Oct 31 2017

Contentment

Category: Choices,GratitudePatricia @ 12:27 pm

 

sofa

 

Are you content? Or are you unsatisfied with the way things are? Do you want more? Do you believe “the one with the most toys wins”? Sometimes when we are in a state of wanting more, we become oblivious to the good that is happening in our lives. We feel as if we are lacking something. We can get distracted by thinking about what we don’t have and then we forget about all that we do have.

Lao Tzu was an ancient Chinese philosopher and writer. He is known to be the founder of Taoism.  His wisdom has served as guidance for centuries. One of the things he often wrote about was contentment. He referred to contentment as “the greatest treasure”. Being content is defined as a state of happiness and satisfaction; a place of peace and wellbeing.  Lao Tzu also advised to, “Be content with what you have, rejoice in the way things are. When you realize there is nothing lacking, the whole world belongs to you.”

Being content is being grateful for what is. It’s about being satisfied with what you have achieved…so far. Look around your home. Everything there is a fulfillment of your wishes. Yes, everything…even the old sofa. You may have wished for that sofa many years ago. And yes, now you may wish for a new one. But remember that the old sofa represents your wishes. It represents the fulfillment of your needs. Continue to feel the pleasure derived from this. That pleasure is gratitude for what is. That gratitude leads to contentment. If you are feeling unsatisfied with your sofa when it looks lumpy, consider that the lumps were created by the sofa’s service to your needs. It has held and supported you through many years. And then consider this: global statistics show that if you have a roof over your head covering that sofa, you are richer than 93% of the world’s population! Are you feeling content yet?

You may feel that you are lacking some things in your life. You may be. But, I’d like you to focus on what you are not lacking. You are a powerful being, capable of achieving whatever you believe you can achieve. You are worthy of success, love and happiness. Your life experience is a result of the choices you have made. Choices based on your beliefs about the way things are. Because you are a powerful being, you are capable of making new choices…better choices…choices which encourage your contentment and wellbeing.

Being unsatisfied is not always a bad thing. You won’t make progress if you don’t get unsatisfied from time to time. It is a necessary and temporary condition. Recognize that when you are not satisfied with the way things are, you have the power to change that. Those changes can result in your growth and contentment.

May you feel as if the whole world belongs to you. Because it does.

 

 

 

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Sep 18 2017

Gratitude: The Wonder Drug for Depression

Category: Gratitude,Health & Wellness,Inspirational QuotesPatricia @ 4:03 pm

medicine cabinet

 

The essence of all you appreciate is constantly flowing into your reality. As a creator, you create with your thoughts. When you are thinking about what you like or enjoy, you are in the process of creating more of it. When you become more aware of the moments of your life, you engage your senses. You are grateful in the now moment. You appreciate the good that is happening now or you recall the pleasant memory of the past. When you are in this state of awareness, your brain is producing neurotransmitters like serotonin and dopamine.

When you are feeling grateful, an area of your brain stem region produces dopamine, which increases your enjoyment of what you are experiencing. In addition, when you are feeling gratitude toward others, it increases activity in social dopamine circuits. You enjoy people more and social interactions are more fun. Another area of your brain, the anterior cingulate cortex is busy producing serotonin. This neurotransmitter affects your mood; your appetite and digestion; your ability to sleep; your memory; and your sexual desire and function. Serotonin inhibits impulses so you are better able to control your bad habits. When you are depressed, you lose control. Anti-depressants such as Wellbutrin and Prozac boost the neurotransmitters dopamine and serotonin.

In his book, The Upward Spiral, Dr. Alex Korb addresses the research which has found that gratitude is a powerful anti-depressant. He acknowledges that scientists don’t fully understand depression, but they know it relates to neurotransmitters produced in the brain.  Depression also relates to the prefrontal cortex, which is used for critical thinking and decision making. In addition, the limbic system is involved. This system includes the emotional center of the brain, the amygdala; and the hippocampus, which plays a role in the formation of new memories. Depression affects brain functions which inhibit our ability to heal.

Korb explains how we keep ourselves in a downward spiral when we focus on negative thoughts. Anxiety about the future and worry about things we don’t want reinforces the depressed brain. Remember, you must focus on the now moment, the only moment there is. Bad memories or self-criticism about past behavior are in the past. Let go! You must focus on what you want, not on what you don’t want! Why spend your valuable thought energy on creating negative circumstances which create negative emotions?

Pay attention. Focus on gratitude for your physical body. Acknowledge that it is constantly in your service, no matter how you treat it. Focus on gratitude for your loved ones and their presence in your life. Feel the love. Focus on gratitude for the experience of life. Appreciate your talents, skills and abilities. Know that you have within you everything you need to create the life you want. You can choose to focus on gratitude and benefit from the positive effects in your brain and your physical body. You can choose the upward movement. You can rewire yourself so that it’s easier to feel the positive emotions which produce positive results.

Melody Beattie says, “Gratitude unlocks the fullness of life. It turns what we have into enough, and more. It turns denial into acceptance, chaos to order, confusion to clarity. It can turn a meal into a feast, a house into a home, a stranger into a friend. Gratitude makes sense of our past, brings peace for today, and creates a vision for tomorrow.”

Apparently, gratitude is a better anti-depressant than Prozac or Wellbutrin. And gratitude has no negative side effects!

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Nov 24 2016

Thanks to Little Joe

Category: GratitudePatricia @ 11:59 am

 

bonanza

 

 

Thanksgiving. When you use the word as a noun (something you name), you recognize it as a holiday. But when you consider the word as a verb (something you do), it makes a difference in your understanding of its true meaning – the act of giving thanks and feeling gratitude. I know each one of us can run off a list of all the things we are thankful for at this time of year. We think of family and friends. We think of financial abundance. We think of our health and physical well-being. And often we are thankful for experiences that make us happy. Sometimes we are surprised by what brings gratitude to mind.

This year, I’m very grateful to know Little Joe Cartwright. You see, he’s a longtime family friend. When I was very young, the Cartwrights were weekly visitors in our home. We were one of the first families to enjoy the luxury of a color television. Dad was always into gadgets and technology and liked to have the best and newest available. It was very exciting to see the NBC peacock turn from black & white to all the colors of the rainbow! Unfortunately, there were only two shows broadcast in color at that time – The Mitch Miller Show and Bonanza. Of course Bonanza was far superior because there were mountains and horses and gunfights!

