Welcome to my Daily Inspiration - Daily Quote. See today's daily inspirational quotes below.
May the world be kind to you, and may your own thoughts be gentle upon yourself. - Jonathan Lockwood Huie

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Assumption, Expectation, and Anger - A Personal Confession

Each of us is burdened by an unlimited number of expectations (demands) that we hold for the actions of others. We know that there is a right way to do things, and are often outraged when our expectations are not met. Usually, we are unaware that we merely have a strong opinion and point-of-view - we are sure that we know how everything is supposed to be. The following is one of the many times when my subconscious expectations have been shattered.

Monastery Housekeeping

Several years ago on a trip to Tibet, I visited a mountainside Buddhist monastery nestled in the spectacularly beautiful vista far beyond the bustle of urban Lhasa.

As the older vehicle that passed for a bus struggled up the mountain switchbacks, distant views of the monastery repeatedly flashed into my view and then immediately clicked off as we twisted and turned. Finally, we neared our goal, and slowly approached.

I was excited and joyful to be visiting this highly revered sanctuary, as my already deep appreciation of Buddhist monks had been heightened by my experience in a Lhasa monastery, where I was nearly brought to tears by the overwhelming presence of five hundred deeply resonate voices chanting their passionate connection to humanity and to the infinite. I could still feel their commitment and compassion resonating through my bones.

As we exited the bus and started walking toward the rural monastery, I was captivated by the crisp cool air, the stark blue of the cloudless sky, and the splendor of the mountains. I moved away from the group and walked to the edge of the plateau to get a better view of the vista. Above, the intense sun punctuating the clear sky; to the right, a landscape of drought-resistant plants and dwarf trees; across the canyon, a couple of mountain goats foraging peacefully; and below... the most immense pile of trash and garbage I have ever seen.

I have seen the urban garbage heaps that are euphemistically called "land fills." This small monastery's heap fully matched a small city's repository in size, and the noxious smells wafting from the canyon surpassed those of most any urban landfill. There were bottles, there were Coke cans, there were rusted remnants of ancient machinery, and there was garbage - today's garbage, yesterday's garbage, rotted garbage, and very rotted garbage - with no attempt whatsoever to cover it, compost it, deodorize it, or camouflage it in any way.

In a split second, my assumptions and expectations shattered like a stack of plates dropped by a stumbling waiter.

Buddhist monks weren't SUPPOSED to do this! These were the people who revered all life - the people who wouldn't step on an ant. These were the people who meticulously preserved manuscripts for thousands of years. These were the people whose every day was scheduled to the minute.

After a few minutes I realized that the giant garbage heap was actually very logical. These monks were focused on the divine and on compassion for all beings; they had little concern for the affairs of the world. In my value system, "natural beauty" held a place of honor; in theirs it did not.

Exercise: Think of a time when your assumptions and expectations about something or someone were shattered. Was the experience devastating or educational? Imagine the power of seeking out some of your assumptions and expectations and intentionally blowing them up.

Saturday, November 29, 2008

We climb the steps to nowhere - always. - jlh

We climb the steps to nowhere - always. - jlh

However carefully we plan our future, we are always climbing the steps to nowhere. While it is important to our happiness that we have an intent for our lives, it is equally crucial to accept in advance that we truly have no idea how our lives will turn out - and that is OK.

Friday, November 28, 2008

Honor tradition AND question tradition. - jlh

Honor tradition AND question tradition. - jlh

"We've always done it that way." Whether a belief about how things should be done dates back 2 years, or 20, or 2000 years, tradition neither confirms nor invalidates the usefulness of that belief.

Decide questions without regard for tradition - one way or the other.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

How to Live Without Anxiety or Worry

Living the Unconcerned Life - Choosing to End Worry

“Unconcerned” doesn’t sound so great at first. “Living the Unconcerned Life” may seem that we are advocating living unconsciously - without attention, thought, or compassion. Shouldn’t we want to be “concerned” about the affairs of our lives and show “concern” for the welfare of others? While being “concerned” might indicate that we are interested, have caring feelings, and consider something or someone important, at the bottom line, being “concerned” is being WORRIED, and WORRY is just a nagging form of FEAR.

Living the Unconcerned Life is living a life without anxiety or worry - especially in those situations where anxiety and worry would seem to be expected and “natural.”

Each of us is concerned from time to time. Have I ever been concerned? Yes. My tight chest and shallow breathing don’t lie. Concern and fear - Yes. So what is all this about Living the Unconcerned Life, if I have concerns? It’s a matter of degree and consciousness. How long and how intensely do I remain concerned, and to what extent am I able to consciously manage my level of concern?

In 21st Century America, almost all of us are concerned with money - to some degree and in some way. Most of us want more money, and we experience a high level of concern much of the time. A few of us think that money is bad or evil, and believe that no one should be allowed to be wealthy. This is equally an intense concern about money. Whatever our beliefs, fears, desires, jealousies, and other emotions regarding money, our concern about money is measured by the amount of time and the level of intensity we direct toward the subject of money. To be “unconcerned” about money is to spend no time or energy whatsoever on the subject.

Money is just one example of our concerns. Whatever we direct our time and energy toward, that doesn’t give us Joy, is a “concern.”

