Shift

Hola mi Gente,
::sigh:: Anybody renting a room or a studio?

spirals-in-nature

Perception is everything.

 

I once played a board game I bought on a whim with a group of friends. It’s called Shift and it’s not your run-of-the-mill board game. It’s actually a game based on psychological principles from the work found in the totally amazing A Course in Miracles. In case you’re not aware yet, many of the better known self-help gurus have co-opted much from ACIM. For me, ACIM is what Christianity would look like if JC were around today.

Essentially, ACIM (as well as many other spiritual traditions) states that all of our actions either come from fear or love. The whole purpose of life is to move from fear-based reactions to a life based on love.

Quite simple, right? … LOL!

Of course many reading this will immediately go into an internal discourse on what I just wrote, in the process missing out entirely on the message. This is ok, I still love you and the rest of us Ho’s will patiently wait until you actually get it and celebrate with you when you finally drop the defenses.

And that’s what the board game is all about: it’s moving your piece from the starting point (everyone starts off at “Fear”) to the end point, “Love.” Along the way you have to drop at least three defenses (letting go of our defenses is how you go about dropping the Fear). It’s actually a lot of fun because it integrates the combined wisdom of great figures in history such as the Buddha, Gandhi, Martin Luther King, jr. and more. The folks over at Shift also used a stand-up comedian to take some of these concepts and make them more fun. So, there are lots of opportunities to laugh.

Sometimes our happiness hinges on the simplest, subtlest shift in perception. For example, some see a sunset and immediately become reflective, appreciative, and in awe of the power and beauty inherent in all of Creation, while others see a sunset and immediately think, “Man, where did the day go!” Some people will experience a spilled drink as a major catastrophe, and then blame everyone from the bartender to their mother for the incident. Someone else will experience the same incident and shrug it off or even laugh about it.

The thing is that we experience these emotions as real, factual, immutable. It’s as if our emotions are who we are, as if we were fixed, solid entities. We even take pride in the cynical perception that “life sucks” and dismiss those who seem happy as simpletons, or as people who are out of touch with reality. A simple shift can change all of that, but while the shift is simple enough, we’re complicated creatures and it takes more than insight to effect this shift.

It’s not all in the head, folks. I have a friend who likes to brag that he’s been in therapy for years. I tell him, much to his displeasure, that he should sue his therapist(s). It’s not that therapy doesn’t work; it’s that insight alone doesn’t work. Psychological work is important, but if you’re not breaking new ground it’s a lot like rearranging old furniture.

Try — just TRY — to entertain the idea that all you ever really need really does exist right here right now, in this very life. Just for today. I promise you, you can pick up your defenses and problems and sadnesses tomorrow, I have it on good authority they will still be there waiting for you.

Who loves you?

My name is Eddie and I’m in recovery from civilization…

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