Grand Thoughts of Peace & Love

“What if this hardship I think I have, is really an honor?”  Could it be that God believes I am so strong that I can can manage it all with Grace & Gratitude? 

When we take a moment to glimpse from a bird’s eye view of our lives, that is, to see it our lives through God’s Grand Plan, we see the bigger picture and we realize that we are here for just a short time. It is with this view that we can begin to see the things that really matter and our unique place in the world.

We take notice of how we connect to everyone and everything and how we are to love and respect all of life, including those we dislike.  Including those that turn against us and those that cause us harm. These people are our most important teachers.

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There is something incredibly freeing when we see that our purpose is to forgive everyone and everything that we believe that has hurt us. To forgive those who don’t know any better, including those who may or may not be on a spiritual path, those who are clinging to a smaller sense of life and those who are white knuckling their way in fear through their short journey here on planet earth.

“Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called children of God.”

“Peace I leave with you; My peace I give to you” (John 14:27)

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Honoring it all

There is something so uplifting and empowering about believing you can honor your life with courage instead of going about your days begrudgingly. Instead of complaining and moaning about your trials and tribulations. Like I do. Like we all do.  Let’s stop this and view life another way.

I awoke this morning with a revelation. “What if this hardship I think I have, this problem, this pain, is really an honor?”  Could it be that God believes I am so strong that I can can manage it all with Grace and Gratitude?

A new perspective when life seems so hard.

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Featured Art

Early Worm on Instagram

 

Uncomfortably Content With Our Lives

Now, as I mature, what I seek is to feel content, that is – to live in a state of peaceful happiness. Madeline Johnson

For as long as I can remember, from the time I was a young girl, I’ve always had a very strong aversion to being “comfortable”.  There was something foreign to me about the feeling of being okay with the way things were.  To be complacent was something I never wished to be.

To me, comfortable meant lazy. To feel comfortable felt like you didn’t want to put in the effort.  It meant not caring enough to make anything better. It meant going along with the way things were – not wanting to strive for better.

I believe that when we are comfortable, we don’t question anything. We’re not affected by life. We’re checked out.

I am thinking about how this aversion to feeling comfortable has effected my life. I am a seeker, a striver and person willing to adapt, change and remain open to something better.  It has been both a blessing and curse.  I am never satisfied with the way things are and unwilling to accept being comfortable, so this living feels uncomfortable and at times feels like a struggle. Nothing in my life is ever good enough – in my mind, it can always be better.

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Now, as I mature, what I seek is to feel content, that is – to live in a state of peaceful happiness. My desire is to feel tranquil, serene, satisfied and grateful.

My crown is in my heart, not on my head, Nor decked with diamond and Indian stones, Nor to be seen: My crown is called content:

A crown it is, that seldom kings enjoy. 

– William Shakespeare from King Henry VI

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Ruthbell on Instagram @rbellart

Read: The Difference Between Happy & Comfortable

Self-Renewal

Your higher voice needs to be listened to. It is the one with the best advice.  By Madeline Johnson

This new chapter of my life is called smiling again.

The truth is, everything will be okay, as soon as you are okay with everything. 

– Michael Singer, author of The Untethered Soul

Reinventing yourself begins by slowing down. Being at peace. Staying calm.

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But how does one learn to chill out?  A 3-minute listen to the wisdom of Jordan Bach here.

Your higher voice needs to be listened to. It is the one with the best advice.  In the past two weeks my inner, deeper, more knowing voice told me loud and clear – do not complain and do not doubt.

Consult not your fears, but your hopes and dreams.

Think not about your frustrations, but about your unfulfilled potential.

Concern yourself not with what you tried and failed in, but with what it is still possible for you to do.

Pope John XXIII

 

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Featured Artwork on Instagram

 

 

Positively at Peace

When we become more aware of our negativity biases we can begin to work with them to see the upside of events. By Madeline Johnson

The more I learn about what it takes to become the best version of me, the more I am convinced that the two most important strategies to produce consecutively good days are a positive outlook and a calm demeanor.

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“It’s easy to think about positive psychology as a magic carpet ride,” explains Dr. Rick Hanson, author of Resilient, his latest book about growing an unshakeable core.  For example, someone recommends you keep a gratitude journal and that is what is suppose to transport you to a new level of happiness and joy.

While remaining grateful sounds like good advice (and I know from personal experience that being appreciative of what you have is a better way to be) – – – what happens in the real world? How does keeping a gratitude journal help with the everyday stress and difficulties we deal with and the the reality about hard things in our lives?

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While I haven’t read his book yet, Dr. Rick Hawkins reminds us that if we want to improve our lives we must be aware of our bias towards negativity.

It is perfectly natural for us to look for bad news, threats that might effect our lives and then focus upon the negative and possibly over react to it. This is the fast track to becoming extra irritable and anxious throughout our days.

When we become more aware of our negativity biases we can begin to work with them to see the upside of events, the opportunities and the possibilities that can even come from difficult and challenging experiences.

