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As I Look for Peace as my intention, I wish to actively seek joy.  I’ve been seeking joy lately in the simple things: My work, family and friends, a beautiful day . . .

But too often I find that joy dampened.  Some days the work becomes frustrating, the possibilities dim, and people let me down.  A beautiful day can turn gray and sour in no time.  Seeking joy becomes as fruitless as chasing after  that damned elusive pimpernel.

Stan Gale, in his forthcoming book “A Vine-Ripened Life” tells us that joy cannot be found in the changing circumstances of our lives.  But that we can rejoice even when things are dark.

This got me thinking that I could find joy in everything.  I know that there is always something to feel joyful about – a glimmer of hope, a sliver of light, an undercurrent of gratitude or a seed of faith.  With enough practice I could release my choking grasp on those circumstances that are easy to love.  When I know that I will find joy tomorrow, even if it rains, I can enjoy today without all the tension which drains joy like an uncorked bathtub.

Circumstances will continue to change.  It’s a fact of life.  We will die, things will decompose.  In 250 years, everything that’s here will be gone. There are those who say we all long for something solid we can count on.  But there is no such thing in the life we lead.  Only God is unchanging.

As Dr Gale advises, I will seek joy in God and His love for me.  Find joy in the life He has given me, and in our friendship. And rejoice in that.  For it is available to me every minute of every day.  No matter the weather.

Yes, I know, it’s outdated – in terms of phrases – but the concept will never go out of style.

Spreading good vibes is the deliberate intention to be nice to everyone you come in contact with. To somehow lighten their load or brighten their day.  Whether that’s a smile for the person behind you in line, the waitress who asks you for the 7th time if everything’s okay or the person who really needs cheering up.

It’s about being kind to all creatures in your path.  Sometimes you must open your heart when you’d rather close it.  If your kids are driving you crazy and the person in front of you has yet another problem, this is the time to remember that your good vibes can have an effect on everyone around you.

Spreading good vibes includes answering the question, “How are you?” with a positive response.  I’m great!  Or at least I’m doing well.  Be conscious of what you’re putting out there.  Are your grumbling and complaining?

I was talking to a friend today about how negativity and fear spread quickly.  It’s important to not be the carrier of those bad vibes.  Instead, do what you can to improve them for everyone. If possible, see if you can leave others feeling even better than before.

It takes a little more effort to spread the good stuff, but it’s well worth it.  Being known as someone who makes others feel good is a pretty groovy thing!

Faith the size of a mustard seed can spring forth a wonderful, strong plant. If you are convinced that you can, if you know without doubt that you deserve it, there truly isn’t anything you can’t do.  (As long as your faith holds out.)

It’s true that small seeds can grow fast. But if there’s even a small crack, the seed may not grow at all. The true Power of I Can comes when it’s whole and complete, with no gaps, no slippage.

Perhaps it goes beyond faith.  I sometimes see faith as the hand that you can hold to help you believe.  Is faith a knowing?  Or is knowing what happens when faith expands and takes hold of your heart?  Whatever you call it –  when you have that full heart of belief, when you don’t even have to say you have faith, when it’s so deeply implanted in you, you can move mountains!

If your intention is laser focused and you believe so deeply that you just know you can, it’s like having a very powerful vehicle.  Put some passion in the gas tank and you are on your way!

I saw a movie called “Iron Sky.”  I think it was crowd funded and that’s cool.  The best way to describe it is a futuristic black comedy, featuring Nazis on the moon, eager to take over the Earth, and a somewhat questionable woman president and her bitchy assistant. The plot never seemed to be able to decide if it was Science Fiction or a commentary on political beliefs.  A comedy, a somewhat twisted romance or an action film?  If one person had a clear intention, a sharp vision of what it was going to be, I think it would’ve worked a lot better.  But the focus was diluted somewhere along the line and it turned out (to me, anyway) a mess.

This I Can power is one of those Spells of Doing I like to talk about.  It could be one of the most important ones.  It comes through your wand of Choosing (with your intention).  When the magic you are conjuring is that of I Can, you have some powerful stuff happening.

I have come to believe that every moment can be fun and easy.  Beautiful even, if you’re willing to see it behind whatever may show up in your life. Paulette Terrels suggests not putting too much stock in what’s actually going on around you, but, instead, seeing further beyond it, around to what’s grander and more beautiful.

Okay, I will concede that there may be times that are just Not Fun.  Let’s say it’s very hard to see the fun or the beauty. But that doesn’t mean it’s not there. For most of us, who live free and relatively speaking abundant lives, there’s a whole lot of times, though, that most certainly ARE FUN!  Or could be with an attitude tweak or two.

I think we get to moving so fast we forget how easy it is to turn on the Fun switch.  Shining the light on what’s wonderful in and around the moment.

Practice, practice.  Use the obvious, easy ones.  When you’re hanging with people you love, enjoying a great meal.  Or spending time with your special one, watching a wonderful film.  At the arena, watching your favorite team win!  Notice how much fun it is. Remember the feeling so you can spot it elsewhere.

