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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

 

 

Room to Grow?

When one moves a plant, you carefully prepare the soil with additives and root starter. You put a lot of effort into making the transplant a success. Do you do as much for yourself?

One moves a houseplant around so it gets just the right amount of sunlight and moisture. Do you do the same for yourself when you discover you are in a negative environment which is killing your soul?

Many of our decisions in life dictate how we spend our time each day. Do you have a family, especially one with children? Do you have an aging parent that requires your care-giving? Do you have a high-performance job that involves staying in touch 24/7 with a computer, smart phone, or other tech-savvy equipment? Do you do business world-wide with different time zones? Are your relationships doing well, or are those filled with bickering over large and small things? Is there a lot of stressful people making unreasonable demands on you? Do you wake up at night and go to your computer to make a note about the day’s events so, if you get called to task, you can know what really happened? Do you have any time during the day which you can call your own?

My point is that your mental and physical health often come at the end of all the demands placed upon you. How can you have room to grow if you have no time for yourself? It takes time to read mentally and spiritually stimulating books/articles. Exercise does not happen without a solid intent by you. Neither does meditation, even if it means taking a few minutes to just stop and breathe, looking at the world around you and thinking good thoughts. Have you literally “stopped to smell the flowers” lately? Do you look for the beauty in your world? It takes time and paying attention to your environment to do it, no matter whether it is just a minute or two or a long coffee break. It has been proven that, when you hang art on a wall, it stimulates emotions and thoughts. That is why you see it everywhere. It is more than just a decoration. Take a minute now and look around you…what do you see?

Dr. Caroline Leaf (drleaf.com) is traveling the world, telling everyone that the brain needs nourishment of all kinds, including healthy food. The emotions that rule your world are either curing you or killing you. They evoke physical changes in your brain and body which will literally do precisely that. So are you paying any attention to the emotions and thoughts that fill your days? Or do they just run rampant over the top of you most of the time, dictating actions/inactions/reactions? That makes for a really crazy world. Do you like this type of situation, or do you want to take an action that will change it? There are so many classes out there aimed at teaching you to control your emotions and thoughts. Are you willing to look for them?

Dr. Emma Seppala (www.emmaseppala.com) has done some amazing research into the impact breathing has on you. You can say, “I know how to breathe as I have done it all my life!” But what you do not realize/know can be literally causing a lot of damage to your body. Everyone knows that stress kills, a simple fact proved many times over. Dr. Seppala is teaching that yogic/deep breathing can transform lives. When you are under stress, your belly breathing is gone, giving way to chest breathing. The cure? Belly breathe, of course! Have you ever watched an infant sleep? The little belly just goes up and down. Somewhere along the way, as we become adults, we become chest breathers and must relearn how to breathe correctly. It brings in more oxygen to the body, enabling it to help heal injuries faster and perform better. You would be the benefactor of many improvements in your life, including a greater ability to deal with the stress-causing elements and feeling much healthier.

Some think that meditation is a religion. It is not unless you choose to make it so for you. It quiets the whole body. It restores so much that, until you try it, you will never know the possible changes you enable in your physical makeup. It is said that five minutes can do wonders. Do you dare to take five minutes for yourself? You may find that you end up making more time for yourself because of the changes you see.

A king with a very busy schedule (where every minute was taken up with some required duty on his part) had an appointment at a beautifully-decorated room in a hotel. When he got there with his retinue, no one was there. His aid began apologizing profusely for the mix-up. He held up his hand for silence. He looked around the room for a few minutes, and a smile appeared on his face. He took the time to look at his surroundings. Finally he turned to his aid and said, “This was wonderful! You must schedule more of these for me — at least one a day! It will be very good for me!”

Sleep is another problem that can cause many serious problems to your personal detriment. People sleep with their phones at hand and work on the computer until time for bed. The television is part of your daily routine. Many studies have been done that state that the blue light from electronic devices can delay the body’s melatonin processes for hours, causing poor quality sleep. Why does this matter? Because REM (Rapid Eye Movement) sleep restores the body. If you don’t get REM sleep regularly, over time detrimental health effects appear: Change in mood (as in grumpier), poorly functioning body and brain, ability to handle stress, etc. It can even cause hallucinations. Studies state that  7-8 hours a night is needed for optimum results — any less than that causes significant problems. As one grows older, it is a rare occasion when you do not have to get up and go to the bathroom, but this is just a temporary interruption. My point is that your life can change dramatically if you change some of your choices regarding electronic usage close to bedtime.

