Posted by: Walt Curtis | May 3, 2011

Fear Not

Throughout the books in and based on Frank Herbert’s “Dune” series, there is mention of a “litany against fear.” Much of it has application in Anchored Living™, although the first line is better as, “I arrest my fear.” The next few lines do fit nicely:

Fear is the mind-killer. 
Fear is the little-death that brings total obliteration. I will face my fear. 
I will permit it to pass over me and through me.
And when it has gone past I will turn the inner eye to see its path.

In this world at least, fear is instinctive to actual and perceived threats. It’s where our well-known ‘fight or flight’ reactions come from. To decide between these, it is best if we face fear by involving our mind as fast as possible.

It is not the emotion of fear that we arrest. Let the overwhelming emotion happen; sometimes we will be shaken like a young child’s bug-in-a-box treasure. What we resist is fighting or fleeing mindlessly.

Anchor principles focus on living … on action. Since fear can arrest action, we must arrest fear in order to live more fully with light, goodwill, peace, forgiveness and love. (LiGoPeFoLo).

Once our mind is online, we can step into love, the best context for the best decisions. This can happen in a fraction of a second, and in the face of real danger, speed is essential. Sometimes we must run, and especially then, a mind frame of love helps us choose and act best.

When there is no immediate danger, looking at the situation from love helps us see what’s really going on more clearly. We get a better notion of the paths, the results, of possible things we can do and say in situations that flash fear. Looking along the possible paths, we can then choose the best one. If you keep track of actions and words you choose in this manner, you will probably be surprised to notice that the best is often one of the more difficult paths.

Anchored Living™ is a series of adventures. And although I would not call life dangerous, I am reminded of a quote from Bilbo Baggins in “The Hobbit”:

It’s a dangerous business, Frodo, going out your door. You step onto the road, and if you don’t keep your feet, there’s no knowing where you might be swept off to.

May we make our journeys safer and more fulfilling with light, goodwill, peace, forgiveness and love.

Posted by: Walt Curtis | April 15, 2011

How to Act With Vengeance

Vengeance, or revenge, is the punishment a person seeks in order to “get even” with another person or persons because of the hurt or pain caused by the other’s prior actions or words. By its very nature, vengeance is a reaction. (If you seek to hurt another without cause, you are acting from enmity.)

In Anchored Living™, you resist vengeance. In other words, you choose to act, rather than react. Vengeance happens almost like the proverbial “knee-jerk reaction” and that is when it does the most damage to everyone involved. The best way to resist vengeance is to exercise forgiveness.

Resistance. Exercise. … Get it?

Speaking from the view of my current physical ‘non-fitness,’ vengeance is flabby and fat; forgiveness is fitness and strong. So I understand perfectly when people talk big about all their plans to be forgiving, and then waffle almost immediately at the first hint of someone wronging or hurting them in some way.

“It’s only natural,” and “It’s human nature,” are mere excuses for not exercising. Exercise your anchor principles, and be careful of doing so “with a vengeance.”

It may be different for you, but the best way for me to develop fitness is to have a goal in mind and a series of small steps to get me moving toward my goal. As a beginning toward principled fitness, I suggest one small step. When you feel wronged or hurt, remind yourself with a small affirmation:

       I exercise forgiveness to make my character strong.

Exercising forgiveness to resist vengeance is needed so very much in our lives, relationships, communities, associations, businesses … in our world. (In this case, resistance is definitely not futile.)

And now that you know, do what you know.

Posted by: Walt Curtis | April 3, 2011

Make Peace, Not War

War is the opposer of peace; and occasionally war is unavoidable. Thus the anchor principle is to avoid war.

In Anchored Living™, war is the principle behind struggle, antagonism and/or hostility between opposing parties that arises because one or more of the parties seeks to force or impose a particular end. (See Merriam Webster: war.) The imposition may be through actions, images or words, for example: physical attacks, military attacks, psychological attacks, subliminal influencing, withholding basic life needs, and laws, regulations, policies or so-called divine declarations that remove or circumvent an individual’s freedom to choose.

War in Anchored Living™ does not include warranted conflict, but may sometimes include unwarranted conflict.

War may occur between any combination of two or more parties: individuals, groups of individuals, organizations, associations, companies, corporations, institutions and governments.

War exists when all parties actively take part in the struggle, antagonism or hostility. If one or more parties do not actively take part, then the warring party(s) is attacking the non-warring party(s); it is not a war. When one or more warring parties are persistent in their attacks, war may be unavoidable.

Why all this rigamarole about defining war? Because so many parties seek to impose their will on others in so very many ways in our world (and probably in others as well). Peace fosters a variety and diversity that create beauty; war as defined here usually limits variety and diversity.

How do you avoid war then? Instead of imposing your will, be an example:
– choose light
– practice goodwill
– live in peace
– exercise forgiveness
– surrender to love

Posted by: Walt Curtis | March 31, 2011

Enmity Minds

The online Merriam-Webster defines enmity as: positive, active, and typically mutual hatred or ill will. Another way I sometimes describe it is that enmity amounts to one person or group of persons saying to another, “I have what you do not and there’s nothing you can do about it.” The possession may be an actual thing, such as land, wealth, a house or a toy. It may be a characteristic, such as height, weight, skin color, gender, hair color or style, competitiveness and on and on.

