Category: Essays

Method to My Madness

Maybe this is the most self-congradulatory thing I’ve ever written. If it is, I don’t care. What I DO care about, on the other hand, is that I got it done. And while I tend to spend a lot of my time surfing a chaos wave of random thoughts and actions, get things done I do. Lots of things. So many things that not a day goes by where someone doesn’t come up to me and ask, “Trystin, how do find the time to get so much done?” or something to that extent. After all, by the halfway point of this year, I’ve already written two plays, four essays, held two readings, wrote the first 10 chapters of a novel, moved into a new apartment, reworked the rules for a board game, got a new job, added 4 stone-solid friends to my collection, launched this very website, got cast in two short plays, and graduated from level one of Upright Citizen’s Brigade’s Improv Class. This isn’t me showing off…it’s just fact. I usually reply to the question with a smirk and a shrug or some snarky fantastical response like, “I bend time”  or “I’m an alien.” Well, stand back, friends, for I shall now trade in my answers of fantasy for one of reality…

PART ONE: PREP YOURSELF

Figure out your purpose.
Simmer down. This isn’t as ALL EMCOMPASSING as it seems. Well, actually, it is. But it’s not as difficult as it seems. Deep down we all know our purpose. It’s just that sometimes we’re either afraid of acknowledging it or covering it up with an over-glorified goal.

Check it: Purposes are more about who we are than what we want. They are not something we can attain (that’s a goal), they are the force that drives us. So when someone says that their purpose is “to become a famous actor” they are actually stating a goal and limiting themselves to other things they can be doing or being that could be just as satisfying. Also, by putting a tangible ceiling on something as big as a purpose there is this overwhelming feeling of disappointment if it is not reached…or a sense of “Damn…why am I still not fulfilled…?” if it is.

I’ve decided that my purpose is “to be an inspirer.” It’s something I can always explore and do and grow in different ways, through an insanely diverse amount of goals. Imagine if my purpose was “to become a great writer”. It pains me to think of all the other methods to inspire that I would miss out on!

Have a ton of goals, great and small.
This one’s pretty obvious right? If you want to get something done, have something that you want to get done. The most important part of this step the pluralization of the word “goals” as in, more than one (we’ll talk more about this later). Then there’s the “great and small” part. Every goal doesn’t have to be “Save the world” or “Lose a million pounds”. Try something like, “Buy some paintbrushes” or “Call best friend tonight.” These are simple tasks that will not only allow you to then move on to greater things (like painting a picture or venting, sharing, and laughing with one of your besties), but also give you a little boost of positive energy that you can use to tackle the bigger goals…or even unfortunate necessities like paying bills or going to work, with just a little extra pep in your step.

Make lists.
I can’t even begin to say how important this step is. Make lists like crazy. Put everything on them. To me, lists come in two different flavors.  There’s the brainstorming list and the focused list.  The brainstorming list has EVERYTHING. This is the best list ever. Go crazy. The crazier the better.  Here’s an excerpt from one I did a couple weeks ago:

  • Become a bartender
  • Adopt a baby of a different race than me/husband
  • Write a play about terraforming
  • Learn Spanish
  • Be a motivational speaker
  • Eat at that ninja restaurant
  • Read a book from the Sociology section of a book store
  • Eat healthier
  • Use fear as a launchpad to adventure

I probably have way too much fun doing this…and you should, too. The more ground you cover and the more you override your doubts and allow yourself  to jot down, the more open your mind will be in actually achieving things. Plus, I guarantee the brainstorming list will reveal some desires you didn’t even know you had once you get on a roll. Really stretch yourself here. Some of the best things I’ve ever done have come from some random thing on this list. Last year’s trip to Buenos Aires, for example, is the result of a point on a list from early that year that read “GET THE HELL OUT OF HERE!!!” (it was a rough couple of months).

The focused list is more like the lists we’re used to making. Not really much imagination involved, we’re just writing down the stuff we already know we need to do. Maybe this looks familiar:

  • Pay rent…or bills…or…loan…or tuition
  • Finish project for work…or school
  • Clean [something in or around the house]
  • Fix [something in or around the house]
  • Pick [household item] up from the store
  • Get food for pet…or kids…or self…or spouse
  • See the doctor about that [fill in the sickness)

There is really no arguing the importance of that list. Ignoring that list will result in utter chaos…and we can’t have that.  We’re working towards growth and accomplishment here, people!

