The 4 Catalysts: Book 1, Part 2, Chapter 1

Photo by Jen Theodore on Unsplash

Brave – ready to face and endure danger or pain; showing courage.

Strength – the quality or state of being physically strong.

Intellect – the faculty of reasoning and understanding objectively, especially with regard to abstract or academic matters

Part 2

1

“You are braver than you believe, stronger than you seem and smarter than you think.” -Christopher Robin, Winnie the Pooh

GoodReads

Though the four had lived in a world full of change, they did not feel it, nor did they think much about it. Their lives had been, up to this point, rather monotonous.

Not like the days when their ancestors lived in the four corners. Those days were full of change even the catalysts felt. For a catalyst to actually feel change, it must be on a global scale.

What the four didn’t know, couldn’t know, was that the seeds of change, they, were about to embark on a journey for the ages. One that would have even concerned their ancestors.

The West

Unlike the East, the West was hot. Very hot, and dry, not wet and humid like the East. No, the West was a dry, arid, desert landscape, with rolling sand dunes, and distant mountains, which surrounded the Valley of the Sun.

Photo by Tanya Nevidoma on Unsplash

It was in this Valley that Lorel, and the People of the Sun lived; and, where the Castle of Sand was located. Like Sheldon, Lorel was the Mage of the East, and as such, fulfilled their obligation to the People of the Sun.

Unlike Sheldon, Lorel preferred to live alone. No Quara running after, nor house servants picking up after them. Just Lorel. Well, Lorel, and Hok, Lorel’s falcon, who, like Lorel, had lived in the Castle of Sand for generations. In fact, Hok’s ancestors had served Lorel’s ancestors for as long as anyone could remember.

Lorel was in their study at the top of the Castle, when Hok flew in and perched themselves just over Lorel’s shoulder.

“What’s the matter, Hok?”

It was just then that Lorel sensed it, them. Lorel quickly made their way to the window overlooking the vast dunes to the East. Sure enough, five riders were making their way to the Castle.

Surrounding the Castle were hamlets, many of them. The hamlets were where the People of the Sun lived. Lived, and thrived. Even though the People of the Sun didn’t take care of Lorel and the Castle proper, they took care of all of the surrounding landscape and hamlets.

Photo by fereydoun kia fereydoun kia on Un

And, though no one took care of Lorel and the Castle, there was one in particular, one tribesperson that looked in on Lorel regularly. Talom was their name, and their dedication to Lorel was complete.

Talom was a senior advisor among the People of the Sun, and was known for their great intellectual prowess. Even Lorel considered Talom one of the smartest people they had ever met.

As the riders approached the hamlets, Talom readied themselves for conversation.

The first rider was young. Younger than Talom expected. The rider gave off waves of arrogance, not surprising Talom in the least. The other four riders stayed back, while the youngster dismounted, and approached Talom on foot.

The hamlet’s inhabitants spilled out into the narrow streets that connected the small homes constructed of sand, sticks, and brush. Children and teenagers raced up to stand behind Talom, while their parents yelled at them to stay back.

The young man approached, and said “Who are you, old man? We’re seeking Lorel, Mage of the East. We’re not interested in talking to the likes of you. Simply point the way, and we’ll pass in peace.”

Talom snickered inwardly. The arrogance of such a boy to suppose he could simply ride up to the Castle of Sand, and speak with Lorel. Funny. Absurd. Talom gathered himself, breathing slowly, patiently, and just as the boy was about to speak…

“Who am I? Why, who are you, young master? We are the People of the Sun. This is our hamlet, which lies in the shade of the Castle of Sand.”

The young horse rider paused, grinned, then stepped back, looked over his shoulder, and said, “Seems like we have an issue here. This old one will not let us pass. What should we do boys?”

While the young horse rider was speaking to his fellow riders, Talom could sense something. Yes, it was Lorel communicating with them through the fire pit just to Talom’s right. Fire was the Mage’s Art, and they could do just about anything with it, including using it to communicate.

“Talom, what’s going on? Why is this boy here with four other men, and those infernal horses? What do they want?”

Talom still breathing slowly and patiently, answered back, “Master, I don’t like these horse riders, there’s something wrong with them. Not sure what it is, but something is amiss.”

