A Lesson in Mindfulness

Bob and I have a very nice laundry room in our home.  I did not realize how spoiled we were until the dryer went out.  We live full-time at a lakeside resort and there is a laundry room on the property.  In fact it is less than a block from our house.  But I quickly learned that dragging hampers full of wet laundry even a short distance in not fun.  The first two times I tried I hurt my back and neck.  After weighing my options I decided to take the laundry into town when I took Bob to the YMCA and dry the clothes at the laundromat while I waited for Bob.  Seemed like a great idea.  In fact earlier this week the laundry was all washed and ready to go when Bob decided he was not up to the Y.  Not wanting to drive into town just to dry clothes I decided to schlep them down to the laundry room.  But this time I did something different.

So what did I do?  The first two times I was trying to dry clothes while also trying to work online and prepare lunch, with frequent trips back and forth between home and laundry room.  It was a mess.  I was a mess.  Everything got done, but not well.  When I was finished I was in pain.

So… this time I decided to devote my full time and attention to the laundry.  I sat down and waited for the clothes to dry.  I read magazines.  I drank a bottle of water and had a nice conversation with a neighbor who came in to wash her clothes.  What I had been seeing as a burdensome chore became a welcome break.  And since I was not worried about getting everything done at once, my muscles did not tense up when I picked up the laundry baskets, and I was not in pain.

Another gentle reminder of how we create our own reality and a good lesson in living in the present moment.

Seeing with New Eyes

Copyright 2015 by R.A. Robbins

Yesterday morning as I was walking toward the lake I stopped suddenly with a “Whoa… Cool!”  The beauty of the morning mist hovering over the lake stopped me in my tracks.  This is not an everyday occurrence,  but it is also not that rare.  It does leave me in awe every time I see it however.

I continued on and stopped for a minute to take a moment to soak in the beauty of the moment.  When I turned back to the trail I saw someone on their porch and said, “I was just admiring the mist on the lake.”  He looked out and had obviously not noticed it.  Then I said while pointing, “That bank of clouds over there looks like it is actually touching the lake.”  He then paused for a minute, looking, and said. “Yeah, it does… Cool!”

As I continued on my walk, I realized that this is what my life is all about.  Living my life, walking in the truth and sharing it in gentle and subtle ways as I go.  I need to be reminded of that a lot.  When we first moved here people laughed at me… a lot.  I was just that crazy woman who walked all the time.  But now after watching me for three years I am seeing people making changes in their own lives to become more healthy and mindful.  Our best teachings come not from our words, but from the way we live.

As an artist I believe it is my joy, pleasure and responsibility to let people get a glimpse of the world through this artist’s eyes.  In fact all awakened beings share in this, artists or not.  It is only through seeing glimpses of what life not only can be but is if we only open our eyes to it that people will begin to realize the reality that they have created for themselves does not have to be so.

So as you walk through this life be open to your own opportunities to see the world through new eyes.  Live and walk in truth and love and others may have the same opportunity through you.

Fighting Against or Living For?

Lakewood Driveway Copyright 2015 by R.A. Robbins
Lakewood Driveway
Copyright 2015 by R.A. Robbins

Two and a half years ago Bob and I moved to the lake.  At first it was “paradise.”  Then some major changes around here brought us back to reality and reminded us that life has its challenges and people are people no matter where you live.

The biggest challenge for me has been staying young and healthy in body, mind and spirit while surrounded by people who are older and believe sickness is an inevitable part of aging. In fact certain illnesses and major surgeries seem to be badges of honor and rights of passage.

During this time I have often found myself feeling that I was fighting against negativity, stereotypes of aging and yes sometimes even people.  I have often talked with Bob about the struggle to maintain my healthy lifestyle.

Then something happened that made me realize I had it all wrong. Instead of fighting against I should see myself as living for something greater.  Instead of fighting against sickness and negativity I should be living for wellness, light, love and focusing on the positive.  It may seem like a very slight shift but if we look at it closely the difference is huge.

The same applies to life in the wider world.  Are we fighting against the negative forces in the world today or are we living for light, love, peace, acceptance, and creating a better world for all?

What are you fighting against?  How can you flip that into living for something greater?

 

101 Positive rEsources: Affirmations and Compassion

Remember that resource list I published here some time ago?  Well it just sat there on it’s own page with only a handful of people ever looking at it.

During this difficult time I know people will be needing these resources more than ever making it important to get them out where people will be able to find them.  So beginning today and running until the end of the year, every Monday I will post a few of these resources.  At the bottom of each weeks list will be a link to the previous weeks.

Now, what can you do to help get the word out?

  1. Like and comment on the post to let me know you’ve been here.
  2. Post a link on social media.
  3. Re-blog this on your blog.
  4. Tell your friends.

Positive thinking and healthy living do not come automatically to most people.   As with learning any new skill it takes practice.   There are also resources and tools that can help.  These are a few of our favorites.  The links will open in a new window.

