Category Archives: Philosophical

Self-Actualization: What Is It?

https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Classic_view_of_The_Thinker_(8437831806).jpg
https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Classic_view_of_The_Thinker_(8437831806).jpg

 

Before beginning a journey, it’s a good habit to have an idea of where you’re headed. We’re starting a journey of self-actualization and the following quotes give some insight into what it is, what we’re aiming for.

Read the quotes, think about them. Which ones did you like, which ones didn’t make sense?  What are your thoughts about self actualization?  Let me know in the comments section below!

 

The good life is a process, not a state of being. It is a direction not a destination.  Carl Rogers

The person in peak-experiences feels himself, more than other times, to be the responsible, active, creating center of his activities and of his perceptions. He feels more like a prime-mover, more self-determined (rather than caused, determined, helpless, dependent, passive, weak, bossed). He feels himself to be his own boss, fully responsible, fully volitional, with more “free-will” than at other times, master of his fate, an agent. ~Abraham Maslow

Instead of dedicating your life to actualize a concept of what you should be like, ACTUALIZE YOURSELF. Many people dedicate their lives to actualizing a concept of what they should be like, rather than actualizing themselves. This difference between self-actualization and self-image actualization is very important. Most people live only for their image.  ~Bruce Lee

It is easy to live for others, everybody does. I call on you to live for yourself.” ― Ralph Waldo Emerson

Self-actualization cannot be attained if it is made an end in itself, but only as a side effect of self-transcendence.  ~Viktor E. Frankl

Every living organism is fulfilled when it follows the right path for its own nature. ― Marcus Aurelius, Meditations

 

I hope these quotes got you to thinking…!

Your Friend and Pep Pal,

Lauren

“I Coulda Been a Contender”

http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Daydreaming_Gentleman.jpg
http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Daydreaming_Gentleman.jpg

 

You don’t understand. I coulda had class. I coulda been a contender. I coulda been somebody, instead of a bum, which is what I am, let’s face it. ~Terry, played by Marlon Brando, in On the Waterfront

I met a friend of mine in the library the other day and we chatted for a moment. She’s older than I am and mentioned that many of her friends have been retired for several years but she’s had to keep working. She joked, “I think there was some mistake. I think I was meant to be rich!” We shared a chuckle.

But then later on when I got home, I started thinking…. It reminded me of Marlon Brando’s character’s quote in On the Waterfront: “I coulda been a contender.”

This movie quote has been famous for the past 62 years (and will probably continue to be famous for some time to come) because it resonates so profoundly with each one of us. It’s the very unusual person who has not, at some moment in their life, wondered what their life would have been like “if only…”, leaving them with a nagging feeling that their life might be “less than” in some way.

When you think through this thought you’ll see how it makes no sense.

This quote assumes that everything in our life following that “if only…” moment would have stayed exactly the same as we remember it, only now we’d have a leg up because we would have made a different choice in that moment.

But this is not necessarily true.

Our different choice would have opened the door (or close it) for different events to happen (or not happen). We have no way of knowing what those events that did or did not happen would have been! They could have had an even more devastating effect than what we actually experienced. And they could have been damaging not only for us, but for others who weren’t harmed with our original choice.

https://pixabay.com/en/boy-jeans-shirts-moon-balloon-1262989/
https://pixabay.com/en/boy-jeans-shirts-moon-balloon-1262989/

You may argue that the flip side could also be true: it could have turned out better–for us and for others–just as we imagine in our perfectly constructed “if only…” scenario.

But then, there’s the law of unintended consequences….

By living your actual life, you don’t know how many people may be better off because you’ve lived (think of George Bailey in It’s a Wonderful Life). Perhaps, the full benefit of your life may not be fully realized for several generations (think of all the artists who were ridiculed during their lives yet now, posthumously, are celebrated as geniuses).

We can go on and on with “our lives could have been better, but then they could have been worse”, which is precisely the point that makes all this supposing ridiculous. We’ll never know for sure if the choice we didn’t make–the road we didn’t travel, as Robert Frost muses about in his poem of the same name–if it really would have been the better choice.

All we can do is live this life right now in this moment, making the best choices that we can and leave all the supposings and if onlys to the gods to sort out!

Your Friend and Pep Pal,

Lauren

Goals and Grit: Your Spiritual Why

Copyright 2015 Artisans Workshop Designs
Copyright 2015 Artisans Workshop Designs

 

Please note: I’m not sure what happened, but yesterday’s post ended up posting today…! I apologize for any confusion or inconvenience!

 

Yesterday we talked about coming up with a why that was deeply compelling for us—powerful enough to get us through the really difficult phases of going for our dreams.

It’s good to have more than one reason why we’re going for our dreams because sometimes the why that we’ve been relying on may not have the power needed to get through a particular challenge.

Today we’ll talk about coming up with one or more spiritual reasons why we’re going for our dreams.   These reasons doing have to be based in religious beliefs or any type of belief in particular. All that matters is that the reason is important to you.

These are reasons that are bigger than you and me.

Some examples of spiritual reasons are:

~you know in your core that you were born to do this;

~the Still Small Voice won’t be—can’t be—silenced;

~it’s your Divine Destiny to do this.

 

Copyright Artisans Workshop Designs
Copyright Artisans Workshop Designs

Take time to think about this, to contemplate it. As with the more worldly reasons why that we talked about yesterday, this spiritually based why may change over time. That’s fine because as you work with it, you get to know and understand it in a deeper more profound way. This is good!

Feel free to share your why in the comments below.

Also, please pass this message along to a friend—thanks!

Your Friend and Pep Pal,

Lauren

Connect with Divine

https://pixabay.com/en/woman-happiness-sunrise-silhouette-570883/
https://pixabay.com/en/woman-happiness-sunrise-silhouette-570883/

 

Take time today to connect with the Divine. It doesn’t matter what your beliefs or spiritual traditions are. It doesn’t matter if you have not at all.

The cool thing is that you don’t have to have a particular religious practice. You don’t have to be perfect. You don’t have to do any type of ritual. You don’t have to say or think any special or sacred words or phrases.

The completely fantastic thing is, all you have to do is Pause. Stop. Breathe. Notice the moment. See, feel, sense, the Goodness all around you.

Tune into it. Absorb it. Let it infuse you.

https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:O_Praise_Him.jpg
https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:O_Praise_Him.jpg

And, totally awesome thing is that this takes only a few minutes. AND you can do it ANY where at ANY time!

So it’s easy to do each morning when you first wake, and it’s a snap to do periodically through out your day. And, what an awesome way to end your day.

Fantastic!

You can do this, I know you can!

Your Friend and Pep Pal,

Lauren

Happy Earth Day 2016!

http://earthobservatory.nasa.gov/IOTD/view.php?id=885
http://earthobservatory.nasa.gov/IOTD/view.php?id=885

 

 

THANK YOU, EARTH!

Enjoy the following images of our beautiful home.

Your Friend and Pep Pal,

Lauren

 

Copyright 2016 Artisans Workshop Designs
Copyright 2016 Artisans Workshop Designs

 

 

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https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:CA_Red-tailed_hawk_(5352297341).jpg

 

 

Copyright 2015 Artisans Workshop Designs
Copyright 2015 Artisans Workshop Designs

 

 

Copyright 2014 Artisans Workshop Designs
Copyright 2014 Artisans Workshop Designs

 

 

Copyright 2014 Artisans Workshop Designs
Copyright 2014 Artisans Workshop Designs

 

 

Copyright Artisans Workshop Designs
Copyright Artisans Workshop Designs

 

 

Copyright 2014 Artisans Workshop Designs
Copyright 2014 Artisans Workshop Designs

 

 

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http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Sciurus-vulgaris_hernandeangelis_stockholm_2008-06-04.jpg

 

 

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http://www.public-domain-image.com

Noblesse Oblige: We Owe It to the World

Copyright Yes I Can Pep Talks
Copyright Yes I Can Pep Talks

We all have been Gifted by the Divine. We have the talents, innate knowing, and abilities that are needed to manifest our Divine Gifts. Of course we may have to roll up our sleeves and develop our talents and abilities, and we may have to learn more to fully support our innate knowing, but everything we need is already inside all of us.

It is also part of our Gift that we have the honor of manifesting it here, right where we are, right at this time.

We owe it to the world because we know better.

We have knowledge that no one else has; our particular take is different than anyone else’s. Other people may have similar knowledge, but they have their own take on it, not ours.

http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Giving_a_gift.jpg
http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Giving_a_gift.jpg

We owe it to the world to get out there and make our dreams come true because this is how we manifest our Divine Gifts.

Let’s all take the next step today! WooHoo!

Your Friend and Pep Pal,

Lauren

Change: Another Way to Support Yourself

http://www.publicdomainpictures.net/view-image.php?image=78459&picture=balancing-stones
http://www.publicdomainpictures.net/view-image.php?image=78459&picture=balancing-stones

 

When all else fails and it seems as if nothing works, everyone has turned their back on us, and we’re totally and completely alone, we can turn to Something MUCH Bigger Than Us. Actually, we should probably turn to this first rather than as a last resort!  🙂

Please note: I am not religious, however, I am deeply spiritual. I respect all traditions that honor and welcome all people regardless of race, orientation, belief, country of origin, etc.. The resources mentioned in this post are ones that I, personally, have found helpful. I hope they are helpful to you but, if not, please feel free to search further. And, please feel free to connect to the Something MUCH Bigger Than Us in the way that nourishes and renews you.

Here are a few resources and practices that I have found helpful:

~We can turn to turn to Holy books, other inspirational readings, contemplation, meditation, prayer, and other practices;

~Many people have found The 23rd Psalm to be comforting (click here to read it);

~People have found the Serenity Prayer soothing (click here to read it);

~Desiderata is another passage that can be helpful (click here to read it);

~Sitting quietly in Nature where, I believe, it’s easiest to see and feel the Something MUCH Bigger Than Us.

 

If you need to talk to someone but you don’t have any friend, loved one, or spiritual facilitator to turn to, then here are two places that are welcoming to all and who I have found helpful:

~Silent Unity, http://www.unity.org/ , 1-800-669-7729  or 1-816-524-3550;

~Lakewood Church, https://www.lakewoodchurch.com/Pages/Home.aspx , 1-713-491-1283.

 

https://pixabay.com/en/woman-happiness-sunrise-silhouette-570883/
https://pixabay.com/en/woman-happiness-sunrise-silhouette-570883/

There are may other methods, practices, and traditions. These mentioned here are only a few resources that have helped me over the years.

Let me know if there is something else I can do to help you keep going!

Your Friend and Pep Pal,

Lauren

Just Exactly What IS Positive Thinking?

Copyright 2015 Artisans Workshop Designs
Copyright 2015 Artisans Workshop Designs

 

 

I was watching the movie What the Bleep Do We Know?! and Miceal Ledwith, one of the scientists interviewed in the movie, said—I’m paraphrasing here—that what passes for positive thinking is really just a thin smear attempting to disguise a vastness of negative thinking.

Hmmmm.

There are times when I am in a rut with how I habitually think about certain things and, once I realize this, I can–and do–choose to think more positive thoughts instead.

However, there are larger issues in all our lives and pasting a smiley face over these is exactly what Miceal Ledwith was speaking about, I think. In this instance, it’s silly to think that “turning that frown upside down” is going to make a difference; we need to take a look at the deeper issues involved.

Having said that, I think we can take a hopeful attitude–if not actually positive–that as we do the work of bringing peace to these weightier concerns, we will discover answers.

What do you think about Miceal Ledwith’s statement? Let me know in the comments section below!

Your Friend and Pep Pal,

Lauren

Sighing Exercise

https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Annoyed_Lioness_(3869878597).jpg
https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Annoyed_Lioness_(3869878597).jpg

 

 

This morning I woke up feeling out of sorts and I couldn’t immediately identify what was bothering me. I was starting to get frustrated because usually I can check in with myself and, within a few minutes, start to decode my feelings.

But that wasn’t happening this morning.

Feeling even more irritated, I plopped into a chair next to my library books. The first one I saw was Joy in Every Moment: Mindful Exercises for Waking to the Wonders of Ordinary Life by Tzivia Gover.

I thought to myself: You have got to be kidding me! On a day like today when my annoyance is increasing by the second?! Is this author nuts, or what?!!

Just for the heck of it, I opened the book to a random page and this is what I saw: “The Oy of Joy” (page 29). In this chapter, the author talks about days when it’s tough to find joy in anything—even the things that delighted you before or those things for which you are deeply grateful. **insert The Twilight Zone theme song here!**

She talked of the connection between separation and wholeness, heartbreak and healing. Then, on the following pages (pages 30-32, with a meditation beginning on page 33) she listed several exercises to help you find joy in the midst of discomfort. All of them would be helpful but today two in particular resonated with me: “Broken Bits of Joy” and “Sighing Into Sadness”.

The artist in me appreciated Tzivia Gover’s suggestion of making a point of looking at the broken things—glass on the side of the road and dried up pieces of leaves blowing along the sidewalk (the “Broken Bits of Joy” exercise). Not only did it challenge me to find the “found art” quality of these items, but it felt more authentic. It felt as if I was giving a voice to the not-so-pretty agitation inside of me, which actually did make me feel better. If I had made myself notice pretty flowers or breathtaking landscapes instead, it would have felt like I was lying to myself and forcing down those “icky” feelings, which would have made me even more agitated and unsettled.

As good as this exercise was, the exercise of “Sighing Into Sadness” was profound—a wake-up call. I was shocked at what I’d discovered.

I didn’t do the exercise the way she described it. All I did was sigh, as the title suggests, and then relaxed. I quickly realized I was feeling burdened and overwhelmed without enough time to do anything about it.

Ack!

I realized I needed to make room in my own life for me—which is a post I did a few weeks ago (I should make it a point to re-read my own posts!) click here to be taken to that post. For me, making room in my life means setting firmer boundaries: Saying “no” more often, making myself a priority in my own life, and scheduling time on my calendar to work on the projects that are important to me—regardless of whether or not they’re important to anyone else.

https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:GatosVestidos.jpg
https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:GatosVestidos.jpg

The “Sighing…” exercise took less than 15 minutes, but it gave me back the rest of my day!

Your homework today is to take a close look at the things that are agitating you and try sighing into them as suggested in the book by Tzivia Gover, Joy in Every Moment: Mindful Exercixes for Waking to the Wonders of Ordinary Life.

Let me know if this helps you, or if you have other exercises that you do. You can comment here in the “Comments” section below, or you can go to my Facebook page and let me know what you think. Here’s the link: https://www.facebook.com/YesICanPepTalks/

I’m eager to hear what you do when you feel irritated and unsettled!

Your Friend and Pep Pal,

Lauren

Alone

https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Kungsleden_trail.JPG
https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Kungsleden_trail.JPG

 

There are times on the journey to your dreams when you have to let go of the need to be with other people, to have the approval of others, to be acknowledged and accepted by others. You have to go it alone.

Just keep going.

You can do it, you really can.

I’m proud of you.

Your Friend and Pep Pal,

Lauren