* The People That Make a Difference.

It isn’t the people with the best credentials, the most fame or the greatest achievements that make a difference. If this is a good time for you to pause and reflect, then read on and take the full quiz. It will brighten your day and fill your heart with gratitude 🙂

My Good Time Stories

Photo Credit: Ed Bierman Photo Credit: Ed Bierman

Throughout our lives, we can probably all remember a person or a few people, who have influenced our life in a certain way. Whether they touched our life in a positive or negative fashion, these people will never be forgotten.

In today’s world we have a tendency to focus on the THINGS that are happening in the world around us: news, work, local or world events, etc. and we forget to remember the good things in life.

I recently found this interesting little quiz on indianchild.com that I think many of you will find very interesting and inspiring.

So, without further delay, take a minute or so and take the following quiz and then see how you do. It may very well be an eye opener.


Take this quiz:
1. Name the five wealthiest people in the world.
2. Name the last five Heisman trophy…

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* Happiness is Like …

In Sri Swami Satchidananda’s translation and interpretation of the Yoga Sutras, he says that we attach ourselves to pleasure because we expect happiness from it, forgetting that happiness is already in us as the true Self.

Musk deerHe continues: “Happiness seems to be the basic need of everything in this world, yet rarely does anyone find it. Why?
Because happiness is like the musk deer.

The ancient scriptures have a fable about this animal, which has a scented spot above its forehead that gives off a musk fragrance. This deer runs here and there in search of the scent, not knowing the scent comes from its own forehead.
Just like that, happiness is already in us.

Wherever we go we reflect our happiness onto people and things.
Close-up of young daughter looking into dad's eyes.
When we see a smiling face and feel happy, it is because the smiling face reflects our happiness.
Just as a pure clean mirror reflects our face beautifully, certain our clean faces reflect our happiness. Then we say ‘She gives me happiness’.

In other faces , our happiness reflect a distorted way and we say ‘I don’t like this person.’
Its absolute nonsense. No one can give us happiness or unhappiness, but can only reflect or distort our own inner happiness.”

Yoga teaches us to come into the present moment and connect with our inner happiness and true Self.


* Inspiration in the Pendulum of Life

Today I want to slow down and feel a need to linger in my Middle Ground. When I recognize I am out of balance, its time for me to come back to what’s most important. Some days are easier  than others … its part of the pendulum of lifependulum of life

I decided to see which words of my own would center me and bring me home.  I found this piece about the essence of spirituality:

Spirituality isn’t dogma or the beliefs we have about life, ourselves and the world. Its about how conscious we are in living these beliefs from moment to moment. How we actively live life in connection with ourselves and others. Living with an open heart.

This is my spiritual practice.

Please join with me and take a moment to consider these words and photographs. Pause at each one. Make this a moment of mindfulness and connection. This is an opportunity to get in touch with our feelings and the connection between us all.

“We are all vulnerable and in need of love”

we are all vulnerable and need love

“We are all vulnerable and in need of love”

loving kindness dog

“We are all vulnerable and in need of love”

need for love

“We are all vulnerable and in need of love”

young hand giving flower to old hand

“We are all vulnerable and in need of love”

mother daughter conflict

“We are all vulnerable and in need of love”

How can you bring these words to life today?…

For your self …

For someone you care for …

For someone you are having difficulty with …

For your community and our world …


* Droplets of kindness

This is a poignant reminder of the power of small acts of kindness and how we can be graceful in the lows of life. Val x

Sirena Tales

No act of kindness no matter how small is ever wasted.”~ Aesop

one of my children spent last night and the early morning hours in the hospital emergency room: the hardworking docs trying to figure out what is causing the ailment, for us and so many others

a long night, this endless winter

just when I feel as if the terrible cold of a parent’s powerlessness will pull me under

…you, faraway friend, send your kind email

…you, blogging buddy, comment on my post

…you, cashier at the pharmacy, wish me a lovely day

…you, kind stranger, hold the door for me, making the effort not to let it slam shut in my fatigued face

it all matters

I T  A L L  M A T T E R S

reminding me, in the unforgettable words of Naomi Shihab Nye, “…how desolate the landscape can be/ between…

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* Yoda Wisdom on Change

Have you ever told yourself that you want to change, but find that your willpower isn’t strong enough. You tell yourself to try harder. Still it doesn’t happen. So you give up hope. Then one day you meet Yoda in the street.

This is what he tells you:

“Often change not easyYoda

Sometimes is …

Accept part within that resists

This also called fear

What we resist will persist

Say hello to resistance

Say hello to fear

Be good friend to them

Invite in for cup of tea

They kept you safe in olden days

But now, you not need

Unknown is what life is about, not known

If change you want, let go

Trust in the force

It is within you”


* Judging and Kindness

There is a lot that comes up when I think of judging and what it means to me. I’m taking my KISS advice here and making it as simple as I can…. but this will be  a longer post than usual!Judging shadow

Judging is our default human condition. Our inner judge is there to keep us safe. For example, in an instant we observe and then evaluate the burning fire to see if it will hurt us or if the water is too deep, or if the animal coming towards us wants to eat us! We need to make judgments to keep ourselves safe.

However, over the years our judging thoughts grow and grow along with our ego. This is especially true if we are surrounded by other judgers such as critical parents or teachers.

Judging becomes the conditioned norm and we are not even aware of it. Our ego is reinforced because through judging, it makes us feel safe, in control and more powerful.  Its more important to protect in this way than to be free to take risks and change. Its more important to be seen in a certain way.

ego beauty

Our ego is being fed, but our heart and soul begin to ache.
We become prisoners to our own judge without realizing it. Conditioned thinking becomes more important that truly feeling and connecting to our true selves. It also prevents us from being vulnerable and truly connecting to others.

The inner judge takes on a life of its own and becomes a part of us and, as we know, turns in on ourselves as well. We learn to be self critical. We put ourselves down. Our inner critic tells us we aren’t good enough, strong enough, smart enough.  We shouldn’t have said that or done that. We don’t deserve this …

Then one day we wake up and get such a sense that something is not right. That something is missing. That life has more to offer, but we don’t know what the key is. 

judging and open heart quoteHere’s the key:

When we judge others we are projecting on to them a part of ourselves that we have not fully accepted in ourselves. Its something hidden within us. Its the shadow side that our ego cannot face. If you get triggered by a lazy person, then chances are that you have disowned that part of yourself. You don’t accept it in yourself or others. If you prickle when someone is showing off…  If you react to snobbery… If you get angry when you see someone smoking or eating junk food… If you get annoyed when you see other people judging. Then ….

There is something for you to look at here. This is your issue hiding behind criticisms. Hiding behind the persona you show the world. It isn’t really about the other person. Instead of it being about them, take this as an opportunity to look to yourself … without judgment. With kindness.

Embracing Shadow Self by Rita LLoydWe all have our shadows. The shadows are the other side of the light. Our ego wants to only see the light and how good we are. As long at it thinks the shadow is “bad” it will shun it and try to run away from it. The ego strives for a perfection that can never be.

Next time you catch yourself judging ask the hard question “How am I that?” Let yourself feel this discomfort, notice the judge and be kind to yourself. Let yourself be present with this feeling.

When we judge others, then know that we are surely judging ourselves even more.

When someone judges you, or you see them judging others, know that they are also judging themselves even more.

Judging goes hand in hand with inner struggle. It prevents people from feeling fully and being open. It protects them from feeling vulnerable, but the pay off is living life less fully.  Be kind towards the other judgers out there.

Judging keeps us from becoming fully present and facing what is real. A good example is when we sit to meditate in the early stages of the practice. Its the ideal situation for our ego to rebel. The mind and ego don’t like to be controlled, they have to be in charge to feel safe. So critical thoughts come up to keep us from being present and opening a connection to our heart and soul.

Moving from judgment to kindness is one of the most difficult and important paths for all of us. When we recognize our judge and start being more kind and accepting of others, also remember that the practice of self kindness and self compassion is the key. We cannot fully accept others until we have fully accepted all aspects of ourselves. Including our own judge.

be yourselfBe kind to all aspects of yourself.


* Happiness

Inspiration for today. Decide to be happy!

Dr Bill Wooten

“Happiness is a decision, not an experience. You can decide to be happy without what you thought you needed in order to be happy, and you will be. Your experience is the result of your decision, not the cause of it.” ~ Neale Donald Walsch


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