It is just polish. Everything worked and was clean- the extra effort, just turns into stress. Stress is the big killer. Not the extra ten pounds. Now, if you have an extra fifty pounds, you might consider some changes. LOL

Okay, it is your life, it is your year. Use it for you. Build a life you like living, and then, live it.

Smiles, Kevin

Christmas Story number 25! Two men on a hill. Merry Christmas from Kevin

It was cold up on the hill. Very cold. Two men sat looking at the Stars. There were billions of them. The air was so clear that you could see everyone of them. They were so far from any city, that light, of any kind, other than the twinkling of starlight was non existent. It was if diamonds were being displayed on a black velvet background, except it cost nothing to view these diamonds and no velvet was ever as dark, or as smooth as the sheet the stars were laid out on.

Like a lot of Father and son talks, there wasn’t a lot of chatter. Even when they were just a young dad, and a little boy, they had that closeness that didn’t need words. They just knew. It was a bond that made “love”- have capital letters. It was a love that transcended time, and place, and being. Like the Universe in which it grew, it had no bounds. It was the Love that Poets never touched with mere words, that songs never reached with just lyrics, it was a love that a few lucky parents might have recognized, but not the amount or the power.

They had been sitting there for hours. Just enjoying the silence of companionship. The younger one knowing that some advice, some tip about life, or some statement he could carry in his heart, or call upon in times of strife, was stirring just beneath the need to talk. He waited. His Father seldom spoke. His dad was from the Old School of conversation, and the young man smiled as he thought of his Father’s words:

“Son, either say what you think, or think about what you say. Then, and only then, is it a true conversation. ”

So, the son said what he was thinking:

“Why is it, that most people need some kind of belief to sustain them?”

The Father pondered for a moment. For, like all good Fathers- he followed his own advice. His words, and his deeds- matched. It was a thoughtful pause, not a long pause, before he spoke again:

“Son, I think beliefs are just another way of “Hoping.” It isn’t the belief that is so important, it is believing in that belief that gives someone Hope. ”

The Son shook his head slowly, not in a negative manner, or dismissive manner, but in a “I am not so sure I understand what you mean, manner.”

“You know I love you, son.”

“Yes, Father. I do.”

“Prove it. ”

“What do you mean?”

“I mean, prove it. Give me some love. Show me some. Measure it. Give me evidence that you love me. Where do you keep your love for me, how much of it have you used up? Is there a limit? Is there more love to come? Or can’t you really find a way to prove you love me?”

“You know I love you Dad. I always have. I can’t prove it, but you know I love you.”

“See?”

The younger man stood up. He walked in a small circle. It was the walk of youth, of someone who had perfect health, and always had. The walk that has no history of pain, or infirmity, or of loss. It is the walk of youth, of innocence, of almost no effort. It is the walk of someone who had never stumbled before. It was his walk.

“No, Father, I don’t.”

“You see son. What you have is a belief that you love me, and that I love you. The Hope in you, is so strong, that your belief in me, and me in you, needs no evidence. Not everyone is as strong as you- or I. So, they need belief to strengthen their Hope, and Hope to strengthen their beliefs.”

The son sat back down on the mountain side. Snow had started to fall. Fall, was the wrong word, it floated in a way that apologized for intruding on the two men’s conversation. It snowed, because that is what it was supposed to do. Unlike most snow, it didn’t muffle their words, but made them clear and precise. Stark. Sharp. Solid. Words that had a beauty form in the air around them. True words.

“I think I understand, Father. A thought breeds hope, which breeds beliefs, which breed actions, until the hope and the belief become one. So, if you think you love someone, and you believe you do; then you will act like you love them. ”

The Father placed a hand on his young son’s shoulder, squeezing it slightly. An encouraging squeeze. One that the young man knew meant he was on the right track with this.

” If you belief hard enough, hope hard enough, act loving, the other person will respond with their own hope of being loved. Their belief that someone loves them will grow. They will act more loving. One day, they will love, the hope will grow, and the belief of being loved will be cherished. ”

The Father smiled.

