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)
My nephew was depressed about his IQ, so we discussed other measurements that were more important. We finally decided that he had a head start on life since becoming “as a little child” was the “kingdom of heaven” criteria.
“Let the little children come to me.”
I am so at home with people who measure others by kindness versus status, looks, intelligence, or money.
Remembering that topsy-turvy economy keeps me sane…especially when the distribution of those other commodities seems a bit lopsided.
A smile is an opening
For the right words
But also for the right thoughts
Which create the capacity
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:
- Smile at the future
- Forgive yourself
- Be gentle with others
- Relax into now
- Open your arms to give and receive
- See the gifts
- Feel the joy
Steps for shrinking our capacity:
- Feel cheated
- Mourn the loss
- Resist reality
- Hold grudges
- Worry about not having enough
- Be selfish
- Keep talking trash about ourselves, others, and the world
The sense of danger must not disappear:
The way is certainly both short and steep.
However gradual It looks from here;
Look if you like, but you will have to leap.
This stanza from W.H. Auden’s poem is certainly about risky love, but the sentiment can be applied to a multitude of decisions in our lives that will take us off the beaten path, away from the mundane, and into a more adventurous, fulfilling life.
Unfortunately, there are no shortcuts to becoming that person we admire.
We can’t kid ourselves forever. Living vicariously on our couch through media, books, sports, fantasy or our children will never be enough.
Today, I wish that courage to leap for you and for me.
(originally posted in October 2015)
The best ways to enjoy Halloween:
- Delight children by noticing them (so many feel unseen and lost).
- Be silly (the child inside us wants out).
- Give treats (generosity makes everyone more attractive).
- Dress up (wake up your imagination).
- Enjoy the moon and the crisp air (it’s October!).
Every time we complain about something we can’t change or whine about something we refuse to take responsibility for changing, we show our age…our emotional age.
I don’t know about you, but I spent far too much of my short life playing the victim or listening to others play the victim. I’m ready now to woman-up.
I’ll take responsibility for…
- my blind spots and misconceptions
- being a contributor to the pain in the world
- being the person I want others to be
- leaving things better than I found them
- leaving people better than I found them
- accepting the imperfection that is simply part of being human
The following poem is a good start…
Tripping over Joy
The spiritual path is a sublime chess game with god
The Beloved has just made such a Fantastic Move
That the saint is now continually tripping over joy and bursting out in laughter and saying, “I surrender!”
Whereas, my dear, I am afraid you still think you have a thousand serious moves.
I have found this brand of surrender to be my first step into sanity upon many occasions.
Of course, that is, after I spent ions painfully plotting with perspiration over the board.
How about you? Are those furrows on your brow?
Don’t argue with me about how simplistic or sentimental this is.
Argue with your heroes.
Argue with Mandela, Lincoln, Jesus, Maya Angelou, Helen Keller, Elon Musk, or whomever.
Argue with the peacemakers and the rain makers, with the overcomers whose voices echo down through the harrowing and hallowed halls of pain, endurance, disappointment, and impossibility.
Argue with them about how your situation is different.
Good manners are made up of petty sacrifices, petty sacrifices such as…taking time to consider that:
a stranger’s discomfort is as important as our own discomfort
a co-worker’s success is as valuable as our own success
a family member’s inconvenience is as irritating as our own inconvenience
or, very specifically, what it really means to love our neighbor as ourselves
When coming face to face with my selfishness or petty thoughts of self-importance, I often feel disheartened that I have learned so little about being a good person. But, the other day, when my ego surfaced, I thought: “Well, at least I noticed!”
(Before, I wasn’t even aware that the thoughts were the essence of bad manners. So, that’s a little progress, right?)
So, two friends were having lunch at a nice hotel, beside the pool. Toward the end of the meal, they both began to get nervous about who would pick up the tab, until one fellow said to the other, “Let’s both jump into the pool and whoever comes up first will pay.”
Agreeing to the plan, they jumped in…and both drowned.
That would be a sign we are taking frugality too far.
If we are constantly worried about getting stuck with a tab, who owes who what, or about getting free things from work, family, and friends, we are in danger of missing the most important ingredient of happiness–generosity.
I wish I had learned this earlier and not wasted (on money) the energy I needed for what mattered infinitely more.