Welcome to my thoughts on Living with Joy, Purpose, and Conscious Choice.
- Jonathan Lockwood Huie

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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, April 29, 2011

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Truth isn't True. Reality isn't Real.

It ain't what you don't know that gets you into trouble.
It's what you know for sure that just ain't so.
- Mark Twain (attributed)

Truth isn't True. Reality isn't Real.
- jlh

We have language. We have tradition. We have cultural and community norms. But we have neither truth nor reality.

I make the bold assertion that EVERYTHING we do and EVERYTHING we believe is a result of what we have observed as children and observe in our family and community!

If you had been born in the Mid-East, there is a very high probability that you would be very sure that Islam was the one RIGHT religion. If you lived before Einstein, you would be very sure solid matter was solid (rather than being mostly empty space and several kinds of energy, as we now know). If you had lived 500 years ago, you would know for sure that the earth was flat and stationary.

If you were born in 2300, I can't even guess about most of what you would know for sure, but without doubt, you would consider those people who lived in the early 21st century to be very ignorant and superstitious.

So what now? Assuming that you take my assertion seriously, what can you do about it? You can't gain access to science that hasn't yet been discovered. You can't begin to live in ways that are dramatically different from the accepted norms in your community without severe consequences. What can you do?

What you can do is to begin to question even the most fundamental assumptions you have about life and living. Do this not necessarily with an eye to changing how you live, but simply as a learning experience. Examine where your assumptions come from. And then consciously choose to accept the cultural norms - or not.

Read more at Perspective on Tradition: An Open Mind

Thursday, April 28, 2011

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How God Works

How God Works
- an old anonymous story retold

A very religious man was stranded in his house as the flood waters began to rise. Soon all the roads were impassible, and the water lapped at his front door.

A neighbor rowed past in a boat. He called out to the man, "Come with me to higher ground." The man replied, "No thank you, I have faith that God will save me."

The water continued to rise - forcing the man up to the second floor of his house. He heard from a loudspeaker, "This is the sheriff, we have come in our boat to rescue you." The man opened the window, and yelled back, "No thank you, I have faith that God will save me."

The water kept rising, and the man climbed onto the roof of his house. A Coast Guard helicopter hovered overhead, and the crew began to drop a rope ladder. The man yelled, "No thank you, I have faith that God will save me."

Before long, the man was washed off into the torrent and died.

When the man faced his judgement, he asked God, "Why did you desert me? I had absolute faith in you, and you let me down."

God answered, "I sent you two boats and a helicopter, what were you expecting?"

Thursday, April 21, 2011

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Grant That I May Radiate

Grant that I may radiate Thy Light, Thy Love,
Thy Healing, Thy Joy, and Thy Peace
to all those around me
and all those in my thoughts
this day and ever more.

Memorial Day Quotes

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

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Expectations - Demands

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

Expectations, like assumptions, are a grave danger to your emotional health.

An expectation is a demand. In a sentence such as, "I expect you to be on-time for work tomorrow," the demand is clearly stated. However, expectations are often invisible.

A person may know, as a perceived fact, that it is their spouse's duty to take out the trash, or to wash the dishes. If there has been no explicit mutual agreement to the obligation, the expectation (demand) is an invisible one - created by cultural tradition.

Improve your professional and personal relationships, and lead a more joyful life, by becoming aware of these invisible perceived expectations (demands).

As with assumptions, because expectations are often invisible, you can't tackle them all at once. But do be conscious of their existence, and stamp out each expectation as soon as you catch a glimpse of it.

There will be many times in your life when agreeing to the demands of another is a good decision. Just make sure that you obligate yourself by conscious decision - and not through the handcuffs of unconscious cultural tradition.

Read my personal story of dealing with expectations: Assumption, Expectation, and Anger - A Personal Confession

Broken Heart Quotes

Summer Quotes

Graduation Quotes

New Years Quotes

Amazing Quotes about Life

Life is Beautiful Quotes

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

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Assumptions and expectations are two of the biggest dangers to your emotional wellbeing. In this post, I will address assumptions.

