The First Agreement: Be Impeccable with Your Word

Don Miguel Ruiz writes:

The first agreement is the most important one and also the most difficult one to honor. It is so important that, with just this first agreement, you will be able to transcend to the level of existence I call heaven on earth.

The first agreement is to be impeccable with your word. It sounds very simple, but it is very, very powerful. Why your word?

Your word is the power that you have to create.

Your word is the gift that comes directly from God. “The Gospel of John” in The Bible, speaking of the creation of the universe, says, “In the beginning there was the word, and the word was with God, and the word is God.” Through the word, you express your creative power. It is through the word that you manifest everything. Regardless of what language you speak, your intent manifests through the word. What you dream, what you feel, and what you really are will all be manifested through the word.

The word is not just a sound or a written symbol. The word is a force; it is the power you have to express and communicate, to think, and, thereby, to create the events in your life. You can speak. What other animal on the planet can speak? The word is the most powerful tool you have as a human; it is the tool of magic. But like a sword with two edges, your word can create the most beautiful dream, or your word can destroy everything around you. One edge is the misuse of the word, which creates a living hell. The other edge is the impeccability of the word, which will only create beauty, love, and heaven on earth.

Depending upon how it is used, the word can set you free, or it can enslave you even more than you know.

via The First Agreement: Be Impeccable with Your Word « Positively Positive.

International Women’s Day: Unleash Your Inner Goddess

FinerMinds shares this:

In honor of International Women’s day, we wanted to share this inspiring video of Maya Angelou reciting a beautiful passage from her book Letter to My Daughter. It is an empowering reminder to be strong, courageous and to take responsibility for your own happiness – regardless of your personal circumstances.

“You may not control all the events that happen to you, but you can decide not to be reduced by them. Try to be a rainbow in someone’s cloud. Do not complain. Make every effort to change things you do not like. If you cannot make a change, change the way you have been thinking. You might find a new solution.”

via International Women’s Day: Unleash Your Inner Goddess.

Zen Mind in the Middle of Chaos & Stress

Leo Babauta shares this:

What do you do when your job, or your personal life, is a constant source of busy-ness, rushing, nose-to-the-grindstone work, and stress?

Or what do you do if your life is simple and relatively stress-free, but something blows up and you are in the middle of chaos and high stress all of a sudden?

This is when we could use a dose of Zen Mind, or the Art of Letting Go.

What is this Zen Mind? To be honest, I’m still learning what that is, but what I’ve been practicing is a constant letting go. Let’s take an example:

I have a major deadline approaching. It is stressing me out, man! But what is the source of the stress? It’s not the work, which is just a series of actions. It’s not the deadline, which is just a time constraint. It’s my reaction to those external events — my fear that I’m not going to make it, that I’ll mess up, that I’ll look stupid or incompetent. This fear that is causing my stress reaction is rooted in my wanting things to turn out a certain way … wanting to meet the deadline and get things perfect and look good.

What if I could let go of wanting things to turn out that way? This is a fantasy, an ideal, that I’m holding onto. It might turn out that way, sure, but it could turn out a dozen other ways, and the truth is I don’t have complete control over how it’ll turn out. All I can do is do the work, and the fantasy, the fear and the stress are only getting in the way. So if I can let go of this ideal, this fantasy, I can let go of the fear, and the stress.

This is the Zen Mind that I’m learning about. It’s simply letting go, and in doing so, you attain a peace of mind no matter what chaos and seemingly stressful event are going on around you. Again, I’m not good at this yet, but I’m learning. I’ll share what I know with you.

Full story at: Zen Mind in the Middle of Chaos & Stress : zenhabits.

