19 July 2016
is what I "come up against," what takes me by
surprise, the other-than-myself which pulls me up and obliges me
to reckon with it and adjust myself to it because it will not
consent simply to adjust itself to me.
It's not enough to be
right. That's too little. It's also important to be
strong. The history of the world shows that more often
people who were right lost than won.
is wisdom in knowing how to play, to touch lightly, uninvolved
and uncommitted, on what is pleasurable.
Muriel James and John James
Physicists play with mathematical formulas while
architects play with order, form, and space. Real
estate brokers play with personalities, properties, and
proposals; researchers with computers, software, and
databases; and musicians with notes, rhythm, and
harmony. More personally, when any of us write a
letter or a business report, we play with words, themes,
and ideas. In cooking we play with recipes, tastes,
and textures; while paying the bills we may play with
numbers, priorities, and percentages. In fact, a
great deal of what we do is creatively playing with
something, no matter how serious we imagine it to be at
Play is a basic component of work and relationships.
It is one of the most poignant ways of expressing a
passion for life. Furthermore, it is a natural
behavior. Watch a kitten pounce on a ball of yarn or
two puppies or children wrestle and the natural instinct
to play is obvious.
Research psychologist Harry Harlow did some famous studies
with monkeys in which he concluded that play enables
monkeys to develop the necessary social and emotional
skills required for successful functioning. He also
found that monkeys that are prevented from playing with
other monkeys become seriously ill.
Gregory Bateson, a biologist and anthropologist, tells of
a strategy he used to discover whether or not animals
would initiate play with humans.
He sat quietly in a
pool and watched as a dolphin started playing with him by
putting her beak under his arm. Next she swam around
to sit on his lap to initiate their playing and swimming
together. Evidently animals have an urge to enjoy
and show it by playing in ways that are similar to ours.
Humans also play naturally. Babies play in bathtubs
with rubber duckies; children swing in the parks.
Teenagers at dances and adults at barbeques frequently end
up smiling, joking, and having fun with each other.
Even at work, the tendency to play often surfaces with
jokes around the water cooler or coffeepot due to the
playful spirit within each of us.
When people experience their playful spirit within, they
take an almost childlike delight in life. They are
open to the unexpected in the present moment and are
optimistic about the future. When in touch with the
playful spirit, they have a sense of humor, can laugh at
themselves and even laugh in tough situations. When
people let their playful spirits out, they are trusting
enough to be spontaneous without acting artificial or
defensive. They feel confident and comfortable and
enjoy playful interchanges with others.
This playfulness is an expression of the natural Child
within that enjoys laughter without planning and
practice. The inner Child, doing what it wants to
do, naturally enjoys fooling around, acting silly, joking,
and laughing. It has a lightness that can bring a
breath of fresh air to an otherwise tense or serious
moment. This lightness reflects the spirit of play.
Each of us has a naturally playful spirit within,
regardless of how we experience or express it. Some
people are playful no matter what they are doing.
They joke and laugh while driving across town or cleaning
up after dinner. They make light of temporary
setbacks and are able to share a smile even when working
fast and furiously. Of course, some others overdo
playfulness. They joke at inappropriate times or use
ridicule and sarcasm under the guise of a friendly
joke. They may use humor to distract from a
difficult conversation, laugh when they feel uncomfortable
or in pain, or make fun of something that is a very
serious matter to someone else.
On the other hand, many people are uncomfortable letting
their playful spirit out. Taking life too seriously,
they consider playfulness to be frivolous and a waste of
time. They feel compelled to keep busy instead of
enjoying the momentary interactions and
distractions. Pushing to make every moment
productive, they may block their creativity, drain their
energy, and decrease their sense of enthusiasm for
life. For them, life is serious work and not all
Playfulness is also difficult for those who compulsively
try to be perfect. Always needing to have things
organized, whether it is a tidy desk or a spotless house,
they prefer order and predictability in relationships and
life in general to flexibility and joy.
Still others disdain playfulness because they find it a
bit scary. Possibly they were ridiculed as children
or rejected as adults, so they shy away from encounters
they imagine could be embarrassing. They often try
to be overly pleasing and helpful, or overly controlling
and in charge, as a way to protect against the fears in
the inner Child. Yet according to Erik Erikson, one
of the world's experts on psychological development, play
is "the most natural, self-healing measure" life
In spite of these hesitations, the natural playfulness
within each person can be seen in any situation where
people express their basic urges. In expressing the
urge to live, some people are lighthearted and friendly
with hospital staff while taking a treadmill exam or
having a few stitches put in a cut finger.
