Thursday, March 31, 2016

Daily Inspiration 3-31-16

"To learn, 
we need to be willing 
to not know." 

-- Albert K. Strong 

When it comes to reaching out for advice, new knowledge, hiring a consultant, our fear of feeling stupid keeps us holding what we already have, but when we are willing to be okay with not knowing, we open the door to new possibilities.

Being ignorant is something many people are unwilling to be because that word has always smacked us with the idea of being uneducated, unsophisticated, stupid. The word has more traditionally been used as a negative to describe people that hold fast to their past methods and ways, and who are unwilling to change. But, the word can also mean that we are just missing some education about specific things that, if learnt, could change our perspectives, and perhaps our fortunes.

As a consultant, I can see the resistance that many people have to learning new ways of doing a thing, and even being willing to take the time and energy to see the value in those potential changes.

As a person, I, like so many others, am also resistant to change. I think in some ways I am eager for change, and in others, I am comfortable in my ignorance. This causes me to be fearful to reach out for new ideas from consultants myself. I guess that speaks to the old adage, what goes around, comes around.

What that resistance is, would be our ego. Our ego cannot stand to be wrong. It exudes fear within us to change because the unknown is not a place our ego likes at all. The ego likes to rule, and yet, if we allow our ego to rule, when it isn't really qualified for such a role, we miss so many opportunities to grow, change, excel.

Being aware of this resistance is key. Being aware that we are allowing our ego to rule is key. Being aware is key. In this awareness, we can be willing to listen, to learn, to try, to let go of our conformity, and to entertain exciting new possibilities and directions.

That's all it takes. We become aware of how we are feeling, what thoughts are causing those feelings, and then calmly take the time to reach out, to listen, to discover, to know.

Old Confucius Saying: Mind Like Parachute, Only Function When Open. 

Spread Some Joy Today--by allowing your love to come alive within you.

Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Daily Inspiration 3-30-16

"There is surely nothing quite so useless
as doing with great efficiency
what should not be done at all."

-- Peter Drucker 

[Classic post. This was the most popular post from 2012]

This is one of my favorite quotes by the management guru of the 20th century, Peter Drucker. It is also one of those quotes that I think of periodically to encourage myself to divest myself of things I don't really need to do. Yet, I persist with things, holding on far longer than makes any sense to a normal person.

I like how Jack Canfield in The Success Principles says it: "Don't just delegate, eliminate!"

This is a concept I need to work on. . .

I Am Always In Control, So It Is Always Up To Me.

Spread Some Joy Today--You may have no idea how much a simple "thank you" can mean to someone who you don't think needs to be told. They do and they do. . .

Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Daily Inspiration 3-29-16

"Anything that you give 
your attention to 
will become your "truth." 

-- Abraham, Esther Hicks 

Continuing the quote above, "The Law of Attraction says that it must. Your life, and everyone else's, too, is but a reflection of the predominance of your thoughts. There is no exception to this." 

They expand on this a bit here, by adding, "Sometimes you justify giving your attention to something because it is true. But, just because it is true is not a good reason, because anything that anyone gives attention to, becomes true. A better question is, "Do I want to experience it?"" 

There is not truth and everything else is something else. Truth is whatever we give our attention to, and what anyone else gives their attention to. This is how we create our own world, and this is how we rule that world. We rule it with our own thoughts. We see it via our own thoughts. It exists in our own thoughts.

We can choose our thoughts by default, as a reaction, or we can choose them purposefully, and either way is our choice, because no one chooses for us ever. If any other influences us, it is our choice to allow or disallow that.

What we are thinking at any given time will be felt in some way as emotion. Thoughts create feeling wherein we are in alignment with our Source within, or out of alignment with that Source. When in alignment, we feel good feelings in varying degrees, and when we are out of alignment with our inner Source, we feel negative emotions to varying degrees.

The more in alignment, the better we feel, the more out of alignment, the worse we feel. This is our inner guidance at its best. It is our most effective guidance if we but pay attention to how we are feeling and if we are feeling negative emotions, we can choose a thought that feels a little better, and another, until we feel good again. That is so perfect. It is the only instruction we need to have a happy and fulfilled life.

"When you are in sync with who-you-really-are, your emotions range from satisfaction to passion and enthusiasm for life. You feel clarity and certainty and interest in life. You feel fun. Your timing is good. You feel vitality. And then, what comes to you feels good to you." 

"Your Path Is More Well-Lighted Than You Have Been Allowing Yourself To Realize." -- Abraham, Esther Hicks. 

Spread Some Joy Today--because feeling good is everyone's desire because that is the desire of our Source within. Choose joy. Share joy. Be love.

Monday, March 28, 2016

Daily Inspiration 3-28-16

"Don't throw the baby out with the bathwater." 

-- Common phrase 

The quote above is a common phrase that I heard my elders use when I was a child. According to Wikipedia, the idea was first expressed in writing from a German proverb in 1512, das Kind mit dem Bade ausschütten. Then it was made more popular by the writer, Thomas Carlyle in an 1849 article on slavery, where he wrote, "The Germans say, "you must empty-out the bathing-tub, but not the baby along with it." Fling-out your dirty water with all zeal, and set it careening down the kennels; but try if you can keep the little child!"

I heard other stories of where the phrase came from, but essentially it means to not discard the essential with the inessential, or as there is value in anything, glean the value that is there, that speaks to you, while allowing all the other information to pass you by. . . for now.

I just started a new audiobook that is a unique memoir of Martin Sheen and his first son, Emilio Estevez. I only just learned the Martin Sheen is a stage name he adopted, and his real name is Ramón Antonio Gerardo Estévez. Interesting. . .

In just the earliest part of this book, that I can tell I am going to love, as both of them are doing the audio, Emilio was talking about the movie, The Way, where he was the producer and director. Emilio said they were traveling in a van in Spain looking at shooting locations and the fog was really heavy creating a bad situation for filming. He wondered to himself how he could use this to his advantage. He thought, what could I do with this?

Under these circumstances, many might throw the baby out with the bathwater so to speak by cancelling the shoot, but he is finding the potential value in this situation and is enthusiastically curious what he can do with it. I'm not even twenty minutes into this audiobook and this inspirational gem grabs my attention.

How many times have we found ourselves in a situation that doesn't look good, doesn't feel good, is not working according to our plans? Probably a lot of times. Shit happens as they say, life gets in the way. It is very easy in these situations to give up for the day, go do something else, become frustrated, and a myriad of other reactions. All of them are essentially throwing the baby out with the bathwater. We are seeing the problems and focusing on the problems while ignoring any possibility of a silver lining, or finding value, or a gem in the rubble. It's just the way it is. Oh well.

Or, we can go with the flow and wonder what we can learn from this, what we might glean from this, how we might take advantage of this situation.

Turning A Negative Into A Positive Means Not Allowing Reaction To Rule. Let Your Curiosity Rule Instead. What Could I Do With This? 

Spread Some Joy Today--by allowing yourself the opportunity to see the joy that is within all things.

Sunday, March 27, 2016

Daily Inspiration 3-27-16

"To belittle, you have to be little." 

-- Kahlil Gibran 

Here's To Being The Best That Is In Us And Helping Those Who Desire To Come Along. 

Spread Some Joy Today--Think LOVE.

Saturday, March 26, 2016

Daily Inspiration 3-26-16

"Never compare your insides 
to someone else's outsides." 

