It’s Good to Be Me

Jim:    Greetings friends and welcome to our continuing episodes of Fishing Without Bait.  If you’re hearing my voice you stumbled somehow down the rabbit hole and got together with me and my good friend and co-producer, Mr. Mike, yet once again.  Fishing Without Bait, what type of a concept is that?  What the heck does that mean?  Well, as everything in life, everything evolves, transforms, and perhaps finds a new path or a new course of water to go by.  And, in this particular case when I originally envisioned Fishing Without Bait – a lifetime without definitive expectations I kind of followed the traditional mindfulness-type of view, the mindfulness-type of structure where it’s the more Zenish-type of mindfulness and everything’s just wonderful.  And, of course, we do pursue that.  However, with Fishing Without Bait it’s more of a lifetime without definitive expectations, which means that you’re opening your lifetime up to possibilities.  To possibilities, Mr. Mike.  Possibilities.  Sometimes it takes a long time for a person to learn how to ride a bicycle doesn’t it?

Mike:    Indeed.  

Jim:    After a while, you do take the training wheels off.  So, I believe that at this point we’re finding our stride and we’ve taken the training wheels up and we’ve moved from that little old Schwinn with the horn and the bell on it to – we’re developing into, we’re getting into a 10-speed.  And we’re getting into a sleek 10-speed.  And, we’re perhaps getting into shape.  Perhaps we’re getting ready to go on a marathon.

Mike:    This is a lighter, more agile podcast now because of it.

Jim:    Yes.  Most certainly.  So, what we’re talking about – we’re talking about more of a blunt-force-trauma mindfulness.  Blunt force mindfulness.  We’re talking about going out – as in our previous podcasts carpe diem – seize the day.  Tell me why mindfulness can’t be participating in every moment actively.  Living in every moment.  Bursting.  Bursting with that joy, Mike.  Give me a reason – convince me that it can’t be.  

Mike:    I can’t.  Because I’ve been sitting around here for about 30-some episodes.  

Jim:    Absolutely.  So, what we’re going to talk about today is – the title of this podcast is It’s Good to Be Me.  Do you ever wake up in the morning, Mike and think it’s good to be me?  

Mike:    Yeah.

Jim:    Do you?

Mike:    From time to time.

Jim:    I’m suspecting that most people do not.

Mike:    It’s not often enough, I’m sure.   But, there are moments.  I usually have to get through that first cup of coffee before I get to it.

Jim:    And, some of the previous episodes – what we’ve talked about is blunt-force therapy and we may rename this the blunt-force mindfulness.  We’re talking about decluttering our life.  We’re talking about identifying the attachments that are holding us back.  We’re talking about opening our eyes.  We’re talking about developing sight – raising the anchor to your life that’s holding you back, and finding your base.  And, being good to me.  So, I picked up a quote by Pablo Picasso, and what he said was that the meaning of life is to find your gift.  The purpose of life is to give it away.  I want to delve into this little concept more about it’s good to be me.  If you would say to yourself, Mike, it’s good to be me – what would that mean to you?

Mike:    It’s good to be in the position I am.  It’s appreciating the position that you’re in.  It’s appreciating the gifts that you’ve been given or what you’ve accomplished.  

Jim:    So, how do you do that?  You take an inventory.  How do you find out what’s in your store?  How do you find out what’s in your basement?  How do you find out what’s in your sock drawer?  You take an inventory, do you not?  So, what we want to do is take an inventory.  We want to take an inventory of our physical health.  We want to take an inventory of our spiritual health.  We want to take an inventory of our emotional health.  And, we want to take a personal inventory.  Mike, in the schools now there’s a concept that they’re teaching children.  And, it’s called SEAL.  What that’s an acronym for is examining the social and emotional aspects of learning.  Do you think that you stopped learning?  Most people think they stopped learning when they stopped either going to high school, college, or whatever.

Mike:    I think the unfortunate thing is that the people that do think that are the ones that don’t move anywhere else in their life and don’t grow.

Jim:    That’s correct.  Sometimes I’ll ask people was there any education beyond high school?  And, you know what they’ll tell me?  No.  Would you embrace the concept of being a lifetime learner?  Would you like to be a lifetime learner, Mike?

Mike:    I’d like to be.  I hope that I am.  

Jim:    So, that’s what I’m challenging everyone out there to be.  I’m challenging everyone out there to be a lifetime learner.  I’m challenging everyone out there to examine themselves.  Why is it good to be me?  Why is it good to be me?  Let’s talk about myself for a little bit.  Why is it good to be me?  Why would you say it’s good to be me, Mike?  You know me.

Mike:    I’d say – well, one, you have a wonderful voice for the radio and the podcasting world.  To me, I look at you and you’re somebody who has a very professional job that’s helping people out.  I think that chocks you up pretty well there.

