MoK: Casual Kindness

There are many ways to spread kindness into life. Most people remember the direct ways, like doing things for people or offering them a compliment, but there are also the indirect ways. Since people are experiencing what they’re thinking about, changing how someone thinks is to change how they feel.

Parents do this with their kids all the time. You’ve seen it. The kid is screaming about something, and then the parent introduces something new to bait the consciousness of the kid. Hopefully it’s not a threat or a gift, because if that happens too often that person will end up unhealthy. But if it’s an experience then it can be expansive.

So there’s the screaming kid at the grocery store, and the parent says, Do you want ride your bike this weekend with the adults, on the adult trails? And the kid starts thinking about that and they switch from anger to excited in no time. So why don’t we do that as adults? Adults actually argue with you to hold on to the idea that’s painful to them. Don’t try to change the subject on me! (Even though all the discussion in the world wouldn’t fix anything.)

You don’t want these efforts to feel forceful. It’s not some wedge of distraction you hammer into a conversation, but if you’re truly listening the way we all should–very intently and with no other purpose than listening–then you will find yourself struck with opportunities to turn the conversation toward something more enjoyable. It’s your nature. The trick will be getting out of its way.

If humans were designed to tune to negativity we never would have made it out of our first cave. We’d have been too scared. But instead we’re tuned for possibility. We see opportunities. So if you give someone an opportunity for positivity, well, that’s like bait to a fish. Eventually they’ll bite. And if you’re a patient fisherperson who doesn’t try to force the hook in, then you might find that you can succeed on your first try.

Today in the March of Kindness you want to listen carefully to the overall tone of a conversation. If it’s angry or sad or defeatist, listen intently and a natural response will occur to you that would pull the conversation toward something more pleasant and more productive. If you do it well people shouldn’t even notice that you did it.

That’s all that happy people do. When someone shoots them a ball of negativity, they gracefully give them back an easy play on a winning shot. You abandon the subject of their conversation and you focus instead on the tone only. You don’t argue any point, you simply offer a route to something more enjoyable.

You might have to offer it three times if they’re really upset, but eventually everyone would rather pedal their bike on a downslope. Just don’t listen with an agenda. Patiently listen and what to say or do will occur to you. Trust it. Your doubts are only made of thinking.

This is a very subtle form of kindness, and yet once you’re good at this it will be the one you’ll get to use the most. The sheer subtlety of it means it faces less resistance and it gets better results. So join the rest of us today and find some silver linings and help some others notice them too. Because in the end, we’re all in this life thing together.

peace. s

Scott McPherson is an Edmonton-based writer, public speaker, and mindfulness facilitator who works with individuals, companies and non-profit organizations locally and around the world.

MoK: Cheering and Applause

Yesterday our focus was on our criticisms and our act of kindness was to offer a positive for any negative. Today we want to add momentum to others. We want to add even more strength to people who feel strong. In other words, we want to encourage others in areas where they are already expressing belief in themselves.

It’s one thing to be kind to the person who got cut from the team, but it’s also useful to cheer for those that made it. A lot of us are naturally responsive to people when they’re down, but we can tend to forget that even people on the way up are still facing challenges. It never hurts to add your own belief in someone to their own belief in themselves.

It might seem strange to listen to other people talking or to watch social media for signs of strength, but that is part of why these acts of kindness are also good for us. We want to live with intention. Most of us are trained at sympathy, but we’re often less aware of, or vocal about, those times when we feel the person is already taking care of themselves. Today’s about celebration.

Watch the people you know and the world around you for things worth celebrating. Don’t let your support be invisible, clearly state it. We all tend to offer more corrections than congratulations. If our awareness is scanning the world for strength that alone is a good thing. Our support of that strength just makes it all that much better.

A small percentage of people will find this exercise easy, but many more will find it almost confusing. We get very focused on fixing what’s broken, when it’s equally important to share in others ongoing success and joy.

Find examples of people recovering, of people endeavouring, and of people celebrating. Support all of them, whether they’re starting down, on their way up, or if they’ve already succeeded. This isn’t about the external event, it’s about the direction of the person overall. Adding a positive number to a negative one helps, but it’s equally valuable to add positive numbers to other positive numbers.

Find the positive. Add your support. It can be someone you know who’s decided to quit smoking or it can your national team in a sport you don’t even really know much about. How close you are to the subject is irrelevant, the idea is to add ourselves to positive things. Today, rather than your kindness being about preventing bad things it’s about loving good things.

