The Devil is in the Structure – NEW BOOK COMING!

Yes!  Soon, very soon, we will be proud to present our second book:  “The Devil is in the Structure:  How Structure Seals the Fate of Individuals, Businesses, and Society” by Barbara Piechocinska.

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This new book could be seen as a prelude to our “Choose Joy” book.  The reason is that it goes into detail explaining exactly why it is important for all of us to learn to become more self-empowered, independent, independently thinking, and happier (yes, this is essential) human beings.

This has to do with the transformational times we are living in.  We are currently undergoing a radical transformation in the structure of organisation of and in society.  The hierarchical, authoritarian structures we see in society are on the way out.   Some of them may fall apart (such as the European Union), others might end up blowing up spectacularly (such as our financial system, but let us hope is does not happen), yet others may simply be replaced (such as a number of companies).

Living in these times it may be difficult to realise what is happening.  It is difficult to see because we only have our past to serve as what is normal, real, functional.   And we do not know what is to come.  The change will probably be easier to describe for future historians who look back at these times.

Without really knowing what is to come, how do we prepare for it?

The argument in “The Devil is in the Structure” is that we are moving towards non-authoritarian societies and the best way to organise them will be using the knowledge of the masses.  But for that to work the masses need to be comprised of independent, diverse, and joyously productive individuals.   This is not an opinion, more of a mathematical fact in autonomous organisation models.

So, the best thing you can do to prepare for the future is learn how to become self-empowered, independent, happy and pursue the highest expression of your essence.

More about the book

“The Devil is in the Structure” also shows how the application of a new perspective, namely the perspective that structure creates fate, can be useful in vastly different areas.  It shows examples from biology, psychology, activism, businesses, financial institutions, to socio-economic systems.

It goes into how the architects of any structure, be it a business, an institution, a reading group, or even a treatment for some disease can take advantage of the structure to attain their goals in peaceful and harmonious ways.

GreekTragedyIt also shows how many of our present structures are designed in ways that makes them exactly counter productive.  It is as if we were designing a Greek Tragedy, where each individual is doing their best to solve a problem and yet their efforts are exactly what is creating that very problem.  Such can be the power of a structure.

The book also goes into psychological structures that are formed in us as children.  If we are unaware of these we will keep repeating certain patterns and keep suffering in particular ways and think that this is just who we are.  Understanding our psychological structure is the first step in becoming liberated from the effects the structure exerts on us.

 

By the way,  there is now a character test available online where you can identify your particular structural make-up.

So, in summary, the book spans a wide range of subjects, but it does so from one particular perspective, that structure is immensely powerful.  By the end of the book the ready should have a grasp of how to apply this perspective to his or her life on a personal or even global scale.

 

 

 

Offsetting the Negativity Bias

By the power of your mind you can deliciously focus a good life into existence.  Really.

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It’s true.  We all have a negativity bias.  We tend to scan for negative experiences more than for positive ones and focus on them more than on the good stuff around us.

This may have been good for our survival as a species, as we have learned to avoid bad situations that might even lead to our death.  However, in today’s society things tend to be more complex, and our negativity bias can get us into trouble.

For instance, although over time the negativity bias improves our survival, it does not necessarily provide the best health and wellbeing.  Focusing on the negative we become fearful, stressed, anxious.  If it is only for a few seconds, then this is not a problem.  But when this becomes a chronic state we greatly affect our health and wellbeing.

Furthermore, what we focus on is what we tend to experience more of in our lives.  This means that if we focus on the negative, we will tend to build beliefs about our world that reflect that negative.  If we have been lied to and cheated, then we will develop a lack of trust and it may be easy to also develop a belief that people cannot be trusted.  With this attitude we will tend to evoke situations where it becomes easier for others to cheat us again.

Imagine a boss at your workplace who sits you down and tells you that they believe in you and want to give more freedom and opportunity for growth.  Now imagine a boss who does not look you straight in the eye and always tells stories of how his employees are no good thiefs.  Which of these two bosses would you have an easier time cheating?

What we focus on becomes our experience.  The more we focus on the negative, the more we will tend to see it and inwardly feel it.  This will overtime make us more depressed, grumpy, and bitter.  And this is what will tend to happen if we let our negativity bias reign.

But there is something we can do.  We also have the ability to learn from positive experiences.  However, they do not automatically stick to our mind as the negative ones.   We rarely start obsessing about the positive events of our days.   But having the ability to choose what to focus on, we can decide to take in the good and marvel in it.  By creating a practice where we choose to do this, we will be making it easier and easier for our mind to go there, and even for our brain to wire these connections.  This will make it possible for us to enjoy our daily events to a higher degree, to feel satisfied, fulfilled, happier.  Over time we will be forging these positive connections in our minds, as opposed to the negative ones.

Positive focus, brings the experience of your cup spilling over, wiring this experience into your brain, affecting your mind from then on.

