Hurry Up and Wait

What do you do when you can’t do anything about an uncomfortable situation? As I am writing this I am sitting in an airport terminal without electricity and that includes air conditioning. In addition, the airline’s computer systems have gone down in three major cities, thereby causing a stoppage of all flights in the majority of their system.

Passengers are looking at two-to-four hour delays and missed connections, resulting in cancelled plans. Everyone wants answers, but no one has any to give. What do you do?

Some people are screaming at the agents who, of course, have no access to any information since there is no electricity to power the computers. Others are lamenting the situation, 20150917_104530 (2)since “this happens every time I fly.” A few are sitting quietly, reading materials they’ve thought ahead to bring with them, catching up on email or taking the opportunity for a nap.

Each and every day we are faced with delays and situations not to our liking. The line at the grocery store takes longer than we want. We are stuck on hold when speaking to a customer service rep. Or, the answers we await from loved ones are not forthcoming.

How we choose to act in situations now affects how our experience later. As I sit in this airport terminal I can almost see the blood pressure and anxiety level rising in people around me. But, I can also see people who are calm, at peace and finding something to enjoy in the moment.

Some people believe that denying the unpleasantries of life will somehow make them go away. Ernest Holmes didn’t believe that. He said,

It’s silly, to me, for people to say that sickness isn’t sickness – of course it is; or poverty isn’t poverty – of course it is. But that doesn’t mean it has to be.

We have freedom of choice, but not of consequence. The freedom to become upset and angry will inevitably lead to making our circumstances more unpleasant for us and everyone around us. Conversely, going with the flow and making the best of an uncomfortable situation could open doors to us we might never have imagined.

The choice, of course, is ours. What will you choose? Let me know in the comments below – I have to board the plane!

In Spirit, Truth and Playfulness,

Terry

#drterrymakingsense
#theglobalvision
#aworldthatworksforeveryone

Where Do You Draw the Line?

Do you like surprises? Your answer probably depends on what the surprise would be. I was recently someone’s “surprise” and she was not pleased at all!

When the weather permits I read my spiritual materials and have my morning meditation outside. That was the case last week. I had just finished my meditation when I opened my eyes to find myself staring at a little chipmunk who’d just run out from under the chipmunk hydrangea. She was apparently quite shocked to find me in her way, stopped mid-path, darted across the patio in the opposite direction and down the hole into her den. I found it quite amusing, but then I think chipmunks are quite cute.

Groundhogs, however, don’t fit in the category of cute. An adolescent groundhog decided to make her den under our deck. I’ve seen what kind of destruction her species can do to structures, so she has been humanely relocated to an undisclosed, wooded area near a remote cornfield in Mechanicsburg, PA.

Both the chipmunk and the groundhog are wild, furry and burrowers. So what’s the groundhog2difference? We drew the line at the ground hog and put her into our “varmint relocation program” because her continued residence here was leading to destruction of our property. It got me thinking were it is I draw the line in other areas of my life.

I suppose it boils down to what we are willing to put up with in our lives. The chipmunk, at least for the present, appears harmless, but the groundhog is not. We’ve put up with the groundhog for a while, but in recently re-painting the deck I was able to find just how entrenched she’d become. Not pretty.

Our lives can be that way, too. We can put up with the most annoying situations. We may just be too lazy to do anything about them. We may not want to upset others. But then something happens and we decide enough is enough. We get sick and tired of being sick and tired.

Ridding ourselves of the toxic people and unhealthy situations in our lives is not nearly as easy as baiting a trap with cantaloupe and relocating a furry animal. I invite you to take a moment or two today to see if you have any annoying “groundhog” situations in your life. Have you gotten to that point of “enough is enough?” Are you ready to rid yourself of what no longer serves you? If so, decide today how to lovingly change that situation with integrity. It’s time, don’t you think?

In Spirit, Truth and Playfulness,

Terry

Yapping and Whining

Do you notice the way other people in your life act or react? I’m not saying “judge,” I’m saying “notice.” In the past I didn’t used to notice much of anything. But, I sure did my share of judging.

I had a couple of things happen the last week when I was on vacation that moved quickly from judgment to noticing. We spent a couple hours each day at the beach. One morning I watched two couples with kids and dogs in tow plopped themselves down right in front of our carefully-picked-out-spot, blocking our direct view of the waves. crying_beach_baby Within seconds our peaceful, serene morning turned into a scene of yapping, obnoxious dogs and two children screaming, “MOM! Mommie! MOM! Excuse meeeeeeeeeeeeeee! MOOOOOOOOOOOMMM!!!!!” You get the picture.

