Monday, June 27, 2011

Following the Path of Least Resistance #2 – Core Values and Principles of Life

This is the second part of Following the Path of Least Resistance:
Core Values
Focusing on these core values helps us to make better choices.  Without finding these core values we cannot live in accordance to our highest spiritual truth.  Core values allow us to align ourselves with our internal truth, with God and the universe.  They also help us to find our purpose in life. 

Choose 3-5 values which are important to you.  List them in accordance to what is most important to you.

Here are some examples:

Adventure, Balance, Confidence, Control, Creativity, Discipline, Education, Faith, Family, Financial, Security, Friends, Freedom, Fulfillment, Forgiveness, Fun, God, Growth, Happiness, Health, Hope, Honesty, Humor, Independence, Integrity, Kindness, Knowledge, Marriage, Peace of mind, Power, Progress, Reason, Security, Self-reliance, Service, Spirituality, Strength, Success, Truth, Wisdom, etc.

 “There is no higher religion than human service.  To Work for the common good is the highest creed.”
~ Albert Schweitzer

For myself I chose peace of mind, connection to God, marriage, and service.  I am working on being more passionate.  I realize that these choices are a lifetime endeavor and may unfold differently than I expect.  As long as I concentrate on these values and allow the creative process to recreate me I will be a better person day after day.

“Miracles happen, not in opposition to Nature, but in opposition to what we 'know' of nature."
~ St. Augustine

Principles of Life
I am referring here to universal principles which govern every aspect of our existence which I have learned through the teachings of the Rev. Sun Myung Moon  who wrote the “Divine Principle” received by him through revelations from God and Jesus and high spiritual world.  These spiritual principles are operating in the same precise, predictable and unchanging way as physical laws.

Spiritual principles make no distinctions, judgments or determinations based on age, color, creed, education, gender, geographical location, religious preferences, or social status.

* There is only one God, the parent and creator of all things (law of oneness)

* God exists as a duality of male and female, internal and external, yin and yang (law of duality).

* Everything in the universe consists of energy.  Energy can be transformed into different substances like gas, liquid, solid or consciousness and becomes multiplied through give and receive action.

* Principle of growth – all creation has to go through a growth process to reach maturity or completion.  Every growth process goes through formation (germination), growth and completion.

* Man has free will – contrary to the animal world which only has instinct, man also has intuition.  Some people call it the 6th sense but we know now that there are 5 more senses, the spiritual senses, corresponding to the 5 physical senses.

 * God is pure consciousness, energy, and love.  Man became disconnected from God and his love at the “Fall of Man.”  Throughout history, God has been working with men to restore that relationship through religion and spiritual teachers.

* History – is “his story” (God’s story to reconnect to men). God has been working through the different religion.

Here are some other links to websites which are listening Universal Laws in a different frame work: Meet Enlightened Journey Enterprises Founder Chuck Danes  Newt Gingrich – Five Principles of Life  Carmen Harra, Spiritual medium and psychic – Eleven Principles Bill Gothard - Seven Basic Life Principles 10 Life Principles by Jungle Hut 30 Life Principles by Charles Stanley  AdrianCooper

….and many others

Spiritual growth and personal development is the main focus of this blog.  Spiritual growth entails similar aspects like physical growth – we need food and water (word of God or principles), air and sun light (love), and good deeds (vitality elements).

Let core values and life principles guide us to achieve that spiritual growth.

Monday, June 20, 2011

Following the Path of Least Resistance

Resistance is a neutral energy force.  In the physical realm, this force can be transformed like electricity to heat; political resistance struggling for the liberation of a country; the immune system fighting bacteria and virus; or the body getting stronger through physical training.

In the same way, on the spiritual and emotional level, resistance can help us to get stronger, adopt discipline and good habits.  Whenever we investigate the invisible realm, we encounter additional resistance from the ego or the unconscious mind.  It is the age-old struggle between good and evil which has never been resolved.

