Some say that experience is the best teacher. Others say it is the only one.

But what do we learn from our experiences?

Do we use them as lesson to learn how to improve ourselves, or do we use them as reasons why we should be fearful, angry and upset?

Better yet, do we use our experiences to learn more about ourselves and how we should up in the world?

What you have you learned lately about yourself?

What have you learned lately about your relationships with others?

And now that you’ve learned that, what will you do with it?

The world is waiting for you….

Black Friday. Cyber Monday. Giving Tuesday.

How many days do we dedicate to shopping, giving, doing things for others?

How many days do we set aside just to be with ourselves?

When do we give ourselves the gift of reflection, peace, and rest?

If we allow ourselves, we can always find something to distract us from our internal life, whether it is politics, world events, or disasters.

As we approach the end of the calendar year in the western world, why don’t we take some time to pause and really look at our lives?

Are we happy? Can we find more joy in our lives?

Who do we want to be with more?

What does our heart tell us we should focus on more?

Simple questions. Will you take the time to sit with them and listen to the answers?

It has been said many times that life is filled with pain, but suffering is optional.

When we look around the world it is hard to believe that suffering is optional, yet when we look at suffering in our own lives, we can see that it is based on our response, not on our pain.

We all feel pain at different times. It could be from an injury, from a broken relationship, or from some disease in our bodies, but how we decide to respond to that pain tells the whole story.

Many professional athletes continue to play regardless of the physical pain they feel. Many people who have experienced broken hearts still go out and make new relationships. How do they do it?

It’s all about our relationship to pain, and whether we make it right or wrong. When we make it wrong, that’s where the suffering comes in. When we stop judging the pain and just allow it to be present, we avoid suffering.

Indeed, many times if we just give space to the pain, be present to it, and allow it to teach us whatever lesson it has for us, the pain subsides much faster than when we resist it.

So how do you respond to pain? Is it a lesson or a punishment?

No matter how much we love what we do to as a vocation or to earn a living, we all need to “get away from it all” once in awhile.

The brain needs variety and a break from the normal routine in order to re-charge and re-new.

What does it mean to you to take a break?

Is going away for a weekend enough for you to feel refreshed or do you hold out for those special two weeks off to go to some distant place?

Do you like to visit other cities or go to nature?

To you like to stay close to home or is a change of scenery a must?

Do you like to go to warm climates or does adventurous locales call to your soul?

Everyone is different, and no one form of break is right for everyone. The important thing is, no matter how long or short the break is, that you immerse yourself into something that is far outside of your everyday world.

Things get rearranged all the time.

Life moves not just our own paths, but everything around us as we hurdle through space in constant motion.

Have you ever stopped to wonder how well you deal with change?

Are you comfortable with set routines and having everything stay the same, or do you thrive on the unknown quality of change?

Do you like variety, newness and the unexpected, or does it annoy you, bother you, or even frighten you?

The world is changing at an ever increasing rate. How well do you do in a world of constant change?

People often complain about the weather.

Either it’s too hot or too cold, too sunny or too rainy.

Our perspective is so limited that most of us don’t even realize the implications of those complaints.

Just look at rain, it is so vital for our food and the well being of our eco-system, that without enough of it we would all be living in a desert. Many of us are so sheltered from nature that we don’t even realize that usually there is not enough rain for our region, and the precious day or two of rain is vitally needed for the plants and animals.

We also forget that if our area is enjoying wonderful weather, more than likely there is some place else that is probably having much more severe conditions.

Can we learn to enjoy whatever mother nature decides to give us? Can we learn to see the bigger picture of hope our little space on this planet inter-connects with the rest of the world?

In this world of hustle and bustle, how often do we stop to take time to be playful?

How often do we even have the thought of how to make life more fun and joyful?

Have you noticed how we usually assume that work is work, we have to be serious and get things done, and never stop to think about how we could make the whole process easier by being more playful in it?

When was the last you found a way to be playful at work? At home? With your friends?

If you actually took the time to think about it, how hard (or easy) would it be for you to be more playful in your life, right now, today?

How often do you find yourself in a heated discussion wondering how did things get so loud?

Is the other person accusing you of something or is it just implied?

Did the other person understand the meaning behind your words or did they just take them at face value?

How is it that we ever come to an agreement at all?

Learning not to take things personally, and to listen with an open heart, is essential for good communications.

When you listen are your listening in order to respond to what the other person is saying, or are you truly listening to their words, their inflection, and their intent?

Is the main stream media really serving us?

Are constant reports of ebola or terrorism really doing us any good?

Are you safer for having listened to the broadcasts or read the same thing in every newspaper?

What is the real effect of all this negativity on our collective psyche?

Our minds constantly feed on whatever information we supply it with, and the more fearful, negative, depressing information we see, read and hear, the more our mind will generate fear-based, depressing thoughts.

The worse we feel, the more we feed on those same sources that only re-enforce the same depressing mood.

How do we break the cycle?

Limit the amount of negative news you take in each day, and look for more and more sources of positive, uplifting news. Balance what you focus on so you won’t become so obsessive with all the tragedy in the world.

What is the difference between special and unique?

Everyone wants to feel special, better, flattered.

The truth is that we are all unique, and because we are all unique, it actually isn’t all that special to be unique.

But being unique is far better than being special.

We can all be unique together, letting our own brilliance shine along with everyone else’s brilliance.

We don’t have to be special to have something to contribute to life. That’s because we are all unique, and that uniqueness makes life that much richer, more vibrant, more interesting.

So why don’t we give up this quest to be special and just settle for allowing our true uniqueness to shine?