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Are Your Roots Healthy?

When I ask the question, “Are your roots healthy?” – I am referring to your basic thoughts, feelings, and expressions of life. How you are living, the choices you make, what you think about, how stressed you are, etc., all form the background of every minute of every day of your life.

Are you so concerned about what others think of you that you never stop to ask that question of yourself?

Roots are just like a plant: Unless you nourish them with your spirit, thoughts, and positive emotions, they can just wither away, drying out and draining you of your life force, every day in every way.

Nourishment occurs when you stop for a moment, take a deep breath, and look for something beautiful in your environment. Beauty brings peace, calmness, serenity, and joy into your life. When was the last time you did this? Do you remember the early morning sunrise or sunset at evening? Did you stop and smell the flowers along your path today? Did you notice a beautiful or unusual bird?

Or are you so busy with the every-day work demands, your families’ needs, soccer practice, making a cake for the bazaar to support your child’s activities,  dancing lessons for your little girl, football practice for your young boy, etc., that you have just gotten lost in the shuffle? You know we have all had our turn at having to perform those requirements.  The bad news is that it can go on for the rest of your life if you let it. You will not have much time to yourself to ponder your personal growth issues. In fact, that may sound like a joke to you as you drop wearily into bed at night.  Whatever you need is at the very bottom because everyone else’s needs/demands/wants  have to come first…or so you may have been taught to think that way, especially if you are a woman with a family or a man providing for same. The daily vicissitudes (wear and tear) of life can exhaust you.

So where do you begin to make a change in the above priorities? It all starts with thinking about it and writing it all down. Once written down, ideas come to mind as you look at the words. Perhaps you can begin to question how important each one is and decide whether or not to keep doing same.

Albert Einstein one said: “The definition of Insanity is to keep doing the same things over again the same way, but expect different results.”

So I am asking you to just step back from your life for a few moments, think, grab a pen and begin writing your observations of yourself/your choices/your life. If you are willing to do that, you are raising your awareness. Awareness of the need for a change is actually the beginning of a new life for you, living more according to your purpose, happier, and more able to actually support the loved ones around you because of your new vision. Are you willing?

God’s blessings upon your journey!

Maui Sunrise

Maui Sunrise

Bougainvillea with Palm Trees, early morning Waikiki

Bougainvillea with Palm Trees, early morning Waikiki

Red-Crested Cardinal - Beautiful Bird on Oahu, Hawaii

Red-Crested Cardinal – Beautiful Bird on Oahu, Hawaii

 

The Sound of Silence

A few days ago, we were on top of Haleakala Crater on Maui. The sun was warm, and the view of the crater was clear. There was no wind, for a change, and the clouds were far below us.  We stopped by a lookout on the way down from the top. It was there that I heard it: A profound Sound of Silence which touched me deeply. Somewhere inside of me, I heard and felt a stillness that I have never experienced before at this level. It was so peaceful and quiet. I felt so very blessed at receiving this precious gift. The surroundings were not only beautiful and majestic, but it inspired awe in the beholder. The Silversword plant, which only grows there, is wondrous. The clouds were coming straight up from the rain forest far below, like wisps of imagination. It was hard to leave it in order to return to the hustle and bustle far below us, catching our flight home.

I know that it is an oxymoron, for how can Silence have a Sound? Perhaps because it is the exception. Sound is a pollution present in every place inhabited by humans and animals. Some of it is pleasant, like the rustle of leaves in the wind, surf on the seashore, or a waterfall. How about the sound of a child’s laughter or a cat purring? However, most sounds come from our environment: Traffic, horns, overly-loud music, neighbors fighting over some trivial thing, etc. Some we like: a newborn baby’s cry, good music, conversation with a loved one or friend. Others we do not care for much because it is not within our frame of reference. Even when life is a little quieter, there are not many places where one can experience the Sound of Silence.

The stillness in my soul is now present with me, wherever I go. It is like it makes the song of birds more sweet, the flowers more colorful, and  my awareness  is more alive than I ever remember. I know I am more peaceful at the center of my being. I treasure this greatly.

In the Bible in Psalm 46:10, it states: “Be still and know that I Am God.”

In this stillness, it gives us a home base from which to operate. Eric Butterworth said it very well: “Be in the hub of a wheel, living life from the center instead of at the circumference.” If you are caught up in the sound and fury of all the activity, guess who is at the circumference? (Is it any wonder that, at the end of the day, you feel like you have been run over by something?) But if you take a few minutes for yourself in the morning for quiet contemplation/meditation, you can respond more from the hub of the wheel (for it is very motionless there) and with a more thought-filled response to everything.

Life itself is filled with cacophony. It begins with sound of an alarm clock  so we can get underway, and continues throughout each day. Perhaps the baby is crying, the young children are fighting, or the phone is ringing, and the TV is already on. Sometimes, we are so afraid of being alone that we fill our surroundings with noise, be it a computer, music, TV, cell phone, etc. Some, of course, is generated by our 24/7 lifestyles, earning money so we can afford to live in this economy. The only question is: Is your health suffering from the anxiety, stress, and overload that is in your life, caused by the choices you have made in the past? How, then, can one begin to get a handle on this? Easy: One thing at a time. Begin to thoughtfully look at your reality and see each individual thing by itself. Then you can make a decision to alter it however you can to make your life more peaceful.

