Tag Archives: effort

Rituals

Rituals“To me it seems that too many young women of this time share the same creed. ‘Live, laugh, love, be nothing but happy, experience everything, et cetera et cetera.’ How monotonous, how useless this becomes. What about the honors of Joan of Arc, Beauvoir, Stowe, Xena, Princess Leia, or women that would truly fight for something other than just their own emotions?” Criss Jami

“Everything ritualistic must be strictly avoided, because it immediately turns rotten. Of course a kiss is a ritual too and it isn’t rotten, but ritual is permissible only to the extent that it is as genuine as a kiss.”     Ludwig Wittgenstein

It was interesting when someone mentioned the rituals we all go through daily without any thought. It really was inspiring because it brought many questions and revelations regarding our life as usual approach. Our repetitive words and actions appear to be mindless and without any depth. It made me wonder  how much of my day was actually lived.

Then I received a phone call from a person very close to me, who was concerned about certain areas of her life manifesting in the fashion she wanted them to manifest. She was distraught about the possibility of her strategies taking longer than she wanted. Her frustration appeared out of control yet ringing true for all of us. We have become used to attaining our wants immediately. We can receive an e-mail in seconds, as well as an invitation, announcement notification or doctor results. We can work from home and even run a business on-line without ever meeting the people we sell to. Continue reading

Rippling Effect Of Stress

Rippling Affect Of Stress 3“It is another’s fault if he be ungrateful, but it is mine if I do not give. To find one thankful man, I will oblige a great many that are not so.”

“Between what is said and not meant, and what is meant and not said, most of love is lost.” Khalil Gibran

How underrated kindness is. It feels like we expect others to place us first on their agendas but we never reciprocate. Yes we are thinking, I am good to others all the time but truthfully, how quickly we forget about what others do for us. We do recall when someone lets us down. The pain hurts and the emotional scars we endure are sometimes of our own making.

 Like many others, I expect my family and friends to recognize and know when I  am over my head and require their help. I don’t of course, mention my needs. I assume they should be aware of my desires. This rarely happens. I am let down and quite annoyed with them. After all, I believe, I am thoughtful regarding their plights, and I pay attention to what they want and crave. How come they can’t do the same for me? Continue reading

Answers Promote Questions

Answers Promote Questions“He who busies himself with things other than improvement of his own self becomes perplexed in darkness and entangled in ruin. His evil spirits immerse him deep in vices and make his bad actions seem handsome.”    Ali ibn Abi Talib

“I have a great respect for incremental improvement, and I’ve done that sort of thing in my life, but I’ve always been attracted to the more revolutionary changes. I don’t know why, Because they’re harder. They’re much more stressful emotionally. And you usually go through a period where everybody tells you that you’ve completely failed.”    Steve Jobs

“The truth is incontrovertible. Malice may attack it, ignorance may deride it, but in the end, there it is.”    Winston Churchill

How easy it is to be judgmental of others. We all do it on a daily basis. Perhaps we don’t see it, or even realize we are doing it. Many of us would be surprised to find out, how often we make assessments of others. We judge people right down to their walk, talk and attributes of all kinds. It is almost a pastime, and we don’t mean any harm. Maybe it is time to question the habits and the reasons. We can’t always change our personal attributes. For this reason, any disapproval from others is heartbreaking. Sometimes our critique is based on our mood, attitude or feelings about the individual. Our examination might be fruitless and subjective.

The dilemma arises, when we don’t probe into some legitimate matters. Speaking against one’s personal qualities is abhorring. When we call attention to matters that are critical to one’s safety, and involves the growth of all of society, it demands our attention. No one likes analysis  of any kind. I envy and admire those, who can make a helpful point, without displaying any form of rebuke. In most cases, any disapproval sends us into a frenzy of mistrust.

I never plan on being reproachful, but at times the truth blurts out of my mouth, and of course feelings are hurt. I am so sensitive myself, and loathe direct remarks, yet to correct it in myself is not easy. Sometimes I get the laughs, like I can’t believe you just said that. We all handle censure in various ways. I am working on thinking before sharing.

Whenever we find answers to our questions, it results in more examination. The reason probably is because we are searching within the psyche,  where the past, present and plans for the future blend. I suppose former hurts leave us more vulnerable, and truth is painful and sometimes devastating.

