Month: May 2016

Daily Inspiration 5-31-16

“I merely took the energy 
it takes to pout 
and wrote some blues.” 

— Duke Ellington 

One of the things that most of us don’t think about and don’t realize is that we can’t be standing with our arms up in the air and be depressed. It just doesn’t work.

I’ve learned so much from Anthony Robbins, or I think he goes by Tony Robbins now. The most important thing to me that I learned from him, I’ve shared several times and it has to do with the choices we make in vocabulary. When someone asks, “how are you?” It is oh so common to say something lame like, “fine. Thanks. How about you? But, it is a whole other adventure to say, “I’m off the chart today!” Or, “I’m supercalifragilisticexpialidocious!” Or, “What’s rockin’ your world today?” These are all far better choices and instantly wakes people out of their boredom and sleeping while standing on the job.

The second most important thing I learned relates to the subject today. It is that mood or emotion creates our state, or helps create it. We all know that. That’s easy to figure out. But, what is so cool about what I learned is that state can create emotion! I used to teach this in some of my training classes.

Just as a different choice of words makes all the difference in an interaction with another human being, a change in state does it too.

Quite often, when I’ve been asked to speak somewhere when it’s my turn, I ask everyone to stand and stretch. It changes their state. Part of it is getting the blood flowing better, moving some muscles, but most of it is because that little act prepares the brain to receive better.

So let’s look at this a bit. In order to be depressed, downtrodden, bummed out, feel powerless, feel grief and despair, you need to be in a certain state physically. It’s typical for the head to hang low, the shoulders to be inward, more often sitting, and so on. Feeling sorry for ourselves requires the participation of our body. Then we can really get into those low feelings.

But, if you were feeling any of those kinds of emotions, it is much harder to try to convince you to let go of those thoughts. You might even take exception to my brashness and uncaring attempts. However, if I can get you to stand and lift your arms and look to the sky and go up and down on your toes, your thinking is instantly changed. Why? Because our state creates a feeling, and our feeling creates a state. In other words, they are co-creators.

So, all Duke Ellington needed was to find the energy in pouting, which he probably has had experience with just like all of us, and there in that state, a different flow comes in his thinking. More feelings like that are attracted. Often creative people do this. I’ve done it and so I think I understand it pretty well. Of course the same is true for the positive emotions, and that they are co-creators with energetic physical positions and movement. This is one reason why exercise is so beneficial to us, including Yoga and Pilates, etc.

Next time you’re feeling down about something, whatever it may be, try changing your physical state and watch what happens to your feeling.

You Could Call It The State Of The Union. 

Spread Some Joy Today–by expressing your joy physically as well as mentally. Can’t help but do it, right?

Daily Inspiration 5-30-16

“You have underestimated 
what you deserve.” 

— Alan Cohen 

It’s a case of artificial limitation. We made it up. We made it up when we desired it, and we made it up when we told ourselves that we don’t deserve it, that we are unworthy of it.

I love this bit from Abraham, Esther Hicks: “You have heard of buyer’s remorse? I really could be more accurately called desirer’s remorse.”

Desirer’s remorse is having a desire but not maintaining the vibrational frequency of it. You are letting the reality that you are observing control your vibrational atmosphere, and therefore you are not staying up to speed with your own desire. Your desire isn’t wrong. You didn’t make a mistake. You just didn’t stay up to speed with your desire.”

I have had this happen many, many times. I have a desire, then within a few minutes, I begin to talk myself out of it, making lists of why this won’t work, why I don’t deserve it, how I can’t even imagine it very clearly because, because, because.

Another supporting bit comes from Mike Dooley, aka The Universe, where he writes, “It’s so tempting to look at your present life situation, at whom you’re with, at where you work, at what you have and have not, and think to yourself, “This was obviously meant to be. . . I’m here for a reason.” And to a degree, you’d be right. But you are where you are because of the thoughts you used to (and may still) think, and so you are where you are to learn that this is how life works–NOT because it was meant to be.”

He continues with the most important part: “Don’t give away your power to vague or mysterious logic. Tomorrow is a blank slate in terms of people, work, and play, because it, too, will be of your making. You will again have that sense that it was meant to be, no matter who or what you’ve drawn into your life. Nothing is meant to be, except for your freedom to choose and your power to create.”

I love that line, “Don’t give your power to vague or mysterious logic. Tomorrow is a blank slate. . .” We often use vague or mysterious logic on ourselves. We need not be the least concerned about what others think of our choices, because our own ego has plenty of vague and mysterious logic to chill us to the bone.

