Teachings on love by Thich Nhat Hanh

May I be peaceful, happy and light in body and spirit. 

May I be free from anger, afflictions, fear and anxiety. 

May I learn to look at myself with the eyes of understanding and love. 
May I be able to recognise and touch the seeds of joy and happiness in myself. 

May I learn how to identify and see the sources of anger, craving and delusion in myself. 

May I know how to nourish the seeds of joy in myself every day. 

May I be able to live fresh, solid and free. 

May I be free from attachment and aversion, but not be indifferent. 

It doesn’t get much smaller than a mouse.

Sometimes when I consider what tremendous consequences come from little things. I am tempted to think there are no little things.
— Bruce Barton (1886-1967, Author and Advertising Executive)

It doesn’t get much smaller than a mouse. Once upon a time (all good stories start that way after all), there was a boy who dreamed and drew all the time, because that was what made him happy. And he went from newspaper to newspaper trying to sell his cartoons, but none of them were interested. In fact, many told him he had no talent, and to forget his dreams, but he refused to listen. He was wise enough to know that he had talent, he had to follow his dreams, and that he would do what he loved for his career.

Eventually, a minister at a church gave him the little job of drawing pictures for the church’s events, and he threw in a “studio” for him to work in – because the boy hadn’t got anywhere else to stay. And the studio was a little studio – it was a dusty mouse infected garage.

Yet that is quite possibly where the idea of Mickey Mouse was born – because that little boy was Walt Disney, who filled so many people’s childhood with delight (including my own), who became a film producer, director, screen writer, philanthropist, winner of 26 Academy awards, and designed the most amazing theme parks with the “wow” factor in mind. Disney himself is quoted as saying, “I hope that we never lose sight of one thing: that it was all started by a Mouse.”

It’s a reminder that when we set out to do what we love and what makes us happy, when we follow our dreams or our purpose in lives, then often there is no “great plan” at the start of anything which ends UP “great!” It’s much more a case of perseverance and action, of putting one step in front of another – and of not being able to see much more than that one step ahead.

So this week, be happy – and take action – because you have no idea where you may end up from that first little step.

Copyright © C.D Johnstone January 2010

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Just for today. . .by Sybil F. Partridge.

Just for today, I will try to live through this day only, and not tackle
my whole life problem at once. I can do something for twelve hours
that would appall me if I felt I had to keep it up for a lifetime.

Just for today, I will be happy. This assumes to be true what
Abraham Lincoln said, that “most folks are as happy as
they make up their minds to be.”

Just for today, I will try to strengthen my mind. I will study.
I will learn something useful. I will not be a mental loafer.
I will read something that requires effort, thought and concentration.

Just for today, I will adjust myself to what is, and not try
to adjust everything to my own desires. I will take my “luck”
as it comes, and fit myself to it.

Just for today, I will exercise my soul in three ways: I will do
somebody a good turn, and not get found out. I will do at least
two things I don’t want to do–just for exercise. I will not show
anyone that my feelings are hurt; they may be hurt,
but today I will not show it.

Just for today, I will be agreeable. I will look as well as I can,
dress becomingly, talk low, act courteously, criticize not one bit,
not find fault with anything and not try to improve
or regulate anybody except myself.

Just for today, I will have a program. I may not follow
it exactly, but I will have it. I will save myself from
two pests: hurry and indecision.

Just for today, I will have a quiet half hour all by myself,
and relax. During this half hour, sometime, I will try
to get a better perspective of my life.

Just for today, I will be unafraid. Especially I will not
be afraid to enjoy what is beautiful, and to believe
that as I give to the world, so the world will give to me.

IN PRAISE OF THE EXUBERANT

Every now and again, you read something that resonates so strongly with you that you just want to shout “yes!”  I don’t just love this poem.  I adore it! I want to live my life like this, and I’m so grateful for those who choose to Sunshine over my Rain Parades !

Thank you, Samantha for allowing me to share it 🙂 (check out her site here)

http://theorganizedartistcompany.com/

 IN PRAISE OF THE EXUBERANT  
And as you stand there
Sunshining all over our Rain Parade
Voice cheering
Toes tapping
Eyes dancing
 
Let us now praise you.
 
You, the mango-coconut in our vanilla world.
You, the red balloon in our blue sky.
You, the hooray-for-your-new-job (or hooray-for-your-engagement or hooray-for-your-wedding or hooray-for-your-new-baby or hooray-for-your-divorce) party-throwing friend.
 
