And I have discovered the secret to avoiding any and all possible conflict.
It's simple... Never be against anything. Only be for things. Put in other words, we could just choose not to fight our wars.
Decide not to fight.
I know it sounds very passive and hippy or whatever... I understand that. I am not covering all topics for which one could become offended and retaliate against someone else. I am not that smart. I am speaking rhetorically to some and fundamentally to others. But I am indeed speaking about it. Peace that is. I want it. Don't you?
I mean, I realize there are mean people in the world who do awful things. I know it first hand. I also know the incredible power of forgiveness. I know what it can do to release a person from something.
It is an interesting word. In forgiveness, we forgive, and exist in the act of for-giving, thus the "-ness" of it all. It isn't meant to be a one-time event. Forgiveness is ever giving and ever grace-filled. It is the definition -- in a word -- of what we all wish to experience in a genuine way.
World peace, as we see it being defined and attempted by our leaders, is not possible. There is a fundamental omission of personal responsibility on the individual level. Peace is a personal choice. Right? I can say I desire world peace, but I also scream at my wife, or kick the dog, or curse the other angry driver… Or, I aim my missiles at some other country.
Aim. Then what?
When I decide once and for all that peace starts in my own heart, and I begin to systematically eliminate the actions that promote chaos, I have made my own first step in contributing to peace on a global scale. Pray for peace, but also promote and create peace by doing peaceful things.
Peace is good.
I love you. — jb
Are you human?
My friend, there is a really short answer to the question that is the title of this post, and that answer is no. At the same time, we humans, all of us, have had episodes of worry at some point in our lives. And the idea for this post came about as a result of a recent occurrence in my own life.
As I began to ponder my untimely lapse of faith, I decided it would be helpful to offer hope for those of us who have real issues with worry. I know people who worry. I know people who worry a lot. (I used to be one of those people.) It is different for me now and as I ascend, and as I learn, I recognize that worrying, while unwanted, still offers one the opportunity for real growth. I'm not speaking of the act of worrying -- just the awareness that I am worrying, and the healthy practice of replacing my thoughts about future events with faith-type thoughts that all is well... right now. When I re-member that I am okay right now and choose to be content with "what is" going on in this moment, I proactively crowd out those thoughts that cause anxiety.
Tell your self that life is good, because it really is. And it is good to you. Do you believe life is good? Do you believe that Life wants to be good to you? Do you? Are you thinking about it?
Think. About. It.
When I choose to believe life is good and good to me, AND when I accept myself and my circumstances, all is well. (I did not say to settle for something less than my dreams.) Stated similarly: I have the capacity to simultaneously be content with my current station in life while having really big dreams, realistically healthy goals and clear vision for the future.
Being content does not mean that I do NOT have the desire for something "better." In fact, it is generally agreed that people who have a healthy outlook on life are those that practice contentment while remaining focused on their next greatest version of themselves. Do you want to be wealthy? Believe that you can be. See yourself as being wealthy. Be thankful (and really feel thankful) for the wealth that is yours. Feel free to substitute the word "wealth" with whatever works for you, be it perfect health, better relationships, that dream job or a new car.
There is no need to worry. There never is. There is nothing to fear -- except those things we create in our powerful ever-creating minds. We choose what we see for the future, so choose to see only those things that you "know" you want, not the things you don't want. Then, prepare to be amazed as you watch yourself move directly into that reality.
By the way, this is not some exclusive New Age philosophy. All the great masters who have ever graced our planet spoke of this. The Christ (who is my master) said that I am to ask, receive, and believe that I have already received what I asked for, and I will have it. I like that because I know it works. Having said that, when I do slip and begin to worry, I can now (with much practice) change my thoughts and begin again to follow this simple yet profound guidance.
I am thankful for you, Dear Reader, and I pray that you may have everything you desire. Joseph Campbell once said, "Follow your bliss..." In other words, don't steal from your potential by imagining anything less than the best for yourself. When you think good thoughts about your future, you easily place yourself in line for everything you are desiring. For by staying in tune with that which inspires and moves you, you create the now that makes the future all you want it to be. Believe it. Believe in yourself.
I believe in you!
Peace -- jb
My friends, I know as well that holidays can bring about memories that cloud our eyes with tears for days gone by. I have my own loss to deal with and this season brings back those memories. Allow those memories to fill you with gratitude for the times you had. Let those thoughts of loved ones be your motivation to make the most of the relationships that exist right now.
