Light is stronger than darkness

I have always liked this quote. It seems even more important now where tolerance for each other seems in such short supply.

Think your position is the right one? “Hate” the other side?  Here is a good reminder from Mr. King.

 

“Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.”
Martin Luther King, Jr.
 

How often do you judge others?

the abundance guy - judgement and freedom

“What if your life depended on not seeing the faults of others,
how long would you live?

Oops, I think I just died as I thought about a friend that could be/feel better if they did this or that!

Judgement is an interesting thing. It’s kind of impossible not to judge others with our senses always fully on and our long list of beliefs (conscious AND unconscious) and experiences ready to compare and evaluate to what we are experiencing now. However, in the instances I am able to at least put my judgement in neutral or suspend them for a minute or two I sure have a different experience. I have a tendency to be a “fixer”. I guess being a “giver” and in the businesses I have been in, brings that up even more. I have noticed some of my freest moments in relationships are when I am truly allowing others to be right where they are, even when the “faults” I see, seem clear as day to me (Of course, someones else faults are my judgements). In the moment, I can just smile internally at a person in their place and know they are likely exactly where they need to be at this moment. I can let go of wanting to fix and not forcing my opinions on the “right” way, by my judgement, to live. So many options how to live these days, right?

Sometimes, I practice putting my judgements aside by asking a person, say, with the totally opposite beliefs, how long they have felt that way? Or was there a particular event that occurred that drove that belief home for them? Or any other type question that opens them up to sharing rather than just being stuck in what seems to be a growing polarized, I’m right your wrong world.  I’m not saying it’s easy to do, but, for me, it’s so much more enjoyable to reach for understanding, compassion and some connection, even if it seems small, rather than the easier way of finding our differences. Of course, we really, at some level, know we are more deeply connected to each other than just our judgements.

This is one of my favorite stories of my judgements be so far off reality that I haven’t thought about for a while, but such a good example still.

I was sitting alone at the bar of a sushi restaurant in the San Francisco area. I saw a guy a few seats down and I had a bunch of judgements come up about how he was ordering his meal. Details not important, but I had the judgements that this guy must really be a snob. So as I was laying on the snob thoughts about him in my head, his food later came and it looked awesome and I wished I had ordered it! So, if he was a snob I thought, he sure ordered great looking food! I softened in the moment a bit and I decided to say something to him. I said, “wow, that looks great!” and he said he was thinking the same thing about my food  that had just been delivered. I laughed inside when he said that and we got to talking and I found out that he was in construction, doing a remodel in what sounded like an awesome house with a view of the whole bay area. He was so grateful to have work, in a beautiful place and to be working with a friend that was teaching him new skills after 30 years in the business, so he could attract more business. He normally drive 2 hours each way 6 days a week to get to this job and this one night he decided to get a hotel and a nice meal.  After he said that, he offered me a glass of wine from his bottle. Wow, so much for my judgement! I think he was pretty much the exact opposite from a snob and I guess who was really was the snob!

Anyway, for me it’s a constant practice of minding my own judgements (business). I’ll invite you to try non judgement, consciously, for an hour or even 5 minutes. you might learn something as I did.

Judging is more about you - the abundance guy

 

 

Want to be happier? This study says cut your social media time?


Cutting back on Facebook or Snapchat will make you less depressed, study says

  • A study conducted by researchers at the University of Pennsylvania claims to be the first to find a direct causal link between cutting back on social media use and improvements in loneliness and depression.
  • The study finds that students who limited their daily use of Facebook, Instagram and Snapchat to 10 minutes each per day experienced significant declines in depressive symptoms.

Limiting the use of Facebook, Instagram and Snapchat directly leads to reductions in loneliness and depression, according to a recent study published by researchers at the University of Pennsylvania.

The study is titled “No More FOMO: Limiting Social Media Decreases Loneliness and Depression,” and as part of it, researchers observed 143 undergraduate students over three weeks.

The students were split into two groups: one that continued to use social media as normal and another that was limited to using each social service to 10 minutes per day. Students sent researchers screenshots of their iPhone battery usage, which shows how many minutes are spent on each app each day, to track their usage of the apps.

The experiment found that among the group that limited its use of social media, the researchers saw significant declines in depressive symptoms.

“Not comparing my life to the lives of others had a much stronger impact than I expected, and I felt a lot more positive about myself during those weeks,” one of the students said, according to the study.

Facebook could not be reached for comment. Snap, the maker of Snapchat, declined to comment.

Though other studies have found correlations between social media and mental health issues, this study claims to be the first “to establish a clear causal link between decreasing social media use, and improvements in loneliness and depression.”

“It is ironic, but perhaps not surprising, that reducing social media, which promised to help us connect with others, actually helps people feel less lonely and depressed,” the study reads.