AFFIRMATIONS:

#1 Creative Affirmations – Affirmations to help live the best you.

#2 Daily Positive Affirmations – A free positive affirmation every day.

#3 Everyday Affirmations – Daily positive affirmations.

#4 Psalms and Affirmations – Affirmations from the book of Psalms.

#5 Vital Affirmations – Using positive affirmations for change.

#6 True Affirmations  – Weekly affirmations by e-mail to help change your reality by changing how you think.

COMPASSION:

#7 Charter for CompassionJoin to make compassion a clear, luminous and dynamic force in our polarized world.

#8 Compassion it.  – Turning compassion into a verb – an action.

Saying YES to Love and NO to Fear: Part 2

Scriptures and holy books may be used for both good and evil.  We see the words from sacred texts of different faiths and traditions being used to justify hatred and killing and to instill fear and even push followers toward violent action.  But these same texts also inspire goodness, holiness, love, grace and peace. So what are we to believe?
The Christian Scriptures have a lot to say about fear.  The words “fear not” appear throughout the Bible.  These are a few of the scriptures I turn to when facing fear.

Fear not, little flock; for it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom. —  Luke 12:32 

For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind. – 2 Timothy 1:7
For ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear; but ye have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father. — Romans 8:15
There is no fear in love; but perfect love casteth out fear: because fear hath torment. He that feareth is not made perfect in love.  — 1 John 4:18

Are not five sparrows sold for two farthings, and not one of them is forgotten before God? But even the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Fear not therefore: ye are of more value than many sparrows. — Luke 12:6-7 
Hebrews 13:5-6 King James Version (KJV)  Let your conversation be without covetousness; and be content with such things as ye have: for he hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee. So that we may boldly say, The Lord is my helper, and I will not fear what man shall do unto me.
Fear thou not; for I am with thee: be not dismayed; for I am thy God: I will strengthen thee; yea, I will help thee; yea, I will uphold thee with the right hand of my righteousness. — Isaiah 41:10
Ye shall not fear them: for the Lord your God he shall fight for you. — Deuteronomy 3:22
And he saith unto them, Why are ye fearful, O ye of little faith? Then he arose, and rebuked the winds and the sea; and there was a great calm. — Matthew 8:26

And he said unto them, Why are ye so fearful? how is it that ye have no faith? — Mark 4:40

And finally…  whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things. — Philippians 4:8
I used Bible Gateway to search for these scriptures because it is easier, quicker and more reliable than counting on my memory or using a concordance.  These should all be King James Version (just because I love the beauty of the language).

Saying YES to Love and NO to Fear — Part 1

Everyone’s biggest enemy in the world right now is fear.  It is the cause of increased  isolation, the planned closing of borders, and citizens arming themselves.  We are turning against each other out of fear.  We are making irrational decisions out of fear.  We are blindly following leaders who are fanning the flames of fear to gain power.  We think we are being persecuted because someone disagrees with us.  We believe we are being brave and bold by arming ourselves and preparing for battle. When will it stop, or will we destroy ourselves, our country and our world — through fear?
It will only stop when we say a resounding “NO!” to fear.  I know this is not easy,  I struggle with it everyday.  We must remember that we create our own reality with our thoughts and we are capable of bringing our greatest fears into reality.  I see this happening in the world now.  But the good news is that we can also use our thoughts to create a new positive reality.
So how do we stand up to fear?  With love.  That’s it.  Yes, it really is that simple.  Say a resounding “YES!” to love and “NO!” to fear.
How do we resist falling prey to the negative hype, hoopla and fear mongering?  We gain control of our thoughts and our emotions.  Not so easy.  Pray, meditate, surround yourself with loving, positive people, memorize scriptures, mantras, affirmations, whatever it takes which helps to give you the reminders of assurance you need to obtain and maintain peace within yourself.  If you are disturbed by the impending election in the U.S. check out Meditate the Vote.  Scroll down if content does not appear at the top of the page.
How do we react to the craziness of this world?  First we resist fear, anger, violence and the urge to respond with violence.  Seem impossible?  Tell me about it.  We cannot stand for truth, love and peace if we respond to hatred, fear and violence in like-kind.
How do we stay strong?  Remember who and whose you are.  You are a child of the living God (created in God’s image and likeness), a citizen of God’s Kingdom.  Surround yourself with the white light of God’s presence and protection, pray, meditate, and live in the light and love of God.
How do I say no to fear when I am surrounded by people who are giving in to it?  Good news: Not everyone is giving in to fear.  People are awakening to their spiritual calling every day.  We are out there.  It’s time to start looking for each other and come together.  No one is alone in this spiritual endeavor; the enlightened ones and the awakening do exist, but they may show up in unexpected places.
Bob and I are coordinating our posts today.  Please go to Espirational Faith to read his beautiful poem “I AM.”
Tomorrow:  Saying YES to Love and NO to Fear Part 2