Alan Cohen says, "The universe is simultaneously infinite in its capacity to support you, and ingenious in the ways it can find to do it." It might be difficult, even challenging for us to really believe something like this from our perspective of living in a finite world.
So. . . it is really good, I think, to take a little bit of time periodically to see just a morsel of the vastness of the space that we live in.
Seemingly unending galaxies, each with billions if not trillions of planets with millions if not billions of stars like our own Sun. Even the closest ones with us traveling at the speed of light would take more years than we have to give to get there. Of course, we currently have no way to travel that fast, so the vastness remains. The other perspective is that the light that we are receiving in our view is light that left those galaxies millions of years ago. It's just mind-boggling to consider how big and vast this all is.
Closer to home, we have the oceans and why our Earth is called the Blue Planet. Some years ago, this photo was taken by my late wife, Nancy as I gazed at the vastness of all that I could see of the Pacific Ocean at Muir Lookout above San Francisco. I can only see a few miles of ocean, yet even that is so vast that I can't get my head around it. As I consider the number of drops of water in that space, my brain cannot do it. I just have to accept this view as it is.
The planet has many vast deserts, some covered with so much sand. Consider the number of granules of sand in this one view. It's a crazy number that we may not even be able to write, let alone the whole of that one desert. You could walk for days and not find anything more than more of this.
So. . . it is really good, I think, to take a little bit of time periodically to see how small we are, how small our problems are, in relation--in perspective to the vast space that we live in. Then, when we turn our focus back on our much more limited views of our lives, a bit of the magic of that vastness may remain to help us to feel oh so good about where we are in our lives. It's a great way to add more joy to your life. I know it does for me. When I contemplate these vast things for a few minutes, I feel refreshed in my perception, giving me a delightful perspective by knowing that I am simultaneously significant and insignificant and that all of my so-called problems are not that at all.
Whatever Problems We Think We Have Completely Disappear In The Vastness Of The Creation Around Us.
Spread Some Joy Today--by letting go of your current perceptions for just a little while until your joy returns.
The more I looked at this wonderful quote, the more I think I have to agree with it. So much of my life was some sort of struggle with life, swimming upstream, trying to make things happen with my actions alone, and much more.
It's only in the last ten years, and the last five or so in particular, where I feel the wisdom of embracing life rather than being at odds with it.
Alan Cohen, one of my favorite authors, said it similarly this way: "I always end up making the right decision. The length of time, and degree of ease or difficulty that it takes me to get there, is the subject of my spiritual practice."
Wisdom is something to move into by embracing life, and our ability to make choices and all of it is a spiritual journey, so it is a work in progress; although, I like the word journey better.
Here's To All Of Us Embracing Life On Our Mutual Spiritual Journey.
Spread Some Joy Today--What a valuable journey that is!
Celebrating people where they are as if they were all that any one of us could be is a very effective and loving way to consider others.
In America, in particular, we celebrate celebrity with a passion. If we were to actually sit down and talk with one of those holy icons, I think that a majority would feel less than, when equal to would be the most appropriate comparison, if we compare at all, which is a given in the human nature of our ego-affected lives.
I ran across a great quote by Wayne Dyer that helps here:
"Release your need to feel superior by seeing the unfolding of Spirit in everyone. Don't assess others on the basis of their appearance, achievements, and possessions. It's an old saw, but nonetheless true: We are all equal in the eyes of God."
Now take the word superior and interchange it with the word, inferior, and read it again.
Being more than, less than, better than, worse than, winning, losing, success and failure are all temporary illusions influenced by temporary situations and circumstances--and most of it is severely prejudiced by our own ego. As we are able to see the Spirit unfolding in each other and in ourselves, we are all on the same journey with individual paths, and every path is good and perfect.
Seeing The Greatness Or The Unfolding Spirit Is Exactly The Same As Loving.
Spread Some Joy Today--Happy Thursday to all of you. Take some of that joy spilling over in your life and find a way to share it. There are plenty craving it.
The reason why "the grass always looks greener on the other side of the fence" is that many people have developed very strong tendencies toward complaining about what is on their side of the fence." -- Abraham, Esther Hicks
I'm Making Lists Of What Is Good, Right, Enjoyable, Fun, Interesting, Delightful About What Is On My Side Of The Fence Today.
Spread Some Joy Today--Here I am complaining about...nothing!
I'm almost done listening to Carole King's autobiography, A Natural Woman. I have been really enjoying it and learning so much about her that I would have never known. What a special treat this is.
Having breakfast on Sunday with a dear friend, I told him how much I was enjoying the audiobook, and then said something I didn't plan on. I said, "You know, I just realized that listening to this book and the autobiography of John Fogerty has caused me to appreciate every other person on this planet more."
I have always loved biographies and autobiographies. Some are so fascinating that it is almost sad to get to the end. And yet, at best, each one is a few snippets out of a much, much longer life full of experiences.
Part of what fascinated me is that Carole, John, and all the others who wrote autobiographies took the time (lots of it) and the energy (lots of that too) to stop what they were doing in life and focus on writing down their stories. That is powerful.
