Monday, December 21, 2015
Everyone Receives when You Give with Right Intention I knew a man named Martin who owned a successful flooring store. He kept to himself most of the time and led a quiet life. One Christmas, he felt inspired, deciding to step out of his usual routine to do something audacious. This was for himself. Martin learned about a single mom who was struggling to meet her family’s needs. He decided to give her $500 anonymously. So, one night, he put five $100 bills in an envelope, along with a holiday greeting. He commenced to walk up to her house, placed the envelope in a conspicuous location by the front door, then rang the doorbell and ran to hide behind a bush. The woman answered the door and picked up the envelope. As she opened it, she let out a surprised and happy gasp. She called out to the night air, “Thank you!” Martin was so excited, he couldn’t sleep that night. As he told me this story, he beamed with joy. It was apparent that Martin got the greater blessing that night. We can all give as Martin did. In every day and every way and with every person we can give with Highest intention! Everything is brighter when we do!
Tuesday, December 15, 2015
Dealing with Difficult Relationships during the Holidays The holiday season is upon us once again and it offers the possibility of healing some old wounds. Sometimes when certain people or relatives show up, there is a sense of heaviness or dread that goes back years to previous pain suffered with those individuals, but we can change this. Let’s bring this into perspective. Do you remember when you were in kindergarten? You sat in a little chair behind a tiny desk. Well, guess what, you now possess a beautiful adult body that no longer fits in that teeny desk or scenario. In the same way, trying to operate from old outmoded thought patterns that continually bring pain no longer fits. And, holding on to relationships and memories that need to go, no longer serves your highest good. Reverting back and allowing the expectations and demands of family members to be a source of unhappiness and stress, when what you really want is to be authentically yourself and at peace is not acceptable. The conflict may appear to be a choice between being who you are and not having peace with your relatives, or having peace at the price of being inauthentic. Yet, being peaceful and authentic can define your relationship with your family. First, though, you may have to assess your relationship with yourself. In order to change the nature of any relationship, you'll have to adjust your thinking about it and consider that you are the source of your anguish, rather than the individual you've labeled as the troublemaker, and/or annoying and despicable. The rule is that people treat you the way you have trained them to treat you. Over the years, all of these folks have been treating you exactly as you have trained them with your reactions and behaviors. This can miraculously change when you choose to be at peace with everyone in your life—most particularly, your relatives. If the focus of your internal dialogue about your relationships is it on what they're doing wrong, then that's precisely how your relationship with them will be experienced. If your mind chatter centers on what's annoying about them that will be your focus. But if you're thinking, I am authentic and peaceful with this relative, then that's what you will experience—even if that person continues to be exactly the way he or she has always been. In other words, make your decision and stand by it. The key to having peace is forgiveness. Your relatives are simply doing what they have been taught to do over a lifetime, and the lifetimes of their predecessors. Step away from judgment and expectation and shower them instead with understanding and forgiveness. Rather than keeping yourself in a state of stress, decide to be grateful for their presence in your life and the opportunity for you to grow. There is a bonus likelihood that you will see dramatic changes in your relatives as you instruct them with your own persona how you intend to be treated. But if they don't choose to change, and they continue their non-peaceful ways, release your need to transform them. It is perfect in the Universe, as you are her are offering them the same. As you transform and live in peace, you increase the odds of helping others do the same. It is all a matter of choice.
Monday, December 14, 2015
The Art of Giving and Receiving There is a wonderful legend about a wanderer in the desert who happens on a spring of clear, fresh water. He excitedly fills his jug with water and dashes off to share his precious treasure with the king. The wanderer crosses a great distance over many days to eventually arrive at the palace and offer his gift to the king. As the king tastes the water, he smiles and profusely thanks the wanderer for his wonderful gift. The members of the court rush forward to have a taste, expecting to savor cool, clean water. Instead, they are repulsed with hot, stale water and they spit it out. A member of the court inquired of the king, “How could you give thanks for this spoiled water?" The king smiled and divulged that it was not the water he tasted, but the spirit in which it was given. Receiving a gift is an art unto itself. Remembering that it is not the gift but the spirit of the giver that is most important can make us all better givers and receivers. President Calvin Coolidge spoke of giving when he said, “No person was ever honored for what he received. Honor has been the reward for what he gave.” Writer, Margaret Lee Bundeck, declared that “Giving is a necessity sometimes more urgent, indeed, than having.” Activist, Stephen S. Wise, stated his views on giving thusly: “An unshared life is not living. He who shares does not lessen, but greatens his life.” I hope that these words of wisdom help to brighten your holidays and encourage each of you to develop your own Art of Giving and Receiving that you may experience the great joy of both!!
Thursday, November 19, 2015
The Law of Failure People have a lot of misconceptions about failure. John Keats said, “Failure is, in a sense, the highway to success, inasmuch as every discovery of what is false leads us to seek earnestly after what is true.” Keats is referring to the “Law of Failure.” It states that your level of success is directly proportional to how often you fail. Everyone, at some point, deals with failure. If we let failing at something defeat us, we’re in for a succession of depleting experiences. Famed basketball player, Michael Jordan has an interesting perspective on failure: “I’ve missed more than 9000 shots in my career. I’ve lost almost 300 games. 26 times, I’ve been trusted to take the game winning shot and missed. I’ve failed over and over again in my life. And that is why I succeed.” The best basketball player ever has missed so much, has failed so many times, yet his talent, hard work and perseverance made him a great success. Jordan is clear that his failures were the building blocks of his success. Thomas Edison was also learned in the art of failure. He discovered early in life that failure is the road to success. After 50,000 attempts to invent the light bulb, he felt he was close to his goal, because now he knew 50,000 ways that didn’t work. Thomas J. Watson, the founder of IBM, was also no stranger to failure. Watson ran afoul of the antitrust laws and had been fired as the sales manager of the National Cash Register Co. At 40 years of age, he was under jail sentence, and without home or job and with little money. Yet, even with this extraordinary pressure, Watson emerged to establish one of the most successful, innovative businesses in America. Falling down helps us learn to pick ourselves up again. This is a valuable skill, if you plan on succeeding. Decide how you want your life to be. Then create a plan for where you are right now, knowing that it will change as you grow. Then begin your journey with the first step. Don’t let rejection, failure or falling down stop you. If one phase of your plan doesn’t work, step back and reassess. Taking time daily to consider where you are and where you’re going, clears your mind and creates room for new ideas. Concentrate on your desire. Don’t get attached to how you achieve it. You can follow Edison’s example of discovering ways it won’t work, so that you move closer to ways that do work. Join the ranks of Jordan, Edison, Watson and many others by sticking to your goals regardless of what happens, thereby turning “failure” into a meaningless, obsolete word. So the key is not how many times you fall, but how many times you get up and keep going. The only real failure is not trying at all. _____________________________________
Tuesday, October 27, 2015
Effortless Action Nothing in the world is more yielding and gentle than water. At the same time, nothing is more powerful than water. Water has no equal in conquering, overcoming, or wearing down resistance. When a stream meets an obstacle in its path, it doesn’t fight, struggle or even contemplate. It basically gives it no attention. It simply flows around it. The stream does this without strain or concern. In fact, it sings as it flows past the obstacle. Water provides a perfect example of effortless action. You can learn from this metaphor daily. As you face the challenges in your life, think about water. Consistent wearing away at an obstacle wins out, as does changing course. And, in the mean time, don’t forget to sing your song. For instance, if you are traveling to Texas and run into a detour, you can cancel your trip or find another route or mode of transportation. If you are driving, you can fly. If one highway is closed, there are other roads and thoroughfares that will get you there. Furthermore, reassessing your options can be accomplished without losing your cool. In fact, you can enjoy the entire maneuver. There is a story that further explains effortless action. It is about a horse that was tied outside a shop in a narrow Chinese village street. Whenever anyone tried to walk past, the horse would kick him. After a while a crowd of people gathered and began debating how best to get by the hazardous horse. Soon, someone came running announcing, “The Old Master is coming! He’ll know what to do!” The crowd waited anxiously. As the Old Master turned the corner, he saw the horse, and immediately spun around to walk down another street. The Old Master had learned the lesson of water and moved with effortless ease. How can you use this principle of effortless ease in your life? What are the obstacles you need to flow around?
