Category: Fun

Expressing Love

“I am love through all that I see before me.”

— Paul Selig

My journey in love continues to expand and grow as I continue to choose love, express love, be love. It is not a destination. It is a journey, and a truly magical and joyful journey as well.

Recently, I have taken this to a new level and practice. Every single person I see regardless of where I see them, I say to them in my mental voice, I love you! People out for a walk, in the grocery store, standing in line, at the stoplight, you name it. Wherever people are, I am telling them that I love them.

This is not a silly game. I am sincere when I say it. I’ve never met most of those I see and most likely will never meet them, and each and every one of them is, as I am, an aspect of the Divine, an aspect of God. We are individualized aspects of the same source. As I honor their presence and their divinity, I honor my own.

As you are willing to try this, you will find that you are completely amazed, delighted, joyful. You will feel loved. You will be sharing your own well of love with all that you see. Try it and you will see that I am telling it like it is.

Enjoy all those that are in your sight today! It keeps us from criticizing each other, judging, complaining, and much more. The blessings come back tenfold. Prepare for magic!

Learning To Express Rather Than To Impress

“Learn to express,
not impress.”

— Jim Rohn

[Classic post from 8-11-12]

Having been an avid fan of Mr. James Rohn, business philosopher, I've used and love so many of his quotes. I have a whole book of them. Tonight I was about to look through the pages of this book for an idea and boom!–this quote above jumped off the page in my face.

At first, I thought, well. . . what does he mean by that? How might have this quote been used in one of his teachings? Truth is I don't know. He did thousands of teachings, but as I reread it, the quote spoke to me, so I thought I would share that with you.

When I was young, I always wanted to impress. I wanted to impress my mom and dad, my grandma, teachers, even other kids so I could be in their group. As I grew up and went into the business world, I wanted to impress my coworkers, my boss, my wife, and so on.

At some point, I found that to be less than fruitful, sort of like chasing a rainbow. So, I began to learn how to express more and try to impress less. I must admit to having some deep-seated insecurities or something because this transition has taken a long time. But, I do believe that I have made the transition to focusing on expression rather than impression.

We can express or impress with our speech, our deeds, our activities, even the career choices we make. We can express or impress with our finances, or lack of them, our accomplishments or lack of them, our friends or lack of them, and so on. In fact, in anything we do or say, we can be focused on expressing or impressing.

The Difference Can Easily Be Seen In What We Do, What We Produce, And How We Behave.

Spread Some Joy Today–Stop by your favorite coffee shop and bring your coworkers a nice coffee treat. Or, at least one. . . or maybe a dozen premium donuts. . . Fun!

Laughter

What is laughter? What is laughter?
It is God waking up! O it is God waking up!
It is the sun poking its sweet head out
From behind a cloud
You have been carrying too long,
Veiling your eyes and heart.

It is Light breaking ground for a great Structure
That is your Real body–called Truth.

It is happiness applauding itself and then taking flight
To embrace everyone and everything in this world.

Laughter is the polestar
Held in the sky by our Beloved,
Who eternally says,

“Yes, dear ones, come this way,
Come this way toward Me and Love!

Come with your tender mouths moving
And your beautiful tongues conducting songs
And with your movements–your magic movements
Of hands and feet and glands and cells–Dancing!

Know that to God’s Eye,
All movement is a Wondrous Language,
And Music–such exquisite, wild Music!”

O what is laughter, Hafiz?
What is this precious love and laughter
Budding in our hearts?

It is the glorious sound
Of a soul waking up!

— Hafiz

Practice Makes Good Better

People are complicated. They have many facets, do strange things sometimes, and in so many, their ego leads their life. Nature is easy. That’s where I started in my appreciation practice. I began appreciating plants, trees, leaves, bushes, weather, the sky, the air, the temperature, the breeze, the small close-up view, and the grander wide-angle long views. It was easy and I felt so good expressing my appreciation in my mind. I was thanking God for all of what I was seeing.

