Living A Mindful Life
Pay attention to every moment in your life. You are here to learn and evolve. Every moment holds a lesson to help you grow if you will only recognize it and use it. Both good moments and bad moments are the lessons you need.
Like everyone else on earth I have had both good and bad episodes in my life. No one alive has not experienced pain, loss, embarrassment or unhappiness at some time regardless of income, nationality, gender, race, age or religion. Over the course of many years I have learned a few simple wisdoms that have helped me to cope with difficult, awkward or sad times and I would like to share them with anyone who is interested. Our hard times can teach us very valuable lessons if we only stop and use rational thought instead of letting our emotions run wild.
Since I love to travel and I enjoy photography I thought it might be nice to share a few simple ideas along with some photos in order to make this blog more visually attractive. I plan to add to this site over time with more useful life skills and more photographs so keep checking back. I hope you will find some useful information here and I would value any ideas you may wish to share.
It is all perspective - change can seem painful but it is often necessary for growth
When we face sudden and unexpected changes in our lives we need to realize that emotional distress is not productive for creating solutions and often only muddies our thoughts. Life is all about change and growth and movement and sometimes this can seem problematic and painful but very often the changes we don't want to accept are the very ones that usher in new skills, insights and renewed happiness that could not have occurred without the end of our old ways.
Good Books For A Troubled Mind
Great advice for anyone going through hard times.
Amazing content that will really make you think.
Find gratitude for what you already have
Every day we are bombarded with images of material items on the TV, computer, magazines and billboards that drive our desire to obtain more material items in our lives. Although material items can be very useful and pleasant to have we should not be miserable if we cannot have everything we wish for.
Happiness is not the result of owning lots of stuff, it is the result of appreciating what you already have. Happiness cannot be purchased because it is a state of mind.
Fostering Inner Happiness
Wise ideas from a very wise man.
This video is very eye opening in so many ways and FULL of great information.
It is all energy and emptiness
If you get a chance to read about quantum physics you will discover that EVERYTHING is made up of atoms. Atoms are essentially energy and vibration so that literally means that we and everything in our universe is energy and vibration. We can travel even further into the quantum world and discover the "observer effect" where everything is in super position and in multiple locations at once until observed. Makes you wonder doesn't it? Great philosophers and scientific minds have often compared our existence to a state of dreaming. This information makes my problems seem like fiction.
Quantum Physics Information
For those of you who do not like to read science books this is a must see.
Brian Greene on DVD for those who want to learn without reading science books.
This book is loaded with great information.
Brian Greene does it again! Mind Blowing!
Connectedness - We are all connected
Have you ever stopped to think about all the items you own that other people have made? Your house was probably built by people you might not know as well as everything within it. Your clothes, shoes, furniture, art, entertainment and even your food is produced by people you may never meet. Can you imagine having to create everything for yourself? This is a good reason to appreciate other people and practice tolerance and kindness. We all need each other.
Books on Interconnectedness - We are all connected
A book with lots of great information
Living an altruistic life.
A wonderful book with a gentle view of life.
Love, Love, Love - Love is all you need
If we could foster a state of loving kindness for all sentient beings every morning as we wake and try to hold that state of mind for as long as possible during our day do you think our world might improve? Too often we wake with a dullness and an apathy toward our day and conditions often degrade as we chase the racing hands of a clock in a world that seems mechanical and cold. We become disconnected and live our lives on auto pilot. We pass people on the street and make no eye contact, we seldom really know the people in our own neighborhood, we choose a select group of friends and family to connect with and ignore the rest of humanity all around us.
Sometimes I will smile at people on the street and say hello and most often they will smile in return but many times they will look perplexed or confused as though I am somehow breaking a social taboo. I know humanity has a large population but why should a large population mean that we should be required to ignore one another? Maybe our world could improve if we just took the time to acknowledge one another with genuine care and kindness. Everyone has problems of one sort or another and if we connect to others around us we might find that our own problems appear much smaller than we once thought.