The other thing that I said at breakfast was, "Every person on this planet has interesting stories about their lives, and I would love to hear all of them."
I was married for 16 years the first time and knew her for five years prior to that, and 26 years the second time, and in spending that much time together, I learned much, but I also realize that there is so much more about them that I did not know. That would be true especially about how we felt about things we never talk about and more.
Some say that God experiences life through all of his Creation. Can you imagine the fascination with that? Wow.
After these realizations, I don't think I will ever look at any other person the same again. I will now realize that each and every individual has wonderful and fascinating stories inside them. How delightful it would be to take the time to get to know them more.
We have this tendency to deal with the immediate, talk in superficial language that is meant to be light and remain unattached, yet beneath that in every single life on this planet is so much depth and so many experiences. I could learn from them. I would love to learn from them. I would love to read the autobiography of everyone.
This Has Caused Me To Have A Whole New Appreciation Of All That I See And All That I Meet.
Spread Some Joy Today--by appreciating that which others bring to your experience.
The whole quote from Wayne Dyer is this: "A non-doer is very often a critic; that is, someone who sits back and watches doers, and then waxes philosophically about how the doers are doing. It's easy to be a critic, but being a doer requires effort, risk, and change."
Let me ask a question. You see a young black man driving a brand new top of the line Lexus or Mercedes. What is your first thought about that? I think a high percentage might think, drug dealer, or some other lucrative, yet seedy, and probably illegal enterprise.
Was your answer different? We have a tendency to make quick judgments from our collective knowledge and our collected prejudices. Some might say, "I'm not prejudiced!" But, prejudice simply means expressing an opinion prior to actually knowing. We pre-judge without actually knowing for sure.
Now consider this from Abraham, Esther Hicks: "Feel appreciation for those who provide examples of financial Well-Being. How would you know prosperity was possible if there was not evidence of it around you?It is all part of the contrast. Money is not the root of happiness, but it is not the "root of evil," either. Money is the result of how somebody lines up Energy. If you do not want money, do not attract it, but your criticism of others who have money holds you in a place where things you do want such as wellness, clarity, and Well-Being, cannot come to you, either.
We love seeing you applauding someone else's success because when you are genuinely thrilled by another's success, that means you are right on the track of your own.
Many think success means getting everything they want. And we say that is what dead is. and there is no such thing as that kind of dead. Success is not about getting it done. It is about still dreaming and feeling positive in the unfolding. The standard of success in life is not the money or the stuff--rather, it is absolutely the amount of joy you feel."
Joy And Appreciation Are In Alignment And Interchangeable With Love.
Spread Some Joy Today--by finding your appreciation of that which is all around you and within you.
There are so many ways to learn something. I was watching the movie, Jenny's Wedding tonight and I enjoyed it very much. Jenny's sister, Anne, played by Grace Gummer found herself after being lost for a long time. Her dialogue was so interesting that I had to record it:
"When I looked at the dead grass, I realized I was unhappy. Happy people don't have dead grass. And then it was like the chicken and the egg--I couldn't figure out which came first, happiness or green grass? So I started watering it, and the more I started watering it, the happier I felt. And then it came back to life."
Later, she said this: "When I move away and sell that house, that grass will die. I know it will. But my grass--the grass that is inside of me, will always be green."
I am listening to Carole King's autobiography, A Natural Woman, and when I heard her say the quote above it hit home with me. My parents were divorced when I was five and I was the eldest of three kids at the time. There were more marriages and divorces to come until I left home for good. So, I can relate to trying to keep parents together, and also to wanting to see them find happiness somewhere and stop taking it out on we kids.
Throughout my life, there were many situations and other people I wanted to change for many reasons, but alas, it was all a waste of time and energy. It wasn't until much later that I learned that there isn't anything that any of us can do to really change other people. Of course, there have been hundreds of generations of attempts and they still continue to this day for many, but I have learned that it simply isn't possible. That isn't our job and never was.
There is only one person that we can control in that way. It is ourselves. And, that project can take a lifetime of trial and error, leaving zero energy left for working on others.
Our best hope at change is to focus on what we can change and that is our own thinking, which creates our actions, which creates our circumstances and outcome. That's it. That's all there is. The rest is not our concern.
If You Consider That Selfish, You're Right. I Serve Others By My Attention To My Own Alignment.
Spread Some Joy Today--by finding the thoughts that create that joy within ourselves and in the finding of it, the sharing is no longer a concern. It can't be helped.
I just watched a delightful movie with an interesting story that just hit DVD called, What We Did On Our Holiday.
The family is gathering from all over for their father's 75th birthday and he is terminally ill. Three grandchildren spend the last few hours with grandpa and some magical bits of wisdom came forth that I had to write down.
For example, one little grandchild asks, "How do people know what they are?" The conversation started around the new knowledge that grandpa's friend is a lesbian and the child is very curious. Grandpa answers, "Ah, they just kind of find out. We all find out eventually what we are. Then, the world has to lump it."
The oldest girl was saying that her parents make her so angry because they were always yelling at each other. Grandpa lets off some perfect wisdom here:
"I used to feel that about my lot too until I suddenly realized that there was no point in being angry with people I loved for being what they are. The truth is, every human being on this planet is ridiculous in their own way, so we shouldn't judge and we shouldn't fight because in the end--in the end, none of it matters--none of this stuff."
So Perfectly Stated, Don't You Think?
Spread Some Joy Today--by living with love in your heart, and kindness on your lips.
I've lived a lot of life. I consider myself intelligent, well-read, good at what I do in my various careers, and at 66, I know that I have not yet grown up. How do I know? I know this because farts are still not only funny to me but hilarious. I can think of situations I've experienced or seen and just by thinking it, I'm laughing.
I can hear my mother now. . . or it might have been someone else's mother saying, "Grow up!" Of course, I had intentions of doing just that since I assumed that was what should be done as I became older, but, alas, not true in the end.
Any time I want to really laugh, all I have to do is think of this subject. In fact, today, I've laughed so many times and am laughing as I write this too. I can't help it. I never grew up. And, it looks hopeless now. You would have thought I would have risen above this nonsense by now, but I haven't.
I mean how can you get through the campfire scene in Blazing Saddles without falling off the couch? Or The Pink Panther 2 with Steve Martin in the "soundproof" vocal booth in the recording studio? The list is quite long, especially when I add my own experiences, so there is plenty to keep me laughing for many years to come.
And, now you know just how little I've grown in all this time. . .
Spread Some Joy Today--and laughter is a great way to prime the pump.
Moving from poverty into abundance, bad choices of mates, into soul mates, boring jobs into exciting careers, self-sabotage to self-confidence is child's play. You know how children play, right? They pretend. They imagine they are whomever they decide they want to be.
Moving Into The New House Requires Leaving The Old One Behind.
Spread Some Joy Today--by allowing that inner child to come out and play.
George Bernard Shaw said, "Progress is impossible without change, and those who cannot change their minds cannot change anything."
We are often lulled into believing that it is always our action that creates, but that is way off base. It is absolutely our thoughts that create, which will become our beliefs when thought about often enough because a belief is just a thought we continue to think. Our actions or our body is the physical embodiment of our thoughts. You could say that it demonstrates what our dominant thoughts have been.
Yesterday, while out walking Charlie, or better said, as he was out walking me, on the final leg of our little journey, I saw a man whom I've seen several times in his three-wheel low-riding bicycle that he uses for exercise. Each time I've seen him, he seemed pleasant and upbeat. One time he was talking with a woman jogger and asked me to take their picture on her phone. But today, he was just beginning his trek and he asked me my name. Then he told me his as we shook hands. About five minutes later, all I said was my name. He was talking fast and non-stop all about him.
As I left him, wanting to remember his name, Vincent. I thought, Vincent the innocent. That's a good way to remember it. I came up with that because in his entire conversation with me, he was innocent and the world dished out bad things to him in many ways.
All the time he talked and got into detail about his surgeries on his back, taking a bone out of his leg to fix a toe, how the doctors messed that up and now he lives in non-stop pain. How he was told he needed another operation on his back, but after talking to someone who had that operation and ended up paralyzed, he has refused that treatment. The paralyzed person told him that he is better to live with the pain than end up like him.
He told me about his grown daughters, all college graduates who are doing various things in various parts of the country as he and his wife live in this apartment complex.
There was more about the pain, and especially the struggle, and he talks as if he has resigned himself to that kind of life and has become okay with it. All the while he is talking, I am looking intently into his eyes. All the time he is talking, he smiles and laughs here and there as if to indicate that he is happy enough even though he was dealt with this ugly hand of cards.
I sent him my love of acceptance, of encouragement, of allowing. For me to have said anything would not have been helpful. Sometimes we are better to say less and just love them the way they are right now.
But Vincent the innocent is gaming himself. He's trying to act like he's okay with his lot in life and all the time complaining of how his life has become. Even with so much unnecessary detail. Anyone could see that he is trying, and he talks as if he is proud of his strength and determination to deal with his bodily issues. There's no need to speak of any of that, yet he can't help it. This is where he is focused.
As Abraham has said, "Everyone is responsible for the thoughts they think and the things that they choose as their objects of attention." We may not often believe that about ourselves, but we can instantly see and hear it in other people. That is one of the most beneficial things about human interaction--that we can see ourselves or what we once may have been in others.
It is only a mirage to be happy and complain at the same time. It is only a mirage to struggle and have peace at the same time. Overcoming the struggle is not powering through, it is finding a way to enjoy that journey by releasing the resistance of the struggle allowing the enjoyment of the living to come through clearly.
Consider how many times, and even if it is also now, that you pretend to be happy around others--your coworkers, family, spouse, friends--and speak of complaints at the same time. Consider the physical issues too. Consider the thoughts running around in your head and pay attention to them. What are they saying? Consider the words coming out of your mouth. What are they saying? What are they meaning? More importantly, how are you feeling during these times?
Happiness speaks of happy thoughts. Pain speaks of pain thoughts. They don't speak to each other. They are in different places entirely.
Heart With Your Speak?
Spread Some Joy Today--by loving people just the way they are as you choose for yourself that which satisfies you.