Saturday, December 29, 2012

Acting On Wisdom ...

"Some people like my advice so much that they frame it upon the wall instead of using it."  ~Gordon R. Dickson
Information doesn’t make us spiritual. We have to act on it. 

When someone asks us for help, are we quick to say yes...or no? When a difficult person shows up in our life, do we embrace him/her as someone sent to teach us something, or just another hassle to deal with?

Today, think about a teaching that resonates with you. Ask yourself if you are truly living it. If you are not (or not as much as you can), that’s OK...  Recognition is the first step.  But what you choose to do from here on out is up to you (and only you). Will you choose to live up to your potential and really make a change for the better or will you ignore what your heart tells you to do? The choice is yours...

“See then that ye walk circumspectly, not as fools, but as wise,”
  Ephesians 5:15

Monday, March 5, 2012

Live In Truth ...

Photo by Nikola Tamindzic
"I forgive myself for negative choices of the past by living in honesty today. I now choose to live in truth."  ~Denise Marek

What does it mean to live in truth?

Forgive yourself for everything that was and start living for tomorrow. Create the destiny that you truly know you’re capable of.

The power to create the best you and the best life possible for tomorrow is in this moment. You can find the strength within to use the key of forgiveness to let go of the past and move into the future with a new perspective and an abundant appreciation for this fresh start. You have the opportunity to create an outcome for your life that’s of your choosing.

Use the power of your mind to say: I’m strong. I do deserve a new start. It’s okay to be me. It’s okay to have had my experiences. I accept that this is how I’ve lived, and I’m aware of how it has affected me. I forgive myself now for living that life, and I choose to never go back to it. I will break the patterns and cycles of the past.

You can be happy with yourself. You can enjoy peace because you choose to no longer be controlled by your ego. It’s okay to be you. It’s good to love and forgive yourself for everything that was and start living for tomorrow. Create the destiny that you truly know you’re capable of.

You can become the person you want to be. You can change—if you do the work. Even if you’ve been very negative and hurtful, you can choose to transform and not be like that any longer. You can become a committed, honest, loving, compassionate individual; you never have to go back and re-create negativity in your life or the lives of others. Tell yourself:

I no longer live in that mind-set. I no longer think those thoughts. I’m no longer controlled by my ego’s presence. I forgive myself for negative choices of the past by living in honesty today. I now choose to live in truth.

What does it mean to live in truth? It means to live honestly at all levels. It’s not just about what you say; it’s about thoughts, actions, and the way you live. This involves authenticity—to live in alignment with who you know your true self to be. What you’ll receive is very empowering. You become free to live and explore the truth of who you really are as you move toward the future. You’re at liberty to change, develop, and go further in you own life within your own true spirit and mind.

By Denise Marek

Monday, February 27, 2012

Everything You Do Matters ...

"Just as our acts of kindness can create good effects in the world around us and abroad, so too can our acts of negativity and unthoughtful ways"

~Danielle Miyoshi

Everything you do matters.  Everything you don't do matters.  Each choice, each form of action and non-action has it's effects.  Whether these effects are good or bad depends on you.  A simple smile can truly change someone's life. You never know what someone is going through at any given moment, or how they will react to your actions or lack thereof, and although we cannot save the world every single second of our lives, we sure can do our best not to make it any harder for others and ourselves.  

 It takes a conscious effort on our part to act in kindness towards others and even courage and strength to show kindness towards people who can be difficult to deal with.  However, it is in our best interest to practice this kindness each and every day, hour, and moment.  The more beauty we send out into the world, the more beautiful our own world becomes. The kinder we are to others, the kinder others will be to the people in their own world, and so on. 

Just as our acts of kindness can create good effects in the world around us and abroad, so too can our acts of negativity and unthoughtful ways, which can be hurtful, whether intentional or non-intentional.  This is why it is so important to remain conscious of our thoughts, feelings, actions and the way we handle all of them.  We need to study our emotions and behavior patters and try as best we can to cultivate our best selves.  We have to remember that our feelings aren't the only feelings that matter in the world.  And that we are effective in this world whether good or bad, whether we like it or not.  There is no avoiding this.  There are only two options, and that is to be either a positive effect or a negative one.. the choice is always ours.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Live a Life that Matters ...