Similarly, people who are playful while expressing their
urge to create may scribble, doodle, or draw cartoons
during a playful moment, or let their imaginations run
free to daydream while searching for a creative solution
to a problem. Similarly, when the playful spirit
arises in people who are seeking to express their urge for
understanding, they may make funny connections between
ideas, or make puns that bring laughter to others in
class. The spirit of play and enjoyment usually
shows the most when we laugh.
Muriel James, author of the classic Born
To Win, and son John contend that there are
seven basic spiritual urges that shape human
existence and define goals: the urge to live,
understand, create, enjoy, connect, transcend, and
the urge for freedom. The authors explain the ways
in which each human urge manifests itself, thus
defining the spiritual paths people choose to
explore. To help readers initiate their own
spiritual search, quotes for contemplation and
simple exercises in self-exploration are given at
the end of each chapter.
people behind the words
and excerpts - Daily
Two - Year Three
for your free daily spiritual or general quotation ~ ~ Sign
up for your free daily meditation
What does it mean to live a full life? How do we
stay happy and content in a world that often seems to be
throwing more at us than we can handle? Thirty years in
the making, Universal Principles
of Living Life Fully explores different aspects of our
selves as human beings, aspects that we are able to develop and
expand when we need to in order to make ourselves more
comfortable in the world we live in. It explores 57 different
elements of who we are, from love to mindfulness to adversity to
prayer, in an effort to help you to figure out just where to
focus your energy and attention when life is being difficult for
you. Use the link to the left for the Kindle edition, or click
here for the print edition.
Read more about the book here.
for Living Life Fully
If you want to have many of the quotations that you find here on
our pages to take with you wherever you go, whenever you go
there, our collection of quotations--over 3800 of them-- is available for the Kindle
for just 99 cents! (It's available only on the Kindle
because the price would end up being far too high for a print
copy.) Some of the wisest words that you will ever read,
all organized by topic and ready to provide you with
encouragement, motivation, and reinforcement. This may be
the best dollar you ever spend!
The Secret of Staying in Shape
recent years, there's been a robust effort in
our society to encourage exercise. From the
massive health club expansion to the explosive
growth of workout equipment marketed to the
consumer, most of us are finally convinced that
getting in shape has its merits.
In fact, it's rather difficult to avoid the
exercise craze. From television commercials to
infomercials, and from gadgets that promise to
flatten our abs in just minutes, to shakes that
build muscles and burn fat, there's not a day
that passes when we're not hit with a "get
in shape" message.
Yet, despite these marketing efforts, Americans
are more out of shape than ever. Worse yet,
people who really need to exercise in order to
maintain their health are not doing it.
If you're not getting the picture, just check
out your local health club. Most club members
are really in great shape, (many were before
even joining) while your next door neighbor, who
really needs a workout, is proud to declare
himself a "couch potato."
If you need further convincing, just check out
the used exercise equipment market. On most days
of the week, you can purchase the latest home
equipment for a fraction of its original
cost—in absolutely perfect condition! For
after just a few weeks of earnest use, these
mechanical wonders magically transform
themselves into the most convenient family room
We're basically entrenched in aggressive
marketing hype and conditioning. The promise of
the quick fix, with the least amount of effort
is attractive. Yet, in reality, how does the
least amount of effort equate with getting in,
and staying in shape?
Frankly, it doesn't. It's simple physics that in
order to stay in shape, you must expend a
certain amount of energy. When you do, there's
an added bonus—you'll burn some calories and
shrink that waistline as well.
So why not begin with an activity that you'd
rather be doing in the first place?
Take the lead from young children who
just can't do it enough. In fact, they don't
even consider it exercise. For them, it's
"play," and they do it together.
Why not take their lead and get started on the
right foot? Try a brisk walk at the dam with
someone you love, or try a new sport with a
friend. Time is bound to pass quickly, and you
might even begin looking forward to a wonderful
experience that doesn't even resemble exercise.
If you're not into braving the elements,
consider joining a health club, or taking a Yoga
or Tai Chi class with your friends. Sooner or
later, you'll discover the value of encouraging
and supporting each other, when one of you is
down or is losing interest.
The bottom line is simple. Forget the gadgets,
the gimmicks, and the quick fixes. Find
something that you enjoy doing, rediscover the
rejuvenating essence of the child within, and
most of all, have fun!
Remember, if you don't enjoy your chosen
activity enough to stick with it, simply move on
to something else. What's perfect today may not
suit you tomorrow. The keys to success are a
willingness to change, and discovering what
truly works for you.
* * * * *
Barry Bittman, MD is a neurologist, author,
international speaker, award-winning
producer/director and inventor. As CEO and
Medical Director of the Mind-Body Wellness
Center, a comprehensive, interdisciplinary
outpatient medical facility in Meadville, PA.,
Dr. Bittman has pioneered a new paradigm for
treating the “whole person.”
Wallpaper! Just click below
the size your desktop is
right-click on the
picture that appears
in the new
window, and choose
"Set as background."
photo's from a spring
day in the Canadian Rockies)
x 800 - 1440
think on the bright side--no matter what life brings
to your day. You'll gain a treasure within your soul
that no worry or hardship
can ever take away.
I woke up this morning with these three words on my mind.
It's very rare that something like that happens to me, but it did
today. And with those three words were many other ideas
about the concept, mostly centered on the idea that every positive
contact that someone has with someone else helps that person to
grow in positive ways, and that our characters and principles are
developed by the number and type of contacts that we have with
other people, and that the more positive contacts we experience,
the more positive we grow as human individuals and as members of
the human community.
We all follow this principle in our lives, whether we recognize it
or not. If we want an animal to accept us, we generally
don't try to make it like us immediately; instead, we walk up to
it slowly, trying to pet it at first, and we don't worry if it
shies away or walks away. Then, the next time we see it, we
try to add another positive contact to our relationship with it,
until eventually there are enough positive contacts built up that
the kitten or puppy or lizard trusts us, and will allow us to be
close to it.
And while people certainly aren't animals (though some may argue
with the statement), we often follow similar principles in our
relationships with others. As a teacher, for example, I
never try to get my students to like or trust me during the first
class--I just try to be genuine and sincere and do my job
well. If they're going to trust me, that's a dynamic that
has to be built over time.
There are other people in my life with whom I don't have as much
contact, or with whom contact tends to be negative if they're
negative people or if I get angry or upset with them. In
these cases, it really is up to me to start adding positive
contacts with them, slowly but surely, if I want to repair a
relationship or establish a positive one. There have been
times when I've had arguments with people, and it's taken quite a
bit of time to re-establish the positive side of the
relationship. When I try to accomplish this, I simply try to
build the numbers of positive contacts--simple "hellos"
or kind acts or compliments or asking favors--until the scale tips
back over to the positive side.
If we could keep a tally of the positive contacts that we initiate
over the course of our lives, it could be something that could
show us just what kind of impact we can make in this world.
Each encounter to which we contribute in positive ways is a
contribution to the peace and love and hope of the world, even if
in a very small way. But as we add ten, twenty, one hundred,
one thousand such contacts over the course of months or years,
we'll know for sure that we have made contributions to the lives
of others that have helped them to feel confidence, hope, peace,
or balance, or that have helped them to learn important things
about themselves or the world.
What positive contacts can you make today? When you have
contact with any other person in your life, whether they're people
you like or don't like, what kind of positive things can you
contribute to the world, be it a small compliment, a sincere thank
you, or a piece of encouragement? The world is in need of
positive energy and hope and love, and the best way for us to
contribute to those elements of the world is to consciously add
something positive to each encounter, to each contact. The
more we do so, the more natural it will become, and the more
widespread the ripple effect will be--our contributions will grow
further than we can imagine, and all we have to do is start
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.
In the twelve years of livinglifefully.com's existence, this
essay series has been a mainstay of the weekly e-zine--a
series that has explored not just the things that exist and
that happen around us, but also our reactions to those
things. The first five years of the column are now available
exclusively on Kindle.
Life Fully, the e-zine
exists to try to provide for visitors of the world wide web a
of growth, peace, inspiration, and encouragement. Our
are presented as thoughts of the authors--by no means do
mean to present them as ways that anyone has to live
from them what you will, and disagree with
whatever you disagree
with--just know that they'll be here for you
- contents - Daily
Meditations - abundance - acceptance
- aging - ambition
- anxiety - apathy - appreciation -
- art - attitude
- awakening - awareness
balance - beauty
- busyness - caring -
- challenges -
change - character
charity - children
- comparison - compassion
competition - complaining
- compliments -
- confidence - conformity
contentment - control
- crisis - criticism
discouragement - diversity -
doubt - dreams
- earth - education -
ego - emotions -
enthusiasm - envy
- ethics - example - exercise - experience - failure
- family - fate - fathers
- feelings - finances
- flowers - forgiveness
- frustration - fun - the future
- garden of life - gardening
- goals - God
- grace -
- grief - growing up
- guilt -
- home - honesty
- hospitality - humility
ideals - identity
idleness - idolatry
- illusion -
imagination - impatience
- the inner child - inspiration -
integrity - intimacy
introspection - intuition
- journey of life - joy
- judgment - karma - kindness
knowledge - language
learning - letting
go - life
- listening - loneliness
- lying - magic - marriage
mistakes - mistrust
- moderation - money -
- motivation - music - mystery
pain - parenting - passion
- the past - patience
- perspective - pessimism
- poetry -
potential - poverty -
power - praise
- pride - principle
- problems - progress
- reading -recreation
- reputation - resentment
respect - responsibility
- rest - revenge
risk - role models
- running -
ruts - sadness
life - self - self-love
self-reliance - self-respect
- selfishness - serving others - shame
down - smiles
-solitude - sorrow -
strength - stress
- success -
suffering - talent
the tapestry of life - teachers - thoughts
- today - tolerance
- truth - unfulfilled
- vulnerability - walking - war
- wealth - weight
issues - wisdom
wonder - work
worry - worship
- spring - summer
- fall - winter
Christmas - Thanksgiving
New Year - America
Zen sayings -
The Law of Attraction -
- e-zine archives
our most recent e-zine - Great
Thinkers - the people behind the words
© 2016 Living Life Fully,
all rights reserved.
free to re-use material from this site other than
contact each author for permission to use those.
If you use material, it would be
greatly appreciated if you would provide credit and
a link back to the original
source, and let us know where the material is
published. Thank you.
some good can be
derived from every event
is a better proposition
than that everything
happens for the best,
which it assuredly
Charge by Taking Responsibility
coaching gymnastics at Stanford University, I walked into a
workout one day and found Jack, the team captain, lying on the
mat, stretching -- grasping one of his legs and pulling it toward
his chest. As I walked by, I saw him grimace and heard him
groan, "Oh, God, I hate this -- it hurts so much!"
I didn't know whether he was talking to me, to himself, or
complaining to God, but I felt as if I'd wandered into a Mel
Brooks movie. I wanted to ask Jack, "Who's doing it to
you? If it hurts that bad, why don't you let up a
little?" This holds true for your life as well: If
it hurts so much, why don't you let up a little?
moment we recognize the degree to which our difficulties are self-imposed,
we begin to heal them. We end self-sabotage only by taking
responsibility for the choices and actions that created it.
Only when we stop blaming our boss or government or parents or
spouse or partner or children or circumstances or fate or God can
we change our lives and say with conviction, "I chose where I
am now, and I can choose something better."
course, not every misadventure, injury, or problem is created by
your subconscious owing to low self-worth. For all we know,
certain difficulties or challenges are gifts from God or arranged
by our souls in order to test and temper our spirit. As the
old proverb says, "Take it as a blessing or take it as a
test; whatever happens, happens for the best." And as
it happens, adversities may sometimes contain their own blessings.
I've learned that you
can tell a lot about a person by the way he/she handles
these three things: a rainy day, lost luggage, and tangled Christmas
I've learned that
regardless of your relationship with your parents,
you'll miss them when they're gone from your life.
I've learned that making
a "living" is not the same thing as making a "life."
I've learned that life
sometimes gives you a second chance.
I've learned that you
shouldn't go through life with a catcher's mitt on both
hands. You need to be able to throw something back.
I've learned that if you
pursue happiness, it will elude you. But if you
focus on your family, your friends, the needs of others, your work and
the very best you can, happiness will find you.
I've learned that
whenever I decide something with an open heart,
I usually make the right decision.
I've learned that even
when I have pains, I don't have to be one.
I've learned that every
day you should reach out and touch someone. People love that human touch -- holding hands, a warm hug, or just a
pat on the back.
I've learned that I
still have a lot to learn.
is a flowing river. Happy those who allow
themselves to be
unresisting, with the current. They float through
They live, unquestioning,
in the moment.
inspiring and motivational books that may interest you. Our main way of supporting this site is
through the sale of books, either physical copies
or digital copies for your Amazon Kindle (including the
online reader). All of the money that we earn
through them comes back to the site
in one way or another. Just click on the picture
to the left to visit our page of books, both fiction and