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The Two-Minute Tune-UpDaily Inspirational Messages
By Pam Boyd
iUniverse, Inc.Copyright © 2012 Pam Boyd
All right reserved.
I should have no objection to go over the same life from its beginning to the end: requesting only the advantage authors have, of correcting in a second edition the faults of the first.
"I Did It, I Admit It" Day
Today, go for the joy of the clean slate. Why not take care of the uncomfortable moments? You know—the ones that sneak up on you when you are thinking about something else or when you are just about to fall asleep, the ones that wake you in the middle of the night—the why-did-I-do-that? moments, the I-really-should-give-that-DVD-back-to-them-but-it's-a-hassle-and-it's-been -so-long moments, and the I-should-apologize-but-it's-too-humiliating moments.
We all have them. No better day to clear our consciences. I'll do it if you do it. What a difference it will make—for all of us.
New Year's Resolutions Don't Work ...
They don't work, that is, unless we love and respect ourselves. If we are beating ourselves up, swimming against the tide, focusing on the pain of it all, we've already lost. The place to start is to feel good about who we are and acknowledge that we are worthy, valuable, and honorable.
Just in case no one else has told you today: You are worthy, valuable, and honorable—just the way you are! The world needs the real you.
Believe it. Say it. Tape it on your mirror or your forehead. However you accomplish it, please tap into the confidence this knowledge creates—before you make any resolution or start any project. Otherwise, without this energy behind you, your resolution will be a de-motivator before February arrives.
You Have Not Arrived
One day, when I was in a race to the airport to catch a flight, almost everything that could go wrong did. Worry, frustration, and anger took over—until I recognized that the airport was not my real destination. When I decided to head toward peace rather than the airport, my circumstances improved radically.
All worked out. My flight had been delayed. There was never anything to stress about. But if I had continued to worry about getting to the airport, I would have punished myself and ultimately, everyone around me, needlessly.
Peace is always the real destination. If we get to where we are going without peace, we have not arrived.
Don't Worry if the Night Forgets Your Name
When I feel anonymous, I have turned to these words by Rilke for confidence. Even typing these stanzas empowers me. I hope it does the same for you—because the world needs your voice!
Silent friend of many distances, feel How your breath enlarges space From the dark rafters of the belfry let the peal Of yourself ring out, each bat become a lark ... Don't worry if the night forgets your name Affirm to the quiet earth: I flow. Play to the crowded waters, pianissimo.
- Rainer Maria Rilke (Braybrooke 2001)
Whatever our circumstances, we have a voice. I hope you will use yours and begin to affirm your place with confidence—today.
How Are You Leaving People?
I have always aspired to live by Mother Teresa's admonition, "Let no one come to you without leaving better and happier." I can't say I've always done that, but reading these words helps me think more about what state I am leaving people in in my wake. I have to admit that sometimes I've made people bitter instead of better. Oops.
Although, I am very proud of the times I have had the right effect. Here's the best Mother Teresa-like compliment I ever received: "Usually, after the workshops I have to go slug down some drinks to get over it, but you made two hours go by very quickly."
I think that counts, don't you?
Sing It Like You Mean It!
I love that scene in the movie Walk the Line when the producer tells aspiring artist Johnny Cash that he doesn't want to hear the same old song—but instead the song he would sing if it were his last.
This one piece of advice changes my day more than just about anything else that I might think about. If I remember, first thing in the morning, to sing my day like it's the last song I'll ever sing, I bring my entire self with me into the day and am fully engaged in whatever capacity I am needed.
Then I am not only interested and interesting—I am electric.
Reviewing the past year, I have to admit I am only just now learning to really listen to the people in my life who push my emotional buttons. I'm embarrassed to admit this because I teach the principles every week.
Last month, when my nephew called me, disgusted and complaining about his dad, instead of correcting him as I usually do with, "You shouldn't think that way or say those things," I simply said, "You seem really sad and hurt." I allowed him to express his pain, and I mirrored it back to him instead of escalating the drama with my platitudes (that he had heard a million times). Duh.
He calmed down immediately once he knew I really heard him.