The son stood up again. With that graceful strength the young posses; where there is no transition from sitting to standing. One moment they are sitting, the next standing. No effort. No grunts or clicking of joints, or conscious thought to get up. They merely want to be standing, and they are. The cold was noticed by both men, but only for its clearness, not for its discomfort. It was a welcome cold, for it spoke of change, and the hope of warmth.

The older man stood up too. Strangely enough, even with his age, and he was much, much, much older than the son, he made the same effortless transition from sitting to standing. Had anyone seen him stand, they would have thought it was a miracle. They would have been right.

The Father put his arm around his son, as they started down the Hill. The son didn’t pull away. He leaned into that arm for support. The hill wasn’t steep, but his future was, and he needed that support, like water needs a stream, or a baby needs a nap. It has to be there.

They both stopped at the bottom of the hill. Letting a bunch of people walk by to get to the small town just a few miles up the road. In the darkness, which for them- wasn’t, just before they parted ways,  the Father turned to his young son:

“If you need me. For anything. Just ask.”

“I will. Father. I will.”

“Don’t forget.”

“I won’t. ”

“Keep Hope alive.”

” I will.”

The Father took one more look in his son’s eyes. He loved the innocence shining through. The clear curiosity, and loving acceptance, that rose like Hope and Love, to pour out of his son’s eyes. The son saw the same things shining in his Father’s eyes. It made him appreciate the wisdom his Father had.

As the Father walked into the driving snow, leaving no footprints, or even a hint of his passage to betray where he went; the son turned towards the little town, and read the sign:

Bethlehem.
MERRY CHRISTMAS. Kevin Hughes

 

 

 

Pondering perspective….

Aloha Folks,  ,

When one of my friends spoke of perspective, I had to ponder that. As you know, I have never experienced a drug of any kind- until I took that pain pill – my daughter actually laughed when she said: “Dad, you were high.” I didn’t know what that feeling was like. I didn’t like it. It was bizarre to have two lines of thought going on in my head, at the same time.
Like someone caught between two worlds.

Almost as if, I had two consciousnesses. Both were aware, and aware of each other, yet totally unconcerned with the actions, or goings on, in the other. That made me think back to DMT the “Spirit Molecule” – which we discussed a long time ago. I did read the book, watch the documentary, and listen to several interviews of people struggling to explain – in words, what was probably not meant to be constrained by words or definitions.

I really think, that if there was pharmaceutical level DMT available (since that seems to skip that whole nausea thing! LOL), and scientists were looking for volunteers to study: I would take it. And not the minor dosage he gave in the documentary, but a full dose. If it gave a perspective of Universal connection, which is where my thoughts are headed; and allowed me to experience that connection…well, that would be neat. Especially if that experience left me connected, or offered me the choice to switch between “realities” at will.

As you know, I am becoming quite convinced that life, intelligence, and consciousness are not linear, or defined. I do believe that they are more like the volume knob on a radio- and can be dialed up to a higher state. I have become convinced that the Universe itself is a Brain. I believe that computers, stars, galaxies, and local groups, are hierarchal organized intelligences. Each experiencing life, with their limiting physical state.

When we die – which I am becoming almost certain we don’t- we absorb into a web of consciousness, while retaining a sense of self, but not of ego. We are stardust, and perhaps, we return to stardust. Or even beyond that.
I am even wondering, if being aware- isn’t the first, and lowest level of intelligence one can assign to a thinking being.

Brain scientists seem to think that at around 26 billion neuronal connections, a brain becomes self aware- that it “knows” it is alive. A bit more, and it can even think of itself as unique. Up around our 86 billion or so, well, we get us. Aware of ourselves, and others. So, a mouse can “Think” but it doesn’t seem to know it thought.

So we know intelligence can be present without any mind being present. Like the tiny shrimp that “build” walls around their hidey holes; selecting certain pebbles, rejecting others, and then placing them just so. That is intelligent. Yet, I doubt they love, hate, read poetry, or wonder about the meaning of life.

Animals that play, seem to have fun. And some animals truly play – play without purpose. It looks like that is a very small club indeed- us, the dolphins, and maybe some chimps, but not apes. Hmm…..

