Category: Joy

Young At Heart

In 1953, Lyricist Carolyn Leigh wrote lyrics to a tune that Johnny Richards had put together as an instrumental. That same year, Frank Sinatra, the first to record it, made it a million-seller that year, with many recording artists even up to today who are still recording it. This song is like eternal spring to me because it applies to each individual alone as their own choice of how they will look upon and receive from life. Whether you’re single or married, 50 or 90, it works for all who are willing to live by the powerful words and sentiment.

The first verse goes like this: “Fairy tales can come true, it can happen to you if you’re young at heart. For it’s hard you will find, to be narrow of mind if you’re young at heart.” And the last verse reminds us all, “And if you should survive to a hundred and five, look at all you’ll derive out of being alive! And here is the best part, you have a head start if you are among the very young at heart.” The song title is, of course, Young at Heart. When I hear it in my head, Jimmy Durante is singing it. He is the master of the talk-sing style of singing, and I just love his style.

How old are you in your heart? How young are you in your mind? The body changes, but the heart and the mind are free of the body. I’m not as flexible or trim as I was when I was 35, but there is my heart and there is my mind. Even in my forties and early fifties, I wasn’t as prime in my body as I was in my heart, so nothing has changed there! The me that I am is not attached to my body at all. I am young at heart and joyful in mind and I intend to stay there no matter how old my body becomes, and I’m wishing you the same!

Expiration Dates

Whatever is in the back of the fridge is guaranteed to get old. All the new stuff goes in front, and pretty soon those important things that were in there are forgotten. I just pulled out something from the fridge this morning with an expiration date of three years ago. Hmm. What do you think? Is it good? They say that ‘your chewing gum loses flavor on the bedpost overnight,’ but three years? It’s outta here! So, I began going through the 15 salad dressing bottles with various amounts left inside, and end up chucking all but three. Outta here! Who knows what grows in the cold and dark!
Now, let’s look at this from a different perspective. The refrigerator is your brain and things are constantly in motion and yet there are things we hold on to that are way past their expiration date. We don’t give that much thought because of the constant motion, but who knows what grows in the cold and dark of the mind? Some of those things are no longer valid if they ever were, and some of those things are things we used to believe in but no longer believe that and yet, there they are in the back of the fridge. It’s time to let some of that old stuff go. Let it go. Get rid of it. It is no longer useful. It is taking up space and creating conflicts within.
Of course, the best way is to let go regularly. Keep those shelves fresh and helpful to our well-being. Maybe we can even learn to simply let things flow through without holding on to them. Seems like a peaceful idea!

Creating A Mood

Creating a mood is a fascinating thing to me. I'm sitting here writing at night with several taper candles around the room and soft-colored lights outside. It's magnificent. I have a hard time seeing my writing but that doesn't matter. I didn't want to stare at the computer screen as I so often do.

The light is yellow and soft. I love this self-created atmosphere. I love the mood and how this causes me to feel. I am relaxed, peaceful, enamored by the flickering light, and loving the soft multi-color lights in the carport that I just put up yesterday. It even has a remote control.

There's something about this kind of light that is magical. It exudes romance to me. I bought enough candles so that I can enjoy this often. I feel like I'm treating myself. It feels good.

I Recommend Pleasant

“Years ago my mother used to say to me; she’d say,
“In this world, Elwood, you must be,”
– she always called me Elwood –
“In this world, you must be oh so smart, or oh so pleasant.”
Well, for years I was smart. I recommend pleasant.
You may quote me.”

— Elwood P Dowd

“Well, I’ve wrestled with reality for 35 years, doctor,
and I’m happy to state I’ve finally won out over it.”

— Elwood P Dowd

[Classic post from 5-17-10]

I love movies. It is my favorite sport. A few days ago, I watched Harvey with Jimmy Stewart again, and it is such a lovable movie. I pulled these two quotes above from Jimmy’s character, Elwood P Dowd. And, I agree with Elwood totally. I recommend pleasant as well.

One of the most pleasant things that we can do for one another is to find things about the other to give compliments about. It need not be elaborate, just something that you notice that you are sincere about.

Just a few years ago, I began looking at every individual that comes into my view and thinking to myself about something that I liked about them. Maybe it was that they looked like they were in really good physical shape like they worked out regularly, and I would make a comment about that, or ask them a question such as, ‘how do you get your stomach so flat?’ This, of course, is a compliment in a question, and it gets them talking about that aspect of themselves and helps them feel really good about themselves. It is powerfully healing.