Life can pass so quickly, second by second, hour by hour, day by day, month by month, and year by year. You can look back over your current reality and see how things are. Then you get to make a new choice if you are not happy with what you see. But only you can make the changes. Take a chance on yourself. Are you willing?

God’s blessings upon your journey!

Orchids

Orchids

Beauty

Beauty

Seedlings

Seedlings

Bees At Work

Bees At Work

Breathe

Breathe

Chihuly Exhibit at Denver Botanic Gardens

Chihuly Exhibit at Denver Botanic Gardens

 

Looking Forward Instead of Backward

With the 2015 New Year before us in just a short three days, it is a time to begin Looking Forward Instead of Backward.

If one is driving a car, how much time does one spend gazing into the rear view mirror? Now there is an accident waiting to happen!  We all have to be aware of what is going on around us, right here, right now, real time. It is no different with Life, every day, day in, day out. Usually, it is some unfortunate experience that keeps us gazing backward, to no avail. Perhaps it is a word spoken in haste that cannot be retracted. Perhaps it was an unthinking act on someone else’s part that hurts us so very much. Perhaps we have done something we are sorry for but cannot take back. History cannot be changed. It has been said that Unhappiness is a result of someone trying to make something Un-Happen. It is a fact that Time cannot go backward. Yesterday is gone, and Tomorrow is but a figment of our imagination. The only day we have is TODAY.  That is why it is known as the PRESENT. That is why it needs to be cherished, appreciated, and utilized the best we can. Forgive and let go of that which was so that you may move into your PRESENT with more livingness.

Now is a time when some people  begin to make New Year’s Resolutions so that goals may be set and achieved, possibly change some negatives in one’s life to positives,  “Turn over a new leaf!” etc. Some decide to begin a physical fitness program, pay for a fitness center contract, and make aggressive actions for a short time before the energy for change wears out amid the humdrum vicissitudes of daily life. Some decide to lose a lot of weight, set a goal that they remember from long ago and far away,  and then feel like a failure when the required changes in eating habits just do not magically happen. Why is it that so many actually do not see the necessary steps to success actually begin with very small increments?

Do not be disheartened if you desire to actually make a difference to your health and life. Consistency is the key, of course. For instance, one could begin to lose weight by looking at your eating habits and writing down what you actually put in your mouth for a week. There is an eye opener for you! Physical Fitness could begin by setting a goal of walking on a treadmill for a few minutes every day, taking the stairs instead of an elevator, or parking farther out so you have to walk a little more. But first, you have to set a goal that is within your reach. You may not ever run a marathon, but you could see a healthier you in the mirror by beginning to make changes in what you do, how you do it, and the choices of food that you ingest.  Questions to ask yourself: “Do I quickly grab a Starbucks and a donut, or do I actually figure out what is good for me in the long run? No matter how good that sweet Danish tastes, will it nourish my body? Do I skip breakfast altogether (which, by the way, every doctor/nutritionist/health addict knows is the major sin against the body) or do I learn to eat to live vs. live to eat?”

It has been suggested that Food Police is a negative idea in watching carefully what your choices are — treating the idea from a forceful point of view, ensuring failure. Actually, it all comes down to your choices. Is becoming more healthful important enough for you to look at the sweets that surround everyone at this time of year, the alcohol being consumed, the pops that are offered at every party, and enormous quantity of food on every plate?

Every diet in the world begins with measuring the actual intake of what you consume before you open your mouth, choosing the foods that will nourish you, and passing up the rest that is out there. Why is that so difficult?

That answer usually is tied up with our emotions. Are we stressed out? Are we overtired? Is the quality of sleep good, bad, or excellent? It has been proven over time that our hormones respond to all of these, even to the point where we are hunting for chocolate to eat so we can calm down, or some other comfort food which has nothing to do with our long term goal of becoming more healthy.

