Archive | November 2010

My Thoughts are Creation Itself

What I know now is that my thoughts are creation itself, and the more I thought about my unworthiness the more that came to be and the cycle would build on itself.  Now, I can identify these thoughts and immediately acknowledge them, love them for what they are and then transmute them into motivation to never be that way again.  The control is mine regardless.  I used to blame my parents and others for what and who I was, but I now know that what “they” did was all they could do to survive and feel good about themselves.  Sometimes this meant to be mean, to put upon guilt and blame, to shift their power outside themselves and give it to others.  This is what I saw as a child and therefore thought it was how it should be and then began doing the same to myself.  All of this however has very little power over me now.  While I still acknowledge it, I look at it only as the experience I created for myself. I am responsible for me.

Dwight Raatz

If / Then – Motivation

This is part three in the “If/Then” letter I wrote as I mentioned in a previous posting. This letter was originally written on January 30, 2005.

The interesting thing about these first three parts is that I am discovering very similar ideas about life and the world in other books I am now reading in November of 2010. So, are these ideas and thoughts original to me? In a way I would say no because I think it is just uncovering the truths that lie within all of us, we have only to remember them. I also think they are original to me in that this is part of my personal experience of life and remembering who I really am.

Dwight Raatz

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Motivation
Merriam-Webster definition:
: something (as a need or desire) that causes a person to act
: a motivating force, stimulus, or influence : INCENTIVE, DRIVE
: something that incites or has a tendency to incite to determination or action

What motivates you? This is probably something you have thought about before, but maybe couldn’t quite put your finger on what it is that really motivates you. You might think it has to do with money or position or perhaps notoriety. My opinion on what really motivates a person is a much simpler and more basic thing than you might imagine. Try this on for a minute; I think what is really at the source of motivation is being acknowledged by someone else. Now, people do many things do be acknowledged; some of which are not good. You might even say people “want attention”. This is close, but ultimately it all boils down to the same thing – acknowledgment.
So, you are wondering, what can I do to motivate the people around me? Now you know the answer, you need to acknowledge everything about that person in words and speak those words to them. You can even go as far as acknowledging something that the other person is aspiring to do or be. The trick is to speak the words, “I acknowledge you and your goal of ….” By speaking the words and declaring your acknowledgment, you are creating something that never existed before. The reason I say that you must speak it is because the act of telling someone makes it real and holds you accountable for your future actions. If you never tell anyone, how can they know what your intentions are?
The next part is crucial; you not only have to speak the words, but you must also have the integrity to follow through with your declaration. If you don’t follow through, then your integrity is compromised and may not be salvageable. Now, since we are human and are prone to make mistakes, you may fail at following through with what you have said. This is okay as long as you acknowledge your mistake or failure to the people who know it, clean up the mess, and then declare again what your new intentions are and then move ahead. Admitting mistakes or failure doesn’t mean you are weak. In fact, I would say that admittance to mistakes is a true strength and an admirable quality that people respect.

If / Then – What is Communication?

Communication can mean different things to different people, and sometimes your definition changes depending on the circumstances. Communication is really about being present with the one you are with or the group you are in front of. Be in the moment and act out of that moment rather than how you think you should act based off from a previous similar event. Each moment is a gift for us to experience and truly be who we really are. Listen to the truth of the feelings you have and act – get out of your head and be true to what you already know.
The following is the next segment in a paper I wrote about decision making.

Dwight Raatz

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What is Communication?
Some people would answer the question, “What is communication?” by saying it is the act of speaking to someone in order to convey an idea. Does this sound reasonable to you? I would say that while it is important to speak as part of communication, it is only part of the process. What is more important is listening. Unfortunately, we are not taught this skill when we are young. We go to school and learn how to read, write, and speak, but I don’t remember ever having a course in listening do you?
I challenge you to take the time to listen to someone fully. What does this mean? It means that you should do the following things when someone it talking to you:

  • Stop typing
  • Don’t look at your phone display if it rings
  • Don’t look out the window of your office or the building
  • If you are expecting an important call, warn the person before they start talking
  • Look directly at the person, preferably at their eyes
  • Repeat a paraphrased version of what the person said to make sure you understand what they said; especially if they are requesting something or if it is a complex issue
  • Take notes if the person has come with several concerns, this will show that you want to make sure you don’t forget any points.
  • Clear your mind of what you have to do next. Better yet, set expectations with the other person as to how much time you have at the start of the conversation.

