Each animal and plant has a circadian rhythm that’s finely tuned to its particular species. Whether they’re wired to be awake in the daylight or if they are made for the night, they work and keep busy at the allotted time period and when that’s over, they rest.
They have flawlessly balanced being busy and fully resting.
What a concept!
They aren’t like us where we work, work, work until we collapse with some nervous disorder. And they aren’t like us where they can’t sleep at night because their minds are going around and around in worry. They really aren’t like us because when they’re resting, they aren’t constantly checking phones, emails, social media….
Another bit of wisdom we can glean from Mother Nature: Work when it’s time to work; rest when it’s time to rest!
Helen Keller was a remarkable person. As a result of a severe childhood illness, Helen Keller lost her hearing and sight. Through the dedication and unshakable belief of Ann Sullivan, Helen’s teacher and companion, Helen learned to read Braille, became highly educated, and went on to live an inspiring life.
I have gathered a few quotes of Helen’s. Her common-sense observations are filled with simple, yet profound, wisdom. I think her words will stir you as they have stirred me.
Character cannot be developed in ease and quiet. Only through experience of trial and suffering can the soul be strengthened, ambition inspired, and success achieved. Helen Keller
Security is mostly a superstition. It does not exist in nature, nor do the children of men as a whole experience it. Avoiding danger is no safer in the long run than outright exposure. Life is either a daring adventure, or nothing. Helen Keller
No pessimist ever discovered the secret of the stars, or sailed to an uncharted land, or opened a new doorway for the human spirit. Helen Keller
Self-pity is our worst enemy and if we yield to it, we can never do anything wise in this world. Helen Keller
What I am looking for is not out there, it is in me. Helen Keller
Everything has its wonders, even darkness and silence, and I learn, whatever state I may be in, therein to be content. Helen Keller
The marvelous richness of human experience would lose something of rewarding joy if there were no limitations to overcome. The hilltop hour would not be half so wonderful if there were no dark valleys to traverse. Helen Keller
The world is moved along, not only by the mighty shoves of its heroes, but also by the aggregate of tiny pushes of each honest worker. Helen Keller
When we do the best that we can, we never know what miracle is wrought in our life, or in the life of another. Helen Keller
I have seen business moguls achieve their ultimate goals but still live in frustration, worry, and fear. What’s preventing these successful people for being happy? The answer is they have focused only on achievement and not fulfillment. Extraordinary accomplishment does not guarantee extraordinary joy, happiness, love, and a sense of meaning. These two skill sets feed off each other, and make me believe that success without fulfillment is failure.
Yesterday I was talking with a co-worker about the very thing that the Tony Robbins quote above mentions. They key to true happiness is through self-fulfillment: pursuing that thing that has its roots deep within you. It’s in pursuing this thing that you lose all sense of yourself as a needy little individual because you realize it’s much bigger than you.
Self fulfillment isn’t about making millions, achieving fame, or winning awards. These things may come as a by-product of fulfillment, but they are not the goal at all. Fulfillment is achieved by striving for grand ideas, ideas such as feeding the world’s hungry–or even just the hungry people in your community. It’s through conquering the seemingly impossible odds that you achieve satisfaction, fulfillment, and happiness.
To find how to tap into your well of self-fulfillment, ask yourself:
~What kindnesses are you grateful for? For instance, Andrew Carnegie was very grateful for the generosity of the wealthy landowner in Scotland, his home country, who allowed him and other village children the free use of his, the landowner’s, library. This kindness inspired Andrew Carnegie to found over 2000 free public libraries, among other institutions, in the United States.
~What’s something that really bugs you? One of the causes the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation has championed is addressing the shortcomings of the educational system in America.
~What things have caused you to say, “There’s gotta be a better way!” Thomas Edison perfected the incandescent light bulb because, allegedly, he didn’t like the daily cleaning of the smelly, dirty oil lamps that were used for lighting.
Make a few quiet moments for yourself today where you can ask these questions of yourself and come up with a few answers.
In asking yourself yesterday’s questions and answering them you may have bumped up against psychic or emotional wounds that are still sore. You may have discovered that you’ve stopped in one area of your life because of an unfairness or injustice. Perhaps you tried working with forgiveness to move past it but it just isn’t working.
You may have gotten stuck at the last question: “What are you going to do about it?” You just don’t have a clue what to do to help yourself.
My recommendation is to not worry about forgiveness or apologies or anyone admitting guilt or taking the blame. Relying on others so that you can move forward may not always be the best tactic. Instead, ask yourself “Why?” to discover what’s at the core of the wound–is it disrespect, is it that you feel invisible? Does it make you feel that you’re not good enough?
When you keep asking yourself ‘why’, you become clearer on what the issue really is. This then helps you figure out what YOU can do about it. You don’t have to turn to anyone else to heal that wound or fill that hole. You aren’t dependent upon someone “owning up” and then apologizing.
Asking yourself “why” and then “what am I going to do about it’ puts the control squarely in your hands, which is exactly where it needs to be–especially if you want to move forward into your soul-prospering life.
I was looking around Youtube and came across this video about how to know when to quit being around a person, not only personally but professionally as well. The video had some interesting ideas and I thought you might find it helpful.
Let me know what you think about the video. Thanks!
Some of the “bad stuff” about a practice of silence and meditation is that it’s too darn hard because our minds wander, we fidget, we just don’t wanna do it!, or we fall asleep!
Yep. At one time or another all of those things are going to happen to us. And, once we’ve established a practice and we’re humming along with it like clockwork, we shouldn’t be surprised if we’re blindsided by a phase of restlessness, inattention, boredom, and lethargy.
What’s up with that?!
We use this to justify not developing a practice thinking that we really don’t have what it takes, it isn’t right for us, or we’re hopeless and doomed….
No worries! Believe it or not, all of this “bad stuff” is really the good stuff!
When you’re fidgety, when your mind hops from one topic to another to another to another, when you fall asleep, when you feel resistance to doing your practice, this is your mind and body trying to tell you something!
When this happens, go with it and be the observer, as if you’re an anthropologist or sociologist who’s studying a people in order to understand their way of life.
For instance, if you’re having trouble focusing your mind, observe what topics or issues your mind gravitating toward. Observe what’s going on in your life that your mind keeps coming back to this issue or topic. Think about it on a little deeper level to find what the core issue is, such as abandonment, unworthiness, incapability, etc..
Perhaps you’re restless and twitchy. Again, your body is speaking to you. Take a moment to tune in and find out what’s going on in your life that you may be avoiding because the squirming might be because you’re trying to get away from a situation or issue in your life.
Maybe you find yourself falling fast asleep in less than two seconds. Again, tune into yourself. It might be that you aren’t getting enough sleep or taking enough rest breaks throughout the day. Perhaps you aren’t eating enough or the food you are eating doesn’t have enough nutrition. Falling asleep can be an avoidance issue so make sure you take a look at the larger scope of what’s going on in your life.
You may find that you just don’t wanna do it! Like a toddler who’s just discovered the word “NO!”, we can have the same frustratingly stubborn way, even though we’ve been a grown-up for decades! You have to work with yourself when you’re feeling this way. When I’ve felt this resistance, I’ve chosen a repetitive activity that’s fun that can be done quietly. For instance, my favorite is to blow bubbles (click here for my YouTube video about it!). Another thing I enjoy doing is doodling. I’ve also discovered that daydreaming as I gaze out my window is another method to circumvent the resistance.
The trick is to do something fun, that you enjoy; something that can be done alone and done quietly. I’ve found this helps calm my mind and my body and then I can do a little deeper pondering.
Meditation isn’t always about blissing out. It’s about discovering more about ourselves and our purpose in the world. It’s about building a deeper and richer life as a result. Yes, sometimes we get to bliss-out over it but there are times when we have to roll up our sleeves and get dirty!
As an aside, when you work with yourself through the “bad stuff” about your meditation practice, you may discover issues that are too big or too much for you to handle. In that case, I wholeheartedly encourage you to reach out to a counselor, your spiritual or religious leader, a health care professional, a support group, a trusted friend or loved one. Don’t go it alone when there is so much help and support out there for you!
Let me know the ways in which you work through the “bad stuff” of meditation. Thanks!
Yesterday we talked about James Allen’s explanation of why we should get up when our alarm clock first rings. He recommends rising early, even if you don’t have to. We mentioned a few things to do in the morning such as taking the time to contemplate sacred or inspirational writings, gentle exercise, or broadening our understanding of–and expertise in–the industry in which we are employed.
Just today I began reading the book Your Creative Mind: How to Disrupt Your Thinking, Abandon Your Comfort Zone, and Develop Bold New Strategies by Scott Cochrane. In this book he’s talking about creativity and how to develop it. The section of the book that stood out to me was “Chapter 3: Creative Power and the Power of Creation”. He lists several things a person can do to stimulate his/her inborn creativity. When I read the list, I realized many of the things he suggests are activities we can do in the morning during the time that James Allen suggests we take for ourselves.
These are the suggestions offered in the book by Scott Cochrane:
~Purge Negative Thoughts
This can easily and effectively be done while smiling at ourselves in the mirror as we brush our teeth, comb our hair, and tend to other personal grooming tasks. We can also do this as we shower and bathe for the day linking the activity with the imagining that we’re washing away unproductive, unhelpful thoughts and attitudes.
~Step into Bright Sunlight
This stimulates the production of seratonin and dopamine which, according to Scott Cochrane, are essential to fostering creativity. This can be incorporated into the morning walk or while doing Tai Chi or Yoga outside in the morning.
~Take Time for Music
Getting back to the instrument we played as a child or learning how to play an instrument for the first time are great workouts for our mind. It spurs creativity because our brains are working in ways they haven’t before. Doing this first thing in the morning can give us a reason to get out of bed right away as well as give us a sense of accomplishment first thing in the morning. This can then insulate us from the frustrations of the day.
These are just three of the several suggestions Scott Cochrane has made in the book so far. I thought these would be easy to incorporate into a morning routine. I haven’t finished reading the book yet and I expect there will be other points the author makes that I’ll want to share with you–stay tuned!
What activities will you add to your morning routine? Are they brand new or are they ones you’ve enjoyed in the past and are now bringing back into your life? Feel free to share in the comments below. Thanks!
Your Friend and Pep Pal,
Crafting a deeply meaningful, soul-prospering life