Tag Archive | the secret

God or doG Wisdom? Ten Life Lessons According to Canines!

IMG_20150120_144936franny.jpg

We should never underestimate animals and what they have to teach us about life!

Recently, after observing my two dogs – Francesca, a 7-year-old Maltese, from the Island of Malta and Jack (Jacque Cousteau), a 6-year-old Yorkshire Terrier, from England – I have come to the conclusion that they have many lessons about life – and about God’s love – to teach me.

Here they are listed Letterman style:

#10:   When you wake up in the morning, before you do anything else, S-T-R-E-T-C-H!  A big long, extended stretch and Y-A-W-N!  This increases blood flow to our muscles and joints and oxygen to our brain!  I also believe reaching our hands above our heads is a way to surrender the day to God and ask him to ‘stretch’ us each day in those places where we’ve become atrophied!

#9:  Have a bowel movement and keep regular.  Need I say more?

#8:  Eat breakfast – and thank God for our DAILY bread each morning just as my dogs thank me for providing them their breakfast by coming up and licking me afterwards.  The dog-food breath is not great, but at least I know they’ve eaten what I have given them.  I think God also needs to know that we have received our nourishment from him each day and that we appreciate what he gives us on a daily basis.

#7:  Walk.  Run.  Play.  Get exercise and get excited about life!  My dog Jack literally squeals when he knows we’re going outside.  He is so excited from the moment he wakes up in the moment that he buries his head in the blankets and snowplows through them, not caring that his hair and his big ears are completely dishevelled – looking a little bit like the Tasmanian devil.  He’s completely ready for the new day, excited about the simple things in life: Eating, playing, running, eating some more, napping, playing some more and chewing on his bone!  Let’s get excited about our day!

#6:  Be Affectionate:  The first thing my dogs do, is come up and shove their little faces in mine in the morning, ready to give me a kiss and pat me with their paws for me to reciprocate their love.  Who wouldn’t want this kind of love and affection when we wake up in the morning?  Do we give our partner/spouse this kind of attention before we get out of bed in the morning?  Maybe we should!  And if we are receiving this kind of attention, do not take it for granted or push it away!  First of all, it hurts the other person and if you knew tomorrow that person might be there to give you this kind of love; you might be very glad to receive it.  At the very least, do it for all of your single friends who don’t have that kind of affection in their lives at the moment!

#5:  Be Persistent:  If you want or need something, don’t give up or give in!  My dog Franny will pat me with her paws, whine and carry on until I finally notice her and put her on my lap.  Although it’s not always convenient to have her in my arms, especially when I’m writing, she won’t give up until I do!  She always gets what she wants – eventually out of sheer persistence!

#4:  Be Single-Focused:  Although sometimes it’s frustrating when my dog Jack will not let go of his bone, even when I’m trying to give him a better, new one; I admire the fact that he is single focused on it when he has it!   Perhaps if we were like this, we would demonstrate more excellence in certain areas of our lives, instead of multi-tasking and doing a mediocre job at many things.  If you’re having a conversation with someone, put away your phone. If you’re talking with your child; stop whatever else you’re doing and really see your child.  We need to be more single focused in our relationships with people.  My dogs NEVER make me feel like there’s someone else or something else they’d rather be paying attention to – I wish I could say I never make them feel this way!

#3:  Look People in the Eye:  My dogs always look me in the eye and it makes me melt.  There is something powerful when we look people in the eye because we make a connection with them that says, I see you and I am allowing you to see me.  Be transparent and open with people!

#2:  Be Forgiving and Forgetful!  Jack and Franny, even when I scold them or spank them for peeing or doing something they shouldn’t be doing; they might disappear into the bedroom for a short time, but they never stay there long nor do they go ruminate for hours about what a terrible person I am!  They are right back out in my presence, loving me as if they’ve completely forgotten – maybe they actually do – and forgiven me.  How wonderful would life be if we all had short-term memories sometimes?

