Life Questions

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Most of us are actually living someone else’s idea of what is right or wrong.

 

 

Think about it for a minute. Your family and peers have had a great deal of influence over everything you think today.

It only takes pondering a few ‘facts of life’ to see the truth in it.

Junk food or health food?

High school, trade school, college degree, graduate studies?

How often should you change the sheets on your bed?

Community college, state university, ivy league school?

Resort vacations or camping?

Driving or flying?

Wal-Mart, Target, Macy’s or Bloomingdale’s?

Those early childhood and school experiences do influence us into adult life. Unless you actually look directly at your influences, you are basically living the dreams, thoughts, and norms of the people you have surrounded yourself with.

In the past, these people helped us set a basis for life as they saw it.

By becoming conscious of your influences, you start to have an opportunity to consider which ones are in alignment with the real you and which ones no longer fit.

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No one completely escapes the pull of other people’s expectations.

And there is no denying that it does take a degree of personal fortitude to take in all those opinions of who you should be in the world while still attempting to strike the perfect balance of what will also work for you.

There isn’t a person alive who hasn’t been swayed by other people.

Your parents have expectations. So have your friends, co-workers, siblings and even the person behind you in the checkout line.

We all want the other people in our lives to be happy. And many of us, for most of our lives want them to be happy even if it means that we compromise what we want for what they think we should want.

So what do you do?

It’s good, first of all, to acknowledge how your early choices have been made.

New awareness gives you a chance to take another look at those choices. Assess what serves you well and make changes to those things that are no longer in alignment with the new, more enlightened, You.

 

 

 

 

 

 

A New Take on Journaling

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Yes, it’s true. Many people are touting the positive effects of journaling, especially about gratitude.

And…. So am I. But do you know why it is so important?

Do you know how to quantify the value?

MATH!

The more good you put out, the more good you get back. It’s just math.

Ask yourself this question. “What percentage of my life do I approach from a positive perspective?” That will be just about the same amount of good you see coming back to you.

For example, if it’s 50%, about half of your life is working right now. Every small improvement you make in your attitude will result in more good coming your way.

When you set aside time every day to consider the things you are grateful for, the time you spend becomes part of that math equation. Because of your effort to focus time on the bright side of life, you tend to notice more good in your world. Thus, you continue to expand the percentage of the positive in your life.

Don’t wait for the outside to improve first. Be grateful for what you already have and more will follow. Once you see that a gratitude journal is a small effort with a huge benefit, you’ll be sharing this ‘New Math’ with everyone you know.

 

 

Mustard Seeds, Mountains & Men

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Several years ago a strange thing started happening in my life. At first I didn’t even really notice.

It just happened to be in the men who came into my life.

 

A guy had just broken my heart and I was sitting across from a dear friend crying over my lost love.

Larry listened patiently to all my woes, handing me tissues at regular intervals and letting me vent.

I was totally burned out with the life I’d been living. A bonafide workaholic, my values were all materialistic. I lived in a huge home and had surrounded myself with all the creature comforts. It sounds good on paper, but I was really unhappy with every aspect. The man was just the icing on my cake of discontent.

After I’d calmed down, Larry got my attention and asked me, in all sincerity, “Dina, what do you really want?”

Without a moment’s hesitation, I told him that I wanted to move to a commune and grow vegetables. I could see myself standing in a beautiful field of green in a gauzy dress and large brimmed hat, my apron holding today’s bounty. I wanted a more spiritual life, one that had meaning.

At the end of my description he said, “ You probably wouldn’t want to leave your ivory tower.” (That’s what he called my house.)

I assured him that I would gladly leave it for happiness.

Then he countered with, “You wouldn’t want kids.”

And I convinced him that I was finally ready to have kids. I could do that.

After letting me get my whole idea out, we ended our conversation and life went on.

tumblr_mo3r2x82bq1s8b6s6o1_500Within a few days, I met a widower with 6 young children who lived way out in the boonies. He was 100% back to nature; wood heat, no air conditioning, composting, gardening, home schooling. You get the picture.

 

Basically everything I had asked for. But, at the time, I didn’t tie it all together.

He ended up being too difficult for me. His religious views and dominating ways were over the top. (But then I had asked for something kind of ‘over the top, hadn’t I?

So, the next thing I decided I wanted was someone educated and logical who didn’t believe in God at all. And, if he did, I never wanted him to talk to me about it.

Low and behold, along came the perfect match to my latest asking.

That was also a disaster. If there is anything that is important to me, it is my spiritual life. For me to say that I never wanted to talk about it was strictly the pain of the moment .

I still had not made the connection between my thoughts and my results.

God, needed to finally get me to see what was going on……

A few weeks later I attended a lecture where the speaker talked about manifesting the things you want in your life.

I had a eureka moment. I had unconsciously been asking everything that was happening to me.

I argued that manifesting was not all it was cracked up to be. And, while he was teaching people to do it, everything in me was saying “no.”

At some point I asked him why, considering how much trouble it could cause, was it something to experience.

His answer shook me. “Only thru the experience will you see how very powerful you are.”

As it turns out, our asking, is a form of prayer. I did not know that I had been praying.

My outcome was disturbing, but the results sure did teach me to monitor my thoughts.

Now that I know that my thoughts/prayers are so powerful, I finish all my asking with “If it be Thy will.”

More than anything, I want my life to be what is in the highest good for all concerned.

The faith of a mustard seed can move mountains. I only want to move the ‘mountains’ that God would have me move.

And men?  My prayer for a good man?

Lord, only if it be thy will. And you choose.

Tornados, Earthquakes and Terrorism

Having grown up all my life in Kansas, Dorothy’s neighborhood (think Wizard of Oz,) tornados were our biggest terror.

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Even though they can be frightening, you can do something to protect yourself from a tornado. Even though people in less windy parts of the country find them a horror that can’t be lived with, in Kansas it’s just business as usual.

When I moved to California in the 70s, my mom kept begging me to come home. Even then, it was predicted that one day the “Big One” (earthquake) would break the state off into the ocean and drown us all without a moment’s notice. But I loved it there so I decided to live life to the fullest and take my chances.

The difference between earthquakes and tornados is that in a quake, there’s really nowhere to hide and no warning of one approaching so you can try to protect yourself.

We now live in terrorism country, where some person or persons can all of a sudden create the same kind of fear. Unlike a tornado, there is no advance warning. When you are in the midst of a situation it’s too late to wish you were back in Kansas.

In this unsettling time, instead of letting your fear take over, remember that life on earth is always risky business. I could walk across the street and be hit by a car. Your heart could stop beating tomorrow.

Now, more than ever, we need to look more deeply at the life behind the life we seem to be living to our bigger life, the eternal one.

Why am I here in the first place and am I ready to be called home to my bigger life at any moment?

Do I trust, have faith that I will be taken care of here and through eternity?

Have I loved well?

Have I taken the time to really know the people in my life?

Is there anything important that I have left unsaid?

With these important things handled, let us go fearlessly into our days knowing that while we are here…. We live a life of great worth.