Tag: love

why do we judge

Are We Doing The Best We Can?

Years ago, while studying the Course in Miracles, I read that we shall not judge one another, because everyone is always doing their best in any given moment.

That stayed with me…….but I didn’t really believe it.

Looking around, it appeared that people should know better than to do hurtful things to one another, ignore each other, or make stupid choices.

Don’t we all feel that someone has wronged us?

⦁    That our parents did stupid things, hurtful things that we would never do?

⦁    We judge others’ lifestyles, because they look weird to us.

⦁    We see the husband cheating on the wife who believes she is doing her best to make the marriage work.

⦁    The man who chooses not to forgive the father who used to berate and beat him, but now desperately wants a relationship.

⦁    The friend who declares eternal love, but keeps “forgetting” dates to get together, doesn’t call, goes out with other friends and doesn’t invite you.

⦁    Or, the person in the super-market who won’t smile back, just stares or looks away.

⦁    The people that are so irresponsible, it’s hard to understand how they make it through life.

⦁    The person who lies about everything.

Observing all this, it seemed clear to me that it was simply not true that everyone is doing their best.

Some things are just obviously right or wrong and we should know this.

To be truthful, I just didn’t get it…. for years. I continually judged, because it seemed so straightforward to me that some people’s choices were just plain selfish, stupid and mean.

It took some painful events to wake me up (isn’t it always that way!), to humble me and my opinions.

To see it differently.

It took going deeper. It took realizing that we are sacred beings, each of us with a purpose that only God knows.

But it helps to understand. Our mind likes organization and order. So I began taking a closer look at what might prompt some of the behavior that looks so hurtful.

⦁    What causes a person to act selfish?

We are complex beings, but we have learned that there are certain things children need to become healthy, well functioning  adults. If they are deprived of those basic needs, parts of their psyche become misaligned or crippled.

Babies need touch. That’s a fact. Some years ago this tragedy was all over the media about some orphanages in Eastern Europe where babies and toddlers were left neglected in their cribs without human touch. They simply died.
Our body and psyche need to be connected, acknowledged and appreciated. We need to be bound to others, be nurtured, understood and loved. Human beings are social animals.

When our parents are incapable of nurturing our body, mind and spirit, parts of us wither. Typically then it becomes difficult to develop compassion, integrity, understanding, generosity, kindness and connection as we grow into adulthood.

We first have to receive, before we can give to others.

If we do not receive compassion, we can’t give it. If we do not  experience kindness and connection, we can’t give it.

Worse .…..depending on the degree of isolation, we might become narcissistic. That is the epitome of self-centeredness, wherein someone is so lacking that they are incapable of forming a bond or giving selflessly.

So, selfishness, I found, exists on a continuum.

Our ability to give depends largely on what we received in childhood.

⦁    Why are some people always critical?

One of my clients was perpetually criticized and reprimanded as a child. The parents didn’t know any better, because that is how they were raised.
They had good intentions, they believed that this would make him an aware person, who would know the difference between right and wrong.

This young man found himself constantly being critical of others, either aloud or silently. Particularly of his girlfriend. He was letting her know that he knew better and she needed to listen to him. He was certain he was doing the right thing. Eventually she left him. This scenario repeated a few more times until he realized he needed some help.

He felt so insignificant as a child, that by degrading someone else as an adult, he made himself feel more significant.

It’s painful for everyone involved, because the person who is hurt by the behavior suffers and the person who perpetrates recognizes on some level that something isn’t right. They may even feel imprisoned in their emotional state.

⦁    What about all the other strange behaviors?

Sometimes we have a deep fear that we will not get what we need from others. That we don’t really deserve anything good.
We develop coping skills, we will find a way to survive.

That may include drinking, drugs, sex, overeating, anger, avoidance, denial, too much activity…..keeping busy so we don’t have to be present. We get quite creative with the possibilities.

Carol grew up in an uncertain, frightening environment. As a little girl, she watched her bi-polar schizophrenic mother being taken away in a straight jacket, never to return. Her father dealt with his despair by drinking, screaming and physically abusing his children; waking them up in the middle of the night to have them pull weeds naked. Carol’s older brother left home to join the army as early as he could. Then her younger brother ran away. This left her unprotected, afraid and alone. She often had to sleep outside and didn’t know when the next meal would come.

