Month: June 2012

Daily Inspiration 6-30-12

Daily Inspiration 6-30-12

“Sex is good, but not as good  
as fresh, sweet corn.”

— Garrison Keillor



What About Bob? (1991) Bob (Bill Murray) eats dinner…

In recent years, I don’t just like certain foods, I relish them, adore them, delight in them. Every time I think of enjoying food, I think of a favorite movie, What About Bob? and how Bill Murray is moaning in joy at each and every bite of the meal in the video clip above. It’s classic fun. And, that’s exactly how I feel and even respond when I am eating something that I just love even when I am alone.
What’s interesting about the things that I love in that way is that they are cheap and easy and readily available. They are not gourmet, but common things. They are almost always a certain combination of things rather than something by itself. Here are some examples of my joyful excursions in food-land:
Bacon and orange juice. It just doesn’t get any better than eating some nicely cooked bacon and sipping some orange juice. It is the combination of the orange juice acids on the bacon maybe, but I really don’t care why I just love it. I can sit and moan over bacon and orange juice wherever I find myself because it is so easy to get. And the best is freshly squeezed orange juice. Yum!
Of course, while I’m on bacon, I think almost anything with bacon is a joy. BLT’s are pretty special. Nation’s makes a pretty good one, but nothing holds a candle to the ones I make for myself at home.
Sourdough French Bread and butter. When I was a young boy with my paper route, I would go buy a loaf of unsliced sourdough and some butter and just sit there and enjoy it. Today, I crave and love good sourdough bread toasted with real butter. OMG. What flavor. I chew slowly and it is almost sad to swallow if it weren’t for the rest of the toast in my hand. I also love dipping it in olive oil with ground pepper. 
The brand of sourdough makes all the difference. Many don’t make the grade, but you’ll know when you taste it. FYI–for you Northern California people, Mary’s Pizza Shack has always used Boulangerie bread from Sonoma, CA, and it is absolutely the best I’ve ever had. San Luis brand sourdough bread is my favorite at home.
Black coffee and buttered toast is another great combo, and especially dipping the bread into the coffee and then eating it. I used to love that when I was a kid and still do today.
Sausage gravy. It matters not a bit what I would put it on, it is marvelous. None of that out-of-the-can junk, but the real deal.
Speaking of gravy. . . mashed potatoes and chicken gravy, or any other kind of gravy are superb. I remember going as a young boy to the early Knott’s Berry Farm back in the day before they had all the rides and stuff. In fact, there was only one ride then and it was a full-size train. But, they had a huge cafeteria where they served fried chicken, mashed potatoes and gravy and OMG, it was out of this world. There are still places like that out there.
I don’t watch as often as I used to, but I love Guy Fieri’s cable-TV show, Drive-in’s, Diners, and Dives. I love watching him eat the food and he and Bill Murray have a lot in common with me! Bon Appetit!
Enjoying The Simple Pleasures.
Spread Some Joy Today–go and enjoy some!

Daily Inspiration 6-29-12



“Realize deeply that the present moment is all you have.
Make the NOW the primary
focus of your life.”

— Eckhart
Tolle




Many
of you are probably further along in this understanding of now and being present
as Tolle talks about. I’m a late comer to his teachings, and so glad that I
decided to finally open the book and begin.
I
had the book for a long time and didn’t open it because I already thought I knew
what it was going to say. I was wrong. I thought I knew what being in the now
meant and I thought I understood it. I was wrong. Intellectually, I sort of got
it, but that’s like so much learning where you can know it enough to repeat it,
yet have so little understanding of it and its depth of meaning, and finally how
to use it so that the learning of it matters.
I
am in the beginning; however, here’s what I’ve learned about living in the
moment, paying attention to now so far. It is not the complete quieting of the
mind as is attempted in meditation, it is stopping the egoic mind, or the
constant scenarios, as I call it, of the mental ramblings and predictions that
we often go through, more often than not without even paying attention to it. My
mind is wondering what someone will say about this, do about that, how they will
feel about what I’m doing, and on and on it goes almost without end–at least
that’s the constant scenarios thought process.
Lately,
I decide to take control and just tell my mind to stop! Then I look around and
pay attention to what is around me. I might think, ‘that’s an interesting tree!
or look at that bird, or what fascinating clouds,’ or if I were with a person, I
would just pay attention to them and avoid any internal conversations so I can
focus on them. This is so foreign to me and requires that I be in charge of my
mind so that I can be in the now, and recognize the moments.


