With the moon's spectacular display last night, once again I thought about how incredible our universe truly is. The heavenly bodies enable us to watch an amazing show every day and every night. The sun, the moon, the stars, and other entities floating in space, allow us to experience both the vastness of the heavens and how tiny, yet powerful, each one of us really is.
The Earth is but a "grain of sand" in the hugeness of space and we are only tiny individual inhabitants of that "grain." Yet...our intelligence and abilities to dissect information, as well as recognize that we are those tiny inhabitants, gives us a perspective about ourselves and our place on this planet that will, hopefully, bring some humbleness to each of us.
Perhaps we, as a species, need to spend more time thinking about how "small" we are in addition to the "bigness" of our hopes and dreams. Maybe, if we spend more time realizing the oneness of everything, we'd be able to understand how important it is to appreciate each other and the things that bring us pleasure, without bringing harm to those people and things around us.
And, then...we might even find that we can revel in the wonder of a peaceful existence and be in awe of things that enable us to see the beauty of life - like...a full moon on a June night.
Life coaching has become a catch-all phrase used by all sorts of people and organizations to promote a better, happier, more productive, and successful life. Some people opt for schools (a relatively new phenomenon) that certify folks to be a coach. Of course...who certifies the schools and, more importantly...who certifies and monitors the certifying agency and the certifiers? It's a question, I, and many others have asked. And, just like any other schools and those who attended them, your teacher could have graduated at the top of his or her class or the bottom - yet no one ever asks. In fact - when was the last time you asked your doctor his or her rank in their graduating class? My guess is...never. That notwithstanding, I tip my hat to the thousands of qualified coaches who help millions of people everyday!
I've been coaching people for many, many, years. So long in fact, that I actually had hair on my head when I started and my beard was all dark! I love helping people and thoroughly enjoy it when I, and they, see real progress in their lives. Getting people to understand who they are and why and how they do things, opens up doors for them that they may never have realized. Finding new success in their lives, whether from a business perspective, materialistically, emotionally, or spiritually, never ceases to make me feel wonderful.
One of the greatest things a life coach can experience is when his or her client moves away from fear, insecurity, low self-esteem, jealousy, anger, hate, and self-sabotaging and self-defeating behaviors, and begins to find the person they were hoping to be their entire life.
I began formally coaching in 1972 when I worked with my employees to help them grow and live a happier, more successful life. Now...I coach and train groups, both large (amphitheaters, huge hotel meeting rooms, and banquet halls), and small (corporate conference rooms, classrooms, and individuals' homes and offices). We're, both my clients and myself, always learning. That's why I see my capacity as a university professor as an extension of my coaching and training. I also love the fact that I continue to, through the magic of computers and teleconferencing, coach people all over this amazing planet.
If you are a life coach or have, or will, use the services of a life coach...I salute you. If you're stuck, feel "down," are looking to reach the potential you've always thought you could, want to be more content, happier, more enlightened, have better relationships, or just want to experience that "balance" so many people seem to have lost...perhaps the guidance of a coach can help. But - ultimately, it's up to you to make sure your journey is fruitful.
We hear the word enlightenment tossed around quite often, but...how does a person become enlightened? What does it really mean? And - "How will we know it when we see it?"
In the this short video I discuss some of the different means used to "achieve" enlightenment and what parts self-separation, rising above one's self, and the capacity of the human mind plays in becoming enlightened. In addition, I cover some of the contents of my new book, "Soaring To Enlightenment - The Secret to Living a Contented Life."
We all know that we live in a universe much greater than ourselves. Yet, understanding the magnitude of our surroundings and the enormous role that energy plays in our environment, our lives, and our individual existence, is not usually discussed in everyday conversations and our educational systems.
I look forward to your comments about this video, your own experiences (relative to enlightenment and the topics discussed), and any other relevant information you would enjoy passing along.
We all recognize the fact that life can be very hectic. Many of us are faced with a myriad of problems, questions, chores, duties, obligations, deadlines, mechanical and technical breakdowns, and all the other "regular" (and not so regular) stuff that our everyday existence throws our way.
However...there are some things that we can do to make our lives calmer. Here are 5 things that, hopefully, will help you be more relaxed and calm throughout your day (and night).
1. Understand and implement the "Power of No."
"No" is an amazing word. It can prevent you from doing things that you don't want to do, don't have the time to do, or shouldn't be doing. The problem is that too many people have a hard time saying that little two letter word. Especially when you feel obligated to say "yes." It take a lot of strength to understand that there are certain times when you have to say "no," both for your benefit and for those asking you. Often a "no" will empower you to teach someone that it's their responsibility to do something. Or...perhaps if you say "yes" something else may not get done. Or...maybe, you have to assert yourself and stop being made to always be the "go to person." Say "no" enough and people will stop asking! Of course - you have to understand the "Power of No" and when to us it...just like you have to with any power! But...rest assured; learn how and when to say "No" and you will feel less pressured and much calmer.
2. Understand and implement the "Power of Know."
Yep...that's right - know know! As the saying goes, "Knowledge is King." So...the more you know, the more you'll be in a position to realize how to be calm, how not to be frantic, how to revel in life. Knowledge teaches us what we need to do to fulfill our objectives. If your goal is to be calmer, spend some time reading, learning (not where there are tests involved or tasks you MUST do to get a passing grade), stimulating your brain, and using it to understand what calmness really means. Look at the stars, the trees, the flowers and learn about them so that your trips through your garden and nights glaring at the heavens will give you a feeling of the contentment, happiness, and calmness that knowledge (and wonder) can bring. And...afford you the luxury of feeling closer to the things you see, hear, smell, taste, and feel. You will soon understand that there really is a sense of calm in "knowing."