Doing the Seemingly Impossible... When you set a thought into motion, the forces of the Universe take over to guide that thought to the right resources to create the outcome you desire. One of the things we have to do to cooperate with this process is to listen to our intuition because that is where our answers will emanate. The Wright brothers serve an example of listening with the heart (intuition) and following the guidance diligently. They did this in their quest to create a flying machine. Wilbur and Orville Wright were two American inventors, and aviation pioneers who are credited with inventing and building the first controlled, powered and sustained heavier-than-air human flight machine on December 17, 1903. Neither let their lack of formal education (Orville had 3 years of high school and Wilbur had four years) interfere with their dream of developing a flying machine. After having worked for years in their shop with printing presses, bicycles, motors, and other machinery, their mechanical engineering skills were honed. Working on bicycles particularly influenced their belief that an unstable vehicle like a flying machine could be controlled and balanced with practice. They conducted numerous experiments and trials over years before they realized victory. Through that time, they never let the idea that they were simple bicycle mechanics interfere with their vision of flight or their determination. As a result, they lived to see airplanes flying all over the world. It was their development of aerodynamic controls that made it all possible. When the mind is open and willing, amazing innovations are born. Thus the question, what has your intuition been saying to you? In what way are you being asked to step out of the box and be inventive? We were all designed for greatness!
Wednesday, September 23, 2015
Important lesson in Kindness There is a story about an eleven year old boy who learned an important lesson regarding the interpretation of right action and values. Eric played Little League baseball on the Phoenix’s team. It was the last game of the season and the most important one as it would determine the championship. But it was important for another reason as well. It was the bottom of the sixth and the Eric’s team, the Phoenixs were ahead 2-1. But the opposing team, the Pegasus, had the bases loaded with two outs and their best hitter was at bat. He hit an easy fly ball to Phoenix’s right fielder, Bobby, who circled under it, his glove in position. It looked like an easy out and the crowd grew quiet in anticipation. The ball fell into Bobby’s glove, but then bounced out. Bobby scrambled for it but by the time he got hold of it and threw it, the Pegasus won the game 3-2. The defeated Phoenix slunk off the field when suddenly their manager stated screaming at Bobby. “You lost us the game. It is your fault we lost the championship!” Bobby was devastated and ran off the field and into the woods. When the game was over, Eric went to meet his parents for the drive home but his dad wasn’t there. His mom said that dad had something to take care of. Eric was feeling dejected when in the distance he saw his father walking down the road with his arm around Bobby. Bobby was the one who didn’t feel he had a friend in the world and Eric’s dad had reached out to him in kindness and support. Eric never forgot the kindness his father extended that day. In the matter of one hour, Eric’s value system made a radical shift and the important of kindness went to the top, while winning at all costs, fell off the list. Bobby never forgot either because whenever he saw Eric’s dad he broke into a big smile and greeted him warmly. The team manager was misdirected in believing that winning was everything. He misled his players when he yelled that Bobby lost the championship because anyone who has ever played any sport, knows the team wins or loses together. Some people really believe that winning is everything. Those are the ones who put the feelings of a vulnerable eleven year old Little League baseball player as nothing. Real winners don’t necessarily hit home runs or make spectacular plays and catch every ball. Real winners like Eric’s dad, know how to be kind. He was clear in his directtion and taught by excample. Kindness is everything.
Wednesday, September 16, 2015
Peace and Preparedness In the 1880s the great black educator, Booker T. Washington, was an advocate for peace and against useless conflict. Once, as he walked past the mansion of a wealthy Alabama plantation owner, he demonstrated his commitment to peace. The white lady of the house didn’t know Professor Washington by sight. As he strolled by, she yelled out to him to “chop some firewood”. Washington understood her mistake, yet he took off his coat, grabbed an ax and proceeded to cut a pile of wood. As he carried the wood to the lady’s kitchen (per instruction) he smiled pleasantly at the woman. He then went on his way. After he had disappeared, one of her servants told her mistress, “That was Professor Washington.” The woman of the house felt horrible and deeply embarrassed by her error. Thus, she went the following day to Professor Washington’s office to apologize. Washington responded to her admission of guilt with grace. “It is entirely all right, madam. I like to work and I’m delighted to do favors for my friends.” Washington’s poise and dignity in a potentially humiliating situation created a true friend for him, as this woman graciously supported him for many years and ultimately raised thousands of dollars for his Tuskegee Institute. We can all learn to respond to conflict with the same artistic efficiency as Washington. To do this we must have a strong desire to experience and express peace in our lives and harmony in our relationships. Plus, we must be willing to discipline our egos so that when opportunities for discourse arise, we can be fully present and prepared. This discipline requires that we examine our need “to be right”, to have the last word, and to choose to be offended over small matters that don’t necessarily matter. Daily our words and actions state our preference for peace or strife. What signals are you putting forth? Are your actions consistent with your desires? Author, Jerry Jampolsky states this principle of choice well. “Would you rather be right or happy?”
Making Criticism Friendly Millionaire, Steven K. Scott, makes a radical suggestion, “Make your worst enemy your best friend – criticism.” He offers considerations on how to convert criticism to understanding. For instance, consider the source. How qualified is this person to give such criticism? What is the basis of the criticism? Example, is it based on emotion, lack of understanding, lack of experience, logic, the realities of the situation, or conventional thinking rather than creative thinking? Also recognize the motive of the critic and the accuracy of the criticism. It is most important to take responsibility for your response to criticism. If you defend, attack, withdraw, or surrender, you might think of these as wrong responses. Whereas right response would be to re-focus, write down the criticism, and then search out the “gold” in it. If you look for something valuable, something you can learn from in the censure, you will find it, even though it may have nothing at all to do with the original intent of the critic. Scott offers some steps to process disapproval. These include examination of what hurt you the most? And What good came from it? As well as what would you do differently the next time? It would seem that all people would benefit from careful examination of not only faultfinding received, but what we find fault with in others. We might turn this latter thought inward with additional questions. Why do we have a need to criticize in the first place? What is our intent in doing so and why does another person’s behavior weigh so heavily on us that we would need to chime in with criticism? And, on the reverse side, what exactly is triggering our need to take criticism personally? Certainly people in sales and leadership positions would profit from this kind of self-examination. Insight could provide opportunity to radically change their interactions with staff and customers. Expanding farther, certainly all people dealing with issues of insecurity could be helped by self understanding. When you get right down to it, all people need this type of realization and awareness. It could be that Steven K. Scott is a successful millionaire because he has mastered criticism.