Ready or not, some day it will come to an end.  There will be no more sunrises, no minutes, hours or days.  All the things you collected, whether treasured or forgotten will pass to someone else.

Your wealth, fame and temporal power will shrivel to irrelevance.  It will not matter what you owned or what you were owed.  Your grudges, resentments, frustrations and jealousies will finally disappear.

So, too, your hopes, ambitions, plans, and to-do lists will expire.  The wins and losses that once seemed so important will fade away.  It wont matter where you came from.

It wont matter whether you were born beautiful or brilliant.  Even your gender and skin color will be irrelevant.  So what will matter?

What will matter is not what you bought but what you built.  Not what you got, but what you gave.

What will matter is not your success, but your significance.

What will matter is not what you learned, but what you taught.

What will matter is every act of integrity, compassion, courage or sacrifice that enriched, empowered or encouraged others to emulate your example.

What will matter is not your competence, but your character.

What will matter is not how many people you knew but how many will feel a lasting loss when you're gone.

What will matter is not your memories but the memories that live on in those who loved you.

What will matter is how long you will be remembered and for what.

Living a life that matters doesn't happen by accident.

It happens by choice . . .

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Express Who You Really Are ...

"Every desire reveals your true nature." ~ David Deida

Every day you want to do many things, from hugging your lover to earning money. Why? What feeling underlies all your hopes and dreams? This feeling is the tension between who you really are and who you assume yourself to be.

Consider your desire for intimate relationship. There are many reasons for engaging in a relationship. But you only feel utterly fulfilled in intimacy when you and your lover trust each other so much that you are willing to let down your guards, open your hearts, and love. This is your deepest desire in intimacy because, in truth, you are open as love—but you assume yourself to be a separate, isolated individual. So you scheme and dream to experience in your relationship what, in truth, you already are.

You want to enjoy financial security because, in truth, you are abundance, although you assume only effort will provide a feeling of ease. You enjoy dangerous sports because in every moment you are at the edge of death—the ultimate edge of winning or losing—and yet your assumed security makes you seek risks. You want to eat chocolate because, deep in your heart, you are blissful fullness, though you often close to its pleasure and so seek its taste.

Through your daily round, you seek to approximate the truth of who you are that you have lost touch with. This drama of approximation is the story of your life. You never quite succeed like you hope to. You never quite get the love you really want. And so you either try harder or give up trying. In either case, you are missing the point of existence.

Monday, February 13, 2012

Make This Day Yours ...

I promise you nothing is as chaotic as it seems. Nothing is worth your health. Nothing is worth poisoning yourself into stress, anxiety, and fear. 
Whatever you will face today, you have everything it takes to face it head on! All you need to do is believe in yourself and your abilities. Do not let today's adversities get the better of you . . . instead, challenge them and show the world and yourself that you are greater than any obstacle, because you are!

Take control of your life, your fears, emotions and let go of the illusion that you cannot conquer a thing. Become the leader of your life. Lead yourself to where you want to be. Breathe life back into your ambitions, your desires, your goals, your relationships. . . 
 Make this day what you want it to be, do your best and let the rest go . . .

Surrender to the Moment ...

 "It is this complete surrender to the Universe that connects us to Light"

It is a common spiritual law that everything happens for a reason. It’s a tough pill to swallow sometimes. The reasons are not always clear, but the events of our lives appear because we deserve them and because they are designed to help us to transform and grow; and transformation brings us closer to a connection with the Light…which is always good!

Today, instead of meeting every seemingly negative situation with dismay, try to be mindful that there is a lesson in the circumstance and this lesson will take you to a better place ultimately, to a higher spiritual level. In moments of distress, as difficult as it is to see the reason for our hardship, find within yourself the strength to say, “For now I will accept this challenge, not knowing the reason but trusting the universe has sent this to me for my own good and that someday I will fully understand.”

It is this complete surrender to the Universe that connects us to Light.

Unfortunately, our Desire to Receive for the Self Alone constantly seeks to distract us from having this consciousness. Instead we get in our own way, with worry and fret we make mountains out of hills. We want to fix the problem right now. We want to see the fruits of our work instantaneously. Sometimes we need to stay in the discomfort in order to reap the greatest benefit. So rather than asking for the pain to stop, ask to see what the pain is here to help you learn. Once you learn the lesson, there is no reason for the pain, right?

