Saturday, July 20, 2019

Daily Inspiration 7-20-19

"Deliberately guiding your thoughts
is the key to a joyful life, 
but a desire to feel joy
is the best plan of all. . . 
because in the reaching for joy, 
you find the thoughts that attract 
the wonderful life you desire." 

-- Abraham, Esther Hicks 

[Classic post from 1-31-15]

Success is one of those strange single word topics that has trillions of words written about it, and it is also true that everyone individually defines it for themselves, even if they choose to use someone else's definition as their basis.

One of my favorite books I've ever read in my life is, Love Is Letting Go Of Fear by Gerald G Jampolsky. I've mentioned it many times because it is a very simple, short, concise book for people of any age to use as a common-sense guide for a happier life. In the book, Gerald talks about goals and rather than trying to juggle personal goals, business goals, and all manner of other goals, that it would be more productive and more effective to focus on just one goal that will help all the others to fall in place. He said that was the goal of peace of mind. Peace of mind is way beyond contentment. It is at the highest level of positive emotion.

In the reading of, The Law Of Attraction by Jerry & Esther Hicks, there is something identical, yet using a different word. On page 71, Jerry asks, "What do you see as success? What would you say is the mark of success?" Here is Abraham's answer:

"The achievement of anything that you desire must be considered success, whether it is a trophy, money, relationships, or things. But if you will let your standard of success be your achievement of joy, everything else will fall easily into place. For in the finding of joy, you are finding vibrational alignment with the resources of the Universe.

You cannot feel joy while you are focusing upon something not wanted, or the lack of something wanted; therefore, while you are feeling joy, you will never be in the state of contradicted vibration. And only the contradiction in your own thoughts and vibration can keep you from the things you desire.

. . . By paying attention to [your] Emotional Guidance System, and by reaching for the best-feeling thought that you can find right now from wherever you are, you will allow your broader perspective to help you move in the direction of the things that you truly want."

Peace of mind. Joy. Knowledge. Love. Freedom. Empowerment. Appreciation. All are at the top of the emotional scale, and what better place to aim for than this. The more joy I find in my life, or rather, it is better to put this way: the more joy I allow in my life, the more everything else follows suit.

I Am Practicing Until It Becomes Habitual. Yet The Joy Along The Way Is More Than Enough. 

Spread Some Joy Today--It takes one to know one. It takes joy to spread joy.

Friday, July 19, 2019

Daily Inspiration 7-19-19

"What monstrous absurdities and paradoxes 
have resisted whole batteries of serious arguments, 
and then crumbled swiftly into dust 
before the ringing death-knell of a laugh!" 

-- Agnes Repplier 

[Classic post from 1-30-15]

I'll never forget a short scene from the movie, Arthur, where Dudley Moore who played Arthur, is in the backseat of his limo with a female companion and they're both having a drink, and he all of a sudden bursts out in joyous laughter. The woman asks what that was all about and Arthur says, "Sometimes I just think funny things."

I'm not sure what has changed in me, but I find myself doing the same thing quite often throughout the day. I see something and it fills me with joy and I start laughing. I think it is just a build-up of my practicing my own deliberate creation of what I want throughout the day, and it is getting easier and easier.

Today started out that way. I'm typing on my computer, and all of a sudden my dog Charlie starts barking at me one bark at a time. I look over and he's staring at me. It's just too dang cute, so I laugh. He barks some more. He wants attention, love, petting, touching. I know this and love the fact that he has no problem saying what he wants, so I go over while laughing and give him some love, talking to him.

We go for a walk and across the busy street, there is a little dog yapping at us with his or her nose sticking out of a hole in the fence. It's just too dang cute, so I start laughing and telling that dog that we're coming for a visit. So, we cross the street and let them meet each other.

I'm stopped at the railroad crossing watching this freight train going 50-60 miles per hour go by and we're right at the crossing gate. It is all double-stacked containers on container cars. It must be five miles long. We're there for several minutes as it keeps coming and coming and coming. I'm laughing the whole way through. It was fantastic.

Now, it's true, most people wouldn't think any of this is funny, but it is just my joy leaking out. The washer in my joy faucet is allowing more and larger leaks. I don't have the time nor inclination to fix it. I'm enjoying it too much.

I see an ambulance ahead on the other side of the road coming toward us. I'm thinking, they are just turning on the lights and sirens to get to the lunch place without traffic! There isn't an emergency. They're just bored. So, I start laughing. Then I have a huge thought:

If you think that last elongated recession was big, it would not be a tick on a prize bull if all the people in the world began experiencing Well-Being. Just take a moment to imagine how many industries, businesses, products, services, and more are related directly and indirectly to the lack of Well-Being, commonly called dis-ease. This would be an unmistakable blip on the EKG of the entire history of human-kind. There would also be such a rush toward new businesses, positions, products, industries, and services that focused on more Well-Being. It would be flippin' amazing. So I'm laughing through that whole thought process and getting a rush of my own imagining everyone going around in total bliss!

Whatever has changed in me in the last many months, I eagerly look with excited anticipation of more of this because it is so empowering and feels so good. Laughter is only a symptom of a specific train of thought. I'm loving my thinking of late. If I could bottle it, I'd be a zillionaire (or is that gazillionaire?) If I could wish something for you, it would be some of this!

"When People Are Laughing, They're Generally Not Killing Each Other." -- Alan Alda 

Spread Some Joy Today--and laughter is one of the better ways of spreading it.

Thursday, July 18, 2019

Daily Inspiration 7-18-19

"What is the difference
between wanting and needing? 
How it feels." 