-- Rob Lowe 

Rob Lowe wasn't even on my radar. I knew he was an actor, and I've seen some movies that he was in. I knew he starred in the TV series, The West Wing, which I loved at the time, but had no idea of the depth and breadth of his theater, movie, television career, let alone producing, and much more. Isn't it interesting how many people we know superficially.

I forgot to mention that he is also a writer. I stumbled--I love how that sounds when I am led to something that the Universe knows I will love--on to Rob's memoir audiobook, Stories I Only Tell My Friends from 2011, and then realized he did another in 2014, Love Life. I haven't enough superlatives to express how much enjoyment I got out of both of these wonderful books. An outstanding writer, and with him reading them on the unabridged audio, they come to life in only the way they could with his participation. I didn't want either to end, and I hope he writes more memoirs. 

What I loved most was that these were in depth recollections, but not necessarily a timeline autobiography. Certainly he is telling his life story, but it is more his life stories. And they are absolutely fascinating.

In memoir number two, Love Life, the quote above was gleaned. It's one of those things where you can read an entire book and one sentence leaps off the page and forces you to write it down. I've never heard that sentiment expressed in that way, but it is spot on.

How many times are we feeling emotions within, whether being nervous, scared, unsure, and we are looking at others thinking they might be seeing our fear and pain, and we seeing that they seem to be happy, fun, enjoying life, confident, determined. The distance between what we are feeling and what we are seeing is huge. And, more important, we feel alone in that. We feel vulnerable, exposed, wanting to hide, to run away, disappear.

But that is only because we are looking at what is going on inside us while we are looking at what is going on on the outside of others. Not a fair comparison in the slightest. The truth is probably that every single one of those we see in our field of vision or imaginary vision, has felt exactly as we are feeling right this moment.

We Are All More The Same On The Inside Than We Are On The Outside. 

Spread Some Joy Today--by allowing ourselves to feel what we are feeling without adding unnecessary weight to it, which allows us to move past it more quickly toward better feelings.

Friday, March 25, 2016

Daily Inspiration 3-25-16

"Everything we hear is an opinion, not a fact.
Everything we see is a perspective, not the truth."

-- Marcus Aurelius

[Classic Post. This is a repost of the most popular post of 2011]

I was listening to someone's opinion of what I was doing, and I have learned in the last few years to accept that for what it is--an opinion. It made me think of people standing in a circle and as they stand there focusing on what is in front of them, it is abundantly clear that each and every one of them has a unique and different perspective. Each would then have their own truth about what they see and their interpretation of it, whereas, someone on a different position would not agree with their opinion.

I think it is slightly important (just barely. . .) to consider what others viewpoints may be, if for no other reason than being aware that there would certainly have to be differences of opinion, different views of the same object or event, and so on to acknowledge there are other perspectives and interpretations.

In the final analysis, there is only one opinion that really matters and that is our own. Each of us is similar to the captain of a ship. A large ship may have a crew and even several officers that give advice and information, but when it comes down to it, the captain carries the full responsibility for the decisions. Consider a ship where the captain is not fond of making decisions, has to consult with this person and that, being unsure of what to do and always looking for another perspective to consider. That ship would have the most difficult time just getting away from the dock, let alone out of the harbor.

Each of us is the captain in charge of our own voyage. Listening to others viewpoints and opinions can be helpful, but in due time, if we are to move ahead, we need to rely on and trust in our own opinion.

Bon Voyage!

Spread Some Joy Today--Decision making is always the most sought-after quality, and the most highly paid too. Got decisions?

Thursday, March 24, 2016

Daily Inspiration 3-24-16

"What you resist persists." 

-- Carl Jung 

I wrote the book, Commercial Truck Success, from my experience in starting two commercial truck departments within retail auto dealerships and through trial and error, created very profitable and successful operations. In the book, some of the simplest concepts are to make sure your inventory is salable this moment, by keeping them clean and making sure they start and run well. Very basic stuff.

Yet, it is amazing every single time I see the oldest truck on the lot won't even start and they are so desperate to sell the two year old piece that they are trying to sell it below cost. What would happen if a buyer actually came in and was interested? The salesperson would try to start it, then go get the jumper battery, and the jumper battery is too low to give enough juice to the truck battery to get it to crank. The salesperson is running around and the buyer is thinking, "no wonder they've had it so long!" Then he or she remembers an appointment they are late for.

Here was a perfect opportunity to sell the unit and even sell it at a profit, but the whole thing was blown because the dealership resisted fixing the truck. How much do new batteries, if needed, cost in comparison to a month's worth of flooring on a $50,000 truck? Or how about six more months of flooring expense waiting for the next buyer? Sometimes we just can't see the forest for the trees. It is often the simple things, the easy to fix things that hold us back.

This doesn't just apply to a commercial truck department, or even a retail auto dealership, or a hair salon, or restaurant, or an appliance store, or any other business, it applies to all of life. Personal life, business life, government life, all of life.

We have a leaky faucet in the bathroom and it has been that way for a long time, but now the drought has worsened and surcharges apply for excessive use of water. How did this bill get so high? Well, that would have paid for a brand new faucet, and another month or two and we could have paid a plumber to handle it. Just little things like doing the dishes (I have resistance there, but I am working on it) and keeping the kitchen clean. There are so many little things that are important and yet also easy to see as not important. Until they are REALLY important. Then panic sets in.

I created relationships with other commercial truck dealers to trade old inventory with. It's amazing that when you have an old piece, even if in tip-top shape, the salespeople walk right past it as it if isn't really there. So, I would trade two or three of my 90+ day old units for the other dealers 90+ day old units site unseen. When they come here they are new, when mine go there, they are new. I cannot tell you how many times those units sold so fast it amazed me. So there are many creative ways to cause movement.

Consider making a list of some of the things at work, and at home that you might have been glossing over that could be important, and under certain circumstances could be REALLY important. For example, an effective savings plan. Too much month at the end of the money? How many years did I live like that! But, that simply means that the outgo is exceeding the income. There are ways to solve that on both ends of the scale. Simple things that are put off for another day, that are important and yet allowed to slide.

I'm Working On My List And Making Progress. Feels Great Too. 

Spread Some Joy Today--by clearing out those cobwebs, and allowing your priorities to include important and yet often ignored things like joy to come into the open and thrive.

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Daily Inspiration 3-23-16

"Scatter joy!" 

-- Ralph Waldo Emerson 

I was reading another quote by Ralph Emerson, where he said, "I pack my trunk, embrace my friends, embark on the sea and at last wake up in Naples, and there beside me is the stern fact, the sad self, unrelenting, identical, that I fled from."

Sometimes we just need to get away, but a great question is from what? Rather than running from something, it is far more beneficial to desire to run toward something because it is what we want. We might often think that we can change our location and scenery and have the refreshment we desire, to renew ourselves, and for a time, that certainly may be the case, yet everywhere we go, there we are, as we take ourselves with us, and all of the baggage of that too.

This reminded me--strange as it seems--about what I learned early in sales called the Ben Franklin Close. When a prospect is on the edge having a hard time deciding and contemplating leaving, the salesperson suggests, "You know, Ben Franklin was one of our history's wisest men. When he found himself in the situation that you are in right now, he would take out a piece of paper, draw a line down the middle, and on one side he would write "Pro" and on the other, "Con," and he would list all the reasons why he would do it on the pro side and all the reasons not to on the other, then he would see very clearly which decision to make. How about we try that right now?"

