Tag Archives: Faith

How Humor and Faith Help You Focus on What’s Important

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The idea to mix the topic of humor and faith came to me after receiving a note from a good friend last week. His morning habit includes praying and thought of me as he read this passage: 

Who can find a woman of noble character? She is clothed with strength and dignity and she laughs at the hard times to come. (Proverbs 31: 10, 25)

Reading this made me smile and giggle because he knows some of the crazy stuff I’ve been through. It also reminded me that everything will be okay. I “thought” I was having a bad morning until receiving that note. My thoughts switched to positive mode and made me happy.

Having a sense of humor can help you get through uncomfortable moments or situations. Humor helps provide insight and tolerance and allows you to see things from a different perspective. Laughter bonds people.

Having faith is the best way to tap into your innate wisdom, harmony and strength which keeps us centered. Life is full of bumps and curves, and faith will help steer you back to your center as many times as needed.

These two things – humor and faith – are important aspects of our lives we tend take for granted. Here are three examples that illustrate how humor and faith can help you focus on what’s important: Continue reading

Intent of the Day: Keep the Faith

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All things are inconstant except the faith in the soul,
which changes all things and fills their inconstancy
with light.
-James Joyce

Faith changes everything. It’s easy to be discouraged and it’s easy to give up. People give up everyday and sometimes throwing in the towel is the best option, but today we want to think about the circumstances that require a little faith. These are the circumstances that scare us a little bit, that require a little bit of hope and strength. These are the things that challenge us but ultimately make us stronger and more prepared to tackle the next big vision. We intend to keep the faith!

You too? Here are 3 things to help you do that: Continue reading

From Intent.com: Big Stuff On It’s Way

“If everyone is moving forward together,
then success takes care of itself.”
-Henry Ford

There’s something unstoppable about a group of people dreaming big in conjunction.
It’s like one truly passionate person creates this open door for more and more people to dream big and join the party. It just takes that one to be bold, to have the audacity to believe that they could be the one who sees the vision in their head become a reality. It’s that one who gives you permission to be audacious along with them.

So, it’s Monday. If you were waiting for the one, here are three.
Three images to click on leading to projects that are in the dream phase.
Three people who are saying “this is where I’m headed because I believe in this.”
Read their stories. Share you’re own.
You could be one!

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Join intent.com.
Share your dream.
Be one.

Letting Go of Over-Planning (VLOG)

We’ve all been told it’s best to get present and live in the “now”, but often I find myself living in the 500-years-from-now. If life is a journey and not a destination, how do we get into the moment and out of our obsession with that golden nugget in the future we think will solve all of our problems? Here are a few of my thoughts on the plight of the over-planner (me.)

Many thanks, as always, to Stefani Twyford of Legacy Multimedia for filming my vlogs and for her continued support as I trudge the road of “putting myself out there.” For more, check out my website, The Light Files, and follow me on Facebook or Twitter.

 

More from Laura Max Nelson:

Change is Good, and It Happens Faster Than We Think

How to Find Balance by Losing It

How to Deal When You’re Outside of Your Comfort Zone

Who Knew? Lucky Charms Actually Work

horseshoeAssay: I’ve been thinking a lot lately about superstition.

Superstition is the irrational belief that an object or behavior has the power to influence an outcome, when there’s no logical connection between them.

Most of us aren’t superstitious—but most of us are a littlestitious.

Relying on lucky charms is superstitious, but in fact, it actually works. Researchers have found that people who believe they have luck on their side feel greater “self-efficacy”—the belief that we’re capable of doing what we set out to do—and this belief actually boosts mental and physical performance. Many elite athletes, for instance, are deeply superstitious, and in one study, people who were told that a golf ball “has turned out to be a lucky ball” did  better putting than people who weren’t told that.

Any discussion of superstition reminds me of a perhaps-apocryphal story that I love, about physicist Niels Bohr. Bohr noticed that a friend had a horseshoe mailed above the door, and he asked why. When was told that it brought luck, he asked in astonishment, “Do you really believe in this?” His friend replied, “Oh, I don’t believe in it. But I am told it works even if you don’t believe in it.” (You can watch me tell the story in this video.)

