Thursday, December 31, 2009
Today everyone is probably writing about New Year's Eve & New Year's resolutions, I'm not really into this game. Don't get me wrong, I love holidays & New Year's Eve can be a lot of fun with the right friends, etc. But to me, it's really no different then any other day. I try to find the joy in every moment of everyday so although there are some days that are better then others because of events, etc. I truly enjoy each day.
So do you make New Year's resolutions? If you do make them do you actually keep them? My experience with the people I've known in my life are that most people make resolutions but not to many of them actually keep the resolutions they make. I've never made resolutions. There are a couple of reasons for this; first, I've always been a man of my word, so if I made a resolution I would feel bound to make it happen. Second, as I've gotten older I began to understand that resolutions aren't the answer. Instead of resolutions I set intentions. To me there's a big difference between the two. Resolutions are a pledge or a promise to do something. Intentions are an action. I set intentions everyday for the fulfillment of my dreams. The true key to intentions is to set the intention & let go of the results. It is the letting go of results that allows God/universe to work & manifest my intention in it's own way. Through actively setting intentions we will find a more joyful life. Learn to set your intentions everyday, not just on New Year's Ev,e & discover the practice of detachment from the results.
I've written over the past few days about letting go of the past & the idea of starting a new or turning the page on your life is a wonderful part of New Year's Eve. My wish for everyone of you is to start each day with the same fresh outlook you experience on New year's eve. Remember the feeling of joy this event brings to you & recreate it in each day of this new year.
I'll be off till Monday, I hope you enjoy the holiday.
Quote of the day: "My hope for the New Year is that all of your dreams are manifested in the perfect way."
Wednesday, December 30, 2009
What are your first memories as a child? Not the ones that people tell you about or the ones you've seen in pictures or movies but the the first thing you can remember. I spoke yesterday about letting go of the past & I wrote a blog about that several months ago but sometimes in order to let go you have to take the time to think back.
Many doctors will say that the earliest memories we have as children are between the ages of 3-5 years. So I ask again, do you remember what your first memory is? I'd love to hear some of them in the comments section. For me my first memories are from a vacation my family took to Florida. The first of two very distinct memories from that trip (I was nearly 4) was sitting on a ledge with my dad. He was fishing & a manatee surfaced & scared me to death. I had never seen anything like that. The second memory from the same trip was my dad taking me & my sisters out on a raft in the ocean to see a ship anchored off shore. So for me, my first memories are both good & bad.
The trouble most of us have with the past is that we've created emotional attachments to events that we've been through. These emotional attachments are so strong that whenever we experience something that reminds us of the original event we feel the same emotions. This emotional attachment can be great for wonderful events in our life but it can create fear & negative emotions from bad events. These fears can hold us back from being who we are truly meant to be. The key to living a more joyful life is to take the time to understand these connections. Write down all the memories you have & the emotions that are attached to them. Once you can identify these attachments you can begin the process of healing.
Sounds easy, huh? The process itself is easy but to move through the past you need to experience the emotions that are attached to these memories. Once you can feel the emotional attachment & you allow yourself to experience the feelings you can begin the process of letting these negative attachments go.
The mind is an amazing thing & by letting go of these negative emotions & understanding the memories they were attached to. You can then re-attach these memories to less negative thoughts. This re-patterning of negative emotions can free you to live a more joyful life.
Take the time to understand why you feel what you feel in your life. Understand that through forgiveness of ourself & others, we can release the past & begin to live in the present moment. By taking the time to understand why we react the way we do we can begin the process of healing & live a more joyful life.
Quote of the day:"Take the time to understand your past. Through this understanding we can move forward to a more joyful life."
Tuesday, December 29, 2009
Destiny, I wrote a nice blog about destiny back in July but with the end of the year coming I thought it was a nice time to revisit the topic. What are your thoughts about destiny? Do you think everything we do is predetermined? Or do you think everything we do is self determined? Destiny is an interesting paradox for me, I think we are all born with a true life's purpose. The wonderful challenge for each of us is to discover what our true life purpose is. Sometimes this journey can take a lifetime. Sometimes, if you're lucky, you can discover your purpose early on & fulfill this true purpose.