Then, the salesperson would suggest they begin with the pro side, and he or she would be very, very helpful in adding things to that list. When they exhausted the pro's, the prospect would move to the con's and the salesperson would shut up completely. No suggestions at all. That's the Ben Franklin Close in a nutshell.

Sometimes in our lives, we use this pro and con game on ourselves, except we often begin with the con's. Then, instead of the salesperson helping out or shutting up, our ego pipes in and helps us make a long list on the con side. With the help of our ego, we may find so many con's that we are exhausted, discouraged, and disempowered to the point that we don't even bother with the pro's. What's the use?, we say. It ain't gonna change anything. It's just the way it is. I can't do anything about it.

Here's where that strange word phrase of "being enlightened," comes to play. Being enlightened only means that we have become aware of the functions within our mind and how it affects our life. Being enlightened means that we can say, "I see you Mr. Ego, chiming in all the time, trying to protect me, but not letting me have any fun either. I appreciate your good qualities, but you always try to take control. Wrong! I am in control. You are a friend and servant, but I am always in control. I appreciate your input, but I will be making this decision."

Being enlightened is sort of like being outside of yourself and seeing how it all works. It allows me to align with the better part of me, my inner being, the God within, or whatever phrase works for you. You know what I'm talking about because you've felt that too. So, I ask, am I in alignment or out of alignment? But, I don't even have to ask because how I am feeling is my guidance control. If I am feeling good, I am close to or in alignment. The better I feel, the more in alignment I am. If I feel bad, or off, I am out of alignment with my true self. Now the decision I need to make is easy. My pro side has loads of help as if it is the most benevolent of salespeople within.

Running Away Or Eagerly Running Toward? The Pro's Have It! 

Spread Some Joy Today--Oh, I so love how Ralph said it: Scatter joy! Yes!

Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Daily Inspiration 3-22-16

"If we take the time, 
no matter how crazy and troubled we feel, 
we can find something to be thankful for." 

-- Terry Lynn Taylor 

How much time? A few seconds maybe. Or perhaps a minute or two. Or a half hour. And does it really matter how long it takes? We don't have to worry that our troubles and craziness won't be there when we get back. Or do we? If we were inclined to worry about something, I think that worrying whether or not our troubles will be there when we return if we left them for a while is worth worrying about. So, maybe we should just stay where we are. Troubles and crazy are comforting by now. It feels like home. It's normal. There's plenty to complain about. We like complaining. There's plenty to be upset about because the world is getting worse every day. We enjoy our comfortable upsetting view of the world. It's normal. It's real. It's the way it is.


It is a choice.

Question: Do you like joy? Do you like the way that feels? Do you enjoy passion? Do you like the way that feels? Do you like enthusiasm? Do you like the way that feels? How about empowerment, eagerness, appreciation? Do you like the way they feel? Of course you do. But sometimes you think they are reserved for the few who deserve it. Not. You deserve it as much as anyone on the planet. And, whether you are the biggest billionaire on the planet or the lowliest tramp on the street, in each and every case, without exception, feeling these things is a choice of what we choose to think.

Yup. It is purely a thought. That is all it is, and that is enough. Troubles is just a thought. Crazy is just a thought. Depression is just a thought. Worry is just a thought. And so, love is just a thought, as well, joy, enthusiasm, empowerment, passion, eagerness, and appreciation are just a thought.

Time? You can take the time to think whatever you like, because you are and you will continue to. Take the time to worry, mull over your troubles, spy on your failures, complain about where you are and why you're not on the greener side of the fence, express your anger at this and that and that and this. Express your concerns about the world, the government, the neighbors, the church, the school, the mayor, the in-laws. They all take time. It seems that in a few cases, a lot of time.

Whatever time there is is being spent in whatever way we choose to spend it. However we feel is a direct reflection of whether we are in alignment with our inner being, so realizing how we feel is important as important gets. It is our guiding light so to speak. Like feeling shitty? No problem. Like feeling joy? No problem. They are equal in one thing: each is a choice of thought and each choice of thought creates a corresponding emotional response.

Now back to the quote at the beginning. Finding something to be thankful for--anything at all--will open the tiniest hole in the wall to allow more light in, and then more light, and more light, until, the room is full of light and the shadows and darkness are no longer visible. They have left the building.

Make The Choice That Lights Your Fire. Oh. . . You Already Are! How Does That Feel? 

Spread Some Joy Today--because joy is not only worth spreading, it is worth rolling around in, splashing, doing cannonballs into, sliding down the slippery slope with, rocketing to space with, and enjoying private moments by the fire on a cold night with.

Monday, March 21, 2016

Daily Inspiration 3-21-16

"An eye is meant to see things. 
The soul is here for its own joy." 

-- Rumi 

Progress is not always obvious. You know how you see a child and then don't see them again until a year later, or maybe two? That progress is entirely obvious. But, when we're living in ourselves, changes often seem more subtle, until one day, something strikes you and you are amazed at the change within that you weren't noticing before. That happened to me again yesterday.

A light rain came for part of the day, and as it began, the sound was so refreshing and I got up from my desk and went out under the carport and watched the rain falling into the birdbath, and dancing on the glistening leaves. I was in awe of it. I was totally present and I felt so at peace and so loved and so good. I stood there for quite some time and was absorbing as much of it as I could without thinking. 

Normally, I'm thinking very quickly about things. Even though I am noticing the feeling of the rain, and enjoying it, and appreciating it, I would be thinking too. This time, I didn't start thinking until I stopped being present in the rain. The difference was huge. It was then that I realized that I had grown like the child being away for a couple of years.

As I thought about that, I noticed too that I am laughing a lot. In fact, I'm laughing so many times throughout the day simply enjoying funny things, parts of movies, something on Facebook or YouTube, or in the newspaper. My appreciation for things around me has grown as well. I guess I might describe it as joy. Many times as I'm thinking about something I find that I have a huge smile on my face, but it is as though I am smiling from the inside out, sort of like my whole body is smiling. It's an interesting feeling--fascinating, really.

I remember Abraham, Esther Hicks saying that the levels of joy are endless. The happier I get, the happier I get. I'm amazed by it. I'm enjoying it. Even as I do my best to share that, I can only hope that it comes across the way it feels.

So here's hope for everyone. The more you find to be happy about, the more you find to laugh about, enjoy, appreciate, be in awe over, be amazed at, the more of that is attracted to you. I'm living proof.

Allow Your Enjoyment To Find More Expression. Be Amazed. 

Spread Some Joy Today--because after a while, you just can't help yourself.

Sunday, March 20, 2016

Daily Inspiration 3-20-16

"It's always been a dream of mine 
to have done a TED talk 
in the past." 

-- Tim Urban 

Today's post will be an easy one, in that I don't have to write very much. I know some of you might enjoy that. I've also expressed many times how much I enjoy the TED organization and have watched many hundreds of TED Talks. Some have been so powerful that I have shared one here every once in a while.

This one is on procrastination. Some of you think that you are not procrastinators, but I believe that it is part of who we are for many reasons. Nonetheless, this 14 minute talk is so funny and powerful at the same time. I laughed all the way through it every time I watched it, and when I get to the end. . . well, that made it all worthwhile. So, I share this talk with you today. I hope it touches you even a tenth as much as it touched me.

See more from Tim Urban on his blog here:

It's A Hit! Doing, Doing, Doing, Done! 

Spread Some Joy Today--by sharing your joys with others.

Saturday, March 19, 2016

Daily Inspiration 3-19-16

"He is so above me 
in his bright radiance 
and collateral light."

