Saturday, March 24, 2018

Ten Good Quotes from Marc and Angel

1. Everything is created twice, first in the mind and then in reality. So pay close attention to the thoughts you choose. They have a way of becoming real.

2. There is absolutely nothing about your present circumstances that prevents you from making progress, one step at a time.

3. Worry, and you get what you worry about. Work, and you get what you work for. It’s often just that simple.

4. True purpose has no time limit. True purpose has no deadline. Don’t worry and stress yourself out. Just do the one thing you can right now.

5. You have to accept that some chapters in our lives have to close without closure. There’s no point in losing yourself by trying to fix what’s meant to stay broken.

6. Everyone you meet can teach you something important. In fact, the people who are the most difficult to deal with can also be your most valuable teachers.

7. Take constructive criticism seriously, but not personally. Listen, and then operate with your own intuition and wisdom as your guide.

8. Don’t run away from things; run toward them—the best way to move away from something negative is to move toward something positive.

9. Some life changes look negative and painful on the surface, but you will soon realize that space is being created in your life for something new and beautiful to emerge.

10. Feeling stuck is a FEELING, not a fact. So never assume that you’re stuck with the way things are. Life changes every second, and so can you.

More or Less...

 self respect
trees, skies, flowers, weather, breezes,
self rule (or be ruled by others)
asking: help me
gratitude: thank you
early to bed, early to rise
soaking up the words of time tested writings
finding folks who inspire
stepping into the light from the shadows
more quality
making Sunday a restful day (or some day each week)
noticing how you talk to yourself
be more of solution, less of a problem

looking for dark side
artificial stimulants: gossip, social media, alcohol, news
self indulgence, laziness
mindless shopping
reading about the lives of others, rather than living your own
stepping out of the shadows into the light
less quantity
less taking things personally (hard one, but MOST of the time it is about them, not you)

And this quote: "the comeback is always stronger than the setback" author unknown

Tuesday, March 20, 2018

Change....hard to manage but worth the effort. Marc and Angel Hack Life.

It really only takes a small shift everyday that over time amounts to enormous change.

People don’t suddenly heal and start living their ideal life overnight—their daily rituals (tiny steps) play a massive role in making it possible for them to create the life they sincerely want to live.

You can choose to develop daily rituals that point you in the direction of creating your ideal life—or rituals that keep you firmly anchored to your present situation. Make the decision. Make the commitment. Then take the next tiniest step forward in the direction you choose to go.

Honestly, that’s all life is—tiny, positive steps that you take moment by moment, and then one day when you look back it all adds up to something worthwhile—something that’s often far better, and different, than what you had imagined when you began your journey.

But, as I'm sure you are aware, it's always much easier said than done.

Saturday, March 17, 2018

the week before Good Friday and Easter

One of the highlights of the Christian year is Easter...maybe even more than Christmas, a holiday that carries great significance for Christians. I have had the crucifixion and the resurrection on my mind the last couple of days, and what it means to me at this point in my life.

Also, in preparation for these thoughts I have been reading my C S Lewis daily meditation. I love his work. I appreciate both the fact that he was an atheist and a Christian. So, what he share has depth, for me at least. And regardless of his beliefs, I think he was an intelligent and thoughtful man.

On the one hand, Lewis reminds us the Christian life is as full of feasts as it is of fasts, indulgence and denial...Lewis explains that on one hand "because God created the Natural—invented it out of His love and artistry—it demands our reverence." But at the same time, "because Nature, and especially human nature is fallen it must be corrected and the evil within it must be mortified." And so the delicate balance that puts both extreme Stoic superiority and selfish indulgence to shame. We have this beautiful, fallen nature that needs love and correction to encourage it towards its ultimate growth, the destiny God intended when he created us. And we have Christ, who lived this kind of life before us and then gave up that life for us, to show us what we might become if His spirit has influence in our lives. (Everyone of course is in a different place, with myriad struggles and more or less support. But I believe God honors honest effort regardless of the success).

