7 Things To ALWAYS Be Grateful For

Gratitude opens our eyes

  1. VISION – is the primary source of sensory input for most people. Eyes are highways between inside and outside. Rest your eyes. Exercise your eyes. Look. See. Observe.

And should you really open your eyes and see you’d behold your image in all images.  Kahlil Gibran

If eyesight is impaired, consider the words of Stevie Wonder…

Just because a man lacks the use of his eyes doesn’t mean
he lacks vision. 

Gratitude listens and is present

2. HEARING – gives us the ability to listen. To listen is to be present. To listen is to learn. Listen to nature, animals, music. Listen to people. Listen to your inner voice.

…if you do not listen to your own being, you will have betrayed yourself. Rollo May

If hearing is impaired, listen to silence.…

Let us be silent, that we may hear the whispers of the gods.
Ralph Waldo Emerson

Gratitude expressed to others is a loving touch

3. TOUCH – is crucial to well-being. Physical affection changes bio-chemistry, releases stress, lifts depression and boosts the immune system. Touch tenderly. Hug often.

To be able to feel the lightest touch really is a gift.
Christopher Reeve

Gratitude for thinking stimulates creativity

4. THINKING – gives us the power to chart our course in life and make decisions. It gives us the freedom of choice and the ability to change direction. Thinking can lock us in a self-made prison or set us free.

Very little is needed to make a happy life; it is all within yourself, in your way of thinking. Marcus Aurelius

Gratitude arouses joy and laughter

5. LAUGHTER – releases stress, relieves pain, stimulates the brain, aids memory, improves mood, expands awareness and creates a bond between people. Look for humor. Laugh out loud. Laugh a lot.

There is little success where there is little laughter. 
Andrew  Carnegie

Gratitude is a song of love

6. LOVE – is pure energy that flows through open channels. Love harmonizes, unifies and blesses all. Be kind. Be forgiving. Be grateful. Be loving.

There are four questions of value in life… What is sacred? Of what is the spirit made? What is worth living for and what is worth dying for? The answer to each is the same. Only love. Lord Byron

Gratitude to the spirit within makes our light shine

7. SPIRIT – Whether you think of it as the spirit of life or the spirit of God, there is something more to us than bodies and brains. It calls us to grow, to learn, to create, to love. Nurture your spirit.  

Where the spirit does not work with the hand,
there is no art.
Leonardo da Vinci

As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter words, but to live by them.John F. Kennedy (2)

How to Exponentially Increase Your Power

Scratch the surface and you will find in every human being a yearning for love and a desire to belong. Social isolation has deadly effects. Why is there such difficulty in experiencing the feeling of unity and completion we all crave?

A false sense of pride drives us to set ourselves apart and highlight our differences. We compete to outdo one another, to prove we are better. Whether it is us alone or our team or our product or our country, we want to win, be #1. That’s what our society glorifies, and that’s our goal. But at what cost?

Winners must have losers. Superior necessitates inferior. Did you play the game King of the Hill when you were a child? Everyone struggles to reach the top of a hill and hold that position. How? By pushing contenders down the hill. Sooner or later, the king is outnumbered and thrown from his perch. The position is claimed by someone else who then turns against those who helped him achieve the coveted spot.

hiking-691739_640The excitement of gaining the top of the hill was always accompanied by fear of losing it. The apex is a scary, shaky place when attained by pushing others down. There’s always someone nipping at our heels, anxious to overthrow the king. Winning is ephemeral, the thrill of victory short lived, replaced by a sense of separation and isolation. Little did we know that our game echoed the game of life.

Competition is one of the primary forces in business and athletics, in life. It drives a wedge in  relationships. Partners compete: who is contributing more, more accomplished? Parents and children compete: who is in control? Students compete: who is smarter? Friends compete: who is more popular?  Competition separates us from those we most want to connect with.

There is nothing noble in being superior to your fellow men. True nobility lies in being superior to your former self.
Ernest Hemingway

IF COMPETITION DIVIDES, WHAT UNITES? 

Co-operation. Said as one word, cooperation can infer compromise, sacrifice, giving in. As two words, co-operation, it has a different implication: functioning together, in harmony, working with instead of against. When parts work together as one, the result is wholeness, completion, perfection. Co-operation is unifying. Where once we sought personal good, co-operation shifts our focus to the common good. Mutual support and achievement replace competition.

