Monday, December 29, 2014

Blog: Look Back To Clearly See Road Ahead At New Year Year's end is a good time to look back at what you have learned, completed, accomplished and left undone. It is all too simple to walk away from one experience and move quickly into the next. Yet, without introspection, you tend to repeat yourself, often neglecting to learn from your situations. Contemplation helps you put your life in perspective and that lends itself to clearly seeing the road ahead. Take time to consider the following: What did the past year present to you? What were the most significant events and how did you respond to them. How did they shape you? That leads you to the present. What do you want now and what is required, on your part, to move in that direction? Answering these questions not only helps to establish perspective in letting go but also adjusts your thinking and expectations for new experiences. You also achieve better self-understanding and, perhaps, appreciate what you’ve been through and accomplished despite it all. Resolution means to resolve or promise. Resolutions for the New Year can work for you, if you are clear and explicit about why you want them. Keeping tabs on your progress and growth through the years helps you calculate future steps. In time you develop objectivity and clarity of purpose. Your goals or resolutions become promises or commitments to yourself, not the rest of the world. In that way they are motivating and easier to remember and keep sacred. It is kind of like being a Monday morning quarterback. By looking over your shoulder to objectify the past, you know where you've been and that helps you know where you're going. Appreciating your life is fundamental to growth. It is a superb way to let go of the past and get yourself ready for new promises and expectations. Remember to feel gratitude for every event and experience. It doesn’t matter if you performed well or not. Don’t use this time to be critical. Just observe and take note. In the past year many people busied themselves clearing the away the old (job, relationships, lessons, goals, or even the rubbish in their homes – or minds). This prepares you for something new. Wisdom tells us you can’t have a new kind of friendship or relationship if you continue to put up with bad behavior -- abuse, neglect, or negativity. In the same way, you can not move on to having a joyful career, if you hang on to one that is not fulfilling. Change has to take place to pave the way for newness. The good and even the bad times offer gifts and insights. Stop, reflect, and receive those offerings. Putting things in perspective is crucial to having hope for the future. Without hope, there is no motivation, and without motivation, joy and enthusiasm wane. Ensure your forward movement by making your new year's promises thoughtfully. Make these commitments to yourself and no one else. Know your personal reward for each one. (Most of the time the outcome is feeling good.) Then you are ready to begin 2008 with a clear head, a happy heart and joyous expectancy.

Saturday, December 13, 2014

Peace - How to Achieve It Stress is created in the mind. Situations do not create stress, your beliefs about them do. Jim sees a yard full of leaves and starts pressuring himself to rake it. Meanwhile, his next-door neighbor, Harry, observes the same sight, and, recognizing he has other priorities, walks right past, without guilt or consternation. Jim can’t release the obsession to clean up the mess. Harry has no pressure because he has placed his peace of mind ahead of the yard waste. Jim’s belief that in order to be a good person, you must have a clean yard plagues him. Even though, he knows there is no time for yard work, he is burdened. Instead, he could focus on matters at hand. This would necessitate self control and a redefinition of the prerequisites to being a “good person”. Beliefs of this sort, and the ensuing pressure they create, keep the mind disorganized. Contrarily, peace can be achieved by making it the priority. Let yourself off the hook. What’s more important than peace of mind? Putting peace at the top of your list makes sense. Many are unwilling to put themselves on their list at all, much less at the top. “I’ll get to my needs when everything else is finished.” It’s no surprise then, when the day is over, you’re still waiting your turn. If we each dedicated an hour daily to creating peace of mind, the world would be calmer, brighter, and more hopeful. Leisurely walk, appreciate the sunshine, glorify in nature, sit quietly, fantasize a perfect life, read a positive book, smell the flowers, breathe deeply, write yourself a love note, meditate. The possibilities are endless. Often, this kind of restructuring takes place when illness strikes in a family. Suddenly the messy yard, dusty furniture, or other important work lose significance. Health comes first. There is no guilt as tasks are ignored. The patient comes first (perhaps you are the patient). Don’t wait for an emergency to include yourself on the priority list. Do anger, people pleasing and worry about the neighbors come before generating calmness? What beliefs do you hold that interfere with serenity?

