si dawson

experiments in self-improvement

Month: August, 2008

The Importance Of Speech

“If you propose to speak, always ask yourself, is it true, is it necessary, is it kind?”
— Buddha

I heard this quote the other day (thanks @tinybuddha), and it hit like a ton of bricks.

love_in_a_bubble.jpg pic by Trove Designs

When I was growing up, I was always told “If you haven’t got anything nice to say, don’t say anything at all”. Conceptually this is the same thing, except that it’s negatively framed and a little dictatorial in tone – I guess it’s not surprising my younger self rebelled! Still, I guess this is the point where I say “Yes Mum, you were right. Again. I love you Mum.”

Buddha provides a pretty simple checklist. Makes it easy to remember.

  1. True? Yes/No.
  2. Necessary? Yes/No.
  3. Kind? Yes/No.

I thought about this a bit deeper & I realised, speech is one level, but what’s behind speech?


Couldn’t the same thing apply here? If you’re going to think anything, ensure it is True, Necessary & Kind.

Of course, the vast majority of thoughts are simply self-speech – talking to or about ourselves. We’re the cruelest & least forgiving toward ourselves, so if anything this self-speech, thought, is far, far more important to consider.

So, being the extremist that I am, I tapped those two things in – both speech & thought. Because it’s tapping IN a positive, instead of tapping OUT a negative, it’s worth having a few goes to clear out all the blocks.. but already I’m feeling my attitudes – towards those around me – and myself – softening.

It’s a path well worth travelling, no matter how few or how those steps are taken.


    Thar’s Gold In Them Thar Street

    I saw this today:

    Yep, a glorious rainbow! Well, that’s one end of it. But take a gander at the other end:

    Have a look at that!! The end of the rainbow is in front of the building. This means, of course, that there’s a pot o’ gold somewhere in my street!


    Amusingly, there’s already a giant hole in the ground right where this ends – they’re digging foundations for a new skyscraper.

    .. or at least, that’s what they say. I reckon they’re just trying to beat me to the gold. Me gold! Me gold! Arrr! (etc)

    So, since it’s a bit of a silly day, have this too (Captain Vegetable):


      You Are Responsible For Your Parents (.. And Their Parents..)

      Who cares who’s right about Nature vs Nurture? The bottom line is – our parents affect us.

      Genetically, it’s pretty obvious. Your parents are tall? You play basketball. They’re black? It’s a pretty safe bet (although not 100%, amusingly enough) that you are too, and so on.

      Emotionally (or environmentally/sociologically), it’s a little more complex.

      And, if you stop to think about it – given that your parents also pass on genetic proclivities to our brains – intelligence, disposition, behaviours, and so on, it’s a complicated mess we have to try and unravel.

      After all, who really is in control of our lives? Us, or them?

      But wait, there’s more. Where did they get their lives from? Well, their parents, of course, and so on back up the tree.

      So, in summary: Our lives are (at least initially) a result of our ancestors.

      Do we want to take back control? Do we want to make choices, and not just be driven by this history? Do we actually want complete free will to lead the life we want to?

      Well, if so, we’re going to have to take responsibility. A lot of it.

      Not just for ourselves, but also for our parents. Not for their lives (after all, that’s their job), but for the influence they’ve had, and continue to have, on us.

      image by M Bowman

      One of the things that has become abundantly clear to me is how often issues I’m trying to heal in myself really aren’t mine. I’ve learned them, or had them passed on, from one or other (or both) of my parents (and back in time to them).

      Now, sure, you can heal everything that’s happened in your life – but a lot of times it ends up like that old tale of heroically fishing bodies out of a river – what you really need to do is go upstream & find who’s throwing them in.

      I’ll give you an example.

      One thing I’ve worked on a bit is a definite need for approval. Particularly from the women in my life. This has been noticeable, and, on occasion, actually driven women I’ve cared about away. *ouch* Now, I took this to be because when I was growing up, I never felt like my mother loved me – the important point here being, how I felt, not how she actually behaved or whether she did or not. Once I had healed, I was able to see that of course she loved me – or, as she put it when I talked to her about it later “Are you crazy? You’re my first born son!!”

      However, this need for approval, while lessened, hadn’t completely disappeared. Hmm, interesting. What to do, what to do?

      Then, this week, I heard a very interesting story. My grandmother’s mother (on my Mum’s side), well, her mother was very young when she had her, so she was raised by her grandmother, not her mother. Keeping up? My great-grandmother was raised by my great-great-great-grandmother. Yep, it’s a pretty great story alright. Ha ha, I’m here all week, try the veal.

      Imagine that though. The girl you think is your sister is actually your mother. The woman you think is your mother is actually your grandmother. Hmm. Would you ever actually truly know a mother’s love? Would you feel like something was missing from your life? I tell you, that’s crazy.

      Of course, I heard this, a big lightbulb went off in my head, and I immediately went and healed on this. How? As if I was my great-grandmother. Why? Because part of me is. Genetically, big duh there. But more than that. I believe energetically a lot of stuff is passed down. But whether you believe that or not, it’s hard to argue against habits & beliefs being passed down from mother to daughter after a significant life event like that.

      I’ve chosen to do similar things with every significant event I’ve heard about – from my parents & back up the tree. I’m not healing them specifically, what I am doing is healing their effect over me. I’m regaining control over my life. I’m removing the echoes from older generations, and replacing them with conscious choices about exactly the life I choose to live.

      If or when I have kids, I’d be pleased if they did exactly the same thing about me – although yes, I’m aware of both the likelihood of rebellion, and the recursive irony of such a desire – I want them to choose to make the same choice I did to make their own choices to.. uhh.. oh forget it!

      Regardless, the bottom line is this: If we truly want 100% freedom within our lives, it’s necessary to not only consider our immediate history, but that of our parents and ancestors too.


        How To Kick A Bad Habit In 2 Minutes

        So here’s a quick trick I learned recently.

        It’s using Neuro Linguistic Programming. But don’t worry about that, it’s super simple.

        I was shown this in terms of breaking bad shopping habits, but I figured, since I’m trying out a couple of weeks of 100% raw, why not use it on food places around town that I’ve developed emotional affection for, but that aren’t necessarily the healthiest for me, if-you-know-what-I-mean.

        So, here’s the drill:

        1. Think of the habit you’re trying to kick. Get really excited about it. As you do, squeeze your left thumb & fore finger together.
        2. Repeat 1 with as many similar habits as you can. Eg, I just went around all the food places I wanted to stop lusting after. Do this until simply squeezing your fingers together brings up the desire.
        3. Now, think of something you would never buy, no matter what. Something that fills you with utter disgust. The more outraged and digusted you are the better.
        4. Make this disgusting image as big as possible in your mind, so it completely overwhelms you (yeah, puke! puke!). Then, as it maxes out, squeeze your left thumb & forefinger together tightly.

        Do this process as many times as you like, until the very thought of the things you craved before leaves you with a feeling of discomfort.

        Total time it took me? Oh, about 2 minutes. So far, in the three days since I did this, I haven’t had a single positive thought towards any of these places. In fact, I find it difficult to even think about them. My brain just isn’t interested.



          Beauty At Dusk

          Winter is finally thawing into spring, the days are slowly getting brighter. It’s finally warm enough to venture onto the balcony at dusk.

          This is what beckoned to me:
          (click for larger version)

          From here I get a three hundred degree view of this every evening. Nothing quite like being overwhelmed by the splendour of nature.

          Ten minutes alone with that & a glass of fresh orange juice and it’s easy to believe that all is well with the world. That tomorrow can only be more beautiful, wondrous and awe-inspiring than today.