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Sunday, June 24, 2018

Liberated to engage without having to subscribe

Pew conducted a fascinating research study on the changing religious landscape in this country. 

One of the key data points was how the number of religiously unaffiliated adults has increased by nearly twenty million in the past decade. 

This growing population has been called nones. As in, none of the above. Resistant to religious classification. Disavowing association with organized faith. 

And that’s awesome. Very modern and inclusive. 

But the question is, if there’s now a designated category for the unaffiliated, shouldn’t there also be one for the poly affiliated? Because think how many millions of people probably fall into that population. 

Individuals like myself who have too many spiritual influences to choose just one. Those who find beauty, inspiration and insight in many faiths. Those who approach various holy scriptures literately, but not literally. People who invent their own religion as creative response to the mysteries that permeate their lives. 

On the multiple choice exam of religious faith, they’re the ones who check the box that says all of the above. 

Beecher famously asked the question:

What is the bible in your house? It should be the gospel according to your own name. You write your own bible.

That was over a century ago, and his words have never been more relevant. And so, for those of us who defy classification and live in a post binary world, here’s the challenge. 

We don’t physically have to sit down by candlelight and compose our own bible. Although it’s a fantastic exercise if you have the time. Rather, let us balance our disinterest with religion with a selective reverence for religious rituals and ideas. Let us feel liberated to engage with many faiths without having to subscribe to its supernatural content. And let us choose where we provoke the psychological experience of meaning. 

I recall an interview with the late great zen master of standup comedy. Shandling once did an enlightening interview with a therapist a few years before he died. And here’s what he said. 

If you actually know who you are, you’re not so quick to jump up and take a side. Because with the true self, there is no difference. There is no side to be taken. You’ve risen above the duality. It’s a unique state of consciousness where you have no preference. And it’s not a cop out. It’s not a place where you prefer a side, rather, you’re able to compassionately see every side. As opposed to having a permanent belief system behind which you’re desperately trying to be secure. 

It’s time to pick the box that says all of the above. 

LET ME ASK YA THIS...
What label might be closing you off from a universe of meaningful opportunities?
* * * *


Scott Ginsberg
That Guy with the Nametag
Author. Speaker. Strategist. Inventor. Filmmaker. Publisher. Songwriter.  
scott@hellomynameisscott.com
www.nametagscott.com


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Saturday, June 23, 2018

How I respond to the world is mine alone

The surreal part about creating art and sharing it with the world is, people have a relationship with your work that has nothing to do with you. 

Once your love spills out and they call it art, it now exists in the mind of the audience. It’s all projection. A colorful mirror that reflects back to them exactly what they expect. 

People see what they need to see, regardless of what you had in mind at the moment of creation. 

And so, this character on the page, the stage, the canvas and the screen, it isn’t really you. 

But don’t worry. That’s actually a good thing. It keeps you from taking people’s criticism personally. When some anonymous schmuck leaves a seething one star review for your new children’s book, it’s not because your story was poorly written. It’s because that guy is angry at that little part of himself that he hasn’t made peace with. 

Part of being an artist is accepting that how people respond to the world is theirs alone. You can’t take that away from them. 

And so, just let people feel that way. Let them be in love with their opinions. Give your audience the space to become immersed in their unique vision of the world, as seen through the prism of your work. 

LET ME ASK YA THIS...
Are you denying people the freedom to make up their own minds?

* * * *


Scott Ginsberg
That Guy with the Nametag
Author. Speaker. Strategist. Inventor. Filmmaker. Publisher. Songwriter.  
scott@hellomynameisscott.com
www.nametagscott.com


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Friday, June 22, 2018

We are in an abusive relationship with the future

It’s the truest natural law of the universe. 

The more we expect, the less we receive. 

That’s what happens when we build up a future pleasure in our minds to an unrealistic level. 

Whatever the actual event is, it’s bound to be disappointing. 

Here’s a helpful quiz to find out just how addicted to expectation you really are. 

Do you control situations so that they come out the way you want? 

Do you try to force the direction your life should take? 

Do you get trapped in thoughts about what should be coming to you? 

Do you like to manipulate life into granting you all of your desires? 

Do you become angry at objects for not doing what you expect them to do? 

Do you start feeling sorry for yourself when you don’t get what you want? 

We’re all guilty at some level. Very few of us can live at complete peace with whatever the future brings. 

But once you learn to have a firm footing in reality, which can only come from breathing and staying present and emptying your mind of expectation, you can live at peace with whatever the future brings. 

Reality can’t fall short of your anticipation, because you’re too busy being bottled in the moment. 

LET ME ASK YA THIS...
Are you in an abusive relationship with the future?
* * * *


Scott Ginsberg
That Guy with the Nametag
Author. Speaker. Strategist. Inventor. Filmmaker. Publisher. Songwriter.  
scott@hellomynameisscott.com
www.nametagscott.com


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Thursday, June 21, 2018

Developing a case of the humbles

Asking for help is hard, but accepting it is even harder. 

Especially when you’re the rebellious loner free spirit type. The kind of person who insists on doing everything as an expression of their individuality. Someone who reacts independently just to show the world that they won’t be ruled. 

That’s me in a nutshell. Growing up, I was never willing to accept ideas for change that weren’t my own. My default was to reject and shut out from sources of support. My pride balked at the thought of calling another person and asking for help. 

Even as an adult, it’s still a struggle. The need to figure out things on my own runs as deep as a buried fossil. And there’s no doubt that it holds me back. 

But as a friend of mine recently told me: 

If you’re not humble, you’re going to run out of people in this world that you can listen to. And that’s a lonely, scary place to be. 

The cool part is, once we finally set aside our silly cloak of pride that doesn’t fool anybody, we actually gain momentum. Because without the exhaustion of trying to accomplish everything on your own steam, without the burden of having to carry the full load anymore, we’re left with undirected kilowatts of energy to invest in the process of asking for, accepting and applying other people’s help. 

That’s when we taste the first fruits of progress. 

LET ME ASK YA THIS...

Are you developing new behaviors that nurture your growth?

* * * *


Scott Ginsberg
That Guy with the Nametag
Author. Speaker. Strategist. Inventor. Filmmaker. Publisher. Songwriter.  
scott@hellomynameisscott.com
www.nametagscott.com


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Wednesday, June 20, 2018

Building a fire from the bones of who we used to be

Each moment of letting go is an act of mercy toward ourselves. 

It’s a cleansing process that helps us feel lighter, more liberated and less emotionally claustrophobic. 

There’s actually a fascinating study about this very experience. 

Researchers found that disengagement from regret reflects a critical resilience factor for emotional health, specifically in older age. 

Turns out, seniors who regularly practiced letting go actually activated a neurobiological mechanism that improved their overall quality of life. Maybe that’s why old people fart in public so much. 

What three things have you let go of in the past year? 

Here’s a partial list from my own life. 

Letting go of unhealthy coping habits. Letting go of trying to influence other people’s opinions of me. Letting go of my idealized image of how life should be. Letting go of the idea that others should align with my implicit expectations. 

Letting go of my veil of specialness. Letting go of wondering what the universe wants of me. Letting go of fairness and unfairness. Letting go of the compulsion to constantly raise the excitement threshold. Letting go of goals that no longer matter to you. 

And my personal favorite, letting go of the need to understand everything. 

And, exhale. Whew. Just writing that list makes me feel lighter. 

But that’s the nature of letting go. It’s addictive. Like cleaning out your closet. Once you break the seal and start purging all the clothes you never wear and never should have bought in the first place, you start thinking to yourself, hmmm, I wonder what else I can get rid of. 

It becomes a game to see how many things you can live without. 

The best part about this practice is, there is no finish line. There’s no end. There’s just another layer. 

Another sticky coating of emotional plaque that’s holding you back.

LET ME ASK YA THIS...
What aspects of yourself did you have to let go of to become something different?

* * * *


Scott Ginsberg
That Guy with the Nametag
Author. Speaker. Strategist. Inventor. Filmmaker. Publisher. Songwriter.  
scott@hellomynameisscott.com
www.nametagscott.com


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Tuesday, June 19, 2018

Taking a lively interest in your own unfolding

The problem with a path is, it’s required to be narrow. 

It’s in the job description. Paths have borders and restrictions and rules about where we can and cannot travel. Otherwise it wouldn’t be a path. 

To me, that’s dangerous. Because the path hypnotizes us into the belief that our life is limited. It destroys the sheer thrill of not knowing what is going to happen next. And it keeps us from taking a lively interest in our own unfolding. 

And so, a more realistic and interesting word might be field. Because as opposed to a path that’s been beaten and formed and trodden by the feet of others, a field is an expanse of open ground. 

