is only the moment. The now. Only what you are
experiencing at this second is real. This does not mean
you live for the moment. It means you live in the
road that is built in hope
is more pleasant to the traveler
than the road built in despair,
even though they both lead
to the same destination.
living is determined not so much by what
life brings to you
as by the attitude you bring
to life; not so much by what happens
to you as
by the way your mind looks at what happens.
I'm bewildered and overwhelmed, I seek the gentle
guidance of a person I know will respond with compassion. Life is complicated enough without having to listen to
the caustic remarks of someone's misdirected strength.
The Wisdom of Children
Love. Accept the
miraculous. Be open to possibilities. Take part in the
ongoing act of creation.
We've heard all
this before. We know we should love one another and enjoy
creation. But how? That's the hard part. St.
Paul was feuding with some of the other apostles when he wrote the
famous love passage in Corinthians, and the people he was writing
to were arguing among themselves. It is one thing to know
that love is the key to a life of peace and joy, but it is another
thing to be loving.
If you want to
become more loving, I can tell you where to find good
teachers. Animals can teach us a lot about living in the
moment and appreciating the day. About being in the right
relationship with God and your fellow creatures. About not
being affected by money and not moaning and whining about
If you want human
teachers, I can tell you where to find them, too. At
lectures and seminars I tell people they'd be happier if they grew
down rather than up. My adult audiences usually agree when I
go on to explain that many grown-ups aren't very good
company. We listened when people told us, "Grow
up. Get serious." We have a limited view of the
world. There is a sadness about us. We grew up, got
serious and became depressed adults.
mythmakers, and storytellers all advise us to be more
childlike. Who inherits the kingdom of heaven? Who
sees the truth about the emperor's new clothes? Who lives a
timeless life? As a parent and physician, I have learned
that when you lose the ability to be childlike you put your life
and your health in danger. Children, sick or well, can teach
us about honesty and feelings. They can show us how to be
loving in the face of adversity and even death. I have seen
many children beat cancer--some by getting well and others by
living fully despite the cancer that ended their young lives
early. Many children with cancer have written letters and
some have written books telling what they learned from being sick,
and those letters and books are some of the wisest writings I've
I saw the wisdom
of children in my own family many years ago when it appeared that
our son, Keith at the age of seven, had cancer. He had
complained about his leg hurting and finally, at his urging, we
took an X-ray that showed a defect in the bone. I
immediately assumed cancer. As a physician, I knew that the
only treatment available was an amputation, and that even with
this treatment our beautiful child would probably be dead in a
year. He was scheduled for surgery to biopsy the tumor, but
in the week before his biopsy I viewed him as dead-within-a-year.
I was already
living in a tragic future, mourning a death that hadn't yet
occurred. I couldn't play with the children or have any fun
or make love because I thought I knew what was going to
happen. I wanted to tell all the children in the house,
"Be quiet. Go to your rooms. Your brother is
going to be dead in a year."
The children knew
something was wrong with their brother, and they knew it might be
serious. But they didn't know the statistics so they did not
live in a tragic future. They went about playing, having
fun, living each day as it came and not worrying about events that
might or might not happen. For that week, I was separated
from the family by my grief. Then the biopsy results came
back and the tumor was a rare but totally benign growth. So
our beautiful son was not dead-within-a-year and I was able to
rejoin the family. Keith told me I had handled things
poorly. I agreed because I needed him as my teacher.
The experience helped me understand what the parents of my
patients go through, and it also taught me the folly of living in
the future. . . .
Here is a list of
survival traits. This list was compiled from the works of
many different authors, all of whom had a common experience.
See if you can guess what they have in common.
Live life to the
fullest; no one knows what will happen tomorrow.
comes; use it to master the art of living.
Live one day at a
Share hope with
a light at the end of the tunnel.
No one knows the
power of the individual.
It's all right to
God is always
there to help.
Don't wait for
tragedy; say it today: "I love you and I'm glad you are
What do the
authors of those twelve pieces of wisdom have in common? For
one thing, the authors are all children. No doubt you are
familiar with some of these maxims. You can find similar
messages in popular songs or storybooks. I know I had heard
most of their suggestions twenty years ago when I thought our son
had cancer, but I certainly didn't act as if I knew the value of
living one day at a time.
contributed these items are not simply repeating platitudes from
songs or storybooks. They know what they are talking about,
because each author has or had a life-threatening cancer.
