What is this blog about?

There is no such thing as an expert on the topic of Life. We all have had our battles, our suffering, and our questions. Despite the uniqueness of our personal obstacles, we have endured them. We have endured them well enough to advise those behind us as to how to do the same. I have done the research on your behalf regarding the multitude of reasons why wisdom exists. My mission is to utilize the voices of the world's greatest thinkers and heroes to compose a guideline of life's wisdom so that you don't have to experience those trials alone.

If you have any questions, please tweet them to me @JoeSielski or email me at JJSielskiJr@comcast.net

(Please title your email with the word "Wisdom" so I know it will be for this blog.)

I will do my best to try and answer every question as quickly and efficiently as possible. Thanks.

Tuesday, December 29, 2015

A Day to Be Free

I'm writing this essay as inspired by someone I encountered who needed to hear this very message.  

This is one of my favorite topics to talk about... in part because of how frequently it's experienced, and also how strong the deception of the illusion can be.  This essay is about the notion of someone having an opinion about you.

There are so many people who feel trapped by the criticism of others.  It's quite a commonality that many people feel judged by others, which in turn, causes us to criticize ourselves.  But here's the secret, and it's really quite simple:  Opinions about you are not a reflection of you.  They are a reflection of those who said it.

Here's what I mean, and again, it's surprisingly simple.   Everyone is entitled to their own opinions.   Some people will agree with you and others may not.   This is entirely normal and expected.  For this reason, when someone has a comment about you, specifically if it is negative, that information has nothing to do with who you are.   That opinion is a reflection of them.  Their opinion is theirs to express and therefore is representative of who they are... not of who you are.  If someone doesn't like your hair or your clothing or any other element of your character, it is no different than someone not liking spicy foods.   It's simply a reflection of who that individual is.  So don't ever allow that to belittle you.  Let it go.

In the end, you are free.  You have always been free from the opinions and concerns of others.  Too frequently, we allow a desire to be wholly liked to cause us to censor ourselves rather than embrace the differences.  So please take this moment, this day, this year to really enjoy the essence of You.

There is another essay that might add a slightly different spin on this topic:
A Day for Confidence

Saturday, December 26, 2015

A Day to Make a Change

As a New Year approaches, many people look to the new calendar year to begin something new in their lives.   Whether it's fitness, finances, or something fun, starting something new can be intimidating.

It reminds me of the response I get when I inform people that I've written a book.  Often I hear:
"I wish I could write a book."  To which I say: "You can!"   If I can do it, anyone can, and yet people would rather list all the reasons they believe they can't.

If you haven't yet read the essay on motivation, please do:   Top 10 Things to Improve Motivation

Whatever it is that you want to do, you can.  You simply need to want it enough to begin.  You have the ability!  

I can't physically lift you out of your seat and direct your body toward your goal. I must leave that responsibility to you.  I must trust that you have the ability to pursue the next goal.  Can you trust yourself to pursue it?  Others cannot pursue it for you.  You can't be motivated and lazy at the same time.  So call out your laziness and challenge it.   It's in the way.   You only have the present moment, so please use it for something productive.  Can you agree to that?

Eventually, you'll finish reading this blog.  Eventually, you'll step away from the screen on which you're reading these words and you'll need to go out into the world... and then what will you do?

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

A Day to Embrace Change

The holidays can be a really stressful time for many people.  The year is slowly coming to a close, families are gathering en masse, traffic picks up, and finances can become stricter.   For this reason, it can cause us to really reflect on how the year has transpired and how that translates into the New Year.  

