Freedom

I hope you all had a great 4th of July holiday! For me, the holiday is not just about our freedom in this country but, even more importantly, the innate freedom we have from birth.

True freedom is not dependent on physical space, as people like Nelson Mandela and Viktor Frankl prove. Viktor was a prisoner in a Nazi concentration camp. He did not allow himself to believe that the Nazis could make him give up his true self. He realized that even dictators could not control his thoughts and attitudes unless he allowed them to do so. He had the choice of making his experience whatever he desired.  

At times it brought him great pain. Freedom of any kind does not come without challenges and discomfort. I believe most people understand that at some level, and therefore, to try and live without pain, we choose to give up being all we are created to be. We are like a caterpillar that decides becoming a butterfly is too painful and stays locked in his cocoon until he dies, never experiencing the wonder of what he truly is.

For many people, letting go of old thinking keeps them locked up in a cocoon prison of negativity and victimhood. To be free, we must take responsibility for our thoughts and attitudes. We must stop playing the victim and realize we are volunteers in this life, and as such, we determine what we do with what we receive in life. We have the freedom to choose is the key to true freedom.

Quote of the Week

“The one thing you can’t take away from me is the way I choose to respond to what you do to me. The last of one’s freedoms is to choose one’s attitude in any given circumstance.” 

Viktor Frankl

.

The Art of Relationships

We all want happy, harmonious relationships in our lives, whether they are relationships with a significant other, friends, family, our spiritual community, or our work community. However, we cannot have relationships with others unless we have a good relationship with ourselves and God.  

In Truth, we cannot help but have excellent relationships when we have a loving relationship with God and ourselves. So why are some relationships so challenging? More importantly, how do we change relationships from difficult to one that feeds our soul?

First, we have to look within and see what in us needs to be changed rather than trying to change someone else. I am not referring to changing ourselves to meet the expectations of others, but how can we see the relationship differently, and if we cannot heal it, have the strength to let it go?

An essential tool for relationship happiness, as well as our joy, is to surrender. When I say surrender, I am referring to letting go of the illusion that I am the power that controls all aspects of my life.

Yes, we determine our lives by our consciousness, but we cannot change other people, places, or things – only ourselves and our illusion that we can, bring us much unhappiness in our lives and relationships. 

We need to surrender physically, mentally, and spiritually to win in this life. Over the following weeks, we will look not only at surrender and what else is necessary for us to have peaceful, happy, harmonious, and loving relationships in our lives.

Quote of the Week

“Happy relationships depend not on finding the right person, but on being the right person.”

Eric Butterworth

The Futility of Complaining about Change

As we get into summer, the days are beginning to get warmer, and depending on where you live, it can be getting quite hot.  It is amazing how much we complain about the weather.  In the winter it is too cold, the summer too hot, or it is too rainy or too dry.  We think that complaining, somehow we can change it and make it better while in truth, it is the opposite.

The more we complain about things, especially about changes, the more we wind up tormenting ourselves.  Complaining about anything, only makes it worse.  Our thoughts attract things to us.  The more we think about something we want or do not want, the more that is brought into our lives.

What good does complaining about changes that are not within our control do?  Can we change it?  Can our complaining make the thermometer drop?  Of course not!  The same is true with all of the changes in life that cause us discomfort.  If instead of complaining because something is not as we would want it, we can use that energy to come up with ways to accept or adjust to that which we cannot control. 

In the example of the weather, if we are someone who does not like the warmer weather, we can take action by going to the beach or lake, seeing an afternoon matinee, maybe going to the mall, or just staying in our air condition home getting things done around the house or reading a good book.   The more we find ways to accept the things we cannot change rather than complain, the better we feel about ourselves and life in general.  

When we feel better about ourselves, we open up our creative minds and find even more ways to see the positive in the situations around us.

Quote of the Week

“If you don’t like something change it.  If you can’t change it, change your attitude. Don’t complain.”  Maya Angelou

As we get into summer, the days are beginning to get warmer, and depending on where you live, it can be getting quite hot.  It is amazing how much we complain about the weather.  In the winter it is too cold, the summer too hot, or it is too rainy or too dry.  We think that complaining, somehow we can change it and make it better while in truth, it is the opposite.

The more we complain about things, especially about changes, the more we wind up tormenting ourselves.  Complaining about anything, only makes it worse.  Our thoughts attract things to us.  The more we think about something we want or do not want, the more that is brought into our lives.

What good does complaining about changes that are not within our control do?  Can we change it?  Can our complaining make the thermometer drop?  Of course not!  The same is true with all of the changes in life that cause us discomfort.  If instead of complaining because something is not as we would want it, we can use that energy to come up with ways to accept or adjust to that which we cannot control. 

In the example of the weather, if we are someone who does not like the warmer weather, we can take action by going to the beach or lake, seeing an afternoon matinee, maybe going to the mall, or just staying in our air condition home getting things done around the house or reading a good book.   The more we find ways to accept the things we cannot change rather than complain, the better we feel about ourselves and life in general.  

When we feel better about ourselves, we open up our creative minds and find even more ways to see the positive in the situations around us.

Quote of the Week

“If you don’t like something change it.  If you can’t change it, change your attitude. Don’t complain.”  Maya Angelou