I believe strongly that God/universe tries to help us along the way. This helping hand tries to push us gently towards our life's purpose. Reminding us of what we were meant to do. The problem is that we don't always listen & sometimes we actually rebel against the thought of having a greater purpose.
Then, of course, we have to deal with our EGO. It is the EGO itself that keeps us from finding our true purpose. Dr. Wayne Dyer has a great definition for the EGO it is Edge Out God & that's what the EGO does. It wants the easy answer & the quick fix. It lusts for instant gratification & never wants to put in the work. This disconnection from our true purpose is the reason for all of the suffering we go through in our life. Yet, we continually give in to the EGO. Why? Because it feels good.
The biggest battle all of us wage in our life isn't from anything outside of our self. It is our internal battle to allow our connection to our true self & our true life's purpose. How many times in your life have you come to an important crossroad & had to make a big decision? To me these moments are God/universe trying to help us get back on track. These self defining moments happen throughout our life until we find our way back to our true life's purpose. The unfortunate thing is for some of us we never find our way back. We spend our life searching for that connection to our true self & never feel completely fulfilled.
The good news is that we can all find this connection. It begins with loving & forgiving yourself for anything that's happened in the past. Once you let go of the past, come from a place of love & live in the current moment (not in the past or the future) this connection becomes much easier to find.
When we are connected wonderful things begin to happen all around you to continue to push you towards your true purpose. There is no better time to start this journey then this time of the year. Let go of 2009 or any of the past that holds you back. Commit yourself to take the time to look deep inside. Listen to that small voice that you've been ignoring. Forgive yourself & all those in your life that have done you wrong. Love & when it hurts, love some more. You are a precious gift & you can find your true destiny. Believe in your true self, pay attention to the signs that God/universe sends you. Let go of your EGO & listen to your soul.
It's all possible, take the steps today to make it happen. I know you can! I believe in you!!
Quote of the day: "Our true destiny is within each of us. Open your heart, listen to your soul & you'll discover your true destiny."
Monday, December 28, 2009
We talked last week about all the holidays that surround the months of Christmas. It's interesting to me how all these different practices can actually tie us all together. But, what about traditions? Do you have traditions you follow? Are they things you do all year or just at Christmas time? I think traditions are a wonderful way to stay connected to the past. We do things in our family the way they've always been done to continue along the traditions that were set by the generations before us.
The difficult thing is that traditions can also hold us back. As with anything that deals with the past we can get so caught up in the "tradition" that we lose our focus for living in the moment. This was a very emotional Christmas for Heidi & I. For the first time in my life I was unable to buy Christmas presents for anyone in my life. This is, as many of you know, because of not working for almost 7 months now. It was difficult for me because I love to give gifts. In fact I love to give period. Giving to me is such a warm feeling & at Christmas the joy I find in others while I watch them open their gifts has been something that's always warmed my heart.
Many people in my life tried to make light of the situation...."Christmas isn't about giving it's about love". I heard this several times from different people in my life & of course I love the wonderful feeling this time of the year brings but there's still an emptiness inside when you can't actively participate. This emptiness lead me to reflect on the traditions we hold so dear. To me anything that we do over & over again can become a tradition in our life. These things become comfortable & as I've written before, comfort is nice but also very dangerous. We all tend to life our life to much in comfort. We walk through much of our life in a fog because everything is the same. We need to allow comfort in our life but always stay open & in the present moment even if we've done this thing a 100 times. It's living in this current moment that will always carry to new heights.
It hurts when we feel left out, especially when it's something we hold very dear to our heart. But, many times the pain we feel is that of the EGO we're hurt because we can't get the accolades we love to get for getting the right gift or doing the right thing. We feel empty because we want to be apart of the group, we want to feel connected. At times like this I try to reflect on why I feel the way I do. I try to understand where this feeling of lack is coming from & I allow myself to feel what I feel. All feelings have merit the key to me is to understand where why we feel the way we feel. Once we understand the why we can move beyond the feeling to a better place. This doesn't always happen overnight sometimes it takes time but with patience & love we can move forward to a better place. Many of the feelings we have that affect us deeply are old wounds that have never been dealt with in the past. The way to lead a more joyful life is to move beyond the past & to let go of the old wounds. By understanding these wounds & then moving forward we can live in the now. This moment is all we really have. Live each moment to the fullest & find the joy in every moment even when things aren't the easiest.
