You

When Self-Help Books Fail

When self-help books become more confusing than illuminating, friendly advice causes anxiety, and the answers the world is giving you aren’t leading to greater inner peace, you are ready to be taught by the master.

Just as Lionel Richie’s answers lay dormant within his lyrics for years before he was able to hear their messages, everything you need to know came here with you.  The real guru is within your very being.  So if you can’t hear anything yet, and are feeling your way through the mist, don’t worry.  The light that is illuminating your path is shining behind your own eyes.

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Life

Why Your Opinion Matters

LoveEverywhere you look people are making choices. People are taking action, taking sides, digging into their perspectives.  When I see the one-sidedness and separation that are widely accepted as valid opinions I want to disagree, I want to explain myself, I want to change minds.  Then I remember that it is, in fact, that very desire which creates separation and entrenches ideologies.

Everywhere you look people are making choices.  But they don’t need your judgment.  They need your love.

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spirituality

Note To Self

Tao of Pooh

When I find myself waiting for the present moment to be a certain way I think of all of the wisdom teachers throughout history in their infinite peace and joy.  I remember that the moment in which they experienced the profundity of existence in such magnitude is the exact same moment I am experiencing right now.  They are all pointing us toward the present, which regardless of form is the birthplace of all enlightenment, if only you let it be.

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Inspiration

How To Be Human In 3 Easy Steps

LightBeing a human can get complicated.  Just getting through the day can turn into a chore of epic proportions.

When I’m feeling weighed down by tasks and obligations all of the spiritual texts in the world won’t make me feel balanced or peaceful.  In this state even a spiritual practice can turn into another box to check off on a never-ending “to-do” list.

When you start to feel like you’re in a race and you just can’t keep up, stop.  Stop right where you are, have a seat, and ask yourself, “What did I learn?”  You might get an answer, or you might get silence.  Either way, you stepped off the treadmill of time onto the solid foundation of the now.

Tonight I stopped to ask myself that question and got 3 easy answers that make being a human a lot less difficult:

1. Relish the accomplishments of others. They are your own.

2. If you’re having a bad day and something makes you smile or laugh, let your mood change.

3. Planning to do many things can lead to stagnation and feeling overwhelmed.  Instead choose to do one thing, and only when it is over think of another thing to do.

 

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Empathy

Mo Birthdays Mo Problems

Trees at RaviniaMy recent birthday was filled with well wishes for happy returns of the day.  But I discovered that even on a seemingly special day, like a birthday, I still carried old issues with me.  The areas of my life that I struggle with did not miraculously disappear.  In fact, issues can be magnified on days where you feel you are supposed to be happy and having fun but find that you still bear the burden of your own suffering. Special days can’t be created by events written on a calendar, rather they manifest from the experience of personal growth and expansion that proceeds from the faithful tending of your inner state.

There are times when faking it till you make it just doesn’t hold up, and liberation from the tumult in your mind is more quickly gained by just being honest about what you’re going through. So the day after my birthday I decided to ask my friends on Facebook what they would say to someone who was having a hard time.  Their immediate compassion was a reminder to me that when you allow yourself to be where you are at and ask for what you need you are infinitely more likely to receive it:

1.This too shall pass… (Madeleine)

2.If you want someone to listen, I can do that. (Steve)

3.I am here for you…! (Libby)

4.Keep the faith. (Jessie)

5.Everything happens for a reason even if you may not know what that reason is at the time. (Ryan)

6.Want some pie? (Greg)

7.It gets better. (Kyle)

8.That sounds hard. I’m with you friend. (Melina)

9.Stay strong, it’s only gonna get better from here. (Adam)

10.I’m sorry this is happening to you right now. (Sheila)

11.I brought beer and pizza. (John)

12.I might not know what you’re going through but with faith everything will be alright! I love you and will keep you in my thoughts. (Mari)

If you think someone is having a difficult time, say one of these things to them!  A little compassion goes a long way.  If you knew someone was suffering what would you say to them?

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Life

Joke’s On Me

RenewToday I had the great pleasure of visiting the DMV for the first time since I had my license renewed five years ago. Everything really had been going smoothly until I was called up to take my new license picture.

I looked at the blue dot and smiled.  A few seconds after sitting down in the waiting area the man who had taken my picture called out to me saying, “One of your eyes was closed in the picture.”  I stood up to retake the picture when he said, “You can’t retake it, it says right here all you need is one eye to be open for a valid picture.  Just don’t do that while you’re driving.”

I sat back down in utter defeat.  My brow furrowed, all I could think about were the looks on the faces of all the people who I would have to hand my license to. I looked as if I was about to cry.

A couple of minutes passed and my license finished printing.  I walked up to the counter, and the man handed me my license with a big grin on his face.  The joke was on me.  He was kidding.  The picture was just fine, and I laughed out loud.

Life had caught me taking it too seriously.  Getting upset about a bad license picture, really?  Getting upset about the prospect of a bad picture on your license is like getting upset about the prospect of having to listen to smooth jazz during call waiting.  It will probably happen, and it can do nothing to hurt you.  And sometimes, as in my case, you get a mixed message about a situation, when everything is fine all along. Either way, make sure to laugh about it.

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