Lifestyle: Enjoyable or Tolerable?

March 11th, 2014

Reading Level: Leisurely

When you look at your life, is your lifestyle one of true enjoyment, solely maintenance, or survivable chaos?

I recently mentioned about the need to “plan for life,” especially when life’s responsibilities appear to be squeezing your dreams out of the picture and life becomes solely a process of maintenance.  However, I have been reminded how easy it is for people to believe their lifestyles are intended to be chaotic to be fulfilling.

My spouse has done business in the past with a couple whose lives are in a constant state of chaos — by choice. The one person’s personality lends to feeling that this state of chaos is necessary for a fulfilling life. Both of them, being in a religious environment, either consciously or subconsciously believe that this state of “chaos” is a matter of religious sacrifice or higher calling. Working in religious fields, I’ve seen this concept too often in religious people, and unknowingly lived by that philosophy myself in my 20’s and 30’s. The effects of this barely tolerable lifestyle are already becoming visible in their kids and in poor business decisions, as time for restful meditation is lacking.

If your lifestyle is not one of true enjoyment, the mental perspective needs to be engrained that a healthy, restful way of life is intended by design and necessary for fulfillment. Immerse Yourself in the Full Healing Contemplation Here »

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Kindness: Have You Considered Committing a Random Act?

November 12th, 2013

When is the last time you committed the random act of kindness which we all value so dearly?

Gifting someone else’s life with an unexpected, and even undeserved, kindness is living at the peak of human character, achieving one of the most perfect elements of the human spirit. While most anyone believes that random acts of kindness are a part of the ultimate lifestyle and a thing a beauty in life, stress and busyness can prevent you from consistently thinking creatively enough to live out such acts in your own life.

People of great admiration throughout history have challenged us to each live a lifestyle of random acts of kindness.

I’m pasting a few quotes here from both secular and religious authors challenging us to commit random acts of kindness, with links to 2 sites of quotes which you will probably enjoy reading as well.

Kind words can be short and easy to speak but their echoes are truly endless. Mother Teresa

Kindness in words creates confidence. Kindness in thinking creates profundity. Kindness in giving creates love. Lao-Tse

Remember there’s no such thing as a Immerse Yourself in the Full Healing Contemplation Here »

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Is Your Focus on the Goal or the Obstacles? Pt. 2

October 29th, 2013

Table of contents for Goals: Where is Your Focus?

  1. Is Your Focus on the Goal or the Obstacles? Pt. 1
  2. Is Your Focus on the Goal or the Obstacles? Pt. 2

A main principle of success to focus more on your goal than the obstacles that come against you, or even the steps to achieve it. 

(This is Part 2 of a two part post in which we’ll share quotes from historical figures on goal focus, as well as how  focus affects your spiritual goals.  Part 1 of this post covered reasons, results, and benefits of focusing on your goal. If you missed Part 1 of this post, please click here to read Part 1 now.)

For generations, famous literary authors have encouraged people to “focus on the goal.”

Though Ralph Waldo Emerson is well-known for his quote, “Life is a journey, not a destination,” encouraging people to enjoy each day of life as opposed to only allowing oneself to enjoy achievements, he also promoted keeping one’s destination in view.

To finish the moment, to find the journey’s end in every step of the road, to live the greatest number of good hours, is wisdom.  Ralph Waldo Emerson

Orison Swett Marden, known for his philosophies on one’s thoughts influencing  life and circumstances, pointed out the determining factor in the success of focusing on the goal:

We advance on our journey only when we face our goal, when we are Immerse Yourself in the Full Healing Contemplation Here »

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Is Your Focus on the Goal or the Obstacles? Pt. 1

October 25th, 2013

Table of contents for Goals: Where is Your Focus?

  1. Is Your Focus on the Goal or the Obstacles? Pt. 1
  2. Is Your Focus on the Goal or the Obstacles? Pt. 2

A main principle of success is to stay more focused on the goal than your present obstacles, or even the steps to reaching it.

I was reminded of this principle while working toward the completion of all the necessary seasonal responsibilities in my garden. I have quite extensive gardens with a large variety of plants, including over 30 antique rose bushes. Though I have always enjoyed gardening, this time of year’s seasonal requirements get very overwhelming as it takes about 3 months to complete due to other life responsibilities. The care and upkeep is probably too extensive for this time in life, but, when we designed and planted it 15 years ago, it was not possible to foresee the changes in career, family responsibilities, and physical energy that would take place in the future. It is a temptation to cause myself continual displeasure by solely viewing all the tasks yet undone rather than staying focused on the end result, or enjoying the present pleasures in my garden during the process of the oiling, fertilizing, pruning, and mulching to reach the goal; my garden will become a healthy, lush one that is a delight to the eyes and a joy to share with friends and family.

Here are some results of staying more focused on the end goal than the present obstacles or process:

1. You will maintain more steady levels of joy and fulfillment, knowing the end of the process will come; you will live the joy of the goal’s future fulfillment.

2. By having a clearer focus of your future goals/objectives, you will be more effective in Immerse Yourself in the Full Healing Contemplation Here »

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Finding Your Source of Joy

April 24th, 2013

Joy is usually defined as a lasting contentment or fulfillment in life. It is something we all want. The question is, where do we find it?

Most people would agree that joy must be a matter of the spirit.  Happiness is usually defined as short term enjoyment that comes from positive, present life events. This is in contrast to joy, which is considered lasting because it is not derived from circumstances but from your inner self, your spirit.

The meaning of the common Greek word for joy — chara — entails calm delight and exceedingly joyful. The Greek word for complete — pleroo — is usually combined with the term for joy; it literally means to “cram full a net,” or figuratively to “satisfy, fill up, fulfill, supply.” This gives us the visual picture that joy is lasting like a calm delight, yet excessive, like an overflowing fishing net, bringing complete satisfaction and fulfillment to our lives. Joy supplies completely what we desire most in life, yet it comes from within.

You can find your spirit’s source of joy.

Your spirit, the eternal part of you, comes from the eternal Spirit of God. Since your spirit was created by God, did God intend for your spirit to exist in a state of joy? Absolutely. God describes His desire for your joy this way Immerse Yourself in the Full Healing Contemplation Here »

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The Relationship Between Money and Happiness- Is it Real?

August 19th, 2012

A world-wide study on money and happiness reveals essential truths about one’s life satisfaction! 

The biggest study of its kind, it questioned 136,839 people, ages 15 and older in both cities and remote villages from 132 countries.  The study was designed to represent 96% of the world’s population. 

 See the footnotes at the end of the post for links to the full articles with these stats and excerpts.

Can You Discern Happiness Apart from Money?

Researchers say that a main difficulty in past studies on “money and happiness” was that people generally are unable to differentiate between money and happiness.  When asked if they are happy, people evaluate their lives by comparing their income and possessions with other peoples.’  The new study discovered that there is a crucial difference between money’s affect on overall life satisfaction versus one’s day-to-day emotional state.

The key elements to “happiness” or day-to-day positive emotions such as enjoyment, smiling, laughing, were universally shown to result from:

-feeling respected
-being in control of your life (freedom to choose daily activities) Immerse Yourself in the Full Healing Contemplation Here »

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Being an Optimist: It Is Worth the Effort

February 7th, 2012

Reading Level: Leisurely

Do you consider yourself an optimist? If not, it’s time to join this noteworthy group!  Even if you consider yourself fairly optimistic, one always has room to improve on his or her optimism. Or, if you are pretty sure that being optimistic has not yet become a way of life for you, now is the time to change.

Admired People throughout history have been known for their optimism.

They inspire us with it.  We admire them for it.  It is time to join their ranks! In going through my personal file of famous quotes, I came across some that I had gathered from emails sent to me which I wanted to share with you. Benefit from the wisdom of these influential, optimistic people!

Sir Edmund Hillary was asked this question on goals. It may not appear to directly be on optimism, but I see part of his point being that your satisfaction is obviously in how you choose to view your achievements.

Question: “How does one know whether or not a project is worthy of his or her consideration?” Sir Edmund’s answer: “If you only do what others have already done, you will only feel what others have already felt. However, if you choose to achieve something that no one has ever done, then you will have a satisfaction that no one else has ever had.” (1)

Helen Keller on optimism dictating one’s goals or actions: Immerse Yourself in the Full Healing Contemplation Here »

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Kindness: Have You Considered Committing a Random Act?

June 26th, 2009

Reading Level: Leisurely

When is the last time you committed the random act of kindness which we all hold in so high esteem?

Gifting someone else’s life with an unexpected, and even undeserved, kindness is living at the peak of human character, achieving one of the most perfect elements of the human spirit. While most anyone believes that random acts of kindness are a part of the ultimate lifestyle and a thing a beauty in life, stress and busyness can prevent you from consistently thinking creatively enough to live out such acts in your own life.

People of great admiration throughout history have spurred us on to live a lifestyle of random acts of kindness.

I’m pasting a few quotes here from both secular and religious authors with links to 2 sites of quotes which you would probably enjoy reading as well.

