What is your RESPONSE?

We seem to live in a world more and more subject to suffering.

It can be easy to feel overwhelmed.

Responding to suffering has become part of our regular experience each day, each week.

 

 

As I sat and watched the news flash images of the devastation in Nepal, It occurred to me that each week we must decide how to respond to the latest tragedy in the world.

We are all so connected now, like never before in history. 

The world has become “ONE” through the invention of technology.

A thousand years ago, we here in the American Continent would never have even known that there had been an earthquake in Nepal…

But we do!

So how do we respond?

 

And what about all the violence in Boston?

Are you on the side of the police, or on the side of the minorities?

The amount of media coverage on this subject has made us all part of the battle, and we as humans will naturally pick a side.

One of the unfortunate consequences of being human is that people suffer.

 

Whether our friends,

our families,

or someone we have never met on the other side of the world.

Our hearts and our minds are filled with images of distress and devastation.

Each new tragedy pushes those that went before it into the background.

Some suffering is outside our immediate control.

Earthquakes, hurricanes, tornadoes, tsunamis arrive without warning and with immediacy.

 

 

We do what we can to anticipate and prepare for the devastation they cause.

We then begin the work of responding well after they have taken their toll.

We offer assistance and, when we can, we help suffering people in person.

 

Some suffering is caused by people.

We employ violence as a weapon, as a tool of public policy.

We impose suffering on other people to further our own ends. People take hostages, and execute them.

People inflict injustices on other people, and those people express their frustrations and anger.

We abuse each other, acting as though we can solve our problems with force.

 

So where does that leave us?

 

 

Do we have any hope of ever finding a solution to all the tragedy in the world?

I honestly believe that we as humans work hard to respond to suffering wisely.

I think that for the most part, humans are basically good.

Yet, turn on the news and you will see countless images of humans being portrayed as if we are all selfish animals.

Lets take for example the police officers that serve and protect us all.

Why is it that the news only tells us stories of the few isolated incidents where someone is hurt, or killed by an officer?

Why don’t the stories of their kindness and heroism make headlines?

There are literally MILLIONS of police officers in America working around the clock 365 days a year to ensure our safety.

They volunteer in our schools.

 

They go above and beyond the call of duty constantly because they love what they do.

Why aren’t we hearing about all those stories?

If you take the hand full of lives that have been lost at the hands of our police officers, and compare that to all the lives that have been saved…

The scales would tip dramatically on the side of goodness.

 

So why are we so mad at the men and women who literally put their lives on the line for complete strangers for very little pay?

I think it is a question that deserves to be considered.

Let’s take a minute and think about the reality of humanity.

 

Some of us sacrifice our own desires to contribute to respond when other people suffer.

 

Some of us organize efforts to help people who need it.

 

 

We may put ourselves in other people’s places, feeling their suffering.

Image result for compassion

 

We may see ourselves as potential future sufferers.

Some of us change the direction of their lives to help meet the needs of suffering people every day.

Like I stated earlier…

I believe that we as humans really are basically good.

Responding to suffering is difficult, and extremely valuable work.

Most of us are willing to pray and work out how we can best respond.

Much of life is a mystery, but the mystery of suffering often seems much harder for us to embrace.

 

When wonderful things happen to us, it is usually easier for us to accept them (we don’t often ask ourselves “what did I do to deserve this?”).

Although we cannot fully understand suffering, it is a part of our lives.

So the question again becomes…

How should we respond?

There are two approaches to suffering,

one which brings us to love and life

and one which brings us to despair.

 

I would love to hear your thoughts about today’s subject.

How do you respond to suffering in the world?

Where is the suffering that is drawing you to respond?

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I can see You!!!

Do you remember the many hours you spent as a child playing hide and seek?

The thrill of finding that perfect spot that allowed you to remain hidden until you were ready to emerge on your own?

I was always really good at that game. I seemed to have a natural knack for finding the perfect spot to hide.

As I got older, nothing really changed.

I learned how to hide behind layers of fat.

A plastered on smile.

 

The perfect haircut, and accessories to make it appear as if I have everything pulled together…

Can you relate?

 

While this form of hiding may be effective at keeping people at arms length so that can’t get close enough to see the pain in your eyes…

It also prevents them from getting close enough to comfort you!

