Wednesday, September 30, 2009
Your perception creates your reality. What you see is what you get. Or should I say - how you choose to see determines what you get.
There is a great quote by Dr. Wayne Dyer that says - "When you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change." I believe that quote sums the message of this article up perfectly.
Whatever you focus on expands. If you meet someone and decide to focus on their negative or unattractive qualities, then you will begin to notice more and more negative and unattractive qualities. If, however, you meet someone and choose to focus on their positive and attractive qualities you will notice more of their attractive qualities, and they will suddenly become a very attractive person to you.
It is our choice how we choose to see and perceive things. We always get
to choose how we see a person, place or a situation. Our perception
determines our experience.
Life is all about perception. If you look at a homeless person, for example,
and you think to yourself 'how disgusting', 'he/she is so dirty','why don't
they get a job like everyone else', 'what a loser', etc., then you will see a filthy disgusting person that is below you.
If you look at that same homeless person, and you think to yourself, 'I send
that person love', 'I pray that they find food today', 'I wonder what
situtaion occured in their life to put them there', 'How may I serve that
person', 'I admire their peacefulness','I respect their humanity',then all of a sudden they look completely different to you. You see their inner beauty, you respect them as your brother/sister, you see their humanity, you feel empathy and compassion, you see that beautiful Soul as one with yourself.
When you change the way you look at people, places or circaumstances in your life,
they will change. It is your choice if you want to see through fear and anger or
see through love and compassion.
I remember reading a poignant story showing how your perception is your reality.
The story starts with a traveller asking an old man standing by a village, what the people were like there. The old man asked the traveller what the people were like in the village he was from. The traveller told the old man that the people were untrustworthy, unhelpful and unpleasant. The old man then said that the people in this village were just like that.
The next day another traveller asked the same old man who was standing by the same village, what the people were like there. The old man asked this traveller what the people were like in the village he was from. The traveller told the old man that the people were trustworthy, helpful and pleasant. The old man then said that the people in this village were just like that.
Perception is really in the eye of the beholder. How we think is how we see. It all starts in the formative years. As a child we learn about the world from others. There are core beliefs of the family and global beliefs that include superstitions and rituals. Added to individual experiences through life, perception is formed.
As an adult an individual may perceive life in a different way than he did as a child. The core beliefs can be so ingrained that in times of difficulty they can be triggered and affect perception. If as a child you learnt that failure was a catastrophe, then in adulthood this can have a huge effect on how you perceive situations such as, being made redundant or going through a divorce.
There are situations and conditions that can influence your perception on reality. Depression is one condition which makes everything seem unclear, hopeless and pointless. There is no point in telling a depressed person that there is joy in life, when all they perceive is gloom.
Reality is personal. If the depressed person feels sad, then this is real for them. This is their reality. Sometimes the way to change a way of thinking is to do something active. In depression, changing negative thoughts into positive thoughts is possible, but difficult. Depression is a way of being which revolves around inactivity and ruminating in all that is wrong in the world.
A walk in fresh air can aid in shifting your perception from gloom to hope. It might be short lived but it can help to get someone whose feeling low to be willing to replace one negative thought with a positive one. It can take a lifetime to change a way of being into another way. Your perception is your reality. Sometimes, changing your reality can change your perception of it. If you are unhappy living where you do, find ways in creating the circumstances that can help you move to where you want to live.
Your perception creates your reality, not only with people, but also with how you perceive situations and circumstances. No matter what the situation is, it is up to you how you choose to perceive the situation. There is positive and negative aspects to every situation, even the ones that appear to be very horrible. It is up to us to find the positive and focus on that part of the equation. Your perception of any circumstance or situation will be your reality. This reality can be anything that you choose it to be; it all comes down to the perception that you choose to have.
Monday, September 28, 2009
I like to write down thoughts and here are some things that help me. They're not affirmations or rules, just a list of things that I've found to be important to me.
I am permitted to be less than perfect; people will still accept me.
Making mistakes is part of being human.
Anger is a natural feeling.
When I am sad, the natural response might be to cry; expressing feelings releases tension, thereby releasing stress, and this is good for me.
I do not have to be in control at all times.
