Living In The Present and Loving What Is

love what is

Steve Maraboli wrote, “Live today! Do not allow your spirit to be softened of your happiness to be limited by a day you cannot have back or a day that does not yet exist.” It sounds so wise, right? But, like many wise sayings, it is easier said than done. What exactly does it mean to live today? What does it take to free yourself from regrets and worries? Is it even possible to be happy despite a horrible past? You see, sometimes, we tend to make reality meaner than it actually is. We over analyze people and situations to the point that we feel hopeless about the situation already. When someone does not agree with us or does not show us the kind of treatment, the kind of love, we expect from them, we immediately feel rejected and unloved. Sometimes, this even leads us to think badly of ourselves...
Continue reading...

Making Your Work Meaningful: Finding Significance In Your Work

Finding significance in your work

In the 16th century, work was considered a means of expressing one’s devotion to God. It encouraged community and it valued family. Work, then, did not take people away from their neighborhood and families; nor was it a means to an end, that is economic gain. Today, work has become secularized, dehumanized, and compartmentalized. Work is often connected to money, status, and a robot-like life. When people find out that I authored a bestselling novel, they would immediately say, “Oh! You must be making a lot of money!” On rare occasions, though, someone would see the deeper triumph – the significance – behind my work, The Lighter Side of Large, and congratulate me for touching thousands of lives through my writing. There is no better feeling than knowing that your work, more than being a success, is significant – to yourself and to others. You see, there is a difference between...
Continue reading...

Finding Your Calling and Living Significantly

Find your passion and live significantly

I’m sure all of you, at one point in your life, asked yourself: “What have I done to make a positive impact in this world?” Many of us would answer, “Well, I’d like to do something but I don’t know where and how to start,” or “I’m not hearing God’s voice directing me towards a calling.” If you think about it, it’s not really a matter of hearing God’s voice because He has already spoken to us: “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.” The second is this: “Love your neighbor as yourself.” There is no commandment greater than these.” (Mark 12:30-31) What we need to do is to trust Him and use the abilities, resources, and networks that He blessed us with so that we and others can experience Heaven on Earth....
Continue reading...

What’s Your Story?

Turn negative thoughts around

We all have stories. “My father left us for another woman.” “I never do anything right in the eyes of my mother.” “My husband cheated on me.” “My children don’t appreciate what I do for them.” “My boss is a dictator from hell.” “I am fat.” What is mind boggling is that most of our stories, how we perceive our families, friends, and co-workers, and our thoughts about ourselves are mostly negative. We see ourselves as victims, and we resent the people who we think do not accept us or support what we do. Then we carry that heavy luggage around – anger, fears, worries, and regrets – while constantly complaining how stressful and difficult life is. Well, life need not be that way. In my previous blog post, Mind Your Own Business, I mentioned Byron Katie’s The Work. This new way of thinking introduces us to a process of...
Continue reading...

Mind Your Own Business!

Mind your own business

Are you feeling overly stressed lately? Have you been feeling down for reasons you cannot pin point? Then maybe you are not minding your own business. What do I mean by that? Let me share something I learned from Byron Katie, who is known for The Work, which she says is “a woman’s direct experience of how suffering is created and ended.” According to her, there are only three kinds of business: mine, yours, and God’s. When you do not stay in your business, that is when stress, fear, and depression creep into your life. When you find yourself thinking, “My husband should understand me more,” or “My sister should get a job,” you are in their business. When you worry about earthquakes, floods, and dying, you are in God’s business. This is not good because when you always think about what should be best for others and worry about...
Continue reading...

How Judging Others Can Turn Your Life Around

Judge others

Did I just say it’s okay to judge other people? Yes. But before you go on a judging spree, hear me out first. I know we have been told never to judge other people. Still, we often always judge others whether we admit it or not. This can cause tension within, especially if we hide it for long periods of time. These judgmental thoughts are most destructive when directed towards people we have forgiven 99 percent, but there’s still this 1 percent that keeps us from totally moving forward. This is why Byron Katie’s The Work encourages us to let our judgments speak out by writing them down. For us to move on, we must face these judgmental thoughts head on so we can turn the situation around. But how do you do this? The Work gives us Four Questions that we must answer when assessing judgmental thoughts: Is it true? Can...
Continue reading...

Originality

embracing your uniqueness

I’m working on a craft project. It’s a paper bag book made by folding three paper bags one on top of the other in half, sewing a binding and pasting scrapbooking papers and pretty pictures from magazines onto the pages along with quotes of encouragement. It’s for a friend who’s been struggling to accept herself and is plumb wore out with keeping up her walls of defense and mode of survival. Someone gave one to me recently and I thought I’d pass the encouragement along, because she really needs a pick-me-up and remind her how original and special she truly is. As I thumbed through two dozen issues of the same magazine, I grew more and more disgusted with what I was seeing. As much as the text proclaimed or insinuated, “This is how to be original,” not one bit of it was original. It was all about making people...
Continue reading...

My Brother’s Keeper

my brother's keeper

I’m back on the topic of the homeless. Why? Because as much as government policymakers and do-gooders think a new program or more funding will help solve the problem of homelessness, they won’t. You’ll remember I told you about my mate in the United States who took a homeless woman under her wing. Eight months ago, this woman – “Marta” – was on the streets, living from one drink or hit to the next, sleeping in the woods next to a park with other homeless people, and not improving her life. It was my friend’s courage to take Marta into her home for a while and walk with her through a mountain of bureaucratic paperwork to get financial aid and health insurance which enabled Marta to get off the streets and into her own efficiency apartment. The health insurance allows her to get some medical issues taken care of (many...
Continue reading...

Right to Fight

fight back

I recently watched a video produced by a major metropolitan city on what to do if a shooter comes into your building. It seems cities, companies and colleges are sending out these and email notices to prepare people for the worst and help prevent loss of life. What struck me as incredibly sad and extremely incredible is that the video has to tell people, “Yes, you CAN fight back.” While running and hiding is preferable, it’s acceptable to fight to take down a gunman. Have we really come to this place in modern, civilized society that we need to be given the A-OK to fight back? Good grief, give a toddler or dog a toy and watch how it fights back when another toddler or dog tries to take it. There’s no learned behavior here; it’s strictly reactionary. And yet for years we’ve been told it’s not nice to hit...
Continue reading...

The Art of Storytelling

the art of storytelling

Have you ever wondered why there are certain stories that stick in the minds of many even after so many years? Think of the likes of Les Miserables, Toy Story (which captured both the young and the young at heart!), and recently, The Fault In Our Stars – all of which touched many. While I was in the process of writing The Lighter Side of Large, I had all these hit stories in mind – books and movies alike. I looked for similarities and that special something that made people read and watch them over and over. I applied everything I learned and discovered from these stories and applied it to my own book. And guess what? It became a bestseller! What Makes Great Stories The art of storytelling is about being consistent. It must have a theme and the storyline must revolve around that theme. The writer must be...
Continue reading...