The focused list comes in three flavors. The one up above is the “Basic Needs” list. It’s that list that, if you don’t do it, you’re screwed. It can be lame. It can be boring. It’s always gonna be there.

Next up is the “Purpose” list. This list is pretty cool, because it’s all of the goals that are in line with your purpose. If you can’t think of anything, it’s a good time to refer to your brainstorming list and see if anything fits the bill, then grow it out from there. I could easily pull “Be a motivational speaker” and “Use fear as a launchpad to adventure” to mine. Then maybe add something like “Buy a book on motivational speaking” or “Start an inspiring blog” or “Talk to people on the street about who they want to be”.

Finally, we’ve got the “Rewards List”. This is basically a list of goals that don’t fit into the other list, but bring you some sense of joy or accomplishment. These are the things that keep you fresh, happy, surprised, exhilarated, and on your toes. These are the things you allow yourself once you’ve reached one of the other goals. Reward systems are super effective.

Let’s say you pay all of your bills on time this month. Do you know what that means? Ninja restaurant! And what if you officially launch and kick-off that inspiring blog? Why not start looking into bartending school? Using these things as rewards is a great way to keep your morale and sense of joy up while continuing on toward maintaining your basic needs and making headway with your purpose (two things that can be a tad heavy at times).

Oh, and if you have goals that aren’t basic needs (home, work, family, close friends etc..), don’t feed into your purpose, and don’t offer that sense of fun or adventure…get rid of them!

Right now. I’ll wait.

Also, you don’t have to actually write 3 separate lists all the time (I’d say I do it about 50% of the time). As long as you can identify what goal belongs where and you have ample examples of each, you are A-OK.

From here on out I’ll be focusing on the goals of purpose, as the basic needs pretty much get TOO much attention and the goals of rewarding are easy enough to motivate you to do on account of how utterly awesome they usually are.

PART TWO: PREP YOUR WORLD

Now that we’ve got ourselves in shape, let’s take it to the streets!

Operation: Trim the Fat from the Steak.
This is one of my favorite things and integral to reaching your goals and thus your full potential. Fat can taste really good in the moment, but at the end of the day it’s just slimy gloop that goes straight to your hips. For this reason we must look for the “fat” in our lives and do away with it, much like the goals that don’t fit I mentioned above.

The “fat” of our world are those things that stand in the way of our growth as individuals. The things we “hang on” to simply because we’re used to it or things that hang on to us like parasites (they take and take, but never give).  Things like a job that makes you feel like a waste, the ex you just can’t let go of, the friend that comes to you only when they need something and never any other times. Acknowledging and then either changing or removing these things should be among your  FIRST goals.  Put them on a list. Write them in bold, red, underlined. They are the weeds to your garden of possibility.

Enviro-trap.
This is something I’ve always been a big supporter of but haven’t really focused on much until recently. Despite the deceptively negative connotation I’ve given it, enviro-traps are fantastic at keeping your eyeses on the prizes. They are anything that physically exists in your world and support the achievement of your goals. They trap you so that you cannot escape thinking about what it is you should be doing.

The most obvious and powerful enviro-trap is the schedule. Giving a date and time (and alarm/notification) to a goal puts the heat on just right. Do it.

These beautifully laid self-traps can come in an unlimited amount of forms.  Keeping a journal in my messenger bag reminds me (and allows me) to write anywhere.  I bought a drafting table and put it in my room…it says “Trystiiin, draw on meee…” until I can’t take it anymore and put pencil to paper. Sometimes I’ll excitedly explain projects and goals to other people so they can later come to me and say, “So, Trystin, how’s [goal] coming along?”. There are few things I hate more than having to reply to that question with, “I haven’t started yet.” And I’ll be damned if I don’t start right after if I haven’t.

PART THREE: DOING IT!

Alright, now that we know our purpose and have a slew of goals on a slew of lists in a world that better suits our journey, how do we turn all this prep into some tangible action? Why, we just do it of course!

