The “Supposed” To Do Life Activities

Have you ever felt like you were Supposed to do something in your life? Have you ever been told that you were Supposed to do a certain thing? Did this “Supposed” to do… come from your mind/ego OR from an external source? Was this an internal expectation or were you “guided” by the Divine Spirit to a “Calling?”

There is a difference and a dilemma to the “Supposed” to do activities in your life. If your mind and ego tell you that you are supposed to do this or that, or to be this or that, should you comply? If your “gut” tells you through your intuition and a spiritual guidance to “show up” a certain way, do you follow through or do you ignore this divine request? AND, how can you tell the difference between an ego driven expectation and a message from the Universe?

An example comes from my life experience. In the Summer of 2015, I moved to Bellingham, WA. My gut told me me to build a “community” where people could connect around non-religious spiritual consciousness. My previous life experience in this area was non-existent however I was “guided” to work on this project. My “life’s work” began to look more than weird to people who knew me because I was not a religious or overtly spiritual person. The work was satisfying and compelling. With assistance, I worked on a website, a blog, and began scheduling meetings. The people I met were invited and many came to our Masters of the Journey community. Why? Because we were all “supposed” to create a supportive community which honors each and every human as a “Master” based on the life experience and wisdom gained from the experience of moving consciously through life. This was not something I knew or chose to do. I was compelled and driven to fulfill this “dream” of community.

Another example is from Bill Hart. Watch his short video, “Shoulder Taps.” Available on YouTube at: https://www.facebook.com/bill.hart.338/videos
Bill shares his story regarding being compelled, “supposed,” to connect with another person in a story with relevance to this discussion.

You have come to the crossroads in your life when you needed to make a choice and you have been driven to follow the path less traveled. It was probably not a “rational” thought but, if you took responsibility for your action/decision, you look back on your choice and realize that this was the thing you were “supposed” to do at that time. Sure it may have been challenging or seemingly an unsuccessful attempt at whatever, but you learned from this experience and you were compelled to follow that particular path… You life has been richer because you followed your heart/gut.

When your mind came up with a new scheme to invest money or to find a more “profitable” endeavor did your gut tell you to do this or did you look around and decided that you “should do” this or that. If you connected with feeling and not just the thought, you may have wondered why you were following this path. Sometimes it works out well, sometimes it works out to be an important lesson of what to do or what to avoid in the future. But, if you were driven and passionate about this new direction then perhaps you were supposed to follow this direction. We have all had these feelings which seemed to overcome our rational thoughts. Following your passion can get you to move your life in strange or unusual directions and these often lead to important discoveries and powerful moments in your life. You are richer for taking these risks and living your passion. (Without following these “Shoulder Taps” or gut feelings, you may not have found your relationship, your career, your life changing travel experience, or even your moment of “awakening!”)

If you are READY and looking for a supportive community where you can share your story, your wisdom, and grow spiritually in a non-religious environment, consider Masters of the Journey.
You are a Blessing! You are a Master! Your wisdom from your life experience can have great value to other pilgrims on the path toward awakening and enlightenment.

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Beginner’s Mind Revisited!

“In the beginner’s mind there are many possibilities, in the expert’s mind there are few.”

“The more advanced you are in spiritual consciousness, the more you experience the “present” in the Beginner’s Mind.”

I have heard this expression, “Beginner’s Mind,” before and this week it has come up several more times in very different conversations. When a concept comes up several times in different situations… perhaps you should pay attention because the Universe is trying to tell you something. For me, this means writing about it and attempting to be more conscious regarding this concept and how I may want to apply it.

What is “Beginner’s Mind?”
Wikipedia defines “Beginner’s Mind” by first giving it it’s Zen name, “Shoshin”:
Shoshin (初心) is a concept in Zen Buddhism meaning “beginner’s mind”. It refers to having an attitude of openness, eagerness, and lack of preconceptions when studying a subject, even when studying at an advanced level, just as a beginner in that subject would. The term is especially used in the study of Zen Buddhism and Japanese martial arts.

The phrase is also used in the title of the book Zen Mind, Beginner’s Mind by the Zen teacher Shunryu Suzuki, who says the following about the correct approach to Zen practice:
“In the beginner’s mind there are many possibilities, in the expert’s mind there are few.”

