Optimize to Actualize: 4

by Christopher Lovejoy on April 16, 2017

you need not leave where you are;
remain as you are and listen closely

nay, do not even listen, simply wait;
remain still, rejoicing in your solitude

the whole world will offer itself to you
to be uncovered, unfolded, unmasked

it has no choice; it has no choice but
to roll in joyous ecstasy at your feet

~ adapted from a quote by Franz Kafka

I am, you are, we all are, connected to a field of information and energy that informs and transforms us and our lives through our interactions. This field – call it the Field, the Quantum Field, the Zero Point Field, the Source Field, the Implicate Order – serves three functions for this universe in which we live: (1) it serves as a container for everyone and everything, for every encounter and for every experience; (2) it serves as a bridge between us and the world we perceive and conceive, between inner world and outer world, between the intent to bless or heal in one place and the blessing or healing that takes place in another; and (3) it serves as a mirror for the energy of intent, for what we claim to be true within, such that our beliefs and expectations move us to manifest what is true and possible for us in this world.

Ref: Confirming Our Connections, Season 1, Episode 5 of Missing Links, hosted by Gregg Braden

These beliefs and expectations that we harbor might be conscious and constructive, but then again, they might not be. Regardless of whether they are, the worlds we create serve as containers, bridges, and mirrors for them all. Your world, really and truly, is your oyster. With this understanding, we can place ourselves in positions where we can make good on the many opportunities that we ourselves create.

Placing ourselves in this lofty position of response-ability (and keeping ourselves there by any and all means) will determine the quality of our lives and the vitality of our lifestyles, which will condition the quality of our relationships and the quality and vitality of the work that we care enough to do.

Consider this basic formula for living a life of deep satisfaction and lasting fulfillment …

The formula for fulfillment is simple: (1) do what you love to do (to come alive to who you are); (2) share what you love to do with anyone who cares to share your interest in what you do (to stay alive to what you do); and (3) follow a path to keep doing what you love to do (to stay alive to who you are).

This formula is simple to comprehend, but is it easy implement?

It is if you believe it is, and it is if you expect that it will be, but …

But what?

I’ll say it again: this formula is simple, but is it easy? It is if you believe it is; it is if you expect that it will be. I invite you to ask yourself: what do I love to do (to come alive to who I am)? With whom do I love to share (to stay alive to what I do)? And how do I keep doing what I love to do (to stay alive to who I am)?

No doubt the answers will come if you keep asking the questions.

Is there really anything more to say or do? Only if you believe so.

But then . . .

Why believe when I can know? Why expect when I can allow?

If the Field is as receptive and responsive as we know it to be, then why not proclaim as follows:

I know, deep down, what I love to do (to come alive to who I am); I know, deep down, with whom I can share what I love to do (to stay alive to what I can and must do); and I know, deep down, when and where and how to keep doing what I love to do (to stay alive to who I am).

I am truly blessed to know, deep down, all I need to know; all I need to do now is to allow the emergence of what I need to keep being who I love to be and to keep doing what I love to do.

If it be your pleasure, let these proclamations sink into the heart of your soul.

Can Living and Loving the Life of My Dreams Really Be this Simple and Easy?

If it were really this simple and easy, then why isn’t everyone living and loving the lives of their dreams? Good question. I invite you now to pause and close your eyes, and let your answer come to you (if needs be, review the Kafka-inspired passage at the top of this post).

How did you do? What came up for you? You did do as I invited, yes?

Here is my response: in one respect, this question is not relevant to me; in another respect, this question is relevant to me. First, the fact that some souls are not living and loving the lives of their dreams need not be an impediment to me living and loving the life of my dreams.

Second, the fact that some souls are not living and loving the lives of their dreams is a blessing in disguise. If everyone were living and loving the lives of their dreams, what reason would I have to explore and examine the prospect of living and loving the life of my dreams?

And if everyone were in fact living and loving the lives of their dreams, what would it matter that they were living and loving the lives of their dreams? Would we even really care one way or the other?

Consider then: “let it be simple, let it be easy.” Is this good advice for us, the dreamers?

For as long as things are simple and easy, yes, but … to know simple, we need complex (or complicated); to know easy, we need difficult, for how else could be know (and appreciate) simple and easy?

Aside: the difference between complex and complicated is worth noting here; a life lived is complex to the extent that its parts and processes bring about outcomes that cannot be predicted and controlled, whereas a life lived is complicated to the extent that its parts and process add up to outcomes that can be consistently predicted and controlled but whose outcomes are not easy to predict and control.

