Monday, December 27, 2010

Desiderata: Old Words, New Meaning

Odd isn't it that words that can be so familar, after a time when we come upon them again, seem suddenly deeply resonant with new meaning? The good old Desiderata hangs on the back of so many toilet doors and in so many hallways that it has almost become wall paper. After speaking with a friend the other day - who surprised herself by bursting into tears as we spoke about an issue close to her heart - I was inspired to look up this classic peace poem and share it with her... and after it's new resonance for me, with you also. Enjoy. 

(By the way, there's a rumour that the Desiderata is not "by Anonymous" and wasn't found in "Old St Paul's Church" but was actually written by Max Ehrmann in the 1920s. I'd be interested to know the truth... if any readers know it!)


Go placidly amid the noise and the haste,
and remember what peace there may be in silence.
As far as possible, without surrender,
be on good terms with all persons. 

Speak your truth quietly and clearly;
and listen to others,
even to the dull and the ignorant;
they too have their story.

Avoid loud and aggressive persons;
they are vexatious to the spirit.

If you compare yourself with others,
you may become vain or bitter,
for always there will be greater and lesser persons than yourself.

Enjoy your achievements as well as your plans.
Keep interested in your own career, however humble;
it is a real possession in the changing fortunes of time.

Exercise caution in your business affairs,
for the world is full of trickery.
But let this not blind you to what virtue there is;
many persons strive for high ideals,
and everywhere life is full of heroism.

Be yourself. Especially do not feign affection.
Neither be cynical about love,
for in the face of all aridity and disenchantment,
it is as perennial as the grass.

Take kindly the counsel of the years,
gracefully surrendering the things of youth.

Nurture strength of spirit to shield you in sudden misfortune.
But do not distress yourself with dark imaginings.
Many fears are born of fatigue and loneliness.

Beyond a wholesome discipline,
be gentle with yourself.
You are a child of the universe
no less than the trees and the stars;
you have a right to be here.
And whether or not it is clear to you,
no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should.
Therefore be at peace with God,
whatever you conceive Him to be.
And whatever your labors and aspirations,
in the noisy confusion of life,
keep peace in your soul.

With all its sham, drudgery, and broken dreams,
it is still a beautiful world.

Be cheerful. Strive to be happy.

Wishful Thinking
Finding Joy Each Day
Beautiful, Perfect, Broken 

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Love Is Letting Go Of Fear

The other day a friend sent me a text message. It said "You'd think I would find it easier to love than be fearful". Yet again she was at a cross roads in her life and, tormented by her expectations for herself and of others, was profoundly uncomfortable. Her lack of peacefulness was like a mantle she was wearing; a tight-fitting, restrictive jacket she was straining to be free of. You could see it in her face, hear it in her voice, her words.

It doesn't seem fair, when you want something so desperately, to find yourself so far away from it. Career, love, home comforts. It is easy to become angry, moody, resentful. Easier still to start to doubt yourself: "Will it ever happen?", "Have I done the wrong thing?", "Is there something wrong with me?", "Have I made bad choices?". You can get desperate, start to make rash choices, react, panic.

Stop. Step back. Breathe.

The sun comes up each day, and sets quietly behind the horizon. Most of us have a roof over our heads, a bit of cash coming in, a few people who care about us. There are birds singing in the trees. A big wide sky overhead. Fish in the oceans (for a while longer anyway).

Trust that the choices you have made were the best you could make being who you are and knowing what you did at that time. You may know better now, be better equipped now to make different decisions, but back then... you didn't. Don't beat yourself up.

Similarly, that glorious future you imagine for yourself... is it stealing joy from your now? Are you so consumed by the picture you have created in your head that you can't be grateful for the wonderful present? Sun on your back, steaming hot coffee, compliment from a stranger...

I was given a book many years ago by a friend. It was called "Love Is Letting Go Of Fear" (by Gerald G Jampolsky). It's a thin book, less than 150 pages. The writing is big. It has cartoons. Six years later I still sleep with it by my bed. I can go weeks without referring to it, but I think about it daily.

