Finally Found It

Words-to-live-by1I am responsible for the growth
and maintenance of mindfulness in my own life.
Each day is an opportunity for me to
discover deeper truths about myself.
Every moment is an invitation for me
to grant others the space they need to be themselves.
Within me exists a world of awe and splendor,
and every morning is a reminder of
my innate obligation to participate in my own majesty.
This life is my inheritance as a human being
and I will claim it by living as fully as I possibly can
through mindful and compassionate participation.
May any reward I receive be recycled
through my service to others.

A simple statement; a prayer sent into the universe at the start of the day. I am grateful to be alive and humbly thankful to be the happiest I have ever been.

Every journey has its own traveler. Every dream has its own dreamer. We are all belonged to a specific journey and dream. Some people are currently looking for it, some people are just figuring it out, some people are still lost, and to some they have finally found it. Happy Positivity

Points One through Five

402f7d9f0b7641d517b28962e3218719An insightful and kind friend I used work with and reconnected with through Facebook posted an article today titled ” 30 Things to Stop Doing to Yourself…”. Great stuff! Here’s the first five:

#1. Stop spending time with the wrong people. – Life is too short to spend time with people who suck the happiness out of you. If someone wants you in their life, they’ll make room for you. You shouldn’t have to fight for a spot. Never, ever insist yourself to someone who continuously overlooks your worth. And remember, it’s not the people that stand by your side when you’re at your best, but the ones who stand beside you when you’re at your worst that are your true friends.

#2. Stop running from your problems. – Face them head on. No, it won’t be easy. There is no person in the world capable of flawlessly handling every punch thrown at them. We aren’t supposed to be able to instantly solve problems. That’s not how we’re made. In fact, we’re made to get upset, sad, hurt, stumble and fall. Because that’s the whole purpose of living – to face problems, learn, adapt, and solve them over the course of time. This is what ultimately molds us into the person we become.

#3. Stop lying to yourself. – You can lie to anyone else in the world, but you can’t lie to yourself. Our lives improve only when we take chances, and the first and most difficult chance we can take is to be honest with ourselves.

#4. Stop putting your own needs on the back burner. – The most painful thing is losing yourself in the process of loving someone too much, and forgetting that you are special too. Yes, help others; but help yourself too. If there was ever a moment to follow your passion and do something that matters to you, that moment is now.

#5. Stop trying to be someone you’re not. – One of the greatest challenges in life is being yourself in a world that’s trying to make you like everyone else. Someone will always be prettier, someone will always be smarter, someone will always be younger, but they will never be you. Don’t change so people will like you. Be yourself and the right people will love the real you.

Thanks Julie! What you posted was exactly what I needed today. I’m grateful.

No friendship can cross the path of our destiny
without leaving some mark on it forever.
Francois Muriac

How You Choose To Live It

wayfaring-infoLife can be long or short,
it all depends on how you choose to live it.
It’s like forever; always changing.
For any of us our forever could end in an hour,
or a hundred years from now.
You can never know for sure,
so you’d better make every second count.
What you have to decide is how you want your life to be.
If your forever was ending tomorrow,
is this how you’d want to have spent it?
From “The Truth About Forever” by Sarah Dessen

The Hard Things


You Have To Do The Hard Things

  • You have to make the call you’re afraid to make.
  • You have to get up earlier than you want to get up.
  • You have to give more than get in return right away.
  • You have to care more about others than they care about you.
  • You have to fight when you are already injured, bloody, and sore.
  • You have feel unsure and insecure when playing if safe seems smarter.
  • You have to lead when no one else is following you yet.
  • You have to invest in yourself even though no one else is.
  • You have to look like a fool while you’re looking for answers you don’t have.
  • You have to grind out the details when it’s easier to shrug them off.
  • You have to deliver results when making excuses is an option.
  • You have to search for your own explanations even when you’re told to accept the “facts”.
  • You have to make mistakes and look like an idiot.
  • You have try and fail and try again.
  • You have to run faster even though you’re out of breath.
  • You have to be kind to people who have been cruel to you.
  • You have to meet deadlines that are unreasonable and deliver results that are unparalleled.
  • You have to be accountable for your actions even when things go wrong.
  • You have to keep moving towards where you want to be no matter what’s in front of you.
  • You have to do the hard things.
  • The things that no one else is doing. The things that scare you. The things that make you wonder how much longer you can hold on.
  • Those are the things that define you. Those are the things that make the difference between living a life of mediocrity or outrageous success.
  • The hard things are the easiest things to avoid.  To excuse away. To pretend like they don’t apply to you.
  • The simple truth about how ordinary people accomplish outrageous feats of success is that they do the hard things that smarter, wealthier, more qualified people don’t have the courage — or desperation — to do.

