As we age, so much has changed in the world. What we once considered normal has been replaced by a world that is often beyond our understanding. Certainly, life goes on. Our grandchildren talk about their games as though they are the only reality, and we look at them with a jaundiced eye, thinking: “What are they talking about?” I am certain they look at us with the same opinion.
If we live long enough, our bodies become frailer and more subject to whatever malady comes our way. We remember being able to walk for long periods of time, enjoying the outdoors and activities that pleasure us. Then we could bend down easily as we work with our flowers or do yardwork with vim and vigor. Well, that is no longer true. We must adapt to what our bodies will let us do so that we do not injure ourselves. I personally must go fetch a store person to get items on the lower or upper shelf.
As for maladies, we have to watch our bodies carefully so we can pay attention to when they need a little assistance to keep on going. Our doctors help us with medicines, physical therapy, and sometimes surgeries. I, for one, am grateful for their assistance because I remember my father passing away at the young age of 43 from complications from a duodenal ulcer surgery. The miracles of this age we are living in constantly amaze me because there are new medicines, surgeries, and new techniques, i.e., removing the appendix through a small hole in the side in lieu of cutting one open.
Life does indeed go on if we are lucky. I personally have experienced friends and relatives who have passed away at a much younger age than I. Grief is a hard thing to bear. It can be formidable. It can involve so many different emotions and takes such a long time to work through. Memories offer some solace, as does knowing that person is in a better place or is no longer in pain.
Aging can be a blessing, if we let it be that. We can exercise, do yoga, deep breathing, and whatever activity adds joy to our lives such as luncheon with friends, listening to good music or reading a good book. We can take classes in so many subjects. The Great Courses offer home learning at an affordable price so we can read the book that comes with the class and play the DVD at our pace of learning. There is always the availability of classes in our local colleges, churches, and Community Centers. There are many social events like cards, Bingo, and group activities to feed our socialization needs.
Adaptation to our needs is a requirement and a necessity. We no longer have the option of thinking that things will stay the same. That is so far from the truth. Our children and their children live in a different world than we can understand. We are forced to reach out into their world so we can communicate effectively, show them love in a way they can accept, and help them to learn to adapt to circumstances as we have had to do.
Life continues, and so should we. Wherever we are, we can still think positively, act appropriately, and always love others the best we can. Are you able to do that? It is a matter of choices, after all. Are you willing?
God’s blessings on your journey!
Posted in Uplifting Thoughts
Tags: adaptation, aging, blessing, classes, deep breathing, emotions, exercise, God, good music, journey, life, Love, medicines, metaphysics, miracles, New Age, New thought, physical therapy, reading book, rememberm pat attention, social events, surgeries, think positively, thoughts, Truth, understanding, wisdom, yoga
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?
Remember: God Is Good!
Peace be with you on your journey.
After watching the Olympics for several days, it has occurred to me how important BALANCE is to each and everything I watched. If one is just an inch off-balance, one way or another, that person will go down – no matter how good they are, how much they have practiced, or the long hours and many dollars they have spent to get to the Olympics. A speed skater, a boarder, ice skating, skiing, etc. – all require the magic of Balance in order to reach the podium.
I have a mobile in my room. I was watching it for some time. It has seagulls with wires connecting it together. The slightest whiff of moving air will cause it to circle. I noticed that, out of all the seagulls on the mobile, one small section was not moving properly. After studying it for a few minutes, I could see that one seagull had the tip of its wing over that of another. So I reached up and tweaked it a little. The mobile immediately swung back into perfect balance and moved like it should.
The thought occurred to me: How nice it would be if we all lived our lives while paying attention to Balance: Work, play eat, sleep, etc. How we spend each golden hour of our lives each and every day plays a part, just like the wing tip.
We all know what we have to do each and every day. We have to work at whatever we do to earn the money to meet our commitments and take care of our loved ones. But if we are not very careful, we can easily get out of Balance in our lives.
