Sunday, March 24, 2013

Is Greatness Relative or a Theory?

Metaphysical books of old talk of the Akashic Record where everything that has ever existed (past and future) is recorded. Those able to tap into it can bring forth information that in their logical mind they could not possibly know. It is believed that Nostradamus accessed this knowledge and was able to write his predictions for events still unfolding today.

But if you don’t subscribe to Nostradamus predictions, how about Einstein, Tesla, great prophets of the world or any number of geniuses who believed they got their ideas in some form of meditation or quiet mind activity?

I was watching the History Channel while making dinner the other night and this subject matter caused me to stop and take notes. On my blog I sometimes hint at my closet metaphysical side. You might have guessed that my mind wanders to those things in the universe that cannot be proved—yet. So when the History Channel updated what science can now prove, I was thrilled.

With my layman’s mind I will lay it out as I understand it. The zero point field—where everything exists—is now more clearly understood. The dimensions (string theory or bubble theory) are connected and sometimes overlap (they may be moving slowly into each other). Maybe when they overlap, we get a view into something so totally other from what we normally know—or maybe a peek into another time.

It is proven that space and time are flexible (Einstein) and that some people can access the grid, the zero point field (the matrix) through meditation, a déjà vu experience, dreams or some form of altered or quiet state—a transcendental moment in the mind.

Within the hidden dimensions may lie the extra-terrestrials who seem to slip in and out of view and maybe travel through time, whether through a worm hole or some other time slip we have yet to uncover.

Maybe it is not so far-fetched to believe that some people can access the Akashic Record-or whatever you want to call the knowledge of the universe.

People who claim to have seen angels, guides, or extra-terrestrials may not be imagining a non reality, but instead may be seeing a reality not yet here or in a different dimension—a form of remote viewing while in communication with some type of other-worldly energies.

Great mystics have part of their being in this reality and in another dimension at the same time in order to bring us the ideas and information we need to evolve.

Einstein’s favorite book, Madam Blavatsky’s Isis Unveiled, is uber metaphysical and had a great influence on him. Using his ‘psychic’ ability he ‘found’ or formed the theory of relativity. He was adept at putting himself in altered state—remaining in that altered space for hours while exploring new ideas (Like asking, ‘if you sat on a beam of light what would you experience?’ His theory, thus gleaned, allows for the possibility of time travel).

He was able to tune into the nature of the universe, and by not limiting himself, saw things in a different, mystical way. Whether it was the Akashic Record, the zero field or some form of bubble theory, he brought the future closer. His 4 papers were done in one year. (Annus Mirabilis papers) 

Einstein had extraordinary gifts, a genius by our standards, but he was not the only one.

Socrates, who was considered strange in many ways in his day, spent his time day-dreaming, caught in the grip of a thought or idea for hours on end. His peers said he had extraordinary endurance-able to access a being who gave him information; a bridge between the physical and the metaphysical realm.

Who else? Leonardo DiVinci. He looked at a candle flame while lying down for hours.

Puccini said his creations came from divine source. 

Brahms believed his works came from beyond; something other than himself.

Tesla-the driving force behind today’s wireless technologies, wrote of powerful visualizations where he could envision machines in minute detail. He believed he was in contact with other worldly beings. He wrote of  ‘. . . a message from another world. It reads 1,2,3.’ And he was obsessed with the number three in his work.            

The universe is far more complex than we think. Einstein was said to have a different brain than the normal man, but did he have it to begin with, or did he develop it through his form of meditation?

Are certain people (geniuses), born at certain times to access the cosmos and give us the needed leap into the future, or is it possible we limit ourselves and so do not achieve our own greatness?

What do you think?

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Romance-What’s in a Word

This year, I attended a few RWA-romance writer events. For some reason, lately, I have been finding romance not only more appealing and fascinating, I have been exposed to some excellent writers of the genre. Being in a critique group of mostly romance writers might have something to do with it, too.  Maybe I am getting more in touch with my emotional side. 

This past weekend we were fortunate to have Jane Porter come and speak at a workshop here in Fresno. She is a romance writer with over 40 books in print. In the past I have gravitated toward the Sisters-in-Crime (now an international organization to promote and support women writers of mystery and suspense) as “my organization,” because in the past I wrote mystery and suspense. 

