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Tuesday, February 28, 2017

BEING PLEASANT

"Some kind of help is the kind of help that helping's all about.
And some kind of help is the kind of help we all could do without."
~ Marlo Thomas ~

Helpful, cheerful people are such a breath of fresh air! It just feels good to be around them, and the can-do attitude is uplifting and inspiring.
     The can't-do people, on the other hand, with the long faces and the downer attitude, feel almost like a spiritual violation. Their negativity oozes and festers and leaves a nasty residue.
     So in this world of continual human interaction, which one are you?

I choose to be helpful and cheerful whenever I can.

Monday, February 27, 2017

CAPTAINING THE SHIP

"No matter where you go or what you do, you live your entire life within the confines of your head." 
~ Terry Josephson ~

We can be internally petulant and have a bad day even if we're pleasant on the outside. Our thoughts are what determine our experience almost more than the experience itself. Our thoughts can be a herd of stampeding buffalo crushing everything underfoot, or flit about gently like a butterfly. And we have more control over our thoughts than we are often willing to acknowledge. We can change them at any time with a conscious decision.

I manage my thoughts so that they don't manage me.

Thursday, February 23, 2017

BEING HUMAN

"Man is the only creature that refuses to be what he is." 
~ Albert Camus ~

The common denominator is our humanity. No matter who we face, we both know what it's like to experience love, loss, fear, fret, sweetness, sadness, the change of seasons, and the need to sleep. We create stories in our minds that make us different, better than, and less than, but the truth is that we are all equal to whatever life experience we find ourselves in at any given moment. That's our birthright and our reality whether we claim it or not.

I stand square on the earth exactly as I am. 

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

OPPORTUNITY

"What I do know is that if one wants to get a boat ride, one must be near the river." 
~ Anchee Min ~

What is opportunity? A chance, an invitation, a risk... all of the above? Opportunity abounds- that seems certain, but we have a part to play in it. We have to get out of our comfort zone, and be willing to be vulnerable and experience new things. We have to be willing to give and take, share and listen, and bring our special life-view to the mix. And when we do this, and the more we can do this, the more exciting and unexpectedly rewarding our lives can be.

I willingly and courageously experience new people and new situations.

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

SORRY FOR WHAT WE DEVOURED

"Don't dig your grave with your own knife and fork." 
~ English Proverb ~

Food hangovers are a real thing. When we eat what doesn't sit with us cleanly, the effects have a tendency to linger and impact the quality of our life. Let's pay attention to how we feel after we eat and learn what suits us best- what makes us feel lean, energized, and well-fed, and avoid the litany of goodies and indulgences that create a sense of malaise. Life is too short to be sick from what is meant to nourish us.

I enjoy the benefits of clean eating. 

Monday, February 20, 2017

THINKING WE KNOW MORE THAN WE DO

"Most of us retain enough of the theological attitude to think that we are little gods." 
~ Oliver Wendell Holmes Jr ~

What is it in us that thinks the rules don't apply to us, that we are above instruction, above guidance, and above the need to be a beginner and learn new things from scratch? It's some voice in us that says, "Oh, yeah. That's for everyone else, but not for me."
     We can so easily be know-it-alls. We readily make assumptions that have nothing to do with fact, and then pay a steep price for our misconception. Instructions are there for a reason, even if we don't know what it is, so we should pay attention. We don't want to get too far ahead of ourselves or the process.

I honor the need for instruction and allow it to ease and guide my progress.

Sunday, February 19, 2017

THE LIMITS OF JUSTIFICATION

"Excuses are the nails used to build a house of failure." 
~ Don Wilder ~

Justification and excuses are no substitution for an apology. To be told, "This is why" doesn't sit nearly as well as, "We were wrong and we're sorry."
     Taking ownership of our errors is just as important as taking ownership of our talents and success. Mistakes happen, and that's what forgiveness is for. There is grace and blessing in admitting that we could have done better, and in understanding how it must feel to be on the receiving end of our faulty action.
     Blaming circumstances, on the other hand, does not amend the situation at all, and actually makes the other person continue to feel wronged. And instead of forgiveness, a resentment is born.
     Let's not go there. It's a lousy spiritual space to occupy. Let's step up and apologize instead.

I admit my mistakes and apologize where necessary.

Thursday, February 16, 2017

FOR THE LOVE OF RHYTHM

"Why waste money on psychotherapy when you can listen to the B Minor Mass?" 
~ Michael Torke ~

I am grateful for good music- for lyrics that I love and rhythms that pump me up; the ones that soothe me, and the ones that make me feel good from the inside out. Music is as intrinsic to us as the sound of the wind and rain on the roof, laughter, conversation, hands clapping, and the beating of our heart.

Music is a perfect reflection of the sounds in my spirit.

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

ATTENDING TO OUR NEEDS

"My greatest wealth is the deep stillness in which I strive and grow and win what the world cannot take from me with fire or sword." 
~ Goethe ~

When we attend to our inner needs, everything feels better. The world feels better- more friendly. Hope reigns, and loving energy bubbles up.
     And when we are over-tired, not well-fed, over-taxed, and over-scheduled, darkness descends. So often we are insensitive to the natural flow of things and push on, forcing our will against unbending conditions.
     At such times, we would do better to stop, regroup, refresh, and come back later when the light of well-being is shining upon us yet again.

I understand the practical application of restorative self-care strategies.

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

PARTNERING WITH THE DIVINE

"When I have a terrible need of- shall I say the word- religion. Then I go out and paint the stars."
 ~ Vincent Van Gogh ~

Creative engagement is a glorious thing! To be able to use our mind, our experience, our vision, our intuition, and partner with divine energy is energizing and empowering! It's almost a state of play. We experiment and stand back to appraise our efforts, step forward again and make changes; repeat the process- step back, forward, side to side, come to resolution and feel proud of our part in the work.

I love participating in the creative process!

Monday, February 13, 2017

THE BASICS

"I will bring the health of simplicity to my burdened soul and days." 
~ Muriel Strode Lieberman ~

We over complicate our living and our thinking. We take more responsibility for others and for life circumstances than we need to, and not enough for ourselves.
     The recipe for good living is pretty simple if we break it down to the basics: acknowledge our fear, extend our love, and do the next right thing. Life really can be that straight forward if we let it..

I keep life simple by being honest with myself and others and doing the next right thing.

MAKING A DIFFERENCE

"How wonderful it is that nobody need wait a single moment before starting to improve the world."
 ~ Anne Frank ~

Open hearted, friendly, and outgoing people make a meaningful, positive difference in the world. They lift the energy in a room just by being there. We can feel their light, and miss it when they're gone.
     So many of us settle for mediocrity and flatness. We are good people, but withdrawn and quiet, and unless we make some kind of extraordinary effort, others hardly know we're there, or not there.
     Let's appreciate the brightness in others who are bright, and become willing to open ourselves just a little more and believe that we too have light within us that is worth sharing with the world.

I celebrate the brightness in myself and others.

Thursday, February 9, 2017

BEING WHO WE ARE

"When you dance to your own rhythm, life taps its toes to your beat."
~ Terri Guillemets ~

It's ok to be afraid, and
It's ok to be sure, even though we can't explain why.
It's ok to like what we like,
to mistrust what we mistrust,
and to want what we want.
The error is in second-guessing
And condemning
ourselves
For simply being 
Who we are.

The most beautiful and perfect thing I can be is my authentic self.

Wednesday, February 8, 2017

COMING FULL CIRCLE

"If it had been a snake, it would have bit me." 
~ Appalachian Saying ~

What we simply cannot see is often right in front of us- too obvious to consider, too simple to be believed. How often does our search take us round and about and over and under only to lead us right back to where we began, and there it is! Maybe the trip is necessary so that we might see it with fresh eyes.

I delight in re-discovering what I knew all along.

Tuesday, February 7, 2017

THE HONEST TRUTH

"A lie has speed, but truth has endurance." 
~ Edgar J Mohn ~

Honesty is reality without our justifications. It's what exists separate from judgment, fear, past conditioning, and excuses. It's free from blame as well- the facts without the fluff.
     And yet, honesty, by its very nature, has to be relative, because it filters through us, and so we can't fully separate ourselves from it. What's honest from one person's perspective is denial from another.
     So all we can do- perhaps the truest truth there is- is to be as honest with the reality of our situation as we can be at any given time, and leave, trust, and recommend others to do the same.

From day to day and minute to minute, I appraise myself as honestly and accurately as I possibly can. 

Monday, February 6, 2017

THE ART OF SELF-REFLECTION

"Grace is within you." 
 ~ Ramana Maharshi ~

It's not enough to give lip service to self-reflection. We have to experience it. In our modern era of technological distraction, it's hard to sit still, get quiet, listen, and look within. We are all action and forward momentum; or we're spinning in emotional circles; or working, or vegetating, or falling asleep.
     Turning to our inner selves is a too often forgotten art. And yet, that's where all our answers and contentment lie, so it's an art worth pursuing. Let's get to know ourselves again. Let's get quiet and remember who we are.

I enjoy spending time free from technological distraction in the company of myself. 

Sunday, February 5, 2017

BALLED UP IN KNOTS

"Earth's tribulations diminish in proportion to the elevation of our souls." 
~ James Lendall Basford ~

We can get balled up in knots without even knowing it, until something comes along to rattle us into awareness. And then, suddenly, we realize we have become accustomed to our own dysfunction. We realize it has taken us over and taken us along for a ride.
     Thank God for the things that rattle us! Though they may arrive with a fair amount of discomfort, they break up the tangle and freshen the air. They invigorate us, and they shine the light brightly on our forward path.

As I go through life challenges, I remember that sometimes the most difficult experiences bring the greatest relief.

Thursday, February 2, 2017

WIN-WIN LIVING

"Peace cannot be achieved through violence, it can only be attained through understanding." 
~ Ralph Waldo Emerson ~

Standing in opposition to others with strong opinions and inflexibility is not nearly so evolved as being able to see all sides of a thing- to really put ourselves on the side we don't understand and try to understand it. That way, with compassion, and a real interest in finding a middle ground, we can work together to find a winning solution, rather than polarizing ourselves to one side or the other and making one of us right and the other wrong.

I seek to understand what baffles me, and spread compassion rather than judgment.

Wednesday, February 1, 2017

ONE FOOT IN FRONT OF THE OTHER

"Hope, perhaps, is the chief happiness which this world affords." 
~ Samuel Johnson ~

Hope within,
Footwork without,
Free from pain and loss and doubt.
Keeping moving,
Staying still,
Trusting in the journey that leads up the hill. 

I keep on keeping on with hope in my heart.