-- William Shakespeare 
All's Well That Ends Well, Act 1, Scene 1 

Yesterday I mentioned that I was thinking about William Shakespeare and words. It is said that he coined about 1,700 words and word combinations that we use today. Probably we don't use them often. One of them in the quote above is the word radiance. Some others, to name but a few, are: amazement, cold-blooded, lackluster, majestic, madcap, zany, tranquil, puppy dog, Olympian, quarrelsome, eventful, moonbeam, hostile, laughable, jaded.

This all came back to my mind, along with Tony Robbin's great book, Awaken the Giant Within, where my favorite chapter is The Vocabulary of Ultimate Success, because I love the word delightful, and I was thinking that I use it too often. I think many of us have our favorite words and as a result have a tendency to use them more often.

Many of the words that I used in the past were more negative, or at least with bland emotional power. It was Tony Robbins in his book that led me on a new path of expressive vocabulary. He has some charts in the book to help encourage a different choice of words or phrases from disempowered to empowered, many of them intended to change our state as he calls it, or to change our vibration and thereby our point of attraction as Abraham might express it. Some are just plain fun, and have a tendency to make me laugh when I say it. Here's some examples from Awaken the Giant Within:

Go from I'm feeling hurt to I'm feeling dinged, from feeling fear to feeling wonderment, from I'm feeling pissed off to I'm feeling a little tinkled, from feeling exhausted to just a little droopy, from feeling overwhelmed to in demand, from feeling terrible to kind of different, from sick to it feels like a cleansing, from I'm stressed to I'm feeling energized. I think you'll agree that using the new words really does change the whole feeling.

Words have a lot of power in our lives. 

So, back to delightful. I used to use a Thesaurus more in earlier times. Now, I'm getting to know it all over again to help me search for more words that help me expand my delight into new forms of expression. And, thanks to, I am delighted to share these new delights: alluring, engaging, refreshing, darling, heavenly, luscious, rapturous, ravishing, yummy, lush, scrumptious, cheery, thrilling, ambrosial, lovely, fascinating (another of my favorite words), ravishing.

I can turn my delight into relish (another favorite word), ecstasy, mirth, joyance (oh, that's a good one!), enchantment, transport, glee, and joy. Or, how about extravagant, flamboyant, flashy, outrageous, fancy, and fantastic. Then there is exquisite, opulent, appetizing, juicy, succulent, sumptuous, mouth-watering, divine, adorable, delish, and savory.

The more we focus on these kind of words, the more of the situations, and views of all that is around us come to match them. Certainly, we can use many of these wonderful words to describe it after we've seen it, but I think you'll find that by simply making a list of words like this will conjure up images. I think this effort is one of life's little joys that increases the joy in that little life, to make it seem so much more distinctive and recklessly captivating. 

May Your Day Be Truly Engaging! 

Spread Some Joy Today--because a little cheeriness goes a long way.

Friday, March 18, 2016

Daily Inspiration 3-18-16

"If you prick us do we not bleed? 
If you tickle us do we not laugh? 
If you poison us do we not die? 
And if you wrong us shall we not revenge?" 

-- William Shakespeare 

This morning, I was thinking about Shakespeare and words. It is said that he coined a lot of words that are in common use today. But, I'll leave that subject for tomorrow.

As I was looking at the quote above, I became fascinated by the incongruity of the last line, yet it does hold the sentiment that is so universal. The first three questions relate to autonomous bodily reactions to physical stimuli. The last is entirely an egotistical and angry response to an idea, a thing that is not physical at all, nor is it really caused by another, but within ourselves, of our own design. 

Wars are made easy by this. Families and friends are ripped apart by this. Hatred is spread as if it now has a cause to grow by, to expand into. There is such words as honor to defend, place to be demonstrated, emotions to be aroused. And yet, it is all in our minds. There is no harm done by another. No physical touch or entry into our protected space. No, it is strictly and completely our own thoughts fueled by our own ego into a physical reaction called revenge.

We have the choice. We always have the choice of what we will think about anything. Will we allow--and allow is the perfect word here--will we allow our thoughts to become anger, revenge? Or will we choose a different thought, and thereby a different response. Or, perhaps, no response at all, as if the cause for alarm did not ever exist.

When I finally learned that no one outside of myself can cause me to feel anything without my permission and participation, I realized that all the power is within me. I have the power to think what I will. I have the power to respond or not. I have control in this when I allow myself to have control. I am not my ego. My ego is a tool. I no longer want my ego making this kind of decision for me. As the chanting for the response grows, I can choose to turn and go a different direction, or to even ignore.

I am aware of the context of this quote from The Merchant of Venice, Act 3, and yet, what may be considered normal in response, is not normal, but common, and it is common only in those who allow their ego to rule over their mind. We could then say, they are out of their minds.

Remember. You Get To Choose What You Will Think And How You Will Respond. 

Spread Some Joy Today--Can someone take away your joy? Only if you allow it.

Thursday, March 17, 2016

Daily Inspiration 3-17-16

"The cost of being wrong 
is less than the cost 
of doing nothing." 

-- Seth Godin 

This morning, I'm sharing a few gems from Seth Godin's very creative and visually interesting book, What To Do When I'ts Your Turn [and it's always your turn].

First is the quote above. In trying to move forward, to expand, to grow, to become, to achieve something, to influence, all of it has a cost, but take hope in the concept that the cost of being wrong, not doing it well, not succeeding immediately, is considerably less than the cost of doing nothing at all.

We have to allow ourselves the freedom to do and experience whatever results come, even those results that others may call failures. He says, "There are three problems with freedom: Things often don't turn out precisely the way we hope. Resolution takes too long. And we might fail." Oh, that last one allows some people to never try.

We need to have a certain freedom to be able to fail and be okay with it. Seth says, "Not everything has to be okay. Perhaps it might be better for everything to be moving. Moving forward, with generosity. Moving forward, with a willingness to live with the tension. Moving forward, learning as you go. The person who fails the most, wins." 

Consider the idea that we don't have to know everything, to be open to finding out, even if it doesn't work out as we might like. Movement is good. What's next? It might be interesting.

Movement IS Life. Life IS Movement. 

Spread Some Joy Today--by allowing yourself to see joy where it didn't used to exist in your experience.

Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Daily Inspiration 3-16-16

"In the face of overwhelming odds, 
I'm left with only one option. 
I'm going to have to science the shit out of this." 

-- Mark Watney character 
played by Matt Damon 
in the movie, The Martian 

The power of focus. Mark Watney had to focus or die. He had to decide to live or let go and die. Those are some very basic, and also profound choices to have to make. Most of us don't deal with issues that much in our face in our entire lives, and yet, at the same time, we do make those choices almost every day.

We carry around information and emotional baggage that often disrupts our focus. These things are real to us. Abraham, Esther Hicks offers an overview by saying, "People often believe that because something happened, and because it is a fact or true, that it should be focused upon, and therefore kept vibrationally active. And so, many people keep many things active that do not serve them." 

Some of these are big events that often carry political feelings, such as, Remember the Alamo!, Remember Pearl Harbor!, Remember the Holocaust!, Remember the Black Plague!. Remember the Potato Famine!, Remember this war and that war, 911 and the towers, and the list goes on and on. If one is involved in any of these big things, they remember them with even more focus.

