Positive Vibrations

Maybe Yes, Maybe No

It's human nature to come to conclusions on limited evidence. Try something without succeeding and it's easy to say that you failed. Have a piece of bad luck and you may decide you're cursed. The tendency to decide the "moral of the story" is strong within all of us. But so often it turns out that we don't know what actually serves our ultimate growth at the deepest levels. What we thought was misfortune can later turn out to have been a blessing.

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Pigs and Chickens (Part One)

Once upon a time a poor villager lived in a small and crowded hut along with his wife, his children and a large number of relatives. His days were filled with toil and drudgery and at night he lay awake on his hard mat feeling very unhappy.

Finally the poor fellow sought the guidance of the wisest man in the village, who considered the  villager's plight for several minutes and then solemnly told him that he must herd all of his pigs and chickens into his hut, and then return after the next moon.

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10 Steps To Better Emotional Health

Picture of man climbing steps

The hectic pace of life can present a real challenge to the maintenance of good emotional health on a day-to-day basis. It’s no wonder that many of the most-prescribed medications treat symptoms related to stress that arises from “lifestyle” problems such as insomnia, high blood pressure and cholesterol, depression, sexual dysfunction….. the list goes on and on. But a few simple steps can help preserve emotional balance in the face of all the challenges and demands of modern life. Here are ten suggestions to help you insure the maintenance of good emotional health in your daily life:

Explain or Explore

What does it mean to explain?

Whether it's outside yourself ("This is how it works") or within yourself ("This is what I believe/think/feel"), an explanation deals with certaintyTo explain is to find something through knowledge.  Explanations can only go in one direction, i.e. "Let me explain that to you."

On the other hand.............

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No Courage Without Fear

I once heard someone say admiringly of another: "He was very Cowardly Lion courageous; he didn't know the meaning of fear." While I appreciate this sentiment I've come to the conclusion that this is not really a very good definition of true courage, for it seems to me that an action can only be brave in the presence of fear. People are most courageous when they are willing to face their greatest fears. Notice that the key phrase is "willing to", not "wanting to"! As has often been noted, the willingness to engage in behavior you don't want to do is the pathway to the greatest personal growth.

Many unhealthy behaviors occur when people actually should be fearful but aren't due to some impairment of perception or judgment. A person driving during a thunderstorm should 'fear' the poor visibility and slick roads enough to slow down; a diabetic should 'fear' the consequences of a dozen Krispy Kremes enough to not eat them; an addict should surely feel fear entering a stranger's house for drugs or sex (although paradoxically the inherent risk of an action can intensify the thrill of doing it). Unprincipled behavior that ignores potentially devastating consequences is not courageous -- it's reckless. Refusing to acknowledge and respect evidence of danger can be the last thing a person does.....ever!

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The Best Time to Plant An Oak Tree

I love this old saying: "The best time to plant an oak tree is 20 years ago. The second best time is today."

Who among us doesn't have at least some feeling of regret about actions not taken in the past? The decisions made in youth often take many years to reach full fruition in later life. Maybe you wish you had mastered a second language, learned how to play a musical instrument, gained skill at a sport, developed your artistic ability, or engaged in any other dream that would be reaping deep emotional dividends today.

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Meaningful Meantime

The phrase "meantime" is defined as the interval between one occurrence and another. As simple as this is, this one word has vital significance to the goal of experiencing a deeply satisfying life. Whether the interval between any two events is very large ("between birth and death") or very small ("between breakfast and lunch"), you are at this moment living somewhere within the span bridged by those two points in time.

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Progress Works Backwards

To resolve a problem obviously means that a desired outcome has been reached, while progress means that some type of incremental improvement has been made. Seems simple, right? If something "bad" gets "better", most people would consider that to be progress. But have you ever considered the implication that progress works backwards? Let me explain what I mean.

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