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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

 

 

 

 

Growth Happens From The Inside To the Outside

As you watch the trees, Growth Happens From the Inside To the Outside. Some of the bark peels off, but enough of it stays to add to the tree ring which scientists use to tell the age of the tree. Each ring represents a year of life for that tree. The tree draws sustenance from its root system, the sap, and the leaves, which use photosynthesis to feed the tree. No matter how little the tree is or how big, the above holds true.

So, if you were a tree, what would your ring look like? How is your root system? How do you nourish yourself? Would you be a healthy tree, or a spindly sapling?

Your root system is your beliefs. The Religion you espouse yourself to be is a belief system.  Do you live your beliefs? Or is it a Sunday only kind of thing? Is it a healthy one, or not?

The Aspen trees can become quite big. Yet, when you look at their root system, it is very shallow and small. A strong wind can blow it over.

When you look at a Maple tree, its root system is huge and can be up to 1-1/2 times its height.  Strong winds may break off a branch, but not the tree.

Cottonwoods can become rather large. Yet they rot and deteriorate from the inside. When the winds blow them over or break them, they are hollow inside.

Which tree would you want to be most like? Are your beliefs so strong that, though strong winds of life may blow, you are able to bend with the wind and not break? Or is it shallow and built on what others have told you for years? Have you put to use the words so they become part of your story? Or do they lie fallow, like a field that is not planted?

Do you sometimes feel hollow inside? Perhaps you are unsure of yourself and lack confidence in your decision-making capability. Perhaps you have low self esteem, established when others told you that you did not measure up. Believe it or not, these are repairable. You are not doomed to be that way forever.

The sap of the tree is likened to your mind chatter. How is it you are thinking? This is what feeds your tree. Are you sometimes poisoning your tree by condemning yourself for some shortcoming, either perceived or real? Self condemnation is the biggest inhibitor to growth and change that exists.

The leaves are your daily actions, which generate life-giving, spirit-lifting moments and experiences. Do you take action mindfully or do you just slop along, doing what you do without enthusiasm? What do your leaves look like? Are they vibrant and colorful or wilting and sad?

Together, all of these analogies speak to someone who is enjoying their life, whatever that looks like. The trees I speak of are whole beings, and so are you. One cannot take just one element of it and have it survive. It takes the entire system in order to be complete.

Jesus talked many times of ATONEMENT. What if you were to break it apart into AT-ONE-MENT? Would it mean something entirely new to you?

The winds of life come at us every day in varying force and velocity. How you tend to your tree (yourself) will determine how you can survive it, learn from it, and go forth with a happy heart.

Are you willing to look at the elements of your tree: Is your belief system firmly rooted, able to guide you come what may? Do you control your mind chatter, directing it wisely into good channels of thought,  or does it control you, dictating to you about every detail of your existence? Are your daily actions mindfully and thoughtfully directed or willy-nilly, being blown every which direction?

Take hope. You can use the power of CHOICE and begin to learn to change whatever you think you need to. Books, teachers, workshops, preachers, etc., can all play a part in your growth. Once you DECIDE to implement some new directions in your life, the LAW OF ATTRACTION will come into play. SERENDIPITY and SYNCHRONICITY will unleash their powers for you.

Are you willing to take a close look at your personal tree of life in order to determine if changes are needed? Is the Status Quo good enough for you? Are you willing to live the way you do for the rest of your life? Only you can answer that question.

Rest assured that growth does, indeed, happen from the inside to the outside of you!

God’s blessings upon your journey!

Colorful Trees

Colorful Trees

Colorful Leaves

Colorful Leaves

 

 

 

 

 

Personal Rejuvenation

Springtime is here! What a wonderful time of year to zero in on your bad habits and look around for a better way to live!

We all do things on a regular basis that do not serve us very well. The bad thing about habits is that the more you resist them, the stronger they appear to be. I use the word, “appear” because it is just an illusion.

This goes for the all the “aholic” words you can think of: Chocaholic, workaholic, alcoholic, couchaholic, tv-aholic, game-aholic, text-aholic, foodaholic, phone-aholic, depressed-aholic, party-aholic, etc. Anything you do that does not serve you well qualifies.

There is an old saying that, “Too much of a good thing can become a bad thing.” Ergo, anything done to excess can become “too much of a good thing.”

Moderation can assist anyone who chooses to change. A piece of chocolate, a little tv/game/text/food/party time, etc.

Spring time is a time of renewal. It is, literally, a new beginning. A time when the earth awakens to begin another cycle.

You could choose to look at the illusions you serve and treat as a reality. You can move from concentrating on the problem to one that is looking for an answer. If you ask the question, God can answer you with a magazine article, a book, a person, a teacher, or a class.

Let’s say you want to lose weight, have tried many things unsuccessfully, and have an attitude of hopelessness — one that says you have not done it before, so what makes you think this time will be any different? You are concentrating on the problem, not the answer. There is ALWAYS AN ANSWER — one that will work for you if you consistently try something new. You could NOT eat the whole container of ice cream at one sitting because you are depressed. You could take a class that is appropriate for your physical condition…something that is gentle enough to help you begin to make a difference. You could take a meditation or a yoga class to calm yourself and learn to breathe correctly in lieu of stuffing something into your mouth to anesthetize your overwrought feelings. You could say the same for cigarettes, which everyone knows is detrimental to you to the point of death.