As Jane pointed out, there is a general looking down one’s nose at the romance genre that has been around for quite a while. I have been guilty of it myself. Early pulp romance was not of the best writing, but neither were the early pulp mysteries. A good writer can be found in any genre, but Jane said some things that struck home to me about this subject. 

Crime fiction (mystery, suspense) is considered to be more serious and favored by the male market—dark, mysterious and therefore “intellectual.”

Romance is considered emotional and favored by the female market, but women themselves enjoy both genres.  If you think of the history of women’s rights, it’s not hard to see why this form of women’s fiction would be looked down upon.  It has not been that long since women’s rights were expanded in this country. Women were (and still are by some) considered to be weak, emotional and not very intellectual—a hold-over from a time when we were considered property, didn’t have the vote and had few rights because women weren’t considered capable of serious thought and action.

That stereotype still plagues the romance genre and women writers who write ‘such stuff.’ Jane made the point that women (and now men) who write romance just need to ignore it and move forward. The “intellectual” genres will continue to look down at romance writers and the romance genre.

And, how does this affect the way writers write dialogue for women and men as they converse on the page?

Women, on the whole (and not by any means all) are more in touch with their feelings, are not afraid to be emotional and actually experience life in a more emotional way. We are more wordy, like to socialize and chat and learn about life through talking and gossiping about the experience of others—it is how we make sense of our own emotional journey.

Men, on the whole (and not by any means all) tend to be less wordy and are easily turned off when a woman gets too much into the chatter. They will relate with other men in bite-size chunks of words, not need so much talking and do not like to get in touch with their emotions and emotional side as a rule until they are pushed. 

A few Jane Porter tips on writing (mostly for romance writers but it applies to other writers as well):
  • To increase scene speed use sentence fragments and interrupting—forcing action, forcing things to happen.
  • Be sure you have the dance, the tease, the word play to turn on the mind—and keep the reader reading.
  • Women and men speak differently. Keep this in mind when writing dialogue:
Women use 10 times as many words as men do.
Are far stronger in words, language.
Use speech to connect, to create camaraderie, to build friendships.

Men tune out after the first few words of a woman talking to them.
They don’t like to defend themselves and will just walk away.
Have more clipped conversations.
Will heckle other men and put each other down.
Say things like, “this conversation is over,” as they stand up, to leave—no more words, “I’m out of here."
They command more rather than ask.
They curse more.

  • We like to see glimpses of hope in the "bad boy." (He might return and check on a little sister after some bad behavior)
  • Keep in mind age, background, younger, older, someone who has seen a lot of hard stuff, when creating dialogue. Be sure your voices reflect that.

Do you take a lot of care about the above points when writing dialogue?

What is your genre(s) of choice?  

Monday, March 11, 2013

Spring Cleaning the Mind

As Americans, we are a feisty bunch when it comes to our freedoms—either to expand them or not. The internal struggle can get ugly.

Just look at the news today, here and around the world. You see the struggle to expand freedom—and the attempt to hinder that expansion.

North-South, East-West, liberal-conservative—religions, extremes. Does that make the mid-west neutral? Hell no.

Our positions help to define us, but we need to go beyond the extremes. What also defines us is our reaction to change—which is inevitable. It is not the change that is important – it is our reaction to the change—hopefully one that is conducive to progress.

Last week, I promised you more metaphors. You Sci-fi fans of The Matrix will understand when I talk about the web that would embroil us, control us, manipulate us to maintain the status quo; keep us from making the changes within ourselves—which is the opposite of freedom. The web is made up of our fears--mind control of our own allowing.

The antidote is to trust your inner feelings that vibrate to love and expansiveness for yourself and others. Constriction is death. Fear will cause you to hunker down in that safe, dark fort to defend the status quo.

Hopefully you have practiced Part 1
To sum up: you have meditated 15 minutes a day and taken the time to get rid of the mind garbage (the voices that fill you with fears and hesitations and all the reasons you shouldn’t. . . . ), and you have created some cracks in those structures that bind you. Now breathe.

