Stop! Don’t Make Your Point

It’s alright if you don’t have an agenda sometimes. Relax. It might be healthy.

Too often when we enter a conversation, it’s to make a point. But what if we didn’t. Next time, we could let the unimportant stuff slip away.

Choose your stressors wisely. I pulled this post from psychologist Rick Hanson’s post, Just One Thing. You are free not to do these anymore.

Freedom not to

How?

For one or more of the items just below, imagine what it would feel like for you to have the freedom not to:

• Press your point home

• Struggle to get someone to change his or her mind

• Have a second drink. Or a first one.

• Worry what other people think about you

• React to what is swirling around you

• Act on an impulse

• Get into an argument

• Be swept along by anger

• Identify with a mood or point of view passing through awareness

• Take something personally

• Take responsibility for the experiences of other people

• Criticize yourself for not being able to fit into a pair of jeans

• Resist what’s unpleasant

• Drive toward what’s pleasant

• Cling to what’s heartfelt

For one or more of the items just above, imagine how your greater freedom would help others. Also, let others be freer themselves with you; give them room to breathe, time to think and feel. – Rick Hanson PhD

Have a beautiful day!

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Strengthening Character

At the end of the day, it’s only you. Alone. How you met each challenge and each conflict was up to you. Did you face your demons or pretend they didn’t exist?

There’s a lot of talk about being real. Authenticity. For me, it’s not always easy to be myself. It’s not that I try to fake people out by pretending to be someone I’m not. I’m not an impressive person and never wish to be.

My nature is to relate to people on the level they are. You might think me inauthentic at times because I’m a human who has been damaged by life. My cracks show.

When I feel I’m in an emotionally dangerous situation I’ll plaster a fake smile on and spout out the trite phrases, whatever it takes to get me through the situation. This is the game we call life.

Our character is built by the choices we make. We develop strength or kindness or wisdom through practice. Such as continuing to practice grace and mercy if you’re wishing to become a more forgiving person. Truthfully, it comes down to living intentionally, as best you can.

In Your Face

FaceTime, Facebook, we are up close and personal. You would think we all loved each other like cult wives, but we don’t. We’re afraid of getting lost.

 

Lost

Our world is too busy, and we have lost touch with each other, so we place our close conversations and intimacy on Reddit and SnapChat. Our birthdays are celebrated on screen as well every relationship status and break up right down to the dramatic ending.

We long for exposure. It isn’t enough anymore to enjoy a cup of coffee and slice of apple pie. We talk about it. Share. Instagram a pic of it in nostalgic shades. Touch me, see me, like me. Am I real? Do I matter?

Mind Numb

Our chase of meaning only comes to one conclusion. The need for another try. The system is rigged against us. The game is a casino slot machine. Pull the lever and hear the bells. Watch the lights flashing again. How many times have we done this? Have I been sitting here long? My butt is numb. Oh well, I’ll do one more quarter then go home.

Please and thank you can be used by everyone. They are the salt and pepper of society. – JW

Spells and Magic

If this were a magic spell being cast in a children’s fairytale book we would be screaming at the characters. Run. Get out of the building. Turn off your phone. It’s a plot by a wicked queen. But we know these are not fairytales. There are no plots, right? Well, there is the one guy who says otherwise. I’ll link to his Ted talk HERE.

Acknowledge

How do we take care of ourselves since we are aware of our need to be noticed? Acknowledge it. Post the wedding pictures. Enjoy the Likes. But try to find a life outside of your profile. Give to others. Remember to show respect to those around you.

…and my mouth said, “It was his way of saying he loved me. He used to say, ‘I see you Yi-yi.’ ” – Jada from Feversong: A Fever Novel, by Karen Marie Moning

A complaint I heard recently is when a man opens a door for a woman many times she walks through without saying a word. Not even a Thank You.

Here in my part of the country, men are taught to open doors for women, to take out the trash, to say, ma’am. These are courteous actions yes, but so much more. Please and thank you can be used by everyone. These acknowledgments are the salt and pepper of society. Without these ingredients our lives become irritating. Life chafes from constant obligations. It’s not an enjoyable way to live a life. Kindness is needed to keep our society healthy. I want to support others, to see them, show them love, every day.

Namaste

What Are We Saying When We Are Saying When We Are Saying Namaste?

 

I Will Pray For You

Prayer. It’s awkward. There was a time when it was easy to pray. Today I pause. It’s not the words. I can craft a good Our Heavenly Father, as well as any preacher man does on a Sunday morning. Nope, I hesitate because I want to be honest with you. And I’m not sure of who I’m praying to. So I hesitate.

Maybe you understand my problem. I’m sincere, and I wish for people to be well. I want their families to be safe from harm and sickness to leave their bodies. Well, I’ve found a prayer that works for me, and it’s simple. First is a short version and easy to memorize. The longer one is second. I hope this helps you.

One more thing, to anyone who has been in my life, but I have offended or thinks I am angry with them, please know I do ‘pray’ for you. I hold no grudges. It’s important to keep the prayer channels clear. And by prayer, I mean something closer to a positive affirmation.

If you are Christian, Jewish, Muslim, Hindu or of any other religion, I am not saying you should switch to my ways. This is my way of handling an uncomfortable situation.

Here is my abbreviated version Metta Loving Kindness Prayer.

May all be happy

May all be at peace

May I be happy

May I be at peace

Loving Ourselves

We begin practicing this love meditation on ourselves
May I be peaceful, happy and light in body and spirit.
May I be safe and free from injury.
May I be free from anger, afflictions, fear, and anxiety.
After that, we can practice on others (he/she)
May he/she be peaceful, happy and light in body and spirit.
May he/she be safe and free from injury.
May he/she be free from anger, afflictions, fear, and anxiety.
After that, we can practice including our selves with others (we),
May we be peaceful, happy and light in body and spirit.
May we be safe and free from injury.
May we be free from anger, afflictions, fear, and anxiety. – Thich Nhat Hanh

Two Fold Kindness

An almost burnt-down lit candle on a candle ho...Be kind. That’s simple. And there’s more than one approach. Each religion has some form of the Golden Rule. You can look it up here, TeachingValues.com

Thousands of candles can be lighted from a single candle, and the life of the candle will not be shortened. Happiness never decreases by being shared.
Buddha – See more at: http://www.verybestquotes.com/buddha-quotes/#sthash.nqTbafBi.dpuf

Kindness is…

Most of us understand kindness.  If I tell you to be kind, spontaneously you’d think of giving to others. You’d think of caring for your great-aunt Susie when she was ill or your mother’s dog that has arthritis. You might think of giving up the seat on the bus when someone else could use it or splitting a sandwich with a friend who forgot their lunch when you were a child in school. This is kindness. We know what it is. And we know what kindness is not.

Kindness is not kicking a dog when he’s down. It’s not pulling wings off of butterflies just to see what happens. It’s not tossing your extra slice of pizza in the dumpster when you could have handed it to someone else to share. We know this. These are not kindness.

Kindness is also…

We know about kindness to others. And we know it’s important. What about kindness to ourselves? Is it important to be kind to ourselves? Those that tend to value kindness to other are the same ones who would likely give themselves too freely to a cause, be the last one standing, or actually give their last bite of food to help another. Here in the states there’s not a good chance that any of us are going to starve soon for sharing a sandwich. But we can’t forget that we need kindness to ourselves. Sometimes we give to others because it’s our drug of choice. It helps us feel better when we think our life stinks.

When life is out of control, we often reach for whatever we know to make us feel better, and sometimes jumping into a fund-raiser or a charity drive is the thrill that gets us through. There are times when it’s alright to sit down and receive some charity. Let others be kind to you for a time. It’s the give and take of life. After all, when you were born, you didn’t come into the world on your own. You were tugged, pushed, and yanked. Tight fisted, red faced and crying. And so was I. Someone else wrapped us in a blanket, gave us some milk, and wiped the ick from our eyes.

Kindness has no ledger of debt and balances. It would be impossible. So just be kind.

 

 

Mind, Body, and Spirit

Mind we know. Body we get. But, what is spirit? Grace, kindness, joy, love, peace? Things you can’t see. Spirit doesn’t mean it’s a ghost or even that it will live after our body dies. I can believe in spirit without believing in Jehovah, Thor, Ahura Mazda or Allah. I believe those things named above are spirit. These live on after we have left the building. They are in the memory of every love letter you wrote, every kind word you said, and every cookie you baked. Think about these two things for a moment: Using your body to pray. Acts of kindness as gifts.

Grace is a power that comes in and transforms a moment into something better.

— CAROLINE MYSS

Yes, I know that love and joy and anger and confusion are emotions, ruled by chemicals. Our language and concept of self came at a time in history before we had knowledge of chemicals. At that time we often loved with our bowels. Spirit described anything or force that could not be seen or explained, but the chemical response in our heads never belittles the reality of love. It only shows it’s ours.

King James Bible

But whoso hath this world’s good, and seeth his brother have need, and shutteth up his bowels of compassion from him, how dwelleth the love of God in him? I John 3:17

Never underestimate the power of kindness. You never know when a smile or a kind word or hug could save a person’s life. We are social animals. Even me, sometimes. We are meant to interact and bounce ideas off of each other. Without this we are stagnant and we die. If you don’t think you have anything to give, think again. Any kind act, any kind word can change someone’s day.

Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring, all of which have the potential to turn a life around. Leo Buscaglia

I use my physical body as a way to express my love. Seanne Corn – On Being

Set your intention. What prayer would you pray with your actions or your movements? Do that today.

Prince Charming – Did you hang up your hat?

As many females of my age group will relate, when I was growing up, love was where you hang your hat. Love was the biggest item on the shopping list. How do you know whom to marry? Do you love him? There you go. My family had a second criteria. Is he a believer (of the same faith)? Yes? Well, you’re good to go. Tie a knot on that man and marry him. It was never thought, do you get along? Does he show kindness? Is he a control freak? Does he like cats? Do you both enjoy music? Like kids? Want to do adventurous vacations or quiet walks? What is your idea of wealth?

We were told in books, by preachers and teachers, and our families, that if God was in control and you loved him, all the other things would work out. I guess someone missed the memo. Or got it wrong. Truth is, God has little to do with any of it. Congeniality and kindness goes a lot further than a religious practice once a week. If one is religious and the other not, considerate people would allow the difference. Dogmatic folk require complete compliance.

I admit, I once was dogmatic. I once esteemed being right over common kindness. It makes me want to hide in shame when I think of this. I wasn’t loud or arrogant about it, only in my mind I judged. I disagreed with my paternal traditional upbringing in some things, like abortion, racism, and feminism, but in most things I thought no differently.

So we got it wrong. Many of my generation got tons wrong. Times were changing and traditions were falling down. If I had to do all over again, I’m not sure if I would change much. It was my roots, and I won’t  become bitter about my choices and mistakes.

I’m happy with my life. There is no substitute for satisfaction. The things I would hang my hat on today are different:

  • tolerance
  • similar taste in recreation or willingness to go it alone
  • know your true likes and don’t mold yourself to others. It’s not healthy
  • enjoy each others company whether relaxed or active