Thought for the Day

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We all hold the wisdom of the universe in our hearts. Open up to that place of knowing.

- Penny Houghton

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Orange

My thoughts about the colour ORANGE.

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A sweet, juicy orange.

The colour of the sunset as the sun hits the water.

The luscious fruit on a tall palm.

The sap oozing out of the bark of a tree.

Fungus growing on the forest floor.

Autumn leaves.

The colour of the second chakra.

Duck l’orange.

The orange men of Ireland.

The saffron robes of a Buddhist monk.

Orange stimulates the appetite.

Terracotta pots.

A sea of tile roofs.

Carrot juice.

A jack-o’-lantern pumpkin.

Marigolds.

A Clockwork Orange.

Orange county.

Agent Orange.

Fanta.

Orange blossom.

Nothing rhymes with orange!

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What does ‘orange’ make you think of?

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Beautiful Moments

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The pounding surf on the far shore, while close by, the breeze whispers through the silvery green needles of the she-oaks by the inlet.

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Thought for the Day

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Let your light shine onto another’s shadow.

- Penny Houghton

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Beautiful Moments Defined

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Looking toward the ocean on a clear day           Looking down from the verandah

I have just been sitting on my front verandah. From where I sit, I can see the ocean in the distance. It looks a little grey at the moment, as we have just had rain come through. There are cargo ships passing on their way to the city. I am surrounded by nature, lots of GREEN. Trees, plants, rocks, ants scurrying and birds calling to each other with many, many differing songs. I can hear the drip drip from the rain that has recently passed, and is now falling from the trees into the garden. The sun is starting to filter through the clouds, making everything sparkle.

How nice it is to be able to observe nature without interfering with it. My recent post of ‘Beautiful Moments’, is one I want as an ongoing theme – capturing a moment of life that is beautiful or  meaningful in some way, conjuring up a picture for others who read it, and hopefully bringing a moment of inspiration or bliss to their day too.

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Wild kangaroos from up the road paying a visit (this is the garden where we used to live next door). Note: one has a joey in its pouch. There is a whole family of ‘roos that visit everyone and yes, hop up and down the road, believe it or not!

What have you observed in nature today?

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Beautiful Moments

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A dewdrop on the bud of an opening bloom at dawn.

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It’s Not Possible! (or is that Probable?)

I have recently been giving some thought to the concept of ‘possibilities’ and ‘probabilities’ and how, depending on the focus, these can create fear in myself, and stop me from moving forward and cause me to worry unnecessarily about things that may or may not happen. I expect that it is the same for others too.

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In Mooloolaba, it is possible there could be a shark in the water, but not probable due to shark nets, and the fact that in the whole time I have lived here, I have never heard of anyone being attacked by one. Therefore it would be presumed safe to go into the water, as evidenced by the hundreds who swim here regularly.

Possibilities can be looked at in differing ways. If you were considering going on a plane trip, there is a possibility that the plane will crash, and this is a negative outcome, but the probability is that it won’t happen. Do you let the fear of the possibility stop you from travelling, or do you go with the probability (it won’t crash) and get on that plane? (By the way, I love flying, so this is not a big issue for me, in case you’re wondering!). This can be applied to various scenarios where the chance of something bad happening are pretty slim. You need to cease worrying about the odd possibility. Alternatively, possibilities of success can make you fearful also. Let’s say you would love to write a book and have it published. The possibility is that it will be successful – this is a positive outcome. The probability, unless you are an exceptional writer, is that it won’t get published (negative outcome). Do you work in favour of the possibility this time, and never give up on your dream (think of Edison and his light bulb), or do you let it stop you from ever trying and go with the probability that it will fail? Preferably the former.

Now, if you know something is a probability and it will have a negative outcome that is not beneficial to you, you should take notice. If you eat a poisonous mushroom, YOU KNOW that it is most probable that it will make you very sick or kill you. The possibility in a case like this, (e.g. that it WON’T do those things) is very slim, so you go in favour of the probability and not eat it. Another example is when you know that if you exercise and control your diet, the probability is you will lose weight (positive outcome). It is possible you won’t, but you would hopefully continue to move in favour of the probability and continue with what you are doing in order to see the result.

Basically, when a possible outcome is negative (the plane will crash), you are better off focussing on the probable outcome and saving yourself a lot of worry about what only MAY happen. When a possible outcome is positive, (your book will get published) you should focus on that rather than the negative probability, otherwise you would never fulfil your dreams.

When a probability has a negative outcome (the mushroom will kill you), you are better off going with that rather than the possible result (it won’t kill you). When a probable outcome is positive (you will lose weight), you should move in favour of that rather than the possible outcome (you will never lose weight). So every time you are unsure of which path to take or what choice to make, weigh up the possible and probable outcomes, the positives and the negatives. This may help stop the fear that prevents you from moving forward and following your dreams, or simply worrying about things that may NEVER happen! Of course previous experience may tell you that something is bad, but it is important to weigh up the options in light of the new scenario, as this time, the outcome may differ, and you will have been holding onto the fear for no logical reason.

