A thousand declarations of love mean less than one caring act.

  • Do I speak of love but fail to demonstrate caring?
  • Do I rail against the plight of the less fortunate but never volunteer to help?
  • Do I proclaim that everyone has a right to their belief and opinions but close my ears and mind to what they say—or even denigrate that which does not agree with my ideas?
  • Do I say that I respect others but participate in gossip?
  • Do I bemoan poverty but fail to act with charity?

Words and intentions accomplish nothing without action.

I am too insignificant to change the world but have many opportunities to contribute to others, to perhaps improve one very small area of that one person’s life.  I can give a “thank you” card for no reason, pause and listen with my heart when someone needs to share, or just clean the toilet. I can serve a meal in a shelter, visit a lonely senior, give money or time to a worthy charity, or actually be patient and loving when I feel like rushing away or screaming. Our world overflows with words and intentions but has much fewer healthy, loving actions.  A tender act benefits the recipient and the giver.

Prayer: My inner guide, help me to realize that without action, my desires and intentions are as smoke in the wind; instill in me the initiative to act on my higher values and intentions; reveal the large and small acts of kindness that move me to be the best version of myself.  Give me the “willingness to act”; strengthen me with your spirit and power to actually “do” in addition to loving and caring. It is my will that your will be done.

Take three relaxing breaths; ask your inner spirit to guide your meditation; reflect on the content, pausing for a few minutes in silence.

Science without religion is lame, religion without science is blind. Albert Einstein

True science and spirituality need not be foes. Only mediocre scientists or fearful religionists deny or attack the other realm. Any scientific assessment is valid only for material things; it cannot measure anything that is not physical. For example, no scientific apparatus will ever accurately measure a mother’s love for her child. Scientific instruments can measure heartbeat, breathing, and perspiration; they can detect and quantify chemicals released by the body when close to, or thinking about, the object of love; they can even differentiate shifts in brain waves that are associated with these thoughts and on and on. These are all physical responses to love and not the underlying reality. Some quality of love exists beyond these components.

Likewise, science can measure the physical aspects of God (parts of material creation); science can discover the laws that govern the material creation; but some spiritual quality exists outside this purely physical realm and science can never prove or disprove the existence of such non-material reality. Spiritual power is real but the only proof is personal experience; the validation lies in the transforming results experienced in an individual’s life. Participation in this experience requires 1) open-mindedness and 2) access to a spiritual discovery process that delivers results and 3) implementing the process (actually doing the work).

 Prayer: Dear God, open my mind, heart, and soul so that may understand that the Infinite that includes all things. Grant me the harmony to live in this material world as I discover the reality of spiritual power.

Take three relaxing breaths; ask your inner spirit to guide your meditation; reflect on the content, pausing for a few minutes in silence.

Each of us have a indwelling divine presence that offers guidance, power, and security

We have been told:

  • Everyone has the Buddha within. Siddhārtha Gautama  550BC
  • Nor will they say “Look here” or Look there” for the kingdom of God is within you. Luke 17:21
  • We found the Great Reality deep down within. In the final analysis, it was only there that He may be found.  (AA Big Book 3rd Ed.)
  • Every human being has a “fragment of God” within—and a birthright to claim this spiritual force. (Urantia Book)

Each of us has been given a direct link to the creator of the universe; however, activating and using this connection is wholly dependent on the individual’s choice and actions. Our power of choice is the supreme and sovereign power in the universe. We can choose to reject this wonderful guide and energy; we can superficially accept it as an idea that has some merit, allowing it to “sometimes” contribute to our life; or, we may fully embrace this great reality. It’s our choice and the rewards reaped in this life, the quality of this life, directly depend on this decision and the subsequent action to open the channel that allows this life-changing power to flow into our life.

Prayer: my loving, compassionate inner spirit, my friend who wants only the best for me, help me aware of your existence in my heart, mind and soul this day ; awaken me to the reality of your presence, power, and love. Help me to choose and act so that I may flourish, prosper and grow according to your plan and be a living testimony of the power and love of God abroad in this universe.

 Take three relaxing breaths; ask your inner spirit to guide your meditation; reflect on the content, pausing for a few minutes in silence.

The good is often the enemy of the best; we can settle for mediocrity or strive for excellence

Settling for the good, or even the mediocre, has a definite ingrained appeal; indolence and procrastination are a part of the animalistic side of our human nature.  Choosing to do as little as possible gives us an easier life. But settling leads us to accepting mediocrity in relationships, careers, and all areas of our life. Fredrick Douglas said “As a general rule, where circumstances do most for men, there man ill do least for himself; and where man does least, he is least. His doing or not doing makes or unmakes him.”

Choosing to excel gives us a chance to enjoy the best life on the planet but also introduces potential pitfalls. We must exert a continuous effort, but not become a slave to struggle; we strive for the best, but try not to waste effort solving unimportant problems; we have to act, but avoid becoming a control fanatic—trying to make things happen our way, in our time and with the results we want. We grow to accept the inevitable mistakes, overcome adversity, and see disappointment as opportunity. We do not settle for mediocrity or complacency

Prayer: My supreme creator, parent and friend, guide me to realize that I only have this one life and have been given the power to choose how I will spend each day. Help me accept strenuous effort, challenges, and even adversity as opportunities to excel, as chances to become stronger, and as the opening to a better life. It is my will that your will be done.

 Take three relaxing breaths; ask your inner spirit to guide your meditation; reflect on the content, pausing for a few minutes in silence.

Make a “to be” list in addition to a “to do” list.

We get so caught up in living the rat race that we forget to actually live. We develop patterns—the mental-emotional response habits—that continually produce stress, anxiety, worry, and fear. We rush about, cramming as much activity as possible into each day; then, we crash, take a mood-altering chemical to help us relax and feel better or to sleep; and then get up the next day and do the same thing. Day after day after day. Yes we must earn a living and take care of certain necessities. But the art of living—the method of achieving the highest quality life—includes being the best version of our self and not just simply filling the day with actions.

A “to be” list might help.  Perhaps today, make a commitment to be more tolerant, compassionate, loving, patient, cheerful, kind or gentle; perhaps just pick one or two values that are important to you. The “to be” list can also include specific actions that move us to fulfill the desired value. For example if we want to be more loving, we commit to a definite act that will demonstrate love this day—we can show one person how much we value him or her, that we are grateful they share our life; we can extend an act of kindness without expecting anything in return; we can offer a hug, a massage, or prepare a special meal.

Prayer:  My dear loving spiritual guide, companion, and inner power, melt the hurry in my mind and soul this day. Help me be aware of values in addition to things; help me look for opportunities to practice the principles that are important to me; strengthen my resolve to take an action that reflects my true values. It is my will that your will be done.

Take three relaxing breaths; ask your inner spirit to guide your meditation; reflect on the content, pausing for a few minutes in silence.

There is no law that I must allow people to “push my buttons”

After all, they are MY buttons.

Do I give other people the power to make me angry? To make me feel guilty? To make me ashamed?  Do I react to what others say, how they look at me, or what I think they think about me? Do I silently accept what “they” say I should do; how I should live my life; what my goals, dreams, and aspirations should be? And then withdraw to complain or inwardly simmer because of whatthey” say, do, or think?

Every feeling, every beautiful or painful emotion I have is inside of me and no one else. No person has ever held my head and forced me to swallow a spoonful of anger or guilt or any misery. They simply offer each of them. I am responsible to accept or reject the offering; I am responsible for all my feelings and reactions. I can allow anyone to “push my buttons” or I can accept the truth that these are my buttons and no law or ethical code that requires I allow other people to control them.

Prayer: Dear God—the source of that infinite inner power that can transform my habits, patterns, actions, and thoughts—grant me control of my inner being; help me to not automatically accept the feelings offered to me by other people; guide me to be compassionate and loving but not allow anyone to dictate the way I feel or respond this day.

 Take three relaxing breaths; ask your inner spirit to guide your meditation; reflect on the content, pausing for a few minutes in silence.

THE “Yeabuts” cause continuing misery —especially if they justify resentments, anger, or other symptoms of self-driven will.

“Yeabut—I have a right to be angry”.

“Yeabut—you should see what she did”.

“Yeabut—they aren’t doing what they should do”.

“Yeabut—it isn’t right.”

“Yeabut—it isn’t fair.”

“Yeabut—I need that.”

“Yeabut—I don’t have the time.”

“Yeabuts” are masters of camouflage. They often hide selfish, self-centered, or self-righteous motives under a smokescreen of rationalization and justification or they mask immaturity with seemingly acceptable excuses. “Yeabuts” start with a tacit agreement. “Yes you’re right, but….” ; “Yes, I understand, but….”; “I was wrong, but….” Then, we sneak in the add-on, the second part that validates, rationalizes, or excuses our action or lack of action. These sometimes obvious (but often subtle) offerings prevent an honest acceptance and evaluation of our mistakes and shortcomings. The “yeabuts” are the crutch that supports the immature and weak; they stifle or outright prevent growth.

Prayer: My inner guide, I ask that you make me aware of “Yeabuts” today; help me to identify any words or thoughts that mask my mistakes or keep me from recognizing my self-driven attitudes.  Grant me strength to fearlessly face my shortcomings and the strength and guidance to overcome any that stand in my way of being of service to my fellow people.

Take three relaxing breaths; ask your inner spirit to guide your meditation; reflect on the content, pausing for a few minutes in silence.

I participate in gossip by talking—or listening. Without the listener, gossip dies

Do I have an inner void, a feeling of emptiness that makes me feel ‘less than’ other people? Is gossip one of my ways to compensate for this? Do I talk about other people? Do I share a confidence just to flout that I know something another person does not know? Must I try to harm another’s image with my words or implications just so I will feel better about myself? Or have I matured enough to realize that the act of demeaning another person, breaking a confidence, or diminishing someone’s value with my words reflect my own lack of integrity? Do I accept that many such acts are just efforts to build my value in my own eyes?

Finally, have I acknowledged the truth that listening to any such damaging talk indicates my immaturity? I only listen because either: 1) I agree with what is said, 2) I take vicarious pleasure in demeaning a another person, 3) I need this unhealthy communication to fill my inner void to make me feel better; or 4) I am afraid to stand for my values that do not agree with such acts. Not a single one of these motives contribute to my growth; all will lead to continued mediocrity or misery. I must learn to walk away, to cease any participation in gossip.

Prayer: Dear God, my loving and powerful inner guide, deliver me from participation in any act which leads me to lessen the value of any other person or decreases my integrity. Make me immediately aware if I participate in any form of gossip; give me the strength and guidance to handle all such situations with the tact and truth that shields my soul from harm while presenting a growth opportunity for all participants.

 Take three relaxing breaths; ask your inner spirit to guide your meditation; reflect on the content, pausing for a few minutes in silence

 

Sufficient to the moment are the troubles thereof

A Zen story:

A senior monk and a junior monk were traveling together. One day, they came to a deep river. At the edge of the river, a young woman sat weeping, because she was afraid to cross the river without help. She begged the two monks to help her. The younger monk turned his back. The members of their order were forbidden to touch a woman. Then, without a word, the older monk picked up the woman, carried her across the river, placed her gently on the other side, and continued his journey.

The younger monk couldn’t believe what had just happened. After rejoining his companion, he was speechless, and an hour passed without a word between them. Two more hours passed, then three, finally the younger monk could contain himself any longer, and blurted out “As monks, we are not permitted to touch a woman, how could you then carry that woman on your shoulders?” The older monk looked at him and replied, “Brother, I set her down on the other side of the river, why are you still carrying her?  

We can carry the weight of our past mistakes, regrets, and erroneous beliefs—or we can leave them. Sometimes our desire and determination are not powerful enough to sever the emotional shackles to the past; then, we call upon the mighty expulsive energy of our indwelling spiritual force to break the mental and emotional bonds.  Leave the past in the past; carry no burden beyond the moment

 Prayer: My indwelling spirit, your love, mercy and power are infinite. Please direct my mind; let it release all past burdens; let the flow of your spiritual power purge all regret, remorse, disappointments, guilt, and resentment from me. Help me live in and for this moment; to live for you and for the advancement of your children and this planet. It is my will that your will be done.

 Take three relaxing breaths; ask your inner spirit to guide your meditation; reflect on the content, pausing for a few minutes in silence.

Why—and how–do I react to people? Am I kind and loving, patient and tolerant? Or something else?

If I get upset, is my reaction because someone attacked me physically or degraded one of my core values? Or is it because of pride or a need to be right? Do I respond with little thought, without being peacefully centered? Or do I pause, pray and try to respond with maturity and love? People will do or say things that I see as hurtful or offensive; these can be real or imagined wrongs. I should strive for emotional balance that helps me to:

1) suspend the instantaneous response, the reaction that often is wrong

2) pause and find inner peace and guidance before I respond

3) take a moment to check if my emotional reaction is triggered by self-righteousness

4) act with patience, tolerance , love, courage and conviction.

I need not volunteer for abuse; I need to stand for my values but I must not be overly sensitive or react too quickly. I can recognize a significant growth step when I am able to pause between the feeling and the responsive action and then put forth a courageous, wise and loving action instead of a reaction.

Prayer: My loving spirit, my source of strength, wisdom and direction, help me accept my humanness; grant me guidance and power to grow more toward your ideal, to be what you would have me be, to love and exhibit your presence in all my responses to other people. It is my will that your will be done.

Take three relaxing breaths; ask your inner spirit to guide your meditation; reflect on the content, pausing for a few minutes in silence.

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