The Paradox of the Good Book

 

dog readingIsn’t it strange how when you’re reading a book you really like it’s so hard to put down and when you are away from the book, you just can’t get back to it. But the faster you read, the faster you’re done and then you don’t get to be in that world anymore? And then you’re a little sad that it’s over. You knew that would happen but you couldn’t stop yourself.

And then when there’s an author you really like, you can’t wait to read their next book. You don’t need to know what it’s about. You just know they wrote it so you will like it. But then when you’re browsing in the library, bookstore, or reading a book summary online you probably decide to read the book based on the description. But really want matters is how well the author tells the story and not so much the circumstances.

What are some books you’ve raced through? What authors do you love?

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Sunday Readings June 11, 2017

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Sunday Readings

In the Old Testament reading today God reveals his name to Moses. He calls himself “Lord” and says he is slow to anger and rich in kindness. Moses asks the Lord to receive him and his people as their own. He says they are stiff-necked (stubborn), and asks for pardon for their wickedness and sins.

In the second reading, Paul tells us how to live, “Mend your ways, encourage one another, agree with one another, live in peace, and the love of God and peace will be with you. It is like a response to what Moses has explained to God about their limitations.

In the third reading, the Gospel, the answer to Moses request, is the promise of Paul that God is with you is revealed: God so loved the world that he gave his only son…”

I recently heard a podcast that explained how this was a new concept for the early Christians, who were actually made up of Jewish people and also the other people living at that time. It’s easy for many of us to take that statement and belief for granted now, but there are probably still lots of people who have never heard that in our present day. That God is providing us with help, for things we can’t do on our own. A way out of our stubborn habits that are keeping us from living in peace the help is revealed to us in Jesus’ encounters with the people he meets sharing about the kingdom of God. With Jesus there are concrete examples of how God is slow to anger and rich in kindness, like being forgiving of a tax collector who was taking advantage of the people he collected taxes from when he confessed to Jesus and promised to rectify his actions and by healing people of their illnesses.

 

Is there something you need help with that you can find solace from in reading the Word of the Lord?

 

Goals

Photon
Image from howstuffworks.com 

Have you ever considered the connections between people and things across small and great distances? Are there things that don’t seem connected but really are? And what impact do we have on each other that we aren’t even conscious of most of the time?

It turns out there are light particles inside an atom called photons which can be in more than one place at a time and the photons share an invisible connection with other photons. When something happens to one, the other one can feel it even if they are far apart–like twins.

 

An article called Quantum Leaps, published in the Economist discusses how this knowledge can be put to use in our lives in the near future. 2017_gThis concept could allow atomic clocks to make self-driving cars more reliable and could be used for other purposes such as finding things underground or underwater.

I attempted to research atomic clocks to learn more about what they are and how they could do that but to understand that would take a little more time than I’d like to take to do so now and goes beyond the scope of this post (but please feel free to share the answer with me if you know 😊).

I thought that this was an interesting idea and it ties in with my goal for this blog to take interesting things I discover and add my own spin to it to make us think differently about what’s going on and improve our lives. Here is another way to use our imagination to consider the possibilities.

#AtoZChallenge

Focus

Focus2It’s so easy to get distracted. I often grab my phone with a goal in mind, let’s say I’m going to check my email as an example. I discover I’ve received a text and after I reply I go on Facebook for a minute. Then I put my phone down and go off and do something completely different.  But I was going to check my email because there was something I was supposed to be doing based on that email. I might remember an hour later and then the same thing happens all over again.

img_3772Lately, I’ve been trying to keep a helpful acronym for the word FOCUS in mind. “Follow
one course until successful”. While there are obvious big goals that can be applied to, I’ve found it helpful to apply to everyday situations where it’s very easy to go off and do something else instead of finishing what I’m doing.

Do you have tricks to help you focus?

#AtoZChallenge

 

Expectations

YingYangThere once was a couple, they had a very good relationship except for one thing. The
wife liked to plan activities and the husband was always late.

She thought about how things were going and decided to change how she did things. She decided to expect that her husband would be late and depending on the situation when she made plans she would either tell her husband to meet a half hour early or just expect him to be a little late. Once the wife stopped expecting the husband to stop acting how she wanted and allowed her husband to be himself, the wife relaxed and didn’t get bothered by her husband’s actions.

2017_eOn the other side of things, the husband, though he wasn’t much of a planner and liked to be spontaneous, recognized his wife’s personality and in wanting to please her he learned how to compromise. In time, he realized they were able to take part in events and experience interesting things like local art and music events, trips, and even save money traveling because she took the time to do research and find deals.

When they went out, the wife was somewhat reserved and the husband was more outgoing. He engaged people they encountered in conversations and learned interesting things making their outing even more special. The wife realized they had come to make a lot of friends because of her husband’s personality and both became enriched by focusing on each other’s strengths instead of weaknesses.

#AtoZChallenge

Collaboration

2017_cI’ve recently come to change my thinking of something. I used to feel like I didn’t achieve certain goals because I didn’t have time. I have a habit of getting interested in lots of things so then I end up with a bunch of things I’d like to get done (writing, working out, making jewelry, training my dog to do fancy tricks —  just to name a few) or lots of people I’d like to see. But most of the things I get done is when I have someone else to do it with.