Recently, Little Joe and all the Cartwright men helped me to communicate with my 92-year-old mother. Besides suffering from dementia and extreme physical limitations, Mom has some communication issues. She has endured countless strokes, the last of which severely diminished her throat muscles, impeding her ability to speak. Although she is able to communicate her likes, dislikes and needs, she’s no longer able to form words. She is only able to make a guttural sound. However, make no mistake, she is totally aware and “in there”.

When arriving for a visit, I found her sitting with another resident waiting for lunch to be served. A television set was on but she wasn’t paying attention to it. I greeted her and chatted for a moment. And then I was pleased to see the opening credits to Bonanza were coming on the screen. I pointed it out to her and she immediately turned her attention to the TV. As the flames burned across the map of the Ponderosa, her eyes lit up in recognition and a smile crossed her face. Then Little Joe came on and the conversation began. We were in the moment together.

As we watched the show unfolding, I saw her slip into a comfortable place where memory brings the feelings of the past into the present. Once upon a time when she watched Bonanza in the comfort of her home, she was a young and able woman raising a family. She had a husband who adored her and all the material pleasures she desired. I noticed her frail body shift as she sat up taller in her chair.  I spoke and she acknowledged all the members of the Cartwright family; Pa, Adam, Hoss and Little Joe. It felt like visiting with the cousins. In those moments, we connected on a level that – given the circumstances – is not easy to achieve any more. And in that connection, we were no longer a mother and daughter separated by distance and sad circumstances. We were two souls enjoying our eternal connection and accepting all as it is.

A TV show was the common thread that wove our lives back together in that moment. As you celebrate this time of Thanksgiving, look for the little ways – the Little Joes – that bring gratitude to your heart. And then enjoy that feeling as you move from noun to verb…as you actively give thanks…the true purpose of the holiday. Do something about thanks giving.

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Nov 14 2016

Four Great Questions

Category: ChoicesPatricia @ 12:02 pm

 

gregory

 

How do you begin your day? Many of us have morning rituals that help (or hurt) our productivity and peace of mind. Depending on your circumstances, you may not have a lot of time to focus on any rituals. You may not have the time to focus at all. You may be rushing off to work or getting the kids ready for school. But what if you did have the time for a little morning contemplation? If it’s possible (remember all things are possible if you believe) you may want to create a daily practice which was suggested by someone who lived long ago in what you may think of as less hectic than modern times. After all, our ancestors did not have as many outside influences on their time. Their world was smaller and quieter than ours but they had their own challenges to overcome.

Pope Saint Gregory I (c. 540 – 12 March 604), commonly known as Saint Gregory the Great, was a pope of the Catholic Church. You may be familiar with Gregorian chants from that era. Gregory the Great suggested a daily practice which he believed would help people to be more effective in life. He encouraged people to take a moment each morning to be mindful and to ask  four questions of themselves.

 

  1. Where are you? In other words, what is the state of your life? How is your health; relationships; financial well-being?
  1. Where are you not? How do you relate to the perfect version of you? What is missing? What parts of your life need attention?
  1. Where have you been? Consider your spiritual progress and understanding based on your past life experiences. What have you learned about what you want and what you don’t want?
  1. Where will you be one day? Envision your heaven; your ideal self living your ideal life. Consider your future, for as Gregory explains, you will receive it if you want it.

 

When you take a moment to go within, you are better able to see what is affecting your life from the outside. In considering where you are in life, you are able to reinforce the positive aspects of your being. When considering where you are not, you are able to become aware of what is missing or less than what you want. Thinking about where you have been allows you to look back and see from a different perspective. It also allows you to feel gratitude for your experiences. It gives you strength and builds your confidence. Planning for the future is a way to have a little preview of life’s coming attractions. When you visualize what you want, you become emotionally connected to the positive outcome you anticipate. Visualization directs the power of your subconscious mind, your goal-achieving machine. You’re more likely to be successful.

Perhaps you don’t have the time to be mindful of these things every day. But maybe you could do it once a week or once or month. Or at least do it once!!! You’re worth the time and effort and it really could make a difference in your life.

 

 

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Aug 04 2016

That Time 5 Years Ago

Category: MotivationPatricia @ 5:54 pm

 

 

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Do you remember that time 5 years ago when you were extremely upset? You know that time when your heart was breaking? Or that time when you felt frustrated and angry? And what about the time when you thought you were going to lose everything? You didn’t know how you were going to survive. Ask yourself this…does it really matter now?

Life happens. There are obstacles and challenges. People disappoint us. Sometimes there is illness. Or unemployment. And one thing we can all depend upon is that all things are temporary. All things. Life is happening moment by moment. We really don’t know what the next moment may bring. It could be amazing. It could be devastating.

We often feel gratitude for the good things happening in our lives. We are always thankful when we are happy and we think things are going the way we want. That’s easy. But I’d like you to consider that time 5 years ago when you were extremely upset. What happened? Does it matter now? Often life’s challenges and problems are just opportunities in disguise.  We are in a position where we don’t have a choice. We have to become better in order to handle our problem.

When we are thankful for the setbacks we’ve experienced, our life becomes more fulfilling. When we look for the positive results or outcomes of our negative experiences, we realize that it all happened for the best. Each of us faces challenges in life. New challenges build your strength and character. It’s been said that “what doesn’t kill you, only makes you stronger.”

When you don’t know something, be thankful that you have the opportunity to learn. Read a book or take a class or watch a YouTube video. Make the effort to educate yourself. Maybe you were unemployed 5 years ago and decided to go back to school. Maybe you are now successfully enjoying a new career which not only feeds your bank account but nourishes your soul. If so, be thankful for the gift of your unemployment.

Be thankful for your mistakes because they teach you valuable lessons. You know what not to do. This helps you to know better what to do. You’re given the opportunity to try again and you are more prepared to succeed. You gain confidence and perseverance.

Difficult times are difficult at the time. But the difficulties fade. Our perception of them changes. We know that it is physiologically demanding and quite painful to deliver a baby. But our mind adjusts to that difficulty enabling second, third or even more babies to be delivered. We forget the pain of labor. It diminishes over time. Our perception changes as time passes.

When you’re tired and weary and don’t know if you’ll be able to go on, be thankful because your work and efforts made a difference in the world. Be grateful for your physical abilities and strength. Be grateful for your skills and talents. Positive thoughts can energize your physical body and motivate you to continue.

