Bob's Daily Thoughts|
[Most Recent Entries]
Below are the 20 most recent journal entries recorded in
[ << Previous 20 ]
[ << Previous 20 ]
|Friday, October 21st, 2016|
Our bodies are not our enemies, treat it with the care and support your mind, body and spirit deserve.
Our bodies are like living temples, and deserve all the love and care we can give them. Amazingly flexible and strong, they allow us to experience the world. If we notice that we're not feeling our best, that we've put on extra weight, or that our favorite clothes don't fit, we can make the choice to be good to ourselves in a new way today.
There are times we become conscious of a deeper hunger that will not be satisfied physically. We can make a new, healthier choice for ourselves in any moment, regardless of the hour, day, week or month. And when we make the choice lovingly, we work from a creative place of improving our lives and nurturing the best within us, so there is no need to punish ourselves. From this place, we can be gently honest with ourselves about the reasons we want to eat certain foods. We can reach out to doctors to help us determine if our bodies are out of balance at a level that requires something other than basic nutrients. We can also reach out to our friends for support and to share the journey of health, which is just another part of our adventure on the physical plane.
When we treat ourselves and our bodies as we would a trusted and loyal companion, we keep our energy free from negative thoughts that would complicate our journey. Our bodies are not our enemies, and we are not fighting a battle. Instead, we are investing our love and attention into the care and support of a beautiful creation--our selves.
By Madison Taylor of Daily OM
|Thursday, October 20th, 2016|
We all have choices! Life is full of choices. That’s what it means to be free and to have free will. There are literally thousands of choices we face every day from what to eat to where to go to how to handle life situations.
When it comes to handling life and life’s problems, our choices are generally in three main categories:
First – I can accept things as they are. I can continue to think and act in the same way I always have. I can keep doing what I’ve always done and hope for the better results. I can remain in the same job, stay in the same relationships, continue to let people treat me as I always have, and so on. When life is working, there isn’t a lot of motivation to change. But sometimes we are stuck and need to change.
Second – I can change some things. I can change my course of action without changing my goals or status. I can adjust my attitude, my thinking, how I express my feelings and so on. I can change my expectations of myself and of others; I can change the way I respond to others. I can learn a new “language of life,” a different way of looking at things, a better ways of thinking about my problems. I can set healthier boundaries. I can find a new support system of friends or family, or even seek professional help. I can develop an improved relationship with my Higher Power. So, in other words, I can stay in the same job, marriage, or pursuit of the same goals – just go about it differently.
Third – I can move on. I can leave my job, change careers, get a divorce, terminate a relationship, or seek out a new course of action. I can develop new goals, which meet my current needs and wants in ways that my old goals didn’t. I can still change my attitude and how I solve problems etc., I just do it under completely new circumstances.
|Wednesday, October 19th, 2016|
|Translating Our Feelings
Sometimes the feelings of being scared and excited can elicit the same physical response in our bodies.
When new challenges and opportunities show up in our lives, we may diagnose ourselves as feeling scared when what we really feel is excited. Often we have not been taught how to welcome the thrill of a new opportunity, and so we opt to back off, indulging our anxiety instead of awakening our courage. One way to inspire ourselves to embrace the opportunities that come our way is to look more deeply into our feelings and see that butterflies in our stomach or a rapidly beating heart are not necessarily a sign that we are afraid. Those very same feelings can be translated as excitement, curiosity, passion, and even love.
There is nothing wrong with being afraid as long as we do not let it stop us from doing the things that excite us. Most of us assume that brave people are fearless, but the truth is that they are simply more comfortable with fear because they face it on a regular basis. The more we do this, the more we feel excitement in the face of challenges rather than anxiety. The more we cultivate our ability to move forward instead of backing off, the more we trust ourselves to be able to handle the new opportunity, whether it's a new job, an exciting move, or a relationship. When we feel our fear, we can remind ourselves that maybe we are actually just excited. We can assure ourselves that this opportunity has come our way because we are meant to take it.
Framing things just a little differently can dramatically shift our mental state from one of resistance to one of openness. We can practice this new way of seeing things by saying aloud: I am really excited about this job interview. I am really looking forward to going on a date with this amazing person. I am excited to have the opportunity to do something I have never done before. As we do this, we will feel our energy shift from fear, which paralyzes, to excitement, which empowers us to direct all that energy in the service of moving forward, growing, and learning.
