Month: August 2012

Daily Inspiration 8-31-12

Daily Inspiration 8-31-12

“Awareness is a choice, and sometimes it takes effort.
But it’s never disappointing if we truly put some effort into it.
The rewards for our effort already surround us all the time,
but they’re awards that we miss constantly
until we make the decision to open our eyes and our hearts
to the beauty that’s always everywhere.”

— Tom Walsh

It’s interesting and funny too about becoming more aware. I see things I never would have seen before, though they may have always been there. My hearing has intensified, along with a sense of calm, yet with joy. I would have never put those two words together before, but it is true.

I was thinking about appreciation today, and appreciation comes from more awareness. It transcends gratitude. It is love. It is attention, or rather, focused-attention, or a better way to say it might be loving attention.

Now, I am aware of me appreciating things all throughout the day. On the two mile trip back home from the bank today, I was appreciating and being sort of astounded by the thousands of shades of green from the grass to trees to bushes. I used to be focused on where I was going and probably how the traffic was hampering me and so on, but now I have those strange words together: calmness and joy, and it comes as a side benefit of my act of appreciation of what I am experiencing. 

How do I translate that to my daily life or work, errands, family, etc? By the act of appreciation in my little trips where ever I may go, I am of a different mind, or attitude and that becomes me, so that the next encounter I have in business or a loved one is improved as a result. It makes me better, more attentive, more loving, more calm, and with an inner joy that has a long-term smile on my face. In this way, it affects every one around me.

Today I was in the grocery store for a few items and I was carrying around that joy of my day, and I noticed there were several others who seemed to be affected positively by it. I thought that was very interesting, but you know it is true because we feel these things from others, just as we do when they are pissed off, angry, or unhappy. 

If you’re not of the habit, try just noticing the beauty that is all around you as you travel through your day. Whether you’re on your way to or from work, on an errand, traveling to see a client, looking out the office window–no matter where you are, I am certain there is plenty around you to be appreciative of, and by spending a few present moments in giving those things attention along with your other doings, you too will be of a different mind. Then, just practice that every day.
 

Honor The Moment, The Beauty, And What You Are Doing Together. There Is No Need To Separate Them.

Spread Some Joy Today–Oh, how fast joy spreads through appreciation! Be an active conduit.

Daily Inspiration 8-30-12

Daily Inspiration 8-30-12

“Patience can’t be acquired overnight.
It is just like building up
a muscle.
Every day you need to work
on it.”

— Eknath
Easwaran


Those
things that I need to learn well, have a habit of giving me opportunity to
practice, and patience, this week especially, seems to be one.
 
I
had an appointment today for a specified time with a person to have a discussion
about business. This appointment was made yesterday late morning. I arrived
about 8 minutes early and expected to wait for a few minutes, and it turned into
an hour beyond the appointed time.
 
At
3 minutes past the appointed time, I could see that it was not going to happen
real soon, so I settled into a practice of patience. It was interesting in
several ways. One is how I felt. I felt fine. I didn’t make it into a problem,
and just peacefully looked around, sat and meditated a bit, and so on. Another
way was how people around me were concerned about me standing there even though
I was not expressing any anxiety to speak of.
 
Finally,
the meeting came and the person apologized for the delay, but also, he didn’t
seem to remember the appointment very well. As he apologized, I said, ‘not a
problem. In fact, I thank you for the opportunity for me to practice my
patience, and I need the practice.’ He looked at me strangely, not knowing
exactly how to respond to that. Each time he tried to apologize (there were
three, one at the beginning, one in the middle and one at the end), I said,
‘it’s not a problem, I took the opportunity to practice my patience. Thank you
for that.’
 
I
was a little amazed that I was open about that to the person. I was genuinely
grateful for the practice time, and I really do need the practice. I’m not sure
what he thought, and frankly, that is none of my concern. I’m sure of one thing
though. . . I don’t believe he’s ever heard that response before! Nor have I
given it. And, it was fun.

I Used To Worry So About What People Might Think. Now I Allow Them To Think
As They Will.

 
Spread Some Joy Today–Be real. Be yourself.
Daily Inspiration 8-29-12

Daily Inspiration 8-29-12

“Attention is the greatest gift
you can give–full attention.”

— Eckhart Tolle 

There is much in Eckhart Tolle’s teachings that I may not fully understand yet, but I am practicing them and finding far better experiences and results through the effort. Being present is the major point he makes because it allows us to pay attention to the now and live in the now rather than in the past and future.
To practice this, I allow myself to give full attention to another person in a conversation without thinking about what they are saying or thinking about what I am going to say next, or even being distracted by things going on around me. This is being present and being in the moment, and yesterday, I noticed myself practicing it in a meeting and it was wonderful. I’m not sure I have ever experienced that before in that kind of setting.
By being present and giving full attention, it is the same as giving them loving care. You are listening to their words, inflections, how their thoughts are being expressed and you can hear what they are saying and what they are not saying at the same time. That part is interesting.
I’ve always been a part of a conversation, meeting, and such, but now that I see myself practicing this, I believe I was never really there until now. It’s strange and interesting at the same time. It is also practicing patience. Try it yourself. Clear your mind and focus on the person talking and pay them full attention. Don’t allow any noise or interruption to disturb your presence. Let them talk as long as they need to and don’t give any thought to it. In fact, if a thought comes into your head, just brush it aside and continue to focus on them. It will be clear when they are done speaking for a time, and if a response is appropriate, respond.
What a fascinating change this is. 

 

The Gift Of Attention.


Spread Some Joy Today–Talk less. Listen more.

Daily Inspiration 8-28-12

Daily Inspiration 8-28-12

“Some changes look negative on the surface
but you will soon realize that space is being
created in your life for something new to emerge.”

— Eckhart Tolle 

We’ve heard it, ‘everything works out for the best if we let it,’ and other such things that it seems we can only relate to when they aren’t happening to us. For many, when it is happening to us, that ‘feel good’ stuff is just a bunch of crap. You just want to smack ’em up the side of the head when someone starts pointing out the good side, the silver lining, the benefits of the problems you’re facing.
As I look back on my biggest so-called problems, I find that, indeed, everything worked out for the best even though I never would have guessed that as it was happening. The advantage of 20/20 hindsight shows me clearly how everything was actually perfect and perfectly planned as if the Master was at work on my behalf.
It’s taken me years, but since I have found this to be true, and I know a number of others who also know it to be true, the real challenge isn’t so much in realizing there will be a benefit that comes. That’s not so hard to relate to. It’s the the space between the initial incident and our realization of benefits as a result of the incident that is the variable.
As I progress in my realization, or expansion, or enlightenment, the space gets smaller and smaller. Depending on what the incident is, I can now go from incident to joy pretty quickly. The bigger (all in my mind, of course) the issue, the larger the space it seems, but even those are so much shorter.
I’m moving steadily and surely to the place where the incident immediately begets the acceptance of the reality to the promise of some benefit being assured to acceptance and joy in that. I’m loving the challenge and the progress too. 

 

THANK YOU! You’ve Given Me A Blessing. I Appreciate The Opportunity And Change. I Can’t Wait To See What Lies In Store For My Benefit!


Spread Some Joy Today–What is your space?

Daily Inspiration 8-26-12

Daily Inspiration 8-26-12

“Let me ask you something.
If someone prays for patience,
you think God gives them patience?
Or does he give them the opportunity to be patient?
If he prayed for courage,
does God give him courage,
or does he give him opportunities to be courageous?

If someone prayed for the family to be closer,
do you think God zaps them with warm fuzzy feelings,
or does he give them opportunities to love each other?”
 
— Morgan Freeman playing God in the
movie Evan Almighty

I love the movie that this quote came from. Evan Almighty is funny, heartwarming, and has lessons too. Just like life. Then, all we have to do is practice them.

Today, I had another opportunity to practice patience. I went to the grocery store for a few things and had three bags worth in my hands and needed a roll of stamps. They have a post office there in the store, so I went over by the counter and I see there is quite a line of 5 or 6 people which is unusual.

At first I thought, ‘maybe I should go back to the check out counter and see if they have rolls, since I know they have books of stamps.’ Then, after deciding not to do that, my next thought as I’m seeing the line not moving was, ‘maybe I’ll come back another time.’ Then, I decided that since I was already there, I might as well wait in line and get it done rather than procrastinate. So, I got in line.

The line wasn’t moving. The person currently at the counter appeared to have a project of tasks for the one clerk, but after several minutes, the clerk moved her over to the other counter to fill something out. Ah. . . it’s moving. Then, I just decided to practice my patience and as I had that thought, I began to be calm, not even notice the weight of the bags in my hands, and actually enjoyed the break and was at peace.

The line moved again, and after about 15 minutes, I was nearing the front. In the last couple of minutes, a lady behind me started complaining that there was only one clerk and she has complained to the manager about this before and they just don’t get it and on and on she went about it and how inconvenient it was. After she was done with her rant, I said calmly, ‘you know, I find that standing in line is an opportunity for me to practice being patient. I’m actually enjoying standing in line today.’ I was sort of amazed I said that, but I don’t think she was even listening.

It was true and I had one more (I need plenty!) opportunity to practice being patient. Standing in line is a good one that comes to all of us often enough and it’s really more interesting to be grateful for it and then go with it, rather than resist it.

Practice Makes Me Better.

Spread Some Joy Today–by just being the best you that you can be

Daily Inspiration 8-25-12

Daily Inspiration 8-25-12

“If I can’t be
me,
I can’t be of
service.”

— Terry
Minion


This
is another way of saying to go with your gut, or go with what feels good to you,
or right to you, or when you feel aligned with your inner knowing. It doesn’t
matter one iota what anyone else thinks about what you’re doing or whether they
think it is right or wrong. It only matters what you think.
 
Be
yourself. Make your choices from within not without. The more I do that, the
better I feel. In some cases, I’ve had other people’s opinions in my face, and I
just chose to ignore them–even my spouse. If I can’t be myself, I can’t be of
service.

You’re In Charge!