I agree with self-help author, Melody Beattie when she says, “Gratitude unlocks the fullness of life. It turns what we have into enough, and more. It turns denial into acceptance, chaos to order, confusion to clarity. It can turn a meal into a feast, a house into a home, a stranger into a friend. Gratitude makes sense of our past, brings peace for today and creates a vision for tomorrow.”

What happened 5 years ago? How are you better for it? When you are thankful for your troubles, you realize they can become your blessings. And even if you don’t already have everything you want in your life, be thankful for that. If you had all your heart’s desires, what would there be to look forward to?

Gratitude can turn negatives into positives. It can help you to look back on that time 5 years ago with a different perspective. It may even bring a smile to your face.

 

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Jul 18 2016

Adding Fuel to Your Fire

Category: HabitsPatricia @ 11:52 am

 

fire-jpg

 

You are unique in all the world. But…do you compare yourself to others? Do you watch reality TV shows like The Bachelorette or Keeping Up With the Kardashians? Are you keeping up? Or do you feel as if you have fallen behind? Do you have a fabulous wardrobe? Are you attending trendy events? Are you being pursued by a number of attractive, eligible bachelors? Maybe you’re tuning into home improvement shows or viewing outrageous real estate for sale? Do you look around your home and think, “What a dump!” STOP IT! Stop comparing yourself to others in a negative way! When you feel envious of other’s success, you can quickly decrease your own happiness. You can make yourself feel like a failure. Yes, you. STOP IT! When you feel the negative emotion of envy or jealousy, you lower your personal vibration. You actually put yourself in a vibrational place where you will attract what you don’t want …to fail. You will not attract that success you desire by thinking of yourself as less than others.

However, positive comparison is a different story. It can be helpful if you’re comparing yourself to another by admiring them rather than being jealous of their success. It’s a different vibration. When you admire, you are adjusting your vibration to match that of your successful friend. When you admire, you also imitate. Remember, imitation is the most sincere form of flattery. If your friend is being promoted, study his habits and behaviors at the office. What does he do to create that success? Is he responsible? Innovative? Helpful? Emulating him may help you. Or what about your friend who is the picture of perfect health? When you compare your habits to hers you may realize why. You may notice that she takes a walk every day at lunch while you sit at your desk and munch on snacks. Join her for a walk. If you want to be like her, do what she does.

Note the similarity or dissimilarity between your actions and the actions of others. If you want to have more of what they have, do more of what they do. Learn from them. They have something you want. How did they get it?

When you compare yourself to others in a healthy way it can fuel your determination to become more successful. This is one of the reasons why groups like Alcoholics Anonymous and Weight Watchers help so many people to achieve their goals. It is positive comparison.  We begin to think, “If they can do it, so can I!” We see that it is possible to achieve what others have achieved. We begin to change our beliefs about what is possible. We see better when we stand on the shoulders of those who have been there before us. Believing it is possible makes it so. When we compare ourselves to others in this way, we fuel the fires of our determination to do better; to be better.

And consider this…the images you watch on TV and in social media affect your view of your world and your place in it. They help to create your beliefs about your reality and it is not always a positive influence. If you really want to affect your reality, turn off the TV and all those outside communication devices. Or do a little research on the people you want to emulate. They may have lessons for you. And, most of all, I invite you to go within. The images are far more fascinating and beneficial to you. And your imagination is always the best source of fuel to feed your fire.

 

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Jun 07 2016

Tangled Hearts

Category: Spiritual ExplorationPatricia @ 10:09 am

Heart

 

 

Friendships are vital to our well-being. We need our people. It has been said, A friend is someone who knows the song in your heart and can sing it back to you when you have forgotten the words. But like all relationships…because people change, friendships change. Friendships require attention and commitment. And sometimes, one or both of you loses that connection. Growing apart doesn’t change the past. You have grown together and your hearts are tangled. Which is worse? When a good friend moves away? Or when you lose touch with a good friend who lives near you?

In the case of a friend moving away, you have no choice. You can’t stop by to visit or get together for lunch. You can’t plan on going dancing or taking a hike. Your options are limited. You have no choice about seeing that person face to face if they live somewhere else. They may be far across the world. You have no control over the situation. The friend has moved away because it was their choice. It is their life’s journey. You accept. You miss them but you wish them well. Together you plan on how you will visit; the ways you will communicate when you are no longer close in the physical world. The friend who moves away is not moving away from you. They are moving toward their own dreams and reality. Even though you will miss each other, you are able to wish each other well. You can laugh and cry and appreciate your time together. You can recognize your value to each other. Give a kiss or a hug. Say farewell. Until we meet again.

What about when your friend is close by? You may not have seen each other in a long time. Perhaps you haven’t even spoken. Maybe you wonder why or maybe you know why. But in this case, your options are unlimited. You have many choices. Distance is not an issue. Time is. You have many opportunities to plan to be together. Yet, you are losing touch. Are you too busy? Are you uncomfortable? Are you bored? Is it because the relationship doesn’t matter? What if it does matter? Scanning Facebook posts is not the same as being a friend in the real world. If the friendship matters, do not neglect it. Honor that heart connection. Consider your feelings if you were made aware that your friend had passed away before you made that call. It can happen. What if there were things left unsaid? What if you no longer had the opportunity to speak your heart? What if your choices were taken away?

When you reach out to someone you love, you reinforce the heart connection. Maybe the relationship doesn’t serve you anymore. Maybe you’re done with it and you’d like to “move away” from it. I suggest that you give yourself the opportunity to give the friendship a proper burial and the respect it deserves. Tell your friend that you are grateful for the memories you share. Thank them for being a part of your life. Wish them well and then send them on their way. Know that every relationship serves a purpose. Our friends help us to grow and become better. When we witness their life choices, we are able to understand experiences outside of our own self. Most of all, friends help us to learn a little more about love. Loving more is a priceless gift. When you honor the friendship and let it go with love and understanding, your heart connection remains.

When you speak from your heart, you also give your friend the opportunity to do the same. You may find that they may not want to let you go. They may want to reinforce that connection. You may want that too. You’ll find that when you speak your truth, you don’t lose friends… you learn who the real ones are. The Forever Friends. But for those friendships that are not meant to be forever… say good bye to your friendships when they have come to an end. When you say good bye, you are saying a contraction of “God be with you” (godbwye). You are in my heart. And all is well.

