What Will You Allow Your Catalysts to Do for You Today?

I want to be in control of my experiences, yet, what I get is a catalyst that challenges that want. Catalysts can be like roadblocks that confront my mobility or they can be fuel to enhance it. I intend that a catalyst provoke introspection – to cause me to question who I am and what I want.

Nature reflects back to me what I fear and love. Catalysts confront my misconceptions that are always about my fear or love of self. My unresolved thoughts perpetuate misunderstandings, which trigger catalysts that I will probable interpret as threats. Like an alarm clock, catalysts stimulate my desire to wake up when I most want to sleep. They encourage me, sometimes strongly, to choose again.

What is the benefit of choosing again?

What would life be like without catalysts, a means for questioning our choices? I know that when I’m defending negative choices or seeming positive ones, I’m trying to control me by controlling my experiences. When I go against myself I don’t get what I want… control.

Catalysts work best where intention favors understanding. When a catalyst reveals my choice and asks for another, I learn what options may work better for my highest good.

Sometimes I blame others, situations, and things for my sense of failure and pain. This behavior perpetuates my misunderstanding of me, which implies that I don’t want to know me. When I allow catalysts to teach me by offering a conscious look at feedback for my creations, the lights tend to come on!

A conscious look at feedback

From an ego perspective, I should always get what I want without question or any unsupportive feedback. This way of existing leaves me feeling satisfied and yet, unsatisfied. This same school of thought leaves out any constructive means for understanding through trial and error. This type of defense is as limiting as a border, boundary, or gated property one cannot see or move beyond.

My need to be right without the benefit of understanding is a fool’s errand… and… fertile ground for catalysts.

What will you allow your catalysts can do for you today? Choose… and choose again…

Attention Feeds My Fear

What I give attention to grows! I have a problem-solving mind. And because of this, my mind seems to forever need problems to solve. Sometimes I feel I’m creating the very problems I then must solve.

In my First-Second Degree of Illumination bubble awareness, I focus my attention on that which I fear. I fear what and who I perceive “I’M NOT.” It’s automatic and a problem that must be solved!

That fear adds a perceived value to what and who “I’M NOT”- a value I feel I’m missing. Problem! I may feel I gain a sense of being complete when I add that perceived value to an external substitute – like a loved one, pet or new gadget. Yet, that sense of wholeness is a temporary condition that convinces me that the addition completes my value. Problem solved! Or have I just created another problem?

Each problem I think I’m solving creates a drain on my energy and resources. This drain I call a fear-feed on my attention. Because I feel dependent on external value, I always have this unwhole problem to solve. This distracts my attention from those interests that validate my wholeness. I can take charge of my attention and focus it where my consciousness takes me – beyond measurable value.

A thought has no feed value without attention. The objective of fear is to capture and feed on my attention.

In bubble awareness, I associate fear with survival. In this survival state-of-mind, fear offers me a way to silence my need to survive by convincing me to accept and follow a simple equation:

Me + Not Me = Wholeness

In bubble awareness, fear rules my consciousness. I imagine someone or something holds a value I perceive is missing in me, a value I need in order to feel complete. Once I attain that which I believe completes me, I enjoy a high of feeling OK. Yet, after a while, that artificial high wares off and I’m back to feeling fearful and incomplete. More than anything I want to feel whole and complete, yet fear pulls my attention back to the “I’m Not” problem that I feel needs solving.

Beyond Fear

While I keep my imagination firmly locked within bubble awareness, I continue to allow the fear process to nibble away at my energies until my body and mind can no longer sustain the feed.

One cannot escape bubble awareness using bubble awareness. One cannot use fear to cure fear. I must look elsewhere. I must look within… take charge of my attention… and…

Imagine beyond…

Problem Solving and Accountability

How problem solving helps me resist awakening into accountability,

and what I might do about it!

A problem is defined by Mr. Webster as, “a matter or situation regarded as unwelcome or harmful and needing to be dealt with and overcome.” Problems are need-based, requiring solutions. With a problem there is a sense of obligation to attend to it – often right away. Problems grab my attention – just as threats do.

When threats come up, I go into defense mode. My vision narrows. My muscles tense. I get ready for combat. Perhaps not the best mode to be in for taking accountability or awakening into bliss.

Sometimes problem solving looks like a cat chasing its tail. For example, a gambler may borrow money so he can plunk it down at the table, figuring he’s lost so many times before, this time he must surely be the winner. His solution to each loss (itself a problem to be solved) is to solve the problem of funding the next attempt at the “big win.” It’s the same thing addicts face every time they need a fix.

