18 April 2017      

It's a new Tuesday, which means that it's time for a new issue of our
e-zine. . . so here it is!  We want to wish you all the best during this
new week in our lives, and we hope that you're able to create some
absolutely marvelous moments in this, the newest week in your life!

 Born with Love
Marianne Williamson

The Pace That Stills
Norman Vincent Peale

Ways to Let Go
tom walsh

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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.

Herbert Casson

All 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.

Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

Patience and 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

  
Born with Love (Introduction to A Return to Love)
Marianne Williamson

When we were born, we were programmed perfectly.  We had a natural tendency to focus on love.  Our imaginations were creative and flourishing, and we knew how to use them.  We were connected to a world much richer than the one we connect to now, a world full of enchantment and a sense of the miraculous.

So what happened?  Why is it that we reached a certain age, looked around, and the enchantment was gone?

Because we were taught to focus elsewhere.  We were taught to focus elsewhere.  We were taught to think unnaturally.  We were taught a very bad philosophy, a way of looking at the world that contradicts who we are.

We were taught to think thoughts like competition, struggle, sickness, finite resources, limitation, guilt, bad, death, scarcity, and loss.  We began to think these things, and so we began to know them.  We were taught that things like grades, being good enough, money, and doing things the right way, are more important than love.  We were taught that we're separate from other people, that we have to compete to get ahead, that we're not quite good enough the way we are.  We were taught to see the world the way that others had come to see it.  It's as though, as soon as we got here, we were given a sleeping pill.

The thinking of the world, which is not based on love, began pounding in our ears the moment we hit shore.

Love is what we were born with.  Fear is what we learned here.  The spiritual journey is the relinquishment, or unlearning, of fear and the acceptance of love back into our hearts.  Love is the essential existential fact.  It is our ultimate reality and our purpose on earth.  To be consciously aware of it, to experience love in ourselves and others, is the meaning of life.

Meaning doesn't lie in things.  Meaning lies in us.  When we attach value to things that aren't love -- the money, the car, the house, the prestige -- we are loving things that can't love us back.  We are searching for meaning in the meaningless.  Money, of itself, means nothing.  Material things, of themselves, mean nothing.  It's not that they're bad.  It's that they're nothing.

We came here to co-create with God by extending love.  Life spent with any other purpose in mind is meaningless, contrary to our nature, and ultimately painful.  It's as though we've been lost in a dark, parallel universe where things are loved more than people.  We overvalue what we perceive with our physical senses, and undervalue what we know to be true in our hearts.

Love isn't seen with the physical eyes or heard with the physical ears.  The physical sense can't perceive it; it's perceived through another kind of vision.  Metaphysicians call it the Third Eye, esoteric Christians call it the vision of the Holy Spirit, and others call it the Higher Self.  Regardless of what it's called, love requires a different kind of "seeing" than we're used to -- a different kind of knowing or thinking.  Love is the intuitive knowledge of our hearts.  It's a "world beyond" that we all secretly long for.  An ancient memory of this love haunts all of us all the time, and beckons us to return.

Love isn't material.  It's energy.  It's the feeling in a room, a situation, a person.  Money can't buy it.  Sex doesn't guarantee it.  It has nothing at all to do with the physical world, but it can be expressed nonetheless.  We experience it as kindness, giving, mercy, compassion, peace, joy, acceptance, non-judgment, joining, and intimacy.

Fear is our shared lovelessness, our individual and collective hells.  It's a world that seems to press on us from within and without, giving constant false testimony to the meaninglessness of love.  When fear is expressed, we recognize it as anger, abuse, disease, pain, greed, addiction, selfishness, obsession, corruption, violence, and war.

Love is hidden within us.  It cannot be destroyed, but can only be hidden.  The world we knew as children is still buried within our minds.

   
   

Williamson reveals how we each can become a miracle worker by the acceptance of God and the expression of love in our daily lives. Whether 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.