Now, I believe the scriptures tell the truth of His life, death and resurrection.  The gospels aren't myths, if so they are not written as good myths usually are...and here Lewis comes into his own with his account:
“The importance of the Resurrection is that it gives evidence of survival, evidence that the human personality survives death.” On that view what happened to Christ would be what had always happened to all men, the difference being that in Christ’s case we were privileged to see it happening. This is certainly not what the earliest Christian writers thought. Something perfectly new in the history of the Universe had happened. Christ had defeated death. The door which had always been locked had for the very first time been forced open. This is something quite distinct from mere ghost-survival. I don’t mean that they disbelieved in ghost- survival. On the contrary, they believed in it so firmly that, on more than one occasion, Christ had had to assure them that He was not a ghost. The point is that while believing in survival they yet regarded the Resurrection as something totally different and new. The Resurrection narratives are not a picture of survival after death; they record how a totally new mode of being has arisen in the universe. Something new had appeared in the universe: as new as the first coming of organic life. This Man, after death, does not get divided into “ghost” and “corpse”. A new mode of being has arisen. That is the story. What are we going to make of it? CS Lewis

If we can believe the raw materials for the first Man first crawled out of the Primordial sludge, why is it so hard to believe this New Man walked out of a tomb and into eternity bringing Mankind with Him if they accept His offer?

As a photographer, I can tell you how much light means when taking a picture. You can darken a photo for a moody look, but the best photo starts with a well exposed file full of light...a good photo and a good life both need great light.

Monday, March 12, 2018

Self Discipline...helps create happiness, from Verily Magazine

“Yes—discipline actually makes people happier,” shares Jill M. Prince, MBA, CHC, certified health coach and stress management consultant. “And science backs this fact up.”
When we’re undisciplined, we’re actually living in a crisis-response mode, which means we overproduce cortisol, the toxic stress hormone. “Each time the stress response system is activated, our bodies stay in fight-or-flight survival mode for two to three hours before the blood reaches a saturation level and the cortisol tap is turned off,” Prince states. Meanwhile, our mind is stressed, and our body’s main systems—such as digestion, immune function, libido, memory, and concentration—can stall or shut off. Needless to say, this on-and-off way of living can be exhausting.
“If our cortisol tap is turned on several times each day, we are most definitely not happy.”
On the other hand, those who do practice self-discipline reap many biochemical rewards. Prince says, “The human body produces a cocktail of happy brain chemicals in response to the various motivators. The four happiness chemicals (neurotransmitters and neurosteroids) are oxytocin (love and trust), endorphin (joy, pain reduction), dopamine (rewards), and serotonin (respect).”
She’s noticed that when people adopt self-discipline, “their lives become simplified. . . . [they] set and accomplish goals more often. When we accomplish goals, we get big doses of happy brain chemicals.”
But it’s a balance.
Kim Castle, a woman’s well-being advocate and founder of Lifelicious, shares that self-discipline can do all kinds of things for our happiness, but we also can’t blindly ignore our intuition and adhere to inflexibility. “I wholeheartedly say that self-discipline can make you happier. It streamlines your attention and helps to clear away chaos and overwhelm,” Castle says. Yet, like all things, we need to be balanced in our approach to discipline. “As a recovered adrenal fatigue, type A exercise addict, it can also run you into the ground by not listening to the needs of your body, especially for women.”
She has found that those who practice a ratio of approximately 30 to 40 percent of mental capacity focused (self-discipline) and the remaining open to flow, joy, and intuition are happiest. “This balance helps us get more things done with ease, and we are happier and healthier,” Castle says.
Karen R. Koenig, MEd, LCSW, is a nonfiction author of six books, a psychotherapist, and a blogger, whose specialty is in eating disorders, agrees with this balanced approach. She shares that “self-discipline is not one skill but a skill set.” This skill set is composed of two aspects: gratification, which is short-term positive feelings, and happiness, long-term positive feelings. The first is an “ability to tolerate frustration and keep persisting toward a goal by overcoming barriers and staying focused.” The second is “the ability to delay gratification to move past hard or uncomfortable work or feelings to reach a goal that’s down the road.”
Happy people have both of these skills—and they use them effectively.
If your life could use a little bit more schedule and a little less free-for-all, Koenig has some practical suggestions: “Start by practicing tolerating frustration—sticking with something difficult for ten minutes, then fifteen, then an hour, then a day, etc.” She says that by learning to delay gratification, we learn how to self-soothe, visualize goals, and enjoy feeling proud for not taking the easy way out.
On a fundamental level, we can become masters of ourselves simply by taking on a different mindset:
“People also need to change their beliefs about self-discipline and stop seeing it as something which takes away fun but rather as something which brings happiness.” In other words, we need to remember that saying no to something in front of us means saying yes to another future goal.

