THE PATH TO INNER PEACE

As I sit here full of bliss sipping my green tea at Starbucks, I know not everyone is this lucky. I have found the key to having an amazing life is being grateful for the life you have. I also have found the quote in the picture above to be very true. A quick glance at most social media accounts will show how much we value the opinions of others. There is a lot of ‘He said/she said’. In person I hear people get so excited about what is being said about them. There are two young ladies in particular who I think live to worry about what is the hottest items on the gossip wire. As they come excitedly to me to relay what is being said about who, I great them with the same reply, “Don’t know. Don’t care.”

This line of thought when it comes to both gossip and rude people has brought me more peace than almost anything else I do. When you stop and think about it, what other people think about you is really their business. Sometimes you can learn little things you might improve, but generally gossip holds no redeeming value. I recall when one of those ladies I mentioned earlier was concerned as to what people may be saying to me, she could not tell me enough. Again I gave her my same reply, “Don’t know. Don’t care.” She asked how I could not be concerned as to what people whispered behind my back.. The answer is easy, if they are doing it behind my back, then that is where I leave it – behind me. If those I love and care about have some concern with me and tell it to me personally, I definitely would take the time to discuss it with them. Otherwise, it is not worth the energy and feelings to worry about.

As far as rude, critical, and argumentative people the answer is the same. On one of the Apps I share my positivity on a gentleman became enraged with me. As he continued to place one comment after another on my post becoming more and more angry I did my best to explain that being upset about my writing was not doing him any good. I even suggested he ‘mute’ me on that site so he would not have to see my posts which obviously upset him. He continued throughout the evening to comment and work himself up. He even continued by posting about it the next day. The funny thing about all of this is what he was upset about – my title was in all capital letters. He thought that should be reserved for emergencies, which was his right. My title was 6 letters long. It included the word ‘I’ which should be capitalized as well as the first letter of the title. So, this man was angry for 2 whole days over 4 letters being capitalized.

Margie, in her sweet loving way, always wishes to go online and defend me to these people. Again, I remind her that it really doesn’t matter. The majority of people appreciate what I write and enjoy the content. In fact, in six years, over several social media platforms as well as print there has never been one person to be upset that my title was in all capitals. That is saying quite a bit as I am followed in over 100 countries by over 20,000 people, not to mention the casual viewer.

This man certainly had a right to his opinion. By him getting so upset the only person he really hurt was himself. Buddha had a great quote about anger.

“Holding on to anger is like grasping a hot coal with the intent of throwing it at someone else; you are the one who gets burned.”

Anger, like worry, causes the release of acid in the system. Have you ever worried so much you actually started to feel sick to your stomach? Same with anger. Your blood pressure rises, your heart rate increases and your breathing becomes shallow. All of those have negative impacts on your immune system as well as your overall feeling of well-being. You must ask yourself, “Is this worth getting upset over?” I can promise you the answer 9 times out of 10 will be a resounding ‘no’. Do yourself a favor. If you are working to be the best person you can and do the best you can, do not waste an ounce of energy on what other people may be saying. If someone approaches you to tell you all about what this person or that person is doing or saying I suggest giving them my response – “I don’t know and I don’t care.” Your sense of inner peace will thank you.

THERE IS NO OTHER WAY

In the world today we are faced with more division and anger then we have seen in a very long time. This can leave us with feelings of frustration, animosity, and worst of all fear. Daily I hear people complain about the government, different cultures, religions other than their own. It can also leave us with a wide array of questions. “Why do these people hate these people?” “Who is to blame?” Even if we are doing our best to fix problems the questions that come up can leave us without many answers. “Why is this happening?” and even the constructive “How can we fix the problems we face?”

How do we address all of the issues and questions above? While working my brain for an answer I thought of my favorite quote of all time –

“Be the change you wish to see in the world” – Gandhi

One answer I have found to all of these complex and difficult questions is rather simple. The best way to alleviate fear, to quell anger and to ease frustration is to become an example of the changes you wish to see in the world.

Being kind and understanding to people who are different from you may not change the world, but it will change your world and serve as an example to anyone who may be watching you. This advice goes double if you are a parent. Do not like the current political climate? Cast your vote and be a catalyst for change and not one who just curses the establishment. Not happy with the way the environment is being treated? Make sure to recycle and live a sustainable lifestyle.

As with many quotes that I enjoy the lessons I learn from them continue as the years go by. If everyone lived as the change we wished to see in the world, the world would change. Would you like people to be more friendly? Be more friendly yourself. As a bonus, if you are working hard on becoming the best version of you there is seldom any time left to complain about others, whom it should be noted, you can never change anyway.

A DIFFERENT KIND OF PRAYER…

Yesterday we spoke of challenges and seeing them as opportunities.  Let me tell you, I sure got some practice at that today.  Life is an amazing practice ground for maintaining a positive lifestyle.  In addition to all things at my job at the post office. I discovered my aunt had lost her job and my uncle who is recovering from a serious injury may have taken a step back at least emotionally.  In fact, it may even be affecting his relationship with his wife.  Now, all these things are stressful. Most of them are either completely out of my control or involve the variable of other people and their personalities. So while speaking with my mother about this and hearing some of the challenges she encountered today we found ourselves discussing all the things and people we were concerned about.  In this case ‘concern’ could be a quick replacement for worry.  Well I am a firm believer in the law of attraction and focusing on other people’s problems, even if it is with the intent to solve them just sends more negative energy to the situation.  It was then I remembered an idea I had read in a book I just finished. When there is a person with a problem, be it you or someone you care about, instead of focusing on their problem I have a solution that will not only help them I believe but it will feel better for you.  In fact, I would go so far as to say it would feel good. That is exactly what I am talking about here. Say we are worried about a person who lost a job. Instead of focusing on how they must be worried about being able to pay the bills, and how hard it is to find a job, do something a bit more constructive.  Close your eyes and picture that person in a job they enjoy being paid a decent wage.  Feel their happiness and send them your happiness as well. Then, and this is very important, feel gratitude for that situation turning out for everyone’s good.  Really feel it. Do this every time worry rears its ugly head. It won’t be easy, but it will make you feel better.  If this is for somebody else and you think they would be receptive, encourage them to do the same. Then calmly keep your eyes open for that job. It can work with an illness too. Picture the person, or yourself, healthy.  Don’t say “I’m thankful that illness is gone”  instead say “I am thankful to see Kim healthy and happy” or Bob or Tom or…well you get the idea. The important thing here is the emotion. Really feel the joy, really feel the gratitude.  You will feel better and you will be sending a lot better energy out to the world. Will it work? I believe it will. Not to mention it will feel a lot better than worry. Oh and if you want to be happy and grateful for my new-found wealth I would be ok with that too. Stay positive and stay grateful my friends!

LIVE IN THE MOMENT…OR THEN AGAIN, MAYBE NOT..

One of the biggest obstacles to people living a happy life is they are never really in it.  They either spend too much time regretting and reliving the past, or even worse, worrying and dreading what might happen in the future.  I am a big fan of setting the past free, and not worrying about things that ‘might’ happen.  I did find one interesting caveat to this theory.  When we focus on ‘what is’ it becomes really hard to get to where we want to be.  How many times have we said to ourselves “I really feel fat, I need to lose some weight” Only to find our efforts end in vain?  Have you ever looked at a stack of bills thinking “I really have to get this budget under control” only to end up more in debt at the end of the next month?  The reason for this and the solution is rather quite simple.  I must confess it escaped me until earlier this evening.  While spending time debating if my current job is for me and if I will be able to handle the upcoming challenges considering how overwhelmed I am already feeling, the answer came to me.  I was focusing too much on what is!  How could we ever expect to achieve weight loss when starting with feeling fat?  You can not achieve financial well-being out of thoughts of poverty.  Instead we should spend a good 5 to 10 minutes a day doing something most of us haven’t done since childhood.  Daydream! That’s right put the power of our imagination to work for us instead of against us!  When we were young we dreamed of all the great things we would do when we grew up.  We pictured what our life would be like.  Here is the important part, when we pictured that we were filled with all the excitement and emotion that we would feel when that situation came to pass.  Then as we grew up our imagination changed.  We wonder what will happen if I lose my job?  How will I pay the bills?  What will life be like looking for a job in this economy?  We also fill it with all the feelings of worry and dread that go along with that situation.  Either way we are drawing what we are picturing with such intense emotion into our life. So do yourself a favor, become a kid again!  Imagine how it would feel to win the lottery.  How it would feel if your job was thrilling and enjoyable.  Picture it, but more important, feel it!  Take yourself on a mini mental vacation.  I would type more on this idea, but my flight to my mental vacation is boarding as we speak!