In the movie”Shogun,” an actor (Yabu) says, “Life is just the single beat of a butterfly’s wings!”
From an observer perspective, that is a very true statement.
You got to make the morning last
Just kicking down the cobble stones
Looking for fun and feelin’ groovy
I’ve come to watch your flowers growing
Ain’t cha got no rhymes for me?
Doot-in’ doo-doo, feelin’ groovy
I’m dappled and drowsy and ready to sleep
Let the morning time drop all its petals on me
Life, I love you, all is groovy”
The popularity of fast food outlets speaks to how fast we are moving. As one eats on the run, gobbling up whatever food that has been chosen, did you savor the taste of it? Did you enjoy the scent of the apple before you bit into it? Have you heard a song so soothing that it stopped you in your tracks to listen to it? Or perhaps it had a beat that made you want to dance?
If you are healthy, did you thank God for how well your body is working? If you are not, did you know in your heart that you would soon experience being full of vitality again. Perhaps you are recovering from surgery or a health issue. Do you ever stop to smell a flower or listen to a child’s laugh? What is your focus? So many times, ill health makes one’s mind turn in. The only discussion possible is how badly things are going with you.
Life goes on all around us. Yet in our urge to hurry, the point of haste is forgotten. The difference is addressed in The Majesty of Calmness by William George Jordan, written in 1898. “Nature is very un-American. Nature never hurries. Every phase of her working shows plan, calmness, reliability, and the absence of hurry. Hurry always implies lack of definite method, confusion, impatience of slow growth. The Tower of Babel, the world’s first skyscraper, was a failure because of hurry. The workers mistook their arrogant ambition for inspiration. They had too many builders, – and no architect. They thought to make up the lack of a head by a superfluity of hands. This is characteristic of Hurry. It seeks ever to make energy a substitute for a clearly defined plan, – the result is ever as hopeless as trying to transform a hobbyhorse into a real steed by brisk riding. Hurry is a counterfeit of haste. Haste has an ideal, a distinct aim to be realized by the quickest, direct methods. Haste has a single compass upon which it relies for direction and in harmony with which its course is determined. Hurry says: ‘I must move faster. I will get three compasses; I will have them different; I will be guided by all of them. One of them will probably be right.’ Hurry never realizes that slow careful foundation work is the quickest in the end. Hurry has ruined more Americans than has any other word in the vocabulary of life. It is the scourge of America; and is both a cause and a result of our high-pressure civilization.”
I have asked myself what the author would make out of our world today, 120 years later? So the idea of “slow down, you move too fast” has greater meaning to us now than it ever has! Hurry has expanded to almost everywhere on the globe as well. Very few places are exempt from it.
You see cell phones and every other electronic technology in action everywhere. The use of these has increased our efficiency and saved us so much time. But how is that saved time being spent? Are you moving slower or faster?
If, indeed, “Life is just the single beat of a butterfly’s wings!” – perhaps one can choose to slow down just a bit, use Haste instead of Hurry, and use your five senses to experience and savor the flavor of your life. It is your choice. What will it be?
God’s blessings upon your journey!
Posted in Uplifting Thoughts
Tags: awareness, blessings, butterfly, choices, fast food, five senses, flower, focus, God, haste, healthy, Hibiscus, hurry, illness, journey, life, metaphysics, New Age, New thought, Savor the flavor of Life, surgeries, thoughts, To Do Lists, Truth, understanding, willing, wisdom
The Christmas story, as told in Luke 2:7 states: “And she brought forth her firstborn Son, and wrapped Him in swaddling clothes, and laid Him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the Inn.”
The first part of that sentence — all the way up through “manger” captures our attention. But I would like to draw your attention to the last words in the sentence: “…no room for them in the Inn.”
During the Christmas season, busyness rules many people’s lives, dictating a hurry and scurry that tires the body and soul. There are lists to make, gifts to buy and wrap, cards to get ready to mail, parties to attend, and festivities/programs to partake of. All of these are great and useful.
But what if you stopped to think about your life and heart as a manger where the Christ child could rest?
Are you moving so fast to participate in all your activities that there is no quiet time to speak of the manger and what it could mean to you?
Is your life like the Inn where there is no room for the ideas of faith, peace, love, hope and joy – the quintessence of the Christmas Spirit?
