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Wednesday, January 30, 2013

You Have a Chance

Charles Revson, founder of the successful cosmetic manufacturing
firm Revlon, once said, "In our factory we make lipstick. In our
advertising, we sell hope."

We could use a little more hope. I think that is why people buy
lottery tickets. One poor mother, who was raising her children on a
small salary earned from long hours of hard work, was asked, "Why do
you waste your money on a lottery ticket when you can hardly make
ends meet?"

"Yeah, I buy a ticket every day," the woman acknowledged. "But a
dollar is not too much to pay for 24 hours of hope."

There are probably better uses for her money than buying lottery
tickets. But she would rather hang onto a little hope than onto her
dollar.

We need hope. It is a vital ingredient in life. Without it, far too
many people come to the conclusion that they are powerless in the
face of difficulties. "It can't be helped," is their motto. Without
hope, they won't make needed changes. They feel powerless. Without
hope, they will grimly accept the unacceptable and believe that
things are about as good as they will ever get.

I've found that I can either be a prisoner of circumstances or a
practitioner of hope. I can feel sorry for myself and helpless to do
anything about my problems, or I can believe there is a realistic
chance for something better.

Norman Cousins, in his book Head First, the Biology of Hope,
illustrates the power of hope. He tells of two physicians who were
to deliver a paper at a national meeting of cancer specialists. One
was truly perplexed. "I don't understand it, Bob," he said. "We use
the same drugs, the same dosage, and the same schedule of treatment.
Yet I get a 22% recovery rate and you get a 74% recovery rate. How
do you explain that?"

The other responded, "We both use Etoposide, Platinol, Oncovin, and
Hydroxyurea. You put those letters together and tell people that you
are giving them E-P-O-H. I put them together and explain to them
that they are receiving H-O-P-E. I emphasize that they have a
chance."

You do have a chance. You have a chance at life. You have a chance
at success. You have a chance at wholeness. You have a chance at
meaningful relationships and, though you may not believe it, at
happiness.

Are you a prisoner of circumstances . stuck and helpless, or a
practitioner of hope? It can be a difference between life and death.

-- Steve Goodier

Posted by Priya Deelchand

A Very Human Thing to Do


Someone made the statement: "To err is dysfunctional, to forgive
co-dependent." Sometimes I think I operate that way - afraid to err
and slow to forgive.

Of course, we've all heard Alexander Pope's famous assertion that to
err is human, to forgive, divine. But I don't agree. I think that to
forgive is one of the most human things we can do.

A number of years ago, Hildegard Goss-Mayr of the "International
Fellowship of Reconciliation" told this true story. In the midst of
tragic fighting in Lebanon in the 1970s, a Christian seminary
student was walking from one village to the next when he was
ambushed by an armed Druze guerrilla fighter. The Druze ordered his
captive down a mountain trail where he was to be shot.

But an amazing thing happened. The seminarian, who had received
military training, was able to surprise his captor and disarm him.
Now, the table was turned, and it was the Druze who was ordered down
the trail.

As they walked, however, the student of theology began to reflect on
what was happening. Recalling the words of his scripture, "Love your
enemies," "do good to those who hate you," "turn the other cheek,"
he found he could go no farther. He threw the gun into the bushes,
told the Druze he was free to go and turned back up the hill.

Minutes later, he heard footsteps running behind him as he walked.
"Is this the end after all?" he wondered. Perhaps the young man had
retrieved his weapon and meant to finish him off. But he continued
on, never glancing back, until his enemy reached him, only to grab
him in an embrace and pour out thanks for sparing his life.

That was a very human thing he did - foregoing the impulse to strike
back. It took a strong spirit. Yet every time we decide not to get
back at somebody who hurts us, we exercise one of our greatest
powers - the power to choose a better way.

Somebody else put it better than I can: "Life is too short for drama
and petty things, so, kiss slowly, laugh insanely, love truly and
forgive quickly." It's one of the most powerful and human things to
do.

-- Steve Goodier
Posted by Priya Deelchand

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

The blue ribbon's story


A professor was in the habit of giving his students a little
gift at the end of the school year - a blue ribbon with the
words "Who I Am Makes A Difference®" printed in gold letters
on the ribbon.

As she gave each student their ribbon she explained why he had
appreciated teaching them, and why his course had been different
because that particular student had been present.

