Cultivating Equanimity – Day 264 of 365 Days to a Better You

The standard dictionary definition for equanimity is mental calmness, composure, and evenness of temper, especially in a difficult situation.

In Buddhism, equanimity is one of the four sublime states of being. The Buddhist teacher, Gil Fronsdal, describes it this way.

Neither a thought nor an emotion, it is rather the steady conscious realization of reality’s transience. It is the ground for wisdom and freedom and the protector of compassion and love. While some may think of equanimity as dry neutrality or cool aloofness, mature equanimity produces a radiance and warmth of being. The Buddha described a mind filled with equanimity as “abundant, exalted, immeasurable, without hostility and without ill-will.

Sounds like a quality I’d like to develop more fully, but how?

Broadly speaking, meditation, prayer, or communing with nature can gain you temporary equanimity. The goal, though, is to bottle it so you can take with you into life’s adversity and, “Keep your head when all about you are losing theirs,” as Rudyard Kipling put it.

Buddha described seven qualities that create equanimity. These are qualities you and I can develop with or without Buddhist practice.

  1. Virtue or integrity
  2. Faith
  3. Well-developed mind
  4. Well-being
  5. Wisdom
  6. Insight
  7. Freedom

If this topic interests you and you’re wanting a little deeper dive, I’ve outlined the seven qualities and how to achieve them here.

Have a fantastic evening, my friends! Thank you all for your support of this blog and my work.

Ray

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Stop Skipping Self-Care – Day 256 of 365 Days to a Better You

You’re busy. You’re tough. You’ll just make it through the day on grit. You’ll put your family’s needs, your friends needs, your company’s needs before yours.

All of these are noble and needed sometimes. Sacrifice of your selfish ends for the greater good makes you the special person you are.

Here’s the rub. When you do that day after day, month after month, year after year; you lose perspective on the unequivocal fact that you’re only as good to others as you are to you.

You’ve got to stop skipping self-care and you’ve got to do it for yourself and for all those other people who rely on you. Some of these, honestly, I need to get better at too.

Here are some things you should take the time or make the time to do every morning to ready yourself for the day, for the service you render to others, for your goals and dreams.

  1. Gratitude– Wake up and say, “Thank you. Thank you for another day and another chance.” The late great Wayne Dyer commented many times on how he made this his first order of business each day. Begin in gratitude.
  2. Conscious showers – have e er taken a shower and gotten out only to realize you didn’t feel the drops because your mind had skipped ahead to your to-do list, your worries, or reliving the past? Your shower is one of your most personal and sacred times each day to be there for you or as Ram Das said, “Be here now.” Be conscious, feel each drop, relish in the experience. Be thankful that you have warm running water. Make it a few moments of your day you look forward to.
  3. Ready the body – take a walk, do some light exercise, stretch and prepare your body for the day.
  4. Ready the mind – pray, meditate, or say your affirmations. Set the mental tone for your day before your day sets it for you. You choose how you begin.
  5. Concretize it – journal your goals for the day or your goals for your life, blog, or make a video. Get your thoughts out of your head and put into the world. It’s the first step in realizing them.
  6. Feed the body – have a good breakfast. Take your vitamins. Take your meds. Give the body the fuel and nutrition it needs to get started and (yes, this means you, Ray) don’t skip meds, if you require them.
  7. Personal care – even if you’re not meeting the world right away, do your personal care routine just for you.
  8. Feed the mind– Listen to music or radio that inspires or fires you up. Watch a video. Read a blog or a book. Learn something. Take in some new information. Keep your mind expanding.
  9. Set the mood – whether you drive for a living, drive to an office or a worksite, or you work at home, do all you can to set a comfortable and inspiring environment for yourself. Place things that inspire you where you can see them.

It might seem like all of this will take too much time. By making the time for you a priority, you actually create a You with more to give than ever before.

Do you! Everyone else, as Oscar Wilde said, is taken.

Ray

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14 Beliefs That Keep You Broke and Helpless – Day 253 of 365 Days to a Better You

Your thinking is a huge factor in how healthy, wealthy, and happy you are in life. There are several belief systems or mindsets that I encounter regularly that will keep you broke and helpless. The significance of this was brought to my attention again recently when a friend of mine said, “I don’t have any dreams. I’ve just never been that kind of person.”

Often these self-destructive mindsets are passed from generation to generation. Parents consciously or unconsciously pass them to children who pass them to their children. Soon, there is a whole momentum for failure, defeat, and a loss of hope.

When these thoughts become the persistent and dominant lens through which you see your world, then they become self-defeating. You received these mindsets from someone influential in your life who was conditioned into these thought patterns and passed them along to you as part of your “mental DNA”.

Stop thinking these thoughts and replace them with something more positive and productive that moves you forward, empowers you, and enriches your life physically, financially, and spiritually.

  1. Believing in myself, my greatness, or my potential is conceited, selfish, or unholy.
  2. There is something wrong with receiving compensation for my talents outside the confines of a job.
  3. God will do it for me. (Believe in God or the Universe but don’t expect him do it for you.)
  4. Government will do it for me.
  5. Successful people are just lucky.
  6. Things never go my way. I’m just meant to fail. I don’t have what it takes to succeed.
  7. That’s just the way things are. They always have been and they always will be.
  8. I don’t need to change, adapt, or improve. I will keep doing things the way I have always done them.
  9. Let me just watch my TV shows one more week and then I will spend time on my dreams.
  10. My circumstances are someone else’s fault. My life is built on chances not choices.
  11. Playing the victim in any way, shape, or form. Every time you play the victim you victimize yourself again.
  12. Waiting for the “perfect” moment to take action.
  13. Expecting storybook endings that magically occur.
  14. The belief that you must have everything right now, even if it means becoming a high-interest debt slave.

Reduce or eliminate these mindsets and you are well on the road to being less helpless and more financially successfully.

I love you all and wish you only the best this week. Let’s maintain better mindsets and change our lives!

Ray

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Time-Crunched Self-Talk – Day 238 of 365 Days to a Better You

“I’m going to be late. Damn it! I’m always late. There’s just not enough time. I wish I had more time! I just have so much to do.”

This may be an extreme example (minus the explicative), but do you find yourself engaged in time-crunched self-talk? I know I do. I know I get hurried, rushed, and convinced I don’t have enough time to “get it all done.”

Consider slowing down to speed up.

We can all agree that time is valuable and that our human existence is finite. However, our relationship to time, in the modern world, is one of slave and master. It’s destructive and it’s unhealthy. And you thought it was just your charming Type-A personality.

We use words like deadline, due date, drop dead date. We attach adjectives like looming. Our subservience to our time commitments, even at the expense of our well-being, is astonishing.

I have questions for you. Is anyone actually going to die, if your report is a day late? Will your company go out of business? Will it’s stock crash? Ok, yes, there is that .01 percent of the time where that is true. The other 99.99 percent of the time it’s not even close to true. Yet, we break ourselves as if it were.

One of the first questions I always ask when I take on a project, “Is your date a real date…a real business or moral imperative or is it a date someone made up out of thin air?”

Guess what? Most deadlines and due dates really aren’t.

I’m not saying you shouldn’t be a person of your word. I am saying take a breath. I am saying most of the time emergencies in our lives…the ones we self-talk to ourselves at the stoplight you just missed…are total fiction.

Why stress so much? The only person that’s dying when you do, is you.

Power hack: Here are some simple tips you can apply when you feel the time crunch stress and the self-talk starts flowing.

  1. Thought stopping is a fantastic technique to use with any kind of negative self-talk.
  2. Tick-marking is a technique I created many years ago. You literally have have a sheet of paper and a pen. Every time you think a time crunching thought, make a tick mark on the sheet. It’s a great way to notice how often it’s happening and bring more awareness.
  3. Ask for more time. As I mentioned above, few deadlines really are. You’ll be surprised how often the answer will be yes, if you ask.
  4. There’s actually plenty of time. If you stop rushing through life worried there’s not enough time, you’ll find there’s plenty of time. Fill your day up with life not worrying about time.
  5. Make time serve you. Don’t be a slave to time. Make it your tool.
  6. There’s no moral imperative for you to risk your health for imaginary dates.
  7. Lose the time aphorisms. We have a million time aphorisms in our culture telling us why hurry, hurry, hurry is the only way to be. It’s not. That’s just a paradigm.
  8. Regroup. Take a breath. Take a break. Take a walk.

Our time is finite, but we expand it by not stressing over it so much. slow down.

Thanks for stopping by. Have a great Saturday!

Ray

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Random Motivational Thoughts #4

Good morning, my friends. May these random motivational thoughts get your day off to an inspired start.

Ray

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I AM Affirmations – Day 213 of 365 Days to a Better You

Today I’m sharing a brand new recording of I AM affirmations. These affirmations are an assortment of affirmations with empowering words following I AM. The goal is to help you embody these words in your being.

Bookmark and listen to this recording for two to three weeks to allow the affirmations to infuse your consciousness.

You are every one of these affirmations already. Time to own them!

Thanks for watching and for your support!

Ray

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As We Thinketh, So Shall We Be – Day 186 of 365 Days to a Better You

That statement holds a ton of power and also a lot of responsibility. Many people will argue against it, citing all the reasons we’re just powerless leaves floating down the rushing river of existence. I wonder.

We’ve been told that our minds make our world from time immemorial. It’s time for us to start understanding the power we possess.

“Man is made by his belief. As he believes, so he is.” -Bhagavad Gita

“All that we are is the result of what we have thought: we are formed and molded by our thoughts.” -Dhammapada

“As a man thinketh in his heart, so shall he be.” -Proverbs 23:7

“You are today where your thoughts have brought you; you will be tomorrow where your thoughts take you.” -James Allen

“We become what we think about most of the time.” -Earl Nightingale

“What you think about, you bring about.” -Bob Proctor

“If you think you can, you can. If you think you can’t, you’re right.” -Mary Kay Ash

You can choose to believe all these sources are wrong or you can get used to the idea that what you need to succeed does and always has resided within you.

Stay inspired!

Ray

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