Your door is always open
And don’t think we don’t take advantage of it.
Your heart is always open
And don’t think we don’t take advantage of it.
You have a particular kind of bravery:
 
The not-being-afraid-of-feelings kind of brave
The stand-up-and-be-counted kind of brave
The jump-off-the-high-dive (again) (naked) kind of brave.
 
We always know when you’re in the audience, because
We recognize your laugh.
 
And as you sit us down and give us your full-beam attention and as you ask us for every detail of our latest adventure (how do you always lead us to the conclusion that our life is an adventure?) and as we, flattered by your unwavering, bright-eyed gaze, end up going on and on and on and on, we have to mentally waft away the annoying, fluttering thought,
 
“Yes, but: Who takes care of you?”
 
Because we know that underneath the nonstop carnival 
there is a lot of
Damn hard work and that some of
Your sparkle
Is the glitter from the parts that got
Broken.
 
We’ve seen you fall and get right back up and assumed 
that it must  not have been that much of a 
Tumble but the truth is
 
You alone have the
 
Strength to Rise.
 
And so it is from you we learn that while we may not always
Feel happy
We can always feel
Joy.
 
And as you Gush and Exclaim and Twist and Shout and Wiggle with pleasure and Yelp and Hoot and Swear out loud and Burst into tears and Rush in and Hug and Holler across the room in a way that some might think of as
 
Embarrassing, we
Bask in your fearless conviction that
No human experience is unlovable.
 
Thank you for that.
So let’s break out the
Sequins and the feather boas and
Have dessert first and
Grin at strangers and
Let’s do the Hokey-Pokey and really
Put our Whole Self in
And order one more bottle because it’s so nice to all be together
 
Under the Abundant Sun.
  
  © 2009 Samantha Bennett

Slow down, you’re moving too fast!

Slow Down, You’re  Moving Too Fast
 
I live my life in the fast lane and I’ve done this for more years than I care to remember.  I think it started around 1990 when I found myself caring for four children who were five and under, and an elderly aunt who had a stroke that affected her physically and mentally.  I lost any opportunity for time for me, apart from one afternoon a week when I got someone from Crossroads to give me  a break from the care, when I could then at least focus on the children.  It was hard in hindsight but when you’re faced with these things, you just do it – and I learned to squeeze “me” time in by locking the bathroom door when I went to the toilet just so I could read a line or a sentence in a book.  The habit of squeezing things in “now” because I didn’t know when I’d got the chance again began – and was honed so well over the years that some friends told me I had 48 hours in my day, or lived in a Time Tardis.  I could do it all, and much of it at the same time.  I may not have officially belonged to a circus (though it felt like that many a day) but I was a fantastic juggler.  Exasperated a colleague sitting near me one day asked, “do you ever just do nothing?”
 
Doing Nothing?
 
Me. Do nothing? Alien concept; even more so with an Iphone with it’s various Apps, with the chance to check Facebook, emails, Twitter accounts, read books, check the news on one of 20 sites, play games.  So when I said this year was going to be a “year of balance and outrageous joy,” I headed straight into the busiest 12 weeks of my life, and found I could find even more space for “doing,” – but not for balance, and not for being.  I’m a doing person, not a being person – and I know now that there needs to be a balance in that as well, and I’m grateful for the friends and family who’ve been frank with me about my schedules, and to the Universe for intervening and enforcing rest through my fractured/bruised ankle.  Hey, if you don’t listen, the Universe makes you, and I should know that by now!  And not just because I’m reminded often that I’m a “human being not a human doing.”
 
I needed that time out, to think through what I was going to do next, which of the many hats in front of me I would choose to wear, if any – because there were lotsof hats to choose from.  I don’t think I’m ever going to be a person who just does one thing; I’m naturally very curious and therefore also find it harder to focus – and am envious of my friends who focus easily.  There is so much I could do – but not all of it will be right for me, and when I got frustrated at the not-knowing, my friend Jane wisely told me to see this period as a time of fallow, to let the earth rest.  Soon enough, she said, it would be clear what was going to grow.  And she was right; she often is.  I can see that there are three clear strands to what I will do, with Hearts Matter focussing on interventions to change behaviours, with Heart of Journaling\Happiness Virus focussing on journaling and happiness (and bringing them both together), and then my regular job which I still love to do.  The three hats look quite nice, I’ve just some more figuring out to do.
  
