Work is better than Wishes

Thoughts to Ponder

April 29, 2016

 “…Many are waiting for their life to take off.

Who’s going to tell them that this could be their problem?

Don’t wait, do something, anything, everything you can think of.”

The Universe*

This message rings true. How many years have we wasted waiting for life to take off, for success to arrive, for a gigantic pay raise?

Well, we can all agree that’s not going to happen unless we put some effort behind the wait. We hear so many stories about people achieving instant success–overnight sensations. We don’t hear that the musician played for years at local bars for what beer he could drink during his show. We don’t hear that the famous artist waited tables while earning an MFA degree. We don’t hear about the writer who has fourteen unsold novels and 100 rejection letters in her closet.

I must admit that I am one of those who quit when the going got hard. My parents believed that success belonged to the wealthy and that poor people worked until they died – still poor. But, I can’t blame my parents. I had more opportunities than they, yet always hoped that prosperity would come from the end of a fairy’s wand. Of course, life didn’t turn out that way. I had some successes and some failures and overall have earned a place a little higher on the prosperity ladder than my parents enjoyed.

Still, I always wanted to say, “I did this” or “I was presented that award.” It may be that one day I’ll be able to say those things, but I’ve finally learned that, as much as I don’t want to, I need to work for what I want. It took me long enough to face that fact. One role model who inspires me is Thomas Edison, inventor of the electric light bulb, the phonograph and many other useful items. He said,

“Opportunity is missed by most people because it is dressed in overalls and looks like work.”

Work is what I always tried to avoid. So, here I am, just now learning about being willing to work. Sometimes it’s still hard. I get up in the morning and want to read the paper and reply to emails while I relax in my recliner. Then I choose to go for a walk or solve a puzzle, but not work. It’s not easy to break a life-long habit of waiting for success to fall in my lap.

But, here I am putting these words on paper. This means I have to start taking steps to reach my goals.

Spirit, Thank you for this awareness, even though it has come late in life. If I’m willing to put in the effort, I know that all will turn out for my highest good. Just as we must make an effort to be kind and caring, we must also make an effort to earn our successes. And, so it is.

*Mike Dooley, TUT – A Note from the Universe, April 25, 2016, theuniverse@tut.com

Sharon D. Dillon, energywriter@cox.net, http://energywriter.me

Chesapeake Bay Writers, Erma Bombeck Writers Workshop, Southern Humorists, National Society of Newspaper Columnists

Author of one of 14 stories in The Book of Mom: Reflections of Motherhood with Love, Hope and Faith, published by booksyoucantrust.com. Available in print and e-format at Amazon.com

Watch your thoughts

Thoughts to Ponder – March 6, 2016

 “The way to start changing your mind is not to

force it or command it but to watch it.”

Martha Beck*

 Many of us have been told since we were small children that if we want something we need to work hard and stay focused. That tactic often leads to frustration rather than to adjusting our thinking or obtaining peace of mind.

I’ve learned, the hard way, that when I want to change my behavior I do not succeed on determination alone. For example, I may decide to exercise more and even purchase a gym membership. But, I seldom go to the gym unless I have an exercise partner who keeps reminding me that it’s workout day.

However, if I say to myself and the Universe, “I’d like to get more exercise,” and not worry about how that will happen, I find that situations arise that require muscle use. Perhaps a storm comes and I need to rake the yard and carry debris to the compost pile. Possibly, I’ll need a small item or two from the store. I usually say, “That’s not worth driving the car. I’ll walk to the store.”

The same applies to eating healthy food. If I decide to diet all sorts of tempting yummies pop up in front of my face and call my name. If I say, “I choose to eat healthy,’ and release the outcome, I find that my food choices are healthier, even when tempting desserts are on the table.

One of my biggest problems was to see certain people in the light of what they did to me. That trait caused me mental and physical anguish over the years. What we think about becomes evident in our bodies with chronic headaches, back aches, compulsive eating and other issues. So how do we reverse those situations and let go of the physical pain? We must realize that we choose to experience our life as it is. I know this gets into the whoo-whoo view of life, but I’ve found it makes sense.

For example, I was married twice – to jerks. Whose decision was that? Mine. Different people suggested that perhaps these men were not the best choice, but I chose not to listen. Unhappy work experiences – the same. Just because a job pays more money doesn’t mean it will give more satisfaction. An unhappy person tends to take it out on others. They react in kind. All these events seemed to prove that everyone was conspiring to make me miserable.

Eventually, I learned that my thoughts and actions were creating these unpleasant experiences. When I became aware that, just perhaps, my complaining caused people to dislike my company, I asked the Universe to help me complain less. When I realized that I had an option other than fearing what awaited me at home, I asked myself and if there was a way to leave the situation.

As far as my parents were concerned, well, they treated me better than they had been treated.

