Happiness and Acceptance on a Very Warm Day

June 25, 2011
What do you have a hard time accepting today?

This week we have gone from June-gloom to real Southern California summer, though not as hot as it will be later. And I am sitting here in my office determined to write a post, but the bed is inviting me to take a nap so I’ll be ready for the opening night of “Twist” at the Pasadena Playhouse this evening — including Hors d’œuvres.

So to keep it short, I have decided to give you a quotation from Ken Keyes, Jr., a personal growth author and lecturer, quoted in Raising Brandon: Creating a Path to Independence for Your Adult “Kid” with Autism & Special Needs, a book I mentioned in a recent post.

Happiness is experienced when life gives you what you are willing to accept.

This is similar to a quotation by Eckhart Tolle (also from the book):

Acceptance of the unacceptable is the greatest source of grace in this world.

How much are you willing to accept that you would rather not?

Today I am accepting this short — and not particularly great — post because I want to get that nap even though my perfectionist is trying to make me stay here and continue working.

I am ignoring her. My recovering perfectionist applauds. I am keeping to my goal of writing three posts a week AND my goal to not feel I have to have every one the best I can possibly make it.

A Serendipitous Encounter With an Inspirational Author

June 21, 2011
How has serendipity affected your life recently and how can love and compassion affect your life today?

Last Friday at the Post Office I had finished buying stamps when I moved over to the side to gather my purchases while another woman stepped up to the counter. I noticed the name of the book she was mailing and asked her what it was about.

Raising Brandon: Creating a Path to Independence for Your Adult “Kid” with Autism & Special Needs was the story of how Amalia Starr raised a boy who had Asperger’s Syndrome, epilepsy and learning problems, yet he has been able to live on his own for the past twelve years. We got talking about my book, Letting Go of Our Adult Children: When What We Do Is Never Enough, and discovered we have several things in common, especially the challenge of raising children who don’t always “turn out” the way we planned.

I was pleased that she gave me a copy of the book; and I’ll be sending her a copy of Healing Relationships is an Inside Job. When I got home and started reading, I found she had distilled her experience in a way that made it very understandable. I highly recommend it for anyone with a child who has a diagnosis of autism or Asperger Syndrome. So if you know someone who is dealing with those kinds of problems, check out the book.

Another reason I want to tell you about the book is that the information in each chapter is preceded with a wonderful, inspirational quotation. And that is part of how this serendipitous encounter at the post office is related to this blog. You see, I am now going to use the quotes for the next several posts in order to make writing them easier and quicker.

I need to do this because I am behind the 8-ball in trying to turn the letting go book into ebook format. (People have asked for this for a very long time and I’m finally doing it.) However, this has meant that I had to buy the latest edition of InDesign . . . which means I have to learn the new version and discover how Adobe has changed their software . . . which means I don’t have time to spend on creating new posts, even though I have a target of producing three posts week . . . which means a quotation will fit in nicely in keeping with the recent post of A Quickly Chosen Quotation for a Busy Day and the earlier post of A Quotation Worth Considering.

Besides, this gives you about enough to think about on lazy summer days. And if you want to share some quotes you particularly like, I’d love to hear about them.

Along the way I’ll tell you how I’m progressing, since I have about 30 products I am creating and want them completed by the beginning of October. Of course, when something real exciting or important happens, I’ll write about that.

In any case, here is the first quote from the book:

Love and compassion are necessities, not luxuries. Without them humanity cannot survive.
—The Dalai Lama

You have likely heard this a number of times, but what would happen if today you decided to claim that quotation as your own and create an affirmation to support all your actions? You might change the quotation to:

Whatever I do today, I will do it with love and compassion, even when I am in conflict with another person. I will do that because I want the humanity that lies within my sphere of interaction to survive.

I would love to have you share your interpretation of this quotation.

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Here are a some related posts from this blog, and articles from the Support4Change website:


A Quickly Chosen Quotation for a Busy Day

June 15, 2011
How often do you repeat something you’ve heard that you wouldn’t want others to know you’ve said?

Like lots of writers, over the years I’ve collected loads of quotations in the expectation that I will need them one of these days. The problem is that I add them to a file without taking time to organize them. The consequence is that when I want to find one, I have to look through a whole bunch. Don’t have time for that today.

Today my assistant is coming to help me plan a major revamping of Support4Change. So I have to get breakfast, clean off my desk so she has a place to put her laptop, and write this post in keeping with my intention — not promise, but an intention — to write three posts a week.

As I sat down at the computer, I wondered what short topic I could squeeze in before she comes. That’s when I remembered my post on Quotations Worth Considering.

This should be quick and easy, I thought. I’ll find a great quotation to share on a busy day. But then my pesky perfectionist tried to make this more complicated than it needed to be. Fortunately, my recovering perfectionist popped up her little head and made a suggestion; pick the quotation blindly.

It was a perfect idea. If I took a lot of time to find the “best” quotation, it may not fit you at all. Picking it “blindly” may not be any worse.

So right now I’m going to open a page of quotations from my quotation folder, close my eyes, scroll up and down for a few seconds, and point my cursor to some place on the page. That’s the quote you’ll get!

