Week 24–A Day of Kindness

 

Kindness may be found at your home, at your church, at your work place, but in a hectic, bustling airport?  However, it is a wonderful sight to see.

Let’s begin with my episode of kindness which occurred on March 21st.  The kindness began with a simple card of thanks given to me by my girlfriend, Janis. She expressed her thanks for a lovely week of fun.  We have been friends since second grade. The card was a nice surprise and reminded me once again how a card can put a smile on your face.

The next act of kindness was shown by my other girlfriend, Gayla, who dropped me off at the San Diego airport. She was very encouraging and reminded me that the morning’s challenge was something I could handle, since I use to teach Junior High students.  In spite of her positive statements I immediately ran into some difficulties, such as having to get my boarding passes and luggage tag via a machine. Since I am not very mechanically inclined, these machines became an annoyance and caused my anxiety to rise.  Luckily kindness came to my rescue in the form of a clerk who was stationed near by to help customers with any problems.  He helped plug in my ticket # and out popped one boarding pass instead of three. I asked him why the machine had only given me one pass and he said, “Don’t worry”, and that I could get the other boarding passes at LAX.  I wanted to discuss this problem with the customer service station, but there was a line and I was afraid that I might miss my flight.  The same clerk showed me more kindness by helping me with my luggage tag, but once again the tag was printed wrong and indicated that my luggage was not going to my final destination.  I asked the clerk if I was going to have to pick up my luggage in Portland and then put it on my flight to Redmond, Oregon.  He said, “Yes” but he never gave me other options.   I was extremely frustrated by this time and his kindness seemed to be in vain.

The next kindness was the gentleman at the TSA inspection as he put me to the head of the line since I was in the wrong lane and he had already checked my license and boarding pass.  TSA inspection went quickly and so I was off to the designated gate.

I sat down feeling very frustrated, but at least I was in the right place for my first flight to LAX.  I noticed a gate clerk at the gate where I was waiting for my flight. She was not busy.  I went over to her and told her about my dilemma and she just smiled at me and began to print off my other boarding passes and told me that she “had my back” and would print up a new luggage tag that would take my luggage to Redmond, Oregon where I had wanted it to go in the first place.  She was showering me with kindness and I gave her a big hug and said, “Thanks so much.”   She handed me my boarding passes and took off to exchange my luggage tag with the new one.  When she came back she reassured me that all went well, and that no worries she “had my back”.

The next kindness was from a gal that I met on the plane to LAX.  She shared her experiences of writing books, how to get them published, her experience of traveling to Paris, and she gave me her business card for future questions.  Since she had a two hour layover at the airport she helped me find where I could catch the bus to my terminal and then we said our good-byes.

Once I got to the proper terminal I had two more acts of kindness shown to me.  A gentleman who worked for Alaskan Airlines directed me where to go to find the correct terminal.  The problem was that in order for you to get there, you had to go through a maze and it was confusing for me since I am not able to visualize directions and had never experienced anything like that before.  He saw my confused look and escorted me to the tunnel which led to my terminal.  I thanked him and off I went.  While I was walking through the tunnel another kindness showed up: a lady who shuttled passengers from one spot to another offered me a ride.  I was thrilled and she took me to the end of the tunnel.  Now all I had to do was to climb the stairs and get the directions for my 2nd flight which another clerk showed me more kindness by graciously pointing the way.

Now I was off to Portland. Once there I found a clerk who showed me more kindness by looking up my last flight for the day and directing me where to go.

The next kindness for the day was my husband picking me up at the Redmond Airport and helping me find my luggage.  The luggage was the third suitcase that popped up on the carousel.  I was so thrilled to see it.

The final kindness for the day was my husband taking me out to dinner so that I didn’t have to cook.

Kindness can be found anywhere.  As Roy T. Bennett said, “A random act of kindness, no matter how small, can make a tremendous impact on someone else’s life.”  This quote is so true and it was illustrated to me on March 21st.  Kindness is a gift of love so give it away every day; for after all, don’t we all need a little of that each day?

WEEK 23–What Makes Every Day a Happy Day?

