Words to Live by #6 Take Time

 

Quaerite Et Invenietis  “Seek and you will find”

 

“When your world moves too fast and you lose yourself in the chaos, introduce yourself to each color of the sunset. Reacquaint yourself with the earth beneath your feet. Thank the air that surrounds you with every breath you take. Find yourself in the appreciation of life.”

 

The author of this poem is unknown, but I love the message it sends. Take time to smell the roses! Take time to be grateful!

 

“Take time to work

it is the price of success.

 

Take time to think

it is the source of power.

 

Take time to play

it is the secret of perpetual youth.

 

Take time to read

it is the fountain of wisdom.

 

Take time to be friendly

it is the road to happiness.

 

Take time to dream

it is your highway to the stars.

 

Take time to give

it is too short a day to be selfish.

 

Take time to laugh

it is the music of the heart.

 

Take time to love and be loved

it is nourishment for the soul.”

 

May God bless and protect you and…

May you always be

Healthy, Happy

Safe and Comfortable

 

Kelly Curtis

 

Words To Live By #3

The poem “Our Deepest Fear” by American author, activist and spiritual leader Marianne Williamson is often mistaken as part of Nelson Mandela’s inaugural speech, although it does not appear in the speech at all.

This poem shows how powerful we truly are. Read this poem slowly and let its truth sink in.

“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate.

Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure.

It is our light, not our darkness

That most frightens us.

 

We ask ourselves

Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous?

Actually, who are you not to be?

You are a child of God.

 

Your playing small

Does not serve the world.

There’s nothing enlightened about shrinking

So that other people won’t feel insecure around you.

 

We are all meant to shine,

As children do.

We were born to make manifest

The glory of God that is within us.

 

It’s not just in some of us;

It’s in everyone.

 

And as we let our own light shine,

We unconsciously give other people permission to do the same.

As we’re liberated from our own fear,

Our presence automatically liberates others.”

 

May God bless and protect you and…

May you always be

Healthy, Happy

Safe and Comfortable

Kelly Curtis

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

What I’ve learned on my spiritual quest.

“Nothing ever goes away until it has taught us what we need to know.”

– Pema Chodron

 

I started on the path of my spiritual quest in my mid-twenties, right after I got out of the military. Having been raised in a half Catholic, half athiest family, I was able to make up my own mind on spiritual matters. We didn’t go to church in my immediate family so there was never any pressure to lead a religious life, or for that matter, a non-religious life. That notwithstanding, I did go to a Catholic school, fourth, seventh, and eighth grades, where my cousin Amby and I were notorious for getting into mischief. We had Nuns for teachers, straight from Ireland. I loved their accents, but had no love for their tempers. Amby and I made several trips to the Mother Superior’s office. She never saw the humor in our hijinks that my cousin and I saw.

I respected the Catholic religion, and still do, just as I respect all religions, but I have different ideas about spirituality, Mother Superior notwithstanding.

Here’s what I’ve come to believe after thirty-five years of spiritual quest. I know everyone will not agree with everything I believe , and I respect that, I think that’s the way God wants it, free will. So, after much research, reading, musing, and life experience, this is what I believe, what makes sense to me:

  1.    I believe that God isn’t some “man” sitting on a throne somewhere in the sky. If God was humanlike, God would be female anyway.
  2. I believe God is the animating force that permeates the universe. This is our lifeforce. It’s what holds everything together. It’s in you and me, and that rock over there, it’s what powers the sun, and makes the flowers grow. It’s what holds the planets in space and makes the blood flow in our viens. God is, simply put, everything, and we’re working our way back to her/him/it.
  3. I believe in reincarnation. I think we keep returning, learning each time until we get it right. I don’t believe we have just one shot at getting it right, and if we blow it we are tortured for eternity.
  4. Once we get it right, we don’t go to some paradise in the shy, but carry on, out into the universe on a great adventure, to a higher plane, to do more good work, until we rise once again on our quest to get back to God.
  5. We’re not here to amass as much wealth or material goods as we can, but to grow as spirits by giving of ourselves, by doing good deeds, by raising our vibrations thereby raising the planets vibration.
  6. I believe that we are in the universe, but likewise, the universe is in us. UNI-VERSE. Uni being one. The universe is a hologram. All is one, and one is all.
  7. I believe that we as Humans are much more powerful than we believe. we are made to be very creative beings. We can create the life of our dreams, but we have been conditioned since infancy to believe that we have no power, that we are at the mercy of fate. Nothing could be further from the truth in my opinion. We believe so strongly in our impotency because that is what has been drilled into us from an early age, that has been our reality.

If we could just forget our conditioning and think for ourselves, we would have the power to change our world, to make this planet a paradise of love and joy. All we must do is believe enough, use our imaginations. Visualize the life you want. Put emotion into it, really believe, no doubting allowed, and it will come to pass.

Let’s all try to create a more peaceful, beautiful planet, end suffering, and bring more joy and love to mother earth. we can do it if we believe.

May God bless and protect you and…

May you always be

Healthy, Happy

Safe, and Comfortable.

 

Kelly Curtis

 

 

What is an Empath?

“I do not ask the wounded person how he feels, I myself become the wounded person.”

-Walt Whitman

 

So what exactly is an Empath? According to  the American Empath Association, empaths understand the mental or emotional states of others in a way that defies conventional science and psychology. Empaths have the ability to sense the feelings, thoughts, and energies of people, plants, animals, places, or objects. In addition to sensing, empaths absorb the energy of those around them. Empaths often experience stress or illness if they are bombarded by too many negative emotions. Empaths can also use their abilities to help others by imagining themselves in someone else’s situation and connecting with them on a deep level.

There are seventeen different types of empaths according to the American Empath Association. These are: Emotional, Medical or Physical, Animal or Faun, Nature or Plant, Intellectual, Precognitive or Intuitive, Geomantic or environmental, Spiritual, Claircognizant, Medium, Psychometric, Chrystal, Telepathic, Mechanical, Astral, Law Enforcement, and Molecular.

So, empaths seem to be super-sensory beings and can feel others emotions, in a sense, they see with the others eyes, listen with thew others ears, and feel with the others heart. Everything an empath experiences hits them hard. They really feel the energy of others. Empaths use their gift intuitively. They feel they can heal their loved ones, their communities, and their planet. They feel more deeply, more intensely, and more persistently than those around them.

Stephanie Gagnon describes her experience as an empath: “An empath truly feels what the other person is feeling. So if someone is constantly negative, bitter, or upset all the time, I end up feeling negative, bitter, and upset all the time. Or if someone is happy and cheerful all the time, I feel happy and cheerful too. I absorb the emotions of those I interact with. It can be wonderful, but it can also be very exhausting. And it can be incredibly confusing to determine which feelings are my own, and which ones are from someone else.”

Some famous empaths include: Jesus Christ, Teresa Caputo, Mahatma Gandhi, Jane Goodall, and Mother Teresa.

You may be an empath. Have you been labeled as too emotional, or overly sensitive? If a friend is sad, do you feel it too? Feelings easily hurt? Are you emotionally drained by crowds, then need time alone to recharge? Do you hate loud noises, smells or too much talk? You might tale your own car places so you can leave early, or you may overeat to cope with emotional stress. Yo may not want to be engulfed in an intimate relationship. Some more traits of an empath are being highly sensitive, introverted, intuitive, giving, committed, a good listener, self-sufficient, or easily overwhelmed.

While most of us have the ability to empathize, Dr. Elaine Aron, in 1991 discovered that highly sensitive individuals make up approximately 15-20% of the population. So if you have ever felt like your personality almost continually attracts those who need guidance and help in life, you may be an empath.

Some sources such as Wikipedia place empaths in the realm of science fiction, or at best parapsychology, presumably because of the connection with E.S.P., chrystals, etc.

I love to tie in the esoteric with science. In today’s world more and more things that used to be considered out there are being explained with science. Let’s look at the science behind empaths.

