My practice

1) My practice is to set down the suit of armor and to drop defensiveness. The path is to open up into whatever is before me versus closing down to it. Opening up is accepting what is, not in a giving up but, in a posture of allowing what is to be what is. This planet offers many experiences of heartbreak, pain and destruction. Sobriety is about telling the truth about what is and going eyeball to eyeball with it, softening into it and opening up to whatever there is before me. My practice is to drop the resistance within my own body. There is nothing to defend. Nothing can hurt me. Only my closed heart can hurt me.

2) I continue to do the work of emotional and spiritual clearing to create space within myself. I have to feel it to heal it. I have a weekly practice to clear myself and support others who desire to do the same.

3) I mind my own business. Don’t take on anyone else’s business personally. There is my business, your business and God’s business. Do I know the difference?

4) Unless you are poking me with a sharp stick then this upset that I am feeling around you is a triggered memory from my own past. Almost all upset is from the past. You are not the cause of my upset. You are only showing me that which is already inside of me. I choose to consciously own my own memories, habits, behaviors and beliefs. (Anger and sadness are types of upset; so is numb.)

5) I claim responsibility for everything that is happening here. Not like blame or burden but as a place to stand. I choose, in every moment, to be a creator and not a victim.

6) I am my word. I do what I say and I say what I do. Like a practice. How close can I align my speaking and my actions?

7) I reveal my authentic self. Can I drop the posture and the disguises? Can I free myself to just hang out to be seen and heard exactly the way that I am?

8) I am up to something bigger than my own needs, wants and survival. I look to see how I can be a man of service.

9) There is a mind greater than my own. An infinite intelligence visible in a flock of birds and a school of fish. I practice connecting with this unified force and allow it’s creative force to express itself through me, as me. Who I am is the creative force.

Victimhood or flow?

We all play the victim card. I know that I do.

I “struggle” on a construction project from time to time. There are people and situations in my life in which “they did it to me”.

Victim is not a strong place for me. I don’t like it there (except when I do).

Victim as a way of being is clearly a popular game to play in our culture. It’s a safe, comfortable place.

You can survive reasonably well in victimhood. But you can’t thrive. And you will never get into “flow”.

 

 

The good and the bad news of it

Soap opera entertainment is the purpose of political news. They sell it because you buy it.

There is lots of endless noise about what government should do. But 55 years later, one thing that I know for sure is that, government always follows the people. Government never takes the lead on anything. When the people lead, the politicians follow. It’s never been otherwise.

That’s the good and the bad news of it. The people are leading right now. They always have been.

This “political mess” that we are in has been going on for well over 5000 years.

Don’t believe the hype. It’s exciting! But it’s not real.

Shame, blame and guilt are always very popular games to play. But just like the good witch told Dorothy, you’ve had the power all along my dear.

That’s the good and the bad news of it.

winter isn’t coming

I am in a co-dependent relationship with someone when the drama of it becomes my focus.

Drama is one of the most addictive drugs. In the past, I’ve done it with my birth family, with lovers and at work.

Sometimes I still do it with the president of the U.S. which makes as much sense as getting caught up in what Kim Kardashian is wearing, I mean, ok, it is interesting to see what she is wearing but am I really going to get all worked up about it? Am I really going to “do” something about it? Or is it just something that I use to distract myself from my present time reality like I could use alcohol or pot?

I’m pretty good about not taking a hit of drama with my mother or my lover anymore. And I don’t get sucked into “it” over Kim Kardashian. So why would I get into a co-dependent energetic dance with the President? Today is not election day. Nobody cares what I think. And, for sure, my opinion has absolutely no impact on what is going on.

Co-dependency is an expenditure of my energy very similar to how I would be expending my energy if I was addicted to meth. It’s a choice to play a game in which I believe that “my power” is outside of myself and “over there”. It’s a choice to experience a childhood drama and trauma over and over again.

But I am an adult now. All of “my power” is over here. All of my creativity is over here. My connection to the divine is over here. The drama is over there. My business is over here.

If I watch a tv show or get buzzed, at least I am aware that I’ve reached out for something with which to distract myself. But when I reach out for a co-dependent drama, it can be a little more sinister because I have a tendency to think that it is real. But it isn’t real. The drama in Game of Thrones is designed to capture my attention and my energy. It wants to hook me. But if my attention and my energy get spent on Game of Thrones it is only because I have chosen, in that moment, to make it real.

Real is what is in front of me right now. Real is what there is for me to do, right now. Real is what I have access to having an impact on.

Kim Kardashian isn’t going to change her outfit based upon my opinion regardless of how much energy I put into it. Kim Kardashian’s life choices are not real in my world (even if I think that they are.)

No, actually, winter isn’t coming. It’s springtime now. Time to head out and tend to my own garden.

Clean and sober

 

I’ve been clean and sober for 6 months now. I’m feeling a little shaky about it at the moment. Probably it takes at least this long to detox from it and to actually come face to face with myself.

I’ve committed to 12 months clean and sober. Living in Sonoma County means I’m surrounded by really good wine and really good pot. It basically falls off the trees as you walk down the street.

I would not have said that I had a “problem” six months ago. But I note the discomfort, now, that I feel facing myself from a somewhat detoxified place.

And that is what this is all about. Coming face to face with myself.

I’ve never been attracted to pharmaceuticals; I won’t even take aspirin. I have a deep distrust of the pharmaceutical industry. There are people close to me who have been on anti-depressants for 20 and 30 years. Are they “better off” for it? Or is the whole thing all about making money? You be the judge.

