26 April 2016
that the happiest people you know are the ones who work at being kind,
helpful, and reliable--and happiness sneaks into their lives while
they are busy doing these things. It is a by-product, never a
hope never to feel completely fulfilled because then the point
of the journey would be destroyed. You have got to have
curiosity, hunger, and slight anxiety.
ultimate lesson we all have to learn is unconditional
love, which includes not only others but ourselves as
Power of Forgiveness
Allen once said, “People are anxious to improve
their circumstances, but they’re unwilling to
improve themselves; therefore, they remain bound.”
Now, if we want to have different circumstances, if
we want to experience prosperity, loving
relationships, peace, and joy inside, we’ve got to
go inside and unbound ourselves and drop whatever is
blocking our personal power. What I am talking about
is the power of forgiveness.
isn’t always easy to forgive others because of
what they did. The ego makes a very strong
case against them. And it builds up all of the
reasons why they were so awful and why we’re going
to resent them forever. Did you know your ego
will ruin your life? And the world is filled
with people who would rather be right than happy.
Some will go to their grave clinging to the idea
that they would rather be right than happy, at least
in their own mind. Now is that what you want?
a beautiful old saying that the only wealth is life.
Sometimes it seems that only animals know we’re
actually here to be happy. So let’s please
think about releasing old baggage. Let’s let go of
the past. And I know that sometimes people do things
that seem terrible and totally unacceptable.
There are some incredible things that go on in our
society, cruelty and thoughtlessness, and I’m not
suggesting it’s easy. I’m saying it’s
necessary if we want to be happy and empowered
people. We clean up the past because an
unfinished past leads to an unfinished future.
follows is a powerful story of just what I am saying
here, in action. It’s not an easy story to read by
any stretch of the imagination, but I pray it
afternoons down in rural Kentucky, Tommy Pigage goes
to church with a couple who could almost be
considered step-parents, Frank and Elizabeth Morris.
He’s like an adopted son to them. And after
church they go out to eat. They go roller-skating on
Thursday, and on the weekends they bowl together.
Tommy’s around a lot, even though he doesn’t
live with them. And not too long ago they had
a beautiful luau for lots of friends at their
Kentucky home, and Tommy spent a lot of time helping
them prepare it.
have a very unusual relationship. He’s not
their real son; as I said, he’s kind of an adopted
son. Their real son, Ted Morris, two nights
before Christmas, 1982, was on his way home while
Tommy Pigage was at a party, drunk, making a fool of
himself. His drinking had gotten out of control.
He left the party stone-drunk and blacked out at the
wheel and hit 18-year-old Ted Morris head-on.
And he killed the only child of Frank and Elizabeth
had never heard the name Tommy Pigage until a couple
of days later at the police station when they got
the report. And they dug out a yearbook; they
wanted to see what he looked like. They wanted
to see everything about him. Frank Morris
said, “I saw him. He had long hair and he looked
like a punk. I hated the sight of him.
Of course there was no way I was going to like
him.” He took away their only son. Ted
was the opposite of Tommy. Ted was a bright,
polite, clean-cut kid who was a scholarship student.
Tommy was a drifter and a drunk from a broken home.
weeks after the accident at the court hearing,
Elizabeth saw him for the first time. Her legs
were trembling, and she felt rage when she saw the
boy who killed their only son. He got a
10-year sentence, which was suspended, and he was on
probation for two years. He had to attend
counseling, and he had to spend every other weekend
in jail. He also had to submit to an
alcoholism test, and if he was found to be drunk
again, he would go back to jail. And Elizabeth
admitted that she wanted to see him dead, in the
grave, just like her boy.
months later Tommy Pigage was speaking at a MADD
meeting, Mothers Against Drunk Driving. And
unbeknownst to Tommy, Elizabeth was in the back of
the room, and she was waiting to hear what his story
was going to be, still enraged, still hating him,
wanting to see him dead. And Tommy got up
there, and he admitted that he had killed Ted
Morris. He admitted that his alcoholism was
out of control. He said that he felt horrible
for the anguish that he had caused them. He
said he cried all the time, day and night. And
Elizabeth was not prepared for that at all. She
began to feel empathy for him. It was difficult.
the meeting was over, she walked up to him and she
reached out, and he thought she was going to slap
him. She put her hand on his arm and said,
“Tommy, I want to acknowledge that it took a lot
of courage to stand up here and say what you
said.” And as she left, he started to cry.
