IT’S A GREAT DAY! – success

“To leave the world a bit better, whether by healthy child, a garden patch, or redeemed social condition; to know even one life has breathed easier because you live – that is to have succeeded.” RALPH WALDO EMERSON

Do you compare to others?  Car?  House?  Money?  Designer clothes?  Do you base your personal success on that comparison?

STOP!  Just stop.  Our Western culture has fed all of us a pack of lies regarding success.  As a result you probably work more than you need in order to buy things you don’t really need.  And whom are you impressing?  The Joneses most likely don’t give a hoot about that shiny new car or your spouse’s wardrobe.  In the end when one makes an accounting of one’s life, all of us, yes every single one, will go wherever we believe we are going without a stitch of designer jeans, no fancy ride, and not one of those gleaming diamonds purchased with hard work and sacrifice.  Nada, zilch, nothing!

Then what will we take across into the next phase?  Perhaps integrity, compassion, stewardship, honesty, conscience?  How about selflessness?  What good have we done for this creation?  The preservation of natural habitats, the protection of wildlife, the concern for the homeless, the compassion for immigrants, the love for the arts,  the kind word to a lonely man, the dedication to peace, the restrictions on personal consumption are all ways to view our lives as astonishing successes no matter how small or how grand.

Don’t fall for the world’s allure.  It is fleeting and destructive.  It will not satisfy your need to feel successful.  Today is the first day of the rest of your life.  It’s a great day whether spent in an elegant mansion or a modest apartment, whether the ride to town is a limo or a bicycle, whether the jeans are Jordache or WalMart.  Stuff does not matter.  Repeat that a dozen times as you compose today’s gratitude list.

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IT’S A GREAT DAY! – rivers of life

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Did the Colorado River cut through rock creating the Grand Canyon by sheer strength?  Did it happen overnight?  No, of course not.  One of the most awesome land sculptures on earth was created over eons of persistent erosion.  Millions have viewed this spectacular landscape, some have tried to conquer its raw natural power, a few have died failing to match wits with the imposing rock walls and the mighty river flowing through the canyon.

Persistence!  Not strength, not brawn, not physical power.  Our goals in life will be accomplished with rivers of intentional persistence.  Yesterday’s commitments to healthy habits and attitudes must be pursued again today.  There is no room for stagnation in pursuing our goals whether those goals be mental, spiritual or physical.  Our rivers of determination will stop flowing and become dammed up when filled with past baggage and emotional silt.  Muscles and joints which tell us, ‘No, stop,”  must not be entertained with inactivity.  Especially those of us experiencing the ‘golden years’ cannot stop intentional forward motion.

As always, this is a choice to be made every morning upon arising.  Greet the morning with a smile, a ‘thank you’, a brief gratitude list, a hug to your spouse or cat or dog, and a stretch to the dawning day ahead welcoming goodness and strength into the waking hours.  Receive the blessings which flow and the gift of grace to enjoy another 24 hours.  It’s all ours for the asking.  The alternative is to wallow with inaction, suffer the aches and pains, dread the day’s drudgery, look forward to an end to this self-imposed misery.  It’s our choice.

What’s your river going to do today?  Flow bravely and erode just a bit more those walls of stone?  I hope so.  I intend to live life fully in the face of obstacles and mental dams.  If I fall down, I will bounce back up.  If I see someone else fall down, I will help them back up.  We can claim victory when the last breath is drawn.  We can say with conviction, “I defeated you, death, and will continue on into eternity knowing I gave this life my best effort.”

Join me, will you?

“Where, O death, is your victory?  Where, O death is your sting?”  1 Corinthians 15:55

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IT’S A GREAT DAY! – ‘individuated’

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“The second half of life presents a rich possibility for spiritual enlargement, for we are never going to have greater powers of choice, never have more lessons of history from which to learn, and never possess more emotional resilience, more insight into what works for us and what does not, or a deeper, sometimes more desperate, conviction of the importance of getting our life back….” (1)

richard rohrRichard Rohr nails it, my friends.  We now have experience on our side, emotional maturity, insight and conviction.  Taking our life back from the clutches of family, friends, clergy, co-workers, tribe, and ego is the end result of becoming what the supreme universal energy has intended for us from the beginning.  It is a concept presented by Swiss psychiatrist Carl Jung as individuation – not self-indulgence or individualism, rather surrender of our ego’s agenda of security and emotional reinforcement in favor of humbling service to the soul’s intent.

