Category: Growth

Heaven On Earth

Heaven on Earth is
not “the Heaven of Heavens,”
not the eternal kingdom,
not the perfect place.

For in Heaven on Earth
are the tears
for another’s pain,
for the wounded souls,
for God’s violated gifts.

Heartbreak abounds in
Heaven on Earth,
yet also are there tears
of joy in spring’s blooming,
of rapture in a setting sun,
of wonder in a child’s smile.

Heaven on Earth
cannot be found
by “doubt” or “disbelief,”
is denied the worldly wise,
is unknown to human pride.

For in Heaven on Earth
heart touches heart;
gentleness holds the frightened;
joy sees the other and dances,
and the newborn pine rises out of ashes.

Heaven on Earth is lived
in a moment of “Light,”
in a moment of knowing,
in a moment of deep tenderness,
in a moment of kneeling.

For Heaven on Earth
is Love’s dwelling place
known to all
who open to Love.

— Donna F. Fletcher
Reflections of the Heart

Letting Go Is So Powerful

“When we understand the needs
that motivate our own and others behavior,
we have no enemies.”

–Marshall Rosenberg

I talk about letting go of the rope quite often. It is that rope that is interwoven throughout all of my lessons in one way or another. It is all about letting go of the resistance that I have developed, often as a protective measure, but ultimately self-defeating. 

I’m often reminded of the tug-o-war game where one person or many pulls against an equal sum on the other end of the rope trying to win by brute force, whether moving the opponent across a line, real or imaginary or some undesirable obstacle like a patch of muddy water. Back and forth they go, gaining ground, losing ground, until there is a final victory for one side and failure on the other. It is the epitome of the win-lose theme that is displayed in almost every sport, as well as in business, and even in personal relationships and family. Someone is a winner, and the other one a loser.

But, more than this, it is about resistance. The winner in the tug-o-war game is the one or the team that has the most resistance. Resistance is desired. It is a good thing. Not so in life, as I have learned time and time again. So, my mantra has become, letting go of the rope. The rope represents resistance. It represents struggle, perseverance, brute strength (or trickery). The more we resist, the longer we’re in the game. The longer we’re in the game, the higher the chance of resisting enough to resist more than the opponents on the other end of the rope. 

The opponents are trying so hard to outdo each other. It’s fighting. It’s cajoling. It’s fun if you win and not if you lose. This is how so many of us are taught how life is. You’ve got to get out there and make it happen, take no prisoners, win at all costs. But, really, it is a zero-sum game at best. When one wins and one loses, that speaks volumes about a vision of lack, or a lack-mentality. There’s not enough for everyone, so you have to go out and work hard and make sure you get yours. It’s bad advice at best, and debilitating at its worst.

To me, the rope has become such a great metaphor to describe the struggle that so many live and that I spent most of my life living. It is also a perfect metaphor for letting go, by opening my hands and simply letting go of the rope, making my own choices regardless of what others may think

I spent a lot of years learning that letting go was my answer or the key pieces of the puzzle of my life. I have spent all the remaining years practicing letting go.

Holding on is so normal, and letting go is the opposite, or so it seems. But, it doesn’t matter to me anymore what someone else thinks is normal or abnormal. Part of letting go of the rope is taking charge of my life, making better decisions, and enjoying my journey in joy instead of struggle, choosing love instead of fear and so much more.

I Create My Emotions With My Thoughts, Not The Other Way Around

“Why does a dog wag its tail? 
 Because a dog is smarter than its tail. 
 If the tail were smarter, 
 the tail would wag the dog.” 

 — From the movie, Wag the Dog 

[Classic post from 3-13-14]

Albert K Strong wisely said, “Our emotions don’t tell us what to think. Our emotions tell us what we are thinking.” I have dealt with some powerful emotions over the years–even to the point that some would call depression.

Mostly my clear memory of those times tells me I was mainly feeling sorry for myself and hoping others would join me. It was clear to me that my emotions were ruling my life. This is as the quote above where the tail is wagging the dog. There was a lot of dog wagging going on in my life for a long time. And, to make it more normal, everyone I knew around me was experiencing similar things. We attract people that way.

