4 October 2016      

Good day!  We all have a new week and month in our lives, all ready for us to do with them
as we will--what kinds of positive and uplifting things can you do with your week
and your month to make them among the best you've ever lived through?

In the Silence
Susan L. Taylor

Love the Presence within
Rhonda Byrne

Here I Am
tom walsh

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To pursue joy is to lose it.  The only way to get it is to follow steadily the path of duty, without thinking of joy, and then, like sheep, it comes most surely, unsought.

Alexander Maclaren

I want to make people laugh--so they
will begin to see things seriously.

William Zinser

Nothing more completely baffles one who
is full of tricks and duplicity than straight-
forward and simple integrity in another.

Charles Caleb Colton


In the Silence
Susan L. Taylor

Living in balance is vital to our well-being.  Without balance, much of the beauty and grandeur of our existence is lost.  But a balanced life doesn't just happen.  It is a state of grace we create by staying connected with our thoughts and feelings and consciously measuring what we do.  Just as feeling fit and flexible demands physical exercise, just as expanding your mind requires intellectual effort, so bringing you life into balance and maintaining your spiritual equilibrium require focused awareness and daily retreat from the stresses of the world.

The wisdom and strength you seek await you in the silence within.  Awakening to our deepest desires, to our needs and to our truth requires reflection and inner listening.  We must create the space in our lives where our physical self and our spiritual being can meet.  The more we nourish our internal world, the more powerful we grow in the external world.  Retreating doesn't free us from the concerns of the external world, but it delivers us from the pain of living in it.

Look to the light within you.  It's awaiting your attention, longing for your return.  You may have lost sight of your inner radiance as you turned to look outside yourself for validation and meaning.  You may have forgotten it as you gave authority not to your inner voice, but to the dictates and opinions of others.

Yet no matter how far you wander or how long you stay away, the divine light never flickers or dims.  You are host to the eternal flame.  It glows in the silence of your being to illumine your life and light your way.  The tempests of the world can never eclipse or snuff it out--just as you don't diminish the light of the sun by pulling down the shades.  The radiance within us is always shining, and solitude opens wide the way.

 We would probably be more zealous about retreating from the world if it were a complicated task, requiring great effort.  But, in fact, the task could not be simpler, because there is nowhere to go, nothing to do.  To retreat, you need only be.  How?  By giving yourself to yourself before you give yourself away.  It's amazing how a simple fifteen minutes or more of quiet inner listening each day creates such abundant peace and joy.  My life works beautifully when I start each day in communion, when I draw a warm bath, lace the water with fragrant oils--frankincense, jasmine, lavender, or patchouli--light a single candle and retreat.  During this precious time, the tiny bathroom in my small Manhattan apartment becomes a grand and healing space for me.

Choose your place.  Any place that's quiet and where you feel completely comfortable--your bed, an easy chair, a mat on the floor--will do.  Stretch fully for a few seconds from head to toe before you settle in.  Sitting or lying down, close your eyes gently.  Allow yourself to breathe slowly, deeply, exhaling longer than you inhale.  As you exhale, feel yourself letting go.  Consciously relax each part of your body separately, starting with your feet.  Tense and tighten them as you inhale.  Release and relax them as you exhale.  Continue to breathe deeply and fully as you tense and tighten your calves, thighs, and buttocks, then your torso, your arms, your shoulders and face.  Is there any tightness in the areas where stress normally takes hold--your upper back and shoulders, your neck and jaw?  Breathe deeply into each of these areas as you tighten and release those muscles again.  Let go completely.

Stay with your breath, breathing slowly, deeply and rhythmically, consciously inhaling joy and peace and exhaling stress and strain.  Feel yourself descending deeper and deeper into your breath.  You are completely at ease, your body limp and relaxed.  Listen to the rhythm of your breath whispering in the stillness.  This is the Holy Spirit, the breath of life in you.  You are now in touch with your inner light.  Feel the love, the peace at the center of your being.  Feel its healing light caressing you, filling you, renewing you.  Feel its glow enveloping you and radiating from you.  This is your own loving-kindness, embracing and restoring you to wholeness.