Before you can achieve peace or happiness in your life, you must become aware of yourself.

This will require you to come out of your hiding place and allow the world to “SEE” you.

You need to be brave enough to be authentic, but that will not be possible until you can become self aware.

I feel that I must warn you that this is never an easy task as it is much easier to recognize the errors of others rather than take responsibility for our own errors.

Here are a few ways that you can behave that will naturally foster self awareness.

(I took today’s inspiration from some of my favorite motivational quotes and wrote these tips from the things I learned by reading them.)

#1: You must become aware of what you say and how you say it. The words you choose, your tone of voice, the expression in your face and eyes.

#2: You must become aware of what you do and how you do it. Always pay attention to details, as these are the little things that will make a BIG difference.

 

#3: Honor your word and the promises you make by always keeping them. Be on time as this shows respect to others and lets other people know you respect yourself. Learn proper manners and language as these are important parts of a civilized society.

#4: Stand up for yourself. Say “yes” when you mean “yes” and “no” when you mean “no”. Never pay any attention to gossip as this type of talk is far away from the peace you seek.

#5: Honor yourself by taking time for YOU every day – whether in a quiet setting of meditation, a walk, reading, exercising, going for a run, a massage, a manicure, a gentle bubble bath or listening to music. Whatever works for you.

 

#6: Become aware of your motives, judgments, assumptions, and fears. Question anything you do with a motive behind it. Do things for others simply because it is the right thing to do and you want to do it. When you judge someone else, you are actually judging yourself. Ninety-nine percent of all assumptions are false and your fears will come to pass so you can learn from them.

 

#7: Become aware of what you focus on because “what you focus on expands and what you think about happens.” See your life as you want it to be and not as it is, putting your thoughts and energies toward achieving this life you want. For a living, always do what you love to do! If you do what you love to do, money will naturally be a reward to you from sharing this love with the world.

#8:Become aware of all the “life choices” you make. Your life is always a reflection of the choices you have made up to that moment, so stop giving yourself reasons for not having the life you desire. Make a decision to get the results you want from life.

#9: The only thing that makes a “human” different from any other species is the God-given ability to choose. Yet we allow our ego to become involved and choose for us. Or, we decide not to make any choice at all – taking the easy way out so we will not have to take responsibility for this choice. “No choice” is still a choice!

#10: Make the decision to become aware and make the choices that will turn your life into the life you want to have. You have been blessed with the ability to choose. Use it wisely, all the while teaching your children this same lesson. 

BONUS TIP: Become aware of your passion, the song in your heart! Each of us has one. Find yours! Live it and leave the world a better place!

Dig Deep To Make Your Life GROW!

When life challenges you to your core…dig deep.

 

Sometimes when I look inside myself, it often feels very cluttered and distorted by all the negative chatter going on inside my mind.

Yet, I can sense that there is something below that, within me, if only I am willing to fight to get there.

 

 

When I take the time to STOP and allow the clutter to settle down in my mind, What I find is that underneath my fear is a vastness of light that carries the truth about who I really am

Who I really am is love wrapped in a human form.

 

This is the inner world that I desire to live with. I know that it exists inside me just below my fear.

 

I just have to be willing to DIG DEEP enough to find it.

 

Our inner world is as expansive as the Universe and the only thing we need to get in touch with it quickly is a deep soulful breath.

 

This inner world is intelligent.

It is the world that connects us to everyone else.

It connects us to our desires, dreams, and opportunities for higher learning.

But most importantly it connects us to our Source of love and grace.

 

Negativity is not intelligent.

 

 

Nothing productive comes from the energy of force or negativity.

So many of us get caught in this because it seems to be a natural part of being human.

But what if I told you that there was a way to avoid this?

That there was something you could do that can dissipate it?

If we can connect and dig below the negativity we will find love.

 

Negativity comes from fear.

Once fear hits the mind, the mind becomes embellished, distorted and negative.

It starts making decisions which create separation and division.

This is no way to love or be loved.

Dig deeper and deeper and the light of who you really are is there just waiting to be discovered, uncovered and used to guide you through all your life situations.

All it takes is the work, commitment and perseverance to believe in your own divinity.

It is not outside of you, it is within you.

Some of the  best lessons I’ve learned in life have happened while I was running.

