Selfish in Nature

We are in nature selfish.

I wrote an article before on egocentric and selfishness. But as you can see I found it necessary to elaborate on this subject.

One of the first things we learn as we grow up from toddler to adolescence to adult is that we shouldn’t be selfish. We should think of others first before we may think of ourselves. We all know the sweet selfishness of the young toddlers when they take whatever they want, don’t want to share and make a whole commotion when another child is taking away their toy. And then we, the adults, do our utmost best to convince this little child, which has no clue what so ever on what you’re talking about, that it is not nice if you are not sharing. Of course we believe we do this with the best intentions and with the convincement that we are making a better person out of this child. It’s for his/her own good and benefit.
While for some part this is true, the intention can be sincere, most often the true motivation for adjusting this behaviour comes from our own childhood where we were being taught that sharing is a must and not liking that someone is taking away your toy is bad. Throughout our lives we are being believed, taught and convinced that selfishness is a bad thing. People are being praised, idolised because of their evidently selflessness while others are virtually being out casted for their supposing acts of selfishness.
And although, again, the intention for this believe might be sincere and coming from a good and healthy idea, the outcome is rather different from an actual lived attribute that is fully understood.

It is true that selfishness can be shaped in any form you want. It is true that you can use selfishness to practice an egocentric lifestyle. But what about self-love? Is self-love evenly to selfishness? I would like to say no but can imagine there is some clarification needed.
When you do a quick research about the meaning of selfishness, egocentric, self-centred or even narcissism, you will soon find that all these terms are described as a characteristic that most people would like to avoid or at least not to be judged on.
The consequences of this division, this need of classification of characteristic attributes, is that pretty everything is quickly thrown on this stack of interpretations.
From this stack I would like to take this one cart; self-love.

True love comes from loving yourself first.
Does this sound familiar? It’s a phrase you hear often these days. On social media for sure you’ll find that one of your friends has posted a beautiful photo with a similar text in it. Loving your self is a must these days. Gosh, there is a predicament. Love yourself but at the same time you need to avoid being selfish.
honestly, I don’t care much about all the designations. I do care, though, that you might feel obliged to hold back on loving yourself just for the sake of not being labelled selfish.
Self-love is a virtue. A self-given quality! Isn’t that a beautiful phrase? Self-given quality.
It already makes me happy by saying it.
But what does self-love mean? For sure it doesn’t mean that you put your own interest above others. Although sometimes you need to do so. And here we have to go back to the previously mentioned designations.

It is in no way possible to distinguish human behaviour in any sort of classifications. When you choose to live on this planet, you did so with the consciousness of freedom. Free in making choices, free in interpretation and free in how and what things mean to you. Classification, uniformity or designations are tools to make things understandable. They are not, by all means, laws to live by. All the words in the category selfish, egocentric, etc. have a general given explanation. Not to give you an ultimate law of how it is but to generally explain what is meant with using these words. It is so important to discover your own conclusion, your own meaning to certain given qualities. Such as self-love. You have an enormous valuable, rich and elaborate dictionary to your disposal, called ‘your heart’. If from anything you want to know whether feel true about it, whether it is something honest to you or a given truth, ask your heart. Feel what your heart tells you, for trust me it will not come to you in beautiful intelligent phrases that you can understand using your brain. It is that soft tone of heart, that utterly pure but oh so serene sensation that you get when being on the right path. That feeling of joy that you only experience when you speak your truth.
These are all forms of expressing self-love. It can include as many different ways of expressing as there are people. There is no one way. There is only your way!
Self-love can mean that you give yourself the liberty to make mistakes. To fender through life never really knowing who you are or what you want from life. It can include that you willingly and consciously choose to live alone. That you deliberately decide to think of yourself before others just for the sake of learning to love yourself. It honestly is beautiful to explore the love for yourself. Give yourself room, give yourself ability and perhaps for most; give yourself the pleasure of making mistakes. As I mentioned before in previous post, you have nothing to live up to. There is absolutely nothing you have to achieve! Nothing you have to earn or do before you can be what you want to be.
You are already complete!