God bless you as we enter this holy time. God bless you as you contemplate all that you have for which you are thankful. God bless your memories of all that you have loved. May those memories serve as a reminder that having loved means never having to regret a thing. Love is all that matters... past, present, or future. And may God bless your present. May you receive the blessing in the present. And may you know deep down that the present is indeed a gift.
I will leave you with a link from Mary Robinson Reynolds, Author & Founder of Heart Productions & Publishing. I get these e-mails and they never fail to point my heart and mind in a positive direction. I fully understand how difficult the holidays can be for some of us. I am one who has first-hand experience with loss. Allow this short video to open you up to the good and the true that exists all around you. Read the message and/or scroll down for the movie. It will make you smile. Click here -- http://www.makeadifference.com/Success/081124.htm
Peace for the season, love for your family, and thoughts of gratitude for the everyday. -- jb
Now, I don't care too much about New Year's resolutions. I don't make them and most people I know never follow through with them. No problem. I just want to keep things moving ahead, onwards and upwards. So in that spirit, I want to talk about new beginnings.
I always look forward to new things. Spring, a new home, a new plant, a new friend. I like new stuff, and today is as new as any other day so why don't we get off to a good start by thinking of "new beginnings" as being the equivalent of simply having a chance at starting over. A mulligan if you will. A do over.
I have succeeded and failed. I have made it and lost it. I have fallen, and I have gotten back up. This getting back in the game can be described in different ways by different people. One way might be by calling it persistence or bullheadedness. One might say conversely that someone like me is just lucky. Either way, there is something to be said for not giving in or giving up. I am a believer in second chances (I have had my share), and a new beginning is just like a second, or third chance, etc.
The question is: Do I believe I deserve a second chance?
My friend, not only do you and I deserve second chances, I have come to recognize second chances as God's way of saying, "I believe in you, and no matter what, if you are willing, I will give you as many opportunities as you need to get it right." So, don't quit. Don't let the circumstances you are facing drag you down. If watching the news depresses you, stop watching the news. If your friends do nothing but complain and whine about how hard life is, get away from those friends. If you can't get your face to smile, tickle some other part of your body.
You get the message.
It is never as bad as it seems, it never is. And life is really good, it really is. The fact is, whatever we think is bad could be worse, and those things that we hope for could always turn out to be better than we ever dreamed. Hang in there. People believe in you. I believe in you, and I believe in the people who make up our incredible human family. We are not quitters. We have that Divine spark which is inherently ours that kicks in when things get fuzzy and we need guidance. It is good and it is true. Focus on the good and the true. Think thoughts that lead to happy emotions, and leave the rest of it to the worriers of this world. They need something to do too.
Peace is the way, love will help us, and thoughts that are good and true will speed it all up. -- jb
It seems that these decidedly divisive words (as we see them used today) had different meanings when they first became "famous." In fact, a conservative used to be one who was simply resistant to the idea of making changes to existing institutions, while a liberal was unbiased, accepting of change, and even catholic (universal) in their view of others. (Look it up) And sadly, as I observed tonight, the definitions have not really changed much, but the way some people now hide their agendas behind these descriptive terms has got to be an unprecedented occurrence.
Now, as you know, I do not like labels. However, there seems to be a sector of our society who are conservative by proclamation and who are actually fearful about the election results to the point of coming across as "freaking out." I've read posts calling on us to pray, "God help us. We are headed for higher taxes and interest rates." Come on, we have simply elected an another American who happens to be a Democrat, and a somewhat unfamiliar African-American Senator (got a problem with that?) And some would have us believe that we are on the brink of disaster? Get a grip!
I beg your pardon, this change is good. And I can say that without calling myself a liberal, a conservative, a Christian, a Muslim, or any other worn out label. It is time for change! As a matter of fact, changing the course of American history at this time is not only welcome, it is long overdue. Republican, Democrat, Preacher or Pimp, all one has to do is look over the last eight years and it is clear to see that the American Dream has been distorted to mean something bad to the rest of the world. It has come to mean greed, apathy, arrogance, and colonialism. I support our new president. He is an American; I am an American, and I share in his dream of creating a more balanced landscape not only for the well being of Americans, but for the rest of the world who count on us to continue that dream. Many are counting on us... Why do you think so many people want to move here? What do you think about that fact?
