Monday, August 27, 2012

How to Embrace Life

In this post I will continue with my discussion on how to experience life's tough times and problem areas in a manner that keeps us calm, confident, creative and connected to our goals and ultimate life's purpose. I know it’s a big order but you'll see it's not as difficult as it sounds. We just have to make a few assumptions.

The 1st assumption is you have read and understand my prior posts on our spiritual, physical and intellectual natures. Next, we assume that in tough times our intellectual nature (coach) reviews the possible solutions available to us, chooses the one it wants and then sends in the play for our body to complete. Our intellectual nature performs this function because our “free will” resides there.

So the question really becomes “How does our coach know what play to send in”? In ideal situations the coach has a relationship with and consults our spiritual nature (mentor) prior to sending in a play. This is especially necessary when we are experiencing those one-of-a-kind problems frequently thrown at us by life.

We won’t always come up with the “perfect” solution to the problem. As a matter of fact, we may not come up with a solution at all. That’s because the job of our mentor is to lead us in the direction of our highest and best good. Unfortunately, sometimes we’ll have to experience tough times in order to get there. That's why it's so important that we develop a close working relationship with this spiritual nature. It will somehow let us know that what we are experiencing is ok.

As faith in this relationship increases so will our ability to confidently deal with life's tough times. I'm reminded of a quote by Emmanuel Teney. who says: “As your faith is strengthened you will find that there is no longer the need to have a sense of control, that things will flow as they will, and that you will flow with them, to your great delight and benefit.”

As the interconnectedness between our spiritual, intellectual and physical nature matures we will begin to embrace life, be less prone to worry and reduce our stress levels by not trying to control how things must be. We will recognize that we have a competent mentor and coach to help us experience life in the physical world as it unfolds. We’ll also learn that tough times occur when we resist what’s going on in our life.

Also, by understanding and utilizing the previously discussed law of cause and effect we are able to choose our response to life. We can choose either to become victors over what's going on in our life or to become victimized by these same issues. The choice is simple and the choice is ours.

I hope you’ve enjoyed this series on our spirit-mind-body connection. In my next few posts I'll discuss how to apply this concept to areas of leadership, productivity, health and our work-life balance. Until then here's hoping you live today and every day passionately and with purpose. Thank you and God bless.

Friday, August 17, 2012

Solving Life's Problems Using Our 3-Part Nature

In this post I will tie together the 3 aspects of our human nature, namely the spiritual, intellectual and physical. I’ve discussed our spiritual nature (inner voice) in previous posts. I’ve also discussed our intellect and stated that it houses our “free will”. If I had to assign roles to these natures, I would say the spiritual performs the role as “Mentor” and our intellect as “Coach”.

In the past, I likened our spiritual nature to a GPS, which unerringly provides us directions towards our destination. It doesn't matter where we’re located because it knows how to guide us safely to our chosen destination. And as you know a mentor is defined as a trusted counselor or guide. It's our spiritual nature or mentor that often guides us to a solution to those one-of-a-kind problems that are unsolvable by intellect alone.

My goal in this post is to provide a simplistic overview of how the different aspects of our nature interrelate as we experience life's tough times and problem areas. It’s not to tell you how to go about your normal day-to-day activities, which are usually placed on cruise control anyway. By that I mean, upon waking each day we normally use the restroom, cleanup, get something to eat and then complete our daily activities. At the end of each day we do what is necessary to prepare for the next, and so on. Our intellect handles this aspect of our life quite well.

When life’s tough times and problem areas occur, our intellect (consisting of our mind, will, desires and emotions) chooses a desired outcome. It then allows our GPS to issue directions and guide us towards our desired destination.

Additionally, our intellect (Coach) sends instructions to our physical body (which assumes the role of “Player”) that allow us to interact with other bodies and the material world. Our bodies do nothing more than wait on the sidelines for the coach to send in a play (“Gimme the ball coach, Gimme the ball”). It then uses its physical attributes to carry out that play to the best of its ability.

Our physical body is a complex, finite organism that has no volition of its own. It returns to the earth when our intellectual nature/life force no longer occupies it. It does however have the necessary intelligence to monitor its own operation and sends signals back to the coach when it detects an internal malfunction or breakdown. A simple analogy is that our body is like an automobile that’s useless until occupied by a driver (intellect/life force).

The take away from this post is that in order to successfully experience the tough times and problem areas of life in a manner that keeps us calm, confident, creative and connected to our guide, we must understand how to employ an integrated approach that involves our 3-part nature. This is accomplished when the “Mentor” provides guidance to the “Coach” who directs the activities of the “Player”.

I will provide more examples of how this works in my next post. Until then, here's hoping that you live today and every day passionately and with purpose. Thank you and God bless!

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Intellect and Awareness - The Dynamic Duo

In my last post entitled “Be aware of your instincts”; I discussed “The Intellect” and how it interacts with our three-part nature. I stated that while it is a valuable tool in solving empirical problems, it is not very useful alone in solving the one-of-a-kind personal problems we find in life. I have already shared with you a few of my successes; now let me share with you an area of personal setback. It's not an area I'm proud of but I share it in order help you to not make the same mistakes I made and to say that it's not important what happens to us in life. It's how we respond to what happens to us that really counts.

As a matter of fact, if you are like me, the more I use my intellect alone to solve personal problems it seems the more personal problems I get. For example, early in life as a result of my engineering background and problem solving ability, I concluded that I should easily be able to find a mate and life's partner. I thought if she was attractive, articulate and intelligent then we would make a good couple. Sound a bit chauvinistic, don't I? Boy, was I wrong!

It took me 3 divorces to figure out that there is much more to finding a mate than their looks, conversation and intelligence. I found out that I should be aware of their home life, interaction with their parents, past history, emotional stability and many other things. I also needed to be aware of how we connected and interacted together on a personal basis. However, I only saw my potential mates as I wanted to see them and not for whom they really were.

In seeing them that way, my mind created a person that never really existed. This wasn't their problem; it was mine. I gave them attributes they never really had and assumed their life’s goals were the same as mine. However, I did determine an interconnection between our intellect and awareness.

Wikipedia states that Awareness is the state or ability to perceive, to feel, or to be conscious of events, objects, or sensory patterns. Had I been more aware and in the moment, I would have paid more attention to those areas where I sensed incompatibilities in my relationships. Understand that I am not blaming anyone. I am just stating I should have examined my feelings more closely at those times. However, since I had always created my relationships in the same manner, it wasn’t until I hit rock bottom that I was ready to try something new.

As a result I spent a number of years using my intellect to learn about personal and interpersonal relationships and the secrets to their success. After applying these principles I was finally able to sustain a good relationship for more than a few years.  My point is that without this proper combination of intellect and awareness, I would’ve been doomed to failure.

Now relationships aren't the only areas of life where we continually butt our heads against the wall. Other areas may include health, finances, purpose for living, etc. and we will discuss these in future posts. Until then here's hoping that you live today and every day passionately and with purpose. Thank you and God bless!