Do the hard things. You might be surprised at how amazing you really are.

It won’t be long before it will have been seven years since I truly turned to face the issues from my childhood. Denial and forcing those old hurts and traumas did not cure them. Instead trying to hide them served only to make them fester. While lost in my dysfunction damaged myself and others. Facing and starting to do the “Hard Things” was both highly difficult and life-changing. I am grateful for the process and more so to be where I am today…. happy!

A man of character finds
a special attractiveness in difficulty,
since it is only by coming to grips
with difficulty that he can
realize his potentialities.
Charles de Gaulle

Am I Too Nice?


Although I grew up in a family where the opposite was usually true it’s my intention to always be a gentleman, especially to women. However, I have begun to think I am just too “nice”. Andrew Moore wrote an on-line article on that seems to confirm my self-view.

We’re taught from a very early age that being nice is a virtue. From the time we were infants, our parents told us to “be nice.” They taught us to be polite and to share, and to be considerate and kind. For the most part, it’s good advice.

In a relationship, as in life, it’s possible to be too considerate, too helpful and too selfless. There are signs you’re too nice, and we can help you recognize them. Whether you’re pursuing a woman or you’ve already got one, when you’re too nice it can prevent you from having the relationship you really want. Women appreciate a gentleman, but they don’t respect pushovers. So which one are you? Review our signs you’re too nice and find out for yourself.

1- You’re too respectful: In most social situations, good manners and respect for other people will get you pretty far. The woman in your life, in particular, deserves respect; however, while every woman appreciates a gentleman, there are certain arenas in which you can be too respectful. Being too respectful between the sheets is one of the signs you’re too nice. In the bedroom, women appreciate spontaneity, assertiveness and a sense of adventure. Your girlfriend or wife doesn’t want you to be delicate or tentative in the bedroom. She wants passion.

2- You’re too interested: If you’re unfailingly interested by every little thing your wife or girlfriend does, it’s another sign you’re too nice. Yes, you want to take an interest in her career, her family and her hobbies, but it’s a bad sign if you’re more interested in her life than you are in your own. Not only will she eventually get tired of you sticking your nose in her business, but your excessive interest in her will ultimately make you boring.

3– You’re too complimentary: Every woman loves to be complimented, but every woman also wants your compliments to be genuine. Once you start telling her how beautiful she is six times a day, the words lose all meaning. There are times when your wife or girlfriend is going to look like a showstopper. She doesn’t want to hear how beautiful her eyes are when they’re actually glassy and bloodshot. Give her compliments consistently, but sparingly; that way they’ll be more meaningful.

4- You’re too understanding: It’s unfashionable these days to be too judgmental; tolerance and acceptance are the cardinal virtues of the modern era. That’s great, but one can be too understanding and that’s another one of the signs you’re too nice. It’s a fact of life: Some people suck, and even good people do bad things from time to time. Trying to “understand” another person’s point of view as he or she walks all over you isn’t tolerant; it’s spineless. Sometimes you have to stand up for yourself.

5- You’re too cheerful: The last of our signs you’re too nice has to do with your mood. If you’re smiling and cheery all the time, you’re too nice. Everyone gets pissed off once in a while. Getting angry or upset at appropriate times isn’t a sign of instability; it’s a sign you’re a man.

Well. let’s see. My score of being too “nice” is three and a half out of five. Hmmm… too high. I am grateful that I am open to accepting it and realize this is just one of a myriad of ways I can yet evolve and mature. No, I won’t turn into an assH@le. I’ll grow toward “being just right”.