Whoa! Slow down! Breathe deeply now.
Every day, your brain, heart, and body need to take the time for your own good in order to make room in your being for focusing on the qualities that make up the quintessence of the Christmas Spirit — the Faith which helps you along your way, the stillness of Peace, the Love of self and others, the Hope of a better day, and the Joy of life and more livingness daily.
It would only take a few minutes, but if you choose to spend that time, the gifts that will bring will last all day long. Are you willing?
God’s blessing be upon you and your journey! Merry Christmas to all and a Happy New Year!
Posted in Uplifting Thoughts
Tags: attitude, awareness, blessings, Breathe Deeply, busyness, choices, Christ child, Christmas Spirit, faith, focus, God, hope, hurry, journey, joy, life, livingness, Love, Manger, metaphysics, New Age, New thought, Peace, quiet, thoughts, Truth, understanding, willing, wisdom
Webster’s Dictionary defines Mindfulness as: “Having in mind; aware.”
The Google for Mindfulness says:
1.the quality or state of being conscious or aware of something.“their mindfulness of the wider cinematic tradition”
2.a mental state achieved by focusing one’s awareness on the present moment, while calmly acknowledging and accepting one’s feelings, thoughts, and bodily sensations, used as a therapeutic technique.”
Your choices are clear: Get on that spinning merry-go-round and keep going until you drop from fatigue, OR STOP, BREATHE, Prioritize, figure out what is number one, do that, and then move on to number two. Anything else leads to insanity and ill health.
Besides, it does not work very well if you just jump on and keep going. Even Type A personalities get tired.
Meditation is taught in so many forms these days. If you need a quiet mind to function at your optimum level (and most people do), even a few moments in the morning before you begin your day is enough. Beauty is everywhere around us. Look for it. Take a few seconds to enjoy it. It just takes Focus and Awareness.
When the tempo of the dance of your life picks up to a pace where you can no longer keep your rhythm, something has to change. You just have to decide what that is. Are you willing?
God’s blessings upon your journey!
Imagination is a wonderful characteristic to have. Like most things, it has its good and bad sides. The good sides can be seen everywhere: Creating a beautiful garden or landscape; writing a book; painting a picture; decorating a cake or a room; dancing; etc. The bad sides are not so obvious: Being afraid of monsters under the bed or in the closet; Phobias about anything from spiders to heights; fear of something in the future or consequences of what is past; etc. In fact, it is easy to see the negative side in others, but it is not so easy to spot it in yourself.
Imagination can be extremely helpful in Visioning a better outcome or future because you are dwelling on the positive side of it all. In a way, you are creating a mold of what you would like to have or see happen. The Power of Attraction then creates synergy to bring it forth.
One example of the bad side is a person who is a shut in with many ailments and pains, the Imagination works upside down, enhancing how awful your reality is. Your awareness of anything outside of your area is automatically eliminated. News from the outside world is not important. If anything, one probably picks up on the negative news. Things begin a downward spiral, like a snowball going downhill. The synergy brought forth is not anything desirable.
Other examples are workers who are on a treadmill of life, barely able to feel in control of their choices because of the demands on their time: Travel time to and from work, young children, perhaps parents who are in need of care taking. In short, the idea of making time for exercise, walking, reading, or taking a long bath and just relaxing are just a dream. Yet they are essential to personal health and well-being.
The question becomes: What do you want to occur? What do you choose to dwell on?
It is this choice that becomes the difference. If one continues to dwell on the negative, the snowball continues on its way. If a glimmer of a positive can be introduced into the imagination, the snowball can be stopped and a new synergy begins.
However, most people are not proactive about making changes in their reality.
If they experience fear, it immobilizes and restricts, making it impossible or extremely difficult to deal with. That immobilization/restriction causes consequences that multiply exponentially with time. They longer one waits to decide on a plan of action, the more severe the situation becomes.
Fear begets fear.
“Only Thing We Have to Fear Is Fear Itself”: FDR’s First Inaugural Address.
The message here is that hesitation has a price you may not want to pay. It may not be today or tomorrow, but it is inevitable if you do nothing.
So how about you? Do you want to use your imagination in a constructive way? Are you so caught up in the daily humdrum of your existence that you do not think about a different possibility? It is your choice, and not making a choice becomes exactly that, a choice. What is your decision?
