Lessons Learned and Unlearned – Day 159 of 365 Days to a Better You

Lessons learned grow us. Lessons unlearned, well, they grow us too.

Good morning, my friends. I hope your Saturday is off to a beautiful beginning!

The Universe is a giver. It never stops giving us chances to be the person we came here to be.

There’s a spiritual principle I learned many years ago and have found to be true time and again. It’s that life continues presenting you with certain lessons time and again until you choose to learn them.

We do live in a universe of free will. We are always free at every moment to learn the lessons life is teaching or to ignore them and pass them on for another time. Yet, the big ones will keep showing up for us in various forms until we accept the challenge and deal with them.

I often say that the only reason I get up every day is to learn something. My day feels complete when I do. Learning things – simple things and profound things – grow us as a person and as a being on this miraculous journey through time, space, and beyond.

However, the lessons we choose not to learn grow us too by making us face time and again those challenges we need to face to move on to the next stage in our development.

Power Hack: I’ll bet you could probably name a few of those lessons you’ve faced and put off a number of times. The Universe is very creative in how it presents them over and over in the weave of our lives.

Just know, to reverse the old saying, when the student is ready, the lesson is there.

Stay amazing. Don’t let anyone tell you you’re not! Thanks for taking valuable minutes out of your life to be here reading this blog. If you’re enjoying it, please share!

Ray

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Let Love Win & Everything Else is Gravy – Day 158 of 365 Days to a Better You

Let love win and everything else is gravy, I promise. It’s a big promise backed by a word that means so many things he to so many people. What do I mean by letting live win?

  • Cultivate peace within and peace without.
  • Have compassion for and connection with all the living things sharing this life experience, beginning with you.
  • Feel the joy in knowing every last bit of it has beauty and meaning.
  • Accept what is without ever losing your determination to discover what can be.

That’s a start, but I’d love to hear what letting love win means to you. Please leave a comment below.

May your Friday be filled with peace and accomplishment.

Ray

Numbering Your Days to Make Every One Count – Day 157 of 365 Days to a Better You

Today’s Affirmation

Every single day is a unique day and I treat it that way!

Sometimes, let’s be honest, life is a grind. One of the many cyclical repetitions in our lives that helps add to the gerbil on a treadmill feeling is the seven days of the week. Over time, each the days of the week have developed cultural and psychological meaning in society or to you as an individual.

While there’s nothing inherently wrong with cycles, in fact they can be quite useful considering the history of this world or the universe, as a means of counting our lives they begin to lose creativity and pop.

You’ve heard other people say it and you’ve said and thought similar things. ‘Oh, another Monday!” “Everybody’s working for the weekend.”

This seems like an uncreative, unproductive, and perhaps destructive way to live and think.

What if you found a way to treat each and every day as the unique, once-in-a-universe event it is and do it in a way that show progression rather than the feeling of spinning round and round?

Power Hack: What if you numbered your days, as I’ve been numbering this blog? You could start from any point that makes sense to you – your birth, your 21st birthday, your marriage date, days since some other major event.

For me, this is Day 19,974. I’ll let you do the math. That sounds a lot more interesting and unique than, “It’s just another Thursday.”

Yes, Siri and Alexa can tell you how many days since any date and it’s kind of addictive for an information geek like me. Have fun with it. Make each day the eternal birthplace of possibility it is meant to be rather than freshly trodden habit from seven days, 14 days, 21 days, etc. ago.

Imagine the fun you’ll have when someone asks you what day it is!

The average human lives 25,915 days. Every one of them IS a NEW day. Treat it that way!

Thank you for spending another few minutes of your life reading this blog. I’m honored that it spoke to you, helped you, or inspired you in some way. See you tomorrow for Day 19,975.

Ray

 

Waiting for Samadhi Isn’t a Life Strategy – Day 156 of 365 Days to a Better You

Today’s Affirmation:

I find my bliss in the chaos. I find my stillness in the dance.

When I was younger, I used to spend my time waiting for this perfect moment I imagined would come to take action. The right moment, I assumed, would arrive for me to ask out that girl. The sun would shine upon me, as in a movie, to tell me I was making the right choices. The Universe would suddenly sing in unison to show me the way.

Now, I’ve been lucky enough to have a few of those moments in my life and perhaps you have too. However, they’re not reliable enough base your life strategy around.

The great mythologist Joseph Campbell pointed out there were two spheres of thought in ancient Buddhism – Indian and Chinese. The former has this concept of Samadhi, while the latter is based more on the idea of the Tao.

Samadhi is a moment where the great enlightened being stills the world around him or her to a state of perfected bliss and union. Meanwhile, the Tao summons the idea that life is a chaotic balance always in movement around the great being and that enlightenment is found not in stilling the chaos, but in becoming one with the ebb and flow.

That younger me was constantly waiting for moments of Samadhi. Now I’m certain such a state is reachable by the most enlightened among us and for all of us in certain moments. It’s also reachable if you want to leave the world, as Buddha did, and spend your life on a mountain or in a forest in complete contemplation. For most of us ordinary human beings with a job and mortgage, though, we must be content with finding our bliss amid the chaos of a life that never stops and is always presenting new challenges.

That younger me thought life would stop and wait for me at some point; that I”d suddenly “get it” and all would fall beautifully into place. This older wiser me understands that the beauty and sometimes the terror is found in the constant chaos that is our lives. The beauty is not just in that magical stillness, but in the flow of the river that never ceases.

Power Hack: Stop waiting. There’s no perfect moment except this one. Your goals, your dreams, and your destiny are found on the run. Samadhi does exist and I’d welcome you to seek it, but it’s not the mechanism that will drive most of your happiness or success. For that, you must lose yourself in this moment of action and find your bliss amid the chaos.

Ask him out. Apply to Harvard. Write the book. Change the world. Do it now.

You are all amazing! Never forget it no matter what anyone says. Thank you so much for spending a few more minutes with me on the blog today.

Ray

https://affirmationspot.net

Lead By Example – Day 152 of 365 Days to a Better You

You must be a credible leader before you can be an incredible leader.

It’s clear the world is in need of more conscious leadership. Though there’s still a hard push to re-centralize power on this planet, the way forward is with less centralized power. Why? Because, frankly, our institutions are too slow to deal with the changes our species will soon face. Often, they’re unwilling to even acknowledge those coming changes.

It’s going to be up to each of us to be a leader, if we want to make sure these changes propel humanity forward rather than push us into a dystopian nightmare.  Never will conscience and wisdom be so needed.

To be a leader in the coming world, you must be credible. You must walk the walk and talk the talk like never before.

Years ago, I read a book about silly laws that were still on the books. One came from my home state of Kansas. The law read, “If two trains come to a crossing at the same time, they both must come to a complete stop and neither can move until the other one leaves.” Well, you immediately see the problem, don’t you?

Many of the wise and conscious characteristics that will make or break us in the coming decades are like this too. Hatred, strife, division, and fear rankle our society today. These can only be over Peace, compassion, unity, and love. But, who will go first? Who will be peaceful in the face of hatred? Who will meet strife with compassion?

The answer is like the two trains. If you’re waiting for someone else to go first, we’re never going to get there. Someone has to take that risk and be that leader. Is it you? Are you willing to take the first step or perhaps endure the last insult to end the anger?

This is sage level stuff, but the world needs sages now more than ever. Will you and I sometimes fail on this road? No doubt, but let us be the ones who once and for all help our world turn corners to new mindsets dreamt of for millennia.

You and I are here right now for THIS purpose to make THIS difference. That won’t matter unless we are willing to lead by example.

See your greatness and help others to see theirs too!

Ray

 

 

Compassion is Judgment’s Cure – Day 145 of 365 Days to a Better You

Judgment negates compassion. Compassion cures judgment.

Good Saturday, my friends. My apologies for the late post today. Compassion and judgment are like matter and anti-matter. They utterly destroy each other on contact. Judging less automatically raises your compassion. Judging more utterly destroys your compassion. It’s a zero sum game.

Power Hack: When you catch yourself judging yourself, other people, other groups of people, you’re literally destroying your ability to be more compassionate. Conversely, you can eliminate judgment by simply allowing yourself to feel more compassion toward anyone or anything.

They key in this equation is greater awareness. Consciously cultivate your sense of compassion for the world around you and your judgment will decrease. Consciously choose not to judge when you feel like judging and watch your compassion increase.

Here are five fantastic compassion quotes to inspire you to make compassion the great work of your life.

  1. If you want others to be happy, practice compassion. If you want to be happy, practice compassion. ~Sharon Salzburg
  2. I have just three things to teach: simplicity, patience, compassion. These three are your greatest treasures. ~Lao Tzu
  3. Our task must be to free ourselves by widening our circle of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole of nature and its beauty. ~Albert Einstein
  4. If you want others to be happy, practice compassion. If you want to be happy, practice compassion. ~Dalai Lama
  5. If you want others to be happy, practice compassion. If you want to be happy, practice compassion. ~Suzan Lori-Parks

Compassion, my friends, is ALWAYS in fashion!

Ray

Peeling Back Your Onion – Day 137 of 365 Days to a Better You

Look beneath the surface; let not the several quality of a thing nor its worth escape thee.

~Marcus Aurelius

You and I are far more than this momentary personality having these temporal experiences. Yet, we live much of our lives on a surface level, doing surface things and having surface thoughts. It’s quite easy to get swept away by the surface currents and lose your ability probe the depths of your being.

An onion is a great metaphor for the complexity embodied by a human being. An onion is not really a solid mass. It’s a myriad of thin layers packed tightly together in a ball. As you peel away each layer, a new, fresher layer is revealed. It takes some doing to literally peel all the layers away one-by-one to reach the core. It takes a lifetime, even with conscious action, to peel away all the layers of you.

This, I would argue, is one of the central reasons you’re here. You are a puzzle of your own making engaged in the challenge of solving yourself. That can only be done by going within. The outside world will distract you, but it will not guide you on this journey. Descriptions of the path by others can help you map your the terrain, but you alone hold the key to the core of you.

Meditation, prayer, energy work, hypnosis, counseling; there are many modalities you can use to peel the layers and get to what’s real. The problem isn’t that you lack tools, it’s only that you’ve lost focus.

Today I’m sending a wake up call to you and to myself. Let’s not get so focused on the surface that we forget to peel back our onions.

Thank you so much for reading, sharing, and supporting this blog! Have a fantastic day!

Ray

For a complete library of posts in the 365 Days to a Better You series, please click here.