Today has been a challenge, one of my own creation. I have thought for a week that I would struggle to write tonight’s article. Think it enough, say it enough, and it will be so — well, with the right energy and actions.
I didn’t want it to be, but Ego works in mysterious ways. I have pointed out before the dynamics of the contraries of Ego and Heart operating within each of us. It makes for creation and progress because the contrast between the two highlights possibilities when we choose Heart to be our primary operating system.
A big part of early personality formation occurs through Ego; that’s part of its complex, multifaceted function. Part of my personality includes self-sabotage in the form of not finishing things. I come close, see the possibilities, and then procrastinate or quit. Some would say if I know this, why in the hell do I allow it. I don’t know, fully, but I’m getting there.
Am I happy about that? No, so I keep learning and growing. Heart-light shows me these things, clarifies them, and in a variety of ways helps me advance. I say advance because if I or anyone else repeats Ego patterns of behavior, we remain stuck short of the good things we dream of. Dreams are beneficial, even necessary, but they alone don’t get us anywhere.
When I finished my 500th article last night, I knew it was a milestone. I wanted to, on some level, let down. Take a break. However, my goal was never to write 500 posts. My mission is to help others discover, and one of the goals of that mission is to get some books published. I don’t have even one yet — part of that self-sabotage because by all rights I should have two done and a third and fourth well along.
I have learned, though. I haven’t quit. I met with my graphic designer today. I will keep writing to help others discover. I may not always do so every day, but I know for now it is from my Heart. My books will be published; however, if I were not in fellowship with my Heart, desiring to be self-aware, I can guarantee that this would not happen. I would find some way through Ego to perfectly rationalize why I need to do something else.
Shaking loose of Ego’s deeply ingrained patterns on our personality requires some work. We need to recognize when one of these shadow selves of Ego creation affects us. Being in fellowship with my Heart allows me to connect with Spirit, the Universe, and the energies of life that when used in concert with Heart create the magic and miracles that make a difference. The magic is always there around us; we need Heart to grab hold of it. When we become self-aware, as I have described my propensities to procrastinate and quit, then we need to face them, face the source, bring those shadows into the light, and experience the magic of life in breakthroughs.
Just because I wanted to, I read Samuel Taylor Coleridge’s The Rime of the Ancient Mariner today. Well, I really needed just some refreshment, and poetry can do that for me. The first thing that popped into my mind was this poem.
In the poem, the mariner for no apparent reason kills an albatross. He experiences guilt and regret as it ended up costing the lives of 200 of his mates. His soul is tormented. He is all alone with 200 dead bodies, eyes wide open, eyes staring at him with curses, and he is at the point of death: “Alone, alone, all, all alone, / Alone on a wide wide sea! / And never a saint took pity on / My soul in agony.” Alone is the only way we can deal with those things that are part of our personality that through Ego cause us to act inconsistently with the natural laws of the Universe, of Spirit, of life — alone in our own souls. Even if someone came in and took over my book now and produced and published it, I would know I hadn’t learned. (I mean alone in the sense we have to make the ultimate choice. I do NOT mean we shouldn’t get help to arrive at that point.)
How does the resolution of this part of the mariner’s story occur? Only when he faces the source of a shadow self, one for whom he has no explanation when he kills the albatross, one that doesn’t value all life or recognize Spirit operative in all. When he faces this, he changes.
After killing the bird, the ship is stranded in a weirdly supernatural, becalmed sea. For a full week, he prayed for death but the ship didn’t move, no water, no food. Finally, he looks out on the coppery colored sea at night and sees the phosphorescent trails of the water snakes. It hits him. Life energy, Spirit is in all creatures. His shadow self had made him focus on only his own misery on the becalmed sea, at which point he killed the albatross and incurred all the negative energy.
Life, he realizes, is beautiful and valuable, even the “slimy things” in that supernatural sea. Referring to the water snakes, he says this: “Within the shadow of the ship / I watched their rich attire: / Blue, glossy green, and velvet black, / They coiled and swam; and every track / Was a flash of golden fire. // O happy living things! no tongue / Their beauty might declare: / A spring of love gushed from my heart, / And I blessed them unaware…” Then, he finds he could pray, which he hadn’t been able to do, and the albatross, which the other sailors had made him hang around his neck, falls off into the sea.