Assumptions are beliefs that don't know they are beliefs. When one states a belief, that person understands that there are other possible beliefs - even if one is completely convinced that their belief is the "right" belief.

As an example, I believe that a progressive social agenda is best for the country, but I understand that other well-intentioned people believe that unfettered capitalism is best.

In contrast, an assumption is invisible. If someone says, "Los Angeles is a dangerous place to live," that might be shorthand for, "It is my personal belief that Los Angeles is a dangerous city," but it is more likely that, for that person, it is simply a fact that Los Angeles is dangerous. No other possibility has ever been considered.

Often people live with lifelong assumptions about what they are unable to do with their lives.

Could you run for public office? Could you write a book? Could you create an invention that made you an instant millionaire? Would you marry a person of a different race or religion? Would you leave your job and found your own company?

Consider your reactions to those questions. Do you thoughtfully consider questions of that sort? Or do you snap to judgement?

Assumptions are very limiting. You can live a more successful and joyful life if you are willing to question your assumptions, and to have an open mind toward all of life.

Understand that you can never be free of all assumptions - because they ARE invisible. But you can watch for them when they do show up, and stamp them out.

Read more about assumptions: Perspective on Tradition: An Open Mind

Easter Quotes

Music Quotes

Kindness Quotes

Christmas Quotes

I Love You Quotes

Break Up Quotes

Friday, April 15, 2011

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Abundance or Scarcity? Love or Fear?

Know that fear is your worst enemy -
perhaps your only enemy.
- jlh

Life in abundance comes only through great love.
- Elbert Hubbard

Abundance or Scarcity? Love or Fear?

Most of the time, most people live their lives out of a sense of scarcity - the feeling that there isn't enough to go around, and that they have to fight other people for what there is.

A mentality of scarcity - of lack - is the natural consequence of viewing the world through eyes of fear. When one is fearful of the future, one develops a "bunker mentality" - hoarding what one has, and scheming, or even resorting to force, to attempt to get more - at the expense of others. When one views life through eyes of fear, there can be no generosity, love, or even mutual cooperation.

In contrast, when you view the world through eyes of love, the future becomes unlimited. Cooperation and generosity are natural expressions of love. A perspective of love generates confidence in the unlimited bounty of the universe.

Truly, there are only two ways to view the world: through eyes of love, or through eyes of fear. Most of us spend some of our time wearing one set of glasses, and some time wearing the other, but nonetheless, these are the two ways in which life can be seen.

In Your Personal Life

For myself, generosity - being a "Good Samaritan" - is a moral imperative. But, beyond that, love, cooperation and generosity simply work better than fear and a "bunker mentality" for several practical reasons.

1. Whatever happens in the "real" world, you will be much happier if you are confident rather than fearful. Happier if you love people and befriend them, rather than fearing them and distancing yourself. Happier if you work cooperatively with people, rather than competing against them.

2. Cooperation and generosity really do get better results than competition and hoarding. Help your co-worker finish a project; shovel your neighbor's driveway; share some of your wisdom with someone starting out in business. Try it. You will be surprised by how often the favor gets returned - and by the unexpected ways in which your gift is reciprocated.

3. I have no scientific proof for Karma, but in my own life it is very real. Do good, and good is returned. Do harm, and you will suffer.

In the World (caution, political opinion)

Even passing over the morality of caring for the young, the old, and the physically or mentally infirm, cooperation and generosity are good for a country. An economy is healthy only when money circulates, rather than being hoarded - either by corporations or by wealthy individuals.

The United States is currently suffering from a stagnation caused by a mentality of fear. When there are many people ready and able to work, and for whom there are no jobs, something is seriously wrong.

Forget microscopic analysis, and look at the BIG picture... During World War II, people pulled together and did what needed to be done. There was a job for everyone. It hasn't happened since.