Technology and mindfulness…

  1. :-D
  2. The Pope is hardly the first person to lose interest in their real job so soon after joining Twitter.
  3. Some thoughts on the Wisdom 2.0 conference last weekend. So much appreciation for Soren and his team for putting… fb.me/JZ265OrW
  4. WISDOM 2.0 will guide our interactions toward greater meaning, productivity, and wellbeing via @SFGate bit.ly/XCrtWF
  5. Wisdom 2.0’s Compassionate, Chaos-Reducing Brand Of Leadership sns.mx/JOouy7
  6. ⊱⊋↝Leadership↜⊊⊰ The Art of Conscious Leadership – from Wisdom 2.0 2013 via @karin_sebelin sco.lt/8E12JN
  7. ⊱⊋↝Leadership↜⊊⊰ The Art of Conscious Leadership – from Wisdom 2.0 2013 via @karin_sebelin sco.lt/8E12JN
  8. For business leaders out there, Wisdom 2.0 provides out-of-the-box practical thinking – you can get more videos by downloading the HBR…
  9. Arianna Huffington At Wisdom 2.0 (VIDEO) huff.to/13Yces2 via @HealthyLiving Deeper wisdom comes from the school of hard knocks.
  10. Arianna Huffington At Wisdom 2.0 (VIDEO) huff.to/13Yces2 via @HealthyLiving What wisdom do you really get from inexperienced lives?
  11. Arianna Huffington At Wisdom 2.0 (VIDEO) huff.to/13Yces2 via @HealthyLiving Wisdom from college students, docs, lawyers and business
  12. Watch Wisdom 2.0 2013 on @livestream: new.livestream.com/accounts… There’s a conference on wisdom! How come nobody told me. I’m totally there!
  13. @Padmasree Padma watching your Wisdom 2.0 presentation on HBR! Totally inspiring. I am showing this to my team to spread the wisdom.
  14. Some thoughts on the Wisdom 2.0 conference last weekend. So much appreciation for Soren and his team for putting… fb.me/JZ265OrW
  15. The Shift: Exploring Your Life Purpose with Wisdom 2.0 Founder Soren Gordhamer. bit.ly/Y19Woy #Wisdom2conf
  16. Like—》RT @AlliPolin: >Mindful curiosity can take you on new paths of understanding & discovery ow.ly/i5FfM via @ThinDifference
  17. Food for thought: Wisdom 2.0. @harvardbiz: How to Be Mindful in an ‘Unmanageable’ World s.hbr.org/YYcl47
  18. Great post by Jack Kornfield. His interview with Bill Ford was one of my favorite ones. Enjoy another perspective of Wisdom 2.0, from the driver’s seat!
  19. “Without a connection to our inner world, to our own thoughts and body, the creative mind becomes inaccessible amid the mass of other content we digest.” Soren Gordhamer – Wisdom 2.0

    linkedin.com/today/post/art…

  20. Yoga e maestri zen contro lo stress digitale. L’intossicazione tecnologica crea disagio? Ecco Wisdom 2.0 —> lettura.corriere.it/yoga-e-…
  21. YOGA E MAESTRI ZEN CONTRO LO STRESS DIGITALE
    L’intossicazione tecnologica crea disagio? Ecco Wisdom 2.0
  22. YOGA E MAESTRI ZEN CONTRO LO STRESS DIGITALE
    L’intossicazione tecnologica crea disagio? Ecco Wisdom 2.0
  23. Check out the music of Abraham, at http://www.lensesmusic.com. We were both at the Wisdom 2.0 summit this past weekend. I just love that the Bay Area is at the center of such cool stuff like mindfulness technology.
  24. The conference I helped to host this weekend, Wisdom 2.0 is written up in this great summary by Arianna Huffington. She recognizes the energy and unique spirit of this event and the amazing people who pour their time into creating this space to process the collective spirit from technology to mindfulness in daily life.

    We sat down with Congressman Tim Ryan this weekend to chart out collaborations for a new foundation focused on creating environments throughout our daily lives that support taking a deep breath, listening, processing deeply with each other and sharing our best selves in the collective conversation.

    I am so happy to share a glimpse here and host these conversations with you in future gatherings. The happiest place on earth.

  25. Arianna Huffington agrees with me – the Wisdom 2.0 Conference was really, really special.
  26. When I’m listening to the signals my body gives, I do very strange things. Like take Caltrain down to Mtn. View for the Hacker Dojo, stay for 15 minutes and go right back to San Francisco. I can make up a reason (too tired, day too full, energetic mismatch) but I don’t need to know. My inner compass is screaming “go back, sleep early, wake up at 5am and have a productive day.”
  27. Many of you have asked me what Wisdom 2.0 was like. In this post, Tony Schwartz shares some of his insights from the 2013 conference …
  28. Wisdom 2.0 2013 Session Proposal – Holacracy: Building a More Conscious Organization
  29. From Suffering to Seeking to Achieving: What Consciousness Can DO! – Wisdom 2.0 – 2013 Conference

American Minute for January 8th; The Battle of New Orleans

English: Andrew Jackson - 7 th President of th...

