Go With The Flow



“Go with the flow.”

I’ve heard this phrase for years. This CAN be good advise. CAN BE, if one is aware and seeing where the flows is leading.

Too many times folks unconsciously choose to not see what’s around them, telling themselves and others that they are just going with the flow. If you simply “go with the flow” without thinking about the world around you,  you might be be surprised when the bad stuff comes your way. Plus, there is a good chance that you will miss all the good things going on around you. “Go with the flow” can be a bad habit.

However, using the “go with the flow” approach to life is great if we keep our eyes open and our thoughts on the events going on around us. By noticing how things are playing out in our lives, we can find more things to be thankful for, more happiness, more purpose and enjoy one heck of a ride thru this short time that we spend as humans.

How are you going with the flow? Are you simply letting the days pass by or are you watching for the wonder of it all?


Photo Credit: LoggaWiggler

Is Thinking About Time Stressing You?

“Stop longing. You poison today’s ease, reaching always for tomorrow.” — Robin Hobb

Do you know what day it is? Is it Tuesday? Saturday? Or is it just another day when the sun rose early this morning and will set later this evening?

Do you know that keeping track of the days can create stress in your life?

I rarely have more than two days in a row away from my paying job. A job where I am responsible for a lot of planning. Planning for today, tomorrow, next week, next month and beyond. But recently, I had the opportunity to string three days away from work along with a weekend to give me five days in a row at home.  I had a lot of enjoyable projects to work on at home and by the fourth day I realized that I had lost track of the date and the day. I hadn’t needed to plan on what I was going to do for the next few days.

Because no long term planning was required, I found myself waking each morning, focusing only on what I wanted to do for the next few hours.

What a pleasant feeling. I had no concerns about what would happen if I didn’t do this by a certain time or if I didn’t get to this, that would happen.
At days end, there were no should of,  could of, or would of to haunt my thoughts. And, a bonus to this was that the day seemed to be longer. Much more was accomplished with a lot less stress.

The little bit of time that I DID keep track of came from me watching the sun. Long before man invented time pieces, he tracked his time of day by the sun. What worked for ancient man, worked for me. And it worked quite nicely, thank you very much.

I’ve experienced this present moment feeling before. And, it always amazes me. The simple act of not thinking. Not thinking about what day it is can have such a positive effect on your present activity. “Not thinking” about the future relieves stressing out about tomorrow’s activities. The “not thinking” allows you to be in the moment with what you are doing so much more than when you have plans and dates running in the back of your mind.

So, the next time that you have a few days to yourself, forget about time! Live in the present day and don’t be concerned about which day it is. Try to not remember if it is Tuesday or Saturday.
When you forget today, it is easier to not think about tomorrow. Take a few days to forget time.

“Don’t poison today’s ease by reaching for tomorrow”

Do you know what day it is? If your answer is no, then…………………. Congratulations! You are one step closer to living in the moment.


Photo credit: Wikimedia Commons

Creative Commons Attribution

Your Greatest Treasures – Lao Tzu

Lao Tzu Quote

“I have just three things to teach: simplicity, patience, compassion. These three are your greatest treasures.” — Lao Tzu

The word simplicity: an absence of luxury, pretentiousness, ornament, etc.; plainness: “a life of simplicity.”
Patience: to remain quiet, with steady perseverance, having even-tempered care and remaining diligence: “to work with patience.”
As for compassion: a sympathetic consciousness of others’ distress together with a desire to alleviate it.

These three ideas seems as though they should be simple to enable in one’s life. Continue reading “Your Greatest Treasures – Lao Tzu”

Flowers Are Medicine To The Soul


“Flowers always make people better, happier, and more helpful: they are sunshine, food and medicine to the soul.”  — Luther Burbank

A simple quote that says a lot. When we look at flowers, we feel better. But before anyone comments, let me say that I know we can be so down in the dumps that our eyes see the flowers, but out brains do not register anything. Thoughts of poor health, financial setbacks, or family issues can keep us from really “seeing” the beauty that is in our own yard or neighborhood.

