Saturday, February 1, 2014

Daily Inspirational Message for February 1, 2014

Silence is something that comes from your heart, not from outside. Silence doesn’t mean not talking and not doing things; it means that you are not disturbed inside. If you’re truly silent, then no matter what situation you find yourself in, you can enjoy the silence.
– Thich Nhat Hanh

There’s a certain state of mind we can get ourselves in where we are happy and serene no matter what. I first discovered this years ago when I had to go to a social event I was dreading because I knew it would be boring and uncomfortable for me. As I had been recently reading about the law of attraction, I decided to practice setting my own tone and having a great time regardless of what was happening around me. I ended up having all sorts of interesting exchanges and an all around lovely time. If we cultivate inner peace and well-being through daily spiritual practice, we can take it with us anywhere, and enjoy ourselves in even the most unlikely situations.

Surprise Yourself

Some of the most interesting and valuable experiences are the ones you don’t expect. Surprises can bring into your life good things you never knew were there.

It’s comfortable to stick with the same old routine, but comfort is overrated. Choose to regularly jump out of that routine, and get yourself in situations where you can be surprised.

Learn to look forward to the difficult, the unusual and the unknown. When you’re not sure what you’ll find, you’re more likely to find something that will bring new richness to your life.

You are superbly able to be curious, innovative and adaptable, so make use of those powerful abilities. Step out of the comfortable box that houses everything you already know, and enjoy exploring unfamiliar territory.

If you were a typical child, you loved surprises. Make it a point to get some of that magic back.

Go where you can surprise yourself. And experience firsthand just how fascinating and rich your life can be.

— Ralph Marston

Guy Kawasaki On Ways To Connect More Deeply

"Make Crows Feet. Use the Right Words. Perfect Your Handshake. Dress for a Tie. Get Close. Don't Impose Your Values. Accept Others. Pursue and Project Your Passions. Find Shared Passions. Default to Yes." In this compelling infographic, former chief evangelist of Apple, Guy Kawasaki, further details his advice for increasing likability. Or put another way, simply connecting more deeply.

http://www.dailygood.org/story/57/ways-to-connect-more-deeply-guy-kawasaki/

Friday, January 31, 2014

Daily Inspirational Message for January 31, 2014

“In Buddhism, it is said that when the student is ready, the master appears. When I first read this, I thought it meant that once you are ready to begin your spiritual journey, a master (a guru, a Christ-like figure, an angel, etc.) would come out of nowhere and start to teach you what you need to learn to advance spiritually or even physically. What I’ve come to find out, however, is that we are surrounded by those who can teach us about ourselves and about the world in deep ways. We simply have to shift our perception and see people for who they really are. The boyfriend who seemed to cheat on you and break your heart was actually the master who taught you about non-attachment and self-love. The mother who abandoned you and from whom you never heard again was actually the master who taught you about responsibility and dedication. The best friend who spread your deepest secrets to your enemies was the master who taught you about being honest and totally accepting of your history. That shift in perception is the process of the student becoming ready. That student discovers that she had been surrounded by masters all along.” – the soul jump

Fulfilling Journey

What matters much more than where you are is the direction you are going. That’s something you can change instantly if you wish.

You cannot create an instant achievement, yet you can instantly be headed in the direction of whatever achievement you choose. From wherever you are, there is a path and a direction.

Your task for right now is not to get all the way there. Your responsibility in this moment is to keep yourself moving in the direction that will eventually get you all the way there.

No matter how long you’ve been off track, or how far away from the path you’ve wandered, you can begin right now to get back on track. Your very next action sets your direction, so wisely choose that action and go with it.

Don’t waste your time with regrets about where you’ve been or empty wishes about where you’d like to be. Use this very moment to firmly establish and maintain a positive, meaningful direction for your life.

Whatever the challenges may be, however ambitious the goal, your direction is yours to choose in each and every moment. Choose the direction that most authentically expresses your unique value, and enjoy a truly fulfilling journey.

— Ralph Marston

The Spellbinding Effect of Stories

Richard Hamilton asks why we love stories and why we love hearing them spoken aloud, in person. He concludes that whatever the evolutionary explanation, narrative seems to occupy a very central position in our thought patterns, that perhaps storytelling is a sort of flight simulator that allows us to practice something without getting hurt.

http://www.dailygood.org/more.php?n=5837

Thursday, January 30, 2014

Daily Inspirational Message for January 30, 2014

Whatever you can do or dream you can, begin it. Boldness has genius, power, and magic in it. Begin it now.
- Goethe

Project yourself into the future a year from now, and then five years from now. What will your future self thank you for doing now? At some point, I got tired of being unhappy with my weight, and I started thinking about how I would feel in a month, three months, and a year if I quit dilly-dallying around and dove into creating what I wanted in my life. It was one of the best decisions I ever made. Think of your job, your home, your health, your relationships, and your deepest desires. If you pick one thing you really, really want and give yourself wholly to it, starting now, it will energize you and lead you down a path that you will one day thank yourself for walking.

