We are living in an age in which we are bombarded with information. We have at our fingertips, the answer to almost any question we could ask; the ability to connect with anyone, at any time; and the power to hear about any event happening at this very moment, anywhere in the world. With this power, we should feel so amazingly connected, balanced, and focused than at any time in our history.
What is surprising, is that we seem to have this “digital-numbness” that has made us less connected to our present life. We have this compulsion to always be “checking in”. People sit in meeting rooms, restaurants, and living spaces together, but alone. Our attention is locked onto laptops, televisions, and mobile devices, instead of one another. We are overloaded by the fact that we can be accessed 24/7. We compulsively reply to texts and social media posts instantaneously, no matter what else we are doing or who we are with. We have completely disconnected from present focus, and that’s bad enough, but there seems to be an overall spiritual numbness invading our culture. In fact, I think it has reached epidemic proportion and has invaded every aspect of our world. You can't even take a tour of the most amazing places on our planet without seeing people on their devices.
This digital numbness has caused chronic stress, input overload, sleep deprivation, and cognitive distraction, all of which are harming performance, focus, relationships, leadership, teamwork, and our overall well-being. People claim they don't have time to take proper care of themselves, but the real issue is not time management, it's attention management. Civility is declining - and yet everyone wants to be treated with respect, honesty, and kindness.
The good news is that we are starting to recognize how out of balance our personal and work lives have become. We are hungry for more tangible human connections and a deeper meaning in life. Values are shifting toward what makes us feel more deeply alive: including being fully present and aware of the moment, and genuinely treating others with kindness, respect, and understanding. It’s time to release ourselves from our constant “busy-ness”, in order to appreciate the events, people, and the reality of the moment. Instead of being looked on as a strength, this constant need to be “busy” should to be recognized as a disconnection from living an authentic life. We must focus on the fact that taking care of our spiritual health isn't an indulgence, but is vital to our overall health and happiness.
No matter what stressors come our way - whether externally through events, situations, and people - or internally via our nonproductive thoughts and challenging emotions - mindful awareness skills can teach us to choose how to respond with greater equanimity, instead of compulsive, mind-less reactivity - and all the stress that creates. We learn to listen in order to hear, rather than listening in order to respond. By focusing on being present, we can be more compassionate and thoughtful in how we react.
Think for a moment what that might mean to you as a partner, as a leader, and as a person. When you can give yourself authentically, being fully present, just imagine the deeper connection you can feel with others and with yourself. Forward-thinking individuals from all walks of life, are choosing to incorporate holistic mindfulness skills into their lives. They have chosen to rethink their life from "busy-ness" to presence; living right here, right now, in this moment, and choosing to think and live differently from the mindless masses we have become.
There is a Mindful Revolution at hand and you deserve to be part of it! Start by committing to daily meditation and go from there. There are dozens of types of meditation, you just need to find the one that works best for you. You must decide to take care of your spiritual health by learning to tune in to your intuition, to focus on the present, and to release the judgments of the outside world on your life.
Need help? I can show you the path forward!
No matter who you are or where you come from, we can all agree we live in a world of turmoil. We could all use a collective deep breath and a time out to get our feet under us. Without a doubt, we all would like to find a bit more peace in OUR world. To find peace we need to focus on those two words, OUR WORLD. What does peace in OUR world mean to you? Take a nice deep breath and think about that a moment. Remind yourself that you only have power over YOUR world. Finding peace has to begin there.
I believe most people feel such turmoil because they are uneasy in their own lives. Of course, the political world is a mess, but it has been before and we've made it through. In this overly connected world we tend to look beyond OUR world and focus on the entire world. We have this uneasiness about OUR world because we've let our connectedness take our lives out of perspective. As a practitioner of mindfulness, I take the time to meditate and focus on letting go of the noise around me and try to put my current situation into perspective. It's not easy, people pull me out of perspective all the time. It takes work and practice, but it's worth it.
The real answer to finding peace in OUR world lies within us. We must ask ourselves, are we happy in OUR situation, OUR job, OUR relationships, OUR place in the community? What are we doing to have peace within OURselves? What practices are we following to be peaceful in OUR lives? Meditation, prayer, community service, church, are we doing anything other than watching social media or the news??
