75 Questions: Day 14

There are 75 days before the start of a new Gregorian calendar year. So, for the next 62 days (Monday – Sunday) the blog postings will ask you one question. That question may inspire you, it may perplex you, it may anger you, or it may tickle you. The whole thrust of the 75 questions is to prompt a reaction and honest answer to the probe.

The honored intent of the 75 questions is to capture change. The questions are to be a catalyst for inner change that leaves you feeling more dynamic, powerful, intrigued, and authentic. When these salient emotions are opened up within you (they already exist), you change and your world changes and the whole world changes with you.

Post your answers, you will get a response to your replies and we will use these 75 questions to lift life as the year 2017 begins.

Do you pray?

Radiate Confidence

Confidence

Confidence (Photo credit: wherefishsing)

Hold your head high.

Look into the eyes of the person you are talking to. Radiate confidence, you are strong enough to be bold.  Bold confidence allows you to feel wonderfully lively, radiant and vibrant. Because when you radiate confidence, you are likely to attract a different type of attention.

You may find that you magnify an assurance which is noticeable.  Not only should others take notice, so should you. Pay attention to the different responses you get when you radiate confidence. More smiles, more flirts, more offers of support and assistance. Your high energy mood can make you feel like a star.

Stand erect.

Square your shoulders. Tighten your tummy. Project out to the world that you are a confident person.  When you radiate confidence, it is natural to attract attention.  Bask in the moment.

“You must break out of your current comfort zone and become comfortable with the unfamiliar.  Start smashing through those emotional barriers.  Move forward.  Life doesn’t magically give you what you want in your mind; it gives you what you insist upon with your actions.” ~Mark Hack

Even if you are not entirely sure of yourself or very comfortable with this new radiant, confident persona, do it anyway.  Affirm your qualities.  Say out loud: I am radiantly confident. Speak this affirmation right now with fervor and conviction. Immediately feel how different you are once you remind yourself of your true value.

Believe in yourself.

You are confident. You are radiant. You are impressive.  Let the aura of radiant confidence permeate.  Avoid any negative self-talk. Speak confidently, attract the life you deserve. Show others that you adore who you are.

Radiant confidence allows you to act decisively. That’s right, you know who you are and what you intend to accomplish.  When others notice that you are resolute, the universe begins to magnetize into existence exactly what you want provided that you maintain confidence and pinpoint focus and are ready to work diligently to accomplish those aims.

Ambition is very good, so is confidence. The combination of the two attributes does not have to equate to arrogance. There is a huge difference. Arrogance presents itself as haughty, self-importance. But, confidence shows up as an inner knowing that is gracious.

Be confident.

Confidence begets radiance. You are allowed to shine. You must shine; the light of confidence is already inside of you. Let it out, glow.  Choose to be happy today, right now. Don’t wait to share your radiance. Be confidently assured that your time to shine is right now.

Lift yourself up to cloud nine.

Life is flying by; you will only get to the top clouds in life if you decide to be more radiant than sour. Discouragement, bad news, anguish, doubt grounds you if you choose to be bound to it. Soar, lift yourself above negativity. Get to cloud nine.

Confidence depends on the quality of your thoughts. Think happiness. Be radiant. Be a confident you.

Share your confidence –comment below. Tell others what you do to sustain your confidence. Let’s talk about radiance – how do you exhibit radiance?

Fantastic Friday: Bahai Fast

This is a Fantastic Friday for millions of Baha’is, and those who support the Faith, all over the world.   Baha’is around the world will arise for prayers before sunup on March 2, the first of nineteen days of fasting, as they begin their yearly fasting period – an annual renewal of faith.  It is a special time for prayer and also involves abstaining from food and drink between sunrise and sundown for 19 straight days. Members of the Baha’i Faith ages 15 to 70 observe the fast, which ends just before the Baha’i new year on March 21 unless you are exempt because you are traveling, nursing or ill.

Shoghi Effendi, the head of the Baha’i Faith from 1921 until his passing in 1957, described the fast in this way: “It is essentially a period of meditation and prayer, of spiritual recuperation, during which the believer must strive to make the necessary readjustments in his inner life, and to refresh and reinvigorate the spiritual forces latent in his soul.”

Baha’i fast is essentially a period of meditation and prayer.  During these days of cleansing and detachment – the essence of the fast – one is spiritually removed from the dross of this world by concentrating thoughts on peace, unity, sacrifice, service, humility, and gratitude for these days of enrichment.

Any person can participate during this fast period, in fact many people who accept these principles, join the Bahai’s during these days of serenity.