 

Have you ever wondered what makes every day a happy day for some people, but not all people?  What’s the difference and how can everybody experience a happy day?  There are four key steps that are necessary to learn before you can experience that type of day.  The first step is learning how to control your emotions.  The next step is learning how to follow a daily battle plan.  The third step is being aware of forces that seem to want to tear you down, and lastly how to master your moods by positive actions.

Now let’s take a moment and observe our emotions and begin to understand how we utilize them.  Emotions continually change each day.  Yesterdays’ joy will turn into today’s sadness; yet today’s sadness will grow into tomorrow’s joy.   Our emotions are regulated by a figurative wheel inside of us that turns our sadness to joy, our exultation to depression, and our happiness to melancholy. Emotions are like flowers. Their sweet fragrance is for a limited time and their dead blossoms leave cherished seeds that become tomorrow’s joy.

The next step is learning how to follow a daily battle plan.  This is essential in order to prevent being apprehended by stimulus such as sadness, self-pity, and failure.  In Scroll VI of the Greatest Salesman in the World, OG Mandino conveys the exact battle plan to use in order to make every day a happy day. Here is the plan which needs to be read at the beginning of the day or whenever needed:  If you feel depressed then sing a favorite song.  If you feel sad find someone or something that can make you laugh.  If you feel sick get your mind off the illness by doubling your work load.  If you feel fearful jump at the opportunity saying to yourself “I can do it”.  If you feel inferior wear new garments or raise your arms in a “V” and say, “You can be what you want to be”. If you feel uncertain raise your voice with a positive affirmation. If you feel poverty then focus on the wealth to come.  If you feel incompetent remember your past successes.  If you feel insignificant remember your present and future goals.

The third step is being enlightened about various pressures that can rip your inner being a part such as; despair, sadness along with other people who belittle you and are involved in malicious talk.  These types of pressures are definitely not needed in your life and create a negative vibe.

The last step that is necessary to add to a happy day is to master one’s moods by positive actions.  Some examples of positive actions are:  smile at someone, count your blessings, give a compliment, do something kind by doing something nice for someone or a stranger, and treat yourself or a friend to a fun outing.

Having a happy day involves the steps that have been mentioned. Along with this, you personally need to make the choice that today is going to be a happy day, no matter what you may face.  Having a happy day is left in your hands.  It is your choice, so make it a happy day.

WEEK 22A–Silence is Golden

Have you ever been given a challenge and part of your brain was excited telling you to go for it, while the other part of your brain has started making up excuses on why you couldn’t do it, or why this idea was a foolish thought and needed to be trashed?   This was my dilemma about a week ago.   The challenge was to be silent for a minimum of one day up through five days.  To be silent meant to not listen to any music, no television, no cell phone usage at all (including no texting), no talking to your husband, children, or even any of your friends.  Since my kids are adults and have their own lives and it is only my husband, Jim, me, and our cat at home I thought, “How hard could this feat be?” The cool thing was that my husband was going to be busy on a photo  project the same weekend that I had planned to take the challenge. I talked with Jim about this idea and he felt it would be very interesting with me not having my cell and not being able to talk.  He felt that having quietness for three days would be wonderful.  He was agreeable to my plan but had some doubts on whether the adventure would be as beneficial as I had hoped.  He knew he could talk to me if he chose, but that I would not be responding back. The Silence would begin on Friday, and that my first day to talk again or to use my devices would be on Monday.  I was excited but a little apprehensive.

The big day finally arrived.   The first day, went fairly well as I woke up and followed my normal routine of reading the book called the “Greatest Salesman in the World”- Scroll 6, did my Bible reading, and added my Master Keys to the session in hopes of being enlightened by the manuscripts.  Jim said, “Good Morning” and asked me where my phone was. I pointed to it and he took it and placed it somewhere in his study.  He was showing his supportiveness by removing any temptation that I might have by removing the phone from my sight.   I bundled up in my jacket, stocking hat, gloves and went out for a walk among the trees.  It was snowing off and on but being out in nature helped me to clear my head and think of what I wanted to gain from this experience, while also getting some exercise.