Is Problem Solving an Addiction?

Problems tend to beget more problems. The solution to each problem seems to create more little problems of its own. After while, I’m caught up in wildfire fighting – solving problem after problem. Until I can no longer hold the fire hose, I’m so damned tired! Yet, I’m still looking for that next big win over my problems.

Problems need solving, which tends to capture my attention and imagination – and my energy – until I realize problem solved or realize futility and give up or realize some other outcome. No matter how I solve the problem, I make the problem real – I realize it. Once real, the problem and the attention I give to solving it own my energy.

And there’s the thing, then. Anything I make real, I tend to defend. Judgment, justifications, distracted attention – all play defense when I’m “working the problem.”

How might I go about effectively solving problems without getting into defense – without making the problem the problem, defending it as real, important enough to focus attention on it, and making it much more difficult to solve as a result?

How About Wording?

Let’s look at words for a moment. I like to think of words as little soap bubbles that encapsulate sound vibration, symbolism, meanings, defense, emotions, and a bunch more stuff. Put meaning-full words together into sentences and paragraphs and you have rich imagery that does something deep within the non-corporeal me that affects my corporeal world. My image of the world IS my world. That’s why words are so important.

Fortunately, symbolism, meanings, and emotions can change in relation to words. I don’t have to settle for common definitions that I may incorrectly house in my vocabulary. I can play with definitions. Unless, of course, I’m with others. Over time, I tend to surround myself with people who help me fortify and defend my previous definitions, symbols, and meanings for words. The moment I change my definitions, and speak those words out loud, others will tend to question my sanity, my motives, my connection with them. I may feel threatened enough to abandon my new definitions. Or, I may instead courage-up and perhaps find that I can lead my circle of friends and family into a new era.

The Power of Vocabulary

My vocabulary can change, too. I’m not stuck with words I’ve used in the past. I can consciously choose to replace need-based words with words that up-lift or help me awaken into accountability – that will affect my underlying belief system.

For example, my underlying belief is that a problem must be solved – else it wouldn’t be a problem. The word, problem, has certain connotations that I strongly hold onto and defend. Whenever I hear that word, my mind goes instantly and instinctively into problem solving mode – distracting my attention. The pull to problem solve is so strong in me that I accept that redefining the word will not change how I feel about it.

Instead, I chose to replace the word, problem, with the word, opportunity. To me, problems feel more immediate and need-based. Opportunities offer an invitation to excel – like a game I can win. Opportunity still grabs my attention and so are not the ultimate answer for me – this word exchange is a sort of step-stone measure. Perhaps my next shot will be exchanging the word, opportunity, for the word, catalyst – a neutral word that invokes a sense of change already in progress, a ball rolling downhill.

Beyond Words

Viewing the world as a problem to be solved sets and keeps me firmly within the First-Second Degree of Illumination bubble – fighting, competing, and needing! The words I hear myself speak can help me remain face-down in the mud of my problems or help me rise above them where I can see the field for what it is – an illusion.

Words can offer a beginning to change from defensiveness to openness and then to accountability. I move from problem solving into taking on my life with a sense of boundless gratitude and broadening awareness.

I can use words to change my perspective from problem solving to opportunity acceptance. Then onward into full gratitude and perhaps awakening into full accountability.

How I Morph a Want into a Need Feed

And what I can do about it!

“When you want to succeed as bad as you want to breathe, then you’ll be successful…” (Eric Thomas – AKA ET The Hip Hop Preacher)

This new age saying is nothing new. It expresses the concept that we must fight to accomplish anything of value. That value determines the worth of people, things, thoughts, and behaviors. That success for one means defeat for another. Success and failure are measured in terms of value. To be of value, one must succeed. These concepts live within the First-Second Degree of Illumination bubble awareness.

I have values. I value my own opinion and those of certain others who agree with me. Certain activities carry value for me. I use value to assist me in judging, comparing, balancing, and separating. I even use value to evaluate values. Everything in my world has a value to me – usually experienced in terms of importance.

The value of a perception of threat must rise to a certain level of importance to me before I invest in defense. That threshold allows me to prioritize my thoughts and behaviors, saving precious life force energy. After all, defense is a feed, a draw on life force energy. So, the fewer times I have to call upon defense, the more energy I have available for useful (to me) work.

