Thursday, April 18, 2013

Truths to Live By: Diversity is the Hallamrk of Creation

Open your eyes and really take a look around you. You will see that diversity is a hallmark of life. Even in an urban environment the sheer number of living things is remarkable.

Our species is also varied. Diversity has been a critical factor in our success. Our large brains, and our adaptability, have allowed us to survive in almost environment.

It is critical for us to open our eyes and see the wonder of our diversity. As far as we know, we are the most advanced expression of our benevolent Universe.

Each one of us is unique on every level. Our physical differences are apparent. We are constructed of different emotional, mental, and even spiritual, stuff. In Ifa our unique combination of energies is our Ori.

Each individual has their own Ori. At their best, they express themselves with good character, as an essential part of the whole. We need all of us, to be the best we can be. Our evolution depends on the full expression of every human being.

Our differences should  be celebrated. They make us strong. They give us so much to explore. We have an amazing number of cultural expressions. Every culture contributes to our evolution, even if we can’t see how.

You can appreciate someone, who is very different form you, without agreeing with them. Agreeing to disagree is key. Before we can understand being human, we must become more aware of the people around us. 

Start by making an attempt to relate to someone very different from you. This can be something as simple as reading about another culture. Be open to a positive experience with every person you encounter.

We all have biases towards people based on their race, ethnicity, or culture. As a gay man, I avoid people from cultures that, I assume, are homophobic. We are all works in progress. This is an invitation to take a step out of your comfort zone. Discover something new about the human race.

Can you see the wonder in the diversity of humanity? I’d love to hear why, or why not.

Connect with Brian

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Spring Into Balance

Spring is a time of renewal. It is also a great time to plant seeds that will bring balance into your life.

To get the most out of our lives, we must look at the whole of ourselves. We need to care for the various aspects of ourselves.  But, we need to remember that we are one, whole, person.

I’d like to invite you to take a look at how balanced your life is. This will allow you to plant some seeds that will move your life forward.

Think about the physical, your health, diet, and exercise regime. Look at how you are supporting your body. You need to be strong and healthy to live your best life.

Think about your mind, do you give it enough stimulation, are you still learning?

Think about your emotional life. What do you do when a negative emotion arises? Negative emotions are pointers. They show us work that we need to do. Dealing with them lets positive emotions to come through.

Do you have a regular spiritual practice? Yoga, meditation, even long quiet walks, can be sources of renewal. They can feed the deepest parts of your being.

Think about each of the parts of yourself. Figure out which get the least attention. They will probably be the areas that you feel least comfortable with, and most uncertain about. Commit to bring more focus to them.

Take it easy. Be reasonable about how much you commit to. Push a little. Some discomfort will probably be good for you. Pushing too hard wont’ do you any good.

It is also important to remember that you are unique. Balance doesn’t necessarily mean and equal amount of time spent in every area.

Some people will always prefer quieter intellectual and spiritual activities.

Others are more outgoing. They are most comfortable in the physical and emotional realms.

A little effort can go a long way. Your whole life can make a leap forward with a bit of focus on a neglected area.

How is your balance? Do you find some areas of your life very challenging? I’d love to hear which ones and why?

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Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Truths to Live By: Discrimination is Destructive

Prejudice is destructive to both the individual, and society. The only basis for judging others must be their character.

Discrimination is caused by a process called generalization.  Generalization can be very useful. It allows us to get into any car and run it. Otherwise we would have to learn to drive over and over.

When generalization isn’t used with caution it can get us into trouble. A blueberry is tasty and healthy. Not all fruits that have the colour and shape of a blueberry are edible. Belladonna is deadly.

We should question our generalizations before we act upon them. Many are based on ignorance and hate. Acting on negativity only brings more negativity into our lives. Incorrect thinking in a society can create oppression, even genocide.

Even positive generalizations can dehumanize people. They attempt to force an individual into a mould. This separates us from the real person, and creates a shallow relationship.

We are all unique pieces that are essential to the functioning of the whole. Fulfilling our destinies will move the entire species forward. In order to achieve our destinies we must express our personal energy. We need to work to be who we truly are. We should always express good character.  This allows us to help our species, and the Universe, evolve.

If someone has good character and we treat them badly anyway, we move everything backwards. The Universe is reaching forward. It calls us to move with it towards greater complexity, and greater integration. There is no room to make anyone less because they are not like us.

Can you see how generalization has led to prejudice in your life? Can you see that it is a valuable tool that can bring greater understanding? I’d love to hear why, or why not.

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