Handling Emotions Wisely

Dec 07 2016

Our emotional responses have consequences. Stoking and harboring anger and disappointment not only disturbs our wellbeing, the unbalanced energy actually magnifies problems in our mind. Relief comes once we reconcile ourselves with what is and remember that the outer world does not create our state of mind, unless we allow it to. Handling emotions wisely necessitates understanding that the way we frame and fuel them has a direct impact on how we feel. Regardless of the circumstance, whatever action we do take is far more effective when we come from…

Balance and equanimity.

Steve and Jarl 

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Arguments Are Good

Dec 06 2016

Studies show that people in healthy relationships argue rather than stuff their feelings. Even though honest communication can be uncomfortable and lead to temporary disharmony, letting loved ones know how we feel keeps things fresh and evolving. All relationship problems are created out of the dynamic between both parties. What bothers one person might not be a problem for another. Communicating feelings as preferences instead of issuing blame results in less defensiveness, quicker resolution and more satisfying…

Growth.   

Steve and Jarl

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The Secret to Happiness

Dec 05 2016

External conditions aren’t really what create our happiness. How we frame what’s happening in the moment is what causes our feelings. While stuck in the misguided and depressing paradigm of thinking that joy comes only after some particular condition is met, our happiness depends on things outside our control. Realizing the faultiness of this helps us shift from hoping we’ll enjoy what comes in the future to learning to appreciate what’s happening right now. We can frighten ourselves worrying about the future or torture ourselves by regretting the past, but focusing on what’s good now

Is happiness.

Jarl and Steve

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Energy or Action?

Dec 04 2016

A happier life and a better world don’t necessarily result from changing external circumstances. In fact, human history is full of examples of how outward action taken without first changing inner consciousness produced no real improvement at all. The outcome always matches the energy of the people making the change. As Einstein said, “No problem can be solved from the same level of consciousness that created it.” True advancement happens through acceptance, understanding and a willingness to first become ourselves…

The change we wish to see.

Steve and Jarl

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Don’t Poison the Pool

Dec 03 2016

Harboring discontent in our minds is like polluting our own water supply. Ruminating on issues that cause stress or anxiety only brings on more suffering. Any satisfaction experienced from venting about what’s bugging us will be brief and further delay a peaceful resolution (both internally and externally). We are responsible for managing all the ripples in our own pool of awareness. Whatever fills our consciousness, not only determines how healthy the water is for us to inhabit, it’s the main factor creating…

How we feel.

Jarl and Steve

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Creating Meaning

Dec 02 2016

Nothing really means anything until we assign meaning to it. We fabricate stories, repeat them, believe them and then look for others who agree and validate our spin. When someone comes along with a different point of view, we judge and dislike them. Sometimes we argue with them mentally, sometimes face to face. But peace and clarity only come when we admit that our beliefs come from preferences, not objective, unbiased reality. We can defend our stories or acknowledge that they’re designed to keep our identities intact. Dropping our stories is a powerful step toward…

Personal freedom.

Steve and Jarl

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Just Choose

Dec 01 2016

Whenever you feel confused or unclear about what to do, relax. Very few decisions are irreversible. When your choices are in alignment with your values and support your well-being, they’re likely to be good ones. Indecision and inaction keep you stuck and wondering. Choosing clarifies your perspective because you soon realize how you feel about the choice you just made. If the choice was wrong, you can keep pivoting until you find the direction that feels right. The surest way to find what you really want is to choose something and then…

Keep on choosing.

Steve and Jarl

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Understanding Breeds Compassion

Nov 30 2016

Some see good where others see nothing but bad. Some feel hopelessness while others feel enthusiasm. We can even miss what’s directly in front of us if we don’t believe it’s possible or haven’t seen it before. Because of our (mostly unconscious) life-long programming, people can perceive the same thing completely differently. If our conditioning, cognitive processes, biological strengths and weaknesses were identical, we’d all see life the same way, but that’s not the case. Remembering that we’re all programmed uniquely helps us, not only better understand our different opinions, but actually enables us to…

Tolerate them.

Steve and Jarl

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River of Life

Nov 29 2016

Everything flows in the river of life. While we can’t totally control our encounters with others, external circumstances or global events, we do have an impact on how we perceive and feel about what we experience. That’s why it’s smart not to take too personally all the stuff we don’t like. Resisting doesn’t change where we’re going, it just makes it feel more difficult to stay afloat. Accepting what is, allows us to more calmly, peacefully and energetically navigate the currents and eddies of life required to buoyantly create…

The life we want.  

