8 November 2016
Delve within; within is the
fountain of good,
and it is always ready to bubble up, if
you always delve.
We are not human beings having
experience. We are
spiritual beings having a
Teilhard de Chardin
Every time you smile at
someone, it is an action of love,
a gift to that person, a beautiful thing.
Loneliness and Solitude
should spend time alone. Not just minutes and
hours, but days, and if the opportunity presents itself,
spent alone returns to you a hundredfold, because it is
the proving ground of the spirit. You quickly find
out if you are at peace with yourself, or if the meaning
of your life is found only in the superficial affairs of
the day. If it is in the superficial affairs of
the day, time spent alone will throw you back upon
yourself in a way that will make you grow in wisdom and
can easily fill our days with activity. We buy, we
sell, we move from place to place. There is always
more to be done, always a way to keep from staring into
the still pool where life is more than the chatter of
the small affairs of the mind.
we are not careful, we begin to mistake this activity
for meaning. We turn our lives into a series of
tasks that can occupy all the hours of the clock and
still leave us breathless with our sense of work left
always there is work undone. We will die with work
undone. The labors of life are endless.
Better that you should accept the rhythms of life and
know that there are times when you need to stop to draw
a breath, no matter how great the labors are before you.
many people, solitude is just a poet's word for being
alone. But being alone, in itself, is
nothing. It can be a breeding ground of loneliness
as easily as a source of solitude.
is a condition of peace that stands in direct opposition
to loneliness. Loneliness is like sitting in an
empty room and being aware of the space around
you. It is a condition of separateness.
Solitude is becoming one with the space around
you. It is a condition of union.
is small, solitude is large. Loneliness closes in
around you; solitude expands towards the infinite.
Loneliness has its roots in words, in an internal
conversation that nobody answers; solitude has its roots
in the great silence of eternity.
people fear being alone because they understand only
loneliness. Their understanding begins at the
self, and they are comfortable only as long as they are
at the center of their understanding. Solitude is
about getting the "I" out of the center of our
thoughts so that other parts of life can be experienced
in their fullness. It is about abandoning the self
as the focus of understanding, and giving ourselves over
to the great flowing fabric of the universe.
solitude silence becomes a symphony. Time changes
from a series of moments strung together into a seamless
motion riding on the rhythms of the stars.
Loneliness is banished, solitude is in full flower, and
we are one with the pulse of life and the flow of time.
awareness we experience in solitude is priceless for the
peace it can give. It is also the key to true
loving in our relationships. When we have a part
of ourselves that is firm, confident, and alone, we
don't need another person to fill us. We know that
we have private spaces full of goodness and self-worth,
and we grant the same to those we love. We do not
try to pry into every corner of their lives or to fill
the emptiness inside us with their presence.
always, look at the world around you. The mountain
is not restless in its aloneness. The hawk tracing
circles in the sky is not longing for union with the
sun. They exist in the perfect peace of an eternal
present, and that is the peace that one finds only in
solitude. Find this peace in yourself, and you
will never know another moment of loneliness in your
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people behind the words
and excerpts - Daily
Two - Year Three
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Tiny Black Dot
During some of my presentations, I take an 8 1/2 x 11
piece of white paper and make a little black dot in the
middle. Then I show the sheet to people in the
audience and ask them what they see. The majority
will say that they see a black dot. Very few, if
any, will tell me that they see a white sheet of paper
with a tiny black dot.
We tend to look at our lives in very much the same
way. We have our health, enough food to eat, a job
that pays the bills and allows us some leisure
activities, but we don't focus on that. We don't
Instead, we concentrate on the tiny black dot - the 10%
in our lives that we don't like. . . or the things we
wish we could change. By concentrating on the 10%
that represents our problems or things we don't like, we
develop a negative attitude and feel lousy. Plus,
there's a universal principle that comes into play: we
attract what we think about most.
By focusing on what is lacking in our lives, we create
more experiences of scarcity.
Think about your life. Are you paying too much
attention to the 10% that isn't what you want it to be,
as opposed to the 90% that's going well? I'm not
saying we should ignore our challenges or things we'd
like to change. But if we paid a lot more
attention to the 90% that IS working, we'd have a better
attitude and we'd get better results.
When it comes to your job, do you concentrate on all the
positive aspects of your position, or do you gripe about
your salary and your co-workers, or the fact that
someone else got the promotion you wanted?
What about the basic necessities of life? Do you
feel gratitude every day for the food you eat, the
clothing you have, the roof above your head, or do you
take all of these things for granted? Worse yet,
do you complain that you don't have more?
And let's not forget your body and your health.
How much time do you spend thinking about what IS
working? Your body is a miracle, make no mistake
about that. There's nothing "ho-hum"
about your body and its day to day operation.
Albert Einstein once said that there are two ways to
live your life: one way is as though nothing is a
miracle; the other is as though everything is a miracle.
Most of us walk around with a ho-hum attitude about the
miracle of our bodies. We treat this amazing creation as
if it's no big deal.
Consider this: your heart is only the size of a
fist and yet it pumps blood through your body.
Every day, the heart pumps about 2,000 gallons of blood
and beats about 100,000 times. That's just in one
In one year, that amounts to 36,500,000 beats. And
in most cases, the heart just keeps on beating
36,500,000 times a year for many decades. Stop for
a moment and recognize the enormity of this miracle.
And, of course, you don't have to change any body parts
or beat your chest manually to keep your heart
going. It automatically beats and sends the blood
through your body with no effort on your part.
Now, let's consider your brain. The brain and
spinal cord are made up of many cells, which include
neurons. There are about 100 billion neurons in
the brain. 100 billion! Neurons are nerve
cells that transmit nerve signals to and from the brain
at up to 200 miles per hour. Isn't this amazing?
Of course, your ears. . . your eyes. . . well, I could
go on all day about the miracle of your body and how we
take it for granted. Just one final example to
drive the point home.
When you get a cold and have difficulty breathing for a
few days, I bet you'll often tell everyone that you are
congested and don't feel well. When the cold
clears up in a week and your breathing returns to
normal, you probably don't say: "My breathing
is perfect today! I'm able to get all the oxygen I
need!" Why does it make sense to complain
about your breathing for the one week it is impaired. .
. while failing to acknowledge the other 51 weeks when
your breathing is full and healthy?
Stop taking this incredible body for granted.
Appreciate all the things that ARE working! You're
a walking miracle, and part of an extraordinary
Some of you may feel that ignoring the black dot is not
the answer--and that you need to focus on the
black dot to improve certain conditions in your
life. Well, if you choose this route, here are
three strategies you could use:
1. Worry about the black dot.
2. Complain about the black dot.
3. Take some proactive steps to eliminate or
reduce the black dot.
The only strategy that makes sense is #3. Yet many
people select strategies #1 and #2, which only makes
them more miserable.
Be brutally honest with yourself. Are there any
areas of your life where you're ignoring the large white
sheet and seeing only the tiny black dot? Do you
see the faults of those at work or at home, and seldom
affirm people for their positive contributions to your
life? If you're like most of us, you have an
abundance of blessings, yet you're often blind to them.
If you've been staring at some tiny black dots recently,
take responsibility for that. And recognize that
nobody is forcing you to keep your eyes on the black
dot. You've developed the habit of focusing on the
negative and your life (and the lives of those around
you) will be greatly enriched if you start to shift your
vision toward the white sheet.
You have a choice. You can keep staring at the
black dot and telling others about all the things that
are wrong in your life, or you can begin to appreciate
your many blessings. Sounds like a pretty easy
choice to make, doesn't it?
Keller, President of Attitude
is Everything, Inc, is a speaker,
seminar leader and writer in
the area of motivation and human
potential. For more than 10 years,
he has delivered his uplifting
presentations to businesses and
throughout the United
States and abroad. Jeff is also
an attorney who practiced law
for more than 10 years before
pursuing a full-time career
as a speaker and writer.
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The balance and peace we seek for
ourselves and our society won’t be achieved
through mental effort alone. Mind
and spirit are meant to travel together,
with spirit leading the way. Until
we make a conscious commitment to understand
and embrace our spiritual nature, we will endure the ache of living
the awareness and guidance of the most essential part of ourselves.
Susan L. Taylor
the Least Stressful
A couple of Saturdays
ago, there were three races in our town. I like to
run competitively (as long as it's fun!), so this was
something that proved to put me in a bit of a quandary. I
had originally signed up for one of them that is
basically a state-wide cross-country meet for adults;
it's generally a lot of fun, though it is highly
competitive and has a lot of runners. The evening
before the run, though, I received a couple of emails
about the course and the parking for the event--there
were a record number of entrants, so the course was
going to be crowded and everyone had to be careful; and
the parking was going to be tight because of the
location, and everyone who could needed to carpool.
I took those two pieces of information as a sign that I
should look into the other two runs. I looked at
one of them and found that there were over 700 runners
registered. I looked at the other and saw that
there were 40.
To me, the answer became obvious--I could go to one of
the big races that would have lots of people and a
crowded starting lines and courses, or I could go to a
low-key, relaxed race that promised no crowds and very
little stress. Of course, I chose the least
stressful of the options, and I was really glad that I
did. It's not to say that I wouldn't have enjoyed
the other races--I know that they would have been what I
made them, and that I could have had fun at them and
seen a lot of people that I know. But on a
Saturday morning after a long and stressful week, the
last thing that I needed was another source of stress,
so I chose the option that promised to be the most
relaxing and the most fun, and I'm pretty sure that it
greatest weapon against stress is our
ability to choose one thought over another.
When we go places, we
usually look for the most relaxing route, as long as
it doesn't take us extremely far out of our
way. If we have a three-hour drive on a
stressful road like a crowded Interstate, we try to
find an alternate route because we know that the
extra stress generally isn't worth the time we
save. There are several routes I can take to
drive to visit my parents, for example, and the
route I usually follow takes eleven hours instead of
ten, but the peacefulness of the roads makes the
trip a pleasure instead of a trial; we arrive at
their house (or at home) feeling much better than we
would if we were to follow the stressful route--not
to mention the fact that it's safer, too.
Sometimes, extra stress is necessary for different
reasons. I could teach my classes without
giving the students exercises to reinforce what
they've learned, and that would give me much less
work to do. But I know from experience and
research that those exercises help them to learn, so
the way that's less stressful for me is less
effective for them--so in that case, I choose the
more stressful of my options, because the stress I
take on is for their benefit. If I've invited
someone over for dinner and I want to treat them to
a special meal just because, deciding to make a more
complicated meal does raise the stress level a
bit. Some things that we decide to do for
others do add stress to our lives, but in my
experience it's usually worth it--and it is a choice
that I make.
is the resistance to what's happening right now.
As we allow ourselves to open to this moment fully,
there is absolutely no stress.
There are also
situations, of course, when we don't necessarily
have a choice about the stress we face. When
we're at work, certain stressful situations arise
seemingly out of nowhere, and we don't always get to
decide that we don't want to deal with that stress,
or we don't get the luxury of deciding to take a
less stressful course of action. In these
cases it's important that we be able to deal with
the stress effectively so that we don't lose our
peace of mind--and that's why sometimes, when I know
that I'm in a good position to do so, I actually
choose the most stressful options available to
me. If I'm given the choice between two tasks
to do and one looks to be more difficult and
complicated, I'll very often let someone else take
the easier task, and I'll take the more difficult
one. I won't do this if things in my life are
very stressful at that moment, but I'll do it often
just so that I can train myself to deal with stress
so that it doesn't overwhelm me when it does show up
in my life.
In fact, my decision to join the Army years ago came
partly because I wanted to challenge myself by
putting myself into an extremely difficult and
highly stressful situation for a long period of time
(among other reasons, of course). And one of
the things that I know for sure is that since that
experience, almost nothing has proved to be
overwhelmingly stressful to me.
can escape stress, but you can learn to cope with it.
Practice positive thinking. . . seize control in small ways.
I don't avoid stress
all the time. When I do so, though, I'm doing
my best to keep balance and peace in my life.
Sometimes stress is completely unnecessary and it
doesn't serve any purpose at all--and those are the
times when I'll look for a much-less-stressful
alternative to a particular course of action.
While there is great value in getting used to
stress, there is also a time and place when it's
good to do so--and many more times and places when
it's not going to help us a bit, and possibly even
cause us a bit of harm. It's important that we
be able to discern which stressful situations can be
effective learning experiences and which should be
avoided, because the ways that our lives play out
are partially determined by the amount and types of
stress that we face--and the amounts and types of
stress that we avoid.
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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think of the times--perhaps only yesterday--when we listened to a
in need, or finished a task that was
nagging at us. Maybe we made
appointment to begin a project we've
been putting off. Success is taking
positive action, nothing more. Many
of us, in our youth, were taught that
success only came in certain shapes
and sizes. And we felt like failures. We need new definitions;
it's time to discard the old.
Far too often many
people do not prepare themselves for success. While
they wish success would favor them, they may put just enough effort into
life to get by, thinking that if by chance something big comes along,
grab it. But if you're not prepared for success, you may find it
hold on to the opportunities that come your way. Success requires
understanding, fortitude, and foresight to bring the "blade to
the full grain in the ear."
As an exercise, ask yourself from time to time what you are doing to
prepare yourself for success. Have you established and
committed to your goals? Are you willing not only to cultivate
and plant the seed but also to nurture and care for the tender blade and
the young ear as it appears? Are you willing to go the extra mile,
give the energy and attention that the opportunity calls for? Are
willing to stand firm with your convictions, your principles? Are
prepared to stand alone, if necessary? Have you trained yourself
recognize opportunity when it knocks?
Worldwide Laws of Life
motive, if you are to find inner peace, must be an outgoing motive.
Service, of course--service. Giving, not getting. Your motive
good if your work is to have good effect. The secret of life is
being of service.
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