I don’t really like to run, but as I said the other day, I had to learn to do it anyway if I wanted to get my health back on track.

So if there is one thing I can share with the others,that I learned while running it is “Dig Deep.”

It’s a phrase that I repeat to myself often anytime that I am not feeling very strong.

DIG DEEP

has carried over into other areas of my life when I felt like the world was handing me way too much.

You don’t have to be a runner to know how to Dig Deep.

(If you are a runner, then you probably already understand what it means).

It’s an inner drive to keep putting one foot in front of the other.

You don’t have to be a

runner though to recognize

and understand how Dig

Deep shows up in your life.

 

See, Dig Deep really has

more to do with inner the

strength and confidence

that you don’t even know

you own until you need it.

 

It doesn’t come from a friend or family member.

It comes from within you.

It often appears as if it were stored up in your belly area and is released in the nick of time.

 

In some of life’s most challenging moments, I’ve had to dig REALLY DEEP.

I left behind friends and loved ones that were determined to keep me small in order to seek a more peace-filled life.

I have traveled to unfamiliar cities, not knowing a single person to show my children how to be brave and adventurous.

I have realized that being alone is so much better than being in relationships that are negative.

I learned to love myself enough that I attracted a man that wants more than anything to make all my dreams come true.

I followed my dreams and became a business owner.

But one thing that has been true through all of life’s ups and downs, was the fact that I had to keep DIGGING DEEPER.

All along the way, I’ve continued to Dig Deep and rely on an inner strength.

At times it’s been a non-audible voice that says, you can do this and it will all be okay.

Other times, it’s been a physical push to keep going, knowing that there is a finish line.

To make CHANGE…

REAL CHANGE in life requires that you be willing to DIG DEEP INSIDE.

You have it.

You Own it.

So NEVER, EVER give up!

Just keep on digging deeper and putting on foot in front of the other,

And watch all the surprising ways your life will begin to GROW!

Let’s SPRING CLEAN our Fitness routine…It’s almost swimsuit season.

 

As many of you already know, I embarked on a journey to improve my health and fitness routine three years ago.

When I started I weighed 230 lbs. and wore a size 24.

 

My health was in the toilet.

Something needed to change…

(ME, and my attitude toward fitness.)

I decided then to take charge of my habits, and get myself back in shape.

Over the past three years I have gone down to a size 9 and feel stronger than I have in years.

So today I wanted to do a post where I share some of my fitness tips with you so that you to can

SPRING CLEAN YOUR ROUTINE.

You may like your regular workout,

but let’s face it…

when we do the same thing every day, It gets BORING!

Our minds get bored, and so does our body.

When this happens we are not getting the most

 For Your

 

The one thing we all lack is EXTRA TIME.

So if you are going to spend 45 minutes exercising, why not get the most fat and calorie burn possible out of that time your spending?

That’s why spring cleaning isn’t just for your closets — it’s a great idea for your fitness routine, too.

By throwing out the old and embracing the new, you’ll kick-start your metabolism and renew your fitness zest.

Here are a few of my favorite strategies for doing just that.

 

  1. When it’s nice, get outside  

    Spring and summer are seasons dominated by outside fitness events.  For example, now’s the perfect time if you’ve been wanting to participate in a color run.                                                                                                                                                                         Here are some of my favorite outdoor activities and the calories/hour for each:

Hiking: Up to 370 calories/hour

Tennis: Up to 560 calories/hour

Rock Climbing: Up to 750 calories/hour

Soccer: Up to 700 calories/hour

Canoeing or Kayaking: Up to 850 calories/hour

Frisbee: Up to 210 calories/hour

Swimming: Up to 900 calories/hour

Golf: Up to 400 calories/hour

  1. Add some new strength training into the mix

Many people fall into one of two camps:

 

 

(I personally struggle with cardio. I don’t like it at all.

But I could lift weights for hours and never get bored. So I have to force myself to do my cardio every other day.)

But, whichever camp you fall into, now might be the time to dip your toes into the other arena.

When I was first getting started with weights,

I just started simply with squats, planks, and dumbbell rows before graduating to heavier weights and more complex routines.

I started my cardio routine with 15 minutes on the elliptical and gradually increased my duration and worked until I was really pushing it each session rather than worrying so much about the length of time.

