spiritual masters teaching with humor ~ these are some of my favs.
i’ve been loving wayne dyer since the early 90’s. really, he should be my husband. . . .
here’s his advice for today:
Inspiration is a state of being here now in this material world, while at the same time reconnecting to our spiritual origins. In order to be receptive to inspiration, we need to eliminate the ego clutter that accumulates all too easily for most of us—after all, if we’re preoccupied with events and activities that have nothing to do with inspiration, we’re unlikely to notice its summons. So in order to achieve a reunion with our ultimate calling, we need to emulate the clear, uncomplicated world of Spirit.
This doesn’t mean that we should sit around doing nothing, awaiting Spirit’s arrival; instead, it means having faith that our spiritual connection flourishes in a life dedicated to joy, love, and peace. If our daily activities are so overwhelming that we don’t make these things our priority, then we’re disregarding the value of living a simple life.
My 12-Step Program for Simplifying Your Life
Here are 12 very specific tools for simplifying your life. Begin using them today if you’re serious about hearing that ultimate call to inspiration.
- Unclutter Your Life. You’ll feel a real rush of inspiration when you clear out stuff that’s no longer useful in your life:
If you haven’t worn it in the past year or two, recycle it for others to use. Get rid of old files that take up space and are seldom, if ever, needed. Donate unused toys, tools, books, bicycles, and dishes to a charitable organization.
Get rid of anything that keeps you mired in acquisitions that contribute to a cluttered life. In the words of Socrates, “He is nearest to God who needs the fewest things.” So the less you need to insure, protect, dust, reorganize, and move, the closer you’ll be to hearing inspiration’s call.
- Clear your Calendar of Unwanted and Unnecessary Activities and Obligations. If you’re unavailable for Spirit, you’re unlikely to know the glow of inspiration. God will indeed work with you and send you the guidance—and the people—you need, but if you’re grossly overscheduled, you’re going to miss these life-altering gifts. So practice saying no to excessive demands and don’t feel guilty about injecting a dose of leisure time into your daily routine.
- Be Sure to Keep Your Free Time Free. Be on the lookout for invitations to functions that may keep you on top of society’s pyramid, but which inhibit your access to joyful inspiration. If cocktail parties, social get-togethers, fund-raising events, or even drinking-and-gossiping gatherings with friends aren’t really how you want to spend your free time, then don’t. Begin declining invitations that don’t activate feelings of inspiration. I find that an evening spent reading or writing letters, watching a movie with a loved one, having dinner with my children, or even exercising alone is far more inspiring than getting dressed to attend a function often filled with small talk. I’ve learned to be unavailable for such events without apologizing, and consequently have more inspired moments freed up.
- Take Time for Meditation and Yoga. Give yourself at least 20 minutes a day to sit quietly and make conscious contact with God. I’ve written an entire book on this subject called Getting in the Gap, so I won’t belabor it here. I will say that I’ve received thousands of messages from people all over the world, who have expressed their appreciation for learning how to simplify their life by taking the time to meditate. I also encourage you to find a yoga center near you and begin a regular practice. The rewards are so powerful: You’ll feel healthier, less stressed, and inspired by what you’ll be able to do with and for your body in a very short time.
- Return to the Simplicity of Nature. There’s nothing more awe-inspiring than nature itself. The fantasy to return to a less tumultuous life almost always involves living in the splendor of the mountains, the forests, or the tundra; on an island; near the ocean; or beside a lake. These are universal urges, since nature is created by the same Source as we are, and we’re made up of the same chemicals as all of nature (we’re stardust, remember?).
Your urge to simplify and feel inspired is fueled by the desire to be your natural self—that is, your natureself. So give yourself permission to get away to trek or camp in the woods; swim in a river, lake, or ocean; sit by an open fire; ride horseback through trails; or ski down a mountain slope. This doesn’t have to mean long, planned vacations that are months away—no matter where you live, you’re only a few hours or even moments away from a park, campground, or trail that will allow you to enjoy a feeling of being connected to the entire Universe.