A
couple of days ago, I went for a walk. It was spring-like conditions and the
cloud formations in the sky were spectacular. There was a breeze, but it looked
like the winds aloft were much greater because the clouds were moving as I
watched them, and they were constantly changing. I saw a big white bird catching
a thermal and circling upward. I never saw a bird go so high. He completely went
up and out of my sight. Then two hawk-like birds came in and used the same
thermal and they went out of sight as well. I’ve seen lots of birds doing that,
but never to those heights. I was fascinated about everything that was all
around me and I was present without my constant scenario mind worrying about
what I should be doing, wasn’t doing, could be doing, and well. . . you
know–meaningless junk.
It
was from Tolle that I learned to make use of this technique about just noticing
what was going on around me and maybe being silent, or commenting to myself
like, ‘oh, that’s interesting. . .’ and such. I am using it every day many times
during the day to bring myself back to the present. And I’m loving the calming
effect of it on my mind and
body.



You Can Teach An Old Dog New Tricks. . .

Spread Some Joy Today–I don’t know about you, but learning new things, new
ways, gaining a deeper understanding is joy to me. I hope I’m spreading just a
tiny bit of that passion to you.
Daily Inspiration 6-28-12

Daily Inspiration 6-28-12


“The secret of health for both mind and body
is not to mourn for the past, nor to worry about
the future, but to live the present moment
wisely and earnestly.”



— Siddhartha Gautama


“It makes no difference how deeply seated may
be the trouble, how hopeless the outlook, how
muddled the tangle, how great the mistake.
A sufficient realization of love will dissolve it all.”
— Emmet Fox


Since I’ve shared a lot of myself in these blogs, I will continue that by telling you that my wife is dying in front of me and fading more each day. She has ALS, and other ailments and in the last year has aged at least ten. She was forced to retire this year by not being able to function in her capacity any longer. Most recently she was a Children’s Pastor, and now on disability with a fatal disorder.

How do I turn that into an inspiration? It depends on how one would look at this.
Indeed, it would be so easy to say how sad it is and to mourn the why’s and wherefore’s, seek blame, and that list goes on much longer, and it is to no avail anyway. If I believe that these things just are given out at random to undeserving souls, or some devil was to blame, or anything at all we might think of from the outside, it is a seriously sad situation. And, at the same time, feeling sorry and feeling the potential loss is casting a dark shadow on anything like love.
Yesterday, I talked about accepting situations as if we had planned and executed them on purpose, whether consciously or unconsciously. In my mind, it is only with this kind of thought that I can deal with this by accepting and to feel love rather than all those other fearful and sorrowful emotions.
Does the way we think affect our health? I think there is no doubt in my mind and we can watch people over time and see how they deal with things and one way is an illness. Is it too late? I don’t believe so, but it is not up to me. This kind of talk from me falls on deaf ears, but I am too close and she has her own mind and beliefs many of which do not match mine.
So what to do?
Love her. Find joy. Stay in the moment as much as I can because in the moment there is only love and no fear. Don’t treat her as being less than, or excessively careful and all that fear stuff, but to just enjoy all the little moments that we used to let go by unnoticed and unappreciated.
Life can change in an instant when someone goes quickly. Life can change in moments in situations like this. A lot of people around her are sad and avoid seeing her, talking with her because her speech is affected so much now, but I debate with her and challenge her and have fun with her. She was a debate champion and I never even got close to winning an argument on any subject and never had any fun with it either. But now, I have fun.
Now we just go do things on the spur of the moment or do things we haven’t done in a long time, go for coffee which never was her favorite and is now for some reason. It’s not about making up for lost time, or anything like that, it is just a relaxing in allowing the present moment to take priority. It never used to but does now. And, that is a lesson I’ve been working on accepting and learning of late as well.
I talked about one of my favorite books, Power To Praise by Merlin Carothers and that book is what taught me to praise God for everything including things that my previous training taught me to condemn. It is so powerfully true and in the practicing of it, I see his message so clear. It is acceptance, then appreciation and love.
It is also an inspiration to pay more attention to the present every day regardless of health and circumstance. I’ve always liked that quote that says, “if you truly love God, what is there to worry about?


