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Love – Reflection or Reality?

Today is Valentine’s Day – a time when most people find  a way to let others know how very much they care. Some use flowers, cards, and candy. Some cook a nice meal or eat out. Others find it is a day of loneliness because they are feeling separated, alone, and unhappy. Which category do you fall into?

Love has been described by many words, trying to express the emotions and thoughts which come tumbling through. In the end, words cannot encompass how one feels inside because there is such a distance between the head and the heart.

Is Love a Reflection in you, or Reality? If it is a Reflection, it is like an image in a mirror that one tries to copy. However, copies do not work very well because it originates in the head. If it is a Reality, the look in your eyes in the mirror, the smile on your lips, and the lift in your step comes through before you speak. The heart is expressing itself in Joy.

Yes, life can dim that Love expression, but it cannot remove it completely. The embers of that fire remain.

There are many illusions out there that can create feelings: Passion by itself burns brightly, but then is more easily lost; Hugs and Kisses feel good always – yet they are actually temporal; Gentle Touching can make one aroused, until sexual intercourse satisfies the longings. The plain truth is that it always ends sometime. The feelings themselves can cause confusion because men and women think they are Reality. When the feelings fade, they move on to the next stimulation. The problem is that satisfaction cannot be found there either.

Love as a Reality is present in every moment of every day. It is a State of Being, present always regardless of time and distance, life or death. It is like Light – shining outward to others and receiving their Light as well. Specific and Random Acts of Kindness pour forth. With that Light comes Respect and Friendship. They are inseparable.

Friendship is a key element of relationships. It has been observed that many people treat acquaintances better than they do their mates. That is a most strange phenomenon. Your mate should be your very best friend and treated accordingly.

In daily life, attitudes of barriers like “me” and “them” create situations that would not otherwise occur. Conflicts arise, causing stress and unhappiness for all. Perhaps it is time to take a look at that in order to find a different way to interact.

Many times, one may hear: “learn to love yourself first.” Jesus stated, “Love thy neighbor AS thyself.” Somehow, many people do not recognize the simplicity of those words. He did not say, “INSTEAD OF Thyself.”  Personal growth gurus have stated for years, “Begin in the morning, look in the mirror, wrap your arms around yourself and state: I Love You while looking in the mirror.” Sounds like a great idea to me. It is a start in the right direction, at the very least

“Love is a strange thing.

It is a flower, so delicate

that a touch will bruise it

and so strong that nothing can stop its growth.

Think how often we miss love in a life time —

by a wrong gesture,

by an unspoken word,

by not keeping silent at the right time.

We lose it by the interference of others,

by a lack of money and communication,

by a quarrel over a trifle,

and yet

we cannot live without it.”

Author unknown

May we decide today to Love in Reality in lieu of Reflection, spreading acts of kindness daily. Are you willing?

Happy Valentine’s Day!

God’s blessings upon your journey!

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

 

Flowing with the River of Life

Imagine that your life and all that happens to you are like a river, flowing from an unseen source stream, and flowing on beyond your physical sight. Now think about white water rafting categories:

Grade 1: Very small rough areas, might require slight maneuvering. (Skill level: very basic)
Grade 2: Some rough water, maybe some rocks, might require some maneuvering. (Skill level: basic paddling skill)
Grade 3: Whitewater, small waves, maybe a small drop, but no considerable danger. May require significant maneuvering.
Grade 4: Whitewater, medium waves, maybe rocks, maybe a considerable drop, sharp maneuvers may be needed.
Grade 5: Whitewater, large waves, large volume, possibility of large rocks and hazards, possibility of a large drop, requires precise maneuvering.
Grade 6: Class 6 rapids are considered to be so dangerous that they are effectively unnavigable on a reliably safe basis. Rafters can expect to encounter substantial whitewater, huge waves, huge rocks and hazards, and/or substantial drops that will impart severe impacts beyond the structural capacities and impact ratings of almost all rafting equipment. Traversing a Class 6 rapid has a dramatically increased likelihood of ending in serious injury or death compared to lesser classes.

If you contemplate these categories, you can see instances in your personal experience which contain incidents of these Grades — some much more turbulent than the others.

Sometimes, we just feel swamped, perhaps unable to function in our realities. Then there are those occasions when we encounter rocks that leave us physically or spiritually bruised/injured. Perhaps you are hanging onto a branch for dear life, knowing that if you let go, your life will change — fearing the worst, afraid of the unknown. But there can also be lazy river days, when one can just drift along with the current, not needing to care about when you will get there or how, just relaxing on your inner tube and enjoying the journey.