Start right now. It’s highly likely you have some form of social media in your life. Scan it until you find something great and don’t just “like” it, actually write a message of support. Help someone feel seen. Spend some time describing that support. It’s nice to write, “you can do it,” but it’s even better to state, “I’ve always admired your courage.”

Today, your assignment in the March of Kindness is to add your positivity to some existing positivity. Do it as many times today as you can. It’ll feel good for you and for the person being supported. And if you’re watching for good things to support, you’ll be surprised at how many you can find.

peace. s

Scott McPherson is an Edmonton-based writer, public speaker, and mindfulness facilitator who works with individuals, companies and non-profit organisations locally and around the world.

The March of Kindness

1106-relax-and-succeed-the-march-of-kindnessIf you read yesterday’s blog you know that a few years ago I started doing the March of Kindness. Thanks to some teachers and schools from around the world this idea was actually practiced. It not not only put a lot of positive action into our world, it also reduced ego by focusing us on the needs of others.

March includes twenty-three weekdays. That’s twenty-three days of action, and the only action you need to undertake today is to right-click on the photo, save it, print and sign it and then post this notice in a location where you are sure to see it during each of those twenty-three days.

The world is a big place, but it changes one individual at a time. By signing and committing to these principles, you are placing yourself among the important change-makers from around the world. This isn’t just for people like the prophets, or Gandhi, or Rumi, or Martin Luther King, it’s for you as well.

Let us join together and help make the world the incredibly creative, loving and supportive place it has always had the potential to be. Don’t forget to enjoy the process. Have a wonderful day everyone.

peace. s

Scott McPherson is an Edmonton-based writer, public speaker, and mindfulness facilitator who works with individuals, companies and non-profit organisations locally and around the world.

The Friday Dose #136: A Season of Compassion

1053-fd-relax-and-succeed-compassion-is-the-radicalismMy family’s not religious in any way but, since we all grew up in a countries that were predominantly Christian at the time, we celebrate Christmas where others may celebrate Diwali, Ramadan or Hanukkah etc etc etc. When these events are and what they are called and what rituals we do are simply cultural. But the spiritual part underlying every meaningful celebration is really about love.

There’s a lot of frustrated people today trying to keep up with change. The next generation wants to live like Star Trek. No more races or wars, just a Federation cooperating on managing Earth and travelling out to new worlds. It’s all very hopeful. So the route from here to there is pretty simple and Ellen does a good job of drawing our attention to what is important to do as we make that journey to a brighter future.

I’ll start the Best of Series next week everyone. I hope you all have a wonderful break if you get one, and if not you have to work–I’ll be right alongside you too, so there’s no reason we can’t make even a busy working period into something festive and worthwhile. I wish you all the very best.

peace. s

Scott McPherson is an Edmonton-based writer, public speaker, and mindfulness facilitator who works with individuals, companies and non-profit organisations locally and around the world.

The Friday Dose #132: Feeling Lucky

1033-fd-relax-and-succeed-i-will-be-gratefulLuck isn’t something that happens to you, luck is something you impose upon the world with your thinking. Just watch for yourself to see which habit you have. Some people generally always feel like it could have been worse and they’re grateful, others always wish it was better and they complain. Just listen to how the people around you react. They’re pretty consistent and so are you. One is a life of gratitude and the other is a life of complaint. I’ll let you figure out which one would feel better.

This video is great example of the power of gratitude. It can be a deep and even difficult feeling at times, but it does not feel anything like an ego complaining even at its darkest. There is a profoundness to feeling it, even if that’s to be grateful you made it to a parent’s bed before they passed. These are still rich and rewarding feelings.

Watch how quickly these people can become connected. Watch how quickly their own challenges can change from monumental to nonexistent. You can do this any time you choose. Wisdom is knowing what the choice is, enlightenment is living that choice.

Have a wonderful weekend everyone. We’re all a lot more fortunate than we realise.

peace. s

Scott McPherson is an Edmonton-based writer, public speaker, and mindfulness facilitator who works with individuals, companies and non-profit organisations locally and around the world.

The Disposable Life

989-relax-and-succeed-no-amount-of-security-is-worth-the-sufferingThe Paralympics are currently on. I actually liked when they were called the Special Olympics because to me it is notable and special when someone can do something with less than everyone else needs to do it, as was evidenced in this post from earlier in the year.  I’m not being nice to anyone by being impressed by all that, I’m deep-down inspired by what other human beings can show me we’re capable of.