Long explanation, but I enjoyed reading the poem again. And I did get that takeaway: face the shadows of Ego with the vision of Heart and know the magic of life rushing to help us grow and be blessed.
And here is 501!
Since I have been working on my short nonfiction book, I have been focusing on the life-helps I write about in it. Actually, the book explores far more than my beliefs. It gives guidance to those who ask the two big questions in life, ones that everyone asks, whether they admit it or not: Who am I? Why am I here? The whole range of human experience relates to those two questions for everyone who has ever had physical existence on this planet.
I’m still not sure if the title is going to be Discovering Self and Creating Purpose. I don’t know if I would have a subtitle with that or not. It’s fun deciding, but tomorrow will be the reckoning with my graphic designer!
Earlier today, I gave a quick summary of what I had been thinking about as I finished the revision. I’m going to quote myself here so my point afterwards has context. (Yes, I did this last night from the book itself. This is just from my “Pages” post today.)
“Who am I? A physical being, a mortal body, which contains eternal Sprit, pure eternal energy, as Heart. Why am I here? I am here to experience, to feel in this physical form the Universe of which I have been co-creator, and my personal mark, the flavor, the seasoning I infuse into this specific expression of Spirit, my Heart in Michael Foster DePung, is the essence of Discovery. [This is my purpose to live as Discovery.] My Vision is to experience the emotions I have chosen to feel by engaging in discovery. My Mission for expressing Discovery is through my exploration, observations, and analysis of life and to share discoveries with the Universe in my writing and communication skills. My Goals include my daily writing published in social media and my novel and this little booklet.”
Whether these components of awakening are specifically recognized in someone’s life or whether they occur in some other order is immaterial. However, without these, we can expect a life of resignation, unfocused and unfulfilling for very long.
People needn’t be a philosopher to know if they are living Heart or not. If enthusiasm and positive emotions are the norm and if those two questions are no longer questions, it’s a path of Heart. The more we become aware, though, the more enjoyment we will probably have.
Once living in Heart-energy, we just keep going. We should know what we want and how to get it, and we should work our asses off, knowing the significance of what we are doing and what we want to experience. When we do that, we engage the magic and miracles of the Universe. The Law of Attraction works for us and the energies of life gather round as needed.
The catch is when we’re in the midst of it all, we don’t realize a miracle is occurring. That’s when faith kicks in. We have to trust our Heart-creation: Purpose, Vision, Mission, and Goals. Just do it. Keep working it. Don’t stop. Execute day by day.
Then, one day, we will realize things have changed, realize we have experienced a breakthrough, made some great impact, reached a milestone, or been both blessed and a blesser of many others. And we will say, “It’s a miracle.”
You know how I know that. As I come to an end of this article, it’s my 500th. 500 of these blog posts in a row. I have no idea how that has happened because I could not have planned it, not through holidays, birthdays, charity events, parties — just no way. This is a miracle to me; however, Hearts know things, which is why it’s a good thing to follow our Heart constantly. Consciously choose Heart over Ego when conflicts of any sort arise.
What will happen from here on out? I don’t know any more than I knew this day would come almost seventeen months ago, but I will fellowship with my Heart and trust myself and know in such conditions all the positive energies of the Universe are for me.
If I ever find myself doubting, questioning if I’m doing the right thing, considering throwing in the towel on this writing gig or anything else I determined to be part of my Purpose, I remember these words my own Heart gave me some while back, words that comfort me, encourage me to forge ahead: Hearts Know Things.
Every day I appeal to Heart to be my operating system, the energy I use to filter, process, respond to and act through in life. When Ego pops up, though, in those times I referenced, I recognize it and call on Heart to remember.
Remember what? Remember that I came to a point of understanding the two dynamics within me and that I chose Heart as the energy by which I would live. And that’s significant, because writing every day with a desire to share my Heart and thereby bless myself and others becomes a challenge that Ego tries often to take up. Heart calls me back. I awakened to Heart, engage in fellowship with my Heart, and created Purpose with Heart. Heart never wavers or questions; steadfast, it reminds me of our joy.