Exercise: Get comfortable and contemplate the following questions: How much time and energy do I spend on what I wear? Or how I look, whether I’m liked and respected, what I eat, my health, my bank account, my job, my retirement, my family, my safety, the weather, prices, shortages, government, big business, terrorists, crime, epidemics, foreign affairs, the economy, and everything on the 11 o’clock news?

Our Joy comes from living our own lives simply - never from demanding that others live simply - or from ever making any demands whatsoever upon others.
- jlh

Remember that “concern” is about the time, energy, and emotion that we direct toward worrying about something or someone - not whether we are for that something or against it. However, nothing that we do for fun is ever a “concern.”

“Concern” is a natural emotion for humans, but we can minimize our suffering by recognizing the nature of our concerns, and by consciously focusing our attention on our gratitude for the Joys of our life.

Today In-My-World: Whenever I recognize that I am experiencing a concern, I question what I am really afraid of - being very specific, and continuing to look more deeply. Then I question whether I choose to continue to devote time and energy to the concern. Is this concern worth suffering over - perhaps even to the degree of impacting my physical health?

Consciously going through this process works. It is very different from just trying to tell myself “calm down, don’t worry, everything is okay.” The intermediate steps of specifically identifying the lowest level, most basic fears and possible consequences are what make this process work. Try it.

Honor a season for rest and renewal

In agrarian days, the farm family worked long days Spring, Summer, and Autumn. Winter was a time to sit by the fire, eating from the root cellar and the smoke house.

Perhaps it is time to renew the tradition of honoring a season for rest and renewal.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

A Story of Money

The following story appears anonymously on a number of web sites and blogs. For me, it says what there is to say about money.

The American businessman was at the pier of a small coastal Mexican village when a small boat with just one fisherman docked. Inside the small boat were several large yellow fin tuna.

The American complimented the Mexican on the quality of his fish and asked how long it took to catch them. The Mexican replied "only a little while". The American then asked why didn't he stay out longer and catch more fish?

The Mexican said he had enough to support his family's immediate needs. The American then asked, "but what do you do with the rest of your time?" The Mexican fisherman said, "I sleep late, fish a little, play with my children, take siesta with my wife, stroll into the village each evening where I sip wine and play guitar with my amigos, I have a full and busy life, senor."

The American scoffed, "I am a Harvard MBA and could help you. You should spend more time fishing and with the proceeds buy a bigger boat with the proceeds from the bigger boat you could buy several boats, eventually you would have a fleet of fishing boats. Instead of selling your catch to a middleman you would sell directly to the processor, eventually opening your own cannery. You would control the product, processing and distribution. You would need to leave this small coastal fishing village and move to Mexico City, then LA and eventually NYC where you will run your expanding enterprise."

The Mexican fisherman asked, "But senor, how long will this all take?"
To which the American replied, "15-20 years."

"But what then, senor?" The American laughed and said that's the best part. When the time is right you would announce an IPO and sell your company stock to the public and become very rich, you would make millions.

"Millions, senor? Then what?"

The American said, "Then you would retire. Move to a small coastal fishing village where you would sleep late, fish a little, play with your kids, take siesta with your wife, stroll to the village in the evenings where you could sip wine and play your guitar."

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

It is never too late to begin.

I Dream This Day of Wondrous Things,
of Peace and Hope and Pride.
I Dance My Dance with Life Today,
I'm Filled with Love Inside.
- jlh

Today is a good day for everything you ever wanted to do but didn't believe you could. Choose something that has always seemed out of your reach, and begin today. Perhaps the smallest baby step today, and a slightly larger step tomorrow.

It is never too late to begin. Remember that you always wanted to play the piano, paint, write poetry, start a journal, read that challenging book, begin stargazing, learn a little Spanish, take up yoga or qigong, build something special. There will never be a better day to begin than today. Just do it.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Give yourself the gift of forgiving everyone

The ugliest word in the world is revenge.
It spells hate; it spells fear; it spells greed.
For my loss, I must kill; I must steal - must avenge.
It's your fault; you must pay; you must bleed.
- jlh

Give yourself the gift of forgiving everyone you are angry with - for every action you resent.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Inspirational Quotes - Spur for Inquiry

There are three kinds of aphorisms (quotations): "I could have said that," "I should have said that," and "no way - that's dumb." Each sort has its place in our lives.

I could have said that: Take a common idea, and say it with a witty twist of phrase - you have an "I could have said that" quote. Take the Benjamin Franklin quote "when in doubt, don't." There isn't much to argue with there. While we appreciate Ben's way with words, it's a fairly obvious idea to most of us.

Often what is an "I could have said that" quote for me is a "no way - that's dumb" quote for you. "Death is a fearful thing," said William Shakespeare. Again, Will has a way with words, but what of the obvious truth of his aphorism? For many people, it is simply unarguable that death is something to fear. For those with unshakable faith or a zest for living boldly, however, Will's saying is just plain foolishness.

I should have said that: These sorts of aphorisms introduce ideas that are new to us, but which we receive favorably. The words of Meister Eckhart "If the only prayer you ever say in your entire life is thank you, it will be enough." is possibly an example of an "I should have said that" quote. Unlike "when in doubt, don't," placing gratitude as our ultimate communication with God is not immediately obvious, and yet, at least for me, this is an "I should have said that" aphorism.