Yet, there are millions more small things that are real, that happened, that we have a tendency to focus on. Some of these might be what Jane said about me to a friend who told me about it and I am so upset by that. It could be that loan we made to a friend or relative that they haven't ever repaid and yet we see them driving a brand new car. Or, maybe it is the guy that got the promotion that I should have had. I have been there longer and I am more qualified, but I'm a woman. Or it could be as simple as forgetting a birthday, missing a play or recital with our child in it because he works all the time, or where's the love that we used to share? And this list is endless.

Abraham, Esther Hicks shares this insight: "In the same way that sculptors mold clay into the creation that pleases them, you create by molding Energy. You mold it through your power of focus--by thinking about things, remembering things, and imagining things. You focus the Energy when you speak, when you write, when you listen, when you are silent, when you remember, and when you imagine--you focus it through the projection of thought." 

It is easy to think that the tail wags the dog as in the remembering of things that don't serve us, but what is really reality is that we are the dog and we are wagging our own tail. We are in charge of that. We are in charge of our focus. We are in charge of what we focus on. We are in charge of how we feel about things based on what our thoughts are about them. We are in total charge, just as Mark Watney was in charge, alone on the planet Mars facing odds that were overwhelming. He chose to change his focus, mold Energy, and figure things out.

My new sign on my wall helps me remember. It says: Is My Focus On What I Want? I get to choose every minute of every day. Focusing on what I do not want can sometimes be enticing. It may even draw a crowd to chant me on, but is it serving me? Hmmmm. I'll have to science the shit out of that. . .

Is Your Focus On What You Want? Is It Serving You? 

Spread Some Joy Today--by making up your own mind to what you choose to focus on. Let me encourage you to choose joy. Just for a while. I'm convinced that after you feel that for a minute or two, you will be hooked. It's addictive!

Tuesday, March 15, 2016

Daily Inspiration 3-15-16

"Ignore those that make you fearful and sad, 
that degrade you back towards disease and death." 

Let yourself be drawn by the stronger pull 
of that which you truly love." 

-- Rumi 

Anger is easily aroused, and can even become a career for some. It is totally fear. It is the ego is full swing. Alan Cohen said, "The world of the ego is an unsolvable mess. The world of love is eternally at peace. Every moment is a choice between the two." Every moment we get to choose between love and fear.

Abraham, Esther Hicks makes it simple and yet profound by saying, "When you look out into the environment that surrounds you, and you feel appreciation for what you see, you tune yourself to the frequencies of the best of all that you are. And then, the best of All-That-Is, is all that you will see. That is how you manage your point of attraction." 

What is interesting about the newspaper and the kind of information it generally provides is that about 95% of it is negative. As one of the theories of journalism of that nature, shining a light into darkness is looked upon as beneficial and good, when whatever we focus on creates more of what we are seeing. So, the more we shine the light on what is 'wrong,' the more wrong we find, and the more upset we can be. But it is all 100% fear.

If the newspaper, or anyone wanted to focus on what is beneficial and good, they would focus on love, on the uplifting, the joyful. No desire here to shine a light into the darkness, but simply choose to walk in the light and remain in the light. Alan Cohen shares this: "The form in which you worship is less important than the heart you bring to the altar." Where is our heart? It is love. We don't bring our love to the darkness, love is in the light where darkness does not exist.

In Love Is Letting Go Of Fear by Gerald Jampolsky, he shares this: "Fear always distorts our perception and confuses us as to what is going on. Love is the total absence of fear. Love asks no questions. Its natural state is one of extension and expansion, not comparison and measurement. Love, then, is really everything that is of value, and fear can offer us nothing because it is nothing." 

Our chosen thoughts can inflict pain on us, and as we experience that pain, we want justice to prevail to attempt to soothe our pain, but it never will. Everything that we can imagine outside of us is also inside of us. Pain begets more pain. Fear begets more fear. And, fortunately love begets more love. In every moment of every day, we have two choices. No matter if we are interacting with clients, customers at work, with family at home, with the news on the television, radio and newspapers--wherever our focus is, we get more of that.

We get to choose fear, or we get to choose love. It's not about right or wrong, good or bad, evil or goodness, it is only about fear and love. Choose according to what you want to give. Choose according to what you want to receive. Choose according to how you want to live your life. And choose we will. That is all we can do. We always, always, always get to choose.

Therein Lies Our Pain Or Pleasure. 

Spread Some Joy Today--by letting go of the pain, letting go of the darkness, and by stepping into the light and spreading love as joy is such a beautiful expression of.

Monday, March 14, 2016

Daily Inspiration 3-14-16

"There is no way to prosperity, 
prosperity is the way." 

-- Wayne Dyer 

This quote has been expressed in many different ways. There is no way to happiness, happiness is the way, and more. In fact, I think that one could express the whole thing this way: There is no way to ______. _______ is the way.

I just finished Jim Rohn's great audio program from the 1990's, The Power of Ambition. In that audio, he said (my paraphrasing) the above sentiment this way: If you were to win or inherit a million dollars, to keep it, you need to become a millionaire. Another way of saying the same thing is to say, to get a million dollars, become a millionaire. The millionaire will know how to create more, invest well, serve more, whereas the non-millionaire will have more to spend until they are a thousandaire, or maybe a hundredaire.

Jim Rohn shared this to make it even more clear: "The most important question to ask on the job is not "What am I getting?" The most important question to ask is "What am I becoming?" Maybe we could express it this way: There is no way to become. Becoming is the way.

Whatever is our desire, we first must become that in order to have that become us. What kind of person do we need to become in order to be that, have that, experience that?

Effort is overrated. It certainly can be important in the overall scheme of things, but the most important thing is to be there in our minds first. The effort then will mean something, be valuable. Otherwise, it is just unfocused movement.

If we want to become a great writer, we must become that great writer in our mind first. If we want to become wealthy, we must first become wealthy in our mind. If we want to own our own successful business, we must first experience that in our mind. Whatever it is that we desire, we need to become that first in our mind.

"What You Become Directly Influences What You Get." -- Jim Rohn 

Spread Some Joy Today--by becoming joyful. There is no way to joy. Joy is the way.

Sunday, March 13, 2016

Daily Inspiration 3-13-16

"What you see 
is more often than not 
what you put there." 

-- Albert K. Strong 

My learning and experience often leads me on a trail where one thing leads me to another and another and so on. When I've exhausted the trail, I move to something else.

This last week I finished a memoir of Penny Marshall, and in that memoir she talked about most of the movies she directed and/or produced and there were many interesting things I learned about them. Having watched all of those movies at some time in the past, I thought I would rewatch a few of them. Last night, I watched Renaissance Man with Danny DeVito in the lead, with Gregory Hines, and one of the actors was a very young Mark Wahlberg.

I looked at the ratings and they were not very good, although it did get a one thumbs up from the Roger & Ebert team. Rotten Tomatoes only gave it 17% out of 100%. It fascinates me how many times I've seen a movie that had terrible ratings that I have loved with enthusiasm. It's definitely in the eyes of the beholder.

I originally rated this 3-stars on Netflix and now I rate it as 5-stars. The difference? Me. The movie didn't change. I did. In fact, many of the movies that I have rewatched I find a similar change, and even a few in the other direction.

It's not the movie, it is what we bring to the movie. And, what is really fascinating to me is that this particular movie is exactly about that kind of thing. What Danny DeVito's character brings to the classroom is how the class demonstrates itself. Then, one dinky little pinhole of heart comes through, and step by step; albeit, some emotionally painful, he changes, the class changes one by one and the entire big picture changes along the way.