In all cases like this, it is our own artificial limitations. There are no real limitations, only those that we imagine in our head. There are thousands of examples of people who have not only overcome, but have gone far beyond limitations.

You Could Be The Next One To Share Your Story. 

Spread Some Joy Today–by taking a deep breath. . . maybe two or three. Think about something that feels good when you think it. There it is. It’s your joy peaking out within.

Daily Inspiration 5-29-16

“The Glory of God
is 
a human being fully alive.” 

— Saint Irenaeus 

I was thinking about platitudes, and then along comes this quote above. Seems to fit perfectly in my mind as a platitude. I mean, what is that all about? What did Saint Irenaeus really mean by saying, “fully alive.” I’m assuming that he meant something more than having a pulse and breathing in and out. But, what exactly? What does it mean to be fully alive?

Maybe it means something as simple as enjoying our life. Would a Christian early church leader who died in 202 A.D. say that? Hmmm. I think not. Would it mean to be more giving? Giving more? More loving? Loving more? More devout? More enthusiastic?

Maybe it is knowing our priorities and following through. Or maybe it was to be more physically fit, strong, and/or healthy. Perhaps it means to be more active in the community–a valued participant in affairs outside our own little world. It could be that fully alive means to love God more, or even recognize there is a God.

Who knows? It’s one of those phrases that sounds like it is saying so much, and being so profound, and yet, nobody knows what it means. People may even go around repeating it, and others might think that they know what it means, afraid to admit that they don’t get it. How many times have we done that in our lives? I know I certainly have.

So, what it comes down to is that, in my opinion, the phrase to be fully alive doesn’t mean anything, unless you give it some kind of meaning yourself.

Go For It. Make Your Own Definition Of What Being Fully Alive Means. That Will Be What It Means. 

Spread Some Joy Today–by feeling fully alive? Maybe. Maybe that’s where joy lives.

Daily Inspiration 5-28-16

“Finding requires only seeking, 
even if you find something 
other than you’re looking for.” 

— Albert K. Strong 

Yesterday, I was reminded of how finding happens. It happens when there is seeking going on. It could have been, and quite often has been there all along, but until the seeking, finding is pointless. I was amazed and delighted by this reminder.

A couple of months ago, I finished the biography of the Wright Brothers by David McCullough. Though I knew a little bit about them, this book brought me into their life and times for a much better view of that part of history. The finding of the airplane they built and popularized was always there, just waiting for the seekers. In fact, they had the science of it down very well early on. It was the building and testing that was so time and resource consuming.

As well, all those who followed, modified their design, created new designs, and took aviation to where it is today, were seeking before they found what they were looking for. And, what is really interesting as the quote above eludes to, is that what we find may not be exactly what we thought we were searching for. It may be so much more. Perhaps it opened the door to a whole new way to see the thing that before could not even be imagined.

We just had a revelation like this in our Internet business. Every time we think of leaving the vendor we began with, we find they have offered more that we even knew about. We could have found these solutions some time ago, but we weren’t searching, yet they were there all along. We have been reminded many times that the initial choice of using this company was and is the best choice overall. There are pluses and minuses with every vendor, but in this case, we are reminded that the pluses once again outweigh the minuses.

I have come to the conclusion having seen this sort of thing so many times, that we really need not be stressed or impatient about finding. Finding is not the problem we think it is. It is the seeking, and before it, the desire for a solution that is the key. Without the desire and seeking, there is no need of finding, nor would finding be of any value.

Seek And Ye Shall Find. Still True. 

Spread Some Joy Today–by seeking your own joy and then you may find the desire to share it.

Daily Inspiration 5-27-16

“You are defined 
by who you love, 
not who loves you.” 

— Gratefulness.org 

Another way to say this is, we are defined by what we give, not what we get. I like how Alan Cohen puts it: “The more you align with your values, the more people and things you value will align around you.”

Perhaps another way to say it is that when we are giving, when we are loving, when we are allowing, we need not be the least concerned about what comes back to us in quantity or quality. And, I am sure that whatever quantity and quality it is will be more than enough.

Can someone be loved but not loving? Certainly. They could stay in that unloving state for their entire lives if they wanted to, but that doesn’t change the fact that they can be loved.

And that’s where it is. It is in our loving of the other, regardless of anything, that says who we really are. I suppose you’d have to say that the opposite is true too; however, I would have to add that this is the way they are choosing to be, but not the way they really are. When we get down to who we really are, there is nothing but love.