God bless you on your journey!
Tempus Fugit! (Time Flies!) As I age, it seems like the hours, days, months, years just evaporate before my eyes. It appears to be a time warp, yet it is not.
If one were to think about the word, “Cherish,” its many connotations explain the deepest, most meaningful use of the word: “To feel or show great love for something or someone; to remember or hold an idea or belief in a deeply felt way; to harbor in the mind deeply and resolutely.” There is nothing casual about this word.
Each and every day, each person gets on the treadmill of life, doing activities and work, play, exercise, etc. So I am asking you to pay attention to the people in your life, young or old, boss or coworkers, your child or someone else’s – just notice how you interact with each one. Ask yourself, “If I never see that person again, can I live with what I just said? Was it kind or mean? Did I share a smile or a frown?” Instead of just trying to get through the day, why not experience each moment as it comes? Soon enough, the day will be gone. Are you happy with it or not? Is there something you would change? Do you wish you could “unsay” something? If you are not paying attention, a lot of things just slide right on by, good, bad, or indifferent. Is that OK with you?
If you decide to cherish each moment, you will notice a significant change in how fast the hours disappear. The people in your life will feel your affection and thoughts, simplifying interactions tremendously.
It is, after all, solely your choices which will make a difference. Choose Wisely vs. Poorly.
God’s blessings upon your journey.
One example of “Pushing the River” is: Have you ever been in a hurry to drive somewhere and getting really irritated at stop lights and pokey drivers? That is an example of “Pushing the River.” The fix is simple: be where you are, concentrating on the moment.
Perhaps things are not going according to your plans, or something unexpected happens to delay you. These are examples of “Pushing the River” because you are getting upset, excited, or angry about whatever it is. However, the answer is always the same: Be in the moment, experiencing your life and resolving the situation.
It sounds pretty simple, yet it can be as complicated as you make it. Life will go on, either way.
But the more you experience negative emotions (upset, angry, irritation, etc.), the less livingness you have. You are giving your power away to others and to situations that are, obviously, not under your control. Your response is your life expressing.
Have you taken the time to analyze yourself: Are you a Type A personality or Type B?
Type A personalities (per Wikipedia) are “ambitious, rigidly organized, highly status-conscious, sensitive, impatient, take on more than they can handle, want other people to get to the point, anxious, proactive, and concerned with time management. People with Type A personalities are often high-achieving workaholics, push themselves with deadlines, and hate both delays and ambivalence…Dangerous Type A behavior is expressed through three major symptoms: (1) free-floating hostility, which can be triggered by even minor incidents; (2) time urgency and impatience, which causes irritation and exasperation – usually described as being short-fused; and (3) a competitive drive, which causes stress and an achievement-driven mentality.”
Type B personalities (again per Wikipedia) are “noted to live at lower stress levels. They typically work steadily, and may enjoy achievement, although they have a greater tendency to disregard physical or mental stress when they do not achieve. When faced with competition, they may focus less on winning or losing than their Type A counterparts and more on enjoying the game regardless of winning or losing. Unlike the Type A personality’s rhythm of multi-tasked careers, Type B individuals are sometimes attracted to careers of creativity: writer, counselor, therapist, actor or actress. However, network and computer systems managers, professors, and judges are more likely to be Type B individuals as well. Their personal character may enjoy exploring ideas and concepts. They are often reflective, and think of the outer and inner world.”
It is readily apparent that Type B personalities are more relaxed and approach problems differently than Type A personalities. You can sense the wear and tear that Type A people experience. Can you recognize your traits as more of one of these than the other? It is possible to be a mix, of course. But it is the predominance of one over the other which can rule each day.
Pushing the River is like a Commandment: Thou shalt do this or else! “My way or the highway” people have less flexibility in living and choices that they see from their frame of reference. Every other possibility is nixed before they become aware of such an idea. Can you see how limiting that can be?
Would you rather be relaxed, floating on an inner tube, paddling at will than be on a Class V river rafting trip? Life can be hard enough without starting out every day with a Class V. Wouldn’t you agree?
Can you get the sense of flowing with life’s experiences each day, seeing where it takes you? Yes, there are things that need doing – in their time. Nothing wrong with that idea. It’s just proceeding as if you have a guided tour vs. a Tour de France push. Can you sense the difference?
