24 July 2018      

Hello, and thank you for dropping by.  We have articles and thoughts here for
your perusal, and we hope that there's something here that will be useful
or helpful for you.  Enjoy the issue!

That's Just the Way I Am
Bernie Siegel

Steps toward Inner Peace
Peace Pilgrim

Finding Balances
tom walsh

Please feel free to contact us at info at livinglifefully.com
Living Life Fully home
- e-zine archives - Daily Meditations
Don't forget that you can receive an e-mail reminder each time
that our e-zine is published, a free e-mail of our daily
quotations and/or our weekly Digest.  Click here to learn more!


Don't limit a child to your own way of loving, for the child was born in another time.

from a Rabbinical saying

We have all known the long loneliness and we have learned that the only solution is love and that love comes with community.

Dorothy Day

Common sense has given to words their ordinary signification, and common sense is the genius of humankind.

Francois Pierre Guizot


That's Just the Way I Am (an excerpt)
Bernie Siegel

"I can't help it.  That's just the way I am.  It's my nature."

These seem to be great excuses and convincing explanations for anything you do.  But are they entirely true?

Identical twins raised separately do have amazing similarities in their behavior.  Astrologers can sometimes make remarkably accurate predictions about people's behavior based on their birth dates.  Nature does play a role in our lives.  But identical twins do not always develop the same diseases at the same time.  Everyone born with the gene for breast cancer does not develop the disease.  Everyone with the gene for obesity is not obese.  People born on the same day--even at the same time in the same city--do not live the same life.  So clearly there are important factors in addition to our genes and birth signs.

Our biology has a powerful influence over who we are.  But our habits also play a role.  We develop behavior patterns or personality traits in response to the encouragement, reward, interest or punishment we receive from our parents and other important authority figures who instruct and educate us.  We respond like animals in a cage when our behavior is rewarded or punished.

Our physical nature and our habits or patterns of behavior work together to determine the course of our lives.  If you have a gene predisposing you to obesity, your life will be very different depending on whether you choose to exercise regularly and eat sensibly or decide to be sedentary and complain about the genes your parents gave you.

The third, and most interesting, influence is our "second nature."  Unlike the other two influences, our second nature involves choice.  Although we often act out of habit, we are capable of altering our behavior by making choices about how we behave.  When we act purposefully rather than habitually, we are creating our second nature.  This is why identical twins or people with very similar educations and experiences do not turn out exactly the same.  Their lives are different because along the way they make choices and develop their own individualized second nature in response to their experience of life.

Do things that happen to you influence your second nature?  Is it easier, for instance, to develop a healthy second nature if you are loved?  Of course.  I saw a gifted astrologer accurately pick from a list of birth dates given her which people had turned out to be mass murderers.  But the astrologer went on to say, "Perhaps if these people had been loved enough their lives would have been different and they would not have committed such crimes."  The point is that love changes people.  It is a powerful creative force.

We all have an opportunity and a responsibility to choose whom we would like to be.  If we refuse to choose, we run the risk of becoming what we despise in others.  Still, it is tempting not to choose, and to let our second nature be shaped by outside or internal influences and forces.  It is much harder to do the shaping ourselves, accept responsibility for our behavior and be creative.

Creating a beautiful second nature is difficult because we are human and we each have our own frailties.  It is hard to be constructively critical of your own nature.  It is much easier to be destructively critical of yourself and others, and then, when people complain, to defend yourself with the old standby:  "It's just my nature to be this way."  But the truth is, you are capable of changing your nature.  Genes and parenting are not the only factors that determine who you are and what happens to you.

One thing you can do to influence your future is to eliminate the things that are killing you.  Yes, some of the things that are killing you are beyond your control.  But most of the time when you say, "This or that is killing me," you are talking about things you can do something about, such as your behavior, or responses to a conflicting and difficult relationship or job.  It is no coincidence that on Mondays we have more heart attacks, suicides, and illnesses.