Due to the manner in which we view our reality it can be difficult to break through the walls we have been conditioned to and confined within since birth. We are indoctrinated and fed our view of reality from our parents, teachers, peers, churches, jobs and media. We are blindly following a system that is currently manipulating almost every waking hour of our day with noise, images and obligations. The stress from living with these conditions can be contributing to our sense of unhappiness because the outside world constantly invades our inner peace. In order to help construct a road to recovery each of us needs to turn off the outside noise and focus our attention within. Stop watching TV for just one month and take a walk in a park or on the beach instead and see if you don't feel happier by the end of 30 days. Improve your eating habits, meditate, exercise, dance or devote time to a charity or hobby you enjoy. Leave all the hype, trivia and gossip and just plug into the universe. Recharge your spiritual batteries and unfold into a new paradigm.
Just as our external environment can become polluted so too can our inner world. We hang on to regret, anger, sorrow and pain and allow it to fill up our mind with debris that are the garbage of yesterday. We cannot hope to fill our present lives with happiness as long as we are filled with the refuse of our past. Let it go, it serves no purpose once the lesson is learned.
I see too many stories of anger and hate and if I let the vibration of those stories affect me I find negative emotions arising. I know there is always news that is not pleasing and it is up to me to keep my own vibration positive regardless of the outside drama. I am human and subject to reactionary behavior as much as anyone else but reactionary behavior leaves me powerless. My motivations must be positive, loving and altruistic or else I am no different than the hate, anger and fear I wish to dispel. Never forget that the universe is comprised of energy and vibration, all else is illusion. We are energy generators and the vibrations within us are like ripples in a pond sending out signals across the cosmos. As within so without.
Embrace the moment - Be present
This moment is all we have, try to pay attention and really live it. Yesterday is a memory and tomorrow is a dream. This moment is all that is real so don't waste it being unhappy for yesterday or worrying for tomorrow.
The moon on water
Ego can be such a harmful element in our humanity. We sometimes think we have all the answers because of our education, income or circumstance but this is truly false as there is always something more we can learn. How quickly we can be robbed of the veneer that is our ego based sense of self as things change. This is all a drama with props and costumes and we are merely "playing" a part. Behind the scene we are all the same....energy, vibration, consciousness.
As I began to study the bloody and corrupt history of religion I vowed never to fall prey to their membership and dogma but instead to find my own way, developing my spirituality based on love, compassion, empathy, tolerance and peace. I am fully responsible for my actions and I do not shed my accountability to some "savior" to wash away like it never happened. I see clearly without the fog of rhetoric and false promises. I have no shackles to bind me in fear and I am free to pursue the unlimited possibilities of consciousness. This gives me purpose and happiness.
Form is Emptiness
If you study quantum physics you will find that form is essentially emptiness. The observer effect shows us that everything exists as a wave of possibility until observation. Nothing is "real", it is all energy. Matter is the illusion. From the time we are born we are instilled with beliefs about our reality that are based solely on our five physical senses but these senses trick us into thinking in terms of solidity when in fact the world is more like a holographic projection that our minds are perceiving and interpreting based on our own awareness and experience. Once we learn the scientific facts about reality it still remains a thin veneer of truth on a mountain of indoctrination but the facts are at least known and the science is verifiable.
Still think your problems are overwhelming?
There are quite a few angry, narrow minded people in this world but this is a result of indoctrination and conditioning. I feel sorry for them because they cannot experience the absolute liberation of breaking the bonds that hold them. If you see them as the unfortunate and delusional beings that they are then you will understand that their angry, hateful words are desperate attempts to cling to a sinking ship. Everyone is different and not everyone is willing to let go at the same time. They will find their own time eventually. We can only point the way without expectations. Keep your equanimity and do not let angry people infect your peace.
