Month: September 2013

Daily Inspiration 9-30-13

Daily Inspiration 9-30-13

“You are where you are right now

because of the actions you’ve taken,

or maybe, the inaction you’ve taken.”
 

— Steve Maraboli

The last two days I’ve thought of many things and a lot of those thoughts were beating myself up for things I’ve not yet done, or haven’t started, or I’m not following through on. I want to lose weight and I keep putting it off and enjoying what I am eating. I was going to get x, y and z done, but I procrastinated, or took the day off and did none. These are just some of the ways I’ve always beat on myself.

Yet, today, I had a different thought while I was in the bathroom this afternoon. I thought that I am where I am. I am there because of my actions or lack of actions, just as Steve said. But, today, the thought that was different and uplifting was that it was perfect the way it turned out–that I’m perfect the way I am. I intended it to turn out this way and it turned out this way perfectly.

Now, certainly, I could have chosen different thoughts and had different outcomes, but today’s outcomes are perfect in and of themselves. I did it on purpose. I succeeded in creating exactly what I was wanting. All the other noise is just ego.

Just imagine, that everything you have chosen to do, regardless of the outcome was chosen on purpose and it is not only okay to be pleased with, but we should be since we intended it. What a different way we would act as a result.

We’re never too fat, we are what we have chosen. Or too skinny, or too anything. We make decisions every day and every decision lays us on a course and every course has a temporary end, or result. And, each of those is perfect and perfectly planned.

Why The Heck Not? It’s Sure Better Than Self-Inflicted Abuse.

Spread Some Joy Today–Create a perfect day for yourself.

Daily Inspiration 9-29-13

Daily Inspiration 9-29-13

“I have looked in the mirror

every morning and asked myself:

“If today were the last day of my life,

would I want to do what I am about to do today?”

And whenever the answer has been “No”

for too many days in a row,

I know I need to change something.”

 

— Steve Jobs

It is interesting how easy it is to just do a thing and then keep doing it, perhaps not wholeheartedly, or knowing why it still needs to be done. In fact, it may not need to be done anymore.

Lately, I’m looking as closely at what I am doing that I can let go of and be done with as much as I am looking at new or other things I may want to do. Beginnings and endings. We need them both, but I find it much harder to let go than to reach out. I find it harder to stop a habit than to start one.

Often the thing I may be doing really has become a habit; a ritual. I may even be confused as to what the value of it is. Certainly, it must have value or I wouldn’t be doing it, right? We all perceive value differently I’m sure.

Sometimes someone might ask, “why are you doing that?” We might answer, “because I’ve been or we’ve been doing that for so many years,” as if the length of time doing it becomes the value. Or, we might say, “because we’ve always done it that way.” The habit is the value. How about, “I don’t know. That’s a great question.”

Sometimes I think that we may get into a position where instead of living the life we want, we end up with the habit of supporting our stuff and our rituals.

The Old Adage, “Life Is For The Living,” Has New Meaning Now.

Spread Some Joy Today–Consider. . .

Daily Inspiration 9-28-13

Daily Inspiration 9-28-13

“The way anything is developed

is through practice practice practice

practice practice practice practice practice

practice practice, and more practice.”
 

— Joyce Meyer

I left on Wednesday morning early taking a driving trip to Portland, Oregon to work with a client I haven’t seen in quite some time. In round numbers, that trip takes about 10 hours with stops for gas and letting Charlie out to pee on a few trees and bushes. Charlie was my companion on the trip, but he doesn’t talk much, so I had to do all the talking, and that wasn’t much. It’s hard to talk to someone who just stares at you with that cute face and his ears standing tall. I made a cozy little place for him on the seat next to me in my F150 pickup and off we went on an adventure. It’s the new Travels With Charlie.

I haven’t driven through Oregon in over 30 years and it is more beautiful than I remember and so green compared to California. We had some rain going up off and on but it was an awesome drive. The trip back was mostly sunny and cool, but I got the pleasure of seeing it all over again on Friday.

During the first hour or so of the trip up, I turned the radio on, but only listed to music about 10 minutes and then shut it off. I took two audiobooks along, but the CD player wouldn’t recognize them, so I put them away. So, ten hours up and ten hours back, there was the noise of the truck and wind, my occasional speaking to Charlie and the rest was mind-talk.