Alright, how about this: let “living and loving the life of my dreams” be complex and complicated enough for such a life to be simple by way of contrast, and let “living and loving the life of my dreams” be difficult enough for this life to be easy to live and love by way of contrast.

These concessions (if you wish to call them that) admit complexity and complication into the living and loving of a life, but only so much that the resulting life lived is comparatively simple and easy to live and love. What sort of complexity and complication are we talking about here?

I am so glad you asked. Let us now enter the world of optimization …

Which Would I Rather Be: a Perfectionist or an Optimalist?

To respond effectively to this fundamental question, we need a fix on reality. Consider this working definition: reality is existence as perceived and conceived by consciousness.

Aside: this would be a good time to review the first paragraph in this post.

By implication, my reality is my existence as perceived and conceived through my consciousness, which implies that I be attuned, not only to what is real (and fake), but to what is true (and false), good (and bad), right (and wrong), pure (and impure), fine (and rough), wise (and foolish), that I remain sensitive, not only to what is patient (and impatient), but to what is mature (and immature), intelligent (and stupid), smart (and dumb), attractive (and ugly), effective (and ineffective), efficient (and inefficient).

These polarities (and more) afford opportunities to be perfect (and not so perfect). If we attempt to bypass them, we miss out on the learning and growth that they can bring us; if we attempt to transcend them altogether, our transcendence is thereby tied to them, defined by them.

Such attempts (and they can only ever be attempts as long as they are attempted) do not admit complexity and complication; these attempts strip us of the capacity to appreciate and enjoy what is simple and easy. Indeed, complexity and complication will arise in spite of ourselves (such is the nature of life). Even if we concentrate our attention on only one or two of these polarities at a time, the other polarities will find a way to insert themselves into our lives. To approach the ultimate in personal fulfillment, it would do us well to optimize our relationship with them all.

Notice I did not say “perfect our relationship with them all”; I said “optimize our relationship with them all.” This subtle, nuanced difference is worth taking to heart for the sake of soul and spirit both.

I need not expect that my attunement to unity and my alignment with harmony be perfect once and for all; I can, however, allow for the possibility, in The Field of Infinite Possibilities, that my attunement and alignment could become perfect as a result of all of my choices and actions.

Where perfectionists assume that they can be perfect some day, optimalists realize wholly and fully (humbly and respectfully) that they could some day be perfect, viewing the completion of such a life lived and loved as a guiding star by which to navigate, not a distant shore that can one day be reached, and because of this, optimalists are well placed to take each moment as an opportunity to find completion in perfection. Perfectionists, however, fail to come to terms with their respective realities in these ways:

(1) perfectionists absolutely cannot accept failure, cannot live with failure; by contrast, optimalists can be open and willing to taking the most positive risks, open and willing to making the most of their mistakes, open and willing to fail more often than not;

(2) perfectionists fail to make room for all of their emotions, fail to accept ‘off moments’ and ‘off days’ (they don’t want the negative, they just want the positive); by contrast, optimalists are willing to give themselves (and others) permission to be human;

(3) perfectionists view success as never being enough; they can never savor their successes: there’s always one more hill to climb, one more carrot to chase; by contrast, optimalists aim for their best, within the constraints of their versions of reality

In remaining open to managing just enough complexity and complication to live and love the life of your dreams relatively simply and easily, which would you rather be: a perfectionist or an optimalist?

Being an optimalist is the perfect antidote to being a perfectionist.

Being an optimalist serves as the perfect foil to those who would turn you into a perfectionist.

What Would I Rather Do: Serve the Self, Serve the Other, or Serve Neither?

As far as I know, this is a trick question, but it remains a good question because it highlights a vital distinction. Think of it this way: if having only one option amounts to a necessity, and if two options can only ever pose a dilemma, then three or more options afford a choice.

These options are also laced with ambiguity: in any encounter, I could serve myself positively, but I could also serve myself at the expense of others (or even myself); furthermore, I could serve another without expectation of getting anything in return, but I could also serve another with a hidden expectation that I gain something in return; finally, I could serve neither myself nor another naturally, with no emotional charge either way, neither for myself nor for anyone else, but I could also serve neither myself nor another neutrally, with either selfish or sacrificial intent.

Complicated, yes, and with enough potential difficulty to go around for everyone concerned.

Ideally, I serve myself positively when I have a genuine need to do so; I serve others positively when I have no ulterior motive for doing so; and I serve neither myself nor another when it feels natural and positive to do so. I help myself immensely when I remain aware of these options.

Here, I “separate and control” when I serve myself positively, I “integrate and release” when I serve others positively, and I “remain neutral” when I serve neither myself nor another, naturally and positively.

The complexity of these options ramp up considerably when I take account of the polarities.