< continuing next time with “Motivation”>

If / Then – Problems and the Past

The following was originally written January 30,2005 shortly before I left employment with a company that was growing rapidly and having a lot of “pains” during this process.  Some of the reasons I left were related to the political turmoil within the company at this time, but I also left to pursue another job opportunity.  The majority of this topic is around communication and perhaps a better way to go about it.

~ NOTE:  Names have been changed to protect privacy…

Dwight Raatz

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  • If we only had more people then someday we would be able to accomplish all the things we need to do.
  • If only “they” would listen to what we are saying then “they” would understand what we are faced with.
  • If only my manager was more proactive then we wouldn’t be in the mess we are in now.
  • If my staff would only see the big picture then they would understand why I make the decisions I make.
  • If only I made more money, then I would be happier with my job.
  • If … then …
  • If … then …

Problems and the PastI would like you to consider something; consider the possibility that Starling has no problems.  Take a minute to just let that rumble around in your thoughts…

Okay, now that you gave it some thought, you are probably fairly certain that I am being unreasonable.  You are probably saying, of course Starling has problems, just look around, there are not enough people, we don’t get enough done, etc, etc.  So, where are these problems?  When you go home at night, do you gather up all your Starling problems and tuck them safely away in your desk drawer so you can have them tomorrow?  Or maybe there is a vault somewhere that keeps all the problems so no one can lose them?  Consider that each of us creates these same problems each and every day out of the words we say and the actions we take.

Have you seen the movie “50 First Dates”?  This is a story about a woman who had been in an accident as a young girl and had a brain trauma that made her lose her short term memory each and every day.  Every day when she woke up, she only remembered how life was before she had her accident.  Imagine what it would be like if you were to come to work every day unfettered with the problems created the day before?  Imagine looking at each day with only possibilities to create something out of nothing each and every day.  You could attack each and every issue with full force and passion.

Now, I’m not saying that you just forget what you have done in the past.  I am saying that you should use the past as a sort of library.  Something you can reference and select information from to help you move forward.  But that is were the past should stay, in the past.  Consider a library; there are stories in this library that span the history of the world.  Just because they are there, doesn’t mean they will happen again or that they still exist?  But we can certainly learn from those stories to shape the future that we want and choose.

In the movie “50 First Dates”, there was a guy who fell in love with the woman I mentioned above.  At the beginning, he was struggling with how he could change the situation or environment so that she would fall in love with him.  He was trying to find a way to change her when it was impossible.  Finally, he realized that he needed to accept her the way she was and that he was choosing to create a new and wonderful life with her each day.  Can you imagine taking that same passion and applying it to your career right now?  Imagine going to work each day with the thought of creating new possibilities of success and fulfillment.  What happened on a project or with a manager or a peer or a staff member is in the past.  Today, right now, has never happened before and you have the power to make it a rerun of yesterday or to create something that has never happened before.

< continuing next time with “What is Communication”>

A Slow Moving Storm – Part II

Below is part II of my previous post. These are some of the views and beliefs that I found to be inherently true from my innate “knowing” of the divine. While some of my viewpoints have refined since I first wrote this on February 2, 2008; I still think they are valid. What do you think?

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God, Logic and the Universe
Can God be logical? The universe appears to follow natural laws, why are we so adamant to say that God doesn’t follow logical rules as well?

Opposing Truths – Which is it?
God has given humans free will. God has a plan for everyone and it is perfect. These two statements are often spoken of regarding our relationship with God, but they are really diametrically opposing statements. I believe in free will.

God is Perfect Love
God is perfect love, so what about the Old Testament? Vengeful God… God was re-invented… a kinder gentler God… now we have the New Testament and given a “savior”. Now we don’t have to worry about passing any tests, just believe and you will be saved. Why? Why do we need to be saved? God is perfect love, how can he punish how can he subject his creation to eternal torment? Is Jesus a marketing plan? Was Jesus sent to us because we were unable to understand the forgiveness of God? Are humans too simple to believe that no matter what, God will take us back unto him? There needed to be a way to convince us that it was going to happen and it was easy… just believe and “Thou shalt be saved!”

I Believe
I believe that religion as we need it has to be rethought. I believe that Christianity as it started was setup such that we couldn’t understand any other way. We were in fact to “stupid” to understand any other way of explaining how things were.

