Official blog for the book "Just Behind the Door"

Posts tagged ‘joy’

The Miracle of the Season

Christmas is five days away! What happened to the time…to the year? We have all lived through blessings, challenges and opportunities this year. Some have caused us to grow beyond our wildest imaginings while others have caused us to make mid course corrections and adapt to new life changes. What we do know is that all were intended…all were for the purpose of self growth. As we run around feverishly picking up the last present at the store (or the mailbox for our online shoppers) let’s remember the unconditional love of the season – and keep it foremost in our hearts. Christmas brings out the best in all of us as we reflect on a few simple truths such as…

Friends and family without them our lights would not shine quite as brightly. If someone is struggling now is the time to go the extra mile to show them we care. Random acts of kindness can be a lifeline to another especially at this time of year.

Health – although we may be doing well it’s important to remember that for some fellow travelers health issues may be a challenge. They need our understanding. Regardless of our condition each of us wants to be treated with dignity and respect and seen as a capable human being. Everyone has the capacity to make a positive difference until our last breath – and beyond.

Opportunities – when we review what we have faced this year some things might not have gone as planned. We may have run into some difficulty with others. As Desmond Tutu tells us that ‘forgiveness is nothing less than the way to heal the world’ one person at a time. Let’s heal it together.

Joy – we can see it everywhere. The smiles, the hugs, the laughter of others helps us to remember – all is good with the world – and we see it clearly when we stop long enough to breathe deeply and live in the present.

Gratitude – it brings light into our lives and makes our life lessons easier when we appreciate what we have and maintain a mindset of ‘YES.’ It gives us strength and enthusiasm to face our tomorrows.

Our loved ones who have passed on left us with an incredible gift – unconditional love. Let’s pass it on to others and change the world.

For today, next week and next year – we can choose to remember the feelings we have at this time of year and decide – right here right now – to continue this unconditional love and appreciation for our life and those who are in it. Life really is good, our cups really are full and everything will work out just as it’s suppose to … it just takes a little faith in the miracle of life here on planet Earth.

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

Being in the Now

Today is the 4th of July, a day of celebration in recognition of our independence as a nation. There will be fireworks tonight that are so beautiful the ‘ahhs’ of the crowds will be heard and universally shared. When the Grand Finale of the individual firework displays happen, the crowds erupt in applause – it’s a thank you to the event coordinators, managers and even to our nation which supports this day with such recognition.The tempting smells of hamburgers and hotdogs grilling make us aware of the importance of family and friends as we indulge in the delicious recipes that have been passed down from generations. How fortunate we are to live in a country that believes in the rights of the individual and celebrates this day with us.

Events like today allow us to ‘be in the moment.’ I know it’s an overused phrase but the reality is that most of us are so busy worrying about our tomorrows that often today just passes us by and we are left wondering where the time has gone. When days, months and years pass by at what seems like the speed of light it’s important to consider if we have learned anything, developed a deeper understanding or appreciation from our life experiences or … Are we actively growing and becoming or simply waiting, wondering and using up our time in the regrets of yesterday or worries about our tomorrows?

Let’s make a pact, tonight when watching the fireworks – in person or on T.V. with each explosion of color, let’s take in the experience completely. No thinking about yesterday or worrying about tomorrow just absorbing the 30 or 45 minutes of pure delight. Think of it as a gift – the gift of being in the moment – that we choose to give ourselves.

Books have been written by many people about the importance of living in the now. In fact, some would say we can only know the power and love of the Universal Energy when we are in the now – living in the flow of the moment – when time seems to stand still. There is no constant chatter in our brains when we are in the now, no should, could or if only, no voices interrupting our personal reverie – just the sweet escape of the moment and we smile from inside out. We feel something bigger, more grand that may remain undefined by words but felt in our hearts.

Have a great holiday!

What is Your Song?

