July 31 Daily Meditation Writing: Persuasion

You are reading the ongoing writing process for a new book of daily reflections/meditations. Already published by this author is “Cast A Long Shadow”, 90 daily reading for our journey through life. This book is now available as a Kindle e-book, (you don’t need to have a Kindle to download and read it on your computer) as well as still being available direct from the publisher, on Amazon.comAmazon.co.ukand other Amazon European sites

Persuasion

Persuasion and force – are these opposite sides of the same coin, or are there fundamental differences between the two?

There seems to me to be a lot of similarities, and a lot of differences between the two.

When we are forced to do something, our own feelings are irrelevant, it doesn’t matter if we agree with the action or not, we just have to do it.

Similarly, when we force others to comply with our wishes, their own thoughts mean little to us at the time – no matter how “good” or “bad” our intentions, the fact is that we are imposing our will.

There is some of that in persuasion too – there is something about making someone want to do an action when they are reluctant.

But in persuasion, there is more of the element of being involved in the decision-making process; more of changing one’s mine and doing something that we now want to do, or at least are compliant in.

And here is where we can see that this applies to our inner life, as much as it does to relationships between people.

For example, we may want to do have achieved something, but if we try to force ourselves into it, we are often unwilling to go through with the action involved in completing it.

However, when we to persuade ourselves that the outcome is worth the action involved, we can accomplish whatever we desire.

A good example in my life is that I always wanted to have written a book – but that was not enough to force me into the action of sitting at a computer and producing it.

Only when I could persuade myself that I could really do this, and then take the actions required, that I got the job done – I was persuaded by action.

Sometimes, no matter how badly we want something, it is impossible for us to change our actions to achieve it.

This may be an addiction, a bad habit we want to break – or a good thing we want to achieve, or an action that we want to undertake.

What we need to do is to stop trying to force ourselves into the action – our will is not sufficient to do so.

Instead we need to use all our powers of persuasion on ourselves, negotiate and use whatever tools we need to.

The great power of persuasion is that soon we will want to do what we used to just dream of having done.

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July 30 Daily Meditation Writing: Country

You are reading the ongoing writing process for a new book of daily reflections/meditations. Already published by this author is “Cast A Long Shadow”, 90 daily reading for our journey through life. This book is now available as a Kindle e-book, (you don’t need to have a Kindle to download and read it on your computer) as well as still being available direct from the publisher, on Amazon.comAmazon.co.ukand other Amazon European sites

Country

Love of one’s country is a wonderful thing; it can also be a curse.

It is right and proper, it seems to me, to honor the country that gave you birth; to celebrate its victories and mourn its losses.

Our country can be in this way an extension of our family – it gives us another tribe to relate to and belong to.

But therein can also lie also the problem, when love for one’s country turns into hatred for others.

It is a sad fact of the human condition that we can turn a positive such as love for our own country, into a negative when we turn that love into hate, and think that all other people are inferior to us.

In our modern world we see the two faces only too clearly – the pride with which we look upon our countries successes, and the acts of violence against others who are from a different culture.

And this human conflict on the world stage is mirrored in our own personal lives too.

It is wonderful to celebrate our successes, and to take pride in what we do well.

It is great to look after our physical and mental well-being, to be the best us there is to be, and to use our potential to the fullest extent that we can.

That self-respect and self understanding is what we should be looking to improve each day on our journey through life, but sometimes we can take that positive and turn it around in a negative way.

We can begin to think that our own success is all that matters, and that it is right to trample over others to get it.

Sometimes our self-respect can turn into a lack of respect for others, when we think our unique talents are not just different, but superior to others.

And, when we turn that self-love into hatred for other people, we really begin to turn our best instincts to bad effect.

Our love of ourselves does not grow just because we hate other people – indeed, it seems to only diminish our self-respect, meaning that we need to go on hating for its own sake.

We are like the countries in the world – we can learn to respect each other, and even celebrate the differences between us, or we can go to war to impose our views on other people.

For we are all different from everyone else – we are all individual countries in an ocean of individuals.

July 29 Daily Meditation Writing: Spring

You are reading the ongoing writing process for a new book of daily reflections/meditations. Already published by this author is “Cast A Long Shadow”, 90 daily reading for our journey through life. This book is now available as a Kindle e-book, (you don’t need to have a Kindle to download and read it on your computer) as well as still being available direct from the publisher, on Amazon.comAmazon.co.ukand other Amazon European sites

Spring

I have never really liked New Year resolutions – maybe because of my past experience of them and the reasons we make them.

For me, Spring is the time for resolution, when new life is coming to the land and the promise that this brings.

Spring is when all things seem possible, when suddenly there are bright flowers appearing where they was only barren soil.

Even the air is different – crisp and new, bright and clean, after the dark and dismal days of winter, and before the sultry and hot winds of summer roll in.

And the analogy with the rest of our lives is striking.

When there is spring in our hearts and souls it is as if nothing can stop us, and there are no limits to our growth.

We all know days when there is little light, and we only trudge along, trying to keep ourselves going one more day.

And there are days when the world is settled for a while – the summer of our days when there is warmth in knowing that we have achieved some goal or milestone.

But when it is spring in our souls we have only the promise of what may be ahead – and it is that promise that is the most exciting.

There are the endless possibilities that only the growth spurt of spring can give us – the possibilities seem to stretch out in front of us just for the picking.

As we grow older in years, we can become wary of the new, of the unfamiliar.

We can forget the excitement of spring because of the heat of summer, the contentment of fall, or the chill certainty that is winter.

But, unlike the seasons which come and go by the turning of the earth, in our heart and soul we can extend the season of opportunity, and start growing at any time.

When it is spring in our hearts anything is possible; when there is spring in our soul we can resolve to make the journey a memorable one.

July 28 Daily Meditation Writing: Despair

You are reading the ongoing writing process for a new book of daily reflections/meditations. Already published by this author is “Cast A Long Shadow”, 90 daily reading for our journey through life. This book is now available as a Kindle e-book, (you don’t need to have a Kindle to download and read it on your computer) as well as still being available direct from the publisher, on Amazon.comAmazon.co.ukand other Amazon European sites

Despair

If there is one place in the world that we don’t want to be, it’s in despair.

Once we are there it seems like there is no escape, no way out – that the walls of despair are closing in on us and there is nothing to be done.

Often, the cause of the despair is truly a bad situation – when we have tried and been defeated, and lost all hope that there could be any better solution.

At times like these if is almost comforting to give in to despair – that may sound strange if it has never happened to you, but it is the experience of many of us that we almost welcome the total surrender that despair gives us.

Despair can be worn around us like a thick, black cloak that hides our shape – and that is what can make it seem welcoming.

Because, when we have been battered and bruised by life, when all our plans have failed, and all our hopes are gone – what then is there to do, but despair?

And yet, it can be from that pit of despair that we can start to find our way into the light again.

Sometimes it seems to be necessary to go to the darkest places in our heart before we can turn again to the light.

We reach what is called rock bottom – we are defeated utterly and completely, and we cannot go on.

And yet we do go on.

We find somehow that even in that despair we can still put one foot in front of the other.

Even when we have to go on without hope, we still, somehow, manage to go on.

And slowly we come to see that rock bottom not as the end, but as another beginning.

Not the end of the story – just the conclusion of a chapter.

Despair is a place that none of us would want to go to.

But despair is sometimes were we need to have been, to get to where we are going.

July 27 Daily Meditation Writing: Moral

You are reading the ongoing writing process for a new book of daily reflections/meditations. Already published by this author is “Cast A Long Shadow”, 90 daily reading for our journey through life. This book is now available as a Kindle e-book, (you don’t need to have a Kindle to download and read it on your computer) as well as still being available direct from the publisher, on Amazon.comAmazon.co.ukand other Amazon European sites

Moral

There are those who will tell you that there is one, very strict, set of moral codes.

Those that hold to this belief normally also know that they, and they along, know the truth about people’s motives and that we all fail to meet these standards.

At the other extreme, there are some people who hold that everything is relative, and that no one should worry about what is moral – the only thing to be concerned about is if we get caught or not.

Of course, most of us are somewhere in between the two poles here, but we often stand firm on a few moral areas that we see as unbreakable, and reject the idea that morals are just “not being caught out”.

I think the majority of us would accept that accept that not breaking the law is a moral thing to do, and yet how many of us have not occasionally (or often) broken the law by driving above the speed limit?

We think that telling the truth is the right and moral thing to do, and yet we find that a lie or a half-truth comes almost unbidden to our lips from time to time.