Here is a video on a two breath practice that you can incorporate into your day in order to offset the negativity bias.  It is based on the phrase “There are no ordinary moments”, from the movie “Peaceful Warrior”.  Take a look.

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ChooseJoyBook

If you are interested in more practices that can make you happier, take a look at the book

“Choose Joy – On Joy and Freedom for the Logically Minded”. 

It contains ten chapters, each outlining a perspective that may lead to more happiness, and each finishing with a specific practice.

Art of Fulfilment

If you are a Tony Robbins fan then you probably already know about the “Art of Fulfilment”.   For years we have seen Tony Robbins as a master of achievement.  But during the last year and a half he has started sharing a strategy that has helped him to diminish suffering and increase well-being.  He shares some of it in his Q&A video regarding the new Joe Berlinger documentary, “Tony Robbins – I am not Your Guru“.

What is the “Art of Fulfilment”?

The basic idea is well expressed in the often used metaphor, even by Tony Robbins, of putting the oxygen mask on yourself first and then helping others with their masks, in case of an emergency on a plane.  You need to first tend to your needs, and only then help others.  When we make sure we fulfil our own needs and put ourselves in a good feeling place, then everything becomes much easier.  We have access to a broader perspective and can solve any problem in a more efficient way than if we are in a state of lack.

Not only do we get access to a broader perspective, but we also feel better.  Feeling good and happy we automatically share this attitude with others and help them find their joy, just by being our happy selves.  But this only works in a powerful way when we truly enjoy a sense of inner peace and fulfilment.

The trap of empty success

There are plenty of people who achieve success, and yet inner fulfilment escapes them.  Tony Robbins talks about Robin Williams, who was a brilliant achiever in so many areas in his life, and yet not quite reaching the level of inner joy, as demonstrated by him taking his own life.

Even people who only achieve more moderate levels of success can sometimes feel a momentary elation and then plummet back into a feeling of lack.  Have you ever had the feeling that “if you only had that …(insert whatever desire)..you would be happy”?  And if you were lucky enough to actually get that thing, you probably quickly noticed that it gave you a boost of happiness, but did not make you joyous for the rest of your days.  Why?  What is missing?  How do you get the fulfilment together with the achievement?

Learning more about finding fulfilment

To really understand why it is we often miss the fulfilment and continue suffering in spite of success we need to understand what it is we truly want.  There is a three video series that goes into the details of how to find the essence of what we really want.  Here is the first of the videos:

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The key is to realize that what we essentially want is the feeling of fulfilment, and not the outer manifestation of something that would potentially bring fulfilment.  Once this becomes clear we can set the goal to start working with our feelings and emotions.  When they become a priority, other things start to fall into place.

But, we need to really get the fact that the joy we are seeking is created by us, in us.  Otherwise all of this remains a distant theory and it becomes difficult to know how to act on it.

For those wishing to develop this deeper understanding, and interested in learning how to take action on it, the book “Choose Joy – On Joy and Freedom for the Logically Minded” will be a treasure.

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Sneak Preview of the Second Book: “Integrate Judgment”

The second book in the Uncommon Sense Books series is still in the process of being written by B. Piechocinska.  It’s current working title is:  “Integrate Judgment:  Finding Unconditional Love, A Guide for the Logically Minded”.

To give you a taste of what is coming up here is the introduction…

Introduction to Integrate Judgment 

You know those moments when you get upset?  It can be about anything.  It can be the annoyingly nosy neighbor, the stingy and opinionated mother in law, the conceited guy in the gym, the partner clipping his or her toenails in bed, the pile of dirty dishes that somehow magically appears in the sink, or maybe the idiot who just cut you off in traffic.

Imagine if there was a way to handle all of those situations so that instead of feeling anger, frustration, rage, disappointment, betray or any other choiced emotion from the fine array of negative emotions you could genuinely feel an internal smile, love, connection, and a drive towards inspiration build up from the very beginning.

Is it possible?  Without lying to yourself?  I say:  “It is.”   And if you are willing to give it a try, then this book might just be of some value to you.

The basis of our upset comes from our judgment and our distancing, or inability to accept the moment as it is.  When we see something we dislike, we have an opinion about it, we judge it, and we immediately wish for it to be different.  The result is usually internal violence.  We become upset, frustrated, and angry.  These feelings may, as you may have had the infortune to observe, further lead to physical action.

Some of us see the value in it and believe it to be the natural and most efficient way of functioning.  When we are upset, we have an impetus to change the undesirable situation.   The negative build up of emotions makes us spring into action.  And so we not only are able to change all the bad things we see, we often even feel better for feeling bad.  We may profess that there is such a thing as righteous indignation.  When we see something wrong, we feel good and right in feeling anger and we believe that this anger is likely to make the other person change their ways from wrong to right.

Although reacting with negative emotions may lead us to take action that on some level may indeed render external circumstances to appear more favorable, from a certain viewpoint, is it the most happy and efficient way of life?

