Morning Gratitude – Day 335 of 365 Days to a Better You

Thank you. There’s no better two words to start every day. We should keep what we’re grateful for close. It reminds us what we have. It reminds us what and who we’re fighting for. It reminds us to be humble.

When you think about it, how can you expect more from God or the universe or your society, if you’re not grateful for what you have?

Try starting each day by writing down a few things you have to be grateful for. They can be standard things that you continually appreciate or things unique to today. Start your day with a thank you and your whole seems a little better.

Here’s my list for this morning.

  • I’m grateful for another 24 hours to be a better person than I was yesterday. Thank you!
  • I’m grateful for a warm house on a cold, snowy morning. Thank you.
  • I’m grateful for my family. Their support along this life’s journey gives me a foundation. Thank you.
  • I’m grateful for the freedom to speak my mind freely. Thank you.
  • I’m grateful for this yucky cold that arrived yesterday because it reminds me to be grateful for healthy days and access to healthcare when I need it. Thank you.
  • I’m grateful for easy access to food and clean water. Thank you.
  • I’m grateful for the courage to fight for a world where everyone has their basic needs met. Thank you.
  • I’m grateful for access to information and for the freedom to process it as I choose. Thank you.
  • I’m grateful for all the kind people and positive experiences that are on their way to me today. Thank you.

Never roam far from things to be grateful for. They warm the soul, they feed the mind, and they inspire a better you.

Just in case no one else reminds you today, you ARE AWESOME!

Ray

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Let Idealism Be Your Realism – Day 325 of 365 Days to a Better You

Did you used to be young and idealistic? Are you right now? If you’re part of the first group, when and where did you lose it? If you’re part of the second group, please, please never lose it.

“Realism” is too often used as an excuse for dashing hope, giving new things a try, or seeing a better world or a better you is even possible.

“That’s just not realistic,” says your inner voice, the naysayers, the media , and current structure of the world. Sometimes it appears in the form of a command, “Be realistic!” Sometimes in the form of an excuse to yourself, “I’m just being realistic.”

Have you ever noticed that being realistic is never aimed in positive direction? No one ever says they’re being realistic by expecting good things to happen or the world to become a better place.

No, realism, in it’s most common use, is a wet blanket, a limiter, a euphemism for closet negativity.

If being realistic was the standard, what great thing ever would have been tried much less achieved?

So, I don’t buy it. When I hear someone pull out the realism card, I just hear someone ceding to the status quo, giving up without trying, and hoping they can convince others to remain hopeless and mediocre along with them.

I say to you. Let idealism be your realism. Never become such an “adult” that you stop seeing and striving for big possibilities. The truth is the realistic status quo we live in just isn’t good enough. It just doesn’t ensure the freedom, security, and basic needs of enough people on this planet. It doesn’t point us to the stars or to higher spiritual achievement.

Let’s choose to become totally unrealistic. Let’s bust the ceilings, break the barriers, and open the doors to a new day for human beings and all living creatures on our planet. Sure, there’ll be naysayers. So what? So what?

Just in case no one else has reminded you today, you’re awesome!

Ray

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Finding the Truth According to Alan Cohen – Day 313 of 365 Days to a Better You

Through the ages, poets and philosophers have sought to define truth. It’s unlikely that anyone will ever come up with a definition that will satisfy everyone. Words can only eat around the edges of the topic.

Today’s post is an extended excerpt from Alan Cohen‘s book, The Dragon Doesn’t Live Here Anymore.

The real organ of truth is not the brain, but the heart. …. Hafiz, the Persian poet, said, ‘ O you who would learn the marvels of Love from the copybook of reason, I am afraid that you will never really see the point!’

We feel or sense Truth more than we think it. We know it more than we understand it. We can see it more than we can explain it. When we attempt to analyze Truth, we lose ourselves in the dead-end labyrinth of the thinking mind. When we love Truth, however, the storehouse of universal wisdom is opened to us. Our respect for Truth is our investment in its understanding, and our suffering the price of its denial.

The Truth, we discover, cannot be found in a book. We may find words and descriptions of the Truth in a book, but not the Whole Truth, for the Whole Truth is fathomless, ever free of containment, confinement, and conformity….

Truth re-creates itself by its own beauty. There is nothing secret about Truth it will find us where ever we are….

It is said ‘The Truth hurts.” The Truth has never hurt anything; only illusion hurts. The Truth knows only how to heal. Those who resist Truth resist healing, and those in need of healing can find it by embracing Truth.

The Truth brings with it a peace and satisfaction that falsehood cannot imitate. The lover of Truth lives only for the vision of his ideal and he is nourished only by his awareness of it. ….

The Truth is simple … When we return to simple things the Truth reawakens in our heart like a long-exiled lover. If you want to know what the Truth is, put aside your textbooks for awhile and walk along the seashore at sunset. Take a child to the park. Gaze at the stars. Observe the gentle rhythm of your breath. Listen to the sound of the bamboo flute.

Cohen is talking about the timeless, changeless, yet uniquely individual Truth that flows through each of us at every moment. He suggests that by aligning ourselves with it, we will find peace and contentment. By living it we can become truly who we really are without pretense.

