The Survivability Of Blame


The ugly truth about blame is we humans tend to view the world from the dualistic perspective of me here, you there. Perhaps a leftover from ancient survivability hard wiring, but it is time to shift gears. That separation thinking is cutting you off from the richness of life. Blame only adds fuel to the fire.

At the quantum level we are all separated by space, including  within our own bodies, but so then is the entire universe. That doesn’t mean we are separate. It is all comes down to perspective.

We hunker down in survival mode. Me here, you there. Our self-serving defacto axiom states when things go awry, someone/something has to be named at fault/blame… and it ain’t gonna be me!

Blame is really just a disguised self-protective red herring.  Perhaps when you blame someone, underneath what you are really feeling is disappointment. Instead of acknowledging that and expressing that, you dump it on the other person under disgusted causation.

The first step in changing this reaction is get to the root of  ‘what is’. Sometimes it’s hard to parse out the details, so let’s start with using the weather as an example. The sky doesn’t know you and what it does is completely out of your control.

On a sunny day, that is ‘what is’…sunny. You plan to go swimming after work with your friends. The sun shining aligns with your needs and you can’t wait for the work day to end. Fun is just around the corner.

Throughout the afternoon you notice some stray clouds setting in. Suddenly at 4:37 things drastically change. That once big blue sky is now a cascading disappointment. What started with a few rain drops hesitantly falling out of the sky is now a downpour. You gaze out the window. The fact it is raining, with no end in sight, finally sinks in.

You might be upset, disappointed, sad, or frustrated because the rain thwarted your plans. After a hectic work week, your need was to be outside with your friends around the pool. Clearly that is not going to happen.

Is the sky at fault?  Are you going to blame the sky by raising your fists upwards and screaming out “I can’t believe you are doing this to me!”? Of course not.

– Eliminate ‘me/you’.
– Notice ‘what is’.
– In/Out of your control?
– Identify true feelings.
– Identify needs not met.
– Make requests.
– Take action steps to meet needs.

You can choose to accept or resist. There are many objective (scientific) reasons for the surprise rain shower.

Filing the planned pool-squashing rain shower under ‘what is’ doesn’t end your fun options. You can pivot by making a request of your friends to do something else indoors. Your reaction and action is 100% in your control.

If you apply this ‘what is’ principal to everything out your control, you wouldn’t believe how much happier you’ll be.

Again, we humans tend to view the world from the perspective me/you. Test this theory next time you are stuck in rush hour traffic. Notice your mind and body reaction. It will probably go something like this:  “I can’t believe there is so much traffic and it is ridiculous how bad everyone drives!”

Funny we talk about traffic but don’t include ourselves. The folks in the cars behind you are probably thinking the same thing– but this time it includes you. Our me/you separation perspective masks it. That way we can participate in blame game of ‘those dam drivers!’ instead of realizing we are all in it together.

Even when things are in our control, we try to outsource the blame or resort to  blaming ourselves. Imagine another sunny day. You pour yourself a refreshing glass of iced tea to quench your thirst. Without much thoughtful consideration you place the glass on top of a just purchased book on the kitchen counter in order to check your phone. When you pick the glass back up you notice the condensation gathered around the bottom of the glass created a circular stain mark on the book.

Your fault investigators begin an investigation and start the blame campaign–– it might include the book publisher because they made a cheap cover that soaks in moisture easily. Ignoring basic condensation science when cold meets hot air you somehow fault the glass too. I am sure you could come up with a few more reasons like if the counter wasn’t so crowded by your spouse’s stuff, there would be room for the glass.

Depending on your personality, you might blame yourself internally instead of going the external route.  A quick juggler move would be calling yourself an idiot, as you believe only an idiot would do something so recklessly insane.

While blaming others or yourself is always an option, it is fruitless.  Commit now to getting to the core and practice a new well being.

