Monday, February 17, 2014

What liberates you?......

What liberates you from yourself, from whatever stops you?  What liberates you and opens new possibilities?

For me it can be observing some thoughts, actions or ways of being that don’t serve me and then accepting and letting whatever is stopping me be, with no action necessary.  There are instances where I am liberated by confronting something I have tolerated a long time and then suddenly I am unwilling to tolerate any longer and I take action.  See my post dated, Jan. 9, 2011, for an example.  It can be being confronted by another with something about myself that I am unaware of, i.e., a blind spot and giving up my resistance to seeing what another sees that I don’t see.  Or other times it might be observing being fearful and choosing to take action in the face of the fear.  And a big one.....being willing to be wrong about something I have been self-righteous about and letting go of my position.  I could go on with other examples and I will return to some of these ways of liberation in other posts but there is another that I have recently realized can provide enormous liberation and open a whole new realm of possibilities.

And that is the inherent ability we human beings have to create.  My next post will be devoted to our ability to create new existence or new realities.  Maybe even the next several posts.  I can’t tell yet because I am creating this as I go along. 

Jimmy Wilson

Sunday, February 16, 2014

Resuming from where I left off......

It’s been a long time since I posted.  I could give some long explanation for why I haven’t posted, which would serve no useful purpose.  Let’s just say I am back and I think I have some life experiences since my last post that will enable me to be more focussed on what I spoke about in “About this blog”.  So the following is some review and expansion of "About this blog".

I believe the biggest challenge we have in life is transformation, i.e., recognizing or recovering who we really are.  We are born with no identity and then an identity(ego) is created which inherently limits and stops what is possible for us.  We don’t just have an ego.  We become the ego....we become the incessant thoughts in our head(mind) and everything we have identified with such as our body, possessions, name, country, religion, politics, etc.  We don’t just do or have all this but we literally are what we have identified with.  We forget we were not all this before we “became” what we identified with.  We are unconscious, asleep or blind to ourSelf prior to all the identifying.  We become programmed or brainwashed to believe we are all that we have identified with.  We are all born into this human condition that was already here when we are born.  We become lost to our original Self.  

The result is what we call the human condition and it seems, like death and taxes, none of us escapes this process.  We get so lost in this identification process that we act from the conditioning we received from our early environment and we get, at the extreme, all the insane behavior we hear about everyday in the media, including in ourselves, family, friends and neighbors.  It seems no one is exempt....from the poorest to the richest and from low intelligence to otherwise mentally brilliant people.  For most of us “normal” people this process simply occurs as “blind spots” where we are not aware of how we are being, acting and expressing in some specific areas.  It is sometimes referred to as “don’t know and don’t know we don’t know”.

All this begs the question:  How do we escape this human condition or can we?  Can we “liberate” ourselves from this universal human condition we are born into?  One obvious answer is yes, through death.  And that is the stuff of religion and other speculations about what if anything is after our death.  But that is not what this blog is about.  This blog is about sharing your and my experiences and observations along the “liberation path”.  It is my intention to have shorter and more frequent posts that share specific “liberation” experiences.  Please stay tuned and I would love to hear from you in the comments section.

Jimmy Wilson

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Post Thanksgiving Gratitude....

I am grateful for having completed my 73rd  trip around our sun the day after thanksgiving.  I am grateful for a new passenger on our spaceship Earth this year.  My grandson Bennett Thomas Wilson was born in March.  Welcome aboard Bennett.  
I am grateful I was able to participate in a celebration of the departure of another passenger… Father.  And I am grateful my son and his two oldest sons participated with me in burying my Father’s ashes at his Mother and Father’s grave, at my Mother’s grave and at the base of a pecan tree in my front yard(my Father loved pecans).  The burying of my Father’s ashes represented the completion of the most challenging commitment of my lifetime….being a caretaker for my Father.  I am grateful for the support I received during the entire process of my Father’s decline and departure.
I am grateful for the many pictures and other memory items my Father left with me.  From those pictures I learned that my Great Grand Father served in the Confederate Army.  Now I understand and see the family connections to racial bigotry that got passed down to my Father.  I am extremely grateful to have confronted and interrupted that bigotry in my family(see post “Sanity or Insanity, revisited”).

Lastly, I am very grateful to be complete with my Father’s passing.  I have no idea if there is another life experience after passing but if there is I think the line, “I have been released and I am welcome here”, from the song, “All is Welcome Here” is appropriate for all arriving and departing passengers from our beautiful spaceship Earth.
Jimmy Wilson

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Tribute to my father...

My father passed on Sept. 18.  He was 95 years old.  His being gone feels like a hole in my existence but I am glad his suffering is over.  His life is over and complete.  
Dad did not leave a great financial or property legacy.  His legacy was far richer than money or property.  My Dad was a living walking demonstration of the power of giving our word, keeping our word and honoring our word.  He did not have the mental ability to articulate this but he didn’t need to because that’s who he was.   He completed caretaking commitments that lasted for 35 years.  They included raising me and caretaking his mother, down syndrome brother and my chronically ill mother.  I don’t recall his ever complaining about these sometimes overwhelming commitments.  
I was my Dad’s caretaker for 5 and 1/2 years and remembering the successful completion of his caretaking agreements helped sustain me when dealing with him was especially frustrating.  He had vascular dementia.  Dad could be difficult and cantankerous even before dementia and of course the dementia multiplied the difficulty.   
But I am grateful I was able to look beyond his personality and the dementia to see the contribution he had been to his family.  I am also grateful I was able to celebrate and honor Dad’s life by sharing about his legacy with family and friends at his memorial service.  
Jimmy Wilson

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Death, aging, health and fitness......

It has been longer than usual since I last wrote a post.  I noticed that I don’t have the urge to write unless I am in the middle of some emotional experience.  Today as I read about the tornadoes in Missouri, I am reminded of how precarious our lives are.  For those who died, one minute they were alive, with no inkling they would not be alive in the next 60 seconds.  And then a force of nature we cannot comprehend, snuffs out their lives with absolutely no discrimination and for those who survived there is the unbelievable destruction to deal with.  It seems the possibility of death is ever present.  Last week a tractor trailer rig ran me off the road;  if I had lost control I might not be here writing this post.  

I see no point in trying to understand the precarious nature of living.  Walking the ever present tight rope between life and death seems to me to not be understandable.  Life does not come with the ability to look around corners and see our own death coming.  Even when we have a terminal illness and know we are going to die, we don’t see the illness coming.  So I will let the mystery of death remain a mystery.  I accept it as one of those things in life I cannot change and focus on those things I can change.

And what I do have some say about is, who I am after a near death experience, like having a stroke.   And who I am now after that experience is a person who declines to be a victim.  I choose to be responsible for my fitness and health.  I chose to use the experience of the stroke as an opportunity to educate myself about healthy eating and effective exercise to make a difference in the quality of my aging.  I do not accept that there is not much we can do about our aging and that we just have to passively accept what Doctors(the medical priesthood) and the medical industrial complex tell us is or is not possible about our health. I do not accept that drugs are the answer to every ailment.  I do not deny my aging and impending death.  Why deny it?  As far as we know, no one has escaped. 

In my previous post I mentioned losing 23 lbs. as a result of my healthy eating and some exercise.   Then I began to notice some loose skin and some people questioned that I may have lost too much.  Even though I had regained most physical functions lost from the stroke, I had not regained all my strength.  In fact I was far from my original strength and while rehab had been very helpful, it was focused on specific body parts like my left hand and leg plus balance.  After finishing with the formal physical rehab I started doing some exercising on my own but I was not disciplined or organized and I did not have the exercise education necessary to get fast results.  Also, I did not know what was possible given my age(72).  I wondered, is it too late?  Could I completely regain the lost strength at my age?  

Fortunately, I found a program that has helped me not only regain the lost strength but go way beyond what I thought or hoped would be possible.  I now realize there were some things about exercise physiology that I did not know and didn’t know that I didn’t know.  If I don’t know something and know I don’t know that, I can do something about that., For example, I know I can’t fly a plane but I know that I don’t know and could go learn what I don’t know and get trained to fly a plane if I was committed to learning.