A nice warm fire was burning and it drew me to the dining room table where my work station is and I began thinking about why I wanted to do this challenge.   I began writing questions down on note cards; one question per side of the card and leaving room for me to write the answer.  It was surprising how many questions started flying out of my head.   I wrote forty questions total; some came on the first day and the rest on the other two days.  Jim talked at me  periodically throughout the day regarding  how the project was coming along.  I made no comments but appreciated him sharing. He went outside to do some work.  After about 3 hours he came in and took a nap. I fixed dinner.  Since I couldn’t say, ”Honey dinner is ready”, I did the next best thing, I threw a pillow at him a couple of times.  I ate dinner in our bedroom since Jim turned on the TV.  After dinner was over, I took my question cards and mediated on a few of the cards, seeking answers.  Answers did come and so I wrote them down under the question.  I felt drained and went to bed.

I began the second day of Silence by reading the “Greatest Salesman in the World”. Jim came into the bedroom and he said, ”Good Morning”.   I  read my Bible, got dressed for the day, and went out to the garage to do some walking and reading of the Master Keys.  Once my reading was done, I came in and  mediated on the questions I had written for my Silence.  I did a lot of contemplation on the questions until answers started formulating in my thought process.  Jim went to Bend to do shopping.  This gave me about three hours of isolation time where my roaming thoughts could filter out things that were distractions, and my world within could dig deep to find the answers that my inner being was longing to discover.  To my surprise my husband had returned, which caused my focus to shift abruptly and before I realized it my words popped-“do you need my help?” Once spoken I immediately put my hand over my mouth to stop any other words coming out.  My old blueprint wanted to beat me up, to laugh at me, and to say,” I knew you couldn’t do it.” My new blueprint encouraged me to continue on as if the mistake hadn’t happened.  That is what I chose to do.  I put the groceries up in silence, made dinner in silence, and everything seemed to be back into the mode of silence again.  My husband went to bed early, while I had a 30 minute sit in the dining room, concentrating again on my question cards and trying to discern answers to the questions that had no answers yet.  After that I was ready for bed.

My third day was a new day and I was thanking for it.  I did my reading of “Greatest Salesman in the World”, my Bible reading, and my Master Keys.  My husband showed his kindness by making me breakfast which was really appreciated even though I couldn’t talk.  He went back to his photo project and I went out for a walk. The snow was softly falling and it was so beautiful to watch.  After I walked about four miles I came in for a “thought settlement”, which is bringing together the ideas of the day and interweaving them into the responses needed for the questions.  After dinner and the dishes were done I  then relaxed for a three hour mediation about the questions I still needed answers for.  Answers did begin to flow, but I still have about ten questions to figure out.

What you might be wondering is what did I learn through the silence? The silence was amazing and it helped to clear up some of my haziness in my Hero’s Journey.  The silence gave me time to really concentrate on finding the answers to my questions, which I had suppressed in my mind.   I also realized that my words begin in my thoughts and in my dreams.  An example was one night I had thought- “Good night, honey” but caught myself before my words popped out.  I also had a dream about words.

Even though my silence was not perfect, it was definitely a “Golden Experience”.  It was a challenge that I am thankful I took and would encourage others to take also.

Week 22–The New Cure for Diseases

When we look at our life it is easier to put the blame on others or the genetic characteristics given to us from our parents, instead of realizing that our present personality, our circumstances, our  competence, our present state of affairs are all the result of  our past behavior patterns of thinking.  Let’s examine our method of thinking by analyzing the life processes, the why of diseases, and the new cure for diseases.

The life processes are perpetuated by two distinct methods; first the absorption and utilization of nutritive material necessary for constructing cells. Second is the separating and eliminating the waste material.  All life is predicated upon these activities especially since the only prerequisite for the construction of cells are food, water, and air.  However, strange as it may seem, the causes of most diseases develop from the destructive activity of getting rid of waste material in our body.  The waste material saturates the tissues, which creates autointoxication.

