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Life Is
by Mother Teresa

Life is an opportunity, benefit from it.
Life is beauty, admire it.
Life is a dream, realize it.
Life is a challenge, meet it.
Life is a duty, complete it.
Life is a game, play it.
Life is a promise, fulfill it.
Life is sorrow, overcome it.
Life is a song, sing it.
Life is a struggle, accept it.
Life is a tragedy, confront it.
Life is an adventure, dare it.
Life is luck, make it.
Life is too precious, do not destroy it.
Life is life, fight for it.


ANYWAY

People are unreasonable, illogical, and self-centered.
Love them anyway.

If you are kind, people may accuse you of selfish, ulterior motives.
Be kind anyway.

If you are successful, you will win some false friends and true enemies.
Succeed anyway.

The good you do today will be forgotten tomorrow.
Be good anyway.

Honesty and frankness will make you vulnerable.
Be honest and frank anyway.

What you spend years building may be destroyed overnight.
Build anyway.

People need help but will attack you if you help them.
Help them anyway.

In the final analysis, it is between you and God.
It was never between you and them anyway.

*Kent Keith originated this poem in 1968, and Mother Teresa placed it on her children’s home in Calcutta in a slightly different version. As a result, many have attributed it to Mother Teresa

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Once upon a time there lived a bear in a cave deep in the woods. Nearby was a meadow in which a farmer kept his cattle — and one large, ferocious-looking bull. Each day the bear hid at the edge of the woods, watching the bull. The bear was known as the strongest, most fierce creature for miles around. No other beast in the forest dared to tangle with him. As the bear watched the bull peacefully gazing, he wondered which one of them would win a test of strength. He thought about this for many days. Then one morning he decided to challenge the bull to a fight to the finish.

The bull had just chomped down on a fresh clump of clover when he looked up and saw the bear barreling across the meadow toward him. He stopped chewing. The red flag of danger popped up in his head. The bear skidded to a halt in front of him. The bull lowered his head menacingly, his sharp horns aimed right for the bear’s throat. For long moments they stood in place — eyeball to eyeball — neither one of them moving. Finally the bull grew tired of the stare-down and asked, “What do you want, Bear?”

“I want to fight you,” growled the bear.

“Why?” asked the bull.

“Because, I want to prove that I am a stronger and better fighter than you are.”

The bull laughed. “I thought you really wanted something. You can’t possibly win against me. I have sharp horns that can cause terrible injuries.”

“And my claws are sharp and quick,” the bear shot back. “I have defeated many an enemy — anyone who would harm my cubs or take away my mate. I am the king of the forest!”

“Then go back to the forest,” the bull bluntly advised. “This is the meadow.”

The bear blinked in surprise. “I beg your pardon…”

“I mean, what’s the point of me fighting with you?” the bull asked. “What would that prove? We are not enemies. I have not harmed your cubs or taken your mate.”

“It would prove that I am the strongest.”

“Okay,” said the bull, smiling. “I’ll buy that. You are strongest. Now leave and let me graze in peace.”

“Just one cotton-pickin’ minute. What do you mean by that?” The bear raised a club-like paw. “I will tear you to shreds. Defend yourself.”

“What you do is up to you,” the bull answered calmly. “But if you do, what will all your friends — the ones who are watching us right now — think about you?”

“They will think that I am the strongest,” yelled the frustrated bear.

“I don’t think so. I do not choose to fight you just because you choose to fight with me. I would only fight to defend one of the cows in my care. If you attack one of them, then I’d be obliged to give you a good lashing.”

“I can’t attack them,” protested the bear. “They can’t fight back. There would be no victory to it.”

“Exactly,” answered the bull. “But what if you did? And what if I should try to defend them? What if something should happen to me? Who would protect them then? You? Would you trust me to protect your cubs if something happened to you? What would happen to your family if you lose the fight?”

“I never thought of that,” said the bear.

“Go back into the woods, Bear,” said the bull as he turned to walk away. “Live in peace. And I will stay in the meadow and do the same.”

The bear turned toward the woods. He had come spoiling for a fight — to prove which one was the strongest. But he had learned an important lesson from a very wise bull. In peace, there are no losers.

