Category: Happiness

Spread Some Joy Today > Happiness

Turning From Prejudice Toward Love

From the web:
“As a noun, pre-justice is a preconceived opinion
that is not based on reason or actual experience.
As a verb, pre-justice is defined
as to give rise to prejudice; make biased.”

[New post]

My father died in an accident at age 36 a couple of days before his 37th birthday. I was 13 when he died. I was born in 1949 and he was 22 and my mom was 18. I was the eldest of three from that marriage which ended when I was five years old, my sister was three, and my little brother was only one. My parents were mid-western stock from Iowa and I was born in Iowa until we moved to southern California when I was two. My father was easily angered and quite prejudiced. I grew up early in a judgmental environment. As time went on, I heard more of that. My mother remarried and nothing changed as far as the prejudging of people, things, events were concerned. I got plenty of it from my mother as well, along with friends from school, neighbors, and more. It was normal to be prejudiced. It felt like we were supposed to judge others, their behavior, how they lived, and so much more.

The television promoted prejudice. It always has. It still does today. I began watching television in the early 1950’s. Long before color TV became a reality, television was colored with prejudice. Perhaps I should say lack of color. Movies showed it vividly. The schools I went to promoted prejudice in many ways, through choices of textbooks and who was allowed in, controlling teachers and curriculum to name a few.

I grew up in a white-dominated world. I heard so many words to describe those who weren’t white and even one group who was white but so far below standard as to be called trash. The N-word, the J-word, the other J-word, the C-word, the S-word, the other S-word, the I-word, along with all the color words that began with Y, R, B, the other B. Next, they were nationalized in groups based on where they lived now or where they were from or their lineage was from. Some were Mexican, Asian, Italian, German, African, South American, Icelandic, Pacific Islanders, Chinese, Japanese, Korean, and many more.

Indeed, we have so many ways to segregate each other into compartments and categories dehumanizing the world. Even the word people has us and them and they. All of this doesn’t even address the various languages that are spoken, the religions we’ve created and fight about, the foods we eat, lifestyles, and so much more. All of this is easily a place to stand in prejudgment.

Of course, this is not news. It is normal. It is only called normal because it has become habitual and it only became habitual by repetition and it all came from somewhere to get inside of each of us. We learned it. It does not come naturally. It is taught, shared, preached, legislated, from our parents, other family, peers, friends, schools, churches, leaders, government rules and laws, and more. And, it cannot be different until we each decide to be different, to let go of those teachings, to see something more, to change, to grow. Based on this, it will never change outside of us. It can only change within us. The outside world that we think we see is but a reflection. We choose to love or we choose fear. Prejudice in all its forms is simply fear. So when I hear someone spouting nonsense about a group or a country, or idea, I see it for what it is. It is a fearful person sharing their fears. Many will share it openly. Rather than push against them, acceptance is the way toward love. Pushing against anything is expanding fear.

We’ve had such volumes and constant repetitions of prejudicial points of view brought into our lives that to release this and become prejudice-free is a real challenge. However, just like walking five miles is taking the first step and then another and another, releasing our learned fears and turning toward love is releasing some here, some there, again, and over again. We have such a tendency as people to focus on the destination when it is the journey that is life itself. We are all and always a work in progress. All we need first is to become aware. Then choose differently. Seeing how fear rules our lives is enlightening, and we always have had and always will have the power to turn toward love and drop the rope of fear. In so doing, we create the world in which we want to live. It doesn’t matter who or how many may follow our lead. Our own choice and actions are all that matter. Allowing the world to be whatever it is serves us. Allowing all others to think and act in whatever way they think is best for them is empowering for us.

My past is what it was at a different now. I get to choose every second of every day. I choose to release prejudice and have been on this beautifully unfolding journey for many years now. It is a joyous journey of constantly seeing contrast and then pivoting toward love. Love is my home base now. I am home. I am love.

Trust And Allowing Is Love

“I fully trust 
that others do know 
what is best for them.”
 
