Thursday, September 22, 2016

Let It Go

"You cannot expect to achieve new goals or move beyond your present circumstances unless you change." - Les Brown

A single act that occurs to you can set the tone for your entire day, if you choose to let it. Those seemingly small 'slights' are thrust upon you by another person such as getting cut off in traffic.

This happened to me recently at a two lane right-turn when a person in the righthand turn lane decided to get in a hurry. They moved over into my lane as I was turning and nearly hit me. Now out of all the articles I've written, life happens and you should just let it go. But of course I could not do that for a few minutes.

How could this person do this? What a jerk and all those other thoughts developed in my mind. Physically I could tell it was upsetting me but I identified it and began a series of thought processes to bring me back from that low point.

First identify that is has upset and is effecting you.

Secondly, ask yourself why you are reacting in this manner.

Third, begin to think about how you are going to let it effect the rest of your day.

If you decide to hold onto it and let it fester, the rest of the day is going to be miserable. so let it go and chalk it up to simple human interaction. There was no real harm, so no real foul and you both move on. The problem is if you do not, it will impact how you deal with others during the day and can have disastrous results.

Letting it go will free you to move on and have a productive day.

Stay inspired my friends!

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Superstition Mountains

"Fear is the main source of superstition, and one of the main sources of cruelty. To conquer fear is the beginning of wisdom." - Bertrand Russell

In the heat of an Arizona summer, one thing remains present in the not too far off in the distance. The towering figure of The Superstition Mountains looms greatly across the scrub and cactus landscape. These mountains seem to float on the water logged mirage which stretches across the horizon. These mountains are named for reasons which have only small amounts of fact in them.

It is in the lack of knowledge where superstition can grow. Ignorance can lead to fear which in the end creates an inability to move forward in your life. It is in superstition that fear will feed upon itself and upon you.

In order to move ahead in life, one has to get beyond the fear of whatever invades your life. You must get beyond the superstition that holds you back from achieving more. It is an obstacle not easily overcome but it can be overcome.

Once you loosen those chains of fear, you will be free to overcome the mountain of doubt in your mind.

You will conquer those mountains and the view you will see is astounding.

Stay inspired my friends!

Friday, September 16, 2016

Finding Home

A person does not grow from the ground like a vine or a tree, one is not part of a plot of land. Mankind has legs so it can wander.
Roman Payne, The Wanderess

The lives of people are impacted by the circumstances they are born into, the choices they might have made, or by the changing conditions of society. And the decisions we make create the person we become.

We can become bound by our roots.

The life we come from when born and our ancestry can shape us tremendously. How we move through life and the stakes we place in the ground as we grow older can cause a settling of our footing. We become rooted believing nothing else need be done.

If we can establish a firm footing, a comfortable hold on the life we live, we can also use those feet to examine and find where we come from. To help confirm or complete the circle of who we are, we search for home.

To find who we were before who we are now.

I have a story of an American, a long time ago refugee from Hungary who escaped along with his father and brother in 1957. A secret escape during the Hungarian Revolution as the Soviets moved to crush any and all opposition.

His mother had died some short years previous to this escape to freedom. His belief for so many years had been that his mother's family wanted nothing to do with his father, brother or himself. This was a story strangely perpetrated by his father's new wife.

Reasons are often never understood.

From that early February day in 1957, he never had contact with his mother's family in Hungary. It included a few years of no contact prior to leaving the country and emigrating to a new life and country.

Yet the questions lingered for many years as this boy grew into a smart, strong and successful man. He was like many other people working hard to build a life, raise a family and reach his dreams and goals.

Questions left unanswered.

In mid-1998, he and his wife made a trip back to Hungary; a journey of discovery and sentimentality. He wanted to find and visit the grave site of his mother who had died at the young age of thirty from cancer. He had lost his mother at the age of seven and this trip home was to come a bit closer to her memory.

The trip was guided by a cousin from his father's side of the family. They found their way to the cemetery and to the office for information of where the grave was located. After forty years, to see his mother's resting place, they found their way to the grave site.

Surprise hidden by the many years.

What they encountered was a well-tended plot and markers for her parents who had died many years after her. With a lack of knowing how or why the grave sites were so well tended, back to the office they went to find out who might have been responsible for the grave; an age-old practice is to pay a fee every 10 years.

The office was only able to provide an address in a nearby town, but no name. With this information they set off to discover an answer to who could have been tending to his mother's grave. Eventually they found themselves parked across the street from the address given to them at the cemetery office.

Would they want to see me.

From here I allow the man's wife to carry on the story.

His cousin got out of the car and started walking across the street to two women who were talking by the driveway gate. My husband remained in the car and I asked, astonished, "Why aren't you going with him?" and the response was "I'm not sure they will want to see me.

The story he had known all those years was that his mother's family had not and would not want anything to do with him.

I said "Of course they will want to see you!" and urged him to go. He slowly got out of the car, then started across the street. By this time his cousin had introduced himself and was explaining who we were. I heard a shriek and my husband started running across the street.

One of the women was his aunt, who was only seven years old when he was born. She had babysat the young boys when their mother was sick and for a short time after she died. There were tears all around and hugs galore.

As this man's wife explained, "People used to ask us 'Why Hungary?' I daresay many people cannot possibly understand what it means to have given up your homeland because it wasn't safe to stay, and the resulting longing for family, the sounds of your native tongue, and connections with your earliest memories."

We can establish roots without getting stuck in the hardened clay. We can go home once again and find answers to whom we have become.

