Memorial Day

Memorial day. May the 30th, was my the birthday of my brother James. (That was before Nixon changed the holidays so Americans could burn more gasoline).

Years later my feelings about the loss of James leaves me still ambivalent and confused.

Posted in holiday videos, holidays, video wednesday, Video Wednesday | Leave a comment

The Mind is Dumb to the Future

The Mind is Dumb to the Future: Part 1

Shell of Self-Preservation

One of the challenges of life is to understand that you were born without limitations. A pulsating blob of possibilities. The conditioning of the mind from childhood is designed to keep you from killing or harming yourself. It is this very safety mechanism that builds and maintains a shell of self-preservation and keeps your life in a pattern of prediction based on the past, but the mind is not the present you or future you. The mind is a former self that knows nothing of the future and is always responding to stimuli that aren’t present now but were present at one time in the past. The mind is dumb to the future.

However, its pattern of prediction is of great value. If you are still alive and reading this then it has worked so far, right? Yes, in a way. It has kept you from stepping in front of trucks, jumping off bridges, going down dark alleys at night in strange and unfamiliar places. Unfortunately it has also kept you from saying hello to someone because they might reject you, from applying for a job that might be at the edge of your skill set, caused you to give up before even trying something new, made you feel it isn’t worth it because you don’t stand a chance. Since the brain is unable to accurately predict the future it responds to new experiences with its knowledge of the past. But the past is not the future. Fear and Panic are not always the appropriate response. You can’t stop the stream of consciousness but you can learn to ignore or interrupt it when it is not being helpful.

Some people call it the brain, some call it the mind, the id, the superego, ego. What ever you call it, it’s you first, then it. If your name is George for example call it ‘little george’, unless that’s already the name of some other body part, then name it something else. Seriously, give it a name you can relate to. A name without power. How can you control something as powerful as the id, superego, ego, mind, brain? But be sure it’s a name you can be friends with. A name of something you might be in charge of, like the name of a pet. A pet can be allowed to be itself much of the time but some of the time it needs your control. It needs your control in order to be happy, in order to know what you want, in order to not be in a state of fear, panic and tension. It needs you help and guidance. Have you got the idea? Whatever you call it, it belongs to you, it is your subject, under your rule.

The Mind is Dumb to the Future: Part 2

Show a Little Disrespect

Re-interpret your experience. Re-name Fear and Panic as Opportunity for Growth. Fear and Panic are physical. Think of your physical self at the moment you become fearful and start to panic. Fear and panic make you hunch over and cower in their presence. Try this: Sit or stand straight, pull back your shoulders, raise your chin and be your full physical self. This opens your chest and lets the Fear and Panic out. Just tell it to go away so Opportunity for Growth can enter. It can be as simple as opening a door. As simple or as difficult, it is up to you.

Fear and Panic=Opportunity. The feeling of fear and panic is itself an opportunity. An opportunity to take charge and back-talk your brain. Remember your brain is only aware of the past. Only you can see the possibilities of the future.

Re-interpret Tension as The Urge Toward Progress. Tension=Progress. Fear, panic and tension are your guideposts to opportunity and progress if you let them be, if you tell them to be, if you re-interpret them to be.

The journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step. Sometimes even a single step is enough. Call tension, the gnawing in your stomach,  the flush of heat you might feel, An Urge Toward Progress. Go toward it not away from it. When you fear that Opportunity physically stand and take a step forward. You will feel the tension begin to turn into something else, into progress. Re-interpret Tension as The Urge Toward Progress.

Fear and Panic=Opportunity. The feeling of fear and panic is itself an opportunity. An opportunity to take charge and back-talk your brain. Remember your brain is only aware of the past. Only you can see the possibilities of the future.

Tension=Progress. Fear, panic and tension are your guideposts to opportunity and progress if you let them be, if you tell them to be, if you re-interpret them to be.

Back-Talk. So instead of Fear and Panic you have Opportunity for Growth and instead of Tension you have An Urge Toward Progress. Now the brain will talk to you in this new language-if you tell it to. It’s your brain, take charge of it. Talk back when you don’t agree, and, you shouldn’t agree when it is misleading you, which is more often than not. Show a little disrespect when it’s telling you, no, when it should be telling you, yes.

The Mind is Dumb to the Future: Part 3

Stream of Consciousness

The mind is producing a steady flow of thoughts. You’ve listened to the chatter so long you barely recognize it except in times of excitement or stimulation. They often come in pairs, though they may not be identifiable as such, they are there. You take a bite of cake, you think this tastes wonderful, you think I am getting fat, you wonder where to cut into the cake next to get the most frosting possible, you think you should put down your fork before it’s too late.

You’re have a job interview. Suddenly none of your clothes are clean enough or stylish enough. What were you thinking when you got that shirt? You’ve had a week to prepare, why didn’t you get something done with your hair?