Thursday, March 8, 2018

It's not you, it's them, most of the time....

People are toxic to be around when they believe that everything happening around them is a direct assault on them or is in some way all about them.

That is the truth. Let it sink in.

What people say and do to you is much more about them, than you. People’s reactions to you are about their perspectives, wounds and experiences. Whether people think you’re amazing, or believe you’re the worst, again, is more about them and how they view the world.

Now, I’m not suggesting we should be self-indulged narcissists and ignore all the opinions and commentary we receive from others. I’m simply saying that incredible amounts of hurt, disappointment and sadness in our lives come directly from our tendency to take things personally. In most cases it’s far more productive and healthy to let go of other people’s good or bad opinions of you, and to operate with your own intuition and wisdom as your guide.

from Marc and Angel Hack life....

Monday, March 5, 2018

Finding Passion...Marie Forleo

The following is excerpted from Oprah's book The Wisdom of Sunday, the article is by Marie Forleo, I have paraphrased it. Oprah's book is a good treasure of wisdom.

"Many of us think that in order to find our passion, we have to look outside of ourselves.  But I've learned that the secret, ironically, to finding your passion is to start bringing passion to everything you do. And I do Mean everything. Whether you are making your bed or brushing your teeth, do it like you really want to do it. This one habit can change everything...because we humans are creatures of habit. You can't be complaining and miserable ninety percent of your day and expect to feel passionate the other ten percent. The willingness to take responsibility for your experience on a moment to moment basis is what we're missing. Most of us don't realize that passion is an inside job. It's a muscle that gets stronger the more you use it."

Thursday, February 22, 2018

Becoming a Witness to Your Thoughts....Marc and Angel

Life can be hectic; sometimes chaos surrounds us in every imaginable direction.

But just because the world around us is in disarray, doesn’t mean the world within us has to be too.

That’s right, I’m saying there’s a way to stay sane in insane times. I’m saying you can get rid of all the insanity inside you created by others, the past, and uncontrollable events…

Just by being a simple witness of your thoughts.

It’s about sitting silently, and witnessing the thoughts passing through you. Just witnessing at first, not interfering and not even judging, because by judging too rapidly you have lost the pure witness. The moment you rush to say, “this is good” or “this is bad,” you have already jumped head first into the chaos.

It takes a little time to create a gap between the witnessing of thoughts and your reaction to them. Once the gap is there, though, you are in for a great surprise – that you are not the thoughts themselves, nor the chaos influencing them. You are the witness, a watcher, who’s capable of changing your mind and rising above the turmoil.

And this process of thought-watching is the very alchemy of true mindfulness. Because as you become more and more deeply rooted in witnessing, the chaotic thoughts start disappearing. You are thinking, but the mind is empty of senseless chatter.

That’s a moment of enlightenment – a moment that you become, perhaps for the first time, an unconditioned, sane, truly free human being.

So today, let this be your reminder to let all the small annoyances go. Move through your day consciously. Make an effort to notice at least one insignificant little frustration that you would normally get frustrated about. Then do yourself a favor and simply let it go. Experience, in this little way, the freedom of being in control of the way you feel. And realize that you can extend this same level of control to every situation you encounter in life.

At almost any given moment, the way you feel is the way you choose to feel, and the way you react is the way you choose to react.

When you think better, you live better.

But, as I'm sure you're aware, that's sometimes much easier said than done.