Time management.
You made a schedule, now follow it. If you can’t make one of your appointments, move it to the top of the list, highlight it, and keep it there until you do it. To me, time management isn’t so much a means of allotting a certain amount of time to a certain task as it is giving NO time to wastes of time (i.e. the “fat”).  Unless, of course, the time you’re putting in is time to alter or remove the fat (a noble quest indeed).  You will be amazed at how much time you magically have once you’ve gotten rid of the nonsense that wastes it for no personal gain. Things like excessive rutter-less Internet use and taking pictures of yourself in the bathroom mirror (you know who you are!).

Balance.
Balance as a means to success is everything; in love, in friendship, at home, while partying, and certainly when it comes to reaching your goals. Focus should be given as much to purpose as it is to basic needs. Think of it this way: Focusing too much on the basic stuff can be kind of a downer. It’s easy to get lost in the importance of it, thus inflating its impact on you and drowning out the other list. Focusing too much on your purpose can place you in this idealized world where you’ll lose sight of the reality and importance of your basic foundations (workload, house etc…) and overall stability. And instability effs up everything.

One of the most beautiful things along the journey towards higher purpose-driven life is that the basic needs start to look a lot more like the purpose-driven ones. Paying your electric bill isn’t so bad when you’re living in your dream house. Getting your work done on time is a breeze when you love what you do. Purpose and need-based goals should never be looked at as opposing forces. The ultimate goal is for both to feed each other.

Prioritization.
“Do what you feel.” This has been my slogan for a while and so when it came to prioritization I said “Screw it” and did what I wanted, when I wanted, how I wanted. Whatever “felt” important at the time. And, despite my use of the past tense, this is more or less the way I do things now, but with one shiny new thing to consider: Sometimes there are parts of a goal that you just don’t want to do.

For instance, I LOVE researching, brainstorming, and writing plays. I don’t need to prioritize. It just happens. And that’s all fine and dandy if my goal is “to write a play”. But what if my goal is to “have one of my plays produced”. I hate submitting things, I hate reformatting things, I hate looking for submissions. My lack of desire will make it so that I will rarely ever “want” to do it. This is where prioritizing comes in most handy to me. I take the crappy goals on my purpose list and I make them priority. I put them at the top of my list. I schedule them with an “URGENT” flag. Anything to put them on an even playing field with the fun stuff. It also helps to think big picture. Then everything, in the long run, is the fun thing.

Avoid burnout.
There are a number of ways to avoid burnout from working too hard, too much. One of them is to simply lie around and never try too hard.  That is extremely burnout resistant, but the productivity is almost nonexistent. Another way involves going at a single endeavor while taking ample breaks in the middle. This is productive and burnout is very slow to come, but it does come in the frustrating form of a “block”. Writer’s block being the most famous block-type, but anything can be blocked really.  It’s the brain going “I’ve had enough of this! I am more than this!” Standard burnouts are an overexertion of energy. Block burnouts are an overexertion of focus.

I never experience burnout when in the act of achieving my goals. A bold statement, sure, but a true one as well. Here’s how: First, I always have a number of goals I’m working on at any given time in at least three different areas. Right now, for instance, I’ve got a novel, a blog, an essay series, a board game, and aspirations to be a motivational speaker going on. This way, if I start to feel the burn out or blockage coming I simply hop on to another project, giving my brain something else to focus on for a change. This is how to beat the block. This is also why it’s important to have a purpose that isn’t “I want to be a writer” because coming down with writer’s block completely renders your progress at a standstill.  What other avenues have you given yourself?

Important: What I am explaining isn’t multitasking. Multitasking is juggling multiple things at once and one of the best possible ways to accumulate stress and burn yourself out. What I am explaining is simply complete and utter shift in focus from time to time.

Another version of this is the right-brain/left-brain leap. This one is pretty legit. If you’re tired of working on one aspect of a project but really want to keep working on it, then pick another aspect. If I start feeling stressed over the design aspect of my board game I turn on Excel and start working on the mathematical aspect.

Lastly, never take breaks. Or, more to the point, never do nothing. Even more to the point: never do something without a purpose-supporting reason for doing so. This step is one-part rationalization, one-part momentum-maintenance, and uber-effective.