"Great things happen where men and mountains meet."  [William Blake]

Change can be quite scary.  It takes that comfortable routine and completely disrupts it.  A lot of us simply just don't know how to react when things change.   Therein lies our fear.  In my research of the various principles and philosophies of wisdom, they all exist as a guide, assisting us to respond best to circumstances in a way that brings us the most peace.  And yet, despite my research, I'm just as susceptible and anxious when the unexpected hits.  In all circumstances, ground yourself and understand who you are.  Understand that you are separate from the circumstances and therefore strong.  Understand that the event was brought to you and may not be a representation of you.  You are responsible for your reactions.  So take a moment to address the present moment.  Make a motion to forgive that things do change and be humbled by it.  When forgiving the event, be reminded that you are also forgiving yourself.  Therefore, forgive yourself for your fear, your anger, or your worry.  Keep your chin high and continue with pride and with hope.  Hope is an act of faith.   Hope is a desire to experience gratitude for an event that has not yet occurred.  Understand that all things occur for a reason and that reason is good.  Have hope that things will work out.  Go in peace. 
"There is nothing like returning to a place that remains unchanged to find the ways in which you yourself have altered."  [Nelson Mandela] 

Sunday, December 20, 2015

A Day for Togetherness

To continue with a Christmas or wintry theme this month, I would like to highlight yet another holiday classic. The story of Frosty the Snowman begins when a few children decide to build a snowman. Once it's time to dress him, they use an old silk hat they found.   And when they placed it on his head, Frosty came to life.   The children laughed and played with Frosty.  They even took him into town.   Sadly, it was a sunny day and Frosty began to melt.  He was aware of this and advised the kids to not cry and that he'd be back.

Like Frosty's story, there is another, much older tale with a similar premise.   From Russian folklore, I'd like to introduce you to Snegurochka, the snow maiden.   According to this tale, Snegurochka is the daughter of Winter, who bestows her as a gift to a childless couple.  She is born from snow as her name in Russian implies.  She is then adopted into their household as their child.  There are a few versions of this tale, even one that permits her from falling in love, but all versions share the inevitable truth that she will soon melt when winter is over.   However as Winter promised, she returns to the couple every year.  My guess is that snow happening in a Russian winter is a pretty solid guarantee.   Anyway, this tale developed to represent the celebration of new life.  Later, Snegurochka was adopted as a symbol of the New Year to accompany Father Frost (the Russian Santa Clause) in his journey.  To this day, she is a cherished symbol of Russian culture.

In their simplicity, these stories exist to highlight the fleeting nature of time.  For that reason, these stories exist to bring attention to the value of our relationships.  Frosty was a great friend to the children. Also, a couple who couldn't conceive now found a daughter in Snegurotchka.  These tales exist as a lesson in appreciation because they also serve as a lesson in how things can change.  

Address your time in the present moment and see who is around you.  Your friends, your family, be grateful for them.  Set aside time to spend with them.  Appreciate this time together.  Like snow, there is the potential that friends can grow distant or disappear. Cherish your time together, because all you have is right now.  

The fire is slowly dying, and my dear we're still goodbye'ing.
But as long as you love me so...
let it snow, let it snow, let it snow!

Saturday, December 19, 2015

A Day to Celebrate

In this very festive season, take a moment to enjoy the "lesser known" days. 

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

A Day for Love:

In my experience, in my journey, there was one revelation that struck me as one of the most perfectly succinct interpretations of Love. Initially, I was embarrassed to reveal that it took as long as it did to learn this truth. In five basic words: You are surrounded by Love.

This concept is so simple, yet so profound. You are surrounded by Love. Love exists everywhere; it is in all of your environment and it permeates your very Core self. It is the beginning of this journey and it is the end. It is grand. In fact, it is so grand that, even during your worst moments, that cycle of love will still reach you.

"Love will find a way through all languages on its own."  [Rumi]

That knowledge and the kindness it inspires will recognize moments when you are absent of Love and will rush to accommodate that void. "I believe in the sun, even when it is not shining. I believe in love, even when I don't feel it. I believe in God, even when there is silence." [an anonymous quote found on the walls of a Holocaust concentration camp cellar] 

Love is cycling around you at all times. Love exists in every stage of its cycle at all times. Whenever you think love is not present, the cycle reintroduces itself to you and begins afresh. Love never fails. So remember, forever and always, you are surrounded by Love!

A little morning inspiration:


As you wake up each morning, imagine yourself standing on the shores of your future. And as you gaze upon the ocean of your own potential, understand that you are the horizon. As the sun rises to greet your countenance, you must also rise to greet yourself.
You are your own horizon.

