-—Coco Chanel

Kindness Is a Strength Happiness

It is all too easy to consider kindness a secondary virtue, the one we reach for only as a last resort. But if we look at the strength of kindness--the way it reminds us of a sense of inner abundance, the way it helps us feel connected to others instead of isolated and apart--we can appreciate kindness as the force it is. Kindness isn’t an ally of foolishness or gullibility, but rather an ally of wisdom and courage.

Ten Rules to Live and Love By

Ten Rules to Live and Love By

1. Seeing your partner through the lens of love rather than fear automatically elevates the relationship to a higher plane. When you can get quiet and note when you are projecting fear, you can make the adjustment to see through a different filter. So often we feel indignant or incensed, but upon closer inspection we will find that we are really afraid. Once we assume our partner's core goodness rather than focusing on their "guilt," they will be more free to show us their best, which accelerates the process of shifting our perspective from one of blame and anxiety to one of acceptance and peace

2. Being willing to forgive yourself and your partner, and to make amends when necessary is an ongoing process of cleanup. We all make mistakes; it's human. But when we hold fast to a grudge it eats away at our sense of peace and serenity. If you aren't willing to forgive, you might ask yourself what habit of ego you're attached to. Do you want to continue life with unresolved issues hanging over you?

When we take a stand and refuse to let go of something, we can always find evidence to justify it. Or we can try to make peace. Instead of blaming or making excuses, we can clean things up and move forward. This is not an excuse for staying in a dysfunctional situation, but an opportunity to see innocence. Once we do that, we gain—or give—freedom to move out of a "stuck" place.

3. Relaxing when times get tough; assuming that "this too shall pass" allows you to roll with the punches. If you know things will inevitably arise to challenge you, you can be more detached when they do. Problems become worse when we dig in our heels and try to force a solution. By relaxing into whatever struggle arises, we remain flexible and open to inspiration and insight.

Even if you have a hard time letting go, you can at least observe yourself taking things very seriously, which in itself helps to detach you from the experience of anxiety. Whatever is happening now won't be happening a year from now, so just keep breathing through the situation and see if you can take things a little less seriously.

4. Seeing in the dynamic of the relationship the reflection of what you need to learn helps bring you back to what is important. Sometimes we get lost in the chatter of day-to-day patterns and lose sight of the soul's mandate to bring us closer to realizing our Oneness. The best way to see where we need to work on things is to observe who we are and what we do within the context of a relationship. Any time you recognize your impulse to create distance rather than intimacy, you can make the adjustment and get back on track.

This relationship, as with all relationships, is part of a curriculum to evolve into our highest potential. We come to know ourselves by how we interact with our partner, and by so doing we come to know Spirit.

5. When you don't know how to handle a problem, pray and meditate, surrendering the decisions to Spirit

Praying and meditating aligns your limited energy with that which is all-powerful. Of course we don’t have all the answers, but by consigning our limitations to our Higher Power, our burden is lifted. We need to be accountable for our words and actions and be willing to work through where we are stuck. We need to stay present and forgive. Beyond that, our creative power is fueled by Spirit. By praying, we ask for help and guidance; by meditating we clear our minds so that the answer will become apparent. By moving aside, we create an opening for God to work miracles in ways we could never imagine.

6. Honoring your partner's path and allow them the space to find their own way sends a clear message of respect. People need to work things out in their own manner and in their own time. If you try to help where help is not requested, you are signaling your lack of belief in your partner. If you back off and assume someone is strong and intelligent, strength and intelligence are what they will likely find.

Although we are all on this path of realization and expansion together, each of us is unique in our lessons to be learned; the way you do something might be totally different than how someone else needs to process a situation. Rest assured that Spirit is at work in all of our lives, and give yourself a rest from overseeing your partner's personal business.

7. Keeping up your personal growth work means you will keep your mind sharp and your awareness keen. Read, study, and attend lectures; don't rest on the laurels of what you think you already know. The moment we think we have it all figured out is the moment things will come crashing down around us. Arrogance leaves no room for intimacy or growth, and is certainly not part of a spiritual curriculum. When you immerse yourself in learning, you will always have new skills and interests to apply to a relationship, and thus the relationship will always feel fresh and relevant

8. Following the path of your own creativity keeps you attuned to that which moves and inspires you. As you indulge your creative side, you become less dependent on your partner to feel whole. Creative energy is the force that breaks new ground. To sustain love, we need to continually fuel whatever inspires us on the deepest level. Also, creativity balances out the egoist and intellectual side of life; it teaches us to play and have fun. When we engage our passions, we radiate passionate energy and thus maintain the interest of our partner as well as having your own sense of fulfillment.