Just say no

Okay, we may not be able to say “no” to everything in our lives that stresses out. We all have jobs, partners, family, ect. that can often feel like we are getting a lot of “no” slapped in our face. Sometimes, I have people dismiss this happiness quote below as impossible. I get the thinking and I’ll offer how about looking for just one YES you can say to yourself by saying “no” to some person or life situation that’s stressful when it presents itself to you. If you decide to do this, you will often be surprised by the opportunities that present themselves.

See how you feel when you say “no” to a person or situation. See how your energy changes. You can start small, maybe with a person you do not know at all or a situation you always say yes normally, especially if it has a bit of obligation to it. How about diving right in and telling that person that always calls you to complain or to dump their life on you, you do not have time to talk today?  Remember, your just practicing and you can say no today and choose differently tomorrow. Maybe you can work towards communicating to that person how the “dump” feels energetically to you. Maybe you just make the conversation 5 minutes shorter than normal. Again, your saying yes to yourself and keeping a bit more of your energy for you!

In my book, any step towards a YES for you and your improved happiness is a step in the right direction:

 

 

Changing habits

7  Reasons why most of us fail to change our habits:

1.     We are unconsciously programmed with a different habit

2.     Fear, fear, fear

3.     Our brain blocks it

4.     We take steps that are too big

5.     We get overwhelmed by feelings and thoughts

6.     We lack compassion with ourselves

7.     We rather choose to create excuses

 

I think number 4 is the place to start if your stuck in a rut or having a hard time adding a new habit to your life. Taking small steps that allows you to SLOWLY build new habits actually can help with a bunch of the other points on this list or others you may have on your personal list. Taking a small step is less scary, right? Taking a small step that is easy to complete builds some momentum and can build confidence in ourselves, right? We are less likely to get overwhelmed when we look at the end result of the new habit, say losing 30 pounds, compared to as it just a small simple step of not eating ice cream one day a week or walking around the block. The excuses are a bit “harder” to make when you make steps smaller. “All I have to do today is walk around the block….well, i can do that, it will only take 4 minutes”.

Is there a habit you want to do that you have been putting off? Is there one small thing towards that habit or goal that you can do right now no matter how small it is?

 

 

Releasing the Reigns

Read this from the “Daily OM” a while back and thought it was a good reminder to share. I am of the belief that people come to us, most of the time, for OUR lessons and not as randomly as we might think. Sometimes, I find I have to look pretty deep at why I’m running into somebody, especially when my “buttons” are being pushed! Do I need to learn greater compassion? Can I be less selfish? Or do would it be better to be more “selfish” and not spread my energy to thin? How about more allowance? Everyone has their own lessons (I feel whether they want or realize them or not) and they have the choice to be in any place they want to be with those lessons, even if it’s “unaware”……… Wow, what if I could have more allowance???? Less judgement!!!!!!!! Even saying that, I can feel a lightness, more freedom coming over me.

Now, that’s a nice place I will hang out more in……..

Let go so life can come in - abundance guy

If your tendency is to try and change other people, take some time to explore why you feel the need to do so.

Our perception of humanity as a whole is, to a large extent, dualistic. We paint people with a broad brush—some are like us, sharing our opinions and our attitudes, while others are different. Our commitment to values we have chosen to embrace is often so strong that we are easily convinced that our way is the right way. We may find ourselves frustrated by those who view the world from an alternate vantage point and make use of unusual strategies when coping with life’s challenges. However ardently we believe that these people would be happier and more satisfied following our lead, we should resist the temptation to try to change them. Every human being has been blessed with a unique nature that cannot be altered by outside forces. We are who we are at any one point in our lives for a reason, and no one person can say for certain what another should be like.

The reasons we try to change one another are numerous. Since we have learned over time to flourish in the richness of lives we have built, we may come to believe that we are qualified to speak on behalf of the greater source. The sum total of our knowledge will never compare to what we do not know, however, and our understanding of others’ lives will forever be limited. The potential we see in the people who are a part of our lives will never be precisely the same as our own, so we do these individuals a disservice when we make assumptions about their intentions, preferences, and goals. Our power lies in our ability to accept others for all their quirks and differences and to let go of the need to control every element of our existence. We can love people for who they are, embracing their uniqueness, or we can love them as human beings from afar.

Your ability to influence people may grow more sophisticated because others sense that you respect their right to be themselves, but you will likely spend more time gazing inward, into the one person you can change: yourself.

How do you pay your bills?

There is a lot of debt, as in people that owe money to someone else, in the world today. Of course, in the modern world, it’s pretty normal. We borrow from a bank to buy a car or house. We use a credit card to buy stuff. We receive services like TV, electric and water. The usual thing is that the lenders or providers of these things want to be paid back with money and often with some extra money for their trouble. So, here is a question. How do you feel when you pay back these lenders and providers?