I don't want to hear another person complain about redistributing wealth either. What were the early Christians attempting to do when they started the Church? They shared everything. Stop quivering in fear. Have you even thought about it?
Think. About. It.
Barack Obama's proposed tax plan is nothing new. It is in essence the same one we had during the Clinton administration, and together we accomplished a balanced budget by our participation via our tax contributions. I think that we should be able to agree that the last eight years have sufficiently upset any balance that might have existed, whether economical, social, or international. Let's quit freaking out and saying that God has forsaken us.
I believe (you are free to disagree) that we have elected the best candidate we could for redirecting our government and restoring trust in the processes that govern the people. We as Americans have the historical privilege of living in the era that will save America for our children and their children. We will be remembered not only for electing, but hopefully supporting the man who made "change" a healthy term once more; one absent of fear, one that brings about hope, and for me personally a feeling of true patriotism. God I have missed that feeling.
Peace for these times, love for our neighbors, and no more thoughts of fear! -- jb
I have a habit of saying just about anything :O
I also say things that are not completely understood, whether it be the actual words or the thinking behind the words. Whenever this occurs, I am provided the opportunity to put my peace-talk into action. I once had a dear friend say, "Jeff, you can't just say anything you want." I agree.
At the same time, passion causes me to lose sight of this when I get cranked up. I want the world to stop and listen. Rather narcissistic, huh? I agree again. So when I get foot-in-mouth dis-ease, I have the perfect remedy. I say, "I'm sorry." I don't mean just saying the words... I mean meaning the words. My method goes something like this -- "I'm sure that what I said was inappropriate, and I think it may have hurt you. I want you to know that I am sorry, and I will not do that again. Can you forgive me?"
Sort of elementary, you might say, but is it? Have you ever been in a position where you have a genuinely specific opportunity to make peace with someone you love, even if it means modifying the way you express yourself? When you've been around the block as many times as I have, and when you really, truly love people, AND when you are as outspoken as I am, there will inevitably come a time when you are confronted with the choice of either not budging or allowing the feelings of the one you love to take precedence over your need to make a point. Does that even make sense? I hope it does.
This post, like all the others I write, is very personal. I am growing as I am writing. You, Dear Reader, have an open window through which you may observe the evolution of Jeff Baker. I do not pretend to be right, I just speak my mind. I never intend to offend, and I seldom consider what one might glean from my posts, although there are times when I get carried away and unintentionally hurt another's feelings. Kind of like a bully pulpit, I tell it like I see it. But I am anything but a bully. I am a gentle soul with the best of intentions. I have friends who are hurting and I take it upon myself to defend, and much to my dismay, I can come across as offensive.
If you are reading my stuff and you know me, and if you have been offended by anything I have EVER written, I am sorry. I did not mean to hurt you. I cannot justify anything. I will not attempt to do so. I hope you can forgive me.
In closing this confessory entry, I'd like to add, for what it's worth, that I have even pulled some older posts as a means of backing up these heartfelt words. As much as I'd like to think that my blogging is mine alone, I recognize that (and it stings a little to write this but) I can't just say anything I want.
This is a shared world, and during uncertain times like these, it is imperative that each of us do all we can to give peace a chance to flourish. It has the potential to eliminate all of the ugliness that we have witnessed in recent times.
Peace for our lives, love for everyone, and thoughts that lead to reconciliation for us all. -- jb
no. i’m not alone
for the eye that sees
is the I that has won
if we want it to be
then our work’s almost done
it’s the wanting, you see
that will make us all one
i see a world with no lies
only love remains
of course nobody cries
just the sweet scent of rain
falling free on us all
living in peace
is my dream
it’s my destiny’s call
this world is so real
lying just beyond the veil
so long concealed
yet i’m lost in its spell
envision with me
if only for today
people coming together
with peace as their way
i see this place
as sure i know
that love will erase
all memory of foe
beauty and honor
respect, love, and cheer
if you truly believe
then it’s already here
i may be a fool
and this i am sure
will not be the last time
i dip my tongue in the pool
of a love that will last
my vision so near
just want it with me
please, just want it with me
see. now it is here
let it be
that my hope
is not lost on you now
for if our hearts can see it
then peace is here… right now
I wrote this poem because I really and truly believe that world peace, as we see it being defined and attempted by our world leaders, is not possible. There is a fundamental omission of personal responsibility on the individual level. Peace is a personal choice. Right? I can say I desire world peace, but I also scream at my wife, or kick the dog, or curse the other angry driver… Or, I aim my missiles at some other country.