This brings up the question of what moves us forward in life? At these Paralympics I see smiles and achievements and connections to teams and respect for competitors and lots of physical health and travel and excitement, and none of these things are contained in our limbs. Just as the blind know happiness, the deaf have heard grief. The experiences in our consciousness are what life is made of. Your body is what delivers you to the situations where those experiences take place.

The people who repeatedly choose negative experiences don’t recognise their choices. Once when I was living in Australia I met a very religious man. He was kind in the sense that he was very keen to warn me about all of the potential dangers in the world but those fears had made him extremely angry all the time.

989-relax-and-succeed-worrying-does-not-empty-tomorrowRather than be happy about his wife’s uncle building them a beautiful playhouse for the kids, he worried they would get up to no good in it and so he tore the door off and placed the playhouse right outside the back door of the main house. The kids naturally sought privacy so they mostly just stored things in it. They were only allowed to see religious films and read religious books. They never went out and only mixed with people from their church who were similarly cloistered.

This unfortunately turned the kids into huge outsiders at their school. They were teased for not being aware of anything really modern and they were afraid to participate in anything. They had however seen their father get angry a lot so they were both good at having hot, fast tempers. When they weren’t upset they were mostly depressed because they had no example of what joy or fun looked like. Their parents rarely spoke.

I was fully aware the wife was addicted to TV and profoundly unhappy to the point of abusing prescription drugs. The kids lives grew progressively worse as they matured and sought greater freedom of choice and their angry father soon had them on prescription drugs too. And yet it’s important to note, they had inherited money so they had no need to even work, and everyone was healthy other than emotionally. They could have travelled anywhere but chose to go nowhere.

989-relax-and-succeed-someone-is-happySo this is important: how is someone who lost their legs prior to a huge accomplishment crying at hearing their anthem played while they’re on a podium when this entire family is drugged and miserable and they have everything going for them? Because life doesn’t happen outside of us it happens inside of us.

The miserable family built a rigid idea of doing the right thing and they’re killing themselves contorting themselves into that preconceived shape. Meanwhile the happy group continue to be bold or even got bolder about life and they chased huge dreams. There are no dreams in that Australian family. There are only fears. While one group creates dangers to hide from the other group creates new space within themselves to allow for more expansion. One life goes up, the other goes down. The choice is always ours.

Will you make the most of what you have or will you hide from life? Because you’ll make that choice each moment of each day, and whether you like it or not, your lifetime is made of what you choose most.

peace. s

Scott McPherson is an Edmonton-based writer, public speaker, and mindfulness facilitator who works with individuals, companies and non-profit organisations locally and around the world.

Newton’s Family

985-relax-and-succeed-be-thankful-for-all-the-difficult-peopleNewton is happy. It took him a surprisingly long time considering the fact that he’d always wanted to be happy. Newton came from a very sad family. He spent many years believing his constant, longing anxiety was genetic. After all, the entire family had it with the exception of Newton’s little sister April. He always wondered how she had escaped the family curse.

Newton wasn’t lazy about his pursuit of happiness. He read a lot of things that other sad people had written about happy people. He could move through a shopping mall and spot everyone happier than he’d ever been, and Newton would feel the weight of his family upon him. He would often ask himself why he couldn’t have been born as April.

April didn’t really know how to be happy, that seemed to come naturally. She did however know how not to be sad. To her the differences between she and her family was not in their happiness levels, it was in what they focused on.

985-relax-and-succeed-see-miracles-in-everyday-lifeThe very first thing in the morning April would wake up to a brand new day and she would be filled with wonder about it. Would she meet a new friend? Discover a career? Hear her new favourite song for the first time? Maybe she would start one of the best books she’d ever read! Who knew? The mystery of it was always very exciting to April and her eyes were always open to catch life’s glories.

Newton’s father woke up worrying about the bills and his mother woke up angry about the mess that was left in the kitchen on the weekend. Newton’s sister June woke up knowing that today would be as disappointing as yesterday and his sister May woke up and was fine until she looked in a mirror and started hating her own body. Newton woke up very nervous about not yet being a happy person, and his brother Albert woke up okay, but within five minutes something or other would offend him and that would ruin the rest of his day.

One day Newton was walking his dog Atom and they ran into Scott in a ravine. Atom never liked people but Atom liked Scott. Newton found that curious and the fact started a conversation. Newton wouldn’t have necessarily called Scott happy but he was a strange kind of content that Newton found very appealing. What followed was one of the strangest conversations that Newton had ever had. He asked if there was any way he could continue to have them and Scott explained they could meet each week if he liked.

