Who is this man?

Men (and women) who wake from the slumber of humanity, progress to a spiritual consciousness of all that is good. They traverse the hero's journey, deal with the dross of their character and personality, formulate a mission to serve their fellow travelers in this realm, and dedicate their lives to spiritual progress. They leave behind the baggage of hate, discontent, judgment, resentment, addiction, anger, depression, and fear. They lessen the hold of ego. They infuse their souls and their lives with love, acceptance, integrity, humility, positive values, and the spiritual virtues. They come to know who they are and why they are here. They awaken!

Friday, September 13, 2013


Our language has an abundance of words about spirituality, yet a paucity of understanding.  Humankind often misses the essentials of what spirituality means, what it encompasses, and how it manifests on this plane of existence.  We see great confusion among the many competing religions of the world, a war of words and actual wars that rage and destroy our unity as a human species.  We call each other “evil” and curse others to hell, all in the name of our righteousness, indignity, and pride.  We manifest egoism instead of humility.

Our judgments and behaviors belie the compassion that humanity and all concepts of spirituality call us to practice.  We deny the oneness that many teach, we live our lives in a hell of our own devices, and we ignore the elements of spirituality that ultimately we must adopt to ensure the survival of the human race.

The principles of living in this human milieu while practicing our brand of spirituality are simple, and they form the basis of what Eckhart Tolle writes, a new world.  Unfortunately, our lives in this human existence often lead us astray of our merged humanity and spirituality.  We focus on the negative in our world and ignore the positive.  We decry the daily news of wars, pestilence, and inhumanity among us, yet we contribute to them daily.  Our sense of peace becomes shattered and scattered, and reassembling the pieces seems a monumental and overwhelming task. 

If you question these things, then this is the time to review your approach to living.  As a matter of fact, it is a good time for the seven billion people on earth to renew the task of spirituality, and it is the perfect time for you to look within yourself with deep honesty.  The time has come for you to question your worn out concepts and useless beliefs, and to renew your humanness and spirit. Whether you believe in a god or not, it would be good to question your belief system.  The rewards are manifold.  A renewed approach to the way you live, interact, behave, and believe will benefit you beyond your wildest dreams.  Furthermore, it will benefit humankind in the long run.

Two psychologists define spirit as “the essential core of the individual, the deepest part of the self, and one’s involving human essence.”[1]  They define spirituality as “the continuous journey people take to discover and realize their essential selves.”  In this section of my blog, I attempt to overcome the “paucity of words” and provide some ideas that can guide you as you re-evaluate your values, beliefs, meaning, purpose, and behaviors.  I try to keep it simple.  These are all part of what I call “spirituality”.  And remember, you must define IT for yourself.  Take what you like and leave the rest.

-- Pete

[1] Pargament, K.I., & Sweeney, P.J.  (2011).  Building spiritual fitness in the army.  American Psychologist, 47, 1102-1104.

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Decision Time

Three frogs were sitting on a log in the middle of a rushing river.  One decided to jump in.  How many frogs were left?  Answer: three.  He made the decision to jump, but he did not commit to the action.
-- Unknown author

The message of this simple metaphor is clear.  Our mental decisions must be coupled with action.  Often, however, we self-defeat by procrastinating, perhaps indefinitely, and thus we never complete the task at hand.  Or we attack it at the last minute and do a less than satisfying job.  Several keys to decision-making exist.

First, the importance of courage cannot be overemphasized.  We must look within our selves for the kernel of courage that will move us forward.  Decisions require courage because we do not know the outcome in advance.  Significant change often means facing an uncertain end and dealing with our deep sense of wanting to remain in stasis without exerting ourselves – a comfort zone that may be hard to leave.


A true decision means that we will do everything possible to make it happen.  We must stop our hoping, wishing, wanting, and non-commitment that hold us back.  Furthermore, we must go beyond the idea of just playing at it to see what happens, just trying.  As Yoda in Star Wars said, “No!  Try not!  Do, or do not.  There is no try.”  This means going to any length and using every possible advantage to implement our decision.

A core belief that affects decision-making concerns our worthiness.  We must make an internal decision that we are worthy of successful living, positive self-esteem, good feelings, and a life that thrives.  The critical decision in life is to decide to come to our own assistance.

There are many reasons why people do not intercede on their own behalf.  Perhaps family messages discounted their abilities or self-worth, and they keep having problems as they fulfill the family injunction not to be successful.  Some seek comfort in their dreams rather than gain satisfaction from their accomplishments.  Perhaps they are paralyzed by fear, either of failure or of total success.  They might wither under their own perfectionism.  They think that if they cannot do something perfectly, it is not worth doing.  Whatever the issue, they live in the improbable and ignore obvious consequences of their inaction.  We must cultivate the willingness and drive to come to our own assistance.

Feelings often get in the way of action.  Unfortunately, many of us are victims of our emotions.  We place greater faith in how we feel now than in moving forward with our lives and enjoying feelings of satisfaction, fulfillment, peace, and self-worth.  We spend more time either whining or planning that actual doing!

Finally, some of our decisions and plans are too grandiose or even impossible to complete.  We must be grounded in reality and consider how probable success might be.  It is better to set up small action steps and make incremental changes that are well within the realm of possibility.

A useful way of dealing with this issue is to think about the times when you followed through on a decision and had some success.  Write these down, and identify how you felt in each circumstance.  On a scale of 1 to 5, identify how much courage you think it took to work through each decision.  Note what positive affects your action had on your life.  This exercise reminds us of precedents related to taking action in our lives that we can use for motivation.

A good method for addressing a decision is to list the following information and think about it in relation to your vision for your life:

1.    What is the decision you have made?
2.     What actions or steps are required to implement the decision?
3.     When will you complete the actions/steps (be specific)?
4.     What will be the positive effect on your life when you finish?
5.     What issues could stop you from completing your goal?
6.     What are the indicators of success that you will have when done?
7.     How much courage do you think it will take to do it?  Remember, you have access to all the courage you need!
8.     What positive feeling will you have as a result of your action?

You should also prioritize your decisions and actions you want to take.  Attacking the highest priority actions first can make the overall picture less overwhelming.  As you determine the steps toward your goal, keep them small and do-able.  Success is easier to achieve in small increments.

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Clearly, the awakening man understands this simple process.  He uses his courage and will to strive toward successful living by making decisions and following through with action.  He is compelled to succeed.  He is dedicated not just to survival, but also to his dreams of a better life.

Will you use the turn of the New Year to develop and implement decisions that will benefit your life?  What is your commitment to wholeness in mind, body, and spirit?  How will you find the courage to move forward?  When will you stop thinking and planning and start doing?

-- Pete