Attitude matters. It is paramount to make an analysis of what is going on between our ears. There are so many good things that come from exercise for our bodies that will help us along our path towards our goals. The peptides, etc., are released, helping us to feel better.

Some people do not want to take baby steps. They desire gargantuan goals, ensuring the probability that they will become failures more quickly. After all, if one cannot climb a mountain, what is the point in starting?

Confucius said, “Journey of a thousand miles begins with one step.”

He had it right!

So if you want to begin to write your New Year’s Resolutions, be kind to yourself. Be gentle with yourself. Look at where you are now, and then decide where you want to be  a year from now. Then write a list of achievable steps where you can begin a synergy that will carry you onward.

It has been said that “Rome was not built in a day.” You might remind yourself of that as you go forth on your journey.

The Christmas Season is such a lovely time of year. It always seems to me that people are kinder toward others, more generous, more forgiving. But when that special day is passed, the attitudes in general change back to more “business as usual.” The meanness we all see every day overpowers our senses, and we lose sight of what Life is all about. Is it possible to extend these lovely Christmas moments and attitudes so that they are here every day of the year? It can be if you personally choose that to be your attitude and goal. It is, after all, up to you.

God’s blessings upon your journey! Happy New Year to one and all! May the light from the beautiful fireworks celebrations for the New Year remain in your mind and heart, long after they are gone from the skies. May God bless you with Love, Light, Life, Laughter, Joy, Truth, Beauty, and Peace every day this coming year!

Fireworks

Fireworks

 

 

 

Christmas Is Coming!

Christmas is both a time for giving and receiving. How are you at giving? How about receiving? Most of us are predominantly either one or the other. Rarely are we able to do both.

A child’s rhyme/song runs through my mind during this time of year:

“Christmas is coming, the goose is getting fat
Please do put a penny in the old man’s hat
If you haven’t got a penny, a ha’penny will do
If you haven’t got a ha’penny, then God bless you!”

You hear repeatedly that “It’s not the amount you spend on a gift that counts, but the thought you put into it.” Do we really hear that at the heart level?

I truly love this time of year. I love playing Santa to my friends and family. I know others do as well.

The naysayers emphasize the commercialization of the Christmas Holiday, stating that it is just a time for the stores to make money.  Yes, that is true, but it does not take away from the idea that you can give of the love in your heart, no matter the item.

It is a time for expressing that love in whatever way you deem appropriate. What attitude do you have when you are selecting your gifts? Are you stressed out? Do you feel unhappy because you do not have enough money? If this is true for you, you need to take a look at your priorities. If you cannot give even the smallest gift with a happy heart, filled with the peace of the Season, what blessing are you adding to the gift? That is what matters the most, after all is said and done.

What do you feel when you receive your gifts? Are you looking at the amount someone must have spent, or do you think about what a loving thought and blessing is wrapped inside the package? Are you open to receive that thought and blessing?

My first gift to my friend, who later became my husband, was a small Christmas stocking from a mall kiosk, with his name in glitter and some candy inside. He went into shock when I gave it to him because it was so unusual for him to receive a gift. He still has that little stocking in his desk drawer all these years later. So you never know what a small kindness can do.

In the flurry of the season, take a few moments to stop and appreciate the beauty that surrounds you. The Christmas decorations, the music, and the Holiday Spirit (which does not come in a bottle, unfortunately) are all a part of it. I love to exchange Christmas cards because it is a time to touch base with friends and family to see how they all are, for they are now spread far and wide across the globe. What a special time of year!

The center of this Holiday is, of course, the Christ in Christmas. It is a time for celebrating his birth. Is He in your heart, mind, and spirit as you go about your activities? His Gentleness, His Love for all mankind, and His Caring Nature are all expressed through you on a personal level to every single person you contact. Be mindful of that as you go through your days. Do not be so busy with anything that you forget that.

Just know that you choose whether to be that blessing or not as you give your gifts. Put a little of your thoughts inside each one, K? Be a Blessing, K? Be aware of your attitudes when you open your own gifts — look for the thoughtfulness and be open to the gratitude for the expression of love that is inside each one, K?