Monday, December 1, 2014

The Heart to Give Sometimes people approach the holidays with resentment. Feeling the season has been commercialized; they focus on the buying and doing aspect of the holidays and lose the possibility of joy. Yet the principle of giving is inherent in the season. Thus the potential for learning how to give is an immediate undertaking for everyone. It would seem that re-framing the way we interpret the quality of giving could change our response to the holidays. Happiness lies in the spirit of givingness. Often this feeling of the spirit of givingness is felt more around the holidays than any other time, and this is a wonderful thing. Yet, we don’t have to limit our experience for we could make every day a kind of Christmas or celebration. The confusion lies in the idea that we must give “things”. For often with the giving of things, there are strings attached, and that takes away the joy. However when we give freely, without conditions, reservations, recriminations, attachments, we become the greatest recipients of our gifts because that kind of giving is accompanied by the feeling of great joy. We can develop the SPIRIT of givingness and experience it daily. The greatest gifts anyone can give are time, energy, and wisdom. This is similar to the axiom that to teach a man to fish is better than to give him a fish. If you give a man a fish, he will need another in a few hours, for one fish cannot satisfy hunger for long. Yet, if you teach the man how to fish, he can satisfy his need for fish as often as he chooses. Giving in this way is an excellent way to grow because it moves you out of your small (ego) self and helps you focus on the needs of others. It is the way we learn the true meaning of love. Giving your knowledge, experience and wisdom unconditionally leads to joy. This is not meant to down-play giving material gifts. What is important is that whatever you give comes from the heart. Then it is easy to practice giving without concern for a return. Soon you will discover that your givingness fills you and that everything you need or want, you have. Ultimately, your world will reflect that as well.