Perhaps you are thirsty so you reach for a can of cold pop instead of water. You are in a big hurry and are hungry. You look on your phone for a listing of fast food outlets nearby in lieu of a health foods store with ready-to-eat items. A child wants you to read him/her a story after a long, exhausting workday, so that moment passes by as you collapse into a chair. Your body is tired and aching from sitting or standing at work all day or night, so you pop a pain pill and settle down to watch some television before bed or sit at a computer, playing games to relax your mind. No thought of yoga stretches or deep breathing enter your mind.
Perhaps you are far too busy and with too many commitments to take that five minutes for yourself or look for a yoga/Pilates/exercise class that would improve your health. You are shopping for groceries and grab the quickest and easiest meals instead of shopping carefully for items that are healthy for you or your family.
As I said, if just an inch off-balance in Olympic sports, it won’t work – the medal goes to someone else. However, if your life is Out of Balance, you do not feel well. You take a pill for your symptoms and keep going. You miss that beautiful sunset or perfect flower without noticing. Your mind is so busy on more important matters, like making a living, picking up the children on time, wondering where you are going to get the extra money needed to repair the car, how you can clean the house before guests arrive, and a million other things that bombard you from every angle. You are driven by outside forces that consume your time before you crawl into bed for a fitful night’s sleep because you are so over-stressed.
Your life is shortened by the stress caused because of your attention to the extraneous matters/forces. You do not take that five minutes of calmness before you start your day, breathing deeply and thinking/reading beautiful thoughts. When you get the chance to stop for a moment, you check your phone for messages or play a game instead of looking around you, pausing to see that item of Beauty just waiting for your attention. Your mind is crowded indeed. But if you choose to slow down just a bit, you would hear the laugh of a child as you read a story or see the smile return to a checker’s face who has just gotten a rude customer and needs your smile and “Good day!” to refocus his/her attention.
My point? Balance is not a dream – it is a choice. Every moment of your life contains one. You can make a difference to yourself and others. At risk is your health, the livingness you do or do not feel, and to the joy you could spread to others. The thought you put into every act/choice will change your reality.
You just have to ask yourself some questions: What is really important to you? How could you respond differently if you were not harried, tired, and grumpy? What would help change that? What class could you take such as Anger or Stress Management, Yoga, exercise, or something else? Could you stop what you are doing as you sit for hours at a time in order to move about for five minutes, as recommended? Could you take a deep breath and stretch a bit? Could you focus on something else instead of whatever is making you crazy?
Life is so fleeting. It is our choices each day that will help the time to pass quickly and easily or drag by as we do a job that is eating us alive. There are always alternatives. You just have to look for them. Are you willing?
God’s blessings upon your journey!
Front Range Sunset
Posted in Uplifting Thoughts
Tags: anger, balance, Beauty, blessings, calmness, choices, crazy, deep breathing, dream, exercise, focus, God, grumpy, harried, journey, joy, life, livingness, Love, metaphysics, mobile, New Age, New thought, Olympics, sports, stress, thoughts, time, tired, Truth, understanding, willing, wisdom, yoga
Is it the Christmas Spirit or the Spirit of Christmas? Good question. The answer lies either between your ears or in your heart.
If it lies between your ears, your mind will say, “There is no difference – it is the same thing.”
Your heart will reply quite the opposite, however.
Christmas Spirit defined can include everything from the “Ho! Ho! Ho!” to Christmas Cards to gift giving to one and all. It can include stress caused by many sources, exhaustion from too much to do and too little time to complete tasks, the lack of money, etc. It can be an endless array of Christmas parties and too little sleep. It can be Christmas gifts put on display in the stores before Halloween and reminders of how many days until Christmas signs everywhere. It can be holiday music, lights, trees, and tinsel every time you look around. Yes, it can be all those things and more, positive and negative, bright and festive, cheap and elegant side by side.
But when you look at the Spirit of Christmas with your heart, you may find many surprises, one of which is the ability to see Beauty in your surroundings. That is because one is aware of time passing, along with a sense of peacefulness (like when floating on an inner tube on a lazy river).
If you are feeling rushed and filled with angst, slow down and take several deep breaths. Focus on just one thing at a time instead of a litany of tasks. Make a list of the tasks and choose just one, get it done, and then move on. Multi-tasking is a possibility if you still focus on just one object, like a person who is spinning plates on top of wooden dowels – touching one plate at a time to keep it spinning.