We have bridges decaying, children unfed and unschooled, sick people left to die in pain. And at the same time, we say we don't have a job for everyone.

With all that work that truly needs to be done, and people ready to do that work, if we could only replace our national fear and "bunker mentality" with love, cooperation, and generosity, imagine what we could accomplish.

My fellow Americans:
ask not what your country can do for you -
ask what you can do for your country.
- John F. Kennedy

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

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Paint your life in bold colors

Today is your day to smile broadly, sing loudly, paint your rooms in bold colors, search every rabbit hole for a magical white bunny, have caviar for breakfast and oatmeal for dinner, wear a purple coat with a red hat - a day to dance lightly with life.
- jlh

Insightful Quotes
Inspirational Quotes
Meaningful Quotes
Thoughtful Quotes
Inspirational Thoughts

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

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You get to choose whether to suffer or to be joyful.

Life is as easy or as hard as you think it is.
- jlh

Your boss, your spouse, your children, your relatives... Whatever they do is neither good nor bad. You get to make your own choices in life. You get to choose whether to suffer or to be joyful.

Deep Quotes

Quotes about Freedom

Relationship Quotes

Break Up Quotes

Monday, April 11, 2011

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The Sweetest Strawberry - a Zen Koan

The Sweetest Strawberry
- a traditional Zen Koan

A man was chased by a tiger. Coming to a cliff, he grabbed the root of a vine and hung over the edge. The tiger looked at him from above.
The man looked down to where, far below, another tiger was waiting.
Two mice began to gnaw at the vine.
The man saw a luscious strawberry near him. Grasping the vine with one hand, he plucked the strawberry with the other. How sweet it tasted!

Moral: Life is short. Savor the sweetness of each moment.

See more Zen Koans

Famous Quotes about Success

Quotes about Making Mistakes

Sunday, April 10, 2011

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Unity: we are all one.

Each of us dwells in a cathedral of our own BEing
that is created vast enough to encompass Unity with all creation.
- jlh

See: Unity Quotes

Saturday, April 9, 2011

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Walk to the edge

Question: Can you please tell me what "Walk to the edge" means. [In the poem below]

Live with intention.
Walk to the edge.
Listen hard.
Practice wellness.
Play with abandon.
Choose with no regret.
Appreciate your friends.
Continue to learn.
Do what you love.
Live as if this is all there is.
- Mary Anne Radmacher

Mary Anne Radmacher's answer [from her wonderful book >Lean Forward into Your Life]

Walk to the edge. Said another way: live boldly. Not an endorsement of recklessness or cavalier behavior, but an urging to push personal limits. Live boldly, not loudly.

Friday, April 8, 2011

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The Brick - a story of brotherly love

The Brick - an anonymous story of brotherly love

Variations of this story have been around a long time...

As a young and successful executive was traveling down a neighborhood street, going a bit too fast in his new Jaguar, a brick smashed into the Jag's side door. The angry driver slammed on the brakes and backed the Jag back to the spot where the brick had been thrown. He jumped out of the car, grabbed the nearest kid and pushed him up against a parked car shouting, "What was that all about and who are you? Just what the heck are you doing? That's a new car and that brick you threw is going to cost a lot of money. Why did you do it?"

The young boy was apologetic. "Please, mister ... please, I'm sorry but I didn't know what else to do. I threw the brick because no one else would stop..." With tears dripping down his face and off his chin, the youth pointed to a spot just around a parked car. "It's my brother,' he said. "He rolled off the curb and fell out of his wheelchair and I can't lift him up."

Now sobbing, the boy asked the stunned executive, "Would you please help me get him back into his wheelchair? He's hurt and he's too heavy for me."

Moved beyond words, the driver tried to swallow the rapidly swelling lump in his throat. He hurriedly lifted the handicapped boy back into the wheelchair, then took out a linen handkerchief and dabbed at the fresh scrapes and cuts. A quick look told him everything was going to be okay.

"Thank you and may God bless you," the grateful child told the stranger.

