Wednesday, December 12, 2018

Daily Inspiration 12-12-18

"If it's never our fault, 
we can't take responsibility for it. 
If we can't take responsibility for it, 
we'll always be its victim." 

-- Richard Bach 

[Classic post from 11-15-14]

When many of us were young, we learned very well that being at fault meant punishment of some kind, and that caused pain of one kind or another. So, it became foolish to accept responsibility for something even when we were asked directly about it. It became acceptable, and may I even say, desirable to lie about it regardless of how we felt inside or whether we thought they believed us or not. It was like a basic survival learning experience of the law of cause and effect. We knew what the effect was if we were the cause.

Somehow we missed learning the real law of cause and effect and so many of us have carried this basic survival learning into adulthood; albeit, less blatantly. Blame is still easier and safer we think. But is it?

A long time ago I learned about a psychological game that makes this basic survival experience so clear to me. I see it so easily in others and then I also have learned to see it in myself and then stop and get a better handle on my thinking and actions. Here is the game:

Draw a triangle and at one point write the word Persecutor, at the next point (either one), write the word Victim, and at the last point, write the word Rescuer. Now, once you get a handle on this game, you may see it being played by a number of people including relatives. It's pretty logical. First, someone is playing the Victim portion of the game. They need a Persecutor to blame for their problems for it would be impossible in this game to accept responsibility for any of their actions. Then, there is someone who is playing the Rescuer part. They are trying to point out things that can be done to alleviate the problem, move forward, etc., but the Victim will never, ever listen seriously to a Rescuer; however, they really need them in this game. If the other two are not always in the game, there is nothing for the Victim, or the Persecutor, or the Rescuer.

For much of my life, I was a Rescuer. I call it 'swimming upstream.' It is never effective in the game because no one wants to be rescued. Logic would dictate they want to be rescued, but really, they love playing the part. They've grown accustomed to it.

There's only one way out. Step away from the game. There's only one way to step away from the game: Begin accepting responsibility for your thinking and your actions. People will still be playing the Persecutor with you, but you won't be jumping in playing the Rescuer, so you're on the outside looking in. When you are there, it is pretty clear that it's a game. Otherwise, you will always be the game's Victim. (Here's a link to see more about the Karpman Drama Triangle.)

Here's to accepting responsibility! I Create My Own Reality! 

Spread Some Joy Today--See if you see anyone playing the triangle game. . . Smile that you know the way out.

Tuesday, December 11, 2018

Daily Inspiration 12-11-18

"All my life I have tried to 
pluck a thistle and plant a flower
wherever the flower would grow 
in thought and mind."

-- Abraham Lincoln

[Classic post from 11-14-14]

Get a few million people doing this and it is a very different planet!

Let it start with me!

I Have The Power To Change The World! It Starts With Me Changing My World!

Spread Some Joy Today--See if you can pluck at least one thistle and plant one flower today.

Monday, December 10, 2018

Daily Inspiration 12-10-18

"If you can't be happy where you are,
it's a cinch you can't be happy where you ain't."

-- Charlie "Tremendous" Jones

[Classic post from 11-13-14]

We somehow think that circumstances, events, money, fame, love, a mate, a nice house, a secure job, or other external things have the power to give us happiness.

It isn't possible.

Happiness is something you and only you can give to yourself and it has nothing whatsoever to do with external things, circumstances or events. The love of our life doesn't have the power. Money doesn't have the power, security doesn't have the power. Only you and you alone have the power.

This is why I love Charlie "Tremendous" Jones' statement: "If you can't be happy where you are (where you live, what you have, who you're with), it's a cinch you can't be happy where you ain't (where you think you need to be in order to have happiness)."

Once this really settles into your thinking, and believe me, it took a while for me to really get this, it changes you as you feel so empowered that you really have the power to choose or not choose happiness. Not only that, but you have the power every second of every day. With that, you can actually see and feel yourself choosing to be unhappy sometimes. That is enlightening! It is so because you can then see how you have chosen unhappiness so many times in the past based solely on how you thought about something.

Once you have this power, I cannot imagine that you will ever let go of it. Though you may occasionally choose unhappiness again, you full well know, you can change it back instantly as you desire. That's like being a 5-star General, you're being so in command.

