25 May 2010
advice to you is not to inquire why or whither, but just to enjoy your
ice cream while it's on your plate.
I have a simple
philosophy. Fill what's empty. Empty what's
full. And scratch where it itches.
Alice Roosevelt Longworth
your enemies, just in case your friends turn out to
be a bunch of bastards.
you go out into this world, remember: compassion,
Go of Rigid Responses and Limited Answers
all presented with an occasional opportunity to say
something, do something, or go somewhere that we know from
experience will put us in an unpleasant or even dangerous
setting. The classic example is an invitation to a
recovering alcoholic to be around individuals who drink
heavily. Sometimes, of course, there are
work-related occasions that are mandatory, but often a
good excuse can get you out of almost anything. Yet
many people won't allow themselves this option because of
their one-sided definition of honesty.
Let's consider what the "honest" answer would be
to such an invitation: "No, I won't come
because you and your friends get so drunk and boring that
I'm afraid I might start drinking again. In case you
didn't know it when you hired me, I'm a recovering
alcoholic." This may be honest, but it
certainly won't lead to greater understanding, deeper
friendship, or more job security. It's only half
truthful because even though it verbally reflects the mood
and opinions of one person, it doesn't give equal
consideration to what the other person hears.
The real questions are, Does this brand of honesty lead to
increased awareness? Does it inform or does it
obscure? If true honesty is an absence of deceit,
then the new, popular way of being honest is a path to
Today, the ideal of
being verbally literal has been raised to religious heights.
It is central to separation psychology, which aims to define,
distinguish, and "empower" each separated ego. For
instance, notice that when people say, "I need to be honest
with you," they usually follow with a speech of attack,
abandonment, or betrayal.
Occasionally, I am asked to counsel an "at-risk" teenage
girl who may have a history of falsely accusing people in
authority. To put her in a situation where she could be
tempted to make this mistake again would not be helpful to her or
me. So I always talk to her where other people can see us at
all times. But I am not "honest" about this, because
she would not benefit from thinking that I didn't trust her.
I'll say, "I'd like to get out of this office. Why don't
we walk over to the park?" (where there are lots of people).
Today, perhaps the most destructive application of ego honesty is
occurring within primary relationships. Many relationships
founder before they ever get started because both partners think
they must confess every sex act they ever had or thought of
having. Note that these confessions lead to greater
misunderstanding. They deceive, not enlighten.
Nevertheless, advocates of "honesty" have left no aspect
of marriage and family untouched. In the name of openness,
partners are supposed to update each other on every negative thought
and emotion they have, even though thousands of other thoughts and
feelings are not voiced. If husbands or wives have erotic
dreams about someone other than their partners, out of the hundreds
of things they dream about, these are the ones they must
recount. If a parent is contemplating divorce, the kids must
be informed because this is "the only honest thing to
do." If one parent catches the other parent in an affair,
they must "come clean" and tell the children what Dad or
Today we try to make our words reflect "how I've been feeling
lately," but we don't ask, "Where within me are these
feelings coming from?" We concentrate on making each word
a literal reflection of what only part of us is temporarily
feeling--yet we ignore other feelings and convictions, as well as
how the other person hears our words and what inaccurate conclusions
she or he comes to.
The new honesty is about what we say, not about what we communicate,
and as such is another version of "appearances are
everything." It, like all other aspects of separation
psychology, is "all about me" and disregards
relationship--our effect on each other. . . .
The fact is that whenever we talk to someone, two conversations take
place. There is of course the subject matter of the words
being spoken. But rarely is that where the true importance of
the exchange lies for either party.
this little book on mental cleansing, Prather
uses personal stories as well as step-by-step
exercises to help readers understand the
rewards and the process of letting go. For
example, in the section on letting go of guilt
and hurtful actions, Prather suggests that for
at least one day readers "rise from sleep
and make your purpose only this: 'I will go
through this day harmlessly. I will hurt no
one in my thoughts or in my actions, including
myself.'" Prather includes numerous
similar kinds of assignments in all of his
chapters, including how to let go
"Misery," "Prediction and
Control," and "Spiritual Specialness."
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
Journal: Keeping The Thanksgiving Spirit Alive
Some people make
New Yearís resolutions. I make Thanksgiving
resolutions. Every year, I resolve to resume my practice of
keeping a gratitude journal.
