Be a balanced bouncer !

When you were born, you were born “clean”, with a clear slate. But then people began “steering and molding” you. You were learned what was appropriate and what was not, what was “bad” and what was “good”, people taught you how to behave ! The conditionning had begun.

Then people began putting all kinds of “spells and curses” upon you : “You are a good for nothing type !”, “You can’t do that you dummy, people will laugh at you !”, “Why can’t you behave ?”

Even your girlfriend who says : “You’ll never find someone like me again, ever !”, without noticing it herself, is cursing you too !

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Once this curse is placed in your unconscious mind, and repeated with time, it gets a life of its own : it turns into a belief that blocks you from further growth and you are completely unaware of its source !

Are you still wondering why on earth things are not working out for you ? Why your life is running on auto mode ? Well you became a good spell caster yourself : a black magician !

You believed all the stories from the past and you became fearful, you started stating all kind of untruthful things to yourself : “I am not this, I have not that, I should not do this,…” “Poor me !”

You looked for happiness outside of yourself or you tried to get it in acquiring all kinds of stuff. You searched for love in your partner, you searched for recognition at work,…

Are you judging others or are you constantly critizing people, putting names on things,…? Are you still feeling ashamed or guilty for what happened a long time ago ? Quit doing penance your whole life !

When you’re about to enter a club at night, you make sure you don’t do anything that pisses off the bouncer, don’t you ? And once you’re in, you behave, so you wouldn’t be thrown out immediately. Right ?

Are you in or out of your club of creation ? Who is staying in your head uninvited ? Who is running around making a lot of turmoil ? Who’s spoiling all the fun ? What is turning the positive vibe in a creepy atmosphere ? What triggers you for a fight ?

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Take a break ! Stop ! You need to create a guard, a watchman at the gate, some kind of governor who can take over the command when there is riot in your head. Someone who can restore the balance and act from a higher place.

As the creator of your life you have the power to decide who or what you give entrance to in your life…You decide : You are the bouncer !

You are strong and able to protect yourself. You can say no to the hooligans from your past ! You can skip the dance with the demons in your mind ! You can stop flirting with the devil and bounce all these nasty bitches off !

Let the kind thoughts enter, the loving ones that give you a warm fuzzy feeling. Invite the joyful thoughts in and dance with them all night !

Be there with the strong ones, the courageous and adventurous ones, who gave up judgements and trials long ago, who don’t have to hide or prove anything to anyone !

Remember you are the bouncer : you can get bounced off or you can bounce back. Be a balanced bouncer : set bounderies for yourself and choose wisely !

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Phuro! Be inspired!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Here’s to Love !

Saturday morning I woke up very early, I decided to go through my reader and started reading several blogs. During one particular read, I couldn’t contain my tears anymore ! Not that it was such a sad story, on the contrary ! It was a story expressing hope, it was a letter from a soldier returning home soon to his family.

As an empath I am often drawn into these stories, often feeling very vividly what others go through as if I were present myself…But this time these were more than tears of compassion, It felt as a huge release of war related symptoms and syndroms.

Individually and collectively all these feelings and beliefs inherent to war are still present in our consciousness : division, seperation, loss of loved ones, sadness, insecurity, fear, anxiety, anger, hate and resentment, destruction and death…

There are still several active war zones worldwide. To this day millions are still threatened by the effects of war. Innocent people still die on a daily basis due to conflicts.

And even if your city isn’t bombarded, you are bombarded by bad news, you are daily informed where all these riots, fights, wars are happening on the globe. Even if you haven’t experienced war in your life or haven’t been involved in one up close, you were or are in some way still affected by it !

War is deeply ingrained in our memory, we still carry the fears of our ancestors with us, all these events are stored in our collective consciousness.

Maybe your grandfather passed down stories from WW2 directly to you, maybe the only thing you have is a picture of him because he didn’t make it alive…

Perhaps your brother or your friend is still overseas to fight, maybe you were seriously injured yourself and are now confronted with a war on a completely different level.

There’s this mess in your head and in addition numerous feelings you can’t cope with since your return. You are traumatized and unrecognisable to yourself, family and friends.

I still live in the city that was almost completely destroyed in WWI, I still live in the house in which basement my father and his family had to hide during WW2, It takes only a one hour drive to see the many graves of the fallen ones in Flanders Fields.

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I’ve always loved poppies when I was young but when I grew up they lost part of their beauty and innocence, they reminded me more of the blood being shed and the atrocity war has brought us.

May the poppies not only be a symbol of remembrance of the death but may they represent the millions refusing to put their energy in thoughts of seperation, division and suppression.

May they be a symbol of hope and renewal, a symbol for people standing up together in love and peace, may they be a symbol for those who realised humanity is the balancing factor able to put an end to this continual dual swing of ours.

