It’s a shame we can’t treat ourselves more like we would a lover. We take good care of them, we are concerned for their well being. But ourselves, we usually ignore, or demand we live up to inhuman standards of excellence. To help us all feel a little better about ourselves, to practice treating ourselves more like a beloved, I offer six sexy ways ~

1) Admire yourself. Check the mirror once in a while and pause to note something you like about yourself. Your hair might look good today. Or maybe you notice a shine in your eyes. Perhaps you’ve been losing (or gaining) weight and like the results. Just take a moment to compliment something nice about yourself. Smile and nod. Done.  Some people find this hard to do. They feel self-conscious about it. Just try it . . . no one’s looking. A little praise never hurt anyone.

2) Dress up. Just because it’s casual, doesn’t mean you have to be. Use accessories to make you feel a little more formal. Find and wear clothes that feel good when you have them on. Clothes do make “the man.” The right clothes can uplift your mood, boost your confidence, and make you feel better about yourself. A simple trick might be to chose a color you don’t usually wear. Even a small change can send yourself a message that you care how you look.

3) Take yourself out on a date. Seriously. It’s a really wonderful thing to do. Walk by yourself or go to a museum. Julia Cameron, Creativity Expert, thinks it’s crucial to a creative life, to refill your well. The key, really, is in planning it. Taking the time is treating yourself like someone special. Julia encourages weekly dates by yourself. This is, after all,  a date with you. No one else.

4) Get yourself a present. Especially if you’re feeling blue. We all need a pick-me-up. If someone you loved was unhappy, you might bring them flowers or chocolates. Why can’t you do that for yourself? Inviting yourself out on a date is a wonderful gift! This doesn’t have to be expensive or cost much money at all. I have a little stuffed koala bear that I must have bought as a present for a child many years ago. For whatever reason I never gave it and he was too cute to throw out. I decided he represents the child in me. He now sits on my desk as my gift to myself, reminding me to take more gentle care of myself. A recycled gift. We all need to feel special – as often as possible, really. Like you might say thanks to a helpful spouse or partner. Just a token to say, I appreciate you.

5) Forgive yourself. You are more likely to excuse mistakes in someone you love. See if you can do the same for yourself! The next time you slip up and commit a small infraction, immediately forgive yourself for it. Tell yourself that maybe you needed to do it, to learn never to do it again. You could say it was just a silly mistake or that maybe it was the right move after all, or because of it . . . The point is to make yourself feel better about it, instantly. Especially for the little things that don’t really matter. Forgiveness is very sexy. It’s release, it’s the easing up of holding fast to things. Instead of thinking it should have been this, but it was that. When you can quiet that down, aren’t you more sensual, more easy and languid? Pretty sexy stuff, forgiveness.

6) Celebrate your victories in style! So often we neglect to appreciate our own accomplishments as we would someone we love. In whatever way you can, the bigger the better, be sure to acknowledge your successes. Have a party. Go out dancing or to a show! Cook yourself something special or go out to eat at your favorite restaurant. Raise a glass of whatever you’re drinking. Make note of your successes in whatever way you can or see fit. (Indulge yourself once in a while as you would a loved one.) That more you do that, the more you water the victories of the future, paving the way for more. Saying, “Yeah, I like this. Could I maybe see you again?”

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Spring is in the air!  And the garden is sprouting.  It reminded me of my blogs. So I’ve decided to call it my garden of Blogs.  See if there’s anything you’d like to sample from it ~

Here at The Positive Slant On the Path Go For 5 – Some interesting facts about the number 5, in my ongoing number series. (599 words)

From the Files Scenes and Musings had In the Haze of Jerry Garcia – the scene of a show I witnessed in the early 80’s with the legendary guitarist from the Grateful Dead. (767 words)

The Positive Slant On Writing featured Organizing Peace Out of Chaos – how we can use our organizing skills as writers to find peace in other areas of our life. (362 words)

From the Files Rants and Raves produced America How I Love Thee! – a taste of my passion for the rock group, in honor of Memorial Day.  (1024)

Coming soon to The Positive Slant On Business – a Profile of Diane Lemonides, owner of Verve Marketing and Design, whose artistic vision and grounded family values guide every step of her business.

