Sunday, November 30, 2014

More Ramblings...

I have a lot to do and it’s late and there are other things I could be doing, like studying or reading a comic book and eating popcorn.  I could be sleeping.  Or I could be saying, “Thank you!” for all the good in my life.  I am still meditating on the idea of our natural state being loving, joyful, and peaceful.  There’s much evidence to the contrary, both in me and in the world. 
            I’m studying history right now and I’m reading about the origins of the Viet Nam War.  According to what I’m reading, a series of misunderstandings, technical issues, and lies over an incident in the Gulf of Tonkin gave Lyndon Johnson carte blanche discretion and money to increase our involvement in this war.  This war, which was one of the most contentious for our country, cost America the lives of 59,000 soldiers, not to mention what it did to Viet Nam itself.   The incident, or the non-incident really (there was no attack on American ships as the Johnson administration claimed, but we still went to war) changed the country.  On top of it all, we eventually lost the war anyway.
There’s a lot more to the story, but my point is that a handful of people adversely, very adversely, affected the lives of almost everyone in two countries, because of their ambition, greed, and discontent.  It just doesn’t have to be that way.  We don’t have to be evil.  We don’t have to hurt others.  We don’t even have to be unhappy.  Most of us have all we could want or need.  We have, literally at our fingertips, the power to change our lives and the lives of others through writing, art, or in an infinite number of ways.  There is so much good we could all be doing. 
Why are we so afraid?  Why are we so angry?  Why are we so unhappy?  Can we let go of the unhappy incidents of the past?  Can we forgive?  Can we let go of extremism and all the other isms?   (“Ism, ism, ism, ism,” John Lennon sang.) 
What do we want?  What do we really need?  Is it all that hard to get?  Could we work harder for it without hurting others?  Can we all contribute something to the world instead of taking away?  Can we do something to make the world, or at least our part of it, a better place?
Maybe I’m just rambling here, but very few people seem to be really happy.  But I think it’s possible.  I think we can all be happy and productive and lead meaningful lives and have fun.

I think we can all Get Started and Keep Going.  I know I can.

Saturday, November 29, 2014

The Pain Body

The following thoughts and questions are based on ideas from The Power of Now by Eckhart Tolle.  They are not necessarily original, but like a hummingbird whose wings beat 70 times per minutes as he flits from flower to flower, so go my thoughts.  All of my ideas are conjectures, but if they have even the smallest chance of being true they are worth considering.
·      What if our natural state was to be peaceful and loving as much as possible, if not all the time?
·      Is that possible?
·      How much work, courage, and self-discipline would that take?
·      What if all that was bad or undesirable in us was not actually us, but a separate entity inside each of us, controlling our thoughts (and therefore our words and actions)?
·      What if it were not only our natural state to be peaceful, joyful, and loving all the time, but our obligation?
·      What if every single negative thought, no matter what form it took – fear, hatred, sadness, regret, judgment of others,  - was actually the work and thoughts of an Enemy or a Pain Body inside each of us?
·      What if this Pain Body fed on all our negativity getting stronger with each negative thought?
·      What if this Pain Body did everything it could to survive and grow?
·      What, again, if this Pain Body were not us, but something living inside each of us?
·      What if we could control this Pain Body?
·      What if every single time I had a negative thought of any kind, I could manage it so it didn’t take over my mind or my life?
·       What if I could be joyful in any and all circumstances?
·      What if everything the Pain Body told me was a lie?  Everything.
·      What if circumstances didn’t matter as much as my state of mind mattered?
·      What if I realized that all circumstances, “good” or “bad,” eventually pass?
·      What if I remembered that 98% of the things I fear don’t happen, and the 2% that does I can deal with?
·      What if I truly realized how blessed I am and have always been?
·      What if I practiced gratitude much more often, regularly, daily, as a form of worship and prayer?
·      What if I understood and lived the belief that the only thing that really matters is living in a state of love for God, others, and myself?
·      What if, in living this belief, I treated life as a game to be played and that I could pursue any goals that I felt to be meaningful and fun?
·      What if, as long as I was aware of the Pain Body, I could create any life I wanted?
·      What if I could Get Started and Keep Going even more effectively because I wasn’t burdened by fear or any other negative emotions? 

