Affliction

Living with pain, distress or grief can be miserable.

That is if you choose it to be. One of the most liberating lessons in my life was learning I could choose happiness.

BEAGLE

You cannot always control the arrival of calamities; you can control their effect. Disease, disorder and hardship is an understandable cause of pain. Pain, whether it is physical, mental or emotional, is very real.

Equally powerful are persecution from family, friends and colleagues. The anguish is undeniable. Adversity is an anguish to your soul. It can lead to depression.

And you still have a choice to be content.

Misfortune is a part of being human. So too is happiness and contentment. The key is to identify that there is hope!

Hope Cover 2018

There has been a good response to the launch of my latest book, Finding Hope. I said you would be informed when the e-book was available.

It is a privilege to announce Finding Hope is now available as an e-book as well as a paperback.

If you buy the paperback from amazon.com, you can receive the e-book for free!

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Thank you everyone who have been supportive of my writings. It is very humbling.

Peaceful blessings,

Timothy

How to Enjoy the Moment

Daily rituals are your means to live a fulfilled meaningful life.

Sometimes you read blogs like this and even though your heart sings in harmony while you are reading you wonder how to recall the tune when it is finished.

It is important to have a practical application to Embracing Where You Are At. There are as many applications as there are persons; however, let me give you one that is common to all: rituals.

Religion is an intricate aspect of being human because it supplies rituals. People are “religious” by nature and why religious systems and institutions will always be with us.

However, there are things you do “religiously” that you would not connect with worshiping a greater Power. Whether it be gardening, meeting up friends at a particular restaurant or playing with your cat; these are sacred moments.

When you do the little things on a regular basis you connect with the environment, others and most importantly yourself. You are recharging your internal batteries.

The daily rituals you exercise to eat, groom prepare for bed are just as important as meditation or prayer—and they have similar power. You are focusing on the moment! The past is behind you; the future is not important; brushing your teeth is the most important part of your life at the time you are doing it!

The core value is the moment itself! It’s not the taking out of trash; it’s the opportunity to reflect upon what is within. Rituals are performed by our physical aspect without thought. That is your opportunity to appreciate your Essence. Value your physical experience as a spiritual being.

Daily rituals are your means to live a fulfilled meaningful life. Learn to appreciate each one you will learn to embrace any event. From your daily “worship” activities you gain strength to be still and respond to events instead of reacting thoughtlessly.

Renewing Your Mind

There is healing power in routine.

Much pain exists in the mind. Emotional hurts; psychological battles; relationship issues; all are very painful. Although they are not physically induced they affect our physical health. The old adage is true: a healthy mind leads to a healthy body. The concept itself is ancient. A first century apologist for Jesus’ teachings preserved the concept it when he wrote:

And be renewed in the spirit of your mind.

The mental existence requires spiritual power to overcome the effects on the physical body. Spiritual renewal of the mind is a daily exercise in meditation, quality reading, and beautiful art. Unfortunately, most today feed on the negativity of news items, violent entertainment, and harsh music.

When living in New Zealand, a mark was made among real estate sales agents by a particular USA speaker. His inspirational talks made a lasting impression that helped increased their sales. Of course that lead to an increase in personal wealth and expanded lifestyle. What was the key message?

The speaker shared the story of a USA company that had 90% of their sales produced by 5% of their staff. Many involved with sales organizations recognize this phenomenon. What made this company different, however, was they investigated how they could increase the effectiveness of the 5% by learning the secrets of the 90%.

Monitors were hired to follow the leading sales persons throughout their daily routine. They slept in their homes, taking notes of every little thing they did from the time they got out of bed, through their work day, while selling, right up to when they returned to bed.

After two weeks, the research was compiled. A common denominator was discovered: each sales person had a routine they were not ashamed to repeat. Every Monday, they did the same thing as the Monday before. Every Tuesday, they mimicked the Tuesday before and so on through every day of the week.

The key to their success was daily renewing their tasks.

Renewing your mind on a daily basis leads to more than monetary gain: it yields strong character unashamed of spirituality. It recognizes the source of power in the physical realm is rooted in another.

It is a daily task. Great concentration is required to overcome the evil within society. Mental concentration avoids becoming weary in well-doing. Renewing your mind spiritually each day transforms your character as evil is shunned. A daily determined effort to renew your mind by spiritual means will generate joy and purpose. It is your spirit that will determine your mind guiding your body through routine.

