Truer words have not been spoken. It is your choice. Are you willing?
God bless 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
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Christmas is both a time for giving and receiving. How are you at giving? How about receiving? Most of us are predominantly either one or the other. Rarely are we able to do both.
A child’s rhyme/song runs through my mind during this time of year:
- “Christmas is coming, the goose is getting fat
- Please do put a penny in the old man’s hat
- If you haven’t got a penny, a ha’penny will do
- If you haven’t got a ha’penny, then God bless you!”
You hear repeatedly that “It’s not the amount you spend on a gift that counts, but the thought you put into it.” Do we really hear that at the heart level?
I truly love this time of year. I love playing Santa to my friends and family. I know others do as well.
The naysayers emphasize the commercialization of the Christmas Holiday, stating that it is just a time for the stores to make money. Yes, that is true, but it does not take away from the idea that you can give of the love in your heart, no matter the item.
It is a time for expressing that love in whatever way you deem appropriate. What attitude do you have when you are selecting your gifts? Are you stressed out? Do you feel unhappy because you do not have enough money? If this is true for you, you need to take a look at your priorities. If you cannot give even the smallest gift with a happy heart, filled with the peace of the Season, what blessing are you adding to the gift? That is what matters the most, after all is said and done.
What do you feel when you receive your gifts? Are you looking at the amount someone must have spent, or do you think about what a loving thought and blessing is wrapped inside the package? Are you open to receive that thought and blessing?
My first gift to my friend, who later became my husband, was a small Christmas stocking from a mall kiosk, with his name in glitter and some candy inside. He went into shock when I gave it to him because it was so unusual for him to receive a gift. He still has that little stocking in his desk drawer all these years later. So you never know what a small kindness can do.
In the flurry of the season, take a few moments to stop and appreciate the beauty that surrounds you. The Christmas decorations, the music, and the Holiday Spirit (which does not come in a bottle, unfortunately) are all a part of it. I love to exchange Christmas cards because it is a time to touch base with friends and family to see how they all are, for they are now spread far and wide across the globe. What a special time of year!
The center of this Holiday is, of course, the Christ in Christmas. It is a time for celebrating his birth. Is He in your heart, mind, and spirit as you go about your activities? His Gentleness, His Love for all mankind, and His Caring Nature are all expressed through you on a personal level to every single person you contact. Be mindful of that as you go through your days. Do not be so busy with anything that you forget that.
Just know that you choose whether to be that blessing or not as you give your gifts. Put a little of your thoughts inside each one, K? Be a Blessing, K? Be aware of your attitudes when you open your own gifts — look for the thoughtfulness and be open to the gratitude for the expression of love that is inside each one, K?
God’s blessings upon your journey. Merry Christmas to you and yours!
Posted in Uplifting Thoughts
Tags: attitude, Beauty, blessings, choices, Christ, Christmas, Christmas cards, Christmas decorations, Christmas stocking, gift, giving, God, Gratitude, heart, life, Love, metaphysics, mind, money, New Age, New thought, Peace, priorities, receiving, Spirit, stress, thoughtfulness, thoughts, Truth, understanding, unhappy, wisdom