Category: Potential

Spread Some Joy Today > Potential

Certainty

Certainty undermines one’s power, and turns happiness
into a long shot. Certainty confines.

Dears, there is nothing in your life that will not
change–especially all of your ideas of God.

Look what the insanity of righteous knowledge can do:
crusade and maim thousands
in wanting to convert that which
is already gold
into gold.

Certainty can become an illness
that creates hate and
greed.

God once said to Tuka,

“Even I am ever changing–
I am ever beyond
Myself.

what I may have once put my seal upon,
may no longer be
the greatest
Truth.”

— Tukaram

The Gift Of Life – Part 2

There once was a moment when time ceased, when all the heavens rejoiced. This was a moment beyond all moments, a moment that had never existed before in this time and space, a moment exalted by the celestial bodies, a moment so auspicious that the world would never be the same again. A chord on the harp of life had been stroked, and the thrill was felt throughout Creation.

New life is born. Rejoice! A heavenly choir sings in exaltation for the infant seed of life. Hope, faith, and joy herald your birth. Hope is for the blossoming of the seed, faith is for the beauty of its love and joy is for the eternal song of life. There is rapture in the heavens.

Tiny and helpless though you are, you hold within your being the most powerful force of the universe. You breathe the breath of God! Your essence is the spark of life. The light of the universal God flows and illuminates you. You are of greatest value, the most precious gift of God. Your power is the energy of Creation. With this power, you will move mountains, build dreams, and touch stars.

You are given the divine Gift of Life, but for this gift to be realized and to have meaning, you must accept it. This gift, the essence of life, is a sacred trust from the Lord God. Humility and reverence come when you accept the gift as a covenant of love from the Giver, and you glorify the Giver by the full expression of the gift.

— Donna F. Fletcher
Reflections of the Heart

[Note: The bold italic of the last line is mine. I think that this is such a powerful and insightful thought and I absolutely love how it is crafted. We have no need to glorify God so to speak, but we glorify God as we are the expression of the Gift of Life.]

A Masterpiece

“The potter sits at the potting wheel, studying the formless lump of clay, waiting for inspiration. After a time, as he puts his hands into the clay, the clay begins to take shape. In working and reworking the clay, a rounded vessel takes form. As he concentrates on the new creation, making it beautiful as its symmetry and balance take form, the potter’s hands of love bring forth a unique and treasured expression of love. The potter has worked a part of his essence into the new creation.

In the same way, a piece of ordinary wood in the hands of Stradivarius became a work of art to be treasured through centuries. His violins have thrilled those who have heard them, and just as the violin strings were strummed, so were the heartstrings. Stradivarius was an intellectual genius, but his love brought forth these precious treasures.

Who am I? Who are you? We are masterpieces, created by the Master from His Love.”

— Donna F. Fletcher
Reflections of the Heart

Wisdom

Walking in the forest,
I gaze in wonder
at the giant redwoods,
stately,
mighty,
beautiful.
How did you grow so
from seedling
to magnificence?

They spoke to me,
“We learned from life.
The winds
taught us to bend,
the storms
to deepen our roots,
the drought
to endure.

We were given
sunlight for nurture,
Holy water for drink,
one another for sharing,
and time to live
the fullness.

Through the ages
of our life
we learned
joy in being,
thanksgiving for
receiving,
reverence from
seeing,
and love by
knowing.”

— Donna F Fletcher
Reflections of the Heart

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.

What Inspires You To More Life?

[Note: This was written at the beginning of 2017 and published in a magazine.]

Recently, a very dear friend of mine was diagnosed with so-called terminal cancer. We spent some quality time together one day in December, and I asked him what seemed like a crazy question. I said, “do you want to live?” He wanted to know why I asked this odd question; I said that it is okay to want to and not to want to, but that it makes such a huge difference. It’s this kind of question that we are often afraid to ask ourselves or others.

This question of wanting to live is one that I was asking myself recently as I was considering what may lie ahead in my life. I had let go of some important disciplines, growing in girth and weight, generally inactive, and more. Though I was writing my daily inspirations blog to inspire others, I was in want of some inspiration for myself.

Then, in late December, I read a new book by Bruce Springsteen titled, Born To Run. I listened to Bruce read his entire book as an audiobook (my favorite way to read these days), and I was amazed. What a life he lived and he is still living it fully. I did some research and found that he and I are both 67, but that there is no way that I could keep up with him in what he does physically, let alone as a musician. He is lean and trim and strong and can do a 4-hour non-stop show singing every song from memory, and then do it again a couple of days later. I saw some on YouTube, and I was blown away by his presence on stage. I was immediately inspired to change my life. I immediately decided that I wanted to LIVE!

This inspirational moment was almost a month ago, and I am more committed than ever to reclaim my life and provide even more value to others by being the best that I can be. It’s interesting how something comes along and inspires one to make a major change in their lives. Whether it is the Law of Attraction, and that I was attracting Bruce and his book into my life or what doesn’t even matter. I am so grateful for the opportunity to have learned more about Bruce, who I knew so little about, and have him inspire me to want to move forward. We all can positively affect each other in our lives.

Do you remember some of those major turning points in your life? You’re going along, bored maybe, uninspired for sure, and then something happens—a book, a song, a letter, a photo, a friend’s concern, or a thousand other things. And then, your life is different. You’ve been inspired to change something or many things that take you from neutral into high gear. I can remember many of these turning points over the years. This one with the book, Born To Run, was another. But, it was more than the book. If I had just read the book, I don’t think it would have had the impact as Bruce reading it. His passion, determination, mistakes, successes, pain, sorrow, and joy are in his voice because he is the one who lived it and wrote it. The book is pure poetry. He is an outstanding writer.

I don’t want to live Bruce’s life. I have my path, and yet our paths have crossed so that he can help me be more inspired on mine. He doesn’t even know how much he has helped me, and yet on some level, we are brothers.

Who inspires you? Are you open to being inspired? Do you want to live?

Resources and Logistics

“It’s not a matter of resources, there are more than enough resources. It is more a matter of logistics.”

— Albert K. Strong

“If you give things away with this mythical idea it should have no cost, it will end up demonstrating that it had no value.” This is a quote by Dean Kamen, who is the inventor of the Segway, and many other inventions, and contrary to many who thought he was dead, he is still very much at it. In fact, he is driven to it. I learned so much about him and what he is doing now to try and eradicate disease from the planet by providing clean water from a movie about him on Netflix titled Slingshot. He had figured out how and built machines that can take any kind of water regardless of its present state and make it pure drinkable water.

His quote above is in reference to how many people think about philanthropy–that we should give and that it should not have a cost to the people it is given to, and that the company making these products should just donate them without cost. As I thought about that, since I pretty much agreed with the mainstream idea of helping others around the world, it occurred to me that it isn’t sustainable that way.  What is more sustainable all around the world is enterprise.

Indeed, if more so-called non-profit organizations were run as an enterprise, they would fare better and last longer in my opinion. This applies to churches as well. The idea of enterprise is open to wide interpretation. There are so many ways of doing a thing.

Dean learned soon enough after trying to get his water machine to the people who need it, that it isn’t about resources, it is about logistics, and that the logistics were the most challenging of hurdles to traverse. So, he partnered with a company that is in more countries than are registered in the United Nations–Coca-Cola. They are working together to create sustainable clean water and enterprise will drive it into the future.

Consider this idea in our daily lives. I suspect that we appreciate things more when they have a cost. It is so often the things that have been given to us that are not valued by us with rare exceptions of attached emotion. Even the things that have great cost in comparison also may have greater value. Or not. Value is not fixed; rather, it is a sliding scale. When I look at things I own, I remember what it cost and how I came by it.

But it isn’t the cost alone, is it? As I look around my multi-functional office environment, I see the relative value that is not based on cost. Some things I value greater because it somehow provides greater value to me, which is a way of saying that it means more to me because it is in alignment with me in some way, or it touches me in some important way.

Gifts are wonderful to give. And, perhaps the best gifts cannot be continually given without participation by the receiver. Besides, in my experience, whenever the giver and the receiver are in alignment, there is grand value in comparison to just giving. Yet that is most often a hit and miss affair.

I think it is better to accept responsibility in giving, in that we remove the altruistic idea that our gift is for the sole benefit of the receiver. By accepting responsibility as a giver, we realize that the giving aspect is far more for us than it is for the receiver. Though we would love to have the receiver appreciate the gift, it is really our giving that makes us feel better. At seasonal times such as Christmas, the giving aspect is in full swing, but though we think our focus is on the receiver, it is not. It is on our idea of giving.

I’m not saying there is anything wrong with giving, I’m only accepting responsibility for my own thoughts, intent, and actions in doing so. I am giving this gift for me to them. My ego is attached to it as well. If it doesn’t thrill them, I am disappointed. That is not the gift that keeps on giving. As I let go of any benefit to me by focusing on the value to the recipient, I may experience where they are in their world enough to have the gift be of long-term benefit. All of this relates to that old story of giving them a fish or teaching them how to fish. The latter is infinitely more generous, and more importantly, it is sustainable because they are involved in the process of the value of the gift.

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