From Horace to Dr. Oz, numerous medical and psychological studies have proven that a daily practice of quieting the mind and transcending day-to-day survival adds years (worth living) to our lives.
So, why do most of us try to live our lives without it?
- It’s much easier to focus on what is in front of us?
- What we do seems more important than what we are?
- We believe we are the general manager of the universe?
- We have forgotten the unfathomable mystery of our existence and how utterly dependent we are on the force behind that mystery?
The only way out of fear, confusion, anger, negativity, disappointment, exhaustion, and pain…is in.
Don’t wait until it’s over to discover there was no shortcut.
Resist the urge.
Resist the urge to spout blame, shame, accusations, and comparisons.
To do so is as common as oxygen but as toxic as cyanide.
Trying to balance the scale by bringing others down is often driven by guilt and always steals your gravitas.
Noble people know their own value and do not have to defend it.
It’s a magic vaccination; when I give the benefit of a doubt, when I refrain from accusations, when I invest my emotions in showing mercy instead of in judging others, gradually (and suddenly) the sting of criticism loses its power. I am able to say, “It’s okay. Forgive them for not understanding” to my own amazement!
How it works is a mystery
(But it just does)
Kindness somehow crawls into my soul
As malignancy had done before
But now it is love that calls the shots
And keeps the score
Let my mind
Immune system prepare for sweet relief
Of a quality it could never know before
(Original post October 2014)
Recently, I went out of my way to get dinner for a distressed elderly couple. When I checked on them later, they acted miffed, saying the food was overcooked and inedible.
Boy was I deflated! My attempts had made things worse instead of better.
Later, when I couldn’t shake my discouragement over the incident, I realized how much I tend to base my self-worth upon the wrong things.
It hurts to feel undervalued, rejected, invisible, misunderstood, or slighted. It will hurt much less if I validate myself by doing what my conscience tells me to do without expecting or needing that validation from someone else.
My pain didn’t subside until I changed my focus from what I do to who I am.
When we are overtaken by inexplicable tragedy, radical change, or unexpected news, life shrinks to only that which is serious and imperative.
The only way to avoid total disillusionment and complete debilitation is to be wide-awake to the serious and imperative before we are forced there by circumstances.
How to do that without sinking into depression and joyless living is the secret.
This has worked for me:
- Priority time to center before I hand my life over to the day.
- Ongoing acceptance of my own fragility and the precarious nature of survival.
- Constant “neighbor identification” with those who suffer in war, natural disasters, loss, and disease.
- Gratitude for every life-breath to combat entitlement.
- Intentional rejection of the superficial as true sustenance.
Photo Courtesy of ABCNews-Go.com
I didn’t go to a public library until I was in high school and read only a few books before graduating. Now, I am (thankfully) making up for lost time, but only realized recently how much I owed to comic books.
They were the door, not only to my entertainment as a lonely child, but to my curiosity, imagination, love of words, and creative inclinations.
Who can say what impact our talents have on others? Thank you, Stan Lee, for using your gifts…and for the reminder to value my own (even when they seem insignificant).
Are you hoping your audience will jump on the bashing band-wagon, or, are you hoping they will help you balance your turbulent thoughts and emotions?
Do you ultimately want the object of your gossip to be held in high regard, or, do you want the object of your gossip to fall in the “public opinion polls?”
Gossip is often a desperate attempt to feel good about ourselves.
Venting is often a necessary attempt to feel good about someone or something else.
Classy motives? Classy words.
Cheap motives? Cheap words.
(Originally posted Dec. 14, 2013)
- Fully notice. Genuinely appreciate. Sincerely compliment.
Ego-less authenticity is so sexy! And…
Most people are so tied up with how others are seeing them that they are unable to be present enough for someone else.
When I meet someone focused outside of their own ego in this manner, I cannot forget them. (For proof of this, guys, watch: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_KitywWcaEI&t=314s
2. Be generous…with your time and your resources.
Don’t worry about what you will get in return. Don’t be picky about who deserves what, either.
Especially, since none of us would be here if we had not received so much from others.
3. Then, be confident.
Be you, without apology. Your authentic and generous presence has always been enough.
No one wants to hear us whimper about it.
Breathe in strength
Breathe out resolve
Smile at the future
And get back to work