Month: August 2018

Daily Inspiration 8-31-18

“Set your life on fire. 
Seek those who fan your flames.” 

— Rumi 

[Classic post from 7-12-14]

It is so easy to allow others around you, regardless of their position or relationship with you to hold you in place with them. No one really has any power over us, but we often give it away without being consciously aware of doing this.

I was thinking just the other day how temporary almost everything is. Circumstances change all the time, people come in and out of our lives, what we do in the way of work changes, and all temporary. Each leader in a company leads the company differently, and sometimes not even in a forward direction. Companies get sold, close their doors for good, and more. It is the same on the more positive side where successes are abounding and profits high, morale is perfect, the stars are all aligned. It is still all temporary.

This isn’t meant to be a downer, it is just a bit of perspective in how sometimes we expect things to remain the same when nothing ever remains the same even for a few seconds. All that we see is in constant motion, though we may not see that with our eyes.

I’m going the long way around on purpose, but because it is all temporary, there need be no worry about it. Besides, there isn’t anything we can do to change another unless they are seeking change and open to suggestion. Hence, worrying about what our parents think, our brothers and sisters, our boss, our spouse, the neighbors, the government, or any others are more than pointless, it is taking our own power away–or rather, we give it away, as it is never taken.

The best thing that we can do for ourselves and for all of those around us near and far is to focus on what we want and to build the energy of that into the life we could dream of. As Rumi said so well, “Set your life on fire.” Be selfish in that. Since we cannot change others, being selfish is all you can do to change.

The second part of Rumi’s quote will often happen naturally after the decision to set our own lives on fire, and that is to, “Seek those who fan your flames.” I made this decision a very long time ago and in the last five years have multiplied that a hundredfold. I am constantly seeking those who fan my flames, help me to see more, understand more, and be more. I have many sources and learn from them all. If we will take the time and attention to reach out, the help will always be there. That old saying, ‘when the student is ready, the teacher appears,’ is absolutely true and is an amazing blessing.

Everything we need is really already inside of us. We have all the power of choice, decision, and action.

Set Your Life On Fire, And Surround Yourself With Flame Fanners! 

Spread Some Joy Today–There is no greater joy than coming alive!

Daily Inspiration 8-30-18

“I’m having the time of my life!” 

— Terry Minion 

[Classic post from 7-11-14]

I went to a dual chamber of commerce mixer tonight and said this quote above to several people who had not seen me in some time and asked how I was doing. Some said, ‘you look so happy.’ I am. Another mentioned how positive I am and it implied that they were not, but you know, there comes a time when if being upbeat, positive, happy, excited is a desire, one needs to move toward it.

Some don’t seem to know how. I understand this totally. I used to be one of them.

Here’s a quote that may help put things in a better perspective: “There’s no point in burying a hatchet if you’re going to put up a marker on the site.” — Sydney Harris.

Some want to forgive, and may even talk about it, but they hold on in so many ways when the only real answer is to let go of it. I alluded to this in yesterday’s post.

Having been for many, many years one of those who claimed they wanted to be happy and free, and yet could not let go, I have learned what works for me and continues to work for me to be happy, excited, upbeat, joyous. I think it is the easiest way out of the doldrums and unhappiness. It is far too simple, and many want a much more complicated answer with lots of bullet points. Sorry. It is appreciation.

Yes, appreciation.

I was doing some videos with two clients a couple of days ago. I said that all they need do is to allow themselves to practice so they can get better at it. Each time they get more comfortable with the process and each video then improves over time. It is the same exact thing here. Who would expect someone who just picked up a musical instrument to play Carnegie Hall? After a good deal of practice, that might happen if they also have some talent for the task.

Everyone has a talent for appreciation, so it isn’t a matter of talent; however, it is a matter of practice. Begin to purposely find things to appreciate and speak them. At first, they may be spoken in your mind, but they also need to be spoken aloud. Find things to compliment others about. Not insincere compliments, but real ones. If you don’t see something worthy of appreciation, move to another subject.

Start with nature. Start with the blue sky, the land, the stars at night, the moon, you name it. Then, things around you. Find things to be thankful for around you. Your comfortable bed, how wonderful the covers feel in the morning, your special pillow, the smell of bacon cooking, the sun coming up in the morning. Then expand on that, by finding things to compliment yourself about. Stand naked in the mirror and thank God or the Universe for such a wonderful and useful appliance as this great body. Be thankful for your capacity, your wisdom, your voice, your skills, your vision.

After a time, perhaps months, or even years, you will find yourself constantly finding things to appreciate. I think that this is what the apostle Paul meant when he said to pray without ceasing.

At each level, your joy will increase in quantity and quality. I find now that I am in joy almost all the time. This is how I can say that I am having the time of my life. It is because I am and the joy is the manifestation of that.

If you want to have this, it is simple. Just practice it and expand it and keep on with it and you will improve every single day. Never fear–there is no end to the potential for more joy.

There Is A Payoff To Feeling Bad, And That Is Why There Is A Lot Of It, But The Payoff For Feeling Good Is Off The Chart In Comparison. 

Spread Some Joy Today–It is not up to God or anyone else. It is solely up to you. Choose joy.

Daily Inspiration 8-29-18

“Why do bad things 
happen to good people?”

— Age old question 

[Classic post from 7-9-14]

Just for fun, we might want to flip this question around a bit: Why do good things happen to bad people? When put that way, it helps put things into at least a little perspective.

The bigger question is, ‘who says bad?’ At the same time, ‘who says good?’ Frankly, it is someone making that up anyway.

I think there are only actions and results and all of that is neutral. It is only when we label things, such as good or bad, that we add a moral code to the actions and create all sorts of emotions about it. It simply comes down to how we choose to think about something, or what we believe or have come to believe, and even a belief is just a thought we keep thinking over and over again.

There are plenty of benefits that come from events–even those that we might construe as bad. Who knows how it happens, or why it happens? A lot of people want to know why, but it really isn’t their affair to know.

I have many examples in my own life of things that seemed bad that were really good. But, of course, I am still judging it, and it is better to say there were benefits. For years I lay down at night in my bedroom and seeing the ceiling, hated the sprayed popcorn treatment throughout the house. Every time I looked at it, I wanted it gone. Then came the fire. The fire was in one room but blackened the whole house. As a result of the repairs, I got rid of the popcorn ceiling.

There were several times I might have been killed or injured in a vehicle and split seconds, perhaps even thousandths of a second changed the outcome. There were times when I lost my job and suddenly there were many open doors I had not seen before.

It really comes down to, rather than the event, it is how we choose to think about it that makes all the difference. Some people may get a diagnosis that brings them to life rather than death. Some may have an event that in certain circumstances would be devastating that becomes their greatest blessing. Some have a business fail to lead them to a better choice, others lose a long time job and find their entrepreneurial spirit reborn. Some find divorce was the best thing that ever happened to them.

It isn’t the event, but how we choose to think of it, label it, create beliefs around it that speaks to us of what kind of event it is. One might choose depression, despair, and others may choose joy or gratitude. We each have full control of the choice.

Let Us Be Conscious Of Our Own Power To Choose. 

Spread Some Joy Today–You’re on a delightful journey. Enjoy the ride.

Daily Inspiration 8-28-18

“‘Tis not the meat, 
but ’tis the appetite 
makes eating a delight.” 

— John Suckling, Sonnet, c1638 

[Classic post from 7-7-14]

In January of this year, I had the distinct privilege to see The Eagles, who next to The Beatles was my favorite musical group when I was young, and now that I am not so young. The tour they were on was called The History of The Eagles, matching a DVD set they published, which I own. I don’t know why I waited to watch it until this weekend, but I was in joy all the way through it. Great music, and a great story of how they came to be and all the adventures they had.

Joe Walsh of The Eagles was talking on the DVD and I had to write down what he said because it spoke to me. Here is what he said reflecting on the travels of his life, participation in and travels of the band over time:

“There’s a philosopher who says, ‘As you live your life, it appears to be anarchy and chaos and random events–non-related events smashing into each other and causing this situation, and then this happens, and it’s overwhelming, and it just looks like…what in the world is going on? And later when you look back at it, it looks like a finely crafted novel, but at the time it don’t, and a lot of The Eagles story is like that.”

I thought he was referring to many of us, if not most of us. As we are going through situations, especially challenging or tough ones, it is hard if not downright impossible to see the whole picture, but down the road, we can look back and see how all those pieces fit into a mosaic that was perfectly filled, looking like that finely crafted novel.

Then, I thought that much of my life was that way. Most in fact. I didn’t have a clue a good deal of the time and now looking back, I have such a different view and things I might have done that I might typically regret, I find joy in instead.

What I would add to that wonderful philosophical view of a life traveled, is that with the awareness that I have now, I would not find the pain that I went through then. Wouldn’t it be interesting to know for certain that everything will work out perfectly all the time throughout our lives? Would that change anything about how you might live your life? I know that this awareness has certainly changed mine and how I see what is going on here and now and with confidence believing it is all working out just as I planned it. What a difference in the travel!

It Is Perfect. 

Spread Some Joy Today–Find joy in your own perfection today.

Daily Inspiration 8-27-18

Make more decisions in every day. 
Because a decision is a summoning of life.
— Abraham, Esther Hicks

[New post]

As I was reading yet another post from Abraham, Esther Hicks (I get one every single day), I was amazed and delighted anew. The way they explain things so that it is so easy to understand without a bunch of hocus-pocus, ten-twelve-twenty step confusion is so empowering to me. So, here’s the quote that was the reason I am writing this today:

“Make more decisions in every day. Because a decision is a summoning of life. That’s why a little chaos is good for you because often you don’t make a decision until you get yourself in a jam. And then, in the middle of the jam, you make a decision, but that decision summons Life Force. Have you ever been a place where you couldn’t quite make up your mind and you just felt sort of limp? “Oh, I don’t know. I don’t know. I don’t know.” And then you decided, and you felt alive again. We want you to know that you’ll never get it done. So don’t approach this from, “I gotta get on this” because you’re not ever going to get it done, anyway. And the other thing we want you to know is, you cannot get it wrong. So, make a decision. Let it flow.”

I imagine that you can relate as I do how we get ourselves into a situation where we are sort of forced to make some kind of decision to help extricate us from the situation we are not pleased with. It might even feel a bit painful at the time; however, as Abraham states, that is a summoning of life energy. We don’t think of it that way, do we? Yet I love how they see that big picture that then takes the heat off of the whole scenario. We are summoning life energy. It’s all good. We can’t get it wrong. It is living the life and we are the constant choosers though we may think we are justified in blaming someone or something else for our troubles.

And, just because I’m in the praising mood of Abraham, here is another that follows very well with the above quote:

“There are no choices that are really a detour that will take you far from where you’re wanting to be — because your Inner Being is always guiding you to the next, and the next, and the next. So don’t be concerned that you may make a fatal choice, because there aren’t any of those. You are always finding your balance. It’s a never-ending process.”

The key thought here for me is this: We are always finding our balance. It is a never-ending process! Yes! Constantly finding our balance as we make choices, as we make decisions, as we are learning.

I celebrate most the simplicity of the Teachings of Abraham and how I resonate with all of it as if I have always known it this way!

Happy Monday!

Spread some joy today–Absolutely. What better thing to spread. Be a carrier. Spread your contagiousness around.

Daily Inspiration 8-26-18

“You see, what I think it is, is, 
that I think I’m more comfortable
with being disappointed. 
I think I’m angry with you 
for trying to take that away.” 

— Kate Walker character in the movie, 
Last Chance Harvey

[Classic post from 7-3-14]

Is that a telling statement or what? Have any of you ever felt that way, even though you may have never had the courage to actually say it? We do have a tendency to develop and then stay within our own comfort zones when it comes to relationships, work, you name it.

I love movies that move me and speak to me and those are the ones I buy so I can watch them many times. Last Chance Harvey is one of those so-called sleeper films that I found that I just had to own.

Every time I watch it, I learn something new and it is a delightful piece of not so uncommon human interaction involving divorce, children, a declining interest in work, and if all of that weren’t enough, Harvey loses his job while he’s in London, yet at the same time, he finds inspiration in a woman he meets in the airport and makes a conscious decision to go with the flow until his life has not only broken out of his comfort zone but is taken to new and unknown places.

I can so relate to where his head must have been. The best part of the movie is how he finds his life that he somehow stepped out of some time ago. Now, he is renewed and real. Before it was all fake, creating images, being someone he isn’t and much more.

The other thing that really stands out for me in this movie is that he makes a conscious decision to go with the flow. He feels a spark and he follows that feeling. He drops his routine or common response to situations and decides to just follow his feelings rather than his head. What great advice that can be for all of us from time to time.

If you haven’t seen it, I invite you to rent it and see what you will. If not for the movie itself, for the awesome dialog and life messages it contains.

Letting go of the oars and allowing yourself to go with the flow is very powerful.

Who Knows Where You’ll End Up? 

Spread Some Joy Today–It’s never too late. There are no last chances. It is now. Then now again, then now again.

Daily Inspiration 8-25-18

“Change is not a destination, 
just as hope is not a strategy.” 

— Rudy Giuliani 

[Classic post from 7-1-14]

Wow. What a great quote. It seems to me that this describes the political process, or at least what seems like the majority’s idea of a new life and moving away from the reality of what is.

But, I was thinking of this in a different way as I was thinking about people in new jobs that they are wanting to do well in, people looking for a job, and generally moving through life. I guess I have plenty of experience in all of that and know others going through it too.

Let’s start with the first part of the quote: “Change is not a destination.” Although we might think many times that change is the destination, it is more often than not, something that refuses to be managed. I think the best we could say about change is that it is a given. Physical things in us and around us are in a constant flux of change. Our thoughts too are constantly in motion and thereby constantly in a state of change.

Change may be the sea we sail on, but it is neither the port we left or the potential port we eventually arrive in. How we set our sail on this sea of change, meaning our ‘attitude’ toward it and in response to it, has everything to do with the destination.

The second part: “hope is not a strategy.” I know a lot of people who use hope as a strategy, and the sea of change buffets them about as if they were crossing the Pacific ocean in a dingy during a storm. We might think of hope as wishing, which is not a strategy either. For results to come on purpose with purpose, we need a strategy, decisions, plans, goals, design, activity, seeking, learning.

In the commercial truck world which I play around with some, I see a lot of dealers without a strategy for everything from inventory to managing the department. That’s okay. They can do it as they desire, and they will get the results they get, but what if they had a strategy? What could they do then?

The same is true for all of us in everything that we do. We can hope to have a better relationship, or we can have a strategy. We can hope to do better financially, or we can develop or borrow a strategy. We can hope to grow our business or we can employ a strategy and make better decisions. We can hope our body was thinner, or we can adopt a strategy that has proven results.

Whatever we want, and whatever we want to be good at, better at, excel in, we need to remember that there are two ways: hope or strategy, and knowing the difference is critical. Then with that strategy, sailing on the sea of change will be with a gentle breeze.

Live On Purpose With Purpose. 

Spread Some Joy Today–This is a glorious time to be on this earth! Loving every day of it makes it even more glorious.

Daily Inspiration 8-24-18

“Any change, 
even a change for the better, 
is always accompanied by 
drawbacks and discomforts.” 
— Arnold Bennett 

[Classic post from 6-30-14]

Yesterday I talked about not feeling up to par and working through that to get back on track, and today, I had some of the same things, only not to the degree of yesterday. Then, finally, this evening, it hit me what it was. I have been needing to change a thing or two and have been reluctant to do so. That’s where the resistance was coming from.

When you have something that you know is in your best interests, though it sounds so easy, often it isn’t so easy to make that change. It’s only going to stick when it becomes something I want to do versus something I need to do. The spiritual work is to come into alignment to the point that I want to do this thing. That might take years. I know that so well, then one day, it just washes over you to let go and allow the change. I remember always that the resistance is like me playing tug-o-war with myself which I only win by letting go of the rope. Today, I realized that I was there after a weekend of tug-o-war.

It’s not about letting go of something you no longer want, but more a wanting of something new or better. It’s not about what is wrong, but more a matter of what the benefits are to my internal well being, or rather my joy.

Ever since I decided on my rest-of-my-life single goal to enjoy myself, I’ve noticed things that I do that I used to enjoy, or at least I thought I did, and I noticed things that I do out of habit that is connected to some mysterious place, that I really don’t like much anymore if I were telling the truth about it. Isn’t it funny how we lie to ourselves about stuff like that? It’s one of those things on the list of ‘that doesn’t make sense.’

Forty-four days ago, I gave up the wheat with no fake replacements. It was just an experiment to see if I could since wheat is so pervasive in our culture. I thought it would be hard, but it wasn’t. I have seen many benefits and I think my success with this helped me with the other things I want to change.

Now, I want to change, and after my experiment, I know for sure that I can and I also know that it will be easy. I just had to come to a conclusion, let go of that stupid rope I’ve been holding on to for no really good reason, and move on. I’m there.

What A Relief To Know What The Resistance Was. 

Spread Some Joy Today–You’re in total control of your joy since it comes from within, never from without.

Daily Inspiration 8-23-18

“Awareness is the greatest 
agent for change.” 

— Eckhart Tolle

[Classic post from 6-29-14]

People say I’m the most positive person they know and I’m happy that they think that because that is exactly what I want to be, and often am. However, there are days when I’m just not feeling as good as I would like and today was one of those days.

I was working on the Internet for some clients and got some things done, had to get up and went to walk the dog and enjoy the warm sunshine and get us both out of the office. I wasn’t unhappy exactly today, but not as happy as I often am. I think the main thing that causes this for me is that I get lost in the past a bit. 

Memories are interesting sometimes and I have millions of them, and I was noticing that pretty much everything on my walls and around me is something from the past, whether photos, plaques, memorabilia. Each of these I see causes a memory of some kind from them, and often I will not spend any time on that, but today, I think I sort of got lost in some of it.

The other thing I do that causes physical discomfort is that when I am thinking about the past, I have a tendency to eat too much. Seems like that just goes along for the ride.

In years gone by, I did this a lot and for long periods, but now my saving grace is awareness of what I am doing. I am paying attention to how I feel and as I realize that I am feeling poorly, I want to feel better and can do something right away about it, or at least sometime during the day.

What I was going through mentally was resistance. I can feel it in my gut and also my shallow breathing. So, I felt the resistance, realized my breathing and I started breathing more deeply. After a few minutes of that, I was already much better. Then, I started finding things to be grateful for and to appreciate, and pretty soon I was back with the living and in the present instead of the past.

I like how Eckhart Tolle says this in more detail: “Always say “yes” to the present moment. What could be more futile, more insane, than to oppose life itself, which is now and always now? Surrender to what is. Say “yes” to life–and see how life suddenly starts working for you rather than against you.” I had to highlight the one very short sentence in there that says to ‘surrender to what is.’ What a powerful reminder to learn to allow rather than resist.

“If You Get The Inside Right, The Outside Will Fall Into Place. Primary Reality Is Within; Secondary Reality Without.” — Eckhart Tolle 

Spread Some Joy Today–Lighten up on yourself. Find 25 things to praise yourself about.

Daily Inspiration 8-22-18

“Knowledge is said to be power, 
but habit is what rules.” 
— Albert K Strong 

[Classic post from 6-28-14]

Today in a class I was sharing some thoughts I had on the way to the dealership for training. I have studied for a lot of years–earnestly for over 40 years–and much of what I learned in the first few years was sufficient to do very well, yet I have found that knowledge is powerful and helpful, but habit is what rules.

I might have the knowledge. I may have even studied it with vim and vigor, but the only way it ever becomes effective in my life and activated within me is when it becomes a habit. The great Og Mandino, who should know, said that “only a habit can subdue another habit.” So, if I want to change my habitual patterns, I need to actively overwrite those other habits with the ones I prefer, otherwise, all the knowledge in the world will just be a library in my head.

The audiobook and matching book, The Secret, changed my life. It was exactly what I needed when I needed it. I had been attracting it for some time, and when I first heard it, I knew that I did not want to know it from a knowledge point of view, or even know it enough to teach it. No, I wanted it to become me. I wanted to live the rest of my life that way. So to help create the new habits, I listened so many times that it became me, and now I live that way every day. And, by the way, not in the perfection of it, but in the practice of it. It requires practice to become a habit and a belief because a belief is just a thought that we keep thinking.

So, whatever it is, whether it is wanting to be a really good sales prospector, engineer, business person, whatever, we need to desire it and practice it, live it, feel it in our lives and it will in short time become us. Success is just a practiced art, and habit rules that domain.

“We Must First Make Our Habits, Then Our Habits Make Us.” — John Dryden 

Spread Some Joy Today–Call a friend. Share your joy with them.

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