The edge of a knife

pocketknifeI was visiting with my friend this morning, and we began discussing how we dealt with frustrating situations and difficult people. She commented: “I am trying very hard to learn to stay focused and not allow anything ‘crappy’ or negative to consume my thoughts.  I can get so carried away with “what if” games. Our minds are so powerful, that at times I have to brainwash myself. Sometimes its the only way it will work”

I nodded in recognition of that truth and realized that I had been attempting to do that all morning. I commented: “I feel like I am balancing on a knife edge, and I can easily fall off into an abyss of fear and negativity, or I can chose to jump off the other side and find what is good and true and lasting.” My mind immediately got caught up in that analogy and I started wondering what would happen if I stayed on the knife edge and keeping my balance walked along the edge to the tip. Where would that lead me?

I was nudged back to the conversation from my reverie when she said: “You mean you are afraid?” My first thought was to interject a defensive comment such as “when you are up to your ass in alligators it sometimes is difficult to remember you came there to drain the swamp”, but I chose to be quiet and she continued:”That is the thing that we tend to forget…its our choice.  As matter of fact, you can chose to imagine yourself on the edge of a knife or visualize yourself on a beautiful, wide pathway winding along the side of a mountain.”

Another truth. I was quiet for a moment and realized that this morning my friend was gently and kindly kicking my ass. Silence. It was my turn to speak . . .in my mind before I responded, I  folded up the pocket knife I was balanced on and put it in my pocket and began ambling over to this beautiful rock lined path meandering up the side of a mountainside. “Hm-mm,” I responded eloquently as I began to enjoy this better place to be.

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Self Less

solarI create my world by my thoughts attracting thoughts, that are attracting thoughts, that are attracting thoughts, that manifest conditions, creating situations, bringing opportunities that are my existence, which causes my thoughts attracting thoughts, that are attracting thoughts, that are attracting thoughts, that manifest conditions. creating situations, bringing opportunities that are my existence. I create my world by my thoughts attracting thoughts, that are attracting thoughts, that are attracting thoughts, that manifest conditions, creating situations, bringing opportunities that are my existence, which causes my thoughts attracting thoughts, that are attracting thoughts, that are attracting thoughts, that manifest conditions, creating situations, bringing opportunities that are my existence . . . am I seeing a pattern here?

Does it seem that this “World Creating” has been rather unconscious, that, perhaps, I have created more by default than by consciously deciding the world I want? The law of attraction, outlined in the previous paragraph, is in operation whether understood or not , whether realized or not, whether consciously utilized or not. The question: is this law of attraction consciously being employed or is my life created by me – without me being its creator?

Have I been thinking my thoughts, or thoughts that others would have me think? Do I consciously think of what I want for my world or am I conforming my thinking unconsciously to what others around me are thinking of me? Have I been thinking in a manner that would create a world that I think others would feel comfortable thinking me in?

Am I seeing my self – in my world – through my eyes – or am I viewing the reflection of me I see in the eyes of those around me? Have I been filtering my sight through the prism of other’s view of my life? Have I been seeing in a manner that would create a world that others would feel comfortable seeing me in?

This page of questions and questioning is not directed out to you, but rather in. I have a great love for most of those around me. I understand they are creating their existence, as I create my own. I also understand that I have surrounded myself with those that surround me.

My questioning is poking around the realization that, at some point in my life, I began to give up the autonomy of my being-ness – that at some point, I began to value my thoughts less and began to adopt the thoughts of those around me – that at some point, I began to value my view of my self – less . . . and began to look at  myself as the reflections I saw in the eyes of those around me. I am not convinced and do not believe that this is what self-less is supposed to mean!

Is it time to mention Deliberate Creation?

I create my world by consciously thinking about what I want to experience in my world which will attract thoughts, that attract thoughts, that build into more powerful thoughts, that manifest the conditions, creating the situations and presenting opportunities that bless me and bring fulfillment to my life, which causes my thoughts attracting thoughts, that are attracting thoughts, that are attracting thoughts, that manifest the conditions, creating the situations and presenting opportunities that bless me and bring fulfillment to my life . . . self fulfillment.

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Today is a great day to become aware!

clock-gearsThis day I am looking for thoughts and patterns of thought that are not serving me well. A happy, joyful thought is most acceptable! I gladly want more and more of them to surface into my consciousness. The thought patterns I want to become aware of  are those insidious negative first responses to events occurring moment by moment in my life.

I am not overly concerned with the occurrence of the events themselves, for as I continue to improve my awareness of my connection to source; events and situations will increasingly come into alignment with what I am desiring in my life.

However, I am very perturbed with that initial reflexive thought that pops up as a response to an event.  I would guess that if I were aware enough (in a dismaying number of instances I am not), I would realize that scores of these thoughts are not the positive and joyful thoughts I want defining my life. In fact, even now, I catch some that are most negative and fearful. My goal should be to become aware of any automatic negative thought that is not rooted in the reality I desire for myself – and replace it with higher quality and better feeling thoughts.

Where did these thoughts come from? I did not bring them with me into this physical life, for I came from the Source of all life – and Source Energy is pure, positive joy.

That means that I have picked up, accepted, and cultured these thoughts along the trail of my life. Day by day, from a tiny kid to a grown adult, to this very day, I have honed them and become skilled in employing them and have installed them into the thought-response vocabulary of my life experience. It appears I have allowed these myriad accepted and cultured thoughts to become part of the mental structure of a belief system that is not good for me.  I have done this. Indeed I have done this not realizing that the thought-response vocabulary I have so haphazardly assembled is a belief system that in great measure is now creating my life experience!

I cannot believe I have done this!