Just then the boy advanced toward Talom at an amazing speed, drawing a throwing knife as he did so, and as he was about to throw, a curtain of fire erupted between the rider and Talom. The horse rider almost ran right into it, yet stopped just in time.

Photo by Mohamed Nohassi on Unsplash

The boy stumbled back, tripped, and tumbled to the desert floor. Now scrambling back towards his horse and the other rides. And, doing so quickly.

As the boy was retreating, Lorel came walking down the narrow hamlet streets towards the wall of fire. As Lorel passed the gathered children, they brushed their heads and shook hands of parents and caretakers, young and old alike.

Lorel then made their way toward Talom, standing right beside them. In that same instance, Lorel withdrew the wall of fire. Hok was sitting just over Lorel’s left shoulder, on the top of one of the hamlets, taking in their Master’s poise under pressure.

“What do you want? You don’t belong here, and are not sanctioned to be away from the Center. The Center is where you live, and where you are to stay. The far reaches of the West is no place for you. Now go.”

The boy stood up, brushed himself off, and called to one of the other men to bring him the pack.

Pack, what pack, Talom thought. Talom didn’t like this at all.

One of the older men brought the pack over, handed it to the boy, then made his way back to his horse.

The boy said, “We were tasked with delivering this to you. It was not an easy journey. Several died. We are what remains of the dispatch. This is for you.”

Lorel took the pack, opened it, and upon seeing the contents, stumbled backwards, almost falling over.

What in the world was the East Mage’s Book of Change doing with these men, and that infernal boy? What was it doing in the West, about as far away as you could get from the distant East? And, oh no, what about Sheldon?

“Oh, Talom, we have an issue.”

#book, #change, #creatingchange, #fantasy, #fiction, #fictionbook, #fictionfantasy, #fictionscifi, #fictionscififantasy, #fictionwriting, #mage, #scifi, #scififantasy, #the4catalysts, #the4mages, #writing

The 4 Catalysts: Book 1, Part 1, Chapter 1

Alright, so I am going to start working on this book again, and am going to share it with you here. I had another site, of the same name as the book, yet it was just too much to manage, so I redirected the site a month or so ago, and am now ready to start working on it again.

The chapters are rough, and in an iterative state, yet it will be fun to engage with all of you through this narrative.

Be well, read well, and stay well. -Jeff

The 4 Catalysts

Catalyst – a person or thing that precipitates an event.

Change – the act or instance of making or becoming different.

Chaos – complete disorder and confusion.

Seed – the cause or latent beginning of a feeling, process, or condition.

Introduction

They were catalysts, and didn’t know it. How could they? When life is full of change that you precipitate, it all seems the same. Change is only seen as occurring differently when there is a normal by which you measure such change. Normal is not a word, or a way of being, that they knew. No, change is what they knew, constant and ever present. Their normal, their every day.

Chaos on the other hand they knew well. Chaos is everywhere in the world, yet humans believe there is an order to things. Time is a good example of a seemingly ordered set of principles, and people rely on it immensely. Yet, time is not ordered. Time is, in fact, very chaotic. Time changes, and precipitates events, and also creates disorder and confusion, hence chaos. We put stability on time, time is not stable. And, this they knew.

They were seeds, and this everyone knew. Seeds of chaos and seeds of change, hence the catalysts.

Known – recognized, familiar, or within the scope of knowledge.

Being – the nature or essence of a person.

BOOK I

Part 1

1

“The power of a bold idea uttered publicly in defiance of dominant opinion cannot be easily measured. Those special people who speak out in such a way as to shake up not only the self-assurance of their enemies, but the complacency of their friends, are precious catalysts for change.” -Howard Zinn’

Goodreads

It was a day like any other day, chaotic, and ever changing, yet they knew it not, as normal was equal to change in every way and in every part. The winds change, the tides change, the moon changes, yet people believe they are static – for the sun is in the sky surely it is static, not moving – not true.

True to them, was the everyday occurrence of defying the traditional societal model. Pushing back on the status quo. This was their work. Their life work, in fact.

There were four of them. One in the east, one in the west, one in the south, and one in the north. Connected by a deep inner knowing, not by physicality, not by geography, but by a knowing. Knowing, familiar, recognizable, and within their sense of being.

Their being was their calling. Their mere existence was catalyst enough. No action necessary, though in action were all four, always. People, events, even ideas were attracted to them. And, inside of each of these people, events, and ideas even, were the seeds of change. Seeds that were drawn out and exercised by the four.

