From the Daily Stoic website:
Ideas are a dime a dozen. Action is what counts. Especially when it comes to improving yourself and your character.
You could spend the rest of your life reading books to improve yourself—and be stuck in the same place. Why do you think that is? Why do you have friends who seem to know every name of every book that’s designed to change us overnight…but their lives always seem to be in shambles?
It’s simple: They don’t do anything with the knowledge they have. There’s an urgency to acquire more information and facts, but no similar urgency about actually getting something done.
This matters even more when the “project” is your character. Marcus Aurelius put it like this: “Get busy with life’s purpose, toss aside empty hopes, get active in your own rescue—if you care for yourself at all—and do it while you can.”
That’s a good way of thinking about this: You’re rescuing yourself. You’re saving your soul and your life and your character. But that’s only going to happen if you take action.
So what are you waiting for?
“It never ceases to amaze me: we all love ourselves more than other people, but care more about their opinion than our own.” – Marcus Aurelius
My sister passed this article from a teachers website of good reminders to me and thought I’d pass it on. I thought it was an interesting idea when our minds get focused on fear and uncertainty in the future to focus on five things outside of you and try to look at them as “newly” as possible. I tried it and it for me was a kinda of reset. It may not necessarily make the issue go away, but the goal is to feel a little bit better or lighter. Our minds are really powerful about spinning their stories of fear and worry sometimes, so any little tricks to help us not get to attached to our thoughts the better!
Much of the distress in our lives comes from anticipating negative or dangerous events that might happen in the future and as a result failing to be in the present moment in which those events are not happening. Such worry not only undermines an accurate assessment and preparation for what might go wrong as well as undermining the enjoyment of life as it is in the present moment.
Mindfulness is a natural human capacity to pay attention to our experience as it is happening in real time. When we intentionally cultivate this capacity through practice we enhance our ability to focus, to regulate our emotions and to extend compassion and kindness to ourselves and others. When we infuse mindfulness throughout our day we not only reduce our stress and worry, finding better ways to respond to the challenges of life, but we also expand our capacity for joy and wonder.
During non-teaching times throughout the day, instead of checking your phone and email between classes or during lunch or an off period, try taking a mindfulness break using one of these simple strategies:
- Notice five specific things out your window – clouds, students, a kite, birds, cars –and try to see them with fresh eyes and without telling yourself a story about them.
- Take three deep, long breaths inhaling in through the nose and out the mouth to help reduce stress hormones in your body.
- Eat a snack slowly, keeping all your attention on just relaxing and eating.
- If you have a favorite quote, poem or a piece of writing, take a few moments to re-read it to refresh your sense of inspiration and connection to what’s important now.
- Take a “five senses” walk outside. Notice what you see, hear, smell, taste and feel. This sensory awareness will help you return to the present moment.
This is from the Daily Stoic. Always a good reminder…
“The affliction of so many people? Other people. We’re driven mad by the mistakes, the comments, the rudeness, the lifestyle choices of people who are not us.
We have to be able to remind ourselves: My problems are my problems, other people’s problems are their problems. As Marcus wrote, “Leave other people’s mistakes where they lie.” That is, in their own bed.
You’ve got plenty to deal with on your own today. Don’t waste a second judging other people, or gossiping about them, or getting involved in their business. It’s not your problem.”
The definition of thank you is “an acknowledgement of appreciation or expression of gratitude”.
It is important that we are open to hearing and feeling appreciation and gratitude coming to us.
When someone thanks you for something, how do you respond? Do you say “your welcome” or do you have a hard time hearing it? Maybe you deflect the “thank you” by saying something like, “oh, it was nothing” or “you would have done the same for me”, ect. In my abundance work, I often find many people are better at giving than they are at receiving. There are a number reasons for this, however, I believe for us to receive more abundance, in whatever area in life we want, we actually have to be open to and good at receiving! If we can’t receive a simple “thank you”, how are we to “receive” more of other things? Like stepping on a hose that limits the water flow.
So, a practice could be to FULLY take in a “thank you” before responding at all, maybe just for a second, and “feel” the “thank you” and then respond with “your welcome” or in some manner that you acknowledge the appreciation coming your way. I feel when you do this you are acknowledging your gift to that person and receiving their appreciation at the same time. This balance opens the door to more abundance.