Everywhere I went, whether just outside my home or in some other part of the world, nature was right there. As I would appreciate one thing, then I found it easier to appreciate another. As that happened, the Law of Attraction began putting other things to appreciate in my path until I was almost in a constant state of appreciation as I viewed nature.

Then I moved to people. In this, I would try to find at least one thing to appreciate about everyone that I might see, or interact with. I might like their eyes, their hair, the clothes they chose, or their shoes, or their smile, or their laughter. There are so many possibilities that I found it an easy challenge to like at least one thing about other people.

As part of this, I began seeing things about myself that I could appreciate. As I said earlier, to appreciate others and not ourselves is to not really appreciate at all. Then, the Law of Attraction began helping me see other things to appreciate about me. It might be things I said or wrote. It might be the way my hair looked that day. I began complimenting myself in the mirror. Then I began doing it aloud. I do it more today because it is so important to appreciate ourselves. After all, we are who we live with 365/24/7.

Then, I began practicing being bold enough to share something that I appreciated about another to them aloud. It is always interesting to hear and see their responses. It’s also funny. I might compliment a woman on her blouse or other aspects of their choices in clothing, and they will often say thank you, and then tell me how cheap it was and maybe even which store it came from as if they are negating its value by having it be inexpensive. But, whatever their reaction, it has always been positive and you can see how they appreciated someone noticing in their eyes, face, and body language.

Now I do this a lot. If I see the same people time and again like at the bank or something, I can always find something else to compliment them on. My finding things to appreciate is now habitual. I don’t even think about it much. I am used to seeing things to appreciate wherever I am, all day long. It matters not whether I am at home and finding things, or out and about, or at events. I am constantly seeing things to appreciate and I am constantly appreciating them inside.

Even when I see something that I don’t really appreciate, I find things about it that I can appreciate. For example, I’m not much of a fan of graffiti, or at least the kind of graffiti I see around where I live, but I can and do appreciate their creativity. I don’t appreciate that they are damaging other people’s property, or that they are uncaring about any of that, but I can appreciate their humanity and perhaps even that which causes them to feel less than and to try to be more than in an attempt to find their own wholeness.

On that note about graffiti, I see it and quickly look away. I don’t want to give it any energy. I used to give it all kinds of energy by putting down those who were doing these acts and feeling bad in the process. I have learned that feeling good is my goal and it is that which helps me to become more, so I turn to a better feeling view and give that energy instead. Even in this, it is all about finding something to appreciate.

On the other hand, the word graffiti simply means writing or drawing on a wall or other object. In some definitions, they use the word illicit. So, there are all kinds of graffiti that I truly appreciate, and some of it is quite spectacular as art. Even as I sit at the railroad crossing and see all the cars with graffiti on them, I see many with very elaborate painted words and images. Obviously, they had more time to spend on that project, but looking beyond the idea of changing other people’s property without their permission, much of this artwork is truly creative and even beautiful.

Then, outdoor murals can be considered graffiti. There are all kinds of ways to find appreciation in something that we may normally hate to see or even feel angry about and more. Becoming a grateful person is finding different ways to appreciate things, and I think even especially things, that we might not normally appreciate. It is life-changing—changing for the better.

Love Them. Love Them Anyway. Love Them Regardless.

“The secret of health for both mind and body
is not to mourn for the past, nor to worry about
the future, but to live the present moment
wisely and earnestly.”

— Siddhartha Gautama

“It makes no difference how deeply seated may
be the trouble, how hopeless the outlook, how
muddled the tangle, how great the mistake.
A sufficient realization of love will dissolve it all.”

— Emmet Fox

[Classic post from 6-28-12. Note: As I reread this post, I thought of similar events in people’s lives that I know or know of. I thought it was an enlightening reminder to consider how we can enjoy the present moments with our loved ones and to worry not about the past or the future. There is positive in every so-called tragedy and as we open to what we can find in that way we are both transformed.]

