In this day and age, negativity surrounds us via so many channels of communication. It pervades the air. Only as we center our attention on something more positive can we elevate ourselves above the din and strife.
Philippians 4:8 states: “Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.”
Socrates stated: “Man must rise above the Earth…to the top of the atmosphere and beyond — for only thus will he understand the world in which he lives…”
Those are amazing thoughts from long ago! They are more applicable today than they have ever been.
In everyday life, just when you think you can see the future before you (Life is good. Everything is going well.), some incident occurs in a short period of time (or maybe even longer) and that future you were looking at and hoping for becomes not even a remote possibility.
What do you do then?
If you fall apart, things get worse. If you grit your teeth and just keep moving, your heart may not be in it. But who can spring forward under those circumstances?
It all depends upon your belief system, believe it or not.
If you do not have faith in the good side of life, one is forced to wallow in the negativity. How very sad. The ability to smile is most rare.
However, if you believe in the idea that Good Happens as well, it is a lot easier to pick yourself up and move on, maybe not immediately but sooner than later.
So I ask you: “Where is your attention? Do you want to stay stuck in whatever circumstances are present that are stifling your soul?”
Dr. Wayne Dyer stated, “When you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change.”
This world, with all of its broken dreams, is still beautiful, wondrous, and exciting.
Where you put your focus is all that matters. If you are looking behind you at what is lost, you cannot live very well in each day or see the path forward, with all its possibilities. How much more do you want to lose?
It is not what happens to you (facts) but how you react to the situation that will determine so much of what lies ahead.
Are you willing to wallow and stay where you are, weeping for that which is gone forever? Or do you want to grieve over the past appropriately, center your attention on today (the present), and look forward with faith that it will get better?
It’s all up to you.
An old song says, “Accentuate the positive, eliminate the negative, and don’t mess with Mr. In Between!”
God’s blessings upon your journey!
That question, “Are you listening to your own drummer?” is a formidable one. If asked sincerely by your mind, what would you answer?
Life comes at us helter-skelter, haphazardly, causing confusion in its wake. From the moment one wakes up until one falls into bed at night totally exhausted, incoming information about a plethora of things bombard the mind and emotions. Even if we succumb to sleep, it is not a peaceful one, even if one takes a pill to get a little shut eye. How does one quiet this cacophony? Does one just simply react to each thing? It becomes a conundrum of spirit, to say the least.
Life is not simple. It can get very complicated in a heartbeat. So much can control one’s very being because it commands the time, thoughts, and everything one turns a hand to do. How does one survive this onslaught?
Simplicity is forgotten amongst the rubble of it all.
Einstein’s definition of insanity is apt: If one keeps doing the same things the same way but expecting different results, it is truly insanity.
So, if you ask yourself honestly, “How do I get off this crazy merry-go-round?” the answer actually is a simple one.
Stop and breathe deeply. Inhale with the diaphragm and then pull the abdomen in and push the air out. (The first thing to go when enduring stress is the breathing. We become chest breathers instead.) Perhaps get yourself a cup of tea or something warm. Sit down. Stop the scurry for just a few minutes. Then you can truly ask yourself:
“Am I listening to my own drummer, or am I just overwhelmed by the cacophony of it all?”
Perhaps you could put on some quiet music and think of a happier moment in your life. Transport yourself to that moment by closing your eyes, remembering the scene, colors, scents, and sounds.
You will find that five minutes of breathing deeply and thinking of something else, much happier, will be magic to your soul.
Life will, indeed, go on. But if you can but stop like this, you will find a tonic for your soul that no pill can compare to it.
Your own music is sweeter by far than anything else could possible be. Are you willing to stop and listen?
God bless your journeys.
In The Prophet by Kahlil Gibran, he writes: “The selfsame well from which your laughter rises was oftentimes filled with your tears…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.”
So if you are in sorrow, try to remember that, if you have wonderful memories of someone, to that degree will you grieve – sometimes for the rest of your life, for you will miss that someone more than words can express. That pertains to good memories of all kinds.