Let’s say I’ve done all the writing, drawing, and motivating I can do. It’s time to step away from the obvious purpose-driven activity and engage in something that will aid my journey with less exertion of mind or body. Maybe I want to hang out with my friends and grab a bite. This isn’t “taking a break”, it’s “allowing fun and nourishment to recharge me so I can hit my projects even harder when I go back to them.” Maybe I want to watch an episode of Skins (British version, of course). This isn’t “taking a break”, it’s “allowing inspiration from another creative source”.

All of these things are necessary to prolonged work on an activity. This is mostly for those work-a-holics out there who are afraid to step away (recipe for burnout much?). It’s not a “break” if it’s, as a whole, for the better of the project.

One more thing: the “stepping away” option is the exception, not the rule. This is what happens once all other options have been used up…or you’re getting tired or hungry or your house is on fire..

Basic needs trump all here, I’m afraid.

Feel completely, act completely.
Here’s a fun one (especially for those who knew me as the anti-emotions automaton I used to parade around as once upon a time). We are people. We have feelings (Cry! Laugh! Scream! Let ’em out!). Feelings are chemical reactions of the body that are pushing us to take action. If the feelings are negative, we must take action against them. If they’re positive, we must take action to keep that party going. And what is the best possible way to take action in response to feelings? That’s right! Your goals!

If you’re sad, what good does sitting around in the dark with a pint of ice cream doing? If you’re happy, why waste that energy staring longingly out of a window and thanking the heavens for how happy you are? Lame and lame. Put that sadness into action. Use the energy and convert it to getting stuff done. I guarantee that whatever awfulness you’re feeling will simmer down while you’re achieving your goals.

I once put together, from concept to completion, a 24-page fully-illustrated and written book about a journey to Neverland for my boyfriend at the time. Each page was drawn in a different style (abstract, impressionist, “Dr. Seuss”, street graffiti…). I did this in six days. To this day I say this is the greatest project I have ever completed and you can bet your bottom dollar I would have never been able to do it without the love that was fueling me at the time.

A warning about negative feelings and goals: Don’t use your goals to hide from what you’re feeling. Use the feelings to give energy to your goals. It’s the difference between having a bear bite off your arm but continuing to grill burgers at the picnic and having a bear bite off your arm and using that pain to get your butt to the hospital as fast as humanly possible. Or what if you had an awful day at work and come home furious. You check your basic needs list and see that you have to take apart an old table for the garbage the next morning. Therapeutic destruction, here we come!

Other people.
There are people who are going to love what you do and those who are going to hate it. Whatever. That’s great. If they love it, use their energy to do more. If they hate it and that angers you, use the anger to fuel more of it (see above). Sort of a goal-based “In yo face!”. If they hate it and you feel discouraged, either you care too much about what people think about you (stop that!) or this goal is weak (because your knee-jerk reaction isn’t to defend it…which it should be) and needs to be tweaked or removed.

Another thing about other people. Never ever EVER achieve your goals for them. Do it for you. Go ahead and dedicate it to them if you must, but do it for you. The very second that you begin creating things for the sake of pleasing others you begin to muck up your style, your individuality, and your completed project is watered-down crap in comparison to what you would have accomplished for you.

Reward yourself.
Remember that rewards list? Use it. It’s motivational. It keeps things interesting. It reduces boredom, burnout, blockage. It raises morale. What more do I have to say?! When you achieve something reward yourself. And please make the rewards as complex and engaging as your other goals. A reward goal isn’t very effective at motivating or maintaining momentum if it’s something like “Eat a piece of chocolate from the bowl in the living room.” Yay, you’ve done nothing. But if you make it something like, “Make a tray of chocolates from scratch” now you’re cookin’ with cocoa!

Final thoughts and missing pieces.
I’m going to bring this to a close now. I’ve shared enough of my personal nuggets of wisdom to get you going, either toward them or away. The important thing here is to always do. Always. Every waking moment should be dedicated to becoming something more…or at least something else. I was going to write a gigantic section on overcoming fear and embracing change, but those are each posts in themselves. But, regardless, you need to overcome fear. It will always be there until you look it in the eye and walk on through. If you don’t do this you won’t gain much of anything out of life. Embrace change. A lot of fear comes from the change that needs to happen to reach your goals. Change in the form of sacrifice and acceptance of the unknown are absolutely necessary in reaching your goals. Accept that. If you don’t, go ahead and forget everything you read here. You’re wasting your time and everyone else’s.