Since I’ve shared a lot of myself in these blogs, I will continue that by telling you that my wife is dying in front of me and fading more each day. She has ALS, and other ailments and in the last year has aged at least ten. She was forced to retire this year by not being able to function in her capacity any longer. Most recently she was a Children’s Pastor, and now on disability with a fatal disorder.

How do I turn that into an inspiration? It depends on how one would look at this.

Indeed, it would be so easy to say how sad it is and to mourn the why’s and wherefore’s, seek blame, and that list goes on much longer, and it is to no avail anyway. If I believe that these things just are given out at random to undeserving souls, or some devil was to blame, or anything at all we might think of from the outside, it is a seriously sad situation. And, at the same time, feeling sorry and feeling the potential loss is casting a dark shadow on anything like love.

Yesterday, I talked about accepting situations as if we had planned and executed them on purpose, whether consciously or unconsciously. In my mind, it is only with this kind of thought that I can deal with this by accepting and to feel love rather than all those other fearful and sorrowful emotions.

Does the way we think affect our health? I think there is no doubt in my mind and we can watch people over time and see how they deal with things and one way is an illness. Is it too late? I don’t believe so, but it is not up to me. This kind of talk from me falls on deaf ears, but I am too close and she has her own mind and beliefs many of which do not match mine.

So what to do?

Love her. Find joy. Stay in the moment as much as I can because in the moment there is only love and no fear. Don’t treat her as being less than, or excessively careful and all that fear stuff, but to just enjoy all the little moments that we used to let go by unnoticed and unappreciated.

Life can change in an instant when someone goes quickly. Life can change in moments in situations like this. A lot of people around her are sad and avoid seeing her, talking with her because her speech is affected so much now, but I debate with her and challenge her and have fun with her. She was a debate champion and I never even got close to winning an argument on any subject and never had any fun with it either. But now, I have fun.

Now we just go do things on the spur of the moment or do things we haven’t done in a long time, go for coffee which never was her favorite and is now for some reason. It’s not about making up for lost time, or anything like that, it is just a relaxing in allowing the present moment to take priority. It never used to but does now. And, that is a lesson I’ve been working on accepting and learning of late as well.

I talked about one of my favorite books, Power To Praise by Merlin Carothers and that book is what taught me to praise God for everything including things that my previous training taught me to condemn. It is so powerfully true and in the practicing of it, I see his message so clear. It is acceptance, then appreciation and love.

It is also an inspiration to pay more attention to the present every day regardless of health and circumstance. I’ve always liked that quote that says, “if you truly love God, what is there to worry about?

Happiness Is A Choice To Be So By Appreciating The Abundance Of Love We Have In Us And Around Us. There Is An Endless Supply. Endless. Use It.

Spread Some Joy Today–See the sparkle in the eye, the smile of love in the face. See yourself as a reflection of others.

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!

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.

Christmas in July

[This was written in June 2017 and published in a magazine,]

I often sing Jingle Bells in July and celebrate holidays whenever I want. I see no need to wait until there is a majority agreement on a date to celebrate something. It’s so much fun to make my own celebration dates. I like living in the present. There is no time like right this moment to choose to be happy, have some fun, spread some joy, and enjoy myself. In fact, now I celebrate every single day.

Michael A. Singer asks, “Do you want to be happy, or do you not want to be happy? It’s really that simple. Once you make that choice, your path through life becomes totally clear.” In his excellent book, The Untethered Soul he has a whole chapter on the concept of practicing unconditional happiness. He adds, “You just have to really mean it when you say that you choose to be happy. And you have to mean it regardless of what happens.” 

We often have so many rules about how we allow ourselves to be happy, and that sadness, grief, depression, or some other thing gives us permission to disconnect from happiness. We may think that we don't have any control over things and situations that create these feelings, but it isn't any event or situation, but only our choice that rules. 