By Madisyn Taylor of the Daily OM
|Tuesday, October 18th, 2016|
Codependency has its roots in unhealthy rules and irrational thinking that come from living in dysfunctional families or systems. Both the rules and the irrational thinking must be challenged in order to achieve recovery.
The irrational thinking of codependents includes, but is not limited to, some or all of the following:
It is more important to be aware of how others feel than to be aware of how I feel.
I cannot talk about how I feel.
My good feelings about who I am should come from you.
I feel good when I am liked by you and receive approval from you.
I should be what others want me to be in order to take care of their needs.
My mental attention should be focused on others.
I increase my self-esteem by relieving other’s pain.
My fear of rejection determines what I say or do.
I should put my values aside in order to connect with others.
I shouldn’t talk about my problems because it might reflect negatively on others or on my family.
My only true value as a person should come from my work or my accomplishments.
I should suffer and bear my crosses because suffering is good and noble.
My emotions are a threat to good theology and religion. Good thinking is always divorced from feelings.
A perfect family is a happy family. I shouldn’t upset the family.
A perfect Church is a happy church. I shouldn’t upset the Church.
In order to be approved, I must be perfect in every way.
I should look for my faults at all times and concentrate on removing any that I find.
Perfect people are always in control.
The perfect Christian is always nice, always happy, always caring, always even-tempered, always long-suffering, and never gets angry or complains.
God is only pleased with me when I am perfect.
It’s my responsibility to make everyone proud of me.
I must always be good, always be strong, always follow the rules, always be kind, always have enough time to help others, always be available, and always be perfect.
|Monday, October 17th, 2016|
|Get Rid Of The Hate
Honestly, I don't have time to hate people who hate me, because I'm too
busy loving people who love me.
Lets assume you are in hate. Let us also assume you are getting quite
sick of this hate. (Who wouldn't?) However, you still kinda want to stay
Here is how to end the hate. Get back the love and have peace in
Let It All Out. Whether it is screaming into a pillow, crying silently,
or sobbing it all out to your deity of choice, vent, vent, and vent
Calm Yourself. Anger does NOT help you make rational decisions!
Think It Through. What are this person's good qualities? Bad qualities?
Decide. Is it really helping to hate this person? Does he/she deserve
your hate? (Think rationally here!)
Imagine. Think of everything about this person that feels like magic.
Think of all the smiles, the laughs, the times where you never thought
that this person would be in hate with you, or you with him/her.
Repeat As Necessary. Sometimes you need to vent some more before you can
really remember everything good about this person. That is perfectly
If the person you are in hate with is truly evil or abusive, move on. If
the feelings of hate come from anger... remember that anger is
un-expressed pain. If the person hurt you, then simply forgiving them is
the true answer.
If you can't find the forgiveness in your heart, then God is not in your
heart. If God can forgive you (and them), then you MUST forgive them.
This is the first step to healing your pain.
Learn to live by giving. That love in your heart comes from God. Giving
HIS love away will heal your heart. Your heart will grow in your giving.
In return, God will fill your heart with even more love.
The joy you will feel when you for"give" will free you from the anger.
|Sunday, October 16th, 2016|
If you have a solid spiritual life, you realize that nothing really disconnects you from others. Then it is a matter of courage to be yourself and to be honest about who you are. This means:
To admit the hard things about yourself
To be clear about hard things others must hear
To not mislead anyone
To not live a secret life
To abandon false fronts and false pride
To be clear about your intent
To tell the truth
To not hide from difficult moments
To give up being “nice” all the time
To state your needs and wants without shame
To not cover or lie for anyone
The truth does, in fact, make you free.
Pat Carnes Ph.D.
“The Betrayal Bond”
|Saturday, October 15th, 2016|
|Our Greatest Gift
"Recently, a friend told me a story about twins talking to each other
in the womb. The sister said to the brother, "I believe there is life
Her brother protested vehemently, "No, no, this is all there is. This
is a dark and cozy place, and we have nothing else to do but cling to
the cord that feeds us.
