You are currently browsing the category archive for the ‘Keeping up with Alan’ category.

“Your thoughts do not create your reality, but they do create your experience.” – Alan Cohen

This feels good to me. Brings me some ease.  But it also confuses me.  I have, for a long time now, believed that we DO create our reality through our thoughts. But here he’s saying that we don’t.  Alan has another quote that says, “Your thoughts do not create your reality. They either permit it or they do not.”

This puts an interesting twist on things.  It says to me that reality is busy marching along its way, passing by. That does make sense.  My tiny thoughts probably do not create the big reality around me.  It is, after all, affected by the thoughts of others in my life.  Surely what happens in my world has something to do with what goes on in government – locally and nationally. My work situation goes this way or that depending on the thoughts of others.  I can see that my reality is formed from the meshing of the thoughts of all of us, everywhere.

So … whew!  I don’t have to be responsible for creating everything that happens.  But I am certainly responsible for how willing I am to say yes to whatever passes by my door.  How I think about whatever approaches me is what creates my experience of it.  Do I see myself as empowered or as a victim?  That creates my reality far more than the situation that has come into my view.  Am I fighting against it, saying, no, thanks anyway, but take it back?  Doesn’t that decide whether I’m happy or miserable?  Or am I taking hold of what I find in my life, embracing what comes my way and looking for the sacred jewel shard in it all?

“There are two ways to complete a task: 1. Do more.  2. Let go.” – Alan Cohen

This makes a lot of sense.  It may be that you have to get busy, get off your duff and do more to forge toward completion.  Sometimes you can’t see that the end is just around the next bend.  There may well be times when you’ve just not done what was needed. Perseverance is key to completing anything you undertake.

But there are other times when you’ve done all you can do and it’s just not coming to an end.  It’s important to know when it’s time to give up.  At this point, if you want completion, in order to keep the books clear, you must let go.  It may be time to decide that you’re not going to finish it.  Have done with it, move it aside and get to the next thing.

However, letting go does not always mean giving up.  It may mean letting go of your heavy hand in the mix. Letting go of the need to complete the task.  Or letting go of your need to be the one to finish it.  Sometimes you  have to trust and allow the Universe (or someone else) to see it through. The world may be asking you to release and let the flow of life take it from there.

“The universe is ingenious in the ways it can help you.  Let it.” —  Alan Cohen

I just love this quote! How wonderful its message.  I especially enjoy the choice of the word “ingenious.”  M-W uses words to describe it like, discernment, discovery, inventing, originality, resourcefulness and cleverness.  The origins of the word speak to it being “natural capacity.”

It warms my heart to think the Universe is doing all these delicious things for me.  And all I have to do is “let it.”

I’m all about Surrender these days.  It is a wonderful practice, though a constant one.  I keep seeing my teacher, Paulette Terrels, twirling her palms up and out.  “Keep surrendering, releasing,” she says.

Surrender is often misunderstood as inactivity.  Truthfully, it has nothing to do with the bodying doing or not doing.  It’s an attitude, a state of mind, which keeps saying, “Okay.  This is the way it is.”

I suppose it starts to get deep into spiritual soil.  Surrender asks you to trust in a higher power.  “Turning our will and lives over to the care of God as we understand Him,” says Alcoholics Anonymous.  I always find, though, when I do, miracles abound!  The more I release, the better it gets.

It has to begin with my Intention.  What is it I really want?  Then, turning it over to the Universe to guide, to show me the way.  After all, the Universe is far more ingenious than I am!

Do you have stories of miracles from surrender you’d like to share?

“You don’t have to make anything happen.  Just align yourself with what wants to happen and let it.” – Alan Cohen

Alan Cohen always gets me thinking with his simple prescriptions of ease.  I like this one especially. It seems to capture so much.

I am intrigued by this notion of “aligning’” myself with what wants to happen.  How do you do that?  I had a thought that it’s kind of like putting yourself in glory’s way.  Why put yourself in harm’s way when you can step into a spot where good things can get you?

There’s also the job searching/networking theory of putting yourself out there.  I guess that’s good for a lot of things.  If you want something good to happen to you, it’s a little foolish to hide out at home, talking to no one.  It simply can’t find you.

Maybe it’s about flowing with life.  Letting go of the resistance and allowing it to happen, to come into your life.  Alan asks us to let it happen in the second part, but maybe it’s in the moving piece too, the lining up.  Makes sense that there’s a certain amount of letting go involved in getting in line.

I’ve been thinking a lot about this Resistance thing. Eckhart Tolle says it’s the ego trying to protect itself. Resistance causes blockage and dis-ease. (Doesn’t sound like a clear flow to me.)  I’ve always been taught to fight through resistance.  But I’m getting the message lately that it’s better to accept it. The tides of my life are trying to flow in a different way than how I’m going. That is Resistance.  If I let myself move where life wants to take me, perhaps I will align myself with what wants to happen.

I just love the ease in this.  It’s about surrender which – though I can’t say I practice as well as I’d like –  I do believe in.  It’s that softer touch, going with the flow.  Acceptance of what is going on is the only sane way to live. Anything else is useless, and perhaps bordering on madness. We haven’t yet figured out how to bend space.  You can exert effort, but you are not often enough to change the course of things.  You can only affect its path a little.

Perhaps it’s a daily practice.  Aligning day in and day out.  Trusting, sort of sitting back and watching life happen.  After all, we’re all conscious and aware.  We’ve set intentions. We can trust in that.  Making choices in the now, accepting and aligning with what is happening in front of us.

I spent most of the weekend feeling sad.  Friday was the last episode of One Life to Live, a soap opera that has been on for 43 years.  There are many people who don’t remember a time when Daytime TV wasn’t synonymous with continuing drama.  It’s been a legend.  For the better part of the last decade, very few days have gone by when I didn’t watch One Life.

There are executives who say that nobody cares about these stories anymore.  I say, they’re wrong.  I’ve found a huge community of dedicated, hard-working soap lovers – not just bored housewives.  I’ve written before about the relationships we have with these characters.  We see them more than we see our own family sometimes.  And we know more about them than we do our closest friends.  As Victoria Lord said, matriarch of Llanview, PA, where One Life to Live is set, all we have to do to continue the relationship is tune in tomorrow.  But there will be no show tomorrow.

It has been such an integral part of my life for such a long time.  How will I bear not seeing Vicki and Clint married?  Or finding out if Jessica finds love?  What will I do without Roxie’s rants, or David’s declarations which have kept me laughing so long?  What will happen to John and Natalie now that they’ve finally found each other?  I sigh.

Will it hurt more in a few weeks?  When days and days have gone by and I haven’t had my fix of life in Llanview? I weep for the genre that is dying.  There’s only one soap left on ABC, one on NBC and CBS is hanging onto two.  How long with they last?  When will the plug be pulled on all of them?  What will become of the hard working men and women who have given so much so that I can be entertained every day and fall in love,  be angry, laugh a little and cheer for my faves?  Soap acting is some of the hardest out there.  And so many successful actors today owe their start to soaps, honed their craft in daytime.

I must stop and take a breath.  They are just fictional characters, though they mean so much to me.  I’m reminded of a quote from Maria Nemeth, from her fabulous book, “The Energy of Money.”  She said this: “The next phase of development is learning to say yes to whatever is on your plate and realizing that anything you find in your life today is here to wake you up.”

She’s so right.  I know there are far worse things that can befall a person.  This is a chance for me to practice on something smaller so that the larger ones are easier to take.  I have been concerned about the hole this will leave in my life.  Perhaps that is my wake up call:  To find other things to fill the hole.  New stories I make up myself.  Time for other things . . .

It’s easy to fall into sadness over a loss of any kind.  But if we can see it as another opportunity to accept what is in front of us, viewing it as a chance  to wake up and take notice of all that we can do, it can become a gift.  May we all have plenty of things like this to practice on!

We always have the choice – to wallow in grief or do something about it.  Crying will not bring back what we’ve lost.  Finding a different perspective, when we’re ready, can help us to grow.

1)  The first thing I think of is an open Mind.  I do talk a lot about it.  It’s an important thing to have. With an open mind many things are possible.  With your mind open you see other ways, new options.  Acceptance is a repercussion of the open mind.  If everything is possible, that opens the way for more acceptance. Anything that helps you accept more is always a good idea.  When you accept people you create a more loving attitude.  Understanding is the key to peace.  And it comes from that openness.

2)  The love flowing from your open mind, opens your heart. People with open hearts are delightful to be around. They always seem to be happy.  With an open heart you not only give more love, you also let more love in. A wide open exchange of love!  Can it get better than that?

3)  Open hands offer help, a lift,  a hand.  You use an open hand to high five or shake hands.  With your hands open, you can also receive.

4)  What about opening your eyes?  Greeting a new day.  Also seeing things more clearly.  Opening your inner eye to see more.  Open eyes are more likely to see what is going on around them. Being grateful entails opening your eyes and seeing all you do have.  Open and loving eyes see so much more than closed eyes!

5)  Having your arms open means you are ready for an embrace. I am of the belief that embracing life has plenty of benefits. Many teachers talk of saying yes.  This takes it a step further to say, oh yes, come on in!  Open arms are welcoming and beckoning.

6)  There may be something about opening your legs, but I probably shouldn’t go there.  In some cases, however, that can be a very good thing.

7)  We must not forget about having an open attitude.  A release if you will.  Alan Cohen’s quote today said, “The more you let go, the faster you will move ahead. ”  When I’m tense and feeling desperate, I’m definitely not open.  I have been feeling stuck lately.  Things I’ve tried haven’t panned out.  Releasing the need to have things work out a certain way or letting go of old notions of how it always is with me can certainly help me open more.  And allow the energy to move me forward.

8)  Is there another piece of opening about making space? Sometimes my head feels too packed to put anything else in. There is so much to learn and too much to do!  If I open to something new, make space in my mind and my life, maybe I can welcome whatever is asking to come in.

Open the windows and let the fresh air in!

“Whoever you meet has been sent by God.  How would you greet them?”  — Alan Cohen

Alan Cohen never ceases to amaze me.  This is a fabulous idea: to see everyone you meet as a gift.  Sometimes, when it’s a little more difficult to see a person that way, we say they are our “Zen Master.”  It’s such a great way to look at others.  Everyone who comes into your life has something to offer you.  To teach you, to show you, to uplift you, to get you to see things in a new way.

It’s not a selfish thing to look at it that way because you are also a gift to others.  You were sent to them by God, as well.  So, no matter what happens in your exchange, it was for the good of both of you.

So, how would we greet them if we were aware that they were in our lives for a reason?  Perhaps we would be more open to who they are and what they bring.  Maybe we’d be  a little kinder, more accepting.  Would we maybe even welcome them with open arms and a wide heart?

I think I’d like to sharpen my awareness of others – what they’re projecting, how they are appearing.  Also, what they’re saying (and what they’re not saying).  I think one could not have a better avocation than to be a people watcher.

Perhaps I will be a little more patient with the prattling of others.  I will try to remember that even if it appears to be out of my realm, in fact, there is a gift for me.  This will help me to tune in more carefully, listen more deeply.

You know, this practice is likely to make me a more loving person.  That Alan Cohen surely is a wise one!

“As you recognize your wholeness and worth, dysfunctional situations evaporate like bad dreams exposed to the sun.”  – Alan Cohen

Alan Cohen is a very wise man and a powerful writer.  Which is why, even with others interspersing, there is so much great material from him to fill his Daily Inspirations.

This one intrigued me.  Is it possible for that to happen so easily?  My Midwestern work ethic balks, it can’t possibly disappear that smoothly. But wait a minute. How easy is it to wake from a bad dream in the sunlight?  Perhaps it’s a bit unsettling, maybe jarring.  It is clearly a transition.

My growth into recognizing my wholeness and worth has been gradual.  But I’ve noticed dysfunctional situations either slipping out of my gaps like a live fish, or urging me to let go like an impatient child who isn’t entirely sure what she wants, but certain this is not it.

