Welcome to my thoughts on Living with Joy, Purpose, and Conscious Choice. Please subscribe free on the form to the left.
- Jonathan Lockwood Huie (jlh @sail7.com)
Here, I share my thoughts on spiritual power, relationships, simple living, managing stress, work-life balance, career decisions, money, politics, the environment, and much more.

See my self-help articles including How to Move On and How to Succeed, browse my large collection of Inspirational Quotes, and sign-up for my free Daily Inspiration - Daily Quote email and my Positive Affirmation of the Day email.

The content of all my blogs/websites consists entirely of personal opinion.
See a medical professional for all issues of physical and emotional health.

Friday, January 31, 2014

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What Is Reality?


You Create Your Own Reality.
- Anonymous


How can someone say "You Create Your Own Reality?" Are they crazy? Yet many wise people have expressed essentially this idea. What is going on?

I say that there are two kinds of reality - the reality of facts, and the reality of experiences. At first glance, one would be inclined to think that facts are the basis of everything, but much that is important cannot be dealt with using facts.

When you argue with reality,
you lose - but only always.
- Byron Katie

To deny the facts would be illogical.
- the character Spock in the television series Star Trek


The Byron Katie and Star Trek quotes address the reality of facts. A fact might be that you were fired from your job last Friday. That is reality, and nothing you can believe or disbelieve or argue about changes that fact - that reality. Whether you believe your dismissal was unjustified doesn't change the fact. Arguing with this kind of fact is illogical, and causes you to suffer needlessly

Now, moving to the reality (or unreality) of experiences, when you were fired, you might also have believed that you would never get another job, or that your children would starve, or that your mother would think you were worthless, or you might have begun to believe that you were now worthless. These beliefs exist outside the realm of facts. The first three of these deal with the future, and thus can either become true or can become false - depending upon your actions, among other things. Your own thought of your worthlessness can be changed in an instant by simply altering your perception of yourself and your value.

Regarding experiences and perceptions, there are no underlying facts, and thus the idea that "You Create Your Own Reality" is not only correct, but of great practical importance in motivating you to believe in yourself and to take actions that create material benefits, as well as joy, in your future.

Here are three more quotes on the idea that you can control how you experience life, and that the future is altered by how you choose to experience the present.

What others say and do is a projection of their own reality.
- don Miguel Ruiz

All that is real is seen with the heart.
- Vivian Greene

Your thoughts create your reality.
Your mind is more powerful than you know.
- Neale Donald Walsch


Further reading: How to Cope With Life
Overcome Being Negative
Abundance or Scarcity? Love or Fear?
Truth isn't True. Reality isn't Real.
Coping with the Impossible

Tuesday, December 31, 2013

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Trust, Forgiveness, and Feeling Wronged

Reader's question: I find it hard to forgive (both myself and others). I feel people have wronged me and sometimes I say "let it be" and at other times want revenge -  which I feel is so wrong, but yet feel the need to hurt the ones who have hurt me. I DO NOT TRUST ANYONE. Do you have any suggestions?

My answer:

Thank you very much for writing

It appears that you may be expecting too much from others, from yourself, and from life in general.

Not “trusting” anyone is generally a good thing. If you don’t know someone well, you have no reason to trust that their actions will be beneficial to you. If you do know someone quite well, you can generally “trust” that their future actions will be very similar to their prior actions. If someone promises to act differently in the future from the way they acted in the past, you can be quite sure that they will be unable to fulfill such a promise.

People always attempt to act in their own best interest - which may or may not be in your best interest. Sometimes a person’s “own best interest” may simply be the warm happy feeling they get from helping another - but don’t count on that unless you know the person very very well. Someone could well pay the toll for the car behind, and then drive home and yell at their spouse.

Believe nothing, no matter where you read it,
or who said it, no matter if I have said it,
unless it agrees with your own reason
and your own common sense.
- The Buddha


As far as forgiving those you feel have wronged you, consider whether these people have done something like breaking into your home and stealing something, or whether they have simple failed to meet expectations you set for them.

Regardless of the degree of wrong done to you, forgiving others, like forgiving yourself, and like giving up anger, is for you. Forgiving someone is not a gift to that person, rather it is a gift to yourself.

Forgiveness is an act of self-love and respect.
- don Miguel Ruiz

Forgiveness is really a gift to yourself -
have the compassion to forgive others,
and the courage to forgive yourself.
- Mary Anne Radmacher

Anger is an acid that can do more harm
to the vessel in which it is stored
than to anything on which it is poured.
- Mark Twain


These articles may help you…
When You Have Been Wronged
Greed and Betrayal
Practical Forgiveness by Sheri Rosenthal
How to Forgive and Move On
Forgive and Forget? Can You Really Lift Your Burden of Resentments?
Stop Anger Before it Stops You - 7 Secrets
More articles at www.sail7.com

Saturday, November 9, 2013

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Homeless Veteran Transformation


You can also view this Homeless Veteran Transformation video on YouTube.

If we have no peace,
it is because we have forgotten
that we belong to each other.
- Mother Teresa



People will forget what you said,
people will forget what you did,
but people will never forget
how you made them feel.
- Maya Angelou



If anyone has material possessions and sees his brother in need
but has no pity on him, how can the love of God be in him?
- 1 John 3:17



Monday, November 4, 2013

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Each man kills the thing he loves

A reader's question: Would you please explain the quote in the Alchemist about killing the thing you love.