Fear, expectations (future), guilt (past) - they steal your peacefulness. They unsettle your day, take you away from this moment, right now. And it is so important that in this moment we are doing everything we can to expand and love and be generous with ourselves and others. By doing so we benefit immediately... and the benefits continue to flow to us over time... and whether those secret dreams of ours come true or not we've been feeling good along the way.

Unlike my friend, whose sleep is disturbed, heart is closed, and head is full of harsh stories of failure and doubt.

I love her and wish her peace. I hope she can shake off that prickly coat (and I hope I can keep mine hanging neatly in the cupboard...)

Practicing Gratitude
Finding Joy Each Day
Do You Hear What People Tell You


Thursday, September 30, 2010

Still Waters Run Deep

Your life can change in a moment. An event. A realisation. A word from a friend. Each of these things can cause a massive, instantaneous shift in you. From that moment on everything you think and do is shaped by that critical moment. You are changed forever, transformed in some way.

For most people though, these moments are rare, and for many, never occur. Instead, we go about our business, and kind of chip away at the Big Picture. Perhaps we hope to slowly build on each experience and opportunity, eventually reaching some kind of wisdom or mastery, or achieving recognition from our boss, or financial reward. Maybe we get a pay rise each year, maybe some years we go backwards a bit.

Is it true that what you have unfolding in your life today is a product of everything that has gone before? Every thought you've had, choice you've made, word you've spoken? Plus a few random external events - such as the country you were born in!

Perhaps you think the "slow building" idea is too optimistic? You could say: "I've been saving my pennies for years but still can't afford a holiday house by the beach"; "I'm a good person - why do my friends keep taking advantage of my generosity?".

What if the chipping-away-it thing is less about the external world (career, possessions, recognition) and a everything to do with you, honing who YOU are and want to be... getting a little bit better everyday at being consistently that person: more generous, more considered, less angry, more tolerant, less reactive, more fun, calmer, more hopeful, more engaged (whatever qualities matter to you).

If you build on YOU over time, then, at some point it is simply a matter of choosing where you put your attention: campaigning for a new park in your local area, building a business, becoming a salsa dancing teacher... whatever floats your boat! You'll know that however you tackle the task at hand it will be done by the best you it is possible for you to be at that time.

Impact? Explosive. Think of this "best yourself" as a river, wide and deep, life-giving; and your  project, an opportunity for creative expression, the waterfall. Beautiful, powerful, profound.

After years of flowing quietly through the countryside, suddenly the river has it's moment. And when you shine, the world benefits.

Poem By Hafiz: About That Moon
Quotes About Love
How To Practice Gratitude


Monday, August 30, 2010

Poem by Hafiz: What Should We Do About That Moon?

Do you have days where you find yourself anxious for no reason? Life may be good, with no dramas to report, and yet you feel an inner tension? Something is eating at you. Even the fact that something's eating at you eats at you!!! And peace is far away. Well, this little poem was written more than six hundred years ago... just for YOU.

Yes, I am still enjoying the poetry of 14th Century mystic Hafiz, the great Sufi master. My most recent delight is this one.

I hope it also speaks to you.

What Should We Do About That Moon?

A wine bottle fell from a wagon
And broke open in a field.

That night one hundred beetles and all their cousins

And did some serious binge drinking.

They even found some seed husks nearby
And began to play them like drums and whirl.
This made God very happy.

Then the "night candle" rose into the sky
And one drunk creature, laying down his instrument,
Said to his friend - for no apparent

"What should we do about that moon?"

Seems to Hafiz
Most everyone has laid aside the music

Tackling such profoundly useless

Two Fat Men Laughing


Monday, July 12, 2010

Two Giant Fat People - by Hafiz

This is a delightful poem by the 14th century poet and mystic Hafiz, a Sufi master. It's taken from the book titled "The Gift, Poems By Hafiz, The Great Sufi Master", translated by Daniel Ladinsky. It's amazing his work survives, though I understand a great deal of it has been lost. I hope you enjoy it.

