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awakening big picture inspirational quotes joyful living spirit

What favorite quote has changed your life?

What favorite quote inspires and uplifts you? 

Do you have a favorite quote you live by?

Mine comes from a Zen Buddhist monk, Thich Nhat Hanh.  It has resonated throughout my being for decades now.

“My actions are the ground I stand on.”

It is so powerful yet simple.  Stop talking and do it.  Do the right thing.  For if you do not, you are standing on quicksand.

“My actions are the ground I stand on.”

At the end of a life, what else will you have? 

All the material possessions, they turn to dust.  They are just trinkets, baubles or as Robert Kiyosaki calls them, “doodads.”  Meaningless.

But to have live a life of right minded action?  The experiences, results, all flow from how we be and do.

A few thousand years ago, Siddhartha Gautama, a man, became known as the enlightened one.  The Buddha.  His teachings became what is now known as either a religion or a philosophy depending on who you talk to.  One of the most powerful teachings is the Eightfold Path.

These 8 steps lead to a path of a good and successful life.  It’s a Middle Way – not too hot and not too cold.  Just right.  It’s like the original 7 Habits of Highly Successful People!  Only one louder!

Here is the Eightfold Path

  1. Right Understanding
  2. Right Intent
  3. Right Speech
  4. Right Action
  5. Right Livelihood
  6. Right Effort
  7. Right Mindfulness
  8. Right Concentration

These are not rigid rules or commandments.  It’s not authoritarian.  It’s a self-help book.  It’s the original coaching program.  Thanks Sidd!

Anyone Can Use Them

And you don’t have to call yourself Buddhist to benefit.  These days I call myself Catholic and Buddhist.  Perhaps one day I’ll expand that to other labels too.

But there’s no conflict.  All spiritual paths are good.  There is no difference.

Really.

Sure there are religious practices that look different from the outside.

  • Making the sign of the cross.
  • Bowing to Mecca.
  • Chanting in Hebrew.
  • Chanting in Latin.
  • Chanting in Sanskrit or Pali.

It’s all the same with minor external differences.

The real culprit in the world is absolutism

Puritanism.  Fundamentalism.  Holding too strongly to anything.  I’ve seen it in all areas of life.  Snobbery leads to arrogance leads to condescension and separatism.  It’s tribalism.

There are coffee snobs who would never ever drink Dunkin’ Donuts coffee.

Wine purists who do not drink Merlot.

Music teachers who have frozen in time all methods of certain master teachers as if time stood still.

People who judge others by the shoes they wear, the cars they drive, the words they use.

Hmm.  That’s it.  Judgement

“No judgements.”  That’s another good quote to live by.

It gets in the way.  Acceptance is the new middle way.

And to accept I need to change my thinking, being and doing.

“My actions are the ground I stand on.”

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growth joyful living

Using Power Poses To Transform Your Life

So most people living in the year 2014 know by now that there is a mind-body connection, usually in that direction. How you think and feel is manifested in your body and the material world. For example, you are feeling depressed and therefore you gain weight, feel sluggish, sleepy and your immune system breaks down and you catch a cold.

Research has now proved that there is a body-mind connection. Meaning, you can change how you feel by changing the way you move and hold your body. Tony Robbins has been saying his for years but recently Amy Cuddy, a social scientist and professor at Harvard Business School conducted an experiment. She wanted to test whether there were measurable changes in people depending on how they moved and held their posture.

Power poses are universal expressions of confidence and power and look like this:

Power Poses - High Energy Poses That Will Change Your Life

Low energy poses are also universal and look like this.

Low power poses diminish you from the outside in
Dr. Cuddy discovered that in nature and in humans, the dominant leader usually has a high testosterone level and a low cortisol level. Testosterone is usually associated with masculinity, aggressiveness, and power whereas cortisol is related to stress levels.

The subjects came in, they measured their hormone levels from their saliva, they held either a power pose or a low energy pose and then they ran a risk behavior test with a gambling experiment and then took another saliva sample.

The results were astounding. Just holding a power pose for 2 minutes can dramatically change the hormone levels either way. This can dramatically change someone’s life!

But will the results last? Will “Faking It Until You Make It?” truly transform one for good?

As someone who grew up very shy and awkward, I can attest to this, though I didn’t know that was what I was doing. I had found some “charisma” exercises in a book  and found them quite empowering. One of them was just standing looking at yourself in a mirror for 2 minutes with total love and acceptance. This was surprisingly difficult at first. We are programmed not to love ourselves and to nitpick and find all our faults. By doing this for a few minutes everyday, I can tell you I was a different person. Within a few months I was actually going on acting auditions and taking classes as an actor! This was unbelievable to my former self! Within 2 years I was a television host with millions of viewers every day.

So this can have huge effects on our children.  Just this morning was the first of 3 days of standardized testing for my son’s middle school.   So, what did we do besides a good breakfast and a sound night’s sleep…power poses!

My next student’s recital will definitely include some power posing before performance.

You should definitely watch the TED Talk. It’s one of the 50 most viewed!