When I decide once and for all that peace starts in my own heart, and I begin to systematically eliminate the actions that promote chaos, I have made my own first step in contributing to peace on a global scale. Pray for peace, but also promote and create peace by doing peaceful things. — jb
I know I exist. I existed before I had my first thought. After I thought, I became a creator :O
Aristotle is quoted as saying, "But if life itself is good and pleasant (...) and if one who sees is conscious that he sees, one who hears that he hears, one who walks that he walks and similarly for all the other human activities there is a faculty that is conscious of their exercise, so that whenever we perceive, we are conscious that we perceive, and whenever we think, we are conscious that we think, and to be conscious that we are perceiving or thinking is to be conscious that we exist..."
You will notice his opening line of thought, "But if life is good and pleasant..." Well, sometimes life is not good and pleasant, but it is what I think it is which is to say I created it the way it is. Many of you will say, "There is no way that I created all these problems in my life!" And I cannot argue with you, but I do humbly disagree. I have a thought about something, and I am thinking about what is and no matter how much I don't want a certain thing, the more I think about it the more it lingers. What I have learned is to change my thinking and then I find I am creating the new thing that I do want.
I can't get into all the physics of it, but these days there is no shortage of those of us who place a lot of emphasis on what thoughts run around in our minds and how those thoughts constitute our reality. Some can explain the details of it. I am less interested in the how, because that is God, or fate, or the process. It is of the utmost importance to me that I become the master of my thoughts and spend my time participating in the end result that I am seeking. Visualizing what I want to ultimately experience, even though I can't see it yet.
That is faith.
You can say I am leaving God out of the equation, and to some degree you might be right, but can we agree that no matter how much faith I have in God, or Source, or the Universe, little if anything happens unless and until I get involved? I mean, I believe in God, but I have prayed, begged, and pleaded for many things that were very important and nothing... absolutely nothing happened. In fact, things sometimes got worse. That does not discount Divine involvement, it implies that I have been asking without really participating in the realization of my prayer. God gave me the mind to use. It is part of being created in her image. I have to use the mind to participate in the intended power that my thinking possesses.
I think, therefore I create. I AM no matter what, and I am creating my world with my every thought. By monitoring my thoughts and keeping them in line with the intended result, I play the most important role I can in seeing the thing come to fruition. Does that make me God? Nah, that's too much responsibility for me, but it does make me a co-creator with God. Like it or not, that is a truth that is as real as rain.
Don't stop praying, just be involved in your prayers. Don't wait for someone else to change your reality. Begin in your own mind seeing the reality you desire while in the process of praying, and I believe you will see that reality come to you quickly. Have faith. It is good to have, and it is better than saying a prayer and just waiting... wait all you want, but I AM getting up, getting out, and getting on with my life fully awake and aware. I AM fully participating in my prayers being answered. What are you doing?
Peace, love, and faith-filled thoughts. -- jb
The above quote speaks directly to the heart of the solution to our current world economic situation. I did not call it a solution; this is fundamentally a larger perspective while involving the heart in coming to terms with why these things are happening, understanding and systematically eliminating the causes, and ultimately getting on with living this great life.
It's time for us to begin to look at ourselves and how we view this situation. Do we feel victimized? Do we need to blame someone? How will this affect our children? Have we thought about it? Have you thought about it?
Think. About. It.
Greed and apathy have played insidious roles in forming the current path. Honesty and integrity will cure it and restore our vision of the correct path, one in which all people are honored and planned for. Maybe we should stop putting our parents in nursing homes and assisted living communities and allow them to live with us in support of raising our children. Think about the benefits, not to mention the honoring of the wisdom inherent in being the older, wiser adult. Spending time with men and women of such stature is incredibly good for young people and children. At the same time, it is very healthy for elderly individuals to be involved in the energy of the young as well. Think about it.
Like I said, fundamentally a larger perspective :)
The opportunities to influence the world for good take place all around us and how we treat other people speaks to our willingness to be a part of the process. We have evolved to a point that we can and should be seeing everyone as connected; not separate. This is indeed a world situation, not just an American situation, and I believe we can get a good start on healing it all if we would consider forgiveness. Forgiveness. Neat word.
