A Matter of Perspective

Jim:    Greetings and welcome.  And, I say to the seekers, the attenders, and the convinced members of our audience – for whatever reason, whether you’ve hatched, appeared, or awoken in this universe, this is a universe of a lifetime without definitive expectations.  Come with me and follow the sound of my own voice.  And, combine serendipity and synchronicity.  Let’s make 1+1 = 3.  Let’s create a reaction rather than waiting for one to come.  Let’s participate in full impact mindfulness.  Come with me down the rabbit hole and you can experience what it’s like in life Fishing Without Bait.  And, so, let the adventure begin.  Well, Mike, here we go again.  Wherever may we meet, whenever we meet.  And, really and truly not having a definitive idea of where we’re going.  Would you say that’s a clear explanation of what our relationship is?

Mike:    Pretty much.  That’s my life in a nutshell.  

Jim:    In our last podcast we’ve been looking at windows and mirrors.  How we can view life in a distorted manner or choose to look through a clear window.  We looked at allowing ourselves and giving ourselves permission to be curious.  Going down rabbit holes.  We’ve talked about emotional sobriety.  We talked about feeling the tingle of being alive, and that Latin phrase carpe diem – seize the day.  And, Mike, in our last episode we discussed wrestling with yourself.  And, that’s a subject most people have been dealing with in their lives.  So, Mike, when we talk about wrestling with ourselves what does that mean to you?

Mike:    We talk about wrestling with our emotions, our thoughts, our feelings and trying to win the match.

Jim:    Have you ever gotten yourself into a headlock, Mike?

Mike:    Certainly.  To me, getting yourself in a headlock means just kind of getting yourself trapped in a situation.  You can’t move.  And, I actually have done amateur wrestling and I’m familiar with what it feels like to be in an actual headlock where they’re not letting you go.  And, that feeling of helplessness with that.

Jim:    Do you ever feel like you’re being squeezed in your life also?

Mike:    Certainly.

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Jim:    You bet.  So, I’d like to give you a quote by a young lady by the name of Shannon Alder, who I find quite refreshing.  And, also I believe you can find her on a really wonderful website called Life Hacks.  I don’t know whether you’re familiar with it or not.  And, what she says is your perspective on life comes from the cage you were held captive in.  So, quite often, Mike, we create those cages ourselves and our perspective in life comes from that.  What’s your take on that?

Mike:    The cage can be really relatable to a headlock.  And, the cage means the surroundings, and what you were brought up in without your choice.  Your surroundings, basically.

Jim:    Sure.  Depending on – it also depends on how you were raised, what your environment’s in, and where you find yourself at in your life.  When you’re peering out.  So sometimes our life does feel like we’re peering out from a cage where we’re caged in and we’re unable to grow anymore.  Keep in mind, Mike, that these are challenge podcasts.  And, I’m challenging everyone out there to listen to this quote by George Eliot the author, and I don’t know whether most people realize that she was a woman.  And, says It is never too late to be what you might have been.  No matter how old or how young you are, there is no reason that you can’t – as we say in a previous podcast – hit the reset button.  Shift your sails and sail into a new era in your life. 

Mike:    It’s been very interesting to me.  I’ve noticed the successful people that I read about that are presented to you, that you’re like I wish I could be as good as them.  Guys like a John Hodgman – a very famous comedian at this point.  He was a book editor of some sort beforehand.  And, of course, everybody knows him from those Apple commercials.  He didn’t get his break until his late 30s or early 40s or something like that.  And, some of us are sitting here at around that age, thinking it’s over.  You think the game is over.  And, it isn’t.  In anything in your life, what do you want to accomplish – either professionally or personally?

Jim:    And, what a cage you’re looking at from there.  And, Mike, this is what we’re talking about.  When we’re looking at creating rather than waiting.  Not looking or yourself.  But rather creating yourself as our previous podcast where we quoted George Bernard Shaw.  I’m challenging everyone out there to step back and look at life.  Mike, really look at life.  I’m asking people – I’m challenging them to step back and imagine again that you’re watching a movie of your life as we’ve spoken about before.  To see what’s going on.  And, when we’re so immersed in the drama, we lose our perspective, Mike.  So, let me ask you about perspective.  Mike, is one hair in a salad too many?

Mike:    Maybe a little bit.

Jim:    So, is one hair on your head not enough?