-- Albert K Strong 

[Classic post from 1-26-15]

I have often confused wanting and needing, and I have learned how to tell the difference by how each of them feels and I learned this from the Teachings of Abraham:

"When you want something and are thinking about how wonderful it will be to have it, your current emotion feels good because your current thought is a Vibrational Match to your true desire. But when you want something but are currently thinking about not having it, about the absence or lack of it, your current emotion feels bad because your current thought is a Vibrational mismatch to your true desire."

They continue: "The difference between wanting and needing is not just speaking different words. A pure state of desire or wanting always feels good because you are a Vibrational Match to what is in your own Vibrational Reality. A state of need always feels bad because you are a Vibrational Match to the absence of your desire and are therefore a mismatch to your Vibrational Reality."

Even though this explanation resonates perfectly with me and I understand it well, I don't even really need to understand it if I will pay attention to how I am feeling. Our own internal Emotional Guidance System is simply the best tool I've ever had, where I know that if I am feeling negative emotion that I am off track, and, if I am feeling positive emotion, I can feel that I am on track.

I like to call it being in alignment, or resonating. It makes perfect sense to me.

Any musician should understand resonance. For many years, I used a simple tone generator to tune my guitar. It would generate a tone for the E-string for example and I would turn the tuning machine until the string sound and the tone generator matched. It isn't just something that you hear. It is something that you can feel. The old way was using an A-note tuning fork which vibrated at 440 Hertz, as I tuned the A-string on the guitar, I could feel it as the vibrations were the same. The guitar string resonated with the tuning fork. Even being off the slightest amount makes a difference and is dissonant, not resonating, out of tune. It isn't a matching vibration. Most good tuners now use lights, green in the middle and red lights on either side of the perfect resonance place or the in-tune place.

It is exactly the same inside me. My inner being, inner knowing, higher self, or whatever label you choose, is my tuning fork, or my tone generator. Whatever thought I am thinking will resonate with or not resonate with my inner being. When it resonates, I feel positive emotion, or you could say, I'm in tune with my higher self. When I feel bad or any negative emotion, I am dissonant, out of harmony with myself, not resonating, out of alignment. When I am aligned, I feel good, when I am out of alignment, I do not feel good.

My Tuner Is Built In And I Have Grown Quite Fond Of The Value Of Resonance And Alignment. 

Spread Some Joy Today--You'll know it when you feel it. It resonates very positively.

Wednesday, July 17, 2019

Daily Inspiration 7-17-19

"I'm thankful to
all those who said no. 
It's because of them, 
I did it myself." 

-- Wayne Dyer 

[Classic post from 1-25-15]

Several months ago, I read Wayne Dyer's wonderful book, I Can See Clearly Now, and since it is essentially an autobiography up to the end of 2013, I learned a lot about Wayne Dyer, the person. Since I've followed Wayne since his first book in the seventies, Your Erroneous Zones, I have been not only following along with many (not all) of his books, but I've been growing right along with him. I find that sort of thing very interesting.

In almost every situation he discusses in that book, and there are so many, he found resistance and/or did not like the direction someone else was trying to guide him, and then he made a decision to take charge himself and take the power into his own control. One was his first book which the publisher refused to print more copies of because he was a first-time author and they didn't want to spend any money promoting the book at all. So he took control in some very interesting ways, You'll have to read to book to get that whole story, but he turned it into such a massive success that what he earned that first year was more than all his previous years combined.

I've done some of that myself by creating my own positions at some places that I've worked, building my first website not knowing a dang thing about it, and more. I rarely take no for an answer. In my wallet, I used to carry a quote written on the back of a business card that someone shared with me. It was from George Bernard Shaw, and he stated, "People who say, 'It can't be done,' should not interrupt the people who are doing it."

Sometimes I see people (I've even heard myself say it from time to time) who say that they can't succeed or do their job because they are not getting the support they think they need. Or, they are missing certain materials and such that, though they could be helpful, are not absolutely necessary, and indeed they can always be created by ourselves.

Wayne Dyer invested in himself. When they said no to the book promotions and that they had unsold copies and wouldn't print more, he decided to create his own book store in his garage and dipped into his savings and bought all the remaining copies that the book publisher had, then he ordered more so they had to print more. Then he went out and sold them out of his trunk, went on hundreds of radio shows across the country telling people to go to the local book store where he had many copies on consignment, and much more. He knew what he wanted and he refused to take no for an answer.

But, here's the key and Wayne Dyer didn't speak of it, but effectively lived it: He didn't swim upstream very far with the publisher. He could have just complained and complained and complained, and instead, he knew what he wanted and took charge. In fact, he led the publisher, not the other way around. That is fascinating.

So when someone tells me that they are being held back because of this and that and they won't do this and that, and all that stuff, I just try to guide them to take the initiative themselves to make it happen. It starts in the mind. It starts with desire. It then morphs into inspired action. If the desire is weak, the thoughts are weak and all the action in the world won't bring the desired results. It's like trying to make a positive out of a negative. You have to begin with the positive: I want to succeed at this, I want to do this, I will do this.

I had a thought today (along with a few thousand more) about how one can be locked up in prison for life and be happy. No matter what the circumstances around us, and no matter what others might think about us, we have one power that is completely our own, and that is what we choose to think. We have the choice of looking at life with hope or despair. Viktor Frankl said that this was what made all the difference in whether he and others died in a concentration camp in Germany or whether they lived. It is our frame of mind, our focus, our choice of how we think. It always was and always will be.

