Simulated Reality

I am laughing and curious about this new concept I first stumbled upon by Elon Musk. He posited that we live in a simulated reality. He delved next into artificial intelligence and matrix-like realities and, frankly most of it went right over my head. His brain is far more intelligent than mine.

So the other night, when I saw a course on a similar subject, I decided to click. I spent a hundred or so dollars on a few audio books and have been listening to them between projects and I’m having a bit of a good time. My judge thinks the dude is crazy but then I remind myself that he is me and that only my eog likes to separate myself from others and when I do this I see him as simply a soul who has experienced some truth that he’s trying to share with others. Just because his truth doesn’t resonate with me doesn’t mean I should label him crazy. Perhaps, I’m not yet to the same enlightened state he is and one day I will awaken to the same knowledge and he won’t seem so crazy. Or perhaps he isn’t yet awakened to the state I’m at and his beliefs will change.

We are all the same in that we are all learning, growing, evolving. We come from the same Divine Being and we breathe the same air. The same life force flows through us and we have far more in common than not. When I listen to his thoughts in this frame of mind it makes the “who is wrong, who is right?” question disappear. Instead of getting involved in an intellectual argument and putting up barriers to his message, I’m able instead to simply observe his thoughts and take what I find useful and leave what I don’t. Personally, I have no desire to sit around meditating for 20 minutes at a time trying to achieve altered states of consciousness. I’d rather go out and ride my bike really fast and achieve an altered state that way. That’s my peference. Perhaps, he’s not too keen on speed and wheels. To each his own. At least we both agree that taking a break from the mundane and entering higher states of experience are desirable. The manner in which we commune with God, nature, ourselves, and others isn’t nearly as important as the fact that we do.

Wheter or not we live in a simulated reality seems to me a moot point. What is a sim anyway but simply a passing world created for growth, experiment and play? If that’s our definition then yah, we live in a sim. I’m looking forward to enjoying this sim, the next, and as many as I have the pleasure and privilege of playing.

On a side note, what I become is far more important to me than what type of world I live in. So I guess I’m just not too concerned about the material existence of this world and what is and isn’t reality. My reality is that I want to become a kind, caring, loving person. I want to become an intelligence–artificial or not–committed to serving and caring for all my fellow intelligences. Intelligent LOVE. ūüėČ

Dig a Little Deeper

I used to do this Insanity workout with Shawn T and anytime there was a grueling part of the workout he’d encourage us to not give up and dig deep. I was reminded of this yesterday when reading Dr. Dyer’s admonitions on generosity. Whenever you feel the impulse to give, ask yourself if you could give a little more for you can never give yourself poor.

This principle has universal application. If someone is driving you crazy and you think you can’t stand their insanity one moment longer, Dig Deep. Take a breath–or two–and dig a little deeper. Hold your tongue, your smile, and your loved ones just a little longer. You can always give a little more. Remember, it’s impossible to give yourself poor. The universe rewards those who share their stores.

Silence

I want you to read this post while allowing the lyrics to the classic Simon and Garfunkel song “The Sound of Silence” to course through your mind.

I’m not sure there is a sound to silence for silence is the absence of sound, but I sure do love the paradox the title implies. It’s profound–just as is the principle.

Silence is powerful because it allows the mind to clear. A clear mind invites inspiration.

Be still and know that I am God

In quiet the truth is manifest

Perhaps this is why

Silence is golden

But inspiration isn’t the only benefit of silence. Silence is a powerful tool you can use to increase self-control. Silence creates space. When we pause before speak or act, we are creating a pocket of time wherein we can consciously, not reflexively, respond.

Silence invites inspiration and protects our path. I want to practice the sound of silence and become a silent sage.

 

The Right Question

 

How many times do we ask the wrong question? How do we know when we are asking the right question? Is there a way to know when we could be asking a better question?

Last night a friend shared a story about a young man who broke into a woman’s home and attacked her and her child with a PVC pipe. The random act of violence generated the following questions and statements:

Why did he do it?

Wonder if he was on drugs?

I bet he’s mentally ill.

See, they should ban PVC.

I read the story and my first thought was, “I wonder what demons he was facing that led him to commit such an atrocity?”

While I’m glad that was my first thought and not, “What a scumbag!” I must admit that it might not be the right question. I mean it’s a good question, but is it the best question?

What if instead of wondering what was wrong with the young man, I instead asked, “What is wrong with our society?” I mean why do I want to put the blame on this man instead of on myself? Isn’t the right question the question that figures out what it is in our world that is failing others? Something isn’t working here. We have too many people using drugs. We have too many people suffering from mental illness. What can I do, or better yet, what can we all do to create a loving society? How can we eradicate violence, hatred, hurt and pain?

I have never before taken the blame for acts of violence committed by others, but if we truly all are one human family–and we are–then I share responsibility for an unloving environment. I mean think about your home. If there is fighting in your home who’s fault is it? ¬†Sure there may be one child who is more difficult than others, or who is more commonly the instigator, but doesn’t everyone in the family bear some responsibility for the disharmony? What is causing one of the children to act out? How are the other family members contributing to the lack of peace?

The right question is always the one where we all take responsibility. This approach, owning the blame, is my new barometer for knowing when I’m asking the right question. Since I can only control my actions, I must ask questions that put me in the driver’s seat.

So maybe there aren’t really any “wrong” questions, just good, better and best questions. A bad or unhelpful question is one that pushes blame or responsibility on others–or any question that separates you from the whole of humanity. A crummy question would be, “Why is he such a psychopath?”

The good or better question would be the one that demonstrates compassion, such as, “I wonder what has happened in his life that has caused him to hurt so much and therefore hurt others?”

The best or right question would be, “I wonder how I can help him and all others who are hurting like him meet their needs so that no one feels the need to hurt others again?

When we ask better questions, we’ll get better answers. The right question = The right answer.

Inert Objects Don’t Progress

I love when I wake up from a dream cycle with a quote coursing through my mind. This morning I awoke as I was writing this thought down:

Inert objects don’t progress

I quickly looked up the definition to make sure I captured the full meaning of my dream quote and every definition resonated with events occurring in my life right now and in my dream last night:

1: lacking the power to move
2: very slow to move or act : sluggish
3: deficient in active properties; especially : lacking a usual or anticipated chemical or biological action
There has been a lot of change the past few months in my business and personal life. Yesterday I was consulting with a large neutraceutical company and a full-time position, very attractive, was suggested. I can’t stop thinking about it and what it could mean.
Additionally, change is something I’ve come to expect and accept. Rather than fear it, I try to enjoy and embrace it for the opportunity it is. Like I penned the other day in my Observations post: the more scenes we get to observe the better, right?
In my dream, an office worker was upset over a job she had applied for that she was certain she would not get. I told her that if she didn’t get it something else would come along. I shared all the best of my Zen, Toltec, and Stoic wisdom:
When one door closes another one opens.
God will provide and the universe will supply.
Everything you need is already on its way.
Remember the power of intent. You can manifest your desires and all your wishes can be fulfilled.
I assured the woman that since she was honest, kind, and hardworking she would always find success–so chin up and keep doing your best! She smiled through her tears and thanked me for my words. Everyone in the office who heard my speech was equally inspired. I walked to the back room wherein sat Oprah Winfrey. I was moving around some of her O Magazines and I¬†wondered if she heard my speech for she was smiling kindly upon me. I figured she would want to make me a regular on her talk show. Haha. . . seems my subconscious is keenly aware of who the Gods of this world are and why the “philosophies of men” were rining so powerfully true to my “worldly” co-workers. I must be “of this world” for I–like them–have found these “philosophies” mighty inspiring, impactful, and true. They’ve not only helped me in my personal life, but I’ve witnessed how my sharing of these truths with others has helped them too. This phenomenon was illustrated further in my subsequent dream scene:
I was in a car and an old gentleman was curled up in the back seat. It was apparent he was sad from the recent passing of his wife. His feet were wooden blocks which symbolize to me his inertia or inability to handle the change and move on. His wooden “soles” also symbolized the fact that his soul was deadwood. I began pouring a pitcher of water (symbolizing the “living water”) slowly onto the back seat of the floor of the car. Matt was watching me administer this healing balm, however, I felt that it wasn’t working as the man curled up tighter into a ball, retreating further in distraught.
Recognizing that my actions were not resonating, I set the pitcher aside and instead picked up some of the man’s personal belongings. One of which was his golf pants. They were nice slacks with tiny white polka dots. I folded them for him and complimented him on his nice pants. As I began to ask him all about his pants and his life, he¬†came alive. He moved to the front seat and began telling me about his business and the hard decisions he was facing as he had to decide whether or not to close down one of his departments. I told him that whatever he decided to do he would be fine so long as he did it in love. The man, with my words of wisdom, was able to accept and embrace the change for the growth opportunity it was. He, like the office woman in my previous dream scene, simply needed perspective and help from someone with greater wisdom and vision.
These dreams from last night reminded me of the many changes that have occurred recently in my life, personally and professionally. Change is good for inert objects don’t progress.¬†
My key takeaways:
Choose that which is best for you. When you are doing what you love and were meant to do, you are able to bring the most good and love to others because  you are living inspired (aka in spirit).
Everything is always an upgrade if you let the change or challenge teach and change you (oooh this topic is worthy of a post or book in and of itself “Changing through the Change” or “Changing through the Challenge” or “Change through Challenge” “Challenged to Change”)
Inert objects don’t progress.¬†

