As the New Year is coming, our minds may turn to New Year’s Resolutions. If you do make some, chances are that, once the price of achieving your goal is recognized, few will actually put out the effort in order to succeed.
One worthwhile goal is that, for about 30 minutes to an hour after you wake up, you have a direct line open to your subconscious. That is the best time to plant seeds of change in your life by reading something nurturing to your spirit.
I always follow this up with my morning prayers for all the people and matters that concern me or that I know are in need of prayers. I pray specifically by name (because I believe we are known to God by our names), as well as by groups. Another hint: If you are praying for a person, it is best to pray when you know that person(s) is sleeping. That is the best time to have maximum benefit because the conscious mind will not be running interference. This is not a control issue. You are only praying for the higher good to be manifest. It is never done to cause any harm to anyone or to manipulate. Perhaps you are praying for a healing of a specific health issue. We love people and care very much that harmful effects are occurring in each life. Thus, we are centering our attention on the highest good possible for each person–not from our personal point of view or opinion, but from a loving attitude.
Life has been particularly difficult this year due to the world pandemic of COVID19. It has impacted everyone everywhere in so many ways–health wise, financially, job wise, depression, anger, etc. Your attitude is a most valuable asset, which ends up getting lost in the daily unpleasant circumstances of your life. We know for a fact that it is not what happens to you that is the most important, but it is how you REACT to the stimuli of the outer world that is the key here. Your whole life can turn upside down, but if your focus is on the TRUTH of the bigger picture, you can more easily find a way through the difficulties. It is like plugging in an appliance in order to have it perform. Would you expect an appliance to work if you do not plug it in? Faith alone provides the avenue. If you choose to Plug In by Prayer, Reading, and Nurturing your spirit, you are bringing the power of God into your life by Activating THE HIGHER POWER, releasing the necessary energy to perform the tasks! If you don’t Plug In, you are riding a raft in the storm of life, being thrown hither and yon, without the ability to do much about it.
So, I ask you: Which would you rather do? Plug in and stay peacefully calm, poised, and capable of dealing with each difficulty as it comes up, or jump onto that raft for a wild ride for your day? It is all up to you!
God bless your journey. Happiest Wishes for a Marvelous New YEAR to one and all! God alone knows how very much we all need it!
During this long period of time after CoVID19 happened, changes in our world have left so many of us with extreme emotions about many topics. Everything we knew as normal is gone, with no expectation that anything will return to what it was.
These emotions range from despair, fear, angst, discord, grief, disappointment, anger, etc. There has been very little hope generated. Isn’t that a sad thought?
Now add in the upcoming election cycle, where civility has taken a back seat to angry dissertations and arguments between family members, friends, coworkers, etc. Everyone is so attached to their points of view that no one else can say anything else or contrary to it. Why is that? What makes this time in history different from any other occasion?
During this fractious time, if one were to say: “God is Good!” – it would seem like a crazy person said it. Why is that? How about: “Hope is a part of my everyday thinking!” Positive affirmations have been pushed aside as futile. Yet I would like to posit that this is the only way out of the darkness that surrounds us.
Is God Good when so many are in travail over the lack of money, lost jobs, missed opportunities, in ill health? Perhaps someone we care about has made his/her transition, and grief is all we can feel because we have not had the closure of being by his/her side when it happened? So many reasons to question the idea that God is still good.
Let me assure you that God has not changed, nor has He/She/It gone anywhere. You are not operating in a void, all alone in your misery. Your tool for access is prayer, whatever you define that to be. There is also meditation, deep breathing, yoga, being centered, exercise, experiencing the outdoors as best you can, peaceful sleep which rejuvenates the soul and mind, etc. Life can be better, no matter what you are personally dealing with.
It has been said that, “It is not what happens to you, but how you react to that which matters.” Can you believe that in this traumatic time? You can decide how you personally will respond to each and every situation in your daily life. Is that a unique idea to you? Possibly, but it is absolutely true. Outside happenings cannot dictate to you how you will decide to take action, unless it is an approaching angry tiger or elephant. Yet so many of us act like every single thing is an approaching angry tiger or elephant! No wonder you are exhausted when you fall into bed at night!
COVID19 and the election will pass. A vaccine will be formulated and distributed. Life will continue. The only question you have to ask yourself is: How am I going to make it through this storm?
If you are depressed, fearful, angry, grief-stricken, or caught up with any other negative emotion, you are planting more of the same. In order to have a different result, you will have to change your focus to something better.