In an article in Psychology Today, Judith Orloff MD explains: Researchers have discovered a specialized group of brain cells that are responsible for compassion called Mirror Neurons. These allow people to feel another’s joy, fear, pain, etc. Empaths, it turns out, have hyper-responsive mirror neurons. On the other side of the coin, Psychopaths and the like have what is called empathy deficient disorder, they lack the ability to feel empathy, caused by an under-active mirror neuron system. Another finding is that, as is known, both the brain and heart generate electromagnetic fields. These fields transmit information about peoples thoughts and emotions. Empaths may be sensitive to this input. Another example is called Emotional Contagion, i.e. picking up the emotions of others, as we’ve already seen. Examples of emotional contagion: Someone in the workplace in a bad mood, thus spreading the bad mood to other workers, or a baby crying in a hospital setting off a wave of crying. It has also been found that empaths are more sensitive to dopamine, the feel good neurotransmitter. . Another finding is a condition called Mirror Touch Synesthesia, a condition where two senses are paired in the brain. For example, you can taste words or see colors for music, both documented conditions. This is what allows empaths to feel the emotions of others in their own bodies.

With all these findings, it looks like there may be a solid case for empaths. In any event, we can all try to be a bit more empathic. As the Dalai Lama says: “Empathy is the most precious human quality.”

 

May you always be

Healthy, Happy

Safe and Comfortable.

Empathy

“Learning to stand in someone else’s shoes, to see through their eyes, that’s how peace begins. And it’s up to you to make that happen. Empathy is a quality of character that can change the world.”

-Barack Obama

Empathy: The action of understanding, being aware of, being sensitive to, and vicariously experiencing the feelings, thoughts, and experience of another, of either the past or present without having the feelings, thoughts, and experience fully communicated in an objectively explicit manner.

There seems to be a lack of empathy in today’s world. Just look at the headlines, with both foreign and domestic terrorism on the increase. On top of that, our leaders sure don’t show much of a capacity for it. But what exactly is empathy? Let’s look into it.

With empathy, you feel with the other’s heart, you see with their eyes, you feel with their emotions. It’s about standing in their shoes. It’s opening your heart to the feelings of others. So instead of putting others in their place, put yourself in their place. In a world full of people who couldn’t care less, be someone who couldn’t care more. When we help others, we let them know that there is still love in the world.

Political theorist and philosopher Hannah Arendt said that “The death of Human empathy is one of the earliest and most telling signs of a culture about to fall into barbarism.”

How you make others feel about themselves says a lot about you. Bill Bullard, member of both houses of the Michigan legislature, has this to say about empathy: “Opinion is really the lowest form of Human knowledge. It requires no accountability, no understanding. The highest form of knowledge is empathy, for it requires us to suspend our egos and live in another world. It requires profound purpose larger than the self kind of understanding.”

I mentioned earlier that empathy is like standing in someone else’s shoes, well, that should not be confused with sympathy, which is feeling sorry for their aching feet. So, let’s look at the difference between empathy and sympathy. Empathy is experiencing someone else’s feelings, it’s emotional in nature. Whereas sympathy is understanding someone else’s feelings, and is cognitive in nature. Empathy is feeling with someone, while sympathy is feeling for someone. Empathy shouldn’t be confused with pity or compassion either. Pity is – Oh no! you have a cold. Sympathy is – I am so sad that you have a cold. Empathy is – I understand that having a cold is uncomfortable. Compassion is – I want to help you with your cold.

When you show empathy toward another their defensive energy goes down and their positive energy goes up. Research shows a positive connection between how much empathic concern people report feeling  for another person and their willingness to help those people even when helping requires some sacrifice. It’s possible to boost your capacity for empathy, but some think that having too much empathy can be harmful to ones well-being or even to the planet. They believe that too much empathy can interfere with rational decision making, causing people to lead with their hearts rather than their heads. I personally think we should lead with our hearts and stay out of our heads.

Let’s look at the different classifications of empathy. There is Affective or Emotional Empathy; the capacity to respond emotionally to another’s mental state. Then there’s Cognitive Empathy; the ability to understand another’s perspective or mental state. Finally there’s Somatic Empathy; a physical reaction, probably based on Mirror Neurons in the Somatic Nervous System. Mirror Neurons? Neuroscientists are studying the concept of Mirror Neurons, which, they believe enhances the ability to read or mimic emotional signals from facial expressions and body language. These Mirror Neurons may help people share emotional experiences and become more empathic.

Other studies show that empathy isn’t just in the domain of Humans. There are many recorded instances of Dolphins saving Humans from Shark attacks. Cetaceans of all things have three times as many Spindle Cells in their brains as we Humans do. Spindle Cells are the nerve cells that transmit empathy. These Cetaceans are highly social. This means that they may have an awareness of one-anothers feelings, such as they are. Primates have been observed with many empathic behaviors in the wild, and in captivity, with Bonobos being the most empathic. Even rodents have shown an intent to benefit others evoked by empathy. Other animals with the ability to empathize include Dogs and Cats, but we knew that already.