Being a Nice Guy, doesn’t mean you are a push over.
It also doesn’t mean you are easy to manipulate
or take advantage of. No, being a Nice Guy
simply means you care…
And despite living in the shadow of the bad guys
and paying for mistakes you didn’t make,
you hold on sometimes more than you should,
but when you can no longer, you move on
because it’s the right thing to do.
Eugene Nathaniel Butler

Behind a Farting Camel


Hafez or Hafiz was a Persian poet who lived in the 1300′s. His work has been influential since that time even though little is actually known today about him and his life. His work made deep impressions on writers such as Thoreau, Goethe and Emerson with the latter referring to him as “a poet’s poet. Hafez has been a favorite since I became aware of his writing during my young “hippie days” (or was that “hippie daze”?)

In this piece, Hafez writes about depression and seemed knowledgeable about the subject hundreds of years before Jung and Freud. There are a few days per month I have to deal with “cycling depression” that brings a sort of dimness and lethargy into my life. Writing like the piece below from Hafez helps me understand I am far from alone. Many today suffer as I do and many did a hundred generations before me did too.

I know the voice of depression
Still calls to you.
I know those habits that can ruin your life
Still send their invitations.
But you are with the Friend now
And look so much stronger.
You can stay that way
And even bloom!
Learn to recognize the counterfeit coins
That may buy you just a moment of pleasure,
But then drag you for days
Like a broken man
Behind a farting camel…
O keep squeezing drops of the Sun
From your prayers and work and music
And from your companions’ beautiful laughter
And from the most insignificant movements
Of your own holy body.
Now, sweet one,
Be wise.
Cast all your votes for dancing!

In recent years the days of my depression usually pass like wind through a tree when limbs are moved by the passing but no damage is not done. Through counseling, support of peers and those who care about me, and reaching a level of understanding that “depression” is a ‘normal’ malady, I am much healthier today than ever before. Some deal with migraines; some throw their back out; I cope with depression. And I do it quite well these days and am grateful for all the love, support and insight that makes that possible.

If depression is creeping up and must be faced,
learn something about the nature of the beast:
You may escape without a mauling.
Dr. R. W. Shepherd

Originally Posted on June 6, 2012

The Untethered Soul

Holding onto thoughts instead of thinking them and letting go…
Recalling things that happened in the past and stewing about them…
Trying to control emotions by holding on or pushing them away…
Attempting to rewrite the past by obsessing on what might have happened…

Currently I am reading a best seller titled “The Untethered Soul” by Michael A. Singer a good friend gave me. It points directly at some of the reasons I have suffered from my heart and mind by trying to redirect and rewrite life to my liking. Here’ are a few passages from the book:

How would you feel if someone outside really started talking to you the way your inner voice does?

Creating thoughts, holding onto thoughts, recalling thoughts, generating emotions, controlling emotions, and disciplining powerful inner drives, all requite tremendous expenditure of energy.

If you look at the times in your life when you were in love or excited and inspired by something, you were so filled with energy that you didn’t even want to eat.

Have you ever noticed that when you are mentally or emotionally drained, food doesn’t help that much? Conversely, if you look at the times in your life when you were in love, or excited and inspired by something, you were filled with energy that you didn’t even want to eat.

The only reason you don’t feel this energy all the time is because you block it. You block it by closing your heart, by closing your mind, and by pulling yourself into a restrictive space inside. When you close your heart or close your mind, you hide in the darkness within you. There is not light. There is not energy. There is nothing flowing.

We are programmed to open or close based upon our past experiences. Impressions from the past are still inside of us, and they get stimulated by different events. If they were negative impressions, we tend to close. If they were positive impressions, we tend to open.

But closing your heart does not really protect you from anything; it just cuts you off from your source of energy. In the end, it only serves to block you inside.

Do not let anything be important enough that you’re willing to close your heart over it.

There is no possible way I can completely stop grabbing and hanging onto my thoughts. The past is bound to surface and hurt a little or a lot. The future will never stop being something to worry about at least a little. I will always be a re-writer of the past to some extent. However, awareness of the unhealthiness of these practices can help me not get tied up in emotional restraints of my own making.

It’s an unexacting practice being human. Anything new usually seems difficult to near impossible as first. Letting things pass that are not healthy has always been a challenge. However, a little at a time, day by day, things have improved because I began years ago to practice what “The Untethered Soul” points out so clearly: “To attain true inner freedom , you must be able to objectively watch your problems instead of being lost in them. No solution can possibly exist while you’re lost in the energy of a problem”.

I am grateful for my progress and the reminder Michael Singer’s book is to live life with intention.