However, when you are filled with joy and laughter, look carefully at the situation/memories, etc. You will feel the connection with past incidents/people/special happenings. That will deepen the joy because you will understand the source.
Remember, your choices every minute can make or break your feelings/thoughts/memories. Whatever you focus on is what you are blessing into expression. It is, after all, entirely up to you to create the happiness habit.
“Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.”
God bless your journey!
Have you ever felt like you are doing the one-minute waltz in 30 seconds? Or perhaps you are riding a Class V wave as you are rafting the river of life? Do you feel like you do not have any personal time at all because you are successfully fulfilling many roles for other people, including a job? Do you just fall into bed at night, so exhausted that you have a hard time falling asleep?
How is it that, somehow, you feel like a puppet with others holding the strings, making you dance the way they want you to do? Perhaps you are so nice that you cannot control your own destiny?
Sometimes, one has to stop, breathe deeply, take a step back in order to look at your life objectively. Is that even a possibility?
NO? Absolutely not! What a crazy question! With all of the obligations that one feels like he/she must complete for every single day, how could one stop for even a moment?
In this fast-paced world that we are living in, so many people are so stressed out that it is only a matter of time before ill health and chaos catches up with them. Do you want to be one of those?
Life is hard enough without all of the diseases that are aggravated by stress of so many kinds.
So I ask you again, what will it take to get your attention? Will it take something drastic?
One can have a “To Do List” that is so full that one could not complete it in a week, let alone a day. No, you do not have to tear it up and forget the whole thing (which is what usually happens when you finally have some chaotic thing occur to get your attention). But you can begin to prioritize your list, whether it is internal (a mind thing) or external (real paper/pen thing).
But at the very top of your list, put at least 5 minutes in the morning for you – when you wake up or having your cup of coffee. Breathe deeply. Be in the moment. Notice something beautiful in your surroundings. Quiet your monkey mind, which is already running circles around you. You will find that even 5 minutes can change your perspective all day. It can literally even change your life.
If you are in a tense meeting, take a moment to breathe deeply, and then proceed as you think best. That breath may save your life in many ways.
Let’s say the children are whining or fighting and you feel like you are at your wit’s end. Stop still literally and take a quiet moment to breathe deeply, even if you have to lock the bathroom door for just a bit. Proceeding from that point can calm the Class Five waves and help you to deal realistically with whatever is going on.
Easy for me to say, isn’t it? After all, I do not have your obligations, or your problems. If I did, I would not be approaching this subject with such equanimity and simplistically.
Well, folks, I have worn that hat a million times in every way imaginable. What saved me is doing exactly what I am proposing that you should try. For only when you try it and see how well it works can you see the Truth of it.
Are you willing?
God’s blessings on your journey!
Here is an afterthought on a card I keep near me:
“Time is an invention of mankind.
It is in our control.
If you should be in need of ‘Just a little more time’
or ‘Just one moment of peace,’
Take it – it’s yours.”
by The Love Company 1983
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
In the movie”Shogun,” an actor (Yabu) says, “Life is just the single beat of a butterfly’s wings!”
From an observer perspective, that is a very true statement.
You got to make the morning last
Just kicking down the cobble stones
Looking for fun and feelin’ groovy
I’ve come to watch your flowers growing
Ain’t cha got no rhymes for me?
Doot-in’ doo-doo, feelin’ groovy
I’m dappled and drowsy and ready to sleep
Let the morning time drop all its petals on me
Life, I love you, all is groovy”
The popularity of fast food outlets speaks to how fast we are moving. As one eats on the run, gobbling up whatever food that has been chosen, did you savor the taste of it? Did you enjoy the scent of the apple before you bit into it? Have you heard a song so soothing that it stopped you in your tracks to listen to it? Or perhaps it had a beat that made you want to dance?
If you are healthy, did you thank God for how well your body is working? If you are not, did you know in your heart that you would soon experience being full of vitality again. Perhaps you are recovering from surgery or a health issue. Do you ever stop to smell a flower or listen to a child’s laugh? What is your focus? So many times, ill health makes one’s mind turn in. The only discussion possible is how badly things are going with you.
