Living In The Moment Means Ability To Succeed

Here is a good example of how negative thought can develop within any one of us. Egos can take over at a moment’s notice and if left unguarded can seriously impede the pursuit of happiness.

Last evening a magazine salesman came to the door. A silent alarm was triggered within me: someone is ringing the door after dark.  I was filled with immediate suspicion. Everything I write about took backseat to fear. I heard my husband laughing and speaking to the gentleman at the door and I found myself going upstairs to get to a phone in case this salesman was not legitimate. I felt compelled to save the day!

After the salesman left, I felt ashamed of myself for not helping out my fellow man and I didn’t feel good. Even more, I felt I should remain loyal to this shame because of my reactions. I felt it would be dishonest to now turn all positive and happily get on with the moment.  My husband mentioned once or twice to let it go but I felt this strong urge to assess my reactions to a simple ring at the door.  …and I began to notice that I was defending my reactions to my husband who was now focused on a basketball game.

I didn’t realize it in the moment.  Now I do.  I was choosing thoughts that were making me feel bad.

This is one grand opportunity.  I am able to observe from a distance share about thoughts that can take hold and, left unguarded, multiplied rapidly.  Feed Me!  the thoughts pleaded.  Feed Me!  I have important fears that need protection!  I have important guilt you need to pay attention to!

And, then I stopped.  Took pause.  And I realized I did not feel good.  And I remembered that I was wearing fear.  I gently turned away from the fear and the self-guilt and all thoughts that did not make me happy.  Immediately, I experienced the familiar happiness and peace that has become more and more obvious to me.  I am living proof that living in the moment allows me to succeed.

Thank you for letting me share my thoughts with you.

The Art of Feeling Good – Five Lessons

There are so many ways to feel good. Here are some:

  1. Wake up with the enthusiasm of a child. A child wakes up with surprise, readiness and willingness to explore whatever is around. It can be a toy, a first experience with snow, a shadow, the sun or anything else that presents itself. Before you go to sleep, make the intention to wake up with childlike acceptance of all around you. Be aware the moment you find yourself conscious. Listen. Look around the room and enjoy the delights of your furniture, the light coming into the window, the feeling of your bedding and anything else that catches your attention. Take a moment to feel your toes, your legs, your arms, your hands and your amazing ability to use your eyes!
  2. Be grateful for everything you encounter. Forget judging situations as good or bad. Enjoy the rainy weather with as much enthusiasm as sunny days. Enjoy the days you are tired as much as the days you have great spurts of energy. Enjoy the opportunity to be on earth to explore all kinds of experiences. Nothing is good or bad. Everything is. The more you appreciate each moment, the more capacity you will have for happiness.
  3. Forget what you should do and just do. Let go of obligatory relationships. Take on relationships that feel free. Love another and actively demonstrate your love to another because the opportunity is in front of you. Let go of thoughts that tell you to demonstrate your love out of duty. Let go of thoughts when you think that performing such actions will make you a better human being. You already are perfect. Act from the core of love and you will always feel good.
  4. Remember you come from the same source as everyone else. There is no one better than you. You are not better than anyone else. You are of the same substance as everything and everyone. How you wish to express your being-ness makes you unique and gives you the enjoyment of being on earth. Try not to benchmark yourself with anyone else. It may be difficult to do at first, but with practice you will experience such joy that you will forget the introspection in exchange for the good feelings of satisfaction.
  5. Recognize that love isn’t only for the flower-children. Be truly brave and find your sense of well-being. Sometimes it doesn’t seem to be a very popular stance to choose to love over defending one’s position. Most times we get caught up in fighting for some intellectual thought cloaked as morality and all but lose our connection with our true nature. We think we must stand fast if we are to save this nation or ourselves. We fight and stand up for so many ideals that allude us and wonder why we don’t feel well. Choose love and every time you will be saved from feeling bad.

