To Be…or not to Be….that is the….um..Choice!!


I saw a question posed today..”Why does God always think we can handle things that we don’t know if we are strong enough to?”  I suppose the most direct answer would be, to give one the opportunity to find the true strength within.  Through all my years of growing up Catholic, I always found it unfair that God was blamed for so much of the misery experienced by the inhabitants of the Earth.  I was always taught that God loved his children and that all I had to do was put my faith in his hands, and all things would work out.  So I could not comprehend why God would send something, some experience to me that would cause pain and misery?  What, is God some Jekyl and Hyde personality…maybe he’s a prankster? Of course not.  Although my particular way of thought and interpretation of God has changed over the years, the basic principles have not.  So why do challenges come our way?  Through my life, I have experienced various medical issues, and when they were in an acute state, I would often wonder why?  Why is this happening to me?  I have been a good kid, I go to church, for the most part I was good to others…so on and so forth.  Heck, I am sure there were times that I questioned God in a similar manner to the quote that initiated this post.  Yet what I have come to understand is that, there really is no reason, only an opportunity.  “Opportunity you say !!!?” Since embarking on this journey of self-realization I have come to discover, there is no rhyme or reason to the things we experience in life.  Yes, I know, I understand the concept of sin and its inevitable punishment, or the concept of Karma (highly misunderstood my most in my observation).  We humans are a funny animal, we are always looking elsewhere for reason, or more accurately put, blame, for the things we experience, (and the feelings they elicit) regardless of their nature.  Whether it is something we like, or more often, we do not like! (and trust me I have had plenty of both!)  The truth is, life is like a river that flows, that flows with things we experience with our senses.  Take a moment now and become the scientist, observe what you are experiencing now.  You are sitting at your computer or phone or whatever media device you have in front of you.  Maybe with a drink or snack by your side.  Maybe with the t.v. going in the background or some music.  You remember…we did this in kindergarten…heck pre-school…go to each specific sense..sight…smell…taste…touch…hear…and if you didn’t know this, there is a sixth and that is thought, and observe.  C’mon..give it a try…become third person, become the scientist and sit back and observe the senses and corresponding feelings and the  thoughts coming to fruition, man what a flow…right?  All kinds of stuff come up, “what’s this guy talking about?”…”I don’t have time for this”…”something smells good”..” i can’t believe that commercial”…”man I was supposed to call so and so”…and on and on.    This flow of thoughts, constant, like a river.  And as discussed in an earlier post, we’re just fishin with our pole of control, holding onto those thoughts.

Okay, so where am I going with this?  Well, this river of experience, you know, it just flows, kinda like the Mississippi.  Why did I get Crohns disease as a child? Why was I so lucky to be born to a saint of a mom?  Fact is, it doesn’t really matter, for it is what was presented to me.  Here is the point of this entire post!  “To Be…or Not To Be….(HAPPY)….that is the CHOICE!!!  You see folks, misery, as well as happiness, is a choice.  Ooh, I know, very hard to grasp when the river of life seems like raging rapids instead of a gurgling brook, but the truth is, the rapids are there!  Regardless of whether you respond with a frown or a smile, the rapids are there!   Also, trust me, no matter how much you think someone,  or something  caused those rapids to appear, the fact of the matter is, they are there!  and you will be going through them!  So, looking for the reason or the blame, is like trying to hold onto a rock and waiting for the rapids to subside.  You will be waiting for a long time.  Just like the Mississippi, there are spots with rapids and they will be rapids for a very…very…very long time.  As long as you hold onto that rock, well, you will most certainly be fighting those rapids.  On the other hand, you can let go of the rock and accept the fact that, hey, I have to traverse some rapids, not the first time, and certainly not the last.  Of course, once you let go of the rock, well, you again have the choice.  Ride the rapids with a smile or a frown.  Again, either way, you will be riding the rapids for a bit, you can do it with a frown, feeling miserable, feeling out of control and spending your time dwelling on your expectations. Looking for other rocks, clouding the one tool you do have, awareness, to help avoid some of the hidden dangers.    Or… you can do it with smile, Happy, accepting things as they are, letting the river take you along, with a much better faculty for the use of that special tool of awareness to help  avoid those same hidden dangers.