The Desert Rose Flower

Luther Burbank’s words always stick in my head when winter turns into spring. After a dreary winter, the signs of spring flowers usually have a positive impact on most people. The nurseries are packed on the weekends and the landscape suppliers are busy loading potting soil and mulch into pickup trucks. Gardeners are anxious to get going with their spring garden plans. Even those with little or no property, those in condos and apartments are out in force, trying to bring a little bit of nature’s beauty into their lives. From full-fledged landscaping projects, to setting up patio garden rooms, or to potting up a few annuals for a balcony, the “gardener” in folks is yelling to get out. Get out and grow something!

There are many reasons why we get excited about gardening this time of year. I believe a subconscious reason plays over and over in the back of our minds. Flowers do, somehow, make people better, happier, and more helpful. A stroll through the yard in the early evening proves over and over that the sight of flowers can change our outlook on any particular situation.

There’s something special about their colors and shapes. The human eye takes in the picture and changes within us affect our thoughts and emotions. Our worlds seem better, more peaceful, more in tune with our surroundings.
“Stop and smell the roses” is a cliché that we hear a lot. That goes for stopping and seeing as well. If you remember this saying when you look at what is flowering in your part of the world, perhaps you will also remember Mr. Burbank’s words and recognize in yourself that you really do feel better and happier in that moment.

It’s the awareness of these reactions that enables us to repeat the results over and over.

The key is to take the time, slow down, and focus on what the eyes are seeing. By being mindful and enjoying every little moment, we begin to understand how the flowers around us have the power to be medicine for our soul.
It doesn’t matter your gardening experience. It doesn’t matter how much space is available. From planting one hundred perennials to gluing seeds to a popsicle stick and potting it in a cup, the pleasure of seeing your home-grown plants bud and flower will reward you over and over. It never fails.

Feeling like your soul could use some medicine?
Grow Some Flowers!

The Only Time We Have Is Now


“I must govern the clock, not be governed by it.” — Golda Meir

When you think about it, the only time we have is now. So why is it that modern man is consumed by clocks. At our own choice, we let them control almost every aspect of our daily lives. This man-made thing, this concept called time directs us when to rise, work, eat and sleep.  Allowing  a schedule  run our life is one of the many habits that we all live with everyday. We plan “things” around time. There are hopes that during some particular point in the future, we will do this or accomplish that. We look back at events in the past that made us cry or smile. We refer to time a lot!

“I remember a time when…”
“When the time comes, I’m going to…”
“If only I had the time, I would…”
And the best is….
“I don’t have the time to…”

Earlier cultures lived with a close relationship to the position of the sun in the daytime and the moon at night. Their day was just that, a day in their life. Sure, they made plans for tomorrow’s survival, but each day was spent living in that moment , that day.

Each of us must govern our own allotment of time, minute by minute.
British statesman,  Lord Chesterfield, suggests that we

“Take care of the minutes and the hours will take care of themselves”.

Begin today by developing a mindfulness of how many times you look at a clock. Try to spend the day by simply letting things happen at their own pace. “Go with the flow” as the old expression says.

Try following Dr. Wayne Dyer’s advise:

“Stop acting as if life is a rehearsal. Live this day as if it were your last. The past is over and gone. The future is not guaranteed.”


Photo courtesy of: North Charleston
Quote Source: BrainyQuote

Never Think Of The Future


“I never think of the future. It comes soon enough.” — Albert Einstein

Are you thinking too much about next week, next month, next year?
Do you catch yourself saying “If this happens, I’ll have that’ or “When I get to that age, I’ll go there”?
Are you missing today’s beautiful sunset because you can’t wait until tomorrow’s sunrise?
Stop thinking so much about the future. Take heed to Mr. Einstein’s advise to “never think of the future. It comes soon enough”.

Enjoy today fully and relish this evening’s sunset.