Happiness Is A Choice To Be So By Appreciating The Abundance Of Love We Have In Us And Around Us. There Is An Endless Supply. Endless. Use It.


Spread Some Joy Today–See the sparkle in the eye, the smile of love in the face. See yourself as a reflection of others.
Daily Inspiration 6-27-12

Daily Inspiration 6-27-12

“Whatever the present moment contains,
accept it as if you had
chosen it.”

— Eckhart
Tolle


This
idea requires a more open and allowing attitude or mind than many of us have or
had. I know that in my past, there is no way that I could have accepted fully
this idea of accepting things as if I had chosen it, except of course the things
that were good that were created by my infinite talent and wisdom and skill. But
all that other crap was the outside world picking on me for no good reason. Even
if I could have considered accepting full responsibility for my actions that
created a negative result, I certainly wouldn’t admit that openly. Best to put
the blame as far from me as possible.
But,
now it’s a different world that I live in–one of my expanded awareness of my
own creations and circumstances based on my thoughts and actions, including
failures to act. I no longer allow myself any squeak room to speak of, and if I
am honest, I have to admit that I can certainly be my own worst enemy from time
to time. Getting that out in the open with myself is pretty powerful
change.
Still,
that last part of the quote that says to accept it (fairly easy), and
then Eckhart had to add that last bit, “as if you had chosen it.” Now that one
is a taller order, even for expanded awareness. You mean I chose that stuff to
happen? I created it on purpose? Whew. That’s a challenge. However, it is worth
working on because it is so empowering to begin this process of “accepting it as
if you had chosen it.”
The
key to this is the first part: “whatever the present moment contains.” If we can
keep our overactive mind and imagination out of the past and the future, at
least for a short time, it makes accepting it as if you had chosen it not only a
possibility, but a game changer in our lives.
Here’s
one idea of how to deal with this: Ok, I created this situation. It is what it
is. It is here. At this moment, it is obvious to me that I was not creating this
consciously, for I may have chosen differently; however, it is what it is and I
will deal with it as I need to right now, and I will keep my focus on right now
as I deal with it. I intend to be more of a conscious creator as I grow in my
awareness of my own power to create.

Acceptance Is A Powerful Tool Toward
Change.

 
Spread Some Joy Today–Saying Thank You! to people that do things for you
is spreading joy. Consider the postal person, the person who mows your lawn,
does your dishes, cleans your bathroom, irons your clothes, and all those taken
for granted common services. I LOVE the garbage man! I love paying that bill
with a big thank you note. How about you?
Daily Inspiration 6-26-12

Daily Inspiration 6-26-12

“Don’t rely on someone else for your happiness
and self-worth. Only you
can be responsible for that.
If you can’t love and
respect yourself–no one else
will be able to make that
happen. Accept who you
are–completely; the good
and the bad–and make
changes as YOU see fit–not
because you think
someone else wants you to
be different.”

— Stacey
Charter


Life,
liberty and the pursuit of happiness. Good words except for the word pursuit. It
should be, Life, liberty and choosing happiness, because that is all it is. It
is not something that can be pursued or caught. If it were, it would be such a
fleeting thing. It isn’t something that anything or anyone can give us or create
in us. It is 100% an inside job, and is simply, and purely, a choice to allow
ourselves to be happy.
A
better way to say it is that it is purely our point of view, or how we view
things and other people. We can choose to feel good and enjoy the view, or feel
poorly and dislike the view. In either case, it is totally our choice of how we
view it.
I
think that a lot of people are looking for someone to make them happy. That’s
far too much pressure on them. They don’t have that much power. They can only
choose happiness for themselves and cannot give it to you. Once this concept is
realized it changes things in a big way.
That’s
what transpired in my life. Most of my life I was looking for the right job, the
right amount of money, the right place to live, the right relationship, and more
to make me happy. I was disappointed a lot because that is a hard way to go
about it. When I realized that only I can make me happy, then I really began to
enjoy my life and I found more things to be happy about. Now I’m a practicing
happy person.
It
becomes easy when you like and respect yourself. I used to beat myself up all
the time for making mistakes and bad decisions and on and on. Now if I feel that
kind of thinking coming along, I step out of the way and let it go on by. What
helps me do that the most now is to focus on now and not into the future or the
past. I’m practicing that too.