It is important to spend time in a non-productive activity.
I should always forgive myself as much as others.
Being good to myself is as important as anyone because it energizes.
It is important to question that which I feel needs to be questioned. That's the only way I will learn.
I have a right to say no when I do not want to do something. If I don't, I will just be angry and resentful.
Tuesday, September 15, 2009
The children are back in school and the leaves are changing colors- it must be autumn. This is the perfect time to welcome the season with some new decor ideas. Enjoy the crisp air and take a cue in your decorating from nature and the outdoors. Bring in the fall leaves, gourds, and pumpkins with these decorating ideas!
1. Think Abundance - Autumn is all about pumpkins, gourds, apples, wheat, and colorful vegetables. Scout out the local farmer's market and start decorating. Fill to overflowing a large basket or bowl with your fall bounty and use that as your centerpiece. Tablescape on a grand scale with pumpkins, wheat and other fall favorites. Drape your fireplace mantel with bittersweet and grapevine. If you like artificial flowers that can be used again and again, there are many craft stores that sell seasonal flowers at very reasonable prices.
2. Now is the time for texture. Put the summer pillows and linens away. Reach for rich autumnal colors and interesting textures. Treat yourself to a new throw with great texture in chocolate brown, rust, or orange.
3. Group candles on a tray on your dining or coffee table. Again, think abundance and use a lot of candles- vary the height and size, but keep the color the same for maximum impact.
4. Use Nature for Art - Hang a textural wreath where a picture was, or place baskets on an angle on a shelf. Top off a bookcase or hutch with gourds, pumpkins, and baskets.
5. Don't forget the entry. Fill a vase, urn, or terra cotta pot with branches from your fall garden clean-up. Scatter colorful leaves that you gathered on walks on your entry table or bench. Hang a pretty umbrella, jacket or bag in autumn colors on your coatrack.
6. Place birch logs in your fireplace when it's not in use. Or gather them in a basket on your hearth. Beautiful and within reach for those crisp autumn evenings.
7. Bake something! Nothing says autumn like the smell of cinnamon and spices, even if its cheating with a pre-bought pie placed in the oven. Use simmering pot pourri in spice scents to makes everything cozy and warm.
8. Don't forget your front door. Add instant curb appeal when you paint your entry door. A rich color will freshen up tired landscaping, and usher in the fall season. Place a fall wreath or new doormat to usher in the season. I love scarecrows and make my own pumpkin patch with scarecrows and bales of hay to add to my front yard.
9. Plant those mums. Splurge on some new fall plantings in great colors. A splash of color will brighten up any garden this time of year. Group them all together in terra cotta pots for maximum effect and more cost effective.
10. Decorate with Orange. Add this color with pumpkins, linens, candles- anything you like.
Enjoy the autumn season, and bring it indoors! Open up your home to nature's seasonal bounty and start decorating! Use pumpkins, gourds, grapevine, wheat, and other fall foliage to compliment your decor.
Saturday, September 12, 2009
I embarked on my journey to Winsome Wonder, that far-off place Rapscallion dwells,
I sought to seek this little fellow in hopes my doubt and fear he'd quell.
I traversed high and rocky ground and through the straight and narrow,
Some places scared me near to death and chilled my bones right to the marrow.
I traveled 'ore the mountains high and through the valleys low,
I went thru many scary places where no one else had dared to go,
As time went by my thoughts turned gray and bitter winds swept by,
No treasured glimpse on horizon lay, with tired heart I began to cry,
"I'll never get to Winsome Wonder though I've tried my very best,
Every time it seems I'm close I'm confronted with another test."
I walked a little further over steep and troubled ground,
The clouds then suddenly parted and I heard the sweetest sound
Time turned side ways, up and down as I climbed this little hill,
And then I saw him sitting in a field of daffodils
Arraigned in red suspenders over clean and gentle cloth
A wizened smile signified no fury he had wroth
He had a long white beard and a twinkle in his eye,
Just from taking one quick look you had to love this guy,
I went and sat beside him and he took me by the hand,
"Welcome weary traveler," he said, "Welcome to this land."
"I see that you have questions and for these you have looked far,
You've looked in many places and you've wished on many stars.
