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Posts Tagged ‘Mind over Matter’

From the Tiny Acorn Grows

There is an old saying. You’ve probably heard it. ‘From a tiny acorn, the mighty oak tree grows.’ It is a truism, oak trees grow from acorns; ‘acorn’ being the name given to the oak tree seed. This old saying is used as an analogy to demonstrate growth, or growing into. It is most often applied in my culture to give heart to children feeling diminutive, and insignificant.

This is a good saying to encourage children to look forward, to hope, and to dream about what they may turn out to be. However, there is much more wisdom in this saying than is commonly gleaned. It demonstrates much more than the potential for growth and greatness.

The acorn already knows what it’s going to be. It doesn’t even think about it, it is genetically programmed to become an oak tree. The acorn is not distracted by the glories of becoming a fireman, nor an astronaut. An oak tree is what it will become, come Hell or high water.

The acorn is focused on becoming an oak tree. It is genetically programmed to be so. In every moment of every day its every action is taken to become an oak tree. It doesn’t care about the weather, nor the Stock Market, nor its neighbors opinion. It will become an oak tree.

The acorn gathers to it all the resources at its disposal, and applies them to becoming an oak tree. It is genetically programmed to do so. It doesn’t bother with what it doesn’t need, nor does it waste the resources it has. If an acorn doesn’t need a second blender, it doesn’t buy one, no matter how shiny it is, nor how much it’s on sale.

Humans are not like acorns. Humans have so many things from which to choose, from what to become, from what to own, from what to do. While it is impossible for the acorn to become distracted in any way from its end result, it is difficult for the Human not to.

Conversely, the acorn can only become an oak tree. It can not become an astronaut, nor a fireman, nor a butcher, nor a baker, nor a candle stick maker. It will never be able to calculate a trajectory to the Moon, nor Mars, nor the Crab Nebula. It will never be able to write a book on stamp collecting, nor playing marbles. It will never be able to look up in the night sky and wonder of what the stars are made, nor how much force it would take to throw a rock from the Earth to the edge of the Cosmos, nor even question whether there is an edge to the Cosmos or not.

What can humans become that an acorn can not! The choices are theoretically endless. However, we need to make those choices if we are to become our own oak tree. We need to be our own type of acorn. We need to take a dream we have, and say ‘This is the one.’ We need to turn that dream into a goal. We need to stay focused on that goal, no matter what anyone says, and no matter what else is going on around us. We should apply our resources toward that goal, and not be wasteful of them. We may admire other endeavors, but we should stay diligent toward our own.

We should also remember, the acorn does not turn into an oak tree over night. It takes around 30 years for an acorn to become an oak tree; and even then, it’s still considered to be in its youth. It takes time to become an oak tree, but not to worry. The oak trees growth is marked in stages. It’s an acorn, and then it’s a sprout. Then it becomes a sapling, then a little tree, then a bigger tree, then a bigger tree still, and then, a dominating, prolific, majestic oak tree.

Dream a dream. Turn that dream into a goal. Plan to reach that goal. Work on that goal, stay with it, do not become distracted. You are spectacular, and how much more than an oak tree?

Wrestling the Muse

I took a writing course once. It wasn’t very expensive. It was a distance learning course, mostly conducted over the internet. One of the features of the course was periodic on-line chat sessions with the instructor. For all the course cost, the instructor had to have been dedicated to producing writers … she couldn’t have been earning much for her efforts.

During one of the chat sessions, the subject of writers block was breached.

“I keep getting writers block.” one of the students chatted, “What can I do about it.”

“When you get writers block,” the instructor advised, “sit down and start writing.”

That didn’t make a lot of sense. How can one write something when they’re writers blocked?

“Ya, but,” the student continued, “shouldn’t I go traipsing through the daisies, or something like that?”

“You can do that.” the instructor responded. “You do need to harvest experiences, relax, and find inspiration. However, when it’s time to write, put your fingers on the keyboard, and start writing.”

The young Bill Stewart was the line coach for my High School football team some 30 odd years ago. One hot, humid late August day we were out there in a pre season practice on the field along the banks of the beautiful Ohio River. We weren’t having a good practice, very apparently. At the end of the practice, Coach Stewart had the linemen form up in a school circle, and he gave us a pep talk.

“When you don’t feel like practicing,” Coach Stewart advised animatedly, “that’s when you need it most!”

If you’re going to write, you need to write, even if you don’t feel like it. If you’re going to paint, you need to paint, even if you don’t feel like it. If you’re going to play football, you need to play football, even if you don’t feel like it. If you’re going to study, you need to study, even if you don’t feel like it. If you’re going to chop wood, you need to chop wood, even if you don’t feel like it. Get in there, and do it anyhow.

Practice makes perfect, and sometimes you have to wrestle the muse. If you don’t, she might just wander off, forgetting about you and your dreams, and aspirations entirely.

Till next time, stay in there. Keep at it. Whatever it is you do, I need you doing it.

Sugar Pills

I remember watching an old Western on TV a long time ago.  The setting was a dusty, ramshackle town out in the middle of no where.  Citizens of this town did their best to carve a society out of their situation.  The main character, of course, was a dedicated Sheriff, and his side kick deputy.  There were regular characters breezing in and out, such as Doc, and Banker, and Bartender, and two ranchers whom always seemed to be fighting over water rights.

There were also characters seemingly pulled out of the transom, and written into the script.  Their stories wouldn’t stand alone, but made interesting side skits to follow along the main story.  The particular side story about which I’m remembering involved Doc, and an elderly woman who was, apparently, one of the towns socialites, and who was, apparently, a hypochondriac.

