Blog Archives

Do Feelings Pray?

The question arises: “Do Feelings Pray?

Some would reply, “What an absurd thought!” Some would think, “How could this be true?” Others would agree wholeheartedly. How about you? What reaction do you have to those three words?

That is the telling tale in how you live your life.

If you would be the first one (“What an absurd thought!”), your reality is based on what you can see with your eyes, hear with your ears, taste with your taste buds, touch with your hands, etc. Is that all there is? Nope! In fact, so much of our reality is just our perception of things, not the real hard facts about things. There is so much more to life than this.

If you are the second response (How could this be true?), you want a bona fide answer to all of life’s myriad questions. Some would say, “You are from Missouri – Show me, Prove it, etc.” Unfortunately, taking something on faith is not within your possibilities. The quandaries your mind must go through are endless.

If you are of the third type who would agree wholeheartedly, you have been able to work through some of life’s most troubling problems successfully.

Why? Because feelings begin in the unseen world of thoughts, rising up from that well deep within your being. Your Spirit resides here. Your Consciousness lives here.

Most people think that outer situations command a response – be it anger, bitterness, love, laughter, etc. Yes, there are messy situations outside of us. There are people on this planet whose main goal in life is to make others miserable. Yet there are others who are working for the highest good of all. There are so many in between these two extremes.

As for you: Have you laughed lately? Have you smiled? Are you “down in the dumps, thinking that life sucks without end!”

Have you given your power away to someone else who may be bent on making you incredibly sad? What do I mean when I say, “given your power away?” Just precisely that. Your interaction level with that person is solely within their control because you let it happen. If you want something badly enough from that person, he/she can manipulate you at will. Is it worth it? Only you can answer that question.

Feelings are precious. They are the seed of your tomorrows. If you plant feelings of sheer misery, how can you hope to grow plants of laughter and good things coming to you?

One must be always aware of what you are emotionalizing about because those emotions then quantify, multiply, and bring more. If it is good stuff, great! If not, guess what kind of crop you will receive? You got it. In other words, if you emotionalize over what you DO NOT WANT, you are sure to get exactly that! Is that really what you want? Doubt it. That can never change unless you do.

Outer situations cannot control you unless you let them. The difference is between ACT and REACT.

When you REACT to a situation, you are giving your power away. When you look at what is going on, analyze it, and think about how you want to ACT in response to it, you maintain your sense of  awareness. You actually DECIDE on an appropriate action in lieu of getting angry, saying mean things (which you cannot take back), or getting physical. Even SILENCE maintains a powerful influence on the outcome of events, especially if you cannot decide what to say or do in this instance.

It is OUTER vs. INNER. Some people would pray about it first before responding. Others would rather scream and yell. It leads to no good end, but so many use this response, it does make you wonder.

How about you? If you are pondering some of life’s events, both good and bad, where is the balance of your emotions? Are you feeling PEACE, GRATITUDE and THANKFULNESS for the good you still have, or is your heart bitter, complaining over all you have lost? Until you can release the latter, you will be unable to see the former. It is as far from you as the East is from the West. In other words, you cannot get there from here.

If you think about the possibility that FEELINGS DO PRAY,  you can begin to change your life for the better. It simplifies a complicated process of personal growth, of which AWARENESS is the Beginning of Change.

It is all up to you, after all. Do you want the sadness of your yesterdays to continue to rule your life now, or is it time to let it all go, turn your attention to this very moment of today, and look for something to be pleased about? Do you want to keep moping around, or do you want to begin to REALLY LIVE your life?

God’s blessings upon your journey!

Seedlings

Seedlings

Orchids

Orchids

Maui Sunrise

Maui Sunrise with Rainbow (Promise of Peace)

 

 

 

Freedom

Freedom comes in many forms. There is the patriotic kind which can affect nations. There is the personal kind which alters lives.

There are also many meanings of the word, depending upon your perspective. There is seeming freedom which belong to royalty, who are bound by protocol. There is the freedom exercised by despots throughout the world, until they meet their end, usually a bad one.

Somehow, freedom has gotten confused some of the time with power, from personal  on up the line to the top of the political chain.

