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!
Front Range Sunset
Posted in Uplifting Thoughts
Tags: anger, balance, Beauty, blessings, calmness, choices, crazy, deep breathing, dream, exercise, focus, God, grumpy, harried, journey, joy, life, livingness, Love, metaphysics, mobile, New Age, New thought, Olympics, sports, stress, thoughts, time, tired, Truth, understanding, willing, wisdom, yoga
When I ask the question, “Are your roots healthy?” – I am referring to your basic thoughts, feelings, and expressions of life. How you are living, the choices you make, what you think about, how stressed you are, etc., all form the background of every minute of every day of your life.
Are you so concerned about what others think of you that you never stop to ask that question of yourself?
Roots are just like a plant: Unless you nourish them with your spirit, thoughts, and positive emotions, they can just wither away, drying out and draining you of your life force, every day in every way.
Nourishment occurs when you stop for a moment, take a deep breath, and look for something beautiful in your environment. Beauty brings peace, calmness, serenity, and joy into your life. When was the last time you did this? Do you remember the early morning sunrise or sunset at evening? Did you stop and smell the flowers along your path today? Did you notice a beautiful or unusual bird?
Or are you so busy with the every-day work demands, your families’ needs, soccer practice, making a cake for the bazaar to support your child’s activities, dancing lessons for your little girl, football practice for your young boy, etc., that you have just gotten lost in the shuffle? You know we have all had our turn at having to perform those requirements. The bad news is that it can go on for the rest of your life if you let it. You will not have much time to yourself to ponder your personal growth issues. In fact, that may sound like a joke to you as you drop wearily into bed at night. Whatever you need is at the very bottom because everyone else’s needs/demands/wants have to come first…or so you may have been taught to think that way, especially if you are a woman with a family or a man providing for same. The daily vicissitudes (wear and tear) of life can exhaust you.
So where do you begin to make a change in the above priorities? It all starts with thinking about it and writing it all down. Once written down, ideas come to mind as you look at the words. Perhaps you can begin to question how important each one is and decide whether or not to keep doing same.
Albert Einstein one said: “The definition of Insanity is to keep doing the same things over again the same way, but expect different results.”
So I am asking you to just step back from your life for a few moments, think, grab a pen and begin writing your observations of yourself/your choices/your life. If you are willing to do that, you are raising your awareness. Awareness of the need for a change is actually the beginning of a new life for you, living more according to your purpose, happier, and more able to actually support the loved ones around you because of your new vision. Are you willing?
God’s blessings upon your journey!
A few days ago, we were on top of Haleakala Crater on Maui. The sun was warm, and the view of the crater was clear. There was no wind, for a change, and the clouds were far below us. We stopped by a lookout on the way down from the top. It was there that I heard it: A profound Sound of Silence which touched me deeply. Somewhere inside of me, I heard and felt a stillness that I have never experienced before at this level. It was so peaceful and quiet. I felt so very blessed at receiving this precious gift. The surroundings were not only beautiful and majestic, but it inspired awe in the beholder. The Silversword plant, which only grows there, is wondrous. The clouds were coming straight up from the rain forest far below, like wisps of imagination. It was hard to leave it in order to return to the hustle and bustle far below us, catching our flight home.
I know that it is an oxymoron, for how can Silence have a Sound? Perhaps because it is the exception. Sound is a pollution present in every place inhabited by humans and animals. Some of it is pleasant, like the rustle of leaves in the wind, surf on the seashore, or a waterfall. How about the sound of a child’s laughter or a cat purring? However, most sounds come from our environment: Traffic, horns, overly-loud music, neighbors fighting over some trivial thing, etc. Some we like: a newborn baby’s cry, good music, conversation with a loved one or friend. Others we do not care for much because it is not within our frame of reference. Even when life is a little quieter, there are not many places where one can experience the Sound of Silence.
The stillness in my soul is now present with me, wherever I go. It is like it makes the song of birds more sweet, the flowers more colorful, and my awareness is more alive than I ever remember. I know I am more peaceful at the center of my being. I treasure this greatly.
In the Bible in Psalm 46:10, it states: “Be still and know that I Am God.”
In this stillness, it gives us a home base from which to operate. Eric Butterworth said it very well: “Be in the hub of a wheel, living life from the center instead of at the circumference.” If you are caught up in the sound and fury of all the activity, guess who is at the circumference? (Is it any wonder that, at the end of the day, you feel like you have been run over by something?) But if you take a few minutes for yourself in the morning for quiet contemplation/meditation, you can respond more from the hub of the wheel (for it is very motionless there) and with a more thought-filled response to everything.
Life itself is filled with cacophony. It begins with sound of an alarm clock so we can get underway, and continues throughout each day. Perhaps the baby is crying, the young children are fighting, or the phone is ringing, and the TV is already on. Sometimes, we are so afraid of being alone that we fill our surroundings with noise, be it a computer, music, TV, cell phone, etc. Some, of course, is generated by our 24/7 lifestyles, earning money so we can afford to live in this economy. The only question is: Is your health suffering from the anxiety, stress, and overload that is in your life, caused by the choices you have made in the past? How, then, can one begin to get a handle on this? Easy: One thing at a time. Begin to thoughtfully look at your reality and see each individual thing by itself. Then you can make a decision to alter it however you can to make your life more peaceful.
Serenity of Spirit is a worthwhile goal. It has a price that it demands, however. One must stop responding to exterior stimuli the way you always have. Dr. Wayne W. Dyer says, “Change the way you look at things, and the things you look at change.”
Will I forever be grateful for the Sound of Silence which I experienced on Haleakala? You bet! I have a new perspective to add to the daily ingredients for living a fulfilled life.
If you are a scuba diver, a snorkeling enthusiast, a spelunker, a hiker or climber of mountains, you know whereof I speak. You have experienced the moments of Silence.
I believe that each experience becomes part of our Tapestry of Life. Some beautiful memories add in the rainbow colors, and the tears and grief add the contrast of the background. When all is said and done, your Tapestry will be unique to you alone. How do you want it to look? No one else can weave it for you. For good or ill, it is yours to do. Others can have an opinion about what you should and should not do. But you are the captain of your ship. You alone must decide how to sail it and where you are going.
If you have a stillness inside from which to make your decisions, you will be able to ACT vs. REACT. If one is always REACTING to external stimuli, you will always have greater chaos in your life. ACTING means you take time to think things through before responding. If you have a charging elephant coming at you (which few of us will ever have), you will REACT. The rest of the time, ACTING is the champion of Self Control and Calmness.
Funny thing about that is people are attracted to you because they can sense your attitude before you ever open your mouth. It emotes from you like the scent from a flower.
How do you begin? The following quote (which is mistakenly stated to be from Van Goethe *) puts it very well:
“Then indecision brings its own delays,
And days are lost lamenting over lost days.
Are you in earnest? Seize this very minute;
What you can do, or dream you can do, begin it;
Boldness has genius, power and magic in it.”
By utilizing this idea, Synergy is thus created. (The Secret of SYNERGY is that, once movement begins, it multiplies and continues.) Is it a worthwhile goal? Absolutely! But only you can decide that. Are you willing?
God’s blessings upon your journey!
* (The lines are attributed to John Anster in a “very free translation” of Faust from 1835, where the lines in question are spoken by the “Manager” in the “Prelude at the Theatre.”)
Posted in Uplifting Thoughts
Tags: act, anxiety, awareness, blessings, calmness, center, chaos, choices, conversation, Eric Butterworth, gift, God, Haleakala, Haleakala Crater, health, hub, imagination, journey, life, majestic, Maui, meditation, metaphysics, music, New Age, New thought, Peace, Psalm 46:10, quiet, react, self control, serenity, silence, Silversword, sound, Sound of Silence, stillness, stress, surf, Synergy, tapestry, thoughts, Truth, understanding, waterfall, willing, wisdom
Unity Daily Word for July 7, 2014, states: “I live in an orderly universe where seasons change and new life emerges at the appointed time, where flowers bloom and apples ripen as designed and where I accomplish what is mine to do easily and naturally. I need only look to nature for assurance that there is ‘a time for every purpose under heaven.’ (Ecclesiastes 3:1) In the summer, leaves do not rush to turn to gold and fruit does not hurry to fall from the tree. Nature is in concert with the rhythm of life. Pacing myself, I willingly flow with life, and I find peace. I am not rushed. I meet my goals and maintain my health. I stay mindful of what is important to me and seek balance in all endeavors. With gratitude, I am fully present to this moment in time.” (Ecclesiastes 3:17 says: “For He has appointed a time for every matter and for every work.”)
In this harried world, with matters pressing on us every minute of every day, how can we begin to live as though the above words are true? Choices, my friends, choices.
What are you giving your attention to? Can you remember the last time you were truly at rest in your heart and mind? I would be willing to bet that you may not be able to remember such a time unless you reach far back in the past. If you can remember a recent occurrence, kudos to you!
In William George Jordan’s “The Majesty of Calmness,” he denotes the difference between haste and hurry:
“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 a 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 hobby horse 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 is the deathblow to calmness, to dignity, to poise. The old-time courtesy went out when the new-time hurry came in. Hurry is the father of dyspepsia. In the rush of our national life, the bolting of food has become a national vice. The words ‘Quick Lunches’ might properly be placed on thousands of headstones in our cemeteries…His self-respecting stomach rebels, and expresses its indignation by indigestion. Then man has to go through life with a little bottle of pepsin tablets in his vest pocket. He is but another victim to this craze for speed. Hurry means the breakdown of the nerves. It is the royal road to nervous prostration.”
So I ask you, would you rather participate in haste or hurry? It really is up to you to make this choice. Many days seem like we are a gerbil in a cage, just going round and round, full of sound and fury, signifying nothing. We get up, do what we have to do to get to work, work, travel when we must, come home, and then collapse on the couch till it is time to turn off the TV and go to bed…just so we can get up the next day and do it again. Many have very long commutes, whether it be by car, plane, bus, train, subway, or taxi. It all takes time, doesn’t it?
It seems most strange to me that many long years ago, many people worked very hard to give us a 40-hour workweek. But now, with the many ways we can bring our work with us wherever we go, many people work a lot more hours a week than 40. Some work places have actually installed beds! How many people have been waiting for a doctor appointment and can watch someone pace back and forth with a phone in the ear? Or perhaps it is someone using a smartphone, doing business, texting, talking, and finally going up to the desk to change the appointment to another day because this person could not wait any longer…and two seconds after this person leaves, the name gets called to go back? These are but two examples of how busy life can become. Have you ever been in a restaurant and watch two people texting at a table — only to find out that they are actually speaking to each other on their phones? Electronic gadgets are wonderful inventions, and they become more wonderful each day. My question to you is this: Are you using your gadgets to enhance communications, making great use of your time? Or is it just another way to hurry through your day? Are you compelled to answer your phone when it rings? Do you even try to text and drive at the same time? Have you watched someone in a near accident because they had a phone up to the ear instead of a Bluetooth or audio connection? Is the need for speed in our world of communications that important? Only you can make these choices. In short, your upset stomach may be as much from the pace you are moving as it is from the food you ate, far too quickly.
Stress is a known factor in every day. Many different types appear in very recognizable forms, but there are others that are not so easily understood or comprehended. These all complicate the difference between haste and hurry…for one has a plan and the other has none. Do you see the truth in this?
Life should be lived from the inside to the outside, not vice versa. Yet I see so much of the latter present in everyday situations. Life seems out of control, doesn’t it? You are like a marionette with so many strings tied to you that your daily dance is faster than the one minute waltz played in 30 seconds! How do you get your breath? Stop and take one — a very long one. Take five minutes for yourself, and get off the merry-go-round. Then, when you get back on, take a plan with you and use it. It will change your life from hurry to haste, guaranteed!
Here is a unique idea: If you need a little more time, give it to yourself! It is yours from the minute you wake up until you close your eyes that night. Choose wisely how you use it!
John F. Kennedy stated: “We must use time as a tool, not as a couch.”
Inscription on an Ancient Sun Dial:
“Time was is past — thou canst it not recall.
Time is thou hast — employ thy portion small.
Time future is not, and may never be.
Time present is the only Time for thee!”
God’s blessings upon your journey!
Clown on Hobby Horse, Briskly Riding!
Everyone looks outside of themselves for guidance. Ask a friend. Ask an associate. Ask a boss. Ask a parent. You name it. There are as many opinions out there as there are people.
A child needs the help and guidance of the parent/parents as he/she grows. God designed it that way.
However, as we mature, we have to come to the idea that we have to make decisions on our own. One cannot depend on exterior sources forever. We can inquire into many resolutions in any way that seems fitting to us…all exterior to our minds. They can help us sort it all out. But we have to know: THE MOMENT OF ABSOLUTE CERTAINTY WILL NEVER ARRIVE!
Sooner or later, we have to decide: Get into the boat with both feet and begin to row, or get out on the bank with both feet and find a different path. You cannot go anywhere by having one foot in the boat and one on the land.
For me, it is vital to make the connection/recognition of the God Self within — the Inner Companion who will always be there for me, waiting for my attention, recognition, and listening ability. First, last, and foremost, Prayer can help me sort out what is important and what is not. My mind can be jumbled like the Dr. Dolittle’s Pushmi-pullyu. I can feel stressed out, thinking about some problem that is of significance to me at that moment. Once I enter my meditation and calmness breathing, I can sort things out so much quicker. I can KNOW that everything is going to be all right, no questions asked. You see, Prayer, Meditation, and Breathing are all one — not separate functions.
Life unfolds before me in its fullness. I know that all my loved ones, problems notwithstanding, are being held in the hands of God. Each one is God’s child, too. Sooner or later, each one will find whatever it is that is needed to guide them and provide for them in every way.
Doubt is the killer here. If God’s phone is on busy, and I am not deserving, I am pleading for naught.
Belief is vital. God is With Me = Emmanuel. That is what it means. If God be for me, then who can be against me? Together, we form a majority. I ASK, BELIEVING that it is already done. It is moving from the unseen into the seen. When I say Amen, I know it will appear in whatever form it needs to take. I watch answered prayer every day of my life. How, then, could I not believe?
I ask God questions all the time by writing them down in a book and date it. When I get the answers, I also write them down. God is faithful and always responds through any avenue He sees fit. It might not be the answer I thought of, but it is an answer nonetheless.
God is so good to me. I can truthfully say that. I can look back over all the years, and be grateful for the good people who have come into my life: friends, loved ones all, are wonderful to my eyes. My life is full. My cup runneth over, daily. I have wonderful memories of so many delightful things.
I can look back over the tears I have shed by the bucket-full, and know that they served their purpose. I can remember all the sadness, disappointment, and dismay and know the same.
Kahlil Gibran’s “The Prophet” addresses this very well:
“Then a woman said, Speak to us of Joy and Sorrow.
And he answered:
Your joy is your sorrow unmasked.
And the selfsame well from which your laughter rises was oftentimes filled with your tears.
And how else can it be?
The Deeper that sorrow carves into your being, the more joy you can contain.
Is not the cup that holds your wine the very cup that was burned in the potter’s oven?
And is not the lute that soothes your spirit, the very woods that was hollowed with knives?
When you are joyous, look deep into your heart and you shall find it is only that which has given you sorrow that is giving you joy.
When you are sorrowful, look again in your heart, and you shall see that in truth you are weeping for that which has been your delight.
Some of you say, ‘Joy is greater than sorrow,’ and others say, ‘Nay, sorrow is the greater.’
But I say unto you, they are inseparable.
Together they come, and when one sits alone with you at your board, remember that the other is asleep upon your bed.
Verily you are suspended like scales between your sorrow and your joy.
Only when you are empty are you at standstill and balanced.
When the treasure-keeper lifts you to weigh his gold and his silver, needs must your joy or your sorrow rise or fall.”
These are treasured words for me.
Would I want to relive any of the bad memories? Nope. They came. They went.
Would I want to revive all of the good memories? Nope. They came. They went. I will treasure them always, but they are not my now.
When I am seeking Guidance, I know in my heart that: LIFE IS LIKE A SYMPHONY — ALL THE GOOD NOTES, ALL OF THE OFF NOTES, ALL THE BAD NOTES — BECOME ONE — THE SOUND OF MUSIC.
All of life’s memories become a tapestry, where the dark threads only highlight the brightness and color of all the others.
Knowing this has given me great equanimity and calmness, helping me to not only ask for Guidance and in Prayer for the many needs of every single person I know, some very tragic and heart-rending, some just confused, some seemingly lost on the path, some needing healing, etc.
GOD IS THE ANSWER…WHATEVER YOU CONCEIVE OF THAT GOD…WHATEVER RELIGION…WHATEVER BELIEF SYSTEM…GOD IS THE ANSWER.
Matthew 7:7-11: “Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you: For every one that seeketh receiveth; and he that seeketh findeth; and to him that knocketh, it shall be opened. Or what man is there of you, whom if his son ask bread, will he give him a stone? Or if he ask a fish, will he give him a serpent? If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children, how much more shall your Father which is in heaven give good things to them that ask him?”
Additionally, Luke:11:12 “Or if he shall ask an egg, will he offer him a scorpion?” Same story.
Matthew 21:22 “And all things, whatsoever ye shall ask in prayer, believing, ye shall receive.””
Is your life chaotic? Confusing? Are you in need of more information? Guidance is available. ASK, SEEK, KNOCK. Are you willing?
Posted in Uplifting Thoughts
Tags: answer, ask, believing, breathing, calmness, chaos, choices, confusing, God Self, guidance, Inner Companion, joy, knock, life, meditation, memories, metaphysics, New Age, New thought, prayer, seek, sorrow, symphony, tapestry, thoughts, Truth, understanding, willing, wisdom