Susie Sunshine

Archive for the ‘Spirituality’ Category

Shifting Weather

In Motivational, Personal, Spirituality on May 18, 2008 at 6:59 pm

Weather was something that was talked about when there was nothing else to talk about.  It has become a major topic of conversation in the past couple of years though. It has come to mean more than rain for crops or sunshine for outside activities. It has become an everyday concern.

Weather patterns have changed so much in recent years that unexpected rain, wind, and heat waves are becoming commonplace rather than surprises. People are saying they can remember when in a specific previous year they had experienced certain changes, but not for such a long period of time. Still, people are not getting the drift of what is happening.

Is it Global Warming? I am not a scientist so I can not say. However, there is something that is causing such unusual weather all over the world: tornadoes out of tornado season, higher magnitude of earthquakes where they weren’t felt before, unseasonably hot/cold, and unseasonably wet/dry.

As The Great Shift continues towards it’s end, these extremes will become even more extreme. Shifting air currents, shifting weather patterns, shifting physical earth changes, and shifting perceptions of these occurrences will take over more and more conversations. Perhaps it will be important to some people what the causes are. Some people won’t care. Some just go with the flow and tolerate what we are hit with: good or bad. Personally, I just try to enjoy whatever weather comes my way, even the tornadoes. I am in a tornado alley.

There was a time when the blustery breezes of my area kept me from going outside. I just hated being blown off the porch. Then I realized what I was missing by not being in the nature I so love. I learned how to stand my ground. I learned how to walk. I learned how to listen. I learned how to feel.

Then the torrential rains made me head for the house. Again, my life was disrupted until I saw the disruption of those displaced by tornadoes, earthquakes, and other weather tragedies. I started to embrace the rain. I actually went out and got wet, even in a downpour. As the rain beat my body it felt as though I was being cleansed, both inside and out.

The heat would keep me from walking, the only exercise I attempted. Then I decided that it was keeping me from enjoying the sunshine and seeing the flowers. So I started to walk and pace myself. Maybe I didn’t get the exercise I should have gotten. I did get the enjoyment of God’s Earth, My Earth.

Yes, the weather is changing. Yes, some people see it as doom and gloom. I see it as a new way to appreciate what we have. I see it as learning experiences for all of us. Perhaps we are to change the way we live. Perhaps not. Again, it is all a matter of perception. For me, I look forward to the shifting of the earth. It tells me it is alive, therefore I am alive. It tells me that no matter what happens that life goes on. It will always go on no matter what I think or feel.

Life goes on. We must learn to deal with it. The Great Shift is just that: moving on. I’m moving on. Are you?

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Tool for Communicating: Common Ground

In Motivational, Personal, Spirituality on February 20, 2008 at 12:27 pm

I saw the following quote today and it brought something to my mind.

“I hope that you at this moment will think of yourself as a human being rather than as an American, Asian, European, African, or member of any particular country. These loyalties are secondary. If you and I find common ground as human beings, we will communicate on a basic level.”

Insight From the Dalai Lama: 2007 Calendar, Copyright © 2006

Just recently the movie “Miracles” with Kurt Russell was on t.v.  We had seen it before on a rental dvd.  It impressed me then.  It impressed me the last time as well.  I believe the Dalai Lama quote fits it to a T.

In the movie each hockey player announced that he was from a particular college every time he was asked where he was from.  Eventually each player announced he was from the USA.  The reason behind this was they were all playing for the USA team even though they were from different colleges, different areas of the country,  and different backgrounds. In order to be team players and win, they needed to realize they were all from the same place and playing on the same team, together.

I believe that is what the Dalai Lama was saying in the above quote.  We all need to realize we are on the same earth no matter where.  We are all from the same source no matter our background.  We all need to work together to win in communicating.

I would love to know your thoughts on this as well.

Complaints or Facts: A Fine Line?

