Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Daily Inspiration 2-22-17

"Compromise is one solution; 
albeit, rarely a joyful one." 

-- Albert K. Strong 

I re-watched Women, a favorite movie last night, and after I was done, I wrote this down: "What do I want? versus What do we want?"

The movie is all about relationships, friendship, love, and challenges. One marriage broke apart from the affair of the husband, which was just the perfect situation to cause the wife to take a real look at her life, and after the initial trauma, to ask herself what she really wanted instead of all the expectations of all the others in her life from her father, to business, her daughter, and her long marriage and relationship with her husband. Throw in some drama from her band of girlfriends, and it went from seemingly happy and successful to dysfunctional to say the least.

Many of us have probably navigated similar waters, and from my current vantage point, I can see how things happen that seem to be disconnected, but they are really fully connected and yet we often are unaware that one thing actually causes the other. Into every life some drama must fall I suppose, and some much more than others. But, this is a good thing if you know how to view it.

Standing back and getting the look of the bigger picture is certainly a valuable viewpoint. From here one can see a lot of movement and how much of that movement is under our direct control, whether consciously, or unconsciously. Growth is in there somewhere, I'm sure.

The part that stood out for me and caused me to write that dual question was that so often whether we realize it or not we are living a life with many compromises. We know it doesn't feel good, but we do it for the misused word harmony. Compromise is rarely harmonious. It more often comes from the lack of joy in continuing to fight. It is one, both, or all parties relinquishing our own desires, territory, or position for the sake of the cessation on outward conflict. I don't think it does anything at all about the continuing inner conflict. We just stuff our feelings and move on to the next issue. But, over time, those stuffed feelings must escape from their turmoil within. Enter the antagonist, whether a person, thing, or situation. Something has to give.

But, compromise is only one solution and generally it is not so effective. It is ineffective because it is win-lose, lose-lose, lose-win. It is rarely if ever win-win, and that is the solution that really works, as it did at the end of this movie. She won by finally deciding to follow her passion, her dream, her creativity. He won by realizing what he gave up because now that she has chosen what she wants, he can respect that, appreciate her more, and the unspoken tensions are released into a place of more open communication. The unhappy daughter realized the same thing. All are in a state of appreciation, which is my favorite state of all.

One could say, "well, this is just a movie and this can happen in movies, but it isn't reality." I so tire of that kind of line. Reality is what you make it and everyone has their own reality. As we can appreciate the reality of the other, respect and admiration prevail, and that is expressed outwardly. We can't make a decision that works, but I can, and you can. As we can appreciate the underlying desires and need for the decision, we can gain understanding and find joy. It isn't a compromise to share in the decision of another, it is to decide on your own what is right for you within the decision of the other. Or, to decide otherwise. Courage and risk are always involved, but this is where life is really alive.

This applies in all relationships whether business, political, or like-thinking groups, or personal. I used to be told that marriage is all about compromise. That's not accurate for me. That causes a lot of distress on both sides. What does work is deciding what I want. Then, let us share our thoughts and feelings and come to an understanding rather than a compromise.

Joy Is In Following Our Heart Which Always Leads In Love. 

Spread Some Joy Today--by allowing your own joy to be expressed in all your relationships. Where there is joy, there is love.

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Daily Inspiration 2-21-17

"The promises of this world are, 
for the most part, vain phantoms; 
and to confide in one's self, 
and become something of worth and value 
is the best and safest course." 

-- Michelangelo 

"The value of a man 
should be seen in what he gives 
and not in what he is able to receive." 

-- Albert Einstein 

I'm going to share a dream from early this morning. It was so powerful that I woke up and had to write part of it down.

I was friends with a man named Bob Mopi, who was such a special friend. I remember reading a quote by Thich Nhat Hanh the other day which matches this man's love and friendship perfectly: "You must love in such a way that the person you love feels free." I felt completely and totally loved and free whenever I even thought of Bob Mopi, and I did nothing to hold him from being equally loved and free.

Bob was an expert at numbers, investing, and managing money. He was in the highest demand, and yet he chose as he chose not paying any attention to the grandness of the offers. He was his own man and did as he pleased; did what pleased him the most.

