Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Instructions on Gratitude

Instructions on Gratitude

By David Steindl-Rast, 

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Hold someone's hand to spread calm.

Whatever is given is a gift—even the most difficult experiences and traumatic events can be seen as Wake-Up calls, and therefore gifts. And the appropriate response to any gift is gratitude. In the depth of our heart, we can turn fear into courageous trust, agitation and confusion into stillness, isolation into a sense of belonging, alienation into love, and irrational reaction into Common Sense. The creative imagination of gratefulness will suggest to each one of us how to go about this task. Here are five small gestures that can help you show gratitude and stay awake.

  1. All gratitude expresses trust. Suspicion will not even recognize a gift as gift: who can prove that it isn't a lure, a bribe, a trap? Gratefulness has the courage to trust and so overcomes fear. The air has been electrified by fearfulness these days, a fearfulness fostered and manipulated by politicians and the media. There lies our greatest danger: fear perpetuates violence. Mobilize the courage of your heart, as the truly awake ones are doing. Say one word today that gives a fearful person courage.
  2. Because gratitude expresses courage, it spreads calm. Calm of this kind is quite compatible with deep emotions. Join the truly compassionate ones who are calm and strong. From the stillness of your heart's core reach out. Calmly hold someone's hand today and spread calm.
  3. When you are grateful, your heart is open—open towards others, open for surprise. During big wake-up calls in your life, or in our collective lives, we often see remarkable examples of openness: strangers helping strangers often in heroic ways. Others turn away, isolate themselves, dare even less than at other times to look at each other. Violence begins with isolation. Break this pattern. Make contact with people whom you normally ignore—eye-contact at least—with the agent at the toll booth, the parking lot attendant, someone on the elevator. Look a stranger in the eyes today and realize that there are no strangers.
  4. You can feel either grateful or alienated, but never both at the same time. Gratefulness drives out alienation; there is not room for both in the same heart. When you are grateful you know that you belong to a network of give-and-take and you say "yes" to that belonging. This "yes" is the essence of love. You need no words to express it; a smile will do to put your "yes" into action. Don't let it matter to you whether or not the other one smiles back. Give someone an unexpected smile today and so contribute your share to peace on earth.
  5. What your gratefulness does for yourself is as important as what it does for others. Gratefulness boosts your sense of belonging; your sense of belonging in turn boosts your Common Sense. Your "yes" to belonging attunes you to the common concerns shared by all human beings. We have only one enemy, our common enemy: violence. Common Sense tells us: we can stop violence only by stopping to act violently; war is no way to peace. Listen to the news today and put at least one item to the test of Common Sense.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

The Source


Are you aware of the Source of all things? There is no reason that anyone should be without anything that your heart desires as God word states “ ask and you shall receive”. Now here is where we run into problems we ask and then we try to fix it, we try to make it happen. The Spirit is one of infinite wisdom and abundant supply in all things. Love, health, happiness, wealth but you must activate your faith and think thoughts of abundance. The Source of this very Universe is willing.

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Sunday, January 17, 2010

At A Crossroad


Right or Wrong Decisions

By Phylameana lila Desy

I'm not so certain that I'm the best person to offer anyone sage advice regarding decision making. But I do think it is an issue that each of us are faced with on a daily basis throughout our lifetimes and thus worth discussion. I often tell people that caution is my middle name since I can sit on making a decision for a very long time before acting upon it.
Sometimes I will procrastinate on making a decision because I'm not clear on what I really want. Other times it is because the unknown factors of how a decision may affect me in the future scares the bejeepers out of me. Occasionally the saying "nothing ventured, nothing gained" will get whispered in my ear by an inner voice to help give me a needed nudge forward. Other times feelings of dread will build inside my being simply by a mere thought of making a change. I will then heed that dread emotion as a signal to think twice before taking the plunge. Using your gut instincts can be very helpful in decision making.

Taking the Plunge When Making Decisions
Truthfully, I almost never take a plunge into anything without mulling it over twice, or even thrice. At times I feel disgusted with myself for not being able to joyfully jump into things full-heartedly, instead I'm generally testing the water with my toes beforehand. I don't particularly like water bubbling up my nose. I realize that I tend to over analyze situations, living in my head too much. By not allowing my heart to beat any extra beats, I often feel as if I am stifling my creativity in these moments. At the same time I figure I've probably saved myself plenty of headaches by not routinely making quick misjudgments.
Stop, Caution, Go
Decision makers can be categorized in three groups. These groups correlate with a traffic stoplight.
  • Red lights These are individuals who often feel frozen in fear when faced with making a decision. They are resistant to change and have great difficulty making decisions. They tend to have to have the rug pulled out from under them before they will move to safer ground.
  • Yellow lights These people are caution oriented individuals who will look both ways before venturing into the traffic. They will weigh the pros and cons of any given situation before deciding.
  • Green lights Here are the adventuresome type. They leap without looking, figuring that all will go well (they have the right-of-way after all). These people could use a refresher course in defensive driving as they do get themselves in sticky predicaments at times.
What type of decision maker are you?
  • Red Light Blocked or Stymied
  • Yellow Light Proceed with Caution
  • Green Light Right A Way
Answer This Poll

These groups indicate rigid characteristics, Most people fall into a blend of these groups. Each decision we make is different and our reactions will vary accordingly.
We make minor decisions every day of our lives. The decision I had to make yesterday was selecting what shade of throw pillows to go with our new sofa. My husband and I were standing in the Martha Stewart section at Kmart looking over the various pillows. Our sofa's fabric is a sage paisley pattern with brown and burgundy accents. We made a mutual decision and went home with some plush brown pillows. After returning home we soon realized that the brown didn't coordinate nicely with the couch. An hour later Joe drove back to the store and exchanged the brown with some burgundy pillows. They look quite lovely with our sofa. This is an example of a decision that can be easily reversed.
However, life doesn't always seem to allow a retreat option in our decision making. When the decision we are facing is a life changing one is it any wonder we stop dead in our tracks when we come at a these crossroads along our life path?

Below is a quick list of some significant decisions that people are met with. What is decided ultimately impacts their lives for many years that follow.

  • Career Options
  • Choosing A Vocation
  • Education
  • Marriage / Divorce
  • Pregnancy / Parenthood
  • Relocating
  • Retirement Planning
  • Health Care Alternatives
Collecting Information
Fact gathering and seeking advice is recommended. Advice from a good friend or counselor can be helpful in these circumstances. Sometimes we are too emotionally connected to the situation to see clearly all the details involved in making a wise decision. Whereas someone detached from the drama is likely to be able to show more objectivity. Although we may wish that someone else would step in to make tough decisions for us, the final decision remains ours to make.
Fears of Making Bad Decisions
Over the years I have counseled many clients about decisions they are faced with. Most often they have been either relationship or job related. Normally the problem I feel they are facing is not in making the decision itself, but more trying to move past the fear of making a wrong choice. I will have them imagine the best and the worst outcomes, scripting the different scenarios for each situation to help weigh out the advantages/disadvantages. I also emphasize that there truly are no wrong choices, only different paths.
Alternate Choices
During a period of time when I felt very stuck and could not decide between decision A or decision B, a good friend of mine pointed out to me that by doing nothing (remaining stuck) I had made decision C. Decisions aren't always based on either this or that options, look for door number 3, or door number 4. Stay alert for side exits or hidden entry ways. Our choices are seldom black or white, alternative pathways can be found in the gray areas.
There Are No Wrong Choices
We can't know what all the future holds for us. There are no guarantees. As much as I have struggled with making decisions in my life I am very happy that I have had so many choices offered to me. Yes, I've made some poor choices, but along with those choices came challenges and opportunities that I would not have experienced otherwise. For this reason I do not believe there are wrong or right choices. Whatever decisions we make, they will ultimately thrust us into life situations (both positive and negative). As the opportunities being gifted to us unfold in our lifes we will grow our spirits. And in my humble opinion, spiritual growth was likely the grander plan anyhow.

Friday, January 8, 2010

How to be Spiritual Everyday

By Dr.Wayne Dyer

While it's good to have strong relationships with the people in your life, it's important to put your relationship with your "Source" at the top of your priority list, spiritual teacher Dr. Wayne Dyer says. Your Source can be God, the Tao, Divine mind, Krishna or whatever else you call your higher power—the key is that you make this bond your number one.

Get Quiet

Decide to reduce the noise level in your life. Learn to take time each and every day for quiet contemplation. For example, when you're driving alone, turn off the constant chatter bombarding your inner world. Try to make meditation a daily practice, even if it's only a few minutes each day. As Swami Sivananda reminded his students, "Silence is the language of the gods." Ask in silence, listen in silence, and let silence be the jumping-off point for becoming one with the creative force of the universe.

Reenergize Your Surroundings

The Power of Intention works when you surround yourself with people who are on the same spiritual path as you. Remember that like attracts like, so you attract Source energy to you by being like it. Similarly, when you're continually in the company of low-energy, angry, depressed, shaming, hateful people, you'll probably find life a little more challenging. Choose to be in the company of those who hold a space for you to achieve the joy of maximizing, rather then minimizing, your highest human potential. Make your surroundings a temple of love and kindness. Pay attention to the music you listen to, the art you view, even the arrangement of your furniture and flowers—all of it!

Get Back to Nature

One of the most spiritual things you can do in your life is spend time in nature. When I am in nature, it feels like God has entered my consciousness, and a rapturous feeling of contentment overwhelms me. A setting that showcases nature's beauty is pure God in action: unspoiled, untended, alive in stillness and teeming with life. When you're there, you'll begin to see the miraculousness of every cubic inch of space. You'll feel the presence of an energy that you may have lost touch with in your daily life, and that energy is in you.

Practice Yoga

The meaning of the word yoga translates to "union." The ancient rishis who gave us yoga considered stretching, balancing and flexible exercise an opportunity to experience union with God. Such a union with the Source of being wasn't a painful experience, since God was viewed as natural, peaceful and gentle. Even as you stay in a space the size of a small mat, you attain the same kind of benefit as other, more punishing exercise regiments but without the pain or exertion. Yoga is a great workout for the entire body—particularly the joints, muscles and even internal organs—but especially for the mind.



Practice Mindfulness

Truly experience all things you do during the day. Try to escape the habitual feelings and thoughts you experience and stay in the present moment. Enjoy each of your actions fully.
I wish for you to come to know the heavenly pleasure of living each and every day aligned with your Source.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

While God is Working



You know life is sometimes very strange and hard to bear, we feel alone, scattered and as if there is no one on our sides. No matter who you are I bet you have felted this way… But I want to let you know today that God is always working, sometimes we see it, sometimes we feel it and sometimes we hear it. You are never alone, never… There is an army of angels, saints and departed loved ones in spirit that has your back every single day of your life. Tap into the divine within you and know who you are,but not only who you are but who you are. You can lick back and put your feet up while God is working and know that he always is.


Many Blessings to you!

Angels with Fran.org