31 January 2011

Season of Nonviolence - Day 2

We are on Day 2 of the Season of Nonviolence – 64 Days of peaceful wisdom honoring the lives and nonviolent principles of Mahatma Gandhi, Martin Luther King, Jr., and Cesar Chavez.

Nonviolence begins with learning how to be less violent and more compassionate towards ourselves. We learn by building the courage to speak and act with respect, honor and reverence for our own being.


"Smile at each other, smile at your wife, smile at your husband, smile at your children, smile at each other – it doesn't matter who it is - and that will help you to grow up in greater love for each other." ~ Mother Teresa

Smiling is a human expression. In an instant a smile tells us we have met a friend, we are welcome, we are safe. A well-timed grin can make all the difference in the world to the person who receives it. Genuinely friendly and kind smiles can diffuse tension, soften an awkward moment or create a spark of romance.

Smile at three people who look different than you. Buddhist teacher Thich Nhat Hanh said, "If in our daily life we can smile…not only we, but everyone will profit from it. This is the most basic kind of peace work." Today, share a smile with at least three people, knowing that your smile contributes to peace.

30 January 2011

Season of Nonviolence - Day 1

Today, we begin the Season of Nonviolence – 64 Days of peaceful wisdom honoring the lives and nonviolent principles of Mahatma Gandhi, Martin Luther King, Jr., and Cesar Chavez.

Nonviolence begins with learning how to be less violent and more compassionate towards ourselves. We learn by building the courage to speak and act with respect, honor and reverence for our own being.

Eleanor Roosevelt has urged, "You must do the things that you think you cannot do." Practicing these 64 Ways will challenge you to do things that you think you cannot do. Today, light a candle and accept the courage to practice 64 Ways of living nonviolently.


“I sit beside my lonely fire and pray for wisdom yet: for calmness to remember or courage to forget.” ~ Charles Hamilton Aïdé

How would your life change if you could forget? It takes courage to forget the wrongs we believe have been done to us, but it is even harder to forget what we often consider the beliefs we took on as a result. The experiences that made us tougher, less trusting, or less optimistic can also make it hard for us to be vulnerable, open and hopeful as we walk through life. We let those parts of ourselves become dormant, dismissing them as naïve.

~ From  A Season of Nonviolence

28 January 2011

Friday’s Purposeful Question

“Be patient toward all that is unsolved in your heart and try to love the questions themselves. Do not now seek the answers, which cannot be given you because you would not be able to live them. And the point is to live everything. Live the questions.” ~ Rainer Maria Rilke

It is said that the quality of your life is determined by the quality of your questions. So, what questions are you asking?

Florence Scovel Shinn once said, “There is a supply for every demand.”

Napoleon Hill said if you can conceive it, then you can achieve it. So, if the desire is in your heart, then the means to manifest that desire is not far off.

“What is your greatest desire?”

“You can tell whether a woman is clever by her answers. You can tell whether she is wise by her questions.” ~ attributed to Naguib Mahfouz

27 January 2011

Day 4 of Florence Shinn Wisdom

“Intuition is a spiritual faculty and does not explain, but simply points the way.”

Intuition is one of our six spiritual faculties and one which some believe only a chosen few possess. Well, everyone has this faculty; yet it is true that not everyone taps into their intuition to guide their way.

Intuition is a deep inner knowing and to access it takes deep listening – something most have a difficult time performing. Most people think that listening means rehearsing in your head what you want to say next. Like accessing your intuition, listening is a spiritual art that takes time and practice to cultivate.

When you have a decision to make, you already know the answer – it lies deep inside. All you need to do is listen for it and it will guide your way.

26 January 2011

Day 3 of Florence Shinn Wisdom

“Giving opens the way for receiving.”

I love this as it so aligned with another favorite quote: “It is in giving that we receive.”

There are some people, especially women, who are eternal givers – always giving of themselves and never receiving. Then, there are those who are takers – always taking and never giving back. Either one is dangerous and extremely selfish. Yes, you read that right! Selfish!

Giving and receiving is a gentle balancing act – both done in equal proportions. Doing one naturally flows into the other.

Know how great you feel when you have given someone something? Offer that feeling to someone else and allow them to give to you as well. Stop refusing to receive because when you do, you are depriving someone else of the opportunity to feel good while giving.

Just for today, give and receive in the right proportions!

25 January 2011

Day 2 of Florence Shinn Wisdom

“Every great work, every big accomplishment, has been brought into manifestation through holding to the vision, and often just before the big achievement, comes apparent failure and discouragement.”