Confronting veracity probably solves some problems, but seems to be something we choose to do quietly and alone. Another person’s interference is unwanted. When people burst in with obvious conclusions and reviews, they are ignored. It is easier to softly push truth, and be less offensive. Weighing every spoken word before attempting to speak, tends to downplay the facts. Actually, the truth is restrained in the process.

Most of us listen more to the kinder version of evaluations, but I have no doubt the impact is stronger when given the blatant compelling honest version upfront. The condemnation is devastating but inquiries arise quickly, and solutions are attempted.  If something is vital, do we get a free pass to speak immediately? Can we state our aim is pure and honorable, so overlook the bluntness? Maybe veracity is becoming hidden, because so many of us claim to fear truth. This unconsciously promotes the continuance of lies.

Of course it never appears to be appropriate to insult a person’s attributes, opinions, or social, political or religious beliefs. Should we get involved with issues that  hurt others emotionally, physically, morally, verbally, or sexually? Perhaps most of us would agree that in those situations stepping forward is necessary. Interrogations arise regarding the truth, the reasons, the measurement of the right or wrong, and the rights of an individual to have privacy. We are all so  totally chained to being politically correct, that we end up saying or doing nothing.

Probably those times we did confront an issue head on, we were perceived as the bad guy and nothing got accomplished. Most likely that is why we waver about helping or staying in the background. Staying detached from actual answers spares us the questions. By being removed from uncomfortable situations we delay the effort to search for results and we maintain a façade of peace. I personally think that those  moments we spoke without support, are still vitally important. Nobody can erase the speech, and perhaps there will be some people who review what was said. Likely it can be the forerunner of change in the future.

The negative daily responses we give to others, perhaps are surface, and due to our own stress relieving need. They no doubt pain the receiver, but we think of them as harmless. They likely are more than harmless. We don’t want to open the door to actual answers, that might result in more inquiries. Fearing the unknown  is difficult. We all must examine our own motives and fears about acknowledging truth of any kind when given a problem. Perhaps the hesitation that follows is the result of our own guilt, or that of some friends.

It is difficult  to face our own shame, and very harsh to admit fault in our friends or families. If we view the critical remarks as harsh, it actually keeps the truth covered up. Fact is then coated in a falsehood. Saving face or respecting only designated rights, allows one to pick and choose randomly.  The end result is loss of our humane code of ethics. Our hearts alone can tell us what is worthy of reflection.

The victims age, color, sex,  political or religious beliefs and economic status is irrelevant. All that is required is attention to the obvious suffering endured. Whatever  leaves people without options hope or love, demands our attention. Situations of the homeless, needy, and emotionally abused kids and adults, shouldn’t be left on the shelf for softer replies. If we have pride in our toughness, then we shouldn’t shirk at facing some honesty. It is never about shame or blame. It is about transforming problem situations.  Courage helps us confront the  difficult facts we encounter, when presented with some truths.

“The improvement of understanding is for two ends: first, our own increase of knowledge; secondly, to enable us to deliver that knowledge to others.” John Locke

“In matters of truth and justice, there is no difference between large and small problems, for issues concerning the treatment of people are all the same.”        Albert Einstein

“Honesty is the first chapter in the book of wisdom.”    Thomas Jefferson

“All truths are easy to understand once they are discovered; the point is to discover them.”    Galileo Galilei

Commitment Anxiety

Anxiety Commitments“Too many Christians have a commitment of convenience. They’ll stay faithful as long as it’s safe and doesn’t involve risk, rejection, or criticism. Instead of standing alone in the face of challenge or temptation, they check to see which way their friends are going.”    Charles Stanley

“When you encourage others, you in the process are encouraged because you’re making a commitment and difference in that person’s life. Encouragement really does make a difference.”    Zig Ziglar

“Love, above all things, is a commitment to your choice.” ―Rob Liano

“The truest form of love is how you behave toward someone, not how you feel about them.”
― Steve Hal

Commitment always brings on the fear. Just the word will make most of us cringe. I think women as well as men, are nervous when they hear the word spoken. As much as I am a spontaneous person, and always willing to go along with someone’s agenda, I hate to be tied down to commitments of any kind. I even  end my doctors visits, upon receiving the card for my next appointment, with the words, “I’ll call and change it if I can’t make it.” I can’t remember many times I had to change it, but the  relief I feel, knowing I can switch it, is a stress reliever.