We have the power to control OUR world, not the entire world. We have fallen into this habit of wanting to be at conflict with everyone we disagree with. In this way, we marginalize people, pull away, dismiss, and fall back into our own little bubble of agreement. Again, we have to ask, are we happy in OUR little bubble? What can we do to bring change into OUR world to be at peace with those we may not agree with? We have to find that peace in ourselves.
To bring the change we want to the world, we have to begin with OUR world, the best resources are there, inside of us. Can you say that you treat yourself with the compassion, respect, understanding, and love that you want to see in the world? Take a deep breath and be honest with yourself. If you don't have it for yourself, how can you expect to ever see it in the world? If not in YOUR world, how will it appear in the entire world?
Oftentimes, we find we are harder on ourselves than we are on those around us. We are more likely to forgive someone else, than we are to forgive ourselves. We can fall in love with someone, without giving ourselves love in return. We have to start offering ourselves the forgiveness, love, compassion, understanding, and respect that we want to see in the world. By bringing these offerings to our life, we will find it easier to share them with the world. We will start to recognize them when they appear. Rather than focusing on conflict, we open our eyes to the wonder that is right there in front of us.
The world challenges OUR peace every day. It tries to tell us who we should be, what we should eat, where we should go, and what we should think. It tells us we need to make more money, where we should be living, and who we should be friends with. The world does its best to keep us separated into groups, pushing us to judge others for their differences. We allow it to happen because we are already so comfortable at judging ourselves. All this pressure causes us to be out of balance, it can be overwhelming and cause us to disconnect from others. It certainly doesn't foster a peaceful existence.
To overcome this, we must work on ourselves spiritually. Not necessarily in a religious way, but in finding a spiritual balance of the body, mind, and soul. Our spiritual wellness is just as important as our physical one. It requires practice, just as much as your body requires good food and exercise. Finding this inner peace and spiritual balance is a challenge and it takes work.
We must start by embracing who we are, our authentic self. Not the person others expect us to be, but the you you are before anyone else tells you who you should be. I recently went to a funeral of a friend and during the eulogy the speaker said "No one can deny he lived an authentic life". Can you say that?
The path to being authentic means we accept all of ourselves; the good, the bad, and everything in between. We understand that we are conflicted, complex beings with lives that are full of struggles and challenges. We have to let go of the need to be someone else, stop longing for the things we don't have, stop worrying about the future or dragging the baggage from the past. These things are denying us OUR peace. As long as we continue to do this, the outer world will lack peace as well.
When we are conflicted internally we see conflict eternally. What we project to ourselves we spread to the world around us. If we work to find inner peace, we can bring peace to almost any situation and we can learn to put the outer turmoil into perspective in OUR lives.
Peace works like a magnetic field, what we put out comes back to us....so does LOVE! When we embrace it, we can share it. What manifests within surrounds us in its field and comes back even stronger. Always remember the words of the song, "Let there be peace on earth, and let it begin with me". Trust me, it's much easier to sing than it is to do. But, if you invite the peaceful practices of meditation, prayer, self-discovery, and authenticity to be as important in your life as the outside noise that you tune into from the television, radio, or social media, you will find you have all the information you need, within.
Let it begin with me....no one can argue that one more peaceful person would be a good thing in this world.
I Am A River of Calm
Someone can throw a burning torch at the river to try to add fuel to the flame, but the moment it touches the water the fire is extinguished, the river cools it and moves on, peacefully.
Like a river, I strive to live in peace. When faced with fear and doubt, I treat them as if they are fire, smothering them in my peace, cooling the flame and flowing on.
When abuse or hate are thrown my way, I smother them in my peaceful river, cooling the heat and carrying on.
Living authentically, my life is that river, ever changing, facing the flames that life throws my way. I will continue to cool them in my calm waters, as I peacefully flow to the sea.
Wouldn't our world be a better place if we found ways to show more gratitude? Here's a little practice I've been trying, Instead of saying "I'm sorry", say "thank you".
Instead of "sorry I'm late", say "thank you for waiting for me".
Instead of "sorry, I messed up", say "thank you for understanding my flaws".
"Sorry I disappointed you", say "thank you for loving me unconditionally".
Not only will it change how you feel about yourself, it will bring more positivity into the conversation and the relationship by focusing on gratitude.
We never lose the people we love, even in death. They continue to participate in every act, thought, and decision we make.
Their love will always be imprinted in our memories and carried in our hearts. We find comfort in knowing that our lives have been enriched by having shared their love.
We will see them in the sunrise and touch them in the sand between our toes. We will hear them in the music and smell them in the air after the rain. Every flower and plant; every star and bird; if we look closely, they are there.
This is how we carry their love...forever.
Tomorrow is not guaranteed. You may not have a chance to take back the words you said to someone in anger or in haste. You may never get another chance to tell someone how much you love them.
The words you say today may be the last words someone has to remember you by. This shouldn't necessarily make you sad, but it should remind us how precious and honest every word should be.
Say the words that matter. Stand up for what is right.
Share what you love and say the words "I love you" to the person you love every chance you get.
Is Your Religion Full of Love?
It can boggle the mind that something which is supposed to be spiritual, is often used to divide and condemn. Faith and religion should be all about love. When you love in deep, meaningful and authentic ways — nothing else really matters. Jesus, Mohammad, Buddha, and Yoda (jk) all lived a life of love.
Since the dawn of time, I assume, people have taken these belief systems and turned their theology into an agenda. It poisons the very idea of spirituality. The gospel message so often turns into propaganda, then friends turn into enemies, and our relationship with God turns into a rule book used to separate and make you feel superior to others.
No matter what your theology, if it's not delivered with love, respect, and kindness — it's worthless.
Our faith is evidenced by how we treat others. We have to ask, Does the reality of your life reflect the theory behind your spiritual beliefs? If your faith is focused on pointing out faults and sins, before love and compassion, you may want to take another look at it.
It is MY belief that we should be inspired to emulate the actions and words of Christ — to selflessly, sacrificially, and holistically love others. Our theology should reinforce the motivation for doing things to make the world a better place — not serve as platforms to berate, criticize, and attack others.
In the end, what really matters most to the world around us is that we simply love as Christ loved...or whoever it is you choose to follow or not follow. Spiritually if you aren't living a life of love, you can never truly be happy.
Without love you have no spiritual ground to stand on.
Please follow my page and keep on loving, mindfully.
As we set our goals and start our plans for 2017, perhaps there is one thing we should focus on now more than ever. Love!
I know I seem to have lost the focus on this with some people. I realize that for the past year or so I unfriended and dismissed a lot of people because of what I saw as their extreme views. Not only the ones who's beliefs didn't match mine, but the extremes from both sides. I did it not because I don't think other's viewpoints are important, I did it because I didn't want to expose myself to the negativity that their comments, posts, or messages brought out in me. It was really more about me and my peace, than it was about them. It was a bit selfish.
With the start of a New Year, I think it's time to turn the page. It's time to open my mind back up and respect the opinions of others, as long as they respect mine. We have to remember, deep down most people are good. They only want what's best for their lives. That point always seems to get lost in the noise of disagreement. They simply believe their choice will bring them what they need. When living in a divided world, the noise and extreme rhetoric blinds us to the reality of people's beliefs. Everyone just wants to be happy!
Now that the election year is over, we have to remember what's important. Every day we vote for how we want to live our lives by choosing who we surround ourselves with. We do it by the way we speak, by the way we listen, and by the way we act around others. At the start of the New Year I have decided that I want my life to be about creating a space to promote the good in others. I want to be the person who holds a place for everyone I know to be the best that they can be. I want them to know I am here to listen and to trust, I am here to support them and above all else to offer LOVE.
Isn't it time we do what we are meant to do? We are commanded to love one another above all else. As we move in to this New Year, why don't we focus on kindness and forgiveness, empathy and compassion, treat everyone with dignity and respect, and above all else LOVE one another.
Don't Forget About LOVE. Let ALL you do be done in LOVE.