Here it is:

How often do you repeat something you’ve heard that you wouldn’t want others to know you’ve said?

Now that I give this quick quote some thought, I can see that I have sometimes been guilty of repeating something I wouldn’t want posted on the front page of the Los Angeles Times. I better take this quotation to heart.

How about you?

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Here are a some related posts from this blog, and articles from the Support4Change website:


Safe Harbors and the Open Sea

March 29, 2011
Places that appear safe are not always so.

FEATURE: Quotations Worth Considering

Sails on a private boat seen from belowI am writing this on March 20, two days before I leave for a conference in Washington, DC. However, as you will know if you’ve been reading recent posts, I have scheduled several of them to be posted when I am gone so that, if you come here often, you will find something new.

Today I had only one more post to write when I wanted to print out the handouts for workshops I will attend. It seems that in order to save paper, handouts aren’t being handed out. However, participants can download the notes for the workshops they are attending and bring them along. I started doing this today and was interested in what leaders of other workshops were providing. That’s when I looked at a PDF of a writer’s workshop and came across a quotation that I want to share.

In Quotations Worth Considering I talk about quotations, affirmations, aphorisms, and scripture verses from of all religions that can make a real impact in our lives if we take time to really think about them. The one I share today has, I believe, great wisdom for both the adventurous and the timid.

A ship in harbor is safe, but that is not what ships are built for.

When I first read this — on a list of quotations meant to encourage writers’ creativity and courage — I immediately had images of ships in a Japanese harbor being pushed onto land by a giant tsunami. That harbor was not at all safe for those sailors. The boats that were safe were those that were out at sea.

Of course, I realize that in violent storms a ship would rather be in a harbor, but not all harbors are safe all the time. Not all seas are dangerous. If you meet a tsunami out in the open sea, you can hardly tell it at all.

What this quotation says to me is that safety is a relative thing. Unless we venture out beyond our boundaries, we aren’t going to get very far. What are you willing to risk? What have you gained in the past by taking risks?

When I get on the plane in two days, I will take the risk that it will crash. But then again, every time I get in a car I take a risk that is greater than riding in a plane.

Risk is relative and we each need to decide what level of safety we will give up for the potential of reaching our goals and even going beyond them.

Since this blog is about enriching your life and your relationships, I suggest you consider what might happen to your relationships if you decided to sail out beyond the boundaries you generally keep to make you feel secure and untie to bowline as you move into the unknown.
Photo credit: Wikimedia Commons
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Here are a some related posts from this blog, and articles from the Support4Change website:


A Quotation Worth Considering

May 19, 2010
What quotations are most meaningful to you?

Quotation by Ralph Waldo EmersonHow many times have you read or heard a joke and in five minutes you couldn’t remember it if your life depended on it? I suspect that is also true for most of us when it comes to quotations like this one.

You’ve undoubtedly read a quotation that comes right before a chapter in a book. It is related to the topic. You find it inspiring and important it at the time. But later you aren’t likely to remember it.

That’s not a critical problem in the midst of all the many things we have to remember. We can all live without recalling quotations if we have absorbed the lessons they convey, though it would help if we remembered jokes a little more often.

However, I believe some quotations are worth considering for more than a few moments. As I said in a recent post, Can You Speak Only Love for 24 Hours?, where I said that, “There is no doubt that words have the power to draw us closer or tear us apart.” Some of those powerful words — the ones that draw us closer — can come from our own hearts. Others are spoken, or written, by other people who are able to use words that convey an idea that reaches into our soul and inspires us to lead a kinder, gentler, more peaceful life

It is these that I want to focus on today and in future posts from time to time. They are the quotations, affirmations, or scripture verses (from all religions) that express and encourage qualities of the human spirit.

I’ve long wanted to include a feature on the blog of just such quotations. Then yesterday I was visiting the website of Linda Graham, a marriage and family therapist I met at a conference in Washington a couple months ago. She was one of those I decided to e-mail rather than simply add her to my list of people I would e-mail in the future. (See When Perfectionists Need to Stop Making Lists.)

That was when I discovered a number of wonderful quotations on her site — written on what looks like torn pieces of paper, much like one would write a quotation you heard and didn’t want to forget. They seemed to clearly express who she is and her approach to change and transformation. And that’s when I decided to use the quotation from her site as a kick-off of a feature I am calling “Quotations Worth Considering.”

Rather than notice a quotation at the beginning of a post that you will read and then forget as you continue down the page, I suggest on posts of Quotations Worth Considering that you answer yourself these five questions:

1. Have I heard or read this quotation before?

2. Do I agree with the idea it expresses? Why?

3. Am I willing to remember it for the rest of the day?

4. How would the world be a better place if I told someone about it?

5. Am I willing to do that?

Good quotations are like good news that needs to be shared so others will benefit from the ideas they express. Imagine what might happen if everyone reading this blog consciously told others about the  famous, and not so famous, quotations they find here, words that express qualities like love, compassion, generosity, peace, forgiveness, and serenity.

If you read a sentence or phrase that is worth considering in a book or magazine, or hear it on television, please send it to me. Let me know where you found it. I would love to pass it on, just as I hope you pass on this quotation by Ralph Waldo Emerson. Such words can make the world a better place.