Category: Appreciation

Spread Some Joy Today > Appreciation

Happy Feels Good. This Is Guidance.

“Feeling good is important, or it’s not.
Only you can choose which is for you.” 

 — Albert K. Strong

[Classic post from 3-15-14]

Earl Nightingale, one of my early mentors, said it very nicely: “Learn to enjoy every minute of your life. Be happy now. Don’t wait for something outside of yourself to make you happy in the future. Think how really precious is the time you have to spend, whether it’s at work or with your family. Every minute should be enjoyed and savored.”

I was having lunch with a friend today, and somehow we got on the topic of goals. I said that now my one overall goal is joy. He didn’t seem to think that was a goal, but as we discussed the idea it seemed to make more sense to the point that he began to agree with it.

I said that at the top of my to-do list every day now is, enjoy myself! And it has been on that list for time enough now that I think about enjoying myself all day long. It doesn’t matter one iota what is going on in my life, or how others around me are feeling. I am the only one–yes, the ONLY ONE that can make me happy. I practice it all day long by doing simple things while I’m doing chores or work tasks or driving somewhere, etc.

As I was going to my lunch appointment today, I was behind a person turning left onto a major road. As soon as they negotiated the corner, they stopped briefly. I thought, “Wow! I’ve never ever seen that done before. That was strange and interesting. I wonder what caused them to make that move?” Then, I was laughing with joy and having a great time enjoying that amazing maneuver. I might be working on the computer and then desire a little break, and I will go watch the birds take a bath in the birdbath, or walk out into the back yard, or maybe I’ll just sit in my recliner for a bit and think enjoyable thoughts.

One of the things that came up today was the idea of stress and being under stress as if that was something that someone else gave him or created for him to deal with. I hear that often from a lot of people. Stress is self-inflicted 100% of the time. It is purely how we are thinking about a situation or event. That emotion of stress, or often more likely, frustration is an excellent indicator of our thoughts. Our emotions don’t tell us what to think. They tell us what we are thinking. Change the thought, change the emotion.

Often we think that if only the events would change I would feel better. Or, if only the right person was my mate, I would be happy or happier. It is never things outside of ourselves. They cannot create happiness or joy in us. Only we can do that for ourselves by what we are thinking, how we are thinking about someone else, or an event. We are 100% in charge.

Another thing that came up today was how to have joy show up. There is only one way: Choose it. Again, it cannot come from outside, only from the inside. We can choose joy, enthusiasm, love, appreciation, and such by thinking thoughts that cause those emotions. I find that the fastest, easiest, and surest way to find joy or be happy is to find things to appreciate. And here’s the key: They are all around me and always have been every single moment and day of my life. I wasn’t always paying attention. Now I give it most of my attention!

“You See, You’re Giving Others Too Much Power As You Even Acknowledge How They Make You Feel. What You’ve Got To Decide Is How I’m Going To Feel.” — Abraham, Esther Hicks

Spread Some Joy Today–It operates the same way as spreading sadness, only infinitely better feeling!

The Magic Of Belief

“If you have built castles in the air, 
your work need not be lost; 
that is where they should be. 
Now put the foundations under them.”

— Henry David Thoreau

“I couldn’t wait for success, 
so I went ahead without it.”

— Jonathan Winters

“Plant the seed of desire in your mind, 
and it forms a nucleus with power 
to attract to itself everything needed for its fulfillment.”

— Robert Collier

[I published this 2-18-10. Just imagine what is new since then!]

The difference between a passing fancy and an exciting reality is belief. Some of the strangest, most far-fetched ideas have become a reality through belief where almost everyone before the reality thought it was impossible or at best improbable.

Some of these things are:

