Choose the Stream

We have all seen televangelists or motivational speakers. Some of them seem to have the same smile on their face constantly. I find that kind of perennial “happy go lucky” or “everything is just wonderful all the time” attitude incredibly unbelievable. No one is happy all the time.

When we admit that the only constant in the universe is change we also realize that “shift” happens and we are not always going to like it. In the Science of Mind philosophy we do not ignore the facts. Ernest Holmes taught us that our experience is as real as we need it to be.

That does not mean, however, that thinking nice thoughts or spouting trite affirmations will make everything in our world hunky dory. We can be so metaphysically high that we are no earthly good. We chose on some level to be in human form. Because of that fact we must acknowledge the physical part of our being. We then decide just how real we need the physical part to be.

Gravity is one of those physical parts. I would love to fly through the air like Superman, but since that is not likely to happen I tend to shy away from the edges of tall buildings and sheer drop-offs. It does not mean I cannot learn to hang-glide or get on an airplane. We learn to change the things we can and accept the things we cannot. One way of doing this is to “go with the flow.”

One thing to remember about going with the flow is that dead fish can go with the flow. Aligning ourselves with the universe does not mean we must ride along in life and take what we can get, becoming bruised and bloody from hitting all the rocks while going downstream. Science of Mind teaches us to choose our experience. In this case, we get to choose the stream when we go with the flow.

Going with the flow of life also eliminates much of the stress that we heap upon ourselves in modern society. I am writing this at this particular time because the program I was going to watch on TV is unavailable – the satellite is down due to a thunderstorm. I can spend the next hour trying to get through to our satellite provider and create an immense amount of stress while being on hold or dealing with a call service center. Or, I can assume that it will be corrected later in the day, sit down to write my blog for this week and then play with the cats.

Will the stream you choose take you to the sewage plant or a sea of opportunity? Will you choose an exciting life by shooting the rapids or the tranquility and safety of a pristine lake? Neither answer is correct. You are empowered to choose any possibility and enjoy the outcome or experience the consequences. I hope you appreciated the stream I chose this afternoon!

In Spirit, Truth and Playfulness,

Terry

True Prosperity

I once heard a wonderful definition for American prosperity: Buying things you don't want with money you don't have to impress people you don't like.

I mean seriously … just how “much” DO we need? Life can be such a dichotomy. In March in Pennsylvania we saw one of the largest Mega Millions jackpots while locally school districts throughout the Commonwealth are dealing with cutbacks and layoffs.

The countries of the world spend billions of dollars on military offensive and defensive maneuvering purportedly to make the world a better place to live for people who do not have enough to eat and lack healthcare.

Young and old alike can look at the present financial projections for the coming decades and wonder if we will have what we need to survive as we enter retirement. Some of us, like those in the Congo, Libya and too many other countries including our own, might even wonder if we will have enough for tomorrow.

But what really is “enough”? We can look at current world events and use them as a wakeup call for our western thinking about prosperity and supply. As a metaphysician I know that there is always “enough”. The Universe is abundant and lacks for nothing. That, however, is hardly comforting to the senior living alone and hungry, or parents who cannot afford adequate shelter for their children.

The answer is not to throw money at the problem or argue whether our political party has a better idea. What we can all do is look at what we have, appreciate and bless it, and then share it with those we see in need to the best of our ability. Prosperity is not money. Money is only a convenient way for us to share resources in modern society.

Let go of solving all the problems in the world or worrying yourself sick thinking about it. Do what you can locally and personally to make the world a better place. Give something of value to someone in need today. It can be as simple as a smile, which, if memory serves me correctly, costs nothing but a little effort.

In Spirit, Truth and Playfulness,

Terry

“With All Due Respect…”

Have you ever used the phrase, “With all due respect?” You have haven’t used it yourself you may have heard it in a TV program, probably uttered by an indignant subordinate unsuccessfully attempting to assert him- or herself, or perhaps two attorneys vying for position in a heated discussion.

It is what we hear after “With all due respect…” that is more telling than the phrase itself. What follows the phrase is frequently anything but respectful. Often those words are just what precedes one person telling another that they are full of crap and their comments, logic, reasoning or beliefs are totally ridiculous.

Respect? Hardly. “With all due respect…” is just a political correct, formal or pseudo-polite way of telling someone else they are off their rocker (or worse). It’s also a bit of a cop-out. Why? Because by using it the person is tip-toeing around what might be a very controversial or confrontational situation. It is a passive/aggressive technique that can be used to serve up a double, sugar-coated exclamation of bile, with a knife-in-the-back chaser. Using the phrase sets us up as being above the situation, but there’s one big problem with that: Setting yourself up high without a firm foundation upon which to stand is a recipe for being knocked down – with or without politeness.

How do you disagree with someone without being disagreeable or cause further confrontation? Using “With all due respect…” is an offensive maneuver, challenging the other person by promoting our own agenda over their own. There are another ways, which are neither offensive nor defensive.

One method is to simply say, “Really?” Understand that the voice inflection on that one word can make a world of difference! It must be a sincere query into the statement of the other person, not accompanied by an acerbic smirk. Another way is to make an inquiry about the statement. “Tell me more”, “Is that really how you feel?”, or “What makes you think that?” are all excellent ways to indicate we are listening to the other person and sincerely interested in their viewpoint.

We will never agree with everyone all the time. It is our differences and diversity that create a full, colorful and vibrant world. Learning to live with those differences of opinion, decorating styles and choices of lifestyles will enable us to live peaceful yet exciting lives.

In Spirit, Truth and Playfulness,

Terry

Snarky, Snide and Sarcastic

We all have our unique ways of expressing ourselves. We can also make ourselves pretty miserable trying to get others to express themselves the same way. Ashleigh Brilliant once wrote that “I need a map of your mind to avoid the most dangerous areas.” Wouldn’t that be helpful!

Some people have a very off-the-wall sense of humor. A person like that can be fun to be around and most entertaining. It is often difficult, however, to engage that same person in a serious conversation.

Humor is one way of expressing ourselves in tense situations to lessen the seriousness of the circumstances by taking the edge off. It is when humor turns into snarky remarks, snide innuendoes and sarcastic rhetoric that misunderstanding and hurt occur.

People who resort to a flip or arrogant answer to the simplest question are attempting to show they are in control and superior. It is important, particularly for the victims of such a sharp tongue, to understand just the opposite is true. The truly confident need not prove themselves to anyone; thinking oneself superior to others is a recipe for disaster. The psalmist admonished us to “safeguard [our] tongue against what is bad, and [our] lips again speaking deception.” (Ps. 34:13)

Does it really feel that good to always be the one with the “zinger” response that shuts down the other person? A person who is secure in him- or herself does not need to make others feel stupid, unappreciated or insignificant. The individual who is truly confident has the ability to understand others, communicate effectively and listen to people around them without any need to put down friends, family or colleagues.

We live in very busy times. One way to deal with the madness in which many of us find ourselves in is to stop and give the person with whom we are talking our full and undivided attention. No finishing that last email while chatting on the phone with a loved one – the email can wait until you are done with your conversation.

Be present in the moment with love, understanding and appreciation of others. Taking the time to listen to what others are saying (and not saying) will enable us to respond with joy instead of a hurtful, snarky quip.

In Spirit, Truth and Playfulness,

Terry