Month: July 2018

Daily Inspiration 7-31-18

“A critic is someone who 
never actually goes to the battle, 
yet who afterward
comes out shooting the wounded.” 

— Tyne Daly 

[Classic post from 5-19-14]

It so easy to be critical. Often those critics are using some arbitrary standard to measure something, someone, or perhaps us by in comparison, and this causes so many of them to look for what is wrong, or what is not right or as good as the standard. Unless the standard is very low, this is an uphill battle at best.

Joseph Addison said it well: “A true critic ought to dwell upon excellencies rather than imperfections, to discover the concealed beauties of a writer, and communicate to the world such things as are worth their observation.” I like the first part, but not the latter.

Jean-Michel Basquiat said, “I don’t listen to what art critics say. I don’t know anybody who needs a critic to find out what art is.”

How many movies have you watched that you loved that the critics trashed? What is interesting to me about art, movies, music and much more, is that sometimes I get it and get excited about something on the first attempt. Other times, if I am willing to look again after first not getting it, I often get it even better. It’s sort of how left-overs often taste better the next day.

Then there is the fact that I see more than I saw the first time. I watched the first year of the TV show, Longmire sometime back, and thought I would watch again. Each episode is so much better than I remembered them, and back then I thought they were good. I know a lot of movies that are that way with me. One is Larry Crowne with Tom Hanks. It was good the first time, and now that I have enjoyed it several times, I find so many more attributes. Based on the reviews I’ve seen of that movie, they must have missed all that I’ve found.

Then, there is that falling in love at first sight thing. It happens, but I think it happens more often by finding attractive qualities over a bit of time and see something with more depth at the same time. None of us needs a critic. Nor do the movies, music, whatever.

There will always be the personal choices we make, things that resonate with us and those that don’t, and these are just choices–as long as that is where we leave it be.

My Choices Are Not Critique, But Preferences. 

Spread Some Joy Today–Today is Tuesday, and it is a grand day. Spread that joy.

Daily Inspiration 7-30-18

“Live in the sunshine, 
swim in the sea, 
drink the wild air.” 

— Ralph Waldo Emerson 

[Classic post from 5-18-14]

Henry David Thoreau said it his way: “You must live in the present, launch yourself on every wave, find your eternity in each moment.” I might have left out the word ‘must’ since it is purely a choice. . .

I am in love with the practicality and helpful direction from Abraham and Esther Hicks:

“Milk every moment for all the pleasure you can get from it. When you say, “It is my dominant intent to look for things that feel good today. No matter where I’m going, no matter what I’m doing, no matter who I’m doing it with, it is my dominant intent to look for what I’m wanting to see, to look for things that feel good,” and the more you develop the habit of that kind of vibration–the more the Universe understands that that’s who you are! And so, the more you have access only to those kinds of things.”

When I combine that quote with this bit of clarification, it falls into place: “Mining the moment for something that feels good, something to appreciate, something to savor, something to take in, that’s what your moments are about.”

Mining the moment. . . what a wonderful way to put that. I might be standing in line, maybe even a long line as I was just the other day, and find things all around me to appreciate, to feel good about, to be thankful for. That’s really what it comes down to in all our lives I think. When we are going through our daily lives, doing our daily things, with various people around us, driving on the freeway, stopped in traffic, dealing with phone calls, working on computers, learning how to do or use things, and millions of other moments we live every single day, if we remember to mine the moment for something that feels good, something to appreciate, something to savor, and something to take in, we then are actually living in the moment and my life changes for the better in each of those moments.

As I Do This More Often, I Live More Fully And Joyfully. 

Spread Some Joy Today–by focusing on things and people to appreciate, savor, enjoy.

Daily Inspiration 7-29-18

“Love is like a snail. 
It comes and it goes 
and it leaves a silvery trail.” 

— Carmen Schleiger 

[Classic post from 5-17-14]

The quote above was in a beautiful letter to me toward the end of my first romantic love relationship. I was about 18 as I recall. I can remember others with whom I loved, many of them didn’t know it, but that didn’t change the feeling.

In grade school, it was Laurie Dempsey. She only lived 3 blocks away too. But, what does a boy in 4th grade know about love? It matters not, as I still love her today when I think about her, although I cannot even remember what she looks like. It doesn’t change the feeling.

In high school, there were a few that I can recall with similar feelings, and I even took the privilege to dance with one at my 20th reunion. She became a Park Ranger and I thought that was fascinating.

Then at 21, I got married to Alice, and for 16 years we had a strange and interesting relationship. I fell in love with her the very first time I saw her. She lived next door. We sort of helped each other grow up, and as happens with any two people, we grew apart wanting different things, something more. I love her as much as I ever did, maybe more.

At last, bringing me to the present, I had an answer to prayer as obvious as any can be in the chance, or rather, not-so-chance meeting of Nancy in Hawaii while on a trip. It was April 30th, 1987 and on June 13th we were together as a family. For 26 years, we loved and lived and helped each other grow up. Nancy passed in August of last year and I love her as much as I ever did, and even more.

I was thinking about grief today. Maria Snyder said this on the subject: “Everyone grieves in different ways. For some, it could take longer or shorter. I do know it never disappears. An ember still smolders inside me. Most days, I don’t notice it, but, out of the blue, it’ll flare to life.” I think this is true enough. At first, I thought the sentence about it never disappearing was harsh, but as I thought about that, I saw how this has been true throughout my life.

Another quote from Khalil Gibran spoke a bit more true to me when he said, “When you part from your friend, you grieve not; For that which you love most in him may be clearer in his absence, as the mountain to the climber is clearer from the plain.”

As people have left my daily life in however that has come about, I find no sadness, and only greater love, respect, and joy. My love is expanded in seeing the silvery trail as clarity is allowed by the absence. My respect is enhanced in seeing more of the real purpose and how others are touched. My joy is increased by the realization of how lucky I was to be a part, for whatever length of time, and at whatever level I could have been involved with such a beautiful and wonderful person as they. I am also quite thankful to have grown to a place I never was before.

At the same time, I know they are not gone, and yet remain in a different form. They can never be gone, for they are in me, being part of me, and making me more.

My Grief Has Turned To Joy. I Am Blessed. 

Spread Some Joy Today–by counting your many blessings and using that grand foundation to touch someone else.

Daily Inspiration 7-28-18

“If you have an apple
and I have an apple
and we exchange these apples
then you and I will still each have one apple. 
But, if you have an idea 
and I have an idea 
and we exchange these ideas, 
then each of us will have two ideas.” 

— George Bernard Shaw 

[Classic post from 5-16-14]

This is the whole idea of the value of information. The Internet has changed the access of virtually anyone to information, and at the same time, allows virtually anyone to share information. It is the perfect meaning of giving and take.

There are still those that think that their value is in controlling the information. This is competitive thinking in that I have it and they do not, so I have the power and they do not. This also applies to the products they control. I have it and they do not. I like to call it the “If-you-build-it-they-will-come” theory from the movie, Field of Dreams. And an even better way to see it visually is that they are trying with this control to gain a larger slice of the existing pie or gain a larger market share, or more sales from the ever so limited marketplace. Or so it seems.

A far better way that the Internet has proven so well is to create a bigger pie and then everyone can have more. You do that by sharing information, product, services, ideas. What if everyone improved? What if everyone benefited? What if the market got bigger instead of being static? All of this is true by adopting the non-competitive idea of sharing or partnering with others.

The real value is in doing something with the information. The information only gives us an opportunity, and in seizing that opportunity by acting on it, making use of it, even so in sharing it with others, our own value is enhanced and at the same time, others receive value and can do the same as we and increase their value.

I’ve proven this over and over again in the sharing of unique inventory in commercial trucks, guitars, and many other products. Rather than see the store in the next town as a competitor, share information, and create a partnership instead. The first way is the static pie that we try to get a larger share of, and the second is creating a larger pie. In fact, in our Internet marketing business, we have a unique service, and we freely share everything that we do and so you could do the same thing, but the real value for us is in the doing. The real value for our clients is in our doing it for them and with them.

This idea that I am sharing applies to so many things in business and without. The more we help each other, the better we all are.

We All Learn More In The Sharing Of Knowledge And Skill. YouTube Is A Perfect Example. 

Spread Some Joy Today–Increase your own value and that of others by the act of doing (creating joy for yourself), and sharing that with others.

Daily Inspiration 7-27-18

“If her past were your past, 
her pain your pain, 
her level of consciousness 
your level of consciousness, 
you would think and act exactly as she does. 

With this realization 
comes forgiveness, 
compassion, and peace.” 

 — Eckhart Tolle 

[Classic post from 5-15-14]

It is so easy for us to think that we would be different when we see someone, even a friend in pain and despair. That is what divides us all. It is only a game to claim compassion for someone at this level. It is fake and insincere.

Even if it were an opponent, where practicing forgiveness could bring us together, the facade of false forgiveness keeps us apart and stranded in our own view from our own perspective. We cannot understand how they could be this way precisely because we are not.

Yet as Eckhart Tolle so accurately explains, IF, and that is a big IF. If their past were our past, and IF their pain were our pain, and IF their level of consciousness were our own, how in the world could we not think and act as they do? We would be exactly as they are now.

However, if we can empathize with them; that is, try to put ourselves in their shoes for a bit, try to feel what they may be feeling, try to understand where they’ve been and how they are now, we might assemble an image of ourselves in that place and recognize our own desire for compassion, empathy, and care. As we realize this place, we are empowered by such to feel for them with compassion, help them and ourselves with forgiveness, and create a peace within both of us.

We All Have Times And Issues Where A Little Bit Of Compassion, Forgiveness, and Peace Would Be Of Great Benefit. 

Spread Some Joy Today–by teaching it to others.

Daily Inspiration 7-26-18

“Living in a way that reflects one’s values 
is not just about what you do,
it is also about how you do things.” 

— Deborah Day 

[Classic post from 5-14-14]

I’m sure you’ve heard it said to “take time to reflect.” The idea is to reflect, or look at the past and try to gain some wisdom or insight from it. I used to do that often–in fact, too often I think. There is something to be gained from this perhaps, but I’ve found something better.

I wanted to take charge of my reflection. Pay attention to what I reflect, for what I reflect onto others, to the world outside, is pretty much what is inside. I like how Wayne Dyer said, “What comes out of your when you are squeezed is what is inside of you.” Often it is during testing times that we see the real people exposed.

As I pay attention to my reflection, I am aware that I must make my concentration on the inside so that what shows on the outside, or what comes out in my speech and action is what I want. Whatever is inside will be matched in the reflection, even if we try to cover some things, or try to be someone we are not.

What Is Your Reflection Saying, Doing, Being? 

Spread Some Joy Today–Simply decide to have joy. Say, ‘I will experience joy today.’ Of course, you need not wait. Say, ‘I will experience joy right now!’ Then, if that feels good, do it again, and again, and again. . .

Daily Inspiration 7-25-18

“Let me never fall 
into the vulgar mistake 
of dreaming that I am persecuted 
whenever I am contradicted.” 

— Ralph Waldo Emerson 

[Classic post from 5-13-14]

Being contradicted may often feel that we are less than we thought we were; less smart, less wise; less enlightened. I think that if we feel strongly about our point of view, or better said, that it resonates with us, there is no reason for us to change where we are and how we see things. At the same time, it is creative and certainly open-minded to hear that contradiction and see if any of it resonates with us. There is always something to learn, and perhaps what someone else is offering as a contradiction can turn out to add to our resonance creating even more of a bond.

Often, we may initially realize that we are mounting a defense to a perceived attack on us. It seems sort of logical or rational to become defensive. In this reaction, we might imagine a counter-offensive to convince the other party in the virtues of our point of view. This is the ego in control and does not allow us to learn anything from the exchange.

Why would we think that we must convince another to our point of view? Expressing our view is one thing, trying to defend it against contradiction is another. If we were really paying attention to the exchange and our feelings, we might realize that our position doesn’t really resonate with us at all.

If where we stand resonates, it is beyond the ego and requires no defense. It just is. Allowing others to have alternative positions and celebrate them at the same time, is love and respect.

That’s A Good Place To Be And Why It Feels Good. 

Spread Some Joy Today–Being that which resonates within you is pure joy.

Daily Inspiration 7-24-18

“Do the thing 
and you will have the power.”

— Ralph Waldo Emerson 

[Classic post from 5-12-14]

Decisions are nice and necessary. Thinking is the foundation of change. Yet, change indicates movement. Call it action, or movement, or whatever, but that energy is a power in and of itself. And, the better news about that is that this power is fueled and increased substantially in the movement.

Lao Tzu said it so well in this very popular quote: “A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.” It is also the most important step of the journey. Without it, there would be no others.

I remember back in late 2007 when I built my first website. For a few years previously, I had entertained the thought of having a website to help me achieve more. I longed for someone magically do it for me, for surely I, knowing not a thing about websites, felt that it was almost impossible, and certainly improbable for me to do it, so I prayed for a savior. What came was not a savior, but probably even more powerful than that. What came was the end of my frustration that this was not getting done just thinking about it, and one day out of the blue, I just got on the computer, did some searching and learning and in no time at all, there it was my first website. You would have thought I gave birth. Such joy and triumph.

That first step led to the next and with each step came more power, more creativity, more tools, more options, more expertise, and while I still know how, I now have people who do this far better than I thereby completing the original idea of having someone doing it for me. That’s a lot of power from one single idea and thought.

I find that almost everything I do is just like a thousand mile journey and as long as I get to the moving part and at the very least, begin, the power comes and grows in the process giving me everything I need to not only complete the task, but it often comes out far better than I could have imagined at the beginning.

Step Out In Faith That You Will Succeed. 

Spread Some Joy Today–by asking the question often, is there joy in this?

Daily Inspiration 7-23-18

“Life is full of obstacle illusions.” 

— Grant Frazier 

[Classic post from 5-10-14]

I won’t need to say much myself today, for I found a long quote that talks about obstacles so perfectly. Enjoy his perspective:

“When I was a Boy Scout, we played a game when new Scouts joined the troop. We lined up chairs in a pattern, creating an obstacle course through which the new Scouts, blindfolded, were supposed to maneuver. The Scoutmaster gave them a few moments to study the pattern before our adventure began. But as soon as the victims were blindfolded, the rest of us quietly removed the chairs.

I think life is like this game. Perhaps we spend our lives avoiding obstacles we have created for ourselves and in reality, exist only in our minds. We’re afraid to apply for that job, take violin lessons, learn a foreign language, call an old friend, write our Congressman–whatever it is that we would really like to do but don’t because of personal obstacles. Don’t avoid any chairs until you run smack into one. And if you do, at least you’ll have a place to sit down.” — Pierce Vincent Eckhart.

Isn’t that a good story and perspective?

How Many Of Our Perceived Obstacles Are Real And How Many Are Purely Imaginary? 

Spread Some Joy Today–Dance like no one is watching and your favorite dance music is shaking the foundation!

Daily Inspiration 7-22-18

“Example is not the main thing
in influencing others.
It is the only thing.”

— Albert Schweitzer

[Classic post from 5-8-14]

Yesterday I wrote about communications between people and how feelings are often not fully expressed. I also mentioned that by writing my feelings out that some additional clarity can be attained. Then at the end, I referred to a DVD that I watched that gave me another perspective on this idea of communication, dealing with feelings, and influence.

As I pondered all of this including the video, it seemed to me that so often when we are communicating to another in a relationship, whether it is a marriage, friendship, or even in business, influencing the other to our own desires is generally the goal. This seems particularly true when the other is not aligned with our thinking. As a result of this misalignment, we may experience hurt feelings, powerlessness, and even despair. This usually comes from the feelings unexpressed or held back. Hence, communicating them can lead to a more fluent relationship–at least on the surface.

In a marriage, and strangely enough, in all kinds of relationships, such as co-workers, salesperson and prospect, and more, we have expectations of what the other will think or do, and when those expectations are not met, we “feel” that misalignment. Then, we may try all kinds of things to try to influence them to be a certain way so that we can feel aligned. This is nothing new. It is going on all the time all around us and probably in our own relationships.

The problem for us or anyone is wanting or needing the other to align with us in order for us to feel a certain way. In other words, if you think this way and act this way, I’ll be happy, and if you don’t, I am not happy.

What I learned on the DVD is that our own alignment with our own intentions is the only thing that we can control. Trying, however creatively, to get others into alignment with us gives others power over us that leads to a wide variety of complications. In other words, if we have an intention of something being the way we want it to be, we need to hold to that intention rather than try to convince another to go along with us. Another way to say it is to concentrate on our own power and not try to get our power from the another.

Rather than trying to influence another to go along with us, our greatest influence will be in our own alignment with our own intentions. By focusing on the way we want things to be and feeling the power of that, and also the joy of that, regardless of the other person, is our greatest influence. We then become an example in such a way that others are influenced toward our intention.

By holding to our own intention as we allow another to be as they choose to be, loving them in whatever they choose, the relationship is enhanced in ways it could never have been before. In this way, we are loving the other in a more unconditional way as we love ourselves, aligned with our best intention and being a living example.

Stay True To Yourself. 

Spread Some Joy Today–by aligning with your own best intentions.

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