No, I mean really—do some deep breathing exercises to fill your brain with the oxygen it needs so you can further release tension in the body. If you have not been able to still the mind using last week's suggestions, try adding this to your meditation.

(I was going to jump right into the next step, but after reading comments from the last post, I realized I need to back up slightly and get more specific and detailed. (You elementary school teachers out there know what I mean; when you get the blank stares.) So I will quickly review and clarify Part I. The rest of you can move on to Part 2 below.)

YES YOU CAN FIND THE TIME TO DO THIS—but if you CHOOSE not to, then that is another story. If you can’t make 15 min in your day for yourself, I have no further advice. If we say we can’t, most times it is because we don’t WANT to. Just acknowledge that and move on. But remember that sometimes we need to retreat (or in this case stop to meditate) before we can move forward, and often we find we get to our destination faster as a result.

I timed myself this morning and thought, if I can’t find 15 – 20 min, could I do it in 5 min? For those willing to find 5 minutes, do this:
1.       Count back from 20 to 1 while breathing deeply as follows:
     a.       Breathe in as much air as you can, filling to the bottom of your lungs, and then on the out-breath release tension -- counting backwards: 20, next breath, inhale/exhale completely-count 19, etc.

     b.      With each in-breath, tighten a specific part of your body from the head down (head, face, jaw, neck, shoulders, arms, chest, abdomen, lower abdomen, sphincter, legs, feet), then release the tense energy you are holding on each exhale count. (For those of you familiar with the chakras, you can inhale and exhale into those centers instead.)

     c.       When you finish, relax and breathe normally.

     d.      Now observe your body from inside: where are the tight areas (make note of this) . 

If time has run out (the 5 minutes, then you can do next step tomorrow—but you will have to do some quick deep breathing again to release areas of tension build up). 

Take note of where the tension is and apply a metaphor. (I warned you I wasn’t done with metaphors yet)
---pressure in chest- that squeezing feeling—the pressure you are feeling with all the things you need to get done; feeling squeezed like a vise

---pain in the stomach might be you can’t stomach something in your life right now

---eye discomfort--you are not seeing some issue clearly

                When you are through this you have some idea where you are stuck—and another insight into how to address your resistance.

Now that you have emptied the mind (Part 1), on to:

Part 2
It is a good idea to have pen and paper handy because you will have creative thoughts come in and you will want to dialogue with your creative side (some of you feel more comfortable with your lap top-whatever works for you—but DON”T be tempted to get on the internet for a quick peek--you know who you are).

The deep breathing and letting go of tension will usually free up a thought that will present itself and you might have a question about it. It could be anything. Write down the question. Empty the mind again and listen to the thoughts that now come in answer to your written question—you might get another question, write it down and keep going. Write down the answer(s) even if they sound weird. 

Some days the questions may be quite mundane, but a part of you needs the answers for that issue, that day. Don’t push or manipulate it, just let come what comes. Other times you will be concentrating more on creative endeavors and the richness of your creativity will begin to come into your train of thought.

Maybe the question is about the book you are writing, a character, how to handle a difficult person in your life—your mind/your questions—and your answers.

You have cracked that box surrounding you a little bit, maybe created an opening, and can celebrate the fact that you are moving toward a new paradigm—opening the windows and letting in the fresh air.

Greater openness--a bigger picture--more expansiveness--new possibilities for your future. How fast you advance is an individual thing. How hard you  hold onto the past will drag on you in equal measure, and your progress will go much slower, but any movement forward, however small, is good.

The eclectic cool-aid has been shared. Let me know if this was helpful or just "eh." I have a tough skin.

If you wish to share your thoughts more privately, you can message me on my Facebook author page.

Friday, March 1, 2013

A Sip of the Eclectic Cool-aid

From time to time I sip from the eclectic cool-aid and post on more avant-garde subjects—or, as KristenLamb dubbed my log line when I took one of her classes on promotion through social media a year ago, speaking from the Mothership

Today is another one of those days.

If you are feeling stuck—take heed, it is kick-in-the-butt time.