Since Abraham Maslow suggested the hierarchy of human needs, many philosophers and New Age thinkers have introduced us to find awareness and human enlightenment.  What the ancient teachers like Jesus, Buddha, and Confucius have taught long time ago has come now into a new lime light.  We know that we cannot solve the human problems by focusing on our physical existence alone.  In fact, in his book The Path of Least Resistance, Robert Fritz describes this process as opposites:

 “When you are solving a problem, you are taking action to have something go away: the problem.  When you are creating, you are taking action to have something come into being: the creation.  Notice the intentions of these actions are opposites.”
~ Robert Fritz

“Problems cannot be solved by the same level of thinking that created them.”
~ Albert Einstein (German-American Physicist 1879-1955)

The meaning of resistance comes from the Latin words re – back and sistere – to stand. 

It is in our human nature to follow the path of least resistance.  Resistance wants you to take it easy, be ordinary or mediocre.  Without a fight, the ego is taking us down a road of low accomplishment.  Although many great artists, musicians, architects, writers, actors, athletes and other accomplished professionals learn the principles of the creative process by developing exceptional skills to further their careers, they often don’t apply them to their personal lives.

What are the principles of the creative process which allow us to follow the path of least resistance?

Most of us are taught by our parents and families the “right way.”  Every family and culture has certain traditions, none better or worse than the other, only different.  As children, we respond to the adults in our lives by doing it “their way.”  Most of us have been raised to solve problems and to react to circumstances; very few of us learned to be truly be creative which, according to Robert Fritz is the opposite of problem solving.

In fact, if you listen to the media, the politicians, the medicine researchers, the finance people, the natural resource scientists, etc.; all they explain is the problems.  As long as we look at the external circumstances, we will never find the solutions.  Hasn’t the law of attraction taught us anything?

Following the path of least resistance is not surrender.  According to Robert Fritz, surrender is only another form of willpower.  It is the passive approach of trying to control everything.  “Going with the flow” is a form of giving up.  Eckhard Tolle in his book “The New Earth” explains surrender as a form of yielding which means inner acceptance of what is.  He insists that when you surrender internally, a new dimension of consciousness opens up.  Certainly, when you begin your journey of “least resistance” or any path of self-improvement, you will experience a battle between your ego and the rest of the world. 

 “Overcoming Resistance With Persistence” (What we resist persists)
~ Bruce Lee

I was again reminded of the power of resistance by reading a blog by Gene Anger.  Gene writes about six traps of resistance. The first one is judgment, followed by forcing change, being on unconscious auto-pilot, suppressing thoughts and emotions, duality of the mind and lastly, believing our own thoughts.  His conclusion is similar to Louise Hay in her book “You Can Heal Your Life.”  Louise dedicates a whole chapter on resistance to change.  She starts out with: ”Awareness is the First Step in Healing or Changing.”

 "There are powers inside of you which, if you could discover and use, would make of you everything you ever dreamed or imagined you could become."
~ Orison Swett Marden

 How do we recognize resistance?

* Absentmindedness – living either in the past or projecting yourself into the future.  Regretting what happened and worrying too much about what could happen.

* Assumptions – being prejudiced about others; nobody understands me; nobody else does it; I don’t want to bother them.

* Denial – there is nothing wrong with me; it’s not my fault, etc.

* Disconnection – feeling lonely and isolated creates stress; without motivation for reconnecting it can lead to illness and disease.

* Excuses – there all kinds of clues to recognize excuses: changing the subject, being late, refusing to pay attention, etc.

* FEAR – this is the mother of them all: fear of the unknown

* Give Away the Power – THEY – whoever they are, wouldn’t let me change, it’s all their fault, it’s my upbringing, my religion, etc.

* Impatience – we are all here to learn lessons and to grow spiritually.  Development takes time.  It is in the journey that we learn, understand and eventually change and grow.

* Indecisiveness – the inability to make a decision; wavering back and forth between one choice and another; stems from distrust of the self or doubting to make good decisions.

* Negative Beliefs – it has never been done; it wouldn’t work for me; it’s too much work, etc.

* Procrastination – unworthiness is the underlying cause for delaying things; laziness can often be overcome by appreciating oneself.

* Self-criticism – be kind to yourself; beating yourself up, will only reinforce resistance.

* Stubborness – being difficult, unbendable and headstrong; unable or unwilling to forgive.

While I was contemplating about the resistance, I watched some programs on PBS where Dr. Wayne Dyer was talking about the Power of Intention, and the next night he was on with “Excuses Begone.”  In these programs Dr. Dyer explains the ways he overcame resistance of the ego.

