Suspending Reality

Today was so much fun! I took the kids back to school shopping. We spent 7 hours going all around Farmington Station and the Layton Mall. I LOVED letting the kids pick out their own clothes. It was so fun to watch them be all independent and grown up. They each have their own unique personality and style. And they are so confident and self-assured. I love it!

I think that must be how Heavenly Father feels about his children. He loves watching us discover our interests, figure out who we are, what we like, and what we have the potential to become. He loves being with us as much as we love being with our kids. He appreciates when we talk with him, think of him, and tell him all about our day. He loves being a part of our lives.

I had so much work to do yesterday. In fact, ever since T went MIA with his Brain Tumor, I’ve had double the work–and I was already working more than I wanted. It has literally become impossible to stay on top of everything and so it was with great pleasure that I set aside my work worries and went and enjoyed some shopping with my children. A good friend of mine said to me the other day, “We can’t manage time for it is fixed. We can, however, manage our priorities. My children are more important than my career.

We all went to dinner at Cafe Rio to celebrate my birthday. I’ll be turning 39 on Wednesday. I bought the girls dinner at Chick-Fil-A, Luke dinner at Five Guys, and Matt and I ate Cafe Rio. It was fun to let everyone get what they loved. I think I suspending reality is really good for my soul. I’m going to do it a little more often.

Talking About Beliefs

Looks like I’d better start talking about beliefs because tomorrow I’ve been asked to give a 10 min talk on honoring and staying true to your beliefs. That’s kind of an interesting topic for me to consider because personally, I believe that beliefs are fluid. They are always evolving and changing with time and experience. What I believe today is different than what I believed yesterday, and what I believe tomorrow will be different than what I believe today.

Some of my favorite thoughts on beliefs include:

I would never die for my beliefs because I might be wrong.

~Bertrand Russell (British philosopher, logician, mathematician, historian, writer, social critic, political activist and Nobel laureate)

Confidence is silent. Insecurities are loud.

And of course, Morpheus is always profound:

In response to captain who said, “Not everyone believes what you believe”, Morpheus replies: “My beliefs do not require them to”

Your beliefs don’t make you a free thinker. Your ability to change your mind based on new information does.

Beliefs are interesting things. I can tell you what I believe and some of it may ring true to you and some of it may not. I may believe that BYU is the finest university with the finest collegiate teams. You, however, may believe that the U of U is.  Who is right? Who is wrong?

Here’s the reality. I grew up a die hard Cougar fan. My father bled blue, and so did my entire family, until my dad became a professor at the U of U, my brother attended graduate school there, and the Huntsman U of U Hospital saved 3 of my family members from cancer. With time and experience, our die hard belief that that the Cougars are the best has changed.  We now love the Utes just the same. Who changed?

So when it comes to beliefs, I don’t know that giving a talk telling you to “honor” or be “true” to your beliefs is really the most important message that can be given about beliefs because how do you know your belief is more valid than someone else’s? I think any worthy discussion on beliefs must begin at the beginning. One must ask, “How are beliefs born?” “What determines an individuals’ beliefs? Have you ever asked yourself that question?

Beliefs are products of our nature, nurture, culture (societal, religious, familial), life experiences, geography, etc.). Have you ever wondered how your beliefs would differ from what you hold to be true today had you been born in a remote village in Nepal, India? Would you be sitting in a Mormon Sacrament Meeting today? What if you had been born an Eskimo in Eastern Siberia? Would you believe seal blubber to be the finest delicacy on the planet and prefer the freezing cold to the infernal heat? Check out this image:

What do you see? Who is right? Who is wrong? Those who first saw the old lady, were you right? Now that you see the young lady are you wrong? Or are both of you now just “enlightened” because you all now see more. Beliefs really are lame to talk about since we don’t really see things as they are, we see them as we really are.

You see, I don’t see a whole lot of merit in discussing the importance of standing for and honoring your beliefs because frankly, I don’t think beliefs are what make people great. No, I believe that it is our behavior, not our beliefs, that make us great. And the greatest way to behave is in LOVE. Love is the sine qua non (sahy-nee kwey non) or essential ingredient in greatness. Was it Martin Luther King’s belief in racial equality that made him great or was it the way he led the civil rights movement in love that inspired a nation to change? Would his “Dream” to “Let Freedom Ring” have inspired hearts had he bombed and blasted his way to greatness? No, Martin Luther King’s legacy lives on because he led in love. Gandhi was no different. His belief in a united, free India is not what made him great? No, it was his love for his fellow man. And what of Mother Teresa? Was it her belief in the Roman Catholic faith that made her great? And the way she defended those beliefs? Or was it her loving service that made her a literal saint?

