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Archive for September, 2008

Kohi Sunrise by Chris Gin

There are so many things to do every day.  Chores, work, a little reading or TV, and before you know it, the day is over.  In the process we miss the beauty and splendor of the world around us.  We look right past those perfect moments.

Moments when the sun is rising in glorious yellow and orange streaks.  Moments with the savory tang of your favorite barbeque sauce filling the air as you grill a delicious meal for family and friends.  Moments of peaceful silence in the early morning quiet of your home, where tranquility rules before the noise and work of the day begins.

It is easy to overlook perfect moments.  They sometimes disguise themselves as unimportant little details; the sigh of relief as you sink into your favorite chair and feel your stress drop away in the welcome embrace of home.  The surprise and elation you feel when your six year old runs up to you on the couch, those big round eyes staring into yours and exclaiming “I love you daddy!” as he wraps his small arms around you with a wrestler’s strength.

To be more aware of perfect moments when they happen, start making note of them. Do a 5 minute daily review of your day before you go to sleep, replaying your favorite moments.  Jot a note of how you feel just after receiving one of these special times.  Keep a gratitude journal and list as many happy memories you can remember from your day.

Bit by bit, you’ll notice more of the sights, sounds, tastes, and touches that bring you joy. That comforting hug just when you feel nobody notices you, the brilliant yellow of wildflowers blooming by the roadside while you’re stuck in traffic.  Even the miraculous healing of a fierce headache just before an important wedding, graduation or family event.  Perfect moments are all around you if you only know where to look.

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Time by FABIOLA MEDEIROS- direção de arte

How time rushes by! You wake up to the alarm clamoring to get your attention.  For a split second you lie there imagining the whole day stretches before you.  But first the dogs need to be walked.  Then you need do some stretches and exercise.  Soon it’s time for a shower.  You get some breakfast, pack a lunch and out the door you go.

For the rest of the day you are consumed by deadlines and the time clock; get to work on time, turn in the report that’s due, call a colleague before they go to their meeting, and then it’s time for lunch.

The rest of the day progresses much the same way.  You return home, and sit down for a few minutes rest.  As you sit there, thoughts race through your mind, “What am I going to fix for dinner?  Did I add ketchup to the store list? Can I clean the bathroom today or am I out of cleaner again?  Is it going to rain tomorrow?  When does the news come on?”

Before you know it the day is over and you in bed thinking “Where did all the time go?”  You bemoan the loss of some quality “downtime” and put it on your to-do list for the next day.  Your last thought as you drift to sleep is, “If my life is speeding by this fast now, what will happen in another 10 years?”

Indeed, what we all dream of, what we crave, is so time to slow down until the riot of thoughts in our head relaxes enough for us to unwind and rejuvenate our soul.  We yearn for time to simply rock on the porch listening to the crickets. We long for a chance to unplug from the fast-paced lifestyle that consumes our every waking minute and leaves us feeling unfulfilled and sad.

We can do it, but it takes practice and commitement. You have to throw away your clock, (at least symbolically.)  Watches, clocks, alarms, and calendars are all reminders of the “things” we “need” to do.  But our most important “to-do” item is simply to stop doing, and just be.

For me, meditation is that golden time.  A time when I can shut off the TV, the phone, and all my commitments and simply sit in stillness.  There is an unspeakable beauty and grace to the tranquility that comes from doing absolutely nothing. From understanding that at that moment, in that utter calm and total quiet you are a perfect being, in tune with the universe and at peace with the world.

The joy I have found is that when you practice this repeatedly, the feeling grows stronger.  The serenity you find in that quiet world stays with you in times of turmoil and chaos, keeping you centered and serene. It brings clarity and perspective to all areas of your life.

The trick of course, is to actually find the time to do it.  As I write this, I find my soul longing for the comforts and peace of my meditation.  Over the last few weeks I have been discouraged and downhearted, without understanding the reasons why.  I’ve let myself drift away from the bliss and splendor of having time for myself.

But just today, for a full five minutes, in the middle of my work day, I sat down, closed my eyes, and just breathed.  I felt the breath go in and out.  I imagined my muscles loosening up and going limp.   I let myself feel a moment of eternity in a single moment.

Now as I write this, my memory of those moments fills me with resolve to resume my meditations.  As soon as this article is done, I’m going to stop and sit in silence.  I’ll let my worries float away and let the universe fill me with tranquility. As I do, I’ll be thinking of all of you, and wishing you the same joy.

If you do give this a try, leave a comment and let me know how it goes.  When it’s over do you feel re-energized and invigorated?  If you do it for a week, do you find yourself stopping to see the pink summer flowers blooming, or noticing the fresh earthy smell after a rain shower?  May your time be blessed and beautiful.  Ta-ta friends.

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Golden smile by matthewvenn

Who do you turn to in times of trouble?  Do you have a trusted friend, family member or spiritual advisor?  If so, what happens when the advice they give you doesn’t ring true for your particular problem?  Do you look inside yourself for the answer, knowing that your inner guidance is trustworthy and good?

Each us has a set of beliefs or ideals from which we judge the world around us.  We use our values to guide us on the right path, to help us plan goals and objectives that match our highest and best dreams for ourselves.

It’s important to understand the fundamental ideas that shape your life.  You don’t need to have a debate, join a protest or argue your views with another.  Feel free to do so if that’s what excites you, but don’t feel compelled to share your opinion if you’d rather keep it private.  There is a sacred beauty in simply quietly reflecting on your own values and principles, and putting them into practice as best you can in your daily life.

Being aware of your positions and opinions gives you the ability to embrace opportunities to enhance your happiness when the chance arises.  Knowing where your thoughts, feelings and theories on life come from helps you shed outdated or limiting life patterns and find a clearer, more precise vision for yourself.

Trusting yourself means that while you may listen to, and even seek out the advice and perspective of others, you will have an inner voice, or a gut instinct that tells you if a particular decision, plan or action will bring happiness or pain.  It means taking the time and effort to discover the values, goals and beliefs that make life fulfilling and meaningful for you.  The beauty of the process is that no one else can tell you what makes you happy. You can love family, or singing, or nature, or team sports or sitting alone in the moonlight.  Only you know how each of those things affects you for good or ill.

The downside of course, is that it takes you to make your life good or bad.  Friends, family or mentors can advise, suggest and support you, but ultimately you must decide what is best for you.  When you know yourself, then your life reflects your beliefs, and you will feel a synchronicity, a connection with the rest of the world. You will feel energized, excited and happy.

In today’s world of information overload, trusting yourself is the best policy for a happy, healthy, satisfying life.  Instead of going along with the fad of the day, or becoming confused by the excessive analysis of each and every topic, take a look inside yourself and find the answers you need.  You’ll find that you have a fountain of inner wisdom inside you just waiting to be tapped. Give it a try and see for yourself.

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