23 August 2016
To have a purpose
that is worthwhile, and that is steadily being accomplished, is
one of the secrets of a life that is worth living.
tenacity of purpose are assets
of infinitely greater value than cleverness. There is great strength in patiently waiting.
The sun, having set, comes up. The tide ebbs,
but always flows in again.
Fred van Amburgh
people ought to begin with themselves, and make their own
happiness first, from which the happiness of the whole
world would at last unquestionably follow.
Wolfgang von Goethe
An excerpt from
I think so many of us are too hard on ourselves for
what we didn't accomplish or what we should have
done. The first step is to forgive yourself for all
the things you didn't do that you should have and all the
things that you did do that you shouldn't have. Get
rid of the guilt. Negative feelings don't do you
much good. The way to deal with them is to forgive
yourself and forgive others.
Forgiveness is a tricky term. It does not only
mean that you apologize, although regretting what you did
is part of it. You may want to make amends if you
can, but there are some circumstances where there is
nothing more you can do. Even when you cannot mend
fences with others, you need to tell yourself:
"Yes, I did it and it would have been better if I
hadn't, but now I want to forgive myself for having done
that negative deed."
Forgiveness helps you come to terms with the
past. I've learned how to forgive myself, and this
has helped me no longer feel deep regrets or sadness about
For twenty years, I went around feeling terrible about
the fact that I had treated a colleague very meanly.
He was in an organization with me, and I did not want to
lead a group with him. For all those years I carried
around the guilt that I had been unkind to him and that it
wasn't right. When I saw him again recently, I went
up to him and said, "Look, I've carried this burden
for twenty years. I really feel terribly apologetic
for what I said and did to you, and I really want to ask
He said, "Oh, it's perfectly all right. I
remember the time when I was feeling dejected and low and
you put your arm around me and were comforting."
I felt tears in my eyes because of the generous way he
responded to me and the relief I felt.
There's a difference between using your past and
wallowing in it. Say I had an experience with a
nasty person and I got nasty back, but I don't want to be
that way anymore. I can use that experience to work
out a different response whenever someone is not so
pleasant to me. If I don't like my reaction, I can
change my response.
You can review your past, benefit from your successes,
and learn from your mistakes without judging
yourself. This is an excellent time to do a life
review, to make amends, identify and let go of regrets,
come to terms with unresolved relationships, and tie up
people behind the words
and excerpts - Daily
Two - Year Three
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An Urgent Wake-Up
Call to Live More Simply, Harmoniously, and Respectfully
Stephen C. Paul
On November 23rd, 1993 Native American prophecy was fulfilled
when a delegation representing the North American indigenous nations addressed a
gathering at the United Nations building in New York. Hopi prophecies had
directed messengers to knock four times on the imposing doors of the UN in an
attempt to deliver an appeal to the peoples of the world. The messengers began
knocking in 1948. It took 45 years for the last living messenger to finally gain
access. The Cry of the Earth Conference resulted from that fourth—and
final—knock. Native American elders took that opportunity to deliver the
prophecies of their spiritual leaders concerning the state of the earth and the
people living upon it.
Their message was clear and very simple: The long-predicted
time of purification is already under way. The elders pleaded that we heed
The Creator’s original instructions to the indigenous peoples and voluntarily
return to living in more simple, harmonious, and respectful ways. The prophecies
warned that, should we choose to ignore this message, erratic weather patterns,
earth movements, starvation, violence, and war would occur with ever‐increasing
frequency and intensity.
We live at a time when Native American prophecies and
contemporary scientific predictions are converging and manifesting before our
eyes. When we read the morning paper or watch the evening news, we are literally
witnessing those predicted events unfold. While there are occasional,
encouraging, isolated bright spots of technological advance and humanitarian
action, I still see very little evidence that we are seriously heeding the
My purpose is to reissue that call. I am asking each of you to
voluntarily commit to living in ways that are simpler, more respectful, and more
harmonious—more in line with The Creator’s original instructions.
an individual, must choose how you will respond. Will you voluntarily make
the required changes in your lifestyle? If you do, there’s no question that it
will have a positive affect on you, the people around you, and the earth upon
which you live. You will bring the benefits of simplicity, harmony, and respect
into your own personal life. You will prepare yourself to pass through the
predicted challenges ahead more successfully and with greater ease and grace. In
addition, you will provide a much‐needed
positive example for others to follow.