The Spirit of Christmas is not limited to a specific time frame on a calendar – it is truly an attitude that you can utilize year-round! In this way, one can see so much more clearly what is important vs. what is not so much. For example, you can give a gift from a thankful heart because of how satisfied you are with how well one is doing in lieu of giving out of duty or expectation. Pay attention to the details, one at a time, instead of feeling overwhelmed by the plethora of it all. You can enjoy one Christmas card, one gift your receive or give, or one bite at a time of a fantastic meal.
Time will, indeed, flow by regardless of how crazy you make yourself. So why not slow down your responses to exterior (and interior) stimuli? Then you can select the way you react to it instead of wearing yourself out from the inside, reacting vs. acting. Life can become so much more simple if you try this method of selecting a response (Acting) vs. gut level Reacting.
The Spirit of Christmas should nourish your Spirit, creating attitudes of thankfulness and joy. Do you remember that last time when you actually felt JOY? If it has been a long time, some introspection is required to find out when it left, how long it has been gone, and decide what you can do to restore it to your life so you can experience it again on a more regular basis. You may ask why that is important: Because JOY and PEACE are twins – they come and go together.
Peace is more than a word you hear and see during the Christmas Season. It is an attitude and a way of living. It is something you can cultivate in your life which can begin with learning to breathe deeply. Take a yoga class or T’ai Chi if needed. In our frenetic world, it is vital to your Spirit because it nourishes you from the inside out. It also simplifies complex situations which crop up all too often. When you feel like you are in a box and cannot get out, it is time to take a truly deep breath and seek the CALM (like that at the center of a wheel in lieu of living on the circumference where you feel like you are being run over).
The Spirit of Christmas is a gift you can give yourself every morning, if you so choose, no matter the time of year. Think about it: Are you willing?
God’s blessings upon your journey! Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!
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!
Posted in Uplifting Thoughts
Tags: art, Beauty, blessings, breathe, chance, change, choices, Dr. Caroline Leaf, Dr. Emma Seppala, emotions turbulent, exercise, God, journey, life, meditation, mental health, metaphysics, negative, New Age, New thought, physical health, relationships, sleep, stress, thoughts, time, Truth, understanding, willing, wisdom, yoga
Matthew 13: 3-9, 18-23 states: “And he spake many things unto them in parables saying, ‘Behold a sower went forth to sow; And when he sowed, some seeds fell by the way side, and the fowls came and devoured them up: Some fell upon stony places, where they had not much earth: and forthwith they sprung up, because they had no deepness of earth: And when the sun was up, they were scorched; and because they had no root, they withered away. And some fell among thorns; and the thorns sprung up, and choked them: But other fell into good ground, and brought forth fruit, some an hundredfold, some sixty-fold, some thirty-fold. Who hath ears to hear, let him hear.’
‘Hear ye therefore the parable of the sower. When any one heareth the word of the kingdom, and understandeth it not, then cometh the wicked one, and catcheth away that which was sown in his heart. This is he which received seed by the way side. But he that received the seed into stony places, the same is he that heareth the word, and anon with joy receiveth it; Yet hath he not root in himself, but dureth for a while: for when tribulation or persecution ariseth because of the word, by and by he is offended. He also that received seed among the thorns is he that heareth the word; and the care of this world, and the deceitfulness of riches, choke the word, and he becometh unfruitful. But he that received seed into the good ground is he that heareth the word, and understandeth it; which also beareth fruit, and bringeth forth, some an hundredfold, some sixty, some thirty.’ ”
So, I ask you, which type of soil are you? Is your heart and mind open, ready for the good seed of words, thoughts, and deeds so that they may multiply? Or are you caught up in the daily vicissitudes of wear and tear, lack of money, somebody else got promoted instead of you, you see a gorgeous dress and know you cannot charge another item on your credit card because it is maxed out, etc.? Daily circumstances can wear you out to the core, creating lots of negative emotions and very few positive ones.
Words cannot help much with the stony places in your life, especially if you focus on what is NOT WORKING WELL. The heat of the sun is living your life every day, trying to do your best – yet you are experiencing strong feelings of being OVERWHELMED and even HOPELESS. Each one of these feelings becomes a stone, impeding your growth and happiness.