Every time you thought you'd found as answer to your dreams,
Another question grabbed you just like an endless stream."
"Yes, sir," I said, "It seems to me you've read me like a book,
Where can I find these answers that elude me like a crook?"
"Well," said he, "You've probably gone the long way round,
For what I'm about to tell you I think you've mostly found.
In life there's always questions right from the very start,
And almost every answer can be found right in your heart.
Some times you think you'll never know why the world goes round,
Why we do the things we do and where in life we're bound.
If all the time you spend in life is looking over there,
You'll be running around in circles, always asking where.
The reason why we're here is any body's guess
So we might as well enjoy the ride and be happy, more or less.
There is no need to seek afar if you're looking for a key,
You hold the key to happiness, the key to set you free.
That key to your own happiness is love that shines within,
Love that flows from your precious heart, Love," he said again.
It seemed to me so simple, I wondered to this man,
"Why had I traveled all this way for such a simple plan?"
"Sometimes I guess you'll never know unless you look afar,
Unless you travel many roads and wish on many stars.
Just one thing, remember," said this little man,
"Everything you'll ever need is right there in your hand."
I walked away that bright clear day learning something new,
You can find your heart's desire, it's really up to you.
Sometimes when life seems really bad and nights are full of thunder
I think about that special time I went to Winsome Wonder.
Friday, September 11, 2009
In July, a good friend told me that she and her husband were getting a divorce. Knowing that they had a daughter made me feel concerned for all of them. But my friend and her husband have been dealing with helping their daughter cope very well. In fact, I've come to see that, in the long run, their separating will be better for her. After doing a little research, I discovered that there are some positive effects of divorce on children as well as negative.
The word positive effects and divorce when relating to children sounds like an oxymoron. Across the globe many parents stay together for the sake of the children, even if the marriage is a bad one. There is a perception that children are devastated by the idea of divorce and a great percentage of the time this is true.
No child wants to see their parents get divorced. Despite this factor, it is also true no child wants to consistently be privy to fighting, snide remarks or even verbal or physical abuse in more extreme cases. While divorce should never be a decision made hastily or carelessly, depending on the situation, sometimes staying together for the sake of the children just doesn't work.
Children are pretty perceptive and even though it may sound as if it is the right thing, if the relationship between the parents is really bad, parents may be doing their children a disservice by staying together. This is especially true if there is a lot of anger or abusive behavior occurring in the household.
Divorce for the most part has a negative connotation associated with it, but believe it or not there are some positive effects of divorce that children experience. While the negative effects are more obvious, these are some of the positive effects children feel:
*Exposure to Less Hostility
Seldom are divorces friendly, but once the household situation is diffused by a breakup and as a result the daily problems are alleviated, the kids benefit because they no longer live and breathe the situation in their normal routines.
Some parents even find a way to get along for the sake of the children once they are no longer living together. After children are no longer exposed to ongoing hostility in their living environment, they benefit tremendously. While they miss living with both parents, ultimately they are much happier when they aren't dealing with adult problems.
*Quality Time with Each Parent
Children who have gone through a divorce with their parents reap the benefits of spending one on one time with each parent. Despite the difficulties of divorce, the one on one time is a great bonding opportunity for parents and children to experience.
While having family time together is wonderful, often many things are taken for granted and time is not as valued because it is always accessible. Additionally in situations where parents aren't happy together this decreases the quality of any family time and children feel the sting of this.
While the quantity of time with each parent is reduced through visitation schedules, the quality of time spent together is usually increased because during times of visitation the parent is usually totally focused on the children and the time together is valued all the more.
*Removed from the Tug of War
While children may always feel a degree of needing to take sides during parental arguments or disagreements, then divorce occurs this removes them from having to do it constantly.
Through the divorce process and aftermath, it is not uncommon to experience some level of disagreement between the two former spouses. The positive effect is as time goes on and parents navigate towards beginning a new life after the legal details are decided, this begins to occur less frequently.
It is at this time children feel much less of a tug to have to choose sides since their parents no longer have the constant interaction they used to have. They may even see their parents working together more often which is a definitive positive effect.