Right before our greatest manifestation will come temporary defeat and some disappointment which, if you let it, could lead you to failure. Many of the great thinkers have spoken of this, such as Thomas Edison and Napoleon Hill.

This is when failure happens in a person’s life – just when it looks like things are at their lowest. But this is where the tide is about to turn. All you need to do is steer the ship and wait for your manifestation.

24 January 2011

A Week of Wisdom from Florence Scovel Shinn

Florence Scovel Shinn (1871 – 1940) was an American artist and book illustrator who became a New Thought spiritual teacher and metaphysical writer in her middle years. She is best known for her book, The Game of Life and How to Play It (1925).

I am in the midst of her book now and find it to be very powerful. I would like to share some wisdom from Ms. Shinn this week.

“The game of life is a game of boomerangs. Our thoughts, deeds and words return to us sooner or later with astounding accuracy.”

This quote is powerful and right on target with all the Law of Attraction folks. What you think about, what you speak about and all that you do on a consistent basis, becomes your reality – with astounding accuracy!

21 January 2011

Friday’s Purposeful Question

Be patient toward all that is unsolved in your heart and try to love the questions themselves. Do not now seek the answers, which cannot be given you because you would not be able to live them. And the point is to live everything. Live the questions.” ~ Rainer Maria Rilke

It is said that the quality of your life is determined by the quality of your questions. So, what questions are you asking?

“Life's most persistent and urgent question is, 'What are you doing for others?'” ~ Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

“You can tell whether a woman is clever by her answers. You can tell whether she is wise by her questions.” ~ attributed to Naguib Mahfouz

20 January 2011

Day 4 of Dr. King Wisdom

“The ultimate measure of a (wo)man is not where (s)he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where (s)he stands at times of challenge and controversy.”

This is one of my favorite Dr. King quotes because it speaks my language – the language of loss and adversity. It is very easy to be joyful and even peaceful in moments of great consolation; those moments when everything is seemingly going well. But our true tests and teachers come in moments of great desolation – moments of adversity and sorrow.

Most of us know how to conduct ourselves when times are going great; but in those times of challenge and controversy, we rarely know how to steer the ship. But it is in those times when our true character emerges; all of the masks fall away and the rawness of our true self comes through.

When the storms of life come knocking at your door – and they surely will – know that it has come to test your resolve, to see what you are truly made of.

“I have learned that success is to be measured not so much by the position that one has reached in life as by the obstacles which he has had to overcome while trying to succeed.” ~ Booker T. Washington

19 January 2011

Day 3 of Dr. King Wisdom

“Faith is taking the first step even when you don't see the whole staircase.”

I am sure you have heard it said that seeing is believing. This is most people’s stance on just about anything – they will not believe until they first see it. But what if I propose a different scenario? What if I proposed to you to first believe then you will see? This is the actual order of the universe.

It is not until you believe something that it will manifest in reality for you to see it. Remember, everything is created twice – first in your mind, then in your reality. As Napoleon Hill said, if you can conceive it then you can achieve it. To conceive means first to see it in your mind; you must have an idea of what it is you are desiring to conceive.

In the wisdom of Dr. King, you desire to ascend a flight of stairs, you can only take one step at a time; but you have faith that the entire staircase is there for you to ascend. You don’t have to see the top step, but you know it is there. Have faith in your goals, your dreams, your desires with the same conviction; believe then you will see.

18 January 2011

Day 2 of Dr. King Wisdom

“Never succumb to the temptation of bitterness.”

In our extremely negative society, it is far too easy to succumb to anger, bitterness and resentment. To consciously opt for happiness, peace and joy must mean there is something wrong with you.

I watched the British film “Happy Go Lucky” starring Sally Hawkins. I loved her enthusiasm for life – just because; she didn’t need a reason. I was sorry though not surprised to read in the comments how most people found her character Poppy “annoying” just because she chose to see life as bright instead of dark.

Is this the message of our world: when you are happy, you are annoying?

If Dr. King had given into the bitterness that surely could have come out of death threats and racial injustice, where would we be today?

I have discovered in my years on this planet that most people need no excuse to be bitter and angry. This is a sad fact. As for me, I choose to be positive, peaceful and joyful; and I don’t care if you view me as annoying. I must live my life and I will live it joyfully and peacefully; I refuse to succumb to the temptation of bitterness. How about you?

17 January 2011

A Week of Wisdom from Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Rarely do we find men who willingly engage in hard, solid thinking. There is an almost universal quest for easy answers and half-baked solutions. Nothing pains some people more than having to think.”