Starting a quarrel is like breaching a dam; so drop the matter before a dispute breaks out. (Proverbs 17:14 NIV)

[ by Ed Price, © 2001 — from ‘The Loving Heart’ ]

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“When you lose, don’t lose the lesson.” –the Dalai Lama

“Human beings by nature want happiness and do not want suffering. With that feeling everyone tries to achieve happiness and tries to get rid of suffering, and everyone has the basic right to do this. In this way, all here are the same, whether rich or poor, educated or uneducated, Easterner or Westerner, believer or non-believer, and within believers whether Buddhist, Christian, Jewish, Muslim, and so on. Basically, from the viewpoint of real human value we are all the same.” — the Dalai Lama

“People take different roads seeking fulfillment and happiness. Just because they’re not on your road doesn’t mean they’ve gotten lost.” — the Dalai Lama

“Whether one believes in a religion or not, and whether one believes in rebirth or not, there isn’t anyone who doesn’t appreciate kindness and compassion.” — the Dalai Lama

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Have you noticed that after you’ve been around a particular individual you feel tired, cranky, or maybe a little depressed? You may be dealing with an emotional energy vampire. And you thought vampires didn’t really exist. What is an emotional vampire? Here’s two definitions I found online from something called an urban dictionary:

Emotional Vampire:

1) A person who possesses the ability to suck all of the positive energy out of someone. They do this through negative comments, or by mere presence alone.

When we were at the wedding the groom’s side of the family did not smile, dance or talk to us. They were such Emotional Vampires, they sucked all the fun right out of the party.

2) One who feeds upon the emotions of others to bolster their self-esteem and to gain attention.

An emotional vampire is often a drama queen and loves to play the victim in their own life.


How do you spot energy vampires? Watch this video.


My home is where I recharge my energy. It’s my sanctuary, so I’m very particular on who I invite into my home. Unfortunately, there are some in-laws that stop by for a visit and don’t seem to know when to go home. The good news is it doesn’t happen that often. Hubby and I have decided that we need to come up with a plan to get them to leave at a decent time. Something other than, “Get out! I’m tired of you.”


Article – How To Save Emotional Energy
http://www.ehow.com/how_4998456_save-emotional-energy.html

Article – How Energy Vampires Drain Your Spirit: 11 Ways to Protect Yourself From Negative Influences
http://psychology.suite101.com/article.cfm/stop_energy_vampires


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Once upon a time, there was an island where all the feelings lived: Happiness, Sadness, Knowledge, and all of the others including Love. One day it was announced to the feelings that the island would sink, so all prepared their boats and left.

Love wanted to persevere until the last possible moment. When the island was almost sinking, Love decided to ask for help. Richness was passing by Love in a grand boat. Love said, “Richness, can you take me with you?” Richness answered, “No, I can’t. There is a lot of gold and silver in my boat. There is no place here for you.”

Love decided to ask Vanity who was also passing by in a beautiful vessel, “Vanity, please help me!” “I can’t help you Love. You are all wet and might damage my boat.” Vanity answered.

Sadness was close by so Love asked for help, “Sadness, let me go with you.” “Oh…. Love, I am so sad that I need to be by myself!”

Happiness passed by Love too, but she was so happy that she did not even hear when Love called her!

Suddenly, there was a voice, “Come Love, I will take you.” It was an elder. Love felt so blessed and overjoyed that he even forgot to ask the elder his name. When they arrived at dry land, the elder went his own way.

Love realized how much he owed the elder and asked Knowledge, another elder, “Who helped me?” “It was Time,” Knowledge answered. “Time?” asked Love. “But why did Time help me?” Knowledge smiled with deep wisdom and answered, “Because, only Time is capable of understanding how great Love is.”

Author Unknown

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What are the agreements you are living by? One of my favorite books is a little book named “The Four Agreements,” by Don Miguel Ruiz. The book talks about the source of self-limiting beliefs that rob us of joy and create needless suffering. This little book (only 138 pages) offers a powerful code of conduct that can transform our lives. It is not a religion. As with anything you read, you may not agree in total, but if nothing else, it is definitely great food for thought! Agreements #2 (Don’t Take Anything Personally) and #3 (Don’t Make Assumptions) were really eye-opening. They talk about about other people, ourselves, and our relationships with others. The following is an excerpt from the book.

