The Roller Coaster of Life and Death – Day 329 of 365 Days to a Better You

It feels like death is all around lately. We lost my father-in-law in December. We lost our beloved family dog a couple weeks ago. Today the whole world witnessed the loss of Kobe Bryant. In this same time period millions of people and animals have died.

The thought of death is a constant for the living. We try hard to put it out of our thoughts, but when it strikes close to us, we are reminded of the mortality that affects all living things.

I find that roller coasters are a good metaphor for life and death. I love a good roller coaster. As a kid, though, when I’d ride one that scare me a little, I’d have this thought as we left the station and began climbing the first hill.

“There’s no turning back now. Even if I decide I don’t want to do this, they’re not going to stop the ride and let me off. I’m on it for the duration. Whatever drops and spins and turns and flips are on this track, I’m going to experience them. I might as well buckle in and enjoy them to the fullest because in a few minutes, one way or another, the ride will be over.”

That’s life. It’s a ride we’re in and we can’t really get off. We’re here to ride it to the end, whatever that is for us. Sometimes it seems big and scary. Sometimes it lifts you out of your seat and throws you for a loop.

We can either hold on white-knuckled with our eyes forced shut or we can laugh our head off, feel the sensations, and enjoy every moment until the ride stops.

When, where, and how our ride stops may be in the stars and beyond our control. So, let’s put our arms in the air, belly laugh constantly, and ride our ride our way.

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

Ray

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Conquering the “What Ifs” – Day 327 of 365 Days to a Better You

“What if” can be a very powerful mindset when it comes to creativity or looking to the future. However, the same mindset directed at the past can be highly destructive and paralyzing.

“What if I’d done this or said that?” “what if I’d avoided this or encouraged that?”

These questions, beyond the benefit of learning for next time, are rabbit holes keeping you stuck in scenarios that you can’t change. They waste time and mind space that are better spent dealing with now and manifesting the future.

Here are a few ways to shake the chronic “what ifs.”

  1. Shift from what if to what is and what can be.
  2. Understand that nothing is lost. The what ifs often show up when we think we’ve missed something or lost something. It’s a powerful spiritual principle to understand that everything changes in our multiverse, but nothing is ever lost.
  3. Believe something better is up ahead. Whatever you believe you missed or lost back there, know that something even better lies ahead, if you’ll only keep working.
  4. See the futility. Go down the what if road a few more times. Be conscious of how you feel and how unproductive it is. Get clear that there’s nothing there for you in persisting with that mindset.

Finally, don’t beat yourself up. We all do “what if” sometimes. The only way to make it worse is to pile on by being mad for going there. Accept that it happens and consciously move away from it as soon as you can.

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

Ray

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Appreciate What You Have NOW – Day 326 of 365 Days to a Better You

My apologies for being away, my friends. We’ve been traveling in Hawaii. Enjoying the incredible natural beauty here is not always conducive to blogging.

Yesterday my wife and I made one of the hardest decisions we’ve ever had to make. We had put our beloved black lab Mia to sleep. She was 151/2 years old. She’d fought the good fight,including a cross country move back to Kansas City this year.

To say that Mia was loved would completely understate the truth. She and I had a special bond formed when she was a puppy and I was her one constant while my wife traveled for her job. Our whole family and many of our friends knew and loved Mia. She returned that love in abundance like the kind, gentle soul she was.

Death, damn you, is the constant affliction of the living. The relationships – human and animal – we form here in these brief years or decades belie the cosmic journey every living thing is on.

Despite the fact I saw Mia as my true companion for these years, she’s on her own journey and so are all of us. We touched for a few moments of this game of time and space. We formed a bond that will be forever, but we are all spinning along this path like stars swirling around a galaxy.

We live with the memories of that wonderful time together. Now, we go back about the eternal journey we were all on before we “met”this time.

Saints and philosophers have sought cures for the death that separates us from those we love in these time and space encounters. Some have proposed to stop the process of craving that manifests into these lives where we experience pain. Others have suggested that a special being or beings can save us from death.

Death defies reason or belief’s ability to comprehend. It can feel painful and unfair.

All of I’ve come to in these many years of pondering the fate of living things is this.

  1. Enjoy every moment while you have it. Don’t take your family, your friends, or your pet for granted. The time together in this place in this form is short.
  2. There is a reason and a purpose in it all. There was a reason Mia came into our lives and we came into hers. Now that momentary reason has been satisfied. It’s time for a new combination of variables so that we can all complete the path we’re on.
  3. Nothing is ever truly lost. We’re all manifestations of something all wise, all knowing, and all encompassing. As Marianne Williamson has often said, “there’s really only one of us here.” That one has a reason for the roles we each play and it’s a bond, a connection that can never be broken.

Yes, Mia’s consciousness has left the form we cherished and gone back to the great recycling bin of life, as we all one day will. Yet, we didn’t just meet 15 years ago. These forms aren’t who we really are. We’ve been bubbles on the ocean of life sticking together for a passing moment. But, you, Mia, and me are all made of ocean not bubbles. We’ve been together forever on this path.

To my sweet little girl, it’s not goodbye. It’s until we play the game together again. Thanks for being an awesome friend on this go-around.

