Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Mastery is a State of Mind

If we keep our focus on our primary concerns, we see that mastery, in all forms, is first and foremost, a state of mind. Sometimes people may reverse these aspects, thinking that hand positions, dexterity or agility are the marks of mastery, but it is the state of mind that precedes these things that create the mastery. 
When we are possessed by a strong desire to be excellent at something, our mindset comes first, and then we acquire the skills.
I think that sometimes we see it incorrectly because we are viewing it from the end point. We see a person who is an excellent athlete, dancer, musician, carpenter, gardener, mechanic, chef, seamstress, salesperson, or whatever it is we are admiring and often we think "oh that person was just born with more talent than me." Not true.
We all are born with potential, but that potential never develops into a skill or talent unless we practice. 
So what state of mind am I referring to? I am referring to clarity, stability, peace, self confidence, the state of balance that helps us navigate our course so that we can continue on our course to achieve our goals and handle whatever challenges cross our path without getting angry and out of control. Knowing that we can rise to a new level to meet any challenge and continue in a flow of love and peace because we have a connection to our spirit guides, whether we call them God, Goddess, angels, ancestors, animal totems, friends and relatives who have already crossed the veil and still return to help us. However we think of them, they help us keep our sense of peace, love and direction. Keeping in touch at this level is what helps us to live in a state of mastery.    
You know that feeling that you get when you are really in the flow? You know, peace of mind, focus, clarity, contentment? Those feelings allow you the space to operate from, to begin to learn to do those things that you want to, to learn the skills that you want to master. In other words, our spiritual attitude is key to our ability to learn new things and do them well. It is this attitude that lets us act with clarity rather than running around like chickens with our heads cut off.  
You see, those feelings of peace, contentment, focus and clarity help remove the obstacles of distraction and turmoil and confusion.
Mastery is the decision to have peace in your life. How we achieve peace is a choice we make because there are both loud and celebratory, joyful things that we do that bring us happiness and peace, and there are also simple accomplishments that bring us quiet peace. Altogether, these all add us to enjoying our life more, and doing so in a way that when others experience what we do, they recognize excellence and ask us how did you learn to do that? 
The answer is that sometimes we teach ourselves and sometimes we ask others to teach us. However, it is always our state of mind that begins it all. 
Possessing that feeling of mastery lets us focus and make conscious choices, rather than feeling like we are floundering and chaotic. That is always the starting point of mastery in our life. It starts within. With a focus, a vision, a desire.
There are times when we may be confused and not certain of what we want to master. At those moments, it is important to go within. It is natural that our vision for ourselves evolves. What is your vision now? What is your focus now? What is your desire now?

Mastery can also apply to adapting new habits that benefit our health and well being. It usually takes some effort to change our habits, but the effort is worth it. Mastery is, above all, our connection to our spirit guides, our selves, others and then, the things we do.

Can you get in touch with the inner space where we can sense that still point, the place from which we navigate?

Being able to do so helps us know what is important and what is our next best move. Mastery is within our grasp. Mastery is within our spirit. Mastery is within our consciousness. Sometimes we just have to focus on getting back in touch with it. 

Wednesday, August 10, 2016

The Eternal Dance of the Student and Teacher

Shortly, those who have school age children will be getting ready to send them off to school again. And there may have been a time when we were very young that we thought that once we graduated school that the entire business of student and teacher would be over forever. 

Later on, we realized that we are always learning, whether it is new skills for a particular job, playing a musical instrument, a sport, a game, a hobby, or life skills for improving our relationships and exploring developments that would enrich us spiritually, philosophically or physically.

And in time, we found ourselves being the ones that others came to for advice, and perhaps we were surprised by who asked us and why. 

And that may lead us into a one on one mentor relationship or a group class, a formal or informal course of studies.

You see, once we have taken care of finding work and a home, our attention often wanders into areas that will enrich our lives. As we get older, we give more thought to subjects like mortality, parallel dimensions of life and our legacies. As we do, we realize that legacies can be much more than the physical things we leave behind. Legacies are also about what we have taught and shared and about how well those we have taught and shared with have evolved. 

The realization that we are always both student and teacher upends the notion that we only learn for a while and then we are done. Awakenings may have come to us at a time of career change, a relationship beginning or ending, facing a serious health challenge or the death of someone close to us. 

When we look closely at what we do, if we pursue excellence, we are always asking how we can do what we do better. It is at these moments when new truths reveal themselves. When we are preparing to teach someone else and it suddenly occurs to us how we can present the subject better. Or when we are doing something we have done for quite a while and suddenly we discover another way to practice it. 

We are never really done learning or teaching. Some times we are one, some times we are the other. We are both at the same time and it is rewarding and deeply satisfying to know this as we act on it.

The subjects may change, but in essence, they are always the same. We are always exploring and discovering ways to improve the quality of our lives and this always affects those connected to us. 

Our circles of connection are more extensive than we often realize, encompassing not only lovers, but close friends, relatives, co-workers, neighbors and casual acquaintances. And then if we have published anything on line, who knows who saw it? 

If we are always conscious of our own evolution, then there is no end to the new beginnings and fresh starts waiting to be unveiled, experiences for us to step into.