One day it occurred to her to see what effect this little
custom would have on the community. She gave each student 3
blue ribbons instead of one, and told each of them to give one
ribbon to someone they knew who, in their opinion "made a difference."
She also told them to give the 2 other ribbons to that same
person, with instructions to hand them out to others who had
made a difference. After that the students were to come back
and report what happened.

One student who had a part-time job gave his ribbon to his boss,
a grumpy fellow who nevertheless appreciated the honor.

"I admire everything you've done," the student said to his boss.
"I think you're a creative genius and a real fair guy. Will you
allow me to pin this blue ribbon on your jacket as a sign of
my appreciation?"

The boy's boss was surprised but also pleased. "Yeah, sure,
why not?" he said.

"And will you take these 2 other ribbons," the student continued,
"and give them to someone you think makes a difference, like I did
for you? It's for a project we're doing at school."

"All right," the boss replied.

That night the boss returned home wearing the purple ribbon
on his jacket. He greeted his 14 year old son and said,
"Something strange happened to me today. One of my employees
gave me this ribbon. See what's written on it? 'Because you
make a difference.' He gave me another ribbon just like it
and told me to give it to someone who's made a difference for me,
someone who is very special and means a lot to me.

"I had a pretty hard day, but on the way home I said to myself,
'There's only one person I want to give this ribbon to.' I know
I tell you off a lot because you don't work hard enough at school,
because all you think about is going out and having fun with your
friends, because your room's always a mess... But tonight I want
to tell you that you are very very important to me. You and your
mother make all the difference in my life, and I'd like you to
accept this blue ribbon as a sign of my love. I don't tell you
I love you very often, not nearly enough, I know. But I do love
you, and I think you're a wonderful kid!"

As soon as he stopped talking his son burst into tears. His
whole body shook with sobs. His father took him in his arms and
held him close, saying, "That's okay, it's all right. Did I say
something wrong?"

"No Dad." his son replied, "It's just that... I decided I was
going to kill myself. I was going to do it tomorrow. I had it
all planned out. I wanted to kill myself because I was sure you
didn't like me, even though I tried hard to be good. Now that's
all changed..."

...............................................................

This is a true story, the teacher has a site:

http://clicks.aweber.com/z/ct/?7ZNlzzGHIeum_86QoCh5JQ

Her non-profit company is called:

Difference Makers International
2424 Vista Way, Suite 200
Oceanside, CA 92054
U.S.A.

...............................................................

"Children who receive a lot of approval learn to accept
themselves."
Dorothy Nolte

"A word spoken in kindness engenders confidence. A thought
expressed with kindness engenders profound feelings.
A generous act performed with kindness engenders love."
Lao Tseu

Posted by Priya Deelchand

Monday, January 21, 2013

The three doors to wisdom

A King had, as only son, a young Prince, brave, skillful
and intelligent. To perfect his knowledge of Life, he sent
him by the side of an Old Wise Man.

"Bring Light to my Path of Life", the Prince asked.

"My words will faint away like the prints of your steps in
the sand”, the Wise Man answered. However, I want to give you
some indications. On your Path, you will find 3 doors. Read
the rules written on each of them.

An irresistible need will urge you to follow them.
Don't try and get away from them, because you would be
condemned to live again, ceaselessly, what you have avoided.
I may tell you no more.

You have to feel all this deep in your heart and in your flesh.
Go, now. Follow this path, right in front of you. "

The Old Wise Man disappeared and the Prince entered
the Path of Life.

He was soon in front of a big door, on which one could read:

"CHANGE THE WORLD".

"It was my intention indeed”, the Prince thought, “because
if some things please me in this world, others greatly displease
me."

And he began his first fight. His ideal, his ardour and his
power urged him to confront himself to the world, to undertake,
to conquer, to model reality according to his desires.

He found there the pleasure and the dizzyness of the conqueror,
but no peace in his heart. He managed to change some things but
many others resisted to him. Many years passed.

One day, he met the Old Wise Man who asked him:

"What have you learnt on your path?"

"I have learnt," the Prince answered, “ how to discern what
is within my power and what is without, what depends on me and
what does not depend on me".

"That's good!”, the Old Man said. “Use your strength to act
on what is within your power. Forget what's beyond your power."
And he disappeared.