It is a well-known fact that Lord Acton stated: “Power tends to corrupt, and absolute power corrupts absolutely!” All you have to do is look at the current state of world affairs to see this truth clearly demonstrated.

Freedom has many connotations: “The state or quality of being free; esp., liberation from the control of some other person or some arbitrary power; liberty; independence;  immunity from a specified obligation; release from imprisonment; being able to act, move, use, etc. without hindrance or restraint; being able of itself to choose or determine action freely; ease of movement or performance.”

I remember a story of an election in Africa, where some women carried an old woman for days to the polling place so she could vote for the first time. It was that important. Yet I look around at all the politicizing going on already in the United States, with the spin doctors beginning their song, and I wonder how it all got turned around so badly. I personally do not want to hear another promise from any of them because they say whatever they think the people will want to hear on the campaign trail to get elected and then turn around and do as they please the rest of the time. It is a sad story, to be sure. I have the freedom to vote, which many people in this world do not have and will never see, yet I would like to have someone to vote for instead of against or the best option of two poor choices. The United States has many wonderful options for others to vote for — yet they do not step forward because they will not become involved in the political arena. It makes one wonder about that.

As one looks at all of the stories that come out of each and every country in this world, one sees similar stories playing out. There are the poor and disenfranchised, the person trying to make his/her daily bread however he/she can, the few at the top who enjoy enormous riches, and the rest are somewhere in between. Regardless of politics, there are the fathers and mothers everywhere who are loving their families and trying to survive. Each one may have their own definition of freedom, but we are not as different as political miscreants would have us believe.

Love is still a human quality that we all may share. Each morning, each of us, no matter where we are in the world, can commit to trying to make our little corner of the world a better place. Not all of us are meant to be Mother Theresa. But we can offer a smile to a sales clerk when we see someone else being rude to her for no ascertainable reason; we can pick up a piece of trash in the street and put it in a trash can; we can hold the door open for another, be it a man or woman; or many other ACTS OF RANDOM KINDNESS (ARK). Every single act you choose to do could multiply many times, as in the movie, “Pay It Forward!”

Personal freedom is the same as  LOVE, for  each one of us could help improve the conditions in our world. How are you choosing? Are you willing to help make a difference and change the world? It is in your power, you know, for it is based totally in your use of your choices.

Life unfolds for each of us very differently. Some of us choose poorly, and then watch as bad situations become even worse. Some of us choose to ignore the fact that we can change, so they sit and whine about their conditions while they do nothing to change that. We all know somebody like that. Some are putting forth super efforts to make global changes while they ignore their daily lives and small acts that could make a big difference. It all depends on how vested we are in living our lives the very best we can.

Freedom carries with it the idea of personal responsibility, as consequences of our choices make themselves manifest. One can be “free,” but I learned as a child that my freedom ends where somebody else’s nose begins. In lieu of being combative and controlling, one can choose to offer respect to everyone we meet. Friendliness opens doors that are shut by negative emotions like anger and fear. Our world would be a lot better off if everyone practiced these ideas. Utopian? Nope! Just putting into daily practice thoughts and ideas that can truly change our personal realities.

Freedom is a precious thing to be cherished in whatever way we deem appropriate. It is not to be taken for granted or used for deleterious reasons. It is not meant to be manipulated or controlled. It is a God-given right for every soul, no matter what the religious belief is. For too long, we have languished through a lack of understanding. WAKE UP! Become the person you were meant to be, no matter where you are in the world. Begin to make a difference. Reach out across the miles to other souls who are also doing that. Connect. Whatever you can do, begin it. Are you willing?

God’s blessings upon your journey.

ship - water - negativity Seagull in flight Kite

 

 

 

 

Common Courtesy Is Now Uncommon

The Old-Time Common Courtesy has become a dinosaur. Road Rage rules in lieu of being courteous and letting someone in when they put on a turn signal.

How many times have you seen the extra effort of someone, male or female, holding a door open so others can pass through, elderly, handicapped, or not? Not very often, I am sure. If it does happen, it is marked in your memory because it is the exception instead of the rule.

Gentle caring and respect, which you freely give to friends and acquaintances, is frequently denied to your mate, your life’s companion. When was the last time you said, “Please,” or “Thank you?” It does not matter if it is for holding a door open or paying for a meal, do you hear this from your mate as well?

