Tag Archives: joy

The Pamela Positive: “A Smile Is a Blessing.” – Mpho Tutu

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A smile is a blessing…It really doesn’t take that much to live into our blessing and make the world better for each person we encounter during our day.” 

This quote is from Mpho Tutu, the daughter of Archbishop Desmond Tutu and an ordained minister herself.  She was quoted in the Christian Science Sentinel, in an article discussing her and her father’s new book, Made for Goodness.  She also said that they hope the book will help people to “recognize in themselves their own innate goodness.”

How can we each be a blessing to another person today?

The Classic Pamela Positive: Philanthropy at the Drycleaners

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I’ve shared before about philanthropy as “the love of people,” as a daily practice.

One day I had a pivotal experience that helped me be a better ‘daily philanthropist.’  Each day, I make a ‘to do’ list. The list might range from contacting a corporate client, to running an errand at the drycleaners. Checking off these items certainly gave me a nice sense of satisfaction!

During this day, I found myself particularly busy. I rushed into the drycleaners. I swooped in to pick up my clothes and left a bundle of clothes on the counter.  “There!” I told myself triumphantly. “I fit in the drycleaners before a meeting. I have gotten one more item off my list!” Accomplishment, I thought; and yet I didn’t feel it.

What I realized is that the drycleaners wasn’t an errand.

No, it was not a ‘to-do.’

It was an opportunity to love.

Life is not about lists. We aren’t programmed to just get things done. Instead, each activity, each to-do, each task, is actually an experience of loving. This is especially true because each experience usually means interacting with someone else. And when we do this in a calm, present, joyful way, that’s living. And it’s also the true spirit of philanthropy. Loving and being present with others, with mankind.

As one great thinker wrote, a person “… is a marvel, a miracle in the universe… With selfless love, he inscribes on the heart of humanity and transcribes on the page of reality the living, palpable presence – the might and majesty! – of all goodness. He lives for all mankind.”*

Rushing in and out of the drycleaners, I had missed a valuable opportunity. What I needed to do was connect with my drycleaners, know them by name, greet them warmly, and sincerely ask how they are doing. Now I know how Hao is doing, and we have a great relationship of warmth and kindness.  I look forward to our visits.

Writing a check is only one type of philanthropy. I’ve found that it exists at the drycleaners, and pretty much anywhere we want.  Where does it exist for you?

 

*Mary Baker Eddy

The Classic Pamela Positive: Give A Gift Every Day

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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 Pamela Positive: “Intuitions of What Work, Love, Human Relationship, and Health Can Be”

“…intuitions of what work, love, human relationship, and health can be.”

Charles Eisenstein points to a world that is divine.

It’s a sincere manifestation of positivity and living at its best. It strips away self-focus so that we can conjoin with a greater nature. Actually, the self, and technological connections, don’t define us. Rather, principles of love, kindness and truth amongst ourselves, and in coordination with nature, are what create this new life.

Let’s embrace what Mr. Eisenstein is putting forth in his treatise The Ascent of Humanity.  We can encourage ourselves to ascend together: to a place of goodness where each part benefits the other.  It’s a new reality, and he encourages us to not accept anything less.  This new world is coming.

The Ascent of Humanity

Need the most sublime achievements of art, music, literature, science, and technology be built upon the wreckage of the natural world and the misery of its inhabitants?

We intuit also that something similar is possible collectively…Another way of being is possible, and it is right in front of us, closer than close; that much is transparently certain. Yet it slips away so easily that we hardly believe it could be the foundation of life; so we relegate it to an afterlife and call it Heaven, or we relegate it to the future and call it Utopia.

Underlying the vast swath of ruin our civilization has carved is not human nature, but the opposite: human nature denied. This denial of human nature rests in turn upon an illusion, a misconception of self and world…the reconception of the self… is underway.

Saints and mystics have tried for thousands of years to teach us how we are trapped in a delusion about who we are. This delusion inevitably brings about suffering, and eventually a crisis that can only be resolved through a collapse, a surrender, and an opening to a state of being beyond previous self-limitation. These spiritual teachings have helped me realize, at least partway, my intuitions of what work, love, human relationship, and health can be.  

The examples of what life is surround me and define what is normal. Do I see anyone around me whose work is their joy, whose time is their own, whose love is their passion? It can’t happen. Be thankful, say the voices, that my job is reasonably stimulating, that I feel “in love” at least once in a while, that the pain is manageable and life’s uncertainties under control. Let good enough be good enough.

… trying harder can never work.  Soon, though, this mode of being will come to an end, to be replaced by a profoundly different understanding of the self, and a profoundly different relationship between human and nature.

The root and the epitome of separation is the discrete, isolated self of modern perception: the “I am” of Descartes, the “economic man” of Adam Smith…Technology distances us from nature and insulates us from her rhythms. For example, most Americans’ lives are little affected by the seasons of the year. We eat the same food year-round, shipped in from California; air conditioning keeps us cool in the summer; heating warm in the winter. Natural physical limitations of muscle and bone no longer limit how far we can travel, how high we can build, or the distance at which we can communicate. Each advance in technology distances us from nature, yes, but also frees us from natural limitations. Hence, the “ascent”. But how can all these improvements add up to the world we find ourselves in today?

Even in the darkest days, everyone senses a higher possibility, a world that was meant to be, life as we were meant to live it. Glimpses of this “world of wholeness and beauty” have inspired idealists for thousands of years, and echo in our collective psyche as notions of Heaven, an Age of Aquarius, or Eden…

Source: Introduction, The Ascent of Humanity by Charles Eisenstein

Charles Eisenstein graduated from Yale and spent ten years as a Chinese-English translator.  He is currently teaching at Goddard College.  He is also the author of Sacred Economics and The Yoga of EatingVisit his website to read more about The Ascent of Humanity.

The Pamela Positive: “A Good Time to Laugh is Any Time You Can” – Linda Ellerbee

“A good time to laugh is any time you can”

– Linda Ellerbee

Linda Ellerbee (born August 15, 1944) is an American journalist who is most known for several jobs at NBC News, including as a Washington, DC correspondent and host of the Nickelodeon network’s Nick News. Linda grew up in Texas, and attended Vanderbilt University, although she quit without graduating. At NBC, Ellerbee worked as a reporter on The Today Show. Her first anchor job was on the prime-time version of Weekend, with the sign-off phrase “And so it goes.” In 1987, Ellerbee and her life and business partner Rolfe Tessem left network news to start their own production company, producing programs including Nick News – a news program for children that received many awards. In 1992, Ellerbee was diagnosed with breast cancer and had a double mastectomy. Since then, Ellerbee spends much of her time speaking to groups about how she fought cancer and how women need to fight not only the disease and for better medical treatments of it, but to laugh in the face of cancer as well.

The Pamela Positive: We Carry Our Weather Around With Us

“We carry our weather around with us.” – Stephen Covey

What a wonderful encouragement from Stephen Covey.  No matter if our day seems cloudy or rainy, either from the outside weather or from tough news or a challenging day, we determine our weather.

We establish the climate outlook of our minds, conversations…We shape the weather pattern of our communications; we forecast the rain, sun or clouds of our expectations.   We are in charge of our own weather, and our weather determines our hopes for the future.

Thank you, Stephen, for your life devoted to one of encouragement and positivity.

Stephen Covey is a speaker and author, writer of The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People.  His work focuses primarily on leadership, family and living with principle.  He is a professor at the Jon M. Huntsman School of Business at Utah State University.  He and his wife, Sandra, have nine children and fifty-two grandchildren.

“What the World Needs Is People Who Have Come Alive” – Howard Thurman

children-479692_640“Don’t ask yourself what the world needs. Ask yourself what makes you come alive and then go do that. Because what the world needs is people who have come alive.” – Howard Thurman

This is very true. Continue reading