And #1:  Drumroll please…

Remember God loves you!  If you’ve ever had a pet, you know that even though they may do wrong or go off the trail and get themselves into burrs, thistles, fleas or ticks; and it might drive us crazy when we have to spend hours grooming them, picking through their fur or getting soaked when we bathe them; we also know that nothing they do diminishes or takes away our love for them.  If we, in our limited human capacity for love – can feel and exhibit such great amounts of it for our pets even when they “miss the mark”; how much more loving is our God?  How much more can he look past our inadequacies and “bad” behaviour?  This is called Grace and He promised us that it would “super-abound” from Him!

And that, my friends, are just some of the things that my dogs have taught me about life and about God’s love.

Want a new “leash” on life?  Go observe your pets for a while to remind yourself of how loved you are!

Franny and meOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

 

 

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Hope On A Rope: Are you at the end of yours?

 

 

Are you at the END of your ROPE?

Centuries ago, when a lamb would stray from the flock, sometimes, its Shepherd would purposely maim it and then proceed to carry the lamb over his shoulders until it grew dependent on him.  Then, when it was healed, it would be allowed to walk on its own.  After that, it identified so strongly with its Shepherd that it would never stray from him or the flock again.  It knew that in its need, it was its Shepherd that would take care of it.

Though, at first, it would appear that the suffering that the Shepherd allowed the lamb to go through was painful; it was actually for its own good.  The HOPE that came out of it, was the lamb would never lose its way again and it learned to trust and have CONFIDENCE in the Shepherd’s ability to look after it.

A Year Like No Other

A few years ago, I was that lamb!  And, I suspect that there are a number of “lambs” today that at one time or another or maybe right now, have been broken, lost or have strayed from the flock and might need some help being led back to it.

It was the year of 2007-8.  I had a great deal of disappointment and sad events in my life.  When I look back on them, I’m not even sure how I kept going.  I was going through my 2nd divorce (double feelings of failure!); I had to walk away from my church of two years, and because of my divorce, move out of my home.  Worst of all, I lost my father to a massive heart attack, followed by a week later, having to put down my dog of twelve years, who I loved more than you can possibly know.   I know, it sounds like a bad country song!

I was at the end of my rope!

In fact, not only was I at the end of it, I could not see anything below me or in front of me to grab on to.  There were nights, when I felt like dying.  There were nights when I felt like giving up.  There were nights, when I felt like God had forgotten about me.  And yet, there was always something that got me through and it’s not tangible and it’s not visible.  It’s not even rational or logical: It is a thing, called HOPE.

I never lost HOPE and I’ll tell you why:

I can’t describe it well, except that it was like a little ember deep within me.  It is within all of us – this little flame – that never goes out as long as we have God.  And sometimes, when we are the sheep going along with the flock like we should be, we don’t even know it’s there.

It’s usually in those times, when we get lost and things seem dark and lonely that this little ember is rekindled and grows and burns.  I can honestly say that it has most often been in those moments of deep despair and loneliness that I can feel it the most.  This is why, though it is not fun and sometimes it even makes me angry, I understand that the pain we go through is worth it, simply because we are suddenly made more aware of this thing, called Hope.

We’ve all experienced it.  In a moment of despair or confusion, it can come upon us like a bright light or a warm feeling in the pit of our stomach and suddenly, amidst all of the chaos, we hear ourselves saying, “It IS going to be all right!  I can get through this!  This too shall pass!

Sometimes it doesn’t have to be some huge event that brings us hope and pulls out of our despair.  It can be in the little things we enjoy.   And that is exactly what HOPE is – if it were tangible at all, it would be what we hang on to.  It’s that knot at the END of our ROPE – that CONFIDENT hope that God will make it better, either by easing the pain or giving us the strength to keep going or perhaps, giving us something that we have lost.

And suddenly, amidst our pain, we become aware again of the things or people for whom we still have to live; the goals we still want to accomplish or the dreams we still envision!