I've been fortunate enough to meet some of these children, and I
consider them my teachers because they live the message
people behind the words
and excerpts - Daily
Two - Year Three
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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.
You Feel like a Baby, Get a Baby-Sitter
Charlotte Davis Kasl
deduced that the part of me who had to be too independent
too soon and who decided never to show her tears pays a
visit when I am faced with a difficult task. It's as
if a three-year-old is being told to fix dinner and do the
dishes. But figuring out where it comes from doesn't
always take the anxiety away.
owned up to my anxiety, I started asking others if they got
frozen or anxious trying to do various tasks. I spoke
to a man who could scale mountains but had a terrible time
grading student papers at the end of a semester. There
was a brilliant physicist who got nervous trying to make
spaghetti. And a professor of political science had
anxiety attacks trying to balance her checkbook. In
other words, it's not about brains.
this for a long time and thought back to my parents,
particularly my mother, who never seemed to get as anxious
as I do. I thought of her growing up with five
brothers and a sister and having numerous relatives all
living within a few blocks. Everyone helped everyone
else, and no one had to be good at everything. When I
was a child, my father fixed everything around the house, my
mother sewed and cooked, and all four of us children had
chores. Mother would take us out to every kind of
orchard and farm to pick fruit and vegetables, which we
would bring home and can. It was definitely a team
effort, and one was seldom alone. Now we are often
faced with running a household alone and have expectations
that we should be able to do everything. In reality,
most people have some tasks that reduce them to feeling
about four years old.
rehabilitation counselor, was chronically late getting her
client reports written up. Every day, she gagged on
guilt, seeing the file folders accumulate, and she worried
about it on the weekend. Yet she felt powerless to get
at them unless a crisis occurred--either her boss got mad or
she needed the notes for court. We tried several
tactics for getting her motivated, but nothing worked.
I suggested she get help. She kept saying, "I
don't need help, I know how to do it, I just have to get
started." She would also add, "I feel so
stupid about this, I don't know why I'm such a baby."
and asked, "Do you want to know what I do when I feel
like a baby?"
laughed. "But isn't that giving up?"
up what?" I asked.
. . working it through."
that's a nice idea," I said. "But what's
life for? To be grueling it out all the time?
When I get anxious trying to get ready for a workshop, I
call my neighbor to come be with me. I get help
organizing my writing."
kind of help would I get?" she asked.
someone to come sit with you and talk you through it,
develop a new system--whatever you need," I said.
countered, "But that costs money."
laughed. "And these therapy sessions don't?"
paused, then said, "So you don't think I'm a
think you are a normal, grown-up woman who sometimes gets
overwhelmed. I think most of us have times when we
feel like a kid wanting a mommy to help us."
hired someone to come in and help her get a system
together. Then she asked friends to keep her company
on Saturday mornings while she wrote her notes. Her
Catholic guilt dogged her for a little while (things
shouldn't be this easy, there should be more struggle) but
she certainly felt a lot happier having her work under
to ask friends for help sometimes. It is also
wonderful if partners and loved ones can be
"baby-sitters" for each other on some of these
occasions--not as caretakers but as friends in need.
It's much easier to do things when we're not alone.
Davis Kasl, has hit the
nail on the head! Want to change
your life for
the better? Want
to really enjoy your days and
learn to get through the rough
ones? This book can help.
She has thought of everything
from finances to love, to kids,
to your entire outlook on life.
The sections are broken into
101 mini-topics; she uses techniques from many
cultures and religions without pushing any religion on
you. Read a section a day (If you can
put it down after just one!) and
you will feel the difference as you internalize the
beauty of true Joy
in your life. ~~Tiffonie Baker
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 Kootenay National Park)
x 800 - 1440
This is the true joy in life, the being used for
yourself as a mighty one; the being
thoroughly worn out before you are
thrown on the
scrap heap; the being a force of nature instead of a
feverish selfish little clod of ailments and grievances
the world will not devote
itself to making you happy.
Living an Authentic Life
Much has been written and
spoken about authenticity, about its importance in our lives and
its great effects on the ways that we act and live--as well as
about its scarcity and the difficulties we seem to have when it
comes to being authentic human beings and acting as such.