I will tell you, I was a miserable soul when I first started this journey long ago.  Always looking for rocks regardless of whether I was in the rapids or not.  Often plagued by my expectations for those around me and the world in general.  Then there was that moment, that beautiful moment of clarity, when I realized, when I observed that, it was me, I was the one responsible for my happiness (and of course my misery).  For, it was not the river, not the experience that brought me this happiness, this misery, but the way in which I chose to react to the river, to the experience.  What a feeling of fulfillment, what a feeling of peace, it sounds so simple, but it can be the most difficult thing to grasp, but I promise you (from a former miserable soul)..it is not impossible!!  Give yourself a little credit, hey, your making the effort, you wouldn’t be reading this in the first place if not!!   So, do yourself a favor, take advantage of those rapids, and see them as an Opportunity for self observation and find the path to true happiness…to true peace.  Start taking responsibility, for those smiles and those frowns.  Find the opportunity to flow along the river of life, and let go of the rocks and not miss out on the beauty it has to offer!  I wish much success on your experiment and an enjoyable ride down the river!

The Essence of Life…Your Masterpiece!!!!


I posted a comment on Facebook yesterday in response to, “If only science and reason were easier to get people to believe in than flying men, a kingdom in the sky, ..virgins…and such..”.  My response, I think may have been taken a bit out of context, but it went something like this.. “Imagination is the mother of creation!!!  Desire and fear are her tools!!!  The human mind is her soil!!  And Chaos is her bloom!!!.”

Since embarking on this journey of self-realization and experiment of self observation, I have been fortunate enough to see things for what they are and use this information to better meander the path I follow.  Many times, the observations made are completely contrary to the reality I understood…I lived.. at one time or another.  The truth is, this beautiful thing we call life, is very much like a never-ending canvas, to use to create our own little…or grand…(depending on one’s nature)….masterpiece.

Imagination, most certainly is, the mother of creation.  For it is that imagination, which allows our energy, our true nature, to flow upon the canvas.  Fear and Desire are at the very root of our soul…..our mind….and these are the tools that are used to paint upon this glorious canvas.   For it is the essence of these two words that give color to the medium we choose for our masterpiece.  They are the ebb and flow of every stroke that is made!  This magnificent planet of ours, universe for that matter, so completely perfect, is ripe to offer the artist an unlimited palette of sensory experience, that the possibilities are limitless.

The mind is her soil, ah, this beautiful garden of creativity, so fertile with the descriptive that define one’s footprint.  The blueprint for which her tools are used.  Transforming with every moment, with every reaction to the plethora of sensory experience presented.

Chaos is her bloom.  As formally defined… Behavior so unpredictable as to appear random, owing to great sensitivity to small changes in conditions… this work of wonder, this masterpiece…with the illusion of control…has quite the opposite.  For as any true artist knows, creativity flows from the depths of the mind, of the soul, of nothingness…with reckless abandon…with chaos…to form the most randomly beautiful bloom from the seed once planted in the soil.

So I say to he, that lies waste to the flying men, kingdom in the sky…virgins…and such… Wait just a minute!  For the day may come that science and imagination come to the realization that they really are one!! For one day, they will meet upon the understanding that it is one thing that separates, as well as combines the two, and that is limitation.  For it is limitation that is the essence of fear and desire and to get beyond this limitation is to experience that for which many call God.  For it is this essence, this limitless entity that provides the canvas to create ones masterpiece.  It is that constant flow of energy in the river of life and beyond.

Allow this energy to flow through you.  Make proper use of the tools, with as fertile a mind as possible. Let the creativity of your imagination cultivate and bloom into a masterpiece…bursting with the vibrance that defines the one and only you!!!  But most of all…smile…and BE HAPPY! (or not..your choice!)

…I should be your walking science experiment


I

I had a good friend contact me the other day and their first words were…”i should be your walking experiment..”  so we had a nice back and forth and during the message time it was suggested I add to my blog, so here it is.  The person will be referred to as Matter and I will be….well…Me.