·                     Electricity

·                     Airplanes

·                     Jet Airplanes

·                     Rocket ships

·                     Space Travel

·                     Refrigeration

·                     Air Conditioners

·                     Vacuum Cleaners

·                     Automobiles

·                     Power tools

·                     Prefabricated Housing

·                     Camping Trailers

·                     Steel Reinforced Concrete

·                     Computers

·                     The Internet

·                     The Typewriter

·                     Adding Machines

·                     Electronic Calculators

·                     The Transistor

·                     The Stereo

·                     The Telephone

·                     The Phonograph

·                     CD’s

·                     DVD’s

·                     Blue-Ray

·                     Plywood

·                     Plastic

·                     Nylon, Rayon & Other Man-Made Fabric

·                     Modems

·                     Movies

·                     Video Games

·                     Frozen Food

·                     Soft Drinks

·                     Lithium-Ion Batteries

·                     Cellular Telephones

·                     Wireless Devices

·                     Bulldozers

·                     LED

·                     Radio

·                     Television

·                     Electric Guitars

·                     Guitar Amplifiers

·                     Electronic Speakers

·                     Exercise Treadmills

·                     Electric Lights

·                     Microwave Ovens

·                     Nuclear Power

·                     Cable TV

·                     Credit Cards

·                     Debit Cards

·                     GPS Systems

·                     Electric Dishwashers

·                     Power Tools

·                     Pickup Trucks

·                     Balloon Tires

·                     Vick’s VapoRub

·                     Aspirin

·                     CAT Scans

·                     MRI Machines

·                     Lasers

These are just what I could come up with in about 5 minutes, and I’ve barely scratched the surface. Can you imagine living in the 16th century telling someone about the CD player? Or even plywood? Bizarre. They might want to hurt you. Or how about even a short time ago, like say, 1969 when we landed a man on the moon to think of personal computers. They didn’t even exist then. I bought my first computer in about 1984, and it was an Apple II+ with 64k memory. That is laughable now. But then, it was all the rage. Just to think of computers alone and how far they have come in less than 25 years is mind-boggling.

The Spring Of Kindness

“No kind action ever stops with itself.
One kind action leads to another.
Good example is followed.
A single act of kindness throws out roots in all directions,
and the roots spring up and make new trees.
The greatest work that kindness does to others
is that it makes them kind themselves.”

– Amelia Earhart

Ain’t it the truth!

One of my favorite authors who really helped me get going in sales way back in ’72-73 is Frank Bettger. His book, How I Raised Myself from Failure To Success in Selling, is a classic and is very encouraging for someone new to sales (or a veteran in sales, for that matter). In it, he talks about getting fired from a professional baseball team because he looked like he had no energy and he seemed to be dragging the team down. So, he decided to change and to become the most enthusiastic player anywhere and he created the popular phrase, “to become enthusiastic, act enthusiastically!” This became his central theme and I have several copies of his signed books, all of which say “Enthusiastically, Frank Bettger.”

The quote above is very similar to me: To become kind, act with kindness! Ain’t it the truth. We already know it. We know when we act with kindness that we feel great and can see on the face of the other that they feel great too. The thing we don’t see is how that great feeling is passed on by that other person throughout their day or even into days ahead.

I try to remember to give sincere compliments wherever I go, to people I see, whether for the first time or the hundredth time. I am always looking for something to compliment people on. Many times, there is no discernable reaction to my comment, but I am sincere and it feels really good to me, so that is all that matters. I know, they heard it, and they appreciated it even though they may not show it immediately. And, again, the best part is that it not only has an effect on them but on others they interact with throughout the day. How cool is that?

Sometimes I do this in bulk and in what some might think are “crazy ways.” I’ll give you just one example that I remember as a bit off the chart. I was a sales manager at a small fledgling dealership in 1989. It was gloomy and struggling. I wanted to inject some life into it and did a number of things that helped. They had a fairly strong service business. Matter of fact, that was what kept the dealership afloat.

So I had this crazy idea come into my head to give a dozen roses to all the employees (13 of them) and have a blank card on it, so they could take it home and pass some of the pleasure on to their spouse or loved ones or just enjoy it themselves.

It was a bit crazy because I didn’t have much money, but I broke out a credit card and bought 16 dozen roses of all different colors, one dozen each in vases, arranged and delivered. It was $660. I couldn’t really justify the expense when my reasoning tried to stop me, but, I was jazzed and I acted immediately. I had each employee stop by the office on their way home and I had them choose one they liked and I thanked them for their service to the company. For all they knew, the company bought them. I also gave one set to the General Manager and Owner who worked at a different location. Plus one to take home with me for my wife.

You had to have been there to see the looks on all their faces. It was priceless. And, guess what happened when they went home. I am sure that it was a hit there as well. In addition, it is the kind of gesture that you so rarely see. It was worth every cent and then some.

And guess how happy that florist must have been.  One action and so many are positively affected. It is like spreading joy!

I was only at that store for three months, when a marvelous opportunity came to me unexpectedly. Is there a correlation? It was an opportunity that changed my life, and that is still with me to this day, 31 years later!

Many times, I get thoughts like this and I am happy that I act on many of them even though some are a bit over the edge like this one. But, you know, life is all too short, and to miss an opportunity like that would be to miss an opportunity to love.

I call those thoughts inspirations. Typically, right after you get one, your reasoning facility takes charge to try to justify that thought using logic and reason. The typical result would be letting the inspiration go down the drain.

