Monday, February 24, 2014

Being Successful Isn't Hard

It’s funny how “stuff” from growing up can still be echoing in our minds far into adulthood. I was taught by my father that we’d never have enough money and that there would always be more bills than money. Sometimes our family couldn’t get ends to meet, but at least if the ends waved at each other in passing we felt like we’d accomplished something.
Perhaps you were taught that you had to work hard to make a living. You may also believe that being successful requires a lot of hard word, i.e. long, arduous hours; sacrificing all personal time; never taking vacations; maybe stepping on more than a few people; or, knocking them off the next rung of the ladder.
On the other hand, you may have adopted the “fake it until you make it” stance or preach that if you just believe you are successful you will be. That creates a VERY wide gulf between the “work hard to make a living” folks and the blissful dears who are still waiting for their dreams to come true without doing anything about it.
What we believe IS what occurs in our life. Not immediately, thankfully, .e.g. “I wish I was dead!” That’s a great example of the difference between what we say and what we believe. If we had the concrete beliefs of Jesus of Nazareth, Paramahansa Yogananda and other people we consider masters we, too, would have a lot more of what we want in our lives a whole lot quicker.
A common belief is that being a success is hard. It isn’t. I’m not saying there isn’t work involved, because there most certainly is. We just have to redefine our thoughts around the work that usually accompanies success. The word “work” comes from the same root as does the word worship. Do you find your spiritual practice work? I certainly hope not! So what if your work was an act of worship? If you had the same confidence in your success as you do in God, Spirit, Divine Love or whatever you call your Higher Power? Hmmmmm……things that make you go, Hmmmmm.
Do you realize how many people out there are trying to sell you their technique to get ahead in the world, to be a success and make a lot of money? Some are marketing valid and proven techniques, some are selling snake oil, but all are bent on convincing you that they have worked their fingers to the bone to create a system to make it easy for you to be just like them, and all for a mere two, three or more thousand dollars of training after training after training. Maybe you can even become a certified trainer in their method to teach others how to channel money back to them. I find that dizzying.
In the words of Mike Dooley, the “folks who meet with life success and then tell the world it was due to their hard work, … almost NEVER work harder than others. They don't even work smarter than others. They simply leveraged the magic by thinking, speaking, and acting in line with what they wanted.” How about this week we all think about leveraging our efforts through doing just that:  thinking, speaking and acting in line with what we want.
Just one thing:  YOU have to figure out what you want. Oh-oh…there’s another one of those “Hmmmm” moments.
In Spirit, Truth and Playfulness,


Monday, February 10, 2014

Will You Be My Valentine?

Valentine’s Day is right around the corner. Thanks to mass marketing wanting us to believe everyone should be in a fairy tale relationship, February 14 can mean expectations from those in relationships and gloom for singles.

Someone told me that Valentine’s Day doesn’t matter because “it is just a made-up holiday” and, therefore, we really don’t need to celebrate it since it’s really about retail sales of chocolate and flowers. A word to the wise? If you feel this way and haven’t expressed it to your beloved you might want to broach the subject before tomorrow, least s/he have expectations to which you  might otherwise fail to meet. Not that we’re here to make each other happy – that’s an inside job! – but avoided a fight would be preferable , in my humble opinion.

Valentine’s Day, made up, commercial or otherwise, is a fact that seems here to stay. We can choose to celebrate it, ignore it, or allow it to ruin our day, week or month. “It” doesn’t do anything to us. As with everything else in life, we have a choice whether to affect our experience through empowered thinking or be at the effect of the situation.

If we are single this is not the time to run out and find the flavor of the month date to try to mold some poor sod into the romantic valentine about which we dream. If our committed relationship is not where we want it to be, then take action now to clarify the union.  Celebrating a love holiday as if all is wonderful when the partners are not happy is like whipped cream on top of garbage. The outer appearance looks fine for a day, but once the glare of reality and heat of conflict returns the whipped cream sours and melts into the strife we had before February 14.

All of our relationships are sacred, though we often fail to treat them that way. Communication is the most important factor in any relationship because everything else follows in line after concise and clear communication. “He should know what I’m thinking” is ridiculous. Half the time we don’t seem to know what we want ourselves. How the heck are others supposed to figure it out!

Resolve to have the happiest Valentine’s Day ever. It might be with the one you love more than anyone. It might be with the family unit you’ve come to call your own. It might be with the relationship you have with yourself, Nature or your Higher Power. Whatever it is for you, rejoice in it, love it and commit to that kind of deep and enduring integrity all year long.

In Spirit, Truth and Playfulness,


Wednesday, February 05, 2014

Are You Content or Complacent?

There are an unlimited number of advertisers vying for our attention. Many of these suggest that if we look like, smell like or sound like the digitally-enhanced and airbrushed models in the ads our lives will be complete. It’s a marketing ploy that says, “If you have this (whatever this is), you’ll be happy,” even though looking like those models, even if we wanted to, is usually physically impossible.
I live and teach a philosophy that encourages us to make changes in our lives to better ourselves, if that is our goal. It’s a method of creating results in our lives and a means to have a life not only worth living, but one that is truly magnificent. But some students of our teaching are so busy moving onto the next goal, project or achievement that they seldom stop to enjoy what they have created. Standing still, in their minds, can be easily interpreted as complacency.
Only we can determine whether we are content or complacent. The place to find that answer is deep within our gut. We can ask ourselves at a core level whether or not we are happy. The answer will not come in words, but rather in a sense of calm peacefulness or a gnawing in the pit of our stomach. We then have the opportunity to act on that feeling.
As with any desire, the result of what we are seeking may not always be the thing we seem to want. One whose sole focus is seeking a life partner may miss out on loving relationships all around him. Another who is determined to find a new job may be oblivious to the positive changes occurring in the company in which she is already employed. While we can certainly cultivate desires simply because we want to, it can also be prudent to question our motives as a means to more fully clarify our true intention.

I would ask you, as I’m beginning to ask myself more and more, if the happiness and joy you seek may already be in front of you, but just not showing up in the form your ego is demanding. By all means, continue creating goals and formulate plans to have more good and joy in your life. Just remember to stop and enjoy the contentment you’ve already created!
In Spirit, Truth and Playfulness,