Is this not the coolest thing possible? To know who's in charge and how it is done? It is awesome! You are awesome! Command those thoughts. Make that happiness. Savor the victory!

The sweet smell of success!

You Make Me Happy? Wrong! I Make Me Happy!

Spread Some Joy Today--Make Yourself Happy Today! For No Special Reason. Make Up One If You Feel You Need To.

Sunday, December 9, 2018

Daily Inspiration 12-9-18

"You don't get harmony 
when everybody sings 
the same note." 

-- Doug Floyd 

[Classic post from 11-12-14]

I've read some things lately about how there is an awakening happening on the planet and vibrations are being raised and awareness is alive and good thoughts, and creative thoughts are on the rise. This is sometimes lifted up as a beacon to the masses in the hopes that all will be as one in this song.

There is no doubt that there is a shift going on in some circles, and some of those circles may even include a large number of souls. Yet, I cannot succumb to the idea that this will reign in the way they claim to hope it will be: universal and complete.

I have to say, 'welcome to the real world of diversity.' Any time we think that our way is the one and true way, we are delusional to the extreme. There are lots of ways. Guess how many? As of 2013, there are reportedly 7.125 billion people on the plant, so that would mean that the potential for the number of ways might be 7.125 billion.

It's always nice to have some agreements with others, but the truest reality that I have found in my long search is that we each create our own reality. Certainly, we allow co-creators into our reality to add some flavor and color, but everyone the same? Never happen. And, I think the idea that it could happen is pure silliness.

This, of course, does not promote creating problems or ill will for others. But, knowing the number is 7.125 billion, some of that is a given purely based on odds probably.

What it comes down to is simply this: Be the best, most original and unique you that you can be. Live to enjoy and thrive, love and share. To be a part and take part. To share thoughts and ideals without insistence on having your way. The best word for that is to allow and even celebrate the differences.

How Utterly Boring And Bland Would Be A Uniform, All-Alike-Thinking World. Thank Goodness, It Is Not That. 

Spread Some Joy Today--Whoever you are. I celebrate YOU.

Saturday, December 8, 2018

Daily Inspiration 12-8-18

"Life waits not for your understanding. 
It calls for your appreciation." 

-- Alan Cohen 

[Classic post from 11-11-14]

As I have traveled through many, many books on spirituality, living in the now, and many other entanglements, I see how many different ways there are to look at the same sort of thing. Each perspective, or way of explaining things is interesting and some actually are quite helpful, others not so much.

It all kind of came together with the quote above. As much as I have tried to understand things that I wasn't taught before, I find so many answers that I almost forget the questions. So, whenever something is so simple as the quote above, I revel in its wisdom, and I have learned that real wisdom is always simple.

Life isn't waiting for my understanding of it. Yet, Alan is right on, to me at least, in that life calls for my appreciation.

It has been written a long time ago that God is love. Somehow I know this without it having to be said, and appreciation and love are in unison.

Keeping it simple, then, as I allow myself, encourage myself, allow the spirit within me to rise, I find myself in such a state of appreciation. I said some time back that the best state to live in is appreciation, and as I appreciate, I find more to appreciate, and then more and more until my cup runneth over with love and appreciation.

To take this down to the very simplest idea for living a great life is to learn how to appreciate all that is around us. If something isn't pleasing to us, we can turn and find something to appreciate. Then, also, as we do that, those unpleasing things soon take on a different look.

Life Might Call For My Appreciation, But I Know Life RESPONDS To My Appreciation. 

Spread Some Joy Today--in appreciation of your own joy.

Friday, December 7, 2018

Daily Inspiration 12-7-18

"Live as long as you may, 
the first twenty years are 
the longest half of your life." 

-- Robert Southey 

[Classic post from 11-9-14]

Milestones are an interesting thing. One I recall very well was turning 18. When I was 18, I felt like I was almost 'there,' and my obsession other than the opposite sex was turning 21. But, what I remember most about 18 was that I tried as earnestly as I could to imagine being 30 years old and could not imagine it. It seemed like light years away from where I was.

Then it came. I turned 30 and then 35 and then 40 and so on. Yet, as Satchel Paige said so well, "how old would you be if you didn't know how old you were?" I'd be 35.