The good ground is someone who, in spite of negative happenings, can press on and believe that things will get better. It may take time to unfold, but the possibility of change is enough to spur on that person as he/she seeks to know more and grow. How about you? Could you cultivate a better soil in you by slowing down, breathing deeper, meditate, do yoga, pray, or any other idea that occurs to you, like take a class, a workshop, or anything that will address the problems that exist in your life right now?
In Matthew 13:10 & 13-16, it states: “And the disciples came, and said unto him, Why speakest thou unto them in parables?”
It continues: “Therefore speak I to them in parables: because they seeing see not; and hearing they hear not, neither do they understand. And in them is fulfilled the prophecy of Esaias, which saith, By hearing ye shall hear, and shall not understand; and seeing ye shall see, and shall not perceive: For this people’s heart is waxed gross, and their ears are dull of hearing, and their eyes they have closed; lest at any time they should see with their eyes, and hear with their ears, and should understand with their heart, and should be converted, and I should heal them. But blessed are your eyes, for they see, and your ears, for they hear.”
Do you have ears that hear? Do your eyes really see? That indicates a connection with the brain so that it begins to think about what is heard. Have you ever talked to a child or teenager, knowing that they do not hear a word you speak? You have to first get their attention, which involves the Hippocampus at the base of the brain. If you can get their attention (like take away their game boy, electronic gadget, or turn off the computer, etc.), you can actually communicate. How about you? Is your mind so busy with all of the things on your To-Do-List, or other consuming ideas that you cannot be calm, quiet, and peaceful? Check your breathing. If your upper chest is breathing up and out instead of deep breathing from your stomach area, you are stressed out and in need of a change. Do you understand with your HEART? Only you can answer that question.
This is the time of the Summer Solstice and rebirth. You can see it all around you: The ducks and ducklings; geese and goslings, birds and baby birds, etc. Do you want a new beginning for you as well? You can have it every single day if you so choose.
Life does, indeed, happen, You are the only one who can see with your eyes, hear with your ears, and understand with your heart. Are you willing to take whatever action is needed to get off the merry-go-round of your daily life? Think about your soil and the seeds. What is it you really want? Only you can answer that question.
God’s blessings upon your journey.
Tags: believe, Bible, blessings, emotions turbulent, focus, God, heart, hopeless, journey, Matthew 13: 3-9 & 18-23, metaphysics, negative, New thought, overwhelmed, parables, sow, sower, stony places, thorns, thoughts, understanding, willing, wisdom, words, yoga
Every single day, I find lots of reasons to laugh at myself. Sometimes I am so serious that the thought of laughter is its own joke. Yes, there are times to be serious. But laughter makes a wonderful companion, especially when I am making myself wrong about something or depressed over some ache or pain. I heartily endorse the use of laughter as a tool for healing as well, just like Norman Cousins’ book, “Anatomy of an Illness: As Perceived By the Patient:”
“Anatomy of an Illness was the first book by a patient that spoke to our current interest in taking charge of our own health. It started the revolution in patients working with their doctors and using humor to boost their bodies’ capacity for healing. When Norman Cousins was diagnosed with a crippling and irreversible disease, he forged an unusual collaboration with his physician, and together they were able to beat the odds. The doctor’s genius was in helping his patient to use his own powers: laughter, courage, and tenacity. The patient’s talent was in mobilizing his body’s own natural resources, proving what an effective healing tool the mind can be. This remarkable story of the triumph of the human spirit is truly inspirational reading.”
Another of interest is “The Healing Power of Humor” by Allen Klein: “The ability to laugh at annoyances, crises, and even outright disasters can literally save your life. The author presents a series of proven techniques for overcoming the negative effects of loss, setbacks, upsets, disappointments, trials, and tribulations.”
If one Googles, “Laughter is the best medicine,” lots of entries come up. One such entry is, “Laughter is the Best Medicine” at http://www.helpguide.org/life/humor_laughter_health.htm What a delight it was to see this, repeating how many areas of your life, spirit, and health can improve through the use of humor and laughter. Please go there and read this refreshing article.
