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Sands of Time

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.

Image result for hourglass

Image result for ripples on water

 

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

 

The Joy of Life

The Joy of Life is a mysterious thing which you either have, know you have it, and experience it daily if not all the time —  or something has caused it to drain away, leaving you with an empty feeling, knowing not what you have lost.

Have you ever watched a dog that knows it is time to go for a walk? They are wagging all over, tail included. As they walk along, their head is up – unless it is down sniffing around at all the other smells. Their excitement does not lag as they go along, either. They are pulling on their leashes as a rule, and it does not matter what size the dog is.

How long has it been since you experienced the excitement of looking forward to something during your day? It could be something as small as a child’s smile or a small hand holding yours, or it could be meeting a friend or loved one for lunch. The possibilities are endless, aren’t they?

Or are they? Have the daily vicissitudes (wear and tear) worn you down to a nubbin?  Are you so caught up in what you have to do, what has to be done, and know you cannot do it all that your days disappear? It is like a thief in the night, for when you turn around, time seems to have evaporated before your very eyes. You look back over the last few days, or months, or years, and wonder where it all went.

The solution? Pay attention daily, hourly, and by the  minute. Do not let time slip through your fingers like sands in an hourglass.

Be alert! Look for it! Be like the dog who is looking forward to going for a walk. Be enthusiastic! When was the last time you “wagged your tail” over something you wanted to do?

Life comes to us in the present — not tomorrow or yesterday or even five minutes ago. It is the very second you are reading this, only to slip away into the past. What choices you make NOW do make a difference!

Do you have a dream that has dissipated into a ghost of its former self? DREAMS and GOALS help us to achieve more than we deemed possible, because SYNERGY comes into play. When was the last time you thought about your DREAMS or GOALS as a possibility/probability? Have you shelved them as improbable? You shoot yourself down before anyone else has a chance to do it! Perhaps you think you are too old? Too young? Do not have enough money? Do not have any time for such foolishness?

Any step you could take to achieve these dreams and goals is NEVER TOO SMALL! If you would take the step you see, it will lead you on…just like Dorothy in the Wizard of Oz did in the “Follow the Yellow Brick Road!” Along the way (where she tried to get back home), she was accompanied by Toto, her little dog, and then the Scarecrow (without a Brain), a Tin Man (without a heart), and the Cowardly Lion (without a medal). The Wizard of Oz  came up with a solution, which worked for him just fine. It took the Good Witch of the North to show her that the Red Slippers could take her home if she just thought correctly. Ideas are like that as well.  If you have the courage to begin it, life unfolds before you like a flower. Yes, you may have to pay in time and effort, but think of the fun you could have along the way!

Each day should be like a banquet, with the table spread before you containing all you could enjoy. What would your table look like? What do you want from life? Is mere existence enough, with one day melting into all the others along the way? Or do you want more? Define it. Write it down. Think about it. What step would begin it?

The Joy of Life is not afar off. It awaits you…with every choice you make today. Are you willing?

God’s blessings upon your journey!

 

The Picture of Alert/Excitement

Picture of Alert/Excitement

Dancing for a Treat

Dancing for a Treat

Having fun with paper

Having Fun, Playing with Paper

 

 

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.

 

Life Happens

Life does, indeed, happen…every second of every minute of every day. You are going along and think you know the daily occurrences. Then a variant enters in, be it health, money, unexpected change of jobs or becoming jobless, loved ones having problems which can impact you, etc. It can be good things as well as bad. Sometimes there are companions that we think are going to last a lifetime, and somehow the variants cause them to take a course that takes them into a different reality.

It is like traveling in a canoe, paddling along, peacefully enjoying the experience. Perhaps there is another in his/her canoe going with you, side by side. Then, unexpectedly, a small island comes up — you go on one side and your companion goes on the other. You pass the island, and your friend does not appear for another current took them off on another path. You cannot reach around and try to re-establish the connection before the island. Yet, it cannot happen because life has presented you with a new way to go. Your only choice is to be where you are and go forward, paddling along.