What are you Building? Remember the story of the bricklayers? When asked, “What are you doing?” One brick layer said, “I’m earning a living”, the next responded, “I’m laying brick”, the third exclaimed, “I’m building a great cathedral.” The last bricklayer brought great pride, joy and appreciation to his work and went home fulfilled. Which one are you? I met a tire salesman who, when approached for tires said, “Yes, I can help you”. He smiled broadly and demonstrated eagerness, willingness, and friendliness. He judged his work important, for he was helping people. His customers were served not only with good products and service, but with positive energy. He and they went home happy. He, because he gave 100% and they, because they were made to feel special. We all have it within us to do the same. You can build a great monument, or work for a paycheck. The rewards are drastically different. You are the one who gets to decide which it will be. For a more common example, consider the homemaker, who approaches meal preparation for her family with boredom and obligation. The meal might be nutritious, but the most important ingredient, love, has been left out. From appearances, her family fairs well enough, but how much better (and more fun) would it be if food were served with enthusiasm and love. This doesn’t mean every dinner must be a feast, for there is much to be said for simplicity, especially after a long, active day, but it does not take extra effort to imbue what you do with love. This can be as easy as giving your work positive attention and having a clear intention for performing it. In our fear-based society, we have been taught to work for money, but psychologist have proven that for most people, money is not the prime motivator. Most are inspired by recognition. Even the simplest acknowledgment you give another, can have dynamic impact, and literally turn a negative situation or relationship into a positive one. Working for money as the goal can be uninspiring, flat, uncreative, and joyless. Why? Because you are not a factor in the goal. You are not allowing your work to bring you joy. If you sell insurance with the idea of making a financial quota, you are always looking for the next sale. Your interest in serving your customers is overshadowed by the need to raise your bottom line. In time, you don’t care if your customers’ needs are met or not because you are busy competing with last month’s record. There is no heart, soul, or passion in what you do. You have become a insurance robot. Spouting proposals and collecting revenues. Your customers become numbers, not names, and you lose your passion. You measure your success with how much is in the bank rather than did I provide excellent service, did I touch lives? Take an ordinary service, product, or activity and add something that makes it magnetic and irresistible. Add positive energy to your work, and you will find that your job becomes more fun, you have greater likelihood of getting a raise or promotion, you’ll elevate your energy level and possibly go beyond your present company. Keep improving your knowledge, skills and service, and you’ll be the biggest benefactor. What activity, event, or work are you performing? Approach it with openness, appreciation, and as an opportunity to express your creativity and love. Then, step back and notice the results. First, did you enjoy it more? Did others? Which approach gives you the most satisfaction and fulfillment? Are you building a cathedral or just putting in your time?
Wednesday, August 19, 2015
Kindness as a path to Personal Transformation “If you can, help others; if you cannot do that, at least do not harm them.” Dalia Lama The ancient philosopher Philo of Alexandria (20AD – 50 AD) spoke similarly: “Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle.” It is often difficult for us to recognize that each person has his/her own challenges. We can become so engulfed in our own issues we forget to acknowledge the people around us. When times seem tough, there is a tendency to pull back into one’s own world and as one does that, he becomes smaller, his energy field constricts. It is the same with victimhood. When we identify with what is not working and immerse ourselves in struggle, we can easily forget that others have pain as well. Soon our world is quite tiny. We must guard against isolation for it diminishes us. We are constructed to allow energy to flow through us and we cannot do that when isolated. We are healthier when we allow energy to flow and express – give it away. We have more love, when we give it away. The way to reverse the process of isolation and restriction is through kindness, gentleness, gratitude and love. Each of these expands energy. When you are feeling stuck, a simple act of kindness will move your attention from your small world to an expanded consciousness. A Hebrew holy book states that “The secret to happiness is giving.” Often people think they have not given unless the gift is substantial (a million dollars to develop a hospital wing). Yet, the truth is that every small gift matters and can change lives for each act has a ripple effect. If someone treats you with kindness and compassion, your tendency is to do the same to others. Kindness inspired kindness. Lena Horne said that she really didn’t become a successful human being until she took time to be kinder to everyone. In her words, “it was my responsibility to remove my own chip from my own shoulder. When I did, the world became a sweeter place and great success professional and personal, followed.” To seek personal expansion and transformation, we must also remove the chip from our own shoulder and release our obsession with personal struggles. As we extend ourselves, our world not only expands but brightens. We are now truly in the Light. Kindness can be skill we cultivate until it becomes natural. It can be as simple as waiting graciously while others are served, or smiling at strangers. Notice the opportunities that are presented to be kind. Can you hold open a door for someone struggling with packages? Say a kind word; express encouragement; do something above and beyond your duty? George H W Bush said, “American is never wholly herself unless she is engaged in high moral principle. We as people have such a purpose today. It is to make kinder the face of the nation and gentler the face of the world.” Kindness is the soul’s path out of loneliness to a destination of joy. Make a commitment to extend yourself in kindness to everyone you encounter today. ____________________________________________________________
Freedom to Choose When you blame others for your life, you give up the power to change, because you are making the other person the cause of your situation. Your self-definition is that of victim. Victims look outside themselves for their good and don’t take responsibility for causing their lives. “You make me mad”; “That drives me crazy”; “You upset me when you do that”. Each statement, depicts the speaker giving away his power. Each reflect the speaker’s inability or unwillingness to make choices to maintain his own emotional stability and peace. There is no event that can cause everyone to feel the same? The picture of an adorable baby draws oohs and ahhhs of admiration or illicit moans of too much work, mess, responsibility. A gory murder movie is reacted to with disgust or laughter depending on the observer’s point of view. The bottom line is no one can make you feel bad. You don’t have to get mad is someone addresses you in a derogatory fashion, anymore than you have to be happy if paid a compliment. Your reaction belongs to you. You can decide to be peaceful despite a chaotic environment. In Searching For Man’s Meaning, Victor Frankl said that no matter what his captors (in the concentration camp) did to him, they could not control his mind. In his mind, Frankl had visions of being back home. Instead of lavishing his captors with hate, he directed his imagination to sweet memories of home. As it turned out, Frankl, as one of the few camp survivors, returned home to his family. Captive of our unwillingness to set our own standards, our lives become individualized concentration camps when we turn over control to others. Next time you are faced with an opportunity to lose your cool, stop and reflect. You can remain unfettered in your own peacefulness. Detach from the learned inclination toward violence. Instead, decide how you would really like to feel. With practice, you will create unflinching peace that is impervious to the whims of others.