Almost no one will admit to living and acting in ways that aren't
authentic, but the simple fact is that we're taught from day one
of our lives to act in order to please other people. And
almost any time that we do that, we're acting in ways that aren't
For example, If I drive the speed limit in order to please others
and not get a ticket, does that make me inauthentic?
Hardly. One element of who I am is my desire to have caring
and compassion for other people. I know that speed limits
are in place because they help to make areas safe for
everyone. Driving the speed limit, then is an authentic
reflection of my compassion for others and my desire not to cause
damage to them.
But what about the person who regularly violates those
limits? Is that person really expressing an
"authentic" life just because he or she doesn't
"feel like" following this particular law? That's
debatable. In my experience, people who do such things
aren't necessarily trying to be authentic people--rather, they're
trying to be rebellious just for the sake of being rebellious,
which is a form of inauthentic living. Or it could be that
they just don't understand the dangers involved in driving over
speed limits, and then we're talking about simple ignorance of
facts--and living from a place of ignorance also can't be called
Socrates allowed himself to be put to death in order to follow the
laws of Athens because he realized that he had made himself
subject to those laws. Jesus taught that we must follow the
laws of the governments under which we live. Other spiritual
leaders have consistently said the same thing. They knew
that in order to live authentically, we must accept some
limitations based on the common good, which is basically what such
laws are created for.
more authentic you become, the more genuine in
your expression, particularly regarding personal experiences
and even self-doubts, the more people can relate to your
expression and the safer it makes them feel to express
themselves. That expression in turn feeds back on the
person's spirit, and genuine creative empathy takes place,
producing new insights and learnings.
So how do we
live authentic lives? Most importantly, I
believe, we must practice reflection. If we do
something and it doesn't feel quite right, we have
to honestly ponder the reasons for which it
doesn't. When I was very young, I lived in a
world in which sarcasm and the insult were
considered to be humorous. I got to be pretty
good at the putdown, which was intended to make
other people laugh. As I grew older, though, I
started to think about what I was doing, and how I
was making other people feel. I realized that
I didn't want to be a person who tried to get laughs
by putting other people down--I would much rather
feel the satisfaction of having lifted other people
Think about things, seriously and honestly.
Answer some of these questions: How do I
want people to remember me? How do I want
people to react when I walk into a room? How
do I want to feel about myself when I go to bed at
night? Am I sharing the true gifts that I've
been given by God? If you tend to get angry a
lot, ask yourself why. Is it really about the
other person's actions, or about my need to get what
I expect to get in all situations? What will
happen if I don't get angry? If you're not
content at your work, ask yourself if you're giving
all you can to the work you do. If the work is
unfulfilling, then what can I do to make it
fulfilling? What kinds of challenges can I
personally add that will make it even more
interesting? Or possibly, if I'm not meant to
be doing this kind of work, what kind of work am I
suited for, and is most suited for me?
Most importantly, though, once you feel you've come
up with a true answer to those questions, it's
important to consistently make decisions that
reflect your true self. Perhaps you more enjoy
staying at home in the evenings to rest after a hard
day of work instead of constantly going out with
friends because that's what they want to do.
It could mean saying no to some things that you've
tended to do, while saying yes to others that you've
tended to avoid. This can be most difficult in
relationships--one of the most difficult decisions
we can make is to end a relationship because we
realize that it's harming us and causing us to act
in ways and do things that are not truly authentic
a funny thing, how it works.
The moment we stop trying so hard to be someone, we become
ourselves--only what was there all along, waiting and
peeking out from behind all the masks we wore.
And when this happens, we discover that Who We Really Are is
much greater than anything we might have
pretended or even hoped to be.
Our hearts can
tell us what our authentic selves are like, so it's
important that we listen to them. I've heard
that advice my whole life long in various forms, but
I've always wondered, "Just what does that
mean?" It's taken me many years to come to a
point at which I feel that I'm able to listen to my
heart. Due to several changes we've made in
our lives, we've at times reached points at which
money has been tight. In those situations,
it's been very tempting to look for work that pays
more. But I know in my heart that I'm a
teacher, so I've stuck to the teaching. I'm
really good at it, and quite effective, but it pays
poorly no matter how you look at it. While I
also feel that I could be just as happy earning a
living in other ways, I'm sure that anything that I
do will feel inauthentic to me, and that my heart
will draw me back to the classroom no matter what.