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FINDING YOURSELF, LETTING GO AND TAKING CONTROL.

Finding one’s self has become one of the most recalled things to do over the years.
A number on your bucket list. A thing you have to do.

Whether you took that conclusion yourself or you were inspired to do this by a spiritual movement or teacher, maybe even by the circumstances at work. It seems that where ever you go this topic is spoken of one way or another.

But at the same time we want to have security and are often confronted with the difficulties of letting go of all that we love and is giving us a sense of security. We want to have a life according to certain standards in which we feel safe, secure and have enjoyable and pleasant experiences. Can these two things be combined in harmony?

It is true that there is something compelling in the quest of finding the truth about who and what you are. By knowing who you are and even by knowing what you are, you most likely will know your purpose for this chosen life. And having a sense of purpose is seen as an enormous gift. Another number on your bucket list.
But what is your motivation for wanting to know who or what you are? Is it the need for security? Or is it unexplainable inner call that is telling you to go and find yourself? And is purpose in life a fixed thing or does it change while being practised? Does it all even matter?

An important, let’s call it ingredient, that will come your way on this road of exploring who you are, is the necessity for letting go and to go with the flow.
Why is this so relevant?
Something I noticed over the years when being in contact with people who seem to be in peace, to a certain level, with whom they are and seem to have a clear vision of their purpose in life, is that these people are most of the time open to change. They don’t hold on to a certain idea of how things should be but more flow and act on what is relevant for that moment. This can be interpreted in little moments but as well in relatively longer periods of time. For example, with jobs and undertakings.
It shows us that nothing is fixed. Nothing is written out, secure or certain. We crave for safety, security and certainty and are often in total loss when we are confronted with anything out of our control.
Let’s look at this for a moment: control. We use this word easy enough to imply that whatever went out of control is out of our control.
But are we supposed to be in control? Control over what?
This is a very important question. And the answer might be seen as a contradiction but it isn’t.
Ask yourself why you think you need to control. what would be the answer?
Is it because you feel that certain events happen ‘to’ you instead of ‘by’ you? Or because we are conditioned with the idea that bad or unpleasant things are always out of our intention because nobody wants things to happen that make them unhappy?
Or is it the idea that if you create control as much as possible over situations that you might at least have a bit of influence on how thing go as to give yourself the idea that you protect you and your surrounding from bad things to happen.
These questions aren’t easy to answer and will differ from one person to another. But to create some sort of desired change in this we need to accept one important thing:

Focussing on things that we do not want to happen will empower those things in happening.
What does this mean in short? It means that we are responsible for all that happens within our personal experience. All attention we give to events we want to avoid will eventually take us to an experience in which that what is being avoided will be expressed according to an appropriate need. Just as the attention we give to events we do want to happen will take us to a matching experience.

And this is where you do need to take control!
Not to protect yourself from what you don’t want but to create what you desire. That is basically the only control you will need to take. And you will soon discover that this kind of control isn’t as stressful, tiresome or demanding as the previous kind of control.
The flipside of this coin is to just go with the flow. This is deliberately choosing to live your life unconsciously. Going with the flow is a recommended thing to do but it is sometimes misplaced by putting yourself in the role of a victim of circumstances. Going with the flow is definitely not that. Going with the flow means that you consciously take full responsibility for your thoughts and actions and accept all consequences coming from your thoughts and actions.
We can call this consciously and deliberately taking control over your life in which you consciously and deliberately create your own reality.

How is this related to finding yourself?
Something more pressing here is to try to answer this question:
Who is it that you’re trying to find? Probably you will answer by saying that you hope to find yourself. Of course. But who or what is that? Really, try to focus on this question, who is it that you are trying to find?
Don’t get me wrong, I do encourage you to start this quest in finding yourself. But I would like to start by rephrasing the intention; start being who you are.
Finding yourself implies that you either lost yourself or never where yourself. Gosh, do you feel the anxiety and desperateness in this statement? Please read this article I wrote some time ago about acceptance.

