What You Pay For – (Linking Thinking #6)

Are you getting what you want? From your relationships? Your health? Your fitness or physical training? From your occupation or employment? Are you more content or happier today, this week, this month than you were six months ago? A year ago? You might think these are rather self-absorbed types of questions, but I have a point in mind for your consideration.

Today’s post is a continuation of the theme behind all the Linking-Thinking blog posts this year. I hope you’ll read or revisit the previous posts if you haven’t read them yet. You may find them helpful reminders in applying the principles of purposeful awareness to our thought life. Namely, the posts reiterate in one way or another the value of recognizing the patterns of our thinking. Why is this skill so vitally essential? Because the thoughts we curate (pay attention to or attach our beliefs to) are the thoughts that run and create our every day reality. There are no exceptions or work-arounds to this universal truth. Thoughts are energy, and as such the energy they generate is relayed through the brain into the body. Thoughts in motion create energy too, as emotion. The body responds to this emotional energy without bias; this is the nature of human physiology. The autonomic responses to sensory energies are working on our behalf and in our subconscious psyche, 24/7. The physical body is designed specifically to collect and interpret sensory data received from the outside environment on behalf of our biological operating system. Our sensory system has served humans well through the eons. However, these systems have not evolved much though the eon. In this respect, our base instinct nature is similar to that found in all of the animal kingdom.

Remember, the goal right now is to gradually change your response to what you can’t control. To grow stronger on the inside day by day, so that in the long run almost nothing on the outside can affect your inner peace and wellness without your conscious permission.


So when you ask yourself the above questions and if the answers come back with negatives, you might want to seriously assess your thinking thoughts. Are the majority of your thoughts in any given day about the things you want or don’t want in your life? This is an important point to note! If you treated your thoughts as dollars and cents in your bank account, what sort of experiences are you paying for with all the minutes, of all your days?

Energy is the currency of the universe. When you ‘pay’ attention to something, you buy that experience. So when you allow your consciousness to focus on someone or something that annoys you, you feed it your energy, and it reciprocates the experience of being annoyed. Be selective in your focus because your attention feeds the energy of it and keeps it alive. Not just within you, but in the collective consciousness as well.

Emily Maroutian

Seriously, your best life is literally held within the confines of your own mind (not to be confused with your brain)! You create your reality over and again with each and every thing you choose to think (and believe). Might you decide, on purpose, whenever you realize you’ve slipped into unconscious patterns, to spend your attention, on the things you want? It is my hope for you today, as I finish this last series post, that you will task yourself to spend your thinking thoughts wisely. Choose as often as you want, and make deposits rather than withdrawals into your best-life account. Because to think about what you don’t want, simply invites the economy of compounding interest to give you more of what you don’t want or need.

A Beauty-Full Life (Linking-Thinking #5)

Your life is waiting to be lived by You! It’s waiting for You to animate and enliven your body with your awareness. Does that surprise you? Do you not know that when you stay with yourself, in the physicality of your body and its senses that this is the way to experience the joy of your most Beauty-Full Life? Well that is the purpose for my writing this post today. I want to remind you, and myself, that our Presence of Mind, or by staying in the present moment, (rather than the past or future), is the place for our most peaceful living. Paying attention and noticing our bodily-presence, allows us to more fully experience our one and only wild and precious Life. If you doubt the truth of this sentiment, I challenge you to put yourself in the Present moment by purposefully setting yourself in the way of Beauty. Give it a try won’t you? It is easy and fun! Think of this exercise as a peace of mind interlude, a solstice and balm for the soul…an opportunity to play and know that Life wants to be lived through You.

To be a human who resembles the divine is to become responsible for the beautiful, for its observance, its protection, and its creation. It is a challenge to believe that this right is ours.

Cole Arthur Riley

The easiest way to connect with ourselves and our Beauty-Full Life is to go outdoors. In nature, we are able to wake ourselves up via our bodily senses. Using our senses intentionally will guide us into noticing. And noticing quiets mind chatter and allows us to enjoy Being. What do you see, hear, feel, smell? Notice what you will, without prejudice or preconceived context. Just let nature put you in its way, so it may pull you into herself and remind you of your own wild-nature.