A bit later, the Prince was in front of a second door.
He could read on it :

"CHANGE THE OTHERS".

"It was my intention indeed”, he thought. “The others are
a source of pleasure, enjoyment and satisfaction, but also,
of pain, bitterness and frustration."

And he rebelled against everything that could disturb him
or displease him in his fellow men. He tried to bend their
characters and to extirpate their defects.

It was there his second fight.

Many years passed.

One day, as he was meditating on the utility of the attempts
to change the others, he met the Old Wise Man who asked him:

"What have you learnt on your path?"

"I have learnt”, the Prince answered, “that the others are not
the cause or the source of my joys and my punishments, my
satisfactions and my setbacks. They are only opportunities
for all of them to be revealed.

It is in myself that all these things have their roots."

"You are right,” the Wise Man said. “According to what they
wake up in you, the others reveal you to yourself. Be grateful
to those who make your enjoyment and pleasure vibrate.

But be also grateful to those who create in you suffering or
frustration, because, through them, life teaches you what
is left in you to learn and the path that you still have
to walk."

And the Old Man disappeared.

A bit further, the Prince arrived in front of a door, on
which these words were written:

"CHANGE YOURSELF".

"If I am myself the cause of my problems, it is indeed what's
left in me to work on", he said to himself.

And he began his 3rd fight. He tried to bend his character,
to fight his imperfections, to abolish his defects, to change
everything that did not please him in himself, everything that
did not correspond to his ideal.

After many years of this fight, in which he met some success,
but also, some failures and some resistances, the Prince met the
Wise Man who asked him:


“What have you learnt on your path?"

"I have learnt”, the Prince answered, ”that there are things
that we can improve, others that resist to us and that we can't
manage to break."

"That's good!" the Wise Man said.

"Yes”, the Prince went on, ”but I am beginning to be tired
of fighting against everything, against everybody, against
myself. Won't there be an end to it one day? When shall I
find a rest? I want to stop fighting, to give up, to
abandon everything, I want to let go !"

"It is precisely your next lesson“, the Old Wise Man said.
“But before going any further, turn round and behold the path
covered."

And he disappeared.

On looking back, the Prince saw in the distance the 3rd door,
and noticed that it was carrying a text on its back, saying :

"ACCEPT YOURSELF."

The Prince was surprised not to have seen this writing when
he went through the door, the other way.

"When one fights, one becomes blind”, he said to himself.
He also saw, lying on the ground, scattered around him,
everything he had thrown away and fought against in him:
his defects, his shadows, his fears, his limits, all his
old worries. He had learnt then how to recognize them, to
accept them, to love them. He had learnt how to love himself
without comparing himself to the others any more, without
judging himself, without reprimanding himself.

He met the Old Wise Man who asked him:

"What have you learnt on your path?"

"I have learnt”, the Prince answered,” that hating or refusing
a part of myself, it is to condemn myself never to be in
agreement with myself. I learnt how to accept myself, totally,
unconditionally."

"That's good!”, the Old Man said, it is the first rule in
Wisdom. Now you can go back through the 3rd door."

He had no sooner reached the other side, that the Prince
perceived far away the back side of the second door, on which
he could read:

"ACCEPT THE OTHERS".

All around him, he could recognize the persons he had been
with all his life through; those he had loved as well as those
he had hated. Those he had supported and those he had fought.

But the biggest surprise of all for him was that now, he was
absolutely unable to see their imperfections, their defects,
what formerly had embarrassed him so much, and against which
he had fought.

He met the Old Wise Man again.

"What have you learnt on your path?" he asked him.

“I have learnt”, the Prince answered, “that by being in
agreement with myself, I had no more anything to blame in the
others, no more anything to be afraid of in them. I have
learnt how to accept and to love the others, totally,
unconditionally."

"That's good!", the Old Wise Man said. “It is the second
rule in Wisdom. You can go back through the second door.”

On reaching the other side of the second door, the Prince
perceived in the distance the back side of the first door,
on which he could read:

"ACCEPT THE WORLD".

“Strangely enough”, he said to himself, “that I did not see
these words on the first time”. He looked all around him and
recognized this world which he had tried to conquer, to
transform, to change. He was struck by the brightness and
the beauty of every thing. By their perfection.

Nevertheless, it was the same world as before. Was it
the world which had changed or the glance he had on it?

