Be the Gift

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The Earth is a beautiful place, but our world can at times be cold and cruel. During this holiday season and all year-long be the gift that keeps on giving. Be the one who smiles at a stranger. Maybe that smile is perfect timing to an otherwise horrible day. What about that person in a wheelchair or scooter that is staring at the top shelf in the grocery store wondering how they will be able to reach. Can you be the helping hand even if you feel too busy?

Take someone under your wing and help them to soar. I remember once when I had started a new job and was struggling to learn and keep up, and feeling that every day was pure hell. If someone would have taken me under their wing and helped me along I’m sure I would have succeeded. Think about taking someone under your wing at work and helping them to learn the ropes. Better yet, we should teach our children to do this at school. Being a friend to the child everyone picks on, or helping the new kid find their way. Wow, loving children, no more bullies.

Be the one who says to the child, “I’m proud of you.” Doesn’t matter if you are the parent, teacher, or just the neighbor, let them know when they’ve done well. Give encouragement and praise helping them along the path so they believe they can. Let them know you have their back and care. This kind of compassion will sustain them when future dark days descend, and you know they will. A child with a box of coping tools will get through because they’ll know they’re loved and matter in this world.

Happy Holidays to you wonderful Beings, and here’s my wish for all of you:

“If I could give you any gift, I’d give you LOVE and LAUGHTER, a PEACEFUL HEART, a SPECIAL DREAM, and JOY FOREVER AFTER.”  ~ Unknown

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Purposeful Meaning

 

“The Bushmen in the Kalahari Desert talk about the two “hungers”. There is the Great Hunger and there is the Little Hunger. The Little Hunger wants food for the belly; but the Great Hunger, the greatest hunger of all, is the hunger for meaning…
There is ultimately only one thing that makes human beings deeply and profoundly bitter, and that is to have thrust upon them a life without meaning.
There is nothing wrong in searching for happiness. But of far more comfort to the soul is something greater than happiness or unhappiness, and that is meaning. Because meaning transfigures all. Once what you are doing has for you meaning, it is irrelevant whether you’re happy or unhappy. You are content – you are not alone in your Spirit – you belong.”
Laurens van der Post

The line, “Once what you are doing has for you meaning, it is irrelevant whether you’re happy or unhappy. You are content.” Isn’t that what we are all looking for in life, just to feel “content?”  And how we get there is to have purpose in our lives.

At some point we have to stop all the running around trying to keep up with our daily mess we call our life. And we have to arrive at the point where the crazy thoughts that are swirling around in our minds also must end, and then we can get down to the business of what is our purpose for being here at all.

Without a purpose our life has no meaning, and as the Bushmen of the Kalahari Desert have figured out, we certainly are not going to be very happy, and forget about content without a life of meaning. Perhaps that is why so many of us are living a miserable and unfulfilled life.

So much of the time we look in all the wrong places for happiness or contentment. It’s not found in material things or in other people. It is there inside of us. The purpose of your life will start to take shape and show itself to you when you go within and ask your Spirit, “what am I here to do?” Instead of the material things you think will bring you happiness, it’s found in the things you love to do—especially for others. It’s found in the kindness you spread around and the protection you give to the earth and the beauty you create. It’s the genuine things you do that might not be popular with the people you work with, or the friends you have, but feel so right to you.

As you think deeply about who you are and what you want to accomplish in your life, you will find it will include sharing your gift with others and in some small way, will make this world a better place.

And my beautiful friends, once you find your true purpose in life, there is no going back to the old you. Your life will have great meaning, and that contentment we are all looking for will come to you and you will find yourself smiling for no particular reason at all. But you’ll know why.

 

Danger in a Tone

That old adage, “It’s not what you say, but how you say it,” is so very true. It’s that tone we use that can make all the difference in the world. I don’t think most of us give much thought about how we sound or come off to others. And it’s not just the verbal tone we use, but also the tone we use in print, especially in our e-mails and texts.

Tone represents the mood we are currently in, but not necessarily how we actually feel toward the people or subject we are dealing with at the time. So if we are in a bad mood then how we deal with the people around us verbally or in print will have a hard and sometimes nasty edge to it. This can cause a lot of problems at work and in our private lives. And this can especially be devastating when dealing with children or very sensitive people.

Sometimes it’s hard to know when our tone is off because we are busy people, and always in a hurry. We speak or text very fast before we have really processed all information. Yours truly has made that mistake many times. Usually this happens to me when I get caught up in a situation that I feel is critical and the other person has a different view.

So what do we do about keeping our tone smooth and cordial? “SMILE.” That’s right. Before you open your mouth, or write that offensive line, smile first. It’s pretty hard to say or write anything in a mean tone while smiling.

It doesn’t hurt to remind ourselves to be kind and gentle toward others. We all have stressful days, but a bad or really cruel tone can throw another human off into misery, and I don’t think any of us ever mean to do that.