This is a very deep and profound quote by Dr. King. As we begin a week of reflecting on the wisdom of Dr. King, I felt this quote was a great kickoff. One of the most difficult things I have found is true thinking. This may sound strange and unlikely; everybody thinks, right? Wrong!

Ninety-five percent of the population does not engage in active thinking, they simply rehash yesterday’s thoughts over and over; and those thoughts are usually negative. This is why you get what you’ve always gotten instead of getting what you intend.

Engage in some active thinking by taking a sacred pause and asking some important questions about your life. Asking bigger and better questions activates new neural pathways in the brain and stimulates your mental faculties of imagination and intuition. This is something you must practice on a daily basis. You cannot do this once and expect to see different results. Just like you cannot go to the gym once and expect to have a firm and toned body.

Just for today, make a habit of engaging in some true thinking – not rehashing.

14 January 2011

Day 5 of Rumi Wisdom

“Why do you stay in prison when the door is so wide open?
Move outside the tangle of fear-thinking. Live in silence.”

Not that I am advocating silence; but I am!

I was ostracized for being too silent; yet, I must in order to hear the promptings of the Spirit. I love words and I try to use them only when necessary. I am not above allowing the silence to “speak” for itself. It has much more to say than I even could.

Whenever you are in fear, doubt, worry or anxiety, simple stop, take a few deep breaths and just be still. You will be amazed at how much peace you will feel and when you breathe, you come back to this present moment. Your fear-thinking is not present moment thinking; and it keeps you stuck in your prison – though the door is so wide open.

So, just for today, get out of your prison of fear-thinking and go through the open door!

13 January 2011

Day 4 of Rumi Wisdom

“Silence is the language of God, all else is a poor translation.”

This just tickles me! In today’s culture, it seems like we are inundated with a lot of noise; and most of it is people chattering on. In order to get silence, we must go away somewhere – a silent retreat perhaps. Why not just be still?

We all want so much from God; yet we are too busy talking, so we can’t even hear the voice of God. God speaks in the silence; in the stillness of the hour.

Remember; speak only if it improves the silence!

12 January 2011

Day 3 of Rumi Wisdom

“Sell your cleverness and buy bewilderment.”

I love this and it reminds me to not take things so seriously and embrace my inner child. Children live in a world of bewilderment; everything fascinates and excites them. They have no hang ups about letting out a joyful squeal when they feel like it.

As adults, we grew up and traded in our bewilderment for cleverness. Not a great trade, in my humble opinion. In the world of bewilderment there is imagination, intuition, creativity – all of which we were born with. We left that baggage behind and chose to pick up the baggage of shame, guilt, fear and anxiety. Again, not a great trade.

So, just for today, live in bewilderment!

11 January 2011

Day 2 of Rumi Wisdom

Everyone has been made for some particular work, and the desire for that work has been put in every heart.

Isn’t this juicy? So full of hope and delicious delight!

You were born with a desire in your heart. Everyone incarnated into this realm with a deep desire. Would it make sense to have that desire and then struggle your way through life? I dare say it would not! If you have the desire – and you most assuredly do – then you also have the means to manifest that desire.

Remember, the answers are in the same room with the questions!

10 January 2011

A Week of Rumi Wisdom

Jalal ad Din Rumi was a 13th century Sufi mystic and poet. I have been gleaning wisdom from Rumi for over a decade and continue to be truly blessed by his words.

This week, I want to share a few nuggets of Rumi wisdom that has and continues to inspire me in my life.

When I began my business back in 1995, I created my first letterhead with a Rumi quote, “

Let the beauty of what you love, be what you do.” 

This continues to be one of my favorite quotes. I not only live its beauty, but its simplicity. This is about living from your passion; you passion then becomes your purpose. This is my story. I only do what I absolutely love to do because that is what lights me up and I can use my talents, skills and joys.

Everything you truly love comes from your heart and has beauty. What better than to do what truly comes from your heart?

So, just for today, let the beauty of what you love, be what you do!

07 January 2011

Friday’s Purposeful BE Question

Be patient toward all that is unsolved in your heart and try to love the questions themselves. Do not now seek the answers, which cannot be given you because you would not be able to live them. And the point is to live everything. Live the questions.” ~ Rainer Maria Rilke

It is said that the quality of your life is determined by the quality of your questions. So, what questions are you asking?

“Are your BE Words aligned with your goals and intentions for 2011?”

"It is not the answer that enlightens, but the question." ~ Decouvertes

06 January 2011

Focus On Your Goals, Not Your Ego

Do not feed your ego and your problems, with your attention. ...Slowly, surely, the ego will lose weight, until one fine day it will be nothing but a thin ghost of its former self. You will be able to see right through it, to the divine presence that shines in each of us.” ~ Eknath Easwaran

Are you focusing on your goals and intentions? Or, are you focusing on your ego? Are you following your heart because that is where your deepest desires reside? Or, are you listening to your fears, doubts and worries?