The little girl insisted. "There must be something more than this dark
place. There must be something else, a place with light where there is
freedom to move." Still she could not convince her twin brother.
After some silence, the sister said, hesitantly, "I have something
else to say, and I'm afraid you won't believe that either, but I think
there is a mother."
Her brother became furious. "A mother!" He shouted. "What are you
talking about? I have never seen a mother, and neither have you. Who
put that idea in your head? As I told you, this place is all we have.
Why do you always want more? This is not such a bad place, after all.
We have all we need, so let's be content."
The sister was quite overwhelmed by her brother's response and for a
while didn't dare say anything more. But she couldn't let go of her
thoughts, and since she had only her twin brother to speak to, she
finally said, "Don't you feel these squeezes every once in a while?
They're quite unpleasant and sometimes even painful."
"Yes," he answered. "What's special about that?"
"Well," the sister said, I think that these squeezes are there to get
us ready for another place, much more beautiful than this, where we
will see our mother face-to-face. Don't you think that's exciting?"
"How great is the love the Father has lavished on us, that we should
be called children of God! And that is what we are! The reason the
world does not know us is that it did not know him. Dear friends, now
we are children of God, and what we will be has not yet been made
known. But we know that when he appears, we shall be like him, for we
shall see him as he is."
1 John 3:1-2 (NIV)
|Friday, October 14th, 2016|
Picture yourself before the crucified Jesus; recognize that he became what you fear: nakedness, exposure, vulnerability, and failure. He became sin to free you from sin. (See 2 Corinthians 5:21.) He became what we do to one another in order to free us from the lie of punishing and scapegoating each other. He became the crucified so we would stop crucifying. He refused to transmit his pain onto others.
In your imagination, receive these words as Jesus’ invitation to you from the cross:
My beloved, I am Your Self. I am your beauty. I am your goodness, which you are destroying. I am what you do to what you should love. I am what you are afraid of: your deepest and best and most naked self—your soul. Your sin largely consists in what you do to harm goodness—your own and others’. You are afraid of the good; you are afraid of me. You kill what you should love; you hate what could transform you. I am Jesus crucified. I am yourself, and I am all of humanity.
And now respond to Jesus on the cross, hanging at the center of human history, turning history around:
Jesus, Crucified, you are my life and you are also my death. You are my beauty, you are my possibility, and you are my full self. You are everything I want, and you are everything I am afraid of. You are everything I desire, and you are everything I deny. You are my outrageously ignored and neglected soul.
Jesus, your love is what I most fear. I can’t let anybody love me for nothing. Intimacy with you or anyone terrifies me.
I am beginning to see that I, in my own body, am an image of what is happening everywhere, and I want it to stop today. I want to stop the violence toward myself, toward the world, toward you. I don’t need to ever again create any victim, even in my mind.
You alone, Jesus, refused to be crucifier, even at the cost of being crucified. You never asked for sympathy. You never played the victim or asked for vengeance. You breathed forgiveness.
We humans mistrust, murder, attack. Now I see that it is not you that humanity hates. We hate ourselves, but we mistakenly kill you. I must stop crucifying your blessed flesh on this earth and in my brothers and sisters.
Now I see that you live in me and I live in you. You are inviting me out of this endless cycle of illusion and violence. You are Jesus crucified. You are saving me. In your perfect love, you have chosen to enter into union with me, and I am slowly learning to trust that this could be true.
Gateway to Silence:
Fr Richard Rohr, OFM
|Thursday, October 13th, 2016|
Please untie the knots in my mind,
my heart and my life.
Remove the have nots,
the can nots, and the do nots
that I have in my mind.
Erase the will nots,
might nots that may find
a home in my heart.
Release me from the could nots,
would nots and
should nots that obstruct my life.
And most of all,
I ask that you remove from my mind,
my heart and my life all of the “am nots”
that I have allowed to hold me back,
especially the thought that
I am not good enough.
|Wednesday, October 12th, 2016|
Apologizing chronically can be a sign that you are not feeling that you have much self-worth.