Tuesday, July 21, 2015
Finding the Pearl Oysters live inside hard shells and have soft, sensitive bodies. When a grain of sand pushes into the shell, the oyster experiences great agony. If the oyster is unable to remove the painful irritant, it tries another approach and coats the sand with layers of soft iridescent mother of pearl. Thus what was initially an annoyance is transformed, over time, into a beautiful object of great value. The same thing happens to each of us when faced with life’s irritations. We have the choice to react in pain and agony or find a way to use the problem/challenge to create something of value. The merchandiser, J. C. Penney, was challenged as the seventh of twelve children in a very poor family. He decided to use his capacity for enterprise to get what he wanted. Consequently Penney raised and sold pigs to buy his school clothes. The undertaking that created a practical solution for purchasing school clothes, eventually expanded into a lucrative business, J.C. Penney department stores. Joe was Chief Engineer at a company that was downsizing. When he lost his job, he was momentarily sad until he realized that finally he had the time and opportunity to start his own business. Had Joe’s job not been eliminated, he would never have pursued entrepreneurship. Joe ultimately developed a successful business, created greater personal freedom and fulfilled his dreams. All this evolved from a situation that was initially an irritant. There are pearls hidden in every situation. They are the seeds of a new way (career, relationship, business, hobby, process). The choice is to be a victim of circumstances or an opportunist. Recognizing opportunity requires vision, willingness, courage, effort, determination, and action. Do you have what it takes? Are you willing to find the pearls? ______________________________________
The Spirit of Heroism The Persian poet, Rumi described an incident after a forest fire. The fire fighters spotted a bird sitting upright in a nest high in a burnt tree. The bird was covered in ash. They could not believe that the bird was sitting upright and not lying down in the nest. So they climbed the tree to investigate. They found the bird sitting straight up with its wings spread out covering her three chicks, who survived the fire. The bird had been burned alive because she chose to stay in her nest and protect her chicks. Within every being exists this spirit of heroism. It calls on the willingness to see a greater ideal than your own small self. Martin Luther King Jr. described this spirit of heroism when he said, “If a man hasn’t discovered something that he would die for, he isn’t fit to live.” Jean de la Fontaine spoke of heroism when he said, “Man is so made that whenever anything fires his soul, impossibilities vanish.” A while back, the Australian actor, Mel Gibson, produced, directed, and starred in the movie, Braveheart about a Scottish leader, William Wallace. Gibson said that stories of ancient heroism are an effort “to raise ourselves above the normal level of things. There is a sense of something higher in all of us. I don’t care who you are.” In the movie, after routing the opposing force of 50,000 in the first battle of Stirling, the newly knighted Wallace delivers a lecture on the responsibility of rank to Robert the Bruce, the Scottish King. “What does it mean to be noble? Your title gives you claim to the throne of our country. But men don’t follow titles. They follow courage! Just lead them to freedom, and they will follow you.” There is meaning here for the relationships in your life -- parent-child, executive-employee, friend to friend. As you demonstrate the spirit of heroism in your daily affairs, you inspire yourself and others to live from that sense of higher purpose that is within each of us.
Wednesday, July 15, 2015
Fun Manifestation: So here is the "fun manifestation” part. Wednesday I said to God, "Okay, I am putting a lot of energy into writing this book and I need a clear sign from you that I am on the right path - that I am not wasting my time. I WANT A CLEAR, UNMISTAKABLE SIGN! Thank you! I am paying attention. Okay, that is the background. So, here is what came across my email messages today: (I love Elizabeth Gilbert.) Fear is Boring part: This week Elizabeth Gilbert (author of Eat, Pray, Love; The Signature of All Things; and the forthcoming book Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear) posted a brilliant update on her Facebook page. It was so good; I want to share it with you here. The other day, a brilliant friend of mine let me read the first draft of a book she’s been working on for years. It was wonderful. But that’s not what I want to talk about. What I want to talk about is what happened AFTER I told her how wonderful her book was. She sent me a long email detailing all her fears about how bad her book actually is, and about how nobody will like it, and that it’s overly simplistic, and critics will call it self-indulgent, and that I’m just being polite when I say that it’s good. (To reiterate, her book is GREAT.) Normally, I would have responded with a long, tender, compassionate letter — trying to convince her once again of her talents, and of my support and faith in her. But I was tired and in a hurry. So instead, I just wrote the truth. I wrote this: “Listen, honey — I read through all your anxieties and your fears here. And I just have to say something very bluntly: Your fears about your book aren’t very interesting or very original! I can say this with complete authority, because they are exactly the same fears that I have, whenever I am about to release a book into the world. And I know for a fact that my fears are not interesting at all. (Like yours, my fears always sing this familiar, droning old song: ‘Your work is garbage, it will be criticized as self-indulgent, it’s too simplistic, it has no value, nobody will buy it, your friends are only being nice to you when they say it’s good, you just wasted a whole bunch of time for no good reason, you are done for and washed-up’). “Moreover, I have it on good authority that these are exactly the same fears that EVERYONE who has ever finished a book (or created anything) feels. In other words, your fears are just regular old mass-produced, made-in-China, sold-at-Walmart fears. Nothing fine or precious or artisanal about them. So don’t treat them like they’re precious. “I realized this about my own fears a few years ago — that they are always exactly the same, and that they are always exactly the same as everyone else’s, and therefore they are nothing special and actually just kind of boring. (I want to say to my fears sometimes, “Really? That’s the best you can come up with? This old song again? REALLY — you’re telling me once again that I’m not good enough? That my work isn’t good enough? That’s it? That’s seriously the best you got, AFTER ALL THESE YEARS? Jeez, get some new material, dude.”) “So now I just come to expect those completely boring and unoriginal fears to show up every time I write anything, and I don’t even pay attention to them anymore, because they never have anything new to say. They’re just the neighbor’s dogs, barking incessantly in the yard next-door, blah blah blah. But they never bite. They can never escape the yard. They have no real power. So I just move ahead and do my work. There’s that old Bedouin line: ‘The dogs bark; the caravan passes anyhow.’ Your caravan needs to pass along now on its journey, whether fear barks at you loudly or not. It’s time. “Because here is what IS interesting and original: This book that you just wrote. And here is what else is interesting and original: Whatever is about to happen in your life next, when you send that book out to publishers. Because god only knows what will happen. Could be good, could be bad. We have no idea. Because the future is a mystery And mysteries — unlike fears — are always interesting. So let’s focus on the interesting parts (the creativity and the mystery) and forget about the fear. Time to be stubbornly brave, and dignified in the face of any fate.” So that was my letter, and my friend said it made her laugh (which is good, because I was a little afraid it might make her cry)…and since laughter is good, now I’m sharing the letter with you all. In summation: Your creativity is fascinating, but your fears are not. In my summation: I laughed my head off because this was a CLEAR, SPECIFIC message from God. Thank you!!!!! Of course, this message is for you too. You may not be writing, but you are doing something! Thus: remember the message - Your creativity is fascinating, and your fears are boring. I send much love, Jean XOXO
Thursday, June 25, 2015