Keep seeking home, keep seeking who you are and stay inspired my friends.

Stay inspired my friends!

Thursday, September 15, 2016

A Stalk Of Fennel

"Build a man a fire, and he'll be warm for a day. Set a man on fire, and he'll be warm for the rest of his life." - Terry Pratchet

There is an old Greek mythology story of how man was given fire. It is the story of Prometheus and his yearning to help mankind in spite of the ruling gods.

Prometheus would say, "Ah, how very poor and wretched they were!" He found them living in caves and in holes of the earth, shivering with the cold because there was no fire, dying of starvation, hunted by wild beasts and by one another.

Their lives were not a well lived life.

To accomplish his task, Prometheus created a distraction amongst the gods. He took a stalk of fennel with its center filled with a dry, soft pith which would burn slowly and could keep on fire a long time and stole fire from Hephaestus, the Greek god of fire.

When he returned to the place where immortal men lived, he found them cold and damp in their caves and it was here that he built a fire for them. He then began to teach them how to warm themselves and how to build other fires from the burning coals. Soon all men and women gathered and were warm and happy.

All were thankful for the wonderful gift.

It was not long until they learned to cook their food and to eat their food like men instead of like beasts. They began to leave their wild and savage ways. Instead of hiding in dark places, they came out into the light; into the bright sunlight, and were happy because life had been given to them.

We too can light a fire for other people.

When we inspire others to greater things, the fire we set ablaze in their hearts will warm all of life around them. We can carry the fire to others by the kindness, the compassion and the desire to make life better for all of those around us.

We can be the ember from the stalk of fennel which brings others out in to the goodness of light and a well lived life.

Stay inspired my friends!

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

What Seeds Are You Planting

"Always do your best. What you plant now, you will harvest later."
- Og Mandino

Yesterday was an opportunity to do something good.
You had an opportunity to plant a thought of kindness.
You had an opportunity to do something good for another person.
You had an opportunity to set the world in motion towards something better.

That same opportunity exists today.
You can plant a thought of kindness.
You can do something good for another person.
You can set the world in motion towards something better.

Plant today and harvest the goodness tomorrow.

Stay inspired my friends.

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

The Biggest Fish Ever

The hype cheapens the hyped, as right things are then made wrong by exaggeration.” ― Criss Jami

ex·ag·ger·a·tion: A statement that represents something as better or worse than it really is. The action of making statements that represent something as better or worse than it really is. Other words one could use are; overstatement, overemphasis, magnification, amplification, aggrandizement.

Is exaggeration the simple method of trying to get your point across?

Most of the time it is used to take an innocuous event and describe it in such a way as to prove a point or state a position? In many cases, doing so can make you look dishonest and manipulative to those who see through your exaggeration.

The use of it often times will backfire, causing people to dismiss your point even if it might be true. Yet many times exaggeration is used because the actual truth is not supported by the actual truth. Using hyperbole might create a certain air of belief but in fact it is only a sly attempt to deceive.

Do you post outrageous memes on social media in order to make your political point?
Do you declare every restaurant or meal you have had the most awesome of all?
Do you see your belief as the one truth of all the truth out there?

How many more times will it take before people simply start tuning out and stop listening to you? Will you ever have the capability to give people a reason to change their minds when all you do is bombard them with the hyperbole of exaggerated truth?

In the end, you are more trustworthy if you are more accurate in your stated evaluations. People will listen and consider your argument more often instead of tuning out. You will become better understood in the long run. A simple statement as close to the truth as you can make it will do more than the creation of noise.

Stay inspired my friends!

Monday, September 12, 2016

Who Is My Neighbor

Neighbors are given to us on the same basis as we are given our families. There is no element of choice involved - none at all.” ― Alexander McCall Smith

Just yesterday, September 11, 2016, a remembrance occurred of tragic and horrifying events which took place fifteen years prior. The 9/11/01 date will remain etched in the minds of many Americans as the day in which the unthinkable occurred.

Nearly 3000 innocent people lost their lives in the initial events and scores of others who have and will likely perish as a result from injuries and exposure to toxins in the attacks carried out. This is something the history books will carry for a long time.

There were hundreds of stories of heroism by the first responders, people within the sites and those who came to the scenes to help those in need. There are also stories of complete strangers helping others in the exodus from the sites of tragedy.

People treating others as their neighbor.

As you read the stories of those fleeing lower Manhattan as the towers began to crumble, your instincts are to run as fast and as far as you can. The mass exodus of people trying to find an escape from the thick and suffocating debris was human survival on display.

Yet one can see in the still images, the videos and stories of people assisting others in their escape. Helping to carry, provide a shoulder or cover them in protection from the fallout. There were stories of people in distress being pulled up and into the safety of closed buildings. Others were sheltered or literally covered by a stranger behind cars to protect them in their distress. So many small acts of kindness among a sea of people who normally pass by each other on a normal day never taking notice.

Who is my neighbor than?

Look around you and you everywhere you look you will find your neighbor. As you drive to work this morning, the guy with the flat tire along the road is your neighbor. The mom trying to get her kids and groceries into her vehicle is your neighbor. Even the broken and homeless on the street who may only want money to support an addiction is your neighbor.

Individually acting as a neighbor, we may never solve the problem, but we can make a small difference. All of us acting together as neighbors, we can certainly do a lot to make a bigger difference in the lives of others. So who is your neighbor? Just open your eyes and you will see them everywhere.

Stay inspired my friends!