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)

What Measurement to Use?

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.

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

Living Vicarously on our Couch?

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)

Are You Showing Your Age?

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

helen-keller-author-quote-no-one-has-a-right-to-consume-happiness

Tripping Over Joy?

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?

But, I’m Different!

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.

Have You Noticed?

Image result for petty thoughts quotes

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?)

Are You Too Cheap?

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.

Image result for cheapskate

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.