Don’t Just…

Don’t just learn, experience.

Don’t just read, absorb.

Don’t just change, transform.

Don’t just relate, advocate.

Don’t just promise, prove.

Don’t just criticize, encourage.

Don’t just think, ponder.

Don’t just take, give.

Don’t just see, feel.

Don’t just dream, do.

Don’t just hear, listen.

Don’t just talk, act.

Don’t just tell, show.

Don’t just exist, live.

-Roy T Bennett

Why are we here?

“My whole belief system is that our paths are drawn for us. I believe in reincarnation. I believe we’re here to learn and grow. We choose how we come into this life based on what it is we have to learn. Some people have harder lessons than others.”

-Gillian Anderson

 

Why are we here? It’s probably our most important question, and the most difficult to answer. If you believe in God then you might wonder why God put us here, instead of Heaven to begin with?

I believe, like the quote above states, that we’re here to learn and grow. To strive to be better people each day. To treat all beings on this planet with love and respect, be they Plant, Insect, Animal, or Human. I think that, at the end of your life, if you haven’t learned to treat all beings with love, dignity, and respect, then you’ve wasted your life, you haven’t grown, no matter how much wealth or material items you’ve accumulated.

Okay, that’s all well and good, but why are some of the lessons so hard? Well, we can be pretty hard headed as a species, so the old adage explains it very well: Tell me and I forget; show me and I remember; involve me and I understand.

So, the religious believe we’re tested with these hard lessons to build strength and our relationship with God before we go home. But what if you’re an atheist? Then the above explanation just doesn’t fly. I mean, if you’re truly a good person, you’re going to do good regardless of whether it will bring you closer to God. If you’re not altogether altruistic, but not a bad person, just middle of the road, then you don’t have to bend over backwards to do good. It won’t matter after you’re gone right? So then what would be the meaning of life to a non-believer?

Take heart, there are still good reasons to carry on. For example, here is what actor Jim Carrey believes: “Energy is what I believe all of us are. We’re just conscious awareness dancing for itself for no other reason but to stay amused.”

Not a bad reason to exist, I guess. Then again, some may agree more with author Oliver Markus’s take on the question: “What is the meaning of life? Why are we here? Philosophers have pondered that question for centuries. I’m afraid the answer is disappointingly simple: Mating. That’s it.”

That is disappiontingly simple. Too simple, and I’m sorry, but I don’t buy it. We’re here for a reason. We just may not find out the reason until we leave this life. In any case, we can all strive to be better people and make life better or easier for all beings.

A good guide to live by, whether you’re religious or not, is the Prayer of St. Francis:

Lord, make me an instrument of Your peace.

Where there is hatred, let me sow love;

where there is injury, pardon;

where there is doubt, faith;

where there is despair, hope;

where there is darkness, light;

and where there  is sadness, joy.

O Divine Master, grant that I may not so much seek to be consoled as to console;

to be understood as to understand;

to be loved as to love.

For it is in giving that we receive;

it is in pardoning that we are pardoned;

and it is in dying that we are born to eternal life.

Amen.

 

Words to live by indeed.

May God bless and protect you and…

 

May you always be

Healthy, Happy

Safe, and Comfortable.

 

Kelly Curtis

My quest so far.

“The spiritual life  does not remove us from the world, but leads us deeper into it.”

-Henri J M Nouwen

 

“We are earth people on a spiritual journey to the stars. Our quest, our earth walk, is to look within, to know who we are, to see that we are connected to all things, that there is no separation, only in the mind.”

-Lakota Seer

 

In my first blog “I start my quest”, posted on June 23rd 2019, I explained how I started my quest in search of spirituality. I reposted it yesterday so new followers can see it.

I’ve posted twenty blogs now, all having to do with spirituality in one way or another. In my blogs I like to join the spiritual with the scientific, showing that it isn’t all just new-age mumbo jumbo, but the truth based on science. I myself don’t need the science to justify what I believe in my mind to be the truth. I know, when I look into some aspect of the esoteric, if it resonates with me or not. If it makes sense  to me, I can let it stand on faith. I include the science of spirituality because I’m fascinated how, the more we learn of the universe through quantum physics, the more everything I believe in a spiritual sense is proven right.