Days later, she couldn’t get him out of her mind.
She found out that he was from a broken home and he
had nobody to love him and he had no direction and
he had problems all of his life.
short time later he was drunk again, and so he went
to jail for three months. His most frequent
visitor in jail was Elizabeth. She started to
look upon him like a son. She started to feel
nurturing toward this boy because she realized he
was a human being who’d made a terrible mistake
and she wanted to be someone who would love him.
Her husband Frank would not hear of it. Her
husband Frank thought she was crazy because he hated
that boy and he wanted that boy to get his due and
he wanted that boy dead. And I think any of us
could understand that.
over a period of time she developed a bond with
Tommy. And then she brought Frank in.
And little by little they started to connect.
Tommy started to read the Bible. He wanted to
change his life. And one day he said, “I
would like to be baptized.” And Frank said,
“All right, we’ll go with you.” And they
were there when he was baptized. After the
ceremony, Tommy, with tears in his eyes, looked at
Frank and said, “Do you forgive me?” What
seemed like an eternity passed. And Frank said,
“Yes. I forgive you, Tommy.” And
after that, they kind of adopted him. He calls
them every day between four and five.
Elizabeth said she would miss it if Tommy didn’t
call. He’s become like step-son.
he doesn’t replace their son Ted, their only child
who died. His bedroom remains exactly the way
it was the night that he died. He blew up a
beach ball that night, and the beach ball 11 years
later still sits on the bed. Elizabeth won’t
let anybody touch the room. So he’s not a
replacement for her son, and nothing would ever
bring her son back, but they’ve developed a loving
bond. The story was so powerful there was a
book written about it, and they were on many talk
shows because it was one of the greatest acts of
forgiveness that anyone had ever heard.
I know it isn’t always easy to let go of the
grudge, of the resentment, of the anger for what
somebody did. But you might want to think
about the payoff. When Elizabeth was
interviewed, incredibly, she said, “The hatred was
eating at me like a cancer. Now I can be happy and I
can really live.” And that’s what made
such an impact on me. It’s not a right or
wrong issue; it’s the law of cause and effect.
When I talk about being a happy, empowered person,
many times forgiveness is the bottom line. It
may be the single most challenging thing to do, but
it’s the most necessary, and it just opens up your
people have been through the long dark night of the
soul. Have you known some dark moments?
There’s a beautiful Chinese proverb that says,
“Don’t curse the darkness. Light a
candle.” Why don’t you be big enough to
stand up and reach out to that other person?
Why don’t you be big enough to stand up and
forgive? It takes a lot of courage to do it.
It’s an incredible gift we give to ourselves
because it releases our personal power and it
literally sets us free.
Carnegie once said, “If half a century of living
has taught me anything at all, it’s taught me that
nothing can bring you peace but yourself.”
There’s no peace in the world. There’s no
peace that just “fixes” people. It’s
tough to change. It’s especially tough to change
dramatically. People are creatures of habit at
a very deep level. Peace is inside of us, and
as we create peace inside of us in a very beautiful
way, our life becomes peaceful and love and support
comes back to us. I can not explain how it
happens but I’ve experienced it, and I’ve seen
it lives of other people. We release all that
beautiful, powerful living when we forgive.
Dickens once said, “We forge the chains we wear in
life.” And if you want to let go of your
chains, then you want to let go of your judgments
and your anger and your resentments.
Regardless of what others did, it’s too expensive
isn’t always easy, but it is essential. It
sets us free; it opens up whole new
possibilities. Extraordinary and wonderful
things can happen when we forgive and make peace
with our past. I’d like to give you some
action steps that you can use if you feel as if you
need to forgive, if this has touched you in a way
that you know something like this needs to be done
to release your own personal power.
one, make a forgiveness list of all the people
who’ve harmed you, and write down the specific
thing the person did. I forgive my mother for
being critical. I forgive the coach or the
teacher at school, and tell what that person did.
And keep writing them and writing them until you
feel the peace. It might be a couple of days,
a couple of weeks, even a couple of months.
It’s essential, however long it might take.
two, write a letter to them and get all of your
feelings out. Write a letter to your mom or your
dad, your former spouse, your former spouse’s
attorney. And write down your anger and resentment
and what hurt you and what was awful and swear and
rant and rave and do everything you need and then,
most importantly, don’t mail the letter! You
read correctly; don’t mail the letter! This
isn’t about getting back at them; it’s for you.
Forgiveness is not for them; it’s getting the
baggage out of your life.
then number three, totally forgive yourself for
anything you ever did or neglected to do.
Start writing forgiveness statements for yourself
and let yourself off the hook. Like everybody
else, we did the best we could with the awareness
and the self-esteem we had. It’s time to
take ourselves off the hook. That’s every
bit as much as hating somebody else or resenting
somebody else. So, please forgive yourself.
then if there’s anybody that you have a hard time
forgiving, send a blessing of love to them.
Say out loud, “I send a blessing of love to
you.” And the payoff is freedom.
The payoff is real personal power. The payoff
is a wonderful life.
are no solutions in the outer world, only inside of
us. I have found that acts of forgiveness and
the act of dropping the judgments and the blames and
the anger is simply life-changing. And I do it
along the way whenever it becomes necessary.
Muste once said, “There is no way to peace.
Peace is the way.” Let’s go out there and
let’s do whatever it takes to be at peace so that
we can release our personal power and have the
wonderful and glorious lives we so richly deserve.
people behind the words
and excerpts - Daily
Two - Year Three
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Awareness in Each Moment (an excerpt)
Thich Nhat Hanh
cold, winter evening I returned home from a walk in the
hills, and I found that all the doors and windows in my
hermitage had blown open. When I had left earlier, I
hadn't secured them, and a cold wind had blown through the
house, opened the windows, and scattered the papers from my
desk all over the room. Immediately, I closed the
doors and windows, lit a lamp, picked up the papers, and
arranged them neatly on my desk. Then I started a fire
in the fireplace, and soon the crackling logs brought warmth
back to the room.
in a crowd we feel tired, cold, and lonely. We may
wish to withdraw to be by ourselves and become warm again,
as I did when I closed the windows and sat by the fire,
protected from the damp, cold wind. Our senses are our
windows to the world, and sometimes the wind blows through
them and disturbs everything within us. Some of us
leave our windows open all the time, allowing the sights and
sounds of the world to invade us, penetrate us, and expose
our sad, troubled selves. We feel so cold, lonely, and
afraid. Do you ever find yourself watching an awful TV
program, unable to turn it off? The raucous noises,
explosions of gunfire, are upsetting. Yet you don't
get up and turn it off. Why do you torture yourself in
this way? Don't you want to close your windows?
Are you frightened of solitude--the emptiness and the
loneliness you may find when you face yourself alone?
a bad TV program, we become the TV program. We
are what we feel and perceive. If we are angry, we are
the anger. If we are in love, we are love. If we
look at a snow-covered mountain peak, we are the
mountain. We can be anything we want, so why do we
open our windows to bad TV programs made by sensationalist
producers in search of easy money, programs that make our
hearts pound, our fists tighten, and leave us
exhausted? Who allows such TV programs to be made and
seen by even the very young? We do! We are too
undemanding, too ready to watch whatever is on the screen,
too lonely, lazy, or bored to create our own lives. We
turn on the TV and leave it on, allowing someone else to
guide us, shape us, and destroy us. Losing ourselves
in this way is leaving our fate in the hands of others who
may not be acting responsibly. We must be aware of
which programs do harm to our nervous systems, minds, and
hearts, and which programs benefit us.
course, I am not talking only about television. All
around us, how many lures are set by our fellows and
ourselves? In a single day, how many times do we
become lost and scattered because of them? We must be
very careful to protect our fate and our peace. I am
not suggesting that we just shut all our windows, for there
are many miracles in the world we call
"outside." We can open our windows to these
miracles and look at anyone of them with awareness.
This way, even while sitting beside a clear, flowing stream,
listening to beautiful music, or watching an excellent
movie, we need not lose ourselves entirely in the stream,
the music, or the film. We can continue to be aware of
ourselves and our breathing. With the sun of awareness
shining in us, we can avoid most dangers. The stream
will be purer, the music more harmonious, and the soul of
the filmmaker completely visible.
may want to leave the city and go off to the countryside to
help close those windows that trouble our spirit.
There we can become one with the quiet forest, and
rediscover and restore ourselves, without being swept away
by the chaos of the "outside world." The
fresh and silent woods help us remain in awareness, and when
our awareness is well-rooted and we can maintain it without
faltering, we may wish to return to the city and remain
there, less troubled. But sometimes we cannot leave
the city, and we have to find the refreshing and peaceful
elements that can heal us right in the midst of our busy
lives. We may wish to visit a good friend who can
comfort us, or go for a walk in a park and enjoy the trees
and the cool breeze. Whether we are in the city, the
countryside, or the wilderness, we need to sustain ourselves
by choosing our surroundings carefully and nourishing our
awareness in each moment.
Nhat Hanh shows how to be
aware of relationships with others and of the world around us, its
beauty and also its pollution and injustices. Through deceptively
simple practices, Peace Is Every Step encourages the reader
to work for peace in the world as he or she continues to work on
sustaining inner peace by turning the "mindless" into the
mindful. Peace Is Every Step is a useful, and necessary,
addition to any Buddhist studies or self-help reference shelf.
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To the ordinary man or woman, it seems a
hopeless task to influence the policy
government. But to express the desire for peace
effectively, it is essential
to show that, whatever the
nominal issue, you will oppose any and every war that
folly of governments may be tempted to provoke. Nothing less
drastic can be
expected to stand firm against the excitement
which the approach of war invariably
produces. If the
friends of peace are to be politically effective, they must
to listen to arguments tending to show that
this war is unlike all other wars, that all the
guilt is on
the other side, or that the millennium will come if our side
These things have always been said at
the outbreak of a war, and have always been false.
Most Important Meetings You'll Ever Attend
Are the Meetings You Have With Yourself
You are your most important critic. There is no
opinion so vitally important to your well being as the
opinion you have of yourself. As you read this you're
talking to yourself right now. "Let's see if I
understand what he means by that... How does that compare
with my experiences? - I'll make note of that - try that
tomorrow - I already knew that... I already do
that." I believe this self-talk, this
psycholinguistics or language of the mind can be controlled
to work for us, especially in the building of
self-confidence and creativity. We're all talking to
ourselves every moment of our lives, except during certain
portions of our sleeping cycle. We're seldom even aware that
we're doing it. We all have a running commentary in
our heads on events and our reactions to them.
- Be aware of the silent conversation you have with
yourself. Are you a nurturing coach or a critic?
Do you reinforce your own success or negate it? Are
you comfortable saying to yourself, "That's more like
it". "Now we're in the groove."
"Things are working out well." "I am
reaching my financial goals." "I'll do it
better next time."
- When winners fail, they view it as a temporary
inconvenience, a learning experience, an isolated event and
a stepping-stone instead of a stumbling block.
- When winners succeed, they reinforce that success, by
feeling rewarded rather than guilty about the achievement
and the applause.
- When winners are paid a compliment, they simply
respond: "Thank you." They accept
value graciously when it is paid. They pay value in
their conversations with themselves and with other people.
A mark of an individual with healthy self-esteem is the
ability to spend time alone, without constantly needing
other people around. Being comfortable and enjoying
solitary time reveals inner peace and centering.
People who constantly need stimulation or conversation with
others are often a bit insecure and thus need to be propped
up by the company of others.
Always greet the people you meet with a smile. When
introducing yourself in any new association, take the
initiative to volunteer your own name first, clearly; and
always extend your hand first, looking the person in the
eyes when you speak.
In all your telephone communications, answer the telephone
pleasantly, immediately giving your own name to the caller,
before you ask who's calling. Whenever you initiate a
call, always give your own name up front, before you ask for
the party you want and before you state your business.
