Two Magical Words

Two Magical Words2

The day is up and running…and so are we! Another day, another dollar. There is work to be done, children to make ready for school, bills to be paid, and a list of chores that must be crossed off. Our commute, and thoughts of crowded trains and busy highways, already looms in our consciousness. Deadlines have to be met. Already we can feel the weight of it all, settled squarely upon our shoulders–or worse, our heart. When, when, when will life become easier? When will we have time to rest, to enjoy, to appreciate the beauty of a day?

If this sounds familiar, we are not alone; such is the case for so many people. At times, our happiness and joy can seem an illusion; an oasis that–despite our valiant efforts–remains an ever-distant mirage. In our desperation, we pin our hopes upon two little words: If only. Misguidedly, we attach them to thoughts that we form into beliefs. If only I won the lottery! If only I could retire! If only I had more money! If only I was thinner, better looking, or richer! If only I had that special person in my life! If only I had a different job or lived in a different city! If only, if only, if only…

The truth, however, is that the difference that we’re seeking will never–and can never–be found in the two words mentioned above. Why? Because wherever we go, there we are! In short, we take our attitudes with us. The positive difference we’re seeking may, however, be found in two other words that possess the power to magically transform our life: Thank you. When we make it our habit to praise where we are–right here, right now–we begin an inner transformation that must yield the change that we desire. Such occurs when we concentrate our focus in a positive manner. We may begin the process by reading the following list, and later add to it with thoughts that are more personal:

  • Thank you…for my life.
  • Thank you…for the air in my lungs.
  • Thank you…for my work.
  • Thank you…for my family.
  • Thank you…for my friends.
  • Thank you…for my vision.
  • Thank you…for my home, my apartment, my room.
  • Thank you…for the food on my table.
  • Thank you…for what I’ve learned.
  • Thank you…for this day, this minute, this moment.

The peace and happiness that we’re seeking must come from within. First. To expect the world to fulfill us is folly. Why? Because life expresses from a higher gradient to a lower. The order is thus: Spirit, mental, physical. Water flows downhill, now and always. Inner precedes outer. When we understand the order of life–and live accordingly–we’ll begin to witness the change we desire. Two magical words–thank you–may be all that it takes to begin the transformation. So…shall we begin?

Dare to dream.

With heartfelt regards,

Art

Copyright © – 2017 – R. Arthur Russell

P.S. To view my ebook entitled Hold That Thought, please press here.

“Thank You” & Note to Publishers

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The Power of Attention

The Power of Attention5

There’s a misconception associated with the Law of Attraction, which may be expressed thus: When I get this, or achieve that, I will be happy. Due to this common and ill-conceived belief, many individuals spend their entire life striving to reach goals which–if and when achieved–bring little more than momentary happiness. And when such occurs, most dreamers automatically reach for an even grander goal, in the futile hope that it will bring the happiness they seek. The mistake? Believing that a thing, position, achievement, or even a person can yield joy which, by its very nature, must come from within. First.

How, then, can we experience the joy we desire? Does this not–especially for individuals who’ve blindly accepted the fallacy–seem a hopeless situation. If things and people and status and achievement cannot yield the happiness we desire, what can? The true answer: our deepest nature, which is joy itself. There, in the transcendent beauty of our soul, we may know firsthand the joy that is already ours. If it has eluded us thus far, it’s only because we’ve been searching in the wrong direction–outward instead of inward. Toward this truth, I offer a quote by Jose Orgega y Gasset (1883 – 1955) for contemplation: Tell me to what you pay attention and I will tell you who you are.

What, though, do we mean by attention?  We may think of attention as a flashlight that we may direct. Through it, we’re able to shine the light of our individuated consciousness in whatever direction we desire. We may shine it here–to a world of war, famine, politics gone wrong, and crimes against humanity; or we may shine it there–on love, on family, on friends, on food in our belly and a roof over our head. What an amazing power we possess! In any given moment, we may direct our attention to that which we choose. If we live consciously, the choice is ours: kindness, compassion, and love; or meanness, indifference, and hatred.

Does this mean we must toss aside our dreams and leave them behind in the dust? Not at all. We may still proceed with our dreams–the new house or car, the great career, world travel, the loving relationship–but with a wise approach. The problem of dissatisfaction only arises when we mistake our dreams as the source of our happiness–not a complement to it! When we live the wiser way, we’re going to discover a mysterious paradox: It’s when we’re most joyful within that we manifest most successfully without. What, though, if we can’t sense that inner joy? What then?

There is good news: Our joy is neither a million dollars away, nor the highest mountain climbed away. It’s neither a mansion away, nor a perfect lover away. It’s not a sports car away, a rich stock portfolio away, or a great travel destination away. It’s here–in this very moment–today! And the key that will help unlock this truth now? Gratitude, gratitude, gratitude! By centering our mind in the peace of the present moment, we may be surprised at what we discover. With the aim of discovering our inner joy, please contemplate the following list with a grateful heart:

  • A breath exhaled slowly, followed by the miracle of another breath inhaled.
  • The warmth of summer sun on our back.
  • A hug from–or given to–a loved one; or the memory of such.
  • That first sip of coffee in the morning, be it brewed or instant.
  • A barefoot walk across carpet or a sandy beach.
  • Bread and butter, for what it signifies: We have food.
  • Eyes closed, and then opened to reveal the miracle of sight.
  • The smell of crisp clean air.
  • Beethoven’s glorious “Ode to Joy,” or even more sublime, the words “I love you.”
  • A drink of cool water…and thirst quenched.