I can now go hard on my elliptical for 45 minutes non-stop.

But I have found that by alternating days with cardio and strength I was able to not only shake things up but I noticed that I was giving my body a more rounded routine.

  1. Change your intervals

While spring cleaning your workout routine can mean trying out entirely new activities, you don’t have to throw everything you love out the door.

Instead, give a few new intervals a try.

This was HANDS DOWN the thing that has created the most changes in my body.

I have a really good friend who competes in body building and she told me if I was ever going to get rid of my belly bulge, I HAD to do interval training.

It is hard, but the benefits are so worth the pain.

 

  1. Switch up the duration

Likewise, it can also be effective to play around with how often and for how long you’re working out.

One week, I will go for two to three long workouts.

The next, I will opt for short, intense sessions.

The next, I will do something in-between.

 

This chart is a helpful tool to gauge your exertion level so that you can teach yourself how to change things up while still burning fat.

 

Experimenting in this way will keep your workouts from getting too predictable, and will constantly challenge your body in new ways.

 

  1. Try a different time

Do you always exercise in the afternoon?

 

Get up with the early birds a few times this week and be amazed at all that you can get done before your first cup of coffee.

Alternatively, for morning workout aficionados, see for yourself how effective a post-work session at the gym can be for releasing all of that stress that’s built up over the day.

Getting creative with your schedule will keep your workout out of the humdrum zone.

 

  1. Mix it up with intramural sports                                       Image result for intramural sports                                                          

An intramural sport or activity will force your muscles to move in new and interesting ways, distract you with mental challenges, and even help you make a few new friends.

Joining a softball, or volleyball team can open up a whole new world for you. Not only will you be getting more exercise, but you will meet new people and form new friendships in the process. Which will help with the stress that we all know can wreck havoc on our health.

Image result for intramural sports

 

 

  1. Give a few new classes a whirl                                            Image result for zumba      

Likewise, most good gyms offer classes throughout the year, with new schedules released for each season.

If you’ve always wanted to try that yoga or Zumba class, now might be the time.

Fitness instructors are good at what they do!

I have found that when I go to a class, I work out twice as hard as I do at home with a fitness tape that I am doing by myself.

I have found that working out with friends is extremely motivating.

So give it a try…
What have you got to lose?

 

  1. Set a challenge with a race.                                                         

You may enjoy running, swimming or biking on your own, but if your interest is waning, why not put all of that training to good use and enter a race?

The thing that got me addicted to exercise was when I was training for my very first 5K. I uncovered a new wealth of motivation when I knew my morning jog was preparing me for that first 5K.

 

  1. Commit to a friend

If you’ve always been a lone wolf, spring is the perfect time to become a more social animal.

A workout buddy is a quick way to inject enthusiasm and accountability into your daily routine.

This is also one of the best benefits of working out at a class too…  A group training class will keep that heart pumping via new and interesting means.

10.   When you’ve hit a rut, a fitness expert is really the best way to roll-out a workout makeover.                                        

Not only will they have a much better idea of what’s possible, but they’ll also help you build variety into your workout so you shouldn’t need to give it an overhaul for quite some time.

Plus, it’s harder to make last minute cancellations when you know you’ve got someone you’re paying waiting for you.

I don’t know about you, but when I have invested my money into something, I am more determined to get what I paid for…

And that’s why this I listed this tip.

When I was first getting started, I needed to do something drastic to make sure I didn’t give up, and for me…

that was forking out the money for a teacher.

 

How will you freshen up your stale workout?

Let me know in the comments below.

 

 

 

 

Hump Day? Can’t we do better than that?

Since I was a very small little girl, Wednesday’s have been a difficult day for me.

My mom once asked me when I was still a young girl, why I hated Wednesday…

So I explained it to her:

“I don’t like Wednesday because I don’t know if it is the BEGINNING or the END of the week and I feel so confused.”

(Yes, I am a little bit of a perfectionist)

The kids at the school where I work have even noticed that: “Melanie is not as happy on Wednesday as she usually is.”

I think that was the thing that finally SHOOK me out of my stupidity about this day.

 

If the kids I work with can see a difference in my attitude over something as  innocuous as what day it is…

Then I really needed to admit that I have a problem!