It is so often what we bring when we go to a play, movie, lecture, meeting, or event that dictates what we see while we are there. We have some of our own baggage that we drag around to work, back home again, to events and so on. Many may be things or events or experiences that we don't really want to participate in. That hides the real value we could get out of it.

In the movie, the pinhole I referred to was Danny sensing the true humanity behind the cocky, arrogant, seemingly stupid students. That wasn't enough to make a change in Danny or the students because they've build such a protective fortress around them over many years, but it was enough to let just enough light in to begin the process of change--to demonstrate the potential of this event being considerably different than the early stages indicated.

Why I changed from a 3-star to 5-star is because I've changed since I watched the movie before. I also learned more about the making of the movie, how Danny DeVito came to be in the lead, and more. I brought different eyes and ears to this particular event, and I saw and heard different things. They seemingly were not there before, and yet they were because nothing changed in the 1994 movie. The only change was in me. I saw with different eyes. I brought different values with me. I had refined ears. I brought a sense of appreciation with me, and what I saw was unique to me now in 2016.

From Just Another Movie To Seeing Life Unfolding Within Me. . . 

Spread Some Joy Today--by paying attention to what you are bringing along with you. The less you bring, the more the opportunity for joy.

Saturday, March 12, 2016

Daily Inspiration 3-12-16

"People will naturally act in accordance 
with their own true highest values." 

-- John F. Demartini 

Six days ago, on March 6th, 2016, I quietly celebrated the 30th anniversary of my moving into the house I live in today. I moved in for the first time on March 6th, 1986. I moved in as a renter and at the end of that same year, I bought the house.

Most would probably think that there isn't anything special about this house. It is a simple, 1100 square foot, 3 bedroom, 2 bath, tract home with a garage that was converted to a bedroom, which immediately became my recording studio and then my office. My commute to work is just a few feet from the kitchen.

I was a sales manager at what was then, Woodard Chevrolet here in Fairfield CA, and one of my salesmen owned the home and wanted to rent it out because they were upgrading. I had been to the house for a barbecue a couple times and I absolutely loved the house. It was like home to me. That's what I felt. No, there's nothing special about it to most, and I had previously even lived in nicer places, but it spoke to me. It was plenty special to me.

I was 36 years old. I realized by looking at my history that I had moved 43 times in 36 years of my life and I hated moving. I hated it a lot. My parents seemed to have believed that the grass was greener somewhere else, whether across town, down the block, or hundreds of miles away. I wondered what it was like to live in one place for a long time. Maybe it was Leave It To Beaver, or My Three Sons TV shows. They demonstrated stability in that way. I wanted to feel that too.

I went to 6 schools from 7th grade to 12th. One twice. I went to four schools from 10th to 12th grade, finally graduating at Sonoma High School in Sonoma, CA. Some places we lived, we didn't even unpack completely before we were on the road again.

I had enough of that. When I moved in here 30 years ago, I wanted to stay a long time. Later, my wife and I looked at all the new houses that were built in town over the years, and there were so many. Beautiful homes, much nicer than where I lived, but the decision to actually make the move never happened. It was a certain stability for my two new step-children to be in one place for a long period. It was that for me and for my wife who also had moved a lot. So, we stayed.

I changed jobs many times while I lived here, but my real stability was this house I have loved. I loved it when I first saw it. I love it still. And, there's been a lot of living done here. I am so grateful to have had the opportunity to be here and to have been here for 30 years. It's amazing to me that I have been here for this long.

I feel like I have passed a milestone in my life. I haven't a clue what will come next. Maybe I'll never leave here alive. I don't know. But one thing I do know is that our lives are most affected by what we value the most. I valued very highly the stability and the ideal of living in one place for a long time. Who knows what long time means? But, having moved so many times and to have known this bliss of one place has meant such pleasure to me. I am blessed by that. Besides, doesn't moving 44 times in 66 years sound so much better and more stable than 43 times in 36 years?

It's So Interesting How Things Work Out. . . 

Spread Some Joy Today--by following your highest values. Therein is your joy.

Friday, March 11, 2016

Daily Inspiration 3-11-16

"But what is happiness 
except the simple harmony 
between a man 
and the life he leads?" 

-- Albert Camus 

I was first introduced to Jim Rohn when I was 31 years old and was on the verge of a dramatic change in my life. I loved him immediately. Since then, I've read pretty much all his books, listened to so many of his audio programs, when then were on cassette tapes. They are long gone, loaned and evaporated, and I can only hope that whomever has touched them, got even a tenth of what I got out of them, having listened to them many times.

I often quote Jim because he is so dang quotable. He became a master of personal development, didn't mince words, telling it like it is from his own struggles and journey. What a delight he has been to me, and I never met him in person. I am so grateful to Rod who convinced me to get involved in Shaklee, a multi-level marketing program, because he gave me the very first tape where I heard Jim Rohn speaking to a group distributors and managers in another such company in Dallas, Texas. I played it over and over again, finally transcribing it to print.

During my thirties, I bought many of his audio programs then from Nightingale-Conant. They were pricey, but I couldn't wait to get the next one. Then a couple of days ago, I noticed one of the best programs was available from, titled, The Power of Ambition. I've been loving listening to his simple and yet exquisite wisdom and common sense all over again on my iPhone.

Early in the program, he refers to Ben Franklin, one of the founding fathers of our constitution, whose wisdom in the mid-1700's was well known in his Poor Richard's Almanac writings, and his ideas and methods have stood the test of time; albeit, many are probably unaware.

Jim shared three of Ben's principles on success, and I delight in sharing them here.

1. "Happiness doesn't come from big pieces of great success, but from small advantages hammered out day by day." Jim interprets this as there is no way to happiness, but happiness is the way. He says that you have to be happy the way you are, the way things are, with your life right now, even while in pursuit of something that you want different from where you are. To say, I will be happy when. . . is to be unhappy now. He said that when you get that big goal, you won't be any happier than whatever happiness you have now, and reminds us that Abraham Lincoln said that we will be as happy as we choose to be at any given time.

2. "Life is plastic." In other words it is moldable, changeable, and can be remade again and again to suit our desires. We have such flexibility. We can change our mind. We can change our direction. We can change our environment. We can change. This is something worth celebrating. We are not static. We are plastic.

3. "Success is pleasure." Jim says, we need to enjoy our travels, enjoy what we do, smell the roses, have fun along the way. We need to enjoy ourselves as we live our lives. I love the quote above from Albert Camus and it fits so nicely right here: "But what is happiness except the simple harmony between a man and the life he leads?" Simple harmony. Enjoying ourselves. In alignment. Going with the flow. Not resisting, yet persisting with pleasure.

What is interesting to me as I have shared just a glimpse of part of my own journey is that I didn't get these teachings in my thirties. I wanted to get them, but I was focused too much on something I shared the other day. I was focused on the problems, what was not right yet, feeling sorry for myself, wishing things would change, and much more. Then I would periodically take charge and get some movement.

Now I get this. Now it is the way I live. The problems are still problems, but I have learned to be happy and grateful along the way. I have learned that I can change any time I make a decision to do so. And, I have learned to do what I love to do--to enjoy my work, my life, and all the world around me. I created where I am, and I am pleased.

Thank You, Jim Rohn. You Have Made A Difference In Me And A Few Million Others Too. Your Legacy Lives. 