He met the Old Wise Man who asked him:

"What have you learnt on your path?"

"I have learnt”, the Prince said, that the world is a mirror
for my soul. That my soul can't see the world, it sees itself
in the world. When my soul is cheerful, the world seems cheerful
to it.

When it is overcome, the world seems sad to it. The world
itself is neither sad nor cheerful. It IS there; it exists; it
is everything. It was Not the world that disturbed me, but the
idea that I had of it. I have learnt to accept it without
judging it, to accept it totally, unconditionally. "

“It is 3rd rule of Wisdom”, the Old Man said.
“You are here now in agreement with yourself, with the others
and with the World.”

A profound feeling of peace, serenity, plenitude, filled
the Prince. Silence was in him.

"Now, you are ready to go past the last Threshold”, the
Old Wise Man said, “the one that goes from the silence of
Plenitude to the Plenitude of Silence ".

And the Old Man disappeared.

- Author Unknown

Posted by Priya Deelchand
www.facebook.com/priyadeelchand1

The feelings island

  Once upon a time, there was an island where all the
feelings lived: Happiness, Sadness, Knowledge and all of the
others, including Love…

One day, it was announced to the feelings that the
island would sink, so all repaired their boats and left.
Love was the only one who stayed.

Love wanted to persevere until the last possible moment.

When the island was almost sinking, Love decided to
ask for help.

Richness was passing by Love in a great boat.

Love said:

"Richness, can you take me with you?"

Richness answered:

"No, I can't. There is a lot of gold and silver in my boat.
There is no place here for you."

Love decided to ask Vanity, who was also passing by in
a beautiful vessel:

"Vanity, please help me!"'

"I can't help you, Love. You are all wet and might
damage my boat," Vanity answered.

Sadness was close by, so Love asked for help:

"Sadness, let me go with you."

"Oh...Love, I am so sad that I need to be by myself!"

Happiness passed by Love too, but she was so happy
that she did not even hear when Love called her! Suddenly,
there was a voice:

"Come Love, I will take you." It was an elder.

Love felt so blessed and overjoyed that he even forgot
to ask the elder her name.

When they arrived at dry land, the elder went her own way.

Love realizing how much he owed the elder asked
Knowledge, another elder:

"Who helped me?"

"It was Time," Knowledge answered.

"Time?" asked Love. "But why did Time help me?"

Knowledge smiled with deep wisdom and answered:

"Because only Time is capable of understanding
how great Love is."

- Author Unknown

Posted by Priya Deelchand
www.facebook.com/priyadeelchand1

Life Lesson

  One day, an old professor of the national School of
administration (ENA-France) was asked to give a training-course on
the effective economic planning of one's time to a group of about
fifteen leaders of big companies from North - America.

This course constituted one of 5 workshops of their day of
training. So, the old Prof. only had one hour to spend on this
subject.

Standing in front of this group of elite who was ready
to note everything that the expert was going to teach, the old
Prof. looked at them one by one, slowly, then said to them:

"We are going to make an experiment".

From under the table which separated him from his pupils,
the old Prof. took out an immense jar Mason of a gallon
(glass jar of more than 4 liters) which he directly put in
front of him.

Then, he took out about a dozen pebbles roughly as big as
tennis balls and placed them delicately, one by one, in the
big jar. When the jar was filled up to the brim, and when it was
impossible to add anything to it, he raised slowly his eyes
towards the pupils, and asked them:

"Is this jar full?"

Everybody answered: "Yes".

He waited for a few seconds and added: "Really?"

Then, he bent again and took out from under the table a pot
filled with little stones. With accuracy, he poured these little
pebbles on the big stones, then moved softly the jar.

The fragments of little pebbles went between the stones
down to the bottom of the jar. The old Prof. raised his eyes again
towards his audience and asked:

"Is this jar full?".

This time, his brilliant pupils began to understand the whole
process. One of them answered:

"Probably not!"

"Well!" answered the old Prof..

He bent again and this time, took out from under the table a
bucket of sand. With attention, he poured the sand into the jar.
The sand went to fil the spaces between the big big stones and the
little pebbles. Once again, he asked:

"Is this jar full?". This time, without hesitation, and in a
choir, the brilliant pupils answeredt:

"No!".