In cases where a divorce is imminent, it is always important to put the needs of the children first and foremost. In order to help them experience the positive effects of divorce it is critical to minimize any exposure to any ugliness that often occurs during the divorce process.
Divorce is a difficult process to go through for all members of the family, especially the children. In order to reduce the negative effects, focus on the positive effects because this will significantly help them through the transition process and lessen the hurt they feel when they see their parents go through the divorce.
Thursday, September 10, 2009
Rain sprinkles cool showers
Down upon the dusty ground
Creates pools of murky water
Splashing puddles seen all around
Kids race down the dampened street
Hopping and skipping their best
Spot a puddle, take a big leap
Full of laughter kids are blessed
Across the street a girl cries out
Eyes appear puffy and red
Her cheeks show signs of puddles
Streaked from tears which have been shed
Cries herself to sleep at night
Feeling such pain and sorrow
Tear-stained pillow when she stirs
More puddles on the 'morrow
A boy stands idly near the bay
While his daddy sails the sea
Wonders when dad's coming home
Longing and wants to believe
Sea washes up sandy puddles
Father's been gone for a long time
Wetness splashes the boy's sleeve
Filled with sand, grit and grime
Puddles and emotions
Are inherently entwined
Joy, sadness and wistful
Joined by moisture and the mind
A puddle forms when dampness
Collects as one and takes shape
Wetness of different sizes
From water there's no escape
Tuesday, September 8, 2009
"The man who doesn't read good books has no advantage over the man who can't read them"- so stated Mark Twain. Such a quote reminds us of how fundamental reading can be to those who avail themselves to this activity. A person's reasoning behind reading however, varies from one opinion to another.
These are my personal top ten reasons to read a book....
1.) Mental Stimulation of the Brain.
Your brain is a muscle. Just as underused muscles atrophy due to lack of exercise, a lack of mental stimulation can cause damage to the brain as well. So pick up a book, and exercise your mind.
2.) Nurture Your Love For Reading.
The more you read, the more you enjoy it. It's as simple as that.
3.) Nurture A Love For Reading In Your Children.
"Monkey see. Monkey do," so goes the old adage. Letting your children observe you reading, will increase their chances of developing a love of reading themselves.
4.) Inexpensive Travel.
It would be wonderful if we all had the ability to travel the country and experience exotic places. Unfortunately, the majority of us may never get to experience first hand what it's like to be outside our country of residence.
Fortunately, reading brings those experiences right at our fingertips. With a great book, and a vivid imagination, you can experience different cultures, taste different foods, and learn how other people live.
5.) Expand Your Vocabulary.
Need a great way to expand your vocabulary? Read a book. Reading introduces new or seldom used words to the reader. Enabling him/her to incorporate them in their everyday vernacular.
6.) A Source of Encouragement.
When experiencing bouts of depression, or moments of discouragement, at times a book (whether it's based on humour or inspiration) can provide you with the encouragement necessary to buoy your spirits and keep you going. Identifying with a character as he or she overcomes obstacles also provides inspiration.
7.) A Source of Escape.
With the internal and external pressures we face day to day, it's nice to have a quick and practically free way to escape the world's pressures. Sitting down in your favorite chair with a good book in hand, will provide you with a couple of hours of stress free bliss.
8.) Keep Updated.
Reading a book (depending on what kind you read) can provide you with a source of updated and current information on all things worldly.
9.) Gain Knowledge.
One of the best sources to gain knowledge is a book. Whether they be primary sources or translations of, reading a book is a great way to gain knowledge or add to what you already know.
10.) Gain Spiritual Enlightenment.
There are many books on the market offering spiritual enlightenment and how to live a happier, more fulfilled life.
As Benjamin Disraeli said, reading is a great way to - "Nurture your mind with great thoughts; to believe in the heroic makes heroes." So whatever your reasons for reading include, you should always make the time for nurturing your mind.
Monday, September 7, 2009
When I was a child, there was one fashion-related fact about Labor Day not to be dismissed lightly - One would never, ever be caught wearing white after the first Monday in September.
The tradition consisted of wearing white and pastels only after Memorial Day and until Labor Day.
Here are some other interesting trivia and facts about Labor Day:
* There are 149.1 million Americans, 16 and older, in the workforce today. This figure comprises 66% of the population, excluding the military sector.
* There are 6.5 million teachers; they make up the largest category of American workers.
* "Moonlighters" account for 5% of our nation's population. These are individuals who hold down more than one job.
* Grover Cleveland was the president who signed the legislation declaring Labor Day an official national holiday. This was ironic due to the fact that he was a most unpopular figure at the time. He was opposed to organized labor and called out the military to break up a union strike, resulting in 134 deaths during the altercation.
* Oregon was the first state to declare Labor Day a legal holiday.
* In 1937 waitresses at Woolworth's five and dime staged a sit-down strike. They spent their time singing, dancing and doing each other's hair and nails for eight days until the management relented and issued a five cent wage increase.
* China has the largest workforce in the world.
* Ergophobia is the fear of work. Mechanophobia is the fear of working with machinery. Peniaphobia is the fear of poverty. There are no reliable statistics for how many Americans are absent from the workforce as a result of succumbing to these fears.
* The Jerry Lewis telethon was launched on Labor Day weekend in 1966 to raise awareness and money for medical research to assist families with members stricken with muscular dystrophy and other muscular diseases. The notoriety of this comedian/actor was raised to the level of an American icon for his diligent dedication to this successful philanthropic endeavor.
* The first Labor Day parade was held in New York City on Tuesday, September 5, 1882 by the Knight's of Labor. Subsequently, in 1884 the group held their parade on the first Monday in September and a resolution was adopted to hold all future parades on that date and to designate the day "Labor Day."
* Labor Day has evolved into one of the busiest shopping days of the year. Long ago, when the holiday retained its original intent, to honor and show respect for the working class, most retail businesses were closed. In our society today, Labor Day sales are rampant and back-to-school shopping is carried out with a frenzy. Early Christmas shoppers also fill up the prematurely decorated stores, searching out the best bargains and specials.
All tradition and frivolous activity aside, Labor Day is a favored holiday for most people. It comes with no obligatory price tag, like buying and wrapping presents. It is just a respite from work with a built in, bona fide excuse to "veg out" all day, or celebrate the day off in whatever fashion one chooses.
Saturday, September 5, 2009
You're at a party and find yourself fascinated and entertained by a quick-witted person. You wonder, How can he/she think so fast? More likely than not, he/she has been exercising his or her brain for awhile.
Exercising the brain is not a stretch, one, two, three thing. Instead it is moving outside the idle passing of time to be observant or to focus on something specific.
Most of us spend much time behind the wheel of a car. What a perfect time to not only exercise the brain but practice better driving habits. For example, if there is a speed limit sign ahead, I look beyond it a block or two. Is there a school, which will require slowing down and being cognizant of children? Is there a hospital or fire station that could have an emergency vehicle dart out at any time?
How many times have I sat at a traffic light, stood in a long grocery checkout line, sat for a half-hour in a doctor's waiting room and tediously waited? The challenges for the mind are endless. By studying the cars around mine and the pedestrians in sight, I predict who will make what action or reaction based upon my observations. Even though I travel the same path daily, if I make a point of deliberately studying the store signs, I discover places I've not previously observed.
Of all places, the doctor's waiting room can be the most interesting mental challenge. How frequently, if anyone utters a sound, the conversation revolves around the weather. That can get everyone involved in their thought on the subject. By my observation of a woman reading a book by my favorite author and mentioning it to her, the entire waiting room became involved in discussing authors and books. By the time the next person was called to be seen by the doctor, we had exchanged titles of books that we each wanted to read.
While watching a television show or movie, I challenge myself to think like the writer. By doing this, I can frequently determine what will happen next. It amazes others viewing the show or movie with me when I accurately predict the next scene or line.
As children, we memorized. As adults, we lose that skill. One way to fine tune it again is to memorize all the words in a favorite song or poem. Filling in crossword puzzles and playing such games as Chess, Scrabble and others that push the mind to work more skillfully are great brain exercise equipments.
Pretend you are starting a business and think about how you would solve a problem. What would you sell and to whom would you sell it? Who are your competitors and how would you beat them? Give your brain something to chew on. The next day, pretend your are starting an organization to fight hunger -- what new ideas can you come up with? Have fun with problem solving to make new connections in the brain.