Just as going with the flow is an important ‘ingredient’ for giving yourself the space to be who you want to be, so is acceptance. Don’t start your quest by first listing all the things in yourself that you are not cool with and then find an equivalent to replace it. Just skip this step and jump immediately to the process of taking yourself, seeing yourself and accepting yourself just and fully as you are! Now at this very moment.
Finding yourself is illusive! It will be a start of a never ending quest in which you eventually will discover that you really already are who you have been trying to find.
Being who you are, on the other hand, is an absolute must to fulfil this life that you chose to live.
The common mistake made, or better to say confusion, is to think that you first have to know who you are (by finding yourself) before you can be who you are. Wrong!
You do not even have to know who you are to actually be! In some cases, especially taken from a Buddhist perspective, it is considered as a great obstacle to wanting to know who you are. Being is not knowing! Knowing is not being! Understanding who or what you are, on the other hand, is coming from the heart and is dipped in loving intentions. This understanding comes from intellect and heart working together. Knowledge and love hand in hand. Love for yourself in all its imperfect perfection and insecure security!
‘to be or not to be’ van William Shakespeare, although coming from a different perspective does says it all. To be fully alive, to accept, to love and to fully give yourself the liberty to be who you want to be. Or, not to be and live your life according to assumptions, expectations and unconscious circumstances in which you feel you are the ball that is played by something else then yourself. In other words, not alive but dead.

We, as energetic nun-corporal beings, are complete. Directly connected to the source, which for some is god or the universe, we are indeed complete. But as corporal human beings we chose for a life of great contradictions and sometimes almost diabolic circumstances in which we develop an immense strong craving for security. We must learn to develop and master the harmonic use of our heart with our intellect. Both are still and often divided and seen as two opposites. But nothing could be further from the truth, they are both yours and neither one of them is to be denied in its existence. Use them naturally and intuitively.

WHY JOY (IN PAINTING) IS SO IMPORTANT

Over the years, besides teaching about painting I try to make the students aware of everything that is involved in the process of painting, how ones ability to become one with the moment has a strong influence on the success. One particular thing though, always seem to a main obstacle: the struggle to reach a certain aim. And in most cases times I tell my students how important it is to have fun in what they’re doing. I thought I could elaborate on this a bit.

Often, and this doesn’t only occurs with those who start painting, during a painting process you can find yourself coming to a point where you feel that you are stuck. This can have several different causes. For example not understanding certain technique, blocked by trying to much to understand what it is that you are painting, being convinced that you just can’t do it or any other circumstrances that implies that things are not going the way you want it. It is true, and I would be the last one to say it’s not, that getting a decent sense of technique, knowledge on material and to know at least the basics on what paint and medium does while working with it, is inevitable for learning the art of painting. With everything you wish to achieve there comes a time you will have to be on the learning side of the table to fill yourself with any given and available knowledge on what it is that you want to achive. And overcoming that feeling of being stuck or being blocked is, just as learning a specific technique, a attribute that can be mastered.

Painting should be a joy. The whole process should fill you with happiness, joy! Isn’t that a strong statement that implies that without it…well, you might as well give up. No. it is quite the opposite. But, to be clear, it is not the hilarious and excited kind of joy. More a inner happiness and sense of peace.
How many times did you experienced this feeling that you completely lost track of time, forgot where you are or who you are and was absorbed by the process of painting? And how many times did you experience that you where blocked? Couldn’t get what you wanted, seemingly having totally lost that long desired and appreciated ‘touch’. How many times did you experience that anger, that uncontrolable feeling of throwing that painting across the room? Both are magical moments which, with a paradoxale twist, are entwined together.
But how do you get yourself (back) in that zone of enjoying the whole process? How do you get yourself from outraged to serene calm and enjoying the process?

