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Sunday, March 29, 2009

Think Big

I am part of an open membership group known The Art of Living and was recently sent this posting with a section from the book “Think Big” By Dr Den Carson

I believe that it is very good advice about living. I know that we can all translate this into our own spiritual language to make it applicable wisdom to each of us

Think Big

T alent: Our Creator has endowed all of us not just with the ability to sing, dance or throw a ball, but with intellectual talent. Start getting in touch with that part of you that is intellectual and develop that; and think of careers that will allow you to use that.

H onesty: If you lead a clean and honest life, you don't put skeletons in the closet. If you put skeletons in the closet, they definitely will come back just when you don't want to see them and ruin your life.

I nsight: It comes from people who have already gone where you're trying to go. Learn from their triumphs and their mistakes.

N ice: If you're nice to people, then once they get over the suspicion of why you're being nice, they will be nice to you.

K nowledge: It makes you into a more valuable person. The more knowledge you have, the more people need you. It's an interesting phenomenon, but when people need you, they pay you, so you'll be okay in life.

B ooks: They are the mechanism for obtaining knowledge, as opposed to television.

I n-Depth Learning: Learn for the sake of knowledge and understanding, rather than for the sake of impressing people or taking a test.

G od: Never get too big for Him.


A Second Chance

To be happy, drop the words “if only” and substitute instead the words “next time”

- Stanley Blanton, M.D.-

The Art Of Living Blog can be found at:

Saturday, March 28, 2009

The Prophecy of the Condor and the Eagle

I have really enjoyed studying the wisdom and hopeful prophecies coming from the indigenous cultures of the Amazon and the shamanic traditions of personal and global transformation towards a harmonious world of nature and humanity.

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Deliberate Joyfulness in Times of Hardship

Many of us are going through hard times these days. The global economy is going through a period of balancing itself out which is difficult. We are experiencing this in common with our brothers and sisters around the world and it is a challenge to work together toward helping each other make it through.

I have been reflecting upon the virtues and qualities to bring into this new economic climate which could help sustain a positive outlook and an extension of good will towards my fellow man.

One thing i have found helpful is increasing the practice of joy in my life.

How does one deliberately increase the practice of joy in ones life. There are many ways. To count ones blessings or to meditate upon the abundance that we do have in our lives, many of which we take for granted every day. My family, my health, the warmth of the sun, the gift of the rain. A friend, someone to talk to and share these times with is a blessing indeed.

Often in trying times i have been caught in feelings of despair, feeling that life is just not worth the energy. Sometimes i find that i have fallen into bad habits of just moping and focusing on the down side of everything and spiraling into an unmotivated period of gloom. This has never been helpful to me, and has in fact been detrimental to me as well as negatively affecting those around me.

Making it an intention to set aside time each day to be deliberately joyful has been a help. To spend time with my children or even by myself doing things which are fun. Playing a game with the family always produces laughter and joy. Recalling good times or humorous situations and retelling the stories with friends or reminding them of the occasion can invite laughter and moments of joy.

Deciding to engage in an activity which is fun, taking a walk around the block or stopping by the park to walk for even five or ten minutes can add so much to ones day.

Deciding to do something is always better than deciding to not do anything. Call that friend, watch that old funny movie, play frisbee. What ever it is in your life that brings joy, the little things, the free things, these things will make the day seem so much brighter.

I have found that in trying to be more deliberately joyful, in taking time to appreciate all that i do have, makes the work i have to do more joyful.

I recently heard an interesting quote, "a crisis is a terrible thing to waste."

This may sound like a strange thing to say about difficult times, but there is a lot of truth in it. These things in our lives, these challenges, help us develop tools of wisdom to use in the future. The wisdom gained through challenges not only helps us, but also becomes a gift; they give us something to give back to the world.

It is good to be mindful that, as in all challenging times, we will come out on the other side with new perspective and a renewed sense of power and balance through the wisdom we gain. This can be a liberating understanding, for once we can see this and know this, then we can move on in our daily lives in a joyful manner.

Oh, and remember that sometimes smiling is a reaction we have to feeling good, and at other times, feeling good is a reaction we have to smiling.

Monday, March 2, 2009

Mahatma Gandhi Peace Quote

"There is no way to peace. Peace is the way."
~ Mahatma Gandhi ~

Sunday, March 1, 2009

The Soul In Depression, Stress and Balance, and a glimpse of The Pain Body

"As a society, we're increasingly aware of the many faces of depression, and we've become conversant in the language of psychological analysis of depression and medical treatment for it."

"One in ten Americans, and even more dramatically, about one in four women, will experience clinical depression at some point in their lives. We take an intimate look at the spiritual dimensions of this illness and its aftermath."

These quotes are from the introduction for last weeks show on Speaking of Faith, with Krista Tippet titled, The Soul In Depression. I found that last night i listened to several of the sites pod casts in a row and thought that this information would be useful to any of my friends and loved ones dealing with depression in their lives. These interviews give many insights into the variety of experience and and methods of understanding of several people who have moved through this 'dark night of the soul'.

The website has much more on this topic, especially the SOF Observed blogs about each of these shows. Each show also has a website with more information, unedited interviews and additional material and links to books, music, poetry etc.

The pod casts are:

The Soul In Depression
Listen Now (real Audio 53:09)

Stress And The Balance Within
Listen Now (real Audio 53:00)

Speaking of Faith says about this show:
"The American experience of stress has spawned a multi-billion dollar self-help industry. Wary of this, Sternberg says that, until recently, modern science did not have the tools or the inclination to take emotional stress seriously. She shares fascinating new scientific insight into the molecular level of the mind-body connection."

Another show i found helpful was this one with Eckhart Tolle, especially the part where he talks about his idea of "the pain body" which is this almost separate entity which arises in an individual and seems to be the accumulation of years of painful memories and emotions which influences how we react to the events in the present moment.

The Power of Eckhart Tolle's Now
Listen now (Real Audio 53:09)

Of this show, Speaking of Faith's website says:
"Host Krista Tippett creates a certain kind of space in her interviews, and this conversation is no exception. Tolle shares his youthful experience of depression and despair — suffering that led him to his own spiritual breakthrough, and ultimately, freedom and peace of mind. He also explicates his view of what he calls "the pain body" — the accumulated emotional pain that may influence us and our relationships in negative ways. And Tolle talks about spirit and God, and what those concepts mean to him."

Listening to these shows back to back really gave me a picture and a feeling of hope and understanding about the issues and challenges facing many people in my life. I would be remiss if i didn't share these with you. I find that this information goes beyond a clinical doctors statement or a pharmaceutical commercial about depression and instead gives the personal insights of very well spoken, contemporary spiritual people about the experience and challenge as well as the meaning and healing that can be found through this experience of human soul.

Thic Nhat Hahn on Peace and its Effects on the Economy

"The value of a dollar is made up of the collective thinking of people, not just objective economic elements. People's fears, desires, and expectations make the dollar go up and go down. We are all influenced by the collective ways of seeing and thinking. That's why selecting the people you're around is very important. It's very important to surround yourself with people who have loving kindness, understanding, and compassion, because day and night we are influenced by the collective consciousness."

~Thich Nhat Hanh~