God’s blessings upon your journey. Merry Christmas to you and yours!

 

Hibiscus & Christmas

Hibiscus & Christmas

Christmas Poinsetta

Christmas Poinsettia

 

 

The Flow of Time

Unity Daily Word for July 7, 2014, states: “I live in an orderly universe where seasons change and new life emerges at the appointed time, where flowers bloom and apples ripen as designed and where I accomplish what is mine to do easily and naturally. I need only look to nature for assurance that there is ‘a time for every purpose under heaven.’  (Ecclesiastes 3:1)  In the summer, leaves do not rush to turn to gold and fruit does not hurry to fall from the tree. Nature is in concert with the rhythm of life. Pacing myself, I willingly flow with life, and I find peace.  I am not rushed. I meet my goals and maintain my health. I stay mindful of what is important to me and seek balance in all endeavors. With gratitude, I am fully present to this moment in time.” (Ecclesiastes 3:17 says: “For He has appointed a time for every matter and for every work.”)

In this harried world, with matters pressing on us every minute of every day, how can we begin to live as though the above words are true? Choices, my friends, choices.

What are you giving your attention to? Can you remember the last time you were truly at rest in your heart and mind? I would be willing to bet that you may not be able to remember such a time unless you reach far back in the past. If you can remember a recent occurrence, kudos to you!

In William George Jordan’s “The Majesty of Calmness,” he denotes the difference between haste and hurry:

“Nature is very un-American. Nature never hurries. Every phase of her working shows plan, calmness, reliability, and the absence of hurry. Hurry always implies lack of definite method, confusion, impatience of slow growth. The Tower of Babel, the world’s first skyscraper, was a failure because of hurry. The workers mistook their arrogant ambition for inspiration. They had too many builders — and no architect. They thought to make up the lack of a head by a superfluity of hands. This is a characteristic of Hurry. It seeks ever to make energy a substitute for a clearly defined plan. The result is ever as hopeless as trying to transform a hobby horse into a real steed by brisk riding.

Hurry is a counterfeit of haste. Haste has an ideal, a distinct aim to be realized by the quickest, direct methods. Haste has a single compass upon which it relies for direction and in harmony with which its course is determined. Hurry says: ‘I must move faster. I will get three compasses; I will have them different; I will be guided by all of them. One of them will probably be right.’ Hurry never realizes that slow, careful foundation work is the quickest in the end.

Hurry is the deathblow to calmness, to dignity, to poise. The old-time courtesy went out when the new-time hurry came in. Hurry is the father of dyspepsia. In the rush of our national life, the bolting of food has become a national vice. The words ‘Quick Lunches’ might properly be placed on thousands of headstones in our cemeteries…His self-respecting stomach rebels, and expresses its indignation by indigestion. Then man has to go through life with a little bottle of pepsin tablets in his vest pocket. He is but another victim to this craze for speed. Hurry means the breakdown of the nerves. It is the royal road to nervous prostration.”

So I ask you, would you rather participate in haste or hurry? It really is up to you to make this choice. Many days seem like we are a gerbil in a cage, just going round and round, full of sound and fury, signifying nothing. We get up, do what we have to do to get to work, work, travel when we must, come home, and then collapse on the couch till it is time to turn off the TV and go to bed…just so we can get up the next day and do it again. Many have very long commutes, whether it be by car, plane, bus, train, subway, or taxi. It all takes time, doesn’t it?

It seems most strange to me that many long years ago, many people worked very hard to give us a 40-hour workweek. But now, with the many ways we can bring our work with us wherever we go, many people work a lot more hours a week than 40. Some work places have actually installed beds! How many people have been waiting for a doctor appointment and can watch someone pace back and forth with a phone in the ear? Or perhaps it is someone using a smartphone, doing business, texting, talking, and finally going up to the desk to change the appointment to another day because this person could not wait any longer…and two seconds after this person leaves, the name gets called to go back? These are but two examples of how busy life can become. Have you ever been in a restaurant and watch two people texting at a table — only to find out that they are actually speaking to each other on their phones? Electronic gadgets are wonderful inventions, and they become more wonderful each day. My question to you is this: Are you using your gadgets to enhance communications, making great use of your time? Or is it just another way to hurry through your day? Are you compelled to answer your phone when it rings? Do you even try to text and drive at the same time? Have you watched someone in a near accident because they had a phone up to the ear instead of a Bluetooth or audio connection? Is the need for speed in our world of communications that important? Only you can make these choices. In short, your upset stomach may be as much from the pace you are moving as it is from the food you ate, far too quickly.

