Do You Care or Curse?

Do You Care or Curse?

Ultimately, that is the choice we make with our feelings hundreds of times a day-care or curse? The difference between the two often means happiness inside or despotic misery.  The choice is real, most of the time automatic and situational, but once you begin to pay attention to your feelings and thoughts you will begin to realize that yes you do make one of the choices.

Interestingly, our natural proclivity is to care. You learn how to curse a situation.  Watch the natural choices of a mother in the animal kingdom and you will see an innate caring instinct. But, for survival purposes that mother teaches her young how to curse, or become a predator, in the wild. Humans, who have the added faculty of intelligence, make the same choice-we learn how to curse certain situations based on feelings.

But, human choice to curse is usually made under the guise of the same notion of protection found in the animal kingdom. But, this is wrong. We learn to curse the unknown or what we fear, curse each other as competitors, damn those who are different, curse obstacles that come into our lives as an impediment which was dumped into our lap to make our lives difficult.

The natural human choice is to care. In spite of how often we are bombarded with instances where the volume of cursing is turned up to shrieking noise, caring still happens. Three four and five year old girls decided to sell their own drawings which they made with crayon and color markers to help the tsunami victims in Japan two days ago.

Why did they do it, they cared. A high school baseball coach donated a kidney to one of his players. He did it, in his words, “because I cared.” A young man stops to help an elderly couple after an accident-he cared too.  Teachers teach because they care. Doctors and nurses save lives because they care. Daycare workers care. Architects care about the safety of a structure. Fathers care about their children. When you listen to someone without judgment, you care.

Those who curse care too, but in an inverted way. People who curse measure their care based on past memories of pain which them provokes them to shield caring in a cloak of bitter internalized nonchalance. But, the caring is there not far from the surface if you studied the air of a grumbling curmudgeon.  Reasonably, this is true because it is natural to care. So, even though someone exhibits a hardened shell that looks like they curse the world, a persistent dose of caring attention will usually soften their seemingly bitter heart. They too have happiness inside and a caring sensitivity toward others.

This is not a sentimental musing. Honestly, it is not. F. W. Sears writes, “when w permit ourselves to condemn a thing because we say it is “bad” or condemn some person for any cause whatever, that is taking a destructive attitude toward that thing or person no matter how just we may think our position in the case may be we cannot relate with these negative, destructive currents in our thought world and expect constructive and harmonious effects….”

Make it a practice to care about the bitter and downtrodden, lots of people do.  Pause for a moment to pick out caring moments that others do. Just last week I watched this new show, Secret Millionaire, on ABC. The tagline is giving back never fet soo good.” The premise of the show, from its premiere episode, is for millionaires to live undercover, where others do not know they are wealthy, and spend time in the community with people who are serving are caring for others and then give a portion of their money away to strengthen the work those caring servants are doing which benefit others.  On the premiere episode a woman, Dani Johnson, who was once homeless but became a millionaire, spent time in a food kitchen where two elderly twin ladies prepared hot food for those in the community who needed a hot meal. For the housebound, their volunteers visited with them when they took them their meals; what they did was care because often the visit was more healing than the food. Another lady on the show devoted her time, talent and money decorating rooms and granting wishes for children who were very sick. Even though she was a busy mother and wife, it was her calling to care to decorate these rooms with bright and cheerful motifs to uplift the spirits of the ill child and their devastated parents. The millionaire funded both of these causes with a gift of a check, but as importantly she connected to her heart of care.

You may not be a millionaire, neither am I, but what we do share is a willingness to care. Care just a little more about your neighbor, check in on someone who is sick or elderly, send a card you have not seen or talked to in a while, smile, show your happiness inside.

The main rule for caring is to do something for others with tenderness. Be tender and patient even with the one, human or animal, who has been scarred and appears to curse the world. Let them feel your care.  Make a care investment  everywhere, it is the harmonious thing to do.

Recommended Reading:  The Prosperity Bible (compilation)

What is Love?

