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Where The Happiest People Live

One of my teachers for decades has been author Alan Cohen, and today I’m sharing a special excerpt from his wonderful book A Deep Breath of Life. May you enjoy, and may all of us learn to live from a place of thankfulness and thereby enrich the quality of our lives, and the world. Namaste. Gina

Alan Cohen on gratitude

Rise By Lifting

“One person can make a difference and everyone should try.” ~John F. Kennedy

“Act as if what you do makes a difference. It does.” ~William Janes

“I have found the paradox that if I love until it hurts, then there is no hurt, but only more love.” ~Daphne Rae, Love Until It Hurts, 1980 (often erroneously attributed to Mother Teresa)

Why I Pray

source PinterestDuring prayer, when I go beyond life’s chatter and listen for the voice within that says ‘Be still and know that I Am God’ I fall into love and release attachment… to anything and everything. Through the process of connecting with the vastness of God’s power and love throughout the universe as well as in every fiber of my being, I fully let go and relax.

If I forget to pray, I lose my equanimity and can become grasping and desirous of outcomes. These lower energies are felt in my shoulders and stomach as tight muscles and tension, concern or worry, or even excitement and anticipation. Left undirected and untrained, my mind wanders and generates passionate reactions over this and that, with emotions as unstable as sand beneath my feet.

But when I carve out time to sit and be still, to quiet my thoughts and go deeply within, everything in my life benefits. The time I spend in prayer and meditation grants me a sense of stability that speaks to me of ‘building my house on a rock’.

“Peace. It does not mean to be in a place where there is no noise, trouble or hard work. It means to be in the midst of those things and still be calm in your heart.” ~unknown

source PinterestDeepak Chopra shared in an interview that there has not been a quarrel in his family for decades. He has worked on and mastered his inner calm and remains unflustered by outer events. I admire that and work towards it. Whether I am driving in traffic (often a button for me) or preparing a meal for many people, I endeavor to bring the results of my daily prayers to the task. A sense of non-attachment is what I am learning, and from which I have discovered tremendous calm.

As one who used to live amidst perfectionist tendencies, learning to release outcomes has improved my life. I still make lists to help me stay on track. I still plan ahead because it helps set me up for success. And I still visualize the best and highest outcome, yet I now include the phrase ‘this or something better’ and turn it over to God.

Putting it all in God’s hands makes me feel safer than when I used to strive to be in control. Having been on my own from a young age, taking care of all I could was an essential skill. However now it no longer serves but rather limits my true freedom. I’ve learned that when I forget to pray and attempt to control things, events, and people around me, deep within I feel unsafe.

For example, driving alone to attend an evening workshop across the city can generate feelings of fear if I’m only operating from my logical human awareness. I attempt to be in control and know everything: where to park and will it be well-lit; how early should I get there to get a close spot; can I walk out with a crowd to remain safe on the way back to my car; is my car fully gassed up; battery charged on the cell phone; and someone knows where I’m going and when I will return home?
Certainly all these steps help ensure security but they do not help me FEEL any safer. Only prayer helps me feel safe and secure. It is in acknowledging I control nothing that I notice the solid rock beneath me. It is in letting go of my human attachment to control that I truly feel safe. I embrace my trust and celebrate my faith in the One who controls everything.

faith is courageMatthew 7:24-27 NIV ~ Therefore everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock. The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house; yet it did not fall, because it had its foundation on the rock. But everyone who hears these words of mine and does not put them into practice is like a foolish man who built his house on sand. The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell with a great crash.

This is what prayer and meditation does for me. It is the rock beneath my feet and the awareness that I am truly safe.

Copyright © 2014 Gina ~ Professions for PEACE

 

Brave Enough To Be Who You Are

“We need to have the courage to claim our spiritual identity in the midst of a world afraid of light. We don’t need to flaunt our spirituality, argue about it, or attack anyone who does not see or agree with it; we just need to live it. The path of mastery does not require us to convince anyone else of anything; it simply asks us to remember who we are and be it.” ~Alan Cohen, Dare To Be Yourself

“There is only one journey. Going inside yourself.” ~Rainer Maria Rilke

Our birth is but a sleep and a forgetting,

The soul that rises with us, our life’s star,

Hath had elsewhere its setting,

And cometh from afar;

Not in entire forgetfulness,

And not in utter nakedness,

But trailing clouds of glory do we come

From God, who is our home.

~William Wordsworth

Impressions on Children

Children are like wet cement. Whatever falls on them makes an impression. ~Dr. Haim Ginott

Remember that children, marriages, and flower gardens reflect the kind of care they get. ~H. Jackson Brown Jr.