Stress is a known factor in every day. Many different types appear in very recognizable forms, but there are others that are not so easily understood or comprehended. These all complicate the difference between haste and hurry…for one has a plan and the other has none. Do you see the truth in this?

Life should be lived from the inside to the outside, not vice versa. Yet I see so much of the latter present in everyday situations. Life seems out of control, doesn’t it? You are like a marionette with so many strings tied to you that your daily dance is faster than the one minute waltz played in 30 seconds! How do you get your breath? Stop and take one — a very long one. Take five minutes for yourself, and get off the merry-go-round. Then, when you get back on, take a plan with you and use it. It will change your life from hurry to haste, guaranteed!

Here is a unique idea: If you need a little more time, give it to yourself! It is yours from the minute you wake up until you close your eyes that night. Choose wisely how you use it!

John F. Kennedy stated: “We must use time as a tool, not as a couch.”

Inscription on an Ancient Sun Dial:

“Time was is past — thou canst it not recall.

Time is thou hast — employ thy portion small.

Time future is not, and may never be.

Time present is the only Time for thee!”

God’s blessings upon your journey!

Clown on Hobby Horse

Clown on Hobby Horse, Briskly Riding!

 

 

What Will Your Lasting Legacy Be?

When we make our transition, all we now own will be passed on to loved ones,  strangers who come to the Estate Sale,  Good Will Stores for things that are donated, or into the trash (for our priorities are no longer  important). Anyone who has had to deal with an Estate or changed circumstances of an aging parent or relative who can no longer stay in their homes knows this as a simple truth.

So I ask you: What will your lasting legacy be?

The answer to that question lies in your priorities. Just take a look at how your day unfolded before you today. Your priorities become plainly, and perhaps painfully, evident.

Do you ask yourself about a situation: Will the outcome of this matter in 5 minutes, or an hour, or 6 months, or a year? Or will it be totally forgotten before dinnertime? Who will remember it?

If your priorities are totally set on the acquisition of material wealth, how much will you be able to enjoy and for how long? At what price? All things come with a price, be it time, loss of companionship time with your mate and families as you work to afford it all, etc. How is your health? Are you stressed out? How is your breathing? (By the way, the first sign of stress is breathing upward from the chest instead of deep belly breathing — which is the beginning curative.)

The Bible states it clearly in Matthew 6:19-21: “Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal: But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal; For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.”

For the sake of discussion, heaven is not some far off place with golden streets – – it takes on the meaning of what you value and your priorities in your daily living. Where is your treasure? Is your heaven inside of you? (Look at Luke 18:21: “Behold, the kingdom of God is within you.”)

Life goes by quickly, sometimes so fast it feels like a commuter train. Do you look back at the last week, month, or year, or wonder where it all disappeared to?

Everything we possess actually possesses us in some way. Vehicles need maintenance, as do houses. If you have a beautiful piece of jewelry, do you wear it proudly? Or does it live its life in a safe deposit box while you wear a paste imitation? Do you have elegant dishes that you actually use, or do they live in the hutch, where they need dusting? Remember, it is all about enjoying it.

You just need to look at your priorities carefully. Are you willing to continue the mad race, or would you rather take your children to the playground or go on a date with your important other? Time is one thing you can never spend twice. It can never be regained once spent.

Your choices are quintessential to the situation. Are you willing to examine them carefully on a daily basis so that you can, indeed, leave a legacy you can be proud of?

God’s blessings on your journey!

 

Enthusiasm

Enthusiasm comes from the root for “En” = From and “Dios” = God. In short, it means that God is our inspiration of ideas and livingness.

