Wonder-filled Wednesday

Five Cool Blog Posts To Melt the Summer’s Heat

Hey Everybody!

Most of the U.S. is sweltering under a wet, heavy blanket of heat and humidity, and if you’re like me, when the temps turn up in the summer time, so does the cranky meter.

In an effort to curb my verging gnarly attitude and snappishness toward all creatures great and small, I’m really trying to focus on solid, positive thoughts and readings.

I’ve pulled a few of my favorite writers’ blog posts together to share with you in this edition of Wednesday Wisdom.

Social Media Technology in Prevention

First up is a shout-out to my good friend LaDonna Coy.  LaDonna’s passion is connecting people and communities through social media technologies.  She’s all about prevention, wellness and community change.

LaDonna’s post earlier this week really struck a chord in me.  Titled Vulnerability and Prevention,  she features a Ted Talk by Brene’ Brown.  Funny, real, honest, this talk is truly one of the best I’ve ever seen.

Striving to approach our world with whole-hearted empathy so that we can share our stories through conversations “may well be our single greatest tool for practicing vulnerability on the road to developing empathy,” LaDonna writes.

“Social media has a role to play in seeding, hosting, convening and contributing to those conversations.”  I love the sound of that.

Monkeytraps

I confess that I haven’t been a regular follower of Steve Hauptman’s work.  Until this post:  Three rules for recovering from anything.

Normally, this blog is kind of goofy.  I like it, but it’s kind of goofy.  Steve, who is a therapist who specializes in control issues, co-writes Monkeytraps with Bert, his control-addicted inner monkey.  It’s a recipe for goofiness.

This particular post touched me because it addresses the issue of presence as it relates to paying attention to our thoughts, our monkey minds, if you will.  Check it out.

Why You Say “No” When It’s Just as Easy to Say “Yes!”

Tony Meindl is an award-winning writer, director, producer and teacher in Los Angeles and New York.  He also has a website called At Left Brain Turn Right.

Tony is one of the featured contributors of Mastin Kipp’s The Daily Love, which is how I was turned on to his work.

Here’s a line from this post:  “Saying ‘no’ literally shuts out possibility.  Saying ‘no’ leaves us zero access to potential.”

My mind goes unchecked too often.  Too often, I find myself saying no.  Tony is right–it is just as easy to say YES!!

Danielle LaPorte

I love this gal!  I’ve only started following her recently, but am quickly becoming a big fan, especially after this post:  Are you hanging by a thread?.

One of the things I respect about Danielle is her authenticity.  This piece acknowledges the occasional crappiness of life.  “Hanging by a thread can be really disorienting.  What you’re going through undeniably sucks,” she writes.

Then Danielle asks, “Do you believe in angels?  If you don’t, just believe in them for the next 24 hours.  There are a hundred thousand angels by your side.”

You have to read this post!

And finally, the blog that B Here Today wants to be when it grows up:

Tiny Buddha

You could land on this site and pick any post for a winner.  However, the one I’d like to highlight is a recent post called Tiny Wisdom:  Help People Help Themselves.

Why this particular post?  It’s the same reason I’m striving to grow B Here Today.  Tiny Buddha author Lori Deschene has a servant leadership mentality.

She writes, “None of us has it all figured out, and maybe we never will.

“Acknowledging this, to me, is the difference being having followers and friends. With followers, you lead the way. With friends, you support them in discovering it for themselves.”

So, my friends, I sincerely hope you enjoy these nuggets of wisdom.  Let me know what you think of any or all of them by leaving a comment below.  Do you have favorite blog authors that touch you in some way?  Share them, please!

 

 

6 More Reasons to Abandon Your Thinking

I want, I want, I want to give, to love, to create, to serve, says your outside voice.

Too bad.  You don’t deserve.  You’re crazy.  You may want, but you cannot have, says your inside voice.

Which voice do you listen to?  See why it’s necessary to abandon your thinking?

In my last post, we explored six reasons to let go of destructive thinking.  Those six were:

1.  What we think about, we bring about.

2.  You will no longer be plagued by those “yeah, buts.”

3.  We sit in our own sh@t because it’s warm.

4.  You’re getting bloody and bruised from beating on yourself. 

5.  Much, if not all, of our thinking is erroneous.

6.  Our thinking is based on conclusions of people who lived in another time and place.

I just know you have, like me, mastered all six reasons and are chomping at the bit for the remaining six.  Not!  I do so love being facetious!

Here goes:

Reason #7 to Abandon Your Thinking:  Old patterns of thinking block us from contemplating new possibilities.

Or more correctly, according to scientific research, continued thought patterns actually form grooves or channels in the brain and when a repetitive thought enters the brain, it gravitates to its groove.  When those repeated thoughts are destructive, it’s not groovy.

