Month: November 2019

Daily Inspiration 11-30-19

“Nothing stops 
 without something else beginning.” 
— Alan Cohen 

New: Audio version

[Classic post from 7-11-15]

Somewhere along our travels, most of us have picked up expectations of how things should work. For example, how long should a marriage last? Until death do you part, right? Well, for sure for some and surely not for others. A better answer to the question might be until we choose otherwise.

Once I start my business, how long should it stay in business? Forever? Answer: Until is doesn’t any longer. I grew up thinking Macy’s was a forever store, then they went out of business. Well, let’s say it is still there but it ain’t the same.

I opened a musical instrument store and had it for a year and a half. Does that mean it failed? That could certainly be an assumption, but that would not be the truth. It didn’t fail. I no longer had the desire for it. I had a desire for something different. So, I stopped one and started another. As far as I was and am concerned, it was a huge success. If nothing else, it was a grand educational experience which is useful in my life and that of others 35 years after the fact.

We have all manner of expectations that have been handed down to us, but you know, the only thing that really matters is our own experience and how we choose to view that experience. So, what might be some of the values of a short-lived enterprise or relationship?

  • Creation. We take nothing more (which is really everything) than an idea and then take that thought and breathe life into it (it was already alive there) and cause it to be created in our reality. In other words, it went from the non-physical into the physical. 
  • Co-Creation. We did it with others. It was not a single person’s creation, but all who participated helped shape the outcome. 
  • The economy moved. Money changed hands. Funds were raised, expended. 
  • Education. We learned. There is much to learn every single day. 
  • Change. We changed. Others changed. Nothing is static. 
  • Difference. We made a difference. What we did mattered. What kind of difference may not be measurable from our own perspective. We cannot do anything and not make a difference. 
  • Improvement. We made some improvements. However small or large they may be, improvements are a given. 
  • Benefit. We provided a benefit, or many benefits to the community, to others, to the world. 
  • Friends. We find new friends. Maybe even lifetime friends. 
  • Passion. Beginnings are so often about passion. 
  • Love. We get to share our love. We get to expand and enrich our own love. 

This is just a shortlist, and this process of thinking about things in this way is very helpful. Everything we do is a choice. We choose here, choose that, choose an idea, choose participants, convince others, promote our ideas, all choices. We choose to begin, to continue for a time, and then we choose to let go. If it continues to float on its own for a time, so be it, and if it doesn’t, it is done for now, and on to another choice.

The most important choice we have is how we want to feel about our experiences. It is as easy to feel joy in having done something as it is to feel sad that it is no longer. Time is such a poor concept on the judgment of our experiences, and time is only an idea. Our living is always this moment, this moment, this moment. How we choose to feel is this moment, this moment, this moment.

I have found from a lifetime of study that to find ways to appreciate, love, and celebrate enhances our experience immeasurably. We all get to choose that or choose otherwise.

“In A Gentle Way, You Can Shake The World.” — Mahatma Gandhi 

Spread Some Joy Today–by making it your choice to do so.

Daily Inspiration 11-29-19

“Anytime what someone else thinks 
about you becomes more important 
than your own balance with self, 
you are in a less-than-healthy position 
because you are replacing your own 
Guidance System with their opinion.” 
— Abraham, Esther Hicks 

New: Audio version

[Classic post from 7-10-15]

A long-time reader sent me a note asking me to address a situation of how to reframe their mental state when it is now in a negative state due to someone’s belittling and ranting about how horrible they are or have been. I said I would write about that today as I have had more than my share of experience in this area over a lot of time.

This kind of situation seems to most often occur in parent/sibling and romantic relationships. In my case, they were all in marriage. At some point, I did not meet the expectations (whatever they may have been) by doing something they disapproved of, or wanted to be involved in, or made decisions without them, and more. Then anger would cause them to rant and yell and generally be upset.

