i vow to fiercely love you
in all your forms, now and forever.
i promise to never forget,
that this is a once in a lifetime love.
i vow to love you, and no matter
what challenges might carry us apart,
we will always find our way back to each other…
whoever you are holding me now in hand,
without one thing all will be useless
I give you fair warning before you attempt me further,
I am not what you supposed, but far different.
who is he that would become my follower?
who would sign himself a candidate for my affections?
the way is suspicious, the result uncertain, perhaps destructive.
you would have to give up all else,
I alone would expect to be your sole and exclusive standard,
your novitiate would even then be long and exhausting,
the whole past theory of your life and all conformity to the
lives around you have to be abandoned
therefore release me now before troubling yourself any further
let go your hand from my shoulder,
put me down and depart on your way…
Values are those things, both tangible and intangible, which we care about the most. Most of us demonstrate by our actions that our values are mostly tangible or material. But if we were to reflect for a moment we might find that what we truly value is very intangible. Love, peace and happiness are our deepest values whether we are aware of it or not. So let’s experiment. If peace is something you value, then how will you live peacefully today. You experience what you live. So if you want peace in your life…give it and you’ll live it. Or do you prefer a bit of anger and stress? We are all artists and it’s only when we paint our own life with the innate values of our spirit, which are also our eternal virtues, that we are truly creative. Paint a little peace, love and wisdom into your life today. If you do, and you make it a regular inner activity, the giving is automatic and the living is…easy!
To a truly contented and enlightened soul everything in the world, which means the way the world is right now, is just fine. To the unenlightened and discontented soul this will sound like a massive avoidance. But think about it. Does the masterful actor go to the theatre for their evening performance, and on entering the stage start shifting the backdrop, altering the scenery and moving the props around? Of course not, they are totally concentrated on the role they need to create and play to the best of their ability. And so it is with the world. The backdrop to our life is the way things are at this moment in time. The props are exactly where they are meant to be at this moment in time. Many people spend their whole lives trying to change the backdrop and move the props around, little realising the futility of the exercise. Yes they may succeed in altering an angle here, a minute part of the picture there. But all at the cost of the focus and the energy needed to put on their best performance. Little did they realise that if they had fully focused on their performance and achieved their own highest standards of excellence, not only would those around them be immensely enriched, but the backdrop and the props of their life would have changed automatically, as the invitations roll in to perform their life elsewhere. Excellence is a much more powerful influence in the world than discontent. So everything is fine out there. No one said it’s perfect. But it is exactly the way it should be …at this moment. So here is the paradox of effective change – if you want to influence change for the better, then the most effective way to begin is with contentment with the way things are. The way things are, are the way things are meant to be!
Give happiness and you will receive happiness. Give peace and you will feel peaceful. Give sorrow and you will get sorrow in return. Create thoughts and words that give only peace and happiness. The world is filled with worry and sorrow. Do something different.
Take time to laugh, it is the music of the soul. Take time to think, it is the source of power. Take time to read, it is the fountain of wisdom. Take time to love and be loved, it is a God-given privilege. Take time to work, it is the price of success.
Solutions are never necessary because there are no problems, only our perception makes it seem so, and only our minds make our perceptions seem real. If there is a problem it is our perception. That is hard to see in a world that celebrates and rewards the finding and solving of ‘the problem’. When you decide that you will no longer perceive the problem, you will see only the facts or a situation. Facts are just facts and any and every situation can always be improved, unless it is in the past, then it’s just a memory, and memories are never a problem, are they? If you can cancel from the patterns of your perceptions, the very idea of ‘problem’ then you will not only be a positive thinker and positive proactive actor, you will be a leader.
Humility grows a little more each time I step away from my own feelings and opinions and genuinely listen to the experience of another human being. Humility is dedication to the extent that no acknowledgement is sought for the self. Only when I have learned to value others no more or less than I value myself can I be said to be truly humble.
The mind is like a parachute – it works best when it is open. How quickly we make assumptions and jump to conclusions. How easily we form and hold fast to our opinions. An open and understanding mind never assumes, doesn’t jump to conclusions and won’t hold fast to any opinion. Yet we know there are always many points of view (ing), and that seeing each one is much more rewarding, entertaining and enlightening.
Don’t give sorrow, don’t take sorrow! The qualities that stop me giving sorrow are mercy, love and honesty. If someone has these, they will never even think of giving sorrow. I need to be merciful not to give sorrow and I need to be strong in order not to take sorrow. In fact, the moment you stop taking sorrow, you days of happiness have begun. These are your eyes, ears and lips – it is up to you whether to take sorrow or not.
Become the image of generosity. Have a generous heart and a generous mind. The language of one with a generous heart is ‘You first’. Generosity means the generosity of enabling all souls to progress.