If you ever have any of these strange, yet wonderful inspirations, I hope you act on them. Think of the joy that you will create for yourself and many others! I think that is a great reason! And, you never know–that act of kindness might have an interesting side effect… on all concerned!

My Own Celebration

“When you do not love yourself, you become “needy,” and you try to get the love you need through others. When you deny your own needs, you resort to manipulation, control, or pitiful begging to get others to fulfill your needs.

In the early days of our marriage, I was “needy,” wanting love from my husband that I couldn’t give myself. Every spring, I dropped clear hints of my love of daffodils, hoping he would bring me daffodils. While he did many things for me, he never brought me daffodils. One day, some years later, as I was beginning to learn about loving oneself, I thought, “I will buy some daffodils.”

The day I bought myself daffodils was not a sad one. Instead, it was a day of victory in my realization that I could honor my celebration of spring with the beauty of the spring daffodils. In confession, I must say that I have extended this, and now celebrate fall with chrysanthemums, Christmas with pine boughs, and summer with bouquets of daisies. These small gifts nurture my heart. Having lunch alone in a cozy restaurant with a favorite book nurtures my heart. Buying a new book or an inspirational tape recording for listening in my car nurtures my heart. While my beloved nurtures me in ways he things are important, I have great joy in the self-love of my own celebration.”

— Donna F. Fletcher
Reflections of the Heart

Note: This book, Reflections of the Heart was shared with me by a dear friend and reader. Her mother published this book and I have enjoyed it so much that I’ve found some poems and other golden nuggets to share from it. Thank you, Sherilyn.

Overflowing Gratitude

“Sometimes my cup overflows
with gratitude and I am in awe
of the blessings, I’ve received.” 

— Terry Minion

[Classic post from 5-11-16]

It is delightfully amazing how something comes to you at the perfect time and as it is accepted, it becomes a part of who you are. I’ve had so many of those times, and yesterday was one such day. It is also fascinating to me how these things come into being and expand, like following a narrow path that leads into a shining metropolis.

I could write about this experience and what I learned for days on end, but I will keep it short, though I am quite unable to keep it to myself.

I subscribe to emails from Marie Forleo. I love her videos and think she is a fascinating person on the Internet. Yesterday, she shared a talk that she did on Oprah Winfrey’s Supersoul Sessions, which are much like TED talks but range from 24-35 minutes each, and from well-known authors and speakers. I’ve heard of Supersoul Sunday, but never really plugged into it, and knew nothing about all that is going on at Supersoul.tv until Marie shared her talk and I saw the Supersoul.tv website.

I very much enjoyed Marie’s talk about how everything is ‘figureoutable,’ a term her mother taught her at a young age about self-reliance and creativity. In the video window was four thumbnail-sized video images of other talks in the SuperSoul Sessions, so I watched another by Eckart Tolle that I enjoyed very much. Then, I watched a talk by Dr. Shefali Tsabary, who I was unfamiliar with, and I was fascinated by her talk about parenting that was so insightful and deeply touching, yet so simple as to feel perfectly wise. I was very impressed with this unique talk.

Next, I watched the talk by Kris Carr about living a crazy, sexy life, as she has learned how to do with cancer in her body. Then, I watched Oprah’s own talk about shedding the weight to a better life which addressed her own struggle with her body and the path she is now on, appreciating the journey as a whole. Next, I watched the video of India.Arie of whom I was completely unaware, but became a huge fan from this short ‘songversation’ expressing her life, lessons, and journey.

Then I watched Deepak Chopra, one of my favorite authors, then Elizabeth Gilbert gave a moving talk, along with Janet Mock. I was completely blown away by one of my favorite authors and speakers, Marianne Williamson. This talk about Universal intentions, and much more, was so profound to me as to feel like the top of my head blew off like a volcano of insight and understanding. Wow!

In so many of these talks because they were personal and touching, I shed tears–many tears, many times. I spent virtually the entire day yesterday watching, learning, feeling emotion, being amazed, and absolutely and completely full of gratitude. I hardly knew who to thank. Of course, Marie Forleo sent me the email with the link that led me to the other talks, and Oprah Winfrey created the environment, exposure, promotion to the entire range of talks. I haven’t yet seen all of them because there are so many. I wanted to write Oprah and gush my thanks and I’m sure she hears stuff like that all the time. I wanted to write each of the people I watched in the videos and express how moved I was with their talk, and sharing themselves and their travels. I felt stifled almost not knowing how to express my gratitude for such a moving day that moves me still just thinking about it.