Be A Hero Of Change
If we look at it all from a standpoint of quantum physics we must realize that we have allowed our collective thoughts to be manipulated. Thoughts are energy and energy is what makes up the fabric of reality. We need to change the paradigms and foster a new grid of love, peace, health and altruism and shut out the noise of terrorism, sickness, intolerance, greed and fear. Every one of us is an energy generator sending out waves of either positive or negative energy and we have become accustomed to careless thought, speech and actions that have been affecting the world around us like ripples in a pond. If we each do the work of mindfulness we can stop feeding the negatives and help foster the growth of positive energies. This is a personal responsibility if you want our world to be healed. WE MUST ALL BE THE HERO
Bloom wherever you are - Age is only a number and each day offers new beginings.
Some people live a life they did not truly choose and do not really want because they allow themselves to be influenced.
Family, spouse, friends and society in general can be a powerful influence and although the motives may be very well intentioned the results can leave us feeling unsatisfied or miserable. Sometimes it is best to step away from the big picture and take an objective evaluation of our lives. It is never too late to begin a new quest. Often we can keep the lives we have and just add something extra that makes us happy but either way it is important to feel that life is a fulfilling and purposeful journey. Although I am not wealthy enough to do all the things I would like to do I make it a point every day to take time and enjoy all that nature provides for free but most of all I feel gratitude every moment for all that I do have and all the places I have been able to see. I am learning to gently say "No" to the choices I don't feel invested in and seek out the paths that provides me with a strong sense of purpose. This fortifies my happiness.
Some movies with inspiring messages
The man in this TRUE story never gave up!
This family held together and helped others in a crisis. Also a story based on REAL life events.
A truly remarkable movie about a truly remarkable man.
This film is based on a life adventure that will inspire you.
Real Life - The humanity of a little danger
I just came back from Mexico and I am pleased to report that I saw young people gathering in every city center, skateboarding, playing music and socializing in large groups with no police harassment. I saw protest gatherings where police (sometimes in full riot gear) were smiling, friendly and chatting while helping to block traffic to keep protest marchers safe. I saw millions of small business’ thriving and a growing middle class. Yes, there are Walmart’s and other chain stores but not in every city or on every other corner. Most business is conducted at the local level where neighbors have privately owned shops and the income supports the community. Where five years ago I saw a shanty town I now see small concrete houses as people’s lives have improved. Stories of foreclosure or joblessness are rare as everyone has work or makes a job for themselves, even if it means directing cars in the parking lot for long hours every day for small tips. Home mortgages are not the normal method of buying a home as people live within their means and improve their conditions over time with hard work, prudent spending and saved money. Yes, the cost of some utilities is a bit high but people are smart enough to keep costs down and often employ alternative, green methods of free energy. There is vital, human energy in Mexico that we have lost here in the U.S. You can actually feel the pulse of life all around you as you walk the streets. Mexico is by no means perfect as they have some serious problems too but the people of Mexico are resilient and vital, strong and brave. There is a sense of community in Mexico, a passion for real living that transcends the Television mentality so prevalent here. Socialization is everywhere. City parks are always full of people, walking, chatting, buying, selling, eating and drinking, playing or just reading a book and relaxing under the trees. Meals can take hours and are often another means of socialization and no proprietor ever makes you feel as though he needs your table for another waiting customer. There are hundreds of privately owned restaurants in every city and if one is full and you don’t want to wait you just walk a few feet down the road and visit another. There is service in Mexico and everyone seems to value your business because there is a pride in ownership and customers are important. Yes, there are some exceptions but few compared to the “can’t be bothered” attitude I see in many large corporate stores here. We are so quick to boast about our nation being the best in the world but are we really seeing the truth? Yes, we have a very well organized and exceptionally beautiful nation here but other nations also have things to teach us about being a community and living outside the box if we would only pay attention and set our massive egos aside long enough to learn. We have lost a lot of our individualism and humanity here as we drive around in sealed up cars and live in invisible bubbles in well regulated and sterile lives. Everything is safety coated and pigeon-holed with no room for error or litigation. The best strides in history often arrive on the heels of chaos and new ideas are born from need and real life experience so are we doing ourselves any service by removing all diversity and bubble wrapping every danger? As I climbed to the top of the Pyramid of the Sun in Teotihuacan I realized that at any moment I could easily fall to my death and if I had been in the U.S. this opportunity could have been either totally off limits or severely “safety coated for my protection” thus robbing me of the exhilaration of the attempt and removing a very real human element of living. I appreciate the idea of safety but I also know that it can often come with too steep a price as I am groped at airports and watched with cameras in every aspect of my life. I think this is robbing us of our vitality and humanness as we are conveyor- belted through life like so much breakable merchandise. I have had a real taste of humanity and now I want more!
