the most of yourself, for that is all there is of you.
first question to be answered by any individual or any social
group facing a hazardous situation, is whether the crisis is to be
met as a challenge to strength or as an occasion for despair.
comes not alone by removing the outward causes and occasions of fear, but
by the discovery of inward reservoirs to draw upon.
Off Automatic Pilot
Elaine St. James
One of the things that made it possible for me to keep
going at high speed until I simplified my life was an
innate ability to race through my day on automatic
pilot. I think this is true for a lot of us.
We're used to rolling out of bed in the morning, moving
quickly through our ablutions, grabbing a bite to eat
while we read the paper or watch the morning news, packing
the kids off to school or day care, putting the finishing
touches on a report for the boss, having a final swig of
coffee, then flying out the door to start our workday,
without reflecting on what we're doing.
We take the same route to work, so we don't have to think
about it, and our minds easily fill with a million other
things--worries, responsibilities, obligations--on the way
to the office.
While some of our daily work procedures are less automatic
than others, there's still a certain predictability about
a lot of the tasks we take on. Mostly we don't have
to analyze it much. We just get through the day so
we can hop in the car, and go back home, on automatic.
Then we fall immediately into our evening schedule,
whatever that might be for us: exercise, on
automatic; dinner, on automatic; cleanup, on automatic;
meetings, on automatic; watching television, on automatic.
weekends are frequently the same, although they usually
allow for a little more latitude in terms of the
routine. But most of us tend to do the same things
over and over again, week in and week out.
Yes, we may vary the specifics somewhat. We may have
social or cultural or recreational outings on a regular
basis. But those can easily become automatic as
well. We tend to go to the same places, see the same
people, discuss the same issues.
There's a certain comfort in moving through our lives this
way. The world sometimes seems unpredictable, and
the grooves we establish give us a feeling of order and of
being in control. That's fine as long as the things
we're doing on automatic are the things we really want to
be doing. Often they're not--or maybe they were once
but aren't now--and we haven't stopped long enough to
And paradoxically, living on automatic complicates our
lives. Living on automatic is often what makes it
possible for us to do all the things we feel we have to
do. We squeeze into our days new chores or
commitments, adding an errand here, another lunch date
there, without considering whether we really have the time
to do them, let alone the desire. We just take a
deep breath, put our nose back to the grindstone, and add
one more item to our list of things to do.
This is where building some air into our schedule pays
off. We can create the time to have a leisurely
breakfast with our family, or take the scenic route to the
office and enjoy the ride. We can create daily and
weekly variations that will make it possible for us to
savor special moments throughout our days, throughout our
weeks, and throughout our lives.
Changing gears from time to time makes it possible for us
to get into the habit of being aware and alive each
moment, or at least for a lot more of our moments.
And the more aware we are, the easier it is to get back in
control of our lives.
The process then builds on itself. Each time we
become conscious of the fact that we're doing something
we'd rather not be doing, we can make adjustments in our
schedule. Gradually we can learn to eliminate those
activities and substitute more appealing pursuits.
businesswoman Elaine St. James, whose previous
books, Simplify Your Life and Inner
Simplicity, have over 475,000 copies in print,
once again cries "Simplify!" in Living
the Simple Life: 100 Steps to Scaling Down and
Enjoying More. After a brief testimony to the
rewards of her own simplified life, St. James
discusses 100 areas, from household chores to
e-mail, where action may be effectively taken to
remove the clutter from everyday life. A pinch of
Heloise and a dash of Buddha enliven her recipes.
more from Elaine St. James here!
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Imagine carrying hundreds of books--novels, self-help,
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Value of Reading
How are you coming with your home library?
Do you need some good ammunition on why it's so
important to read? The last time I checked the
statistics, I think they indicated that only
four percent of the adults in this country have
bought a book within the past year. That's
dangerous. It's extremely important that we keep
ourselves in the top five or six percent.
In one of the Monthly Letters from the Royal
Bank of Canada it was pointed out that reading
good books is not something to be indulged in as
a luxury. It is a necessity for anyone who
intends to give his life and work a touch of
quality. The most real wealth is not what we put
into our piggy banks but what we develop in our
heads. Books instruct us without anger, threats
and harsh discipline. They do not sneer at our
ignorance or grumble at our mistakes. They ask
only that we spend some time in the company of
greatness so that we may absorb some of its
You do not read a book for the book's sake, but
for your own.
You may read because in your high-pressure life,
studded with problems and emergencies, you need
periods of relief and yet recognize that peace
of mind does not mean numbness of mind.
You may read because you never had an
opportunity to go to college, and books give you
a chance to get something you missed. You may
read because your job is routine, and books give
you a feeling of depth in life.
You may read because you did go to college.
You may read because you see social, economic
and philosophical problems which need solution,
and you believe that the best thinking of all
past ages may be useful in your age, too.
You may read because you are tired of the
shallowness of contemporary life, bored by the
current conversational commonplaces, and wearied
of shop talk and gossip about people.
Whatever your dominant personal reason, you will
find that reading gives knowledge, creative
power, satisfaction and relaxation. It
cultivates your mind by calling its faculties
Books are a source of pleasure - the purest and
the most lasting. They enhance your sensation of
the interestingness of life. Reading them is not
a violent pleasure like the gross enjoyment of
an uncultivated mind, but a subtle delight.
Reading dispels prejudices which hem our minds
within narrow spaces. One of the things that
will surprise you as you read good books from
all over the world and from all times of man is
that human nature is much the same today as it
has been ever since writing began to tell us
Some people act as if it were demeaning to their
manhood to wish to be well-read but you can no
more be a healthy person mentally without
reading substantial books than you can be a
vigorous person physically without eating solid
food. Books should be chosen, not for their
freedom from evil, but for their possession of
good. Dr. Johnson said: "Whilst you stand
deliberating which book your son shall read
first, another boy has read both.”
more from Earl Nightingale here!
Wallpaper! Just click below
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right-click on the
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in the new
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photo's from a lake
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x 800 - 1440
It is finally when you let go
of what people
and people's perceptions
of you that you're
able to be
of yourself that
you're supposed to
in God's eyes. It doesn't matter
half crazy, or eccentric,
it is-- that
to be true to who
you were born to be.
What Are We
I'm constantly amazed at the anger and the hatred and the mutual
disrespect that I read online, especially in the comments sections
that follow news articles. It astonishes me that there are
so many people out there who are willing to slam others for their
beliefs, calling each other really stupid and unoriginal names
like "libtards," just because they have different
political views. The intolerance that we're seeing of other
ways of looking at the world and of other ways of trying to get
things done is, in a word, frightening.
We also see our two major political parties aligning almost
exclusively with their own parties on almost every vote that they
take. What happened to voting one's conscience, of even
better, voting for what would be best for one's
constituents? What has happened to the concepts of
compromise and helpfulness, not to mention community and
We're making a mess out of our world because as we become more and
more insecure, we become less and less tolerant of others and
their views and opinions. We see ourselves as more separate,
more individual, and less a part of the whole. What does
community mean any more? And what terrifies me about this
trend is the fact that we're teaching our children not to love,
but to hate; not to be tolerant of others, but to grow more
intolerant; not to be compassionate, but to be judgmental.
These lessons are going to hurt us even more deeply as a society,
but one of the biggest shames of the whole situation is that when
we teach our kids to think in such ways, we're dooming them to a
life of being little, of not reaching their potential to love and
to serve, of not being able to live their lives fully because
they'll be spending too much time worrying about what other people
are doing, and what they can do to prevent those others from
attaining their goals.
When I teach in the classroom, I always make it a point to use
material that shows positive ways to make a difference in the
world--ways to be tolerant and understanding and loving. I
also show them that such approaches to life have positive outcomes
for both the people they affect and for them, themselves.
It's been well documented that people who are angry and frustrated
with other people constantly are not happy people; happiness tends
to come to us when we can let go of our need to control or
criticize others and focus on our own lives, our own needs, and
the lives and needs of our loved ones.
What do you teach our young? Do you teach them strategies
that will help them to be happy and successful in life, or are you
teaching them to be judgmental and critical? It's important
to remember that many more happy lives are forged through
cooperation and mutual respect than through judgment and
criticism. And it's also important to remember that we have
an effect on the young people in our lives, whether we always
recognize it or not.
My hope is that the young people of today will see the
ridiculousness of all that's going on and reject it
outright. If necessary, they may reject us outright,
too. There won't be much we can do about that, and truth be
told, the generation that's now in charge probably deserves that
rejection. And if that's what today's young people need to
do in order to lead happy, fulfilling, loving lives, then so be
it. I can take being rejected if it means that other people
are living happy lives.
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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that happen around us, but also our reactions to those
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character as well as
The person one
depends on the person
one has been.
years ago, a friend of mine lived with me during the final few
months of her life. Not completely understanding the effects
of her illness, I kept saying, "Michelle, you must eat.
You're getting too thin! Eat!" And after she
died, I read in her journal about how "Marianne takes it for
granted that if you eat, you gain weight; if you want to go out
somewhere, you can; and if you want to live past this year, it's a
reasonable proposition." She was someone who had so
little to be happy about, but she taught me so much about
happiness. During those months, right after the birth of my
daughter, I would come home to find my dying friend with my baby
snuggled next to her. There was a smile of bliss on both
their faces that I will remember all my days.
Wilferd A. Peterson
to the art of listening is selectivity. You stand guard at
the ear-gateway to your mind, heart and spirit. You decide
what you will accept. . .
the good. Tune your ears to love, hope and courage.
Tune out gossip, fear and resentment.
the beautiful. Relax to the music of the masters; listen to
the symphony of nature -- hum of the wind in the treetops, bird
songs, thundering surf.
with your eyes. Imaginatively listen to the sounds in a
poem, a novel, a picture.
critically. Mentally challenge assertions, ideas,
philosophies. Seek the truth with an open mind.
with patience. Do not hurry other people. Show them
the courtesy of listening to what they have to say, no matter how
much you disagree. You may learn something.
with your heart. Practice empathy when you listen; put
yourself in the other person's place and try to hear his or her
problems in your heart.
for growth. Be an inquisitive listener. Ask
questions. Everyone has something to say that will help you
creatively. Listen carefully for ideas or the germs of
ideas. Listen for hints or clues that will spark creative
yourself. Listen to your deepest yearnings, your highest
aspirations, your noblest impulses. Listen to the better
person within you.
with depth. Be still and meditate. Listen with the ear
of intuition for the inspiration of the Infinite.
we are harder on ourselves than others are. If we cannot
forgive ourselves, how can we forgive other people? Everyone's
to forgive ourselves for our mistakes, even those things we feel ashamed
about, and learn to accept ourselves for who we are, knowing that
we can always gently work on making improvements. For me,
the true experience of inner peace began only once I was able
to forgive those around me, my parents, and myself.
a year of one-sentence reminders
of ways that we can
make the most of our lives each day that we live.
Book - Kindle - Nook
novel of life and learning; Walker's fascinating journey
will remind you of all that is good in this world.
Book - Kindle
Read Chapter One
David agrees to
give 70-year-old Hector
a ride west, he
never thinks that the man will become
so important to him.
Book - Kindle
Read Chapter One
and spending, we lay waste our powers," wrote
Wordsworth over 150 years ago. And we're still doing
Book - Kindle