Whatever the focus or foci, active ill will towards others prevents cooperation and mutual accomplishment. As with the other anchor principles and their opposers, enmity is expressed through actions and words that originate from the heart and thoughts.

In Anchored Living™ the aim is to eschew enmity. I love this word, eschew. It’s definition is: to avoid habitually especially on moral or practical grounds. Persistently resisting and avoiding ill will towards others is the best thing we can do for everyone and everything concerned.

Eschewing enmity means that we acknowledge the existence (and in some things the prevalence) of enmity and that we use goodwill to choose words and actions that will benefit the most people in the bigger picture. Once again, this is stated simply in this post. I certainly hope readers will bring up questions and specific concerns about practicing goodwill and eschewing enmity.

Posted by: Walt Curtis | March 21, 2011

Opposer of Light

Yesterday was this year’s vernal equinox. For some, it was a day of remembrance, for others, of celebration, anticipation and hope. It was the day that marks, for the northern hemisphere at least, the rise of the longest days of the year … the days with the most light. For the southern hemisphere, the day marks the advance of longer nights.

For Anchored Living™, it is a good time to bring up ‘opposers.’ Each of the five anchor principles has an opposite, and all but the first has an action verb … hence the nominal action form of the word, oppose. As mentioned before, the action words selected are intended to be positive.

The opposers are not absolute negatives in and of themselves. I would suggest that the anchor principles and their opposers are part of a cycle, rather than endpoints on a straight-line continuum, and that each opposer helps define an anchor principle within the Anchored Living™ context.

Darkness is the opposer to light, but it does not have an action associated with it. A couple of reasons for this: light is the medium; and darkness may be viewed as simply the absence of light. There are those who do actively oppose light with darkness, but that is currently beyond the focus of Anchored Living™. Our focus here is on positive actions; it is difficult to act with positivity in the absence of light.

These words sound simple, but they are carefully chosen. We could have volumes of discussion just about light and darkness.

Posted by: Walt Curtis | March 15, 2011

Loving You and Your Self

Apparently, love has been a central theme all around the world throughout time. Once upon a time, I remember hearing the funny comment that, “love is what makes the world go ‘round the world.”

We have love, chaste love, sexual love, brotherly love, selfless love, parental love, compassionate love, charitable love, god’s love and so forth. With so many different kinds of love and so many things done in the name of love, we should clarify what we are talking about when it comes to love as a principle in Anchored Living™.

Lose your self in love. Notice that ‘your’ and ‘self’ are separate words, not the single word ‘yourself.’ This is a clue that we are talking about selfless love. Love in Anchored Living™ seeks the best for everyone and everything and it requires acting beyond your self. Now this may not help much and this is certainly a topic we need to expand greatly in future posts, because this type of love necessarily begins with loving yourself and your self.

I do have one example that might help. In the 1982 television movie, entitled “The Electric Grandmother,” (based on Ray Bradbury’s short story, “I Sing the Body Electric”*), there is a line that touches on a critical characteristic of love from the Anchored Living™ point of view. Grandma is recalling her time with the children and comments, “I forget the difference between loving people and paying attention to them. There is a difference, isn’t there?” — Mm, yes … but … .

Love is an action (rather than just a thing); love implies paying attention in some manner. Loving begins with You loving Your Self by paying attention to yourself and acting for your benefit, and then radiating that love outward to others by paying attention to them and acting for their benefit.

* Click on the link and enter “Anchored Living” into the Search Listmania field to see the list of related publications.


Posted by: Walt Curtis | March 13, 2011

Forgiveness is Becoming

The Corpus of Contemporary American English lists “forgive” as the 3629th most frequently used word in the language. It’s not exactly in our top ten. And it probably does not show up in many word clouds either.

If we look up “forgiveness” in the dictionary, we get some idea of the interesting history (etymology) of this word. The prefix for- here is related to the German ver- prefix, and implies “becoming.” So, something that is forgiven is becoming-given or given away. This leads to the idea that “forgiveness” is related to the Native American spiritual idea of giveaway.*

The action for forgiveness in Anchored Living™ is to exercise it. And exercise is probably what most of us need to do with this infrequently used word. Like so many other principles, forgiveness begins with us ourselves. To the extent that we can exercise giveaway in this manner, we become more able to do so with others.

There is a lot more to exercising forgiveness, and we will take it up many times in this blog, but for now let me just suggest one more idea.—If you feel that there is someone whom you could never forgive for whatever, there is likely something about yourself that you need to give away first. Once you can do that, forgiveness of the other will become possible.

Lastly, even though all of the anchor principles are related to and build on each other, I feel that there is a special connection between forgiveness and love, which we touch on in the next post.

* Click on the link and enter “Anchored Living” into the Search Listmania field to see the list of related publications.

« Newer Posts - Older Posts »