Category Archives: The energy we put into the world comes back to us

Making a Life

“We make a living by what we get. We make a life by what we give.”
Winston Churchill

This is a giving season. We are thinking how best to please those we love. We are filled with love and wanting to give.

Please remember those who are not on your list. Remember those who have no one to love them.

Remember to love the unloveable.

And remember to give from your heart.

You will find plenty of people with needs and causes with credibility.

Life Student


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Filed under Living our best life, Quotations, Seven Spiritual Laws of Success, The energy we put into the world comes back to us

High(er) Society

“Surround yourself only with people who are going to take you higher.”  Oprah Winfrey

I’ve been thinking a lot about friendships.

How does my circle of friends reflect my own values? Are my relationships feeding my soul? Is my social life lifting me higher?

I recognize a yearning and I want to be aware of whether it can be satisfied from without or within.  And so I have shuffled through a list of wants and needs.

In a friend…

  • I don’t need constant attention but I want to be seen.
  • I don’t need hours of intense philosophical discussion but I want to have meaningful conversations.
  • I don’t need my friends to agree with me but a sense of shared values creates a solid foundation.
  • I would love to have spontaneous friends but realize I must then develop my own ability to be spontaneous.
  • I don’t need to hear religious or spiritual beliefs, but I want to see and feel that the lives of my friends are on a path toward truth and compassion.

What I call a higher power, another may call God, Allah or Nirvana.

What I call spirituality another may call higher conciousness.

Perhaps the answer is simply to remain open to my life’s purpose and meet other students along the way.


Filed under Living our best life, The energy we put into the world comes back to us

Listening with the Heart

Thich Nhat Hanh is talking on Super Soul Sunday about Deep Listening as a relief for suffering.

Such a beautiful concept.  It is the perfect cure for my normal “Quick to Fix” attitude.

The only time I ever practiced this…and it was purposeful and difficult…was with my mother in her last years.  Why haven’t I remembered how effective that was?

Mother had difficulty in letting go of the pain of her divorce from my father.  After 40+ years she still talked about it incessantly.  I was so tired of hearing it.  At the same time, she complained that no one listened to her.

No matter how many times I tried to relieve her suffering by offering every word of wisdom I could summon, she continued to talk.  I dreaded every visit with her and always left feeling disgruntled and irritated. Ultimately, I told her that I didn’t want to hear anymore.  I cut her off when she would begin.

Then came a time in my life (way too late) when I determined that I should be treating my mother in a way that I must treat a mother if I were to be the person I wanted to be.

On my next visit, I let her know that she could talk to me about anything and I wouldn’t object.  And (finally acknowledging futility) I determined that I would never offer her solutions or opinions.  I would simply listen.

It was excruciating.  It was boring.  At times it was depressing and overwhelming.

And over her last years our relationship changed.  I developed compassion for her.  She was light-hearted when we were together.  Although she admitted her incapacity to love deeply, she expressed her love for me and shared thoughts and memories about herself that I had never heard.

Thank you, Thich Nhat Hanh for reminding me of this profound way to manifest love.

The Student

This post was written for and originally posted on Vision and Verb on June 4, 2012

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Filed under Buddhism, Step 4. Made a searching and fearless moral inventory of ourselves., Step 5. Admitted to God, to ourselves, and to another human being the exact nature of our wrongs., Super Soul Sunday, The energy we put into the world comes back to us, Thich Nhat Hanh, You Become What You Believe