In Motivational, Personal, Spirituality on February 19, 2008 at 11:24 pm

Recently I got involved in a group that is intending to be complaint free for 21 days. This was all well and good until someone in the group had to give a reason for not visiting a friend in the hospital. What was needed to be said to the patient was actual facts. Would those facts be mis-construed as complaining? Is there a fine line between facts and complaints?

The facts were:

1. The friend was in a hospital 10 miles away.
2. The car only had 3 gallons of gas in it.
3. The gas needed to be used to go 3 miles to the patient’s home twice a day to feed her animals.
4. There was NO cash at all on hand.
5. The check book was overdrawn.

These were five complaints just ripe for the taking. Any one of them could be used for days as complaints. But they were facts not complaints, weren’t they?

Let me get this straight in my head. People complain about facts, as well as non-facts. So when is talking about facts complaining? The fine line now appears. Could it be your intention?

I have heard people say, “I don’t mean to complain, but….” However, that is their intention whether consciously or sub-consciously. If they weren’t complaining then why add a preface to their statement? Why does their statement sound as though they were complaining?

Stating facts is cut and dry with no vested interest in the outcome. Complaining is stating those same facts in an emotional way to elicit sympathy: somewhat like martyr sympathy. (See Chapter 5 in my book Life is Like Making Chocolate Chip Cookies on 3 Types of Sympathy.) Your tone of voice, your body language, and your choice of words all convey the facts as complaining or as just facts.

Listen to the people around you who are talking. Can you discern if they are complaining or just speaking facts? Does it seem everyone is complaining? Perhaps human beings have been domesticated to only hear the complaining or to assume it is complaining. Have we become a society of complainers? Or, a society that has accepted complaining as commonplace? Are you a fact-giver or a complainer?

On the receiving end a complaint can be treated as just that: a complaint. It can also be treated as just facts. How do you respond to the fact-given/complainer? Do you encourage the complainer to just state the facts without the drama? Do you encourage those who state facts to elaborate and get a little bit more emotional?

Many times people complain because sub-consciously they believe it is expected in today’s society. Some people think if they don’t complain and if they only state the facts other people will think they are complaining anyway. So there the fine line appears again. Now we are into assuming.

Using the five statements given at the beginning of this article, speak each one out loud as you would say them to someone else. Take the positive of stating them as a fact. See how it sounds. How did it feel?

Then speak those same five statements as if you were complaining. How did it sound? How did it feel?

Now find someone to speak those five statements to you as in the above exercise. How did it feel as the receiver when confronted with facts versus complaining?

It has been said it takes 21 days to form a habit. So for the next 21 days don’t complain. State what you have to say as fact without all the emotional baggage. In that 21-day period if you should complain even once, you need to start over from day one. Remember 21 days to form a habit: good or bad.

Start forming a good habit today. Be free of complaints. Accept life as it is and enjoy it!

Christmas is not in tinsel

In Holiday, Motivational, Spirituality on December 17, 2007 at 8:13 pm

Christmas is not in tinsel
and lights and outward show.
The secret lies in an inner glow.
It’s lighting a fire inside the heart.
Good will and joy a vital part.
It’s higher thought and a greater plan.
It’s glorious dream in the soul of man.
~Wilfred A. Peterson