I have written this four part article to help you implement your
commitment. In the first two parts, I suggest a number of specific steps you can
take to achieve a greater simplicity—both internal and external—in you life.
Part I: Five Steps to Simplify Your Inner World
Any unresolved issues you carry inside can distort your
perceptions of the world, inhibit your personal options, and make you more
vulnerable to stressful life events. You’ve probably heard the saying,
"Wherever you go, there you are." Well, it’s absolutely true. In
order to live more fully, and flow more fluidly with disruptive changes, it is
essential that you free yourself of any remaining unresolved issues.
Step 1: Release your attachments
I believe this is the most important internal change you can
make. Imagine strands of your energy running out from you to all the people and
things you rely on to define your identity. One strand may run to a person you
love, another to your car, and still a third to your music collection. Some may
stretch back in time to people who let you down, while others might reach far
into the future, tied to an aspiration or desired possession. Strands might even
run to your own body (how you look), or to your thoughts and beliefs (religion,
politics, etc.). We can attach ourselves to anything…nd we do.
Buddha said that we suffer because of our desires and
attachments. We attach ourselves to people, things, and outcomes as if they were
extensions of ourselves. Then we hold on very tightly (using words, actions, and
our will). If another person must respond with the "right" expression,
answer, or behavior in order for you to be "happy" or
"okay," then you are definitely attached. If events must turn out in a
particular way—match the picture in your head—in order for you to be
"okay," you are attached. If you still carry unresolved feelings about
something that happened in the recent or distant past, you are attached. Those
attachments handicap you by causing you to resist change or avoid making choices
that might jeopardize a desired outcome.
The only solution is to let go. You must draw back—from your
side—the strands of energy that you extend to hold, influence, or control
people, things, and outcomes for your own ends. You must let everything and
everyone go free.
There are a number of ways to go about releasing attachments.
Satchidananda offers a comprehensive Eastern approach in The Yoga Sutra’s
of Patanjali and John Randolph Price presents a Western version in A
Spiritual Philosophy for the New World. I describe my own set of eight
release steps on my website (www.circledancer.com) in an article titled Releasing
Attachments. If you discover that you need additional help with this
process, some therapists and members of the clergy are able to provide
Ultimately, we let go of everyone and everything—we die.
According to most spiritual traditions, the sooner you release your attachments,
the more peace and ease you have in this life. The Native American prophecies
provide a little extra incentive. It will be a lot easier to adapt to a changing
world once you free yourself.
Step 2: Face and resolve your issues
Another powerful way to simplify your life and prepare for
change is to solve any unresolved personal issues (fears, anxieties, judgments,
reactions, addictions, compulsions, depression, etc.). The increasing stress and
challenge presented during the difficult times ahead is likely to intensify your
unresolved issues, making it even harder 5
for you to operate effectively. You would be wise to resolve
those issues before those external pressures mount.
Most issues can be resolved by bringing them fully into your
awareness, facing and accepting them, and then taking any required actions
(e.g., learning a new approach to managing stress). It’s likely that your
unresolved issues have already been brought to your attention. If so, perhaps
you dismissed them (e.g., I only drink on weekends.) or even defended them
(e.g., If you didn’t do what you do, I wouldn’t react the way I do.).
Winston Churchill noted that we often stumble over the truth, but we quickly
pick ourselves up, brush ourselves off, and hurry on our way. I strongly
encourage you to stop and acknowledge the issues that repeatedly trip you up.
You may be able face and resolve your issues on your own, using
methods such as introspection, meditation, or journaling. You might even be able
to address the issues that arise in your relationship—with your partner’s
help. However, if you have trouble facing an issue, or coming up with the means
to handle it, you may want to seek the help of a counselor. It always makes
sense to remove a rock from your shoe rather than limp along with it, but that’s
especially true when the road ahead is likely to be rough and full of unknown
twists and turns.
Step 3: Tell the truth
Your personal power comes through representing your true self in
the world. Your power with others lies in their being able to count on you and
to trust in you. Any lie diminishes your credibility in this world…nd it
diminishes you. Tell the truth at all times, and under all conditions—without
Step 4: Reduce your dependency
In a dependent relationship, another person (a lover, a parent,
a child) appears to control the availability of something you desire. That
desired thing can be almost anything, but most often it tends to be acceptance,
love, or financial support. Dependency occurs when you surrender your own
personal power and control in an attempt to obtain the thing you desire. Then,
you and the other person both end up feeling bound, unfulfilled, and resentful.
The only way out of dependency is by becoming independent. You
are independent when you are willing and able to make your own choices,
regardless of the reactions and responses of others. Independence also requires
being willing and able to stand alone on your own two feet (e.g., take care of
One of the best indicators of whether you are independent is
whether you are willing to address issues that arise in your relationships. If
you are reluctant to express the truth to a friend, a colleague, or a partner,
you are probably in a dependent relationship. Your life will be very complicated
if there are unexpressed negative feelings or unresolved issues present in your
relationships. Say what you need to say and make certain you avoid the binding
ties of dependency.
Step 5: Remain light-hearted
I saw the Dalai Lama when he visited Salt Lake a few years ago.
He walked out on the stage, and everyone in the audience lit up. That didn’t
happen because of his importance as a spiritual or political leader. It happened
because he came out grinning so excitedly, waving so lovingly…ith his socks
falling down. His light‐heartedness
was absolutely contagious. I know the Dalai Lama was fully aware of all of the
suffering in the world. I’m also certain he was under tremendous pressure to
meet with the crowds and deliver his teachings that day. Still, he remained
It didn’t diminish him one bit, and it elevated all the rest of us.
There is suffering in this world, and maybe even in you own
life. According to Native prophecies, it’s likely there will be more. But,
your anger, discouragement, and sadness will not diminish that suffering. It
will only aggravate and amplify it. It will rob you and those around you of the
possibility of perceiving the joy and love that exist right along side the
suffering. Be the light‐heartedness
that brightens even the most difficult times.
* * * * *
Read Part II next week! Read
about Stephen C. Paul here. We thank Stephen for his permission to use
this article in its entirety. You can read more by him at his website at
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want a better position than you now have in business, a
fuller place in life. All right; think of
that better place and you in it as
Form the mental image. Keep on thinking of that
position, keep the image constantly before you,
and--no, you will not
suddenly be transported into the
higher job, but you will find that you
yourself to occupy the better position in life--your body,
your energy, your understanding, your heart will all grow
up to the job--
and when you are ready, after hard work,
after perhaps years of
preparation, you will get the job
and the higher place in life.
seventh day is an ancient tradition founded and based on
our most human needs. It is a Jewish tradition and a
Christian tradition. Other religious traditions also
honor one day of the week as a day of worship and
rest. In this age that has not been kind to
tradition, I believe there is a great need to embrace this
wonderful, life-giving tradition of the seventh day.
tradition of the Sabbath emerged from our legitimate need
as human beings for rest. The seventh day tradition
upholds, protects, and ensures our legitimate need for
rest and relaxation, for a change of pace, for time with
family and friends, for time to turn toward the
transcendental, and for time to renew our connection with
God. It is a tradition as relevant today as it was
five thousand years ago.
modern conception of life respects only action. To
be spending your time in a worthwhile manner, you must be
doing or achieving something. The crudest and most
basic measure of this attitude is moneymaking. This
mind-set affects even the way we spend our recreation
time. People are so caught up in this obsession with
action and activity, they feel they must be doing
something constantly. Prayer is an inner
activity. When you pray you take on the appearance
of doing nothing. And because the fruits, benefits,
and rewards of prayer are internal, you appear to be
achieving nothing. Nothing could be further from the
person with their eyes closed is asleep, and not every
person with their eyes open can see. . . .
happens according to the seasons. Nature is based on
certain cycles. These cycles are the untapped power
of our lives. If a farmer plants the seed in the
winter, will he or she have a crop in the spring?
No, they will have wasted time, effort, energy, and
seed. It is knowledge of the cycles, seasons, and
rhythms of nature that makes a farmer successful.
is common knowledge and practice that a rested field
yields a plentiful crop. I wonder, the first time a
farmer decided to let a field rest for a year, did his
neighbors and friends say, "Oh, that's a clever
idea"? Absolutely not. They laughed at
him, made fun of him, talked about him behind his back,
and thought he was crazy. The next year, when he
brought in his crop from that field, he had the last
laugh. The following year, when there were three or
four fields resting, he smiled to himself with a gentle
sense of quiet satisfaction. Ten years later, when
every farmer in the district was using the resting field
method, he had become a legend.
cycles of nature hold the untapped power of our lives,
too. As you begin to discover those cycles and live
by them, your friends will think you are crazy for leaving
the party early, or for passing up "an irresistible
opportunity" at work, or for changing the way you
spend your Sunday. But over the weeks, months, and
years ahead, as you bring the harvest of your life to be
weighed, they will soon see that your way is better.
