Thursday, August 29, 2013

Are you easily annoyed by inconsiderate people?

Question for Penny: I find myself easily irritated by people who are disrespectful or inconsiderate. I get so annoyed that I find myself talking behind their backs. I know it's such a waste of time...but what can I do to let it go?

Answer: You are right! It is a waste of time, indeed. Cultivate your own garden and let go of your tendency to examine and judge how others cultivate theirs. Catch yourself in moments of gossip about how others ought to be living and rid yourself of thoughts about how they should be doing it this way, or how they have no right to live and think as they do. Instead, put your attention on your own life and how to improve it. 

Catch yourself when you are engaged in the habit of talking about others — about how they are wrong and you are right. Catch yourself and stop instantly. Just stop. Remember: the person making the time to judge others or gossip behind their backs is no better than the people they are actually talking about. 

Spend your energy wisely and stay busy and involved in your own projects and pursuits. If you're so busy tending to someone else's business, you're certainly in that moment taking attention away from tending to your own business.

You energize the very thing you focus your energy and attention on, so why not focus your energy and attention on how you can do better rather than on how the other person should be doing "right" in your mind?  

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Are you completely "present" in each moment?

Sometimes while you’re home, your thoughts are still absorbed with solving the challenges at work. And when you’re at work, you find yourself worrying about problems at home. You may even go through the day without really listening to what others are saying to you. You may be hearing the words, but you’re not listening to the message.

You’re here, but you’re not fully present. You find yourself involved in yesterday and tomorrow, and never even notice that today is slipping by. You could end up going through the day rather than getting something from the day.

It’s important that you take the time to observe what is happening around you. Be alert. Be awake. Let life and all of its subtle messages touch you. Often, the most extraordinary opportunities are hidden among the seemingly insignificant events of life. If you’re not fully present—living the moment—how can you truly appreciate what’s in front of you, let alone give it your best?

Be in the moment as you deal with what’s in front of you at that given moment; break things down into
bite size pieces so they’re easier to manage. This way, you can accomplish many tasks well throughout the day, rather than stress out trying to accomplish one big unforgiving task only to achieve mediocre results.

Just for fun, let’s look at our lives as precious paintings. If this is the case, then what you paint and how you choose to paint, makes a difference to the overall picture of your life. Living your life being in the moment, making conscious decisions, can help you paint a better picture. So let’s take a closer look at what this could mean…

Let’s say you want to paint a picture of your life to include: a sun, mountains, lush green grass and a glistening sea of water. Being in the moment would mean paying attention to each element and doing your best to paint them well.

However, not being in the moment could mean missing crucial details that affect the overall look of your painting. Maybe you don’t pay attention to the sun; perhaps you even forget to paint the sun. Without the sun, would it still make sense for the water to glisten? Suddenly, your painting draws a different picture—one that isn’t as alive as you first intended.

Every element in your painting can change the look of your picture, just as every moment you live can shape your life. So do you want to let things happen to you? Or do you want to make things happen for you? The choice is always yours to make. And so it’s important that you’re fully present and always aware as you paint the grand picture of your life. Hold your brush firmly and paint all your moments well!