An Agreement for Living
I commit to live in clarity and integrity
and seek nothing less than truth.
I commit to live in openness with deep listening,
and seek nothing less than communion.
I commit to live in gratitude and open-heartedness,
and seek nothing less than love.
I commit to live in courage and willingness,
and seek nothing less than my soul’s path.
I commit to live in cooperation and shared vision,
and seek nothing less than alignment with Spirit.
I commit to live in awareness and responsibility,
and seek nothing less than peace.
I commit to live in acceptance and surrender,
and seek nothing less than freedom.
Cats and dogs falling from the sky
Thoughts are formed around language
Wittgenstein & Chomsky
No Means Probably Not
Thought is Creative; Words Matter
False Speech Leads to Confusion
Clearer Words, Peaceful Society
Mavis the Wordbender
7 Life Principles
No: Be on top of things and increasingly ecological
Hello: Be in active participation in communal life as a way to expand experience and understanding
Thanks: Be kind and gentle unless provoked
Goodbye: Be never stuck, ever more dynamic until the end
Please: Act assertively to align personal and communal hopes
Sorry: Be considerate finding fair balance between self and others
Yes: Enthusiastically accept everything that need not be refused
Living with Increasing Easefulness and Simplicity
Try spending some quiet time with each of these questions:
No: What is it about easefulness and simplicity that appeals to me and that I choose to identify with?
Hello: What do I currently have in my life that works against this way of being?
Thanks: What do I appreciate and value in my life that works well for me towards easefulness and simplicity?
Goodbye: What do I realise out of these questions, and what decision do I now make as a result?
Please: What is my vision for a life of increasing easefulness and simplicity; how do I intend to bring it into being, and who/what shall I ask to help?
Sorry: How might my choices affect other people (adversely) and what will I do to mitigate this?
Yes: Am I prepared to surrender to the possibility that life may take unexpected turns as a result of this process?
Root Cause of Climate Change in 7 Words
Impatient people please skip to Yes paragraph!
THE CAUSE OF CLIMATE CHANGE IN 7 WORDS
When we say the phrase ‘Climate Change’ we are employing a neutral combination of words without saying explicitly what many of us really mean. There is nothing surprising about the fact that the climate is changing; it always has and always will. But surely, we are concerned that life as we know it is in danger of ending, or indeed has ended already. For some people and millions of creatures this is a cold hard fact. Yet, in an attempt to be inoffensive and politically correct we are disguising the truth. Unless we identify the actual truth of our current situation then how can we expect to address the root cause? As any gardener knows, without rooting out the deepest problem a recurrence is inevitable – so even if we do manage to survive the current crisis, and stave off our existential emergency, something else, equally dire, will certainly emerge.
If the bottom-line defining principle accepted by everyone was Consideration, then all would be well. We would care for each other, we would listen to each other, we would not be hurtful, we would not take more than our fair share, and in every single moment we would think about the implications of what we are doing and saying. If today everyone began to practise consideration as an expression of their sense of sacredness then very quickly we would regain our balance as a species and find that joy replaced fear as the world’s underlying feeling.
Dealing with Teenage Depression in 7 Words
There’s massive pressure to conform to standards that others want to lay down for us. Much of the pressure is self-inflicted yet of course it mainly comes from parents and teachers, and there’s a lot of peer-group opinion about what is and what is not cool. Yet we have a greater spiritual responsibility to ourselves than to them or anyone else. We have an over-riding right, and indeed responsibility, to be exactly who we are. This goes against so much of the teachings we receive – whether from family or social and religious forces. From the highest spiritual viewpoint, we must become what we were born to be, and that necessarily means refusing to be mindlessly obedient despite our own inner frustrations and sense of wrongness. We must not just follow another’s path; in a word, if it feels wrong it is wrong. Don’t do it, say No and stick to that decision firmly.
Those who trust in life say Yes – more often, more enthusiastically and more readily. Yes not only affirms faith it also builds faith. Faith in what? That the future is better than the past. How soon? As soon as we stoke up the courage to affirm faith. Faith is a decision not a gift from the gods. Just try it out for a month: have faith, say No strongly, say Yes frequently, and notice that the good things tend to increase more and more.