 
   

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The Pace That Stills
Norman Vincent Peale

Coming out of a reception at a New York City hotel, my wife, Ruth, and I found it was raining hard, a soaking downpour.  We tried in vain to get a taxi, and considered taking a bus, but would have been drenched getting to it.  Then I remembered a similar situation when I had practiced intensive positive thinking and immediately a taxi had pulled up.  So I started thinking positively, hoping the same thing would happen again.

Along came an old horse-drawn hansom cab, one of those that take tourists around the Central Park area.  The driver, perched on the high outside seat of this ancient conveyance, had on a great sou'wester.  The rain was coursing down it in rivulets and dropping from his rubber hat.

I turned to Ruth and said, "We've been here twenty-five minutes waiting for a taxi.  What do you say we take this carriage?"

"Oh, yes, let's," she said, getting in.

The driver tucked us in with a big robe.  We started off.  The windows of the old vehicle rattled.  They were the kind of windows that stubbornly drop down when you try to pull them up shut.

Noting the tufted upholstery, I remembered admiringly, "I haven't been in one of these things since I was a boy."  But moments later I continued.  "This old hack will never get us home.  Think of it, all the way to 84th Street at this pace!"

However, we gradually adjusted to the pace.  We plodded along slowly to the pleasant clop-clop-clop of the horse's hoofs through the rainy streets.  Taxis and cars going the same way sped past us.

We proceeded north on Park Avenue.  Every so often the horse would trot for a few minutes, then walk slowly.  As I sat back in the ancient vehicle, rain beating against the window, a feeling of relaxation came over me.

It was the slowest trip to 84th Street I have ever made, but by all odds, the most pleasant.  You couldn't hurry, so all sense of haste was laid aside.

At last we arrived.  As I paid the man, I said, "I've sure enjoyed the ride.  How old is this hack?"

"It's a real antique," he answered cheerfully.  "Older than I am.  But," he added, "you had a leisurely, slow, unhurried drive, didn't you?"

"It was indeed all that!" I said.  "I never knew one could be so relaxed in New York traffic."

We live in a tense, hard-driving generation, thinking we just have to get there in a hurry.  Why, I'll never know.  And it's wonderful what a little slowing down can do.

We don't need a horse-drawn carriage to slow the pace; there are other ways.  The trick is to break our rhythm.  One way might be to try walking to Grandma's house with the family, instead of taking the car.  Or try making a real homemade cake, instead of using a "mix."  We might take time to go through the family photo album slowly, reliving the pleasant moments; or take the long way to the store one day, stopping at points of interest, looking for things we never particularly noticed before.

Breaking the pattern of rush, rush, rush can restore our bodies and our minds and can bring an oasis of healing calm in the midst of stress.
   

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Life 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.

Cheryl Canfield

   

 

Ways to Let Go

We've just read the Tao Te Ching for one of the courses that I teach, and once more I've been exposed to the concept of letting things go, of trying not to hold on to things that seem to be important to me in life.  It's a very hard concept for those of us who come from so-called western traditions, as we're taught to get things, to collect things, to keep things forever and never let them go.

We're taught that having plenty of things will give us gratification, that we'll never find ourselves wanting for something because we've had the foresight to collect plenty of things and have them there in the closet just in case they're ever needed.  If I need to fix a toilet, I already have that length of hose in the closet, and I paid fifty cents less for it because I bought it ten years ago.  Who knows if I'm ever going to read all of the books that I own, but if I do get the urge to read a particular book, there it is!  And even though I haven't used that thing in the closet for a few years (I'm not even sure what it actually does), it's there in case I need it next week.

And those are just material things.  I realized a while ago that my relationship with this person is toxic, but I continue to see this person because. . . well, because.  And that person insulted me three years ago, so I can't really treat that person as well as I would like to because that insult really hurt.  That person over there was given a promotion that I should have gotten, and that still makes me feel terrible.  My parents didn't give me the love that other parents gave to their kids, so it's impossible for me to treat them like other kids treat their parents.

