Belief

“The only thing more dangerous than an idea is a belief.”
― Sarah Vowell, The Wordy Shipmates

A belief is something we assume to be true. It is not necessarily based on fact. Sometimes we hear someone in a position of authority say something and because that person is considered an expert, we believe, without questioning and without researching, that what they say is true when it isn’t.

We also develop beliefs based on our own interpretation of events. If someone you care about becomes easily angered by something you do, you may draw the conclusion that doing that particular thing is wrong, so you won’t ever do that thing again. However, it may be that the person you care about became angered only because they were having a bad day and they have no objection whatsoever to you doing that thing at any other time.

So it’s important to carefully examine our beliefs for accuracy and for truth because to live life under the shadow of false beliefs can weigh you down and negatively affect your ability to reach your full potential.

The Power of Faith

“Faith is taking the first step even when
you don’t see the whole staircase.”
― Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

When you have unshakeable, abiding faith, nothing can alter your course. When you know, with unshakeable faith, that you are going to accomplish something, the universe moves in mysterious ways to accommodate you. You might say the universe makes the staircase appear. How does that happen?

You may read something that gives you an idea for how to proceed. Someone, sometimes a stranger, may say something that leads you to the answer you are seeking. You may have a dream and, upon waking, have the answer to a question you’ve been asking.

When you know, with unshakeable faith, that you are going to accomplish something and you take the first steps toward achieving it, all kinds of serendipitous things occur to help you reach your goal. However, you must remain focused on your goal. You must believe you are going to achieve your goal.

If you remain open to opportunities, recognize them when they occur, and take action, you will be on your way to achieving the goal you have set for yourself.

If this post resonates with you, please take a moment to leave a comment below:  What have you learned? Or perhaps you’d like to share a time when you experienced an unshakeable faith in your ability to achieve a goal.

Energy Drives Everything

Everything is energy.

Molecules and atoms are in constant motion and everything is comprised of them. Our thoughts are the most powerful energy form in the world.

Sages and philosophers since the beginning of time have taught that our thoughts are powerful.

We are shaped by our thoughts;
we become what we think.
         —Buddha

If your thoughts are predominantly negative throughout the day, you can expect negative experiences to enter your life. If, on the other hand, your thoughts are predominantly positive, more positive experiences will fill your life.

Think of your thoughts, combined with the intensity of your emotions, as the creators of your external world.

How to Fully Live Each Moment

Life is meant to be lived. Just existing is not living at all. Living for the future, or even worse, living in the past is not living. It’s not even existing.

You see, the only moment we have is NOW. Let me say that again. The ONLY moment, the ONLY time we have is this moment, right NOW. The past is gone, done, over. That’s why we call it the past. You cannot change the past. The future has yet to come and, while you can alter the future, you can only do so by what you think, say, and do while you consciously live in the Now Moment.

There’s a lot of talk nowadays about living consciously and being mindful, but very few people fully understand what it means to live this way. When you live consciously, you live each moment in such a way that you are fully conscious (or mindful) of what you are doing. When you live this way, you are completely focused on what you are doing every single moment.

Children are very good at living consciously. Just watch a young child at play. They are so focused on what they are doing that they lose track of time and sometimes don’t even hear their parents call them until their name is called 2 or 3 times. It’s not that they’re not listening to their parents. It’s just that they’re so tuned in to what they are doing in the moment, that they’ve tuned out all other stimuli.

I know because I’ve been doing this for years. When I was a child, I would get so involved in whatever book I was reading that I wouldn’t hear my name called when it was time for dinner. Once, in high school study hall, one of my friends had to physically pull me out of my chair to get me out of the way of two kids who were fighting and coming our way. My friend had been sitting next to me and had called my name three times, however, I was so engrossed in the history book I was reading that I didn’t hear her because I’d tuned out the noise of the study hall where the other kids were talking and I’d became absorbed in the moment.