Politicians Are Using Powerful Pollutants

Even a child now understands that to be president you need enough money to publically slander your opposing candidate in order to win the election.  Here are my observations:

  1. The United States has a great, 3-way, check-and-balance system.  It works when each appreciate and respect the purpose of the other.
  2. Children who bully and lie about their classmates in the same manner that we witness nightly between candidates are disciplined. Yet our children are watching these demonstrations nightly on TV.
  3. Those of us who are smart enough to refrain from watching only commercial-free TV and no news during this year of presidential election will be safe from political pollutants.  Thoughts and words that cover our natural ability for happiness are recognized and carefully discarded.
  4. Our Declaration of Independence assures us the right to pursue happiness. How are we to achieve a government in pursuit of happiness when we are caught up in gossip.  It was interesting to see that candidates put a moratorium on negative campaigning during the Christmas season. Is the message here saying that negative campaigning is a necessary evil; at whose expense?  Should not our government prohibit unhappy, disrespectful, and angry political campaigns and potential leaders?
  5. When we tolerate the irritation of nightly commercials that all but yell at us about the evils and weaknesses of the other, we, ourselves, are worn down.  We ask ourselves: Are these our intended leaders?  How will we be inspired by them once they are elected?  How will they create an environment that will allow us to pursue happiness?
  6. People actually take on one ugly side or the other, and retell the angry stories they have heard on talk-shows, news, or advertisements.  Emails and blogs are written to persuade others to see how the “other” candidate is a creep and their candidate is the only one who can make things better.

Even writing about politics makes me leave my happy zone and enter the craziness.  So, I’m going to breathe and remember a few things.

  1. Respect is an attitude that always gives me happiness.  Respect begins with respecting myself.
  2. Anytime I hear angry and bullying lies, I must breath and speak freely that there is no love or happiness within negative intentions and only negative outcomes can come from negative words. When I refuse to feed the fire, the fire dies.  When I refuse to give energy to arguments, the arguments die.
  3. TV is not the only recreation in this world.  No matter what we may think, we are not more intelligent because we watch the news.  It is possible to watch commercial-free TV via a computer. There is a way to tape programs so that you can bypass all commercials and as long as commercials contain negative, hard-sell and degrading emotions, the advertising market will “feel” the impact.
  4. We do have a right to be who we are: happy, loving beings.  We are!  We do not need to be afraid of anything or anyone!  We have all we need!  We do not need to beware of any government or government official.  They are of the same substance as us.  There is nothing to war about, my friends.
  5. Effective leaders are mirrors of our best self, our true self.  Effective leaders radiate our happy, loving us.
  6. I was first taught the art of debating in fifth grade.  It was taught as a method to help students grow intellectually.  Respect for your opponent was key.  It was understood that all sides would have valid points.  Debates were a way for students to flush out all the facets of a particular subject for the good of the class.  The class would then have a better understanding of the subject and decide their course of action based on the fine presentation of the debators.  It was considered ineffectual and lazy debating for students to rely on disparaging remarks about the other side.  The debater who won was the one who was most clever about producing a clear statement and roadmap for its achievement.  It held humor that was humorous never remarks that were hurtful to the other.  Well, that is my memory of a long-passed art.

I have a favorite cup that has my painting called, Community by Another Angle.  I am happy to hold it and so happy to be living this Saturday with my husband and my dog.  I have happy thoughts of my son and his family visiting the beach.  I am going to clean up our house a bit and I am going to write more on my next book.  I am close to who I am.  That is the challenge of life.  As I keep saying, “All You Need Is Love.”

The Closet: Uncovering The State of Happiness

Happiness is Us.  Our substance is happiness.  Yet, everyday, we get up with resolve to discover that elusive happy moment.  Hopefully this story will help us all remember the ease at which we can locate happiness.

****

Stella loved her mother.  She tried to do all the things her mother asked of her.  Stella’s mother loved clothes and each day she prepared to offer Stella  a most lavish coat that she insisted Stella wear.