You might ask me how. Focus is defined as concentrating on a thought or emotion, enabling clear perception or understanding. If you feel like you are a gerbil in a cage, with thoughts and feelings which only make you feel worse, you know you are stuck and need to turn your attention elsewhere. Only then will you be released from the cage of your own making.
Use whatever tools you possess (reading good thoughts, meditation, yoga, deep breathing while focusing on the stillness of a placid lake, whatever) to change your attention and perspective. You just have to be willing to do that. Are you?
Mark 12:31 states clearly: “Love your neighbor as yourself.”
Note that it does not say before yourself, or instead of yourself, or NOT yourself!
It has been known for thousands of years the simple truth that: “Love begins with YOU!”Self Love is perhaps the hardest to master.
Most people are harder on themselves than they are with anyone else in their lives: bosses, friends, lovers, mates, children, acquaintances. We become our own worst enemy. Why is that?
I personally believe it is because we are so focused on OUT THERE realities from the second we wake up until we fall exhausted into bed at night. Then it doesn’t end. Look at all the different sleep medications out there that are for sale. There must be a reason. My guess is that our dear mind is keeping us awake, thinking of things we could have done better or differently, stress, nerves, world news, fears for money, jobs, and the pandemic of COVID19. My list could go on quite a while. So we beat ourselves up endlessly for so many reasons.
Does that sound like Self Love to you?
Also, how about FORGIVENESS? Can you forgive yourself for your shortcomings, no matter how small, big, or in between they are? Can you forgive others for past instances where they fell short in your eyes?
To me, Self Love includes not only Forgiveness, but also Gratitude. Are you truly grateful for all the blessings (big and small) you have in your life at this moment? I could start with allowing myself a deep breath, releasing stressful thoughts and condemnations, and just being glad I am alive in this moment. I am grateful for everything from a roof over my head, food to eat, a car to drive when I need it, bills are paid, good medical care as I age, this computer to use to communicate with my world at large, smart phone and tv, my Keurig that gives me a hot cup of coffee, etc. I also know how to handle all the aches and pains, injuries, etc., as I age because I have been careful to learn yoga, exercise, and physical therapy to strengthen whichever body part needs it at the moment. I include deep breathing as I start my day and as the day proceeds. Beauty is part of my world, which includes beautiful flowers, watching birds and observing my garden grow – providing us with squash, eggplants, and tomatoes to eat and to share. I could go on, but you get the idea.
The difference in my life is which thoughts and emotions I choose to entertain myself with. I, too, have strong emotions/thoughts that carry me away quickly. Prayer helps a lot with that. Meditation is necessary as a tool to calm down and love myself anyway. That to me is a key.
You, too, have the possibility of using your own keys to LOVE YOURSELFANYWAY! After all, perfection is merely a goal, not a commandment.
We are lectured when we are young about our many faults. We take that inside of us and use it well, much to our own dismay. Sometimes it is so strong that we treat all of that as REQUIRED PERFECTION, from which we will ALWAYS fall short, requiring us to reprimand ourselves for every transgression. Isn’t that a sad thought? Because we do it at such a deep level and so naturally that it is difficult to change. However, we can choose to change. We truly can get off of our own backs and stop beating ourselves up!
You are in charge of your own mind. Are you willing to let what is really not working very well continue? Or do you want to begin to LOVE YOURSELF TRULY?
One of the yoga breaths is called the CARING BREATH: You reach both hands/arms out in front of you, take your right hand/arm and touch your left shoulder as you bow your head in that direction and you say, “I accept myself fully, with all my faults and shortcomings.” Then you reach out with your right hand/arm and say, “I am willing to serve, love, and care for others.” Then you repeat this with the left hand/arm. I find this so peaceful and life-changing.
Many motivational speakers tell us to look in the mirror every morning and say to ourselves, “I love you just as you are. You are enough. Go forth with joy in your being!”
Are you willing to try to love yourself? It is all up to you, after all.
Each segment of the church system/religious beliefs has its own parameters of what consists the answer to the question: Are you a saint or a sinner? On one side is the saint, and on the other is the sinner.
Even in our own minds, we label our concepts of saint or sinner. From this point of reference, we judge our world, past and present, self and others. We beat ourselves up for our perceived shortcomings, where we fall short of our own expectation levels. Others also emphasize the same. This only reinforces the negative input incoming to our spirit. Is it productive or counter-productive? Does the negativity give us a desire to change? Nope. Only a positive attitude, working toward a positive goal, can do that. Isn’t it amazing, though, that so many people think that the negative motivation works?