I repeated the “tradition” with my children. Even thought I became aware of other options, I just didn’t know how to implement them, Sometimes I was so frustrated by life that I took it out on them. Just knowing that there were other ways to raise children, gave me the impetus to change. I told myself and the Universe that I wanted to be a better parent. Parenting books came to my attention. School counselors suggested a better way. Little by little I improved my skills. I still made a lot of mistakes, but I must have changed some, because my children are now an important part of my life.

Situations don’t come into our lives to give us grief, even though it often seems that way. Events happen to help us grow into the people we are capable of being. It’s our choice how we respond to those events. We can fall into the poor me pit or we can chose to find a solution. I know this is true, because I spent many years in that nasty pit. It was only when I wanted to find a way out that I began to see a little blue sky here or a ray of sun there. I was able to start climbing up to the surface. I’m not dancing on sunshine yet, but I’m beginning to hear a few notes from the band.

I used a lot of words to say that when you want to change the easiest way is to state your problem to yourself and the Universe. Part two is to not worry about how and release the outcome. Step three is to do something else while you are waiting for the miracle. Mike Dooley expressed it well in a recent message from the Universe.

“Often the very most spiritual thing one can do is get busy. Physically busy.

Hoeing, chopping, planting. Connecting, moving, grooving. Dipping, swirling, twirling….”**

Spirit,

Sometimes we are sunk in despair up to our necks and see no way out. We ask you to show us how to move from fear and anger toward joy. We know it may be a short step or a long walk. Either way we know that if we ask for an option it will come into our awareness and prompt us to necessary action.

And, so it is.

*Beck, Martha, Daily Inspiration, info@marthabeck.com, February 26, 2016

**Dooley, Mike, TUT – A note from the Universe, theuniverse@tut.com, March 4, 2016

© by Sharon D. Dillon, March 6, 2016

Sharon D. Dillon, energywriter@cox.net, http://energywriter.me “Laugh your way to peace, love and joy”

Chesapeake Bay Writers, Erma Bombeck Writers Workshop, Southern Humorists, National Society of Newspaper Columnists

Author of “Twins! Oh no!,” one of 14 stories in The Book of Mom: Reflections of Motherhood with Love, Hope and Faith, published by booksyoucantrust.com. Available in print and e-format at Amazon.com.

Enrich yourself by giving

Thoughts to Ponder – August 20, 2015

“All expenditures, whether from the heart or the wallet,
in the past or present, 
big or small, can be viewed as either ‘depleting’ or ‘enriching.’
Enriching works for me.
Get more,

The Universe” *

Many of us were raised with the idea that we have to hold on to our physical, mental and spiritual resources or we will lack what we need to live a good life. If we give away too much time, money or love we will run out of that resource. The opposite is true. We must be willing to give of ourselves to enrich ourselves.

I’m not suggesting that we drain our bank accounts to build a homeless shelter or quit our jobs to become the second Mother Teresa. I am suggesting that we be a little more generous to those who might need a boost. Donating money or goods is beneficial, but we can give in other ways as well.

We can give by listening with our hearts and our minds to the message behind a person’s words. Once we understand what is happening behind the words we can provide a better response. The second part of that is to accept that person just where he or she is. This is often hard when we see that person’s potential or what we consider to be a waste of their talents.

We might want to ask our guides to tell us how to respond. Possibly we can steer the other person to a job opportunity, a doctor or a resource. Perhaps the person just wants to be heard and to hear us say, “I understand.” without telling our own story. This is hard for me. I love to relate my own tale of woe or joy and have stories for any situation.

We might send up a quick, silent prayer for that person’s highest good. It’s not our place to ask God to heal their illness, provide them a job or send them a free car. We don’t know what lesson they need to learn or what gifts they may receive by walking their current path. By asking for their highest good we’re allowing what is needed to be given and received.

We should be enriching ourselves in the same way. We can prepare for any situation that may come our way by saying each morning, “Today I choose to be the best me I can be.” Whatever entity we consider to be our Higher Power will understand what we need and give us those resources/talents. If we don’t believe in a Higher Power, that’s okay too. Our inner selves will hear and steer us in the right direction.

Either way, we will grow bit by bit into better humans, so we can spend more on others and enrich ourselves in the process. This is reflected in the way Dooley ends his daily message, “Thoughts become things… choose the good ones! ®” *

Spirit,
Today I ask that you give me the inspiration, motivation, energy and resources to be the best I can be and do the things I need and want to do and to enjoy each moment as it occurs.
And, so it is.

*Mike Dooley, TUT – A Note from the Universe, www.tut.com, August 19, 2015

© by Sharon D. Dillon, August 20, 2015

Sharon D. Dillon, energywriter@cox.net, http://energywriter.me “Laugh your way to peace, love and joy”

Chesapeake Bay Writers, Erma Bombeck Writers Workshop, Southern Humorists, National Society of Newspaper Columnists

Author of “Twins! Oh no!,” one of 14 stories in The Book of Mom: Reflections of Motherhood with Love, Hope and Faith, published by booksyoucantrust.com. Available in print and e-format at Amazon.com

Thoughts to Ponder

“Should you ever find yourself on your path
moving along in spite of fear
wondering if you’re ready or not to rise to the next level,
chances are great that you will not be ready.
Rise anyway.
You see, wondering means you’re not ready,
doing means you are.”**

Some people seem to be always ready to walk a new path, apply for a new job, dive off the high board. Others seem to be afraid to try anything new. Most of us are somewhere in the middle. We’re eager to try new things as long as the risk isn’t too scary, but we shy away from life changing possibilities.