So maybe intelligence that is aware, needs to play without purpose; which in our four dimensions, becomes fate. If 26 billion connections is the entry level, and our 86 billion neuronal connections brought us to this level, well what could the trillions of connections of the energy field between stars bring? Or the trillions of galaxies fields yield?

Anyways, that is what my mind has been mulling over lately. How do we make that connection, so that something more aware than us, becomes aware of us? And what would that awareness bring us?

Smiles, Kevin just pondering

 

End of the season….

We have no more ports. Just a foggy and wet trip back to Vancouver, and then, the season is officially over.

Way back in early May, when the snow still draped the landscape all the way to the edge of the sea; the season began. May, June, July, August, September…with little variation in temperature. Rarely did it get as high as 60 degrees Fahrenheit, and not much cooler than 40 Degrees. In fact, for almost a month, the temperatures in Juneau read like this: High today- 48. Low today-46. Rain, fog, and heavy rain, and high winds, were the norm.

The most exciting thing to happen this season, by far, was the birth of our first Grand daughter! Welcome to the world little one. She is already loved, cuddled, and nestled into a home that wants her. Her young life already being shaped by love.

My favorite conversations for the season?

Well, I wrote blogs about two of them- the young lady facing terminal cancer; who’s wisdom, and strength of character astounded and humbled me, was one of them.

The other, much more recent, was the combined conversation in three parts. In which, my best friend Ed, my wife Kathy, and I , shared some thoughts. Ed bowled me over with just his sure determined power of thought, and Kathy, well, she stopped me in my tracks, with a concept so powerful, it never dawned on me. She said simply: “You are thinking like a person with only three dimensions to live in.” Wow.

My favorite hike? All of them. I love being out in the woods, or forests, or cities, or mountains, or trails. I am usually by myself. It is my church. I go there to realize how special this earth really is. Surprisingly, I get the same feeling walking around big cities too. Maybe it is the long walk, or maybe one is a forest of trees, and the other, a forest of people; living things , both.

I love walking with my Kathy. We walk often when we are together. Occasionally, I get to walk with groups of friends, and those tend to become long gentle conversations on the move. Walking, for me, is my thinking time. Or my blending into the world time. Sometimes, I just walk in awe, with no thought deeper than : ” Wow.”

What did I learn this summer? Well, for starters, bring pepper spray! Yep. At then end of the summer, after more than one thousand hours of hiking in the woods and mountains; I bought a “Backpackers Guide to Hiking.” Let me tell you, I learned so much that I did WRONG- it is amazing I am still here. All because of luck.

I did dress properly, and I had the right shoes, brought enough water- and there, my short list of things done well, ends. Even though bear encounters are rare, I had no protection at all. Not even an air horn, whistle, or bear bells. Nope. None. Just kinda moseying through the hills and dales, depending on luck. No primary plan. No back up plan. Just a guy walking to prove Darwin’s theory– that the weak and stupid genes get weeded out! LOL

Next season, I will have a “Day” pack. In it will be: an emergency GPS, several power bars, a lightweight, fireproof, and waterproof blanket- which could serve as a makeshift tent, pepper spray, extra dry socks, a first aide kit, and a water filtering system. Oh, and some rope. Yep. I figure it might cost me about $200 bucks to put together. A one time fee, that might just save my life. “Be prepared,” is the Boy scout motto for a reason. I wasn’t.

On the personal front. After age sixty, maintaining physical shape is a priority. You can still “overachieve” for short bursts, but, you pay a price for that. My old Basketball coach used to say: “Stay within yourself.” Funnily enough, my old running coach, used to say the same thing. In fact, my old Chemistry teacher said the same thing. Except she said: “Don’t try to be smarter than everyone else. Just be your kind of smart.” Which is chemistry jargon for : “Stay within yourself.” LOL

Finding your own boundaries, limitations, and areas where you can still succeed- is a difficult challenge. You have to block out what society tells you, what your doctor tells you, what the media tells you, and what the folks around you tell you. All of them are telling you something about how you should be, could be, or might be. And they are all wrong!

You, are the one who needs to figure out who, what and why- you are. Limits to your growth can be from any of those sources, and the worst limiting factor is probably yourself. Find out what your limits are, for real, not imaginary limits, real limits. Then, grow to those limits.