"Well!" answered the old Prof. And, as expected by the
brilliant pupils, he took the jug of water which was on the table
and filled the jar up to the brim. Then, the old Prof. raised
his eyes towards his group and asked:

"Which big truth does this experiment show to us?" .

Being no fool, the most audacious of the pupils, thinking
about the topic of this course, answered:

"It shows that even when one believes that our diary is
completely filled, if one wants really wants it, one can add
more meetings to it, more things to be made".

The old Prof. answered. "It is not that".

"The big truth that this experiment shows to us is the following
one:

- "If one does not put the big stones first in the jar, one
will never be able to make all of them go in, then".

There was a profound silence, each becoming aware of the
evidence of these comments.

Then, the old Prof. Told them: "Which are the big stones
in your life?"

"Your health?"

"Your family?"

"Your friends?"

"To make your dreams come true?"

"Learning?"

"To do what you enjoy?"

"To relax?"

"To fight for a cause?"

"To take time for yourself?"

"Or any other thing?"

"What it is necessary to remember is the importance to put
one's BIG STONES in first in one's life, otherwise one encours
the risks not succeed in one's life.

If one gives priority to pecadilloes (the little pebbles, the
sand), one will fill one's life with pecadilloes and one will
have no more enough precious time to dedicate to the important
elements of one's life".

Then do not forget to ask to yourself this question:

"Which are the BIG STONES IN MY LIFE?

Then, put them in, first"

With a friendly gesture of the hand, the old professor
greeted his audience and slowly left the room.


What are the BIG STONES in your life?

- Author unknown
Posted by Priya Deelchand
www.facebook.com/priyadeelchand1

Sunday, January 20, 2013

The Triple Filter Test

 
In ancient Greece, Socrates was reputed to hold knowledge in
high esteem. One day an acquaintance met the great philosopher
and said, "Do you know what I just heard about your friend?"

"Hold on a minute," Socrates replied. "Before telling me
anything, I'd like you to pass a little test. It's called the
Triple Filter Test."

"Triple filter?"

"That's right," Socrates continued. "Before you talk to me about
my friend, it might be a good idea to take a moment and filter what
you're going to say. That's why I call it the triple filter test.
The first filter is Truth. Have you made absolutely sure that what
you are about to tell me is true?"

"No," the man said, "Actually I just heard about it and..."

"All right," said Socrates. "So you don't really know if it's
true or not. Now let's try the second filter, the filter of
goodness. Is what you are about to tell me about my friend
something good?"

"No, on the contrary..."

"So," Socrates continued, "You want to tell me something bad
about him, but you're not certain it's true. You may still pass
the test though, because there's one filter left: the filter of
usefulness. Is what you want to tell me about my friend going to
be useful to me?"

"No, not really."

"Well," concluded Socrates, "If what you want to tell me is
neither true nor good nor even useful, why tell it to me at all?"

 
- Author Unknown
 
Posted by Priya Deelchand

15 Things You Should Give Up To Be Happy

Here is a list of 15 things which, if you give up on them, will make your life a lot easier and much, much happier. We hold on to so many things that cause us a great deal of pain, stress and suffering – and instead of letting them all go, instead of allowing ourselves to be stress free and happy – we cling on to them. Not anymore. Starting today we will give up on all those things that no longer serve us, and we will embrace change. Ready? Here we go:
1. Give up your need to always be right
There are so many of us who can’t stand the idea of being wrong – wanting to always be right – even at the risk of ending great relationships or causing a great deal of stress and pain, for us and for others. It’s just not worth it. Whenever you feel the ‘urgent’ need to jump into a fight over who is right and who is wrong, ask yourself this question: “Would I rather be right, or would I rather be kind?” Wayne Dyer. What difference will that make? Is your ego really that big?
2. Give up your need for control
Be willing to give up your need to always control everything that happens to you and around you – situations, events, people, etc. Whether they are loved ones, coworkers, or just strangers you meet on the street – just allow them to be. Allow everything and everyone to be just as they are and you will see how much better will that make you feel.

