I am a huge fan of Dr Wayne Dyer, this is what he had to say about the teachings of Lao-tzu:
“Some 2,500 years ago, Lao-tzu spoke of ‘the four cardinal virtues’ and noted that when we practice them as a way of life, we come to know and access the truth of the universe. These four virtues don’t represent external dogma, but a part of our original nature—by practicing them, we realign with Source and access the powers that Source energy has to offer. According to the teachings of Lao-tzu, the four cardinal virtues represent the surest way to leave habits and excuses behind and reconnect to your original nature. The more your life is harmonized with the four virtues, the less you’re controlled by the uncompromising ego.
The First Cardinal Virtue: Reverence for All Life
The first cardinal virtue manifests in your daily life as unconditional love and respect for all beings in creation. This includes making a conscious effort to love and respect yourself, as well as to remove all judgments and criticisms. Understand that you are a piece of God, and since you must be like what you came from, you are lovable, worthy, and Godlike. Affirm this as often as you can, for when you see yourself in a loving way, you have nothing but love to extend outward. And the more you love others, the less you need old excuse patterns, particularly those relating to blame.
The Second Cardinal Virtue: Natural Sincerity
This virtue manifests itself as honesty, simplicity, and faithfulness; and it’s summed up by the popular reminder to be true to yourself. Using an excuse to explain why your life isn’t working at the level you prefer isn’t being true to yourself—when you’re completely honest and sincere, excuses don’t even enter into the picture. The second virtue involves living a life that reflects choices that come from respect and affection for your own nature. Make truth your most important attribute. Walk your talk; that is, become sincere and honest in all that you say and do. If you find this to be a challenge, take a moment to affirm: I no longer need to be insincere or dishonest. This is who I am, and this is how I feel. When you know and trust yourself, you also know and trust the Divinity that created you. If you live from honesty, sincerity, and faithfulness to the callings of your spirit, you’ll never have occasion to use excuses.
The Third Cardinal Virtue: Gentleness
This virtue personifies one of my favourite and most frequently employed maxims: ‘When you have the choice to be right or to be kind, always pick kind.’ So many of your old thinking habits and their attendant excuses come out of a need to make yourself right and others wrong. When you practice this third virtue, you eliminate conflicts that result in your need to explain why you’re right. This virtue manifests as kindness, consideration for others, and sensitivity to spiritual truth.
Gentleness generally implies that you no longer have a strong ego-inspired desire to dominate or control others, which allows you to move into a rhythm with the universe. You cooperate with it, much like a surfer who rides with the waves instead of trying to overpower them. Gentleness means accepting life and people as they are, rather than insisting that they be as you are. As you practice living this way, blame disappears and you enjoy a peaceful world.
The Fourth Cardinal Virtue: Supportiveness
This virtue manifests in your life as service to others without any expectation of reward. Once again, when you extend yourself in a spirit of giving, helping, or loving, you act as God acts. As you consider the many excuses that have dominated your life, look carefully at them—you’ll see that they’re all focused on the ego: I can’t do this. I’m too busy or too scared. I’m unworthy. No one will help me. I’m too old. I’m too tired. Now imagine shifting your attention off of yourself and asking the universal mind How may I serve? When you do so, the message you’re sending is: I’m not thinking about myself and what I can or can’t have. Your attention is on making someone else feel better.
The greatest joy comes from giving and serving, so replace your habit of focusing exclusively on yourself and what’s in it for you. When you make the shift to supporting others in your life, without expecting anything in return, you’ll think less about what you want and find comfort and joy in the act of giving and serving.
The four cardinal virtues are a road map to the simple truth of the universe. To revere all of life, to live with natural sincerity, to practice gentleness, and to be in service to others is to replicate the energy field from which you originated.”
Mindfulness is about paying attention with flexibility, curiosity and openness. A mindful practice involves pausing your mind with awareness throughout your day and connecting to source energy within. The power of mindfulness is in the silence between your thoughts. Mindfully Yours with Love, Joy & Peace Always ~ John
“School failed me, and I failed the school. It bored me. The teachers behaved like Feldwebel (sergeants). I wanted to learn what I wanted to know, but they wanted me to learn for the exam. What I hated most was the competitive system there, and especially sports. Because of this, I wasn’t worth anything, and several times they suggested I leave.