Quote of the day: "Traditions are a wonderful connection to our past. By honoring this connection but still living in the now we will lead a more joyful life."
Wednesday, December 23, 2009
Christmas to me is the most wonderful time of the year. No, not because of the reason you think. Sure I love to give gifts & getting them is fun too but for me this time of the year is about love. People, in general, are more loving this time of the year & I love to see more love in the world. As I've written before, to me love is the answer to everything we need.
So in my last blog before the holiday I want to expand your thoughts beyond what you may know. To some Christmas is a difficult time of the year because they aren't Christians. I want to open your mind to the other religions in the world, each of which has a celebration in this general time of the year. I believe we need to let go of our differences & embrace the commonality that we all have in deep belief's & in love.
So let's begin with Christmas the celebration of the birth of Christ except his actual birthday is now believed to be more likely the end of September based on the calenders of the time & the positions of the stars that were noted. The reason we celebrate Christmas in December is mostly because of two ancient traditions around the same period of time. The first is the Pagan/Wiccan tradition of the winter solstice, also called Yule. This tradition was celebrated for centuries before "Christmas" & many of these traditions were brought into the "Christmas" celebration to more easily get Pagan's to convert. These traditions include the "yule log" & the giving of gifts.
The next tradition that "Christmas" was based on is the Jewish celebration of Hanukkah or the festival of lights. Since many Christians were Jewish to begin with & Hanukkah is generally celebrated near what is now Christmas it was easy to link these holidays through the idea of giving gifts. The actual dates of Hanukkah vary because it's based on the Hebrew calender not the Gregorian calender.
The Hindu's have a celebration of Makar Sankrant which is very much like the Pagan winter solstice celebration. This festival celebrates the suns return to the northern hemisphere & is generally celebrated the first pasrt of January. In the Buddist tradition we have Rohatsu which is celebrated on the 8th of December & celebrates the enlightenment of Buddha.
The Muslim's celebrate two holidays which vary in dates from Nov - Jan. The first Eid al-Adha or the Festival of Sacrifice is to celebrate the willingness of Abraham to sacrifice his son to God & is celebrate by spending time with family & giving thanks for having food & a roof over their heads. The 2nd is Al-Hijra or Muharram is a celebration of Muhammad emigrating from Mecca to Medina.
Finally, the newest celebration around the Christmas holiday is; Kwanzaa,which began in 1966. Kwanzaa means "first fruits" in Swahili. Each family celebrates Kwanzaa in its own way, but celebrations often include songs and dances, African drums, storytelling, poetry reading, and a large traditional meal. On each of the seven nights, the family gathers and a child lights one of the candles on the Kinara (candleholder), then one of the seven principles is discussed.
All of these celebrations are wonderful traditions in each of the major religions. By understanding the traditions we share with everyone & letting go of the differences we can all love & respect each others traditions.
Open your heart to love, let go of judging or labeling of others. Embrace the traditions we have in common & understand that if we all love just a little bit more the world would be a better place. What a great time to start loving more! Enjoy your holiday. I'll be back on Monday.
Much love to all,
Quote of the day: "Celebrate the season of love by letting go of differences & embracing more love in your life."
Tuesday, December 22, 2009
I've spoken often about how creativity will open your life to more possibilities. So how do you add more creativity to your life? To me the easiest way to increase the creativity in your life is to become involved in the arts. The unfortunate truth is that one of the first things we cut in this country from our educational programs is the arts. Yet, this is one of the most important areas to expand our minds & show us different ways to think.
I don't believe we should all be artists, what I believe is that we all need art in our life. Open your mind to what you've always wanted to do in the arts. This is the time of the year that many of us make resolutions for the new year. Make a resolution to become more active in the arts & watch your creativity soar.