Then, I have choices: Do I want to feel like shit? Do I want to feel the things I told Heart I wanted to feel as we evolved in our relationship, things like love, abundance, intimacy, friendship, peace, fun, and even the joy travel? Do I want those emotions? I won’t get them through despair and looking at the lack of response or income as the fault of others, will I? NO, I won’t.
To do work, any work, especially work of eternal significance, will always be a challenge. Ego will see to it. It’s been said by many others, and I will repeat it: We must have a clear picture of what we want. The best way I know to do that is to choose how I want to feel and then choose what daily activity that is honest work will enable me to feel those ways.
For me, it’s communication arts, writing, speaking, and coaching. I live in a real world, though, and part of that expression has continued to be in tutoring students, at least it’s connected. The bigger part of that is the practical work of producing products and services for sale. If I offer value, others will wish to have my work for themselves. If I produce and offer that value in love, then it’s a win-win-win. The third win is the Universe! To work for nearly a year and a half with no income is what Ego uses against me the most, but with little success. I hope that’s obvious by the fact that as of tomorrow’s blog post, it will be five hundred days in a row — over a million words in that time. Awesome, but no money!
My Heart works and knows things, and Heart mediates with Spirit to garner the energies of the Universe to work together for my good. It’s a mystery, one I experience because I release Ego goals of safety, comfort zones, sloth, and a whole bunch of others and allow the magic of the energies of life to form a positive field around me. And then, well then, miracles will happen, sometimes minor, sometimes major.
I am fairly certain I will not know a major miracle has occurred until after the fact, until looking back and seeing some great blessing happened because I didn’t quit, because I persisted in love, because Hearts know things.
The minor miracles I enjoy the same way. For instance, I just continue writing and find others writing about or dealing with exactly the same thoughts — that’s synchronicity. I always take synchronicity as a miracle. Of course, I take the song of the birds, the gift of a feather, the blooming of flowers, the barking of dogs — you get the picture — all as miracles. Synchronicity, though, tells me my Heart has been working through Spirit to provide a special encouragement, one as I said, I didn’t know would happen until I worked through it. We must work if we want to manifest miracles and establish our Vision.
That happened to me this morning. I continued revising my short nonfiction book, and the subsection I entered this morning was “Vision.” I didn’t plan it, and I had already written my personal morning pages about these ideas. I will share, as I did a bit ago, some of my own words from that subsection of Discovering Self and Creating Purpose — (still not sure of that title):
“Vision is that mental image we design, create, and craft in our mind. This is a real action step, albeit a mental action, one that brings us to the verge of execution. It’s damn hard to execute if you don’t see the big picture. Vision is what Purpose will look like in everyday life.
“We craft the big picture, Purpose, by turning the noun Vision into verbs: envision and visualize. What do we envision or visualize? Are there guidelines, a checklist, or a procedure?
“Not really, so I start with this: how do I want to feel, and what emotions do I want to experience? I wanted to feel significant, among other emotions, using the abilities I felt drawn to, studied, taught, and practiced: writing and speaking. If we have determined the emotions we wish to experience in our Vision, then we can ask another question: How do I want Me, core Self, maybe my new name, to look in this world? What do I see myself doing on a daily basis?”
I give some questions for consideration afterwards, but I’m out of room here. I want to remember the words of someone else today who shared wisdom about life and how to achieve. He would show me necessary skills, lay out the job, and then say, “Just do it.” He would turn and walk away, leaving me to respond however I needed to.
Dad, thank you for all you showed me and shared with me throughout your life. I miss you being here, but I value your life energy that we share so often. I love you.
Do you know why I have shared so consistently and voluminously? I have desired to bring you along on my journey. My journey — that of my awakened Self who I have named Discovery, and NO, I do not go around saying that is my name in everyday life, i.e., not a weirdo! — includes working through the publication of my novel and my nonfiction book.