Blog: The Law of Probability Have you made a list of the things – events, items, circumstances – you want in your life? Do you know how having those things serve the world? If you have those two issues outlined, you are ready to begin your movement forward toward achieving these goals. Here are some action steps that will help you work the law of probability in your favor: o Visualize your desire in detail and use emotion and feeling. Hint: the more you can FEEL it, the more magnetic your desire becomes. Remember when you were a child and you REALLY wanted that bicycle or, in my case, that doll. When you thought about it, you were flying down the road, wind in your hair, experiencing the freedom of having your new bike. You met up with your “biker” friends and went on adventures and laughed jovially. Or, in my case, I took care of my doll and she (yes, a girl) had her own bed and highchair. We cuddled and I talked to her. It was all very real. Well that’s what you have to do to obtain your current wish. o Pay attention to what your intuition brings you. Is there a phone call you need to make, a trip that calls to you, a group you need to join, or a book you are beaconed to read? Follow your intuition. It works as the crow flies – straight to your goal. o Take action. Sometimes the action is to let go of your desire and do your normal, daily activities. When you let go, you are letting God. Essentially, that means get out of the way. o Be active, don’t sit around and wait for Mr. Wonderful to show up, or someone to call with a great job offer. With high levels of activity, your probability increases. With MORE activity the idea of being at the right place, at the right time, with the right people is greatly increased. o Decide how successful you want to be and match appropriate action to that goal. And, in the mean time, put yourself in a “giving” mode. Two reasons: 1) Giving takes attention off yourself and 2) Giving opens up your field of energy for receiving. Energy cycles – when you give energy, it comes back to you. The more you give, the more you receive. The formula: Desire + Visualization with feeling + listening to your intuition + activity = manifestation Brian Tracy says it well: “If you want to be more successful, develop a bias for action. Develop a sense of urgency. Take action. Get on with it. Move fast. The faster you move, the more energy you have. The faster you move, the more experience you gain and the better you get. The faster you move, the more results you accomplish and the more successful you will be. “
Wednesday, June 10, 2015
How to Lose There are a lot of reasons people don’t meet their goals or accomplish their dreams. If you are willing to lose in life, here is a set of rules that will help. 1) Don’t take risks. 2) Be satisfied, complacent. 3) Before you act, consider, “What will people think of me.” Let this be your dominant concern. 4) Avoid change. In fact, hold to the status quo. Make “This is the way we’ve always done it” your credo. 5) Maintain rigid attitudes; be opinionated. 6) Rely on the authority of others to make decisions. (That way you can blame them when things turns out badly.) 7) Make comfort your top priority. 8) Do not concern yourself with customer satisfaction or service. 9) Let your competitor lead the way. (Remember, innovation might fail.) 10) Do not put yourself out for anyone. (This works well in losing in relationships too.) 11) Be “good enough”. (Don’t stretch too far; better safe than sorry.) 12) Rationalize and be defensive. (Then people won’t bother you with problems.) 13) Make excuses and blame others 14) Shirk responsibility; don’t do anything extra. If your greatest objective is to tailor “other people’s opinions” versus a willingness to be unique, make your own decisions, and be your own advocate, this list probably reflects your personal style. Otherwise, you might check it against your personal philosophy and work habits, and it is possible you will discover your blocks to success. If so, pick one or two items each week to concentrate on changing. In this way, you have the potential to reflect a more positive, self possessed person, who not only takes himself seriously, but is willing to pay his dues to be who he wants to be, and live the life he wants to live.
Finding the Pearl Oysters live inside hard shells and have soft, sensitive bodies. When a grain of sand pushes into the shell, the oyster experiences great agony. If the oyster is unable to remove the painful irritant, it tries another approach and coats the sand with layers of soft iridescent mother of pearl. Thus what was initially an annoyance is transformed, over time, into a beautiful object of great value. The same thing happens to each of us when faced with life’s irritations. We have the choice to react in pain and agony or find a way to use the problem/challenge to create something of value. The merchandiser, J. C. Penney, was challenged as the seventh of twelve children in a very poor family. He decided to use his capacity for enterprise to get what he wanted. Consequently Penney raised and sold pigs to buy his school clothes. The undertaking that created a practical solution for purchasing school clothes, eventually expanded into a lucrative business, J.C. Penney department stores. Joe was Chief Engineer at a company that was downsizing. When he lost his job, he was momentarily sad until he realized that finally he had the time and opportunity to start his own business. Had Joe’s job not been eliminated, he would never have pursued entrepreneurship. Joe ultimately developed a successful business, created greater personal freedom and fulfilled his dreams. All this evolved from a situation that was initially an irritant. There are pearls hidden in every situation. They are the seeds of a new way (career, relationship, business, hobby, process). The choice is to be a victim of circumstances or an opportunist. Recognizing opportunity requires vision, willingness, courage, effort, determination, and action. Do you have what it takes? Are you willing to find the pearls?
Tuesday, June 2, 2015
Regenerate Mind and Body Chronic fatigue is a wide spread problem. It comes from over-commitment, perfectionism, trying to be and do everything – superman/woman concept. People suffering with it, feel victimized, hopeless and out of control. To deal with this or any problem, face it squarely, the same way you confront your enemy to determine his strength and resources. By courageously facing a dilemma, it opens to you allowing perception of cause and possible solutions. Energy loss results when we try to live in impractical ways. Adopting senseless rules, letting others set your goals, attempting to make others happy (instead of yourself), allowing fear to dominate your thinking, trying to create external rather than internal peace and performing work that conflicts with your value system. These standards drain energy and enthusiasm because they are pointless, ineffective and unattainable. Heal yourself of low energy by creating new strategies. Create a new game plan. The habit is living ineffectively. It is broken by developing new, healthy behaviors. To revitalize enthusiasm, get in touch with your needs and desires and develop of system of marching to your own drummer. That doesn’t mean stepping on others, as that benefits no one, and has a negative backlash. Desire is the polar opposite of fear thus to alter fear -thinking, concentrate on what you want. In general, we are taught to operate from fear and not love. Yet this changes when we get a clear focus. For example, if you want to return to school, clarify what you want from the experience. Don’t go because you’re afraid to be without higher education. Register after you have determined your benefit. Action taken to fulfill a dream engenders excitement, energy. Another way to waste energy is doing things for people who can do them for themselves. When you make your children’s bed and clean their rooms, you deny them the opportunity to develop life skills, self-esteem and independence. Needy people are also draining. You can never please them,. No matter what you do it is not enough. Their needs are unquenchable. Evaluate your life and release meaningless actions, and obligations. That will free volumes of time for movement and growth. Doing what is right for you is enriching, increases energy, and makes you happy. You are inspired and inspiring. You easily give more to others. They easily return the gift. What beliefs and activities are draining your energy? What do you need to let go of?
Wednesday, April 29, 2015
It Never Hurts to Ask! Have you ever blocked yourself from going for what you really desired because it seemed too outrageous to attempt? Or has the fear of looking stupid, even though the opportunity was ripe, kept you from asking for what you wanted? If so, keep reading. There is an inventive fifth grade-writing teacher in Michigan who has helped his students get over these hurdles early in life. One of his class assignments is to write to local businesses and make “outlandish” requests. The teacher’s primary intention in making this assignment is to encourage students to make letter-writing fun. So, in addition to making the outlandish request, his students are to tell something personal about themselves and explain their project. The strange and interesting thing is that the kids usually get what they have asked for. Some of the requests from businesses that have been granted include a month’s supply of chocolate milk and a lifetime supply of french-fries. Don't you just love the creativity of this teacher and the fun the kids must have had as they received the answers to their requests? Wouldn't it be amazing if they decided to take this assignment into their lives - for the rest of their lives? Thus besides providing the students with an inventive, fun writing assignment, the teacher contributes hands-on experience in one of life’s important lessons. That no matter how outrageous you might perceive your wishes to be, you might as well ask as you just might receive the very thing you desire. It never hurts to ask! Is there anything you need to ask for right now?