Peace -- jb
Genuinely listening to others almost always offers me ways to refine my thoughts about whatever is going on in my life at the moment. I guess mostly because I am open to the way God offers to help me in my every moment, while at the same time recognizing that wisdom does come from the mouths of people when I am really listening to them.
Last night I had the honor of discussing a particularly sensitive subject with a gentleman I have known for a while, but I am just now really getting to know. Without going into detail, let me just say that our conversation was a reminder to me of why I talk so much, and why drawing others out into the open to express their own ideas is so rewarding for me. There is so much wisdom in the world and I want to hear what others have to say.
I awoke this morning refreshed from the experience. It's been a fine day, and I am reminded as I sit in the Memphis airport, waiting hours for my plane, that if we could all each one of us engage in the type of talk I just described, there could be no limit to the good that could come from it.
Sitting in airports exposes me to much negativity as the news channels constantly spew the latest awfulness while somehow maintaining a smile. I don't waste much time on watching or reading the news precisely because of that, but as I sit here today, I remain encouraged and hopeful for the day when all adults world wide will arrive at that place where there is no agenda, and motives are replaced with genuine interest in the ideas of another. Whether you are a politician, a preacher, or a pimp you have an opinion, and your opinion matters. It really does. But don't be mistaken. You are no more important than anyone else. And the opinions, ideas, and interests of other people, countries, and religions can aid all of us when approaching solutions to the many issues we all face.
There is no prerequisite that we agree, only that we honor each other. We are not required to do anything, just listen to each other. There is no shortage of wisdom on this beautiful blue orb that we all live on together. And the sooner all of us tune in to the rest of creation, by crawling out of our place of perfection, the sooner we can get on with the business of healing the hurts that exist today. (Forgiveness is a good place to start, and when would now be the right time to do something about it?) Wisdom is certainly to come when two or more are really intent on honest discussion regarding matters that have real meaning.
When we move into that special place of acceptance without judgement, honor instead of disdain, and love without limits, we will indeed be entering heaven on earth. I believe in it as surely as I believe in our ability to get there. I am not waiting around for my ticket to heaven to get punched. I am not sitting around twiddling my thumbs doing nothing, anticipating liberation from above either. What I am doing is engaging any and all comers who honestly want to make the world a better place in which to live and learn.
It is in the spirit of ending conflict that I write of my thoughts today. This is an effort to spark conversation about forgiveness and how it alone can end all suffering.
Conflict and war in the world reflect conflict and war in the mind, and both this inner an outer turmoil are born of thoughts of anger and attack. The relinquishment of anger and attack and the practice of forgiveness are, therefore, essential to the realization of peace in the world and in ourselves. -- Gifts From a Course on Miracles
I have come to see that there are times that, in my own anger lies the perception of righteousness and justification at the expense of the true feelings of the one I am projecting my interpretation onto. In other words, I have interpreted something about someone and allowed negative emotions to rise up in me because of what appear to be the facts. In that moment I am denying my knowing that forgiveness heals, and choosing to allow anger to take its place without clearly perceiving where the problem lies. When I choose to accept the idea that all conflict stems from misunderstanding, I am taking a first step towards peace and away from conflict.
When I allow myself to receive only loving thoughts from someone and recognize their attack as a cry for help, then I can begin to accept them and work towards healing that hurt. We are all humans with the potential for greater good than we have known, and by choosing to think before we speak, and letting love forge a position of forgiveness deep within us, we allow peace a chance to bloom in any situation... no matter how dire that situation may appear.
Anyone I perceive as my enemy is part of my peace, which I give up when I choose to attack.
I am in my weakest state when I attack, and I am at my strongest when I recognize that I do not need to attack. I always regret conflict afterwards, so my prayer today is that we each remember, before we go into attack mode, how much nicer it is when we all get along in the way we are designed to. We are all better served when we do not choose to be offended, and instead choose to offer healing through the conscious choice to forgive. Every time I write those words, I remember Christ forgiving his murderers while they were in the act of killing him. I think that embodies for me (by design) the totality of love personified. That act alone is the simplest way for me to see that my petty issues are small enough to, at least, justify the idea of forgiving instead of fighting.
Give peace a chance today, let love be its reason, and think thoughts of how to end conflict with those we know we should right now. -- jb
I realize that there is uncertainty regarding the state of our financial institutions here in the U.S., as well as concern over money in general everywhere else in the world. I have had my own issues in recent months, but hey! It is really a great time to be alive, and the joy that I keep bumping into is quite contagious. It is also really hard to miss.