Freeing your mind
Stop what you are doing. Take a breath. REALLY feel the moment. Look around and try to see every possible element that is around you. We are in such a hurry, going nowhere. Trivia rules our lives and in the end will that truly matter? What is important to you? What is your dream for your life? How many years will you have to pursue what really matters to you? Each day we put off our dreams is one day less to live it. Focus all your energy and intent to create what you dream of. WHY WAIT?
Sometimes no matter what you do or how much you sacrifice for someone there is no gratitude. I am learning over the years that even those who I think love and understand me can often be critical and unyielding in their views with no gratitude or recognition of my efforts. This has often left me feeling very hurt and unappreciated but I have decided that such feelings are flawed because as long as I know I have done my best it is not my responsibility to control how other people view me. Sometimes people just always want more but are unwilling to understand their own role in the cycle of giving and receiving that should accompany all relationships. Few people who find it necessary to always judge and criticize are willing to turn that analysis inward to view their own shortcomings. So, I am trying very hard to be strong and not let harsh, judgmental and hurtful words drag me down and, in fact, if I find a relationship is becoming too toxic towards me I will not be afraid to distance myself, even if that distance is not what I really desire. Sometimes time and space is the only option.
Taking care of your health and mind - Health is your real wealth
I discovered the hard way that health is more important than anything else. No matter how rich or poor you might be, no matter how smart or dull, no matter what is important to you, health matters. Without our health we can do nothing. I let that simple fact escape my notice for many years as I sat behind a desk to do my journalism and other jobs and as can be expected I am now having to work very hard to try to regain my good health. We seem to think that we are immortal and age will not affect us but in truth it creeps up while you aren't paying attention and "WHAM" you are older in a blink and prone to the aches and pains of time if you haven't taken proper care of your physical health. What's even more profound is the fact that your mental health is in large part also a product of your physical health and a lack of exercise and nutritious foods can dull your mind and even effect your moods. So do yourself a huge favor and pay attention to get at least 45 minutes of exercise every day and eat good wholesome (preferably organic) foods so you can experience a sharp, happy mind and optimal physical health.
I have always tried to do my best in life but like everyone else I have had some errors in judgment and some outright blunders in the choices I have made. Since I cannot travel back in time to correct these mistakes, I try to view them as my life lessons and utilize what I have learned to create a better way for my future. I am now realizing that there is nothing positive to be gained by regret as “what is done is done and cannot be undone”, yet, there are those who would stand in judgment to point out flaws where they have ample of their own. I am at a crossroads where I want to avoid toxic relationships but also retain my belief in unconditional love and tolerance. I remain in a state of uncertainty for now, waiting to determine if toxicity is the reality or a simple case of emotional upheaval which will rectify in its own given time. If nothing else, this has taught me to accept who I am minus the labels that once defined my existence and although currently very disorienting, it will ultimately be liberating.