If I could assemble this life creating hodgepodge, with no plan, and little conscious design; should I not be able to dismantle it and replace the contents, thought by thought, with a thought-response vocabulary that supports a belief system that more truly aligns me with the Source of all that is? Shouldn’t I be able to achieve a point where I think Source-aligned thoughts both consciously and unconsciously?

The keys to reaching this level of thought are: awareness, understanding and resolution. I will train myself to be aware of these reflexive thoughts – for I want awareness of my thoughts.  I will strive to understand their nature and position on my emotional scale – for I want understanding  and close association with my emotions. And I resolve to transform any negative thought at the moment I realize it into a better and better feeling thought – for I want the determination and dominion to live my life deliberately.

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The cup of coffee


I reached for the coffee pot to pour a second cup; feeling the shadows of morning slipping silently westward, I glanced in the back yard. I was in thought.

If I couldn’t make the mortgage payment next month, would I be able to afford this cup of coffee? As that thought floated to the surface of my mind and I became consciously aware of it, I was alarmed.

At first glance though, it all seemed harmless enough – just a little idea flitting in my mind. None-the-less, it gave me a chill to recognize the fingerprint of negativity on that thought. The essence of the very demon I am desperately chasing through out my being.


Why would my unfettered mind choose that approach to a second cup of coffee? It would seem more appropriate to smell the aroma, feel the warmth of the cup, and savoring the  sip, give thanks for one more simple pleasure in my life.


Is there a part of me so fearful that it associates everything with an impending unknown doom? Do I have so little faith in my source that I am constantly questioning my security?

Seconds passed. I shivered. I took my cup and walked away. I read about the life power flowing through me. I thought about it and felt the currents soak through to the very core of my being.

The sun claiming dominion over the back yard, I reached for the coffee pot to pour a third cup. I was in thought.

I smelled the aroma, felt the warmth of the cup, and savoring the sip, I gave thanks for one more simple pleasure in my life.

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stallionToday, my morning practice was devoted to “War Horse” day. The chosen war horses of the day were Grand Overture, Op 61, Sonata Eroica, Op. 150 by Mauro Giuliani, Prelude, Fugue and Allegro, BWV 998 by J. S. Bach, Variations on a Theme of Mozart, Op. 9 by Fernando Sor and Recuerdos de la Alhambra by F. Tarrega. Seasoned classical guitarists might comment:”So what?” or “Why on earth?” Non guitarists might comment that a root canal might be more fun. However, there is method to my madness for I desire to keep all the pieces I know and have grown old with “under my fingers”. Thus, I have a warhorse day a couple times a week.

There is a great advantage to working on and playing pieces you have known for ten or twenty years – especially difficult pieces. If one approaches practice with the desire to learn something each time they move a finger, one will come to the realization at some point that a difficult piece can be played with great difficulty or easily and effortlessly. It is at this point that some real learning and understanding can take place. And the question of the lesson learned is: “What is the difference?” The answer is pressure.

As I grow older and begin to feel my mortality more acutely, I am aware that little truths are often spiritual or universal truths; and that a lesson learned or only understood (for assuredly we can understand something but not implement it) in one small aspect of living often can be a lesson that applies to or gives insight into the greater aspects of living and being. Pressure.

Now during a warhorse day practice, there are several goals I keep in mind. Basically the goals are: to remember the piece with the fewest thought lapses, to play musically and interestingly, and have no fatigued, numb or cramped fingers while playing.

This morning while practicing, something I already knew floated into my consciousness.  I find for me that lessons learned are often then forgotten and must be learned again.

How much effort in ounces or pounds does it take to make a clear clean note when played on the guitar? How tightly do you hold a glass to lift it? How much effort do you apply when swinging a hammer to hit a nail? How do you come to realize what that exact amount of pressure feels like? I know from experience it is not an easy thing to determine until the determination is the goal.

Alright, why is this important? Let us say, for example that to play a note on the 1st string takes 4 ounces of pressure to play cleanly and clearly and you use 10 pounds of pressure to play the note? That is 40 times more pressure than necessary and yet that amount of pressure is easy to apply with a finger. This means in performance is that in order to play another note with that finger, you have to release 40 times more pressure than necessary before you can play the next note and the next note and the next. Thus in playing 4 notes, which should have only used 1 pound total of pressure, the guitarist would have used 40 pounds of pressure to do the same 4 notes. Which case would prove to be faster, easier and more expressive?

So today, as I played phrase by phrase I consciously worked at feeling where that exact pressure point was for each note or chord played. Quite often I felt I was successful and when I was not, I tried as often as possible to adjust to a more correct pressure. On this day for me the results were very rewarding.

Upon completion of practice for the morning, I was cautioning myself mentally to make darn sure I remember this and work to put it into practice so I do not have to relearn it. Then another thought slipped into my mind. Is there an aspect of this lesson that can be applied to other parts of my life? It certainly must apply to all physical endeavors to be sure. But what about emotions? Can it be applied in the same fashion to emotions? I would venture to say absolutely. I have come to believe that we are not our bodies, we have bodies, and also we are not our emotions, we have emotions, though in too many cases in too many people, it is unclear what or who owns or rules whom!

For a moment look at emotions as a straight line with one end love, the other end hate, one end happiness the other end sadness, in fact take any of the polar opposites and assign them to a straight line.  In our minds could we not pick out a range we tend to operate in and assign weights of pressure to them? If a driver cuts you off in traffic, is that worth of 4 ounces of emotion or 10 pounds of emotion? If someone is late picking you up is that 6 ounces of emotion or 30 pounds? By then end of our daily piece of “life music” we play, can you not see the immense weight we can pile upon ourselves, when in actuality only a few ounces of pressure were only needed to be applied? We do have the ability and the capacity to choose.

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