Friday, June 30, 2017
If we have no peace, it is because we have forgotten that we belong to each other. Mother Teresa
How did our world get so divided with its 'us and them' mentality? We're living in a world motivated by a 'what's in it for me' mind-set with ultimate separation from others. We take for granted thing like stress, anger, loneliness, confusion, etc. And we say that's life. I don't remember how it started. It just seems we've lost heart, and most of us just wander through each day blending in with the times without question.
Today's technology has opened doors we never thought possible, and much good is realized in our world today. But it doesn't contribute to the love, peace, and harmony our true naure longs for. In our universe we're all connected, and a world that denies this truth denies opportunities to live as we were created. And we follow as lost sheep in foreign lands, not even realizing we're lost. Is this the way we're meant to live?
Many years ago the cultural norm was a sense of community with others. Yes, there were individual differences, but this was accepted without conflict. When I was a child in the Great Depression years, we lived in an apartment building with people of different nationalities, but we shared food, our time, and our love. Now when I sit in my back yard, I look at my neighbors' privacy fences that were not there a few years ago. I hear their voices and their dogs barking, but I'm not a part of them. And I feel the separation.
There are no random acts...we are all connected...you can no more separate one life from another than you can separate a breeze from the wind. Mitch Albom
When I think about how we've allowed the separatist values of those in power to turn our lives to suit their needs, I remember the past, and I think about my future. Then I realize it's not only about me. It's about all of us. My mind runs in two dimentions. What do I want for me? And how can I exist without you...all of you? We can't exist alone. We're connected. And we need each other. Our life is within us. But it's kept alive through our connection with others.
For centuries, our relation to each other has been cited in volumes of literature. In the 17th century, John Donne, an English metaphysical poet and cleric in the Church of England strongly believed we are all connected, and he wrote, "No Man Is An Island". The Mensa Education and Research Foundation explains the literal meaning of this phrase as, "No one is by himself; we are all connected to each other; human beings do not thrive when isolated from others; etc;. This need for others is reflected in every area of life, and without it, we fall into our present negative pattern of living.
Everything is energy, and our thoughts and beliefs create our energy vibrations that move through the universe and touch others. It seems impossible that my thoughts, my intentions, my desires can affect anyone but me. But there is power in the energy I project with my thoughts. And what I envision today for myself and others can manifest in positive ways.
In his book, Mind Power Into The 21st Century, John Kehoe says, "We take little notice of what we're thinking. And we go through life neglecting one of the most important and powerful forces in our life: our thoughts. The road of fulfilling relatonships starts with little things: a changed attitude, a reaching out, a look exchanged on a bus, a moment of total honesty with a stranger, but it soon grows into something much larger and more rewarding. It becomes a celebration, a joyful way of living in which we are open and aware in ways we never experienced before."
What a responsibility we have. And what a privilege. We are cells in the cell of humanity, and we can choose to rethink the meaning of our life and participate in the whole creation. We can use connection and community to create love, health, peace, and harmony within our world. What you envision today, and hold in your mind, can bring blessings in your own life and somewhere else in the world where blessings are needed.
We need each other. We can change the world.
Friday, June 16, 2017
You don't know what's in the package until you open it. Unknown
When you receive a package do you spend time guessing what's inside and assume what the package might contain? And does the wrapping affect your attitude about the contents? Well, this is what we sometimes do with life situations. We might miss something wonderful because the situation doesn't come wrapped in a pretty package, and we discard it without looking past appearances. Or we might too quickly accept something based on it's attractive wrapping, and set ourselves up for disappointment.
We use this approach with all kinds of life situations, and we can't always back out of the holes we dig for ourselves. Too often we accept our assumptions about a job, people, how we spend our money, a trip we plan to take, a home we buy, companies for repair work, and even food past the expiration dates. The list doesn't end. That's life. Just think about everything you do or need on a daily basis. Do you manage your life based on assumptions, or do you open the package and see what's inside...to see what you're getting?
Assumptions allow the best in life to pass you by. John Sales
One time I had a supervisor who pushed my buttons every time we encountered each other. This package was certainly not wrapped in pretty paper. But I wanted to keep the job, so I took the time to examine my own attitude and look beyond our differences. I was quite surprised to find she had qualities I'd not seen before. And we had a lot in common, much upon which to build a good relationship. As time passed, we became friends, and I remember her with a warm heart instead of with my initial assumption.
Then later I moved to a different city and searched for a job in my field. But the only one I could find was with a mental health team in a county jail setting--definitely not a package I had in mind. But I took the job until I could find what I wanted. I performed as required, but my attitude was not productive until I began to open the package and notice the many unexpected challenges and rewards in my work. I gradually realized I was in the right place. And I stayed in a job I loved for 10 years. I would have missed this rewarding experience if I had clung to my first impression.
Do not blindly follow anyone or anything. Always seek the truth out for yourself. Unknown
Nobody gets it right all the time, and we all know what it feels like to end up where we don't want to be. But we don't want to be a skeptic about everything either. So when you need to make a sound judgment about something, a few rules might help to reach an accurate conclusion, at least most of the time.
1. Don't be fooled by first impressions, positive or negative. Take your time and keep an open mind.
2. Use self-talk and plan your strategy. You'd be surprised at how much more clear something is with words than with thoughts. Words paint pictures, and pictures are revealing.
3. Gather information. Take notes and compare them as you go along.
4. Ask all kinds of questions from anyone who might have answers. Example: People who've had their stoves repaired may know who does or does not do good work repairing stoves. Etc. And only accept complete answers. No half...answers.
5. This is not rocket science, so be kind to yourself. It's okay to make a mistake. Most of the time you can back up and start over.
6. When you feel ready, review your information, check you feelings, and act.
Of course there are times when people, places, and situations we encounter are true to our first impression. But things aren't always what they seem. And it's usually worth our time and effort to look past the wrapping and open the package without judgment and find what's really there. As least we won't have to look back and wonder what might have been.
I wish you happy discoveries.
Friday, June 2, 2017
Sometimes life really is a bumpy road, and some of those bumps hurt. We need to find a place of rest, so when the bumps come, we have what we need to pass through them. That place of rest is within you--that place of peace, joy, comfort, wisdom and strength. It's a safe haven sometimes overlooked as we rush through life too worn out and stressed to deal with all the stuff that hits us in the face.
That place is always there, but it's not something to be just tapped into occaseinally when we're desperate for rest. It's where we need to go on a continuing basis, where we need to live as we meet each day's demands. We can form a daily connection through prayer, meditation, music, whatever way pulls you inside to your quiet place.
In every walk with nature, man receives far more than he seeks. John Muir
We hear about the benefits of nature where we can also connect with our inner self, but how often do we seek out places where we can actually experience those benefits? Most wooded areas have quiet paths with trees that whisper messages of peace, flowers that dance in the sunshine, maybe weeds with beautiful blue flowers, a few muddy places for children to make mud pies, snow in winter, and puddles after a spring rain. Something all year to soothe our jangled nerves and tell us that life goes on with wisdom and peace, in spite of daily challenges. As often as possible, allow nature to become a part of your life and feel the benefits of being one with nature. You might even sit under a tree and hear it whisper what you need to know.
There is always Music amongst the trees in the Garden, but our hearts must be very quiet to hear it. Minnie Aumonier
One year while visiting in Seattle, I sat on a shady porch taking in the pristine beauty of giant northwestern trees. I've always loved trees, and this majestic sight left me feeling breathless. Then a nearby tree called my name, and I thought of what I'd heard about the benefits of sitting under a tree. Something shifted inside, and I was drawn to try this new way to reach my quiet place. As I relaxed against the tree, the earth poured her loving energy up through the tree and into my body, wrapping me in exquisite peace and strength. And my heart was very quiet.
As I sat in this blissful space, I remembered singing in my school choir many years ago. We sang Joyce Kilmer's poem about trees. I still knew every word by heart. And now I truly understood his poem...and so much more.
I think that I shall never see
A poem lovely as a tree.
A tree whose hungry mouth is prest
Against the earth's sweet flowing breast;
A tree that looks at God all day
And lifts her leafy arms to pray;
A tree that may in summer wear
A nest of robins in her hair;
Upon whose bosom snow has lain;
Who intimately lives with rain.
Poems are made by fools like me,
But only God can make a tree.
Too many people go through life so busy they never really know the beauty that lies within them. They don't know who they truly are and the wonderful achievements of which they're capable. Every day their attention is given to the busyness of everyday life, and they miss the best parts. Find your way to go within and be quiet. Listen for the truth in your heart. You really can walk through life in peace and joy when you know where to look. Look there often.
I wish you beautiful discoveries within a quiet heart.