Lesson #1: Living Systems Move In One of Two Directions.
(Tools from the Appreciative Inquiry Toolbox)
Choice or free will is a gift! To choose where to expend one’s life force is not only the goal of life but the gold of life. Every human being has an energy, or life force, that fuels them, propels them towards their very best self, and generates the power of attraction. This life force has many names: qi, frequency, or zone. It is that internal condition when we seem to move effortlessly towards our goals in a spirit of exuberant joy and certitude.
Our value appreciates when we consciously and consistently move towards those things that add value to our lives. Living things move in one of two directions: towards life or towards death, towards advancement or towards destruction, towards growth or towards decline. Which way we decide to move is the choice that the gift of free will offers each of us in each moment. Every thought, feeling, and action we choose will move us in one direction. We each have the opportunity and responsibility to choose the direction that we wish to travel and expend our life force.
Every human being, community, and organization has a life force that has no geographical boundaries or limitations as to its reach or impact. This life force is either released to do good for the whole or it causes harm. When it ceases to do good, its strength is misused and, consciously or unconsciously, contributes to humanity’s decline. Done correctly, we not only increase our own value, but we also enrich our relationships, organizations, and communities in which we have the bounty to serve. When we choose incorrectly, everyone loses. When we choose correctly, we all win; for we are all connected. We breathe the same air, cry the same tears, and rejoice when we are cared for, respected, and valued. Remember, life is a workshop and there are guidelines for the journey.
“The Poet Speaks”
High Hopes for Future Elections
Before you wonder if I’ve bumped my head, let me say, I’m not talking about the current method of elections. I’ve heard so many people speak about their growing hopelessness and frustration about the lack of civility, kindness, and respect on the national scene. So why am I so hopeful?
That’s the topic I woke up pondering this morning. I’d just returned from a wonderful four-day conference in Chicago electing the members of the Bahai National Spiritual Assembly. In addition, delegates from across the United States gathered to discuss our latest divinely inspired plan on how to bring peace, justice, equity, and unity to the world. I left the Conference with renewed hope, focus, and commitment. It’s much easier to be hopeful around people who are hopeful, organized, believing, professional, courteous, loving, and willing to work (and not just talk about) bettering the world. Very few people are dispensing hope these days but I received a heaping helping over the last four days.
“As ye have faith, so shall your powers and blessings be, this is the balance; this is the balance.” Baha’i Writings. In the Bible, “Faith can move mountains.”
Dr. Dale Archer wrote in Psychology Today, “If I could find a way to package and dispense hope, I would have a pill more powerful than any antidepressant on the market. Hope, is often the only thing between man and the abyss. As long as a patient, individual or victim has hope, they can recover from anything and everything. However if they lose hope, unless you can help them get it back, all is lost.” He explains that hope is more than a wish it is a belief.
It is so easy to be disheartened listening to the constant media reportings of hatred, greed, prejudice, violence, corruption, and the lowering of moral standards in the world. Causing more angst is the discourteous nature of our political candidate elections and the way it is bringing out the worst in far too many people. Fortunately, as Delegate to the Baha’i National Convention for my electoral unit, I got to witness a rarified election in stark contrast to the current political scene. So many distinctions, that one can only have hope the world gets to one day witness a model like this that works. First of all, we had 100% participation. Who has 100% participation in anything these days? Secondly, there were no invalid ballots. This was due to an informed and educated electorate. Thirdly, there was no electioneering; no partisan or negative politics. Everyone there had been elected from their electoral units across the country, and as such represented the grass roots. The Delegates began by reflecting on how we should choose our leadership.
“..It is incumbent upon the chosen delegates to consider without the least trace of passion and prejudice, and irrespective of any material consideration, the names of only those who can best combine the necessary qualities of unquestioned loyalty, of selfless devotion, of a well-trained mind, of recognized ability and mature experience….” (3 June 1925 to the Bahá’í Convention, published in Bahá’í Administration p. 88)
We approached our sacred task with humility, honor, and joy. Everyone rejoiced about the final results. When not voting, we consulted on topics of interest for the advancement of humankind, studied the guidance for the 5-Year plan (2016- 2021) on how to serve others, and shared progress nationally on our successes and commitment to our children’s moral and spiritual education, youth empowerment, and to creating spaces to pray, fellowship, and encourage each other. So that is why am I hopeful! I’ve witnessed a model of elections that works. I’m hopeful because maybe the world will get to witness it too! To learn more about what the Bahais are doing to build the kingdom of God on earth, click here.