So, my basic goal in my spiritual quest is to become a better person, to do good and do no harm. My ultimate goal is to raise my vibration so that I can become closer to God, or the Infinite, the Universal Intelligence. How do I do this? The aim of all human beings is to perfect ourselves; to become better people. Therefor we must constantly strive to awaken and express the good qualities of the soul that make us alive, that animate us. If we can do this, it will help in our own evolution, while serving humanity. We must utilize understanding, service, compassion and love. We can do this with willpower and perseverance.

The Rosicrucians have a wonderful list of things we can strive to do to contribute to the peace of the planet:

I contribute to peace when I strive to express the best of myself in my contacts with others.

I contribute to peace when I use my intelligence and my abilities to serve the good.

I contribute to peace when I feel compassion towards all those who suffer.

I contribute to peace when I rejoice over the happiness of others and pray for their wellbeing.

I contribute to peace when I listen with tolerance to opinions that differ from mine or even oppose them.

I contribute to peace when I resort to dialog rather than force to settle any conflict.

I contribute to peace when I respect nature and preserve it for generations to come.

I contribute to peace when I do not seek to impose my conception of God upon others.

I contribute to peace when I make peace the foundation of my ideals and philosophy.

I contribute to peace when I look upon all as my brothers and sisters regardless of race, culture or religion.

What a noble undertaking. I try to live by this code, but it’s tough to be perfect in all of those attributes, impossible for the average person like me. But we can all try our best, that’s as much as we can do. It seems that the more  I try to do good and stay positive, the more I find myself in negative situations, especially at work. I look at it as the universe sending me lessons and tests. Sometimes I’m not up to those challenges, but I try, and that’s how I grow.

Let’s try to do good and serve all beings on this planet. It will make you feel good, even if you can only manage to do your best. None of us are perfect, I should know. May God bless and protect you and…

 

May you always be

Healthy, Happy,

Safe and Comfortable

 

Kelly Curtis

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.

Forgiveness

“To forgive is to set a prisoner free and discover that the prisoner was you.”

-Lewis B Smedes

 

I’m writing today about forgiveness because I feel that it is a very important attribute to have. Yet forgiveness is sometimes a hard pill to swallow, especially if the person you’re forgiving isn’t sorry, that takes strength. You have to be strong to say you’re sorry, but even stronger to forgive. After all, the weak aren’t able to forgive, forgiveness belongs to the strong. You have to have courage and strength to forgive a mistake. Remember, the first to apologize is the bravest. The first to forgive is the strongest. The first to forget is the happiest. As a bonus, forgiveness also brings inner peace.

It would be a shame to give up on someone just because they made a mistake. We expect God to forgive us, so we should be able to forgive those that hurt us.

I know it’s very hard to forgive sometimes. It kind of feels like you’re rewarding them for what they’ve done. But really, you’re giving them and yourself a gift. It’s not about them getting away with something. When you forgive, you let go of the negative energy that ties you to them. So, if someone stabs you in the back, don’t pull the knife out and use it on them – Forgive.

Someone said that forgiveness is like crossing monkey bars, at some point you have to let go to move forward. I know that forgiveness won’t change my past, but I’m pretty sure it will improve my future. Just remember, we always have three powerful resources available to us: Prayer, love, and forgiveness.

In talking about forgiveness, Bryant H McGill, bestselling author on the subject of human potential says it nicely: “They caused the first wound, but you are causing the rest, this is what not forgiving does. They got it started, but you keep it going. Forgive and let it go, or it will eat you alive. You think they made you feel this way, but when you don’t forgive, you are the one inflicting the pain on yourself.”

According to a 2010 study, the most common unforgiven offenses are betrayals; like affairs, lying, unkept and broken promises, and unkept secrets. You have power over the way you react to wrongs perpetrated against you. Scientists call this ‘Decisional forgiveness’. It is simply you deciding which way you intend to act toward the person who wronged you. It changes the way you feel toward that person, negative emotions giving way to positive emotions. Resentment giving way to empathy, sympathy, and compassion.

The science of forgiveness is very interesting. For example; it’s known that unlike ten and eleven year olds, seven and eight year olds don’t need an apology; they look at those who have apologized and those that haven’t in the same light.

In another study, researchers in the Netherlands poled people as to a time when they either forgave, or withheld forgiveness. They were then asked to jump as high as they could. Now I think this is really cool. Those who forgave jumped highest. About 11.8 inches, while the grumps jumped just 8.5 inches. The disparity comes from the unburdening of holding a grudge.

In the animal kingdom, primates such as Bonobos, Mountain Gorillas, and Chimps often show friendly behavior such as embracing or kissing after confrontations. Goats and Hyenas show similar behavior. In fact, the only species that shows no sign of forgiveness is, drum roll please… The Domestic Cat. Who’d’ve thought?

Samereh Alinejad from Iran, had nothing but retribution on her mind toward the man who murdered her teenage son. But at the gallows, moments before the killer was to be hanged, she made the decision to pardon the man. She is now considered a hero. If Samereh can find it in her heart to forgive, we should be able to.

 

May you always be

Healthy, Happy

Safe and Comfortable

 

Kelly Curtis

 

Good Vibrations

“I was going to buy a copy ‘The Power of Positive Thinking’, and then I thought: “What the heck good would that do?”

-Ronnie Shakes

 

A little humor to start off, but when you think about it, that’s how a lot of us think. We try to be positive, but in the back of our minds resides a little Gremlin whispering doubts. Staying positive, or, keepin’ those good vibrations happening, that should be the goal for us all. If we could all just bring a more positive attitude to everyday life, our lives would start to become so much better. Indeed, if enough of us could bring higher vibrations into the world, the planet itself would become so much better.

Since I started on my quest to become more spiritual, I’ve tried to raise my vibration. Raise your vibration and you help raise the vibes of those around you. Like a tuning fork that begins to vibrate at the same rate when you bring it in proximity of an already vibrating fork, Humans, if they are close in their vibrational frequency, will begin to resonate.

Raising ones vibration, and keeping the good vibes flowing, isn’t easy sometimes. We all experience things in our lives that bring us down. Then there are people who – God bless them- just seem to resonate negativity. Some seem to suck the life right out of you. If you can avoid these people, then do. Sometimes that’s not always easy or possible though. My current boss is one of those people. I’m around him the whole working day, five days a week. It’s very challenging to remain positive when I’m around him. I just do my best, then, when I get back to my nice home and wonderful girlfriend, I can recharge and remember how good I have it. It may be my fault. As Lynda Field  puts it: “You draw to you the people and events which resonate with the energy that you are radiating. You attract what you are, so be your best.”

I think the more I dwell on my job situation, thinking how much of a bummer it is, the more I get that negativity. This is something I’m working on. It’s a great lesson for me. Perhaps that’s why I’m living it.

Writer Tim Hoch said: “Negativity only breeds more negativity. It is a happiness riptide. It will carry you away from shore and if you don’t swim away from it, will pull you under.”

Regardless of our work environment, we must try to stay positive. How? Find satisfaction in your work. If you can’t, then pretend you find satisfaction, pretend you feel satisfied. Tell yourself you’re having a good day. Walk around with a smile. If that doesn’t raise your mood, at least it will make people wonder what you’re up to. So radiate positive energy. If you act like you like your job, pretty soon you will. Remember; your attitude determines your altitude.

Here are some things we can do to stay positive: Don’t speak about your problems, that’s just adding energy to them. Laugh loud, and often, and smile more. Be grateful, make a gratitude list. Exercise, it releases feel good endorphins. Be present, and be generous. Also, try to find the positive in others, and dish out those compliments. We attract what we focus on, so right there is incentive to think positively.

I’d like to include the stories of a couple of persons who manage to stay positive under circumstances in which many of us would have a hard time. The first person is retired Army Staff Sergeant Travis Mills who lost both arms and both legs in an improvised explosive device explosion in Afghanistan. He said to the interviewer prior to a television interview: “I’m not a victim, and I refuse to be portrayed that way.” Travis has no self pity.

The second is my beautiful girlfriend Erin. Not long ago, Erin was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis, a disease that claimed her sister twenty years ago. Although there is a better chance of leading a longer, healthier life at the present time, there’s still no guarantee of that. She just started the first round of many of chemo-therapy that leaves her tired and sick, on top of the symptoms from her MS. Erin remains positive and upbeat through all this. She is able to keep our wonderful home just that way; wonderful. It takes a lot of strength to stay positive when you’re dealing with such things, but Erin doesn’t dwell on being a victim.

Erin; you are the sky. Everything else is just the weather.

So, if Erin and Travis can stay positive, we should be able to.

 

May you always be

Healthy, Happy

Safe, and Comfortable.