Dec 7, 2005

We are going to have to change as dramatically over the next hundred years as we did over the last. 

One of the key areas of change that the advent of oil has facilitated has been travel.  Societies and families have discovered the freedom to expand and spread out.  Very often families will now be scattered all over the globe where at one time not long ago most people would live and die within ten miles of their birthplace.  With this coming onset of dramatic lifestyle change there is likely to be much mental stress exacerbated by our sense of distance, of separation. 

Psychologists have long recognized that people living within fifty miles or less of family will tend towards greater mental health.  They will feel a sense of belonging.

Yet today, belonging is a word of terror or at least anxiety for much of humanity.  We want to belong but we don’t want to be bound.  The struggle comes largely from our interpretation of the word.  For most belonging carries a strong sense of obligation; what must I do to belong? Like so many areas of challenge in our lives the struggle comes from striving to get rather than give.  We constantly ask “What will I get from belonging here?” 

For me, it is the less important question and never of itself leads to satisfaction.  The only question I have found to bring any true sense of fulfillment is, “What can I give to this moment, this organization, this person?”  Once I have determined that the person organization or activity is moving me in the same direction as my values I commit to it with my time, resources and creativity.  For me to belong is principally to BE. 

A simple acronym for BELONG would state:

BE
Loving (how can I empower this moment?),
Open (how can I stretch myself to meet the present needs?),
New (how can I see this moment for the first time with the eyes of a child?),
Giving (how can I give of my time, treasure and talents to empower this moment?)

…where 'this moment' is your family, work, organization or spiritual community. 


As Saint Francis expressed; it is by giving that we receive.  Belonging is about giving into that which we truly value.  It is about standing forward with our actions and saying this is what I believe. 

This is exactly what the spirit of Christmas is about.

My wish for all of us is that our hearts expand into this season of giving. I desire that we can all find and embrace a real sense of belonging through this day, this season and this year.

Many Blessings,

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Nov 30, 2005

Many of us forget that happiness is a choice, many more of us are not even aware that joy is a choice It is. 

Life happens; how we respond is our choice.  People will at some point or another cut us off, how we respond is our choice.  People will sometimes get angry with us, how we respond is our choice.  People will sometimes mistreat us, again, our choice.  At some point in our lives the choices will be harder; death, disaster, loss of many kinds. The choice is ours.  

It is always our choice where our attention goes.  In order to make that choice we must be conscious of how we are feeling.  We must actually be paying attention to ourselves. 

Many of us are so busy with our lives that we don’t actually know how we are feeling.  Most of us, most of the time are completely unconscious of what we are thinking.  That too is a choice, a choice not to choose, a choice to give away our power to people and events we cannot change.

Our only real power lies in the choices we make for ourselves; what to think, what to feel and how to respond. 

Yesterday, the flow of my day improved and by the time my work was complete I was able to look back on a good day; more so because I made it so.

I went home and got to make those same choices all over again.  I didn’t do so well.  I was tired, I was grumbling. I had too much work, not enough hours and not enough energy.  It all had to happen after my ‘work’ was done.

Again, after some struggling I chose happiness.  It was not so easy, it isn’t always easy.  Yet I made the effort to shift my focus and I did it, I had a fulfilling evening.

Sometimes you will find it easy to choose joy in your life.  Sometimes you will find it difficult.  Yet still the choice is yours.  Sometimes choosing your happiness takes inner strength.  Always the choice made empowers you.

May your days be empowered by your happiness.

Blessings,

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Nov 23, 2005

I arrived home the next day to find my house had been broken into; things were stolen.  I saw it again but this time it was me.  I noticed the obvious, cash, items I used daily, the chaos of the intrusion, but my eyes were blind to all else.  I had become so accustomed to my environment that I could not see the things that were missing.

Often in our lives we take for granted things and people very dear to us.  They start to simply take up space on our mental shelves. 

Sometimes in our lives we forget; we take for granted our own feelings of joy, love and peace.  We don’t even notice when they go missing.  It is easy to think that such feelings are the result of our environment, our friends and affairs but they are not.  They are the result of our choices.  It is a decision to be happy; it is a decision to see goodness in events unfolding around us, it is a decision to appreciate each moment as it unfolds.  The decision is easier made when we have made a habit of it yet we must still remember.

It is a decision to be who we want to be and it is a decision to remember who we have chosen to be. We so easily lose that which we forget about.  The universe builds for us what we think about and removes what we forget. 

The things in my life that were taken can easily be replaced if I want them; they can be released if I was done with them. How I feel can also be replaced as I choose.  Today I choose to appreciate life, I choose joy. 

What do you choose?

Blessings,       

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Nov 16, 2005

Learning to take action without regard for the outcomes was one of the hardest things I had to discover.  There is still for me often a sense of paralysis that descends when I identify a productive course of action.   This very inertia has often resulted in brash action counter-productive to my desire; action which disregarded its impact on environment and people as well as the outcome.  An overenthusiastic word, forgetting to communicate or assuming that others knew what I was thinking have been disastrous mistakes which have left people feeling wounded.  Get up, dust off and carry on.

I am learning from children; ‘baby steps’.  I hardly focus on my goals in achieving them; they have been internalized to the point of being simple urges.  A toddler does not decide one day to walk, try, fall down, do it again and quit.  Yet for each of us with our dreams that is often what we have done.  That child has a greater ideal, tangible but largely irrelevant.  The bright object on the shelf, that object of parental attention, consumes them to the point of becoming unconscious of their immediate need. 

The true goal becomes superfluous to the tangible desire.  Is it possible that objects of desire only serve to progress us toward a goal of inner growth?  “If you want to feed a man teach him to fish.” If I really want to progress I need to develop new skills.