Don’t be afraid to shuffle through purposes. If your life doesn’t feel right and you honestly can’t understand why, look at your purpose. Ask yourself if it was your choice or something that was handed down to you by your family or boss (or a past version of yourself) that you simply cannot relate to anymore. Upgrade it. You’ll thank yourself later.

Missing pieces. While I’m pretty good at getting things done there are a few areas in which I have to step up my game. One of them is overcoming fear (I can be pretty fierce and courageous, but I know in my heart that I haven’t even scratched the surface…when I do, expect that post). And there’s networking. Getting myself “out there”. I’ve had a lot of dumb luck with it but no set system yet. I’m working on it. When I strike networking gold there will be blog.

One more thing: this is a journey that will only end when you’re in the ground. There will always be mountains to climb and room to grow. Even as I sit here I know and feel that I am nowhere close to accomplishing the things I want to…and that’s exciting; a challenge that makes my mouth water and that I accept with everything I am. “This is just the beginning!” is my battle cry and I live for the adventure of what’s happening now and whatever happens next.

Thanks so much for reading. I hope you’ve been inspired to some capacity. If not, my bad. Epic purpose-fail. Ha.

Questions/comments, lay’em on me.

Now back away from this screen, make a sick set of lists, and get your life on!

Universese: The Language of All Things

[I wrote the following essay about 3 years ago and while my opinions have changed a bit since then, I think there is value in the arguments being made even if simply to spark an opinion in the reader]

 

WARNING: This essay combines many facts that I have enjoyed as a part of my philosophy for many years intertwined seamlessly with theories I’ve concocted within the past few weeks (or even while writing this thing). Also be warned that this essay works under the assumption that Earth is the first and only life-bearing planet in the universe (something that I myself highly doubt and don’t feel affects the points to be made in any strong way). This is my elementary attempt seek out what connects us (humanity) to the vastness of the universe and how that relationship affects our lives and future.

 

…..

 

I’m in the middle of a science and philosophy kick (which explains my writing this in the first place as you’ll soon see), delving just a little into collected works written by and about some of the top intellectuals past, present and future. Whilst careening through a world of theory after theory (some of them even fascinating) the thing that continues to catch my attention the most is not what is being said so much as how these doctors and masters of their fields are saying it; billion-dollar words to express and explain ideas in ways that only those on their own realm of study, their peers and intellectual equals, can fully comprehend. In this way, knowledge becomes much like a fancy car or new iPhone is to others; a shiny and coveted something or other occasionally used to boost ones own self-esteem since they possess it…and we don’t. The one major difference here that separates a 2010 Mercedes from a the latest theory on the application of stem cell research is that intellectual discoveries serve as mental stimulants to society, challenging the mind and bringing forth a series of opinions and arguments that eventually foster growth. In short, and to get to the point, it is the duty of those who know to teach. Scientists, philosophers, psychologists…and those in tune with the inner-workings of the Universe.

 

Theories and hypotheses are the inventions of mankind, long ago made inseparable from the man-made words that brought them and continue to bring them into reality. But what about the sorts of things that are beyond words? Those that have existed since the beginning of time and are far bigger than anything our minds can fully comprehend. The Universe- and I mean this in both the sense of planets and stars and everything that exists as well as I do the energy that gave birth to the cosmos and therefore is a part of all of us and connects us to everything. This collective energy is the central vein of all existence and is able to be tapped into a number of varied and fascinating ways by all of us (and just as some of us are better singers or biologists, some of us are better than others at this as well). And those few truly versed in the pseudo-language of “Universese” must try our best to take what we are given by the powers that be and use them for the betterment of our world.