So as I have been working on this problem of mine, I asked for some advice from the very people who made me aware of this problem in the first place, and here is what they said:

Make it “WONDERFUL WEDNESDAY” instead of “HUMP DAY”

So many of life’s problems could be easily solved if we would just take the time to listen to children.

They are still so logical and innocent, and can see the world through eyes that are not clouded by life.

So today’s post will be taken from the advice of the children at Cleveland Elementary. They are in my opinion some of the greatest kids on the planet and I am blessed by them every single day of my life.

(I will not be giving exact quotes, but paraphrasing their advice)

Tip #1:

“Today is a fresh brand new day. Twenty four hours to do whatever your heart desires!”

I loved that one. I could write an entire blog about that one piece of advice.

Think about it…

How great can you make it?

I mean really forget everything on your to do list and let’s commit to making this the very best day ever – until the next one of course!

My next favorite suggestion was:

TIP #2:

“Start with creating your very own Joy. Let go of the same old, same old, and do something new by deciding that today is just for being happy.”

How simple is that?

You simply need to ask yourself,

“What is it that would make my heart sing out loud today?”

Whatever it is, do it!

Call up that friend you haven’t connected with in a long time.

Or go watch a really great movie.

Put on some upbeat music, turn it up and get your body moving.

Let your Spirit soar with joy and passion.

Ignite the greatness living inside of you.

Crank it up.

 

 

TIP #3:

For the next 24 hours be different, be daring – you can always go back to your old self tomorrow if you really want to.

Treat yourself to something spectacular, new shoes, a jog in the park, whatever it is, do something just for you.

So I want to add something to this:

Do not – I repeat – do not bring guilt, fear, worry, doubt or judgment along for the ride.

These guys are hardcore party poopers and they will ruin this wonderful day for you.

If you see “should” trying to get your attention, wanting to tag along – look away! (Hopefully they’ll all feel so rejected they won’t even be there when you get back.)

Oh I know some of you are saying, “What if my family thinks I’m crazy?” Smile at them and say, “I’m not crazy, this is what Joy looks like.”

 

If anyone else you know has any negative comments, who cares, simply look at them and .

 

TIP #4:

Show others how to be happy.

 

We all know someone who is negative and toxic. They are that person who always operates from the attitude of, ”life is meant to be hard”. The joyless cynical ones that we all run into from time to time.

 

Show them how to  to celebrate WONDERFUL WEDNESDAY.

Show them how fun it is when you  can become that kind of person who’s open to celebrating and creating one of the most joyful days for yourself and for others around you.

Once you get in the Spirit go out and spread the Joy – do something you’ve never done before.

 

 

TIP #5:

Buy someone a sandwich and give them your time, love and attention even if it’s for 10 minutes.

This idea really made me smile. It reminded me just how important one-on-one attention is to children, and also a funny reminder that a FULL TUMMY = HAPPINESS in the mind of a child.

The sentiment is precious. Feed someone, then sit and listen to them.

Maybe that is why so many experts advise us to have family meals together. It is something that will obviously make your child feel happy, and as all of you parents out there know…

When our kids are happy- so are we!

I hope you enjoy learning how to change Wednesday from

TO

 

I pray that today’s post made you smile, and that your smile will continue all day.

Now Go share these wise tips with the people in your life today!

 

Projects that came out of our workshop for the week of April 12- 18th

005 008

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

These were a custom order. I had made another set for a customer, and this lady wanted a set for her parents graves.

So she requested that we paint their names on the back and attach a hook so that she could secure them to the site.

 

The next order we filled 2 more sets of the Garden Stake Crows.

 

017

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We had a request for a Welcome post and a Chevron Sign to put on a customers front porch.

Here are the pictures of the finished product.

 

014

 

015

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We are also getting lots of requests for Crosses to put on graves for Memorial Day. Here are a few that we have finished.

 

Next I made some candle sticks for my own house out of some salvaged posts that were taken out of a home that is being salvaged.

I love the look of Tall pillar candle sticks so I made a set that would match the painting I did last week of the Pueblo Sun God.

Here are the pictures of them.

The last thing I did was also a project for my own house.

I had these old trunks that were old and dated. I repainted them and gave them a fresh new look.

 

 

 

 

The SECRET that changed my life.

 

In a battle of focus vs. fear,

fear will win every single time. 

It’s like manifesting in reverse.