Now let’s move on to the why of diseases?  We’ve learned in the Master Keys that every thought produces an impression on the mind.  Every impression is a seed which will sink into the subconscious and form a habit.  The habit will captivate other similar thoughts and these thoughts will multiply.  If the thoughts contain manifestations of fear, worry, anxiety, jealousy, hatred or similar feelings, then the by product will be sickness, inner decay, weakness, feeble immune systems, forms of inflammation, paralysis, nervousness and other chronic ailments.  Thus thoughts play a big role in the state of our health.

So what is this new cure or the healing of diseases?   The healing process is to increase the distribution of vital energy throughout the body.  This can only be done by discarding negative or destructive thoughts.  These destructive thoughts tear down the effectiveness of the glands which control excretion and elimination of poisonous waste matter.

Thus, the way to health is founded through the law of vibration which is the basis of all science and is the law that executes the mind to maneuver the body. Every mental action is a vibration, which when you change the rate of it, you change the nature of its quality and form.  By converting the vibration we endorse any condition that we desire to manifest in our bodies.  It is important for us to be aware of what produces pleasant vibrations and also know the causes which produce the undesirable vibrations.  By acquiring this knowledge and making sure our thoughts are uplifting, constructive, courageous, or any other worthwhile actions, we can set in motion vibrations which will bring about positive outcomes.

Another effective remedy for any physical condition would be the law governing visualization.  Basically, it is making a mental image of physical perfection until it is consumed by the consciousness.  By using this technique, chronic ailments can be eliminated in a few weeks.

The last cure for diseases is realizing the power which the mind possesses over the body, along with the art or science of mental healing, better known as Mental Therapeutics.  Here are a few examples of how your mind does have control over your body: Someone shares with you that their dog got run over by a car; your thoughts immediately flash back when your dog died and your eyes fill with tears. This shows that thoughts control the glands of your body.  Another example is when I broke my arm one Christmas day while skating.  The doctor may set the bone but can’t weld the parts together.  Your subconscious mind however, will immediately begin the process of welding the parts together and in about six to eight weeks later your arm will be whole again.  The  Mental Therapeutics deal with the principles of the law of substitution which replaces negative thoughts with feelings of joy, hope, faith, and love.  It teaches the individual various tools to help calm the mind along with other helpful techniques to rid the various ailments that the individual is experiencing.

By placing yourself in harmony with Natural Law and using these suggestions, we can say this affirmation:

Today we can take control over our destiny.

Today we can make new choices.

Today we can accept the new cure for diseases.

Week 21– The Killers of Time

O.G. Mandino in scroll 5 shares the hazards of the “killers of time”.  Let’s zero in on these snipers, see how they utilize their resources in our lives and how we can terminate their future endeavors.

The first “killer of time” is procrastination. It is putting off or delaying, especially something requiring immediate attention.  An example is doing the weekly blog.  It is so easy to have distractions pulling you away from focusing on the assignment.   Often we make an excuse that we are “multi-tasking”.  However your brain is going crazy if this is actually true. You’re forcing your brain to spend time and effort loading and reloading content over and over again. That’s why it’s possible to spend an entire day multi-tasking but get nothing accomplished.  You feel exhausted because you’ve used all of your brain energy switching instead of making progress in your daily goals.  Whatever you don’t finish you procrastinate to the next day.

The next “killer of time” is doubt.  Doubt is being uncertain about a situation, questioning or hesitating to believe, distrusting the nature of something or feeling uncertainty about the truth.  When these doubts storm your brain they slow up production, create a blockage to team effort, and can initiate anxiety.

The last “killer of time” is fear.  Fear is something that causes feelings of dread, an anticipation that something unpleasant might occur, or your own personal self-talk trying to convince you that you can’t do something.  Fear cripples your self-esteem and confidence, which destroys the reality that you can be successful.

