Tag Archives: breathe

Be Happy!

Be Happy! It’s easier said than done, right? The truth is: Happiness is not really all that far off for most folks, if you just know where to look and what steps to take. I have seen people that the world would say: “They have everything going for them!”, and yet in spite of all their good fortune, they were miserable. And I’ve seen others that the world would ask: “How in the world can they keep going on?”, and yet despite their cataclysmic struggles, they seem to be some of the happiest people in the world. While it’s true that circumstances do have the ability to make happiness easier or more difficult to obtain, they are not the determining factor.

Scientist have invested a lot of money and spent a lot of time investigating how to obtain happiness and while they have made a lot of amazing discoveries, there still is no magic pill that can make it your reality. I too, have spent a great deal of my life chasing after happiness. There were times that I thought this or that relationship with just the right person would do the trick, but it doesn’t take you too long to realize that most everyone else is on the same journey as you. I have often fell into the trap that certain possessions, a bigger house, newer car, trendier clothes might be the fix, but they all just ended up leaving me hungry for more. I even thought that degrees, titles and prestige might do the trick, only to find that papers stack up, trophies and plaques get old, memories fade and still leave you empty and searching.

We spend most of our lives having our ego fed by the lie of all lies: The lie that says I am what I possess, what I do or what I think other people think of me. This lie causes us to chase after an elusive foe that will never be caught, but that will often get us caught up in messes that take us away from, rather than closer to the happiness we are searching for.

Now, let me state for the record that I am not an authority on happiness. I am simply one individual on a journey that has discovered a lot of what will not work and a handful of things that seem to be taking me in a more positive direction. I want to share just a few of those thoughts as we get ready to dive into 2020:

1.) To Find Happiness, Stop Looking Outside And Start Looking Inside! Most of us fill our schedules with so much activity that we have very little time for solitude, stillness and quiet time, which allows us to go within and do the “thought” work necessary to truly figure out what happiness is for us. If we don’t fill our schedules, then many of us, simply don’t take the time to pray, meditate and contemplate what is really important in life. This inability to make time for “INWARD WORK” robs us of the opportunity to take on and take out the negative thoughts that this world is continually bombarding us with. If we are not intentional about taking time to think, pray, journal and do inward work, then we will most likely never experience the happiness that we were created for and that was created for us.

2.) Take Time To Take A Breath! This may sound a little crazy, but breath is a very important part of life. The fact that we breathe in and breathe out without even thinking about it, is an amazing reality of our lives. Breath matters. Take time to think about your breathing. Acknowledge the miracle of breath coming into and out of your body. This reminds you that there is more to this life than just you. You have a Creator, Who created you as an amazing spiritual being that gets to experience this human life. When this thought really begins to take root in your life and thinking, you can’t help but to live life at a higher level and this contributes to helping you get into just the right place to experience the happiness you were created for.

3.) Practice Gratitude All Day, Everyday In Anyway You Can! I have found that an attitude of gratitude is the single quickest way to get myself adjusted and headed in the right direction. While there are many things that are not working the way I want them to, there are many things that are working better than I could dream or imagine. Often in my life I have focused on what I didn’t like, giving it all the power to call the shots in my life and missed out on all that I had to like, love and appreciate that I should have been empowering to take me in the positive direction I so desperately needed. To help me stay on the right track here are a couple of disciplines I practice on a daily basis: First thing in the morning, I say: “Thank You! Thank You! Thank You!” as my way of acknowledging I am not alone in this universe, that I have been created on purpose for a purpose and that I am grateful to my Maker for blessing me with another day. At some point during the day, I also take time to write down in my journal at least three things I am grateful for. I encouergage you to find ways to meaningfully express your gratitude, it really is a life changer.

Happiness is really not that far off and it is obtainable in your life, just start on the inside and work your way out and you will find happiness, if it doesn’t find you first!

Just Breathe!

Get up, get ready, get in the car, drive like a maniac, run into work, grab a cup of coffee, get busy and now what’s next? Some times in the midst of my hurry, I catch myself going through the same “rush routine” day after day and at other times I go through it without even giving it a thought. It is possible to live our lives in a “rush routine” and the great tragedy is: This is not really living.

So, I want to encourage you to stop and take a moment, the next time you catch yourself caught up in the “rush routine”. Stop, take a moment and breathe! That’s right – breathe in, hold it and now breathe out. Now try it again and focus on getting it right – breathe in hold it, hold it, hold it and now breathe out. Now, try it one more time, just for good measure.