What do you guess the very first thing someone on the receiving end of this would do? They would become very defensive. When you are attacked, you automatically defend yourself. Then the argument escalates and many, many things are said in the heat of the emotion that perhaps would not have been said in cooler moments. Feelings get hurt, the pain deepens. There is never relief in this scenario. It is always more pain and it creates a further separation from the other in both the offensive and defensive position.

In Transactional Analysis or T.A., they call this transaction, Critical Parent and Adapted Child. The only thing in T.A. that breaks this circle of pain is the non-emotional Adult (reason, compassion), or the Nurturing Parent and Natural Child combination.

For years I wanted it to end. I finally took the tack that I learned in my twenties about ‘owning my own feelings.’ In other words, those attacks on me are not my feelings, it is theirs. I can choose to think differently about myself.

I learned that whenever someone is yelling, belittling, verbally abusing you, that it is never about you. It is about them. They are trying to express themselves, but not realizing how much harm they are trying to cause at the same time. Some used to say, “Oh, that’s the Italian in me.” It’s just someone who doesn’t know what else to do except explode like a volcano. And, in a so-called loving relationship, that is nowhere near love. It is fear. The opposite of love.

Sometimes people say, “I do this because I love you.” I say, “please stop loving me right now!” No, it isn’t even close to love. It is way on the other end of that stick.

In the most recent episodes of anger, yelling, belittling, and more that I was on the receiving end of, I worked on not plugging into it. I just refused to accept it. I got good at that. But there was something else going on too. My wife was ill. Two years before her diagnosis of ALS, she was vocally belligerent many times to the point that was way more than anything like normal. One day she ranted at the top of her lungs for about an hour and fifteen minutes. It was ridiculous. Toward the end of that one, I had to take off and go for a ride, but it was her illness getting traction. As her illness progressed, she couldn’t talk, so she wrote her nasty comments.

Let me say that this kind of verbal abuse is not something that one gets used to. And, in situations, like I had, leaving wasn’t the right option, so I was forced to find a different way to come to terms with it and be okay in myself.

It is said, that you cannot love others until you love yourself. I never really understood that inside. Superficially, yes. Internally, no. But, I came to understand it. When you can’t escape the abuse, you have to open your mind. I began to love myself.

That is probably easy for some, but loving myself was not easy for me. I had to play with it, study it, learn about it, and allow it. I’m still on that trail. Now I understand how if you don’t love yourself, you really don’t love someone else in the way that is truly loving. You can appreciate them, respect them, serve them, but loving has to begin with ourselves.

When we love ourselves–truly love ourselves, the opinions of others have less meaning. Someone can say all they want in whatever manner they choose, but it is all rejected as if it is bouncing off a rubber barrier. When we look to our own inner guidance, our God within, our inner being, or whatever words you like to use, that entity loves us as God loves all creation. Other’s opinions have no value here. It is only our inner source and our own love of ourselves in total harmony. Once there, no one gets through to cause any pain.

We are best served by seeking only our own inner guidance and loving ourselves, and at the same time, because that is the love of God, we love those who attack us too. This doesn’t mean we need to hang around and accept abuse very long. We can exercise our ultimate choice of who we enjoy being around. As we accept none of what others have to dish out, they stop dishing it out soon enough. Either way, we are the ones who are always in control. If we can’t change the circumstances immediately, we always have the power of how we choose to think about them, and consequently, how we feel about them, and the other person.

The short answer is to learn, or rather remember to love ourselves as God loves us, and that love is without any condition, without any reason, without any need. It simply and beautifully is.

It Has Been Said, ‘Love The One You’re With.’ What That Really Means Is YOU Because You Are ALWAYS With You Wherever You Go. 

Spread Some Joy Today–by letting go of the resistance of trying to satisfy others. Be yourself. The best you could ever be is to be your best self.

Daily Inspiration 11-28-19

“Life is less about 
getting somewhere, 
and more about 
being somewhere.” 
— Alan Cohen 

New: Audio version

[Classic post from 7-9-15]

Here’s a question for you: Who’s in charge? Let’s improve on that question just to make sure: Who’s REALLY in charge?