Life goes on all around us. Yet in our urge to hurry, the point of haste is forgotten. The difference is addressed in The Majesty of Calmness by William George Jordan, written in 1898. “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 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 hobbyhorse 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 has ruined more Americans than has any other word in the vocabulary of life. It is the scourge of America; and is both a cause and a result of our high-pressure civilization.”
I have asked myself what the author would make out of our world today, 120 years later? So the idea of “slow down, you move too fast” has greater meaning to us now than it ever has! Hurry has expanded to almost everywhere on the globe as well. Very few places are exempt from it.
You see cell phones and every other electronic technology in action everywhere. The use of these has increased our efficiency and saved us so much time. But how is that saved time being spent? Are you moving slower or faster?
If, indeed, “Life is just the single beat of a butterfly’s wings!” – perhaps one can choose to slow down just a bit, use Haste instead of Hurry, and use your five senses to experience and savor the flavor of your life. It is your choice. What will it be?
God’s blessings upon your journey!
Posted in Uplifting Thoughts
Tags: awareness, blessings, butterfly, choices, fast food, five senses, flower, focus, God, haste, healthy, Hibiscus, hurry, illness, journey, life, metaphysics, New Age, New thought, Savor the flavor of Life, surgeries, thoughts, To Do Lists, Truth, understanding, willing, wisdom
The Christmas story, as told in Luke 2:7 states: “And she brought forth her firstborn Son, and wrapped Him in swaddling clothes, and laid Him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the Inn.”
The first part of that sentence — all the way up through “manger” captures our attention. But I would like to draw your attention to the last words in the sentence: “…no room for them in the Inn.”
During the Christmas season, busyness rules many people’s lives, dictating a hurry and scurry that tires the body and soul. There are lists to make, gifts to buy and wrap, cards to get ready to mail, parties to attend, and festivities/programs to partake of. All of these are great and useful.
But what if you stopped to think about your life and heart as a manger where the Christ child could rest?
Are you moving so fast to participate in all your activities that there is no quiet time to speak of the manger and what it could mean to you?
Is your life like the Inn where there is no room for the ideas of faith, peace, love, hope and joy – the quintessence of the Christmas Spirit?
Whoa! Slow down! Breathe deeply now.
Every day, your brain, heart, and body need to take the time for your own good in order to make room in your being for focusing on the qualities that make up the quintessence of the Christmas Spirit — the Faith which helps you along your way, the stillness of Peace, the Love of self and others, the Hope of a better day, and the Joy of life and more livingness daily.
It would only take a few minutes, but if you choose to spend that time, the gifts that will bring will last all day long. Are you willing?
God’s blessing be upon you and your journey! Merry Christmas to all and a Happy New Year!
Posted in Uplifting Thoughts
Tags: attitude, awareness, blessings, Breathe Deeply, busyness, choices, Christ child, Christmas Spirit, faith, focus, God, hope, hurry, journey, joy, life, livingness, Love, Manger, metaphysics, New Age, New thought, Peace, quiet, thoughts, Truth, understanding, willing, wisdom
What do you most treasure in your life?
Time flows like sand in an hourglass – it is in our attention zone for such a short time, like a second, and then passes beyond our reach where we cannot change anything that just happened. Yes, we can make changes in future seconds in what is about to happen or is pending.
So, I ask you, where is your focus? What are you thinking about or spending time doing? What do you cherish?
If you answered these questions, then you must ask yourself the next question: How am I spending my time, which is so very precious because once that moment is gone, it cannot be changed? Every day counts. Every choice matters.
Are you working so that you might have more stuff, be it a Gucci bag, a Rolex watch, a new home, or a vacation? Or are you working because you are a solid citizen who pays your bills, but in many instances the incoming moneys are not enough to satisfy the outgoing layout? At what point do you draw the line? In this economy, many people are just surviving, working more than one job, and yet do not have enough to pay for necessities, let alone luxuries like steak. Homelessness of individuals and families is growing in this country because the pay for the available jobs is not enough to rent an apartment, let alone own a place to live. Many are eating the foods they can afford, which are the type that not only add weight but also contribute to extremely poor health.