Rough places in a marriage can be made a lot smoother with common courtesy. “My way or the highway!” has become a descriptive phrase for male and female alike. Since when did it become a power struggle?

Marriages, as well as friendships, need kindness, cooperation, and basic respect. Yet in this day, it seems that the “ME” attitude reigns a lot. The men try to please their ladies, and the ladies do the same. Yet it is only a surface thing in lieu of heart to heart. A man buys his lady flowers or jewelry to get out of the dog house. A woman cooks his favorite meal or attempts to please him to resolve a conflict. The real issue here is lack of good communication.

You have to ask yourself: “If I love this person (be it friend or mate), how do I treat them? Is common courtesy an element present in every moment, or rarely? How does this person respond? Do I need to change my acts of appreciation so that he/she knows how much I care?” In short, look at your communication skills.

This can hold true for on-the-job situations as well. Common courtesy is vital to good relations with anyone, whether it is a salesclerk who is waiting on you, someone does an ARK (Act of Random Kindness) for you, or even someone who is a “thorn in your side.” After all, the only person you can control is yourself. You need to ask yourself, “What am  I thinking?” Are you responding to a negative in a situation? Is it in retaliation for some slight, or is it a thoughtful word or deed? “Am I ACTING or REACTING?”

Dr. Wayne Dyer states: “You cannot give away what you don’t have inside. If you squeeze an orange, you expect to get orange juice. If you are squeezed, you may give away only that which you contemplate about, positive or negative.”

If you ponder that, ask yourself, “What am I expressing?” It is, after all, your choice.

“What you think about, you bring about!” Always!!!!!

God’s blessings on your journey!

 

Change Your Orbit?

Your orbit/life path has been created by all the choices you have made to date. Your trajectory is thereby something that can be projected from today into the future. Is that a scary idea (if you are not happy with your orbit/life path)? Or is it something to look forward to and anticipate? Perhaps some of each, like the Pushmi-pullyu from Doctor Dolittle?

Sometimes, our orbits/life paths are greatly affected by other people in our lives. Sometimes it is a mate, a child, a boss, a supervisor, a job, or some other important person like a parent. Sometimes we give our power away to others…we let them dictate to us what our lives should be like and do what they want in lieu of what we know, innately, is best for us, whether they agree or not. Sometimes we want others to tell us what to do because we feel hopelessly lost in the wilderness. That can be anything from psychic readings, tarot card readings, or even a priest or minister.

The message here is that each person is a Divine Creation of God, Unique, Special, with lessons to be learned on this planet, which is the third rock from the sun. The Truth is that each person controls his/her destiny, which is revealed every day though the choices that are made.

Have you always wanted to take a class to improve your mind, expand your awareness, or just for fun? What is keeping you from achieving that? Have you a list of books to read…someday, when you have time? These books not only add energy and knowledge, but they can give you the momentum to escape your current orbit and create a new one.

The difference between an old orbit/life path/trajectory and a new one is that something has to change.

W. Foster Welborn has a saying: “You cannot keep doing what you have been doing and expect you will get different results!”

In order to get different results, something has to added to your life that becomes the new beginning you seek.

If you want to be more healthy, you have to put down that donut or Danish and select a protein and a fruit. In lieu of that bottomless cup of caffeine, you need to drink more water. Instead of catching the elevator or escalator, you need to walk some stairs. Instead of collapsing on the couch at night with  a remote in your hands, you need to set aside some time that fits your schedule and actually do something physical: Take a walk, ride a bike, take an exercise class, lift some weights, get on that exercise machine you bought (which is now a clothes hanger) and actually use it! Consistent effort here will pay off in so many ways, from a healthier you to a much happier you because, yes, exercise actually does lift the spirit!

Life’s daily demands of living, tasks to be done, obligations that we feel are required, etc., can use up every second of every day, with no room for anything else.

Your family, loved ones, and friends are important to you. Caring for them is vital. Do you take the time every single day to sit down and look into that person’s eyes and communicate with him/her, touching them like a hug or a kiss on the cheek? Your presence is a gift that no one can take away. Even a few minutes can make a difference over time. If you start when the child is young, for example, by the time they are a teenager with other priorities, they will still accept your presence. It is never too late to start.

