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The Sufis have a saying: Praise Allah, and tie your camel to a post. This brings together both parts of practice: pray, yes, but also make sure that you do what is necessary in the world. - Jack Kornfield, Seeking the Heart of Wisdom
It’s easy to play the martyr.
We spend our lives in struggle and turmoil longing for the sweet by-and-by when everything will be fine.
Today is the sweet by-and-by.
Yes, right now.
If we’re to have good in our lives, it’s up to us to seek it out.
Here are two things the Bible teaches about faith: One, it says that faith is like a mustard seed.
The tiniest bit of it can grow tall and in its own time will sprout.
The other thing the Bible says is that faith without works is dead.
If you’re not doing something, then you’re not keeping your faith alive.
Turn it over to God. But do something, too.
Stop waiting for someone to come along and rescue you.
Learn to rescue yourself.
Sometimes life sends fires raging through our lives, too.
Those fires are also part of the natural cycle of things.
Life, nature, or our Higher Power says it’s time to start over, again.
Use misfortune as an opportunity.
That fire rampaging through your life just might clear away the brush of the past.
Keep your heart open and stay aware.
You might learn something new and previously undiscovered about yourself
Mishaps are like knives that either serve us or cut us, as we grasp them by the blade or by the handle. - James Russell Lowell
Success rains down for no apparent reason.
Tragedy strikes like a freight train.
We’re left to deal with the results.
We can allow our egos to swell over our sudden good fortune, or we can humbly accept the fruit of our labor and continue to better ourselves.
We can lie down and give up after a tragedy, or we can grieve, get up, and begin taking steps to move on with our lives.
Look at the situations in your life. Have you been given success? Are you learning the lessons of loss?
Perhaps yours is the gift of the ordinary. Don’t walk too boastfully through your successes, nor remain too long in your grief. And don’t sleep through ordinary life. You’ll lose your sense of wonder and awe, and when it ends, you won’t know where you’ve been.
We cannot always control what will happen to us.
We need to let go of any false thoughts that we can.
We can choose how we’ll handle the situation just like we choose how we’ll pick up a knife-by grabbing the handle or the blade.
Watch out for the cutting edge.
What you do with what you have been given is important.
A healthy friend dies participating in a sport she loves. A husband works hard on his marriage only to come home one day and find his wife in bed with another man.
A knock at the door and a starving family opens it to find bags of groceries piled anonymously on the porch. A large order comes in just as a company is getting ready to close its doors, and the owner’s dream is given new life.
Sometimes life twists. Sometimes it goes the other way, too. Things happen. Sometimes we label these events good, sometimes bad. We cannot always see the reason or purpose in them, but most of us choose to believe there’s a Divine plan.
I don’t know why I’ve received some of the blessings I’ve been given; I don’t know why some of the sorrow has come my way. All I can do is trust that whatever comes my way, there’s a lesson at hand. Are you focusing on the circumstances of your life instead of the lessons? The circumstances are the tools. Be involved in them. Feel the pain of loss and the elation of victory. Let compassion works its way into your soul. Learn caring and kindness for others and yourself, too.
Instead of asking why to learn to ask what the lesson is. The moment you become ready to accept it, the lesson will become clear.
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Flip a coin. . . . This is a secret technique of many prominent executives.
Because sometimes it doesn’t matter what decision you make, as long as you make one. Then you just stick to it, having confidence in your having brought about the outcome. - Jay Carter
Sometimes, we are truly ambivalent. We don’t know what we want. The scales are balanced, fifty-fifty.
Flip a coin.
If you don’t like the decision the coin just made for you, at least you’ll know you know what you want.
What do you want? No, I’m not asking what thing you want, but rather what is it about that thing that you are seeking?
Get to the root of your search. Do you want a new car?
Do you want reliable transportation, or do you want the prestige that comes from driving a shiny new vehicle?
Do you really want to do that kind of work, or do you just want the money and prestige you hope it will bring?
Do you want a romantic relationship?
Sometimes, storms aren’t about us.
Sometimes, friends or loved ones will attack us for no apparent reason.
They’ll fuss, fume, and snap at us. When we ask them why, they’ll say, “Oh, I’m sorry. I had a bad day at work.”
But we still feel hurt and upset.
Hold people accountable for their behaviour. Don’t let people treat you badly.
But don’t take the storms in their lives personally. These storms may have nothing to do with you.
Seek shelter if necessary. Get away from curt friends until they have time to calm down; then approach when it’s safe. If the storm isn’t about you, there’s nothing you need to do.
Would you try to stop the ocean waves by standing in the surf with your arms outstretched?
Say whatever. Let the storms blow through.