Earlier in this post, I wrote (and I quote for ease of reference):

By implication, my reality is my existence as perceived and conceived through my consciousness, which implies that I be attuned, not only to what is real (and fake), but to what is true (and false), good (and bad), right (and wrong), pure (and impure), fine (and rough), wise (and foolish), that I remain sensitive, not only to what is patient (and impatient), but to what is mature (and immature), intelligent (and stupid), smart (and dumb), attractive (and ugly), effective (and ineffective), efficient (and inefficient).

By virtue of being human (by virtue of being alive, aware, awake, alert – this includes those we deem alien to human sensibilities), we all have our own sense of what is real, true, good, right, pure, fine, wise, of what is patient, mature, intelligent, smart, attractive, effective, efficient.

We rely constantly on these polarities – consciously, constructively, and creatively (or not) – to gauge what is best for us in any given moment, to gauge what is perfect for us in the overall scheme of our lives, and to gauge what is most valuable, desirable, and redeemable to us.

We do, however, have the habit of dismissing the influence of others (even if we perceive it as positive) as and when we deem it necessary or desirable. In one respect, this is a positive matter of keeping the complexity and complications of our interactions with others to manageable levels. In another respect, this is a negative matter of failing to learn and grow from our catalytic encounters with others.

It also doesn’t help us when we try to bypass the value to be found in these polarities, to help us discern whether we are optimizing ourselves and our lives (or not) and whether our service (to ourselves or to others) is a help or a hindrance, a net positive or a net negative.

If something instinctively feels off to me – if it smells like a fake, if it sounds false, if it looks bad, if it strikes me as wrong (foolish, immature, stupid, or dumb), then I am not doing myself any favor by ignoring or dismissing or suppressing or avoiding or evading this fact.

On the other hand, if someone or something rings true to me, feels good to me, sounds right to me, then I am doing myself a big favor when I acknowledge, appreciate, or accept this fact. How else would I gauge my attunement to my definition of the best version of myself?

How else would I gauge my alignment with my definition of the best version of my life?

Who Am I Ready, Willing, and Able to Serve? – And Why?

A paradox lies at the heart of being human in a world that carries potential for chaos, conflict, confusion.

On the one hand, it is tempting to seek and find and keep a privileged position, to seek out the company and comfort of others only when we feel a genuine need for them, and only when they remain relevant to our sense of value, and only when they provide us significant value.

On the other hand, it is sometimes necessary to step beyond our comfort zone to have ready access to our infinite potential, to mix and mingle with others, and not know whether they can remain relevant to our sense of value, and not know whether they can provide us with value.

‘Tis a conundrum worth contemplating, if only to remind ourselves of the need to expand our horizons.

Some time ago, I crossed paths with someone whose joyous, infectious smile lit up my heart, if only for a brief moment. I had seen her before, watched her from afar, marvelled at the confident way in which she carried herself, delighted in her sweet and bunny loving presence, admired her attractive, alluring, androgynous embodiment. After passing her by, for the last time as it happened, I was compelled to utter these words in the privacy of my own thoughts: “I would so love to explore having a relationship with you.” When I say relationship, I mean “a relationship that covers all the bases” – sensuous and erotic, sensual and sexual, emotional and intellectual, familial and financial, material and spiritual.

Why am I sharing this intimate and personal anecdote with you now? Because, in a way, such a relationship, if cultivated, celebrated, and consummated with grace and ease, could simply and easily serve, in my view, as a means to reflect and represent the ultimate in personal fulfillment. Such a relationship could serve as a pivot for everything that has anything to do with personal growth, personal development, and personal fulfillment in a deeper, broader context of evolution and ascension.

Such a relationship would encompass three relationships at once (my relationship with me, my relationship with you, my relationship with we), calling on everything I/we have (and then some), while simultaneously exposing all of our perceived inadequacies, difficulties, insufficiencies. Such a relationship requires a series of commitments and re-commitments along the way to a consummation that might never be complete. So again, I ask myself: who am I ready, willing, and able to serve? And why?

In a bid to respond well to these questions, consider these two sequences:

having (a feeling)
doing (something)
being (someone)


being (someone)
doing (something)
having (a feeling)

In my experience, it is far easier to act on a feeling and be someone defined by this feeling, but what if this feeling is one that serves to keep me safe, that serves to keep me small: who am I then? But then, if I should determine, even before I take action, that I am this (a honey bunny extraordinaire) and I am that (a loving, trusting, caring person who also happens to be a loyal, devoted, committed partner), then what?

Some of us can laugh at the notion of being “a honey bunny extraordinaire”, but not everyone can.

What about them?