In his book, “The Four Agreements,” Don Miguel Ruiz says…

“There are thousands of agreements you have made with yourself, with other people, with your dream life, with God, with society, with your parents, with your spouse, with your children. But the most important agreements are the ones you made with yourself. In these agreements you tell yourself who you are, what you feel, what you believe, and how to behave. The result is what you call your personality. In these agreements you say, “This is what I am. This is what I believe. I can do certain things, and some things I cannot do. This is reality, that is fantasy; this is possible, that is possible.”

One single agreement is not such a problem, but we have many agreements that make us suffer, that make us fail in life. If you want to live a life of joy and fulfillment, you have to find the courage to break those agreements that are fear-based and claim your personal power. The agreements that come from fear require us to expend a lot of energy, but the agreements that come from love help us to conserve energy and even gain extra energy.

Each of us is born with a certain amount of personal power that we rebuild every day after we rest. Unfortunately, we spend all our personal power first to create all these agreements and then to keep these agreements. Our personal power is dissipated by all the agreements we have created, and the result is that we feel powerless. We have just enough power to survive each day, because most of it is used to keep the agreements that trap us in the dream of the planet. How can we change the entire dream of our life when we have no power to change even the smallest agreement?

If we can see it is our agreements which rule over our life, and we don’t like the dream of our life, we need to change our agreements. When we are finally ready to change our agreements, there are four very powerful agreements that will help us break those agreements that come from fear and deplete our energy.

Each time you break an agreement, all the power you used to create it returns to you. If you adopt these four new agreements, they will create enough personal power for you to change the entire system of your old agreements.

You need a very strong will in order to adopt the Four Agreements — but if you can begin to live your life with these agreements, the transformation in your life will be amazing. You will see the drama of hell disappear right before your very eyes. Instead of living in a dream of hell, you will be creating a new dream — your personal dream of heaven.

The Four Agreements:

1 – Be Impeccable With Your Word – this is the most important agreement and also the most difficult to one to honor. It is so important that with just this first agreement you will be able to transcend to the level of existence I call heaven on earth.

This agreement sounds very simple, but is very, very powerful. Your word is the power that you have to create. Your word is the gift that comes directly from God. Through the word you express your creative power. It is through the word that you manifest everything. Regardless of what language you speak, your intent manifests through the word. What you dream, what you feel, and what you really are, will all be manifested through the word.

The word is not just a sound or a written symbol. The word is a force; it is the power you have to express and communicate, to think, and thereby to create the events in your life. The word is the most powerful tool you have as a human. But like a sword with two edges, your word can create the most beautiful dream, or your word can destroy everything around you. One edge is the misuse of the word, which creates a living hell. The other edge is the impeccability of the word, which will only create beauty, love, and heaven on earth. Depending on how it is used, the word can set you free, or it can enslave you even more than you know.

2 – Don’t Take Anything Personally — Whatever happens around you, don’t take it personally. If I see you on the street and say, “Hey, you are so stupid,” without knowing you, it’s not about you; it’s about me. If you take it personally, then perhaps you believe you are stupid. Maybe you think to yourself, “How does he know? Is he clairvoyant, or can everybody see how stupid I am?”

You take it personally because you agree with whatever was said. As soon as you agree, the poison goes through you, and you are trapped in the dream of hell. What causes you to be trapped is what we call personal importance. Personal importance, or taking things personally, is the maximum expression of selfishness because we make the assumption that everything is about “me.” During the period of our education, or our domestication, we learn to take everything personally. We think we are responsible for everything. Me, me, me, always me!

Nothing other people do is because of you. It is because of themselves. All people live in their own dream, in their own mind; they are in a completely different world from the one we live in. When we take something personally, we make the assumption that they know what is in our world, and we try to impose our world on their world.

Even when a situation seems so personal, even if others insult you directly, it has nothing to do with you. What they say, what they do, and the opinions they give are according to the agreements they have in their own minds. Their point of view comes from all the programming they received during domestication.