When people co-operate, they are mutually supportive, they help each other. Where once our actions divided, in co-operation they join. The result is increased power for everyone; mutual enhancement not personal glory.  William Tiller, professor emeritus at Stanford University, made an exhaustive study of group energy. He discovered that the power of coherent group energy equals at least the square of the number of people present. Two people with a common goal, joining forces, co-operating would have the power of at least four people. Think of what this means.  We can access at least four times more than our personal power by co-operation with just one other person. 10 people in unity have the power of 100.

Through co-operation, we can access power we could never experience individually. With that comes the sense of completion and fulfillment we all crave, the transcendental joy of being part of something greater than our limited, individual self. We need one another to achieve this. Not in the ego sense of getting something we don’t have but to expand our boundaries and begin to discover who we may be.

Separation is humanity’s disease. Union is healing.

As John Donne so eloquently put it…

No man is an island,
Entire of itself,

Every man is a piece of the continent,

A part of the main.

You Are Not Who You Think You Are

We are not who we think we are. We are not the costume we wear. Our True Self is the unchanging reality behind the facade.

God has given you one face, and you make yourself another.
Shakespeare

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The more we deny our true identity, the emptier we feel. The emptier we feel, the more we seek comfort in food, drink, drugs, relationships, possessions. It is no secret that obesity, addictions and depression are major problems in the United States. More than 2/3 of the American adult population is overweight or obese. The best-selling drugs in the country treat depression and other mental disorders.

We may be putting on a happy face, but we are not truly happy, healthy people. How can we feel secure when the self we identify with is a flimsy creation that keeps changing? How can we feel secure when we believe we’re not good enough, smart enough, loveable enough? How can we feel secure when we feel separate and limited?

Fortunately, no matter what insecurities and fears reside within, they can be transformed. But first we have to face them.  We can’t heal what we refuse to acknowledge. It is in denying our thoughts and feelings, driving them out of conscious awareness that they grow into frightful, negative forces that cast a dark shadow over the True Self and stifle the flow of pure energy. Looking is the light that illuminates darkness and dispels it.

LOOKING MEANS…

Honestly acknowledging and confronting:

our dark side
insecurity
judgments
misperceptions
unloving thoughts
repressed emotions
guilt and fear
attack impulses
investment in our roles
grievances

As we dismantle the false self, our true nature will be revealed. We don’t have to seek it. As the sun appears when clouds dissipate, so the True Self appears when we remove interferences to it.

We all yearn for something we cannot name. We have a hunger nothing in this world can satisfy. It is our True Self calling to us. Answering the call often feels like swimming across a body of water. You’ve heard there is something wonderful on the other side, but you can’t see it. Midway across, you wonder if it is wise to give up the shore you know for one you don’t. You’re not even sure exactly what you’re swimming toward. What is the True Self?

While we can endeavor to describe it with words such as light, love and peace, the True Self must be experienced to be known. We have all had such experiences whether we realized it at the time or not.

WHEN…

beautiful music brings tears to your eyes
an experience touches you so deeply, you feel your heart open
a scene in nature overwhelms you
a pervasive sense of peace comes over you
you are immersed in a project and actions flow without thought
you spontaneously reach out to help a stranger having no thought of recognition or reward
the right idea or guidance miraculously appears
you automatically know the right words to say and actions to perform
thoughts cease and silent peace enfolds you
you share good natured and whole-hearted laughter
you look on the world with compassion instead of judgment…

You are transcending the false self and experiencing your True Self. When that happens, you are fulfilled – literally filled full. As wonderful as that sounds, as much as we all yearn for it, we have resistance. We fear the unknown. We’re attached to our individual identities and beliefs. That’s why awakening is usually a gradual process. We don’t disappear into a blaze of glory never to be seen again. Hearts and minds begin to open. Life is more peaceful and joyful. Our words and actions are inspired by loving kindness and we are not attached to the results of our efforts.

As we remove the layers that cover the True Self, we will have longer and deeper experiences. The great Hindu guru Ramana Maharshi said:

Realization is not acquisition of anything new nor is it a new faculty. It is removal of all camouflage.

Excerpted from Healing Feelings