Ways To Make Wise Choices And Avoid Consequences You Don’t Want…

“Everything we say or do in life is a choice.”  ~ Unknown

Push a button, turn on a thought, talk, get dressed, drive somewhere, thousands of actions every day. We’re creatures of habit, and most of the time we’re unaware that each action is a choice, and each choice has a consequence. Of course, we need to form habits to function on a daily basis. But each decision we make creates a result, positive or negative. And it pays to understand the bigger picture so our major choices can benefit us as well.

“For every choice we make we set a cycle of energy and consequence into motion.”   ~Caroline Myss, PhD

We take everyday habits for granted. But you choose. And those daily activities probably meet your needs. But what about major decisions about work, finances, relationships, health, home. etc…those choices that are difficult to undo or change? And what about situations that just happen through no fault of yours? A few years ago, I experienced a serious car wreck. I didn’t choose the accident, but I chose the route that got me there. So where does it all come from?

“Until you make the unconscious conscious, it will direct your life, and you will call it fate.”  ~ C. G. Jung

We learn during our whole lifetime, but for the most part, childhood is where we learn how to live our life making choices. We make them in our own individual way, with a number of factors that influence our methods. And these influences prepare us well or lead us to a series of misguided decisions with negative, even painful, results. As children, the demands on us can create a sense of confidence or mistrust in our judgment.

Situations such as poverty, health issues, disruptive environments, and negative messages can hamper our ability to make sound choices. Trying to live up to roles assigned by our parents can engender security or insecurity. Even where you are in the birth line can make a difference. Nothing is written in stone, but the oldest are usually more independent and self-reliant; the middle may feel shadowed by the others; the youngest more dependent and welcome support.

“Life is all about choices. Good or Bad; Right or Wrong; Your destiny will unfold according to the choices you make.”  ~ Unknown

How many people do you know who look back in regret wishing they’d chosen differently in their work, relationships, health, etc? I can’t count the times I’ve done that. I had to experience 2 years of therapy to learn that my fear, insecurity, poor self-image, loneliness, and so forth had altered my ability to choose wisely. And that’s when I turned the page with wiser choices and happier consequences.

There’s no guarantee that all your choices will be the right ones. But you can learn to create better outcomes most of the time. There’s a saying, “Look at your life, and you’ll see what you have created.” So first look at your life and own responsibility for having created it. Then look at each present situation in your life, and think back in time to what choice you made in the past that created that situation, positive or negative. Some choices may appear to have been some mistakes. But re-examine and see if anything good ultimately resulted from them. You may be surprised.

Now consider what there is within you that may influence your choices, positive or negative. Is it doubting your ability, poor self-image, fear of failure, what will people think, etc? What determines the choices you make? Just being in too much of a hurry could be a problem. With awareness and understanding, you can sometimes correct situations in your life with new choices. And those you can’t change, you can choose ways to better cope.

The next time you have to make a major choice like buying a product, finding a doctor, a new friend, a job, a relationship, or a major life change, analyze what you’re thinking, and get in touch with your gut feeling. Don’t expect a perfect answer, but trust yourself, and vanish any fears. Check your options, get a second opinion, gather needed information, talk it over with someone you trust. All of this information will empower you to move forward in confidence.

You’ve done your homework, and in the future, it will pay off. Maybe not perfect, but you can experience more of the life you long for deep inside. And when you learn, you can teach someone else.

I wish you clear vision and happy results.

Marilyn Fowler, Author/Writer of  “SILENT ECHOES”  and
“ME and GRANMAMA IN THE HILL COUNTRY”  both now on Amazon…

Choose Laughter.

Hello, everyone.

I have to apologize for not having an article ready for this week. But I remembered a time a saw a precious little girl enjoying an absolutely wonderful laugh…and I thought about the value of laughter not only in fun times but especially when you’re down and need lifting up. So today I’m offering a poem about those down times.

Marilyn

If you’re laughing, you’re healing.”   ~Gangaji


It’s not easy to laugh when you’re hurting with physical illness, mental anguish, emotional pain or a spiritual need. It all hurts, and you may feel nothing can help. But that’s when laughter is important to help your inner child laugh again. There have been times when my own faith had to be rekindled and, for me, my poetry helps. I wrote the following poem during one of those times.

I find that when I hurt inside,
I can make a joke and find a laugh.
It comes from yet a different place,
Along my weary path.
Laughter drives away the tears,
And calms the hurt below.
It frees my soul to feel alive
Where I think angels go.