 
Taking Time To Figure Things Out
 
We all need to figure out things or else life just constantly surprises us.  My view is that there’s enough that can happen that you haven’t planned for so you should plan what happens next to a degree, with one eye on the fact it call change in a second.  A phonecall, a knock on the door – or whatever else life brings to us – can change everything.  So while that’s also a reminder to start working on your bucket list rather than looking at it in it’s nice frame, it’s also about being conscious enough of life passing by that we make what we can of it.  And what makes each of us happy or fires up our passion is as unique as we all are.  It’s taken me many years to start to learn this lesson – some people instintively seem to know that you need to build time into your life to figure things out.  Like Max – who’s 8 years old. He’s the autistic cousin of Jan Phillips (and like me, you can follow her Museletter at www.janphillips.com).  At a family reunion last year, when it was time for the kid’s games, he just sat looking at the clouds, so she went to him and said, “”Hey Max, aren’t you gonna get in the races?” 
 I’m afraid I made too many friends,” he said from up on his rock.
“Too many friends? How’d that happen?” I asked.
“Do you realize every single person has a totally unique personality?” he said.
“Yeah, I know.”
“Well how am I supposed to deal with that if I have too many friends? I have to take a rest for awhile to figure things out.”

 

Then she says he happily glanced back up toward the clouds to do his figuring. They say it’s little children who lead us – and so I’m off to look at some clouds, – and to spend a little more time just figuring, looking for fun, and feeling groovy.

Today is the Tomorrow I Worried about Yesterday

Such a great poem! Worrying about the past is a complete waste of energy, as you can’t change even one tiny part of it. Just learn from it. Worrying about the future is a complete waste of energy as anything you are thinking or planning is in your imagination. So why waste your energy? This poem is a powerful reminder to live in the moment, to be mindful, and to take the time to just enjoy your life – and smell the roses.

•~~•~~•~~•

Today is the tomorrow I worried about yesterday
And today was such a lovely day,
that I wondered why I worried about today yesterday
So today I am not going to worry about tomorrow
There may not be a tomorrow anyway
So today I am going to live as if there is no tomorrow
And I am going to forget about yesterday.

Today is the tomorrow I planned for yesterday
And nearly all my plans for today did not plan out the way I thought they would yesterday
So today I am forgetting about tomorrow and I will plan for today
But not too strenuously
Today I will stop to smell a rose
I will tell a loved one how much I love her
I will stop planning for tomorrow and plan to make today the best day of my life.

Today is the tomorrow I was afraid of yesterday
And today was nothing to be afraid of
So today I will banish fear of the unknown
I will embrace the unknown as a learning experience full of exciting opportunities
Today, unlike yesterday I will not fear tomorrow.

Today is the tomorrow I dreamed about yesterday
And some of the dreams I dreamt about yesterday came true today
So today I am going to continue dreaming about tomorrow
And perhaps more of the dreams I dream today will come true tomorrow.

Today is the tomorrow I set goals for yesterday
And I reached some of those goals today
So today I am going to set slightly higher goals for today and tomorrow
And if tomorrow turns out to be like today
I will certainly reach all of my goals one day!

~~ Author Unknown ~~

Grumpy Pants

I don’t often wear grumpy pants – but clearly I do have a pair that I sit in, now and again. I’ve been frustrated that some of the people I love most in the world sometimes talk to each other in a less than totally loving way. At least today I realised that it’s not my job to sort things out all the time – or be peacekeeper. Sometimes I possibly make things worse. People can’t see what they don’t want to see, or hear what they don’t want to hear – so pointing it out only annoys them and it upsets me more when they go to defensive and/or attack mode.

Which is no less than I do myself. So when I hear I’m grumpy I could go to defence mode (my usual stance), or sit back and observe. This curiousness-thing is fascinating; to observe as a witness/be mindful is teaching me so much.

Like when I’m really tired, my voice goes even quieter than normal. As if the effort of talking is almost too much – and I then get annoyed when I’m asked to repeat what people actually didn’t hear. Or when I’m really tired my tone changes to a flatter tone that could sound grumpy. No. It does sound grumpy. What I’ve also learned is that sometimes when I remove myself from a situation, others just get on with talking to each other.

I dont know why things are currently being attracted into my life or why there are what seem to be needless delays in things happening. I am Mrs Impatience, wanting answers and solutions NOW, please and thank you. As I went to write “no patience” I wrote “know patience” so my unconscious mind is already working on that, it would seem!

Maybe it really is, as the wise woman told me, time to learn patience and time to put me first for a while and let others do the nurturing. Maybe too, as Lee keeps telling me, it’s just time to be quiet, and go to sleep when my body says it’s time to do that even if it IS silly o’clock. Who knows? What I do know is – like Annie – that tomorrow is another day and I will probably feel quite quite different. 🙂