I wander up and down the readiness ladder.

Once I tried for a job that sounded fun just for the application experience, knowing I wouldn’t be hired. Even though my skill set wasn’t exactly what they had in mind, I was hired because I’d done a number of different jobs and adapted easily to change. That job turned out to be my favorite, more fun than work.

I’ve moved to different states without much thought. Sometimes those moves were beneficial and made me happy. Others were dead ends that made me want to flee within the hour, if possible. It never was possible, and I learned valuable lessons.

Then there are smaller risks, like riding roller coasters. I’ve always been the one waiting on the ground for my friends to descend from their heart-racing adventure. Recently, the doctor told me to stay off roller coasters. Relief! Now I have a valid excuse to stay on the ground.

Writing “Thoughts to Ponder” was frightening at first. Who was I to offer life suggestions to others who probably knew more than I. However, I’ve learned that most people enjoy reading them and thank me for presenting a new idea. Those who don’t agree usually don’t comment.

Now folks are urging me to write a book. That is a terrifying thought. How can I stretch a 500-800 word thought into a 60-80,000 word book? Who would edit it? Who would publish it? Who would buy it and read it? At this point I’m still pondering those questions.

Recently I wrote about a meditation in which I was directed to step off the cliff. As soon as I can determine how to turn 500 words into 60,000 I’ll take that step, knowing the other issues will be solved as I write.

In the meantime, I hope you will take a little risk, then a larger one, then step off the cliff. You just might find a wonderful adventure.

** “A Note from the Universe,” February 17, 2015, Mike Dooley www.tut.com

© by Sharon D. Dillon, February 20, 2015

Sharon D. Dillon, energywriter@cox.net, http://energywriter.me “Laugh your way to peace, love and joy”

Chesapeake Bay Writers, Erma Bombeck Writers Workshop, Southern Humorists, National Society of Newspaper Columnists, VOICES of Williamsburg Toastmasters Club

Author of one of 14 stories in The Book of Mom: Reflections of Motherhood with Love, Hope and Faith, published by booksyoucantrust.com. Available in print and e-format at Amazon.com Continue reading “Thoughts to Ponder”

Fearful or Peaceful

“Don’t fight fearful thoughts.

Just match each one with an alternative thought

that brings you more peace.”

Martha Beck

We all have fearful thoughts. What if I lose my job? Is that spot on my arm cancerous? If I die, what will happen to my family? What will I do if my loved one leaves? Those questions and so many more fill our waking hours and nag us in our dreams.

Martha Beck says to match each fearful thought with one that brings peace. That sounds too easy to be useful. Even so, let’s think about what she says and see how it works by going through our questions one at a time.

What if I lose my job?
I have a job today and my family is fed. Deep breath. Relax your face, jaw and neck muscles.

Is that spot on my arm cancerous?
I’ll call the dermatologist for an appointment. She’ll analyze it and offer a solution. Skin cancer is not fatal unless neglected and I’m taking action. Deep breath. Relax your shoulders, arms and hands.

The bank called and they want to talk to me. Yikes! What’s up? Checking account empty?
Perhaps they just want to sell me a Certificate of Deposit. Deep breath. Relax your torso.

What if my loved one leaves?
I’ll feel sad but I won’t die. Deep breath. Relax your lower extremities.

Now we are relaxed head to toe and can think clearly.

This seems like a rather simplistic look at life, but I it works. I’ve had, and still occasionally have, my brain and body in knots over both small and large events. However, once I decide to jump off the panic merry-go-round, take a few deep breaths and look at my situation with open eyes, I see small actions I can take. By making one decision then another I soon find myself in a new, better situation.

Mike Dooley said the same thing with different words:
“When a thing hurts your eyes, stop looking at it.
When it hurts your ears, stop listening to it.
And when it hurts your heart, stop justifying it.”

© by Sharon D. Dillon, February 15, 2015

If you know someone who would appreciate reading “Thoughts to Ponder,” or my humor posts, please suggest that he or she contact me at: energywriter@cox.net

Sharon D. Dillon, energywriter@cox.net, http://energywriter.me “Laugh your way to peace, love and joy”

Chesapeake Bay Writers, Erma Bombeck Writers Workshop, Southern Humorists, National Society of Newspaper Columnists, author of one of 14 stories in The Book of Mom: Reflections of Motherhood with Love, Hope and Faith, published by booksyoucantrust.com. Available in print and e-format at Amazon.com