I love playing with numbers. I often catch myself noticing when I spot 11:11 on my many out-of-sync digital clocks. I wrote a post about it awhile back.

5 is one of my favorite numbers and I tend to lean toward it. If I’m making a list and only have 4, I try to come up with one more. If I’m choosing, I will often pick 5.

I’ve found that 5 has lots of significance. (Though I suspect whatever number I would’ve chosen could have produced some results in my searching.) The number 5, however, figures prominently in many religions. There are 5 Pillars of Islam and Muslims pray to Allah 5 times a day. That sounds very practical to me as it would cover the day well.

Christianity, too, speaks of my number 5. It represent the Grace of God. People were transformed with Grace when God added 5 to their names. Much of the Bible is set up in 5s, including two sets for the Commandments. The Old Testament contains 5 books, Matthew had 5 books, 5 narratives, 5 discourses. Even Jesus bled from 5 places.

There are, as well, 5 Sacred Symbols in Sikh. In the East Asian religions there is much talk of the 5 Elements, Wood, Fire, Earth, Metal, and Water. These elements come up in the moving arts like Tai Chi.

I believe my favoring of the number came from the Japanese. In Japan, in the Edo period, they built 5 Temples to protect their new capital city of Tokyo. (So far, it’s worked! Even from Godzilla.)

The five senses are revered in Japanese, especially in cooking. From a website called Savory Japan, the author said, “Even though many young Japanese don’t know the origins of the rules, nor can even recite them, the habit is ingrained in the culture to such an extent that it just comes naturally.” Even kids out for an evening of partying, take the number 5 into consideration.

The 5 senses (form and color, sound, smell, taste, and touch) play a huge role in Japanese cooking. The presentation is critical. The right food on the wrong plate can spoil everything. Touch is important down the feel of the utensils used. Sound comes into play for the Japanese. One thing I noticed when I traveled there was that the Japanese are serious about eating. Quiet eating means devoted eating.

From Buddhism comes 5 colors: white, black, red, yellow and green, which has been a tradition in Japan since the 6th century. There are even 5 tastes associated with Japanese cooking. Salt, sweet, sour, bitter and something very Japanese: A concept that means delicious or savory. You prepare food in 5 ways as well: Raw, simmered, fried, steamed, roasted or grilled.

My favorite part is the 5 Attitudes of which I lift directly from the website:
– I reflect on the work that brings this food before me; let me see whence this food comes.
– I reflect on my imperfections, on whether I am deserving of this offering of food.
– Let me hold my mind free from preferences and greed.
– I take this food as an effective medicine to keep my body in good health.
– I accept this food so that I will fulfill my task of enlightenment.

With all this, it’s easy to see that 5 is an auspicious concept in Japanese tradition. The number itself is seen as lucky. Perhaps that’s just a reaction to the unluckiness of 4 and 9. But the word for 5 in Japanese is Go. (I think that’s why I find it so appealing!) The 5 yen coin is considered lucky because of the way the two words sound together forming a word that means “honorably good luck.”

I wish you all go-en!

The Positive Slant On the Path4 Pillars of Balance
Time / Money / Connection / Purpose.  Next in my continuing number series is Go for 5! about the significance of the number 5.

From the Files: Scenes & Musings – 1 Mansion Drive
A story about looking at a house that opened me to the concept of impermanence.

The Positive Slant On WritingWriting Tip: Appreciate the Computer
Offering thanks to an important Writer’s Tool.

The Positive Slant On BusinessThe Blessing of Faith
A Positive Slant On Business Profile about a man and his successful small business that is blessing his community and the world with his faith-filled work.