Again I ask, what makes a man or woman great? Their beliefs or their behavior? Their religion or their love? Jesus, teaching on the shores of Galilee, said, “As I have loved you, love one another.” In the Sermon on the Mount, he proclaimed, “Do unto others as you would have done unto you.” And again, he spoke, “The first great commandment is to Love God with all thy heart, might, mind, and strength, and the second is like unto it, thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself (on these hang all the laws and the prophets)”. To which a lawyer responded, “Who is my neighbor?” Jesus answered by sharing the story of the Good Samaritan. He concluded by asking, “Who of these three was neighbor unto him who fell among thieves?” To which the lawyer responded, “He that shewed mercy on him.” Jesus responded, “Go and do thou likewise.” Isn’t it interesting that it was the Pharisees, lawyers and scribes beliefs that kept them from seeing God when he came in the flesh as their savior?” Brothers and Sisters, if we are not careful, our beliefs can likewise prevent us from seeing God in the flesh. Our brothers and sisters are all divine beings, offspring of the Most High. It isn’t our beliefs that matter. It is our love, for God is love, and are we not all god’s in training?

May our beliefs lead us to greater love and I am now done talking about beliefs!

Loyalty

Today I want to write briefly about loyalty. Stephen Covey shared this quote by Eleanor Roosevelt:

Great minds discuss ideas; average minds discuss events; small minds discuss people.

He went on to say that what we say about others when they are not around reveals our character, integrity, and loyalty. We should never say anything about anyone that we wouldn’t want them to hear, or that we would be too ashamed or embarrassed to say in their presence. When we talk about others we should do so with the understanding that whatever we say they will eventually end up hearing–because most of the time they will. Not only does backbiting and gossip often get back to the individual, but it convinces those witnessing it that we would be just as quick to criticize them if they were not around.

I love the food for thought Covey dishes out when he queries:

When have you participated in talking about people behind their backs? What is the consequence of this behavior to your own character? to other people’s view of you? When you defend the integrity of a person who is absent, what does that say to those who are present?

The next time people within your hearing are criticizing or discussing a person who is absent , decline to participate. See what happens as a result.

I agree with Eleanor and Mr. Covey. What we say about others when they are not around says a whole lot about us. We should be loyal to other human beings and only say what we wouldn’t be ashamed to have them hear. I try valiantly to always live by this rule, but I do know I’m not perfect and therefore there is room to improve. I want to be impeccable with my word.

Here and Now

I’m reading a great book by psychic medium John Edwards called After Life: Answers from the Other Side. I love the story John related today about the birth of his first son. He was so excited for the delivery day because he just knew there would be a spiritual outpouring as his loved ones–who had formerly passed to the other side–would surely join him and his wife in the hospital room.

He spent extra time meditating and preparing himself for the highly anticipated manifestations. While his wife was laboring to bring their son into the world, John was earnestly focused on summoning his heavenly host. It wasn’t until his wife cried out, “John, where are you?” that he was pulled to the present moment just in time to witness the birth of his firstborn son. His preoccupation with experiencing the divine had almost caused him to miss the moment he’d been waiting for his entire life!

John admits that he was disheartened and deflated that he failed to experience a divine outpouring during the delivery–for he has always been able to summon spirits upon command–but he said that later that day, as he reflected on his disappointment, he realized this powerful truth:

We can’t get caught up with the spiritual world and forget to pay attention to the physical world–to what’s right in front of us. We can’t constantly look for validations from the Other Side every step we take or we’ll miss all the little joys of life on this side. We’re here for a reason–to live our lives as best we can and to be as fully present in our lives as possible. We have to appreciate the validations as they come . . . in their own way.

Isn’t that beautiful? And so true! If we can just learn to enjoy the here and now of wherever we happen to be. Longing for other worlds prevents us from enjoying the one we currently live in. I’m going to redouble my efforts to enjoy the Divine present until the day I return to the Divine Presence.

Which is Right?

Here is my new favorite gem of a story. Symbolic and rich with meaning in so many ways. I’ll just share what I’ve titled Which is Right? and you can apply as you like.

Two men who were having a dispute sought out an elderly rabbi to help them settle. Having listened to the first, the rabbi replied, “You are in the right.” The second man insisted on being heard and after hearing, the rabbi replied, “You’re also right.” The wife of the rabbi, who was in the other room, called out, “But they both can’t be right!” The rabbi reflects and then nods before concluding, “You’re also right!”

And so you have it–some serious food for thought. Was the rabbi right? Is rightness relative and how is one to determine which is right?

Spiritual Paths

Two paths diverged in the woods and I took the one less traveled by….

and that has made all the difference ~Robert Frost

Every person is unique and so is their spiritual path. I was listening to a lecture by a prominent sociologist wherein he discussed the effect expanding educational opportunities has on civilizations. The takeaway was that as children gained access to education, their vocational opportunities expanded. Sons born to carpenters didn’t have to become carpenters. Farmers’ son could become something other than a farmer, etc. Prior to these times, no man-child ever had the thought growing up, “what should I become?” The decision was already made.

I couldn’t help but recognize this same phenomenon regarding religion. Technology has created a global economy and community. Easy access to information has allowed Westerners to study the wonders of Eastern spiritualism, and conversely, has enabled Easterners to research the marvels of Western religion.  Seekers of truth can take the best from every organization and form their own spiritual paths.

I personally have loved studying all the world religions. I am enjoying picking and choosing the teachings that resonate with me. I take what rings true and I leave what doesn’t. My spiritual path is unfolding one glorious step at a time. I’m loving the journey. It’s definitely a path unique to me for I believe everyone must travel their own spiritual path. My path will be different from yours and yours will be different than mine. Bushwacking your own spiritual path might not appeal to all, but for me, it is making all the difference.

 

Never Too Late

I’m living proof that it’s never too late. It’s almost 8 (pm) and I just showered. 🙂 You may wonder why I would bother when the day is almost over, but for me, something about going to bed without having showered just didn’t feel right. So I decided to do what’s right despite the late hour. Heck, I even decided to fix my hair, which may seem rather silly, but at least I’ll look decent as the day winds down.

Plus, who am I kidding? I’m gonna be up for at least another 3 hours so I might as well look my finest. Best of all, I don’t have to wash my face and do my evening skin care routine for I just now did it! And lest you think my skin care routine consists of something exotic, allow me to disabuse you of that notion. I subscribe to the same morning and evening procedure as most adolescents across America . . . drumroll please. . . Proactiv! 🙂

So there you have it! It’s never too late to do what feels right. For if it’s anything like a late evening shower, you’ll not only feel cleaner, you’ll also sleep sounder.

SteemIt

Well, I did it! I finally signed up for steem it and made my first two posts. I submitted the first one late last night and the second one I just barely posted this morning. My first post was entitled Happy Endings and can be read here:

https:[email protected]/happy-endings

Today’s post is titled: Let Freedom Ring | The Truth About Beliefs and can be read here:

Let Freedom Ring | The Truth About Beliefs and can be read here:

and can be read here:

https:[email protected]/let-freedom-ring-or-the-truth-about-beliefs

I already had 2 people read and upvote my first post. And that was before I learned how to add a picture. That means my post had no thumbnail. So this morning I researched how to add a thumbnail and went back and edited it. It will be fun to see if adding images result in more clicks and votes.  I suspect it will. Additionally, you can promote your posts. I think I will need to try that when I feel like I’ve curated enough content and I like a post enough to share it. Seems like you will only get out of steemit what you put into it and that requires so much more than creating content. I think you need to be in there commenting on others posts and basically being active. Honestly, I ain’t got no time for that. What I think I will do is jus keep creating content because I do it on my blog anyway and at least here I can earn some small cash. It won’t amount to much, but it will maybe be kind of fun. I’ll post there for one week and if at the end it seems worth it, I’ll continue.

Here’s to collecting steem by letting off some steam! 😉

Organizational Revelation

I’ve come to the conclusion, and I know it isn’t rocket science, that every leader of every organization is entitled to revelation for their organization. I call this principle Organizational Revelation.

Several months ago, I began reading books by other religious and spiritual leaders. I read some books by the Dhali Lama, Archbishop Desmond Tutu, Pastor Rick Warren, Pema Chodrön, Deepak Chopra, Adyashanti, and more. Every single person shared stories about how God or Spirit has guided them as they make decisions that affect their business and their followers.

I am the CEO and co-owner of several businesses and can testify that even business owners receive revelation about how to best lead their companies. So that is why I found our last lesson in Sunday School so fascinating. Everyone in the class was talking about how our current leader–President Thomas S. Monson–is God’s living prophet on the earth, and that he receives revelation to guide the Mormon Church. Now, of course, I believe this! But, I also believe that this gift of revelation is not limited to our faith alone. In fact, I believe God guides every leader of every organization that seeks his guidance. The Pope receives revelation to guide the Catholic Church. The Dhali Lama receives revelation to guide his Buddhist followers. Pastor Rick Warren receives revelation on how to best govern and guide his Saddleback Patrons.

God has many men and women doing his work. In fact, He’s happy to have us assist Him in His work to bring to pass the growth, progression, and perfection of His children. He doesn’t much care what vehicle we drive back to Him so long as we are on the right road–or trying to get on it–helping others along the way. God is love and so should we strive to be.

We are all entitled to revelation to guide ourselves and our organizations. Organizational Revelation isn’t some privilege reserved only for one specific religion. God needs many people doing his work for some leaders resonate better with others and will appeal to personalities that others don’t. And some of God’s children will be Muslims, others will be attracted to Christian faiths, and still, others will find Buddhism a better fit. Wherever you feel happiest and whatever helps you achieve your highest good is exactly where you should be.

Morpheus on Beliefs

So I finally watched the CleanFlicks version of the Matrix. In fact, Matt and I borrowed the trilogy from a friend. There were some great quotes in the series–even if some of the fight scenes lasted WAY too long.  One of my favorite quotes was from Morpheus on beliefs. You can watch it now:

Commander Locke:
Damnit, Morpheus, not everyone believes what you believe.

Morpheus:
My beliefs don’t require them to.

What a wonderful world this would be if everyone believed as Morpheus. I’ve got more to say about beliefs and truths, but right now I’m more interested in going to bed.