Norman Vincent Peale states: “It is of practical value to learn to like yourself. Since you must spend so much time with yourself, you might as well get some satisfaction out of the relationship.” Please check out some of his books, especially, “The Power of Positive Thinking.” It helps to change your perspective.
Proverbs 17:22 states: “A merry heart doeth good like a medicine: but a broken spirit drieth the bones.”
That is an accurate description of how I feel about laughter and its absence. That is why I look for the lighter side of things in spite of pain, enduring illness, sadness (which is appropriate for a time, but then you have to let it go), depression (feeling down for long periods of time), growing older (and seeing how very much I am no longer capable of doing or must do much less), etc. For every reason under the sun, there are many reactions possible. I have to admit that I cannot always respond well, lightening up and getting on with life, but it is my ultimate goal and ideal. I strive very hard to make it workable in my life. I put some music on and dance around, just experiencing the joy of movement. I do yoga. I do my physical therapy exercises religiously and go to the physical therapist as needed. I exercise daily in some way. I love the endorphins that gives me.
My message is a simple one: No matter what you have got that is eating at you, laughter and humor can improve your heart and mind so you can deal with life more effectively. All you have to do is seek to experience it in your life, in whatever way that suits you. Are you willing to turn loose of the problem that is choking the life out of you and look for another answer? It is your choice — use it wisely.
God’s blessings on your journey!
What a joy that was to experience!
Posted in Uplifting Thoughts
Tags: Allen Klein, blessings, change, choices, endorphins, exercise, God, healing, humor, illness. ache, Laughed at Yourself, laughter, life, lightening up, lighter side, merry heart, metaphysics, music, New thought, Norman Cousins, Norman Vincent Peale, pain, physical therapy, positive, reactions, thoughts, Truth, understanding, wisdom, yoga
One good question: Do you consider yourself to be a HUMAN DOING or a HUMAN BEING?
A second question: Do you think you are a HUMAN BEING HAVING A SPIRITUAL EXPERIENCE?
Or are you a SPIRITUAL BEING HAVING A HUMAN EXPERIENCE?
What is the difference you might ask?
It is a matter of FOCUS, PRIORITIES, and how you actually spend your time each day.
We can have the most grand idea as we begin our day of who we are and what we plan to do, say our Prayers, Meditate maybe, and then get underway. Then the daily wear and tear (known as vicissitudes) begin. You make your to-do-lists and begin your day. The rest of the day passes as though it had wings. You look back on your day and wonder where it disappeared to. Things on your to-do-list are probably still sitting there, or it is partially done. You have to wonder: What happened?
One element here is the lack of FOCUS. There are so many distractions in our everyday world that it is a wonder we can get anything done. Noise levels can be astronomical. Quiet and stillness are rare. There are pressing priorities at every turn — everything from changing the baby’s diaper, to answering the phone, to dropping the kids off at school (and they are still half-dressed and dawdling), to getting ready for work, to a boss that changed his mind and added more work with tight deadlines on top of an already full load, etc.
How can one stay centered and calm in the face of the flurry of it all? Some say to get up at least five minutes earlier so you can have some quiet time where you can pray, meditate, do yoga or Thai Chi, read your Bible or Religious Instruction, or whatever you like, including a quiet cup of coffee on the back deck contemplating nature, birds, etc. God is there. But you must seek Him first in order to achieve that moment of rest that you will need to carry you through your daily activities.
In the Bible, Matthew 6:5-13, it states in v.6: “But thou, when thou prayest, enter into thy closet, and when thou has shut thy door, pray to thy Father which is in secret; and thy Father which seeth in secret shall reward thee openly.” It then goes into the Lord’s Prayer, which we are instructed to pray daily. I have wondered about that for years, but I have come to know that the whole story is to quiet the outer so that we can emphasize the innermost parts of us, finding solace for our weary hearts and minds.
