Friday, August 31, 2012

Daily Inspiration 8-31-12

"Awareness is a choice, and sometimes it takes effort.
But it's never disappointing if we truly put some effort into it.
The rewards for our effort already surround us all the time,
but they're awards that we miss constantly
until we make the decision to open our eyes and our hearts
to the beauty that's always everywhere."

-- Tom Walsh

It's interesting and funny too about becoming more aware. I see things I never would have seen before, though they may have always been there. My hearing has intensified, along with a sense of calm, yet with joy. I would have never put those two words together before, but it is true.

I was thinking about appreciation today, and appreciation comes from more awareness. It transcends gratitude. It is love. It is attention, or rather, focused-attention, or a better way to say it might be loving attention.

Now, I am aware of me appreciating things all throughout the day. On the two mile trip back home from the bank today, I was appreciating and being sort of astounded by the thousands of shades of green from the grass to trees to bushes. I used to be focused on where I was going and probably how the traffic was hampering me and so on, but now I have those strange words together: calmness and joy, and it comes as a side benefit of my act of appreciation of what I am experiencing. 

How do I translate that to my daily life or work, errands, family, etc? By the act of appreciation in my little trips where ever I may go, I am of a different mind, or attitude and that becomes me, so that the next encounter I have in business or a loved one is improved as a result. It makes me better, more attentive, more loving, more calm, and with an inner joy that has a long-term smile on my face. In this way, it affects every one around me.

Today I was in the grocery store for a few items and I was carrying around that joy of my day, and I noticed there were several others who seemed to be affected positively by it. I thought that was very interesting, but you know it is true because we feel these things from others, just as we do when they are pissed off, angry, or unhappy. 

If you're not of the habit, try just noticing the beauty that is all around you as you travel through your day. Whether you're on your way to or from work, on an errand, traveling to see a client, looking out the office window--no matter where you are, I am certain there is plenty around you to be appreciative of, and by spending a few present moments in giving those things attention along with your other doings, you too will be of a different mind. Then, just practice that every day.

Honor The Moment, The Beauty, And What You Are Doing Together. There Is No Need To Separate Them.

Spread Some Joy Today--Oh, how fast joy spreads through appreciation! Be an active conduit.

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Daily Inspiration 8-30-12

"Patience can't be acquired overnight.
It is just like building up a muscle.
Every day you need to work on it."

-- Eknath Easwaran

Those things that I need to learn well, have a habit of giving me opportunity to practice, and patience, this week especially, seems to be one.
I had an appointment today for a specified time with a person to have a discussion about business. This appointment was made yesterday late morning. I arrived about 8 minutes early and expected to wait for a few minutes, and it turned into an hour beyond the appointed time.
At 3 minutes past the appointed time, I could see that it was not going to happen real soon, so I settled into a practice of patience. It was interesting in several ways. One is how I felt. I felt fine. I didn't make it into a problem, and just peacefully looked around, sat and meditated a bit, and so on. Another way was how people around me were concerned about me standing there even though I was not expressing any anxiety to speak of.
Finally, the meeting came and the person apologized for the delay, but also, he didn't seem to remember the appointment very well. As he apologized, I said, 'not a problem. In fact, I thank you for the opportunity for me to practice my patience, and I need the practice.' He looked at me strangely, not knowing exactly how to respond to that. Each time he tried to apologize (there were three, one at the beginning, one in the middle and one at the end), I said, 'it's not a problem, I took the opportunity to practice my patience. Thank you for that.'
I was a little amazed that I was open about that to the person. I was genuinely grateful for the practice time, and I really do need the practice. I'm not sure what he thought, and frankly, that is none of my concern. I'm sure of one thing though. . . I don't believe he's ever heard that response before! Nor have I given it. And, it was fun.
I Used To Worry So About What People Might Think. Now I Allow Them To Think As They Will.
Spread Some Joy Today--Be real. Be yourself.

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Daily Inspiration 8-29-12

"Attention is the greatest gift
you can give--full attention."

-- Eckhart Tolle 

There is much in Eckhart Tolle's teachings that I may not fully understand yet, but I am practicing them and finding far better experiences and results through the effort. Being present is the major point he makes because it allows us to pay attention to the now and live in the now rather than in the past and future.