I was friends with several board members of a mid-sized company and they really needed a treasurer, but more like a CFO; someone who could guide the company financially out of the chaos that it had landed in, but they couldn't pay the big bucks and so they were wondering where this magic person would come from.

I said, "what about Bob?" I didn't even say his last name, and they all knew exactly who I was talking about. They all instantly said, Bob Mopi. Yes, that's who we want. But, will he be available to us? That's the question. I said that I would speak to him.

Now this board was made up of the finest men and women one could know. They were smart and full of integrity, and yet, they found themselves in need of some financial help. Well, a lot of financial help.

I talked with Bob and he instantly agreed to do it, not even asking about any compensation. The only thing he stipulated is that he must have the freedom to not be tied to this job. He must be able to get the work done in whatever little time it might take and then have the freedom to do other things in the meantime. It was agreed.

Afterward, back in the big office with that board, everyone was chatting it up and I spoke out (and this is what I wrote down early this morning): "I know what is so special about Bob. He doesn't not like anyone. Everyone is important to him. He doesn't know how people he interacts with will be of value to him or he to them, but he knows there is value in all relationships, however brief or exalted."

I thought, wow! If someone were to say that about me, that would be the greatest compliment I could ever be paid. It is love. It is love as a noun, and also a verb. It is love in action. It is unconditional love. It doesn't matter how the other is expressed physically, Bob loves them as they are inside--as they truly are, and he loves them with such freedom that the other feels no ties that bind, with no expectations, with no requirements.

Imagine The Possibilities Of This In Your Life And Your World. 

Spread Some Joy Today--by seeing beyond the surface to see that in which we all are the same in love and freedom.

Monday, February 20, 2017

Daily Inspiration 2-20-17

"We're not held back 
by the love we didn't receive in the past, 
but by the love,
we're not extending in the present." 

-- Marianne Williamson 

I read this quote. Then put it down. Then picked it up again and again. In a short time, I became mesmerized by it. There was a wash of thoughts that came through as if this quote opened a floodgate of sorts.

Yesterday I received an email where a reader expressed some thoughts about yesterday's post about enlightenment and found it hard to let go because there is still a strong urge to seek approval from others. I love when people write to me, and I gave a response that came to me that I thought might be helpful.

I shared something I learned early in my study of sales that I learned from someone else about having an air of indifference. Not indifference, but just an air of it. It's sort of a self-protection device to take a 'no' as a choice and not as a personal attack. Having an air of indifference as if I won't die if they say 'no' allows me to keep my wits about me and my personal feelings from running amok.

Then this quote came to me this morning and opened that approval idea wide. All that love we didn't receive in the past that we live over and over again, even as the past is long gone. It is something we hold onto though it is not necessary to continue to do so. But to paraphrase Marianne's quote, "we're not held back by what was, but only what is." In other words, it is the present moment that is all there really is. We can live in the memory or the moment.

Thich Nhat Hanh said, "to be beautiful means to be yourself. You don't need to be accepted by others. You need to accept yourself." I delight in this statement. At the same time, I can so relate to the reader because the majority of my life I craved approval, sought it all day every day, and I would be unhappy if my attempts to manipulate the approval of others failed, which they did all the time. Yet I persisted in my quest.

Then, I found a book that put me on a path toward change from this quest. It is a short book that is so profound. I have read it so many times over the years and have given away hundreds of copies, especially to young people. The title is, Love Is Letting Go of Fear, by Gerald Jampolsky. This book gave me permission to accept myself, to approve of myself, and not have such a need to have others approving or loving me. It was the first book I ever read about loving myself enough to awaken me to the choices I always have had available to me and yet previously ignored.

No, we're not held back by the love or the approval or anything else we think we were lacking in the past. . . unless we keep living it over and over again in the present. What really matters right now is what we are thinking and doing right now. That letting go book encouraged me to make different choices and to let the past be--to let go of it, release it, accept it for what it was--a part of the journey to here and now. For it is in the here and now that all my power resides. Here is where I decide to let go or reach out.

It is not the ______ we didn't receive in the past, but the _____ we're not extending in the present. We choose every moment of every part of our lives. If we begin by accepting ourselves, our past, our family, our entire history, and our inherent power to choose, we can let go as we choose, and extend all that we are today in as much joy as we will allow.

We Are All Enough. Exactly As We Are. 