— Essence of the Tao Te Ching,17th Verse
by Wayne Dyer 
 

[Classic post from 1-30-16]

Excepting the concept of raising young children (and maybe that isn’t really the exception we may imagine it is), how many times in your life have you been around people that you think need your help. Maybe they seem to get it wrong a lot, or maybe they keep tripping over the same switch, or they say they want this and do that instead. And what about all those civil servants, teachers, and other so-called authorities that have their heads in the dark places? Maybe it even seems like the whole world is off the mark, and you wish you could get them back on track. They need to listen to you. And, if they did, they would do better. It’s so simple, right?

I have to admit to having had many of these kinds of thoughts over the years. Not many wanted to listen, or maybe I didn’t go bold and tell them, or maybe I did, but it didn’t do any good. They just weren’t ready I guess. You can lead a horse to water, but you can’t make him drink, and all that.

Then again, maybe people are trying to lead you and you don’t want to hear it. Who do they think they are trying to tell me what to do, how to do it? They should go mind their own business because they could use some help of their own.

I’m finally learning about people. Some are awake and some are not, but deep down inside, we are all made from the same materials from the same factory so to speak. We’re all wise inside. It’s this flabby, soft, bony thing that we walk around in that is making us look and seem different. And we all have different stimuli, desires, and ideas too. But, inside we are basically the same in that we come from the same Source. We are all wise when we connect with that Source within us. We know what to do when we are aligned in that way. We know what we want when we focus there.

When we allow others to be what and who they are and accept that they are perfect however they are, and though we may be willing to help should they desire that, we eventually learn to trust that they know best for themselves, we are in alignment with our Source because our Source is pure unconditional love.

We don’t have to agree with other people’s choices, and our judgment of those choices or those actions is the only thing that keeps us apart from them. We simply need to allow them to choose as they will, while we choose as we desire. If we focus on our own alignment, that will be sufficient, and in the end, as a result of that example, we may love others in a way that is desired by all, honoring and aligning with the Source within us. For that is, after all, the Source of unconditional love–that is how Source sees us all.

So it is a good reminder to read this 17th verse of the all-wise Tao Te Ching from time to time so that we can remember that our place is to allow, to love, to serve, to enjoy, and to be an example of our best self. The more we follow these thoughts on interactions with others, the better our own lives become.

Trust That They Know What Is Best For Them While We Allow All Of That To Be As It Is As We Make Our Own Choices For Our Own Fulfillment. 

Spread Some Joy Today–by focusing on what you want for yourself.

A Confession Of Our Character

“People do not seem to realize 
that their opinion of the world 
is also a confession 
of their character.” 
 
— Ralph Waldo Emerson 
 

[Classic post from 1-10-16]

We may often think that our opinion of the world around us, the community we live in, the sphere that we work and dwell in and around is based on facts or circumstantial evidence, but it is not that at all. It is our own character, which is simply what we think, what we feel, and how we behave, that drives our opinion of that which is outside of us. In other words, it is that within us, that which we have become, that shows the outside world to us. We could even say that we see what we are.

There is grand value in knowing and understanding this concept that our opinion of that which is without comes from the character within. I think the highest value is that we can choose to change how we see the outside world by tinkering with what we think, and consequently how we feel, and consequently how we act. When we do, our opinion of the world is guaranteed to change. Changing circumstances is pretty much an impossible task in comparison to what we can change within ourselves.

This applies to worldly events and even relationships that touch our lives deeply. Below is a wonderful offering from Abraham, Esther Hicks from 2002:

“You don’t have to worry about what their vibration is if your vibration is one of connection. Because if your vibration is one of connection – you’re going to dominate the vibration. This is the way you learn your relationships. 


The thing that most people do not understand, is that you get to control the way you feel, because you get to choose the thoughts you think. 


Most people think that they only have the option of responding to the circumstances that surround them. And that’s what makes them attempt the impossible, which is to control the circumstances around them, which only feeds their feeling of frustration and vulnerability because it doesn’t take very much life experience to discover you can’t control all of those circumstances. 


But you can control your vibration. And when you control your vibration, you’ve controlled everything that has anything to do with you.” 

This was originally a paragraph that I broke apart only to make the beautifully stated points more powerful and make more sense too. And, it is, in my opinion, certainly worth considering in some depth, particularly the first line about connection to our Source within.