Two habits that I am nurturing to help me are guided meditation (I highly recommend Jordan Bach’s free 7 minute giveaway guided meditation) and pushing myself to at the bright side of everything that happens. Finding one slice of goodness in even what looks like the worst possible scenario. These are simple strategies, and they are working for me.

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Read Dr. Rick Hawkins books

Rick Hanson, Ph.D., is a psychologist, Senior Fellow of the Greater Good Science Center at UC Berkeley, and New York Times best-selling author. His books are available in 26 languages and include Resilient, Hardwiring Happiness, Buddha’s BrainJust One Thing, and Mother Nurture.

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Resilient because it’s vital to grow strengths inside like grit, gratitude, and compassion—the key to resilience, and to lasting well-being in a changing world.

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Hardwiring Happiness because life isn’t easy, and having a brain wired to take in the bad and ignore the good makes us worried, irritated, and stressed, instead of confident, secure, and happy.

Buddha’s Brain draws on the latest research to show how to stimulate your brain for more fulfilling relationships, a deeper spiritual life, and a greater sense of inner confidence and worth.

Just One Thing is a guide that offers simple things you can do routinely, mainly inside your mind, that will support and increase your sense of security and worth, resilience, effectiveness, well-being, insight, and inner peace.

More at Scientific American on the roots of embodied cognition.

Featured Artwork

Yoskay Yamamoto

 

It Starts With Self Approval

Approve of yourself and appreciate your life now.  Be grateful embrace how valuable a single moment really is. The time is now. By Madeline Johnson

If you want to become the brightest version of yourself than you must remain devoted to the path of learning and self-discovery for the rest of your life.

Try Self Authoring

It is all up to you. Promise yourself that you will remain focused on living up to who you think you should be and make a real effort to look after yourself daily.   Make a commitment right now that you will devote your time wisely to learning more about who you are and what you need and what you want in this precious lifetime. You don’t have time for fear or self-doubt.

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Repurpose your pain. There is nothing that cannot be used in the process of life development. All of the nonsense that we have experienced and will continue to experience can be viewed as the compost in which we seed and grow our new life.

If we can change our attitude about the problems and pain we have gone through we can respond differently to what is happening to us.  This is in and of itself is the beginning of change.

Do not seek approval from others. Ask for feedback instead. Find people who will care about you and support you.

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Approve of yourself and appreciate your life now.  Be grateful for the time you have and embrace how valuable a single moment really is. The time is now.

Commit to squeezing out the best of the 1,440 minutes you have in each day.

 

Featured Artwork

Ellen Pau

A self-taught video artist, Ellen Pau inhabits many roles in Hong Kong art scene, as an independent cinematographer, curator, and art critic. Her single-channel videos and video installation works are extensively exhibited worldwide. Pau is the founder of Videotage and a director for the Microwave International New Media Art Festival. In recent years, she expanded her research to Asian new-media art and worked as an art consultant with her newly founded company Inter-Act Arts.

 

Manifesting Your Reality

Don’t waste your thoughts worrying. Don’t give away your thoughts and don’t waste time thinking about what you don’t want to happen. By Madeline Johnson

Your thoughts have the power to change everything in your life. Everything you have in your life right now, started with a thought.

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What you focus on with your thoughts, your mind will manifest as reality.

Sometimes our thoughts create realities that we have to overcome.

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Every single thought we have is a unit of energy. Energy to create something new.

Don’t waste your thoughts worrying. Don’t give away your thoughts and don’t waste time thinking about what you don’t want to happen.

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Invest in thoughts that are productive.

The next time you start obsessing about something, ask yourself . . .

Is this thought going to enhance my life

or take away from it?

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Place your thoughts and energy behind that which will make you stronger, rather than wasting your thoughts on remorse about things that have fallen apart.

Conserve your thought energy to create more beauty, rather than manifest more pain.

The moment you change your perception is the moment you rewrite the chemistry of your body.   Dr. Bruce Lipton, author of The Biology of Belief

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Recommended Reading

Way of The Peaceful Warrior, Dan Millman

Featured Artist

@demoontier makes weird, queer, drag and fashion inspired art.

https://www.instagram.com/demoontier/

 

 

It’s a Good Day, All Day

Understanding what triggers you emotionally and setting yourself up for a good day. By Madeline Johnson

Mondays can bring so much promise. Like a new year, Mondays can offer a clean slate. A fresh start. A chance to begin again as you plot and plan for a better, more productive week.

Setting out to have a good day, a good week or a good year begins with a conscious knowledge of one’s own feelings, motives, and desires. It starts with knowing who you are and how you will navigate your day to get where you want to go. You understand there will be inevitable distractions.

You need to know what sets you off. What disrupts your day. What makes you feel angry, needy, shutdown and frustrated. What triggers a bad mood for you.  Anything that makes you experience a negative emotional response that could pull you off course.