The Creator always has our best interest at heart. Today, we have the power to surrender to the moment, to choose to be patient, to look for the lesson and to allow the hidden gift to unfold before us.

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Why Not You? ...

“We all make mistakes, have struggles, and even regret things in our past. But you are not your mistakes, you are not your struggles, and you are here NOW with the power to shape your day and your future.”

  ~ Steve Maraboli

Today, many will awaken with a fresh sense of inspiration. Why not you?

Today, many will open their eyes to the beauty that surrounds them. Why not you?

Today, many will choose to leave the ghost of yesterday behind and seize the immeasurable power of today. Why not you?

Today, many will break through the barriers of the past by looking at the blessings of the present. Why not you?

Today, for many the burden of self doubt and insecurity will be lifted by the security and confidence of empowerment. Why not you?

Today, many will rise above their believed limitations and make contact with their powerful innate strength. Why not you?

Today, many will choose to live in such a manner that they will be a positive role model for their children. Why not you?

Today, many will choose to free themselves from the personal imprisonment of their bad habits. Why not you?

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Rocking the Boat ...

 Human nature is averse to pain and discomfort. We want everything to be smooth. But we don’t grow from staying still. We don’t bring our dreams alive by playing it safe. We don’t get what we want by waiting for God to deliver it to our doorstep. We must embrace difficulty and change if we are to create a fulfilling life for ourselves.

If a boat is not rocking, it’s not going anywhere.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

We Project Our Strengths ...

"Any situation that you find yourself in, is an outward reflection of your inner state of beingness."
-- El Morya

We have discussed that OUR WORLD MIRRORS WHO WE ARE BACK TO US. When we get upset by something outside of us, our reaction shows us that we have an inner wound to be healed.

Just as we can be unconscious of our wounds, we can also be unconscious of our strengths. If you are really drawn to the positive qualities in another person, you are being invited to own those same qualities in yourself.

"The people we are in relationship with are always a mirror, reflecting our own beliefs, and simultaneously we are mirrors reflecting their beliefs. So relationship is one of the most powerful tools for growth... if we look honestly at our relationships we can see so much about how we have created them."
-- Shakti Gawain

"Every artist dips his brush in his own soul, and paints his own nature into his pictures."
-- Henry Ward Beecher

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Be Reminded By Jealousy ...

"Jealousy points to your false hopes of fulfillment."  ~David Deida

If you think money will make you happy, then you will be jealous of wealthy people. If you think sex will fulfill you, then you will be jealous of passionate lovers. Whenever you believe that something or someone, some insight or some experience will truly make you happy, you are wrong. Only opening as you are is true happiness. You suffer jealousy when you forget this.

Jealousy is the sting of false hope. Even when you get that for which you are jealous—a beautiful girlfriend, fame, a man who truly loves you, great success—nothing essential changes. You are open or closed, various experiences come and go, everything gained is threatened by loss, and nothing is quite as fulfilling as your jealousy promises. 

Many people have less than you do. They are jealous of you. If they were you, how blissful would they be right now?

Bliss is the nature of deep openness. Nothing other than openness—not money, knowledge, or relationship—truly increases or decreases your bliss. This is easy to understand. Still, you are probably jealous of certain people. You want what they have.

This feeling of jealousy is a useful sign. Feel it fully. Part of you hates them for having what you don’t. Part of you justifies that you are better off without it. Part of you feels inferior for not having it. Part of you tries to feel superior by not needing it.

This complex wad of jealousy is a sign that you aren’t relaxed as

Monday, February 6, 2012

Looking For Saftey? ...

"Security is when everything is settled, when nothing can happen to you; security is the denial of life."

~ Germaine Greer

Our personality likes to be in control. It likes to know how things are and what’s going to happen. Underlying this desire for stability and predictability is a deep fear that the world is a dangerous place. The personality fears it will not survive without continually being on guard.

The truth is: we cannot control what happens in life. And under the natural law of attraction, we tend to attract to us what we focus on. EXPLORE SUBSTITUTING TRUST FOR FEAR and your world becomes a gentler, happier place.

