You must love yourself before you love another. By
accepting yourself and fully being what you are, your simple
presence can make others happy.
principles you live by create the world you live in;
if you change the principles you live by,
you will change your world.
the only way the highest intelligence
of humankind can unfold.
When nothing is sure, everything is possible.
I Looking for What's Right or
Am I Looking for What's Wrong?
The question "Am I looking for what's right or am I looking
for what's wrong?" has the power to shift a moment of despair
into a moment of delight. When we look for what's right, we
consciously refocus the lens of our perceptions. Suddenly we
are able to see the good in every situation and every
person. For most of us, looking for what's right is not our
natural way of viewing the world. In fact, most of us are
trained to scan for what's wrong in any given relationship or
situation. But when we make the choice to look for what's
right, a whole new reality emerges.
People who are successful in life look for what's right. Let
me give you an example. There are more than seven hundred
realtors in the seaside village of La Jolla, California, where I
live, and probably less than twenty who do most of the
business. I had the privilege of working with one of these
twenty, a man by the name of Ozstar Dejourday. Every time I
reached Ozstar's voice mail, I was greeted by his upbeat
voice. "Thank you for calling. Wow, what a great
life we have living in beautiful La Jolla, California!"
Just hearing this message inspired me to stand up tall, put a
smile on my face, and breathe in with gratitude. Ozstar is a
man who looks for what's right.
One day I asked
Ozstar to share with me what inspires him to bring his infectious
positive attitude to everyone he meets. I wanted to discover
what powerful lens he looks through that causes him to see life as
such a magical parade.
He looked at me, and with a big grin
on his face he said, "Your eyes, your mind, and your heart
were given to you for free and so was the air, the water, and the
sunlight. How could you not be grateful for all those
precious gifts? That's why the words thank you are
the most important ones in any language. When we say,
"Thank you," we are present to all our gifts and the
love that we share." Ozstar's refreshing perspective
reminded me of one of my favorite quotes, by Marcel Proust:
"The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new
landscapes, but in having new eyes."
When we are looking for what's right, we invite life to shower us
with all its many gifts. Looking for what's right opens our
hearts and allows us to live in a state of gratitude for what we
have. It lets us appreciate the little things that bless us
every day. It causes us to stop taking for granted the many
gifts in our lives. Just think of all the things we have to
be grateful for! The fact that you are reading this article
means that you have the ability to read, as well as the resources
to access the Internet. Your heart is pumping, your lungs
are breathing, and you have the priceless ability to see, feel,
taste, and smell. These are extraordinary gifts! The
state of gratitude lives within each of us, and when we stop and
ask this question, we gain immediate access to the level of
consciousness where love and gratitude reside. When we look
for what's right, we inspire our children, our friends, our
co-workers, and our communities.
Looking for what's right is an art that takes practice. But
here is the payoff: when we look for what's right, we feel
good, strong, and worthy. When we look for what's wrong, we
feel bad, resigned, and disappointed.
It's easy to look for what's wrong. For most of us, this is
our default way of viewing the world. We are experts at
describing in great detail what isn't right about our jobs, our
mothers, our relationships, our teachers, our children, our
bodies, our government, and our bank accounts. When we look
for what's wrong, we choose to view our lives through the
narrowest possible lens, zooming in on the places where our
expectations haven't been met, where others have failed to meet
our needs, where the world doesn't look the way we have decided it
should. When we're looking for what's wrong, our eyes focus
on the negative qualities of others, spotting their weaknesses and
In addition to immediately shifting our perspective and thus our
mood, what this question does is show us that maybe--just
maybe--what's wrong is not "over there" with
others. Maybe the problem lives not outside us but rather in
our own lenses, the ones through which we choose to view the
world. We can easily argue against this point and say that
our spouses are wrong, that our bosses are wrong,
and that the waitress who brought the wrong kind of salad dressing
is wrong, too. But what we can be assured of is that if we
look for what's wrong in any given situation, we will find
it. And then our experience will be one of disappointment
The moment we find something wrong, we automatically point our
fingers in blame at the other person or the situation. It's
so easy to find fault. Finding fault with others is the lazy
person's out. I've done it a million times myself.
I've pointed my finger at others instead of taking responsibility
for the reality I see. I have been guilty of blaming my
boss, my boyfriend, my coach, and even my mother for my
discontent. Making others wrong becomes an excuse we use to
justify our moods and bad behavior. By focusing on what's
wrong, we avoid taking responsibility. . . .
We must all ask ourselves what would happen if we changed the lens
through which we view the world. How would our lives alter
if we saw out co-workers as divine beings who are here to impart
essential wisdom to us? What would happen if we listened to
our neighbors as though they were the wisest people in the
world? Would they show up any differently than they do right
now? What would be possible if we approached our partners as
though their soul purpose was to bring us ecstasy and joy?