Sign up for a pottery class at your local community college or join a community theatre in your area. If this isn't the answer pick up that instrument you always wanted to play, take some dance lessons or some drawing or painting classes. If you can't afford to take the classes just pick up some paints & start.
I'm not asking you to change your career or to become an expert. I'm challenging you to start. Start doing something creative, make time for it even if you were the child that was told you can't draw at all, start today. No one has to see what you do but by beginning & adding creativity to your life, your life will change.
I know I'm very passionate about the arts because seen the way it can change peoples lives. My dream is for one day to be able to run an arts organization to help others discover the joy that is so sadly lacking in this country. Ok, I'll get off my soapbox now...sorry. Just know that creativity is one of the biggest steps you can take to expand your mind & grow. It will help you look at things in a different light. I wrote a blog back in September about creativity check it out but today decide to add the arts to your life.
Quote of the day: "Make the arts part of your life & watch your creativity soar. Through creativity your life will become more joyful."
Monday, December 21, 2009
Are you curious? Are there things that you still find interesting? To me, it's important in life to continue to learn. There's an openness to knowing that you don't know or to discover new things. Do you remember being a child? Do you remember the wonderment of everything? It's this mind set that will serve you well in continuing to find more joy in your life.
To look at the world through eyes of a child is the most wonderful thing we can do as "adults". I've been told by my children many times that I still like to play like a child. I can make any of them get just a little silly & of course I can get them to laugh. Beyond that being able to let go & have "fun" is important for all of us. To be able to laugh at ourselves or at the situation were in can change everything by replacing negative feelings with the positive emotion of laughter.
I've spoken many times about the importance of love & I truly believe that love is the answer for everything but laughter is it's sister. So what does this have to do with curiosity? It's the idea of looking at the world as a child. To see everything anew, to rediscover wonderment in all things around you. This openness, this curiosity will lighten your life. It will allow you to discover the messages that God/universe is sending you. Just by being open & curious we can shift our thinking & change our life.
The wonderment of the world around us can lead us back to who we are. This connection to the world, the looking at everything anew can reconnect us to our soul. Try to be a child today, be curious & open to the beautiful world around you.
Quote of the day: "Rediscover curiosity, open your mind & be a child. This simple act will lead you to a more joyful life."
Check out my video's on Youtube, they are about "love". The most recent one is posted here on 12/10...enjoy.
Thursday, December 17, 2009
Sometimes in life all we're really looking for is a little clarity. Clarity can be a difficult thing to find especially with the fast paced life that most of us lead. For me, Clarity only comes with deep reflection. What I mean by this is taking time to slow down & get in touch with your deepest self, your soul or the person you are truly meant to be. The challenge with clarity is removing the EGO from the equation. Since most of us want the "quick" answer to everything that comes into our life. Our first reaction, in most cases is to react from a place of the EGO. I wrote a great blog on the EGO 4 or 5 months ago, you should check it out if you haven't.
The EGO always wants the quickest & easiest answer it can get. It looks for the path of least resistance & the most EGO satisfying thing it can find. The problem with acting from the EGO is that it can never be satisfied. It always wants more, almost as soon as it gets the last thing...."Wow, that was great but now if I have "xyz" for sure I feel better".
So for true clarity we need to try and get past the EGO. We need to get in touch with who we truly are & what our true life's purpose is. This isn't easy to do, I still struggle with understanding how what I feel my life's purpose is fits into my everyday life. It's ok to struggle with this, but to move past the struggle is to bring some peace to your mind. Try & quiet your thoughts & just feel, feel from deep down inside. For me when I do this an answer will suddenly appear in my head. Most of the times it's not something you thought of before (I do this exercise most days to come up with a topic for the blog). If this answer doesn't bring you true clarity to the situation, what I do is set an intention for clarity.
Through the setting of this intention I open myself up for help from God/universe. How does this help come? There's no standard way, for me it's about paying attention to the things that appear in my life. The more attention you can give to the small things in your life the easier it is to pickup on the help that God/universe sends.
