15 May 2018      

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How You Feel Really Does Matter
Mandy Evans

Forgiveness
Jeremy Likness

Bless Today:  It Will Never Come Again
Charlotte Davis Kasl

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Creativity is simply the energy of making something where there was nothing before.  We do this every day,
in so many unmarked ways.

Fran Sorin

The greatest comfort of my old age, and that which gives me the highest satisfaction, is the pleasing remembrance of the many benefits and friendly offices I have done to others.

Cato

Some people believe that holding on and hanging there are signs of strength, but there are times in life when it takes much more strength just to let go.

Ann Landers

Be not angry that you cannot make
others as you wish them to be,
since you cannot make yourself
as you wish to be.

Thomas ŕ Kempis

  

How You Feel Really Does Matter
Mandy Evans

Lots of people just plain flat out do not want to deal with their emotions.  They don't want to feel them.  They don't want to talk about them.  Often they wish they would just go away.

No wonder.  If you grew up human on Planet Earth, you probably learned early on that expressing your feelings led to trouble.  Ever try squealing, laughing, and jumping for joy in a second-grade classroom?  Or at the dinner table?

By third grade, most of us understood that it never pays to show anger at teacher or our heartbreak at being left out of a game at recess, or the total frustration of not being able to understand long division.  We learned to hide, overcome, repress, suppress, and deaden our feelings any way we could, even if it took large amounts of alcohol, drugs, or hour after hour of mindless TV to do it.  Day by day, we learned more rules about appropriate emotional responses and less and less about emotional freedom.

However, the feelings keep coming.  For the first part of my life, I thought the way to change how I felt was to change the circumstances in my life.  Most people I know learned the same approach.  And so begins the endless struggle to improve everything!  Lose weight, earn more money, get a better car, find your true love, get rid of your old true love, move to a bigger house.

Here's the lesson I think we should learn early on:  How you feel really does matter.  How you feel is up to you.

Before you make a life-changing move in the hope of feeling better, always deal with your feelings first.  Before you quit your job or leave your marriage in anger, find out about your anger.  What is it about?  Why is that the way you feel?  Before you go on a diet, leave town, buy a new car, or get married so you can stop emotional pain, deal with your feelings first.  You may still want to lose weight, get that car, or create a new adventure, but it will be a completely different experience with a far different outcome.

Because regardless of whether we like it, emotions are the rocket fuel of manifestation.  We hear it from people who teach visualization techniques to overcome serious illnesses and from motivational speakers who command enormous corporate fees the word is out:  Whatever it is you want to achieve, you've got to feel it first.

This mysterious law of the universe works regardless of whether you are aware of it, regardless of whether you believe it.  Regardless whether you are consciously aware of it, your emotional state always has and always will have a profound effect on what happens next in your life.

The choices you make and actions you take when you are afraid lead down a different road from the choices and actions you take when you are happy.  The solutions you find to a problem when you feel guilty will not be the same ones you use when you feel at peace.

Feelings actually cause things to happen.  Feelings influence events.

Getting, doing, having stuff is nice.  Fame, fortune, and good looks stand out among the most popular getting-stuff goals.  However, there is not a whole lot of correlation between getting stuff and the happiness that Madison Avenue, Hollywood, and Wall Street would have us believe it produces.

We all know people who stand out for their talent, financial achievement, beauty, or mighty deeds but are not happy.

The mind-boggling part is that they do not want to be happy--yet!  They do not know that happiness is a real option for them and they do not know how to choose it.

Your emotional experience of life is so important.  When we feel curious, grateful, loving, or happy, life seems like a precious gift.  But if you are ridden with guilt, filled with fear, so angry that no love can enter your heart, or so resentful that joy is only an irritating word, then life is more like hell on earth.  What good are fame, fortune, and good looks in hell?

As we wander about this paradise called Earth, the perception of what happens to us combines with our thoughts and beliefs about what life means.  That ever-changing combination produces emotional responses.  When we judge events and circumstances as good for us, we usually respond with some form of happiness.  When we think bad things are happening we respond with anger, fear, guilt, sorrow, and the other so-called negative emotions.

What happens when you suspend that judgment?  When life becomes a fascinating mystery, unfolding in the midst of infinite possibilities, you become more and more free to choose your feelings.  You can allow more love, creativity, and joy into your life than you may have dreamed possible.  Simply by asking yourself from time to time, "If I could feel any way I wanted to feel, what would it be?"  You may come up with answers that will astound you.

Exercising your emotional options really allows you to experience life on your own terms in the most real way possible.  It's like magic.  You can create the results first.  You can be happy even before you change all of those things you want to change.

more on emotions

   

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Forgiveness
Jeremy Likness

One gift I wish I had received earlier in life is knowledge of forgiveness.

I spent much of my life carrying rusty anchors with me.  It is difficult to move forward when we carry bitterness inside.  I can laugh now about the times I held on to my grudges.  I would literally bathe in poisonous thoughts.  Now I realize those thoughts did nothing to the person I was holding a grudge against.  It didn't bother them one bit.  What it did was hold me back and prevent me from becoming my best.