I heard once that in the beginning God was all there was and it was perfect. God wanted to know himself, but to do this, he need a point of reference, he need to see himself from outside himself. He created humans and put a piece of himself in us, then made us “forget”. This “forgetting” would enable God to experience himself by not knowing himself… it gave him a point of reference, us. I believe this.

I believe that hell is simply the absence of God. I believe I have been in hell in large portions of my life. I believe that this “forgetting” of God within us is hell. The feeling of loneliness and being lost is my hell.

I believe in Jesus Christ. I believe he came to earth to teach us the truth of God. I think this had to happen because the Profits that God spoke through left too much to interpretation as they are only human and did the best they could. I believe Jesus came to set the record straight. What I question about Jesus is that he had to really die for us; that the only way to God is through Jesus. The reason I question this, is because there are probably millions of people on the planet that have never heard of Jesus. That these people have been created by God as well and if the above is true, they will never go to heaven. This doesn’t make sense for a God who is Love and Perfect. Why would he exclude the innocent?

I believe that hell is on earth now. As I said before, hell is the absence of God. I believe that if we choose (free will) to exclude God and His truth from our lives, this is hell. Going against the truth is going against nature itself. This resistance of the truth causes all sorts of ramifications in ones life. It will affect your health, your mind, and everything brought into your life.

I believe that the soul is an innocent victim of free will. I believe the soul IS God. It is God with amnesia. Once the body is done and gone, the soul returns to God.

I am comparing a human with a computer and what makes up the whole of a computer. You have the computer hardware (your body). You have the computer software that comes with the body (your soul). You have the data you create using the computer and software (your conscience). I have thought that upon death, the body returns to the earth. The soul returns to God, and the conscience can either go to God or not. Hell keeps the conscience that refused the truth of God. God keeps the conscience that accepted the truth. I believe that this is true no matter what decisions and actions you made during your life.

Faith and Action Not Church or Religion
I believe that religion is of man not of God. Religion and the Church were created to control man, to teach him a flavor or version of God’s truth. This was done to not only control, but also to benefit those who believe that their version of the truth is right and what they believe in is paramount.

The Church is a very comfortable place for those that want to be spoon fed the truth and not take direct personal action for what God / Jesus teaches us. Church offers man a convenient way to believe what they are doing is “God’s Will”; that a building called “Church” is the only place that someone can follow God’s truth and take action on that truth. Jesus taught out among to people. He didn’t make them come to him in a building.

Why do we need to build multi-million dollar buildings to follow God’s truth? Why not act as a group, as a body of God to take action on his teachings? Take those millions that would be spent on material things and put it into the hands of those who need it. Do it directly and locally. I believe that if a new congregation is forming because they are searching for a better way to know the truth, they should focus on the teachings of Jesus, go to those who need it and take action directly. Don’t build an actual church building; take what money is necessary to facilitate helping others – maybe 10% (e.g. postage, office type supplies, business materials, etc), but leave the 90% for what truly matters. I think that if this tact was followed, there would be no deficit for the Church. You could help what you can for the economy of the area, and that would be it. No supporting of the “mother church”; No bureaucratic structure; No politics; just the truth in action.

Let’s utilize the facilities and structures we already have. Utilize homes, civic centers, schools, etc to take on those larger projects, to meet and have fellowship. There is no real need for a separate church facility.

If you want to make a difference on your own, then take up a cause that follows the truth of God and do that. Support something that makes a difference directly.

Take up personal responsibility of God’s truth and put that truth in action by what you do directly. This personal action will build on itself; it will connect you to your community; it will connect you to God.

Dwight Raatz

An Opening Experience

Opening myself to my true self has been excitingly scary, but I just can’t turn away from it.  I am doomed to enlightenment.

Dwight Raatz

A Comforting Blanket

I have been journaling various experiences of my life for awhile now and over time I will be sharing many of these with you.  The most recent happened last night before going to sleep and while I don’t entirely understand its meaning, I do know it was real and was meant for me to know.

Last night I had just gotten into bed and was lying there contemplating my day and the future.  My day had been fraught with feelings of insecurity, general unworthiness and anxiety.  I don’t really know what caused these feelings but I am slowly beginning to understand how the feelings and issues of others around me have an affect on me too.  I always knew that I had a “knowing” about others and their state, but it just recently dawned on me that these people could affect how I feel.  The weird part is that these feelings seem to be my own, but now I’m not so sure.

