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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!

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!

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!

Walk on Water or Sink?

The story of Jesus from Matthew 14: 22-33:

22 Immediately Jesus made the disciples get into the boat and go on ahead of him to the other side, while he dismissed the crowd. 23 After he had dismissed them, he went up on a mountainside by himself to pray. Later that night, he was there alone, 24 and the boat was already a considerable distance from land, buffeted by the waves because the wind was against it.

25 Shortly before dawn Jesus went out to them, walking on the lake. 26 When the disciples saw him walking on the lake, they were terrified. “It’s a ghost,” they said, and cried out in fear.

27 But Jesus immediately said to them: “Take courage! It is I. Don’t be afraid.”

28 “Lord, if it’s you,” Peter replied, “tell me to come to you on the water.”

29 “Come,” he said.

Then Peter got down out of the boat, walked on the water and came toward Jesus. 30 But when he saw the wind, he was afraid and, beginning to sink, cried out, “Lord, save me!”

31 Immediately Jesus reached out his hand and caught him. “You of little faith,” he said, “why did you doubt?”

32 And when they climbed into the boat, the wind died down. ”

This story can be applied to our daily lives, not as a myth, but a reality. The key here is Faith and Belief, not only in our Creator but also in ourselves.

When we begin something new, there is an idea that we can accomplish something. Usually there are details towards that end: Perhaps something we had not thought about when we began becomes quite important; sometimes there are people in our lives who discourage us from making changes or taking chances; but often it is a personal attitude that questions everything about it, expecting failure before we even start, and fears/doubts of almost anything our inner self can come up with, realistic or imaginary.

Relating the above paragraph to the walking on water idea: How often do you ask yourself: “Can I do this? Am I worthy? Who do I think I am? What if __________ (fill in the blank)? If only ________________ (fill in the blank) such and such would/could happen. You know the inner drill. This calls into action our self esteem, the role others play in our lives and the resulting decisions of action or inaction, what we expect of ourselves and others, and how we eventually react. Do we shut down and forget the whole thing? Do we pursue it by not expecting success but failure? Can you imagine a successful ending to the idea? Do we press on to the original goal, making adjustments as needed? Do we put forth enough of whatever it takes to arrive at a successful conclusion?

That is why the words Faith and Belief are counter to the Fears we dream up from our overworked imagination. Do you want to WALK ON WATER, going forth with your ideas, goals, and dreams? Or do you want to let your FEARS CAUSE YOU TO SINK? It is a personal decision, after all.

When one begins to make changes and take chances, the unknown takes on an outsized proportion to what it deserves. We really do make mountains out of molehills. So choose: Mountain or Molehill, stop where you are and stay the same or reach out and begin to become the person you were born to be!

God’s blessings upon your journey!

jesus walks on the water (matthew 14), published c. 1850 - jesus walking on the water stock illustrations

FEAR IMMOBILIZES!

Fear does indeed immobilize one because it enables thought patterns that are based on the worst possible outcome. This, in turn, creates emotions that ensure vulnerability and helplessness. Overwhelmed by all of the above, inaction itself generates a decision from indecision!

Sound crazy? Of course, it is! Does it happen? All the time! Why? Because fear is so strong a negative emotion that it just takes over, mind and body. All one can focus on is the object/idea feared. No other outcome is thought about. Peace is an impossible dream.

Somewhere in the Fear spectrum, Anger enters like a charging elephant! Unstoppable? You bet! This causes one to perform poorly and respond negatively and overactively to outside stimuli.

As long as one’s attention is focused on the “bad stuff” of life, which happens daily in most people’s experiences, the “good stuff” is kept locked up and cannot hold sway in your thoughts and emotions.

Focus is the key here. It’s like holding a magnifying glass to look at something. The more it magnifies, the bigger it seems. Reality has not changed, but your perspective has greatly altered.

In order to get off the merry-go-round of this thought/emotion process, one must firmly grab the reins on this runaway horse and firmly take control. One must choose to “get a grip” and change the arena by looking at other possible outcomes, thinking/feeling other alternatives. Only then can your reality change by loosening the hold fear has on you, permitting to you to be more functional in your life and reactions to others. Anger is not generated so one can think better before acting.

The exclusivity of Fear is this example: I was driving a good friend of mine home about sunset. It was the most beautiful sunset I had ever seen, vivid, so many colors! I brought this to the attention of my friend (who was caught up in a negative sequence involving Fear and Anger). She absolutely could not see the beauty of it. She brushed it aside and continued with her diatribe. Nothing in her situation changed because she was “feeding the monster!” The situation became unalterably worse. How else could it be?

If one wants peace to fill your mind and life, your focus has to change. Ernest Holmes said: “What you think about, you bring about.” I would add that thoughts create feelings, which are the engine of the mind. Both create your reality, like it or not. Focus is part of the idea behind Dr Wayne Dyer’s: “Change the way you look at things, and the things you look at change.”

Do you want to continue down a negative path in your life, or do you prefer peace, adaptation, mobility, and different choices to govern you? It is, after all, your choice. Are you willing to experience something else?

God’s blessings on your journey!

I Am The Doorkeeper of My Mind, Always!

I have known for many years that I Am The Doorkeeper of My Mind!

“Thoughts are Things!” Ernest Holmes…Also: “What you think about, comes about!”

Philippians 4:8 (King James Version): “Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.”

Could it be any more clear?

Yet we stuff our monkey minds with cluttering thoughts during every minute of every day, losing our peace and joy for what purpose? Just like the song, “Windmills of Your Mind”:

“Round like a circle in a spiral, like a wheel within a wheel,

Never ending or beginning on an ever-spinning reel…

As the images unwind, like the circles that you find

In the windmills of your mind.”

Can you choose to stop, hit pause, and just be quiet for a moment? Or is your race so harried that your breath is shortened from stress, possibly self-imposed because of your thinking processes?

Life itself is filled with noises of every kind. Some are important, but most are not. If one does not differentiate between incoming sensory information, overwhelm is a natural outcome. Then if you react to the situations, you are “waking up the devil” inherent in each one, which is a recipe for disaster.

Romans 12:2 states: Be ye therefore transformed by the renewing of your mind.”

Why would this be important? Because thoughts create emotions, which are the driving force of your personal engine.

What would a car be like if you had no destination in mind? Or being a ship on the ocean, driven by winds and currents instead of guided on its way? Your life is your ship. If your thoughts linger with worry, anger, loss and other negative emotions, you are feeling all that you do not want to happen…pushing on the accelerator, if you will, but going nowhere. Is that what you want?

If you are The Doorkeeper of Your Mind, you will have a different way of looking at everything. Situations are an outside stimulus which can be separated by your inside sense of calmness. If you are examining incoming data, you can sort it out a whole lot easier. This is especially true of emotions: Caused by outside circumstances or inside responses? Is it yours, or does the problem really belong to somebody else? We can remain human garbage cans, drained of all energy, unable to react appropriately, etc. Is that something you would willingly choose? I think not…yet we do it every day in almost every situation because we do not know of another choice. Yes, it is just a choice.

What do you choose?

God’s blessings upon your journey!

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is ship-in-full-sail.jpg

Chop Wood, Carry Water

Do you chop wood and carry water? You must be thinking, “Is she crazy? I’m not camping!” Tee hee!

In all reality, you do it every day, each in his/her own way. “How?” you may ask. Answer: Everything you do–be you a king, queen, laborer, or pauper–is in fact Chopping Wood and Carrying Water!

My point is that, if you are present in the moment, you are breathing, thinking, and performing your daily tasks, whatever they may be. The question is: What is your attitude? Where are your emotions? What are you thinking about and dwelling upon, whether it be past, present, or future? In these uncertain times with extreme fears and passions everywhere, where is your calmness and peace?

Only as you ask yourself these questions and then answer them can you leave the outside world behind so you can find the calmness inside you to weather the storm outside you.

The concept behind “Chopping Wood and Carrying Water” is actually a very simple one:

PRESENCE OF MIND!

If you are driving your car, is your mind thinking about the burned toast or unkind words from someone you care about? Or perhaps you are fretting because traffic is heavy and dangerous? Maybe you are concerned about a big project at work with impossible deadlines? My question is: “Are you driving your car, centering your attention on what is happening at that moment?” Would it be possible to take a deep breath, notice your surroundings, be polite to someone who needs to get over, and smile in your mirror? Taking life moment by moment is the only real way to live. You cannot do two things at once, no matter how hard you try. You may do many things in quick succession, but each one is by itself. Most people are trying to stuff their lives with stress-causing, unrealistic expectations of themselves and others.

Presence is defined as: “The state or fact of existing, occurring, or being present in a place.”

What that translates to is: Are you aware of how you are breathing at this particular moment in time? If you are breathing from your chest, you are stressed out. Only when you are aware of being able to breathe deeply from your stomach/diaphragm area can you get a handle on what is going on with you…your brain…your emotions. What is in the room with you at this moment? Is there something beautiful to please you, or a wonderful smell like baking bread, or perhaps the scent from someone you care about? So many times, our monkey mind is fretting over some silly situation that truly does not matter at all, if you stop and think rationally about its components. Usually it is just emotions running wild. Calmness is an impossible dream and totally out of reach.

Why? Because your attention is so centered on it, emotionally ruminating about it in your mind, perhaps drawing up unpleasant scenarios. Why do that to yourself? Beats me!

So many things are outside of our control, especially now. We forget that it is our reaction to outside stimuli that is causing the problem.

Life will go on, trust me, if you stop, take a deep breath, and apply Presence of Mind at that moment. You can control your reactions, but you must take the thoughtful action to do it. Are you willing? CHOP WOOD AND CARRY WATER!

God bless you on your journey!

New Book: Just Because I Am Blind Does Not Mean I Can’t See

Linda Joy Wirth’s new book is a delightful inspiration to read. Though Linda is blind, the underlying theme of this book is not really her blindness, but more the experience with a sighted world that cannot see from her perspective. She shares stories which shine light on her diverse educational experiences, college, marriage, children, music, dance, theatre, travel, and career. We become aware of the challenges she faced, adaptations she had to make, the barriers which she overcame, and the dreams she realized. With each new experience, we see her grow as she analyzes, accepts, forgives, and learns from every encounter. She tells her story with honesty, humor, and insight, not dwelling on the difficult situations, but always moving on to the next experience. Through it all, she demonstrates determination, a positive attitude, and a strong spirituality which grows as she does.

Linda is an optimistic and outgoing woman who has been blind since birth. She has a Master’s Degree in Social Work from the University of Denver and worked in the field of geriatric, long-term care for over 28 years. Linda is also a singer and actress, having performed in over 30 plays and musicals. She is an inspirational speaker who has presented to groups of all types from schoolchildren to professionals. She shares her message that, despite hardships, challenges, and disappointments, we must keep going and look for the the beautiful gifts life has to offer.

This is the link:  https://www.amazon.com/Just-Because-Blind-Does-Mean/dp/B08C4FTJJ7/ref=sr_1_1?dchild=1&keywords=Linda+Joy+Wirth&qid=1598155707&sr=8-1

Give it a peek. You will be very happy you did!

Linda's front cover

Linda Joy Wirth

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