Now is the time for asking questions of yourself--and for listening for your deepest, most intuitive response.   You need only attune your ear.  There is no problem too trivial or concern too great to bring to the spirit within.  God resides within you for this very purpose.  In this place you can lay your burdens down.  So surrender your worries and fears, releasing them into the care of your own inner wisdom.

Continually questioning ourselves is essential to making wise and conscious choices throughout the many stages of our life's journey.  We should periodically pause in silence to ask:  What is my purpose here?  We must answer this to stay true to our path.  And there are other questions:  Who am I?  Do I feel happy, healthy, and whole?  How can I expand the promise of my life?  Have I erected defenses and barriers that are limiting my vision?  Am I making choices that encourage my growth?  Am I kind to myself?  Am I loving to myself?  Am I living my truth?  Some of the answers to your questions and challenges will come swiftly; others are revealed over time.  But God will never fail to inspire and guide you.  Have faith and don't try to hurry spirit.  The answers always come at the right time.

When you are ready, open your eyes.  Remain still for a moment and experience how at peace you feel.  You may feel a smile from your very center.  Try to hold on to the tranquil point of light glowing within you as you move through the day.

Using experiences and insights from her own life, Susan Taylor explores the intimate themes and concerns that have long been her unique territory:  self-empowerment, the exploration of love and self-worth, issues of faith and commitment, the celebration of the journey of life.  As she makes clear throughout her writings, life is not easy:  It is full of difficulties and challenges.  But it is through grappling with the challenges that life presents that we are given an opportunity to grow.


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Love the Presence within
Rhonda Byrne

The truth is that the Universe has been answering you all of your life, but you cannot receive the answers unless you are aware.  Be aware of everything around you, because you are receiving the answers to your questions in every moment of the day.  The channels those answers can come through are unlimited.  They could be delivered in the form of a newspaper headline that attracts your attention, or overhearing someone speaking, or a song on the radio, or signage on a truck passing by, or receiving a sudden inspiration.  Remember to remember, and become aware!

I have found on my own life and in others' lives that we do not think well of ourselves or love ourselves completely.  To not love ourselves can keep what we want from us.  When we don't love ourselves, we are literally pushing things away from us.

Everything we want, whatever it may be, is motivated by love.  It is to experience the feelings of love in having those things--youth, money, the perfect person, job, body, or health.  To attract the things we love we must transmit love, and those things will appear immediately.

The catch is, to transmit the highest frequency of love, you must love yourself, and that can be difficult for many.  If you focus on the outside and what you see now, you may trip yourself up, because what you see and feel about you now is the result of what you used to think.  If you don't love you, the person you see now is likely to be full of faults that you have found in yourself.

To love yourself fully, you must focus on a new dimension of You.  You must focus on the presence inside of You.  Take a moment and sit still.  Focus on feeling the life presence inside you.  As you focus on the presence within, it will begin to reveal itself to You.  It is a feeling of pure love and bliss, and it is perfection.  That presence is the perfection of You.  That presence is the real You.  As you focus on that presence, as you feel, love, and praise that presence, you will love yourself fully, quite possibly for the first time in your life.

Any time you look at yourself with critical eyes, switch your focus immediately to the presence within, and its perfection will reveal itself to You.  As you do this, all imperfections that have manifested in your life will dissolve, because imperfections cannot exist in the light of this presence.  Whether you want to regain perfect eyesight, dissolve disease and restore well-being, turn poverty into abundance, reverse aging and degeneration, or eradicate any negativity, focus on and love the presence within you and perfection will manifest.

The absolute truth is that the "I" is perfect and complete;
the real "I" is spiritual and can therefore never be less than
perfect; it can never have any lack, limitation, or disease.

Charles Haanel


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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--to acknowledge
the beauty of sparseness.

Bonaro W. Overstreet

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Just click here for quotes, passages, and poems dedicated to autumn. . . .



Here I Am

There's a thought that's been coming to my mind more and more in recent days, and it's a thought that I enjoy.  Quite simply, it's the thought "Here I am," and when it comes to me it brings along a lot of other thoughts and ideas.