I learned a lot about the power of emotions and about what they mean in my studies in the last ten years. Once I accepted the premise that my emotions were an indicator of where my thinking was and that if I were to change my thinking, my emotion would change, everything began to change for me.

Three books and a seminar with time separation between was all I needed to be changed in this. The seminar was an Anthony Robbins weekend event that began with a Friday evening walking on hot coals action. The rest of the weekend was equally powerful. The books are Awaken the Giant Within, by Anthony Robbins, Love Is Letting Go Of Fear by Gerald Jampolsky, and The Astonishing Power Of Emotions by Esther and Jerry Hicks. One of these is powerful enough, but all three left no doubt whatsoever.

Everything we do, we do because we think we will feel better. Often, we make a choice that doesn’t match that idea and we don’t feel very good. That is an indication of needing a different choice. The goal is always to feel good, or joy. One of my favorite books is so appropriate in its title: Joy Is My Compass by Alan Cohen. It is my compass now. And, I have so much joy every single day and I keep wanting even more.

If I find myself thinking something that feels fearful, worrisome, or otherwise attached to an emotion that doesn’t feel good, I now know to choose a better feeling thought right away and stay on that track. Sometimes, I find myself going back and forth a lot in a short time, and most of that is old tapes and habit, but I know full well that I am in charge of my tail, not the other way around. With that attitude, feeling poorly hasn’t got a chance.

All I need to ever do is choose a better feeling thought, and then a better feeling thought and a better feeling thought. I can’t normally go from depression to joy in one step, so I just keep choosing better feeling thoughts and then I feel better, and better, and better.

Here’s how Abraham via Esther Hicks says it best: “No matter what the issue is, don’t try to justify why to don’t feel good. And don’t try to justify why you should feel differently. Don’t try to blame whatever it is you think the reason is that’s keeping you from feeling good. All of that is wasted effort. Just try to feel better right now.”

I Am In Charge Of My Tail. When It Is Wagging, I Am On The Right Track.

Spread Some Joy Today–by choosing better feeling thoughts throughout the day.

I Have Power

“Only human beings can reorder their lives
any day they choose by refining their philosophy.”

–Jim Rohn

I suppose I could say that it all begins with the realization that I have power, and if I don’t yet recognize that as a fundamental truth, that I can learn to recognize the power. What power? The power to change my life to more of what I want and less of what I don’t want. The power to lead my life instead of having others dictate or circumstances determine my fate. The power to have a great life, to be happy generally, and to feel purpose and to find fulfillment in my life and my relationships with others. It means that instead of hoping that my life might turn out well, having the power means that I actually control it.

Another way I might reflect on this is that it means that I am accepting responsibility for my life, or to be in charge of my life. It took a lot of years for me to get to the point where I was really accepting full responsibility for my life and how it has turned out. But, I began accepting responsibility a little at a time, while I was still seeing other people outside of me causing issues, and circumstances that weren’t to my liking. I still blamed things and people outside of myself for much that went on that I didn’t like. There were even some periods of feeling powerless, yet little by little, I made progress.

Jim Rohn was a big help in the philosophy of that, but I never seemed to live up to my own comparison with his views of a successful person. I tried. I listened to the tapes, read his books, and generally loved what he was saying, and even practiced, but I still fell short. That is so often how we feel when we are comparing ourselves to others. And, yet, as I said, progress was happening; albeit, slowly.

It would take almost another 30 years to really get to the point of fully accepting my own ability and responsibility for changing my life to my own desires, and letting go of all that resistance that is demonstrated so blatantly in blame, disappointment, unworthiness, and powerlessness.

I think it is extremely important to acknowledge and accept the inner power that we have at our disposal. It is and has always been there, but many may be so caught up in what is going on around them and the disparity they feel about them, that they just don’t realize the control of their lives they can have.