While appearing to provide value, defense diminishes the resources required to satisfy the need for which it was invoked. Therefore, I tend to have few needs compared to wants. And needs tend to elicit far more value than wants. Unless, that is, I transform a lower-value want into a higher-value need.

When want-fulfillment becomes more important than the lives and properties of those involved, a want transforms into a need and a feed is born! That feed includes the want-turned-need and its satisfaction through forced attainment and contrived justification. A value-elevated want can justify the feed that justifies a need and the actions taken to satisfy it.

Turning a Want into a Need Feed

I’ve expressed personal worth in terms of comparative value – “You’re a better man than I am.” I may define strength of will as a comparable value as well – “You’re so much stronger than I am.” When these values climb to need levels, I hear things like, “You’re the best man for the job!” and, “You’re the strongest person I know!” These are setups for need feeds!

By assigning value, I can morph a non-physical want into a physical quest for survival. The higher the value I assign to a want, the more specific the object of my desire must be. That “must be” is how I turn a want into a need.

In elevating a want into a need, I simplify my choices – by narrowing acceptable outcomes. Needs tend to narrow choices to one – simple. Wants tend to allow more options. For example, “I want a drink” allows many forms of satisfaction, “Yeah, a coke will do.” “I need a drink” means only whiskey will do. Simple non-choice default, the implication of which is, “I can’t live without it” – thus, the need feed!

Although elevating a want to need status can energize my mind and heart into working together to provide the value I seek in satisfaction, my mind and heart will feel the result of a need feed.

When turning a want into a need, I might ask myself how important are the specifics of each answer:

What do I want? (the objective)
How do I get it? (the strategy)
Why do I need it? (the want-need switch)
Who am I that needs this? (my self-image in this case)

How might I recover the energy of a want-turned-need?

I like to listen for the words, “need”, “must”, “can’t”, “have to”, “only”, and “should” to help me identify my need feeds. When I hear one, I think to myself, “What do I actually need in this situation?” and notice how this changes the energy of my situation.

A Catalyst Reveals Hidden Treasures

A catalyst is a triggering agent that provokes action and choice. In a reactive universe, every action provokes another action and another choice. Relationships provoke change that is essential to experience. A Third Degree of Illumination question appears as a catalyst that provokes a choice and yet does not affect the question that prompted it.

The Catalyst Opportunity

Relationships carry intentions and resistance to change. The choices we make are the beginning of change. Choosing the same thing is not choice, rather, it is resistance to change, a validation of a previous choice. My relationships offer many opportunities for me to confront my resistance. Those opportunities often appear as conflicting thoughts that elicit questions that act as catalysts for change.

I can challenge resistance thoughts with alternative thoughts. In my inner-most personal relationships, those alternative thoughts are ever-present, an invitation to reconsider and choose again. A catalyst may require only a minute degree of leverage in the form of a question like, “Is that true?” to move the mind past the tipping point.

This type of catalyst is a question that reveals hidden intentions behind resistance. Light shone in the darkness acts as a catalyst that reveals what was in the dark. By questioning my resistance, I shine the light of conscious awareness on it, illuminating that which I’ve concealed from myself. I can shift my awareness from competition and defense to choice and accountability.

Revealing Hidden Treasures

I question my established beliefs by challenging present defenses. The more entrenched my beliefs, the greater the need for defense. The more I invest in defense the less creative energy I have available to me. I can use questions to reassign that investment. At some point, my investment in awakening will pass the tipping point to AHA! That’s when I’ll be faced with the ultimate choice – move ahead to complete personal accounting or fall back into defense. It’s a tipping point, after all.

Mindfulness means questioning my thoughts. Continuing to believe what I used to think vital simply allows my accountability to step aside while a misunderstanding takes charge. I can question that misstep and offer myself the choice again.

Any question can be used as a catalyst, yet certain kinds of questions lead to certain kinds of conscious awareness. Here are some questions I’ve used to provoke a 3rd Degree awareness – choice, in which 4th Degree accountability is an option.

From Conflict to Awareness – Choose!

Get quiet. Pick a recent conflict in which you continue to defend a side. Ask:

  1. What awareness am I resisting? (maybe the other side of the issue?)
  2. How am I resisting it? (my defense)
  3. Why am I resisting it? (my payoff for defense)
  4. Who am I resisting? (the one capable of resolving the issue)

Continue asking these questions until the answer to every question is a variation of “Who I am!” – the ONE dreaming this dream. BTW, I AM the treasure I seek.