Because I spend a lot of time contemplating my feelings, and the emotions of others, I do think about why we all worry about commitments. Maybe it begins during childhood, when we have to clean up our room, or we don’t get to have a friend over, or we don’t go outside. Even adults recall the set times they had for homework, as well as the struggle to keep grades within the free of criticism zone, .

I get the feeling that obligations conjure  fear and worry that we might fail. As we  mature we are anxious about maintaining friendships, preserving bonds of love for our spouses and  marriages. Those vows  become even harder to maintain and the stress increases. Maybe that is the point of time we begin to mention the transgressions  of others, so that our own mistakes diminish. We convince ourselves, and attempt to convince others, that we are not really as bad as the folks over there.

Children are a natural add on and break the bank with stress. Now we really have to grow up and become an adult. I find that many times one is catching up on duties and responsibilities. We listen to others,  and get involved  with many activities, to ensure our kids will be pleased. There  is a lot of importance placed on their fitting in  with their peer groups. We turn to the media to discuss our problems, and receive more advice, than we could  ever have time  to read. It appears that as soon as one person hits upon an achievable and worthy solution, everyone  jumps on the wagon. We breathe a sigh of  relief feeling that the answer has been given. Of course there are times when nothing works for every situation.

When kids get into a predicament of any kind, we step back, reflect, and hope one of the solutions works. When it doesn’t, we must rethink. Now the stress which actually never left us in the  first place, renews itself and drags us down. I would venture to say that at this point we are discouraged and wondering what went wrong. We followed the  rules, and advice, to the best of our ability, and we took care of the kids and bills  etc.

Perhaps our spouse appears to have changed in numerous ways. When did this happen. Our kids seem ungrateful and disrespectful. Our parents are aging and  demanding. Our kids  are maturing and moving on, working or attending college. They hardly speak  to us. Now we are loaded down with responsibilities, which are the results of all of our obligations. We understand what promises  are,  what they mean, how they impact our lives, and why we hate them.

I can’t leave myself at this place, so I contemplate the  whole ball of wax, up to this time in my life. It was a surprise to discover, that all of it was the  result of my own expectations, and ideas regarding commitments. Promises are not chains to bind us, restrain us, force us to pay bills, or suffer consequences. Parents don’t have kids, so that they will be cared for in their old age. Marriages were never begun with a rule book, and consequences for failing to live up to expectations. Most of our vows or commitments were made out of love.

Now I am thinking what is the reality behind our lives, and how do we live, laugh, have fun, and find time for love. That almost  appears to be fantasy, but perhaps life is the way we see it. If we had absolutely nothing, the entire world would be a wonderful place, as long as  we  received love from others. Our hearts would be bursting  with pleasure and joy. We would feel care and empathy,  because the gift of love is without attachments. There is no necessity to repay. We perhaps keep our commitments to love, out of love and not force. It somehow makes pledges a pleasure to keep.

Basically,  by being more mindful of what we have, and what we receive, we increase our happiness. I suggest the importance of reflecting on what is right in our lives, and what is  precious and worth holding on to. Perhaps  we have forgotten the  real reasons our parents pressured us to study and do homework. They wanted us capable and ready to enjoy the world through our knowledge. Most likely a better job, or developing a talent, that would help us to survive in a difficult world, was high on their agendas.

I think when we fall in love, it provides us with the  profound feeling of worthiness. Another person convinces us that we are special, unique and worthy of love. Of course being spiritual beings should help us to be aware of all of that, but  somehow perhaps we lose the knowledge.  It can be rekindled, by someone who cares about us, and showers love upon us. We get so busy with our lives, we forget to nurture that fire of love. It is still there, but perhaps needs to be  rekindled, and stoked with compliments. Even children thrive on encouragement.

Kids are  awesome but they take our time, energy and love. Many times they take these precious gifts for granted. We accept the insults, because we love unconditionally and are loved unconditionally. As difficult as life can get, when we have kids, our life has great meaning. Raising kids is the most worthy, and powerful job, we will ever accomplish. We are sending our beloved children into the world, to spread more love. We have an awesome job. Love grows as it is given away.

Worry and fear make us dread sharing our friends. We believe they would prefer another over us. Deep down we must accept the truth, that we are worthy of another person’s love. If we believe this, then it allows our friendships to be free and opened. Releasing our bonds encompasses more individuals. Parents might unwittingly pit one sibling against another. Upon maturity we can consider the fact, especially if we are parents, that all kids are loveable. The pain and stress occurs, when parents compare their  children. Competition hinders the emotional security of children, and causes jealousies and rivalries to begin.

Marriages require attention. I don’t mean one must get  away for the weekend, although that might be nice. The small thoughtful gestures, and remarks, enhance the love. Money is not going to ever buy real love. Honest love must be cultivated, with emotional attachments of kindness through words and actions. Just being aware of someone’s hurt and pain, brings comfort to them. Being  mindful is important in marriage. If we are tuned into the one we love, we become concerned with emotional states and mannerisms.  It generates understanding from every movement. If we are too busy to notice the innuendos, love diminishes.

It is not always enough to simply say I love you, to parents, kids or spouses. Others must sense the faith in those words. This comes from paying attention to each other. When we have accomplished that, we will have improved all of our relationships in a deeper way. The stress, worry and fear, will dissipate somewhat, and the sense of contentment and security will strengthen. We might find we enjoy so much more, and our senses will become alive with the wonder of the surrounding world. Our lives may continue to be busy, but we will leave room  always, for the important things in  life, which are free.  Focus on love, serenity, and mindfulness, rather than commitments and obligations.

 “People have a hard time letting go of their suffering. Out of a fear of the unknown, they prefer suffering that is familiar.” Thích Nhat Hạnh

“People usually consider walking on water or in thin air a miracle. But I think the real miracle is not to walk either on water or in thin air, but to walk on earth. Every day we are engaged in a miracle which we don’t even recognize: a blue sky, white clouds, green leaves, the black, curious eyes of a child — our own two eyes. All is a miracle.”  Thich Nhat Hanh

“When you plant lettuce, if it does not grow well, you don’t blame the lettuce. You look for reasons it is not doing well. It may need fertilizer, or more water, or less sun. You never blame the lettuce. Yet if we have problems with our friends or family, we blame the other person. But if we know how to take care of them, they will  grow well, like the lettuce. Blaming has no positive effect at all, nor does trying to persuade using reason and argument. That is my experience. No blame, no reasoning, no argument, just understanding. If you understand, and you show that you understand, you can love, and the situation will change”  Thích Nhất Hạnh

Holiday Thoughts

Holiday Thoughts“I don’t need a holiday or a feast to feel grateful for my children, the sun, the moon, the roof over my head, music, and laughter, but I like to take this time to take the path of thanks less traveled.”    Anonymous

“The Holiday season is a perfect time to reflect on our blessings, and seek out ways to make life better for those around us.”    Terri Marshal

The holidays are coming and you can already feel the anxiety. We all have it yet think we are the only ones sensing the stress. Some of us hide our fear better than others but without a doubt none of us like being criticized or gossipped about  when the occassion is over. In truth our reality differs from what another experiences. None of us comprehend the  total meaning  behind words actions or gifts  and we fret about our own situation unaware of the bombs we drop on others.

Attempt to experience a good time without negative thinking before it begins. Don’t poison your holiday with negative expectations. Setting yourself up for a  lousy time will already define your experience. Remember that as much as you want a good time so does the rest of the family. Hurting your mother-in-law or daughter-in-law creates a disastrous happening for the son or husband. It takes only one person to make or break the happiness. It is your choice so choose wisely. It reflects on all of us. Every Holiday is different and can’t really be repeated. Love can always be present and repeated time and again. Following are a few hints derived from  my books and my  thoughts on the subject and others feelings about it.