Positivity Prevails

In Motivational, Spirituality on November 24, 2007 at 11:15 pm

Positivity Prevails

Why have a title about positivity when I am going to speak about negativity? Because the two are intertwined. You can’t have one without the other. They balance each other out. Though being positive is very important to me, we need to face negativity and learn how to deal with it. Negativity is such a broad term and encompasses many things. Your negative thoughts lead to negative words and negative actions, which in turn lead to negative reactions and/or negative interactions. Many relationships suffer from negativity of one or both persons involved.
Negativity covers, but is not limited to: fear, depression, jealousy, worthlessness, hate, ego problems, and much more.
Fear is the biggest negativity. I am not talking about intuitive fear that gives you warnings or strength to help remove you from harms way. The fear I am talking about brings out or leads to most of the remaining negative emotions, actions, words, etc. Get rid of fear and you can get rid of the majority of suffering in your life. Then life becomes happy and pleasant to live. You then become fulfilled and draw much more positiveness towards yourself. Relationships become more positive as well.
To get rid of fear, you must first understand what it is and where it comes from. Fear is the lack of love. If you have love in your heart, if you live with love, you cannot be in fear. If you attempt to live a life of love, fear cannot enter in. This is easier said than done: at least in the beginning.
Now that you know what fear is, or rather what it is not, you need to find out where you got the fear in the first place. Usually there are no easy answers here.
Attachment to fears are through our experiences and the people in our lives. When we are born we have no idea of fear. Watch a child as they play. They are fearless. Even if they fall down and get hurt, they get right back up and do it again. Unless an adult or someone older than themselves show fear or another negative emotion or action. Watch, also, as they grow older. They take on the fears of those older than themselves. Children learn by example.
Negativity and fear make people ill, grouchy, irritable, unfriendly, unwilling, stagnant, and paralyzed. They feel unloved and question themselves and everything around them. So how do you rid yourself of the negativity and fear? Figure out where it comes from!
I live consciously by the 4 agreements. These are a set of agreements to live one’s life by based on Toltec philosophy. A book by the same name by don Miquel Ruiz lists the agreements. They are:
1. Be impeccable with your word.
2. Don’t take anything personally.
3. Don’t assume.
4. Do your best.
When you consciously practice these agreements it is very difficult for negativity and fear to enter and get a foothold in your life. When you set specific intentions for your life such as these four agreements and consciously live by them, the negativity and fear cannot survive. When you quit living in your woundology, negativity and fear cannot hideout inside of you and run your life. And when you create your heart’s desire and consciously work towards it, there is no room for negativity and fear.
These are just some of the tools used to make your life happier, more prosperous, and more fulfilling. These same tools open the doors and windows for you to plunge in and use your God-given gifts of intuitiveness.
But guess what? You have to really want a better life! You can’t go around saying, “I want a better life, BUT!!” That is putting the negativity back in! Take the “buts” out of your vocabulary and replace them with a period: “I want a better life.” (Period.) You have to really want a positive life and be willing to work for it. Nothing worth having is easy!
Often we don’t realize that it is our inner child, our subconscious that fears. Outwardly we show no fears. We may even feel we have no fears. But our actions and words say differently. These fears need to be eradicated or we cannot connect with our true self, our higher being or higher self, our psychic or intuitive self. We cannot connect even with our Higher Power, who we may call God.
I didn’t always have this attitude. I was a fearful person: afraid no one loved me, afraid my husband would leave me for no reason, afraid I wasn’t good enough in my endeavors even though I usually was successful, and afraid of just about everything. Afraid! Afraid! Afraid! So how did I get to where I am now? With a lot of hard work and learning to listen and trust my spirit/inner voice/intuition. You can do it too, and you will if you just stay positive and fearless.