Wednesday, April 15, 2015
What to do about worry? There are many thoughts regarding worry. Some people think that if I love you, then mustI worry about you. The truth is that if I think of you and worry, I am sending negative thought/energy your way. That doesn't necessarily jive with love. As a matter of fact, love is at the opposite end of the spectrum from worry. You can actually feel the difference. Think of something you worry about and notice the reaction in your body. The feeling that goes with worry is tightness, stress, darkness, gloom. Now, consider the idea of love (think of someone or thing you love) and feel what happens in your body. You will notice a completely different reaction. The body feels light, open, happy. That is probably the kind of energy you want to send to someone you feel good about. So why is it then that there is so much worry in the world? My own thought on this is that in our fear-based world, we tend to live externally. In other words, we let our five senses - sight, smell, sound, feel, taste tell us what is going on. Yet the truth is that our senses only relay a tiny amount of what is happening. If we were to reverse our attention and go inside - into our inner world - we could feel and sense a much broader reality. There is continuous energy moving in literally every sector of our lives. In fact, nothing is static - it is all changing. The problem is that we don't know the direction it is headed and until you develop some faith in the goodness (love) of the Universe, it is easy to revert back to fear. You see, we believe we have to know what is happening, where it is headed, and what will be the outcome. This is the way a fear-based mind thinks. Actually, you don't need to know these things. Consider this, the seasons come and go in perfect timing and order one unto the next. The night turns to day and day to night without any direction from you. The stars shine and the planets circle the earth in lovely symetry. Every tree knows how to products thousands of leaves. You can worry about these things, but nothing will change if you do. So, what would happen if you decide, I'm not going to worry and when my mind wants to go that way, I will get busy and do something. Any kind of task will work to redirect your mind. Another way to adjust your attention is to go into gratitude. All of us have tons of things to be grateful for - our homes, friends, food, clothing, sunshine, trees, etcetera. It goes on and on. The mind cannot hold gratitude (which is love) and fear (worry) at the same time. So in redirecting to gratitude, you have shifted your energy. You do have control of your mind, so take it. In Dale Carnegie's book, How to Stop Worrying and Start Living, he quotes George Bernard Shaw, who summed it all up when he said: 'The secret of being miserable is to have the leisure to bother about whether you are happy or not.' So don't bother to think about it! Get busy. Your blood will circulate and your imagination will start ticking and there will be a positive upsurge of life in your body. Get busy Keep busy. _____________________________
Wednesday, April 1, 2015
Blog: Yes You Can, Laugh Yourself to Health Did you know that laughing has a healing effect on the body? People have overcome serious illness through the use of comedy. Laughing at old Jerry Lewis flicks or Austin Powers allows tension, depression and suppressed negativity associated with the past to be released, at least temporarily. Humor lets you see another side of life, form a new perspective. You let go of heaviness, intensity, smallness, anything that contracts or restricts you.. You may even reach the point of laughing at yourself. Every situation has a humorous side. Become an observer of life. Do you own laugh therapy. Stand back and instead of looking at how bad things are, train yourself to see absurdity. Observe the way people manipulate each other, rationalize, blame or get carried away with details missing the point. You have no control over others’ actions, and they surely bear the consequences of them, so you may as well notice and enjoy. Try to see a bigger picture of life. What is really happening? Keeping the purpose of an event in mind allows you to recognize silly actions or reactions – even your own. Enjoying life, keeps you healthy. How many happy people have you seen with serious illnesses? I’m not referring to clowns who crack jokes to cover insecure egos but well-adjusted individuals who don’t go off the deep end over inconsequential concerns, they maintain perspective, and play life as a game. Laughter and joy are health-producing stimulants. Joy increases circulation; laughter shakes your body, loosening and soothing tense nerves and muscles. Fun allows body parts to return to their natural rhythm and functioning capabilities. There is no muscular resistance to inhibit natural flows and processes. Don’t make your therapy a one-shot deal, but a way of life. I wonder when the next comedic movie plays?
Blog: Hitting the Mark In ancient times an archer would practice shooting arrows at a target. His servant’s job, while fetching the spent arrows, was to ascertain the accuracy of his master’s aim. If the target was missed, the servant called to the archer, “sin”, which meant, he missed his mark. That is how the word “sin” came into beingo Today we use “sin” in other ways. Often it is used to condemn ourselves for failure that amounts only to inexperience. We miss our mark because of lack of knowledge, practice, expertise. As experience is gained, hitting the target or achieving the goal gets easier. Example, when you first drove a car, you were awkward and clumsy. It was hard to remember and perform functions with grace and fluidity. With practice, driving became easy – automatic. If you had condemned yourself for awkwardness while learning, expertise would have come slowly amidst many bad feelings. But viewing the process as an opportunity to learn opens the mind to objectivity and optimism. We tend to view mistakes as sins and judge them terrible, rather than inexperience. We expect perfect results immediately, instead of seeing that expertise comes with practice and determination. When a rocket is shot, radar determines whether it hit or missed its target. If the rocket misses, adjustments are made to correct the next one’s path. The goal and ultimate result is contact with the target. We can view our journey through life the same way. Corrections must be made. Perhaps daily. We may also choose a different target. Eventually we arrive at our destination. Making adjustments objectively, without condemnation, encourages progress. Criticizing yourself impedes it. Apply this principle to learning any new skill – cooking, accounting, communication, golf, investments, relating to people. Each area requires practice. With practice comes success. Are you hitting your mark? Are you enjoying your journey?