The dictionary defines Enthusiasm as: “To be inspired as by a god; intense or eager interest; zeal; fervor.” That is pretty clear.

Yet, the daily wear and tear of life does not let us live our lives with Enthusiasm. That is a matter between the head and the heart. Stress denies its presence. Obligations required by our work, our families, our friends, outnumber the good thoughts we do have. Our electronic gadgets pervade every corner and every minute of our waking experiences…smart phones, computers in every form, gaming, etc.

The question arises: Having said all of the above, how can one participate in one’s life with Enthusiasm?

Answer: The first half hour after you wake up, you have a direct inroad into your subconscious. The same occurs at night: The last half hour before you go to sleep provides the same opportunity.

Can you arrange some quiet time for yourself at those time frames? It is an inroad to peace of mind and heart with quiet and deep breathing, positive thoughts, meditation, and dwelling on what is right in your life in lieu of that which is wrong.

Even 5 minutes could make a difference if you cannot dream of 30 minutes. It is your life. You alone must choose how you will live it. Daily prayers are also the “meat and potatoes” of your existence. How are you feeding your soul?

My vote is a quiet, peaceful existence with positive food for my soul. What will you choose?

God’s blessings be upon your path and choices this day!

Beauty in Action

Beauty in Action

 

Live, Love, Laugh!

This particular threesome is visible everywhere – on cars, plaques, walls, etc. Sometimes it is:

Live Well

Laugh Often

Love Much

It could be very esoteric (beyond the understanding or knowledge of most people, as defined by the dictionary). It could just be that it is so simple, its deeper meanings are overlooked in the chaotic, busy world we live in. Certainly, many things occupy are thoughts from the second we wake up to the minute we go to bed.

But taking a deep breath and pausing, just looking at the three above phrases, ask yourself, “What comes to my mind?”

Live Well could immediately be translated into a materialistic ideal in lieu of being happy with your life and how you are living it.

Laugh Often could be nullified by the stress you are feeling at this moment over many situations in your life which you do not feel you have any control over, engendering a sense of hopelessness.

Love Much could simply be an erotic invitation to enjoy the flesh and its ecstasies, or it could make you think, “Have I told my loved ones today how very much I love them, appreciate them, enjoy them?” You know, with all the tragedies that have happened in this world in these past few years, I wonder how many people passed on without hearing that simple phrase?

Live, Love, and Laugh are my personal commandment for every moment of my day, every single day I am alive. I want the people in my life to know how very much I appreciate them. I do not want anyone to doubt that, ever. Each one is a gem in his/her own right – unique, special, one-of-a-kind.  No matter how small they are, or what age they are, or how I know them. It matters not to me. I want to cherish each and every one, and I want them to know it. Life is too short to do otherwise. I want to look each one in the eye and let them know that I am listening to what they have to say. Each relationship, no matter if it is a busy store clerk who is obviously having a bad day, or a long-term friend, deserves not only my attention, but a smile as well. (You might be surprised at the lift a simple smile can accomplish, or a small act of kindness.)

Life passes us by through simple inaction, words unspoken, feelings unexpressed, and good intentions never fulfilled because one runs out of time. That happens with every minute of every day as it becomes  history from this present moment.

You have to ask yourself, “Do I want to write a note today to just say Hi to a lonely friend, or a dear one I have gotten out of touch with, or even a note of forgiveness to someone (whether it is ever sent or not)?” Perhaps even a phone call,  an email, or a Facebook, Twitter, etc.

Love is more than a feeling – it is a state of mind. If you are coming from a LOVE perspective, you act differently than you would if it comes from any other point of view.

Laughter, alias Levity, is a cure-all of just about every negative emotion we can muster. Sometimes we feel like the tail end of the dog, instead of the nose or ears. We get wagged a lot – by others, by situations, by things we believe are not under our control.  Laughter has so many gifts to share. Yet, in this serious world so many of us live in, Laughter is the exception, not the rule. Isn’t that truly a sad state of affairs?

When I say Laughter, I also mean the state of mind known as JOY or Inner Joy. It is a sense that all is OK in your world. Is it? Or not?