"There are no guarantees. From the viewpoint of fear, none are strong enough. From the viewpoint of love, none are necessary."
-- Emmanuel

"One thing we can do is make the choice to view the world in a healthy way. We can choose to see the world as safe with only moments of danger rather than seeing the world as dangerous with only moments of safety."
-- Deepak Chopra

Saturday, February 4, 2012

Lean Just Beyond Your Edge ...

"Your fear is the sharpest definition of your self"  

~David Deida

In any given moment, a man's growth is optimized if he leans just beyond his edge, his capacity, his fear. He should not be too lazy, happily stagnating in the zone of security and comfort. Nor should he push far beyond his edge, stressing himself unnecessarily, unable to metabolize his experience. He should lean just slightly beyond the edge of fear and discomfort. Constantly. In everything he does....

Once you are honest with yourself about your real edge, it is best to lean just beyond it. Very few men have the guts for this practice. Most men either settle for the easy path or self-aggrandize themselves by taking the extreme hard path. Your insecurity may cause you to doubt yourself, and so you take the easy way, not even approaching your real edge or your real gift. Alternatively, your insecurity may lead you to push, push, push, seeking to become victorious over your own sense of lack. 

Both approaches avoid your actual condition in the moment, which is often fear. If you are stressfully avoiding your fear, you cannot relax into the fearless. 

Your fear is the sharpest definition of your self. You should know it. You should feel

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Step Into Self-Awareness ...

"Getting in touch with your true self must be your first priority."
-- Tom Hopkins

Here are some different aspects of self-awareness:

- Know yourself - Explore who you are: your defences, your blocks, your talents, your aspirations, etc.

- Accept yourself - We are at war with ourselves when we resist or deny certain aspects of who we are. Acknowledge the truth of who you are right now - the positives and the negatives. Only when we own our present reality can we change.

- Control yourself - Set clear, conscious intentions and discipline yourself to meet them.

- Express yourself - Go to your heart to identify what has meaning and purpose for you. Live your truth. Identify ways you can give back to life and be in service.

We work on each of these aspects all the time. But as our lives go through cycles, we predominantly work on one of them more than the others. Which aspect are you more conscious of lately?

"Our lives improve only when we take chances ... and the first and most difficult risk we can take is to be honest with ourselves."
-- Walter Anderson

"Adventure can be an end in itself. Self-discovery is the secret ingredient that fuels daring."
-- Grace Lichtenstein

Friday, January 27, 2012

Accepting vs. Settling ...

"Go after what you want. Do whatever it takes. Never settle."  

~Mike Salomon

When we start reflecting and doing thought work-we realize that our thoughts are the cause of our happiness or lack thereof.  What this means is that we can find a way to be happy in most situations.

When we are clear in our thinking and we feel good-we make very good decisions about our life.  Accepting is not the same as settling ...

Here is the difference between settling (never do it) and accepting (always do this):

Settling:  Continuing something we know is not in our best interest without doing any evaluation or thought work.

:  Staying in negative emotion willingly

:  Consciously giving up

:  Short changing ourselves

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Learn Your Body's Language ...

"The body has its own way of knowing, a knowing that has little to do with logic, and much to do with truth, little to do with control, and much to do with acceptance, little to do with division and analysis, and much to do with union."

-- Marilyn Sewell

Are you aware of your body’s wisdom? Our bodies usually know us better than our minds do. If you have a decision to make, consult your body before making a final choice.

Reflect on an option before you and then pay attention to your body. Are you breathing deeply or barely at all? Are your muscles tense or relaxed? Is your energy blocked or flowing?

Your body knows what it likes and it feels good when it's happy. As your body is the source of your vitality, your motivation, your inspiration and enthusiasm and most importantly, your intuition, it's best to get that part of you on-side if you are venturing into a new activity.

"When you are saying that you are happy and you are not, there will be a disturbance in your breathing. Your breathing cannot be natural. It is impossible."
-- Osho

"Our inner guidance comes to us through our feelings and body wisdom first -- not through intellectual understanding. ...The intellect works best in service to our intuition, our inner guidance, soul, God or higher power -- whichever term we choose for the spiritual energy that animates life."
-- Christiane Northrup

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Dump Your Excuses ...

“ The thing that cowardice fears most is decision. ” 
~Soren Kierkegaard

Sometimes, if we don't have success after repeated attempts to do something, we can lose confidence and eventually give up trying. It's called "learned helplessness" (we learn to be helpless).