Exercise: Practice Living in the Moment
Try this exercise. No, don’t try it. Do it. Do it every time you start thinking about the past or the future. When you realize that you are thinking or most especially worrying about something in the past or find yourself waiting for things to get better in the future, do the following:

    1. Put your hand up in front of you, palm outward like a policeman stopping traffic and in a loud voice say, “Stop!” (If you’re not alone, just think, “Stop!”)

    2. Ask yourself, “What am I doing right now?”

    3. Then answer yourself (for example): “I am sitting at my desk. I am picking up a pen and I am now writing a note about today’s meeting to myself.” You get the idea.

    4. Keep doing that until you are focused solely on what you are doing in that moment.

One of the most wonderful benefits of living in the now moment is that you begin to feel happy in the present moment. Go ahead and do this now and let us know how this works for you by leaving a comment below.

The Divine Plan

There is a Divine Plan for every living thing, a plan so marvelous, so wondrous that we cannot begin to imagine it. When you are living the Divine Plan for your life, each day unfolds in perfect ease and harmony.

You’ve probably met someone who seems to live a charmed life. Whatever she wants, she gets. Wherever she goes, she meets helpful, friendly people. And, what’s more, she seems happy almost all of the time. People wonder, ‘What’s her secret?”

Truthfully, her secret is so simple, it’s hard.

Her secret is that she has faith that everything she wants to be, do, and have is possible.

She’s on the Divine Path that is meant for her by Divine Right. She’s living the life of her dreams. But how did she get there? And how does she stay on that Divine Path?

Good questions. When we’re children. we are very much in tune with the Divine Plan for us. And, although we spend a certain number of years trying out different scenarios—I want to be a doctor; I want to be a lawyer: I want to be a rock star—eventually, one thing stands out in our minds and keeps repeating itself like a 45-rpm record stuck in a groove. (Yes, I remember vinyl records!)

The catch is that most of us, by the time we’re old enough to act upon that one thing that stands out for us, have discarded the child-like sense of wonder and the faith that we can do, be, or have whatever we want. We’ve discarded it because we’ve suffered so many disappointments that we’ve bought into what Don Miguel Ruiz, author of The Four Agreements: A Practical Guide to Personal Freedom (A Toltec Wisdom Book) calls the Race Thought. The word ‘Race’ in this sense stands for Human Race.

You see, humankind believes that we live in a three-dimensional world and that we are bound by something called karmic law. For most humans, this is their truth and their reality. So they place limits on themselves and on what they can be, do, and have. And, guess what? Those limits become their reality.

However, for a special few (and I hope you are going to be one of them), there is a Fourth Dimension, the World of the Wondrous, the world most people left behind when they left childhood.

In that Fourth Dimension World, you live the Divine Plan, the life plan that is yours by Divine Right. When you live in that place, your life seems charmed. Things work seemingly like magic. It’s a wonderful, magical, marvelous place.

Lucky 2013 — Time to Revise

It’s never too late — in Fiction or in Life — to Revise.
                                              —Nancy Thayer

 We’ve just rung in the New Year. It’s time to wipe the slate clean and start fresh. It’s time to revise the things that haven’t worked in the past year, Reassess the things that have worked, and Determine what to add to your life. Perhaps I should call this time revisioning.

I don’t believe in new year’s resolutions because they’re too easy to break. I do, however, believe in setting goals for the coming year. My favorite thing about New Year’s Day is the quiet time I spend, either first thing in the morning or sometime later in the day, snuggled in the most comfortable chair in our home with a notebook and pen at the ready.

The first thing I do is make a list of everything (and I do mean everything) I want to accomplish, beginning with:

  1. What I plan to earn (this is not based on current income—this is what I want to earn).
  2. When I plan to take vacation, where I plan to go, and for how long.
  3. Next, I list 3 to 5 long-term goals (goals that will require 6 to 12 months to complete.
  4. Following the long-term goals, I include up to 10 short-term goals (goals that will require 1 week to 3 months to complete.
Now, 17 goals is much too long a list and I usually end up with closer to 20 or 25. So the next thing I do is pare down the list. Take some time to evaluate each goal. Ask yourself, is this really something I want enough to do it this year or is it just a pipe dream?
 
