Seeing is Believing; Believing is Achieving

The Personal Experiment

Archive for the ‘Life’ Category

Time for thought?

Posted by sibbia on January 21, 2008

Just over a month.

It’s been just over a month since I’ve written on either blog. I’d even stopped checking the email account that lets me know when I have comments and such.

For over a month.

No, I haven’t been that busy. Winter break did lay squarely within that time, after all.

I’ve thought up posts about labels, and about struggle, and one or two other topics… but never thought about it too deeply or for too long.

When I noticed comments from other bloggers I used to regularly visit, I felt a bit guilty and a little remiss but still had no desire to write. I was more than content with my schoolwork and when I wasn’t, I’d happily delve into a book or even a video game! I ignored all previous plans I had for my blogs, future blogs and anything that reminded me of them.

It took me a while to figure out why.

You see, I write from personal experience. Insights gained from reading, learning. Observations made in the different, diverse, and often conflicting, realms of my life. And of course, direct experience — personal observations of my life and its happenings.

This process required thought and analysis — I had to examine what was going on around me, or what was happening in my life and really think about it.

And I just realized, I no longer wanted to do that.

It happened gradually, as a coping mechanism.

As I sent my daughter back to school against my better judgment, I didn’t want to think about it. I just wanted to finish the quarter with what I could salvage of my grades. When her diagnosis was changed from ADHD to bi-polar with ADHD, I didn’t agree in the least and after some questions, had serious misgivings about how that diagnosis was decided on but didn’t yet want to think very hard about it.

I gave myself a week of reading and games and sleep – which led to another – before I was ready to really look into the drugs recommended, ask questions, and seriously question the method(s) used to evaluate my daughter.

Now armed with information, thorough analysis, and back to my usual steely self, I refused the drugs and worked to form a treatment plan for the next few months while I investigated nutritional deficiencies and finding another (non-traditional) doctor to work with us — with my own money.

Meanwhile school has begun again, and I found the bottles used to store the chemicals I must measure out for my experiments a bit too heavy to lift with one hand (even though it wasn’t much heavier than a small coffee thermos). This meant my hand shook, making getting a few milliliters at a time very difficult. It was also painful to turn the knobs on the front of the hood to control the water, air etc. I was exhausted by the end of the lab because of the hours spent on my feet.

Being a chemistry minor I need to complete two labs, and I didn’t want to drop the course. I was willing to work harder, and I talked to the instructor and asked to come in early to measure everything I needed for my experiments.

The very next day, I took my daughter to an ENT appointment we made months ago. As a side concern, while there, my daughter complained she wasn’t hearing very well. The test results show moderate permanent hearing loss in both ears and my child will be fitted for hearing aids at the end of the month.

I find it difficult to believe and still maintain that she seems to hear fine most times but unlike psychological evaluations, a hearing test is not subjective and the results seem clear.

I took all this in from 8-12, fed my child, sent her off to the babysitters and ran to school like a good student. I managed to complete the lab, tired, in pain and demoralized, but in good time with reasonable results. Needless to say, nothing else got done that day, but I managed to finish and turn in two sets of homework (correctly I think!) that were due at 5pm the next day by working in between and umm, during, classes.

We celebrated my (knock on wood, perfectly healthy!) son’s 13th!!! birthday this weekend, and here I am, looking at comments asking where I’ve been and hopes that I’ll be back on this and my other blog.

I’m glad someone misses me popping up with silly comments, lots of questions and posts of my own. And I miss my fellow bloggers! And I should probably write about enzymes, iodine, vitamin C, the effects of labels, and the (unseen) purpose of struggle. Maybe it will be easier now that I’ve already told everyone what’s going on.

But right this moment, I don’t want to think. I want to pretend everything is ok, and that things are “normal”. When I do bully myself into focusing and hard thought, it’s reserved for p chem III, kinetics and my other chemistry or materials courses.

Now, off to delight my children with blueberry pancakes, omelets, grits and hash browns!  They won’t care that it’s lunchtime.