Love Is Always The Perfect Choice

Spread Some Joy Today–by choosing to let the real you out for a while.

Daily Inspiration 5-26-16

“In ordinary life 
we hardly realize 
that we receive a great deal more 
than we give, 
and that it is only with gratitude 
that life becomes rich.” 

— Dietrich Bonhoeffer 

I awoke this morning somewhere around 5:30 am. The clock couldn’t tell me what the time was because it was dark. I got up. It very quickly became clear that the power was off. The sun was just coming up and it was light outside, so I wandered around, then to my office area.

It’s always kind of exciting when something like this happens because it is a dramatic change from the norm. So, first thing, I decided to meditate for a bit. Then I thought about a cup of coffee, but that takes power, as does my normal breakfast. I thought about what I might do in the meantime. I’m sure the power will be on soon enough.

I got my iPhone and went to the PG&E website (our electrical and gas company), and saw that there was an outage in about a 2-mile circle around my house. They said it began and 5:14 am and had an unknown cause, that they were in transit to the site of the outage and estimated that it would be fixed by 9 am. Hmmm, I thought. . . four hours without power, how fun!

I pulled out my Kindle Fire to download a book I purchased yesterday, but it requires a Wi-Fi connection, as does my iPad when I tried to check the weather. I laughed. So I pulled out some papers of a project I’m currently working on. With windows and blinds open, there is plenty of light, so I turned the page to begin, and the power came on. It was 6:37 am. I thought, dang! Those PG&E people are quick! Back to my normal world of power and powered devices.

I thought how many people would be so upset by this, calling to complain, bashing PG&E for being too slow, not anticipating the outage, and a long list of blame. I thought how even when it came back on so quickly, they might find fault in how long it took, how they were inconvenienced. Complain, complain, complain.

Have you ever met anyone like that? Do you know someone like that? All they seem to do is to find fault, and it is 100% always outside of themselves. It’s always someone or some company or some other entity that is doing it to them. The smallest inconvenience is painful to them. They are lost outside of their norm.

Here I am celebrating this new opportunity, being amazed at how dependent I’ve become on electricity and powered devices, Internet connectivity, and more. I thought how unprepared I am to live this way without power, and yet there isn’t much point of preparing for it because it is such a rare occurrence. I do have a Coleman camp stove that I haven’t touched since I bought it twenty years ago or so. But those dang PG&E people are just too darn quick. I didn’t even get a chance to begin to adapt to my new environment.

The lesson for me in this trivial incident follows the quote above by Dietrich Bonhoeffer, in that I hardly realize that I receive a great deal more than I give. I give PG&E a little bit of money each month, and I get 30 days of power and gas. I get hot water as much as I want. I get to use my electric stove, my microwave oven, my regular oven, my Keurig coffee maker, and what would I do without my refrigerator? I get to type this into my computer, connected to the Internet (by a different provider, but still requires electricity), touching the entire world in some tiny way. I get to watch movies which I love to do. I get to have light when it is dark outside. I get to wash and dry my clothes, and so much more.

I get so much more than I give. I praise PG&E and the grid and their business in bringing me these powerful tools for a better life. I praise all of the manufacturers and providers of the things I use and the required services to use them. I pay such a dinky amount of money for these massively valuable services.

This Morning Was Another Unexpected Opportunity To See All The Value I Receive For Such A Paltry Remittance. How Blessed I Am In This Uneven Exchange. 

Spread Some Joy Today–by finding your gratitude renewed.

Daily Inspiration 5-25-16

“The roots of all goodness 
lie in the soil of appreciation 
for goodness.” 

— Dalai Lama 

In other words, appreciation feeds the roots and grows the plant or tree of our good. In better words, whatever you want more of, find a way to appreciate that wherever you see it, and if you don’t see it, imagine it.

Sometimes this seems abnormal. For example, the way to find a better job, or one you like instead of one you don’t like, is to find appreciation for the job you have. To many, that makes no sense. What makes more sense to them is that they should hate their job more in order to motivate them to make the change. Force the change might be a better way to phrase that.

But, the reality is that this only makes us more miserable, and we end up attracting more of that feeling from other aspects of our life. This isn’t working, that isn’t working, this sucks, that sucks, leading to a life sucks attitude, or an unworthiness attitude. I don’t deserve things to work in my favor because these things are happening to me. This is just the way things work out for me (powerlessness), and more.

Now, here’s the cool part. Just look at the last few paragraphs. How does the first one feel compared to the next two paragraphs? When things are not working out and we’re feeling down and maybe even sprinkled with some unworthiness and a dash of powerlessness, generously lathered with some fear and blame, are we feeling appreciation for those things? Are we happy they are here? Hell no. We’re pissed off and rehearsing the gathering storm of our unhappiness. 

Then maybe in some out-of-out-true-minds-way, we really are appreciating our unhappiness. In other words, we are feeling justified in it, getting comfortable with it, finding other things in our life and in the world that supports it, like being right and everything and everyone else is wrong, justifying our blame of the other or circumstances, and long list of supporting information.

Maybe you’ve met or known some people who seem to appreciate their unhappiness by continually attracting more of it in many different ways. It’s a whole bunch of feeling sorry for themselves, with the world against them–me against the world and all that fantasy turned reality.

Continuing with the cool part, is to open our eyes and our mind to what is going on. What are the fruits on this tree? How does it feel? How do I want to feel? What am I appreciating? What am I accepting? Who am I blaming? In what ways am I justifying my position? My emotions? Is this what I really want? Or, would I rather have goodness? Would I rather feel great? Would I rather have everything working for me than against me? It’s all about what we are appreciating or focusing on. Appreciation is simply focus. Value is focus. Worthiness is focus. So are their opposites.

What Are You Appreciating? 

Spread Some Joy Today–by being in your joy. Joy is a state of being. Be there.

Daily Inspiration 5-24-16

“To grow 
or not to grow. 
What a great question.” 

— Albert K. Strong 

Until two months ago, I have never had someone mow my lawn, edge, trim bushes, pull weeds, and other yard maintenance. I’ve always done it, but now it is much harder for me to do, and I’ve never really enjoyed doing it anyway. So, I hired a guy that was doing some work next door to do all of that for me.

He is from Mexico and I instantly loved him. He has such joy about him. He smiles a lot, seems appreciative, almost like he’s having fun doing what he does. His work is excellent, and I am thrilled to have him.

There is one issue though. He is not fluent in English.

I can imagine myself moving to Mexico, getting a job, or going into business and not speaking fluent Spanish. I imagine that it would be torture for me to only speak and understand a little while trying to do well. I imagined that this was the case with my new gardener too.

I wanted him to do something different by taking out my front lawn (well, it used to be a lawn before this long California drought), and putting in plants and some design elements. They call is xeriscaping–take out the water guzzling grass and add some far less thirsty hardy plants.

As I was trying to describe what I was thinking, he just didn’t understand what I was talking about. So we arranged for him to bring an interpreter. He brought his cute little hipster of a daughter to translate.

I said to her to translate that I would like to help him grow his business if he was interested in that, and that the number one thing on the menu would be to become fluent in English, or he would be limiting himself to mostly Spanish-speaking clients. He said to me that most of his clients are English-speaking. But, I’m not so sure since the next door and across the street customers speak Spanish.

But, he’s still limiting his business because he just does the same things: mow the lawn, edge the lawn, trim the ivy, use the leaf blower. He now does the next door neighbor’s house, my house and a new job across the street, but I am the only one asking for more and paying him more.

I could give you the whole conversation and how we came to an agreement to take out the lawn and do some landscape design, but the one point that stood out to me was how he was thinking that he’s doing okay without learning English better.

That caused me to think of how we all may find ways to just get by when what we really want deep down is so much more. It’s kind of a way of settling, of seeing compromise as success. Knowing what I know from so many years of business, I cannot imagine going to Mexico and obviously dealing with Mexican clients and not being fluent in Spanish. I might not be there in the beginning, but I can assure you that I would make that my top priority.

This caused me to wonder if I am settling in anything or things today. It’s okay to desire less, to be satisfied fully with less, but it is a very different matter to want more and then begin to accept less and get used to it by not paying attention to the bigger picture.

It’s Okay To Make Do. It’s Also Okay Not To. 

Spread Some Joy Today–by releasing those heavy thoughts. Lighten up!

Daily Inspiration 5-23-16

“Education is 
the kindling of a flame, 
not the filling of a vessel.” 

— Socrates 

Way back in 1972, I listened to a record where a guy said that there are only three jobs in life. He said they were, filling the things that are empty, emptying the things that are full, and scratching where it itches. Of course, it was funny at the time, but it is also very accurate. In fact, over these many years, I have looked at all kinds of jobs, businesses, professions, and activities and trying to decide where they fall in the three jobs of life. Many overlap and cover more than one, and sometimes, even all three jobs.

If you had asked me what was the job of education, I would have said without hesitation that it was filling the things that are empty. I now know that it is scratching where it itches.

A garbage worker’s job is to empty the things that are full, but it is also to fill the things that are empty (the landfill, the truck, etc.), but mainly it is to scratch where it itches. Why the last one? Just imagine the garbage people on strike for a couple of months. As simple as we may think a garbage worker’s job is, it is not so simple. It is not menial, but extremely important. In fact, I think of at home garbage collection and recycling as a joy to me. I can remember the time when there was no such thing and we had to deal with the garbage in our own ways.

It’s really been fun all these years to use that tidbit of knowledge learned in 1972, which I find myself using all the time. It’s fun to think about different jobs and how they fit in that basic philosophy. I haven’t found any yet that don’t fit.

Where Do The Tasks That You Do Fit Into The Three Jobs Of Life? 

Spread Some Joy Today–Well, since you’re here, you might as well have some fun with it, don’t you think?

Daily Inspiration 5-22-16

“Agape doesn’t love somebody 
because they are worthy. 

Agape makes them worthy 
by the strength and power of its love. 

Agape doesn’t love somebody 
because they’re beautiful. 

Agape loves in such a way 
that it makes them beautiful.” 

— Rob Bell 

Agape love is the love of God of us according to the Greek definition used in the Bible. It is the very definition of unconditional love. The Holy Spirit according to my understanding is that invisible entity that is quite real, and when we allow ourselves to be open to it and be touched by it, we are changed forevermore by its unconditional loving touch softening our heart and mind to be more loving and compassionate toward ourselves, as well as toward others. Yet once touched, we may still choose otherwise, because we have free will to do so.

Mark Nepo has a line that I had to write down that to me speaks of the love that is most common, and the agape love that is a challenge to hold on to. He said, “the strong live in the storm without worshiping the storm.” I’ll let that settle in because it is a very powerful phrase in my mind.

Love is one of the most interesting words in any language because it has so many different contextual meanings. Thousands of movies play with it. We hear it and see it all around us, and yet, almost none of that is agape, or unconditional love. That is because the vast majority of the love in the world is very much conditional.

It is conditional on millions of rules, beliefs, memories, and future projections. It is the kind of love that feels great when things are going well, when passion is in force, when kindness prevails. Think of it as good times love. As long as the times are good, there is love, and when the times are bad, it’s everyone for themselves.

Conditional love says that as long as you meet or come very close to my expectations, or match my worldview, I can be open to love you. I am willing to be more vulnerable in loving you. . . until. When that is would be anyone’s guess. It could last years, or months, or days. You could easily conclude that it is a temporary love. I give you my love for a while and we’ll just see how it goes. I feel your love for me and it feels great and I want it to last forever, but I know deep down it can never last.

Do something that pisses me off, and my love for you is no longer flowing. It is now subject to review. You are now on probation. Make it up to me in the right way, and we can get back into the flow. Maybe. It all depends on the depth of the cut. Some cuts never heal.

Maybe I do something I’m not particularly proud of but I got carried away in the momentary flow of that thing, and now you’ve found out and no longer love me. I’m deeply hurt and miss you terribly and wish only for your forgiveness and understanding. I didn’t mean to hurt you. I was careless for a moment. I am human. I want to make it up to you. Let me make it up to you. I’ll be better. I can change. I can be lovable again.

Well, I’m sure you get the drift here. Love as we know it in the world, or as Mark Nepo says, “in the storm,” is the way love is in general. We may have learned it from our family, or our peers, or the movies, or high school, but we learned it. It is almost inescapable. But, “the strong live in the storm without worshiping the storm.” The world can be as it will, to choose as it will, and it may be very similar to the idea of a storm all around us, yet we are one child of God who can be strong enough, brave enough, open enough, to choose to love without conditions, rules, beliefs. We can choose to think otherwise.

As we are connected (and we are all and always connected) to our Inner Being, or God within, our Christ Consciousness, or whatever label you enjoy using, we can plug into the unconditional love that is God’s love for us, and we can share that same unconditional love for others. We can feel its fullness, and express that same love. The more we are a vibrational match to our Inner Being–the more in alignment we are with that higher power within, the more we can sense this magical, marvelous, and miraculous thing called agape.

Just imagine for a time what it would be like if love around the world was truly unconditional. No rules. No hurts. No blame. No failures. Just love with a peace that defies understanding. We get to choose. We get to choose when.

I Have Begun. I Am In Practice. Join Me If You Desire To Do So. So Far, It Is A Most Enlightening And Inspiring Journey. 

Spread Some Joy Today–Agape love.

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