Life Is Better When I Practice.

 
Spread Some Joy Today–Give someone a hug. You need it.
Daily Inspiration 6-25-12

Daily Inspiration 6-25-12


“Whatever you fight,
you strengthen,
and what you resist,
persists.”



— Eckhart Tolle
(and many others)



I learned the concept of the quote above quite some time ago and I believe it to be absolutely accurate, and with what seems to be human nature, it is hard to practice that belief. What I mean by that is that we seem to want to fight against things we don’t want or believe in and we think in our fight against them that they have a possibility of being licked. Yet, this is not how the universal laws work.
Whatever we give attention to is increased and it doesn’t matter if it is something we want or something we don’t want. So fighting against a thing only creates more of it to fight against which creates more of it, and so on. The war on poverty hasn’t decreased poverty, as the war on cancer hasn’t decreased cancer, and the war on drugs hasn’t decreased drugs. In fact, all those things have increased regardless of the fight. In fact, there is more disease in the world than at any time during the reign of mankind, yet at the same time, there is more joy than ever before as well. Our choice is a matter of where we want to focus.
I do my best and continually improve at making this kind of distinction in everything in my life. What I want more of, this I want to give my attention to. What I want less of or is not right, I do my best to be ignorant and even outright reject it. I even have a new sign on my wall: “Terry Is Blissfully Ignorant!” Yes, I am, and proud of it.
If the news (local, regional, national or world) brought me interesting things about the positive aspects or building-up aspects of life, I would pay close attention to it, but as it is almost all negatively focused or focused on what is wrong, not right, spectacular, and controversial, I have no interest in it. And, I am blissfully ignorant if someone were to ask me about a news event that I didn’t hear about. I certainly don’t need it in my conversation script, so even if I knew about it, I would not discuss it. What good could ever come from that?
Our business or at our job is just an extension of our personal thinking. If there is news of, talk of and focus on some kind of economic downturn, the downturn is strengthened and expanded. The way around it is to not only not discuss it, read about it or bother to listen to it, but to celebrate the abundance that we currently have in our lives. The more we celebrate our abundance, the more abundance we have.


Whatever We Celebrate, We Strengthen. Whatever We Praise Persists.

Spread Some Joy Today–Find as many things to be truly thankful for today as you can. They can be big, small or in between.
Daily Inspiration 6-24-12

Daily Inspiration 6-24-12



“It is not necessary to hope in order to undertake,
nor to succeed in order to
persevere.”