May the poppies be transformed to millions of lights and represent a species that isn’t in war anymore with itself, a species that can rise to the next level and restore the balance and peace that is truly needed.

Our fight is over ! Here’s to Love, here’s to Light !

I hope you enjoy the songs of Jasper Steverlinck, a Belgian Flemish singer/songwriter and guitarist from the band Arid. “Here”s to Love” and “That’s not how dreams are made” are two precious songs from his new album “Night Prayer”. (More info and link to social media : https://jaspersteverlinck.com/)

 

 

 

 

The mysterious technique of the cat

The Mysterious Technique of the Cat 
Neko no Myōjutsu by Issai Chozanshi (1659-1741)

There was once a swordsman called Shōken. In Shōken’s house, there was a large rat. The rat boldly ran around in the house in plain day, so Shōken attempted to catch it by closing off the room it was in and sending in his cat. Unfortunately, the rat ran straight at the cat, jumping on its head and biting it. The cat cried out and ran away.

Shōken had no choice but to assemble some local cats that seemed to be plenty strong, and send them into the room through a small opening. The rat was crouching in a corner, and jumped on and bit each cat that came near. Its fury was so great that the cats all cowered from the rat, making no further attempts to catch it. Seeing this, Shōken grew angry and grabbed his own wooden sword, attempting to strike down the rat himself. However, he not only swung and missed the rat every time, he had ruined his own walls and doors by the end.

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Dripping sweat, he yelled out for his servant. “I heard of an amazing old cat living 6 or 7 neighborhoods over. Go and borrow it.”
When it arrived, the cat didn’t look particularly sharp. However, when they put it in the room, the rat shrunk down and couldn’t move. The old cat strolled over nonchalantly, picked up the rat, and brought it out.

Later that night, many cats gathered at Shōken’s house. They all kneeled before the old cat and said, “We are all well known for our skill in rat catching, able to handle even weasels and otters, and our nails are razor sharp. However, there was nothing we could do against that rat. How is it that you were able to overcome that giant rat? Please impart to us the secrets of your art.”

The Old Cat laughed and said, “Young ones, you all put forth a good effort. The only reason you met with an unexpected defeat today was likely because you do not know technique that is in accord with correct principle. Before I begin, though, tell me about your training.”

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A black cat came forward and said, “I was raised in a family that specialized in catching rats. Since I was born I have trained myself with a view to becoming a great rat-catcher. I can leap over a seven foot screen and squeeze through tiny holes. I’ve always been talented at light and fast technique. At times I feign sleep and then strike out as soon as a rat comes near. Rats cannot escape me. I can catch them even as they fled across ceiling beams. I was never defeated until I met that old rat.”

The Old Cat said,”Your training has centered on technique. Accordingly, what stands in the forefront is your mind that aims (to achieve the goal). The old masters taught techniques as guides. And the technique itself was not easy. Within the technique, there is a profound truth, but today the emphasis is on the technique. Thus people create various techniques and polish their skills, resulting in nothing more than contests of technique. But once one can polish his skill no further, he is lost. If a person relies on skill and drowns in innovation, everything will follow similarly. The workings of the mind/heart will also have no foundation in principle. Emphasis on improvement then begets more harm than benefit. Reflect on this and innovate carefully.”

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Next a striped cat stepped forward and said: “I think that the most important thing for martial technique is how to carry one’s ki. I have long trained myself in its cultivation and development, and my ki is hard and strong, filling heaven and earth. I can face down my opponents with overwhelming ki and defeat them from the start. I can make any adjustment to change. I don’t need to consciously move, only move naturally, and even run along walls and ceilings. But that rat came without form, and went without a trace. I was stymied.”

The Old Cat replied, “That training works on the basis of nothing more than the force of ki. You are conscious of your own use of your power, so it is not spontaneous. Your thought and desire to not be defeated brings forth the opponent’s effort to defeat you. Furthermore, what to do when you cannot defeat something you are trying to defeat? It’s never the case that you are the only one that is strong and all of your opponents are weak. The ki that you think fills heaven and earth is nothing more than superficial force. It may resemble Mencius’ Kōzen no ki, but in reality it is not.

Mencius can perceive very well and has the knowledge to discern matters, and is very solid. But your solidity is dependent on force and the effect is not even comparable. It is like the difference between an ever-flowing great river and the force of a flashflood after a night’s rain. What to do when faced with an opponent that is unperturbed by the force of your ki? We know the proverb, ‘A biting cat gets bitten by the rat.’ When a rat is cornered it forgets life, forgets desires, forgets winning and losing, forgets safety – it is in a state of ‘mushin’. How to defeat such an opponent with only force?”