A prayer for fasting:

“This is, O my God, the first of the days on which Thou hast bidden Thy loved ones to observe the Fast. I ask of Thee by Thy Self and by him who hath fasted out of love for Thee and for Thy good-pleasure – and not out of self and desire, nor out of fear of Thy wrath – and by Thy most excellent names and august attributes, to purify Thy servants ….” (excerpt from a Baha’i prayer for fasting, page 260)

True You

“I’m loved, I’m valued, and I’m capable of achieving balance in my life.

I can learn to eat well.  I can exercise. I can express gratitude for the simple act of being able to breathe in and breathe out.

I can move away from darkness and depression to light and hope.

I can be happy with who I am, not what I should be, or what I might have been, or what someone tells me I must be.

I am me, the true me;

you are you, the true you- and that’s good. That’s beautiful. That’s enough.”

                                              ~Janet Jackson True You (starting on page 151)

 

Monday Miracle: Laughter

I remember reading a refreshing book, God Loves Laughter, by William Sears and ended up wondering why there is not more laughter in our world. What seems to dominate most consciousness is a mean spirit of competition and conflcit in the world today that leaves a battered sense of self.  Laughter is the divine elixir that can ameliorate  destructive emotional and character traits by creating a channel of healthy release leading you to a place of happiness.

It does not matter how short-lived laughter and happiness are, it opens the heart to goodness.

Of course there is pain, injury, suffering in the world. That is understood. But, dwelling on these unpleasant things of life blocks one’s true life purpose: to be happy and to love.

 “Purpose and laughter are the twins that must not separate. Each is empty without the other.” ~Robert K. Greenleaf

Love and happiness-the twin pillars that shoulder purpose.  When external events or situations confound our emotions, the best remedy is to search for that moment of inner joy and purpose to restore your power.  Gabrielle Bernstein, founder of Her Future (www.herfuture.com) is on to something.  She uses social media to connect, inspire and advise women to retain their power regardless of the simple, temporary  pain that may scare, confuse, or depress them. The same advise is useful for me. Maintain your power by hooking into purpose and laughter.

Joy gives us wings.  Fly to the realm of  indomitable spirit.  Use the invisible, but omnipresent, string of hope and inner resourcefulness that ever connects you to purpose, power, and laughter. Stay in-joy so that you can enjoy life. Stop right now and make a declaration-I AM A JOYFUL AND HAPPY BEING.

Make laughter a part of your Monday Miracle.

Miracle Monday: Ask

Happy Monday, create a miracle!

There is a formula for manifesting what you want in life (we have gone over them in previous posts) and one component is to ask or probe the issue.  But, in the asking – ask specifically for what you WANT. Many people invest energy and emotion on lengthy lists or exercises that concentrate on what they DO NOT WANT. No. In your asking, ask for exactly what you want.

Simply, specifically ask for the exact thing that you want. Check in with your passion radar, even re-take the Passion Test by Chris and Janet Attwood. Find your core desire and then stop and make a request from that-just ask!

Never concern yourself with justifying why you ask for this specific miracle, not to worry the universe will only supply that which is good (even a teachable lesson) for you.  Derrick Ashong, host of The Derrick Ashong Experience on Oprah Radio  underscores this process.  He says,

“When I am starting a project, I often ask questions: If I am asking questions chances are that I’m about to do something worthwhile.”

Do something else worthwhile today, strengthen your miracle chances by asking for what you want.

You are a miracle, expect the miraculous!

 

Happy Rosh Hashanah

Rosh HaShanah (ראש השנה) is the Jewish New Year. It falls once a year during the month of Tishrei and occurs ten days before Yom Kippur. Together, Rosh HaShanah and Yom Kippur are known as the Yamim Nora’im, which means the Days of Awe in Hebrew. In English they are often referred to as the High Holy Days.

The Meaning of Rosh HaShanah

Rosh HaShanah literally means “Head of the Year” in Hebrew. It falls in the month of Tishrei, which is the seventh month on the Hebrew calendar. The reason for this is because the Hebrew calendar begins with the month of Nissan (when it’s believed the Jews were freed from slavery in Egypt) but the month of Tishrei is believed to be the month in which God created the world. Hence, another way to think about Rosh HaShanah is as the birthday of the world.

Rosh HaShanah is observed on the first two days of Tishrei. Jewish tradition teaches that during the High Holy Days God decides who will live and who will die during the coming year. As a result, during Rosh HaShanah and Yom Kippur (and in the days leading up to them) Jews embark upon the serious task of examining their lives and repenting for any wrongs they have committed during the previous year. This process of repentance is called teshuvah. Jews are encouraged to make amends with anyone they have wronged and to make plans for improving during the coming year. In this way, Rosh HaShanah is all about making peace in the community and striving to be a better person.

Even though the theme of Rosh HaShanah is life and death, it is a holiday filled with hope for the New Year. Jews believe that God is compassionate and just, and that God will accept their prayers for forgiveness.

shofar

The shofar is an important symbol of Rosh HaShanah. It is an instrument often made of a ram’s horn and is blown one hundred times during each of the two days of Rosh HaShanah. The sound of the shofar blast reminds people of the importance of reflection during this important holiday. Learn more about the shofar in this article.

Tashlich is a ceremony that usually takes place during the first day of Rosh HaShanah. “Tashlich” literally means “casting off” and involves symbolically casting off the sins of the previous year by tossing pieces of bread or another food into a body of flowing water. Learn more about tashlich in this article.

Other significant symbols of Rosh HaShanah include apples, honey and round loaves of challah. Apple slices dipped in honey represent our hope for a sweet new year and are traditionally accompanied by a short prayer before eating that goes: “May it by Thy will, O Lord, Our God, to grant us a year that is good and sweet.” Challah, which is usually baked into braids, is shaped into round loaves of bread on Rosh HaShanah. The circular shape symbolizes the continuation of life.

On the second night of Rosh HaShanah it is customary to eat a fruit that is new to us for the season, saying the shehechiyanu blessing as we eat it to thank God for bringing us to this season. Pomegranates are a popular choice because Israel is often praised for its pomegranates and because, according to legend, pomegranates contain 613 seeds – one for each of the 613 mitzvot. Another reason for eating pomegranates on Rosh HaShanah has to do with the symbolic hope that our good deeds in the coming year will be as many as the seeds of the fruit.

What Should I Do?

Here is the complete question from a reader:

My Mother died today. But before she died she asked for me to come to visit. This is a woman who abandoned me when I was six and I did not hear another word from her until last week. Not only did I not go to her deathbed I am not planning to attend her funeral. What should I do?

Dear Beloved

In spite of your “abandonment” you were loved and are loved. First things first, I share your grief in the loss of your mother. It is apparent that you care about her and possibly question your decision to stay away even after she asked you to visit. The pain you feel from being excluded from her life is natural and well understood. You should grieve through all the stages.  Some writers, Dr. Elisabeth Kubler-Ross in her seminal work Death and Dying being one, list five stages of  grief while others (recover-from-grief.com) define bereavement in seven stages.  I suggest that you take time NOW to familiarize yourself with these stages for deeper understanding of your response to your Mother’s death.

Before you decide whether or not to attend the funeral, I want you to go to a quiet still place where you are alone and can stay there for at least thirty (30) minutes.  Once you are in this place, I want to you to repeat this:

I am love and can express and give agape love. I know love and have been given love. I forgive all those who did not or could not love me as I expected. I accept love.

Repeat this often until you satisfy your yearning for acceptance and love. Repeat this healing mantra through your tears. Repeat each word over and over again until you see a light of change and feel free from your past angry reaction to hurt.  Repeat these words again and again believing in an omnipresent love that has shadowed you from the second of your conception until now.

We tell ourselves many stories about love or its absence and accept “pouting” behavior as a punitive response to our mind-talk of despair and pain. Stop the litany of hurt, banish the mental anguish of punishment (which you impose upon yourself instead of the other person) and find love.  Go to your birth state of mind, where there is no pain, resentment, anger or bitterness. Go back to where you only knew the pure realms of love. Go to your inner knowing of grace. Drink deep of the elixir of the certainty of boundless love.

Repeat I accept love, I am love, I forgive, I give love …..even as you hyperventilate through your resistance.  Forgive your Mother, the one you carried you to birth to live this life of peaceful inner happiness, right NOW. You have allowed the destructive spirit of un-forgiveness to wipe out your truer love for her. Clear out the bitterness NOW.   In spite of the pain, in spite of the loss of relationship with your Mother, in spite of your disappointment for not getting the love you expected from her, forgive and release right now.

We have all all been torn by pain, but the bounty is that you are still alive and have this time to forgive and forgo.

Love yourself NOW, love your Mother NOW. Open your heart to acceptance of her choice, which was not what you wanted. Maybe you will never know why or the myriad of reasons that seemed rational to her at the time. Whatever the case, your learning lesson for NOW is to openly forgive. You cannot recover one lost second of time, so dwelling on the past will never alter the choice you can make right now.