When you take things personally, then you feel offended, and your reaction is to defend your beliefs and create conflicts. You make something big out of something so little, because you have the need to be right and make everybody else wrong. You also try hard to be right by giving them your own opinions. In the same way, whatever you feel and do is just a projection of your own personal dream, a reflection of your own agreements. What you say, what you do, and the opinions you have are according to the agreements you have made — and these opinions have nothing to do with me.

Others are going to have their own opinion according to their belief system, so nothing they think about me is really about me, but it is about them.

You may even tell me, “Miguel, what you are saying is hurting me.” But it is not what I am saying that is hurting you; it is that you have wounds that I touch by what I have said. You are hurting yourself. There is no way I can take this personally. Not because I don’t believe in you or don’t trust you, but because I know that you see the world with different eyes, with your eyes. You create an entire picture or movie in your mind, and in that picture you are the director, you are the producer, you are the main actor or actress. Everyone else is a secondary actor or actress. It is your movie.

The way you see that movie is according to the agreements you have made with life. Your point of view is something personal to you. It is no one’s truth but yours. Then, if you get mad at me, I know you are dealing with yourself. I am the excuse for you to get mad. And you get mad because you are afraid, because you are dealing with fear. If you are not afraid, there is no way you will get mad at me. If you are not afraid, there is no way you will hate me. If you are not afraid, there is no way you will be jealous or sad.

If you live without fear, if you love, there is no place for any of those emotions. If you don’t feel any of those emotions, it is logical that you will feel good. When you feel good, everything around you is good. When everything around you is great, everything makes you happy. You are loving everything around you, because you are loving yourself. Because you like the way you are. Because you are content with you. Because you are happy with your life. You are happy with the movie that you are producing, happy with your agreements with your life. You are at peace, and you are happy.

If someone is not treating you with love and respect, it is a gift if they walk away from you. If that person doesn’t walk away, you will surely endure many years of suffering with him or her. Walking away may hurt for awhile, but your heart will eventually heal. Then you can choose what you really want. You will find that you don’t need to trust others as much as you need to trust yourself to make the right choices.

3 – Don’t Make Assumptions — We have the tendency to make assumptions about everything. The problem with making assumptions is that we believe they are the truth. We could swear they are real. We make assumptions about what others are doing or thinking — we take it personally — then we blame them and react by sending emotional poison with our word. That is why whenever we make assumptions, we’re asking for problems. We make an assumption, we misunderstand, we take it personally, and we end up creating a whole big drama for nothing. It is always better to ask questions than to make an assumption, because assumptions set us up for suffering.

We make the assumption that everyone sees life the way we do. We assume that others think the way we think, feel the way we feel, judge the way we judge, and abuse the way we abuse. This is the biggest assumption that humans make. And this is why we have a fear of being ourselves around others. Because we think everyone else will judge us, victimize us, abuse us, and blame us as we do ourselves. So even before others have a chance to reject us, we have already rejected ourselves. That is the way the human mind works. We also make assumptions about ourselves, and this creates a lot of inner conflict.

4 – Always Do Your Best – Under any circumstances, always do your best, no more and no less. But keep in mind that your best is never going to be the same from one moment to the next. Everything is alive and changing all the time, so your best will sometimes be high quality, and other times it will not be as good. When you wake up refreshed and energized in the morning, your best will be better than when you are tired at night. Your best will be different when you are healthy as opposed to sick, or sober as opposed to drunk. Your best will depend on whether you are feeling wonderful and happy, or upset, angry, or jealous.

In your everyday moods your best can change from one moment to another, from one hour to the next, from one day to another. Your best will also change over time. As you build the habit of the four new agreements, your best will become better than it used to be.

Doing your best, you are going to live your life intensely. You are going to be productive, you are going to be good to yourself, because you will be giving yourself to your family, to your community, to everything. But it is the action that is going to make you feel intensely happy. When you always do your best, you take action. Doing your best is taking the action because you love it, not because you’re expecting a reward. Most people do exactly the opposite. They only take action when they expect a reward, and they don’t enjoy the action. And that’s the reason why they don’t do their best.