I have read statistics that say that families are much more liable to text each other, even in the same room or in the same house, than they are to get up and go communicate face-to-face. One can laugh about this, but think of the opportunities you miss by doing it! Perhaps you might save some time, but at what cost? I have even heard that there are couples who can sit across from each other at a table and actually be texting each other!

Conversation is a lost art in our society, for the most part. Over a hundred years ago, they knew how to use words. They utilized a lot of words that have fallen out of use today because no one bothers with them anymore.

Are you willing to take a look at your orbit/life path to see if there is something that needs changing? Perhaps a choice that could be made differently if you took a class, like Assertiveness Training? Make a list – write it down. It takes it out of your head and gives you an objective to examine.

Only you have the power to change your trajectory. Are you willing to do that? It has power, Synergy, and life-fulfilling moments just waiting for you!

God bless your journey!

 

Anger Management

A quote I live by every day: “Life is too serious to be taken seriously.”

I have had at least one person ask me what that means. I just responded, “Lighten up.”

When I was young, my temper would often get the best of me. Then I would dwell on the situation, only making myself more upset by the minute. Often it would take me days to get over some small incident.

Even if someone actually means to do something ornery to you, is a grudge the best way to handle it?

If someone cuts you off in traffic, do you react with anger? Are you still upset at your desk hours later? I figure that  person who cut me off, nearly taking my fender with him, did not actually do it to me — it is a habitual way to drive which is a poor paymaster, eventually causing that person to damage his own vehicle and probably somebody else’s. I bless him on his way.

As I have aged, I grant others the ability to misbehave and make mistakes, knowing that they are doing the best they can at that moment. I do not take it personally. It saves me a lot of wear and tear on my heart and mind because I just do not want to get angry about the situation. When I get angry, I am leaving my center of peace and tranquillity and exchanging it for something that will not be worth the agony it causes. I have to choose to ACT and not REACT. If I have to state something clearly so that a situation is resolved, I do not have to yell or cuss to get my point across. Yet there is no doubt in anyone’s mind what I am communicating.

I took an Anger Management class many years ago. I learned that ACTIVE LISTENING is the key. You repeat back to the person who is yelling at you exactly what you heard. You keep it up. Soon, the volume decreases. People yell because they think you did not hear them. When you repeat what they say, they lose steam. The Anger flows away. You cannot rationalize with an angry person. He/she is not listening to you. You cannot discuss the issues if one person is yelling and not listening. You can even, eventually, agree to disagree and then set another time to actually discuss the issues if it is necessary. I personally had to deal with a very angry 300 pound man who was borderline getting physically violent. The active listening calmed him down until I could ask him to leave. So I know it works.

Anger, in some people, causes them to withdraw as a reaction. They crawl up into a little shell, which only increases the anger expression of whoever is perpetrating the situation. Obviously, that person does not know you are listening to them.  Some people just try to get away from whatever is happening and just run away from the scene as fast as they can. Resolution never occurs.

Bullies love it. We admit that. They like to feel powerful and power-filled. They usually find someone to pick on that is smaller than they are.  They win by intimidation. Some supervisors do that same thing. You cannot interact with them because they know they have POWER. But being quiet like a mouse does not work either as a response. They usually only get worse. Try Active Listening techniques. Perhaps it will help calm the situation.

When someone is angry, it raises their blood pressure, the adrenalin “fight or flight” response, and the wear and tear on the body. It is like a light that goes shooting out at the person or situation. When it is over, one feels empty and drained. If the anger is not expressed properly, however, it turns inward and becomes depression. That is a bad beast to have to deal with.

You can pound on pillows, write a hate letter and shred it, perform physical exercise, imagining that you are stomping out the problem/situation/person. There are lots of ways to exorcise the bad feelings without putting one’s fist through a wall, person, or thing.

I have had three accidents in my life which have impacted my body functioning and hampered how I can do many tasks. I have had to deal with anger over the losses to my healthy body. Life is not fair, and it will never be so. I had to work my way through the anger responses so I could deal with the pain and the situation. That is not an easy thing to do, but it is necessary because I choose to be a pleasant person with a smile on my face. Most people will never know what I have gone through and what is happening to my body at any moment. I do not let the pain or the anger control me and dictate what my interaction level will be with others. I choose to overcome it and share the best that is in me with my world.

