Thursday, January 29, 2009

Bringing Bliss

Doing what you love will make you happy, but loving what you do will bring you Bliss.

Too often we postpone joy. We thank God it's Friday, we look at vacation brochures, we wait for the kids to grow. Happiness always seems to be something we have to "get to" rather than something we create for ourselves.

We judge our moments. We think that one is better than the other. And, yes, of course some things are really, really good and some things are really, really bad. Life is a cycle after all… but I'm not talking about the biggest moments in your life. I'm talking about where you spend most of your day… usually somewhere in the middle.

The big question to ask yourself is "am I enjoying what I'm doing at this very moment?" (since you're reading this article right now, I hope your answer is yes, but that's another story). So when this moment has passed, when you're in another moment, ask again.

If the answer is no, ask yourself why not. If it's neither a bad moment nor a good moment, are you judging it because you think you should be doing something more exciting… more fulfilling?

Did you know it will take more energy to go off and do something else than it would to simply let go of judgment and just experience it?

One of my favorite stories is of the monk and the Buddha. The monk asks "how can I get rid of my desire to eat and to sleep?" The Buddha replies, "eat, sleep."

The answer really is simple. It's not more complicated than eat, sleep, bathe, take out the trash, do laundry… so enjoy them!! Don't judge it. Don't wish you were somewhere else. Just do each moment with Love.

There are people who would love the luxury of a hot shower or a cold drink. Don't take what you have for granted. Experience your moments as if for the first time, or as if for the last time. Become present in the Present. Happiness isn't something we get OUT of life, it's something we put INTO it.

So enjoy this moment… and your next one too.

Friday, January 23, 2009

Invaded by Fear...

We don't just live in one world; we live in many; from the little world of our private moments, through the worlds of friend and family, all the way to the world at all. You would think that the further away the events, the less of an impact that they would have on your life. Yet since the advent of television, the World that's worlds away has found its way directly into your head.


Right now, between the dishes and dirty laundry are images of death and disaster. The war is one the other side of the planet. For most people, for most of the time, there is no danger. Not directly, but tell that to your mind. Every explosion pounds in your head and fear invades every fiber of your being.

The problem is that fear is here for our survival, to help us fight or flee. When we can do nothing about it though, it just sits inside us and wears us down. When we let it inside us, deeper than the moments that are closer to us, we lose control.

It doesn't have to be that way.

  • Don't mega-dose on the images. You can stay informed without putting yourself through the experience over and over again. Get your news from the newspaper or the radio or the internet.
  • "Support" doesn't mean checking in every minute. You don't have to show you care by watching TV every moment of the day. Watch TV only in a small timeframe to catch up… then go do something else.
  • Remember, YOUR life is important too. Don't trivialize yourself, just because something big is happening elsewhere.
  • It isn't selfish to enjoy yourself. Your mood isn't going to change anything over there, but it will change EVERYTHING over here.
  • You can send light. Whether or not you believe in prayer, having good thoughts is so welcome in a world that generates the fear in your head.
  • Get plenty of rest, eat right and exercise. Take care of yourself. You're the closest and most influential person in your life.


Thursday, January 15, 2009

Optimism = Option for Opportunity

A Pessimist walks into the barn, steps in manure and says "There goes a good pair of boots!"

An Optimist walks into the barn, steps in manure and says "Where's the pony?"

The same events happen to all people - good, bad and indifferent. People just don't realize how much they shape their own experience. Your attitude really does change everything. It not only tints your experience; it dictates the decisions you make next, that have a very direct impact on your future.

A perfect example is company "reorgs" - where lots of employees get shifted around from department to department. It's very uncertain; with people getting half the picture, if at all. They're left to fill in the blanks with their own imagination.

This is where I see the biggest difference between Pessimists and Optimists. The Pessimists paint the whole world with doom-and-gloom, and resign themselves to the "way it is." They say things like "we have no choice" and "it's only going to get worse."