   

There are things that we never want to let go
of, people we never want to leave behind.
But keep in mind that letting go isnít the end
of the world; itís the beginning of a new life.

unattributed

   
Why do we find it so difficult to let go of such things?  Why do we end up needing to hold on to things that are painful or useless to us for now?  We hold on to resentment and we hold on to anger and we hold on to possessions as if some part of ourselves may die--or just suffer terribly--if we dare to let go of them.

Sometimes this need is a result of some sort of psychological issue in the past.  The Adult Child of an Alcoholic, for example, tends to be unable to let go of things because he or she learned at an early age that the future can't be trusted, and that if you don't hold on to things, you'll lose them.  That's true also of people who have grown up with divorce, with a parent who gambles, or any other situation in which loss was a significant and regular part of their lives.  For them, life becomes frightening if the pantry isn't full and the other person isn't calling.

But most of us don't have a clear idea of what letting go is or what its results are.  This is because we focus mainly on the loss, and almost not at all on any positive results of that loss.  Even if a person treats us badly, that's still an acquaintance in our life.  Losing that person may seem to be a threat to my self-worth, because even if his or her influence is negative, it's still a person who cares enough to be involved with me.  Even if this place that I live isn't the best place in the world, it offers me the comfort of being a known place, and moving would thrust me into an unknown situation with lots of potential problems--and my current problems are preferable because I'm familiar with them.

Letting go of things, though, is a strategy that we can use to lighten burdens, to release stress and toxicity from our lives, to give ourselves more free time that we can use to recharge our bodies and spirits and face our other problems more effectively from a better place.

Here's a short list of things that we can let go of that can have a truly positive effect on us and our lives:

Bad relationships
Fear
Anger
Resentment
Expectations
Old things that are now clutter
Desire
Dependency on others
Identity

These can be a start, for these are things that when we hold on to them, hold us back and keep us in dark and dismal times.  Holding on to a bad relationship, for example, guarantees us more stress and anger and resentment and less happiness and freedom.  Holding on to fear keeps us fearful, and doesn't allow us to face new situations with courage and equanimity.  When we can let each of these things go, we can start a new chapter in our lives.
    

The Tao Te Ching says, When I let go of what I am, I become what
I might be.  When I let go of what I have, I receive what I need.
Have you ever struggled to find work or love, only to find them
after you have given up?  This is the paradox of letting go.
Let go, in order to achieve.  Letting go is God's law.

Mary Manin Morrissey

    
How do we let go of a bad relationship?  First of all, we must acknowledge that the relationship is a negative part of our lives, something that harms us rather than helps us.  If we never acknowledge that fact, nothing will change.  When we do acknowledge it, then it's decision time--we have to make the decision to make changes in our lives that will minimize the effects of this relationship on our lives.  It can be hard if it's a relationship with a co-worker, of course, or someone else whom we see regularly, but hard doesn't mean impossible.  We have to come up with strategies that will help us to keep this relationship as inactive as possible in our lives.  We set limits and we set boundaries, and we insist that they be respected.  If that person violates those limits, that's simply further evidence that the relationship was toxic to begin with, as the violation shows a lack of respect for your right to determine the course of your own life.

It won't always be easy, of course.  But one of the things that can make it difficult is fear--fear of being alone, fear of hurting another person, fear of not finding a "replacement" relationship.  Fear harms us in many other ways, too, keeping us at jobs that don't help us to reach our potential, keeping us from starting new relationships, keeping us from taking vacations or exploring new places and situations.  When we let go of fear, we tell fear that it no longer has a place in our lives, and that we're going to move on with our lives without fear as a companion.  That sounds an awful lot like letting go of a relationship, doesn't it?