Another element that leads to Peacefulness of Spirit is Meekness. In the Bible in Psalms 37:11, it states: “But the meek shall inherit the earth; and shall delight themselves in the abundance of peace.” Again, in Matthew 5:5, it states: “Blessed are the meek: for they shall inherit the earth.” George Lamsa’s explanation is as follows: “It refers to the type of man who does not retaliate and who is free from that grasping temper which leads to disputes and quarrels…Such men believe in nonresistance…” The true meaning of meekness is the ability to bend with the wind or being teachable. This is far from the traditional meaning of becoming a rug so others can wipe their feet on you. Say “Nay!” to that! It is more like a river flowing around the rocks and obstructions in its way. This is the attitude essential to remaining quiet, calm, and peaceful in the face of adversity.
It all comes down to what you think in your head versus how you react to what is going on around you. Are the kids fighting again? Is the husband or wife unhappy about some inconsequential detail (which is not important to you at all)? How are your stress levels — probably through the roof? Is a loved one ill? Is there too much month left and not enough money? Did someone cut you off in traffic and almost cause you to have an accident? Are your allergies causing you discomfort?
The world has a way of impinging on our presence of mind in a million different ways, both large and small. The only way to make a change in it is to alter yourself and how you are thinking and responding. The outside circumstances do not care a lick about how miserable you are.
So I ask you again:
Do you consider yourself to be a HUMAN DOING or a HUMAN BEING?
Do you think you are a HUMAN BEING HAVING A SPIRITUAL EXPERIENCE?
Or are you a SPIRITUAL BEING HAVING A HUMAN EXPERIENCE?
The difference lies at the center of you. Are you willing to be driven by external circumstances forever, or are you willing to do whatever it takes to put your hands on the wheel and take command of your ship? It is all up to you as to where and how it sails.
Saying a few words in prayer in the morning is not enough to keep your hands on the helm and in control of your destiny. You have to do something differently in order to achieve some level of calmness in the heart of you, no matter how hard the external winds are blowing — and they can get pretty strong. Where is your attention focused? It is your priority system that got you where you are today. Are you happy with that? If not, are you willing to look for another answer? Take the personal time for yourself, whatever amount that is, so you can quiet the storm, seek guidance, and proceed with a knowing that all is OK, regardless of the circumstances. Take the step you see, and proceed as best you can.
Are you willing to give it a try? It is, after all, your journey.
God’s blessings upon you!
Do you get “White Coat Fever” every time you go to see the doctor, a hospital, or a Dentist Office? Or perhaps before you go into an important meeting? Or maybe before your first date with someone new? There are lots of instances out there which actually cause a raise in your blood pressure, even if your are perfectly normal most of the time.
Is it possible to do a simple movement with your hands to Lower Your Blood Pressure?
The answer is YES!
It is a hand mudra which is used in yoga. Some get very fancy with it, but here is a simple way to do it:
Sit with a straight spine and close your eyes. Breathe in deeply, and as you slowly let your breath out, you say the words, either out loud or silently to yourself: SA TA NA MA as you alternately press the thumb against all four fingers individually of both hands, starting with using the thumb to press the first finger: Say SA (soft a sound); the TA as you use your thumb to press the middle finger; The NA as you press the ring finger; and MA as you press the little finger. You are always moving from the first finger towards the little finger as you say the sounds…never in reverse order.
There are meditations out there suggesting that you can do this for 11 minutes, sitting quietly, or 31 minutes. Personally, I feel that whatever you can do will benefit you, calm you down, and lower your Blood Pressure.
It does not need to be a religious act or complicated. You can keep it simple and benefit from it. If, however, you want the philosophy, more information, or total picture of it, all you have to do is key in the words: SA TA NA MA into your search engine. It has a potential to be a powerful thing to do if you want to go down that path.
It can help you to make changes in your life, if you choose. It can even assist you to relax before you go to sleep and let go of the problems/issues/emotions of your day.
If you choose to do this, you can do it subtly no matter where you are. Are you willing to give it a try? It could benefit you whenever you need to Lower Your Blood Pressure for any reason so you can take life a little easier.
God’s blessings upon your 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?
Posted in Uplifting Thoughts
Tags: Arrived, attentionities, breathe, calm, chocolate, choices, coin, destination, exercise, focus, health, journey, meditate, meditation, metaphysics, New thought, oxygen, paying, possibilities, priorities, smoke, stress, sweets, thoughts, time, Truth, understanding, wisdom, yoga