But then there was this other milestone that I could not image reaching, and today I have attained it. I am 65 today. Who knew? I surely didn't think it was even possible. I thought maybe I may not live that long, but here it is in real life.

Yet, I still feel 35 in my head. I realize my body is somewhat different. I know that because I have a number of photos during that period. There is a distinct difference I detect from the mirror.

Satchel Paige said something else that hits home: "Age is a question of mind over matter. If you don't mind, it doesn't matter." Now that I'm here, I don't mind, so it doesn't matter much. I don't care about birthdays and haven't for a lot of years now. It is what it is, but I am only as old as I feel. My favorite quote about age is by Chili Davis: "Growing old is mandatory; growing up is optional." I prefer to never grow up.

What is most interesting on this day is that I have no regrets and nothing but fond memories of the trail I've been wandering and the horizon is brighter than it has ever been.

Another Happy Day On The Trail. . . 

Spread Some Joy Today--because it feels so much better than sharing the news.

Thursday, December 6, 2018

Daily Inspiration 12-6-18

"Being patient 
does not mean 
being passive." 

-- Mike Dooley 

[Classic post from 11-8-14]

Continuing with some gems I found in Mike Dooley's latest book, The Top Ten Things Dead People Want To Tell You, the quote above was another one that leaped from the page to my attention.

In this quote, he is suggesting that we chill and learn to trust that things will work in our favor. He says that whatever it is that we want there are only two steps to attain it. Step one is to define what you want, and step two is to show up to receive it. He says, "the Universe does all the rest."

I'm told that a lot of people are not so good at step number one. Defining what we want can be challenging, but it is not going to define itself. That would be the crapshoot theory. I'm also told that many people are not as into receiving as they would like to be. Part of that is past training that it is better to give than receive and such, along with the worthiness thing, and the deserving thing, and the lacking skill or intelligence thing. Yet, these two steps are truly our main work in getting what we want.

Then there is the impatience thing. It's not here yet. It's not here yet. Where is it? My ship got lost at sea? So, if we are to receive, we must trust that it will be, or rather, in fact, that it is already done. This is the patience part.

Having patience doesn't mean being passive as he said. So, we define and then we show up and sleep until it arrives? No, he explains that well enough, so I'll let Mike tell it: "So get on with it. Being patient does not mean being passive. Move toward your dreams while you celebrate all that does work, all that you do have, and how you now are. Be with friends. Spend time alone. Don't worry. Be happy."

Patience is trust. It is trusting that everything will work out. It isn't about standing or sitting on the bench or the sidelines, it is about living our lives. To paraphrase the Bible, "whatsoever you ask, believing, will be done." In Mike Dooley's text, he is saying that the believing part is the showing up part. Why show up if you don't believe?

Have Patience. Trust In God, The Universe, Your Higher Power Or Whatever Word You Want To Use. In The Meantime, Have A Good Time. Enjoy. 

Spread Some Joy Today--by thinking of a couple people that you love and how much you love them and all the things and attributes that cause love to well up in you. Let it gush all over the place. Wade in it. Swim around. Do the backstroke. Relax in it. Celebrate it. Adore it. Embrace it.

Wednesday, December 5, 2018

Daily Inspiration 12-5-18

"Forgiveness is only necessary 
when first there's blame." 

-- Mike Dooley 

[Classic post from 11-7-14]

Mike Dooley's latest book was just published late last month and I just finished it a few days ago. Although all the material I've accepted for some time, a different person explains things in a different way, and sometimes how I think I know something changes. Mike uses a lot of logic in his book, The Top Ten Things Dead People Want To Tell You, and the quote above jumped off the page at me as if it were screaming.

We've all been taught that it is good to forgive and that we should forgive others and also ourselves. Mike says that forgiveness is a lie, and that was an in-your-face kind of statement, challenging the old idea of 'it is a virtue to forgive.'

Since he is teaching a new understanding in his book, he says, "With understanding flooding your senses more and more, a new irony appears on your radar: Forgiveness is only necessary when first there's blame. The second lie needs the first lie. Withdraw the blame and forgiveness becomes a moot point."

He goes on to say, "To cast blame means to not understand that you create your own reality, and such a blind spot can rob you of your power to live deliberately today and in the future. It prevents you from accepting responsibility for shaping the rest of your life."

I have previously written about my take on forgiveness is letting go of the rope by just laying it down. The rope is the resistance or the struggle, and that struggle is mostly a struggle within ourselves. You could see the rope as what it really is, which is blame. Blame is the struggle, and Mike is right in that without that blame first, there is no need for forgiveness.

I know a few people who live their life so full of blame of others that there is no peace. They find it impossible to forgive and that is because they find it impossible to let go of the blame they feel. And truly, that has nothing whatsoever to do with anything on the outside. It is fully an internal struggle within themselves.

If you blame anyone for anything in your life, consider putting that tug-o-war rope down. Forget about forgiveness. When you drop the blame, there is no need for it.

"Within Every Situation, There Is Meaning, Order, Healing, And Love." -- Mike Dooley

Spread Some Joy Today--Joy is not something to seek and find. It is simply something to allow. It is your natural state.

Tuesday, December 4, 2018

Daily Inspiration 12-4-18

"There is no such thing
as a situation that is inherently difficult. 
A sense of difficulty depends 
on your definition of the situation." 

-- Bashar 

[Classic post from 11-5-14]

For so many years I subscribed to the belief as preached by the biggest and best in personal development that "if you are willing to work hard, you can achieve what you want." They use that word 'hard' over and over, and throw in a few sacrifices here and there, going the extra mile over yonder, and being willing to work extra hours and become part of the working-up-a-sweat crowd.

I quit that club.

I don't use those phrases any more and haven't for some time. James Allen says that "mind is the master," and he is right, of course, but it is never the mind alone in a physical environment. However, it isn't about working hard. You can if you want to. I won't stop you. It isn't about sacrifice. You can if you want to. I won't stop you there either. And, going the extra mile? Why the heck not. Knock yourself out.

Those old and tired phrases make me tired just thinking about them.

So, let's try some better ones. How about action? Works for me. How about focus? Can't live without it. Let's throw in some enthusiasm and a sprinkle or two of delight. Now we're cooking. Next, let's dance with some inspiration. If perspiration comes, so be it, but we cannot call this stuff work. We should call it play, enjoyment, love, fun, movin', and groovin', excited and looking toward (not forward) with eager anticipation.

You might be laughing at me just switching around a bunch of words and phrases that you think might mean the same thing, but if you think about it, they mean something completely different, don't they? These new words and phrases change the whole scope of whatever it is that we are doing.

What Was A Burden, Is Now A Joy. THAT Changes Everything. 

Spread Some Joy Today--and a little love while you're at it.

Monday, December 3, 2018

Daily Inspiration 12-3-18

"Not only are you loved 
through the packages and bundles 
that are Fido and Fifi, 
but their presence in your life 
is just one more invitation 
for you to love 
as you could not have loved otherwise, 
even as they teach you 
lessons of compassion, tolerance, 
patience, or whatever else 
 you stand in need of." 

-- Mike Dooley 

[Classic post from 11-4-14]

When Nancy passed a year and a half ago, she left me her dog. He hated me, was always barking at me and so protective of her. Yet, I would take him on walks and he was in total joy. Little did I know the lessons that I would learn from this dinky little dog during this time. He has taught me to love more.

He has taught me to set aside what I'm doing because it isn't nearly as important as what he wants. He has taught me more to live in the present. He doesn't ever seem to be in the past or the future, but always in the moment. He is always ready for a ride, a walk, an adventure. Even if he doesn't get out of the car, he wants to go. I take him on appointments with clients and sometimes he sits in the car for a while, but he just takes a snooze and awaits my return. He is amazing.

As I was thinking about all I have learned from Charlie, the little dog, I responded to an email from a friend and client. She sent some photos and I wasn't sure why because, at first glance, I didn't notice anything different than was already on the website. So, after looking at them more closely, I had a number of questions and sent her an email. Previously, she only sent photos with no story.

She responded with this: "Yes--oh my goodness I forgot to tell you that--I always think you can read my mind." That caused a whole other train of thought though it was related to the dog story, so bear with me.

Her response was so appropriate and so closely matched to how my own and so many people's relationships, marriages are. We don't tell our partners, lovers, friends what we really want or need, but we somehow expect that they will figure it out on their own. We think maybe they will see our mood and deduce something that we want or need that we are unwilling to actually say.

Suppose the wife, woman, lover, comes home from work and had a bad day. Stuff went on at work and the thoughts and emotions are running through her head as she walks in the front door. There is a cloud following her every move. Maybe she even vocalizes anger and disappointment, or complaint, but who wants to hear that? Better to find something important to do so that we don't have to listen to it.

Then change to this scene. She walks in and is beside herself with the trials of the day. She's had enough of this day. She sees me (or you) and says, "honey, I've had stuff go all awry today, I need a friend right now. Will you come and sit with me, hold me for a while and let me let off some of these thoughts while I bask in your love and acceptance?"

I'm trying to keep this short, but you see the difference, right? Maybe you're the exception, but I know in my life that we expected each other to figure things out and to be a backstop for our fastballs and curveballs and knuckleballs. Whether it is coming home from work, or in the bedroom, or on a trip somewhere, rarely, if ever does the communication come out so simply and brilliantly.

Charlie does it. He comes over while I'm doing computer work and I can tell without a word that he wants some love and attention. In the past, I might think that what I'm doing was so all-fired important that I would miss so many moments like these. I know I did that with her too. Not meaning to, just not knowing any better. Not seeing the present in full bloom, taking advantage of the opportunities.

Praise be to those bold enough to say what they want, to ask rather than expect, to get our attention rather than give up and go sulking alone.

It's Amazing Who Your Teachers Can Be. When The Student Is Ready. . . 

Spread Some Joy Today--Say what you want. Ask for joy. Ask for love. Pay attention to the moments. There is nothing so important as that.

Sunday, December 2, 2018

Daily Inspiration 12-2-18

"There are truths 
on this side of the Pyrenees, 
which are falsehoods 
on the other." 

-- Blaise Pascal 

[Classic post from 11-3-14]

Truth is a universal idea, but it is only universal in that it may be one truth here, another there, another there, and so on. There is no such thing as The Truth. What truth really comes down to is a belief. If you believe it, then it is true for you, regardless if others agree with you or not.

I attended a professional panel for a group of youth aging from 15 to 17 and one of the 17-year-old girls said that she put in 23 applications and did not get one call and how hard it was to find a job. As she said that, I was looking quickly around the room and a lot of heads were nodding in agreement--even some of the professionals on the panel.

Later we had breakout sessions and when this girl came to my table, I mentioned to her that it was only hard for her to find a job because she believed that to be true. I know this because I believe that it is easy.

I have the feeling based on hearing a lot of opinions that a majority lives in the truth that it is hard, that the pie is only so big and there is only so much to go around, and so on. Yet, a majority doesn't create The Truth, they can only create their truth. We get to choose our own truth, and in the end, that is the only one that matters.

Limiting beliefs can feel very cozy and comfortable, and they can often find agreement with others to help us strengthen our position of outside limitations as being the norm. We can also decide to change those limiting thoughts and beliefs and cross the Pyrenees to the other side at any time.

Maybe It's Time To Let Go Of Some Of Those Limitations.

Spread Some Joy Today--by choosing to see the unlimited beauty all around you no matter where you happen to be.

Saturday, December 1, 2018

Daily Inspiration 12-1-18

"If only. 
Those must be 
the two saddest words 
in the world." 

-- Mercedes Lackey 

[Classic post from 11-2-14]

Does it matter how far the past is past? Does it matter more if it was yesterday than a year ago? Does a year ago matter more than 10 years ago? It seems that if I'm relenting at all about the past, that it is what I intended to do and did not do, which is most often yesterday. Sometimes, I might relent a bit further back, and I guess it is only because the memory is fresh.

Then today it occurred to me that it really doesn't matter at all whether it was an hour ago, yesterday, this week, last month, or 25 years ago. It is done. It was experienced at the time and what happened did happen and I cannot go back and do anything at all about it. It is past.

However, I can and do have total control over this moment, right here and right now. I can change course, change my mind, change my thoughts, change my residence, change my job, change anything--but only right here and right now.

If loving ourselves and then others is the ideal, and I believe that it is, loving ourselves begins with acceptance of ourselves, and that means everything we have done, will do, and what we are and what we will become. To mourn over the past is to negate the moment we have. The best way we can serve the past is by living in this moment. The 'if only' of regret is an impossible accomplishment.

Imagine that what you did or didn't do yesterday that you are feeling regret about was turned into a block of metal and then put on a skid with a rope, and now today, you pick up that rope and drag that skid wherever you go today. Think how tired that makes you, and how it slows you down, how it gets in the way of everything you are trying to do today. The more regret you feel, the heavier that skid becomes. It's torture, and it is exactly what many people go through in the 'if only' world.

Now imagine that you love yourself and accept full responsibility for all of your thoughts and actions right here and right now. You let go of the rope attached to the 'if only' skid and walk freely, act more positively, and feel joy in the present as you do whatever you choose, change whatever you feel needs changing, relaxing in the glow of the moment.

Ahhhhhhhh. That's What I'm Talkin' About! Peace Of Mind. Sing It With Me. . . Pe-e-e-eace, Peace Of Mind, Pe-e-e-eace, Peace Of Mind. . . 

Spread Some Joy Today--by just letting go of this rope and that rope and all those tangled ropes you've got going on. Once you are freed, you will soar.

Friday, November 30, 2018

Daily Inspiration 11-30-18

"Reaction -- A boat 
 which is going against the current 
but which does not prevent 
the river from flowing on." 

-- Victor Hugo 

[Classic post from 11-1-14]

A friend told me about another friends reaction, or rather, overreaction to a small event and then promptly created a new policy that seemed unreasonable to all except this person.

I like Paul Coelho's quote about reason where he says, "Don't allow your mind to tell your heart what to do. The mind gives up so easily." Well, no matter what, reactions like that are all fear based and that usually not only doesn't work out, it often works in the opposite direction.

It's so easy for us on the receiving end of such a reactive outburst and immediate change in overall policy to have a reaction ourselves, and it is invariably in the opposite direction, or as Victor Hugo puts it, "a boat which is going against the current." In this case, now everyone is. Reason is out the window in the face of reaction.

What a great opportunity this is to pause and consider. What has been going on in the life of that person who reacted so poorly to such a small thing? That person could very easily have all kinds of issues, emotions running around, feeling overwhelmed, out of sorts, maybe even having family issues. Now, if we all in our own reaction row upstream too, we are all in fear and distress. The only way out is downstream.

A long time ago my wife and I went to Marriage Encounters, which is an event where couples work out issues in new ways to help solidify their relationship. A big part of that is writing out feelings, then reading it aloud and the receiver is to listen without judgment. Couples are encouraged to continue to write to each other long after the event. It is quite effective in my opinion.

So I suggested to my friend that she write out her thoughts and how that reaction is creating problems now and in the future and express how she feels about it and do it with love and not fear. I hope she does because I know that this is a very powerful tool. Writing allows you to think through things without so much emotion and certainly without any reactive components from another as is experienced in all verbal confrontations.

Cooler heads will always prevail. Understanding and a loving approach will be the real power.

"It's Not The Situation. . . It's Your Reaction To The Situation." -- Robert Conklin 

Spread Some Joy Today--by finding the love in you to understand how others may be feeling and reacting.

Thursday, November 29, 2018

Daily Inspiration 11-29-18

"Millions saw the apple fall, 
but Newton asked why." 

-- Bernard Baruch 

[Classic post from 10-31-14]

Sometimes people say that there are no silly questions. I wonder. . .

Here's a thought I had recently. How much would the water level drop at the coast if all the ships in all the oceans were lifted out of the water? Every time a ship is built and put in the water, a good deal of water is displaced. In fact, that is how they often measure ship size by the weight of the water they would displace, or that would spill out of a completely filled container.

Here's another question. How low was it before ships were ever put in the water? How about one more. If a ship is put into the Indian Ocean, would that have even the slightest effect on the Pacific ocean?

Sometimes a guy just wanders through the day with silly thoughts and silly questions.

"The Larger The Island Of Knowledge, The Longer The Shoreline Of Wonder." -- Ralph W. Sockman

Spread Some Joy Today--by just enjoying yourself today. Who knew it was that easy?