The miracle is not to walk on water. The miracle is to walk on the green earth in the present moment, to appreciate the peace and beauty that are available now.”

Thích Nhat Hanh

If you can’t go outside, give your senses a delight indoors by listening to the rhythm of your breathing, in and out. Does this remind you of the unceasing cadence of waves expiring and inspiring upon the breast of the shore? Or perhaps you might sit in a favorite quiet place inside your home, then close your eyes and let your imagination curate those places, people or memories. And as you conjure the beauty of these remembrances, you may soon notice only stillness and quiet as you journey along the imagined path of Beauty-Full presence. Or perhaps you could venture into the realm of textures. What might you find in your home to nudge you towards beauty? Is it the feeling of sitting in your favorite chair, wrapped in a cuddly blanket; or do you have a pet who delights in your stroking its impossibly silky fur? Or does enjoying a mug of hot or iced tea transport you into relaxed ruminations and peaceful reverie? Whatever you have at your disposal…whatever triggers a twinge or twinkle of delight, go towards it and reconnect your life-light.

This assumption that beauty is an accessory, and dispensable, shows that we don’t understand the importance of giving the soul what it needs. The soul is nurtured by beauty. What food is to the body, arresting, complex, and pleasing images are to the soul. If we have a psychology rooted in a medical view of human behavior and emotional life, then the primary value will be health. But if our idea of psychology is based on the soul, then the goal of our therapeutic efforts will be beauty. I will go so far as to say that if we lack beauty in our lives, we will probably suffer familiar disturbances in the soul—depression, paranoia, meaninglessness, and addiction. The soul craves beauty and in its absence suffers what James Hillman has called “beauty neurosis.”

Thomas Moore – Care of the Soul

I hope this little post has been a gentle reminder, an eye-opener for you, so that whenever you find yourself sleep wandering through your day, try waking yourself up with this simple movement…and put yourself in the way of Beauty. Take a Beauty-Full interlude and intersperse as needed any time you feel lost or far away from yourself. Use this practice like exercise. And just like exercise for your body, these practical movements of noticing and imagination will breathe Life and Joy into your Living and Being. It is from this place of alive awareness wherein you’ll experience a most Beauty-Full Life.

Living Inside Out (Linking-Thinking #4)

Have you ever witnessed two people experiencing the same event and they each have completely different or even opposite reactions to that event? In today’s post-Covid world, polarized reactions and behaviors among groups of people exposed to a similar experience seems commonplace and practically normative. For many folks, myself included, these equal and opposite behaviors amidst our family and peer groups is hard to reconcile when the reactions are opposite our own.

Perhaps, we could reduce the discord and negativity we feel towards others who think differently from ourselves if we would pause to consider that the reason we react differently to a shared experience is because we each have a lifetime of past experiences. And none of our experiences will ever be exactly like another’s. If we could only hold back judgment and condemnation of the others, and instead consider that ‘reactions’ are nothing more than each person acting out their own true story as written from the script by the author of their each and every past life experience.

The truth lies within you—as does all the power you will ever need to change the direction of your life and the course of human history.

Neale Donald Walsch

Consider this example set in this ‘neutral’ setting from a day at the beach. Observe two opposite reactions which two people might have as a result of their past history. The first person goes to the beach and expects to enjoy the day playing and swimming in the ocean. Whereas when the first person invites their best friend to join them at the beach for a day of fun, the friend experiences anxiety and declines the invitation because they witnessed a drowning and/or nearly drowned in the ocean when they were a child or young person. So this same, neutral place, creates for these two people, two opposite reactions. Isn’t it a little easier to accept that this seemingly neutral place, the beach, may cause differing reactions among all people when we realize that it is each person’s past history or experience which informs their present perceptions about a place or experience?

”There is nothing either good or bad but thinking makes it so.”