Awareness is the beginning of change. Choices occur second by second from the time you get up until you go to bed: From what clothes you will wear, foods you will eat, how you respond to negative stimuli, smile or frown, happy or sad, etc. All of these can combine with such force as to dictate what white water rafting category your day will be in. If you find yourself in a situation, can you take a deep breath, swim to an eddy in your mind, and relax, thus escaping the turbulent current? Instead of reacting to the external stimuli, consider your options carefully. Do you want to jump in with both feet and fight the current/waves/rocks? Or do you wish to take a slower, more contemplative route — perhaps portage around this particular issue and pick up the river  downstream?

My analogies are simply to draw your attention to what you have going on in your life right now. Do you like/love what is unfolding for you moment by moment? Or is it so traumatic that you want to run the other way? What maneuvers are you considering? Is it in response to the river or to the people in your life? Are you listening to yourself or not? Perhaps you may feel like you have no choices – which indeed becomes a choice in itself. Consequences follow as surely as the night, the day. Are you willing to keep perpetuating this myth? Or do you want to become more aware? Both have serious decisions/results. Only you can take action. Do you choose to paddle or not? Are you willing?

God’s blessing upon your journey!

Storms of Life

Storms of Life

Enjoy Life

Enjoy Life

Control Reactions

Control Reactions By Dr. Caroline Leaf

Our Thoughts Our Angels Are

“Our Thoughts Our Angels Are.”

This axiom, worded like Yoda in Star Wars, has guided me for many years. It quiets my mind, calms my emotions, and reaffirms my connection to the God I believe in.

God, after all, is not afar off. Nor is He capable of ever giving a “busy signal” when I am dialing in with a prayer. I do not have to consider the idea of  my unworthiness in order to seek His Guidance.

Long, long ago in a galaxy (life) far, far away, I was raised to be a good Catholic because my mother was raised by Catholic nuns. My father was a Methodist, but he died two days before my 8th birthday. So I was raised in the only way my mother knew: Catholic to the core. I could not only spell unworthiness, but I knew guilt for never, ever being perfect. In fact, I knew I could never do anything right. It was not a possibility for me. I attended many versions of Baptist theology for a lot of years. It came as quite a surprise to me a few years ago to find out that I was actually Catholic at my core.

Over the millennia (or so it has seemed to me, sometimes), I evolved. I found out that I was a Child of God. I was, and am, and always will be guided by the gentle, loving Father who helps me always along my chosen path. That is why I take His Hand every morning before my feet ever touch the floor, because together we proceed into each day.

So what has all this to do with my axiom, “Our Thoughts Our Angels Are?”

Thoughts create emotions which drive the engine of our being. These emotions, if they be positive in nature, aid us in our growth. But if they be negative, we are torn asunder. So you need to ask yourself, “Do I want to grow and become all that I am meant to be? Or do I want to remain in this chaos where hope and love cannot survive?”

Yes, you can choose what thoughts and emotions you cogitate on, for they are the gasoline for your spiritual engine. If you want to change your life, you have to look at what that consists of for you right now, and decide to begin anew. Each day is a fresh page. What will you write on it? It is all up to you.

We often look to Heaven and the God we believe in for assistance with Life’s problems and scenarios. But do you ever look within to your thoughts and emotions? Are you listening for answers as you continually recreate the chaos in your life, beseeching, pleading a God who appears to not respond? What are you looking for — rescue so the pain will end? If you are looking for that, you will have a long wait, my friend.

God’s blessings upon your journey!

 

Cloud Angel

Cloud Angel

The question is: What do you perceive? Do you see the angel? Or is it just a wisp of a cloud, without meaning? The same is true of thoughts and emotions. What are you thinking and feeling?

 

 

Room to Grow?

When one moves a plant, you carefully prepare the soil with additives and root starter. You put a lot of effort into making the transplant a success. Do you do as much for yourself?

One moves a houseplant around so it gets just the right amount of sunlight and moisture. Do you do the same for yourself when you discover you are in a negative environment which is killing your soul?