It has been a summer that sped by, with quiet talks, and moments that will stay in my memory for a long time. I blogged about the sun setting the sky on fire, and the mountains pouring into the sea. It has been a summer of love, of growth, of connection. It has also been a summer of intense introspection; provided by the long walks in the mountains, or the hours spent alone in an 8 X 10 foot cabin. There is much I need to ponder. And, much that I did.

This summer has altered a lot of my goals for next year, and added a few more labels to me: foremost: Grandpa! I did live again this summer, and had I died, it wouldn’t have mattered to me, but to those I love. For me, it has been a wonderful life- and the lessons never seem to stop. I wonder if there is any limit to how much life, you can put into living? Or how much living, you can put into life?

Those are questions, I still cannot answer. One question I can answer: ” Dad, would you like to hold your new Grand Daughter?” “Yes, Honey, I would.”

As I cradle her in my arms, I will whisper to her, what my wife Kathy, whispered to both our children when they were born:
“Welcome to the world, little one. Welcome to the world.”

Wonder…Wander….and Wonder…

The three “W’s” . Wonder: like at the infinite night sky, realizing you are seeing a small percentage of our Universe. Wander: through the physical gifts of this planet -Earth. Through the world of ideas, or music, or art, or people. Wonder: as in I wonder, what could be, will be, or should be, wonder why, or wonder how…it  will start you wondering, which can cause wandering, leading to Wonder!

I have watched my daughter , and my wife, grow a baby in their bellies. It fills you with wonder. When that baby comes out, miracles become apparent. The first time you hold your own child- it will fill you with wonder and awe. Pure wonder. Wow!

Then as you wander through life, you notice that folks aren’t really that different. You notice patterns, and habits, and bits and pieces of history, culture, or custom, come to your attention. If you wander farther, you may start to travel inwards, wandering through the labyrinths of your mind and existence – and wonder how you got where you are. It might make you wonder. If you are lucky, it might even make you filled with Wonder, that you survived, grew, and blossomed. I wonder.

Wondering why, or how, or what…often leads to wandering, which, in turn, can lead to wonder. My eldest daughter, when she was only five, chided me for looking at the ants on our sidewalk, but not seeing them. I stopped looking like an adult, and I watched and looked like a child. I soon, did see the ants. I saw them with wonder, that something that small could carry something that big, like a leaf more than 20 times its body weight. I began to wonder, how they found their way back to the ant pile? We wandered around until we found the ant pile, and then after watching in wonder, we were struck with how , if you looked hard enough, you could see that some of the ants were shaped different. That they had guards around the ant mound. It filled you with wonder, at the incredible complexity, yet single minded purpose of the hive. It made you wonder: ” Is there a hive mind?” Do, all those little ants, with the same purpose, cause an intelligent response to their environment? Then you wonder: are we a Hive society, just using the internet, and not chemical signals to interact?

Some folks wander the Earth, looking for themselves. Some wander for excitement or novel experiences. Some wander, because they can. Wandering almost always leads to wonder. Standing on the top of a mountain, or on a glass like sea, or in extreme cold , like Antarctic Ice, or the Sand dunes of the Sahara, will fill you with Wonder. It will also make you wonder, will we make it out of here? Then , if you are not wandering, you may.

Wonder, wander, and wonder. Do them all. Do them often. Keep wondering why you are wandering, until something fills you with wonder. Then….do it again!

It’s all in your head….

Yep. It is all in your head. Love someone? In your head. Think that is a pretty picture? It is in your head. Think the world is wonderful, or it just plain sucks? In your head. Yep. Everything you think, feel, experience and witness – is in your head.

There is a book on the brain called: The Three Pound Universe. It is called that for a reason, the Universe is also in your head. Yep. You literally create your own Universe in your head, by how and what gets into it, and then how or what you think about it.

Take something as simple as Love. (lol) Everyone “knows ” what it is, most of us have experienced it, in some form or shape, but, loving someone is completely in your own head. You can’t save it, bottle it, or measure it; you just know it. When somebody loves you, you can only judge by their words and actions if they do. The strange part is, you can filter those words and actions to find a way for them to mean that you are not loved!  In other words, your head determines what your heart  hears.