William Shakespeare

Again, we all know what it feels like to live in a world of either/or belief systems. Taking sides with or making decisions based on how closely others feel like we do about ‘neutral’ events, places, or activities gives group think its ability to steal our most precious super-power: CHOICE! Each and every life situation we encounter is an opportunity to make a conscious practice of our choosing. What if we were to neutralize our thinking about every day events before making value judgments about them? Could we teach ourselves to take a moment to re-view or re-frame a situation by placing it in a judgment free box and acknowledging that the event or situation IS WHAT IT IS? How would that feel, in our body, and in our emotions If we took a moment to be still and quiet ourselves when encountering difficulties, and simply give these things a time out from our thinking? Might we reduce our anxiety, stress and anger by simply acknowledging that it is our own thoughts about a situation that causes us to suffer?

“When you live in complete acceptance of what is, that is the end of all drama in your life.”

Eckhart Tolle

I am by no means suggesting that taking a pause or neutralizing our thinking is an easy behavior to master. We are human, and human nature is positively wired to behold and attach negative meaning to things first and foremost. It is partly why we have survived the eons. However, because we are human, we have capacity to evolve and improve upon our base instincts and nature. And I am neither so naïve as to suggest or believe that the presence or experience of evil in this world can be positively negated by our good thinking. Rather, what I am asking us to grapple with and wake up to for ourselves is this: A life well lived, is lived from the inside out. And as Eckhart Tolle so succinctly teaches, “Life is primary (to life circumstances).
Life is your deepest inner Being. It is already whole, complete, perfect.”

“The primary cause of unhappiness is never the situation but your thoughts about it. Observe your thoughts, don’t believe them.”

Eckhart Tolle

Towards the Light? (Linking-Thinking #3)

“I will love the light for it shows me the way, yet I will endure the darkness for it shows me the stars.”

Og Mandino

Literature, poetry, science and spiritualty are rife with evidence and anecdote comparing our material bodies and lived experience as infused with the same energy and essence as light. Yet to be human is to live life in the experience of the equal and opposite energy of light, which is felt and intuited as dark. Almost everyone has heard it said that if you are having a near death experience, then you should go towards the light. But consider this: going towards the light may also be a life giving experience! In fact, you essentially obeyed the imperative of going towards the light on the day you were born. On your birth-day, you were forced out of the darkness of your mother’s womb and expelled into the light of Mother’s Earth.

“Human beings are not born once and for all on the day their mothers give birth to them, but…life obliges them over and over again to give birth to themselves.”

Gabriel Garcia Marquez

Where or when in all creation has anyone or anything been able to parse, sever, or obliterate this cycle of dark to light or death to life? And yet a great human desire is to resist the dark of night and separation. Why do we so strongly desire to experience living only in the light? Can you not feel the strong connection we have, to the cycles of dark and light? To death and life? To the the cycles of our Mother’s Seasons?

“People will do anything, no matter how absurd, in order to avoid facing their own souls. One does not become enlightened by imagining figures of light, but by making the darkness conscious.”

Carl Jung

The cycle of death and life is an infinite loop. And if we consider all created things, might we soon realize that LIFE always finds its way back from death? Can we eschew gloom over those things which look and feel like death or darkness to us; might we forgo assigning the dark things to the ‘pits of despair’? Perhaps then, we may remember, again and again, that the dormancy of darkness is required to recharge, reinvent and reinvigorate life’s energy and light. Let’s flip dark thoughts to life with this reflection: it is the absence of light which points to the promise of an eminent birth experience. If we could embrace the vitality of the dark, then we might realize it is only from this place where we may go forward towards the light.

“I have learned things in the dark that I could never have learned in the light, things that have saved my life over and over again, so that there is really only one logical conclusion. I need darkness as much as I need light.”

Barbara Brown Taylor

For consideration/meditation:
What looks or feels like darkness and/or death to you?

setbacks; defeats; difficulties; misfortunes; failures; misunderstandings; shortages; loss; reversal; obstacles; illness.

When you’re in the dark, what can you do to go forward towards the light?
Reframe your perspective; rest; refrain from judging yourself or others; accept; forgive; ask questions; seek answers/counsel; test your beliefs.