Here is a revolutionary concept: What if we have the power through the use of our choices to be one or the other and even somewhere in between? Is that a possibility?
It may sound absolutely insane to think of life in that way. We put a lot of attention on blaming others, circumstances, or even life itself. This helps us to avoid the responsibility of accepting that we made a poor choice in the first place.
Yes, accidents happen, as do sickness, job loss, horrific weather, crazy politics, etc. Then we have to decide on what our particular response will be – not our reaction, mind you. I am focusing on the idea of what I am going to do in this situation that is occurring on this Third Rock from the Sun. Am I praying for the situation others are experiencing in such a traumatic way? Of course. My response is to choose to support the relief efforts in whatever way I can. Please note that I said response.
In my own life, stuff happens: Good, Bad, and all that comes between those two. However, as captain of my ship, I must decide how I am sailing: What, where, destination, journey, etc. In a strong wind, I must tack to maintain my course. I have to consider my destination (a fixed point) vs. the journey itself as it unfolds. Heaven knows that the destination certainly can change in an instant through positive or negative impacts, perhaps with no choice of my own involved. Life happens.
The only question you are left with: How do you want to respond vs. react to exterior situations/information? The choice is always yours, whether you recognize it or not. In this restless world at this point in time and space, the electronic transmission of all facts/perceptions are known to all with just a touch of a button, literally. The emotions are running so high that the fight or flight pattern in all of us is controlling so much of our thoughts. This state, if kept up long enough, will be our undoing, both individually and collectively.
Peace must be actively chosen as a part of our world. Step back for just a moment, breathe deeply, become quiet (no matter how briefly), and rest just a bit before reentering the exterior world. Your body and mind will thank you. That choice is up to you! Choose wisely.
Praying always for all the suffering that is happening now. Be safe. Act constructively and positively. Do what you must, but don’t lose your sense of self/peace in the process.
Have you ever watched a gaggle of geese that are coming in for a landing on a lake? They are majestic, to say the least. Before they touch down, their wings lock into a curved downward position as they descend. When they are close to the surface, they flutter their wings to let the air pass through their feathers and land. The one thing I have noticed, though, is that, no matter how many other geese are already in their chosen landing spot, not one ever sets down on top of an existing goose’s place. Their brains are not large, yet they always land successfully!
What if humans had that same ability when going from place to place, goal to goal, and job to home? After all, we have a larger brain. Why do we have such a hard time of setting our wings?
If we could do so as easily as the geese, think what a peaceful place our lives could be. We would leave our home situations at home, traffic/transit problems there, and work situations/problem/stresses at the place of origin. Perhaps you have heard, “Leave your problems at home. Put on your smile, and move into your day here.” Maybe you walk in the door at home and start yelling because you haven’t left the stressors at your workplace. You are carrying leftovers from place to place. You are literally not “setting your wings.” The same happens when going from burned toast at home to an important meeting at the office.
Goal oriented people can become obsessive, trying to get their To Do Lists done, all of them, all the time. They thus create stressors on themselves and others. Instead of flowing from task to task, they jump around like grasshoppers in lieu of doing just one thing at a time, which is really all one can do anyway. Multi-tasking is a myth.
If one could set one’s wings as easily as the geese, you would better be able to construct your day, pick your destination (as it were) of each incident, decide your necessary action that is appropriate to the task at hand, complete it, and move on to whatever comes next. You would keep that sense of ease about each task, one flowing into another one, whatever comes next.
Imagine yourself in heavy traffic, you need to get home because you have a million things to get done before you can relax, which you desire even more. Someone else, equally as anxious, cuts you off. You respond with anger because they have invaded your space. What gets lost in the process? You got it! More stress than you had before.
I know you are definitely not a goose. But what if you could keep that sense of peace when setting your wings through your day, no matter what happens? There is an inner connectedness that can occur when you stop for a moment, breathe deeply, and decide your action in lieu of a reaction to circumstances around you. If you applied this idea to every incident that occurs throughout your day, you would be less stressed, more peaceful and happier person. You would most certainly be more healthy.
What if you could encapsulate the stressors you experience each and every moment of your day in a little bubble, all its own? Then you could act or react to just that particular incident instead of going crazy over the accumulation of it over time, be it a day, week, or lifetime. Some people are still reacting to things that happened long ago and far away, thinking about the injustice of it all, feeling self righteous, etc. It is an accumulation of things that are dragged from one incident to another that causes the confusion. Then add the daily stuff and you have a recipe for disaster. You may feel driven in lieu of being the driver.
