It's been seven weeks now since I hit the pause button on The Fort Smith Experience series and I am somewhat astonished that part 16 has been showing on blog header for all seven weeks. It was good to see Jack's blogs arriving to break up the staleness and activate the blog sector once again. Thank you Jack.
I have released the pause button because I recently came across something that reminded me of Generation4's comment on part 16. The comment:
"This really was way too deep and drawn out to just walk off without saying what the specific change was you seemed to be getting at. I think a good idea that benefited a whole lot of people would be one of the best ways to get us to do something different rather than constantly researching why we never do that sort of thing. Maybe the answer is very simple."
The answer is very simple. Change the thinking and thereby change the experience; change the reality. Yes, the answer is simple. However, the process of changing how one thinks about something is not so easy. Especially when much of our thinking is habitual and we are unconscious of it. Meaning, many of our thoughts occur automatically as a stimulus response rather than as a conscious choice that we're aware we are making.
In order for me to change my thinking I have to be aware of what I'm thinking; how I'm thinking. Easier said than done. But, as I mentioned earlier, I recently came across something...something that immediately became a most efficacious tool in helping me to become aware of what and how I am thinking. Perhaps you have heard of it. It began several years ago yet I had never heard of it until just recently when I happened upon a video about it on YouTube. It's a process that incorporates the use of a purple bracelet to assist one in becoming complaint free. And, from what I can tell, this purple bracelet has become the symbol for what is being referred to as the "Complaint Free Revolution." The purple 'bracelet' my wife and I use is a purple rubber band once used to hold broccoli crowns together. I like to repurpose when I can. :)
Complaining is an enormously destructive thought process (a defense mechanism of a belief system) that many of us have become incredibly adept in. Many of us have also become incredibly adept in fooling ourselves with regard to how much or little we complain. Personally, I was under the impression that I wasn't much of a complainer. Ha! Well, I've learned that I can fool myself much easier than I can fool anyone else. The purple bracelet has put this fact into the spotlight for me.
Complaining is a means to perpetuate situations, circumstances and events that compel us to complain. To complain is to resist and most of us know by experience that what we resist persists.
Complaining is one of the ways we communicate to others and ourselves that we're suffering. For what is a complaint if not a rejection of what is and a desire for a different experience of reality? It seems that with regard to the city of Fort Smith, using my volume of complaining about the city as an index, I have suffered greatly. That being noted, I'm very happy to say that I suffer no more...at least when it comes to Fort Smith. As I use my complaining as a signal flare of sorts, it is revealed to me where I am suffering in other areas of my life.
To quote Generation4 again: " I think a good idea that benefited a whole lot of people would be one of the best ways to get us to do something different rather than constantly researching why we never do that sort of thing." Could be that choosing to join the Complaint Free Revolution just might be the 'good idea' that Generation4 is pointing to. If your interested go to YouTube and search - A Complaint Free Revolution Part 1 (there's eight parts) and investigate this idea for yourself.
To reiterate from part 16... All doing comes from thinking. Experience is ALWAYS preceded by choice. Choice is dictated by the belief systems one knowingly or unknowingly adheres to. What one believes will always be reflected in their experience. If you are in someway dissatisfied with your experience...examine your thinking and your choices to determine the source of why your experience is what it is. The source is never outside one's self.
On another but relevant note to hopefully gaining more understanding of the ongoing Fort Smith experience, in the Spring publication of the Bell Tower (UAFS Alumni Association), there was an intriguing article about Professor Daniel Maher's doctoral dissertation. Excerpts from the article:
"As Daniel Maher listened to the stories told of Fort Smith's beginnings, he began interpreting the words through his cultural anthropology training and found his doctoral dissertation.
" 'The frontier myths function as alibis,' said the UAFS assistant professor of sociology and anthropology, who arrived at the conclusion after four years of research. The myths show only partial history, obscuring other sides, silencing other stories.
"Maher is now reshaping his doctoral dissertation into book form, which has received interest from publishers.
" 'It's an old magic trick.' Maher said of the repetition of myths. Those myths effectively 'silence and conceal' Fort Smith's role in the nation's push west toward manifest destiny, imperialism and white male dominance."
I look forward to reading Daniel Maher's book.