I like how it all seems to contribute to an overall sense of well being, at least from my perspective. Additionally, it is remarkable that this sense of well being would choose to manifest when everything appears to be so screwed up :O
I don't put much stock in the news, and I don't care too much about popular opinion. I have been hearing how bad the economy is for several years and with little exception, my work is as fruitful as it has ever, ever been. So why have some of us been shielded from so much of this chaotic activity and allowed to live an unaffected existence?
I tend to believe that those who choose to see the good will always see it, and the poor souls who choose to see only other than good, have an ample supply of doo doo to sift through. It is a choice to see beyond these illusions, and I encourage you today to consider a new set of eyes and/or glasses if you have anything less than beauty and truth in your immediate view.
It is times like these that allow for the contrast that becomes necessary for some of us when we get too complacent. It is indeed a beautiful world, it's just that some people need help seeing that beauty. If you're happy, offer a glimpse of it to a stranger as you make your way through your day. If your anything short of happy, drop me a line and I will share mine with you.
Either way, just remember that it is our choice to see beauty and truth, and it is also our choice to see something else. Seeing is sometimes believing, and the fact that I am seeing more smiles than frowns makes me more of a believer in world peace than ever before.
May you experience peace, love, and thoughts that are unhindered by illusions. -- jb
I want to pay homage to all of those who give of themselves all day, every day. I know of several people who never fail to bear a smile, a wave, and/or a good word. These are the ones who keep everything in harmony while the rest of creation seems to be caught up in the latest drama of fear and uncertainty. These light bearers are supplying balance in times of seeming chaos.
I am not diminishing the unsettled nature of our economy, or the limited choices presenting themselves in the upcoming election, nor am I ignoring the shameless profit taking of the rich oil companies... wait a minute, yes I am. What I am really attempting to do, if only for the briefest of moments, is to get us to think about the good things that are happening that appear to go unnoticed.
Did you hear about the group of Americans adopting HIV-positive kids from Ethiopia? How about the $16 billion raised at the Anti Poverty Summit? I know these are only news stories, but at least there is a good message in them. On September 22nd, Autumn announced its annual arrival in typical silent fashion, but haven't you noticed a change in the air? How about the trees and their subtle changes in hue? You'd think they were trying to get noticed :)
So, for the record, you don't have to watch the news or read the paper in search of happy news, all you need to do is make some yourself. Offer a smile with no strings attached, hold the door for someone, or make a contribution to the charity group working the street corner. All of these acts contribute to the overall upliftment of society's collective vibration. If enough of us got it in our heads that each act of kindness can overcome any act of meanness, maybe there would be a change that would go more easily noticed. Then if more people noticed the good stuff, more and more people would begin to offer more good stuff until the world was full of good stuff, enough for everyone to feel good about life. Now that's good stuff.
Peace is not a dream, love is its guarantee, and thoughts that are focused on the good and the true will make life better for everyone. I really believe that! -- jb
See, I come from a long line of service-type people. My father and mother always taught me to be a servant, and while I know it has aided me in my perspective of what it means to give, I have only recently acquired the ability to truly receive. I am so thankful for them, and the fact that they are in such great health. I am grateful today for so many things. I have a beautiful wife who thinks I am "all that and a bag of chips." (That's southern speak for she thinks I am the greatest.) I have a son who has literally broken the mold in that he has, and will continue to achieve at levels unprecedented in my experience. I have best friends who have shown me the kind of acceptance that until I met them, I had only read about in the hundreds of books that I have devoured looking for just that :)
Now, it appears that I have new friends, and these friends do not specifically realize the ways in which they are contributing to my becoming who I really am. I would love to list all of them and link you to their particular sites but I am fearful of missing one or two, so I am hesitant. I will link you to two of the many that I visited today. The first is from Tammy. She shares her day via her blog, and today's post spoke to me deeply. Thanks Tammy.
The next one of them is from my first and now my best blogger friend. His name I do not know. I have been calling him Ari (he has not divulged his real name), and he is from the Philippines. He claims to have a dark side, but with as much light as he obviously possesses, I think I can handle it. He goes by the name Hanging on a Hyphen. He is a brilliant writer with a great mind. He is also very giving and full of surprises. Thanks again... whatever your name is.
I have to run now. Evening celebrations have sprung up in spite of my desire to keep my birthdays quiet. I receive it all, and this year for the first time since I was a kid, I am going to savor it, and cherish it in my heart.