God knew I’d need this useful tool
To lift me high above the dark,
So I can see the truth of life,
And find that vital spark.

Thank you, Lord, for quips and giggles,
For making light of strife and pain,
For finding fun in spite of trial
To find my joyful way again.

I wish you laughter to wash away the tears. Be happy, dear one.

Marilyn Fowler, Author of  “SILENT ECHOES”  and  “Me and Granmama In The Hill Country”
E-book now only $2.99!

Is Your Goal Setting Journey Successful…And If Not, Why?

It’s hard for our minds to stay in the present, and we tend to want a better future. So we set goals. We’re taught this principle with slogans like, “Going for the goal; success is measured by reaching goals; without goals, attempts at success are futile; etc.” Although there are many skeptics about setting goals, we’re a goal setting nation from individuals to large organizations.

According to the World Book Encyclopedia, a “goal is a thing for which an effort is made” or a “thing wanted.” Things you want generally fall into 3 categorieshaving, doing, or being something. Examples: I want to have a patio behind my house, or I want to learn French, or I want to be 10 pounds lighter. Each one suggests a goal. But we’re all different and reaching the goal may or may not involve a specific plan to get there. Some people need prodding, and others don’t. Some of us would not get out of bed each morning without goals for the day, and some of us cringe at having to function with pre-set goals.

“No one knows how far his strengths go until he has tried them.”  ~Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

Goals may be small achievements or life changing, but they all offer an opportunity to learn and grow. And goal setting probably produces rewards more often than not. But it can also go the other way. When successful, it provides a sense of motivation and purpose, with focus, passion, direction, improved self-esteem, and something to look forward to. But for some people, setting goals can be limiting, and may do more harm than good. It can create a sense of ‘I should’, self-doubt, pressure to succeed and fear of failure, too much living in the future and neglecting the present, and feeling unworthy and depressed if they do fail to reach their goals.

“Determine What you want and Why you want it. Once you understand what’s important, you can utilize your Passions and achieve anything.”  ~Brooke Griffin

One size doesn’t fit all, so it’s wise to choose an approach in which you feel comfortable; detailed planning, tentative planning, available doors as you move along, or any method that feels right for you. Whatever your method, get a clear vision of what you want to achieve, why you want it, and how much you’re willing to go through to get it. Then begin creating your process to get there.

I set goals for myself, but I’m not one to map out a way to get there. In my forties, I wanted to work in the Mental Health Field, but had no money for necessary education. I had no idea how I could accomplish such a goal, but I had to do it. So I quit my job, moved to another city, stayed with friends, got another job, and enrolled in school on a loan and later a stipend. While in school, I reached out to some wonderful people for help, I volunteered at seminars for free admission and volunteered at a Mental Health Center to gain experience. And eventually, I had the degrees and training I needed for many happy years doing work I loved. Nothing planned…just opened one door at a time, and reached my initial goal.

“Be stubborn about your goals, and flexible about your methods.”   ~Unknown

If you have a goal and choose to plan ahead, go easy on yourself, and keep your demands reasonable. And to minimize stress, set realistic, flexible standards within your capabilities. Include whatever you will need in each step toward your goal, and list resources for help along the way. Allow for any unforeseen situations that may occur, and be ready to alter your course if needed. Keeping your eye on the goal will keep you motivated. And monitoring the process as you move through it will furnish valuable insight if in the end, you need a second attempt. Don’t give up!

“We can’t become what we need to be by remaining where we are.”  ~Oprah

Do you want to make a change in your life, but scared to take a step forward? Well, choose your goal, and ask someone you trust to stand by you through the change process so you don’t feel alone in a threatening world. Be understanding and patient with yourself. And if you fall back, don’t criticize. You’re stronger than you think, and you can make it. And it could make a difference in your life. Move forward into freedom.

I wish you much sunshine on your journey…

Marilyn Fowler,  Author/Writer of  SILENT ECHOES  ~  Visit Me On Amazon

Product Details

How To Discover Who You Truly Are And Live In Harmony With Yourself. Part 1 Ego vs Real Self . . .

ego-5

.

“Two people have been living in you all your life. One is the ego, garrulous, demanding, hysterical, calculating; the other is the hidden spiritual being, whose still voice is wisdom you have only rarely heard or attended to–you have uncovered in yourself your own wise guide.”   ~Sogyal Rinpoche

On our journey through life, we take much for granted, with little note of who and what we are as people. But we are complex creatures, and for centuries Scholars and Theologians have sought to explain us physically and metaphysically…physical, ego, spiritual, soul, divine, conscious, subconscious, superconscious, and so on…with varied opinions as to who and what we are. I disagree with some, and you may disagree with me. So we each accept what feels right to us.

It’s not necessary to know all of our complexities in order to live in harmony with our ego and true self. But it is important to understand these two parts of ourselves, how they relate to each other, and how they can work together for our common good. We are innately a spiritual being, or true self, expressing in a human body. But as children, we accept negative feedback from our environment and deny our true self with false beliefs about who we are. And we create an ego identity that becomes an active part of our personality.

“The ego is the false self-born out of fear and defensiveness.” ~John O’Donohue

With this ego identity, we think, feel, and act in ways that interfere with our ability to be happy. We may experience the illusion of separation and limitation, or be driven into destructive habits for a false sense of worth, or feel vulnerable, and we use control to protect ourselves. We may even assume a false grandiose self-image to cover feelings of insecurity, regret, guilt, etc. And our every thought automatically goes into our subconscious and finds expression in our life, positive and negative. We’re not aware of all that’s in there, but we live our life based on its content.

“Be guided by spirit and not driven by ego.”   ~ Allison

When you think about who and what you are, you may include the negative in your self-image…beliefs like ugly, stupid, clumsy, not as good as, lacking wisdom, etc. But you are none of that nonsense. That’s just what ego is saying you are. And ego is mistaken. In truth, you are that spiritual being with divine qualities. And your true self is completely aware of your true nature with unwavering knowledge that you’re not anything that limits the expression of your spiritual self. It involves the love and peace you long for, and always promotes union instead of separation.

imageedit_1_7082186605

.

If we live wholly in the consciousness that personality has built up, we’re ruled by the carnal mind, the ego self. But wisdom comes from our self-wants to flow through our ego self and be expressed in our life. We’re meant to learn, grow, and evolve spiritually on our journey. And it’s been said the ego should be the servant, not the master. So our mind, thus our ego, must be trained to work with our true self to accomplish our true mission.

“Your true Self never doubts. Your false self does so you can see and identify who you are and who you are not.”   ~Roxana Jones

The ego wants control and resists change. But it can be tamed, and its qualities can be made to work for our benefit. It is strong, clever, and resourceful, and being a tempter, it presents opportunities for us to make valuable choices that can redirect us in positive ways along our path. If we’re to find the love and peace we long for, our ego must learn to stop and listen to the voice of truth inside. And this must involve teaching your ego self who you truly are–a spiritual being with divine qualities. 

Understanding and awareness are the first steps to releasing ego and becoming more of your true self. Next week I’ll talk about ways to identify and correct your ego’s misguided tools for living.

So Be Happy!

Marilyn Fowler, Author/Writer

Visit My Amazon Author & My Books

Just For FUN.

“Every action in our lives touches on some chord that will vibrate in eternity.”  ~Edwin Hubbel Chapin

Some people work at jobs they don’t like; others find work they enjoy; and some express a hobby in their work making every day a special pleasure. Either way, it helps to have something to get excited about. And what a blessing for those who can maintain happy work and play.

Years ago when my son and daughter-in-law’s bicycle shop became too demanding, they sold it and went into other careers they enjoyed. But they clung to their love of bikes, and over the years they’ve biked all over their state, up into Canada, and on camping trips. Now they’re retired and back into the bike business. My daughter-in-law finds used bikes, and my son repairs them. Then they sell the bikes from their garage or rented booths downtown in flea markets.

I’ve had some happy work and some not so happy. But since childhood I’ve clung to my love of writing. And today I’d like to share a shortened whimsical story I created. Enjoy…just for fun.

Tandemonium
     “Take your hands off me, you brute,” Rosie demanded. “Bert, help me.”
     “What can I do?” Bert yelled. “He’s got me too.”
     A tall man with muscles like footballs hoisted Rosie and Bert up the side of a truck and threw them flying over onto the middle of a trash heap. When the truck took off, their chains rattled with every bump in the road.

     “We’ve been kidnapped,” Rosie screamed. “How can we get out of this, Bert?”
     “Hang on, Babe. Let’s see where we’re going, and look for a way out.”
     Rosie trembled with fear, and couldn’t keep her chassis still. She’d never been so shook up. “What’s he gonna do with us, Bert?:

     “Probably what everybody else did with us our whole life–get rid of us.”
     “That’s not true. Remember that nice couple we met a couple years ago? We had a good time with them before they moved to Wyoming and had to leave us.”
     “I’m glad they left. I didn’t like the way that dude looked you over, checked out your rear end and everything. Yeah.”

     “He was just curious. Don’t let things like that get to you. I don’t think…”
     “Whoa, Babe. We’re slowing down.” Bert strained to see ahead. “Oh, no. It’s that salvage dump around the bend. Now we’re doomed.”

     Rosie and Bert braced their bodies as the truck turned into a long driveway and parked. When the driver pushed a button, one end of the truck bed rose up, and the whole load clanged and banged to the ground, rattling in all directions. Rosie looked around and cried, “Now my seat is full of dirt. It’s bad enough being kidnapped and stripped of all decency, but to see my rump like this is too much.”

     Bert ignored her complaints when he saw the truck pull away. “Never mind that now. It looks like we’ve been spared, for a while anyway.”
     They huddled together, unsure of their next move, when they heard thunder overhead. Rosie panicked again. “Oh, Bert. What if it rains? I’ll get soaked like last year. Remember what a mess that was?”

     Bert grinned. “I sure do, Babe. I kinda liked you that way.”
     Before Rosie could answer, they heard a car pull into the area, and a young couple got out. They wandered from one pile of trash to the other, and ended up in front of Rosie and Bert. “Honey,” the woman said. “This is perfect. Not much fixing up to do.”
     The man walked around and took a better look. “Well, I thought we’d look for two, but yeah, this will do fine. Won’t take much to make it look like new, and it might be fun riding together on a tandem bike.”
     Rosie squealed. “Bert, we’re saved. We’re saved. They want us. Oh, I know they’ll take good care of us.”
   
Bert smiled and whispered. “Take is easy, Babe. Don’t look too anxious.”
                                                                       THE END.  .  .


.

“You don’t need a reason for doing everything in your life. Do it because you want to. Because it’s fun. Because it makes you happy.”  ~Unknown

Maybe you can’t incorporate a hobby in your work, but you can find expression in your life for something you love, and create a necessary balance. We all have a talent, a yearning, a fire inside. But we get lost in daily activities and push it aside. Don’t let your fire die. It’s an important part of who you are. Let all of you shine through, and make it fun.
I wish you many happy days being you.

Marilyn Fowler. Author/Writer

*My Books on Amazon ~ Just Click Them!*

Product DetailsProduct Details

How to Deal With Shock in Your Life.


.


It’s just a shock. You go from one day to everything being OK to your life being upside down.” ~ Amber Margarejo

We’ve just come through a stressful presidential election like nothing I’ve seen in my lifetime. And whether you’re happy or sad about the outcome, the final result was a shock not only in our country, but in much of the world. As I observe people’s reactions to this situation, I’m reminded of other shocking situations we sometimes encounter in our own personal lives and/or collectively. 

Shock over happy outcomes passes quickly. But sudden traumatic situations can affect us physically, mentally, emotionally, and/or spiritually. The degree of shock depends upon each individual’s perception of the event and personal situation at the time. What’s mild to one person can be serious to another. When we know what’s coming, our body begins preparing for it. If not, the sudden element itself can render the mind helpless to think clearly. It shakes our sense of reality of who we are, how we live our life, our expectations, our perception of truth, etc. and we must go through a series of adjustments to healing.

“Courage is being scared to death, but saddling up anyway.” ~Actor, John Wayne

I remember a personal shock I experienced a few years ago. During the many years I worked, I faithfully invested into my retirement fund. But 3 years into retirement, I suddenly learned that due to neglect by the person handling my account, I’d lost my retirement fund. It was gone. Nothing to show for all those years. At first it was difficult to believe the reality of the situation. I was in shock, and felt devastated, scared and helpless. But somehow prayer sustained me and I survived…wiser than before.

Another time I experienced a shock felt by the whole world. I still remember it vividly. I was a child listening to the radio with my mother and brothers when suddenly the program was interrupted with news that Japanese planes had bombed our ships in Pearl Harbor. My mother’s first instinct was to run, and she quickly hurried us up the street to my aunt’s house. I remember hysterical neighbors pouring out of their houses, grouping together in the street, fearful about what might happen next. I didn’t fully understand what was happening, but I felt that emotional shock.

“Accept, then act. Whatever the present moment contains, accept it as if you had chosen it. Always work with it, not against it.”  ~ Eckhart Tolle

A personal shock can put your body in an almost nonfunctional mode with questions like, “Why did this happen? What am I going to do now? What will happen to me?” You may feel that life has thrown you more than you can handle, and there’s no place to run. So your first survival mode is to stop, breathe deep, quiet your mind, and accept where you are without resistance. And if prayer is part of your life, pray for peace and guidance.