Spread Some Joy Today--by laying down the rope of the need to have others approve of us. We are the deciders and we cannot make others do anything. By letting go, we release ourselves to our own freedom.

Sunday, February 19, 2017

Daily Inspiration 2-19-17

"There is no enlightenment 
outside of daily life." 

-- Thich Nhat Hanh 

This quote speaks volumes in one short sentence. Here is what I thought when I first read this quote this morning.

There is no peace without peace being within us. There is no love without love being within us, expressed by us, delightfully received by us. There is no such thing as business ethics. There is no compartmentalization, no private closets, or privacy on the Internet. We cannot step out with one foot while the other is bound to the floor. We cannot reach out while holding onto our place.

If we are not who and what we are then we are only who and what we are not.

But the real value of our life is being who we truly are. It is sharing who we really are. It is living that which we essentially are in our daily life.

We have been trained by others to wear masks and to attempt to hide who we are. Enlightenment, I think, is merely letting go of all the masks, the training, the proper etiquette, the private closets, the business ethics, the chains that bind us.

Enlightenment then is release. It is not something we find, but something we know deep within. We simply uncover it. We allow it. Within that, we find grace, peace, joy, unconditional love, compassion, freedom, and as we express our real selves, we share these qualities with all others, while at the same time giving permission to all to choose the same, or as they will.

This Then Becomes The Life We Came Here To Live, To Share, To Be. 

Spread Some Joy Today--by allowing your essence to be your dominance.

Saturday, February 18, 2017

Daily Inspiration 2-18-17

"Is it tragedy or imagidry?" 

-- Albert K. Strong 

It is both because more often than not, tragedy is imagined. It is an opinion, a point of view, a personal or collective decision. All of those are as real as reality gets, and all are equally, though varied, realities.

It doesn't matter if it is right or wrong or serves you or doesn't. It only matters that the chooser has chosen and the verdict is rendered. Even that is flexible enough to be chosen differently at any moment.

Whatever it is to you, it is that in your own reality.

Choose As You Will. Every Choice Is A Valid Choice, And Every Choice Produces An Accompanying Result. 

Spread Some Joy Today--or as you choose. You are the chooser always.

Friday, February 17, 2017

Daily Inspiration 2-17-17

"Just because other people act without joy 
does not mean you have to." 

-- Alan Cohen 

Last evening, my business partner called and told me of a conversation with an ex-client that was fascinating, to say the least. I won't go into any of the details, but to say that there was frustration on our part is to say it very mildly. And, so my business partner was calm and laughing about the irony of this call, and I went off on a rant that I never wanted to deal with them again, etc., etc.

Now, here's the interesting part of that going on a rant thing. I knew I didn't mean what I was saying. I know that I loved their business the first time I went there, and I love them too. I know this, and as I was ranting, I knew I knew that. I could so easily justify my position in this rant, but it really doesn't matter. I was just moving hot air out of my lungs and mouth, vibrating my vocal chords, and saying things I didn't mean.

What's interesting about that, you ask? Because I know that I know now. In that past, I didn't know that I knew. I thought I was justified, blameless, in the perfect position of authority. But, of course, you may realize as I came to realize that this is never really the case, is it? We know what we're doing when we're doing it, and any justification is simply gloppy ego-ooze that is attempting to smooth the rough spots, which is like pouring oil in the pan to cook bacon. It's just dumb. And, yet, if not you, I've sure done it enough in my life.

But now I know that I know. I am in my knowing. I cannot be helped by gloppy ego-ooze or any manner of righteous indignation or righteous justification. I am in my knowing. At worst my rant will last a few seconds to a few minutes, and then I have no choice except to come back into my knowing at my Source like a rubber band has to come back after a little stretch.

Of course, you might know that this being in my knowing is joyful, right? My rants are so short nowadays. It's up, it's over. It doesn't last long. I might even say that I enjoyed my little rant knowing that it wasn't really doing harm. Maybe in time, there will be no reaction, as that is what it was. Maybe it will become a loving response instead. I like that. It sounds joyful to me.

May Your Rants Grow Shorter As Joy And Love Fill Your Space. 

Spread Some Joy Today--by paying attention to your inner-knower. That's the way to be injoy as you enjoy.

Thursday, February 16, 2017

Daily Inspiration 2-16-17

"Does the thought
you are now thinking
take you where you want to go? 
If not, what thought would?" 

-- Greg Levoy 

I'll bring Abraham, Esther Hicks to shed more light on this concept:

"The Law of Attraction is responding to your thought, not to your current reality. When you change the thought, your reality must follow suit. If things are going well for you, then focusing upon what is happening now will cause the well-being to continue, but if there are things happening now that are not pleasing, you must find a way of taking your attention away from those unwanted things. 

You have the ability to quickly change your patterns of thought, and eventually... your life experience. 

Take 15 minutes daily, thinking of pleasant scenarios regarding your body, with the sole intent of enjoying your body and appreciating its strength and stamina and flexibility and beauty. When you visualize for the joy of visualizing rather than with the intention of correcting some deficiency, your thoughts are more pure and, therefore, more powerful. When you visualize to overcome something that is wrong, your thoughts are diluted with the "lackful" side of the equation. In time, your physical condition will acquiesce to your dominant thoughts." 

My favorite part of that is this: "When you visualize for the joy of visualizing rather than with the intention of correcting some deficiency, your thoughts are more pure and, therefore, more powerful."

It seems to me that so often I am wanting to fix something, wanting something that I do not now have. Yet this phrase as part of this whole quote gives me a much better way to consider the idea of visualization.

It reminds me of my practice of appreciation. Everywhere I look now, I find myself seeking to notice something or many things that I appreciate as I view them. I make note and let them go moving on to the next scene. I now find at least one thing to appreciate in every scene I encounter.

So to visualize finding things to appreciate makes so much better sense to me now. I'm going to add this to my practice and enjoy the unfolding and the fascinating things and situations to come.

Love Is Expressed In Many Ways, And Predominantly In Appreciation. 

Spread Some Joy Today--via your appreciation.

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Daily Inspiration 2-15-17

"The earth laughs in flowers."

-- Ralph Waldo Emerson

[Classic post from 4-29-13]

If flowers are the laughter, the trees are the dancers. It is amazing how everything is so alive around me when I pay attention. Though I may look as if I am paying attention, I am often not even here at all. I'm off thinking about this and that, going over scenarios, possibilities, and more. As I am thinking of other things, I am no longer in the present, but in the past and the future. If I hadn't mastered driving to the point that I can do it without thinking much, I wouldn't be able to drive at all.

The first step to master any change is first awareness. I am aware that I am not paying attention. I can then become aware of my surroundings and notice these things rather than be off in thought-land somewhere.

In the last few months, I have paid more attention whether I am present or not, and it is especially easy to notice when I am driving. Today, I noticed that I was in thought several times and each time I repeated to myself a phrase I borrowed from Jim Rohn: "Wherever you are, be there." After I said this phrase to myself, I immediately came back to the present for a short time. Today it happened many times and that phrase helped me return every time.

As I returned to the present, I saw the most interesting things around me, such as, scenery I had never seen though I'd been on this drive countless times. I am finding this process very valuable.

Practice Makes Perfect.

Spread Some Joy Today--Wherever you find yourself today, try to be there.

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Daily Inspiration 2-14-17

"When you plant a seed of love, 
it is you that blossoms." 

-- Ma Jaya Sati Bhagavati 

Isn't that cool. It's like an investment with a guaranteed full return! Who was it that said, "As ye sow, so shall ye reap?" Looks like it was working even then.

Whether you have a special valentine or not, I wish you a lovely and loving Valentine's Day. There is a never-ending supply of worthy places to plant your seeds of love, and as you do, you are rewarded in kind.

Every Day Is Also A Great Day To Plant. No Need To Wait A Moment Longer. 

Spread Some Joy Today--Of course! Because love is joy. Joy is love.

Monday, February 13, 2017

Daily Inspiration 2-13-17

"This is my simple religion. 
No need for temples. 
No need for complicated philosophy. 
Your own mind, your own heart is the temple. 
Your philosophy is simple kindness." 

-- Dalai Lama XIV 

Here's a great question: In what ways can we justify our kindness to another? Here's a better one: Does kindness ever really need justification?

Free speech is a wonderful thing, but just because it's said to be free it doesn't mean that it doesn't have a cost.

I spent several hours yesterday desiring to release any resistance I might be carrying by watching some stand-up comedy on Netflix. I was gettting a head cold and I haven't been sick in almost ten years, so I knew there must be a bunch of resistance going on.

Two of them were absolutely hilarious, and another was funny enough but had some digs that simply seemed mean-spirited and inappropriate. Another had some similar rants and they get old quickly. 

Then, this morning, I was looking on a Sacramento TV station's website for some video of the situation at the Orville Dam because the front page of my newspaper said that evacuations for 130,000 were ordered. I thought, "wow. That's a big deal. Not the kind of news you see everyday." So, I saw what I wanted and then some other news video bleeps enticed me to open them. One was about some Saturday Night Live parodies of key people in the White House and others. I watched some and it was way over the edge of good taste. I didn't find any of it funny.

Right now, there are a lot of people pushing against the President and his administration and it hasn't even been 30 days. Much of that pushing against is distasteful at best and I liken it to bullying. Of course, it can be said that much of this reaction is encouraged by the President's words and actions, many of which are unique to this particular President, but let's go back to the first question. In what ways can we justify our kindness to another? Or, more appropriately stated, in what ways do we justify our lack of kindness? Is it because they are doing something we don't like?

Pushing against anything is counterproductive. All it does is create more of the same. Pushing against, fighting anything is just ineffective. It is because we get more of what we focus on. As we focus on what is not to our liking, we get more that we do not like. Einstein said that we cannot use the same thinking that created the problem to solve the problem. The solution is not where the problem is. This, of course, is assuming that we want the problem solved. Sometimes people just like being fired up and upset because it gives them something to do.

As we read the news from any quarter, it is easy to see that free speech indeed has a cost, and it is a high cost when we are fighting that righteous cause because we are right and they are wrong. It's not even about right and wrong. Besides, even if we saw it as wrong and we are fighting against it, lashing out with hateful words and acts, we are adding fuel to the fire. Two wrongs don't work out to a right.

It's okay to disagree. There is much I disagree with, but in my expressing that disagreement, I am attracting more to be disagreeable about. I only need to recognize that I disagree, and I can feel the negative emotional signal guiding me to turn my focus on the solution, or what I want. Now I can attract more that causes me to feel good, to feel good about.

I do this very easily by finding things to appreciate, whether it is the color of the sky or the fact that President Trump was voted into office. It will be interesting to see how that plays out, and I'm sure there will be some fascinating things done and said, but I look at a much, much, much higher power than the President of the United States that is guiding all of life. Worrying won't help at all, but finding joyful things to focus on certainly will.

Let us brush off our dusty kindness and bring the value of sharing that universally to bear on each other, including our world leaders. Kahlil Gibran said, "Tenderness and kindness are not signs of weakness and despair, but manifestations of strength and resolution."

"The Smallest Act Of Kindness Is Worth More Than The Greatest Intention." -- Kahlil Gibran 

Spread Some Joy Today--by turning toward it and away from blame.

Sunday, February 12, 2017

Daily Inspiration 2-12-17

"No matter what happens, 
somebody will find a way 
to take it too seriously."

-- Dave Barry 

I know there's still a few hours left in the day in America, and church is already over for many, so the rest of the day can be dedicated to silliness, laughter, spontaneity, fun, naps on the couch, or any other thing that encourages you to let go of that seriousness rope.

Enjoy Being INjoy. It's A Perfect Day For It. 

Spread Some Joy Today--by relaxing in it, rolling around in it, pouring it over your body, and splashing in it.

Saturday, February 11, 2017

Daily Inspiration 2-11-17

"Prejudice is 
a universally available
point of view." 

-- Albert K. Strong 

I was reading the paper this morning. This is something that I didn't do for a lot of years. Back then, the paper was a source of concern and worry and expanding prejudice, and now it is a source of lighthearted laughter and joy.

It is amazing to me still how easily we come to judgment of something we know very little about, yet take the news report or the facebook post as real. There's much talk on social media about 'fake news' now, but all news is fake until we look at it from as many angles as we can. But, in today's world, who has the time? It is so much easier and more expedient to just accept the report.

Prejudice is easy. It requires almost no effort, skill, or knowledge. Whatever level of education we might have matters not to prejudice. It is available to everyone on the planet equally. It is the great equalizer. The more of it we allow into our lives, the more sure we become of the content of the world.

I grew up hearing about the flaps, clinks, klouts, pachecos, diggers, queries, clone-o-mists, and that is just the short list. Prejudice requires dehumanization. It likes company. It cannot survive alone and thrive. It needs an audience, and to help in this cause, we invent derogatory words to show how they are not anything like us, and that we are clean while they are filthy.

No longer Joan or Jane, Ted or Brandon. Now they are something else other than human because our names are Joan and Jane and Ted and Brandon. This cannot stand. They are not us. They are evil. They are them. Moreover, they are that.

And so, we choose our point of view all day every day in every way. We choose what we see and we choose how we see it. Facebook and other social media, along with a massive number of blogs, newspaper reports and such promote prejudice. It's because it is easy and requires no effort, skill, or knowledge. It is universally shared as we see fit to share--from our own point of view, of course.

At the same time, we have a universally available choice to choose not to accept prejudice in any way shape or form. We can seek what feels good and not what promotes feeling bad. We can find joy on Facebook and other social sites by enjoying the many uplifting things that are shared. We can find lighthearted laughter in the newspaper or online news. We can turn toward that which is love, peace, empowerment, freedom, and joy.

Though prejudice is easy and readily available, it really doesn't take any more effort to choose otherwise. And, the most universal thing of all is our own choice of our personal point of view. This is true because prejudice is fear and fear is resistance. That requires us to hold on to the rope and pull against, push against, fight; whereas, choosing differently only requires letting go of that rope. That's how easy it is or how hard it is depending on your point of view.

Be As You Choose To Be. Nobody Chooses For You. 

Spread Some Joy Today--by letting go of that temptation to judge. That is a mind-field.

Friday, February 10, 2017

Daily Inspiration 2-10-17

"Pure love and suspicion 
cannot dwell together; 
at the door where the latter enters, 
the former makes its exit." 

-- Alexander Dumas 

Love and fear cannot co-mingle, as they are faced in opposite directions, and yet in our daily experience we see this attempt so often. But, that is only because it is not pure love. It is instead something that the ego created to cause us to feel good when things are going as we want, and to feel fear when they are not. This is a serialized version of the ego's primary function of immediate reaction in the fight or flight response.

She says, "I love him, but I fear that he is cheating on me." She says, "I love him, and yet I can never really trust a man who stays late at work so often." He or she says, "that same thing happened in my family and I can see that it is happening now to me." He says, "I love my job, but I hate my boss." She says, "I hate my job, but I need the money." He says, "Jesus taught us to love our enemies, but that was easy for Him, but I live in the nuclear age." And, well, this list is as long as forever, and is so common that we have come to expect love and fear to be perfect partners. That could only be as we do not understand what love is.

Love is this: We love or we do not. Love does not allow loving this and hating that. Where there is love, there is no possibility of hate or fear. It is pure peace, pure acceptance, pure joy. Or it is not, but it is not love and fear.

Once we recognize love, pure love, unconditional love--you know, the love of God for us, we find that to stray from it is completely numbing ourselves to joy.

Fear says, "Protect. Protect. Protect. Defend. Defend. Defend." And, love says, "Accept. Appreciate. Release. Freedom! Peace! Joy! This is why there can be no suspicion and love in the same place. There is love or there is suspicion, but there can never be both at the same time.

Of course in love, there would be no movies and novels because there would be no antagonists. There would be no news as we think of news now because there would be nothing to fear, and nothing to predict or analyze. So, we so often live with the alternative fact that we love others and can fear them at the same time.

Pure Love Is All There Really Is. Anything Else Is Simply Turning Away. 

Spread Some Joy Today--by opening yourself to the pure joy of pure love and allowing the world and all others who live within it to do as they choose for themselves.

Thursday, February 9, 2017

Daily Inspiration 2-9-17

"You can say any foolish thing to a dog, 
and the dog will give you a look that says, 
'Wow, you're right! 
 I never would've thought of that!'" 

-- Dave Barry 

It's amazing how much agreement we can have when we talk to one that cannot talk back. . .

It is easy enough to see that animals live in the moment while doing their best to lead by example. 

Today Is Happy Thursday. Everyone Gets A Free Pass. 

Spread Some Joy Today--by laughing often! Who knew?