Well, if you’re indeed as angry that even the fires of hell don’t seem to upset you anymore, I think you indeed better take some distance from your process and have a good cup of relaxing tea. The idea is to not let yourself enter a state of frenzy. How? By cultivating one important espacts in the painting process: JOY. How do we do this? For one thing by focussing on the process only. Not on what it has to become. Not on how detailed it has to be and not on how many more layers, time and effort it needs before it’s perfect. No. Stop bothering yourself. You will get there anyway. Don’t rush yourself by focussing on the irrelevant stuff. Focus on what gives the most pleasure, the most joy: In this case Painting!! And I’m sure that this isn’t so hard for you. Because you choose to paint, to learn about painting, techniques and stuff, because it gives you so much joy.

It is the same with all the other stuff in life. I know, that when you are learning it might feel that this natural state of being in the flow and enjoying the fact that you don’t have to think about what the best approach is for this particular subject you want to paint, is hard to reach. But it isn’t. It isn’t your knowledge that will give you joy. It isn’t the experience that will give you joy. It is your own mindset that makes you choose. So choose to focus only on the process of painting. And this doesn’t mean that you don’t have to study hard to gain the appropiate know how, this means that this process includes the studies you make to learn, to make something your own or to understand matter. All those things should be done with the joy of the process. It is the same with drawing an object. Once you try to interpretate the object as something you can understand logically you will start to make weird mistakes. You disconnect yourself from the object by trying to understand what it is. But once you let this interpretation go and just look, you will amaze yourself by drawing exactly what you see.

So go out there and have fun! Enjoy whatever it is you’re doing! Really…!!! Do it!!

Right and wrong

An article written….

Last week I was being interviewed about an interesting topic: “Jesus”.This interview took place as part of a documentary. The focus was to get different kind of perspectives together about Jesus. 

During this interview an interesting sub-topic appeared (which couldn’t be attended accordingly due to a lack of relevancy to the subject) that I would like to address here.

In previous post I mentioned it as well but now I thought it be more relevant to write about it.

From the moment we hit this world as a new born we immediately are confronted with the sense that we have to make choices between one thing and another. But it doesn’t stop there. The ability to make a choice is an utmost important, valuable and conscious created ability and attribute for us to re-invent the experience of love. 

But we created this world so far that it has an immense strong distinction between things that are considered to be right and things that are considered to be wrong. 

To some point of perspective this sense of difference is inevitable to fully experience a linear reality experience. It gives the ability to experience the full possibility of choice making and to have the possibility to get an unlimited variety in how to experience one single moment in an unlimited amount of different ways. 

But an important element, call it insight, is almost purposely or consciously forgotten in this process of experiencing all this wonder. It is the inner knowing that in the root of our being this sense of difference, this separation and sense of right and wrong, does not exist. 

It feels almost impossible to put this “knowing” in words because this “knowledge” comes from a source where there is absolute no separation. How does one translate something which is shapeless, formless and consist utterly out of energy? Thank the universe there is no right or wrong way to do this 🙂

All is one. Including our lives and experiences now. And yet within this linear live we created for ourselves, on one hand it is imperative that we experience this sense of right and wrong, and on the other hand we need to remember what we are and merge it all together as to come to the point that we fully see, feel and experience that all is indeed one. It is a splendid paradox in grandeur. 

 

We are more than just this physical body. We are one with the source. Not subjects to or children from the source. No. We are part of it in the same way that a drop of water is the same as the sea. On its own it might have a partial different structure but when back in the sea it is the sea. 

When you realize this and feel it in your being you can do nothing but feel the joy and laugh about it…about everything. Because then you realize how insignificant, laughable, hilarious and beautiful our reality really is. 
So….right and wrong? Yes and no?

I leave it open. Realizing that nothing is fixed, including the concept of right and wrong, might give you a sense of freedom, an insight in how your reality is formed and how you move in this. 