First of all, it makes me realize that I am where I am, not somewhere else, so it's important for me to be present in the moment, in the place I am.  Each moment of our lives is full of possibility for making our lives and the lives of others somehow better, so since I'm right here right now, what kind of possibilities are within my reach?

Perhaps I'm at home with "nothing to do."  What kind of book can I pick up in order to learn something or entertain myself for a few minutes or a few hours?  Is there some sort of valuable program on TV from which I can learn about how other people deal with life and the problems they face?  Maybe it's time that I send an email to a good friend, or even a casual acquaintance who may one day be a good friend.

Or maybe I'm stuck in a traffic jam and I have no idea how long I'll be.  Here I am--there's nothing I can do to change the situation, so I might as well accept it and make the best of it.  Do I have a book or a magazine that I've been wanting to read?  Or do I have a CD or tape that I've been wanting to listen to?  Maybe it's time to breathe deeply and relax.  No matter what I decide to do, it's important that I switch from driving mode (since I'm not driving) into waiting mode, and do what I can to make the experience positive.

Sometimes I get "stuck" talking to someone I find unpleasant.  Then it's time for me to accept my situation and see the positive in it.  Perhaps if I listen closely to the person, I may learn something about why they're so unpleasant to me.  I might even learn something that will make me see them in a more sympathetic and a less judgmental way.

I often go to ceremonies that bore me, simply because I'm a person who doesn't put much stock in them.  Graduations, weddings, meetings, you name it--I don't mean to sound cold and callous, but I've never liked attending such ceremonies.  But when I do so for someone else's sake, the worst thing I can do is to act like I'm doing them a favor by being there, so I can find ways to make the time very interesting for myself.  After all, here I am.  I can watch people, I can try to get all that I can from any speeches that are given, or I can even mentally compose a letter to a friend.

My wife and I recently went to an appointment only to find that the person we were supposed to meet was going to be half an hour late.  I looked at her and said, "Well, here we are.  What can we do to make the most of the next half hour?"  So instead of sitting around wishing that our appointment had been on time, we did something that was fun and interesting for that time.  I'm not going to tell you what it was, because when you find yourself in that type of situation, you can use your imagination to come up with something interesting to do with the time.  And our "interesting" may not be the same as yours.

Being present in the moment is an important element of living our lives fully and getting the most out of each moment with which we're graced.  Our presence will help us to make our moments positive and enjoyable, and it will help us to learn and to grow as people.  And we each make our own moments--they don't just happen to us.  At any time, in any place, if I stop and tell myself "Here I am," I remind myself of the importance of making the most of that time and place if I want to take responsibility for making the moments of my life into positive experiences.


More on the present moment.


One of the most important elements
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Here is the secret of inspiration:
Tell yourself that thousands
and tens of thousands of
people, not very intelligent
and certainly no more intelligent than the
rest of us, have mastered
problems as difficult as
those that now baffle you.

William Feather


But not for another twenty years would I understand that the vibration in my grandparents' house was love.  That is a conceptual understanding that had to be guided by an intuition, which then was nourished by a lot of reading and reflection.  My grandparents were in love.  They loved each other.  They loved their children and grandchildren, and were loved in return, though probably not quite as much.  Their children loved one another, the way sisters and brothers do.  My grandfather and grandmother loved God, each in his or her own special and sometimes peculiar ways; and their love for God was reciprocated, in some graceful proportion.

It was not my grandparents' love for each other, or for their children, or for me, that made the air hum in the twilight.  No particular expression or impression of love caused that vibration, but love itself, ever so briefly made perceptible.  Love sounded a chord now and again, this chord of intense pleasure tinged with melancholy, to remind me that all of the component notes had been ringing there for generations.  In visual terms, it was like noticing all at once that the rainbow of colors flowing from a prism is derived from a ray of pure sunlight.

Daniel Mark Epstein


Any decent society must generate a feeling of community.  Community offsets
loneliness.  It gives people a vitally necessary sense of belonging.  Yet today
the institutions on which community depends are crumbling in all the
techno-societies.  The result is a spreading plague of loneliness.

Alvin Toffler


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