20 September 2016
longer you live the more you realize that
forgiveness, consideration, and
are three of the great secrets of life.
best index to people's character is
(a) how they treat people
do him or her any good, and
(b) how they treat people who can't fight back.
things which at the moment may be perceived as obstacles--and actually be obstacles, difficulties, or drawbacks--can
in the long run result in some good end which would not have occurred if it
had not been for the obstacle.
you begin a thing, remind yourself that difficulties and
delays quite impossible to foresee are ahead. . . .
You can only see one thing clearly and that is your goal.
Form a mental vision of that and cling to it through thick and thin.
Surrendered Life (an excerpt)
relax, to feel the love in your heart and keep to that as
your focus in every situation--that's the meaning of
spiritual surrender. It changes us. We become
deeper, more attractive people.
Zen Buddhism, there's a concept called "zen
mind," or "beginner's mind." They say
that the mind should be like an empty rice bowl. If
it's already full, then the universe can't fill it.
If it's empty, it has room to receive. This means
that when we think we have things already figured out,
we're not teachable. Genuine insight can't dawn on a
mind that's not open to receive it. Surrender is a
process of emptying the mind.
the Christic tradition, this is the meaning of
"becoming as a little child." Little
children don't think they know what things mean. In
fact, they know they don't know. They ask someone
older and wiser to explain things to them. We're
like children who don't know, but think we do.
wise person doesn't pretend to know what it's impossible
to know. "I don't know" can be an
empowering statement. When we go into a situation
not knowing, there is something inside us which does.
With our conscious mind, we step back in order that a
higher power within us can step forward and lead the way.
need less posturing and more genuine charisma.
Charisma was originally a religious term, meaning "of
the spirit," or "inspired." It's
about letting God's light shine through us.
about a sparkle in people that money can't buy. It's
an invisible energy with visible effects. To let go,
to just love, is not to fade into the wallpaper.
Quite the contrary, it's when we truly become
bright. We're letting our own light shine.
are meant to be this way. We are meant to
shine. Look at small children. They're all so
unique before they start trying to be, because they
demonstrate the power of genuine humility. This is
also the explanation of "beginner's luck."
When we go into a situation not knowing the rules, we
don't pretend to know how to figure anything out, and we
don't know yet what there is to be afraid of. This
releases the mind to create from its own higher
power. Situations shift gear and lights go on simply
because our minds have opened up to receive love. We
have gotten out of our own way.
is a win-mode, a successful and attractive
vibration. We think that success is difficult, and
so, for us it is. Success in life doesn't have to
involve negative tension. We don't have to be
struggling all the time. If you think about it,
"taking the bull by the horns" would be a very
dangerous thing to do. In fact, ambitious tension
actually limits our ability to succeed because it keeps us
in a state of contraction, emotionally and
physically. It seems to give us energy but doesn't
really, like the white sugar of mental health; there's a
short high, followed by a crash. The cultivation of
mental rest, or surrender, is like eating healthy
food. It doesn't give us an immediate rush, but over
time it provides a lot more energy.
doesn't require sitting in a lotus position all day.
We still get excited, but more gently. Many people
associate a spiritual life with a grade B movie, but God
doesn't get rid of all the drama in our lives. He
just gets rid of the cheap drama. There is no
higher drama than true personal growth. Nothing
could be more genuinely dramatic than boys becoming real
men and girls becoming real women.
amazing happens when we surrender and just love. We
melt into another world, a realm of power already within
us. The world changes when we change. The
world softens when we soften. The world loves us
when we choose to love the world.
means the decision to stop fighting the world, and to
start loving it instead. It is a gentle liberation
from pain. But liberation isn't about breaking out
of anything; it's a gentle melting into who we really
are. We let down our armor, and discover the
strength of our selves. A Course in Miracles
tells us that although we think that without the ego, all
would be chaos, the opposite is true. Without the
ego, all would be love.
are simply asked to shift focus and to take on a more
gentle perception. That's all God needs. Just
one sincere surrendered moment, when love matters more
than anything, and we know that nothing else really
matters at all. What he gives us in return for our
openness to him, is an outpouring of his power from deep
within us. We are given his power to share with the
world, to heal all wounds, to awaken all hearts.
A Return to Love, Marianne Williamson's
bestselling spiritual guide, Williamson shares
her reflections on A Course in Miracles
and her insights on the application of love in
the search for inner peace. Williamson
reveals how we each can become a miracle
worker by accepting God and by the expression
of love in our daily lives. Whether our
psychic pain is in the area of relationships,
career, or health, she shows us how love is a
potent force, the key to inner peace, and how
by practicing love we can make our own lives
more fulfilling while creating a more peaceful
and loving world for our children.
people behind the words
and excerpts - Daily
Two - Year Three
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Don't Believe in Defeat
Norman Vincent Peale
There is no
difficulty you cannot overcome. A wise and
philosophical man once said to me, when asked how he
overcame his difficulties, "How do I get through a
trouble? Well, first I try to go around it, and if I
can't go around it, I try to get under it, and if I can't
get under it, I try to go over it, and if I can't get over
it, I just plow right through it." Then he added,
"God and I plow right through it."
effective method for making your mind positive in character
is to eliminate certain expressions of thought and speech
which we may call the "little negatives."
These negatives clutter up the average person's
conversation, and while each one is seemingly unimportant in
itself, the total effect is to condition the mind
negatively. When this thought of "little
negatives" first occurred to me, I began to analyze my
own conversational habits and was shocked by what I
found. I was making such statements as, "I'm
afraid I'll be late," or "I wonder if I'll have a
flat tire," or "I don't think I can do that."
"little negatives" to be sure, and a big thought
is of course more powerful than a little one. But it
must never be forgotten that "mighty oaks from little
acorns grow," and if many "little negatives"
clutter up your conversation, they are bound to seep into
your mind. It is surprising how they accumulate in
force, and before you know it, they will grow into "big
negatives." So I determined to root those
"little negatives" out of my conversation. I
found that the best way to eliminate them was deliberately
to say a positive word about everything. When you keep
asserting that things are going to work out well, good
results do occur.
roadside billboard I saw an advertisement of a certain brand
of motor oil. The slogan read, "A clean engine
always delivers power." So will a mind free of
negatives. Therefore flush out your thoughts, give
yourself a clean mental engine, remembering that a clean
mind, even as a clean engine, always delivers power.
overcome your obstacles and live the "I don't believe
in defeat" philosophy, cultivate a positive-idea
pattern. What we do with obstacles is directly
determined by our mental attitude. Most of our
obstacles are mental in character.
you may object, "mine are not mental, mine are
but your attitude toward them is mental. What you
think about your obstacles largely determines what you do
about them. Form the mental attitude that you cannot
remove an obstacle and you will not remove it. But
when your mind becomes convinced that you can do something
about difficulties, astonishing results will begin to
happen. All of a sudden you discover that you have the
power you would never acknowledge.
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
I shall open my eyes and ears.
Once every day I shall simply stare
at a tree, a flower, a
cloud, or a person. I
shall not then be
concerned at all to ask what they
simply be glad that they
I shall joyfully allow them
Re-Focusing Your Thoughts
Last week I wrote the line
need to read a special book or poem that helps me to re-focus my
mind and my thoughts so that I can approach the day in a more
positive way," and as soon as I wrote it I wanted to explore
the idea more deeply. The idea of re-focusing has always
been very important to me, for I very often find myself thinking
things that really aren't justified--negative thoughts about
myself or others, thoughts that tend to bring me down. And
the more I think such thoughts, the stronger they become; and the
stronger they become, the more I focus on them and the more they
bring me down.
I always like to have positive material surrounding me wherever I
am. I like to be able to access positive quotations and
stories and poems and songs whenever I find myself focusing on
something negative, for these are just the types of thoughts that
remind me of the good things in life and help me to start focusing
on those good things rather than on the negative things that my
mind has picked up. In fact, this is the main reason for
which I started this website to begin with--I wanted to provide a
resource with just such thoughts for anyone who might be facing
the same problem--thinking negative thoughts and needing to
re-focus their minds on legitimately positive ideas and ideals.
your thoughts away from your troubles--by
the ear, by the heels,
other way you can
manage it. It's the healthiest thing a body can
When I'm able
to re-focus my thoughts, my feelings follow
suit--not immediately, usually, but quickly
enough. It's really quite remarkable just how
closely tied our thoughts are to our emotions and
feelings--when one gets negative, the others seem to
follow suit very quickly. And that makes
sense, for they're the main parts of who we are as
non-physical human beings, aren't they? We can
see all of the physical parts of our bodies, of
course, but our minds and our emotions aren't
visible to us, even thought they're such dominant
aspects of who we are.
When we acknowledge this tie-in between our thoughts
and our feelings and emotions (I refer to them
separately because I feel sure that they're separate
aspects of ourselves), then we can start to
recognize the patterns of cause and effect that they
follow. In my experience, it's usually my
thoughts that determine my feelings and emotions,
though I definitely experience times when the
opposite is true. I know, though, that the
vast majority of the time the thoughts are the
cause, and that's important to know because it makes
me realize that if I change those thoughts, the
associated feelings also can and will change, except
in extraordinary circumstances.
If I'm feeling lonely, for example, that loneliness
can make me feel very negative. It's easy to
dwell on the fact that no one is with me, and to
start to wish that I had some company, that someone
would care enough to be with me, that I didn't have
to spend time alone. I can start thinking of
reasons that others aren't with me right
now--because they're not interested in being with
me, because they don't like being with me,
whatever. My mind can go to all sorts of
places that make little sense, and I can't always
control where it goes.