Of course, every aphorism is arguable for some people, so just think of a quote that, when you first heard it, you said "wow, I never thought of that, but it's SO true." That is one of your "I should have said that" quotes.

No way - that's dumb: For me, the "no way - that's dumb" aphorisms are the most valuable quotes, because they get me thinking. Clearly, many of my "no way - that's dumb" quotes are either obvious common sense or an inspirational revelation for someone else. That's the whole point. Each of us receives any particular aphorism in one of these three ways.

Whenever we hear or read a "no way - that's dumb" quote, our opportunity is to recognize that we are hearing someone's carefully considered wisdom. Not only did an individual speak that pithy thought, but enough others valued that saying as sufficiently worthy and insightful to pass it along to us.

Why was this expression of values worthy of repetition? What did it's admirers see that I don't? What is there for me to learn here? Is this an idea for me to consider adopting, or can I utilize this aphorism to better understand the rationale for my own values, and my reasons for rejecting the wisdom of this particular quote?

Quotations are dead unless a spur for inquiry.
- jlh

The greatest value of quotations and sayings is to get us thinking about new ideas. Let's take all aphorisms as a spur for inquiry. Let those ideas with which we disagree start us thinking, talking and questioning, but also let our comfortable, familiar, and inspiring quotes become a source of questioning. Remember that each of our comfortable inspiring quotes is a "no way - that's dumb" bit of foolishness for some other equally conscious citizens of our planet. Open minds - open hearts.


Inspirational Quotes are a Great Start for You Day

A great life consists of keeping your eyes on the distant mountains of your life purpose while continuing to put one foot in front of the other along the path of everyday life. However, it is all too easy to lose sight of the goal and get lost in everyday frustrations, angers and disappointments.

Including daily reminders of your life purpose in each day's routine can help keep your focus on your goals. Great reminders can include meditation, prayer, yoga, positive affirmations, and also daily inspirational quotes.

Inspirational quotes are typically fragmentary thoughts, taken out of context, that are best used to get you thinking about their underlying meaning and about the big commitments and values of your life. As an example, let's take a look at President Franklin Roosevelt's quote, "The only thing we have to fear is fear itself - nameless, unreasoning, unjustified terror." Those words were a part of President Roosevelt's First Inaugural Address on March fourth 1933, in the depths of the Great Depression. But is it necessary to understand the context in order to appreciate the thought and apply it in your life? Not only is the context not necessary, but in my opinion, it actually makes it more difficult to focus the inspiration on your own issues around fear.

Your fears are not about the depression of 1933, or about the Second World War, which many people think Roosevelt was referring to. Whatever your fears, it is inspirational to be reminded that fear, especially the formless fear of the unknown, is the true enemy of living a joyful and productive life.

As another example, consider Helen Keller's words, "Life is either a daring adventure, or nothing." Helen Keller overcame being deaf and blind from the age of 19 months to become an author and social activist. In that context, the quote has an extra "wow" factor - that someone bearing those burdens could still speak of an ideal life as a daring adventure. Nonetheless, as an inspirational quote to guide your own life, Keller's words, independent of their context, are a powerful reminder to focus on the big picture - what you came here to do.

There is often disagreement over the source of an inspirational quote. For example, Martin Luther King Jr. may or may not have said, ""Faith is taking the first step even when you don't see the whole staircase." Mark Twain quite likely did not say, "Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn't do than by the ones you did do." Does it make an inspirational quote less meaningful or less inspirational because the author is unknown? For me, the value of inspirational quotes is mostly in the words, and how I can apply them to my own life, rather than in historical context. I find the Faith quote and the Twenty Years quote to be two of the most inspiring and motivating quotes I have found - whoever their authors may have been.

Inspirational quotes can be uplifting or motivational, spiritual or practical. Some of the most inspiring quotes, such as the Faith quote attributed to Martin Luther King Jr., share several of these qualities. For maximum impact on your life and goals, try to include a variety of types of inspirational quotes.

Consider beginning the practice of starting each day by reading and contemplating inspirational quotes.

Begin Today, and Again Tomorrow

 This week we continue with our overview of the concepts of Simply An Inspired Life (SAIL) by looking at ACTION - the sixth of the Eight Points of an Inspired Life. You can find the previous issues of our daily inspirations and SAILings... in our Archive. The latest article in the SAIL library is How to Know When "Mister Right" is Mister Wrong - 7 Keys to a Great Relationship.

ACTION - the sixth Point of SAIL

I Act with Bold Courage - Taking inspiration from the powerful vision of my future, I boldly set sail with courage and intent. I hold my course with focused attention and relentless commitment, as I weather the storms of life. Live a Life of Bold and Courageous Action Inspired by Powerful Dreams. - jlh Choose with no regret. - mar

Begin Today, and Again Tomorrow

Life is either a daring adventure or nothing. Security is mostly a superstition. It does not exist in nature. - Helen Keller Every day is a day to take action. Whatever your choices, take action on those choices. Taking no action is equally a choice, just not a choice made from awareness. Make conscious choices, and take action on those choices - Today.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Cyanide Happiness - What Kind of Happiness?

That someone would name a comic strip Cyanide and Happiness, speaks volumes about the age in which we live. OK, so the comic is edgy and sometimes funny. OK, so it dances lightly with the subject of Death - and I cheer for that. OK, so it shoots some of our most revered "sacred cows" - just for sport - and I certainly applaud skewering beliefs that we believe just because our ancestors believed them.

In 21st Century America, many of us only look for happiness on the badass side of life. We play video games that keep our every neuron firing - constantly. We seek the tallest fastest roller coaster... the loudest band... the latest party... the drink, smoke, or drug with the biggest kick. We want the biggest, brightest, loudest, newest TV and iPod. We quest for MORE...

Live with intention. Walk to the edge. Listen hard. Practice wellness. Play with abandon. Laugh. Choose with no regret. - mary anne radmacher

What does it mean to "walk to the edge?" It might mean getting to level 37 on that "twitch" game or drinking seven giant margaritas and making it to work the next day. However, in a truly joyous and satisfying life, "walking to the edge" is about living into our full potential and being all we can be. Not in the sense of material wealth and prestige, but by becoming someone that we are proud to be... someone we honor... our own greatest hero. Let's ask ourselves, do we want to live on the edge of sensory pleasures - or on the edge of our ability to create a meaningful life.

What if happiness were found in the serenity of simple pleasures. What if we didn't need the newest gizmo... the highest high? What if happiness is in the air we breathe... slowly, deeply, and consciously? What if happiness is one fresh grape, savored with gratitude? What if happiness is in our oneness with all creation? What if happiness is about enjoying life exactly as it comes to us - without chasing after it? What if happiness is something we CHOOSE... regardless of our circumstances?

Never doubt the power of your intent.

As many raindrops join to form a great river of water, many souls join their highest intent to form the river of evolved consciousness.
- jlh

Intent (or intention) is an amazingly powerful force. Your intent can shift your whole world. The intent of a few thousand can shift the whole world for all humanity. Never doubt the power of your intent.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Stand Tall, Stand Proud.

Stand Tall, Stand Proud. Know that you are unique and magnificent. You do not need the approval of others.
- jlh

Some people think that Great Blue Herons are beautiful; some think they are ugly; many just couldn't care less. Do you think their opinions matter to this magnificent bird?

mary anne radmacher: The less I take the difficulties of my life as personal affront, and the more I use them as an opportunity to learn and grow... t

a quote from LIVE BOLDLY

The less I take the difficulties of my life as personal affront, and the more I use them as an opportunity to learn and grow... the easier I sleep at night. - mary anne radmacher

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Trust in the Light.

Darkness is not a force - it is merely the absence of light. Observe that when a light is brought to a dark place, the darkness disappears. Sadness is similar - when joy is brought to suffering, the sadness disappears.
- jlh

Open yourself to the Light! Hold back nothing, Trust in the Light.

Exercise: Write your most worrisome trouble on a piece of paper and feed it to the fire. Send your troubles up in smoke. Breathe deeply and rejoice.

What If Every Day Were Your Day - Celebrate Whimsey Today

today is your day to dance lightly with life,
invite rainbows & butterflies out to play,
today is your day to practice whimsey,
watch wondrous cloud animals parade your story,
find a magical white bunny down every rabbit hole.
- jonathan lockwood huie

Who made the rule that life has to be so serious? One would think that "life is serious" had been engraved upon stone tablets to judge from how most lives are lived. Get a life, smile broadly, sing loudly, paint your rooms in bold colors, search every rabbit hole for a magical white bunny, have caviar for breakfast and oatmeal for dinner, wear a purple coat with a red hat - dance lightly with life.

if being good isn't working - try being outrageous. - mary anne radmacher

Most of us seldom let the outrageous part of ourselves out to play. Notice that I didn't say "never," I said "seldom." Halloween is one of those exceptions. While there are certainly many "bah humbug" houses on our street, more than half the houses wear an acknowledgement of Halloween - and nothing about Halloween is NOT outrageous.

Mardi Gras is the other time that momentum builds to express our outrageous side. Both Halloween and Mardi Gras feature costumes - behind which we can hide our "real" identity as we try on our outrageous persona.

What if we like our outrageous side best? We "know" that the "right" thing to do is to suck it up, put the costume and the happy face back in storage for another year, re-dress in our frown and gray flannel suit, and trudge back to job, chores, "responsibilities," and "duty."

Stop! Maybe TODAY is the day to put the frown and gray flannel into that dusty storage locker, and start to LIVE. Not just today, but EVERY DAY for the rest of your life!

Celebrate today... Celebrate ME... Celebrate Life... Celebrate Rainbows & Butterflies... Celebrate Whimsey...

Take off your shoes and dance on the beach... Play in the mud... Sing at the top of your lungs... and don't care who hears you.

Today In-My-World: Do something Outrageous - just because I want to.

Don't die with your music still inside you. - Wayne Dyer

What do you want written on your tombstone? It won't be there if you haven't done it. Start today. If you want "never missed a day of work," go for it, but if you want it said that you "radiated happiness to all around - put a smile on every face - inspired us all to be the best we could be," you might want to start today to lighten up, and start to put happiness - yours, your family's, and your friends - ahead of material success or "achievement."

Follow Your Bliss. - Joseph Campbell

If you want to do it, do it - TODAY.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Play, frolic, and dance barefoot in the sand

Life is serious? Why?
- jlh

Is today a day to play, frolic, and dance barefoot in the sand? Just do it.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Double your joy, there are no limits.

today is your day to dance lightly with life,
sing wild songs of adventure,
invite rainbows & butterflies out to play,
soar your spirit, and unfurl your joy.
- jlh

Double your joy, there are no limits.

Pay It Forward - as an Expression of Universal Gratitude

While many of us recognize the expression "Pay It Forward" from the 2000 movie of that name, the concept is an ancient one. Benjamin Franklin described the process:

I do not pretend to give such a Sum; I only lend it to you. When you meet with another honest Man in similar Distress, you must pay me by lending this Sum to him; enjoining him to discharge the Debt by a like operation, when he shall be able, and shall meet with another opportunity. I hope it may thus go thro' many hands, before it meets with a Knave that will stop its Progress. This is a trick of mine for doing a deal of good with a little money.

The actual words "pay it forward" are used to describe this sequence by Robert Heinlein in a 1951 novel - perhaps the first use of this phrase.

We have reason to have infinite gratitude to the Universe for everything we have and everything we are, yet we cannot repay the Universe. We have gratitude for our distant ancestors, yet cannot repay them. We have gratitude to our parents for our very life, and to our parents or other caregivers for our nurture, yet we cannot repay them in kind. We may have many other gratitudes that, for one reason or another, cannot be repaid to those who were so generous to us.

Pay It Forward. Gift future generations in proportion to our gratitude. The nature of life is that we pay forward our biological creation and nurture. Our parents gift us with life and nurture, and we gift our children with life and nurture. While this much is essential to continued human existence, choose to take "pay it forward" farther - much farther.

Consider making "pay it forward" a way of life. As we have observed many times, expectation (demand) is always a cause of suffering. Rather than "expecting" to be repaid when we "loan" something to someone, consider the "loans" we make to be forward payments for the "loans" we received from our ancestors, nurturers and others. Request that any "loan" that we make be repaid FORWARD, when the recipient is able, and then completely forget about the "loan." It is no longer our business if, when, or how the "loan" is repaid - or is not repaid.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Often the simplest life is the happiest life.

Peace, Love, Health, Comfort, Joy, and the Light of Spirit - all the rest is nothing.
- jlh

Often the simplest life is the happiest life.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Regrets, Resentments and the Path to Forgiveness - Stop Anger & Live Happy With Conscious Awareness

I recently received a letter that began "How glorious it must be to be truly happy inside!" and continued with a request for my thoughts on regrets, resentments and the path to forgiveness. The following is my reply.

I am not always happy inside; I actually got quite angry recently. Simply An Inspired Life is not a perfect life; it is a life of conscious awareness. Often people go through life in a sort of fog - unhappy, helpless to address the unhappiness, and unhappy about the helpless feeling. That is what the Simply An Inspired Life approach can address.

There are two steps, the first of the mind, the second of the heart.

Have a talk with your mind (it really is something separate from yourself). Lay down the law. "My life begins TODAY. I am like a newborn. I have what I have today; I have my fingers, my toes, some people in my life, some material and financial state. Yesterday is only a dream - perhaps a nightmare, perhaps a cherished memory, but only a dream - nothing more. I will make all decisions and actions based solely on what I have today as a starting point."

To put this in practical terms, think of owning stocks. I own a share of stock for which the NASDAQ bid price is $10; how much is my share of stock worth? $10 of course; and there is no special emotion associated with that statement. But if I added that I bought the stock yesterday for $5, it feels different; and if I bought that stock yesterday for $20, it feels very different. The stock is still worth $10, and it makes no difference what price I paid - that transaction is now in the dream of the past - not real - not important today.

Personalize your conversation with your mind and be clear that you just won't tolerate any thoughts or actions that are not based on today's facts.

Moving to your heart, Breathe. Close your eyes and breathe deeply - slowly - fill your lungs with love and gratitude - exhale each and every trouble - again and again - gratitude in, troubles out.

Speak to your self from your heart as you would to a newborn baby, "I love you because I love you. You are a part of me, and I need no reasons to love you. Whether you cry or you smile, I love you. When you spill your milk or burp, there is nothing to forgive, there is no fault. You are love, I am love, and we are love."

The following is the beginning of the forgiveness chapter from our upcoming book:

FORGIVENESS - For Self & All

I Forgive Myself with Compassion - I forgive everyone, especially myself, for all actions and all inactions throughout my entire life. I accept that no one else has ever been to blame for either my joy or my suffering. The entire cause of all my joys and all my sufferings is my own emotional response to the events of my life, and I am committed to consistently distinguishing between my feelings about events and the physical occurrence of those events. I declare that everyone who has ever played any role in any of the events of my life is entirely without fault.

Would you rather be right or happy?
- A Course in Miracles

don't take it personally - it's not usually about you. - mar

I forgive everyone for every "wrong" that I believe they have ever inflicted upon me. I forgive them for my own sake, that I may release the venom - the anger and resentment within myself - and regain my joy and serenity. I have compassion for everyone who has ever been a player upon the stage of my life. - jlh

I'm angry. They wronged me. They lied, they cheated; why should I forgive them?

Forgiveness is not a reprieve that we give to someone else. Forgiveness for another's act or omission is a gift that we give ourselves. We are the one who suffers the upset and the anger when we feel that we have been wronged. It is our own blood pressure that rises when we hold on to resentment.