Monday, December 14, 2015

A moment to consider:

The Season of Compassion

Each holiday season, we get the privilege of retelling two classic tales, each with their own unique antagonist.  The two I'm referencing are Dr. Seuss' "How the Grinch Stole Christmas" and Charles Dickens' "A Christmas Carol."  By the end of their respective stories, both Ebenezer Scrooge and the Grinch have developed a newly found sense of compassion.   These two stories exist as both a reminder and reassurance that even the worst in us can be changed.  

Compassion comes in two parts.  The first is the prefix "com" which represents togetherness. The other half is passion.  Etymologically, compassion is the understanding that we all have a sense of passion, and it also represents that we all experience suffering.   At its core, compassion is the understanding that the suffering of another is valid and of equal importance to your own.  You may never know the degree to which someone's angst is experienced, and that isn't your responsibility to know or judge.  However, it is your responsibility to understand and to do it with compassion.  If you have an abundance where others find struggle, it is common that we can belittle the suffering of others.  

In "A Christmas Carol," we understand that Scrooge was privileged to have money whereas Bob Cratchett did not.   However, we learned that the Cratchett's were privileged to have family and a loving home, whereas Scrooge did not.  For this reason,  it becomes a unique social responsibility to utilize one's own blessings and knowledge to alleviate the angst for those in need of it.  This changed Scrooge's heart. Consider how the Whos of Whoville responded the morning they awoke to discover their Christmas had been stolen.  They began singing.  They didn't have presents, and yet they sang.  They knew that their joy and abundance was not dependent on items, but on togetherness.  This understanding of compassion also helped the Grinch's heart to grow three sizes that day.   We are no different.   

As days come and days go, consider where you have strengths and where you experience abundance.  The spirit of generosity is strong this season, so take a moment to consider those strengths and how you can utilize them.  

Thursday, December 10, 2015

The Wisdom of Generosity

It's December again.  Over the course of the year, we have seen many internet videos go viral and welcomed into the musical vernacular. However, I'd like to highlight a performance from 2013.  This is a classic-made-contemporary performance of 'The Little Drummer Boy' as performed by the acapella group Pentatonix. This excites me because this song is one I have both hated and revered. According to Wikipedia, the song itself was written in 1941 by Katherine Davis and was originally performed by the Von Trapp family singers. It was later became more popular 1958 by the Harry Simone Chorale. Leaping forward to the performance between Bing Crosby/ David Bowie in 1977, this song regained its popularity through Bowie's contemporary descant.

This song in particular used to baffle me as a child. I would wonder: "Why would you pound on a noisy drum for a little baby?" And at that age, I found it to be disrespectful. My interpretation was that you give presents for Christmas, because that's just how it is to be done. Jesus received treasures, and we must follow suit. No questions asked. It wasn't until I was older that its significance became evident. The song opens with the voices of the Three Kings stating that they have brought their finest gifts. So to honor Him, pa rum pa pum pum. The second stanza is the voice of the boy, who admits that he is poor. He has no gift for baby Jesus. Sadly, this poor boy feels ashamed because for many societies, it is expected to demonstrate one's wealth, for which he has none. Pa rum pa pum pum. Therefore, he asks if it is allowed that he plays his drum instead. Mary nodded. The animals appreciated it, and Jesus smiled at the little drummer boy. Pa rum pa pum pum, he and his drum.

So why did I choose to write about this song in an essay on the Wisdom of Giving? That comes back to why we even have Christmas. This holiday exists to represent that God loved the world so much that He gave, to the world, Himself in human form. We know this gift as Jesus. To the Christian faith, Jesus represents "God with us." (Emmanuel)  Later in his life, however, it is described that Jesus renounced a life of wealth, he even preached against it as he lived among the people. Here is where the spirit of generosity is made evident.

As in the song, we exist in a world where money is worshiped. But money is merely symbolic. To us, money represents time. It is a symbol for how one has spent time, effort and talent. Intrinsically, it's that knowledge, effort and talent that has the real value to us. We have simply become confused by honoring monetary values rather than humanistic ones. The Little Drummer Boy should be an inspiration to us all that we were all given the gifts of knowledge, strength, talent and kindness. These are the real gifts. These are the real treasures. Even if it takes a little boy to demonstrate that generosity is about time and making memories, pay attention to that. If you believe that God is with us, then give your Self, just as He did. Share time, share personality, share kindness. That is the spirit of giving. That is the Wisdom of Christmas.

