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Friday, January 29, 2010

Sound body, sound mind

' To keep the body in good health is a duty.....otherwise we shall not be able to keep our mind strong and clear.'

When we don't take care of our physical health, problems can crop up. We find ourselves distracted by sickness, poor energy and aches and pains.

Keeping ourselves healthy is about more than avoiding the mental distraction of discomfort. The requirements of good physical health - nourishment, rest, movement - empower our minds, too.

Creative thought, problem-solving, and a calm attitude are enhanced by the same actions that meet our physical needs.

If I'm too busy to care for my body, it will likely affect my thoughts, too. taking the time to eat well and exercise will sharpen and strengthen my mind as well.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

small action, big impact

We are here to change the world with small acts of thoughtfulness done daily
rather than with one great breakthrough.

The world's troubles hang heavy on our shoulders. The evening news can be an overwhelming glimpse into pain and suffering. How can we even begin to make a difference? Being overwhelmed can leave us paralyzed, doing nothing because it all just seems too big.

All it takes is a quick shift of focus to the one small thing that we can do right now. That small thing - a cup of tea or coffee for your co-worker, a hug and word of encouragement to a loved one and acquaintances, a small gift to a favorite charity - can mean the world to the recipient.

It also opens us up, helps us stretch and tends to release a wellspring of even more simple, gentle and meaningful acts.

My thoughtful actions won't save the whole world but they may make s real difference for a few people right now. That matters.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

responding to criticism

Criticism may not be agreeable, but it is necessary. It fulfills the same function as pain in the human body. It calls attention to an unhealthy state of things.

Criticism feels uncomfortable, and it may take effort to sift through it and discern whether the critical words were well founded. Or maybe they were undue and harsh, indicating that the 'unhealthy state of things' was in the speaker's hand. Often, it's a mix of both.

Deciding how we'll respond - whether we'll make a change, ignore it for now or request that the other cease and desist - are all difficult choices.

In any event, the experience gets our attention and makes us a little more alert to our situation and relationships.

O don't enjoy hearing criticism, but I appreciate the wresting, learning and growth that comes as a result.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

the daily grind

Most of our life is routine - dull and grubby, but routine is the mountain that keeps us going. If you wait for inspiration you'll be standing on the corner after the parade is a mile down the street.

Routine can be so boring, yet, to achieve a goal or foster a certain attitude
we must create a routine. Not only do we do our basic self-care each morning, we also write for half an hour in a journal because we've notice it puts us in a better mood for the rest of the day.

When we have a year long project, we know we can break it down into routine bite-sized portion that we complete each day.

Routine is the frame work we use to keep our pace and take our lives in the direction we've chosen.

Routine isn't bad, to me some routines have really helped me, like going for my morning walk..... I felt terrible if I miss it, its like waking up at the wrong side of the bed.

So try it and I will continue to use and adjust my routine to create a life that works well for me.

Friday, January 15, 2010

feeling grumpy

' We have no more right to put our discordant state of mind into the lives of those around us and rob them of their sunshine and brightness than we have to enter their houses and steal their silverware.'

We have a bad day, and boy, do we feel grumpy!
At home or with friends, we take it out on those around us. Soon they're having a rough day, too.

That's not fair to them. It's fine to let people know we're feeling off, sad, or frustrated. It's not right to destroy their day just because ours
isn't going right.

We must use self-control to deal appropriately with our emotions. We can learn to laugh at our circumstances and at ourselves.

With that attitude, we can transform a bad day into a good one - for us and for our loved ones.

I have bad days sometimes. That's normal and I will be careful not to bring everyone else down too.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Right Now and enjoy life

Be in this moment. There has always only been NOW.

The present moment is significant, not as the bridge between past and future, but by reason of its contents, which can fill our emptiness and become ours if we are capable of receiving them.

The mind is constantly simmering with thoughts. Usually, these are thoughts about what has already happened or what we need to do next to fulfill a want or need.

Once in awhile, we are present in the right now. We have experienced those rare "moments of being," perhaps as we conversed with a loved one, enjoyed nature or participated in a creative or athletic activity.

Completely present, we lose track of time. We discover this moment is all we need.

I will rest into this moment right now and enjoy life.

All animals except human being know that the principle business of life is to enjoy it.

Animals live purely in the moment. We've all seen how a dog greets his master with unabashed joy or marveled at wild animals playing, seemingly for the sheer fun of it.

Other creatures know intimately the stress of immediate survival but we human appear to be the only ones capable of worry. We create our own internal stress over things we can't control and that may not even come to pass.

How much happiness do we forfeit in the face of imagined treats?

It is a release to remember to breathe, look around ourselves and recognize
all the good in our lives. While having real struggle, fear, or sadness, it is wise to find the joy in the middle of it.

See and experience all the beauty and pleasure in our life right now and do one activity tomorrow just for the fun of it.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Whole-hearted help

'never reach out your hand unless you're willing to extend an arm'

Token helpfulness isn't often appreciated. We see the problem, we want to help but we don't really want to commit too much to it - and then we stop short of actually doing anything.

Those involved wonder why we even bothered. Did we really care???

If we wish to help, we must give it some thought and decide on a specific way we can make a difference.

Time is short and finances may be limited, but if we want to get involved...
it is best if we have a clear intention.

So if you want to help someone, make sure you'll do it wholeheartedly.
Whether to give your time, a donation or provide a listening ear, be completely present and expect that you may need to follow up afterwards too.

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Fate and free will

Life is like a game of cards. The hand that is dealt you represents determinism; the way you play it is free will.

Are our life determined by fate??? Or do we master our own destinies?
If we take an honest look at our path to this point, it seems like a colourful mix of both.
This thought will unnerve any philosophical purist but how else can we explain our experience?

There are moments that appear to be orchestrated by powers outside us. We've been baffled by challenges and mercies alike that have transformed us and made us who we are today.
Then, there are just as many moments when the choice was in our hands, and our act of will made a real difference.

I don't understand providence and synchronicity. I know there are events and forces out of my control.
But,I will be diligent about the "cards" that are in my hand. I'll play as wisely as I can.

Friday, January 1, 2010

One life to live

Most of us spend our lives as if we had another one in the bank.

There is only one life that we can influence and guide - the one we're living right now. Regardless, we often waste time or spend it poorly.

We may fashion a budget that reflects our beliefs and values, we can do the same with our lifestyle and schedules. We need to check in with ourselves occasionally to see weather we're budgeting our lives appropriately.

How do we spend our days? What is our attitude? Is our lifestyle aligned with our beliefs? Answering those questions, we can adjust as needed, ensuring that we live our lives well and thoughtfully.

I can only make choices that influence my life as I live it right now. I will be mindful how I use my time and affect my surroundings.