I Am Blessed When Someone Says No, Or Says It Can't Be Done. They Have No Real Authority Over Me Anyway. I Choose. I Always Get To Choose. 

Spread Some Joy Today--in accepting your own power to choose your joy.

Tuesday, July 16, 2019

Daily Inspiration 7-16-19

"Wouldn't it be nice if we were older? 
Then we wouldn't have to wait so long. 
And wouldn't it be nice to live together 
in the kind of world where we belong?" 

-- First verse of the song, 
Wouldn't It Be Nice 
by The Beach Boys 

[Classic post from 1-23-15]

I want to buy it, but I can't afford it. I want more money because I'm sick and tired of being broke. I want to find the right person because I'm sick of all these losers I've been dating. I want a better job because this place just doesn't appreciate me."

What is the issue with all these common statements? In sales, we call it selling and then buying it back. We state what we want, then we negate that statement by talking about what we do not want. It's sort of like wanting the solution, but then we continually discuss the problem over and over.

I'm sure we have all said these kinds of statements, or something like them not realizing that we are asking and then giving it back at the same time. Because this is a very common thing, of the 22 Abraham-Hicks processes to help us make use of the information learned in their book, Ask and It Is Given, one is called, Wouldn't It Be Nice... .?

The idea behind the process is to soften the resistance or potential resistance that has become a habit for many of us. When we get rid of resistance, we can then allow and be in the position of receiving the things and situations that we want. We need to focus on the what we want part and avoid completely how it will happen and all the other things that we cannot control. If we focus on what we can control--the thought of what we want--we can get out of our own way and get on with it.

The way they say when to use this process is "when you find yourself leaning toward the negative and therefore offering resistance, and you want to turn it around to something more positive, or when you are already feeling good, and you want to focus more specifically on certain areas of your life to make them even better, or when you want to gently guide a negative, or potentially negative, conversation to a more positive place for your benefit or to gently guide someone else."

"When you say, "I want this thing to happen that hasn't happened yet," you're not only activating the vibration of your desire, but you are also activating a vibration of the absence of your desire--so nothing changes for you. But when you say, "Wouldn't it be nice if this desire would come to me?" you achieve a different sort of expectation that is much less resistant in nature."

I've begun using this a lot in the last few months. There is no doubt that it helps me to stay on the positive side of expectation and I can feel that it softens my resistance. Plus, it is a great way to use our imagination and allow ourselves to think about the possibility of asking for things that we might have previously considered improbable or impossible in our mind. In addition, it is just fun and keeps everything so light.

Abraham offers a few sample questions:

"Wouldn't it be nice if I had a really productive day at work?
Wouldn't it be nice if I stumbled onto something that really worked for me? Wouldn't it be nice if my metabolism began to cooperate with me a little more? Wouldn't it be nice if I could reclaim the bodyweight I had when I was such and such an age? Wouldn't it be nice if I find someone, and we waltz off into the sunset together?"

I think this is a gentle and delicious game to feel better and to lean toward the positive, uncaring how it will come, which is the perfect place for allowing it in.

Wouldn't It Be Nice? 

Spread Some Joy Today--by planning to enjoy yourself before you get there.

Monday, July 15, 2019

Daily Inspiration 7-15-19

"I celebrate myself, 
and sing myself." 

-- Walt Whitman

[Classic post from 1-21-15]

Yesterday I talked about the Book of Positive Aspects and doing a page or two on the Positive Aspects of Me. Did you try it?

Wayne Dyer said, "I cannot always control what goes on outside. But I can always control what goes on inside." The Book of Positive Aspects is such a perfect tool to focus on the things that are positive and good feeling and wonderful, which in the process, draws more of that kind of thing into our lives.

So, I highly recommend that you try it and see for yourself. Take one page and you can write more on the other side, and begin at the top of the page: Positive Aspects of Me! Then, spend a few minutes writing everything that comes into mind that you like about yourself. No one but you will see it, so there are no worries about someone laughing at you or making remarks. It's just you with you.

Here are some thought starters:

What do you love to do?
What are you passionate about?
What excites you?
How do you feel about what you do for a living?
How do you feel about your family?
What do you love about your body?
What are you generous with?
In what ways are you generous?
What is your connection to love?
What brings you joy?
How do you feel about learning?
How do you feel about knowledge?
What do you appreciate?

When it isn't flowing, stop for now and reread your list of positive aspects.

I'm Sure You Will Find That You Are Pretty Dang Special. How Perfect! Because YOU ARE! 

Spread Some Joy Today--Enjoy your day like it was Christmas morning and there are so many presents that it takes hours just to get to them all.

Sunday, July 14, 2019

Daily Inspiration 7-14-19

"You cannot control what happens to you, 
but you can control your attitude 
toward what happens to you, 
and in that, you will be mastering change 
rather than allowing it to master you." 

-- Brian Tracy 

[Classic post from 1-2-15]

The quote above is what I believed for most of my life: that things happen to me that I cannot control and that if I become a wise and learned soul, I will develop an attitude about those things that helps me to adapt to the change and to make the best of it.

I have all manner of books and audio programs from Brian Tracy, Jim Rohn, and a host of business mentors who has taught the same sort of thing. I bought it and even promoted and repeated it in training and such. And, though I am very grateful for what they have taught me, I have become a selective sifter, now taking what really resonates with me and leaving the rest. If it resonates with me, it feels good. If it feels good, it resonates. If it doesn't feel good, it doesn't resonate, and so I let it go. 

