Lessons from a Recovering Doormat

Lessons from a Recovering Doormat

Chill on the Attitude!

Happy September! I always think of this time of year as new beginnings. I admit, it’s partly because my birthday is this month. But also, as summer winds down and temps cool, things start to heat up in life. People begin going to seminars, consider career options and feel more of a need to get moving with their lives. Many of us are lazier in the summer. Work slows down. People take vacations. Workdays are often shorter. Now it’s time to get going!

Since it’s cooler, I’m literally doing more running in Central Park. My mood is brighter as I get more revved!

This morning I got up early to run. I was in a good mood and feeling energetic. I loved the crisp, cool (around 60), low humidity air with the sun shining brightly. I have to stop to stretch and hydrate occasionally and have spots I do that. My tendons behind my knees get too tight if I don’t. After a while, I jumped off the path most runners use. This spot is the end of a small stretch of dirt that some runners take instead of the paved path. I stop at the very end of a short one. Behind me is a fence so no one can continue.

I always thought I was out of people’s way there, until this woman with a bad attitude growled at me.

I see her often. She obviously has a physical disability. One of her arms seems permanently bent and she favors one side of her body as she runs. I’ve always admired her as she chugs along, despite her limitations. Until today. I saw her coming toward me as I drank some water and assumed she’d jump onto the main path like everyone else does when they reach the end of the dirt path. I do that sometimes. I backed up against the fence to give her room as she closed in on me. Fast!

As she turned around to go back the way she came she growled at me, “Why are you here?!!” with hostility

She knew I was a runner (even if she didn’t recognize me, she could see I was sweaty and had been running). It would seem logical that I’d be in this dead end space instead of blocking many runners on the main path when I stopped to refresh. Often I see people just hanging in that spot who aren’t in the park to exercise. It’s everyone’s park. I admit I get annoyed when people walk in groups on the path for exercisers when there’s a walking path parallel to it. But I don’t verbally attack them. I go around them.

I was so stunned by this woman’s anger that I couldn’t retort before she turned and ran back. Being handicapped doesn’t give license to be nasty.

I assumed her routine is to run to this point and turn around and go back. She looked like she wanted to tag the fence. But in a public park, you can’t always do things your way. I felt angry as I began to run again. What had been a lovely peaceful run got snagged with her negativity. I silently answered her in my head. “Why am I here?” Because I have a right to be! It’s a city park! Better there than blocking many runners. I wasn’t expecting someone to need that dead end. As I resumed my run, I thought I might see her again if she turned and came back toward me and I could shout that at her.

Gratefully, I caught myself. This woman is obviously unhappy if she makes such a big deal out of going all the way to the fence.

It wasn’t worth ruining my run over by letting the thoughts play in my head. I let it go. By feeding a need to say something to her, I was adopting her bad attitude. Maybe yelling something would feel good for the moment but it wasn’t necessary. In the bigger picture, it wouldn’t be a nice thing to do. This woman has a physical problem and maybe this run is her only way to feel in control. So I let it go and felt much better after.

Telling someone off isn’t worth the energy most of the time.

Compassion for the fact a person who gets mean or nasty must be unhappy about something in their life eases anger. Understanding that makes it easier to accept their actions. Bad attitudes can be contagious, just as good ones can be. Watch yourself when you’re hit with one that makes you bristle. Forgive the person for taking their own stuff out on you in your heart and let it go! Instead, spread a good attitude to others! ?

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Law of Attraction in Action: Tough Times

This is post 51 in my series on the Law of Attraction in Action. You CAN use your power to attract all that you need. I do it every day! Read the posts in this series to see how.

The economy has been bad for a while. That’s true! Many people are out of work. that’s true too! Prices are going up. The news media spreads the hype that we’re going through tough times. I hear people, even those with good jobs, talking about what tough times we’re having. Even people on TV talk shows, who have to be making a better than average salary are talking about having to cut back like it’s a real bad problem.

You’re having a tough time IF you choose to have one.

It’s hard not to feel the pinch, even if nothing has changed in your economic world if tough times are discussed so much. There are constantly segments on TV about how to budget and find ways to get through these tough times. I often turn the channel when they come on. Of course I like to know how to save money. That’s always good. But I don’t like the message that comes with the tips—that we’re living in tough times.

These are only tough times if you think of them as tough times! And if you do, the Law of Attraction will reinforce it for you.