Woody Allen makes a point here:

“To love is to suffer. To avoid suffering, one must not love. But then, one suffers from not loving. Therefore, to love is to suffer; not to love is to suffer; to suffer is to suffer. To be happy is to love. To be happy, then, is to suffer, but suffering makes one unhappy. Therefore, to be happy, one must love or love to suffer or suffer from too much happiness.”

Whether you think Woody Allen’s comment is funny or not does not matter (I think it is privately humorous), the question here is what is love?

American relationship/marriage statistics are alarming (if you choose to focus on the divorce probability) unless you counterbalance those data numbers with heart memories. This is one reason I often refer to a book written by Julie Rainbow, Standing the Test of Time, that debunks the myth of divorced, dysfunctional Black families as she tells the story of Black couples who have been married fifty years or more and are still standing together.

I have other reasons for my knowing about love, my parents. My parents were married 53 years (until my Dad’s death in 2008) and his last words on this earth were to my Mom, saying “I love you.” Their eternal bond taught me something.

Adding another personal note, now that I have eulogized two brothers, one my twin, but both whom I loved deeply, I had to ask myself what am I learning about life through this experience?  I have been taught that love is a jewel that sparkles as brightly as you do. Well, I want to dazzle because that is the type of love that I want before I leave this earthly plane!

I have learned that “love” endures pain. It is an unquestioned face that relationships that mark years of longevity face pain. Even so, the pain of infidelity, disaster, trauma, or other disruptive issues do not destroy the core of love between two people who are devoted to each other.

I have learned that “love” smells different. Sometimes love stinks. But, like you learn to love your baby’s poop, love is the reason. Other times love smells like a fragrant rose, scented by time and passion. Love among two people may smell different from time to time, but each smell you learn to love.

I have learned that “love” ages. The longer you bottle love the more of an aged bouquet it has. Time and stillness together can create a bonus of a barrel of savory love.

What love is is individual. My impression of love is distinct from yours and you can bet yours is distinct from mine. When I was younger I equated love with lust, thus a divorce as soon as the hots cooled off. Now after taking years of celibacy instruction to heart, I have learned that even though love may lead to suffering, I’ll suffer any day for the aged, sweetness of love.

12 Days of Joy

Let there be joy on earth and let it begin with me. Joy is an ever present emotion even though most adults have learned, all too well, to control, negate, or pace their joy so that it emerges a little peek at a time. Dr. T. Byram Karasu, in his book The Art of Serenity: The Path to a Joyful Life in the Best and Worst of Times, says that “in your quest for joyful serenity, there is no  single spot where you can start. Where you are right now is the best place to begin.”

JOY Day 1 – Be in-joy. Tap into your inner joy. Radiate happiness. Be you!  Accent your many positive traits and feel good about it. Smile and spread your inner joy. Soar in your soul.  Find peace and practice gratitude this day.  Make it a new earth by being a new, joyful you.  BOOK: A New Earth: Awakening to Your Life’s PurposeEckhart Tolle

JOY Day 2 – Create something.  Shake it up a bit.  Decide to change an old pattern, even one that is working for you. Learn a new dance, listen to alternative music, cook or eat a dish using different spices, paint, knit, crochet. Stretch yourself, be creative.  You will love the discovery of something new. BOOK: The Artist’s Way – Julia Cameron

JOY Day 3 – Write worthy words. Sit down and compose; write something. Poetry, song, short-story, prose, debate, article – these are all ways to express yourself in words.  You may even discover that this writing exercise stimulates untapped joy. Write  your words with style, they are automatically worthy.    BOOK:  The Elements of Style – William Strunk and E. B. White

JOY Day 4 – Live Love. Joy is love and you are joy so live love. It is easy to live love, just remember who you are and the what experiences that run counter to feelings of joy will transmute into opportunities of design.   BOOK: The Spontaneous Fulfillment of DesireDeepak Chopra

JOY Day 5 – Exercise. Exercise releases endorphins, the joy juice of physical exertion.  Yoga, tai chi, walking, dance, jogging, pumping iron, zumba, capoeira. Get up and move!  BOOK: A Morning Cup of Strengthening – Beth Pierpoint