The problem is that the gung-ho attitude for change rarely works. Sooner or later, gung-ho gets weary and leaves. It is replaced by feelings of failure, sadness, hopelessness, etc.

In order to make some changes, you need to have a dialogue with yourself and be gentler. (No strong-arming yourself, please.) Look at the people on the Fastest Loser TV Program. They have given themselves an incentive to do what it takes. Why don’t you try to do the same? Surely, there is something you want that will help you to firm your resolve and take action for a change that is beneficial to your life, your livingness, and your longevity. Make a personal reward part of the program…make the rewards small enough and doable so they reinforce your long-term goal. The only question is, are you willing to take a look at your life, make a list (short or long) of what you want to change, and then come up with at least one suggestion that will help you begin…to take that first step, even if it is like a thousand-mile journey. Again, build in a reward program as well. The journey may be shortened considerably by improved attitudes, more energy, feeling better, liking how you look in the mirror, compliments from others, etc. Then you keep putting one foot in front of the other, moving along, step by step toward the NEW YOU…in looks, actions, etc. Make up new lists of action as you move towards your goal, always keeping the steps small enough that you will be successful, creating Synergy towards where it is you are going.

REMEMBER, THE KEY TO CHANGE IS CONSISTENCY!

Does that mean that, if you make a mistake and eat a box of cookies, you just permanently trashed your choice to be healthier? No, it means that you begin again, this moment, to fix a salad and a piece of meat for dinner. Failure only occurs when you give up.

MAKE A DECISION NOW TO NOT GIVE UP, NO MATTER WHAT! PERSEVERANCE IS THE KEY HERE!

Only you can make this Springtime a journey towards changing whatever it is that is not serving you well. Are you willing to make a list, look at it, and begin?

God’s blessings on your journey!

Tulips in Snow

Tulips in Snow

Growth Happens

Growth Happens

Signs of New Life

Signs of New Life

These three pictures show how Mother Nature perseveres: Growth continues in spite of the horrendous forces that can happen. You can see pictures of trees growing out of rocks and on impossibly steep cliffs, flowers and weeds growing up through the cement, etc. These should give us impetus in our lives to overcome, to begin again, and to go for it!

 

 

 

God Is A Chameleon

The nature of a chameleon is to become like its surroundings. Its color changes accordingly. If you put one on a green leaf, it will become green…if put on a branch, it will become brown or tan. It will assume whatever color it needs to in order to fade into its background.

Humankind loves complications. It creates creeds, rules, regulations, ad infinitum, just to ensure that condition. It loves the words, “Right,” and “Wrong.” It continually wants “Mini-Me’s” in its surroundings.

God is simple. If one says, “God Exists,” that person then looks for his personal perceptions of reasons to believe it. However, if one were to say, “God Does Not Exist,” that person would not be able to see God as He would then become invisible to that person. It did not change the Nature of God, the Principles of the Universal Laws,  or the Identity. It would only limit the perceptions of that person. It would be like Harry Potter’s Invisibility Cloak…Harry still exists, but he cannot be seen. If one needs visible proof that God exists before you believe it, you are out of luck.

The essence of God is faith. The definition of faith is belief in the unseen. The dictionary defines it as: “unquestioning belief that does not require proof or evidence, complete trust, confidence, or reliance.”

Quantum Physics proves daily that God is present everywhere and manifests from the invisible to the visible. He is energy becoming form. What is the connection and where does it begin? Prayer.

The Bible says:  “And all things, whatsoever ye shall ask in prayer, believing, ye shall receive.” Matthew 21:22

Personally, I have prayed for things, looking for the answers, yet not being able to recognize them when they are there right in front of me. The joke is on me. Finally, I analyze it and change my perceptions. The answer then appears as if by magic. Is it magic? No, I had to grow into the answer. As I grow, I ca perceive differently. If I resist the growth, it will happen, just more slowly, or not at all if I resist too much.  Sometimes, my growth has happened quickly…and sometimes I have been drug there, kicking and complaining all the way. Nobody said we had to like the process.

How about you? Do you want to believe that God Exists? Go for it because only good can come from it. Do you want to cling to the opposite? God then becomes the chameleon and disappears into the background. What then? Guess who has to take that first step?

However you circumscribe Him, that will be what your connection is. Are you a miserable sinner, unworthy and undeserving? Guess what you get when you pray.  Not much. You set the parameters. What will they look like? It is all up to you.

As for me, I see the Presence of God all around me every day: Magnificent mountains, deer, beautiful flowers, colorful birds, the kindness of a stranger’s smile, the laughter of a child, a hug, a kiss, etc. He is not hard to find if you believe in one of His Names: Emmanuel–God Within Us. Are you willing to seek His Presence?

Vaughn Lake, CO

Vaughn Lake, CO

Mule Deer

Mule Deer

Rose of Sharon

Rose of Sharon

Red Winged Blackbird

Red Winged Blackbird

Pair of Wood Ducks

Pair of Wood Ducks

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