Saturday, December 5, 2015

A Moment of Self-Inspiration

With holidays just around the corner, specifically Christmas, we are once again flooded by numerous holiday songs.  Earlier in the car, a lyric really stood out to me.  This is a lyric from Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer.

As the story goes, all of the other reindeer used to laugh and call him names.  They never let poor Rudolph join in any reindeer games.   I'm sure many of us can relate to this experience.

But there's a little light in the end of the tunnel for Rudolph.  Santa recognized Rudolph's unique nose as a gift rather than a flaw.   For that reason, Rudolph became celebrated for that nose of his.  He led the sleigh and the other reindeer. 

Very simply, my point is that this little deer learned that his uniqueness was his greatest strength.  We are no different.  Some of the most quirky characteristics can be some of the greatest assets.   So don't allow opinions to convince you otherwise.

What is your red nose?

How can you put it to use?

Everybody is a genius. 
But, if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree,
it will spend its whole life believing that it is stupid. 
[Albert Einstein]

A Moment for Responsibility

I wish....
"Somebody should do something about that."
"Somebody should write that screenplay."
"Somebody should fix it."
"Somebody would help them."
Who is "somebody" ?
You are.

Saturday, November 28, 2015

A Day for Ho'oponopono

Ho'oponopono. (pronounced HO-oh-pohno-pohno)

It's a strange word, but it comes with a huge impact.  The word itself means to "make right."  It was designed as a means of establishing reconciliation and forgiveness.  Ho'oponopono is more than a complex word.  It is a full practice; it's a standardized activity.  The practice originates in Hawai'i and many other southern Pacific islands.  Ho'oponopono is a meditation, a mentality, and a mantra.   For all things or relationships that are wounded or broken, there is ho'oponopono.  So what is it?  What is this tongue twisting word?

As stated earlier, it is a practiced meditation.  Within this meditation, there is a series of 4 very simple phrases ordered into a mantra.  The 4 sentences are as follows:

I'm sorry.
Please forgive me.
Thank you.
I love you.

Very simply, the way one addresses the meditation of ho'oponopono is to focus on someone where there might be a schism in your relationship.  Then follow through with the 4 phrases with this individual in mind.  This does not necessarily need to be done with the person present.  Address them, and think:  I'm sorry.  Please forgive me.  Thank you.  I love you.  Then repeat this as many times as needed.  The purpose of this practice is to liberate you, as well as the other, from your resentment.   Ho'oponopono is even a practice that one can do internally.   Focus on yourself.  Apologize to yourself.  Forgive yourself.  Thank yourself. And finally, love yourself.   Repeat as needed.  As seen in the image below, the order of the 4 phrases is not relevant.  What is relevant is the discipline to give this mantra your undivided attention. The theory behind this practice is to transform your mind into a kinder and more forgiving one.   Through the practice of ho'oponopono, many people have discovered peace and the power of reconciliation.  We make mistakes.  Our friends and family make mistakes. Arguments happen and feelings can get hurt.  Ho'oponopono exists to make those right.  It exists because we are a loving people and because love heals.   Allow it. 

Monday, November 16, 2015

A Day to Honor Grief

Life happens, and things happen to us. Sometimes we appreciate these things and other times we don't. Things and people enter our lives; things and people also leave our lives. It is in those moments of loss that we can experience feelings of being lost ourselves within a world that once seemed so familiar. These feelings of grief can usher in later feelings such as anger, guilt, or a lack of self-worth. This surge of melancholic thinking is a trap the mind plays and can leave even the strongest individuals in a struggle to stay balanced. Allow me to describe a method for addressing those feelings without allowing them to cripple you in moments of vulnerability. Take a moment to breathe and prepare yourself to use your imagination.

