Category Archives: Spirituality – Seriously

Happy Valentine’s Day to Humanity

Celebrating Valentine’s Day – A day to celebrate love…

I hold a vision, an intention for the human race – for our present & our future together. I see cooperation, kindness, compassion, and respect for one another as the norm, regardless of our differences of experiences, opinions & world views – more so, a fascination with wanting to understand what those differences can offer as benefits to us all. I see a greater concern for the whole – in alignment with concern for my own life – however I define the scope of what is mine – my nation of origin, my color, my race, my creed, my generation, or my world view/politics. I see the expansion of human potential & consciousness – from the turmoil of adolescence to an era of more calm & confident young adulthood.

I see a world in which the richness of each religion, including atheism, contributes to the whole of our experience, just as the varying personalities of race and culture provide us with expanded potential for joy. I see peoples of religions respecting each other, recognizing that we all share the same SOURCE/GOD/LOVE, like siblings in a family having the same parents – learning to understand the goodness of each, in both our diversity & commonalities. I see an ever growing understanding of religious texts and histories, guided by love of GOD, self, and all others, that enlivens & inspires us to ever greater expansion of our individual & collective expressions of that the love that we are, with no diminishment to the value of those texts and histories.

I see the innate goodness of each person, each a being of love – expressing love in a multitude of manners and levels of maturity & clarity. If, in my interactions with others, I do not express this in my thoughts, words, or deeds, it is because my vision is fogged with feelings of fear, guilt, or un-worthiness – less mature expressions of the love that I am. I promise & intend to focus more on the truth of love – that we are all equal children of the same SOURCE/GOD/LOVE, whatever name & personality we might apply to that WHICH/WHO creates & sustains us.

I believe we were given this beautiful world as garden in which to live together in love – with our SOURCE/GOD/LOVE believing in our goodness, believing in our ability to continually grow in our expressions of love  – individually & collectively, allowing us – with free will, to co-create an ever expanding joyous life of love together.

I believe I am not alone in this vision. I believe that many hold this vision in their hearts – and that any expression of this vision, in word, in art, in music, in relationships, business, or political action, reminds us with a confident, peaceful voice within, “Yes, that is who I am, that is who we are, that is who I am becoming, that is who we are becoming.”

Acknowledging the love that you are,
Dan Erdman

Calling all Crazies, Yes You… by a visiting blogger on her lunch break

The phenomenon of over-stressed, over-strained, and over-the-top women, myself included, (men, too, in some cases, I’m sure, but can’t swear to it) that simply can’t (or won’t) let go of the love-hate relationship with their seemingly adored title: Perfectionist.

Do you suffer from panic attacks or sleep deprived nights? Are you worried that you worry too much? Are you on anxiety meds or in constant need of stress relieving therapies (massage, acupuncture, healing touch, etc.)?  Are you concerned that even when you’re excited about something, your blood pressure rises to unsafe levels, which makes you worry even more?

Hello?!?  Crazy?!?  Why has it become trendy and fashionable to be worried so much that it is affecting our wellbeing?  We may not let it wear on our faces all of the time (no, that would be shameful!), but we certainly allow it to weigh on our minds and in our hearts – continuously, and unfortunately, so readily.

Of course, not all of us worry about all things equally.  Just as we might have our favorite drink, we have our preference of worries, too.  They may or may not include the following (note that I’ve only listed some, so please don’t be offended if I have not listed your worry of choice): our families (number of kids, etc.), our relationship status (married, single, divorced), our appearance (of ourselves, our spouses, our children, and let’s not forget our homes – or cars for that matter), our work (including those who stay at home) and hobbies, our finances, our health (exercise/food intake/caloric intake, etc.), our goals and achievements reached (especially by a certain age), or to put it plainly, the perceived lack of anything mentioned above.   These worries are a full-time, 24/7 job…  I don’t know about you, but quite frankly, I’m a bit tired.

So, we worry about all of these things, and if we didn’t, would it feel wrong?  When did the amount of worrying start to equate to how responsible we feel?  When was being carefree given such a negative stigma and being neurotic was something to be paraded?

I once had someone tell me I appear to not have “a care in the world.”  With a shocked face, my response was, “really?”  She meant it as a compliment, but it felt like a double-edged sword.

En garde.

It seems as though we, as a whole of perfectionist offenders, believe that not worrying renders us not caring enough, not being responsible enough.  If we’re not worried 100%, we don’t care 100%.  We put this expectation not only on ourselves, but on those around us well.  If they’re not worrying like us, they must not care like us.

Let me clear this up right now. I know they care.  However, I have to make myself aware of that fact a little too often.

We also have to remind ourselves that the outcome of events will not be positively affected by how much we worry (it’s actually much more likely to be negatively affected by it).  Please don’t mistake this with taking action that could absolutely affect a situation.  I’m simply referring to the act of worrying (especially about past events, by the way) mixed with the need for perfection – it’s a destructive duo.

We give the impression that if we are worry free (let’s be honest here, just less worrisome), we don’t care enough.  That’s just not true.  Let me repeat (for your sake, but also mine).  That’s just not true…

No, this blog did not cure me of my strong bond to perfection (or worrying); nor did I think it would cure you…  But, for now, even if it’s just for a moment, let’s give ourselves a break and know that we still care even if we take a pause from worrying, as well as from our beloved, yet exhaustive title.

Thanks for reading, and thanks to Dan for posting this from a “visiting blogger on lunch,” me.  Maybe I’ll revisit this again…of course, we all know I’ll want to reexamine this topic in the future, possibly in another blog, since I don’t think it’s perfect, er, I mean complete, yet.

Your Partner in ‘Worrying about Perfectionism’ Crime, a.k.a. Katie

Tribute to Martin & Coretta King

Someone asked me in the 1980’s what “celebrities” I would want to meet. Without hesitation, I answered: Jimmy Carter, Coretta Scott King, and Mother Theresa.

Coretta, Brian Clement, & Dan

Coretta, Brian Clement, & Dan

In the 1990’s, Coretta visited Poinciana Day in West Palm Beach, FL when I served as Principal . We talked briefly then and on a few occasions later about creating a more peaceful human experience and how those efforts might be improved.

I offer the following essay to honor her husband Martin as we do each January, and to honor Coretta. In sharing Martin’s dream, she gave up her own dream of being a singer and carried on with his life’s work until she passed on 1/31/06. I wrote the essay in January, 1996. My daughter Katie came home from school with an assignment for her parents, to use Martin Luther King’s “I have a Dream” theme, telling what kind of world we dream of, especially for our daughter.  Here’s mine, as true today as it was in 1996:

I have a dream that all men and women, the young and the old, will all live in peace on our planet.

I have a dream that conflict will create instead of destroy, that it will build with its energy rather than tear down with its violence.

I have a dream of a world in which conflicts are resolved with words instead of weapons, where individual desires harmonize with the needs of an orderly, interdependent, compassionate society.

I dream of a day when all men and women, the young and the old, will know who they are, not just as Americans, or just Japanese, not just Black or just White, not just rich or just poor, but equal children of the same God, sharing a garden created for our mutual joy.

I have a dream that one day, our differences will be celebrated for the tapestry of God’s beauty rather than the cacophony of endless intolerance.  I have a dream that one day, our individual judgments and prejudice will be seen as they truly are, a mirror reflecting the fear and guilt of our minds, waiting for the acceptance of our souls’ and God’s forgiveness.

I have a dream that one day mothers will not have to fear that their sons and daughters will die at the hands of another human; that humans will develop the wisdom to see conflict as opportunities to grow spiritually as a civilization.  I dream of a day when war will only be a word in history books, when violence will be described to children as how humans used to act when the frustrations of life were met with the feelings of despair and desperation. I dream of a day when hope and faith and love are the guiding lights of each person’s day.

I have a dream that my daughters and their global peers will guide human civilization with deeper wisdom and peace than our generation.  I have a dream that my daughters, along with millions of others, will help lead those whom they touch daily and thus, in an ever-growing spiral of love, the world civilization to true abiding peace, to richer experiences of joy, and to clearer visions of beauty in life as it can be lived and shared on this beautiful planet.

And I have been to the mountaintop.  I have seen enemies hold hands, cry in each others’ arms, and kiss a smiling face that once contorted with fear and hatred.  I have seen the face of God, even in the eyes of the angry, the fearful, the sleeping children of an infinitely patient God.  I have seen a physically broken, spiritual man cry tears of joy at the beauty and wonder of life.  I have felt the power of a diseased child facing death and the uncertainty of tomorrow with a spirit of courage and strength and hope that can only be from God. I have seen unity of spirit in diversity of custom; I have glimpsed the divine and infinitely intelligent logic of a universe guided and infused only by love. I have touched the peace that is a consequence of jumping into the chasm of the unknown and the seemingly unknowable, trusting in a God that loves me as I let go of the fear and doubt I’ve held close to my heart.

I have been to the mountaintop.  I know that this world’s future, my daughters’ futures, are bright, shining gloriously with the spirit of love, shared round the world as men and women, the young and the old everywhere, wake up and see their inherent worthiness and beauty.

I have been to the mountaintop.  I know that love is the only principle that rules our universe, that its expression expands in the universe every day and that love and only love will last for eternity, and in every eternal moment of our lives.

I have a personal dream, a dream that is becoming more my waking reality each day, a dream that I live in peace each moment with myself, and thus with ALL my fellow Brothers and Sisters and with my world, no matter what superficial conflict we might share.

I have a dream, a dream that is becoming more my waking reality each day, a dream that I share the joy of living with my human family, in recognizing and realizing the heaven on earth that we have had available from time immemorial.  I have this dream and I know I share this dream with billions of uniquely beautiful children of one parent, one God.  I have a dream and that dream is my life, today and tomorrow.

Joy,
Dan Erdman January, 1996

 

 

 

3 Minutes to Calm

Hi All – Welcome to 2014!

So you’ve gotten through the holidays and are ready to tackle the challenges of the new year?  Here’s a Yoga tip that can help in ANY situation where you want to live in the fullness of who you are – focused, alive, and centered – and calm.

Take a deep breath…Yes, you’ve heard that before, right….but wait, there’s more…and the more is the key….  When you take that deep breath, count how many seconds it takes to completely fill your lungs.  When they are full, hold that breath for just a few (3-4 seconds – don’t stress yourself with holding too long), then Exhale – and make the exhalation last 2x as long as it took to inhale.

I have used this Yoga breathing technique to calm myself before performing music, when I’ve gotten upset – in the midst of some experience, AND when I was Principal of Poinciana Day School, in West Palm, I used it WITH children who had become frantic after getting hurt on the playground. I would get right in the child’s face, and ask then to breathe with me, and soon they were calm.

Once, I was having tests done in a hospital and was hooked up to a heart monitor. I thought it would be fun to see the science of that breathing technique – up close and personal. My starting heart rate was 62. After 2 minutes of this “Relaxation Breathing”, my heart rate was 49!

What does this mean?  Whenever you can calm your heart rate through breathing, it sends a message to the Adrenals (glands) to slow production of adrenaline, and thus calms any fight or flight stress hormones in your body.  Since we’ve created lots of “tigers” from which to run in our modern lives, some of which we experience very often, we get “stressed out” – which, in my mind means that we have too much adrenalin running through our system on a regular basis – rather than the hormone’s original intention – to heighten the body’s performance for a short while when faced with danger and a survival situation.

I’m not a doctor and this is not medical advice, but for any who are interested, as Roger L. Null says, “Investigate it for yourself.”  See how it feels, and if you are so inclined, post a comment about your experience.

The ebb and flow of life…. Wooooooooshhhhhhhh …  Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh

Thanks for reading and sharing,
Dan

10 Minutes to Living in Peace & Happiness – Living From Eternity

So life has dealt you a terrible hand, eh?  Maybe not terrible, but you’ve had your share of ups and downs?

I understand, but not completely…I never could. I’d have to be in your skin to completely understand, and that’s not the way things work.

But, somehow, I see life from a different perspective, from the inside out.  From that perspective,  I see people being happy, sometimes in the midst of misery. I’ve listened with that perspective to thousands of life stories of people I’ve met – each one unique, fascinating, and wonderful to me.  From that, I’ve found I can be truly happy and miserable at the same time, no matter what is going on in my life.

So, here’s my ( FREE ) 10 minute plan to living in peace & happiness all the time, regardless of your current state of affairs.  But, to get there, you have to go along with me on some rather large assumptions…we’ll call them beliefs for lack of a better word. I’ll use 1st person so you can really get involved in these statements with me…come on now, this won’t hurt a bit…

1. I am more than my body. I am a spirit. I am energy that inhabits a body. I am love seeking love and expanding love as I do. I am part of the entirety of love – which is the all encompassing, the only power in the entire universe, and beyond…if there is such a thing.  I

2. I didn’t come here to have life exactly as I think I want. I came here because eternal bliss is  really overrated. It’s quite boring, actually.  I decided to accept life as a human in a body, with a set of limitations that are a sub-set of who I really am.  I took on the challenges of human life in this particular life because my soul – my spirit knew that it would be interesting AND I could expand my horizons – as a love being, and meanwhile, expand the whole of what love is. Yes, you’ve got it…the expansion of the Universe!

3. Everything I experience is real. Nothing is illusion. However, everything I experience as me is just a sub-set of who I am, of my entire reality.  I don’t really want to get in touch entirely with who I am because that would just get me back to total, boring bliss, and I would really rather keep creating, keep learning, keep expanding – because that’s what love does.

4. I will read this every morning when I wake up and look at my life circumstances as journey. I am on a vacation from bliss, and know that I am perfectly happy in whatever challenges I face, knowing that I do so as an eternal being, capable of anything, but wanting the challenges that life gives me.

Concepts in this post are from my (not yet published) book, Living From Eternity…more interesting ideas of living inside out in the book. If you think more of this would be helpful to publish, please LIKE this posting.

…and thanks for sharing a few minutes of your life with me today!
Dan

(c) 2013 – Dan Erdman