Gratitude. A simple word offering the promise of new beginnings. I feel brand new today.
I feel at peace. -- jb
Just stop and think about how we sometimes profile another without ever knowing we did. I hear people say, "Well, I 'jewed' him down on his price." Or, "Those children act like wild indians." Or, "I just n*****-rigged it." I will not write the word. It insults our entire society but I think you get the picture. I am a 46 year old (that means I was raised in the 60's) white American living in Montgomery, Alabama, and I have probably heard every variation on the prejudicial slandering of African Americans, Jewish Americans, Native Americans, and just about any other non-white American you can imagine. I now travel extensively and I am sad to say that that sort of unconscious activity is prevalent everywhere, and in every part of this beautiful world. I think I am going to be sick, but the point of this ranting ramble is an attempt to get you to think about it!
Think. About. It.
Why is it ok to say things that allow another human to be put down in the first place? Why do we listen without saying something? We could at least walk away. Do we so lack in imagination and originality that we feel compelled to perpetuate and participate in this mindset without questioning it? Furthermore, why does this sort of conduct ultimately lead us to take part in the act of exclusion? Judgement is a scourge on all of us and the snobbish practices of elitism and exclusivity have increased in there divisiveness it would seem. Polarity between races, classes of society, and ethnic groups all seem to be on the rise in recent times. But wait! Is this really happening, or is it that there have always been man-made excuses created right from the beginning of history that provide license to mistreat others anytime we like, in any way we like? I really think I'm going to be sick now.
I won't drag this out. You can read most any of my posts and fully understand my thinking on this subject, and I hope you do. I hope you will get others to read them. In fact, I hope you will not just read, but do something about it in your particular area of influence. Startle your friends by no longer participating in the old ways. Begin to show them a new way, a way of love and acceptance. It is really much easier to be nice to people than to be mean. We also expend much less energy accepting than we do pushing away. Try hugging somebody... it feels good, and it is so much less stressful to choose to avoid conflict with others than to choose to be offended by them.
My friend, you and I are both human beings. The differences that make us unique are perfectly planned to contribute to the splendid diversity that comprises our human race. As soon as we change the way we see our neighbor, our neighbor will change before I very eyes without having to do a thing. We will suddenly see a new world, a world of peace. This world is one that I think is being lovingly, yet silently created in the background, behind the chaos and confusion. It seems to be hidden most of the time by news stories of war and violence, or it is subjected to last page news if written about at all. But there are nice people everywhere making news. You just don't hear much about it.
I think that if we just quit watching the news altogether, and made the choice instead to get up and go outside to visit the elderly widow down the street or the child with Down's Syndrome, we might begin to truly see the good news that is right under our noses. We need not ever look down the afore mentioned facial appendage again. All we need are eyes willing to see the beauty in everyone, everywhere, all the time. It is there if you look for it.
Just imagine a world free from conflict, and free from the idea of separation or division.
Wow! What a wonderful world that will be, a world worthy of the peace it seems unable to realize. I pray for peace. Won't you join me? I believe we can change the world together, and to help get us started I will leave you with some of the most beautiful words ever written:
"Imagine there's no heaven, it's easy if you try. No hell below us, above us only sky. Imagine all the people living for today... Imagine there's no countries. It isn't hard to do. Nothing to kill or die for, and no religion too. Imagine all the people living life in peace... You may say I'm a dreamer, but I'm not the only one. I hope someday you'll join us, and the world will be as one.
Imagine no possessions. I wonder if you can. No need for greed or hunger, a brotherhood of man. Imagine all the people sharing all the world... You may say I'm a dreamer, but I'm not the only one. I hope someday you'll join us, and the world will live as one." -- John Lennon
Peace is possible, love will make it happen, and our good thoughts about it will speed it up. -- jb
The Universe is full of natural laws, and we bow to them without thinking about them. Gravity, time, weather, etc., are just a few, and we never really think about them because they just happen. Well, don't get in a wad when I submit to you that there is another law that is equally natural, but I do have a choice in how it operates. At least to the degree that I believe it :o
That law is the Law of Attraction, and it is getting renewed attention even though it is, was, and will always be just another natural law. The cool thing is that by participating in its power and cooperating with it, we come one step close to accomplishing all we have ever wanted to be, do, or have. The paradox for me is that it has the same effect in the opposite fashion when I look for things to feel negative about and then just unconsciously "allow" it to bring me all the things that kind of energy produces.