Remember that these are serious goals whose accomplishment has nothing to do with the everyday necessities of living, such as grocery shopping, doing the laundry, or cleaning the house. So you want to make sure your list contains the most important of your overall goals.

 
I usually aim for 10 goals for the new year. However, since this year is Lucky 2013, I’m giving myself some room to negotiate and revise — I’m giving myself 13 very lucky goals.

Now make 3 copies of your 2013 goals list. Hang one up in a prominent position in your office where you will see it everyday. Carry one copy in your wallet or purse, so you can read it periodically whenever you need an inspirational boost. Place one by your bed, so you can read it each night before you go to sleep and in the morning when you wake up.
 
Happy New Year!
 

Live Consciously

“Most people live lives of quiet desperation
and go to the grave with their song still in them.”
—Henry David Thoreau

Most people are so busy racing about “doing things” that they forget to “live.” They make time to “do” all the things they think they’re supposed to do, such as housework, shopping, cleaning, and putting out what they call ‘fires,”those annoying little “life emergencies” that eat up all their time—and they call that “living.”

They are so busy that they don’t have time to visit with a friend over a leisurely cup of coffee or go out to dinner or see a play or go to the beach and just have fun. What’s more, they resent their busy-ness and feel quietly desperate for something more. They long for the life they’ve always dreamed of living, however, they’ve given up hope of ever having that life because, “Well,” they say, “that’s life. Ya gotta do what ya gotta do.”

What they don’t realize is that life is comprised of a series of choices. Everything we do, think, say, and feel is a choice that we make everyday. If you’re “too busy,” that’s your choice. Do you really have to do the laundry every Wednesday morning at 10:00 a.m.? Or could you, just once in a while, meet a friend for a chat and a cup of coffee? The laundry isn’t going anywhere. I have a pretty strong suspicion that it will still be there, right where you left it, when you get home.

I call this busy-ness way of living, not living at all. I call it existing, surviving, being at the mercy of life’s vagaries, and it’s not at all fun. Life is meant to be lived. Life is meant to be enjoyed. Life is meant to be fun. That is why we have so many options for enjoying life.

When you get on that hamster wheel of busy-ness, you shift your brain into overdrive and get lost in the busy-ness. When you live that way, you usually are living Unconsciously. At the end of the day, you wonder where the day went and feel frustrated that you haven’t accomplished your own life goals.

Getting off the hamster wheel of busy-ness requires a Conscious choice. In fact, it requires a series of Conscious Choices. When you live Consciously, you make choices that help you really “live” your life, instead of just survive it.

Make a Conscious Choice today to take 5 minutes to do something that is really living:  call a friend you haven’t spoken with in a long time, take a walk and really look at the flowers or the sky or the scenery, start reading that book you’ve been longing to read. Give yourself the gift of 5 minutes everyday for 7 days. Then increase it to 10 minutes for the next 7 days and see how it feels.

When you make Conscious Choices, you stop being at the mercy of life’s vagaries and start really living.

Remove Your Limitations

“Argue for your limitations and they’re yours.”
—Richard Bach, Illusions

What if there were no limits to what you could accomplish? What if you could do, be, or have anything you wanted? What if all you had to do was ask for something and you would receive it?

The first time I read the quote at the top of this post, I literally gasped out loud. It was suddenly clear to me that, in spite of the confidence I had in my own abilities, there were times when I set limits for myself. In those times, I hadn’t been able to accomplish the goals I’d set for myself because I’d ‘thought’ and ‘believed’ that I couldn’t achieve those goals.

“Argue for your limitations and they’re yours.” When Richard Bach wrote those words in his book, Illusions, he was making the point that we each set limits, consciously or unconsciously, to what we can do, be, or have.

The truth is that there are no limits to what we can accomplish beyond what we believe we are capable of achieving.

Next time you set a goal for yourself, examine your thoughts and your deep-down core beliefs. Ask yourself if you really ‘think’ and ‘believe’ that you can accomplish the goal you are setting for yourself. And, if you have any doubts, ask yourself if they’re valid or if they’re  motivated by any self-imposed limitations.