If you could choose a favorite song – one that speaks to you and transports you elsewhere what would it be? What are the lyrics that resonate in your heart? What melody causes you to stop and listen to the sound causing your toes to tap or your mind to escape for a moment? When you think about it music has the power to change our mood instantly. It has the ability to lighten our mood and put a smile on our face. It has been said that music is a language that is there when normal language is of little use. It’s no wonder that every culture known to man has created their own music.

I remember years ago going to a funeral of a wonderful, gentle spirit who was moving on. She requested that her favorite song be played. The lyrics were written by Lee Ann Womack, the song entitled, ‘I Hope You Dance.’ This song can still stop me in my tracks and momentarily take my breath away as I remember this special person. A few of the lyrics …”Never lose your sense of wonder…never take one single breath for granted…never settle for the path of least resistance…and when you get the choice to sit it out or dance…I hope you dance.” This person fought a valiant 10 year struggle with cancer and was totally bed ridden for a least a year before she passed on. Yet through the lyrics of this song she left us with powerful thoughts of hope, humility, bravery and even joy. The song is about the magnificence of life, the importance of love and choosing to face any fear in our life head on, not allowing ourselves to be cowered by it.

I marvel at both the song writers and musicians who through their talent can emotionally transport us to a different space and time. These individuals have a gift that they have honed through hard work and effort. As Malcolm Gladwell has told us to be an expert at something we must put in about 10,000 hours of effort. When a song can take our breath away we know the lyricist and performer has paid their price in personal time and effort. Maybe their purpose for this lifetime was to try and help us along our way.

No one has the power to take away the music in our soul. As Dr. Wayne Dyer reminds us, “Don’t die with your music still in you.” Each of our lives is like a song, partially written and played, still in the creation stage of possibilities. We are all part of the orchestra of life. We can work together in harmony and feel the happiness in our hearts or like the songwriter or performer continue to rehearse, change, adapt our views through trials and life challenges until we finally get it. When things begin to fall into place in our life – our song – just begins to finally feel right. We feel something deep inside …excitement, assurance and at peace that we are following our chosen path and it moves us to our core. At that point we know we are truly living our life purpose and it is grand.

Have a great few days!

Be the Change!

Between the world and national events we need a little Christmas in our lives. What has happened may seem overwhelming and we may feel helpless as we struggle to try to make sense of it all. Without having all the facts we simply can’t figure out what really happened that has caused others such suffering as their lives implode. Maybe the best we can do is to remember that each of us can feed into the negative energy or choose to use our own positive energy to help ourselves and others realize the importance of life during this season. The challenge is not to be overwhelmed and forget our human purpose but to rise above it, as difficult as it may seem, as we remember that we are here to learn our lessons – the biggest of which is unconditional love of self and others.

The feelings of the Christmas season, regardless of our backgrounds, elicit a sense of peace, joy and understanding. It is a time when we remember those less fortunate than ourselves in both big and small ways. A smile to the clerk who is frantically trying to keep up with the line of people at the checkout counter, dropping a dollar in the red buckets outside the stores as the Salvation Army volunteers continue to ring the bells reminding us of the need of others. Even a simple phone call, email or visit to someone to brighten their day, can help to change our part of the world. We can make a difference, in so many ways, if we just take a moment to remember that we really do have the potential – obligation even, to change the world – one heart at a time. Although we can’t fix what has happened we can stand tall like a beacon in the night pulsating a signal of light that directs others and guides them home to the truth buried in their heart.

It has been said that it is darkest just before the dawn. Could it be that we are here to help the dawn – the light – surface in the lives of others as well as our own? Maybe this is a test to see just how strong we can be as we are faced with the anger, violence and hatred from the senseless random acts in our world that tear down rather than build up.
One thing is for sure, to quote Winston Churchill, ‘Never, never, never, never give up.’ He repeated this phrase when England was being brutally, continually attacked and all seemed hopeless. His statement reminds us of the importance of holding on to our strength, courage and belief in truth. We must stand for something or we will fall for anything.

