30 August 2016
many undervalue the power of simplicity!
But it is the real key to the heart.
play for safety. It's the most dangerous thing in the world.
When we cannot
bear to be alone, it means we do not properly value
the only companion we
will have from birth to death--ourselves.
people with little minds and little imaginations go
through life in little ruts, smugly resisting all changes
which would jar their little worlds.
to Switching Focus
As a kid,
did you ever jump off a high dive? Do you remember that
very first time you climbed up. . . and up. . . and up?
Each step seemed to take you farther away from safety, but even
though you were scared, you kept on going.
came the top of the ladder. You walked tentatively out to
the end of the board. Your heart pounded so hard you could
barely hear the kids below shouting you on. The water
seemed five miles away. You didn't really want to do this
thing, while at the same time you did. Something in you
knew this was epic, the greatest moment you would ever know,
that if you did this, you would never be the same. You
jumped. What a rush! You made it. And indeed,
your life had changed forever.
toughest part of ungluing ourselves from the high dive habit of
an on-going problem (for that's all problems are . . . are
habits) is forcing ourselves to release our preoccupation with
it. Like so:
don't have to change it;
You just have to stop focusing on it!
tough? Yes! Can it be done? You bet! But
you have to start someplace, and that someplace is a decision
that, somehow, you're going to change your focus.
actually doing it, changing your focus to something more pleasant
so you can change your energy. It is impossible to solve a
problem in the same frequency in which it was created, so you make
a decision that for as long as it's with you, that problem will
no longer be the focal point of your life. Like having a
cut on your finger; you know it's there and yes it hurts when you
think about it, but you don't allow it to govern your everyday
living. You believe it will heal and go away, and so it
remember, the most important part to changing an unwanted
condition is simply: you don't have to change it; you
just have to stop thinking about it! All it takes is
that willingness to jump.
#1. Switch focus. Now!
you recognize you're focusing on the condition with your
worry-motor running (or ticked-off motor, or blame motor, etc.),
find something else, anything else to think about that will
get you to feeling even a tiny bit better than you do at
present. And find it right now!
thoughts to your mate (if you've got a great relationship), your
home, a song, your doggie, your new sweatshirt, a chocolate
sundae, making love, your upcoming vacation, your last vacation, a
special restaurant, your youngster asleep. ANYthing!
Make yourself do this, staying there until you can feel your mood
begin to change--which means your energy has changed--no matter
make the feeling switch, then start talking--out loud--about what
it is you want (that's "want," not "don't
want") in place of your unwanted condition. By doing
that, your focus is now off of the condition, your Intent motor is
running in its place, and you've gotten your valve open enough to
begin the turnaround. And for heaven's sake, never mind that
your Replacement Want may seem impossible. Just get into it
and forget the "how to's."
can't get into your Want/Intent feeling mode, never mind.
Just stay in the feeling of some pleasant new focus for as long as
you can. The longer (and more often) you can stay in that
higher frequency, the quicker your unwanted condition will begin
to dissipate. Conversely, the more you retain your focus on
whatever has been bothering you, the longer it will stay around.
#2. Tender-talk it out. Now!
just can't seem to get your focus off the condition, start some
soothing talk to yourself, out loud, much like a loving mom or dad
might comfort a little one. Tell yourself all the comforting
things a youngster would want to hear: that it's going to be
okay, that things are in the process of changing, that you've
always been safe and always will be, that you have nothing to
talking warmly for as long as it takes for you to feel that subtle
little switch happen, and you can feel your resistance to the
higher energies backing down. You are relaxing into
well-being, your resistance to that Life-giving Source energy is
lessening, and you're quieting down. Stay there as long as
you can, with your focus off the disturbing condition.
#3. Tough-talk it out. Now!
tough-love kind of talk . . . out loud . . . to yourself, one on
one. But here's the trick: you need to get tough,
not down on yourself. Don't you ever, ever, ever get
down on yourself when you find you're focusing on an unwanted
after here is stern, horse-sense reasoning where you firmly point
out to yourself what will transpire if you continue to focus
on--and stew over--the condition. Then you tell yourself
quite matter-of-factly what will happen when you remove your focus
and change your vibration.
look, Charlie, you got yourself into this mess, and you are going
to find a way to get yourself out. But if you're going to
stay in this mood and stew about it all day long, you know the
situation is going to get worse. So get off your pity pot
and find some dumb thing to feel good about. Hell yes, I
know you don't feel like feeling good right now, but . . ."
if you believe it or not? Fake it until you feel the switch
in feeling take place, that subtle shift in your energy.
