Want a easy way to change your life? Follow Paul Mark Sutherland’s advice from his New Year’s Resolution.
“Maybe Too Soon for You, But Not For Me” – Frances Blaisdell
That’s how my Oma signed a letter to me, right before I came home from Duke for the holidays. Finals were wrapping up, and she had sent me a note of encouragement. It’s attached with a beautiful cursive unique to my Oma! Since you probably can’t read it, here are some excerpts:
But I believe Editor Francis Pharcellus Church gave one of the most profound truths available to us: That the most worthy, laudable, beautiful, meaningful things in life, are those we cannot see. It is love, generosity, goodness, and, Santa.
Read below and tell me what you think.
I believe the most important things are invisible,
The days of “linear giving” are over — what I mean is, it’s not “I give you this, you give me that.” That’s Linear Giving and it doesn’t always happen. Continue reading
You, me, the night building manager, the cleaners and homeless people all have something in common: We need to be nourished.
The other night, I was helping lead a Full Circle Fund meeting, which is working to provide economic opportunities for people across our world. It’s a wonderful group, focused on providing financial support and volunteer time to help serve the community.
That evening, we had leftover sandwiches from dinner. While I usually take any leftovers from the meetings I attend to homeless people, I thought perhaps I would give myself a rest from it this evening. It was a huge tray I would have to balance, carrying my many bags as well. Yet something made me gather up the sandwiches, and hope there would be someone who would appreciate them.
When I approached the night building manager downstairs, he was a bit hesitant at first… but after positive encouragement he took two and with much gratitude. Two of the cleaners said no, hesitantly… but when I spoke to them in Spanish, they took two to three sandwiches each! As I then turned outside, a lovely man cleaning the outdoor tiles in the rain lifted up his hood, smiled widely; and took two.
I passed an elderly homeless man in a wheelchair underneath the cover of a prominent office building, who reached out to take two sandwiches as well. As I walked down the street, a gentle, petite Asian man, with bags and bags of recycling beside him, was persistently searching through the refuse to find more cans. He was so slight of frame and with a smile that beamed. He took the entire rest of the tray.
Within five minutes, 15 sandwiches were given. And my heart was given to as well, filled by being able to help other people in one small way.
Make the effort to give, of whatever we may have. For we all need to be nourished.
“Turn the other cheek” — that’s the teaching that we should carry with us. All violence and all the mayhem and badness in this world will disappear as we all adopt that ancient teaching and wisdom just in our everyday activities and our choices.
For me it’s become very important to meditate two to three hours a day. That’s the only way I’ve gotten answers and returned to the wisdom I experienced during my journey.
Consciousness is the thing that exists. It is the support, the basis on which all of the universe is based. Consciousness is our oneness with the Divine. It is pure God-given love and power.
Our attitude, our mind, our consciousness has tremendous power over our health.
To me, so much of the badness in our world has to do with the fact people don’t love even themselves enough. They don’t realize they are divine beings. This of course is not about being selfish and greedy.
Our infinitely powerful Creator loves us infinitely no matter what. We are here to learn lessons, so its all about love and forgiveness — showing love to strangers, showing love to our enemies.
During these challenging economic times, there are opportunities. Now there are many more ways to appreciate what we have in life. There is something about being grateful for what we already have – quite a humbling sense – that actually fills us with peace. Losing jobs, income or savings impels us to take a closer look at our spending of money and time. We focus less on accumulation. We increase our gratitude for what we have, and we simplify. Clear, simple living also bring us peace and true contentedness. The result is often that we have less negative impact on our earth, and spend our time in more positive, enriching ways. Here are some ideas about how to live a more simpler, more appreciative life….It’s the Clothes, Kitchen and Car philosophy. Enjoy and increase the peace. 1. Clothes: A Close Collaboration This is a tough one, especially for the ladies. What if we walked into our closet and we only had our favorites? That you absolutely loved every piece. In the early 1990s, the average amount of ensembles women owned was 6. Six outfits! Here, we can pare down. If you wear something once per year, might it be better used by someone else who would wear it once per week? Be aggressive with yourself. If you do buy something, give away two pieces. When you are in store, really think about how much you love this new possibility. Because what the sales, marketing and stores don’t tell you is that these clothes can last a really long time! Some of my best pants and suits are from Banana Republic and I have had them 10 years. Buy classics. They stay in, and they can be mixed and matched with so much else. Which leads me to fashion. When you see a new trend, study it. Look at the models and how they wear it. Then enourage yourself to be creative. How could you recreate this from your warddrobe? Further, how can you push yourself to make up new ensembles with your existing wardrobe? Force your clothes to collaborate! I always thought about my brown boots being paired with two skirts I had. But then, I started wearing them with three different pants, cream, charcoal and brown. It made a fun difference and I felt I had a new pair of boots! 2. Kitchen: Don’t Kill Your Bags I haven’t bought Ziploc plastic bags in two years. Maybe three. Plastic bags can be washed out and used again and again. And again. They are so sturdy; it takes them months to rip. So reuse. Plastic bags also come to you in different forms. Think about the plastic bag your recent bread of loaf came in. Why can’t we use it to keep food fresh, or transport and apple in your purse? Reuse these bags from the food you’ve already purchased. The same goes for tinfoil. Wash it down with water and soap, fold it well, and it stays for months. If you are careful with it, it’s really hard to rip and will serve you again and again. And again. Not only are you saving the earth from having t reabsorb these items which are difficult to break down, but you are saving money and weighing yourself down less at the grocery store. So don’t kill your bags by throwing them away and building up more landfill. If you have to use them, keep them alive and reuse, reuse, reuse. 3. Car: Love Your Footprint More than Your Car Tread Love your footprint more than your car. Try not to drive. That’s what I try to do. Try not to use it. I think it’s been about a year since I drove in San Francisco. I try to walk everywhere. I don’t join a gym – and save money because I walk the hills of San Francisco to work; I walk and carry my groceries from the store. I don’t pay parking fees. I don’t get parking tickets. I pay very, very little for gas. I save the environment. And my favorite, I connect with and get to know the community by traveling in different ways and routes. Some of the routes I do stick with for awhile, connecting with and saying hello to people that I do see on a regular basis, such as hotel doormen. It’s a nice way to be a part of the community. So on cars… Try not to. If you can. The earth loves our foot print more than our car tread. What’s so wonderful about Clothes, Kitchen and a Car — is that it helps you and the community. It saves time (less time shopping for clothes and plastic bags/tinfoil, and more time being with people). It saves money (gym memberships, gas, parking fees). And it saves our environment. Less landfill, less recycling, less impact. All of which leads to a simpler life. We should be spending as much time as we can on what we love to do, and the people you love to be with, rather than accumulating more things. Or spending time accumulating more things. Increased clarity, peace and simplicity. Clothes, Kitchen and A Car allows us to focus more on what matters. Peace is at hand. Try it and let me know what you think, as well as your ideas. I look forward to hearing from you! Pamela