Monday, August 27, 2012

Books: Our Forever Companions

Dogs might be considered man's best friend, but ask any number of people what items or companions they would want to pack if knowing they were to be stranded on a deserted island and you can almost bet they will mention their favorite books.

Throughout youth and adulthood many voracious readers become victims of life. What this means is the young may find the time they have for reading is taken up by critical and time-sensitive homework assignments. Adults, on the other hand, often feel the pressures of work and other responsibilities prevent them from the recreational reading that they enjoy due to lack of concentration. They have the time but not the presence of mind.

There is no harm in stacking a few good reads on your nightstand to be readily available when the reading-mood strikes. In the past I have recommended some books around this time of the year – and this year is no different. A few that I've found to be educational and inspirational include:
  • Love for No Reason by Marci Shimoff - Free Press. Ms. Shimoff is the New York Times bestselling author of Happy for No Reason. In the more recent, Love for No Reason, the author creates a seven step program to enhance the quality of love in your life  – and this includes love of yourself! Ms. Shimoff guides her readers through what they may consider unlovable in themselves, as well as how to come from a place of compassion as a means to communicate and give unconditional love to others. Her straightforward approach and helpful exercises open up the door to a better understanding of love and what it can manifest. Engaging, anecdotal stories makes this a very personal, satisfying read.
  • The 11 Karmic Spaces by Ma Jaya Sati Bhagavati - Kashi Publishing. Interesting that Marci Shimoff, the above-noted author comments that "Unconditional love is the very center of Ma Jaya's teachings! This beautiful, educational tool of love, honesty and spiritual law is illuminating and refreshing in that it categorically states what karma is and what it is not.
  • Wherever You Go, There You Are by Jon Kabat-Zinn - MJF Books. Broken up into three superlative sections, Mr. Kabat-Zinn's book of mindful meditation is not just a theoretical plan. It incorporates the practice and assists the "meditation rookie" in a manner that appears simplistic in its ease of use. He encourages the reader to be present in their own life, teaching each of us that there are no greener pastures and that contentment comes from within.
 I will leave you with a few beautiful quotes on reading ... enjoy!

He that loves a book will never want a faithful friend, a wholesome counselor, a cheerful companion, an effectual comforter. By study, by reading, by thinking, one may innocently divert and pleasantly entertain himself, as in all weathers, as in all fortunes.
- Barrow

To feel most beautifully alive means to be reading something beautiful, ready always to apprehend in the flow of language the sudden flash of poetry.
- Gaston Bachelard

The more you read, the more things you will know. The more that you learn, the more places you'll go.
- Dr. Seuss, "I Can Read With My Eyes Shut!"

Friday, August 17, 2012

Your Own Personal (Behavior) Diet Journal

Thinking positively is just as frustrating as trying to stick to a diet! It is a learned behavior and only the truly committed manage to succeed. The similarities are many, and the results as rewarding.

Exercise daily.
  • Laugh & smile frequently
  •  Take several deep cleansing breaths
  • Commune with nature, feel gratitude  & show love  

Weigh your options (thoughts & words). 
  • Choose a word such as 'when' instead of 'if'
  •  Recognize when silence is more powerful than speaking
  • Think before you speak so you will not have to eat your words 

Push your limits regularly.
  • Be an overachiever and go out of your way for others
  •  Match your dreams and aspirations with actions to accomplish them
  • When the going gets tough, and it will, be the one who gets tough and stays the course
Weigh in at the end of each week. It's like stepping on the bathroom scale. Make a short check list of your behavior diet. Did you ...
  • Fill yourself with positive thoughts and words rather than empty negatives?
  • Eat more words than you intended or stay within your allotted amount of words?
  • Push your own personal limits while avoiding pushing your family's and friends buttons?
Bravo! Kudos! Way to Go! You CAN Do It! Almost There! With Each Passing Week, It's Easier!

    Wednesday, August 15, 2012

    Is Your A/C Working?

    Are you feeling out of sorts these days?
    • Irritable
    • Can't sleep
    • Fuzzy or foggy 
    You may need to have your A/C checked. Not your air conditioner. There's another A/C that I'm talking about. It gets you past most obstacles and even at the hottest of times helps you stay cool, calm and collected. It allows you to breathe, to not worry or obsess about the future. It keeps you grounded, positive and happier.

    I'm talking about Absolute Certainty

    Absolute Certainty

    What is absolute certainty? It is knowing, beyond a shadow of a doubt. It is conviction, faith, belief. It is having the highest measure of assurance. It gets you to where you're going because you know that the outcome is positive, even as you journey along a winding path that doesn't permit you to see what is beyond the next point. You don't need to know: your mind is set and assures you that all is well. You have absolute certainty about the outcome.


    The three Hebrew letters above, read from right to left, are ayin resh yud. They represent one of the 72 names of God found in Kabbalah. Many have discovered that by meditating on this triplet of characters, miracles have occurred. It has helped thousands of people through some of their darkest hours and most trying times. 

    Praying on absolute certainty puts you in a zone, in a place you've never been before. However, once you've been there you may never want to leave. 

    Having absolute certainty occurs often without realizing it. For example, when you're trying to make a movie and the parking lot is crowded: You have this feeling that as you round the next aisle you will find a parking spot. Unbelievably, you do. 

    From every day small occurrences to a once in a lifetime miracle, absolute certainty is a way of thinking that can develop into a way of life. In a manner of speaking, it is a way of accentuating the positive and not dwelling on negativity. Believing in the power of positive thinking is a great part of absolute certainty. 

    When was the last time you were absolutely sure about something? If it is true that we manifest our future with our present thoughts, maybe it's time to tune up the A/C.