From the monthly archives: "June 2012"

I’ve recently been asked about whether it’s best to be driven and act on one’s desires, or to just “go with the flow.” In my contemplations of this outstanding thought-question I have come to some realizations, both from investigating my own life, as well as being a student of other peoples’ lives through my work as a dream designer, and as an avid reader of biographies.

I love learning about peoples’ lives, and above all about human behavior. I especially love seeing the unique challenges every individual faces as they make their way through their destiny, and particularly how they overcome their perceived obstacles. One observation I have had is that we all go through repeating cycles of comfort-discomfort in any and all endeavors. These cycles then lead us to enter adjacent and interconnected push-relax cycles, necessary to expand us into the next level of our growth.

When we take on any new endeavor, whether we are simply at the starting point of conceptualization, or in full swing of acting on it, we must by necessity have a definition and goal of what we are attempting to achieve. Take, for instance, a new business: before anything is launched, a blueprint or map must be created, ‘the how’ to ‘the what’ of the entity…in other words, the means to the end.

But even before this stage, a purpose must be established—‘the why’ of the entire undertaking. Without a reason for existing—a void to be filled, a need to be attended to, or a problem to be solved—no business will get off the ground, let alone survive. Aristotle called these two aspects the final cause—the purpose for which a thing exists or is done, and the blueprint, or master plan, to doing it. Without these important factors, it is unlikely that any endeavor will successfully manifest.

So in every one of our endeavors—whether that be creating a business or starting a family—a final cause or purpose, and a planning stage, is necessary. Although this period is usually filled with some knowns—like what we wish to create, and why; as well as some of the how’s—it is also filled with many unknowns, like how everything will play out. The details, in other words, remain a mystery.

During this stage, it is wholly appropriate to work hard, push, affect, influence, gather information, study, research, and so on. We would call this the ‘pushing’ phase, and it is clearly essential to get things moving. No action = no creation—it’s as simple as that. We have some control here, and it is wise to exert it. Very important is the need to plan, document, blue print and refine the plans, until even the most minute detail is accounted for. Anybody who has ever created anything can attest to the fact that planning, in detail, can save you from a heck of a lot of chaos in the future. Further, anybody who has ever failed to plan can attest to the disorder they soon find themselves in by skipping this important step. So my advice is to take control of this stage—the planning—and then push to get it off the ground.

Once your plan is in place, then letting go and letting it all unfold is the wisest thing to do. We can’t control every single detail, and why would we want to? Could you imagine how boring life would be if we could have command over how everything plays out in its entirety? No, this is a period of unknowing and discomfort, where details just unfold as they will. This is where we encounter the spice of life, the things that makes life interesting; the little curve balls that we don’t expect, and which lead us into areas of our greatest growth. I personally love it—most of my greatest adventures have come as a result of being open to these moments in the great unknown.

During this stage, you will probably find yourself in fight-or-flight, wondering what the heck you’ve gotten yourself into. You’ll question your abilities and what you thought you knew, but hang in there, because it’s usually where miracles happen. It’s highly imperative to be flexible in this phase—in other words, to just go with the flow—because trying to control too much here can make the challenge even worse; and really, you’ll only be holding yourself back, blocking your own success, and maybe even having a hard time learning the associated lessons (don’t worry, you’ll learn eventually anyway) if you push too hard. Further, even if it does all work out for you, the stress you cause by trying to control the uncontrollable will age you unnecessarily.

So, yes, going with the flow is important…but so is pushing. The reality is that an equal balance of the two will provide you with the greatest growth. So be diligent and plan ahead; work on your final cause before undertaking any endeavor. You will take care of all the things you can control that way, and anticipate a few of problems you will encounter along the way. But when it comes time for stepping back and getting flexible—then sway with the wind. You will keep your sanity that way, while very likely discovering some cool things you just hadn’t expected; and you’ll grow in character, too. Not a bad way to approach life in general: Planning…and then going with the flow.

Everything in life is cyclical, even romantic relationships. We may have few of these, or many, during our lifetime, but there’s no doubt that they can be our biggest catalysts to growth. Our mates both support and challenge us more than anybody outside of ourselves, such that nobody else knows how to comfort us so capably, yet so effectively push our buttons. Our mates, then, along with our children, are our greatest teachers.

