I hope you enjoy this Ted talk on consciousness and how science continues to struggle to find out what it is. I hope you enjoy it, and are excited to see these again, after a two week hiatus.
Until next time…
When I think of “Thanks for the Memories”, I think Bob Hope. If you’re too young to remember him, he was an actor and a comedian and did a lot of work with the USO to support our men and women in uniform.
I’m thankful for my memories. There are good ones and bad ones. What I’ve found over time is that the bad ones fade a bit, some even funny, while the good ones just get stronger.
I’m thankful for the bad ones because they teach us so much. I always learn more during the hard times than I do during the easy times. I think this happens because when your survival instincts kick in; you are so alive. Every sense is tingling, your creativity is through the roof.
The most important learning I have gained from the bad memories I have had is that you survived. It was tough. It was hard, but you made your way through it. If you want to read some stories that will just knock you in the dirt, check out my friend’s blog Beauty Beyond Bones.
I have not read her book yet, but it’s on my list. Read through a few of her blog posts, particularly the early ones when she just started out. I don’t want to give anything away, but they are heartbreaking. I’m a sucker for people who have faced this kind of adversity and win. She’s a testament of faith, belief in God, and is just “hard as nails.”
My memories are not as stark as hers, but they are uniquely my own. Each of us when we face those “dark nights of soul” rely on our creativity, our faith, and anything else we can grab onto to pull ourselves out of that deep, dark hole we find ourselves in, when nothing is going right, nothing works, and there appears to be no way out. It takes an iron will to push through these periods in our lives. Slowly, we pull ourselves out.
We are stronger, learn what NOT to do, and we evolve, much like the legend of the Phoenix, who rises from the ashes—renewed. After we’ve endured and recovered from events like these, we are different. We look at life with a new set of eyes. We realize that we are stronger than we ever thought we were.
I’m a firm believer that God never gives us something we cannot handle. God knows us better than we ever will. God gives us these experiences to become stronger spiritually, so we can serve others.
My good memories are always better. You feel them more. The day I proposed to my wife. The day I graduated from college. The day I graduated from Ranger School. My wife and I’s first date. These memories, along with many more, fill my heart with love. All of us have these memories. Hold on to them. They will continue to fill your heart with warmth and a love that is indescribable.
I hope each of you is having a great week. It’s late where I am (around 11:30 pm). I can hear the customary trains coming through town. It’s 27 degrees outside, and all is quiet. My time alone at night is a precious time. During these times I reminisce through all of my experiences, listen to calming music, and thank God for this life. A life that has been worth living, filled with adventure, excitement, fear, pain, boredom, and all the rest. I hope each of you can find a moment or time during the day to reach the same place I find myself every evening. A place of calm, peace, and gratitude for the gift of living.
Thanks for your attention.
Until next time…
You are stronger than anything standing in your way. Because you have a purpose that cannot be denied.
Often that purpose is difficult and inconvenient to follow. Yet it is never impossible to follow.
There is always a way. If the path you’re on is blocked, look for another route, because it is surely there.
You can be flexible, innovative, determined and persistent. You can imagine any possibility and then work to make that possibility real.
Every moment, every circumstance, every turn of events presents you with an opportunity to act. Take those opportunities, make those actions come to life, and express the purpose that is uniquely you.
Step up and embrace the responsibility for moving your life forward. Whatever may come, there is always a way.
— Ralph Marston
Ralph Marston provided the prompt for today’s Spiritual Saturday. A fellow blogger got some bad news yesterday and I hope this helps her in her current situation.
I think all of us can think of at least one time in our lives that were dark. These dark situations appear on the surface to be impossible with no way out. Yet, over time, they loosen their grip on our emotions. This moment is when we begin to think about potential solutions to our problem.
I can’t explain it, but the situation I found myself in late 2016, was one of these situations. Some have labeled this the “dark night of soul”, when we are suffering, scream out for help, and nothing comes. I won’t get into details, but over time, my answer to this problem was surrender. I surrendered to God. I told him that I was horrible running my life and that I would follow whatever guidance he sent me. Then, I let my problem go and lived my life. When you surrender to a higher power, the key to getting some answer you can work with is to be patient. Another requirement is to keep an open mind.
My patience and openness paid off. The solution presented itself. I followed it and everything worked out. Part of my solution was to drop my preconceived notions about what my life should be. Another part of my solution was to drop all of my reactions to the various social pressures I succumbed to throughout most of my life. This combination was exactly what I needed.
It is hard to explain the mindset I have now. I don’t relish toys anymore. I have what I need. I don’t relish making a lot of money anymore. I have enough. I could go on and on about this, but when you become secure in your faith for whatever your religious beliefs are, life smooths out. This doesn’t come free. You have to follow the disciplines required by your religious faith. You get nothing for nothing. Your faith and belief grows from these disciplines.
This was my solution. It may not be yours, but it was for me. The result from my dark night of the soul was a stronger faith-belief that was never available before. I surrendered. I pushed my ego out of the way and admitted that God could run my life better than I could. That was all it took. I continue this today. God knows what I need. God knows better than my limited human senses do.
Follow God’s guidance. It is always there. You just have to listen.
Until next time…
Optimism is the faith that leads to achievement. Nothing can be done without hope and confidence.
How many of your friends talk about doing this or that, but never quite get around to it? I used to do that all the time, many years ago. What did I discover? I discovered that we have to act as if. We have to act as if we have the skills, knowledge, and ability to achieve whatever goals you set for yourself. At a minimum, this will at least help you move forward. You can only fail at something if you quit. It’s just that simple.
So dream. Dream big. Then, set your sails for that destination.
Here’s my week:
Build an annotated bibliography
Reduce my topic of focus down to a research question
Spiritual Exercise/Meditate daily
I hope all of you have a terrific week! You’ve got this!
Until next time…
When you don’t put a definite shape to what you imagine, Divine Spirit can have unlimited freedom to fill that mold. But if you put a limit to it, you often strike out because you’ve allowed for only one possible outcome.
Think about the last thing you wanted to do or accomplish. How did you do it? Did you visualize an outcome, did you have a vague idea about what you wanted, or were you trudging along blind?
I began experimenting with what Harold discusses in this quote a few years ago. It came about because I was doing the opposite of what this quote posits. I was putting a definite “how” to accomplishing my goal. As stated, I kept running into problems, frustration, and ultimately gave up in anger.
I don’t know what your beliefs are, but I started to believe this quote when I tried again with achieving something that I wanted. This time, I just kept my eye on the end state of the goal, not on how it would come about. I became relaxed. I knew my daily actions would get me to the goal; I knew I would make mistakes; I knew obstacles would come up during the journey, but I soon discovered that it also provided me with ways to work around these mistakes and obstacles. I followed my instincts or perhaps an inner intuition that said, “Ok, no problem. Do this now.”
I believe in Divine Spirit. I believe that it passes on little clues or tidbits of information to achieve what we envision. It doesn’t do this because we are special or particularly holy or worthy. The mechanism is the visualization of what we want and keeping a focus on that picture day-to-day. Whenever I run into a problem or difficulty, I ask, “So what now?” As I wait for the answer to come I continue to plod along with the daily tasks I have set out for myself that will edge me closer to the picture I have in my mind. You know what? The answers come.
I have talked with friends and family about this and they all concur. Each of us gets an answer to our questions. One thing I have discovered is not getting wrapped around the context of what that answer will be or what form it will come in.
Have you ever had a question answered by coming across a website that spells it out? What about a passage in a book? How about a conversation you have with someone or what you overhear someone talks about? Have you ever found an answer coming across in a radio program, podcast, or a billboard?
This is what I am talking about. If you ask a question and remain patient, aware, and open, the answer comes. It will probably not be what you thought it should be. It will be clear. Now comes your ability to have faith in the response. Sometimes, what comes through is something that makes little sense. How do you compensate for that?
You test it. Let’s say you ask about your current job? You recognize some tell-tale signs that things might not be going well with your employer. You read articles in the paper; You see people leave the organization. These signs tell you that your organization is going through some financial stress, despite the positive notes or messages the leadership is passing out to everyone. You ask and wait.
The answer comes and says, “Time to look for a new role.” Before you do that, ask for a confirmation. The confirmation can be anything. I used a yellow bird as a confirmation. I waited patiently.
One morning, as I’m looking through some articles on Flipboard, I see an article about a business laying people off and within the same web page that displayed the article’s headline, was a yellow bird, depicted on the page. I got my answer and a confirmation. I left that job and within two weeks after my leaving that position for a new role in a different state; I heard through the grapevine that company laid off my entire team, including our market president.
Random? Lucky? Unbelievable? Maybe. This is one thing you must prove to yourself. It’s the only way for you to understand what I’m talking about. Experience this for yourself.
Imagine being able to ask these types of questions and getting answers to them. I don’t care what topic they relate to. Maybe you want to find out whether to continue a relationship. Maybe you are considering a move. Maybe you are considering a new project. Whatever that is, ask and figure out if this works for you. It may; It may not. If it works, imagine how powerful that is? It works for me and I trust it more and more.
I’ll stop here. I wish all of you a terrific Saturday!
Until next time…
“Optimism is the faith that leads to achievement. Nothing can be done without hope and confidence.” – Helen Keller
I don’t know about you, but I’m always fired up at the beginning of the week. I look forward to the challenges, the tasks I’ve laid out for myself, and the work that has to be accomplished. I love checking things off!
This week is week 6 of the workout routine I’m on. I’ve lost 10lbs so far. I’ve finally broken down and got my meal trays and prepped my meals yesterday. This should have a dramatic effect on my last two weeks. I don’t know why I resisted this practice, but I, being the typical hard head, did. Anyway, I’ll keep you all posted on my progress as I head into the final week (2 weeks from now).
This week I’ll be hitting cardio for 45 minutes twice a day. I do one session in the morning and then the 2nd one after my weight lifting routine. I have found this to be a real learning experience. It seems when I am doing cardio after the weight work that muscle soreness has been very limited over the last 5 weeks.
I’m reading quite a few books: Uncle Tom’s Cabin, Andersonville, Shariyat-Ki-Sugmad Books 1 and 2, the Stranger by the River, The Living Word book one, The Orion Plague, The Science of Getting Rich, and yet another book on blogging.
This week I’ll be taking some more online courses: Non-fiction book writing on Udemy, Public Policy offered by Hillsdale College, and this is the last week of the Wellness course offered by Yale. I’ll have to go looking for some new course content soon.
My brother just left for home on Saturday. It was a nice visit. My niece is headed out here toward the end of the month. Most of my extended family in Phoenix do whatever they can to get out of the heat of the summer. Michigan is a nice break from the heat out there.
Well, that’s it for today folks. Are any of you doing anything exciting this week? Are you involved in any projects you’re passionate about? Share them here if you are comfortable doing so.
Until next time…
This week’s Ted Talk is a speech by a woman taken as a hostage in Columbia and her experience with fear. Watch the video below (Spanish with English subtitles). Very moving.
I hope you enjoy it.
I’ll post another next week.
As a way of saying thanks for the 1000 likes I received today, I wanted to share some articles I was emailed today. I get these sent weekly by Intelligent Change, the company that publishes the 5-minute Journal and the Productivity Journal (I use both). Enjoy and thanks for all of the visits to my fledgling blog. I can’t tell you how appreciative I am for your patronage.
Have a terrific rest of your Tuesday!!
The Day I Stopped Saying ‘Hurry Up’ by Rachel Stafford http://bit.ly/2qUqSDS
This article brought tears to my eyes—really nice article that will make you smile.
Cultivate your Faith, Not your Fear by Tom Hanks http://bit.ly/2qU40o6
Commencement Speech at Yale University with a funny ending.
To Get Better at Managing Your Time, Borrow a Training Strategy from Elite Athletes by Brad Stulberg http://sciof.us/2qU4nPz
Great insights on improving your productivity and efficiency.