If there is any sadness I make a strong effort to be free of it quickly, otherwise it grows like a vine in the rainy season: by midday I will be confused; by evening a whole jungle of weak, wasteful and negative attitudes will have taken deep roots in my mind. The result equals chaos. Sometimes I reach a stage where the attitude is: “So what if I feel the blues today? It is my life; no one else will be affected”. Firstly, the more I allow myself to experience sorrow, the less time I have available to be happy and contented. It sounds ridiculously obvious, but am I aware of the value of happiness? It is an extremely rare commodity, and the cost goes sky high. Secondly, is it my life? Yes, I am living it, but am I not a member of a family or a co-worker with others, and am I not part of society? If so, then every movement affects and is affected by those around me.
We are all essentially made of virtue. Even the baddest person in the world will find time to do something good…at least once a year. If you conducted a straw poll on people’s preferences between peace and conflict the result would be predictable. The deepest meaning of human relationships isn’t hate, it’s love – we know that because we all seek it, and occasionally give it! But virtue is not so popular in these days of cynicism and disrespect. Vice is way out ahead in the world of human affairs. Lying, stealing, cheating, killing and insulting can be found at all levels of every society. Why? What made virtue lose its fashion, why did we collectively decide to surrender ourselves to vicious ways of living. Could it be down to one simple belief – survival of the fittest? Could it be the birth of desire and possession? Could it be that we started to think that we might not get what we wanted, or lose what we had? Could it be that we found others acting towards us in ways which were far from loving and caring? Probably yes to all of those as they are all interconnected. But we still have a choice and that choice will define the quality of our life – virtue or vice? Harmony or conflict? Love or fear? If we did not have that choice we would not be unique, individual beings with opportunity to know and exercise our free will. But seriously, if virtue and vice were standing trial and you were in the jury, who would you vote for. Which one would you ice? So make your choice and live your choice, it is much more relaxing. You did vote for virtue didn’t you?
When speaking to others we usually speak from our head, or intellect. Words spoken from the head rarely touch the hearts of others. This means they don’t create any impact and are soon forgotten. The solution lies in touching the hearts of others when I speak. To do that, I need to speak with my heart as well as my head and fill my words with love.
Never believe anyone who says we cannot change. Vision is one of the secrets of personal transformation. We are all artists, our mind is the arena of creation and vision is what we are constantly creating. What is your vision of yourself today – patient, relaxed, positive or tense, tight and negative? What do you prefer? So be creative – what does patience look like, feel like, what are you doing that is different when you are patient and you are expressing your power to …wait? Always start with vision not action. See it and you will be it. Be it and you will do it. This is how we create our own life.
Two heaped cups of patience, One heartful of love, Two handfuls of generosity One headful of understanding and a dash of humour, Sprinkle with kindness, add plenty of faith and mix well. Spread over a period of a lifetime and serve to everyone you meet.
When you extend pure love to everyone with selfless motivation that is an attitude of kindness. When you send good wishes and pure feelings to those who are in deep sorrow, that is an attitude of mercy. When you see the virtues rather than the weaknesses in people, that is an attitude of compassion. When you bless and uplift someone even as they defame you, that is an attitude of forgiveness. When you tolerate a situation and take responsibility as well as give cooperation even when not appreciated, that is an attitude of humility and self-respect. Every second, every moment and every breath of your life is nurtured by attitude.
Honesty does not mean simply speaking your mind. Honesty means to be very clear about everything going on inside you. Where there is honesty, feelings become pure and clean. Honesty is where there are no other thoughts or feelings inside, other than those that God himself would have. Such clarity is reflected in your words; they will be filled with the power of truth, and spoken with ease and without hesitation. The genuine honesty cultivated within you is what will reach out and touch others.
Generosity means more than just giving. It also means to cooperate with others. The greatest act of generosity is to see beyond the weaknesses and mistakes of others, helping them to recognise their innate value.
Rise above little things. Be a big thinker. You are what you think. So just think big, believe big, act big, dream big, work big, give big, forgive big, laugh big, image big, love big, live big. Carry that list and you’ll start feeling big. Be a believer and you’ll be an achiever.
Walk quickly today, not because you are in a hurry, but because you value the exercise for legs and heart. As you walk, allow your thoughts to visit you, but not stay. Let them come to pass, and you will be surprised how quickly they become positive, and filled with creative ideas. And paradoxically, if you stay internally aware, you may notice that the quicker you walk, the more your thinking slows down and deepens. Walking briskly and positive thinking – that’s the simplest way to take care of body and mind. And life was meant to be simple…wasn’t it?
The foundation of all spiritual growth and personal development is the awakening of self-awareness. Most people however are not yet self-aware, and the majority of those, are not aware that they are not aware. Self awareness is easy and begins with simply taking a mental step back, and observing your thoughts, feelings, attitudes and actions. Whenever you do you learn about our self and the basis of personal change and growth is always learning. Step back, what do you see, what enters your awareness? What does it tell you? What does it show you about yourself? Don’t judge it, just see it. Don’t run away from what you see just watch it. Accept it. Allow whatever is happening within your thoughts and feelings just to be. And suddenly you will find that inner peace which surpass all pleasure.