Whenever I “feel” stuck, I know it is time to shift my definition of self and reality; time to bust out of some paradigm that is no longer serving me and liberate myself or stretch my identity.

The paradigm I’m speaking of is the accumulation of ideas, built by others before you that you have adopted and functioned under up to now. Every day I read about the changing world of the internet, writing, publishing—like shifting sand that is in constant movement. If we are to stay current, we must be willing to change as well.

When your paradigm is no longer serving you effectively anymore, you may feel “itchy and restless,” and have a desire to break out and become more. That’s the feeling that tells you it is time.

So what are we breaking out of and how do we do it?

I visualize the paradigm as a box in which you have fit yourself. You have been “living” within the constraints of those six sides. While inside that box you have been unaware of the other parts of yourself that are outside, growing 
unrecognized and unacknowledged. And, like a pair of clothes you grow out of, it now limits your movement because it no longer fits you—you have been expanding beyond it but you have not acknowledged that growth.

If you think of that box as a chain that binds you, (I know, I know—I’m throwing lots of metaphors at the wall hoping one will stick) the strongest link on that chain is the one called “fear.” 

That is the biggest hurdle to get through on your way out of the box. 

(I can hear Bob Marley singing Get Up Stand Up with my own title: Break Out Free Up: That would be the 8th song down )

The fastest way out of that fear is meditation—I have mentioned it before, and people have different ideas of what meditation is. My simple explanation on how to do it: find a place free of distractions and empty your mind of the voices—you know the “shoulds” and “shouldn’ts” (I should be cleaning the house. I should be writing. I should be a better person. I shouldn’t be wasting my time doing nothing. I shouldn’t be listening to this freakin’ California liberal hippie’s advice)—you know: that voice.

It is time you open yourself up, break out, free your spirit so you can sing your song, paint your picture, dance your jig, write your story. Time to shift the definition of yourself and reality—bust the paradigm. 

Think Dr. Who and the Tardis.

You need to know that you are not simply the sum total of your daddy’s religion or your mama’s cooking. You have pieces of yourself that are totally unique to you and you need to find them and unite them back into yourself, letting go of those things that no longer serve you and that continue to hold you back through the grip that fear of change has on you.

Part of this process involves the forgiveness/letting-go mobius strip, a cycle you need to go through—until you can break free and move on.

If I haven’ lost you yet, back to the meditation. 

Now that you have emptied your mind (don’t give up because it hasn’t happened yet, it takes time to wade through those mind voices that keep the doubt and resistance going and it will vary from person to person), you will be ready to listen to that quiet voice that is outside the box, the one that is hard to hear, but never-the-less is there, trying to reveal those other parts of who you are.

Are you still with me? Some have said WTF and have dropped off. But you have chosen to hang in there and see where I’m going with this—good for you.

I could give you all the eclectic cool-aid today, but for the moment, do the above exercise/meditation to be ready for the next step. Otherwise, it will remain half complete and easily dismissible as ineffective. It’s this part of the process that is the bit@h and needs at least a week of practice just to quiet the shoulds, shouldn’ts and fears. For some it will take longer, and if nothing else, you will feel better and more energized.

Until I post the next part, meditate each day-say 15-20 minutes. YES YOU CAN. Even if you lock yourself in the bathroom for 20 minutes, you can spend time with yourself—for yourself. Do this for you. By next week see how many should/shouldn’t mind constructs you have quieted.

Anyone in your past you still haven’t forgiven? You say you can’t? Realize this is not for them, this is for you. You can’t move forward to envision a bright new future while holding onto a dark event from your past.

A quick aside: many of you practice yoga or some other exercise that stretches your body—this is good because what the mind resists, the body can often help open. Yoga and deep tissue massage free up the energy pockets in the body that hold on to stuck energy (acupuncture and acupressure are a few other systems that help release that energy and get it flowing better if you can’t do yoga). Starting from the body first sometimes works to open and release those resistant mind constructs).

Next time in PART 2: Haven't had enough metaphors yet? There will be a bit of web metaphor for you Sci-fi fans of the Matrix coming up.

I guess I haven't lost you yet. Maybe next time.

How do you clear out the mind garbage? Or do you?