 
Spread Some Joy Today–Treat yourself to some quiet time today.
Daily Inspiration 8-24-12

Daily Inspiration 8-24-12

“I love deadlines.
I like the whooshing
sound
they make as they fly
by.”

— Douglas
Adams


You
know that Carly Simon famous song, Procrastination? Oh. . . that was
Anticipation, wasn’t it? Although, I love to insert the word procrastination in
the song because it seems to make such sense with the rest of the
lyric.
 
Anyway.
. . I’m a natural born procrastinator. I have to think about it an then think
some more and then formulate it in my head and then maybe a little on paper,
and, well, you can see that I’m just a dog chasing his own tail doing that. But,
it sure seems like I’m on it and figuring it out and working on it. You know?
Yeah. I’m on it. It’s due this afternoon and it’s eleven a.m., but I’m on
it.
 
Truth
is, or made-up is, whichever you prefer, if I really knew what I was doing, it
would be so easy to hit the mark ahead of the deadline. Know what I mean? But,
since I’m not sure how to express it, lay it out, put it together, or whatever
the project is, I have to think more about it and hope upon hope that I get the
inspiration that I seek. Yes, that magic something that gets me flowing and
moving and shaking and creating.
 
Alas,
it isn’t always working on command. Yet, what can I do? I need to complete the
project and don’t know how. Not the best place to be, but it is what it
is.
 
All
I know is to just keep focused until it is done. It helps me to take some breaks
and clear my mind, but then I’ve just got to get back on the job and trust that
it will all come to me–even as the deadline goes whooshing by.

Have Deadline? Sometimes It Helps, Sometimes
Not.

 
Spread Some Joy Today–Enjoy yourself today. Just because. You deserve it.
Daily Inspiration 8-23-12

Daily Inspiration 8-23-12

“Dear brothers, is your life full of difficulties
and temptations? Then be happy, for
when the
way is rough, your patience has a
chance to grow.
So let it grow, and don’t try to squirm
out of your problems
For when your patience is finally in
full bloom,
then you will be ready for
anything,
strong in character, full and
complete.”


— James 1:2-4, the Bible
 
 
Stuff
happens. It’s inevitable. We certainly could have attracted it unknowingly, and
in all reality, it simply doesn’t really matter where the current circumstances
came from. It is just that they are here right now.
 
Who
knows what it is or how many there are one upon another? A loved one in a
hospital with serious illness, a lost employment position, a foreclosure, a
bankruptcy, more bills than you have funds for, a deadline you can’t meet, and
so many more. We all have some of these things going on somewhere in our lives.
Maybe in our face, on the horizon, around the next corner, it matters not. What
does matter is not what they are or the fact they are here or looming. What
matters is how we think about them, respond or react to them.
 
The
quote above indicates to get excited about our problems and be happy for the
blessings that they contain in results, changes, and even personal
growth.
 
It
sounds crazy to get excited and be thankful for getting fired, but crazy
sounding or not, it is a powerful and positive choice that holds the brightest
and wisest future in its grasp. Any other response will provide less, and often
keep the problem in tow longer than desired.
 
If
you’re a Christian, I strongly suggest to go get a copy of the book by Merlin R
Carothers called Power In Praise, How the Spiritual Dynamic of
Praise Revolutionizes Lives
. My copy has so many
underlines, margin notes, stars and so on to remind me to reread that part again
and again. If you’re not a Christian, read it anyway and you can substitute
Universe for God, and such. It will still be powerful and even
life-changing.
 
This
is the first book that taught me about being thankful for problems and
challenges along with the so-called good things. Since that is not how most of
the world responds, we have been well-trained to be unhappy, perhaps even
devastated when these negative things come around, but take joy in the fact that
you can be different, and you can find a better way. I practice now all the
time. I may not react or respond immediately, but when I allow myself to
consider the situation, I remember to be thankful for it, accept it and begin to
find joy in it. I can’t wait for the day when I go there without needing to
think about it. In the meantime, I take the joy as it comes.

It
always seems to work out for the best. I’ve found that even the most initially
traumatic things turns out to be the best thing that could have happened. Isn’t
that interesting. . .
 
 
 




Be Thankful In EVERYTHING! It Changes
EVERYTHING.

 
Spread Some Joy Today–Make a list of your current problems or situations
that bother you. After you’re done, write in large letters at the top of the
page: Things and Situations That I Am Thankful For: Then, take another look at
each entry and see how different they look

Daily Inspiration 8-22-12

Daily Inspiration 8-22-12

“Be very careful what you
say to yourself
because someone very
important is listening. . .
YOU!”

— John Assaraf


It’s
easy to change what we say our of our mouths to others if we are trying to
change to be more positive and upbeat. It’s another thing to make that same
commitment on the inside. You’ve heard the phrase, ‘they are their own worst
enemy,’ and this is the place that the so-called enemy can rule if we let that
happen.
Better
to be so cognizant of what we are talking to ourselves about that we know in an
instant when it is appropriate to shift gears and change thoughts.
It’s
not a short-term solution. It’s a long-term change for the better.

Better To Work Inside Out. It’s More
Effective.

 
Spread Some Joy Today–Whatever the weather is today, it is perfect!
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