JOY Day 6 – Eat for Health. Consider portion size and the health value of what you consume. A lethargic body does not awaken joy, make your body the  throne of the inner temple. Eat slowly,  heighten the sense of each healthy enjoyable delectable bite. Eat well, savor the joy.  BOOK: A Course in Weight Loss Marianne Williamson

JOY Day 7 – Make Memories. Create a scrapbook, start a new tradition, organize your photos in an album – make new memories. Memories are your personal record of joy. Start today, make lasting memories. Share them for a memory made will never fade. BOOK: The Book of Myself: A Do-It-Yourself  Autobiography in 201 Questions – Carl Marshall and David Marshall

Joy Day 8 – Give Generously. Make some joy by giving. Time, money, kindness, service, empathy, listening. Let others experience your joyous generosity by the acts of caring that you do. Give until you feel great, then internalize the joy of giving. BOOK: The Generosity Factor Ken Blanchard and S. Truett Cathy

Joy Day 9 – Simply Simplify. Make it easy to feel joy. Simple acts of kindness, cleanliness, simplicity give rest to the mind and soul.  Make it sweet and simple-live joy simply as you are.  BOOK: Life is Too Short to Wear Tight Shoes – Barbara Faison

Joy Day 10 – Anchor Ancestory. Find you and those who compose you. Look up your ancestors, you will find joy in learning about your history. Record your history, make an oral record of your past.When you know your ancestors-history you can tell a new story about your being. BOOK: The Official Guide to Ancestry.com – Matthew Rayback and George C. Morton or http://www.storycorps.org

Joy Day 11 – Laugh out Loud. Joy breeds happiness. Find humor, look for the funny and celebrate those moments that make you laugh. Lighten up, loosen your tie, take off the tightness in your life. Laugh, be joyous. BOOK: Finding the Funny – Al Wiseman

Joy Day 12 – Spread Joy. Brighten the corner where you are. Where these is pain, spread hope. Where there is despair, give hope. Where there is conflict, be an instrument of peace. Give your joy away multiple times each and every day and watch the return dividends fill your bank of inner joy. BOOK: The Happiness Project: Or, Why I Spent a Year Trying to Sing in the Morning, Clean My Closets, Fight Right, Read Aristotle, and Generally Have More FunGretchen Rubin

Be in JOY!

Whether you decide to take each JOY day sequentially or make each JOY day a month long project, you have active steps and reading material to make JOY happen in your life.

I wish you JOY!

Harmony: The Answer to Happiness

A New Earth

Image via Wikipedia

It is axiomatic that when you are angry, stressed, frightened, or in any other toxic state of mind that you are not in alignment with your true, valued purpose for life. It is truly not possible to be happy and disturbed at the same time…utterly impossible!

I don’t care what the precipitating factors are for being out of alignment, whether external or internal in your mind, it is your mind that can restore balance and harmony. Right now, begin to center your mind and think about harmony; this is the only answer to happiness.

Let us begin: (Take FIVE minutes to restore your happiness)

* Clear all noise clutter- NO television, radio, telephone or computer
* Close your eyes
* Offer statement(s) of gratitude. “I am thankful for my breath” “Thank you universe for quiet peace” “My heart is grateful for …..”
* Visualize you in the most harmonious, happy place. Linger there and feel the profound wonders of joy, serenity, purpose
* Claim the calm that comes when you accept harmony, happiness
Say: I am happy! I am calm. I am a joyful and happy being. I am….
* Accept that you are happy. I am happy-let the universe know by showing your happiness with a smile, kind word, tender touch, or helpful action that broadens and deepens the harmony you have within.
* Open your eyes and your mind

You are happy. Go out and live happy-that’s your real purpose.

Repeat this restoration exercise often.
Harmony and happiness can be fleeting when we concentrate on events, situations, or stories which are otherwise.

Attract happiness and harmony with deliberate intention-focus your thoughts solely on being in this state of mind consistently and you will live the answer to happiness:harmony.

Be still, release the emotional noise and be in the pure essence of happiness. Eckhart Tolle