There is healing power in routine.

Season of the Ant

It is always amazing to consider the timelessness of ancient wisdom. Thousands of years ago, a poet king once wrote:

Go to the ant, thou sluggard; consider her ways, and be wise: which having no guide, overseer, or ruler, provideth her meat in the summer, and gathereth her food in the harvest.

The power of this ageless proverb remains relevant. Society today is so consumed with having everything now. Young people carry student loans unable to be repaid. Families choose stress over purposeful living with mortgages beyond their budget. It appears success is judged by possessions instead of peace.

Most ants build a nest of some sort and store their hard-gathered food in that nest. The food is gathered in the harvest after working all summer long.

Have you considered that most ants live for only a few months?

The season of the ant is a type of the season of human life. Your winter season will be the retirement years when you are physically unable to “gather.” The harvest season stands for your working years. The “reaping” for retirement is possible because of your summer work. That is why the same poet surmised:

The soul of the sluggard desireth, and hath nothing: but the soul of the diligent shall be made fat.

You don’t reap a retirement by accident!

The ant teaches you that today you are preparing for your future. Part of that preparation is passing on your knowledge to those in the spring of their life. Your children need to be taught by word and example how to prepare for future.

Don’t live for the moment—live in it for the morrow. Balance tomorrow’s evils by putting your inner growth first. As the great Master taught:

Seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.

By concentrating on what is truly lasting today, you will reap protection, provision, and comfort at life’s end and into eternity.

What grand lessons from such a lowly insect!

Balcony Blues

I stepped out onto my upper story balcony wanting to inspect more closely. Bracing against a blast of Auckland damp cold air, I shut the ranch slider door behind me to keep my apartment warm. That is when I heard the click.

The winter fog lay heavily over Oteha Valley. Audible sounds of traffic trapped beneath its weight attracted my attention. I stepped out onto my upper story balcony wanting to inspect more closely. Bracing against a blast of Auckland damp cold air, I shut the ranch slider door behind me to keep my apartment warm. That is when I heard the click.

I didn’t know ranch slider doors could lock themselves! It was a freak of circumstance that led me to sing the Balcony Blues.

Blues lyrics are associated with misery and oppression. Standing in my bathrobe becoming exposed to public view as the sun burned off its ally to my shame; I was coerced into singing my woes.

A dozen types of emotions were strummed in an electric rhythm reminiscent of Detroit! I sought a way to break back into my own home. Thankfully, it didn’t work.

And that is when it happened—I started to laugh! Raunchy as it may seem, I couldn’t help but see the humour in this Universal Conspiracy.

Of course by now more than an hour has passed. A complete album had been recorded when I felt salvation inside my bathrobe pocket: my IPhone!

Talk about being technologically dependent! I couldn’t put on my bathrobe without slipping my phone inside its pocket? That prompted another round of laughter.

The property manager was contacted and I was rescued within 10 minutes. But I’ll never forget the joy of singing those Balcony Blues!

No matter how far down you go, there is a song to be found. When you find that song, sing it for all its worth! Life’s Music is to be enjoyed no matter where you find yourself—even it is being trapped outside on a balcony.

[The above incident was originally recorded December 7, 2012 while still living in New Zealand.]

Creating Order from Your Chaos

The story of creation provides a model for new beginnings. All cultures share this story and at its root is order from chaos. By embracing the chaos in a person’s life or organization’s current standing; you position yourself to receive an orderly creation of something better.

Producing a new beginning for any person or organization means just that: creating order from chaos.

This powerful notion of success is discovered by using a shared language of the Elements. Comparing explanations of origin in different cultures, faiths, and ancient philosophies, there is a shared story. The traditions have passed down:

Fire, Air, Water, and Earth were combined through a Spirit process that began with chaos and ended in order.

The Genesis story of Creation widely known in our Western civilization also preserves this ancient understanding of the Elements. It begins by recognizing existing chaos: “The earth was without form and void.”

  • SPIRIT – And God said.
  • FIRE – Let there be light.
  • AIR – Let there be a firmament (space as in “outer” space).
  • WATER – Let the waters be gathered.
  • EARTH – Let the dry land appear.

Enjoying hard earned success is finding order in your life. To get there, you followed a process because your life or your business needed change. Something was missing. You were seeking fulfillment.