I’ve stated before that I am practicing being present, or in-the-moment as much as possible. What that means is that I am paying attention to what my eyes are seeing, perhaps making mental comments about what I am seeing; such as, how beautiful that is, how green it is, how large the country looks, the contrast of blue sky and green land, and the list is endless. All of that is being present. However, I would catch myself thinking of other things, and almost all of those thoughts were of the past.

I might see something that triggered a memory and then the movie would begin to get creative and going in all sorts of directions. In the past, I would have let the movie play, probably would have felt negative emotions about it, moved on to a similar, though not better movie and so on. Now, I am intent on practicing bringing myself back to the present.

So, I would realize I was not present and would say as the mind in charge, “I’m in the past, not the present. I want to be in the present.” Then, I would be right back in the present, seeing, being here, safe and free of anxiety, negative feelings and more. When I am in the present, there are no problems.

All my problems are in the past and the future, and all future thoughts are built on the past. It’s so much better, calmer, more loving, more fun and enjoyable in the present. And, I have to say, that I got a lot of practice with 20 hours driving with no tunes. It was good. I was in the present a great deal of the time and I thoroughly enjoyed the process and the drive.

If I Decide To And Actually Practice, I Make Progress.

Spread Some Joy Today–Just let yourself be love today. Think loving thoughts of everyone you see today whether you speak or not.

Daily Inspiration 9-27-13

Daily Inspiration 9-27-13

“Take care what words you speak

that follow “I am.”

In so speaking

you create your life.”

 
— Alan Cohen

Yesterday, I wrote about affirmations and how I’ve come to change my thinking about them and find their power. I want to continue a bit with that subject here.

In today’s way of talking, we often take the extremely powerful, “I am,” and change it to “I’m.” It has the same power but sure sounds different.

Ever heard people say in real life that you know, or on TV and in the movies, such things as these:

I’m a loser.

I’m always getting in trouble.

They’re always against me.

I’m sick and tired of. . .

I
‘m worried about ______.

I’m tired. I need a rest.

Then there are similar ones that don’t actually say I am or I’m, but imply it:

I can’t afford it.

They’re out of my league.

I hate having to go to work.

Thank God it’s Friday.

I
 hate Mondays.

I need a raise.

I need a vacation.

I need a drink.

I want more money.

It’s too expensive.

Prices have gone through the roof.

I hate Wal-Mart, but they’re the cheapest.

There are hundreds or even thousands of other such remarks that we often don’t pay any attention to, or that are commonly shared with other people, thereby finding agreement and increasing the power of the above affirmations. Yes, these are affirmations. They’re just not positive ones. Often, we think these are normal and to say the positive ones is strange and abnormal. Start using positive ones and some may say, “Oh, you’re one of those New Age people, aren’t you?”

So often when we’re saying things like the list above, our bodies are tense, we may even grind our teeth, there may be anger. All these are visible signs of the power of thought and by feeling it, we get the indication that we would rather feel better. And, the way to that result is by changing the thing being stated or observed which will tend to have a more positive feeling in our body as well as our mind. If the positive affirmation is so radical a change that we don’t and can’t now believe it, the negative feelings will persist. Sometimes, or at least it is with me, I need to make the changes in smaller steps so that I can believe enough of it to admit the possibility.

In doing the small steps to change, I don’t have a list of 20 affirmations. Right now, for this time, I am focused on just two. One that I am using many times a day is, “things are always working out for me!” And, believe it or not, they are, and the more I say it, the more I mean it, and the more I mean it, the more it is true. The next is “I am a money magnet. Money comes to me from the most interesting places!” I love how this makes me feel. You know, many of us have a tendency to limit the sources of money coming to us; that it has to be income, or we have to work for it, or exchange something tangible for it, or inherit it, and so on. But, money can come from the most interesting places and methods. I often find this working for me in trying to give money to someone for a bill or something and them saying that I don’t owe anything. It’s really kind of interesting.

For your enjoyment of playing with these ideas, I highly recommend a book by Louise Hay, titled, Meditations to Heal Your Life. I have it on my Kindle and will often peruse some of the very short one page “chapters” and I always come away feeling good, and often inspired within.