I intend to use this tool more often, and hope you find it useful too!

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Thought for the Day

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Stay focussed, stay positive and NEVER lost sight of your dreams. – Penny Houghton

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Good Guys, Bad Guys

Judgements – we make many of these on a day to day basis, but how many of these judgements, especially of others, do we really analyse before we make them?

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Someone does something to offend you. Judgement: They are a horrible person, they go out of their way to upset people, they don’t like me, they only think of themselves, etc. etc.

Let’s consider this. If it is someone we know, then we’d know whether or not they are a horrible person. Sometimes a friend may offend us, but does that make them a horrible person per se? Do they always go out of their way to offend you and others? If yes, then perhaps you need to find out why, and seriously question why you consider them a friend! If they aren’t in the habit of being offensive, then DEFINITELY find out why this time they acted that way! It may be that they have worries on their mind, and their treatment of you is just an outlet for their frustration. They may actually need your help! If it is because you firstly offended them, then maybe YOU need to explain why YOU acted the way you did.

If a stranger offends you, then there are a number of things you can do here. First of all, if you don’t know them from a bar of soap, why are you taking so much offense? As Eleanor Roosevelt said “No one can make you feel inferior without YOUR consent.” (emphasis mine). When we don’t know the circumstances from which a person acts, it is not really for us to judge them, unless we know a little more about the person, and the reasoning behind their actions or words. Even though we may all have basically the same type of education, there are a lot of other factors involved that make us who we are, and subsequently form our ideas and beliefs. Therefore, we are NOT going to all think the same way about things.

Eating meat versus vegetarianism is a good example.

Let’s look at the meat eater. They may eat meat because that is the way they were brought up, their family have always eaten meat. They LIKE meat. They may not actually have considered the animal in this scenario. On the other hand, they MAY have considered the animal. They may only eat meat that is organic, grain fed, or not factory produced. They may hunt for their own meat. They may have tried vegetarianism and found their health suffered, so went back to eating meat. This does not mean they believe in cruelty to animals. They may even support animal organisations that help animals. They may believe that eating meat is no different to eating plants – fruits and vegetables, as these are all living things, so what’s the difference? Consider the fruitarian who only eats food that falls from the tree so is already thought of as ‘dead’. Are they right? They would consider even the regular vegetarian a murderer!

Just because a person has made a conscious decision to change the way they eat, does not make them right, or a better person than another. They will have based their decisions on information they had at the time and made informed choices. Those choices will be arrived at differently to the next person, who may even have the SAME information, but view it all differently, due to past experiences, conditioning and so on.

We don’t have the right to judge another on the way they live, or the things they do, unless we know where that person is functioning from, what information they have been given, how they have been brought up, who their influences are, what events have happened in their lives to perhaps trigger certain reactions, what makes them ‘tick’. Which basically means, that we probably shouldn’t judge at all, because how many of us have all that information about another? Of course, using the meat/vegetarian example, the meat eater should also not criticise the vegetarian without understanding the reasoning behind THEIR choice.

There are many other examples of judgements, for instance, you yell at the person who cut you off in traffic, and sped ahead, calling them all sorts of names. But do you know WHY they did it? Maybe they were rushing to the hospital in an emergency. Maybe they were stressed out about a very bad situation at home, and weren’t thinking what they were doing (we all tune out when our mind is on something else). Maybe they were late for work and worried they would be fired, and can’t afford to lose their job, as their children rely on them. Yes, they may have driven dangerously, but do we still have the right to judge in a fashion that tars that person as a BAD person? The action was bad, not the person.

Even more simple things like judging someone on the way they dress applies here. You may think someone looks old-fashioned, or sloppy, but maybe that is all they know, they have never been shown how to dress well. Maybe they have no money, so shop at the thrift/charity store, and have to take what they can get. Maybe clothes are of so little importance to them, that they don’t really care what they look like, it is not a priority. So does that mean you should judge them? NO. They are just different to you.

I am referring here to everyday situations in which we make judgements on people. Of course, if your life was threatened you would have to make a very quick judgement about what to do. This is a different type of judgement. We also need to make a certain amount of judgements throughout our day e.g. whether to spend more money or not, but usually these sorts of judgements ARE based on information we already have.

There are abundant reasons why people act the way they do, but unless we know those reasons, who are we to appoint ourselves judge, jury and executioner? So please, next time you are about to make an instant judgement on another, stop and consider, either find out more about the WHY behind it, or suspend judgement, and allow the person the benefit of the doubt. After all, have you NEVER done anything for which people might judge you? I doubt it, so remember, only those that are innocent should cast the first stone.

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Thought for the Day

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A precious human life

Every day think as you wake up,

Today I am fortunate to have woken up,

I am alive. I have a precious human life.

I am not going to waste it.

I am going to use all my energies to develop myself,

To expand my heart out to others,

To achieve enlightenment for the benefit of all beings,

I am going to have kind thoughts towards others,

I am not going to get angry or think badly about others,

I am going to benefit others as much as I can.

The XIV Dalai Lama

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