Are there any areas where you, your team at work, your family... have STOPPED trying (or try, but with little commitment and effort) because prior repeated failures and/ or a perceived inability to succeed has trained you not to try?

If so, what can you start doing today to minimize any "learned helplessness" that may have set in?
Think about it ... If you need a reminder to dump your excuses, here's one:

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Relationship Reflection ...

Every relationship rests on three legs: accepting, supporting and challenging ...

That's really it, isn't it? You want your relationships to be grounded on accepting each other as you are. On supporting each other through the inevitable ups and downs. On challenging each other to become more, to grow, to flourish ...
Which one of these is the more difficult one for you, and how are you going to practice on improving it in the next 24 hours?

Friday, January 20, 2012

Fix Your Focus ...

"What we focus on, we empower and enlarge. Good multiplies when focused upon. Negativity multiplies when focused upon. The choice is ours: Which do we want more of?"   

~Julia Cameron

Negativity sucks away energy. If part of the negativity stems from your attitude or perspective, commit yourself at the beginning of each day and each activity to find something positive in yourself and in others around you. If the people around you are negative and you can't change that, either remove yourself from the situation or view it simply as one obstacle you face in pursuing your own potential. Stay focused on your own goals and make the best of the situation.

People who project negativity typically have low self-esteem. They feel badly about themselves, and their negativity is simply a reflection of those feelings. Don't be one of those people.  And if you are, stop it!  

Take control of your negative feelings, negative self image, insecurities and self-doubt.  Don't waste another second of your life living in a limited state of mind.  This is your life and you only get one! Let today be your day to change for the better and live up to your highest potential! "Every moment that passes by is another chance to turn it all around." ...   

Dwelling on the negative simply contributes to its power ...  Do not give negative feelings your power.

 "Accent your positive and delete your negative." 
~ Donna Karan

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Always Be True to Yourself ...

"This above all; to thine own self be true, and it must follow, as the night the day, thou canst not then be false to any man." ~  William Shakespeare

Be true to the light that is deep within you. Hold on to your joy for life. Keep good thoughts in your mind and good feelings in your heart. Keep love in your life , and you will find the love and light in everyone.

Be giving , forgiving , patient , and kind. Have faith in yourself. Be your own best friend , and listen to the voice that tells you to be your best self.

Be true to yourself in the paths that you choose. Follow your talents and passions ; don't take the roads others say you must follow because they are the most popular. Take the paths where your talents will thrive - the ones that will keep your spirits alive with enthusiasm and everlasting joy.

Most of all , never forget that there is no brighter light than the one within you. Keep on being true to yourself. Keep shining your light on others so they will have a reason to smile. Follow your inner light to your own personal greatness , and remember that you are admired and loved just as you are.
by Jacqueline Schiff via Positive Thoughts >>
  "Learn to... be what you are, and learn to resign with a good grace all that you are not. "Henri Frederic Amiel

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Today, We Are Striking Against Censorship !

Join us in this historic moment: tell Congress to stop this bill now!

Daily Geisha will be offline today, because the US Senate is considering legislation that would certainly kill us forever. The legislation is called the PROTECT IP Act (PIPA), and would put us in legal jeopardy if we linked to a site anywhere online that had any links to copyright infringement.

This would unmake the Web, just as proposed in the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA). We don't want that world. If you don't want it either, visit for instructions on contacting your Senator. The Electronic Frontier Foundation has more information on this and other issues central to your freedom online. Or simply inform yourself on the information provided here and sign the petition below ...  Please do not delay, as this bill is expected to pass on January 24th, 2012. (Six days from today.)


Daily Geisha

The Power of Kindness ...

“Don’t wait for people to be friendly. Show them how.”
"... I’ve learned we don’t need to live life in a constant state of reaction to things that seem difficult or unfair. We don’t have to be the victims of bad coming at us. Our lives don’t have to be the sum of our problems—not if we take responsibility for putting good into the world.

That starts by fostering a greater appreciation for our interdependence. We are not alone. The world is not against us, and we don’t have to be against each other. We don’t have to let our fears, insecurities and wants boil over inside us until we’re all a bunch of incompatible toxic chemicals waiting to explode the second we collide.