AFTER THE DIVORCE, DON’T THROW THE FAMILY OUT WITH THE EX-HUSBAND
1. Take control of the situation at the beginning. Trashing your MIL in front of the kids will fuel distrust in your kids. If you stopped loving dad and grandma you just might stop loving them one day.
2. When your marriage has ended, the kids are dislodged and dealing with many changes. The grandparent relationship becomes more significant to them, offering some stability.
3. Put aside fear, doubts, anger and especially revenge. It only leads to dumping more hurt upon yourself and your kids.
4. Talk to your MIL and explain to her how much your kids value her. Allow her to continue her relationship with them. In this way you avoid revenge which is a contagious disease that infects everyone
5. Your child’s happiness is more important than convincing your MIL she is wrong. There are no winners or losers in any confrontation. Kids suffer defeat every time a family member is absent from their lives.
6. Generating bonds of respect with your MIL will keep your ex-husband more involved with the kids. Bonds of love are always more difficult to break.
7. Your MIL loves her grandchildren and she will treat you with respect if it means her connection to her grandchildren will continue.
8. Be patient and give your MIL time to heal. Being non-judgmental allows you to heal and have some support from your MIL. The MIL, DIL relationship is like any other. It requires time and effort.
9. With tolerance and acceptance, the barriers both women have constructed will break down. We can’t fight with someone who is just not taking the bait and fighting back.
10. In the end it is wise to remember you, your ex-husband, MIL, and children are part of a large quilt which includes all of you. Your kids have roots that are tangled with each family member. Damaging any parts of their roots destroys pieces of their foundation. Keep kids healthy and strong in mind and body. Do what it takes and strive for peace.

Kids can be jealous of step kids and especially half siblings. Kids resent step parents disciplining them and one must question fairness when their own kids are involved. Kids exhibit more anger due to numerous stresses of mixed homes, many parents and disciplinarians and more kids to compete with. Be consistent, don’t compare, attempt to be on the same page, and always give respect time and love. Don’t fight in front of kids and never talk about the other parent or allow the step parent to do this as it will only hurt the child. Instill rules with meaningful consequences and provide choices. Willingly accept support from extended family members; You don’t want to cut your kids roots and thus destroy the plant. Kids are sensing a loss of family otherwise.

Reflections for Mothers-in-Law
Remember your daughter-in-law has a family, too. She cherishes spending time with them holiday central, and be thankful to share it with people you love.

Your daughter-in-law may anticipate visiting her family on the holidays. She might be more anxious to see them if they live at a distance. Try to give of yourself. When all is said and done, we remember who did what for us quicker than who gave what to us. It is fun to visit with someone throughout the year. The holidays are only a short period of time. It is the people who make the holiday special.You cannot compete with your daughter-in-law‟s mother. You can become a significant ally to your daughter-in-law. Promote your own relationship of family love with her.

Each holiday is unique in itself. It is not possible or necessary to repeat a holiday experience. Embrace each holiday. They have their own distinct moments. Give unconditionally, and you will not be disappointed. Equating the gifts from your daughter-in-law or mother-in-law to the value she places on your worth is a mistake. Most of us choose a gift we would prefer for ourselves and one we can afford. Holiday traditions change, and are a part of life. When a child starts school it is change and when a child marries it is  change. Bear with each other regarding the changes. Join in the festivities.

Reflections for Daughters-in-Law
Lend a helping hand when possible, and remember to value the person who donates his or her time and effort for you. Make an effort to visit with your mother-in-law at other times during the year. This is especially important if you do not get to spend the holi-days with her.

Remember to cherish your mother-in-law‟s traditions. They were developed over numerous years and possess profuse memories. Be fair in dividing your time and your husband‟s with your respective families. Your mother-in-law deserves equal attention. Invite your mother-in-law for a holiday as you would your own mother. She is your husband‟s mother.

Do not equate your mother-in-law‟s or daughter-in-law’s gifts to how she cherishes you.
Do not anticipate quantity from your holidays or from your gifts. Search for quality.
Accept your mother-in-law‟s invitations to holiday meals whenever you are able.
Your family‟s traditions and your husband‟s family traditions will differ. Accept and enjoy these differences. Have faith that love is shared and celebrated every day, not just on a holiday.