Change Is Best And Easiest When It Is Many Shades Of Gray Instead Of Night And Day.

Spread Some Joy Today–Injoy your day. Be in joy as much as you can.

Daily Inspiration 9-26-13

Daily Inspiration 9-26-13

“Affirmation without discipline

is the beginning of delusion.”
 

— Jim Rohn

Creating and using affirmations has been taught by hundreds, if not thousands over the recent past. I think of Jim Rohn as a mentor to me and it seemed to me that he always made fun of the idea of affirmations. I never really understood what he was saying until recently.

I read and followed the advice of affirmations promoters such as Jack Canfield, Louise Hay, John Demartini and others. I always seemed to lose faith early on and find fault with the idea of using affirmations. I didn’t really understand why until very recently.

I’ve tried to change my results without changing my thinking. That, of course, is the definition of insanity, where I keep doing the same things and hope for or expect a different result. Vincent Roazzi states that “people want to change their lives, but they don’t want to change.” Gandhi said, “you must be the change you want to see in the world.” In other words, for things to change, I must change–not someone else, or the world, but me–what I do, what I think, how I behave, who I associate with and more.

So, back to affirmations and what has changed my thinking about them and thereby my results. When I first learned about them and it seemed similar with each new teacher was to write out a positive affirmation of what I want or what I want to become or how I want something to be. So, of course, I wrote that I want to be wealthy so I can enjoy a bigger life and help people, or that I wanted better health, etc. It should be in the first person as if it has already been accomplished. I got it, and wrote them out on cards and just before bed each night I would say one over and over and try to visualize it being done, then move on to the next and so on.

The problems were several. It was as if I were trying to use exercise equipment at a certain time. I didn’t believe well enough that they could or would come true; in other words, they weren’t all that believable. They didn’t do anything to change my thinking except in the moments I was reading the affirmations and hoping things would change.

It has to be better and easier than this. It needs to be a discipline as Jim Rohn says, but not the kind of discipline that is WORK. If it isn’t fun and playful, it isn’t going to take hold.

Many of us so commonly make comments about the latest negative tragedy or event on the news. We may watch it over and over listening for new details about how bad it is and then hear all the tragic cries of the people involved. For good news sake, of course. Then, we repeat thoughts about the economy and how the President hasn’t got a clue, and the Republicans or the Democrats have their heads between their legs, or Social Security is almost broke and then, there’s the global climate change situation, oil prices, gasoline price changes, taxes, and the list is pretty much endless. We talk about all that stuff to ourselves and to our friends and to our coworkers and family, and we try to have things change for the better.

Maybe we even start an affirmation program like I did and deal with the stuff during the day and at night read some meaningless dribble on cards. At least, that is how it began to feel.

But, the bottom line is, for things to change, I must change my thinking, my action, my speech (to myself and to others). I must choose differently.

So, here is the easy way. Substitute a positive affirmation for a negative one and then keep doing that over and over until your thoughts about your life are predominately positive. For example, a great one I found and have shared with many is this: “Things are always working out for me.” I used to say stuff like, “that stuff is always happening to me, one step forward, and two back, there’s more bills at the end of the money, I can’t ever seem to get ahead,” etc.. Now, whether something came out well or didn’t, I say to myself and aloud, “Things are always working out for me.”

This changes things. This changes thinking. This is fun and playful. This works. All you have to do is try it for a couple weeks and you will find that it works just like magic.

It Is Simply Amazing. . . Things Are Always Working Out For Me!

Spread Some Joy Today–With things like this, how could you not?

Daily Inspiration 9-25-13

Daily Inspiration 9-25-13

“Somewhere someone is looking

to find what you have to offer.”
 

— Louise Hay

Take heart. You have value and there are people out there somewhere who know it too and would love to share the experience with you.

A dear friend and I were having breakfast the other day and he was talking about the “ripple effect.” It was also about the Law of Attraction, the God Factor, and other ways of simply describing how people come together at the right time or the perfect time for both of them. He also talked about how you may meet one person and have a hard time with them, but they introduce you to someone that becomes a huge asset, a very delightful and strong friend, a loving companion, a great business client, and more.

You never know who you may meet or under what circumstances that can be what we might call a Godsend. If you believe in God, then all that is necessary is to be open and allowing and sort of ‘go with the flow,’ and the most amazing connections can be made. In case you didn’t realize it, God happens to know EVERYONE! And, despite rumors to the contrary, I have it on strong authority that He loves EVERYONE!

As I think about this and look in the rearview mirror of my life, I can see serendipitous connections all over the place. In fact, some of those happenstance meetings have turned into very long term friendships that are full of love growing greater even today after 20 years or more. It’s magical when you look at it that way and I am more and more open to meeting and talking with people now than ever. We need each other and can and do influence each other. I am so much more than I would have been by being open to allowing.

I’m Loving Each New Day And Who I Will Meet Today And Getting And Creating Ripples.

Spread Some Joy Today–Go create some ripples. Step 1: Love people.

Daily Inspiration 9-24-13

Daily Inspiration 9-24-13

“You already have permission.

Just saying.

You have permission to create, to speak up, and stand up.

You have permission to be generous, to fail, and to be vulnerable.

You have permission to own your words, to matter and to help.

No need to wait.”
 

— Seth Godin

Just sharing.

Go For It.

Spread Some Joy Today–Let your love light shine today. Brighten up the day!

Daily Inspiration 9-23-13

Daily Inspiration 9-23-13

“The most important aspect

of making a sale

is also a major weakness

of every salesperson.

Asking questions.”
 

— Jeffrey Gitomer,

The Little Red Book of Selling

I used to own a lot of guitars, then over the last several years, I sold all of them. I’ve been without a guitar for a couple of years, and I have a strong desire to get at least one good quality guitar. So, I’ve been looking around on the Internet for some specific guitars I like, and I’ve found some that I’m considering. But, I’m not in a hurry, nor am I dragging my feet. I’m ready.

On a fluke, I drove over the bridge to the Guitar Center, which is a huge chain of stores that sell musical instruments, including guitars, drums, amplifiers, recording gear, and more. Musicians often call it the ‘candy store.’ They have hundreds and hundreds of guitars–lots of different models, makes, colors, and shapes. I have not been in that store for a long time, but I wanted to see what’s hot now, what’s still hot and to see a wide range of instruments.

My favorite guitar brand was not even represented there except two used units, so my favorite is not hot now, I guess. But, I came to see the lay of the land, not something specific. I wanted to open my mind a bit; pry my fingers off the old and true; consider changing.

At Guitar Center, they have a lot of roving salespeople. Or, rather, I might now call them greeters and welcomers. There wasn’t any selling going on–at least none with me. I was there for about 45 minutes and looking and touching a few, and in that time, I had 5 different salespeople talk to me. They wanted to know if I had any questions. They wanted to know that I was comfortable there. Several even asked what I might be looking for. I talked openly. And, after 45+ minutes, not one of them asked me to buy anything, or tried to sell me anything.

As a sales manager most of my life, I have to say that this situation was very sad. I was a buyer. I was ready to buy. I had the money. I was in their store. They have almost anything a person could want in an instrument and the low end to the high end. What a missed opportunity this was.

I know a number of music store owners around the bay area and they always talk about Guitar Center and how they cannot compete with them. It’s the old Wal-Mart argument. It’s crap. Of course you can.

A couple of things I learned, or relearned from this shopping experience. One, having a huge selection of lots of different brands is not as effective as a large selection of one brand. Two, it is very confusing in that store. There is so much going on and it is noisy. It is almost scary and intimidating. Three, if they had trained salespeople instead of the ‘wandering welcomers,’ they would actually sell more guitars. Four–and this one is kind of important–people do like to be sold. Jeffrey Gitomer has always said, “People don’t like to be sold, but they love to buy.” I get what he’s saying. No one wants a pushy, insensitive, salesperson, but frankly, I love being taken good care of by a real and skilled salesperson.

I found a guitar there yesterday that I would have bought, but chose not to. It was an interesting experience.

The Self-Serve World Of Marketing Might Look Good, But Is Nowhere Nearly As Effective As Sales.