This is an
approach of hard logic. While I use it regularly and it
always makes me feel better, I find I usually have to jump from
this back into one of the other tricks to get more of that
quieted-down Feel Good motor running full steam. But that's
just me. Whatever it takes for you, go for it!
#4. Do something fun. Now!
physical! Go for a walk, polish your car, brush your cat,
buy a new suit, bake a cake, play poker, trim your flowers, go to
a movie, whatever turns you on that will take your stuck focus off
the condition and soften your resistance to flowing that higher
energy. Once you feel the shift happen, start talking out
loud, gently at first, about what you want in place of the
With any of
these tricks, keep in mind that old expression, "Fake it 'til
you make it." You switch focus, you talk warmly, you
talk tough, you go for fun, you pretend, but the point is, you do
it the moment you realize your attention is on the unwanted
condition, and you stay there until you feel your feelings flip
over. They will!
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and excerpts - Daily
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February, 1987, astronomers made a sensational
discovery, when a supernova--an exploding
star--burst into view over the southern sky.
Not a single supernova had been seen in our galaxy
thinking, an explosion of ideas, is powerfully akin
to this celestial event. Creativity brings
light into every corner of the world. There
are big ideas and little ideas, working together to
create the magic by which inner darkness
disappears. And we can all be a part of this
like the old proverb: "It is better to
light a candle than curse the darkness."
We need to create a moral and spiritual equivalent
to the supernova here on our earth, a
super-creativity which will abolish war, which will
conquer hunger, poverty, disease, and crime.
illuminates, penetrates the darkness, shows the way
ahead. Light is synonymous with
creativity. It is explosive mental
power. It is the mind aflame, the heart aglow,
the spirit aware. It is God at work through
and Anne Morrow Lindbergh were America's golden
couple. Then in March, 1932, their young son,
Charles Lindbergh, Jr., was kidnapped and brutally
her published letters and diary entries, Anne Morrow
Lindbergh recounts the tragic months that
followed. For her, the light that guided her
through the grief was learning how others had come
through their trials.
as she was indebted to the people who had left
behind their testimonies, Anne Morrow Lindbergh
believed that in her books she, too, must leave her
own "little grain of truth." After
all, grain must be resown in order to grow.
cry, "More light," as he was dying
brought a dynamic message to all of us. For
this is what we need in every area of life; more
inspiration, more love, more tolerance, more
understanding, more thinking. More light is
the goal of all creative thinkers. It is
absolutely limitless in the scope of its
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If you as parents cut
corners, your children will too. If you lie,
they will too.
If you spend all your money on yourselves and tithe
no portion of it for charities,
colleges, churches, synagogues,
civic causes, your children won't either.
And if parents
at racial and gender jokes, another generation will pass
the poison adults still have not had the courage to snuff out.
Marian Wright Edelman
Using Solitude Effectively
Something that very few of us
are taught as we grow up is the importance of solitude in our
lives. While many cultures have recognized the value of
being alone for extended periods of time--and even send young
people out on their individual walkabouts or quests--today it
seems that we've moved pretty far in the opposite direction:
we allow children to be alone even less than we ever have.
While I remember plenty of days that I spent alone at home while
my parents were at work, nowadays that doesn't happen nearly
enough, in my mind. While I used to have to find unique and
creative ways to entertain myself and make time more interesting,
young people today aren't put in such a situation nearly enough to
help them to develop their creativity.
Many of us are afraid of solitude. Some of us think that
it's a reflection of who we are, that it shows that other people
don't want to be with us. Others are able to seek out
solitude by choice, as a state that they wish to experience at a
particular time. Still others are forced into it by
rejection, either because of the ways they act and the things they
say, or because they are among people who don't understand or
To live a
spiritual life we must first find the courage to enter
into the desert of loneliness and change it by gentle and
persistent efforts into a garden of solitude.
Henri J. Nouwen
Most of us,
when we're faced with solitude, will find some way
of having company, whether that means turning on the
television set or radio or watching a movie.
Our omnipresent cell phones make it very easy for us
to avoid being alone--we can just call someone to
talk to whenever we feel like it. When we do
these things, though, we completely lose the
benefits of solitude. We don't get to
experience what being on our own in silence can do
for us, for we don't allow ourselves to actually be
alone. This is a shame because there are many
benefits to being alone if we just allow ourselves
to experience them. When we do so, though, we
need to make sure that we're actually experiencing
solitude, and not something close, or something
that's not solitude at all.