If You Feel Stuck

If you feel stuck, there are possibilities you are not seeing. Though it may not be obvious or easy, there is a realistic and accessible way forward.

If you feel stuck, it’s likely that the things you fear are obscuring the things you love. Progress begins with sincere, grateful focus on who and what you truly love.

Life improves dramatically when you begin to give and to live in the service of what’s most meaningful to you. Think of what you can joyfully give to life, and with that thought you are suddenly facing in a new, positive direction.

Keep in mind that happiness is a choice you can make regardless of your circumstances. Choose to be happy, and then express that happiness with your actions.

Give yourself a good enough reason to move forward, and you will. Somewhere, within your beautiful capacity to love, is a powerful reason that’s plenty good enough.

Instead of feeling stuck, feel love. Give life to that love, and you won’t be stuck any longer.

— Ralph Marston

Gardening At The Dragon's Gate

Gardening is a fundamental work that demands your energy and heart, and it gives you back great treasures as well. It is all about picking and choosing and following our passion. Read on for a glimpse of one gardener's beautiful insights gleaned from 25 years at Green Gulch farm.

http://www.dailygood.org/story/611/gardening-at-dragon-s-gate-ecoliteracy-org/

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Daily Inspirational Message for January 29, 2014

Morning Prayer: “Dear God, I give this day to You. May my mind stay centered on the things of spirit. May I not be tempted to stray from love. As I begin this day, I open to receive You. Please enter where You already abide. May my mind and heart be pure and true, and may I not deviate from the things of goodness. May I see the love and innocence in all mankind, behind the masks we all wear and the illusion of this worldly plane. I surrender to You my doings this day. I ask only that they serve You and the healing of the world. May I bring Your love and goodness with me, to give unto others wherever I go. Make me the person You would have me to be. Direct my footsteps, and show me what You would have me to do. Make the world a safer, more beautiful place. Bless all Your creatures. Heal us all, and use me, dear Lord, that I might know the joy of being used by You. Amen.” – Marianne Williamson

Do This Day Right

Do this day right by getting it off to a good start. Do this day right by giving it a meaningful, positive purpose.

You have precisely one opportunity to discover and to live the unique value of this day. Get started on it right now.

Get started strong, and keep going with enthusiasm and love for the possibilities. Decide that you will do something truly great with this day, and then enjoy doing it.

Remember that every moment is a choice, and all those choices add together to determine the quality of your day. Choose wisely, choose intentionally, and choose to add great richness and meaning to your world today.

The immense value of this day is yours right now. Make good and purposeful use of it so that tomorrow you’ll have no regrets.

Do this day right by living it with love, joy and authenticity. Do this day right by bringing its outstanding possibilities fully to life.

— Ralph Marston

A Great Potential for Love

"Natalie Batalha hunts for "exoplanets" -- Earth-sized planets beyond our own solar system -- that might have liquid water and harbor life. ...And, I've never met anyone who speaks more intriguingly than Natalie Batalha about the connection between science, love, and gratitude for life. She is a luminous voice for the way exploring the heavens -- as we do that now -- is bringing the beauty of the cosmos and the exuberance of scientific discovery closer home to us all.

http://www.dailygood.org/story/580/on-exoplanets-and-love-krista-tippett/

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Daily Inspirational Message for January 28, 2014

There is special JOY (Just Open Yourself) in canceling plans. Canceling plans can sometimes be the most self-relieving, nurturing thing you can do for yourself.
– Susan Ariel Rainbow Kennedy (SARK)

Have you ever had a commitment to do something with someone but you just didn't feel up to it, found the courage to cancel, and learned that the other person was feeling the same as you and was actually relieved? I have had this experience many times and laughed to think that we both may have pushed ourselves to do something neither one of us really wanted to do. If you’re not feeling up to following through on a commitment – if it doesn't feel right to you or something important has come up or you just need a bit of quiet time – love yourself by speaking up. If you don’t abuse the privilege, the people who really care about you will understand, and they may even be relieved to have a break in their own busy schedules.

When The Challenges Are Great

When the challenges are great, so are the rewards. If the journey is long, there is much value to be gained in making it. 

When people criticize what you’re doing, it means you’re making a difference. When you keep encountering obstacles, it means you’re moving forward. 

Just because you experience life’s difficulties is not a reason to be dismayed. Keep in mind that the more solidly you’re making progress the more resistance you’ll feel. 

Feel the resistance, and realize that the very fact you’re feeling it push against you means you’re pushing forward through it. Feel the palpable sense of progress, and keep going.

Just on the other side of challenge is achievement. Just on the other side of the obstacle you’re facing is your next step on the path forward.

Persist through one challenge, and another, and another. You’ll emerge as a much stronger person, having created great new value in your world.