To say, I want to be happy, but. . . or I want to be happy, except. . . is to choose not to be happy. People might say, “Of course I want to be happy, but my wife died, or my husband left me, or I got fired, or I'm deeply in debt, or someone crashed into my car, or I can't pay all my bills,” or fill in the blank. There's always some reason we can come up with when we only allow ourselves to have conditional happiness by saying, yes, but, or yes, except.

I love how Abraham, Esther Hicks discusses the subject:

“We are really advocates of just getting as happy as you can be–which takes care of everything. Even if you don't have reason to be happy–make it up. Fantasize it. Make a decision that you're going to be happy one way or another–no matter what. “No matter what, I'm going to be happy! If I have to ignore everybody; if I have to never watch television again; if I have to never pick up a newspaper again, I'm going to be happy. If I never have to see that person's face again, I'm going to be happy. If I have to see that person's face, I'm going to find something to see in that person's face that makes me happy. I'm going to be happy. I'm going to be happy. I'm going to be happy.” 

Some people say, “well, you just can't be happy all the time because there is a lot of ________ all around.” OK. That's a choice to be happy when we think it is acceptable or appropriate to be happy. Fine. Have it that way. But the statement that we just can't be happy all the time is purely opinion. We can be happy all the time. We can respond to events without reacting to them. We can decide to be happy no matter what goes on outside, no matter what anyone else thinks, no matter what. All we need do is choose it–and mean it.

Once we choose, our path is clarified. We see life with different eyes, different emotional responses, different perspectives. We can choose and allow ourselves to be happy regardless, and as we practice that, life takes on new meaning. I know this to be true because I made this choice and practice it daily, hourly, constantly. When an old habit of how I should feel comes up, I see it for what it is: an old habit. I then choose to let it pass by as I decide to be happy and at peace anyway.

Where Do You See Yourself?

[I wrote this in Jan 2016 and it was published in a magazine.]

Where Do You See Yourself In 10 Years?

I’ve always loved movies. I’ve watched thousands of them in my life beginning as soon as I could change the channel on the old black & white TV, watching all those movies from the 30s and 40s. 

My latest favorite is called, The Intern, with Robert De Niro, Anne Hathaway, and Rene Russo. The reviews weren’t very good, but I love it (tells you what critics mean to me. . .) because it makes me feel good, and I like feeling good. If you haven’t seen it, Robert De Niro’s character applies for a “senior intern” position at a start-up clothing company and is assigned as a personal assistant to the CEO, Anne Hathaway, but she isn’t thrilled to deal with that. He overcomes her resistance with patience and by providing value, which I think almost everyone appreciates.

In the interview before getting the position, he is asked by a 20-something interviewer, “Where do you see yourself in 10 years?” His answer, “What? You mean when I’m 80?” The kid backpedals not really realizing that he is now 70 years old.

It’s one of those silly questions that employers and their representatives often ask. Heck, I asked it many times myself in interviewing potential hires. It must be one of those things that came from some expert seminar or something, but it is truly a silly question. I can remember being 20 and could not even imagine in my head being 30, so how would I answer that question? In the movie, he is 70 and at first, I laughed, and then I calculated that I am 68 this year, and could relate to his surprise at such a silly question.

It’s difficult to consider the future that far out. Heck, it’s difficult to consider it only a year from now, and the older I get in years, the more I focus on now. I can’t do anything in the future, but I certainly can do something now. 

Many want us to worry about the future, but that simply destroys our today. I get the question and its meaning. They want to know what our ambitions are, whether we have much ambition, what our goals are, how we will grow to become more, and so on. Wonderful. Why not ask those questions. But, here are some better ones to consider, I think. See if you agree.

How can I enjoy my life more right now? How can I be more loving right now? In what ways can I be of more value right now? With all my experience in life, who can I share the value of my unique perspective with for their benefit (and mine) right now? How can I love myself more right now? In what ways can I spend more time focusing on joy right now? What excites me? What causes me to want to dance? How can I find more inner peace right now?

How about this: Where do you see yourself right now?

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