people have a wrong idea of what constitutes true happiness.
It is not attained through self-gratification, but through
fidelity to a worthy purpose.
have to define success in your own
your dignity and
integrity and what is your life’s plan;
do you want to put your efforts?
and more famous, but I would have to give up things
that are of infinitely more value.
There are lots of people in
this world who
spend so much time
watching their health
that they haven't the time to enjoy it.
Rachel Naomi Remen
years ago, I had as a patient a young man who had become separated
from his ski party and spent three days in below-zero weather yet
somehow had managed to survive. He had been hospitalized for
several days in the ski country, and then flown to our center in New
York because of frostbite and progressive gangrene of his
feet. The local surgeons had wanted to amputate and it was
hoped that our world-renowned vascular surgeon team could avoid this
difficult choice. He had some initial surgery and for three
weeks the outcome was not clear. Then his left foot began to
improve and his right became steadily worse. The time for
amputation at hand, the young man flatly refused. He preferred
to keep his foot.
became sicker and sicker as the toxins from his injured foot began
to flood his body. His family and friends were desperate, but
he would not be moved. He would keep his foot. The
situation came to a head late one evening when for the third or
fourth time a group of doctors shared his most recent laboratory
studies and reviewed his worsening condition with him. In the
midst of this discussion his fiancée, overwhelmed by the
possibility of her beloved's death, was driven beyond her
endurance. Weeping, she tore his engagement ring off her
finger and thrust it onto the swollen black little toe of his right
foot. "I hate this damned foot," she sobbed.
"If you want this foot so much, why don't you marry it?
You're going to have to choose, you can't have us both."
We all looked at the small bright diamond, surrounded by the black
and rotting tissues of his foot. Even under the fluorescent
lights, it sparkled with life. The young man said nothing and
closed his eyes with weariness. Weary ourselves, we left to
continue the medical rounds. The next day, he scheduled his
to follow him through the fitting of his artificial foot and his
rehabilitation. At the end of the year, only a slight limp
marked his difficult choice. Two weeks before his wedding I
revisited that final medical conference with him, asking what had
changed his mind. He said that seeing the diamond on his toe
had shocked him. Jenny had been right. He had been
married to his foot. Her dramatic gesture had helped him to
see for the first time that he was more attached to keeping his foot
than he was committed to his life, to their life together. Yet
it had been the promise of that life that he had clung to, that had
enabled him to survive three days alone in the snow.
attachment has its source in the personality, in what the Buddhists
refer to as the "desire nature," commitment comes from the
soul. In relationship to life, just as in human relationships,
attachment closes down options, commitment opens them up.
Modern life has made us people of attachment rather than people of
commitment. Indeed, many people have found that it is
difficult to tell the difference between attachment and commitment
in their own lives. Yet attachment leads farther and farther
into entrapment. Commitment, though it may sometimes feel
constricting, will ultimately lead to greater degrees of
freedom. Both involve in the moment an experience of holding,
sometimes against the flow of events or against temptation.
One can distinguish between the two in most situations by noticing
over time whether one has moved through this activity or this
relationship closer to bondage. Attachment is a reflex, an
automatic response which often may not reflect our deepest
good. Commitment is a conscious choice, to align ourselves
with our most genuine values and our sense of purpose.
Survival in a setting of life-threatening illness may involve a
willingness to let go of everything but life itself.
remarkable collection of
true stories draws on the
concept of "kitchen table
wisdom"--the human tradition
of shared experience that shows us
life in all its power and mystery
and reminds us that the things
we cannot measure may be
the things that ultimately
sustain and enrich our lives.
begins when we can admit that there is no life without
some pain, some frustration; that there is no tragic
accident to which we are immune; and that beyond the
normal exercise of prudence we can do nothing about it.
courage goes on to see that the triumph of life is not
in pains avoided, but in joys lived completely in the
moment of their happening. Courage lies in never
taking so much as a good meal or a day of health and
fair weather for granted. It lies in learning to
be aware of our moments of happiness as sharply as our
moments of pain. We need not be afraid to weep
when we have cause to weep, so long as we can really
rejoice at every cause for rejoicing.
mother I know had spent the whole summer in the company of
her children, thinking only of their needs. On her
return in the fall she went for the first time in months
to an adult dinner party. To her horror she
discovered that, to start conversation with the
distinguished man next to her, she said automatically,
"I bet I can finish my soup sooner than you
10 Reasons to Simplify Your Life
Louise Morganti Kaelin
your life is one of the easiest (pun intended!)
strategies for creating major change in your life.