What You See Is Who You Are. What You See Is What You Get. We Choose It All. 

Spread Some Joy Today–by a willingness to look within ourselves at how we view the outside world. Joy is simply a natural result of a certain train of thought or thoughts.

Mistakes Are Only Stepping Stones Of Progress

“No matter how many mistakes you make 
or how slow you progress, 
you're still way ahead of everyone 
who isn't trying.” 
 
— Tony Robbins 
 

[Classic post from 1-26-16]

As Yoda said so perfectly, “Do or do not. There is no try,” whatever gets done, gets done by doing. And, what does it matter how long it takes. It's not a race unless that is the way you choose to imagine it. It is simply a journey–a journey of our own choosing, to a destination that is of our own creation, and our pace is not an issue unless we choose to make it so. Truly, it isn't even the destination either. It is simply the decision to do and the doing that matters in the end.

Even if we stop anywhere along that journey, choose something else and focus on it, the previous doing becomes a stepping stone on the much grander journey that we call life. There is no place or time that we need to be, only choices from desires of what we think we want. And, because that is in a constant state of flux, enjoying our life is tantamount to enjoying the doing. We call that living. 

Sometimes we get so hung up on where we think we should be, and the only reason we may think this is in comparison to another or others. Comparing ourselves to others is a waste of time and energy, and has a tendency to depersonalize the journey. Focusing on what we want is in our best interest. That is our journey and by that focus, it is the best it can be. As to the others, we thrive by blessing them where they are, inviting some to come along should they have a similar desire, and turn our remaining focus to enjoying the trip.

It's all good. Enjoy your journey. Enjoy your doing. Enjoy yourself. Enjoy your life.

Don't Forget To Breathe Deeply. You Might Put That On A Sticky Note As A Reminder. 

Spread Some Joy Today–by loving your life as it is on your way to wherever you may be going.

Everything To Do With Character

“Character is that which can do without success.” 
 
— Ralph Waldo Emerson 
 

[Classic post from 3-7-16]

I think that sometimes we might think that achievement or a certain stature within a place has everything to do with character. It may have to do with a certain success in the way of accomplishment, but I think it has little or nothing to do with character.

I view character as that which we are; the accumulation of all that we are; that which we are when no other person is within sight or sound of ourselves. Achievement is not that which we are, as stature is not who we have become or from where we may have come in terms of lineage. Instead, character has no desire for success, or achievement, or stature. It is simply and perfectly that which we are this moment.

In That, We Are All Of Sufficient Character. 

Spread Some Joy Today–by relaxing in yourself, whom you have become to date, and with anticipation of all that you will be.

They Pay You To Learn!

“They pay you to learn.” 
 
— Garry Marshall 
 

[Classic post from 3-10-16]

In the last month or so, I've listened to the unabridged autobiography audiobooks of several famous comedy writers, movie directors, TV producers, such as Carl Reiner, famous as the producer of the Dick Van Dyke Show among many other endeavors, Norman Lear, most famous for TV sitcoms, All in the Family, The Jeffersons, One Day At a Time, and more, Garry Marshall, great movie director of such films as Pretty Woman and TV producer of Happy Days, Laverne and Shirley, to name a few, Penny Marshall, sister to Garry and a movie director of movies such as Big, A League of Their Own, and many others.

All of these people had fascinating histories, and all of them had one thing in common. They were willing and eager to try things they had never done and acted with a certain amount of confidence in their abilities to have it turn out well. They were all on a path where many have said, the Universe conspired to help them succeed, even in spite of their lack of knowledge or specific skill set. 

Although I'm not famous as they, in looking back, I did the same kinds of things in order to move into positions and businesses that I didn't have any experience in.

Sometimes, I hear people complain that because they have no experience, they are not given opportunities, but that is just noise. They just like complaining. And, it is also true. They are blocked, but not by others. They are blocked by their own thinking.

They might make up all manner of excuses, such as needing a college education, a certain college degree from a certain type of college, or that in general, they need to learn a whole lot more before they can get started. My long-time mentor Jim Rohn talks of that as a builder who is going to build a tall building and keeps bringing materials to the site but never seems to get started building, always needing more materials, more preparedness, more, more, more. Alas, if the building will get built, we must begin building and have confidence in what will be needed will be there when we need it.

