A life well-lived

What is it about people that change the world?  How do they do it?  What’s the secret?

If you look at any one person that lived their lives this way, you’ll find that they lived from a perspective of something greater than themselves.

You know the story about someone planting a tree, knowing full well that they themselves will never enjoy the tree’s fruit or shade?

“But that sounds too poetic, or too saint-like.  How is that even possible, to live that way?”

Its just as basic as that little voice that softly and quickly asks you to stop if you happen to be the first person to come up to an accident on the road.  Its that instinctual reaction of helping someone else.  Something that we’ve all experienced at one point or another.  Only in cases of people that make such large changes, they’ve widened their aperture to see humanity needing help on the side of the road, and not just one particular car.

So if we want to honor someone like Ruth Bader Ginsberg,  we can look at not just what she did (which was remarkable on its own), but how she lived her life.  And we could try to see how we might find a bit of the same way of existing and experiencing life within ourselves.

Learning how to widen our own field of vision to encompass just someone else.  You don’t have to try to take on the whole world.  You can just start with trying to see one other person as an extension of yourself.  The same life, just formed a little differently than you are.  But underneath, the same life.

And what would you want for that same life?

You’d want them to feel safe; to feel loved and to feel free wouldn’t you?  The same things that you’d want for yourself.  A life well-lived.

This is all it takes.

I’ll bet that Ruth and everyone else like her would approve.

#RBG #RIP #humanity #life #wereallinthistogether 

Don’t go Unconscious

Pema Chödrön is one of my favorite people.

She’s the only American Buddhist nun, a renowned speaker and teacher. But she started out as typical as you and I.

Born Deirdre Blomfield in New York, she grew up a 60’s girl, and experienced life the way that many others did; marriage, children, divorces, substance abuse… After her last marriage had failed, as she searched around for some answers, she stumbled across an article written by a Buddhist monk, that was talking about using emotions for growth rather than trying to get rid of them or shut them down. That struck a chord with her, so she got interested and followed that path and ended up Pema Chödrön.

While doing a project yesterday this particular talk came up on rotation on my music. I’m glad that I keep stuff like this because I can listen now and have a different interpretation as opposed to years ago when I first caught wind of her and her lectures.

It’s about practicing remaining present enough with yourself during a highly emotional circumstance so that you can recognise that brief 1 or 2 second moment before you react.

In this split-second, you can as yourself, ” Wait a second.. I feel that I’m getting upset”. I’m feeling anxious, or triggered or whatever it is. It’s about taking that brief moment and noticing that you’re about to react.

Its in that moment that lies your choice. You can just stick with whatever you’re experiencing and ride it out, try to separate yourself from what you’re experiencing or you can fly off the emotional handle and go unconscious about it. Just the few seconds that it takes while you’re registering this process can be enough to begin to gently dissipate those high-energy emotions and allow a much clearer response to whatever the situation is.

If you’ve ever noticed a stone dropped into a lake; the initial “plop” it makes is one thing; but the subsequent ripples that the stone being dropped in the water make can actually be bigger than the initial stone created in the first place. If the stone is large enough, the ripples it makes can rock a rowboat on the other side of the lake.

Something that I thought I’d share in case it resonated withsomeone else. Your inner peace is definitely worth preservation.

#sunday #choices #innerstrength #peace#pemachodron

What do you do with a Chance?

This is one of three short books of the NY Times Best-Sellers’ set called What You Do Matters by Kobi Yamada.
This particular book shows us how our inner dialogue can affect us acting on an opportunity that is before us, and what we can do to overcome it.

Highly recommend! 

Thank you to Sgt. Vierk of the Clawson Police Department for doing such a great reading job!

Veterans Day

On this Veterans/Armistice Day we salute all veterans and active military personnel, with appreciation for their tremendous service to our country.

But not all Veterans have had such a welcoming homecoming experience.

The transition from civilian life to one of military is tough enough. But returning home after duty is a completely different kind of transition for many Veterans.

No more rigid environment. Nobody setting your schedule for you. No more camaraderie with the other troops. You’re in charge of your own life again. And if you saw combat, it can be much more emotionally devastating. It can be very difficult to make that psychological transition back home and back into civilian life again.

If you see a Veteran, not just on Veterans Day but any day; thank them for their Service but also sincerely ask them how they’re doing? Your question may spark a need for support. Below are some resources available:

In the Detroit area, Veterans support can be found at:

Detroit Regional Offices of Veterans Services

https://www.benefits.va.gov/Detroit/veterans-services-orgs.asp.