Although I lost my marriage, my home, my church, my father and my dog in the span of one year, I gained a great deal.  I gained an unlimited, unshakable feeling of HOPE for my future.  And God is a God of RESTORATION and as the year passed; here is how I was also given physical, tangible hope:

I know for a fact that God not only gives us internal hope in our times of trouble, but he also gives back to us the things that are taken from us.  When my husband left, God gave me something wonderful to focus on – he helped me publish my first novel that year.  When I lost my house, a wonderful apartment in a building where a number of my friends lived became available.  When I had no money to pay for that apartment, God provided a full-time teaching job. When I was alone, He opened doors for me to make new friends.

When I lost my church, God led me to a new one.  When I lost my father, He surrounded me with my six siblings, my mother and my father’s youngest sister, who became and still is a wonderful friend to me and often I can hear my own father’s wisdom and kindness in her words to me and it comforts me greatly.   When I had to put my dog down, God gave me the strength and the peace amidst the sadness.  And of course, another little Maltese came along about two months later, who I named Francesca, because it means “Free one” and I still hold her on my lap as I write this!

In our times of trouble, here is what God wants for us:

God, the source of HOPE, will fill you completely with JOY and PEACE BECAUSE you TRUST in him.  Then you will overflow with CONFIDENT HOPE through the power of the Holy Spirit.” {Romans 15:13}

If you are at the beginning, middle or the end of your rope, though you may not see the ground beneath or be able to grab hold of anything just yet, hang on a little while longer, because threaded through that rope, is God’s HOPE and he will NEVER let go of you, no matter how slack your grip.

I know this now, for sure:  That God loves us and though he does not guarantee we will not go through the rough waters and the fire, he does guarantee that He will not let us drown or get burnt and he will fan the flames of HOPE within us.

The truth is, if our lives were perfect and we were never maimed or in pain, we would never feel the need for our flock or for our Shepherd.  I have found, that it is in those very times of trouble, that we need both.

Being honest and open about our pain is to make us vulnerable and that’s okay.  We are vulnerable, because we are human.  And the other lambs that walk with us; also like to feel needed.  Never underestimate how your needs can make someone else feel like they have a purpose as well.  You may not be the only one who is at the end of your rope and in reaching out, you may be tying a knot in the end of that other person’s rope to help them hang on.

We are the lambs in God’s flock and through our pain, we grow to be strong, while we are resting on his broad shoulders.  God’s unlimited love and grace is the HOPE on my ROPE!

Do NOT fear or worry: Jesus is in the SAME boat as us!

 

Jesus was in the SAME boat!

Jesus storm - The painting

Often when we are in trouble and we share our woes with others, we hear the expression, “I know, I’m in the same boat!”

This is said usually to bring comfort that someone else is going through a similar experience, and we can know that we are not alone in our time of need.  Similarly, the Canadian musician, Avril Levine sings:  Watcha Crying for? It’s all been done before!

There’s not only comfort, but truth in these words: Being part of humanity, we can be sure that someone, somewhere has gone through what we are going through – or far worse for that matter!   Knowing this can be a sobering reality for us.  It also gives us an opportunity to learn from their mistakes and to hear possible solutions.  If we are blessed enough, God will send us someone who knows exactly what we are going through, if not to offer answers, than at least to offer support.

However, sometimes we feel like just when we need someone the most, our phone never rings; no one knocks on our door and we’re convinced that we could drop over dead and it would be days before someone finds us!

Well, what we need to remember is that even though we feel alone, someone is listening and someone is with us.  This is made evident in the story when the disciples of Jesus, find themselves being tossed to and fro in the sea; scared for their very lives.  Meanwhile, Jesus is at the front of the boat, sleeping!

Suddenly a furious storm came up on the lake, so that the waves swept over the boat.  But Jesus was sleeping.  The disciples went and woke him, saying, “Lord, save us! We’re going to drown!”  He replied, “You of little faith, why are you so afraid?”  Then he got up and rebuked the winds and the waves, and it was completely calm.  The men were amazed and asked, “What kind of man is this? Even the winds and the waves obey him!” {Matthew 8:23-27}

Theologians and pastors have often comforted us with the truth that no matter what storm we go through Jesus can calm it.  Well, here’s even better news:  Did you know that when the disciples were in that furious storm and they cried out “Lord save us! We’re going to drown” they temporarily forgot one important thing:  Not only was Jesus able to calm the storm.  HE WAS IN THE SAME BOAT!