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Posted in Life | 6 Comments »

When’s the last time you took…

Posted by sibbia on December 17, 2007

Bubbles, Soap Bubbles, Bubble BathYesterday, I did something we too often fail to do. I honored myself. I planned time just for me. It wasn’t snatched or hurried or some breakdown with panic associated with it — I simply decided to give myself the time and attention.

I honored my spirit and the body that houses it. The form that took for me just then was a long and luxurious bubble bath. I used scented bubbles and oils. I performed all the rites and feminine rituals that are usually reserved for a date or some other special occasion where men or sex might be involved.

And I did them for no one but myself.

From head to toe, I was pampered. After finishing the bath, coating myself with soothing, scented lotion, and ensuring I was baby soft — I went to bed, happy, calm and peaceful.

When was the last time you took a bath? An honest to goodness, soak in the tub, read a book, light the candles bath? Or engaged in some other special time consuming treat?

If you never pamper yourself, how can you expect someone else to think of doing so for you?

Posted in Life, relaxation, Thoughts | 5 Comments »

Goal Setting, Getting Religion and No More Poor Students!

Posted by sibbia on December 15, 2007

A little while ago, I wrote a post called, “But I don’t have the money!”, which deals with limiting beliefs about money and our own personal ability to have something at any given time.

At the end I posed a question, and in the quintessential seeing is believing and believing in achieving vein, and of course practicing what I preach, I’ve been asking myself the same question as well.

Before attending school full-time and some time afterward, I often made the comment about not looking forward to being a “poor college student” or how I’d be a poor college student for a few years but it would all be worthwhile in the long run.

In some ways, I started to create that very reality.

Fast forward a few years and another thought came into my awareness and began to take root in the fertile soil of my mind. That thought is, “I can’t (or shouldn’t) go to graduate school after I graduate. I need to get a job.”

Yet three or four years have passed between my lamenting my evitable fate as a poor college student and the thought that I can’t go to grad school. I’ve done enough work in that time to recognize the thought for what it is — a limiting belief which will play out in the drama of my life if I accept it.

So this means I need to tackle head on the issues which helped create that thought in my head. These are the family obligations that surround my brilliant but difficult child combined with financial concerns.

To that end, I’ve decided to aggressively work on my spiritual development (including a mantra practice, more about that later), family therapy and business building techniques.

To keep myself accountable (and to occasionally solicit helpful input) I’m announcing my goals for 2008 to the blogosphere.

They are to:

  • heal my relationship with my daughter and find her whatever help she needs,
  • gain facility (over 125,000 repetitions) with two mantras and evaluate the results,
  • raise my GPA over 3.59, and
  • earn $2,000 or more a month, part-time, from my own business activities.

I will chronicle my steps to achieving these goals weekly or bi-weekly interspersed with my other writing. If I haven’t made the progress I wanted, I’ll detail that honestly, along with reasons why. Hopefully, what works and what doesn’t will be easy to see and someone else can learn from my trial and error.

My first step for the first two goals have been taken. Monday I will contact the people who are working with me and my daughter and I have chosen my first mantra and have been working with it for a week now. As for my schooling, I’ve decided to start working on organic chem II before the term starts since I have most of the material for that course already. Money is a little trickier — I plan to work on an affiliate program, start another blog, and create a (simple?) program I could use and other bloggers might enjoy.

And this coming Saturday or next, we’ll see how any and all of that works!

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“Today is the future you created yesterday, tomorrow is the future you create today.”

Posted in creating your own reality, family, Life, Thoughts | Tagged: , , , | Leave a Comment »

So you want to be enlightened?

Posted by sibbia on November 14, 2007

Note: The official home of Seeing is Believing; Believing is Achieving has moved to: www.sibbia.com

I could have just as easily titled this so you want to be wealthy, so you want to be successful, or so you want to be happy, but we’re going to assume you want to be… enlightened!

Praying Hands Cross Light

Your bookcase is filled with the timeless wisdom of the masters. You consider yourself spiritual (and you probably are). Perhaps you’ve decided to forgo crass materialism. Maybe you’ve decided to live a life of service and have dedicated yourself to helping others. You pray, meditate and/or chant daily.

But how’s your health?

When was the last time you made sure you had enough exercise?

What do you eat?

How much sleep do you get?