This was a Catholic School in Munich. I felt that my thirst for knowledge was being strangled by my teachers; grades were their only measurement. How can a teacher understand youth with such a system?
From the age of twelve I began to suspect authority and distrust teachers. I learned mostly at home, first from my uncle and then from a student who came to eat with us once a week. He would give me books on physics and astronomy.
The more I read, the more puzzled I was by the order of the universe and the disorder of the human mind, by the scientists who didn’t agree on the how, the when, or the why of creation.
Then one day this student brought me Kant’s Critique of Pure Reason. Reading Kant, I began to suspect everything I was taught. I no longer believed in the known God of the Bible, but rather in the mysterious God expressed in nature.
The basic laws of the universe are simple, but because our senses are limited, we can’t grasp them. There is a pattern in creation.
If we look at this tree outside whose roots search beneath the pavement for water, or a flower which sends its sweet smell to the pollinating bees, or even our own selves and the inner forces that drive us to act, we can see that we all dance to a mysterious tune, and the piper who plays this melody from an inscrutable distance – whatever name we give him – Creative Force, or God – escapes all book knowledge.
Science is never finished because the human mind only uses a small portion of its capacity, and man’s exploration of his world is also limited.
Creation may be spiritual in origin, but that doesn’t mean that everything created is spiritual. How can I explain such things to you? Let us accept the world is a mystery. Nature is neither solely material nor entirely spiritual.
Man, too, is more than flesh and blood; otherwise, no religions would have been possible. Behind each cause is still another cause; the end or the beginning of all causes has yet to be found.
Yet, only one thing must be remembered: there is no effect without a cause, and there is no lawlessness in creation.
If I hadn’t an absolute faith in the harmony of creation, I wouldn’t have tried for thirty years to express it in a mathematical formula. It is only man’s consciousness of what he does with his mind that elevates him above the animals, and enables him to become aware of himself and his relationship to the universe.
I believe that I have cosmic religious feelings. I never could grasp how one could satisfy these feelings by praying to limited objects. The tree outside is life, a statue is dead. The whole of nature is life, and life, as I observe it, rejects a God resembling man.
Man has infinite dimensions and finds God in his conscience. (A cosmic religion) has no dogma other than teaching man that the universe is rational and that his highest destiny is to ponder it and co-create with its laws.
I like to experience the universe as one harmonious whole. Every cell has life. Matter, too, has life; it is energy solidified. Our bodies are like prisons, and I look forward to be free, but I don’t speculate on what will happen to me.
I live here now, and my responsibility is in this world now. I deal with natural laws. This is my work here on earth.
The world needs new moral impulses which, I’m afraid, won’t come from the churches, heavily compromised as they have been throughout the centuries.
Perhaps those impulses must come from scientists in the tradition of Galileo, Kepler and Newton. In spite of failures and persecutions, these men devoted their lives to proving that the universe is a single entity, in which, I believe, a humanized God has no place.
The genuine scientist is not moved by praise or blame, nor does he preach. He unveils the universe and people come eagerly, without being pushed, to behold a new revelation: the order, the harmony, the magnificence of creation!
And as man becomes conscious of the stupendous laws that govern the universe in perfect harmony, he begins to realize how small he is. He sees the pettiness of human existence, with its ambitions and intrigues, its ‘I am better than thou’ creed.
This is the beginning of cosmic religion within him; fellowship and human service become his moral code. Without such moral foundations, we are hopelessly doomed.
If we want to improve the world we cannot do it with scientific knowledge but with ideals. Confucius, Buddha, Jesus and Gandhi have done more for humanity than science has done.
We must begin with the heart of man – with his conscience – and the values of conscience can only be manifested by selfless service to mankind.
Religion and science go together. As I’ve said before, science without religion is lame and religion without science is blind. They are interdependent and have a common goal – the search for truth.
Hence it is absurd for religion to proscribe Galileo or Darwin or other scientists. And it is equally absurd when scientists say that there is no God. The real scientist has faith, which does not mean that he must subscribe to a creed.
Without religion there is no charity. The soul given to each of us is moved by the same living spirit that moves the universe.
