To be alive.
by Kevin D. Crone
While Getting ready for my August fishing trip with my ol buddies Larry, Mike and Don it occurred to me what is amazing about fishing and being in a remote fly in lake in North Western Ontario with great people I care about. For me, it is an example of being really alive.
First of all, being alive means living as much as you can in the moment, so you are free to see the reality of what is going on. To appreciate others and to be truly present in nature. Being alert to reality. To focus on what is really happening. To be more alive and fully present and to allow the inner joy of it all to show. Freedom to see reality, to be present, to appreciate and enjoy others; the appreciation for the beauty of nature and the focus on what is happening is taken away by many factors including carrying our emotional baggage from the past into the present. The biggest distraction above all is the power of ego.
In my work I made a study of many experts that explain the powerful effect of ego. Elkhart Tolle among others essentially said that the ego creates a running commentary in our minds, a self talk that effects how we relate to others. We label others, judge them quickly even though we have no idea why people behave as they do or how they think. We add opinions in our head as to what is happening which can create a very different view of what actually happened. We are really talking to ourselves and telling ourselves how things are. This obsessive thinking and self talk can be seen manifesting in all our behaviours especially in conversation.
Ego maniacs as we call them, are just afraid of not being ok. As I experienced in my work, people who lack self confidence fear trying many things as a way to protect themselves from criticism or looking bad. Both of them are consumed and preoccupied with their ego made up story of how they are and the world is and drag it into the present conversations, actions and experiences. We become desensitized. We can be so trapped and preoccupied with our story made up from the past and the anxiety of the future, it is difficult to be present anywhere. We listen and talk from our story and add pieces and interpretations to this fake story as we go along. Eventually it becomes just a collection of memories that turn into beliefs and facts in our mind. We grow up in this story believing we need to be a certain way and life is a certain way and not knowing we had the hand in creating it. In reality, things just are. Our ego is a false identification of self.
In our story we subsequently need to have bigger and bigger things, many possessions, social position, roles and opinions! Yes, our opinions! We become an inmate and deadened to reality. Also, Ego is our biggest toy. We identify with things, our looks, roles and of course, money. And it is amazing isn’t it what comes out of our mouths at times. How we have to be heard or noticed or be right. How unconscious we are to people, their needs, our inability to listen and yet we can make such ridiculous assertions about how things are. No wonder we can be totally blind to nature and the wonders of what is around us.
Well, what can we learn to do to create more aliveness?
- For one thing, we can stop labelling things and people, so they can fit into our story and by catching ourselves when we do.
- We can be more alert and fully aware of nature by seeing and looking for the beauty of it. Nature is amazing and a miracle in itself. Which can be more amazing then many of the things we think about.
- We can catch ourselves when we put in place these mental interferences.
- We can remind ourselves that 99% of our thoughts are useless and not needed.
- We can learn to ask ourselves what occurred to us in every conversation rather than rushing to a judgemental opinion. To realize that conversations create learnings and possibilities. That what comes out of our mouths manages our story or creates those possibilities and learnings. Our opinion means squat most of the time anyway and does nothing but stop the flow of conversations.
- We can be more conscious of the excitement and the inner joy of learning and to see what is really going on. To focus more on our well being and nature.
- To take things deeper instead of making quick conclusions. There is a deeper dimension to life when we practice more awareness and acceptance.
- To realize that things just are. That stuff just happens. That many times we just don’t understand and we don’t need to arrogantly give all the answers.
- To realize destiny is real.
- To be more aware of our inner body.
In the beautiful Canadian North, you would think we could stop thinking about ourselves for a minute or two and not to be complaining about anything. Not to be trying to impress anyone and especially to not be focusing on perceived problems and worries. If we miss out on the gorgeous northern wilderness when we are flying and driving up there or in our boats, we would be missing one of the greatest times of our lives. The great thing about fishing is you need to be focusing on just watching and feeling your line and responding from there. To letting it all happen. Whatever happens. To not be adding any judgemental commentary on ourselves as to what we should have done or should be happening. To just be watching our line. That’s it! To be there. Just like it is so important to focus and just do our jobs at work. Eliminating our worry thoughts which can be done by meditating or exercising. And above all just getting out into nature will help you get into the moment easier.
Being on the water is magical, soothing and mysterious. We are blessed for Canada has the longest ocean coast lines and the largest amount of fresh water in the world. Eckard said we should deeply realize that the present moment is really all that we have.
Wow. Magical, soothing and mysterious. That is the way life should and could be like. What occurred to you this beautiful morning?
Kevin D. Crone
Dale Carnegie Business Group
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