While it is true that we are not this physical vehicle, it is just as true that we are in this physical vehicle, and affected by it.
The foundation for our success in any endeavor is our health and it is in our best interest to make that foundation as firm as possible.

So just as we learn to control our emotions, breathe, meditate, pray, find and connect with God, we must also learn how to best support our physical vehicles, for it is through them that the Divine must work through us.


Preventive care and maintenance is much easier than fixing something that has gone wrong. That said, I believe it is key for our spiritual growth that we learn about and study natural methods to keep good health. One of my favorite sources of health information is Catherine Carter over at (aptly titled) Creating Health but the subject of good health is so important and so broad that I decided to ask others for their favorites.


The complete list will be maintained on a page created here on this blog so that any and everyone can have quick access to some of the best health writers around.


So I’m asking Catherine and all who read this post, who provides you the best information on diet, exercise, health news, stress management, healthy cooking, or natural & alternative medicine?

Consider yourselves all tagged! Be sure to include a link back here and one to the blogger you’re advocating so I can update the list!

To your success AND your health,


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Posted in Life, Spirituality, Thoughts | Tagged: , , | 1 Comment »

The Constant Hunger of Desire

Posted by sibbia on November 14, 2007

Note:  The official home of Seeing is Believing; Believing is Achieving has moved to: www.sibbia.com

My long awaited package arrived today. Inside were two books, one of which I’ve been waiting years for. I can remember finishing the book before this one. The tension I felt as the conflict in the story grew, the bitter disappointment as the book wound to a close but the story did not.

I frantically searched for the title of the next book determined that I would buy it immediately and devour the entire thing in one sitting. But it was not to be, no title or publication dates were forthcoming. Time went on, and for the first time in all my decades of reading, I tracked down the author’s website. From time to time, the author would provide updates. She would tease us here and there with stories of her progress.

Eventually there was a publication date!

And another and another before the book was finally released. Each time I eagerly awaited the book’s release and sighed when the date was changed. I even chose not to preorder at Amazon so I could make sure I had the book on the day it was released, but when the bookstore did not have the book when it should have been released, I decided to order it along with another book that my daughter needed for school.

As I said, the long awaited package came today!

When I got around to opening the package, I pulled out the second book, a beautifully illustrated copy of The Human Body: An Illustrated Guide to its Structure, Function and Disorders, instead. I was enthralled by the pictures and explanations – they even described a few surgical procedures! I showed it to my daughter and we talked before going on with our day.

The long overdue and eagerly awaited book didn’t reach my hands for hours later. When it did, I gave it a hug. I happily remembered the hours I spent with the one before it. I looked at the cover, read the acknowledgments and book flaps, and flipped to the last page to get a page count (697, in case you were wondering).
Then, without any qualms, doubts or hesitation, I decided the book would likely wait until Thanksgiving came along to read it. When all was said and done, I read one sentence of the story, and then pondered the ways I could use a well-written, descriptive book to teach writing.

Now before you write me off for showing such angst over a book only for it not to matter much when it arrived, ask yourself how many times and ways you’ve done the same thing.

We are always pursuing something in life. There is always some goal, object, possession or skill we feel as though we must have.

For some of these things, we tell ourselves, “we deserve it!” For others, the argument is made that our lives will be so much better when X happens. This is yet another case of “I’ll be happy when” which I posted about earlier.

How many people do you know who have gotten a degree and then never worked in that field, or hate the work they do now? How many times have you bought something or signed up for some program to never use the item or service in question? How many times have you longed for something only to find it wasn’t at all what you expected, or nearly as important as you previously thought?

We’ve all done this, consciously or unconsciously. This process steals our joy and power by placing them in something outside ourselves. It robs us of our ability to truly focus on the here and now and distorts our sense of what is and isn’t important.

Part of deciding to be happy, deciding to be conscious, is fully accepting the here and now, even while we work to change it. It requires that we keep our mind’s eye trained on our vision, but our eyes on our current situation.

In this way we protect our health, relationships, sense of self and true priorities while we increase our earning potential, learn a new skill, start a business or any other time consuming venture that could allow us to lose focus.

After all, what would finally reaching our goal or receiving our desired object mean if we’ve sacrificed more essential, but often taken for granted, priorities?