– – – – – – – – – – –
So what does this all have to do with successful relationships? Our actions and emotions are based on the positive or negative influences in our lives. We then pass those influences onto others that we come into contact with: people with whom we have relationships. Those influences can be based on DNA, environment, domestication by others while growing up, and previous interactions both good and bad.
There are many variables that affect our behavior both consciously and unconsciously in all of our relationships. Not just intimate or family relationships are affected. Our interaction with strangers are relationships also. The interaction with a sales person is a relationship to some degree. When you not or don’t nod to the stranger coming towards you, you have developed a relationship even as miniscule as a couple of second. The interaction with that person could affect your whole day. Therefore, the relationship to that stranger for a matter of seconds was important as to the fact of whether it was a positive or negative interaction or relationship. Before I go any further I need to clarify the definition of relationships.
Webster’s dictionary defines the word relationship as: a connection, an association, or an involvement; a connection between people.
Most people consider relationships as those emotions or actions directed to only certain people in their lives: to relatives, people in their circle or people to whom they have emotionally and/or physically attached themselves.
My definition is that we can be connected, associated, or involved with anything that can reciprocate: i.e. people, animals, spirits, and/or a Higher Power. A chair, as an example, can not reciprocate so you can’t have a relationship with it. Though I have heard of people who have tried.
Relationships are difficult because all parties are coming into it from different perspectives. These perspectives have been ingrained in each person from their various experiences leading up to the particular relationship. So why do people think that they shouldn’t have any problems in that area? As someone once said, “when you have a relationship with someone other than yourself, you are in a dysfunctional relationship.” I don’t know if I would go so far as to say that totally, but in more relationships than not this is true.
And what makes the relationship dysfunctional? The negativity that a person brings into the relationship is the root of the dysfunctionality. If you come into a relationship with no preconceived ideas, with no expectations, with no negative thoughts or baggage, with no assumptions, then you can have the perfect relationship. However, most people have one or all of the aforementioned. Therefore, relationships suffer. Some continue at the cost of one or all individuals involved. Some end with much pain and suffering. Relationships don’t have to end that way. They can end because both parties need something else that is positive that the other person is not able to understand or is unwilling to be involved in. It doesn’t have to come from the hurt and pain caused during the relationship.
The question asked me on this topic was, “how does one get to that point in a relationship where both parties are thinking positive? The answer is not always easy and there are several of them. If both people want to work on the relationship, using their free will and not coerced into it, then the relationship can work on a positive level. If only one person, however, works on that level or works on the relationship at all, there can not be any guarantee that the relationship will survive. I hope you noticed I didn’t say it wouldn’t survive. I just said there was no guarantee of survival. If both people work on the relationship but one of the parties is only doing it because the other party wants them to, or to keep peace, again, there is no guarantee of the relationship surviving. The only true way for a relationship to survive is if the desire of all parties involved is to make it work. Now we get into semantics here.
You need to find out what your definition of a relationship is. You also need to find out if the other person’s definition is the same or different. You need to find out what you mean by making a relationship work. And again, the other person’s definition of the same thing. You both need to be aware of what the other person’s definitions are. This can be difficult if both of you are not working on the relationship. However, it is not impossible.
There are many answers to the question of what is the definition of making a relationship work. Some can be complicated. One of the answers is that it all depends on the perception of the persons involved. My husband thinks, at times, that our relationship works because we don’t argue. But we do argue at times. So that can’t be the full reason for a good working relationship. His reason is not without some fault. We don’t argue like we use to or like some people do because one of us is practicing positive tools for relationships.
At other times he feels that our relationship works because we are of a single mind about our life together. I have news for him!!!! We have different views, however, his perception is that we don’t. One of us is either not sharing, or one of us is not listening, or both. See how the perception of the participants involved play a very huge part in the art of relationships.
You cannot change how someone perceives something. Or can you? You cannot make someone change. Or can you? The answers to these questions I have found for my life. They are easy answers. They are not necessarily easy tools. If it is something you truly want, then you can have it. It takes work, as anything on this earth takes work. If you have an attitude of semi-desire than you will not be successful in getting those relationships you want. If you really, really want a certain type of relationship in your life you can have it. You need to be passionate about it. You need to be willing to change yourself. You need to allow others not to change. You need to trust. You need to have faith. If you are not willing to allow any of these things in your life then success will not be forthcoming.

©2007, L. Sue Durkin – All Rights Reserved
Reprinted with Permission
You may use the material as long as you keep the copyright in tact.

Thankfulness At Thanksgiving

In Holiday, Motivational, Personal, Spirituality on November 21, 2007 at 10:13 pm

Thankfulness At Thanksgiving

Every year at this time people become aware of giving thanks. It comes to the forefront of their attention. For many people Thanksgiving is the beginning of a holiday season. They think about the Thanksgiving meal and who they are going to share it with. Perhaps they say a prayer over their meal: the only prayer they say all year.

Others see the Thanksgiving season as a day to honor all the blessings they have received throughout the year. Many of these people are thankful and show gratitude every day.

This year I have been so blessed in such a variety of ways that it would take a book to mention them all. I am truly blessed everyday of my life.

I would like to give thanks to my Creator for this wonderful Earth I am living on. Each day I go out and feel the breeze: sometimes more than a breeze. Leaning against the base of my watchful tree I look at the blades of grass, the blue sky with patches of white clouds, and my dog rolling on her back. At this time I can feel all my blessings rolled up in a big package. I feel so blessed! It is such a wondrous feeling!

I would like to take this opportunity to wish you that same feeling of blessfulness. I hope you continue to count your blessings everyday and know there are many more out there for you.

At this Thanksgiving season and always may you be truly blessed!

Blessings from my spirit to your spirit!
Sue

© 2007, L. Sue Durkin

You may use this material as long as you keep the copyright in tact.
©2007, L. Sue Durkin – All Rights Reserved
Reprinted with Permission

Upset without Anger

In Motivational, Spirituality on November 19, 2007 at 3:47 am

Upset without Anger

You can be upset with someone without getting angry at them. However, in today’s society it seems the two go hand in hand. Too many people, when they become upset with someone, strike out in anger. They don’t stop to think about opening lines of communication. They start assuming. the assumptions soon lead to anger. That anger eventually leads to confrontations.

There is nothing wrong with anger. It is a healthy emotion if it is applied properly. Usually it isn’t. To become angry before checking out the situation that upset you can lead to many unpleasant things: from health issues to the loss of a friend. If approached in a positive manner, being upset can be a good thing. It can bring people closer together, rather than widening the chasm between them.

Listening is an important part of being upset. Actually hearing what the other person is saying instead of planning your next words or move. Perhaps there was a misunderstanding you weren’t aware of that caused events that upset you. Calling out the big guns of anger doesn’t necessarily bring this to light. IN fact, the misunderstanding could get buried due to the anger. Anger then brings about pain and suffering to both parties. If the person who was upset had chosen another path instead of anger a positive outcome could have been possible. Again, what causes the anger when a person is upset? One word: assuming.

I know a woman who is very good at assuming all the time. It usually leaves her hurt, in pain, and lonely. She didn’t have any really close friends. The one real close friend she had she ended up losing. She got upset with her friend. She became angry with her. Then she made assumptions and wouldn’t listen to what her friend had to say. In her mind her assumptions were right and no one, not even her friend, could tell her differently. She wasn’t willing to let go of her assumptions, anger, or need to be right to listen to who she had called her best friend.

Perhaps if this woman had tried to talk to her friend she would have seen there was a misunderstanding, could have cleared it up to the agreement of both of them. She might not have lost her friend. She could have grown spiritually by learning valuable lessons from this and retained a friendship she said she valued.
If she had not needed to be right, didn’t assume, and controlled her anger, she may have come out of the situation being right after all.

Whenever you let go of anger, assumptions, and the need to be right, you are then able to communicate with others. By communicating it opens the doors to seeing both sides of the coin. Both people have the opportunity to speak their perceptions instead of being expected to embrace only one person’s perception. In this way a misunderstanding can be uncovered. A reasonable solution to the situation can be found. A friendship saved.

However, if you are so determined to always be right, always assume, and always using anger to resolve issues, you are not coming from the heart. You are not coming from love. “Love thy neighbor as thyself.” If we truly love someone how can we treat them with anger?

As beautiful as you are most of the time, anger can wipe that beauty, kindness, and generosity away: right out the door. It can make you ugly and mean. No one wants a friend that turns on them because you don’t feel good or you catch them at the wrong time. They feel they have to treat you with kid gloves and that isn’t a friendship. It is a one-sided relationship. Eventually people get tired of it. When assumptions and anger raise their ugly heads, the other person feels they have had enough. They terminate the relationship which started out as a friendship. Both people have lost. In many cases, though, one person more than the other. The angered person stays angry and bitter while the actual injured party regroups and moves on. Hopefully to find friendships of respect and love.

Sometimes both parties haven’t learned not to assume and get angry. Then you have two people who hurt and are bitter. They will continue to go on and treat each relationship the same. Only to have those relationships all end the same way: badly and sadly.

Look at your relationships: your friendships. Are they high maintenance? Do they take a lot of work? Are assumptions made? Does anger from or to either party arise? Do you feel taken advantage of? Do you ever discuss how you truly feel or are you walking on eggshells?

It is okay to be upset at times. It is a human trait. It is how you handle it that makes it healthy or not. It is how you handle it that determines a true friend and a healthy friendship.

Do you use anger when you are upset? Do you use love? Do you assume or do you explore perceptions? Are you a true friend or someone to be avoided?

Yes, life is full of upsets. It is how we treat those upsets and the people involved that make us someone to be avoided or a true friend.

You may use this article as long as you keep the copyright in tact.
©2007, L. Sue Durkin
Reprinted with Permission.

Needing to be Liked

In Motivational, Spirituality on November 17, 2007 at 1:51 pm

Needing to be Liked
11/17/07

Today I was talking to my husband about the need of some people to be liked by everyone. I once was one of those people. I would get very upset if I thought someone didn’t like me. I thought it was me: how I talked, how I acted, or even how I did anything. Today, as we were talking I realized how far I had come from that person of low self-esteem to the confident woman I feel I am today.

When I was in junior high (Middle School) I said to a fellow classmate, “You don’t like me do you?” Her answer was: “You are not at the top of my list but you are not at the bottom of my list either.” It was then I realized that there were levels of ‘liking’ and levels of friendship. Still through the years I struggled to be liked. I didn’t remember consciously the lesson I had learned. It was, however, still in my subconscious to arise later.

Through a recent experience my eyes were opened consciously to this fact that being liked was not about me. People judge other people from their own past experiences and beliefs. The agreements they have made over the years determine who they like and who they don’t. It has nothing to do with the other person per se. If it did we could change other people’s perceptions of ourselves. They have to do that through their own belief system: not by what we do or don’t do; not by what we say or don’t say.

As my husband and I talked I realized that I had learned the lesson that it wasn’t about me. It was about the other person. If they didn’t like me it wasn’t because of me or what I did or didn’t do. It was because of their life experiences that determined who they liked or didn’t like. I could do everything right and still not be liked.

So the next time you feel someone doesn’t like you, don’t put yourself down or feel unworthy. There is something in the other person’s past that have made them unable to see the goodness in you. It is NOT you! Accept the fact that not everyone can be liked by everybody. The people who support and love you are the important ones in your life. As long as they like you, that is all that matters.

A few months ago I felt let down because someone I thought was important in my life turned out not to be so. When I prayed and meditated on it, I was told that as a grain of sand on a beach, so are people in the world. That one person is like a grain of sand: one of millions. There are so many more people that like you that one who doesn’t is lost among the millions. So let it go!

If being liked is a concern to you, my advice is what was given to me: let it go! You will be a happier person for it.

©2007, L. Sue Durkin – All Rights Reserved
Reprinted with Permission
You may use the material as long as you keep the copyright in tact.

Hello world!

In book, Motivational, Personal, Spirituality on November 15, 2007 at 5:14 am

Rebooting your life is definitely not easy!

But…

It is worth it!!!!

Making changes is always difficult. Many people refuse to make changes and they lead stagnant lives. They never move forward. They don’t get the abundance in their life they want. They are fearful, sometimes angry, and not as happy as they want to be.

I was once one of those people. Not anymore! I have learned the key. The key I turn to unlock the doors that kept me from being happy. The key I click in order to move to the next page of my life. What I have learned I share with others through consultations, newsletters, teleseminars, webpages, this blog, and my book, Life is Like Making Chocolate Chip Cookies.

I hope that what I share here with you gives you some help. Always feel free to contact me with any questions, comments, or suggestions. For without your help, I can not help you or others!

Blessings from my spirit to your spirit!