The Journey to Depression by Carinne Allison
The roots of most depression lie in No. Depression is sometimes seen as repressed anger, which belongs with No. The violation of an individual’s boundaries in childhood is abuse. This can be physical, mental, emotion, psychological or sexual. Such abuse leaves us with unclear or non-existent boundaries and sets up patterns of abuse, self-abuse, co-dependency, addiction, manipulation or other dysfunctional behaviours in adulthood.
It also leaves us with a confused sense of identity. We don’t know who we are and we spend a lot of time trying to be whatever other people expect of us – or we believe the lies we were told and take on the identity forced upon us by our abusers. Instead of unfolding as a result of free, proactive choices that reflect who we are, our lives become a series of reactions to situations over which we seem to have no control, or which have been forced upon us by others.
One day we wake up and realise we do not know who we are or what we want. Our life is out of our control – we have given (or they have taken) our power away to our lovers/bosses/children/parents/friends. We are living a lie. Is it any wonder we feel angry? However, we may not be aware of our anger, because we were told we don’t deserve any better, so we don’t feel we have a right to feel angry. Or we may have long ago lost any connection to our emotions. This unrecognised anger leads to depression – as does the sense of helplessness that arises from years of abuse/self-abuse, loss of control, manipulation.
Now we reach the ‘tipping point’ – but we have to make a choice. Some people choose denial – ‘I’m not depressed, there’s nothing wrong with me, I’m just a bit stressed at work, that’s all; I just need a drink to wind down when I get home, nothing wrong with that’. That’s okay, because it’s possible to change our minds at any point – that is to say, when we’re ready. At that point, we can say, “Yes”. The keywords for Yes are Permission, Acceptance, Agreement and Surrender, and as soon as we are ready, they all come into play. When we stop fighting our depression, we give ourselves permission – to feel awful, to feel useless, to have no appetite or energy, to be tired and weepy, to want to avoid people – in other words, to be depressed. As soon as we give ourselves permission, we accept our depression and stop fighting it. We can now begin to deal with it and the process of recovery can begin.
Depression: The Journey to Recovery by Carinne Allinson
When we give ourselves permission and accept our depression, it is like we sign a peace treaty with it. We can let go for a while and just go with the flow. Yes, we will need to deal with it – but not yet. For now we just surrender. This process may take a few days, a few weeks, or a few months, but for however long it takes, we need to just sleep, cry, stay in bed, stare at the wall – whatever we need to do. We will know when the time comes to move on.
Now we have found a sense of who we really are and we no longer put up with abuse or manipulation. Our boundaries are stronger and we can say “No” to our abusers – and others who ask too much of us. We take back our power, control over our own lives. We make our choices freely, respecting who we are, and we live our truth. But we have also learnt along the way where we are vulnerable, what work still needs to be done, what our stumbling blocks are. My prime stressors are tiredness, stress and financial instability, so I protect these. I consider my energy and stress levels before agreeing to do extra hours at work, and I monitor my finances carefully to avoid the situations that trigger depression. And I use art to push myself to foster acceptance, play, courage to fail, letting go of judgement – it terrifies me, but it works.
The Meaning of Life in 7 Words
Experiencing the Authentic Self
Shaping and Being Shaped
Love is the Feeling of Deep Belonging
Establishing Firm Principles
Vision and Sacredness
Learning From Another's Persepctive
Surrendering to the Flow of Life
My Spiritual Journey in 7 Words
Living in Truth
The System Needs Liars and Bullies
A Journey of Discovery
The Opening Heart
Confrontation and Conflict as Spiritual Principles
Of all the many worthy spiritual teachings encountered, the one that speaks to me most profoundly is ‘sacred respect’. We have to respect ourselves and others, in fact all aspects of life, as important parts of something wonderful and blessed. This necessarily means that we treat the words we utter as sacred too, so we speak truth and do not manipulate.
The 7 Words
At some stage in the process I came up with a simple model to explain how it all worked for me.
No: Reject the false
Hello: Expand your horizons
Thanks: Appreciate love and beauty
Goodbye: If it’s not right – then change it or move on
Please: Share your vision with others
Sorry: Respect everything and everyone
Yes: Surrender to the flow of life
Faith and Optimism
7 Words Blog
We examine various topics by looking at them through the lens of the 7 Words System