The good news is that our brains are malleable and with concerted effort, we can create new grooves with repetitive good and positive thoughts.    I think I can, I think I can . . .

Reason #8 to Abandon Your Thinking:  We can become immobilized, unable to move one way or another off the high-center point of destructive thinking.

We brood, we stew, we ruminate on a change we want to make instead of allowing a “what if?” thought to enter our thought process.  For more information on how to “what if,” visit my friend Mindy Audlin’s masterful technique called What If Up at  http://whatifup.com/.

Reason #9 to Abandon Your Thinking:  To save our planet.

When you really become aware of the energy flow around your moods and their corresponding thought patterns, can you feel how negative comments or judgmental remarks create a feeling of toxicity?  We’ve all encountered the spoiled-sport who is a “downer” in an otherwise great situation. 

Imagine that particular situation multiplied. Now you’re in a location where most everyone is grumpy and tired.  They complain about everything without appreciating anything or anyone.  You can’t wait to escape that situation, right? 

Now imagine an entire neighborhood or town behaving so destructively.  Expand the toxic circles out to your state, your country, your continent and your world.  What do you see in your mind’s eye?

Our thoughts are powerful conductors of energy that can literally cause massive shifts in our planetary health.  Pretty cool, huh?

Reason #10 to Abandon Your Thinking:  We can stop wars.

I’m of the belief that collective, focused thinking can produce the most incredible, even seemingly impossible, outcomes.  Never underestimate-NEVER, NEVER-the power of positive thinking.

Our God-given powers are meant to be used for good deeds, not destructive ones.  Believe me, I am not naiive enough to believe that violence and wars can be stopped on a dime. 

But, what if they can?  Who’s to say?  Can we try stop wars by letting go of the old, outdated and manufactured methods of being in relationship with others?  As with the principle behind #9, this #10 reason begins with one-with-me, then me-with-you, then us-with-them.

Are you with me?

Reason #11 to Abandon Your Thinking:  So we can stop relying on outward methods of stimulation.

We turn to food, alcohol, drugs, sex, gambling, shopping, whatever makes us feel good about ourselves.  We find an elusive haven in the things when in reality, they are merely a replacement, a stand-in, for the One.  Instead of telling ourselves–and believing–that we’re craving all those things, can we crave God instead? 

I invite you to take a 21-day challenge with Lisa TerKeurst, author of Made to Crave, http://madetocrave.org/21-day-challenge/.

And finally:

Reason #12 to Abandon Your Thinking:  To Win Our Personal and Collective Victories.

Need I say more?

Just this, to paraphrase Mastin Kipp of The Daily Love (http://thedailylove.com/):

Ask.  Believe.  Act.  Release.  Receive.

Namaste, my friends. 

Photo courtesy of Jen @smiling_heart

2011 Word #2

Source–one of my three words of focus for 2011, the other two being Intention and Order. Readers of this blog may recall that I’ve sworn off new-year resolutions and decided instead this year to let God impress upon me three words to study, absorb and live by.

I spent a good deal of time with Intention over the first six weeks or so of the year and I’m getting a decent handle on the strength of the word in my life. I wrote then that setting an intention places a commitment right in front of me. In fact, I can envision holding the intention between my outstretched hands and then feel my heart bestowing its blessing.

Once blessed, the intention is released, surrendered to the universe.

Reviewing the power of an intention is a great segue into Source since an all-knowing Source is always behind my humble intentions.

As I write about Source, one big dog and one little dog lounging beside me, I’m thinking about the word as an origination point. Everything I see, feel and experience, in this moment and in past and future moments, has a starting thought, an instance of beginning. 

Everything you see, feel and experience, everything my neighbor sees, feels and experiences, heck, even what my dogs and your dogs and my neighbor’s dogs see feel and experience has an instant of fruition. 

Without getting too woo-woo, it occurs to me that all of those markers of a beginning are in addition to the origin of me, you, my neighbor and my dogs. We experience origination points out there–in our sensory world–and inside–as the origination of all our new ideas, inspirations and interpretations.

A phenomenal creative process, don’t you think?

My point is not to try to enumerate what can’t possibly be counted or tallied.  There is no keeping score or tracing back originating instances to their first inception.  There is no examination of intersections as if we’re creating one gigantic genealogical tree.

What is the point then?

The point is there is no point.  Literally.  There can’t be.  There is, however, Source.

Isn’t this fun?  I love this kind of contemplation!  I also love this simple, humble thought:

In the beginning, God.

There is nothing else.  Only one source, one Power, one God.  And, since there is nothing else, there is no opposite.  There is only God.

You may call the Source something else entirely.  Terrific!  In fact, good for you for taking that stand.  I choose God as the defining, overarching word for Source because it’s a palindrome of Dog and I love dogs.  You may have noticed but in case you’ve forgotten, here’s a small reminder.