Kind words can be short and easy to speak but their echoes are truly endless. Mother Teresa

Kindness in words creates confidence. Kindness in thinking creates profundity. Kindness in giving creates love. Lao-Tse

Remember there’s no such thing as a small act of kindness. Every act creates a ripple with no logical end. Scott Adams(1)

Let no one ever come to you without leaving better and happier. Be the living expression of God’s kindness: kindness in your face, kindness in your eyes, kindness in your smile.
Mother Teresa

Constant kindness can accomplish much. As the sun makes ice melt, kindness causes misunderstandings, mistrust, and hostility to evaporate. Albert Schweitzer(2)

Rather than missing out on one of the highest joys of life by allowing busyness to steal from you those opportunities for random acts of kindness, decide to daily envision yourself as “clothed” with kindness. Immerse Yourself in the Full Healing Contemplation Here »

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Keeping Your Focus

May 19th, 2009

Reading Level: Gratifying

An important principle of success is staying more focused on the goal than the present obstacles or even the steps to reaching it.

I was reminded of this principle while working toward the completion of all the necessary seasonal responsibilities in my garden. I have quite extensive gardens with a large variety of plants, including over 30 antique rose bushes. Though I have always enjoyed gardening, this time of year’s seasonal requirements get very overwhelming as it takes about 3 months to complete due to other life responsibilities. The care and upkeep is probably too extensive for this time in life, but, when we designed and planted it 15 years ago, it was not possible to foresee the changes in career, family responsibilities, and physical energy in the future. It is a temptation to cause myself continual displeasure by solely viewing all the tasks yet undone rather than staying focused on the forthcoming end result and enjoying the present pleasures my garden during the process of the oiling, fertilizing, pruning, and mulching to reach the goal; it will become a healthy, lush garden that is a delight to the eyes and a joy to share with friends and family.

Here are some results of staying more focused on the end goal than the present obstacles or process: Immerse Yourself in the Full Healing Contemplation Here »

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Joy – Finding Your Source

January 8th, 2009

Reading Level: Gratifying

Joy is usually defined as a lasting contentment or fulfillment in life. It is something we all want. The question is, where do we find it?

Most people would agree that joy must be a matter of the spirit.

Happiness is usually defined as short term enjoyment that comes from positive, surrounding events. This is in contrast to joy, which is considered lasting because it is not derived from circumstances but from your inner self, your spirit. The meaning of the common Greek word for joy–chara-consists of calm delight and exceedingly joyful. The Greek word for complete-pleroo-is usually combined with the term for joy; it literally means to “cram full a net,” or figuratively to “satisfy, fill up, fulfill, supply.” This gives us the visual picture that joy is lasting like a calm delight, yet excessive, like an overflowing fishing net, bringing complete satisfaction and fulfillment to our lives. It supplies completely what we desire most in life, yet it comes from within.

You can find your spirit’s source of joy.

Your spirit, the eternal part of you, comes from the eternal Spirit of God. Since your spirit was created by God, did God intend for your spirit to exist in a state of joy? Absolutely. God describes His desire for your joy this way:

I say these things…so that My joy made be made full and complete and perfect in you and you may experience My delight fulfilled in you, that My enjoyment may be perfected in your own soul, and you may have My gladness within you filling your heart. Jn. 17:13

What is significant in this quote is that God states that He desires the source of our joy, delight, enjoyment, gladness to be derived from His joy, delight, enjoyment, gladness.

What aspects of your spiritual existence are the source of joy?

This is in no way a complete list, but it should give you several points to ponder. Immerse Yourself in the Full Healing Contemplation Here »

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A Love That Isn’t Earned

April 3rd, 2008

Reading Level: Leisurely

The most basic desire of every heart is to be loved solely for your intrinsic value. Though it may be difficult to consistently find people who will fill this void, God’s love can fill that need for true, consistent love on a permanent basis.

People’s attitudes, actions, emotions, and commitment levels toward us vary greatly depending upon physical attributes, personal perspectives, illness, stress, hormone fluctuations, and on and on the list goes. It takes a person who is fairly self-disciplined and firmly committed to the relationship with us to demonstrate consistently positive responses in spite of outer stimuli or inner health variations. If one does not have such a person, or a good number of this type of people, in his or her inner circle, it creates the feeling of a great void in the need for love, often affecting one’s self-worth, peace, joy, and even job effectiveness. However, God’s love for us is based solely on our intrinsic value; in other words, because we are, we are of infinite value to Him. We do not need to feel pressure to earn His love, favor, kindness, or help. This realization can bring great relief from the guilt and lack of closeness that many people carry in their relationship with God Immerse Yourself in the Full Healing Contemplation Here »

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Hope for the Betrayed Heart

March 24th, 2008

Reading Level: Gratifying

There are occasionally those times in each of our lives when we are faced with the pain of a broken relationship, whether it be a trusted friend, spouse, or significant other.