 

 

 

 

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Dec 07 2015

Your Mind’s Medicine Cabinet

Category: Positive ThinkingPatricia @ 4:22 pm

medicine cabinet.1

 

Are you aware of the happy chemicals that live in your body? Did you know that you produce your own medicine? And you can write your own prescription! Dopamine, Serotonin, Oxytocin, and Endorphins are responsible for your feelings of happiness. Many things can trigger these neurotransmitters. But did you know that there are ways you can intentionally cause them to flow? These happy chemicals create a positive state of well- being in body and mind. This positive state impacts motivation and productivity, health and happiness. Let’s take a look at how to hack into this state of being.

Dopamine has a number of important functions in the brain including regulation of motor behavior, pleasures related to motivation and also emotional arousal. It plays a critical role in the reward system. Dopamine motivates us to take action toward goals, desires, and needs. It also gives us a surge of pleasure which reinforces the motivation when we have achieved our goals. Studies show that low levels of dopamine are linked to behaviors such as procrastination, self-doubt, and lack of enthusiasm. To ensure a continual flow of experiencing dopamine, create a series of little achievements by breaking big goals into smaller ones. And allow yourself to celebrate that goal whenever you meet it! Before you achieve that goal, make a new one to ensure that the flow continues.

Serotonin flows when you feel significant or important. It regulates your appetite, sleep and body temperature. Serotonin regulates your  mood. Whenever you need a boost, remind yourself of your past achievements and success. Allow yourself to re-live the experience and the positive emotions connected to that experience. Remember that your mind doesn’t know the difference between what you imagine and what you perceive to be reality, so your brain produces serotonin in either case. A gratitude journal can help with this. Loneliness and depression appears when serotonin is absent, which is why most antidepressants focus on the production of serotonin.

Oxytocin has been referred to as the “cuddle” hormone. It’s released during orgasm, and by women during childbirth and breastfeeding. Oxytocin creates intimacy, trust, and increases fidelity. It builds healthy relationships and strong bonds. And it reduces cardiovascular stress and improves the immune system! Dr. Paul Zak recommends eight hugs each day as a simple and effective way to keep your oxytocin flowing.

Endorphins help to alleviate anxiety and depression. They act as an analgesic and sedative and are released in response to pain and stress. Endorphins are actually similar to morphine in their effects on diminishing perceptions of pain. You can induce endorphin release with regular exercise. And one of the easiest ways to increase your levels of endorphins is to laugh. Even the anticipation and expectation of laughter will do it.

Take advantage of this amazing ability to create a happier, healthier, more successful life. You have everything you need within. Don’t wait for happiness to magically appear in your life! Use some strategies to help yourself to help yourself!

 

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Nov 24 2015

Give Thanks. Sleep Better.

Category: HabitsPatricia @ 10:36 am

sleeping dogs

The official celebration of gratitude that we call Thanksgiving is now upon us. As a society and a nation, we must believe gratitude to be very, very important. It is SO important that we proclaim a day just for the purpose of giving thanks. We set aside an entire day to focus on gratitude. But Thanksgiving Day has become more than that. Or maybe it’s become less. Now it’s a day of not only feasting, but feasting to the point of gluttony. On Thanksgiving Day, Americans eat more food than on any other day of the year! And now, the observance of the holiday also involves frustrating travel scenarios and hours of traffic; football games; “I Love Lucy” marathons on TV; and the beginning of the holiday shopping season. It seems that we have lost sight of Abraham Lincoln’s original intention. During the Civil War, in 1863, he proclaimed a national day of “Thanksgiving and Praise to our beneficent Father who dwelleth in the Heavens”. The dictionary defines thanksgiving as “the expression of gratitude, especially to God”.

When we are grateful, we raise our consciousness and increase our connection and mystical union, whether in or out of meditation or any other spiritual practice. Whether you believe in God or not, apparently, it would benefit all of us if we actually practiced gratitude every day of the year. Research has suggested that people who are more grateful are happier, less stressed and more satisfied with their lives and their relationships. Grateful people also appear to have higher levels of control of their environments, growth and purpose in life. They have more positive ways of coping and finding solutions to their problems. And this is something we can all benefit from – grateful people sleep better! Maybe it’s because of the happy thoughts before sleep. Thankful is defined as a state of being “pleased and relieved”.

Studies have shown that the longest lasting effects of any kind of gratitude practice are associated with the act of writing a gratitude journal. A gratitude journal doesn’t have to be a big deal. Simply make note of three things every day that you feel grateful about. Something as simple as “I am grateful for my health” or “I am grateful for the love of my family”, can help you to focus on what is really important in your life. Writing in a gratitude journal can make you more optimistic about the future. Studies show it can make you exercise more and live a more healthy lifestyle. It has been reported that those who consciously practice gratitude are more enthusiastic and more determined to make progress towards personal goals. “Counting your blessings” actually is a blessing itself!

Melody Beattie says, “Gratitude unlocks the fullness of life. It turns what we have into enough, and more. It turns denial into acceptance, chaos to order, confusion to clarity. It can turn a meal into a feast, a house into a home, a stranger into a friend. Gratitude makes sense of our past, brings peace for today, and creates a vision for tomorrow”.

Setting aside time to give thanks for one’s blessings is a practice that will serve you well. You don’t need anyone else to tell you that it’s officially time to do this. Do this every day. Get yourself a little book to keep by your bedside. Just before you go to sleep take a moment to reflect on your day. Consider the blessings you have received on that day and make note of them. Take a moment to acknowledge the good that is flowing into your life. Recognize the source. Celebrate the abundance of the life you are living. All is well.

 

 

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Nov 17 2015

Is Happiness the Opposite of Success?

Category: Positive ThinkingPatricia @ 12:44 pm

extreme yacht

 

The conventional idea of success has many factors. Is it wealth and material status symbols like a big house and a fancy car? Is it experiences of traveling the world? Is it long-term relationships and a sense of belonging? Is it a prominent career? Does it look like “Keeping Up with the Kardashians”? The most important question is, “What does success mean to me?” If you don’t identify what success means to you, how will you know when you have achieved it? And once you have achieved your personal vision of success, do you think you will be happy?

I’d like you to consider that happiness may be the opposite of conventional success. Happiness is not about having things. It’s more about ceasing to want things. Satisfaction. When you stop caring about attaining everything that could be…and focus instead on enjoying what is… you are happy.