Well, this article is an attempt to explore not only what it might mean but why it has value.
My sage spiritual mentor, Rodger, threw out words like:
Be open
Nonjudgmental to new information and experiences
Be Curious
Be “Present” (not distracted or too busy to see the forest from the trees…)

New experiences, information, relationships, thoughts, guidance, epiphanies, insights, revelations, feelings, knowings, “remembering” concepts, etc … all come to people who are open, curious, ready for more input into their lives and their consciousness. But, do you judge and look for flaws or weaknesses, or places for disagreement or are you more curious? Do you have a more rigid view of the world where new thoughts or experiences are NOT trusted and dismissed because these do not fit with what you already know or believe? Are these new experiences contrary to what you think, know or feel? Are you fearful because these are new and different or do you celebrate the exciting fresh possibilities?

Do you look at a new person you meet and ask about them and what they are most passionate about? Or, do you find them to be competitors for attention and you attempt to find ways to disqualify these new characters who are joining your “drama?”

“Beginner’s Mind” is not, just, for beginners. It is for every advanced “consciousness seeker” who has the innocence to experience insights and who can be open for moments of intense spiritual awakening. (Perhaps, we should all strive for this way of gathering our spiritual development.

Tip: Observe a young innocent child of 2 or 3 or perhaps 4 years of age as they react to a new object in their world. (It could be a new skill such as talking or walking or running or using a slide in the park.) Observe their excitement and wonderment as they explore the new point of focus. They may be filled with joy, and showing it. They are definitely “present” and engaged. This is how we can choose to be when we are walking through life. This is the manifestation of the most curious Beginner’s Mind…

Consider the limitations of fear and the “Glass half Empty” approach to life. It is safe. But, YOU have to work your way through the fears and self-imposed barriers to your life’s learnings. Adventures are not for the timid but make a life more exciting, memorable, and worth living! Be “present” as you travel through your new life experiences AND keep your head up with your eyes focused on the horizon. As a young child might celebrate in joy the new challenges which cross your path!

To explore more topics of spiritual development consider participating in our community, Masters of the Journey or visit our Facebook page at: www.facebook.com/mastersofthejourney

One thought restated:
Do you remember when you were a young child in this lifetime and you found the joy, the delight, and the wonderment in each new object or skill you discovered? This can be the way you experience each day, each new occurrence, and each new person who falls into your life. The power of the “Beginners Mind” is found in the joy of each new experience, each new learning, each new developing consciousness, or most importantly, each new “Remembering” of your Divine Wisdom that you find within your soul/spirit.

Being Present: Key to Mindfulness

Have you ever suffered from anxiety, fear, or major stress? If so, then the chances are good that the fear or anxiety were born out of an experience from the past, as a learned response, or from fears of some future unknown or uncontrollable event. Throughout our lives we suffer great or small traumas and our body learns to respond to similar scenarios as if we were having PTSD (post traumatic stress disorder) reactions. In deed, we may have mini-PTSD responses to fearful or difficult events even if these past events were not life threatening. Most importantly, if we ruminate on past events then we are not totally “present” in our bodies, in present time. Our bodies will then attempt to make us “present” by dragging us back into the present moment with an irritating, if not worse, symptom like an anxiety attack. This symptom is not necessarily the enemy, but it is a warning sign that we are not paying attention to our bodies, in the present moment.

Fear of the unknown or the uncertainty of what can happen in the future will also trigger a symptom of fear or anxiety. Since we can not predict the future with 100% accuracy, our flight-fight response can be triggered and physical or emotional symptoms can be exacerbated. When we lose track of the present moment, our body can force us to consider the present in rude ways.

Conversely, at the heart of every stress or anxiety management technique are simple activities designed to bring us back into our bodies in the present moment and in a “positive way.” One strong example is the request to take a deep slow breath and to feel the cool air as you inhale and the warm breath as you exhale. This simple, but powerful, request asks that you release thoughts regarding the past or expectations of the future and to feel the subtle difference of a slow inhale and exhale. This act of Mindfulness can back you away from your fear or anxiety especially when this has been rehearsed enough to become a habituated pattern.

Being Present or practicing Mindfulness is easier said than done, but the concept is not difficult to understand and with practice not too difficult to learn. Being prepared to “let go” of fear, anxiety, or traumatic thoughts can be very useful and can succeed when the skill of “Being Present” has become a positive habit.

Other techniques for mindfulness would include feeling: muscles relaxing, heart rate slowing, hands and feet warming, stomach tension releasing, and sensations of slowing down of distracting thoughts. Techniques which can lead to this state of mind and body, when practiced, include: Meditations, Autogenic Training, Progressive Relaxations, Visualizations/Imagery, forms of Self-Hypnosis, Breathing techniques, Yoga/Stretching, biofeedback training, and other types of focusing and observations. The secret is to find the one that works best for you, master it, and then use it preventively on a regular basis.

Information at the Stress Education Center’s website wwww.dstress.com may prove helpful to you.