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Here are some fantastic one-page articles about teaching and encouraging kindness in children, even when they’re still toddlers. It’s really never too early to begin. May peace prevail. Namaste. Gina

8 Ways to teach kindness to toddlers and preschoolers, by Tabitha Studer at WhatToExpect.com
Kids and kindness: Can you teach compassion? by Holly Bennett at TodaysParent.com
Teaching Children Respect in 5 Minutes or Less, by Julie Hunt at SmartKids101.com

Care a Whole Awful Lot

Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot,

nothing is going to get better. It’s not. ~Dr. Seuss

Your acts of kindness are iridescent wings of divine love,

which linger and continue to uplift others long after your sharing. ~Rumi

 

All Are Safe Here

“The responsibility of tolerance lies with those who have the wider vision.” George Eliot, The Mill on the Floss (1860)

Give to every human being every right that you claim for yourself. ~Robert Green Ingersoll (May 8, 1888)

[Images from Pinterest. Quote sources: Mr. Ingersoll here and Mr. Eliot here]

Be The Good

“One of the most spiritual things you can do is embrace your humanity. Connect with those around you today. Say, ‘I love you’, ‘I’m sorry’, ‘I appreciate you’, ‘I’m proud of you’… whatever you’re feeling. Send random texts, write a cute note, embrace your truth and share it… cause a smile for someone else… and give plenty of hugs.”

~Steve Maraboli

Kind people bring out the kind in people.

Interconnectedness

O God, we are one with You. You have made us one with You. You have taught us that if we are open to one another, You dwell in us. Help us to preserve this openness and to fight for it with all our hearts. Help us to realize that there can be no understanding where there is mutual rejection. O God, in accepting one another wholeheartedly, fully, completely, we accept You, and we thank You, and we adore You, and we love You with our whole being, because our being is Your being, our spirit is rooted in Your spirit. Fill us then with love, and let us be bound together with love as we go our diverse ways, united in this one spirit which makes You present in the world, and which makes You witness to the ultimate reality that is love. Love has overcome. Love is victorious. Amen.
~Thomas Merton, his prayer from an informal address delivered in Calcutta, India, October 1968 [source]

 

The Reason For My Birth

In my recent post ‘The Great Peace March’ I shared a song that motivated me to learn how to make a lyrics video. To this day, even after hundreds of times listening to this song I still choke up. I love my family of humanity! We are all brothers and sisters. I especially enjoy how this part of the poetry in the song describes us as colorful reflections and parts of the whole wonderful world we share. 

Are you black like night or red like clay, are you gold like sun or brown like earth, grey like mist or white like moon? My love for you is the reason for my birth!


With gratitude to those who made these images, found online a while back. Unfortunately they didn’t put their names on it or else I would too. I’m getting better now at providing links [or at least sources] to images. That’s why, in the sidebar, I’ve put links to my Pinterest and Facebook locations. There’s an endless abundance of inspiring images to enjoy and share. My Facebook page is brand new so you’re invited to come in on the grassroots level and add ‘Like’ number three if you enjoy it! {LOL}
In the sidebar you’ll also see a link to my YouTube channel to enjoy these words mentioned above sung by Holly Near as well as other uplifting videos. May you enjoy. Namaste. Gina

Copyright © 2014 Gina ~ Professions for PEACE

All The Good You Can

Do all the good you can, by all the means you can, in all the ways you can, in all the places you can, to all the people you can, as long as you ever can. ~John Wesley

Cultivate Kindness and Patience

Here’s an excerpt from Ann Mortifee’s lovely book In Love With The Mystery which encourages us to keep tending to our gardens of kindness. Even when we do not observe immediate results in our gardens, we know there are wondrous works taking place underneath the surface. Every moment of cultivating kindness in our thoughts and actions makes a beautiful impact, even if we must wait to witness results. Have faith. And have patience. Every choice to love makes a difference. Namaste.

Gina's front yard

Copyright © 2014 Gina ~ Professions for PEACE

Endless Opportunities for Kindness

The Random Acts of Kindness Foundation is a wonderful organization who I’ve celebrated before and they deserve repeating. They generate ideas for ways that anyone can share acts of kindness. I’ve provided a link in this image to the page where these kind people have shared hundreds of ideas to help spark our own. May this list give us a great start, and may our visits to their site deepen the realization that the possibilities and opportunities for sharing kindness are practically endless.
Let’s be encouraged and encouraging! Each one of us can make a difference, each and every day. 

Related reading you may enjoy from a post I did celebrating this fantastic foundation:
http://professionsforpeace.com/2012/08/15/kindness-from-kids-of-all-ages/

BE Love

Remember, we are all affecting the world every moment, whether we mean to or not. Our actions and states of mind matter, because we’re so deeply interconnected with one another. Working on our own consciousness is the most important thing that we are doing at any moment, and being love is the supreme creative act. ~Ram Dass