The first day, she dressed Stella in a pale red, magic coat.  Everyone in the village knew about this particular coat.  The coat’s purpose was to teach the wearer how to be popular and be accepted by everyone else in the village.  This coat magically sent directives as soon as the person put the coat on.  The thing is, the longer Stella wore the coat the heavier it became and although Stella felt confident she would be the most popular in the village, she experienced a feeling of frustration and a bit of anger , emotions she not encountered before.  She didn’t understand.

As she wore the pale, red magic coat, she found that people came to the door to talk with her.  They smiled at her and giggled at whatever she said.  They invited her to the village dance and asked her if she would sing for them.  They complimented her hair and her lovely coat for somehow they realized it was what was attracting her to them.  Still they felt happy around her and loved sitting and chatting.  But Stella became more and more anxious and even a little irritated that these villagers were hanging around her house.  At the end of the day she was so tired she took off the coat and went to bed.

In the morning, she felt her old self.  She felt happy.  She looked out the window and saw the sunshine and flowers and heard the birds and she felt so thankful to be alive!  No one came to her house that day and when her mother’s friend came to the door she looked right at Stella and shook her head and said, “Stella, when are you going to comb your hair.”

So her Mother took down another coat.  This time she asked Stella to wear the purple, magic coat.  The magic in this coat would teach Stella to create an appearance that would please the villagers.  It would also teach Stella to clean and cook, walk and talk in a way that was more acceptable to all the villagers.

Stella felt the weight of this coat as she put it on.  Still, she found herself making up her bed and sweeping the floor.  All the while she wondered if she were making the bed and sweeping the floor the way all the villagers would want her to do these things.  She began to feel anxious again and a little irritated.  But she could not stop.  She showered and washed her hair.  When her hair had dried she combed it over and over until it look beautiful and she put a flower behind her ear, just the way she knew the villagers would like her to.  When she looked into the mirror she did not receive any satisfaction.  She hoped the way she looked would please all the villagers.  As the day went on she grew more tired and more irritated.  She smiled as she offered her Mother’s friend a cookie she had just baked, but inside she wondered if the friend would now accept her.  Her friend smiled back and said, “Stella, you are a fine cook. Is there nothing you cannot do?!”  But Stella did not feel very happy.  She felt very nervous and hoped she could continue to please her Mother’s friend.  By afternoon she felt exhausted and sad, and she did not know why.  She sat outside and waited for night to come.  Finally, her mother told her she could take the coat off and Stella headed straight to bed.

Once again, Stella felt her happy self as she woke up.  She stretched out and looked again at the trees and flowers and birds and even a little bee who was buzzing around a lovely rose.  She thought about how much she loved waking up and how much she loved all the people in the village.

Before long, her Mother came to her room.  “Stella,” she said.  “I have a special coat for you to wear today.  This coat is more special than all of the coats you have worn or ever will wear.”

Stella wondered what she would learn today.  “Mother, each day that you ask me to wear a coat I try to learn whatever it is that will make the villagers find me more acceptable.  I am trying so hard that every day I feel unhappy and irritated.  Do you know why this is, Mother?”

Stella’s Mother answered, “Stella, you have learned a great lesson.  You are now ready for the coat I will give you today.  Please put it on”

Stella did what her Mother asked.  But this time the coat felt like she was wearing absolutely nothing!  She felt exactly like she did when she first woke up.  She was filled with quiet happiness.

“Mother,” Stella asked, “what should I do?  I feel like I’ve been freed from trying to please anyone.  I feel like I am good enough.  I love you, Mother.  What do you say we have breakfast together?  Would you like to cook together.”

Stella’s Mother smiled. “The coat you are wearing, my dear, is the coat of love. It will never weigh you down. It will always let you float in the waters of happiness. Wear this invisible coat, and you will always be happy”

And so it was, Stella learned the lesson that everything Stella needed to learn came from wearing only the coat love.  She closed the closet where all the other coats hung and hoped she would never wear them again.

***

It might seem like a silly story, but each time you experience sadness, irritation, anger, anxiety, stress and the like, think of this little story, know you wearing something that is an obstacle to your happiness. You are trying to fit in to someone else’s idea of life and you are leaving your natural ability to live a life of love.  Take off the exterior and you will be left with everything: love.