Forgiving others is a gift to yourself, given not because they deserve pardon, but because you deserve the serenity and joy that comes from releasing resentment and anger, and from embracing universal forgiveness.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Be an Original

Be an Original, smile broadly, sing loudly, paint your rooms in bold colors, search every rabbit hole for a magical white bunny, have caviar for breakfast and oatmeal for dinner, wear a purple coat with a red hat, dance lightly with life.
- jlh

Always be a first-rate version of yourself, instead of a second-rate version of somebody else.
- Judy Garland

Sometimes the things you really want sneak in the back door. Notice.
- mar

Friday, November 14, 2008

Sometimes newness just knocks on our door; welcome it.

Welcome the Unexpected.
- jlh

Mostly, it is human to dislike surprises - often with great intensity. Be open to new ways; sometimes newness just knocks on our door; welcome it.

Change of any sort requires courage.
- mary anne radmacher

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Out with the gray! In with color; in with the juice of life.

 Paint Your Life In Bold Colors - jlh Out with the gray! In with color; in with the juice of life. Even from the darkest night songs of beauty can be born. - mar

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Don't wait. Today - and again tomorrow.

Today is your day to Spread Wing and Soar.
Fly Life on Free Wings, and Sing to its Glory.

- jlh

Don't wait. Today - and again tomorrow.

I will dance a little. I will move with the wind.
- mary anne radmacher

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Urgent? Why?

Time, like life itself, has no inherent meaning. We give our own meaning to time as to life.
- jlh

Urgent? Why?

I will not be governed by the tyranny of immediacy.
- mary anne radmacher

A List of Gratitudes - a Thanksgiving

Making a list of gratitudes is an exercise that holds renewed power each time it is repeated. One can never be too conscious of everything there is for which to be grateful. So make a gratitude list today... and make another one next month, or maybe next week, or maybe tomorrow. Don't take ANYTHING for granted... start the list with "being alive," and "being ME." List EVERYTHING there is to be grateful for... NO Assumptions! NO Expectations!

While you're working on your list, let me share mine: I'm grateful to be alive and ME in this instant. I'm grateful for everything that has ever occurred to bring me to this moment of being exactly who I am today. I'm grateful to my distant ancestors who survived eons of sameness punctuated by moments of terror... who fought saber tooth tigers and barely survived each winter in order to pass down the genes that make me who I am today. I am grateful to my father's father who sailed from China alone as a young boy in the hold of a sailing ship, bringing my genes from desperate hunger to the opportunity of America. I am grateful to my father's mother and her ancestors who brought their part of my biological inheritance from Holland to "New Amsterdam." I am grateful to my mother's parents who brought their share of my genes from an unhappy Germany to a new beginning in Connecticut. I am grateful to my parents for choosing to bring me into the world - 17 years after my only sibling, and at an age when most couples of their generation had completed their childbearing. Just genetically, my chances of being ME are infinitesimally small.

I am grateful for everything my parents did and didn't do. I am grateful for the unconditional love I received from each of them. I am grateful for the lessons of my father's heavy drinking, and my mother's fear of strangers. I am grateful both for the joy of my mother's generous readings and other attentions to me, and for the pain my isolated early childhood later caused me. I am grateful even for the bullying and other painful experiences of my youth, as each one made me the person I am today. I am grateful for every success and every failure I have ever had... every new love and every divorce... every promotion and every firing... every smile and every tear.

There is simply nothing NOT to be grateful for.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Life is not about waiting for the storm to pass - it's about learning to Dance in the Rain. - Vivian Greene

Life is not about waiting for the storm to pass -
it's about learning to Dance in the Rain.
- Vivian Greene

Gather strength from the storm
- Jonathan Lockwood Huie
Is today a day to gather strength from the storm - a day to to learn life lessons for the next battle? Or is today a day to sit by the fire and watch the storm rage outside? Either way, the storm is just life. Give thanks for all of Life.

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Powerful Dreams Inspire Powerful Action

 This week we continue with our overview of the concepts of Simply An Inspired Life (SAIL) by looking at VISION - the fifth of the Eight Points of an Inspired Life. You can find the previous issues of our daily inspirations and SAILings... in our Archive.

VISION - the fifth Point of SAIL

I Dream with Powerful Intention - Opening my mind to Spirit, I trust my intuition to deliver powerful visions of my inspired future, and I empower my intent to transform those visions into reality. Vision stands on the shoulders of what is actual to get a better view of what is possible. - mar

Powerful Dreams Inspire Powerful Action - jlh

I am the call. From far beyond this life, I hear the call. From place beyond all place, I feel the call. From time before all time, I know the call. From one before all ones, I am the call. - jlh We are called. We are all called. We are called from beyond all place and time, by a power beyond all power. When you close your eyes, let your shoulders sag, and spread your arms wide, you can feel the call. The call says "You are here for a reason. Your life is important." The caller remains anonymous. We refrain from asking for a name. God? Our Ancestors? Gaia? Random biochemistry? Questions aside, focus on the message "There is a purpose to your life. Find your purpose."

Saturday, November 8, 2008

The quality of life is in how we view it.

A flower is a weed seen through joyful eyes.
- jlh

The quality of life is in how we view it. We see a miserable, evil, and threatening world when we look through unhappy eyes. We see a vibrant, exciting, and hopeful world through joyful eyes.