From within yourself (spirit), you articulated a plan (fire). You separated into divisions (air) everything surrounding your project. From there a plan was formulated (water) connecting the divisions and your success appeared (earth).

Following this pattern propelled you to success. Recognizing this configuration allows you to enjoy continued success.

I have applied this arrangement to assess several sales organizations. The company would have already enjoyed success. It reached a plateau and was finding it difficult to grow beyond its last level of success. It was usually bogged down with a toxic environment.

Every time I assess a successful team in trouble, I emphasize two truths:

  1. The current problem was a result of their success and therefore contains the very elements for the solution;
  2. To go forward they had to be willing to allow “Light” to shine in the darkness of their chaos.

Many a successful person repels such revelations. They don’t want to face the reality of their problems. They state they want solutions but in practice their pride stands in the way. As leaders, they know subconsciously they are responsible. After successfully building their dream, they personalize attempts to apply needed change. They interpret these efforts from well-meaning consultants, staff members, and even colleagues as attacks on their character and/or position.

To enjoy the abundance of your hard earned success, you must remain open and coachable. Success never changes that fact. You are right to repel judgment on your actions. You are successful! You fulfilled your dream. However, do not allow that to cloud the light of reality. Remember that rules change to sustain success. Embrace the chaos. It is proof you possess the elements of success.

Remain open to the light of truth. It is your friend. It will be the difference between enjoying good success and great success.

Affirmation: I am abundant enjoying my hard earned success.

From 56 Notions of Success

The Power of Contentment

The following is an excerpt from the upcoming sequel to 56 Notions of Success. The new book will be titled, Ethical Success.

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Conscience is the inner voice that warns us somebody may be looking. ― H.L. Mencken

YOU are responsible for determining and exercising what is good, not Society. Society is not a person; you are. Society is a collective of individuals and entities. You cannot hold Society responsible for your behavior. You do what you choose.

And only you are responsible for your own contentment.

Contentment empowers your decisions to find that Golden Mean. It is more powerful than happiness. Happiness can be fleeting; contentment is a steady, constant state of being.

On more than one occasion I have counseled persons on this point. I remember when Doreen came to me distraught. As she told her story she reached a point of anger and proclaimed, “It’s his fault that I’m not content with living and I never will be until he changes.”

Explaining to Doreen that he is not responsible for her contentment was a delicate exercise. That work, however, began with a blunt statement of fact: “Doreen, you and you only are responsible for your contentment. Do not give that power to anyone else.”

Contentment is such a powerful virtue!

Western society wages war on contentment. It bombards its inhabitants with commercialized desires of discontent. We are constantly reminded of what we don’t have and why we supposedly cannot live without these objects.

Contentment, however, does not mean trying to improve your Self. The danger lies in connecting self-improvement with tangible items as proof of growth. That is similar to rewarding yourself food when you are dieting to lose weight. It is self-sabotaging.

Contentment begins when you keep life simple. The number of lands, vehicles, or electronic gadgets cannot determine your contentment. Knowing how to enjoy what you do have is determinate. So often we ignore the beautiful sunsets, birds flying through the air, children laughing, and rivers flowing. Learn to enjoy the simple things and you will discover the power of contentment.

Doreen grew from her experience. She was in a season of life where she required public transportation. The problem was the closest stop to her work was two miles away. Rather than focus on what she didn’t have: a car, a supportive husband, etc, she began to enjoy that two mile walk. She reported that she began to notice things she never saw before: lizards stalking dragonflies, raccoons coming out of the lagoon, rabbits jumping freely, kingfishers on the power lines and herons in the water. She said she felt more rich enjoying the moment than any tangible asset she has ever owned.

And that brings us to another aspect of Contentment: keeping finances streamlined. Unethical expenditures are those spent out of greed or excess. We get so caught up with the unethical commercialized life-style that our money situations become complicated. How many credit cards do you really require? It is no wonder Aristotle taught, “Happiness is self-contentedness.”

Keep your relationships satisfying. That includes work-related ones too. Lasting happiness and security are discovered when ethical behavior yields a good reputation and honor. True friendship and happy family life are also part of the reward for ethical relationships.

Contentment is found in peaceful and secured environments, not in those where others are manipulated for personal gain. Routine might seem like you are “in a rut,” but it is also signals an ordered environment. Don’t look outside of yourself for fulfillment; look within.

Challenge: Ethics begins by staying true to your Self. Do I act with integrity and enjoy contentment as its reward?