Lists are wonderful. Making lists helps us to associate items with one another. Make a list of all the places you have travelled. Make a list of the most disgusting foods you have eaten. Make a list of the best presents you have been given. Make one list every day to jog your memory and make new connections.
Pick a book on an entirely new subject. Read a novel set in India. Learn about economics. There are many excellent popular non-fiction books that do a great job entertaining you while teaching about a subject. Become an expert in something new each week.
The large number of senior citizens who regularly watch and challenge themselves to answer before contestants on the television shows Wheel of Fortune, Jeopardy and Crosswords are amazing. More likely than not, they have heard news reports warning us to keep our brain active to ward off Alzheimer's Disease and dementia by keeping the brain challenged.
Wednesday, September 2, 2009
Brian Fortuna, a former professional dancer on both the US and UK versions of Dancing With The Stars, will be part of a new BBC show, airing in January 2010. The upcoming show is called Dancing on Wheels and Brian will be the lead choreographer. Competitors will be put through intense training to compete for a chance to represent the United Kingdom at the Wheelchair Dance Sport European Championships. Brian is an American DanceWheels Foundation 2006 graduate and a certified American DanceWheels Foundation teacher.
Courtesy of Fred Astaire Blogspot
I believe that belief is the foundation of everything that exists and everything we experience. We do not experience life as it is. We do not experience ourselves as we are or others as they are. We experience all of life through our subjective perceptions. Our perceptions of all that exists are mediated by our beliefs.
We do not see the world as it is. We see the world as we are. Everything we perceive and everything we believe fully determines how we experience our life, how we experience our world. What we accomplish or fail to accomplish is determined by our self-image. Our self-image is determined by what we believe about ourselves.
Few people in the world have an accurate image of themselves. Some think too highly of themselves, or cover up low self-esteem with arrogance and boasting. Most think too little of themselves, believing in limitations and weaknesses because someone told them that these limitations and weaknesses were real.
There is a story about the power of belief in limitations. It is the story of British long distance runner Roger Bannister. Bannister was a medical student who was a long distance runner. In 1954, the record for the mile had stood for nine years. This record was over four minutes. For many experts at the time, the holy grail of running the mile under four minutes was considered impossible.
But Roger Bannister was a medical student and he studied the human body. He did not believe that breaking the four-minute mile was impossible. On May 6, 1954, Bannister was the first man to run the mile in under four minutes (3:59.4). What was most remarkable about this accomplishment is that the record did not stand very long. Once the sub-four- minute mile was seen to be possible, his record was broken. Within a very short time, some 16 runners had run the mile in under four minutes.
The four-minute mile was not a barrier to the human body. It was a barrier to the human mind. It was a barrier of belief. Once that belief was shattered by Bannister, many others were able to breach that same barrier. They hadn't become suddenly stronger or trained harder. They simply changed their belief in a limitation that they had previously accepted, whether consciously or unconsciously.
The question for each of us is how many limitations have we accepted based upon what we believe to be true rather than what is actually true? This does not just relate to physical abilities. It relates to abilities of every kind, mental, emotional, relational, and spiritual.
It relates to qualities of being and qualities of character. What specific limitations have we placed upon ourselves because of limited beliefs? How can we uncover and overcome these limitations?
You have heard of mothers lifting cars off of their children, exhibiting what is assumed to be super strength. The point is, we are more limited by our minds and our beliefs than by any other factors. What this means is that it is theoretically possible for us to experience our lives with very few limitations if we have the courage and the faith to change our beliefs, to change our self-image.
Our history is filled with individuals who have exhibited great feats of physical strength and ability, moral courage, and spiritual realization. I believe that if we are capable of seeing great qualities and accomplishments in others, whether contemporary or historical, we have those same potential capabilities. I like to say, "If you can see it, you have it."
The secret to overcoming our limitations is to set our imaginations free. We can begin to imagine a greater self, to believe in a greater self, and to practice, in small ways every day, being that greater self. By using the magic of imagining and pretending, belief will blossom. As Jesus said, "All things are possible to him [or her] who believes."