Most of us understand the value of simplification, yet
at times we lose focus or motivation. I hope this
list of 10 reasons to simplify your life will help get
you back on track!
Streamlining and simplification cut down on the
overwhelm that comes from too many choices, too many
obligations, and too little time.
more time for what's really important to you.
So often we fill our lives with things we feel we need
to do, but which are in fact "shoulds."
Since shoulds usually come from the expectations of
others, very few of these things make us happy.
When you create time and space through simplification,
you allow yourself time for what YOU want to do!
(Not to mention the fact that eliminating shoulds is a
great place to start simplifying!)
you to your center on a regular and consistent basis.
When we aren't wasting our energy on activities that
don't resonate with us, we allow ourselves the time and
space to visit our center, our place of wisdom, the
place we connect to God, regularly and
consistently. Imagine living from this space on an
With so much media attention on "The Secret"
and the law of attraction, it's important to note that
the simpler your life is, the more your unique light can
shine. The brighter your flame, the closer what
you attract is to what you want.
you live "in" the present.
When your life is filled only with what is important to
you, it is easier to stay present in every moment.
It's my firm belief that living in the present (having
completed the past and planned for the future) is the
key to acheiving wholeness.
a sense of graceful, elegant living.
Have you every picked up a copy of House Beautiful
or Architectural Digest and seen a room
overflowing with stuff? Perhaps once in a great
while, but most homes depicted in these magazines are
spacious, neat and often sparsely decorated. When
your living environment makes you feel like you have
room to spread your wings, you tend to soar through
easier to move from "just enough" to
Abundance is a state of mind, and it's interesting to me
that the more we have, the more we feel we need.
When we streamline our lives, it becomes easier to put
this into perspective. Suddenly, we can see that
what was barely enough in fact gives us a reserve.
When we know we have "extra", it's easier to
feel secure, generous and oriented towards growth.
space for new to come in.
I'm sure that somewhere along the way you've heard the
advice "If you want new (xxx), then clean out your
closet!" Whether it's clients, friends or
money, the idea is the same. Letting go of the
old, things you no longer love or use, makes room in
your life. This room can be filled by anything,
not necessarily what you let go of. The important
thing is to set intention while you are discarding the
old: "As I let go of this paisley shirt, I am
allowing room for more clients in my life!"
The simpler your life is, the fewer obstacles you
encounter in day-to-day living, and the more refreshed
and energized you feel. As you start the process
of streamlining, pay attention to your energy
level. Notice how you feel like doing more, how
change begets change, and how joyous life feels!
By the way, Feng Shui practitioners often suggest moving
27 things to get the energy in your home moving.
And notice I said moving, not re-moving! If you
are having trouble getting started eliminating the
excess in your life, moving 27 items (even if just
swapping them around) is a perfect exercise to get the
ultimately maintenance free.
As you go through the process of simplifying your life,
create a goal of being ultimately
maintenance-free. With that as an end goal, I
believe you will find it easier to simplify and not just
change things around. For example, it takes less
time to dust the fewer the items you need to pick up to
dust under. Even letting go of a client who zaps
your energy can leave you more time and vitality to
tackle more of your "ideal" clients.
Don't let the fear of losing what you have stop you from
obtaining what you want!
* * * * * *
Louise Morganti Kaelin is a Life Success Coach who
partners with others to help them turn their dreams into
reality. Email: email@example.com
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
Isn't it a shame that the compassionate people of the world don't
tend to make the headlines? It seems strange to me
that our newspapers and news broadcasts tend to be full
of people who practice deviant behaviors, such as
hurting or killing other people, stealing money,
deceiving people for their own gain, and other such
things. If I were a stranger to this planet and I
were to pick up a copy of most of the papers that are
published, I might even think that there is no
compassion in this world, or at least so little that few
people valued it.
I know for a fact, though, that our world is full of compassionate
people. There are many human beings who focus
strongly on helping and serving others, who love and
care deeply for others. I know that there are
people who give constantly out of a sense of compassion,
and not out of a need to have others think they're
generous. There are many people who listen to the
problems of others, who help out people who have been
hurt, who have a very strong sense of compassion for
their fellow human beings, for animals, for the planet
we live on.
It's kind of interesting sometimes to try to recognize compassionate
people, to try to recognize acts of compassion for what
they are. I like to see people helping other
people, for it makes me feel a sense of hope, as well as
a desire to act in the same way. When we act
compassionately, someone else benefits from our feelings
and our actions, and usually it's someone who has a
pretty strong need to be on the receiving end of
the question must be asked: How can we be
consistently compassionate ourselves? What kinds
of things can we do, how can we act, so that other
people can feel the benefit of our compassion?
First of all, obviously, it's important that we take our
focus off of ourselves. Many of us tend to be so
involved in our own lives that we don't recognize the
needs of others. And that's easy to have
happen--after all, the work needs to be done, the bills
need to be paid, and our own problems must be resolved,
these things are true, that doesn't mean that 100% of
our focus needs to be on our problems and needs.
In fact, the more we learn to trust life, the less we
need to focus on taking care of the more trivial
matters, and we can notice that the person we work with
has been doing a weak job recently not because she's an
awful worker, but because she and her husband are having
problems with their relationship. And we can
realize that the person who was rude to us in the store
was rude because one of his children is very sick, and
he's very preoccupied.
can be showed by a simple smile and a compliment, by
listening rather than talking, by offering to do
something that has nothing to do with the other person's
problems, but may allow them to get caught up in some
other areas. We can show compassion by being there
for someone and not taking off at the first mention of a
problem. Compassion isn't always about sending
checks or dealing with the bigger issues in people's
lives--it more often is about the smaller things, and
these smaller things mean a great deal to a person going
Who needs to feel compassion in your life now? Can you share
your compassion with that person by finding some
appropriate and useful ways to help him or her?
Perhaps you can be the light that shines, the example
that other people would like to follow, just by finding
out the needs of someone else and fulfilling a small
portion of those needs. The world has many, many
compassionate people in it, people who never will be on
the news or on the front page of the paper. One of
my biggest hopes is that when I die, someone who's
mentioning my name will find the word
"compassionate" when they're describing me.
For that to happen, of course, I need to act in ways
that will make someone think of that particular word.
whole idea of compassion is based on a keen awareness
of the interdependence of all these living beings, which
part of one another, and all involved in one another.
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 600 - 1024
was driving north on Highway 101, just ten minutes past
the Golden Gate Bridge, on my way to the Richmond Bridge
in San Rafael. I planned to cross the bay and drive
on north from there to Antioch, where I had an important
business meeting. Even though it was midday, I found
myself suddenly in gridlock traffic. I thought I
might miss my appointment in Antioch. I began to
feel anxious. I became irritated at the drivers I
saw joining the freeway traffic from entrance ramps
without leaving any space for the cars already on the
highway to move forward. It was looking less and
less likely that I'd be at my appointment on time. I
noticed that my body had become tense and I was gripping
the wheel. Then I looked out the driver's side
window and saw Mount Tamalpais. I looked out to my
right and saw Richardson Bay. I thought, "I am
sitting between two major tourist attractions.
People come from all over the world to sit exactly where I
am sitting right now in order to have this
view." I sat back and appreciated the
view. My hands unclenched. My body
relaxed. My mind relaxed. Then I had this big
my revelation: "I'll get to Antioch when I get
to Antioch. Maybe today. Maybe not
today. Maybe I'll be there for the meeting.
Maybe I won't be there for the meeting. Whatever
will be will be. My getting aggravated is not
changing the situation. It is making it worse."
traffic did start up again, I didn't drive too fast, so I
didn't become a menace to myself and everyone else on the
highway. That's the important part. . . . You need
to keep looking for whatever perspective you can find that
will transform the moment.
as related to Sylvia