The Power of Belief
We see it first in our imagination, for it is the space designed for our creativity. And, once we see our goal (in our mind), we are on our way to achieving it. We have confidence because it does not require blind faith to believe in something we see.
The key is that the “seeing” we are talking about is first internal. We craft the vision through the use of the power of imagination. That vision becomes your internal road map. It gives the prefrontal cortex (logic brain) something to focus on and plan out. It gives the Reticular Activating System (RAS) guidelines for the search. The RAS is your internal GPS that constantly scans the input from your agents of perception (sight, smell, taste, touch, hearing) and zeroes in on only those things that match what the conscious brain is thinking about. When we visualize a goal regularly, with excitement and passion, and are willing to take the action steps we are inspired to take, then we will have more and more faith and confidence in our ability to achieve our future goals.
So, go ahead! See it; believe it; achieve it!
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You’ve probably heard the saying, “Seeing is believing!” While it has some truth, we know from experience that even when people are shown something that conflicts with what they already think they know, that they don’t automatically believe it. Old conflicting beliefs that cause cognitive dissonance sometimes keep us from seeing and believing new evidence even when it is placed right in front of us. None of us sees all of what is before us.
We Are Co-Creators In Creating An Evolving Society
We can’t expect to contribute to an evolving society if we keep everything the way it is now. As co-creators in creation, it is our birthright and duty to make things better for everyone, to find a need and fill it, to serve our fellow man joyfully. We are happiest when we are in the mode of creating something new, different, meaningful, or exciting. However, many find this hard to do because they only believe what they see. Their experiences are limited and in some cases they allow their old beliefs to block them from gaining new knowledge.That can keep them stuck forever.
There is so much more that what meets the eye waiting to be noticed or discovered. The eyes take in about 10,000,000 bits of information per second, but only a fraction of that, roughly 40 bits per second ever reaches our conscious minds. So, if we only believe what we see, we are limiting ourselves. Once we see something, it has already manifested and that doesn’t take much faith. However if you can see something before it is manifested and use your powers of attraction to bring that goal into reality, now that’s real faith. That’s why I like “Believing is seeing!” That puts us into the creation mode to create something new and different. That is what change is all about and the excitement of this earthly journey is for, creating and manifesting!
- I would have spent more time developing my talents.
- I would have learned to draw.
- I would have written sooner and published sooner.
- I would have spent more time listening to my spirit than to others.
- I wouldn’t have stopped singing just because someone told me that I couldn’t sing.
- I would have waited to be intimate with someone who loved God, my spirit, and soul more than my body. I’d have wished that I’d learned sooner the difference between “I love you” and “I lust you.”
- I would have stayed home with all my kids when they were under five and loved every moment and made do with less stuff.
- I would have insisted on knowing all of my children’s friends and been the mom that had everyone over.
- I would have given or thrown away all the stuff I hadn’t used in a year and not allow clutter in my sacred space.
- I’d have made my home a ‘fortress for well-being’ instead a warehouse full of useless stuff.
- I would have lived a much simpler life and only purchased things that I needed instead of anything that I wanted.
- I’d have spent less and saved more so that I’d have the money to visit my grandchildren whenever I wanted.
- I wouldn’t buy anything that I couldn’t afford.
- I would have more dinner parties and time with my friends and not put it off for another work project.
- I’d have taken more time to nurture the relationships between my sisters, cousins, and dear friends.
- I’ve also have gotten to know my aunts, uncles, and grandmother while they were alive.
- I’d have judged less and loved more unconditionally.
- I’d have complimented my husband more and helped him to reach his dreams. I’d have shown him more gratitude for the little things and his belief in me.
- I’d have listened to my father’s story and written it down so I could benefit from the lessons when I became his age. I’d also have written my story as it was happening.
