Tag Archives: Inspiration

Look For The Divine Within The Ordinary Trials

“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.

It becomes quite easy for us to ignore the ordinary, perhaps because we have seen it all before and it seems so understandable. The flowers bloom every year, so what is the big deal? Yet we are wrong… those blooms are not the same blooms as they were last year, or the year before. The world around us truly is holy, from the very next person that we will run into… to the flowers and trees, birds and animals… to the infinite amount of matter spread out throughout this massive universe. And until we are able to see each creation in its own sacred and unique right, we will fail to understand and to learn the “divine curricula” they speak to us.

From the food on our tables, to the falling snow and rain, to the smile of a child, to the comforting embrace of a caring friend–each and every creation is an extraordinary, unique, and holy creation of God, just as I am. And by recognizing the sacredness around us, and allowing ourselves to focus our awareness on it, we allow our lives to become much richer.

Look for the divine within the ordinary trials of your life today.

Questions to consider:

How rich do you feel your life to be? What are some of the sacred things in your life?

Does failing to notice the sacredness in the ordinary rob us of our riches? How might being able to see the divine in the ordinary existence of life add to them?

Is sacredness reserved for saints, priests, and pastors? Why do we tend to feel that they somehow have better access to the sacred?

For further thought:

“All thoughts, all passions, all delights, whatever stirs this mortal frame, all are but ministers of love, and feed his sacred flame.” ~ Hartley Coleridge


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Personal Growth And The All Four “Rooms” Of Your 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.

Lasting change requires our lives to be in balance, our personhood to be in harmony with all our essential fibers of being. And if we “go into every room every day,” we are sustaining that balance and making sure that we are aware of where we stand as far as these four elements of ourselves are concerned. Perhaps I have been at a spiritual low for the past few days. Without this awareness, I might not understand what is bringing me down, and I have no way of seeing that some spiritual nourishment may be all that is necessary. Maybe the stressful feelings of the last few days are the result of emotional turmoil. Again, unless I pay attention to my emotions, I will not be able to address the issues that are causing the turmoil, and those stressful feelings will continue.

Each day… open the doors to those rooms you rarely frequent. Open the curtains and let the light guide you, direct you, and strengthen you as it weakens those negative things that hate the light. Open the windows and add fresh air into what has otherwise become stagnant. In doing so, we serve to strengthen our inner selves and help ourselves to remain aware of all that is going on within us.

Make the most of your life today by entering all four rooms of your proverbial “house.”

Questions to consider:

What do you see when you enter each room of your house–emotionally, mentally, physically, and spiritually? How often to you frequent each room?

What are some ways in which you can encourage yourself to work on improving upon all aspects of who you are?

Are there any other rooms in your “house” that you recognize?

For further thought:

“Personal growth is a process of identifying the physical, emotional, mental, social, and spiritual changes we desire, and working in each area to improve and reach our fullest potential.” ~ Dr. Christina Hibbert

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Be Creative!

“Creativity means loving whatsoever you do–enjoying, celebrating it, as a gift of God!” ~ Osho …

Creativity is a wonderful expression of our divine individuality. It is something that we should not be ashamed of or hide, for it is an extension of ourselves. Unfortunately, many individuals mistake imitating others as a way of expressing their own creativity, or worse, hide their creativity away. But imitation is not original; and not expressing ourselves only leads to unhappiness and lack of fulfillment in our lives. Therein lies the key–“loving whatsoever you do.”

As a child, there were times in which I struggled to find my own creative voice within me. I remember copying much of what my older brother did–his haircuts, the way he dressed, the activities he liked to perform. And although I had wonderful experiences and a lot of fun, my own unique side did not begin to come to the surface until I allowed myself to branch out and be different–I started my Lego collection, I began playing the saxophone, I started collecting and learning about rocks. When I allowed myself the opportunity to pursue the things that I truly identified with, enjoyed, and found rewarding, I found my creativity to be a wonderful blessing in my life.