It only takes an intention to find the fun.  Just a breath (or 2) maybe a sigh and you are there.  See how many opportunities there are! The best way to increase your fun times is to notice them. The more you acknowledge, the more you will see.  It is just a practice. And, if I might add, rather a fun practice at that.

I still maintain it is actually possible to find fun all the time. I suspect the Dalai Lama finds life fun and easy most of the time.  If not all.  Despite all the things he’s seen, he loves to laugh!

So I may not reach the Dalai Lama’s level in this lifetime, but I can carve out a mighty fine life – making things easier on my mind, body and spirit.  Not only that, my joy is contagious.  Being happy and finding fun in life spreads.  It affects everything around me.  Make it a practice to see with eyes that recognize the fun and beauty which stands behind everything!

As my 30 days of giving closes I’m pondering what I learned from it all ~

I have to admit, I wasn’t successful in all my attempts.  I was pleased to find, however, that many of the spots at food banks and such were already filled. This is a popular time of year for these things.  In some cases, I had to step out of the box of traditional giving.

What I discovered is that if you hold the intention to give, if you go at your whole life with an eye for ways to give, things will magically appear for you to do. Sure, it helps to have a plan.  It pays to sign up and get on lists, but sometimes the most wonderful opportunities are the ones you simply stay open for.

The giving attitude can grow. This intention gives you room to acknowledge when you give. This has the effect of increasing good feelings on both sides, but also, more opportunities to serve. Just noticing is an amazing expander.  It works well for gratitude, as well.  You can feel good by giving, by seeing the effect of that giving and in the reliving of it as you write it down and notice all the ways there are to give.

Giving is like a bunch of roses. Susan Jeffers, in her most elegant way, suggests pretending someone gives you 50 roses.  From her book, End the Struggle and Dance with Life,” you are instructed to find people you can give these loving roses to.  She also adds to write down and keep track of the 50.  She says you won’t need to be given any more. By the time you’ve given away 50, you’ll be on a roll and just continuing to look for recipients of your kind and loving roses.  I like that!

I hope that I can continue my attitude of giving into the New Year. I’m going to start the year with 50 roses and see where it goes!

I understand the concept. It’s about energy and vibration.  If I’m vibrating with love now, I will attract similar vibrations.  If I’m picking at things I don’t care for in my current situation, I’m likely to keep finding things wrong in the next situation.  If I don’t harmonize or vibrate the way I want to feel, I’ll never make it to “there.”  I need to accept the now with the same feeling I would accept what I want.

But, I’ve been wrestling with this for days. I get caught up in thinking that if I love that which I do not choose, it will become my Then. Doesn’t that kinda figure? It feels wrong (or odd) to say I love this the way it is, if I don’t. I’m frankly nervous about giving my thumbs up, if you will, to things I really choose to change. There is no use telling me that things change because sometimes it feels like they don’t. It sure looks like I’m stuck in the same stuff I’ve been trying to change.

Okay, I know that life is always changing  – even if it’s not the way I imagine. I guess what this concept teaches is that it’s about feeling good no matter what and then things will change to meet the new vibration. But how does that work, anyway? Do those good feelings and vibrations transform my life into what I want?  How does life know how to change?  From my Want?  Vision?  The Intention?  The good vibes?  What’s to keep life from staying the same since I seem to be so happy with the way things are now?

Sometimes I feel like I’m trying to wedge good feeling into things that don’t naturally generate them.  I know what feels good and this is not it!  Maybe I’m straddling the two.  Thinking I can somehow lasso the life I have to the life I want. If I pull hard enough they will come together. They have to become one, eventually, don’t they?

Do I need to look at what I Do Not Choose more carefully so I can figure out how to change it?  But that leads me to ask,: Why isn’t this change working?  What am I doing wrong?   No, thank you.  That feels like a closed valve, keeping good things from coming my way.

The Positive Slant says, why not?  Doesn’t it feel better to love my now AND my then?   The Secret, of course, is to love what you have.

Could I live without an intention or a goal, though?  Seems hard to me.  As Paulette Terrels has said, What if your Purpose is Peace?  Or Love?  Or even Joy?  Rather that this or that _____.

The things I love in my current life don’t have to have anything to do with what I may not “prefer at the moment.”  I can base my Joy on Whatever Happens or on things that are connected to the situation only by their flavor – like joy or peace.

A practice might be to find those things that feel good which are not directly connected to the life situation or the thing I do not choose. Not entangling myself in what I do and do not want. Like finding some middle ground between the two.  A bridge which could connect them.  What are some things I Love about now? Being able to help others. Taking a walk on a beautiful fall day. Thoughts about my future.  A drink of cool fresh water. Having time to express my art.  Being with people I love. Taking good care of myself. Doing something special for me or my loved ones.