And I have become
Like two giant fat people
Living in a
Tiny boat.
Bumping into each other and

Touched By An Angel - Maya Angelou
Practicing Gratitude


A Few Kind Words

Is it so difficult to offer a kind word from time to time? Are our own selfish aspirations so much more important than the people we interact with that we can guiltlessly cause them pain in pursuit of our own goals? Who are we to disturb the peace of another? Why should we walk away from an interaction unscathed, but leave another mortally wounded behind us? Would it matter that much if you spent an extra few minutes per day taking the time to speak with compassion?

Yes. It would.

It would make an enormous difference to the harmony of the world - and, for your trouble, rather than losing, you would win; you'd be trading a little bit of your time to contribute peace. Peace could be your legacy.

Surely that is a personal aim worth shooting for.

Happiness Is Catching
Do The Opposite
Doing It Anyway

Monday, June 28, 2010

True Champions For Peace

Not sure why the phrase "champions for peace" popped into my head but, on impulse, I did what every good cyber citizen sitting by a computer does and Googled it... Two results came back that hit home. The first was to a book of that name called "Champions For Peace - Women Winners Of The Noble Peace Prize" by Judith Hicks Stiehm, and the other was a link to a site about the International Solidarity Movement (ISM) and the Israeli / Palestinian conflict.

Suddenly I was in over my head. As I scanned this "peace with realism" page and came to the lengthy references at the page's end I felt tremendous anxiety. Walking side by side with peace is conflict, death, anger, pain, justification and passion on all sides, opposing positions, huge consequences. Wading into the cause of peace brings you brushing right up against it's opposite. Contrast... as it is with so many things. They are the other side of the same coin. Love / fear. Joy / grief. Victory / loss. If one team wins a soccer game, then the other must, by definition, lose (yes, we have World Cup fever here at the moment).

The person who wrote that page about the ISM wrote with passion, conviction, indignation. Tragic deaths were cited, excitable words used, and very specific examples given to illustrate the point. I am so ignorant of the topic I would not even begin to suggest the slightest hint of an opinion about the materials that website contains... rather it is the emotion behind the page that interests me, the incredible tension within the words of that page, the thousands of people who have read it and linked to it to push it so high up the Google rankings...

 ...and the constant challenge each of us have each day to stay on the peaceful side of conflict.

When did you last have a sleepless night? Perhaps it was work stress that was keeping you up, or a disagreement with a friend or partner, anxiety about an exam... a noisy neighbour? It is probably not a stretch to suggest that at some point, as you lay there trying to rest, you felt a spark of anger. "How could she speak to me like that?"; "How dare they turn the music up so loud so late at night?" etc.

It's true, there are "big time" champions for peace out there who are tackling conflict on a large scale, extreme conflict, violence, injustice, big, nation-wide issues... like the Noble Prize winnng women, and others who are vocal about peace... perhaps even, in his way, "Carlos" the author of the anti-ISM page... and that may not be your calling in life BUT...

...what you do and how you react to the issues and conflicts that come up in your life all contribute to a culture and community of peacefulness or conflict. Do you honk your horn at a fellow driver? Or slow down and waive him into the lane ahead of you? If someone yells at you do you yell back or step away and remove yourself from the drama? Do you make choices in your daily life to support and increase your peacefulness and that of others or do you find yourself perpetuating tension? (Gossiping at the water cooler).

You don't have to have your name mentioned in a book to be a true champion for peace and you don't have to let the world "walk all over you either". In fact, you don't even have to succeed at being peace-making!!! It's the constant re-committment to trying again, doing better, striving for a more harmonious outcome that is what it's all about.

Hopefully, as we all get better at being peace champions, instead of giving us bigger tests, the universe will reward us with more peaceful lives and help us to "increase the peace" for others. Or perhaps just being  peaceful - showing that it is possible - will be enough to inspire greater peacefulness in another...

Laughter To Age Ratio

I came across this curious fact the other day and it struck a chord. There's a girl at work who laughs almost every time she speaks. Quite frequently she laughs so hard she cries... I wonder if she has "the laughter gene", if her family sit around chuckling together at night? She makes the rest of the people in our quiet office (me included!) seem very sedate.