And every year, about three weeks later, I lose the
journal. Not that this stops me. I just write my
entries in some other journal, or a notebook. You may
consider this weird, but for me, the act of writing things down
seems to be the important part. Itís almost as if the
writing action alone does something to the synapses in my brain
that helps me process and store the information.
Like everybody else, though, I get those warm fuzzies more at the
end of November than at any other time of the year. As it
turns out, Iím hardly alone with my seasonal preoccupation with
At Thanksgiving, people all over the country sit around tables
filled with turkey, brussels sprouts, candied yams with
marshmallow topping, cranberries, and pumpkin pie, and take turns
sharing with their loved ones the things they feel grateful
for. A wonderful tradition indeed Ė but what about the
rest of the year?
Lately, with our growing understanding of the Law of Attraction
and especially The Secret, weíve become so much more aware of
the importance of gratitude and appreciation, not just on
Thanksgiving, but every day.
We know that expressing appreciation lifts our spirits and raises
our vibrations. And with that, it seems to change everything
around us Ė we start to draw to us things that we want, people
that are friendlier, meetings and plans that go more
smoothly. In short, things work.
Still, sometimes it can be quite a challenge to feel
grateful. Deadlines have a way of getting in the way as does
frustration with red tape. Annoying colleagues and bosses do
too, as do incompetent or aggressive drivers, infused with road
Ultimately, there are simply too many things on everybodyís
plate. It has gotten so bad that some peopleís idea of a
really great time is a good nightís sleep.
I dare you to try an experiment. On a day when youíve
gotten up on the wrong side of your bed, and things have gone from
bad to worse, take a few minutes to reflect. What is there
in your life, right now, for which you are grateful Ė or could
be, if you made an effort, a really hard effort if necessary?
Yes, itís hard to find things to be grateful for when things are
scary and not going well. But the happier you can make
yourself feel, outward circumstances notwithstanding, the more
likely you will be to get a new job, especially a new job is one
that will work well for you.
Sometimes I think of it as some kind of grateful pill that makes
everything better. Of course, thatís when I remember to
take it. Hereís where the challenge comes in, though: how
to make sure I remember?
We donít seem to have too much trouble with taking prescription
drugs or other kinds of medication every day. How do we
manage to remember that? Before I started taking the pill
for the first time, I was very worried that Iíd forget.
And you know what? Over those 10 years I took it, I forgot
it maybe twice.
What helped me then was the same thing that will work here as
well: creating a routine. Probably the easiest way to
do that is by keeping a daily gratitude journal, with emphasis on
daily. Just keep it on your bedside table and write into it
every night. Thatís how I remembered the pill. That,
and a little flower sticker on my bathroom mirror.
The important part is this: every time you see it and write
in it, it will realign your thinking. And once you do that,
your vibes improve, and the Law of Attraction will, once again,
begin to attract the things that are in line with what you really
* * * * * * *
by Elisabeth Kuhn.
For more resources
for body, mind, spirit, and especially prosperity, visit
Elisabeth's blog at http://www.myfavoriteselfhelpstuff.com
Check out our bookstore,
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restore the holiness of the world
through our loving-kindness and
compassion. Everyone participates. It is a collective task. Every act
of loving-kindness, no matter how
great or small, repairs the world.
All those ever born have shared
this collective work since
the beginning of time.
|Eyes Wide Open
This, Too, Shall Pass
This week marks a special time in the lives of my
wife and me--after seven months of living apart, we're
finally back together again, looking to make a new start
to our lives, enjoying each other's company on a daily
basis. For a very long time we've seen each other
only on weekends, and not even entire weekends, since
we've lived four hours away from each other. It's
been a difficult time for both of us, but not completely
unbearable. While we certainly wouldn't have chosen
to live in such a situation voluntarily, things do happen
with recessions and jobs that sometimes make things like
this necessary, and there were several things about our
attitudes and actions that did make this time bearable.
The element of our lives that helped us the most has been
acceptance. We knew when I accepted the job on the
Navajo Nation that we would be apart an awful lot, and
there was nothing we could do about that fact except to
accept it. It was as it was, and if we had felt
anger or resentment about our situation, we easily could
have made ourselves miserable over the last seven
months. If one of us had felt that resentment, that
person could have made him or herself and the other
By accepting our situation, though, we were able to
continue with our lives and look for ways to enrich them,
even in the absence of our spouses. We were able to
look for ways to be positive and productive. For me,
it meant doing a lot of reading that I might not have done
otherwise, and of course, preparing classes and grading
papers. And given the situation that I inherited in
the classroom, I certainly needed the extra time preparing
classes. I also spent a lot of time running,
enjoying the unique landscape of the high desert of
Arizona. If I hadn't accepted the situation for
exactly what it was, the chances are that my resentment
would have kept me from actually enjoying where I was and
what I was doing.
Of course, accepting a situation also means letting go of
what we would prefer that situation to be!
Our lives also allowed us to practice focusing on the
present. Yes, I was counting down the days, and I
even counted down during the week while I waited for
Friday to come. But that didn't keep me from being
wholly present in the moment, focused on what was around
me and what I wanted and needed to be doing to be an
effective teacher. When I got home, or early in the
mornings when I got up, I stayed focused on my reading or
writing or preparing because believe me, there really
isn't anything to do where I live. The nearest
supermarket is more than 30 miles away, and there are no
shops, restaurants, or theaters any closer than 30 miles;
the closest ones are for tourists, and the only town
nearby is an hour away.
We also were able to focus more on the present when we
were together for our one day a week. We've grown to
appreciate each other's company more, and our Saturdays
have been consistently wonderful days.
By constantly reminding each other that there have been
good things coming out of our situation, we've kept each
other aware of the learning and changing that we've gone
through, even if it hasn't been exactly by choice.
We've grown as people, and we've grown in our
relationship, and by keeping that in mind we've been able
to maintain a sense of balance that hasn't allowed despair
and loneliness to creep into our lives. Both of us
have grown much more comfortable in our solitude, which
according to many of the quotations and passages on this
site is something that's very important for people to be
able to do if they want to live life fully.
We've been helped a great deal by stories of people who
have to deal with similar situations. My wife met a
man who works in Phoenix, but whose wife and children live
in Florida. I read an article in the newspaper about
a man who had to take a job in Kansas, while his family
still lives in Wisconsin. Both of those stories
helped us to realize that our situation hasn't been all
that bad at all. By allowing ourselves to learn from
others, we've helped ourselves to maintain peace of mind
and peace of heart.
We've also done all that we can to make sure that our
limited time together has been spent well. Some of
our Saturdays have been spent in places like Monument
Valley and the Grand Canyon, and we were able to visit two
Navajo Christmas fairs at which artists and artisans were
displaying and selling their works. We've gone
hiking and driving, and we've also spent cold and cloudy
days hanging around, doing nothing, enjoying each other's
All in all, it's been a trying time and a difficult time,
but also a time that's been full of growth and learning
for both of us. And we both know that our attitudes
helped to make it a time of growth rather than a negative
period of our lives. We're fortunate to be able to
say that it's over, and that we're back together; we know
that there are many people out there who don't see the end
to their struggles coming any time soon. To them we
send our love and encouragement, and we also send our
thanks to those who have encouraged us during this
time. And if you're facing trials of your own,
please remember that acceptance and attitude are the keys
to turning times of trial into times of growth. It
really is all up to you!
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To complain that life has no joys
while there is
a single person
whom we can relieve by our bounty,
assist by our counsels or
enliven by our presence, is to lament
the loss of that which we
possess, and is just as rational as to
die of thirst with the cup in
Whoever in trouble and sorrow needs
your help, give it to them.
Whoever in anxiety or
fear needs your friendship, give it to them.
important whether they like you. It isn't important
whether you approve of their conduct. It isn't important
what their creed or nationality may be.
We need to take time to work because it is the price of success.
We need to take time to think because it is the source of power
and the key to making good decisions.
We need to take time to play because it is the secret of youth,
and a life of all work does make a person dull.
We need to take time to read because it is the foundation of
We need to take time to worship because it is the highway of
reverence and washes the dust of the earth from our eyes.
We need to take time to help and enjoy friends because our friends
ultimately are going to be a major source of comfort and
We need to take time to love because it is the sacrament of life
that might be the most important--and yet the most missed--element
in our lives.
We need to take time to dream because it is the foundation upon
which hope is built.
We need to take time to laugh. Laughter has been called the
"music of the soul."
We need to take time to plan. It's the secret of being able
to have time for the first nine things.