You can always find a negative story to tell—some situation when another person was insensitive, selfish, uncaring, unfair, or just plain wrong. You can also find an underlying struggle that doesn’t justify but might explain their behavior.
If you absolutely can’t channel that compassion and patience, you can always find at least one good thing someone did in your day.

When that stranger held the elevator open, when your coworker let you take the lead in your meeting, when your mother called just to say she loves you; they’re all reminders people are looking out for you—maybe not all of them, and maybe not all the time, but probably more than you notice.

An even better way to honor our interconnection: be someone else’s positive story. Be the kindness that reminds someone else the world is not against them. Give them an anchor of positivity to find later if their circumstances seem overwhelming.

If you’ve ever ended a stressful day with a long hug—the type that’s so needed and loving it’s near impossible not to relax and receive—you know the power of a simple gesture ... "

~Lori Deschene
  "Do unto others as you would have them do unto you!"
This has been yet another amazing post that has totally re-aligned my perspective today. Thank you, tinybuddha :
Read the rest of the amazing post and more from Lori Deschene >>

Friday, January 13, 2012

Train Your Soul ...

“Wise are they who have learned these truths: Trouble is temporary. Time is tonic. Tribulation is a test tube.” 

~William Arthur Ward

Life’s tests don’t come when we’re prepared for them. They come when we’re not. How spiritual we are isn’t just about how much we smile or share – it’s also what we do when we get tested.

One thing’s for sure: our inner opponent is never going to take us on when we are ready. One way to insure we make it through those trying moments is to conduct ourselves like boxers - keep hitting even when we’re hurt, and let our natural instincts take over.

The idea is to train our soul. To make our standard action an affirmative one. Start by making your small reactions more positive, and you’ll soon hold up when the big challenges come at you...  

Expect less.  Hope for the best.  ALWAYS be prepared!

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Karma ...

"Karma's only a bitch if you are."

Karma is...  

Action. Reaction. Everything that you do initiates a chain of cause and effect, a twisting path of action and reaction extends infinitely out in to our future and rebounds indefinitely into our past.  But this infinite chain is circular; what you send out returns. 

In the East, karma gives us a guide to this principle. It comes in many forms, practiced by many religions, but at its heart is the notion that what you do, good, ill, neutral, will come back upon you.
It is not a revenge, nor a cosmic punishment; it is more like a ledger, a cosmic balance sheet. You can not do something without some effect rebounding back to you. 

In the West, karma is not an explicit part of our philosophy, but it is inherent in the golden rule; do only to others what you would have them do to you. 

Karma can guide you. Not by fear of punishment, but by acceptance of balance.

Monday, January 9, 2012

Life Is Simple ...

"Life is not complicated.  We are complicated.  When we stop doing the wrong things and start doing the right things, life is simple."

So starting today…

Stop berating yourself for being a work in progress. – Start embracing it!  Because being a work in progress doesn’t mean you’re not good enough today.  It means you want a better tomorrow, and you wish to love yourself completely, so you can live your life fully.  It means you’re determined to heal your heart, expand your mind and cultivate the gifts you know you’re meant to share. May we all be works in progress forever, and celebrate the fact that we are!

Stop doing immoral things simply because you can. – Start being honest with yourself and everyone else.  Don’t cheat.  Be faithful.  Be kind.  Do the right thing!  It is a less complicated way to live.  Integrity is the essence of everything successful.  When you break the rules of integrity you invite serious complications into your life.  Keep life simple and enjoyable by doing what you know in your heart is right.

Stop meaning what you don’t say. – Start communicating clearly.  Don’t try to read other people’s minds, and don’t make other people try to read yours.  Most problems, big and small, within a family, friendship, or business relationship, start with bad communication.  Someone isn’t being clear.

Stop wasting time and money trying to acquire more of everything. – Start focusing on quality.  High quality is worth more than any quantity, in possessions, friends and experiences.  Truly ‘rich’ people need less to be happy.  Live a comfortable life, not a wasteful one.  Too many people buy things they don’t need with money they don’t have to impress people they don’t know.  Do not spend to impress others.  Do not live life trying to fool yourself into thinking wealth is measured in material objects.  Manage your money wisely so your money does not manage you.  Read The Millionaire Next Door.