This little girl only knew chaos, there was nothing safe and solid to hold onto.

As an adult, Carol can only focus on one thing at a time, she is easily overwhelmed. She is full of anxiety and needs to verbally outline everything she will be doing for the next few days. She has lived in the same home for most of her life and is very obsessive on how she arranges her things and her life.

One of her coping skills is denial.

Denial of her deteriorating marriage, her advanced age, the state of her deteriorating home, that time is not standing still…..

This is how she creates a perceived sense of safety.

She is doing the best she can.

⦁    Why do people lie?

As children we don’t want to get in trouble, we want to be loved and accepted. Yet at times there are things we want to do that we know we shouldn’t do.

So we learn to say….it wasn’t me, I didn’t do that.

If  many things are forbidden, we become very creative. We develop a very sensitive radar to what is expected from us.
We learn that it isn’t safe to be truthful, because we won’t be accepted or worse, we will be punished.

This can become a habit, a pattern, as we grow into adulthood.

We all want to be liked. If we suspect that our behavior might upset someone, we just make up a little lie….or a big one, so we can look good to others and continue to be accepted.

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Once we step through the door of understanding, the door widens and……………

…when we begin to see others with compassion, with the intention to love, it becomes clear that everyone is always doing the best they can.

Even if we don’t know their history!

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In life the happy, joyful, peaceful times carry us forward and give us strength. The painful times help us grow…. if we are open to learning.

It’s how we all make it through life. When we know better, we do better.

Looking at it this way then, we are ALL always doing the best we can in any given moment.

Check out another perspective: https://kripalu.org/resources/what-if-were-all-doing-best-we-can

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The Unexpected Break – Mind/Body Science

 

This is the first in a series of newsletters looking at how our feelings affect our lives and bodies. It is powerful knowledge that can help eliminate pain in all areas of your life. If you are struggling with something, send me an email or call.

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The majority (maybe all, but who can prove it) of our physical ailments, diseases or accidents originate in our minds.

I’m a believer in the body/mind concept: The health of our minds and our bodies are inextricably connected to the transformation of our spirit.

In other words, much of what plays out in our bodies is generated by subtle thoughts that we may not even be aware of. We are all conditioned, beginning in childhood, not to pay attention to our feelings and thoughts. These thoughts, which generate feelings, play over and over in our minds until they take form.

An easy to understand example of the mind/body connection is our fight or flight response, which begins with a thought that we are in danger. This activates a hormone and our bodies respond with an increased heart rate and a quicker, more shallow breath.

Another one we are all familiar with is stress. Consistent stress creates tension in our bodies, lowers our immune system and leads to a variety of dis-eases, including heart dis-ease, headaches, etc.

I just broke my right wrist and I have never had a broken bone in my life.

Something wanted my attention!

I am right-handed ……and yes, I’m writing this with my left hand.

But the really crazy thing is that it has been a deeply spiritual, sacred experience for me, because I almost immediately realized why this happened.

Ironically, I also wanted to learn to become more proficient with my left hand, because the left side of our bodies accesses the right brain and our feminine side. Maintaining harmony between the right and the left side, the masculine and feminine, is the key to wholeness.

It happened after it had been raining for days and I wanted to rescue my water-logged plants on the back deck. I opened the french doors and stepped out in my bare feet. My foot slipped on the wet wood and the rest was a blur. That pain has to be an 11 on a scale of 1 to 10. All I could do was lay there in the rain; neither my brain nor any part of my body functioned for several minutes.

After I used my good side to get up and walk back inside to the couch, crying in frustration and pain, I had the awareness that I didn’t really understand what my daughter went through when she broke her arm years ago. Realizing how we don’t know what anyone goes through unless we’ve walked a mile in their shoes, I cried for the suffering of others.

Then I gave in to fear.

I don’t know what it was all about. Fear of aging, laying there helpless, of the unknown, the state of the world……it just spiraled out of control.

I knew I had to call someone, but the person I wanted to call was my girl-friend in another state. It didn’t make sense.

In retrospect I know that I was being guided!!

My friend was out walking on the beach with a Body, Mind, Spirit Counselor, Dale Bach http://dalebach.com/. I don’t even know why she picked up the phone, except that is how everything falls into place when it’s meant to be. My friend quickly put Dale on the phone, who went into healing mode and reminded me that I am always connected a higher source, our creator, God. She instructed me to breathe in that light connection and affirm my ability to heal.

Recognizing that truth, I became instantly calm.

In my pain, I had forgotten what I know as a teacher and counselor:

All our healing, inner and outer, take place as we connect to a higher state in which we forgive and choose love (but that is a topic for another time).

In the emergency room and after wards, while on strong pain medication, I kept having these lucid thoughts, which showed up almost like a movie……..what this “accident” meant and what I was to do with it.

I knew what was going on within me prior to the break, but I chose not to pay attention.

“When we are on automatic pilot, trying to get someplace else all the time without being attentive to where we already are, we can leave a wake of disaster behind us in terms of our own health and well-being, because we’re not listening to the body. We’re not paying attention to its messages; we’re not even in our bodies much of the time,” explains Jon Kabat-Zinn, PhD.

For weeks, I had been working constantly for someone else at something I didn’t want to do. Every day, sometimes 12 hours a day. I felt exhausted and unhappy about it, but didn’t know how to extricate myself from it. Gradually, I had taken on another person’s problem.

I knew I needed to step away, but I kept talking myself out of doing the right thing. Partly, I think, I didn’t want to be thought of badly and I felt needed.

Frequently, we all feel conflicted within: We pray for answers, we know what we should do, but choose not to, because it’s difficult. I’m no different.

Breaking my wrist took care of that. Now I can’t do that particular work anymore.

I am, instead, taking responsibility for myself again. A friend of mine calls it “keeping her side of the street clean”. Sometimes helping is not in the other person’s best interest.

If you call it the universe, or God, or my own mind that engineered this situation…..it was unavoidable under the circumstances.

What this means, however, is very clear.

  • We are never alone.
  • We are always shown our path!
  • We are never victims.
  • We only have to choose to become present, notice the signs and follow the guidance.

I’m so willing to pay attention now and not continue to help manage someone else’s life.

Our purpose is to first learn to love ourselves. Self-Love is not arrogance or entitlement (that’s insecurity). Love thy neighbor AS yourself, Mark 12:31. It is only in being kind instead of critical, patient instead of harsh, loving instead of condemning to our own flawed selves that we can learn to extend that to others. When we finally learn to listen to what we are being guided to do, we can stop interfering in others’ lives. We each have our own journey.

I feel blessed, almost giddy, with my new awareness. It’s no longer just an intellectual knowing. Next time, I plan to learn without hurting myself.

If you are struggling with seeing the purpose of something in your life, send me an email or call. We don’t have to go it alone.

 

804-306-7287

 

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Wayne Dyer’s last gift….it’s free

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We have lost a great soul on this earth. His family posted in social media that: “Wayne has left his body, passing away through the night. He always said he couldn’t wait for this next adventure to begin and had no fear of dying. ” Wayne Dyer has contributed so much to our lives through his books, talks, PBS specials and simply his presence.

One of his famous quotes is: “Love is my gift to the world. I fill myself with love, and I send that love out into the world.”

It was his purpose to re-discover the meaning of life and share it with us, guide us and inspire us. I’m forever grateful to have had the opportunity to experience him in my life.

In honor of his life, Hay House is offering his film “Shift” for a limited time for free. I want to do my part by sharing this link with as many people as I can, because if you are just a little bit willing, it can bring a shift into your life. It is a message we all need to hear.

On some level we are all searching for something. It is built into us, we can’t escape it. We might pretend otherwise, but it keeps tugging at us.

We long to find meaning in our lives, we long for love, peace, joy and purpose.