What I am suggesting to you is that you can live a more peaceful life if you set your wings in the morning by breathing deeply, noticing the beauty around you, think of a very happy place in your mind where you were totally relaxed and easy going. It only needs to be just a few moments. Then as you move into your day, be it spilled milk, a restless child who will not get dressed or cannot find a shoe, a traffic incident, an angry coworker or supervisor over something insignificant in your mind, you can act or react as you choose. Perhaps you could flutter your wings, letting the occurrences flow without a negative response in your mind/being? Trust me, acting vs. reacting is the key to keeping your wings set and letting things go. Encapsulate those stressors by not ignoring them but by responding appropriately at that moment. Don’t drag stuff around with you, situation to incident. No wonder you walk in your door at home and collapse. You are doing it to yourself. That is the sad part.
If you were to set your wings, you would breathe better because the first thing your body does when it reacts to stress is shorten your breathing. You would be healthier, that is for certain. Your day would be less tumultuous. Instead of carrying an empty bag around with you, throwing the impact/influence of each incident into that bag as it occurs, causing you to feel the weight of the world on your shoulders by the end of the day because you are dragging a now-totally-filled-to-overflowing bag, you can choose to come home feeling fresh and alive because you dealt with each thing by itself. Would that be magical? You can choose to live like that. Are you willing? You can change. You can do it.
Our thoughts become the basis for living our lives.
If these thoughts are positive and uplifting, our lives are blessed.
If, however, these thoughts are negative – including anger, fear, worry, sadness or any variation thereof – our lives become a living hell. Do you remember the lake of fire where you are burning up, but it never ends? You are never without the pain of it all? Thus, our lives become bitter and cursed.
Most people do not realize how important our thoughts are. They get up in the morning and embark upon another day without a short time of quiet to calm their inner selves. They run through their day and obligations like a squirrel in a cage. At night, they drop into a restless night, not sleeping well because of their stress. Is this not a hell?
If a thought appears to these people which would lessen their hell, will they pay it attention or not?
The likelihood is that they will keep on keeping on, whether it be duty, lack of knowledge of a better way, or just plain tiredness.
What if a person could seize that thought and actually wake up to a new way? What a marvelous thing that would be! The pain would fizzle, and the fires of hell would dissipate!
Could you imagine such a future for you?
God sent angels in human form to the men of old, warning them to always take care of strangers at their door that they might entertain angels unbeknownst to them. Sometimes the angels came in a dream while they were sleeping.
In today’s world, God sends us many angels to help us live better, more fulfilled lives. These angels are our thoughts. They instruct us in better ways to live and move and have our being.
Why do we ignore this possibility for good in our lives? I believe it is the noise made by the disrupted emotions of anger, regret, pain, anguish over things that did or did not happen, etc.
What I am suggesting here is that where you put your attention – past, present, or future – grows into either your worst nightmare or your best dream. Which would you rather strengthen and enable? Which path would you choose? Could you take that class, read that book, get counseling, or simply stop in the morning with an appropriate quiet time to still your mind and spirit?
Our thoughts our angels are, truly.
What will your choice be – pay attention and make changes or Keep on Keeping on? It is all up to you, after all.
God’s blessings as you walk your pathways upon your journey!
As we age, things change. Our body parts begin to complain.We do not walk as fast as we once did. We can no longer do things that we actually took for granted. Perhaps we gain or lose weight. We are no longer young.
The question remains: Do you want to age better? Are you willing to make some life style changes in order to be healthier?
Are you looking backwards at memories, both sad and happy ones? Are you looking forwards with hope or dread? Do you live in the ever-present NOW?
Every second you spend anywhere else other than NOW is time lost forever, never to be regained.
If you are in your NOW, you are living your life to the fullest, taking advantage of opportunities that come your way.
Life is so short, no matter how long that is. Yes, it is a great oxymoron, but true.
Are you happy with your present, or are you trying to escape from something? Where is your focus and attention? Are you caught up like a hamster in a cage, going round and round every day? Do you see beauty around you? Are you so stressed out that you are chest breathing (which is the first thing that happens)? Are you breathing deeply, relaxing into the moment?