Photo: Sunset at Lamington National Park, Queensland, Australia

Quote Source: discovery.com

The Best Day Of The Year


Many of us start and finish each day by doing habitual things. We have routines that we follow to begin our days and habits that we do at bedtime.  It is easy to do both. So easy that we forget to think about how important it is to be fully aware of our thoughts as we begin and end each day.

Ralph Waldo Emerson says to “write it on your heart that EVERY day is the best day of your life.” Calmly look forward to your new day. Do not regret yesterday for it is gone.

At day’s end, forget the negative things and events that occurred. Think of tomorrow…another new day just for YOU.

“Write it on your heart that every day is the best day in the year.

He is rich who owns the day, and no one owns the day who allows it to be invaded with fret and anxiety.

Ralph Waldo Emerson

Finish every day and be done with it. You have done what you could.

Some blunders and absurdities, no doubt crept in. Forget them as soon as you can, tomorrow is a new day; begin it well and serenely, with too high a spirit to be cumbered with your old nonsense.

This new day is too dear, with its hopes and invitations, to waste a moment on the yesterdays.”

― Ralph Waldo Emerson


Are you ready to start fresh with your own personal “best day in the year”?

Quote Source: goodreads
Photo: “Sunrise”  courtesy  of Bobby Mikul

The Intelligently Cultivated Mind

succulent dish garden

“A man’s mind may be likened to a garden, which may be intelligently cultivated or allowed to run wild; but whether cultivated or neglected, it must, and will, bring forth. If no useful seeds are put into it, then an abundance of useless weed seeds will fall therein, and will continue to produce their kind.” — James Allen

James Allen (1864-1912)

I enjoy slowing my life down by doing a little gardening. Basic stuff… prepare the pots by cleaning and filling them with fresh potting soil, followed by planting either seeds or cuttings. Occasionally, I do not have the time to do the planting part until some time later. And every time I let the soil sit in the pot without having planted the seeds or cuttings, I return to find weeds growing  in the containers.

This same thing happens to our minds when left lying empty and barren. Just like the weed seeds that take root and flourish in a pot full of bare soil, allowing our thoughts to run wild can cause depressing seeds of sorrow and worry to take hold of our lives.

James Allen speaks of the intelligently cultivated mind.

Intelligently cultivate. Think about what you are thinking about. Put yourself behind the thoughts that are causing discomfort. Try to look at those thoughts and realize that they are just that…..thoughts.

Weed Seeds
Weed Seeds Photo By Marco Bernardini

Thoughts are the seeds that all of us have in our heads. It makes no difference if they are seeds that we planted or seeds that others and the world have given to us. Thoughts, when focused on repeatedly, are what we will take action on in our lives.

If you do not monitor what your thoughts are, your mind will gather thoughts from wherever your senses guide it. Taste something bad, you think about how bad it is. See something that you shouldn’t participate in and you think about doing it. Feel something that you can’t resist and all you want to do is touch it. Our brains react to our senses without our help…..good or bad.

Try to spend a few moments today thinking about your thoughts. Be the person behind the mind and think about what seeds are planted inside your head. Separate yourself from all of those ideas, wishes and opinions that ramble on and on in your head throughout the day. Do not judge what hear yourself say. You can start pulling the weeds and intelligently cultivating tomorrow.
Today, just focus on being aware that you are aware of your thoughts.


The Dangers Of Annoyingly Painful Thoughts


Annoyingly Painful…
Those are the two words that my doctor used recently to describe what I was to experience for a few days.

I went to my doctor’s office some time back for what I thought might have been a spider bite on my knee. It was pretty painful and I had big red area spreading up my leg. It turns out that a staph infection had set in and was trying to run up my leg through my lymphatic system. After a short visit, I limped out with a butt full of antibiotics from a shot, a script for some oral antibiotics and some antibiotic cream for the wound.

When I asked how long before I would see some improvement, she told me that my leg would be looking and feeling better by the next day. However, the red tender spots running up my leg would be annoyingly painful for a bit.

“Annoyingly Painful”… Her words stuck with me. I think that those two words are good for describing many of life’s little events.