People say, "I'm downhearted" or "You're breaking my heart."  They sing, "My heart cries for you, sighs for you, dies for you."  There may be more meaning in those words than we realize.  I worry when I hear someone say, "I'll make this marriage work if it kills me."  Your marriage may kill you--if you are being abused and beaten.  Or you may kill yourself trying to please your spouse or your boss.  The things you do to please others or the things you submit to really may be killing you, but you can take action and change your circumstances and change your own life.  If something is killing you, eliminate it.  That is not the time to be a loving martyr and die trying.

You often can learn about what is killing you from paying attention to the parts of your body that malfunction when you are ill.  Your illness is often symbolic, in the sense that your pain or illness tells you what you need to change in your life.  It is a metaphor.  An obvious example is a headache that feels like pressure or a weight.  It tells you that you are under too much stress, or your husband is a burden.  Illnesses can point to problems in our lives.  A recurrent bladder infection described as a draining experience led a woman to alter what was draining her strength and contributing to her illness.  If your backache is a stabbing pain, you might ask yourself if someone in your life is stabbing you in the back.  Learn from your body.  Don't blame it on yourself.

It is often easier to ignore the signs and go on living the life you happen to be living, even if it is hurting you--right up to the point where you get ill and physical death is a real possibility.  Then, when the old distractions and numbing agents aren't doing the trick anymore, you have to make a decision.  At that point, some people decide to let their lives kill them, while others decide to make changes in the hope they can enjoy their remaining time.  Why wait until you have to make decisions under such pressure.

more on self


welcome page - contents - gallery - obstacles - quotations - the people behind the words
our current e-zine - articles and excerpts - Daily Meditations, Year Two - Year Three

Sign up for your free daily spiritual or general quotation
~ ~ Sign up for your free daily meditation


We have some inspiring and motivational books that may interest you.  Our main way of supporting this site is through the sale of books, either physical copies or digital copies for your Amazon Kindle (including the online reader).  All of the money that we earn through them comes back to the site in one way or another.  Just click on the picture to the left to visit our page of books, both fiction and non-fiction!


Steps toward Inner Peace
Peace Pilgrim

Now, when I talk about the steps toward inner peace, I talk about them in a framework, but there's nothing arbitrary about the number of steps.  They can be expanded; they can be contracted.  This is just a way of talking about the subject, but this is important:  the steps toward inner peace are not taken in any certain order.  The first step for one may be the last step for another.  So just take whatever steps seem easiest for you, and as you take a few steps, it will become easier for you to take a few more.  In this area we really can share.  None of you may feel guided to walk a pilgrimage, and I'm not trying to inspire you to walk a pilgrimage, but in the field of finding harmony in our own lives, we can share.  And I suspect that when you hear me give some of the steps toward inner peace, you will recognize them as steps that you also have taken.

In the first place I would like to mention some preparations that were required of me.  The first preparation is a right attitude toward life.  This means, stop being an escapist!  Stop being a surface-liver who stays right in the froth of the surface.  There are millions of these people, and they never find anything really worthwhile.  Be willing to face life squarely and get down beneath the surface of life where the verities and realities are to be found.  That's what we are doing here now.

There's the whole matter of having a meaningful attitude for the problems that life may set before you.  If only you could see the whole picture, if only you knew the whole story, you would realize that no problem ever comes to you that does not have a purpose in your life, that cannot contribute to your inner growth.  When you perceive this, you will recognize problems as opportunities in disguise.  If you did not face problems you would just drift through life, and you would not gain inner growth.  It is through solving problems in accordance with the highest light that we have that inner growth is attained.  Now, collective problems must be solved by us collectively, and no one finds inner peace who avoids doing his or her share in the solving of collective problems, like world disarmament and world peace.  So let us always think about these problems together, talk about them together, and collectively work toward their solutions.