Wednesday, March 25, 2015
Start with Belief by Jean Walters Years ago, the St. Louis Zoo was one of the first zoos to take animals out of cages and put them in big pits. They started with the bears. A visitor noted a big polar bear pacing rhythmically forward twenty feet and then backing up twenty feet, then repeating the action again and again. The visitor inquired of the zoo keeper, “Why does the bear pace back and forth in that small area, when it has a great big pit to move about in?” The keeper replied, “He has the Small Cage Habit. This animal was born and raised in captivity in a twenty-foot cage. He got his exercise by pacing forward and back in the cage. So, even though he was moved to a much larger area, he continues to exercise by pacing twenty feet forward and back.” Many people have the Small Cage Habit. They can be surrounded with possibilities, ideas, innovation, but continue to do the things the same tired, old way, not bothering to familiarize themselves with new, better methods. But they have good reasons, “I’ve always done it this way”, “I am comfortable with this method”, “I don’t know how to do it another way”. These are all ways of saying, I have the Small Cage Habit and I am not interested in growing or exploring the world of possibilities.” Do you have the Small Cage Habit? In your life lessons, you are challenged to try new things and explore the unknown. Many people resist change in the same way that the bears do. They are intimidated by expansion and newness (just like the bears are unable to move throughout a new, larger area) and hold to the old, believing that it provides stability. Growth demands new ways, new ideas, new thinking, and new methods. Today I spoke to a woman who works in finance. Because she has expanded her consciousness, she is now shifting her work to larger, wealthier, more progressive clients and businesses. She has moved from small-minded (victim-type) people to those who see and operate from a bigger picture. This would not be happening if she had not grown and expanded her own mind-set. Some would say that Personal and Spiritual growth is frivolous, but this client defies that reasoning. Thus the question to you is: Are you operating from the Small Cage Habit or from an expanded understanding of the possibilities? Are you ready to step into the unknown and expand your potential or are you trying to be safe in your old ways? The Universe provides opportunities. It is up to each of us to go for it. As you confront your fears and do it anyway; as you open yourself to new ways and opportunities; and as you move forward with determination, you can connect to a bigger picture and expand your energy. Personal transformation is subtle, yet dynamic. At some point you no longer want to hang out with negative people, or expose yourself to negative media bombardment that takes place daily. At this point, life takes on a different quality – grandeur, if you will. You will no longer be willing to hold yourself back or accept lack as your reality. These are signs of growth. Watch for them and as they occur, realize that the Universe is speaking to you. It is good! I follow with a short story about two brothers who wanted to expand to a new life and had the guts and determination to keep at it until they succeeded. The brothers are Ben and Dan Newmark of Ladue, Missouri who believed that they had the audacity and talent to develop careers in the film industry. It began with Ben deciding “if no one would hire me as an actor (in Hollywood), if I can’t even get a meeting, let alone an audition, I’ll write my own TV series.” And, that is what he did. Ben started by recruiting his brother, Dan. Together they churned out a script for a comedy-drama about the young inhabitants of a quirky Los Angeles apartment house. They followed this effort by shooting a pilot called “The Wilton Hilton.” In nine days, using digital video and casting their friends as characters, they completed their movie. What came next was lots of rejection and advice to “get out of the business.” Undaunted and dedicated to having what they wanted, the Newmarks connected with director, Lee Krieger and shot a 45 minute comedy. Then they hit another pivotal, “Now what?” Again, more negative advice, “dump it in the waste can;” “Don’t screen it; it would be career suicide.” So, of course the brothers, believing in the power of possibility, and determined to get out of the Small Cage Habit, did the opposite. They rented a theatre, filled the place with friends and sent postcard invitations to Hollywood insiders – mostly assistants to agents and producers. The result: three trainees from the mailroom at Creative Artists Agency, one of Hollywood’s top talent agencies, took their film back and showed it to the big guys, who loved it. Voila! They were signed! Ultimately the brothers pitched their idea to the CW network and a new television series, “The Wilton” was born. Determination to expand their skills and talents and to meet the challenges proved to be motivating to the Newmark brothers. It caused them to increase their creativity, imagination, and determination. This is what entering the field of possibilities can do for you too. If you have had the Small Cage Habit, break through it by considering what opportunities have appeared to you lately? Is there potential for new methods, new relationships, markets, or clients? You can accelerate your expansion by doing things differently. Here are some suggestions: Drive to your destinations using different routes. Go a new way daily. Select an unfamiliar entrée the next time you go to a restaurant. Choose a new spot for vacation. Strive for newness – a new color, pattern or style in your clothes or décor. Rent or purchase an unusual model car or vehicle. Try a new hair-do. (When women change their hair, you know they are serious about change.) Take lessons – clowning, dancing, painting, or Tai Chi. Be bold! There are no limits in the Universe. Test this theory to discover its truth. Stay open to possibilities. If you catch yourself saying “No,” rethink that choice. Learn to say, “Yes, I’ll give it a try.” The only person that can get in your way in life is YOU. Watch out for comfort. Many think that the way to go is to be comfortable. I will tell you that comfort is your enemy. It keeps you from growing. As you say, “Yes,” to the possibilities, you make yourself strong. In time your willingness grows and you become undaunted. Soon you realize that you can accomplish anything, and that means you are operating from your vast spiritual self. It is the process that is important for it is what educates you as to who you really are. As you engage in the process, you discover that you really are connected to something greater than yourself. Here is an activity to internalize this principle Consider opportunities that have appeared in your life of late. It could be new relationships or social settings, new groups with which to get involved, new business concepts or work, education to expand your skills, opportunities to give more fully. Life is filled with a vast array of opportunities to help you expand. List some of these ideas on a sheet of paper. Now, choose one opportunity and decide how to get started. The idea here is to discover a new, expanded self and release the Small Cage Habit. The only way that can happen is with new methods or activities. Next, take action on your idea. Get started. Do this within the next 24 hours. Do this without concern for the outcome. Step into the field of possibilities. If you haven’t determined this next step, seed your mind by expanding in smaller ways as stated above: drive a new route to work and shopping, venture to new locations for restaurants, entertainment, shopping. Try new entrees, or cook different recipes. Venture into the unknown. Explore the possibilities. Have some fun!!
How to inspire and empower others to be their BEST SELVES Do you remember psychologist, Abraham Maslow’s hierarchy of needs? It is a list of human needs that stack from the bottom up. The bottom or lowest layer of needs include health, food and sleep and the next level up is safety and shelter. Then comes belonging (the need for people or groups with which to feel connected.) Then as we move to the upper layer, we find the need for esteem (to esteem self and receive esteem from others) and above that the next ladder rung is Self Actualization. This top level of Maslow’s ladder of needs (self-actualization) is where a person’s psychological needs have been met so that he is free to understand more fully who he is and to make an impact on the world, to really be their best selves. . As we aspire to optimize our experience of self, we begin to have “peak experiences” or moments of extreme happiness, high performance, or bliss. It is when we feel most successful and operate at our full potential. Maslow arrived at this hierarchy of needs by studying happy, healthy people – from regular folks to high achievers, like Albert Einstein. His quest was to understand how they were able to achieve happiness and success in their lives. This same quest has always intrigued me. As a child I would read every biography and autobiography available with one question in mind, how did this person know he/she could accomplish what he did? Be it Paul Revere riding through villages to warn people that the “British were coming,” or becoming president of the United States or leading a troop of soldiers in war, in each case it seemed that there was a spirit in the individual that spoke to them and drove them to take the lead and do more. I believe we all have this Spirit and perhaps it isn’t about forcing ourselves to perform, but developing the self esteem and confidence to open to the opportunities we face and release our creativity, talents and potential, to really desire to be our best selves. I believe that each opportunity we face in life is part of this progression – each one brings us closer to living our full potential and having peak experiences. So what if our real “work” is to assist others to actualize in every area of life - as a parent, teacher, boss? To really help each one realize that they have greatness within and the capacity to rise above their challenges and do great things? Maybe we are to create situations where folks can develop their talents and potential. Often as parents and perhaps as co-workers and employers, we want to make it easy for people and we do the work for them. So when we do this, are we really supporting and believing in the ones we are there to help? Sometimes we even call it love when we take care of things that others need to do for them selves. In actuality we are stealing from them. We are demonstrating our greatness, but not letting them express theirs! So what is the message today? It is really a challenge…. How can we encourage others to be their best selves and in the process, become our own best selves? Think of it this way… are you doing something for someone who needs to do it for themselves…. because if you are, you are denying them the opportunity to develop and express their talents and creativity. Maslow’s insights into personal psychology may offer the challenge we all need. What if my job isn’t about coercing performance, but encouraging people to rise to their full potential? What if my job is to believe that each person has it in them to be great? If that is so, then let’s begin with ourselves by meeting whatever challenge is in front of you, and, as you do that you encourage each person in your world to do the same. Let’s make a practice of studying healthy attitudes and asking ourselves, “How can I be like that?” In this way we move to self actualize and maybe help the world be a more exciting, rewarding place as well.
