Values

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Gainor

“Good values are 1) reality-based, 2) socially constructive, and 3) immediate and controllable. 

Bad values are 1) superstitious, 2) socially destructive, and 3) not immediate or controllable.”

Mark Manson, “The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck”

 

Self-Determination

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Simpson

“There’s a difference between blaming someone else for your situation and that person’s actually being responsible for your situation. Nobody is ever responsible for your situation but you….This is because you always get to choose how you see things, how you react to things, how you value things. You always get to choose the metric by which to measure your experiences.”

Mark Manson, “The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck”

Le Corps

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Aztazics

 

Don’t ever – ever – take your health for granted.

Form dissolves over time. It is inevitable. But take care of your body as much as you can because it’s the only vehicle for your soul.

 

 

You’re *Not* Special

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Harvey

“The truth is, there is no such thing as a personal problem. If you’ve got a problem, chances are millions of other people have had it in the past, have it now, and are going to have it in the future. Likely people you know too. That doesn’t minimize the problem or mean that it shouldn’t hurt. It doesn’t mean you aren’t legitimately a victim in some circumstances.  

It just means that you’re not special.”

Mark Manson, The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck

Why “Now?”

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Pawel

“Life is always now. Whatever happens, whatever you experience, feel, think, do – it’s always now. It’s all there is. And if you continuously miss the now – resist it, dislike it, try to get away from it, reduce it to a means to an end, then you miss the essence of your life, and you are stuck in a dream world of images, concepts, labels, interpretations, judgments – the conditioned content of your mind that you take to be “yourself.” And so you are disconnected from the fullness of life that is the “suchness” of this moment.”

Tolle

False Self

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Bence

“Identification with thoughts and the emotions that go with those thoughts creates a false mind-made sense of self, conditioned by the past: the “little me” and its story. This false self is never happy or fulfilled for long. Its normal state is one of unease, fear, insufficiency, and nonfulfillment.”

Tolle

Possibility

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Baines

“To be identified with a mental image of who you are is to be unconscious, to be unawakened spiritually. This unawakened state creates suffering, but suffering creates the possibility of awakening. When you no longer resist the diminishment of self that comes with suffering, all role-playing, which is normal in the unawakened state, comes to an end. You become humble, simple, real.”

Eckhart Tolle

Changing My Walk

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Tolle talks about people who walk out in nature while listening to their earbuds, talking on their phone and doing other activities that take them out of being present. I realized I really have enjoyed listening to music and podcasts while walking my dog, but that in doing so, I am missing out on being 100% present.

For the past two weeks, I have walked my dog without using my phone except to take one picture of a flower or cactus. In this short period, I’ve realized a difference in the rest of my day. I feel calmer and my mind does not go (as bonkers) as it used to. In fact, when my mind starts to go astray, I can bring it back to the present much faster now.

Dissolve

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Bucceri

“As people around you pass away, you become increasingly aware of your own mortality. The body will dissolve. Many people still, in our civilization, they deny death. They don’t want to think about it, don’t want to give it any attention.

There is enormous potential there for spiritual flowering. Even in people who, up to the point of the beginning of the fading of the form, were completely identified with the form. It’s your last chance in this incarnation, as your body begins to fade – or you are becoming aware of this limited lifespan. It’s your last chance to go beyond identification with form. This is true whether it’s to do with your body or somebody else’s body.”

Eckhart Tolle

Interval

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Dulcey Lima

Spring – the jumping off time

of green buds and birds’ trill

of thriving and spreading

when souls vault with thrill

 

Summer – enlivened bustle

of limitless affection

of prime corporeality

when spirits rouge the complexion

 

Autumn – abated season

of settling gratitude

of tranquil sanctuary

when ego battles disquietude

 

Winter – gradual repose

of profound cogitation

of  placid acceptance

when the form meets salvation

 

 

 

 

Death Meditation

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“With the contemplation of the impermanence of the human form, something very deep and peaceful opens up inside you. That is why I enjoy going to cemeteries. When you accept the impermanence, out of that comes an opening within, which is beyond form. That which is not touched by death, the formless, comes forward as you completely accept the impermanence of all forms. That’s why it is so deeply peaceful to contemplate death.