Thinking better takes guidance and practice.
Marc and Angel Hack Life

Wednesday, February 21, 2018


Where you are and what you’re doing at any given moment is absolutely essential.
Because it is the only moment guaranteed to you.
You are not on your way somewhere else.
You are not progressing to a more important time or place.
The present is not just a stepping-stone—it is the ultimate destination.
This moment is where your greatest opportunity lies.
This moment is your life!

Marc and Angel Hack Life

Tuesday, February 20, 2018

Spirit led life....finding control in the still communion of the great I AM

I was thinking last night when I was exercising, finally, that it felt good to be in control of your body...through the disciplines of dance, exercise, the freedom to walk, stretch...and I wondered again why I always put it off. Then, continuing along that train of thought, I realized how much more I could be in charge of my life if I was in control of my mind! Wow, yeah, that was where it started, control central! A disciplined mind! This notion excited me for about 3 minutes until I realized I wasn't still digging deep enough. A disciplined mind and body were certainly things to be proud of and levels of living that I would love to aspire to, but the real wizard behind the curtain was the soul. Not the control of the soul, but the relinquishing of the soul back to its Creator, for instruction and loving care. All other noble efforts flow from the handover of the soul back to its Creator. The laying down of useless efforts that we feel will turn our life around. The desire to be instructed by the greatest Teacher, to be willing to open our eyes, and lay down our own will in favor of His. This sounds so scary and a bit boring, as I remember back to similar words from my early days as a child in the Methodist church....I always that sort of surrender meant leaving your family and signing on as a worker for the Lord in a third world country and of course being martyred there. Not something I EVER aspired to, though I believe some folks have a talent for doing just and they are eager to share God's love all over this planet. Bless them! But back to my thought of "soul control" sounded lofty and hard and sort of removed from daily life. I mean if I can't control how many cokes I drink, how the heck am I going to lay down my agenda for what God has slated for me. Well first, I think I will mark off missionary from my list of ways to serve God and grow soul. I might just start with setting my intention each day when I wake. And that intention can certainly include healthy living, being grateful for my life, the food I eat, the space I live in, the body that takes me through my day, the family that I love....then, I might just ask: how can I make good use of the gifts I have been given? How can I love someone better today, reach out to someone, sit in silence and feel that connection that is the Potter to His clay, give myself permission to accept His forgiveness and to forgive others so we both can experience freedom. And finally (and this is the hard part), to do what I know is the best I can do in each situation, whether that is work, play, rest, joy, heartbreak, fear for the future, regret for the past, and just inhabit the present, where the great I AM exists, ready to fellowship with me and give me rest, now in this moment. The past and the present are just thoughts, memories or anticipation, but this breath we breathe in His presence is Life, is now, is real.

P.S. From Marie Forleo: I have learned that the secret to finding your passion is to bring passion to everything you do. You can be complaining and miserable ninety percent of the time and expect to feel passionate the other ten percent. Most of us don't realize passion is an inside job. It is a muscle that gets stronger the more you use it.

Saturday, February 17, 2018

It's Saturday, the sun is shining and this is what I read this morning....

...from Oprah Winfrey's book, The Wisdom of Sundays, excerpt by Elizabeth Gilbert:
Sartre saide "Exits are everywhere". But I feel like entrances are everywhere. And I think that the world would be an even more cruel place than it already is, if the only people who are allowed to go on spiritual journeys were people who could afford a plane ticket to India, you know? Because we all know that people find access to God through those thin places in the Universe and the thin place in theirs lives where they come very close to the divine, in all sorts of situations. You, know in prison, in their house, in the middle of the night, in the middle of a bad marriage, in the middle of a traffic jam. It's always there. There's an entrance that you can slide through. But I really do feel like the one non-negotiable thing you need is to be able to find a tiny little  corner of your life, of your day of stillness, where you can begin to ask yourself those burning essential questions of your life. Who am I? Where did I come from, where am I going, what am I here for? And for that your need to find a sacred moment of silence to begin to look for that journey. And that's available to everybody.

Ten Good Quotes from Marc and Angel

1. Everything is created twice, first in the mind and then in reality. So pay close attention to the thoughts you choose. They have a way o...