However, the world we live in is a paradox, an insane place. All you have to do is call a big organization: You will be told “Your call is important to us” and then be put on hold for an indeterminate amount of time. Really?

Governments are meant to serve, but do you feel served or more like a victim of bureaucracy?

We will be punished if we don’t pay our bills, but our governments, who are supposed to represent us, continue to accumulate more debt and print more money. They don’t pay their bills.

Everywhere you look, the action does not reflect the words. The answer is not out there!

Wayne Dyer said: “Society demands conformity at the expense of individual liberty. Let us be for once a non-conformist to be fully alive.”

Our businesses, the media, laws and governments are not run by enlightened, kind, caring people. How can it not be confusing and illogical to follow society’s rules? That is not where the answers are!

In his film “Shift”, Wayne Dyer gently guides us back to ourselves where we have the answers. He does it with such humility, kindness and patience that we lay down our defenses and listen. He does it with such integrity that you feel trust and a willingness to acknowledge the truth of his words.

http://www.drwaynedyer.com/blog/making-the-shift/

So take a few moments to watch this powerful movie and let me know if it made a difference to you.

I’ll leave you with some of my favorite quotes by Wayne Dyer:

If you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change.”

If you have a choice between right and kind, always choose kind”

Live one day at a time emphasizing ethics rather than rules.”

A mind at peace, a mind centered and not focused on harming others, is stronger than any physical force in the universe”

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Marriage

Love is the purpose

 

 

 

Marriage is one of the most difficult relationships to get right. At least a healthy, successful one. Just look at the divorce rate in this country. It’s sad!

There is so much advice out there and I’ve read a lot of it. Some of the tips and suggestions offered seem almost ridiculous.

Yet, isn’t it what we all long for? A relationship in which we can be ourselves, where we feel seen, accepted and can experience true intimacy.

It requires a number of moving parts. People disagree on what they are, but the extraordinary and strong relationships I know have the same ingredients in common.

Here is a summary of essential tips for a happy and rewarding marriage. Joshua Becker is a contributor. You can find his blog at http://www.becomingminimalist.com

1. Love/Commitment. Love is the decision to be committed to another person. It is a daily decision to honor that commitment. It is far more than a fleeting emotion as portrayed on television, the big screen, and romance novels. Feelings come and go, I am sure you have noticed that by now. A true decision to be committed lasts forever – and that is what defines true love. It is a decision to be committed through the ups and the downs, the good and the bad. When things are going well, commitment is easy. But true love is displayed by remaining committed even through the trials of life.

2. Self-awareness. Be willing to look at yourself with some honesty. Watch your behavior. Are you always doing the talking, never listening? Are you really as laid back as you like to think? Do you tell little white lies, but insist that you are a sincere and truthful person? Do you try to please others too much, but feel resentful? You get the idea. If others repeatedly tell you a certain something, maybe it’s time to look if it’s true. It is important to assess yourself on a consistent basis in order to live with integrity in your life and your marriage. What you do, say, feel and think are in congruence. This eliminates conflict.

3. Sexual and Emotional Faithfulness. Faithfulness in marriage includes more than just our bodies. It also includes our eyes, mind, heart, and soul. When we devote our minds to sexual fantasies about another person, we sacrifice sexual faithfulness to our spouse. When we offer moments of emotional intimacies to another, we sacrifice faithfulness to our spouse. It is not ok to complain about your spouse to the opposite sex. Devote yourself to your spouse. Sexual faithfulness requires self-discipline and an awareness of the consequences. Refuse to put anything in front of your eyes, body, or heart that would compromise your faithfulness, emotional or physical.

4. Humility. We all have weaknesses and relationships always reveal these faults quicker than anything else on earth. An essential building block of a healthy marriage is the ability to admit that you are not perfect, that you will make mistakes, and that you will need forgiveness. Holding an attitude of superiority or constantly criticizing will bring about resentment and will prevent your relationship from moving forward. If you struggle in this area, grab a pencil and quickly write down three things that your partner does better than you – that simple exercise should help you stay humble. Repeat as often as necessary.