We live in an interesting world these days when it comes to news and the internet. There is SO much available these days that its hard to sift through all of it first off and then no what is real and what is fake. I’m pretty out of the news loop living out of the country a good portion of the year and not having regular TV and I kinda like it that way. I think I’m a bit freer mentally that I don’t follow what the latest Trump statement of fact, fiction or expression of ego or what others have to say about those. I’ll take more peace over more information any day.
I just watched a TED talk on the Russian hack of the US election. Now, I do not watch enough news to know if this is a fact or not and I’m not sure why the heck I choose to watch it, however, what the possibility brings to light is now we can have very sophisticated COUNTRY’S disseminating fake news to the social media streams in a way to directly impact an outcome that they want! In a way that doesn’t seem fake and appeals to us individually or as a group. The speaker of the TED talk, Laura Galante, goes onto suggest that this is Russia trying to stir the pot in the US to get us to question democracy! Wow, if true, add that to the Facebook crowd that is trying to keep us on our devices more and more to keep their add revenue stream growing and it’s amazing we are not a bunch of zombies walking with our heads down on the way to the nearest communist headquarters sign up place. Anyway, I guess I’ll continue to be aware where my news is coming from and look for the people that actually have their faces up in the world rather than lost in space (facebook)!
” Most rarely align with their true power, because it seems illogical to them that there is power in relaxation, in letting go, or in love or joy or bliss. Most people do not understand that their true power lies in releasing resistance—which is the only obstacle to their true power.
Most people do not expect their path to great abundance to be one of ease and of joy. They have been taught that struggle and hardship and sacrifice are requirements that must be met before the reward of great abundance can be realized. Most do not understand that the very struggle they deliberately involve themselves in, in their quest for success and advantage, actually works against them.
There are so many things that you have been taught to believe that are counter to the powerful Laws of the Universe that it is difficult for you to think your way out. And that is the reason that we present this path of much less resistance.
We want you to breathe rather than try, to relax rather than offer effort, to smile rather than struggle, to be rather than do. For your true power is experienced only from inside.” Jerry and Esther Hicks
I have experienced this first hand, when I push or force things to happen, I find it hard, difficult or a struggle as they stated in the quote above. The amazing thing was when I actually tried the other way by connecting deeper with myself and letting go of trying to control things or people around me to see it my way, I realized it was much easier and everything I needed was there…
For example, have you ever had the experience when you want something that when you let go of the outcome, you often get it? Think of a business situation or personal relationship where this has been true for you – remember that sale you really let go of and you got it or that relationship where you were true to yourself first and then it worked out for the best. This is the power of aligning with your inner understanding rather than being effected by the events or situation outside of you.
I heard a podcast the other day where the discussion was about a “life is short” conversation where one of the participants said it’s a bit of a skill to have a quality in your attention enough to have the moral and emotional clarity not to suffer over the stupid things in life. He went on to say you have a 1,000 chances to tell the people around you in your life you love.
To me that sounded like a pretty good piece of advice!
I love the book the 4 agreements by Don Miguel Ruiz (its one of the books in my “inspiration” tab on my website). Really simple and yet very powerful. I haven’t read the book in a while, but I have a deck of his cards that have one of each of the agreements and a sentence or two about them. I like to now and then pick one and I usually always get something out of the review.
One of the cards “Don’t take things personally”, his second “agreement” caught my attention over the last few days. He defines the second agreement as…
“Nothing others do is because of you. What others say and do is a projection of their own reality…. When you are immune to the opinions and actions of others, you won’t be the victim of needless suffering.”
I noticed and thought about how powerful this is. I have definitely gotten better at not taking things personally, but boy it is hard sometimes. I think the bottom line is that when one has a “need” to be accepted, this is when one can really be effected by the opinions of others.
I find that because I am confident and like who I am and am at peace with the way I am, then I do not really care if someone says “John, I don’t like your clothes, you’re too skinny, too fat, you should live this way or that, etc”. Everyone is really only expressing their own individual beliefs and opinions, based on their views and interpretations of their life experiences.
So, it does not make sense to take on an other’s criticism or opinions when it really has nothing to do with you?
Ruiz says in the book when you take these things on as true, your accepting poison from another. I like to think of “poison” as the emotional garbage someone else is throwing out. I certainly like the practice not being the trash can for anyone!