When you have gone through clearing your pain, then ask your heart what should you do. You are free from the agony of pestering doubt, you are released from the daggers of being left alone, you no longer carry anger and fear; you can only love your Mother from the presence of now.  Right now, you know exactly what the loving thing you must do. Whichever choice you make at this point-when your heart is covered with love-is the precious right thing for you to do.

“One word frees us of all the weight and pain of life: that word is love.” ~Sophocles

As you go into bereavement  and are considering whether to attend the ritual of her funeral, be thankful.  Have a heightened sense of thanks; take time to “be there” in radiant love. Give thanks for the eruption of your repressed emotions.  Take time to honor those who did or tried to love you as you expected them to. Reflect on what is good for you in your life and magnify that goodness to the ten thousandth degree. Illuminate the world with your goodness, brighten the corner where your are…right now.

I know that what I am saying is hard to accept at times especially when you feel the right thing is to hold on to the past. But detach, go out and render service, give a caring hand to someone without expectation of reciprocal returns.  Get away from your self; give love whether large or small and cherish the moment.  Exhibit your love. Have a love that surpasses all understanding. Lay all your affairs in the restful loving spirit of peace.  Do this for your Mother and for yourself.  Offer kindness and empathy to someone who may be downtrodden.

Then truly speak loving prayers for the progress of her soul.  Nothing is permanent, even death for that umbilical cord of shared oneness will never end.

Accept your emotional dichotomy and move on to acting out love in all ways and always. Be noble, know your love and be love.  Love is the only permanent answer.

Miracle Monday: Imagination

What a day this will be, great bounties I can already see in my mind all possibility.

image provided by Idea go

Imagination governs the human race according to Napoleon.  The use of visualization allows you to imagine and see your miracle.  You already use imagination a lot every day, but to make it a Monday Miracle exercise, let’s amplify its use. For a test answer the following questions:

  1. What is the color of your bedspread?
  2. Does the bedspread have flowers?

How did you do? I am sure you were 100% accurate because you used the strong power of your imagination to vividly recall the answers.  You can do this for anything. Test it out. You can “see” or imagine yourself doing anything in the future or you can use your imagination to capture photographic memories of the past.  When you imagine happy things, you create happy memories along with similar feelings to go along with them. When you think of past pain, the same is true – you can recreate those solemn feelings too.  But,  the useful difference is that with imagination you can choose to picture these feelings any way that you want.

The mind cannot tell the difference

between a real or a vividly imagined experience.

So with each happy imagination you can make each one a miracle when the image is BOLD, BRIGHT, VIVID, COLORFUL and filled with feelings of emotional intensity. For the somber imaginings you can minimize their emotional effect by doing the exact opposite. Make somber, sad imaginations DRAB, GRAY, SMALL and no longer add feelings when you see this drab past.  Each time you think with sadness, do not deny the feeling, rather de-color it in your mind and move it far away from present memory far into the distance and fade it out as a gray grainy picture of the past.

Make vivid what brings you joy. Imagine peaceful happiness today, make that your miracle.

Fantastic Friday

Life is precious and wonderful. You, and what you do for others, make it fantastic!

The Habeeb’u’llah family in South Dekalb county Georgia is fantastic. For the past 18 years this Mother, Father and son have operated “Umoja Souljahs and Project Aza Nia, free of charge and without government funding, at the Baha’i Unity Center, for youth – male and female – all around the community.  Let me share a piece of their story:

Vernada Habeeb’u’llah and her husband, Nasif, and their son Anthony saw a need right where they live – they saw a desperate segment of society lacking solutions to teen drop-out rates, increased teen pregnancies, teen violence, teen suicide, and overall despair almost at their doorstep.  They responded to the urgency by creating this youth program to counter the injuries of hopelessness. The core of the program is two fold: 1.) teach these kids, regardless of race, history as African American males and females to let them know they are descendents of kings and queens and 2.) to develop virtuous character within each child.

The impact was immediate. Grades and deportment drastically improved because every Friday they huddle in a circle and talk about grades and situations in their home and at school.  If there were incidents, they sit together in counsel and come to solutions. Soon each child would keep each other in check so that the bond of respect was tight. Max and his wife, Nadia, joined in as adult leaders. Not one girl in the group became pregnant over the years and not one boy was arrested – that’s fantastic. Each child has graduated high school and college and those still in elementary or middle or high school are model students.

We can make a difference in the world, right where we are.