Paulo Coelho, the author of The Alchemist, was actually quoting a line from Oscar Wilde's famous 1897 poem The Ballad of Reading Gaol. Coelho then proceeds to give his explanation of what Wilde's quote means. Following Coelho's and Wilde's long quotes, I share more thoughts about killing the thing you love.

Oscar Wilde said: 'Each man kills the thing he loves.' And it's true. The mere possibility of getting what we want fills the soul of the ordinary person with guilt. We look around at all those who have failed to get what they want and feel that we do not deserve to get what we want either. We forget about all the obstacles we overcame, all the suffering we endured, all the things we had to give up in order to get this far. I have known a lot of people who, when their personal calling was within their grasp, went on to commit a series of stupid mistakes and never reached their goal - when it was only a step away. This is the most dangerous of the obstacles because it has a kind of saintly aura about it. Renouncing joy and conquest. But if you believe yourself worthy of the thing you fought so hard to get, then you become an instrument of God, you help the Soul of the World, and you understand why you are here.
- Paulo Coelho, introduction to 2002 edition of The Alchemist


Yet each man kills the thing he loves.
By each let this be heard.
Some do it with a bitter look,
Some with a flattering word.
The coward does it with a kiss,
The brave man with a sword!
- Oscar Wilde - from The Ballad of Reading Gaol


Note that...
1. By "the thing he loves," Wilde and Coelho are not referring to a person, but rather to a person's aspirations  (in Coelho's words a "personal calling.") - like writing a best-selling book (in Coelho's case), or becoming wealthy or powerful, or ending hunger, or conquering disease.
2. The word "kill" is, of course, used figuratively - as in "Their performance in the last game killed the team's chance to play in the World Series."

How do we "kill" (destroy) the thing we love (our aspirations - our life path)?

1. A belief that we are unworthy (Coelho calls this "guilt.) - The following Marianne Williamson quote addresses this.


Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate.
Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure.
It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us.
We ask ourselves,
Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous?
Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God.
Your playing small does not serve the world.
There is nothing enlightened about shrinking
so that other people won't feel insecure around you.
We are all meant to shine, as children do.
We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us.
It is not just in some of us; it is in everyone.
And as we let our own light shine,
we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same.
As we are liberated from our own fear,
our presence automatically liberates others.
- Marianne Williamson

2. Boredom ("is this all there is?")

Be thankful for what you have; you'll end up having more.
If you concentrate on what you don't have,
you will never, ever have enough.
- Oprah Winfrey

We can do anything we want to
if we stick to it long enough.
- Helen Keller

3. Distraction

As every divided kingdom falls,
so every mind divided between
many studies confounds and saps itself.
- Leonardo da Vinci


The Main Thing is to Keep
The Main Thing The Main Thing.
- Stephen Covey


Tuesday, October 29, 2013

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How Helping Others Helps You

A reader's question: Dear Jonathan, Can you please explain in simple words what this quote is trying to convey?

It is one of the most beautiful compensations of life,
that no man can sincerely try
to help another without helping himself.
- Ralph Waldo Emerson


My answer:

If you help other people, your life becomes happier and more fulfilling.

There are three reasons for this:

1. Most immediately, the act of helping another provides a sense of your own value, which directly makes you happier and more fulfilled.

2. Other people will see you as a worthwhile and moral person, and will be more likely to help you get what you want.

3. If you believe in a kind and compassionate God, or in a universal intelligence, or in karma, you know that there is a force that rewards good actions.



As we work to create light for others,
we naturally light our own way.
- Mary Anne Radmacher


See more quotes about service



Saturday, October 26, 2013

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The Oak and the Reeds


The Oak and the Reeds
a fable by Aesop

A Giant Oak stood near a brook in which grew some slender Reeds. When the wind blew, the great Oak stood proudly upright with its hundred arms uplifted to the sky. But the Reeds bowed low in the wind and sang a sad and mournful song.

"You have reason to complain," said the Oak. "The slightest breeze that ruffles the surface of the water makes you bow your heads, while I, the mighty Oak, stand upright and firm before the howling tempest."

"Do not worry about us," replied the Reeds. "The winds do not harm us. We bow before them and so we do not break. You, in all your pride and strength, have so far resisted their blows. But the end is coming."

As the Reeds spoke a great hurricane rushed out of the north. The Oak stood proudly and fought against the storm, while the yielding Reeds bowed low. The wind redoubled in fury, and all at once the great tree fell, torn up by the roots, and lay among the pitying Reeds.

Moral: Better to yield when it is folly to resist, than to resist stubbornly and be destroyed.

Saturday, September 21, 2013

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There is nothing I ever need to do

Reader's question: Would you please explain your affirmation, "There is nothing I ever need to do."

My response:

You have a choice about everything you do, and everything you don't do. Even some things that appear that you "have to do" are a choice. For example you could stay home on a work day and take a long walk to clear your head. You don't "have" to go to work. Certainly there would be consequences, but you do have a choice.

I say NO to the demands of the world.
I say YES to the longings of my own heart.
There is nothing I ever need to have.
There is nothing I ever need to do.
- Jonathan Lockwood Huie


Read more about this at CHOICE - the fourth Point of Simply An Inspired Life

May the world be kind to you, and may your own thoughts be gentle upon yourself.
- Jonathan Lockwood Huie