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Free from Anger

Your life was created for happiness.

It would be dumb to get angry at the world. It doesn’t care.

— Marcus Aurelius – Emperor of Rome.

I ask people often “Do you ever get angry?” when I first meet them. You would be surprised what a conversation opener that is!

Their answer is always the same. “Of course I do. Doesn’t everybody?”

This is what this entire website is about. Anger and its many dastardly cousins. I will be presenting the topic of anger and the anecdote for it known as “Serenity” to help people find their inner peace, their inner strength, and their inner ability to rise above the basic situations in life that usually serve to ruin our days, our years, and our lives.

Serenity Wins! Yes!

Success in life can be described as …

“I lived as well as possible
as often as possible
when I felt as good as possible
as often as possible.”

We have known people who were rich, poor, and everything in between who were both miserable and happy. What you have, your life situation isn’t what determines happiness, it is your thoughts about your life situation that determines it.

In my classes I would tell my students, “Attitude is everything. Your life depends on your attitude.”

Being angry, stressed, upset, annoyed, irritated and all of the other negative emotions there are not part of a happy existence. You have every right to have these emotions because they are completely normal emotions for people to have. Everyone has them.

But, do you really want to be … “normal”?

Serenity Wins is the title of this website and it is the frame that surrounds the topics to be covered within it.

It all begins with the project “Free from Anger” and the first introductory webinars, seminars, and workshops that will be presented this year in the United States.

Thank you for your attention, and if you would like to get regular newsletters and information about upcoming events concerning this topic, please enter your information below.

If we want our life to be better, we have to get better.
If we want our world to be a better place to live, we have to get better at living.

Welcome aboard! Get ready for some smooth sailing!

Featured

Introducing Timothy Simpson and Christian Bremer

Welcome to the Website “Serenity Wins”. The originator of this topic is my good friend Christian Bremer. I met Christian in 2011 at an event in Rimini, Italy and we have been good friends ever since.

Christian has been a coach, teacher, mentor on the topic of “Gelassenheit” or “Serenity” in Germany for over 25 years working with many large corporations, mid-sized businesses, small businesses and private people. He has published 6 books on this theme and has appeared in the German media many times.

Christian Bremer – Serenity Wins!

Christian has asked me to spread the good word of his work to the American audience and I am both honored and challenged to do so. What I teach is completely from Christian, and it is him speaking and teaching through me that you will be receiving.

Who is Timothy?

  • I grew up in Bowling Green, Kentucky, went to Western Kentucky University.
  • I did my masters work at the Eastman School of Music.
  • I moved to Zürich, Switzerland and a year later to Germany to pursue a career as an opera singer, which I did for over 20 years.
  • I moved back to Kentucky and am now involved in building my own businesses.

We hope that this theme can grow here and we are just getting started.

Thank you for your interest and feel free to contact me if you would like some help in finding your serenity.

Anger: The American Condition in the 21st Century

I can’t remember a time when the level of anger in America was as high as it is right now.

Sure, there was the Civil War, the Vietnam War, and the 60’s era of Civil Rights battles, but this anger is much different somehow. If you ask any American they will tell you the same thing. 50% of the population is angry at the other 50%. We are a country divided by anger.

Today, there are so many ways to “express yourself” and people are taking advantage of it. People are spewing their anger on social media because there are no limits to what you can post on social media. So anyone can post anything regardless of what it is, or the validity of it. It is the wild west.

On top of that you have the huge media giants that have agendas as well. I will not call them news because they aren’t news and it certainly isn’t journalism. These media outlets are “entertainment” and designed as such in the guise of news organizations. The real danger here is that there is no control over the veracity of their programming. Essentially, broadcasters can say anything they want without any responsibility for being truthful. These media giants control politics as well and now you have politicians using the same language as the media outlets and nobody is talking in detail nor are they talking about issues that really matter. It is always the same stupid stuff that keeps the audience tuned in. People want to see a train crash, and they will watch it a thousand times over and over again. They will follow these reports and the media uses sweeping and broad statements which fuel the flame of outrage.

It is difficult for me to navigate this and I am not sure when or if this insanity will ever depart. The incredible potential of the United States is being run down by this caustic anger and it is an unpleasant place to live because of it. Why? Because it is a pretty good bet that a large percentage of the people you know are angry about the things opposite of your point of view.

Somehow, somewhere, something, somebody is going to have to bring the United States out of this insanity. Otherwise I believe the country will destroy itself.

One thing is for certain, the only true solution is for people to take it upon themselves to solve the anger in themselves.