He wasn’t far off somewhere enjoying a drink on the beach!   He was in the boat with them.

More so, amidst a storm, here he was, sleeping, seemingly oblivious to the fears and the imagined doom of his friends.  It wasn’t because he didn’t care about them or that he was neglecting their needs.  It was because he knew what they should haven known; that he, in his faith, was able to calm the storm.  He was their protector.

He would never jump out of the boat and leave them to fend for themselves.  He was sleeping because he could rest in knowing that whatever the conditions of that storm, his power was greater.  And yet, what did Jesus say to his disciples – and all of us – just before he ascended to heaven:

Very truly I tell you, whoever believes in me will do the works I have been doing, and they will do even greater things than these, because I am going to the Father.  {John 14:12} 

What we need to realize is that we too have authority over our own storms.  We can go to bed at night, knowing that if we speak that our storm will pass, truly believe that God’s “got it”, we can also sleep as Jesus did, without worry.  This is exactly what God wants us to do and that is why he had Jesus asleep in the boat – to illustrate this point to us.

It’s not like the disciples didn’t know this wisdom too!  They had seen him perform many miracles greater than calming a storm.   It would seem that even his disciples needed reminding of this fact on a regular basis – as do we sometimes – and that’s okay.

As Jesus says:  “Come to me all you who are weary and burdened and I will give you rest…learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart and you will find rest for your souls.  For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”  {Matthew 11:28-30}

Jesus assures us that as long as we are in the same boat with him, he will give us rest also.   He too has experienced his own storms and his own burdens.   He doubted; he was tempted.  He even said to his father in heaven before his crucifixion, “My soul is overwhelmed with sorrow to the point of death.”   {Matthew 26:38}

If even Jesus can feel such sorrow, surely he knows how we feel.  He is in the boat with us and he is resting because He knows no storm is greater than his power.

So when you find yourself in a boat that feels like it is sinking, put aside your own little Dixie cup and let Jesus bail you out!

Our Words are Boomerangs: What are You Throwing Back at Yourself?

    Do you know the origin of the boomerang? 



The History of Boomerangs
Contrary to popular belief, the boomerang did not originate in Australia. Historical traces of boomerangs have been found throughout the world. Boomerangs are considered by many to be the earliest “heavier-than-air” flying machines invented by human beings. Australian Aboriginal boomerangs have been found as old as ten thousand years old, but older hunting boomerangs have been discovered throughout Europe. The famed King Tutankhamen of Egypt had an extensive collection of boomerangs over 2000 years ago.   Although historians are not certain of the exact origin of the first boomerang, it is speculated that the boomerang was developed from a flattened throwing stick, used by early hunters. The returning boomerang was most likely discovered by accident by an early hunter trying to fine tune a hunting stick.
(Boomerang.com)

It is interesting that while the boomerang was originally used as a hunting tool; now has become something used for fun.  I think this is apropos in terms of it being symbolic of our words:  They can be used for “hunting” or hurting people; or they can be used for fun, laughter, joy and expressing positive messages.

We need to realize the power of our words (and our thoughts, as they also contain vibrational energy that impacts our environment) and realize that they are boomerangs; which essentially means that whatever we speak out does not come back “void” or “in vain” and affects not only the people and situations in our lives, but ultimately, ourselves and our cells!

The great news is, with this promise from God, we have the power to create, transform and build our own lives:

So will My word be which goes forth from My mouth; It will not return to Me empty, Without accomplishing what I desire, And without succeeding in the matter for which I sent it. For you will go out with joy And be led forth with peace;  {Isaiah 55:11-12}

There are two reasons why many of us do not want to believe that we have the power to change ourselves and our world, with our own words:

Firstly, it would mean taking responsibility for the events, people and situations in our lives at present that we have created through our own thoughts, words, beliefs and behaviours.