Many people suffer with the tendency to apologize all the time, chronically, for everything. On the one hand, apologizing is a social convention that keeps interactions between people polite, and in that way it can be very helpful. On the other hand, if we find ourselves apologizing for everything, it might be time to look at why we feel compelled to say “I’m sorry” so often. Ultimately, saying you’re sorry is saying that you are responsible for something that has gone wrong in the situation. Whether it’s negotiating a parking spot, moving through the aisles of the supermarket, or reaching for what you want, there are times when sorry is the right thing to say. But there are other times when “excuse me” is more accurate.
Sometimes saying you’re sorry is like saying that the other person in the equation has more of a right to be here than you do. Of course, it’s true that using the word sorry can simply be an innocuous way of defusing tension. However, if you find that you say sorry all the time, you might want to look a little deeper and see where in your psyche that might be coming from. If it’s a pattern, breaking it may simply take some awareness and practice.
The first step is observing yourself each time you say it, without being hard on yourself about it. Throughout your day simply notice when you apologize. At first, you might be surprised to see that you do it even more than you first realized. After a day or two of simply observing, try to tune in to what it is you are feeling right before you say it. You might be feeling threatened, embarrassed, intensely anxious, or a variety of other feelings. Over time, try to stop yourself before the words come out and just be with the feeling that’s there. You may recognize it as one from your childhood, one that’s been with you for a long time. The more you are able to see it, the freer you will be not to be sorry all the time.
By Madisyn Taylor of the Daily OM
|Tuesday, October 11th, 2016|
|Dealing With Disappointment
Whenever we do something in life with an expectation of how we’d like it to turn out, we risk experiencing disappointment. When things don’t go the way we had envisioned, we may feel a range of emotions from slightly let down to depressed or even angry. We might direct our feelings inward toward ourselves, or outward toward other people or the universe in general. Whether we feel disappointed by ourselves, a friend, or life in general, disappointment is always a tough feeling to experience. Still, it is a natural part of life, and there are many ways of dealing with it when we find ourselves in its presence.
As with any feeling, disappointment has come to us for a reason, and we don’t need to fear acknowledging it or feeling it. The more we are able to accept how we are feeling and process it, the sooner we will move into new emotional territory. As we sit down to allow ourselves to feel our disappointment, we might want to write about the experience of being disappointed—the situation that preceded it, what we were hoping would happen, and what did happen. The gift of disappointment is its ability to bring us into alignment with reality so that we don’t get stuck for too long in the realm of how things might have been.
As we consider other disappointments in our life and how we have moved past them, we may even see that in some cases what happened was actually better in the long run than what we had wanted to happen. Disappointment often leaves us feeling deflated with its message that things don’t always turn out the way we want. The beauty of disappointment, though, is that it provides us a bridge to its other side where the acceptance of reality, wisdom, and the energy to begin again can be found.
By Madisyn Taylor of the Daily OM
|Monday, October 10th, 2016|
|On The Inside
There is a place, deep inside you, that is filled only with the things
you've allowed to come in. Take a careful look, and see what that
special place holds. For although nothing can get in unless you allow
it, everything there will surely get out. The things you hold inside
of you will eventually take hold in your outer self and the world in
which you live.
One day, your innermost imaginings will become your outermost reality.
So what are you imagining?
Is your inner self full of fear, anger, doubt and resentment?
Or do you fill your innermost thoughts with love, faith, confidence,
gratitude and joy?
Whatever is on the inside will soon be on the outside, and will indeed
define who you are. Make positive use of that control you have over
your deepest, innermost self.
Fill the inside with goodness, with love, with the best you can
imagine. For what you keep inside, is what you do become.
-- Ralph Marston
|Sunday, October 9th, 2016|
|When Doing Nothing Is Enough
What can you do in the face of powerlessness? What can you do in a situation where, it seems, anything you can say or do will only make things worse?
All of us know the feeling of standing within a situation and being powerless, at least in that we are helpless to change anything practically. What can we do when faced with that?
Nothing - except live with the powerlessness, carry the tension, try to transmute it into something else, and wait for a new day - a day of new opportunity for resolution of the pain (which is very much contingent upon a deeper love and compassion on our part). In terms of resolving the issue practically, we can do nothing. But nothing can be enough!
That might sound fatalistic, but is in fact the opposite of resignation. To stand powerless, in a biblical way, before a situation is to ponder. We see the prototype of this in Mary, Jesus' mother, under the cross.