Many of our decisions in life dictate how we spend our time each day. Do you have a family, especially one with children? Do you have an aging parent that requires your care-giving? Do you have a high-performance job that involves staying in touch 24/7 with a computer, smart phone, or other tech-savvy equipment? Do you do business world-wide with different time zones? Are your relationships doing well, or are those filled with bickering over large and small things? Is there a lot of stressful people making unreasonable demands on you? Do you wake up at night and go to your computer to make a note about the day’s events so, if you get called to task, you can know what really happened? Do you have any time during the day which you can call your own?

My point is that your mental and physical health often come at the end of all the demands placed upon you. How can you have room to grow if you have no time for yourself? It takes time to read mentally and spiritually stimulating books/articles. Exercise does not happen without a solid intent by you. Neither does meditation, even if it means taking a few minutes to just stop and breathe, looking at the world around you and thinking good thoughts. Have you literally “stopped to smell the flowers” lately? Do you look for the beauty in your world? It takes time and paying attention to your environment to do it, no matter whether it is just a minute or two or a long coffee break. It has been proven that, when you hang art on a wall, it stimulates emotions and thoughts. That is why you see it everywhere. It is more than just a decoration. Take a minute now and look around you…what do you see?

Dr. Caroline Leaf (drleaf.com) is traveling the world, telling everyone that the brain needs nourishment of all kinds, including healthy food. The emotions that rule your world are either curing you or killing you. They evoke physical changes in your brain and body which will literally do precisely that. So are you paying any attention to the emotions and thoughts that fill your days? Or do they just run rampant over the top of you most of the time, dictating actions/inactions/reactions? That makes for a really crazy world. Do you like this type of situation, or do you want to take an action that will change it? There are so many classes out there aimed at teaching you to control your emotions and thoughts. Are you willing to look for them?

Dr. Emma Seppala (www.emmaseppala.com) has done some amazing research into the impact breathing has on you. You can say, “I know how to breathe as I have done it all my life!” But what you do not realize/know can be literally causing a lot of damage to your body. Everyone knows that stress kills, a simple fact proved many times over. Dr. Seppala is teaching that yogic/deep breathing can transform lives. When you are under stress, your belly breathing is gone, giving way to chest breathing. The cure? Belly breathe, of course! Have you ever watched an infant sleep? The little belly just goes up and down. Somewhere along the way, as we become adults, we become chest breathers and must relearn how to breathe correctly. It brings in more oxygen to the body, enabling it to help heal injuries faster and perform better. You would be the benefactor of many improvements in your life, including a greater ability to deal with the stress-causing elements and feeling much healthier.

Some think that meditation is a religion. It is not unless you choose to make it so for you. It quiets the whole body. It restores so much that, until you try it, you will never know the possible changes you enable in your physical makeup. It is said that five minutes can do wonders. Do you dare to take five minutes for yourself? You may find that you end up making more time for yourself because of the changes you see.

A king with a very busy schedule (where every minute was taken up with some required duty on his part) had an appointment at a beautifully-decorated room in a hotel. When he got there with his retinue, no one was there. His aid began apologizing profusely for the mix-up. He held up his hand for silence. He looked around the room for a few minutes, and a smile appeared on his face. He took the time to look at his surroundings. Finally he turned to his aid and said, “This was wonderful! You must schedule more of these for me — at least one a day! It will be very good for me!”

Sleep is another problem that can cause many serious problems to your personal detriment. People sleep with their phones at hand and work on the computer until time for bed. The television is part of your daily routine. Many studies have been done that state that the blue light from electronic devices can delay the body’s melatonin processes for hours, causing poor quality sleep. Why does this matter? Because REM (Rapid Eye Movement) sleep restores the body. If you don’t get REM sleep regularly, over time detrimental health effects appear: Change in mood (as in grumpier), poorly functioning body and brain, ability to handle stress, etc. It can even cause hallucinations. Studies state that  7-8 hours a night is needed for optimum results — any less than that causes significant problems. As one grows older, it is a rare occasion when you do not have to get up and go to the bathroom, but this is just a temporary interruption. My point is that your life can change dramatically if you change some of your choices regarding electronic usage close to bedtime.

Life can pass so quickly, second by second, hour by hour, day by day, month by month, and year by year. You can look back over your current reality and see how things are. Then you get to make a new choice if you are not happy with what you see. But only you can make the changes. Take a chance on yourself. Are you willing?

God’s blessings upon your journey!

Orchids

Orchids

Beauty

Beauty

Seedlings

Seedlings

Bees At Work

Bees At Work

Breathe

Breathe

Chihuly Exhibit at Denver Botanic Gardens

Chihuly Exhibit at Denver Botanic Gardens

 

Freedom

Freedom comes in many forms. There is the patriotic kind which can affect nations. There is the personal kind which alters lives.

There are also many meanings of the word, depending upon your perspective. There is seeming freedom which belong to royalty, who are bound by protocol. There is the freedom exercised by despots throughout the world, until they meet their end, usually a bad one.

Somehow, freedom has gotten confused some of the time with power, from personal  on up the line to the top of the political chain.

It is a well-known fact that Lord Acton stated: “Power tends to corrupt, and absolute power corrupts absolutely!” All you have to do is look at the current state of world affairs to see this truth clearly demonstrated.

Freedom has many connotations: “The state or quality of being free; esp., liberation from the control of some other person or some arbitrary power; liberty; independence;  immunity from a specified obligation; release from imprisonment; being able to act, move, use, etc. without hindrance or restraint; being able of itself to choose or determine action freely; ease of movement or performance.”

I remember a story of an election in Africa, where some women carried an old woman for days to the polling place so she could vote for the first time. It was that important. Yet I look around at all the politicizing going on already in the United States, with the spin doctors beginning their song, and I wonder how it all got turned around so badly. I personally do not want to hear another promise from any of them because they say whatever they think the people will want to hear on the campaign trail to get elected and then turn around and do as they please the rest of the time. It is a sad story, to be sure. I have the freedom to vote, which many people in this world do not have and will never see, yet I would like to have someone to vote for instead of against or the best option of two poor choices. The United States has many wonderful options for others to vote for — yet they do not step forward because they will not become involved in the political arena. It makes one wonder about that.

As one looks at all of the stories that come out of each and every country in this world, one sees similar stories playing out. There are the poor and disenfranchised, the person trying to make his/her daily bread however he/she can, the few at the top who enjoy enormous riches, and the rest are somewhere in between. Regardless of politics, there are the fathers and mothers everywhere who are loving their families and trying to survive. Each one may have their own definition of freedom, but we are not as different as political miscreants would have us believe.

Love is still a human quality that we all may share. Each morning, each of us, no matter where we are in the world, can commit to trying to make our little corner of the world a better place. Not all of us are meant to be Mother Theresa. But we can offer a smile to a sales clerk when we see someone else being rude to her for no ascertainable reason; we can pick up a piece of trash in the street and put it in a trash can; we can hold the door open for another, be it a man or woman; or many other ACTS OF RANDOM KINDNESS (ARK). Every single act you choose to do could multiply many times, as in the movie, “Pay It Forward!”

Personal freedom is the same as  LOVE, for  each one of us could help improve the conditions in our world. How are you choosing? Are you willing to help make a difference and change the world? It is in your power, you know, for it is based totally in your use of your choices.

Life unfolds for each of us very differently. Some of us choose poorly, and then watch as bad situations become even worse. Some of us choose to ignore the fact that we can change, so they sit and whine about their conditions while they do nothing to change that. We all know somebody like that. Some are putting forth super efforts to make global changes while they ignore their daily lives and small acts that could make a big difference. It all depends on how vested we are in living our lives the very best we can.

Freedom carries with it the idea of personal responsibility, as consequences of our choices make themselves manifest. One can be “free,” but I learned as a child that my freedom ends where somebody else’s nose begins. In lieu of being combative and controlling, one can choose to offer respect to everyone we meet. Friendliness opens doors that are shut by negative emotions like anger and fear. Our world would be a lot better off if everyone practiced these ideas. Utopian? Nope! Just putting into daily practice thoughts and ideas that can truly change our personal realities.

Freedom is a precious thing to be cherished in whatever way we deem appropriate. It is not to be taken for granted or used for deleterious reasons. It is not meant to be manipulated or controlled. It is a God-given right for every soul, no matter what the religious belief is. For too long, we have languished through a lack of understanding. WAKE UP! Become the person you were meant to be, no matter where you are in the world. Begin to make a difference. Reach out across the miles to other souls who are also doing that. Connect. Whatever you can do, begin it. Are you willing?

God’s blessings upon your journey.

ship - water - negativity Seagull in flight Kite

 

 

 

 

Where Is Your SEED Being Spread?

Matthew 13: 3-9, 18-23 states: “And he spake many things unto them in parables saying, ‘Behold a sower went forth to sow; And when he sowed, some seeds fell by the way side, and the fowls came and devoured them up: Some fell upon stony places, where they had not much earth: and forthwith they sprung up, because they had no deepness of earth: And when the sun was up, they were scorched; and because they had no root, they withered away. And some fell among thorns; and the thorns sprung up, and choked them: But other fell into good ground, and brought forth fruit, some an hundredfold, some sixty-fold, some thirty-fold. Who hath ears to hear, let him hear.’

‘Hear ye therefore the parable of the sower. When any one heareth the word of the kingdom, and understandeth it not, then cometh the wicked one, and catcheth away that which was sown in his heart. This is he which received seed by the way side. But he that received the seed into stony places, the same is he that heareth the word, and anon with joy receiveth it; Yet hath he not root in himself, but dureth for a while: for when tribulation or persecution ariseth because of the word, by and by he is offended. He also that received seed among the thorns is he that heareth the word; and the care of this world, and the deceitfulness of riches, choke the word, and he becometh unfruitful. But he that received seed into the good ground is he that heareth the word, and understandeth it; which also beareth fruit, and bringeth forth, some an hundredfold, some sixty, some thirty.’ ”

So, I ask you, which type of soil are you? Is your heart and mind open, ready for the good seed of words, thoughts, and deeds so that they may multiply? Or are you caught up in the daily vicissitudes of wear and tear, lack of money, somebody else got promoted instead of you, you see a gorgeous dress and know you cannot charge another item on your credit card because it is maxed out, etc.? Daily circumstances can wear you out to the core, creating lots of negative emotions and very few positive ones.

Words cannot help much with the stony places in your life, especially if you focus on what is NOT WORKING WELL.  The heat of the sun is living your life every day, trying to do your best – yet you are experiencing strong feelings of being OVERWHELMED and even HOPELESS. Each one of these feelings becomes a stone, impeding your growth and happiness.

The good ground is someone who, in spite of negative happenings, can press on and believe that things will get better. It may take time to unfold, but the possibility of change is enough to spur on that person as he/she seeks to know more and grow. How about you? Could you cultivate a better soil in you by slowing down, breathing deeper, meditate, do yoga, pray, or any other idea that occurs to you, like take a class, a workshop, or anything that will address the problems that exist in your life right now?

In Matthew 13:10 & 13-16, it states: “And the disciples came, and said unto him, Why speakest thou unto them in parables?”

It continues: “Therefore speak I to them in parables: because they seeing see not; and hearing they hear not, neither do they understand. And in them is fulfilled the prophecy of Esaias, which saith, By hearing ye shall hear, and shall not understand; and seeing ye shall see, and shall not perceive: For this people’s heart is waxed gross, and their ears are dull of hearing, and their eyes they have closed; lest at any time they should see with their eyes, and hear with their ears, and should understand with their heart, and should be converted, and I should heal them. But blessed are your eyes, for they see, and your ears, for they hear.”

Do you have ears that hear? Do your eyes really see? That indicates a connection with the brain so that it begins to think about what is heard. Have you ever talked to a child or teenager, knowing that they do not hear a word you speak? You have to first get their attention, which involves the Hippocampus at the base of the brain. If you can get their attention (like take away their game boy,  electronic gadget, or turn off the computer, etc.), you can actually communicate. How about you? Is your mind so busy with all of the things on your To-Do-List, or other consuming ideas that you cannot be calm, quiet, and peaceful? Check your breathing. If your upper chest is breathing up and out instead of deep breathing from your stomach area, you are stressed out and in need of a change. Do you understand with your HEART? Only you can answer that question.

This is the time of the Summer Solstice and rebirth. You can see it all around you: The ducks and ducklings; geese and goslings, birds and baby birds, etc. Do you want a new beginning for you as well? You can have it every single day if you so choose.

Life does, indeed, happen, You are the only one who can see with your eyes, hear with your ears, and understand with your heart. Are you willing to take whatever action is needed to get off the merry-go-round of your daily life?  Think about your soil and the seeds. What is it you really want? Only you can answer that question.

God’s blessings upon your journey.

Baby Mallards

Baby Mallards

Baby Goslings

Baby Goslings

 

 

 

 

 

 

Inside vs. Outside

When you are looking for answers or you have questions that need responses, where do you start? That sounds like a silly question, but it is vital to your personal and spiritual growth.

The very beginning of wisdom begins with a personal relationship with your Creator. Every religion in the world begins here for every person.

When I open my eyes  every morning, I say a prayer before my feet ever touch the floor: “Good morning, Lord! Thank you for this blessed day. I know that you will be with me every minute, unfolding my highest good before me. Take my hand, this day, and guide me. Amen!” Then I mentally take my Father’s hand, just like a trusting child, and begin my day. (By the way, if I ever turn loose of His hand during the day through negative emotions, I have to turn loose of them and reach for His hand again, trusting that all will turn out OK.)

You might ask why that is important. My answer? I know I am not alone, ever (that is, unless I choose to cling to negative emotions).

When I am seeking answers, need information, or just confused about some matter, I either write it down or ask the Universe to provide my needed responses. It comes in the form of a magazine article that I just happened to pick up, or someone sends me an email, or I become aware of just what I need to know, or a spiritual teacher comes into my life (in many forms, I might add).

Some religions call this: The Law of Attraction    OR What you think about, you bring about!

The difference between the INSIDE vs. OUTSIDE approach is that countless numbers of people seek answers from those outside, trusting them before one’s own insight is utilized. Many seek the advice of psychic readers, Tarot cards, talking with friends, teachers, preachers, Personal Growth Speakers and Workshops, gurus, Holy Men, Wise Men, Elders, etc. My point is that inside of you, you have a guitar string that resonates to your inner being and its growth. If you receive information from outside of you, give it the guitar string test: If it resonates, your highest good is being blessed.

This probably seems like an outer space idea, at first, if you have never resonated before. My example is that I was in Harper’s Ferry just wondering around on my own for a few minutes. I heard some notes of music coming from a store. I walked in, asked the sales clerk what the music was, she answered, “Danny Wright’s ‘Time Windows.’ ” I walked over to the rack, picked it up, and turned to go to the cash register. A lady stopped me by asking, “Excuse me, but you just walked in, found out what was playing, and now you are buying it. How did you do that? I have been here for two solid hours, listening to these. I still do not know which one to buy. How do you know you will like it?” I responded, “My inner Spirit just began waltzing the second I heard it. I know I will love it for always!” She, of course, looked at me like I was a lunatic. I smiled at her, turned to the cashier, bought it, and walked out. Of course, Danny Wright has many wonderful works out now, but that one was my first experience, and it was not being sold in Colorado for a long time. I still love his music.

If I did not resonate, I could never have done that.

Resonating comes in the form of words as well: Books, Preachers, Teachers, Wise Men, Gurus, etc. All of these are outside sources. My point is that, when I resonate to these words, I am forming a relationship with them, making them my own. They become part of who I am.

People can be seekers, going from a book, to a teacher, to a class, etc., accumulating knowledge all the while, but they never ask: How can I use this? How does this apply to me? What will I change because of this new piece of information? It never becomes part of their being, used, contemplated, and cherished.

It is like three blind men trying to describe an elephant: One has hold of its leg, saying, “It is like a tree trunk!”; one has hold of its tail, saying, “It is like a snake!”‘ one has hold of its trunk, saying, “It is like a rope!” They are all correct from their point of view, but the concept of an elephant has truly eluded them.

Some people accept words of an Authority Figure, which could be anyone that person holds in high regard or who they feel has power over them, and blindly follow whatever they dictate or whoever is interpreting their ideas. There have been many famous and infamous figures throughout history who prove this, including Jesus, the Pope, Dalai Lama, Buddha, Lao Tzu, Confucius, Mohammed,  John F. Kennedy, Ronald Reagan, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Plato, Plotinus, Aristotle, Hitler, Stalin, David Koresh, Jim Jones of Jonestown, Billy the Kid, Geronimo,  etc. The list is endless. It can be anybody whom one places their trust in or who they feel subservient to. In inner cities where gangs rule, guess who is dictating to others? You know who it is. This idea can be applied to a manipulative Preacher as easily as it can be anyone you put ahead of your good common sense, your Inner Guide, and your resonator. Wars have been fought for thousands of years and continue today because people give up their personal power to someone else.

You might say: “I cannot control the world. All I can do is make decisions for me.” PRECISELY!

You can be a seeker and travel the world, looking for completeness outside of yourself. Lots of luck with that one.

Or you can begin with the personal questions that you need answers to. Write them down. Ask your Creator to teach you what you need to know to understand how to RESONATE to an inner guitar string so you can hear it when it twangs, be it music, words, books, teachers, or friends. Make it your very own music. Create your very own symphony inside of you. This will guide you to the end of your days.

The only question is: Are you willing? God is the Potter, and you are the Clay. In order to change your reality, it must begin inside of you. It is your choices in action.

God’s blessing on your journey!

 

 

 

Is Life Serious, Seriously?

Have you looked at yourself in a mirror today? If so, what did you see? Was your countenance pleasant? Could you smile at yourself in the mirror. Could you check yourself out in the mirror and say, “Lookin’ good!”…?

Or do you see sad eyes, downcast,  and a tearful look on your face? Or perhaps you see someone who is extremely angry over something, real or not, in proportion or not? There are many negative emotions out there that can become a way of life for us, instead of a passing moment.

We all imagine our lives to be different than they are…perhaps a path not taken earlier changed your available options to something less than ideal. Lots of things happen to each and every one of us on every day we live. Some good, some not-so-good.

Oscar Wilde stated: “Life is too important to be taken seriously.”

I have to constantly remind myself to lighten up, find a reason to laugh, and even a giggle qualifies. Good thoughts can lift your spirit. Prayer is a great tool as well because it gets you outside of your own head (read that as hamster in a cage).

The key here is that you have to look for these opportunities so you can be aware of them.

Unfortunately, too many of us wallow in the problems, without a glimmer of light to show us the way out of our difficulties.

Yes, sometimes there are life-threatening happenings in our life…certainly not the time to laugh about it. But a bit of humor definitely changes an outlook. It also multiplies the quintessential possibilities available to us all.

There is so very much in our everyday world that could cause us dismay. Just look at the news casts. We have compassion for our fellow travelers on this planet and for the agonies they face.

But the main thing is: Life has to be lived from the inside of us, going outward to our world. We each have our own, you know. Your world is not mine. Conversely, mine is not yours. We each have different acquaintances, different beliefs, different thoughts, and different ways of communicating. If I am to make a difference in my world, I have chosen to use words to add more light along the paths my readers take, and I know I am personally able to share thoughts with others that they may raise their awareness, which changes their choices.

I choose the light of positive thoughts over the darkness of negative ones, which lead to no good end. If we are ever to find our way, we must find our own light for our path. The question is, are you willing to be open to that possibility? You are the one who needs to raise your awareness so you can see other options available to you.

God’s blessings on your journey.

 

Depression, Anxiety, and Anger = Awesome Trio

Depression is defined in the dictionary as: low spirits; gloominess; dejection; sadness…Psychology: an emotional condition, either neurotic or psychotic, characterized by feelings of hopelessness, inadequacy, etc.”

Anxiety‘s dictionary definition states: “a state of being uneasy in mind, apprehensive, or worried about what may happen; concern about a possible future event…Psychiatry: an intense state of this kind, characterized by varying degrees of emotional disturbance and psychic tension.”

Anger is defined as: “a feeling of displeasure resulting from injury, mistreatment, opposition, etc., and usually showing itself in a desire to fight back at the supposed cause of this feeling…Synonyms: anger is broadly applicable to feelings of resentful or revengeful displeasure; indignation implies righteous anger aroused by what seems unjust, mean, or insulting; rage suggests a violent outburst of anger in which self-control is lost; fury implies a frenzied rage that borders on madness; ire, chiefly a literary word, suggests a show of great anger in acts, words, looks, etc.; wrath implies deep indignation expressing itself in a desire to punish or get revenge.”

If you ask yourself a sincere question: Can I relate to these definitions? Have I ever experienced them? The answer would have to be a resounding, “YES!” Because, whether you acknowledge these ugly feelings or not, the human condition dictates that they are all part of our emotional makeup.

Then the question arises: Are you currently experiencing them in any form? Are you stuck in a loop where all you can do is think about what happened? This could include incidents that occurred many long years ago, last week, or right now.

Are you aware that depression is actually unexpressed anger, which then turns inward, wreaking havoc with every part of you? There are many avenues which you can follow in order to find an answer to your particular brand of it: Books, Classes, Meditation, Breathing, Learn to Forgive, etc. One suggestion I have seen is to write everything down and then mail it to that person, or just express it and shred it. Another is to exercise it away as you think about whatever it is. Another is to pound a pillow, expressing it as you think about it.