This poor woman would come to Doc, run down and tired, positive she’d contracted some egregious disease.  Doc would look all serious, and give the woman an examination.  After the examination, Doc would give the woman a jar of pills.  Doc would tell the woman these were the latest thing in medical treatment, and were designed specifically to cure what ailed her.

A little later on in the show,  Sheriff and Deputy were hauling this same woman off to spend the night in jail for causing a fight over in the bar.  A little further in the show, this same woman would be sitting in Docs office, run down and tired, and Doc would hand her a jar of pills.  This scenario repeated a couple of times throughout the show.

Toward the end of the show, Sheriff caught on that Doc was prescribing sugar pills to this elderly woman, and went to confront Doc about the practice.

“You’ve been giving Miss Maybell sugar pills all this time.” Sheriff accused.

“Works, don’t it?” Doc responded.

“But,” Sheriff added, “how can you justify charging her this much for sugar pills?”

“Part of the treatment.” Doc said, gathered some papers from his desk, opened a file drawer, and put the papers away as the credits started rolling.

This side skit in an old TV show expresses the positive power of the placebo effect.  A strong belief can actually change a persons physiology, and do so dynamically.  There is a flip side to this dynamic.  It’s been coined the nocebo effect.  As a placebo can effect positive change, a nocebo can effect negative change.

‘Cebos’ are not restricted to the form of sugar pills.  They are ingested also via words, and actions, and even the very thoughts you yourself think.  Sadly, it takes 16 positive ‘cebos’ to counteract one negative ‘cebo.’  This ratio can be overwhelming to overcome.

With this in mind, guard yourself against negativity.  Think positive thoughts.  Say, and do positive things.  Avoid not only people, but media whom express negativity.

Till next time, stay positive, and stay spectacular.

Trees in the Stream

The mind has a hard time thinking in the negative.  In fact, the mind is incapable of thinking in the negative.  You can have negative thoughts, but you can’t think in the negative.  If you tell your mind not to think of something you’ll wind up thinking about it.

Here’s another exercise.  Ready?  Go … say to yourself  ‘Do not think of a forest green VW Bug with purple polka dots.’ and then don’t think of a forest green VW Bug with purple polka dots.  I’m serious, don’t think of a forest green VW Bug with purple polka dots.  Stop it!  Stop thinking of a forest green VW Bug with purple polka dots.  No more!  Quit it!  Do not think of a forest green VW Bug with purple polka dots!

What was the effect?  You more than likely couldn’t help but hold a vision of a forest green VW Bug in your minds eye.  Your mind can’t think, can’t focus in negative terms.

I once had a woman tell me a story.  She was negotiating a boat in a broad stream.  Up ahead she noticed that a tree had fallen into the stream.  There was more than enough room to one side of the fallen tree to negotiate the boat.  However, she said to herself, ‘Whatever you do, don’t hit that tree.’  She said to herself over and over again, ‘Watch out for that tree in the water up ahead!  Don’t hit it.’  With all the room she had available to negotiate the boat past the tree, she wound up grounding the boat on the tree anyhow.

It is a good idea to know the obstacles you have lying in the river up ahead.  It’s good to know the position, the depth, the width, and the breadth of the obstacle.  However, it’s wiser to focus on the passable side of the stream in positive terms than it is to focus on the tree laying in the water in negative terms.  That tree in the water might just draw you in to it like a magnet.

Till next time, remember, think of what you want in terms of what you want.  Thinking of what you want in terms of what you don’t want doesn’t work very well.  Thanks for reading, and remember, you’re spectacular.

But Wait … There’s More!

There’s actually more to the story … more to the message I was promoting in my last blog post.  There’s actually more to it than becoming acutely aware of little black pickup trucks because you’re driving a little black pickup truck.

On my side of the screen, this stuff has been known for 31 years.  As a young Marine, I was given the adage “Mind over Matter.”  I heard it quite a lot.  This adage was often used to help get young Marines through the stress, and strain of being a young Marine.  It tended to work well in the immediate sense.  Application of this adage got me up a few mountains with my field pack.

However, I had no idea this adage was applicable to issues other than such things as force marches up mountains.  Furthermore, the adage was often diminished by well meaning, but misguided Marine Corps leadership, who would wittily add to the adage, “If I don’t mind, it doesn’t matter.”  I was also captivated for many years by popular entertainment media … who perish the thought that I should use my mind to do anything other than buy shaving cream from the sponsor.  I allowed myself to believe this was just a hokey Marine Corps saying , despite the positive results I personally experienced applying the principle.

The cosmos is comprised of space, time, energy, and matter … I use the acronym ‘STEM’ to help me remember.  Way down deep on the quantum physics level, it seems that matter is nothing more than itsy bitsy, string like vibrations of space … energy effecting space in time is matter.  The human brain is made up of matter, and it thinks.  Thoughts are the result of thought energy applied to grey matter … which in reality is energy in in the first place.  Minute, and inconspicuous as the resulting vibrations may be, they still have an effect on the Cosmos.  It should go without saying at this point that Humans have the capacity to control their thoughts.

The Law of Attraction postulates that energy attracts like energy, vibrations attract like vibrations.  The predominant tone of our thoughts determine the type of energy and vibration our personal matter group emits … positive to negative, successful to unsuccessful, happy to sad, good to bad.  Like gravity forming a planet, and the Solar Wind effecting our local system, we effect the Cosmos.  The kind of vibrations we produce on the sub atomic level pull to us, or push from us our wildest dreams and wishes.

Ask, and you shall receive.  Knock, and the door will be opened to you.  Effect and cause, and cause and effect.  So there’s more to it than becoming acutely aware.

Till next time, keep the good thoughts in your head, and the bad thoughts out.  Guard your thoughts like a treasury, and remember, you are a gift to the Cosmos.