We all have annoyingly painful things going on in our lives from time to time. Physical things like pulled muscles, mild headaches, sunburns. In my case, this time it was a spider bite. Some of the most annoyingly painful things in life can cause us to forget about our thoughts. Reacting to these events, we spend time worrying that the worst of any situation will happen at any moment.


When the doctor told me that this infection was running up my leg, I could have thought the worst. Maybe it would go straight to my heart. I mean, that was a possibility. I could have thought about how intensely painful this could be. The bite was already hurting. That’s part of what got me to the office in the first place. My body was setting off the alarms and I had to respond.

But, I chose to not think….notice I typed the words not think …..to NOT think that this pain was going to get a lot more severe. Instead, I chose to think about the knowledge that I had just acquired from the office visit.

I’ve known my primary care for almost twenty years. I’ve trusted her since day one. Her earnest in getting this thing under control quickly told me that this was serious stuff. I also knew that I live in a fortunate time when doctors and medicines can do wonders. I was confidant that her diagnosis was correct and that the medications would begin to immediately heal my body.

I left the office with what some call a “knowing“.  I just knew that I was already getting better. I felt relieved and more relaxed. All was to be well.

Remember, I could have not stopped to think and simply reacted to this situation. More anxiety, a faster heart rate and higher blood pressure would surely have been a few of the side effects that would come with that mindset.

Not all life’s painful times are the result of physical issues. Suffering, stress and worry can appear from heartache with a loved one, worry for a child, or just plain “everything that can go bad in my life is here and now it’s ruining my life”.

By forgetting to stop and think,  we each may be headed for more and more of the same repetitive cycle of worry and pain.


We can choose to pause and think. We can look for whatever signs of hope that there are in the situation. Search and analyze all of the information. Try to keeps the emotions at bay and repeatedly look for the positive. We must develop that “knowing” that all will be well.  It is then that we can honestly say that this pain that we are going through is just a little annoyingly  painful.


P.S. Have you had any annoyingly painful situations that you would like to share? Perhaps a little inspiration for all of us?

Action Has Magic, Power And Grace In It


“Whatever you think you can do or believe you can do, begin it. Action has magic, grace and power in it.” — Goethe

Goethe by Joseph Stieler
Goethe by Joseph Stieler

Do you ever find yourself saying this? I wish I could do that? I wish that I could go on that trip. I wish I could get a better job. I wish that I could find that perfect whatever.
When you wish, do you think that you can do what you are wishing for or do you think to yourself….fat chance?

Any time you believe that you can accomplish a task, go someplace special, or fulfill that wish, you must  prove that belief to yourself by taking the first step. Any action that moves you in the direction of your belief is very important for your overall success.

The end result of your wishes or dreams is down the road. Like any road, you can only see so far ahead. Focus on what is in front of you right now. Begin with one action. Just do something no matter how insignificant that action might seem to you. The fact that you decide to start something, and actually start, has power, grace and magic in it.

It’s like the universe releases all of the needed resources for you at just the perfect time. Without anyone understanding, things seem to fall into place with each subsequent action that you take.

Power…..Beginning something can make you feel that you are in control of your ideas or wishes. There is a sense of power over your destiny.

Grace…..Beginning something can make you feel blessed and fortunate.  Be grateful  for this feeling.

Magic…..Beginning something opens up a complete world of mysterious and unexplainable events and synchronicities. Coincidences with those who can help you start to happen. You find yourself in the right place at the right time.

I’m not suggestion that by simply starting something that the entire process will be easy peasy. Roadblocks will pop up and detours will need to be taken if you want to succeed. But, with every setback, another first step must be taken through or around whatever is stopping you from attaining your goal.

Go for it! Crank it up! Get’r done! Fire it up! Or as the running shoe folks say “Just Do It”!

Whatever you think you can do or believe you can do, begin it and watch the magic, grace and power that can only be found in ACTION.

What are you doing?



Note: I found two versions of Goethe’s quote. One included the word “power” and one did not. Whichever is correct is a mute point as both are inspiring, uplifting and just plain good advise. Now………………………………….go do something!

Storms-A-Coming And Life Is Still Good

Florida thunderstorm

How can life be good when storms are coming?
If you spend time summer camping on the beach, you may witness a weather pattern that is known called a sea-breeze front. As the winds blow in from the ocean, the cooler air over the water meets the warmer air over the land. This forms what is called a convergence zone. If the air is humid and conditions are right, clouds will build up, gathering moist air over land. How strong the breeze is blowing in from the ocean can determine where Mother Nature dumps all that moisture in the form of rain and possible thunder storms.
Usually when people are camping, rain in not one of natures features that you want to experience. Scrambling around and covering up things is not fun.
Recently, I was camping on a sand dune, when my camping neighbor stepped out of his tent and asked me if there were “storms a coming”? I looked at the sky, thought for a moment, and replied that I didn’t think so. Pointing west with my finger, I told him that I thought folks west of us, a little more inland, might get wet. He looked at the sky again, concerned that maybe those storms were building up to rain down on his camping trip. I let him know that I had seen some real gully washers at this campground. But this time I was choosing to think that those rain clouds were not coming here.

His concern got me to thinking about the personal and emotional storms that approach all of us in our daily lives. We all have those times in our lives when we think that storms are coming. We think we see problems coming in our relationships. Or maybe a sneeze or two leads us to thinking that an illness is coming our way. Maybe obstacles to growing and expanding our business appear to be getting larger and larger. That noise in your car that you think is going to cost a lot of money to repair. The list of storms that we think are headed our way can seem huge.

With each approaching storm, we need to focus on what it is that we want to happen, not what we think that storm could bring into our life. It seems that every time I allow myself to dwell on what bad things can be approaching, more bad things show up in an attempt to keep me in that repetitive cycle of thought.

Attitudes towards thought are habits. It’s easy to get over whelmed with one bad thing after another. If we allow ourselves to rise each morning worrying about what bad things are going to happen, we can never see the good that is out there as well. We must make a conscious decision to think about thoughts before thinking them.

It’s not as confusing as it sounds. Just think that whatever appears to be a storm-a-coming could just as well turn the opposite way or dissipate before it gets too close. That relationship that looked stormy could turn out to be crossed wires in a conversation. Those couple of sneezes, just some dust in the air. The financial climate may change, resulting in more business than you ever believed possible. And your mechanic may find that the noise in your car was simply a loose clamp.

If the sky at your beach is half sunny and half cloudy, choose sunny. Life is always brighter in the sunshine. The only thing that makes darkness go away is light.

Did you think today that there were storms-a-coming and life is still good?

PS, By the way….my beach camping neighbor…..he let the storm thoughts go, had a wonderful camping dinner with his family…..and he never felt a drop of rain.

Problems and Happiness


We all have problems. No one is immune from them. From birth to death….The infant cries for milk and an elderly person may worry if tomorrow will come. Reaching, striving and working hard at being happy will never remove any of our individual problems. We must accept the fact that everyday life will bring it’s own set of problems into our lives.
Yet, we still think that “if only this was fixed” or “if only that was solved”, we would find happiness.
I think one of the first things we can do to attain happiness is to simply accept those problems situations as things in our lives that just “are”. They are what they are…..issues, hassles, conflicts………problems. They just are. They have no energy of their own. They are fed by our reactions to them.

I’ve found that the more that I push back against them, the more difficult things become. My thoughts become clearer when realize that solving all of my problems will not bring me any more happiness. Only by accepting and allowing things to play out and observing without judgement, can we relax and begin to see all of the other good things in our lives. When we starting noticing those good little bits of happiness we will begin to think less about our problems.

To quote Steve Maraboli:

What tips do you have for finding happiness in a life filled with problems?


Read more from Steve Maraboli.  You can find it here. →  Unapologetically You: Reflections on Life and the Human Experience