I think this is one of the most fascinating stories in American history and the whole think could have been avoided by one text message [which of course couldn’t happen at the time]:

Though the War of 1812 was effectively over two weeks earlier with the signing of the Treaty of Ghent, December 24, 1814, news had not yet reached New Orleans.

On January 8, 1815, in the last battle of the War of 1812, nearly 10,000 British soldiers advanced under cover of darkness and heavy fog, intending to surprise General Andrew Jackson’s Tennessee and Kentucky sharpshooters, aided by French pirate Jean Lafitte and his men.

As the British neared, the fog suddenly lifted and in just a half hour 2,042 British were killed or wounded, while there were only 71 American casualties.

General Andrew Jackson wrote on January 26, 1815, to Robert Hays regarding the victorious Battle of New Orleans:

“It appears that the unerring hand of Providence shielded my men from the shower of balls, bombs, and rockets, when every ball and bomb from our guns carried with them a mission of death.”

General Jackson told his aide-de-camp Major Davezac of his confidence before the Battle:

“I was sure of success, for I knew that God would not give me previsions of disaster, but signs of victory. He said this ditch can never be passed. It cannot be done.”

Andrew Jackson wrote to Secretary of War James Monroe, February 17, 1815:

“Heaven, to be sure, has interposed most wonderfully in our behalf, and I am filled with gratitude, when I look back to what we have escaped.”

The Treaty of Ghent was ratified by the U.S. Senate, February 16, 1815.

All British troops were immediately brought back to Europe as Napoleon had escaped from the Island of Elba, February 26, 1816.

For one hundred days, events in Europe cascaded toward the massive Battle of Waterloo.

President James Madison proclaimed for the United States a National Day of Thanksgiving Devout Acknowledgment to Almighty God on March 4, 1815.

via American Minute for January 8th.

We Can’t Always Get What We Want (And That’s OK!)

Danielle Robinson writes:

Lately I’ve given myself the task of psychological inventory: what am I holding onto, what should I release.

It occurred to me this past summer when I was moving apartments how much we cling to and how little we throw away. A simple cleaning out the closet really inspired me to dig deeper.

More than hanging onto things, which our society does very well, we often use our powerful minds as a weapon, to keep ourselves repeating the same stories, reliving the same events, re-running the same conversations, finding ways to make sense of things the mind simply cannot tackle.

What kept me in a cycle of discontent, riddled with a F*ck You on my forehead, was an accumulated bitterness over circumstances that simply didn’t go my way.

At some point I needed to forgive and forget everything that stung and left a sour energy in my soul. I needed to purge it, nut up, and recognize that no one gets what they want all the time.

Not everyone has the best hand dealt to them upon birth, upon entering school, upon exiting school, upon entering the job market, the love market, the friendship market, the athletics market, the artistic market, the business market, or any other market you can fathom entering.

Full story at: We Can’t Always Get What We Want (And That’s OK!).

I Love You, But Please Stop Talking…

donna-gates.pngDonna Gates writes:

When we think and when we speak, we create.

Ask yourself the following:

Throughout my day, how many times am I thinking and speaking of:

1)Old things and experiences?

2)Things in society I dislike and wish would change?

3)Things I actually wish to create and experiences I wish to have?

Too often we play out the same dramas with different people.

Too often we give a voice to our worries, our fears, and our stress.

It can be difficult not to think and talk about stressful life events. When we speak about what is on our mind, we release some mental and emotional pressure. If we do not disperse the gloomy cloud that hangs around us, we at least have someone to share it with.

In conversation or in thought, the creative act happens in increments. Slowly, one small creation builds upon another. Before you know it, you are thinking about and speaking about the very experience that you do not want.

Every time we engage our fears and worries, we are putting our focus on things we do not want to experience. So then why are we spending so much time making them part of our reality?

During the first months of the New Year, many of us will begin a new exercise program, quit an unhealthy habit or choose a way of eating for vibrant health.

Whether it is the New Year or not, you can always give yourself the support that you need to succeed.