The second preparation has to do with bringing our lives into harmony with the laws that govern this universe.  Created are not only the worlds and the beings but also the laws which govern them.  Applying both in the physical realm and in the psychological realm, these laws govern human conduct.  Insofar as we are able to understand and bring our lives into harmony with these laws, our lives will be in harmony.  Insofar as we disobey these laws, we create difficulties for ourselves by our disobedience.  We are our own worst enemies.  If we are out of harmony through ignorance, we suffer somewhat; but if we know better and are still out of harmony, then we suffer a great deal.  I recognize that these laws are well-known and well-believed, and therefore they just needed to be well-lived.

So I got busy on a very interesting project.  This was to live all the good things I believed in.  I did not confuse myself by trying to take them all at once, but rather, if I was doing something that I knew I should not be doing, I stopped doing it, and I always made a quick relinquishment.  You see, that's the easy way.  Tapering off is long and hard.  And if I was not doing something that I knew I should be doing, I got busy on that.  It took the living quite a while to catch up with the believing, but of course it can, and now if I believe something, I live it.  Otherwise it would be perfectly meaningless.  As I lived according to the highest light that I had, I discovered that other light was given, and that I opened myself to receiving more light as I lived the light I had.

These laws are the same for all of us, and these are the things that we can study and talk about together.  But there is also a third preparation that has to do with something which is unique for every human life because every one of us has a special place in the Life Pattern.  If you do not yet know clearly where you fit, I suggest that you try seeking it in receptive silence.  I used to walk amid the beauties of nature, just receptive and silent, and wonderful insights would come to me.  You begin to do your part in the Life Pattern by doing all the good things you feel motivated toward, even though they are just little good things at first.  You give these priority in your life over all the superficial things that customarily clutter human lives.

There are those who know and do not do.  This is very sad.  I remember one day as I walked along the highway a very nice car stopped and the man said to me, "How wonderful that you are following your calling!" I replied.  "I certainly think that everyone should be doing what feels right to do."  He then began telling me what he felt motivated toward, and it was a good thing that needed doing.  I got quite enthusiastic about it and took for granted that he was doing it.  I said, "That's wonderful!  How are you getting on with it?"  And he answered, "Oh, I'm not doing it.  That kind of work doesn't pay anything."  And I shall never forget how desperately unhappy that man was.  But you see, in this materialistic age we have such a false criterion by which to measure success.  We measure it in terms of dollars, in terms of material things.  But happiness and inner peace do not lie in that direction.  If you know but do not do, you are a very unhappy person indeed.

There is also a fourth preparation, and it is the simplification of life to bring inner and outer well-being--psychological and material well-being--into harmony in your life.  This was made very easy for me.  Just after I dedicated my life to service, I felt that I could no longer accept more than I needed while others in the world have less than they need.  This moved me to bring my life down to need-level.  I thought it would be difficult.  I thought it would entail a great many hardships, but I was quite wrong.  Now that I own only what I wear and what I carry in my pockets, I don't feel deprived of anything.  For me, what I want and what I need are exactly the same, and you couldn't give me anything I don't need.

I discovered this great truth:  unnecessary possessions are just unnecessary burdens.  Now I don't mean that all our needs are the same.  Yours may be much greater than mine.  For instance, if you have a family, you would need the stability of a family center for your children.  But I do mean that anything beyond need--and need sometimes includes things beyond the physical needs, too--anything beyond need tends to become burdensome.

There is a great freedom in simplicity of living, and after I began to feel this, I found a harmony in my life between inner and outer well-being.  Now there's a great deal to be said about such harmony, not only for an individual life but also for the life of a society.  It's because as a world we have gotten ourselves so far out of harmony, so way off on the material side, that when we discover something like nuclear energy, we are still capable of putting it into a bomb and using it to kill people.  This is because our inner well-being lags behind our outer well-being.  The valid research for the future is on the inner side, on the psychological side, so that we will be able to bring these two into balance, so we will know how to use well the outer well-being we already have.

Living Life Fully, the e-zine
exists to try to provide for visitors of the world wide web a place
of growth, peace, inspiration, and encouragement.  Our articles
are presented as thoughts of the authors--by no means do we
mean to present them as ways that anyone has to live life.  Take
from them what you will, and disagree with whatever you disagree
with--just know that they'll be here for you each week.


