Thursday, May 17, 2018

Friendly Competition

As you may know about me, I love me some wordplay. And I love to muse and ponder about colloquial phrases that we use, often without thinking about what we are really saying, meaning, or avoiding. 

Yesterday, I took a break from activity and watched TV yesterday for the first time in a long time. I was surprised at how the "friendly competition" idea seemed to be everywhere (conflict is the stuff of good plots after all!) and I didn't experience any of it as friendly. (and no, i wasn't watching reality shows!). Whether spoken or unspoken, competition seemed to be part of the War model - where there is a winner and a loser. And once we put competition in motion, there is going to be a winner and a loser. And who likes to lose? What does it mean to be a "good loser?" 

I've heard that a little competition is "good for us" in that it helps us better ourselves. It helps us go further, faster, than we normally would. This in an of itself poses some interesting questions: Why do we need something else to "push" us? Why is it about the external motivator? Is it because at some level we don't believe in ourselves? Is it because at some level we are constantly comparing ourselves to those around us and measuring our selves, our successes, our failures in relationship to our externals?

So this "friendly competition" - is it really friendly? When we look at  how many likes we get on Facebook, or how many comments or reactions we get on whatever other social media outlet we use, when does it feel friendly? And if I'm "friends" with all these people, why wouldn't I just "Like" (or love or react), in other words acknowledge, every single comment or photo?

What I started thinking about was how we defend this model of competition, making it OK, and even desirable. We justify our need to see things as greater than or less than by smiling and saying things like - "a little friendly competition is good for you." Why not just say "competition is good for you"? Why not just call it "competition?" If we do it in a "friendly" way, it's OK? And is it? There is still a winner and a loser. And if we are ok with winners/losers and survival of the fittest, than no problem! Let's just admit that we love a good fight and we are OK with someone else going down as we rise up! What I question is the label of "friendly" which tells me there are some "good" and "bad" competitions. Are we sugar coating something to make the medicine go down a bit easier? To "elevate" our animal/survival instincts? Isn't competition just the act of competing? 

The definition of compete is to "strive to gain or win something by defeating or establishing superiority over others who are trying to do the same." And what is friendly about that?

Friday, March 30, 2018

Wednesday, March 14, 2018

Rain Brings Reminders

When it rains, I am reminded of these things:

Stay  hydrated
Be fluid
Be aware of the presence of tears and let them flow
There are Masters present
Slow down
Slow down so you can see/hear/express more clearly
Things may be surprisingly slippery so pay attention
Wet things dry
There is light in the rain
There is power in water
It's a miracle
Nourish yourself
Stay hydrated

Tuesday, March 13, 2018

Party time!

Yes! A "going away" party! (reward at the end of this blog!)

What does that mean? Well, the obvious of course. John and I are giving up our "permanent" residence in SF, and will become "permanent" somewhere else.

But for me, the real "going away" is really a "moving towards." An appreciation of the waves of life, and a willingness to acknowledge and act with the timing of those waves without resistance. 

As you know, we talk about yoga as energy management. Thank you Rod Stryker for that brilliant way of putting it! And "going away" is more about re-evaluating how I'm spending my energy. How much here, how much there, and how those "investments" of my energy (conscious, unconscious, or "life/shit/more happens" are working out. And the "moving towards" is taking steps towards different outcomes (#doingitdifferentlyin2018 #gethonestfaster)

And I have nothing in my life to complain about. Seriously. So I'm not escaping anything, or giving anything up. In tantra, we talk about "adhikara," or "next steps." More like "the most appropriate/best next steps." And that's what this is. Adhikara. 

So let's celebrate together! Celebrate all the "going aways" we've ever done and continue to do! All the moving towards that come from going aways! And all in the quest to move closer and closer into Present Moment, which is actually one of the stars in this whole show. 

And in "going away," well, I'm only changing mailing addresses. Our connection isn't going away. My commitment to teaching and my willingness to serve the Wholeness isn't going away. I'm moving towards a different way of doing it. And we've trained some amazing local teachers, so step into their amazing-ness! And in our amazing age of technology, we can "see" each other anytime! It looks like we have figured out a way to teleport after all! ;-)  

So here is the info on the Party! 
6:30 -- doors open
8pm -- The Mazzei's play some music for 1/2 hour
10-11 -- Pack it out

How to get there: 1094 Revere @ Griffith, Room A34. It's a warehouse. Come in the side door on Griffith. Come up the stairs. The studio is about 1/3 down the hall on the right. Look for clues. 

This is your "reward!" The evite! Check it out for details!
But the biggest reward is the love and support we have for each other. And THAT is something to party about!

Friday, March 9, 2018

You can't mess this up

You can't mess this up. This life is already messy. The mess is part of it. And if you think our individual lives are messy, consider how messy the Wholeness is, with all those individual lives roaming about!  Maybe part of the pain of the mess, is that we actually think that things should be neat and orderly. And perhaps the mess is orderly, depending on how "mess" and "order" are defined. Accept that we can't control the mess of the world. We can only control the mess we make. And sometimes it seems we can't even control that!

So, accept and enjoy the puzzles, the challenges, the mess. And when you make a mess, clean it up. Cuz that's one way we grow. 

Tuesday, March 6, 2018

Favorable Circumstances

Not that it's about favors, but one way to look at it is:

When you receive, you do the giver a favor.
When you give, you do the receiver a favor.

This exchange makes for favorable circumstances if we let go and play our part of the exchange without conditions or apology.

Monday, March 5, 2018

Age of Reason: Part 3 - Being Reasonable About It

Exploring reason (which is starting to sound like raison, which is close to French for reason, which is making me kind of hungry, even though I just ate. Not very reasonable.)

What does reason get us?
Being "reasonable."
"If we can only reason with them."
"There must be a reason."
"Everything happens for a reason."

In our vernacular, it seems like we put a lot of energy into trying to make sense out of things. And justify choices with Reason. And for good reason? Maybe, depending on the circumstances.

But what if reason doesn't seem to be working? Or what if reason is no longer enough/satisfying? What if you glimpse something that defies reason, and yet you Know it is true?

At some point, as we move into realms that transcend the dimension of duality,  we need to surrender our need to know why and the need to make sense out of things. This also pulls out our need to make cents out of things. We need to surrender our need to "reason" as our first response. As we surrender our need to reason, we begin to trust our intuitive faculties more, and the connection to the divine becomes more "reasonable."