Be creative! Allow your unique expression to fill the world around you with what you are best–you. True creativity is a beautiful extension of your soul that holds the potential to increase your sense of fulfillment in life and add unparalleled riches into the world around you.

Partake in at least one creative activity today.

Questions to consider:

Why do so many of us repress our creativity?

What is the difference between true creativity and imitation?

Why do we tend to put so much value on other’s views of our creative efforts?

For further thought:

“The creativity inherent in life is the counterbalance to tragedy. It affirms our belief that life is a good thing and provides a rich potential source of human meaning.” ~ Greg Graffin

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Possibility Is The Secret Heart Of Time

“We are all born with God-given, unique traits and skills. But, as with all possibilities they will remain unrealized unless they are developed, nurtured, and put into practice. You may have the capacity to love, but if left undeveloped, you will never gain the ability.” ~ Leo Buscaglia …

With God, all things are possible (Matthew 19:26). We are each born and blessed with remarkable traits and skills that are unique to us individually. They were given to us by the One who created us; the One who designed us with purpose and potential. And the possibilities held within each of us is vast–far greater than the count of the stars, or the grains of sand on the shores. But as we limit ourselves and our abilities, and leave much of our God-given talent undeveloped, the majority of these possibilities remain unrealized.

As Leo mentions, we each have the capacity within us to do great things. But imagine what our lives could be like if we were to accept our God-given traits and skills, our spiritual oneness with our Creator, and our limitless potential in life. Our ability to utilize this capacity becomes a reality. That is where the potential lies… and that is where we will find purpose and fulfillment in life.

A couple thousand years ago, there was a man who spent most of his life trying to convince us that God is in us–connected to us, one with us–and if we put to use all our God-given traits and skills in a way that gives purpose to our creation, we will have lived our lives to their greatest potential.

A life well lived is the greatest thanks we can give to God for our heavenly endowments. And when you really think about it, it is not that difficult for each of us to acknowledge, accept, and make use of our skills and traits. It is merely a choice. Do I want to use my talents to the best of my abilities… or am I satisfied with never knowing “what might have been?”

Think of a unique skills of yours and find a way to develop and nurture it today.

Questions to consider:

How can we tap into the higher powers in our lives?

Why might we be more comfortable with limitations in our lives rather than seeking out our God-given potentials?

What is some of the potential and possibility you have found within your life? How can you develop, nurture, and put this into practice?

For further thought:

“All the possibilities of your human destiny are asleep in your soul. You are here to realize and honor these possibilities. When love comes in to your life, unrecognized dimensions of your destiny awaken and blossom and grow. Possibility is the secret heart of time.” ~ John O’Donohue

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Let Go Of Some Of The “Excess Babbage” From Your Past

“Holding on is believing that there’s only a past; letting go is knowing that there’s a future.” ~ Daphne Rose Kingma …

It is our natural impulse to try to hold on to things and not let go; for many of us it has even become habitual. Unfortunately, when we refuse to let go of things from the past, we add stress, misery, and confusion to our lives. Our inability to move on impedes our growth as a person–spiritually, mentally, physically, and emotionally–and ingrains in our minds a false lack of opportunity and potential in the here and now… and in our future as well.

Maybe someone insulted me or hurt my feelings yesterday. There is no reason for me to be still sulking on that today–mulling it over in my mind, jumping through alternating cycles of self-pity, anger, hurt, revenge, and whatever other negative feelings may be present within me. Doing so only allows the wound to fester and sore within me–making me miserable and all those around me.

Holding on to the past is a self-destructive pattern that keeps us stuck in our pasts–inhibiting us from accepting what happened, dealing with the pain, and moving on. Do not drag around the weight of the past today… it will only cause you suffering and grief. Unshackle it. Remove it. And set yourself free. When you allow yourself to live fully in the here and now, your life–and the lives of those around you–will improve dramatically.

Let go of some of the excess baggage from your past.