Sometimes on my journey, this has happened to me. People whom I have dearly loved have disappeared down another channel, never to return. Rarely, do they ever return. It is difficult to let them go on their path and find where it is that I am going. Yet it is mandated by Life.

Life Flows along like a river.

Some people try to stand on the bank with one foot and put the other in the canoe. They never trust the canoe (Journey), so they hobble along, trying to be safe and secure. That can be the biggest myth of all because change comes to everyone. How we respond makes the difference.

In “The Tao of Pooh” by Benjamin Hoff, a story is told:

“Literally, Wu Wei means ‘without doing, causing, or making.’ But practically speaking, it means without meddlesome, combative, or egotistical effort. It seems rather significant that the character Wei developed from the symbols for a clawing hand and a monkey, since the term Wu Wei means no going against the nature of things; no clever tampering; no Monkeying Around.

The efficiency of Wu Wei is like that of water flowing over and around the rocks in its path — not the mechanical, straight-line approach that usually ends up short-circuiting natural laws, but one that evolves from an inner sensitivity to the natural rhythm of things.

Let’s take an example from the writings of Chuang-tse:

At the Gorge of Lu, the great waterfall plunges for thousands of feet, its spray visible for miles. In the churning water below, no living creature can be seen.

One day, K’ung Fu-tse was standing at a distance from the pool’s edge, when he saw an old man being tossed about in the turbulent water. He called to his disciples, and together they ran to rescue the victim. But by the time they reached the water, the old man had climbed out onto the bank and was walking along, singing to himself.

K’ung Fu’tse hurried up to him. ‘You would have to be a ghost to survive that,’ he said, ‘but you seem to be a man, instead. What secret power fo you have?’

‘Nothing special,’ the old man replied. ‘I began to learn while very young, and grew up practicing it. Now I am certain of success. I go down with the water and come up with the water. I follow it and forget myself. I survive because I don’t struggle against the water’s superior power. That’s all.’

When we learn to work with our own Inner Nature, and with the natural laws operating around us, we reach the level of Wu Wei. Then we work with the natural order of things and operate on the principle of minimal effort.”

In metaphysics, I have found that if I am struggling, something is amiss. Either I am hanging onto something with a strong grip (and this can be for myself or a loved one), or there are outside forces at work which need examined, dealt with, and resolved.  I know what my flow is like. I know I must pay attention to it and give it due process, or I will encounter more problems, which can multiply exponentially. “Just Let Go!” should be written indelibly onto my brain.

A personal example is that I fell on a freshly-mopped floor in a restaurant without a visible “Wet Floor” sign. I injured my left knee, tearing my MCL with Meniscus involvement. I am three months post accident, doing physical therapy. I would like to rush it so I can get better and go back to the activity level I had before the incident. I was starting to walk faster and created a reversal on my healing process. So now I have to slow down and quit trying to hasten the process. I must be where I am and take small doable steps so that I can heal properly. I have to remind myself, moment by moment, to quit “pushing the river.”

Another example is about a loved one’s health changing dramatically, making me very sad for their loss of being able to stay in their home or possibly a stroke changing how they can function. One can only watch sometimes as this happens to others. Yes, you can offer assistance perhaps, but not always. For instance, Dementia  — when changes are necessitated by the condition.

When your Life alters course, are you pliable enough to “go with the flow?” Can you chart a course in unknown waters by gathering information about possibilities, choosing the best one you can (with the understanding that the moment of absolute certainty will never arrive), and then get both feet in your canoe and start paddling? Or will you fight, struggle, and resist the new reality? It is your choice, you know.

God bless your journey!

Low water flow

Low water flow

Heavy Water Flow

Heavy Water Flow

Flood Stage Water Flow

Flood Stage Water Flow

 

 

Life Is A Journey

It’s been said frequently that Life Is A Journey and Not a Destination.

How many times have you thought, “If I could just (you name it), I will have arrived.” You could put in, “Be debt free,” or “Be able to buy (that beautiful dress, fancy watch, expensive hand bag or shoes). Then people will notice how well I am doing. I will have arrived.” Every advertisement is directed at this attitude, whether it is whitening your teeth or buying any product. Please note the emphasis on arrived. Does that not, in itself, connotate a Destination?

