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Counting The Days...

How many dawns have you seen, how many sunsets? You know without thinking how many years you’ve been on the planet but how many days, how many dawns, how many sunsets?

We can easily dismiss a day as something relatively insignificant but when you really consider it our days can be seen as the beautiful self contained steps of our lives. In many ways we are conditioned to think in years and benchmark these years against what society might expect from us given our age in years.

It’s also usual to term our plans in years -

“this time next year...”

"in two years time I will be...”

"before the end of 2015 ...”,

where will you be in your career in five years time ...? (where have you heard that one before?).

A day is something precious - a time in which even a small achievement can be so satisfying and these “small” achievements will add up.

Think of it like this – have you lived 10,000, 20,000 days? If even on one tenth of these days you achieved something “small” but satisfying what would all that add up to?

I’ve just passed 23,500 but I know I still have thousands of chances to form intentions and through being aware of how precious a day really is, to move steadily day by day towards their outcome.

A day even mirrors our lives – it is born (dawn), it moves through youth (morning), has its middle age (midday), moves towards its maturity (evening) and then it sleeps. But it is reborn and offers us another chance to re-live its precious time.

We can easily name a day, give it a fixed position in the calendar and satisfy our minds that we know precisely where it is in time. But when you think of what a day really is – our Earth spinning on its axis on its path around the sun in a solar system speeding through space; an event that happens often but is never the same - never was and never will be. There are many Tuesdays, many Wednesdays but only the name we give them is the same.

So if you feel stuck in life think of all the chances you have to move forward – thousands!

A day is but a small fraction of your life but thinking of it as another chance to start again will help build patience and trust in your future. For more on this see our page on: Patience And Trust Read More...

Also visit this website for more on age in days and much, much more:Peter Russell

Monday, Monday....

Its Sunday evening, and that Friday feelings is long gone,despite the sunshine dark mind-clouds are gathering - tomorrow is Monday.

From the outside it may seem like a pleasant ending to the weekend but inside the fearful thoughts have started to surface; the meeting, the deadline, the conference call – soon it will be “back to brass tacks“as my mother used to say.

If these feelings are familiar and occur on a fairly regular basis; one thing is sure - you are not alone – millions around the world suffer from that “Monday Morning Feeling”.

“Every Monday morning, we ease ourselves into our straightjacket, put on our mask and carefully hide away deep within ourselves that which we hold most dear”

The Monday Morning Feeling - Joep P.M. Schrijvers

That is a wonderful quote and holds a clue to what might be causing the gloomy feelings ... “carefully hide away… that which we hold most dear”.

If what you do most of the time to pay the mortgage, educate yourself or the kids or just to make ends meet is not “what you hold most dear” once again you are not alone.

Most of just don’t seem to get to do what we hold most dear or even get to know what it might be.

But if you can see the “Monday Morning Feeling” as a message rather than a sentence you can begin to explore what it is you do hold most dear.

This can be exciting but it does not have to be dramatic. What you really want may be more obvious than you have imagined. It could be something “in the back” of your mind. Something familiar but always dismissed as too unrealistic, or perhaps even just a new way of looking at what you are doing now. Maybe the most powerful word you can use to begin with is … why?An answer to that simple question about the “Monday Morning Feeling” could start a journey to a more peaceful place.

And that question is well worth asking because in the words of the song –“Oh, Monday, Monday, won't go away; Monday, Monday, it's here to stay”.

So if you can ease the gloomy feelings or, dare I say it, begin to look forward to Monday, how good would that be?

From: The Monday Morning Feeling by Joep P.M.Schrijvers

For more on work and happiness see:

“Invisible Means Of Support” – Not Exactly a Banking Term!

Dr Joseph Murphy: The Power of your Sub-Conscious Mind says..

“The trouble with most people is that they have no invisible means of support. When business falls away, the stock market drops, or they lose their investments, they seem helpless.”

On first reading that quote I thought there was a typo – surely he meant “visible” means of support?

But it was soon obvious that he was talking about something much more powerful than a visible means of support. He was talking about something that is the origin of all visible means of support.

Something that is the basis of an abundant state in all areas of life: relationships, health, career and financial wellbeing.

The idea (the reality) is simple –

“The source of all abundance is not outside you. It is part of who you are”

Eckhart Tolle - A New Earth

That part of “who you are” is invisible, certainly to others but in many cases to ourselves as well - and it can be not so simple to find.

One helpful starting point is to acknowledge that everything “outside you” changes - relationships, health, career, financial wellbeing and most times trying to keep “in control” of all this is stressful and worrying. And of course the stress and worry usually lead to something “going wrong” which leads to more stress and worry.

But accepting change and the fact that you can’t control everything will lead to a shift in focus from those outside events to what is going on the inside.

The shift is important because with practice this new focus will reveal the “invisible means of support” that will always sustain you.

For more on Abundant Living See:

Being Aware of "Awareness"...

“Most people, even though they don’t know it, are asleep. They’re born asleep, they live asleep, they marry in their sleep, they breed children in their sleep, they die in their sleep without ever waking up.They never understand the loveliness and the beauty of this thing we call human existence.”Anthony De Mello – Awareness.

If you are reading this you know very well you are not asleep – so what is he talking about?

Here is another quote that gives us a clue -

“Thinking seems to constitute our “default setting” rather than awareness.”

Adjusting Your Default Setting by Jon Kabat-Zinn Excerpted from Mindfulness for Beginners: Reclaiming the Present Moment—and Your Life.

The ability to think is a great asset for us, we can think a situation through, we can plan, we can envisage an outcome and we can remember the past.

This is powerful stuff and it marks humans out as the pinnacle of evolution – or so we think.

But does it ever stop?

Is thinking in fact an addiction - a strong and harmful need to regularly do something?

When we are asleep we are obviously alive but we are not aware of our surroundings. Could it be that even when we are awake our “default setting” of constantly thinking leaves us “asleep” to something else that’s important?

It is true - and that something else, as Anthony De Mello puts it, is “the loveliness and the beauty of this thing we call human existence.”

Being aware of this fact is powerful – powerful enough to change your life!

For more on “Being Aware of Awareness” see...

Mindfulness ... and taking life for granted.

“Mindfulness provides a simple but powerful route for getting ourselves unstuck, back into touch with our own wisdom and vitality… It is the direct opposite of taking life for granted.”

Jon Kabat-Zinn - Wherever You Go, There You Are

Life is so very busy - advertising, the news, Facebook, Google, traffic jams, being here and wanting to be there, the next meeting, the next pay cheque, Monday morning...”but just keep going the summer holidays are only two months away”!. “That reminds me I must book the flights; or will I get the travel agent to do it”? - It does go on and on - doesn’t it!?

It’s also very hard not to be busy and in many ways being busy is a good place to be. It stretches you, keeps you going, helps make ends meet, keeps your mind active and focussed. But often to keep that focus there are things we relegate to the periphery of our minds, things some would argue are “the best things in life”.

And yes, we all know that old phrase “the best things in life are free” – and maybe that’s the irony, they are free, available, all around us but so easy to take for granted.

Jon Kabat-Zinn says it so well; mindfulness gets us “back in touch with our own wisdom and vitality”. “Our own wisdom”- we all have this wisdom but we are also experts at burying it.

We all know our child’s smile is much more important than a traffic jam, a glorious sunset is much more than a display of colour and the touch of someone we love is worth much more than the next pay cheque.But too often our busyness breaks the vital connection with that wisdom and keeps our focus on the noise of life.

Practicing mindfulness helps broaden not weaken your focus. It can accommodate the busyness but also add a vital, and free, ingredient to the mix – an appreciation for your life as it is now.

In just a moment’s reflection you will be able to find your own triggers to mindfulness; the sounds of your children playing, the complexity of that tree outside your window, the memory of a childhood friend- whatever it might be...You can catch these precious feelings and use them not to dull your focus on the busyness but to see it as just part of a much bigger existence.

It will take practice and the mind will resist but like Calvin, wondering “what’s on TV” could soon seem a little less important-

From: A Calvin and Hobbes collection by Bill Watterson

For more on Mindfulness see:

What is Mindfulness

Decisions Decisions!

If you feel you made a “bad” decision about something in the past and the outcome is still “haunting” you please take heart – there is another way to look at this.

You may feel very attached to or stuck with the life circumstances the decision has created and find the evidence of this “bad” decision so much part of your life that thoughts about it dominate your thinking.

But the key to releasing yourself and finding the freedom to move on is contained in the three words “dominate your thinking”.

First – forgive yourself, this is not the same as “letting yourself off the hook” or pretending you didn’t make the decision.

Find time to be alone, turn off your phone switch off the TV,take three deep breaths, go to a mirror and look yourself straight in the eyes. Hold your gaze and say – “despite all the circumstances at the time I did make the decision, I am responsible” – now it’s important to smile.

Now think of the word responsible as “response able” and what happened in the past is gone – your job now is to know that you are able to respond to circumstances in a meaningful way.

Next find new empowering thoughts to replace the old damaging ones and allow these to “dominate your thinking”. Accept that this may be hard work but not as hard as continually “haunting” yourself with the past.

You will find new empowering thoughts by taking time out to look inside yourself and through this becoming more aware of the source of constant negative thinking - ego.

Society usually convinces us that “finding your inner self” or “going inside” for answers is not practical or part of the “real world” – as if this “real world” was perfect and somehow many of us don’t live up to it all the time.

What is real and very practical is gaining knowledge about ego and how it will disempower you if you are not aware of it.

Knowing about ego and using this knowledge to replace negative disempowering thoughts with ones you know will improve your life is as real as it gets.

For more on this subject see:

The Meaning of Ego

Daily Meditation

Rigid rules... or a “Guiding Principle”?

“If you do what you’ve always done, you’ll get what you always got.” Mark Twain

“If you do what you've always done, you'll get what you've always gotten.” Anthony Robbins

“Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.”Albert Einstein

If those three guys are saying it there must be something in it. And if things are not quite where you want them to be, stand back and see if you can identify patterns in your life.

It could be something like this:

* Repeated relationship problems or -

* Constant lack of money or -

* One “dull” job after another

The bad news is that when we don’t see the patterns they tend to get more severe -

* The relationship pattern leads to loss of friends or a really difficult breakup.

* The constant lack of money pattern leads to being “broke”.

* The “dull” job pattern leads to being fired.

Standing back and taking self blame out of the picture you will begin to see that most of your thoughts and decisions come from the way you were taught to see the world. This view of things was formed from an interpretation of countless incidents and messages received at times when you couldn’t or didn’t question them.

It became a template or an operating system that is automatically referred to when thinking and making decisions.

These rigid rules automatically bring up the thoughts and the decisions that often have us wondering:

– “how did this get so bad”? Or - “why is this always happening to me”?

But so often the act of “standing back” to see our patterns is difficult work.

If you’ve never seen an elephant it can be like being asked to describe it while staring at one hind leg from two inches away.

But good news about doing this difficult work is contained in a free compelling book by Davide De Angelis called The Guiding Principle – Dynamic Love - Davide De Angelis

In the book powerful language describes how we blindly refer to our conditioned selves for guidance and how “almost everyone carries around an idea called “the future” like a terrible burden".But the “Will of Nature” is your unconscious will to exist and can be accessed by using your own will power. The “Will of Nature” is “The Guiding Principle” – powerful, accessible, unique to you and an infinitely more joyous place to refer to than the failed system of a small conditioned self.

The Guiding Principle - Dynamic Love is a unique book, with powerful and liberating teachings - Davide De Angelis

For further thoughts on the conditioned self see -The Meaning of Ego

The Reward Of Patience (..and Trust)

We planted it about 10 years ago, but somewhere in the passing years it became a forgotten flower.

Tucked away at the back of a garden it was a fairly innocuous green clump. Each spring it was just pleasant enough to be spared a very amateur gardener’s inclination to overdo the yearly clear out. It may have flowered in the early years, but this was long forgotten. It became known as the “Tiger Lilly” and its lack of flowers was vaguely noted each summer.

Spring 2014, the very amateur gardener dons his gloves and gets to work. Looking closely at the “Tiger Lilly” for the first time in a year it was obvious a change had come about. Tiny buds were appearing all across the green stems. The plant was again spared the clearout, and we waited in anticipation of what might come.

Then one clear morning a shock of purple brightened a place in the garden were only green had been king for so long. The “Tiger” had flowered after so many years. The very amateur gardener doesn’t know and may never find out why this happened, but looking at the beautiful flowering display one word keeps coming to mind – patience.

For reasons best know to nature the “Tiger” had waited, spring after spring, no buds, no flowers nothing to crown its sleep through winter. But now the reward had come, dazzling color and a beautiful scent have transformed a dull garden corner.

It was worth the wait; patience has triumphed. As with the “Tiger”, so too with our projects and plans; plant the seed, keep the vision clear, take action and even if it looks like nothing is happening remember the “Tiger”... patience will bring its reward...


Encouraging Words for Tough Times

Are things not going your way?

Is it tough at the moment,tougher than you might want to admit? Is your “brave face” a mask that it is increasingly difficult to maintain? You may have heard the proverb “this too shall pass” but the question may keep coming up in your mind “when”?Another way of looking at the question of “when” is this –

“I’m looking forward to looking back on this”

Sandra Knell

This little quote is contained in a chapter called “When the Going Gets Tough” in the wonderful book No Ordinary Moments - by Dan Millman

The book, and particularly this chapter, contain a very strong message about how “tough times” can transform us.

When you are in a life situation that is hard, talk of transformation may seem like something “for later”, something you can think about when this particular problem is solved. But as Dan Millman also points out –

“But when the going gets tough, we want to feel better, to stop hurting; we want life to get easier. When we’re struggling in the quicksand, we don’t want encouraging words - we want a tree branch or a rope. Sometimes, however, a word or a phrase, or an uplifting idea are all we have to hang onto.” There are lots of uplifting ideas about transformation in Dan Millman’s book, and you will also find some of our own ideas here with Rose And Richard

It is comforting to know that you need not be alone in a tough life situation, and that although a “silver lining” may be hard to see, being open to change and transformation will make the situation much more meaningful.

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