While each of us is unique, I often find that changing your inner ecosystem with fermented foods and beverages goes hand in hand with strengthening the will for transformation.

Raising your vibration on the inside helps to raise the vibration on the outside, including the good feeling states that promote optimistic thoughts and language.

Often at the end of the year, we focus on our flaws and our mistakes. This needs to stop. We need to change our perspective. Our misfortunes are clues. Our setbacks in health are communications from our body.

Thus we should see all the old events or trials and current misfortunes or imperfections as opportunities that bring us one step closer to understanding that the present moment is the right time for gratitude and the only time to focus on where you are going.

When we grasp that—we are one step closer to living our dreams.

via I Love You, But Please Stop Talking….

5 Ways to Keep Cool Around Your Family During Family Holidays

‘Tis the season to spend time with family members—young, old, perfectly sane, or completely crazy. Personally, I continue to contemplate whether gypsies left me on the doorstep of the house I grew up in. 

Needless to say, family gatherings are not my favorite activity. 

But let’s face it, we all have to do it at some point. 

Here are my top five 5 for staying chill throughout your next family fest: 

1. You can’t change your family. You can only change your response to them. 

I think no matter how crazy our family may be, the holidays seem to program us with a glimmer of hope that they can become the Cleavers, if only we do all the right things. In reality, we can’t fix or change people in our lives unless they want to change. So it pays to be realistic, and here’s a way to do that.

Before you embark on your holiday gathering, get yourself in a really calm and grounded place (meditate, do yoga). Enter your family event like you’re about to go see a movie. Sit back and watch the crazy that may ensue, and try not to get wrapped up in it. 

Easier said than done, I know, but over time, with practice, like  anything else, it will get easier.

2. Use imagery: Put on your rubber suit over that holiday dress. 

If imagery resonates with you, imagine putting on a rubber suit over your holiday garb. When family members make comments that are inappropriate and/or hurtful (e.g, when your mother tells your boyfriend not to listen to anything you say about her—sad-but-true story), envision those lovely comments bouncing off you, again and again and again, and flying right out the window.

3. Be thankful: Without your family you wouldn’t be you. 

This is another mantra that took me years to come to terms with but was very empowering once I got there. If it were not for the dysfunctional environment I grew up in, I would not be who I am today.  

We have this amazing opportunity as adults to go beyond the house we were raised in. We can form more functional relationships and become more emotionally equipped and insightful people—and we can do this partly because our family challenges strengthened us. There is a lot of power in that, so if your family gets you down, meditate on that for awhile.

4. After family festivities, process your emotions. 

After family events, I used to find myself immersed in Hershey kiss food-fests and then realize I wasn’t processing my emotions. For me, it was sad to go home to a father who would ramble on about baseball without asking once what was going in my life. 

As we evolve and grow, our family environment can become even more disturbing and just plain sad. So post family fest, acknowledge your emotions, process them (cry, write, talk to a caring friend) and move on.

5. Go against society conventions. Spend the holidays with your friends! 

I am a big fan of self-preservation. If your family drives you absolutely crazy, why go home? For me, my friends have become my adopted family and I take pleasure in spending most of my holidays with them.  

I hope this will help you deal with the holidays, and I’d love to hear what has worked for you!!

Photo Credit: Shutterstock.com

Published December 22, 2012 at 10:24 AM
About Stacy Slawitsky

Stacy Slawitsky turned to yoga and mindfulness as a means to relieve the stress of a demanding job at a Big 4 Accounting Firm. Her passion to share the benefits of these practices with others led her to start ZenConnect. She conducts stress management programs for companies throughout the Boston area.

Like ZenConnect on Facebook: facebook.com/pages/ZenConnect/360714107285543 

Follow ZenConnect on Twitter: @ZenConn

More from Stacy Slawitsky on MindBodyGreen

Why It’s Good to Cry
Fun Ways to Start a Daily Gratitude Practice
Insights from an Ex-Corporate Road Warrior: 6 Easy Ways to Exercise on the Road
How the Power of Positive Thinking Prevented My Teeth from Falling Out

Nothing Prevents You From Asking Questions

… so much as thinking that you already have the answer.

Full story at: Nothing Prevents You From Asking Questions.

