Merton’s Revelation

Ronald E. Powaski has written about the Trappi...

Thomas Merton

In Louisville, at the corner of Fourth and Walnut, in the center of the shopping district, I was suddenly overwhelmed with the realization that I loved all those people, that they were mine and I theirs, that we could not be alien to one another even though we were total strangers. It was like waking from a dream of separateness, of spurious self-isolation in a special world, the world of renunciation and supposed holiness. …

Then it was as if I suddenly saw the secret beauty of their hearts, the depths of their hearts where neither sin nor desire nor self-knowledge can reach, the core of their reality, the person that each one is in God’s eyes. If only they could see themselves as they really are. If only we could see each other that way all the time, there would be no more war, no more hatred, no more cruelty, no more greed…I suppose the big problem would be that we would fall down and worship each other.

Thomas Merton

via Merton’s Revelation | Monasteries of the Heart.

 

 

Trusting your basic goodness…

headshot-tara-brachTara Brach writes:

Einstein says the most important question we will ever ask ourselves is, “Is this universe a friendly place.” Do we trust that there is something essentially benevolent or good about this universe? That we are essentially good? These two talks explore what it means to trust basic goodness, and how this trust naturally emerges through cultivating a meditative presence…

Continue reading

How High-Maintenance Relationships Affect Your Psyche

English: A screenshot from Dracula Italiano: U...

In the spirit of the upcoming ‘Twilight‘ movie, I would like to talk about the undead: vampires. More precisely, emotional vampires. Are there people in your life who just sap your emotional energy once they walk in the door? Do you feel totally spent after interacting with some people? There are vampires among us, and I am actually more frightened about sitting next to one at a dinner party than meeting Count Dracula himself.

My colleague Eli Finkel at Northwestern University conducted a very important series of studies on what he calls high-maintenance interactions. In essence, these studies are about social coordination, and how the lack of social coordination can deplete our ability to exert self-control.

Self-control is critical to everyday life. With high self-control, we can limit food temptations, complete difficult tasks at work, and, resist the urge to smack a co-worker when he/she is being a bit too condescending. Continue reading

You Are What You Focus On: The Strength of An Unstoppable Mindset

The FinerMinds teams shares this:

“It’s not what happens to you, it’s what you do about it.” – W Mitchell

Not many people have been as unfortunate as W Mitchell – or so it would seem.

He’s been involved in two separate serious accidents – one of which left him with burns covering most of his body, and the other that left him wheelchair-bound for life.

As a result of such disabilities, many would give up. But because of his firm belief that success is not dictated by what life deals to you, but by what you do with the challenges you’re dealt, W Mitchell re-trained himself to fly a plane, become a famous international speaker and an environmental lobbyist.

In this 4-minute video, he reinforces the fact that we become what we focus on, and how once he started focusing on how powerful and innovative he was, he not only changed his life – but the life of those around him.

Go to the source of this quote: You Are What You Focus On: The Strength of An Unstoppable Mindset

10 Things to Stop Caring About Today

Royale Scuderi has a post that I thought was so good I curated the whole thing for you:

stop caring

Some things you can feel free to stop caring about

Other people’s expectations for your life

This is your life. You are the one who has to live it. You have to live with the consequences of the decisions you make and the actions you take, so you should make them according to what you want for and from your life, not what someone else thinks you “should” do with your life. We care way too much about what other people think about us and far too little about what we think about ourselves.

How much you weigh

It’s just a number people! We live in such a weight-obsessed culture that our weight is often a measure by which we are judged and worse by which we judge ourselves. I’m not saying to stop caring about being healthy, that’s a completely different thing, and one definitely worth worrying about. Just don’t fixate on the number on the scale. Care about healthier food choices, care about how strong you are, how much exercise you’re getting, just stop attaching your value, your success, your confidence, your attractiveness and your health to this one single number.

How other people live

Let other people live their own lives, just as you’d like to be able to live yours. Stop judging what other people do and how they live. That’s their business. If it doesn’t affect you, stop caring about it. Stop comparing what you have, how you look, the money, the status, the possessions, the beauty to what you “think” others have. Don’t measure yourself against other people, measure yourself against your own yardstick.

How many Facebook friends you have

Same goes for Twitter followers. The number of social connections you have is not a good indicator of either the strength of your network or your true popularity. True connections are measured by the quality of interactions and the people you who actually care about you and what you have to say. How people respond to you and share with you is a far better indicator or your social status.