Maybe it is a blouse or shirt that looks great, their hair looks super or they have such a beautiful smile. Any of those things are wonderful to them. Maybe it is how sharply dressed someone is, or the shine on their shoes, the healthy glow of their skin, or the awesome car they are driving. You name it, there is something to find in everyone, every day that you could compliment them about.

As I began looking for things and also began stating those things aloud, even taking the chance of blowing it, each and every time, you can just watch that person light up. I even say it to my wife every day in some way. Whether she is dressed up or dressed down, I always find something to compliment her on.

All of this has created a change in me where I find that I like and appreciate virtually every person. Those that I may struggle with a bit because of my past judgmental attitudes, I now have a quote that I remember and play in my head often by Abe Lincoln: “I don’t like that man. I’ll have to get to know him better.” I am finding this to be true–getting to know someone is the way to liking them.

If I could have just one power, it would not be to have all the money I want, it would be to have the eyes of Jesus of Nazareth and see the real people underneath the flesh and bones and attitudes–to see them as they really are inside. Not all the things they’ve done wrong, but the magic that is each of us in spirit and personality when unencumbered. I’m working on it, and dare I say, making just a bit of progress. What fun and what joy!

Pleasantville Is A Good Place To Be.

Spread Some Joy Today–Start today. Look at everyone you see today, but in a different way than usual. Don’t compare yourself to them, but look for something that you like about them today. As you see that thing, make sure, and tell them. Just walk right up and say it. The second one is easier, then easier, and then you will be changing lives daily with nothing but a little sincere praise. How awesome is that?

Keeping It Simple!

Unconditional Love. I’ve studied this subject for many years and I have finally come to a complete understanding of it and am able to teach it in a way to save all others from that multi-year journey toward understanding.

Here it is in the simplest terms I can muster:

There are no conditions. None. Not one. Not any. Zip. Nada. Nothing. No rules. Not one.

Unconditional love has no conditions whatsoever and loves always and in all ways.

Period.

“Dig Here,” The Angel Said

She caught me off guard when my soul said to me,
“Have we met?”

So surprised I was to hear her speak like that
I chuckled.

She began to sing a tale: “There was once a hardworking man
who used to worry so much because he could
not feed and clothe his children and
wife the way he wanted.

There was a beautiful little chapel in the village
where the man lived and one day while
he was praying, an angel
appeared.

The angel said, ‘Follow me.’ And he did out into an ancient forest.
‘Now dig here,’ the angel said. And the man felt strength in
his limbs he had not known since youth and with just
his bare hands he dug deep and found a
lost treasure, and his relationship
with the world changed.”

Finding our soul’s beauty does that–gives us
tremendous freedom
from worry.

“Dig here,” the angel said–
“in your soul
in your
soul.”

— St. John of the Cross

Creating A Grand Life

[Note: This is the ending excerpt from a 6-minute talk from 2015 that I gave to a group of high school teenagers about to go into the workforce or on to college. I think it might be good for any age or condition.]

Throughout my life, I encountered resistance, some from others, but much of it from myself. I used to call them problems. Sometimes it was called drama. As I grew, I began to call them challenges. And, now, I call it contrast. Still, the one thing that stands out is the fact that all of them were helpful though I may not have had eyes to see that immediately. The contrast has caused within me a desire for something else, something more, and I made new choices or course corrections which has led me quite perfectly to where I am today.

Here’s some of the best advice I can give from my own experience:

1. Be willing to try and fail. Take chances. Change the word work to play.
2. Never fear losing your job. Have confidence in your ability and abilities. Change is a given. Be the best you can be.
3. Always be looking ahead, while enjoying the present fully. Discovery is meaningful and valuable.
4. Invest and reinvest in yourself throughout your life. Become more every day.
5. Be a life-long learner. Educate yourself. Leaders are readers!
6. Do what you love, and love what you do. Follow your heart and passion. Be your own counsel.
7. Develop and expand constantly an attitude of gratitude and appreciation.
8. Learn to express yourself and your value. You are worthy and important.
9. Give willingly and openly. Become a generous person.
10. Enjoy yourself. Seek joy. Decide on purpose every single day.

Remember, the American Dream is not about money, things, and position. It is and always was, about freedom–freedom of choice, freedom to move, freedom of speech, freedom to grow. And, it has nothing to do with where you start because everyone starts somewhere. There is no way. There is your way, my way, and their way. Everyone has a way. You and you alone are in charge of your choices, decisions, and actions. You are worthy. You are loved, and you matter.

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Mesa, AZ