Category: Vulnerability

Spread Some Joy Today > Vulnerability

Conscious Positive Affirmations

“To affirm is to accept. 
To accept is to affirm.” 
 
— Albert K. Strong 
 

[Classic post from 2-3-16]

You've heard of the idea of affirmations even if you've never consciously used any of them. I remember first learning about affirmations in my thirties and I was taught by some motivational teacher to write out something positive about what I wanted on cards, then read them aloud, and do my best to imagine that statement as having already happened in my life. And, I have heard of people who have been very successful doing this, but for me, I would have to say that it was unsuccessful. Most likely that was because I stopped doing it instead of turning it into a habitual thing.

But, affirmations are in use all the time, every day, by people who haven't got a clue that they are doing it, nor realizing the power those affirmations contain.

I know a guy who likes to play golf, and every time he hits the ball, he can feel and see that the ball is not doing as he wished it would, so he curses himself, putting himself down because he failed, again and again, many times with a great deal of emotion in the form of anger, frustration, and unhappiness. For me, it was hard to even be within earshot of that violent display. And, guess what? Each and every one of those statements that he would make are affirmations, and they are also affirmations coming true, which is what affirmations are intended to do.

Even though we may think that we want a positive result, what comes out of our mouth may be telling a different story.

Short, one-take video is part of our service in our Internet business service. I've done so many of them that I think I've gotten pretty good at directing people. Most people are nervous about doing them, so I try to help them work through that and achieve a good result. Messing up is part of the learning process, yet so often in the majority of cases, when they mess up, they will beat up on themselves for messing it up over and over and over again. I tell them that these are affirmations, and when they keep saying it negatively, they will get more of it. I suggest that they laugh, let it go, say something positive like, “Great! Now I'm closer to perfection than I was before.” Eventually, they relax and get into it and we come away with good videos.

If what we say and what we want are in harmony, our life gets better and better.

Try it for yourself. If you've ever been aware of the things you say that are self-defeating or feel negative, try changing them to positive statements. Think like Thomas Edison who is said to have tried to create the incandescent light bulb over 10,000 times before he got it to work. Each effort was one step closer to success.

Make positive statements about your progress, and each time it was not perfect, is one more step toward the perfect result. Love yourself, rather than beating yourself up. Life is too short to go around berating yourself. Life is meant to be enjoyable, so help make it more enjoyable by making positive statements of affirmation.

I am getting so much better at catching myself when I say negative things that I no longer want to say. For example, we have a vendor who helps us find new clients who called me the other day and suggested two potential clients that he is working on to get us an appointment with. My business partner and I have had a personal history with both of those potential clients, so I said to the vendor, “I don't hold much hope in these two prospects, but I am willing to talk.” After we hung up and I thought about that, which is a true enough statement, I realized that I was sabotaging the potential appointments before they even had a chance at being made. I immediately restated to myself that I would love nothing more than to be of service to these two great companies.

Sometimes we just say silly things, and some of those silly things have far more power than we might imagine.

Affirm What Is Wanted, Not What Is Not Wanted. 

Spread Some Joy Today–by allowing yourself to feel the joy that is within you

If I Worry, Would It Help?

“The difficulty with worry 
is that it does not disappear
with argument.” 

— William Howard Taft 

 

[Classic post from 2-4-16]

I love this gem of a quote because in my life I have known myself to argue with worry, talk to worry, analyze my worries, regurgitate my worries, and contemplate my worries, and all to no avail. In fact, all that seemed to do was to make the worry or worries more pronounced. Then, sometimes we don't even realize that we are worrying about something, and so, our inner turmoil just feels like we're busy.

I watched a very good movie yesterday titled, Bridge of Spies with Tom Hanks. He defended an accused Soviet spy and asked him at least three times during the movie, “aren't you worried?” and the spy so very calmly asked, “would it help?”

What a perfect question. Would it help? If I worry, will I be served in that? Will it solve the problem? Will it change the situation or the outcome?

Here's a great question: When has it ever?

I'm sitting here laughing at all of this because I do see the absurdity of worry as a repair tool for positive change. Its silliness is laughable, and I very much loved the calm spy and his perfect questions in the face of very serious problems.

Just imagine the relief when our problems are mostly insignificant on the scale of problems. . .

Would It Help? 

Spread Some Joy Today–Here's a great question: Why the heck not?

Celebrating Automotive Mechanical Engineering – Part 1

[New post]

Preface: This is a series of personalized posts celebrating people, skills they've learned, things they make, and value they have added to our lives.

