Miracle in Progress

There! Did you see it? There’s a miracle in progress. Where? Everywhere you look. The ants are building ant hills. Your heart is beating, beating, beating. The season is effortlessly changing again. The Earth goes around the Sun, as the Sun goes around the center of the galaxy. Everywhere you look, there’s a miracle.

You’ve heard the expression, “Don’t take your eye off the ball”. I think we should amend that to, “Don’t take your eye off the miracle.”

The moment you take your eye off the miracle, you begin to get into trouble. You start seeing “us” and “them”, “enough” and “not enough”, “future” and “past”, and you worry about all of it. Your worry turns into a soup of negative internal emotions that spill out into your world as unhappiness, anger, hatred, and even violence.

None of this is possible when you have your eye on the miracle. For in that vision of the world, you see how rare, precious, and amazing you are. You see how rare, precious and amazing everyone and everything around you is. We are all survivors, here in this place and time against overwhelming odds. Yet, here making our stand, being who we came here to be, and contributing our own uniqueness to the miracle.

So, when the moment gets you down today, remember the miracle. When you’re tempted fall into negativity and doubt, remember the miracle. It’s always right there, completely self-evident in every moment, if only you’ll look.

Follow your bliss. Experience your bliss. Become your bliss.

RAY

10 Ways to Choose Happiness

Good evening, my friends. There was a fantastic book released back in the early 1990s titled Happiness Is A Choice by Barry Neil Kaufmann.

Since reading that book, it’s always stuck in my mind that this is a fundamental truth of life.

Some angrily rail against this idea, claiming that it’s a form blaming the victim. That’s only true if you plan to remain forever a victim in your life.

The idea that we can choose the feeling or the attitude is an absolute freedom we have over our circumstances.

In his seminal work, “Man’s Search for Meaning,” Viktor Frankl wrote:

Everything can be taken from a man but one thing: the last of the human freedoms—to choose one’s attitude in any given set of circumstances, to choose one’s own way.

Being a Holocaust survivor, Frankl realized the power to choose your attitude despite life’s harshest and most unjust experiences.

Neither he nor I deny that we are sometimes victimized by life’s vicissitudes. Rather that is was one of our true superpowers that we need not cede our right to be happy the circumstances around us.

Here are 10 ways to choose happiness every day.

  1. Allow fewer people and fewer things to piss you off.
  2. Know that negative situations are temporary and good times are on the way back.
  3. Find joy in the little things.
  4. Feel good about the success of others between your successes.
  5. Have complete confidence that everything, everything that happens to you is a doorway to something great.
  6. Remember who you really, truly are beyond the masks and the roles of this momentary situation.
  7. Remember who other people really, truly are beyond the masks and roles of this momentary situation.
  8. Put tough days behind you and start with the premise that today will be amazing.
  9. Notice the million miracles happening all around you in every moment.
  10. Know for certain, wherever life has taken you, it’s never too late to turn it all around and be the person you came here to be.

Live by these principles and I guarantee you, you’ll be able to choose happiness over and over again.

Wherever you are on your journey, remember you are awesome!

Ray

A Culture of Compassion and Dialogue – Day 272 of 365 Days to a Better You

Say something, do something, or be someone I don’t like and I’ll flame you, unfollow you, or even block you. If I REALLY don’t like what you said, I may seek to enlist others to ruin your career or even cancel you from our culture.

I reserve the right not to expose myself to ideas that challenge my worldview. If you cross that line, I reserve the right to destroy you. It doesn’t matter to me if you’re a famous celebrity or a long-lost friend from elementary school.

Meanwhile, I also reserve the right to be completely hypocritical about how and when I apply these standards, if they’re violated by political, religious, or cultural heroes of mine and it causes me too much cognitive dissonance to apply my standards to them, I’ll ignore and defend them to my last tweet.

This is the mindset of what some have called “Cancel Culture” or what I’ve called for years the Unfollow, Unfriend Culture. Social media, with it’s ability to block or delete someone with a single click, has simplified this, as have prevalent cultural mindsets that subdivide human beings into real and false tribes. Either agree with me 100 percent or I’m instantly clicking you out of my life.

What all of this really is, in my humble opinion, is the mindset of an infantile ego. It’s a small child stamping her feet to get her way. It is not the mindset that creates a compassionate, free, or democratic society where dialogue happens. It’s a recipe to further and further divide us into smaller and smaller circles ending with us being alone and ruled by that childish ego.

We’ve given this brand of ego the ability to create its own despotic fiefdom in our minds.

Is this the enlightened society we want? Do you REALLY want to disown your cousin or your best friend from second grade because he or she voted for someone different or fails one of your cultural litmus tests? What of their humanity? What of yours?

Is it really sound judgment to dismiss people that way? Think how complex and contradictory you are. Shouldn’t they be given the same slack?

I absolutely believe this mindset is an existential threat to critical thinking, freedom, and the compassionate society we must be building in the 21st century. I run several Facebook pages. I’ve never blocked one person, even when they’ve been disrespectful to me. Instead, I try to remind them of their humanity and mine and reestablish that connection. I’ve been instantly blocked on Twitter for daring to disagree, but I’ve never blocked one person. I simply don’t believe in it. Free speech gives other people the right to disagree even with my most cherished ideals. I never forget their humanity or that freedom because my ego is bruised.

This kind of culture only persists because we allow it to. If the social norm was to think of everyone you encounter as a free human being who is where they are in their journey based on their experiences just like us, maybe we’d have more compassion and understanding for their position.

I want to close today with an affirmation of sorts; a kind of pledge. Are you willing?

Affirmation: I refuse to participate in a culture that demeans, dismisses, and cancels other human beings. I’m beautiful, but far from perfect myself. I choose to see that beauty and accept that imperfection in others. I don’t know everything and I haven’t experienced everything. I accept that others can look at life and reach different, reasonable positions from mine. I reserve the right to dialogue respectfully with others in an attempt to persuade them, in the best tradition of a free society. However, I refuse to strip them of their humanity or diminish mine in that process. A sane, enlightened world is possible and I will do my part to bring that world to life.

I love and respect each and every one of you. No matter how similar or disparate our experiences or our views. Namaste and Aloha. I bow to greatness in you and I come to you with respect

Ray

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Box? What box? – Day 266 of 365 Days to a Better You

This photo was shared by my friend, Becky Sivley, over on Facebook this morning.

We’ve all heard the phrase – think outside the box. It’s generally regarded as a positive aphorism. However, there’s a subtle but powerfully negative assumption in that phrase.

It assumes you’re starting in a box or that there is even a box to start in. Sure, society is constantly trying to put us in various boxes. What if we simply choose not to play?

What if, instead, we see ourselves and the people around us as genius creatives and empowered agents of this universe capable of just about anything?

Lose the box and your other limits. You don’t need them and they were likely never more than societally planted control mechanisms to begin with.

In case no one else reminds you today, you’re AMAZING you boxless wonder.

Ray

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