Sometimes you could become unhappy when you are thinking that life isn’t the way it should be. You are judging and comparing. You may decide that you need to change something before your life can really begin. You may think you need to lose 20 pounds before you can meet Mr. Right. Or you may believe that you need to leave Mr. Wrong before you can be happy. Unfortunately, it doesn’t work like that way. This is your life, right NOW. The only time there is. If you decide you can’t be happy until…then you will be disappointed. THIS IS IT! Are you happy?

Being happy can be the simplest thing in the world. You just need to do something that completely occupies your attention. You need to shut down the mind chatter and focus within. Some people do extreme sports to quiet their internal monologue. The danger requires their complete attention so there is room for nothing else. Then the thoughts about everything that they think is wrong in their life quiets down. Unfortunately, some people use destructive means to do the same thing. Drugs. Alcohol. Gambling. Sex. Sometimes we feel the need to escape our perceived reality.

We all have an experiencing self who lives in the present and knows the present. The experiencing self is capable of re-living the past but basically it lives only in the present moment. It is fully aware and conscious of events and perceptions right now. As you read these words, you are in the experiencing self.

We all also have a remembering self. What we decide to keep from our experiences becomes our memory, the story. This is the self that maintains our story. It is the self who repeats our story to our self and to others. It reinforces our belief in the way things are or were in the past. But, our memories are adaptable and flexible. Each time we remember something we recreate it.

Our stories are defined by significant emotional moments and changes. Mostly, our stories are defined by how they end. Endings are very, very important. The remembering self is the one who makes the decisions about what to do in the present based on how the story ended in the past. It decides whether we are happy with our memory of what happened.

Daniel Kahneman, Nobel laureate and founder of behavioral economics, says that our experiencing selves and our remembering selves perceive happiness differently. Your experiencing self is the part of you who is happy in the experience of life. You are enjoying the moment. Your remembering self is the part of you who is happy with your experience of life. You are enjoying the story you are telling because you like the way it ended.

So, are you happy in the experience of your life? Know that you can always go within to experience a sense of peace and happiness. Are you happy remembering the story of your life? Know that you decide on your story and how you tell it. You have great power to create happiness. You choose. And perhaps that is really the meaning of success.

 

 

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Jul 09 2015

Tending the Garden

Category: BeliefPatricia @ 12:58 pm

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Summer is here! We have just celebrated the Summer Solstice, the longest day of the year. The name of the event literally means “sun stands still”. The sun reaches the farthest point in its journey, pauses and then turns back towards the equator. We are given more light. Longer days. It almost feels like we have more time. We are busy, like the bees.

Even though we live in a world far removed from the natural rhythm of the seasons, it would be wise to pause and consider our connection to the passage of time and the ways of nature. We can look to the farmer for understanding. First of all, the farmer believes in the future. That’s why he plants a seed. There would be no point in planting the seed if there was not a belief and a faith that the seed would sprout, flourish and come into form. The farmer also chooses the type of seed he wants to harvest. He doesn’t plant corn and expect to harvest tomatoes. The farmer tends to the seed. He focuses his energy on it. He waters it and feeds it and ensures that it has adequate light. He never loses sight of his goal, imagining the abundant harvest as he watches the plant grow. The farmer works with the forces of nature and is in balance with the changing of the seasons.

“Your mind is a garden. Your thoughts are the seeds. You can either plant flowers or deal with the weeds.” ~anonymous

Each one of us is tending the garden of our mind, planting seeds all the time. And we all harvest what we have planted. A positive thought is like a flower. It’s beautiful to look at and brings a joyful experience. A negative thought is like a weed. It interferes with the flower, crowding it and distracting from its beauty. Your focus on the thought determines the outcome you will experience. A simple formula of positive thought equals positive experience; and negative thought equals negative experience. This is the way your garden grows.

Just like the farmer planting the seed, when you plant a thought it is a conscious action. You decide to focus on that thought. You believe it is possible. Your conscious mind is ruled by belief. This belief is based on what you have observed, or your individual perception of reality about who you are and how life is supposed to be. Belief creates faith. Your subconscious mind is ruled by faith and will act according to that faith. If your subconscious mind does not have faith in the outcome, it will not be possible. In Think & Grow Rich, Napoleon Hill states, “Faith is a state of mind which may be induced or created by affirmation…Repetition of orders to your subconscious mind is the only known method of voluntary development of the emotion of faith”. The farmer has faith in the harvest.

If you’ve lost faith in the seeds you’ve planted…things like losing weight or changing habits or achieving goals in relationships or career…perhaps it’s time to take advantage of the long days of summer to visualize and affirm the harvest of your life. You have the ability to convince your subconscious mind to take action. Positive faith can be enhanced. When the subconscious mind is convinced, it begins to act. Hypnosis is an extremely effective way to clear the past and get rid of the weeds that are cluttering your garden. It is also a proven method of selectively planting seeds which will blossom into a beautiful life experience. Sometimes a farmer needs new tools.

 

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Jun 04 2015

5 Ways to Maintain a Positive Attitude

Category: Positive ThinkingPatricia @ 1:53 pm

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If your life is not the best you can imagine, perhaps you need an attitude adjustment. It’s not difficult to create a positive attitude but it does take a little effort. That little effort might be all it takes to create a major shift in your life.

  1. Choose the good thoughts.

What are you telling yourself? Pay attention to your thoughts and how they affect your body. If it doesn’t feel good, choose another thought. You can make yourself sick.

Think about what you want. Think only in terms of the positive. It is far more powerful to be in favor of something positive rather than to be against something negative.

  1. Praise Yourself

Eliminate negative self-talk! Appreciate your talents and gifts. Acknowledge your skills and abilities; your strengths and positive attributes. Treat yourself with the same loving respect you give to others. Love and accept yourself as you are right now.

Daydream and imagine yourself as the ideal…physically, emotionally, and mentally. If you can see it, you can be it. The mind doesn’t know the difference between what you imagine and what you perceive as reality.

When you see yourself as healthy and successful, your mind becomes comfortable with it. Your confidence is boosted and you are able to achieve your goals.

  1. Practice Gratitude

Note five things every night that you are grateful for. The essence of all you appreciate is constantly flowing into your reality. “This. I want more of this.”

Grateful people report higher levels of positive emotions, vitality and life satisfaction and lower levels of depression and stress. They tend to exercise more and feel better physically.

Robert Emmons, a psych prof at UC Davis research found that a 21-day gratitude intervention produced high energy, positive moods, greater sense of feeling connected, more optimistic ratings of one’s life and better sleep duration and quality.

  1. Focus on the solution, not the problem.

Einstein said that all of his most important and productive thinking was done by “combinatory play” with “images” in his mind. Thought experiments. Ask a question, Visualize a situation and perform experimental action.

Whatever you are thinking about is literally planning for the future. When you are worrying and doubtful, you are planning for and attracting something you don’t want. Life is a mirror and will reflect back to the thinker what is thought about. Choose the good thoughts.

  1. Be present in the Now.

Stay focused on the present moment. Life begins now. Life is happening right now. If you are thinking about the past, you are thinking about it now. If you are thinking about the future, you are thinking about it now.

Life is a series of moments. Each and every moment is an opportunity for choice. Focus on what you can do today, right now.

Breathe. All is well.

 

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Apr 21 2015

Earth Day – Honoring the Great Mother

Category: Spiritual ExplorationPatricia @ 9:40 am

Wheel on Mt. Munay - South

As a community, we have officially declared April 22 to be Earth Day. On this day, many of us will participate in an activity designed to connect us with taking care of our planet. Earth Day was established in 1970 and achieved a rare political alignment, enlisting support from Republicans and Democrats, rich and poor, business and labor, city dwellers and farmers. The first Earth Day led to the creation of the U. S. Environmental Protection Agency and the passage of the Clean Air, Clean Water, and Endangered Species Acts. Earth Day is the largest civic event in the world, celebrated simultaneously around the globe by people of all backgrounds, faiths and nationalities. If we don’t take care of the planet, she cannot take care of us. And we are all in this together!

A childhood immersed in the world of Mother Nature, I grew up in Connecticut on four acres of woods. Tall and mighty oaks, graceful maples, stunning white birches formed a canopy where I played with the fairies amidst the lady slippers and moss of the forest floor. Our property overlooked a salt-water river where I swam off the dock and dangled bait to catch the crabs and fish. Seasons in New England offered a taste of the grand buffet of abundance offered by our Earth. The colors alone are beyond magnificent – from the green showcase of spring awakening; the brilliant blue of summer’s glorious skies; the outrageous red landscape of fall; to the quiet surrender of winter’s blanket of white. I watched the birds fly south in the grey skies and then listened to their joyful song when they returned to their ancestral home. The serpents displayed an array of patterns which taught me to distinguish those who could cause me harm. Squirrels, raccoons, deer, rabbits, chipmunks, skunks shared my world along with cats, dogs and horses. The animals taught me about life and death; instinct and survival. I learned about collective consciousness when I watched the ants build and defend their homes. The North Star was a guiding light in the heavens. I chewed on sweet grasses, drank nectar from the honeysuckle vines and feasted on the wild raspberries. I spit watermelon seeds into the fertile earth of the garden and watched the vines appear. I wandered in solitude in the woods and along the shore and I knew that I was a part of it all. One.

It’s not surprising that my spiritual path is the way of the Shaman. A Shaman acts on behalf of humanity to foster harmony and balance with Nature. We dream the world into being for the good of all concerned. There is a reverence for Earth and an attunement with the cycles of the seasons, the sun, the moon and the cosmic energies. Initiated as a Pampa Mesayoq, I practice being in alignment with caring for the environment. Honoring Pachamama, our mother and all her creatures – the two-legged, the four-legged, the creepy crawlers, the plant people, the stone people, the furred, the finned, the winged ones, all of our relations – matters because it is a reverence for life.

My message for Earth Day is this: We are one. We are connected. Do something nice for your Mother! She gives you everything you need, including life itself! When you honor her, you honor your life. And most importantly, you honor your children and your children’s children. You make a statement that your action is a belief in the future. Come into right relationship with your true mother, Mother Earth, Mother Nature, Gaia, Pachamama, Parvati, Terra, the Cosmic Mother. Earth Day is something to celebrate Every Day.

 

 

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Mar 24 2015

How to Stop Your Head From Exploding!

Category: Positive ThinkingPatricia @ 12:20 pm

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Einstein tells us that “Imagination is more important than knowledge. It is the preview of life’s coming attractions.” What are you imagining? Are you thinking about what you want or about what you don’t want? The life you imagine is the life you live!

Do you realize you have a choice about what you are thinking? And you get to make that choice… one thought at a time. In 1994, I didn’t know I could make a choice. I didn’t know that I had the power to control my thoughts. Instead, I let them control me.

It was a very stressful time. The Northridge earthquake…perhaps some of you remember. Well, I experienced some personal aftershocks. My husband was injured. It was a minor injury but there were complications. Flesh-eating bacteria! Eleven Days of ICU. Survival not guaranteed. And even though my prayers were answered, there was recovery and rehab and the stress didn’t end.

During that time, I would say to anyone who was listening, “If I have to take any more of this, my head is going to explode.” In November, it happened. I had a mini-stroke. A T.I.A. A little explosion left me with the inability to speak or move. Distorted time. After a moment or two or… an eternity, it passed. I re-wired. I was one of the lucky ones. I recovered completely. Stress didn’t kill me… but it did inspire me to learn better ways to cope with it.

Are you suffering from stress? Are you thinking about things that you don’t want to happen? Are you worrying about the future? Napoleon Hill says “If you don’t control what you think, you can’t control what you do.”

With more than 12 years of clinical practice, I’ve developed a lot of tools to help you take control of your thoughts. I know secrets! I’d like to share 3 tips to help you let go of some stress.

  1. Use your inner eye to create your outer world.

Your imagination uses your mind to think and your heart to feel. When you focus on what you don’t want, you feel stress, anxiety or worry. Worrying is literally planning for things you don’t want to happen! When you focus on what you do want, you feel good, empowered, and confident. Anything you want to do or have or be is possible. Positive thoughts have a positive effect. Make a choice! The mind doesn’t know the difference between what is real and what is imaginary.

  1. Thoughts are powerful. Think thoughts of gratitude.

Become more aware of people, places and things which affect your life experience in a positive way. When you pay attention, you experience more appreciation. Make note of the positive things happening in your everyday life and expect more of the same. Look for the happy place! Recognize and appreciate that what you now have was once among the things you only hoped fo

  1. You are a creator. You create with every thought. And you do it Now.

Whatever you are thinking about, you are creating. You are literally broadcasting “this…bring me more of this…” So, don’t say things like… “If I have to take any more of this, my head will explode!”

If you think about the past, you’re thinking it about it now. If you think about the future, you’re thinking about it now. We often create by default because we are getting whatever we are giving our attention to – wanted or unwanted. All the time. With every thought you think. If you want to create a stress-free future, you must do it now. And there will never be a time when it is not now.

Are you living your best life? If not, why not? Are you willing to invest in yourself? Invest in your future? The future is Now. Use your MindSight and take advantage of the power of your subconscious mind! Remember, the Mind Matters!

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Dec 22 2014

Celebrating Holidays Isn’t Mandatory

Category: Spiritual ExplorationPatricia @ 12:42 pm

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Even though we all share the winter holiday season, the holiday experience is unique for each one of us. We may celebrate Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanza, Solstice or even Festivus. Within each of the holidays a different tradition is recognized. And within each one, many more traditions exist. We have a need to create and maintain rituals.

As a society, we’re called upon to join in with good cheer to celebrate, even when we’re not feeling it. We may not share beliefs. We may be uncomfortable with consumerism and rampant spending. Some of us are suffering illness and are barely able to cope with the day to day demands of life. We don’t have time to decorate and shop. We don’t want to feast on empty calories when we’ve struggled to maintain a healthy weight. We don’t want to participate in events where alcohol is the focus when we are dealing with addictions or dysfunctional relationships.

We experience a wealth of memories throughout our lifetime and our most vivid memories are attached to our most extreme emotions. Holiday memories can bring great joy or tragic sadness. Some of us are remembering loss and loved ones who are no longer with us. We just want the holidays to be over with so we can get back to normal and stop all this celebrating!

Remember, this is your life. You get to decide what to do and how to do it. Outer celebration is optional. Inner celebration is advised.

What is inner celebration? It’s when you bring the blessed gift of your authentic self to this party called Life. It’s when you celebrate yourself and recognize your value. Life is happening every moment of every day and you can choose how you celebrate each moment.

Begin a new tradition this holiday season with a new perspective about celebrating holidays. Nothing is mandatory! Even if it’s the way it’s always been done, do it another way if it no longer suits you. Select what you love about the holidays and reinforce it or recreate it. You can choose to participate or you can choose to remove yourself. Whatever you choose to do, do it with your heart. Do it because it feels good for you. Let the stress go. Stress was never the intention of a holyday.

Inner celebration can be observed upon awakening. Greet the day with eager anticipation for the unknown goodness coming your way. Be grateful for the gifts of your particular talents and skills. Acknowledge the love of your family and friends and spend time enjoying their company. Nourish yourself with good food and good thoughts. Decorate your environment to delight your senses. Honor your spirit. Inner celebration is a timeless state of joy. Life is a sacred experience and every day is a holyday.

 

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Nov 18 2014

Freedom to Celebrate Gratitude

Category: Self-Meditation & MindfulnessPatricia @ 4:24 pm

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As a society, we set aside a day each year to gather, feast and be thankful. We are free to join the celebration in any way we see fit. On Thanksgiving Day, we each celebrate our own unique version of gratitude. Even though most homes will be feasting on turkey and all the trimmings, some will share lasagna or enchiladas or vegan fare. As we gather with our families and friends, we are also free to be kind and loving or to be angry and resentful. Holiday get-togethers in close quarters have been known to be experiences which range anywhere from wonderful to disastrous. To help you with the upcoming holiday season, I’d like to share some thoughts about freedom which may make you think about your actions and reactions.

May you have the freedom to be present in the moment and be able to see and hear what is going on right now. May you be free to let go of the judgment of what should be or what used to be or what may be. Often when we gather as adult children, we revert to childish behavior because of buttons which are pushed by our parents or siblings. Ex-spouses and blended families add layers of emotional triggers. The past is over. Think about who you are now and act accordingly.

May you have the freedom to speak your truth and say what you think. May you be free to let go of concerns about what anyone else thinks about your truth. Remember that it’s okay to let others know what you think. Your thoughts are important. If you don’t value them, why would anyone else?

May you have the freedom to feel your true emotions without fear. May you be free to let go of beliefs about what anyone else feels about your feelings. Your feelings are important. The more you express your feelings, the more confident you become. Your feelings are unique to you and no one has the right to judge them.

May you have the freedom to ask for what you want. May you let go of the need to ask permission. When we learn to ask for what we want, we very often get it! Give yourself permission.

May you have the freedom to take a risk or a leap of faith so that you may be better, stronger, wiser.

May you let go of the need to think small in order to be secure. We limit ourselves with limited thinking. Start to dream big and expect that you will grow wings.

And since no one else can do it for you, may you grant yourself the freedom to be you…the very best you can imagine. You will feel gratitude in every atom of your being. You will realize that Thanksgiving Day is a state of mind rather than a place in time. Join the celebration every moment of every day.

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Nov 12 2014

Before Its Too Late

Category: Positive ThinkingPatricia @ 4:39 pm

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This morning when I picked up my broom to sweep the kitchen floor, I heard my mother’s presence echo in my mind. I felt a great sense of gratitude for this simple act of sweeping. I can do this. She no longer can. She can’t sweep the floor or wash the dishes or any of the mundane household acts we take for granted. Having suffered a stroke, she can no longer stand. I think if she could stand, she would be excited to sweep because she’d be able to get all the things that others had missed. Sweeping would be a joyful act. I doubt she realized it when she swept the floor for the last time. I wonder if she was mindful of the simple joy of tending to things. That’s how life happens. We experience things and then we realize that the experience is done. Over.

As I gathered the remnants of yesterday, I thought not only of my mother, but of others who no longer walk the earth or sweep the floor. My gratitude expanded as I realized the gift I was experiencing. I considered that I had a home with a floor. And it was located in a beautiful city in an amazing state in an incredible country. I owned it. And I had a broom, a tool to do the job of sweeping. And that my home was filled with the family who created the dirt on the floor. I felt joy for the ability to physically do the job. There have been days in my life when there was no time to sweep…or no energy. Yet today, I was given the time, the energy and the desire. I was given the gift of life.

Sometimes we’re not paying attention. We miss out on our experiences. When we are not mindful, we don’t see the whole picture in all its’ glorious details. And then when the experience is over, we have a vague memory and we wish we could fill it in. The problem is, you’ll never know when the experience is happening for the last time. Until there are no more times. And it will take you a while to realize that. Before it’s too late, remember that there are only so many times, and when they are gone, you will yearn for more.

It has been said, “Before enlightenment, chop wood, carry water. After enlightenment, chop wood, carry water”. May you chop wood, carry water and sweep floors for many more days. And may you find joy in the simple acts of living. Every last time.

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Sep 11 2014

Precious Words

Category: Positive ThinkingPatricia @ 5:10 pm

 

Words-are-Energy-Love

My mother recently reached a milestone birthday – 90 years. Unfortunately, she wasn’t able to really comprehend that. Like so many of the elderly, her body continues to be here even though her mind has moved on to other dimensions.

Strokes. One little brain explosion at a time has left their toll. I’ve lost count. We were talking on the phone when it happened the first time. She recovered completely from that one but another one happened which began the real decline. A few months later, she broke her hip and then Daddy died. Little by little she slipped away. Last year another stroke impacted her ability to swallow or speak. It was so bad, I asked for Hospice. Her speech was reduced to that of a 2 year old. Sometimes it is just gibberish, yet she is so physically expressive of her emotions, she makes her point known. Sometimes an entire sentence is clear and succinct. Sometimes it is just a word or two.

After a year of Hospice care, Mom graduated. Apparently she has no intention of leaving the planet yet!

Mom and I have had an interesting relationship. She’s been a difficult woman, to say the least. At times, my friends were a little frightened of her. She could go on a rant! As she lost her mind, her judgments and her negativity, we became very close. I was blessed to rediscover my mother.

When I last visited, I wasn’t sure if she would know me. Sometimes she forgets that I’ve grown up. When I approached her, she was sitting with a group of residents in the reception area. She looked up at me with clear recognition and absolute delight. The woman who had criticized me, yelled at me, accused me for most all my life; this woman was now bursting with joy at the mere sight of me.

Clearly and succinctly, she spoke to me. She said, “Daughter! Daughter! Beautiful! Love! Love!”

Precious words. There is great power in words. There is an even greater power in speaking words of love. I know my mother always loved me the very best way that she could. But she didn’t say it. She didn’t know how to say the words “I love you”. Don’t wait until you’re 90. Say precious words. Do it. While you can.

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Aug 05 2014

Pennies From Heaven

Category: Law of AttractionPatricia @ 2:13 pm

pennies from heaven

 

Allowing and accepting are valuable tools for building abundance. You could be receiving cash and income from unexpected sources and not even recognize it. You must be open to receive. Live your life in eager anticipation for the good that is coming your way. Every penny counts. Count your blessings.

I recently spoke with a man about residual checks he has been receiving. Most of the checks were less than $1; in fact the average was worth only about 15 cents. Although he has been saving them he had no intention of cashing them. Apparently he thought they weren’t worth the effort of signing and depositing into his account.

I was puzzled by his actions. Surely he knew that the checks had value and he wanted to receive abundance in his life. Yet he didn’t recognize it when it was being handed to him! He actually resisted it, instead of allowing it. I pointed out to him that the Universe was always looking for ways to give him whatever he wanted. It was important to recognize this and to be grateful for each and every way that abundance was showing up. Including 15 cents at a time! Literally, pennies from heaven! After our conversation, he planned to cash the checks. He’ll deposit them into a savings account so he can receive all that is coming to him.

On another occasion, a woman spoke to me about a dividend check she had received. Although her father had passed many years ago, a sum was now being given to his estate. Obviously, she was taken by surprise. She imagined that it might be a substantial sum. She considered that this sum may be just the first installment and there would be more to follow. She received $450. She felt disappointed, as if she had been cheated out of her imaginary windfall. A mere $450 wasn’t really worth getting excited about.

I thought she should be excited. $450 handed to her! I asked her if there was something the money would enable her to do or if there was something she wanted to purchase. I encouraged her to consider something that related to her dad. She decided to have some family photos restored, matted and framed. Now, she is reminded of the unexpected abundance she received and feels the gratitude for it. It made her happy to think that her dad was still showering her with gifts. And she is reminded of it whenever she sees the photos.

Allowing yourself to consider the little miracles in your life is a way to open yourself up to receive more. Being aware of the flow of abundance permits you to perceive it more fully and gratefully.

When something is given to us, often we resist because it isn’t packaged the way we expect it to be. It doesn’t look like it’s supposed to look. It’s not the right size. It’s not good enough. You may resist not only pennies from heaven, but a better career, environment or relationship. When you recognize that every opportunity is a choice, you can decide to just say “yes”. Stop resisting your good! Allow it to flow and know that more is on the way!

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Jun 30 2014

50 Years Living

Category: MotivationPatricia @ 1:33 pm

Life is happening. Time is passing. People are getting older. What fun to celebrate! Especially when you consider the alternative – no more birthdays. I remember 50. I celebrated in grand style from coast to coast. It’s a great milestone to recognize just how long you’ve been on the planet. It’s a time to reflect on what you’ve experienced and how you’ve lived your life. Turning 50 is a time to celebrate yourself. By the time you’ve spent 50 years living, you have a pretty good idea of who you are. Your opinion of yourself matters more than other’s opinions of you.

Birthday+Cake+-+lots+of+candles

What advice do I offer to someone who has reached the age of 50? Jimi Hendrix offered this in a poem found where he died at the age of 27. “The story of life is quicker than the blink of an eye, the story of love is hello and goodbye, until we meet again.”  It seems to me that you ought to know everything you need to know by now, yet life is constantly changing and you get to learn more. You learn more about love, compassion and acceptance. You learn more about the beauty of being alive. You learn gratitude.

You will not realize you have aged until you notice it from the outside. It might be a photograph or a glance in a mirror that makes you aware. Your skin will show the signs of the passing years and the effects of gravity will wear on the physical body. On the inside, you are the same. You are timeless and eternal. Remember you are living in a shell. It is designed to create awareness of the physical experience and it will reflect the choices you have made and the experiences you have created.

You will find time to do what you want to do because you know what it is. And you can give yourself permission.

You will speak your truth, because it has value.

You will be more aware of the passing of time and know how to savor the gift of the now moment. And then you will recognize that your time on the planet is limited and that you’re probably half done. It may make you sad because when you’re having so much fun it’s hard to leave the party.

Your heart will grow and grow and grow because you have experienced more love.

It has been said, In youth we learn; in age we understand.Welcome to the time of understanding…the age of knowing.

 

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