Category: Kindness

The Joy Of Service

When our Love
watches the morning’s birth,
allows a child to “be,”
touches a forgotten soul,
bakes a carrot cake,
we will know Joy.

When our Love
honors the other,
helps the helpless,
celebrates the birthing,
comforts the dying,
we will know Joy.

When our Love
plants roses,
shares our fullness,
writes a poem,
dreams a hope,
we will know Joy.

When our love dances with another,
sings to the angels,
whispers to a Beloved,
kneels in thanksgiving,
we will know Joy.

Joy is our birthright;
love is our purpose;
holiness is
God’s Light in us.

May our Joy be
as deep as the ocean;
our Love
as warm as the sun;
our Light
as radiant as the stars.

Donna F. Fletcher
Reflections of the Heart

Puppies Are Easy To Love

It’s so easy to appreciate beauty, to appreciate something that you are attracted to, or that you like without any consideration. Puppies are so cute and so easy to love. There’s no forward movement in this. This is the way that people who feel bad a good deal of the time find appreciation. I challenge you to find a better way of life than that.

The way to do that is to find something—even one little thing—to appreciate about every single person you see or interact with. I have practiced this enough to know that there is always something to appreciate in another. They may be so traditionally ugly that you are repulsed initially, but if you look further, you will find something to appreciate. Just like in the graffiti example, it is easy to hate graffiti, especially gang-style graffiti, but in going further, there is something to appreciate.

No matter what it is, there is something in it to appreciate. You could think of the worst events in human history and there are things within them to appreciate. Another way to look at appreciation is that there are benefits in so-called tragedies. Some use the phrase, there is always a silver lining. I believe that is true. It is only that so often we are focused on seeing what is bad about it, feeling bad about it, and the Law of Attraction is never-failing and will help you with more things about that and other things to feel bad about and find fault in. We become blinded to the good within, and the benefits it brings.

Once you can accept this premise that I have found through experience to be true, a whole new world opens up to you where you do not see things as you used to see them. You will no longer look on so-called tragedies, or bad events as all negative. You will begin looking for what is good and right about it, and if you can’t see it immediately, you can imagine what could be right and good about it. As you practice the premise that there is good in it, you will find good in it. What you focus on draws the energy needed to see. The Law of Attraction is also at work and never-failing here as it does in anything you focus on regardless of how it feels to you. Look for and find good things to see, and the Law of Attraction will help you find more good things to see. That is how the Law of Attraction works—things that are like unto itself are drawn. It matters not what they are. We get to choose our focus every time. No one can focus for us or choose for us without our full permission.

In every situation, in every moment, we have the choice to choose to feel good or not. We have the choice to find something to appreciate or not. We have the choice to be a grateful person or not. The world does not drive us. That is like the tail wagging the dog. We either choose to or choose not to. We make our choices consciously or unconsciously they are made for us. Either way is a choice.

I choose appreciation. I choose to be a grateful person. I choose to be thankful. I choose joy. I choose to feel good.

Who Am I?

When you ask,
“Who am I, Lord?”
God answers, “You are
more than this face, these hands,
this body,
more than your feelings,
your laughter and your tears,
your joy and your pain,
more than your thinking,
your beliefs, your planning,
more than your doing,
working, making,
more than your past,
your parents, your circumstances
more than you titles
father, mother, child
doctor, friend.
You are more than
your anger, fears,
failures or doubts.
You are more than your successes
wealth or fame.
One moment you are this,
another moment that.
One moment happy, one moment sad,
one moment empty, one moment filled.
Like the clouds, you are ever changing.
You are a kaleidoscope, each moment
rearranging the colors of your being.
You are a many-faceted splendor.
You are a beautiful Gift of Life;
a radiance of God’s Light.
In Truth
you are of the Lord.
You are wise, you are beautiful,
you are kind,
you are a fountain
fed by the ‘living waters.’
You are God’s Love.”

— Donna F. Fletcher
Reflections of the Heart

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 Paradigm Of Love: Wealth Of The Heart

Once I knew a person of great heart wealth. She was ninety-two, a little bent from time. Her hair was white, her wrinkles deep, her eyes radiated light and love. She was beautiful, and she was one of my great teachers. Although we only spent one hour together, she changed my life.

Mary Hadley lived in a small room in a complex for the elderly in Pasadena, California. Her material possessions were the pictures on the walls and the teapot from which she poured our tea.

I, a stranger making a ministerial visit, knocked on her door. After a long moment, she opened the door, and I explained my being there. Suddenly her eyes lit up, and she explained, “Every day I ask, ‘Lord, what miracles do you have for me today?’ And here you are!” She thought I was a miracle, and this was the first time I felt like a miracle.

Such Divine-Human Love radiated from this small weathered being that I felt immersed in radiant light. When I was leaving the complex, someone told me, “Everyone loves Mary Hadley.” What is this love that can embrace a stranger and recognize another as a miracle?

Can the wealth of Mary Hadley be counted?

— Donna F. Fletcher
Reflections of the Heart

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

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.

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