You’ll Make It When You Fake It

Smile 2
Psychology Today reports:

In a newly released study subjects were given stressful tasks while holding chopsticks in their mouths to form a smile, and another group was asked to maintain a smile while performing the stress task.  None of the subjects were not told the true objective of the study and when compared with a control group performing the same stressful activities, both smiling groups had lower heart rates and faster cardiovascular stress recovery than the non-smiling controls.

As Ekman had predicted, when we hold a facial expression reflecting a particular emotion, even when the expression of happiness is faked, we experience some of that faked emotion.   ‘Fake it till you make it’ takes more meaning in light of this and other research along these lines.

These findings suggest that there is a pathway connecting facial muscle activity to our ‘fight/flight’ response and that we can change our physiological and psychological states  by deliberately controlling our facial expressions.  So perhaps the quote by Mark Twain is true, “The world always looks brighter behind a smile.”

The next time you are feeling stressed, have a difficult task, or just wake up on the grumpy side of the bed, smile for a while and see how your mood can change for the better.” via You’ll Make It When You Fake It | Psychology Today.

I first heard about this reading Tony Robbin’s book ‘Awaken the Giant Within’ and yesterday I tried it and it actually worked for me!

I got sucked into being a timer for a swim meet with over 500 kids and 88 different events and multiple heats. First of all, I don’t even like competitive swimming — that’s my wife’s thing and my son was having his first meet. My wife had volunteered for a 4 hour shift and not only did a volunteer not come to relieve her but I became a backup timer and then a timer when other people left their shift. It was hot, wet and hard on the joints standing on a pool deck for 9 hours. I remembered what I had heard from Tony Robbins earlier in the week and put it into practice. Every time I started

Still Processing after 24 hours of a Horrible Event

Chris JarrellMy pastor Chris Jarrell wrote this yesterday:

Yesterday, a horrible act of evil occurred.  Myself along with many Americans are saddened, heartbroken and feeling helpless.   Many of us are angry, many of us are shaking our heads in disgust or simply questioning…Why?  How?

With any events that involve the murder of innocent children, my righteous anger wells up?

I try to stay in these places personally, because things like this breaks my heart deeply.  I also believe these break the heart of God.  When his creation, the very ones that He created have fallen so deeply in this sin sick world and because of their sin act out on others.

Sin separates us ALL from God’s perfect will.  Sin destroys and kills!  When we as a society excuse sin as this will only effect me…that is a myth and lie.  Sin harms others.  We see that the issues the person who committed this horrendous act has do with mental, nevertheless, that is not excuse, when we need to leave a life of self-control and I believe every heart and every life can be redeem for a greater purpose.

I will be honest with you I wrestle with the tension why things like this happen.  But here what I do know – “The Lord is near to the brokenhearted and saves the crushed in spirit” Psalm 34:18.  I also know that can deal with our pain and be confronted with our questions and doubts.  I also know that the Savior of the world, Jesus Christ, not empathizes with us but he truly understands what it is like to live in our sin sick world.

As I began praying yesterday about this tragedy, the Holy Spirit prompted me to go to Psalm 61

1 O God, listen to my cry!

Hear my prayer!

2 From the ends of the earth,

I cry to you for help

when my heart is overwhelmed.

Lead me to the towering rock of safety,

3 for you are my safe refuge,

a fortress where my enemies cannot reach me.

4 Let me live forever in your sanctuary,

safe beneath the shelter of your wings!

Another passage, I started praying through for those who are weak and feel like they have no strength to cope at this time is Isaiah 40:29 – “He gives strength to the weary, And to him who lacks might He increases power.”

I know these passages can’t erase the loss, the pain, and the events of yesterday.  I do know God can give us the strength that we all need.  Even in the most hopeless of times and circumstances, He can restore hope.

via Inside the Heart, Mind and Soul of Chris Jarrell: Still Processing after 24 hours of a Horrible Event.

How to Blame Effectively!

Blame effectively? WTH? Isn’t blaming BAD? Christine Hassler shares this perspective:

Last week I attended Date with Destiny, which was my first Tony Robbins event. Tony is truly masterful at what he does and I had the extra bonus of going with Mastin, Jenna, Chris Assaad and Marie Forleo – we had a blast together sharing our breakthroughs and supporting each other.