Whether you are financially tight or have more than enough, I think how you feel and think when you pay these people back can have a big impact on YOU. Your energy towards your financial abundance can be a part of or attracting more or repelling it. If you have plenty of money and your always cursing your bills, I’ll promise you your overall abundance will be limited in some way outside of your financial abundance. Same with if your financial abundance is not where you want it to be. Paying back you bills with a more positive attitude (remember, you received some stuff you bought) or at least a lighter way of thinking will really help that stress level that we all can get around bills. Make it a game if you can, celebrate paying off a bill. I often will advise people to make paying bills off a choice. You do not have to pay the electric bill if you do not want to, right?………Your house might be awfully dark at night if you keep choosing that. However, notice the subtle difference, in saying I’m going to choose to pay my electric bill this month and choose to eat at home an extra night (with the lights on) instead of eating out. You may think this is mind games or too simple, but I feel there is huge power in choice and feeling good about how you are feeling while paying your bills.

 

Here is another way at looking at debt from the book, “You can have it all” by Arnold Patent.

“You could think of your debt payment as a “gift” to the a person or a company that gave you something, you might find that repaying a debt is fun. When you give a birthday present to a friend, you feel good. Paying a debt can be similar. When it isn’t fun to pay a bill, it means you are withholding love. This awareness can lead you to increase your love for both yourself and for your creditors. As your love expands, so does your abundance.”

So, my next personal goal, love the IRS:)!!!!!!

Giving and receiving

I have been rereading parts of one of my favorite books, by Arnold Patient, called “You can have it all” and I loved some of his thoughts in his chapter on giving and receiving.

One concept he talks about is what “true” giving is. He offers that true giving follows these 3 criteria:

  1. The giver sincerely wishes for the recipient to have and to enjoy the gift.
  2. The gift is something the giver sincerely believes the receiver wishes to have.
  3. There are no ulterior motives or strings attached by the giver, and the recipient is free to do with the gift as she or he wishes.

This is so simple and at the same time we all can find a giving/receiving exchange we have been in that is missing a point or two. Any of you give something but expect a certain response from the receiver? That’s an ulterior motive, right? Expect NOTHING in return; not even a thank you? Wow, that might take some practice. How do you feel when you’re nice and let a car into your lane ahead of you and you don’t receive a wave or nod back? Do you give a compliment to someone you think is “cool” or “important” and it’s not quite genuine or you can find an ulterior motive why you gave it? Yes, there are lot’s of ways giving and receiving comes into everyday life, not just traditional gift giving.

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Any of you feel obligated to give a gift to a certain person or at a certain time? You aren’t sincerely giving, right? If you’re obligated, what is the energy of the gift like? Positive? Likely not and likely neutral at best. Some say that when the conditions above are not met, the giving and receiving energy in us is kinda “stuck” and not free. What do I mean free? Well, I view this as when I have a practice that meets the above criteria I am creating energy in the movement of giving and receiving. Mr. Patient says this energy is really love, when you get down to the core. I’d have to think about that a bit more, however sounds good to me right now. I believe, whatever the energy that is created will attract more of that same energy. If it’s positive, you attract more of that positive energy around giving and/or receiving gifts. Maybe you end up getting more gifts in some way. Money comes unexpectedly, a compliment comes or just a smile at the checkout isle. Again, no fair giving just to receive later. Ulterior motives, right?

How about this one? Anyone receive a gift and feel you have to keep or use it? Will you stick a gift from mom in the closet and bring it out for display when she comes over? I bet you see now that while your trying to be nice to mom and not hurt her feelings (or other stuff), that energy is NOT clean. Now, I’m not saying we say to mom, “mom that gift stinks” when she gives it to us. That to creates “negative” energy around receiving and, over time, a closet full of stuff you don’t use! A good practice is to always take “in” the gift as positive, no matter what you think of it.

Of course, most of us honestly know that all are gifts we give aren’t going to be perfect. That is, perfect, in the stuff we give. However, giving with positive intentions and that energy (love?) and the criteria above that gift of “energy” IS perfect and allows for more.

 

Don’t be beaten down by naysayers

From a book called, How many people does it take to make a difference? One!

….They call you a dreamer, a do-gooder or a romantic. every time you stand up for a good cause-large or small-someone will roll their eyes or tell you yo sit back down. Robert Kennedy used to say that 20% of the people are against everything all the time. It’s true. There will always be lots of people who can give you all the reasons why you can’t or won’t improve the world. It’s up to you to remind yourself of all the reasons you can and will. Optimism and pessimism are both choices. Notice that some of the most interesting and successful people have chosen to acquire the habit of talking about what they are for rather than what they are against. Be one.

“I realized that idealism is out of sync with cynicism of our age. Skepticism has come to be synonymous with sophistication, and glibness is mistaken for intelligence. In such an atmosphere, why bother aiming high? Far too many people don’t. I just want to reassure people to have courage to persevere, to keep following their hearts when others scoff. Don’t be beaten down by naysayers. Don’t let the odds scare you from even trying”

Schultz, Starbucks CEO