There are many ways I can numb myself. Working too hard is very familiar to me. Being physically exhausted is another. In the past, I’ve “used” running and outdoor athletic adventures as an escape.

Pretty sure that this isn’t sounding like a “happy” post. I am experienced with “happiness” as a way to distract myself also.

Like I said, right now clean and sober feels uncomfortable. But like getting back into climbing or running shape, when my body hurts, I know that I’m getting back up off the couch.

Living is an uncomfortable enterprise. It just is. If I am growing and pushing my boundaries, my body hurts. If I am opening myself up inside, I feel raw and vulnerable.

I have a pattern of waves. Sometimes I’ll sit numb for months on end. This is a time of beginning again to feel the feelings.

“They” teach you to avoid the feelings. The pharmaceutical industry depends upon it. The stoic cowboy myth of manhood I grew up with thrives on it.

But as I have learned, the only way “out” of difficult feelings is to go through them. Either I feel my feelings now or else they sit there, for years and decades at a time, waiting to be attended to.

Feel the feelings. The way out is through.

This step, my step

Happiness is an inside job. For me, it’s the result of a lot of personal work.

I don’t think happiness serves very well as a landmark with which to orient my life the way that, say, the top of the mountain would serve as the guide post for a hike up a mountain. Rather happiness is more like the unexpected hawk floating by as I sit on the peak, enjoying the success of the climb.

Suffering is the result of thinking things are supposed to be different or that I am supposed to be different than the way that I actually am right now.

It’s supposed to be hot, sweaty and uncomfortable down on the lower flanks of the mountain pushing myself upward early in the day. And true, I might not make it. But for now all that there is is taking this next step, my step.

The success of the peak is only granted meaning by the effort of the climb. Happiness is more like the attainment of nothing — a vibrant emptiness — than the receiving of something.

Trust the flow, my friend.

Life has done a good job of creating and re-creating itself on this planet. There is a flow to that forward movement. You are in that flow.

I notice that whenever someone is talking about “good” people and “bad” people, the speaker always sees themselves as one of the “good” ones. Always.

People are dying. Tectonic plates are shifting and the sun is burning up. Just as it all is supposed to be.

I am reminded this week as close friends around me are getting older (but not me of course) that life is moving in the direction that it is supposed to be moving. How else could it be, right?

Trust the flow, my friend.

the sky is falling - chicken little

Real power

What is power and who has it?

These days of political rancor have me thinking about “real power”. Back in the day, a younger Tony Robbins used to say that for him, personal power was the ability “to do what you want, with whom you want, when you want.” According to current chatter, the US President has “the power”. But is that true?

Under this perspective, the aim of life is to get as much as you can, ride all the rides and be very popular before “it” is all over. But what is “it” and is “it” over when you die or does “it” only begin after you leave this little party?

But, check it. Here’s what I’m thinking.

“Real power” is the clarity to make choices (actions and speech), in favor of supporting life on the planet, free from the drama, unconscious needs or the currents of emotions running through my body. You know, real freedom to make choices.

Real power is the willingness to choose the sovereign nature of my own consciousness regardless of the circumstances around me and/or the emotional baggage within me.

Real power is not personal. I only get to choose whether or not to allow real power to move through me. So called “personal power” may or may not be “real power”.

Creation is real power. Destruction is not real power but merely its opposite.

The sun is real power. Springtime is real power. Winter is the absence of this real power which supports life.

The avatars, the great ones, created even (especially) while dying.

Nelson Mandela had real power while sitting in prison for 30 years.

Rosa Parks had real power.

Vincent van Gogh had real power and he only ever sold one painting. During his lifetime he was considered a madman and a failure. Today he is one of the most famous and influential people in the history of Western art. Real power creates in a lasting way.

Ordinary power comes and blows away again with the wind.

A humble place

There’s something about settling myself into “I know” as a daily practice. This is the antidote to uncertainty and the suppressed fear that I am not good enough.

The shadow side of that would, of course, be cockiness and arrogance. But even if I just “did it wrong”, with practice I remind myself that I am deeply connected to knowing how to move from here, what to do and what to say.

We all are connected to the knowing. It is accessed from a humble place.

Meeting weekly with my men’s group helps me to distinguish between my feelings and my story. I’m a work in progress that way.

My book Warrior Uprising is, in part, my personal journey into feeling what I am feeling and getting outside of my story about who, what and why. “I am sad.” “I am angry.” “I am afraid.” Period.

“I am angry because …” is, I have found, almost always an illusion; a story that I have made up which takes me out of feeling the feeling and into creating a drama.

It requires concentration to feel my own feelings and to own them as my own. The training I went through as a boy was all about how men don’t (or shouldn’t) feel.

Best that I can tell, anger lives inside of me like an entity, like a demon, waiting to be awakened and brought out to play. Anger just sits there until the usual suspects or situations “trigger” my anger and wake it up once again. It’s not really “my” anger as it seems to live in many people and not just me.

I’m still in research mode on fear. I suspect that what I call “fear” is often times a story about something deeper. Probably, that something is “I don’t trust.” It might be “I don’t trust myself.” Or it might be “I don’t trust the bigger game.” (You know, God.)

Teddy Herzog received his training and certification as an Integrative Holistic Coach through the Legacy Training Institute. The 6-month program requires the completion of five weekend Legacy Seminars with a minimum of 1500 coaching hours.

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