When I re-focus, though, there are several
directions I can take. First of all, if I read
something about the positive effects of
solitude--one of the most important elements of our
lives--I can start to see my current situation as
very positive. The fact that no one's around
means that I can do some things that are important
to me, such as reflection, meditation, or
exercise. I can also take my mind off of the
solitude completely, and choose to read a good novel
or watch a good movie that will be uplifting and
positive. My choice there would be to take
advantage of the time available to me to do
something I may not have time for later. I can
also take advantage of the situation to address one
of my greatest fears--I can reach out to someone
else and ask them to get together. This has
been one of my greatest fears my entire life long,
something that I'm not able to do without feeling a
great deal of nervousness and stress.
of your life depends upon the quality of your thoughts. . .
take care that
you entertain no notions unsuitable
to virtue and reasonable nature.
If I'm angry at
someone, I tend to focus on just those behaviors or
incidents that have made me angry, and my thoughts
come up with information from the past that support
my anger. Someone might have said something
extremely hurtful to me, and as long as I stay
focused on that incident, it's only going to get
worse in my mind. In these situations, it's
nice to force myself to remember something positive
about the person--a good time that I've spent with
him or her, or something he or she has done that was
kind and considerate. Very often I find that
the positive things so far outweigh the negative
that it's simply ridiculous for me to keep hanging
on to the negative thoughts--for then I'm the
problem, not the incident or the other person.
I also find that work or studying is a good
alternative to negative thoughts about someone else
or even to feelings of depression or sadness or
loneliness. When I'm able to immerse myself in
a subject, be it a novel or something from work or a
paper that I have to write, the act of focusing on
something productive keeps my mind from coming up
with new things to feel bad about. I don't
want to work every waking hour, of course, but
sometimes it's nice to be able to use something
that's important in a different context to help me
out in another situation.
erases unpleasant thoughts more effectively
than conscious concentration on pleasant ones.
It's easy for
us to think that thoughts just "happen,"
but the truth is that we do choose them often, or we
choose to allow them to stick around and make us
feel worse. Sometimes, sadly, we even revel in
negative thoughts because we want to feel a sense of
righteous indignation--it makes us feel somehow good
to feel so bad, because it's someone else's
fault. And we like blaming other people
sometimes. And because we choose so many of
our thoughts and choose to keep them active, we also
have the option of choosing to banish them by
re-focusing our thoughts on things that are much
more positive and uplifting.
It does take effort, and it even takes
practice. It isn't something that's
super-simple. But it is possible for all of
us. If we've grown up in environments in which
people hung on to negative thoughts all the time, it
will be more difficult for us and it will take more
work--but it's still possible. And if we do
make the effort and find the ways that work for us,
we'll find that our lives become much more pleasant
day after day.
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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There is one thing we
can do, and the happiest
people are those who do
it to the limit of their
We can be completely
We can be all here.
We can give all our attention
to the opportunity before us.
Mark van Doren
If we think of
this existence of the individual as a larger or smaller room, it
appears evident that most people learn to know only a corner of
their room, a place by the window, a strip of floor on which they
walk up and down. Thus they have a certain security.
And yet that dangerous insecurity is so much more human which
drives the prisoners in Poe's stories to feel out the shapes of
their horrible dungeons and not be strangers to the unspeakable
terror of their abode.
are not prisoners. No traps or snares are set about us, and
there is nothing which should intimidate or worry us. We are
set down in life as in the element to which we best correspond,
and over and above this we have through thousands of years of
accommodation become so like this life, that when we hold still we
are, through a happy mimicry, scarcely to be distinguished from
all that surrounds us.
We have no
reason to mistrust our world, for it is not against us. Has
it terrors, they are our terrors; has it abysses, those abysses
belong to us; are dangers at hand, we must try to love them.
And if only we arrange our life according to that principle which
counsels us that we must always hold to the difficult, then that
which now still seems to us the most alien will become what we
most trust and find most faithful.
How should we
be able to forget those ancient myths that are at the beginning of
all peoples, the myths about dragons that at the last moment turn
into princesses; perhaps all the dragons of our lives are
princesses who are only waiting to see us once beautiful and
brave. Perhaps everything terrible is in its deepest being
something helpless that wants help from us.
So you must
not be frightened, Dear Mr. Kappus, if a sadness rises up before
you larger than any you have ever seen; if a restiveness, like
light and cloud-shadows, passes over your hands and over all you
do. You must think that something is happening with you,
that life has not forgotten you, that it holds you in its hand; it
will not let you fall.
Rainer Maria Rilke
from Letters to a Young Poet
Face your deficiencies and acknowledge them; but
do not let them master you.
Let them teach you patience, sweetness, insight.
When we do the best we can,
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