If you take a single word. . . and make it your own on a day-to-day basis,
I hope it's choose.  Being able to choose to act differently, even while
feeling the old way, may be the most liberating growth you can accomplish.

Sue Patton Thoele
The Courage to Be Yourself



Finding Balances

I find it very fascinating that we so often talk about "finding balance" in our lives.  It's almost as if we think that there's only one possible area of balance, as in balancing our life.  From my perspective, though, I find that there are many areas of my life that are sometimes out of balance, and in which it would be very beneficial to me to attain some sort of balance there.  I need balance between work and rest; a balance between time spent on hobbies and time spent elsewhere; a balance between foods I really like (like donuts) and foods that are good for me; a balance between reading material that's meant to instruct and material that's meant to entertain.

I've recently been rather ungently pushed into a situation that's completely out of balance, in which I'm teaching many more hours per week than I ever wanted to.  For six weeks, I'm in the classroom far more than I want to be, and this lack of balance has taken its toll.  I'm four weeks into it, and I'm more tired than I am normally at this time of the year.  It's summer, so I'm really missing the time that I normally would be outdoors, exploring.  I've agreed to do it because I know that there's a strong need for me to do so, but the experience is emphasizing the importance of having a balance between work and personal life.  There really are no positive effects of this situation--other than a bigger paycheck, which isn't as important to me as quality of life.


Are you balanced?  Do you share your time, your energy,
your life, as much with yourself as you do with those around
you?. . . . Know your limits.  You are one of the most
important people you need to look after and love.
Balance your time, your energy, your life with those around
you.  You'll be able to give more freely and joyfully as a
result, and you'll be more open to the
gifts of the universe.  It's not wrong to give to others.
But it's okay to say yes to ourselves, too.

Melody Beattie

But I am being reminded of just how much I value balance.  In the past, I've left jobs that didn't allow me to be balanced, for the sacrifices that I had to make in my life simply weren't worth the problems that were caused by the unbalance.  When I'm not able to go for a run sometime during the day because I'm working too much, there's a problem.  When I'm not able to read a book to relax and unwind because I have too much work ahead of me, there's a problem.  When one area of my life takes away my ability to make decisions in other areas of my life, something needs to change.

I've had friends who have been so caught up in their jobs that one had to make an appointment with them just to get a cup of coffee.  And these people have thought that they were "making sacrifices" in order to get ahead, when in reality they were being used by their employers who didn't want to hire another person to help out with extraordinary amounts of work.  I've seen plenty of people neglect their spouses and children because they had hobbies that they wanted to pursue, hobbies in which the rest of the family had no interest.  They would regularly spend twelve hours on a Saturday on their hobby and no time at all with their families, when it would have been very simple for them to spend five or six hours on the hobby and the rest of the time building relationships with their family members.

Of course, not all balance requires presence.  I sometimes spend time away from my family, and that's quite normal.  Last Saturday I left the house at four in the morning and didn't get home until midnight.  But that's an exception rather than a rule, and I spent all day Sunday with my wife.  And she actually appreciated the time alone that day--because we do balance our time together with time apart, we've grown to find such interludes to be very positive to our relationship.  We have known couples who find time away from each other to be unbearable, so they never make any plans to be apart.  This creates a huge imbalance in their lives which tends to result from a relationship that's based more on co-dependency than on love, and such a relationship can be very destructive.  We all need time to ourselves.

The cost of success will be too high if
you choose not to lead a balanced life.

Linda Stryker

There are many, many areas of our lives in which we can explore balance:  work, play, rest, sexuality, time, food, spending, possessions, decorating, finances, vacations, education, and even our thoughts.  We can buy a car that's too expensive for our current financial means and end up throwing ourselves out of balance financially when we end up not only having to make payments that are too high, but also to pay much more for insurance than is good for us.  When we meet a new person who fascinates us, we can end up losing our balance in life, spending far too much time with the person and neglecting long-standing relationships and even work and simple things like keeping the house clean.

