Author Archives: upliftingthoughts4u

Celebrate Being Alive!

Everything has been so negative for so long. There have been so many worries and apprehensions to cause anxiety because most are beyond your control.

Oh, Wait!

Are you breathing? Can you breathe deeply?

Do your eyes see something beautiful in your surroundings?

Does your nose smell some lovely scent that tickles your fancy?

Can you walk?

Do your arms move well?

Do your hands work?

Can you smile?

In short, where is your attention? Is it on things you cannot possibly do anything about? Or can you kiss and hug your loved ones? Touch is so very important from the moment of birth until your last breath.

Are you using your awareness to sweeten your days and those of your loved ones?

So much has been lost due to exterior realities.

Focus is vital to regain control of your body, mind and thoughts. Where is your attention?

If there are no tigers, lions, or bears to run from to save your life, the wear and tear of anxieties are not only useless but harmful.

Concentrate on the good things instead of dwelling on what you cannot personally control or change.

Life is short. Enjoy what you can while you can. Focus on what is in your area of choice so you may make better use of your time and energy.

God bless your journey!

Savor the Flavor

The world is moving so very fast around us. Tempus Fugit. Yes, time does indeed fly, and it is speeding up daily. The only question a few of us stop long enough to answer is: How do we slow the speed of life passing by us every day, literally? It is like riding in a chariot with four beautiful horses speedily pulling you along, but the catch is that you are not holding onto the reins to guide the course of your team or your chariot. It is like riding in a ship on a storm-tossed sea with no one at the helm steering, with only a dim idea of survival or destination.

Question: What was the last meal you ate, and how did it taste? Do you remember any spices or scents? How many times have you simply ran out of time for yourself or family, but it is time to eat? You think of all the fast food restaurants in your area, pick one, order, pick it up, drive it home, and sit down at the table, television, or gaming area to chow down. You are too tired to think of anything better at this point. You even fall into bed, sleep restlessly, and then get up to start it all over again!

Is there a better way to handle your life and how fast you are moving? Absolutely! Become aware of how this occurs (possibly thinking it is required by family members, coworkers, or bosses). As a spectator of all of it, you can gain insight much more quickly into what is really going on. Your feelings of stress, anxiety, and all emotions in the negative realm can enhance every incident, causing you to become a puppet instead of the puppeteer!

They say that the beginning of change is when you get an idea that things need to happen. That one awareness can open many doors, behind which information is available for your personal life. Each one is unique with different needs and approaches to bring changes about. Classes will be brought to your attention. Physical exercise becomes a part of your life because the endorphins released bring positive forward motion to your thinking. Perhaps you will suddenly see the reins you dropped to your chariot and find a way to regain them. Meditation and deep breathing are keys as well.

Life cannot get the better of you unless you let it occur. No decision becomes a decision anyway. You can continue along your path with the mindless pace you experience every moment of your day, or you can choose to stop, decide to be the puppeteer instead of the puppet, and find peace.

You see, life is meant to be savored…every moment of what God has granted us is so very precious. Why would you want less than that? No matter how short or how long you live, quality of life is vital to the process. Do you want to begin to savor the flavor of food and each moment as it passes or not?

Perspective makes all the difference in the world, after all. God created you to experience life the best you can, with dreams of more to come. You were not created as a robot with no choice of your own. You can indeed choose to be that, but the expense is so very great as the sands of your life slip away. It is all up to you! Are you willing?

God’s blessings on your journey!

Aging and Adaptation

As we age, so much has changed in the world. What we once considered normal has been replaced by a world that is often beyond our understanding. Certainly, life goes on. Our grandchildren talk about their games as though they are the only reality, and we look at them with a jaundiced eye, thinking: “What are they talking about?” I am certain they look at us with the same opinion.

If we live long enough, our bodies become frailer and more subject to whatever malady comes our way. We remember being able to walk for long periods of time, enjoying the outdoors and activities that pleasure us. Then we could bend down easily as we work with our flowers or do yardwork with vim and vigor. Well, that is no longer true. We must adapt to what our bodies will let us do so that we do not injure ourselves. I personally must go fetch a store person to get items on the lower or upper shelf.

As for maladies, we have to watch our bodies carefully so we can pay attention to when they need a little assistance to keep on going. Our doctors help us with medicines, physical therapy, and sometimes surgeries. I, for one, am grateful for their assistance because I remember my father passing away at the young age of 43 from complications from a duodenal ulcer surgery. The miracles of this age we are living in constantly amaze me because there are new medicines, surgeries, and new techniques, i.e., removing the appendix through a small hole in the side in lieu of cutting one open.