Is the acquisition of “stuff” on your high priority list? How about buying a new home or car? Some people in the rarefied atmosphere want a new personal jet and a longer landing field. So you work day and night toward getting the “stuff” and then paying for it, be it a loan or a credit card. What price are you actually paying for it?

Are you working so hard that you have little time to spend with loved ones, and, even when you are with them, are you still fussing about some problem at work that you cannot resolve? That is time you never get back. I’ve heard a suggestion that I use: When you are traveling home, you mentally encapsulate the day and park it into a Box labeled “To Be Resolved,” or “Unfinished Business.” You then look at something in your immediate surroundings so you can really see where you are at that moment.  By the time you are home, you can truly greet your loved ones (be it a person, cat, dog, bird, whatever) and enjoy your evening more because your attention is not being fractured by some problem from work that you can do nothing about at that moment. Focus is the issue here.

Are you working so many hours that you are not taking good care of your body by eating good, healthy food and exercising properly so you will stay strong? Or are you grabbing fast food and gulping/chugging it down as soon as you leave the drive up window? You know it is high fat and will drive up your cholesterol and weight in the long run. You can tell yourself that it may happen sometime in the future and maybe not, and certainly not to you. It is amazing what lies we can tell ourselves to justify our poor decisions, and then believe them… 😦

Are your stress levels so high that you feel like you must smoke or eat chocolate or carbohydrates (sweets) to calm yourself down? Yet you may tell me you have no time to learn yoga, breathe correctly, meditate for a few minutes to calm the mind and body, or exercise. Do you know that the first sign of stress is the inability to breathe deeply? That shortens the oxygen available to your muscles and body to function. It creates aches and pains as well, headaches, tight muscles which can injure easily, etc. Is it worth it to you to find a different way to handle stress, and then do it?

Do you see a pattern here?

Life and choices come to us one moment at a time. Some choices never happen again because the consequences of that choice eliminates possibilities that would have been an option. Are you giving your attention to the price you are paying daily and what the coin is? (The coin is health, happiness, exercise, eating right, etc.) Is it worth it to you?

If Life Is A Journey and NOT a Destination, are you willing to take a serious look at your priorities so you can enjoy your Journey more?

Priority? What Priority?

Priority? What Priority?

 

Expand Your Comfort Zones

Stick your Necks Out!

Stick your Necks Out!

We all get caught up in our daily routines. It is familiar and most comfortable, like a pair of good slippers.

I would like to suggest that daily routines and comfort zones can also become a fence or a wall. Perhaps we might long for an adventure, but we never begin to plan one.

When was the last time you checked the cost of airfare to Hawaii? What deals are out there? Or perhaps it is to take a cruise or a trip to Disney World or Universal Studios. So many plan to do these as a dream, but it is always somewhere in the distant future…and certainly not now. Rationale then kicks in with: “That is too expensive. I don’t have the money.” You talk yourself out of it before you ever begin.

Do you work so hard at your life that there is no room for possibilities? Every day, year in and year out, is full to the brim with all of your lists of things to be done and must do.

It is said that the way to begin saving is to pay yourself first, even if it is only $5 – put it in a special account so that you can stop feeling like you do not have enough money to do anything.After enough time and consistent saving of even small amounts, you might be surprised at how much it could amount to. Dreams become possible one payday at a time.

Do you have a place in your wallet or purse for a “Hold Card“…be it $5, $10, or whatever? The thought behind abundance is this: You  look at something you would like to have, but you automatically think that you do not have the money for it, no matter how small a thing it is. (Like a nice Starbucks for a change of pace.) Yet, if you have a hold card, you could  decide to use it for that object. Or not. (How bad do I want that Starbucks? Do I want to use my Hold Card? I know I can replace my Hold Card on Payday.) But it then becomes a choice instead of an automatic reaction. You are breaking the chain that has held you in place for so long.

My point is that we get so set into our comfort zones that we never “stick our necks out!” Like the turtles above, we can look at our routines and decide if they are a fence or a wall. Analyzing our daily lives can bring to light other possibilities that we have not examined before.

Are you willing to “stick your neck out?”

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