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Awareness

As I left Walmart recently, I looked to the east and saw the most beautiful rainbow I have ever seen! It was so bright and clear as the sun was setting. Beneath the rainbow was a light blue sky. Above the rainbow was a darker, cloud-filled sky. Above that was a mystery rainbow that was almost there but not quite. What an amazing sight it was! I do wish I had my camera with me so I could capture it, but it was placed instead in my heart, mind, and memory as clearly as if I had taken a picture.

My point is that, if my mind had been busy on some problem, I probably would not have had the Awareness to see the Beauty in my surroundings in that moment of time.

Does your mind play tricks on you as well? We are so caught up in our thought processes that the Present just slips by, unnoticed. I wonder how much Beauty we miss every day?

What if one is so caught up in an electronic gadget that you remain unaware of anything but the screen? That happens more often as the technology produces even greater toys for us to play with.

Awareness and Focus are actually the same thing. How about you? What do you keep in your attention zone? Is it worthwhile? Or is it just entertainment?

While you are experiencing it, are you aware of time passing? You turn around and an hour, day or week have passed you by. Time is something you cannot buy back. Once it is gone, it becomes irretrievable except in your memory.

In short, Awareness is a valuable tool for you to experience your Present. Are you willing to consider this idea?  It is well worth it.

God bless you on your journey!

Life is short - carpe diem

Life is short – carpe diem

 

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

 

 

Remember Lot’s Wife

The whole world knows the story of Sodom and Gomorrah. As Lot and his family were leaving the city, they were forewarned: Do not look back! In Genesis 19:17, it states, “Escape for thy life; look not behind thee, neither stay thou in all the plain; escape to the mountain, lest thou be consumed.” In Genesis 19: 24-26, it says, “Then the Lord rained upon Sodom and upon Gomorrah brimstone and fire from the Lord out of Heaven; And he overthrew those cities, and all the plain, and all the inhabitants of the cities, and that which grew upon the ground. But his wife looked back from behind him, and she became a pillar of salt.”

There have been some astute astronomers who state that a meteor did, in fact, strike there. Who is to know for certain? It is a fact  that the whole region contains pitch, a petroleum derivative which is flammable and is still used in making torches and charcoal.

In the Lamsa translation of the Bible, it comments that, ” ‘She became a pillar of salt’ is an Eastern idiom which means, ‘She had a stroke, or she was paralyzed and dead.’ In the East, when a man becomes paralyzed or has a stroke, the people say, ‘He has turned into a rock.’ or ‘he has become like a stone.’ ”

It goes on to state:  “Lot’s wife had been reluctant to leave the pleasant gardens and orchards of Sodom. She had doubted her husband’s vision and the divine warning. Her sons-in-law had thought Lot had lost his mind and that he was mocking when he told them of the divine warning asking them to leave the city. Evidently Lot’s wife also did not believe the city would be destroyed.

When Lot’s wife disobeyed the divine command and stood up and looked behind and saw the city of orchards and lush gardens and everything which had been dear to her heart, on fire, and the smoke rising to the heavens, she had a stroke and she became hard like a block of salt or flint rock, which is also called salt, and she was dead. Such blocks of salt rock are still to be found in Sodom.

The catastrophe and the loss of her daughters, her sons-in-law, and her other relatives were too much for a woman who had been brought up in the luxuries of Sodom and who had no faith in the God of her husband.”

Emmet Fox states: “Never look back. Always go right ahead. Even if you are quaking, go right ahead. No matter how unattractive or how dangerous the road ahead may be, it is better than the road back. The road ahead may be veiled from sight; but you must teach yourself to regard the unknown as friendly. Remember that God is always on the road ahead.

