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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

 

Love – Reflection or Reality?

Today is Valentine’s Day – a time when most people find  a way to let others know how very much they care. Some use flowers, cards, and candy. Some cook a nice meal or eat out. Others find it is a day of loneliness because they are feeling separated, alone, and unhappy. Which category do you fall into?

Love has been described by many words, trying to express the emotions and thoughts which come tumbling through. In the end, words cannot encompass how one feels inside because there is such a distance between the head and the heart.

Is Love a Reflection in you, or Reality? If it is a Reflection, it is like an image in a mirror that one tries to copy. However, copies do not work very well because it originates in the head. If it is a Reality, the look in your eyes in the mirror, the smile on your lips, and the lift in your step comes through before you speak. The heart is expressing itself in Joy.

Yes, life can dim that Love expression, but it cannot remove it completely. The embers of that fire remain.

There are many illusions out there that can create feelings: Passion by itself burns brightly, but then is more easily lost; Hugs and Kisses feel good always – yet they are actually temporal; Gentle Touching can make one aroused, until sexual intercourse satisfies the longings. The plain truth is that it always ends sometime. The feelings themselves can cause confusion because men and women think they are Reality. When the feelings fade, they move on to the next stimulation. The problem is that satisfaction cannot be found there either.

Love as a Reality is present in every moment of every day. It is a State of Being, present always regardless of time and distance, life or death. It is like Light – shining outward to others and receiving their Light as well. Specific and Random Acts of Kindness pour forth. With that Light comes Respect and Friendship. They are inseparable.

Friendship is a key element of relationships. It has been observed that many people treat acquaintances better than they do their mates. That is a most strange phenomenon. Your mate should be your very best friend and treated accordingly.

In daily life, attitudes of barriers like “me” and “them” create situations that would not otherwise occur. Conflicts arise, causing stress and unhappiness for all. Perhaps it is time to take a look at that in order to find a different way to interact.

Many times, one may hear: “learn to love yourself first.” Jesus stated, “Love thy neighbor AS thyself.” Somehow, many people do not recognize the simplicity of those words. He did not say, “INSTEAD OF Thyself.”  Personal growth gurus have stated for years, “Begin in the morning, look in the mirror, wrap your arms around yourself and state: I Love You while looking in the mirror.” Sounds like a great idea to me. It is a start in the right direction, at the very least

“Love is a strange thing.

It is a flower, so delicate

that a touch will bruise it

and so strong that nothing can stop its growth.

Think how often we miss love in a life time —

by a wrong gesture,

by an unspoken word,

by not keeping silent at the right time.

We lose it by the interference of others,

by a lack of money and communication,

by a quarrel over a trifle,

and yet

we cannot live without it.”

Author unknown

May we decide today to Love in Reality in lieu of Reflection, spreading acts of kindness daily. Are you willing?

Happy Valentine’s Day!

God’s blessings upon 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

 

 

Personal Rejuvenation

Springtime is here! What a wonderful time of year to zero in on your bad habits and look around for a better way to live!

We all do things on a regular basis that do not serve us very well. The bad thing about habits is that the more you resist them, the stronger they appear to be. I use the word, “appear” because it is just an illusion.

This goes for the all the “aholic” words you can think of: Chocaholic, workaholic, alcoholic, couchaholic, tv-aholic, game-aholic, text-aholic, foodaholic, phone-aholic, depressed-aholic, party-aholic, etc. Anything you do that does not serve you well qualifies.

There is an old saying that, “Too much of a good thing can become a bad thing.” Ergo, anything done to excess can become “too much of a good thing.”

Moderation can assist anyone who chooses to change. A piece of chocolate, a little tv/game/text/food/party time, etc.

Spring time is a time of renewal. It is, literally, a new beginning. A time when the earth awakens to begin another cycle.

You could choose to look at the illusions you serve and treat as a reality. You can move from concentrating on the problem to one that is looking for an answer. If you ask the question, God can answer you with a magazine article, a book, a person, a teacher, or a class.

Let’s say you want to lose weight, have tried many things unsuccessfully, and have an attitude of hopelessness — one that says you have not done it before, so what makes you think this time will be any different? You are concentrating on the problem, not the answer. There is ALWAYS AN ANSWER — one that will work for you if you consistently try something new. You could NOT eat the whole container of ice cream at one sitting because you are depressed. You could take a class that is appropriate for your physical condition…something that is gentle enough to help you begin to make a difference. You could take a meditation or a yoga class to calm yourself and learn to breathe correctly in lieu of stuffing something into your mouth to anesthetize your overwrought feelings. You could say the same for cigarettes, which everyone knows is detrimental to you to the point of death.

The problem is that the gung-ho attitude for change rarely works. Sooner or later, gung-ho gets weary and leaves. It is replaced by feelings of failure, sadness, hopelessness, etc.

In order to make some changes, you need to have a dialogue with yourself and be gentler. (No strong-arming yourself, please.) Look at the people on the Fastest Loser TV Program. They have given themselves an incentive to do what it takes. Why don’t you try to do the same? Surely, there is something you want that will help you to firm your resolve and take action for a change that is beneficial to your life, your livingness, and your longevity. Make a personal reward part of the program…make the rewards small enough and doable so they reinforce your long-term goal. The only question is, are you willing to take a look at your life, make a list (short or long) of what you want to change, and then come up with at least one suggestion that will help you begin…to take that first step, even if it is like a thousand-mile journey. Again, build in a reward program as well. The journey may be shortened considerably by improved attitudes, more energy, feeling better, liking how you look in the mirror, compliments from others, etc. Then you keep putting one foot in front of the other, moving along, step by step toward the NEW YOU…in looks, actions, etc. Make up new lists of action as you move towards your goal, always keeping the steps small enough that you will be successful, creating Synergy towards where it is you are going.

REMEMBER, THE KEY TO CHANGE IS CONSISTENCY!

Does that mean that, if you make a mistake and eat a box of cookies, you just permanently trashed your choice to be healthier? No, it means that you begin again, this moment, to fix a salad and a piece of meat for dinner. Failure only occurs when you give up.

MAKE A DECISION NOW TO NOT GIVE UP, NO MATTER WHAT! PERSEVERANCE IS THE KEY HERE!

Only you can make this Springtime a journey towards changing whatever it is that is not serving you well. Are you willing to make a list, look at it, and begin?

God’s blessings on your journey!

Tulips in Snow

Tulips in Snow

Growth Happens

Growth Happens

Signs of New Life

Signs of New Life

These three pictures show how Mother Nature perseveres: Growth continues in spite of the horrendous forces that can happen. You can see pictures of trees growing out of rocks and on impossibly steep cliffs, flowers and weeds growing up through the cement, etc. These should give us impetus in our lives to overcome, to begin again, and to go for it!

 

 

 

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