P.S.
For anyone who happens to be wondering… the book in question is The High King’s Tomb by Kristen Britain.

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Posted in being joyful, Happiness, Inner Peace, Life, motivation, Success, Thoughts | 2 Comments »

Your Personal Energy: A Thermodynamic View

Posted by sibbia on November 11, 2007

Note:  This blog is being phased out.  Please change all links, readers, questions and comments to:  http://www.sibbia.com instead, thank you.


In some circles, the advice you’re given is always the same. For all types of troubles, both big and small, we are told to pray or meditate, engage in positive thinking, examine our beliefs…

The person who is depressed is told to “think positively!” “cheer up!” or “pray about it!”. Likewise for someone who is dealing with anger, an addiction, being overwhelmed. Far too often, the advice is the same, no matter our particular problem.

But people are individuals and as such, we should address what we need at this moment or at this particular place in our lives.

One good model for doing this is water. Given that the human body is made up of nearly 80% of the substance, it can provide some interesting clues for how we should live our lives.

The more objectively we are able to access things, the more accurate our conclusions about the situation become. This exercise uses water as a model to get a clear picture of how our personal energy (chi, life force, or abilities) is flowing, so that we understand how to bring ourselves into balance.

Phase Diagram Pure Substance

The picture above is that of a phase diagram of water. Water is something we’re all familiar with. At standard conditions (which would be normal pressure and room temperature), water is a liquid. In it’s liquid state, water flows, is more conductive and more concentrated (denser). Perhaps water even prefers this liquid state — ice melts, rain & snow fall, and dew forms all as part of the condensation of water vapor back into a liquid. We could even go so far as to say that water is more “productive” in this state — it’s easier to use, we can drink it, we depend on it in this state.

The same idea is true of us. We prefer, and are more productive, in the liquid or fluid state. We are told to just “relax and go with the flow”. We want things to “flow smoothly” and ideas, money and occasionally libations to “flow freely”. This productive, liquid state is the zone that being spoken of when we are “in the zone.”

What does it mean for us to be fluid, given the semi-solid state of our bodies?

It’s our energy, or life force that must flow freely. Our energy must flow freely to experience good health, clear thinking, productivity — it needs to be fluid. But just as the picture above shows, there are three common states for water: liquid, ice and vapor.

Our own energy can also become “frozen” or expand to a dilute, ineffective form. We don’t want to be either too hot, or too cold. Let’s look at the extremes of either case:

Too Cold

The person whose energy is too cold has, or is in danger of becoming, “locked” into place. In this state, we are resistant to change, unlikely to pursue new ideas or areas of learning, and prone to depression and/or pessimism. In the frozen state, we are much more likely to follow than to lead, much more likely to accept our current situation than to do anything to try to better or change, and unable to cope well with either risk or change. Our thoughts and actions are more sluggish than they could be and we fall short of our potential.

The Cure

To release the water from its frozen state we apply heat. Likewise, the same should be done when our energies become too frozen and rigid. Cold is a sedentary condition so our first step is to generate motion. Exercise and proper diet are key, as are social activities, frequent “movement breaks”, lots of fresh air and natural sunlight (full-spectrum lighting is also often beneficial), pets, conversations and friends can provide excellent distractions and help get us moving again. Remembering and visualizing activities we enjoy, goals we want to pursue, and reasons to be happy is useful when in this state — preferably while taking a walk or on the treadmill, however.

Stay Away From

Those of us working on balancing this energy state should avoid:

  • sedentary activities, such as long periods of computer usage, reading, listening to music, and too much sleep to name a few.
  • too much thinking. In the extremes of this state, thought patterns become negative, repetitive and hard to break free from.
  • being isolated for extended periods of time. Friends, family, pets, and even online chat rooms and forums. This is not the time to seek out “alone time”.

Too Hot

The picture of the person whose energy has entered the gas or vapor state is your classic A type personality. This person is on a mission. In fact, they may be on several missions. They have so many interests, goals, ideas and/or commitments that is it hard to find time to rest and simply be.

Anger, irritability, impatience, excess emotionalism, forgetfulness, scattered thoughts, thinking too much (unable to decide) or rash action are all possible characteristics of this state.