I've come to believe that I control what happens to me. It's just that more often than not I've been drawing things to myself without knowing this was true or paying attention. Then, seemingly all of a sudden, this thing that I don't want happening in my life is there and I have to deal with it somehow after the fact. It's easy to believe that things happen to us without our participation, especially things that are not wanted or not pleasant.

Then, once I see it in my life and I cannot escape the reality of it, my taught option was to change my attitude about it and then it would be okay. I do realize that how I look at something or perceive it is important, and it can soften the surprise of things happening to me without my control I suppose. Trouble is, though I tried that for many years, it never really worked for me. I would still feel like a victim, but maybe a less angry victim, or less distraught victim.

I have freed myself from this victim to victor philosophy by completely changing the first line in the quote at the top and thereby changing the entire meaning of the quote.

Since I have come to believe that I create my own environment and I can either do it deliberately or unconsciously, but I surely create it, I have now become a practicing deliberate creator. I want to be in control of and deliberately choose what happens in my life. And so by choice and being in control, I am such, and it feels good.

So, here's the new quote for today: "I control what happens to me because I am the creator of my environment. I cannot control others because I cannot create for them. They must do that for themselves. With my choice of thought and matching vibrational resonance, I am the joyful master of my own life."

Taking Control Of What I Create Is A Perfect And Powerful Choice. 

Spread Some Joy Today--by loving more and fretting less.

Saturday, July 13, 2019

Daily Inspiration 7-13-19

"Your organization will never get better 
unless you are willing to admit 
that there is something wrong with it."

-- Norman Schwarzkopf

"Your organization will never get better 
unless you are willing to focus on 
and constantly expand on what's right about it!"

-- Terry Minion

[Classic post from 12-03-09]

Sorry Norman, I know you mean well and you have far more education than I; however, I have to disagree completely with this quote. Frankly, it is a piece of cake to admit there are things wrong with a company, or a person, or a situation, or life, or the world, or whatever. It takes no brains at all to do that. Line 10 employees up and ask them what is wrong and you will get a serious earful. If they feel free to talk, that is. And if they do, look out! Here comes the judge. . .

What is really needed to move a company forward (or a person, situation, life, the world, or whatever), is focusing on what is right and constantly expanding on that. Who cares what is wrong? Focus on what you do well and expand on that.

I tell you this from long experience: naysayers are a dime a dozen. You can find them anywhere anytime, and any quantity. And, I'll tell you this from experience: they don't do anything to help anything. They are anchors and sinkers and balloon poppers. My best advice is to move quickly away.

Here's a great question to ask all the employees: What are we doing well? Then, some follow-up questions, like, How can we do more of that? How can we expand that? What do you hear our customers say that is good about us? Can we give better service? How? How can we give such great service that our customers will rave about us? How can we lower prices and still provide more value? How can our company be a better participant in the community? How can our company have employees to rave about working here?

What's even better than this is to ask your customers and prospects: What is your experience like with us? What do you like about what we do? What do you think we could add to make it better? For you to tell all your friends about this company, what would we need to be doing to have you that excited about doing business with us?

Focus on successes, not failures. Leave the failures for history to sort out. Get the enthusiasm rolling and the excitement arcing and the fun laughing. Turn it on and watch it glow. It just needs a spark and some insight and ideas. Let's rock it out!


Let's Get Started!

I Focus On What I Am Good At And Get Better.

Spread Some Joy Today--There is almost nothing better than giving someone else some encouragement. Find something to encourage someone else and don't keep it to yourself--TELL THEM--NOW! To their face is okay. . .

Friday, July 12, 2019

Daily Inspiration 7-12-19

A Native American grandfather
was talking to his grandson about how he felt.
He said, "I feel as if I have two wolves fighting in my heart.
One wolf is a vengeful, angry violent one.
The other world is the loving, compassionate one."
The grandson asked him,
"which wolf will win the fight in your heart?"
The grandfather answered,
"The one I feed."

-- From HeartQuotes

[Classic post from 10-5-10]

This little story is so true. We have the power within us all to be angry, vengeful, and violent. We also have the power to be loving, kind and compassionate. We have the power to complain, cajole and harass and we have the power to praise, compliment and encourage. They both always exist within us and the one that we feed will be the dominant one. Which is your dominant path? The glass half empty or half full? Essentially, that is the only difference.

One of the ways in which we feed either side of us is by making judgments and justifications from those judgments. This leads to a negative comment, but it's really a positive comment because it is based in reality and it is justified by judgment. In other words, it's right.

Unfortunately, that is a place from which it is very hard to escape. Once there, the tendency is to remain there and continually search for more and more judgment and justification for which to back up the negative thoughts and comments.

The good news is that by releasing one single thing, it will change everything in your life. Stop judging. Feed the love and stop judging.

I feel the love and I feed the love! Yes, and Amen!

The Less I Judge, The More I Can Love.

Spread Some Joy Today--Make your choice. Perhaps it has been habitual in the past, but it is easy to change. Make your choice.

Thursday, July 11, 2019

Daily Inspiration 7-11-19

"Try not to become a man of success,
but rather a man of value."

-- Albert Einstein

"Friendship is unnecessary,
like philosophy, like art. . .
It has no survival value;
rather it is one of those things
that give value to survival."

-- C. S. Lewis

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

-- Michelangelo

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

-- Albert Einstein

[Classic post from 3-5-10]

Contrary to my previous thinking, to become a person of value by becoming a person in service of others, and a giving person, is not to sacrifice my life for the others, but to enhance and expand my life.