These are very simplified examples of your stream of consciousness. It could also be called your speed of consciousness because it is occurring faster than you can imagine. And I’m not saying there’s anything wrong with thinking these things. Thoughts are natural. There’s no way to stop them. Just realize that you are not your thoughts. You can accept or reject them. When a thought comes to mind you can tell it to go away. You don’t have to be a subject of your thoughts. Many of the thoughts above are negative. You can reject them. Your mind can become your subject instead of you being its subject. Trying to figure out which of the thoughts the mind is presenting just gets in the way. The mind is presenting every thought it ever had that applies to any situation that is in any way like the current situation. You will be forever confused if you don’t step in and take over. Each new experience gives the mind a new set of ideas to present the next time you are presented with a challenge. Remember, the mind is dumb to the future. It only knows the past. You are one step ahead of it already because the mind doesn’t know what you will do and what you do will change the way the mind responds the next time. Feed positive thoughts to the mind and it will feed them back. This shirt is perfect for the interview. I was fortunate to have gotten it when I did. It smells fresh (I sniffed the armpit) and looks good. Life will be better the next time you look in your closet.

The Mind is Dumb to the Future: Part 4

The Biggest Gossip of Them All

Think about gossip.  Gossip usually occurs within a group of friends or acquaintances. When we gossip we most often express the need for an absent person to improve and point out how simply that improvement could be achieved with a few minor adjustments. This can often take place when someone leaves the group even momentarily. Now recall your suggestions for the other person’s improvement. Where the suggestions to not be afraid, to take a chance, to try? Now imagine you are the person you gave the advice to. How would you put that advice to work? What would you do if you were them. What would you need to overcome? How would you overcome it? What would you expect the new outcome to be based on your advice? Is it easier to do if you are someone else? Now imagine your group of friends and a time when you are absent. What are they saying about you? Now imagine this group is not a group of your friends but instead it is your own mind, the biggest gossip of them all.

if it doesn’t kill you it will make you stronger. You are still able to look at new situations and assess the REAL danger. It is easier to let your shell control your actions than it is take charge of your self. Let’s agree that stepping into traffic is not a good idea but taking a chance in an job interview is not life threatening. Meeting new people is not life threatening.

Some people call it the brain, some call it the mind, the id, the superego, ego. What ever you call it, it’s you first, then it. If your name is George for example call it ‘little george’, unless that’s already the name of some other body part, then name it something else. Seriously, give it a name you can relate to. A name without power. How can you control something as powerful as the id, superego, ego, mind, brain? But be sure it’s a name you can be friends with. A name of something you might be in charge of, like the name of a pet. A pet can be allowed to be itself much of the time but some of the time it needs your control. It needs your control in order to be happy, in order to know what you want, in order to not be in a state of fear, panic and tension. It needs you help and guidance. Have you got the idea? Whatever you call it, it belongs to you, it is your subject, under your rule.

`Opportunity Only Knocks Once’.  The future is opportunity. Opportunity is a cacophony of knocking, banging so often and so loud you come to ignore it. Each beat of your heart is a new future, a new opportunity, a new you. Are you ready?

 

Posted in Personal Views | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Earth Day. A Public Service Announcement

Short PSA Video for Earth Day. Different views of earth. Quote from Buckminster Fuller.

Posted in Video, video wednesday, Video Wednesday | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Puppet G-Pa

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Holidays: George Washington’s Birthday

 

I know the usual things about George Washington. He was born on February 22, 1732 and died December 14, 1799. He is considered the father of our country. He may or may not have cut down a cherry tree and confessed to it without prompting. He had a good arm, he threw a silver dollar across the Potomac river. He was taller than 99% of the American public. He freed his slaves of his own free will. He had wooden teeth. His wife’s name was Martha. He slept in more different places on the eastern seaboard than any one person is capable of doing in several lifetimes. He was a gentleman farmer from Mount Vernon Virginia. He was the commander of the continental army in the war of revolution. He lived in the field with his troops. Despite constant shortages of food and clothing and even shoes for his men, he led this new county to victory and freedom. His fellow countrymen would have been happy to make him king and be done with all this messy crap about constitutional government. Think about that, King George I. Wouldn’t that have been a not-too-delicious irony? He was both humble and intelligent enough to refuse this honor. He accepted a unanimous election to the presidency instead.

In 1796 George Washington refused a third term as president. He published an open letter to the American people which was printed is just about every newspaper in this country. It has come to be known as his farewell address but technically speaking, it was not an address, or a speech, but an open letter. Washington’s fellow Americans gave it its title as the first President’s valedictory to public service for the new Republic…

The ideas are surprisingly fresh and relevant. You can read it in its entirety at Wikipedia. Here is one of the final paragraphs.

In reviewing the incidents of my administration, I am unconscious of intentional error, I am nevertheless too sensible of my defects not to think it probable that I may have committed many errors. Whatever they may be, I fervently beseech the Almighty to avert or mitigate the evils to which they may tend. I shall also carry with me the hope, that my Country will never cease to view them with indulgence; and that, after forty-five years of my life dedicated to its service with an upright zeal, the faults of incompetent abilities will be consigned to oblivion, as myself must soon be to the mansions of rest.
Happy Birthday Mr. President.

Posted in holidays, Video | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Video Wednesday: …and days old long gone.

…and days old long gone. from Joseph Valentinetti on Vimeo.

Happy New Year

Posted in Video, video wednesday | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Video Wednesday: The Original Batman

Here’s two versions. The first shows the process of making the short film. The second is the film itself which also plays at the end of this first video.

 

 

Posted in Video Wednesday | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment