Saturday, August 30, 2014

Reality TV - Are You A Fan?

I wasn't.  I didn't understand why anyone would watch Survivor or The Bachelor or The Amazing Race or The Apprentice.  My kids were young when these programs started, and I just didn't have the time to get involved.  I swore I would never watch.

Then I found out that my boss's sister was one of the competitors on The Apprentice, and damn, if I wasn't drug in to the world of Reality TV.  First The Apprentice, then America's Next Top Model, then Project Runway.  That was it.  I was done.

But what was it about The Amazing Race that it was always winning the Emmy for Best Reality TV Show.  Okay, one more. Survivor?  Better make it two more.

But wait, what was it with The Kardashians?  American Idol?  The Voice? And then after getting hooked on The View, I had to find out what Big Brother was about.

We won't even begin to talk about those few ones that I occasionally watch while flipping channels, like Duck Dynasty, Love It Or List It, House Hunters International, Joan Knows Best.

Oh God help me! How the hell did this happen?  I've become a Reality TV junkie....sort of.  It is bad enough that I am a TV fanatic, but to add all these Reality TV shows into my viewing schedule, it is embarrassing.  What is even more embarrassing is that reason for this post is that I am so bummed that one of my favorite contestants on Big Brother was voted off this week.  And I needed an outlet to express my sadness.  This is pretty sad, indeed.

Thursday, August 14, 2014

The Power Of Positive Thinking - A Book Review

The book, by Norman Vincent Peale, is a classic in terms of New Thought books.  Once you get past the old style of writing, speaking and relaying of stories, you will find classic gems and ideas, with practical pieces of advice on how to approach life in a positive fashion.  He bases most of his suggestions on the teachings of Jesus and uses experiential/anecdotal stories to support his teachings.

Here are the Chapter Titles:

Believe In Yourself
A Peaceful Mind Generates Power
How To Have Constant Energy
Try Prayer Power
How To Create Your Own Happiness
Stop Fuming And Fretting
Expect The Best And Get It
I Don't Believe In Defeat
How To Break The Worry Habit
Power To Solve Personal Problems
How To Use Faith In Healing
When Vitality Sags, Try This Health Formula
Inflow Of New Thoughts Can Remake You
Relax For Easy Power
How To Get People To Like You
Prescription For Heartache
How To Draw Upon That Higher Power

I started my Spiritual Journey in the mid 1990s.  It was a time when I stopped thinking in terms of religion (dos and don'ts) and more in terms of spirituality (my personal relationship with God).  I read many of the newer books published under the categories of New Age, New Thought, Metaphysics and Spirituality.  At some point, I discovered the older ones - those written by Florence Scovel Shinn, Emmet Fox, Charles Fillmore and so on.  The book, The Power Of Positive Thinking, was published in 1952.  Honestly, I didn't really learn anything new reading this book.  It is most likely that many of the authors of newer books on Spirituality were inspired by these other authors from the early and mid 20th century.  Still, I'm glad I read it.  When I'm browsing used book stores or estate sales, if I find other books by Norman Vincent Peale, I will most likely pick them up.  Very rarely will any of us pick up a non-fiction book and read entirely new ideas.  The information is the same thing that has been written before, just worded differently, or marketed in such a way that it grabs the attention of the general public (The Secret is an example of genius marketing).  And there is nothing wrong with that.  We all respond to things differently.  The way one author words something may just click, where another writer expressing similar ideas just does not have the same draw for you.

Will I read this book again?  Hard to say.  However, my yellow highlighter did get a good workout, so obviously there were some gems that caught my attention.

Next up, I'm re-reading The Celestine Prophesy.

Happy Reading All!

Sunday, August 10, 2014

Let Loose...

Let go, and let God handle it.  If it (and "it" could be a job, a home, a husband or wife, an item, a business, etc) is yours by Divine Right, then it is yours, and no one can take it from you.  This morning, I read an essay by Emmet Fox.  In it, he talked about the phraseology of The Ten Commandments.  Where the common/usual version says "Thou Shalt Not....", Fox suggests that the true meaning was "You Can Not". He goes on to say that if we have our minds on The Christ (which as Jesus taught means the divinity within us ), then no one can lie, steal, kill, covet, anything that is ours by Divine Right.  If our thoughts are so focused on the positive and loving aspects of life, and we have that deep intimate faith that the Master Teacher Jesus spoke of, then nothing can go wrong.

If you are anything like me, your daily prayers may include, "Lord, help to me understand how to have that kind faith!  I'm pretty tired of muddling through life wondering what the heck happened."

At one point, I had a job I absolutely loved.  It was "work" I enjoyed doing. (Note:  I used the quotes to signify that if it is something you love doing, it really isn't work at all, is it?)  I was well paid.  There were many benefits that I received.  When I took the job, I had a feeling it would be about a five year gig.  And then it would be time to move on and do something else.  I just knew this in my heart. Five years came and went.  I loved this job and couldn't imagine doing anything else.  However, the longer I stayed, the less enjoyable it became.  It became stressful.  There were changes going on that didn't sit right with me, but I really loved the work.  I began to worry about everything associated with the job.  And then, all of a sudden, I was fired.  I was upset.  I was scared.  I was embarrassed.  I knew I had done a wonderful job.  I had been an asset to the company.  I also knew I had been getting that nudge from Spirit - it's been five years; it's time to move on.  I finally realized that this was one of those blessings in disguise.  However, my ego was having quite a time dealing with it all.  Even to this day, the whole thing still jumps up and hits me in the gut from time to time.

What I finally realized this morning was that if that job was mine by Divine Right, it could not have been taken from me.  You can not steal.  Was that job no longer mine because my thoughts had shifted to fear and worry.  Or was that job no longer mine because it was just time to move on (and I had not taken the steps on my own)?  Who knows.  What I do know is that in letting loose of the job, letting go of my hurt and anger, and letting God take care of me, I am now happily retired, enjoying my grandkids, exploring the USA in our RV, and loving life

So to my friends and family, and those of you reading this who don't know me from Adam - if that job, that relationship, that car, that fill in the blank is yours by Divine Right - it is yours!  If not, something better will come to you if you keep your mind focused on a positive outcome.  Out of all situations only good (God) can come.  And so it is.

Saturday, August 9, 2014

When People Respond To Your Posts

or don't, do you take that personally?  One of my favorite books is The Four Agreements by Don Miguel Ruiz.  One of the "agreements" is to take nothing (anyone says or does) personally.  I do try to remember that when I write a blog post.  I try to remember that I don't always respond to someone else's blog, even though I enjoyed reading it.  I think if you feel compelled to write something that someone, somewhere, will get something out of it - a laugh, a memory, inspiration, information or something - otherwise, you wouldn't have been inspired to write.  What will you write today?