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Next, an older grey cat came forth quietly and said, “As you have stated, that type of ki power can be very strong but still retains a form, however slight. I have trained my mind for many years, and without force of ki or opposition, always trying to harmonize with everything. My technique is like a curtain surrendering to the pressure of a stone thrown at it. Even a strong rat finds no means to fight me. But that rat today, it wouldn’t yield to force, respond to harmonizing – it was almost god-like. I’ve never seen a rat like that before.”

The Old Cat answered, “The harmonizing you speak of is not of nature but instead something that is contrived. Accordingly, even if you strive to concentrate, if there is even the faintest wavering in you, the opponent will know it. Also, if one harmonizes based on one’s own mind, the energy will be tainted and spoiled. If you act based on thinking, then you obstruct the sense of naturalness/spontaneity, and subtlety cannot arise. Do not think or do. Move in accord with sense, and you will no longer have any enemies on this earth. This is not to say that the training that each one of you is doing is of no use.

Where there is energy (‘ki’), there is principle, and where there is principle, there is energy (‘ki’). There is principle in action, and energy is something that comprises physical function. When that energy becomes magnanimous, it can respond to things without limit. So, when harmonizing, without strength, even if one is hit by a rock, one will not break. The slightest thought makes everything an intention. Accordingly, the enemy will never respect you. There is no need to use any technique. It is enough to be ‘mushin’, and respond spontaneously. There is no end to the path, so one must not take what I say to be the enlightening secret.

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Long ago, there was a cat in my neighborhood who seemed to do nothing but nap all day. That cat looked spiritless, almost like a cat made out of wood. No one ever saw it catch a rat, yet wherever it was and wherever it went, no rat could be seen. I once visited the cat and asked it to explain. I asked four times but it remained silent each time. It was not that the cat did not want to answer but rather that it did not have a reason to answer. What I understood from that was, those who know, do not speak; those who speak, do not know. That cat forgot about itself, forgot about things, and had returned to a “non-thing”. It was truly “Divine, martial – no killing”. I was nowhere in comparison to that cat.

Shōken, who had been listening in on this dreamlike conversation, could not contain himself and suddenly burst in. “I have been training in swordsmanship for many years but I have yet to master its essence. Tonight I have learned about many different kinds of training and learned much. If I may request, please guide me to the innermost secrets.”

The Old Cat replied: “I cannot. I am just an animal that catches rats for food. What do I know about human affairs? I have heard this, though. Swordsmanship is not to attain victory over an opponent, but to face change and illuminate life and death. Warriors continually develop their mind/heart, and must train their technique.  Accordingly, if one can, through the principle of life and death, without using deliberation, innovation, and without doubt and hesitation, make peaceful the heart/mind and energy, and make usual being quiet and at ease, then one can freely respond to change.

Conversely, if one does not have such a mind, then there arises form, and thus enemies are born; one must face them and fight them, and no longer be able to respond to change. That is, one’s mind first falls into the realm of death and loses its vitality – how to then decide a duel optimally? Even if one wins, it is nothing more than luck, and not related to true swordsmanship.

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‘No-mind, no-object’ does not mean vacant. The mind does not originally have a form, and accordingly cannot harbor objects. If there is even a hint of harboring something, one’s energy tends to gather there, and if that happens it becomes difficult to be magnanimous, open, and free. What is tended toward becomes excessive, and where it is not so there arises a lacking. Where there is excess the momentum causes spillage, and where there is lacking, it becomes useless, and together, the ability to respond to change is lost.

The no-mind, no-object that I speak of is not accumulating, not gathering; there is no enemy, there is no self; simply put, there is no thought, no doing, quietly not moving, sensing what is on the earth, and finally, proceeding – it is close to mastering this principle.”

Shōken then asked,”What is meant by ‘There is no enemy, there is no self’?”

The Old Cat replied, “Because there is a self, there is an enemy. If there is no self, there is no enemy. The enemy is the same as yin-yang, fire-water. Everything that has a form has relativity/opposition. If there is no image (form) in one’s mind, then of course there is nothing relative, and no reason to fight. This is called, ‘No enemy, no self’. Forget both object and self, quietly and easily, rid yourself of all delusion and attachment, harmonize, and become one.

Even if one destroys the form of the enemy, the self does not know it. No, it’s not that it doesn’t know, it’s that there is no mind there and so there is just moving in accordance with sense. According to this mind, ‘The world is my world, I am the world”’ – there is no captivation by right-wrong, like-dislike. Everything comes from one’s mind – pain-pleasure, gain-loss; the broad universe is not something to be sought outside one’s mind.

