June Kindness Project

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Every month, I am starting a project of kindness.  This month I would like to for you to buy an inexpensive pad of sticky notes. And why you ask?

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Image: 3M

The concept is simple:

1. Take a sticky note or two this week and…
2. Write something positive on it! Anything from a “You’re wonderful” to “Everything will be okay” to an inspirational quote to just a :). Then…
3. Stick it somewhere unique! Ideas? Inside a class copy of a library book, on a table at a restaurant, the backside of a public bathroom stall door, inside a locker, anywhere! (Be respectful!)

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We’ve all have had days where we just need something uplifting! Make the difference to someone out there! It takes only few seconds to make someone smile :)

*Please be respectful! The key is to be personable and unexpected, not to litter*

 

 

Unload the Baggage

 

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There will be people out there that act as if they do not hold a single memory that stays with them. They are forever in the present and never in the past. However, I wager that what you perceive is merely a facade. In general, the past always lingers as the future haunts us. If we become too inclined to linger with the past or be haunted by the future, the unknown – we forget to live for today. I am not saying abandon the past or do not prepare for the future. Never live in excess or extremes. This drags us down.

We do not need to be defined by the things that hurt us. We need define ourselves for our ability to endure, to forget the past and the stresses of the what the future may be. We should consciously release the hurt and sting of our yearterdays. They are a suitcase that we don’t need. Unload the lessons from inside it and store it today. Make simple for today and pass kindness into the time before you.

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Our true wisdom comes from what we learn and not what we use to belittle ourselves or others. We cloth ourselves in the wisdom from the past so in present day, we make the right decisions for the future ahead of us.

So, you have may have put the baggage away but you can still travel my friend. Perhaps, pick up a new suitcase and fill it with a new perspective and when it is time then put it away. Start anew! Each day is a grateful day!

Namaste!

Out of the Darkness

Sometimes… it seems as if everything that will go wrong will go wrong.

What if I told you that is ok. No, really!

Time makes everything digestible. No one will have a life that is uncomplicated. Sadly, there will be some of us that will experience great pain and loss and challenges. Again, time makes everything digestible.

 

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How we perceive and bend it enable us to see with great clarity – our strength and ability to endure as a species. For life is made of moments.

You can conquer your pain or at least deal with things in such a way that you live an illuminated life. Through our struggles as human beings we gain a wisdom or enlightenment. In moments, we are slave to nothing nor anyone.

I urge you to engage in a mindful way of thinking. Engage the moment not the minute, not the hour, not the day, not the year. “Let yourself be open and life will be easier. A spoon of salt in a glass of water makes the water undrinkable.  A spoon of salt in a lake is almost unnoticed (Buddha).”

This all boils down into your choice on how you live your life versus life living it for you.

Namaste.

Channeling Your Inner Jane Austen

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“Know your own happiness. You want nothing but patience- or give it a more fascinating name, call it hope.” — Jane Austen

We start out in life screaming and adjusting to an alien environment before being bundled up and placed into the arms of the person who will look over us for next 18 years (or really until they die). During those years of maturation, there is the ever tedious and often times, frustrating and exhilarating ride of finding one’s center, one’s happiness.

It can become a maze of confusion for some to find their own happiness. Some people trying to find happiness by trying to please others or only themselves. Some people try to find happiness by drinking or drugging. Others find a happiness in hurting others.

There’s the positive way of dealing with life. There’s the negative way of dealing with life.

Some find one way more easier to commit to then the other. However, humans are not easily classified with such rigidity. Our behavior is better represented by a scale; while a vast majority will teeter in the positive range, sometimes those people will dip ever so lightly into the negative range or commit one plunge and recover. Hence, life requires perspective and the ability to not be eaten with pride or waylaid by prejudice.

Each of us is bound to commit a mistake at one point in our life.  However, as George Bernard Shaw said,“Success does not consist in never making mistakes but in never making the same one a second time.”

“How quick come the reasons for approving what we like.”
― Jane Austen, Persuasion

For good or for bad, we are all still human and share a majority of traits and emotions – one of which as Jane eloquently said is to: quickly find a reason for approving what we like or like to do. We act quickly to justify things and this happens very expediently by individuals that are unsure and need something to hold firmly to, who are without doubt and who want to justify things they know would not be condoned by others but still would persist in reasoning to persuade them otherwise. This all leads us to understand that be it by truth or by creative interpretation (sometime lying), we are all selfish.

Yet, don’t be fooled that selfishness always begets happiness. Nor be fooled that those that are selfish were always raised to be this way. Darcy in Pride and Prejudice makes a brilliant and honest confession:

I have been a selfish being all my life, in practice, though not in principle. As a child I was taught what was right, but I was not taught to correct my temper. I was given good principles, but left to follow them in pride and conceit.

Reflecting back to my comments in the beginning and taking in the concepts of decision making (truth or creative interpretation) and action supporting such decisions, happiness cannot be relegated by principle nor can it become a shield of immorality.  For while Carl Jung may have said a happy life could not exist with a measure of darkness, darkness is by no means what we should aspire to for it is a level that exists past selfishness – it’s self absorption and it is unchecked not tempered. While we are selfish creatures, the majority of us still have compunction to set us right.

 

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Though we may err to selfishness with regards to happiness, sharing our happiness is where true happiness lies. This is something I think Darcy realizes upon being bombarded by Elizabeth’s pent up anger towards his impertinent confession and his pride. His dealings with Elizabeth and love for her humble him.

 

So, a further boiling down of the secrets of happiness reveals the importance of humility which breeds sensitivity. Most importantly, humility graces an individual with  understanding and more knowledge which in turn allows them to look back at how you were and find humor in it.

 

Through happiness we grow but always remember – “You cannot protect yourself from sadness without protecting yourself from happiness.”  Jonathan Safran Foer

 

I hope this makes sense. :)