The problem I used to have with this concept was the sacrificing part. I thought if I lived my life for others forsaking my own, what kind of life is that? What changed was the wording of the concept from living my life for others, forsaking my own, to living my life in service to others by being a person of value. Isn't there a whole universe of difference between those two? The first one is not being of value at all. It is more of a pity party or what I have to do. Being of service is not excluding self, but expanding self to have excess to give.

Let's forget about the small values like kindness, friendship, encouragement for the moment. Let's look at some of the rich people who have also become philanthropists. They set up foundations and give an initial amount to begin the fund and that fund is held at interest. As donations come from other people and organizations it grows, then amounts are released in such an amount that the fund continues forever. It becomes a giving machine, giving more value every year to more people. Think about the value of forever versus them giving their entire fortune away in one fell swoop. The value is in the foundation because it also has lasting value for generations to come.

Not long ago, I didn't really understand that. I thought they were just being cheap in their giving and giving a little of their vast fortune. In reality, and in my awakening awareness, they are actually being of far more value than they could otherwise be. They use their fame to gain other donations and other partnerships in the giving field of their interest. They use the money wisely and in a way that is consistent with the thinking that brought them wealth, to begin with.

Now, let us go smaller again. How can we who don't have wealth think in these terms in order to provide more value than we would otherwise? One way is sharing your interests in what you are passionate about. Another is to form alliances and partnerships with other like-minded people toward similar objectives. It doesn't even need to be in terms of money. It could be of time, energy, interest, and much more.

Instead of thinking, "what can one person do?" Instead, think, "what can I do to multiply my efforts toward adding value to this?" Totally different thinking. One is almost an excuse to give up and the other is seeking more power.

Becoming a person of value has just expanded.

I Become More Valuable By Becoming Of Service To More People. I Am A Person Too.

Spread Some Joy Today--What can you do today to be of service to someone else? Now do it. Today.

Wednesday, July 10, 2019

Daily Inspiration 7-10-19

"Can you see the holiness
in those things you take for granted--
a paved road or a washing machine?
If you concentrate on finding
what is 'good' in every situation,
you will discover that your life
will suddenly be filled with gratitude,
a feeling that nurtures the soul."

-- Rabbi Harold Kushner

I've become such a grateful person in the last five years or so and I never stop finding things that I can be grateful for instead of taking them for granted.

Trash day at my house is celebrated. I am incredibly grateful for trash being picked up at my house and they even supply the containers to put it in. What an amazing service. When I get the bill each month that is so stupid cheap for such a wonderful service, I just want to give them a huge tip! What a bargain and what a convenience. Think about what it might be like without that service.

How about the light switch bringing light to a dark room? How about turning the faucet and out comes clean water to drink or cook with? So many simple things that many in this world still do not have available to them. Celebrate them all!

Gratitude is a practice and there is no better place to practice than the commonplace things that we have come to know so well that we no longer think about them unless they are broken. With that practice, who knows what you could be grateful for!

Get Your List Going And You'll See What I Mean.

Spread Some Joy Today--Once you begin with gratitude, you may find that you can choose to be grateful for things that used to drive you crazy. That's a life-changing turn of events.

Tuesday, July 9, 2019

Daily Inspiration 7-9-19

"Quit trying to be a better person.
Love and accept yourself just as you are, 
and you will become better without any effort." 

-- Alan Cohen 

[Classic post from 11-26-16]

I love this quote by Alan Cohen. As I found this quote, I saw another on the subject of grace. And, even though Alan's latest book just published is titled, The Grace Factor - Opening the Door to Infinite Love, I thought I'd share something about grace from writer and theologian, Frederick Buechner:

"Grace is something you can never get but can only be given. There's no way to earn it or deserve it or bring it about any more than you can deserve the taste of raspberries and cream or earn good looks or bring about your own birth." 

"A crucial eccentricity of the Christian faith is, the assertion that people are saved by grace. There's nothing you have to do. There's nothing you have to do. There's nothing you have to do." 

He continues, "The grace of God means something like: "Here is your life. You might never have been, but you are because the party wouldn't have been complete without you. Here is the world. Beautiful and terrible things will happen. Don't be afraid. I am with you. Nothing can ever separate us. It's for you I created the universe. I love you." 

Of course, we get to choose to accept the gift or reject it or ignore it. I dearly love the last part: "Beautiful and terrible things will happen. Don't be afraid. I am with you. Nothing can ever separate us." To accept this grace is to accept unconditional love.

I think when we accept this gift, that is not an exclusively Christian gift, but a gift from the God that is God to all, our path is open to enjoy this life that has been given, for it was given us to enjoy. Beautiful and terrible things may happen, but we get to determine that and choose as we will, and I believe that as we accept this grace and this power, we will most often choose the beautiful.

Enjoy The Grace You Are Given As You Choose, For Grace Is In The Choosing. Paying It Forward Might Be Fun. 

Spread Some Joy Today--by injoying yourself, while enjoying all that is around you.

Monday, July 8, 2019

Daily Inspiration 7-8-19

"Treat those who are good with goodness,
and treat those who are not good with goodness.
Thus goodness is obtained.
Be honest to those who are honest,
and be also honest to those who are not honest.
Thus honesty is attained."

-- Lau Tzu

[Classic post from 12-31-11]

A philosophy such as in this Lau Tzu quote escaped my understanding until recently. I was taught, or learned rather, to respond in kind. And even though I then lose my place and position, it was the fair thing to do--an eye for an eye and all that sort of thing.