How is your dance going? You are the only one who can dance your unique movements. No one else can do it for you. Is it slow and full of rhythm like a waltz? Are you doing the minute waltz in 30 seconds or less, stuffing every moment with activities, either voluntarily or out of necessity? Are you dancing to your own tune or somebody else’s?
Wherever you are in your life, the only moment you can make a new choice is the present one. Every change has a price tag in some form, be it time, money, effort, or something else. Are you willing to begin to change the music to which you are dancing?
If you make one small step in your chosen direction, it is a beginning. It does not have to be drastic. You can only do what is possible for you at this moment in time. Awareness of needed changes is vital to the process. After all, you are the only one who can make that decision to follow through.
Life is a beautiful thing that passes so quickly. Time does not stop for any reason. It is your journey and your dance. Make the most of your precious time.
For many years, I have believed that Christmas is a very special time of year. It appears that people are kinder, more gentle, certainly forgiving, etc., during this extraordinary period. The focus is placed on the beauty around us: Christmas lights and decorations, being good for “Santa,” thinking more of others and what their needs […]
That question, “Are you listening to your own drummer?” is a formidable one. If asked sincerely by your mind, what would you answer?
Life comes at us helter-skelter, haphazardly, causing confusion in its wake. From the moment one wakes up until one falls into bed at night totally exhausted, incoming information about a plethora of things bombard the mind and emotions. Even if we succumb to sleep, it is not a peaceful one, even if one takes a pill to get a little shut eye. How does one quiet this cacophony? Does one just simply react to each thing? It becomes a conundrum of spirit, to say the least.
Life is not simple. It can get very complicated in a heartbeat. So much can control one’s very being because it commands the time, thoughts, and everything one turns a hand to do. How does one survive this onslaught?
Simplicity is forgotten amongst the rubble of it all.
Einstein’s definition of insanity is apt: If one keeps doing the same things the same way but expecting different results, it is truly insanity.
So, if you ask yourself honestly, “How do I get off this crazy merry-go-round?” the answer actually is a simple one.
Stop and breathe deeply. Inhale with the diaphragm and then pull the abdomen in and push the air out. (The first thing to go when enduring stress is the breathing. We become chest breathers instead.) Perhaps get yourself a cup of tea or something warm. Sit down. Stop the scurry for just a few minutes. Then you can truly ask yourself:
“Am I listening to my own drummer, or am I just overwhelmed by the cacophony of it all?”
Perhaps you could put on some quiet music and think of a happier moment in your life. Transport yourself to that moment by closing your eyes, remembering the scene, colors, scents, and sounds.
You will find that five minutes of breathing deeply and thinking of something else, much happier, will be magic to your soul.
Life will, indeed, go on. But if you can but stop like this, you will find a tonic for your soul that no pill can compare to it.
Your own music is sweeter by far than anything else could possible be. Are you willing to stop and listen?
In The Prophet by Kahlil Gibran, he writes: “The selfsame well from which your laughter rises was oftentimes filled with your tears…When you are joyous, look deep into your heart and you shall find it is only that which has given you sorrow that is giving you joy. When you are sorrowful look again in your heart, and you shall see that in truth you are weeping for that which has been your delight.”
So if you are in sorrow, try to remember that, if you have wonderful memories of someone, to that degree will you grieve – sometimes for the rest of your life, for you will miss that someone more than words can express. That pertains to good memories of all kinds.
However, when you are filled with joy and laughter, look carefully at the situation/memories, etc. You will feel the connection with past incidents/people/special happenings. That will deepen the joy because you will understand the source.
Remember, your choices every minute can make or break your feelings/thoughts/memories. Whatever you focus on is what you are blessing into expression. It is, after all, entirely up to you to create the happiness habit.
“Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.”
Life-long learning has been my quest always. There is so much in the world that brings us down. Like the old song says: "Eliminate the negative, Accentuate the positive..." Life, Love, Truth, Peace, Beauty, Laughter, Light, Joy = All these and more need to lift our spirits so we can soar. Daily wear and tear affects us all. Each one needs to take the time daily to look beyond the problems in our lives so we may find the solutions needed. I wish to use all my lessons learned to share uplifting thoughts with you. Come join me in trying to make this world a better place... :-)
I have been happily married to author and poet W. Foster Welborn for 29 years. (His blog is URL: www.wfosterwelborn.com = RSS Feed is: www.wfosterwelborn.wordpress.com) He has 6 books on Kindle and 2 in print. I am his editor/typist. I currently have 4 more books that are in my finishing process. Watch for them!