Friday, November 7, 2008

most beautiful when they are free

I choose to enjoy people as I enjoy a rainbow or a butterfly - they are most beautiful when they are free.
- jlh

Look at this butterfly, so beautiful, so delicate. I can enjoy this butterfly from a distance, but if I touched her, she would die. While not quite as delicate as butterflies, people also need private space and private time away from the demands of the world - even away from the attentions of those with whom they are most bonded.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Don't believe yourself.

Don't believe me. Don't believe yourself. Don't believe anybody else.
- don Miguel Ruiz

Liar is a strong word, but we are all liars. Not in the sense of intentionally speaking untruths, but in the sense of carrying so much historical and emotional baggage that none of us is believable. To lie means to speak an untruth, and virtually everything that comes out of our mouth is an untruth - an opinion, an assumption, a point-of-view based on our past.

Try-on don Miguel's idea and never believe that anyone's speaking - especially your own - is the literal truth. Consider all ideas as interesting points-of-view that are worth considering and may prove useful - nothing more.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Angry? Pause. Breathe deeply.

Being angry is as close as a human being can come to experiencing hell on earth. - Jonathan Lockwood Huie 

 Angry? Pause. Breathe deeply. Step back and look at the issue from a new perspective.

Life is magnificent - just as it comes.

May your mind whirl joyful cartwheels of creativity.
May your heart sing sweet lullabies of timelessness.
May your essence be the nectar of the open blossom of your joy.
May your spirit soar throughout the vast cathedral of your being.
- jonathan lockwood huie

Life is magnificent - just as it comes. Life has no need for fancy clothes, or lipstick. Life is no pig. Our life is the greatest gift of all creation. When we are unhappy with life - when we are shocked by the stock market, or dismayed by our choice of political candidates, let's not lash out in anger. But also, let's not try to pretty up life with some lipstick and some party clothes. See life clearly - no rose colored glasses - and then CHOOSE to love life. CHOOSE to be happy, be joyful, be grateful, be forgiving of everyone and of every act we believe has hurt us. Life just "IS." We get to CHOOSE our relationship with life.

Life is all in the perspective we take on it. - jlh

Today is a day to look at our life from different and broader perspectives. As we watch the stock market plummet, real estate values continue to decline, and our employment future in question, today would be a good day to look at our lives from a perspective of thankfulness for what we have and a perspective of wonder at our very existence and the magnificence of the world we live in.

Unexpected events can set you back or set you up. It's all a matter of - perspective. - mary anne radmacher

Life can look different from a distance: Put some distance between yourself and whatever is concerning you. Distance in space or time always creates a new perspective.

Get up-close-and-personal: Life looks different when you really get involved.

Look at Life in a Different Light: Shine a bright light on your issues, or turn off the spotlight and take a broader view.

Look from a Different Angle: Approach life from a new angle. Assume nothing.

Pretend You Just Got to America: We just don't see what is familiar. When we go to a foreign land we really SEE because we don't already ASSUME what will be there. Pretend your community is a foreign land and really SEE it. SEE your blessings.

See Life as Play: Who said that life has to be serious?

See How Blessed We Are: We have more comfort, more wealth, and better health than ever before in history or anywhere else in the world. If we are not happy, perhaps we should count our blessings.

Choose to See Beauty and Joy: Much in life can be seen as ugly or beautiful - it's our choice. Why would we choose to see any part of life as ugly?

Choose to Celebrate Life: Choose to view life from the perspective of Celebration. Celebrate family, celebrate friends, celebrate love, celebrate different perspectives, celebrate and give thanks for all of life.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Today is your day to dance lightly with life.

Today is your day to dance lightly with life. It really is.
- jonathan lockwood huie

Smile. Today would be a wonderful day not to take life so seriously. Today may end up the way you prefer - and it may not. Happiness is not about being a winner - it's about being gentle with life - being gentle with yourself. Let life be a dance, and choose the kind of dance you want for today - perhaps a gentle loving dance.

I Hope You Dance - the Lee Ann Womack song - has lyrics that align well with today's thought.

Monday, November 3, 2008

Your Intention For The Future Of The Entire World Matters.


Voting is an expression of three of our Simply An Inspired Life principles - CHOICE, INTENT, and ACTION.

CHOOSE your future, and take ACTION - be the hammer, not the nail.

Your act of voting does far more than adding one to the tally of your chosen candidates. Voting is an expression of INTENT. INTENT is a powerful energetic force. Our INTENT for the future of our world is the greatest power we can ever control - use it wisely and fully.

From one point of view, one individual's vote doesn't make any difference whatsoever. The probability of an election swinging by a single vote is infinitesimal. On the other hand, if everybody took the attitude that voting didn't matter, there could never be a democratically elected government - at all. So, does your vote matter? You bet your vote matters. And, at least as much as your vote matters, your intention for the future of the world matters. That's so important, it's worth saying again.
At Least As Much As Your Vote Matters, Your Intention For The Future Of The Entire World Matters.

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Celebrating Rainbows and Butterflies - the Small Miracles of Our Life

Rainbows and butterflies are themselves beautiful and highly symbolic, but they are also representative of all the small miracles of our life - the little things that are so easy to overlook, yet so awe inspiring when we take a moment to notice and to pay attention.