Are you living your truth or are you living according rules written by someone else? As long as you live by someone else’s rules, you will never be the person you are here to be. That would be a real shame.

Ray

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When Everything Wasn’t An Emergency – Day 311 of 365 Days to a Better You

Are you old enough to remember? There was a time not all that long ago when every single solitary thing wasn’t an emergency.

There was no 24/7 news cycle to turn mundane events into level 10 crises. People actually drove from here to there without the need to talk to or text anyone. Kids had daily summer adventures and their parents had no clue where they were all day. A conversation was between two or a few people within earshot of each other or over a phone connection. It wasn’t a viral event in front of millions of eyes stirring hair trigger controversy.

To be sure, there were drawbacks to those days as well. I’m not suggesting you abandon the benefits today’s tech has provided. I am saying it’s incumbent upon you to know when too much is enough. You must be smart consumers of the firehose of information pointed your way, weeding through the crisis of the minute and focus on what’s really important. You must reclaim your ability to have disagreement within our free society without sacrificing your sanity,

Not everything is an emergency. Not every battle is worth having just because it rolls through your information stream. You need not juggle a thousand data points on every aspect of your day just because you can.

It’s beneficial to unplug, step off the information treadmill, and release the need to be in 24/7 crisis mode about literally everything.

The world used to spin around just fine without our moment-to-moment monitoring. It can again for you, if you’re willing to take a breath and restore the balance between the ability to know everything and the need to.

Just in case no one has reminded you today, YOU are awesome!

Ray

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We Are All Unforgetting The Past – Day 308 of 365 Days to a Better You

We are in the process of unforgetting our past and THAT will change our future!

Every human being drawing a breath on this planet readily acknowledges he or she has a stake in the future. What many never consider is that they have just as big a stake in the past – in its transparency, its accuracy, and its meaning.

Most people you know probably hate history and find things that happened – even yesterday – meaningless. There’s a certain wisdom in not holding on to things, in releasing them. That’s different than thinking the past doesn’t matter.

Who we are, everything we think and believe, what our DNA says, how our solar system formed, and who brought us into being are all aspects of our reality that create an assumed, almost unnoticed, foundation for our reality. They make a HUGE difference.

We live in a time awash in information, yet still thirsty for knowledge. We live in a time of “truth movements” that only seem to further confuse the truth, not mention angering us and knocking us off our true game.

There are most assuredly answers out there, but the biggest answers lie within. We’re not really learning things as we look back in time, we’re remembering them. For, though we’ve crossed the River Styx and forgotten, we played a part in that past.

Maybe we’re here in this pivotal moment to remind ourselves and to remember. By remembering the past, we will forever change it. When we change the past, we change the present. Changing the present means we chart a new course for humanity into a brave new future.

Stay thirsty for the knowledge and keep remembering!

Ray

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Change Your Mind – Day 303 of 365 Days to a Better You

Today’s Thought

We must break our habitual thinking and learn to see life with fresh eyes each day.

If you get up every day and think the same thoughts you thought yesterday and the day before that, what’s the point? If you’re not changing your mind once in a while, you’re not growing, you’re not learning, you’re just stuck.

Now you might be thinking, “Hey, wait a minute. There are timeless beliefs and ideals that I don’t want to change.”

Fair enough. I will guarantee you (and me), though that there are thoughts you’ve thought for decades that harm you or harm others, that limit you or limit others, that include some people and exclude others.

Who are your thoughts harming? Who are they limiting? Who are they excluding? What have you deemed impossible because that’s what you’ve always thought? What are you missing because you’ve closed yourself off to different possibilities because you’re afraid of the cognitive dissonance carnage that might result from challenging your old ideas?

Some of these thoughts you’ve wanted to jettison for a long time, but they’re comfort food for the mind. They feel safe and sure and consistent.

I’m calling on you and me to change our minds. Let’s change what we believe about our potential as a species. Let’s change the zero sum game of, “We’re 100 percent right and you’re 100 percent wrong.” Let’s be open to the fact that the world can change for the better, people can change for the better, and we can change for the better.

You’re going to wake up tomorrow morning and every fiber of your being is going to want to slice into seeing the world you’ve always seen. What if…what if tomorrow you change your mind and see it with new eyes?

In case no one else has reminded you today, you ARE awesome!

Ray

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Stop Conforming – Day 302 of 365 Days to a Better You

Too often you revere paradigms that enslave your thinking and limit your possibilities. Stop it! You’re not here to live by their expectations. You’re not here follow the rule book to a T. You’re here to live out a unique experience in all the universe – your life in this place at this moment.

So, laugh out loud. Use your outdoor voice inside. Color outside the lines. Do it not because you disrespect your society, but because you know it can be better, saner, and more fun. Status quos are for breaking. Like everything else in this universe, paradigms must perish to make room for their next incarnation.

There are no extra points at the end of the game for exceptional conformity. There is a simply a life well-lived or a life well-worried.

So, dance heartily and joyfully in the the rainstorm of change that showers down upon you each and every day.

In case no one else reminded you today, you are awesome!

Ray

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