The ancients said, ‘A speck of dust in the eye can make the three worlds look narrow. Free your mind.’ That is, if you have dust in your eye, you can’t open your eye. There is something where there shouldn’t be anything. This is about the heart/mind. The ancients also said, ‘Even surrounded by countless foes, this form may be smashed, but this mind is my mind.’ Confucius said, ‘Even the basest man cannot be deprived of his will.’ If one is perplexed or lost, that mind helps the enemy. This is all I have to say.

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The rest is up to each person to seek for himself. One’s master can transmit technique, or tasks – then there is only to realize the principle. The truth must be realized by the individual. This is called self-attainment. It is also called, ‘Heart/mind to heart/mind transmission’ – this is found everywhere self-attainment is, whether zen study, mental methods of the saints, or performing arts.

To teach is only to point out and help know that which a person has but cannot see himself. It is not to receive from the master. Teaching is easy, and listening to teachings is easy. However, it is difficult to find with certainty that which one has, and make it one’s own. This is called ‘kensho’. ‘Satori’ is to wake from the dream that is delusion. These are the same thing.”

 

Phuro! Be inspired!

Artwork : Monmon cats by Horitomo (Kazuaki Kitamura)

www.monmoncats.com

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Dating disasters…

Some people need a push at times to propel them into action, some can use a little help now and then when it comes to meeting new people, going on a date for example…

What if your friend goes on a date tonight but she is absolutely terrified ! She’s nervous…She’s afraid that she will stutter or have a total black out ! She has asked your help !

The only advice you can think of is a classic : “Imagine your date naked sweety, that’ll break the ice, that will do it ! ”

It surely gets you focused on something else for a while or it will at least put a smile on your face…but is this advice sufficient to overcome your fears and sense of insecurity ?

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What if your friend says : “Well that’s my problem ! I feel naked the moment I find myself face to face with my date, I feel uncomfortable when they stare at me, I feel vulnerable and I’m afraid ! What can I do about that ?”

Here’s some advice inspired by Mis(s)behave Miranda in case of acute symptoms of insecurity :

Be vulnerable !

Pardon me ? Yes, you heard it very well my dear : your vulnerability might be your biggest asset. No need to hide anything ! You are your authentic you and you are expressing it ! You might aswell inspire and invite your date to do the same… just showing his true self, without any masks !

You are a real, genuine human, displaying your qualities and your flaws…You don’t pretend to be someone else. What you see is what you get…

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Be  prepared !

You can’t leave everything to chance…A little preparation might be necessary…Having a plan B in mind, having some subjects in mind to avoid these awkward moments of silence….

Controle freak ? Perfectionist ? I know you tend to get nervous even when you are fully equipped for the job, you might be very passionate, you even might be the very best in what you are doing but you often sabotage yourself because of your anxiety and insecurity. You put a lot of pressure on yourself !

You freak out when things don’t go as planned or when something unexpected happens…You anxiously want to be in control…you are definitely not the one who will improvise when things go wrong…

Know it’s all about balance…Try to be more spontaneous in your interactions with your partner ! Don’t be so tensed. Loosen up !

 

Never focus on the negative !

Do you know someone who attracts weird situations continuously as if Murphy’s law were inspired by them,….they seem to be chased by bad luck constantly…Every doom scenario comes to pass…Disaster is always following their footsteps…

Don’t think too much about the things that can go wrong. Whatever you focus on grows ! Your negative imagery, your doubts and worries will leave you even more insecure. Put some positivity in yourself !

With your thoughts and words you give yourself commands (autosuggestions). If you are unconscious of your negative self-talk, your thoughts will turn into a belief and will start a life of their own. They will play in auto mode in the back of your head, constantly attracting bad vibes…Break the pattern !

Be careful what you wish for and don’t put spells on yourself !

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Ask advice !

You could do a role play with a friend and practise some good oneliners and jokes. You could ask them to interview you about a topic you are interested in or feel extremely excited and confident about !

You can ask them to be there as a support on the sidelines, as your back up in case of emergency…they can bring you back to senses, they can get your fire started, bring some welcome distraction to the party or scare your date away when he’s a creep !

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“But what if I still make a complete fool out of myself…?”

Face your fears & do it anyway !

Do you really want to know if he’s mister Right…? Face your fears or face the regrets ! See it as a challenge. Be courageous ! Sharpen your senses and go for it !! And if at first you don’t succeed…brush yourself off and try again !

 

Always imagine a good outcome !

I guess I am repeating myself but… Learn to feel it for real baby !!! Focus on the desired outcome : change your vision until it feels good !

Influence your subconscious with the right impressions ! YES, IMPRESS IT ! You must make mental pictures of what you want and REPEAT them diligently but with ease, effortlessly and smoothly…

 

Rehearse your walk and talk and have fun improvising !!!

Phuro! Be inspired!

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