If you are focusing on your fears and listening to the voice of doubt, then this is your ego rising up to control you.

You must be so intention focused and value driven if you are to receive your goals. Revisit your BE words for the year. Remember, your three BE words? Those words are your companion and compass on this intention receiving journey. Your BE words come from your heart center and are your keys to unlocking any blocks to making conscious choices. When you are about to take an inspired action on your goal or intention, you may hear the voice of doubt give you reasons not to take the action. What do you do?

You STOP, TAKE A BREATH, revisit your BE words and ASK:
“Will taking this action bring me closer to my heart’s desire?”
“Is this action in alignment with my BE words?”

Remember, your BE words are connected to your inner values; going against your values will create conflict within. In a conflicted state, you cannot receive your heart’s desires; you only receive more unnecessary conflict and pain.

So, just for today, listen to your heart and not your ego to manifest your deepest desires.

05 January 2011

Using Practices to Receive Your Goals

Ever thought about using your spiritual practices and rituals to receive the goals and intentions you have set? Your rituals and practices are what you do all the time – consistently. This is a great way to receive the goals and intentions you desire. If you consistently take the small, inspired and aligned actions each day to move closer to your desires, then soon your desires are very close indeed.

If your intention is to release a certain amount of weight, then you can make a ritual of taking a walk everyday after lunch, as an example. It doesn’t seem like much in the beginning, but over time with consistent action, you will be amazed at your increased level of energy and how great you feel. Then, you will look forward to your lunchtime walks and even feel it when you miss a day.

Receiving your goals and intentions don’t have to be difficult; we tend to make them more difficult than they really are. But if you are in alignment with your heart’s desire, then everything will fall into place and all will be well.

04 January 2011

Saying NO to Receive Your Goals

One of the smallest yet most difficult words in the English language is the word “NO”. Yet, this word can be the difference between receive your desired goals and intentions and struggling to survive.

When you set your desired goals and intentions, they must come from your divine why – your heart’s desire. Yet, when something comes up that will no doubt take you off your chosen course, you give in and oh well, there goes another dream.

Did you know that NO is a complete sentence? When someone asks you to do something that will clearly take you off your chosen course, simply and politely say, “No thanks.” No need to explain. Once you start explaining, you have opened a crack for them to slip in their rebuttal. If they ask you why not, simply smile and say “Prior commitment.” Keep it short and sweet.

Remember, you teach people how to treat you!

Did you catch that?

You have the power to train your tribe how to respond or react to you in any given situation.

My story: Once there was a young woman who would beg for money outside of the church I worked. She was there every single day. She needed money for her room that day. I knew that simply giving her money was enabling her; not my style. After a few days of me saying NO to her, she knew not to ask me anymore. But it doesn’t end there.

After a few weeks, I stopped and chatted with her. We exchanged names and pleasantries and I found her to be funny and sharp. After a few more weeks of conversation, she developed the courage to get off her butt and find a job. She started small, helping out in a local store. But they knew her and she was pleasant to the customers. After several months, she had a “real” job and a “real” place to live.

What would have happened if I had never said NO to her? Who knows but the point is, I stuck to my intentions and my values. I wasn’t going to give in to enabling her more than necessary.

Stop making excuses and start letting your NO mean NO!

03 January 2011

Cling To Your Vision

Before you begin a thing remind yourself that difficulties and delays quite impossible to foresee are ahead. You can only see one thing clearly, and that is your goal. Form a mental vision of that and cling to it through thick and thin.” ~ Kathleen Norris

Now that we are into 2011, I know most of you are working on your goals and intentions for this new year. Making resolutions are not going to serve you well because resolutions come with a default for failure. When you make a resolution, that is all you do. When you set a goal or an intention, you also plan your action steps to make that goal or intention a doable process. You can make resolutions, but then turn them into actionable goals and intentions.

Also know that no matter what your goal or intention, it will be fraught with some obstacles or delays. You cannot foresee these obstacles until you reach them; but know they are coming and be okay with that. This is part of the process. If you desire this goal or intention with all your heart, then those obstacles will effortlessly turn into golden opportunities. If it is a goal or intention that does not make your heart sing, then those obstacles will get bigger and bigger and block your progress.

So think about your divine why – why do you want to be, to do or to have that desired goal or intention? Your why has to be so big and you can see it so clearly that it will get you through any obstacle you may encounter.