Secondly, it would mean that we would have to look within and change something about ourselves – simply, raising our consciousness and let’s face it, we often feel powerless to change or refuse to hold up the magnifying glass in case of what we might see.

According to Emmet Fox (died 1951), who was a New Thought Spiritual Leader,  we do not need to be afraid of change or strive to achieve it IF we have God’s power – the Holy Spirit – at the centre of our lives:

God is not merely a matchless power that will come to our rescue, but He will actually be our own strength, operating through us to the overcoming of difficulty when we call upon Him in the right way.  Every student of Truth must understand that God always acts through us by changing our consciousness. We learn in divine metaphysics that God never does anything to us, or for us, but always through us.  (Emmet Fox)

In other words, God becomes “a very present help in trouble.”  {Psalm 46} and says this to us:  My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness. {2 Corinthians 12:9}

The only thing we do need to do is finally wake up and realize the power we have in our thoughts and words and begin to surrender and allow God to do the work, simply by raising up our hands and saying:  “God, I surrender my thoughts and my words up to you, please transform them so that I can be a boomerang of kindness to myself and to others today and every day!”

Let’s make a choice today to be Boomerangs of kindness; not of harm.  For inspiration about how every little act we do becomes a boomerang out into the world, and eventually leads back to us, please watch the following video.  Pay attention to the construction worker at the beginning!  I hope it helps to inspire you today!

The Kindness Boomerang Video:

Surrendering and Listening to Our Bodies

happiness on coast

Depression is defined as:

1.  Severe despondency and dejection, accompanied by feelings of hopelessness and inadequacy.

2.  A condition of mental disturbance, typically with lack of energy and difficulty in maintaining concentration or interest in life.

However, Depression Doesn’t Exist!    

Now that I have your attention and possibly your anger, please, keep reading!  For anyone who experiences depression or has come through it, the feelings associated with it are very real.  However, one of the most valuable lessons I learned from my four years of Gestalt Psycho-therapy training was that depression in and of itself does not exist – it is a mental and physiological response to one of two things:  repressed anger or repressed sadness.  Think of it as holding a ball full of air underneath the water.  Everyone knows that it is difficult to do because the displaced air within the ball forces it to ascend upwards and we have to forcefully hold it to keep it under the water. When we do eventually let it go; it flies out of the water upwards proportionately to how deep we were holding it under.

This is very similar to what happens when we are holding anger or sadness within us – it wants to come up and be expressed – but we may not want to see it on the surface.  The problem with this is, the more we repress our anger or sadness, the less we can actually feel joy or happiness.  This is why it is crucial that we allow our anger and sadness to come to the surface so that our hands – and our entire being – is open to experience the joy and happiness life has to offer as well.

The fact that depression in most cases is a result of holding on to negative feelings – and negative energy – is very good news.  While depression feels like a heavy weight upon our shoulders or quicksand that we feel powerless to become free from – anger and sadness are simply emotions that have been trapped within our bodies in response to an experience – and we can be free of them, which in turn will eventually help lift the feelings associated with our depression.

How do we do this?   

I am certainly not going to advise for or against anti-depressants; but  sometimes they can be a TEMPORARY solution to severe depression until we can process and deal with the sadness or anger in which we are holding.  Times in my life that I have experienced depression I did not take drugs and I was able to work through it and come out the other side and that is what I want to share with you today.   The truth is there is no quick fix to dealing with depression.  If one is in this state, even affirmations and trying to lift our vibrational energy may not work – although they cannot hurt either!

Step # 1We need to first identify what emotion is causing the depression – is it anger or is it sadness?  And very often, even behind our anger lies sadness or disappointment over something that has happened to us.  For example, if someone has said or did something very hurtful to us, we are likely to have felt sadness but masked it with anger very quickly in order to deal with it and ‘feel stronger’.  Often we mask our sadness with anger in order to have the strength to stand up to or say goodbye to a particular person or situation in our lives.  How many times have we thought we originally felt anger towards someone and then a few days later, realize that we are actually sad about what happened?