985-relax-and-succeed-now-and-then-its-good-to-pauseNewton almost immediately forgot he was actually trying to learn about happiness. The conversations were so free-ranging and enjoyable. They never seemed to be about actual happiness, they were always about strange tribes or movies or famous people or science. And yet Newton could feel himself getting happier.

Scott explained that, with the exception of April, Newton’s family wanted. Newton’s father wanted more money, his mother wanted the past to be different. June wanted a better life, May wanted a better body, Albert wanted everyone to cater to him and Newton wanted to be happy. Scott explained that you can’t want to be happy because then you’re wanting instead of being happy.

Scott explained that Newton already was who he’d always wanted to be. Newton had just never put that person in motion. Now Newton’s in motion. He doesn’t want to be happy. He’s like April. He wakes up each day filled with anticipation about all of the wonderful, rewarding experiences he might have and all day long he watches for them. And just like his mom and dad and sister and brother continue to see their wants loud and clear, Newton and April see amazing potential in each moment and how could a person not be happy about that?

Now that Newton doesn’t want to be happy any more Newton is now free to be happy. Be like Newton. Be free.

peace. s

Scott McPherson is an Edmonton-based writer, public speaker, and mindfulness facilitator who works with individuals, companies and non-profit organisations locally and around the world.

Trading Jewels

902 Relax and Succeed - Imagine a worldImagine we all live on a planet where instead of clothing, everyone is covered in a strange kind of jewel. These jewels contain the energy that keeps the aliens alive, but they will only work on an individual for a short period before needing to be transferred to someone else. If transferred, the act of trading creates a boost in energy for both jewels.

All day long people pass these jewels back and forth. Just like us, these aliens evolved. So just like sex feels good for most of us, trading glowing jewels feels good for them. And all you have to do to accomplish it is be in the presence of the other person and then you touch each other. That’s it. Just making contact in the most basic way will release the jewel into each other’s hands.

While a lot of other really interesting things happen on this planet, this trading of energy is the basis of it all. Take that away and none of the other structures or organizations work anymore. So it’s both enjoyable and important.

902 Relax and Succeed - When we are happyIf someone holds a jewel too long they can take it past its natural point. This stresses the jewel because in that state it cannot produce its full amount of energy, which means the alien will weaken. It also makes it more difficult to trade, because now you must find someone in good shape to trade with you because they’re the only ones with enough spare energy to run themselves and recharge the dull, unenergized jewel back up.

This rescue from a negative position is an important function on this planet because relatively regularly the demands of being an alien will require more energy than the alien has time available for trading. This means everyone inevitably hits periods where their dull jewels really start to show. This of course erodes the energy available for both life and for trading.

Since a quarter of the population will also be low on glow at any given time, they can only trade with the other 75% of the population, and not all of them are motivated to trade. If a “healthy” person is getting close to their own limits for energy obviously they’re not going to be inclined to trade with anyone on the low energy side.

902 Relax and Succeed - I am drivenFortunately that gets made up for by the people who’re the best at trading. They’re very often not only glowing, but they’ll also glow brighter than the average person. It’s kind of like candles. The more you light the brighter it gets around you and the easier it is to stay within that high energy.

These aliens are important because not all of the positives actually have enough energy left to make a trade worthwhile, so they’ll just tread water and then watch for opportunities to wander by that will allow them to get back onto the positive side. If not, they’ll get too dull and then they’ll also need very focused and serious attention by some trained jewel traders or very dedicated volunteers.

These would be people like me. We smooth and ease the processes of trading jewels. Many people grew up while their parents were in a dull stage, and so they only learned observed and learned the habits for a very rare and low quality trade. This creates diminishing returns without the alien knowing why. This generally results in the duller group using each other to vampire energy around, until they one by one eventually figure out that the only long term solution is greater proximity to the glowing group.

902 Relax and Succeed - The first to helpLow energy aliens do not expect to be attractive to people with energy. That’s just not how things work. But everyone knows what it’s like to have low energy, so they just have to find someone who’s in touch with that memory and they’ll have the necessary empathy to be motivated to make a trade where the volunteer will have to choose to lose. On Earth we call those volunteers friends.

The healthiest aliens tend to develop similar vampire networks that the unhealthy low-energy people have, except theirs are much more conscious. They aren’t reactionary (rushing out to get energy after you’re desperate for it), they monitor themselves closely and then consciously create a life that encourages regular exchanges. Remember, jewels gain energy from a trade, so if glowers trade with glowers you can see how easy that can get for everyone involved.

We’re just like this other planet in the end. Except instead of trading different coloured jewels we trade kindness, compassion and generosity as glowing jewels and sadness, bitterness and worry as dull ones. Just like on that planet, few people here are motivated to trade with people who consistently offer only low levels of negative energy in exchange.

902 Relax and Succeed - What you giveThe secret to life isn’t finding some never ending stream of generous glowing people, it’s to understand that the easiest way to keep the energy levels of everyone up is if everyone focuses on regular trades of glowing energy. The glowers have figured this out. They didn’t luck their way into more glowing. Hardly anyone does that. No. Most of them lived their way into that group. They made the choices that lead to that success.

Don’t lock yourself away. Get out and be with people in positive situations or don’t expect your moods to improve. And if you don’t have the energy to help a friend who always seems in need, then don’t dull your own jewels by wasting energy on feeling guilty. Yes it’s nice to be generous, but it’s ultimately a shortage of energy that motivates a poor trader to eventually figure out that the answer isn’t more energy, it’s more trading.

So get out there and trade today folks. Remember, it feels good. So have a great one. Make it so.

peace. s

Scott McPherson is an Edmonton-based writer, public speaker, and mindfulness facilitator who works with individuals, companies and non-profit organizations locally and around the world.

The Positivity Context

Where do you live? Not where geographically. I mean where emotionally. You revisit various situations in your life more out of habit than anything. But if you become more conscious about the tone of your emotional day  you will find one of two things.

899 Relax and Succeed - Don't find faultThe first is that you have an opportunity to make an internal shift. You can drop your expectations or surrender your attachments or shift your mind to the state of others etc. This will stop your wanting and you will have taken action to feel better. This is an extremely useful life skill in situations you must be in but don’t want to be in.

The second involves the situations you chose to be in. You can assume that you don’t have a lot of choice about much of that but that’s where you’ve fallen into the trap of what the Buddha calls the illusion. Even connections like your marriage or your relationship to someone being a parent is more an idea than a thing. You can’t touch brotherhood. It’s a concept. Marriage too. So people will say they aren’t free, but what they mean is they don’t want to get divorced or quit their job or abandon their kids.

It might at first seem heartless to live in a world where everyone knows they’re free. Everyone would be free to leave basically any situation. But then if they stay, everyone’s sure that’s where they really want to be and everyone’s having more fun.

899 Relax and Succeed - We would do ourselves a tremendous favourOf course the price for leaving a situation could be as high as death or as low as nothing, but you are still free. The Nazi’s could not change Viktor Frankl’s thoughts. They could lock up Frankl’s body but not enter his mind. They couldn’t make him think anything, they could only give him incentives to think what they hoped for. What they expected. What they were attached to. You lead an emotional life. You do control your thinking but that doesn’t mean you should necessarily walk into the belly of a lion for no good reason.

Start figuring out where you have fun. You don’t go to your best friend’s because you have to. You go there because it feels safe and supportive and enjoyable. Big surprise it usually feels good there. Meanwhile, awhile back I met a guy who couldn’t stand his boss. He bitched about him all day at work and also when he got home.

I reminded him that if he hated the owner of his store so much that it was ruining eight hours a day, maybe he should consider a different job? But no, some thought-combination of pride and fairness and right and wrong lead him to treat those things like actual barriers that were holding him inside the store when clearly there’s no law against quitting.

899 Relax and Succeed - If you are unhappyHis roommate saw what I meant and pointed out that his happiness was more important than pride or fairness. Happiness you felt, pride and fairness are manufactured in complex thinking. They lead to emotions not feelings. Better not to be emotional about work. But he felt we were being unsupportive by wanting him to be happy so he argued with his roommate illogically because he was really attached to choosing anger and pride regarding the subject of work.

You choose almost everywhere you go. If you can’t stand it somewhere then either Frankl your thinking (if he can do it in a concentration camp you can do it at work), or leave the situation. But to voluntarily stay when you dislike a situation is pretty strange if you want a happy life. Sure, endure some shorter term suffering for the belief in the future value of a place, but at a certain point you’re just digging yourself in deeper.

Where can you change your thoughts and where should you change your choices? Stay conscious for an entire week. Note where you actually are. If staring at your own face in a mirror is something that makes you insecure, then don’t do it. You’re going to be you either way.

Express your freedom. Choose a happier life. It won’t entirely remove pain and suffering, but it will reduce it to the point where you don’t mind feeling it at all.

peace. s

Scott McPherson is an Edmonton-based writer, public speaker, and mindfulness facilitator who works with individuals, companies and non-profit organizations locally and around the world.

Resistance to Happiness

865 Relax and Succeed - If you are brave enoughIsn’t it strange? You’ll know a certain course of thought hurts. It’ll be as painful as physical pain. And you likely even caught yourself doing it and yet you didn’t go try to conjure up your Dominant Positive Emotion. So when you didn’t switch to being happier–why did you resist? Or do you not recognize your resistance in the word  “…but…”

The “but” is there because you you have attachments and so that means that you believe some thoughts weigh more than others. There are ones you can toss out easily, like deciding to have the salad instead of the soup at lunch. But the difficult ones are about subjects that you feel matter.

By “matter” I mean you have an attachment you want to maintain. Something that’s considered important is just something you value more than other things precisely because you believe it is more important to your happiness. But people will be terrible at making this calculation in the heat of too much thinking / rationalising. We’ve all seen people return to extremely unhealthy relationships and put up with abusive bosses or continue damaging habits etc.

865 Relax and Succeed - If you still talk about itNothing from outside of you creates your happiness. You must abandon this one idea: that your happiness is delivered to you externally by external experiences. Until you do that you will hand over the responsibility for your own joy to someone else. You’ll expect them to make you happy instead of remembering to do that yourself. It’s a lot easier to have a successful marriage by being a happy partner rather than having a happy partner. As I’ve written before: we feel the love we give, not the love we get.

So you’ll see when you encounter these things that you’ll pass over the idea of stopping those thoughts. Those are important thoughts you’ll tell yourself. If someone said stop thinking right then you would say “but…” If there’s a “but” in your talking and it’s there to defend more thinking or more talking or more pain that’s actually fine. It just means you’re going to use your imagination and creativity to create pain for yourself rather than enjoyment. You will want rather than appreciate. You have freedom. The universe will let you do that.

You can ask the universe for anything. For your spouse not to leave you, to end your money woes, for your health to turn around–but while you’re busy wanting you will be actively generating your own voluntary suffering. For a better life you don’t need a bunch of external changes, you need one subtle internal change. You need to see that each and every day your experience of that day is psychological and that you don’t have a day, you feel one.

865 Relax and Succeed - There comes a dayThe best way to achieve a lot is to have a positive mental mindset and then be active. You don’t have a lot of control over your day but you do have a lot of control over your thinking. No, you won’t be exercising that control all the time, especially this quickly. But that doesn’t matter because the biggest step you’ll take in this journey is just leaving on the road to study your own thoughts and the patterns in your thinking.

I’ve worked with lots of people who were told they had Seasonal Affective Disorder (S.A.D.)–a new disorder that was fairly recently invented. Before that some people just complained a lot about winter. Now there was a pill for it. Someone thought cleverly about ending their money problems and they realized that they could do that by convincing you that your happiness could be restored by a pill and that what made you sick was the location of the Earth relative to the Sun. Something you can do nothing about. That was sure convenient for a drug company.

865 Relax and Succeed - Go 24 hours without complainingSome people had parents who had extremely resistance thoughts about winter and they taught some of their kids to conjure those resistant thoughts too. End of story. The people who tell themselves healthy cuddly cozy stories about the cold like the Norwegians do will always be happier than some person bitching in a street half as cold in Canada. Because it’s not the cold that hurts us–it’s our resistance. Our resistance to what Is. Thinking is resistance. Trust yourself. Stop the thinking. Stop the resistance. Surrender and accept. From there all you have to do is switch from wanting to appreciating and you’re miles ahead.

Take 24 hours–until you read my next post–and use that time to notice your resistance. Note the things you’re resistant about. Try to determine what things you’re valuing in your life in what ways and how that leads to your suffering. Follow these strands of thought and you will see they are tied to nothing. You always are and always have been free. So you can be happy. Because if you’re reading this then you’re definitely on the way to being a soul that lives itself out in freedom.

Now go use the focus of your attention to hoover-in whatever you see to appreciate. That simple act will lead you to a wonderful day. Do that more often than not and you have a wonderful life. Enjoy. 😉

peace. s

Scott McPherson is an Edmonton-based writer, public speaker, and mindfulness facilitator who works with individuals, companies and non-profit organizations around the world.