As I often tell my students in art class; “There is no right or wrong way to do something. Try not to focus on how to achieve your goal but only on what you want and enjoy doing it. The process of doing knows very well how to do it or how to get where you want to be.”
Enjoy!

The influences of HSP and Introvert.

 

During the last few month something interesting took place. Since more than 6 month I was experiencing some difficulties while practicing the part-time job  I have working with children.

It started with a confrontation that I should be more interactive with my co-workers. According to what was said I was working too much on my own little island. I wasn’t sure what to do with this feedback. My first consideration was to figger out a way to set things right and I started to force myself to be more interactive and do what was expected from me. The result was that I felt insecure en unnatural in my behavior. So I kind of dropped it and went back to my nice little island.

As you probably can guess there was another knocking on my beautiful wooden door as soon as there was an opportunity to do so. Again I was confronted with the fact that I lacked the skill of interacting and seek others opinion about the choices and decisions I made.

It left me angry and misunderstood.
Why couldn’t they understand my view on this matter?
Why couldn’t they trust that I had everything under control?

It remained a question until I run into an article about being an introvert in a working situation written by Susan Biali.

It was as if I was reading a story about me. So much of what was written I could relate to and recognized. So I started to become more familiar with the concept introversion and high sensitive people (HSP). Here it was mentioned that most people who seem to have the characteristics of an introvert are commonly also highly sensitive people. Perhaps one could say that when someone is born with a high sensitivity in a surrounding that is mainly focused on extroversion are easy to develop an introspective character to coop with their high sensitivity in an extroversive  society.

The more I read about it, the more I started to recognize the characteristic parts of an introvert in myself.
But an interesting thing happened though, although by receiving this knowledge I was able to create some peace and rest about these specific characteristics I created over the years. It really helps sometimes to find some sort of understanding and recognition in your own behavior especially when yours is being questioned by your surrounding.
But at the same time I wanted to ensure that this new information would not become an established order within my creation. That is to say that this knowledge about introversion should not become my excuse for my behavior.

Character doesn’t make the person. The person is the form in which the energy is shaped because the energy itself is shapeless. Character is formed by choice. Choices that are made before the actual manifestation as a person and during the life as that person.

But let’s go back to the topic on introversion in a working place.

I think I’m not far off by saying that most working places are still unaware of the full potentials of their employees. Although more and more people, and therefore companies, are becoming aware of subtle changes that are accuring around and in themselves, it is still accurate to say that most companies are afraid to make a leap into an environment that might seem to be uncontrollable.  The safest thing to do is indeed hold on to what one knows and in this case is a working environment that is based on extroversion. The one who speaks first, the one who speaks the most or the loudest will be heard, the one who speaks afterwards, thinks before speaking or doesn’t want to speak at all is easily overlooked.
But being save doesn’t always work. And as well; this being save can be interpreted in different ways.
One thing that should not be a choice for safety is to decide to deny your natural character to fulfill the expectations of your surrounding, in this case the working place. A company might want you to adjust to their current believe that everyone should have the same working skills as being assertive and aggressive when it comes to giving opinions and making decisions. And although everyone, extrovert or introvert, could, till a certain level, do this it requires an enormous unnatural effort from someone who is born with the characteristics of an introvert.

The unfortunate thing is that in most working places it isn’t realized and valued that the possibilities and opportunities they receive when acknowledging the introversion of people, they are missing an enormous value of knowledge and working force that can be obtained by these people who are considered to be introvert.
But let us not forget: It is not your surrounding that needs to adjust to your characteristics. It is and will always be you who needs to make the choices that will lead you to the happiness and fulfilling life that you are aiming for.
it is what I have been trying to say now for some time. It is not about getting everybody on the same line. It is about letting everybody have the unconditional freedom to be what they need to be. And this is and can only be considered and decided by the person in question.
This is what I try to say in the previous post: “NOW” and “STOP LOOKING“.

It is funny and beautiful at the same time to see how those little fragments and possibilities of knowledge and insight always seem to fall into place when you need them to know.