In Humans, children begin to display empathic behaviors by the age of two and have some fundamentals of empathy. Toddlers have been seen to comfort others or show concern at two. And of course females tend to have more cognitive empathy than men.

Buddhism teaches the practice of compassion called Karuna. This is the idea of sharing suffering, having concern for another, but essentially, “feeling for and not feeling with the other.”

In the Bible, the Apostle Peter counseled Christians to have compassion for others; love as brothers, be tender-hearted, and courteous. The Apostle John asked if anyone has material possessions and sees a sister or brother in need but has no pity on them, how can the love of God be in that person.

We could all do well to grow and become more empathic. In the next blog, I’ll cover just what it means to be an Empath.

 

May you always be

Healthy, Happy,

Safe, and Comfortable.

Giving

“We make a living by what we get. We make a life by what we give.”

-Winston Churchill

 

There are many ways to give. You can give a concert, a party, or give up on someone. You can give someone the shaft, the bird, or you can give ’em the ol’ Robert Bell – which, I’m told, means leaving a text or instant message conversation without ending it. By the way…stop doing that! You can do all those things, but I’m talking about giving. From the old English Giefan. Being big hearted, altruistic, benevolent, and bounteous. I’m talking generosity here, largess, being open handed. Give voluntarily, and without expecting compensation, bestow good upon someone.

According to the Buddhist tradition the ideal conditions of giving are: to give a pure gift, with pure intentions to a pure recipient. This quote from the buddha perfectly sums up the way we should live: “The way to happiness is: Keep your heart free from hate, your mind from worry. Live simply, give much. Fill your life with love. Do as you would be done by.” And this: “Before giving, the mind of the giver is happy; while giving, the mind of the giver is made peaceful; and having given, the mind of the giver is uplifted.”

The Bible encourages giving as long as it is voluntary and with the right motive. God doesn’t like giving when it it is done to impress people, to receive something in return, or to try to buy salvation. Jesus said: “There is more happiness in giving than there is in receiving.” God loves a cheerful giver.

Remember, no one has ever become poor by giving, so find what gift the universe has bestowed upon you… and give it away. As Tony Robbins, master motivational speaker says: “The secret of living is giving.”

If you have nothing else to give, give kindness. True kindness is in the act of giving, without expecting something in return..

Giving is a natural response of love, the measure of a persons life is the effect they have on others. Give a piece of your heart, not a piece of your mind. Even if you’re weak you can still give. There is great power in giving as opposed to taking, so, make a donation if nothing else, it makes a difference. It benefits not only the recipient, but also the giver. We’ve all heard the expression ‘what goes around comes around. Open those channels of giving and the universe just may be obliged to return the favor.

We all have two hands. One to help ourselves, the second to help others. When all’s said and done, it doesn’t matter what you’ve accomplished or what you have, it matters who you’ve helped, what you’ve given. The great ones aren’t that way by what they have, but by what they give.

I joked earlier about the different ways of giving, but there are more ways to give than money. You can give love, you can give aide. You can help someone out, volunteer, or give someone your time. Just help your fellow human. That being said, there’s nothing wrong with helping our animal friends either.

Most philosophies and religions include a strong belief in giving back to the world, and it’s one of the most therapeutic things we can do for ourselves. A study from Northwestern University shows that people with a purpose sleep better, and it’s good for mental and physical health and longevity, and it’s even good for the genes, producing higher levels of antibody and antiviral genes.

Another study found that having a purpose like being philanthropic,or volunteering was linked to better cognitive function, and longer life in people from their thirties to their eighties. It also improved memory and executive function. It produced a more positive self-image in teens, not to mention less delinquency, and they transitioned into adulthood more easily, regardless of personality type.

An article in Mind Body magazine shows us five ways that giving is good for us:

1: It makes us feel better.

2: It’s good for our health.

3: It promotes cooperation and social connection.

4: It evokes gratitude.

5: It’s contagious.

So give until it hurts, and the next time you feel like giving someone the finger, turn it around and give ’em a smile.

 

May you always be

Healthy, Happy,

Safe and Comfortable.