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Unraveling the Cause of War

thoughtful Thursday

It’s Thursday still…at least for a few hours, and so I’m going to post this article as I write it. I haven’t written on this site lately and it has been refreshing. For the last 4 years or so, I have kept an “inspirational” site going with all the things that people said I needed to do.

Social Media posts. Regular content updates. Commenting on other sites.

I gave it all up (for the most part).

I felt as if I didn’t have something to say.  At the same time, I have been going through a deepening of my own spiritual awakening.  When I first started to “awaken,” I was tied to philosophies and personalities and felt like I needed to say something different. Unique. Special.

Now I have something to say. For some, it will be way too deep. That’s okay. Let it go and move on to the next thing that your soul connects with.  For others, it may be like the porridge bowl in the story of the Three Bears, and will be “just right.”

Either way, I am not writing this because I need to write it–or because I should write it. Instead, I write it because I have something to say about war and the terror of reality.

For those at war (in your household, in your community or in your own mind), this may bring some peace. That is my hope for myself–for you and for us.

[Read more…]

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Why Wait for Vacation? How to Enjoy Every Moment

I was on a Google Hangout with some friends recently, discussing how we organize our lives.  The topic of vacations–and how we plan them–came up.

The host of the Hangout, Lori, made the distinction of planning for the vacation versus being on the vacation and used this distinction as a metaphor for life.

The Obstacle to Enjoying Life

In the Hangout most of us admitted that we work and live rather haphazardly when it comes to the daily hour-by-hour management of our lives.  Some have over-arching goals and priorities–like children, education, business, etc–but many of us face what is in front of us and move through life going one thing to the next.

A few years ago–like most of the world–I watched the progression and passing of the life of Steve Jobs, and it made me think.

I want to live my life in such a way that when I come to the end of it, I am satisfied.

You would probably say the same of your life, wouldn’t you?  Nobody sets out to live a failed life.  If satisfaction is the goal, what is the method?  How can we create a satisfied life?

Here are 3 assertions I made:

1. My life may end at any time.

2. I don’t (yet) know when my life will end.

3. I want to be prepared.

There’s nothing ground-breaking about these assertions, but they made me face the truth that many of us try to avoid–I am mortal.

So, you may see the inherent paradox here between numbers 1 & 2 and number 3.  How does one prepare for something that is imminent but may (or hopefully may not) be immediate?

How to Enjoy Life

For me it came down to a matter of training myself to find joy in every moment–even the ones that frustrate, anger and bewilder me.

How can you find joy in every moment?

  • Be clear about what brings you joy
  • Do what brings you joy

When I first started down this path, I didn’t know what brought me joy.  Do you? Really?  Think about it for a minute.

Set aside the cars, boats, planes, houses, etc.  What brings you down-in-your-soul, curl-your-toes joy?

Image of the authorFor me it is flexibility, spontaneity, stillness and the ability to express myself creatively.  (Is it any wonder that I fall deeper in love with my photography hobby every day?)

So you say, “Yeah, but Steve, you can’t just run around taking pictures every day without making any money to support yourself!”

You’re right. I can’t. My skill isn’t developed enough to live from my hobby…yet. And honestly, I don’t know if I even really want to make a living from photography. Probably not.

Here is the key: Look for ways to enrich every moment of your life with what brings you joy. (Tweet This)

It would be weird–no, actually it would be creepy–for me to take my camera to work and snap pictures of everyone and everything.

Here’s what I mean.  Uncover the keystones of what bring you joy–in my case, independence, stillness and creativity–and look for ways to bring that to your life in every moment!

You can create ways to feel joy even in the most mundane and dull moments of your life. You may not love your job, but start finding ways to bring your joy with you to work, and you’ll find your perspective toward that dead-end job shifts dramatically.

You cannot travel within and stand still without.
– James Allen
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Your circumstances will shift when you do.  That’s the bottom line. You always control your thoughts.

So even if you find a circumstance to which you can bring no joy at all (like losing a loved one), you can still find joy within the stillness of your soul and in the quietness of your thoughts.  The presence of joy does not mean the absence of sorrow. Joy exists, as a matter of will, in spite of the sorrow.

A Final Warning on Enjoying Life

Many people mistakenly believe that a dramatic shift in circumstances will bring greater joy to their lives. In every case where my circumstances shifted for the better, the level of my joy remained fairly consistent.

Some of us want to dive off into our hobbies–either as a career or as a distraction–before we have the stability or ability to do so.  Don’t make this mistake.

I would have been foolish to grab my camera, march into my workplace and drop my resignation letter on my boss’s desk, and say, “I found my passion. I’m outta here!”

Your hobby may become your career at some point, but it may not. Search beyond your passion, and uncover your true purpose. What makes you come alive? What is it that brings you joy.  Then, set to work creating a life from that, and you’ll find that the circumstances will realign themselves in an almost magical way.

Castle quote by Thoreau

 

(click the quote/image to tweet it)

What Do You Do to Bring Joy to Your Moments?

Please share this article.

In the comments section below, fill me in on what you do to bring joy to the everyday moments of your life–particularly the more mundane or frustrating moments.  Do you have any stories of when your circumstances shifted after you shifted yourself?  I want to hear your stories. They are so inspiring.

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Ask a Better Question, Get a Better Answer

Asking the Right QuestionQuestion Mark

Personal performance expert Tony Robbins is known around the world for his ability to help people create motion  in their lives.

One of the most powerful insights I learned from him is expressed in this quote.

“Quality questions create a quality life.
Successful people ask better questions,
and as a result, they get better answers.”

[Read more…]

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What to Do When You Don’t Fit In

Why am I here?

Puzzle piece with eyes looking out of itRemember your first day at a new school?

Maybe it was grade school.  Maybe in university.  The gut-gnawing uncertainty. People  everywhere, yet you feel so alone.  You just want to go hide somewhere.

Life can feel like that, can’t it?

Why am I here? Why can’t I seem to get my stuff together? Why does everything seem to fall into place for others and never for me? [Read more…]

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In Which I Prove that Doing the Impossible is Normal

Dare the Impossible

Do the Impossible

Impossible!!!

It seems so much more daunting that it really is.

It’s only because you and I have certain beliefs we hold about what is possible or not–and even beliefs about the idea of possibility.

We think that the impossible is something that is grand and overwhelming–that only the superheroes and over-achievers attempt. [Read more…]

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Creative Way to Track Your Goals in 2013

Happy New Year!

A few days ago, I saw a great idea posted on Facebook.  It was to take a jar and write down each good thing that happened in 2013 on a slips of paper.  Then, on New Years Eve this year, you can review and be grateful for all the wonderful things that happened.

"shatterproof" and about $6 each

“shatterproof” and about $6 each

I decided to take on this practice.  But I’m tweaking it a bit.  I’m creating what I call a “Wonderful World” jar–just because I love that song.–for my gratitude jar.

I’m doing a second, and I’m writing my goals and ambitions for the year and putting them in it.

Some of you had expressed a desire to do this as well, so I thought I would share what I’m doing so you can steal some of my ideas or share some of your own. [Read more…]

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A Little Clarity Goes A Long Way

Clarity is Key to Empowerment

All of us want to feel empowered.  There is much talk–most of it bullshit–about stepping into your power, or claiming your power…or reclaiming your power.

What does this mean? It’s become so cliché that it’s really just self-help gibberish! (Please ignore the title of the free giveaway on my newsletter sign-up box in the right hand sidebar of this site…seriously, though, do you see what I mean?)

The modern individual has never been more personally empowered. Yet if this is true, why do so many of us feel so disempowered? [Read more…]