They will turn to it. They too will begin to seek
the rhythm of life.
question becomes: Are you prepared to give your
health and happiness priority over your bank balance and
your toy collection? The rhythm of life should be a
priority in our lives. The seventh day as a day of
rest is a very powerful tool in creating and maintaining
the rhythm of life. Acknowledge the wisdom behind
the Sabbath tradition. Use this day. Accept
this gift. Allow this day of rest to regulate your
week, to provide a macrorhythm for your life.
ever feel that you just need a day off? A day to
relax, to be with family and friends, to do nothing at
all, a day to take it easy?
the seventh day. Allow yourself to be renewed and
refreshed. For thousands of years, wise men and
women of every culture have been tapping into the power of
the Sabbath, in one form or another, to maintain rhythm in
their lives. From this rest and reflection of the
seventh day, we emerge with a keen sense of what our
priorities are and return to our work and to the world
rooted once again in our life principles.
once lived a man whose name was Jude. He was an
apostle of Jesus Christ and was renowned throughout the
region as a wise and deeply spiritual man. People
traveled great distances, venturing across foreign lands,
to seek his advice and healing.
Jude was relaxing outside his hut when a hunter came
by. The hunter was surprised to see Jude relaxing
and rebuffed him for loafing. It was not the
hunter's idea of what a holy man should be doing.
recognized these thoughts running through the hunter's
mind and also noticed that the man carried a bow for
hunting. "What is your occupation, sir?"
am a hunter," the man replied.
good," Jude said. "Bend your bow and shoot
an arrow." The man did so. "Bend it
again and shoot another arrow," said Jude.
hunter did so, again and again. Finally he
complained, "Father, if I keep my bow always
stretched, it will break."
good, my child," Jude replied. "So it is
with me and all people. If we push ourselves beyond
measure, we will break. It is good and right from
time to time to relax and re-create ourselves."
don't break from the tensions of daily living, they will
break you. . . .
an art to slowing down. In our busy world it is not
easy to master this art, but it is necessary. Our
lives have a habit of gathering a momentum of their own,
plunging forward, with or without our consent. Learn
to slow down and access life. Take your foot off the
accelerator and look about and within.
down. Breathe deeply. Reflect deeply.
Pray deeply. Live deeply. Otherwise you will
spend your life feeling like a bulldozer chasing
butterflies or a sparrow in a hurricane.
Kelly, the charismatic minister, speaker and
best-selling author from down under, wants you to
live life out loud and on purpose. In this
expanded version of The Rhythm of Life he
syntheses Christian theology, cognitive psychology
and storytelling to unpack the paradox of being
happy. As Kelly explains, "We want to be
happy. We know what makes us happy. But
we don't do those things--because we are busy trying
to be happy." So here's the gospel
according to Kelly: Find a life-changing
rhythm by choosing a central purpose and becoming
"the best version of yourself."
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is a series of choices and as all ideas in this manifested
universe are divided as opposites, we can choose the
negative ego approach or the positive spiritual approach.
. . . From the negative ego approach we learn that we will
suffer until we balance our actions and bring our lives
into harmony with the laws that govern the universe.
This is called the law of hard knocks or karma. With
the positive spiritual approach we choose to live in
obedience to God's will, to live in harmony with universal
laws without being pushed into it. This can be
called the school of grace.
is an all-pervading presence. It unfolds to the numberless flowers
of the Spring; it waves in the branches of the trees and in the
green blades of grass; it haunts the depths of the earth and the
sea, and gleams out in the hues of the shell and the precious
not only these minute objects, but the ocean, the mountains, the
clouds, the heavens, the stars, the rising and the setting sun all
overflow with beauty. The universe is its temple; and those people
who are alive to it can not lift their eyes without feeling
themselves encompassed with it on every side.
this beauty is so precious, the enjoyment it gives so refined and
pure, so congenial without tenderest and noblest feelings, and so
akin to worship, that it is painful to think of the multitude of
people as living in the midst of it, and living almost as blind to
it as if, instead of this fair earth and glorious sky, they were
tenants of a dungeon.
infinite joy is lost to the world by the want of culture of this
spiritual endowment. The greatest truths are wronged if not linked
with beauty, and they win their way most surely and deeply into
the soul when arrayed in this their natural and fit attire.
good to have money and the things that money can buy;
but it's good, too, to check up once in a while and make sure
that you haven't lost the things that money can't buy.
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