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Breath of Life

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Deep breathing is a great stress reliever. Whenever you are feeling anxious or uptight, sit quietly and take some long deep breaths. Your body and mind will begin to settle down and relax into a peaceful state.  Continue this process until you are feeling back to normal.

Some People Never Change

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No matter how much we hope and wish for and try to inspire a certain person to change, it’s just not going to happen until it’s their time (if it ever comes). I know it gets frustrating, but we have to let them be who they are. What we can do is focus on their positives, lead by example, and continue to improve ourselves.  🙂

LOL

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You shouldn’t take life so seriously. You have got to laugh in life. Laughter has many health benefits such as relieving stress and is good for the heart and soul. It is also a social mechanism that bonds relationships. Here my grandson is laughing his little heart out. Photo credit goes to my daughter, Sarah. (It’s a family affair lol!)

 

To Believe or Not to Believe

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I am coming close to figuring out what my beliefs are in my life right now. I guess I could say they are a compilation of spiritual, philosophical, scientific, and religious beliefs. If it touches my heart and soul, I have a good feeling that I am on the right path to the truth. I am open to any other suggestions lol!

Silence is Golden

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I meditate as often as possible or when I feel I need it which is usually about 20 minutes every day. This daily practice has improved my life tremendously.

If you want to connect to the Source of all creation, meditate.

If you want guidance in your life, meditate.

If you want to quiet your mind and calm your thoughts, meditate.

If you want to be a witness to your thoughts, meditate.

If you want to de-stress and relax your mind and body, meditate.

If you want to improve emotionally, mentally, spiritually, physically, and socially, meditate.

I came across a video that I would like to share with you called, “What is Meditation and Why Should I Do It?” from Oprah’s SuperSoul Sunday:

God’s Gifts

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When I believe in something wholeheartedly, I want everyone to know about it so that they too can reap the benefits. I will go full force with a positive attitude to help and encourage others to do the same. Since I have always had a passion for happiness, health, and wellbeing, recently, I have been intrigued with doTERRA pure, natural essential oils. These oils are used for healing the mind, body, and soul. It’s funny because my oldest daughter has been using them for quite some time now, but I wasn’t listening to what she had to say about them. Then all of a sudden, I was “guided” into trying them, and pretty soon, I was wanting to know everything about them.

Essential oils are naturally occurring, volatile aromatic compounds that are found in the seeds, bark, stems, roots, flowers, and other parts of plants. They can be both beautifully and powerfully fragrant. Essential oils give plants their distinctive smells and protect plants and play a role in plant pollination.

What I have experienced with doTERRA products is truly remarkable, and I believe they are making a positive impact in the world. These oils have transformed the way I manage my health. The over-the-counter medicines/products just don’t seem to be working for me, and I much prefer to go the natural route. I have been using the oils for minor issues such as headaches, skin problems, digestive tract, and lower back pain (from sitting all day). Of course, if any serious health issue arises, I will seek professional medical treatment. In the meantime, I will continue to use these wonderful natural oils that while attacking the problem, I am also calm and confident that I will be just fine.

Incidentally, there are over 200 verses in the Bible that mention the use of oils and fragrant incense. Essential oils were used by the Apostles. The Levite Priests were in charge of diagnosing and healing disease through prayer and anointing with oils. There are 12 healing oils of the Bible. Frankincense is one of which I’ve been using. This video explains some of its benefits: https://doterra.com/US/en/blog/spotlight-frankincense-oil. I truly appreciate essential oils, as they are God’s gifts to us.

Can you tell I’m hooked??

 

We are One and the Same

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Think about it… when these things are stripped away from your identity:  upbringing, beliefs, thoughts, fears, character, medication, education, knowledge, skills, abilities, job, make-up, hair coloring, implants, tattoos, piercings, contacts, glasses, clothing, jewelry, accessories, possessions, etc., what is remaining?  THE REAL YOU!

I love this quote from Canadian author, Danielle LaPorte: “Can you remember who you were before the world told you who you should be?”

Decide for Yourself

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When growing up, my parents taught me that if I never wasted, I would never be in the want.  Last month, I celebrated Easter at my house, and I bought a bag of my favorite jelly beans.  Well… in this bag of jelly beans, there is a flavor called green apple.  This is the one flavor that I do not like at all.  Keeping in mind what my parents taught me, I would always eat the green apple ones, even though I would choke on the taste.  I’ve got to tell you… this time, I couldn’t bring myself to eat them.  I finally made an adult decision to just throw them away and never eat them again!  It is liberating to know, I will no longer be eating green apple jelly beans!  My life is so much better now lol!