A field is panoramic. A field is open to the complete possibility of what might be. It just sounds so much more inspiring and organic and liberating. 

Goldberg’s superb book about cracking open the writer’s craft puts it best:

The idea of a path, getting from one place to another, is probably an illusion. Mostly there is a process of unfolding, and at the end a person turns around and sees the design of their life and calls it a path. There is no clear passage. 

This is an invitation for each of us. Not to lock ourselves into one way of living and working, but to remake ourselves as we grow and as the world changes. 

To evaluate new opportunities as they present themselves. To take a lively interest in our own evolution. And to keep saying yes to every single tiny clue of mysterious curiosity that we notice around us. 

Who knows? That field might lead us somewhere more interesting than anything we could have even imagined while on the path. 

And we won’t have to feel guilty or beat ourselves up for veering off of it. 

Philippe was right when he said, for the real traveler there is no path.

LET ME ASK YA THIS...
By moaning about what path you thought you wanted, are you missing out on what is unfolding before your eyes?    
* * * *


Scott Ginsberg
That Guy with the Nametag
Author. Speaker. Strategist. Inventor. Filmmaker. Publisher. Songwriter.  
scott@hellomynameisscott.com
www.nametagscott.com


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Monday, June 18, 2018

Gripped by a mad delusion of invincibility

When you’re a workaholic, somehow all the warnings in the world don’t quite convince us that it’s time to stop. 

Here’s the lie we love to tell ourselves. 

There’s nothing wrong with putting in consecutive fourteen hour days if we love the work and it feels like a calling and we’re making a meaningful difference in the world, right? 

May as well just keep pushing until our body gives out and forces us to rest and take care of it. 

Then we can stop. Then we can take some much needed time off and make a contribute to our own life. 

If that’s the case, we’re most likely running on the steam of a delusion. Convincing ourselves that our noble compulsions are serving something other than our own ego. 

It reminds me of something my yoga instructor once said in regards to dehydration:

Don’t try to be a soldier when your body needs you to be saint. 

Listen to your body, not your ego. 

Our daily practice, then, is to always allow unscheduled time for unexpected self care. Instead deluded ourselves into thinking that another time will be different, we honor our body’s promptings in the moment.

We listen to what it needs, regardless of what our ego wants. In short, we have to stop trying to impress ourselves all the time. 

Life is not a performance. There is no studio audience. 

There are no panel judges with numbered signs. 

LET ME ASK YA THIS...
Are you still gripped by a mad delusion of invincibility?

* * * *

Scott Ginsberg
That Guy with the Nametag
Author. Speaker. Strategist. Inventor. Filmmaker. Publisher. Songwriter.  
scott@hellomynameisscott.com
www.nametagscott.com


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Sunday, June 17, 2018

Such things fasten my troubles to me with chains

Reading recovery literature taught me how to identify a martyr. 

They use suffering to attract attention. They view themselves as unfortunate creatures caught in a web of circumstance. Their daily existence is a walking battleground. A montage of crises bookended by catastrophes.

And so, overwhelmed with life’s problems, they quickly and easily fly into blind rage over completely inconsequential bullshit. They allow their imaginations to build small troubles into big ones. Wresting with situations that aren’t actually worth a second thought. Collecting injustices like beads on a string, carrying around trouble like a backpack full of boulders, conjuring up all sorts of mishaps and calamities for themselves. 

But the real danger of martyrdom is, it’s highly contagious. People’s drama attempts to bait others into a life of worry. It aims to drag the rest of us down into their whirlpool of resentment. 

People shake their heads and murmur under their breath, silently formulating their exasperated little sob story to recount to everyone they encounter. And they coming knocking on every door in town, asking everyone we know to sign their petitions until there is a whole army of people who agree with them that everything is wrong and everyone is mobilized against them. 

It’s sad. Serenity has no hope of seeping into the chaos of their lives. 

Of course, feeling sorry for these heroes doesn’t help, either. It only further enables their behavior. 

There’s no point here. Martyrs just bother me. And every time I see one in action, the bell of awareness rings. 

Reminding me to make sure that my core values really have been violated before jumping to high drama. 

And that we have nothing to lose but our misery. 

LET ME ASK YA THIS...

Are you still making life more difficult than it needs to be?

* * * *

Scott Ginsberg
That Guy with the Nametag
Author. Speaker. Strategist. Inventor. Filmmaker. Publisher. Songwriter.  
scott@hellomynameisscott.com
www.nametagscott.com


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