The Cure

In this state, our energy has been spread much too thin and is dissipated by our actions. The goal now becomes finding a way to conserve and replenish our energy. This is a time for quiet, reflective activity. Prayer, meditation, and affirmations are all very useful in this state. This state tends to exhaust our energies and we benefit from periods of rest, handling tasks one at a time with a single focus, meditative exercises, such as tai chi, chi qong, and slow run/jogs, and focusing our mind in contemplation on one idea or thought.

Stay Away From

Things that hinder our ability to balance out this state involve:

  • haste, rushing around
  • lack of sleep
  • anger and annoyance
  • excessive external-ism and materialism
  • and excessive multi-tasking.

Summary

The goal here is to find balance. Any of us can be on any end of the scale, at any time. Learning to recognize how our energy is flowing and what we can do to optimize it on a moment by moment, day by day basis, is a powerful tool in our self-development arsenal.

As always, seeing is believing. Experiment to see how well this model works for you, and as always, let me know!

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Posted in Life, science, Thoughts | Tagged: , , , | 4 Comments »

The All Encompassing Light of a Smile

Posted by sibbia on November 6, 2007

The best purchase I’ve ever made was of a small book.  So tiny it was, about the size of a 3.5 by 5″ photograph, I practically discounted it when it finally arrived in the mail.  Opening its pages has opened my mind and I am coming to think of it as my personal bible.

 The little gem is titled, “Metaphysical Meditations” and is by Paramahansa Yogananda and I want to share two of the meditations with you today.

The Light of Smiles

   I will light the match of smiles.  My gloom veil will disappear.  I shall behold my soul in the light of my smiles, hidden behind the accumulated darkness of ages.  When I find myself, I shall race through all hearts with the torch of my soul-smiles.  My heart will smile first, then my eyes and my face.  Every body part will shine in the light of smiles.

   I will run amid the thickets of melancholy hearts and make a bonfire of all sorrows.  I am the irresistible fire of smiles.  I will fan myself with the breeze of God-joy and blaze my way through the darkness of all minds.  My smiles will convey His smiles and whoever meets me will catch a whiff of my divine joy.  I will carry fragrant purifying torches of smiles for all hearts.

   I will help weeping ones to smile, by smiling myself, even when it is difficult. 

   In the cheer of all hearts I hear the echo of Thy bliss.  In the friendship of all true hearts I discover Thy friendship.  I rejoice as much in the prosperity of my brothers as I do in my own prosperity.  In helping others to be wise I increase my own wisdom.  In the happiness of all I find my own happiness.

   Nothing shall blight my smiles.  Grim death, disease, or failure cannot daunt me.  Disaster cannot really touch me, for within my soul I possess the unconquerable, unchangeable, ever new bliss of God.

   O divine silent Laughter, be enthrroned beneath the canopy of my countenance and smile through my soul.

   I will be a joy billionaire, finding my wealth in the coin of Thy realm — ever new bliss.  Thus I satisfy my need for spiritual and material prosperity at the same time.

One more that is good to use every day.

Spreading Divine Joy

   Beginning with the early dawn each day, I will radiate joy to everyone I meet.  I will be mental sunshine for all who cross my path.  I will burn candles of smiles in the bosoms of the joyless.  Before the unfading light of my cheer, darkness will take flight.

   Let my love spread its laughter in all hearts, in every person belonging to every race.  Let my love rest in the hearts of flowers, of animals, and of little specks of star-dust.

   I will try to be happy under all circumstances.  I will make up my mind to be happy within myself right now, where I am today.

   Let my soul smile through my heart and let my heart smile through my eyes, that I may scatter Thy rich smiles in sad hearts.

   I will always behold in my life the perfect, healthy, all-wise, all-blissful image of God.

May you all be always blessed with divine joy, divine peace and the light of inner smiles to chase away the darkness.

Posted in Divinity, Faith, God, Hope, Inner Peace, Inspiration, Life, Meditation, Religion, Spirituality, Thoughts | Tagged: , , , , | 4 Comments »

Be Still and Know that I am God

Posted by sibbia on November 6, 2007

It is said that these words from the basis to self-realization, simply be still and know that I am God.

 How many times today have you stilled your thoughts, your actions, your mind?  How many times have you stopped to realize there is a God?

I understand that for many the words “God” and “religion” have great negativity associated with them.  They want nothing to do with anything dealing with either.  They may consider themselves spiritual but, for many reasons, uncomfortable with the standard trappings of organized religions.

Conversely, you will find many deeply entrenched in their particular religious organization.  After years of the same view, studying the same material and nuturing the same ideas, their mindset becomes rather myopic and they develop the tendency to reject anything that’s not part of or promoted by their religious group.

What we need to have is the ability to really see for ourselves what is true.  To have access to wonderful, profound teachings, and a spiritual community to support us, while we learn for ourselves who and what God is, and as the result of this, who and what we are.

Practices, such as meditation, that allow this kind of inner knowing are free of ties to a particular religion.  They are interfaith and can be used by all.  After all, we were told simply, “Be still and know that I am God.”

Posted in Christianity, Divinity, God, Life, Meditation, Religion, Thoughts | Tagged: , , , | 1 Comment »

The Trial of Your Life

Posted by sibbia on November 3, 2007

Gavel, judge

You stand before the judge and your eyes nervously scan the room.  Friends, family and co-workers line the room.  The faces of people you only vaguely recognize join them.  You start in surprise to notice the face of a beggar you regularly pass as you hurry from one place to another. 

“What is he doing here?” you ask yourself. 

They’ve all been called as witnesses.  Because today you find yourself on trial.  The trial of your life, the trial for and about your life. 

All your choices and actions have been called into question.  They are the foundation upon which you must build the case for your beliefs. 

You’ve been accused of being Christian!  Is there enough evidence to convict? 

You’ve been accused of being spiritual.  Do your actions support that statement? 

You claim to believe in personal freedoms, creativity and expression.  How do you treat those very different from yourself?  How often do you try something new?  What way have you made your mark on the world? 

You say you believe in God, the Divine, a Supreme Being, angels, the spirits of your ancestors, the collective unconsciousness… how often to you try to connect, pray for guidance, release your worries and cares to a higher power? 

Too often we say something is important to us, but our actions aren’t in alignment with that statement.  We talk about the value of family, for instance.  Yet in actuality, spend very little time with our loved ones.  We say that life is short, yet constantly put off our hopes and dreams. 

Oh, we have a myriad of creative excuses for our behavior.  Comfortable logic that we depend on whenever our conscious begins to nag at us. 

All I can say is: 

Tell it to the judge.

One of the best things we can do for ourselves is to put our actions in alignment with our thoughts and ideas.  Diligent attention to this one thought would change our lives dramatically. – Sibbia

Posted in family, God, Inspiration, Life, motivation, Religion, Spirituality, Thoughts | Tagged: , , | 5 Comments »

Be happy when

Posted by sibbia on October 25, 2007

It’s the same song, time and time again; I’ll be happy when.

I’ll be happy when… I have a car… have a new car… finish my car payments… sell my car.

I’ll be happy when… I start dating… get married… have kids… have the house to myself… get divorced… get remarried

I know I’ll be happy when I:                                      

                   Lose weight!
                   Gain weight!
                   Have more money!

This time I’m sure I’ll be happy when I:                                     

                  Refine my goals!
                  Get it right this time!
                  Make a name for myself!

Have you ever let yourself speak the words, I’ll be happy when?

I’ve spoken before about the power our words hold, our thoughts even more so.  So ask yourself, are you holding your happiness hostage?

It’s time to change the song.

I’ll be happy when…                       

                        the sun rises, the stars shine
                        the wind blows, I sense the divine.

I’ll be happy when…                        

                        a baby smiles, a cat purrs
                        when-ever the slightest pleasant thing occurs.
I’ll be happy…

Today!

There is too much sadness in the world for us to add to it with the constant pursuit of happiness. 
Instead of always pursuing happiness, make the choice to slow down and let it catch you.  Then spread it where ever you go. 

Happy Butterfly

Posted in Belief, Happiness, Inner Peace, Life, Thoughts | Tagged: , , , | 8 Comments »