If someone close to you dies, then there is an added dimension. You may find there is deep sadness. The form also was precious, although what you loved in the form was the formless. And yet, you weep because of the fading form. There too, you come to an acceptance – especially if you are already familiar with death, you already know that everything dies – then you can accept it more easily when it happens to somebody close to you. There is still deep sadness, but then you can have the two dimensions simultaneously – the outer you weeps, the inner and most essential is deeply at peace. It comes forward almost as if it were saying “there is no death”. It’s peace.”

Eckhart Tolle

Absence / Space

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Samuel Zeller

“In the proximity of death, there is always that grace hiding underneath the seemingly negative event. Death in our civilization is seen as entirely negative, as if it shouldn’t be happening. Because it’s denied, people are so shocked when somebody dies – as if it’s not possible. We don’t live with the familiarity of death, as some more ancient cultures still do. The familiarity of death isn’t there. Everything is hidden, the dead body is hidden. ”

Eckhart Tolle

The “Thought” Experiment

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by de Gouveia

I’ve realized that when I start my sentences with:

I wish…

I hope…

If only…

I’m worried…

that I set myself up for suffering (worry, disappointment, sadness and even anger). So I’m going to stop saying those things and catch myself when I think them. The way to true inner peace is to accept reality. And only when you have inner peace can you help others. This is an optimum time to try this as my father is in the hospital very ill right now. 

Want to join me?

Succulents

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This incredibly slow-growing plant is often compared to aloe. Its contrasting white striations against its dark green leaves make it a popular houseplant and a trendy way to decorate your home or even office desk. It is easy to maintain but keep it away from direct sunlight or deep shade. It only needs watering about once a month, and if you’re lucky, the Zebra cactus will flower during the summer if given the proper living conditions throughout the year. (FTD.com)

So Simple

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Randy Jacob

“There are only three things we do in life: We stand, we sit, we lie horizontal. Once we’ve found success, we’ll still be sitting somewhere, until we stand, and we’ll stand until we lie down or sit again. Success is a concept, an illusion.”

Byron Katie, Loving What Is

You’re Projecting!

When I was a kid, we had all kinds of sayings:

Takes one to know one.

Whoever smelt it, dealt it.

Take a chill pill!

But one that stands out is: You’re just projecting! I don’t think we really understood what we were saying, but it usually left the Complainer speechless.

And with good reason.

When we complain about others, we are projecting. Byron Katie’s work includes as “turnaround.” When you find yourself grumbling about someone, she has you turn it around:

“Sheila should not operate out of fear.”

Turn it around.

“I should not operate out of fear.”

With inquiry, we find that we are projecting our own fears and inadequacies.

Employment

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Photo by Dan Smedley

My 15-year-old daughter just got a job working at her sister’s place of employment: a Thai restaurant. She started to bus tables, learn the computer system, give patrons water and even take their orders and bring their food by the time she had 8 hours of work under her belt.

I was sure she would come home and say, “No thanks. I hated it.” It’s not easy to be on your feet for a few dollars. She’s a straight A student and focuses on her violin playing. She does not do menial chores at home proactively. But she’s seen her sister make money and be able to purchase whatever she wants at Target or eat out on occasion.

She came home after working 6 hours yesterday. She served tables alongside her older sister. Her feet hurt, but she had a huge smile on her face and showed me the $36 in tips she made.

Later, exhausted, she said:

“I like working, it feels good to make your own money.”

 

Political Detox

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I’m definitely happier, more present-minded and productive when I abstain from news watching.

In fact, I’ve substituted it with comedy watching:

Pen15

Brooklyn 99

Any John Mulaney stand-up program…

#WhatNationalBoard

 

This Indecision’s Bugging Me*

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As I pursue the National Board Certification for Teaching, I’m losing steam at the end. It’s feeling like maybe I’m not going to finish. A sprinkle of overwhelm and the bland mushiness of despair have rendered a toxic “Blah Stew.”

So I typed “quotes on finishing strong” to motivate me. The one above is pretty good. But then I found this one:

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I’m going to continue on: I will complete the work. At the same time, I surrender to whatever happens.

It’s all good.

 

*The Clash

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Clashes

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You don’t have to be disagreeable when you disagree. Getting hateful and angry when encountering someone who doesn’t share your beliefs is a sign that you have complete identification with your thoughts. But your thoughts are just that – your thoughts.

You are not your thoughts.

 

 

 

Tests

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“Being challenged is a good thing. It allows you to grow.”

Eckhart Tolle

A synonym of “exam”  (as in examining your own reactions and emotions) is “observation.” It requires moments and space to step back and observe what is going on inside of you. This is challenging but necessary in the steps to stretch, grow and evolve.

Balderdash!

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My husband is handsome, funny, caring and intelligent.

But he finds spelling a challenge.

He will spell aloud to me, seeking approval: “Wizard. W-i-z-z…”

“No, it has one z.”

ONE z?! Why? Why? Why one z? Why? Isn’t that ‘Wyzard’ then?”

I laugh. “The English language is…complicated…you might even say dumb.”

“My name – Willey – it has two ls because you say WILLey, not Wyley…”

 

 

 

Pen15

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Variety.com

I’m on a hunger strike until racism is over.

I did not think I’d like this show.  But I’m hooked. Maya Erskine and Anna Konkle had a vision and made it come true – despite many obstacles.  The title might refer to boys/men, but the show is ALL girl.  Erskine and Konkle are Executive Producers, writers, actors and creators of the show. Check them out on Hulu.com.

Their story reminds me of Seth Godin’s quote:

“Don’t try to be the ‘next’. Instead, try to be the other, the changer, the new. “

Work

 

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*You could ask yourself, “Does my work help propel people or my community or me forward?”

Or are you just getting by?

 

*Inspired by Mary Oliver’s work

 

High Quality No

Byron Katie and Oprah were talking about the issue of saying “no” to others and feeling used. Oprah mentioned some family members who repeatedly have “used her” and asked for money. But Katie said, “Nobody can use you.”

Oprah was confused. Of course, people use each other all the time! And Katie said, “What happened? They asked for money and you gave it to them. And then you didn’t want to give them money anymore. You felt bad because you gave them money and went against yourself. You never wanted to give the money in the first place.” Oprah then expressed her concern about saying no. Katie suggested a “high-quality no.” They acted it out.

Oprah: “I want $100,000.”

Katie: “I know you do. But…no.”

Oprah: “But you have so much money! Just give me $100,000. I really want it.”

Katie: “Yes, I know.  But I’m going to say no.”

Oprah admitted that she hasn’t always just said no. She’d say things like “I gave you money before and I told you I wouldn’t do it again…etc.”

A high-quality no is just a firm no. No need for defensiveness or a lecture or explanation. Just…no.

 

 

 

Authentic Beauty

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Brigitte Tohm

“For old people, beauty doesn’t come free with the hormones, the way it does for the young… It has to do with who the person is.”

Ursula K. Le Guin

If you want to be a truly beautiful person, be kind:

  • be patient in traffic (Road Rage offends other drivers as well as your passenger(s));
  • call a friend and invite them to a bike ride, or a walk…or lunch;
  • take the time to counsel a young person who requests your advice;
  • volunteer to help your community in an area of need;
  • give thoughtful gifts because you thought of her…or him…just because;
  • tell each person you love how you feel and that you appreciate them;
  • write a love note and send it

Bereavement

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I thought I had Byron Katie’s philosophy on death mastered. Consider death differently. Let go of stressful thoughts. It’s egoic to want someone to still be alive if they died. No one dies “too soon.” Resisting reality only causes pain. Yes, I get that.

But then a very good friend passed away today and I can’t help but cry and feel the loss of his physical presence. Someone who gave so much of himself is now gone. How to reconcile this?

Tomorrow is a new day. His children and his wife will feel his absence. We all will. As Katie says, life is a recycling circuit. Nothing happens too soon. Everything happens “just right” and I must trust this is true, even though it doesn’t feel that way right now.

Fury

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“You’re angry because you have an anger consciousness that is touched like a little red button that causes it to blow up within yourself, but the anger is already within…”

Eric Butterworth