This concept - of pondering, of silently carrying the tension so as to transform it - is both important and consoling.
Like Mary under the cross, we can live without answers, without being able to justify ourselves, without being able to resolve things, bearing what seems unbearable.
This can be consoling to know. We are too hard on ourselves because of our inadequacies. In many of the most intimate and painful situations of our lives we are precisely not able to fix things, be adequate, or redeem the situation.
Sometimes there's nothing to be done ... but nothing can be enough, as it was for Mary, under the cross. Sometimes all we can do is to stand silently, in strength, bearing an bearable tension, waiting for our hearts do something our actions can't, namely, transmute misunderstanding into understanding, confusion into insight, anger into blessing, and hatred into love.
Fr Ron Rolheiser, OMI
|Saturday, October 8th, 2016|
“Would that there were an award for people who come to understand the concept of enough. Good enough. Thin enough. Rich enough. Socially responsible enough; and when you have enough, you have self-respect.” - Gail Sheehey in Passages
The concept of enough is at the heart of addiction. We seek pleasure or relief through consumption of substances or engaging in behaviors. But there is never enough to satisfy us. An old saying of Alcoholics Anonymous is, “One is too many, and a thousand is not enough.” We think of the next drink, the next pill, the next relationship that will satisfy us. We engage in a variety of rituals which excite us and prepare us for our addiction. Rituals can be going to the neighborhood bar after work or sitting in our favorite chair and having a cold one. Rituals can be cruising for tonight’s love affair or preparing something to eat. Rituals include the punishment we feel with a hangover or the guilt we experience which then justifies going out again.
We continue to feed ourselves in unhealthy ways, and it is never enough until our lives come apart in unmanageability and powerlessness. And for some of us, that is not enough… so we try again.
|Friday, October 7th, 2016|
|A Mellow Heart In A Bitter Time
A Mellow Heart In A Bitter Time
Perhaps the greatest moral challenge Jesus left us is this:
We all do pretty well in love when the persons we are loving are warm and gracious, but can we be gracious and mellow in the face of bitterness, jealousy, hatred, withdrawal? That's the litmus test of love. It's also one of the deeper invitations towards maturity.
Everywhere in our world - in our most intimate relationships, in our families, in our workplaces, in our churches, and in society as a whole - we forever find ourselves in situations where we meet suspicion, jealousy, coldness, distrust, bitterness, and withdrawal. Our world is often a hard, rather than an intimate place.
The challenge is to offer a heart that creates a space for warmth, transparency, mellowness, vulnerability, and trust inside of hard places.
The challenge is to offer our hearts as a space within which people can be honest, where nobody has to assert herself, where no games of pretense need be played, and where intimacy isn't held hostage to the momentary fears, jealousies, hurts, and emotional acting out that forever assail us.
The more bitter and the more emotionally trying the situation, the more this is needed. When times are bitter, angry, cold, full of disrespect, and fraught with jealousy, when it seems everyone is withdrawing into his or her own world, when most everything seems a lie, and when we are feeling most hurt, taken for granted, slighted, and marginalized, what's called for is not less, but more, attention to the quality of graciousness and warmth within our response. Bitter times call for, precisely, a deeper response of warmth, mellowness, transparency, truth, and compassion.
What's needed most in a bitter time is a mellow heart.
Fr. Ron Rolheiser, OMI
|Thursday, October 6th, 2016|
|As We Ebb And Flow Through Life
We all change throughout life trying new and different things, but the core of who we really are remains the same.
As we bob and weave with the ebb and flow of life our roles change, but our true self remains constant. As spiritual beings having a human experience, we go through many aspects of humanity in one lifetime. Living in the material world of opposites, labels, and classifications, we often identify ourselves by the roles we play, forgetting that these aspects shift and change throughout our lives. But when we anchor ourselves in the truth of our being, that core of spirit within us, we can choose to embrace the new roles as they come, knowing that they give us fresh perspective on life and a greater understanding of the lives of others.
As children, we anticipated role changes eagerly in our rush to grow up. Though fairy tales led us to believe that happily ever after was a final destination, the truth is that life is a series of destinations, mere stops on a long journey filled with differing terrain. We may need to move through a feeling of resistance as we shift from spouse to parent, leader to subordinate, caregiver to receiver, or even local to newcomer. It can be helpful to bid a fond farewell to the role that we are leaving before we welcome the new. This is the purpose of ceremonies in cultures throughout the world and across time. We can choose from any in existence or create our own to help us celebrate our life shifts and embrace our new adventures.