Leading with your own name underscores that a person of
value is making the call.
Don't brag. People who trumpet their exploits and
shout for service are actually calling for help. The
showoffs, braggarts and blowhards are desperate for
Don't tell your problems to people, unless they're directly
involved with the solutions. And don't make
excuses. Successful people seek those who look and
sound like success. Always talk affirmatively about
the progress you are trying to make.
As we said earlier, find successful role models after whom
you can pattern yourself. When you meet a mastermind,
become a master mime, and learn all you can about how he or
she succeeded. This is especially true with things you
fear. Find someone who has conquered what you fear and
learn from him or her.
When you make a mistake in life, or get ridiculed or
rejected, look at mistakes as detours on the road to
success, and view ridicule as ignorance. After a
rejection, take a look at your BAG. B is for
Blessings. Things you are endowed with that you often
take for granted like life itself, health, living in an
abundant country, family, friends, career. A is for
accomplishments. Think of the many things you are
proud of that you have done so far. And G is for
Goals. Think of your big dreams and plans for the
future that motivate you. If you took your BAG -
blessings, accomplishments and goals - to a party, and
spread them on the floor, in comparison to all your friends
and the people you admire, you'd take your own bag home,
realizing that you have as much going for yourself as anyone
else. Always view rejection as part of one
performance, not as a turndown of the performer.
And, enjoy those special meetings with yourself. Spend
this Saturday doing something you really want to do. I
don't mean next month or someday. This Saturday enjoy
being alive and being able to do it. You deserve
it. There will never be another you. This
Saturday will be spent. Why not spend at least one day
a week on You?!
Action Idea: Go for one entire day and night without
saying anything negative to yourself or to others.
Make a game of it. If a friend or colleague catches
you saying something negative, you must put a dollar in a
drawer or container toward a dinner or evening out with that
person. Do this for one month and see who has had to
pay the most money toward the evening.
Reprinted with permission
from Jim Rohn's Weekly E-zine.
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of the ways in which we become dangerous to others is
that our role or our expertise has in it such an inherent
for good that we, occupying that role, can do no harm. There is no role that absolves us of the responsibility to
to be mindful that life is all around us, touching us.
Rachel Naomi Remen
An excerpt from Three Cavaliers:
“That was my first death.”
wasn’t sure what Hector meant.
It seemed obvious, but there was something in the
way that Hector had had spoken the words that made the
obvious explanation seem insufficient.
“Do you mean that was the first death you
experienced in your life?” Jason asked.
I mean that it was the first time I died.”
thought it over for a moment.
“That doesn’t make any sense.”
looked over at Jason.
“Perhaps not,” he said simply.
“But perhaps it does.
I know that one day I was one person, but two weeks
later I was a different person.
The Hector Gutierrez Sanchez that I was one day no
longer was there the next.
I had all the same memories as that other person,
and people who had known me before still recognized me as
someone they knew, but I was not the same person.
The person I had been had died.”
guess if you want to see it that way. . . .”
me,” Hector said respectfully, “are you exactly the
same person you were five years ago?
Two years ago?”
not at all. I’ve
learned things. I’ve
been developing as a person, I guess.
But yes—I’m still the same person.
I mean, I’m still in the same body and all.”
you see it that way only because you wish to hold on to
what you were. Because
you are afraid to let it go.
Perhaps you are frightened to let go of who you
were because you are frightened of who you may become.”
Hector spoke matter-of-factly, with no hint of
certainty that he was right, with no sign that he felt he
was teaching Jason something.
He was making no effort to convince Jason that he
was right, and that threw Jason off.
He didn’t know how to respond.
He was used to people telling him what they
believed almost as if they wished to challenge him, and he
was used to arguing his side, which he usually thought of
almost immediately. Here,
though, there was no challenge, no need for him to jump to
defend his own beliefs.
Rather, there almost seemed to be an invitation to
think more deeply, to reflect upon the words that Hector
had spoken and the thoughts they expressed.
It made Jason very uncomfortable.
long to put the experience of fifty years at once into your young
to give you at once the key of that treasure chamber every gem
of which has cost me tears and struggles and prayers,
but you must work for these inward treasures yourselves.
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