I am not a mystic. Trying to find out the laws of nature has nothing to do with mysticism, though in the face of creation I feel very humble. It is as if a spirit is manifest infinitely superior to man’s spirit. Through my pursuit in science I have known cosmic religious feelings. But I don’t care to be called a mystic.
I believe that we don’t need to worry about what happens after this life, as long as we do our duty here – to love and to serve.
I have faith in the universe, for it is rational. Law underlies each happening. And I have faith in my purpose here on earth. I have faith in my intuition, the language of my conscience, but I have no faith in speculation about Heaven and Hell. I’m concerned with this time – here and now.
Many people think that the progress of the human race is based on experiences of an empirical, critical nature, but I say that true knowledge is to be had only through a philosophy of deduction. For it is intuition that improves the world, not just following a trodden path of thought.
Intuition makes us look at unrelated facts and then think about them until they can all be brought under one law. To look for related facts means holding onto what one has instead of searching for new facts.
Intuition is the father of new knowledge, while empiricism is nothing but an accumulation of old knowledge. Intuition, not intellect, is the ‘open sesame’ of yourself.
Indeed, it is not intellect, but intuition which advances humanity. Intuition tells man his purpose in this life.
I do not need any promise of eternity to be happy. My eternity is now. I have only one interest: to fulfill my purpose here where I am.
This purpose is not given me by my parents or my surroundings. It is induced by some unknown factors. These factors make me a part of eternity.”
~ Albert Einstein (1879 – 1955)
Text Source: Einstein and the Poet: In Search of the Cosmic Man (1983). From a series of meetings William Hermanns had with Einstein in 1930, 1943, 1948, and 1954
We are All One, One with Spirit, One with Life! Be Mindful and Trust Your Intuition! Mindfully Yours with Love, Joy & Peace Always!
Dr. Wayne Dyer made a profound difference to the lives of millions of people all over the world. These 25 quotes are a tribute to an awesome human being. R.I.P.
Wayne sure didn’t go with the music still in him! Be Mindful… and inspired to make a difference. Love, Joy & Peace Always! – John
My best friend shared this with me. Please pay it forward! Mindfully Yours – John
Where are you on the Moodometer?
In 1982, I died in a horrific truck smash and was revived. My world got turned upside down and I spent the next fifteen years mostly in the red zone. I was diagnosed with a mental illness and medical authorities told me that I would never be cured and never work again. Over that time I was given a smorgasbord of medications. At my lowest point, I was given shock treatment in an attempt to help me overcome a suicidal mood. I now call that time ‘my dark years’.
In 1997, I got my miracle when an old friend knocked on my door and told me his story. I hadn’t seen him for seventeen years. He told me how he was driving through town and got a ‘spiritual prompt’ to visit me. I haven’t seen him since but his random act of kindness put me on track into the yellow zone. I became spiritually aware and for the first time in my life, everything made sense to me. Negative and unhelpful thoughts continued but they were easily overcome.
In 2009, Dr Russ Harris trained me as an ACT therapist. Acceptance & Commitment Therapy is a mindfulness based therapy. I started a personal mindfulness practice that led me into the green zone. Negative and unhelpful thoughts lost thier power and have all but disappeared. I am now happily living ‘in the light’. I have both peace of mind and clarity of mind. My memory function and intuition are finely tuned. I am now very grateful for the years, they have helped make me who I am today.
In 2014, after an intensive five year study into the many aspects of mindfulness, I hosted a facebook event called Mindfulness Day. I invited Australians with mental suffering and 4,700 turned up for the month long event. I wrote a blog every day and hundreds of lives were transformed. The event became my book Mindful Actions which was launched on World Mental Health Day, 10th October. The feedback has been amazing! I am very passionate about my purpose which is to help people who are ‘stuck’. Mindfulness is now proven to be an excellent alternative to medication.
Mindfully Yours with Love, Joy & Peace Always! – John
I Promise Myself
And above all! I Promise Myself to Be Mindful! Love & Laughter Always! – John
In simple terms, positive psychology focuses on what’s working rather than on what’s not working; it asks what’s right rather than what’s wrong; the emphasis is on utilising strengths instead of fixing weaknesses (although please note; positive psychology doesn’t ignore faults, weaknesses and limitations. It accepts that we all have these but that as much as possible, our efforts and energies should be mostly, on using what we’re already good at).
