Category Archives: Food For Thought

The Divine Within The Ordinary

“The “trials of ordinary existence” are the divine curricula for spiritual maturity.” ~Skye Jethani …

It is difficult to imagine how many opportunities I have squandered in life to learn and gain invaluable spiritual wisdom, simply because I was looking for something extraordinary. There is endless sacredness and beauty present all around us at every ordinary moment of our lives–in our family, friends, and neighbors, in songs and laughter, in the rushing brook, throughout all of nature and the expanse of the universe.
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Everyone As The Proverbial “House”

“There is an Indian proverb or axiom that says that everyone is a house with four rooms–a physical, a mental, an emotional, and a spiritual. Most of us tend to live in one room most of the time, but unless we go into every room every day, even if only to keep it aired, we are not a complete person.” ~Rumer Godden …

As a child, it had never really occurred to me that there might be more to me than just the person I thought I was. But as I have grown older and learned more about myself and life, I have come to realize that who I am consists of many differing parts–and that if I simply try to improve one of these parts while neglecting the others, I generally fail in the long run. Continue reading

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Living Each Day

“Living in the moment, without attaching yourself to regrets about yesterday or worries about tomorrow, goes a long way toward cutting through the chaos of everyday life.” ~Eve Adamson & Gary McClain …

Living in the present moment is the most important concept in living our lives to the fullest. When we are able to distinguish between yesterday’s issues and tomorrow’s issues, we free ourselves from the chaos that they present in our lives here and now, and relegate their power to their respective time. Continue reading

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Giving!

“Let us not be satisfied with just giving money. Money is not enough; money can be got, but they need your hearts to love them. So, spread your love everywhere you go; first of all in your own home. Give love to your children, to your wife or husband, to a next-door neighbor.” ~Mother Teresa …

All too often, when we think of giving, we think of financial gifts and material goods. And although it is very important that people have money and things, as Mother Teresa points out, “these things are not enough.” Money and things can be obtained, or even replaced, but love cannot. And people need to be loved. They need to know that their lives matter, that their concerns are heard, and that their importance exists. Continue reading

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Come Alive!

“Don’t ask what the world needs, ask what makes you come alive, and go do it. Because what the world needs is people who have come alive.” ~Howard Thurman …

Too many individuals believe that they cannot make a living doing the things they truly love, or that they cannot love and enjoy the things that they do. Some of this is the result of negative attitudes, but most of this can be traced back to our acceptance of social norms. We tend to be grateful for any job we find, and even in the midst of dissatisfaction, hold it for as long as we can. Perhaps it is for security, or for money, or for other reasons… but this pattern keeps us from exploring other areas of life that may be quite interesting to us, and ultimately hinders us from finding things that bring us to life.

The world needs us to come alive–to be filled with happiness, purpose, and passion. To do this, we can start with hobbies that relate to what we love, such as crochet, cooking, jogging, biking, swimming, teaching, or reading. Once we become more familiar with the things we enjoy, we can begin to incorporate them into our lives more and more. Obviously, we usually cannot jump right into a career that is perfect for us, as we need education and training, and we have to spend some time learning the craft. But we can find ways to make a start in the direction we wish to go.

What do you love to do? Are you doing it now? If not, what is holding you back? Whether or not you are doing the things that make you come alive a year from now, depends upon the attitudes you embrace and the choices you make today.

Take some practical steps to bring yourself closer to the things you enjoy doing in life.

Questions to consider:

What makes you come alive in life?

Why is it so easy to get caught doing things that we feel the world wants us to do even though we do not love doing them?

Who are some people that you know who love what they are doing in life? How do they approach life? How do they approach their jobs?

For further thought:

“Your work is going to fill a large part of your life, and the only way to be truly satisfied is to do what you believe is great work. And the only way to do great work is to love what you do. If you haven’t found it yet, keep looking. Don’t settle. As with all matters of the heart, you’ll know when you find it.” ~Steve Jobs

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Give Another Shot

“Most people never run far enough on their first wind to find out they’ve got a second. Give your dreams all you’ve got and you’ll be amazed at the energy that comes out of you.” ~William James …

One of the most important things that I learned playing football and tennis in high school was that sometimes you just have to do what you have to do, and if you give a lot to it, you get much more out of it. We often had to do drills that were unpleasant at best, yet in retrospect helped me to discover a hidden reserve within me–a second wind–that energized me and enabled me to continue on. And honestly, if it had not been for my coaches and their ability to help me push myself beyond my previous limits, I would never have achieved much of what I have gone on to achieve in sports. The same thing can be said about my parents and the lessons they instilled in my life about humanity, spirituality, faith, and purpose.

When we allow ourselves to give it our best, our journeys in life become much more enjoyable and we discover hidden gems along the way. Additionally, much of the strength we need throughout our lives must be built up over time. And it is through our determined successes that we can build such strength.

Win or lose… always finish the race… for there is much to be learned and much to be gained from all we attempt in life. And by embracing such an attitude, a winner’s attitude, we ultimately will succeed no matter the final result.

Think of a dream you have previously given up on and give it another shot today.

Questions to consider:

Is it easy to continue on when the journey is not enjoyable or does not interest us?

Should we let failure, difficulty, pain, or anything else stand in our way of finishing the race?

How can we keep the fire alive within our hearts and discover our second wind?

For further thought:

“Hard work beats talent when talent doesn’t work hard.” ~Tim Notke

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And The Caterpillar Becomes A Butterfly

“Nothing happens until the pain of remaining the same outweighs the pain of change.” ~Arthur Burt …

Many of us fight, suppress, and run from change because we fear it. But change is a necessary part of life for all of us. And unless we are open to change… at some point we will find ourselves in the situation that Arthur is talking about here. A situation where the pain of trying to remain the same–of trying to be the person we used to be and embracing the ideals we once thought were worthwhile and good–becomes greater than the pain we would bear in facing change. Continue reading

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