- Put Distance between You and Your Critics. Choose to align yourself with people who are like-minded in their search for simplified inspiration. Give those who find fault or who are confrontational a silent blessing and remove yourself from their energy as quickly as possible. Your life is simplified enormously when you don’t have to defend yourself to anyone, and when you receive support rather than criticism. You don’t have to endure the criticism with anything other than a polite thank-you and a promise to consider what’s been said—anything else is a state of conflict that erases the possibility of your feeling inspired. You never need to defend yourself or your desires to anyone, as those inner feelings are Spirit speaking to you. Those thoughts are sacred, so don’t ever let anyone trample on them.
- Take Some Time for Your Health. Consider that the number one health problem in America seems to be obesity. How can you feel inspired and live in simplicity if you’re gorging on excessive amounts of food and eliminating the exercise that the body craves? Recall that your body is a sacred temple where you reside for this lifetime, so make some time every single day for exercising it. Even if you can only manage a walk around the block, just do it. Similarly, keep the words portion control uppermost in your consciousness—your stomach is the size of your fist, not a wheelbarrow! Respect your sacred templeand simplify your life by being an exerciser and a sensible eater. I promise that you’ll feel inspired if you act on this today!
- Play, Play, Play! You’ll simplify your life and feel inspired if you learn to play rather than work your way through life. I love to be around kids because they inspire me with their laughter and frivolity. In fact, if I’ve heard it once, I’ve heard it a thousand times: “Wayne, you’ve never grown up—you’re always playing.” I take great pride in this! I play onstage when I speak, and I’m playing now as I write.
Many years ago I was given a tremendous opportunity to appear on The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson. The man who took a chance on me, booking me even though I was an unknown at the time, was a talent coordinator named Howard Papush. It was my first big break, and I went on to appear on The Tonight Show 36 additional times. Now it’s my turn to say thank you to Howard. He’s written a wonderful book titled When’s Recess? Playing Your Way Through the Stresses of Life, which I encourage you to read. (Howard also conducts workshops that teach people how to play and have fun in life.) In the book, Howard shares this great quote from Richard Bach: “You are led through your lifetime by the inner learning creature, the playful spiritual being that is your real self.” I couldn’t agree more—by all means, get back in touch with your real, playful self, and take every opportunity to play! Notice how it makes everything so sweet, and so simple.
- Slow Down. One of Gandhi’s most illuminating observations reminds us that “there is more to life than increasing its speed.” This is great advice for simplifying your life—in fact, slow everything way down for a few moments right here and now. Slowly read these words. Slow your breathing down so that you’re aware of each inhalation and exhalation…
When you’re in your car, downshift and relax. Slow down your speech, your inner thoughts, and the frantic pace of everything you do. Take more time to hear others. Notice your inclination to interrupt and get the conversation over with, and then choose to listen instead. Stop to enjoy the stars on a clear night and the cloud formations on a crisp day. Sit down in a mall and just observe how everyone seems in a hurry to get nowhere.
By slowing down, you’ll simplify and rejoin the perfect pace at which creation works. Imagine trying to hurry nature up by tugging at an emerging tomato plant—you’re as natural as that plant, so let yourself be at peace with the perfection of nature’s plan.
- Do Everything You Can to Eschew Debt. Remember that you’re attempting to simplify your life here, so you don’t need to purchase more of what will complicate and clutter your life. If you can’t afford it, let it go until you can. By going into debt, you’ll just add layers of anxiety onto your life. That anxiety will then take you away from your peace, which is where you are when you’re in-Spirit. When you have to work extra hard to pay off debts, the present moments of your life are less enjoyable; consequently, you’re further away from the joy and peace that are the trademarks of inspiration. You’re far better off to have less and enjoy the days of your life than to take on debt and invite stress and anxiety where peace and tranquility could have reigned. And remember that the money you have in your possession is nothing but energy—so refuse to plug in to an energy system that’s not even there.