- I would have excelled in nutrition and health and been kinder to my body.
- I’d have exercised more, learned sooner about vitamins, minerals, proteins, vaccines, and pro-biotics, and would have done yoga, qi-gong and pilates sooner and religiously.
- I’d have hired an interior decorator to make my home beautiful instead of buying a luxury car.
- I would have been less trusting of what people said and relied more on what they actually did.
- I would never have told a lie, gossiped about another person, or said anything unkind.
- I would have respected myself more and not allowed others to make me feel ashamed of myself.
- I’d have been kinder to my stepmother and perhaps she would have been able to heal and find love in her heart sooner for me.
- Although I did well in school, I would have strived for perfection since I had the capacity. I would have stayed in school and gotten a PhD before I had kids.
- I’d have brushed more, flossed more, and eaten less junk food as a kid and young adult.
- I would never have stopped playing.
- I’d have learned the value of sleep and not compromised it to reach lesser important goals.
- I would have spent less time and energy on people who were just takers.
- I would have focused on one career goal at a time instead of allowing outside influences purportedly to “get rich” to distract me from my calling.
- I would spoken up more in some cases and kept my mouth shut in others.
- I would have delegated more; hired an accountant, a housekeeper, and anyone else who could do certain jobs better than me.
- I would not have gotten out of sync with the sun.
- I would have gotten outdoors more.
- I would have created more habits that brought me joy and health.
- I would listen more and talk less.
- I would write more, much, much more and publish more.
- I would create rituals like calling each kid everyday and tell them I love them, even though I feel they know it.
- I’d have spent more time with my grandchildren.
- I’d have protected my credit better.
- I’d have spent less time on friends that do not value my friendship and more on those who show they care.
- I’d never have stopped going into nature. I’d never gotten afraid of bugs and limiting my time outdoors in nature.
- I’d never have stopped running since I loved it.
- I’d say “I love you” everyday to those I love in ways that they could hear me.
- I’d have protected all of my children better.
- I would have shared my pain too and not be seen only as the Superwoman who doesn’t cry.
- I’d focus more and finish what I have started.
- I’d never have stopped sewing.
The first half of this list was written about five years ago and the latter today. The great thing about reflection, is that you STILL CAN DO many of the things you wish you had done. And, for the ones you can’t you can share your wisdom with others who may benefit. I love life and I am glad that I am alive, because the alternative is….. I hope you are grateful for your life too!
Spring Symbolizes ChangeDon’t Fight It: Go With the Flow!
In honor of the momentous arrival of spring on March 21st, I’d like to share 21 tips to help you spring forward in your personal, business, and spiritual life. Don’t just sit there lethargic accepting mediocrity, fate, or chance. Get up, spring forward, pounce ahead, move onward, leap, twirl, soar… Go after your dreams. Make life really matter. Appreciate life more by living it more fully. Pick the life you want from the universal catalog of possibilities; plan for it, prepare for it, and promote yourself right now. Don’t wait for others to see your greatness. Give yourself permission to go after your dreams with faith, fervor, and fastidiousness.
Seven of 21 Best Spring Forward Tips
- Decide what you want and go after it. Indecision wastes valuable time and energy. Decide, ask, believe, act, and receive.
- Have a spiritual or rejuvenating daily routine. It can be as simple as having a few moments to quiet the mind and center yourself, to a longer time complete with prayer and meditation.
- Don’t sacrifice the most important for things of lesser value. Don’t choose the easiest, quickest, or most comfortable. Choose what will have the most impact and add the most meaning to your life.
- Get organized. You waste time and money looking for things. Have a place for your things and keep those things in their place.
- Limit interactions with contentious, complaining, toxic and negative people. They dissipate your energy.
- Get enough sleep, fresh air, exercise, and nutritious foods. Honor your soul’s earthly temple and treat it right.
- Work smart, not hard. Always ask, “Is there a more efficient or faster way to do this?” Or, “Should I be doing this at all?” Remember, “No is a good answer too!”
Click to read the next 7 tips: http://wp.me/ppImQ-iG