Michigan Veterans Affairs Agency, which connects Vets to Benefits and Resources

https://www.michiganveterans.com

The Michigan Veterans Foundation offers support in the form of:

  • Veteran Rescue Program
  • Transitional Housing
  • Vocational and Life Skill training
  • Health care services
  • PTSD Counseling
  • Transportation, meals and clothing
  • Substance Abuse Intervention
  • Legal Assistance and Housing Placement

http://www.michiganveteransfoundation.org.

The Michigan Veterans of Foreign Wars provides assistance will filling out and submitting VA forms and processes, and also offers a Buddy to Buddy program that can pair up Veterans that can support each other to help handle the transition back to civilian life.

https://vfwmi.org/di/vfw/v2/default.asp?pid=8899

Painting info:

Norman Rockwell (1894-1978), “The Homecoming,” 1945. Cover illustration for “The Saturday Evening Post,” May 26, 1945. Norman Rockwell Museum.

Scientists show how Gratitude literally alters the Human Heart and Molecular Structure

“A group of prestigious and internationally recognized leaders in physics, biophysics, astrophysics, education, mathematics, engineering, cardiology, biofeedback, and psychology (among other disciplines) have been doing some brilliant work over at the Institute of HeartMath.

Their work, among many others, has proven that when a person is feeling really positive emotions like gratitude, love, or appreciation, the heart beats out a different message, which determines what kind of signals are sent to the brain.”

Because the heart sends signals to the brain, feeling gratitude consistently can actually re-wire your brain; creating more receptors for such emotions and can be a great tool in overcoming depression and anxiety.

https://www.collective-evolution.com/2019/02/14/scientists-show-how-gratitude-literally-alters-the-human-heart-molecular-structure-of-the-brain/?fbclid=IwAR0Uw0W2ly5bwewmy-vSx8WGR9SusAY_XlTAs8weUet6suoLUXMJUzt28Zc

Benefits of a Daily Meditation Practice

While meditation can and will provide a sense of peace and tranquility, there are many other benefits to be had from a daily practice.

Lowered blood pressure, calming of the nervous system, and better management of Anxiety Disorders all can be had from a daily practice of meditation.

Sleep quality can be improved, meditation can be used as a part of chronic pain management therapy, and it will also boost your immune system.

Lastly, meditation will help you have happy relationships, because you will be more peaceful and calm. Less will irritate you, and you’ll be inclined to recognize happy and joyful moments throughout your day more.

Check out the below link on Healthgrades.com for more information:

Don’t wait another Day

“Nature loves courage. You make the commitment and nature will respond to that commitment by removing impossible obstacles. Dream the impossible dream and the world will not grind you under, it will lift you up.

This is the trick. This is what all these teachers and philosophers who really counted, who really touched the alchemical gold, this is what they understood. This is the shamanic dance in the waterfall. This is how magic is done. 

By hurling yourself into the abyss and discovering it’s a feather bed.”

Terrence Mckenna

How negative emotions physically affect your well-being

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Your body is a physical manifestation of what you tell yourself.

Contentment within the emotions produces the like in the body’s systems.  One’s immune system becomes strong, muscles can become strong and limber.  This helps our emotional outlook and general well-being.  We’re in a good mood when we feel good.  Nothing seems impossible.

But should those same emotions become negative, producing quiet voices within us that speak “I can’t”, “I’m not good enough”, I don’t deserve”, the body also manifests physical forms of these emotions.  Disease easily finds a hospitable breeding ground in consistent negative emotions.  Which in turn then makes us more uncomfortable, more sad or angry – because we don’t feel well.  The system becomes out of balance, and since emotions produce physical attributes in the body, the cycle that was once positive can turn negative, and the since the manifestations in the body support the emotional condition, we become sick more often.  Chronic pain can develop.  Headaches, body aches, fatigue.  Just like a viral disease, the body can do harm to itself as a result of a consistent, negative emotional environment.  Often, this is an old cycle; meaning that we learned this manner of walking in the world at a young age; so recognizing it can be tricky to do.

So what to do?

If you find yourself in a similar condition, talk with someone.  It can be very helpful to have a third party’s support in looking to see if we are managing our lives compulsively or consciously.  Get around some other people.  Exercise is a fantastic holistic remedy; and is quite necessary as we all age to keep our bodies as well as possible.  A Yoga class, bicycling, running, walking, a health club membership; all will change the body’s chemistry and produce positive results not only physically, but also emotionally from being around like-minded people and from accomplishing goals.

The first step can be difficult to take.  But it can also make a world of difference in your life and in the lives of those around us.