Are you willing to look at your daily choices to begin to make some required changes so you can live with less stress, anxiety, and anger? It is, after all, your choices that will make a new beginning for you. Are you willing?
God’s blessings upon your journey!
As I left Walmart recently, I looked to the east and saw the most beautiful rainbow I have ever seen! It was so bright and clear as the sun was setting. Beneath the rainbow was a light blue sky. Above the rainbow was a darker, cloud-filled sky. Above that was a mystery rainbow that was almost there but not quite. What an amazing sight it was! I do wish I had my camera with me so I could capture it, but it was placed instead in my heart, mind, and memory as clearly as if I had taken a picture.
My point is that, if my mind had been busy on some problem, I probably would not have had the Awareness to see the Beauty in my surroundings in that moment of time.
Does your mind play tricks on you as well? We are so caught up in our thought processes that the Present just slips by, unnoticed. I wonder how much Beauty we miss every day?
What if one is so caught up in an electronic gadget that you remain unaware of anything but the screen? That happens more often as the technology produces even greater toys for us to play with.
Awareness and Focus are actually the same thing. How about you? What do you keep in your attention zone? Is it worthwhile? Or is it just entertainment?
While you are experiencing it, are you aware of time passing? You turn around and an hour, day or week have passed you by. Time is something you cannot buy back. Once it is gone, it becomes irretrievable except in your memory.
In short, Awareness is a valuable tool for you to experience your Present. Are you willing to consider this idea? It is well worth it.
God bless you on your journey!
The question arises: “Do Feelings Pray?”
Some would reply, “What an absurd thought!” Some would think, “How could this be true?” Others would agree wholeheartedly. How about you? What reaction do you have to those three words?
That is the telling tale in how you live your life.
If you would be the first one (“What an absurd thought!”), your reality is based on what you can see with your eyes, hear with your ears, taste with your taste buds, touch with your hands, etc. Is that all there is? Nope! In fact, so much of our reality is just our perception of things, not the real hard facts about things. There is so much more to life than this.
If you are the second response (How could this be true?), you want a bona fide answer to all of life’s myriad questions. Some would say, “You are from Missouri – Show me, Prove it, etc.” Unfortunately, taking something on faith is not within your possibilities. The quandaries your mind must go through are endless.
If you are of the third type who would agree wholeheartedly, you have been able to work through some of life’s most troubling problems successfully.
Why? Because feelings begin in the unseen world of thoughts, rising up from that well deep within your being. Your Spirit resides here. Your Consciousness lives here.
Most people think that outer situations command a response – be it anger, bitterness, love, laughter, etc. Yes, there are messy situations outside of us. There are people on this planet whose main goal in life is to make others miserable. Yet there are others who are working for the highest good of all. There are so many in between these two extremes.
As for you: Have you laughed lately? Have you smiled? Are you “down in the dumps, thinking that life sucks without end!”
Have you given your power away to someone else who may be bent on making you incredibly sad? What do I mean when I say, “given your power away?” Just precisely that. Your interaction level with that person is solely within their control because you let it happen. If you want something badly enough from that person, he/she can manipulate you at will. Is it worth it? Only you can answer that question.
Feelings are precious. They are the seed of your tomorrows. If you plant feelings of sheer misery, how can you hope to grow plants of laughter and good things coming to you?
One must be always aware of what you are emotionalizing about because those emotions then quantify, multiply, and bring more. If it is good stuff, great! If not, guess what kind of crop you will receive? You got it. In other words, if you emotionalize over what you DO NOT WANT, you are sure to get exactly that! Is that really what you want? Doubt it. That can never change unless you do.
Outer situations cannot control you unless you let them. The difference is between ACT and REACT.
When you REACT to a situation, you are giving your power away. When you look at what is going on, analyze it, and think about how you want to ACT in response to it, you maintain your sense of awareness. You actually DECIDE on an appropriate action in lieu of getting angry, saying mean things (which you cannot take back), or getting physical. Even SILENCE maintains a powerful influence on the outcome of events, especially if you cannot decide what to say or do in this instance.
It is OUTER vs. INNER. Some people would pray about it first before responding. Others would rather scream and yell. It leads to no good end, but so many use this response, it does make you wonder.