In case no one else reminded you today, you’re awesome!

Ray

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Ask Bigger, Better Questions – Day 324 of 365 Days to a Better You

You may remember earlier in our journey we discussed how there are no dumb questions. Today I want to expand on that and encourage you to ask bigger and better questions.

If we want bigger answers in our lives, for our species, and for the planet, we must ask BIGGER questions. If we want better answers, we must ask better questions.

Lives and civilizations thrive or fail based on the size and the quality of the questions they ask. If you want to profoundly shift your life, you’ve got to be willing to put everything on the table in your evaluation of it. The questions you asked or never asked, that created your current life are not big enough or smart enough to create the next better version of you,

“OK. Makes sense,” you might say, “but how do I ask bigger, better questions?”

  1. Go deeper – to ask the questions that really matter and can really change things, you have to understand who you are and what you want at a fundamental level.
  2. Be authentic- once you understand who you are and what you want, be authentic. Don’t run away from it no matter how scary or paradigm-shattering it may seem.
  3. Getting from here to there – just like you look at a map before getting in your car to drive someplace new, you have to map what getting from who you are to who you want to be looks like.
  4. Formulate your questions – who or what do you need to challenge or change? What ideas and paradigms have to shift? Ask more WHY and WHAT IF questions. These questions get to what matters and challenge paradigms.

By doing this, you’ll find that the questions you ask as you move through life each day will shift from:

  • What do I want to eat?
  • What do I want to watch on TV?
  • Where do I want to go on vacation this year?
  • What do people think of me?

To:

  • Does this job still fulfill me? If not, what career would serve me better at this point in my life?
  • Why do I want to be a screenwriter and how can I make that happen?
  • What would my life look like if I chose to be authentically me instead who I was pushed to be?
  • What if money and time were not an object? Who would I be then?
  • Why am I just getting by instead of living my dreams?
  • How can I make the biggest difference?
  • How could we have a next-level relationship?
  • What if war isn’t inevitable and peace impossible?

The bigger and better your questions, the bigger and better the universe’s answers. Unasked questions rarely receive answers. The very act of asking opens doors, gets your mind working on the how, and inspires your why to make it happen.

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

Ray

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Remodeling Inner You – Day 320 of 365 Days to a Better You

In the infinity of time and space, the coming of another orbit of the earth around our Star is barely noticeable. Yet, for human beings these passages are deeply meaningful. They help us separate our lives into meaningful chunks.

The coming of a new year is a time we all reflect, set new goals, and make promises about the person we’re goi g to be during the next 365 days.

What promises, goals, and resolutions have you written down or made mental note of today and how will you track your progress? Here’s an easy measure applicable to anyone participating in social media. Remodel your inner self to be the person you project yourself to be on social media.

  1. Care as much about other people as you do on social media.
  2. Care as much about the earth as you do on social media.
  3. Spread humor and laugh heartily as you do on social media.
  4. Be your best self each day like you are on social media.
  5. Work for the changes you want to see in the world as much as you post about them on social media.
  6. Live the good life you project on social media.
  7. Be as good of a entrepreneur as you portray yourself as on social media.
  8. Live up to your spiritual values to an extent that matches what you say on social media.
  9. Care about political reform as passionately as you speak of it on social media.

For those who use these platforms, you’ve already created this idyllic version of your life that you’re supposedly living. To get better in 2020, simply start aligning your reality with that projection. It’s not fake if you make it real.

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

Ray

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What Kind of Year Will 2020 Be? – Day 319 of 365 Days to a Better You

We did it! After much fanfare, we’ve entered a new year and a new decade. The natural question is what kind of year will 2020 be? We don’t need a crystal ball or big data to predict the coming year.

It’s predictable because of age-old measures that will determine where you and we will be one year from tonight. This year, like every other year, will be decided by your thinking, and your acting. It will be decided by stories you tell yourself about who you are and how the world is.

It will also be decided by the collective thoughts an actions of all humanity. Will we choose bright, unlimited horizons or will we choose to relive times of darkness and repression?

No one can stand against your determination to change your personal destiny. No power can stand against our universal aspirations, if only we remain determined and committed to making them our reality.

Yes! 2020 is not up to fate. It’s up to us. Let’s get started!

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

Ray

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10 Happiness Affirmations for Your Weekend

Happiness is something we all seek. It’s even cited in the American Declaration of Independence as something as one of the three things we all have a right to pursue.

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.

Here are some affirmations to help you claim your happiness today.

  1. Today I am making the radical choice to be happy no matter what!
  2. My happiness is independent of other people’s opinions or circumstances.
  3. My happiness is right here, right now.
  4. Today everyone and everything is conspiring to bring me my ultimate happiness!
  5. I am the author of my experience and today I CHOOSE to write a happy chapter!
  6. Allowing myself to be happy is the beginning of all wisdom!
  7. I have the lone vote when it comes to my happiness and today I vote YES!
  8. Wave after wave of happiness flows to my shore today!
  9. My life is what I make of it and I CHOOSE to make it a happy place to be!
  10. I was born to be happy and today I AM!

Ray

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