20170418

Seeing what we don’t want to see about ourselves is some of the hardest work we can do.

Self-examination, self-reflection, and self-analysis is key to truly knowing ourselves. It’s not easy. and it’s not for the timid. It is easy to fool ourselves and believe that we are better than we really are.

It takes true courage and true strength to be raw and vulnerable, especially to ourselves.

None of us want to admit to ourselves that our motives are not so pure, that our desires are more base than we thought. Yet without that inner inspection, without that courageous vision to see ourselves as we truly are and not as we want to be, we cannot change.

We get blindsided by our own faults, our own flaws when we refuse to see them. Others can trick us and get to us through those little hidden dark places we refuse to examine.

It’s not so much about fixing ourselves, although that will happen as well. It’s about shining the light so we can see ourselves more clearly, bring a higher awareness of ourselves, so we can then watch for those little traps that keep us from being true to our ideals and our real spiritual identity.

20170221

When we look at others who have accomplished more than we have so far, it is easy to feel bad about ourselves.

We compare ourselves and see what we haven’t done while this other person has achieved monetary success, reputation and recognition.

Yet somehow, when we meet someone who has achieved much less than us, we don’t compare ourselves and say “Look how much I have done compared to them.”

Yes, many people have achieved a lot even late in life, though there seems to be something we are missing. Something very important.

When we look at what we have done with our lives as compared to someone else, what we don’t see is how we have affected the lives of dozens, hundreds or even thousands of people in small yet profound ways.

Do we know the effect of that one kind word or smile on that person’s life? Do we know the impact of that small bit of positive energy we sent someone’s way?

Perhaps it might serve us better to consider that we have made ripples in an enormous pond, and that we truly will never know what effect that has had on the world.

Accomplishment is not about the accumulation of wealth or fame, but about the energy we spread around us…

20170126

Learning to surf the highs and lows of life is one of our greatest assets.

In the current times we live in, change literally happens on a daily basis. Emotional peaks and valleys accompany this pace of rapid change, and can create havoc in our lives if we let it.

Keeping ourselves in a state of peace, focusing on our practices, whether it is meditation, yoga, exercise or whatever we do to relieve stress and maintain calm, is more important now than ever.

Do you have a daily practice that you follow? If not, now may be the perfect time to start one.

It doesn’t have to be complicated. It doesn’t have to be what everyone else is doing.

It just has to be something that you find fits your temperament and is one that you are motivated enough to do consistently.

We have no control over the events that happen around us. We only have control over how we respond to them. In order to respond in the best possible manner, maintaining our inner-calm is the best support we can have.

What’s your practice?

20170110

Working with groups of people can be a challenge at times. One disruptive person in your company, your business or your clientele can infest others and change the whole experience.

In those situations it is easy to blame the individual, to make them wrong, and to put all the responsibility for the situation in their corner.

The harder path is to look in the mirror.

How are you showing up in that situation? How are you enabling or allowing the unwanted behavior to flourish?

Have you spoken with the individual? Do you know why they are acting out the way they are? Do they feel safe enough to confide in you what is really going on in their life?

When we are hurt, feeling pain, and going through our own challenges, it is easy to ignore the fact that others might also have their own challenges.

Have you taken the time to find out?

Perhaps they are just a disruptive person and for the sake of the group you have to let them go. There may also be a way to resolve the difficulty by opening your own heart to them and finding out what’s really going on.

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?