Compassion

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Everyone is dealing with difficulties in their lives, so the least we can do is show some compassion toward others. We must override the ego and be aware of our immediate thoughts about that person or their situation. It doesn’t take much to uplift someone when you know they are in need of encouragement. Sending an inspirational card or message, attending a funeral, visiting someone in the hospital or nursing home are all signs of compassion. When you can actually relate to how the other person is feeling and what they are experiencing, you tend to have more compassion and empathy toward other people. If you want to be a more compassionate person, start with self-compassion and self-love. Rather than judging yourself harshly, practice self-compassion to change any behavior you want to change. Loving kindness and compassion toward yourself and others go a long way.

The Dalai Lama stated, “If you want others to be happy, practice compassion. If you want to be happy, practice compassion.”

Learn to Help Yourself

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Essential oils are extremely popular these days. There is an oil available for just about every health issue out there.  Many people are skeptical of what these oils can do.  For the last several years, I have come to realize that medication can help in one area but harm another.  Did you ever watch a commercial for medication and afterwards all the possible side effects are identified?  The list goes on and on.  I will do whatever I can to avoid taking medication (because of side effects and also addiction).  Of course, any serious health issue must be addressed immediately by a medical professional.  I am now learning about pure and natural essential oils, and I’ve started using them.  I don’t know if it’s me and my belief in them (placebo effect) or if they really do work.  I guess it’s all what you believe.  I can honestly say, I believe they really do work for me.  A few minor issues I’ve been experiencing lately have actually improved.  I must say, I am feeling pretty good right now!  I am always looking for natural ways to live a healthy lifestyle.  Meditation (#1), exercise (walking for me), yoga (men can do this too :), a positive mindset, repeating affirmations, a healthy diet, lots of water and good rest, and giving up coffee, tea, and soda have all greatly improved my health, physically and mentally.

Hope in Uncertain Times

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Oprah Winfrey and Deepak Chopra team up again to offer you this FREE 21-day meditation experience.  Today is the first day!  I have taken all of their other 21-day meditation courses.  I highly encourage you to take it.  Click on the link to get started:   https://chopracentermeditation.com/

Lean on Each Other

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So a dear friend of mine and co-worker was recently diagnosed with a huge brain tumor.  She went into surgery on a Monday for prep work which took 3 hours, and on Tuesday she had an approximate 8-hour operation to remove the tumor.  On Wednesday morning, she was up eating breakfast and sitting in a chair.  How amazing is that?!  The doctor said she did 110% better than expected!  Besides the wonderfully skilled doctors who performed the surgery and the professional staff, I believe the power of prayer, positive energy, and faith added to the success of her outcome.  Her Facebook wall was flooded with well wishes.  All of her family, friends, and co-workers were praying for her.  It seems when both individual and collective prayers are combined, they are very powerful.  I believe when we all come together and provide positive support, we can truly impact each other’s lives.

My Philosophy

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I’ve always wondered what the fundamental differences are of the terms knowledge, intelligence, and wisdom. I did some research and came up with my own definitions.

Knowledge is the accumulation of general information that has been learned or acquired through experiences.

Intelligence is a deep understanding or insight of how something works and the ability to apply the knowledge and analyze and solve problems.

Wisdom is the ability to discern right from wrong, truth from falsehood, and good from evil. It’s about intuition, perspective, and common sense.

The Excellence of Love

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I have always associated the month of February with love,  hence I felt the following message would be appropriate for today: 

1If I speak in the tongues of men or of angels, but do not have love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. 2If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing. 3If I give all I possess to the poor and give over my body to hardship that I may boast, but do not have love, I gain nothing.

4Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. 5It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. 6Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. 7It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.

8Love never fails. But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away. 9For we know in part and we prophesy in part, 10but when completeness comes, what is in part disappears. 11When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put the ways of childhood behind me. 12For now we see only a reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known.

13And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.