Squeezing an Orange

Loved the idea Dr. Dyer conveyed today about squeezing an orange. A woman called into his daily radio show all concerned about her upcoming trip home. Her parents vex her and she sought advice on how not to let them pull her strings. She was so worried that they would bring out the worst in her.

Dr. Dyer explained what I’m going to call¬†The Parable of Squeezing Oranges.

What do you get when you squeeze an orange? It’s impossible to get grape juice. It’s impossible to get grapefruit juice. If you squeeze an orange you get orange juice.

The same is true with people. If you are a loving, kind person, when someone squeezes you, they should get loving kindness. If they get something other than orange juice when they squeeze you, you aren’t an orange.

Here this woman was worried about how her parents would bring out the worst in her and Dr. Dyer so lovingly explained that her parents were only squeezing out what she was. If she wasn’t full of craziness, her parents wouldn’t be able to squeeze that out of her.

This concept reminds me of C.S. Lewis’ teaching about rats in the cellar. If you want to know if there are rats in a cellar you won’t find them when you are in bustling about in the cellar lights on. You are going to discover rats in the cellar when you take them by surprise. You’ve got to fling open the door when they are least prepared.

If oranges are love, then I want to produce orange juice when squeezed.

Which leads me to believe that if God is love, he can’t produce anything but love when squeezed. Which means I can never do anything to produce anything but love from Him. Which means He loves me no matter what. Whew, that’s a relief. There goes a whole lot of pressure.

squeeze an orange

the juice is sweet

squeeze my God

the love runs deep

squeeze myself

what do you see?

loving-kindness?

or bitter seeds?

The title to this poem shall be God is Love

Flexibility, Resistance, and Strength

I purchased a yoga bundle by Dylan Werner that is going to increase my flexibility and strength. I started the training this weekend and was able to complete the first 7 classes. His movements are amazing and time again he has stressed that it isn’t our muscles that give us proprioception stability, control, and strength, but it’s our flexibility. When we increase our range of motion we decrease resistance, and resistance is what weakens us and makes it difficult for us to move our bodies with ease. Only when we eliminate resistance can we really progress to the advanced, fun, and exciting yoga poses.

Resistance doesn’t just make advanced yoga positions impossible. Flexibility is a truth with universal application. Whenever we are fixed, rigid, close-minded–essentially full of resistance–we cannot move gracefully through life with ease. We inhibit our natural strength and prevent the growth that would come through the stretching and the¬†expanding¬†of our minds, emotions, and faculties.

In life, not just yoga, we should seek to eliminate resistance. We conquer resistance through increased flexibility. When we are flexible we are strong. I want to be more flexible by remembering to just allow. Allow others to be and love them for who they are and what they have the potential to become, and give myself the same space and respect I give others.

Obtineo

Obtineo means to Obtain or Conquer–and that’s pretty fitting considering what Tyler is now facing.

Back in January¬†2015, we started working on a Kickstarter project for Obtineo the¬†board game. It was another one of Tyler’s pet projects. ¬†Unfortunately, other endeavors kept popping up, sidelining our¬†progress. This summer, Tyler had finally had enough with the detours and delays and decided to make¬†Obtineo¬†a priority.

. . . . and then T went MIA.

With Tyler’s life on the line, the Obtineo project once again took a back seat. Cory and I focused all our mental muscles on keeping KickFire alive and bringing Tyler home.

Thanks to God, friends, and the world at large, our crowdfunding and marketing efforts worked! Tyler is now home receiving the care he needs as he heals and recovers.

. . . . And wonders when we are going to release Obtineo?

Seriously, that was one of the first questions Tyler asked when I first saw him at the hospital. Obtineo was always his¬†baby, and that’s when I¬†realized that if we hoped to successfully fund Obtineo, we were going to need a cause greater than ourselves. We were going to need to harness the power of an already invested and concerned social network.

In a flash of insight, I knew exactly what we needed to do. We had to incorporate Tyler’s tale into our current Kickstarter campaign. I told Cory my¬†idea and he went to work recrafting the video script. As always, he nailed it!

Last night I was able to capture some footage of me and T playing Obtineo. I told him of our new Kickstarter plans. He was thrilled beyond measure.

Obtineo the Game Obtineo Tyler Seamons and Janelle Page

I’m a firm¬†believer in the divine timing of all things. Had we launched our Kickstarter back when originally planned, I feel it might not have funded. But today, I’m excited as I realize the right time for¬†Obtineo is now! We’ve got an open runway with a killer cause. Our flight is not a slam-dunk, but for the first time in the history of this project, I’m stoked for take-off.

I’ve witnessed first hand the power of God, friends, and social sharing. If the world needs¬†Obtineo–heck, if only Chad or Tyler needs¬†Obtineo–it will fund.

And, if what the world really needs to obtain¬†from Obtineo is yet another powerful reminder that God is good, friends are real, and miracles happen every day, then I will count this marketing campaign–regardless of whether it funds or not–a complete and total success!

Tyler, this one is for you!

[insert new video here]

Papa Cal

Today I was able to attend the funeral services for Cal Richards, affectionately known as “Papa Cal.” He truly was a¬†Mountain of a Man¬†and the spirit felt was amazing!

Three stories that I shared with my children last night that touched me were:

When Michelle was in college she played an April Fool’s Day prank on her dad. She pretended she had wrecked his brand new Yukon. Her father paused on the phone, took 2 deep breaths, and replied, “I’m so grateful no one was hurt, and I’m so grateful you had the courage to call and tell me.” ¬†No explosive outburst, just genuine concern for the welfare and character of all involved. That’s darn impressive.

Second, when Papa Cal was in residency his parents and younger sister came to visit. They went to the beach for the day. Papa Cal’s sister, 17 years old, was swept away and drowned in the ocean that day. They searched all day for her and as the rescue party disbanded they offered a prayer wherein it began with “We are so grateful for this day. . . ” Impressive.

Finally, Papa Cal was a vet. One night he rushed to the hospital to meet a young mother with 3 children. Their beloved dog had been hit by a car and had a bad break. Dad told the woman it would be best to put the dog down. Jake, his eldest son, who was 5 at the time, went in the back room with his pa wherein he begged him to save the dog. He cried, “I’ll pay for the surgery. I know you can save him.” Both had recognized the poverty of the woman before them and Cal explained to his son that the mother needed to take the money she would spend on the surgery and buy shoes for her children. Papa Cal cared deeply about animals, but what’s neat is he cared more about humans.

There were so many stories I loved hearing that touched me deeply. Papa Cal owning myriad pairs of hiking boots–one of which sits right here by my side as I type this post–I feel honored to have it in my possession and plan to keep it as a reminder of how I’d like to climb my mountains. Papa Cal never stopped summitting. He didn’t feel well the last 25 years of his life as he battled liver disease, but one would never know it. He laced up his boots every day, went to work, and served spectacularly. No doubt he’s loving this next adventure.

I can’t wait to give Michelle the gift we put together. I’m so grateful for the inspiration that came as I pondered what would be most meaningful and comforting to her. I knew it was cool, but after yesterday, I know we nailed it.

Here’s to¬†blazing new trails¬†Papa Cal!

Every Angle

One of my favorite things to do with life and ideas¬†is to come at it from every angle. What I mean by that is nothing is ever as it seems. I was listening to a podcast today between Tim Ferris and Ryan Holiday and I was intrigued with Ryan’s answer to Tim’s question:

If you could meet with any person (dead or alive) and ask them for guidance or direction, who would it be?

Ryan’s reply was pretty cool. He said he didn’t think asking¬†someone who wasn’t intimately familiar with him and his likes, dislikes, proclivities, talents, and abilities would be as helpful as seeking guidance and advice from someone like his wife or friends who knew him well.

I was impressed with Ryan’s wisdom as the minute I heard Tim’s question, I began making a mental list of the people I’d love to ask for guidance, direction, and wisdom. I brought the subject up with my husband and as usual, he added yet another angle for me to consider. He liked Ryan’s insight and thought it was valid, but wondered whether those closest to us are sometimes biased. He feared that many times it takes an outsider to see undeveloped potential or skills, talents and abilities that those who already perceive us in their day to day manner, cannot see.

So me making a mental list of mentors I’d love to consult was not wrong or right neither was Ryan’s reply about wanting to seek advice from those who knew him best. Both have their pros and their cons, and it’s probably best to do both.

Anyhow, the whole conversation and situation reminded me once again that nothing is ever black and white, or simply this or that. Everything is a mashed up amalgamation. Hence, the need to study subjects, ideas, and beliefs from every angle–or else we run the risk of going through life with limited, tunnel vision.