To help herself quit drinking, a friend told me, she explicitly invoked the idea of luck. “I told myself, ‘The lucky parts of my life have been when I wasn’t drinking, so I need to stop drinking to get my luck back.’”

How about you? Do you have a lucky object, lucky ritual, or lucky item that you wear? I have a lucky perfume. I love beautiful smells, but I save one of my favorite perfumes to wear only when I feel like I need some extra luck.

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If you’re reading this post through the daily email, click here to join the conversation. And if you’d like to get the daily blog post by email, sign up here.

Are you interested in launching a group for people doing happiness projects together? These groups have sprung up all over the world, and one of my favorite things on my book tour was to meet some of the groups. Intrigued? Email me, and I’ll send you the “starter kit.” Read more here.

Wordplay Wednesday: Inspired

erica rock climbing
Overwhelmed
But open-minded
Moving through
Expansion
Tired
Purposeful action
With restraint
Tuning in
Faith
Inspired

I wrote this one in June of 2010, shortly after making the decision to stop drinking.

Message in a Bottle Makes Its Way to Mom Two Years After Her Daughter’s Death

Superstorm Message in a BottleStories like this are so amazing and unlikely it seems strange we’d ever have any need for fiction.

Sidonie Fery was 10 years old when she wrote a brief note to her mother, sealed it in a green bottle, and cast it into the ocean about an hour east of Manhattan. That was over ten years ago.

Three years ago, at age 18, Sidonie fell to her death at her boarding school in Switzerland, leaving her family shocked and distraught. But the story doesn’t end there. And this is the part where we start to wonder if there really is a higher power looking out for us…

We all know the damage wrought by Superstorm Sandy last fall: The second costliest hurricane in U.S. history, at least 286 people killed across seven countries. It was a horrible event none of us would want to relive, and it’s hard to imagine anything remotely positive could have come out it. But if it hadn’t been for the storm, a beach clean-up worker would have never come across Sidonie’s forgotten message amid piles of garbage washed to shore.

And so the bottle finally made it to Mimi Fery, Sidonie’s grieving mother, two years after her daughter’s death and over a decade after the day it was written. The message inside quoted a line from Sidonie’s favorite film, “Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure”: “Be excellent to yourself, dude.”

The girl most likely had no inkling that these words would essentially constitute her last communication to the world ever. And that makes the sentiment that much more poignant. It would be difficult and perhaps unsettling to go around thinking every day could be our last, every word our final utterance, every hug our last sensation. But Sidonie’s story makes this possibility seem all the more real, and thus our time here all the more precious. And we have to trust that everything, somehow, will be alright in the end.

Are you inspired by Sidonie’s story? Tell us your thoughts in the comments section below!

 

Photo credit: AP Photo/Frank Franklin II

Are You Trying To Find Your Purpose?

Enjoying the sunHas trying to find your purpose ever stressed you out? Do you feel some sort of pressure to make something meaningful with your life? In the past, when I heard people talk about their purpose, I would feel stressed and believed I was supposed to be doing something different or more with my life.

I thought that I needed to be clear about what that purpose looked like in the physical world. I then realized that by searching for this clarity, I was missing the life that was actually given to me as this present moment. I realized I had been missing the opportunity to express what was most important to me while I was searching.

What if it’s not as complicated as the mind makes it out to be? What if in the larger picture, what you’re doing is not as important as how you are being while you are doing it and the quality of energy you are putting out into the Uni-verse?

We are all hooked up differently to feel alive and sometimes it’s just about paying attention to what already lights us up. One thing that has helped me get clarity around this, and that I often recommend to clients, is having what I call a Joy Journal. It consists of taking some time every night to simply write down your favorite part of that day: this could be connecting with a coworker on a break, teaching a child how to ride a bike, or even being in nature or with animals.

Over time I was able to become more aware of the themes that spoke to me and I consciously created a job that brings in those elements and that feels aligned with my values. I knew I enjoyed connecting authentically with people, creating environments where people could more deeply discover who they are and ask meaningful questions.  I loved being a part of an inspiring community, and I knew I loved Bali.