My parents raised me to pray to God and I do. At the same time, these days I have enhanced my prayers by becoming a willing participant in the outcome, and it has changed my outlook on life irreversibly. I meditate on peace and I find it. I know I am created in the image of God as the book says, and I can do all things through Christ (not the man Jesus, but the anointing he carried is equally available to me -- look it up!) and I believe it. I say positive things. I think positive things. And when I do, good things happen. When I don't, well... I don't need to elaborate, do I?
Friends, try it today. Change the way you look at your situation, and I guarantee that if you really believe in the new way, your situation will change, and you will see positive results.
Satisfaction guaranteed. Gotta run... Peace -- jb
Let's be frank: Life is supposed to be enjoyable, and if you find yourself constantly fighting, then somewhere along the way you have missed out on the original plan. It happens to all of us, and we can unwittingly fall prey to blaming or lashing out when things are not going the way we would like. This leads me to the main point of this post --
Am I trying to control things when I place a definite expectation on something or someone?
It would appear that after years of analyzing this idea, it is a fact that when I am disappointed in some outcome, I can always trace it back to having a certain expectation. When I am truly participating in the art of allowing, then I no longer have a need to control how something turns out. I can be expectant and I can have my dreams and goals. This is a very important element in personal development, however when I expand that into demanding things be a specific way, I am no longer enjoying myself. I can all but guarantee a disappointment when I set myself up like that.
Instead of worrying about how something will go, I have found that by simply wanting and desiring the good and the true, and furthermore, leaving the "how" to God (this is where faith comes in), I am very likely to be ok with the end result. I want world peace. I also understand that I alone cannot achieve it. I can pray about it, meditate on it, dream about it, and truly desire it... I do in fact, but I ultimately must trust God to bring it about. It could be that many others are feeling the same as I, and at some point out there in the near future, there will be enough of us that a critical mass will occur. I don't really need to know how it will look, I just need to look for it.
My friends, I am tired of the way I give in to my lower nature and start whining when things do not go my way. I have seen enough of the "my way or the highway" mentality to know that it is a primitive mindset. I am making every effort to be consistent in my daily walk by allowing things to be what they are. This is an important effort in my way of thinking because it is a way of accepting without selling out on my dreams. I always lean into any risk for the sake of seeing my dreams come true, all the while being ok with my state of affairs right now.
I hope that makes sense, and I would love to hear your comments. Otherwise, I am just talking to myself. I already do enough of that :)
Peace to you, love for you, and accepting thoughts about you and this world. -- jb
I used to hold my stomach in when I looked at myself in the mirror. I can't explain it. It's not like I don't know the truth about my body and how it really looks. I guess that it boils down to fear.... ouch!
Well, I don't do that anymore. In fact, I have made a lot of progress with the truth that I understand about myself. And I think that that understanding has helped me to see a bigger truth about humanity in general. I will not place any blame on the media, but let's face it, they really portray an unrealistic idea of what is acceptable when it comes to how we look. Not everybody can look like those we see advertised... where would the contrast be? Ego has everything to do with that type of marketing and I for one, don't believe that it is necessary to fall for that line of doo-doo sales. It is just another example of plastic people putting out plastic concepts designed to sell something. But when we think about it, isn't it the way the world works at times?
I know people who are really great, but they have a sort of distorted perspective on honesty. And maybe I am wrong, but I also think those same people live in some type of fantasy world where they actually believe the lies they tell. Do you relate? I am not judging them, only making an observation.
Why do we ever lie?
Fear of anything can lead to an unhealthy life. If I am afraid at times I am only human, but does that make it ok to be dishonest? Not if you value those who might be hurt by that dishonesty. Wake up and smell the coffee. It isn't rocket science that one lie leads to another, and another, ad nauseum. It is down right unhealthy for the liar and the lied to. I think a healthy life is one that makes truth the only option. Telling the truth isn't difficult, but it can be difficult to accept. I have good friends who are not afraid to let me know when I am out of step with who I really am. I appreciate that. I try to do likewise for them. I think that is a healthy life between good friends. Don't you?
Try today to make honesty a priority. Even if you consider yourself completely honest, do you hold in your tummy when you look in the mirror? Trust me when I tell you that it can be very freeing to just be yourself with your Self. It also requires less energy :)
Peace and truth -- jb