In fact, I believe that all of our learning is simply and exquisitely to remember what we already know—to re-member, re-connect. I believe that we have all the answers we ever need within us via our inner connection with God or All-That-Is. At the same time, it is great to make connections with other people and be subject to some of their influence to enhance ourselves too. These connections are not haphazard as they might seem but are co-creating with others for the benefit of all. There is something beautiful in sharing knowledge with others. It is the same vibration as love.

Who Taught Me?

Below is a poetic phrase that touched me deeply and really stood apart from the rest of the poem. The whole poem is excellent, and I so enjoyed this piece of it that I wanted to share that insight with you in case you may have a similar sense. I am very clear now in my life that happiness is indeed in the heart and not in the world. Now the one line that stood miles apart for me is this: [Who taught me] “that my true self is beyond me?” I know now that it is not beyond me as I allow my alignment with it and with the unconditional love that my true self embodies. Equally enlightening was the first two phrases: “Who taught me that getting is taking?” Wow! What a fascinating thought. I hope you enjoy this poem today.

Who taught me
that getting is taking,
not giving;
that happiness is in the world
not in the heart;
that my true self
is beyond me?

_________________________________________________________

When?

When did I become
and ego, not a truth
surrendering my divinity
for the world?

How did I become
someone I’m not,
a hollow person caught
in a misled crowd
moving to the worldly tune,
competing for the worthless prize?

Who taught me
that getting is taking,
not giving;
that happiness is in the world
not in the heart;
that my true self
is beyond me?

Who is this me
acting on the stage of life?
Who is this one
who can smile
while the heart cries,
who can make the
meaningless meaningful,
who can pretend that all is right
when it isn’t?

Who is this me
who has learned
my lines as an actor in a play
but doesn’t know why
the words are hollow?
Who is this me
who turns away from rainbows
and forgets the roses?

— Donna F. Fletcher
Reflections of the Heart

An Ordinary Miracle

Sadly, for too long
I lived the worldly life
searching the world
for my happiness,
guided by others’ opinions,
giving away my truth;
my autonomy.

Mine was the ordinary life
with its ups and downs
and underlying unease
held in check by fear,
limited in vision,
bounded by ignorance,
weary from trying.

Then, one day,
grace awakened
my ordinary life to Holy Life;
joy flowed forth;
peace permeated;
disappointment
turned to celebration.

My ordinary life
became a miracle.

— Donna F. Fletcher
Reflections of the Heart

Disciplining My Disappointment

I was introduced to and began studying Jim Rohn’s teachings in 1980 and I remember this from him as it was yesterday: “You’ve got to learn to discipline your disappointment.” I loved that phrase and got its meaning and it stood out for me because I experienced a lot of disappointment in my life as if I were a pinball in a pinball machine being flipped and bouncing off bumpers racking up point after point to gather and carry into my future experience. The idea of disciplining that disappointment was a new concept to me then and I was excited to begin working on that toward the end of releasing disappointment altogether if that was possible. It is and it was, and I was relatively successful in this endeavor. Eventually, I found a better way. An easier way. A much more effective way to release my disappointment.

The word discipline carries the idea of focus, determination, and effort, or work as in deciding to work out or get into a routine of intentional exercise. I’ve not been very consistent in that arena and so the word discipline didn’t help me. What I found instead is the idea of the tug-o-war game and rather than struggle with the opponent on the other end disciplining my focus, effort, strength, and determination, I simply opened my hands and let the rope fall to the ground. I dropped the rope. What I found was that it required almost zero effort, focus, strength, or determination. No. It was so easy, so simple, and the most effective way to end my association with disappointment entirely. Now if I ever begin–and the key word here is, begin–to feel any measure of disappointment, I know what is going on because I am aware and so I immediately picture myself opening my hands and dropping the rope. And then it is ended immediately.