Thursday, November 27, 2014

A Short Blog

Today I found out I need to write a 5-6-page paper in three four days.   So I’ve spent most of the day alone reading the material for the paper.   Then I hurt myself earlier this evening when I fell.  So either one of those would be good reasons to not write.  They would be legitimate and true reasons.  And they would be excuses.  I may be a little busier in the weeks and months ahead.  I may need to be more focused.  I may need to use all the small pockets of time, a few minutes here and there throughout the day, as well as large chunks of time, a couple of hours a day.  The future is not now, but it’s coming and I need to be prepared. 
But none of that is going to stop me from writing. 
Almost anything that stops me from living out my purpose is little more than an excuse.  Excuses don’t create accomplishments.
I may not always write as much as usual.  I may be tired sometimes.  I may even have to write faster.  But I’m not going to stop.  I love my Muse and this is how I tell her.   She loves me in return and tells me what to write.  This love will never stop, so I will keep writing, despite busyness, pain, or anything else.
That’s it. 
That’s my message for tonight. 
Tomorrow I will have a new message.  And it will also be the same message:  Get Started and Keep Going. 

Oh…and don’t give up.  Because love doesn’t quit.

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

I Almost Forgot

“Father, I pray this will bless You.
I pray this will bless the world.
I pray this will bless my family and friends.
I pray this will bless my Muse and me.
Guide my head, my heart, and my hands.
In Your Name, Amen.

Prayer I pray every day before I start writing

I almost forgot.  I almost forgot why I’m doing this.  Sometimes I can get caught up in things and lose sight of my true goal.  I start focusing on secondary goals.  In this case, I forgot my main purpose in writing and I focused on the secondary purposes.  My main purpose in writing is love.  I do this because I love God who gave me this gift and I want to honor him by using it.  I love the world and my hope is that my work will bless as many people as possible.  I love my family and friends and I hope this will encourage them.  And I love my Muse and myself and I hope this will encourage us, bring us healing, and keep me moving forward. 
My secondary goal is to make money.  I see nothing wrong with this goal, nor do I see anything wrong in the desire for or the honest acquisition of as much money as I can get.  I will not hide my desire for money.  Money would solve a lot of my problems, because the more I had, the more choices I would have.  I would have more choices with my time and that is what is most important to me.  But my life is what it is right now and I believe I am being tested.  If I wisely use the time and freedom I have now, perhaps I will be given more in the future.  But for now, I have to do well with the time I have.  The good news is this:  I can choose.  I have the same amount of time as every single person in the world, 24 hours per day.  I can get a lot or a little done in that time. 
Theodore Roosevelt said, “It’s surprising how much reading a man can do in time usually wasted.” 
It’s surprising how much of anything we can do in time usually wasted.  From The Power of Five, I learned that often if I take just five minutes, I can clean the whole kitchen or my car.  And if I can’t finish the job in five minutes, at least things look a lot nicer.  Often, however, my enthusiasm over what I’ve done in five minutes motivates me to put in more time until the job is finished.  Time really is one of the most precious gifts we have.
This is why I bring a book with me almost wherever I go.  If I can’t read, then I often listen to audiobooks.  I write almost every morning and I usually do at least one blog a day.  I try to use as much time as I can to better myself and contribute more to the world.  Why?  Again, love.  I love myself and I love others and I want to make a difference.  I’m not perfect.  I fail in many ways, including my use of time, but my failures don’t keep me from trying.
They almost did.
As I mentioned in a previous blog ( I’ve had serious doubts about my writing.  They started when a well-meaning friend told me why my blogs weren’t financially successful.  That created some doubts for me about my work.  I was no longer sure if what I was doing was helpful or relevant.  Did I need to take things to “a new level?” Did I need to be more “professional?”  I sought mentoring but was turned down or ignored.  All I could do was keep working. 
Or I could give up.
I decided not to give up for an odd reason:  fear.  I’m afraid of being a quitter.  I’m still struggling with my message and how I want to deliver it, but I’m not quitting.
There was a third goal I had with my writing – to remind others, and myself, to Get Started and Keep Going.  I’ve gotten started but I forgot how important it is to keep going, even when discouragement sets in.  I have goals – personal, professional, spiritual, and financial – and I need to keep them in mind and keep moving forward.  That’s all I need to do.  I can even add more goals.  In fact, the more goals I add, short-term or long term, the more I can get done.

I was reminded that what I do means something – to God, to the world, to my family and friends, and to my Muse and me.  I almost forgot.  Almost.