Optimists, on the other hand, are seen as naive, hopeless and hapless... at least by the Pessimists (who by this point are labeling themselves the "Realists"). What the Pessimists often miss are the subtle differences between the Passive Optimists and the Active Optimists.

Passive Optimists are the "hope for the best crowd" that often prove the Pessimists right. The Active Optimists, on the other hand, are the ones that can really take advantage of change -- in the office and everywhere. Here's some qualities of the Active Optimist:

  • Not afraid of change

  • Sees opportunities in every move

  • Doesn't let negative events stop them

  • Doesn't sit by and wait to be victimized

  • If they don't see an opportunity, they seek one

  • They stay proactive, not reactive

  • Does what they can to keep the spirits up of those around them

  • Gets up one time more than they are knocked down

Opportunities don't often come to those that just sit there. By being Active, the Optimist takes actual steps that could lead to advancement. By staying positive, they also have an effect on others that the Pessimists don't. That alone can make all the difference in the world.

Saturday, January 03, 2009

The Best Policy

Now be honest with yourself…. Do you think you're honest? Do you think other people are? Do you really think that honesty is the best policy? Do you really want others to be honest? Can you handle the truth?

Well, to be honest with you… I don't have the answers to that. I have MY answers, sure… but I can't honestly say that those are the right answers.

Well, right or wrong, can you handle this article? If so, read on, gentle readers…


It takes a lot of courage to live your life honestly. It doesn't always get you out of a troubled spot; it can even make things worse. "Honey, does this outfit make me look fat?" is a place where your honesty may never win.

In any case, here's one path to getting yourself to a more honest life:

Face everything head on.

Look at your life as it is, not how you think it should/could/would be. Look at it without judgment. Whenever you become defensive or judgmental about yourself or those things around you, you automatically build walls between you and whatever it is you think is threatening you. This could be anything, from other people and their criticisms of you to your own judgment of yourself.

Be Truthful.

Live with right information, with yourself and others. You don't have to tell your most private thoughts and feelings to every nosey person out there. It just means not being false (Remember that "it's none of your business" is a truth you can also live with.)

Accept it.

You don't have to like the truth, just accept it as Truth. Dealing with the truth is a better foundation to build upon than anything else.

Leave it alone.

Stop twisting things out of shape to fit your moments. You don't have to cover up the truth, decorate it or force it into any mold. "Truth will out," isn't that the way the saying goes? Truth, when left to itself, is truthful. All it needs is your encouragement.

Live as if Truth matters.

If you don't value the truth, you won't honor it. Put Truth above your personal feelings of safety. Make it matter enough to seek it, hold it; live it.

And just for the record, my answers to the questions are "for the most part" ...

...and that's the truth :-)

Thursday, January 01, 2009

Happy New You

A new year is like a blank canvas, waiting for you to paint your masterpiece.


Well, Happy New Year everyone. I hope you all had your chance to celebrate another year last night and are looking forward to a brand new one.

There's something about a new year that's exciting. Resolutions are in the air and everyone is fired up to make positive changes in their lives.

It's just really important NOT to make New Year's resolutions, but rather Life Changing Revolutions. Resolutions have a bad reputation of having an expiration date. No one really blames you for quitting in February; in fact they applaud you if you make it to March.

The main focus needs to be on the New You, not the New Year. Think about where you want to be New Year's Day next year... who do you want to be... how do you want to live?

A New You is an every day thing. I've vowed to keep being the person I like, and just stop doing the things that stop me from being all that I can be.

I've created a calendar to help me do that. I'll be adding forms to it over the year and making it even better. For those that buy it, the new forms are free.

It's important to write out your goals and come to understand why you have them, what you want with them and what you want to get from them. Otherwise, we'll rely on our old habits, getting the same results we've always gotten. If we're happy with that, great! If not, there's no time like the present to be who you're going to be in the future.

Make '07 your lucky year!