Most of these attributes that we may aspire to such as disciplining our disappointment, or anger, or jealousy, or any other negative emotional state, are most effectively achieved without any effort at all. Letting go is the most powerful thing I have ever learned to deal with these kinds of issues and situations. It doesn’t mean that your historical memories will not trigger a negative state from time to time, but as I begin to feel that happening and because I am now aware, I know what to do, and I can act on it immediately before it has a chance to grow. I am in control. And, it is without any effort at all. It is simply awareness and choice.

Making Decisions. Often.

“Some persons are very decisive
when it comes to avoiding decisions.” 

— Brendan Francis

[Classic post from 3-24-14]

Making decisions, making them easily, and making them often.

William James says it like it is when he said, “When you have to make a choice and don’t make it, that is in itself a choice.” I have to admit that this quote and the one above by Brendan Francis has me pegged more than I would like to admit. I’m such an artist at procrastination, and yet, of some of the people I know, I make a lot of decisions in comparison. But that doesn’t ever help, does it? All we have is ourselves and comparing ourselves to others is often a cop-out, as it is in this case too.

“Life is the sum of all your choices,” according to Albert Camus and I have to agree with that. How could that not be? Every decision takes us to another place. And, if it weren’t for that, we would die where we stand.

There is some peace and satisfaction in the act of making a decision. Rita Mae Brown backs that up when she points out, “A peacefulness follows any decision, even the wrong one.” However, I used to believe there were wrong choices and right choices, but I do so no longer. There is only choices and each choice will have some kind of response and whatever that is will be perfect for the time being. If we find the choice is less than satisfactory, we can make another, and another, and another.

The key is knowing what one wants, I think. Once we zoom in on this, making decisions is much easier. When we don’t know what we want, how would a decision about anything help much? And, the whole idea about decisions is to begin, get moving, go somewhere, do something, right? Getting started is the natural next step once we know what we want.

We don’t need to know what we want forever, but right now is good enough. Lewis Carroll in Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland & Through the Looking Glass says it as well as it can be said: “Go on till you come to the end; then stop.” Then is when a new decision will help us on our journey wherever we are going.

Buddha is attributed as saying, “There are two mistakes one can make along the road to truth. . . not going all the way, and not starting.” He also puts it in perspective when he said, “Everything that has a beginning has an ending. Make your peace with that and all will be well.”

So, I recommend making decisions often and not worrying very much about that. What comes of the decision will be telling, then we can make another choice. Indeed, we will soon enough have to make another choice to keep moving.

“With The New Day Comes New Strength And New Thoughts.” — Eleanor Roosevelt

Spread Some Joy Today–by mirroring what Alexandra Stoddard said so nicely: “I wake up every morning with a great desire to live joyfully.”

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.

Attitude Is Relative

“It is ironic that one of the few things in this life over which we have total control is our own attitudes, and yet most of us live our entire life behaving as though we had no control whatsoever.

By our attitude, we decide to read, or not to read. By our attitude, we decide to try or give up. By our attitude, we blame ourselves for our failure, or we foolishly blame others. Our attitude determines whether we love or hate, tell the truth or lie, act or procrastinate, advance or recede, and by our own attitude we and we alone actually decide whether to succeed or fail.”

— Jim Rohn

I have always loved how graphically attitude can be seen in an airplane, even if all you could see were the instruments. The picture above is called an artificial horizon instrument and it graphically shows your airplane’s attitude relative to the horizon. The yellow in the middle is the plane, the blue is the sky, the brown is the earth. Push the nose down, you see mostly earth, pull it up, mostly sky, turn right or left and it shows that visually. Level flight is just like the picture shows now.

Our own internal compass, or rather, artificial horizon, demonstrates our own attitude relative to all that we navigate through. It may not be earth and sky, but you get the idea. Straight and narrow is good. Feeling good is good. How we feel is our true artificial horizon. By knowing how we feel, we know where our attitude is and what to do to correct or improve it. All we need to do essentially is to pay attention and be interested in feeling better.

They say, ‘Attitude Is Everything.’ I think that is a fair statement. A better one might be that how we feel is the best indicator of our current attitude.

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Mesa, AZ