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Happiness Quotes December 17, 2008

Filed under: Life,Stories,Uncategorized — sarah @ 12:24 pm

Perk up your mood and get inspired with ten of my favorite quotes about happiness. We become happier the more we focus on being happy – how it feels, what it looks and sounds like, why we want it, etc. Enjoy!

1. “Happiness comes of the capacity to feel deeply, to enjoy simply, to think freely, to risk life, to be needed.” Storm Jameson, writer

2. “Happiness is when what you think, what you say, and what you do are in harmony.” Mahatma Gandhi

3. “Most folks are about as happy as they make up their minds to be.” Abraham Lincoln

4. “We hold these truths to be self-evident: That all men are created equal; that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights; that among these are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.” Thomas Jefferson

5. “He who would travel happily must travel light.” Antoine de Saint Exupéry, pilot and author

6. “Happiness is not a station you arrive at, but a manner of traveling.” Margaret Lee Runbeck, writer

7. “Learning to live in the present moment is part of the path of joy.” Sarah Ban Breathnach

8. “Joy is not in things; it is in us.” Richard Wagner

9. Work joyfully and peacefully, knowing that right thoughts and right efforts will inevitably bring about right results. James Allen

10. “What if you began to expect the best from any situation? Isn’t it possible that you could write new chapters in your life with happy endings? Suspend your disbelief? Take a leap of faith? After all, what have you got to lose but misery and lack?” Sarah Ban Breathnach

By Ruth Hegarty

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Happiness Made Simple October 17, 2008

Filed under: Life,Uncategorized — sarah @ 12:47 pm

Why do we make it so difficult to be Happy? You know the old saying “a frown is a smile upside down”. You would think in today’s world they would have a pill for this too. I just read a book about 25 ways to be happy. When you wake up you have to say a couple of lines over and over. You have to look in the mirror and smile at yourself. You have to hug 5 people everyday, you get the idea.

I’m not saying these are bad things, but the burden of trying to do to many things to be happy would make me more unhappy than if I just stay at the level of unhappiness I am now.

Why is it one person is happy with $100.00 and another is not? It’s a reaction from the past, simple as that. If a women was physically abused in the past and another wasn’t, compare their reactions. The abused women would react defensive, jumpish to a man’s sudden touch while the other women might warm up to it. The point is it’s a reaction to the past.

Men and Women have tried to physco-analyze and make a big business out of helping people be happy and the world seems more screwed up and unhappy than ever.

If you buy into the idea that happiness or unhappiness is a reaction then we can move it into the category of a habit. So here’s the trick. Change the habit you change the reaction. Change the unhappy reactions and you are happy. No therapist or 25 steps to do.

For example lets say you react to a situation by drinking. You get drunk and a series of things happen which make you unhappy. Without having to go back 40 years and analyze your childhood, what he said what she said, you recognize your reaction.

Now to make it simple you just have to work on changing your reaction. Once you find a reaction which is positive you do it over and over until it becomes a habit. The key is this new reaction must make you happy. You might also be surprised that this new reaction might affect other areas that troubled you.

Be patient. You and I know how hard it is to change habits, but we also know it’s much better to be happy than unhappy. Life can’t always be so complicated and maybe this can be one of those simple things you can fix.

By Ric Bai

 

Are You Love Addicted? September 2, 2007

Filed under: Uncategorized — sarah @ 9:44 am

Imagine that you have a little child – a son or daughter, but that you are only 15 years old. How are you going to feel about this child? There is a good possibility that you will feel that this child is a burden, limiting your freedom. You will likely feel that the child is too demanding, needing too much from you. You may want to go out and have fun and not be tied down to this child.

Is this how you feel about your own inner child – your own feelings and needs? Does it feel burdensome to take loving care of yourself? Do you feel like your own feelings and needs are just too much to have to take care of? Do you feel like taking care of yourself is just hard? Do you believe it is selfish to take loving care of yourself? Do you wish someone else would come along and meet your emotional needs to feel loved, valued, and worthy?

If this is how you feel, it is because you have not yet done the inner work of developing a loving adult part of you – a part of you that is connected with a spiritual source of love, wisdom, strength, guidance and comfort. It is your adolescent self who is charge, and this part of you not only does not want the job of taking care of you, it is not adequate to handle the job.

This is what creates love addiction.

You have a little child inside you – your feeling self – who need lots of love, attention, comfort, valuing, validating, connection and compassion. When you have no desire to give this to yourself because you feel it is too hard, you feel too inadequate, you think it is selfish, or you believe that it is someone else’s job to meet these needs, then you are abandoning yourself. If you believe that your best feelings come from someone else loving you instead of you loving you, then you are abandoning yourself. And when you abandon yourself, that little child in you is left to get the love he or she needs elsewhere.

When you abandon yourself because you have not learned how to take loving care of yourself or because you don’t want the responsibility of your own feelings and needs, that is when you become needy of others love and attention. You learn many ways of trying to get the love, attention and compassion you need.

Think for a moment about what you do to get love, connection, attention, approval or compassion from others.

Do you try to be perfect – looking right, saying the right thing, being a high achiever? Do you try to be cute or funny? Do you try to show others how smart you are? Do you strive to have the best – the best house, the best car, the best wife or husband, the best children, the best clothing? Or, do you act helpless, incompetent, in need of rescuing? Do you pull on others with your complaining, your incessant talking, your whining, sulking, silence, or your bragging? Are you overly nice, a people-pleaser? Do you attempt to get the attention you want through intimidation – with anger, threats, blame, or violence?

When you have abandoned yourself and are love-addicted, you will have developed many ways of trying to have control over getting the love you need. That little child in you is desperate to be loved. The emptiness of the self-abandonment and the resulting longing for love leads you to behave in the very ways that end up pushing others away. It is a losing battle. IT WILL NEVER WORK. You will never get the love you need by trying to get others to give to you what only you can give to yourself.

By Margaret Paul

 

There Is No Such Thing As Failure August 30, 2007

Filed under: Uncategorized — sarah @ 10:39 am

No matter what kind of limitations we live with or create, the labeling of these as failure diminishes the intrinsic respect that needs to be given not just to the outcome of our efforts to improve ourselves and change our lives, but also to the ways in which we strive to overcome what stands in the way. The process of overcoming limitation is a spiritual practice in itself, worthy of respect and dignity, worthy of being viewed as an essential part of the journey toward greater wholeness.

Many people judge themselves because they are not further along on a spiritual path or because they have emotional residues from the past that they carry with them that cannot yet be put down. Often, there is a part of the self that refuses to let go, and a part that wants to embrace the new. This state of tension between the two must be considered not only as a handicap, but also as a productive arena in which a new balance and equilibrium is being worked out that will produce a different assessment of what the self needs.

Such a re-balancing cannot be hurried. It has to happen in its own way and in its own time, for this is the nature of purification – the bringing of all limitation and darkness to the light. It is also the nature of healing – the eradication of symptoms and patterns of behavior that do not represent who we are and who we wish to be.

What needs to be remembered is that ‘failure’ is not the opposite of success. Rather, the opposite of success is indifference. For indifference places us on a road of unconsciousness where the striving to reach toward a new and for the moment unattainable goal does not matter. It is not given importance. And so there is a kind of retreat into the comfortable and the familiar, rather than a movement forward toward a goal that is just beyond reach. If the goal is just beyond reach and we are trying with all our might to reach toward it, then success lies in the process, in the reaching itself, in the integrity with which body, heart and mind are joining to pursue an aim that is wanted by all three.

In relation to spiritual growth, we cannot judge progress along a spiritual path by the amount that yet remains to be accomplished. For we have no way of knowing how many lifetimes have been spent preparing us for the one particular challenge that we must meet today – a challenge that though it looks easy, is actually quite hard, and represents a significant step in the maturing of our soul’s expression upon the earth. Certainly, we cannot know how far along we are on a spiritual path based on how far along someone else is. The reason is quite simple: it is that the person whom we observe as being able to accomplish things that we cannot, may have significant difficulties in other areas that we know nothing about. Because they are invisible, we assume that they are not there. This is never the case.

Every being at every level of development is overcoming something and moving toward something in a movement from level to level of spiritual truth and light. There is no other path of growth than this. It is not given. It is attained. And it is not attained by virtue of a simple mental decision to attain it. It is attained through the experience of the soul as it grows in the soul-qualities that are necessary for movement to the next level.

What are the levels of transition from failure to success? They are the levels which constitute the maximum amount of freedom from limitation in a particular area. This does not mean that success looks like a particular outcome according to the world’s standards. It means that success represents the outcome of being true to oneself – the outcome of being free to become exactly who we are and to express as exactly who we are within our deepest self. Success that looks like it in the world’s eyes has more to do with popularity than with truth. What is currently popular in a culture or society is awarded a label of success. Yet, in the next moment, the next year, the next generation, or the next phase of spiritual evolution, it will no longer be considered success. But the expression and expansion of the truth of who we are will always be a measure of success because it is a measure of truth, and this truth can only move from freedom to greater freedom – from light to greater light.

By Julie Redstone

 

Do You Believe, Or Do You Laugh? August 17, 2007

Filed under: Uncategorized — sarah @ 10:40 am

Many of us do not believe fully in superstitions, but we may follow some because we think it is safer to do so. A superstition is a belief based on fear and not on the laws of science. Science tells us that everything which happens has known cause and effect. Here’s an example of this:

Cause: You put your car keys in a coat pocket that has a hole.

Effect: The car keys drop out the hole and become lost.

Superstition doesn’t consider the real cause and effect of what happens. Instead, superstition tells us that certain things happen because of luck or chance. A superstitious person might say you lost the keys because you got up on the left side of the bed and jinxed your day.
Many superstitions are so old that we don’t know exactly how they started or where they came from. How do you know that the number thirteen is unlucky? You just know it. How do you know that finding a four-leaf clover is lucky? It just is.

Some people have studied the history of superstitions or how they began. These historians believe that superstitions have probably existed as long as people have existed.
Today, we can explain why many things happen in the world around us. But thousands of years ago people didn’t always understand why these things happened, so they made up ways to explain them. Historians say that these old explanations have become our superstitions.
More than a million superstitions still exist in the United States today. Here’re the histories of some that you may believe in or laugh at.

The unlucky number thirteen

In some European countries, you can’t live in a house with number 13 address. The address No 13 doesn’t exist. Instead, the address 12 is followed by 12 ½ and then by 14. Many office buildings in the United States skip the thirteenth floor. Some airlines refuse to wear the number thirteen on a sports uniform. Some people will not start a trip on the thirteenth day of any month. Others will not buy or use the thirteen of anything.

How did the number 13 get such an unlucky reputation? Historians can only guess at the reasons. One explanation is based on event from the Bible. Thirteen represents the number of men present at the Last Supper before Christ was put to death. Another explanation goes back to an old North tale. The tale is about twelve gods who were having a party when the evil spirit Loki dropped by. Loki, the thirteenth to join the party, killed one of the gods.

Walking under a ladder

This superstition has some truth to it. You could get a bucket of paint dumped on your head if you walk under a ladder! But the old belief is that if you walk under a ladder, bad luck will follow. To curb the bad luck, you must quickly cross your fingers and make a wish.
Historians say that this superstition may have started because a ladder, leaning against a wall, forms a triangle. The triangle is a symbol of the Holy Trinity in Christian religions.

Getting out of bed on the wrong side

The act of getting out of bed on the left side is believed to make a person’s entire day unhappy. You are supposed to rise from the bed and place your right foot on the floor first. This superstition has to do with an ancient belief that right was good and left was bad.

Meeting a black cat

Superstition says that if your path is crossed by a black cat, you’re really going to be in for bad luck unless you return home immediately.

The Egyptians believed that cat was a god, and they punished anyone who killed a cat. Europeans, however, believed the cat was linked to witches and the devil.

Spilling salt

If this happens, you’re supposed to take a pinch of salt and toss it over your left shoulder into the face of the devil.

This superstition may have come from the ancient belief that salt was magic because it could stop certain foods, such as meat, from turning bad. People began to believe that salt could keep anything bad from happening. Salt on the table came to stand for justice and goodness. If person spilled the table salt, bad luck was supposed to follow.

Breaking a mirror

This is good for seven years of bad luck, or it could cause a death in the family. If a mirror breaks, you are supposed to get the pieces out of the house quickly and bury them.
Before the invention of mirrors, people discovered what they looked like by gazing into ponds and lakes. If a person’s image was distorted by the water, bad luck was sure to strike. In those days, a sneaky person could probably ruin someone’s day by pitching a stone into the water!

Water was replaced by first using shiny metal mirrors and then glass mirrors. But the belief about bad luck being caused by a distorted image did not give way to some other notion. After all, a broken mirror can make a person’s image look just as distorted as moving water can.
Why does seven years of bad luck follow a broken mirror? Historians think that the number comes from a Roman belief. The Romans thought that a person’s body renewed itself every seven years.

Knocking on wood

If you mention good luck, you are supposed to knock on wood three times. This will keep your luck from turning bad.

Historians have traced this superstition to ancient times when people believed gods lived in trees. For example, the god of lightning and thunder was thought to live in trees because that’s where lightning often hit during storms. People came to believe that they were touching magic when they touched wood.

The lucky horseshoe

You should hang a horseshoe, with its prongs pointed upward, above your door if you want good luck.

One explanation of how the horseshoe came to be a good-luck charm has to do with the fear of witches. People used to believe that witches rode broomsticks because they were afraid of horses. A horseshoe, therefore, was good protection against witches.

Dressing boys in blue and girls in pink

This practice goes back to very early times when people believed that evil spirits lurked around babies. They also believed that the spirits would avoid certain colors, especially blue. For this reason, baby boys were dressed in blue.

Why then were baby girls dressed in pink? Historians think it may have been because parents didn’t want to waste blue on their daughters. Parents used to believe that daughters were not as important as sons therefore, they thought evil spirits would not be too interested in their baby girls.

By Sharon White

 

Energy Vampires August 3, 2007

Filed under: Uncategorized — sarah @ 10:31 am

Do you sometimes wonder why you feel so drained after being with some people, while you feel energized when being with others?

Some people are energy vampires, and actually drain energy from you. How do they do this? What can you do to avoid this?

WAYS PEOPLE DRAIN ENERGY

Sometimes the ways people drain energy is obvious, and sometimes it is very subtle. A fairly obvious way is talking non-stop. I wrote an article on talking addiction and received the following response from a reader:

“Thank you so much for your article on talking addiction. For years now, I have wondered why I would feel so drained after listening to my mother. My mom is one of those people that can stay on the phone talking for hours and hours, and it’s a monologue. She is never interested in what I have to say unless it is about her. Lately, I’ve found myself hiding from her. For years, I would dodge her phone calls to conserve my energy. I have mentioned to her that she talks a lot but I think that it goes in one ear and out of the other. I am so glad that I read your article. Now I know that I’m not being mean when I go into my personal space.”

Some people drain energy by always complaining, or by having dramas that need attending to. Some people drain energy by wanting to process all the time about their problems. Others drain energy through various means of trying to get approval – such as asking a lot of questions, or bragging a lot, or being overly nice. Other people drain energy by sulking or crying – being a victim and hoping someone will give them attention.

There is a very common, yet subtle, way that many people drain energy. If you are a person who ignores your own feelings and who does not take care of your own needs, then it is likely that you have an empty hole inside you. Empty holes are like vacuums – they want to get filled. Even if you don’t overtly pull on others for attention or approval, your empty hole is a pull on their energy. Because you are not taking care of your own needs for love, attention and approval, you are automatically pulling on others for their love, attention and approval. Or, you might be pulling on them for affection or sex as a way to get your empty hole filled. When they pull back, you are left wondering what you did wrong.

WHAT CAN YOU DO TO AVOID HAVING YOUR ENERGY DRAINED?

Most people who are energy vampires count on other people being so nice that they will give them the attention or approval they are seeking. Most people don’t like speaking up because they don’t want to hurt others’ feelings. However, when you do this, you are allowing yourself to take responsibility for the other person’s feelings rather than for your own feelings. You are abandoning yourself and making what the other person wants more important than taking care of yourself.

You cannot begin to stop the energy drain until you fully accept that you are not responsible for the other person’s feelings. It is your feeling responsible for the other person that allows you to get drained.

Once you accept that you are not responsible for the other person, but that you are responsible for yourself, you will discover that you can gently extricate yourself from a draining interaction. It is not hard to learn to get off the phone or walk away when you are taking responsibility for yourself rather than for the other person’s feelings.

By Margaret Paul

 

Do You Need Others’ Approval? July 27, 2007

Filed under: Uncategorized — sarah @ 10:29 am

“At work, every time I have to speak at meetings, I get so stressed.”

“I’m taking a class and I’m always afraid to raise my hand and ask a question.”

“I’m fine one to one, but as soon as I get into a group, I’m so tense I can hardly stand it.”

“I’m totally relaxed with my women friends, but as soon as I’m with a guy I like, I can’t be myself.”

Each of these people are anxious and stressed because they want to get approval and avoid disapproval. What are they telling themselves that is causing their anxiety?

“Oh God, I better not forget what I want to say and make a fool of myself.”

“The teacher might think the question I want to ask is a dumb one.”

“If I say the wrong thing no one will like me.”

“I better not say something completely stupid.”

Each of these people are telling themselves things that are causing anxiety, and underneath these self-judgmental statements is a deeper belief:

“If I say or do something wrong or stupid, they won’t like me and that means I am not okay.”

The need for approval and the fear of disapproval comes from the belief that others are responsible for your worth. If they like you, you are okay, and if they don’t like you, you are not okay.

If you are a person who seeks others’ approval, then you have made others responsible for sense of worth.

Imagine that you have a child, and instead of loving this child, you keep giving the child away to others to define. You keep saying to this child, “You better do it right because you if they don’t like you, then you are not okay.” The result would be that the child would feel very insecure and unlovable, because you kept giving him or her away to others for approval.

When you make others responsible for your sense of worth, you are doing the same thing on the inner level – giving away your own inner child. Instead of defining your own worth, you are making others responsible for this.

This is a very hard way to live. You have to constantly try to figure out what someone else wants of you to get approval and avoid disapproval. Your good and bad feelings are dependent upon how you look and how you perform, so you have to be constantly on your toes.

What if you were to take on the responsibility of defining your own worth? How would you go about doing this?

One of the problems in defining your own worth is that you may have been programmed to see yourself through the eyes of your parents, teachers, siblings and peers. If, when you were growing up, you got judged, criticized, rejected or ridiculed, you may have incorporated others’ images of you into your own mind. So you can’t define your own worth and lovability from your wounded self – your programmed ego mind. You need to define yourself through the eyes of love, not the eyes of judgment.

Start with imagining an older, wiser part of you, or imagine a person from your childhood who really loved you. Imagine that you can see yourself as a child through the eyes of this other person or through the older part of you. What do you see? Can you see your innocence, your lovingness, your sense of wonder, your creativity, your aliveness? Open to seeing who you are in your essence – your true Self.

If you were to practice seeing who you really are – not who you are in your wounded programmed self, but who you are in your essence Self – you would start to value your own beautiful essence. As you value your essence, you would start to treat yourself in kinder, more loving ways.

The more you practice doing this, the better you will feel about yourself and the less you will seek approval from others. In time and with practice, you will find yourself feeling so much happier and more peaceful!

By Margaret Paul