 Try to create for yourself a box. This box needs only to be imagined. Then fill this box with every thing and every thought about your grieving experience, specifically those pesky negative ones. Consider faces, items, songs and locations; then cram them all into that little box. Now take that box and put it onto an imaginary shelf. This way, you can continue with your standard routines and practices, but without the torment of your grief. According to psychologists, this is known as compartmentalizing one's grief. If only the healing process was this simple, but it's not. Now for the most important part of all: rather than ignoring that box, approach it and open it. Approach it and open it regularly. Little by little, over the course of time, pull out some of those emotions and experience them again. Actively listen to those songs that might recall your anxiety, don't avoid them or deny their existence. Choose to visit those places that remind you of what or who you lost. Challenge yourself to genuinely feel those emotions in their entirety. If you must cry, then cry; if you need to feel angry, be angry. This imagined box will allow for a safe zone where one can grieve so that the emotions don't transform and become damaging. When you are finished, wrap the box back up and tuck it away again. Take back the control of your emotions so that they don't take control over you. In general, we are encouraged to distract ourselves away from those poor thoughts. We return to work and to our routines in an attempt to bring a sense of normalcy back into our lives. Eventually the inevitable will occur; certain songs may play, certain dates may pass, certain things will remind us of that which we lost. Such events can catch us off-guard. This might feel as though that box falls off the shelf, crashes to the ground and shatters. It is in these moments that grief is the most challenging, but this does not make for an excuse to avoid life. This is why it is valuable to seek out those totems that remind us of our grief and regularly bring them forward. This will help to alleviate the pain from their sting. It is still your charge to feel those emotions nonetheless. Now remember, forgiveness is the act of accepting that one's history is unchangeable. Therefore a crucial facet of grieving is the act of accepting that all expectations of the future can no longer be, for instance: holidays without a loved one, etc. The past will always be with you, since you cannot be with it.

 Let me digress to explain why the symbolism of an emotional box is valid. That imaginary box exists to help you. It exists to help you manage your standard routines while partitioning that negativity away from your daily life. This process keeps you attentive and educated through the journey of grief. By addressing and then accepting the new understanding of your future, you establish that valuable sense of control over your emotions. That box also serves to be a reminder, to remind yourself to constantly address the emotional contents within it, even if just for a brief moment. In other words, actively approach and inspect those emotions you stuffed away into it. “I will think about this. I will question it and determine why it makes me feel bad. I will process it. I will confide in myself in spite of it and therefore, I will let it go.” This is not advice about how to forget your past. People have value, celebrate them. But release yourself from all those emotions of regret, doubt or guilt that could be attached to your grieving. Replace them with feelings of gratitude and hope. In what ways can you look back and be grateful for what you had lost? In what ways can you use this loss as a platform upon which you can construct a more hopeful future? This will allow you freedom from your own anxieties. Also, this will become the harbinger of peace that welcomes joy back into your life. The goal throughout this process is to figure out a way in which to re-discover happiness. It begins with a choice.

"Your joy is your sorrow unmasked. And the selfsame well from which your laughter arises was oftentimes filled with your tears. How can it be? The deeper that sorrow carves into your being, the more joy you can contain."
--  Kahlil Gibran

In loving memory of Dr. Ron Kershner 
Sept. 19, 1949-Nov. 16, 2015

Thank you for blessing our tribe of a family.
There is no algorithm that could ever quantify the
amount of respect I have for you.
Your love, your humor, your knowledge are but a memory now.
Though your transition may leave a hole in our hearts,
 we are whole for knowing you.
You are one with God.


Friday, November 6, 2015

A Moment to Be Inspired

Earlier, I was asked to list what inspires me.  For some reason, in that moment I almost drew a blank.  It's funny how thoughts flow, or don't flow, when you're put on the spot.  Having had some time to rest on it, I wanted to write about the nature of Inspiration. 

Inspiration is the ability to find the strength within yourself.  Most times, we rely or expect others to It's there.  It's always been there.  Whatever you want to call it, you have it.   Literally and figuratively, it's there.  You have the joy.  You have love.  You have the determination. You have the generosity.   But the things in life can become a mammoth distraction.  This is why we must breathe the life back into our hearts and regenerate that inspiration.  