Anyway, here's my curious fact about laughter:

"Six-year-olds laugh an average of 300 times a day. Adults laugh 15 to 100 times a day."

Is the world more entertaining to a six year old? Do they have more time to notice the funny stuff? Is there a chemical change that takes place as we get older that evens out our "laughter-bility"? Or do kids just eat way more sugar than the grown ups and, happy by-product, get more giggles as well?

If you can answer any of my questions I'd love to hear from you!

Tricks For Finding Joy Each Day
Useful Day Dreams
Things You Love To Do

Monday, May 31, 2010

Saying Yes To Joy

Is depression a state of mind? A chemical imbalance? A nutritional deficiency? A sign of alcoholism? I am not qualified to say, nor am I game to offer an opinion. Without question, at times people are overwhelmed, feel isolated, disconnected, and are lost in despair. Do they fit some pharmaceutical company definition of "depressed"? Perhaps. Perhaps not. Either way, clearly, their experience of joy is fleeting or not existent. A tragedy of itself. Would medication help? Maybe. Going for a run? Most likely. A hug? Possibly.

I have a friend who is struggling at the moment. (Really - not a fictional friend, but a really truly person with a phone, a job, a car and various family issues). I'm not sure how to support him. We could talk for hours but words are just words, at the end of the day. After speaking with him for quite a long time last night I hung up the phone and felt flat, nearly angry.

I acknowledge that I am lacking the necessary skills to help him - and quite possibly he needs professional assistance. I couldn't help but feel though, after that call, that each time an opportunity presented itself for my friend to choose good feelings, or tell himself a better story, he was consciously, deliberately choosing to see the worst, berate himself, blame others. He's a very smart guy. I know he knows what he is doing. I just don't understand why... when it was all making him feel so bad.

That is why some people need professional help; counsellors and doctors who can stay neutral. I am not neutral. I want him to be happy, feel good, turn his life around... baby step by baby step. Choosing a funny movie instead of a drama, eating a decent meal instead of opting for a liquid dinner, trying on "thank you", instead of "thanks for nothing".

In short, I just fervently wish he would start to say yes to joy. The bad stuff may still be present in his life - siblings and bad bosses don't tend to go away overnight - but focussing on the good things, kindness, sunshine and opportunities - or just starting each day with a corny joke - might help? Perhaps, right now, it is just beyond him.

It's not beyond me though. So I thought I'd share a little something with you. It's something that's giving me joy at the moment. Our family has a new kitten... here he is! (How funny that he matches the bedspread!). We haven't given him a name yet so if you have suggestions please feel free to share them. (Note: toy mouse in background).

What about you? Are there things in your life that create a spark of joy? Things that make you feel good even on a flat day? Are there ways you could be saying yes to joy that perhaps you have overlooked?

Quotes About Love
Allowing Love In
Practicing Gratitude

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Poem - Touched By An Angel - By Maya Angelou

This is such a lovely poem about love and freedom and the classic type of contradiction that seems to be present whenever we humans try to express those things that remain inexplicable.

Touched By An Angel

We, unaccustomed to courage
exiles from delight
live coiled in shells of loneliness
until love leaves its high holy temple
and comes into our sight
to liberate us into life.

Love arrives
and in its train come ecstasies
old memories of pleasure
ancient histories of pain.
Yet if we are bold,
love strikes away the chains of fear
from our souls.

We are weaned from our timidity
In the flush of love's light
we dare be brave
And suddenly we see
that love costs all we are
and will ever be.
Yet it is only love
which sets us free.

- Maya Angelou

Practicing Gratitude
Quote - Tony Robbins: Moments Of Decision
What Do You Love?

Happiness Is Contagious

Next time you are walking down the street, looking for a bit of a distraction, try this little experiment. When you see someone coming towards you give them a smile, not in a freaky way but a "gee, what a nice day it is" kind of way.

People's reactions can be quite entertaining. Some will be confused, others will ignore you, but most, without even thinking about it, will simply give you a sheepish smile back. It's like a happiness echo. Perhaps inspite of themselves, your cheeriness triggers a response.