How do we overcome resistance?

* Adopt new beliefs - beliefs are formed by accepting statements as true or real, based on an opinion one has formed. Through investigating these statements and opinion you can change your belief about it.

“Beliefs have the power to create and the power to destroy.
Human beings have the awesome ability to take any experience
of their lives and create a meaning that dis-empowers them
or one that can literally save their lives.”

~ Anthony Robbins

* Ask open-ended questions: how, what, when, where, why? By questioning your mind, you challenge your thought patterns and avoid your mind not believing positive affirmations.  Rather your brain will look everywhere for an answer for “Why am I so healthy, so happy, so rich, etc.?”  Noah St. John calls these questions “afformations.”

* Avoid head-on confrontation – it not only prevents defensiveness but it circumvents the ego.  With strategies of kindness and understanding, cooperation can be achieved.

* Awareness - being in a state of consciousness, seeing and perceiving things from the inside and understanding them.

* Belief in yourself – “Being in life” with yourself, finding your own identity, and living by it will give you  confidence.

* Dream BIG

* Embrace Wholeness - we need to stop trying to tinker with what is broken and instead take the time to envision better ways of operating.

* Focus on core values and principles (see next blot 6-27-11)

* Get into the flow, also called synchronicity, or letting go.

* Live in the present moment, there is no resistance in the NOW.

* Overcome ignorance by learning new skills, study new subjects, and face prejudice. Ignorance is lack of knowledge, education, and awareness.

* Willingness to change - change your paradigms

In the next blog (next week) I will explain more about core values and universal principles.  As humans we were given Free Will by our creator.  Unlike animals which are directed by instinct, men have to develop and grow through physical experiences.  If we are only driven by our physical desires and instincts, we can never develop our full potential.  Therefore, I want to explore more about core values and universal principles to live by.

Monday, June 13, 2011

Ohio State University Spring Commencement Ceremony

It was another proud moment for our family.  Our son Jason graduated cum laude from Ohio State University (OSU) in Columbus.  This brought to an end his five year studies and his life as a colligiate athlete.  His volleyball team won the National Championship  just a few weeks ago, bringing a first time victory to the university.  Even though his degree is in construction management, the diploma recognizes him as “Bachelor of Science in Agriculture.”
On a beautiful Sunday afternoon, we witnessed the commencement of 9,700 graduates, the largest class ever for OSU.

As the commencement speaker, we had the honor to listen to the Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives, John Boehner.   Since Mr. Boehner is also from Cincinnati, I was looking forward to hear what he had to say to this accomplished audience.

He gave a very short account of his own journey through life.  Being the second oldest in his family of twelve, he started working at his family business and put himself through college at Xavier University in Cincinnati.  Based on his own experience, he remarked, this too, could happen to you referring to his courier in politics.  He encouraged the graduates to work hard, to stay humble, and to persevere.  Mr. Boehner said: “Life isn’t always about you, being useful to others, being involved in your community … that’s what I call humility.” 

In serving others you will discover Who you want to be not What you want to be.

He also advised the graduates: “If you do the right thing for the right reasons, good things will happen.”  His final recommendation was to write a note of thanks to the parents, loved ones, friends or whoever was most influential on their journey of education.  Being somewhat emotional, he said that the graduates should never be afraid to shed a tear of thanks for the gifts in their lives.
Mr. Boehner had the audience laughing when he mentioned the way people would pronounce his name, rhyming it with words like honor and leaner or even “boner.”  Then he said: "Thank God it's not Weiner."
After Mr. Boehner’s address, he was awarded an honorary doctorate for public service.
There may have been protesters outside the stadium who disagree with Dr. John Boehner’s political views, for our family it was a happy moment.  We had a wonderful day with a following party with friends and family.

Monday, June 6, 2011

Friendship Across the Years

Jutta, Christine and her husband, 2011
50 years ago today, my family left East Germany in order to escape the socialization of private businesses and other restrictions of that communist state.  My parents made a crucial decision to leave our hometown and everything connected with our home. That also meant the temporary ending of a long-lasting childhood friendship.  Over the years, Christine and I continued our relationship by writing, mostly for Christmas or other holidays.  After the reunification, we met twice, kind of formal with lots of other people around.