9. Staying present keeps us in the moment which is where life is. Life does not exist in future predictions or past grievances; all we have for sure is right here and right now. Every moment teaches us something, and if we are busily trying to change or control something we miss the grace intended for us.

By allowing the sacred mystery to unfold without trying to tamper with it, we can move through anything with much more ease and simplicity. As we cease resisting, any so-called negative situation or emotion will have the space to work out. And by the same token, when we are completely alert and aware in any given moment, we are open to the subtle miracles happening all around us. By staying present, we will see our partner for who they are; we will hear clearly their communication and respond to it astutely

10. Being grateful for what you have zeros in on what is working, which in turn magnetizes more of the same. Where you put your focus is where you direct your creative intention; so if you want abundance, be grateful for the vitality you have now. If you want a soulful relationship, be grateful for the soulful moments. Gratitude is like a seed you plant; it grows more as it is watered and nourished. Show your partner what you appreciate in them and let them know that they have a positive effect in your life. The acknowledgements of good will call forth more of the same.

The Meaning of Honesty

A successful business man was growing old and knew it was time to choose a successor to take over the business.

Instead of choosing one of his Directors or his children, he decided to do something different. He called all the young executives in his company together.

He said, "It is time for me to step down and choose the next CEO. I have decided to choose one of you. "The young executives were Shocked, but the boss continued.” I am going to give each one of you a SEED today - one very special SEED. I want you to plant the seed, water it, and come back here one year from today with what you have grown from the seed I have given you. I will then judge the plants that you bring, and the one
I choose will be the next CEO."

One man, named Jim, was there that day and he, like the others, received a seed. He went home and excitedly, told his wife the story. She helped him get a pot, soil and compost and he planted the seed. Everyday, he would water it and watch to see if it had grown. After about three weeks, some of the other executives began to talk about their seeds and the plants that were beginning to grow.

Jim kept checking his seed, but nothing ever grew.

Three weeks, four weeks, five weeks went by, still nothing.

By now, others were talking about their plants, but Jim didn't have a plant and he felt like a failure.

Six months went by -- still nothing in Jim's pot. He just knew he had killed his seed. Everyone else had trees and tall plants, but he had nothing. Jim didn't say anything to his colleagues, however, he just kept watering and fertilizing the soil - He so wanted the seed to grow.

A year finally went by and all the young executives of the company brought their plants to the CEO for inspection.

Jim told his wife that he wasn't going to take an empty pot. But she asked him to be honest about what happened. Jim felt sick to his stomach, it was going to be the most embarrassing moment of his life, but he knew his wife was right. He took his empty pot to the board room. When Jim arrived, he was amazed at the variety of plants grown by the other executives. They were beautiful -- in all shapes and sizes. Jim put his empty pot on the floor and many of his colleagues laughed, a few felt sorry for him!

When the CEO arrived, he surveyed the room and greeted his young executives.

Jim just tried to hide in the back. "My, what great plants, trees and flowers you have grown," said the CEO. "Today one of you will be appointed the next CEO!"

All of a sudden, the CEO spotted Jim at the back of the room with his empty pot. He ordered the Financial Director to bring him to the front. Jim was terrified. He thought, "The CEO knows I'm a failure! Maybe he will have me fired!"

When Jim got to the front, the CEO asked him what had happened to his seed - Jim told him the story.

The CEO asked everyone to sit down except Jim. He looked at Jim, and then announced to the young executives, "Behold your next Chief Executive Officer!

His name is Jim!" Jim couldn't believe it. Jim couldn't even grow his seed.

"How could he be the new CEO?" the others said.

Then the CEO said, "One year ago today, I gave everyone in this room a seed. I told you to take the seed, plant it, water it, and bring it back to me today. But I gave you all boiled seeds; they were dead - it was not possible for them to grow.

All of you, except Jim, have brought me trees and plants and flowers. When you found that the seed would not grow, you substituted another seed for the one I gave you. Jim was the only one with the courage and honesty to bring me a pot with my seed in it. Therefore, he is the one who will be the new Chief Executive Officer!"

* If you plant honesty, you will reap trust

* If you plant goodness, you will reap friends

* If you plant humility, you will reap greatness

* If you plant perseverance, you will reap contentment

* If you plant consideration, you will reap perspective

* If you plant hard work, you will reap success

* If you plant forgiveness, you will reap reconciliation

So, be careful what you plant now; it will determine what you will reap later.

If you tell the truth you don't have to remember anything.  ~Mark Twain