When others inspire us, they help us to channel a direct route into our core selves.  In my experience of reading and writing, Randy Pausch succinctly hit the nail on the head regarding inspiration. 
If you can, please take a moment to be inspired.

Inspiration can take on many forms. There are so many wondrous reasons to feel inspired.  We all have different lives and different stories, and it's from this variety that inspiration can be shared.

So whether it's for fitness or faith, we all need a little push from time to time. 
Be open to inspiration.  Be open to be inspired.  Maybe your openness will inspire the next person. 
That's just how it works. 

Saturday, October 10, 2015

A Day to Reflect

This is one of those lessons I'd recommend to learn now and remember forever.  It's truly one of the greatest lessons around.    In brief:   Any decision you make has the ability to change everything.

This might seem like a lofty ideal, and yet it's not.  It's actually quite simple.  Here's an example:  On any random day, during a completely humble grocery shopping excursion, I could encounter a random stranger and make the decision to suddenly punch them in the face.  I know that's terrible.  Socially, it's completely irrational and impractical, yes!  But, philosophically, it's valid.  By this same hypothetical principle, I could find that same person and compliment them or assist them through the store.  The point being...You are just as much a player in this game called Life as anyone else is.

Someone made a decision to invent the car.  Some people have made the decision to run for President.  Others have made the decision to feed the hungry.  Some people have made decisions to start wars.  Some people made a decision to write music.

Regardless of the decision, it has an impact.   Remember that.   Making a change begins with You.
You will never know how deep the roots of your influence will reach, so share love at all times.

Thank you for your time.

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Sunday, September 20, 2015

A Day for Spirituality

As the title describes, this is a spiritually oriented essay.  It is based on a belief that we are spiritual beings, specifically spiritual beings in a physical world.  If you agree, then you're going to have an easier time with this concept.  If not, I understand the skepticism.  This is an inherently faith-based essay since I don't have a means to verbally describe or even prove a spiritual existence.  What is spirituality?  It's simply the belief that there is an element to the life experience that is intangible. That element is the existence of spirits. The purpose of this essay is to offer an alternate perspective on how we experience the world.

So, what's wrong with how we experience the world now?

In truth, nothing.   We wake up, open our eyes and observe the world around us and its people.  We participate actively in this world.  We see, we hear, we feel, we smell, and we taste our way through the day.  We have this natural ability and that's a wonderful thing.

Then what am I talking about?

I'm talking about the latent parts of the human experience.  I'm referencing emotions, intuition, and instinctual impulses.  I'm talking about the aspects of life that are more difficult to quantify.  I'm referencing the moments within our experiences that are more challenging to explain.  These are experiences that are often linked to a spiritual facet of mankind.   Science and skepticism is constantly trying to combat and explain these lesser understood moments.  However, for the sake of this essay, we must quiet that scientific mentality and foster the faith-oriented belief system instead.

Ok, Now what?

Let's start with something basic.  For example, sound consists of physical vibrations traveling via vibrating air molecules to our ears, which we then interpret with our sense of hearing.  We all know and understand this science.  We know and trust the physical science behind the principles of sound and sensation.  We know this because we have developed tools to measure it. We've grown acclimated to the desire to quantify.  In the non-physical plane, there is no need for measurement since measuring implies physicality. Therefore, in the non-physical realm, there is the perception that all is abundant. There is no measurement or measuring device for love, for intuition, or for determination.  This should imply that the very nature of the non-physical realm is as such that using physical world structures to explain or measure it is inherently irrelevant.  This also suggests why it's difficult to explain, specifically for analytical individuals. Half the reason that we've grown acclimated to want to quantify things is because we've grown accustomed to our experience as physical beings.  It's what we know because it's what we observe.  Consequently, we've developed an ignorance to the possibility of alternate experiences.  Therefore, it practically mandates some form of faith to understand this principle. 

I'm suggesting that spirituality cannot be experienced or explained via our physical senses.  I'm not suggesting, however, that I expect anyone to see dead people.  I'm simply offering a new paradigm to trust  our inner being.  Trust its experience as you exist literally and physically to better understand who you are as spiritual beings.  In essence, we are a conduit of spiritual energy channeled into physical form.