How often do things happen that frustrate you? How often do you blame others for events in your life? And, here’s a more telling question: How often do you beat up on yourself for decisions in the past, not doing what you said to yourself you were going to do, and the list can get very long here. 

I’ve figured out in my life that my biggest problem, strongest adversary, most persistent naysayer, and most critical voice is my own.

The best question I learned is to consider who’s really in charge here. It certainly isn’t the real me. It’s that other guy. When I remember who is really in charge–the real me, the spiritual me, the part of everything me, the portion of God me–I can see clearly the tug-o-war rope I’m holding in my hands and what a struggle it is just to stay in one place. Once I see the rope and the resistance I’ve been clinging to, I know that the real me is in charge, and I just drop the rope and relax.

I’ve gotten much faster at recognizing what is going on through frustration, impatience, disappointment, initial-response anger, worry, and more. Now, I pay attention to how I am feeling. Am I feeling tense? Fearful? Worried? Frustrated? When I recognize that I’m not feeling good, I remember that the other guy is temporarily in charge. As quickly as I can, I choose to feel better because I want to feel good. In this process, I begin to relax.

I might close my eyes and just breathe for a bit, or look at and appreciate something in nature, celebrate what a nice day it is, put on some Jim ‘Kimo’ West slack-key music, move around, any number of things that will bring me back to the reality that the real me is now in charge. As I am there, I feel better, I am relaxed, I am peaceful, and I am refreshed. Then I laugh at how good it feels to be the one really in charge.

Who’s In Charge? Who’s REALLY In Charge? 

Spread Some Joy Today–by feeling your joy.

Daily Inspiration 11-27-19

“The truly wealthy 
dwell in the consciousness
of enoughness.” 
— Alan Cohen 

New: Audio version

[Classic post from 7-8-15]

Yesterday, I wrote about chapter one in the book, Relax Into Wealth, by Alan Cohen, and today, I want to write briefly about chapter two. In this chapter, he discusses enoughness. When is enough, enough? He says that “every thought you have falls into one of two streams of energy: enough or not enough. The more you observe and affirm enough, the more enough you have. The more you observe and affirm not enough, the more not enough you have.”

He says to “expand your sense of prosperity by focusing on the riches you already own. You can find wealth in good health; the beauty of nature; rewarding friendships; a loving family; bubbling creativity; your spiritual source; stimulating ideas; the kindness of people you meet; and much, much more. Right now in many ways, you are a billionaire! You may be richer than many people with lots of money because you give your attention to wealth rather than need.”

To those who think contentment is a bad place to be, he says, “Does contentment mean that you must just stop where you are, never desire more, and never change anything from the way it is? Certainly not. A great way to position a contentment attitude is: happy and hungry. You appreciate what you have and enjoy the adventure of expanding your world. . . Everything wants to grow, and everything is perfect in its stage of growth. Perfection is not a place you arrive at; it is an attitude you enjoy as you go.”

Abraham, Esther Hicks calls that, appreciating what you have and being eager for more. Enough isn’t a place, it is an attitude.

Again, at the end of the chapter, he asks some great questions:

1. What do you feel you have enough of?

2. What do you feel you do not have enough of?

3. Take a few moments to focus on the elements of your life that make you feel rich. How rich are you? How do you feel after you focus on your wealth?

4. Find within yourself the delicious balance of happy and hungry. . . and these last questions jumped off the page for me:

What are you happy with? What are you hungry for? Notice how you feel when you let yourself be whole where you stand while reaching for higher.

“When You Realize That Nothing Is Lacking, The Whole World Belongs To You.” — Lao Tzu   

Spread Some Joy Today–You attract more joy from your joy and more lack of joy from your lack of joy.