If you truly examine it, you can probably find how you participated. Look at it like a row of dominoes. Go back to the point where you tipped yours. The stained ringed book was created by putting a sweating glass on it. That is ‘what is’. Non judgmentally note it.

Let’s look underneath if there are any other factors going on. It could be as simply as you weren’t paying attention. Maybe you were trying to multi-task a bit too much and a recommitment to mindfulness is in order. Or maybe your thoughts were preoccupied by a planned conversation with your spouse later that day and you hadn’t acknowledged how nervous you were.

The faster you get to the core, the faster you can actually do something about it and move forward. Going back the traffic scenario, what were your options besides making everybody else wrong? Accept the ‘what is’ that traffic was jammed and moving slow. Ask yourself if blaming the other drivers are really just disguised feelings attributed to something else. How did you participate being in this situation? (Perhaps you tried to jam too many things in at work and you left later then usual.)

The traffic is ‘what is’ and out of your control.  Your response and any ensuing choices are within your control. You could simply accept it will take you 40 minutes longer to get home or choose to get off the highway and take side streets. How about going to a park to take a walk until traffic subsides or stopping at a bookstore for awhile?

The options are infinite. Blaming is a finite dead end keeping you stuck in your own proverbial traffic. Pick a lane and remember life’s highway is always wide and open.

always love,

Stop Censoring The Calling


When is the last time you missed out on an experience because you censored yourself? Instead of heeding to your calling, you filtered it first through someone else’s eyes or dragged out a story in your past to prove why it wasn’t a good idea.

We make so many assumptions.  Those assumptions filter out magical experiences that make us feel connected and alive. We are missing out on so much.

Censor your censor and a whole new world will open up to you. That is when the magic of helpful strangers, timing, and opportunity appears.

Some callings are monumental.  My friend John Langford, a commercial photographer whose client roster included the likes of Sony, Nike and 3M, took a big leap creating back-to-back magical experiences traversing the globe for three years straight. His recent book chronicled his adventures into a series of humorous insightful stories that is an inspiring and engaging read:   Link here

Years ago I delightfully hitchhiked from Hamburg, Germany to Biella, Italy.  Each of the eight rides where truly magical, so much so I was a bit sad to arrive at my final destination so fast!

One particular ride zoomed along the autobahn at 110 miles per hour in a sleek black Porsche. By the time we arrived in his city of Baden Baden, he commissioned me to do 6 large paintings for his interior design client.  After returning home to the United States I made those paintings and shipped them overseas.  It paid for my entire overseas trip several times over.

Yes it is true traveling the world for three years is a pretty big swing or hitchhiking in Europe is not an everyday adventure. But how about the little ones in life, like taking a new class or reaching out to someone you want to know? Are you following through or making excuses?

We will often censor our initial calling until we line everything up, but the universe doesn’t work like that.  “Never wait until all the lights are green before you leave home or you’ll never get started on your trip.”

Some of our callings might not logically make sense but trust your feeling or knowing. Pay attention to that kind of bell, as it supersedes your thinking mind.

Remember your brain’s job is to protect you from all danger, real or imagined. Unless you are about to head into a jungle full of tigers, walk into a snake pit or swim with the crocodiles, most dangers are really just a story perceived as real.

Regret manifests from giving into your censor and overriding your initial calling ping. In hindsight, after time passes we can see what really happened and we say “I wish I would have done that!”

Take a moment to reflect:

1. How did you censor yourself in the past week?
2. How about in the last 6 months?
3. What are your greatest hits of self-censoring?
4. What story did you make up about each of those that initial created the censoring?
5. What patterns are you now discovering?

Censoring comes in forms big and small. It might be as simple as declining last week’s pool party invitation because you didn’t think your bathing suit looked right. Unless all your friends are extremely shallow, frankly no one really cares. It’s a story. They invited you, not your bathing suit.

The good news is you can spot your own pattern of censoring and change course going forward. Life is just full of paper tigers. If you choose to take this on, a whole new world will open up to you.

always love,