What would we hear? What would we see? What would be
possible? Looking for what's right is a life-enhancing
choice--a choice that promises peace, contentment, and
realities of the life we live today are a
result of the choices we made yesterday, three
months ago and three years ago. But we don't
wind up in debt because of one
extravagant purchase. Nor do we put on 30
unwanted pounds as a result of a couple of
decadent meals. We are where we are because of
repeated unconscious choices made day after
day. Ford cuts right through our denial with
the 10 questions that immediately reveal the
true motivations behind our thoughts and
actions. But more than that, by rigorously and
honestly asking and answering these 10 vital
questions, we regain control and have the
power necessary to create the life we always
people behind the words
Two - Year Three
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Joy and Sorrow
Then a woman said, "Speak to us of Joy and
joy is your sorrow unmasked.
the selfsame well from which your laughter rises was
often filled with your tears.
how else can it be?
deeper that sorrow carves into your being, the more
joy you can contain.
not the cup that holds your wine the very cup that
was burned in the potter's oven?
is not the lute that soothes your spirit, the very
wood that was hollowed with knives?
you are joyous, look deep into your heart and you
shall find it is only that which has given you
sorrow, that is giving you joy.
you are sorrowful look again in your heart, and you
shall see that in truth you are weeping for that
which has been your delight.
of you say, "Joy is greater than sorrow,"
and others say, "Nay, sorrow is the
I say unto you, they are inseparable.
they come, and when one sits alone with you at your
board, remember that the other is asleep upon your
you are suspended like scales between your sorrow
and your joy.
the treasure-keeper lifts you to weigh his gold and
his silver, your joy or your sorrow must rise or
when you are empty are you at standstill and
* * * * *
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photo's from a spring
day in Kootenay National Park)
x 800 - 1440
is youthful, mirthful, frolicsome--the child of summer's
on every side there are suggestions of
juvenility and mischief. While spring
is a careful artist
who paints each flower with delicate workmanship,
flings whole pots of paint about in wild carelessness.
and scarlet colours reserved for roses and
tulips are splashed on the brambles
till every bush is
aflame, and the old creeper-covered house blushes like a
Living an Abundant Life
There's a lot of talk in the
world about abundance, and a lot of people giving advice on how
you can attract more money to you, how you can get more things and
more of this and more of that in order to live an abundant
life. There's a part of me, though, that doesn't like this
focus--after all, one of the most important lessons that we all
learn is that things don't make us happy. Happiness comes
from inside ourselves, and I believe that abundance does,
also. There's a very good chance that we're living abundant
lives right now, and that we simply think that we're living in
scarcity because we don't have many of the things that we want.
Learn to distinguish between needs and wants. If we focus on
things that we want but don't have, our lives may simply seem
to be less abundant. But if we realize that all of our
needs--food, shelter, clothing, etc.--are taken care of, then we
may start to realize that our lives actually are abundant
already. Of course, we have other needs that are emotional
and spiritual in nature, things like friendships and sharing and
giving and receiving love, and it's important to keep them in
mind, too. If your physical needs are being met but your
emotional needs aren't, then it may be time to make a major change
in your life.
Be willing to make changes. If a need isn't being met, then
it's important that you figure out why. If you don't have
abundance in the relationship department, is that because other
people treat you poorly or avoid you, or is it because you have
barriers in place that don't allow people to get close to you
because you're afraid of getting hurt? If it's the former,
then you need to be meeting a different kind of people. If
it's the latter, then you need to work on lowering or destroying
abundance mentality springs from internal security,
external rankings, comparisons, opinions, possessions, or associations.
aware of and thankful for all that you have.
Be mindful. You do have a lot already--the
fact that you're reading these words indicates that
you probably have a computer or a relatively
expensive phone, which means that you do have a
significant amount of material wealth--especially
when compared to the many people in the world who
have almost nothing. When was the last time
that you sat down and made a list of the things that
you have in life? You may be surprised at how
long that list is, and how many special things it
includes. When you are aware of all the good
things that you have and you're actually thankful
for them--instead of frustrated about things you
don't have--you're able to have a clearer vision of
just how abundant your life may be already.
Be aware of the people in your life who are positive
parts of it. They may be family members, or
they may be teachers or colleagues or co-workers or
friends, or even the friendly cashier at the
supermarket. Be aware of the people who bring
you down and make you feel bad about yourself.
Choose to make people in the former group a larger
part of your life; those in the latter group should
become a smaller part.
Work on not worrying about the future. Worry
kills. Do you have enough right now?
Then focus on that. If there's the possibility
for scarcity in your future, then make some plans
for dealing with it--don't simply worry about it and
do nothing. Perhaps it's time to look for
another job, or to get an extra job for a short
time. Being proactive, though, is always
preferable to doing nothing and continuing to
worry. Remember that for everything, there is
a season--sometimes we go through times when we are
working more than we think we should, or when we
don't have the free time we wish we had, but those
times do pass.
Ignore advertising. The purpose of advertising
is to get you to be dissatisfied with your current
state so that you'll be prone to buy things that
advertisers offer. Their goal is to make you
feel that your life isn't abundant until you buy
their goods. Don't pay attention to them!