The dogs were annoying, but they just were being dogs. Enough said. But these two moms were unreal. They continued talking to one another as if the children didn’t even exist. They were certainly barking orders to their husbands, but turning to their offspring? Nope.

My mother would have never done that. If she was too busy to give me her full and undivided attention she acknowledged me and asked me to wait patiently. The tone of her voice made it infinitely apparent that I was to respond in the affirmative and occupy myself in some other way until she was ready.

But, instead of fussing and fuming about these two mothers I judged so harshly, that “still small voice” immediately reminded me of how I might be more attentive to those around me. My partner was so into the book he was reading that I doubt he was much aware of the scene before us. He was focused. I was not.

Just as the dogs were being dogs, the kids were being kids. We could spend hours talking about dog whispering and more loving ways to parent, but that’s not the point.

The point is that while we are judging others we are taking the focus off of our own lives to criticize, no matter how justified that judgment might be.

In doing so we get to suspend figuring out how we can be better people. We also put into motion the law of cause and effect that states what we put out returns to us. It’s no surprise that I found myself being judged by someone else shortly after the beach scene.

We can all better our own lives and the lives around us by focusing on our own areas that need work, rather than going about acting as if we have all the answers to the problem of everyone else. How could letting go of judgment in your life free up your time and energy?

In Spirit, Truth and Playfulness,

Terry

Making Mother Smile

I used to frequent a very special beach on the Jersey Shore every year. It's the only place like it in the area. While peaceful during the week, the weekends are full of crowds, many of who are not there for the beauty and uniqueness of this shoreline. A friend of mine taught me to do a garbage run before packing up to leave. We take along extra plastic bags and fill them with as much trash and litter as they can hold and then dispose of them at home.

Many people remarked how nice this was and what a wonderful idea it was. We accepted their kudos, but I also suggested they do the same, either on that visit or their next. But why pick up after others who obvious don't care?

It is because we can care.

If we are constantly concerned with who has done what to whom, or what someone else ought to be doing, we will become increasingly dissatisfied with life and the world. It is much easier to find fault with others, rather than look at our own lives and see where we are lacking. It does have some appealing points, though. People who engage in such a waste of time are rewarded with an attitude of arrogance, superiority and elitism. This might be appealing to some, but far from desirable to anyone concerned with the peace of our planet.

The next time you look at a cigarette butt on the sidewalk and scowl about an inconsiderate smoker, think about using the paper on the ground somewhere nearby (there will be some) and picking up the butt to throw it away. Take a large trash bag through your neighborhood once a week and collect anything that is unsightly. When neighbors notice what you are doing, enroll them to help you. Even if people may think you are crazy, who cares? It does make a difference, at least to the planet. We all seem to enjoy making our mothers happy. Why not take a moment and give Mother Earth a smile?

In Spirit, Truth and Playfulness,

Terry

Why? Just WHY?!?”

Have you ever heard the expression, “Mind your own beeswax,” or used it yourself? I was an inquisitive child. My grandma Esther would use that phrase on me quite liberally when I was being too nosey about things that she thought didn’t concern me.

The phrase is simply a nicer way to tell someone to mind their own business, in spite of all the urban myths about the history of why this saying came to be. But recently I found myself saying it to myself.

What will follow will be a somewhat self-deprecating story about why I was scolding myself. If you are one of the two people in the world that thinks I can do no wrong and never make mistakes, run along and read something else or wait till next week’s blog because I really did a number on myself this week.

I was surfing through Facebook postings when I could have been using my time more wisely to accomplish writing I really did want to get to (like this blog!), when I found a friend had “Liked” something on his page and decided to click on that link.

The “Liked” page was of a drop-dead gorgeous guy, which admitted caught my interest more than the content of the posting. I was intrigued (read:  nosey) as to why my friend was interested in him. It seemed so out of character.Shocked-man-at-computer

Fifteen minutes later after viewing every legitimate site on the guy – as well as a few illegitimate ones (use your imagination) – I stopped clicking and started channeling Grandma Esther. WHAT was doing? Why, just WHY?!?

Wasting time, for one thing, but it was more than that. What business is it of mine what my friend likes or dislikes? None. Why do I need to know why they are into the activities they are into? I don’t, unless they choose to share it with me. And yet, people around the world are glued to their televisions throughout the week doing just that with reality TV shows of all kinds.