Political journalist turned Unity minister, Ellen Debenport, in her book The Five Principles, A Guide to Practical Spirituality, writes, “Principle One affirms that God is all there is.  God is omnipotent, omniscient and omnipresent–not all powerful but all power, not all knowing but all knowledge, and present everywhere.

“God is the stars, the rocks, the animals, the people.  God is the love, the creativity, the wisdom that human beings express.  All that we are and have is God, and we can never be separate from that universal power.”

Beautiful words and thank you, Ellen, for your soul-touching work. 

Thank you, too, dear readers, for carrying an energetic torch with which to join all other light emanating from Source.

In the beginning, God . . .

The Personality of a Greyhound

IMG_2398Baylor came to live with us about a month ago.  His retiring wisdom and calm demeanor, especially learning to deal with Jazzy, the spit-fire Jack Russell, inspire me.

Baylor is a nine-year-old, former racing greyhound.

He is the epitome of adaptability and flexibility. To go from chasing rabbits around a track to urban loft living, via suburban homes in Houston and Austin, is quite a twist in his dog life.

But style and grace are in-bred. I used to say that my goal in life was to be as flexible as Gumby. Now I want to grow up and be just like Baylor.

His role modeling for dealing with change equals any two-legged I’ve known. In a month’s time, his whole world shifted, including his people (one remains a constant), his place, his perspective and his pals.

Gone are the days when a door would be opened for him to romp in the backyard freely chasing squirrels. Today his purview is floor-to-ceiling windows, orthopedic dog-beds and four-a-day walks along our canal or beside Lake Carolyn.

His social life has improved significantly. Just this morning he went nose-to-nose with a little terrier, smaller than those rabbits he used to chase. The terrier was curious about running into a horse and Baylor quietly acknowledged the sniff of greeting. He accepts the hellos of small dogs, pit bulls, labs and even poodles with equanimity, a character trait this person aspires to.

I’ve had other similarly dispositioned dogs step through my life. I’ve also had other high-spirited dogs that rival my Jazzy. I love them all and am grateful for their paw prints on my heart.

Each of them has modeled behavior I wish to emulate. But the ones who imprint my soul are the ones whose eyes hold the history and mystery of great love.

Baylor is one of those dogs.

Donkey or Duck?

There may be a handful of you who know that the animal mascot for my home state of Missouri is the mule.  Now, some folks (including yours truly) confuse mules with donkeys when actually they are two different species.

A mule is the hybrid of a male donkey and a female horse.  There is a misconception that all mules are males, when in fact, most mules are infertile, whether male or female.  It has been said that mules are “more patient, sure-footed, hardy and long-lived than horses, and they are considered less obstinate, faster, and more intelligent than donkeys.” (thank you, Wikipedia).

Still, when I contemplate the Missouri state animal, which is not all that often, I prefer to call it a donkey.  Two reasons:  1) The word donkey has one more syllable than mule and I like longer words, and 2) Donkey provides alliteration with the word duck.

Here in my new home state of Texas, specifically in the area where I live, there are several species of waterfowl thanks to a beautiful man-made lake and canal nearby. 

We regularly see the Great White Egret, smaller heron, geese and ducks including mallards and a funny little diving duck that has a long black bill and kind of scoots along the water.

So what’s with all this animal and bird husbandry? 

Mules/donkeys are pack animals, beasts of burden.  When trained or coaxed, they can haul the burdens on their backs for great distances and sometimes under severe conditions.

As for ducks, you’ve heard the expression, “water off a duck’s back?”  Turns out ducks have a gland in their tail feathers that produces oil that when spread over their bodies via their beaks, makes them waterproof.

Still with me?

During my journaling time this morning, I was thinking about my mom and about how in many ways I have a better relationship with her now that she has passed than I did as a child.

The truth is there were instances when she wasn’t there for me, when she didn’t care for me as a mother should.  I’ve made peace with her imperfections and realize that she and dad did the best they could with me as a little girl.

Today I only care about my relationship with Mom’s spirit.  She is everything I want her to be now except, of course, she’s not physically present with me.  But when I need her, she’s there.  No hesitation.  No judgment.  No condemnation.

I know that everything I feel for her originates in my heart where the truth of my being joins with Mom in a mystical embrace.  The angel connects with the once-lost child, the soul that grows more and more into a woman who wonders about the strangest things.

During times of trouble, when I want my mom more than ever, do I respond like a donkey or a duck?  Do I plod along with worry and heartache strapped to my back, or do I let the conditions roll off my back even as I’m paddling like hell through frigid waters while ice pellets drop around me?

Seems like an easy answer, doesn’t it?  But, I did live in Missouri first . . .

Are you mostly like a donkey or a duck?