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.

Tuesday, February 23, 2016

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When You are Feeling Depressed and Hopeless

If you are having a major health crisis, I really feel for you. However if you are reasonably healthy, have enough to eat, and have a roof over your head, you have an opportunity to look on the bright side of your life - to appreciate what is right with your life.

I don't think of all the misery
but of the beauty that still remains.
- Anne Frank

If you want to feel rich,
just count all of the things you have that money can't buy.
- Anonymous 

He is a wise man who does not grieve
for the things which he has not,
but rejoices for those which he has.
- Epictetus 

The enlightened give thanks
for what most people take for granted.
- Michael Beckwith

Being happy doesn't mean that everything is perfect.
It means that you've decided to look beyond the imperfections.
- Anonymous

The best way to cheer yourself
is to try to cheer someone else up.
- Mark Twain

Happiness depends more on the inward disposition of mind,
than on outward circumstances.
- Benjamin Franklin

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

Monday, February 15, 2016

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Presidents of Their Own Times

Today, Presidents' Day, may be a good day to examine our feelings about our earlier Presidents and other great people who lived in days gone by.

Generally, Americans have focused praise and gratitude upon the likes of Washington and Jefferson, but more recently, many people make the case that as slave-holders Washington and Jefferson were terrible and morally-flawed people. This early-stage movement follows upon the older and better established movements that declares Christopher Columbus to be a genocidal invader rather as one who "opened up" America to European settlement, and the likes of Robert E. Lee to be slave-holding traitors.

Can we reconcile these opposing points of view. I believe we can once we recognize that Washington, Jefferson and everyone who lived in the past were creations of their own time, and each stage of history has its own customs, its own values, and its own morality. If we are unwilling to acknowledge that morality is a function of the times, we must condemn ourselves and everyone living today for failing to live up to the evolving morality we will be judged by a century from now (how could those people let children starve? why did they shoot each other? and perhaps other concerns we can't even imagine today: why didn't they let 12 year-olds vote? why didn't they require a license for procreation to prevent overpopulation?)

Look at life as described in the Old Testament - the sacred book of Christians, Jews, and Muslims alike. The Old Testament records, without condemnation: polygamy, genocide, torture, mutilation, infanticide, incest, slavery, and many other practices that today's Americans regard as immoral. Yes, times change. Abraham, David, and other heroes of the Old Testament, like Presidents Washington and Jefferson, must be judged as people of their own times.

Today, let us appreciate the best of Washington, Jefferson, and the others. And let us also appreciate our own time for having moved past practices like slavery and dueling.

Keep pace with the times.
We might as well require a man to wear still the coat which fitted him when a boy,
as civilized society to remain ever under the regimen of their barbarous ancestors.
- Thomas Jefferson

My first wish is to see this plague of mankind,
war, banished from the earth.
- George Washington

What a cruel thing is war; to separate and destroy families and friends,
and mar the purest joys and happiness God has granted us in this world;
to fill our hearts with hatred instead of love for our neighbors,
and to devastate the fair face of this beautiful world! 
- Robert E. Lee

We have abundant reason to rejoice, that, in this land,
the light of truth and reason has triumphed over the power of bigotry and superstition,
and that every person may here worship God according to the dictates of his own heart.
- George Washington [Washington was a little premature on this one]

All persons shall have full and free liberty of religious opinion;
nor shall any be compelled to frequent or maintain any religious institution.
- Thomas Jefferson - Draft Constitution for Virginia (June 1776)

Our civil rights have no dependence on our religious opinions,
any more than our opinions in physics or geometry.
- Thomas Jefferson

The whole art of government consists in the art of being honest. 
- Thomas Jefferson

I am conscious that an equal division of property is impracticable. But the consequences of this enormous inequality producing so much misery to the bulk of mankind, legislators cannot invent too many devices for subdividing property.. a  means of silently lessening the inequality of property is to exempt all from taxation below a certain point, and to tax the higher portions of property in geometrical progression as they rise. 
- Thomas Jefferson

Our liberty depends on the freedom of the press, and that cannot be limited without being lost.
- Thomas Jefferson

Merchants have no country.
The mere spot they stand on does not constitute so strong an attachment
as that from which they draw their gains. 
- Thomas Jefferson

Friday, February 12, 2016

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When One Has No Dreams Left

Reader's inquiry: I think I don't have any dreams. There is nothing I want to have or do :(

My reply:

This is opportunity for you to look deeply into (meditate upon) your inner self and your inner motivations.

Perhaps you are very contented and at peace with yourself and the world.

Or perhaps you have squashed your dreams because you don't see them as even remotely attainable.

Or perhaps something else...

Look deeply...

The key to happiness is inner peace.
The greatest obstacles to inner peace are disturbing emotions
such as anger, attachment, fear and suspicion,
while love and compassion and a sense of universal responsibility
are the sources of peace and happiness.
- Tenzin Gyatso, the 14th Dalai Lama

A man is not old until his regrets take the place of his dreams.
- Yiddish Proverb

Hold fast to dreams, for if dreams die,
life is a broken winged bird that cannot fly.
- Langston Hughes

Trust your own inner guidance.
Have faith that your steps are
carrying you toward your dreams.
Keep your eyes on the heavens
and believe that your feet will carry you well.
- Jonathan Lockwood Huie

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Anxious , Depressed, Job Not Inspiring?

Question from a reader: I feel low, anxious, depressed, job not inspiring, what should I do?

My reply:

1) Look for the high points in your job: co-workers? customers? whatever is uplifting.

2) Consider a different job or becoming self-employed. Those may or may not be viable options, but think seriously about it.

3) Look to get your true satisfaction from sources outside your job. Appreciate your family. Volunteer in your community. Help someone less fortunate than yourself - perhaps volunteer at a food bank or soup kitchen.

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

Life's most persistent and urgent question is,
'What are you doing for others?'
- Martin Luther King, Jr.

If you don't like something, change it.
If you can't change it, change your attitude.
- Maya Angelou

The best way to find yourself
is to lose yourself
in the service of others.
- Mohandas (Mahatma) Gandhi

The more we care for the happiness of others,
the greater is our own sense of well-being.
- Tenzin Gyatso, the 14th Dalai Lama

The best cure for our own self-inflicted suffering
is often service to others.
- Jonathan Lockwood Huie

Thursday, February 11, 2016

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Turn the Forces of Nature to Your Advantage

Don't fight forces, use them.
- R. Buckminster Fuller

Today, when the winds of adversity blow strong,
redirect their force into the
service of your highest intention.
- Jonathan Lockwood Huie

Question from a reader: Please can u throw more light on the wind and redirection thing? (Asked with regard to the quotes above...)

My Response:

A sailboat is designed to use the power of the wind to move in almost any direction (except directly into the wind). I use this as an analogy for our own ability to turn the forces of nature to our advantage. An example would be seeing a college rejection not as a failure, but as an opportunity to learn a trade or start one's own business.

Read my much longer explanation here: www.sail7.com/life-storms

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

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A Question about Forgiveness and Moving On when Hurt

Question from a reader: How can I forgive a person who has taken advantage of me and abused me. I am in a relationship with a person who has lied over and over, and when things don't go his way he just walks out. I want to be able to move on, am ready for that, but I just feel like he has hurt me so much emotionally and spirituality, and he gets to go on like nothing happened.

My reply:

Take care of yourself - nothing more, nothing less.

Move on with no regrets, and as few resentments as you can possibly manage. Whatever anger you feel will only hurt you, not him. Any thoughts of revenge only hurt you, not him.

Holding on to anger is like grasping a hot coal
with the intent of throwing it at someone else;
you are the one who gets burned.
- The Buddha

Resenting someone is a way of never leaving that person.
- Kare Anderson

Once you have seen the truth
you must make the decision to let go
of the pain, anger, and resentment you have been holding on to.
This requires you to take action.
If you are attached to your pain, resentment,
and self-righteousness, and addicted to your emotional reactions,
this will be a difficult step for you.
Taking action requires letting go of the very thing
you have been holding on to for so many years.
There is comfort in what we find familiar,
even if we are experiencing pain and suffering.
The pain and suffering itself becomes the familiarity we seek.
It takes absolute faith in yourself
plus courage, will, and discipline to let go.
But once you let go, it will be as if
the weight of the world has been taken off your shoulders.
In this process it is important to forgive
not just the others in our lives, but also ourselves.
For most people, giving ourselves
the gift of forgiveness is very challenging.
- Jonathan Lockwood Huie

Forgiving others is a gift to yourself,
given not because the other deserves pardon,
but because you deserve the serenity and joy
that comes from releasing resentment and anger,
and from embracing universal forgiveness.
- Jonathan Lockwood Huie

Forgiveness is not always easy.
At times, it feels more painful
than the wound we suffered,
to forgive the one that inflicted it.
And yet, there is no peace without forgiveness.
- Marianne Williamson

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