Now let’s look at how we can eliminate those “killers of time”.  Procrastination can be destroyed by building the individual’s focus.  There are several ways to build your focus.  First, re-commit to your tasks by creating some sort of reward system that binds you to finish the task before you get started.  There are programs on the internet that visually show you the importance of doing a given task.  You need to write down what you want to get done in a realistic amount of time.  Then set a timer for the given time and turn your assignment into a game, where you are competing against the timer.  Eliminate your ability to do anything else during the set time but that task.  Remove anything that might distract you from dong this task.  Block your various websites while you are focusing on the task at hand.  Turn off the T.V. or any misleading music that could get your mind thinking on other thoughts.  Use a distraction sheet where you write down what is distracting you.  This helps you get back into your work and your brain begins to refocus.  Practice mediation once a day for training your mind to focus on your breathing.  Once you’ve mastered this technique you can then move on to other things to focus on.   Next inform your family that when you are in your office with a sign on the door saying “study time”, you are not to be interrupted, visited by other people who might want you to do things for them, or to give you your cell phone to answer a call.  You have to rule your mind or your mind will rule you.  Once your focus is in check then your procrastination habit will gradually disappear and you’ll replace it with action, which is performance along with completing accomplishments.

Doubt is buried under faith.  In order to remove the doubt habit you need to predicate positive affirmations.  You do this by putting the affirmations on note cards and post them in visible spots throughout your house.  You need to associate with only positive people; ones that will build and support your efforts.  As your faith and confidence is formulated, your doubt will liquidate.

Fear is dismembered with confidence.  Confidence is built by being successful, not merely by an accumulation of riches, but through  formulating  ideas.  An idea that will spark the individual’s interest and is something that he is willing to strive for; becomes his passion, a definite fixed purpose.  Through this process, crippling fears get erased and confidence expands by seeing the idea come to manifestation.

You have a choice of being complacent with the “killers of time” or waking up cherishing each hour of the day; knowing it can never be returned. Its value is beyond price.  Recognize too, the importance of pushing yourself beyond yesterday’s limits and being more prosperous is the key to fighting off the possible future “killers of time”.  Prove your love by figuring out what the person you intend to become would do next?

Week 20 –Slaying Your Dragons

In mythology the dragon is the most challenging, ferocious, and intimidating creature. It is the beast that symbolizes all the things that has made you believe that you can’t do certain things, the “shall & shall nots”, the fears that keep us enslaved and the obstacles of life. When we go on the Hero’s Journey each of us must face our individual dragons; we must slay them before we can continue on the journey.

What were the things that I was told I could not do which became my terrorizing dragon? The things were centered around gender controversies. At that time I was not confident enough to be confrontational about the unfairness of the educational system.   For example, girls were not able to take auto mechanic or wood shop classes in my high school.  Neither did the girls get to compete on a basketball, soccer, or softball team.  The girls had no opportunity to earn a letter in their sport or get to have the pride in wearing a school uniform.  Girls were guided toward certain careers. They were told that they couldn’t be a police officer, a fireman, or an electrician even if the girls had skills and abilities equal to the boys!

The dragon in the hero’s journey is covered with scales and on each scale it was written “thou shall or thou shalt not”.  Implementing these principles is a continuous struggle-a debate with your inner self; intellectually trying to figure out which scales can enrich your life and motivate improvement.  You also needed to determine which scales are deteriorating your life. Those scales must be discarded.

Now let’s look at the one thing that keeps people from the mountain top or keeps them feeling small rather than allowing them to present their genius to the world.  It’s their fears or more dragons.  Fear is anything that “gets to you”.  It is like a beast or a monster.  Fear is feeling rejected or not having people return your business phone calls.  Fear that is not faced has a tendency to multiply. It moves through your experiences and it starts to toxicant your perceptions.  If we fear disaster, disaster can be the result of our thinking, along with the fear of coming calamity.  We can then agree with Job, “The thing I feared has come upon me”. Fear is an inherent part of life. It’s not about getting rid of fear, the issue is to have the courage to move forward in spite of the fear you feel.  Courage is dealing with your fear. No one would be courageous without confronting their own fear.  It is getting up after you’ve fallen and trying again.  It is exploring the unknowns; doing something that people think is impossible.

Slaying dragons can also include breaking the obstacles in our lives.  For example, how do we handle difficult assignments at work, difficult conversations with loved ones, or something we are resisting?  Do we panic, leave it, and run the opposite direction?  Instead of running away from these dragons we need to have a final face to face with them.  Take your sword and annihilate them, for after all, you are the hero on your journey.