One powerful takeaway that I wanted to share with you is about how to blame effectively. Tony talks a lot about our stories, which are created by the meaning we give to events in our life.  Our stories usually have a heaping dose of blame mixed into them.  We blame others for hurting us, making us feel a certain way, not behaving the way we wanted them to, etc.  Blame may be comforting because it justifies our hurt; however, it is completely paralyzing because it makes us a victim of our life rather than a co-creator.

Tony’s advice was that if you are going to blame, at least do so effectively by blaming them for all the lessons and blessings that came from what they did or didn’t do. This resonates with what I believe and teach, which is that EVERY person in our life serves our growth.  The Uni-verse makes no accidents in terms of who the cast of characters are in our life story . . . BUT we make the mistake of casting too many villains rather than angels in our own story.” Full story at: How to Blame Effectively!.

Your core is perfect! Now what!?

Mastin-Kipp.pngMastin Kipp shares this:

What if it were true that nothing was wrong with you? What if you are actually perfect? And the only thing that prevents you from feeling this way most of the time is the story you tell yourself about why you’re not.

You could have gotten this story from all kinds of places. From your parents, from events that happened, from culture or society – there’s all kinds of places where this story could have come from.

But, what if your core is perfect? What would that feel like? What would that make you think and believe about life and what’s possible?

When I say perfect, I don’t mean the achiever’s definition of perfect… with the house, the cars, the money, the body, etc., etc., etc. I’m not talking about outward “perfection”. I’m talking about intrinsic inward perfection.

What if you were and are a child of The Divine and at your core, you are Spirit and there is nothing wrong with you? But instead, what you think is “wrong” with you are just brilliant ways for you to have gotten your needs met. Your need for Love, to feel valuable, to feel worthy, to feel significant, to feel variety and connection. And that you have been doing the best you can from your point of view to get these needs met?

And what if there were healthier ways to get your needs met?

What story have you been telling yourself about what’s wrong with you?

You’re too – what?

Or… you’re not enough – what?

Are those stories actually true? Or could there be another way? Could there be a more empowering story that you could tell yourself about who you are? Instead of feeling like a failure or feeling wrong or feeling like you aren’t enough – what if you changed the story to…

You did the absolute FREAKIN best that you could given your life circumstances. And that you know that you are MORE than your circumstances and so you can rise above them by making a new choice. That your circumstances are not your identity – your identity is a Soul – an Infinite Soul with Infinite potential connected to an Infinite Creator and that as you learn new skills, make new distinctions and become even MORE aware of The Divine perfection within you – you can create new habits and create a new identity.

If that were true – what would be possible for you? What in your life could change?

Source: Your core is perfect! Now what!?

Letting Go of Sh*tty Relationships

Joshua Fields Millburn writes:

Some relationships are incredibly pernicious. We often develop relationships out of convenience, without considering the traits necessary to build a successful bond with another person—important traits like unwavering support and shared trust and loving encouragement.

When a relationship is birthed out of convenience or proximity or chemistry alone, it is bound to fail. We need more than a person’s physical presence to maintain a meaningful connection, but we routinely keep people around because … well, simply because they’re already around

We’ve all held on to someone who didn’t deserve to be there before. And most of us still have someone in our lives who continually drains us: Someone who doesn’t add value. Someone who isn’t supportive. Someone who takes and takes and takes without giving back to the relationship. Someone who contributes very little and prevents us from growing. Someone who constantly plays the victim.

But victims become victimizers. And these people are dangerous. They keep us from feeling fulfilled. They keep us from living meaningful lives. Over time, these negative relationships become part of our identity—they define us, they become who we are.

Fortunately, this needn’t be the case. Several actions can be taken to rid ourselves of negative relationships.

Go to the source: Letting Go of Shitty Relationships | The Minimalists

Today: A Unique Day

I love Australian Craig Harper’s perspective:

Today is Unique

You’ve never had this day before and you’ll never have it again. Sure, you’ve had days like it but you’ve never had this day; the one you’re in right now.

Naturally, you might think I’m being deep and philosophical when I say this but I’m not, I’m being literal. Practical. Of course, there’s a sense of familiarity and predictability about today but that feeling says nothing about the possibilities and potential of this day and everything about you because like every day, this one is not predetermined.

