Thursday, March 30, 2017

Discovering the Familiar: The Real Secret of Gratitude

By Richard Kent Matthews - Coach | Author | Speaker

You hear it all the time, from ministers, priests, rabbis, self help and motivational speakers, books, tapes, CDs, DVDs: 

You must develop an attitude of gratitude. 

It can get tiring sometimes. Quit telling me what to do. I am grown up now. You can stop with the finger shaking, the fire and brimstone, the threats, even the promises. I know an attitude of gratitude is probably a good thing. But you don’t need to keep guilting me about it. Enough already!!

OK, enough, then. I won’t tell you that you should be grateful. You know, right? Moving on...

This morning, I decided to see just how grateful I actually am. I engaged in a little exercise. Now, you don’t have to participate in this. I’m not preaching at you or telling you you’ll draw bad karma if you don’t join in. It’s up to you. You may or may not get anything out of it. Only you will know that. 

Having said that, here’s the exercise I practiced this morning (and by the way, I do my best to practice this little exercise at least a few times a week. But you don’t have to. You have your way, I have mine.)

Still lying in bed, just after the musical clock comes on, I turn on the lamp on the night stand because I get up when it’s still dark out. Then, I begin to look at as many objects in the room as I can. As I do so, I bless each one because each item has served me greatly in certain ways. 

The clock itself, the lamp, the bed, the windows, the walls, carpets, dressers. All of it. Many more than two billion people don’t have bedrooms. 

Then after I get up, I go into the bathroom and bless everything in there as well. Sink, toilet, shower, towels, lights, fans, soap, everything. Many millions have never even seen a bathroom. 

On to the kitchen, where I start the coffee, get out the eggs from the fridge, put bread into the toaster. How many millions in the world not only don't start the day with breakfast, but also don't end the day with supper?

Ultimately, I arrive in the living room. So much there. Furniture, TV, computers, a cat, phone, candles, books, stereo, and so on. Hundreds of millions of people don’t have kitchens, living rooms, TVs, computers. They don’t even have houses. 

These blessings only take a few seconds. 

After I leave for the day, I bless the sidewalks, street lamps, trees, all the stuff between my house and the bus stop. Then, whether the bus is on time or late, I bless it, too. And everyone on it. 

Each time I do these conscious blessings, I allow myself to determine if I am actually grateful for all this or just blessing everything out of obligation because someone told me to. There was some truth to that 'obligation' thing in the beginning but over the years, the practice of blessing everything in my life has created the habit of blessing everything in my life. I almost can’t NOT do it. 

Now I walk through a blessed world. Sure, it has its challenges, its traumas, its bad guys. Makes things interesting. 

Still, I find I actually am grateful, not only for what I have and what I can do, but just for being able to experience the whole thing. I am indeed blessed. What a trip! 

But don’t concern yourself with all that. This is just what I do, just how I feel. No guilting here. Your world may be quite different. You may have absolutely nothing in your life to bless or to be grateful for….


(Please share your comments. Most appreciated.)

Monday, March 27, 2017

How to Create a Whole New Mindset in 10 Simple and Powerful Steps (The Better Thinking Series) Conclusion: The Newest You: A Beginning

By Richard Kent Matthews - Coach | Author | Speaker

We've reached the conclusion, but really, it's only the beginning. If you've read this entire series, you are a new person. Your brain has changed and now you walk in a new world....

Summing up The Better Thinking Series

(You can find links to all Series posts by clicking HERE.)

You've come a long way since the beginning of this journey. You know how to change your thinking. You now can literally change your direction and that means you can create an entirely new experience of reality.

Let's put it all into a nutshell for easy remembering:

Part 1: Uncovering Our Ignorance On All Levels: We are mostly unaware and unaware that we’re unaware. Practice Kaizen. Take small steps for continuous improvement.

Part 2: How to Open New Doors with Power Questions: The best power questions—Am I creating good in the world? Does what I do daily leave a positive imprint?

Part 3: Befriending Your Discontent: Confront your discontent, appreciate its source, take action, laugh more.

Part 4: What Do You ACTUALLY Want? The universe responds to how you feel and how you act, not just what you say. Your true intention manifests!

Part 5: Forgiveness: It’s probably not what you think. Letting go of the need for grudges, resentment, self hatred and pity is hard work but liberating. Forgiveness is the result. It releases you to move on. You benefit more than your target!

Part 6: Kindness: The way of active compassion. It helps you take the vital human emotions of empathy and sympathy and channel them into real-life confrontation with ruthlessness, abandonment, thoughtlessness, loneliness and suffering. Love is motion.

Part 7: Purpose: Why are you here? Well, to reproduce, then to seek truth, enjoy life (play), and to be of service to the world. Our purpose is clear! We are tribal first and foremost.

Part 8: Callings: Your Inner Self seeks something greater; believe you have one and you do; in fact, you probably have many. Some may be thrust upon you. Still, your call. You can choose or you can reject.

Part 9: Mission: The formula is Vision + Service x Passion = Mission. As you let love be your guiding light, your mission becomes clear.

Part 10: Healing Your Corner of the World: The Principle of Charity is the true law of attraction. And it's the way to personal and spiritual integrity as well as satisfaction for a job well done! You might say love is active compassion writ large.

Love, then, is the question, the answer, the practice. How you approach it determines the very next moment of your life.  

As Early Church Father St. Augustine allegedly said, 'Decide to love...and do as you will!'