We are like puppets of the memories we have, registered long ago when we were learning how to interact with our world. We learned how to deal with situations by watching those around us. If we did not have good mentors (and most of us had parents and others around us who are capable of making mistakes), we respond with whatever we learned, good or bad.

Most of the therapy that people pay for is so they can react and interact with their world differently than what they learned when they were small. They want to be able to be more functional. That is a good thing. It is never too late to change, using whatever tools you can find that work for you, be it a book, a good friend, etc.

If you find yourself becoming angry at something or someone, can you stop for even a second before you light that flame of destruction? Can you ask yourself why you are ready to rip somebody’s head off? Can you stop and breathe deeply, trying to calm yourself, your blood pressure, and your “fight or flight” response? That is the purpose for counting to 10, slowly.

Do you remember the scene in the Harry Potter movie where Ron was facing his fears, and he turned the spider into a clown, with roller skates on each leg?  Do you know that anger can be dealt with in the same way? I quietly think about a scene from Alice in Wonderland, looking for the Mad Hatter, The Cheshire Cat, the White Rabbit with the pocket watch yelling, “I’m late! I’m late! I’m late!” Anything that will add levity to the situation until I can regain my perspective. I don’t have to tell anyone what I am up to…I just do it.

When things gets crazy around me, instead of joining the craziness, I just calmly rise in my air balloon, looking at the situation as a spectator. If I choose to ACT, I can then do so. No hint of REACT is there. (Now, if I had a charging tiger to deal with, I would put my adrenalin to good use. But short of that, in real life, there are not many  dangers out there to react to. It is the imaginary dangers that cause the damage, and most of them never happen. We just worry about it all, nonetheless.)

If have been told that I am a very positive person. I work at it. It is not something that happens by chance. I work on my calm attitudes because I want to be part of the answer, not the problem.

Each morning when I get up, I set my sails so that if some errant wind catches me, I can then adjust my sails so I can keep heading towards my destination, whatever that may be for the day. Lots of people can try to huff and puff, and blow me off course…all to no avail. Circumstances can do the same. I still press on with my hand on the helm, charting my course by my belief system and my faith. with prayers always in my heart.

Life happens. We all make mistakes. We have to continually pick ourselves up, dust ourselves off, and start all over again.

If you find yourself stewing over some situation and not arriving at a peaceful resolution, just know that you have lots of company. The only questions you need to ask yourself are, “Do I want to continue feeling like this? Do I want to change that?” Hanging onto your anger will not solve a thing. It only wears you out from the inside. Is it worth it?

 

Renew Your Mind

Romans 12:2 states: “Be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind…”
What does that really mean? The dictionary defines RENEW as “to give new spiritual strength to, revive, to begin again, to refill with a fresh supply.”
Could we then decide to treat every single day as though it was a new beginning? Of course!
How much of yesterday’s (yester- year’s) baggage are you toting around? Perhaps you feel as though someone wronged you so you are JUSTIFIED in carrying a grudge? Perhaps someone did something you class in the “Unforgivable” Category? My own brother did something over 20 years ago to our mother that put him in that category for me for the rest of his life. He died this year. On his deathbed, I kissed his forehead and forgave him. I told him that he was doing the best he could, no matter whether I agreed with it or not. I asked myself if it really mattered after all. What point was there in carrying the grudge anymore? I blessed him on his way. Why did I wait so long? That is a good question. I never spoke a word to him directly from the date the Unforgivable happened till he died. Since then, it has been brought home to me what a burden I carried which I was not consciously aware of…because the minute I truly forgave him, I felt lighter.
So I ask you, what do you need to do to create a new beginning for yourself? Is it something inside of you, in your surroundings, in your companions, or in your life itself?
It is not a difficult thing, nor is it complicated. You just have to be WILLING. That is the first step. You will be guided from there.
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, a German poet born on 8-28-1749, said, “Whatever you can do or dream you can, begin it. Boldness has a genius, power, and magic in it.”
What do you need to RENEW? Raise your awareness. It is the beginning so you can control your thoughts and emotions. Are you brave enough to try? What are you willing to release so you may be free?

%d bloggers like this: