You must love yourself before you love another. By
accepting yourself and fully being what you are, your simple
presence can make others happy.
takes a long time
to become young.
When grace combines with wrinkles, it is
There is an indescribable light of dawn about intensely
happy old age. . . . The young person is handsome,
but the old, superb.
The question "Is this an act of self-love or is it an act
of self-sabotage?" is one you must consistently ask
yourself if you are committed to having all that you want and
all that you deserve. When you love yourself you feel
worthy and deserving of claiming the gifts of this world.
Self-love gives you peace of mind and balance. Self-love
gives you self-respect and the ability to respect others.
It gives you the confidence to stand up and ask for what you
want. Self-love is the main ingredient in a successful,
I believe that loving who we are is one of the most difficult
yet vitally important tasks that each of us is given in this
lifetime. Loving ourselves means loving all of who
we are--the brilliant and beautiful, the flawed and foolish, the
selfless and self-absorbed, the courageous and fearful. It
means loving, honoring, and accepting the totality of our
humanity. It means cherishing ourselves and appreciating
our individuality and our uniqueness. When we choose
self-love, we claim our greatness. When we love ourselves,
we accept ourselves as a brilliant piece of architecture that is
whole unto itself rather than a project under construction that
constantly needs to be fixed, changed, and rebuilt.
Loving ourselves means loving what we believe, loving where we
came from, loving our quirks and handicaps. Each of us
comes into this world with particular sets of strengths and
weaknesses, and since these aspects of ourselves are more than
likely not going to go away, our job is to embrace them all by
finding compassion and understanding for the imperfections in
our human selves.
makes us acutely aware of our own needs and supports us in doing
whatever it takes to meet these needs on a regular basis.
When we love ourselves fully and freely, something magical
happens. We teach others, without using words, how to love
themselves. We become models of self-love--for our
children, our family members, our friends, and our
communities. We teach them not only that self-love is a
good choice to make, but that t is really the only choice.
When we give ourselves the gift of self-love, all those around
us are touched in our presence and feel deeper levels of love
for themselves. Most important, when we love ourselves, we
freely allow ourselves to experience the joys and gifts of this
world. . . .
When we engage in self-sabotaging behaviors, we are choosing
from our lowest selves rather than our highest. We allow
unhealthy underlying commitments to direct us away from our
desired destinations. Consequently, we go through our days
in a state of distress and unease. When we are
self-sabotaging, when we deny ourselves our own love, we are
scared to death of what other people think of us. We
become masters of disguise, always trying to conceal the things
we hate about ourselves. We give off the message to those
around us that not only don't we matter, but they don't matter,
either. When we are self-sabotaging, we deny ourselves the
right to have what we want and we unconsciously give other
people the false perception that it's okay to deprive themselves
of their dreams, too. . . .
What if attaining happiness and fulfillment was as simple as
going to bed at night after making a list of all the things you
did that day that fed your self-esteem and waking up the next
morning asking yourself, "How am I going to love and honor
myself today?" What if the message of all the ancient
gurus, the spiritual teachings, the self-help books, and all the
transformational techniques we've created came down to teaching
us how to give ourselves the love we try to get from
others? What if all there is to do is to love ourselves
completely and make new choices today, choices that are an
expression of self-love? Before making a choice, ask
yourself, "Would someone who loves themselves make this
choice? Is this action an expression of someone who honors
and cherished themselves?" Both of these questions
will bring you back to the simple question, "Is this an act
of self-love or is it an act of self-sabotage?"
realities of the life we live today are a
result of the choices we made yesterday, three
months ago and three years ago. But we don't
wind up $50,000 dollars in debt because of one
extravagant purchase. Nor do we put on 30
unwanted pounds as a result of a couple of
decadent meals. We are where we are because of
repeated unconscious choices made day after
day. Ford cuts right through our denial with
the 10 questions that immediately reveal the
true motivations behind our thoughts and
actions. But more than that, by rigorously and
honestly asking and answering these 10 vital
questions, we regain control and have the
power necessary to create the life we always
Wallpaper! Just click below on
the size your desktop is formatted to,
right-click on the picture that appears
in the new window, and choose
"Set as background."
x 768 - 1280 x 800
careful what you water your dreams with. Water them with
worry and fear and you will produce weeds that choke the life
from your dream. Water them with optimism and solutions and
you will cultivate success. Always be on the lookout for
turn a problem into an opportunity for success. Always be on
the lookout for ways to nurture your dream.
Makes a Friend
In kindergarten your idea of a good friend was the
person who let you have the red crayon when all that
was left was the ugly black one.
In first grade your idea of a good friend was the
person who went to the bathroom with you and held
your hand as you walked through the scary halls.
In second grade your idea of a good friend was the
person who helped you stand up to the class bully.
In third grade your idea of a good friend was the
person who shared their lunch with you when you
forgot yours on the bus.
In fourth grade your idea of a good friend was the
person who was willing to switch square dancing
partners in gym so you wouldn't have to be stuck do-si-do-ing
with Nasty Nicky or Smelly Susan.
In fifth grade your idea of a good friend was the
person who saved a seat in the back of the bus for
In sixth grade your idea of a good friend was the
person who went up to Nick or Susan, your new crush,
and asked them to dance with you, so that if they
said no you wouldn't have to be embarrassed.
In seventh grade your idea of a good friend was the
person who let you copy the social studies homework
from the night before that you had forgotten about.
In eighth grade your idea of a good friend was the
person who helped you pack up your stuffed animals
and old baseball cards so that your room would be a
"high schooler's" room, but didn't laugh
at you when you finished and broke out in tears.
In ninth grade your idea of a good friend was the
person who went with you to that "cool"
party thrown by a senior so you wouldn't wind up
being the only freshman there.
In tenth grade your idea of a good friend was the
person who changed their schedule so you would have
someone to sit with at lunch.
In eleventh grade your idea of a good friend was the
person who gave you rides in their new car,
convinced your parents that you shouldn't be
grounded, consoled you when you broke up with Nick
or Susan, and found you a date to the prom.
In twelfth grade your idea of a good friend was the
person who helped you pick out a college, assured
you that you would get into that college, helped you
deal with your parents, who were having a hard time
adjusting to the idea of letting you go. . .
At graduation your idea of a good friend was the
person who was crying on the inside but managed the
biggest smile one could give as they congratulated
The summer after twelfth grade your idea of a good
friend was the person who helped you clean up the
bottles from that party, helped you sneak out of the
house when you just couldn't deal with your parents,
assured you that now that you and Nick or you and
Susan were back together, you could make it through
anything, helped you pack up for college and just
silently hugged you as you looked through blurry
eyes at eighteen years of memories you were leaving
behind, and finally on those last days of childhood,
went out of their way to come over and send you off
with a hug, a lot of memories, reassurance that you
would make it in college as well as you had these
past eighteen years, and, most important, sent you
off to college knowing you were loved.
Now, your idea of a good friend is still the person
who gives you the better of two choices, holds your
hand when you're scared, helps you fight off those
who try to take advantage of you, thinks of you at
times when you are not there, reminds you of what
you have forgotten, helps you put the past behind
you but understands when you need to hold on to it a
little longer, stays with you so you have
confidence, goes out of their way to make time for
you, helps you clear up your mistakes, helps you
deal with pressure from others, smiles for you even
when they are sad, helps you become a better person,
and, most important, loves you!
shall open my eyes and ears. Once every day I shall simply stare at a tree,
a flower, a
cloud, or a person. I
shall not then be concerned at all to ask
what they are but
simply be glad that they are.
I shall joyfully allow them
their "divine, magical,
and ecstatic" existence.
What They Do
in Banff National Park right now, in a valley that
was formed many, many years ago by a glacier.
And I came here by way of Glacier National Park,
where the main valley upon entering the park was
also formed by--you guessed it--a glacier. So
it's not all that surprising that I've been thinking
about glaciers recently, especially when I see the
amazingly beautiful results of the work that
I've even had the chance to see a few of the
glaciers that still exist in this area of the
world. They pretty much just sit there, moving
a few inches a year, not really doing anything that
we would call "action," but accomplishing
a great deal nonetheless. These beautiful
valleys wouldn't exist, after all, if not for the
"work" of glaciers. These completely
inanimate and thoughtless things do a world of good
just by being what they are and allowing the forces
of nature to use them. Because of these
glaciers, beautiful areas that are full of wildlife
and forests and lakes and mountain vistas exist;
without them, these valleys simply wouldn't exist.
Thinking about the glaciers also gets me thinking
about other things that just do what they do for the
benefit of other things. Trees, for example,
allow nature to do with them as it will, and they
grow to be marvelous creations, releasing oxygen
into the atmosphere so that animate creatures may
live, loosening soil with their roots, providing
homes for birds and insects and some animals,
providing shade for any number of creatures who need
it on hot summer days. And when they fall over
or are cut down, the trees still benefit
others. We use their lumber for building, and
their wood for fires that sustain us through the
winter. We use their wood also for decoration,
even, and many animals owe their existence to fallen
trees and the shelter and food that they provide.
Animals, too, simply do what their nature compels
them to do. Some Native Americans give thanks
to animals for "keeping the forests
clean." They provide food, and they
maintain the balance that allows ecosystems to
continue and even to thrive. The worms in the
ground work the soil, the birds spread seeds and eat
carrion, the predators thin herds and keep the food
supply adequate, all of the animals provide
fertilizer for the plants that need nitrogen to
grow. . . the list is almost endless.
The glaciers, the trees, the animals. . . none of
these ask for recognition. They simply go on
doing what they do, providing huge benefits for
others, without asking for a word of thanks, and
without even being cognizant of having helped
anything else. The animals don't think at the
moment when they're defecting, "There, I've
just provided fertilizer for the grass."
The bird who lands in a new tree doesn't think,
"I just helped that seed that was stuck to my
claw to spread to a new area."
And I think there's an important lesson here.
I think that we've all been given certain natures,
certain ways of being, and that we won't ever see
all the good that we do for others--as long as we
stay true to our natures. If we use our skills
and talents without necessarily thinking about who's
going to benefit from our actions, would it be
possible not to have any effect at all on
others? Why is it that we've become so tied to
results that we feel that what we do is useless if
we don't actually witness the results, or see them
later in quantifiable, verifiable form?
I may be polite to a person who needs to see
politeness today, and that person may go home and be
nicer to his kids. I may pick up a piece of
litter that if it had remained where it was, could
have killed an animal. I may share a piece of
knowledge that will be passed on three days or three
years from now, helping someone else to do something
safely that might have caused them harm without that
We're not like glaciers or animals or trees--we're
sentient beings with emotional and intellectual
needs. Most of those "needs,"
though, we've created ourselves. Most of them
aren't truly needs at all, but desires. And
our need to see results is a need that often keeps
us from feeling satisfied or fulfilled, a need that
sabotages our ability to get the most out of
life. The concept of "Let go and let
God" expresses the opposite of this need very
well--if we go about doing what we feel comfortable
and called to do based on our interests and talents,
we can't help but help others. We'll cause
positive results whether we witness them or not,
whether we can count them or not. And perhaps
in allowing ourselves to be a bit more like a
glacier, we can allow ourselves to enjoy what we do
even more without the stress of needing to know the
results of our actions.
One does not need to fast for days and meditate
for hours at a time
to experience the sense of sublime mystery which constantly envelops us.
All one need do is to notice intelligently, if even for a brief moment,
a blossoming tree, a forest flooded with autumn colors, an infant
Life Fully, the e-zine
exists to try to provide for visitors of the world wide web a
of growth, peace, inspiration, and encouragement. Our
are presented as thoughts of the authors--by no means do
mean to present them as ways that anyone has to live
from them what you will, and disagree with
whatever you disagree
with--just know that they'll be here for you
If Spring came but once in a century, instead
of once a year, or burst forth
with the sound of an
earthquake, and not in silence, what wonder
there would be in all hearts to behold the
change! But now the silent succession suggests
necessity. To most people only the cessation of the miracle
would be miraculous and the perpetual exercise of God's
seems less wonderful than its withdrawal would be.
Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
Spirit, and enlightenment, has to be
something that you are fully aware of
Something you are already looking at right now.
was receiving these teachings, I thought of the old
in the Sunday supplement section of the newspaper,
is a landscape and the caption says, "The
faces of twenty famous
people are hidden in this
landscape. Can you spot them?" The
were maybe Walter Cronkite, John Kennedy, that kind of
The point is that you are looking right at
the faces. You don't need to
see anything more in
order to be looking at the faces. They are
completely entering your visual field already, you just
recognize them. If you still can't find them,
comes along and simply points them out.
It's the same way with Spirit, I
thought. We are all already looking
Spirit, we just don't recognize it. We have all the
necessary cognition, but not the recognition.