Life can be hard, so put that smile on your face and let’s watch out for one another.

“Tone has the living soul.” ~ Shinichi Suzuki

Random Acts of Kindness

Many of us in the US are still in shock since the election. And now Thanksgiving is on its way. Some of you may wonder, “What do I have to be thankful for?” It’s hard for so many of us to see our country go the way of evil and hatred. It seems like an unthinkable, horrible, nightmare where there’s no escaping. This new incoming administration makes me think of the characters from Star Wars: Darth Sidious the emperor, aka “ Dark Lord of the Sith,” and his side kick, good old Darth Vader.

It has now become politically correct to be a racist. What a chilling thought. Yes, it’s hard to see and feel thankful when we sense the darkness approaching, but thankful we must be. We have to give gratitude that we are still a diverse and free society, and we must be mindful to keep it that way, and everything else we hold dear to our hearts.

After signing all the petitions until your eyes are blurry and maybe even marching in protests you still don’t feel empowered, try practicing random acts of kindness. It can be something so small as smiling at a complete stranger, or giving a child a much needed hug. Maybe you could run an errand for an elderly neighbor, or give a co-worker a ride, or volunteering. It doesn’t matter what you do as long as you expect nothing in return, and it comes from the heart. And that smile for the stranger may go farther than you could ever imagine.

Love is empowerment, and random acts of kindness will always trump hatred. So get out there and make caring contagious, and be grateful that you can.

Warmth from the Heart

“One love, one heart, one destiny.”  ~ Bob Marley

Place your hand on your chest and feel your heart beating. Keep your hand there a minute and feel the warmth from your heart circling all around you. Such a glow certainly is bliss.

The warmth from your heart is love, kindness and acceptance and is meant to be shared with everyone no matter the color of their skin, religious beliefs, or not, and station in life. We humans are one and none of us is better than the other, or more deserving.

But, it isn’t just humans who deserve the warmth from the heart. All beings, all living things should receive the love and protection that we humans can and should give. We are the guardians of this planet and this beautiful place is depending on us to do the right things and protect it for generations to come.

We must stop spreading hate and destruction; they are poisoning the planet and its beings.

Put your hand on your chest and feel your heart speaking to you:  Hate will destroy us all. Love, kindness and acceptance are the solution.

“If we have no peace, it is because we have forgotten that we belong to each other.”  ~ Mother Teresa

 

 

This Life of Yours

Your life is something special. It’s a gift really that you have been given and depending on your beliefs, the who, where, and how is up to you. But what I think we can all agree on is that this life of yours is a very precious thing. Your life is wondrous when you stop and think about all that had to happen for you to be here at all. So, what are you doing with this life of yours?

“Life is a gift. Never take it for granted.”  ~ Sasha Azevedo

Are you taking yours for granted? Are you treating it well? Oftentimes, we don’t treat our lives very well. We end up battered and bruised from the inside and out. Why do we treat ourselves so bad?

“There is a candle in your heart, ready to be kindled.
There is a void in your soul, ready to be filled.
You feel it, don’t you?” ~ Rumi

Stop what you’re doing and realize that this is your life and no one else’s. You are meant to care and protect this life of yours. You are also meant to live this life to the fullest.

With kindness and love, live this life of yours before the gift is taken away. Everything comes to an end, and nothing is for sure that you’ll ever have another chance. And, even if you did, how sad that you let this one go unlived.

“Life may not be the party we hoped for, but while we’re here we should dance.” 

 ~ Author unknown

Survival Kit

To get through the ups and downs of your journey through this life you need a survival kit. Martin Luther King, Jr. said: “Our very survival depends on our ability to stay awake, to adjust to new ideas, to remain vigilant and to face the challenge of change.” This is sound advice for keeping you mindful, but I would like to add these components: Be open to the beauty and grace of nature that is always surrounding you; it’s there even in a busy city. Don’t forget to pack that crazy sense of humor with lots of laughter, and remember to put in a note to never take yourself or life in general too seriously. What about worry? Please leave that thing behind, it just mucks up everything.

It’s always good to remember that you need good listening skills on this journey. It’s just so amazing what you can learn when you close your mouth and open your mind and ears to what other people are saying. Who knows, you just might learn something. Also don’t forget about letting yourself feel great joy and simple happiness; they are both essential ingredients for the long road ahead.

And as you start to wrap up this kit, did you place a note in there with a bit of wisdom as a reminder to always believe in yourself even when others don’t? Do include that you are here for a purpose, and as you’re trying to find what the heck this purpose is all about, know it will always have something to do with showing kindness and love toward every living being.

The truth of the matter is that the road will sometimes be as smooth as glass, but other times extremely bumpy. But take heart, tomorrow will always be better.