Here’s what one woman in recovery said to her sponsee regarding being more interested in the lives of others instead of our own:

Don’t you have enough character defects of your own to worry about?

Ah, but there ‘tis, isn’t it? If we are busy being up in someone else’s business we don’t have the time to be digging into the lives of others. It does, however, serve a purpose.

That self-imposed “need to know” stops us from doing what we know we need to do in our own lives. It takes precious time away from helping us hone our skills by studying something new, cleaning out the closet we’d like to get to, weed the garden or do the dishes. And, when those things don’t get done we can lament (to anyone who will listen, usually by way of a social media post) that we just don’t have enough time in the day to get everything we want to get done. Poor lamb!

So … you have a choice now. You could write me an email or comment on this blog, analyzing all the ways I could have done things differently and what my psychological need was to “investigate” something.

Or, you could mind your own beeswax and get much more accomplished. You can do whichever you wish, of course, particularly if you have absolutely no character defects of your own with which to content. Now, if you’ll excuse me, I have a closet to clean and a garden to weed!

In Spirit, Truth and Playfulness,

Terry

#drterrymakingsense
#theglobalvision
#aworldthatworksforeveryone

gossip, nosey, judgment, criticism, responsibility, choice, arrogance

Relentless Positive Action

Have you ever heard the term “relentless positive action.” Positive action I get. I have been practicing living a more forward moving, positively enforced life for over two decades. I just published a book that deals with this, I’ve taught it in classes and congregations and work with clients doing this. But “relentless?”

Our oldest cat, Dillon, is a model of Principle in Action. Dillon loves to drape himself over you and then fall fast asleep. He’s not particular about whether it’s your thigh while you are sitting watching TV, over your head and shoulders while perched above you on a high backed chair, or on your arm as you are trying to use your computer mouse.

Our couch potato

He just needs to be near us. It really doesn’t matter what our agenda is. Having food on your lap or reading a book is of no consequence. He intends to occupy the space he desires. Your sandwich or your book are simply irrelevant; they don’t even fit into the equation. His sweet face and sad eyes will get you every time if you attempt to push him away.

He is relentless, positive action in motion. The needs or desires of other creatures don’t register on his radar. He is being driven by instincts that compel him to fulfill his immediate need regardless of the consequences. As human beings we don’t have that luxury if we are to operate harmoniously in society.

Those who are not relentless in their pursuit of happiness and fulfillment in life are stopped by the smallest inconvenience. What’s keeping me from the gym today? Who’s stopping me from taking more candy off the grocery list? Which project needs so much attention that I can’t find fifteen minutes to do my yoga routine? If we need an excuse to get off course, we’ll find one.

So how do we move forward, relentless in our pursuit of our vision in a positive manner without bulldozing over everything and everyone in our way? Balance and intention hold the key. Spirit doesn’t fulfill our desires at the expense of people around us. We also need to make sure that the company we keep is supportive of our hopes, dreams, goals and vision.

Relentless positive action also means we re-evaluate our course frequently, making the corrections necessary to achieve our goals. We learn to compromise in the process, yet hold fast to our integrity and moral values that make us who we are. We strive to align ourselves with like-minded people who support our life journey and have a vision that we can similarly support.

This week strive to be relentless in the positive forward motion of your life vision and goals!

In Spirit, Truth and Playfulness,

Terry

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.zrmanja-waterfall-rafting

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.”

Something 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.

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. As Mike Dooley reminds us, “Thoughts create – choose the good ones!”

In Spirit, Truth and Playfulness,

Terry

Weeding Your Garden

Are you clear about what you want in life? We might think we are, but the proof is whether or not our lives are reflecting that belief.

How often have you heard someone say, “If only I’d win the Lottery my financial problems would be over?” Can we win the Lottery? Sure. People do it every day. However, the majority of people don’t win much of anything, except disappointment.weeds-main_2074610b

Believing that our good, financial or otherwise, is “out there” is a consciousness of lack. That may sound harsh, but it’s the truth. There is, however, another way to recognize our good, whatever that is in our way of thinking.

We can look sincerely and appreciatively at what we already have in our life. If we are discouraged or disappointed with what our lives look like the question to ask is this: Am I really all that dissatisfied with my life (or situation), or am I just comparing myself to what I perceive is the success of someone else?