We can sum up the core components of positive psychology that contribute to happiness and success in the following acronym. We believe that achieving happiness requires nothing more than practicing a few simple disciplines each and every day and to practice these disciplines we need to constantly make the right choices. So, next time you’re making a choice remember that “choose” is not just a philosophy of taking responsibility but also, a mnemonic that stands for:
C = Clarity
Clarity refers to your goals, direction and purpose in life. Happy people set goals that are much more clearly defined. They more actively and effectively determine clear and specific plans to ensure these goals become reality. So, set aside some time to clarify your life plan as soon as possible because if you don’t do it, no one else will do it for you!
H = Healthy Living
Healthy living is about activity and exercise, diet and nutrition and sleep. Health forms a crucial part of the foundation to happiness. It’s hard to be happy if you’re literally sick and tired all the time. So, although you don’t have to turn vegan and/or run marathons, do whatever you can to be healthy (by eating well, exercising and ensuring you gain adequate sleep and rest) and you’ll also boost your chances of being happy.
O = Optimism
Optimism refers to positive but realistic thinking. There’s no doubt that happy people think about themselves, others and the world around them differently. Among other things, they search for more positives although they also face up to cold, hard realities in a constructive way. The good news is that this is something you can learn to do so start practicing now – look around you for what’s good and look at what you can actively do to fix what’s not so good.
O = Others
When we consider others, we are considering the key relationships in your life. Research strongly indicates that happy people have both more and better quality relationships. Happiness is not a solo sport; it’s a team effort. Make sure you devote time to developing and fostering your key relationships because other people matter and compassion, thoughtfulness, caring and consideration of others are key to real and meaningful happiness.
S = Strengths
The “S” for strengths represents your core qualities and attributes. Rather than spending all their time trying to “fix” their “weaknesses”, happy people spend more time identifying and utilising their strengths. So quite simply, stop asking “what’s wrong and how can I fix it” quite so often and start asking “what’s right and how can I do more of it”. Find out what you’re good at (your inner attributes and positive qualities) and do it as much as possible in as many ways as possible.
E = Enjoy the moment
Finally, enjoying the moment is about living in and appreciating the present. The past is history, tomorrow’s a mystery, and today’s a gift – that’s why they call it “the present”. Live in the moment and enjoy life more; learn from the past but look to the future and ask, “What can I do now?” Practice appreciation and gratitude by focusing more on what you have and less on what you don’t have.
So there it is, a brief overview of positive psychology or what is sometimes referred to as the science of happiness. If there were one message I’d like you to walk away with it would be that happiness is very much achievable! No matter who you are and what you do, no matter what your background or your current context, you can all learn to live lives with more happiness. We can all become happier. We can’t change the past and we can’t control all that happens to us but we can CHOOSE how we respond to what happens and as a result, we can (at least partially) determine our future!
“Gratitude is not only the greatest of virtues, but the parent of all others.” ~Cicero
Being grateful is both a state of mind and perspective. One person’s idea of expressing gratitude may completely contradict another. Most of us are not born eternal optimists, but being positive and grateful is something that can be imbibed even if a tad forcibly; such as by trying to tweak our sense of humour, the way we react to a given situation, by being more pleasant and believing others too have a mind, by smiling each time somebody says ‘thank you’, and by understanding that every person is on their own journey and accepting that it’s not your position to judge them.
Here are 15 steps to help you become a more positive person and grateful for all that you have in your life.
Appreciate what you have and value it. Try counting your positives and be grateful for all the good things and people in your life. If you’re concerned about wealth and success, know that these can be whatever you like. Abundance comes in many forms. If you’re healthy, think about how many people are counting their last breath. If you don’t have as much money as you would like, think about the millions of parents in the world that cannot even feed their families. Perhaps redefining what wealth and abundance are may go a long way.
2. Stop Labeling
Stop labeling those things, people or events that you don’t understand as being weird or different and try opening your mind, little by little. Minds only work when open. Don’t allow your limiting beliefs to keep you stuck in the wrong place. Spread your wings and fly! Once you realize all is possible, the doors of limitation that were closed in your mind will open be connected to all those aspects of consciousness.