Do you know what the soul’s intent is?  Do I?  Some could say, “Yes, of course.  My faith, my theology, my religion has taught me everything I need to know about soul.”

Really?  Then you would also know that your soul’s intent is for you to have a meaningful experience today and every day for the rest of your life.  Yes, the dark valleys will appear, the depression will knock, the sorrows will challenge, but any day in which you have awakened to the miracle of life and expressed appreciation to the God named according to your faith walk, is a great day.  Even darkness must give way to light, life’s uncertain vagaries will be overcome by understanding, and inconceivable circumstances will bow to positive action. “This too shall pass” is not just a cliche.  It is truth.  Claim it as yours.

Take control each morning of the day’s mindset before engaging in whatever activity you need to accomplish.  Don’t just roll the dice taking chances with the day’s outcome; instead, direct your mind upon arising to positive thoughts and a realization that what occurs in the first moments of wakefulness will set the tone for the entire day.  Envision yourself as being victorious over all difficulties and celebratory in all accomplishments.  See yourself handling confrontation with family and co-workers effectively and it will happen.  Picture yourself enjoying your day on the beach and it will happen.  Feel the satisfaction of finishing the household project awaiting and it will happen.  What you project onto the day’s activity will prevail.

Meditation, motivational videos, yoga, light exercise, inspirational reading are all great ways to start a great day.  Those few minutes or hours are an investment in successful living as a joyful, contented child of that eternal, universal force flowing throughout the entirety of creation.  Grab onto this power by creating your day rather than enduring it.  Believe unabashedly that the choice is yours.  You and I can make it the day we want.  We can also make it the day we don’t want.  What a realization!  We are powerful and dynamic forces in our worlds.  Have a great day!

(1) CAC.ORG

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IT’S A GREAT DAY! – Ilia Delio

We must consciously evolve; we must orient our being toward new life and growth because the unity that we really are, the deep connective tissue of oneness, will not let us rest with separateness. Ilia Delio

(Ilia Delio is a Franciscan Sister of Washington, DC, and American theologian specializing in the area of science and religion, with interests in evolution, physics, and neuroscience and the import of these for theology. Ilia Delio)

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We cannot allow the insanity in the world to alter our destiny, our inherent design.  Ancient literature reinforces the truth that we are made in miraculous fashion following the pattern of the Maker.  We are the image of that very same energy which permeates every being, every creature, every organism on earth.  We are cosmic, we are universal, we are filled with the same intentional love and compassion that originally designed mankind in the beginning.  We are one with the One.

Wake up this morning to those fantastic truths.  Don’t deny your heritage.  Don’t slight your innate divinity.  Grab this new day with gusto and live as if you are loved more than anything on this earth.  Love yourself unconditionally and magnificently.  Look into your reflection and repeat the words, “I am worthy, I am wonderful, I am deserving of the best life imaginable.”

And then, go do it.  Make today the beginning of a new you, one never imagined before in your wildest dreams.  Chase after your dream and claim it for yourself.  Nobody can stop you unless you give them the power to do so.  Don’t squander what God has instilled in you.  In this mystery of earthly existence, the ignorance of the world will challenge your peace of mind, your integrity of soul, and your resolve to rise above the insanity.  But you have the power to say, “No!  I will not accept this in my life.  Stop!”

We will pass through valleys of darkness which we do not understand.  Hatred, intolerance, unfathomable violence will stand before us in attempts to make us doubt our heritage and destiny, that we are not very special at all.  It’s a lie.  It is not the pattern by which we were eternally designed.

We must fix our eyes on the future, on forging new relationships of love that include the earth, all peoples, all religions, all planets and all galaxies. Ilia Delio

This new day has your name on it.  Claim it and make it yours.  Love yourself in all your activity, accept yourself as perfect in this moment, know without doubt that the eyes in the mirror are filled to capacity with insight.  Trust that you will create a great day, that wonderful things will fill your day, that you will infect others with joy and peace.  It is going to be a blockbuster day.smiley 3