Thursday, March 29

Heaven is Now (Also, Experiencing Community: A Terrific Way to Be Nurtured) ..............................3/29/12

 “What if you gave someone a gift, and they neglected to thank you for it-would
 you be likely to give them another? Life is the same way. In order to attract 
more of the blessings that life has to offer, you must truly appreciate what you
 already have.” — Ralph Marston
Spoke Before A Group
       I spoke last night.  For me, talking before others is fun, something I've done for decades. The awareness that's stimulated
within me when I speak publicly is one of the best things about it.
      The evening's topic was "Staying in the Solution."  Dwelling on our problems only makes them "loom large and more disturbing," I said.  There's no growth in doing that.  Public speaking forces me to be thorough in my thinking about the subject I discuss. It provides an opportunity to meditate, to focus. It's a wonderful blessing.
      So many sirens demand our attention as we live in this century. Career, music, electronic gadgets, family, drinking, people of the opposite sex call our attention.  Mammon, job seeking (in today's economy, a reality for many), children, spirituality, the internet, TV, sports, Face Book and Twitter---are other demands we face. Any of these diversions can easily distract a person seeking peace or equanimity. They can easily make us lose our focus on what is truly important.

       So, giving a talk is a form of meditation for me. It really is. It allows me to fix my mind on one subject.

       I churn out outlines when I'm about to talk before others. They let me lay out what I will say in order. I know others may think it crazy, but I love outlines. Thinking in outlines, is how I think naturally.
       I've been writing them for more than twenty years. Arranging my scrambled thoughts, putting them in order, is what outlines do for me. I experience greater peace in my thinking because of them. Outlines inventory my ideas. They allow me to arrange the shelves of my mind.
      When I speak before a group, I share the results of thousands of hours, decades of personal study.  A big part of what I do for a living----exhaustively examining issues ----comes out, when I speak. These ideas have a chance to greet an audience. It's the fruit of the time I've invested as a student, as a researcher.
       Distilling my thoughts comes next. Yep, I make liquor. It's a wine of concepts and behavioral alternatives. I hope what I say helps others enter new worlds of growth they never considered.  Seeing someone drunk on exercising their personal power, recovery and integrity is deeply satisfying.
Heaven Is Now
      When that happens, I'm in heaven.  Really.  Heaven is not something I wait for, as in, needing to croak. Nope. Heaven happily happens when life starts making sense.
      Discovering practical principles and habits that allow me to luxuriate in serenity, is an out-of-this-world experience. I become elated.  Acquiring a spiritual strength that enables me to handle life's challenges is blissfully celestial while I'm still living on this world.  My heart welling with joy, even in the midst of calamity or the troubling storms of life, is heavenly.
      Dwelling in God's kingdom happens whenever I laugh, or spend time with a beloved friend or he or she does a favor for me. I needn't wait until my body lies lifeless in a wooden box to experience God's love, I experience it now. Heaven is now.  I'm transported to the New World of  Recovery where my heart is not motivated by emptiness or fear, but by fullness, abiding contentment and equanimity, a balanced life.
More Distilling
       I  also distill my studies by summarizing my research.  I concentrate what I say so that I won't put anyone to sleep.  It's fascinating looking at the pieces of principles that  I uncover while researching.  Yep, it is.
       But, it is even more fulfilling presenting the overarching picture of the subject, how the bits of information fit together.  I love presenting the picture that's on the jigsaw puzzle box of that subject.
       As I prepare for talking in before others, I like spicing what I'll say with humor. I agree with the following quotation:
" It is less of a crime to create momentary laughter than a half-hour of profound slumber."   Charles Spurgeon
Community with Friends
      After the event was over, I participated in an in-depth conversation with five others later in the evening, until 11:30 p.m., at a restaurant.  The subjects of tolerance, expressing ourselves, control and manipulation came up.  I was happy being in the midst of the dynamic dialog.
      I expressed my opinion on the points discussed.  I am nurtured when I find myself in community with others, where openness and a desire to understand and support each other prevails.
How About You? 
1. What gifts of yours do you enjoy exercising?
2. What helps you to stay in the solution, when you encounter difficulty?
3. Where do you experience community?  I enjoyed it tonight with a group of friends. What is your response when you taste it in your life?
       Alright, I'm heading off for bed.


Anonymous said...

What a wonderful truth about heaven on earth. I find it when I stand in my power and use the gifts I have been blessed with by God, my creator. He made me the way i am for a reason. I may not understand it all the time but it is in accepting myself as I am that I find peace and serenity. Who else is like me? No one. When I listen to the world telling me I should be like someone other than me the insanity starts. I can not be anyone I am not so why even try. I suppose its when I feel rejected or left out by others that I may think I should be someone else and they will like me more. But I am learning I to live with myself and if I like being me then I am happier and less needy for approval from others.
Now when something bothers me or ruffles my feathers, I turn inward and trust that God will help me find the answer I seek. I am learning to look inward more these days. Being my own best friend is really nice. I am enjoying my own perspective where as before recovery my thoughts were clouded with self doubt and condemnation. I have carved out a new road map in my brain and it leads me to God's will for my life also known as the road to travel to experience heaven on earth.
I loved your insight on this topic and am blessed by the roads or the right of passage to find heaven on earth. Thank you for all the research and time you have put into your writing to share this meaningful message to many fortunate listeners.

Pablo said...

Thanks for your comments, Muse.

I'm in agreement with you.
"I block my well being every time I base my self-worth on what I do or what other people think of me." Courage to Change, p. 118, second sentence.

There's amazing freedom when we become internally, not externally referented.

" As I come to feel at home with myself and my values, with my likes and dislikes, dreams, and choices, I am increasingly able to risk other people's disapproval."
Courage to Change, p.217

Yes, this becomes a part of heaven on earth when this principle becomes ours on the cellular, visceral level, when we live it out in our relationships with others.

Thank you for your kind words! Keep coming back. I appreciate your honesty about yourself, your authenticity and the spirit that comes along with what you share.

The Innkeeper

Quotes from the Posts

"I'm mindful that our thoughts affect the words we use, our words influence our actions, our actions shape our character and our character determines our destiny."

From "My Character Determines My Destiny." To read it, please click here.

"Progress not perfection, is better than no progress at all, especially when we're trying to rid ourselves from unwelcome dragons that dwell within the closets of our soul."

From, "Still Learning" which, within four days, became the most popular post
written. To read it, please click here.

"Worry does not empty tomorrow of its trouble, but it does empty today of its strength"
From the post: "Life Is Not a Correspondence Program." Click here to read it.

"Even though we cannot control our circumstances, we can control how we choose to respond to them."

From, "Handling Stress and Dealing With an Emotional Bully."Click here to read this post.

"Nope, being busy isn't exciting. Boring is good. Because boring is not boring; boring is being healthy, living a balanced life that has serenity"

From: "Do You Know What It Means If You Are Too Busy?" For more, please click here.