Stop spending time with negative people. – Start spending time with nice people who are smart, driven and like-minded.  Relationships should help you, not hurt you.  Surround yourself with people who reflect the person you want to be.  Choose friends who you are proud to know, people you admire, who love and respect you – people who make your day a little brighter simply by being in it.  Life is too short to spend time with people who suck the happiness out of you.  When you free yourself of negative people, you free yourself to be YOU – and being YOU is the simplest way to live.

Stop trying to change people. – Start accepting people just the

Friday, January 6, 2012

Compassion in Action...

"Love and compassion are not necessities, not luxuries. Without them, humanity cannot survive. With them, we can make a joint effort to solve the problems of the whole of humankind." ~Dalai Lama

When we look at the vast sadness and suffering in the world, we often experience intense pain in our hearts. The suffering so often seems cruel, unnecessary, and unjustified ~ reflecting a heartless universe. The human greed and fear that are causing much of the suffering seem out of control. But when our hearts open in the midst of this, we want to help. This is the experience of compassion.

Compassion is the tender opening of our hearts to pain and suffering. When compassion arises in us, we see and acknowledge what we often push away ~ the parts of life that cause us sadness, anger or outrage. The powerful awakening of our own compassion can tune us not just to the nurturing and sustaining forces of the world, but to the oppressive and destructive ones as well. 

When we open to these directly and become familiar with them, instead of avoiding them as we often do, we are more likely to hear ways to respond with love and support to relieve the suffering. When the pain is our own, we want to end it. If we can't do this by ourselves, we long for help. When it is not our cry, but someone else's, compassion allows us to feel it as our own, to feel the same longing, to hear our hearts calling us to help.

The Dalai Lama has said, "Love and compassion are not necessities, not luxuries. Without them, humanity cannot survive. With them, we can make a joint effort to solve the problems of the whole of humankind."

Compassion is the basis of all truthful relationships: it means being present with love ~ for ourselves and for all life, including animals, fish, birds, and trees. Compassion is bringing our deepest truth into our actions, no matter how much the world seems to resist, because that is ultimately what we have to give this world and one another.

-by Ram Dass (Mar 10, 2003)

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Keep Your Resolutions Alive ...

"Yesterday, everybody smoked his last cigar, took his last drink and swore his last oath. Today, we are a pious and exemplary community. Thirty days from now, we shall have cast our reformation to the winds and gone to cutting our ancient shortcomings considerably shorter than ever."
~ Mark Twain

Mark Twain was right about the problem with the New Year's Resolutions. Most of them are forgotten or abandoned and then we are on the old trampled and familiar paths a month later. But how can we avoid that and actually make lasting changes in 2012?

Well, today I'd like to share a couple of mistakes I have made and often see other people make when it comes to keeping your New Year's resolution. And how you can avoid making those mistakes and make your resolution stick and become a permanent part of your life.

1. You don't really want it that much.

It's easy to tipsily declare your New Year's resolution for 2012 when you got a glass of champagne in your hand. But do actually want it?

Maybe you don't really want it that much. But the world around you or someone in your your life seems to want it. This doesn't mean that you can't achieve it. But it might be better to focus on what YOU really want. Both to steer your life in the direction you yourself want and to create positive internal motivation instead of external pressure you feel you should live up to.

This doesn't mean that you can't use "looking good at the beach" as one motivation to get in shape. But do it because you want to look good. Not mainly because you want other people to validate you.

How do you find out what you really want to do? By really thinking about it. By asking yourself if it is something YOU truly want. And by experimenting and just trying things out (the image you have of something in your head can be quite different from the actual experience). Get to know what you really want in your life.

When you have figured out what you really want take out a pen and piece of paper. Write down all the reasons why you want to achieve this. And then along the way, whenever your motivation starts to go down, review this piece of paper to remind yourself of why it so important do make this change in your life.

2. You confuse homeostasis with "time to give up".

One problem with sticking with your resolution is homeostasis. What that means is that any system wants to be stable. That goes for you. And for the people around you.

So after the initial enthusiasm wanes it may not feel as that much fun anymore. It's sort of enthusiasm backlash. This is the homeostasis kicking in within your mind (no matter if the goal/habit etc. is actually very positive for you). It's a resistance to change to keep the system (you) stable. If you are simply aware of this being what it is - rather than a signal to give up - you can persevere, be patient and keep going more easily.