Spread Some Joy Today–Keep your eyes and heart open today for some very special blessings. They’re all around, but you have to be open to them. Enjoy your day as if it mattered. It does.

Daily Inspiration 9-22-13

Daily Inspiration 9-22-13

“Do not let another day go by

where your dedication

to other people’s opinions

is greater than your dedication

to your own emotions.”
 

— Steve Maraboli

I love people. I love them and appreciate that they have an opinion. And, yet, at the same time, I may have zero interest in hearing it. I used to be so concerned what other people thought about me, what I might say, how I might look, what my house might be like and so on. I gave most of that up. I really don’t care very much, and if it isn’t positive, I don’t even want to hear it.

I walked into a store I haven’t been in after long time–several years in fact. I said hi to the owner and I was glad to see him, but I really couldn’t stay but for a few minutes because he is one of the most negative people I have ever been around. Everything is doom and gloom and going to hell in a hand basket. He’s all about what is wrong and frankly, in the time I spent there, he had nothing positive to say at all. I gave him a bit of my love and left. See ya!

Everyone has opinions. I appreciate that fact. I don’t even mind hearing many of them, but I pick and choose who I will spend my valuable time with–and more important that this–I choose who I will spend my mind and spirituality with.

Generally, when people talk down about things, whether it is in person or on the phone, I do what I can to turn it to a more positive note. If I struggle with that, it will not be for long. I will find a way to get away from them and so keep my own sanity and clarity.

I’ve even been known to hang up on someone getting in my face for something. Oops! Dropped call. Must have been a disruption in the atmosphere. I might call them back. I might not. If I call them back and they go off again. . . oops! must be a signal issue with my cellular service. I am in total control with how I allow people to talk to me, and how long I will listen to anything that I don’t want to hear. It doesn’t matter if I am at work or at home. I am in control.

I used to be in the car business as a sales manager. I remember having one lady with her daughter who was a terror just after she bought a new Camaro. It had only been a week and she was giving me such a hard time. I told her that I would give her all her money back and that she could go somewhere else. That hardly ever happens in the car business by giving all their money back, tax, license, the whole thing. I didn’t want her as a customer and she went somewhere else and I was relieved the whole issue. We sold the car to someone who loved it and the only thing we lost was a terrible customer.

I Always Have Veto Power. And, I Use It. I Highly Recommend It.

Spread Some Joy Today–What you think and how you feel is critical. Choose your joy.

Daily Inspiration 9-21-13

Daily Inspiration 9-21-13

“God, why do I storm heaven for answers

that are already in my heart?

Every grace I need has already been given me.

Oh, lead me to the Beyond within.”

 
— Macrina Wieherkehr

I don’t teach, although it is easy to see it that way. What I do, at best, is inspire others to see that which they already knew; to help them remember. That is why I like the idea of how ideas will resonate with each of us. That means simply that it is agreeing with our inner knowing, or you could call it an inner being. When a thing or idea or thought resonates with us, it is a remembering of what we already knew, but perhaps have just covered up for a time.

It’s not as if we are empty vessels in need of being filled with knowledge. I believe that we have all the knowledge we will ever need, but many of us lose track of the pathways to and from that source of wisdom. When something resonates, it reawakens that pathway and inspires us to action.

I read a lot of things from a lot of different sources, not because I need to know the subject. I already know, but I want to teach. I want to help people remember, and it is in the little nuances of how different people express themselves in a subject that sparks inspiration in me to share and teach anew.

A long time ago, I was told that in all of life, there were only three jobs. They are these: 1. Emptying the things that are full. 2. Filling the things that are empty. and, 3. Scratching where it itches. I think in reality that in some respects, I do all three, but in my own mind, I scratch where it itches. We want to be inspired and I want to inspire. It is an itch being scratched.

Knowledge is said to be power. If that is true, then you already have all the power you could ever need. We all could use some help with the inspiration that resonates, then we can take the ball from there.

Be Open To Be Inspired. What Resonates, Inspires.

Spread Some Joy Today–Some may not understand that peace, calmness, and joy are more than compatible. They are one in the same. When you see that person exuding peace and calmness with a smile on their face, you know it is inner joy expressed.

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