During times when people around you seem to be struggling, do what you can to keep negative expectations out of your world. Even if you lose your job, expect to find something better. I’ve spoken to people who’ve had this happen. Some talk like their life is over. “Oh woe is me!” “What will I do?” They immerse themselves in the tough times and attract more tough times.

Every situation can be gotten through when you put out a positive vibration of expecting good things to come, even in the face of adversity.

I know it’s hard. I’ve been there. That’s why I considered my #1 blessing to be the strong faith I have that everything will work out. I don’t have a job. I rely on getting book deals, speaking gigs and counseling clients. Once when my checking account was empty and I had no work, I automatically went into panic mode. But I caught myself fast. I KNOW with all my heart that I have a steady income. So I cleaned to feel back in control like I discussed in my Law of Attraction in Action: Control post. Then I expected to get something good. Two new books to write came to me at once the next week!

Stressing out over the economy shows a lack of faith. And it makes you more unhappy.

Why do that to yourself? Instead, be more loving, take some deep breaths, and work on creating a strong vibration to show the Universe you intend to get what you need. When I needed an income, I screamed affirmations with joy. Over and over! I made it clear that my intention was strong and I wasn’t worried because I expected to get what I needed.

“I have the income I need from whatever source is best for my highest good!”

There are still jobs to be had. How you CHOOSE to view your situation determines where you land. I have a friend who’s been out of work for a while. She collected unemployment as she did a job search in this tighter job market. She also got some freelance work to help out. Never once did I see her lose her positive attitude. She went on one interview after another, only to find 20 other candidates were fighting for the one job.

Laurie continued to do her best, certain that she was okay and would get a job when the time and position were right.

Her unemployment was about to run out but she hung in with a smile and relaxed attitude. In this time that many see as tough, Laurie landed her dream job. It was a perfect fit for her, a good salary, and she loves the work. While others sit home lamenting about tough times, and bringing them on with their thoughts, others are finding great opportunities.

It YOUR choice how to spin the economy in your head. Tough, challenging or full of new opportunities?

My world hasn’t been hit by the “tough times.” I still live as usual. Some people see the way I live as on edge, since I don’t have a steady paycheck. I don’t at all! The week before I finished up my last book, I looked up and said I was ready for the next one. The next day I got a call to write the most prestigious book of my career—so far! It’s a challenge but I’m up for it. When you have faith, life flows with good in your direction!

Living within your means doesn’t have to be tough!

Prices have gone up dramatically here in NYC. But it hasn’t really affected my lifestyle. I’ve changed some habits that save money and have been good for me too! For example, I always eat out of the weekend. I don’t drink a lot of coffee during the week but always had several cups in restaurants. So I cut them out. It’s better for my health and compensates for the increased cost of my meal. I no longer miss it and have some before or after that I make myself.

Saving money can also be healthy!

I’ve actually cut back on my portions of meat which saves money . I didn’t consciously do that to save money. It just seemed healthier to eat less meat so I do now. And it’s helped me to slowly trim my weight. To me that’s a win/win situation! I save money and calories.

Don’t let the media convince you that you’re living in tough times. They may be tough all around you but don’t have to be in your little corner of the world!

Count your blessings, do positive affirmations and keep expecting good things, even miracles! You can create a secure environment in an insecure world if you expect it. Remember, the Law of Attraction will bring you whatever you think, so think happy, prosperous times and finding new ways to live a great life!

See all the Law of Attraction in Action Series.

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Unexpected Blessings

There’s a woman who cleans apartments in my building who lives up in the Bronx in a very poor neighborhood. She appreciates anything people give her that they don’t need and finds homes for it all with her friends and neighbors. I always save clothes and household items I don’t need for Esther and get stuff for her from other people with stuff to give away. She’s a lovely lady and full of gratitude for everything I give her, even when I consider it junk.

I once gave Esther a broken boombox, only because she insisted she’d take it. I’d have chucked it! The next week I saw her and she was excited to tell me that a man in her building fixed it and a girl in her building was ecstatic to get it. I’d have just thrown it out had I not known Esther makes the most out of everything. She’s a good woman who loves helping others and gets pleasure out of taking what people don’t need and giving it to those who have little.

Blessings can truly come back to you in unexpected ways!

I actually cried when I heard this story. Esther has several young kids and took in her grandchildren when her daughter was struggling. Mind you, Esther doesn’t have much money. Her grandson needed gym shorts for school. She told him he’d have to wait until she had spare cash. He came home crying that his teacher said he had to have the shorts and if he didn’t come in with them, he’d fail gym and have to sit in detention. He didn’t want to go to school anymore!

I admit, it’s hard for me to imagine being so strapped for money that you can’t afford to buy a pair of shorts! I realized that’s something I should be grateful for!

Esther is trying to provide for 5 kids on her own by cleaning apartments. After making sure they’re fed, there was little left. That night, she cried and then prayed over and over, asking God for a miracle—to help her find a way to get her grandson gym shorts. He’s very tall and strapping for his age so he needed an adult pair. Before she went to sleep, Esther went to move some bags of clothes she’d brought home that day.

She stood with her mouth open as she noticed a pair of shorts for guys on the top of one bag, exactly what her grandson needed. She cried, this time from joy, when she saw they were his size!

After bringing stuff home for years and distributing to those who need it, Esther was got a miracle when she needed it!

We often don’t realize how much good the stuff we no longer want can do for someone else. It’s so easy to toss out an old shirt or pan or whatever seems old and is replaced by a better one. But there are many people who can use what you can’t. Finding another home for your unwanted items is a blessing to someone who has little. Plus, it helps the environment by recycling instead of adding to the garbage.

For me Esther’s blessing was personal. It turned out the shorts belonged to my brother-in-law. My sister had sent some bags for Esther at my suggestion. The act of giving away old clothes created blessings for a bunch of people! Think before you toss things out!

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Transform Your Environment with Sacred Spaces

I’m a big believer in creating an environment both where you live and where you work that reflects your spirit. It should be organized and have at least some personal touches that make you feel good. So I’m delighted to have as my guest today, Asha Praver, lecturer, teacher, counselor, Spiritual Co-Director of the Ananda Palo Alto Community, and author of Swami Kriyananda as We Have Known Him.

Transform Your Environment with Sacred Spaces

By Asha Praver

We don’t create the holiness of life. We remember it. Just behind the mundane, the divine, is always hovering. How much of that divinity we experience is a matter of where we put our attention. All of spiritual practice is learning to stay focused on the deeper reality behind the everyday events of life.

A simple way to help you remember is to create within your home or work environment sacred spaces. They don’t have to be large, elaborate, or expensive. You don’t have to shock your co-workers or add a room to your house. In fact many small spaces are often better than one large one. With several, wherever you are, you will be reminded.

Sacred spaces, however, should not be shrines to the things of this world you already love. Photos of loved ones, mementos of places you’ve been, pictures of things you’d like to acquire should be kept elsewhere in your environment.

Sacred spaces are to help you attune to the transcendent reality behind these cherished loves, experiences, and desires. “Seek ye first the Kingdom of God and all these things shall be added unto you.”

Here are three simple guidelines for setting up your sacred spaces.

1. Put your sacred spaces wherever you spend the most time. You want to see them when you enter and leave the house, wash the dishes, work at the computer, talk on the phone, or first wake up in the morning. Put them near, but not in the actual workflow. A wall or a window ledge, for example, is usually better than your nightstand, desk, or the kitchen counter, where everyday clutter can easily encroach on them.

2. Keep them simple. Your sacred spaces should have an immediate spiritual impact on you. Choose things of inherent power that have personal meaning. Sacred symbols like the cross, Star of David, or AUM, or items from Nature work well. Images of gurus or saints, especially if the consciousness in the eyes is clearly visible, are ideal. Make the Dalai Lama, Mother Theresa, Paramhansa Yogananda, or Jesus Christ your everyday companion. Word messages are also good, especially if you can get the meaning at a glance. “Hope.” “Faith.” “God Loves You.” Everyone needs to be reminded.

3. Keep it fresh. Don’t let dust, dead flowers, or burned out candles accumulate on your sacred spaces! If you are neglecting the sacred spaces in your outer environment it probably means you need to give more attention to your inner self as well. If what you have placed there no longer inspires you, then start over. Keep trying until you find those images that resonate with your soul and have an enduring capacity to lift your consciousness. Making a sacred space is a spiritual journey in itself.


About the Author: Asha Praver is a lecturer, teacher, counselor, Spiritual Co-Director of the Ananda Palo Alto Community, and author of Swami Kriyananda as We Have Known Him. Asha has been trained in yoga, meditation, and spiritual living by Swami Kriyananda, who was a direct disciple of Paramhansa Yogananda. Since 1969 Asha has been a disciple, a meditator, and an intentional community member. Classes on love and relationships by Asha Praver, can be found in the “Talks/Newsletters: CD purchase” section of www.anandapaloalto.org.

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