1 Corinthians 13 – New International Version

 

 

To Be

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I am reposting this quote that I posted back in June 2016. There has been so much negative energy floating around lately resulting from the Presidential election and Inauguration. If we are to make this world a better place, we have to come together and unite as one, because we are one human race. Everyone needs to step up and do their part. We need to start acting the way we’re supposed “to be,” by loving and respecting each other no matter what. Your beliefs don’t make you a better person, but your behavior does.

to be

Even the Darkness will not be Dark

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I am always looking for signs in life.  Lately, I’ve been aware of signs in the sky.  This photo was taken in the winter sun on new year’s day, 1/1/2017, and it is untouched.  While I admit, it is eerie looking, the light shines brighter which gives me a sense of peace.  When you look closely at the cloud formations, you will see some images.  Any thoughts lol?

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Troubling Thoughts

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The Danger of Repression

by Madisyn Taylor (Daily OM)

When negative thoughts arise it is best to address them rather than pushing them down where they will surface again.

For the last several years, there has been a lot of focus on the power of positive thinking. Many people have come to misinterpret this wisdom to mean that it is not okay to have a bad mood or a negative thought or feeling. This can lend a kind of superficiality to their relationship with life and relationships with other people. It can also lead them to feel that if a negative thought or feeling comes up, in themselves or someone else, they must immediately block it out. When they do this, they are engaging in the act of repressing a part of themselves that needs to seen, heard, and processed.

When we repress parts of ourselves, they don’t go away so much as they get buried deep within us, and they often come out when we least expect it. On the other hand, if we allow ourselves to be fully human, honoring all the thoughts, feelings, and moods that pass through us on a given day, we create a more conscious relationship with ourselves. Instead of blocking out thoughts and feelings that we label as negative, we can simply observe them and then let them go. They only get stuck when we react to them negatively, pushing them down and out of sight where they get lodged in our unconscious minds. A healthier solution might be to develop a practice of following any negative thought we may have with a positive thought. This works well because positive thoughts are many times more powerful than negative thoughts.

Rather than setting our minds up in such a way that we become fearful of the contents of our own consciousness, blocking out anything that is less than 100 percent positive, we might resolve to develop a friendlier attitude toward ourselves, trusting in our inherent goodness. When we recognize our true inner worth, a few dark clouds passing through our minds will not intimidate us. We will see them for what they are–small, dark figures passing through an expansive sky of well-being and truth.

Simple Truths

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Below are five Yogic Sutras of the Aquarian Age given to us by Yogi Bhajan. A sutra is a ‘knot.’ It is a complex spiritual concept reduced to one sentence and later expanded upon by a spiritual teacher. Sutras allowed sacred teachings to be protected from harm (by appearing harmless to conquerors) and were brief enough to be remembered by students in ancient times.”

1. Recognize that the other person is you.

We can only truly see ourselves reflected in another person. If we admire qualities in another, we are only seeing those same qualities in ourselves. These qualities may not yet be developed or expressed. On the flip side, if we see qualities that we dislike in another—again, we are only seeing ourselves—perhaps a disowned part called the shadow.

The more we identify with our ego, the more judgmental we will be toward others and the more we will project our own personality traits onto others.  We are being called to take full responsibility for our experiences and to live the Truth—we are ALL ONE.

Reflection: Just for one day, own everything (good and bad) that you see in another person.

2. When the time is on you, start, and the pressure will be off.

The way that we perceive time is an illusion. There is no past and no future—only the present—Now. Time is only consciousness moving.

This expansion of consciousness is pressurizing you to change, grow, and evolve on your soul’s journey. It is foolish to hold back this process with procrastination. In truth, we all know within our deepest selves what changes need to be made.

Worry and stress about ‘what if’ scenarios will only lead to more suffering and paralysis. This is the mind’s play and you’ll end up like a dog chasing its tail.

Reflection: The Universe is change. Change is constant so why not embrace it? It is time for you to make changes in your life. Take the first step, no matter how small, and you will feel the pressure immediately start to ease up. This will give you the momentum to keep changing and growing.

3. Vibrate the Cosmos; the Cosmos shall clear the path.

All of the Universe is a vibration of energy. We are either vibrating in harmony or disharmony with the Universe. We vibrate frequency through our thoughts, words, actions, emotions, and feelings. What we put out to the Universe we receive back, much like a boom-a-rang.

When life seems to be continually placing blocks along your path and nothing seems to be moving, it may be showing that you are not vibrating in harmony with the Universe. To vibrate with the Universe is to vibrate the higher frequencies of love, compassion, and kindness.

One of the best ways to be in the flow of the Cosmos is through yoga, meditation, and chanting mantra—sacred sounds that attune you to the Universe.

Reflection: Are you in the creative flow of the Universe today? Do you feel that something isn’t moving in your life? Shift the frequency of your thoughts to be more aligned with the Universe. Bring in the higher frequency energy and then watch your path clear!

4. There is a way through every block.

It is guaranteed that challenges come into your life for your spiritual growth and healing. No one is exempt! In fact, the day you have no challenges is the day you are dead. Every challenge, no matter how great or small, has a solution or a way through. This solution, however, doesn’t come from the rational or logical mind. A pros and cons list will not work.

The solution will come bubbling to the surface through your intuition. How do you know the difference between intuition and thoughts from the mind? Intuition is neutral in energy; there is no judgment, no ‘shoulds,’ and no fear. Intuition is the creative energy. It is like a small soft voice in your ear.

Reflection: As you face a challenge in your life, take a moment and remember that there is a way through every block. Breathe long and deep for a few minutes and wait for the answer to come. Start acting from your intuition and trust that you will be guided to the next best step for you!

5. Understand through compassion or you will misunderstand the times.

We are being called to move out of the motto, “What’s in it for me?” and  into this motto, “How can my actions benefit the whole?”

Compassion is learning and acting from the heart. If we choose to go into judgment or look away from the suffering of our fellow human beings, we are misunderstanding the times. It is only the ego and mind that keep us separate from one another and in denial of the truth.

We are ONE human tribe on planet Earth, all of us brothers and sisters connected by ONE spirit. We are here on this planet to serve, uplift and help one another.

Reflection: Keep your heart open today as you approach people and challenges. Resist the urge to go into the mind and ego to become separate. Remember to look into the eyes of others to see the same light that lives in us all.

Show Up

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I know there are many people who struggle with the belief in God (I have been there). Some of us have the attitude, when I see it, I will believe it. But I have come to learn over the years, it’s actually quite the opposite; when you believe it, you will see it. I can tell you, truthfully, that I have so many experiences to justify my belief in God. These miracles started showing up when I started showing up, when I made the choice to believe FIRST. Things started going my way, because I put my faith and trust in God first. Life is easier now because I know that I am constantly being guided by a higher power. The stronger my belief is, the better I am becoming emotionally, spiritually, mentally, physically, socially, and financially. When a situation comes about, I keep in mind that God is in control and has a plan. So I ask you this simple question:  what do you have to lose? If you are not satisfied, you can go back to the way you were living. I can promise you that you have so much to gain and life will be more fulfilling and will seem effortless when you MAKE GOD PRIORITY.  ~dp

Give Thanks to the Lord

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Thank you God for life. Thank you for the struggles I’ve endured that brought me out a stronger and better person. Thank you for putting me on the path to reach you and to achieve greater potential. Thank you for guiding me to the truth, to believe in you, and to be with you, in Jesus’ name, amen. ~dp

Anthony J. Parise Art Gallery

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My talented brother is an artist in Los Angeles.  Below are some of his beautiful, contemporary pieces.  His latest piece is a tabletop he designed for a couple who is opening an art gallery in Redondo Beach. Get in touch with me if you’re interested in buying any of his paintings or metal artwork. Thank you! Stay creative!

o

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The Grip

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So I asked myself… have I really changed?  Can people actually change?  Is this possible?  I know when people hit the ground hard enough, they are forced to change, but do they eventually go back to being their same, old selves?  I have been working on self-improvement for several years, but it’s hard for me to tell if I am truly changing.  I still find myself having recurring thoughts and habits.  At least I am aware of them, and I do feel a little stronger and less of a people pleaser.  I guess after all those years of having the same thoughts and habits, that they are so ingrained in me, and that change is a gradual process.  It’s sort of like an etched stone when the engraving eventually wears off.  I am practicing patience, because I am determined to break free from the grip of the mind.

Set Boundaries

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Wow… is it just me or does it seem like there is so much negativity these days?  People are ready to attack, lash out, and strike at any given moment.  Little do they know that they are not only hurting themselves, but they are also creating more negative energy within their circle.  These people will then be the first ones to complain about how things are not working right in their lives.  Everyone is entitled to their own opinions and beliefs, but be civil and have some class and respect when voicing them.  Besides, if you listen close enough to what is being said without being so critical and close-minded, you might truly learn something.  My circle of friends is getting smaller.  I refuse to support negative behavior.