Jim:    Thank you.  Thank you.  And, what I try to do is participate.  I don’t want to sit on the sidelines and watch the game.  I want to be in it.  And, that game is being my life.  In this – and we’re going to begin to introduce another concept in this episode and we’re going to be continuing in this vein of blunt-force mindfulness and that’s a concept called emotional sobriety.  I’ll talk just briefly about it right now.  You’ve heard of sobriety.  You’ve heard of being clean and sober – all of those type of things.  There’s many different definitions of it, of course.  However, in my own definition in my own mind, I term emotional sobriety as when you’re being okay with yourself living life out loud, saying that it’s good to be me without the approval of people, places, things, circumstances, and events that we – that some of us rely on to determine our own self-worth and to determine our own happiness.  How often do people out there have to have other people tell them whether they’re happy or not?  Do I have to call you?  Do I call you in the middle of the night and say hey, Mike, I’m not sure whether I’m happy or not?

Mike:    Hi.  Am I having a good time here?  Hi.  Hi.

Jim:    So, what does that do?  Some people have to tune into social media.  Some people have to tune into those types of things to determine their own self-worth, to determine whether they’re with it, to determine whether they’re in the crowd or with what’s going on.  That’s kind of sad, isn’t it?

Mike:    Mm-hmm.

Jim:    You’ve kind of lost your way.  That is not emotional sobriety.  Emotional sobriety is being happy who you are.  One of the ways that I would suggest to people that they begin to take this personal inventory and find out how actually good it is to be them, is to – beginning to understand their own feelings and why and how they lead us to believe – behave the way that we do.  And, again, that’s first of all what we have to do is be able to label, identify, and describe.  Once again, I’m going to go back to this – and we keep repeating things.  I know that you get frustrated.  I hope you do.  Because, if you get frustrated with me it shows that you have the willingness to try.  And, again, I’m going to ask you one more time, Mike, why do you name pets?

Mike:    For emotional attachment.  For identification.

Jim:    And, also it actually – it gives you some power and control over it, does it not.  So, if your little dog – you have a lovely little dog, ran outside and you didn’t give it a name – what would you do if you went outside to get it?

Mike:    *Shouting* Dog, dog!  Dog!

Jim:    Right.  So, once again we’ll go back to that huge department store.  When you were a little boy, you were maybe with your father.  You got lost.  It was Chicago, New York City, Houston, Texas, Beijing China – in a huge department store.  And, you got lost.  How would your father feel?  How would your father have felt? He felt anxious, fearful, depressed, worried.  And, how would you feel as a 6-year-old little boy?  In a place absolutely and completely unfamiliar.

Mike:    Lost and scared.  

Jim:    Lost and scared.  Absolutely.  Again, I know I’m repeating myself, if some store personnel would come to your father and say could you accurately label and describe your son?  Tell me everything about him?  What is he wearing?  His height?  His body type?  His hair color?  His name?  What color are his eyes?  Does he have any identifiable marks on him?  I’ll bet your father could have done that.  Which, could have led you – helped you find them.  However, if he would have said gee, I’m not sure, you would have both remained lost, fearful, and afraid.  In the same token, if we’re not able to accurately label and describe our emotions, thoughts and feelings, they’re lost in that department store and we walk through our life being fearful and anxious.  When you’re accurately being able to label and describe what’s going on with you – without attachments to other things determining that happiness or worth, then that’s emotional sobriety.  And, then it’s good to be you.  And, remember, being good to be you doesn’t mean that there’s not going to be days that aren’t wonderful.  Every day you’re not going to be riding a unicorn throwing rainbows and butterflies out to the wonderful people that you meet on your path every day.  But, being good – it’s good to be me, being able to sit back and say it’s good to be me is being able to participate in those times of life without being overwhelmed and being able to respond rather than react to those situations.  That’s what I’m talking about is the mindfulness aspect of it – being able to sit back and reflect on yourself and say how am I handling this and how could I handle it better in the future?  How good is it to be me?  My hope is that when we go outside and we participate in life, and we take those breaths – remember, Mike, when we talked about that, when we did that am I alive check-in.  When we close our eyes, and we close them very tightly and open them up and imagine it’s the first time we ever saw.  Or hold our breath and then take that first breath in it’s the first breath we’ve ever taken.  The first time we’ve ever heard.  That’s being alive.  And, how good is it to be you?  That’s my challenge out there for everyone.  We’re going to continue this conversation on it’s good to be me.  We’re going to be talking about emotional sobriety.  And we’re going to be talking about blunt-force mindfulness.  We’re going to be talking about being in a moment and grabbing it – releasing the octopus tentacles of attachments in your life and being yourself and being you.  Mike, it’s good to be me.  Until next time, thank you so much.  

Please check out our website at FishingWithoutBait.com where you can listen to the show, comment on our discussions and find out where you can subscribe to our podcast.  Fishing Without Bait is a production of Namaste Holistic Counseling, P.C.