The quote above came from the audiobook I just finished by Penny Marshall where her brother, Garry Marshall was encouraging her to direct a movie even though she had never directed a movie. She had directed several TV shows. He said to her that they pay you to learn. That is so true.

They paid me to learn.

They paid me to learn how to be a good sales manager having never been one, paid me to manage tens of millions of dollars of inventory having never done that, start several businesses, having never done that, and more. It's so interesting to look back and see how little I knew and yet figured it out as I went.

So, the message here is to make a decision and get moving. Martin Luther King, Jr. said, “take the first step in faith. You don't have to see the whole staircase, just take the first step.” I'm pretty sure, no one ever sees the whole staircase ahead of moving forward on it. And, even if they imagined that they did, the Universe would probably guide them in such a way that they could not have seen anyway. So, what the heck? Let's get started! Who knows what wonderful adventures will come?

First Step: Decision. Second Step: MOVE! 

Spread Some Joy Today–by letting go of any tension. Relax. It's all good.

How Would You Know?

“You’re not given your resume
with your birth certificate. 
You create your life 
and you can recreate it.” 
 
— Ken Robinson 
 

[Classic post from 1-20-16]

Last weekend, I reread via audiobook, The Element by Ken Robinson. I love his voice and first met him on his 2006 YouTube viral TED video. Then yesterday, I read the sequel to The Element, titled, Finding Your Element. Both books were read by Ken Robinson, and I have to say that they are both fascinating about how people find what they do best by finding that personal something that causes them to be in their ‘element.’ There are such great stories of how people found that special thing that they were meant to do, so to speak. Some found it early in life, and others nearer the end, and yet each was like an epiphany when found.

Early in the book, Finding Your Element, Ken talks about there being Three Elemental Principles. One is that each of our lives is unique. Number two is that we create our own lives. This is where the above quote came from, and he added this: “As the psychologist George Kelly says, “No one needs to be a victim of their own biography.” Or, as Carl Jung puts it, “I am not what has happened to me, I am what I choose to become.”

Principle #3 is that life is not linear, it is organic. He says, “My life, like yours, is a constant process of improvisation between my interests and personality on the one hand and the circumstances and opportunities on the other. The one affects the other. Many of the opportunities you have in your life are generated by the energy you create around you.” (That last line is worth rereading a few times!)

I love how he goes on to say, “Of course, the whole process can seem very different when you come to write your resume. You then impose a linear narrative on your life, to make it look as if it was all planned and deliberate. You organize your story around key dates and achievements with headings in bold and italic, to give the impression that your life has been unfolding according to a sensible, premeditated scheme. You do this to encourage yourself and to avoid giving the prospective employers the impression that your life has been the uncertain process of tacking and weaving that most lives really are.”

It’s All Good. How Would You Know Until You Tried?

Spread Some Joy Today–by releasing the seriousness of it all.

Success Is…

“I couldn't wait for success, 
so I went ahead without it.” 
 
— Jonathan Winters 
 

[Classic post from 1-2-16]

Success is such a strange word and has such a wide range of meanings that it is really hard to use with authority. I guess the simplest definition of success would be that things work out. But, I think that less than an end result, success is more like life in that it is a journey, and it is the journey that matters most.

Here are some words on success from Abraham, Esther Hicks to ponder for this brand new year, and for whatever value you may find in them:

“Life will always be working out for me… 

I like understanding that things are always evolving, and while there are many things that could be better where I am, it is not really a problem because “where I am” is constantly changing to something better. I like knowing that as I look for the best things around me where I am, those things become more prevalent in my experience. 

It is fun to know that things are always working out for me, and as I watch for the evidence of that. . . I see more evidence of that every day.” 

What A Great Attitude To Make Use Of, Don't You Think? 

Spread Some Joy Today–by loving yourself.

All Play A Significant Part

“All the world’s a stage, 
and all the men and women merely players: 
they have their exits and their entrances; 
and one man in his time plays many parts, 
his acts being seven ages.” 
 
— William Shakespeare 
 

[Classic post from 1-29-16]

I call attention to the word ‘merely’ in the quote and suggest we jettison it. As no life is “merely,” I think.

In high school, I had a dislike for history classes. They were boring and all too focused on memorizing dates and the theme that went with them. But, I have come to love history when it is told in a way that I can relate to the people involved in history and how they related to the events, many of which are significant enough to stand apart.

I’m in the finishing stage of my latest audiobook. I’ve owned it for several years but put off ‘reading’ it because it is a huge volume of work. The audiobook is over 36 hours long, but once I started, I have been enjoying it immensely. The book is The Bully Pulpit, Theodore Roosevelt, William Howard Taft, and the Golden Age of Journalism by Doris Kearns Goodwin. It is narrated by the late Edward Herrmann, with a voice I could listen to forever. I’m in love with this story, and I now see why it is long, yet considering the history it contains is very compact for that date space in time.

What I’ve learned about history at this later stage in my life is how utterly complex it is. Looking back and seeing how one thing affected another and how if this thing had not happened, things would have turned out so differently. Indeed, everyone played a part, yet they may not have realized it in that way. Not all parts are grandiose as is Teddy Roosevelt, from which the Teddy Bear was christened, along with the Panama Canal, millions of acres of protected natural areas, and a very long list of other beneficial accomplishments. In any play, there are supporting actors. In any play, there are stagehands, and a long list of other participants, that most are unaware of. Yet all are significant in the production of the play. I was delighted to meet some of them in this book and learn about their important parts.

As with this wonderful, engaging, and enlightening book, history is told in much greater detail than in history books from school. In fact, so much in this book never made it to history books that I’ve seen. As we zoom into specific people and events and then zoom out seeing how they and many others come together to create and live their lives, all affecting one another, directly and indirectly, one can see the complexity in action. It is then seen as an organism instead of a linear time frame.

This brings me to my point today: Everyone is important! 

Sometimes with all that goes on around us, we may think that we don’t matter so much, but we would be wrong in that thinking. We all matter. We are all important, and we all play a significant part. Some people are stars in the play–the leading actors, but it is the many supporting players and stagehands that allow that to occur. They only seem to stand apart. They are playing their part, yet all parts are equally significant and valuable. Just as the wave gets the attention, it would be unknown and unseen without the power of the whole ocean and supporting players like the cycles of Earth’s moon.

Rejoice In Yourself Today. You Are Significant. You Matter. You ROCK. You Are A Loved And Necessary Part Of The Whole; Of All-That-Is. 

Spread Some Joy Today–by zooming out and seeing the whole of the thing.

Truth and Lies

“Truth is beautiful, 
without a doubt; 
but so are lies.” 
 
— Ralph Waldo Emerson 
 

[Classic post from 1-25-16]

Just as I’ve learned that there is no way, but there is your way, my way, and their way, the same philosophy applies to truth and lies. One person’s truth is another person’s lies, and so on. It is purely a personal judgment that thinks one is better than the other. With many billions of us on the planet, that idea is even more valid.

I love how Abraham, Esther Hicks makes such sense of this idea:

“There is a big mix out there, and there are lots of different things going on, and there is no one way that was intended to be the right way. Just like there’s not one color or one flower or one vegetable or one fingerprint. There is not one that is to be the right one over all others. The variety is what fosters creativity. And so you say, “Okay, I accept that there’s lots of variety, but I don’t like to eat cucumbers.” Don’t eat cucumbers. But don’t ask them to be eliminated and don’t condemn those who eat them. Don’t stand on corners waving signs trying to outlaw the things that you don’t like. Don’t ruin your life by pushing against anything. Instead, say, “I choose this instead. This does please me.” 

Allowing the entire mix of things and ideas and choices to be and relax in our own ability to choose what is important and pleasing to us is to live a very healthy life I think. Pushing against unwanted only increases unwanted. What we resist persists. But we always have the personal power of choice. What we choose could be easily seen as our only responsibility.

To Each His or Her Own. 

Spread Some Joy Today–by realizing as Eckhart Tolle said so succinctly: “All problems are illusions of the mind.” That means that we can choose not that, but joy instead.

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