And those who are so sure of what the moral thing in every situation really scare me, as much as those who do not believe in any moral code frighten me.

I am not God.

I don’t get to decide if what others do is moral or not.

But nor do I have a get out of jail free card – I am responsible for my actions; I am responsible for following my moral sense.

All of us have an inner story that tells us what is right and wrong – it is part of the human makeup.

But we each have a slightly different sense, and to simply reject out of hand every other moral view is the height of arrogance.

There may be a set of moral guidance that cannot be changed, but it is not likely that any one of us will understand it all.

What we can do is to act in the most moral way we know how to, right here, right now.

And as we walk the road of life, we may pick up more morals – or find we have to lay some aside – as we find our way to our destination.

July 26 Daily Meditation Writing: Blessed

You are reading the ongoing writing process for a new book of daily reflections/meditations. Already published by this author is “Cast A Long Shadow”, 90 daily reading for our journey through life. This book is now available as a Kindle e-book, (you don’t need to have a Kindle to download and read it on your computer) as well as still being available direct from the publisher, on Amazon.comAmazon.co.ukand other Amazon European sites

Blessed

We are all blessed with so much – although sometimes it is hard to believe it.

There have been times in my life where all I could see were my worries – there did not seem to be a spark of light anywhere that would help relieve the gloom.

I am sure most of us have had times in our lives like that – times when all seems hopeless and pointless; and what is worse, there does not seem to be any change possible.

At these times it is hard to remember that we are blessed, but even in the darkest of times, it is possible to find it.

Because we are blessed, maybe not always by the thing right in front of us, but everything we do, and every hurdle we overcome, is a part of our journey.

I have sometimes had to remind myself that I can be blessed just by the fact that “this too shall pass”.

It may be unfeeling and unhelpful to tell a person that is grieving a loss, or is ill or mentally exhausted that they are blessed.

Even if true, it can be a hard thing to hear at such times, and can make us even more depressed to think that others do not really see our pain.

It is more that we need to know this individually – know in our heart of hearts that we are blessed, even at this moment.

I know from my own experience and that of others who have confided in me that even the darkest moments when looked back on can be seen to provide a blessing.

We may have had a painful lesson – but as long as we learned from it, the lesson was itself a blessing.

Or we may have lost someone dear to us, and can see no blessing in it – but then it may be that the experience of knowing that person for the time that we did was the blessing, leaving us a lot further on our path than we were.

If we look at what we don;t have, or what we have lost, we will always feel discouraged by life.

But if we look for the blessing we will find it, and this will speed us on our way, if not happy, at least content that the world really is as it should be, right now.

July 25 Daily Meditation Writing: Labor

You are reading the ongoing writing process for a new book of daily reflections/meditations. Already published by this author is “Cast A Long Shadow”, 90 daily reading for our journey through life. This book is now available as a Kindle e-book, (you don’t need to have a Kindle to download and read it on your computer) as well as still being available direct from the publisher, on Amazon.comAmazon.co.ukand other Amazon European sites

Labor

The word “labor” for most people brings with it thoughts of toil and hard work – of manual labor, working with ones hands and using more muscle-power than brain-power.

And yet I also feel that labor is involved in less manual activity – even in what I am doing right now in writing here at my keyboard.

True there is only very little physical activity – my fingers press the keys, and my head moves slightly as I check the screen for what I have written.

Even when this is turned into a book, it will be edited in line and printed by automated machinery – there is little in the way of human physical activity involved.

And yet I still think of what I do as labor – why is that?

In essence I think that anything we do can be called labor – if we have to work for something in any way, there is labor involved.

It may be that the labor is mental or physical, or a combination of both.

But whatever the actual activity, to labor brings with it the feeling of effort – of things not just happening, but of effort being involved.

A road is not something that just happens – it takes a combination of labor from different sources.

There is the obvious labor of the people building the road – digging the foundations, laying the concrete, making good the surrounding area.

There is also the labor required in creating the materials needed, and in transporting them to the site.

But also, there is the labor of the road designers in working out the best place to put the road, and the materials to use.

There is even labor in the planners that decided that a road is needed in that place, at this time.

In just the same way, the words on this page do not come of their own volition.

It takes a combination of thought, experience and action – of various types of labor – to get them here.

So I think we all labor to make what we want come to life, be it a field of corn, a road, or another book.