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Where Is Your Focus – Problems or Answers?

Your focus is vital to your quality of livingness. Sometimes, situations demand your attention. Life can get really complicated. Answers may appear few and far between. Is there a solution to this conundrum?

Yes: Thousands of years ago, the Egyptians carved columns at the Temple of Karnak. One of those carvings demonstrate a person’s chin moving from looking straight ahead, turning to one side.  In other words, change what you are looking at – the idea of focus.

In the Bible, Matthew 5:39 states: “But I tell you not to resist an evil person. But whoever slaps on your right cheek, turn the other to him also.” In my Protestant upbringing, it served to teach me that I should be a rug and let others walk all over me as I was doing a holy act. This is known as Pacifism, which by definition is: “Opposition to the use of force under any circumstances; to not return insult for insult, abuse, or revenge .” Religions have been founded on this idea. However, as I grew up, I woke up one day. I realized that others learn nothing if you let them walk all over you, leaving their footprints on your back.  It was not “a holy act.” In fact, it was a form of violence, harming my spirit. I had to get up off the floor, remove the rug from my back, and stand straight. When others (whom I had trained by accepting their poor behaviors without resistance) tried to repeat their acts, I gently but firmly let them know that I was no longer going to accept it. They, of course, kept trying. (After all, I had trained them well.) Surely, I would eventually respond the way they expected.  (It is like someone puts a coin into a pop machine but does not get a can of pop. That person punches the button harder, thinking it will activate. When it does not, anger accelerates to the point of possibly kicking the machine, etc. ) In order to change the interaction level, the perpetrator eventually has to change his/her actions, accepting that you have changed. If not, he/she leaves. You might lose a supposed friend or two, but you will be better off in the long run because you will attract others who will respect you.

I found that “turning the other cheek” actually goes back to when Joseph was sold into slavery and taken to Egypt. He knew what the teaching was behind the Temple of Karnak carving. If one changes what you are looking at (your focus), you can become more aware of answers and solutions that were excluded by the narrowness of your focus – just like a camera lens – whatever it is focused on appears in the frame, and the rest is excluded. Life is like that.

If you want to stay on the level of the problem, all you have to do is keep thinking, emotionalizing, and talking about it. The more energy you pour into it, the bigger it appears. You are, in fact, turning a mole hill into a mountain no one can climb. You may want someone to rescue you (as you are a victim), saving you from whatever is going on. Fact: The more you claim yourself to be a victim, the more reasons you attract to feel that way. It reinforces itself, always.

How do you break the flow of negative synergy? Change what you are focusing on. It is that simple, and that hard. Habits are hard to break. That includes mental, emotional, physical, and spiritual ones. Awareness is the beginning of change. Realizing that something is not working is the beginning of a new plan of action. Find something that does work for you. Write out a list of possibilities.

The Power of Nonresistance has been glorified by many, but is actually understood by few. In Matthew 5:5, it states, “Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth.” Meekness, again, is taught to us as: “Patient and mild; not inclined to anger or resentment; too submissive; easily imposed on; spineless; spiritless.” Here is an idea for you: Meekness actually means “teachable” – the ability to bend with the winds of life so we do not break. Think about it: Can you learn to “bend with the winds” instead of becoming rock-hard in your opinions and actions? Submissiveness and obsequiousness can only lead to more trouble. If you are a person, you need to stand up for what you believe in. You are entitled to respect, safety, and the ability to express your ideas and opinions.

It is a well-known fact that water wears away rock. Just look at the Grand Canyon to confirm that idea. Why does it work so well? Water flows around the rocks. It is the act of flowing that wears the rock away. Can you see that “bending with the winds of life” is the same principle as “water wears away rock?” It is, you know.

Meekness and turning the other cheek actually go hand in hand, after all. Interesting concept, isn’t it? Are you willing to contemplate how you might solve problems in your life by changing your attitudes, actions, and choices?

God’s blessings upon your journey!

Grand Canyon, AZ

Grand Canyon, AZ

Grand Canyon - South Rim About Sunset

Grand Canyon – South Rim About Sunset

Grand Canyon - South Rim

Grand Canyon – South Rim

 

 

Growth Happens From The Inside To the Outside

As you watch the trees, Growth Happens From the Inside To the Outside. Some of the bark peels off, but enough of it stays to add to the tree ring which scientists use to tell the age of the tree. Each ring represents a year of life for that tree. The tree draws sustenance from its root system, the sap, and the leaves, which use photosynthesis to feed the tree. No matter how little the tree is or how big, the above holds true.

So, if you were a tree, what would your ring look like? How is your root system? How do you nourish yourself? Would you be a healthy tree, or a spindly sapling?

Your root system is your beliefs. The Religion you espouse yourself to be is a belief system.  Do you live your beliefs? Or is it a Sunday only kind of thing? Is it a healthy one, or not?

The Aspen trees can become quite big. Yet, when you look at their root system, it is very shallow and small. A strong wind can blow it over.

When you look at a Maple tree, its root system is huge and can be up to 1-1/2 times its height.  Strong winds may break off a branch, but not the tree.

Cottonwoods can become rather large. Yet they rot and deteriorate from the inside. When the winds blow them over or break them, they are hollow inside.

Which tree would you want to be most like? Are your beliefs so strong that, though strong winds of life may blow, you are able to bend with the wind and not break? Or is it shallow and built on what others have told you for years? Have you put to use the words so they become part of your story? Or do they lie fallow, like a field that is not planted?

Do you sometimes feel hollow inside? Perhaps you are unsure of yourself and lack confidence in your decision-making capability. Perhaps you have low self esteem, established when others told you that you did not measure up. Believe it or not, these are repairable. You are not doomed to be that way forever.

The sap of the tree is likened to your mind chatter. How is it you are thinking? This is what feeds your tree. Are you sometimes poisoning your tree by condemning yourself for some shortcoming, either perceived or real? Self condemnation is the biggest inhibitor to growth and change that exists.

The leaves are your daily actions, which generate life-giving, spirit-lifting moments and experiences. Do you take action mindfully or do you just slop along, doing what you do without enthusiasm? What do your leaves look like? Are they vibrant and colorful or wilting and sad?

Together, all of these analogies speak to someone who is enjoying their life, whatever that looks like. The trees I speak of are whole beings, and so are you. One cannot take just one element of it and have it survive. It takes the entire system in order to be complete.

Jesus talked many times of ATONEMENT. What if you were to break it apart into AT-ONE-MENT? Would it mean something entirely new to you?

The winds of life come at us every day in varying force and velocity. How you tend to your tree (yourself) will determine how you can survive it, learn from it, and go forth with a happy heart.

Are you willing to look at the elements of your tree: Is your belief system firmly rooted, able to guide you come what may? Do you control your mind chatter, directing it wisely into good channels of thought,  or does it control you, dictating to you about every detail of your existence? Are your daily actions mindfully and thoughtfully directed or willy-nilly, being blown every which direction?

Take hope. You can use the power of CHOICE and begin to learn to change whatever you think you need to. Books, teachers, workshops, preachers, etc., can all play a part in your growth. Once you DECIDE to implement some new directions in your life, the LAW OF ATTRACTION will come into play. SERENDIPITY and SYNCHRONICITY will unleash their powers for you.

Are you willing to take a close look at your personal tree of life in order to determine if changes are needed? Is the Status Quo good enough for you? Are you willing to live the way you do for the rest of your life? Only you can answer that question.

Rest assured that growth does, indeed, happen from the inside to the outside of you!

God’s blessings upon your journey!

Colorful Trees

Colorful Trees

Colorful Leaves

Colorful Leaves

 

 

 

 

 

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