I got serious about line dancing when friend started going to class with me, I became more consistent writing when my friend Tracey started writing with me (in fact she’s the reason I’m doing the A to Z challenge this year especially now that I am catching up! Check out her blog Krazy is the new Black). So perhaps the reason I haven’t made good on my gym goal is I don’t have a partner. I don’t need a person to make me go but knowing they’re expecting me to participate keeps me from putting it off to another day and even when I do put it off, I know I can’t get away with it for long. Plus it’s just more fun spending time with someone interested in the same things we are.

Is it easier for you to achieve your goals when you collaborate?

#AtoZChallenge

 

Happy Birthday, Albert Einstein!

Today is Albert Einstein’s Birthday

Einstein YoungDid you ever consider how great ideas come about? They probably don’t come to us by running around, being busy, and being consumed by noise.

Great ideas come from reflecting on the person you would like to becomeEinstein Older and figuring out how to use your particular knowledge to advance .

 

 

 

 

 

As we all know, Einstein had many great ideas and here are some quotes from him.

Einstein1

Einstein2

Einstein3

 

You can check out the following websites for more info about Einstein:

http://www.onthisday.com/people/albert-einstein

http://writersalmanac.org/ (scroll down after the poem)

https://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/authors/a/albert_einstein.html

 

What are your favorite Einstein quotes?

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Why Do We Like Quotations?

Do you like quotations? Did you ever wonder why so many people are drawn to them? You can get blank journals with inspirational quotes, you can look them up on the internet, you can display them for inspiration. But why do we like them?

I think we like quotes because they have the power to draw our attention away from the stuff going through our minds and toward the things that matter to us. Here are some examples.

Quotes are Inspiring

I like one that comes from T.S. Elliot’s poem The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock .

“In a minute there is time.”

This quote is part of a longer verse, but what stands out about it to me is it’s a reminder that you don’t  need a lot of time to do something, something can be accomplished in even a minute.

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Quotes remind us of something we want to remember.

Eleanor Roosevelt “You must do the thing you cannot do.”

Which to me says you have face things that are scary to you.

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Quotes can be funny and make us smile.

Here is one from Benjamin Franklin. It speaks for itself.

wine-quote

Quotes Can Be Comforting

We can write them on a post it and put them somewhere where we need to see it.

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Quotes Can Sum Up a Truth Succinctly

Many great quotes come from famous authors.

em-forester-quote

Some people even get tattoo quotes as a constant reminder. What are your favorite quotes?

hemingway-tattoo
Ernest Hemingway

 

You can leave a comment or email me at cherrie.ali@gmail.com.

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How Day Dreaming Can Help You find Success

I have friends who constantly win raffles and contests. It doesn’t require any skill on their parts—just enough faith to participate. Years ago, before seeing them win, I wouldn’t even enter contests because losing was upsetting. I thought of myself as someone who didn’t win contests and each loss reinforced this view of myself.

imaginationHave you ever imagined all the things that could go wrong? That’s what I was doing. How about imagining all the things that could go right? There are ways to use our imagination to improve more than just our outlook.

Daydreaming, or having pleasant thoughts about our life or future  is a way to use our imaginations to form new images, ideas, and concepts in our mind.

“The imagination is as essential for human growth as are sunlight and water for a plant, if it is to flower of bear fruit (Ignatian Spirituality).”

What happens if we don’t use our imagination?

It’s important to hope for good things. “Hope keeps us from being discouraged and helps us in difficult times (Hope CCC 1818).”  Surely, we want to rise above whatever it is that is troubling us now and expect a better life. How can we get there if we can’t even imagine what “better” would look like?

Going back to the contests example, I was limiting myself based on past experiences when the truth was the past had no bearing on the future. There was no reason I couldn’t win. Once I experienced people I knew actually winning, I saw that they all had one thing in common. They knew they were lucky, they saw themselves as someone who won contests. “When we think logically, we base things on our past experiences, but we can’t expect the past to be a blueprint for the future. Using our imagination empowers us, being negative, worrying and being anxious disempowers us (How Life Really Works).”

I was definitely disempowering myself by not having enough hope that I could win those contests.

Using your Imagination leads to success

Have you ever thought about what would make life more fulfilling? Bucket lists are a version of this—keeping an active list in mind of things we would like to achieve or experience in our lives.

Another way to make life more fulfilling is to imagine the type of person we want to be by setting aside time every day to think about this. In the book Think and Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill, the author suggests creating an Imagination Map-collecting images to create a vision of what we would like to be. Besides having something tangible to look at, it keeps us on the lookout for meaningful images.   This can be done by clipping magazine images and articles and making a 2-page paper collage (don’t go crazy and make it massive) or collecting images from the internet and saving them in a document.

One of the premises of the book is that by taking the time to think about ourselves, ideas will come to us that will help us use our special skills to make money or achieve the things we desire. This book is full of examples illustrating successful people who first imagined a brand-new idea and made it happen.

Once I observed my friends winning with their winning attitudes, it gave me hope. I started entering contests and imagining I could win and it started happening!

Note: Researching the imagination was fascinating. I found so much information that there will be more to come on this topic.

Do you have stories about how using your imagination changed your life? You can leave a comment or email me at cherrie.ali@gmail.com.

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