When There Is Nothing to Do

Even the busiest among us will run into boredom in certain seasons of our life.

So, at times when things are slow, when no one is calling, or when feeling useless I can prepare.

Instead of being bored or disappointed with myself for wasting time, I could…

  1. Send notes of acknowledgement or thanks to people I haven’t seen in a while
  2. Reach out to other people who are lonely and also have nothing to do
  3. Text, voice mail, or email family members, coworkers, and friends to tell them why I appreciate them

(If we all made a vow to do this when we were bored, we would radically reduce global boring.)

And, being oneself is primarily an acknowledgement that we are here, right now, for a reason.

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)

How I Justified Exaggeration

When telling a story…

  1. It wouldn’t sound interesting enough if I didn’t exaggerate just a little
  2. Otherwise my story wouldn’t get the cred it deserved

When I was a kid…

  1. I didn’t want to get in trouble
  2. I didn’t know how to get attention

When I was hurting…

  1. No one seemed to understand
  2. I didn’t know how to communicate my pain

Finally learning to accept myself with all my flaws, brought…

  • freedom to tell nothing but the truth
  • healthy detachment from how others responded to me
  • new, unaffected ways to describe inner pain, boundaries, and needs

It is also the rule of…

  • relationships that thrive
  • good nights’ sleep
  • uncomplicated lives
  • the best definition of success (even if telling the whole truth gets us in trouble, at least we will have a clear conscience)

Searching for a Heart of Gold?

Searching for a heart of gold is a worthy quest, and not just for Neil Young. Neil Young might have been singing about a romantic connection, but we are all searching for hearts of gold in people we meet. It is like a quest for home.

A heart of gold is about honesty and authenticity. It is about loyalty and honor and about refusing to become small or vindictive in our words or actions.

And people with hearts of gold are not doormats, they are strong people who refuse to stoop to hatred.

To show respect to all people, even those who have disrespected us or treated others disrespectfully, is sometimes torture and often counter-intuitive. Yet, the reward of having that caliber of character is worth the exertion.

Wasted or Not?

The Next Person You Meet in Heaven by Mitch Albom may seem a bit corny, yet, these are my reasons it was worth reading:

I always need to be reminded that…

  • I am not alone; we are all connected in ways we are unaware
  • I am much more than my mistakes and, they will work out for good in the big picture
  • My life counts more than I think
  • I am not an inconsequential loser or a nobody

Mitch Albom said he was inspired to write these books by an uncle who thought his life had been a waste. I wish I could thank that uncle.

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

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.

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)

Focus Equals Inner State…Always

I put clean dishes away in a warm kitchen

As I sip my tea to the purr of Leonard Cohen

Whatever else may happen to me along the way

I have just now, most assuredly, visited heaven

 

Had I focused instead on that funky pain in my pounding right ear

Or what my clueless family member should not have done

I would have plodded blindly through my tasks

Oblivious to its gift; this purest form of fun

 

I may be tossed mercilessly about and into labyrinths or holes today

Unbalanced or badly broken by life’s unexpected pitch or sway

But even there, in the darkness, focused on the simplest moments and simplest gifts

I can remember that heaven is, and is never so very far away