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Monthly Archives: February 2013

Don’t Give Up

Don’t give up and let life pass you by.  View each day as a present, as a gift to do with what you will.  I studied very hard in school and I didn’t have a TV or a computer.  Evenings and weekends were times when I could focus on my homework.  I am as busy now as I was then.  The one thing that I do now that I didn’t do often then is to take a break to sit back and watch the world go by when the opportunity presents itself.  This is usually when the grandchildren come over.

I presently have two long-term goals that I have been working on the last three or four years.  I don’t know when I will finish or if I will finish these two goals.  One involves meditating and the other involves covering a complete body of spiritual knowledge.

I also want to meet new people who share my interests and to go to new places to study and expand my knowledge and develop my skills.  Every time on your journey when you think you have reached the horizon you realize that there is a another horizon just beyond the one you have reached.   Life is a journey without end if you don’t put any limits on it.

 

 

 

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Focus

Meditation

Meditation (Photo credit: atsukosmith)

Meditation Sticker

Meditation Sticker (Photo credit: Sanne Schijn)

Meditating in Madison Square Park, Manhattan, ...
Meditating in Madison Square Park, Manhattan, New York City (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Unwanted and irrelevant thoughts sabotage your focus and get in the way of getting things done.   Practicing meditation helps improve your ability to attend and concentrate.  Merely focusing on your breathing for five minutes without attempting to change it in any way is a simple way to start your meditation process.  Remember  to focus on being calm and not letting anything interfere with your concentration.

There is a carryover from meditating to everyday life.  Paperwork and chores can benefit from the single mindedness that you develop when meditating.  As I write this, I have put aside all other projects that vie for my attention and am concentrating on one thing, writing this blog.

As I have suggested before, making a list of the things that need your attention and keeping it where you can see it and refer to it unclutters your mind.  It is reassuring to know that you won’t forget to do something important and you won’t have to constantly remind yourself of these things so that they don’t get away from you.

Mind clutter includes those unwanted thoughts, often negative ones, that create constant chatter in your head.

The better you get at doing this, the more you will get done and in less time than in the past.  This is a surprising added benefit of meditating.

 

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Mental Health and Gun Laws

Severe Mental Illness

Severe Mental Illness (Photo credit: homelesshub)

Yes, there have recently been some horrible shootings of innocent people by apparently mentally ill people.  Background checks for histories of mental illness when purchasing a gun have been suggested.  However, it is more complex than this.

People smart enough to know that receiving mental health help will keep them from owning a gun will not seek needed mental health help.  When people are applying for such help, they must be told if they will lose their right to hunt or target shoot with a gun or have a gun for self-protection.  Then there is the problem of confidentiality in therapy, a counselor or therapist in some if not all states must tell their client that if he or she discloses information that he or she is going to hurt somebody the counselor or therapist must inform the authorities.

Also there will always be some way to access guns whether by illegally purchasing them on the black market or by stealing them from people who have them legally.  If a person can premeditate mass murder, he or she often can figure out a way to obtain appropriate firepower as long as it is out there somewhere and stockpile it.

In some cases of such killings, there has been a history of socially inappropriate behavior and isolation.  Too often we avoid dealing with such people because it is easier that way.  They are fired from a job, kept from attending school or transferred to an alternative school, and forgotten about as they are no longer a problem for the organization.  This does not stop the person dealt with this way from carrying a grudge or continuing to behave peculiarly or isolating him or herself from the attention of others watchful eyes.

Social outcasts who do not fit in to society are seen often as misfits or even untouchables and continue to be nonconformists who lack acceptance by others which even further alienates  them.  Bullying is one way of creating such people.  They don’t stand up for themselves and others don’t stand up for them.  The emotional cost is great and human potential for good is lost.  Mental health help must come earlier rather than later.

 

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Just Plain Nasty

telemarketing

You go two steps forward and one step  back.  Have you had one of those days when you just can’t be nice and/or positive.  Perhaps you’d like to cuss a little, kick the wall, or tell a telemarketer off.  Suicide or murder is not far from your mind.  And if you have managed to keep your cool while you are awake, those “bad” feelings come to haunt you in your sleep.

No one is perfect nor should they try to be as that can be very frustrating and give rise to the same feelings leaking out everywhere that you want to deny.  These are the times that try men’s souls.  Even saints have those kind of days (maybe even weeks, months, or years).  You are only human and if you can forgive others, you surely can forgive yourself.

We learn the most from our slip ups and what we learn is that we are all too human and we also learn what those areas are where we have not yet made the mark.  You should give yourself as much grace as you would like to give others.  Also they can assist us in doing a better survey of where we have missed the mark  and where we should expand our knowledge of situations where we should apply our standards.

Remember expressing some feelings is cathartic and the peace we experience afterwards refreshes our souls.  Have you ever cried your heart out and felt calm and relieved afterwards.  Does it feel good sometimes to get the anger out before you go to back to keeping it in.  Sometimes it is if we have no free will when we do not feel free to express ourselves.  For example, this could happen while getting a speeding ticket or when we are in a situation where the customer is always right.  Hang loose; you’ll get there someday.

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Interacting with Children

Children from a village in Bihar, India

Children from a village in Bihar, India (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The earlier you start interacting with the children, the better.  It is amazing what can happen if you just pay attention.  Little children are eager to learn and gobble up all the information that is presented to them.  It can not start too soon.  Babies should be out where the action is unless it is time for a nap.  When awake, they need to be stimulated and included in what is going on.  Give them a good start and avoid problems later on.

Children play games in which they interact with adults.  Children respond to the facial expressions and vocal inflections of adults.  They love to cuddle, wrestle, and be tickled.  Yes, sometimes they can be over stimulated but things can easily be toned down when this happens.  Children also play games with each other.  When certain patterns of behavior are repeated and shared with another child, it can be seen that they are stimulating each other.  Older children can interact with younger children by “teaching” them things.  Just don’t say things like, “Big boys don’t play with babies.”  Also they should be where a caregiver can watch them as sometimes older children can be too rough with younger children even when they aren’t being mean.

If you raise children this way and let them have a lot of interaction with other children and adults, they can develop self-confidence and also self-control.  Don’t have children if you don’t want to spend any time with them or if you plan to leave them for other adults to raise.

 

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Without Thinking

The Thinking Man sculpture at Musée Rodin in Paris

The Thinking Man sculpture at Musée Rodin in Paris (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

So many people act and speak without thinking.  This happens even more often when emotion is involved.  Speak first; apologize later or do you even apologize.

Closely observe what other people are doing, feeling, and thinking then decide how you are going to respond if at all.  Pay attention to where your own head is at.  If you just spent three hours in a traffic jam, you might be a little annoyed and you might lack patience when dealing with others when you get where you are going.

In an emergency, you might act quickly; but when the situation is taken care of, you might find that you came to the wrong conclusion and did something that you wouldn’t have done if you had not thought that there was an emergency.

When an act or word was well-intentioned and you admit that later it was a mistake and that you wouldn’t have done it if you knew what was going on.

I have observed people who think that they are acting or speaking righteously and spontaneously correct another person’s behavior when they are actually extremely biased and see only what they want to see.  There can always be another part of the story that explains this person’s behavior that they do not know.

Last but not least, don’t let  negative gossip taint your handling of another person in an everyday situation  even if this person has done something wrong.  Should this change how you treat them when you are not directly involved and they are not doing anything wrong at the present moment.  Does this justify being rude?    You don’t necessarily need to be judge and jury.

 

 

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