The pain is very real and the grieving process is natural and necessary. Yet, there are a couple of easy, helpful ways to daily restore hope and joy to your wounded heart while going through that grieving process. You can choose to restore hope and joy to your heart on a daily basis instead of groveling in (staying focused on) the pain and betrayal. Immerse Yourself in the Full Healing Contemplation Here »

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Not Allowing Hurt to Stay Central Focus

February 16th, 2008

Reading Level: Leisurely

I have never been one for being interested in “TV preachers.” However, I have in the recent months developed a good deal of respect for Joel Osteen, pastor of the US’s largest church, with over 30,000 in attendance. Two things I appreciate. First, his preaching is atypical. Second, he is the only pastor I have ever heard that speaks every message, even ones on hardship, failure, correction, etc. in a positive manner. It is an obvious gifting. Surprisingly, or maybe not, he consistently draws a great deal of criticism for being positive. I heard part of an interview with him once where he spoke of all the criticism he had received for not being like his dad (now deceased), a former pastor and healing evangelist. Joel believes his personal calling in life is to give a message of hope and encouragement to the world; I respect that he chose to go against the grain, to be himself, and follow his bliss.

In a message called, “Don’t Allow Criticism to Steal Your Dream,” the following quote released healing for me.

“Your destiny is not tied to what other people say about you. It does not change what God has put in your heart. Let God take care of those who hurt you. Stay focused on the future. Don’t let hurt become the central focus of your life.”

Though his examples, if I recall, were of people who allowed certain hurts to totally destroy them with bitterness or defeat, I realized how much a recent hurt had become the central focus of my life. It was repeatedly coming to my mind throughout the day. The moment the thought came, I could feel it deplete energy from my body. It was diminishing my ability to focus on my work, not to mention stealing the level of joy at which I usually function. I had to take control of this hurt. Though it was not a typical life-altering crisis–there were some of those last year–it had still become the center focus of my life without my realizing it. I had to re-focus on my destiny. I have always been a dreamer, a visionary. I had to re-focus on the joy that is mine because I am a person of destiny! I know there are divine plans for my life that will not be altered just because others don’t believe in them.

You are alive! You are a person of destiny! If there is a hurt that is staying the central focus of every day, draining the energy and focus from your life, re-focus today on the dreams and visions that you know are yours! Focus on the truth you know in your heart!

(The message referred to above is video #337 at www.joelosteen.com . You can push the scroll bar about half way through to get past the music to the 30 minute sermon.)

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Approach Challenges with Joy

February 14th, 2008

Reading Level: Leisurely

I began the other week to change my thought processes with regards to the various challenges that come my way during the day. I had heard a message by Joel Osteen on not allowing criticism to steal your dreams. In it, he mentioned a verse from Is. 61:7 which says, “Instead of your former shame, you will receive a double portion.” In other words, God says His desire is that life for you will be twice as good after the hardship than before. Joel encouraged people to rejoice when facing challenges, implementing via faith a forward, blessed progress for your life. I took this idea and ran with it.

Over the course of the next week, when another person took advantage of a weakness in my personality, I caught myself from feeling the pain and rejoiced that this weakness was brought to my attention; now that I am aware of the weakness, I can overcome it, avoid similar situations in the future, and be a healthier person overall.

Another example is the delay in the construction of this site. Rather than staying frustrated by the lost time caused by the initial software not working as we’d hoped, we chose to rejoice realizing that the delay actually caused us to find the present software, which has proved to have far more beneficial website functions.

I have applied this process to various challenges by immediately focusing on how I can be better off since this “problem” was brought to my attention. Choosing this new perspective has freed my mind, body, and spirit from needless stress. The less stress in the body, mind, and spirit, the more the body is free to heal itself of various ailments. I made the following statement about this new process of mine and it was a great encouragement to my spouse so I thought I’d end with it. “The greater victory is not freedom from problems. The greater victory is when I overcome the problems!”

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Worrying Over Lost Time

February 13th, 2008

Reading Level: Leisurely

While searching one day through various websites, trying to find help for another person, God gave me a word of encouragement from the description of someone else’s article.

It said, “God Can Do Things Instantly–a lesson that God doesn’t need time to do what He wants to do.”

I had been discouraged about a particular situation in which I had not yet seen the desired resolution. God reminded me that when the time came, it would be resolved in a “single second,” so I shouldn’t worry about the time that appeared to be wasted right now.

When that moment of resolution comes, “I will rejoice, and no one will take away my joy (Jn 16:22 )!”

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