5. Patience/Forgiveness. Because no one is perfect (see #3), patience and forgiveness will always be required in a marriage relationship. Successful marriage partners learn to show unending patience and forgiveness to their partner. They humbly admit their own faults and do not expect perfection from their partner. They do not bring up past errors in an effort to hold their partner hostage. And they do not seek to make amends or get revenge when mistakes occur. If you are holding onto a past hurt from your partner, forgive him or her. It will set your heart and relationship free. Sometimes forgiveness takes time, but be willing, because ultimately it keeps you from becoming bitter.

6. Time. Relationships don’t work without time investment. Never have, never will. Every successful relationship requires intentional, quality time together. And quality time rarely happens when quantity time is absent. The relationship with your spouse should be the most intimate and deep relationship you have. Therefore, it is going to require more time than any other relationship. If possible, set aside time each day for each other. Spend time thinking of new and different ways to have fun together. Getting stuck in a rut is deadly.

7. Honesty and Trust. Honesty and trust become the foundation for everything healthy in a marriage. But unlike most of the other essentials on this list, trust takes time. You can become selfless, committed, or patient in a moment, but trust always takes time. Trust is only built after weeks, months, and years of being who you say you are and doing what you say you’ll do. It is about having integrity. It takes time, so start now… and if you need to rebuild trust in your relationship, you’ll need to work even harder.

8. Communication. Successful marriage partners communicate as much as possible. They discuss kids’ schedules, grocery lists, and utility bills. But they don’t stop there. They also communicate hopes, dreams, fears, and anxieties. They don’t just discuss the changes that are taking place in the kid’s life, they also discuss the changes that are taking place in their own hearts and souls. This essential key cannot be overlooked because honest, forthright communication becomes the foundation for so many other things on this list: commitment, patience, and trust… just to name a few.

9. Transparency. This is a part of communication; honest, authentic, soul-baring communication. You have to be willing to share your deepest, sometimes darkest self. There is no holding back or being secretive about certain things. Without this willingness to be open, to be transparent, there can be no true intimacy.

10. Selflessness. Although it will never show up on any survey, more marriages are broken up by selfishness than any other reason. Surveys blame it on finances, lack of commitment, infidelity, or incompatibility, but the root cause for most of these reasons is selfishness. A selfish person is committed only to himself or herself, shows little patience, and never learns how to be a successful spouse. Give your hopes, dreams, and life to your partner. And begin to live life together.

Marriage can be an amazing, nurturing and deeply intimate journey with another human being. Marriage can feed your soul, your heart and your mind. Marriage can be hot and exciting. Marriage can be anything the two of you want to create…….

Marriage requires that you stay present! It is demanding, but the rewards are worth it. Spending your life with another person can bring experiences and emotions that are beyond words.

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Anxiety and Grace

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Most of my life I have had serious anxiety that is most active at night. It seems to have gotten worse over the years, to the point of me feeling almost helpless, as if some other entity is in charge, causing panic-like fear. That is after all what anxiety is, a great fear of things turning out badly.

So many women I know seem to harbor this fear of becoming homeless. That is an example of a serious anxiety. Then there is fear of never having a good relationship, enough money, living a more fulfilling life……on and on. If you haven’t experienced the positive side of these things, then it is difficult to believe you can have them, that life can be better. There is nothing in your history to compare to, nothing to connect to in order to create the feelings of having that good thing.

That is how the anxiety grows and becomes larger than you. Many of us can suppress it or mask it during the day with activity and logic. It’s at night, when it is quiet and logic has left the room, that it grows into a massive monster that torments you for hours.

Taking sleeping pills or general anxiety medication didn’t appeal to me, so I turned to working on my thoughts. I noticed that I didn’t want to think about it too much during the day…..because it is so painful…..so I was left to address it at night when it felt overwhelming. What a monumental task! Kind of like climbing a rock-wall that is leaning forward, it seemed impossible.

I do pray. I know prayer, meditation, visualization and faith work! I prayed for relief, for help with positive thoughts, I demanded to be heard, I cried to be shown love, to accept feeling loved….the kind of love that makes you gentle, understanding and peaceful. I stated that I no longer wanted to accept this horror show, that I expected to be acknowledged and guided. I visualized good, loving outcomes…….