I suspect that, like peacefulness, happiness may be a teeny tiny bit contagious.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Stuck In A Rut? Do The Opposite

There's a saying that goes something like "do what you've always done and you'll get what you've always got". I've noticed that when people reach a crisis moment in their lives often they do exactly that - but bigger, harder, faster. They are kind of panicking, desperate to create change, shift their circumstances, leap forward... and yet they are doing what they have always done just MORE of it. Logically, then, whatever it is they have had before is still what is going to come their way: just more of it (or bigger, harder, faster versions).

Are you with me?

Now, do you think that approach is going to work? Will that person be able to create that shift in their circumstances? Maybe, maybe not. It may be that what they have always done works pretty well for them, and they just kind of lost momentum. Or it may be that the reason they are panicking is that it HASN'T been working for them.

What if you could take a clear enough view of your usual approach to notice exactly what it is you do: get drunk, get defensive, get busy, get argumentative, enrol in a course, move house, take offense at what your partner says, call your mum, go to the beautician, eat or stop eating, make a risky investment, spring clean, withdraw from the world, exercise fanatically, buy something big and expensive, drive too fast, stay in with a DVD, cry, yell, laugh, whatever.

What if you could then take this information and consciously choose to DO THE OPPOSITE?

Do you think that by doing the opposite you might create a space for change? If the way things have been going, or "what you have been getting", does not satisfy, would the absolute opposite be better?

What if, instead of seeing red, you saw blue? What if instead of getting angry and yelling, you made choices that create greater intimacy with the person you were cross with? What if instead of re-categorising every slip of paper in your filing cabinet you left your house in a mess and went for a "devil may care" walk instead? Wore pink today instead of green?

Whatever your thing is, if you're feeling stuck in a rut, to give change a kick start, try doing something completely different. At the very least it will probably be a fun experiment.

The Heart Knows
Manifesting Your Dreams
Do You Hear What People Say

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Define:peace - Common Meanings For Peace

How interesting that even such an ideal state as "peace" is defined by its opposite. The commonly given meaning for the word "peace" is "the prevailing state during an absence of war"; "the time between periods of conflict", or "a treaty to end hostilities".

Other web meanings for peace include: "harmonious relations; freedom from disputes" and "the absence of mental stress or anxiety".

Personally, I like "harmonious relations". It seems to be the only positively spun, self-sufficent definition that good old Google has put before the masses. It does not speak of dischord and lack, absence or opposing ways of being. It is a little limited though in that, for me at least, peace is not just about interacting harmoniously with others - it's also about FEELING harmonious.

Perhaps we have not yet adequately defined peace? Given, as my high school English teacher would say, you cannot use a thing to define itself. Meaning, it's not enough to say "peace is feeling peaceful". Ha ha ha!

So what is peace, in this personal sense of the word? Uh oh... perhaps it is "the absence of mental stress or anxiety". Another definition that speaks of lack and opposites! No no no... surely we can do better?

I like some of these definitions from the Macquarie Dictionary*:

Peace is: 

  • ease of mind or conscience;
  • a state of being tranquil or serene;
  • a state conducive, due to, or characterised by tranquillity or calm;
  • quiet; stillness; silence.

I'd like to stretch this a bit though... could we live with a definition of peace that is somethng like this?

Peace: A Definition

Peace is a state of love, generosity and expansion in which the mind is still and heart is open.

I think, for today anyway, that's going to be my definition. If you have suggestions though, I'd love to hear your definition of peace.

* Source: The Macquarie Dictionary. © Macquarie University, Published by Macquarie Library Pty Ltd (online edition 2005).

Playful Ways To Make Yourself Instantly Happier 
Doing It With Love
How To Practice Gratitude

Monday, March 22, 2010

Doing It Anyway... with Love

I came across this black-and-white, dark-and-light prose poem today and kind of liked it. Maybe you will too.

"People are unreasonable, illogical and self-centered.
Love them anyway.
If you do good, people will accuse you of selfish, ulterior motives.
Do good anyway.
If you are successful, you will win false friends and true enemies.
Succeed anyway.
The good you do today will be forgotten tomorrow.
Do good anyway.
Honesty and frankness make you vulnerable.
Be honest and frank anyway.
The biggest person with the biggest ideas can be shot down by the smallest person with the smallest mind.
Think big anyway.
What you spend years building may be destroyed overnight.
Build anyway.
People really need help but may attack if you help them.
Help people anyway.
Give the world the best you have and you might get kicked in the teeth.
Give the world the best you've got anyway." - Anonymous

About World Peace
Books About Happiness

Sunday, February 28, 2010

Beautiful, Perfect, Broken

Often we are so much more tolerant and generous with others than we are with ourselves. Is it possible to reach a point where we are at peace with who we are, warts and all, right here, right now?

I was walking a long a beach two weeks ago - a very quiet beach in a hard to reach place in a national park on the edge of the world. The sand was soft; in the course of the day the sky was every shade of blue from full sunshine to slade, rain-cloud grey; the back drop was stunning. Yes, there were even dolphins swimming in the bay. It was a truly ideallic place.

As I walked along the water's edge a shell caught my eye. It was large, green and beautiful. I held it up and looked at it from every angle. I have seen sea aneome shells before. They are fragile and exquisite and usually quickly smashed into little pieces by the sea. It's not often you see one so large, or in such good condition, and yet, it was not whole.

As I stared at it, taking in the complexity of the pattern on it's skin,the amazing shade of green that had not yet been bleached by the sun, it's white interior, the soft, porcelin like feeling of it, I was struck by how incredibly perfect it was, this natural artwork. Beautiful and perfect... and yet, broken. The sea had been at it. A large piece was missing from one side.

At that moment, it occurred to me that so many people are just like that shell - amazing, beautiful, incredible creations... perfect in their way... and yet, broken or damaged too. Is it possible to be both "perfect" and "broken"? The terms seem contradictory; the English language limited in this context. Yet here, in my hand, was that very object. A perfectly conceived object (the skeleton of a once-living creature); beautiful still, but with a big piece broken off it.

It made me happy.

We spend so much time trying to improve ourselves, face our demons, work through our issues, and so on and so forth ad nauseum... what if we could just accept that we are, right now, in our current state, whatever that may be, both perfect AND, perhaps, not quite as perfect as we'd like? Even broken. But beautiful in essence anyway.

Sit with that for a moment. Beautiful. Perfect. Broken.

What a gift, that feeling of peacefulness when the "striving" falls away and we can take a wide enough view of who we are and where we are up to to clearly see our own beauty. Warts and all.

Keeping Promises
Finding Joy In Each Day
Manifesting Your Dreams

Saturday, January 30, 2010

A Page Of Decent Quotations About Love

I came across this web page about love the other day. It has a long list of quotations about love and being in love. Some of them I agree with, some are funny, some are just interesting. So often quotes about love are just tacky and sugary sweet. Yet love - for self, others, the world, your work - is such a powerful emotion. Its impact can be so much bigger than roses and chocolates. I hope you enjoy these!

Love Quotes

A number of those quotes resonate with me but this is one that stood out for some reason:

"There’s nothing in the world like being young and in love. It gives you the power to do things you would never have had the courage to do otherwise. It inspires you to make yourself vulnerable, put your heart on the line. To give more than you can give. To speak heart-felt sentiments you thought only existed in old books and flowery poetry. And it can make you forget everything except love itself. That one thing that makes life worth living, the object of your affection. Inspired by love, we can move mountains, make great changes, do great things. But we can also become so blinded by it that we forget everything … everyone … even ourselves."

~ Everwood


Quotation - Anthony Robbins: Moments of Decision
Quotation - Alex Noble: Spirit of the Journey 
Quotation - Margaret Silf: God Speaks in Whispers 

Keeping Promises

How often have you said to someone "Love to catch up! Let's go for a coffee" (drink, walk etc) but failed to follow up? You were full of good intentions at the time, the sentiment was sincere, but for whatever reason you just never did anything about it. Have you thought about the impact that has had on you?

Firstly, it kind of makes you look like a lier. A sweet, well-intentioned one perhaps... but ultimately false.

