Archive for June, 2015

INSTRUCTIONS FOR THE CARE AND FEEDING OF YOUR SOUL

June 30, 2015
  • Always take your work seriously, but yourself lightly.
  • Be responsible for your own happiness. Don’t make anyone else the caregiver of your joy.
  • Do not suppress or deny hurt or anger. Identify the feelings, deal with them and then let them go. Don’t wrap negativity around you and drag it along.
  • Consider all of your options. If something isn’t working try it a different way. You wouldn’t stand in a darkened room and continue to flip the light switch if nothing happened when you did it. You would find another source of light. If your life isn’t working, create another path.
  • Don’t get stuck in the “if only” syndrome….if only I was younger, thinner, richer, etc. To live that way is to set yourself up for failure. Don’t depend on situations or things to bring you happiness.
  • Humor yourself. Make sure you get your daily dose of Vitamin L, for laughter. Laughter is the spark that ignites success. Joy is like a boomerang…when you send it out into the universe, it returns to you. With your attitude, you make a statement about who you are and what you value.
  • Surround yourself with people who support you. Move away from negativity.
  • Remember that there is no such thing as a bad day; a day is just a day. What you do with it and how you react to the events of the day is your decision. We can’t always control the environment, but we can control how we react to what’s happening. We may not be able to choose when we die, but we can choose how we live!
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All the Sounds of the Earth Are Like Music

June 24, 2015

The opening song in the Broadway musical, Oklahoma, tells of the beginning of a day that promises to be beautiful. One of my favorite lines is “All the sounds of the earth are like music.” It reminds me that if we focus on listening to the positive things around us, the sounds can be glorious!

I am not discounting the horrible events that are happening in the world nor am I suggesting that we ignore them. But if we focus only on the hurt and anger, and don’t consider the positive aspects of life, we will start to see the world through bleak and hopeless lenses. Negativity breeds negativity. A kind, loving and hopeful attitude can help us to break that cycle.

When I am feeling overwhelmed, frustrated, frightened or angry, I have found that if I stop for a moment, move away from sound pollution (noise), take deep breaths, close my eyes and just listen…something magical happens. It as if my sense of hearing is heightened. Everyday sounds of the world around me become music. Sounds odd…I know. But you see, every sound that we hear has a tone. The law of music is working throughout the whole universe. A bird chirping, lawn sprinklers turning, the squeal of a child playing, even the wind blowing through branches…all become a symphony when we listen with a different ear. They are the soothing sounds of normalcy…the sounds of life.

People have been acknowledging this for years and years. You may have heard the phrase “Music of the Spheres.” Pythagorus was the first to theorize that the whirling planets produced tones. Today, musical terms appear frequently in astronomer’s descriptions of space. We may not be able to perceive all of these sounds with our ears, but the music is deep within us, and it is exquisite if we will just be still and listen. And we hear with more than our ears; we perceive the world with all of our senses. As Einstein wrote, “We all dance to a mysterious tune, intoned in the distance by an invisible piper.”

The wholeness of the universe is so much greater than what we see on the news. While we can’t turn a blind eye to what’s going on, we will be much more able to make a difference and contribute in a productive way if we take time to listen to the sounds that are good and life-affirming. When we do that, we can reenergize and refocus our thoughts and look at the world with fresh eyes and a new attitude.

It has been said that music soothes the savage breast, and to paraphrase Johann Sebastian Bach, the purpose of music should be to refresh the soul. How wonderful that it is all around us!

Lighten Up With These Five Steps of Enlightenment

June 7, 2015

It sometimes seems as if the world is heavy. Most everything we read or hear about focuses on something unpleasant or even scary! Headline after headline screams violence or anger.

Sometimes, I feel saturated with negativity. I know I need to be aware of what’s going on in the world and I can’t hide my head in the sand, but it’s not healthy to allow negativity to set up camp in my mind!  That is why I believe in the power of positive thoughts. So I offer to you, these five steps of enlightenment that help me move away from the darkness of negative thoughts and into the light of positive attitude:

Lighten your load. Unclutter your life. Evaluate what you need to keep and what you can delegate.

Light up your life with a smile. Add more days to your life by adding more life to your days!

Light up someone else’s life. Move away from your own troubles and focus on how you can help others.

Find your delight! Make time for things that you like to do. Follow your passions!

Seek enlightenment.  Stay in touch with your Higher Power. Make time for prayer, meditation or spiritual renewal.

Disconnect and then Connect

June 4, 2015

We live in a techno-world! Wherever you are at this moment, take a look around and see how many people in your immediate area are plugged into an electronic device and tuned out of what’s going on around them.

Technology definitely has its place and in many ways, it has made life easier, but the drawback is that we have forgotten how to talk to each other face to face. People sit across from each other in restaurants and if they aren’t looking at their phones, they have them sitting right on the table so they can catch every FB update, text message, instagram or e-mail that might come through.

The way things are going, gradually, the art of conversation will be a distant memory! Our kids may be able to text with rapidly firing fingers, but I feel we are nurturing a generation of people with over-developed texting thumbs who have no idea how to converse without their electronic devices!

Maybe it is time to unplug and get back to the gratifying experience of actually looking at the person to whom we are speaking…watching their facial expressions, laughing together (not LOL but really laughing!) and listening to their voice when they are talking to us! Part of conversing with another human being is having the opportunity to be in the moment; reacting to each other’s comments and gaining insight into the other person’s feelings.

Communication is critical in keeping any relationship strong; whether it is personal or in business. While it is true that digital communication is sometimes necessary, it would be a shame if it caused conversation to become extinct. Talking to people face-to-face is a sublime experience that should be valued and enjoyed. When we “talk” electronically, sometimes we’re not as mindful of what we are saying as we would be if we were looking another person in the eye.

In my communication seminars, we explore the value of saying what you mean and meaning what you say. I have found that some people are initially uncomfortable in the face-to-face communication exercises that we do. But after a while, they are laughing, talking and raving about how much they enjoyed disconnecting from their electronics and actually connecting with real live humans!

It has been said that “A conversation is so much more than words; it is the eyes, the smiles and the silences between the words.” Try it….you’ll like it!