Step # 2:  What are we feeling sad or angry about? The problem with trying to discover what and why we are feeling what we are is that many times by the time our bodies have gone into a depressed state, the actual original hurt or event has long since passed.  It may even have been something in our childhood originally and has been triggered again by something in our adult lives.

So how on earth do we get to the heart of the issue and figure out how and why we are feeling this way?  It isn’t easy. This is the step at which most people feel the most resistance – especially if the hurt did originate – and most do – in our childhood.  We have buried it so deeply and so strategically in order to not have had to deal with it – usually because we were too young to do so or simply not equipped – that there are a few layers that we have to peel away first.  It is necessary that we realize this is a process – and that is what I want to stress here – growth and healing of any kind is a process.  When we cut our finger, our bodies have a wonderful – some would even say miraculous – ability to heal the wound.  This does not happen overnight however; but we can apply ointments that expedite the process.  This is where therapeutic modalities come in – they can include anything from journaling, talking with a friend, talking with a trained psychologist, E.F.T (Emotional Freedom Technique), Reiki, Acupuncture and many more.  You need to discover which one works best for you. In the meantime, I will share with you some practical techniques you can do in the privacy of your own home.

Step # 3:  Writing to Heal 

I have done this several times and I cannot stress enough how powerful – and effective – a technique it is to get at the heart of many of our repressed emotions and physical ailments.  What we do is actually journal with the Depression – almost as if it is a person – or the physical issue – directly.  Why not give it a try? If it doesn’t work then you haven’t lost anything; if it does, I would love to hear back from you as to how it helped.

Dear Depression: 

You have taken over my body, slowed me down, made me feel lethargic and really awful some days.  You must be doing this for a reason.  Please, what is it that you are trying to tell me?  What real emotions are you trying to hold onto for me?  I know you are not my enemy.  I know that you are attempting to protect me from my real emotions.  Please help me to figure out what these are.

Take a few seconds and then respond from the Depression’s point of view – in other words, give it a voice.

Dear (Your Name):

Here is where you allow – freely and without judgement – your Depression (and you do not have to be severely depressed at all, you may just simply feel down or not so great) tell you what is really going on with you.  You may be surprised by what it tells you or it may make a lot of sense.  The trick is to allow it a voice.

This is the same for ailments in the body – another manifestation of repressed hurts, emotions or beliefs that have surfaced in a physical form.  It does not matter if this is a small annoyance such as a hemorrhoid or if it is cancer.  Our bodies are the mediator between our core inner self – our subconscious – and our minds.  They are constantly giving us messages. When our leg falls asleep and we begin to feel pins and needles, our body is communicating to us that we need to move and stop cutting off the blood supply to our extremities.  Why does it do this?  To protect us.  Why do our bodies develop “dis – ease”?  Because we are “out” of “ease” with our true selves and our bodies want to return to homeostasis and ease again – and it will help us do this if we are willing to give it a voice.

Dear Hemorrhoid/ Dear Cancer:  Again, allow yourself to be really honest about how you are feeling towards it.  Maybe you hate your cancer or your disease.  Tell it that.  It can handle it because it is in your body to tell you something as well.  Then let it.

Give your depression, anger, sadness and your pain – whether it be emotional or physical, a VOICE today.  Let it communicate to you in plain language what it has been trying to tell you silently.  Once you “hear” it – you may well be on your way to recovery and freedom.

Below is a website that delineates the Myths and Facts regarding Depression:   

http://www.webmd.com/depression/ss/slideshow-depression-myths

Loving Ourselves as God Loves Us

We are Divine Beings and need to begin to see ourselves as God sees us! 

We are NOT our house, job, car, money, possessions or our THOUGHTS!

I want you to imagine for a moment that you are just you. Imagine that you are sitting on a bench and you have no job, no career, no family, no clothes, no car, no possessions and you have to rely simply on who you are as a person. Now ask yourself these questions:

1. Who am I?  What qualities or attributes do I possess within me that make me who I am?

2. How have I used my possessions to tell myself, my family and the world who I am? Can I live with myself without all of these “things” representing me?