The trick, according to”Conversations with God,” is . . . To choose something while not condemning, but loving too, that which you do not choose. For one thing, this thing I do not choose is what brought me here – closer to that which I Do Want.

The key then is to love whatever is happening, holding my intention lightly.  After all, loving life every moment does not lock an otherwise not wanted situation in place.  The more I can love whatever is in front of me, the more of that same feeling I’ll get.

In the end, it must be about getting past Do and Do Not Want – into Acceptance of whatever is there. It’s all a Joy, all a ride.

When you’ve seen that it’s a loving Universe, it’s easy to fall back on, “The Universe will provide.”

I believe this Universe is made up of energy.  If you’re not consciously directing that energy, it will simply decide you don’t want it moved and leave things, pretty much as they are.

A wise woman I once knew, perhaps quoting form the Unity Church of which she belonged, talked about putting sneakers on your prayers.

Our future is made in the present. If your present consists of sitting and waiting for the Universe, you are likely to continue sitting around and waiting.  The energy is there to be moved and guided.

When you say things like, “I don’t want to be poor,” the Universe hears that you “want to be poor.” But when you get off the pity pot and say, “I want money,” and start doing something about it, you’ve got a far better chance of changing your situation.  You begin to move the energy in the direction of getting money, instead of letting it slack around your poor self.

The Active Verb, Movement, even baby steps, powered by a positive intention is how things get done in this Universe.  Positive affirmations are good and they can keep you going.  But waiting for the Universe to provide food for your belly, isn’t going to fill it.

I heard a couple of sports commentators discussing a basketball player.  He had no special talent for anything, they agreed.  He wasn’t what you’d call “good” at the basics, but he had a lot of energy and hustle. They praised him for how hard he worked.  His numbers from the night before backed that up.

On the one hand, that affirms a negative thought that if you’re not good enough, you have to work harder than everyone else.

Then again, it says Intention matters.  It’s more about passion than talent.  You don’t have to be good enough to do well.  Excellence is more a matter of drive.

What makes a “good” basketball player, anyway?  Certainly, there are many things that go into that – ball handling, ability to shoot and make baskets, height . . . But every really good player has loads of energy and is willing to do what it takes to get the ball.  There is always hustle and passion inside a good player.

So it’s not so much about talent, though that can help.  But if you have enough love for what you’re doing, and a strong tributary flowing through you of willingness to put everything out there, you can be a very good basketball player . . . or anything else!

1) Make a Choice to Do It.  
Setting the Intention and putting some enthusiasm behind it is the best way to get going.

2) Plan Wisely.
Be sure to know how I’m going to do it.  Don’t overload.  Consider how I’m feeling and what else I need to do.  What will my overall energy requirements be?  Find a good time to do it.  And know the steps I’m going to take.

3) Know  the Reasons I Want to Do It.
This will increase my enthusiasm and seal my commitment if the going gets rough.

4) Accept That it May Not Get Done the Way I Picture It.
Doing what I say I’m going to do,
Has nothing to do with when.
Not being able to do it now (or when I planned),
Doesn’t negate doing it at another time.
Simply say when I will try again and stick to it.

5) Check to See if There’s an Easier Way.
I increase my chances of doing it if I make time to find the quickest route.

6)  Get Into the Good Feelings.
Remember how wonderful it feels to do what I said I would do, to follow through on my promises.  How about that feeling of  crossing it off the list, knowing I did it!

7) Remember the Steps for Goal Getting.
First is knowing what you want to do.
Second is figuring out what it will take to get it.
But nothing gets done unless you Take the Steps.

8) Stop to Appreciate the Accomplishment.
It’s so easy to jump into the next thing.  If I make sure to appreciate the accomplishment, I strengthen my will muscle and my commitment for the next goal.

“The universe is ingenious in the ways it can help you.  Let it.” —  Alan Cohen

I just love this quote! How wonderful its message.  I especially enjoy the choice of the word “ingenious.”  M-W uses words to describe it like, discernment, discovery, inventing, originality, resourcefulness and cleverness.  The origins of the word speak to it being “natural capacity.”

It warms my heart to think the Universe is doing all these delicious things for me.  And all I have to do is “let it.”

I’m all about Surrender these days.  It is a wonderful practice, though a constant one.  I keep seeing my teacher, Paulette Terrels, twirling her palms up and out.  “Keep surrendering, releasing,” she says.

Surrender is often misunderstood as inactivity.  Truthfully, it has nothing to do with the bodying doing or not doing.  It’s an attitude, a state of mind, which keeps saying, “Okay.  This is the way it is.”

I suppose it starts to get deep into spiritual soil.  Surrender asks you to trust in a higher power.  “Turning our will and lives over to the care of God as we understand Him,” says Alcoholics Anonymous.  I always find, though, when I do, miracles abound!  The more I release, the better it gets.

It has to begin with my Intention.  What is it I really want?  Then, turning it over to the Universe to guide, to show me the way.  After all, the Universe is far more ingenious than I am!

Do you have stories of miracles from surrender you’d like to share?

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