Games in Lisbon

Dave Knepper over on Google+ shared content last month about board games and it carried me back to a gentler time in my life, a time when my life lay before me with little or no worries, a time when I loved growing up, a time I sometimes wish I could freeze and return to when I needed a boost.

 

Hold on we are going back to that time again.  I’m talking about growing up on Graham Terrace in Lisbon, Connecticut.  It’s where my maternal grandparents lived and I spent many days months and years living there.  I won’t echo previous sentiments about the time I spent there as you can go back to the Graham Terrace link above to get a flavor for a bit of my childhood.

 

Okay:

Board Games which is the intent of this column today:
I commented on Dave Knepper’s content that the board game I most remember playing with my grandparents is Parcheese.

Image from:
Wikipedia
Parcheesijpg

The game was kept in my grandparents den under their sofa when I didn’t stay with them.  We played every night after dinner, my grandfather and I.  On some evenings my grandmother joined in but this became my grandfather’s tradition with me.  Sometimes we’d play Chinese Checkers.  They were the two board games I recall most when I think about my grandfather.

 

I will cherish the time I spent with my grandparents in Lisbon all of my life.  I look back on that time and it always warms my heart.  That time always brings a smile to my face.  Graham Terrace became my refuge.  My Grandparents were the rock I clung to when I needed them.

 

The games we played live on in my memory and those memories are as much a part of who I am now as my faith and spirituality are.

 

The other game I remember fondly is The Airplane Game:
Every night after my bath, I would race back outside with my grandfather and pull up a chaise lounge alongside his and we searched the skies for the twinkling red lights as planes flew over.  Airplane!  I’d call out every time I saw one.

 

I loved the time I spent on Graham Terrace and it made me the person I am today.  I spent an early life blessed, knowing my best friend lived just around the corner from my grandparents.  Everything I needed was within reach when I spent time with my grandparents.

 

Did you have a special place spend time as a youth?  Let me know in the comments.

 

Be Happy!  Be Well!  Be Positive!
Blessings to you.

Chris

Once you realize that life is eternal,
That our souls our eternal,
That we return to light and physical over and over;

We then lose all our distress
We then lose all our fear of dying.  For there truly is no end.

The World is an Illusion

A wise man, recognizing that the world is but an illusion, does not act as if it is real, so he escapes the suffering.


Buddha

Image from:
Wikipedia

Buddha.jpg

 

The above quote appeared on Google+ last month from Famous Quotes.

This conversation arose last month with the same person who recommended The Modern Book of the Dead to me.  We sometimes have many esoteric conversations and we recently spoke about this very topic, which once again proves my point of how connected everything is.

 

What is real?  That’s the question I asked my friend.  You know nothing is real, right?
Everything is perception.
Everything is energy.

 

We only see what we think we see.

What makes the sky blue and the grass green?  These are questions I asked my friend as well.  These are questions I contemplate ALL the time.  Call me crazy; but now that I’m in this paradigm, this is where my thoughts wander.

 

Everything truly is illusion!
The world is made up of atoms, energy and we simply perceive what we’ve been taught to see.  What if everything we’ve been taught is also illusionary?  Our teachers are only parroting what they’ve been told.

 

As far as the wise man escaping suffering goes, I’m not sure anyone can entirely escape that.  For it is through suffering, it is through facing challenges that we grow, that we evolve spiritually.  What’s the use or incarnating into the physical if we are not going to suffer, if we are not going to use those challenges to grow, to mature, to evolve?  We may as well stay in our natural state then, one of light, one of energy, one of spiritual power.

 

Buddha and Buddhism hold many truths for me and as I’ve mentioned here previously, this is where I feel most comfortable with one glaring exception.  You’ll have to read my category on Buddhism to discover the exception, unless you are already aware of what that is.

 

The computer screen you’re looking at at this very moment?
The chair you’re sitting in?
Or the ground you’re standing on?
Are these real?

You know my answer.  Now you must decide for yourself.  I’m reminded of the Moody Blues here with the song Knights in White Satin:
We get to choose what is real and what is illusion.

 

Which will you choose?

 

Be Happy!  Be Well!  Be Positive!
Blessings to you.

Chris

Once you realize that life is eternal,
That our souls our eternal,
That we return to light and physical over and over;

 

We then lose all our distress
We then lose all our fear of dying.  For there truly is no end.

Writing and Right Brainers

Writing.Right.jpg

My friend, Bonita Kay Summers recently wrote a column at her blog called Writing to Understand Ourselves  in which she said:
I have been a writer since I was 8 years old. It wasn’t a conscious choice.

Further on in the column, Bonita says:
What held me in thrall and kept me writing by choice was the amount of personal insight I discovered through the writing process. When I realized this was happening, I began to research right-brain writing techniques and other creative writing methods, with the intent to deliberately tune in to that wisdom.

 

I can SO relate to these two passages because, like Bonita, I have been writing since I could first put pen to paper then as I became adept at typing I started keying in my thoughts.  Writing wasn’t a conscious choice for me either.  I found the exercise liberating, freeing the stress I experienced growing up.  Writing became my release valve. spewing forth all the negativity around me.  Also as with Bonita, I found myself awestruck by the amount of writing I could produce in a short amount of time.

 

I’ve spoken here countless times of being in the Flow where time seems to stop and at the same time speed up.  Bonita uses her column to reference teaching a group of 16 year old students.  She says:
I stood before the class of 16-year-olds, encouraging them to take 10 minutes to write about anything they wished. After the short interval, when they handed in their assignments, the work they produced was self-conscious, and it was apparent that their intent in writing was not about self-expression, but rather on following the rules of sentence structure and grammar. Rather than being excited about having an opportunity to express themselves on any topic they wished, they were reticent, concerned about getting the exercise “wrong”.

 Over the course of the next few days, I introduced this group of high school students to a new way of writing, one that helped them unlock their inborn storyteller. At the end of two short sessions, the writing samples they produced were dramatically different. Each student had lost the cautiousness they exhibited on the first day. By learning right-brain writing techniques, they discovered not only their natural writing voice, but that writing intuitively creates a natural order and structure to their writing. Not only was the material they produced lively and interesting, very little editing was required of the finished work. By the end of our time together, every student knew how to tap into their innate ability to write well.

 

For myself, the above passage so reminds me of being in the flow.  This method of teaching is a wonderful way to lose your inhibitions and if more teachers took this under consideration when teaching, I imagine more students would find their love of writing cultivated.  Some of us are simply born with an innate desire to write and those lucky few that have that gift should teach others just as Bonita as has done.

 

Bonita mentions right brained people and MANY writers and artists are naturally right brained.  Are you Right Brained? Here is a list of SEVERAL brain traits from Suite101.  How many do you identify with?

 

Be Happy!  Be Well!  Be Positive!
Blessings to you.

Chris

Once you realize that life is eternal,
That our souls our eternal,
That we return to light and physical over and over;

We then lose all our distress
We then lose all our fear of dying.  For there truly is no end.

Road to Success

Last Month on February 28, Your Law of Attraction on Google+ shared
Road to Success”. How does your picture in your mind looks like?

Image from:
GaOrganizer@Flickr

RoadToSuccess.jpg

What is your road to success paved with?
How do you travel your road?

What are your goals on your road?

 

Do you THINK you ARE a success?

You DO know that believing you are successful is the first step to becoming successful?  I’m sure my friend, Gibson Goff would agree, as his blog A Daily Dose of Success details how to be successful.

 

In my response to Your law of Attraction’s question, I responded:
I keeping moving forward toward my goals:
–Writing the best content I can.
–Photographing and sometimes melding my two gifts as in writing a photography blog:
CJP Photo News

 

Keep pushing forward.
Keep your eyes on the prize and don’t let anyone place debris in your river:
Your Life is Like a River

 

It is important to keep your eyes on the prize and keep putting one foot in front of the other and to keep in mind as I’m fond of saying that:
Life is a marathon and not a sprint.

 

Success won’t always be vertical.  Sometimes you must step sideways, to make that vertical step, and while you STEP sideways you won’t see the big picture until long after.  It’s happened to me with my chosen career.  I wanted to write for a living, however I quickly realized that MOST writers simply can’t make a living solely through writing.  They must find a day job.

 

I stepped sideways into the book field; and even then I received consternation.

How will you make a living doing that?  was a refrain I heard from time to time.  Well, I’m here to say I HAVE made my living thus far in the book field, having worked at my local public library since 1998.  One of the most important things I can say and it’s been consistent here at Wisdom and Life in the Parental Pressure category here is this:
Don’t let ANYONE stand in your way of following your dream.
Don’t let ANYONE convince you to do something solely based on financial success.

It’s those people who chase the money and not their gifts that are the most stressed.
It’s those people who chase the money who want to keep you from feeling the freedom of joy.

 

Don’t let them block your flow.
Don’t let them dam your river.

 

Make sure your road to success is paved with your gift.  Whatever that may be.

 

Be Happy!  Be Well!  Be Positive!
Blessings to you.

Chris

Once you realize that life is eternal,
That our souls our eternal,
That we return to light and physical over and over;

We then lose all our distress
We then lose all our fear of dying.  For there truly is no end.

Dying Wishes

One of my Google+ friends, ramesh cha:

shared Dying Wishes on G+ recently and it so moved me that I felt compelled to write a column about it.  I understand as I’ve said here before, that some of you may feel I sometimes become obsessed with Transitioning as a subject here on Wisdom and Life, however if you read ANYTHING I write on the subject, you will quickly see that I take a different bent:
Transitioning should be celebrated.
Transitioning is simply moving from one place to the next.

That’s why I refer to it as TRANSITIONING!
We don’t stay in one place when we transition either.
Everyone comes back again and again.

I think it’s a shame that MOST of us perpetuate the paradigm that death is a dark moment, as in the title of Dying Wishes above:
In The Darkest Of Moments, These People Responded In The Most Beautiful Ways

 

It is this very perpetuation that keeps us locked into the feeling that death is a negative, when it should be seen as just the opposite.  I’m reading a book now called:
The Modern Book of the Dead that discusses this very topic:
That death should be celebrated.
That death is far from the end.

When those of us in the West come to understand this; we will lose our fear and our negativity towards death.  I’m just grateful that my Spiritual Blinders have been removed and I see this clearly now.  This is one of the ONLY reasons I was Divinely directed to write create Wisdom and Life.
Yes!  I said I was DIVINELY DIRECTED.  I SINCERELY believe as I’ve stated here many times previously that my inspiration for Wisdom and Life comes DIRECTLY from God/Source/The Divine.

 

I was directed to help those who don’t see yet.
I was directed to remove those same spiritual blinders I have removed.

 

It seems that the people in this story understood to SOME degree that transitioning should be celebrated.  All we have to do is look at what they wished for to see this:
1. This 8-year-old girl wanted to hear Christmas carolers one last time before she died. Ten thousand people showed up to grant her wish.

 

2. A dying wife left this loving, emotional letter to her husband and children — and to her husband’s future family.

 

On and on, these stories go.  EVERYONE here seems to have understood the meaning of transitioning:
That it isn’t to be feared.
That we, those of us who understand that death is just a change in venue, must work on giving others that same knowledge.

 

Will you join me in this task?

 

Be Happy!  Be Well!  Be Positive!
Blessings to you.

Chris

Once you realize that life is eternal,
That our souls our eternal,
That we return to light and physical over and over;

We then lose all our distress
We then lose all our fear of dying.  For there truly is no end.

Chris

Seeing the Same Lord

They alone see truly who see the Lord the same in every creature, who see the deathless in the hearts of all that die.  Seeing the same Lord everywhere, they do not harm themselves or others.  Thus they attain the supreme goal.

 

The Bhagavad Gita
Eknath Easwaran
pages 20-21

My friend, Jessica Mokrzcki turned me onto The Bhagavad Gita a few years ago and I’ve been leafing through it a bit at a time.  I’m well beyond page 20 now but I found the above quote in an “Upcoming Columns” folder on my Google Drive.  See?

I write my columns on GDrive before I post them to WordPress.  That way I have a back-up of all my columns and I can edit as often as is possible before they MUST go to WordPress.

 

I often take a subject, whether it be my Faith and Spirituality, Books I’ve read or Death and Dying and periodically return to these themes as they continue to be important in my spiritual growth.

 

We all serve the same Lord
Whether we be:
Hindu
Christian
Hebrew
Buddhist

 

–When understand that there is ONLY one power that guides us along our spiritual path,
–When we see the same power just as we see the same sky,
–When we stop looking at our differences

 

–When we start seeing our sameness
–When we look for love and not for hate

 

That’s when we will move forward
That’s when we will make our next evolutionary leap forward.  And I believe our next leap will be spiritual.

 

There are those of us who already see this and it is up to us to spread the word as delicately as possible.  Who is with me?

 

Be Happy!  Be Well!  Be Positive!
Blessings to you.

Once you realize that life is eternal,
That our souls our eternal,

That we return to light and physical over and over;
We then lose all our distress
We then lose all our fear of dying.  For there truly is no end.

Chris

Dredging Up Memories

My friend, Jessica Mokrzycki

 

published Pain’s Precipice at her blog yesterday and it dredged up memories that were buried deep in my consciousness:

Spending time with The Professor’s Husband

Because like Jessica, I visited someone who I became close to over the course of several years. You can read about my friend in the linked column above.  I will say only this about our visits:
We were of the same spiritual ilk and it’s why I so enjoyed our conversations.

 

Jessica says at one point in Pain’s Precipice:
Others that come here to care for him that I talk to think him a silly old man that rambles on and on. I see him as a genius and if one only cares to listen he reveals a life where splendor shone daringly at its crest.

 

After my friend transitioned, I also heard the same stories about him:
That once his wife transitioned, he became entrenched in a spiritual fugue. (My turn of a phrase.)
That he lost a part of his cognition when his wife passed.
That he believed some “silly” thoughts.

 

I didn’t see this at all.
I saw the strong soul behind the man.

 

So, thank you, Jessica for bringing these wonderful memories I have of my time with The Professor’s Husband back around.  I so enjoyed my conversations with him, for he was about the ONLY person I could talk to about my worldview because we were BOTH on the same page when it came to these discussions.

 

Another memory Jessica’s column brings up is spending time with my maternal grandparents; only because she writes about her time with HER grandparents early on:
…Of sitting at my grandparent’s kitchen table after a night of sleeping over with my sister. Poached eggs, grapefruit and cantaloupe before us as well as my grandparent’s loving eyes and warm voices drifting melodically in a shared space made sacred. A time of memories being woven deep in the fibers of my consciousness. My heart winces as I know my grandmother is no more. Her remains now in a marble urn atop my grandfather’s dresser. Those days gone forever.

 

First I want to tell Jessica that my paradigm suggests that:
Those days are NOT gone forever.
That we will ALL see each other again in transition as well as in life.
I want to suggest reading Journey of Souls to her.

 

I have my own wonderful memories of spending time in Lisbon, Connecticut on Graham Terrace with my maternal grandparents:
There was the ubiquitous fishing hole two minutes down the street from my grandparents.
My grandfather taught me to fish.
My grandfather introduced me to my photography obsession.

 

Graham Terrace in Lisbon, Connecticut was a magical place.  It became my sanctuary.  My first best friend lived on Nora Street just a hop and jump away, and I sometimes spent more time visiting him than I did with my grandparents.
Seeing that map of Lisbon, floods my brain with endorphins.
Seeing that map of Lisbon brings back all the amazing memories I had growing up.
Seeing that map of Lisbon, engulfs me in peace.

 

Spending time there as a youth made me who I am today and I wouldn’t trade anything for not having the experiences I did while living there.  Everyone should have such a place to have grown up in.

All such amazing memories I experienced growing up and it is always peaceful going back and recalling those memories. So I want to thank Jessica for Dredging Up Memories of my youth.

And here’s another memory that just popped in:
As with Jessica’s friend, my grandfather took up painting later in his life as well.

I’d forgotten ALL about that but now I clearly see him sitting in the dining room that became his studio crouching over a painting he worked on.  WOW!  I’d ENTIRELY forgotten that about him.  Goosebumps and a warm feeling just flooded my being.  I can actually close my eyes and bring the image of my grandfather sitting in that studio now.

Thank you, Jessica!

Be Happy!  Be Well!  Be Positive!
Blessings to you.

Chris

Health and Motivation

 

Tiny Buddha

is one resource I use to discover motivation for Wisdom and Life.  It’s one of the reasons I’m seldom at a loss for topics to discuss at my blog.  There is a plethora of resources available in the Spiritual realm to write about.  One of my oldest “spiritual” friends in the blogger community, Carla Goddard, Msc.D.  at Shaman Medicine Woman recently shared  How Do You Motivate Yourself: With Love or Fear?  Tiny Buddha is on Google+  as well.

This is a fascinating column as I recently thought about how much my own diet has changed in the past few years.  I considered writing a column about this change recently and here I found inspiration for this very topic.  So I want to thank Carla for bringing this to my attention.

Like Laura-Erdman-Luntz, I’ve always been quite disciplined.  I’ve generally found it easy to break habits and continue on new paths.  I like what Laura has to say about  whether someone is practicing out of love or out of fear.  I never gave that any thought until reading this column.  Now I wonder whether my own practice is out of fear or out of love.
I understand that I can no longer eat what I used to eat:
Sweets
Red Meat
Chips
Soda

on a consistent basis, otherwise I feel sick. I can no longer digest that type of food.  I actually haven’t had a drop of soda in over ten years.  And it’s all because I find it easy to break habits and make new positive changes.
I WANT to feel healthy.

Perhaps that is what motivates me:
Wanting to feel healthy
Wanting to be good.

Maybe on SOME level I am disciplined out of fear because I know how I feel when I slip and I certainly don’t like the feeling.  Maybe using fear to motivate isn’t such a negative thing; as long as you keep your eye on the prize, as long as you understand that you ARE INDEED using that to motivate yourself.

What do you think?

Be Happy!  Be Well!  Be Positive!
Blessings to you.

Chris

You’ll Never Work A day In Your Life

There used to be a blog site called SeededBuzz where you would sign up and read other blogs.  If any ONE column caught your eye, you could write a column at your own blog and reference the column you wrote about at your own.  I met and stayed in touch with Bonita Kay Summers at Intuitive Perspective a fellow blogger through SeededBuzz.  I continue to read and comment at her blog when time allows.  So along with finding inspiration from SeededBuzz, I discovered a friend.

 

I’m carrying on the tradition and I’ve done so before I joined the defunct service.  Today a fellow blogger gets the honor:
Martha Orlando’s Daily Devotion.  The column It’s Working struck a chord with me.

 

Work.  That word can weigh heavily on those who consider work a challenge.  As Martha so eloquently informs us:
God gives us gifts which must be recognized, embraced, and practiced.

Image from:
Ebay

 

Those words could very well have been lifted from my psyche as I’ve written about that at Wisdom and Life as well.
–It’s only those who don’t follow their bliss,
–It’s only those who don’t find their gift,
–It’s only those who follow another’s path

 

–That lose their way,
–That find themselves in conflict,
–That are distressed at their job.

 

Wanna be happy?
Wanna love your job?

 

Then it is up to you to find your gift and do everything in your power to pursue your gift and discover a way to create abundance around said gift.  When you do that:
You’ll never work a day in your life!

 

Both Martha and I did indeed find our gift and continue to pursue it.  Have you found yours?  And it’s not simply a matter of FINDING your gift, you also must discover a way to make your living from it.

 

Be Happy!  Be Well!  Be Positive!
Blessings to you.

Chris

Beware the Ego

Beware of the ego playing the role of spiritual teacher.

Path of the Open Heart
Image from:
Squidoo.com

Path of the Open Heart is one of my new friends on google+.  She recently posted a column on G+ that is linked under the quote above.  The moment I read that quote I knew that i wanted to use it as a launch pad for an upcoming column at Wisdom and Life.  I contacted her and she agreed to let me use the quote.

 

So first, why should we beware the ego at all?
–Ego wants is divisive.
–Ego needs to be right.
–Ego loves conflict.
–Ego always wants more.
spiritlibrary.org

 

Do any of these things sound remotely spiritual?  Lets take a look at each one and dispel them:
Divisiveness:
It seems as if many religions feed off of divisiveness but a spiritual person does their best to prevent divisiveness from entering their realm.  Not that the spiritual tend to roll over and let people take advantage of them.  That’s the furthest thing on the mind of a spiritual person.  We just tend to let things roll off our backs.  We don’t hold grudges.  We don’t let divisiveness control us.

 

The Need to be Right:
I have often written at Wisdom and Life and on G+ about what is more important in life:
The Need to be right or the need to maintain a loving relationship.  The Spiritual person is more concerned with the need to maintain the relationship.  We can forgo being right for the benefit of keeping a healthy relationship.

 

Conflict:
As with divisiveness, those with spirituality in their nature tend to remove conflict from their lives in much the same way they remove divisiveness.  We who feel spirituality all around us have a challenge with conflict.  We tend to avoid it.  We look for ways to resolve it when we see it.
Some of us jump in and negotiate.
Some of us are peacekeepers.
Some of us are peacemakers.

 

Wanting More:
One of the basic tenants of Law of Attraction, another topic that gets discussed at Wisdom and Life is to be grateful for what we have.  Being grateful for what we have, thanking the Divine for all that is given to us is one way of getting more.
Don’t covet.
The grass is NOT greener on the other side.

 

We should be thankful for what we have as I said above.  Wanting more only feeds the ego.  It creates competition and while competition is sometimes a good thing, the only person we should be competing against is ourselves.  Unfortunately, ego would rather compete against your neighbor.  Let’s face it.  We all have different values.

 

If we are honest with ourselves, we REALLY don’t want to be like anyone else.  We want to be true to our own values.  By competing against someone else, by wanting more, what we are truly telling the universe is that we are unhappy, that we are not grateful.  If that’s what we are telling ourselves. then that’s what will be reflected in our lives.

 

A spiritual person looks around their life and while they may not have everything they want, they can find a way to thank God for what they do have.

 

A teacher is someone who guides their students, who brings out the best in their students.  Do you really want the ego teaching us what is best?

 

What is best for the ego is:
— Divisiveness.
–The need to be right.
–Conflict.
–Wanting more.

 

And that really isn’t what is best for our souls.
Our souls should be our spiritual guides.
Our souls should be our spiritual teachers.

 

For when we follow our souls, we are following our dreams, we are following our hearts, we are chasing joy.  And joy is what we should be chasing!

 

Can you ignore ego?
Can you ignore the voices that say:
Follow the money.
Chase the career.

 

That is ego reaching out

 

Your soul cries out:
Follow your dream.
Follow your heart.
Follow the path that the Divine has placed before you.

 

That’s where your treasure lies.

 

Don’t let the ego be your spiritual teacher!

 

Be Happy!  Be Well!  Be Positive!
Blessings to you.

Chris