Here  is a recent example from my own personal life, two actually. One time, a friend told me that I talked to much, and I should just shut up.  I was in 8th Grade. I respected and liked her, and thought she was smart. So, I did what she said. I shut up. I didn’t talk for months. Only to answer direct questions. The school shrink got involved. Once I realized they were thinking I was depressed, well, I chatted like a myna bird for hours.

When I went up to the young lady and said: “Man, they almost locked me up, just because I became quiet like you told me too. ” “What? I was just in a bad mood that day. I love when you talk. Most of the time it is interesting or funny. I wondered why you became so quiet.”  I was stunned. I shut up for months, because of a “Bad Mood” in the head of a person who wasn’t even thinking about me?  That was my first lesson in “it is all in your head.”  Her head wasn’t even thinking about me, and I drew the attention of a shrink, over a bad mood in another person’s head! “Never More!” quoth the Raven that is me.

From a more recent event. Another friend sent me two short emails. I thought she was hinting not to ever write her again. So, I didn’t.  (I know, this is starting to sound like I am really sensitive. Well, I am. LOL ) About a week later, I get a short note that began with: ” Is anyone out there?” …. I laughed and wrote her an email explaining I thought she gave me a strong hint. She said: “Whatever gave you that idea?”  In other words:  it was all in my head. It wasn’t her, it was me.

Think about your own life. How many times did you “feel” that someone didn’t like you, or need you, or love you, only to find out they counted on you? How many stupid people do you meet, when YOU are in a bad mood? When you feel “bitchy”, isn’t it amazing how many “bitches” you run into? When you doubt yourself, isn’t it amazing at how stupid you feel?

It’s all in your head. This is why you have to learn to channel those thoughts running around your head. Stop the negative ones as soon as they appear- just put them in a bubble, watch them float out of your body, and pop them!  Blame, well accept it if it is truly warranted. Admit to it. Resolve or make amends; THEN MOVE ON. Blame is not permanent, neither is guilt, nor shame. Other people’s heads are carrying those things around- so empty yours.  Here is a favorite tale of mine :

 

Two monks leave the monastery to beg for food. They are not allowed to look at, or touch women. On the way back the Old monk, and the Young monk, see a very pretty young woman. She is terrified to cross a raging stream. Without a word, the Old Monk puts her on his back, she wraps her smooth, young firm legs around his waist , wraps her slim arms around his neck, and he carries her quickly across the torrent.  On the other side, he puts her down, she thanks him gratefully, and off she goes.

The two monks walk back to the Monastery in silence. Once within the gates, and they can talk again, the Young monks fires off an angry diatribe: “What were you thinking? We are not allowed to even look at women, let alone touch them. Yet, you had her body wrapped  around yours and carried her across that river!!!”

The Old Monk smiles. “Yes, all that you say, is true. I did carry the young woman across the raging creek. But, I sat her down. You, are still carrying her.”

So, who are you still carrying?

It is all in your head, so learn how to set it down.

Walking with me. Thinking with me.

Walking with myself.

I like walking. In snow. In rain. In sunshine. Uphill, if it is gentle enough for me. Down hill is a little harder. On the beach, or in sand can be either difficult, or easy walking. Walking with people I love, or by myself. I have always walked. To the zoo. To ballgames. To dates. To friends houses. To woods, forests, jungles, beaches, mountains, and valleys. In cities, and parks. Mostly though, I end up walking by myself.

More and more, my thoughts turn to folks I love, or ideas that come to me while I walk. Until about five years ago, fear and guilt were much more likely to be my companions. It took a long time to let go. Looking back, letting go much, much, much earlier – would have made my life easier. Nobody is perfect. I certainly wasn’t. So what? Play to your strengths. My walks have become very pleasant for me now. Guilt and fear, have to find someone else’s back to be the monkey on.

I think when I walk. I think about many things. Like is the Universe itself – intelligent? Why would I think that? Because as I walk, facts gather in my head, they make connections, and because their is no other voice to crowd them out or deafen them; they linger, meld, and form a cohesive idea out of those fact.