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Become Secure in Living Joyfully In our quest for stability and security we create habit patterns, which over time are well established, seductive, and comforting. Just wishing for them to be expanded isn’t enough. Growth does not come to those stuck in habits without the willingness to push out their boundaries. In other words, change is our friend. In fact, being uncomfortable is our friend as well. When we graduate from school, we do not continue to return to that same school. We know that our next experience await us. Growth begins with mindfulness and awareness. Are there stories we keep telling ourselves? We can’t do this; we are not skilled enough, good enough? Do we limit ourselves? Is it time to question the validity of these stories? Are we still talking about the time in our youth when we were rejected or we lost our best friend? Do we use this as justification for staying stuck? When we are distracted by strong emotion, remember, it is part of the path. Can we learn to feel the emotion and breath it into our hearts and let it go? As we become the observer and observe the process, we are reminded that emotion is part of life and part of our path. It is energy that flows and we allow it to do that. If we can remember to experiment with our awareness like this, even occasionally, we are training as a spiritual warrior. And even if we are unable to practice when distracted, but we are aware that we cannot, we are still training. Never underestimate the power of compassionate awareness. Play and Laughter are vital to feeling good. In a society driven by a strong work ethic, people often aren’t getting enough endorphins surging through their body-mind. It is important to laugh and play during some part of each day. Fun creates balance and health It is suggested to cut loose every day – in fact, schedule it into your calendar. Here are some ideas: • Rent a stupid, funny movie and laugh out loud. • Turn on the rock music and dance for ten minutes. • Play with small children and let them tickle you. • Call someone up and tell a joke. Have them tell you one too. • Most of all don’t wait until you’re in a low mood to be playful. Spontaneity means being natural and playing is the most natural thing you can do. • Laugh for no good reason. • Finally let go of any fear of looking foolish. The only people that would criticize you are unhappy ones and you are releasing them from your life as you cultivate a lighter demeanor. ENJOY!!!!
The New Age – What is it? We are living in a time of rapid change and we better know how to handle it because right now, what seems to be real and stable is often gone the next day. The Universe is trying to help us move in the direction of our Highest Good. Our choices are to fight it or flow with it. As we flow with the Universe, there is conservation of energy and peace. When we struggle against it, we lose energy, experience confusion, and feel defeated. The truth is: the Universe always wins or I should say, perseveres. It sounds a bit like a battle but it really isn’t. The only reason it may seem that way is that we are being asked to change – change what? Possibly change everything - our modus-operand us, our beliefs, our relationships, our professions or possibly all the above. Wow! You say. Yes, we live in a time of immense change. We are moving into a kinder, gentler world and to do that we must release our aggressive, combative, competitive tendencies and that means the inclination to make ourselves do something, or be something that is not appropriate for who we are, plus we must let go of the idea of beating out the other guy. In our new world we will get along better and support each other. That means if you have been in a job that you have hated or that works against your values, you will be moving on. Or, if you are in relationship that doesn’t support or empower you – yep! You will be moving on. It really mans that we will be creating a more loving world. That is the great part! What to do about all this? It might be good to relax and learn to flow. Enjoy the ride. As stated earlier – the Universe does not give up, so you might as well go with it. Another idea is to sit in silence every day – or if you prefer – write a letter to God and let God respond – yes – through your own hand. “Dear God – there is some confusion in my life. This or that is not working; I’m in conflict. Please help me out.” Yep! Sit quietly and let your hand write. You will be pleased, perhaps surprised. Yes, we are all changing and it is good. Flow with it and see where you are to go and what you are to do and to be. It might be fun!
Let’s give Thanks! (First rule of prosperity) One of the great laws of prosperity is “gratitude.” Gratitude sounds simple yet often it is not practiced. When most people gaze around and perceive all they have achieved and accomplished (tangible and intangible), instead of feeling awed and appreciative, they often think, “Is that all,” or “But I don’t have that thing, event, or relationship,” or “What’s next?” In other words, stopping to smell the roses is not part of the repertoire. Stop and think, do you consciously appreciate your friends, family, home, job, your freedom, your health, the money you’ve earned? It is easy to take these things for granted and think that what you have isn’t good enough or there isn’t enough -- the car isn’t a Rolls Royce, it’s an old Chevrolet; “I’m not President of the company, I’m only ______“ (fill in the blank). “I don’t make enough money, have enough prestige, live in the ‘best’ part of town, know the ‘right’ people. Attention is not on what you have, but on what you do not have, on what’s missing, on what is bad rather than what is good in life. This is called “fear-based” thinking. You never win or feel good about yourself, when you focus on lack and live in fear. Realize instead that the old car transports you wherever you want to go. Your current job is a stepping-stone to wherever you go from here. The house you own represents the down- payment on the next one. All your past learning experiences graduate you to the next level and prepare you for greater expression and service. You will more easily move to a new car, job, home, elevated opportunities, by appreciating the ones you’ve already experienced. Value your present job position and the customers you now have and the new customers will more readily present themselves to you. It is a law of nature. When we accept and are at peace with our current status, things begin to change naturally, easily. A deep, sincere gratitude sows the seeds that blossom in abundance. This is a principle of nature and it is magnetic. When people feel acknowledged and appreciated, they more readily acknowledge and appreciate you. When you are grateful for all you have and all you have experienced (event he seemingly bad stuff), your life expands. Start your day with appreciation of all the opportunities at hand and end your day with gratitude for all you have experienced and all the ways you have given and received. Your energy will soar! Oprah Winfrey keeps a gratitude journal where she daily acknowledges everyone and everything for which she is grateful. It works for her! Her life is abundant! Hey, what a great world we live in! We have endless opportunities to express, experience, live freely, laugh, love, share and enjoy all sorts of abundance. I’m grateful; are you?