Sunday 20 September 2015 – Technology & Morality

I was resting in bed last night and I was contemplating various current global calamities and situations. Some of the familiar statistics are that we spend ‘X’ amount of dollars on weapons, or ‘X’ amount of dollars on subsidising established socioeconomic practices such as the oil and gas industry, which (as a collective and from a perspective of hard science) we very well know is causing long-term ‘permanent’ damage to our life-support systems (Earth), yet as a society we either passively (via bystander apathy) or actively still engage in theses ideologies, beliefs and practices, why?

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Monday 10 August 2015 – On Habits

Why create a new habit? Why even bother? What is the importance of establishing new habits? Habits lead to behaviours and the action of establishing a set of new habits can lead to powerful behavioural transformations that have the potential to move your life in a direction that is aligned with your highest values.

The problem for many of us is that when we decide to alter a particular behaviour or develop new habits that we intrinsically know are healthy for us at any or many levels sustaining these habits long enough to not only observe a result but importantly establish a new and evolved neural patterning and psychological adherence becomes difficult. How then, do we overcome this ‘sticking point’?

Every habit has an activation energy in order for it to begin – but the more complex or perceived to be complex/difficult the act or habit, generally the higher the activation energy required to get started. We may be able to draw parallels between hard chemical science and soft behavioural science in this instance.

Activation energy is the minimum amount of energy that must be available for a chemical reaction to occur. Let’s say you are holding a match and that you gently touch it to the striking strip on the side of the match box. Nothing will happen because the energy needed to activate a chemical reaction and spark a fire is not present. However, if you strike the match against the strip with some force, then you create the friction and heat required to light the match on fire. The energy you added by striking the match was enough to reach the activation energy threshold and start the reaction.

Here, we may be able to observe that with any habit we require an ‘activation energy’ in order to get us moving in that direction. We may be able to effectively establish multiple activation energies that support our desired habit. Let us use an example of nutritional health. Lets assume you have been researching and understanding in greater detail the relationship between your physiology/body and food and lets assume that you wish to make some ‘permanent’ nutritional changes that you believe will lead you to better health. An activation energy or point may be to stock up on healthy supplies; rid your home of ‘negative’ food; purchase healthy cook books and even research the nearest restaurants to your home, work, etc that align with this new eating regime. Anything you can do to support this new habit and behaviour you wish to endure will assist with making it easier to start, therefore enhancing your chances of seeing it through long enough in order to reap any benefits.

Below are 11 points that act as a framework to assist you in maximising your potential for success with any new behaviour or hit you wish to establish in life.

  1. Belief in self – believe in yourself to be able to achieve your goals.
  2. Outline the purpose and benefit of your habits and behaviours.
  3. Set appropriate/realistic and timely goals and objectives around your new behaviour –  You know yourself better than anyone.
    • Start small – quantum leaps can be overwhelming and rely on motivation, which is not sustainable, inspiration however is sustainable (see more by driven by inspiration below).
    • Timely goals – set a time around your goals, but stage them, chunk them down. In this case reduce them to smaller goals within your larger objective. This also assists in understanding your behaviour at deeper levels.
    • Understand your goals – become intimate with them, do not engage without knowing what it is you are doing and why. They why is so important.
  4. Focus – we must be committed to our new habits and we must understand why we are committed, this will assist with our focus. With greater focus, comes greater attention, with greater attention, we begin to live and breathe our new behaviours. Remember, Focus and attention is underpinned by intention, so ask yourself why is this new behaviour important?
  5. Be kind to self, this is crucial, there will be times when your habits do not always remain on track as you initially set out. This is ok. All experience is feedback, allowing you regain momentum back in your path with a higher level of insight.
  6. Grit – This is so important. Once we have established the creative prowess through being in a relaxed state of mind and we have identified deeply with our new behaviour, we then require the mental resilience to continue to see it through. But here is the key, this resilience does not rest in the realm of motivation but rather rests in the realm of inspiration…
  7. Link your requested behaviour transformation to your highest values. This is what will inspire you to move through the space of transformation… When we are inspired we are connected to what is most important to us, if you do not know what drives you deeply then you must ask yourself a series of questions that will assist you in becoming inspired by you! If you are interested, I can send you a list of pertinent queries to help you on your way to identifying the unconscious driving forces/values behind who you are.
  8. Understand and list the benefits (individual, social, global) of developing this new behaviour – as a series of questions that open this internal space within to be receptive to the answers.
  9. Preparation is important – but do not overdo it. When paralysis by analysis takes place you know you have gone to far… Prepare enough it make your transition smoother and to get you started.
  10. Create support mechanisms to facilitate to your growth and development through this process.
    • Adjust your environmental conditions.
    • Observe closely your circles of influence.
    • Create lifestyle choices to increase the likelihood of sustaining new habits and minimise reliance on motivation – this will also lower your activation energy, accessing your potential with greater ease and clarity.
  11. Chemical reactions often have a reaction intermediate, which is like an in-between step that occurs before you can get to the final product. So, rather than going straight from A to B, you go from A to X to B. An intermediate step needs to occur before we go from starting to finishing. This is the same for establishing new patterns of behaviour. Ensure we have established intermediary milestones and celebrate and acknowledge these milestones. This will reinforce your path and continue you on to where you need to be…

Importantly, your habits are your actions, which define your life. They are your deeds that connect you to others and the world around you and we are often identified through our deeds in life. If we come full circle back to your inner state. It is imperative that we begin by asking this simple question… Am I living the life I truly wish to live…? And if not, what are you doing about eliciting the well-aligned circumstances in your life to create change? SS.