Questions to consider:

What do you hold on to from the past? What does “letting go” mean to you?

Is it sometimes more difficult to let go than it is to hold on? Why?

Where do we learn to hold on to our pain and our hurts that others have caused us? Why might we do so?

For further thought:

“Let go. Why do you cling to pain? There is nothing you can do about the wrongs of yesterday. It is not yours to judge. Why hold on to the very thing which keeps you from hope and love?” ~ Leo Buscaglia

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Keep Your Mind Clear Of Regrets And Grudges

“If you were going to die soon and had only one phone call you could make, who would you call and what would you say? And why are you waiting?” ~ Stephen Levine …

What a powerful way to look at life! If I could wake up each morning and ask myself this question, and then make it a priority to answer it to the best of my abilities, I am sure that I would not have any grudges or regrets. Nor would I have things left unsaid or undone in my life. This is the most authentic way to live our lives–telling others everything that needs to be said when we have the ability to do so.

If I were going to die tomorrow… are there things I have said that were unkind to those I love? Did I have an argument with my spouse or siblings and leave it on bad terms? Do I want my last words to one of my daughters to be words of anger or frustration? Of course not!

Keeping our mind clear of regrets and grudges frees us up to being fully present in the here and now. It allows us to keep our life in perspective and to free ourselves from those feelings of anger, resentment, and pride. Do not wait for the perfect time to apologize… that time may never come.

Clear your mind today of at least one thing that needs to be said.

Questions to consider:

Is it morbid to think of the possibility of dying tomorrow? Why do a lot of people avoid thinking this way?

What is the most important situation that you would like to make right in your life?

Why might we not make the calls that would make things better, or that would give us a chance to talk to people we care for?

For further thought:

“If we wait until we’re ready, we’ll be waiting for the rest of our lives.” ~ Lemony Snicket

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Make The Best Of Everything You Experience Everyday… Both The Good And The Bad

“I wanted a perfect ending. Now I’ve learned, the hard way, that some poems don’t rhyme, and some stories don’t have a clear beginning, middle, and end. Life is about not knowing, having to change, taking the moment and making the best of it, without knowing what’s going to happen next.” ~ Gilda Radner …

Our lives do not have to be perfect to be worth living them to the fullest. Unfortunately, many individuals miss out on so much of their lives because they are unsure of–or fear–what is going to happen next in their lives. In fact, the majority of us make our decisions and act in ways that are based off of our predictions of what will happen as a result. We try to plan out our lives, and often times as a result, we become frustrated and disappointed when things do not go according to our plans. But when we do this… we are setting ourselves up for disappointment; for it is not important for us to know what is going to happen next–because that is an impossibility. We can only act from our hearts and make the most of life as it happens.

Gilda died of cancer in 1989, so she knew before she passed on that her ending would not be the perfect ending she may have imagined it to be earlier in her life. After going into remission, her cancer returned and spread in her body, and she therefore knew that her time on this planet was very short, and that she would not live to see her twilight years. When she knew that, she knew that “taking the moment and making the best of it” is one of the most important things we can do to live our lives to the fullest.

I recently read an article written by Bronnie Ware, a woman who spent years working with those who were dying. In her article, she compiled a list of the top five regrets people had said aloud on their deathbed… and the number one regret was not having the courage to live a life true to themselves.

Step out of your comfortable ruts and take a chance to live your life. You will face difficulties and you may get hurt, but that is what life is all about. Living it to the fullest–happiness and difficulties, joys and pains, wins and losses.

Make the best of everything you experience today… both the good and the bad.

Questions to consider:

What is your perfect ending? How will you feel if things do not turn out that way?

What are some benefits of not knowing how things will turn out? What can this add to our lives?

If athletes and competitors knew who was going to win a contest, would there be any reason for having it in the first place?

For further thought:

“As you grow older, you’ll find the only things you regret are the things you didn’t do.” ~ Zachary Scott

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