Mike:    Yes.  Because you expect a full head of hair.

Jim:    A matter of perspective.  And, again, when we ended our last podcast we indicated we were going to look at life from the absurd angle.  So, when we step back and we look at life – when we look at the absurdity, then you can truly look and see whether life is in charge of us or are we in charge of life?  Mike, the first thing we have to do – and we’ll step back into the 12-step world again for a moment – is to realize that our problems are of our own making.  There is another quote by Albert Ellis who was a behavioral health theorist.  And, he says the best years of your life are the ones in which you decide your problems are your own.  You do not blame them on your mother, the ecology, or the president.  You realize that you control your own destiny.  And, again, Mike, we’re talking about conscious choice again.  We’re talking about free will.  So the first thing we have to do is take that perspective, and realize that our problems are of our own making and they really and truly are.  Mike, I recently did a retreat with a lovely lady by the name of Nancy Fitzgerald who came down from Boston – who lives her life by principles outlined in a course of miracles.  You can find much information about that on YouTube.  And, one of the quotes she talks about is that our free will is our last and truest gift.  That meant a lot to me, Mike.  That free will is our last and truest gift.  So, I often talk about free will in relation to conscious choice.  Where does that fit into your world?  Where do you think that fits into most people’s world?  

Mike:    I think looking at your life and realizing that you don’t have to be on the path that you are.

Jim:    And, if we really and truly take an absurd view of life and see it for what it truly is – I’ll give another perspective.  Let’s look at another quote by, certainly one of the finest human beings who ever existed, and that’s Abraham Lincoln.  Abe Lincoln said – 

Mike:    By the way, Abe Lincoln – I understand folklore is that he was also a pro wrestler.

Jim:    He was a wrestler in his early years.  I don’t know if he was a professional wrestler, but he certainly was – he was an amateur wrestler.  Big, strong, lanky guy.  

Mike:    In my mind, he’s got all the bright colors, and still the top hat.  

Jim:    That’s the promoter in you coming out.

Mike:    My history is a matter of perspective.  

Jim:    That’s a promoter.  So, what he said was we can complain because rose bushes have thorns, or rejoice because thorn bushes have roses.  Again, that matter of perspective looking back.  Mike, part of taking that perspective of life is absurd to me takes the Fishing Without Bait world and full-impact mindfulness.  To find out what’s truly important in your life, Mike – to find out what’s truly important – and that means not building things up but breaking them down.  That means breaking your life down and finding out what’s important.  I remember a Bible verse – in the Christian Bible.  If you ever wanted to find it it’s in Like 12:16-21.  And, it said that the ground of a certain rich man brought forth plentifully and he thought within himself saying, what shall I do because I have no room to dispel my fruits.  And, he said this I will do.  I will pull down my barns and build greater.  And, there I will bestill all my fruits and my goods and I will say to my soul, soul thou has much goods laid up for many years.  Take your time to eat, drink and be merry.  God said to him, you fool, this very night your soul shall be required of you then who shall these things that you have built up – who will they go to in this world?  Mike, have you ever seen a hearse hauling a u-haul behind it?

Mike:    I have not.

Jim:    No.

Mike:    And, I’ve some hearse in some very interesting situations.

Jim:    Yes.  But, however, you’ve never seen a u-haul pulling behind it.

Mike:    No.  That’s a new one.

Jim:    So, this is the absurdist view that I’m looking at.  This is looking at life as it truly is and what truly matters to you.  And, when we see other people thinking or doing something – how are we allowing that to impact our life?  And, that’s the question I’m going to leave everyone with today, Mike.  Do you own your life, or does your life own you?  That’s the question.  And, that’s the challenge that I’m asking everyone.  I’m challenging everyone.  When we take this absurdist view of life it’s not laughing at everything.  It’s not seeing everything as ridiculous.  It’s stepping back and seeing – truly seeing.  And, we’ve talked about this often – making a conscious choice to look at what’s truly important in your life.  To understand that the things that we’re attached to, as we’ve talked before about the octopuses with the tentacles in our life, to take that back and understand that most of the things that we’re involved with in our life really and truly don’t matter.  So, let’s get back.  Let’s go Fishing Without Bait, Mike.  Let’s go down that rabbit hole a little further.  And, until then, Namaste everyone.  And, as always, be good to yourself, and please be good to another.  

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