I feel like I have let some early followers down who were supportive and looking forward to my publications. I have learned a lot about myself in the past sixteen months, and I know I move a lot slower than a lot of people. It’s because of my personality, one which includes being a holistic learner, acting from deep intrinsic motivation, and starting this blog itself.
I’ll be honest here; I had an idea of what to expect when I started this daily blog, but I didn’t attach to specific outcomes. I saw the possibilities of it becoming a platform to acquaint readers with my philosophy, one that is different enough to require thought but not that freakin’ hard. I have used my beliefs about awakening, about the Ego-Heart dynamics within each of us, and about how those apply to life. If anyone would read my work, they would know I have analyzed literature and authors through this lens, other expressions of art and artists, philosophers, professionals, governments and governance, history, and everyday psychology that comes into play in such musings.
Being self-aware, I am know I have a problem with procrastination and, consequently, consistency. I knew at Heart level I needed to do this. I also took into consideration the advice of some vloggers who recommended one thing for success above all others: upload every day. Now, the day and age and context are different, but my blogs are usually rated from four to five minute reads on medium.com, and that is less than half of most daily vloggers.
Why not engage is something I feel offers value and creates more value for me? I thought of the things I could share, those that I have referred to already, things that tell the story of my daily thoughts. I would love to have the sort of following Casey Neistat has, but I took the words of Gary Vaynerchuk to heart: one is better than none.
Over the course of these months, at times the ones and tens have come slowly it seems. I have persevered, though. I started with the belief that what I had to share and the lens through which I view life holds value for a significant number of people, so I dove in. At first, I spent eight or more hours a day producing my wring and social media posts and work. I have improved in speed, and I hope quality, but I have allowed this to slow down my book production. That’s okay, though, because I have learned and formed relationships and been blessed in this work, and I have improved my writing through this blog.
I will say that such matters are very personal, the decisions and actions on a day to day basis. Knowing my Heart and engaging in daily fellowship with my Heart has been crucial. It reminds me of my original purposes, which is why I am writing this tonight. I sit hear on my patio with citronella candles flickering around me, wafting their sweet scent and keeping mosquitoes away — so far. Strands of cottony clouds glow orange as the sun sets and I face west. The surrounding trees are silhouetted against the dimming sky, their now blackened leaves dancing lightly in a soft breeze, and I feel full, content, that I have written and expressed my Heart as Discovery, sharing those discoveries with you and encouraging you to become discoverers of your own identity and creator of your own purpose.
This morning, I worked on ideas for my nonfiction work, the one in which I have endeavored to lay out my experience and understanding of awakening. I believe it’s crucial for everyone to become self-aware, to spiritually awaken, no matter what terms are used. As the history of humanity progresses, I feel many more folks care about their purpose in the world. I also feel the reason for that is a growing sense the the stakes are higher as the false boundaries of nations are erased by the advent of technology and burgeoning communication links we have. We cannot ignore one another any more.
With this in mind, I am going to copy and paste with a little revision ideas I shared from this morning, possibilities for my book. It’s part of my journey, so I continue to allow you a window into my mind and soul, because when one is awakened and sharing Purpose in any form of millions times millions of possibilities, love is the ultimate Heart rationale. It’s a damn great one.
Here are my thoughts from this morning. I want them collected in my blog for my own purposes, which is one reason I’m copying and pasting here — come to think of it, probably with no revision!
“I’m really not settled on a title, so for now I’m just going with the short form of Discover Self and Create Purpose, no, maybe the -ing form of Discovering Self and Creating Purpose. I’ll see what my designer thinks next week! With that, some — what? Pitches, blurbs, tag lines? 1. Are you doing what you really want to do? Plan the changes as you work through Discovering Self and Creating Purpose, designed for the questioning person. 2. Remember that sweet, warm, velvet summer night sky, littered with the stars of the constellations, each one flashing its essence at you: “What’s life all about?” Turn your wondering into wandering through the pages of Discovering Self and Creating Purpose. Then, answer the stars! 3. Who am I? Why am I here? Let your wonder lead you to wander through Discovering Self and Creating Purpose to live the life of your dreams. 4. Discover the power and beauty of You in the pages of Discovering Self and Creating Purpose, with questions to help you determine You.”
I had a great afternoon. For five and a half hours, two colleagues and I represented the St. Louis Publishers Association (SLPA) at the first annual Gateway to Publishing Conference and Convention put on by the St. Louis Writers Guild. So much fun to get to visit with people interested in our organization, not to mention meeting other authors. It was simple just visiting with people coming by our table. Of course, we walked around, too.
What’s so great about that? I asked them their stories, got them to talk. I love it when they don’t even realize how much they are telling me or that I even initiated it. Stories, the reasons people write what they do, are powerful. Their stories behind the stories they write add richness and understanding and power.
Like one author, Lorenzo F. Gonzalez, who at the age of fifteen was fighting in the Cuban Revolution supporting Castro. I won’t relate his whole story — it’s in his book To Return To Cuba — but to hear him talk about his opportunities to go to Hungary and then see the dissolution of the revolution in Cuba into a cruel dictatorship and then to escape from Hungary to Sweden and eventual freedom — well, to hear him tell it in his thick Cuban accent, so vivid, so passionate. It burned in his eyes.
When I wrote this morning, I had no idea what the afternoon would hold. To be honest, I felt like I was doing my duty as one of the board of directors of SLPA. Before I left, I wrote my Morning Pages about the development of my short nonfiction book explaining my philosophy about Ego and Heart. I simply shared part of my journey in terms of making decisions about titles and pitch lines. I wasn’t too enthused about it, but it’s what I had to offer.
In fact, I was a bit discouraged because I had suggested if anyone had an opinion about any of the titles I shared as possibilities they could let me know. No one did. So, either they all sucked or nobody cared. Poor pitiful me — if I allow Ego. But I won’t more than this comment because based on my Heart operating system, I know I have a story, one I partly share in those few pages, a story that holds power for not only me but also some who would venture to read and know and explore and discover Self.
I will tell you this: some of the authors at the conference, if I just walked past their table and read their little blurb or saw their book titles on Amazon, I would pass on them. Not that they don’t have merit, but that it’s nothing any of us have not heard before — well, Sr. Gonzalez from Cuba may be an exception to that. As I sat there this afternoon after speaking with several authors rather extensively, it struck me that I should not be so quick to dismiss others’ stories in written form from short descriptions. Their personal stories, communications add depth and texture.
It’s true that I do not have very much disposable income; however, I probably have less time than money, which would keep me from buying everyone’s books. But the stories. We all have stories, stories that we should share. We are not all writers, but we are all humans with lives filled with experiences and emotions that hold value far beyond us.
I could, at this point, head in a dozen different directions; however, I feel I should come to a close here. I want to make a plea, one that has nothing to do with possible book titles or pitch lines. I call to you, implore you, to reflect on your life and discern the value for yourself from your own experiences.
Share stories that have evoked intense emotions from you, high points, low points, turning points. You don’t have to write them, but fix them in your mind. Then, consciously address your core Self, Heart, that you are ready to share if the opportunity comes. I think you will be surprised. I can guarantee you that I would listen.
Ultimately, the value from this afternoon is the blessing of our lives to one another, whether it’s in the published works of authors or in anyone else’s life. I will tell you this thought crossed my mind when one of the hotel workers came by to inform us of some things. “What is her story? She seems like she really cares.”
We all have them. We should reflect on them, frame them in our minds if not in some other form, and be ready to share them in love to others, because I, for one, know that I would benefit from your story.
Your story would help me understand you, empathize with you, engage in your life, give me insight into how your experiences shape your beliefs. What value! Heart value! We need this today.
Questions to consider:
How many times have you asked yourself or simply thought about the following questions?
Who am I, really?
What is my truth?
How do my actions reveal what I really feel and believe?
What would I do with my life if I could do anything?
What is my passion?
Why am I here?
How can I discover answers to any of these questions?
If you have considered any of these questions, I hope that my experiences and writing will give you some guidance. Please read my blog and comment and share your thoughts. I would love to hear from you!