“Having somewhere to go is HOPE, Having someone to love is FAMILY, having both is a BLESSING.”    Anonymous

“My idea of Christmas, whether old-fashioned or modern, is very simple: loving others. Come to think of it, why do we have to wait for Christmas to do that?” Bob Hope

“A lovely thing about Christmas is that it”s compulsory, like a thunderstorm, and we all go through it together.” Garrison Keillor, Leaving Home

“Don’t spoil Christmas Day by anticipating how it will be. Let is unfold as it does, and be grateful for whatever comes.”     Toni Sorenson

“The spirit of Christmas is found when we lift the load of others.”     Toni Sorenson

Chained

Chained“Happiness is not something ready made. It comes from your own actions.”    Dalai Lama

“When you practice gratefulness, there is a sense of respect toward others.”    Dalai Lama

“When you are discontent, you always want more, more, more. Your desire can never be satisfied. But when you practice contentment, you can say to yourself, ‘Oh yes – I already have everything that I really need.”    Dalai Lama

“All major religious traditions carry basically the same message, that is love, compassion and forgiveness the important thing is they should be part of our daily lives.”    Dalai Lama

We are so controlled by our thoughts that they might as well  be chains. I am inclined to believe that our bad habits are due to our inability to stop, alter or even think about them. We can’t stop or won’t because as long as we keep our summary of what is within our ability to change, it allows us to keep repeating and doing whatever is a bad habit or action becasue it isn’t in our power to stop it. It gives us the green light to do as we want because we can’t help it so  we profess.  Somehow it requires some special force to alter situations.

In a way we are chained by these reasonings because we make no attempt to switch things up. I look at it as an unending get our of jail free card like we play in the game monopoly. No responsibility is needed and no reflection of what we say or do is attempted and no guilt is dispersed. It definitely makes life easier but then again I am not sure about that.

If we remain convinced we are powerless to replace anything then no attempt to modify things will ever be made. So why do we convince ourselves we can’t transform thought. I would guess  perhaps it has to do with our secret desire to keep things the way they are. We don’t have to expend any effort nor thinking on the subject. We are also exempt from blame and continue down the same path performing or judging in the same manner. Technically we are not disturbed nor troubled about any wrongs that are occurring.

I remember in a college study there was an experiment on accountability and the distance a person will go to, as long as they believe they are not going to be blamed. People in the study were to press a button and render a shock to a person in another room upon the request of the one in charge. The one pressing the button could hear the  scream of the individual receiving the shock. Their were over one hundred people tested yet only two stopped pressing the button on their own. The rest kept giving the shocks as directed knowing that each time the shcok was a bit stronger and at one point considered lethal. In their minds they were absolved from any guilt  because someone else told them to do it.

We are kidding ourselves  because we can all think and reflect on what it is we are doing. We should be thinking about what we are doing before we do it. Maybe we are absolving ourselves so much that we have given ourselves a blank check to say and do as we please. Life becomes simple without accountability. In the process we become chained to our  fears, wants, desires, thoughts and habits. If we believe they can’t be helped then we continue onward making no attempt at a transformation.

I see this as locking ourselves in with the key in our pocket, but as long as we don’t make the attempt to unlock the door we will stay contained. If a person enjoys eating, smoking, drugs, shopping, socializing or anything else that is carried to excess,  it can be hard to change especially when it is comforting to do. We perhaps trick ourselves into believing it is not in our power to modify the situation. Only by shifting our thinking can we vary the results. Making the attempt is vital otherwise we remain chained as we  coast through our lives. That is not living.

When we feel trapped in a marriage, habit or any other situation it weighs on our minds to the point of running  away or deviating from the path. Probably we aren’t even aware of our honest feelings but we might try to become drawn to things that are a worthier choice. The grass is guaranteed not to be greener. As tremendously knowledgeable as our minds are we trick them into believing we couldn’t help ourselves. Guilt is washed away blame is absent but problems and hurt bubble up to the surface of our lives. As much as we attempt to  defend our situations we succumb to the truth in the end because the truth sets us free from the chains.

We are never as stuck as we think, nor are we as innocent as we profess. I do think we are unsure of ourselves and life throws in many monkey wrenches. I guess we have to stop trusting in ‘they say’ and start hearing our conscience. Once we do that we begin taking account of our choices. It is like waking up to the knowledge that we are living our own lives. We shouldn’t  dream, pretend or lie to ourselves and others. It is at that point we unlock those chains keeping us bound.