……until one night, it worked!! An other-worldly peace descended upon me, literally! The monster had left. A deep knowing, a trust had taken it’s place. The energy in the room became gentle and good; my heart was filled with love. It was nothing less than GRACE.

 

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How are you feeling now……?

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How are you feeling now….after the Christmas rush? Are you feeling satisfied, at peace, happy with the way your holidays unfolded? Are you feeling sad that it’s over, guilty that you spent so much money, disappointed with the way it turned out? Or are you exhausted?

How do you feel about the commercialism that Christmas has become? It isn’t new, it increases every year. Now there is Halloween stuff on one isle and Christmas stuff on the other. It’s all about consumerism. We get so stressed out over making sure that we buy enough stuff for everybody. What to do if someone gives us something and we don’t have a gift in return? Are we spending as much as the other person spent on us?

Somewhere in the final days of the Christmas season, I hit a wall.  I felt dizzy with my to do list, the hectic, frenzied shopping, the insane traffic, who I still had to shop for and how much I should spend. Every-day-life didn’t stop, I still had to work, call the cell-phone company, go grocery shopping, get the brakes fixed, etc. My mind was all over the place, just not present. God knows how I got from one place to the next with my thoughts playing this crazy game of chase.

So I stopped!

I literally stopped doing anything, sat down and meditated. It was not an easy thing to just sit and get quiet in the chaos. But on the other hand I couldn’t add one more thing to my plate either. The anxiety and stress were making me sick. I couldn’t participate with the craziness anymore. I wanted to enjoy the season! I wanted to experience the moments.

I didn’t want to be a victim of consumerism and the resulting frenzy.

Some things were easy to change, like remembering to breathe and staying calm, smiling at others, becoming a nicer driver….letting people in, not getting upset when I got cut off, and driving a little slower. I cut back on the gifts I chose for only the immediate family. I didn’t send any Christmas cards; I sent facebook messages or emails instead. I chose to bake cookies and plan a nice dinner. Grocery shopping became calmer and more focused.

It was wonderful, as if time obeyed my command and slowed down.

What hurt was that I couldn’t get gifts to my daughter on time. She lives on the other side of the country and I was too late. I felt stuck and confused about how to approach the topic with her. So I was amazed when we resolved this with lots of love on the phone. (I sent the presents late and some money via paypal).

I can say this Christmas season was wonderful! We enjoyed the food and the cookies (I shared with others); we appreciated each and every gift, my family and I loved our time together and all without stress. The miracle was that we even resolved some family issues that normally cause pain and anxiety.

How do you want your Christmas to be next year? It is your choice! You are in charge; make it as crazy or enjoyable as you want. As a matter of fact, this applies to everything in your life.  You can start right now!

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Quick….can you answer this question?

 

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If someone were to ask, “what do you love most about yourself?” What comes to mind? Do you have a quick answer, or does it take some thought? Can you even come up with an answer?

It probably depends on the kind of day or week you are having. We can more easily access that self-love when we have good days, when things are flowing, relationships are calm. On difficult days– the kind that are full of struggle, too much activity and doubt– that self-love can virtually disappear or play a serious hide and seek.

When I was asked that question just the other day, I drew a blank. Nothing, I mean nothing came to mind.

What is going on, my Self admonished itself. You must know something you love about yourself. You have been working on this all your life. What a fraud you are!

I began to frantically dig around in the hidden cabinets of my mind, where this important information is stored. Nothing! Oh I found some crumpled reminders to love my body, to do loving things for myself, to take some moments each day……blah blah.

All this searching stressed me out. I had to come up with an answer, I was being held accountable.

OK, deep breath. “You’ve had a massively challenging week. You got this.” I took the comforting approach toward Self.

What I found was that when we have too much going on, that old recording starts playing again. You know the one we keep working on; those negative voices that have a never ending reservoir of our inadequacies and shameful secrets. They just sneak in, you don’t even notice them, they are so stealthy and quick. That is why it is so important to stop every so often and not let life overwhelm us. That is why we have to take some time to play, be silly…..and not take things too seriously. Because when we play, we literally shut the door to those voices, they can’t find the entrance.

Especially now during the holidays! Let’s take a deep breath together and take it easy for a minute, find a moment to fool around, have fun, be silly.

Oh yeah, and I found the cabinet. I can answer that question now.

Lots of Love and fun….

Christina

 

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Are you weirder than me?

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I recently moved because of my neighbors. I couldn’t live next to those weird people anymore.

We, the neighbors and I, judged one another harshly for being different.

We couldn’t accept each other.

It just seems so difficult to do with all these weird people around us!  Don’t you think those thoughts? Don’t you believe that your lifestyle is really the best way and if everyone just understood that, the world would be a better place?

I sure did.

Staying in the same place all their lives is some people’s idea of a good life, while others love to travel and move around. Some wouldn’t do without a routine; others can’t stand the same thing every day. Some people stay married for life and judge others for getting divorced.

And what is it with gay people? Are they born that way or did they learn that? What about people that hoard, or women with muffin tops and super-tight shirts? What are they thinking? Why do some people, especially guys, talk sooo loud on their cell-phones in public?

We could go on all day like that. It’s really easy to get stuck on someone else’s odd behavior.

I’ve been thinking about that a lot lately. Mostly because I want to be loving and accepting.

My parents were incredibly judgmental about others, about the smallest stuff even, like the way someone wore their hair or their make-up. One day I listened to my mom go on about the way my aunt was chopping onions. I mean really, what difference does it make?

It made me want to figure out how we could learn to accept each other more.  Would it really be better if we were all similar?

I decided to look at Nature. It is incredibly diverse.

Just look at a rose, such beauty that comes with thorns. How about a dandelion, a flower that changes and then you can puff it into the wind? There are rare, exotic flowers and there are wildflowers, there are brightly colored flowers, intricate and simple flowers. Some are long blooming and some have a very brief lifespan.

What about the animals? Some mate for life, some never mate. Some live in groups, some are loners. Some prefer same sex, some are loud, some are quiet, some are big, some are little, some are lazy, some super-industrious………..

My point is, whatever you can dream up, exists in nature. Pretty awesome, wouldn’t you say?

So if it is present in nature, it can’t be absent in human nature.

Human nature mirrors nature!

We CAN accept, appreciate and love the presence of all human nature’s weirdness. We don’t have to hang out with it if it isn’t our thing. We have to take responsibility for surrounding ourselves with what feels right to us, what works for us…….sometimes that means moving.

 

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Loving Orphans Globally

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We work with a non-profit where I know the founder personally. So many Charities keep  over 50% of donations received as salaries for their top executives. Therefore most of your money does not go to the children. There are so many loopholes in the rules and regulations of a non-profit organization that make this misappropriation possible.

I have searched for years to find someone who is honest and cares about the kids.  His name is Richard Lawson. He gives everything that comes in to those children. He works in  Uganda | Kenya | Rwanda | Thailand | Myanmar India | Nepal | Indonesia  He travels to each orphanage to help them become self-sustainable. But even if they are able to provide food and shelter for themselves, there are many “extras” that are beyond their reach.

Our newest project is to provide the Orphanages in Eastern Bali and India with Washers and Dryers.

The poverty there is often unimaginable for us here in the US. Yet those kids are the sweetest, most loving little kids I have ever met. The women who take care of them give their all to make a home for them.
I am calling on you who read my posts to open your heart and give just a little to help two of the orphanages to buy some washers and dryers.
There are about 18 kids in Eastern Bali. They live on a piece of land filled with dirt, bugs and absolutely no amenities. Showers are a bucket of water, clothes are hand-washed in the same bucket and hung to dry on a line in the dust.
Their goal is to become self-sufficient. They have planted papaya and banana, which they eat and trade for other foods . They are raising pigs and chickens. Each of the kids have jobs to contribute to the “family”. Some of these generous, loving, happy children were rescued from the streets where they sometimes lived for years.

