Friday, March 25, 2011

perceptions on reality


1. the state or quality of being real.
2. something that constitutes a real or actual thing, as distinguished from something that is merely apparent.
Philosophy .
a. something that exists independently of ideas concerning it.
b. something that exists independently of all other things and from which all other things derive.
I heard something today to the effect of "none of us are who we appear to be – reality is shaped and concealed by how we see things."
I felt completely enlightened and excited by this statement – so excited in fact that I jumped from the couch and ran for a pen and paper. (Did I mention I heard it while watching Oprah during a late lunch break? That is entirely beside the point though isn’t it?). The sense of enlightenment I felt was actually more a sense of reminiscent nostalgia as I had actually studied phenomenology previously and found the statement remarkably akin to that line of philosophy. Again I found myself wondering why I had ceased to partake in something I so thoroughly enjoyed – the challenge of comprehending philosophical theories and then applying them to my world. But I digress.
In this moment I felt enlightened and excited because essentially what the statement means is that if our reality is both shaped and concealed by our own perception, then altering the way in which we perceive reality can, in theory, alter our reality. Let me give you an example by applying this to my fiancé. He owns a small company that does contract work and lately he has been suffering burnout. He has been experiencing high levels of stress because he is so inundated with work. Just the other day he exclaimed with emphatic exhaustion that he felt like he was swimming against the tide. The thing is, he does not swim. He sinks.
But here is the truly exciting reality of the situation: for if we apply the idea that his reality is both shaped and distorted by his perception of it (in this case that his life is hectic and exhausting because he has so much work to do), and that it can therefore be altered (to a more positive outlook) simply by altering his perception of it (to that of his life being rich and full and his business being a success), then he simply needs to start seeing his life in a different light! 
Of course that does require him to then change his perception, and as we all well know, the reality is that change is no easy ask.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

here I am again

again [əˈgɛn əˈgeɪn]
1. another or second time; once more; anew she had to start again
2. once more in a previously experienced or encountered place, state, or condition she came back again

Well it seems that I am back where I was in my second post all those months ago ...
I went for a run today. And, like I wrote previously, I thoroughly enjoyed it! And, again, like I wrote previously, I know the reason I stopped doesn’t really matter – it’s that I started up again that does. This time around I have set some achievable goals in a desperate attempt to stick to my commitment to run; to “do more”. Yet here I am in another paradox: I am feeding my addiction to accomplish more and in feeding this addiction to feel the success of my present commitment I am actually achieving more of the things I think I want to accomplish. But if I have learned anything it is that I will repeat my past unless I make some reasonable changes to the same approaches. And herein lays a fundamental challenge of change: to change any behaviour I must first change.  
Happy musings!

Monday, March 21, 2011

back at it again

I have come to realize that I am officially an addict: I am completely addicted to experiencing a sense of accomplishment that I organize my life by an endless list of things to do in pursuit of achieving whatever it is that I have deemed necessary for my life to have purpose. I am so driven to accomplish more that I end up pushing myself and putting so much pressure on myself and those around me to achieve more that I cannot possibly actually achieve what I have put on myself. The result is that I am never accomplishing enough to be satisfied. I then end up in frequent self-induced pits of despair over my repeated failures. And the cycle continues: I decide that the only way to get out of the pit is to set a lofty and noble goal and actually achieve it. And not just one goal or even one that’s likely achievable but many goals that are a real challenge. That’s the only way to truly make use of your life – isn’t it?
It’s not like I aim to bee this way – although if I would simply decide that that is what I wanted to achieve maybe I’d actually feel that elusive sense of accomplishment I’m so addicted to pursuing. But let me back this rant up to what sparked this self-realization ...
Today I woke up and opened my eyes to the fact that I was, again, in a deepening pit of self-loathing and disparity. The frustrating part was that I had been doing so much that I was exhausted and yet I was still so bogged down with things to do/achieve that I didn’t even know where to start. So I started with the dishes and (in true multi-tasking fashion) a call yto my friend. That proved instrumental to my current state. She essentially told me to back off and stop putting the pressure on myself to accomplish things. Okay, I thought. That is exactly what I needed. So I decided to go for my run and simply enjoy it without worrying over my pace, what I was training for, what I needed to do immediately following it, etc. etc. I strapped on my shoes and even grabbed the ipod. Now you see this is huge. I never run with music because until today I have always considered it cheating. It’s what unfit recreational joggers – not runners in training – use to motivate themselves because they lack the discipline and mental toughness to push themselves. Today I decided to join that realm. I spent the first 5 minutes of my run scrolling through albums until I came across the one that seemed to fit. And then I ran the remaining 40 minutes to the reggae beats of Bob Marley. I really enjoyed it! I enjoyed each step, mentally lost in the easy-going reggae tunes and the beautiful scenery I was experiencing. And I felt proud of the fact that I had actually allowed myself to just experience this moment in my day without expecting more or planning how to accomplish more later. Now I think I’ve found another addiction – that of enjoying what I’m doing without the pressure to do it better.
-          silly mare.
But is it not then true that the fact that I sought to simply do without expectation was in itself a goal that I then accomplished. And then resulting from this I was fulfilled by that which I am addicted to: a sense of accomplishment. So then the cycle has in fact begun again despite stating an conscious awareness of it and deliberate attempt to break it. For in the act of setting out to break the cycle I am in actuality stating another goal to accomplish and in this sense the cycle continues. So what then is my life if not a constant cycle of pursuing my addiction? How can I break free of this addiction without simply feeding it anew?
-          muser.

Sunday, September 12, 2010


par·a·dox   –noun 1. a statement or proposition that seems self-contradictory or absurd but in reality expresses a possible truth.
2. any person, thing, or situation exhibiting an apparently contradictory nature.

I know it's cliche to ask, but why is it that, when faced with change or circumstances that are energy demanding, it is easier to push aside the things that are most aligned with who I am as a sane, proud being?
Why is it that I can so stubbornly deny my hunger for the adventure, the physical and mental challenge, the sheer enjoyment that comes from being committed to an active lifestyle? For as surely as I know that I must eat to sustain life, I know too that I must be active to sustain my sanity. And yet I never cease to eat while I frequently cease to be active; to run.
But I have started running again and I feel alive! I feel sane and proud to be taking on the challenge that comes from struggling through each breath through every step of the run. I feel like I am being true to myself when I'm out there pounding the pavement. And while it was likely the feeling of too little energy to run that led me to stop, the act of running actually gives me energy. So being active breeds the energy to do more. I know this. 
Yet just as I know that I need to be active, the paradox I face is that I also know that I will stop again. And then, like now, I will ask the question of why I stopped. And then, like now, I will realize that the answer doesn't really matter. What does matter is that I get my runners on, head outdoors and find sanity and pride in the adventure of a run.

Monday, September 6, 2010

Noun 1. muser - a reflective thinker characterized by quiet contemplation

I rarely find myself at a loss for thoughts I want to express. Indeed, my busy mind whirls with endless lists of ideas I hope to transform into written words in the hopes that they may shared.
I also rarely find myself at a loss for the right word when writing. I typically enjoy playing with words. I enjoy trying them out to see how they sound in a sentence, or searching for the one that truly captures what I wish to convey.
And yet from the moment I opened this blog with the intent to "compose" I have felt precisely that - at a loss for thoughts and words. In fact, in sitting to write what I was at that moment musing about, I experienced a quietness in my mind akin to that which I seek to find in meditation. (A quietness I have yet to actually achieve when intended I might add.) And while such mental calmness is something I often long for, clearly it was not what I wanted as I sat to compose my first blog.
Till next time joyful musings.