Is There a Little White Lie in “Believe”?

Why do I continually talk about positive thinking? Why do I continually check on my own negative thinking, say, “Thank you, but no thank you!” to the thoughts that bring me feelings of doubt, pain and worry?  Why is it so hard to stay positive?  Perhaps the answer is this.

In order to believe, I must go beyond what I already know. Possibilities are infinite and beyond!  To believe I need to tell myself a little white lie.  I need to pretend beyond where I am now.  I need to believe in the silver lining before I really see it.  Every choice to let go of worry or criticism of others or every disappointment or fear will bring about a happier me.  When I let go, I make way for happiness.  To let go may require telling myself a little white lie.  When I intend to get to the positive side of life, that lie will not bite me.

It’s a little hard to find examples but here goes:

  • I wake up and remember it is Monday and time to go to work.  I have feelings of angst.  I lie to myself and tell myself that I am getting a big happy surprise at work.  I tell myself a little white lie and picture my boss giving me a great compliment.  I decide to tell myself another white lie.  I tell myself that I will experience new insight into my job.  I am happy now and ready to go to work with happy anticipation.  The result:  I will hear and accept the compliment my boss gives me ,and I will be open to the insights that will make my job easier to accomplish.  This, my friends, is beLIEving!
  • I start to make dinner and the recipe I am following turns completely wrong.  I don’t know what I did to make this so much of a mess.  I feel angry and frustrated.  I decide to tell myself a little white lie.  I tell myself that I am so lucky to be right in the midst of a new discovery.  I am about the create a meal that is tasty, nutritious and will be a family favorite for years to come, along with this great story of how it was created.  Now that I have paused and all the negative thoughts have mysteriously vanished, I have thoughts that will save the recipe and the more I have fun the more I see possibilities.  The meal is a hit with the family who appreciate the calm and happy cook in the kitchen.  We love being together at this meal.  The food does not seem particularly good or bad but the happy and warm feelings around the table cannot be surpassed!  This is beLIEving!
  • You’ve misplaced your checkbook and you are sure that it has been lost and taken by some similar thief you’ve heard about on the news.  It’s time for a little white lie.  You picture the checkbook in the house.  You remember the game “hide-the-thing” and you decide to have a go at it.   You relax for a few moments as if it is already found.  You picture the checkbook in the same place you always keep it. Your little white lie tells you that it has already been recovered.  Now you feel better and thoughts come to you as to what to do next.  You begin to play “hide-the-thing” and the “thing” is your checkbook.  As you beLIEve you get closer to its whereabout.  You will locate it and all will be fine because you beLIEve.

It is not easy to stay positive, to believe.  It is less easy to remain in the negative world of fear, sorrow, anger, irritation, frustration and pain.  When you’ve had enough just let yourself believe in happiness.

Feasting On Thoughts – Are You Caught In Negative Thinking?

How can you recognize your thought process caught in negative thinking?  Here’s an idea! Imagine an amazing feast that magically passes through your brain, one that automatically and continuously serves up courses. An imaginary banquet of thoughts!

Interaction with the banquet’s chef is most helpful.  For a satisfactory meal you need to choose your courses.  If you neglect to order (choose) exactly what you want, you will receive what you previously ordered. This chef is not aware of what makes you feel good or bad. The chef will serve up platters that contain old, poisonous food, food that leaves you with suffering and indigestion if this is what you have eaten in the past. The buffet must go on. The more you eat similar dishes, the more frequently these are served up to you.  The imaginary conveyor belt drops off the same old food over and over with a few new platters left somewhere in the periphery

The new platters with fresh servings are overlooked, however, as the familiar poisonous servings fill your appetite.  Sometimes you remember you can eat anything you wish, but it seems almost impossible for new dishes be eaten ….  the chef has grown accustomed to serving up the old dishes, and, you keep forgetting that there is any other kind of meal.  You continue to suffer with indigestion and sometimes wish for new dishes yet you willingly eat the same old dish when it is served up.

