The JOY of Listening

listening_speaking

Once you notice the things there are to listen to,
you allow new and wonderful gifts for yourself.
You begin to listen without actually thinking.
When you find your mind thinking,
bring it back to listening.
Any judgments, opinions, stories, beliefs, labels
or concepts that arise might come in.
Note these and then return to listening.
Align yourself with peace, contentment, love, acceptance and JOY.

 

Check out the Journey of JOY Facebook page.
Give it some L❤VE.

Distracting Thoughts

distraction_thoughts
 
What negative thoughts distract you? Thinking of what others have done? Or what they havee not done? Telling yourself stories in your head? Focusing on the past? Or the future?
Are you aware of these negative thoughts? They are a distraction. When we focus on negative thoughts we block the way for being in the present moment and experiencing true happiness, joy, love and conscious living.
But …. being aware of what is really happening every day, every moment, is difficult. It takes work. It takes choice. And only you can make that decision.
How many times have you had worries or made up a story in your mind that was absolutely untrue? These stories come from our former beliefs, those thoughts we grew up with, and the judgments that we carry with us throughout our lives. We have trained ourselves to judge and criticize others and ourselves, not to have self-empathy and self-compassion, telling ourselves that we don’t deserve what we have. It comes from the opinions that we have held for years and years. It could be about ourselves or someone else. In the end, it just makes us sad and depressed, worried and unhappy. Somehow it just seems easier to keep those self-criticisms and live with them day after day rather than letting them go.
As youngsters we learned to pay attention to what we were thinking. Can’t you hear your Mom telling you to pay attention right now? We have become so used to paying attention that we forget about what is really going on around us in the present moment. Or one person tells us that we can’t do something right and we believe it and carry it with us for the rest of our life. As we grow older, we hold on to all those negative sayings and thoughts and tell them to ourselves every day. It’s the same ole, same ole day in and day out. We are living in our heads instead of our hearts.
It took years to build these thoughts and feelings of the Ego so it can be difficult to let go of them.  The Egoic Mind, as Eckhart Tolle says, is a reflection of our childhood beliefs that we grew up with and we have been relying on them and telling ourselves stories stemming from these thoughts for years and years.

It’s time for change.

It’s time to make the choice to get our of our heads and into our Inner Being. Let go of the worry, the stories, the fears and just be.

So how do you do this? I could tell you what I am experiencing as I sit here typing this into my blog. But you wouldn’t feel it. Only I can feel it. You have to experience being aware for yourself. No one can do it for you.
First, be aware of what is happening in this very moment. What are you thinking right now? Is it positive or negative? Feel where you body is right now. If you are sitting in front of the computer, feel your body in the chair, feet on the floor, feel your back against the chair. Really stop to feel these sensations. Is the air around you warm or cool? Is your body warm or cool, or just right? What do you smell? What do you see in front of you? What do you hear inside or outside? Now do you hear the birds singing? So many times we are unaware of their beautiful symphonies until we stop and listen.
By becoming aware we allow our senses to feel the juiciness of our being. Give yourself love and compassion because you do deserve it. Tell this to yourself every day, several times a day. When you walk past a mirror, look yourself in the eyes and say, “I love you!” And really mean it.
Add awareness to your thoughts this coming week. When you add awareness to your behavior, feelings or thoughts you tune into your Inner World. So instead of beating yourself up with negative thoughts and untrue stories, be gentle with yourself. Lighten up and stay aware. Observe your thoughts more closely. Check in with yourself often to make sure you are being aware. Step back from any dramatic situation and wake up to awareness. This takes work but you will gain insight and those thoughts and feelings will gradually be replaced by positive thoughts, awareness and insight.
Try that exercise during this coming week. Notice what happens.
 
 
This is my 200th post.
Thank you for all the followers and supporters that have read and commented.
You are appreciated.
 
 

From Chaos to Stillness

 

chaos

Times are difficult globally; awakening is no longer a luxury or an ideal.   It’s becoming critical.

We don’t need to add more depression, more discouragement, more anger to what’s already here.

It’s becoming essential that we learn how to relate sanely to difficult times.

The Earth seems to be beseeching us to connect with joy and discover our innermost essence.

This is the best way we can benefit others.

~ Pema Chadron ~

 

More Happiness

zebra_happiness

Don’t wait around for other people
to be happy for you.

Any happiness you get
you’ve got to make yourself.

~ Alice Walker ~

To thine own self be true!
When you are honest with yourself, you will be honest with others. When you love yourself you will genuinely love others, you will help others as well as yourself. Be authentic with yourself and it will be easy to be authentic with others and they will love you back, authentically.
When you totally love yourself and are happy with your life, then you can return that affection with others. Create stability in your life before you can share it with the world. Look to yourself for happiness, love and laughter. No one else can give that to you but you.
Whatever it is that you are looking for, whether it is for more love, money, self-confidence or any other desire, when you commit to loving yourself first, there is an entire world out there waiting to open up to you. Just accept it.
Living authentically and lovingly takes courage and it doesn’t matter what anyone else thinks. “What you think of me is none of my business!” Be completely honest with yourself. Make a commitment to be true to you first.
Then share your happiness and make someone smile.
 

Weekly Photo Challenge: Family

family_5sisters

Five sisters (my aunts and mom) donned in their Easter finest probably during the early 40’s somewhere in New Jersey.

family_cousins

It was always a family tradition to pose together before leaving and going back to our respective homes.
Pictured here are the cousins and uncles down the shore at my aunt’s house.  This is one of my favorite pictures.

family_wedding

I have no idea who any of these people are but they are some of my family in Italy.
I am thankful for each of them even though I never met any of them,
because without them, I wouldn’t be here to share this special photo with you.
Check out those hats, would you???

Weekly Photo Challenge: Beginning

Beginnings

Your success and happiness lies in you. Resolve to keep happy,
and your joy and you shall form an invincible host against difficulties.
~ Helen Keller ~

If you follow my blog you know that each year I choose a word for that year.  This year, my word is “Happiness!” Each year is a new beginning and each year I focus on that word. What’s your word for this New Year?

“No, this is not the beginning of a new chapter in my life;
this is the beginning of a new book!
That first book is already closed, ended, and tossed into the seas;
this new book is newly opened, has just begun!
Look, it is the first page! And it is a beautiful one!”
~ C. JoyBell C. ~

“Realize that if a door closed,
it’s because what was behind it wasn’t meant for you.”
~ Mandy Hale ~

“Perhaps that is where our choice lies
— in determining how we will meet the inevitable end of things,
and how we will greet each new beginning.”
~ Elana K. Arnold ~

“Change the way you look at things, and things you look at change.” ~ Unknown

Happy New 2014. Wishing you happiness, health and success!

What's the Word?

happiness_2014
I don’t do resolutions.
Instead, every year I choose a word that I want to focus on.
Usually I print it out and place it in various places where I can see it …. the bathroom mirror, the coffee maker, the car.
Previously words have been  “shift” (twice), “presence” (2013), “love”, “clarity” and “balance” to name a few.

This year I have chosen the word “happiness” .
Isn’t that what we all really want?  To be happy.  
What’s your happiness IQ?  Does it change from day to day, hour by hour?
What we believe and tell ourselves or self talk, on a regular basis shapes our happiness level.
Have you heard yourself say ….  I wish I were happy. I am always broke. I can’t seem to get ahead. I hate the way I look. 
What if you told yourself this?
I love the way I look when I see myself in the mirror.
I have an abundant and happy life.
I feel connected to Nature and all living things.
I am living the life I have always dreamed about.
Each day when I awake, I commit to loving myself fully and caring for my body with nutritious food, plenty of rest, inspiring relationships and happiness.

 

Happiness is in the Present.

Change your thoughts
and you change your world.

~ Norman Vincent Peale ~

The greatest discovery of our generation is that human beings can alter their lives by altering their attitudes of mind.
As you think, so shall you be.

~ William James ~

About the Photo:  Playing Halloween dress with my “Best-y”!!

Weekly Photo Challenge: The Hue of You

purple_quote
I decided to do some research on what colors mean to you personally and I am finding it very fascinating.  I am still working other colors and will share more later.  But for now, it’s purple!!

If you love purple . . .

  • Purple people are sensitive and supportive, always thinking of others rather than themselves. However, we must be careful not to get taken advantage of.
  • We love peace and quiet.  That means that we give the impression that we are shy but it truly is not the case.
  • Creative beings?  Yes!  Especially when it comes to our surroundings and appearance, and did I mention that we love all things eclectic and unconventional?
  • Purple beings have a great imagination and we tend to see the world through rose, I mean, purple tinted glasses.  However, we are continually looking for the meaning of life through spirituality.
  • We are generous with our gifts and rarely ask for anything in return.
  • Many of us are very secretive and private.
  • “Purpular” People have difficulty dealing with crowds and choose individuality over trying to copy others.
  • We have a passion for wanting to make this world a better place, many times holding positions where we can help that dream come true.
  • Our spirits are usually high and we love to travel and explore different cultures, not to mention meeting new friends.  We pride ourselves in being good judges of character.
  • At times, we take on too many projects and it can cause us stress.  So we resort to mediation to bring ourselves back to balance.

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