One of the ways that I most like to experience
solitude is by taking long hikes or runs in places
where there are no other people, at times when it's
much less likely that I'll meet others (early in the
morning usually works fine). I'm fortunate
that I'm able to run ten miles on a mountain trail
to get far away from others, and then come back
those ten miles with no problem. It's not that
easy for others, though, so it may be necessary to
drive to a more remote trail or place to walk, as
long as you know that the place is safe.
I use the solitude as a chance to settle my mind, in
a sense. What the solitude does is allow my
mind to go for a certain time without any new input
from other people. Yes, I see trees and
flowers and rivers and the occasional deer or snake,
but these aren't things that complicate my life or
that I have to come up with a response to. I
love being with other people, but when I am, I'm
constantly listening or speaking, thinking of how to
reply to things they say or how to deal with new
complications that they bring up. When I'm in
a state of solitude, my mind very soon relaxes,
knowing that for a certain amount of time it doesn't
have to work hard to deal with new input from
That's why the television and radio are such a bad
idea if you're trying to be alone in your house, for
example. They're full of new things to hear
and see, that your mind has to process and make
sense of. When I'm alone and my brain is
relaxing, one of the most important things that it
does is process things that I've been thinking about
for quite some time. Perhaps I've been
stressed about something at work, yet I've been so
busy dealing with others that I've never been able
to process that problem completely in my mind.
Now that I'm in a state of solitude, I can process
it--I can let my mind deal with it in its own ways,
without anything new coming up to interrupt the
is simply spending time connecting with ourselves.
Solitude means we do it alone, spending time in
reflection--perhaps talking to ourselves, writing a
journal, meditating. When we practice solitude
regularly over a period of time, we develop a deep and
abiding connection with our self. We can use that
connection to alleviate isolation--from ourselves and
Jan Johnson Drantell
allows us to feel peace. While we do create a
lot of our own stress, it's also true that others
contribute a great deal to the stress that we
feel. If I want to allow the solitude to help
me to feel peaceful, though, I have to respect the
solitude and not bring along any sort of
communications device. Solitude is solitude,
after all, and communicating with someone else would
basically be cheating our own chances of feeling
solitude and feeling its benefits. As soon as
we talk to someone else, the solitude is broken and
we are open to new problems, new frustrations, new
things to think about, new things to worry about,
and the peace that we might have hoped to get from
solitude will not be ours.
We can also use solitude to help us to focus
strongly on something that needs and deserves our
focus. One of the strengths of solitude is the
lack of distractions, which is why so many search
out solitude for meditation, writing, reading, or
working on something important. I know that
when I write it's important for me to be alone with
as few distractions as possible, for it's only under
those conditions that I'm able to concentrate fully
on the task at hand. If I use my solitude
well, I benefit from it by being able to come up
with a finished product that hasn't been interrupted
over and over again during the process of creating
it, and it always is better work: more
cohesive, more focused, and more complete than it
would have been if I hadn't forced myself into
solitude in order to do the work.
alone gives us the space to listen again to our
inner rhythms, to embrace our inner selves.
most important way to use solitude, though, is as a
way to get to know ourselves better. So often
I make decisions that I feel are compromised in
order to make someone else happy or simply to keep
the peace; when I'm alone, though, all of my
decisions are based on my own needs, wants, and
desires, and I can learn a lot about what I really
like and what I really don't like. I can
ponder questions that bother me and come up with
authentic answers that allow me, as Patricia says
above, to embrace my inner self. But when I'm
seeking solitude, it's very important that I not
listen to music or have any of the other daily
distractions--I've tried taking advantage of
solitude with music on, and it simply didn't work,
for all of the songs had other thoughts and ideas
and people and places associated with them, and it
was impossible for me to stay focused on getting to
know myself. Very often I love listening to
music when I'm alone, but I have to keep in mind
that when I do so, the solitude isn't nearly as
beneficial to me.
Being alone is not a reflection of rejection, nor is
it a negative part of our lives--in fact, it can be
one of the most positive states we experience.
So much of who we are depends upon our inner lives
that it makes sense for us to search out time for
ourselves to work on those inner lives, to help to
find out who we are, what we truly value, what we
truly hope for and dream about, without the
incessant input of others who can really have no
idea of such things. Find solitude in your
life, search it out and make it happen, and if you
use it well you'll find that your life becomes
richer, fuller, and much more enjoyable.
of the most important elements
of living life fully is
awareness-- awareness of our surroundings, of other people
and their motives and fears and desires, of the things that
affect us most in our lives, both positively and negatively.
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