Anyway, I was lying in bed on my left side when I noticed a presence above and behind me.  I could hear some sound, but couldn’t quite hear or understand it.  It only happened once and lasted for maybe 1-2 seconds, then I had a feeling of being covered.  It was like a large heavy blanket was thrown over me and the bed, and I could hear the air rushing out all around me and then it continued through me.  This lasted for probably 15 – 20 seconds.  It was so very comforting.  I decided to lay there and just accept this feeling and I thanked the presence for that gift.

Upon waking this morning, my extreme anxieties of the previous day were gone.  While I do remember them, their hold on me is released.

Like I said, I don’t know what it all means for sure; but I do know that I was being visited and comforted for a reason.  Thank you for helping me.

Dwight Raatz

A Slow Moving Storm – Part I

A Slow Moving Storm of Change Looms on My Life’s Horizon ~ Dwight Raatz

The following text was written on February 2nd, 2008.  While my ideas and beliefs have evolved in the past two years, this will give you a glimpse of my thought process at the time around life, religion and how those things affected me on an emotional level. I have come to understand that the “awareness” that I write about is my intuitive nature, my sense of “knowing” without having to experience with my normal senses.

The title of this piece is really about the feeling of foreboding or anxiety about the possible outcomes and fear that was out there, barely visible, but looming and in a way I knew somehow to be inevitable.

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It might seem obvious to some what thoughts and concerns most men have of life.  I don’t feel that mine are earth shaking and I don’t feel that they are unique or revolutionary.  I do feel however that I seem to be aware of more than what is set in front of me.  I feel that my awareness has not only been my guide in life, it has also been my curse.  Seeing and feeling things that I don’t understand and have no point of reference has made my life’s journey painful, confusing, and depressing.  With the exception of this last year, I have felt very little joy or happiness.  Much of this distress has been due to the internal torment of my mind and the feeling of loneliness and of being lost.

While I have always had a connection with God in my life, I feel that as I get older, my understanding of God becomes clearer.  What I struggle with is reconciling my internal innate understanding of God with what has been taught to me my whole life.  There are parts of my teachings that have fallen in line with what I know to be true, but these parts are few and far between.  I think my first inclination that I was a part of a larger spiritual picture is when I was about 9 years old.  I remember laying out on the front step of my parent’s farm house looking up at the sunny sky that had a few high clouds.  I wasn’t thinking of anything in particular, just being in the moment, feeling the heat of the sun and the warm air around me and feeling a general sort of peacefulness.  I remember looking at a cloud, and then suddenly a face appeared there.  It wasn’t a cloud that looked like a face; it was a man’s face.  I saw it as clearly as if I was looking at a picture in my hand.  The face was smiling and looking at me directly.  As you can imagine I was startled and blinked my eyes.  As fast as it appeared there, it was gone.  It’s as if once my mind was “engaged” in reality, I lost my right to see this face or know it more.  Somehow I knew that this was God or Jesus or some angle peaking at me, giving me a glimpse.  I really don’t know what to make of it exactly, but it has always stayed with me.

I have many thoughts, questions, and feelings about religion in general and its relative nature to God and my faith in him.  This has left me wanting.  I want to find one or more people to talk to about these feelings.  I want someone to be strong enough in their own beliefs, but willing to have an open mind to discuss these things with me without trying to discount what I am saying, dismiss the topic, or preach to me what the bible states as if that is the black and white decision maker.  I would prefer to have someone that has a good solid knowledge of bible’s contents, but it isn’t an absolute necessity.  Having someone with this knowledge would at least be able to give me a perspective of the teachings as they relate to my questions.

If you feel that you willing to embark on a journey of discovery and consideration of alternate truths, then continue reading.  I don’t want to be “saved” by someone.  I want to have an ongoing open truthful relationship with a willing soul to not only be a guide, but to also be willing to be guided.

<continued in Part II>
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Just so you know, I did try engaging with this type of conversation with some people I considered to be highly faithful and educated in their Christian religion, but ultimately it became obvious that the topic was just too uncomfortable for them to give me good constructive feedback or perspectives.

Part II sets out some definitions, questions and opinions related to the above.  These will be things you can ponder and possibly respond to and give your own perspective.

Dwight Raatz

Iterative Progressive Incarnation

 Looking for feedback on the concept, “Iterative Progressive Incarnation” (I may have just coined this). In other words, as we go through each iterative incarnation to return to earth for our next round of lessons, would you agree or disagree that this process is progressive? Does each round build on the last so that we don’t need to re-experience or re-learn what we have already done or finished learning (been there done that)?