To practice this, I allow myself to give full attention to another person in a conversation without thinking about what they are saying or thinking about what I am going to say next, or even being distracted by things going on around me. This is being present and being in the moment, and yesterday, I noticed myself practicing it in a meeting and it was wonderful. I'm not sure I have ever experienced that before in that kind of setting.

By being present and giving full attention, it is the same as giving them loving care. You are listening to their words, inflections, how their thoughts are being expressed and you can hear what they are saying and what they are not saying at the same time. That part is interesting.

I've always been a part of a conversation, meeting, and such, but now that I see myself practicing this, I believe I was never really there until now. It's strange and interesting at the same time. It is also practicing patience. Try it yourself. Clear your mind and focus on the person talking and pay them full attention. Don't allow any noise or interruption to disturb your presence. Let them talk as long as they need to and don't give any thought to it. In fact, if a thought comes into your head, just brush it aside and continue to focus on them. It will be clear when they are done speaking for a time, and if a response is appropriate, respond.

What a fascinating change this is. 

The Gift Of Attention.

Spread Some Joy Today--Talk less. Listen more.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Daily Inspiration 8-28-12

"Some changes look negative on the surface
but you will soon realize that space is being
created in your life for something new to emerge."

-- Eckhart Tolle 

We've heard it, 'everything works out for the best if we let it,' and other such things that it seems we can only relate to when they aren't happening to us. For many, when it is happening to us, that 'feel good' stuff is just a bunch of crap. You just want to smack 'em up the side of the head when someone starts pointing out the good side, the silver lining, the benefits of the problems you're facing.

As I look back on my biggest so-called problems, I find that, indeed, everything worked out for the best even though I never would have guessed that as it was happening. The advantage of 20/20 hindsight shows me clearly how everything was actually perfect and perfectly planned as if the Master was at work on my behalf.

It's taken me years, but since I have found this to be true, and I know a number of others who also know it to be true, the real challenge isn't so much in realizing there will be a benefit that comes. That's not so hard to relate to. It's the the space between the initial incident and our realization of benefits as a result of the incident that is the variable.

As I progress in my realization, or expansion, or enlightenment, the space gets smaller and smaller. Depending on what the incident is, I can now go from incident to joy pretty quickly. The bigger (all in my mind, of course) the issue, the larger the space it seems, but even those are so much shorter.

I'm moving steadily and surely to the place where the incident immediately begets the acceptance of the reality to the promise of some benefit being assured to acceptance and joy in that. I'm loving the challenge and the progress too. 

THANK YOU! You've Given Me A Blessing. I Appreciate The Opportunity And Change. I Can't Wait To See What Lies In Store For My Benefit!

Spread Some Joy Today--What is your space?

Monday, August 27, 2012

Daily Inspiration 8-27-12

"You can tell more about a person
by what he says about others
than you can by what others
say about him."

-- Leo Aikman

Well said!
It Pays To Be An Uplifter
Spread Some Joy Today--Find good things to say about others on purpose.

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Daily Inspiration 8-26-12

"Let me ask you something.
If someone prays for patience,
you think God gives them patience?
Or does he give them the opportunity to be patient?
If he prayed for courage,
does God give him courage,
or does he give him opportunities to be courageous?
If someone prayed for the family to be closer,
do you think God zaps them with warm fuzzy feelings,
or does he give them opportunities to love each other?"
-- Morgan Freeman playing God in the movie Evan Almighty

I love the movie that this quote came from. Evan Almighty is funny, heartwarming, and has lessons too. Just like life. Then, all we have to do is practice them.

Today, I had another opportunity to practice patience. I went to the grocery store for a few things and had three bags worth in my hands and needed a roll of stamps. They have a post office there in the store, so I went over by the counter and I see there is quite a line of 5 or 6 people which is unusual.

At first I thought, 'maybe I should go back to the check out counter and see if they have rolls, since I know they have books of stamps.' Then, after deciding not to do that, my next thought as I'm seeing the line not moving was, 'maybe I'll come back another time.' Then, I decided that since I was already there, I might as well wait in line and get it done rather than procrastinate. So, I got in line.