Certainly, it does not appear to be the happiest way of life, as it involves us feeling all sorts of negative emotions.  As for efficiency, we all know that violence leads to more violence.  If ones internal dismay is transmuted into harsh words or actions, these actions will usually only have the hope of leading to short term benefits.  If you see that someone is acting in a racist way and you become upset, you might harshly tell the offender to stop his or her racist manner.  The person may indeed stop.  But it is not likely that you have cured the person of being a racist.  They may be afraid of showing you that behavior but that fear will instead turn up in other areas.  It is for instance common that men who beat their wives will beat them more and more severely if others tell them off during their day.  If say, the boss criticizes the man harshly at work, the man might not feel that he can take it out on the boss.  The boss believes that the situation is solved.  The wife at home, however, will experience the wrath it has engendered inside of the man.  Thus we see that acting with violence, is not likely to permanently solve the situation.

Even trying to act in a reasonable, not harsh manner, when one feels indignation, is rather difficult without leaking out some of the negativity.

So, what is one to do?

The idea explored in this book is to cultivate a heart and mind that do not automatically respond with negative emotions.

As already identified, part of the basis of our negative emotions comes from judgment.  Judgment is a form of separation.  Its dualistic quality tends to divide an action into one of two categories, the preferred, and the other.  We may view something as good or bad, correct or incorrect, legal or illegal, right or wrong.

The judgment may be subtler.  The scale may be richer than just good and bad.  You may have more options on it, such as the somewhat good, the very good, the exceptional, etc.  But the basis of it is dualistic separation.

When this dualistic separation occurs we obtain the ability to experience something other than unity.  In the separation we will seek to associate ourselves with the preferred part of the judgment and we will tend to violently oppose what we see as the bad part.  Of course, any psychologist will tell you that the parts you are the most violently opposing in the world of external events, are the parts that represent or remind you of the parts you are the most unwilling to accept inside of you.  Thus working with that, which you find you have the greatest judgment against, is an efficient way of working on embracing and loving all of you.  Let me say it again in other words:  Your judgments may become your most valued tools on your path toward living in a state of love.  This is why we will look quite a bit at what is called judgment integration.

Another related part of our upset originates in our inability to accept what is, our inability to fully be in the present moment with what is.  Instead we build resistance to the present and mentally jump into all sorts of other actions.  We may jump into trying to assign blame, into declarations of the undesirability of the present, or into what should have been.  “Well she did it first.  I cannot believe this is happening.  This is really terrible.  This should have never happened.”   By learning to accept what is, we take away the power of the event and actually allow for it to change.  In the last book, “Choose Joy”, we left off with the idea of wanting to move some other person by walking up to her and pushing her in our preferred direction.  The response of the person is likely to be resistance.  And we will have an exhausting pushing match on our hands.  An alternative would be to give a loving smile and gently take the person’s hand and kindly ask them to come with us.  This scenario will have a higher rate of success and be more pleasant.  And so, this is what we will be looking at.  We shall try to see how to do this in our day-to-day lives, when undesirable things occur.

If we can end the violence inside of us, it will be difficult to keep it up on the outside.  Choosing to work on oneself in this manner is part of a profound peace movement.  It is profound because, perhaps even from experience you will recognize that you may have difficulty persuading others to abstain from violence, but if anyone, you are the one who can work on your self.  For anyone interested in the peace movement, the reigning and reiterated suggestion is:  First learn to solve the violence inside of you, and then see how you can help others.   And so, honoring the wisdom in those words we dedicate the rest of this book to ways indicating how one may work with oneself on the matter.

Minimizing the internal violence, in terms of hostile feelings such as upset, anger, rage, is not about suppressing or denying them.  It is about cultivating a state of heart and mind where they do not naturally arise.

For greatest benefit it is suggested that you read one chapter at a time, pause to give it some thought, see how you can apply it to your life, and do the exercises.  Once you feel you have managed to use it in your life, move onto the next chapter.  Hopefully this will allow you to experience more joy and freedom from the hostile takeovers of painful emotions.

The First Book is Out: Choose Joy

 

If you are like most of us, then you have much more power to choose the way you feel than you think.   You do not have to be the victim of the whims of the world and people around you.  There is a way for you to choose more joy in your life, in spite of contrasting experiences.

The first step is to recognize that you have the power to choose how you feel.  Once you truly get this, then you there are a number of different ways for you to practice your insight, so that you may benefit from it.

“Choose Joy:  On Joy and Freedom for the Logically Minded” was written for precisely that purpose, to help you recognize and step into your power to feel more joy.  It contains a number of perspectives designed to convince your logical mind that you do indeed have the option to choose how you feel.  And, to follow it up, it also presents a number of practical exercises that will assist you in making the insight your experienced reality, not just an intellectual pursuit.

If you are curious, I invite you to read no more than one short chapter per day, or better yet per week, and spend the rest of the time putting it into practice.

“Choose Joy” is only the first in a series of books, all dedicated to inspiring and exploration into a more freedom and joy.

You can already get your copy from Lulu and soon from Amazon.com, Barnesandnoble.com, and more…

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