Then, I thanked God, the Universe, The All-That-Is for this. I was thanking the Creator of the Law of Attraction which helped bring this to me and ultimately, it is the Creator, God, the Universe, All-That-Is, and a thousand other names to describe this that guides all that is responsible and my gratitude here is perfectly placed. I am also thanking those involved as I have so briefly described above, and sharing it all here to express my gratitude and joy outwardly. I am blessed greatly. Thank you.

Sometimes Your Cup Runneth Over And It Feels Like Gratitude Isn’t Enough. But Gratitude Is ALWAYS Enough Because It Is Love. 

Spread Some Joy Today–by sharing your joy. That’s how easy it is. Share it in a text, a letter, a blog, yelling from a mountain top. You get to choose the venue.

Jenna

She is nine
and she asked me,
“Grandma,
are you rich?”
“Am I rich?”
What does the
wisdom of my heart say?

“Yes, Jenna, I am rich, for
I own the golden
sunlight of the morning
and the evening star
of the north.
My emeralds are the oak leaves
and my diamonds their dew drops.
More beautiful than rubies
are the crimson roses
that climb the picket fence.

My home is large and very beautiful
stretching from daybreak
to nightfall.
Decorated with fields of wild flowers
and flocks of flying geese.

For you see, Jenna,
the deep blue ocean
with its dancing waves
and the great pines
that sing in the breeze
belong to me.

But most precious
of all my riches
Are the people
of my life.

Each a rare jewel
an original,
a gift.
Each with a smile
like no other,
a beauty
to melt my heart,
a flower
to fill my bouquet of life.

Yes, Jenna
When you run
to hug me;
when the gentle night
holds me in my sleep;
when the sun
warms the day;
when your grandfather whistles–
I am rich beyond measure,
for I have known
the wonder of Love.”

— Donna F. Fletcher
Reflections of the Heart

Holding A Vision In Love

“When you hold a vision for someone, you are healing them. When you see someone in love and you hold them in the frequency of love–“I am love through the one I see before me”–you are healing them. When you see someone as well who has been ill or is injured and you hold that vision for them–“I am love through the one before me”–you are benefiting them in their healing. When you see someone who is frightened–“I am love through the one before me”–you are bringing them love to heal the fear. You do not have to teach them through your language; you can be with them in this frequency and this frequency will do what it is required to do in order to heal. You will be welcomed by them in healing as this is done. It is done in congruence and an awakening in the auric field: “I am love through the one I see before me.”

— Paul Selig
The Book of Love and Creation

Patience Is Just Plain Fun!

“The greatest power 
is often simple patience.”

— E. Joseph Cossman

 
[Classic post from 3-23-14]
 
My Life Lessons 

This is a series of revelations about my life that I am sharing with others for what it may be worth. These come from a lifetime of study and experience of others and myself, and I now translate them to words. These will be numbered; however, they are not in order of importance as all are equally important. It is just a way for me to keep track of them in this series. I hope you find value in them.

Life Lesson #14

Patience is not only a virtue, it’s just plain fun.

I have learned to be a patient man, and I have learned it from people and circumstances that challenged me to make that choice. Well, I accepted the challenges with eagerness because I made a decision that I wanted to learn to be a patient man.

Some people think that having patience is enduring something, which sounds like that stiff-upper-lip thing in England. Patience in the Bible is often spoken in the same manner. To me that is more like tolerance, meaning you are putting up with it though you do not want to. Maybe you can’t even wait to get out of the situation to get back into the world of fast-moving impatience.

I borrowed a bit of a quote from Wayne Dyer and created my own about this subject. Here it is: “Patience isn’t tolerating or putting up with. It is allowing things, situations, or people to be as they are without any insistence that they be anything else.” I think that says it nicely.

To me, patience is also calmness. I remember several years ago when I first read a quote by James Allen, and as soon as I read it, the whole thing resonated with me and I wanted to become that person. Here’s the quote: “The more tranquil a man becomes, the greater is his success, his influence, his power for good. Calmness of mind is one of the beautiful jewels of wisdom.” Isn’t that a wonderful image? I love it.

All of these are great. Each is well-spoken and describes the idea of patience nicely. From the time I was a child, I had always heard the quote, “patience is a virtue.” I never really knew what it meant, and putting it into practice was torture. Later in my life, after finally making a decision that I wanted to become a patient man, I found that practice was what helped me get it going, and after a time, I began to have fun with it, and now I look forward to opportunities where I can practice it.

But, before I could really practice it, I had to get rid of the idea of tolerance, endurance, holding my breath, and other ideas of patience. What I found was that it was more real when I would unplug from the situation, suspend all judgment, and the keyword was to relax.