When we met this time, we spend hours of sharing about the childhood days.  She could remember things I had long forgotten and together we brought up events which were dear to our past.

Our living situation was that our two families lived on the same floor of an apartment building.  Their family had two girls, Christine and her younger sister.  Our family had four, 2 boys and 2 girls.  My older brother didn’t participate too much in our plays but we two girls and our younger brother were always welcome in my friend’s home and vice versa.  We would share breakfast, lunch and dinner at each other’s homes and visited for all special occasions, like birthdays, holidays, etc. 

"Friendship is unnecessary, like philosophy, like art... It has no survival value; rather is one of those things that give value to survival." 
 ~ C. S. Lewis
The other benefit was the area around our apartment building.  In the backyard was a tall swing which we would line up for with other kids in the neighborhood.  Our playground was the ruin of a bombed out property.  It was overgrown with weeds and littered with other debris.  My fondest memory from those years is that the whole neighborhood got together on a Saturday to clean up this place and make it safe.  At the end we all celebrated by having sandwiches and soda together.

During the 1950’s there weren’t a lot of cars in East Germany. One other memory was that of driving on the back of the army trucks of the Soviet soldiers around the neighborhood.  The men were friendly with us kids, and when they picked up their weekly bread from the bakery across the street they would load a whole bunch of us on the truck and gave us a ride.

A lot of our play would happen in the street.  Traffic consisted mainly of bicycles and delivery trucks.  Our favorite time was during the summer months to go out again after dinner and play until dark.  That was a time without Internet, electronic games and even TV.  My family never owned a TV until I had moved away.  We would play hopscotch, jumping robe, or play tricks on passer-bys by tying an old wallet to a robe and hiding behind the hedges.  The hedges were also useful as a swing.  We would jump into the branches and wiggle them.

By sharing together our memories, many things came back to me which I had long forgotten.  Mostly, how much that friendship meant to me.  We were so close.  The sudden separation had a lifelong consequence: I wasn’t able to make friends easily.

"Each friend represents a world in us, a world possibly not born until they arrive, and it is only by this meeting that a new world is born."
~ Anais Nin
My parents couldn’t tell us or anybody about their plans of leaving our home.  It was a crime against the republic to escape.  That’s why they had planned a vacation in the north of Berlin.  We spend a few wonderful days in the idyllic landscape of the “Brandenburger Mark.”(Province of Brandenburg) But instead of going home, we left in the middle of the night, taking a train into Berlin.  There, we registered like thousands of other “Ossies” (people living in East-Germany) at the refugee camp and after a while were transferred to West Germany. 

I will never forget that fateful night of June 5-6, 1961.  First, we had to wait a long time to catch the first S-Bahn into Berlin.  After riding the train for a while, at one station, police officers from “Deutsche Volkspolizei (German people’s police)  entered the train with sniffing dogs.  My parents were nervous, because we looked very suspicious; a family with four children and a lot of luggage. My sister got often motion-sick.  This time they welcomed her throwing-up her dinner right unto the booths of the officer checking their papers.  The officer was very annoyed and left quickly from the smelly site.  The next stop was West-Berlin, and my family left the train.  As my dad told us later, he was so relieved that he hugged the West-German police officer standing by the gates.  During that year thousands of citizens fled from East Germany; that’s why their government build a wall on August 13, 1961.

After these changing times where we moved around a lot and I had to change school six times until we settled down again in the Northern part of West Germany, I felt often lonely and became very introverted.  I couldn’t tell anybody about my experiences (one time I did because the teacher told me so, but everybody looked at me like I was from another planet).  Therefore, I kept things to myself; my focus became books, nature and cooking instead of people.

"That the only thing that really matters in life are your relationships to other people."
~Dr. George Vaillant of the Grant Study Men

I am grateful for the initiative of my friend, Christine, inviting me to a class reunion. Although, I wasn’t able to participate in it, I met with my childhood friend after 50 years; for me that created a closure and fulfilled a needed healing.
From now on I have another reason to go back to Germany: not only to visit with my family and to explore my German heritage but to nurture a life-long friendship.

German Translation:
Jutta, Christine und Schwester Christine, 1959
Freundschaft durch die Jahre

Heute vor 50 Jahren hat meine Familie Ostdeutschland verlassen, um die Versozialisierung von privaten Geschäften und andere Beschränkungen von dem kommunistischen Staate zu vermeiden.  Meine Eltern hatten eine schwere Entscheidung getroffen unsere Heimatstadt and unser Zuhause zu verlassen.

Das hieβ natürlich auch meine Jungendfreundschaft zubeenden, obwohl es nur kurzfristig war.  Während vieler Jahre haben Christine und ich nur Briefe gewechselt, meistens für Weihnachten und zu speziellen Gelegenheiten.  Nach der Wiedervereinigung, haben Christine und ich uns nur zweimal getroffen, mit vielen anderen Menschen herum, und es war sehr formal.

Als wir uns diesmal getroffen haben, haben wir für viele Stunden zusammengesessen und nur von früher erzählt.  Christine konnte sich noch an Gelegenheiten erinnern, die ich schon lange vergessen hatte.  Zusammen haben wir viele Erinnerungen ausgegraben, die uns tief beeintrugt hatten.

Unsere Wohnungen waren in einem Haus auf der zweiten Etage.  Beide Familien hatten die Türen fast immer offen.  Christine hat noch eine jüngere Schwester, und unsere Familie hatte vier, zwei Jungens und zwei Mädchen.  Mein älterer Bruder hat sich nicht so sehr an unseren Spielen beteiligt, aber die Mädchen und mein jüngerer Bruder waren immer willkommen in dem jeweiligen Heim.  Wir haben oftmals Malzeiten ausgewechselt, und uns oft besucht für Weihnachten, Geburtstage und andere besonderen Gelegenheiten.  Deshalb hat es mich auch sehr betroffen, als Christine’s Vater starb.  Es war sogar eine Glaubensherausforderung für mich, da ich jeden Tag für das Wohlergehen ihres Vater gebetet hatte.

Freundschaft ist nicht nötig, genau wie Philosophy, Kunst, etc. … Es hat keinen Űberlebenswert, aber es ist eines der Dinge, die Wert zum Űberleben gibt." 
~ C.S. Lewis

Kinder von der Nachbarschaft auf Schaukel
Der andere Vorzug für unsere nahe Freundschaft war unsere Nachbarschaft.  Im Hintergarten war eine groβe Schaukel wo sich alle Kinder von der Nachbarschaft versammelten.  Unser Spielplatz war auch eine Ruine von einem ausgebombten Haus.  Das Grundstück war überwachsen mit Unkraut und überall lagen Steine und anderer Müll.  Eine meiner besten Erinnerungen von dieser Zeit war, daβ die ganze Nachbarschaft an einem Sonnabend zusammenkam und hat das Grundstück saubergemacht, damit es mehr sicher war zum Spielen.  Nach der Arbeit haben allen Familien einen Picknick gemacht mit Stullen und Soda (Bier für die Männer).

In den 50ziger Jahren gab es nicht viele Autos in Ostdeutschland.  Eine andere Erinnerung habe ich an die ruβischen Soldaten, die einmal in der Woche zu der Bäckerei an der Ecke kamen, um ihr Brot abzuholen.  Sie kamen mit einem Lastwagen und manchmal haben sie uns Kinder eingeladen durch die Nachbarschaft zu fahren.

Viel von unseren Spielen hat sich auch auf der Straβe abgespielt.  Verkehr waren fast nur Fahrräder und Dienstwagen.  Im Sommer durften wir nach dem Abendessen noch mal raus und spielten bis es dunkel wurde.  Es war eine Zeit ohne Internet, elektronische Spiele oder sogar Fernsehen.  Meine Familie hat keinen Fernseher besessen bis ich von zu Hause weggeganen bin.  Wir spielten Kreisel, Kästchenhüpfen, Seilspringen, oder haben Spaziergänger getrickt in dem wir ein altes Portemonnaie an eine Schnur gebunden haben und uns selbst hinter der Hecke versteckten.  Wenn jemand die Purse hochheben wollte, haben wir sie weggezogen.  Die Hecke war auch sehr brauchbar zum Schaukeln.  Wir haben uns in die Zweige geworfen und haben uns dann hin und her geschwungen.