Life does indeed go on if we are lucky. I personally have experienced friends and relatives who have passed away at a much younger age than I. Grief is a hard thing to bear. It can be formidable. It can involve so many different emotions and takes such a long time to work through. Memories offer some solace, as does knowing that person is in a better place or is no longer in pain.

Aging can be a blessing, if we let it be that. We can exercise, do yoga, deep breathing, and whatever activity adds joy to our lives such as luncheon with friends, listening to good music or reading a good book. We can take classes in so many subjects. The Great Courses offer home learning at an affordable price so we can read the book that comes with the class and play the DVD at our pace of learning. There is always the availability of classes in our local colleges, churches, and Community Centers. There are many social events like cards, Bingo, and group activities to feed our socialization needs.

Adaptation to our needs is a requirement and a necessity. We no longer have the option of thinking that things will stay the same. That is so far from the truth. Our children and their children live in a different world than we can understand. We are forced to reach out into their world so we can communicate effectively, show them love in a way they can accept, and help them to learn to adapt to circumstances as we have had to do.

Life continues, and so should we. Wherever we are, we can still think positively, act appropriately, and always love others the best we can. Are you able to do that? It is a matter of choices, after all. Are you willing?

God’s blessings on your journey!

Struggling?

The definition for STRUGGLING is: “Striving to achieve or attain something in the face of difficulty or resistance.” That truly says it all, including all the issues one can face during this tumultuous time.

Thousands of years ago, Epictetus said, “It’s not what happens to you, but how you react to it that matters.” It is precisely what determines how you learn your life’s lessons, leading to your destiny.

So much has happened, and continues to happen, during these last two years. Unbelievable things occur every day now in every area of our lives. Some have lost loved ones, homes or places to live, friends, acquaintances, etc. As a nation, we are literally struggling in so many ways. Your mind reels from everyday happenstances. So how do you overcome these outside stimuli?

Your reactions to each and every one of these will indeed guide your footsteps. Are you taking a deep breath, step into a quiet place for a moment, and become still? Is this one of your possibilities? It’s like the old adage of “Counting to 10” before you act in lieu of reacting immediately. When acting, you have taken the time to look at different solutions in order to select the right one for you. If you are reacting, chaos reigns. Which do you want to perpetuate?

It is in your power to do this, if you are willing to accept the idea into your reality. It can be small things or humongous ones! Mountains vs. mole hills.

Life goes on, nonetheless. Choose wisely.

God’s blessings on your journey!

From Bud to Bloom

God created us to flourish. We are each born with seeds of our highest good inside of us. These seeds, once planted in good soil and nourished, proceed by expanding beyond its shell, growing upwards towards the light, becoming a stem, then buds which proceed to blossom.

Are you tending to your inner garden so your seeds will expand into your reality? Quietness of spirit, enjoying the sounds of birds twittering, watching the natural world around you as it changes daily, and developing an awareness of your possibilities to change and become a reality in your experiences daily…all of these happen as you nourish your spirit.

How do you do that? By getting off the merry-go-round of life. Sounds easy, yes? Actually, it is…but we are so used to the busyness of our life that we never stand still.

Psalm 46:10 says: “Be still and know…”

Can you do that?

That commandment is a key to unfoldment of inner peace and a sense of tranquillity that guides you through everything if you just begin to understand it. It is said that just thinking about something new is the beginning of change.

Meditation and reading on subjects that nourish your inner garden is a wonderful beginning. Use your time wisely. Notice the many ways God brings your attention to the beauty and wonder innate in your surroundings wherever you are. Feed your soul. Every child knows this. Watch their curiosity bounding forth as they explore their world, using all their senses to see, touch, feel, taste, etc. Each one has a passion to really live. You, too, can do that.

Imagine you are living in a box of your own making. You have put a lot of effort into it, including and excluding items with every choice you make. But your box does not have a lid, so peer over the top to see what is out there that the walls of your box has excluded.

Life is meant to be lived…not on a merry-go-round of your own making. Tend to your inner garden faithfully and watch the blooms come forth! Imagine it! Wow!

Bloom where you are planted!

God’s blessings on your journey.

Hub of the Wheel = Peace

Imagine a large wheel like on a Conestoga wagon or a bicycle. It is round with spokes of metal or wood going to the center hub. All the motion takes place on the circumference or outer edges of the wheel while the hub center is still.

Now think of all the activities you do each day. Think of how busy you are from the time you get up until you go to bed. These are on the circumference. Some days you feel like you have been run over or left behind.

The world today is filled to the brim with doubts and fears of so many things. How can you maintain your center in this crazy world?