It’s you determined.

It might feel the same but it isn’t. It’s totally new. Original. Unique.

Of course you can choose, act, react, think and communicate just like you did yesterday (and most people will) – and therefore, you’ll probably create very similar outcomes – but again, that’s about you; not the day. Despite what you may have been taught, there are no (universal) good and bad days.

There are just days.

Now, before you try to prove me wrong (“but Craig, what about the woman who gets diagnosed with cancer?”), hit the pause button on your non-negotiable thinking for a moment and allow yourself to look through a different window. Is it possible that, as things happen (to you, around you), you label them based on your world view, beliefs, fears, standards, etc., you then react to those things, give those things meaning and finally, after all your labeling, assessing and processing, you somehow determine whether today is a good day or bad one?

That is, you create your own experience? Your own reality?

A Hypothetical

Your phone and wallet have been stolen while taking your early morning swim and, as a result, you’re having “the worst day ever”. You drive to work in a bad mood and you’re about to throw yourself a pity party when a colleague informs you that your boss has just been rushed to hospital after suffering a massive heart attack. In a matter of seconds you experience a major internal shift. Your enormous problem is now tiny. Insignificant. Your outlook changes completely and all of a sudden, your terrible day is now relatively fantastic (when compared with the day your boss is having). Well technically, the day is the same (of course) but in the middle of it, you are different. Well, to be more precise, your thinking is different which means your experience has changed.

Which means your day has changed.

The Manager vs The Managee

Is it possible that you’re living a reactive (wait and see what happens) type of existence rather than a proactive (I’ll determine the quality of my own day thanks) type of existence? Could today simultaneously be my ‘best day ever’ and your ‘total nightmare’? And finally, could it be that a good or bad day on Planet You is more about your personal interpretation of, and response to, certain (otherwise meaningless) happenings, events and outcomes, than the actual happenings, events and outcomes themselves?

Like yesterday, today is a blank canvas and like it or not, you’re going to paint something.

The question is, what will be hanging in your gallery tonight?

You can follow his blog here: Today: A Unique Day

Inform yourself and vote for your values…

English: Calvin Coolidge.
English: Calvin Coolidge. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

In a Radio Address, NOVEMBER 3, 1924, President Calvin Coolidge stated:

“I therefore urge upon all the voters of our country, without reference to party, that they assemble…at their respective voting places in the exercise of the high office of American citizenship,

that they approach the ballot box in the spirit that they would approach a sacrament, and there, disregarding all appeals to passion and prejudice, dedicate themselves truly and wholly to the welfare of their country.”

Calvin Coolidge continued:

“When an election is so held, it…sustains the belief that the voice of the people is the voice of God.” via William J Federer’s American Minute for January 1st.

 

 

The Little Events That Shape Our Lives

“It is better to take many small steps in the right direction than to make a great leap forward only to stumble backward.” ~Proverb

Full story at:  The Little Events That Shape Our Lives | Tiny Buddha.

 

 

 

Practicing serenity doesn’t mean we’re always calm and serene. It means we remember to practice serenity when­ever we feel unrest.

Gratitude Focus: There are a lot of events, people, and circumstances in the world that help us feel chaotic. We can be grateful for all the people, places, and things that help promote peace.”

Peace with the Past

Melody Beattie writes:

Holding on to the past, either through guilt, longing, denial, or resentment, is a waste of valuable energy – energy that can be used to transform today and tomorrow.

“I used to live in my past,” said one recovering woman. “I was either trying to change it, or I was letting it control me. Usually both.

“I constantly felt guilty about things that had happened. Things I had done; things others had done to me – even though I had made amends for most everything, the guilt ran deep. Everything was somehow my fault. I could never just let it go.

“I held on to anger for years, telling myself it was justified. I was in denial about a lot of things. Sometimes, I’d try to absolutely forget about my past, but I never really stopped and sorted through it; my past was like a dark cloud that followed me around, and I couldn’t shake clear of it. I guess I was scared to let it go, afraid of today, afraid of tomorrow.

I’ve been recovering now for years, and it has taken me almost as many years to gain the proper perspective on my past. I’m learning I can’t forget it; I need to heal from it. I need to feel and let go of any feelings I still have, especially anger.