When you have too much month
paycheck, then what
you need to do is
that there is abundance all around
you, and focus on the
abundance and not
your lack and
as night follows day
abundance will come to you.
advantage of opportunities available to you.
Many people don't, and they never experience the
abundance in their lives because they simply ignore
their opportunities. The library. Free
or inexpensive classes. City parks. Book
groups. Church groups. There are plenty
of opportunities available to all of us--many of
which are completely free--that we never make a part
of our lives. Search them out, and take
advantage of them.
Redefine "abundance" for yourself.
This is the crux of abundance--you can define it for
yourself. If good friends and a decent place
to live are the most important part of your life,
you can feel abundance when you have those
things. Do you need the most expensive car
available, or a simple car that gets you where you
need to go in comfort? Do you need to own
every toy available, or is it enough to have a few
of them and enjoy them to their fullest?
Develop your particular skills and talents.
These are your unique gifts. I know people who
are happy spending hours playing the guitar,
something that makes them feel very fulfilled and
that costs nothing after the original expenditure of
buying the instrument. While paints and
canvases cost money, once you buy them, the hours
you spend painting are less expensive than many
other activities would be.
Value simplicity. The more I value the simple
life, the happier I become and the less I find I
want. And the more I realize just how abundant
my life actually is, whether I have debts or not,
whether I have tons of money or not. The
simple things really are very valuable to us, and
it's important that we keep that in mind and search
them out instead of trying always to get or find or
buy the most elaborate and/or expensive things we
we choose not to focus on what is missing from our lives
but are grateful for the abundance that's present--love,
family, friends, work, the joys of nature, and personal
bring us pleasure--the wasteland of illusion falls away
and we experience heaven on earth.
advantage of what the natural world has to
offer. Go for a hike and breathe the clean
air. Listen to the songs of the birds and the
sounds of the river. Feel the breeze on your
skin. Feel the warmth of the sunlight and
remember that the sun is the one thing that is
keeping all of us alive. We all have abundance
in nature; few of us make it a part of our lives
regularly. It's also free--it costs us nothing
to go for a walk, except perhaps the cost of the gas
if we drive to a trailhead.
Live for the moment. Right here, right
now. Live from spirit, not from logic.
Do you have something you can do right now? Do
you have shelter and heat right now? Do you
have enough food for the day? Then you're well
ahead of millions of people on this planet--and
almost everyone who lived before us. The here
and now is the only place that we can truly live,
and the only place in which we can utilize the
abundance available to us, so let's do so!
Serve others who are needier than you are.
There are very few things that make us feel so
blessed as being with people who don't have nearly
as many blessings as we do. And it can be very
humbling to find that many of the people who have
much less than we do, have much more appreciation
for what they do have than we do.
You do have an abundant life. That's the
bottom line. You can choose to live your life
as if it's abundant, or live it as if it were
lacking. And if, perchance, some abundance is
lacking, then you have opportunities to change that
reality, but it's up to you to actually take
advantage of those opportunities. And just
think of what great role models we can be if we can
teach young people to be satisfied with fewer of the
simple things, instead of teaching them to base
their happiness on the number of material goods they
of the most important elements
of living life fully is
awareness-- awareness of our surroundings, of other people
and their motives and fears and desires, of the things that
affect us most in our lives, both positively and negatively.
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collect data, things, people,
never penetrating any of them. . .
are other times.
There are times when we stop.
sit still. We lose ourselves
in a pile of leaves or its
We listen and breezes
whole other world
begin to whisper.
Do not undermine your worth by
comparing yourself with others. It is because we are different that each of us is special.
Do not set your goals by what other people deem important.
Only you know what is best for you.
Do not take for granted the things closest to your heart. Cling to them as you would your life, for without them, life is
Do not let your life slip through your fingers by living in the past nor
for the future. By living your life one day at a time, you live all of the days of your
Do not give up when you still have something to give. Nothing is really over until the moment you stop trying.
It is a fragile thread that binds us to each other.
Do not be afraid to encounter risks.
It is by taking chances that we learn how to be brave.
Do not shut love out of your life by saying it is impossible to find.
The quickest way to receive love is to give love. The fastest way to lose love is too hold it too tightly.
In addition, the best way to keep love is to give it wings
Do not dismiss your dreams.
To be without dreams is to be without hope. To be without hope is to be without purpose.
Do not run through life so fast that you forget not only where you have
but also where you are going. Life is not a race, but a journey to be savored each step of the way.
Autumn. . . makes a double
demand. It asks that we prepare
for the future--that we be wise
in the ways of garnering
and keeping. But it also asks that we
learn to let go--
the beauty of sparseness.
a year of one-sentence reminders
of ways that we can
make the most of our lives each day that we live.
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novel of life and learning; Walker's fascinating journey
will remind you of all that is good in this world.
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David agrees to
give 70-year-old Hector
a ride west, he can't imagine the lessons he'll learn
about his life.
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and spending, we lay waste our powers," wrote
Wordsworth over 150 years ago. And we're still doing
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