You should also be aware that the homeostasis may appear in the people around you too. Sure, you getting shape might be great. But it might mean changes in the lives of the people around you too (perhaps new food and nights spent running instead of watching TV with the family etc.). So the people around you may react negatively in some way. Realize that it is probably the homeostasis in them, not that they are being mean. It's their brains doing what's natural to keep the system (the family, the circle of friends) stable when "scary change" intrudes.

3. You don't have a realistic plan and expectations.

It's easy to get caught up in the enthusiasm and to think that your resolution will be taken care of within a few weeks. In reality, however, things tend to take longer than we may have hoped for. Especially if you haven't done anything similar before and lack actual experience to draw understanding from.

To make a realistic plan you need to educate yourself. Not just draw up some random plan. Have a look at some well respected books - for instance by checking the Amazon rating/reviews for them - and websites on the topic you're interested in. Talk and listen to people who have actually done what you want to do.

I would also recommend focusing on making the activity the goal, not the result. If you focus on losing 20 pound and misjudge the time and effort it will take to do that then it's very easy to become disheartened and give up.

So focus on the process, focus on - for instance - working out 3 times a week instead. Make that your habit and adjust the difficulty along the way. You should still have your goal of losing those pounds in your mind and measure from time to time. But keep your main focus on just going to the gym or running track consistently, week in and week out. The pounds will come off as a side effect of that habit.

With a realistic plan where you focus on consistent action it become easier to be more patient. And also not to give up when you are faced with homeostasis or the inevitable mistakes and temporary failures along the way.

4. You're not changing your environment to suit you.

I think this is an important and sometimes overlooked point. To be able to change you may have to change parts of your daily environment to better support you when establishing your new habit.

  • Make it easy. The weather can be pretty bad this time of year. So it becomes very easy to rationalize to yourself that you don't have to go to the gym because of the snow or rain. So make it easier. Buy some free weights and/or an exercise bike and work out from home. This can really help you to improve your consistency.
  • Make it fun. You don't have to go running if you never really liked it. You can play soccer if you think that is more fun. Try different activities to find what fits you.
  • Remind yourself. You memory is often not that good when you are doing something new, at least for the first month. So put a reminder on the fridge to work out after supper. Put out your training clothes and running shoes so you notice them (instead of having them tucked away in the closet where you forget about them). You may even want to put up your note with all the reasons for sticking with your resolution by your bathroom mirror to get a motivational boost at the start of each day.
  • Remove easy availability. If you are going to eat healthier this year then one simple but effective tip is simply to remove the easy availability. So toss out all the cookies and then fill up that vacuum in your life by filling your cupboard and fridge with healthier snacks like fruit and nuts.

5. You let temporary failure or mistakes lead to giving up completely.

I failed and gave up three or four times before I could establish a habit of working out three times a week. I know other people that have failed several times before they were able to switch to a new way of eating and finally stick to it. And Edison failed several thousands of times before he got the light bulb to work as he wanted.

So you got to understand that failure is normal. And the best route is to keep going and gain understanding from your failures or mistakes. Social conditioning and homeostasis often seems to lead us to believe that if you fail you should go home and not ever try again.

But the most successful people are so successful just because they failed, learned and tried again. And again. They are successful because they view failure and mistakes as something valuable instead of something that is simply dreadful and painful.

2012 will pass no matter what you do. You will arrive at New Year's Eve this year too.

So if you fail or make some mistakes, so what? Since the time will pass no matter what you do you might as well try again. By doing that you can make 2012 your best year ever.

I hope this email will help you to make that New Year's resolution stick and to get 2012 off to a positive start,

by Henrik

Want to learn much more about living a simpler, happier and less stressful life where you dare to follow and achieve your dreams in 2012? Then have a look at my four premium courses and guides:

The Self-Esteem Course - Stop feeling lousy about yourself and start living a life of self-happiness where you live up to your potential and dare to follow your dreams today.
Simplicity - Simplify six of the most important areas in your life with this course.
The Art of Relaxed Productivity - Double or even triple your productivity and effectiveness and at the same time minimize stress.
The Power of Positivity - How to become a more mindful, motivated, action-taking optimist.