The program I discovered is called “7 minute workout” and I have been in a beta test group for 9 weeks.  In 9 weeks, I have doubled and tripled my strength in several areas.  I have regained 6 pounds of muscle as well as gained inches in key muscle areas.  My body fat percentage is down to 12 -14% compared to 18-20% when I started the program.  At the time of the stroke I was at least 25%.  Other people are getting equal or more results.  For example, one member has lost 44 lbs. and many inches in 9 weeks.  And because the loss is happening as a result of the method of exercising we are doing and healthy eating, he is losing all fat and gaining muscle. 

I now have hope and possibilities for the quality of my aging that were not available before this program.  The program will soon be available to people outside the beta test group and I will share more information when the public launch starts.  

For any readers interested, this program runs counter to what most people think is possible in exercising or what is required to get results.  It may require you to let go of some things you think are facts about exercising and be open to what you don’t know and don’t know you don’t know.

I am committed to the possibility of having a fit, healthy and sustainable body to the end.  I invite all to join me in that possibility.  

Stay tuned.

Jimmy Wilson

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Thoughts on Grandchildren and Aging.......

This past Friday I went to Jefferson, GA to watch my 15 year old grandson, Chase Wilson, play tenor sax with his high school band in a graded competition with other bands.  They did very well and scored high.  I was moved and inspired by the playing.  I was moved to experience gratitude for the privilege and honor it is to be a grandparent.  

Of course I felt personal pride in watching my grandson play and participate well in the collaborative effort of making music in a band.  But there is so much more available beyond personal pride in looking at the experience from a larger perspective.

It is such a privilege to have watched my grandsons develop from babies, to toddlers and now to budding young men.  And now I get to watch the process all over again with their little sister and very soon to be a baby brother.  The whole developmental process feels miraculous to me, and especially when they have parents who are paying close nurturing attention to their development, as my grandchildren are fortunate to have.  

My age and many years of committed interest in the developmental process for human beings gives me a perspective that allows for seeing the rewards of continuing the developmental process into adulthood and all the way to the end.  And of course my age also allows for seeing the costs of not continuing personal development into adulthood as well.  

As I have said earlier on this site, I am committed to the process for life.  That commitment has given me two insights in the last few years into my own personal development that I was previously blind to.  First, I discovered that I was allowing what I considered my insufficient financial development to color and invalidate my overall development as a human being.  From that realization I now compartmentalize and organize my life into domains of development and create written projects to develop myself in all domains with emphasis on those areas I think need the most work.

For example, with the stroke I experienced 10 months ago, I realized my training and development in the area of fitness and nutrition was insufficient for my recovery.  So I created written projects around that and followed through with action.  One result so far has been the loss of 23 lbs. of weight.  I will share more about the results of my development in the area of health and fitness as the process  continues in future posts. 

A second realization was around aging.  In thinking about my thinking, I gradually began to realize that I was having thoughts and feelings of dread around my aging......thoughts of slow decline, a weakening body, a diminishing future and maybe eventual dependency.  My greatest fear became fearing that my life would turn out to be similar to my Dad’s.  That is a life ending in a slow shutting down decline, severe dementia and total dependency.  I was not very conscious of this fear until I enrolled in a seminar with Landmark Education called “An Invented Life, Your Life by Design”.  In that seminar we were asked to name our greatest fear, share it and complete it.  The moment the question was asked I woke up to that fear, immediately shared it and experienced it in front of the seminar.  It was not a pretty sight but I completed it then and there.  

That began a development process of inventing who I am for the rest of my life.  That process can be the subject of another post or maybe several posts.  Let’s just say for now, that what I stand for is, the rest of my life will be the best of my life.....a life based in new possibilities of aging rather than diminishing possibilities.

For those interested in new possibilities for aging, check out  plus the book, “The Elder”.

Jimmy Wilson

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Sanity or Insanity.....Revisited.....

In my post titled “Sanity or Insanity?  Choose”, I suggested that we individually observe ourself and ask if we are contributing to sanity or insanity.  In the wake of the horrific event of mass murder and attempted murder of Rep. Gabby Giffords, I think it appropriate to ask another question.