Secondly, on some level, you must be aware of your lack of follow through. Some people may shrug it off with any number of reasons, including "I was busy", and think nothing much of it. Others may carry the teeny-tiniest hint of guilt for not being of their word. Either way, you are still, on some level, aware that you didn't do what you said you would.

So what's going on here? Perhaps you are simply very generous with words - you have plenty of them and are happy to throw a few spares away in careless conversation. Perhaps you wish to be generous in spirit and demonstrate friendship and warmth by expressing a desire to continue the conversation or connection, somewhere sometime. Perhaps you're not very good at saying no to the wrong things and yes to the right things and so have a whole heap of "busy-ness" stealing time from those things you really want to do (like have the coffee). Or perhaps you are just flaky?

As a kind of game, try this. For just one day don't take on, suggest, or committ to anything unless you are 100% prepared to follow through. Then, the same day, complete the task or put the wheels in motion, and keep them in motion, till the deed is done. Another way of saying it is - for just one day don't make any promises you will not keep. By the end of the day you'll notice some curious benefits.

One benefit is that you will feel less stretched, less obligated; another is improved self esteem (we derive self esteem from action) and confidence. Each time you keep a promise you have made, even if the other person has no idea what's going on, you'll feel an increasing sense of ability. After practicing for a while you may find yourself taking on much bigger challenges - because by then you'll know you can trust yourself to "be your word".

This is not about the other person. This is about you. Yes, you are doing what you told someone you would do - burn that CD, email that photo, share that recipe, arrange that dinner - and they will see and experience that. So it does kind of look like you keeping your "promise" to them... but on another level, first and foremost, you are keeping a promise you made to yourself... and that feels good!

New year's resolution
Silly but funny video
One path to peacefulness

Friday, January 29, 2010

Quotation - Love & Happiness - The Heart Knows...

The heart always knows - when you have the courage to hear your heart and choose the things that make you feel good... you are always in the right place

Monday, January 11, 2010

Allowing Love In Your Life

Have you ever had such an intense desire for love that you almost felt your bones would shatter for the lack of it? Perhaps you were going through a divorce, a nasty break up, facing the death of a loved one. At these critical times, our need can be so profound we fear we may not even survive it. At other times, as we go about our day, a feeling of lack or absence or loneliness may walk beside us. It may be a vague feeling we can't quite name, a niggling sense that all is not quite what we hoped, or more extreme, if loneliness has a firm grip over us.

It is hard at these times to accept that love is all around us, waiting for a signal from us so it can flood into our lives, and also hard to "be" the love you so desperately seek in order to "attract it in". Self-help books can be wonderful but sometimes we stand so far from where we want to be it can seem like an impossible dream to even dredge up a smile! Let alone manifest a whole universe of happy happy joy joy.

I've been thinking a lot about "attraction" in the Ester and Jerry Hicks, "The Secret", sense of the word. It kind of puts YOU in the centre of things - where you can create the enviroment needed to have a magical life evolve from where you are here and now. The theory goes that when you are a vibrational match for whatever it is you desire that is what appears.

I have great respect for Ester and Jerry Hicks. I get their daily quotes and find they often speak to me in ways that so many others do not. But for me, what I've observed is that at a certain point it's no longer about attracting, it's about allowing...

Humans. Crazy creatures. Here we are desperately desiring this, that and the other, and then, when it comes knocking at our door, we bolt like a scared rabbit in the other direction. New job: "I'm not ready to move just yet"; Gorgeous date: "she's too good for me" / "he was too nice"; Business opporunity: "I want to do my Masters next year, sounded too full on"....

So here's a challenge for you: imagine for a moment that it's safe to love.

We're assuming you have done the work and are capable of giving and sharing the kind of love you dream of. What if, now, you simply say "yes" when the opportunity for friendship, companionship, a friendly chat, any kind of warm and generous human exchange comes your way? And bigger still, what if the unexpected turns up one day and instead of running you simply allow love to in? Tired of waiting? Shift focus from "attracting" and invest more effort in "allowing".

Loving and being loved may be easier than you think.

God speaks in whispers
Good books about happiness
Crazy happy silly ways to make yourself instantly happier