 

Once I finally learned that secret, my life took a dramatic turn for the better.

I had watched the movie, “The Secret”.

I had made my vision board.

I spent time every day meditating on my desires.

I spoke my mantras out loud and often…

BUT

My life was not getting better, it was rapidly getting worse.

The worse it got,

The more powerfully I would try to stay focused on my desires.

I was desperate to bring them into reality, NOW in the present.

I began to feel very afraid.

What was I doing wrong?

How was I sabotaging my efforts at manifestation?

I began to feel insecure and doubt everything about my self.

It was at about this time in my life that Victor committed suicide, and shortly after Sam left me and the kids.

So how did I stumble upon

the secret that changed my

life?

How did I finally achieve the success amidst all that insanity?

I came to know my Savior!

Through my renewed faith in Him, I learned to trust life.

I learned to be content where I was, with what I had.

I quit wishing that I could manifest the “THINGS” that I thought would make me happy, and began to realize that I was already happy.

I had 4 amazing children.

2 supportive and loving parents.

1 good job that provided enough money to cover all of our needs.

1 God given talent that allowed me to make extra money.

6 siblings that loved and supported me unconditionally.

1 amazing best friend.

1 Savior.

____________

= EVERYTHING I NEED

Once I sat down and did the math I realized that I already had EVERYTHING I needed to have a happy life.

The anxiety that I had been living with was finally gone, and for the first time in years I started to enjoy life and be truly grateful for all of my blessings...

SOMETHING AMAZING, ALMOST MAGICAL BEGAN TO HAPPEN: My blessing began to multiply.

That is when I stumbled across an idea called the

The Law of Paradoxical Intent

Let me explain what this is to you so that you can begin immediately to practice it in your own life.

With focus, comes fear.

You cannot separate the two.

 

The more badly you want something, the more you will find yourself naturally focusing on it.

Which creates the fear you unintentionally cultivate around NOT GETTING IT.

Positive thinking actually carries an inherent vibration of lack, therefore creating a polarizing contrast in your mind that will stop you from ever getting what you truly want.

This is exactly what had happened to me in my past.

 

So while you may think you are following all the rules from the manifesting playbook, by thinking and focusing intensely on what you want in your life,

 

You’re in all probability, just as intensely repelling it by the fear of not receiving it.

 

This is known as the Law of Paradoxical intent and it’s the Law of Attraction’s evil and mischievous twin.

 

To make matters worse, the emotion of fear carries one of the heaviest, lowest vibrations that will literally eat alive any of the positive energy you’re trying to cultivate and attract.

 

In a battle of focus vs. fear, fear will win every single time. It’s like manifesting in reverse.

Let me put it this way:

You’re in a dark room and need to see where you’re going but can’t find the light switch.

Do you close your eyes, clench your fists, and try with all your manifesting might to turn the light on?

Or do you simply open the door and allow light to flood into the room.

This is a completely different approach to manifesting and about 10 x easier than anything you’ve done up until now

(with 10 x the results).

Abundance, is just like light, it will automatically begin to  fill the dark places naturally and effortlessly.

All you need to do is:

Let it in

You do that simply by raising your energetic vibration to a level where the heaviness of fear cannot exist.

How?

I’m so glad you asked.

GRATITUDE!

When You Turn On A Light, How Long Does It Take For The Room To Fill With Light?

Take just a moment and concentrate on the feeling of fear.

It feels HEAVY and SUFFOCATING, doesn’t it?

 

Now switch gears and focus on GRATITUDE.

The heaviness immediately left your chest didn’t it?

(In fact, I bet you even just took a deep breath)

It is exactly like the light in a dark room.

Fear will darken your life, while gratitude will brighten it.

It is completely natural that when you want something,

You want it NOW.

 

 

Instant gratification is a disease most people suffer from.

Most of the time it only leads to misery.

If you convince yourself that you can’t be happy without what you want:

This then becomes your reality.

So, how do you harness the power of intention and generate the right vibration to achieve your goal?

You start by being happy with what you have NOW.

Surrender to whatever life has already chosen to bless you with up to this point.

Letting go of the desperation is really the only quick way to getting the results you desire.

You get what you want by knowing that you actually DON’T NEED it to be happy – it is a bonus.