Nothing lasts forever
Anyone who has lived a while understands that nothing lasts forever. Everything has a time limit. It can sometimes be very difficult to accept changes but we often have no choice. As my children grow into adults and I watch them leave for new lives in far away destinations it leaves me feeling both proud and sad. I had my own ideas about a close knit family where we all lived near one another and spent holidays and summers in each others company but two of my four children have now moved to the opposite end of the country and my other two are dreaming of the day when they too can find new lives far from home. I'll have to face a new chapter in my identity as "Mother" and realize my current role has ended and is evolving into some new and as yet, unknown role. It is hard for me to let go of the dreams I had constructed but I do not own my children's lives and would never wish that they should trade their own dreams for mine. Perhaps I may not be included as an important part of my children's future or ever have or meet any grandchildren but I have to accept whatever my children decide and in the meantime I have to foster gratitude that my children are happy and independent. It is not easy having an empty nest but it is surely what nature intended.
Gratitude and risk
Why is everyone so afraid of living? I see so many people nowadays who only go through the motions of having a life and they seem to be missing a spark that can ignite their moments. How many people do you know that spend years at a job they hate or who live in conditions they barely tolerate? I know a few and it is usually because they are either not finding gratitude for what they have or they lack the desire to take a risk for change. Life passes by in such a quick succession of moments and even though it is impossible to be happy every single second I believe that we should be happy most of the time, not just lip service but really, deeply happy. The first step is to be grateful. Gratitude is the number one sentiment many people forget as they always reach into the future looking for happiness when "THE HAPPY" should be in the moment. I'll be happy when I get a better job, I'll be happy when I have a better car or bigger house. No, No and No! Be happy with the now! Look around you and find gratitude for all you have NOW in this moment. The next step is to strive for change if circumstances can be improved and don't be so afraid to follow your dreams. Why stay stuck if you have a dream you would dearly love to follow. Does failure frighten you? Why? Failure is how we reach success and anyone who has achieved a dream will tell you that success usually followed on the heels of many failures. Each failure is a lesson in how to succeed.
Guard Your Health
Many people I know take great care of their cars, homes and other material items but they neglect their own bodies. They fill up on coffee and donuts for breakfast, fast food for lunch and microwave food for dinner. This is like shoveling sand into the gas tank of your car! Our bodies are created to gain nutrition from the foods we eat and if we eat "fake foods" we are not acquiring the nutrients our bodies need for healthy cell production and function. Too much of the food found in fast eateries is not fresh nor is it nutritious and even in dine-in restaurants many of the meal choices are full of empty calories and trans-fats. We can survive for a time on these options but our long term health will certainly be adversely affected if we make such choices a habit. Just look around you and see how many people have cancers, heart disease and diabetes. Perhaps some of these health concerns are derived from genetics and environment but it seems to me that a healthy diet might help negate or diminish such disease. I was lucky enough to be born to a mother from Europe who never used can goods or frozen dinners to feed me, meals consisted of plenty of fresh produce, lightly steamed and no sodas or junk food was ever in her kitchen. Many people will say that now times are different and we don't have time to cook but I know that it can be done because I have done it even when I worked a 60 hour week. It takes very little time to wash, cut up and steam vegetables and fish can be baked in 40 minutes. There are plenty of sites on the internet that offer quick, healthy meals so why not give it a try! You have nothing to lose and you will gain a healthy body.
A Shard In The Eyes
A shard in the eyes
I am human just like everyone else and sometimes I make mistakes. I don't understand why the people I love and sacrifice the most for are the ones who hurt me the deepest. The good things I have done and the many times I work in selfless service are taken for granted but any flaws I have had are stabbed in my eyes over and over and over again endlessly reminding me of any and all long ago mistakes. I cannot change my past mistakes and I have worked hard to correct the thinking that led to any mistakes and yet that shard repeatedly gets stabbed in my eyes to make me feel small and ugly. My loved ones have also made very hurtful mistakes but I don't stab them in the eyes with it repeatedly. I want to move on but it seems I must endure endless recrimination if I want to see my loved ones. I don't feel any desire to move on without them. Maybe in time this may change in one way or another. You can kick a wound only so many times.
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