“By letting it go it all gets done. The world is won by those who let it go. But when you try and try. The world is beyond winning.” Lao Tzu
3. Give up on blame
Give up on your need to blame others for what you have or don’t have, for what you feel or don’t feel. Stop giving your powers away and start taking responsibility for your life.
4. Give up your self-defeating self-talk
Oh my. How many people are hurting themselves because of their negative, polluted and repetitive self-defeating mindset? Don’t believe everything that your mind is telling you – especially if it’s negative and self-defeating. You are better than that.
“The mind is a superb instrument if used rightly. Used wrongly, however, it becomes very destructive.” Eckhart Tolle
5. Give up your limiting beliefs
about what you can or cannot do, about what is possible or impossible. From now on, you are no longer going to allow your limiting beliefs to keep you stuck in the wrong place. Spread your wings and fly!
“A belief is not an idea held by the mind, it is an idea that holds the mind” Elly Roselle
6. Give up complaining
Give up your constant need to complain about those many, many, maaany things – people, situations, events that make you unhappy, sad and depressed. Nobody can make you unhappy, no situation can make you sad or miserable unless you allow it to. It’s not the situation that triggers those feelings in you, but how you choose to look at it. Never underestimate the power of positive thinking.
7. Give up the luxury of criticism
Give up your need to criticize things, events or people that are different than you. We are all different, yet we are all the same. We all want to be happy, we all want to love and be loved and we all want to be understood. We all want something, and something is wished by us all.
8. Give up your need to impress others
Stop trying so hard to be something that you’re not just to make others like you. It doesn’t work this way. The moment you stop trying so hard to be something that you’re not, the moment you take off all your masks, the moment you accept and embrace the real you, you will find people will be drawn to you, effortlessly.
9. Give up your resistance to change
Change is good. Change will help you move from A to B. Change will help you make improvements in your life and also the lives of those around you. Follow your bliss, embrace change – don’t resist it.
“Follow your bliss and the universe will open doors for you where there were only walls”
Joseph Campbell
10. Give up labels
Stop labeling those things, people or events that you don’t understand as being weird or different and try opening your mind, little by little. Minds only work when open. “The highest form of ignorance is when you reject something you don’t know anything about.” Wayne Dyer
11. Give up on your fears
Fear is just an illusion, it doesn’t exist – you created it. It’s all in your mind. Correct the inside and the outside will fall into place.
“The only thing we have to fear, is fear itself.”
Franklin D. Roosevelt
12. Give up your excuses
Send them packing and tell them they’re fired. You no longer need them. A lot of times we limit ourselves because of the many excuses we use. Instead of growing and working on improving ourselves and our lives, we get stuck, lying to ourselves, using all kind of excuses – excuses that 99.9% of the time are not even real.
13. Give up the past
I know, I know. It’s hard. Especially when the past looks so much better than the present and the future looks so frightening, but you have to take into consideration the fact that the present moment is all you have and all you will ever have. The past you are now longing for – the past that you are now dreaming about – was ignored by you when it was present. Stop deluding yourself. Be present in everything you do and enjoy life. After all life is a journey not a destination. Have a clear vision for the future, prepare yourself, but always be present in the now.
14. Give up attachment
This is a concept that, for most of us is so hard to grasp and I have to tell you that it was for me too, (it still is) but it’s not something impossible. You get better and better at with time and practice. The moment you detach yourself from all things, (and that doesn’t mean you give up your love for them – because love and attachment have nothing to do with one another, attachment comes from a place of fear, while love… well, real love is pure, kind, and self less, where there is love there can’t be fear, and because of that, attachment and love cannot coexist) you become so peaceful, so tolerant, so kind, and so serene. You will get to a place where you will be able to understand all things without even trying. A state beyond words.
15. Give up living your life to other people’s expectations
Way too many people are living a life that is not theirs to live. They live their lives according to what others think is best for them, they live their lives according to what their parents think is best for them, to what their friends, their enemies and their teachers, their government and the media think is best for them. They ignore their inner voice, that inner calling. They are so busy with pleasing everybody, with living up to other people’s expectations, that they lose control over their lives. They forget what makes them happy, what they want, what they need….and eventually they forget about themselves. You have one life – this one right now – you must live it, own it, and especially don’t let other people’s opinions distract you from your path.

By Dana Saviuc
 
Posted by Priya Deelchand

BLUEBIRD OF HAPPINESS

BLUEBIRD OF HAPPINESS

A sign in a pet store read, "If anybody has seen the Bluebird of
Happiness, would you please notify this pet store?"