There is life in your breath, so if you don’t do anything else today, you need to make sure that you take time to breathe. When I actually slow down enough, to stop for a moment to take and recognize my breath, I realize that there is more to this life than the chase that I so often tend to find myself caught up in.

Crazy thing is: When I actually stop to breathe and realize my breath, I am very often, not even sure what I am chasing. I sometimes find that I am in a hurry just to be in a hurry, not because I necessarily have a dead line I’m trying to meet. These are the times, that I’m glad I listened to that little voice inside of me, reminding me to breathe.

On the grand scale of Eternity, this human experience is a very short thing and we need to make sure that we are not so busy and rushed that we miss what really matters. When I take the time to just breathe, then I realize how nice it is to sit and sip on my hot cup of mocha coffee. I appreciate grown up conversations with friends and begin to understand the role they play in helping me to become a better person and vice versa. I am grateful for this amazing, beautiful gift called life and feel priviledge to get to live and share it with so many amazing people.

So, slow down and take the time to breathe and recognize your breath, you will be glad you did…

When Empty Living Is Not A Bad Thing!

When I am driving down the road and I hear that little bell go off to remind me that my gas tank is on empty, I know that I have to do something about it, and so I head to the gas station to put gas in, so that I can get rid of the “E”.   When I have not had a chance to eat, my stomach will begin to growl and remind me that it is empty, and I will look for something to eat, so that I might fill that void.

We have been taught that when something is empty, we need to fill it. We walk into a room that has nothing in it and almost immediately our mind goes to the place of filling it with this and that.  I think all of this focus on filling, causes us to miss the value of emptiness.  Lao Tzu in the Tao Te Ching gives us the idea that “The usefulness of what is, depends on what is not.”  In everything, there is an emptiness, a missing something, but that missing something is something, not nothing and this is the challenge of our thinking.

Our lives are full of work and living, but that is not what really makes our lives meaningful.  It is often the spaces of our life that we perceive as empty that actually give us meaning and purpose.  Since all of life around us seems to work by filling the empty void with whatever, we spend most of our energy trying to fill things back up and miss the joy of the emptiness.

We try to fill our lives up with work, activities, events, hobbies and almost anything we can think of and the result is still a gnawing emptiness, a void that we just can’t seem to fill, at least in a way that brings us satisfaction.  This hole, void, emptiness is not a bad thing. In fact it has a purpose and it’s purpose is to help us to discover who we are and what we are about.  It’s purpose it to teach us that rather than spending all of our effort and energy on trying, that we should invest ourselves instead on simply allowing.  When we learn to allow what will be to be, we begin to enjoy the flow of life.

When you allow yourself to breathe. The breath comes in and it goes out, quiet naturally, until you decide to start messing with it. This is the best way to live life.  Rather than trying to force and make things happen, just allow yourself in your living to breathe.

Most people cannot stand silence. Why? Because it is emptiness.  Emptiness that we feel needs to be filled.  As soon as we get in our cars, we power up the radio.  As soon as we walk in the door of our home, we turn on our televisions.  When we have a moment to sit and do nothing, we are on our smart phones trying to fill the void.  And the result of all of this, is that we miss the power and blessing that the emptiness is there to bring.

At some point today, take a few moments to practice silence.  I try to spend at least 10 minustes everyday in silent meditation.  I try during this time, to go into that empty space and enjoy what my Creator has given me.  I have discovered that it is from this place that some of my most amazing and beneficial thoughts begin, grow and flow.

It is in this place that I meet the essence of who I am and as I learn to allow that essence to flow, the real me begins to reveal itself to the rest of the world.  Philippians 2:5-9 teaches us that this is what Jesus did when it says: “Have this attitude in yourselves which was also in Christ Jesus, who, although He existed in the form of God, did not regard equality with God a thing to be grasped, 7 but emptied Himself, taking the form of a bond-servant, and being made in the likeness of men. 8 Being found in appearance as a man He humbled Himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross. 9 For this reason also, God highly exalted Him, and bestowed on Him the name which is above every name.”

Let go of everything – who you are, what you do, where you go, how you think, when you’ve got to be finished and learn to exist in the empty space of this moment.  Appreciate this moment and the space of what it is allowing you and let it to do what it desires. You will be glad you did, because you will live blessed.