Daily Inspiration 11-26-19

“Successful people 
ask better questions, 
and as a result, 
they get better answers.” 
— Tony Robbins 

New: Audio version

[Classic post from 7-7-15]

Have you ever read a book, loved it, put it on the shelf and then a few years later, pick it up again, knowing full well you’ve read it, yet it seems so new to you? It’s kind of amazing how many times that has happened to me, and it happened again today.

I’ve been reading some great fiction books of late. The last ten books were all fiction and so today I thought I’d pick up something different. I was drawn to Alan Cohen’s book, Relax Into Wealth. A few years ago I bought a bunch of these and sent them to my team and many friends. It’s a wonderful book and picking it up again only compounded that opinion.

I made a commitment early this year to read aloud. Don’t ask me why. It’s one of those weird things that come over me. There is something more powerful about reading aloud than to myself. Call it an exercise for my mouth, tongue and vocal cords. Anyway, as I began reading, I was amazed. I said aloud, “Wow!” I say it again, “Wow!”

Each chapter starts with a quote and ends with a few questions. Think of it like a course where you can cheat all you want, or not.

The first chapter is about the abundance that we more often than not, take for granted. He mentions big things like there are 70 sextillion stars in the visible universe, in 125 billion galaxies, then common things, like 13 billion gallons of water flow over Niagra Falls every single day. Wow. Our heart beats over 100,000 times a day. Then he mentions very small things that we cannot even see without the aid of specialized equipment. In all of this, he is saying that the universe is full of abundance. In fact, it is extravagant abundance. And more important than the abundance is that nothing is wasted. One thing is used to create another substance that is renewed. Energy just changes its form, but it never is used up.

Each chapter is very short, and he presented three questions at the end of this chapter:

1. Sit right where you are or go to the window of your room. Name five things you can see that exist in great abundance right before you.

2. Mentally survey the world beyond your current view, such as your home, places you have visited, read, heard, or thought about, and photographs you have seen. What are the most abundant things you can think of?

3. Complete this sentence at least three times, with a different response each time:

     If I knew I lived in an abundant universe that supplies all my needs,
     I would ____________________.

These are some good questions to ponder and answer. The reality is that we often don’t think of the world as abundant. Instead, we think of it lacking what we want and need. Yet, as he makes clear, abundance is all around us all the time and it is we who choose to view it less than it really is.

How Many Blades Of Grass In Your Lawn? How Many Cells In Your Little Finger?

Spread Some Joy Today–Start counting!

Daily Inspiration 11-25-19

“The most important thing 
in communication 
is hearing 
what isn’t said.” 
— Peter Drucker 

New: Audio version

[Classic post from 7-6-15]

Even though I’ve read many of Peter Drucker’s books and I love many of his ideas on management and business, the quote above is one of those that I like because it is interesting, and dislike because it creates more problems with no solutions.

I think, “Oh, good! There’s another thing I have to get training on, to learn more about, to try to figure out what people are saying when they aren’t talking. Yet another skill I need to find a book about.”

Hearing what isn’t said. . . hmm. Is he saying that people say one thing but mean something completely different? Is he saying, they are telling lies? Is he saying that they’re just making stuff up? Is he saying that they want to say something else but they don’t know how? How in the world do I go about knowing what people are not saying when they are saying something? Sounds pretty mystical to me.

Well, bringing this back down to earth, we all know that people don’t say everything that can be said. We know they hold back things for a wide variety of reasons, mostly fear-related. We also know that from a different perspective some people say a lot of things to enhance their own agenda or position. So, how do we wade through all that? “

First answer: We are smarter than we allow ourselves to be sometimes. Our intuition is a mental and spiritual device that can aid us in seeing the smoke on the screen and getting behind the screen. Many times we may distrust it, but it is certainly worthy of trust.

Second answer: Don’t pay so much attention to the words. Pay more attention to the vibration. You might be saying, “Oh, there’s another word, vibration. What the heck do I know about vibration?” A lot. Certainly a lot more than you might think. Instead of thinking about vibration, think about how you feel.

Tie it all together by paying attention to how you feel by what others are saying. Open the pathway to use your intuition to “feel” how if what they are saying is ringing true with your inner knowing, your intuition, your inner guidance. Feeling good is good. Feeling bad is not good. Everything can pass that filter and be cleaned perfectly for your own understanding.

I might say that instead of hearing what isn’t said as being the most important thing in communication, it could certainly be paying attention to the vibes–or rather, how you feel when it is compared with your own inner guidance via your intuition.

Can You Repeat That Please? I Didn’t Quite Get The Feeling Yet… 

Spread Some Joy Today–Let go and ye shall find.

Daily Inspiration 11-24-19

“To see within ourselves, 
we need to close our eyes.” 
— Albert K. Strong 

New: Audio version

[Classic post from 7-5-15]

In October of 2009, I bought and read a very informative book. I find myself reminded of it from time to time and then I pull it from the shelf and look at it again. I did that again this morning. The book is by Vincent M. Roazzi, and the title is, The Spirituality of Success. I love this book because it is written with a great deal of insight and common sense in common language.

I opened to chapter 7: Expectations Are Excuses. Vincent was a national trainer traveling all over the country, and he said that “whenever I did an initial introductory training session, I would ask the trainees to share with the group their expectations of training. What did they expect would be covered during the training session? What did they need to learn about in order to become successful?” Then he said, “Of the hundreds of training sessions I conducted, the list of training expectations were always basically the same:

  1. The Company 
  2. The Product 
  3. The Sales Leads 
  4. The Competition 
  5. The Customers 
  6. Pricing 
  7. Paperwork 
  8. Management 
  9. Sales Techniques
  10. Underwriting (We sold an insurance product.)” 

He continues, “As the group said each item, I would list them on a whiteboard in the front of the room.” And, here’s a couple of key phrases he said next: “I was always amazed that no one ever included themselves, the salesperson, on the list! The salesperson, according to studies, is 85 percent of the sale, and yet no one referred to the 85 percent as what they needed or expected to learn about.” 

Finally, he said, “One day, as I was standing in the back of the room, I looked at the list and realized that all their expectations were also the excuses they would give if they failed. Now the fact that they never mentioned themselves and what that meant was even more amazing.”

I think this tidbit from Vincent’s wonderful book is telling. And, I don’t mean only for salespeople in a training class. I mean for all of our interactions in our personal and business lives.

What are our expectations? Where do we fit in those expectations? If what Vincent said is correct, and I’m sure if not that it is mighty close, that 85% is within, not without, then we may need to close our eyes much more often in reflection and personal assessment.

Are We Looking For A Way In, A Way Out, Or A Way Through? 

Spread Some Joy Today–The past and the future cannot have access to you when you are in the present. All joy is in the present.

Daily Inspiration 11-23-19

“Freedom is the only worthy goal in life. 
It is won by disregarding things
that lie beyond our control. 
Stop aspiring to be anyone 
other than your own best self: 
for that does fall within your control.” 
— Epictetus 

New: Audio version

[Classic post from 7-4-15]

Abraham, Esther Hicks has often said, “You are so free, you can choose bondage.” And so we have, in many ways. The author, James Patterson said, “People kind of want to be manipulated, but they want it done well.” That one brings a smile to my face in its succinct and wise observation.

Freedom is not a thing. It is an idea. It is not something to achieve. It is a feeling. We choose or not. We are manipulated or think independently. Napoleon Bonaparte long ago shared, “Nothing is more difficult, and therefore more precious than to be able to decide.” We choose, or through manipulation or choosing not to choose, get what we get, think what we think, feel what we feel.

Friedrich Nietzsche said, “Freedom is the will to be responsible to ourselves.” And, so it is. I like how he used the word, ‘will’ here, which is another word for choice or choosing, only with a bit more oomph.

The best quote I’ve ever seen to so perfectly describe freedom for me, I used just a few days ago, and since it is so perfect, here it is again from Edward Abbey: “Freedom begins between the ears.” It is an idea, and as so many other ideas, develops into a feeling. Through the thought (the idea) and into the feeling, that is everything that freedom is or can be, and since that is what it is, it is our choice to choose it or not; to experience it or not; to exude it or not; to share with others or not.

I Choose Freedom. I Feel Free. I Am Free. I Am Freedom. 

Spread Some Joy Today–by focusing on the best aspects of everything you see today.

Daily Inspiration 11-22-19

“The thought that
you should be doing
something else
is a distraction. 
Be fully present 
with what you are doing, 
and it will lead to better.” 
— Alan Cohen 

New: Audio version

[Classic post from 7-3-15]

Here’s an interesting question: Where does ‘should’ come from? Here’s the answer: Not from us. In other words, it comes from ‘outside’ of us. It comes from two places, and sometimes they work in unison. It comes from our own ego, which is absolutely outside of the real us, and it comes from other people.

I like how Alan Cohen said, “It’s easy to get people to follow a person. It’s harder to get people to follow themselves.” It seems like it could be a matter of confidence, and that is close enough. But, it is a bit deeper than this, as confidence is a result.

Nana Veary is quoted as saying something very profound and enlightening to me. She said, “The only problem facing you in life is your belief in separation from the Source. Solve that one, and all the others will vanish.”

When we believe in our own inner power; our own inner Source of being; our own internal guidance, we are connecting to that Source. It is our source of true strength. And, we would never be connected to Source and put others down, think we are better than anyone else and such. We would be uplifters of others AND uplifters of ourselves. We would realize our own value, our uniqueness, and at the same time, we would see the value of others, their uniqueness, and even all of our sameness.

I believe that every single person and every single thing is connected to Source, or you could use many other words, many of which are loaded with baggage. Everything is connected; however, we can and most often are disallowing that connection. We do that by looking outside of ourselves. Maybe we are looking at the past or the future, and both of those are outside of us.

Abraham Maslow said, “I can feel guilty about the past, apprehensive about the future, but only in the present can I act. The ability to be in the present moment is a major component of mental wellness.”

“If A Man Plant Himself Indomitably On His Instincts, And There Abide, The Huge World Will Come Round To Him.” — Ralph Waldo Emerson 

Spread Some Joy Today–Let go of the rope. Allow your natural connection through.

Daily Inspiration 11-21-19

“Freedom begins between the ears” 
— Edward Abbey 

New: Audio version

[Classic post from 7-2-15]

I’ve recently told several people that I have had such a wonderful, and delightful sense of freedom in my life. I’ve never felt this kind of freedom before. It’s like something that I have wanted all my life and now I have arrived. It is magical. I love it. Every second of that feeling. It is the equivalent of unconditional love. And, by the way, sharing unconditional love doesn’t mean that it always must be focused on others. It could and should be focused on ourselves as well.

I got up very early today to drive almost 3 hours to a meeting. It was a very hot day. I experienced the most delightful trip up and trip back and time spent there. I listened to a wonderful reading of The Litigators by John Grisham. It is a very long book, but today I thoroughly enjoyed–and I mean IN-joyed almost 5 hours of it. The reader is delightful, and I found myself laughing at so much of this great book on the way up to the meeting. The trip would have been perfect with that alone, but I got to enjoy so much more while at my destination. What a glorious day!

Freedom is indeed between the ears. So is happiness, joy, love, and every other emotion. We only have to choose what we want and we will be there. My number one goal in life which I have stated several times now is simply to enjoy myself every single day, every single hour, and every minute and moment possible. I get to choose that. It doesn’t happen to me. I choose it. From the audiobook choice to the choice of my thoughts, to whether I focus on delight or pain. It is all within my domain.

I Am Not Alone. It Is All Between The Ears. 

Spread Some Joy Today–Choose as you will and joy is always an excellent choice.

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Mesa, AZ