Happiness seems to be in short supply for many people. If the
results of recent surveys can be trusted, there is a general decline
of happiness in today's world. And people were not all that
cheerful a few years back! It was Oliver Wendell Holmes who stated,
"I might have been a minister for aught I know, if a certain
clergyman had not looked and talked like an undertaker." (I have to
say, though, that some clergy and undertakers I've known could teach
the rest of us something about joy.)

Joy and happiness are not always the same things. Happiness can be
thought of as more of a temporary, emotional condition, often based
on outside circumstances. Joy, on the other hand, is deeper. It is
often contentment in spite of the unsettling present. We can be
basically joyful, regardless of a particular unhappy situation that
we may be enduring. It is sometimes just a matter of keeping
perspective on our troubles, and especially when those troubles
seem to be in long supply.

You may know the story of the man who had a marvelous way of keeping
joy in his life. He was a carpenter. He followed the same ritual
every day when he came home from the job. He stopped by a small tree
in his front yard and placed his hand on a couple of branches. Then,
when he walked into his home, it was as if a magical transformation
had occurred. All of a sudden, the stress was lifted from him. He
became energetic and joyful, able to fully interact with his
children and his wife.

He explained it this way: "That tree is my trouble tree. When I come
home I stop by the tree and, just like I leave my tools in the
truck, I leave my troubles outside of my home. I hang them on that
tree before greeting my family. Anything that does not have to come
in my house stays outside. Anything that I do not have to deal with
at home, I leave on that tree. And in the morning, I stop by the
tree and pick up the troubles I left there in the evening."

Then he adds, "It's a funny thing, though. Every morning I always
find fewer troubles remaining than I hung the night before."

Here is a man who has no doubt seen the Bluebird of Happiness.
Chances are, it is nesting in a tree just outside his home.

There is wisdom in knowing that some problems can wait until
tomorrow. And more wisdom in knowing what to hang on the tree and
what to bring in. Managing daily problems well is vital to
maintaining joy.

-- Steve Goodier

Posted by Priya Deelchand
https://www.facebook.com/priyadeelchand1

AND IT CAME TO PASS

AND IT CAME TO PASS

As I stared out the rear window of the bus, I thought, 'What if I
die? This may be my last night ever.'

At the last minute, we decided to take an all-night bus through the
Peruvian Andes down to the coast. Now I was being driven over high
mountain passes and on winding, too-narrow and (I was certain)
unsafe roads. We live in the Rocky Mountains of western United
States. But still I was not prepared for roads too narrow for
on-coming traffic to pass by. Every time another vehicle hurled
toward us, one of us was forced to pull over and let the other by.
Nor was I ready for the supersonic speeds at which our bus rollicked
around hairpin curves, or an all-night white-knuckle ride on a
too-often unpaved shoulder-less mountain road carved out of the side
of sheer vertical slopes lost in clouds. And I wasn't ready to die -
at least not that particular night.

I thought that maybe I could sleep during the trip, but all the
anxiety of what reminded me of an out of control amusement park ride
kept me staring out into the night as if by sheer will power I could
keep the bus upright. 'What if we crash?' I thought, and began to
count all the possible ways this bus would slide off the
mountainside. I worried about the driver, who was apparently working
a 12-hour shift. What if he fell asleep? My mind was just too filled
with "what ifs..." to find rest. I needed an antidote to worry.

Then I remembered five comforting words: "And it came to pass..."
Not coincidently, the phrase is found throughout the Bible. It's an
intriguing phrase..."and it came to pass." I've never read, "And it
came to stay." It's always, "And it came to pass..."

Whenever I have encountered problems over the years, they came to
pass. My anxieties and worries also came to pass. In fact, I have
forgotten most of the fears that once kept me awake over the years.
I've learned that most of my toughest times and seemingly impossible
situations are not forever. And sufficient strength can be found for
those few that may linger a while.

Besides, what could I do? The bus would either make it or not. Like
New York Yankees outfielder Mickey Rivers once said, "Ain't no sense
in worrying about things you got control over, 'cause if you got
control over them, ain't no sense worrying. And there ain't no sense
worrying about things you got no control over, 'cause if you got no
control over them, ain't no sense worrying about them."

So I rested in the peace that, like most of what I worry about, this
will come to pass. And before long, the sun rose on a beautiful
Peruvian landscape. It was true, my worries came to pass.

Can the same be said about problems that worry you?

-- Steve Goodier
 
Posted by Priya Deelchand