Be a radical~

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The word itself in the West is now often associated with extremist religious viewpoints and destructive actions and directions.

But it wasn’t too long ago there were many in the 60’s who were exploring the boundaries of free love and communal living and drugs.  Their exploration was largely a reaction (as well) to events that were going on in the world.

But how about taking the idea of ‘radical’ in your life not as a reaction to something but as a choice to go to where you want to go.  To explore where and what you want.

Here are some avenues that are radical:

Saying no to money and not letting money affect your choices.

Saying no to fear and empowering yourself.

Loving for the sake of love.

Living your life with passion and appreciation for being alive, every day.

Questioning the value of societal and personal conventions and habits.

Filling your cup to overflowing before helping others.

Seeing that creation is in each moment.

Seeing the oneness where the world insists on playing the game of separateness and conflict.

Living your life how you want to and creating your own definition of “success”.

Allowing the power of your imagination to inform your life.

You don’t have to be a hippie or take LSD or get into politics to be a radical.  In this world you are a radical just for truly being you.

 

 

 

 

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Woody Allen would approve of this joke~

wardrobe-men

Would any self-respecting minimalist wear underwear?

(photo: http://www.thestyledivision.com)

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“goodbye, things”

goodbye things fumio sasaki

‘goodbye, things: The New Japanese Minimalism’ by Fumio Sasaki is an enjoyable read.  It will help its readers gain new insight and shift their perspectives on their relationship with the “things” of their life, material possessions or even relationships that often end up owning us rather than creating any real value in our lives.

It begins with a short photographic case study of five different persons or families who have ‘gained’ something in their lives by reducing what they own.  It is a great introduction to the topic and the rest of the book is text broken up into very short chapters.  It is clear that minimalism is a chosen lifestyle and a philosophy of life for those who embrace it fully.

There are many ideas shared in the book and one of the most powerful that I was drawn to was re-evaluating how we see the environments external to our home.  For instance, I have joked with Jen that the public library is our personal warehouse to store all the books and DVDs we have.  We just so happen to lend them out to others.

Similarly, Fumio shares that we can see restaurants or other spaces as an extension of our own living environments — a key idea for those living in reduced living spaces or who want to move beyond limiting perspectives of space and ownership.  On its own that idea challenges the convention that we need to have ‘everything’ in our own home.  It’s quite liberating, really.  (Of course I would only add that is there anything ‘external’ to us that is not already within and part of our own energy?)

The simplicity is striking in Minimalist households and it triggers and ignites curiosity and the imagination.  New avenues for exploration and possibility arise although very few will take their own ventures into minimalism to the degree presented in the book.

Minimalism is an exercising of our choice muscle, a neglected muscle and ability that has atrophied for most.  In that light, minimalism can be an empowering idea.  We get to explore how we can make shifts in our lives.  It is not just an idea but a methodology and a practical way to redefine ourselves and the space of our lives.

Fumio has created a book that is a needed sharing to help offset the rampant material mindset that most of the world is addicted to.  It is a disease when we believe that we do not have enough in our lives and are always breaking ourselves to reach for more.

The ideas inherent in minimalism look at the element of space in our lives.  Beyond that we can explore our perception of time, for the few who will go in that direction.

 

 

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The benefits of meditation~

heart light

The benefits are many and varied, of course.  That goes without saying and I won’t list them all here.  (Physical, emotional and mental well-being are at the top of the list.)

Meditation is not about having epiphanies or grand realizations that immediately lead to enlightenment (however you want to define that).

Meditation is about the daily choice and consistency that you give to yourself to support your movement into a deeper understanding and awareness.

And there will be shifts in your awareness.   Greater clarity will naturally arise and you will realize things like:

Oh yeah, I do try to control my relationship with X and I don’t have to.  In fact it is limiting things and damaging (in a way I did not see before).”

or

I have been trying so hard to accomplish X and I don’t have to.  I can easily accomplish what I want to do by allowing it to happen.  The work has been done and I can get out of the way.

or

Here is a new idea or clarity about X that I never had before.

And it will effortless and natural.   So there will be a shift in perception and thinking arising from a greater awareness of reality.