I’m struggling to change a few dysfunctional situations in my life right now.  But I’m finding that if I just allow them to run their course, they will.  Bashar said, “Dysfunctional systems will fall under their own weight.  Let them.”  I don’t have to push so hard, or worry so much. Nor must I go through such machinations.

Sure, I need to take steps, but the idea is to not be so stuck on the outcome of those steps.  Take one, take another.  Keep putting one foot in front of the other, but let it be and watch the dysfunctional situations fall of their own accord.

“The only thing more important than being good is being Real.” – Alan Cohen

We can all agree that being Good is important. Being good and kind to others should be the bedrock of everything we do. If we are to consider ourselves “spiritual” people. Positive and upright. That is the first rule: do no harm. Treat others well. In fact, treat others as you would have them treat you. We are all made of the same stuff, anyway. And since we are all one, we might include ourselves in that being good. I don’t know anyone who would dispute that.

But, Alan Cohen, wise man that he is, takes it a step further. That it is even more important to be Real.

Being real means we get in touch with what’s real, what’s true. Both inside and out. If we are being real, we’re sharing with others what we truly feel. So many of us don’t know even what that is. The process of knowing what we feel can begin with being real about what is going on around us. This awareness of reality gives us lots of information about who we are, where we’re at, and how we feel about it.

I believe that part and parcel of being good is seeing life in a positive light. And holding a vision of how you’d like things to be. But we must be careful that our vision doesn’t cloud what is really happening in the moment.

Presently, I am trying to negotiate with someone. It’s been difficult, I think, because she wants so to see life as she wants to see it. This keeps her from seeing (and accepting) the truth of the situation.

So often we’re not real with others (or ourselves). Opting instead for posturing, making gestures, or presenting ourselves as superior. When in reality we might be scared confused, or doubtful, but unable to say it. Rather than being in touch with that, being real about it, we cover it up. Maybe we even use being “good” as a shield for obscuring the truth of what we’re really feeling, or what is really happening.

In the end, being good will only get you so far. If it’s not backed by some acceptance and awareness of reality.  And, the willingness to express what’s real and true.

For all you golf lovers out there, here’s a radio script from one of my father’s broadcasts.  There is no date on it, but I’m guessing it had to be in the 60’s.

Ladies and Gentlemen, Once Over Lightly with Alan Scott ~

I sit before this typewriter bug-eyed in awe unabashed, contemplating in cold blood the idea of attempting a paean to a golf score of 62. Jack Nicklaus did it in a practice round tuning up for the Open at Baltusrol in Springfield, N.J. If you are a golf nut as I am you will understand and endorse. If not, I can but hope that you are close enough to one who shows signs of galloping golfomania to be at least indulgent.

Sixty, by gum, two (if you don’t dig golf I will try to explain with this tenuous understatement ) is quite a score. It has never been done before at Baltusrol. It is an average of 3 and 4/9 strokes per hole if you must know. When your friendly neighborhood golf goof foams at the mouth and says “sixty two” in hushed reverential tone you will wonder that he can do it. There isn’t a soft poetic labial anywhere in the words. In fact, “sixty two” lends itself rather to being hissed through clenched teeth. But as a golf score, light comes through it as through stained glass windows and there is organ music in the background.

And there is magnificent drama in the incident. IT DIDN’T COUNT! It is tragedy such as only a Shakespeare could assess in his iambic stride.

How do you find something analogous in the Human Adventure?

The actress who weeps real tears for the camera in a scene which is headed for Oscarville just as an extra kicks over a prop. The UN Delegate who quotes Liviticus with telling effect only to discover that the television cameras have cut away for a station break. These marks of tragic irony pale . . . all of them, pale . . . when measured against the record-smashing round of 62 just BEFORE the Open BEGINS.  Stacked against the figure of Jack Nicklaus, King Lear is Laughing Boy.

There is only one who stands in the league with him. It is a salesman named John P. Altemus. He had a hole in one on the thirteenth at Main Line and turned ashen and trembled. He was supposed to be out making calls and the hole in one had to be hushed up to save his job.

In the quiet hours I will raise my glass in silent toast — and I trust you will join me — to John P. Altemus and Jack Nicklaus.

Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 145 other subscribers

Positive Slant Categories