Forgiveness isn't just about people.  Sometimes we have trouble forgiving the things around us.  I used to wake up in fear, angry at the universe.  Starting the day in a fight or flight mode is a stressful way to begin the day.  Perhaps I was worried about the bills or angry about a car accident or some other event that appeared to be beyond my control.

When I found forgiveness, I quickly learned that forgiving is a process.  I could not say "I forgive" and then let go.  Many of the anchors I carried with me were embedded deep within, so I had to constantly remind myself to toss them out.  I would say, "I forgive and I release you" and imagine the face of the person I held a grudge against.  It felt great.  They went on with their own lives, but now I was free to live mine.

My next step was to forgive the world around me.  I suddenly stopped blaming my misfortunes on the universe.  Traffic happens.  Rain happens.  All of this is part of life.  When I became friends with the universe (by not holding a grudge), the universe returned the gesture by providing abundance.  This is when I started to learn about success, because success doesn't find selfish people.  Not forgiving is a very selfish act.  (If you think that having money is success, find a rich person who doesn't know how to forgive, and you might discover that being rich for them is nothing more than expensive unhappiness.)

Then, in all my forgiving, I stumbled upon the greatest gift of all.  I forgave myself!  I learned that I could love myself and forgive myself for not being perfect.  I used to be my own worst enemy.  I now enjoy life and receive so much more--especially now that I can be friends with that reflection I see in the mirror.

more on forgiveness

   

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Life is not a game of Solitaire; people depend on one another.  When
one does well, others are lifted. When one stumbles, others also are
impacted.  There are no one-person teams—either by definition or
natural law.  Success is a cooperative effort; it’s
dependent upon those who stand beside you.

Jon M. Huntsman Sr.
Essential Lessons on Leadership

   
Bless Today:  It Will Never Come Again (an excerpt)
Charlotte Davis Kasl

It's fine to work toward future goals, but don't forget that today will never come again.  You have only twenty-four hours to enjoy it.

Some people put life on hold while striving for their dreams.  At first their theme song is, "After I attain ______, then I'll be happy."  Then, later, after the success of attaining pales, the regrets are felt.  "Why didn't I take time to plant a garden?" (or play with my children, visit old friends, be kinder to my partner, relax, go to the movies, go hiking?).

Instead of waiting to be an old lady to wear purple, wear it now.  Instead of waiting for retirement to live in a beautiful place, consider finding a way to get there now.  When we live our lives in accordance with our dreams, it becomes easy to cheer for other people doing so.  When we don't, it's easy to be sour grapes, unsupportive, or jealous when others break free and follow their heart's desire.

Recently I received a letter from my former Minneapolis neighbors.  "We've put our house up for sale," it read.  "We came home from the country and said, 'No more!'  We don't want to live in the city so we're going to leave.  We're looking at a small town in Colorado with sunny days, mild winters, and we're talking it over with our teenage children."  The energy and joy jumped off the page.  I could share their happiness because I knew how much I enjoyed my move to the mountains.  I sent back a postcard that said, "Great!  Wow!  You did it and I'm glad."  There was a time in my life when, because I wasn't living where I wanted to be, I would have felt a tinge of jealousy and could not have been so happy for them.

So if you feel as if your life is somewhere out there as opposed to right here, stop and ask yourself, really ask yourself:

*  What is missing in my life?
*  What have I put on hold?
*  What am I waiting for?
*  What would really fill my heart and make me happy?
*  What would I regret if I died tomorrow?

Though you may not die tomorrow, the saddest death is walking around like a robot, cut off from the magic of today--from love, from beauty, from being where you want to be.

And remember, if all life is sacred, then today is sacred.  Ask yourself, What am I doing to feel joy today?  A wonderful way to start the day is to bless it:

Blessings on this day, may I make it special in some way.
Blessings on my life, may I treat it with love and care.
Blessings on all people, may I see the goodness in everyone.
Blessings on nature, may I notice its beauty and wonder.
Blessings on the truth, may it be my constant companion.

   

  

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If we are to achieve a richer culture, rich in contrasting values, we must
recognize the whole gamut of human potentialities, and so weave a less
arbitrary social fabric, one in which each diverse human gift will find a fitting place.

Margaret Mead

  
Two years ago I gave a gift--larger than one I would normally do without asking Seymour, my husband--to a cause I support.  I decided I would balance my unilateral decision by not buying fresh flowers on Friday afternoon for the next year, a long-standing habit pleasing primarily to me.  "You really can buy flowers," Seymour said when I told him my plan.  "It's fine about the gift.  You don't need to balance."

It's been a good practice, though.  I pass the flower shop as I do my Friday shopping.  I stop to admire the display.  I watch the flowers change with the seasons.  Often I feel like buying some.  I listen to my mind make up reasons:  "It's been more than a year now."  "These are so pretty!"  "Tom and Mary are coming for dinner."  "I really should be supporting the local flower growers."  So far, I pass them by.  The important lesson, one that is still working, happens when I am halfway down the street and realize that the tug at my heart that was present in front of the flowers is no longer there.  Life is easier without imperatives.

Sylvia Boorstein
   

  

There is enough for all.  The earth is a generous mother;
she will provide in plentiful abundance food for all her
children if they will but cultivate her soil in justice and in peace.


Bourke Coekran

    

  

   

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