Tuesday, March 17, 2015
How to be an Eagle! Have you heard about the eagle that was inadvertently raised on a turkey farm? Although in most ways, it was a nice existence. Turkeys, you see, took things pretty easy. The problem was the eagle had aspirations that the turkeys did not. In a nutshell the eagle wanted to fly – and not just above the earth – he wanted to fly HIGH! And he was curious. What is over that hill? What is the world like beyond the farmyard? Why does the sky change colors from morning to night? What causes the leaves to fall from the trees? “ The problem is that when you are an eagle on a turkey farm, it is clear you are different. Now, that could be okay, but in this case, this eagle stood out. The turkeys were happy pecking around looking for grain, whereas he was head to the skies, dreaming of flying. Even when he tried to conform, he felt weird and awkward. The turkeys must have thought so too because they would stop and gawk at him. It clearly wasn’t working. You know how it is - dreamers are often laughed at by those who won’t let their minds run free! As it happens, one day the eagle was mesmerized watching a family of robins in a near by tree. The babies would jump from the side of the nest to the center and practice flapping their wings. Soon their wings were strong and they would jump from the nest and fly around the tree. Okay, that was his break. He practiced jumping from a bale of hay and running while he pumped his wings. As he ran, he could feel the wind taking hold of his wings. As his body grew and his wings expanded, he could feel himself lifted right off the ground. It’s wonderful, it’s beautiful; I’m free. After that he was never the same. He never felt bad about being different and he never allowed anyone to tell him his dreams weren’t valid. You see, within each of us is an eagle yearning to fly high above the masses. The question is: will you let yourself have your dreams? Or will you let other people’s limitations become your own? What is your inner yearning? What are you willing to do to manifest it? From one eagle to another, I wish you an elevated life, soaring above the crowds, and having a fabulous life. Here’s the deal, once you accept your dreams as your destiny, your mind will begin to show you the steps to get there, just as the eagle found his teacher through a group of robins, you will find your mentors. Once you make up your mind that you are not here to peck around in ordinariness, you will find your way. May you fly HIGH!!!
Friday, January 30, 2015
Putting the Past in Proper Perspective No matter what you have done or what challenges you have experienced, they are but memories in your personal history that cannot, of themselves, create pain for you now -- unless you keep them alive in your awareness! Often times, because of past training, we are tempted to judge an experience as bad. Once labeled, we smugly stuff it in a mental box and complacently file it in some unconscious place. Thinking we are cleansed of it, we brush ourselves off and go merrily on our way. Because it was a "bad" experience, we will make sure not to let it happen again. Dismissing it too quickly is not smart. Life's challenge is to understand what has happened in the past so that as we discover the principle of cause and effect at work. It is then that we learn to direct our lives toward more positive outcomes. Don’t try to steal mistakes from others (fix it for them), for you are also diminishing their growth. Blaming and guilt are triggering thoughts that encourage quick categorizing and dismissal. These are traits of our civilization. People love to blame others because they erroneously believe that when they place responsibility elsewhere, they themselves are off the hook. WRONG! Our lesson is self-discipline, to take responsibility for our lives and to put aside negative reactions as they are based on unrealistically expectations. No one is perfect. (That is a good thing.) That doesn’t keep us from striving to be and do better daily. If you develop a conscious commitment to grow, and evolve, you can look honestly at any past situation and discern its significance relative to your personal education. This is our challenge, and also a way of seeing a bigger picture of life. Some lessons are costly while others not-so-much. As you strive for this broader perspective, you discover new freedom. Pain is diminished when we consider the growth (maturity) achieved in an experience. Look for the lesson and you will find it, and then each past experience, relationship, situation, mistake(??) just become part of the continuum.
Thursday, January 22, 2015
Effortless Action Nothing in the world is more yielding and gentle than water. At the same time, nothing is more powerful than water. Water has no equal in conquering, overcoming, or wearing down resistance. When a stream meets an obstacle in its path, it doesn’t fight, struggle or even contemplate it. It basically gives it no attention. It simply flows around it. The stream does this without strain or concern. In fact, it sings as it flows past the obstacle. Water provides a perfect example of effortless action. You can learn from this metaphor daily. As you face the challenges in your life, think about water. Consistent wearing away at an obstacle wins out, as does changing course. And, in the mean time, don’t forget to sing your song. For instance, if you are traveling to Texas and run into a detour, you can cancel your trip or find another route or mode of transportation. If you are driving, you can fly. If one highway is closed, there are other roads and thoroughfares that will get you there. Furthermore, reassessing your options can be accomplished without losing your cool. In fact, you can enjoy the entire maneuver. And, who knows what amazing surprises you might find along your route. You might say that this discovery was the real purpose all along. There is a story that further explains effortless action. It is about a horse that was tied outside a shop in a narrow Chinese village street. Whenever anyone tried to walk past, the horse would kick him. After a while a crowd of people gathered and began debating how best to get by the hazardous horse. Soon, someone came running announcing, “The Old Master is coming! He’ll know what to do!” The crowd waited anxiously. As the Old Master turned the corner, he saw the horse, and immediately spun around to walk down another street. The Old Master had learned the lesson of water and moved with effortless ease. He simply adjusted his journey. How can you use this principle of effortless ease in your life? What are the obstacles you need to flow around? ____________________________________________________________
Tuesday, January 13, 2015
Persistence builds strength Botanist, Alfred Russell Wallace, a contemporary of Charles Darwin, conducted a laboratory experiment involving an Emperor butterfly. The butterfly was struggling to get free from its cocoon. Wallace decided to assist the process so he cut a slit the length of the cocoon to help the butterfly exit. “The butterfly emerged from the cocoon, spread its wings, drooped perceptibly and died.” Wallace concluded that the butterfly had been denied the struggle out of the cocoon and it had failed to grow. It entered the world lacking the necessary strength to survive. To be successful in life we must face our challenges squarely for it is in doing such that we build the vision, stamina, determination, and self trust necessary to navigate beyond them. To deny anyone, including yourself, the opportunity to grow, take risks, and learn how to accomplish is a dire mistake. Strength can be accrued only by facing our problems, learning through our mistakes, and starting over again. Experience is the teacher. As with the butterfly, the pain and intensity of the struggle is what builds personal stamina that translates into meeting goals and manifesting dreams. Although, we don’t tend to welcome adversity, pain or struggle, with a positive approach we can maintain perspective and recognize them as the way to expand and excel in life. With a positive mindset we not only defeat adversity but build the skills we require to fulfill our desires. Oprah Winfrey succeeded in becoming one of the richest women in show business after experiencing an abusive, poverty-ridden childhood and many difficult experiences such as incest, rape, weight problems and insecurities. Her adversities are what made her strong, and increased her vision. Yours can do the same!