Depression also includes sadness and malaise. It can be due to the loss or illness of a loved one or an irresolvable situation, where the Pushmi-Pullyu from the Dr. Dolittle story, enters in. Just recognizing your emotions and the situation can help in enduring whatever is going on. Sometimes that is the best we can do.

Anger is not pretty. It can be extremely destructive in all of its forms. Women, more than men, tend to hold it in until it bursts forth like a raging torrent, usually over something trivial. All you have to do is look at the event and see if the words are commensurate with the situation. Usually, it isn’t. Then you have to look for unresolved issues that occurred prior to the outburst and see what the real driver is. Men tend to be more reactive to situations, responding immediately to it. Their fuses tend to be a lot shorter. This can be a good thing, but also not-so-good, depending on the outcome.

Let’s talk about the idea of FOXHOLES. Soldiers of old dug holes in the ground to protect themselves from the enemy. These holes were dubbed foxholes. In this analogy, think of yourself as being in a hole in the ground, protecting yourself from all incoming issues. As these incidents occur, you grab them instead of letting them pass you by. In lieu of handling the ones you grab at the time, you stuff them into your foxhole, literally filling it up again. You can see how easily your foxhole becomes full, and you are vulnerable because there is more incoming, with nowhere to stuff it. So when the next one comes in, you overreact because your foxhole is full. The other thing about stuffing foxholes is that, the longer that particular thing is in the foxhole, the harder it is to resolve. The idea here is to take care of all incoming problems and not stuff it in the first place. (Of course, if you had just let them pass by without dwelling on them, it would be a non-problem.) The only way to get the foxhole empty is to look at each thing you have stuffed in there and find a way to resolve it.  Easier said than done, you say. I agree, but it is absolutely necessary.

Have you ever seen a mother or father with a difficult child, who just keeps pushing and doing inappropriate behaviors? They usually forebear action, especially in today’s world, until something happens which pushes them over the edge. Then they overreact with angry words, actions, etc., that are not in line with what just happened and a punishment that is not commensurate with the child’s behavior mistakes. This causes confusion for all.

In the Bible, Ephesians 4:26 states: “Be ye angry, and sin not; let not the sun go down upon your wrath:”

My husband and I agreed from the very beginning of our relationship that whatever issues arrive during each day, we would take care of them before we went to bed that night. We would then resolve whatever it was, no matter how difficult or traumatic, to an acceptable level, kiss each other, bless each other, and go off into the Land of Nod peacefully. In all these years, we have never had any “Foxhole” troubles. Life is so much simpler this way. The resolution is accomplished more easily and appropriately.

Have you ever heard a couple arguing about incidents that happened long ago, dredged up in a moment of anger to be thrown in the other’s face? This is a full foxhole, folks. It appears as if by magic, but trust me, it’s not.

The most insidious factor of the Awesome Trio of Depression, Anxiety, and Anger is that they come to you in a complex mix of worry, fear, and trepidation.  They are usually part of your foxhole before you realize what is occurring. How can you solve that? It is simple: When you finally recognize it, do something about it. Find a resolution that works for you. Do not let it just stay where it is, causing trouble, ulcers, and affecting your health, because it will not just go away. You will have to find a way to dissolve it. Action speaks louder than words.

Another aspect of this Awesome Trio is that we can assimilate it from the world outside of us: All you have to do is pick up a newspaper, read news on inline,  or turn on the TV to the news. The horrific is common fodder for broadcasting. We react to some of it in a personal manner. Yet we can do nothing to change whatever happened, is occurring, or may come down the road. There are just simply horrid instances of every form of malice and ill will out there. Somehow, it ends up in our personal think tank as we find it abhorrent to us in so many ways. We ponder on it. Some of us respond and take some sort of action to assist whoever it is that needs help. Sometimes there is nothing we can do, ever. Yet it stays in our foxhole unless we take some action to either bless them on their way or otherwise resolve it so we can get on with our lives.

Living can be messy. It is not happenstance. We must participate in our lives to the best of our ability.

Are you willing to entertain the AWESOME TRIO of DEPRESSION, ANXIETY, and ANGER ENDLESSLY? Or do you want to find a way to process the causation in order to resolve whatever it is in a timely manner? It is, after all, your journey, health, emotions, ulcers, and life. No one can do it for you. You alone must make the choices that will make the difference.

God’s blessings upon your journey!

Anger

Depression, Anxiety, and Anger

 

 

 

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