Give thanks for the rainbows, for the butterflies, for all God's creatures - large and small, for the bright blue sky and the soft fog and the gentle rain, for the tree veiled in the season's first frost, for the baby's laugh, for the touch of a hand and the whispered "I love you."

My own "Rainbows & Butterflies" are the squirrels chasing each other around the apple tree, the deer and her fawn who visit us for the apples, the magnificent hawk who swoops low through our yard, the sea otters at play on the beach, the ungainly yet graceful and serene manatees that once came to swim with us.

Consider these "Rainbows & Butterflies"

  • a gentle kiss
  • a baby's smile
  • the voice on the telephone that says "I'm glad you called."
  • the gentle whisper from the other side of the bed, "sweet dreams. I love you."
  • a song that touches our heart - whether a sad song, a song of love, or a polka
  • raindrops on leaves
  • brightly colored glass
  • a bird in flight
  • a basketful of kittens
  • a gentle fog
  • a sunset
  • a roaring fire
  • roasting marshmallows
  • the season's first dusting of snow
  • fruit and vegetables picked with our own hand

Exercise: What are my "Rainbows & Butterflies?" How often am I conscious of the small miracles that happen right before my eyes? How might my life be more Joyful if I adopted the practice of a daily Celebration of my "Rainbows & Butterflies?" How might that Celebration look?

How to be Happy - 7 Secrets for a Happy Life

7 Secrets for a Happy Life
- Jonathan Lockwood Huie

We all want to be happy, but something always gets in the way. There is never enough time... or money. Somebody is always failing to do what they are "supposed" to do... or not do. Our boss, our spouse, our kids, our parents, our friends, government, big business, whoever... "They" aren't doing it right. "They" failed us. We are angry, and we have a right to be angry. But is that righteous anger making us happy?

Happiness is not something anyone else can give us... or take away from us. Happiness is what we make of our lives... or don't. Whatever our circumstances, we can create a joyful life... or a miserable life. It is up to us.

Here are 7 Secrets for a Happy Life

1. Respect Yourself: If I don't love and respect myself, who will? It all starts right here with ME. If I think that I'm a pretty good person, it doesn't much matter what anyone else thinks. And the irony is that once I like myself, most everyone else will like me too. People enjoy being around people who speak well of themselves - not in an arrogant boastful way, but with honest self-appreciation.

2. Forgive Everyone for Everything: Angry and happy don't mix. Flush out the angry, and the happy has a place to put down roots. Until we forgive everyone for everything, we hold on to anger and resentment. Once we forgive, we can become happy. Forgiving is not a gift to someone else - Forgiving is our gift to ourselves - a great gift - the gift of happiness.

3. Be Grateful for All of Life: Each of us has been infinitely blessed - beginning with the gift of life. Whatever may appear to be missing or broken on any particular day, our glass is not half full, it is 99.9% full. More practically, when we feel ungrateful, we become unhappy. When we choose to feel and express our gratitude, the act of feeling and speaking our thanks creates a happiness within us. The more we express our gratitude, the more we have for which to be grateful. Today and every day, take time to celebrate life - whether an hour's meditation in a quiet natural space, or a brief moment's conscious pause to breathe deeply and celebrate gratitude for life.

4. Choose Happiness: Everything in life is a choice. There is never anything we ever "need" to do. Every action and thought is a choice and has consequences - pleasant or unpleasant. Whether you go to work today, change jobs, smile at the bank teller, yell at your kids, complain about life, hold a daily celebration of gratitude for life - they are all choices. Happiness is a choice. Stay alert and make conscious choices for happiness.

5. Begin at the End: You can never reach your destination if you don't have a destination. Decide what accomplishments you want recorded on your tombstone. Take a whole quiet day to consider your life. Be very clear that your happiness does NOT depend on reaching your goal. In fact, it's the reverse. Your happiness depends on accepting whatever life throws at you while you walk the path toward your goal. What is important for your happiness is having a goal, and working toward it.

6. Start Today: Whatever you want in life, start today. Not tomorrow - today. Let it be a small beginning - a tiny beginning. Your happiness depends on starting today - every day.

7. Accept that Life is NOT "Supposed to be Fair": Know that there is no single way that life is "supposed" to be. Demanding that life meet our expectations is a sure fire recipe for a miserable existence. Life is a game with no rules. Life just happens to us regardless of our best intentions. Our only path to happiness lies in being open to receiving whatever life throws at us - with Gratitude. Have NO Expectations of life.

[Originally published at Seven Secrets for a Happy Life]

mary anne radmacher: Do I have your attention?

I want to awaken myself to a life lived attentively. Not accidentally. A life where I recognize I am at the helm, AND that I have no control. Awaken to the contradiction that only makes sense when I admit it makes no sense.
Do I have your attention? - mary anne radmacher

Saturday, November 1, 2008

this IS your moment

start on your dreams, your impulses, your longings, your special occasions today. because this IS your moment. you aren't going to be any smarter, more ready, more able or more qualified than you are right now. right now. don't wait. - mary anne radmacher

Act with Bold Courage

Act with Bold Courage - Standing in the inspiring vision of my future, I boldly take every step - large and small - with courage and intent. - jlh

Today is your day. What are you going to do today that you will thank yourself for tomorrow?
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