Official blog for the book "Just Behind the Door"

Posts tagged ‘pay it forward’

Gratitude, Courage and Love

Everyone’s life involves opportunities, challenges and times that may cause them to wonder if they can make it through another day. In our own insular world we often forget that everyone we see is working on their own unique life script exactly as they had written it. For some, their lives seem to appear so difficult that it can take the breath away from a casual observer. You wonder how it the world they can do it. Yet I notice something in common from folks that have had to work hard for what they have in life or deal with exceptional challenges. They seem to have developed a higher sense of appreciation for even the smallest things. They can teach us much about gratitude, courage and love.

Recently, I have had the chance to hear from two different families that have experienced immense challenges. Yet both families look at the events and challenges they have experienced with gratitude. They have trained themselves to see the gift not the burden. If you listen to them talk they reflect not on the challenges but more on the funny, loving memories that they have acquired along the way.

Walking in another person’s shoes is impossible. But taking the time to remember that everyone is doing the best they can as they live through their own unique story is possible. It enables us to remember to be a little more patient, a little quicker to offer a smile, a helping hand or a thank you for even the smallest gesture. Who knows, we might give them just the recognition or help they need to face tomorrow. Now that is powerful!

When it is said, the greatest things in life are free, it’s true. It doesn’t cost a thing to recognize the efforts of someone or to help them along the way but it can make a huge difference in their lives. It’s a quick, sure fire way to send out to the Universe a ‘ happy gram’ of positive energy. The amazing thing is that without intending it to happen more positive energy comes back to you. It’s truly a win-win in life, a ‘pay it forward’ type of experience. That is what love is all about.

Have a great few days!

Tell Someone You Care

How many times have you thought about telling someone how important they are to you or giving them a compliment? In the last few days, I have received emails and a phone call thanking me for something I had done. Four people mentioned a recent blog that had made an impact on them. At first I was humbled and appreciative of the feedback and then I thought more deeply about the affect those messages had on me. I felt more positive energy around me. It changed a good day into an exceptional one for me. It made me think of the importance of ‘paying it forward.’

We often get so involved in our daily lives, the hustle and bustle of it all, that we may think, momentarily, of a kindness or help from someone and then let it slip from awareness as we quickly move on to the next item on our ‘to do’ list. Yet, when all is said and done, what really matters in life is our relationships, our love, concern and recognition of self AND others. People really don’t care how much you have or how much you know until they know how much you care.

Tuning into a T.V. program last night entitled, Undercover Boss, the message was, once again, so apparent. As CEO’s from various large companies disguised themselves so they could walk a mile – or in these examples – a week in the shoes of their employees, these CEOs were humbled by the passion and concern their employees brought to their jobs. All were shocked by the family challenges that so many of their employees endured. Yet, they came to work each day and did their jobs well. At the end of each vignette, the CEOs met with the employees and literally with tears in their eyes thanked them for a job well done. These folks beamed as their ‘top gun’ took the time to recognize them. The CEOs changed the lives of these employees as well as their own.

Conversely, during this election season, the T.V. adds are filled with negative messaging, and some are even designed to instill fear in us. I refuse to be entangled in this web of fear-based programming and will not accept the negative energy from these adds. Negatives just don’t get to me anymore. I will continue to search out truth, listen to the ‘fact checkers’ on the news and remember that I haven’t walked a mile in someone’s shoes. I will make up my own mind based on the facts I can discover and consider the amount of positive energy I feel when listening to a candidate. How incredible it would be if they decided to concentrate on hope rather than fear, on the positives of tomorrow rather than the negatives of yesterday. They could learn a lot from the CEOs that went undercover.

We all do the best we can do each day considering the challenges we face. I can’t believe that anyone wakes up in the morning and says to themselves, ‘I am going to have a very bad day’ and then purposely surrounds themselves with a negative mind set.

Positive energy is something we all need to survive. If we each take a moment to tell someone how important they are to us or how appreciative we are of a kindness shown or a lesson learned we will create a better world.

Maybe you can find an extra 2 or 3 minutes tomorrow to ‘pay it forward’ by complimenting someone, showing appreciation or just letting someone know you are thinking about them. It may help lift their spirits, walk with a little more confidence and have a better day. What a gift you have given them!

I’ll commit to making the world a little happier each day by taking the time to connect with someone for something. Will you?

Have a great few days!

Virtues and Reasons for Life Challenges

The 27 Divine Virtues that Robert Schwartz talked about in his lecture, is to help us to determine what particular areas we are working on in this lifetime. Usually 3-5 seem to pop out as areas that are the most difficult for us to accept, believe in or practice. Going more deeply into the why we may have chosen particular virtues to work on, he has discovered 4 main reasons. They are explained in greater depth in his book, Your Soul’s Gift.

He first talks about KARMA. He defines karma differently. He feels it is not a ‘cosmic debt’ that we are trying to repay but rather as something our soul needs to experience to more fully understand the emotional lessons involved in fully learning the virtue. He further explains that karma can be for 1 of 2 reasons. Balancing or releasing. Balancing our karma is when we have purposely designed life lessons to help us experience all emotional sides or an issue for deeper understanding. The result then, is a 360 degree view of the virtue. You really, really get it at that point. Releasing, on the other hand, is achieved when we finally understand the underlying root cause of the imbalance and can release it. For instance, if a person looks at life as if the cup is half empty, scarcity or the fear of not having enough of something, may be at the root cause. FEAR of … (you fill in the word) is usually the cause of our imbalances in life. Once we truly internalize that anything (including fear) that we give emotional energy to, we are actually drawing more of it to us, we will stop. If you don’t want scarcity in your life stop dwelling on it. Think abundance and believe that there is more than enough in this Universe for everyone. Refuse to be crippled by fear of anything!

The second reason Schwartz feels that we may have planned certain challenges in our life is for HEALING. He explains that when we have unresolved negative energy from a previous lifetime (such as anger, guilt, blame, judgment of self and/or others) we may plan specific life issues to live through that involve these exact feelings so that we can heal ourselves from inside out and achieve greater understanding and peace.

Schwartz believes the third reason we may have chosen our life challenges is for SERVICE TO OTHERS. The phrase is self explanatory. We know that what we give, we receive and what we teach, we learn. He says that this area, service to others is an ‘accelerated path’ of spiritual growth. Remember the phrase, pay it forward? It applies here, for sure. When we remember that we are all part of God/Universal energy and when we help others we are also helping ourselves, the impact becomes that much greater.

He feels a fourth reason for our challenges on this earth is for CONTRAST. My understanding is that on earth we experience an intensity of emotional experiences. No kidding! We are in a classroom of nonstop learning! So our opportunity for growth (to become a better person) is greater. It makes me think of the fairy tale by Hans Christian Anderson, The Princess and the Pea. Even under 20 mattresses she was able to feel the pea. Her physical/emotional awareness was so heightened from her experience as a princess. On earth, since our challenges are so vast and difficult, our own physical and emotional growth is heightened which allows us to develop a higher level of functioning and understanding.

Have you found anything from his work that seems to speak to you? I hope so.

STAY TUNED – ON MY NEXT BLOG ON WEDNESDAY, I WILL SHARE WITH YOU ABOUT MY BOOK. IT IS NOW AVAILABLE!