The first point of healing is to realize that the beginning of anger is when you blame others. Nobody is willing to be angry with themselves because their ego must be supported. People have no problem blaming others for the things they don’t like because they feel they are justified because “I didn’t do it.”

“They did it.” “It’s their fault.” It may be true, but it doesn’t lead anyone away from anger.

There is a moralistic cancer embedded in the American psyche. The principle of “right” and “wrong” is of course written into the message we hear in the church, it is written into the constitution, and it is all tied up together in the social relationships of our communities. “I have the right to…” is the United States’ mantra.

I was reminded of an interesting point in driving that states “Nobody has the right of way” “Everyone is obliged to give right of way.” This is called “defensive driving”. In other words it means that instead of claiming you have right of way, you should defer right of way or allow the other driver/s to allow you the right of way.

This isn’t actually foreign to Americans at all, because generally speaking Americans do this very well in everyday life. Wait your turn, let others go ahead of you, offer your seat, and so on. These things Americans do extremely well. It became very noticeable during my years in Europe because it isn’t generally practiced in Europe to this extent. I can tell an American in Europe at a train station, airport, or in stores by the way they let others go ahead of them. It is an admirable trait, and when waiting at the stop signs here in America the letting the others go first sort of slows things down. It calms things down.

So, maybe the answer is not so much claiming your right to express yourself, but giving the other person the right of way in expressing themselves. This allowance and patience is sorely needed right now, because at the moment, anger is raging.

Many people are offended at BLM, Black Lives Matter so there is a lot of criticism and quite honestly hate thrown that way. The same with things like LGBTQetc, abortion, gun control, or immigration and so on.

These issues will not be solved by the continual berating of the opposition and a call of masses of people standing up and drawing battle lines. That does nothing but divide further and further.

We have to ask “Does our angry reaction to these trigger issues actually do anything to solve them?” and the answer of course is “no”.

The only way for issues to be solved is for people to accept the fact that “freedom” means that you have to agree that not everyone is going to agree with you and that you are obliged to accept that.

Anger is not a form of expression that should be supported by anyone.

In my family growing up it seemed that anger was the deciding factor in conflicts. Whoever was angriest got their way and in a family of strong willed people that wasn’t a pleasant place to be. There was constant tension in the air. This tension is what we are experiencing as a nation and it has got to stop.

I believe the bottom line in all of this is for a spirit of self criticism should be practiced in the United States. If the purple people have been unjust to the green people then it isn’t up to the green people to force the purple people to suddenly “wake up” and treat them right, no, it is the purple people who must take it upon themselves to admit their fault and correct themselves to do what is right.

America must atone for it’s sins, past and present and acknowledge and correct the injustices of the past. America must admit the injustice of slavery, the forcing of native Americans from their land, the mistreatment of minorities since the civil war, and the overt military actions of the past that has led to much death and injury to innocents.

America must repent for it’s sins, and everyone should work hard on their own attitudes to get to a point where we live in cohabitation based on “Giving the Right of Way to Others.”

Freedom doesn’t mean you can do anything you want, it doesn’t mean chaos, it means that it is the responsibility of everyone to “Yield to others and their right to pursue happiness.” Your freedom ends, where the freedoms of others begins.

Unless there is a new spirit of self-criticism, love, allowance, and confession the situation of anger will not change and we will continue to mire down into a nation divided in the soul.

There is only one way to peace.

You know that achieving peace is something you cannot achieve. Peace is not a result it is a way of living. It is the common denominator of your reaction to life stimuli.

One of my favorite television shows was Kung Fu. But, it wasn’t one of my favorites until these past several years. WHY?

Because I didn’t get it when I was younger. I didn’t understand that the power of peace is having the ability to act with strength, confidence, and skill all within a peaceful demeanor.

It is a skill. It is practiced knowledge, over a long period of time, in a consistent way and you need teachers to help sort out the confusing messages of the world that seem to want to agitate us into submission to our emotions, unchecked. Eye for eye, tooth for tooth, with anger and force and not with calm and leverage.

Part of this knowledge was brought forth by Star Wars whenever the power of “The Force” was discussed. How it can be used for good and bad, but that the negative aspects of the emotions like anger, greed, envy, and revenge lead us down a path of self destruction because the real victim isn’t your opponent when you allow that to happen, but yourself.

A true epiphany is the idea of “The Beginners Mind”. That this “peace” has to be recreated every day and in advance of the day. It is a method of preparation for the day. Meditation, breathing, and centering yourself by doing the same practices on a consistent basis every day without fail.

So, there really is only one path to peace, and that is always the one that signifies the next step and each one create with the same sort of beginner’s mind that doesn’t assume that once you achieve it, you have it, but rather that you can’t achieve it, but have to recreate it for yourself everyday.

The fact is that decay, rot, and rust will happen in life when maintenance isn’t practiced.

It doesn’t take much time, it takes the time you give it, and what a reward it is.

Energy gives more power to how you are feeling, whether stressed or not.

People often say it is good to be full of energy and I get what they mean. But sometimes energy applied to the wrong emotions can cause more harm than good.

Stress gives us a certain kind of energy. I’m not quite sure what to call it really.

I compare it to lifting weights. You are lying on a bench and the barbels are above your head and they are very heavy. It is probably not a good idea to drop them on your head.

So, when you pick the barbels up you give it a lot of energy to suspend that stress then you proceed to ‘pump iron.’ Finally when you are done with that rep you place the barbels back on the rack and you relax.

After a good workout I always sleep really well that night.

That is all fine and good. But what if you have to bear a stressful load all day long, not with weights but with tasks, responsibilities, deadlines and colleagues? Giving a lot of energy into those stress factors uses up a lot of energy and then over time you really run out of it and can get into a situation where you are simply “kaputt.”

Without ‘Serenity’ to handle the stress factors in your life you will eventually wear down and become completely burnt out, angry, resentful and worst of all, unhappy.

I asked myself the question the other day about whether it is healthy not to just blow up every now and then to express how you feel. A lot of people do that. But, that really isn’t fair to those you are around. It isn’t necessarily their fault that you are all wound up. So, this is part of the reason why Serenity is such a great tool when dealing with stress factors.

Serenity keeps you out of the melt down zone.

Just like everything else in life it takes practice. In order to bring Serenity into your life as a powerful tool to handle the difficulties of life it must be practiced regularly and before the beginning of your day, and even time and again during the day.

Those who go through life unaware of the Serenity that they have deep inside of them and never access it live a difficult life and always will. You see it all of the time.

My wish for you is to learn the art of “Serenity” so that you can become truly powerful in yourself and aren’t such a puppet to the whims of the world.

Champion of Serenity

When we think of being a champion, a winner, or a success we generally have a mental picture in our mind of the striving athlete, the aggressive businessperson, or an energetic youth. It is natural to want to be “the best”.

In beginning this article I quickly am reminded of Muhammed Ali who passionately claimed he was “The Greatest of All Time!”. Yes, for him to achieve such wild success and popularity he had to work really hard to become such a skilled boxer. But the fact of the matter is that one of the greatest fighters in the world who ever lived was actually also one of the nicest and serene people you could have ever met.

I actually have shaken hands with Muhammed Ali. My family was at a political meeting in Louisville in support for the candidate for Governor at the time Harvey Sloane, who didn’t win the nomination. After the meeting was over Ali was meeting and greeting people who had come to the event.

I was just a kid at the time and I gotta say that Ali seemed bigger than life to me. He was tall, had broad shoulders and big strong hands. But, when he shook my hands his grip was firm but gentle. He was soft spoken and had just a normal what I would call a “Kentucky” sort of charming smile. There was no agitation in him at all.

Later he always admitted that his “bigmouth” was as much a promotional ploy to get attention and excitement for his fights. He would also comment that saying those things were self-affirming and made him feel stronger inside. But, he was never out of control or violent, always in control and confident.

How did he achieve this? He did it through his religious practice. His practice gave him serenity in a world that was very turbulent.

As a white man from the exact same city as Ali, my experience in the world was much different than his. He was about 18 years older than me, so society was much different for him growing up than it was when I was growing up. There is no way that I can even partially understand the injustice he experienced as a black youth in Louisville growing up.

I’ll admit he was confusing to me at that time because of all of the different opinions being expressed about his art, his refusal to join the Army, and his conversion to Islam. On one hand I admired his courage and liked it that he was able to show such belief in himself, but on the other hand I was concerned about his “avoiding the draft” and not serve his country. I was really young at the time, and I wasn’t quite sure what to think, but I knew one thing, he was standing up for what he truly believed in and didn’t avoid the punishment society gave him for it. I always thought he was right about his stance on that subject. We as free Americans do have the right to stand up for what we believe in without the fear of persecution from the government or society.

So when I think of being a “Champion of Serenity” I think of a real life example of Ali. He was incredibly strong mentally, and not afraid to say what he believed and felt was right.

I know that he had to have been very angry for much of his youth. But he chose to become a man of peace and a man of love with the obvious talents of wit.

But to become a “Champion of Serenity” takes consistent practice while taking part in the world. Anyone can sit in a sanctuary and meditate and be serene, but can you do it amidst the turbulence of life? When all around you is spiraling out of control, can you find your inner anchor, the weight of presence, the keel that steadies the ship in the sea of uncertainty.

Nobody can give you that but people can help you along the way. You have to have it as a principle motivation in your life. The goal of self serenity can only be achieved in the present moment, newly practiced every day and to be serene while on the path to achieving great things in life is possible the number one ingredient for that success.

Being a “Champion of Serenity” makes you a trustworthy person. I think that the thing that made Ali such a popular figure in the world is because people sensed that they didn’t have to fear him. They knew he wouldn’t hurt them. They trusted him as a human being. He understood their pain and showed everyone respect and love.

I often wonder why these are such rare qualities to find in people. I think it is because people are concerned with getting taken advantage of, or it makes you seem vulnerable and can lead to criticism. But mostly it is out of fear.

Fear causes us to build an armor around us where we protect our dearest possession, our heart because it seems so very fragile.

To build a strong heart serenity is the only way to get there. It doesn’t mean to become a passive person it means to become an active member of society who opens their heart to others. I think people are generally attracted to people who have serenity in them.

One thing is for sure, serenity cannot be achieved naturally, it takes practice, commitment, and consistency of those two things. The rewards are great. It means the ability to act when fearful, help when uncertain, and learn when confused.

It all starts with the here and now. If you are constantly looking to the next thing and trying to be past the present moment, then you are causing yourself stress. Conquer the present moment with serenity and become a champion!

The Escape is the Imprisonment: How to free yourself from the world forever.

The Escape is the Imprisonment. What does that mean?

For me it means that the more you try and escape the present moment, your present life situation, and where you are not only physically but also mentally, the more your dissatisfaction grows and the more unhappy you become.

Whenever I find myself being “unhappy”, “frustrated”, and “mal-contented” because of the way things are in my life, I always turn to this short section of text from Eckhart Tolle’s legendary book “The Power of Now.” It reminds me that resistance to the present moment is futile, because you can’t change it and so in order to tolerate life you have to learn “HOW” to embrace it and make it your friend.

Sometimes this is an impossible task it seems. I know it often is for me.

There are a couple of quotes from this text that I would like to hightlight.

‘Is there joy, ease, and lightness in what I am doing?’

If it isn’t, then time is covering up the present moment and life is perceived as a burden or struggle.’ …. ‘it doesn’t mean you need to change WHAT you are doing, it maybe sufficient to change the how.

How is always more important than “What.”

See if you can give much more attention to what you are doing rather than the result of what you want to achieve through it.

“You cannot give your full attention to something and at the same time resist it.”

Neither failure nor success has the power to change your inner state of ‘being’.

You have found your life underneath your life situation.

Your sense of self is derived from “Being” not from your personal past.

You may be able to achieve success “in the world”, on the level of outside evaluation. 

In the deeper dimension of “Being” you are complete and whole now.

I write this because I am reminding myself of these very basic, yet all important truths.

But, I am sharing this because in this time of the Covid19 Virus situation everyone is in a bit of a state of panic or uncertainty for the future. What is going to come of everything and how long will we have to wait until this is over. We are consumed with the element of time, of the worldly, of material things. When now is the best time to take a deep breath, get centered on who we are and who we want to become. We have time now to meditate which is THE practice to stay in the present.

Just try to sit still for a minute, gently and slowly breathing in through the nose and out the mouth and try to focus on a candle light, either real or imaginary, and you will find your mind running to all kinds of topics like a pinball in a pinball machine. You will be thinking about multiple issues in your life, you will be impatiently trying to get this meditation hooey finished so you can get back to being worried about everything.

Staying in the meditation, and not giving in to letting your mind flee the present moment and the thoughts of serenity and peace of the now, you will notice quite easily. Then you take those thoughts and just let them go.

When you act in the peace and serenity of the present moment, you can work on questions, problems, issues, with ease and clarity, not difficulty and confusion.

I realize, that this is the only way for me to be able to cope with the situation I find myself in at present. I invite you to do the same.

“Put your hands to work, and lift your heart to God.”

Shaker Mantra

I know what to do, now I need to do it.

People often believe their answers lies somewhere outside themselves, in another place and time. We conjure up an image of looking at life as being imprisoned and if only we could escape that prison, then we could be free. But the truth is, we must learn to stay imprisoned in the “here and now” and within that prison we can find true freedom deep within our being. You can feel it. It is real. Only then, when you can master the present moment can you find the true value of the moment and glimpse paradise. I wish it for me and for you.