Psalm 143:8  ‘…cause me to know the way wherein I would walk; for I lift up my soul unto thee.’ “

My point? Our personal histories have a way of projecting themselves from the past into each today and our tomorrows if we let that happen. All you have to do is focus on the past in lieu of the present. Very simple. Not hard. The past, no matter how good it was or how bad it was, is unchangeable. You may take lessons learned from your past and make better choices today because of them, but you cannot change history. Mostly, we concentrate on the bad stuff. Have you noticed that tendency in yourself? Actually, even the good stuff can influence and change your present as well. We try to hang on to it because we think it was better than our present. Then it becomes life defeating because it, too, is unchangeable in the mists of time.

Time does not go backward and does not tarry with yesterday. All you have is today to make different choices so it will change your tomorrow.

I fully appreciate Fox’s point: “go right ahead.” Regardless of your past, good or bad, you have to formulate a new plan of action so that you can begin again to live the life that God has for you. You must begin it NOW! The only place that will effect a difference is NOW!

Are you willing to let go of your yesterdays/history? REMEMBER LOT’S WIFE!  Are you willing?

God’s blessings on your journey!

Garden

Garden

Flowers

Flowers

 

 

Bear Hugs Kettle

Emmet Fox states:

“There is an anecdote of the Far West which carries a wonderful lesson. It appears that a party of hunters, being called away from their camp, left the campfire unattended, with a kettle of water boiling on it.

Presently an old bear crept out of the woods, and, seeing the kettle with its lid dancing about on top, promptly seized it. The boiling water scalded him badly; but instead of dropping the kettle instantly, he proceeded to hug it tightly — this being a bear’s idea of defense. Of course, the tighter he hugged it, the more it burned him; and the more it burned him, the tighter he hugged it; and so on in a vicious circle, to the undoing of the bear.

This illustrates perfectly the way in which many people hug their difficulties to their bosoms by constantly rehearsing them to themselves and others.”

Are you one of those? When something upsets you, do you fuss and fume about it? How long do you do that?  I personally know people that can hang onto bad stuff for days, weeks, months, and years at a time. They feel justified because it was a particularly bad memory. Guess who it hurts? Nobody but you.

Alternative: Let it go. Release it. Know that life happens, one day at a time. You cannot get anywhere when you are driving if you are always looking behind you; in fact, that would be very dangerous. You must always be aware of your surroundings and look ahead as part of that. Life is no different.

History, even that which happened a second ago, cannot be changed. There is no power that can change the past. So let go of it.

If a dog has an itch, he scratches it. He is living in the now. How about you? Can you say that?

If some problem is wearing you out from the inside, become the spectator and see if you can see it from a different view. If you cannot do anything to change it, move into the present, look around for something to be grateful for, and give thanks to your Creator for it.

Can you just let it go? It’s up to you!

Blessings on your journey!

Awareness of Beauty

It has been said that, “Beauty is in the eye of the beholder.” I find that to be mostly true.

We all have our own definitions for Beauty and what it consists of. Out West here, it could be seeing a beautiful horse in full gallop, or a sunset over the mountains, or the sight of an eagle in the sky. It depends on your frame of reference really. Perhaps it is a sailboat on the horizon, or windsurfing, or zip-lining through the top of a forest somewhere. Perhaps it is a smile on a loved one’s face. Perhaps it is a beautiful flower or barn swallow babies on the nest.

Whatever it consists of, one thing can be ascertained: We can get so wrapped up in our work, our jobs, our To Do Lists, emotions, etc., that we lose our awareness of Beauty in any form.

I have been with a friend, looking at a beautiful sunset over the mountains, and standing in awe at the colors before me. I turned to my friend to comment on it, and she said, “What? I don’t know what you are talking about.” She was so consumed with some sad issues that she had totally lost sight of the moment and her surroundings.

Have you ever done that? If you have, are you willing to let yourself become more aware so that you can wake up your senses to the loveliness that surrounds you? After all, the only day we have is right NOW, the PRESENT. It is the only place we really live, second by second. Not yesterday, not tomorrow…Do you want to LIVE NOW?

Mountain Sunset

Mountain Sunset

Gardenia

Gardenia

Barn Swallow Babies

Barn Swallow Babies

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