Too shook up for words, the man simply watched the boy push his wheelchair-bound brother down the sidewalk toward their home.

Moral: Don't go through life so fast that someone has to throw a brick at you to get your attention.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

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How to Forgive and Move On

Question: My husband moved out. I feel captive to feelings of hurt, betrayal, and bitterness. Please help me on how to forgive him and move on.

My answer:

Forgiveness is not easy, and it will not be quick.

1. You may have feelings of regret, as well as resentment. To whatever extent you have the feeling that you could, or should, have done something differently, forgive yourself for that, and let those feelings go.

2. Every day, hold a little ceremony of gratitude for everything good in your life - your family, your health, your mind ... everything. Write down a very long list of gratitudes.

3. Focus your thoughts and attention on other things. Be of service to your family, and to the less fortunate around you.

4. Whenever the feelings of anger become overwhelming, hold a release ceremony. Take a piece of paper and write down all your angry feelings. Write everything bad that was done to you, and how you feel about it. Now, reverently light a candle or small fire, and feed the paper with your angers to the fire. Watch your angers go up in smoke, and give thanks for all of life.

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

Further thoughts: How to Move On and Let Go

9 Secrets For Getting Un-Stuck

How To Not Care What Others Think

Encouraging Quotes

Being Strong Quotes

No Regret Quotes

Monday, April 4, 2011

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Questions? Topics?

Do you have questions you would like me to address in this Thoughts for the Day blog?

Are there topics you would like me to address?

Please let me know at jlh@sail7.com or leave a comment below (at the www.mind4joy.com blog).

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

Have you read: Forgiveness and Acceptance, Another Look at the Challenges

Forgiveness Quotes

Moving On Quotes

New Beginning Quotes

Friday, April 1, 2011

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Regarding gratitude and life

Question: I am confused regarding gratitude and life ... so how do we improve our life if we are supposed to be happy with what we got all the time ?

My Answer:

That is a great question. The answer comes in two parts...

1. If you truly are happy, what else would you want? How could you "improve" upon a truly 100% happy life?

2. Blessings flow toward gratitude. If you give thanks for your affluence, the love in your life, and so forth, that gratitude acts as a magnet to attract more affluence, love, and other blessings into your life. This works both energetically and in the physical world. Imagine that you give a small gift to each of two friends. One of them smiles at you and says, "Thank you so much." The other frowns and says, "Is this all you are giving me?" To which of your friends are you more likely to give another, larger, gift? That is the way Spirit works.

It is my practice to be grateful every day for ALL of life. Whatever appears to be a burden is either a deferred blessing or a lesson. Who am I to know Spirit's intention for me, so I believe in the future and I am grateful.

Each of us has been infinitely blessed - beginning with the gift of life. Whatever may appear to be missing or broken on any particular day, our glass is not half full, it is 99.9% full. More practically, when we feel ungrateful, we become unhappy and stressed. When we choose to feel and express our gratitude, the act of feeling and speaking our thanks creates a happiness within us. The more we express our gratitude, the more we have for which to be grateful.

I'm happy with how I've lived my life because I choose to be happy. Regrets and resentments are a sure path to unhappiness, so I am very careful to avoid them. I consciously forgive myself for any choices I made in the past that I would not repeat today.

I Receive ALL of Life with Thanksgiving - I have gratitude for EVERYTHING that has ever occurred to bring me to this moment. I give thanks for the joys and the sufferings, the moments of peace and the flashes of anger, the compassion and the indifference, the roar of my courage and the cold sweat of my fear. I accept gratefully the entirety of my past and my present life.

Today in My World: Let Today be a day to be grateful for everything. NOTICE all of life. Observe the tastes and smells, as well as the sights and sounds. Notice the gentle breeze, the bird, the flower, the tree. Pay attention to the baby and the kitten. Take five minutes today to place several pieces of fruit or other pleasant food in a bowl, and give thanks. Hold the bowl reverently, and give thanks for all of life.