From the Files: Rants & RavesThe In Step Brothers and Maron’s Back!
Review of 2008’s  Step Brothers with Will Ferrell and John C. Reilly
and a Rave of one of my favorite comedians – Marc Maron.  On the occasion of the second season return of his very funny show Maron on IFC.

I contend that we need four supports in our life in order to feel balanced and keep ourselves in good shape. Balance is so important in life. It is how we maintain and persevere.

Time
We need time to tend to our own care: to eat well, take exercise and nurture our spirit (Whatever that may mean for you – attending church, visiting art galleries, reading good books . . .) What is a good life without time with loved ones? Hearth and Home provide the heart of a balanced life. Time to ourselves for quiet thought, is equally essential.

Money
It is a fact of the life we live, that most of us need money. We must have it for our very survival in this hurry up-keep up world. No hearth, no home without it. Money fuels us. It makes things happen. It creates a comfortable life around us. Money can be very handy for generosity, too. We give more when we have more to give.

Connection
We are all passionate beings at our core. And we crave connection to fully express our love. We truly need each other. Susan Jeffers, PhD. said, “I believe our craving in life is not to be loved, but to love…ourselves and others.” I’m calling this the gravity that holds it all together. Without it life is flimsy and can more easily topple (or turn upside down).

Purpose
There is no more stable ground than purpose. To be of service is what we are all meant to do. Purpose drives us and without it we feel lost. Purpose runs on faith. With faith, belief in something, our lives make sense.

 

1) Ask For It
You can’t expect anyone, not even God or the Universe, if you prefer, to give you what you want if you don’t ask. Getting clear on that is half the job. But if you don’t ask, it’s unlikely to make it past the dream state.

Getting clear is not always easy. It can entail some soul and heart searching. Choosing whether you want a blue  or a green one can have an effect on the asking. The clearer you are, the better your chances of getting what you really want.

It does work better if you can divorce yourself from the concept and feeling tone of “want,” which indicates lack. Upgrade it to something more like a wish or a desire. Wanting adds a note of desperation which lessens the power in asking.

In mythical legends, there are often questions that must be asked before the hero can proceed. Asking is often more important than getting an answer.

Get your asking right and you are well on your way.

2) Be Sure
This is a more difficult and less concrete step. Sometimes I will ask God for something that I’m not entirely sure I want, or not completely convinced I deserve. “Be careful what you ask for” often holds me back. This is tantamount to not asking at all. The Universe cannot deliver on a request that is not sure. God cannot give you what you don’t really want. You might say, I really want this amazing job, but what will it do to my life, can I handle it? If there’s a conflict inside of you, it can stop your asking from being heard.

I’ve seen this in my life. When I have that kind of surety in me, it came a lot faster and with far more accuracy. When you direct unsure asking to the Universe, It may not always understand your request. If you’re not wholehearted, there’s not much It can do. We do have free will and you can’t be given something you don’t really want.

In spiritual circles we talk about moving into knowing whatever we’ve asked for is already here. That’s the fastest path. The deeper your belief in this, the swifter the delivery will be.

3) Take It
This may seem obvious, but is often overlooked in the process. So many of us ask God for something and He tries to hand it to us, but it’s not quite what we asked for . . . and so we dismiss it. Not a nice thing to do, is it? If God is trying to give us something, can we have enough grace to accept it? The good news is, God will keep offering until we take hold of it.

If you ask with clarity, are sure as heaven of what you’re asking for and you gratefully accept it when it comes – whether that’s healing or a new bicycle – there’s nothing you can’t have!

 

Last week I wrote about One (see below). Today is Two.

I contend that enlightenment comes out of the small things in life. Listening to my beloved Pandora, I came across a song I’ve never heard before. It’s by a group called The Deele and the song is “Two Occasions.

The lyric says, “I only think of you on two occasions. That’s day and night.” What a wonderful way to practice! Out of a song comes a beautiful sentiment.

I only think about God on two occasions, that’s day and night.

I only pay attention in the present moment on two occasions, that’s day and night.