Are You Repelling the Positive?
There is only a single, urgent task: to attach oneself to that which is strong, striving, and bright with unreserved readiness, and then to move forward in one's efforts without any calculation or guile.
–Rainer Maria Rilke (Ulrich 2005)
Yesterday, I wasn't feeling strong, striving, or bright, but, taking Rilke's advice made an immediate difference.
At all costs, I have found it important to keep my energy positive. Otherwise I will repel the positive things that are on their way to me. I have far too much past experience of succumbing to negativity, anger, worry, self-hatred, or discontent and repelling all that is strong, striving, and bright. (And it never did me any good at all.)
What Are You Leaving Behind?
As I was driving behind an overloaded trash truck on a cold and rainy day, discarded items kept blowing out and landing on my car. Before I was able to get into another lane, a full, dirty diaper hit my windshield, blocking my view and spreading its wealth. My wipers only made things worse. Besides the ick factor, it was dangerously distracting.
But the experience was a graphic illustration of what I have unwittingly done to the people behind me in my everyday life. Anger, gossip, negativity, discontent, and fear basically have the same effect as the dirty diaper on the windshield.
Starting today, I will be careful how I talk about life, politics, the world, our future, and my challenges.
I've learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.
What Is Your Real Work?
This morning, I hurried through my meditation, stressed about getting to my projects. Then, it struck me how funny this was. To see more clearly, connect more fully to the pure and complete energy source is the real project.
How silly humans can be! We stress over the very few things that we know about, while God is moving over all with complete awareness and perfect intent. My only task today is to connect to that knowledge and awareness. My life will then be guided and drawn to the real work. The simplicity of this single responsibility brings me joy and stops my stress, guilt, frustration, and worry.
And this is the coolest part: joy moves me to success faster than any other emotion.
Need a Partner?
If you could partner with the creator of snowflakes, would you?
If you could partner with the most insightful person in the universe, would you?
If you could partner with the most experienced person in the universe, would you?
If you could partner with the creator of love, would you?
And if you did, would you be able to relax more about your life and your future?
Would you be able to enjoy the sunlight, the acorns, and the breeze more?
Just asking because 1.11 is a perfect day to start.
"My yoke is easy and my burden is light."
The World Needs Me
May is a physically challenged, middle-aged grocery store cashier with a severely deformed hand, and she brought me—and probably many other people—total joy yesterday.
All May had to do was bring her entire self to work—and she did. She really saw the people around her and really talked to them. She engaged people around her and made them laugh. May was entirely delightful—just the way she was.
From the looks of her limp, May probably didn't feel great. From the look of her two-fingered hand, May's job probably was not the easiest job for her. But you would never know it!
More than anything, the world needs people like May—just the way they are.
Seriously? Lighten Up!
I am light today without the burden of regret for yesterday. I am light with forgiveness and joy. I am light without self-doubt about things I might have changed. I am thankful for all.
Not so long ago—just last year—I would have been dragging around my imperfections, heavy as a ball and chain. But today I realize that I am transient and all things are transient. I take myself less seriously and my calling more seriously. I will be light. And I will achieve all that I have been given the hope and talent to achieve. All.
Oh, you who change earth into gold ... change my mistakes and forgetfulness into knowledge.
Yesterday, I made two expensive mistakes. I am a frugal person, and I hate inefficiencies. But no mistake is as expensive as deciding not to be completely present in this moment.
My family tried to teach me this lesson for years, reminding me that efficiency was not as important as they were. I was a slow learner. They paid the price many times, when I made them miserable for my oversights, wrong decisions, and accidents.
Today, I decide to concentrate on the good I can do right now—not the good I should have done before. If I don't forgive myself for my own mistakes, I will not be able to forgive others for theirs.
Face everything with love, as your mind dissolves in God.
- Lalla, fourteenth century North Indian Mystic (Braybrooke 2001)
Stop Conflict and Pain
In a hotel concierge lounge, I greeted the frowning attendant kindly with, "Looks like you're having a hard day," which promptly backfired.
In response, he yelled, "How could you know that? You haven't been in here for five minutes. You don't know anything."
The entire room of people grew quiet, and even though I was tempted to feel embarrassed, instead, I responded, "I'm so sorry. My intention was to show interest and cheer you up."
He then said, "I'm doing just fine without your help."
In the past, I would have fretted about what I had done wrong or what he had done wrong. Now, I'm okay just remembering Marianne Williamson's advice in Return to Love:
"All that is not love is a call to love."
Stiff Neck for Nothing
This morning, I woke up with a stiff neck and shoulder because yesterday I allowed myself to stress about a forty-minute line at the post office. (I had told my husband, Bernie, that I would meet him during his run and finish the distance with him. I had no way to contact him and thought my delay was going to cause an inconvenience.)
But my timing worked out perfectly. The stress, neck and shoulder pain, and the indigestion were all unnecessary.
Same song, different verse: there is never a good reason to be in a place that is not peace.
At times, the stakes are, and will be, much higher. Learning to be peaceful today in all of our circumstances will yield big dividends, including better health tomorrow.
I am alive. I breathe with refreshing pleasure. I move to the rhythm of my heart, which beats without pain or resistance. My eyes move and collect beauty without effort. I am aware of the light, air, and fragrance around me, encasing me as if in a womb of nourishment and protection. I sit erect, supported with the joy of purpose. I look at the future with resolve and courage. I smile with awareness of the grace available for each day.
I drink pure water, I read, I work on a laptop, I communicate with friends around the world, and I rejoice in all these luxuries. And I ask, how can I use my gifts for others who do not know these luxuries?
No Permission Needed
I love this Howard Thurman quote: "Don't ask what the world needs. Ask what makes you come alive, and go do it. Because what the world needs are people who have come alive."
I can always make excuses about how "someone else is already doing" what I think it is I want to do. I say to myself, "It's no use, my contribution won't be noticed" or "There's already a book about that." But this Howard Thurman quote completely changes my focus to what makes me feel alive.
(Thirty years ago, I said to myself, "I wish I could make a living writing, speaking, and sharing my opinion." If I had only known that that was all the permission I needed.)
I Am Good Fortune!
I ask not good fortune, I myself am good fortune. Henceforth I whimper no more, postpone no more, need nothing ... strong and content I travel the open road.
-Walt Whitman (Whitman 1992)
Walt Whitman had it right! And what a breakthrough it was for me to realize that I already had everything I needed, as well. What a feeling of power. No more whimpering. No more complaining. Strong and content, I now travel the open road.
Let go of the anxiety about what you don't have. Latch on to joy. Everything you need will find you. No matter what your circumstances, this feeling of completeness has to come first, before anything else you think you might need.
Optimism is moral courage. You cannot thrive without it!
Relaxed State of Expectancy
Florence Scovel Shinn used the term "relaxed state of expectancy" in her (1940!) book, The Secret Door to Success. Like so many other modern and ancient sages, she has shown me how my past prayers were more begging than receiving, more trying to generate faith rather than relaxing in the joyful awareness of God's care for me—and how, as a result, I had unknowingly built a wall between myself and the help I requested.
Today, I take her advice. I am in a relaxed state of expectancy. I acknowledge my divine right to the support of the entire universe. I do not fear, fret, doubt, or bemoan my circumstances. My joy is a positive magnet, attracting all that I desire.
Your Word Is Your Wand
Hudson Taylor lost his wife and newborn in childbirth, and at the same time, an older child died of malaria. His missionary work in China was failing, and he was all alone in a strange country. If that wasn't enough, he also became deathly ill with malaria.
His journal said that he felt completely forsaken—until he started to repeat the Bible verse, John 6:35, over and over again: "He who comes to Me will never hunger, and he who believes in Me will never thirst." After a few minutes with this simple exercise, Hudson Taylor said that he felt happier than he had ever felt in his entire life!
Florence Scovel Shinn wrote a book in 1929 entitled Your Word is Your Wand. I think that this story validates the concept.
Excerpted from The Two-Minute Tune-Up by Pam Boyd Copyright © 2012 by Pam Boyd . Excerpted by permission of iUniverse, Inc.. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
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