Why This Is Not a Joke

When resources are sparse and our circumstances are bleak, this poster feels like a cruel joke.

Yet, when we dismiss our cynicism, we’ll experience why visualizing unlimited abundance is worth the effort:

1) Dreaming puts a smile on our face. (Ask your friends, family, and coworkers which they prefer, the smile or the grimace?)
2) Visualization is scientifically proven to change our body chemistry, disarming harmful toxins that feed dis-ease. (Ask your body what it wants, angst or relaxation?)
3) Relaxing into hope stamps out doubt, worry, and anger. (Ask your past which worked better, despair or faith?)
4) Stopping long enough to recalibrate gives us the energy to take positive steps forward. (Ask anyone which works better, giving up or gearing up?)

(Original post 2013)

Ban Excuses!

Whatever happens, take responsibility…instead of blaming, shaming or making excuses for ourselves and others.

Even if wronged, ask…

  • How do I move forward productively?
  • How do I keep from doing the same to others?
  • Have I ever done the same to others? (Be humble enough to entertain the possibility, keeping in mind that it is easy to forget how we hurt others but difficult to forget how others have hurt us.)
  • Besides my own perspective, what are others’ viewpoints?
  • What can I learn from this experience?
  • How can I avoid wasting my energy on blame and shame?
  • What narrative will I choose about this experience? The narrative of a victim or the narrative of an overcomer?

The Misguided Quest to Save Time

I made a promise to myself years ago to reflect, pray, and meditate daily before I started my task list. Sometimes I cheat. Like today. I decided to get started on my list and paint my toenails before I sat down on the floor to center myself. Oops. There is now a permanent royal blue stain on the carpet to remind me to keep my commitments and do things in order.

So often, I think I am too busy to put first things first until I waste my time doing it my own way. This mistake was minor. Some mistakes permanently damage others and take a whole lot longer to repair.

The following Bruce Lee quote reinforces that nothing is as important as the time we use for personal growth.

One of the Most Useful Things I Have Ever Learned to Say

“What could I have done differently?”

The first time I used this phrase was in a case where I felt my partner had not listened to me. When I asked, “Can we talk about what just happened? What could I have done differently to have gotten your full attention?” he relaxed, said he was sorry, and gave me a suggestion that I still use…with unprecedented success!

The phrase removes accusatory language and doesn’t put people on the defensive, thus increasing our chances of staying in dialog and experiencing the thrill of cooperation.

I wish it were not the case, but most of us have multiple opportunities to work through relationship dysfunctions. This phrase is a useful tool.

(Dr. Dean C. Delis has a similar discussion about “No-Fault Communication” in his book, The Passion Paradox.)

Am I Missing Something?

A smile is an opening

For the right words

But also for the right thoughts

Which create the capacity

For receiving 

What we could not receive before

“Everything comes to us that belongs to us if we create the capacity to receive it.” -Tagore

Create the capacity. Enjoy what you have been given. Get ready for amazement.

Steps for creating capacity:

  1. Smile at the future
  2. Forgive yourself
  3. Be gentle with others
  4. Relax into now
  5. Open your arms to give and receive
  6. See the gifts
  7. Feel the joy

Steps for shrinking our capacity:

  1. Feel cheated
  2. Mourn the loss
  3. Resist reality
  4. Hold grudges
  5. Worry about not having enough
  6. Be selfish
  7. Keep talking trash about ourselves, others, and the world

Setting an Intention to Win instead of a Resolution

At the beginning of 2018, I decided I was sick and tired of hearing myself complain about my weight (which I had been doing for many years). I made a plan: try Weight Watchers or hypnosis. I had tried everything else. Counting calories since I was 18 years old, I thought I knew everything about weight loss.

I reluctantly enrolled in a WW program that would pay me back if I lost 10 lbs. in two months. That was not a resolution, it was a challenge. And, I wanted to win it.

To my surprise, it was fun and rewarding. I didn’t have to starve myself. I learned new tricks and new habits, got my money back, and started 2019 at my lowest weight since High School! Who knew I loved winning more than I loved wine?

It’s Rigged!

“Live life as if everything is rigged in your favor.” – Rumi

This is almost comical for those of us who have had difficult lives. As some of you, I spent lots of time complaining about life being rigged against me or in someone else’s favor.

It sure seemed as if it were!

But, now I believe I was totally wrong.

Since I quit talking that way (to myself and others) and started affirming the Universe’s benevolence toward me, here are some changes I have noticed:

I have more…

  • joy
  • courage
  • synchronicity
  • amazing people in my life
  • much better results
  • dream fulfillment!

And less…

  • frustration
  • disappointment
  • fear
  • resentment
  • anger
  • jealousy

In short, the most significant revelation of my life has been that life has always been rigged in my favor.

People We Love to Be Around

I’ve always known that I attract people when I smile, but after all these years, I’m just getting the hang of how to shine “like the whole universe is mine” on the days when I am feeling quite the opposite.

Tony Robbins has helped me “shine through the difficult times” with his strategy of:

  1. Recalling a time when I felt super successful or excited
  2. Feeling it again as if it were right now
  3. Keeping that physiology of success (superman pose, shoulders back, head up, shout of triumph, etc.) going all day

When I do, I feel like the whole universe is mine and, consequently, become the kind of person I love to be around.

It May Be an Angel

On the days when I am broke or sick

When people are not responding

Or technology is trouble

When I misplace or forget my phone

Or say the wrong thing and mess up an opportunity

Or when my body (or my car) refuses to be reliable

When I can’t find my keys or traffic is brutal

Or the weather (or a relative) won’t cooperate

It is on those days I am forced to let go

Of the illusion of my control

And give honor to the Angel standing in my way

Slowing me down for my own good.