You could ask, “What do I have to be Happy about?” Then follow that with a diatribe of complaints. Now I ask you, does that make you feel any better? Doubt it.

In your negativity, may I ask you, “When was the last time you went outdoors to experience Nature at her Best?” I find that even a trip to an indoor area where there are plants helps when the weather outside is adverse. When it is not, step outside. Find something from Mother Nature to admire. You will find your heart lifted like magic, your stress will disappear, and your perspective will lighten and improve.

Are you willing to make the move from the dog’s tail and go up to the ears or nose? You do control your destiny. Declare it to be so.

Look for my three friends: Live, Love, and Laugh in all their fullness. May your step be lighter, your heart happier, your breath much deeper, and your life more meaningful. God bless you on your journey!

Green Mtn Reservoir CO

Green Mtn Reservoir CO

Rocky Mtns CO

Rocky Mtns CO

Snowy Egret

Snowy Egret

Wild Sweet Peas

Wild Sweet Peas

Bee on Flower

Bee on Flower

Sense of Purpose

Life can be difficult. Circumstances can become seemingly unbearable. How can one’s spirit survive all the negativity that surrounds us?

I have a plaque on my wall that says, “Life is too serious to be taken seriously.” Hence, I find that, by lightening up, everything does get better. This is not a Pollyanna idea for it is real, and it works. I bring a sense of purpose to each day. Through this vehicle called blogging, I am sharing ideas to aid others along their paths. Perhaps it will help each one, enabling that person to arrive at a new perspective. This will bring about positive changes so that each one can live a more effective life. What a joy that would be! Based on thousands of comments, it is happening.

At a lecture with Og Mandino, he gave the following story:

“There is an old Japanese legend that tells us that, may thousands of years ago, in the central part of Japan, there was a mountain with a flat top surrounded by dense jungle. The mountain was called, ‘The Place Where You Leave Your Parents.’ As the legend goes, if one’s parents were still alive at a certain age, their children carried them bodily through the jungle up to the top of this mountain so they could leave them there for the gods.

One day, a strapping young man was fighting his way through the underbrush, heading right for the mountain, carrying on his shoulders a wisp of an old lady. As he fought and pushed his way through the dense jungle, heading right for the mountain, he noticed that she was doing something with her right hand. Finally, he turned and looked up at her,

Half in anger at himself for what he was doing and half in anger at her, he asked her, ‘Mother, what are you doing?’

The old lady looked down at her son with tears streaming down her wrinkled cheeks and said,'”Son, I’m just breaking off a few branches and dropping them to mark a path so that, after you leave me, you will be able to find your way back home.’

I would like to break a couple of branches for you so that, if you have lost your way, you might be able to find the path again.”

So, I now say to you, let me break a few branches off for you so that you, too, might find your way to a better choice.

In the helter-skelter existence we live in, filled to the brim with noise, chaos, confusion, conflicting priorities, lack of money, stress, etc., how does one begin to make even a little sense of it all?

As I have stated in other blogs, you must begin with yourself, living your life from the inside out. Finding a sense of purpose is part of that process. Take a closer look at you so you can appreciate the assets you already have. Each of us is like a snowflake, unique, different for all others. Only you can make a difference in your life by the way you express your ideas to others around you by living your life in accordance with that inner vision.

Author Richard Bach has said, “There is a golden web of others out there who connect with us. As we reach out to others from the best that is in us, we find our extended family, not of blood but of spirit.”

We all need to find that family. Together, we are stronger and better than when we thought we were alone, which connotes helplessness and inability to deal with life constructively.It is so overwhelming.

An example that I saw in the movie, “The Straight Story,” the main actor states, “If you try to break one branch, it is very easy. But if your put more branches with it and bind them, it is impossible. We all need somebody.”

As we reach out with knowledge and understanding, we plant the seeds for our tomorrows and others as well.

Let me take this opportunity to thank all those who have shared this blog, for sharing is the highest form of praise. It has been a joy to my heart to see my own golden web forming. May you find yours as well. God bless you on your journey!

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?

 

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