If you want to achieve a spiritual life, you must accept that the spiritual side of you can do things you can't.  However, you can also do them by association.  This happens through alignment.    Here's where this can get interesting, and potentially complicated.  The complication occurs because that previously described desire to measure or observe the world through physical eyes can become a distraction to the ways in which we interpret spirituality.  For example, if our attention is focused too acutely on one element, we struggle to notice others.   For this reason, we've indulged the belief that spirituality is achieved via physical means.  And yet, there are genuine physical activities we can do to welcome alignment with our spiritual selves.

What does that mean?

For one, meditate.   Meditate, meditate, meditate!   Calm the body and calm the mind.   Let no thoughts enter, or no thoughts occur.  I would also suggest the opposite and meditate on a principle.  Ruminate on a dogma or definition to develop alignment as well.   The spirit within is joyous, it is victorious, it is peaceful, and it is constantly whispering guidance.  Look for it.  Listen to it.  But be aware that it won't make a sound or radiate light, it must be understood or intuited.  This is the benefit of calming the mind.  Foster that joy within you by listening to music that strengthens you or grounds you.   If you cannot calm your body, then move your body.   Dance with all the inspiration you can gather.   This is only a suggestion, but that very inspiration is what you must welcome.  There is a strong belief that spirituality entails crystals, crystal balls, and candles.   In a sense, this is what has developed out of the spirituality camp, but even these are all still physical items.   However, it is through these physical activities that we open ourselves mentally.   We open ourselves emotionally, free of doubt and resistance.  This allows us the opportunity and a greater likeliness to receive thoughts of love, joy, and peace. It's simply a reflection of our greater selves.  The worldly stimuli we experience can either be a distraction or a reminder to who we inherently are.  Some physical attributes like money or pain can distract us.  And yet, we can all think of examples where we have mustered up the determination to supersede pain and discomfort.  You know you can do it.  Welcome it.  Allow yourself to get lost in the moment.  We often get distracted by the past or future and neglect to notice the present.   When reminded of the present moment, whether dancing or meditating or giving thanks, we are participating in creation.   We are physical conduits for our spiritual selves. 

Allow the spirit within you the liberty to be expressed.  Encourage the spirit within you the motivation to overcome.  Introduce yourself to the spirit within through acts of compassion and empathy.  Introduce the spirit within you to the spirits of others surrounding you.  If the non-physical part of us is always abundant with goodness, there's no need to diminish that.   Share it.  Give.  Love with all your heart and all your energy.  Weariness is only a physical thing; disposition comes from within. 

In all these examples, there is still the wondrous reminder of how beautiful we are within.  Be in awe of that.  If you stop to smell the roses as the adage describes, smelling will always require a physical chemical transfer, and yet it proves as a reminder of how beautiful the world around us is.  Feel that beauty.  Absorb that peaceful contentment.  Embody your spiritual side.  Embrace the spiritual side of others.  You can do it.  

"Great things happen where men and mountains meet."  [William Blake]

Monday, August 17, 2015

A Moment for Om

When embracing the moment, make certain that you are not looking at the moment with tunnel vision. Pan out and watch everything at once. The Buddhists call this the "Om." Sit back and embrace the moment, watch and listen to everything moving and singing around you. This is the Om. And! because there is no such thing as the future (because it's hypothetical) there is only right now. Which means, paying attention to the Om is to stand back and witness that every moment is creation manifested. and say Thank You that you've lived this long to see this much creation take place. 

Then, every decision you make is how you as a living, breathing human are participating in creation. You just participated just by reading this. So rather than spewing resentment into the ether, share goodness and gentleness. We have the privilege of creating that.

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Ponder this:

Forgiveness is a bridge. 
It's a route that spans between now and your future by bypassing the various obstacles that can derail us. Forgiveness addresses the past, embraces it with love and courage, then directs us into a healthier future. Forgiveness permits us to bypass anger, grief, and insecurity in all the same manner: addressing it, embracing it, and courageously forging on in love.