How about you? If you are pondering some of life’s events, both good and bad, where is the balance of your emotions? Are you feeling PEACE, GRATITUDE and THANKFULNESS for the good you still have, or is your heart bitter, complaining over all you have lost? Until you can release the latter, you will be unable to see the former. It is as far from you as the East is from the West. In other words, you cannot get there from here.
If you think about the possibility that FEELINGS DO PRAY, you can begin to change your life for the better. It simplifies a complicated process of personal growth, of which AWARENESS is the Beginning of Change.
It is all up to you, after all. Do you want the sadness of your yesterdays to continue to rule your life now, or is it time to let it all go, turn your attention to this very moment of today, and look for something to be pleased about? Do you want to keep moping around, or do you want to begin to REALLY LIVE your life?
God’s blessings upon your journey!
Posted in Uplifting Thoughts
Tags: act, awareness, blessings, change, choices, consciousness, emotions, feelings, focus, God, Gratitude, Inner, journey, laughter, let it all go, life, metaphysics, New Age, New thought, outer, Peace, perceptions, plant, power, prayer, react, really live, sad, seed, silence, Spirit, thankfulness, thoughts, Truth, understanding, willing, wisdom
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!
Imagine that your life and all that happens to you are like a river, flowing from an unseen source stream, and flowing on beyond your physical sight. Now think about white water rafting categories:
Grade 1: Very small rough areas, might require slight maneuvering. (Skill level: very basic)
Grade 2: Some rough water, maybe some rocks, might require some maneuvering. (Skill level: basic paddling skill)
Grade 3: Whitewater, small waves, maybe a small drop, but no considerable danger. May require significant maneuvering.
Grade 4: Whitewater, medium waves, maybe rocks, maybe a considerable drop, sharp maneuvers may be needed.
Grade 5: Whitewater, large waves, large volume, possibility of large rocks and hazards, possibility of a large drop, requires precise maneuvering.
Grade 6: Class 6 rapids are considered to be so dangerous that they are effectively unnavigable on a reliably safe basis. Rafters can expect to encounter substantial whitewater, huge waves, huge rocks and hazards, and/or substantial drops that will impart severe impacts beyond the structural capacities and impact ratings of almost all rafting equipment. Traversing a Class 6 rapid has a dramatically increased likelihood of ending in serious injury or death compared to lesser classes.
If you contemplate these categories, you can see instances in your personal experience which contain incidents of these Grades — some much more turbulent than the others.
Sometimes, we just feel swamped, perhaps unable to function in our realities. Then there are those occasions when we encounter rocks that leave us physically or spiritually bruised/injured. Perhaps you are hanging onto a branch for dear life, knowing that if you let go, your life will change — fearing the worst, afraid of the unknown. But there can also be lazy river days, when one can just drift along with the current, not needing to care about when you will get there or how, just relaxing on your inner tube and enjoying the journey.
Awareness is the beginning of change. Choices occur second by second from the time you get up until you go to bed: From what clothes you will wear, foods you will eat, how you respond to negative stimuli, smile or frown, happy or sad, etc. All of these can combine with such force as to dictate what white water rafting category your day will be in. If you find yourself in a situation, can you take a deep breath, swim to an eddy in your mind, and relax, thus escaping the turbulent current? Instead of reacting to the external stimuli, consider your options carefully. Do you want to jump in with both feet and fight the current/waves/rocks? Or do you wish to take a slower, more contemplative route — perhaps portage around this particular issue and pick up the river downstream?
My analogies are simply to draw your attention to what you have going on in your life right now. Do you like/love what is unfolding for you moment by moment? Or is it so traumatic that you want to run the other way? What maneuvers are you considering? Is it in response to the river or to the people in your life? Are you listening to yourself or not? Perhaps you may feel like you have no choices – which indeed becomes a choice in itself. Consequences follow as surely as the night, the day. Are you willing to keep perpetuating this myth? Or do you want to become more aware? Both have serious decisions/results. Only you can take action. Do you choose to paddle or not? Are you willing?
God’s blessing upon your journey!
Tags: awareness, blessings, choices, emotions turbulent, external stimuli, feelings, frown, happy, journey, life, maneuvering, metaphysics, negative stimuli, New Age, New thought, physically, reactions, rocks, sad, smile, spiritually, stress, thoughts, Truth, turbulent, understanding, white water rafting, willing, wisdom