So, I went back to my vision of the tug-o-war and my struggle to pull the rope was my impatience with the situation or the person, and patience was more obvious to me as in letting go of the rope. I began to practice as if I were standing outside just watching the situation with no real interest other than to just enjoy it. That worked extremely well.

By stepping back, letting go of the rope, and just observing brought me joy. I was really having fun and smiling the whole time. Others around me might be complaining, demonstrating their impatience, and so on, and here I was in the same situation, having joy. Who knew? It’s hard to say how much of a difference it has made in my recent life, but it is tremendous.

“Circumstance Does Not Make The Man; It Reveals Him To Himself.” — James Allen 

Spread Some Joy Today–Let go of the rope. Relax. Breathe deeply. Experience joy.

Going With The Flow

This is one of those lessons that I've heard a lot of feedback on and so many have said that it really helped them make the changes they wanted to make. I have likened working against things to rowing a boat upstream or swimming upstream. We are working, stressed out because we are pushing against a current of affairs. Sometimes it seems like the harder we work, worry, or fight, the slower our progress. Part of the reason is that our own energy is helping the river to flow, and we then are struggling against it.

So, going with the flow, then, is simply to relax. Stop the struggle. Go with the flow. Put the oars in the boat. Trust the outcome and watch what happens. It's magic.

Sometimes if I am talking with someone and it just feels like a struggle, I remind myself of this and just shut up and listen, pay attention to them without judgment, and let it flow as it will. Every time it works better. It amazes me how much of a relationship you can create by just listening as much as possible and encouraging them to talk more. Plus, it keeps my foot out of my mouth more often too.

Life Lesson #7: Forgiveness

“It’s not just other people we need to forgive.
We also need to forgive ourselves.
For all the things we didn’t do.
All the things we should have done.”

— Mitch Albom

[Classic post from 3-16-14]

My Life Lessons

This is a series of revelations about my life that I am sharing with others for what it may be worth. These come from a lifetime of study and experience of others and myself, and I now translate them into words. These will be numbered; however, they are not in order of importance as all are equally important. It is just a way for me to keep track of them in this series. I hope you find value in them.

Life Lesson #7

Forgiveness is sublime, and it is not for others, but ourselves.

I might add to Mitch Albom’s quote above, all the things we did, and all the things we shouldn’t have done. It’s great to forgive ourselves for things we should have done but didn’t do, yet is taken to a whole new level when we forgive ourselves for things we have actually done, yet have always regretted by feeling we shouldn’t have done them.

I think that if we are human, we err. If we are acting on impulse, eventually we will act in a way that in a time of more clarity, we would have made another choice. Maybe someone else was affected in the process, and that can add to the burden that we continually add to ourselves over time for these errors in judgment and/or action.

Probably of all the things that I have learned to help me through life, the action of forgiveness of myself is high on the list of importance to me, and I have also been very successful in changing the way I have viewed past so-called errors or mistakes.

The thing that has helped me the most has been to put into a picture in my head what forgiving is. To me, regret and self-judgment is exactly like a game of tug-o-war where I am pulling with all my might against a foe or foes on the other side of the pit. It seems that the harder I pulled, the harder it was held firm. I could never seem to move the opponent enough to matter. The reason is that the opponent was me and is of equal strength. Essentially, I was fighting myself without any success.

The change in me came when I realized that all I needed to do was let go of the rope. At first, I thought that was quitting, and in a short time, I realized that it was a success instead. As soon as I let go, the opponent didn’t fall down, but disappeared entirely, along with the rope and the pit.

Now I use this strategy purposefully in many ways in my life, and mainly to forgive myself for those things I should have done, shouldn’t have done, failed to do, and did. Once I get some time as perspective, I often see that these things weren’t mistakes at all, but an essential part of my journey.

Forgiving others is a piece of cake to me. I just let go of the rope. As long as I am not forgiving them, I am at war with myself, and that war is no fun, and I find pain at every turn and negative thoughts that run in a circle over and over again. So, I’ve learned to just let go of the rope in my mind and the act of forgiveness has been achieved. I have released the issue, and I have at the same time, released myself from the self-imposed burden.

Forgiving myself was not a piece of cake to me, but as I learned to let go of the rope and practiced it, felt it, I began forgiving myself more and more. Now it is easier. Sometimes one of those issues comes back from an old memory tape, and it is easier still because I have dealt with it before and know what to do.

I have often found that letting go is the most powerful thing I can do.

“Sometimes You Don’t Realize Your Own Strength Until You Come Face To Face With Your Greatest Weakness.” — Susan Gale

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Mesa, AZ