The line wasn't moving. The person currently at the counter appeared to have a project of tasks for the one clerk, but after several minutes, the clerk moved her over to the other counter to fill something out. Ah. . . it's moving. Then, I just decided to practice my patience and as I had that thought, I began to be calm, not even notice the weight of the bags in my hands, and actually enjoyed the break and was at peace.

The line moved again, and after about 15 minutes, I was nearing the front. In the last couple of minutes, a lady behind me started complaining that there was only one clerk and she has complained to the manager about this before and they just don't get it and on and on she went about it and how inconvenient it was. After she was done with her rant, I said calmly, 'you know, I find that standing in line is an opportunity for me to practice being patient. I'm actually enjoying standing in line today.' I was sort of amazed I said that, but I don't think she was even listening.

It was true and I had one more (I need plenty!) opportunity to practice being patient. Standing in line is a good one that comes to all of us often enough and it's really more interesting to be grateful for it and then go with it, rather than resist it.

Practice Makes Me Better.

Spread Some Joy Today--by just being the best you that you can be

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Daily Inspiration 8-25-12

"If I can't be me,
I can't be of service."

-- Terry Minion

This is another way of saying to go with your gut, or go with what feels good to you, or right to you, or when you feel aligned with your inner knowing. It doesn't matter one iota what anyone else thinks about what you're doing or whether they think it is right or wrong. It only matters what you think.
Be yourself. Make your choices from within not without. The more I do that, the better I feel. In some cases, I've had other people's opinions in my face, and I just chose to ignore them--even my spouse. If I can't be myself, I can't be of service.
You're In Charge!
Spread Some Joy Today--Treat yourself to some quiet time today.

Friday, August 24, 2012

Daily Inspiration 8-24-12

"I love deadlines.
I like the whooshing sound
they make as they fly by."

-- Douglas Adams

You know that Carly Simon famous song, Procrastination? Oh. . . that was Anticipation, wasn't it? Although, I love to insert the word procrastination in the song because it seems to make such sense with the rest of the lyric.
Anyway. . . I'm a natural born procrastinator. I have to think about it an then think some more and then formulate it in my head and then maybe a little on paper, and, well, you can see that I'm just a dog chasing his own tail doing that. But, it sure seems like I'm on it and figuring it out and working on it. You know? Yeah. I'm on it. It's due this afternoon and it's eleven a.m., but I'm on it.
Truth is, or made-up is, whichever you prefer, if I really knew what I was doing, it would be so easy to hit the mark ahead of the deadline. Know what I mean? But, since I'm not sure how to express it, lay it out, put it together, or whatever the project is, I have to think more about it and hope upon hope that I get the inspiration that I seek. Yes, that magic something that gets me flowing and moving and shaking and creating.
Alas, it isn't always working on command. Yet, what can I do? I need to complete the project and don't know how. Not the best place to be, but it is what it is.
All I know is to just keep focused until it is done. It helps me to take some breaks and clear my mind, but then I've just got to get back on the job and trust that it will all come to me--even as the deadline goes whooshing by.
Have Deadline? Sometimes It Helps, Sometimes Not.
Spread Some Joy Today--Enjoy yourself today. Just because. You deserve it.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Daily Inspiration 8-23-12

"Dear brothers, is your life full of difficulties
and temptations? Then be happy, for when the
way is rough, your patience has a chance to grow.
So let it grow, and don't try to squirm out of your problems
For when your patience is finally in full bloom,
then you will be ready for anything,
strong in character, full and complete."

-- James 1:2-4, the Bible
Stuff happens. It's inevitable. We certainly could have attracted it unknowingly, and in all reality, it simply doesn't really matter where the current circumstances came from. It is just that they are here right now.
Who knows what it is or how many there are one upon another? A loved one in a hospital with serious illness, a lost employment position, a foreclosure, a bankruptcy, more bills than you have funds for, a deadline you can't meet, and so many more. We all have some of these things going on somewhere in our lives. Maybe in our face, on the horizon, around the next corner, it matters not. What does matter is not what they are or the fact they are here or looming. What matters is how we think about them, respond or react to them.
The quote above indicates to get excited about our problems and be happy for the blessings that they contain in results, changes, and even personal growth.
It sounds crazy to get excited and be thankful for getting fired, but crazy sounding or not, it is a powerful and positive choice that holds the brightest and wisest future in its grasp. Any other response will provide less, and often keep the problem in tow longer than desired.
If you're a Christian, I strongly suggest to go get a copy of the book by Merlin R Carothers called Power In Praise, How the Spiritual Dynamic of Praise Revolutionizes Lives. My copy has so many underlines, margin notes, stars and so on to remind me to reread that part again and again. If you're not a Christian, read it anyway and you can substitute Universe for God, and such. It will still be powerful and even life-changing.
This is the first book that taught me about being thankful for problems and challenges along with the so-called good things. Since that is not how most of the world responds, we have been well-trained to be unhappy, perhaps even devastated when these negative things come around, but take joy in the fact that you can be different, and you can find a better way. I practice now all the time. I may not react or respond immediately, but when I allow myself to consider the situation, I remember to be thankful for it, accept it and begin to find joy in it. I can't wait for the day when I go there without needing to think about it. In the meantime, I take the joy as it comes.

It always seems to work out for the best. I've found that even the most initially traumatic things turns out to be the best thing that could have happened. Isn't that interesting. . .


Spread Some Joy Today--Make a list of your current problems or situations that bother you. After you're done, write in large letters at the top of the page: Things and Situations That I Am Thankful For: Then, take another look at each entry and see how different they look

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Daily Inspiration 8-22-12

"Be very careful what you say to yourself
because someone very important is listening. . .

-- John Assaraf

It's easy to change what we say our of our mouths to others if we are trying to change to be more positive and upbeat. It's another thing to make that same commitment on the inside. You've heard the phrase, 'they are their own worst enemy,' and this is the place that the so-called enemy can rule if we let that happen.

Better to be so cognizant of what we are talking to ourselves about that we know in an instant when it is appropriate to shift gears and change thoughts.

It's not a short-term solution. It's a long-term change for the better.
Better To Work Inside Out. It's More Effective.
Spread Some Joy Today--Whatever the weather is today, it is perfect!

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Daily Inspiration 8-21-12

"Solutions are a given.
The real question isn't what the solutions are,
but what your rules are about them."

-- Albert K Strong

I was thinking today about solutions and how sometimes we might think we don't have any, but in looking closer, I have noticed that there are always solutions to a problem. Solutions are plentiful. But, are we willing to make use of them, or are we to wait longer for something better to come along?

More important than this is what are the rules we each have about what we will accept as a solution and what we may not accept. Yes, our own rules.

Recently as I was reading a book by Wayne Dyer, where he was talking about his very first book and that he asked himself what he was not willing to do in order to promote his book. The point of that is to find our rules. His were very simple. Not to do anything dishonest, or to harm anyone in any way. That left everything else as a possibility.

Often we might have a solution or multiple solutions and our rules tell us that we cannot use those solutions. This is why sometimes it is so easy for an outsider to point out how we create our own roadblocks to success, or how we have solutions right in front of us and yet we don't see it. We don't see it because we don't want it. . . or at least we don't want it that way. We might want it another way.

I think that this whole concept is interesting, don't you? Maybe it comes down to how bad we want to solve the problem, and when the desire gets really strong, we may expand our rules or cut some of them loose.
Our Own Rules Are The Real Roadblocks.
Spread Some Joy Today--Trust that everything will work out just fine.

Monday, August 20, 2012

Daily Inspiration 8-20-12

"Yes, there are times when something
is legitimately not our fault.
Blaming others, however,
keeps us in a stuck state
and is ultimately rough
on our own self-esteem."

-- Eric Allenbaugh

The real problem is never what is happening, but what we think about what is happening. It is the whole idea of finding fault and placing blame that keeps us in the past and wondering why things don't change for us.

It is far better to just accept what is and if it is something we don't like, just acknowledge that we don't like it and then focus on what we do want just that quick. The more time we spend on what is, regardless of what it is, the more we live in the past and continually repeat and attract unwanted things. Acknowledge it, bless it, move away.
Right Or Wrong Is Not The Issue. Your Own Well Being Is. Stop The Investigations and Prosecutions.
Spread Some Joy Today--Judge Not, Lest Ye Be Judged! There is joy in letting things be the way they are.

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Daily Inspiration 8-19-12

"What you have to remember
is that once you've done your very best,
there's no point in worrying."

-- Mark Burnett

Today I received the September 2012 issue of Success Magazine. That magazine has always been a favorite of mine since I discovered it in the 1970's, and we advertise in it which I enjoy since I've had so much enjoyment out of the magazine through the years.

This issue has Mark Burnett on the cover and the headline is TV's Hottest Hit Man, from Nanny to the creator of Survivor, The Apprentice, Shark Tank & The Voice. Had to read that article right away, and it was very interesting.

He briefly tells the story of how he came to be a TV mogul, and the beginnings were pretty basic and he credits much of his success to being inspired by Anthony Robbins by attending some of his seminars and studying Tony's philosophy of success.

He came to the US in 1982 from England with very little just out of the military as a paratrooper, found a couple of Nanny positions and later after being inspired to create more success, he started a T-Shirt selling business by renting some fence space on Venice Beach. He did very well, and then invested in some real estate, cashed in and started some other businesses, making his first million by 1990. From this place he began his real dream to be in the entertainment business, particularly television.

One part of the article that stood out for me was that he was funding the production of his first TV show for Discovery Channel, and a lawsuit was filed to stop him and if they had succeeded, he would have been bankrupt. Then is goes on to say, "One of his producers, Mike Sears, went to his hotel room and was incredulous to find his boss sleeping. "I told him, 'I've tried my best and did everything in good faith. . . what you have to remember is that once you've done your very best, there's no point in worrying.'

Of course, he's so right. That is all we can do any time we do anything. Just do our best, and let the rest alone. This is where faith comes from You do your best and just relax in the reality that there is no more to do than this, and the rest is not up to you. That part isn't our job. It's like the sign on my wall: What is my job. How is God's job. Every time I start trying to do His job, I mess it up. When I stick to my job, I'm good.
After You've Done All You Can, Leave The Rest Of It To A Much Higher Power.
Spread Some Joy Today--Got extra stuff building up? Try just giving it away rather than trying to sell it. You do a good thing for someone and feel wonderful at the same time.

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Daily Inspiration 8-18-12

"There are better golfers,
there are better drivers,
there are better swimmers,
and there are better cooks.
The one thing that no one can ever
be better than you at, is being you.
Just be you.
There's no one more qualified for the job."

-- Doe Zantamata

To some the concept of being yourself--the real you--is easy, and they live that all day every day. The rest of us have had a great deal of practice at adding layers upon layers of labels, titles, expectations, criticisms, and more that make it very difficult to even know what it means to be ourselves, let alone actually be that way. We have sort of become those things. I am this, I am that, I do this, I do that. Some of it is functions that we do in our lives, some of it is pure ego trying to make us more in other people's eyes than we really are. It's as if we walk around with this facade like we are in costume in a play, changing roles all the time.

So, when I've read or heard, 'be yourself,' I might think, 'easy for you to say!' Or, I might think, 'I wonder what that is like to be myself.' But, I've really been focusing on exactly what that is for me of late, and the way that started was by opening awareness to how I've talked when speaking to others, thoughts that might go through my brain, how I felt, or the emotions I was feeling and so on. Awareness is sort of like being able to be outside of ourselves and inside at the same time--to become a watcher.

With this, I can see if I'm going with a label I think someone would like, or if I'm being myself and talking about what I do or have done on request or interest. You know how that goes. . . someone says what they are doing and I start spouting my recent accomplishments (however recent they may really be. . .), what I'm going to do and so on. In this I am trying to impress rather than be there. When I do this, I'm not even really there. By awareness, I can see me beginning to talk that way or think those thoughts and I can then stop myself and let it go. That past training is pretty thick, but this awareness really does help cut through it.

Another thing that really seems to help is to pretend that everyone is equal. What I mean by that is that there is no one, regardless of their title or station, or group affiliation that is more, nor less than me. I call it leveling the field. I'm not better, they are not better, I am not worse, they are not worse. We are all one in that way, though we may have radically different duties, talents and connections. As Dr. John Demartini says so well, 'don't put people on pedestals or in a pit.'

We can then respect someone's current station, such as the President of the United States, but at the same time, respect our own station. It needs to be a level playing field, where we can love each other for who we are including what they do.
s I do these things, I'm uncovering layer by layer that person who is just me and getting to know that me, and I'm liking it a great deal.
I'm Sure Liking The Reflection In The Mirror So Much More Than I Used To.
Spread Some Joy Today--Next time you're talking with someone, try saying very little about you and just ask questions and respond to them. I know you will find how that goes in a very interesting way. . .

Friday, August 17, 2012

Daily Inspiration 8-17-12

"Don't say you don't have enough time.
You have exactly the same number of hours
per day that were given to Helen Keller, Pasteur,
Michelangelo, Mother Teresa, Leonardo da Vinci,
Thomas Jefferson, and Albert Einstein."

-- H Jackson Brown Jr

Each of us has the same 24 hours in the day and the only difference might be how those seconds, minutes, and hours are spent. Another way to see that is how they may be invested. In any case, time is not the issue, is it?
Our Equality Is Showing . . .
Spread Some Joy Today--Give an unexpected gift. Just for the fun of it.

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Daily Inspiration 8-16-12

"Learn to turn frustration into fascination.
You will learn more being fascinated by life
than you will be being frustrated by it."

-- Jim Rohn

Stuff happens. The car broke down and it will cost $900 to fix. The wind just blew the fence over and you were hoping it might stay up just a little while longer. That deal was for sure and for certain yesterday, and today they are completely off the radar. You're behind on some things and the phone is ringing with 800 numbers. The work is piling up and it feels like you can't breathe. You just want make the world go away and get it off your shoulders; to escape and find solace in some secluded space with lots of nature and no cares. Things are coming in groups and they just keep on coming.

Does any of that ever happen to you? My list is a good deal longer, or at least that's the way it seems sometimes. I want to think pleasant thoughts and I know they're in there somewhere. Heck, I was just using them last week as I spoke to the group about how well things were going. It must be the shadow over me that is hiding them. How did I get myself into this fix anyway?

After this much life and living, I'm convinced that these frustration-causers are always coming through trying to mess things up. I think I should be able to deal with them better than I do, but they are always changing and feel as if they are mostly out of my control. Sometimes I even feel powerlessness. I used to think that if I just thought positively, the negative things would leave, but that isn't how it really works.

What I've learned most recently--and this is what works--is that I can turn my frustration into fascination, but not only that, actually doing that is a great deal of the power in the change to get on to better things.

Escape isn't the answer. Alcohol, drugs, sleep, food, none of that helps but for very short spurts and always have baggage to drag along. Positive thinking isn't it either. Pretending it isn't there, that these things are not happening won't help at all.

The only thing that I've found that really works is to turn frustration into fascination and here is how I've learned to do that:

1. Accept the things that are happening, the current life situation in all its glory. Don't sugar coat it, try to change it, wish it were different, but just accept it for face value. It is what it is.

2. Focus on right now. This moment. Don't start the what if and when that happens, this will happen and so on. Stay the heck out of the non-existent future. Stay turned to right now. Almost all the problems are in the future and most of them are just projections of what could happen or might happen.

3. Treat what has happened or is happening as if you created it on purpose. I know you didn't bring it on yourself. Who would do that? Stop blaming anything else or anyone else. If at first you cannot find a way to accept it as your own creation, then this will be the time to pretend. Pretend you created it on purpose. There is such power in looking at your problems this way.

4. Realize there is always a benefit. As you accept what is, focus on now, and treat it as if you created it on purpose, it is pretty much a given that you will begin to find that there are indeed some benefits to this thing or these things. If not, play the game, what if. What if there were some benefits to this thing that has happened. What might some of them be?

5. Act when you feel compelled to act after steps one through four. Some things may go away on their own, others will require some kind of action, dealing with, etc. When you're clear what it is that you can do, then act.

6. Last is to not take things and even life too seriously because it won't help a bit. Not even a smidgen.

Frustration is wanting things to be different than they are, or wanting you to be different than you are, others to be different than they are, and so on. By accepting things as they are, staying out of the past and future, looking on things as if you created them on purpose, honoring the benefits that are absolutely there, and acting on things that you can with what you have and where you are, along with being light-hearted, you cannot help but be fascinated.
It Is Fun To Be Fascinated. It's A Curious Wonder.
Spread Some Joy Today--Breathe deeply and often with purpose throughout the day.