Now, you might be tempted to rejoin: what about them?

Point well taken, but … I must respectfully ask myself: can I, in good conscience, be a honey bunny extraordinaire without giving nary a thought to those who cannot delight in the prospect of being one themselves. What if this honey bunny extraordinaire loses the object of his love? To whom could he turn for solace if everyone had decided to be honey bunnies extraordinaire? Perhaps he could turn for solace to those formerly sad honey bunnies who had lost the objects of their love.

We tend to be drawn to serving those with whom we can identify.

Starving artists, having sympathy for other starving artists, will be more inclined to serve their interests. Painfully shy persons, sympathetic to other painfully shy persons, will be more likely to bring comfort to them. Highly sensitive persons, in finding that their sympathies lie with those who are likewise highly sensitive, will feel drawn more to reassuring them. Likewise for the legions of solitary persons, lone wolves, recluses, creatives, introverts, psychonauts, nuns, monks, and contemplatives who find solace in keeping their own company, more often than not.

But now for the hard question: what of those who feel betrayed, traumatized, damaged, depressed, and/or disordered by (to quote a famous playwright) “the slings and arrows of outrageous misfortune”?

What about them?

Is My Life a Performance or Is My Life an Experience?

After we pass into the Great Beyond, we get to review and re-live our lives. Consider this momentous question: would I rather review and re-live this life as a performance or as an experience?

Your answer is absolutely fundamental to the way you decide to live and love this life. Certainly, if you view yourself as a performer (or even a peak performer), you can have an experience in your life or experiences at different times in your life, but this is not what I’m talking about.

I recognize that peak performers want it all, but if you’re reading this as a performer, would you be willing to give up this role and live the rest of your life merely as an experience to be enjoyed? Here, I am not suggesting that performers become experiencers. The world obviously needs both. What I am suggesting is that if you live your life as a performance, you’re going to view those who feel betrayed, traumatized, damaged, dysfunctional, demoralized, disowned, dismissed, deprived, denigrated, depreciated, devalued, depressed, disordered and/or destroyed in a certain way.

Virtue is not about what you deny yourself, but what you make of yourself … if we’re intentional about what we repeatedly do, we can practice who we want to become, and through practice, we can become who we want to be ~ Eric Greitens, Resilience

This, from a former Navy Seal who survived the most gruelling military training on earth.

I do not for a moment think that these wise words were intended for the honey bunny extraordinaire, but perhaps no wiser words could have been spoken for those who would be honey bunnies extraordinaire with practice and performance in mind, but for the honey bunnies among us, do you aspire to be a performing honey bunny extraordinaire or do you merely allow yourself to experience yourself as a honey bunny? I’m not trying to be cute here; please, for your own sake, take this question seriously.

If performers have a constant need for closure, then experiencers have a constant need for exposure. Performing honey bunnies will have standards to meet and goals to reach, whereas experiencing honey bunnies have a willingness to expose themselves to experience and a willingness to be vulnerable to exposure. If you’re reading this, and you feel betrayed, traumatized, damaged, depressed, and/or disordered, with whom would you feel more comfortable spending time? With whom would you feel more inclined to help understand you and your life?

On the serving side, viewing life as an experience will inform and influence the serving (the helping, the giving, the caring, the sharing) as a flowing, as a meandering, whereas viewing life as a performance will always inform and influence the serving as a flowing towards a knowing.

Six Questions in Context: Putting the Answers into Perspective

So far in this post, I’ve posed six personal, personalized, personalizing questions in a bid to define and structure a basis for spontaneously approaching a realization of the ultimate in personal fulfillment:

  1. why believe when I can know? why expect when I can allow?
  2. can living and loving the life of my dreams really be this simple and easy?
  3. which would I rather be: a perfectionist or an optimalist?
  4. what would I rather do: serve the self, serve the other, or serve neither?
  5. who am I ready, willing, and able to serve? – and why?
  6. is my life a performance or is my life an experience?

These are questions whose answers have cosmic consequences for your life.

As someone inclined to experience life, I won’t share my answers to these questions with you just yet; rather, I invite you to answer them for yourself. In peak performance fashion, I would also encourage you to tie your answers together into a perspective on life, in a way that makes the most sense to you.

To share information and inspiration on what is happening on this troubled yet promising world, I drew up two lists of sites that are serving the causes of personal, global and/or cosmic awakening.

This post has been filed under Basis in the Ultimate Outline.

Note: my evolving outline on approaching a realization of the ultimate in personal fulfillment can be found here, accessible from the nav menu under the page “Be Here Now”.

Note: this ever growing perspective began here: Ultimate Perspective

Previous post:

Next post: