Hub of a Wheel
Do you feel like life runs you over? Do daily activities make you feel like a chipmunk in a cage, going round and round?
Can this be changed? Absolutely! It takes effort on your part and a change of thinking, which is the hardest of all. We all get stuck in our ruts of what happened before. No matter how miserable, lonely, or hurting we are, change is often so frightening that we never look for a different way to live.
The circumference of a wheel has a lot of motion and activity. Only the hub is quiet and still because it is in the center. This is a key for one to begin to change thoughts and emotions, thereby changing our reaction to the experiences that happen every single day.
How does one find center amid chaos? The drums beat so loudly! Surely the tempo must be maintained!
The awareness of a needed change is the beginning. There are so many avenues that are possible. Meditation, yoga, natural settings where one can find the peace that is sought so desperately, music that speaks to you that quiets your being, taking a class on mindfulness or any subject as you seek your answer. Each person’s answer is different, particular to the uniqueness of each spirit.
Five minutes of quiet breathing and just listening to the sounds around you can serve you well. Perhaps there is a cacophony of dissonant notes, or perhaps it is an awareness of natural sounds. Each one seeks in a different way for the answer. There is always an answer.
Some find it in a church or music; others find it when with loved ones, feeling their presence calming down the vicissitudes of a particularly difficult day. The point is that, in each person looking for an answer, one always appears. ALWAYS. It is the willingness to find a way to the inner hub of one’s being.
If you have a “monkey mind” that is never still, it is particularly difficult to move from the circumference to the HUB. You can do it if you persist. It takes the effort to learn to breathe slowly. (Do you know that when one is stressed out, the breathing immediately goes to the upper chest and can even proceed to hyperventilating! The cure? Take a deep breath and hold it, then let it out slowly. Become aware of your abdomen and force it outward as you breathe in, then collapse it as you force breath out. Continue breathing deeply. Oxygen will increase in your body and brain. You will find a place where the thoughts stop tumbling like water in a storm, slowly the swells lessen until the surface of the water is reflective and serene.) When you arrive at the quietness, you will learn how the HUB feels. If others try to return you to the frantically churning water, in your HUB you can choose not to go there. It is always a CHOICE. Use it wisely. Let no one take that power away from you. Never surrender to outside circumstances.
Life can sometimes hand you a bummer. It has been said by wise men: It is not the circumstances that happen in your life that cause a calamity to become worse–it is your personal reaction to those circumstances, thoughts, and feelings engendered. Are you the captain of your ship, choosing how and where to sail, or not? The choice will always be yours, without regard to any other fact.
God’s blessings on your journey!
Posted in Uplifting Thoughts
Tags: activity, awareness, Breathe Deeply, center, change, choice, circumference of wheel, emotions, God, Hub of wheel, journey, key, life, meditatioon, metaphysics, Mindfulness, monkey mind, motion, nature, New Age, New thought, power, quiet, run over, ruts, Spirit, still, thoughts, Truth, understanding, wisdom, yoga
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.
Posted in Uplifting Thoughts
Tags: act, Beauty, blessings, calmly, center, chaos, choice, choose wisely, deep breaths, doubts, emotions, fears, God, heart, Hub of the wheel, journey, life, metaphysics, mind, New Age, New thought, Peace, perspective, react, spectator, thoughts, Truth, understanding, wisdom
The Dance of Life
When one opens his/her eyes, the Dance of Life begins. Perhaps you have not even swung your feet out to the floor yet, but thoughts and emotions begin to pummel your consciousness…things to do, priorities, fears, worries, etc. Usually, it is the negative stuff that creates stress that come immediately to mind.
Wouldn’t it be great if your first thought upon waking is: “Thank God I am alive!” Breathe deeply, and feel your mouth smile. Joy fills your being. You are looking forward to another day of living your life, moving to the inner music created by a soul at peace.
If you had to guess, which scenario would come to the mind of most people? My guess is that the first one reigns supreme, with few even believing that the second one is a real possibility and not just an impossible dream.
At the root of the problem is the idea that your reality is subject to many outside influences and situations, most of which are intending to cause you stress and predicaments beyond your ability to cope with them. Your Dance of Life would sound like a cacophony of irritable noises to which you would move like a puppet on a stage, with strings beyond your control. Your breath moves up to your upper chest, denying the lung’s capability to provide oxygen fully to your body. Does that sound hopeless? It does to me.
Who would think that the busy thoughts in your mind could be controlled, with a choice of what and how to dwell on each situation the day would bring? Being able to use your body awareness to soften the abdomen when breathing in, and tightening it to push the air out so you get the benefits of oxygen to all parts of your being is not a silly idea pushed by some guru on television. It is actually the saving grace, becoming the beginning of the Dance of Life that is possible for each and every one.
We have all heard the famous saying, “Life is 10% of what happens and 90% of how you react to it.” In life, attitude is everything; it is what shapes our beliefs and our desires. I would add that it determines how your Dance of Life will unfold.
Yes, there are so many outer occurrences in our life that seem to predetermine our reactions, thoughts, and emotions. But what if you could change that? During this time of fear-filled existence, a sense of loss of so many things that we once considered our divine heritage, and exterior dictates of our daily routine, how could it be possible to be serene and at peace with yourself and others?
If you want a dose of insanity, turn on the television to listen to the daily news. That will begin your morning with negativity enough to last all day and well into the night. Every thought and emotion, every occurrence, etc., will solidify the notion that this world is truly chaotic, with no hope of anything else.
Or: you could get a cup of tea or coffee, sit quietly for a few minutes, and possibly read something uplifting to your heart and mind, concentrating on what is right in the world instead of all that which is wrong. Breathe deeply, do some yoga or Tai Chi as you move into your world with a sense of lightness and joy versus darkness, sadness, and anxiety for yourself and the world at large.
We all know someone who is in dire straits right now, perhaps jobless, hungry, and depressed. Where does one draw the line with compassion for all those others who are hurting deeply in so many ways right now? Praying is a good key, of course. Each person must answer that one personally. But it is possible to remain in a peaceful center while partaking of such activity as you deem necessary…if you begin when you first open your eyes in the morning and before your feet touch the floor.
One thought that has recently come to me is: In the Dance of Life, the part we play (big or small) is just a tiny portion of the lessons others came to this planet at this time in history in order to learn.
It is the idea of a grandfather teaching his grandchild about a butterfly which is struggling to get out of its cocoon. The child wants to aid it by helping to remove the cocoon. The grandfather stops her, saying, “If you do that, you are condemning it to a flightless existence. Only by its struggle to get out of its cocoon will the life force fill its wings so it can fly and be the beautiful thing it was meant to be.”
If you could magically remove the struggles you see every day, would you? Could you? Should you? We all help where we can, yes. But where is your stopping point?
At any rate, your Dance of Life is under your care, custody and control. What kind of music do you want to hear as you move through your day? It is, after all, within your power of choice to determine this, each and every day.
God bless you on your journey!
Posted in Uplifting Thoughts
Tags: bless, butterfly, center, choice, cocoon, consciousness, Dance of Life, dream, emotions, fears, God, Insanity, journey, life force, metaphysics, music, negative, New Life, Peace, possibility, power of choice, priorities, reactions, right, thought, worries, wrong
The Sound of Silence
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.”)
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