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Friday 12 June 2015 – State of Play

Inspired by the necessity to transform deeply… Below is a suggestive framework for moving forward as a humanity… We have choices. Our choices are present, they are here, they are now…

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Thursday 07 May 2015 – Enlightenment

What is enlightenment? Is it an end state? Is it a state of being? Or rather, is enlightenment a process, a journey and unfolding of purity, truth, abundance and realisation that we are all connected, that we is really I, that they is really I, that all is really I and that I is really all…

Enlightenment is not something that appears to us after ‘years of practice…’ Enlightenment, is in fact, is an evolutionary process at every level of being and at every stage of becoming… We do not reach enlightenment, but rather unravel our existence and life around becoming enlightened and we become enlightened by paying careful attention to the entirety of our reality… This is the subtle distinction. Enlightenment in actuality occurs at multiple times during our existence – and whilst can be considered an end state by some, it is in actuality an evolving state of being, that is simply a part of all of existence.

Every time we stop to pay careful attention, with sincere intention to our lives, our behaviours, our interactions with self, others, etc we are enlightened. How we commonly understand enlightenment is that it is an end state, after much hard and diligent work we reach an enlightened state of being and in between is simply hard, focused work… Whilst there is great truth in this, this crowning event is not the entire picture and this aspect or spectrum of enlightenment is only actually one aspect to its entirety… Enlightenment is every moment. There is no backwards, only forwards. With this in mind, we are always enlightened; we just don’t pay enough attention to realise this…

It is of note to mention the importance of exposure to self and perspective here in this instance. It is when we observe our perspective of life, our actions, our thoughts, our deeds, our feelings and when we consciously make a choice to alter our perspectives to experience a differing reality that we actually grow and expand every facet of our being… This attitude or choice is enlightenment in and of itself… The only way to understand this is to rest in this space experientially and feel this shift and transformation…

Like much or all of existence, Universal principles are adhered to where life is present. The process of enlightenment is no different. Whilst part of the consideration of enlightenment is an end state of being, this can only occur with the value accumulated during a process of careful consideration, attentiveness, intention, practice and patience towards understand all the deepened aspects of self… As a seed passes through all the stages of its growth; from adjusting to its environment, to swelling in the ground, growing budding into the sprout, growing into a glorious plant, and eventually going through all these processes of leafing, flower formation and maturing until it culminates as an adult fully grown tree. Enlightenment is absolutely the same. Without the integral stages of growth, enlightenment can never occur. We place a great deal of value on the end state of being. What we must do to deeply understand ourselves and our lives is pay attention to every moment of our existence. It is this momentary awareness of self, this exploration of happenings that lead us to greater evolutions of gnosis, of self-love, of acceptance, of understanding our place in the vastness of the essence of life…

Enlightenment, in essence, is the ‘end-state’ of our existence. So when the time is ripe, when we are ripe, Enlightenment will arrive in to our consciousness – this can occur countless times through out our lives. But, it will only do so when we have progressed through each of our own personal stages of evolution and understand every stage along our development. Every individual is intrinsically different to the other – their teachings are different outwardly, their experiences different; yet are still deeply and profoundly connected by the fabric of our existence. That is love, that is growth, that is expansion in to who we have always known we are meant to be… And that is infinitesimally magnificent… SS.

The Labyrinth of Life - Stefanos Sifandos

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Monday 20 April 2015 – Consciousness: The nature of reality

What is real, what is not? Are we to solely rely on our physical senses to determine what is ‘real’? If were to only allow our physical senses (taste, sound, touch, visual, auditory) to drive our perceptions and interpretations of reality are we still not limiting the infinite nature of reality? Our senses have limitations, for example without external, we cannot observe atoms, let alone quarks… Are quarks the smallest building block of matter? We (humanity’s understanding in this realm) are yet to confirm this… There is a great teaching here though… This teaching does not revolve round ‘knowing’ or confirming via scientific deduction or methodology if there reduction or expansion has an ‘end point’, but rather understanding our existence from a vantage point of what is infinitely possible.

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Tuesday 07 April 2015 – 5 Questions

Communication with one another is a gateway to understanding self at deeper levels. It is a gateway for greater self reflection, introspection and acquaintance with all aspects of self… It is an opportunity to listen, to hear, to absorb another’s reality and amalgamate that reality in to our own… It is an opportunity to practice intention and attention to another. This is crucial in our own psychosocial, emotional and spiritual development. This practice alone also allows us to be engaged, fully engaged in acts of selfless behaviours that are conducive to the expansion of our spirit and our entire being…

Consider the practice of the 5 questions below, they just may transform your perspective on this wonderful journey known as life… S.Sifandos.

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Saturday 07 February 2015 – The Human Condition – Love, Death, Loss & Gain

Recently a very close friend of mine had experienced what so many experience in their lifetime, but what so many of us are never really prepared for; the physical passing of a loved one. How do we prepare to detach emotionally, spiritually, physically & mentally from what we know to form such a large part of our existence, our world, our reality…? The circumstances of this passing were prolonged, deeply painful on multiple levels and extremely tiring and energetically draining for all involved. On various levels of being, the suffering was deep and the passing from a set vantage point was necessary as many of us would perceive these circumstances to be extremely unfair, painful and not ‘humane’.

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