On Becoming

If you inherently long for something, become it first. If you want gardens, become the gardener. If you want love, embody love. If you want mental stimulation, change the conversation. If you want peace, exude calmness. If you want to fill your world with artists, begin to paint. If you want to be valued, respect your own time. If you want to live ecstatically, find the ecstasy within yourself. This is how to draw it in, day by day, inch by inch.”

Victoria Erickson

BELIEVING is SEEING (Linking-Thinking #2)

to believe (verb) – to have confidence in the truth, the existence, or the reliability of something, although without absolute proof that one is right in doing so.

to see (verb) – to have the power of sight; to understand intellectually or spiritually; to give attention or care; to find out; make inquiry; to consider; think; deliberate; to look about; to observe.


If you have known me for any amount of time, you know this one thing about me: I like to run, and I really feel like a runner when I run fast. However, this one thing is also true: I am not a fast runner. But I am a runner none the less, no matter how slow or fast I run, simply because I run. And because I run, I believe that it is possible to achieve my goals of running longer or faster when I follow those training plans designed to prepare and adapt my body to go the distance.

What you believe has more power than what you dream or wish or hope for. You become what you believe.

Oprah Winfrey

This belief of mine is essential to my productive running life. If I did not believe it possible to become the marathoner I desire to become, then my doing would be disconnected from my thinking and believing. In other words, I believe I can complete a marathon distance race, because I have trained my body and my mind to adapt to the increasing stresses of marathon training. Every day I perform the exercises prescribed in my training plan, I am a marathoner. These BELIEFS I have about myself and my running, make it possible for me to SEE (realize) the results and accomplishments of my training and of my believing. Truly, I become a marathoner even before I toe the line of any marathon race.

“In running, every step you make and every push forward changes you – it transforms you into a different person. Every single run adds something to you and then it also takes something away. You are not the same person you have been at the starting line and by the time you come to the finish your inner self has been reinvented and reimagined.”

The Zen Of Running

And now it has been a one week since I completed my third marathon. Two weeks ago, I felt fully trained and prepared to complete the 26.2-mile distance within my targeted finish time. And thankfully, race day weather conditions under the giant redwood trees were absolutely perfect. Yet within the first three miles of crossing the starting line, my legs were feeling heavy, tired and less than energized to meet the challenge of running a marathon that day. And of course, upon my less than optimal body scan, my mind began streaming all matter of unpleasant, unacceptable possibilities for me to consider as I braced for a day’s worth of suffering; last but not least, my spirit was straining to grasp for reasons so as to play the ‘name and blame’ game. Surely someone or something is responsible for this unexpected waning on my most important day to be a runner.

What does this all mean? Why, after fulfilling every detail of training and preparation of the past four months, did I feel so flat and impotent on this most anticipated race day? I could conjure no plausible explanations; though as the miles passed I came up with a few theories which might explain my less than stellar performance. But in the present moments of my race day, reasons were not helpful… only by dealing with the current controllable items could I maintain a peaceful mind. And what were those controllables? I gave up on what I believed I deserved that day, and resigned myself to doing what I had trained myself to do for the last four months: move forward, whatever the pace, keeping the highest, most positive mindset possible.

Every response you make is determined by what you think you are, and what you want to be IS what you think you are. What you want to be, then, must determine every response you make.

A Course in Miracles

Accepting the reality that everything was as it should be, I let my mind be bathed in the peace of the shimmering light filtering through the vast array of the redwood forest; and I reconciled myself towards enjoyment of the day, no matter the outcome. I would embrace this unexpected difficulty and practice my Linking–Thinking techniques, namely: give no matter to the thoughts swirling in my head; and there was a considerable amount of negative thinking streaming past my eye screen. So the work of the day was to distance my Being self from the negativity, and turn my Doing self towards awareness. I had everything I needed to cue me towards peace: the sound and tempo of my footsteps and breathing. And no matter what else was streaming through my consciousness, the one thing I hung onto throughout the 6-hour wog (i.e. walk/jog) to the finish line was this: I AM a runner!

“People become really quite remarkable when they start thinking that they can do things. When they believe in themselves they have the first secret of success.”