- Forget about the Cash Value. I try not to think about money too frequently because it’s been my observation that people who do so tend to think about almost nothing else. So do what your heart tells you will bring you joy, rather than determining whether it will be cost-effective. If you’d really enjoy that whale-watching trip, for instance, make the decision to do so—don’t deny yourself the pleasures of life because of some monetary detail. Don’t base your purchases on getting a discount, and don’t rob yourself of a simple joy because you didn’t get a break on the price. You can afford a happy, fulfilling life, and if you’re busy right now thinking that I have some nerve telling you this because of your bleak financial picture, then you have your own barrier of resistance.
Make an attempt to free yourself from placing a price tag on everything you have and do—after all, in the world of Spirit, there are no price tags. Don’t make money the guiding principle for what you have or do; rather, simplify your life and return to Spirit by finding the inherent value in everything. A dollar does not determine worth, even though you live in a world that attempts to convince you otherwise.
- Remember Your Spirit. When life tends to get overly complex, too fast, too cluttered, too deadline oriented, or too type A for you, stop and remember your own spirit. You’re headed for inspiration, a simple, peaceful place where you’re in harmony with the perfect timing of all creation. Go there in your mind, and stop frequently to remember what you really want.
A man who personified success at the highest intellectual and social levels would hardly seem one to quote on simplifying our life, yet here’s what Albert Einstein offers us on this subject: “Possessions, outward success, publicity, luxury—to me these have always been contemptible. I believe that a simple and unassuming manner of life is best for everyone, best both for the body and the mind.”
Wow! I’d say this is pretty good advice, wouldn’t you?
strolling through central park, i found myself wondering, what has happened to the turtles?
“Everything in the universe has a purpose. Indeed, the invisible intelligence that flows through everything in a purposeful fashion is also flowing through you.”
~ Wayne Dyer
back on retreat! well, sort of. . . i’ll be spending a good part of the summer out of the city and i’m currently enjoying another week at my friend susan’s house in upstate ny, which i refer to as susan’s resort. the resort is on a mountain in the middle of nowhere, surrounded by trees, amazing landscapes and all kinds of wild beasts. everyday, rain or shine, i am compelled to go for a long ride to take pictures.
on today’s journey i was listening to wayne dyer speak about the tao by lao tzu. tao is chinese for ‘the way’. i’ve listened to this cd many times over the last several years and never get tired of wayne dyer speaking about lessons of the tao, which of course any taoist knows, cannot actually be spoken of. if you don’t get that – no worries. to simplify the idea, i can only suggest that it says something along the lines of, ‘we need do nothing for all to be done perfectly’.
after driving for about an hour or so, i realized that i hadn’t noticed any real photo ops. this has never happened before. i always see something photo worthy on my excursions up here in god’s country. maybe i was so into listening to wayne, i had driven right by places that i normally would have stopped for a photo or two. how unusual. i decided to pay particular attention to the scenery and looked carefully so that i would be sure not to miss any beasts hiding deep in the woods. driving about 5 mph for the last 10 miles home, i looked and looked as i listened to wayne talk about finding peace through the tao and how all that is, is already perfect, ect. . . .
as i drove up the driveway of susan’s resort, i was astonished that i had arrived home picture-less. normally this would have upset me but i felt happy to have had the opportunity to listen to wayne talk about the tao suggesting that to be one with what is, is the way to peace or, (in my words) all things happen for a reason & if you just go with that, you’ll have peace.
when i got out of the car, i let ivan out of the back seat and then went around to the passenger side to get my bag and my camera. i almost laughed out loud when i discovered my camera wasn’t in the car, but had been sitting on the kitchen counter inside the house the entire time.
wouldn’t that just be the way of it??
“The wise man is one who, knows, what he does not know.”