Like actors on the stage of the world, our different roles are just costumes that we inhabit and then shed. Each role we play gives us another perspective through which to understand ourselves and the nature of the universe. When we take a moment to see that each change can be an adventure, a celebration, and a chance to play a new part, we may even be able to recapture the joyful anticipation of our youth as we transition from one role to the next.
By Madisyn Taylor of the Daily OM
|Wednesday, October 5th, 2016|
|Initiating The Gift
I often experience the days like someone rowing, and each time I slip an oar below the surface, it disturbs the water. When I’m tired or stunned enough to stop rowing, the water goes clear. In those moments, I can see through to the bottom. It always makes me wonder where I’m going. This is how we live. We need to move through the world, but only when we stop does the world open.
We see differently when rowing and when letting the water go clear. There seems to be a second sight always waiting below our surface sight. Oh we can see enough to get around, to cross the street and go to the bank and pick up the medicines we need. But each of us sees more clearly when the water of all that needs to be done goes clear. When we can be still enough, a larger, more encompassing perspective opens up and we see and feel more than the circumstance we’re moving through.
When the water goes clear, we may see briefly from all perspectives at once and from the longest view of time. In such moments, the course of whole lives is glimpsed, which we sometimes struggle to make sense of. We fumble with attempts such as “When exhausted, I saw my destiny” or “In the midst of my pain, I felt the pain of the world” or “When planting the last row of garlic, I felt the hand of everyone who ever planted.”
This deeper seeing belongs to a second self that waits in the center of our heart for us to exhaust the world’s instructions about how to survive, waiting for the day that we’re broken open. Then, over time or all at once, the light, making its way into our break, causes our second self to stretch and grow, which feels like a deep, alarming pain behind our heart, one we try to quiet or get rid of. When blessed, that stretching growth pain doesn’t go away, and our deeper, second self begins to show itself, a sensation we don’t often know what to do with.
A Question to Walk With: Describe a time when the turbulence of your life went clear, like a lake, and what you were able to see below the turbulence.
|Tuesday, October 4th, 2016|
|10 Things To Give Up
3 Fear of Failure
5 People Pleasing
6 Fear of Success
7 Negative Thinking
8 Negative Self-Talk
9 Judgment of Others
10 Negative People in Your Circle
|Monday, October 3rd, 2016|
|Disarming The Know-It-All
People that are know-it-alls are simply stuck in a pattern and may actually have feelings of low self-worth.
Most of us have encountered a person in our lives who can accurately be referred to as a know-it-all. This person seems to know everything about anything that gets brought up and tends to dominate the conversation. They don’t take well to being questioned, and they have a hard time ever admitting that they were wrong.
Being around a know-it-all is inevitably tiring because there is no shared energy between the two of you. Rather, you become an audience member to this person’s need to be the center of attention. Attention and respect are probably the two things this person most longs for, and at some point in their lives, they learned that knowing it all was the way to get those needs met. Over time, they have become stuck in this pattern, regardless of the fact that it is no longer working. They may feel afraid of the experience of listening, being receptive, or learning something new, because it’s so unfamiliar.
On the one hand, when we see the childlike need underneath the know-it-all’s mask of confidence, we feel compassion for the person, and we may tolerate their one-sided approach to conversation out of a desire not to hurt their feelings. On the other hand, we may be feeling drained and tempted to avoid this person altogether. In the middle of these two possible ways of feeling, we may actually like this person and wish for a closer relationship. If we come from a place of kindness, we might attempt to bridge the gap that this person’s habitual way of relating creates. Simply expressing a desire to be closer may open their heart, and give you a chance to ask for what you need in the relationship - a chance to contribute.
By Madisyn Taylor of the Daily OM
|Sunday, October 2nd, 2016|
Waking this morning,
I made a decision
To open my eyes and see
To listen and touch
To smell the air that I breathe
I simply woke today
And let what already was
The decision I made
Was to put it into God’s Care
And accept what He’s
John Anderson 1996