In short, life happens. Dreams can die if you let them. Possibilities are never realized because every day we jump into the hamster cage, going round and round, with nothing changing.
Einstein said the definition of insanity is doing something over and over again and expecting a different result.
Time moves faster as one ages. Days fly by, months evaporate, and years come and go. You can look at the past and wonder where it all went and why. Many times it ends up in castigating oneself because of the negative perceptions/expectations unmet/sad remembrances.
So I ask you, where is your focus? Where do you want to put your energies/time/dollars/goals? Your answer is the essence of the choices you make every single day. So I ask again, What do you most treasure in your life? Are you keeping that in mind when you make your choices? Every act of every minute of the day becomes history, with its impact felt like the ripples that form on the lake when a rock is thrown in.
Time is very, very real. How you spend it – every second of it – really does matter, for one day the sands do run out. There is no turning of the hourglass for you. Do your choices reflect what you want to achieve? If not, a change is required. Are you willing?
God’s blessings on your journey.
We acquire our perceptions of reality from the moment of birth. Authority figures such as parents, friends, teachers, etc., all contribute to the plethora of our understanding. Some are positive, yet most are negative, along with the feelings engendered. When something occurs, our frame of reference for these perceptions come into their own. We reject whatever is outside of them, and accept without question that which “fits.” We react accordingly.
At what point do we question whether or not these “perceptions” are helpful or harmful? Unless something happens to challenge our perceptions, we go through life’s daily motions, living our life, whatever it is.
Here’s a thought: Our perceptions are actually crystallized thought patterns, which form a mold for future use, automatically. What if one finds that change is needed in whatever form?
In order to change something, one must first examine one’s reality to see WHAT IS. This will show us how we thought/felt in the past. Then we must chart a course to a new destination that we desire. We are at the helm of our individual ship, after all. To chart a course requires thought, with feeling becoming the wind in our sails.
If our thoughts/feelings cling to the past, there is no wind to affect our course. Only in the present can we make a difference.
One can use affirmations of what we can see is needed, together with prayer, to change the crystallized thoughts and perceptions. Only that will shatter the glass of crystallization, which will forever hold us in the same place, same habits, same situation.
Some people fear change because it is unknown. Only by Letting Go and Letting God with faith in the possibilities available can we begin to see the needed changes begin. Trust is a strong element here. Ego does not want it at all.
So if there is some change needed in your reality, no matter how big or how small, look at WHAT IS. Keep it before your eyes, thoughts, and feelings, without ambiguity or doubt. It is, after all, your journey, your ship. Are you willing?
God’s blessings for your journey.
Posted in Uplifting Thoughts
Tags: blessings, change, crystallized thought patterns, faith, feelings, frame of reference, God, journey, Letting Go and Letting God, life, metaphysics, mold, negative, New Age, New thought, perceptions, positive, possibilities, prayer, reality, thoughts, trust, Truth, understanding, What Is, willing
Webster’s Dictionary defines Mindfulness as: “Having in mind; aware.”
The Google for Mindfulness says:
1.the quality or state of being conscious or aware of something.“their mindfulness of the wider cinematic tradition”
2.a mental state achieved by focusing one’s awareness on the present moment, while calmly acknowledging and accepting one’s feelings, thoughts, and bodily sensations, used as a therapeutic technique.”
Your choices are clear: Get on that spinning merry-go-round and keep going until you drop from fatigue, OR STOP, BREATHE, Prioritize, figure out what is number one, do that, and then move on to number two. Anything else leads to insanity and ill health.
Besides, it does not work very well if you just jump on and keep going. Even Type A personalities get tired.
Meditation is taught in so many forms these days. If you need a quiet mind to function at your optimum level (and most people do), even a few moments in the morning before you begin your day is enough. Beauty is everywhere around us. Look for it. Take a few seconds to enjoy it. It just takes Focus and Awareness.
When the tempo of the dance of your life picks up to a pace where you can no longer keep your rhythm, something has to change. You just have to decide what that is. Are you willing?
God’s blessings upon your journey!