Monthly Archives: October 2012

How do you Measure Up?

 

“The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands in times of challenge and controversy.” Martin Luther King, Jr.

Sometimes I read reports of every-day heroes. People who put themselves at risk to “do the right thing.” Who put themselves in danger to rescue another. Or risk derailing careers to follow their own moral codes. Even those who battle their own fears and limitations to find out who they really are, and what their purposes are, seem heroic to me. The road less travelled. . .

When I hear of these people, I ask myself, “would I have the guts to do that? Or would I stay in fear, seemingly protecting myself from whatever scary outcome I imagined?”

They say we really don’t know what we would do until we are actually faced with such a situation. I pray that I would have the courage to do the right thing. And then I often pray I never have to find out.

Let’s hear it for the heroes!

Put Your Ear Down to Your Soul and Listen Hard

“Put your ear down to your soul and listen hard.” Anne Sexton

What I find interesting about this quote is all the things it doesn’t say. For instance, it does not say:

“Ask other people what they think.”

“Read a book or look online. Do your research.”

“Consult with your guide, leader, guru, or mentor.”

“Pray about it.”

Now, please don’t get me wrong. All of those are great ways to get feedback. Or guidance. But I believe the most important piece really is to listen to your soul. To listen within, rather than outside of, yourself.

How else will you know which opinions are right for you? Which suggestions keep you on your true path? When your prayers have been answered?  We often value that which comes from external sources, because we don’t trust ourselves. We imagine that others have the answers to our questions.

I would suggest that when we look inward for answers–not with our brains, but with our hearts–when we learn to hear and trust that “still, small voice,” we will find our answers. Our direction.

Our soul has never lost its connection to All That Is. Let us always remember to tune in to our souls’ wisdom.

Travel Attitudes

Have you ever noticed how airports seem to bring out either the best or the worst in people? Or maybe, due to the various stresses involved in travel these days, we just drop our filters a bit more by the time we’ve gotten through security and found a seat to wait until boarding time.

I like to think that even when I’m exhausted, hungry, and over-crowded, I’m still decent to my fellow travelers. That’s my goal, at least. I realize other people may not experience me that way at all.

I’ve also realized that I tend to pay attention to how nice strangers often are to one another. Random acts of kindness, as they say. I continue to be impressed by humankind as a whole. Other people I know often tune in to the unfortunate interactions between people. The Inconsiderateness, rudeness, and anger.

Which kind of traveler are you? Do you take your stress out on others, or do you try to focus on being kind? How do you live in the world in general? Do you notice the goodness around you, or do you focus on all the things you dislike? The things we pay attention to affect our emotional landscape–they become the lenses through which we see the world.

Me, I’m opting for rose colored glasses, without naiveté.  A glass half full. My life feels peaceful this way.

 

“The Hairball Diaries” by Katy Byrne

“The Hairball Diaries: The Courage to Speak Up” by Katy Byrne. Illustrator: Steve Klein. Published by LangMarc Press, 2006.

What a delightful book! With a lot of humor, and an easy conversational style, Katy Byrne moves right into some deep, important material. Katy’s use of thoughtful self-disclosure allows the reader to connect with the material in a meaningful way—this is not a book of dry ideas, it is a meaty, “hairy” book of insights, ideas, and stories.

In this book, Katy covers topics as varied as Relationships, Careers, and Addiction. Through her journaling questions, she invites readers to develop a deep understanding of themselves and of what it is that they need and want in their lives.

For anyone who wants a lighthearted look at some serious topics, and wants journaling questions that can lead to serious thought and self disclosure, this may just be the book for you.

Besides, she tells us all about her cat Einstein. For a cat lover like me, it doesn’t get any better than this. Thanks, Katy, for your important contribution!

For more information, visit http://www.langmarc.com/book/hairball-diaries

Announcing New Book Corner

In the fall of 2011, I found a publisher for my book, “The Dragon who Burned all his Friends,” which was released in the spring of 2012.

My publisher, LangMarc Publishing, focuses on two types of books: Spirituality/Christian and Self Help. Most of the books are written by mental health professionals or by persons writing about experiences in their own work and personal lives.

I have begun reading other LangMarc publications. Many of the books have important things to say. They are easy to read, and frequently quite entertaining.

Because of reading these books, I have decided to start a “Book Corner,” where I will discuss books by my publisher, as well as any others that might interest my readers.

Stay tuned!

Quotations–Finding the Deeper Messages Within

I love quotes! I’ve been collecting them since I was in grade school. I used to copy them perfectly into a journal. When I entered high school, scraps of paper crammed in the journal replaced the hand-written entries. Over the years I started shoving them into file folders. Now I have many digitally stored on my laptop.

Do you have some favorite quotes? I would invite you to spend time with the ones that catch your attention. What is it about those words that catches your heart, or your mind? Think about them. Feel about them. There may be more there than you first noticed.

I’ll be posting some of my favorites here. And then looking more deeply into them. Maybe some of the quotes here will call out to you.

Awareness

From “Awareness” by Anthony de Mello

“When you fight something, you are tied to it forever. As long as you’re fighting it, you are giving it power.”

What are you fighting? What do you give your power to?

The energy is different when we focus on what we want, instead of what we don’t yet have. What would happen if we said something like “I spend my money thoughtfully” instead of “I shouldn’t buy this because I’m so in debt.” Feel the difference?

Or: “I am finding constructive ways to talk with my husband” instead of “I’m so tired of fighting all the time!” When the focus is on the positive, the thing we want, rather than what we do not want, things feel very different.

What do you wish was different in your life? Focus on how you will make the changes, paying attention to the goal rather than the problem. It makes a big difference!