Now I realize that in so doing, I've given up the thing that I thought I valued, such as the goodness, or the honesty to fight the evil-doers and liars, only to become as they and ultimately show how little I valued the previously held ideals.

It makes perfect sense to me now that treating all with goodness maintains the value of goodness. It also means that I make the choice by choosing goodness.

How does this apply in real life? I've worked a few jobs where things my boss told me to say or do were against my values, yet because they were my employer, my source of income, my livelihood, I folded and did as was requested or instructed feeling crappy about it, yet doing it nonetheless. I could see how the client was looking at me and thinking about me, but I felt that I had no choice. I mean, it wasn't exactly like breaking the law or anything, it was just not right in my mind--more like a difference of opinion or outlook. Yet, no matter how I tried to justify it or whitewash it, it was still distasteful to me.

Today, I would respond differently and take the risk. This is probably one of the big reasons that I am in business for myself because I can make the decisions and feel good about them and do what I think is right. Now if something doesn't feel right to me, I am in total control of changing it until it does. Thus rightness or integrity is obtained.

"If You Don't Change Direction, You May End Up Where You Are Heading." -- Lao Tzu

Spread Some Joy Today--Love yourself first and foremost.

Sunday, July 7, 2019

Daily Inspiration 7-7-19

"There's nothing like biting off
more than you can chew,
and then chewing anyway."

-- Mark Burnett

"He who would learn to fly one day
must first learn to stand and walk
and run and climb and dance;
one cannot fly into flying."

-- Friedrich Nietzsche

Men may not fully realize it, but women are the original multitaskers!

[Classic post from 10-21-10]

In recent years, and especially since I went into business for myself, I am constantly biting off more than I can chew. I used to complain that I had ten things on my plate and only five would fit and the question was only which five would fall. I don't complain about it anymore--or about almost (not quite perfect yet. . .) anything now. Instead, I am more and more excited about the volume and quality of what I entertain chewing.

It's really become somewhat of a game, and a fun one at that. I do relish the excitement of it all and deal with everything as good as I can and I just don't worry about the rest. Frankly, as soon as I stopped worrying about what I couldn't get around to, all the pressure I was feeling sort of vanished. I thought that was odd at first but delighted in it nonetheless. Since the pressure is gone, and the fun remains, it must be a good thing.

So, I cannot necessarily recommend biting off more than you can chew. That is a personal decision that can only be considered by each of us. However, I can and will tell you that I think it is an awesome way to gain capacity and to expand one's interests and abilities, along with knowledge and confidence. All of those are very positive results in my life.

Indeed, it is by the expansion of my capacity that I grow. Without that, I am bored and tired and lifeless. I love learning and so I am always looking for another learning experience, real and otherwise. As I expand in my capacity, I expand as a person, my business expands with me and it all works together. I am having the time of my life and enjoying every second of it. I care so much less about the eventual outcome as enjoying the exciting journey and I tell you straight up that this is the single most important element I have ever learned.

I used to be so focused on the objective and in such a hurry to get there and it never seemed to come to fruition the way I expected it. Circumstances I didn't expect frustrated me and I was periodically discouraged and worried. Since I have let go of the super-heated need for the eventual outcome, I have let go of all of that negativity. What a blessing that is.

I didn't say that I let go of goals, or dreams or the vision of what I want to accomplish. Instead, I dream those things as if it is already, and I want them, but the difference is that I don't get uptight about it anymore. I've learned that it isn't my job and I am better off not trying to do another's job for them. My job is the dream, and the gratitude for the day and all that has come before, and the full experience of the moment in pursuit of what I want. It almost doesn't matter at all what the outcome is anymore. I've let go of that responsibility. I now do the part I can control and leave the rest of it alone. This leaves me joyful and free.

I highly recommend it.

I'm Chompin' At The Bit For More To Chew On!

Spread Some Joy Today--Shake off all the stress of wanting things to not be the way they are. Focus on the way you want them and you will have no stress and plenty of excess joy to share with everyone you talk to.

Saturday, July 6, 2019

Daily Inspiration 7-6-19

"We don't see things as they are;
we see things as we are."

-- Anais Nin

[Classic post from 11-12-11]

This last installment on the theme of thought versus effort comes down to one short little word: Why. Frederich Nietzsche said, "He who has a big enough why to live for can bear almost any how." Dr. Viktor Frankl backs that up as well in the form of meaning in his book, Man's Search For Meaning.

We had a lady next door who has since moved away who loved to iron. I'm serious. She loved to iron clothes. I never met anyone who actually loved to iron clothes until I met her. To many if not most, ironing is drudgery, hard work, tedious. So it was just a different thought that changed a tedious, hard job into an absolute joy.

Ever notice when you're doing something out of obligation or duty and you seriously don't want to be there or be doing that thing or event, that the day just goes into slow motion and the clock takes forever to move and your body feels like it weighs a lot more than it did yesterday, and well. . . it's work and it's very unpleasant.

Then, something happens that gets your interest. Who knows what it is, but all of a sudden, it's not so bad, then as time goes on, maybe it's even better than this and you begin to enjoy yourself and it changes everything. You just lost a bunch of weight in the last few minutes, your droopy face has spark and light, and the only thing that happened was a thought change. Something changed the thought and the thought you had was controlling how you were feeling. And, it can change in a moment.