The doorway to our transcendent state of joy cannot be found in the future; it cannot be entered tomorrow or next week or next year. The threshold to our joy can only be crossed in the ever-present, eternal, now. No two alike, these moments come but once, bearing gifts both big and small. The only question asked of us is this: Will we receive them by using our power of attention wisely?

Dare to dream.

With heartfelt regards,

Art

Copyright © – 2017 – R. Arthur Russell

P.S. To view my ebook entitled Hold That Thought, please press here.

“Thank You” & Note to Publishers

The Good We Seek

The Good We Seek

To live is to experience a wide range of thoughts and emotions. No one is excluded from this, or given a free pass card. There will be ups and downs; laughter and tears; triumph and tribulation; exaltation and despair. In any given moment, on any given day, we may feel as though what we seek is beyond our reach, or worse–an illusion. The world can seem against us; our life filled with struggle. The achievement of our desires may seem an impossible dream. If such seems the case, it may help to know that the good we seek is closer than we think. In fact, it may be only one thought away. When we change the way we think, we literally–not wishfully–change our world. How, though, may we find the goodness we so desire?

Through a shift in consciousness directed by our true nature, which is spiritual. Of all of our wonderful abilities, one of our greatest is our power of attention. Contrary to popular misconception, we do not have to let our mind gallop like a wild horse. With practice, we may grab the reins and ease it to the left, to the right, or slow it to a trot. Stirred by a deep breath that brings us back to the present moment, we may redirect our attention and, thereby, shift our experience. To deliberately move us to a good point of attraction–which according to the Law of Attraction must attract more goodness–join me on a journey of gratitude. Let me guide your thoughts to a few ways to feel better…now.

  •  Put on a T-shirt, fresh from the dryer. Feel the warm embrace of the fabric against your skin.

There is the goodness of life.

  • Phone a relative or long-time friend and let the sound of his or her voice elevate your spirit. Think of how truly rich you are for having such a person in your life.

There is the goodness of life.

  • Listen to a selection of music that never fails to raise your spirits. Let the rhythm and sounds transport you to a realm of reverie.

There is the goodness of life.

  • Take your parent or parents out for a coffee. If such cannot be the case, invite an alternate caregiver or teacher who gave of their time, energy, or heart and asked for nothing in return.

There is the goodness of life.

  • While walking down the street, guide your attention to a mother or father with a young child. Perhaps the child is holding the parent’s hand, or being pushed in a stroller. For just a few moments, let your mind sense the world through the child’s innocent perspective.

There is the goodness of life.

  • Look at your hands–truly look. Spread your fingers wide and feel the stretch of your palms pulling taut. If there are scars or digits missing, be grateful for the fingers you still have and what they enable you to do. Pick up a pen–as though for the first time–and feel the wonder of every cell, nerve, and fiber.

There is the goodness of life.

  • Place your attention upon nature, even if you are living in a large city. Sit upon a park bench–if only for a few minutes–and let your eyes find the birds, butterflies, squirrels, and insects that are having their day. Feel their aliveness, and imagine the journey that they, too, are having.

There is the goodness of life.

  • While eating your next meal–however humble or extravagant it may be–place your attention upon the food before you. With soup, salad, or sandwich, be with each mouthful. Be mindful of the taste and texture of the food. Be grateful for the innate wisdom of your body, and how it performs the function of digestion without a word of instruction.

There is the goodness of life.

  • Go for a walk, even if only in the halls of your apartment. Marvel at the wonder of your feet and legs and hips that allow you to do so. Feel the aliveness that is stirring within them. If this cannot may be the case, use walker, cane, or wheelchair to move; the distance matters not. Be present, mindful, alive.

There is the goodness of life.

  • Perform at least one good deed daily for someone else–be that person a friend, relative, or complete stranger. From the depths of your heart, ask nothing in return, not even acknowledgement of your kind deed. Know that giving–sincerely–is your reward. Tell no one; in doing so you’ll begin to disengage from the conceptualized self (ego), which is the root of all suffering.

There is the goodness of life.

Through the deliberate practice of seeking goodness, we reap yet another–even richer–benefit. It is this: We attune ourselves to our deeper nature, which is God within. It is here that we will find the Source of all Goodness, for that is God’s nature. It is ours, too. And when we know that, we may go through life with strength, courage, confidence, and poise. Such goodness of life is that close.

Dare to dream.

With heartfelt regards,

Art

Copyright © – 2016 – R. Arthur Russell

P.S. To view my ebook entitled Hold That Thought, please press here.

“Thank You” & Note to Publishers