Spread Some Joy Today--by paying attention to the joy that is available within you. That Source will never run dry. Not even a hiccup. There's only one instruction. We have to allow it. We control it completely. No one outside of ourselves could ever control it. The valve is inside.

Thursday, March 10, 2016

Daily Inspiration 3-10-16

"They pay you to learn." 

-- Garry Marshall 

In the last month or so, I've listened to the unabridged autobiography audiobooks of several famous comedy writers, movie directors, TV producers, such as, Carl Reiner, famous as producer of the Dick Van Dyke Show among many other endeavors, Norman Lear, most famous for TV sitcoms, All in the Family, The Jeffersons, One Day At a Time, and more, Garry Marshall, great movie director of such films as Pretty Woman and TV producer of Happy Days, Laverne and Shirley, to name a few, Penny Marshall, sister to Garry and a movie director of movies such as Big, A League of Their Own, and many others.

All of these people had fascinating histories, and all of them had one thing in common. They were willing and eager to try things they had never done and acted with a certain amount of confidence in their abilities to have it turn out well. They were all on a path where many have said, the Universe conspired to help them succeed, even in spite of their lack of knowledge or specific skill set. 

Although I'm not famous as they, in looking back, I did the same kinds of things in order to move into positions and businesses that I didn't have any experience in.

Sometimes, I hear people complain that because they have no experience, they are not given opportunities, but that is just noise. They just like complaining. And, it is also true. They are blocked, but not by others. They are blocked by their own thinking.

They might make up all manner of excuses, such as needing a college education, a certain college degree from a certain type of college, or that in general, they need to learn a whole lot more before they can get started. My long time mentor Jim Rohn talks of that as a builder who is going to build a tall building and keeps bringing materials to the site but never seems to get started building, always needing more materials, more preparedness, more, more, more. Alas, if the building will get built, we must begin building and have confidence in what will be needed will be there when we need it.

The quote above came from the audiobook I just finished by Penny Marshall where her brother, Garry Marshall was encouraging her to direct a movie even though she had never directed a movie. She had directed several TV shows. He said to her that they pay you to learn. That is so true. They paid me to learn.

They paid me to learn how to be a good sales manager having never been one, paid me to manage tens of millions of dollars of inventory having never done that, start several businesses having never done that and more. It's so interesting to look back and see how little I knew and yet figured it out as I went.

So, the message here is to make a decision and get moving. Martin Luther King, Jr. said, "take the first step in faith. You don't have to see the whole staircase, just take the first step." I'm pretty sure, no one ever sees the whole staircase ahead of moving forward on it. And, even if they imagined that they did, the Universe would probably guide them in such a way that they could not have seen anyway. So, what they heck? Let's get started! Who knows what wonderful adventures will come?

First Step: Decision. Second Step: MOVE! 

Spread Some Joy Today--by letting go of any tension. Relax. It's all good.

Wednesday, March 9, 2016

Daily Inspiration 3-9-16

"Is your focus predominantly on what you want?" 

-- Abraham, Esther Hicks 

It seems that every time that I open a book on the Teachings of Abraham by Esther and Jerry Hicks, that I see the essence of their question above. I'm going to print it out large and add it to my wall of all-important reminders to help me remember this perfect question.

When I think about that question, is my focus predominantly on what I want?, it begs an answer and all too often that answer is no, I am not focused there. So where am I focused? More often than not, I am reliving the problem, as if I might think that if I spend more time going over it, that some magic solution will fall from the sky and crush the problem into little bits and voila! there is the solution. So I think, how cool is that!? But, that is when I wake up and realize I was in a dream. We all know all too well that this is not how problems are solved.

The solution always comes from turning away from the problem and looking toward possible solutions. Always. All ways. So, asking if I am focusing on what I want is such a great question because when I am focused on the problem, and I realize now that that is where my thinking is, I know that is not where my answer is. Another great question might be, "do I really want a solution to this problem?" It sounds silly, but I have known people (looking in the mirror) who are content to have the problem. It gives our ego something important to fuss over I guess.

Here's another great question: (who knew that questions were so helpful?) What is it that I really want here?" Seems silly when it is written out, but ask yourself (myself) how often we ask it compared to focusing on what we do not want, yet is in our face at the moment. Not very dang often.

So. . . I hereby resolve (sounds pretty powerful, huh!) to realize that when I face a problem and feel that I am focusing on it, to turn my attention from what I do not want to what I really want, which is a solution, or for the problem to not be a problem. I will put this question on my wall today: Is My Focus On What I Want? Right next to the two that have been on my wall for a long time now: What Is My Job! How Is God's Job. and Today, No Matter Where I'm Going, And No Matter What I Am Doing, It Is My Dominant Intent To See That Which I Am Wanting To See.

Kind Of Rounds Out The Message, Don't You Think? 

Spread Some Joy Today--Joy today is letting go of the problem, whatever it might be, or how many ever I may think I own, and turning away from that fear and toward my joy. What a blessing!

Tuesday, March 8, 2016

Daily Inspiration 3-8-16

"I mean, where else am I going?" 

 -- Mike Dooley, A.K.A., The Universe 

As I was contemplating inspiring words this morning, I had to share another one of Mike Dooley's inspiring messages that I receive every day. He is speaking from the perspective of The Universe, or God, or whatever name you choose to represent that which we are not (or at least it might seem that way!).

This morning's message was to me all about perfect faith, perfect trust, perfect comfort, and perfect love. Here it is in his few words:

"I am always there. 
I am always helping. 
I never leave you. 
I was there yesterday. 
And every day before that. 
I'm with you now, 
 and I'll be there every day 
that ever follows. 
I mean, where else am I going? 

-- The Universe" 

I hope that simple, delightful and full-of-wisdom message touches you even a tidbit of how it touched me this morning. We get so carried away with stuff in our lives that we forget that we are created of God, that we are part of God, that we can trust in that aspect of our being, and that God is as caring for us as we allow. Even if all we did was pretend that all that quote is true, that would be of sufficient force and power to make our day a grand one. Oh, and pay attention to how it feels to feel so at peace!

Thanks Mike! Thank You, God. Thank You, Universe. 

Spread Some Joy Today--by finding something, just one thing that you can allow to bring you joy, and then simply relax and watch the flood cometh.

Monday, March 7, 2016

Daily Inspiration 3-7-16

"Character is that which can do without success." 

-- Ralph Waldo Emerson 

I think that sometimes we might think that achievement, or a certain stature within a place has everything to do with character. It may have to do with a certain success in the way of accomplishment, but I think it has little or nothing to do with character.

I view character as that which we are; the accumulation of all that we are; that which we are when no other person is within sight or sound of ourselves. Achievement is not that which we are, as stature is not who we have become or from where we may have come in terms of lineage. Instead, character has no desire for success, or achievement, or stature. It is simply and perfectly that which we are this moment.

In That, We Are All Of Sufficient Character. 

Spread Some Joy Today--by relaxing in yourself, whom you have become to date, and with anticipation of all that you will be.

Sunday, March 6, 2016

Daily Inspiration 3-6-16

"As we acquire more knowledge, 
things do not become more comprehensible, 
but more mysterious."

-- Albert Schweitzer 

Oh how I have found this great quote to be true! Things that I used to take for granted, which was pretty much everything that I would see or hear or smell or touch, now so often simply amaze me.

I have learned so much from so many hundreds of books, audio and video programs, and yet, this often demonstrates to me how little I know in that way, and at the same time, how much I know within myself that I only find in bits and pieces.

I find myself looking at the sky a lot. I am amazed at the display even when it is all one big expanse of blue, and enjoy it when the blue is intermixed with every kind of cloud, and even when it is gray and comes with lightning, thunder, rain, and other storming. It is alive and constantly changing.

The new growth on the plants, birds chasing each other, taking baths, pecking the ground, picking off berries from bushes and trees, taking a break from eating to sit together in a bush and chat away loudly while I relish the beautiful noise. It's a few days away from the official announcement of Spring and this year it seems to have started a month ago.

John Burroughs joins me saying it this way: "To find the universal elements enough; to find the air and the water exhilarating; to be refreshed by a morning walk or an evening saunter; to be thrilled by the stars at night; to be elated over a bird's nest or a wildflower in spring - these are some of the rewards of the simple life."

To me, it is even more elaborate. I find so much to feel joy from as I look around me now. I find almost nothing to not be in joy about. I find so much to realize that I am amazed at and in awe of, and almost nothing that is not in that place.

What started some years back as a thankful thought became a grateful heart, and what began then as simple praise became awe and wonder. I am still learning, and yet the more I seem to learn, the more wonder I see around me. The more I praise God or the Universe for all of this, and my own awareness of it, the more I see God everywhere I look--including in the mirror, as I am part of the awe. Albert Schweitzer says, "He who does not reflect his life back to God in gratitude does not know himself."

"As We Understand Life In Ourselves, We Want To Understand Life In The Universe, In Order To Enter Into Harmony With It." -- Albert Schweitzer 

Spread Some Joy Today--by recognizing the joy that is already in and around you.

Saturday, March 5, 2016

Daily Inspiration 3-5-16

"Muddy water is best cleared 
by leaving it alone." 

-- Alan W. Watts 

Many times, no matter what we seem to do in thinking or in activity, clarity eludes us. It seems like we just keep stirring it up and the more we think about it or the more we try to do about it, the messier it becomes.

It is in these times and situations that by simply leaving it alone for a period of time, that when we come back to it, clarity is upon us and the situation is resolved.

It seems as if we did nothing but go away and then come back later. We didn't do anything, and yet, clarity came.

It's Amazing To See What Can Be Done By Doing Nothing At All. 

Spread Some Joy Today--by taking good care of yourself. Enjoy yourself today.

Friday, March 4, 2016

Daily Inspiration 3-4-16

"Man needs difficulties; 
they are necessary for health." 

-- Carl Jung 

It seems like through history we have been moving toward a life of more and more ease. And, although much of the drudgery of things has been eased by way of labor-saving devices and things, it is the challenges, or the difficulties that seem to matter more. It is the difficulties and challenges overcome that produces growth--especially, exponential growth.

Therefore, on agreement of this concept, it makes sense then to get excited about our challenges and difficulties as a gift to our increased health, stamina, and even joy. Without something to focus on, there is a certain complacency. What was that saying? Without vision, they perish?

Onward To The Next Difficulty! I'm Up For The Challenge. 

Spread Some Joy Today--by letting it go.

Thursday, March 3, 2016

Daily Inspiration 3-3-16

"No amount of riches 
can compensate 
for an inner feeling 
of poverty." 

-- David R. Hawkins 

It's also why no amount of poverty can overcome a person who understands their own natural abundance.

Often, fear leads the way. Abraham, Esther Hicks said it this way:

"When you experience fear about not having enough money, you emanate a vibration that prevents you from receiving what you are asking for. Even though you have been asking for prosperity and stability the fear you are feeling is your indicator that you cannot, right now, let what you want in. As long as you continue to think the thoughts that are causing the fear, the things you want cannot show up in your life. You've got to accomplish the feeling first." 

I am only now really understanding these valuable words.

There's No Thing So Powerful As Imagination. 

Spread Some Joy Today--by seeing yourself as a joyful soul.

Wednesday, March 2, 2016

Daily Inspiration 3-2-16

"Discontinue deciding 
what anyone else 
should or shouldn't be doing." 

-- Wayne Dyer 

Judging others is a common habit. We all do it. We can't help it much of the time. Or so we think. We can, however, realize what we are doing when we do that. We can realize that when we think what someone should be doing or shouldn't be doing is going on within us. And, then we can stop as quickly as possible. Realizing that it is happening, or awareness is the first step, then changing that thought is the second. Done.

After all, who are we to judge? Underneath the skin that shows what our body supposedly looks like is stuff that makes us all the same, like the image above. It's only on the far exterior that we seem to be different. What if when we went to judge someone, we instead imagined their insides at the microscopic level? What if all we did was just go a layer or two underneath the skin? The difference in color would be gone, along with all those differences that caused us to make a judgment to begin with.

Heck, who am I to say we shouldn't judge? I'm not really, because we all do anyway, and at the same time, I'm saying that there is so much that plays into judging, and how long and how deep our judgments. All wars and the world's pain come from judging, and at the same time, so are all the awards and praise.

What remains as judgment is released? I'm thinking love and peace. Marianne Williamson calls it a return to love from which we all came.

What It Comes Down To Is That Love Rules. 

Spread Some Joy Today--by choosing to love people not only in spite of their apparent differences, but because of them!

Tuesday, March 1, 2016

Daily Inspiration 3-1-16

"The naked truth 
is always better 
than the best-dressed lie." 

-- Ann Landers 

I was reading an astounding insight by Eckhart Tolle regarding relationships, which I related to my 42 years of marriage experience. Here's what he said:

"If you both agree that the relationship will be your spiritual practice, so much the better. You can then express your thoughts and feelings to each other as soon as they occur, or as soon as a reaction comes up, so that you do not create a time gap in which an unexpressed or unacknowledged emotion or grievance can fester and grow. Learn to give expression to what you feel without blaming. Learn to listen to your partner in an open, nondefensive way. Give your partner space for expressing himself or herself. Be present."

Getting used to seeing our lover and spouse naked, perhaps even going to the bathroom in our presence is at first uncomfortable perhaps, but becomes easy soon enough. Baring our body is not that hard to do; however, baring our soul, or baring our innermost thoughts and feelings is not. Naked body? No problem. Naked emotions? Big problems.

It takes courage and feeling safe to allow our innermost emotions and thoughts to be exposed to anyone, even--and maybe especially so--our closest companion. I think the way through is called surrender. Eckhart spells this out here:

"In surrender, you no longer need ego defenses and false masks. You become very simple, very real. "That's dangerous," says the ego. "You'll get hurt. You'll become vulnerable." What the ego doesn't know, of course, is that only through the letting go of resistance, through becoming "vulnerable," can you discover your true and essential invulnerability." 

He brings it all together with this quote: "Fulfill me, make me happy, make me feel safe, tell me who I am. The world cannot give you those things, and when you no longer have such expectations, all self-created suffering comes to an end." I might also add that our spouse cannot give these and neither can we. We can only give them to ourselves--or allow that in ourselves.

Expressing our wants, our needs, our inner thoughts and feelings is the deepest sharing that we ever do. All the other stuff is so small and so unsatisfying. To trust in ourselves enough to risk rejection is one of our greatest strengths. Surrender, of course, comes from trust. Without trust there is no surrender.

I think we need to be our truest self to have the most intimate and fulfilling relationship with another human being because we then share that instead of all the ego-laced protections. And, in the process of releasing all judgments, we find a bliss that is rare and beautiful.

For Me, It's Never Too Late To Learn. 

Spread Some Joy Today--by doing something for another today.