Perfection

We suffer so much anguish caring about being perfect. Perfection is nearly unattainable and our striving for it, costs us so much. Perfect is a waste of time, perfect is unreasonable, perfect is a recipe for stress. Pretty darn good is a better goal. It’s usually more than good enough and far less stressful. (Note: If you’re a brain surgeon or a pilot, please try for close to perfect, but as long as you leave my gray matter in place and get me on the ground safely, I’m good.)

Aging

You can’t stop the clock. It’s a fact, no matter how much you worry about it or how much money you spend trying to hide it, time is going to keep right on ticking and taking you along with it. Stop caring about how old you are. It’s not a good measure of the quality of life anyway. Or maybe it is…Studies have shown that people are actually happier as they age. So stop caring about your biological age and wrinkles (whether you have them or worry about getting them,) and start caring about what how you want to live the years you have left.

Fitting in

We place too much value on conformity. If you like to listen to jazz and wear purple shoes, go for it. If you are the sculptor in a family of accountants, good for you. No make-up, big jewelry, cowboy boots, bow tie, thrift store clothes, dinner on cushions, no TV…it’s all fine. You’re not hurting anyone, and though they may judge you, that’s their problem, not yours.

Star Watching

Why are we so obsessed with celebrities? From reality shows to magazines, entertainment news shows to paparazzi photos, clothing lines to hairstyles, we are so infatuated with the lives of the rich and famous. Why? Are we so unhappy in our own lives that we have to get our excitement and pleasure by watching public figures live theirs? Stop wasting your time caring about what famous people do, good, bad, crazy, sad or fabulous. It has nothing to do with you. It’s only a distraction from your own life.

Being right

We all want to be right. It must be intrinsically bred into our DNA, but more times than not, it’s very destructive. When we’re striving to be right, we’re focused on proving other people wrong. We’re grasping for power by trying to prove our infallibility. Care about finding solutions, collaborating with others to find the best answers, and cultivating relationships. Care about the result, not who is right or wrong.

Anything you can’t control

Stop caring about things you can’t control. If there’s nothing you can do to impact the person or the situation, then don’t waste your energy. There are so many important things in your life, in this world that you can affect. Focus on what you can change, where you can have the most impact, make a difference, and let the rest go.

Source: 10 Things to Stop Caring About Today

Thanks for your excellent thoughts, Royale – hope you don’t mind that I promoted your content here…

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Accepting powerlessness

Back to back Melody Beattie! Here she writes:

Since I’ve been a child, I’ve been in an antagonistic relationship with an important emotional part of myself: my feelings. I have consistently tried to ignore, repress, or force my feelings away. I have tried to create unnatural feelings or force away feelings that were present.

I’ve denied I was angry, when in fact I was furious. I have told myself there must be something wrong with me for feeling angry, when anger was a reasonable and logical response to the situation.

I have told myself things didn’t hurt, when they hurt very much. I have told myself stories such as “That person didn’t mean to hurt me.” . . . “He or she doesn’t know any better.” . . . “I need to be more understanding.” The problem was that I had already been too understanding of the other person and not understanding and compassionate enough with myself.

It has not just been the large feelings I have been at war with; I have been battling the whole emotional aspect of myself. I have tried to use spiritual energy, mental energy, and even physical exertion to not feel what I need to feel to be healthy and alive.

I didn’t succeed at my attempts to control emotions. Emotional control has been a survival behavior for me. I can thank that behavior for helping me get through many years and situations where I didn’t have any better options. But I have learned a healthier behavior – accepting my feelings.

We are meant to feel. Part of our dysfunction is trying to deny or change that. Part of our recovery means learning to go with the flow of what we’re feeling and what our feelings are trying to tell us.

We are responsible for our behaviors, but we do not have to control our feelings. We can let them happen. We can learn to embrace, enjoy, and experience – feel – the emotional part of ourselves.

Today, I will stop trying to force and control my emotions. Instead, I will give power and freedom to the emotional part of myself.” via Just For Today Meditations » Blog.

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Welcome home: Wonderful military homecoming moments

US Navy 090511-N-8907D-358 Family and friends ...

Chances are, if you’ve been out and about today, you’ve noticed more than a few strangers shaking the hand of someone in uniform (or applauding the Army vet giving it his all trying to get the wave going at the Pirates game), but these gestures of thanks can’t compare to the rush of joy felt by the loved ones of military men and women when they come home unexpectedly.

Here’s to hoping for many more happy homecomings.

Full story at Welcome Home Blog via The Daily What. via Welcome home: Wonderful military homecoming moments .