If you like to know more about introversion and extroversion? Here are some interesting links:
https://www.csuchico.edu/eap/docs/empathia-advisor2014-04-IntrovertsExtroverts_and_the_Workplace.pdf

http://career-advice.monster.com/in-the-office/workplace-issues/understand-workplace-introverts/article.aspx

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Egocentric or Selfishness

Egocentric and selfishness. Two words that became heavy on interpretation.
There is a difference but yet both words are used in the same manner.

Ego centrism is an inability to understand or assume any perspective other than their own.
Selfishness is being concerned for oneself or one’s own advantage, pleasure, or welfare, regardless of others.

So far for what tradition has to say about these words

What if those interpretations are not as solid as we always thought they were? Are morals really fixed? Are they universal true?
What if these words do not actual resonate unless one understands that it must be within a collective agreement.
To choose ones self before anything else, to deliberately choose not to help someone, to leave someone behind for the profit of ones self, to live only for your own profit is often seen as being selfish or egocentric.
But where does this judgement come from? What gives us de idea that someone is selfish? Is it that person’s trade or behavior or is it our own lack of understanding, our lack of self knowledge and lack of love for ourselves?
If one would question someone else his or her behavior, is this done out of what? True concern to create a better situation that will benefit you and others? Why would someone want to question someone else’s behavior in the first place. Discomfort in one’s own reality? Why should one not choose for love for ones self?

And there lies the key to selfishness. The beautiful truth about selfishness is that it is a radiating and fulfilling choice to feel love for ones self. And this could very well mean that you do or choose things that, in the eye of your surrounding, can be judged as selfish or egocentric. Well, they are right. Because you choose to love your self. You choose to be happy. And who on earth can deny you your happiness.
It is a common interpretation for the way it was taught and we just take it for the truth. But if we defy this common agreement we can start to think, believe and act according to what our inner guiding system tells us.

look at our children for example. before they are confronted with our convictions, our believes and our habits they are the innocence and pure souls that know very well what they want and do not want. They feel nothing but love and are fully open to everything that hits there world. They do not feel any judgement to what ever kind of behavior that is thrown at them. Only when they are purposely told that they have to alter there own true nature and to become self conscious and aware of their behavior just to become what is expected from their surrounding, their journey of self denial, lies and adapting to there surrounding is started to answer the need for acceptance and non disturbance from that same surrounding.

But just as those innocence young children we all are splendid accessible, all containing encyclopedia.
How about opening that amazing source you are and start deciding for yourself what is good for you, what makes you happy and what makes you tick! The really lovable world that we are looking for is in our selves. The living together part comes from accepting one’s self fully and from there the acceptance for difference is automatically made.

No biggy there… 😄

STOP LOOKING

!STOP LOOKING!
“Stop looking for answers and go create your own.”

After a periode of time where I indulge myself with the idea that I have some words of wisdom to share, that my insights matter to others, I always come to a point where I can see very clearly that the only thing I do is indeed indulge myself and talk to myself. 

I’m sure that some frases, some words or lines help others to clearify their own ideas and thought. I know from experience that reading a book about a certain subject can have an enormous influence on how you see, feel and experience life. But it all comes back to one point of focus and that is your own. It’s the enlignment of frequences for that single moment that makes it possible for you to receive exactly that what you want to receive. Your attention will never be drown to something you did not wish for consciuously or unconsciously. 

The interesting turn in this is that with this insight, this knowledge, you can understand that at all times it is you who makes your truth, your learning materials, your insights and your teachings. 

Only you create the circumstances to accept and receive teachings or insights. Someone from your surrounding might have some trigger material for you to wake up that particular part of you but who was it that brought this someone into your experience? Yes, that was you. 

So dear me and dear all,

GO AND CREATE YOUR OWN ANSWERS. 

Take, hear, read and create everything with the knowledge that it is and always was you who is the master of your reality. 

Isn’t that a joyful thing to know 😄