So… I created a Wellness Retreat to Bali and over the last four years have been leading groups there on an immersion retreat where we do yoga, daily meditation, we get massages, eat raw food, get inspired by each other and also express our creativity. At the heart of these activities I could see that what I truly value is consciousness work, genuine relationships and supporting people. It’s no surprise that I also work as a psychotherapist because these qualities are expressed in that work as well.

It’s not that my purpose is my work, but my work supports me in expressing what I hold as most important to me. The invitation is to first clarify what you truly value. If at the heart of things you hold important in life is love, then discover how love expresses itself in your life moment-to-moment, person to person. Or if what you really value is service, then simply asking yourself everywhere you go, “How can I best serve here?” is a way of embodying your purpose. Then watch as life unfolds by honoring what is truly in your heart.

You can trust that the intelligence that holds the stars and the galaxies in the Uni-verse is also orchestrating your life… you can rest in that. A flower doesn’t know where it is going or its ultimate purpose, and yet it still blooms… something in it knows.

Goals are fine, and if you already have clarity about a specific expression your life is taking, then follow that, assuming it’s aligned with your heart. Just don’t get lost in the goal, thinking that getting “there” will somehow deeply satisfy you. It’s easy to have the end in mind or believe you have a purpose and then lose sight of the other 90% of your life, brushing your teeth, driving to work, meeting people at the grocery store, etc. This 90% is as much a part of life as the other 10%. By mentally living in the future, we miss out on the opportunity to express what we truly value now.

Often what we actually deeply yearn for is the creativity and spontaneity that arises out of the present moment. I invite you to enjoy this discovery as you let go of the stressful ideas about how you believe life should be, and experience the fullness of following what you truly value in your heart moment-to-moment.

“We can do no great things, only small things with great love.”  ~ Mother Teresa

Can the Truth Come Back With a Capital “T”? (Part 1)

Screen Shot 2013-07-08 at 3.57.19 PMBy Deepak Chopra, M.D., Menas C. Kafatos, Ph.D., P. Murali Doraiswamy, MBBS, and Rudolph E. Tanzi, Ph.D.

In a sense, the modern world was created with a simple editing stroke when Truth lost its capital “T.” Instead of pursuing the Truth, along a hundred paths stemming from philosophy and religion, the rise of Newtonian science and the Age of Reason taught us to seek lower-case truth, which consists of a body of verifiable facts. We have inherited a suspicion about absolute Truth that can be heard in everyday speech. How often do people say, “Well, it’s all relative” and “There’s no such thing as truth with a capital ‘T’.” Between them, relativism and the mountain of empirical data assembled by science have suffocated the notion of Truth. Many truths have emerged, truth about the best form of government, about the value of free markets, etc.

The search for lower-case truth is no less ambitious than the search for God, the soul, higher consciousness, and a transcendent reality that lies beyond the physical world. Those were the basic elements of Truth as it was revered in the past but repudiated by science. We think it’s valuable to try and reconcile science and spirituality, but let’s skip over that for the moment. The truly important issue is to know if we should be going after truths or the Truth. It’s a question that touches everyone’s life personally, because in hidden ways our whole lives are governed by what we believe about truth. Is it just a mass of verifiable facts? Or are facts secondary to an overarching truth that people should live by as they once lived by faith in God an adherence to religious rules?

We’re not proposing the return of religion in its former guise, or making a back-door argument for a new kind of worship. (Ironically, many of the old religious views held that God is an external fact, as the universe is held to be external now.) When it had a capital “T”, truth defined the essence of reality. To say, “God created the world in seven days” was a foundation of reality, an absolute that was superior to everything else that might be observed in the physical world. This literal interpretation was of course contradicted by the findings of science. To a religionist, however, if a fossil dating back a hundred million years contradicted the Book of Genesis, faith required an argument that preserved the absolute Truth, no matter what the cost in rationality.