Once we are clear that our lives need to be changed because we want to change them we must step back once again. It’s time to ask if our actions are reflective of what we say we want. Our clarity can easily become muddied when our own doubts of success spur us to actions that are counterproductive.

We can find ourselves busy being busy, instead of working on what we need to get done to get to where we want to be. I haven’t been home a whole lot this month. When I am home I can see my herb garden in the backyard from the second story of our house. I need to get out there and weed the garden. In fact, every time I walk through that room I’m reminded that I need to weed the garden. Not surprisingly, my good intentions haven’t pulled even one weed.

Take time today to get clear on what you want in life. Start with the one area that’s bugging you the most. Decide how you want that situation to change. Then get very, very clear on what your next step would be. For me that would be to get my behind outside the next time I’m home to weed the garden. Just that one, small, 8’ x 12’ patch of earth. Not every garden on our property.

What garden will you weed today?

In Spirit, Truth and Playfulness,

Terry

 

Give It Up!

Are you a quitter? Do you give up easily? Actually, that might not be a bad thing! Think about these statements:

  • “I give up!”
  • “Oh for heaven’s sake: give – it – up!”
  • “And now, give it up for …”
  • “I gave it up and I feel so much better.”

Do you see how many different ways we can use this simple term? We live in a society that promotes never giving up, no matter what the costs. Think of how many wars might have been avoided or ended sooner in the last 20 years if governments weren’t hell-bent on being “right” and not giving up something that should never have been started in the first place.

At the same time, we don’t want to give up on pursuing our dreams, our goals and our vision … unless they are built on fantasy instead of possibility. If we aren’t careful we can easily be lulled into thinking we can have anything without having a belief system that what we are striving after is even possible.

What this all boils down to is taking the time to take stock of where we are in our lives. What things are we currently pursuing that our spirit is saying we must continue to strive toward? And, conversely, what might we be doing now that amounts to bashing our head against the wall?

If you’re willing to do it, making three lists:

  1. A list of all the goals you have accomplished (blessings)
  2. A list of all the goals you truly desire (vision)
  3. A list of all the goals you are holding onto that no longer serve you (release)

Sit with each thought that comes up. You’ll know immediately on which list it should be written. How? Because you’ll sense the answers within yourself. Do you tense up? Do you feel a sense of dread or despair? Are you overcoming with joy or peace of mind? Can you feel the excitement welling up inside you?

Giving up is not necessarily quitting. Giving up something that no longer serves us is empowering. It also makes room for what you really want to flourish!

In Spirit, Truth and Playfulness,

Terry

P.S. For more great exercises like this that you can do on your own, check out my new book, “How to Find Your Vision and Get a Life! Using a vision and mission to create a life worth living

20150623_093529

Can I Trust You?

Are you a trust worthy person? I’m sure you probably are. I sincerely believe people usually do the right thing when it comes to honesty. But are there trust issues in your life you’ve been ignoring?

When thinking of trust issues I suggest most of us think not of ourselves, but more oftenLying than not a partner, family member or friend who has lied to us in the past. It’s especially hard for some of us, myself included, to re-establish trust when someone I hold dear has lied to me simply because they didn’t want to face the consequences of the truth.

I have a rule in my relationships:  Tell me the truth.

I may very well not like the truth. That’s okay. The upset from me hearing the truth about something I don’t like is miniscule when compared to the nuclear fallout that will occur when I’m lied to … period.

Al Gore’s famous documentary, “An Inconvenient Truth,” comes to mind. Truth can be darn inconvenient when it reveals our insecurities, our lack of follow-through or a revelation that we lied. Lie to ME and you’ll find out just how inconvenient your life will be. I’ve tried to express this verbally to at least one person in my life on more than one occasion. Perhaps seeing this publicly, in writing, will not only help the person to become crystal clear, but will also help others to see the seriousness of falsehood in their own lives.

How does this all fit into the universe principles that we live by and use daily? If we are untruthful about anything – yes, anything – then that untruth will fester like a splinter in our finger. If it is not removed – by being revealed – it will eventually become ever more painful, while all the time we’ll be wondering why our lives are in the toilet.

Do yourself a favor this week:  Be truthful. If you’ve made a commitment to someone you can no longer keep, speak to them and either re-negotiate the terms or sever the agreement. It may take a clean cut with a sharp knife to get that splinter out. But I’m here to tell you it’s a lot easier than having it sawed on with a serrated blade, which is what it will feel like if you wait. As always,

In Spirit, TRUTH and Playfulness,

Terry