Saturday, February 21, 2015

A moment for Stewardship

Pulled from the following website: 

What, you ask, does building a snowman have in common with bird feeding? Well, not only is building a snowman a fun and festive way to welcome winter, but it can also be a creative, just-the-right-height way to deliver bird food. Build a snowman out of three balls of snow as usual, and then use birdseed and other bird foods to create the snowman's details.
Use corncobs or suet logs to create a smile. Give your snowman hair by dangling millet from its head. Or, sprinkle some black sunflower or thistle seeds onto its head. Dried sunflowers make ideal ear muffs. Make eyes and a nose out of suet balls or seed cakes.
Make tasty buttons out of seed ornaments. To complete your snowman, use branches to provide birds a place to perch. Favorites like these are sure to attract a variety of birds.
Many people decorate their outdoor trees for the holidays. We suggest you forgo the strings of lights and bundles of tinsel and, instead, use only bird-edible materials that birds can eat safely. Turn your backyard conifers into works of art. Make your own pinecone feeder ornaments, or simply cut suet cakes into 4 smaller squares, punch a hole through the middle, and string from the branches to make square ornaments.
You can also decorate a tree by draping millet sprigs from it, stringing garland made from dried fruit and popcorn, and much more. Be creative, and remember to keep birds' safety in mind by staying away from processed human foods that can be harmful to birds.
When the wind blows and the snow falls, gather your friends and family - especially your children - and use your creativity to design an edible snowman or decorate a tree. Not only will you be given an opportunity to spend time in nature, but you will ensure your wild birds are fed well during the long winter months.

Sunday, February 8, 2015

A Moment for Forgiveness

The reason for learning Forgiveness is that it teaches us about our personal assignments to remain attentive to the present moment and forbid the past to become a distraction.  Remember, your history will always be with you because you cannot reverse time to be with it. But you can take solace in the notion that it has brought you to this very moment and no further. It is then that one realizes one's history instills us with a unique Responsibility: create the next moment because you cannot create a new past. “In three words, I can sum up everything I learned about life: It goes on.” [Robert Frost]

Thursday, February 5, 2015

A Day to be Blessed

Today, rather than perceiving your work as "work," stand back and take a moment to consider how blessed you are to be here.  You have been blessed to have been given work. 

You have the breath.  You have the drive. You have the talent for today's tasks.
Some people do not. 
You have been blessed. 

You have the sight.  You have the foresight.  You have the insight that you earned.
Some people do not. 
You have been blessed.

You have the brains.  You have the heart.  You have the courage to embrace this day.
Some people do not. 
You have been blessed.  

You have been given life.  You have life.  You are alive.
Be grateful.
You are blessed. 

Embrace this day, embrace your life, embrace your work as a gift rather than a burden.
Whether you choose to address it now or afterward, you will soon discover that it too,
is a blessing. 

Be well.

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

A Day to Be Well

Evidently today's full moon is shifting many people's energies.
Would you like to feel better today?

Compliment someone. 

Compliment 5 friends with whom you rarely interact. 
Try complimenting a stranger. 

Happiness is quite simple.
...and it begins with a choice.

Be well.

Friday, January 30, 2015

A Moment for Yourself

Be wary of when others try to project their fears and negativity onto you.

Many people obsess over how others perceive them that it handicaps them from being freely themselves. Many of those individuals also feel safer when others are handicapped with fear as well. There are countless examples of this projection of fear.

You don't have to give into it.

For example, if you want to dance in the grocery store if your favorite song plays on the radio... You can.  Others might stare, but that is a reflection of their own inner rulebook. You can be courageously yourself and help to draw the fear out of others. 
Go and make this a beautiful day.

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Defining Compassion

The prefix "com" in the word "compassion" means together. Therefore compassion is the understanding that you share the elements of passion with others. However, to fully understand compassion, one not only must understand your shared joys, but also shared suffering.

In truth, the real definition of compassion is the awareness that the suffering of others is equal to your own, and "the desire that all sentient beings are freed from suffering."

Friday, January 9, 2015

A Day Alone

Learn to be content being your own company.
Happiness is a state of mind also, but did you know you get choice?
Which would you prefer?