If you do your best always, over and over again, you will become a master of transformation. If you do your best in the search for personal freedom, in the search for self-love, you will discover that’s its just a matter of time before you find what you are looking for.”

Article – Four Agreements http://www.sairegion24.org/fileupload/ditto/14/FourAgreements.pdf

Book Review – The Four Agreements http://www.nderf.org/4AgreementsReview.htm

Book Summary – The Four Agreements http://www.bizsum.com/thefouragreements.htm

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Are you holding on to things you need to let go of? Things that are harmful or are holding you back? It could be a relationship, habits, your thinking, emotions, or activities. One time I was really angry at my hubby. One day I finally stopped and asked myself why I was holding onto my anger. What purpose was it serving me? I realized that it was just so I could feel like I was keeping an emotional distance from him. Was that what I really wanted? It depends on what day you asked me that question. Seriously, once I really became aware of my reasoning and decided what I really wanted, I was ready to let the anger release its hold on me. This helped to improve our relationship. Speaking of letting things go — the following is a story I thought worth sharing:

Pearls

Jenny was a bright-eyed, pretty five-year-old girl. One day when she and her mother were checking out at the grocery store, Jenny saw a plastic pearl necklace priced at $2.50. How she wanted that necklace, and when she asked her mother if she would buy it for her, her mother said, “Well, it is a pretty necklace, but it costs an awful lot of money. I’ll tell you what. I’ll buy you the necklace, and when we get home we can make up a list of chores that you can do to pay for the necklace. And don’t forget that for your birthday Grandma just might give you a whole dollar bill, too. Okay?”

Jenny agreed, and her mother bought the pearl necklace for her. Jenny worked on her chores very hard every day, and sure enough, her grandma gave her a brand new dollar bill for her birthday. Soon Jenny had paid off the pearls.

How Jenny loved those pearls. She wore them everywhere – to kindergarten, bed and when she went out with her mother to run errands. The only time she didn’t wear them was in the shower – her mother had told her that they would turn her neck green!

Now Jenny had a very loving daddy. When Jenny went to bed, he would get up from his favorite chair every night and read Jenny her favorite story.

One night when he finished the story, he said, “Jenny, do you love me?”

“Oh yes, Daddy, you know I love you,” the little girl said.

“Well, then, give me your pearls.”

“Oh! Daddy, not my pearls!” Jenny said. “But you can have Rosie, my favorite doll. Remember her? You gave her to me last year for my birthday. And you can have her tea party outfit, too. Okay?”

“Oh no, darling, that’s okay.” Her father brushed her cheek with a kiss. “Good night, little one.”

A week later, her father once again asked Jenny after her story, “Do you love me?”

“Oh yes, Daddy, you know I love you.”

“Well, then, give me your pearls.”

“Oh, Daddy, not my pearls! But you can have Ribbons, my toy horse. Do you remember her? She’s my favorite. Her hair is so soft, and you can play with it and braid it and everything. You can have Ribbons if you want her, Daddy,” the little girl said to her father.

“No, that’s okay,” her father said and brushed her cheek again with a kiss. “God bless you, little one. Sweet dreams.”

Several days later, when Jenny’s father came in to read her a story, Jenny was sitting on her bed and her lip was trembling. “Here, Daddy,” she said, and held out her hand. She opened it and her beloved pearl necklace was inside. She let it slip into her father’s hand.

With one hand her father held the plastic pearls and with the other he pulled out of his pocket a blue velvet box. Inside of the box were real, genuine, beautiful pearls.

He had them all along. He was waiting for Jenny to give up the cheap stuff so he could give her the real thing.

So it is with our Heavenly Father. He is waiting for us to give up the cheap things in our lives so that he can give us beautiful treasure.

Are you holding onto things which the Lord wants you to let go of? Are you holding on to harmful or unnecessary partners, relationships, habits and activities which you have become so attached to that it seems impossible to let go? Sometimes, it is so hard to see what is in the other hand but do believe this one thing….

The Lord will never take away something without giving you something better in its place.

–author unknown

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