  • MATTER… i should be your walking science experiment

    life in general has been a struggle lately

  • MATTER….i’ve been having health issues and no one can really tell me what is going on
  • ME…what type of issues?
  •  MATTER…..not really sure, I am chewing Xanax like it’s candy for panic attacks, my legs constantly shake for no reason, and i have elevated calcium levels…so we are just on a wait and see type patern for a few more months
  •  ME…whoa…can i ask when this all started?
  •  MATTER….about 4 months ago
     I was doing some exercise and just felt like i was overheating and about to pass out …turned into a real bad sinus infection…and has never really gone away
  • ME…..would you like my objective observation?
  • MATTER…..sure would
  • ME….in the last 4 months you have taken on quite a few changes and with those changes came some pretty hefty responsibilities that typically compound stress.  So what is stress?  It is the mind’s reaction to an alteration of what the brain is wired to compute, status quo for lack of better words….what our typical habit pattern in life tends to be..what we are wired to find acceptable.  This is how it works…regardless of the catalyst…the senses take in information…the brain computes the information….and based on the wiring (the habit patterns we have developed through life) ..the brain sends out signals to the body…(understand we are human animals yes…but first we are really just a jumble of subatomic particles that process information from the universe around us..im sure you remember this from school…or not…)….and here’s where the interesting part happens….those signals are really just sensations that trigger a reaction.  So what is the reaction?  This reaction has one of two possibiliteis….it is either fear based or desire based.  Ooh…its a feeling i do not like…ooh thats bad….ugg…ive got to get away from it…damn im worried about it….shucks…ive got to beat it away.   Or, it is a reaction of desire….ooh…i want this …got to have it…do whatever i have to do to get it.  Both are catalyst for stress…misery for that matter.  Fear…yes you may get away from that dislikable feeling for a bit…but rest assured it will return …maybe not from the same catalyst…but it will return.  Desire…ooh…ive got to have it…I get it…feel good…after a while…no big deal…gotta get more…or something else.  Or even more acute….got to have it…never get it..become obsessed…never get…become mentally ill.   So what am I trying to say here?  Take an objective look at your life…and what is going on in it….what are your fears….what are your desires?   At what level of an acute nature are you reacting to them?  The root of most issues are based on these two things, they really are the basis for all life.  They are the things that define adaptation in the biological world..(if the first organism that made the jump from water to land didn’t fear for its life in some way, or desire some sort of food it saw on land to keep life going…it never would have made the jump).  Ultimately all things boil down to this….it may sound macabe….but it is truth…all of our fears can eventually be boiled down to the fear of death….and all desires can be boiled down to the desire for the continuance of life.  All things…no matter how complex a problem one may think they have.   You can use it like that Kevin Bacon game….ultimately it will boil down to those two things. Life is only as complex as we choose to make it…so…I will let you swallow this for a while…and if you want me to continue…let me know and I’ll shoot you another note… be happy my friend….cause the only other choice is to not be happy…and they are both choices..
  • MATTER……hold please i am still reading…
  • MATTER……you’re right man, ever since I got sick I am completely paranoid of dying, and it has been escalated because of my fear of leaving her alone without me
  • ME…..whatever you health issue, beyond whats going on in your noggin, it is there….accept it for what it is.  Do your best to live a healthy life…the only thing you can control is how you react to the various catalysts that present themselves…moment to moment….so if you want things to get better with your panic attacks…your shaky legs…you have to retrain yourself in the ways you react to things
  • MATTER…..yeah i need to evaluate the exact triggers, and as they come on, I need to manage them with a positve spin rather than the Xanax….the strange thing with it though is as you are well aware of, this is not the first time I have moved, or started a new job, it is the first time I cared enough about a woman who moved with me about her happiness and success, but I have always been a pretty chillaxed person, and now I am almost constantly in a phase of mania
  • ME…..I always tell folks…limit your limitations in life.  What are our two limitations…fear and desire.  Does that mean don’t love your wife…no..not at all.  What that means is….when something comes up that you don’t like…instead of running and trying to get away or even worse push it away with force…accept it for what it is….and roll with the punches…with a smile.  Either way the same result will happen….the catalyst will find its way out of your life….it may take time…but it will.  The same goesfor desire….there is that thing i desire…it may come…it may not….if it does…i will enjoy it while it is here…make the most of it…and when it is gone…well…it is gone.  Limitations are personal…they are not things that are presented to you….limitations are the way you look at things and react to them.  Accept all for what they are…and you are bound to find some relief.
  • MATTER….sports was my best relief for knowing limitations….it was easy to understand I can only do so much out there, even as a positive leader i can only do my own thing, I can’t control others abilities or mistakes
  • ME……so now that you have such a wonderful addition to your life(new wife)….don’t miss out on it by fearing its loss…or its disappointment….enjoy it…cultivate it…it might even stay around a bit longer…
  • MATTER….i agree, i think it is the fact that there is so much care I put forth with her, and responsibility to make her the best life possible, that it may stress me out?
  • ME….it will only stress you out if you expect a return on your investment… i.e. that she be happy…i.e. that your picture for what a best life would be materialize….the best life that you can give her is unconditional love…and this is the best life that you can give yourself as well….with as little expectation and control as possible
  • MATTER…..i like that analogy
  • MATTER…..i know in work there are certain expectations I need to meet.  I used to like that, having a goal, busting through it.  Now that I do not sell anymore those numbers fall on the people I have trained to be like me, maybe that stresses me as well?
  • ME….understand your nature is your nature….your wiring is your wiring…you have been in this mode you describe above for a long time…hence it is part of your wiring.  So of course this could provide stress….but jump out in third person and become the scientist and put your I in a petri dish….and observe with the most objective of mind…what it is that I is reacting to….what fears…what desires…and remember a scientist is very detailed in nature…to the nth degree..
    .
  • MATTER…..when i go home tonight i am going to start writing all my stresses, and see how i can control, or better manage them

    i think that may be a decent starting point

  • ME….a great starting point…remember the only thing you can control is you…

I know there was a lot going on there, and a lot to digest.  The whole point of this experiment is to get the reader to take a look at themselves.  Take a deep look at what exactly drives each one of you to do what you do, and honestly see the reality of your nature, your fears, your desires, and the acute nature of how these things cause so much of the suffering you experience in life.  The ability to take responsibility for this nature, this suffering and make a change in yourself.  These things I say to my friend, they are not things that I read in a book, they are not things that I learned from some teacher or higher being, they are things that I was fortunate enough to observe once I took a step outside of …ME…and became the scientist looking into the petri dish of…ME.   Don’t let your “ME”….blind you from the truth….for that is certainly its nature…often like a very irresponsible little child….always looking for blame beyond the …”ME”.

I wish you all great success in your adventure in life….and finding the peace and happiness that it can offer…..for the experience is there….its just how you choose to go about it.  Be happy!!!

An observation…


Today I had a moment with my 5-year-old that presented and opportunity to observe “who am I”.  Funny how often this little bundle of joy helps present such opportunities….hence why I so often refer to her as my “little light.”

I was feeling a bit out of it this Saturday morning, kind of in a “woke up on the wrong side of the bed” type morning.  Pam had to work in the morning and it was just my daughter and I.  During the morning, she had lots of plans and requests for dad and to say the least, considering how i felt, the morning was becoming a tall order.  I worked through it, a little grumpy yes, but I was able to fulfil my duty!  Then it was bath time…always some back and forth here… “but dad!!!!”…is a very common phrase that tickles my eardrum often daily.  Okay, we got through that and go downstairs.  The typical progression after this, is that we get her dressed and brush out her hair….but today was a little different.  She told me…”dad…I want to pick out what i wear…and dress myself…”   Hey, that’s fine with me…independence is good…so I said “no problem…but I still have to brush out your hair..”  and she agreed.  About 20 minutes later, here comes little bella ballerina dressed in a tu tu.  She sits down to have her hair brushed and asks if I can put it up like a ballerina.  Of course, the way I was feeling, inside I am going ugh and working on a way to talk her out of it, and so I say “how about being a long hair ballerina and having a long hair ballet?”  She proceeds to tell me that she wants to be a professional ballerina and they do not wear their hair long, they only wear it up!  “Please, Please, Please dad, I’m begging you….”  and that’s when it happened, my moment, as I agreed to put her hair up like a ballerina.  Third person kicked in, the scientist appeared….and I was observing what was going on…in my mind…in my demeanor…how i was feeling…how i was reacting towards that feeling….and mostly what it was that made me agree to do her hair.  Was it guilt?  Was it love?  Was it both?  Well, at first I believe it was guilt…how can i say no to “please please please…i’m begging”..?  Yet, upon having that brief moment to look at myself objectively, I was able to observe just how fickle the mind can be and how easily it can be swayed and of course how easy it is to fall into a undesireable state of mind.

Something that I have come to understand is how there is such a fine line between love and guilt  when it comes to sharing moments with others.  In this example, I mentioned phrases such as “fulfill my duty”, “made it through”, “the morning was a “tall order”,…all of these phrases lead me to believe it was in guilt that I was “making it through the day,”  as I was so self-absorbed in how miserable I felt, that I almost missed out on such an awesome opportunity to have some special time with my little lady.

My point is, you have a choice.  If you have something you have to do for someone, either way… the outcome is the same… whether you do it out of love or out of guilt (I’ll feel bad if I don’t).  The only difference is how it affects you.  When you do something out of guilt, you (although it doesn’t appear that way), are being self absorbed…you are “doing” due to one of two things, either fear (i don’t like the feeling if I don’t do it) or desire (they better appreciate this…i better get something out of this)…both of which are bound to bring you stress and discontent.  Now doing something out of love….well…that is selfless….you let go of all of those expectations and controls that take grip on you as you do deeds for others.  Sure, easier said then done, but next time you have someone to buy a gift for, that birthday present that you have to get by that weekend for a friend, or if you are feeling out of sorts and your daughter asks you to do her hair like a ballerina, take a step back…you scientist you….and observe that feeling that comes up…is it…omg..ugg…i’ve gotta go get so and so a birthday present….or ugg…lets just do it the easy way sweet heart?  Whatever the feeling is, guess what…”I” (you)can turn it around…let go of how it is inconvenient for “me”…. how “I” am too stressed out…how “I” am too tired…and say to yourself this isn’t about the “I”…let go of the “I” and focus on the good you are bringing to “them” and i promise, a different energy will come about, a different way of feeling, when you can just let go of all of that “I” stuff and just enjoy that moment and be happy about all of the good you bring to another…and remember…be objective….for often times, that fine line is crossed in the mind and you may think you are doing out of love…but really you are doing out of guilt….a true scientist can tell the difference.

Well…that’s all for now…lots of happiness and peace to you.

Hello world!


Ok…Hello world…first of all…I apologize in advance…i use these lines of periods a lot…they actually correspond quite a bit with my purpose for jumping into the BLOG world…but I shall get to that another day.  Mind of Matter….my name is Matt…I have a fascination with the whole mind/matter phenomena with respect to our existence…so Mind of Matter just made sense.  You have stumbled upon a science experiment….for lack of better words….that will hopefully take anyone reading, to a different level of observation of the world and its goings on, but more importantly of oneself and its goings on.  Who am I….honestly, I think that is irrelevant….as the purpose of this experiment is to hopefully give an opportunity to you the reader to explore…”Who am I”?…

My interest is that there are billions of folks out there that are trying to figure out .”who am I” and are in a self-induced coma of routine …get up..text…eat…go to work/school…text…eat..web browse…go home…eat…watch tv…eat…go to bed..start over…(or some variation of such).  Some are still aware of it….some are not..camoflagued by the facade of “The pursuit of happiness”.  Yet most are consciously or sub consiously looking for ways out of this cyclical habit pattern of existence…hence the true nature of drug use/addiction, alcoholism, obesity, sex addiction, pain addiction, power addiction, dogmatic interaction and sensationalism..or less dramatic…weekends…vacations…sports activities…cultural activities….and so on and so on.  Of course, I have partaken in this cycle as well…but one day….a very dark day in my existence, but likely the most important one as well….I had to make a choice…for my cycle had become more of a downward spiral.  It was either sink into the abyss, or stop, take a breath,  figure things out and make my assent back up the spiral……find out…”Who am I”.   That one moment changed my life, in that moment, my experiment began.

Yeah, I know, kind of heavy….but hey…..many times it takes hitting bottom, before we recognize we were falling in the first place.  So, back to ….why am i writing?  Well…to continue my experiment…and hopefully induce the reader to conduct an experiment on him/her self… and use this blog as a resource to help conduct the experiment.  Whether you are headed to the abyss or just settled into your daily routine….I encourage you…I encourage all humans …to take part in this experiment.  To just observe a glimpse of   “who am I” …and find out the great benefit in doing so.

I wish you happiness and look forward conducting this experiment together.