If we want lives that are balanced, we have to pay attention to our imbalances.  Anything that makes us uncomfortable can be an area of imbalance, and it could be worth our while to pay attention to it.  Sometimes our health is affected by imbalances--we can suffer from headaches, stomachaches, muscle pain, even diseases if specific elements of our lives are out of balance.  And getting our lives back into balance actually can provide a cure to these types of problems.  If we aren't doing as well at work as we think we should be doing, it could be an issue with balance, too.  Perhaps we're spending too much time at work, or too little time.  Problems with a spouse or another loved one can also be caused by a lack of balance in our interactions with them.

But be careful with loved ones, especially those who tend to be more needy than others!  Sometimes they will pull you into imbalance with their demands-- demands of spending too much time together or of doing too much of any particular something.  It's up to YOU to recognize balance and imbalance in your life, and make decisions based on maintaining a healthy equilibrium rather than allowing yourself to be pulled into things you don't wish to be pulled into.

And always remember the old maxim:  there can be too much of a good thing.

For example, I love running and I really like racing.  I'm fairly fast, and I enjoy pushing myself and testing my limits.  When I think about whether I want to be faster, though, I always keep in mind just how much training that would involve, and I realize that there are other things in my life that would suffer from neglect if I were to try to become as fast a runner as I possibly can.  Therefore I'm content with training regularly, but not in the extreme manner that would be necessary to gain more speed.  And I'm fine with that, because I know that I don't have to reach any sort of maximum speed in order to enjoy running.

Other people in other stages in life do decide to shift that balance over to more training, and it's important that they realize that something else may become imbalanced because of the time they're spending on their running.  Purposely creating an imbalance in one area creates imbalance in others, and the people who do well all around are those who recognize that fact and make appropriate adjustments, like taking fewer classes at school or working fewer hours.  The people who don't make those adjustments are the ones who burn out and who end up disliking the very thing that caused them to create an imbalance in the first place.

Balance in your life between work and your personal life is
very important.  Without balance, you eventually burn out,
negatively affecting your performance at work.

Byron Pulsifer

Balance isn't easy, and the fact that so many people struggle with it proves that point rather clearly.  It's especially difficult to maintain in cultures that have derived from western European ancestors, who tend to be driven and who tend to feel that an artificially high level of commitment is desirable.  Other whole cultures find the idea of balance to be extremely desirable in their people, and it tends to be easier to feel the peace that comes with balance.

Balance is beautiful.  There's a sense of awe and amazement that we feel when we see a boulder balanced atop a much smaller rock.  We're fascinated when we watch someone on a tightrope, high above the ground.  We tend to be less amazed, though, when we meet a person who is at peace because he or she has reached a state of balance in life.  Somehow, this isn't as impressive to us, even though it's a state that we're all, in our own ways, striving to achieve.

More on balance.



HOME - contents - Daily Meditations - abundance - acceptance - achievement - action - adversity - advertising - aging - ambition
anger - anticipation - anxiety - apathy - appreciation - arrogance - art - attitude - authenticity - awakening - awareness - awe
balance - beauty - being yourself - beliefs - body - brooding - busyness - caring - celebration - challenges -
change - character
charity - children - choices - Christianity - coincidence - commitment - common sense - community - comparison - compassion
competition - complaining - compliments - compromise - confidence - conformity - conscience - contentment - control - cooperation
courage - covetousness - creativity - crisis - criticism - cruelty -  death - decisions - desire - determination - disappointment
discipline - discouragement - diversity - doubt - dreams - earth - education - ego - emotions - encouragement - enlightenment
enthusiasm - envy - eternity - ethics - example - exercise - experience - failure - faith - fame - family - fate - fathers - fault-finding
fear - feelings - finances - flowers - forgiveness - freedom - friendship - frustration - fun - the future - garden of life - gardening
generosity - gentleness - giving - goals - God - goodness - grace - gratitude - greatness - greed - grief - growing up - guilt - habit
happiness - hatred - healing - health - heart - helpfulness - home - honesty - hope - hospitality - humility - hurry - ideals - identity
idleness  - idolatry - ignorance - illusion - imagination - impatience - individuality - the inner child - inspiration - integrity - intimacy
introspection - intuition - jealousy - journey of life - joy - judgment - karma - kindness - knowledge - language - laughter - laziness
leadership - learning - letting go - life - listening - loneliness - love - lying - magic - marriage - materialism - meanness - meditation
mindfulness - miracles - mistakes - mistrust - moderation - money - mothers - motivation - music - mystery - nature - negative attitude
now - oneness - open-mindedness - opportunity - optimism - pain - parenting - passion - the past - patience - peace - perfectionism
perseverance - perspective - pessimism - play - poetry - positive thoughts - possessions - potential - poverty - power - praise
- prejudice - pride - principle - problems - progress - prosperity - purpose - reading -recreation - reflection - relationships
religion - reputation - resentment - respect - responsibility - rest - revenge - risk - role models - running - ruts - sadness - safety
seasons of life - self - self-love - self-pity - self-reliance - self-respect selfishness - serving others - shame - silence - simplicity
slowing down - smiles -solitude - sorrow - spirit - stories - strength - stress - stupidity - success - suffering - talent
the tapestry of life - teachers - thoughts - time - today - tolerance - traditions - trees - trust - truth - unfulfilled dreams - values
vanity - virtue - vulnerability - walking - war - wealth - weight issues - wisdom - women - wonder - work - worry - worship
youth - spring - summer - fall - winter - Christmas - Thanksgiving - New Year - America - Zen sayings - articles & excerpts
Native American wisdom - The Law of Attraction - obstacles to living life fully - e-zine archives - quotations contents
our most recent e-zine - Great Thinkers - the people behind the words


All contents © 2018 Living Life Fully™, all rights reserved.
Please feel free to re-use material from this site other than copyrighted articles--
contact each author for permission to use those.  If you use material, it would be
greatly appreciated if you would provide credit and a link back to the original
source, and let us know where the material is published.  Thank you.


Face your deficiencies and acknowledge them; but do not let them master you.  Let them teach you patience, sweetness, insight.  When we do the best we can, we never know what miracle is wrought in our life, or in the life of another.

Helen Keller

There is within each of us a child.  A child who, to one degree or another, did not receive the parenting he or she wanted.  There was not enough love or care or support.

We keep looking for someone to be the good parent, someone to count on.  We demand that our own parents change and apologize for their mistakes or inadequacies.  They often become defensive and refuse; they didn't have a "total" parent, either.

There is only one way to get superb parenting of the child who will always be within you.  Only one person truly knows what that child wants.  Only one person will, or can, love and nurture that child to the point of peace and joy.  Only one person can be the good mother, father, brother, sister.  You are your best parent and friend.

Accept, love, and care for the child within you.

Joan Chittister


Live for today.  Multitudes of people have failed to live for today. . . .
What they have had within their grasp today they have missed
entirely, because only the future has intrigued them.

William Allen White




A new way of reading has been here for a while now.  And while we still love our books, if you're like many people, you get tired of lugging around the books that sometimes weigh more than anything else we carry.  Imagine carrying hundreds of books--novels, self-help, history, travel, you name it--and reading them comfortably on a no-glare screen, setting things like text size to your own preferences.  It's a great experience, and it's available to us now for less than the cost of ten books.  And there are plenty of free books to download, especially timeless classics--you can easily get enough free books to pay for the Kindle.  Give yourself the gift of wonderful literature that you can easily bring with you, wherever you go!

Visit our Facebook page
for uplifting quotations, images,
articles, and ideas.  Share us with
your friends and offer them the
opportunity to experience tons
of inspiration and motivation
for themselves!

You can also follow us on Twitter--each day, we
send out short thoughts to uplift, inspire,
and provoke thought.  You won't be inundated with
thousands of messages--just a few a day!