Blog Archives

Set Your Wings

Have you ever watched a gaggle of geese that are coming in for a landing on a lake? They are majestic, to say the least. Before they touch down, their wings lock into a curved downward position as they descend. When they are close to the surface, they flutter their wings to let the air pass through their feathers and land. The one thing I have noticed, though, is that, no matter how many other geese are already in their chosen landing spot, not one ever sets down on top of an existing goose’s place. Their brains are not large, yet they always land successfully!

What if humans had that same ability when going from place to place, goal to goal, and job to home? After all, we have a larger brain. Why do we have such a hard time of setting our wings?

If we could do so as easily as the geese, think what a peaceful place our lives could be. We would leave our home situations at home, traffic/transit problems there, and work situations/problem/stresses at the place of origin. Perhaps you have heard, “Leave your problems at home. Put on your smile, and move into your day here.” Maybe you walk in the door at home and start yelling because you haven’t left the stressors at your workplace. You are carrying leftovers from place to place. You are literally not “setting your wings.” The same happens when going from burned toast at home to an important meeting at the office.

Goal oriented people can become obsessive, trying to get their To Do Lists done, all of them, all the time. They thus create stressors on themselves and others. Instead of flowing from task to task, they jump around like grasshoppers in lieu of doing just one thing at a time, which is really all one can do anyway. Multi-tasking is a myth.

If one could set one’s wings as easily as the geese, you would better be able to construct your day, pick your destination (as it were) of each incident, decide your necessary action that is appropriate to the task at hand, complete it, and move on to whatever comes next. You would keep that sense of ease about each task, one flowing into another one, whatever comes next.

Imagine yourself in heavy traffic, you need to get home because you have a million things to get done before you can relax, which you desire even more. Someone else, equally as anxious, cuts you off. You respond with anger because they have invaded your space. What gets lost in the process? You got it! More stress than you had before.

I know you are definitely not a goose. But what if you could keep that sense of peace when setting your wings through your day, no matter what happens? There is an inner connectedness that can occur when you stop for a moment, breathe deeply, and decide your action in lieu of a reaction to circumstances around you. If you applied this idea to every incident that occurs throughout your day, you would be less stressed, more peaceful and happier person. You would most certainly be more healthy.

What if you could encapsulate the stressors you experience each and every moment of your day in a little bubble, all its own? Then you could act or react to just that particular incident instead of going crazy over the accumulation of it over time, be it a day, week, or lifetime. Some people are still reacting to things that happened long ago and far away, thinking about the injustice of it all, feeling self righteous, etc. It is an accumulation of things that are dragged from one incident to another that causes the confusion. Then add the daily stuff and you have a recipe for disaster. You may feel driven in lieu of being the driver.

What I am suggesting to you is that you can live a more peaceful life if you set your wings in the morning by breathing deeply, noticing the beauty around you, think of a very happy place in your mind where you were totally relaxed and easy going. It only needs to be just a few moments. Then as you move into your day, be it spilled milk, a restless child who will not get dressed or cannot find a shoe, a traffic incident, an angry coworker or supervisor over something insignificant in your mind, you can act or react as you choose. Perhaps you could flutter your wings, letting the occurrences flow without a negative response in your mind/being? Trust me, acting vs. reacting is the key to keeping your wings set and letting things go. Encapsulate those stressors by not ignoring them but by responding appropriately at that moment. Don’t drag stuff around with you, situation to incident. No wonder you walk in your door at home and collapse. You are doing it to yourself. That is the sad part.

If you were to set your wings, you would breathe better because the first thing your body does when it reacts to stress is shorten your breathing. You would be healthier, that is for certain. Your day would be less tumultuous. Instead of carrying an empty bag around with you, throwing the impact/influence of each incident into that bag as it occurs, causing you to feel the weight of the world on your shoulders by the end of the day because you are dragging a now-totally-filled-to-overflowing bag, you can choose to come home feeling fresh and alive because you dealt with each thing by itself. Would that be magical? You can choose to live like that. Are you willing? You can change. You can do it.

God’s blessings upon your journey.

 

 

Geese Landing - Set Your Wings!

Set your wings!

 

 

Flutter Your Wings!

E=mc squared = God

God, whatever you conceive Him/Her/It to be, is everywhere present (Omnipresent), all knowing (Omniscient), all powerful (Omnipotent).

Think about that for a moment. To the rational mind, it does not seem a remote possibility from a human viewpoint. How could any one entity actually be all three of those? Assuming, then, that we cannot conceptualize such a thing from the mind, one must then move to the realms of wisdom and understanding.

Einstein’s theory is very useful here because he showed that all matter we can see is based on and contains Energy. Since one cannot see energy unless it is transmuted into something like light or gravity, it remains in the invisible realm. Is this not the same area that prayer goes into?

If one prays to an anthropomorphic being as a concept, it still goes into the invisible realm. Some people believe that they are not worthy of deserving such an honor as granted prayers, so they deny the essence of what they are praying for as they keep worrying about whatever it is they are asking for. Some do not even pray unless they are in dire straights and in need of a miracle. The rest of the time they are just busy living their lives. Few are ascetics who are in prayer always. Then there are a few awakened human beings who just live in connection with their idea of God, knowing their prayers are fulfilled always because they are literally seeing the manifestations (without regard to distance) of whoever/whatever they hold in their consciousness. They are connecting to the E=mc squared=God concept on the invisible realm, waiting for the visible realm to come forth.

Sometimes it is not an immediate, visible demonstration. Sometimes it needs a continuous flow, like putting a hose in a bucket of muddy water so it may slowly clear. But time is not of the essence here. Only the end is necessary.

So if you are praying for something, hold the end in view. If it is for someone else, hold a picture in your mind’s eye of that person being happy, whole, healthy, and doing well. When you keep worrying, you are telling your God/He/She/It that you do not believe It can do the job. You become part of the problem, not the answer.

When you are praying, you just have to ask yourself, without regard to your religion, whatever is on your heart and mind. Then let it go. Do not hang onto it. If it comes to mind again, just remind yourself that you are going to think only of the end result = not the “how is this going to happen?” stuff either. Leave the How and the Way to that Omnipotent Being who loves you and your beloved and wants only what is the highest good of all to occur.

Trust becomes an issue here. But if you cannot trust this Being, why pray at all?

Life happens. So does Love, Livingness, Wholeness, Positive State of Mind and Emotions, etc. You, too, can arrive there. Are you interested? Are you willing? The answer is in your purview.

God’s blessings upon your journey! Beauty awaits thee every day. Look for it!

Mt Sneffels, Co

Autumn, Maroon Bells, CO

The Dance of Life Continues

As we age, things change. Our body parts begin to complain.We do not walk as fast as we once did. We can no longer do things that we actually took for granted. Perhaps we gain or lose weight. We are no longer young.

The question remains: Do you want to age better? Are you willing to make some life style changes in order to be healthier?

Are you looking backwards at memories, both sad and happy ones? Are you looking forwards with hope or dread? Do you live in the ever-present NOW?

Every second you spend anywhere else other than NOW is time lost forever, never to be regained.

If you are in your NOW, you are living your life to the fullest, taking advantage of opportunities that come your way.

Life is so short, no matter how long that is. Yes, it is a great oxymoron, but true.

Are you happy with your present, or are you trying to escape from something? Where is your focus and attention? Are you caught up like a hamster in a cage, going round and round every day? Do you see beauty around you? Are you so stressed out that you are chest breathing (which is the first thing that happens)? Are you breathing deeply, relaxing into the moment?

How is your dance going? You are the only one who can dance your unique movements. No one else can do it for you. Is it slow and full of rhythm like a waltz? Are you doing the minute waltz in 30 seconds or less, stuffing every moment with activities, either voluntarily or out of necessity? Are you dancing to your own tune or somebody else’s?

Wherever you are in your life, the only moment you can make a new choice is the present one.  Every change has a price tag in some form, be it time, money, effort, or something else. Are you willing to begin to change the music to which you are dancing?

If you make one small step in your chosen direction, it is a beginning. It does not have to be drastic. You can only do what is possible for you at this moment in time. Awareness of needed changes is vital to the process. After all, you are the only one who can make that decision to follow through.

Life is a beautiful thing that passes so quickly. Time does not stop for any reason. It is your journey and your dance. Make the most of your precious time.

God bless both your journey and your dance!

 

Spirit of Christmas

Balancing Your Life

After watching the Olympics for several days, it has occurred to me how important BALANCE is to each and everything I watched. If one is just an inch off-balance, one way or another, that person will go down – no matter how good they are, how much they have practiced, or the long hours and many dollars they have spent to get to the Olympics. A speed skater, a boarder, ice skating, skiing, etc. – all require the magic of Balance in order to reach the podium.

I have a mobile in my room. I was watching it for some time. It has seagulls with wires connecting it together. The slightest whiff of moving air will cause it to circle. I noticed that, out of all the seagulls on the mobile, one small section was not moving properly. After studying it for a few minutes, I could see that one seagull had the tip of its wing over that of another. So I reached up and tweaked it a little. The mobile immediately swung back into perfect balance and moved like it should.

The thought occurred to me: How nice it would be if we all lived our lives while paying attention to Balance: Work, play eat, sleep, etc. How we spend each golden hour of our lives each and every day plays a part, just like the wing tip.

We all know what we have to do each and every day. We have to work at whatever we do to earn the money to meet our commitments and take care of our loved ones. But if we are not very careful, we can easily get out of Balance in our lives.

Perhaps you are thirsty so you reach for a can of cold pop instead of water. You are in a big hurry and are hungry. You look on your phone for a listing of fast food outlets nearby in lieu of a health foods store with ready-to-eat items. A child wants you to read him/her a story after a long, exhausting workday, so that moment passes by as you collapse into a chair. Your body is tired and aching from sitting or standing at work all day or night, so you pop a pain pill and settle down to watch some television before bed or sit at a computer, playing games to relax your mind. No thought of yoga stretches or deep breathing enter your mind.

Perhaps you are far too busy and with too many commitments to take that five minutes  for yourself or look for a yoga/Pilates/exercise class that would improve your health. You are shopping for groceries and grab the quickest and easiest meals instead of shopping carefully for items that are healthy for you or your family.

As I said, if just an inch off-balance in Olympic sports, it won’t work – the medal goes to someone else. However, if your life is Out of Balance, you do not feel well. You take a pill for your symptoms and keep going. You miss that beautiful sunset or perfect flower without noticing. Your mind is so busy on more important matters, like making a living, picking up the children on time, wondering where you are going to get the extra money needed to repair the car, how you can clean the house before guests arrive, and a million other things that bombard you from every angle. You are driven by outside forces that consume your time before you crawl into bed for a fitful night’s sleep because you are so over-stressed.

Your life is shortened by the stress caused because of your attention to the extraneous matters/forces. You do not take that five minutes of calmness before you start your day, breathing deeply and thinking/reading beautiful thoughts. When you get the chance to stop for a moment, you check your phone for messages or play a game instead of looking around you, pausing to see that item of Beauty just waiting for your attention. Your mind is crowded indeed. But if you choose to slow down just a bit, you would hear the laugh of a child as you read a story or see the smile return to a checker’s face who has just gotten a rude customer and needs your smile and “Good day!” to refocus his/her attention.

My point? Balance is not a dream – it is a choice. Every moment of your life contains one. You can make a difference to yourself and others. At risk is your health, the livingness you do or do not feel, and to the joy you could spread to others. The thought you put into every act/choice will change your reality.

You just have to ask yourself some questions: What is really important to you? How could you respond differently if you were not harried, tired, and grumpy? What would help change that? What class could you take such as Anger or Stress Management, Yoga, exercise, or something else? Could you stop what you are doing as you sit for hours at a time in order to move about for five minutes, as recommended? Could you take a deep breath and stretch a bit? Could you focus on something else  instead of whatever is making you crazy?

Life is so fleeting. It is our choices each day that will help the time to pass quickly and easily or drag by as we do a job that is eating us alive. There are always alternatives. You just have to look for them. Are you willing?

God’s blessings upon your journey!

Seagull Mobile

Hibiscus and Geranium

Dillon Reservoir Sunset

Hardy Hibiscus

Front Range Sunset

Zucchini Flower & Honey Bee

 

Mindfulness

Webster’s Dictionary defines Mindfulness as: “Having in mind; aware.”

The Google for Mindfulness says:

“mind·ful·ness
ˈmīn(d)f(ə)lnəs/
noun
noun: mindfulness
  1. 1.
    the quality or state of being conscious or aware of something.
    “their mindfulness of the wider cinematic tradition”
  2. 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.”
     
My favorite is, of course, the latter one. I would also add: “Doing one thing at a time.” We can, in fact, do only one thing at a time, even if one is a good juggler and has a lot of items in the air all at once. At that present moment, it is only one item at a time, even though all items are in movement. That is the art of keeping them in motion.
Life sometimes comes at us so quickly that we actually can get lost in the shuffle: Of feelings, thoughts, bodily sensations, actual events that are occurring in our lives, etc. What then?
The first thing you will notice as you get stressed out is that your breathing has changed: You are breathing from the upper body, leaving the diaphragm out of it altogether. When you notice this, you stop for just a second or two (or a moment or two), take a really, really deep breath.
You will notice that one act alone helps to calm you down. If you do not know how to do that, maybe it is time to look into a yoga class.
Focus is key here. What are you putting your attention towards? Is it a plethora of so many things that you feel like you, personally, must do all of them before the end of the day? That is common in our society, unfortunately. However, it can also, in fact, be a truth. Each person has many roles to play every day. Often the roles overlap and collide, causing a mess, both inside and outside of you. What then?
As we age, we also lose the ability to keep “balls in the air.” We slow down. Our responses are slower. I don’t believe that life is moving faster. It is just that we are moving more slowly.

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!

Flowers – Hibiscus

Autumn, Maroon Bells, CO

Autumn at Multnomah Falls, Oregon

beauty Mt Sneffels, Co

What’s up?

Baby Goslings

 

 

 

Christmas Spirit vs. the Spirit of Christmas

Is it the Christmas Spirit or the Spirit of Christmas? Good question. The answer lies either between your ears or in your heart.

If it lies between your ears, your mind will say, “There is no difference – it is the same thing.”

Your heart will reply quite the opposite, however.

Christmas Spirit defined can include everything from the “Ho! Ho! Ho!” to Christmas Cards to gift giving to one and all. It can include stress caused by many sources, exhaustion from too much to do and too little time to complete tasks, the lack of money, etc. It can be an  endless array of Christmas parties and too little sleep. It can be Christmas gifts put on display in the stores before Halloween and reminders of how many days until Christmas signs everywhere. It can be holiday music, lights, trees, and tinsel every time you look around. Yes, it can be all those things and more, positive and negative, bright and festive, cheap and elegant side by side.

But when you look at the Spirit of Christmas with your heart, you may find many surprises, one of which is the ability to see Beauty in your surroundings. That is because one is aware of time passing, along with a sense of peacefulness (like when floating on an inner tube on a lazy river).

If you are feeling rushed and filled with angst, slow down and take several deep breaths. Focus on just one thing at a time instead of a litany of tasks. Make a list of the tasks and choose just one, get it done, and then move on. Multi-tasking is a possibility if you still focus on just one object, like a person who is spinning plates on top of wooden dowels – touching one plate at a time to keep it spinning.

The Spirit of Christmas is not limited to a specific time frame on a calendar – it is truly an attitude that you can utilize year-round! In this way, one can see so much more clearly what is important vs. what is not so much. For example, you can give a gift from a thankful heart because of how satisfied you are with how well one is doing in lieu of giving out of duty or expectation. Pay attention to the details, one at a time, instead of feeling overwhelmed by the plethora of it all. You can enjoy one Christmas card, one gift your receive or give, or one bite at a time of a fantastic meal.

Time will, indeed, flow by regardless of how crazy you make yourself. So why not slow down your responses to exterior (and interior) stimuli? Then you can select the way you react to it instead of wearing yourself out from the inside, reacting vs. acting. Life can become so much more simple if you try this method of selecting a response (Acting) vs. gut level Reacting.

The Spirit of Christmas should nourish your Spirit, creating attitudes of thankfulness and joy. Do you remember that last time when you actually felt JOY? If it has been a long time, some introspection is required to find out when it left, how long it has been gone, and decide what you can do to restore it to your life so you can experience it again on a more regular basis. You may ask why that is important: Because JOY and PEACE are twins – they come and go together.

Peace is more than a word you hear and see during the Christmas Season. It is an attitude and a way of living.  It is something you can cultivate in your life which can begin with learning to  breathe deeply. Take a yoga class or T’ai Chi if needed. In our frenetic world, it is vital to your Spirit because it nourishes you from the inside out. It also simplifies complex situations which crop up all too often. When you feel like you are in a box and cannot get out, it is time to take a truly deep breath and seek the CALM (like that at the center of a wheel in lieu of living on the circumference where you feel like you are being run over).

The Spirit of Christmas is a gift you can give yourself every morning, if you so choose, no matter the time of year. Think about it: Are you willing?

God’s blessings upon your journey! Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

Image result for Bling Christmas

 

 

Thankfulness

As I contemplate Thankfulness, I realize that it is an optimistic quality. It renders a feeling of lightness and levity. There is no room for pessimism here.

Life itself can give one a sense of heaviness and darkness. Perhaps prayer is not a tool for you to help you get through negative happenings. Another one of the tools – Meditation – to aid in changing consciousness is not thought about as a possibility. Goal orientation is as remote as the moon because “just make it through the day” is on your mind.

How then can one begin to arrive at a better place in mind? Smile! It lifts the spirit. It is a beginning.

Look around you. What are you grateful for? No mater how small, one can find something. Are you breathing? Is your heart beating? Do you have a roof over your head and food for your tummy? Life is in your every cell.

I, for one, am glad that I have so many wonderful friends and loving family members, both immediate and extended. I have once again achieved fairly good health, and I am able to deal with the foibles of this body as it ages. I have so much to be grateful for. I have already written my thank you note to God, expressing my gratitude. Have you? It is a great way to “get in tune” with all that is good in your life, accentuating the blessing and lessening the effects of the trials and tribulations that our existence brings on this “Third Rock from the Sun.”

If you try it, perhaps you will have a new perspective, which you can then expand on as time unfolds for you.

Are you willing? Your efforts can exponentially grow, making tremendous changes possible for you.

Three things to remember as you go forward: Take life day by day; Be grateful for the little things; and Don’t get stressed over what you can’t control.

God’s blessings upon your journey! May it be filled with Life, Peace, Love, Joy, Truth, Beauty, Laughter, Light, and Happiness!

Be grateful Think 3 things 2 b thankful 4 be thankful Be thankful for Life

 

Awareness

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!

Life is short - carpe diem

Life is short – carpe diem

 

S — — T Happens!

S — — T Happens! Good Happens. These sayings are both true. We see them on car bumpers and on walls. Have you given them any thought at all? Do you just react to the bad stuff, without analyzing it? When good things happen to you, are you joy-filled? Sometimes, we are reluctant to enjoy that moment because we fear that something worse is just around the corner. Which one are you?

It has been wisely stated that it is not what happens to you that counts – it is how you REACT to what happens. When you get knocked down by incidents in your life, do you get back up again? Or do you “stay down for the count?” Do you nurse your emotional and physical wounds by proclaiming loudly to anyone who will listen to your statements about how bad your life sucks? If you do, you may find few who will listen to your sad tale for long.

It is a very true statement that: “What you think about/emotionalize over multiplies exponentially.” Is that what you want?

The questions then arise, “How can I pick myself up and get on with my life? Do I just pretend nothing happened? How can I change my reaction to the bad stuff?”

Answers can come to you slowly or in a flash. Your answers are personal to you. Awareness is the beginning of change.

Perhaps a class will come to your attention about your particular problem, or maybe a sermon, friend, or magazine will catch your eye. You will have an “AHA!” moment and begin to focus on something else.

Beauty surrounds us in many forms. When I have had very sad times in my life, I found that, if I went outside into nature, I became more peaceful. Bird song and twitters, flowers, walking barefooted in the sand at the edge of the surf, a nice long bath, reading a good book, listening to the breeze rustle the leaves of the trees, etc., enabled me to pick myself up again. In short, just anything that makes you feel better is a key to changing you from feeling like a victim to helping you deal with whatever happened.

Life is not an unending story of happiness. It is just moments of joy that your attention can spread to fill your days. Bad stuff occurs in all of our lives. Again, how you choose to react to what happens will determine if you “let the bitter root grow” in your heart, contaminating every moment of your days OR if you decide to not dwell on it, deal with the repercussions/consequences if there are any, and see where you go from there.

In my own life, I have had tremendous sorrows, many of which I did not think I could endure, from death and injury of loved ones, feelings of separation and loneliness, losses in many forms, etc . I have had many physical challenges over the years which have required physical therapy, pain pills, and medicines. I have had to change my vocation, which I loved. I had to find a way to deal with the pain so that my personality, which is optimistic, would not darken into pessimism. It is a natural flow if one stays with the problem but does not seek a better answer. Luckily, I have found many answers that help me stay optimistic, some of which are listed above.

Each person is different, however. You need to find your own way of dealing with S — — T till you can turn it into fertilizer for new growth.

Are you willing?

God bless you on your journey!

Mandarin Duck

Mandarin Duck

Autumn Leaves

Autumn Leaves

Surfing Master, Waikiki, HI

Surfing Master, Waikiki, HI

Day Lilies

Day Lilies

Your response makes a difference

 

 

 

 

%d bloggers like this: