Month: August 2016

Daily Inspiration 8-31-16

The most valuable lessons 
I have ever learned in my life! 

“I’m grateful for always 
this moment, the now, 
no matter what form it takes.” 

— Eckhart Tolle 

Have you ever been overcome with a deep feeling of gratitude by thinking about something, reading something, listening to something, or watching something that it brings you to tears; to your knees, so to speak? I have felt this so many times. When it happens, it is often a surprise. I didn’t expect it, but I am so loving those few moments or minutes. I find myself in total appreciation of someone, or several for that experience, and what value they bestowed upon me.

I remember vividly, driving on the Grapevine between Bakersfield CA and the greater Los Angeles area many years ago, when as I was listening to a song, I just began crying, sobbing with joy and appreciation. It has happened when I’m reading something, listening to an audiobook, watching a movie, along with many other external stimuli, and it has also happened by simply thinking a thought, or recalling a memory. It just happened again yesterday as I read an inspirational message. There is nothing quite like that experience. It is exhilarating, and it is also draining, but a good draining, as if it is releasing toxins from within or something.

The word, gratitude, is a well-worn buzzword of the last twenty years or so, with hundreds, perhaps even thousands of books on that subject. So, generally, I prefer the word, appreciation instead because it is more descriptive. But, where I like to use the word, gratitude, is as a word that describes a myriad of thanks-giving ways, thinking and demonstrating appreciation, feeling and showing love, and much more. It is a great ‘catch-all’ word, that when used with that in mind, contains all manner of good feelings.

Recently, I took a previous Daily Inspiration and expanded it to a somewhat longer article, with a long title: To Say That Gratitude Has Changed My Life Is So Thin–Truly, It Has TRANSFORMED My Life! This is true. Gratitude has transformed my life. It has helped transform me from someone who took so many things for granted, to someone who notices with all my senses, and I find myself wherever I go in almost constant gratitude.

Oh, as many of us may do, I’ve held gratitude in the past for certain things, special events, special people. That’s easy. But it isn’t life transforming. The difference for me is that I began taking to heart what Paul said in the Bible in 1 Thessalonians 5:18: “in everything give thanks; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.” I first read that in 1996, and it touched me and I began to allow that idea in, and little by little, I found that it was possible to live like that, and so I began allowing it to be a part of me.

I began to ask, what about this can I appreciate? I would especially ask this if something I was noticing was not pleasant, or not to my immediate liking. Is there anything to appreciate in an ugly situation? Yes. How about the worst of so-called disasters? Absolutely. We only need turn toward what can be appreciated in that, or in other words, change our focus. It might be like in a movie where they pan out, or back away from a scene and now the scene we previously saw is a much smaller thing relative to all that surrounds it. A bigger picture, if you will. That changes the entire view of the event. It’s just a matter of what you want to see.

I’ve shared this bit from Abraham, Esther Hicks that I have on my wall to better explain about the last line in the last paragraph: “Today, no matter where I’m going and no matter what I am doing, it is my dominant intent to see that which I am wanting to see.” What do I want to see? I want to see beauty, peace, love, joy, empowerment, freedom, wonder, awe, and to appreciate things, other people, the air that surrounds us all, the sounds of the day and time and location, the smells. I want my senses to be alive and to be grateful for all of it; grateful for living, for being alive, for being a creation and a creator, a student and a teacher, a lover and a friend.

As with patience, gratitude is a practice. As I practice, I find more and more and more to be grateful for, as I find more opportunities to enjoy patience. It probably sounds funny to say that I enjoy being patient, but that is what happens when it becomes a practice. Gratitude is exactly the same in that as I am grateful, I find so much more to be grateful for. And, as that has taken hold, and I’ve turned it into a practice, it has transformed my life, which affects all those I touch in some delightful way.

My Life Is Transformed, One Blessing At A Time. 

Spread Some Joy Today–by practicing your joy and turning your joy into a practice.

Daily Inspiration 8-30-16

The most valuable lessons 
I have ever learned in my life! 

“Happiness is 
not something to pursue. 
Happiness is 
something we accept.” 

— Albert K. Strong 

Life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. . . Great words from the Declaration of Independence. And, of course, the word pursuit can mean to chase after, or expend effort to secure or obtain, or it can be like an occupation, pastime, or better stated, a way of living. To have our life; our inherent right to live, to be free, and to choose happiness; live in happiness.

Happiness is not something the pursue. The pursuit of it would only attract more pursuit of it, rather like a dog chasing its own tail. It is not something that is outside of us. It is not in a thing, a circumstance, or and event, location, or another person. Happiness is not finding the right person. Happiness is not finding the right circumstances. Happiness is not achievement or success. Although, all of these are often promoted in advertising, and in other means, as if this were true.

Happiness is 100% totally an inside job. It is something we choose and accept. We could be on death row and in these dire circumstances choose to be happy. We could be the wealthiest person on the planet and not be happy. In every person, happiness is always and readily available as we choose it and accept it individually. Life, liberty, and thereby the ability to choose happiness.

When we find things that please us, we feel good because the thoughts we have about those found things are pleasing thoughts, or we could say, happy thoughts. It isn’t the thing that makes us happy, it is the thought we have of the thing. When we are attracted to another person, we feel good, or we could say, they make us happy, but what it really is is the thoughts we have about that encounter that creates the feeling we might call happiness.

Yet, we are free to choose happiness in any moment, at any time, with or without external stimuli. Happiness is simply, and exquisitely, a choice to have a happy thought–to think thoughts that feel good or feel happy, or to feel that stronger feeling of happiness that is called joy.

We can choose happiness while waiting in line, while getting a root canal, taking a shower, driving our car, or whatever. All we do is to choose a thought that feels good.

If you’ve been to church, you might have heard the phrase, God is good. All. The. Time. It is common for the pastor to say the first part and the congregation to yell out the last part. It feels good to hear it and say it, because it is true. I love how Abraham, Esther Hicks explains that feeling good is being in alignment with our Inner Being, or it could equally be stated as Immanuel, or God within, and that when we are not feeling good, we are then out of alignment, and that this inner guidance can accurately, effectively, and divinely direct our lives.

That would mean that feeling happiness is in alignment with God, or Inner Knowing, The Universe, All That Is, or any name that pleases you. You can feel that matching vibration within your body, and mind. This alignment is why happiness is such a valuable thing for us. It is why it is worthy of pursuit, except that pursuit is within not without.

Learning that I choose happiness or not is one the the most important lessons I’ve learned in my life. You could say that I am in pursuit of happiness, at least in the third meaning of that word where I am living it by constantly choosing and accepting it.

I Choose Happiness. Every Day. 

Spread Some Joy Today–by choosing it, accepting it, sharing it.

Daily Inspiration 8-29-16

The most valuable lessons
I have ever learned in my life!

“They say,
patience is a virtue.
But what it really is,
is a practice.”

— Albert K. Strong

Well, sure, patience is a virtue. And, absolutely, I have found that patience is a practice–a very worthy practice. And, in actually playing in that practice, I have found patience to be even more. Patience is peace. It is love. It is kindness to ourselves.

When I look into my memory banks, I can see that patience was a foreign idea to me and that if anything, I was quite an impatient person. At the grocery store, I would be so busy with negative thoughts about why they didn’t have enough cashiers when it was time to check out, how slow some of them were, and more. I had those thoughts where ever I shopped. Waiting in line was something I was constantly trying to avoid. Let’s get on with it!

Then I read, Love Is Letting Go Of Fear, by Gerald Jampolsky. He said that we are trying to juggle so many things and that he chose one goal in his life that allowed everything else to fall into place without even having to think much about it directly. That one goal was peace–peace of mind. He wrote, “Peace of mind as our single goal is the most potent motivating force we can have.”

Impatience is fear. It doesn’t seem that way on the surface, but that is what it is. As Gerald says in the title: Love is letting go of fear. And, so also, Peace is letting go of fear. Peace is the same as love. It has the same vibration. Peace is also the same vibration as appreciation, joy, and freedom.

I took the message of this book to heart and began practicing letting go of the fear that was underlying all that impatience, disappointment, and distrust, and replacing it with a sense of peace, love, patience, kindness, joy.

I began where I felt the most impatience: when I was driving. I used to get so upset with all the idiots on the road. My father used to do that too. I’m sure that’s where I learned it; although, I perfected it on my own. So when someone made a stupid move where I could see it, I decided to say something like, “Wow! That was interesting! I wouldn’t have thought to do it that way. That’s really a different way to do it.” I did it when I was alone and when my wife and/or family, or others were riding with me. It began to be fun. I enjoyed it. I was looking for silly moves so that I could compliment them on it. It was a great game.

Then, I tried having patience in the stores, and in every other place I would have been impatient. Sometimes I was gritting my teeth as I was practicing, but that didn’t really last very long. It became so much fun, that I changed my whole outlook. Cashiers would say, “sorry for the wait,” and I would say, “It allowed me to practice my patience, and I can use all the practice I can get! Thank you!”

Now, after many years of practice, I find very little that causes me to even have any impatience, or if I do, I am not so aware anymore. Now it is a habit to find people to appreciate, to have thoughts of love, to enjoy my practice as I wait in line, or in the “waiting room,” or wherever my practice takes me. And, I feel the peace of this. I feel the love of it. I feel the freedom of it. I feel the kindness that I have poured on myself by it.

Peace Is A Most Happy Place. 

Spread Some Joy Today–because we can and it feels good. That’s all the reason we need.

Daily Inspiration 8-28-16

The most valuable lessons 
I have ever learned in my life! 

“Depression is just a thought. 
So is joy. 
They don’t happen to us. 
We happen to them.” 

— Albert K. Strong 

This morning, as I was becoming awakened, but not yet having my eyes open–you know, that semi-dream state and semi-awake state just before our eyes open to the new day. From that place, I heard the Mission Impossible theme music, and a recording that said, “Good morning, Mr. Minion. Your mission, Terry, should you decide to accept it, is to enjoy yourself–to be injoy throughout the day today. Contrary thoughts and situations will come your way, and it is your job to see that joy rules. . .”

I started laughing because it was so wonderful, and yet so bizarre at the same time. Where did that come from? I haven’t got a clue, but I was loving it just the same as if I did it on purpose. What a delightfilled way to awaken to a new day!

Wayne Dyer says, “We deserve to feel joy–it’s our spiritual calling. So whatever it takes to feel joy, we simply must act upon it.” I agree totally.

I don’t know when this change took place in my psyche, but it had to be in the last eight years or so. It began slowly, and then increased over time to the point that it has become a mantra of mine to enjoy myself, or better stated, to injoy myself, or to be in joy throughout my day. It’s not nearly the challenge that some think it is. It requires no work. It only requires letting go of the stuff in and around us, and once done, even if only done a little, the natural joy that is within us is exposed more and more. If we clear the stuff on an ongoing basis, then joy is exposed more and more often and to greater and greater degrees.

I have let go of the stuff enough now to have joy exposed in me every single day, and some days, it just rocks my world. Like today. I can just feel it rocking my world as I write this on Sunday morning at 7:25 am on August 28th, 2016. I know without a smidgen of doubt that today will be a truly joyous day. I can feel it. I know it. It is already.

Yesterday’s valuable lesson was the fact that we all get to choose our perspective, our thoughts about anything. About ourselves, about others, about the neighbors, the city, the state, the country, the world, and anything and everything that goes on in these of which we have some awareness. So today, and every day now, I choose my experience by uncovering my natural inner joy–that little fun kid inside that loves to be amazed, loves to laugh, loves to have fun, loves to make light of things. 

Although these lifetime lessons that I’m sharing are not in any particular order of importance, in that I think they are equally important, I think yesterday and today are really number one and two. I choose my perspective, my reality, my thoughts, and I choose joy. It’s the ole’ one-two punch! Wham! Bang! Bip! Bap! Yeah! Done!

By the way, at the end of every CTS Daily Inspiration is the idea to “spread some joy today,” with a little message. Today’s message will be the 2,525th time. None were repeated unless unconsciously. That’s a lot of ideas on spreading joy! That’s a lot of being injoy!

I hope that you injoy your day today! It’s not up to me, but if it were, you would.

What A Wonderful World. I’ve Accepted And Embraced The Mission. Nothing Is Impossible. 

Spread Some Joy Today–by uncovering the debris that seems so dang important. It’s covering one of the most valuable assets and possessions you could possibly own: your joy. There’s an abundance of it–a never-ending supply.

Daily Inspiration 8-27-16

The most valuable lessons 
I have ever learned in my life! 

“There is nothing either good or bad 
but thinking makes it so.” 

— William Shakespeare 

It is what we say it is. It is what we think it is. It is what we feel about what we think it is. It is what we believe it is by what we think, say, feel, and do. There is no such thing as the truth, but as many truths as there are those to think something about truth. In other words, we make it all up. We may choose to believe what someone else made up, but if not us, someone made it up somewhere along the line.

Everything is neutral until we make it something.

This lesson from William Shakespeare has always been one of my favorite quotes from my first reading of it. It caused me to consider what it was saying, and I have taken its message to heart, and in so doing, it has changed my life for the better.

I need to periodically remind myself by looking at it again, or remembering that whatever I am looking at, I am deciding what that is by what I am thinking, and consequently feeling about it.

When I was very young, I was being taught right from wrong, often accompanied by punishment if I chose incorrectly. I didn’t much like pain, so I endeavored to learn the right and avoid the wrong, but sometimes I was just not paying attention and wandered off into the wrong territory. I also learned that this wasn’t really so much of a problem unless my parents found out.

It’s like today. Every time I get in my truck, I break the law. I don’t try to, but sometimes I’m just not paying close enough attention. Going 30 mph in a 25 mph area, going 70 or 75 mph on the freeway keeping up with all the other people doing at least that, and some much more, when the speed limit is 65 mph. Every single time I drive anywhere, I break the letter of the law somewhere along the way. I’m not alone by any stretch of the imagination, and luckily, it is rare to get caught in these errors.

There are a lot of things like this where choices are made that have a label of good or bad, legal or illegal, right or wrong, appropriate or inappropriate, and more. We make it all up–every bit of it. Someone just decided to set a speed limit at a certain level, and they made up what the punishment would be if they caught you exceeding it, and sometimes, or maybe often, by how much.

It’s all made up by someone. In fact, there are entire governments that are fashioned around all of this stuff, with courts, lawyers, judges, jails, and treasuries to handle the load of wrong-doers, law-breakers, and such. It’s an entire bureaucracy in action.

And thinking makes it so.

I get to choose too. I get to choose my thinking. I get to choose what I want to label something. I get to choose how I feel about something by what my thoughts are on the subject. Others may have their thoughts and feelings, and they may or may not match my own, so we all get to choose.

What a fantastic lesson this is to learn. I get to choose all of it. I make it so by what I choose to think about it. I create my own beliefs. I create good or bad. I create right or wrong. Others may choose as well. They may even try to get me to believe what they believe, to think what is true is what they say is true. So be it. Let them choose. We cannot really stop it anyway. And, the good news about that is that they cannot stop me either.

It Is What I Think, Say, And Believe It Is. I Alone Decide For Myself As I Allow That. 

Spread Some Joy Today–by making your own choices about joy or not joy, spreading it or not spreading it. Do as you wish. Consider it as you will.

Daily Inspiration 8-26-16

“Confidence is the most important 
single factor in this game, 
and no matter how great your talent, 
there is only one way 
to obtain it–work.” 

— Jack Nicklaus 

Hmmmm. Certainly work, or rather, a better word would be practice, is something that can lead one to have increasing confidence. Yet, the word, work, and especially when it is preceded by the word, hard, is only of real and profitable value when doing something we are driven to do, love to do, can’t wait to do, as was obviously the case with Jack Nicklaus, and I’m sure all the top golfers then and now. And, then, in my mind, it is no longer associated with that four-letter word, work. It certainly would be more appropriately associated with the word, play.

But, the reason I chose this quote was the idea that confidence comes from work. I know for sure and for certain that it is indeed, the most important single factor in the game, or any game, or any task, of any kind. And maybe it can come from practice, or work, or even hard work. Yet, confidence is not a thing to be received or attained. It is simply a thought, and a feeling, that creates a temporary belief. 

This thought, resultant feeling, and temporary belief can just as easily come from our imagination, and perhaps even more powerfully and fully than through any amount of practice or work. In fact, work is sort of a backward way to the feeling and belief of confidence. It’s an action way. The faster, easier, smoother way is through imaginary visualization.

Confidence is a feeling. It is the result of thought. And, from the place of a desire to do a thing, it is a very desirable feeling to feel. There are many routes to every destination.

I Think I Can. I Think I Am. I Know I Am. It Is. I Am. 

Spread Some Joy Today–You’ll know it when you feel it, and so will everyone else.

Daily Inspiration 8-25-16

“The most radical act 
anyone can commit 
is to be happy.” 

— Patch Adams 

I know that happiness is not something that is achieved. It is something that is chosen. It is not found, because it isn’t lost. It’s always there and ready at a moment’s notice. I choose happiness. That’s the choice. And, the easy way to happiness is choosing how you see things. It’s all about thoughts.

Here’s a great piece from The Universe, a.k.a., Mike Dooley of tut.com:

“When in a hurry, step #1 for changing the entire world is falling in love with it as it already is. 


Same for changing yourself. 


And, best of all, with this approach, there is no step #2.” 

Loving It The Way. . . It Is . . . They Are. . . I Am. 

Spread Some Joy Today–Let loose on your happiness today. Here’s a great question: What do you have to lose? I’m sure you have a good answer for that!

Daily Inspiration 8-24-16

“The essence of a belief is that we own it, 
regardless of what’s happening around us. 
If you can be easily swayed by data, 
then it’s not much of a belief.” 

— Seth Godin 

In yesterday’s post, I mentioned the movie, The Confirmation and that there were several good discussion points in the movie. Yesterday, I pointed out one that stood out to me from the father and son interactions, and today I’ll share another I gleaned from the film.

The son was confused about things. He didn’t know what to think. He heard things about his estranged father from others and he didn’t know if they were true, or even how he felt about the remarks. His father, showing a beautiful bit of wisdom, said that he needed to listen to what others say, and then make up your own mind. He mentioned that he needed to decide for himself several times.

So what is a belief? It is simply a thought we continue to think, or a something we have made a decision about for whatever reason, and we consider it to be truth. The solidity of that truth is often tested by data from others, and we can continually modify our truths to match that of another, or many others (groups always seem to have more power, but that is simply an illusion), or we can allow that data to pass us by, holding on to our chosen thoughts.

The wise advice to the son to make up his own mind is great, but how does that work? How would he know what to believe and what not to believe? He would know it by how he feels deep inside–not the reaction to the data that will cause a feeling response, but the somewhat deeper response to the information, an inner knowing. An inner knowing is what resonates with our higher self, our inner being, the God within us, our soul, our Spirit, or choose your own words, but I’m sure you know to what I refer.

Resonance is a fascinating thing. It is a thing of beauty. It is Divine Guidance. It is Inspiration. It is a certain truth of truths that only we know within.

Way back in 1980, I owned a musical instrument store in Napa CA. I was a guitar player, and sold a lot of guitars. There is nothing quite like a well-tuned guitar, except maybe a delightfully skilled musician playing it. I saw many of them come into the store. We had a lot of students and they often found tuning to be challenging. We found a guitar tuner that was very inexpensive at only $9.95 and it was called the Match-A-Tone guitar tuner. It had a dial and you would turn it on, choose the string note, and it would generate a tone and all the student needed to do was to match that tone. It was pretty obvious when they matched. A little low or a little high was easy to hear, and when it was in tune, the string resonated with the tuner tone.

That’s how we know. It resonates within us. It matches the tone of our inner knowing. It has the same vibration. It is in complete harmony. We don’t need to think about it, because we know it by how it feels. You can feel resonance. You can feel the out of tune-ness, or disparity that is the lack of resonance. It feels off. It feels out of tune. If feels like the vibrations don’t match.

That would have been so valuable to the son so that the son not only made his own decision, but checked in with. and connected with his inner all knowing wisdom until he found resonance. That is also a great way to periodically test our beliefs to see if we should continue to believe them, or let them go in favor of something that matches our inner knowing.

You Know It When It Resonates, When It Is A Vibrational Match Inside You. 

Spread Some Joy Today–by allowing your joy to flow. The only thing that can stop your joy from flowing is your thoughts. It is also your thoughts that allow your joy to flow. What are you thinking?

Daily Inspiration 8-23-16

“When you change 
the way you look at things, 
the things you look at change.” 

— Wayne Dyer 

I watched a powerfully good movie last night that just came out on video, The Confirmation, with Clive Owen, and Jaeden Lieberher in the lead as father and son. There were a number of interesting points worth discussing in this flick, and this morning, I’ll focus on one very simple, and yet profound thing.

In the movie, Clive is a craftsman–a finishing carpenter. He wanted his son to be more appreciative of things because they are made by people. Somebody made that. Several people worked on that to create this. He asked his son, have you thought about who made your pants? Or your shirt. People made them. Someone sewed them together. When you go across a bridge, think about all the people it took and the skills it took to build that bridge. He was also suggesting that loving what we do and taking some pride in doing it well was a virtue to contemplate.

So today, I will pay more attention. I will pay homage to all those people who made the things that I enjoy. My bookshelves (numerous!), guitars, the computer I’m typing on, people that grew the plants that are in my courtyard, my truck which serves me well, the clothes I’m wearing and those in my closet, the carpet I walk on, the kitchen I cook in, along with all the pots, pans, knives, eating utensils, Tupperware containers, the blinds on the windows, the windows themselves, the roof over my head, the cement in the sidewalk.

There are literally thousands of things to give thanks for within just a few feet of where I stand, and of the things that we appreciate and like, we may do that from time to time, but we probably haven’t, as I haven’t opened my awareness to all the people involved in making all these thousands of things that aid my life in so many ways.

Appreciating All The People Who Created And Produced All The Stuff Of Life. 

Spread Some Joy Today–by finding joy wherever you go, whatever you do, whomever you’re with.

Daily Inspiration 8-22-16

“If you’d like to teach 
a kid to ride a bike, 
training wheels are a bad idea.” 

— Seth Godin 

Seth continues: “You’re much better off with a small bike with no pedals. All training wheels do is confuse, distract or stall.” And, since Seth Godin is a marketing author and expert, he adds, “the same is true for marketing. You don’t need to go to school for four years. You need to do marketing.” He also says that “the same thing is true for leadership. Find something worth doing, find others to join in.”

Have you ever tried to ride a bike with training wheels? I tried it once and it felt completely stupid. One of the unique things about a bike is that it has a roll axis, unlike a car with four wheels. In other words, we can lean right or left, and in fact, that ability to lean has a great deal to do with riding a bike, and training wheels stops the roll axis, and you can watch a little kid on a bike with training wheels trying to lean and they can’t. It’s a silly protectionist thing that a parent would put on a bike because they are afraid the child will come to harm. But it slows the process of learning to a crawl.

I have a pilot’s license and it would be like trying to fly a plane with it attached to a pole. A plane has, even more, freedom than a bike because instead of two axes, roll, and yaw, it has three–roll, pitch, and yaw. Left or right leaning, up or down, and right or left pointing. Training wheels on a bike limit the rider to one axis: yaw. It takes all the freedom away.

Our freedom is in our ability to decide, to do or to act. As we consider the fear of decision’s ramifications, and/or the unknown aspects of doing something we may have never done before, we attach training wheels to our life. It feels crappy but safer, and yet, it isn’t safe at all. We can feel inside that it doesn’t feel right. We can feel the resistance and the restraint involved. We have imprisoned ourselves, lost our freedom.

Because we so strongly want freedom, we rebel against the self-created resistance and restraint, and with the ego’s complete cooperation, we begin blaming others, external forces, and more. And yet, our freedom is always fully in our control if we will only become aware of that power. Training wheels will not help us learn to use this power, we must simply exercise it, trust it will all be okay and move.

Freedom is also our willingness and ability to fail and to learn from those failures. The label, fail or failure is made up. Truly there are only results, and we can then make adjustments if the results are not as desired. Pema Chodron wrote a short book about leaning into the unknown. The title is, Fail. Fail Again. Fail Better. 

Take Off The Training Wheels. Freedom Awaits. 

Spread Some Joy Today–by experiencing and spreading joy. Now.

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