“I need to stop blaming myself for painful events that took place, and trust that everything has happened on schedule, and truly all is okay. I’ve learned to stop regretting, and to start being grateful.

“When I think about the past, I thank God for the healing and the memory. If something occurs that needs an amend, I make it and am done with it. I’ve learned to look at my past with compassion for myself, trusting that my Higher Power was in control, even then.

“I’ve healed from some of the worst things that happened to me. I’ve made peace with myself about these issues, and I’ve learned that healing from some of these issues has enabled me to help others to heal too. I’m able to see how the worst things helped form my character and developed some of my finer points.

“I’ve even developed gratitude for my failed relationships because they have brought me to who and where I am today.

“What I’ve learned has been acceptance – without guilt, anger, blame, or shame. I’ve even had to learn to accept the years I spent feeling guilty, angry, shameful, and blaming.”

We cannot control the past. But we can transform it by allowing ourselves to heal from it and by accepting it with love for others and ourselves. I know, because that woman is me.

Today, I will begin being grateful for my past. I cannot change what happened, but I can transform the past by owning my power, now, to accept, heal, and learn from it.” via Just For Today Meditations » Blog.

Why Fast Food Is Addictive

 

 

Hailey Hobson writes:

Over the past 50-60 years, our American culture has slowly become out of balance with nature. With the speed of technology and the crazy, intense pace of our lives, our bodies can’t help but live in a chronic state of stress. The phrase is “fight or flight.” Either you’ve heard the terms, or you may — in fact — be living it yourself.

From the minute we wake up in the morning, our bodies are prepared for that state of emergency. It could be the almost car accident you got into on your way to work, the three jobs you’re trying to juggle, your kids screaming at you in the background, the marathon you’re training for or the relationship with your partner that has become less than ideal… Our bodies don’t know the difference. Stress is stress. And it’s chronic.

Our nervous systems are out of balance. So, Ronald McDonald went to India in 1954 to learn more about the six tastes in Ayurvedic nutrition. And, what did he find out?

According to Ayurvedic tradition, our bodies naturally crave tastes that balance our doshic make-up and shun tastes that are aggravating to our nature. The sweet taste of milkshakes are soothing and calming to our nervous systems. Salt (i.e. French fries) improves the taste of food, calms our nerves and prevents anxiety. And, the sour taste of pickles on burgers stimulates our appetites.

It’s called comfort food. Don’t you crave it when your life is going 90 miles an hour? Ah, that first bite! It’s like the needle to a heroine addict. It worked in America, and the rest of the world soon followed. Come 2012, and McDonald’s has more than 33,000 restaurants (do we actually call them that?), serving nearly 68 million people in 119 countries every day!

So, now we’re on track to have the entire world following in our American footsteps. Doesn’t that scare you?!

The problem is, there are actually six tastes that should be present in every meal and guide us toward proper nutritional health. Sweet, salty and sour are only three of them. The others are:

the bitter taste which is cleansing and detoxifying;

the pungent taste which strengthens our systems;

the astringent taste which cleanses our blood and helps us maintain healthy blood sugar levels.

Chances are, your tongue may also be missing a few of these tastes. Can you pass by the entrance to your favorite fast food restaurant, and add more peppers, chilies, radishes, ginger, lentils, broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, green leafy vegetables, sprouts and beets to your diet instead?

via Why Fast Food Is Addictive: Ronald McDonald and The 6 Tastes of Ayurveda.

 

The best of @toddlohenry for 8/14/2012

  1. “Love is the answer, and you know that for sure; Love is a flower, you’ve got to let it grow.” John Lennon
    Tue, Aug 14 2012 08:01:48
  2. “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful committed citzens can change the world; indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has.”Margaret Mead
    Tue, Aug 14 2012 07:03:35
  3. “The only thing that interferes with my learning is my education.” – Albert Einstein
  4. “New habits make new horizons. Silently and imperceptibly you are forming habits which will ultimately determine the degree of your happiness and success. Closely guard the quality of your thoughts, that they may lead to right habits and thence to right living. Recognize and use such supreme qualities as courage, faith, humility, loyalty, temperance, and integrity.” – Grenville Kleiser
  5. “Some pursue happiness, others create it.”Author Unknown
    Tue, Aug 14 2012 09:34:50

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