If you were walking with me; it might go like this:

“You know, it takes 200 million neurons to fire in concert to form an entity that is self aware.”

“Really?”

“Yes.That seems so, anyways. I wonder about that, because neurons are really stupid. They can’t see, or hear, or speak, or even sense light. In fact, they are dumber than almost any bacteria.”

“Is that so?”

“From what I understand, yes.”

A few moments go by, as I think about how much colder the water is near a rapidly cascading water fall. I wonder exactly how much colder, and think it must be at least ten degrees or more. Is it from the evaporation? Is that how sweat works? I wonder. Then, I continue on with my earlier dialog.

” Neurons use the difference in electric potential, to send signals, that release a chemical, which then excites or inhibits another cell to do the same. Kind of an electro-chemical- pathway. So, basically, the whole brain is just energy flowing at certain speeds, and vibrating at a certain frequency. 200 million of them, in concert, and you get a thought: ” I think, therefore I am. ”

“You don’t say!”

“Yes, I do say. In fact, I daresay that any 200 million nodes of anything that is energy connected, may in fact, form a thought. ”

“Like computers.”

“Oh, definitely. Just not in a language we can understand, or a speed we could comprehend.”

“Are they alive?”

“I don’t know. I think some forms of intelligence wouldn’t fit our definition of “Living.” Maybe you don’t even need life to have a brain of some sort. Maybe intelligence can exist on its own.”

“Give me an example.”

“Okay, 200 million neurons firing in concert can be self aware- that seems to be the threshold for us primates.”

“Okay, but give me an example.”

“How many stars are in our Galaxy?”

” Billions , I would guess.”

“And are they connected?”

“I don’t know, they are clustered.”

“Exactly. Just like regions of the mind, there are more dense areas, and less dense areas. And it appears they are connected by jets of plasma and hot gasses that we can see. AND by dark energy filaments. If you took a picture of a galaxy with certain wavelengths, and mapped out the dark energy and filaments, it would look exactly like a human brain firing. Nodes, and all. ”

“You think galaxies are intelligent?”

“No. I think they could be. But even they would only be part of the intelligence in the sky.”

“What?”

“How many galaxies are there? ”

“Must be billions, or more.”

“Exactly. ”

“Let me guess, they are connected in local groups, and then superstructures, and even bigger connections than that.”

“Yep.”

A moment of silence. I watch as a porcupine, the first one I have ever seen in the wild, crosses my path. Stops and sees me, then scurries off into the underbrush, with his bristles, well- bristling. I want to get closer, as he climbs a tree. But, I can’t remember. Are there two types of porcupine? One that you have to try and touch to get the needle sharp porcupine spines imbedded in your face and hands, and another that can launch them like darts or arrows? I can’t remember, and don’t know enough. So, I just stare at him as he stares back at me from the tree, just 20 feet away, and fifteen feet up. His spines relax, as he realizes I am no threat, and he ignores me. I thought he was as big as a 40 pound dog, now, with his spines relaxed, I realize he is about the size of a possum. I resume my dialog with myself.

“So, you are saying that we are the smallest layer of intelligence? That when there are more than 200 million stars connected, they might be way smarter than a human being? And Intelligent. And if 200 million galaxies are connected by filaments of dark energy – that they might be smart too?!”

“Yep, in fact, I think that energy, may be intelligence, if not life. In fact, I think the entire Universe may be a giant living brain. Making the idea of : “We are all God, and God is all us.” A literal and figurative metaphor.

“Well, it has been nice talking to you. ”

At this point in my walk, ironically, I find in my path, a huge pile of steaming bear poop. It is still fresh. And, it is in the middle of the path. I can’t tell from the droppings, if the bear was headed up the valley, down the valley , or across the valley. For a moment, my thoughts stop, Fear takes over. I freeze.

Then the 200 million neurons in my head fire in concert, and stay focused: “Don’t panic, start singing, and walk out of here.”

I did. So, those stupid cells did a very smart thing, they acted.

That is how I walk. That is how I think. Now that you have gone on a walk with me; perhaps, you realize why I walk alone so many times. LOL