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Joy vs. Sorrow

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.

Philippians 4:8

“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!

Hibiscus Flower 9″ Across

July 4th Fireworks

Sunset on Front Range CO

Perceptions

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.

Image result for ships

 

Christmas Spirit vs. the Spirit of Christmas

Is it the Christmas Spirit or the Spirit of Christmas? Good question. The answer lies either between your ears or in your heart.

If it lies between your ears, your mind will say, “There is no difference – it is the same thing.”

Your heart will reply quite the opposite, however.

Christmas Spirit defined can include everything from the “Ho! Ho! Ho!” to Christmas Cards to gift giving to one and all. It can include stress caused by many sources, exhaustion from too much to do and too little time to complete tasks, the lack of money, etc. It can be an  endless array of Christmas parties and too little sleep. It can be Christmas gifts put on display in the stores before Halloween and reminders of how many days until Christmas signs everywhere. It can be holiday music, lights, trees, and tinsel every time you look around. Yes, it can be all those things and more, positive and negative, bright and festive, cheap and elegant side by side.

But when you look at the Spirit of Christmas with your heart, you may find many surprises, one of which is the ability to see Beauty in your surroundings. That is because one is aware of time passing, along with a sense of peacefulness (like when floating on an inner tube on a lazy river).

If you are feeling rushed and filled with angst, slow down and take several deep breaths. Focus on just one thing at a time instead of a litany of tasks. Make a list of the tasks and choose just one, get it done, and then move on. Multi-tasking is a possibility if you still focus on just one object, like a person who is spinning plates on top of wooden dowels – touching one plate at a time to keep it spinning.

The Spirit of Christmas is not limited to a specific time frame on a calendar – it is truly an attitude that you can utilize year-round! In this way, one can see so much more clearly what is important vs. what is not so much. For example, you can give a gift from a thankful heart because of how satisfied you are with how well one is doing in lieu of giving out of duty or expectation. Pay attention to the details, one at a time, instead of feeling overwhelmed by the plethora of it all. You can enjoy one Christmas card, one gift your receive or give, or one bite at a time of a fantastic meal.

Time will, indeed, flow by regardless of how crazy you make yourself. So why not slow down your responses to exterior (and interior) stimuli? Then you can select the way you react to it instead of wearing yourself out from the inside, reacting vs. acting. Life can become so much more simple if you try this method of selecting a response (Acting) vs. gut level Reacting.

The Spirit of Christmas should nourish your Spirit, creating attitudes of thankfulness and joy. Do you remember that last time when you actually felt JOY? If it has been a long time, some introspection is required to find out when it left, how long it has been gone, and decide what you can do to restore it to your life so you can experience it again on a more regular basis. You may ask why that is important: Because JOY and PEACE are twins – they come and go together.

Peace is more than a word you hear and see during the Christmas Season. It is an attitude and a way of living.  It is something you can cultivate in your life which can begin with learning to  breathe deeply. Take a yoga class or T’ai Chi if needed. In our frenetic world, it is vital to your Spirit because it nourishes you from the inside out. It also simplifies complex situations which crop up all too often. When you feel like you are in a box and cannot get out, it is time to take a truly deep breath and seek the CALM (like that at the center of a wheel in lieu of living on the circumference where you feel like you are being run over).

The Spirit of Christmas is a gift you can give yourself every morning, if you so choose, no matter the time of year. Think about it: Are you willing?

God’s blessings upon your journey! Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

Image result for Bling Christmas

 

 

Imagination

Imagination is a wonderful characteristic to have. Like most things, it has its good and bad sides. The good sides can be seen everywhere: Creating a beautiful garden or landscape; writing a book; painting a picture; decorating a cake or a room; dancing; etc. The bad sides are not so obvious: Being afraid of monsters under the bed or in the closet; Phobias about anything from spiders to heights; fear of something in the future or consequences of what is past; etc. In fact, it is easy to see the negative side in others, but it is not so easy to spot it in yourself.

Imagination can be extremely helpful in Visioning a better outcome or future because you are dwelling on the positive side of it all. In a way, you are creating a mold of what you would like to have or see happen. The Power of Attraction then creates synergy to bring it forth.

One example of the bad side is a person who is a shut in with many ailments and pains, the Imagination works upside down, enhancing how awful your reality is. Your awareness of anything outside of your area is automatically eliminated.  News from the outside world is not important. If anything, one probably picks up on the negative news. Things begin a downward spiral, like a snowball going downhill. The synergy brought forth is not anything desirable.

Other examples are workers who are on a treadmill of life, barely able to feel in control of their choices because of the demands on their time: Travel time to and from work, young children, perhaps parents who are in need of care taking. In short, the idea of making time for exercise, walking, reading, or taking a long bath and just relaxing are just a dream. Yet they are essential to personal health and well-being.

The question becomes: What do you want to occur? What do you choose to dwell on?