 

As I’ve mentioned at least five times before in previous essays and obnoxious rants, The Universe is not be to humanized like so many do to God (‘God’ and The Universe are one, by the way). It is not one thing, but everything that was, is and will be. It is not perfect nor is it imperfect, it simply is. It is ever-growing, ever expanding and becoming more and more with each passing second. It cannot hate or love. It cannot hope or doubt. I understand how these preceding sentences can be upsetting (sacrilegious to many), because millions of people rely on some almighty benevolent force who understands them- even when no one else does.  But, people! The Universe understands because the Universe is a part of you! You ARE never alone! It is our primary provider and here’s how…

 

The Universe’s prime function is to expand and continue its quest to become more. Suns were born and suns died, taking out entire planets with them. Asteroids annihilated spatial bodies that took billions of years to form, but still, overall, expansion continues. Sometimes the greatest destruction can result in the most growth, creating a chain of events that the usual way of things would have never yielding, resulting in something completely new. Something the Universe had never seen before. Enter: Earth (or Earth’s equivalent(s) some lightyears away)

 

There are always an interesting series of feelings I get when thinking about our little green planet. I start by thinking about myself, my friends, my job, my family, that restaurant I like around the corner. And then it branches out like wildfire in my mind and I am overwhelmed with all the plants and animals and landscapes and history and technological advancement and war and music and it’s so much to take. Too much to take! Next I remove myself from our atmosphere, into the Milky Way and beyond, and see Earth as a tiny insignificant speck in an infinite sea of black holes, quasars, suns and supernovas. For the first time it seems so small; so meaningless in the great scheme of things. (This is the place where many people stop, but oh there’s one more absurdly important step…)

 

There are billions, BILLIONS, of planets in the known universe that have been coming and going for trillions of years, moving and grooving to the beat of the usual course of things- and out of all these planets and countless cosmic scenarios, out of every corner of every place that science has allowed us to see- only ONE place has life -abundant life: Earth. We are an anomaly, a freak accident. We are the next evolutionary step. Tiny as we are, we’ve got the Universe’s attention, like the Universe’s core is one of those novelty plasma globes and our planet is a finger placed firmly against the glass.

 

It was a long time coming, but the Universe did something new and unexpected. Teeming with life and diversity and energy, Earth is a major focus of the Universe from a growth perspective. With the creation of Life, the Universe soon experienced the first glimmers of conscious thought through its children, the earliest proto-creatures and through that became a part of it alive itself. Evolution continued to test and rise to the challenge eventually resulting in the crown jewel thus far: humanity.

 

You. Me. Us. Wow. I mean, really…wow. Living. Breathing. Feeling. Thinking. Complex. The Universe’s most noteworthy accomplishment (that we know of). We are the favored children of the Universe, displaying our omnipresent parent’s knack for mass creation (invention), destruction and chaos-gone-good-or-bad. But as is the way of most offspring, we humans put our own spin on things, taking the energy that created and connects all things and morphing it (as we evolved from atoms to cells into free-thinking social mammals) to a set of complicated brain signals simply called ’emotions’ that act as outward signifiers of our inward states so that others might help to remove or perpetuate them. These emotions fuel our deepest fears and desires (or are fueled by them) and give us the ability to identify and actively alter the state our world, i.e. to create our own destinies.

 

For the aforementioned reasons the Universe’s relationship with Earth is as unique as the planet itself. There is a very real and special connection existing between the two that is more evident in some areas than others, a global consciousness that can be seen, for example, when animals sense a storm approaching when there are no visual signs. Sadly, for most humans, the millennia-old separation from nature in exchange for a dependence on our own inventions and self-importance have separated us from these instincts. Though that same high-functioning brain of ours can allow us to have a more personal relationship with the Universe, which brings us closer to the point…

 

The basic collective consciousness, that which connects humans (and sometimes animals) to each other on a level deeper than that of our own subconsciousness. This is a part of those versed in Universese that allows for such phenomenon as shared dreams, telepathy and various levels of empathy. Deeper still is the global collective consciousness that attaches us to the entire earth as it does with the animals, but our minds allow us to take it a bit deeper to global precognition. Skipping a few of the between-consciousnesses, the rarest and greatest of them all is universal consciousness, this one dealing with the ebb and flow of all things in existence. Allowing people to sense the goings on in distant planets and any supernovas or asteroids headed our way. Perhaps even altering the very laws of physics through telekinesis (a boy can dream, can’t he?). The Universe attempts to protect and lengthen our existence through these gifts. And this is all well and good, but the real problems arise when trying to explain so metaphysical a ‘science’ to other people.

 

Belief, the ability to accept or reject something as true, is a cornerstone of our mental experience based on socio-cultural stimuli and so on and so forth. Unfortunately, society does not readily accept Universese as a viable option. If someone were coming up to you shouting about a volcano that was going to engulf the world in eight days you would be a little skeptical. It is no secret that Universese can sound an awful lot like crazy.

 

An even more dangerous roadblock comes from those who speak the language itself. Because the energies that fuel precognition (which is merely a hyper-awareness of the Earth so acute that it can predict what each living and nonliving thing will do and project an image/feeling in your mind), dream sharing, empathic animal- and ghost-whispering (reading the emotional codes of the mind and translating them into recognizable words) and more is so closely related to the energies that allow us to feel joy and anger it is sometimes difficult to tell the difference between a real run-in with Universese or mistaking excitement or depression combined with stray thoughts as a real vision and not just normal mental image, daydream. If people want to see signs, they will see signs. People believe what they want to believe, an affliction that affects us all without proper inner-balance and/or grasp of Truth.

 

The practitioners of Univerese are a diverse bunch. They have a higher universal energy level than most people which can actually result in electrical problems in their vicinity when emotional (I’ve seen it and done it and it’s weird). They usually have a sort of glow that can’t be seen but can be felt by the average person, something beyond words that draws you to them. They experience one or two or more of the areas governed by the collective consciousness on a frequent level (as we are all high-functioning beings there are many who will experience a flash of Universese a few times in their lives- more if they are open to it. Through prayer, for example). They can be unrealistically lucky at times, but also seem to be live a life of more chaotic twists and turns that tend to test them for what is to come. Letting the Universe in lets it all in. They tend to have a knack for multiple arts, including the art of conversation and manipulation. They are usual pretty good at detecting one another. Some had a hard childhoods that literally forced them to escape deeper into their head while the mind was still forming and find the Universe hiding in there. Indigo children would be a way of thinking about it in modern terms, including a general awkwardness when dealing with (oppressive) social norms.

 

As I said before, to the expected dismay of many, the God that so many of us envision is actually no  more or less than the Universe. And amidst the many arguments that could rise up from this statement comes the question of morality. Many religious folks say that without their version of God there would be only chaos and evil, that God is inseparable from morality, a debate that has shaken the philosophical world for thousands of years. If the Universe is as unfeeling as I say it is (though it is ‘aware’ of feeling through us), then how can we possibly care about how well we treat our neighbors? What’s stopping us from stealing the new tractor our neighbor bought across the street? I’ll tell you: Universal Morality.

 

The Universe, like I said before, exists to expand and to become more than it is. Before Earth came along this merely meant birthing stars and galaxies of different shapes and sizes. Simple enough. Then comes Earth and a bunch of little cells and things. The pieces are different but the game is still pretty much the same: expand and become more. Cells multiply and evolve. Reptiles, fish, birds, mammals, strength in numbers: the importance of working together emerges in living things and therefore makes the universe aware of it. In humanity this brings forth the tribe mentality then the rise of the civilization. Brotherhood.  Expansion. Becoming more. As in space when planetary forms collided so did/do these civilizations, each scenario yielding destructive results. Death on this level surely stunts growth, removing branches that could lead to more possibilities. In short, war goes against the function of the Universe. Humans have the power to think on their own and can choose war or peace. Discrimination or equality, the former leading to dead ends and stagnation and the latter leading to shared ideas, mutual development and love. Love, the ultimate result to understanding and togetherness which fosters new ideas which foster growth (knowledge is fundamentally the same as ‘becoming more’) is therefore in agreement with the Universe. The Universe does not love but it is aware of love through us and works to preserve it (through Universese) as it is the fastest way to growth. Love of oneself, love of each other, love of the plants and animals, love of the Universe, which leads us directly into the meaning of human life (an answer that is not as complex and unreachable as many might think). The Meaning of Human Life is to use our free-will to preserve our fellow living and non-living things and work together to create a place of peace and discovery. In short, the meaning of life is love. It is the Golden Rule on a global- a universal scale. It is the only moral needed and all other things flow from it. Many fundamentalists and politicians attempt to project their own image onto that of a god and inflict upon the world a multitude of rules that stand in the way of our growth as a people and therefore a global love. The Universe does not need to be praised. Love does. And this is done by praising and supporting our fellow women and men who work for a better today and tomorrow. This is our earth and it is drifting into shambles. Only together will be be able to set things right. This is the major burden that those teachers of Universese must bear and are given the stuff to counter if only more people would listen.

 

We are chosen to save the world through a deep commune with it and others like us, to lead, to fight for what is right just as scientists must save the world through experiments and invention. And, yes, we are human and these gifts can be used morally (for good), immorally (for evil) or not at all. There will be battles to come unlike anything we as Earthlings have faced and we had best be prepared to face them as one or else become the ushers of our own destruction in direct violation of our place in the Universe.

 

Thresholds and Breaking Points

There’s no great surprise in my saying that life comes accompanied by a roller coaster, jam-packed with every twist, turn, loop-de-loo, and technical difficulty you can conceive, not all of them bad, most of which we are fully capable of coping with in time while keeping true to our usual selves. It’s healthy. It’s normal. It’s not what this blog is about.

Thresholds and Breaking Points. Our human selves, the ones we’ve been dealing with for years, cultivating for years, sometimes witnesses a total shift in self, usually brought on through some form of tension which roots from a powerful emotional stimulus. This total shift, infusing us with abilities beyond those of our normal selves, can be perceived as either good or bad. When good we call them, letting loose or breaking free. When bad, we call them lapses of judgment or my controversial favorite: temporary insanity.

There exists an invisible barrier that separates our usual self from the ones we become. This barrier, or threshold, differs from person to person. A timid girl is dragged to an wild dance club by her outgoing best friend. She watches with a potent blend of jealousy and shock as the best friend dances without restraint in the arms of strangers, laughing and thrusting about without a care in the world. Normally, the timid girl wouldn’t dream of joining in, couldn’t dream of joining in. She had placed a set of blocks up early on prohibiting her from such uncalculated and free actions. But as she watches her friend, the beautiful men seeing only her, beads of sweat rolling down their bodies under the multi-colored spotlights, the jealousy, the desire, creates a sort of tension that grows and grows and boils and boils until- POP -the girl throws caution to the wind and joins her friend on the dancefloor. She’s never felt so alive. Breaking free.

A boy, small for his age, finds himself friendless and awkward in the seventh grade. Every day he is picked on by the popular kids, but he ignores it, keeping to his sketchpad and doodling out his feelings of being unwanted, unloved. Then one day a bully steps up to him and tries to snatch the pencil from his hand while he’s drawing his latest piece and- POP -the boy lets out a scream at the top of his lungs, jumps out of his chair, throws the chair to the opposite end of the room, and stabs the bully in the arm with said pencil. Temporary insanity.

First and foremost, these reactions are in no way the manifestation of something that is separate from our core beings, nor do they come from nowhere. Obviously the idea of dancing freely and attacking the bully had been building up in the girl and boy respectively. There exists an invisible barrier that separates our usual self from the ones we become. This barrier, or threshold, differs from person to person, but it is an integral part of who that person is.

Much like when something is stuck in our throats, it is our body’s natural reaction to choke and cough it up, when tension or discomfort rising this breaking point is reached and a strong emotional response surges in order to quell the tenseness. Choking isn’t something our body does on its own, but it is a physical survival tactic. The breaking point, this loss of control, is our body’s mental survival tactic, a last-ditch effort for giving us what we secretly want.

Having said all that, it is truly amazing how good we feel after breaking free, how terrified we are after a stint of temporary insanity (there are few things more frightening than being afraid of the monster within). Following each there is always the choice of whether we will continue to explore this new internal world or struggle to push it back where it came from. Both extremes are dangerous as the former runs the risk of forgetting that there was probably a reason why it was hidden away in the first place, the latter merely avoids a problem, allowing it to grow until it bursts out again in any of an array of potentially violent displays. Instead of taking extreme measures, it is best by far if we use these breaking points as portals of self-discovery to neglected areas of our personality that, much like a chicken bone stuck in our throats, are yearning for our attention so that we might fully live. Question where it came from, why it came, effects both positive and negative, and how it can be successfully integrated or removed from the person we wish to become (be it through practice, thought, prayer, meditation, and/or psychiatric help [for extremely negative situations]).

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