In this imaginary game, we would need to stop the conveyor belt and become conscious of all the awesome possibilities before we eat another thing.  Only then could we choose a new dish that was healthy for us, the one that makes us feel good after we eat it.

Your thought process is a banquet of ideas that can lead to possibilities and to creation.  A banquet of thoughts are served up continuously.   You have the power to order whatever you like. With your thoughts you can accomplish anything and everything you wish. The thought-chef does not care what you choose.  But remember the banquet story: if you don’t choose, you’ll be dished up with the same old negative thoughts that you’ve listened to all your life.

Take a moment today to identify all the familiar thoughts that create obstacles to enjoying life.  If you wish to locate your happiness try to order a positive, fresh thought or two upon rising each morning.  You’ll find a richer, happier day awaiting you.  One positive thought of gratitude will bring a serving of another, and another.  Fill your banquet table with thoughts of happy anticipation, appreciation and presence of nature; learn a new language; exercise or dance! Don’t worry when you notice your thoughts have been argumentative, painful, and downright poisonous in the past.  As soon as you order a different meal, and consistently order meals of positive thoughts of gratitude, happy planning, wishing and doing, the negative thoughts will be a thing of the past.  Stay with it and you will find your life is healthy, wealthy and happy!

Choose Your Thoughts Or Your Thoughts Will Choose You

The more you choose your thoughts the more you can create the situation you desire.

Most of us are not even aware of our thoughts.  Many times fear is a hidden, underlying thought that rules the day.  Fear can take on many faces:  fear of being late, fear of not measuring up, fear or losing a job, fear of not being able to regain your balance after a loss, fear of losing more, or fear of being alone. Unrecognized, fear can cripple your ability to create happier situations.

There is no need to try to debate with fear and prove these thoughts wrong. This kind of approach will only create more fear. As in your approach with all negative thoughts, gently let them go and choose to replace them with thoughts of appreciation for what you have right now. Begin gently to think of all the people you know and who you appreciate.

Every negative thought cannot exist without you. Replace negative thoughts with powerful thoughts like, “I am happy to be here now” or “It is a beautiful day and I am happy to be with all of these trees and flowers!” or “I have always had abundance and I always will have abundance. I have always had what I need and I will always have what I need.”

As long as you believe you don’t have what you need, then you won’t allow what you need. Your reality depends on your attitude and thoughts. It continues to be up to you to accept the situation you are in and change your attitude to thoughts that can bring you peace. Happiness still depends upon your ability to create positive thoughts.

This earth, your body, your thoughts are the instrument played by the energy of love.  You decide what music you will play, or even if you will play.  You can make beautiful music with your life today by choosing well.

(The above was taken in part from “Aunt Barbara’s Powerful Little Book of Comfort”.

Love Is The Answer …. Every Day!

I believe in love.  I’ve known about it from the beginning.  I learned some of love’s lessons from my dear Nana who would welcome me into her deep, wonderful lap and hug. This was my first understanding of heaven.  I did not feel lost or alone.  I was confident of my worthiness.   My Nana loved me unconditionally.  She enjoyed being with me.  Her life was richer because of me and I knew it.  My life was richer because of her and she knew it.

Most of my life I have been a student of love.  I know this is why we are here so I am not ashamed to say this.  Sometimes I lose focus.  There have been many times when I confuse duty with love.  Yet, I never give up.   I  relish its freedom and lightness..  I begin to understand that just like the flowers I love, all of life has the same capability to soar freely within its pure energy.

Now, I am a Nana.  I can think of no finer relationship.  I have watched myself ease from duty to pure enjoyment. I believe love is the center of all.  It is worth reminding ourselves to leave all obstacles by the wayside to enjoy the moments of untethered love.  Love is the energy that supports cooperation, harmony, sharing and reverence.  Love is everything we need and love is everywhere to be found.  Love sometimes appears dormant within us and others, but it is always present just waiting to be called out.  I am confident all you need is love.