What do I mean by this? When I pay attention to the small things in my life I tend to see a certain pattern that suddenly emerges in everything. Many times for me it's several people from different parts of life saying the same thing or it's the same words or messages over the radio or on signs that become more clear. Through this attention to the detail of small things we can often find the clarity we are looking for.
Take time when you need clarity. Slow down & reflect. Set your intention for clarity & observe what comes into your life. Through these practices you will find the clarity you are looking for & lead a more joyful life!
I hope you all have a great weekend. Remember I love to hear from you & if you have topics you'd like for me to write about leave them in the comments below.
Thanks for following me, till Monday,
Quote of the day:"Slow down & reflect when you need more clarity in your life. By taking time reflect to reflect clarity will come."
Wednesday, December 16, 2009
Do you believe in Karma? Do you even know what Karma is? According to Dictionary.com the definition to Karma is: "action, seen as bringing upon oneself inevitable results, good or bad, either in this life or in a reincarnation: in Hinduism one of the means of reaching Brahman." The true principle of Karma is that you get back what you give out. In the Hindu or Buddhist religion this Karmic payback may come in a different lifetime. Whether you want to believe in reincarnation or not I believe the principle of Karma is sound & actually noted in several other religions without giving it the name of Karma.
Yesterday we talked a lot about Generosity & I explained that whatever we give will come back to us at least ten fold. There's actually some passages in the bible that say what we give out will come back 30,60 or 100 fold. The idea is the same; what give out, whether it's money, love or a helping hand will always come back to us greater then we give out.
The downside of this is that if we give out "bad" things they will come back magnified as well. In the law of Karma if you do something bad to other people you have a Karmic debt to repay. Sometimes this debt alone will stop you from truly reaching your life's purpose because no matter what intentions you're sending out now, until you repay this Karmic debt you can't reap the rewards.
Everybody has things they've done in their life that they are not happy about (or at least most people). Forgive yourself for the your past mistakes. Give back to others in some way to make amends for them. Give with true love & humility. Through this openness & willingness to give back you will truly find the joy we are all meant to have.
The idea of Karma is an amazing principle trust in the fact that it's how God/universe works. Open your heart and give out what you want to receive back. Live your life in service to others & you'll find a greater joy then you can imagine.
Quote of the day: "An understanding of the law of Karma is the way to live your life. What we give out we will get back."
My latest video blog is now on this blog (under December 10th) the name of this video is "Journey to Joy: Love - let go of excuses." Take 2 minutes & check it out.
Tuesday, December 15, 2009
Are you Generous? Do you give money or time? Do you try to make a difference? I think at this special time of the year we should all examine what we do to make a difference in the world. There are so many ways to help others and as I've written before the way to a more joyful life is by committing yourself to giving to others.
The simple act of giving opens yourself up to receiving back all you've given & more. I know we're living in a difficult time & not everyone has the money to give. If this is the case for you, don't get discouraged. There are plenty of ways to give to others. If you don't have the money think about donating your time. If you don't have the time think about donating things you have around the house or food depending on your Charity of your choice.
There are a lot of great charities to give to. I don't think people even realize how easy it is to find a charity that fits right into your life. If you're worried about children or education you can find a charity. If you're worried about the homeless there's a charity. If you're concerned about animals or the arts there are plenty of places to give to.
We all get caught up in this season & we're worried about getting all our shopping done or getting all of our cards out but we all need to take a moment to realize the need around us. In this time especially the need is greater then ever. Many charities are overwhelmed with the need & they need us all to step up to help out.
There is no greater joy then that of giving. Open your heart & give as deeply as you can. You will have a better life because of it as long as it's truly from your heart. If you give looking for something in return the benefits may not be as great. As with everything we've discussed here, if we act looking for something it's usually EGO based. The way to a more joyful life is to feel the compassion & want to make a difference. Acting from your heart will always bring you great benefits. Find a cause & give from your heart, you'll find more joy then you can imagine.
Quote of the day: "Through giving with an open heart you will discover more joy then you can imagine in your life."