One person, event, and idea at a time. And sometimes, on rare occasions, a person, event, and idea coalesced in such a way that the confluence of which created change across the globe.

The East

Was where Sheldon was located, atop a mighty castle stretching to the very bounds of the heavens, in the nether regions of the continent, tucked away in a hidden forest overgrown with hundreds of years of growth. Trees and bushes dripping with dew from the continuous rain showers that plagued this area of the globe.

These forests were also home to many small tribes, all of which paid homage to the heaven stretched castle known as the Castalistidom – the catalyst.

One such tribe, the Wiki, were sworn to care for the Eastern catalyst and had been doing so for thousands of year, generations upon generations. Nestled within the forest all around the Castle, they tended the crops, raised the cattle, traded and barded with neighboring tribes, and of course, took care of the Castle grounds and Sheldon’s estate.

Within the Castle there were several Wiki, some cleaned the Castle, some prepared and cooked meals, some counseled Sheldon on affairs of the estate and neighboring lands, and one Wiki in particular, Quara was always with Sheldon, whether at home or afar.

Quara was old, very old, and had been serving at Castalistidom their whole life. Generations of Quara’s family served in this same capacity, and though difficult, Quara would not have it any other way, for Castalistidom was the way of life, the only one, that Quara, and their people, knew of.

Sheldon was in their room, which was at the very center of the Castle, below the main floor, where it was often dark, just like Sheldon liked it. For it was in this darkness that Sheldon found the light.

The light that was inside of the meditative practice, Sheldon’s Art, the gift given so many generations ago. Given by whom, no one knows. No one dare asks, for it was given at a time of great upheaval in the world, an upheaval not seen since.

Generally, peace was the edict of the day, yet that was about to change.

#change, #fantasy, #fiction, #scifi

Force and Flow: What’s the Difference and What Do They Have to do With Persistence?

Photo by Maico Pereira on Unsplash

What is the difference between force and flow; and, what do they have to do with persistence? An important distinction, and question. What do you think? When you think of force, do you think of persistence? You might. Many people do.

However, in this article we will pull force and persistence apart, so we can see how being in the flow is actually more solidly connected to persistence. Ready? Excellent, let’s go.

Force and Resistance

People often confound force as being persistent. Yet, when you think about force, what comes to mind? Is it flexibility and adaptability? Probably not. Yet, we continue to think about persistence as the ability to withstand our environment. Not so.

When you look at those things that are persistent, they are working with the environment, not against it. Important. Imagine a tree sprout that makes its way through a crack in an asphalt blacktop.

Photo by Lucas Myers on Unsplash

That sprout is not resisting its environment, it is using the environment to its advantage. Flexibility and adaptability create persistence, not force.

When we use force, we are resisting that which we are confronted with. The lack of flexibility and adaptability is resistance. And, you may persist for a little while by using force, however, you will not stand the test of time. Persistence over time is not possible when we use force. Why?

Because when we apply force to situations and events, we are basically refusing to accept our current reality. And, when we are in denial about our current reality, we are living in resistance.

What to do?

Flow and Persistence

We can recognize and acknowledge that when we are resisting our environment and current reality, we are being resistant. That is first. Once we are aware, we can shift our focus and attention to accepting our environment and current reality for what it is. It just is. That’s all.

And, you don’t get a demerit for being resistant. We are all, at times, resistant. It is part of being a human being. It’s okay. Really feel that. It is okay. Please remember that. Why?

Because when we get frustrated and upset about being resistant, we will use more force. We will try to force a reality to appear that we want more than the current reality. Happens all the time. Why is this an issue?

Because, when we expound that much energy on resisting, and are forcing, we will typically find that we don’t feel all that well. Maybe we aren’t sleeping well. Or, we are feeling even more frustrated and upset. Not helpful. And, not sustainable. Not over time.

Yet, when we go with the flow, or are flexible and adaptable to our environment and current reality, we can continue to create the reality we want to manifest. And, we can do that with much less mental, physical, emotional, and spiritual effort.

Photo by Nathan Anderson on Unsplash

We can actually get more out of the reality we are living in, and can be more creative than we can if we continue to resist and use force. Really.

Can you think of a practical example of how these conceptual ideas play out? I’m sure you can. For now, let me give you an example from my life.

I work in education. And, the work I do involves experiential learning. Think the arts, fitness, professional and personal development, and small business development.

Well, we typically offer about 300 in-person classes a term. Since COVID-19, however, we’ve reduced those offerings to 50 remote classes this past spring, and about 80 remote classes this summer. A big difference.

And, we increased the offerings for summer, because I tasked the team with creating more classes, and then even more classes for fall.

However, what I missed, and missed big, was that the community need wasn’t offering more and more classes.

That was the old business model. What was I doing? Inadvertently, I was resisting the current reality. Yep. Not intentionally, not at all.

Often we resist our current reality out of habit, or a deep desire to, as we’ve discussed, create the reality we deeply want – resistance. What happened?

Well, I had a huge insight as I was working through all of the summer classes we were going to have to cancel. What was that insight?

I was actively resisting and trying to force an old way of doing things onto a totally unrelated and new context. That context, the current reality, where the old model doesn’t fit.

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Once I was aware, I began to create plans with the team of focusing on core classes, and using the freed up time to create new ways to engage the community. A big deal. Phew. Was a huge insight.

Alright, so we’ve covered the concepts of force and flow and also looked at a practical example. And now, you might be wondering what you can do to move from force and into the flow?

  • Notice when you are resistant – Don’t judge yourself, or be hard on yourself. It is normal to be resistant at times.
  • When you are aware, you can shift from resistance to acceptance – Inside of this shift, you will create more flexibility and adaptability, as you begin to accept your current reality.
  • And, once you are in acceptance, you can shift to persistence – A state that allows you to be open, flexible, and adaptable in a sustainable way. In the flow. Accepting what comes, and creating from inside of what is there. Right in front of you.

Alright. I’ve written several pieces on persistence this week. I am more present to the need for persistence as all of us, all of humanity, continue to wonder. Wonder about when life will return to some sense of “normalcy.”

I do believe that what we once knew as normal is gone forevermore. When will there be a new normal?

Don’t know. I do know that the need to be flexible, adaptable, and have the ability to create within high-levels of change has never been more needed than today.

Well, then, together we can wait and watch. Notice when we are forcing situations. And, when we notice force, we can shift our attention and focus to acceptance, which is where we will all find the flow.

#change, #covid-19, #creating-reality, #flow, #force, #force-and-flow, #persistence, #persisting-through-change, #resistance, #resistance-to-persistence, #resisting-our-environment, #resisting-reality, #working-with-change

Motivation: Is it an inside or outside job?

This week I’ve been more present to motivation. What I mean is noticing awesome people in my contexts doing amazing things, and the motivation that comes from creating such possibilities. 

A good friend of mine once told me that motivation does not come from an outside source, that, in fact, motivation comes from doing things. Thinking about motivation this way creates the space for an understanding that motivation doesn’t just magically appear. Motivation comes from doing, simple.

Yet, as human beings, understanding what is a simple concept about motivation, is not always simple to put into practice. Why? Because humans create patterns (or habits) that are very hard to change. 

However, it is possible to change them. And, the first step to creating that change, is to understand that the motivation to do so will develop inside the actions you take to make these changes. Motivation does not live inside of thinking about the changes, only in the doing.

With so much change happening as a result of the COVID-19 health crisis, then, all of us are living outside of our typical patterns, or habits, and that is difficult for everyone. You are not alone in feeling this way. 

It seems to me then that motivation is an inside job. The motivation to take action in life, lives inside the action itself, which we create.

Sometimes humans also want to connect an action to a result. However, connecting actions to results sets us up for failure. When we believe that we are taking action for a result, we concentrate and expect the result to look or be a certain way. And, when the result is not that way, we typically say, I’ve lost my motivation.

Motivation is not lost. It is simply hiding inside the next action, so let go of your expectations on the result, and take that next action.

My invitation – continue to take those daily actions, which create new patterns, new motivations, and new possibilities.

Until next time…

#action, #change, #covid-19, #habits, #motivation, #patterns, #possibility, #result

VERY Rough Chapter 1

The Catalysts

Catalyst – a person or thing that precipitates an event.

Change – the act or instance of making or becoming different.

Chaos – complete disorder and confusion.

Seed – the cause or latent beginning of a feeling, process, or condition.

Introduction

They were catalysts, and didn’t know it. How could they? When life is full of change that you precipitate, it all seems the same. Change is only seen as occurring differently when there is a normal by which you measure such change. Normal is not a word, or a way of being, that they knew. No, change is what they knew, constant and ever present. Their normal, their every day.

Chaos, then, is what they knew well. Chaos is everywhere in the world, yet humans believe there is an order to things. Time is a good example of a seemingly ordered set of principles, and people rely on it immensely. Yet, time is not ordered. Time is, in fact, very chaotic. Time changes, and precipitates events, and also creates disorder and confusion, hence chaos. We put stability on time, time is not stable. And, this they knew.

They were seeds, and this everyone knew. Seeds of chaos and seeds of change, hence the catalysts.

Known – recognized, familiar, or within the scope of knowledge.

Being – the nature or essence of a person.

BOOK I

Part 1

1

“The power of a bold idea uttered publicly in defiance of dominant opinion cannot be easily measured. Those special people who speak out in such a way as to shake up not only the self-assurance of their enemies, but the complacency of their friends, are precious catalysts for change.”

Howard Zinn

It was a day like any other day, chaotic, and ever changing, yet they knew it not, as normal was equal to change in every way and in every part. The winds change, the tides change, the moon changes, yet people believe they are static – for the sun is in the sky surely it is static, not moving – not true. True to them, was the every day occurrence of defying the traditional societal model. Pushing back on the status quo. This was their work. Their life work, in fact.


There were four of them. One in the east, one in the west, one in the south, and one in the north. Connected by a deep inner knowing, not by physicality, not by geography, but by a knowing. Knowing, familiar, recognizable, and within their sense of being.

Their being was their calling. Their mere existence was catalyst enough. No action necessary, though in action were all four, always. People, events, even ideas were attracted to them. And, inside of each of these people, events, and ideas even, were the seeds of change. Seeds that were drawn out and exercised by the four. One person, event, and idea at a time. And sometimes, on rare occasions, a person, event, and idea coalesced in such a way, that the confluence of which created change across the globe.

The East

Was where Sheldon was located, atop a mighty castle stretching to the very bounds of the heavens, in the nether regions of the continent, tucked away in a hidden forest overgrown with hundreds of years of growth. Trees and bushes dripping with dew from the continuous rain showers that plagued this area of the globe. These forests were also home to many small tribes, all of which paid homage to the heaven stretched castle known as the Castalistidom – the catalyst.

One such tribe, the Wiki, were sworn to care for the Eastern catalyst and had been doing so for thousands of year, generations upon generations. Nestled within the forest all around the Castle, they tended the crops, raised the cattle, traded and barded with neighboring tribes, and of course, took care of the Castle grounds and Sheldon’s estate.

Within the Castle there were several Wiki, some cleaned the Castle, some prepared and cooked meals, some counseled Sheldon on affairs of the estate and neighboring lands, and one Wiki in particular, Quara was always with Sheldon, whether at home or afar. Quara was old, very old, and had been serving at Castalistidom their whole life. Generations of Quara’s family served in this same capacity, and though difficult, Quara would not have it any other way, for Castalistidom was the way of life, the only one, that Quara, and their people, knew of.

Sheldon was in their room, which was at the very center of the Castle, below the main floor, where it was often dark, just like Sheldon liked it. For it was in this darkness that Sheldon found the light. The light that was inside of the meditative practice, Sheldon’s Art, the gift given so many generations ago. Given by whom, no one knows. No one dare asks, for it was given at a time of great upheaval in the world, an upheaval not seen since.

Generally, peace was the tome of the day across the globe, yet that was about to change.

#catalyst, #change, #fantasy, #fiction, #narrative, #writing

Creativity During COVID-19

The past month we’ve seen unprecedented changes, across the world, country, and here locally. I’ve been thinking about all of these changes, and the fact that post-COVID-19, if there is such a thing, will be a whole new normal. Life as it once was is over.

I’ve also been thinking, and doing more creative things this past month. Writing more. Visioning more. And, overall, experiencing more creativity. With work hours, if you are lucky and are working, less than pre-COVID 19, there is more time. More time to think, and ponder, yes, and to also do, and be.

Question for you:

What have you created since the onset of COVID-19?

#change, #covid-19, #creativity, #experience, #life, #vision, #work