The answer lies in what you are focusing your attention on and what emotions and thoughts you are reacting to. Sound simple? Actually, it is. Strangely enough, it is demonstrated on a column in the Temple at Karnak in Egypt. There is a figure shown there who is moving its head from one cheek to another. Jesus said to “turn the other cheek.” Somehow, this lesson has been abused so badly that it interprets to a “It’s OK to hit me again!” mindset. What it literally means is:  Change Your Focus!

So how do you manage to perform this task when every minute something more is added to your “To Do List” for the day? It begins and ends with your thoughts and emotions.

Do you long for PEACE and Stillness of Heart and Mind? It is yours immediately when you move from being on the circumference of the wheel to its center! Take deep breaths! Close your eyes! When your monkey (busy) mind draws your attention to things on the circumference, take another moment to brush that thought away without resistance or dwelling on it. Begin to imagine a place with great beauty and quiet. It could be a majestic memory, a mountain cabin, or a peaceful beach. Mine is a wondrous garden filled with scents from the fabulous flowers. I am sitting on a bench, quietly absorbing my surroundings. All else is dimmed like a person in a balloon who can hear sounds from far away till that, too, fades away. This excursion of your mind can take but a few moments, but it will move you from chaos to peace.

When you open your eyes, your perspective is changed. You have found your center and become a spectator of the things on your circumference in lieu of being a participant in the craziness. With that, you can choose to act calmly instead of reacting to outside stimuli. As you continue to breathe deeply, you can then take whatever actions you deem appropriate to those activities on your circumference, but your heart and mind are at PEACE!

Can you imagine a greater gift that you can give yourself? I think not. Peace is yours whenever you stop for a moment and move from the circumference to the hub.

Choose wisely for the choice is yours alone.

God’s blessings on your journey.

The Problem of Doubt

When you pray and finish with “Amen,” your thoughts, words, and feelings have created a mold which God can fulfill.

Do you know that God hears you? Or does doubt assail your thoughts and emotions, like:

“I know God has more important matters to attend to.”

“Perhaps I only thought I was praying to God that can hear me, but it was actually only a busy signal on His phone.”

“I am unworthy to ask these things.”

“I am a hopeless, hapless sinner so why would God answer me?”

“Are you really there, God?”

“Can you even hear me?”

Many are the thoughts that can “water down” the effectiveness of your prayers if you continue to dwell on them instead of your prayer. Where is your focus?

Do you know that God is your loving Companion every day with whom you can share your thoughts and feelings, good or bad, knowing that there is no judgment on His part? Does He walk by your side every day, attending to your needs as well as your prayers?

Is this really a possibility…that His phone can never be BUSY and that He hears and cares about you personally?

Is He a living presence that accompanies you wherever you go, helping you every day to endure the daily wear and tear of daily life, comforting you when you are sad, ill, or feeling a loss? Does He rejoice with you when you are celebrating and happy? Some people think God is only needed when you are in distress of some kind.

I can readily assure you that God is there for you every step of the way, every minute…whether you are waking or sleeping. He is ready to listen and aid you in your hours of need or bliss.

However, the power of doubt can erase this connection so powerfully that you can actually believe all your negative doubts that are like those mentioned above.

If you think He is not there for you, He isn’t because you let go of His Guiding and Loving Hand.

You must choose what to believe—He can be your Companion, or you can be all alone in your misery. It’s all up to you.

God’s blessings on your journey.

Your Life Is Your Mirror

Your life reflects your words, thoughts, and emotions/feelings. What are you dwelling on, thinking about, speaking, feeling?

“How can this be?” you may ask yourself. “Surely this is a joke!” Sad to say, it is not.

So look around you. Stop for a moment and concentrate on your life as it exists at this moment. What do you see? How do you feel? Is it beautiful or ugly? Are you peaceful or being torn apart by your inner lions? Anger, fear, hatred, and all separating emotions fall into this category. How do you tame them? Do you even want to? Are you so certain that your reactions to outside stimuli command these lions to come forth (so you cannot help or stop them)? Is it worth the price you pay? Are you so righteous that it justifies them?

When you close your eyes at night, what do you see, think about, and remember? Savoring that moment when you discovered something so beautiful that it made you stop in your tracks? Beautiful flowers, sunsets, some kindness that was given to you, a hug, a smile, a kiss perhaps? Life can be magical even in these trying times where so many are suffering from unimaginable tragedies. The question becomes:
What are you dwelling on? Is it one of life’s injustices common in these days? Or would you rather think, speak, and feel about ARK: Acts of Random Kindness that you did for others which were returned to you?

The lions inside of every one of us really do become the kings of our inner beings, dictating our life, reactions, and thoughts toward whatever is wrong with our own personal world. The good things disappear in the mist of our mind. When one looks around and finds hopelessness, fatigue, and sadness, you can rest assured that the restless lions are at work in your particular world.

In order to tame those lions, many suggest that deep breathing in the middle of the daily battle (if battle it be) and meditating on uplifting thoughts can give you moments of the peace you seek.

Bad things happen to all of us on this third rock from the sun. No matter how good or how bad a person we are, what we sow, we reap. In some cases, a few plant bad seeds of discontent, etc. There is enough of a mirage surrounding these few that they seem believable in the extreme, and like the pied piper calling the lemmings to the sea, they are followed willingly, much to our sadness and regret.

But you can decide if you want the lions inside of you to reign supreme or seek a new way to think, speak, and feel. That mirror will bring the wonder of life magically back to your eyes and heart. Are you willing to use that mirror to seek the changes you need so you can experience peacefulness once more? It is, after all, up to you.

God’s blessings on your journey!

Emotions Play a Vital Part in Prayer

Before words come thoughts. These evolve and involve emotions. Thoughts are the engine, and emotions are the gasoline that drives it. So, emotions do, indeed, play a vital part in prayers.

Prayers are more than supplications to a higher Being. They are building blocks towards a better life for ourselves and others. They form the light that guides us on our way each and every day. It is that light and awareness that we share with others who touch our lives, possibly for a moment and maybe a lifetime. It forms the basis of who we really are…before we open our mouths to communicate.

If this premise is true (and I believe and know that it is), it should commend the idea of examining our thoughts and emotions before, during, and after we pray. What is it that you are feeling and thinking right now? These will generate joy instead of sadness, peace of mind vs. experiencing harried, hectic, and unhappy situations.

It is all up to you. Do you choose to throw gas on a fire which is already consuming you or pour water over it, calming reactions and your spirit?

It is within your power every day to choose which ones that will help or hurt you. Words, thoughts, and emotions bring so much power into your life, for good or ill.

It is up to you. Are you willing to look at that idea?

God’s blessing upon your journey.

Merry Christmas!

Long ago and far away, the reason for the season was born. He was a humble man, born in a stable. Life for him was simple. His message was clear, free from complications, and full of love for mankind.

But as we look at the Christmas Season today, it is filled with so many things to do that we drop into bed exhausted by the day’s activities and expectations. Have you ever stopped to think about why?

It should be time filled with good memories, moments of love and good will shared with others we care about. However, it is often a time of great stress, both personally and financially. Have you ever stopped to ask yourself why that happens? It is a time filled with overdone to-do lists, stressed out, short breathing, and exhaustion. Does that sound merry? Nope.

When was the last time you took time for yourself to stop and enjoy the fleeting moments of your life? How are you breathing? Is it short and from the chest? Or is it relaxed and coming from the stomach, filling your lungs with life-giving oxygen?

Yes, it is a time for celebrating other people in your life. Does it come from expensive gifts you cannot afford? Or is it gifts from the heart, no matter how small? Is it baked goods, cooked with a happy heart, sharing of your energies and time? Do you stop to actually listen to others? Sometimes, that is the greatest gift of all. People in our world are crying out to know they exist. Is it a smile or a shoulder to cry on?

Life can be so much simpler if you let it be that. Look hard at your to-do lists. Examine them carefully. Is each item coming from a heart brimming with joy or expectations? Hope for a better world, no matter how small an action?

Your attitude of gratitude is necessary from beginning to end. Do you spend even five minutes of your day being grateful for the good in your life? This is vital to your well-being.

It is the way you give a gift and not the gift itself, after all. It is an expression of the love, appreciation, and joy that the gift is given. It is not the amount of money spent on it, but the act itself of remembering.

They say that the first gift you buy should be one for yourself. Do you do that? Have you ever done it?

This is the most beautiful time of year, filled with so much to be thankful for: Eyes that see, ears that hear, taste buds that celebrate the many delights of food made especially during this season, and the touch of others – be it an elbow bump, a hug, or a massage.

Remember: Life is so precious. Take time for yourself so you can relax into the season. Do not overextend your energy levels. Do what you can do each day, and do it with a happy heart filled with the joy of life. What more could you ask of yourself? That takes deep breathing, which goes away with the first moment of stress and anxiety. Stop and query: Is this act/gift, etc., really necessary? If exhaustion is a factor, take care of yourself first, not last. We only get so much energy to spend each day. Make each detail of your day count towards that end. Life will go on, whether you drop into bed at night, still filled with the stresses of the day, or if you relax before going to bed, counting the blessings of the day.

Life can be so much simpler if you put some thought into it. Are you willing?

Warmest wishes for the happiest of Holiday Seasons!

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