Recently I’ve begun listing the things I have to be grateful for when I get up and before I go to sleep. That’s doubled my gratefulness! If you can do it day and night, you are doing it. Pat yourself on the back. Good job.

I believe it was the great Maria Nemeth, author of The Energy of Money, who said that if you can do it right 75% of the time, you are doing well. If you give your best 37.5% of the time in the day and 37.5% at night, that certainly adds up.

If there’s anything you want to do, try practicing day and night and you will make excellent progress. Two times the fun!

One is an extremely large and amazing concept. It may be the most important One. One by One, One-on-One, One Way, One Day. . .

We are All One. We are all made of the same elements. We are the stars above us, we are the ground beneath us. All One. We all have the same river running through us.

I’ve often thought this is a crucial step to Enlightenment along the Path. Being able to grasp this One. It’s not easy. It holds the Immenseness of the Universe. The Limitlessness of God. It’s a Big One. We humans are so fixated on the tiny details of every day living it becomes a large stretch for us to get our minds around us all being One.

Professor Cox and other Physicists and Astronomers perhaps see on a much larger scale than most of us. He, I’m sure, can get his big brain around the vastness and the age of the Universe.

But we On the Path take it further into God territory and it can get overwhelming out there. It’s a lot to take in, this All One, all at once. But it is a central belief of those of us On the Path. To really feel that One Ness. To take it all in.

In the landmark Conversations with God series, Book III, God talks about concepts even bigger than the Universe! When I read it, it is almost painful to shift consciousness back to our usual scale. The thoughts of Oneness are So Big.

It’s quite astounding the connection between us all and what that can do. What if we could harness our One Power? What great things could we do! Figure out our energy and environmental problems pretty quickly, I’d say, if we all were working as One. Can you imagine our planet coming together as One? (There was, I believe, an Outer Limits episode about an experiment to make a man into an alien to unite the planet against one common enemy.) In truth if everyone was doing okay, we would all be stronger for it. I wonder what we could do with the economy if we had One goal of working together for everyone’s good.

What One can do!

We should all try to do at least one silly thing every day. Thanks, Scott.

Scott B. Pruden

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Spring tends to make people a little goofy, especially here in the Northeast where it seemed like we’d be buried under snow until sometime in the middle of July.

But alas, the snow is gone and we just frolicked through a full weekend of sunny, 70 degree-plus weather that seemed bring everyone out to play.

Of course, for me this has never depended on ridiculous things like the weather. Recently I spent a full 20 minutes at the dinner table making my kids collapse into fits of giggling by doing an extended riff on Johnny Depp’s Capt. Jack Sparrow – basically a drunk Keith Richards.

Like I said, for me it doesn’t take much.

So take some time today to do something that you wouldn’t normally do simply because you were worried that you might look a little silly. Here’s a recommendation.

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The world seems a little obsessed with “5 Hour Energy.” I’m a little concerned about the long term effects of this drink. I don’t know what’s in it and do not mean to endorse it. But I like the concept. Being in the zone is critical in sports and helpful in just about anything you take on.

That zone is really only about focus. Directed energy in the present moment. This attention keeps you looking in one direction. What could you accomplish if you were willing to give energy in the present moment to one thing? “I choose this.” That’s all focus is. You are in the zone when you say, this is all I’m doing.

Multi-tasking is okay now and again. When necessary, it’s helpful to be able to do it. But when you really want to get something done, be a success, do your best at something, the more focus you have, the better your chances for a good outcome.

No wonder everyone wants this drink.

There’s a lot of scattered energy these days. Multiple e-mails and conflicting demands are coming at us all the time and encourage that helter-skelter focus. On the contrary, anything that keeps our attention on a goal we can wrap ourselves around with energy and passion is far more productive. And it doesn’t have to come in a bottle!

Can’t we generate focus on our own? Without taking something? Think more about what you could do if you were willing. Choose one place you really want to put your energies. Make a commitment and focus your attention.

What human beings can do! Combing energies with others, we can give generously, do phenomenal things in sports, generate money, save the planet. Wow!

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