Thursday, November 24, 2011

Gratitude

When I was a child I heard a lot about the Pilgrims and Thanksgiving, about how it was a day of expressing gratitude for freedom and all the blessings that go with it. Is that still taught in the schools? Is it ever mentioned anymore? When I hear people ask, "What are you doing for Thanksgiving?" I never hear anyone say, "I'm going to express gratitude." Maybe I'm just out of the loop, but it seems like we celebrate a different kind of holiday today.

Now I mostly hear about families and friends getting off work and coming together for a really fun day of visiting, watching a parade and a football game on TV, and wishing they hadn't eaten so much of the usual feast. Some even say a blessing before they eat. Then there's the huge shopping day after Thanksgiving when all the stores try to outdo each other selling a huge amount of merchandise to stampeding customers. And I agree that this is a wonderful way for some people to spend this holiday each year. Hey. I'm not a spoilsport. (Is that still a word?) But where's the gratitude--the reason for the holiday in the first place? Is it still there--we just don't talk about it anymore?

There is a calmness to a life lived in gratitude, a quiet joy. Ralph H. Blum

Maybe we shouldn't assign one day each year for giving thanks, because it's so easy on that day to focus on everything but gratitude. How about making every day a time to focus on how blessed we are. Yes, there is pain in life--some have more than others--but we're still here, and it is possible to live life with a peaceful heart while we deal with whatever pain may come.

Appreciation can make a day, even change a life. Your willingness to put it into words is all that is necessary. Margaret Cousins

Next to love, gratitude is one of the most powerful healers we have. Say thank you from your heart, and feel the shift deep inside. Say it everyday, and watch for the changes that take place in you and your life. Develop a daily attitude of gratitude. It works.

I thank you for being there.

Marilyn

Thursday, November 17, 2011

The Tunnel

Every positive change - every jump to a higher level of energy and awareness - involves a rite of passage. Each time to ascend to a higher rung on the ladder of personal evolution, we must go through a period of discomfort, or initiation. I have never found an exception. Dan Millman

Each change in life is an opportunity for growth, but change can't take place without a period of transition from letting go of the old to embrace the new. These transition periods may be almost unnoticeable or painfully profound, depending upon the situation. At times like this, we may want to cling to the familiar, but change requires that we accept the transitional state and move through it. This is part of the process.

Do you ever feel stuck, like you're spinning your wheels and going nowhere? Or everything is at a stand-still in limbo? Or you're leaving something behind, but not yet moving in a new direction? Sometimes this can feel like a dark tunnel with no way out and no end to it. A change is taking place, and you're in transition.

The next message you need is right where you are. Ram Dass

We're a society of activity, going and doing. And being in the tunnel, waiting for something new to enter, can bring up all kinds of negative emotions. You fret and stew because nothing is happening. I can't just sit here and do nothing. Well, why not? There's purpose in everything that happens, and transitions are a gift. They're times for inner work, reflecting upon life as you know it, examining what worked in the past but is no longer useful, a time to know yourself better and gain strength from that still small voice inside upon which you can always depend.

In the attitude of silence the soul finds the path in a clearer light, and what is elusive and deceptive resolves itself into chrystal clearness. Mahatma Gandi

When you find yourself in a transition tunnel, pay attention to your thoughts. Are they taking you into despair or are they lifting your spirits to a higher level? Sometimes you can't change what is happening or not happening. But while you do what is yours to do, you can quiet your mind and listen for direction. This is a time of preparation for the next step on your journey. Allow your life to unfold in a peaceful way, stronger than you were before.

I wish you an easy road ahead.

Marilyn

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Trust Your Self

As soon as you trust yourself, you will know how to live. Goethe

In life we all make mistakes. The little ones just seem to be a part of our imperfection, not of much consequence. But some are major mistakes, and over time these can create mistrust in our ability to make sound judgments. Our ego-self may become afraid to reach out--to live as fully as we would like. And we look for ways to cope.

When I grip the wheel too tight, I find I lose control. Steve Rapson

When we lack trust, we foolishly seek to control the people and situations in our life, thinking this will provide the sense of security we need. But fear is always beneath our need to control. Control leads to bondage--not freedom.

I've probably made more big mistakes than most, but I got tired of looking back at the kind you can't go back and fix, and I realized I was looking in the wrong place for wisdom. It never was out there where people and situations changed no matter what I did. And it wasn't in my head with all the fear, confusion, and uncertainty. It was inside--in that special, peaceful, all-knowing place that touches my heart with truth. The one place that would never fail me. And I began my journey to find trust in my self.

Self-trust is the first secret of success. Ralph Waldo Emerson

Fear is powerful energy, and change does not come easy. Even if you know that the answers you need are only found within you, breaking old habits is difficult. They may be painful, but you cling to them through a false sense of security. That's familiar territory. The unknown is scary. But you can learn to tune into that small, still voice within you for dependable answers and direction.

Do not abandon trust when your ego thinks things should be different than they are. Wayne Dyer.

It may take a while for you to transfer from the sometimes faulty thinking in your mind to trusting the truth of your inner voice, but with practice this transition can occur.
1. When you need physical information, gather it from your environment. Then go within and ask for help with your final decision.
2. Listen for your answer. It may come as a voice, a feeling, a knowing.
3 Be patient and wait. Your answer may not come immediately. You may be driving your car, doing laundry, busy at work, or whatever, when you suddenly know your answer.
4. Develop an attitude of trust in your life as it unfolds day by day.

Trust your Self. You have always had this part of you that can lead to peace and confidence in your self and your life. Release the worries, and know you are cared for. All is well.

I wish you peace in trusting your Self.

Marilyn

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Look Inside

To the question of your life, you are the only answer. To the problems of your life, you are the only solution. Jo Coudert

Most of the time our focus is outside ourselves believing our source of happiness is out there somewhere. If I had a partner, I wouldn't be lonely; If all of my affairs were in order, I'd be at peace; If I had all the money I need, I'd feel secure; If I could do something important, my life would have meaning; etc. If I had--if I had--if I had. Yes, it's important to have things that enhance our quality of life, but things and situations are only ours for a time. Life is constantly changing, and we can spend a lifetime searching for new things when the old ones wear out.

A man travels the world over in search of what he needs and returns home to find it. George Moore.

For some people, many years are wasted looking for that special person, place or thing that will bring them true, lasting happiness, only to find at the end of the journey that it was inside all the time. That's where all of your answers and solutions are found. True peace and happiness can only be found inside. They're built in, and all we have to do is go within and search. Are you willing to spend time and attention to discover what may be waiting there, like who and what you really are?

Resolve to be thyself, and know that he who finds himself loses his misery. Matthew Arnold

You will always have to face some painful times along your journey, and during those times you may not feel that happiness can be found within. But peace and happiness are your true nature, that part of you that gets overlooked when you search in the outer. And this is where you find peace in the midst of the storm.

Take some quiet time each day (even 15 minutes) to come home to yourself. Allow your shadows to surface without judgment. We all have those. Then let them go. And allow your light to shine in your life. We all have that too. See it, believe it, and praise that beautiful self. That's where true, lasting happiness is found.

I wish for you a happy, peaceful journey

Marilyn