Have You Had Your Soul Pop Today?


When I was a kid, my brother and I would ride our bicycles to the local 7-11

Tootsie Pop Bouquet

Image by Big Guy via Flickr

and buy Tootsie Pops.  The caramel burst of flavor would last almost until we got back home, but then my favorite part would happen.

I would finally reach the best part – the bubble gum!

That gum would be happily chewed for several more minutes, prolonging my enjoyment of this wonderful candy.  In my mind, Tootsie Pops were the best idea ever.  They were fun like a lollipop, lasted a long time and you were rewarded for your efforts!

Have you ever thought about creativity in the same way?  We are all creative in some way, whether it is visual (artist or painter), auditory (musician, speaker), gustotory (chief, caterer), movement (dance) or communication (writer, politician).  You are unique in how you express your creativity  Recognize that you create something new every moment you breathe.

I don’t know about you, but I am happiest when I am “in the moment” and being creative.  Time slips away, my thoughts are focused solely on what I am doing and no worries creep into my mind.  It could be a minute or an hour, but it doesn’t matter how long I spend.  The end result is always the same – I return from my creative place relaxed, fulfilled and happy.

Call it a Soul Pop.

I truly believe that the world would be a much happier place if everyone made sure they had their Soul Pop every day.  Almost like a multi-vitamin for well-being and happiness, it is an essential ingredient to a happy and joyous life.  Try it yourself and see if you don’t feel better.

Just for today, take ten minutes to be creative.  Buy some flowers and arrange them in a pretty vase.  Pick up a pen and paper and draw something that captures your attention.  Put on a favorite piece of music and let your body move to the beat.  Listen to yourself and allow your Self to be expressed in the physical world of form.

Stand out of your own way and see what happens!

You will discover a spurt of energy and joy that you may not have felt in a long time.  It may even inspire you to make this a daily practice.  Follow your intuition and let your Self out to play.

bubblegum

Image via Wikipedia

 

 

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Greed vs. Spiritual Guidance = Today’s Economy


Have you ever read a book of fiction and felt like the author was deciphering current events in a clear and concise manner that made you sit up and say, “Of course – that’s why that happened!”  When the story is told by a master wordsmith, the book becomes more than thought provoking…it almost becomes an explanation of why events occurred and the motivation of the individuals and institutions involved.

The “Book of Dreams” by Davis Bunn is such a work of fiction.

Part mystery, part mystical, the characters come alive at the deft touch of Bunn’s hand.  The heroine,  Dr. Elena Burroughs, faces a troubling choice in her life that is only resolved when she relies on her faith and intuition to guide her.  Because she is a psychologist with an international reputation of being an expert on dream interpretation, Elena is drawn into a troubling crisis that tests her fortitude, resolve and morals.

The underlying theme is one of good v. evil.   Or more accurately, greed v. God.

Elena must choose which voice to listen to, and it is her guidance and insight that resolves the conflict.  By sharing her faith in an open and direct manner, Elena inspires the other characters (and the reader) to “look within” for direction.  Knowing that she is loved by God, Elena stares down her adversaries and remains undaunted in the face of even the most dramatic of challenges.

Christians will cheer as they read this book, for it reinforces our belief that God always prevails.  Non-Christians will still be intrigued by the plot and factual details concerning the greed that created the current financial downturn.  And perhaps, if enough readers caught the message of “Book of Dreams,” the economic climate that the world faces would shift away from greed and limitation to abundance and joy.

One can only hope for such a result from “Book of Dreams.”

   Facts about David Bunn

Called the “Gentleman Adventurer”

 

Born and raised in North Carolina, Davis left for Europe at age twenty. There he first completed graduate studies in economics and finance, then began a business career that took him to over forty countries in Europe, Africa, the Middle East and Asia. Davis came to faith at age 28, while living in Germany and running an international business advisory group. He started writing two weeks later. Since that moment, writing has remained both a passion and a calling.

Davis wrote for nine years and completed seven books before his first was accepted for publication. During that time, he continued to work full-time in his business career, travelling to two and sometimes three countries every week. His first published book, The Presence, was released in 1990 and became a national bestseller.

Simplify Your Holidays


I am at the stage of my life where more is not better, the new and improved looks a lot like the original, and the money I earn is much happier just sitting in my bank account. Our consumer culture has us believe that we cannot ever be happy without the latest technological wonder or app, the newest gizmo or the coolest gadget.

And now we are entering the holiday season, everything has geared up to push into a mad rush for the cash register, arms loaded with stuff that we don’t need and can’t afford.

Why not try something new this year? Before you pull out of the driveway to take advantage of the Black Friday sales, take a moment in the peace and quiet of your home, to create a new gift list. Here is how you do it:

1. Decide who is on your “critical list.” You know who they are. They are the people who make your life complete. The ones you cannot live without and the ones you probably spend most of your thoughts on.
2. Write each person’s name at the top of a clean sheet of paper. One piece of paper for each person.
3. Under the person’s name, write these questions, with enough space to come back and fill in the answers:
***What makes this person happy and their heart sing?
***What can you give this person to help them experience the answer to the first question?

For example, do you have a thespian in the house? Buying tickets to see a local community play would make their heart soar. For the musician or music lover, concert tickets or a new way to play his music (think of what is available on the internet) would be just the thing. A nature lover would love a day spent at the local arboretum or hiking. An artist would adore a day at the museum that is located one city over. The golfer in the family might enjoy a game of virtual golf or everyone hitting a bucket of balls at the local driving range.

The possibilities are endless and are only limited by your imagination.

Does your special other love Paris? Then go on the internet and discover items that are reminiscent of the City of Lights. Create a gift basket or write a love note.

Plan the excursion or experience so the recipient does not have to do a thing – except show up. You want this to be their day, so make sure that the details are decided ahead of time. Be sure to leave an element of surprise or spontaneity in the event, because that is the reason why you created this experience.  So the other person can do what they love to do.

The point of this exercise is not to spend a lot of money. It is to show you that when you give yourself (your time and attention) in a focused and deliberate way for what the other person loves, you will feel the reason for the season.

That is it. Complete each page, then set out on your holiday shopping. It will give you a much better perspective on what this season is all about – giving your heart to another so you both expand and grow in love.

Simplify your holiday gift giving, and the memories you help create will last much longer than any new gizmo or gadget.

Remember, love can take many forms. Allow your love for the other people in your life to take on their desires, and you will be the happy recipient of more appreciation than you can imagine!

Are You Enjoying the Ride?


 

Image that you are on a roller coaster ride, that is about to top out at cloud level.  As you come up over the top, all you see is air and sky.  Your breath

Roller Coaster "Python" Theme Park E...

would literally be “taken away.”

What about your life – does it take your breath away?  Are you on the uphill climb, struggling to pull yourself up to the top, or are you poised at the crest, taking in the view?  Sometimes you may feel that you are hanging onto the crest, when the gravity of the next step is pulling you closer to the edge…of the unknown.  One second away from dropping…down into the emptiness of the unfamiliar.

So where are you on the roller coaster of life?

I would love to hear your response – feel free to send me a short comment.  Let’s enjoy the ride of life together!

Create Your Life By Design


How often do you think about the design of your life?  The structure and form that defines your life is greatly influenced by choices you have made – in the past, in the present, and in the future.  Are you satisfied with your life as it stands?

If the answer is an emphatic “NO!” then you have some work to do.  The first step is to realize that it is Your work, and no one else’s.  It is your hand holding the paint brush and your hand that chooses the colors, texture, lines and form that are painted on the canvas of your life.

Are you with me so far?  You are responsible for you.  Your choices, your mistakes, your grievances, your story.  Stop blaming others for your decisions and start living your life.

There are a myriad of methods to stop the victim mindset.  Check out the 13 steps described in Radical Forgiveness by Colin Tipping (www.RadicalForgiveness.com).  Another great book about integrating and healing your past is by Debbie Ford, called The Dark Side of the Light Chasers(www.DebbieFord.com).  Both websites offer online coursesthat you take at your own pace and fit into your schedule.

Paint brushes

Image via Wikipedia

The tools are out there.  The real question is…do you want to give up your victim mindset and expand into unexplored territory?  Or would you rather stay stuck in an unhappy life so you can complain about it?

Your answer will determine your path and your spiritual development.  Victimhood and spiritual growth cannot occur in the same space, because they are the antithesis of each other.  It truly is your choice.

As Tom Carpenter so eloquently said:

When forgiveness ends the need to judge and conflict and condemnation both have gone away, there is a stillness that fills my mind. This I know is the Peace of God. When I am here, all the world is here with me and I recognize this is the goal we all have sought, no matter how it may have looked. It is the single purpose for our learning, the very function of our lives. For it is here—filled by this stillness—I, we finally feel at home. 

You are the painter of your life – choose wisely!

What is Your Story?


What’s Your Story?
How To Recraft, Recreate, and Rewrite Your Life

You might not even realize it, but the life you are living, and the life you have created is such because it’s “your story”.

Your life is a perfect reflection of what you believe to be true, what you expect, and the story you are living in your mind. If you find yourself puzzled about why you seem to create the same circumstances and experiences over and over again, you might ask yourself – “So, what’s my story?”

In other words… what do you continue to tell yourself and what do you consider to be true about life? About your life? What do you consistently observe that reinforces those beliefs on every level of your being?

It all comes down to one simple fact – the truth of your life is how YOU have defined it.

It’s hard to separate your personal truth from an illusion.  Consider this for a moment…every circumstance in your life holds an infinite number of stories that can be attached to it. It is totally up to you to choose to see the good or the bad, the positive or the negative, the joyful or the despair in any situation.

We live in a dualistic universe.  There are always two sides to every coin.  What goes up must come down.  Inside is always in and outside is always out.  Day and night are separate and the earth spins whether we want it to or not.

At some point, don’t you begin to wonder if your personal truth isn’t just another story, one that you chose to tell yourself and others?  Once this realization hits you in the gut…where you really live…it will change your life forever.  Freedom awaits you when you finally realize that YOU are the one creating the story of your life, and YOU are the only one who can change it.

And if that is so – why not make your story it a pretty one? One that serves you? One with happy endings?