Treat failure as an opportunity to learn a new and better lesson from life, and that’s the trick to manufacture optimism in life. Never give up trying because that’s an indication that something better is in store. Once you start harbouring an optimistic attitude towards life, success will automatically follow. Give up your constant need to complain and criticize about those things — people, situations, events that make you unhappy, sad and depressed. Nobody can make you unhappy; no situation can make you sad or miserable unless you allow it to. When you criticize, you are passing self-judgement for something lacking in your life that you refuse to let go of. Never underestimate the power of positive thinking. For every opportunity you feel the inclination to criticize, try to think about how that specific situation is serving or benefiting others.
4. Release The Past
The past you are now longing for — the past that you are now dreaming about — was ignored by you when it was present. Stop deluding yourself. Have a clear vision for the future, prepare yourself, but always be present in the now. Work on this by practicing with simple tasks every day. We often assume the past looked so much better than the present and the future looks so frightening, but you have to take into consideration the fact that the present moment is all you have and all you will ever have. Be present in everything you do and enjoy life. After all life is a journey not a destination. Have a clear vision for the future, prepare yourself, but always be present in the now.
5. Avoid Comparison
Nothing is as awful as comparing yourself to someone else. If you think you’re better that the other person, you’re letting yourself regale in an unhealthy sense of superiority. If you demean yourself in front of others, it means all your hard work and progress has been in vain. While social comparisons are unhealthy, self-improvement is effective.
There’s a scientific reason behind every act of kindness that you do; helping someone selflessly releases serotonin in your brain (serotonin is the hormone that controls your mood) and hence makes you feel good about yourself almost instantly. Try doing one act of kindness every day to flush out the toxins of depression from your system. Thank god, thank your parents, friends, and thank yourself for all the hard work you did, for everything you achieved. Saying thank you frequently makes you humble, and a humble person is seldom cynical.
7. Stop Using Excuses
Send them packing and tell them they’re fired. You no longer need them. A lot of times we limit ourselves because of the many excuses we use. Instead of growing and working on improving ourselves and our lives, we get stuck, lying to ourselves, using all kind of excuses — excuses that most of the time are not even real. We sabotage ourselves beyond belief. If you find yourself making excuses, ask yourself why you are creating the excuse in the first place?
8. Nurture Relationships
One way to becoming positive is to seek positive company, as both positivity and negativity are infectious. If the people you spend most of your time with are grumpy or have a pessimistic standpoint, you’ll find yourself inadvertently mirroring the same emotions with others. In order to inculcate positivity it is imperative that your friend circle is a positive, energetic, and a happy bunch. You’ll find yourself carrying the same positivity everywhere you go. Relationships keep us alive and kicking. In fact, according to research studies, loneliness doubles people’s mortality rates. A circle of good friends, loving family members and cheerful colleagues are a reminder that you have people who care about you. There’s nothing like having someone who you can share your experiences with. So nurture these relationships and say goodbye to a lonesome existence. You are never alone and there are always people around you that need your energy whether you know it or not.
Hatred is a negative feeling and harbouring it will have nothing but negative effects on your well-being. Stop thinking about the hateful emotion/person and let it go. Forgive if needed, take things lightly and let it not affect your system. There are so many of us who can’t stand the idea of being wrong — wanting to always be right — even at the risk of ending great relationships or causing a great deal of stress and pain, for us and for others. We love to right-fight. It’s just not worth it because the state of being right is all subjective with so many layers and perspectives of truth. Accept that you have a different perspective than others and allow them to “be right” if this helps you move relationships in a positive direction. Would you rather be kind or be right? Accept responsibility for yourself, your life and your actions. You are response-able. You are an adult. You are account-able, meaning, with every action you take, you account for it. You chose to do it; you must accept the consequences of it and that you did it all for a reason… to learn. If you continue to feel you can’t for forgive or feel guilty for your actions, you stop learning.