Norman Vincent Peale

Indeed, I have much to learn yet about myself and my chosen sport. And though I am disappointed with the outcome of my third marathon finish, I am grateful for the experience and learning it has provided me. If this was easy, I would already have lost interest in the doing of this sport. And most importantly, this lesson has led me to the point of my writing this post. I hope you too might know that Believing is Seeing. I challenge you to try it on for yourself; perhaps you will discover that standing in this belief, truly transmutes the im-possible things into I’m possible.

What about you? Have you ever felt like Seeing is Believing rather than Believing is Seeing? I would love to hear your thoughts!

Wasting the Present

Waiting is a state of mind. Basically, it means that you want the future; you don’t want the present. You don’t want what you’ve got, and you want what you haven’t got. With every kind of waiting, you unconsciously create inner conflict between your here and now, where you don’t want to be, and the projected future, where you want to be. This greatly reduces the quality of your life by making you lose the present.

There is nothing wrong with striving to improve your life situation. You can improve your life situation, but you cannot improve your life. Life is primary. Life is your deepest inner Being. It is already whole, complete, perfect. Your life situation consists of your circumstances and your experiences. There is nothing wrong with setting goals and striving to achieve things. The mistake lies in using it as a substitute for the feeling of life, for Being. The only point of access for that is the Now.

But beware: The false, unhappy self, based on mind identification, lives on time. It knows that the present moment is its own death and so feels very threatened by it. It will do all it can to take you out of it. It will try to keep you trapped in time.

The Power of Now – Eckhart Tolle

You Are Not Your Mind…Nor Your Thoughts (Linking-Thinking #1)

It is fitting to begin the first installment of the Linking-Thinking series with the above entitled statement: You Are Not Your Mind…Nor Your Thoughts. I cannot express adequately to you how intriguing and important this idea has become to me. Namely, that I-AM not the thoughts I think or feel about myself. How can this not be true? This way of perceiving self is all I’ve ever known. After all, even the famous French philosopher and mathematician René Descartes said, “I Think, Therefore I Am.” So learning or believing that I can relate to myself as a human Being and not a human Thinking or a human Doing, first requires an intellectual leap of disbelief. The possibility that I-AM existing as pure consciousness, separate from what I think, is hard to grasp. I have always attached my identity to the thoughts I have about myself; about the things I’ve experienced in my past and about the things I want to experience in the future. And yet, there is within me a knowing that this possibility, of peaceful Being, could be an absolute truth which ultimately connects me (and all of us human-beings) to our life Source and Force.

As I explore the topic of my tagline: Think…Feel…Be, in the weeks to come, I will be curating and showcasing the ideas of enlightened leaders of the mind-body space, from past and present. I will delve into my own questionings and understandings and lack of understandings as I discuss new ideas and topics each week. I would very much enjoy hearing from any of you, my readers, to discuss and discover what your impressions and experiences are in the realm of each week’s topic.

Ultimately, my goal and purpose in this space is to share my journey and interest in enlightened living, as I attempt to understand, grow, and integrate myself into a more perfect union of mind-body-spirit. I will include quotes from the masters in each week’s offerings together with questions for contemplation and consideration. I look forward to a shared journey with those who follow along as we push the doors and windows of our hearts and minds open to receive the fresh air of creative, intentional ways of living and being. So let’s go…shall we…onward to the high country! This week we learn from Eckhart Tolle how to un-link our thinking from our Being. Tell me, have you had any success or experience with the practice he describes below? I look forward to hearing from you.

Many people live with a tormentor in their head that continuously attacks and punishes them and drains them of vital energy. It is the cause of untold misery and unhappiness, as well as of disease. The good news is that you can free yourself from your mind. This is the only true liberation. You can take the first step right now. Start listening to the voice in your head as often as you can; be there as the witnessing presence. When you listen to that voice, listen to it impartially. That is to say, do not judge. Do not judge or condemn what you hear, for doing so would mean that the same voice has come in again through the back door. You’ll soon realize: there is the voice, and here I am listening to it, watching it. This I am realization, this sense of your own presence, is not a thought. It arises from beyond the mind.