~ Lao Tzu,
Tao Te Ching
welcome to pisces – my most favorite zodiac sign! (march 14th, if you want to mark your calendar & if your calendar isn’t handy, don’t worry – there will be more reminders 🙂 )
each morning before i get into the shower, i put an inspirational, motivational or otherwise interesting video on which i listen to while i’m getting ready. this morning i chose a lilou interview. i love lilou ( apparently 19 million other people love lilou too – 19 million – that’s a lot of views – yay for lilou!) if you’re not familiar with lilou, she travels the world and interviews new-agey inspirational peeps like wayne dyer, ram dass, neale walsh, gary zukav, deepak chopra and many, many more incredible individuals. today i clicked on an interview she had with debra silverman. i hadn’t heard of debra before. i discovered debra is a humorous astrologer and psychologist with a lot of interesting things to say and after the video of debra & lilou i checked out debra silverman’s website.
on her site she offers short, very funny, video characterizations of each of the different zodiac signs. mine cracked me up – because 95 % of what she says about pisces is exactly me. if you’re reading this and have not met me in person, watch this video if you care to know what i’m like. if you do know me, i would love to hear your comments!!! then check out debra’s site for information on your sign!
Pisces is always swimming around looking for structure. So give them rules. Give them instructions. Tell them what you expect of them and they’ll be relieved. Left to their own devices, they’re off dreaming, creating and imagining. Pisces are great designers because they’ve got the best imaginations and they’re extremely creative. But they also like things simple, minimalist. They have very specific tastes—they know exactly what they like and don’t like. When they have these boundaries they feel great.
In their own little world, they can close their eyes and just dream. Where it’s quiet, where the atmosphere is lovely, where they can space out. They prefer being alone because they feel different, like they don’t belong. So they tend to be a little secretive. And they try so hard to act normal. They really do give it their best shot, but it’s confusing because Pisces need to know what people want from them. They’re also afraid that people will think they’re weird and won’t like them.
But here’s the thing about Pisces: deep down they’re real romantics, even though they prefer their own private fish bowl and they don’t like it being disrupted that much. They just love that whole idea of connectedness, that merging with another. They could probably be with anybody. But relationships aren’t easy when you’re a fish—you want to be close to someone and you like the whole sensual thing, but you don’t want someone around too much because it can become irritating and maddening. And fish don’t like being mad. They get mad at themselves for getting mad.
They don’t like to be stuck in something for too long either. They’re fish, right? They just want to keep swimming. And dreaming. You want to know how to really make Pisces happy? Just be with them and don’t talk. Just let them be their funny weird selves and don’t talk. They’ll love you forever.”
~ Debra Silverman
walking through the city can take your mind off anything. you can do a walking meditation and become invisible to the people passing by, tuning out all of the traffic and noise or you can walk up the avenue with an intention to connect with people – depending on what you need at the time. after sitting at the computer for several hours, sometimes i want a little conversation or mental stimulation and just get up and walk out. there’s always something going on, someone to talk with or something to do without having to make specific plans.
i just did that and ran into a neighbor who was on his way up to 68th street to buy some pound cake at rite aid. i took the walk with him and learned quite a bit. i learned that pound cake at rite aid is half the price it is at shop rite (not that i plan on ever really needing that information, but you never know when those types of fun facts will come in handy. . .). i learned that he is married to a paranoid schizophrenic and pays $156.00 a month rent to live on the corner of 1st avenue and 50th street. he has a one bedroom apartment and pays almost $2,000 less a month than i pay for a studio just 2 blocks away. although he has no stove and i do. i found out that he’s 68 years old and plays the lottery regularly. he used to be a doorman but now walks dogs in the neighborhood for a living so he can stay close to home in case his wife has an attack. she calls him every 10 minutes or so to tell him that someone is trying to break into their home. he can usually talk her down over the phone but sometimes he has to rush home to assure her that she’s safe. she called 3 times on our walk to rite aid.
i’m back home now and feeling grateful. i love this town.
“Miracles come in moments. Be ready and willing.”
– Wayne Dyer