10. Avoid Impressing Others
Success may have nothing to do with how much money you have or how many cars you have, but how you choose to live a life of abundance. Abundance comes in many forms, many of which have nothing to do with material things. The moment you stop trying so hard to be something that you’re not, the moment you take off all your masks, the moment you accept and embrace the real you, you will find people will be drawn to you, effortlessly. Let go of any expectations of yourself that will limit your growth. If you hold high expectations for how others should behave, you will often be disappointed if they do not represent themselves in the manner you expected. It is only your expectations of people that cause you to judge them, which ultimately is a judgement of yourself. Far too many people are living a life that is not theirs to live. They live their lives according to what others think is best for them, they live their lives according to what their parents think is best for them, to what their friends, their enemies and their teachers, their government and the media think is best for them. They ignore their inner voice, that inner calling. They often forget what makes them happy, what they want, what they need. You have one life — this one right now — you must live it, own it, and especially don’t let other people’s opinions distract you from your path.
11. Commit To Your Goals
If you have a goal, work towards it. Anything is achievable if you put your heart into it. Whole-hearted dedication and diligence can bring extraordinary results and consequentially add to your happiness. It is very easy to lose vision for what we truly want in life, but it is your dedication towards your goals above and beyond all obstacles that will make the difference. When we look for positivity in the little things that make our lives worthwhile, we leave no room for negativity and our goals come to the forefront. Instead of recounting all events of the day, filter out only the positive ones and make a note of them. It could be anything trivial, from your bus arriving on time, your mom cooking a delicious breakfast, to remembering to pay the bills on time. You would not believe how this helps you achieve your goals — by clearing the mind.
12. Care For Your Body
Love yourself and love your body! Your physical condition has a direct connection with your well-being. A fit body and healthy mind is reflective of happiness. Start working towards the health of your physical, mental and emotional energy by caring for your body. Not only does it secrete happy hormones but also creates a sense of awareness within you. You will learn to control your breathing, and by way of it, control your mind from wandering. Every time you meditate, you feel a surge of positive energy through your body that calms your nerves, soothes your mind, elevates your mood, and not to mention enhances your level of tolerance. Take up positive activities with others or in isolation. Share a joke, narrate a pleasant incident, take part in sporting activities, go for a run in the evening after work, have healthy sex, and you’ll find yourself bubbling with positive energy.
Connect to a higher power. You’re probably already doing this with or without knowing. Just a quick meditation or prayer is easy. If you have the time, join a local prayer group, visit a meditation center, or simply spend some time alone in nature. You don’t have to be religious to have faith. People who believe in a deity are generally happier than those who don’t. Sometimes all you need to be happier is a little faith!
Imagination fires motivation. Create a ‘dream board’ and dream up something new you wish to experience. It could be finding a new lover, climbing a mountain, learning calligraphy, or going back to college. Dreams motivate, inspire and expand our sense of self. They also make us happy because they give our lives a sense of purpose. Happy people usually love what they do, and if they don’t, they love who they are. Dreams remind us who we are.
Cultivate a habit of sharing with others — your money, knowledge, service, wisdom, care, love. Find a person who shares a lot with others, and you will find a happy person. In giving, you always receive more. Not only do you get pleasure from giving, you give someone else pleasure. Giving has many unexpected benefits from attracting more happiness into your life, to inspiring others, and changing the lives of those you touch. In the end the whole world is made into a better place. Ask, “how can I serve?” Pay it forward. Give freely.
By practicing these steps daily and being conscious of them, you will learn gratitude at a level you could never appreciate before. You’re made out of love, and there’s an opportunity at every corner to show it.
Source: “15 Things To Start Practicing Today To Be Happy,” from preventdisease.com, by Josh Richardson ~ Love & Laughter Always! – John
People who consider suicide do so because they are in deep emotional pain and want that pain to end. Suicidal people are impaired in their thinking and require assistance to find other options to deal with their pain. Often warning signs or invitations to help are displayed.
Smart risk strategies for suicide prevention include:
Suicide is most often the result of a combination of factors, including physical, emotional and social influences. It is important to pay serious attention to any indication or suggestion of suicidal thoughts or actions.
It is important to take any indication or suggestion of suicidal thoughts or actions seriously. People in crisis will often give indications that they are in trouble, these are known as warning signs or invitations to help. Learn to identify the signs of suicide in yourself, or others, and know what to do. Warning signs include the following:
Warning signs (invitations to help):
All suicidal thoughts or threats must be taken seriously, as should any behaviour that is out of character. Trust your instincts. If you are concerned about someone, tell others about it. Get help from family, friends, clergy, teachers, counsellors, doctors, crisis lines, mental health services or hospital emergency departments.