So when you listen to a thought, you are aware not only of the thought but also of yourself as the witness of the thought. A new dimension of consciousness has come in. As you listen to the thought, you feel a conscious presence — your deeper self –behind or underneath the thought, as it were. The thought then loses its power over you and quickly subsides, because you are no longer energizing the mind through identification with it. This is the beginning of the end of involuntary and compulsive thinking.

When a thought subsides, you experience a discontinuity in the mental stream — a gap of “no-mind.” When these gaps occur, you feel a certain stillness and peace inside you. This is the beginning of your natural state of felt oneness with Being, which is usually obscured by the mind. With practice, the sense of stillness and peace will deepen. In fact, there is no end to its depth. You will also feel a subtle emanation of joy arising from deep within: the joy of Being.

The Power of Now by Eckhart Tolle, pg. 27

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New Series: Linking-Thinking (How to Think, Feel and Be with INTENTION)

Good Morning; it’s Easter Monday! And yesterday I just finished my first ever intentional Lenten fast (40 days) of my adult life! Raised in a Christian/Protestant tradition, the Lenten Season was not something I ever felt encouraged nor desirous to practice. This year was different. I don’t know why, but I felt a strong impulse to ‘fast’ from some problematic dietary behaviors. Namely, I was looking to ditch my ‘need’ to not let a day go by in which I didn’t engage in consuming chocolate or nuts in one form or another. To say that I was anxious about being able to go cold turkey from these cherished substances may be an understatement. The first weeks were the most mentally taxing; regular, consistent thoughts swirled into my consciousness during my waking hours. I was convinced I needed these foods to sustain my energy and health as I trained for an upcoming marathon. How could I have been so careless as to delete these items from my diet during an uptick in physical training?

Strangely enough, I was about 30 days into the 40 day ‘fast’ before I realized that I was thriving and training well without consuming these foods. However, the next epiphany arrived when I realized the reason I was thriving was because I wasn’t denying myself nutrition from other sources. I basically replaced the calories I was fasting from with other ‘permitted’ food stuffs. Wow, what an eye opener! I felt like a fasting failure! And yet, what I had discovered as a byproduct of my fast was this: my thoughts about chocolate and nuts no longer bothered me throughout the day anymore. Thirty days into this experiment I realized that when I stood in the pantry and eyed my almond chocolate butter, a thought arose…I want some chocolate almond butter.

As soon as I thought that thought, I FELT that thought in my BODY and in my MIND. An anxious shiver ran through me, and I was almost certain that I was going to break my fast then and there, but I paused and that’s when I realized; the feeling of wanting was simply a THOUGHT! It was not a fact to be believed or acted upon. What a RELIEF! For reasons which I cannot explain, when I identified that thought for what it was, just a passing cloud in the atmosphere of my mind, I was released from its power to propel me into action. Yes, I was tempted to believe the thought; I wanted to believe that I needed that chocolate almond butter at that moment; I could imagine the tantalizing flavor and texture swirling around in my mouth, but when I recognized that this ‘idea’ was merely a thought I could let float by, I was home free! I was free to ignore the thought and let it pass. I truly believe that if I had not spent the thirty days of fasting from the forbidden food substances, I would not have been able to engage in linking- thinking. I would have been a servant, NO, a SLAVE to my thinking thoughts and I would have done performed accordingly, which was: EAT WHEN and WHAT I WANT.

So my Lenten fast (experiment) is not really complete without sharing it with the others in my life, as well as my blog post readers. Even though my first Lenten fast was not performed as practiced in the Christian tradition, it was, none-the-less a personal time of testing and learning. By intentionally denying myself certain opportunities for indulgence, I was provided with some beneficial insights into my own mind, body and spirit during that sacred season. I hope you might be encouraged to engage in a similar exercise for yourself should you feel so inclined. I’d love to hear from you and assist you in any way I can should you decide to take that plunge.

Lastly, if you’d like to follow my upcoming weekly series: LINKING-THINKING, make sure you use the box below to be notified when a new post is published.