The first step always to any sort of positive change in our lives is the recognition and acceptance of any negative behaviors or attitudes that we practice or hold.  If I'm constantly unhappy because my expectations aren't being met, it's important that I honestly examine whether others are at fault for not meeting my expectations, or if my unhappiness is caused because I have unrealistic expectations of others.  Usually, it's the latter--for someone who's been able to let go of expectations, life is generally a more positive experience.  Once I know that I'm the one causing the issue, I can let go of the expectations and let life be life and let it come as it may, without me trying to control it through my expectations of what it should be like.
   

People have a hard time letting go of their suffering.
Out of a fear of the unknown, they prefer suffering that is familiar.

Thich Nhat Hanh

Letting go gives us freedom, and freedom is the only condition for
happiness. If, in our heart, we still cling to anything--anger, anxiety,
or possessions--we cannot be free.

   
Letting go is a process not of banishment, but of allowing something to go free.  Think of it as a bird in the cage--you've kept it because you've loved its song, but more and more you realize that you feel more guilt about keeping the bird caged than you feel pleasure from its song.  The bird in the cage is harming you more than it's helping you.  Once you open the door to the cage and allow the bird to fly free, the guilt is gone and you're able to go on with your life without having to deal with the guilt that your own action has brought to you.  And you know that there are plenty of other birds out there with wonderful songs--and they'll still be a part of your life.

When I want to let something go, it's important that I carefully consider whether or not that thing or thought or relationship is helping me or hindering me.  And I need to look past the surface--my prejudices may help me to feel better about myself, but is that "better" truly better, or is it me fooling myself because I want to feel that way?  My fear may be keeping me "safe," but am I safe because I keep out everything that may hurt me, even the important and the essential?  You may need to let go of a person in your life, and in doing so you may be losing someone who helped you in one way, but who hurt you in several others.  Don't allow that help that you don't want to lose to outweigh the hurt that you must let go of if you're to move on with your life.

There are danger and risk in letting go, of course.  The rewards, though, far surpass any loss.  You'll find yourself feeling lighter and less stressed as you let go of things that are holding you down and holding you back, and your life can get on track much easier when it's not weighed down with tons of excess baggage.  Figure out what you no longer need in your life and let go of it, for once you do so, you'll be starting life anew with a new perspective and new ways of relating to your world and the people in it.

   
More on letting go.

   

One of the most important elements
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You are something new in this world.  Be glad of it.  Make the most of what nature gave you.  In the last analysis, all art is autobiographical.  You can sing only what you are.  You can paint only what you are.  You must be what your experiences, your environment, and your heredity have made you.  For better or for worse, you must cultivate your own little garden.  For better or for worse, you must play your own little instrument in the orchestra of life.

Dale Carnegie

  
i thank you God for this most amazing
day:  for the leaping greenly spirits of trees
and a blue true dream of sky; and for everything
which is natural which is infinite which is yes

(i who have died am alive again today,
and this is the sun's birthday; this is the birth
day of life and of love and wings:  and of the gay
great happening illimitably earth)

how should tasting touching hearing seeing
breathing any--lifted from the no
of all nothing--human merely being
doubt unimaginable You?

(now the ears of my ears awake and
now the eyes of my eyes are opened)

e e cummings
There are all kinds of silences and each of them means a different thing.  There is the silence that comes with morning in a forest, and this is different from the silence of a sleeping city. There is silence after a rainstorm, and before a rainstorm, and these are not the same. There is the silence of emptiness, the silence of fear, the silence of doubt. There is a certain silence that can emanate from a lifeless object as from a chair lately used, or from a piano with old dust upon its keys, or from anything that has answered to the need of a man, for pleasure or for work. This kind of silence can speak.  Its voice may be melancholy, but it is not always so; for the chair may have been left by a laughing child or the last notes of the piano may have been raucous and gay. Whatever the mood or the circumstance, the essence of its quality may linger in the silence that follows. It is a soundless echo.

Beryl Markham
   

  

The biggest secret of self-esteem is this:
Begin to appreciate other people more, show respect
for any human being merely because he or she is
a child of God and therefore a "thing of value."

Maxwell Maltz

    

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