When I was working for others, I liked what I did, but more often than I would have liked there was crap I had to deal with that was unpleasant and undesired. I did it because I had to and felt crappy about it the whole time. Now, as my own boss, I have lots of problems to deal with, but they aren't really problems and I don't have a problem dealing with them. In fact, I often seriously enjoy solving them. It's just a change in attitude or thought. Before I had to, didn't want to and now I want to and am glad to solve it. Big difference, but just a difference in thought.

But, you don't have to go into business for yourself to have that change in thought or attitude. Begin where you are with what you have to work with and turn it from work into fun. Begin by finding one thing about what you do today to appreciate, and then, appreciate it, love it, praise it. Next, find another and another and another and pretty soon you'll be loving your job and what you do and everything about it.

In my opinion, the way to change anything toward more positive feelings is to learn to appreciate--sincerely appreciate something, anything, and then continue to repeat that process and you will see miraculous changes. I'm beginning to think that the key to life, in general, is learning to appreciate everything--you, your life, your body, your personality, your family, your boss, the place you live, the neighborhood you live in, the place you go to church, the neighbors, the government, and so much more.

I think I can get to the point that I am just a lover, appreciating everything, including the contrast that allows me to choose appreciation.

Effort Is No Longer Any Kind Of Work. It Is A Natural Extension Of My Thoughts Of Appreciation.

Spread Some Joy Today--There is nothing that is external that will bring you joy. It is 100% an inside job.

Friday, July 5, 2019

Daily Inspiration 7-5-19

"You have your way. I have my way.
As for the right way, the correct way,
and the only way, it does not exist."

-- Friedrich Nietzsche

[Classic post from 12-4-09]

This is the first time I've seen this exact quote; however, I learned this message many years ago. I have stated many times, 'There is no right way or wrong way, there is my way, your way, and their way.' This phrase has helped me immensely over the years to put things into perspective.

Every time someone tries to tell me that there is only one way to do a thing, I remember this phrase. Any time someone uses the word 'should,' I think of it again. The truth is that there is no right or wrong way. Those are purely judgments by the person stating it is right or using the word should. It is their belief (assuming they state it with conviction). Almost all of Europe thought the world was flat at one time, so that is an indication of how beliefs can ebb and flow.

I truly believe that there is no right way or wrong way, but a way. As a result of this, I find that the word 'could' to be much more appropriate in making 'suggestions' to people about things they 'might consider' in case they are looking to change their results. If I state it any other way, it is my ego chiming in.

Don't we all know by now that the only way to convince anyone of anything is to speak in a way that allows them to convince themselves? Any other way will likely be unproductive.

I love suggestions and a bit of time, then I allow it in.

Oh, you too?

I thought it was my way. . .

I Will Listen To Your Way and Their Way, And In The End, I Will Do It My Way.

Spread Some Joy Today--Let other people have their way today. Just coast for one day and let everyone have their way.

Thursday, July 4, 2019

Daily Inspiration 7-4-19

"Applaud us when we run,
console us when we fall,
cheer us when we recover. . ."

-- Edmund Burke

[Classic post from 8-5-17]

Looking at the life I've lived thus far, this quote is exactly how I would teach my children today (which wasn't how I was brought up), except for one small missing ingredient. That ingredient is to love us without condition.

The new version:

Applaud us when we run,
console us when we fall,
cheer us when we recover,
love us without condition.

One Can Never Go Wrong With Praise, Understanding, And Love.

Spread Some Joy Today--Put this into practical application daily!

Wednesday, July 3, 2019

Daily Inspiration 7-3-19

"To have everyone believe as we
is to die of oneness."

-- Albert K. Strong

[Classic post from 7-3-17]

In 2017, the United States government enjoys a Republican-controlled Congress and a Republican Administration. What a glorious time to be a Republican and want to get Republican things done.

Of course, it wasn't so long ago that it was all controlled by Democrats. And, it's always been this way and that way, and more times than not, there would be no one party in control and it was harder to get things done. Or so it seems because that isn't really true. But, that's another story.

I see people lamenting on Facebook and other places that their party is the right party. Of course, when I was much younger, any party was a good party. . .

They make it sound as if they want everyone to agree with them, or give up their beliefs and come believe with them so that they feel they have, more control so that their lives could be better, more fruitful. Can't happen. If it did, there would be endedness. Life as we know and love it would end.

There is a point of view that believes that whatever we believe is what everyone else should believe. We believe that just like mathematics, one answer is right (ours) and all others are wrong, that we are good and they are bad, that we know what is for the best and they will only mess it up if we let them have their way. Those are legitimate points of view to have, but it would never work that way in reality.

Let's just say it did. Let's say that everyone believed as we do. Let's say everyone does what we do, thinks like us, acts like us. What then? Who would we talk to? We wouldn't have anything to say. How would we find new interests? How would we learn?

Moreover, talking about getting things done, who would build the buildings, the bridges, the cell phones, the products so many of us use. In fact, nothing beyond what we already do would get done. What a sparse world that would be.

It is, in fact, the diversity of the world that makes it interesting, that helps us expand into more, to become more and live more, and to even have more clarity about ourselves. Without diversity, or other people believing other things than us life would not be worth living. We would lose the best part of being us--our uniqueness.

Sure, we are all from the same Source, made of the same Energy and molecular structure, yet we are all each unique just like every snowflake is unique though it is all snow.

As we go to celebrate our Independence Day, let us also celebrate our independence as a unique being who shares this quite diverse planet and celebrate that diversity as helping to define who we are as they define themselves.

Celebrate All That Is For We Are A Unique And Yet Interconnected Part Of All That Is. 

Spread Some Joy Today--by finding joy in how others see and experience life, all the while enjoying the fullness of our own.