3.  Without my thoughts, who am I?

There is nothing wrong with being blessed and having a home, job, career, car – even two or three cars, a family, lovely clothes and lots of possessions. We are entitled to our divine inheritance as is everyone on this planet.

However, there is something wrong with tying our whole identity as a human being – the organic, molecular structure and the spirit within us – to a series or collection of physical man-made items that we call ours. Why?  Because we get so tied up and stressed out with the purpose of obtaining – and then maintaining and sustaining these things, that we forget our own self-worth – who we truly are without these things.

I am convinced this is why many people who become wealthy or famous or politically successful fall into the temptation of corruption – it’s because they forget who they are at the core – they’ve lost sight of their inner self that has integrity and honesty – in the pursuit of fame, fortune and prestige. The rest of us who live moderately successful lives also do this – perhaps not on the same scale, but we forget or resent spending time with our families because work is more important; we don’t take care of our own health because we are too busy running around to actually run.

What good are any of these things, if we are lying in bed with a disease caused from the stress of obtaining and keeping them or we have lost our families because of our negligence?

It all comes down to this:

Net Worth vs. Personal Currency:

Have we put our “Net Worth” before our own Personal Currency – what we are worth as a human being? I am here to tell you that your net worth is not – and never will be – worth more than your own personal currency which consists of your character, your spirit, your ideas and the love you have to offer to your fellow human being.

We can easily lose our jobs, houses, cars, family and all of our possessions; but the real tragedy is when we lose ourselves – our humanity, our integrity, our kindness, our patience towards others and our own families. So today, go sit on a park bench during your lunch and take inventory. If this bench was your home, could you live with yourself?

The third and most important question flies in the face of what Rene Descartes – a French philosopher from the 16th century wrote: “I think therefore I am.”  We as humans have come to believe that because we think – we exist and we pride ourselves on the fact that we appear to be at a much higher cognitive – the ability to think – level than our animal and plant friends.

However, it is often amusing to me that it is our very thoughts that cause us the most discomfort and pain and also when they manifest from our mouths in the essence of words and out of our beings as actions, they are what gets us into a lot of trouble sometimes.

What if I told you that you are NOT your thoughts and you exist with or without them.  In fact, many sages and ancient philosophers might say that when we are not thinking, we are the most enlightened.  We are probably the most relaxed and true to ourselves when we can manage – even for brief moments in time – to not think. When we are not thinking, which usually also entails, judging, worrying, fretting, trying to solve a problem, critiquing or torturing ourselves – we are more aligned with our true essence than at an other moment.

Usually, when we do think, we are re-visiting the past or conjuring what we want now or what we don’t want in our future.  Rarely are we thinking – or being – in the present moment of our lives.  And the present is the only moment that counts, creates or co-exists with our true being.

Think of a child who has just had something taken away from him; he reaches out and cries for it as if he relies on it for his very existence.  All the while, his mother wants to hand him something else in the present moment.  The child is so caught up in what he “had” that he can not stop crying and appreciate what he has been given.

It is true if that same mother were to give him a toy in the present moment and then show him a cookie and say, “You can have this in five minutes.”  The child would begin to cry for the cookie and demand it now.  He cannot wait for the five minutes to unfold as they are meant to; nor can he enjoy the toy he has, because all the while he is looking ahead in the future and wanting the cookie pulled into his “now” moment.

Does this sound familiar?  Yes? Yes, because we do not seem to be able to let go of this ego-centric behaviour even as we become adults.  We often are pining away, thinking about or crying over something in our past or commiserating, anxiously awaiting or dreading something in our future.  All the while, the present moment is passing us by – only to be cried about tomorrow when we realize we cannot get that moment back.  We must recalculate from any given, present moment.  We can not worry or regret any decision made in the past; nor does worrying about the future change anything.  Only being aware of our thoughts, choices, decisions and actions in this very moment can transform and recalculate us in the direction we want to go!

Why are we so fixated on the past and the future?

Next Post:  Our fixation with what’s behind and ahead of us, meanwhile we walk into a pole that’s ahead of us.