It is this choice that becomes the difference. If one continues to dwell on the negative, the snowball continues on its way. If a glimmer of a positive can be introduced into the imagination, the snowball can be stopped and a new synergy begins.

However, most people are not proactive about making changes in their reality.

If they experience fear, it immobilizes and restricts, making it impossible or extremely difficult to deal with. That immobilization/restriction causes consequences that multiply exponentially with time. They longer one waits to decide on a plan of action, the more severe the situation becomes.

Fear begets fear.

“Only Thing We Have to Fear Is Fear Itself”: FDR’s First Inaugural Address.

“On the plains of hesitation lie the blackened bones of countless millions who at the dawn of victory lay down to rest, and in resting died.”
Adlai E. Stevenson
 I have also heard: “Upon the plains of hesitation lie the bones of countless thousands who, upon the threshold of victory, sat down to wait, and, in waiting, they died.”

The message here is that hesitation has a price you may not want to pay. It may not be today or tomorrow, but it is inevitable if you do nothing.

So how about you? Do you want to use your imagination in a constructive way? Are you so caught up in the daily humdrum of your existence that you do not think about a different possibility? It is your choice, and not making a choice becomes exactly that, a choice. What is your decision?

God bless you on your journey!

choice every day Choices - Chances - Changes

Dr. Wayne Dyer

Dr. Wayne Dyer

Do Something Life best days

 

Cherish Every Moment

Tempus Fugit! (Time Flies!) As I age, it seems like the hours, days, months, years just evaporate before my eyes. It appears to be a time warp, yet it is not.

If one were to think about the word, “Cherish,” its many connotations explain the deepest, most meaningful use of the word: “To feel or show great love for something or someone; to remember or hold an idea or belief in a deeply felt way; to harbor in the mind deeply and resolutely.” There is nothing casual about this word.

Each and every day, each person gets on the treadmill of life, doing activities and work, play, exercise, etc. So I am asking you to pay attention to the people in your life, young or old, boss or coworkers, your child or someone else’s – just notice how you interact with each one. Ask yourself, “If I never see that person again, can I live with what I just said? Was it kind or mean? Did I share a smile or a frown?” Instead of just trying to get through the day, why not experience each moment as it comes? Soon enough, the day will be gone. Are you happy with it or not? Is there something you would change? Do you wish you could “unsay” something? If you are not paying attention, a lot of things just slide right on by, good, bad, or indifferent. Is that OK with you?

If you decide to cherish each moment, you will notice a significant change in how fast the hours disappear. The people in your life will feel your affection and thoughts, simplifying interactions tremendously.

It is, after all, solely your choices which will make a difference. Choose Wisely vs. Poorly.

God’s blessings upon your journey.

Last Chance

Last Chance

 

 

Problem Solving

Albert Einstein said: “We cannot solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we created them.”

Sound familiar? So , how do you begin to change so you will get a better end result? One thought at a time. Sounds silly, but is, nonetheless, true.

Every day, life presents us with situations/lessons in disguise. How you respond to them is entirely up to you, your thought processes, your emotions, and your choices. Sometimes, we feel that circumstances dictate our responses, which can be partially true. I am not referring to “exiting a burning building” or “danger–run!” I am discussing things like an escalating argument where one participates in that escalation. Nowhere is it written that one must respond in kind till a situation gets out of hand. One can always withdraw from the room, decide to keep silent, or even listen with a verbal acknowledgement of what the other person is stating (which is the best way to defuse it according to Anger Management techniques). My Golden Rule which I have used successfully for many years: It takes two to fight – if one is unwilling, it cannot happen.

I am not addressing abuse situations where a victim and an abuser, either through emotional or physical actions, fuse into a deadly dance. Professional help is needed in those cases.

There are situations where we choose our response because of exterior demands: Working with a person with Dementia, sickness, disability, etc. We modify our own words through training, caring, or loving response.

Problem solving can begin as a written exercise, where one sits down with pen and paper (or computer or other electronic device) with the intent of brain-storming ideas for solutions. Then you take each item and contemplate its positive and negative merits. It may take time to really think it through. It can be as complicated or as simple as you make it. It may take several tries to come up with something you are ready, willing, and able to do. Just remember, you need to know that a resolution exists and you can find it, use it, and release that problem through whatever action you deem appropriate.

Just endlessly talking about a problem with numerous people does not change it. In fact, it can magnify it. The more you think about it without any solution that you can believe in, the more it becomes a permanent resident. If that is what you want, keep talking. If not, begin to look for a way to resolve it.

Life is a precious thing. It is more than an endless conundrum of existence, like a hamster in a squirrel cage, going round and round endlessly. One must come up with a different idea if you want out of said cage.

How do you begin? Answer: One step at a time.