What if a person is unable to examine and observe their thinking?  What if they are so lost in their insane thinking that they are incapable of examining their thinking and emotions?  In the worst cases we of course lock them up to protect ourselves from them.  But what of those that are not yet in a murderous state?  For those who spew vitriolic racial, political and abusive language toward others, how can we make a difference?  Or can we make a difference?  Is there a way we can be or actions we can take with those fellow human beings that will make an impact?  What about a family member, a friend or just an acquaintance that is speaking their prejudice, hatred or just heated emotion?  I say we can make an impact and I will illustrate by sharing an incident with my father.

I grew up in rural Georgia and my father was very racially prejudiced as were most people in my community when I was growing up.  He freely and openly expressed his prejudice and acted on it in many ways.  And he assumed that I agreed with him.  Apparently it did not occur to him that my mother and I might not agree with him or that we might even be frustrated or offended by his way of being.  And it certainly did not occur to him that those to whom his behavior was directed might be offended or feel demeaned.  

And now to my point.  Even though we both very much disagreed with him, neither of us ever expressed our disagreement, frustration or embarrassment.  Did we not have the courage, commitment or voice to speak up?  I’m not really sure.  I can’t speak for my mother since she passed on many years ago but I lived with the regret of not speaking up until 2008 when my Dad was 92 and I simply could not live with that regret any longer.  I had moved back to where I grew up to take care of my Dad and I was listening to his racist talk, usually several times a week.

President Obama was in the midst of the Presidential campaign and I was listening to him speak on TV one Sunday evening.  Dad came in from evening church service and started  speaking very hateful nasty comments about Mr. Obama.  I think his just having left church and ten minutes later speaking that way plus interrupting my listening to the speech was a trigger for me.

I turned off the TV and told my Dad we had to talk.  I asked him to sit down and I stood on my knees in front of him right against his knees.  I wanted to make sure he could not walk away from what I had to say.  I did not speak with anger but with the intention and intensity that came from releasing over 60 years of regret, guilt and frustration of not standing up to my father’s racist behavior.  With this writing I am experiencing tears and pain in my gut.  I realize this is highly personal and some might say I should not be sharing this about my Dad.  But I am doing so with the hope that someone else might summon the courage to stand up to such behavior from someone they know or maybe even from themselves.  What follows is a summary of what I said.

“Dad, you have always assumed I agreed with your racial views and behavior.  I do not and never have, even as a little kid.  You assumed you had the right to try to pass your views on to me.  You do not have that right.  I cannot change the way you think or your behavior.  But I demand that you never speak that way in my presence ever again.  It is offensive and I refuse to listen to such talk.  And if you do it again, I will make the same demand and I will walk away from you if you persist.  You do not have the right to make the judgments you make of black people or anyone else.  To do so is an offense to the religion you were practicing tonight at church.  And I will not ever again listen to your racial judgments without challenging you.”

There was more but I can’t remember all of it.  Of course he was very angry and would not talk and we never spoke about the incident again.  But here is what I consider the transformation that came out it.  First, I was forever altered as a man and as a son.  I found my voice with my father and that altered who I am as a human being.  Secondly, my father was altered.  Not only has he not spoken that way again about President Obama, he voted for him after saying he would not.  After the election during another Obama speech, Dad said, “He is a very smart man”.  And he spoke respect and admiration of President Obama several times before his physical condition deteriorated to where he can no longer speak.  I am very grateful for having heard my father speak and act respectfully with black people after over 90 years.

I took a stand with my Dad.  What if we all took that stand with someone we know?  What if I had taken my stand with Dad many years ago?  What if we took that stand with our politicians and demanded debate with civility.  What if someone had taken a stand with the young man who killed all those people in Arizona  and did so several years ago before he was in his insane murderous state?  

Even if someone is unable to examine their own thinking and emotions and my Dad certainly was not before I took a stand, taking a stand transformed both of us.  

Taking a stand, speaking that stand and acting consistent with the stand has the power to transform who are.

Jimmy Wilson