I am aware that profound understanding does not happen overnight but taking the first step to enlightenment is like opening the book of that knowledge. It is the grown up stage of development when you can’t blame other people  for your mistakes. Maybe we are in an arrested development when we choose to believe we are unable to alter bad habits thoughts actions or situations and when we place the fault on others.

The fact that we are taking responsibility for what we do and say fosters spiritual maturity. By ignoring veracity we never own up to our mistakes. Although admitting our faults may be difficult and painful, I think it makes us whole instead of a shadowy figure. We become tangible and pliable and capable of understanding and learning. We actually see the entire forest and we lose the tunnel vision. I believe we become part of the whole and observe the connection we have.

You can look at every situation as if it were one that keeps you chained or one that requires your effort to overcome. See it in the light rather than in the darkness. Don’t think about the nighttime, rejoice in your daytime in all areas of your life. Babies and or marriage are work but the comfort and love received can’t be matched. Choose the way you want to perceive this. Recall that you always have freedom and a huge amount of worth. There is no competition except what we foster in our own minds. There is no race for the finish line. There is only a learning process that allows us to become whole. We know we are making progress when we become more serene within our own lives.

By supporting others along the way we actually promote our own soul growth. As with baking, all of the ingredients are important and not one is more so than another. To prove this all we need to do is leave one small ingredient out and the result is terrible. All of us are necessary to the making of the whole, while one loss results in casting a shadow over us all. Unlock your chains and strive to make the necessary changes in your life. Together we produce everlasting light .

The greatest achievement is selflessness.
The greatest worth is self-mastery.
The greatest quality is seeking to serve others.
The greatest precept is continual awareness.
The greatest medicine is the emptiness of everything.
The greatest action is not conforming with the worlds ways.
The greatest magic is transmuting the passions.
The greatest generosity is non-attachment.
The greatest goodness is a peaceful mind.
The greatest patience is humility.
The greatest effort is not concerned with results.
The greatest meditation is a mind that lets go.
The greatest wisdom is seeing through appearances.
Atisha

Correct thought: avoiding covetousness, the wish to harm others and wrong views (like thinking: actions have no consequences, I never have any problems, there are no ways to end suffering etc.)

Correct speech: avoid lying, divisive and harsh speech and idle gossip.

Correct actions: avoid killing, stealing and sexual misconduct

Correct livelihood: try to make a living with the above attitude of thought, speech and actions.

Correct understanding: developing genuine wisdom.
(The last three aspects refer mainly to the practice of meditation)

Correct effort: after the first real step we need joyful perseverance to continue.

Correct mindfulness: try to be aware of the “here and now”, instead of dreaming in the “there and then”.

Correct concentration: to keep a steady, calm and attentive state of mind.    Buddha

Finding Truth

What We Do Know“When I stand before God at the end of my life, I would hope that I would not have a single bit of talent left, and could say, “I used everything you gave me.” ~Erma Bombeck

“Each man must look to himself to teach him the meaning of life. It is not something discovered: it is something molded.”    Antoine de Saint-Exupery

“A great secret of success is to go through life as a man who never gets used up.”    Albert Schweitzer

I’m sure we have all heard the phrase, ‘What you don’t know won’t hurt you.’ Of course there are many ways to look at that. If we don’t know we are ill then it might hurt us. We could debate this for hours, but I believe that what we haven’t stopped to consider, will affect us in profound ways.

We are not far removed from the squirrels, birds  and other animals we study as they search for  food, mates, homes and security. I laugh at  the birds visiting my feeder, as they fight to gain access to the food. One morning I remember saying out loud, “There is enough food why are they fighting instead of waiting?” Of course at that moment, I realized they were behaving  just the same as people.

From the time we are born, our parents strive to get us into the best schools they can afford. The search begins to enhance our chances, and our lives. We don’t question what does enhancement mean. We are told the  bigger house, fancier car and multiple material  gains are equivalent to success. Not having any other options or opinions available, we carry the myth forward, and work hard to gain more of everything. Few  of us stop  to consider why. Perhaps the questioning might lead us to question, what we don’t know and are not told. Continue reading