Serenity of Spirit is a worthwhile goal. It has a price that it demands, however. One must stop responding to exterior stimuli the way you always have. Dr. Wayne W. Dyer says, “Change the way you look at things, and the things you look at change.”

Will I forever be grateful for the Sound of Silence which I experienced on Haleakala?  You bet! I have a new perspective to add to the daily ingredients for living a fulfilled life.

If you are a scuba diver, a snorkeling enthusiast, a spelunker, a hiker or climber of mountains, you know whereof I speak. You have experienced the moments of Silence.

I believe that each experience becomes part of our Tapestry of Life. Some beautiful memories add in the rainbow colors, and the tears and grief add the contrast of the background. When all is said and done, your Tapestry will be unique to you alone. How do you want it to look? No one else can weave it for you. For good or ill, it is yours to do. Others can have an opinion about what you should and should not do. But you are the captain of your ship. You alone must decide how to sail it and where you are going.

If you have a stillness inside from which to make your decisions, you will be able to ACT vs. REACT. If one is always REACTING to external stimuli, you will always have greater chaos in your life. ACTING means you take time to think things through before responding. If you have a charging elephant coming at you (which few of us will ever have),  you will REACT. The rest of the time, ACTING is the champion of Self Control and Calmness.

Funny thing about that is people are attracted to you because they can sense your attitude before you ever open your mouth. It emotes from you like the scent from a flower.

How do you begin? The following quote (which is mistakenly stated to be from Van Goethe *) puts it very well:

“Then indecision brings its own delays,
And days are lost lamenting over lost days.
Are you in earnest? Seize this very minute;
What you can do, or dream you can do, begin it;
Boldness has genius, power and magic in it.”

By utilizing this idea, Synergy is thus  created. (The Secret of SYNERGY is that, once movement begins, it multiplies and continues.) Is it a worthwhile goal? Absolutely! But only you can decide that. Are you willing?

God’s blessings upon your journey!

* (The lines are attributed to John Anster in a “very free translation” of Faust from 1835, where the lines in question are spoken by the “Manager” in the “Prelude at the Theatre.”)

Haleakala Crater

Haleakala Crater

Haleakala Crater

Haleakala Crater

Silversword

Silversword

Silversword - Done Blooming

Silversword – Done Blooming

Plumeria with Palm Tree

Plumeria with Palm Tree

Plumeria (leis usually made from this)

Plumeria (Leis are usually made from these.)

Habiscus

Hibiscus

Waterfall

Waterfall

Waterfall

Waterfall

Bougainvillea

Bougainvillea

Maui Sunrise & Surf

Maui Sunrise & Surf

Waikiki Sunrise & Surf

Waikiki Sunrise & Surf

Bougainvillea with Palm Trees

Bougainvillea with Palm Trees

Hawaiian Sunset

Hawaiian Sunset

 

 

“Lord, Forgive Me When I Whine”

Og Mandino opened one of his seminars with the following poem:

“Forgive Me When I Whine” by John Palmer

“Today upon a bus I saw a lovely maiden with golden hair;

I envied her—so beautiful, and how, I wished I were so fair;

When suddenly she rose to leave, I saw her hobble down the aisle;

She had one foot and wore a crutch,

but as she passed, she wore a smile

Oh God, forgive me when I whine,

I have two feet –the world is mine

 

And when I stopped to buy some sweets,

the lad who served me had such charm;

he seemed to radiate good cheer, his manner was so kind and warm;

I said, “it’s nice to deal with you, such courtesy I seldom find;”

He turned and said, “Oh, thank you sir.”

And then I saw that he was blind.

Oh, God, forgive me when I whine,

I have two eyes, the world is mine.

 

Then when walking down the street,

I saw a child with eyes of blue;

He stood and watched the others play,

it seemed he knew not what to do;

I stopped a moment, then I said,

“Why don’t you join the others, dear?

He looked ahead without a word,

I realized –he could not hear.

Oh God, forgive me when I whine,

I have two ears, the world is mine

 

With feet to take me where I’d go,

with eyes to see the sunsets glow,

with ears to hear what I would know,

I am blessed indeed.

The world is mine.

Oh God, forgive me when I whine.”

This article always strikes a chord deep within my being.

The definition of whine is: “To complain or beg in a childishly undignified way; a complaint uttered in a whining tone; to utter a peevish, high-pitched, somewhat nasal sound, as in complaint, distress, fear, etc.”

How about you? Did you get up on the wrong side of the bed? Is your coffee cold and your toast burned? Did you have a flat tire or the car would not start? Daily life is filled to the brim with instances like this.

Remember, it is not what happens to you that really counts…it is your REACTION to it that does the damage or begins to make a repair.

Which will you choose?

The Serenity Prayer is always just a thought away:

“God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change,

The courage to change the things I can,

And wisdom to know the difference.”

(by American theologian Reinhold Nieburh 1892-1971)

So, if you look carefully at whatever is distressing you, you may well find something to be grateful for. It will change your attitude immediately.

Are you willing to give it a try?

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