Tuesday, July 2, 2019

Daily Inspiration 7-2-19

"But what about you?" He asked. 
"Who do you say I am?" 
Simon Peter answered, 
"You are the Christ, 
the Son of the living God." 

-- Matthew 16:15,16, 
The Bible 

[I've often said that I might sing Jingle Bells and celebrate Christmas in July because I think that you can have that or any other holiday in your heart, just as you can be on vacation in your mind and without leaving home. This morning I was thinking about the word, Namaste, and remembered that I had written a Daily Inspiration about that. Then, when I discovered that it was also Christmas Day of 2015, I thought it was completely appropriate to revisit Christmas in July and repost this from 12-25-15. Enjoy!]

Considering it is Christmas Day, it seemed so appropriate to honor the Christ of whom the day is supposed to represent--that of Jesus of Nazareth.

During the height of my 9-year experience at leading and being on the worship team at our church, I wrote a large number of songs that were simple and straightforward and expressed where my head and heart was during that time. I would often put a Bible quote at the top of the written song that stood as very appropriate for the song content. The quote above was used on a song from 2002 titled, I Know That You Are God. The two verses of the very simple lyrics went like this:

I want to know you more, but all I need, I have, in that I know that you are God. I want to see your face, but all I need I have, in that I know that you are God, I know that you are God.

Some people think that God began and stopped inspiring writing with the Bible. How sad that thought is. That would indicate that God no longer exists and only wanted to talk to selected people. How sad that is too. I cannot possibly believe such a thing because I know that God IS life, is living, is constantly inspiring, and speaking in hundreds of tongues throughout the world.

From 25 centuries ago, by special request, Lao-tzu recorded the Tao Te Ching. It is a book of 81 verses that are so short, simple, and full of love and wisdom. Beginning at Verse 1: "I choose to enjoy living the great mystery. The Tao that can be named is not the Tao." And, so it is today. The God that can be named is not God. As it is, we have given hundreds of names to this that cannot be named.

I know that writing is inspired because it resonates with me. And, at the same time, I know that all writing is inspired because it will resonate with someone somewhere. Kevin Hall's delightful book titled, Aspire, is one such book to me. It is the kind of book that I savor like a taste on my tongue that I want to play with and sense with unbridled joy, so I go slow and easy and relish each little bite. 

Here is where I learned what the word, Namaste (Nah-mah-STAY) means. I've heard that word a lot, especially in New Age circles, but I never bothered to check into it. Kevin brought me the definition, or rather definitions, along with a whole chapter of how and why it is an important word. The image above shows the reverential way of expressing the word, typically with the head bowed, and the hands together touching the heart.

In the book, Kevin refers to a time when Albert Einstein learned of the word by watching Mahatma Gandhi greeting people in the streets of India. He said that Einstein wrote to Gandhi and asked what he was saying. Gandhi replied: "Namaste. It means I honor the place in you where the entire universe resides. I honor the place in you of light, love, truth, peace, and wisdom." 

Kevin goes on to say: "Imagine what impact this single word could have on the world if every day you looked each person that you passed in the eye and said, in effect: I salute the Divine within you. I salute what you do best. I salute your natural gifts. I honor your uniqueness and your specialness." 

So, to wrap this up (pun intended) as a Christmas gift to all who may like to receive it, consider greeting all you see today, tomorrow and beyond with the blessing and statement of Namaste: I see in you, God. I see in you, The Christ. I see in you Divine. I see in you Love. I see in you that uniqueness that is you alone. I see in you infinite possibilities. I see in you joy. I see in you, myself, for I cannot acknowledge you and not acknowledge myself. I join with you in choosing to enjoy living the great mystery. I choose to love you because I too am love.

Merry Christmas To All. 

Spread Some Joy Today--by letting go of that rope and relaxing in the mystery.

Monday, July 1, 2019

Daily Inspiration 7-1-19

can do simple things
to make a difference,
and every little bit 
really does count."

-- Stella McCartney

[Classic post from 8-4-17]

This altruistic quote says almost nothing. It's like saying, "I want to make a difference in the world." That means nothing as well. Or we might say, I want to make a ________ difference in the world." As we fill in that blank with words like positive, lasting, meaningful, loving, or any number of others, it is also meaningless. We might think of making a difference as stepping out from the crowd. But what does that mean?

Goals are funny things. We often say we want something, but the definition of what that is might be absent making the goal fuzzy.

Here's what I've learned about making a difference. You cannot help it. You do. Twenty-four, seven, three hundred sixty-five. Simply by being a consciousness, we cannot help but make a difference. Being born we make a difference, dying we make a difference and all in between too--even before being born and after death, we cannot help but make a difference. We make a difference because we are. It is as simple as that.

So, this begs the question of defining what kind of difference one would like to make. But phrases like, 'make a positive difference, a lasting difference, etc., do nothing to define the difference we intend to make.

Who? What? When? Where? How? These simple question starters can help us define what we want in the way of making a difference. Perhaps a better way to say that would be to make a different difference, or more of a difference, a better difference.

Specificity is clarity. Who? What? When? Where? How? These are great questions to help us be as specific as possible and to add clarity to our desire or goal.

Since you are already making a difference all day every day, give yourself the credit you are due for making a difference. Want to make a different difference, a more powerful difference, a more far-reaching difference? Then define as clearly as possible what that means to you.

Making A Difference Is A Done Deal. All The Rest Is Fun And Games! And, Who Doesn't Like Fun And Games? 

Spread Some Joy Today--by defining what joy is to you.