Most situations do not change overnight. Yet, persistent effort to accomplish a different outcome does not go unrewarded. Every little bit begins a new synergy, which in and of itself, can accomplish more than going around in that cage another time. It is worthy of your thoughts so that you might find a new way to live.

Are you willing?

God’s blessings upon your journey!

 

Small Steps

Small Steps

 

Getting Ready for 2016

Such an excellent idea! Negative things, no matter how big or small, need your time to write down and contemplate. Change does not come in huge sizes. They actually begin like a snowball at the top of a hill – small and then growing in size as it rolls down. If you do want some changes in your life, then you need to look at the elements of what is needed to accomplish these. It is well worthy of your time and effort.

Warmest wishes as you begin your journey into the New Year, 2016!

God bless your every effort.

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

 

 

 

 

Where Is Your Focus – Problems or Answers?

Your focus is vital to your quality of livingness. Sometimes, situations demand your attention. Life can get really complicated. Answers may appear few and far between. Is there a solution to this conundrum?

Yes: Thousands of years ago, the Egyptians carved columns at the Temple of Karnak. One of those carvings demonstrate a person’s chin moving from looking straight ahead, turning to one side.  In other words, change what you are looking at – the idea of focus.

In the Bible, Matthew 5:39 states: “But I tell you not to resist an evil person. But whoever slaps on your right cheek, turn the other to him also.” In my Protestant upbringing, it served to teach me that I should be a rug and let others walk all over me as I was doing a holy act. This is known as Pacifism, which by definition is: “Opposition to the use of force under any circumstances; to not return insult for insult, abuse, or revenge .” Religions have been founded on this idea. However, as I grew up, I woke up one day. I realized that others learn nothing if you let them walk all over you, leaving their footprints on your back.  It was not “a holy act.” In fact, it was a form of violence, harming my spirit. I had to get up off the floor, remove the rug from my back, and stand straight. When others (whom I had trained by accepting their poor behaviors without resistance) tried to repeat their acts, I gently but firmly let them know that I was no longer going to accept it. They, of course, kept trying. (After all, I had trained them well.) Surely, I would eventually respond the way they expected.  (It is like someone puts a coin into a pop machine but does not get a can of pop. That person punches the button harder, thinking it will activate. When it does not, anger accelerates to the point of possibly kicking the machine, etc. ) In order to change the interaction level, the perpetrator eventually has to change his/her actions, accepting that you have changed. If not, he/she leaves. You might lose a supposed friend or two, but you will be better off in the long run because you will attract others who will respect you.

I found that “turning the other cheek” actually goes back to when Joseph was sold into slavery and taken to Egypt. He knew what the teaching was behind the Temple of Karnak carving. If one changes what you are looking at (your focus), you can become more aware of answers and solutions that were excluded by the narrowness of your focus – just like a camera lens – whatever it is focused on appears in the frame, and the rest is excluded. Life is like that.

If you want to stay on the level of the problem, all you have to do is keep thinking, emotionalizing, and talking about it. The more energy you pour into it, the bigger it appears. You are, in fact, turning a mole hill into a mountain no one can climb. You may want someone to rescue you (as you are a victim), saving you from whatever is going on. Fact: The more you claim yourself to be a victim, the more reasons you attract to feel that way. It reinforces itself, always.

How do you break the flow of negative synergy? Change what you are focusing on. It is that simple, and that hard. Habits are hard to break. That includes mental, emotional, physical, and spiritual ones. Awareness is the beginning of change. Realizing that something is not working is the beginning of a new plan of action. Find something that does work for you. Write out a list of possibilities.

The Power of Nonresistance has been glorified by many, but is actually understood by few. In Matthew 5:5, it states, “Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth.” Meekness, again, is taught to us as: “Patient and mild; not inclined to anger or resentment; too submissive; easily imposed on; spineless; spiritless.” Here is an idea for you: Meekness actually means “teachable” – the ability to bend with the winds of life so we do not break. Think about it: Can you learn to “bend with the winds” instead of becoming rock-hard in your opinions and actions? Submissiveness and obsequiousness can only lead to more trouble. If you are a person, you need to stand up for what you believe in. You are entitled to respect, safety, and the ability to express your ideas and opinions.

It is a well-known fact that water wears away rock. Just look at the Grand Canyon to confirm that idea. Why does it work so well? Water flows around the rocks. It is the act of flowing that wears the rock away. Can you see that “bending with the winds of life” is the same principle as “water wears away rock?” It is, you know.

Meekness and turning the other cheek actually go hand in hand, after all. Interesting concept, isn’t it? Are you willing to contemplate how you might solve problems in your life by changing your attitudes, actions, and choices?

God’s blessings upon your journey!

Grand Canyon, AZ

Grand Canyon, AZ

Grand Canyon - South Rim About Sunset

Grand Canyon – South Rim About Sunset

Grand Canyon - South Rim

Grand Canyon – South Rim

 

 

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?

 

 

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