Not being privy to all the facts of world and national events can leave us feeling both hopeless and helpless. Remember the phrase from Churchill and do not become overwhelmed or defeated. We can never give up on our truth. What we can do is to make a commitment to be the change we want to see in the world. A critical mass, believing in truth can accomplish what even the best minds in our world cannot. We have the power to change the world because we have truth, peace and love on our side. Visualize the effect of tossing a pebble in a pond and watch the motion of the water as the impact radiates out to the larger body of water. It was just a pebble but yet the effect changed the entire pond!

I believe there is a critical mass of us out there who believes justice will prevail and complete truth will eventually surface as ultimately love conquers even the most deep seated hatred that is directed at us. No one can stop us because, ultimately, love will prevail.

This week let’s go out of our way to project our beliefs. Together we can make the change we so desperately want to see. Just think it all started with a pebble – our belief – that love conquers all.

Have a great few days!

What Are Your True Feelings?

When is the last time that a memory took your breath away? Let’s take a trip down Memory Lane. Can you remember five people, places or things that when you think about them brings a smile to your face from the inside out? This is not a trick question but intended for you to reconnect with the feelings you had at those moments, the positive energy you had that simply made you stop and exhale at the wonder of it all. The importance of remembering cannot be overlooked. It shows you that there were times in your life when your positive FEELINGS brought more positives into your life. You have done it before and can do it again.

Those things that elicit positive – take your breath away feelings – means that you were connecting with your life’s purpose on this journey. There is a huge difference between simple thoughts and deep feelings. The latter moves you toward accomplishment and connections. When you experience the feelings of gratitude, love, delight, joy or merely that warm fuzzy experience that causes you to know that at that moment something special, unforgettable is happening it reinforces the thought that our life lessons can be learned from a position of joy and gratitude not struggle. We may have been taught that life is intended to be, in fact, a struggle. Maybe not. It is possible to learn what we came here to learn through a more positive feeling type of approach.

We may have read somewhere to simply focus (think) about something we want in our lives and through the magic of affirmations it will come to us. Yet, there is something much more powerful and important that merely thinking about it. The secret is in the FEELINGS that you get when you visualize what you desire. FEELINGS cause the energy which works like a magnet in the Universe to bring you what you desire. The affirmation may be the ‘car’ but the FEELINGS are the motor!

Remember the saying, ‘garbage in – garbage out?’ That is another way of saying that what you think about most often with feeling is what you are attracting back to you from the Universe. Negative energy begets more of the same just as positive energy attracts more of its own. It sounds simple but it is really quite complex.

How often are you unwittingly focusing on what you don’t have, or the lack of something in your life? Again, the FEELINGS behind your thoughts act like a magnet to the Universe. If you are constantly thinking about what you don’t have or can’t achieve the cycle of lack in your life will continue with a vengeance. Do you really have time to play the ‘poor me’ card? Sadly, I think more people than we think spend their mental and emotional energy feeling ‘lack.’ You can recognize them by their walk, talk and attitude. Without words their life view speaks volumes.

Let’s reverse the ends of the magnet and turn to the positive rather than the negative end and see what happens. But first, we must take the time to think about – honestly evaluate – how often we are in a mindset set of ‘life’s not fair’ or ‘if only I had’ or even worse ‘it will never happen to me.’ You might want to ask a friend, whom you can trust to be brutally honest, for input. Do they hear you as a ‘glass half full’ type? Oftentimes, we are too close to the forest to see the trees so we need someone that we can trust to help us. The proof, however, is in the result. If you feel your life is lacking – money, friends, relationships, accomplishments it’s time to do a gut check and be honest about your FEELINGS. Once you accept that your negative feelings may be holding you back, you are ready to begin a journey toward greater joy and happiness. Ultimately, you will experience so many more moments that take your breathe away that you will become eternally grateful for the opportunity to learn your own life lessons through happiness not struggle.