Allow yourself to calm down as much as possible, and for a while concentrate only on yourself. Cling to what’s real and valuable in your life, and list what you have that’s safe and dependable. What does your well-being depend on, and do you have that? If not, how can you create it? Be kind to you, and seek support from people in your life who will listen to you and offer understanding and compassion.

.

“You never know how strong you are until being strong is your only choice.” ~ Bob Marley

As your mind clears, take time to digest what’s happened. Ask yourself how might the new situation change your life, or does it? Can you mend what’s broken, or do you have to let go? Does the situation need your immediate attention, or is it out of your control? And establish what’s yours to do, or not do. Then move forward from there.

If the shocking situation is more on a collective level, seek out others and share your thoughts and feelings. Whatever the cause, shock needs to be dealt with in order to heal and move on. Know that you have what it takes to accomplish this. And you will.

I Wish You Peaceful Times Ahead!

Marilyn Fowler, Author and Writer
Contributor at  “Keys To Recovery Newspaper”
http://www.keystorecoverynewspaper.com/

My Books on Amazon! (Just click and Purchase)

Product DetailsProduct Details

Starting Over And Leaving Something Behind . . .

“One way to get the most out of life is to look upon it as
an adventure. ”  ~William Feather

Starting over means different things to different people. What does starting over mean to you…some monumental, life changing, fearful transformation in your miserable life? It may be all of that…but not necessarily. Starting over can be involved in any number of scenarios from minor to serious, depending upon the situation and your ability to take action.

We start over dozens of times every day and don’t even know we’re doing it. You’re looking for the cereal aisle in the grocery store and take a wrong turn. Start over. You take the wrong book off the shelf, put it back, and start over. It can be as simple as changing your mind about something…anything. Some call it going back to square one. So we have a lot of practice starting over in non-threatening situations where the consequences are not life changing.

The only way around is through.”  ~ Robert Frost

But some situations are thrust upon you, like loss of a job, a loved one, money, your health, an important relationship, etc. It might even involve a broken heart you think will never heal. You didn’t cause any of it to happen, and you can delude yourself into thinking it didn’t happen. But you know it did. And if you want to survive, you have to get through it. You have to do something. You have to get up and start over.

“And suddenly you just know it’s time to start something new and trust the magic of beginning. ”  ~Meister Eckhart.

Sometimes the choice to start over is one you make within yourself to move from the status quo to a different path, like choosing the marry, move to another city, pursue a dream, etc. But it all involves starting over from your own conscious desires or being given a new direction. You may have a restless feeling inside, like there’s something you need to do, but you don’t yet know what it is. Years ago, I was working as a waitress, and for a long time I had that feeling. Then one day at work I heard a voice in my head say, “You have to work in the mental health field.” I was totally flabbergasted by that bizarre idea. I knew nothing about it, and had no credentials for such an endeavor. But it kept pushing me. So I moved to a new path and started over. I was scared, but I went back to school, and ended up working many happy years in the mental health field. You will know when it’s time to change the path you’re on and choose a new one.


.


“You don’t need a new day to start over. You only need a new mindset.”
~Hazel Hira Ozbek                   


No matter what the reason for change, there may be some confusion, fear of the unknown, lack of confidence in your own ability, a situation that seems impossible, anything that could hold you back. If this happens, accept those feelings as quite normal, clear your mind, and begin moving forward with a new beginning. If you need emotional help, find someone you trust for help and support…family, friend, counselor. It’s wise anyway to voice your thoughts and feelings. This helps clarify your situation and give you the confidence you need. If you’re in a situation that can’t be changed, you don’t have to be controlled by it. It’s part of your life, but not all of your life. Your task now is to put some emotional space between you and the situation, and add something new in your life just for you.

“Start where you are. Use what you have. Do what you can.” ~ Arthur Ashe

Starting over always involves letting go of something and embracing something new. What is there you no longer want or need in your life? What are you ready to release? Write down where you’ve been, where you are now, and where you want to go…and what you’ll need to get there. Then begin releasing what you don’t want, and start over on your new path. Believe in yourself. Trust yourself. You have the ability to create whatever you want. Go for it.

I wish you happy days ahead!

Marilyn Fowler, Author/Writer  of  ‘Silent Echoes’

Product DetailsProduct Details My New Book ~ Me And Granmama!