Friday, July 21, 2006

Personal Velocity

The Fourth Agreement: Always do your best

By doing your best, the habits of misusing your word, taking things personally, and making assumptions will become weaker and less frequent with time.

So what to make of this? This new situation that promises to lift me up from my state of comfort and predictability and throw me into the throes of turmoil once again? When I am placed, yet again, in a position to have to make the choice of spending another few months in personal volatility – moving between two, nay three cities. Three cities that I have always fantasized about living in, and even, until very recently, have felt the push and pull from in all directions.

What does one do when one is expected to do ones best and is not really given much choice in terms of ones physical environment and personal circumstances? When the parameters have been rolled out for you and you are expected to work within those and then expected to make your decisions and take your actions within those boundaries? Do you then, feel free at some level and trapped at another?

Free at one level from the humongous prison that the Ego bestows on itself and on me…by having to make choices and exercise control in every which way? But trapped on another level – again by the Ego since it feels it’s losing its grip on me – my ownership and resulting experiences will be governed by forces that are outside its realm. I am no longer a subject of the kingdom of the Ego. I am a subject of something else… anything else, it does not matter…the only thing that matters is that it is not the Ego. And so there is this deep anxiety and fear and frustration for not having charge of controlling my life experience.

And what do I do in all of this? Do I really feel that I am being controlled by internal or external forces? The personal ego within and the world ego without? Do I feel that no matter how hard I try, the experience of living my life will always be subtly or overtly influenced by forces beyond my control?

Or do I not? Do I feel that all of this that is happening is really of my own making and doing and causing? That “I” who experiences this is the one that is completely in charge of the quality of the life experience? Simply by choosing to follow these four agreements? That if I do my best, in whichever circumstance, without really questioning who or how this is being controlled, then by the process of completely immersing myself in the experience, I will choose to be impeccable with my word and I will not take things personally and I will not make assumptions and I will create my own kingdom of heaven on this earth.

And with this information in mind and heart I need to move through life in a way that does not question, influence, assume, suggest, deny, doubt or fear. I question, certainly, not to negate but to confirm and clarify. I speak up, not to challenge and destroy but to support and evolve. I acts, not to impress or influence but to create and fulfill the dream.

Thursday, July 20, 2006

You get the best of my...

The Fourth Agreement: Always do your best

Doing your best is taking the action because you love it, not because you are expecting a reward. Most people do exactly the opposite: They only take action when they expect a reward, and they don’t enjoy the action. And that’s the reason why they don’t do their best.

So here’s the problem with this. What if you don’t love the action that you need to take? How can you do your best then? Let’s look at it practically and not conceptually. I am working at a client site. There is a complex set of reasons why I am there – for financial, professional and practical reasons. I have duties and responsibilities and obligations to myself, my company, my family and my client. Not necessarily in that order and not necessarily at the same level of – but I do. I am there to perform a job, whether I like it or not.

And often times in such situations, I have no choice or voice in performing the task at hand. I just have to. There is no question of love or non-love for the task at hand. There cannot not be an expectation for reward – the reward may not necessarily be materialistic but it certainly is very personal. I may need to complete the job at hand to move on to something bigger. Not necessarily better, just different and more interesting.

What are we saying here? That every task no matter how small and how insignificant and how trivial and how simplistic should never be or become a problem? That if done selflessly, without the ego responding to it in terms of stress or expectation or frustration, will always become an act of love? No matter what the content and structure of the act itself might be?

I suppose that’s the message here…. In the Bhagwad Gita there is a Sanskrit shloka that expresses just this:

Karmanye vadhika raste maa faleshu kadachan.(
To do action without attachment and without desiring the fruits of actions.)

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Master & Slave

The Third Agreement: Don't Make Assumptions

When you transform your whole dream magic happens in your life since spirit moves freely through you. There is mastery of intent, spirit, love, gratitude and life. This is the path to personal freedom.

How does one transform ones whole dream? Does one make choices based on will power and inner strength – that would lead to bright, honest, magical experiences, day by day, minute by minute, moment by moment? Or does one use fear and anger to transform the current situation because of the egoistic need to change and improve and become better? Both, one would say, can be effective in the short term. Self improvement books abound in western bookstores, all with the express intention of making you look better, act better, feel better, present yourself better. To strengthen and improve and enhance the image. It works in the short term because the ego is temporarily occupied with this new challenge. It can strive and stress and seek and speak. It can see and be seen, hear and be heard, express and impress. It can do and act and live.

Eventually, though, the real impact of such change sinks in. For any change effected thus, begets more chance for change. And the more that I change the more I get stuck in the familiar grooves of judgment, anxiety, criticism, comparison and analysis. The ego gets stronger creating blockades and bottlenecks for the free flow of energy through me. Trapped energy festers and stagnates and makes me feel heavy, sluggish, sullen and sad. I try to find ways out through quick fixes of pleasure and power. There is complete slavery of intent, love, gratitude and life. This is the path to personal hell.

And for the path of transforming dreams through inner strength and will? What of that? Isn’t that too a subtle way of the ego enforcing its position on my body and mind? Why use strength or will at all? Why not transform in this moment? Simply. By bringing awareness to myself in this moment. As different from the doer, actor, maker, and thinker. As the one who accepts and embodies all those roles and also at the same time is so much more than any and all of those. With this awareness I feel light and open in body, mind and heart, and Spirit does move freely through me. I don’t know what Spirit is – it has qualities that I cannot describe in words. All I know is that in moments when it flows through me…I identify with it completely. And then there is mastery of intent, love, gratitude and life. And this is the path to personal freedom.

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Free Fear....Fear Free

The Second Agreement: Don't take anything personally

If you live without fear, if you love, then you live in that state of bliss where everything is so wonderful and beautiful.

Living without fear. State of bliss. Everything’s wonderful. Everything’s beautiful. Are these simply words that humans use to convince themselves that there is a better way to be human than the present human experience that they are having? When words start ringing hollow and we realize that words are all that we really have to base our reality on? To construct a story out of the day to day process of being human. That I can embellish or diminish every life experience by simply using words.

An event can become “fabulous” or “fantastic” or “amazingly good” or “yawningly dull”, or “awfully bad” or, in that interesting paradox of the English language…”terribly exciting” or “fabulously hideous”. So, the event takes on a mighty personality of its own and can then be recalled, related, reacted to or rejoiced in. I have now personalized the event and it is now my creation. I am the proprietor of the event and I now have ownership rights. I now feel possessiveness around the experience and then fear of losing the experience. I am now bound to the feelings invoked by the event based on the words that I have used to describe the event – to myself and to others.

What is the alternative then? Is there one? Am I simply destined to have this life experience, governed by the capricious word and based on self-created fear and uncertainty? Can one, while in the midst of this human experience, while in the throes of this cause and effect based existence, which can only be understood based on the limited filters of words and thoughts, really become without fear? Become liberated? In a state of bliss where everything is wonderful and beautiful?

I don’t know. And even if I did – there would be no words to describe it.