— Ralph Marston

Monday, January 27, 2014

Standing on the Shoulders of Giants

“The teachers and methods that once guided you, the ones that changed and saved your life, the ones that seemed solid as steel, may no longer be appropriate for you…In horticulture, there is one sure sign that a plant is healthy: the presence of new growth. If the plant is forming new leaves and flowers, it is in good shape. Likewise, we must always be forming new leaves and flowers to stay alive spiritually. For new growth to come, the old leaves must fall away. They have done their job. They will be recycled by the universe to create new and more wondrous creations.”

http://kajama.com/standing-shoulders-giants/

Your Secret Stash

“In the opening scene of the movie Mr. and Mrs. Smith, we find the couple in a therapy session. Mrs. Smith tells the therapist, ‘There’s this huge space between us, and it just keeps filling up with everything that we don’t say to each other.’ While we might be inclined to define relationships by what we say to each other, they are more accurately defined by what we don’t say to each other.”

http://kajama.com/secret-stash/

Twigs and Shout

“As you and I enter the new year, we find ourselves on a journey over a vast uncharted sea. Will we ever reach the prosperity, rewarding relationships, health, clarity, and inner peace we have been promised? Can I have a job that fulfills my soul and provides me with a substantial income? Can I meet someone who truly matches me? Can I find harmony with my current partner? Is there a place on the planet that feels like home? Will my body work as well as I would like it to? Can I be happy?”

http://kajama.com/twigs-shout/

Daily Inspirational Message for January 27, 2014

Bless those who challenge us to grow, to stretch, to move beyond the knowable, to come back home to our essential nature. Bless those who challenge us, for they remind us of doors we have closed and doors we have yet to open.
- Native American Prayer

We are all familiar with the idea that our worst enemy is our greatest spiritual teacher, but it can really be hard to give thanks for self-centered people when they are driving us crazy. It does help to remember some of the things difficult people have to teach us: They require us to grow more patient, more tolerant, and more forgiving; they test the power of our convictions by making us walk our talk; they are clear examples of how we don’t want to be; they remind us of our power to affect others and why it’s so important to be kind.

Making The Effort

When you don’t feel like making the effort, the thing that will help you more than anything else is to go ahead and make that effort. Even when you are too tired or too bored, too distracted or too dismayed, the way out is to get busy and put forth effort.

Wishing for things to be better won’t make things better. What will make things better is taking positive, focused action.

Making excuses won’t make things right. The way forward is to make a real difference by making a real effort.

Just because it’s difficult, uncomfortable and inconvenient, doesn’t mean it’s impossible. You have what it takes to take effective action, and that is a powerfully positive thing to do. 

Instead of wasting your priceless time with procrastination, make good use of the time that’s now yours. Spend that time making a meaningful difference.

What you get out of life depends on what you get out of yourself. Make the effort, again and again, and give much more beautiful and meaningful life to all of life.

— Ralph Marston

Read more at http://www.greatday.com/#c3J6hBWHdtCF0Wij.99

Advocacy For Altrusim

For years, many have argued that our need to help others isn't an act of selflessness -- rather, a trait which is embedded deeply in our DNA. "Basically, they used to say that behind all altruistic gestures, there is a selfish motive. In other words, a clever and acute mind will always find a selfish motive behind a good deed," says French Buddhist monk Matthieu Ricard. Thus, is the paradox of altruism. But, what if all this could be changed? Would we then be capable of genuine altruism, no matter what the circumstances" Matthieu Ricard believes we can -- it's just a matter of practice.

http://www.dailygood.org/story/583/advocacy-for-altruism-huff-post/

Sunday, January 26, 2014

Daily Inspirational Message for January 26, 2014

Remember, we are all affecting the world every moment, whether we mean to or not. Our actions and states of mind matter because we are so deeply interconnected. Working on our own consciousness is the most important thing that we are doing at any moment, and being love is the supreme creative act.
- Ram Dass

Sometimes, the more spiritual books and articles we read, the more complicated living wisely can seem. We’re supposed to be humble but love ourselves; to honor our own needs but be of service to others; to be content with what we already have but reach for the biggest dreams in our hearts. Whenever my spiritual path starts to feel more confusing than enlightening, I realign with clarity by remembering the heart of all I’ve learned thus far from all my studying and exploring: that life is all about LOVE. By simply aligning with love, we find our way moment by moment, and step by step.

How To Turn Your Brain From Anger To Compassion

Why do we need compassion? Are we so genetically compelled to alleviate the suffering of others, that our minds are momentarily able to shift from 'self' to 'selflessly?' Or, is it possible that acting with compassion helps to relieve our own pain, as well? The Buddhist tradition offers, "Just like me, you want to be happy; just like me, you want to be free of suffering" -- thus, reinforcing the basis of equanimity. We are all very much in this together. So, what makes living compassionately so? Paul Gilbert, author of Mindful Compassion, offers that our own life experiences may be to blame - as we become trapped inside an endless 'psychological loop' which prevents us from sharing and receiving the love we so deserve. But what if this pattern might be reversed? This article shares more...

http://www.dailygood.org/story/582/how-to-turn-your-brain-from-anger-to-compassion-paul-gilbert/