A paradox indeed, isn’t it.

Why?

Because the usual starting point for most of us is that we want something because, (at least we think), it is what we will need in order for us to be happy.

To turn that round and truly believe that you don’t in fact need anything outside of yourself to be happy…

That is where the REAL work is.

So work on being happy right now, with or without whatever it is you desire.

Then there will be no urgency in getting the results –

you are already happy.

I have even very successfully applied this secret to all of my relationships, and the magic that has occurred in that area of my life is nothing short of miraculous.

Here’s how I have created powerful, lasting love with my children, my parents and siblings, my friends, and Jeff…

I don’t focus my efforts on trying to please them.

Because everyone has constantly changing pleasures.

 Instead, I strive to please LOVE …

 

I do this by constantly being aware of what love is to each and every person and work on providing THAT to them.

Do this and I promise that you will please what is capable of being loved in one another.

This understanding alone nourishes your love, and in turn love will nourish your life together.

The second way I do this is by teaching and helping each of us to be independent.

Wrongful dependency on one another breeds fear and cruelty.

Instead, learn to depend on love, for love breeds love … and real love is always independent and kind.

Lastly, don’t try to change each other, either subtly or openly.

 

 

This creates resentment.

 

 

Instead, let the other find his or her way.

 

This doesn’t mean to condone whatever is seen as being wrong or obviously mistaken.

It simply means don’t condemn one another for a weakness, as love never lashes out but always strives to lift.

SO to sum it all up neatly in a little bite size package for you,

Learn to surrender the attachment to the outcome you seek in order to attract the results you want.

That is the SECRET that changed my life.

Don’t have the ‘I have asked… so where is my stuff?’ attitude.

Rather have the ‘whatever will be, will be’ attitude.

 

 

HUMAN NATURE…Sometimes it isn’t very Pretty!

 

The first time I saw a T-shirt that said

“Mean People Suck,”

I thought, WOW, that is a powerful emotion, that has been clearly expressed!

I only wished I’d been the author.

 

I mention this because recently I’ve encountered several mean people, and I’ve had to remind myself that the Concept of Authorship is key to surviving these experiences.
I don’t know about you, but my favorite ways of reacting to mean people are:

(1) getting mean right back.

or

(2) lying down quietly to display the word welcome! written where my spine used to be.

 

Luckily, my job constantly reminds me that there’s a more responsible and effective way to live.

That’s why I love to write. It gives me the chance to sort out my feelings and experiences and put them into a neatly typed document.

This is how it is for us authors.

I say “us” because you’re an author, too.

I know that not everyone writes for publication, but every living person has the power of AUTHORSHIP when it comes to composing our lives.

 

Meanness emerges when we believe that we have no such power, that we’re passive receptors of life’s vagaries.

va·gar·y
ˈvāɡərē/
noun
plural noun: vagaries
  1. an unexpected and inexplicable change in a situation or in someone’s behavior.
    “the vagaries of the weather”
    synonyms: change, fluctuation, variation, quirk, peculiarity, oddity, eccentricity,unpredictability, caprice, foible, whim, whimsy, fancy

    “the vagaries of the weather”

Inner peace follows when we begin responding to cruelty—our own and other people’s—

With the authority we’ve possessed all along.

Why are people mean?

Here’s the short answer: They’re hurt.

Here’s the long answer: They’re really hurt.

At some point, somebody—their parents, their lovers, Lady Luck—did them dirty.

They were crushed.

And they’re still afraid the pain will never stop, or that it will happen again.

There. I’ve just described every single person living on planet Earth.

The fact is that we’ve all been hurt, and we’re all wounded, but not all of us are mean.

 

Why not?

 

 

Because those people who can experience tremendous tragedies in their lives,

or those who have suffered betrayal beyond belief and yet still have the capacity to love and be kind and gentle

Do so because they KNOW that their history of suffering can be a hero’s saga rather than a victim’s whine…

 

Depending on how they “write” it.

 

 

The moment we begin tolerating meanness, in ourselves or others, we are using our authorial power in the service of wrongdoing.

We have both the capacity and the obligation to do better.

Loving-kindness and compassion are the basis for wise, powerful, sometimes gentle, and sometimes fierce actions that can really make a difference – in our own lives and those of others.

– Sharon Salzberg

No wonder Sharon Salzberg is one of America’s leading meditation teachers and spirituality writers.

What she says covers the entire basis anyone ever needs to know as to why kindness costs nothing, brings joy, does as much for the giver as the receiver and can change society bringing unexpected rewards.

 

 

 

 

As Maya Angelou said, “I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.” 

Now there’s another woman I admire for her wisdom and heart.

 

 

 

Catherine Ryan Hide in her book ‘Pay it Forward’ wrote about the story of an unhappy schoolboy who decided to do a good deed for those he came into contact with only asking that the person concerned did a good deed for someone else. The book was made into a film. What no one expected was that people who had read the book and seen the film started doing the same thing.

 

I understand that it seems like the act of being kind (as in pay it forward) is conditional, but once the joys and rewards associated with this way of being are felt it becomes like a welcome habit with benefits.

 

In primitive cultures, the primary source of threat to human beings is Nature.

 

But in economically-advanced countries, it is not nature, but other human beings who make us feel threatened most of the time.

Human beings are constantly hurting each other in both their intimate relationships and in Their social relationships.

Yes, sometimes the pain they inflict is physical,

but most of the time it is emotional in nature.

With a bit of reflection, it becomes quite apparent that Emotional Pain is the single greatest remaining threat that human beings must deal with in the modern era.

Just how big is this Emotional Pain Problem we are dealing with?  

Well, it is only responsible for virtually all of the suicides, homicides, acts of violence, and cases of clinical depression that we see every day. 

It is responsible for most of the wars that have been fought in modern times.

It is also responsible for the sad fact that most marriages, which begin as special unions between ‘best friends’, end up as painful wars fought by ‘worst enemies.’ 

Emotional pain is the biggest continuing problem that most humans will deal with in their lifetimes.

 

While human beings have displayed an impressive ability to tackle the challenges of biological pain, when it comes to the problem of emotional pain, they have remained largely clueless.

 

 

Why is that I wonder?

 

I believe that it goes back to the idea of AUTHORSHIP again.

We perceive events as story lines.

We continually (though often unconsciously) tell ourselves tales about life, and since no story can include every tiny event, we edit and spin the facts into the stories we prefer.

 

Many of our stories are pure fabrication.

And all of them are biased, dominated by our flair for the dramatic, our theories about life, and our fears.

I imagine that a typical mean person’s story line would go something like this:

 “I am a victim; people want to hurt me; I must hurt them first to be safe.”

Maybe that explains why someone may unexpectedly turn ugly when you say something like:

“Please pass the salt”

or

“Hey, it’s raining.”

They immediately rewrite whatever they hear to support their story line (“She’s saying I’m a bad cook” or “He’s bringing up the weather to avoid talking about us”).

I honestly believe that for most people it is “The story”, not other people’s behavior, which is the factor that both motivates and excuses their hostility.

One definition of the word mean is “small.”

Mean people live small, think small, and feel small—the smaller, the meaner.

 

 

The belief that we are smaller and less powerful than others underlies most meanness, even when that belief is delusional.

But we can also use our author’s imagination to size things in our favor.

Think of a person who’s been nasty to you.

Imagine that person shrinking to one inch tall.

Picture your enemy stomping around in the palm of your hand, yelling or sneering all the customary cruelties.

You’ll find that if your critic is making a valid point, it will still sound accurate, but mere verbal abuse is hilarious when squeaked in the voice of an inch-tall Mini-Mean.


Whatever your reaction to this tiny villain, that’s probably the best way to react to your life-size challenger.

If the insults are laughable, just laugh.

If the mean person has a point, tell her that you get it, but she could stand to work on her people skills.

Practice what you would say if you felt big and invulnerable, then say it, even if you’re scared.

Be “big” by responding to cruelty with honest calm rather than aggression or submissiveness.

If you choose to write your life consciously, I promise you that you will find that a story that acknowledges your hero’s strength feels truer than one depicting you as a victim.

 

You’ll see that whatever your physical size, you really are a bigger person than any bully.

You’ll learn that the truth, no matter how hard, always strengthens you more than a lie, no matter how nice.

On the other hand, if you don’t take up your authority, you give mean people the power to write your life for you.

In the end, they will make you one of them.

That should give you the motivation you need to take up your authority, because let’s face it: