Do you have patience?

I am naturally not a patient man. Since I was a little boy, I have always been in a hurry — having little understanding for the people and things around me that marched at a more leisurely pace. This attitude lent itself to more than one upsetting event with hurtful words uttered thoughtlessly. I needed a more balanced view of life. At around 30 years of age, it became self-evident that nothing could be gained from a frenetic existence.  

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Affirmations 

What are affirmations and why are they necessary? We live in extremely dynamic times, experiencing a surfeit of information on a daily basis. It is truly overwhelming. Everyone experiences this. Most societies have a legacy of prayer. This includes an attempt to make sense of the world that we live in and the mortal death that appears to follow this life.  

Supplication used to be sufficient for it allowed a true connectivity to God, Gaia, and the Universe. This, unfortunately, is no longer enough. We do not begin our day from a natural position of peace, for life is increasingly filled with noise and movement — from the time we awake until we sleep.   

There is no quiet beginning to my day, the Internet tells me, as soon as I open my eyes, who I am, what I am supposed to be, and how I should envisage the future. This, of course, is all an artificial construct — all fake — having no correlation to the true me and the importance of my mission in life. Sadly, the thrust of our newfound connectivity is to become better consumers not improved citizens. 

Affirmations, therefore, are statements that afford us a platform from which to develop as human beings. They give us the strength to accept ourselves and, in tandem with prayer, go forward in the great adventure of life “to slay our proverbial dragons.” (1) This is my suggested list of affirmations, and the ones that I say on a daily basis.  

First, when I awaken, I thank God for another day of consciousness. How I experience this reality is of my own doing, of course. I mentally construct whether it will be a good or a bad day. I normally choose the former, as opposed to the latter, though not every day am I so disposed. “What a beautiful day! Thank God I am alive and able to experience one more day of life.” Second, I am grateful to the Lord for a relationship with Him — the I and Thou (2) thus described by Martin Buber. “I am a lucky man. I acknowledge the intimate relationship I have with Infinity and the peace this brings me.” Third, I laud my family and friends for always supporting me and my goals in life, even if they disagree with some of my methods. “I bless my parents, my siblings, my children, and my friends for always assisting me in my journey.” Fourth, I salute the opportunity to make this day unique — entrusting me with another day to affect change in myself and in the world. Today I exist in the now. (3) “I welcome that I live in the Now, not in the past and not in the future, and the strength this gives me to travel on in my life.” And finally, I accept that I am perfect. I was created in the image of God. (4) My job in life is to embellish this perfection — which is no small feat. “I accept my excellence. Let it be displayed with the humility necessary to become wise.”  

These are, accordingly, my very brief list of affirmations. Try them every day for 21 days and they will become habit. See if they can benefit your life. If you do not choose mine, create your own. They will bring you closer to your truth. The great poet and philosopher, Rumi, (5) leaves us with a thought: Your heart is the size of an ocean. Go find yourself in its hidden depths. 

A closing thought: Affirmations are a welcome addition to any morning routine. They assist all of us in giving some structure to our day. It is easy to forget that nothing truly exists outside of my mind. My worldview is essentially how I construct reality. The violence and anger we see in the world today are but the consequences of undeveloped minds. These actions can only be mitigated through prayer and reflection. As Tolstoy tells us: The Kingdom of God is Within You. (6) 

To sum up: This week, we spoke about the power of affirmations.  

To be noted: From the great bard, William Shakespeare (7) — We came into the world like brother and brother; And now let’s go hand in hand, not one before another. 

Just for fun:  

For reflection: 

This week, on your peaceful walk, please reflect on the things that you affirm every day. 

Every day look for something magical and beautiful. 
Don’t be a wage slave – critical thinking is great! 

Quote: I am perfect. I am created in God’s image 

Footnotes: 

1) You Have To Slay The Dragon | Jordan Peterson 

2) https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/I_and_Thou 

3) The Power of Now Animated Summary 

4) Genesis 1:27 

5) Why is Rumi the best-selling poet in the US?

6) The Kingdom of God is Within You 

7) William Shakespeare 

Your right to question

There are fundamentally two types of people in the world: those who accept all that they are told to do — from the time that they are born until they die — and those who question everything about the nature of life and love and God. The one will lead to a quiet and rather simplistic life that seems, at least on the surface, to be peaceful and conciliatory with nature and society itself. The other will be a struggle and a fight to find a reason or truth behind a position or an action.  

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Take a vacation!

If we have learned anything during our recent pandemic, it is the necessity of a vacation — of just getting away. What is a vacation? I give it a most liberal definition: it is the action of changing your venue, either physically or mentally, to allow your mind to rest. Then, you can regenerate, and reflect on your perspective of life.  

A physical trip can be divided into three phases. There is the beginning of the excursion itself before the adventure actually begins: the first conceptualization, the planning, the assembly of the funds, the purchasing of new attire — will it be a cool or a warm time of year? Next comes the genuine trip, the adventure, the joys, the losses — the stolen or misplaced luggage — the invariable difficulties with the security and police officials, the memorable events, the stunning realizations, the remarkable epiphanies, etc., etc. Finally comes the arrival home, the unpacking of the valises, the organizing of the notes and pictures, and the presentation of the souvenirs. 

Each piece of the voyage has its own distinctiveness, its own particularity. Some like the surge of energy and dopamine that the forethought of any tour presents. While others enjoy the travel itself — the smells, sights, and sounds that encompass the sejour. The more reflective souls enjoy the assembly of the memories, the lessons learned, the relationships built — or lost, for that matter — all encapsulate the human experience.  

Now a cerebral or spiritual trek is much the same. There is a conceptualized odyssey, “What is the purpose of my life?” for example. “I don’t know, but there must be an objective!” is a fair response, especially when you are young. Thus begins the unpacking of the adventure. We are told: “Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you: For every one that asketh receiveth; and he that seeketh findeth; to him that knocketh it shall be opened.” (1) Then comes the work itself. I must finish my schooling and begin my career. There will be many false starts, but eventually, if I am not afraid of some risk, I will find the right way. I must simply begin. Once I find my correct metier, and enter into a state of flow, (2) I will be able to nurture my life mission. In due course, later in life, I will ameliorate my actions and knock on the door of some insight and convey this to the people that I love and care for.   

Both peregrinations alter how we see the world. People who travel have often blended these two ways of taking a vacation. They can regale us with the savors and scents of a faraway land, but they also have some morceau of thoughtfulness to impart. Take a vacation, we need it. Saint Augustine (3) leaves us with a thought: The world is a book, and those who don’t travel only read one page. 

A closing thought: In an age of packaged travel and artificiality, a self-generated or solitary vacation is one way to seek awareness. A respite such as this is an attempt to learn to reflect and think critically about our life and the events of the world. As citizens, we are now called on to ponder more than ever before. I trust that we are up for the challenge. It begins with a physical and mental vacation.   

To sum up: This week, we spoke about taking a vacation and the experiences that we will gain. 

To be noted: From Germany Kent (4) — To say nothing is saying something. You must denounce things you are against or one might believe that you support things you really do not.

Just for fun:  

For reflection: 

This week, on your dynamic walk, please ponder what a vacation means to you. 

Every day look for something magical and beautiful. 

Don’t be a wage slave – critical thinking is great! 

Quote: The mind needs time to rest and regenerate. 

Footnotes: 

1) Matthew 7:7-8  

2) What is a Flow State?

3) St. Augustine

4) Germany Kent (b.1975) is an American print and broadcast journalist. 

To be free, spiritually, emotionally and financially is your birthright.