“A man is literally what he thinks, his character being the complete sum of all his thoughts. . .
As the plant springs from, and could not be without, the seed, so every act of a man springs from the hidden seeds of thought, and could not have appeared without them. This applies equally to those acts called “spontaneous” and “unpremeditated” as to those, which are deliberately executed.
Act is the blossom of thought, and joy and suffering are its fruits; thus does a man garner in the sweet and bitter fruitage of his own husbandry.“ As a Man Thinketh, James Allen, Free Library
Give your character and your soul a chance to grow, treat yourself and others kindly in your thoughts.
The key is to become aware of the differences in your body when thinking soul enhancing thoughts vs thoughts that cause you stress or worry.
When you can feel the difference in your body, the choice will become easier. The path to character opens up and rewards you with positive responses from the universe.
When you stray from the path, gently and kindly remind yourself your goal is to build character and to stretch your soul, and ask yourself how your current thoughts are making you feel. Are your feelings in alignment with your goal?
If your thoughts are causing you strife, breathe deeply and kindly redirect your thoughts, taking a moment to applaud yourself for shifting gears. Peace is character building and joy helps shine a light on the path you want to follow.
It’s scary, I know. To trust yourselves so deeply that you believe you are the master of your feelings and your path, but the rewards are so great it is a shame to not give it a chance.
If you are heading to a family gathering this weekend but do not see eye-to-eye with all of your loved ones about touchy topics such as politics, religion, child-rearing, sports, lifestyles, or even the weather or who should bring what – this post is for you.
I am sharing my Wishful Thinking Works version of “The Twelve Days of Christmas,”which I wrote in 2010 after being inspired earlier in the year by author and life coach Marianne Ford. Marianne reminded me that being right isn’t a right and sometimes conversations and life go better when, instead of sharing our wisdom, opinions, advice, or rebuttals – we simply listen and respond with a friendly, “I hear you.” or a non-committal but respectful “Ah- huh,” Wow!” “Okay,” or “Really?”
In other words, when respect is present agreement is not a necessity. We can change our experience and the conversation by using Marianne’s tips to transform debates into discussions and boring exchanges into interesting encounters.
I can use a bit of help around this time of year, so I wove Marianne’s thoughts and some of my musings into . . .
“Wishful Thinking Works’ “12 Ways to Survive Holiday Happenings”
On the 1st day of Christmas my inner wisdom gave to me patience for the party,
On the 2nd day of Christmas my inner wisdom gave to me 2 sacks of courage.
On the 3rd day of Christmas my inner wisdom gave to me 3 “Ah-huh’s.”
On the 4th day of Christmas my inner wisdom gave to me 4 smiling nods.
On the 5th day of Christmas my inner wisdom gave to me 5 “Oh, that’s great’s!”
On the 6th day of Christmas my inner wisdom gave to me 6 “Tell me more’s.”
On the 7th day of Christmas my inner wisdom gave to me 7 “That sounds interesting’s.”
On the 8th day of Christmas my inner wisdom gave to me 8 “I-can-do-this’s!”
On the 9th day of Christmas my inner wisdom gave to me 9 “Okay.” “Wow!” “Really’s?”
On the 10th day of Christmas my inner wisdom gave to me 10 “That sounds so frustrating’s.”
On the 11th day of Christmas my inner wisdom gave to me 11 “Oh my gosh’s.”
On the 12th day of Christmas my inner wisdom gave to me 12 “I got through it! I am so happy!”
Feel free to share my new holiday classic with your friends and family. It may help everyone’s holiday shine a bit brighter and feel a tad merrier.
(In case it comes up at a holiday gathering, the twelve days of Christmas are the evening of December 24/January 6 or December 25/January 7 – depending on the calendar, Julian/Gregorian, you are following.)
And, if you are now trying to remember the original lyrics to “The Twelve Days of Christmas,” here they are . . .
Twelve drummers drumming,
Eleven pipers piping,
Ten lords a-leaping,
Nine ladies dancing,
Eight maids a-milking,
Seven swans a-swimming,
Six geese a-laying,
Five golden rings,
Four calling birds,
Three French hens,
Two turtle doves,
And a partridge in a pear tree!
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The Parable of the Arrow
A man was walking through a forest, when suddenly seemingly out of nowhere, an arrow pierced his thigh. He felt a sharp pain. Then, immediately following he felt anger. The thought quickly came. Where did the arrow come from? Who shot it? I’m going to find him. He must be punished. He finally pulled the arrow out of his leg. Gradually the physical pain went away and the wound healed. His anger continued for days. His thoughts of anger and frustration reoccurred for the rest of his life.
Another man was walking through a forest. When seemingly out of nowhere, an arrow pierced his thigh. He felt a sharp pain. He took out the arrow and continued walking. The wound healed.
Adaptation from a Buddhist Teaching
How do you want to live? The choice is always yours.