Steve and Jarl 

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Master of Our Own Experience

Nov 28 2016

An ancient parable describes a king encountering a sage who fails to show him appropriate respect. The king angrily chastises him, “I could have you beheaded.” The sage calmly responds, “And I could let you”. The story succinctly teaches us that even in the worst of situations, the possibility of peacefully allowing what is, is a choice that is always available to us. We create internal struggle when we resist what is and experience freedom when we view all phenomena as simply a part of…

The dance of life.

Steve and Jarl

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Self-Righteousness

Nov 27 2016

The less we question our own opinions, the less likely we are to consider the validity of others‘ viewpoints. Outright dismissal of others’ opinions is a dangerous pursuit. It justifies demonizing those who hold different points of view and opens the door to extremism. Anytime we vilify the beliefs of others, we’re taking a step backward in terms of our own conscious awareness. The path forward is lit by self-reflection, openness and the desire to investigate whatever is in the way of harmony…

Inside ourselves.

Steve and Jarl 

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Centered Within

Nov 26 2016

We’re rarely in total balance, especially when we’re growing. Growth necessitates moving out of our comfort zone, which throws us momentarily off kilter. All movement requires shifting back and forth between yin and yang, safety and risk, stasis and dynamism. While balance is just a momentary thing, we can stay centered, even in the face of fear, by aligning with our core values and living in our integrity. Fear saps energy and interferes with constructive action. If we’re scared, the best thing we can do is feel our feelings, allow them to pass and then…

Get centered.

Steve and Jarl

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Staying Centered

Nov 25 2016

Martial artists understand that emotions like anger, sadness and fear interfere with effective action. Neither brains nor bodies function well when they’re under stress. That’s why learning how to effectively handle stressful feelings is not just an important part of being a good martial artist, it’s crucial in successfully dealing with life in general. The more we practice maintaining balance in the midst of external (and internal) turbulence, the more equilibrium characterizes our experience. The more we come from that place, the more our world…

Reflects it.

Steve and Jarl  

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Happy Gratitude Day

Nov 24 2016

In the United States, the 4th Thursday of November is a day that Americans traditionally celebrate Thanksgiving, in honor of the first harvest for the Pilgrims in the New World in 1621. Native Americans call the same occasion ‘A Day of Mourning’ because of the death and destruction the newcomers brought to their people and culture.

The law of polarity is as true in this instance as it is in everything and illustrates why it’s so important to consider all sides of any story.

As we give thanks for our abundance and good fortune, let us also acknowledge our intentional and unintentional trespasses, with genuine empathy and compassion for ourselves and others. 

The Hawaiian Huna tradition offers a powerful healing technique called Ho’oponopono that can help. This technique can be beneficially applied to any situation that lacks harmony. The practice consists of four short sentences that are repeated as a mantra to take responsibility for the disharmony and do our part to heal it within ourselves:

I’m sorry.

Forgive me.

Thank you.

I love you.

Click the link above for a full description of this practice. 

P.S.

Today also marks the 6th anniversary of Gratitude Twenty Four Seven. We write these posts for ourselves as a daily practice to help us keep our thinking and behavior in alignment with our highest intentions. We share them with you in hopes that you will resonate with them, too.

Thank you for joining us in the mission to strive for peace and harmony in the present moment. We believe the only path to peace on earth is one person at a time.

With love and gratitude,

Steve and Jarl

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Take Action

Nov 23 2016

When life unfolds in unwanted or disturbing ways, we can find ourselves lamenting our disappointments to like-minded people. But, complaining not only fails to improve matters, it makes them worse because it adds negative energy and fuels more of the stuff we don’t want. Discussing issues to sort things out is healthy. Grumbling is not. Once we’re aware of our preferences and coming from a healthy outlook, we can focus our energy on…

Finding solutions.

Steve and Jarl

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More Enthusiasm

Nov 22 2016

If you lack enthusiasm or feel like something’s missing in your life, try this simple technique: Ask your subconscious mind to show you how to get into alignment with whatever would bring you joy for life. Then, be patient and trust. Your conscious mind sees through a limiting filter that restricts the options it perceives. Your deeper mind is the energetic force that attracts everything to you. It has access to all that is and responds to your feelings and commands. As the saying goes, Ask and you shall receive. What you want is…

At your command.

Steve and Jarl

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