Having Trouble Being Thankful?

Have you been seeing more problems around you lately? It’s hard to think of a time in the past when it seems the entire world was so upset. If we continue to feed our minds on all the slanted and bias stories in the media this agitation can greatly affect our personal lives.thanksgiving-blog

There is an old metaphysical principle that states what we focus on increases. The question is, How we can stay informed, but not allow that knowledge to paralyze us in life? There are two main ways we can do this.

FIRST:  Be mindful of how we are spending our time. It’s so easy to get caught up in the media hype and often fake news reports. We can ask ourselves if what we are hearing applies to us; or, is it just what amounts to a juicy piece of gossip that will lead us away from our own vision and mission in life?

SECOND:  Find things in our lives for which to be thankful. This doesn’t mean we run around with a perennial smile on our face, oblivious to the issues in our lives or the problems in our community. It does mean that we begin to give thanks for what’s working in our lives instead of everything else that other people and mass marketers want us to focus on.

By cultivating what we desire in our lives, instead of constantly looking for the next worst thing online, we set a firm foundation of peace that allows us to more fully serve others around us. For more information on how this is possible, have a look at my article in the November issue of “Guide for Spiritual Living:  Science of Mind® magazine,” entitled “The Path to Gratitude.” Email me for a free copy!

The coming weeks before year’s end will place us in celebrations of love, family and friendship. Whether or not we will allow recent and current events to affect our experience is up to us!

In Spirit, Truth and Playfulness,
Terry

#DrTerryMakingSense
#IAN1
@TerryDKaranen

When Abundance Becomes Clutter

What is your personal idea of abundance? First-world thinking about this is far different than what we find in third-world countries. More technologically-advanced countries tend to allow marketing and advertising to dictate what abundance means, while less-developed areas find joy in a simpler life-style.

We don’t have to fall into the corporate trap of “more is better.” Magazines, for example, abound on store shelves claiming the best way to lose weight or gain muscle. The vast majority of these articles have nothing to do with reality or scientific fact. What they do have is a sincere and dynamic desire on the part of the publishers to sell magazines.

Similarly, we are bombarded by ads on TV and now even on our mobile devices. Once again, these ads are devised to get us to buy products, even if the purchase is clouded in the reasoning that doing so will somehow better our lives or pocketbooks.

As the animals in the northern hemisphere prepare for winter we observe frantic gathering around us. How closely do we reflect this frenetic activity in the accumulations of possessions?  There’s nothing wrong with having our stuff. Our stuff, whatever that stuff is, is fun! We live on the human plane; that means we get to play with all the material things that give us joy.

But at some point the stuff is all just … well … STUFF! This is the perfect time of the year to wind down and see exactly what it is we want to take through the winter with us into a new year.cluter

Look around at just one area of your life. That can be your desk, maybe a closet or a whole room. Whatever you choose, make it manageable so as to not overwhelm yourself. There’s an old metaphysical saying that the Universe abhors a vacuum. In other words, the Universe will fill the space if we make it available.

The problem is no two things can occupy the same space at the same time. If we are to experience more abundance and joy in our lives we must make time and space for those things. The clutter we see around us is gunk and clogs up the flow of our prosperity. Take some time to de-gunk your life – the blessings we receive in return are amazing!

In Spirit, Truth and Playfulness,
Terry

#DrTerryMakingSense
#IAN1
@TerryDKaranen

Terry Drew Karanen © 2016

Who Controls Your Happiness?

This week's blog is a reprint of my column, “Making Sense of Life,” from the November/December issue of "Central Voice" newspaper. I hope it will provide you some peace of mind now and in the coming year.

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How are you feeling about your future? Your answer may be greatly influenced by whether you are reading this article before or after the Presidential Election! As I write my column for this issue we are still several weeks away from that event. What will the future bring?

What the coming decades hold for us are partially tied to this country’s selection of its new Commander in Chief. More important than that, however, is how we will choose to act or react to the possibilities for us in the next four years. We exist as victims if we live our lives in reactive mode, allowing events and circumstances outside our control to determine our mood, our attitude or our future.

It was Eleanor Roosevelt who admonished us that no one has the power to makes us feel inferior unless we give them that right. The active, empowered person reviews the situation and takes action to the best of her or his ability given the circumstances.

For some people in the U.S., particularly the LGBTQ communities among so many others, that could mean drastic change. Depending on the outcome of the Presidential Election, some might find Canada, Costa Rica, New Zealand or other countries to be safer for the near future. Those are certainly options, should one feel so inclined. However, would a new president be enough reason to make such a drastic change?

For a moment, step back from any political changes in government that will or have occurred, and think instead about your everyday life. What constitutes a “good” day from a “bad” day? It is good because you got your way, everyone agreed with you and all the lights were green? Does a bad day happen your plans imploded, someone challenged you or you hit every red light [on the way to work]?

This is not about whether or not we have a positive attitude or are constantly “looking on the bright side” of life. It’s about our priorities. Road rage is apparently on the uptick in recent years. Some driver cuts us off and we take it personally, not knowing that they are rushing to the hospital because their child was just admitted to surgery.

Even if something that dramatic isn’t the case and the guy’s just a total jerk, well, SO WHAT?!? Do we really want to give away our power to be happy to some inconsiderate, nincompoop who we’ll probably never see again? The same is true for those of us who have been attacked – physically or emotionally. By staying in the trauma of a mugging, rape or passive-aggressive behavior and refusing to get help to move beyond the pain to the healing, we are victimizing ourselves all over again, while the perpetrator fails to receive any of our angst.

Would you be willing to stop and take at least three very deep breaths the next time you feel totally annoyed? I’ve been literally run over by another shopper [at the grocery store], who then apologized most profusely. I might have liked to have let loose a slew of superlatives she’d not ever heard in public, but there’s a standard response I prefer to use:  “No worries, but thank you for saying so. I mean, compared to world peace, how important is this?”

This is not to minimize horrible situations in our lives or deride people for scars we all carry from the past. It is, however, a call-to-action for us to get our priorities straight (relatively speaking for some of us…ahem) with how happy we want to be. If we live our lives seeking to prove how victimized, sorrowful or inept we are (and people do … you know who they are!), then we need professional help. Life is too long to be lived in sadness, depression, anxiety and want, particularly when we believe that it’s all because of forces outside ourselves we can’t control.

Truthfully, there’s a lot in our lives that is out of our control:  the weather, my husband’s smoking, people who don’t R.S.V.P to a party and the woman with the Hummer who takes up three spaces [in the parking lot]. So will we choose to concentrate our focus on that over which we have no control?

Or, will we decide to take empowered action to live each day to the fullest, being responsible for our own happiness, success, prosperity and fulfillment. Either way the choice is ours. We have freedom of choice – but not of consequence – so choose wisely!