I am definitely in favour of the progress of inner growth such as direction, assertiveness, anger management and self confidence.  For most people progress would be a term reflecting upon their circumstances.  It would signify better work opportunities, cheaper commodities, more labour saving implements and the like.  Few in the overall spectrum would see progress in terms of personal growth.  Yet I would argue that the only level of progress which is lasting is a reflection of inner growth.  As we as individuals grow our circumstances grow with us, all other growth in our affairs has no real personal value.

May your action today lead to real progress this season, may you discover for yourself deeper gifts of self worth.  May you progress toward a greater realization of your potential.  

Blessings,

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Feb 2, 2005

We all like to live our lives in happiness, We don't do well with unresolved stuff. Yet many of us choose to be insensitive to our deeper feelings, we find ways and means to distract ourselves; television, music, work, it's a never ending list. The only difference for me may be my commitment to take ownership of my life AND my realization that all things can be resolved through an age old process called surrender and forgiveness. This is not new to this day nor I expect to you.

What may be new is the realization that this process is continuous. Forgiveness very simply is the practice of letting go, not to the things, people or the situations but rather to our attachment to them. Our attachment is emotional, it is our investment. Some of us build an investment in God through emotions of appreciation, joy and love. To speak the truth I must be in the truth. The truth very simply is all that is life promoting. So I must willingly release my needs to be right. I must surrender to an eternal presence within that always knows a peaceful way. I must do it to ensure growth in my life. The result of living this lesson that Jesus taught is empowerment and enrichment; and it also, for me, happens to be better talks. I know that this simple practice that works so well in my life will also work in your life if you embrace it. Blessings on your road to riches.

In Love and Light,

Jan 26, 2005

Our thought is creative, not just some of the time like when we would like it to be, but rather all the time.  This is particularly true with emotion laden comments.  And when do we put emotion back of our words? When we feel emotional, joy, sadness, anger, frustration, helplessness and so on. 

For many of us this is a very accurate list; most of those expressed emotions are negative or 'life suppressing', yet they are just as creative as 'life enhancing feelings.  With this awareness of the creative power of emotionally charged words what would happen do you think if this world truly was in love with itself.  It starts with you and me, we are the most beautiful people we honestly know. 

What would happen if we were truly in love with our selves, with that Divinity within us?  Some one recently shared with me how hard it was to get the attention of their partner, an ongoing theme in relationships it seems.   How many people even consider getting God's attention?  And God is the living presence of love abiding within. 

As the great teacher Jesus said -"Love God thy father with all thy heart, all thy mind, and all thy soul.  The great secret of the ages is "God thy father" is you, is the indwelling presence of love.  So when I speak of falling in love with ourselves I mean the beloved within; that presence within you that has never, nor ever could be sullied by an impure thought.  This beloved within is more real than your neighbour, your co-worker or even your significant other. 

And yet as you come to know it you discover it is them.  And so he said "love your neighbour as yourself.  So next time you speak of your neighbour, co-worker or political leader remember that you really are speaking about God and your words will very much influence how they think and behave in 'your' world.  It will be your job, your home and your life that will be ultimately influenced by your casual words and hidden passion. 

Your loving thoughts and words are the peals that guarantee your riches. My passion for you is your greatness and my knowing is that you are the living examples of heaven on earth and it is truly my blessing to be able to ramble into your lives. 

Thank you so much.

Namaste, 

 

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Sept 14, 2005

We all have faith; each of us has as much as the next, the only variable is where we choose to invest our faith.  Some have faith in chance, others in catastrophe, some believe in hard work and others in opportunity.  It doesn’t much matter where you place your faith except that you will reap the results of your investment.

Our faith is a reflection of our tendency of belief and subsequently of our thinking which unless consciously changed will unconsciously follow our beliefs.  It has often been said what we think and believe we shall achieve.  How often has something happened in your life only to have you acknowledge that you knew that would happen?  Each example you find is witness to your faith.

The great teacher Jesus is accredited with saying “According to your faith be it unto you.”   If this holds true for all of us then the challenges of our lives would be witness to our faith, and if we would like our challenges to change then we must change our faith. We must change what we think about; we must change what we believe and how we feel.

This process of changing our thinking is the most difficult and rewarding thing we can do.  It entails thinking outside of the box, looking for new ideas, and to do this we must look outside of ourselves.  We must look at others who express the joy, the health, the freedom we would like for ourselves and discover how they think.

I have witnessed miraculous ‘healings’ that I can only accredit to a changed way of thinking.  Health, relationships, finances and general happiness, with due focus and commitment, can be improved remarkably.  In every case I have witnessed there has been a willingness to work diligently on the changed thinking and a level of determination based on real conviction.  This has always been the demand of the spiritual masters of the ages.

All through the ages the mark of ‘The Master’ has been his or her ability to impact the world through the act of living what s/he believed.  Each of them has stood absolutely firm in their conviction.  They have lived their faith before all else.  This is the conviction we must each develop in order to create a life of true happiness.  We can only have the life we desire when we decide to live the spirit of that life.  This takes absolute conviction in the face of unlikely appearances; ask any enteurpreneur who successfully created a business if things always went as they expected.  You will find, I expect, in every case that they had to persevere at some point through the appearance of failure.

Challenges according to historical records will not necessarily go away; this is not the promise of religion.  Our ability to deal with and grow from them will excel.  With our new faith built upon values we aspire to have balance in the storm, we trust it to bring always more richness into our lives and in my experience, in my own growing faith it has continually done this.  This is the only example of my life, I am the demonstration of my words.

May the storms of change strengthen your faith in abundant returns, may you ever give more than yesterday and wake up alive, healthy and ready for this adventure called life.

Blessings,

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