It hardly needs saying that science turned this scheme on its head, and now we know better than to accept any absolutes about the nature of reality. Not only have God, the soul, and higher worlds flown the coop, when science itself proposes to formulate laws of nature, such as gravity and the speed of light, these new absolutes are open to question. Time and space were absolutes in Newton’s classical physics until Einstein proposed his General Theory of Relativity. Now, at the cutting edge of cosmology research, the discovery that dark matter and dark energy may exist, and if so, they constitute 96% of the creation that emerged after the Big Bang, threatens to overturn the apple cart once again. It has raised doubts, for example, about the accepted truth that gravity dominates the universe and that energy only has positive values.

At first glance, the toppling of old verities seems merely technical. Ordinary life isn’t impacted by contending theories of quantum gravity and superstrings. Dark energy, if indeed it exists, is pulling the expanding universe apart at an accelerating rate, a startling finding that has profound consequences for how the cosmos might end, but who will be around billions of years from now when the end-point arrives? Anyway, quantum physics, which replaced Newtonian mechanics in the great quantum revolution of the early twentieth century, basically states that what the senses perceive is not reality itself, reinforcing the view that the Truth either doesn’t exist or is inaccessible. In a word, there is no place in a sea of constant change for anything absolute.

Despite the profoundly different world view that quantum mechanics ushered in, most scientists still practice science as conceived by the now outdated classical physics, believing resolutely that their task is to gather facts about fixed objects, akin to Newton’s falling apple or billiard balls bouncing off one another in a dance of cause and effect. This kind of science finds itself in a troubling place when it comes to explaining reality, however. New findings about the very early phases of the universe are already nibbling away at the edges of the three foundational principles that all of science is based on:

  1. There is an objective universe “out there,” external to observers.
  2. The universe reveals itself through the collecting of facts, measurements, and data.
  3. Once enough objective data has been assembled, we will understand the universe completely, which is the same as saying that we will understand reality.

These statements are the equivalent of holy writ for scientists; they are assumed without question to be valid, and as anyone can attest who has mounted an argument that doesn’t depend upon these principles, cries of heresy arise. It is strange that these cries of heresy seem to ignore quantum theory and its profoundly different world view. Rational researchers suddenly become hot-headed and ad hominem. One is quickly branded an enemy of science. When tempers cool, personal hostility turns into a more rational dismissal: To speak of a reality beyond the physical universe, one that isn’t known by collecting data, is simply “not science,” “metaphysics,” or even worse, “pseudoscience.”

In this series of posts we’d like to formulate a new picture of truth that replaces the flawed principles of science as it exists today. What is needed is an expanded science that grows out of facing – and correcting – some mistaken beliefs. Science follows wherever reality leads it. We think that reality has led to a place that isn’t explained by quantum mechanics alone. A new set of principles is needed to replace the current ones.

(To be continued.)

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Deepak Chopra , MD is the author of more than 70 books with twenty-one New York Times bestsellers, including co-author with Sanjiv Chopra, MD of Brotherhood: Dharma, Destiny, and The American Dream, and co-author with Rudolph Tanzi of Super Brain: Unleashing the Explosive Power of Your Mind to Maximize Health, Happiness, and Spiritual Well-being (Harmony). Chopra serves as Founder of The Chopra Foundation and host of Sages and Scientists Symposium – August 16-18, 2013 at La Costa Resort and Spa.

Menas Kafatos, Ph.D., Fletcher Jones Endowed Professor in Computational Physics, Director of the Center of Excellence at Chapman University, is co-author with Deepak Chopra of the forthcoming book, Who Made God and Other Cosmic Riddles. (Harmony)

P. Murali Doraiswamy, MBBS, FRCP, Professor of Psychiatry, Duke University Medical Center, Durham, North Carolina and a leading physician scientist in the area of mental health, cognitive neuroscience and mind-body medicine.

Rudolph E. Tanzi, Ph.D., Joseph P. and Rose F. Kennedy Professor of Neurology at Harvard University, and Director of the Genetics and Aging Research Unit at Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH), is co-author with Deepak Chopra of Super Brain: Unleashing the Explosive Power of Your Mind to Maximize Health, Happiness, and Spiritual Well-being. (Harmony)

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