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Understanding how you react to people and situations throughout the day will help you identify patterns in your life and develop a better understanding of the events in your life that usually lead to a problem, similar to what Mei does at work. Mei is an artificial intelligence messaging assistant that warms of personality changes based on communication with co-workers.

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Knowing What Set’s You Off

What triggers you? It’s important to identify when you feel the need to be accepted by others, understood, in control of the situation, paid attention to, at peace. Understand if it is important for you to have things in order, to feel safe and secure, to have a bit of fun during the day. Are you getting the respect you think you deserve? Do you feel like your talents are needed?

Do you always need to feel right? Are you comfortable? Calm? Do you feel as if your life is balanced? Are you spending too much time on work and not enough with your friends? Is your life way too predictable? Are you a bit bored with what you are doing?

Could you use a bit of challenge in your career? Your relationship? Are you feeling like you are liked, valued and being treated fairly by others?

Does everything feel a bit too chaotic around you? Like something could break, crack or fall apart at any minute?

Do you believe that others are ignoring you? Avoiding you? Do you feel included?

Make it your mission to understand how you operate.

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If at any point during the day you feel out of sorts, off, emotionally frustrated, take a pause.  Breathe deeply. Calm your mind. Don’t get so worked up.

Try sitting up straight and breathing deeply to the count of six. Breathe through your nose for six counts and out your mouth for six. Go slowly. Deep, deliberate inhalations and exhalations. This will calm you down.

Take a moment to understand what you need right now? Do you need to be patient? More tolerant? Less tolerant? Perhaps you need to explain yourself again? Let others know how you feel? Show some compassion? Walk away?

Before you take action, question your own thinking. Know if what you are thinking and feeling is actually true, or if it is a projection of what you negatively think is true.

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What might trigger you?

  • Someone rejecting you.
  • Someone leaving you (or the threat that they will).
  • Helplessness over painful situations.
  • Someone discounting or ignoring you.
  • Someone being unavailable to you.
  • Someone giving you a disapproving look.
  • Someone blaming or shaming you.
  • Someone being judgmental or critical of you.
  • Someone being too busy to make time for you.
  • Someone not appearing to be happy to see you.
  • Someone coming on to you sexually in a needy way.
  • Someone trying to control you.
  • Someone being needy, or trying to smother you.

Read more here

You’ll probably want to avoid them, but find out why they are behaving the way they are – and why you are reacting they way you do.

Realize everyone is trying to trigger you.

Advertisers and marketers bake emotional triggers into their brand messaging. They know how strong emotional triggers will motivate you to act from feelings like fear and desire.  These emotions have effect on you, whether it’s feeling like your life is lacking excitement, adventure and love from an Instagram story to feeling like you are a lonely, loser and not enough from a YouTube ad. The messages are incessant. Turn them off.

Getting a leg up on emotional triggers. Face them . . .

  • Do the most important things first this morning. Understand what you need to do vs what you want to do.
  • Watch what you tolerate.
  • Expect yourself to be triggered by something or someone and have a plan. Avoid or face it.
  • Spend some time alone during the day.
  • Practice being more compassionately assertive.
  • Decide how you will respond to how others mistreat you. Not react. Respond.
  • Try to understand others. God only knows what they are going through.
  • Protect your time at all costs. Tech apps below to do just that.
  • Let others know when you won’t be available. Make something up – like you have an important meeting to go to. They won’t know. Or tell the truth. You are working on something big and need to focus.
  • Decide what you will pay attention to today. If you can, put your phone on airplane mode for a while.

Be strong.

8 Things Mentally Strong People Do Everyday

Technology to help you say no to distractions and to help you have a better day, all day.

Freedom app helps you protect your time, so you can focus on getting things done during the day.

One Big Thing ensures that you focus on your main priority, that one big thing, all day long.

Headspace is like a gym membership for your mind. 10 minutes of meditation a day to help burn off the busy in your brain.

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Featured Art

Indonesia based artist Roby Dwi Antono works meticulously in painting, illustration, and drawing.  His paintings are especially detailed, depicting dreamy scenes.

Peace of Mind, Your Highest Goal

Let peace of mind be your highest goal. Madeline Johnson for Undisputed Origin

One day, after so much anxiety, you wake up and realize that peace of mind is everything and you do nothing that disturbs it and you guard it with your life.

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APPLY WITHIN

You once told me
You wanted to find
Yourself in the world –
And I told you to
First apply within,
To discover the world
within you.

You once told me
You wanted to save
The world from all its wars –
And I told you to
First save yourself
From the world,
And all the wars
You put yourself
Through.

 

Poem by

poet, writer and philosopher Suzy Kassem

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Recommended Reading

40 Ways to Create Peace of Mind  by Lori Deschene the founder of Tiny Buddha and author of Simple Wisdom for Life’s Hard Questions

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Featured Artwork by

Jason Limon is a painter and sculptor that was born in San Antonio, Texas.