Meditation is about embracing more ease into your life.  An ease based on the observation and knowing of who you are.

And the daily choice to meditate is a choice that will lead to wonderful and amazing things and support you in your life.

 

 

 

 

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The value of having a mind (for those who haven’t lost theirs)…

 

sky rays

The value is that you can be conscious.

You can consciously direct your mind and use it as the tool that it is.

You can tell it to go in any direction… of your choosing.

And if that isn’t empowerment then what is?

One example of directing the mind is to give it this idea:

I choose to be more open and see what the universe brings to me.

(And then, of course, to observe what new opportunities that arise and what doors are opened.  And beyond that, to observe the abundance of the universe and your relationship with all things.)

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For the boys!

aman hambelton

A new phenomena has hit the chess world.

It is a group of mainly twenty-something guys centered in Montreal who are making chess cool and fun showing that maybe it isn’t just the anti-social activity of, well, two guys silently sitting over a board for hours on end.

The Chessbrah team features Eric Hansen and Aman Hambelton but also a cast of players who drop by the house and onto the stream.  Watching their online game broadcasts is one of the pleasures I enjoy as a chess player myself and while sometimes the frat-house vibe threatens to go off the rails (part of the fun really), each of the guys brings their own energy:  Aman’s laid-back, witty approach to streaming and playing is the yin to Eric’s intensity and zeal.

In the new era of “cord-cutting”, these interactive and entertaining streams have created a Chessbrah community which has grown steadily over the last few years to include thousands of chess enthusiasts and players from around the world.

eric hansen

What I love about the Chessbrahs is that they actively extend their energy to be inclusive.  It is like a family.  It’s a social experience and viewers feel part of it all.  Even when it’s a series of bullet games at some ungodly hour of the night.

And as the numbers have amassed, strong branding has taken them into new income revenues like twitch bits, product endorsement, tournament commentary and fashion offerings like t-shirts and hats.   Things are evolving.

It is all quite inspiring as these guys are doing what they love and sharing themselves with the world.   Echewing 9-5 jobs in favor of creating their business, they are an example of living your passion, creating a better community (whatever that community is), experiencing life and being open to possibilities and what the world has to offer.

It just so happens they are two of world’s top blitz/bullet players (speed chess) and make it look easy.  Their work allows budding players a chance to learn and grow and they are using the internet as the tool it was intended to create themselves, their business and to maximize chess education online.

They are using technology to create a better way to learn and be entertained by chess and the audience is responding.  And indirectly they are teaching us a lot more than just chess.  The world is a playground for these young, intelligent entrepreneurs.

A big cheers for the Chessbrah team and community themselves.

 

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the future is accelerating~

aceleration

It was less than 120 yrs ago the main form of transportation for a lot of people was horses.  Around that time people were reading the fiction of Jules Verne and wondering about the possibilities of the future.

It was a only a handful of decades later that some scientists were using the energy harnessed from splitting atoms to kill human beings and designing basic propulsion technology to send people into orbit.

Positive and negative shifts have taken place as technology has taken steps forward and we are at the point in human history where the next evolution will be a massive acceleration into the world of artificial intelligence.  It is beginning.

Bryan Johnson may not be a household name yet but he is the founder of Kernel, one of several neurotechnology companies that are invested heavily and exploring new advancements in the possibilities of linking the human brain and computers.   Elon Musk‘s co-founding of Neuralink is another company.   Venture capital companies like Permutation Ventures spear-headed by Riva-Melissa Tez are allowing new inroads to be made into machine (deep) learning and different areas.

Advances such as implantable brain-computer interfaces will allow enhanced brain functioning and solutions for disorders and disease.  Nanotechnology will become fused into our biology and be a part of who we are, growing as we grow and radically changing our experience and extending life.

It is not a matter of if it will happen.  It is a matter of choice.

It is important to be aware of how you use technology now.  It is important to be aware of your relationship with everything.

What do you choose?  What is your empowerment?

It is time to ask questions and explore and create consciously.

Human evolution does not need to rely on “technology” to evolve but that is the direction we are moving in.

 

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