Tag Archives: Gratitude

The Classic Pamela Positive: “Look Deeply and Recognize the Real Enemy” – Thich Nhat Hanh

“If I can say anything to you, it is to invite you to look deeply and recognize the real enemy. The enemy is not a person. That enemy is a way of thinking that has brought a lot of suffering for everyone.”

– Thich Nhat Hanh

Anything negative — is not from a person.

Radical thinking?  It shouldn’t be.   If we view the enemy as simply a thought and not a person, we depersonalize it.   It’s temporary, changeable.   And we allow the person to grow beyond it, rather than be it.

We can then eliminate personal offense, and work constructively towards a solution.

Look at the Why

If something seems to be negative, we can encourage ourselves to look at “the why.” Why might someone think, or take action, in this way?   This offers us an opportunity to develop empathy. Perhaps this person—let’s call her Jeanine—came from a difficult circumstance or has been hurt.

It’s not Jeanine who is “bad,” but the experiences which occurred in her life which impacted her.  It’s those events that led to the thinking and action behind negativity.

So Jeanine’s identity is not “Prejudice”, “Anger” or “Hurt”:

It’s instead:

The most beautiful thing about this is the following.

She can change.

Allow her to do so.  Wouldn’t we all wish to be forgiven for a past action?

Happy PeopleEvery day we can begin again.   We can embrace a fresh purity for each person in our lives, allowing us and others to lives to our fullest – with Love.

                                                                             —✶—

Thich Nhat Hanh is a Buddhist monk and Zen master.  He is a well-known poet, writer and peace activist.  A native of Vietnam, during the Vietnam War he helped found the “engaged Buddhism” movement, combining the contemplative practice of the monastery with active ministry to victims of the conflict.  He founded the School of Youth Social Service, a Buddhist University, a publishing house, and a Vietnamese peace activist magazine.

During a trip to the United States, Thich Nhat Hanh persuaded Martin Luther King, Jr. to publicly oppose the Vietnam War; King subsequently nominated him for a Nobel Peace Prize.  Thich Nhat Hanh led the Buddhist delegation to the Paris Peace Talks.

Thich Nhat Hanh is the author of more than 85 books on mindfulness and peace.  He founded the Plum Village community in France, a Buddhist community in exile.   He continues to live and work at the Plum Village, and leads retreats worldwide on “the art of mindful living.”

The Classic Pamela Positive: Give A Gift Every Day

GIving

Give a gift every day.

Send your friend’s birthday gift early.

See a gift that would be meaningful for someone you care about, and just buy it. Give it to them now.

Take the time to cook a meal for your partner or your roommate.  Take the time to cook a meal for yourself.

Smile at a person walking down the street.

Smile at a homeless person and stop and learn their name. There is the gift of knowing someone. Of acknowledging you care.

Be kind to yourself.

Get in bed early.

Say three gratefuls before you fall asleep.

Say three gratefuls when you wake up.

Believe today is special.

Take time at lunch to be grateful for three more things.

Pay the phone bill for your roommate.

Drop off banana bread for your neighbor.

Give a lot. Expect little.

Smile at yourself in the mirror.

Work hard and attain the gift of devotion to something you believe in.

Work and leave early and give yourself a gentle night off, nurturing yourself.

Stop and look at nature. Any part of nature. The expanse of the sky; drifting clouds; a vibrant flower.

Give yourself the gift of awareness of how precious and beautiful life is every day.

The Classic Pamela Positive: Should Our Work Make Us Happy?

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I find that so much of what is true ‘happiness’ in one’s job is how we conduct ourselves and our thinking.

For example, even if your job isn’t your exact ideal, there are elements that can bring full happiness. Being of service is not relegated to any one sector. Being professional, kind, courteous, and with a high “client service” attitude to external parties as well as to the internal team, can bring high “happiness” value.
Ideally, it should be coupled with sincere appreciation in return.  Regardless, it makes us feel happy to deliver sincere value. We hold a “high happiness quotient” in our own esteem for ourselves and how we are serving.

On the larger scale of trying to find something you love to do–I do think each person has a wonderful contribution in life and is here for a reason. That doesn’t mean you don’t have to search for it. Part of the searching makes us who we are; hones our goals; and positively affects others along the way… Life is not just an end game of finding the one job which makes you happy. You are evolving, and your happiness, and therefore growth, is also evolving.

Today Matters — by John Maxwell

success blog
Team, today matters.  Inspirational Leader John Maxwell outlines our pathway to success:

Today Matters. 12 Daily Disciplines to Guarantee Success

 Choose and display the right attitude

Determine and act on important priorities

Know and follow healthy guidelines

Communicate with and care for your family

Practice and develop good thinking

Make and keep proper commitments

Make and properly manage your money

Deepen and live out your spiritual faith

Initiate and invest in solid personal relationships

Plan for and model being generosity

Seek out and embrace personal improvements

Today matters, team.  We don’t take a day for granted. Live it with meaning, purpose and joy.
daily success

John C. Maxwell is an American author and leadership expert. His books–especially the 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership, have sold millions of copies and have even landed him on the New York Time’s Bestseller List. Born in 1947 to an evangelical family in Garden City, Michigan, Maxwell was exposed to a religious lifestyle from a young age. He served as a senior pastor at Skyline Church for 14 years, but in 1995, he decided to devote his efforts full-time to writing and speaking. It was then that Maxwell began to think deeply about leadership.
He founded INJOY, Maximum Impact, the John Maxwell Team, ISS, and EQUIP. EQUIP is an international leadership development organization that works to develop leaders; in fact, it is involved with leaders from over 80 nations. Its mission is to “see effective leaders fulfill the Great Commission in every nation,” the Great Commission being a tenet of Christianity about the instructions of Jesus Christ. Maxwell speaks to Fortune 500 companies, international organizations, and even the United States Military Academy about effective leadership strategies. Notably, he was one of the 25 authors named to Amazon’s 10th Anniversary Hall of Fame. In 2014, he was Inc. Magazine’s #1 leadership and management expert in the world.
 

Love: Vulnerability Balanced with Courage

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 “I have learned about love. Love should be easy, free in connection; work, wonderfully so, as in investment; vulnerability balanced with courage, and always undergirded with trust. It should be grace, graced and grateful. It should uplift you.”

Love – we feel it, we know it, we believe in it. And I think it truly is indispensable.. we can’t live without it. As we peel away the layers of love… one I’d like to cover today is:

Vulnerability Balanced with Courage.

Love isn’t always easy for we must be open.  Are you willing to love even if you are hurt?

Because a relationship didn’t work the way you’d prefer… or a church committee member spoke harshly to you… your idea got shot down at work or a precious pet ascended to heaven…

I know… it hurts… of course it does…

So be gentle with yourself, first.

But dear leader – we have to have the courage to soften our hearts, stay receptive, and be open to love at all times.  And yes, that is at home and work.

This allows us to give the most to the world, and to ourselves.

Yes, at all times.

I know that might be hard to hear… Hang in there…

So there may be something that shut you down recently. Well, it’s time to unshutter the door and open back up. Take your heart out of the basement, or release your self-imposed sequestration in the attic. 🙂

Let’s be those loving, beautiful individuals, who deserve to receive and give love. And other people need it too!

Remember, to receive the benefit of love, we have to have courage.

“Love is Vulnerability Balanced with Courage.”

–Sunday, November 29th, 1998. 10:20pm.

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Pamela Hawley is the founder and CEO of UniversalGiving, an award-winning nonprofit helping people to donate and volunteer with top-performing, vetted organizations all over the world. Unique to UniversalGiving, 100% of all donations go directly to the cause.

Pamela is a winner of the Jefferson Award (the Nobel Prize in Community Service) and has been invited three times to the White House. Pamela was a finalist for Ernst and Young’s Entrepreneur of the Year Award and is an Expert Blogger for Fast Company and CSRWire. She is a philanthropy expert for the new TV show, Billions Rising.

Pamela is also an accomplished actress, improviser, dancer, and singer with over 100 performances in San Francisco, New York, and Los Angeles. She is trained by The Groundlings, a graduate of Upright Citizens Brigade, at advanced level Second City Los Angeles, and a BATS improv player. Pamela donates a portion of every show’s proceeds to UniversalGiving.

The Pamela Positive: “Enjoy When You Can, and Endure When You Must”

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“Enjoy when you can, and endure when you must.”  –Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

 

Then, too, there are times to patiently persevere. Not all is easy or peaceful; at times we must stay the course, step by step, like a diligent marathon runner, committed to her course, unrelenting until the finish line.  It might not be a quick race, but more a matter of a marathon.

marathon photo

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Johann Wolfgang von Goethe (1749-1832) was a German writer and artist, and a leading figure in German literature. His works include The Sorrows of Young Werther and Faust.  He was highly influential to the 19th century.

The Classic Pamela Positive: “We Have Only This Moment, Sparkling Like a Star in Our Hand.”

“Begin now. We have only this moment, sparkling like a star in our hand and melting like a snowflake.”

—Paula Best

stars

 

This is one of my favorite quotes… that “this moment… [is] sparkling like a star in our hand… and melting like a snowflake.”

Any moment that is sparkling like a star in our hand means that it is precious. And every moment is… find the joy, the sparkle, the love, the warmth of the moment…

And then… make sure you know it is precious, for Paula goes on to state that each moment is “melting like a snowflake.” That means it’s gone.

So was your last moment spent in joy or frustration? In gratitude or upset? Did it help resolve or move forward or cause more consternation? Even in the challenges, our moments can still be constructive. How I learn from this, striving to appreciate the “star and melting snow” of each moment myself.

                                                                              —✶—

Paula Best is a mixed-media artist out of New Mexico.  She owns PINK Blackbird and creates fun and whimsical designs for cards, rubber stamps, and charms.  Her art often includes inspiring and humorous messages.