Today I am celebrating automotive mechanical engineering. Mechanical engineering is such a diverse field that I decided to focus on different aspects of it and since I have experience with automotive mechanics, it is a good choice to begin this celebration. Even the field of automotive engineering is huge, so I'm choosing automatic transmissions for part 1.

I grew up where the majority of cars and pickups that I saw were manual transmissions, or what we called stick-shifts. Most were three-speed with the shifter on the steering wheel column. It was a very sporty upgrade to have the shifter on the floor. I didn't own a vehicle with an automatic until 1973. When I first started selling cars in 1972, even the full-size Chevrolet Impala had a three-speed on the column standard. Over the years, automatic transmissions began taking hold and expanding in the marketplace until now where it is somewhat harder to find a stick-shift except in very sporty cars or small cars.

I watch a lot of YouTube videos because I love to learn and there are so many entertaining videos that are also educational. One channel to point out here is Precision Transmission. It's a family-run transmission shop in Amarillo, Texas, and I have come to love them and the videos they produce. Richard, the owner, likes to teach others how to diagnose and repair transmissions so they last and function better than new. He's been honing his skills for over 40 years. Watching him tear down an automatic transmission is fun and it fascinates me. He has opened my eyes to so much about automatic transmissions, but he also demonstrates and promotes developing skills, the use of good tools, a work ethic that is admirable, and he exudes love for his family, his shop, his life, and his craft. I celebrate their whole family and the time and energy they put into sharing these videos.

From watching so many of his videos, I also celebrate the mechanical engineers who have created all the different automatic transmissions. When Richard at Precision Transmission is taking a unit apart, examining each piece, looking for wear and damaged parts on even the smallest and seemingly insignificant parts, I can just imagine the engineering teams that designed all the parts and how they work together. Richard will point out the changes from one GM 4L80E to another, pointing out why changes were made toward creating better and better products. Some of the parts simply amaze me and how they all are assembled together with precision each with their specific purpose. He knows from experience what kind of modifications he can make and the use of aftermarket parts to improve the longevity and operation of a transmission. I've been watching for almost a year now and I learn something new in every video.

There is much to celebrate in the engineering of the automatic transmission, and yet there is more in how they fit into the vehicle and the importance of regular servicing. It is fascinating how one aspect affects and interacts with the other. In fact, Richard says all the time that mounting the transmission into the vehicle is as critical as rebuilding it.

Today I celebrate all the people who have learned the skills to design and create these transmissions. I celebrate the companies who employ them and the people who buy them. All of it is in motion and all of it serves others components, other systems, other people, livelihoods, and more. When viewed this way it is more like a living organism rather than a piece of engineering. Every time I get in my car now and put it in gear I find myself celebrating automotive mechanical engineering and all the people that are involved in the process. I am blessed by their skills and their creations.

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.

Being The Change Comes From Appreciation

“If you can just appreciate each thing, 
one by one, then you will have pure gratitude. 
Even though you observe just one flower, 
the one flower includes everything.” 
 
— Shunryu Suzuki Roshi 
 

[Classic post from 1-15-16]

How can we live in the same world and yet each of us live within our own personal world? How can things that we don't like be going on and we not pay attention to them? Aren't we supposed to pay attention to them? It's so hard not to be upset and to complain. I wish it was different. I wish the world was different, more loving, less violent. I wish it was the way I would like it to be…

The answer to these kinds of thoughts and many more like them is to begin appreciating which will cause us to stop complaining. Gratitude rules by appreciation. To become truly grateful, we learn to appreciate–regardless of what is going on in that world around us. We find things and people to appreciate and we change our world perception while allowing the “other” world to do as it wishes to do.

Here's a little from Abraham, Esther Hicks that says it so well and to me, it is exactly like this:

“When you feel gratitude, often you are looking at a difficulty that you have overcome, but there is still some of that “struggle” vibration present. The state of appreciation is seeing whatever you are looking at through the eyes of Source. . . You could walk down a crowded street with all kinds of things that a lot of other people would find reason to criticize or worry about, and you would not have access to them because your vibration of appreciation is picking out for you things of a different vibrational nature.” 

Here's another good way I have found: I change my gaze. So, I'm driving across town and the traffic is heavy at this time, so I don't complain about traffic or how much longer it is taking, I change my gaze from the traffic to something pleasing. I might look at a specific car or truck and find appreciation for that, or the sky, or the clouds in the sky, or people standing on the corner waiting to cross. There are a number of things that I can focus on instead of the thing that would cause me to complain.

The antidote for complaining is appreciation. The antidote for unhappiness is appreciation. The antidote for anything negative or bad feeling is appreciation. In fact, I would have to say that it is a universal antidote for a better life.

I Change My Gaze To A View Of Something I Can Appreciate. 

Spread Some Joy Today–love and joy are united. Go spread some love and you will be spreading joy.

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.

Taking Care Of Ourselves

“We’ve been taught 
that anything pleasurable is suspect. . . 
The thought of simply enjoying ourselves, 
savoring sensual experiences, 
makes us look over our shoulders 
for the pleasure police.” 
 
— Christiane Northrup, M.D. 
 

[Classic post from 1-21-16]

Since the beginning of these Daily Inspirations, I’ve shared so many of the books I was reading and some of the insights I’ve gleaned from them, many of which have enhanced my philosophy or my physical life. Many have thanked me for that and read some of them as well. So, today, I want to share another: Goddesses Never Age – The Secret Prescription for Radiance, Vitality, and Well-Being by Christiane Northrup, M.D. Yes, I’m a guy and this book is aimed at women, but I see it more as it is addressed to a human being of which I qualify completely.

I’m listening to the audiobook version and I also have the hardcover copy. Christiane narrates the unabridged audio herself, and I love that because you can so clearly hear the inflections and subtle pauses and emphasis that only the author could supply so perfectly.

It is a wonderful book and I am very much enjoying it. I have to say, that in my opinion, if you bought the book only to read chapter two, Goddesses Know the Power of Pleasure, it would be worth the cost and effort. I delighted in this chapter because in our society we follow so much the dictates of others in our schedules, methods, dress, and outlook. We fit in. We compartmentalize our activities by saving them for the weekend, vacation, and more. This chapter opens a floodgate of ideas of how to add pleasure, not only to every single day but many times throughout our busy days. It also makes a case for the health benefits–mental and physical–of putting more of our focus on pleasure.

Christiane says, “My prescription for general health is to experience more pleasure every day. . . big ones as well as small ones. . . opening the door on a particularly clear morning and smelling the air. Relishing the first moment when you step into a warm bath. Acknowledging that you’ve hit a new level of fitness and feel completely in tune with your body. How can you have these experiences more often? How can you make boring, everyday activities you do mindlessly into succulent pleasures?”

The predominant theme of this book is about aging–more specifically, aging with vitality, and yet I think it is good for any age because so much of it applies universally to living well and well-being. She says, “Agelessness is all about vitality, the creative force that gives birth to new life.”

Regardless of your age or gender, I think there is much in this book that will be of benefit. But, even if you simply take this idea of finding more pleasure in your everyday experiences, including while being at work, I’m sure that will add much to your life and your spirit.

Life Is Meant To Be Enjoyed By Being In Joy! 

Spread Some Joy Today–by allowing yourself many delightful little pleasures without guilt or concern of others.

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.

Choose. Choose Again.

“There is no need to accept 
when we can choose.” 
 
— Albert K. Strong 
 

[Classic post from 2-15-16]

Rumi said, “Come, come, whoever you are. Wanderer, worshiper, lover of leaving. It doesn't matter. Ours is not a caravan of despair. Come even if you have broken your vows a thousand times. Come, yet again. Come, come.”

No matter what our situation–no matter what–we need not accept it because we always have the ability to choose. We always, always have the ability to choose a thought, and consequently how we will feel at any given time. It doesn't matter if the world is crumbling around us, we can still choose. It doesn't matter how many times we've failed to do what we thought we wanted to do, or what someone else thought we should do. It just doesn't matter. We can choose again. And again. And again. And again.

Of course, accepting is okay. If that is what we choose, and we know many who do, it is just fine. But, we need not accept just because that situation is what it is right now. We don't have to accept illness, poverty, despair, powerlessness, depression, grief, discouragement. When we have the ability to choose, we can choose these, and we can also choose otherwise.

The world has a long list of those who have chosen again and succeeded, changed their circumstances–even dire circumstances for the better. It's all in allowing ourselves to choose again. Edison chose again 10,000 times it has been said. I smoked cigarettes for 38 years and quit thousands of times, then I chose again and it stuck at age 52 and now it has been 14 years of freedom. It just doesn't matter how many times it didn't work. The next time can. There is no good reason to accept things the way they are except one: Because that is the way you choose it to be–that you desire it, want it. Otherwise, choose again.

You're In Good Company! 

Spread Some Joy Today–Whether you're working the President's Day Sale, or having that coveted three-day weekend relaxing, unwinding, having fun, your joy is within not without. Enjoy yourself!

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