— Charles The
Bold




1,000
With
this Daily Inspiration, I’ve hit 1,000 of them from beginning as a temporary
upliftment for a handful in late 2009. Others enjoyed them, I enjoyed doing them
and even found much inspiration in doing them myself, and this has grown
substantially from that small beginning. But, I never even considered hitting
1,000, let alone 500 or even 100.
Many
of you probably have sold or bought something on eBay. So, you’re probably aware
of the feedback number that sellers and buyers have which helps people have
confidence in transacting business with those persons or companies. I started
selling on eBay in April 2004 and had a zero feedback number. Then, I finally
got 10, 50, 100, 500, 1,000, and now have 11,321 feedback that people see, and
I’ve given 16,047 feedback to others. It’s amazing to look at that now compared
with the beginning, and these are very small numbers compared to some serious
movers and shakers on eBay.
You’ve
heard the old adage of putting one foot in front of the other, or a journey of
1,000 miles starts with the first step I’m sure. Focusing on the destination is
what some people think moves them forward, but I’m not convinced of that. If I
had set a goal to hit 11,000 feedback on eBay, I think I would not have got past
25 in the process before becoming discouraged and finding something more
rewarding to do. The only way that came about was by focusing on what I am doing
right now this minute, this hour, this day without counting until that day was
done. Even then, I may not count on a regular basis, but just focus on doing
rather than achieving.
As
a sales manager for over 40 years, I’ve seen a lot of sales managers and
executive managers so focused on the achieving, or the objective, or goal,
rather than a more lucrative focus on doing right now. Sure, I’ve had goals that
I wanted to hit, to win a prize, to have the bragging rights and such, and have
also become obsessed with hitting targets in my experiences. So many of them
resulted in disappointments because if the objective is missed, the prize is
not earned.
If,
however, we focus on the activity–the doing, the reward is the activity and
activity breeds results. Maybe there is other rewards, maybe not. But it is
truly in the doing, the putting one foot in front of the other that creates
satisfaction, and ultimately creates achievement.
We
also may begin with one idea and have it morph into another we may not have
considered before. This happened with my experience with eBay, which ultimately
became a worldwide business for several years selling nearly 20,000 items. As it
has with these Daily Inspirations. Many tell me how much they enjoy them, but
none more than me. My satisfaction is in the doing of them, not in the
achievement or the results of the effort. Don’t get me wrong–I love hearing
what others have to say and love reading their comments and encouragement, but I
do it because I want to and because I love the doing of it.



Moving At The Speed Of This Moment.

Spread Some Joy Today–by feeling the joy that is natural to you. It isn’t
something that comes to you, but something you allow from within you. Just let
go. There are zero problems in this moment. All the problems are in the
future.
Daily Inspiration 6-23-12

Daily Inspiration 6-23-12

“Work feels like work only when there’s resistance.
Otherwise it is a joyful
creative adventure.”

–Alan
Cohen


At
the bank, the grocery store and other places, I get asked, “what are you doing
for the weekend? on Thursdays and Fridays, and on Mondays, it is, “what did you
do for the weekend?” and such.
I
create different answers just for the fun of it. Sometimes I say, “I’m going to
work because I have so much to do.” With this I get stuff like, “oh, that’s no
fun, or that’s a bummer,” etc. All of this seems to be based on the popular TGIF
(Thank God It’s Friday) frame of mind, and with that there must be the Monday
Blues because the weekend is too short and then I have to go back to work. Based
on that it seems that Wednesday is the only day people are really at work.
Monday is a down day, Tuesday is recovering, Wednesday is work, Thursday is
preparation for the best day of the week, Friday, and TGIF is here at
last.
I
can relate to what they are going through, but I don’t go through any of that
because I don’t look at work as a necessary evil in order to do what I really
want to do. Instead, I just do what I want to do all the time pretty much. And
much of that time is what people call work, but it is a joy for me and not
drudgery. I guess that makes my life a long series of Friday-like days. And it
is because I have joy regardless of the day.
Where
does that come from that work and play are so different from one another? Was it
the Industrial Age? Working in an assembly plant doing the same thing over and
over until the 8-hour shift was up and you got to go home? Did anyone ever go to
that job with joy? Hmmmm. Maybe so, but we never heard about it.
Since
1997, I found a way to love what I do, set my own schedule, and have almost
complete time freedom. And, its not the fact that I’m self-employed now because
that has only been the last five years. I chose to be an “outside salesman”
rather than an “inside salesman” and to most salespeople, that is a frightening
move. But it’s not really frightening at all. It is an opportunity to be your
own boss so to speak by leaving you totally in charge of your schedule. Do or do
not, it is all up to you.
But,
all that leads to what the real issue is: attitude. How we look at things. How
we plug into what other people say, think and do. We have a tendency to go along
with others when they are complaining about work or looking so forward to the
weekend all the time because we think it is friendly banter. It isn’t. It
creates a habit of thought. It takes courage to stand on your own and not plug
into that mentality. Go your own way and learn to love what you do, release
yourself from the so called time constraints you used to think you were under,
and be your own boss instead of expecting that of others.
In
the end, it is purely a decision, a choice of thinking, a view of the world, and
creating your own reality. You choose all the time and you always have. Try
choosing the joy of doing what you love to do even if it is what you do now.
When we take our mind off the future and the past, all there is is now and that
is all we need to choose that we will enjoy ourselves and love what we are doing
and love the life we are living.

Happiness Is Always And Simply A Personal
Decision.

 
Spread Some Joy Today–by having joy to spread. Choose joy by thinking
joyful thoughts, by enjoying what you are doing, by loving life and loving
others.
Daily Inspiration 6-22-12

Daily Inspiration 6-22-12




“Energy cannot be created or destroyed,
it can only be changed from
one form, to another.”

— Albert
Einstein





I
was out for a walk today and was thinking briefly about how in the grandest and
the most minute sense, we are all made of energy, or the same stuff. The rock,
the cement I was walking on, the trees, the birds, the air all around me, my
body is all different forms of the same substance–energy.
As
I released that thought for a moment, I thought about my love of trees. I love
trees. Every kind of tree. I appreciate them, as they are such benefits to us in
many ways and they are also beautiful to look at. Then a whiff of freshly
scattered bark caught my nose and what a wonderful smell that is. They
recently added all fresh ground bark to the planter areas along my walkway and I
was loving catching those whiffs of bark that used to adorn a tree, and now
helps control weeds, keep moisture in the soil and adds a great look to the
landscaping. I love bark that used to be on trees.
I
love wood–wood that used to be a tree but is no longer a tree. I love all
different kinds of wood. Soft woods, hard woods, light wood, dark wood, deep
grained, slight grained, I love it all. One of my favorite things is to walk
through a real lumber yard. Not those indoor wannabe’s, but the real ones where
they cut wood and have much of it stored outside in the air where the smells of
the wood gently mingle with the air I breathe.
I always
fantasized myself a fine woodworker like a cabinetmaker of old, with the old
wooden planes, a gallery of different saws for different jobs, a massive array
of clamps, tools, sanders, shapers, and all sorts of helpful power tools–you
know, a real live Yankee This Old House workshop. Of course, I had most of
that but the only thing lacking was the skill and patience. And, I’ve tried
several times, have owned three radial arm saws and sold them all. Still I love
wood, appreciate good woodsmanship and fine real furniture.
Then
there is what is left. Sawdust, chips, shavings. I love it too. Sawdust has so
many uses and smells so good too. Then there’s burning wood. I love a wood fire,
the smell of burning wood. There are many benefits to burning wood, and maybe
some problems depending on how much burning there is.
So,
I’ve come full circle and loving every step. I love the tree, the tree body, the
smells and feel and the products that can be made from it.
Sometimes
we get focused on only one aspect of something when there is so much more.
Sometimes we focus on one aspect as being good and other aspects as not good. If
what Einstein said is true, then it is all the same thing. Maybe it is affected
by the way we view it. . .




I See It Change Before My Eyes. It Is, It Isn’t, And Then It
Is.

Spread Some Joy Today–It’s good to tell someone you love them–especially
people you might not normall say that to.

Daily Inspiration 6-21-12

Daily Inspiration 6-21-12

“There is only one thing
for us to do,
and that is to do our level
best
right where we are every
day of our lives;
to use our best judgment,
and then to
trust the rest to that
Power which holds
the forces of the universe
in his hands.”

— Orison Swett
Marden


What
else is there? There is nothing. That leaves only one thing, and that is to
choose to do our best each day with what we have now and where we are now and
then let the rest be as it will be. We cannot really control the outcomes as
much as we think we can, but we can control our efforts, our focus, our trust,
our faith, our joy in the moment. Let us control that which we are ordained to
control, and leave the rest alone. There will be far greater satisfaction and
pleasure from this simple philosophy.

I Think, I Do. That’s All There Is For Me. It Is
Good.

 
Spread Some Joy Today–send that thank you card you wanted to send a while
back and let other things get in the way. It will feel so much better getting
done.
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