The things that become issues within our relationships tend to be parts of ourselves that we deny we have, and so we project our perceptions onto our partners. What we see in them are simply parts of us we haven’t loved yet, and so whatever karmic lessons we have to learn then become imprinted on our minds as our significant other’s problem. At certain stages of our lives we may try to change that other person, but this is futile, because people just are who they are. It is our imposed perceptions that we have the real problem with, and it’s important to remember that whatever we fail to love in its entirety will come back around, often in a different form or another person, yet with the lessons remaining the same.*

Earliest Relationships Teach Us to Love Ourselves

We start having romantic-like relationships during our preadolescence. This period is characterized by our simply learning the basics—doing things alone together, kissing, touching and other forms of intimacy, and even fighting and conflict resolution. And, of course, the inevitable…breaking up. Yes we learn very early the lesson of non-permanence. All these aspects of our first romantic relationships are important introductions into the intricacies of love, or infatuation, whatever the case may be.

As we get older, then, we take each new relationship into a new level of awareness and understanding. The things that we have learned in previous ones make us a bit savvier for the next, but our earliest relationships are really just platforms for us to learn about ourselves. Let me qualify this statement, because surely we never stop learning, and as I said earlier, our significant others’ tend to be our greatest teachers:

I believe that we do not, and cannot, truly appreciate another person until we appreciate ourselves first. As we move through successive romantic relationships, ideally anyway, we learn to love more about ourselves. My greatest periods of personal growth have resulted from the discomforts of major breakups. Now I certainly realize that this isn’t the case for everybody, but the principle remains the same: Our romantic relationships force us to look at ourselves, and resolve any problems we may have with our own egos.

Thus we may find that some character traits don’t really serve us well—like perhaps pushing aside the things we enjoy or not living within our highest values to accommodate the other person’s values. Or maybe we find that our values aren’t really compatible—that we just want different things in life. This can be a worthy discovery, especially if we come to know our own values better. But we may simply learn about the areas in which we wish to empower ourselves, be it physically, financially, socially, or other. I’ve had every one of these experiences, and depending on your age you may have as well, but there is an even deeper self-understanding that can occur through our love relationships.

Loving Self Opens Doors to Loving Others

As we evolve, we may start to discover things about ourselves that we have always thought were “other-issues,” or at least things we have attracted, but which we come to realize are perceptual constructs that we have about the world in general, and our earliest love interests more specifically. Sigmund Freud called it the Oedipus complex , and Jung added Electra complex to the lexicon, to denote the psycho-sexual development of men and women respectively in relation to their opposite sex parents. I think it’s important to not fixate on the sexual aspect of the theory, and just to consider that our parental relationships affect every romantic relationship thereafter, by being the source of the misperceptions we project onto our mates.

Once we start to see how what we are projecting onto our significant other is really the result of early childhood experiences that have created viewpoints, or emotional charges, and that these have been directing our behaviors and perceptual experiences within our relationships ever since, then we can begin to resolve them, and move closer to transcending these imagined other-issues.

This is a deeper level of self-awareness that comes from being involved in love relationships, and frankly, some people never get there. But if you can, it’s worth the inevitable struggle and pain, particularly when you first make the discovery. The farther you can delve into this fascinating world of self-exploration, the more you will begin to see that your problems with your significant other have not only been cyclical occurrences, but had nothing to do at all with the people you have been involved with. Instead your perceptions are based on childhood events that you initially misperceived to begin with.

And before you think there is no method to the madness, let me assure you that these misperceptions have been necessary to your development and destiny fulfillment. You couldn’t escape them even if you wanted to, as we come into this life with our karmic debt, or necessary lessons to learn. And it wouldn’t have mattered, anyway, who your parents were, or your subsequent love interests, as you would have (and will) project your perceptions onto whomever you decide to get involved with regardless.

True Love

As you move through this stage of self-awareness, the greater your capacity to truly appreciate your romantic partner becomes—and the closer you get to true love. Because when you can see your partner as a reflection of yourself, you are better able to understand who they actually are, and even what they might be going through at any given time, because they are doing with you exactly the same as you have been doing with them.

True love constitutes all parts of others and complete experiences—not just the “good” or “pleasureful”, but everything in its entirety. Being able to see that our perceptions are the real determinants in what we consider to be problems is the key to making these quantum transitions. When we enter this phase of self-awareness, our ability to see the love all around us begins to expand, and we can more fully appreciate the person we have chosen to walk through the next leg of our journey with.

Admittedly, not everybody makes it to this stage, and that’s okay—every path is one of learning, which is something none of us can escape. But if you can reach this step, you will surely find your romantic love relationships more rewarding, and the growth within, for the both of you, exponential; you will find that you attract the right partner at the right moment (could be your current spouse, as people can, and often do, grow together) for you to truly experience love in its fullest glory—not just the stuff that makes you feel good, but all of it. And best of all you will come to know yourself more completely, which is the true meaning of life, if you ask me.

~ Dr. Nick Campos June 11, 2012

*If you would love to know how to strengthen your current love relationship or how to attract your perfect mate, I am available for consultations: contact

I found a
that had a

mirror in it
and that

looked in at
a mirror

me that
had a
weed in it ~ A.R. Ammons

nickcampos.comYou can’t escape yourself, have you heard? I’ve tried plenty of times, only to find that I was still lingering after the dust, or smoke, or booze had settled. Whatever we see in the world, whatever we perceive about others, is just that…a perception. It doesn’t really capture the true essence of a thing, unless you see all sides to that thing.

So people have all character traits, whether we like them or not. Just because we have the tendency to see others as one-sided doesn’t make it so. Everybody has everything—mean, nice, selfish, selfless, ego-centered and altruistic—nothing is missing. But when we judge another person—and it doesn’t matter if we are resenting them, or placing them on a pedestal—we are really just seeing them through our own perceptions.

Perception is an interesting thing, as it reflects our beliefs, drives (values), experiences, expectations, emotional charges, and karmic lessons. But believe me when I say it’s almost always wrong. Unless you see a person, thing, or event in its full capacity—both the “good” and the “bad”—and you love it for what it is, as it is, then you are not seeing that thing in its full capacity—its truth.

When we judge others, we are really judging that thing we deny in ourselves. We are so put off by traits and behaviors that we refuse to believe we have or do. In fact, we despise them so much in ourselves, that we will kick another person for showing us exactly how we are—an interesting form of blindness. But we certainly wouldn’t be able to see them if we were not so familiar, ourselves, with the trait.

And our common reactions to this person, trait or behavior tell us even more about who we are. Are you a runner? A fighter? A foot-stomper? Is it your way or the highway? It’s okay—it’s all good. Just know that whatever you fail to love today will come back around tomorrow, and you’ll get another chance to learn to love it. That’s life.

So remember that the weed you see in another is really the weed in you. See how it has benefited you and others, and see how this other person’s expression of it is benefiting you now—and love it! That’s the answer.

~ Nick Campos 6/8/2012

Look out Edinburgh, Legionnaire’s disease is on the loose. Sixty one are said to be infected, and although authorities reassure the public that the health risk is low, they do expect numbers to climb.

The number of confirmed cases has increased to 24, while 37 more are suspected to be infected. One 56-year-old man has died. Officials have said that industrial cooling towers have been identified as a possible source of the infection, and that cooling systems at four facilities have been chemically treated. Scotland’s Health Secretary Nicola Sturgeon told parliament that testing and analysis was still taking place but conceded that the source of the outbreak might never be known.

Legionnaire’s disease, also known as Legion Fever, is caused by the bacteria Legionella pneumophila, a ubiquitous aquatic organism that infects the respiratory tract on the inhalation of aerosol from the contaminated water source. The name of the disease was coined in 1976 when an outbreak of pneumonia occurred among people attending a convention of the American Legion at the Bellevue-Stratford Hotel in Philadelphia.

Sources of contamination include cooling towers (some 40% to 60% of ones tested) used in industrial cooling water systems as well as in large central air conditioning systems, evaporative coolers, nebulizers, humidifiers, whirlpools, hot water systems, showers, windshield washers, whirlpool spas, architectural fountains, room-air humidifiers, ice making machines, misting equipment, and similar disseminators that draw upon a public water supply. ~ Wikipedia

Although the disease can be transmitted by any contaminated water source, hotels, fountains, cruise ships and hospitals with complex potable water systems and cooling systems are especially susceptible; and even respiratory devices can be contaminated if sterile water isn’t used.

Legionnaire’s disease is characterized by fever, chills, and cough, which may be dry or may produce sputum. Some patients will also have muscle aches, headache, tiredness, loss of appetite, loss of coordination (ataxia), and occasionally diarrhea and vomiting. Confusion and impaired cognition may also occur, as well as so-called ‘relative bradycardia‘–a slowed heart rate.

The Scottish Health Secretary says that an increased number of infected people is expected. She stated, “We hope that they will begin to provide more specific answers about the source of the infection over the next few days. It is not always possible to conclusively determine the precise source of an outbreak. The key message within southwest Edinburgh is that the risk to public health is low,” but she added, “We expect to see further cases over the next week.”

Stay tuned.

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