Als Christine und ich unsere Erinnerungen austauschten, kamen viele Dinge wieder in mein Gedächtnis, die ich schon lange vergessen hatte.  Das Wichtigste war jedoch, daβ mir wieder bewuβt wurde, wie viel mir diese Freundschaft gegeben hat.  Wir waren so eng verbunden.  Die plötzliche Trennung hatte für mich Lebenslange Konsequenzen; es war für mich sehr schwer wieder Freunschaften abzuschlieβen.

“Jeder Feund repräsentiert eine Welt in uns, eine World, die möglichenweise nur dann geboren wird wenn sie ankommen, und es ist nur durch dieses Treffen, daβ eine neue Welt geboren wird.”
~ Anais Nin

In 1961 hatten meine Eltern sich entschlossen, unsere Heimat zuverlassen.  Sie konnten niemand von dieser Entscheidung erzählen.  Es war ein Verbrechen gegen die Republik wegzugehen.  Deshalb haben sie Pläne für unsere Familie gemacht für einen Ferienaufenthalt im Norden von Berlin.  Wir haben auch ein paar wunderschöne Tage in der idyllischen Landschaft der Brandenburger Mark verbracht.  Aber danach, anstelle daβ wir nach Hause fuhren, haben wir in der Mitte der Nacht einen Zug nach Berlin genommen.  Dort hatten wir uns wie viele andere “Ossies” im Flüchtlichslager angemeldet, und nach kurzer Zeit wurden wir nach Westdeutschland transportiert (mit dem Flugzeug).

Ich werde niemals die schicksalhafte Nacht von 5-6. Juni, 1961 vergessen.  Zuerst muβten wir lange auf einen Zug der S-Bahn nach Berlin warten.  Nachdem wir für eine Weile im Zug fuhren, kamen auf einer Station die Deutsche Volkspolizei rein mit groβen Schäferhunden, die alles abgeschnuppert haben.  Meine Eltern waren sehr nervous, da wir so verdächt aussahen mit 4 Kindern und so viel Gepäck.  Da kam das Űbergeben meiner Schwester im richtigen Augenblick, sie wurde öfters krank wegen Bewegung.  Ihr Abendessen ist auf den Stiefeln des Polizisten gelandet, und es hat ekelhaft gerochen.  Deshalb hat der Beamte unsere Papiere nur ganz überflächig betrachtet, und sie sind in das nächte Abteil gegangen.  Auf der nächsten Station in West-Berlin, sind wir alle ganz schnell ausgestiegen.  Mein Vater hat uns später erzählt, daβ er dem Polizisten auf dem Bahnsteig um den Hals gefallen war.  Er war so erlöβt, daβ uns nichts passiert war.  Während des Jahres 1961 bis zum 13. August waren jeden Tag Tausende von Ostdeutschen geflohen, deshalb haben sie dann auch die Mauer gebaut. 

Während der nächsten zwei Jahre sind wir einige Male umgezogen, bis wir uns dann wieder im Norden von Westdeutschland niedergelassen haben. Ich habe mich oftmals sehr einsam gefühlt und bin sehr introvertiet geworden.  Ich konnte meine Erlebnisse nicht mit anderen austauschen, da sie dafür kein Verständnis hatten.  Einmal hat mich eine Lehrerin gefragt über unsere Flucht zu erzählen.  Meine Klassenkameraden haben mich nur angestarrt, als ob ich von einem anderen Planeten kam.  Deshalp hatte ich mich mehr und mehr zurückgezogen; mein Interesse bekamen Lesen, Kochen und Wandern, anstelle von Menschen.

"Was wirklich wichtig ist im Leben sind die Beziehungen mit anderen Menschen."
~ Dr. Georg Vaillant (Grant Study Men)

Ich bin sehr dankbar, daβ mich meine Freundin Christine zu einem Klassentreffen eingeladen hat.  Obwohl es diesmal nicht geklappt hat, haben wir zwei uns nach 50 Jahren wieder getroffen.  Für mich was das eine tiefe Heilung und hat einen neuen Abschluss von der Kindheit dargestellt.  Von jetzt an habe ich noch einen neuen Grund wieder nach Deutschland zu fahren; ich werde nicht nur meine Familie besuchen, und meine deutsche Űberlieferung bewundern, sondern auch meine Feundin Christine aufsuchen.