Jacob tells us something important above. He
says, "the moment we stop. . . ."
That's part of listening to your heart--stop
listening to other sources to determine what's best
for you. Stop listening to what your friends
say is best for you--their hearts may be in the
right place, but they can't hear the messages of
your heart. Stop allowing advertisements to
tell you how you should dress and act. Stop
the negative self-talk that keeps you from listening
to your heart by keeping you focused on what you
perceive to be your shortcomings. If someone
else tells you something about how you should live
your life, carefully weigh what they say and then
decide whether it's good advice that complements
your authentic self, or advice that simply doesn't
fit with who you are and who you want to be.
it means to be authentic:
- to be more concerned with truth than opinions
- to be sincere and not pretend
- to be free from hypocrisy: walk your talk
- to know who you are and to be that person
- to not fear others seeing your vulnerabilities
- being confident to walk away from situations
you can't be yourself
- being awake to your own feelings
- being free from others' opinions of you
- accepting and loving yourself
And Sue adds
something else that's extremely important:
"being confident to walk away from situations.
. . ." This has been one of the most
important things that I've learned in life--being
able to turn around and walk away. When
someone that I would love to get to know turns out
to be doing something I'm not comfortable with, it's
important that I turn around and walk away rather
than trying to change that person in order to fit my
wants or needs better. I may lose a possible
friendship, but if that friendship includes being
exposed to actions that make me uncomfortable, then
it's really no friendship at all. There are
plenty of other people out there, and many of them
won't ever put me in such a situation.
My efforts to lead an authentic life are often
sabotaged by other people and by my current
situations. But it's also important to
remember that sometimes it may be necessary to go
through times during we may not be living
authentically. I've had contracts that have
obligated me to stay in a certain place even though
a job has turned out to force me to compromise my
integrity as a teacher and as a person. I
spent four years in the Army, though I'm not a
military-minded person (though I am
service-oriented). As long as we keep in mind,
though, that such times are simply that--times that
we go through, temporary situations--then they're
not just bearable, but we can make ourselves thrive
Be authentic. Live your life as you feel
called to live it, not as others tell you that you
should live it. And if you don't know your
calling, find it. Listen to your heart and let
yourself go in the directions that make you feel
good at heart, not directions that make you feel
uneasy or unfulfilled.
You are a very special and completely unique
creation. There's never been another human
being quite like you. So live your life
authentically and be that completely unique person
that you were made to be. The world will be
much better off when you do so!
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
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- contents - Daily
Meditations - abundance - acceptance
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- art - attitude
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balance - beauty
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change - character
charity - children
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ego - emotions -
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doesn't come from business or books or even a connection with
another person. It is a connection to your own life force, the
world around you and the spirit that connects us all. You are
the source. Books, work, music, people, sunsets all provide
sparks, but only you can light the fire.
Success Is the Quality of Your Journey
Be yourself and only yourself.
Be careful what you allow
into your body and into your space.
Even the food you put into your body
is crucial to your well-being
and to your sense of Self.
Take care of yourself.
Do not allow anything outside of you
to contaminate you.
Whatever you read affects you.
The television programs you watch,
the movies you see
and the music you listen to
have a profound impact on you.
But do not be judgmental.
If you live a refined life,
you will become more refined.
Choose your friends wisely.
Do not allow others to get caught up
inside you or attached to you.
And don't you become caught up with
or attached to others.
You must be yourself and only yourself
If you are to know the truth of who you are.
is play so elusive for some grown-ups? Because we are so
and attached to a profoundly goal-oriented,
other forms of non-work, play
connotes wastefulness, a stoppage in
the way of
to get done. Yet often what really needs to get
done has more
with our hearts and spirits and less to do with a deadline
longstanding project. Play beckons to us, urging us to live in
the present moment, a
becomes more luminous
when we disallow interruptions like work and
a year of one-sentence reminders
of ways that we can
make the most of our lives each day that we live.
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novel of life and learning; Walker's fascinating journey
will remind you of all that is good in this world.
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David agrees to
give 70-year-old Hector
a ride west, he can't imagine the lessons he'll learn
about his life.
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and spending, we lay waste our powers," wrote
Wordsworth over 150 years ago. And we're still doing
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