3. Understand and implement the "Knowledge of Power."
We are all powerful beings, yet many of us use power to drive ourselves and others into a frenzy. Power does not have to mean what we've come to think it means...controlling others, achieving a position of influence and being self-consumed. Ultimate power is knowing that you don't have to do any of those things to be truly powerful. Power lies within you. You have the power to understand yourself and others, the power to turn away the "noise" that surrounds you, the power to separate yourself from the daily mania of life and remove yourself to a powerful place where your "self" resides. Others will know you're there (if you want them to know). If they don't recognize where you've gone...you may want to tell them, "I'll be back. Right now I have to take care of something very important - me."
4. Understand and implement the "Power of Silence."
"Silence is Golden" as my 8th grade art teacher used to say. And...guess what? He was right. Silence is very powerful. You all know that it is often more powerful than speech. A silent expression can convey as much as a thousand word monologue. Silence can also be the vehicle that brings a person to a place of peace and calmness. The stillness of the mind and body can do wonders for your being. Shut the door, turn off your TV, smart phone, computer, and all your other "devices," and lose yourself in your silence. Look around without a word being uttered and you'll notice things you've probably never seen. Even though you've been with them for years. Quiet your mind and bring your world and yourself closer. It's a wonderful place to be. The world is filled with a cacophony of sounds...take some time away from them and you will be better off, and calmer, for it.
5. Understand and implement the "Power of Art."
Soothing music, paintings, photography, museums, sculpture, pottery, poetry, books, illustrations, and all our other forms of art are the workings of our creative minds. Yes...there are varieties of all of these mediums that are far from calming, so...it's up to you to choose to be in the company of those that make you feel a sense of calm. Our environment is teeming with so many variations of art. Sitting by a stream and taking its picture is art. Writing or reading a poem or prose is art. Sketching is art. Listening to the rhythm of soothing music is art. It doesn't take much to be involved in art, whether as the creator of it or the viewer or listener of it. Whichever way you decide to avail yourself of its power, you will understand its ability to create calm in your life. You may even become so into it that it becomes that relaxing retreat that you can't wait to visit.
I'm a teacher. More specifically a university professor (as well as a keynote speaker, trainer and personal coach). Through my years of doing all these things, I've noticed something interesting...especially in higher education - the emphasis is on teaching, rather than learning.
Yes, I know that it's supposed to be the other way around, but it's not. The system has been set up so that students are motivated to get a degree, that's pretty much it. Learning doesn't always fall within that dimension. If you can pass your tests and do well in your research papers, you've done what you're supposed to do. What does that, ultimately, do for a person's mind? Not much, actually. I know how tests work, I've been administering them for years (and took them for years too). Memorize facts and figures, and on test day...be able to regurgitate them with precision. Three days later - those bits of information are pretty much forgotten. Papers? All too often they're sent through the academic sausage maker, cut and pasted, re-worded, and voila...a new brand of sausage emerges - cited and all!
The system is flawed. We live in the age of google and other search engines. Sure, you've gotta know which facts to take as true and which to disregard. But, who's to say that the books students are asked to buy for use in their classes are accurate? And - I write 'em! Need a fact? Look it up on your computer. Not sure about a formula? It's online. Suck at grammar? Your electronic device can help with that too.
Know how to think? Ehh...that's another matter. And, my friends - that's what we should be concentrating on. Teach people to think and use they're cognitive abilities and they will learn! Are we dumbing ourselves down in order to play the degree game? Hmm...I think we may be.
However, there are a few (other) sad pieces to this puzzle. First, by the time students graduate - they've become slaves. Yes, I said slaves. No, not the kind owned by someone who houses and feeds them, then sends them out into the field to plant or harvest crops. Nope...I mean a slave to the banks and loan agencies that helped "fund" their education. And the crazy part is that these slaves have to house and feed themselves! What an amazing world we live in!
The second piece is that we are closing our minds to the rest of what is around us. People are caught. Get a degree, get a job, pay back loans and more loans, get stressed, get sick, get health insurance, get medication, and on and on. You see, for many students, the cognitive thought process never has a chance to fully grow because they have to find a job as soon as possible (any job will do!) to begin to pay off their debt. Oh, the cycle of it all.
The alternative? Recognize that it's all a game - a mental construct - and when you get that, maybe you can change your perspective and take time to look around and think, laugh, experience, love, pull yourself out of the cycle (or not get into it in the first place), and mellow out a bit. Then, I think...you can really start to learn.
So...perhaps we can begin to change the way we educate by taking the emphasis off of tests, research papers, and grading, and putting the focus on learning. Of course, there are those who will say, "How do you know if someone's learning if you can't grade them through tests and research papers?" I have a solution (at least that's what I think). How 'bout teachers speak with their students, have open dialogue, stimulate their minds, get feedback (in fact...encourage it!), do fun, innovative, individual and group projects, even thought provoking papers (some of them may even need some research to substantiate a point or two), and listen to them. Most "good" teachers can tell who's learning and who's not.
I know it all sounds like a tall order, but - it can be done. Plus...make school very affordable. I know that we'll have to get creative, as a nation, when it comes to funding (perhaps a few less bombs, aircraft carriers, jets, or "special projects" could help fund our educational efforts). But, in the end...I'm sure it'll pay off!
What's the most important resource any country has? Its people - of course! Let's make sure our people know how to think. That may not be what some folks in power want. However, in the end, it'll make for a more educated and stimulated populace and a better, more innovative, world. Geez - wouldn't that be nice!