In my next blog I will talk about the specific steps to take to change your thinking but in the meantime take the time and first step to honestly assess your internal dialogue.

Have a great few days!

Giving with an Open Heart

Giving with an open hand and open heart makes all the difference! How many times have you heard someone tell you all they have done or given to others. The list seems to get longer every time you listen. There is a pattern here to be discovered. This type of ‘giver’ seems to be fixated on the dollar amount of the give…missing the emotional impact and significance behind it. They may even be complaining that the needs of others never seem to stop. Exactly! As you begin to observe their lives it seems they, indeed, are constantly being called upon to open their wallets. Until they break the cycle of feeling put upon it continues. If each time they are called upon to help out someone and they see it as an imposition and are mentally calculating the dollars involved the Universe gives them more lessons of the same. How can we break this cycle?

When we truly give from our hearts in time, concern or money it has no price tag. The value of doing for others can’t be bought or sold. It is one of those rare intangibles that just is… it makes the world a little better place. Amazingly, when you find joy in doing the little things that results in a brighter light in someone’s world, the light shines brighter in your own. Knowing that is powerful.

The next time we are presented with an opportunity to give of ourselves and we don’t feel we have the time or where-with-all to do so maybe we can remember that this, in fact, is the exact time, the perfect time to put our own schedules aside and just make it happen. You will know if you have achieved the true joy of giving because you will feel a smile radiating from inside out. You will feel a sense of purpose and positive energy because you adjusted your own schedule to help a fellow traveller on his journey. This ‘inside out’ kind of feeling is the spark that makes all the difference in the world.

It is not the size or amount of giving that makes the difference but where the feeling originates from – our heads or our hearts. When it is from the heart it is pure love – the highest form of energy. This is the season that brings out the best in all of us. Let’s envision a time in the future when we will be able to manifest it for more than the few weeks between Thanksgiving and Christmas. Now that is truly something smile about!

Have a great few days!

Remember the Love?

Is it difficult for you to forgive someone for a major or even minor situation that caused you to feel upset? Have you learned to forgive yourself for things that, upon reflection, you wish you would have done differently in your life? Don Miguel Ruiz author of ‘The Circle of Fire’ says, ‘ Before you learned to speak you loved and with no effort you forgave…it was natural to love and forgive…but then you learned to ‘behave’ from other people.’

Could it be that when we are drawn to the absolute innocence of a child we see and feel the unconditional love and remember, even long for, that feeling once again to surface in our own lives? Each of us started out with a clean slate. We loved, trusted and expressed pure joy in merely existing and then life began to happen to us and we internalized the messages of ‘do this, don’t do that or you are too… or not enough … and we began to create a subconscious map of reality that limited or restricted us in some way. In fact, we often become so good at accepting these messages as truth that we begin to create events and messages for ourselves which reinforce those false beliefs. At the time we may not have been able to label it but now we realize that it is fear – fear of not being just so, of not being accepted …of not being loved. As we grow and experience the difficult events in our lives without realizing it those early tapes in our minds become a stronger and stronger control mechanism that can often take the joy out of living.

The challenge is to recognize that not all of those early tapes were accurate and that we must work to correct the misinformation that we have stored in our memories. When we get to a point that we choose to look at our lives and realize that we want more – more peace, happiness and contentment we will begin the process of self correcting those early tapes. The amazing thing about the search is that we discover that what we are searching for has always been there, buried deep in the recesses of our minds, because as infants we were happy, loved and able to forgive quickly and completely. We begin, once again, to experience the feeling, long ago, of pure joy.

The next time we see a young child maybe it can trigger us to realize that the elusive butterfly of happiness that we are seeking is within us just waiting to surface once again. We do know love and forgiveness on a subconscious level and those feelings are just waiting to surface once again, in our lives.

Have a great few days!