Pretending something did not happen
that really did happen…
Blaming others and not taking
rightful share of responsibility…
Are just two of the surest ways
to a tormented and tumultuous life.
James Browning

When You Look Back

C_-S_-Lewis-Desk-and-StudyThis morning browsing for a quotes something C.S. Lewis wrote came into my view: When I was ten, I read fairy tales in secret and would have been ashamed if I had been found doing so. Now that I am fifty, I read them openly. When I became a man I put away childish things, including the fear of childishness and the desire to be very grown up. Those words started me thinking how absurd a good bit of what society defines adulthood is.

Long ago I grew tired of being young although our society holds youth as it’s holy grail. The 20s and 30s were exhausting as I tried to fit in, succeed and act like I knew what I was doing when I really didn’t. Somewhere in it all, I started to become ‘me’. In some ways mature for my years and in others quite childish for my age. That was the start of becoming a man. Lesson: Don’t be in too big a rush to lose everything behind related to childhood. Innocence is often a clear scope for looking at things accurately.

To be concerned about being grown up, to admire the grown up because it is grown up, to blush at the suspicion of being childish; these things are the marks of childhood and adolescence. And in childhood and adolescence they are, in moderation, healthy symptoms. Young things ought to want to grow. But to carry on into middle life or even into early manhood this concern about being adult is a mark of really arrested development. C.S. Lewis

The changes from twenty-one to thirty years of age exceed all my combined changes of all other years. What level of maturity I did  attain came mostly from painful experience and no other place. Lesson: The only real ‘truth’ anyone can ever know for certain comes from their own experiences, especially the painful ones.

Pain insists upon being attended to. God whispers to us in our pleasures, speaks in our consciences, but shouts in our pains. It is his megaphone to rouse a deaf world. C.S. Lewis

Most of my life I have been afraid of love; fearful of being hurt. What life taught is love always bring suffering to balance its joy. Without that certainty, the love I have come to know would have far less meaning. Lesson: The greatest and deepest love will in time bring the greatest pain. To fear the latter is to deny one’s self the former.

To love at all is to be vulnerable. Love anything and your heart will be wrung and possibly broken. If you want to make sure of keeping it intact you must give it to no one, not even an animal. Wrap it carefully round with hobbies and little luxuries; avoid all entanglements. Lock it up safe in the casket or coffin of your selfishness. But in that casket, safe, dark, motionless, airless, it will change. It will not be broken; it will become unbreakable, impenetrable, irredeemable. To love is to be vulnerable. C.S. Lewis

My heart and mind are buzzing now with the lines of thinking C.S. Lewis put me on today. I was only ten years old when he passed away, but his legacy lives on for me as a favored writer, teacher and adviser. I owe a debt of gratitude to C.S. Lewis’ best friend, JRR Tolkien, for introducing me to Lewis in an article I read about the two men when I was at a young, impressionable age. Within the fantasies they spun I found wisdom I will always be grateful for.

Isn’t it funny how day by day nothing changes,
but when you look back, everything is different…
C.S. Lewis

A Baker’s Dozen


Here’s my list of thirteen thoughts to start another wondrous day filled with adventure, intrigue, reward and struggle.

~ We are always too busy!

~ Kindness multiplies back to the giver.

~ Being allowed to often get dirty makes a child grow up more healthy.

~ You have to get hurt. That’s how you learn.

~ To truly appreciate what you’ve got, at some point you need to have had nothing.

~ The average person hasn’t smelled a flower in months or noticed the moon for weeks.

~ The longer you carry a worry, the heavier it gets.

~ The future is an illusion; the past a delusion. Neither is even close to reality.

~ The kindest people have fought the toughest personal battles.

~ Running in sprinklers or playing in water makes a sad child feel better (adults too!).

~ We’re usually most creative near 18 months old. By twenty-one 90% of that is gone.

~ People who usually arrive very early or quite late are often the controlling type.

~ Within every person are many questions and even more answers.

And there you have it; a random baker’s dozen of simple wisdom I have chosen for my day; extras for my mental ‘toolkit’ for living. All won’t stick well and some will not fit today’s situations encountered. However, I am grateful my day will be better by filing these thoughts away. Sooner or later all will be useful, if not today, then before long.

“We’ve got facts,” they say.
But facts aren’t everything;
at least half the battle consists
in how one makes use of them!
Fydor Dostoyevsky