Ed Belote

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since Jul 02, 2018
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Recent posts by Ed Belote

I'm very sorry to hear of your loss, Catherine.

Lately, I've been reading the poetry of Mary Oliver.  I found this on YouTube, and it's one of my favorites, so far.

4 years ago

James Whitelaw wrote:I guess I have some confusion as “spilt milk”. To me the saying was always “Don’t cry over spilt milk”, never about blame or why there was milk spilt.

A very good point James.  It would seem to me that we might want to then take a look at our reaction to the spilt milk.
4 years ago
"No one wins unless everybody wins."  Bruce Springsteen
4 years ago
"What can everyone do? Praise and blame. This is human virtue, this is human madness."  Friedrich Nietzsche

Praise and blame are symptoms of the ego.  Of course, most adore praise, because it feels good, but continual praise can have as much of a negative effect as constant blame. We have to look at our own reactions in the situation, for a deeper understanding.

With blame, there is a 'blamer' and a 'blamee', it will not work without these two components.  The blamer draws from past experiences where they have been taught that someone, but not me, is responsible for this.  The "not me" is very important here. Fear comes into play here.  It also holds elements of superiority, but is based on fear of being the one who gets blamed.  The blamee, then becomes the inferior one, but only if they choose to do so.  Repeated throughout ones life can have detrimental effects.  I can't do that, I suck at this, I'm clumsy, stupid, ugly, etc...  we've all said it.  Eventually, these statements play and replay in our minds, and we become what we think.
4 years ago
Last night, I felt lucky being with my son, who I only see once or twice a year.  This was his idea of a Christmas present.  This morning was a little more fuzzy.

I've learned that this is a sport better left to the young.
4 years ago

Pearl Sutton wrote:

Ed Belote wrote:

I think that you worded the title perfectly.  I am genuinely curious as to why the desire to chart happiness.  My experience has told me that when I focus on quantifying something like happiness, I lose sight of it.

I feel that when I let "what's on fire today" be my guide for what happens, the things that seriously MATTER to me get lost in the shuffle. I work until bedtime, and never have any time for anything that isn't work. And my sanity suffers from it. I was trying to think how long it has been since I did anything "just for fun." Years, I expect. It's all stuff that I need to do to accomplish my goals, even if it's entertaining, like hanging out here, it's not "just because it's fun."

So I'm trying to figure out how to make my life more balanced. If yours is, I envy you, but I spend a lot of time stressed with no break. Maybe if I figure out what I can do and make sure it gets done, it will help.

Stephen R Covey, in his book "The 7 Habits of Highly effective People" has a chart

and looking at it, almost all of my day is spent in quadrant 1. The things that are important to me that are not on fire right NOW get bumped "until later" and that never comes.

And don't get me wrong, I enjoy doing things like fixing things, and digging dirt, but it's all goal driven, and not pleasure driven. I cook very creatively these days, because it's the only creative outlet I have. I haven't done any artwork in years, I don't have time to do stuff that has no reason to exist. I only sit still and listen to the birds while I'm leaning on my mattock, taking a breather before I work again.  This doesn't work. I'm trying to figure out how to change it, hopefully before I break down from it all.

Thank you for your reply, and I totally understand your feelings on this.  Like you, like me, I believe there are many who feel the same way.

Let me tell you a little more about how I became interested in the subject of happiness.  A routine checkup turned into a diagnosis, and not a good one, or so I first thought.  I looked at it as a death sentence.  I walked around with a heavy heart and doom on my mind for quite some time.

One day, someone said to me, "you know, we all die one day, but what about all those other days that we live?"  That stuck with me, and I began to see the truth in it.  It wasn't an Emeril moment (Bam!) but something that came from much self reflection.  And time.

I began to see my diagnosis as a blessing.  Yes, I am happy to be given such a wonderful lesson!  

A personal crisis can take on many forms, from job loss to a divorce to not enough time in the day to someone left my cake out in the rain. It is what we do with the experience that is important.  More and more, I tend to look at these moments in life as a teacher.  I ask myself, what can I learn from this?  

This is different from the power of positive thinking, I believe no one can truly do that, but more of an organic power that which I've learned to accept what is and go with the ebbs and flows of everything this experience has to offer.

You enjoy fixing things, digging in the dirt, and cooking. You are the common denominator in all of that.  Perhaps instead of looking at these activities as goal driven, you could view it through a different lens and see it as nothing more than pure pleasure.

I am not a Zen Buddhist, but there is a saying from one of its masters that goes:  The person who really accepts transience begins to feel weightless. When Suzuki was asked what it was like to have experienced satori (enlightenment), he said it’s just like everyday ordinary experience but about two inches off the ground.
4 years ago