 

Week 19–My Journey to Find Joe

 

Going on the journey to “Find Joe” is a figurative way of discovering the hidden you.  This mythical adventure involves the theme called the “Hero’s Journey”, which was brought into existence by Joseph Campbell.  He did a great deal of research on the mythologies of the world and came to the conclusion that they all had a predominant perception for finding the meaning for existence.  This discovery involved four basic principles:  (1) the Call to Adventure, (2) Initiation, (3) Separation, and (4) the Return.  So open the door with me and come join the adventure to “Find Joe”. Don’t hesitate, for when the door closes the opportunity for growth will too.

The call to adventure will involve many facets. It could involve a vision where the Omnipresent Creator is showing you a path to follow. It could be like Joseph Campbell stated that “the call to adventure signifies that destiny has summoned the hero…”  A good illustration of this call is like a cell phone ringing-asking you to step out and live your journey. You have a choice: you can decide to ignore the call, like you’ve done with many other calls in the past, or pretend that the call never rang because there is no voice mail.  But ironically, just like a doctor’s reminder call, it will keep coming back until you answer the call.  The call often comes in the depth of despair, losing a job, getting fired, getting a divorce, having your house foreclose on. These things are not what we would design for ourselves but are necessary at times to trigger us into the next version of our self or discover something new personally.  Disastrous situations can happen to even good people and when it does they are unbelievably astonished and are confused as to why it is happening to them.  The answer to this question is: the Universe just upended your world.  Really hearing the call and being willing to follow this new adventure is a risk, but one worth pursuing.   However, you have to come to the point when you finally say you’ve had enough. You don’t want to listen to your parents, your boss, or other people who try to control you.  You have to make a choice to: (a) surrender being a victim and seeing no way out, (b) agree to fundamentalism, which is giving someone else permission to be in charge of your life, (basically you just want this person to tell you what to do and you will do it),  (c) recognize you have an alternative and you can be responsible for your life. You can be the hero for your own journey.

The next principle is Initiation, which is the acceptance of adult status in one’s culture or society.  In the hero’s journey the individual acquires his initiation by going through the darkest forest or the unknown at the edge of the world.  The community doesn’t understand why the hero (which is you) would need to go into the forest.  Why can’t you be happy where you are now?  But deep inside you is a urge to go explore. You decide to go forward no matter what. You make a vow to yourself that you must go into the forest even though there is no pathway and it is pitch dark. Each individual must go into the forest solo; they can’t follow anyone.  Each individual must find their own entry and you can’t go on a pre-made path.  If you follow someone else’s path then it isn’t your path nor your own initiation.  You need to find your own path to discover who you really are beyond the narrow confines of how you’ve been conditioned, told to do things, or were raised. You need to explore for yourself what your truth is and how you are going to forge ahead.  Death in a mythical story is in reference to change taking place.   One of Joseph Campbell’s followers put it this way: No death= no life, No death= no transformation, No death= no change.  The old form has played itself out and there is no use for it anymore.  The new form that will replace it will have new instinct meaning that will make your life more tremendous. The future is the prospect of coming in terms with that self.  An example of this is Dorothy in the Wizard of Oz.  She had to confront her inner barriers and learn how to claim her own inner resources.  She had the ability to get back home, but she didn’t mobilize it until she went through all the challenges of initiation where she tested her skills.

The third principle is Separation which happens with the call to adventure. You separate yourself from the wishes of your family and friends to discover who you really are, what are your dreams and aspirations.  What are your desires, your passions, and future goals? You give yourself permission to be the new you- to love and accept this person; to align yourself with the universe and end the war going on inside of you.

The final principle of the Hero’s journey (to Find Joe) is the return.  The ultimate end to the journey is giving back the essence of your journey.  It’s sharing your story to invite others to make this same journey.  It is coming back with something different than what you started with.  Life is making a difference to others.  Use your passion to help others and give your light of kindness to everyone.

You can’t give up; you need to take risks and be transparent for others to see the hero’s journey and to “Find Joe”.