The Orphanage in Vishakapatnam, India has less ability to sustain itself. It is a work in progress. Many of us are supporting those kids to create a better living environment for them.
A small amount from a few of you would buy those washmachines. Search your heart. For more information and donations go to www.lovingorphansglobal.org

Our goal is to collect $4000 by Christmas 2013

We currently have $50

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Gratitude

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Gratitude turns what you have into enough. When you are in a grateful state of mind, you’ll feel more positive, life is better and you’ll start attracting more positive people and circumstances. Thankfulness is an attitude that you can practice and develop. The whole experience of gratitude—is really about forcing ourselves to pay attention to the good things in life, things we’d otherwise take for granted. Start a journal about feeling grateful. I don’t think it’s necessary or even all that good to write every single day. There is the tendency to get numb to all the good things in our lives. It is similar to the numbness we develop when watching too much violence and suffering.

Start by feeling grateful for being alive. Give thanks for your body, even if you don’t like everything about it. Imagine not having this body, imagine not being able to touch, see, feel and hear the life around you.  Now look at your hands! Appreciate all they do and feel. Feel your skin as you rub that lotion in, notice as you touch that fuzzy blanket, your furry pet, that round stone from the beach. Hug someone in your family or a friend and really feel them. Do that with your eyes, your ears, your sense of taste and smell………..

So pay attention to your senses! What are you seeing? Notice the things you normally take for granted, like the colors of the flowers or the glistening of the snow. Notice the details in the landscape you see every day. Look at it with new eyes.

Listen, especially when it is quiet. Can you hear the wind rustling the leaves in the tree? Do you hear that dog barking? If he annoys you, imagine not being able to hear anything? That joy of hearing the birds in the morning. People laughing, a song you love, the sound of your kids’ voices……….notice the sounds of life all around you.

Enjoy the taste of your food. We usually gobble our meals without really considering what we are eating or drinking. Savor your food, anything can become a feast if you slow down and appreciate the flavors.

Smell that fresh coffee in the morning. The air right after it rained. The food, the flowers, that perfume you love, the smell of a newborn.

If it all gets to be too much, you are overwhelmed and no amount of goodwill is going to make a difference: get away! Leave the house, the job, the kids, maybe the country. Take some time off. Explore a different way of life. It’s ok, we are all just doing the best we can.

Avoid the trap of being grateful for something that is better than what other people have. Instead, compare whatever you are grateful for and imagine how you would feel if you didn’t have it at all. What if you wouldn’t have that family, those friends, or even your problems. What if you had Steven Hawkins’ problems, or President Obama’s or even your neighbor’s or friend’s problems? Practice gratitude and appreciation for everything in your life: people, abilities, experiences, our planet, plants…..the list is endless.

Usually our best memories are made when we are playful, light-hearted. Realize beauty in every moment, and in everyday activities. Make time for those moments. Be spontaneous. The most playful people are the ones who are most “tuned in” to the present. They’re so fascinated by the world at the moment that they’re always finding ways to engage it! For me one of the best ways to have fun and be completely present is boogie-boarding. It is pure joy to feel the water against my skin as I glide along on the wave.

People who have a strong sense of gratitude and count their blessings are generally happier and healthier. It is tough to feel thankful when things aren’t going right and you are stressed to the max. For that reason it is absolutely essential that you take a deep breath, get in the moment and find something to appreciate. You may tell me that I don’t understand because your deadline is in 5 minutes or the house is on fire……. but I maintain as long as you are physically safe – stop, breathe and find something good about your life right now. Like the old saying goes, “The past is history, the future is a mystery, and the present is a present”.

I love this prayer from Unity Church:

The light of God surrounds me;
The love of God enfolds me;
The power of God protects me;
The presence of God watches over me.
Wherever I am, God is and all is well.

It helps me to become present, to know that in this very moment I have all I need and everything is well. The world will not end because I am late for my appointment or I forgot to send that email. Choose Gratitude!

  • Become present. Know that in this moment all is well.
  • Relax! You can’t appreciate anything when you are stressed
  • Pay attention to your senses.
  • Every once in a while get away from it all.
  • Be playful!

To become a grateful goddess contact me.

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