A Different Point Of View

A writer’s mission is to articulate something – truth – mystery – instruction … usually from a collection of thoughts and ideas scribbled and jotted down in journals, notebooks or computer files. Those nuggets come to us, and we save them, curate them, and share in a way that hopefully the reader gets what we are trying to say. That’s how it usually happens.

For me, today, the ideas felt so complete that I decided to share them just as I got them – in the order that they came to my pen. I hope they offer as much encouragement and inspiration to you as they still are to me.

“It’s time to get off the poor me train, give yourself a good kick in the ares, and start taking action to get the life you truly deserve.” (Steve Atchison)

“I am not a product of my circumstances, I am a product of my decisions.” (Steven Covey)

“Happiness is, when what you think, what you say, and what you do are in harmony.” (Gandhi)

Stop focusing on how stressed you are and start focusing on how blessed you are.

“Soulful living is about slowing and developing a present-moment awareness.” (Prevention Magazine)

“Growth is painful; change is painful. But nothing is as painful as staying stuck somewhere you don’t belong.” (Steve Maraboli)

“The best teachers are the ones who show you where to look but don’t tell you what to see.” (Alexandria K. Trenfor)

“Write down the thoughts of the moment. Those that come unsought for are commonly the most valuable.” (Frances Bacon)

“As a single footstep will not make a path on the earth, so a single thought will not make a pathway in the mind. To make a deep physical path, we walk again and again. To make a deep mental path, we must think over and over the kind of thoughts we wish to dominate our lives.” (Henry David Thoreau)

I could probably chew on these the rest of the month and not taste the full value they bring to my life. How about you?

Greg Tutwiler, www.FreedomLiving.org

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We Want Peace

“We live in a culture that places a high value on being busy,” writes Rev. Dr. Judy Morley. “We go through life sleep deprived, stressed out and worried that we didn’t finish everything, despite getting more done than was thought humanly possible just a generation ago. We have become human doings instead of human beings.”

It’s no wonder that interest in things like off-grid living, tiny house projects, and container gardening are on the rise. We have succumbed to a spirit of busyness and our inner spirit is growing weary of the chaos. We want solutions. We want relief. We want peace.

But we have it backwards. Our creator says, “Seek first the Kingdom of God” (Divine guidance, hope, faith, inspiration, encouragement, direction), and everything you need will be added to your life. But our priorities have shifted to a predominately materialistic point of view. We seek first everything we think we want or need and then ask God to bless it. Morley says, “We replace diving guidance with frantic action and hope that our effort will produce enough results to compensate for our lack of inspiration.” We have to get out of the spin-cycle before it chokes our soul completely.

One way to do this is to practice lingering. In moments of love, beauty, laughter, etc., don’t rush to check them off your list; linger. Stay in the moment. Allow them to make an impression. As the March 11th entry for the devotional, God Calling, describes, “Look for beauty and joy (intentionally seek) in the world around. Look at a flower until its beauty becomes part of your soul (linger). It will be given back to the world again by you in the form of a smile or a loving word or a kind thought or prayer (paying it forward).” Listen intently to the song of a bird, or the rustling of the leaves on a tree. Take a few extra minutes to gaze at the clouds or the stars. Dip your hand in a stream and experience the water flowing through your fingers.

In these moments, linger, and soak in the Divine creation for it’s incredible power to bless you as you pause. These moments have the ability to shift your mind back towards a simpler life if you will practice them often enough. And they can return you to a state of calm and peace. Otherwise, a life void of these moments will starve the heart and eventually destroys the soul.

Rome Wasn’t Built In A Day

Remember, Rome wasn’t built in a day.

If what you are doing isn’t working, do something different. Choose a new path. Make different choices. Different results come from different actions. Just stop it. Really. Life is a continuum of actions and reactions. So act and react in a new way.

Ask yourself these questions:
What am I willing to do differently?
When am I willing to do it?
How will I stay committed to doing it?

Understand, you don’t have to do anything. Changing yourself is not a requirement. You have free will. But, if you are dissatisfied with the current condition of your life, then only you can alter it. Blaming your past, your parents, your partner, or your present circumstances only serves to keep you enslaved to the present situation.

Albert Einstein said that the definition of insanity is, “doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.”

Most of us aren’t insane. So let’s don’t act like it. If what you are doing isn’t working, do something different. Sure, it might take a while – but so did Rome.

Freedom Living Life Coaching

Liking It Is Not Living It

We all do it. Most of us multiple times a day. Some say we’re addicted. We probably are. I’m talking about Face Book. Look around the mall, coffee shop, heck even the side walks are jammed with people face planted into their smart phones, engaged in social media. Okay, so I’m not even going to delve into the statistical data and multifaceted arguments about all the physiological erosion taking place. I have a more specific concern.

It’s that Face Book like button I’m worried about. I know, we all wish we had an unlike button many times too, but we don’t. That’s beside the point. Here’s the thing – we troll through our news feeds liking and sharing these cute pictures with these fancy quotes and sayings embedded in them all day long. But are we really paying attention to the words. Many of the ones I post and re-post garner that ever popular comment; Amen, frequently. I know what it means. You really liked it. It struck a nerve with you. It stirred your heart a little. Good. But here’s the thing; Liking it does not mean you’re living it. See, information is not transformation. When you like something someone else posted or quoted, do you ever stop and consider why you liked it? Did it really stir you? What is it that made you say “amen”?

While I often try to offer original thoughts and ideas, I mostly consider myself a curator. I am a collector of thoughts, and ideas, and quotes – verses, proverbs, saying, and such. And I love sifting through them and sharing the ones that mean something to me – or, ones I think will mean something to the followers on my page. But here’s the key; If it moves you, move into it. Inspired action is the only path to authentic, productive change. Otherwise we’re just members of the Amen choir. If something moves you enough to hit the like button and/or re-post it, then also consider why it was so significant.

As an example, I recently posted a photo with this quote by Pablo Picasso, “The meaning of life is to find your gift. The purpose of life is to give it away.” I liked it because I believe it’s true. And because I believe it’s true, I’ve spent a lot of quiet time seeking to understand my purpose. I’ve allowed the idea to transform my life.

If you like that quote, consider why? If it stirs you, don’t ignore it.
Does that make sense?

Unless we are actively pursuing the substance of those thoughts, and verses, and saying, and quotes, and ideas, then all we are really doing is collecting information. If these pieces of revelation don’t inspire us to alter our life in some fashion, we are just wasting our time and our Amens. If you like it, live it. Find a way to incorporate those notions into your journey. Consider rethinking the like it button as your live it button. When you click it, believe you are saying, “I am going to take this idea in to consideration and find a way to incorporate action into my life.” How would your life be different if you lived the likes?

The First Draft Is Always Rough

I follow lots of other blog writers, news feeds, and book authors. I hope that, among other things, it makes me a better writer. One of the guys I like to read often is Seth Godin. I gained some much needed inspiration from a recent blog post of his titled, “Cracking the Pottery.” I think I even feel a fresh sense of freedom as I re-read these excerpted pieces of text from his post. My hope is that they inspire you as well.

“… I find that it’s almost essential to fall in love with an idea; to invest the time it takes to make it good and worth sharing … For every post that makes it … I write at least three, sometimes more. That means that on a regular basis, I delete some of my favorite (almost good) writing … When you get in the habit of breaking your own pottery, it’s a lot easier to ask, “what if?”

If you’re like me (and apparently Seth), birthing a worthy idea can be an arduous task. Whether you are writing a blog post, a contracted article, a book, or a song – or maybe you’re writing a business plan for a new venture – I find three points paramount. One – the first draft is always rough. That’s why it’s called a rough draft. Two – It’s okay to ball it up and start over. Others do it all the time. And three – Don’t re-write it to death. We are our own worst critics. Let the idea live or die with the reader.

Greg Tutwiler, life coach, publisher

Turn It Off!

What’s going on in the world today? I mean, look around. Do you feel it? There seems to be this general condition of busyness under pinned by an air of discontentment and disconnectedness. We have been lured into this mindset of go, go, go, and more, more, more. And it leads to a sense that we are never finished – we never get everything done, we can never catch up. And we become resolved to thinking that things are just never really going to get any better. But better, compared to what though? Have we completely lost perspective? This matrix minded lifestyle is constantly offered up as normal here in the western world. And people have become complacent and disengaged. So what’s the problem? We have lost touch with authentic truth. Why? We are being manipulated. We are being sold a bag lies, and we are buying it up like there’s no tomorrow.

For me, personally, one of the more important pieces of scripture in the Bible’s new testament is, “to be transformed by the renewing of your mind.” If it was important enough to suggest that we are to be transformed, by the renewing, refreshing, reorienting of our thoughts – i.e., changing what goes into our brains – then it stands to reason that the best way for our adversaries to alter what we believe in is to influence what we consume.

An article published at phys.org in November 2013 reported an alarming statistic. “A new study by a researcher at the San Diego Supercomputer Center (SDSC) at the University of California, San Diego, says that by 2015, the sum of media asked for and delivered to consumers on mobile devices and to their homes would take more than 15 hours a day to see or hear. That volume is equal to 6.9 million-million gigabytes of information, or a daily consumption of nine DVDs worth of data per person, per day.”

A Retired military soldier, named Colonel Dan, once a staff member of General Norman Schwarzkopf’s intelligence team, said this about truth; “Most people absorb what they know about life from the major media centers these days. The media paints the picture for all to see. If that picture is constantly distorted, lies become accepted as truth, i.e. tell enough lies repeatedly and soon those lies are accepted as fact. Spin and concoct, distort and influence using the public platforms such as television, radio, and print, (and Social Media) and you can influence, sway and control the mind of the vast majority of its population in any area you choose. This subversive influence includes pitting one group against another in order to foment internal discord as well as ridiculing, discrediting and challenging moral principles and national values in order to destroy any hint of a strong spiritual foundation or allegiance to a unique national culture. This is a much easier task if many in your target audience have become lazy, ill-educated, ill-informed, unthinking, and apathetic.”

Are you connecting with me here? What are we putting into our brains? We have a society that spends billions of dollars on diet programs, weight loss supplements, and meal modifications – yet we belly brain up to the television and radio dial without any regard for the mental cancer causing substances flowing into our minds. We have no filters when it comes to that stuff. Even when we know it’s not true, we still sit for hours munching on mindless media like a bag of Doritos.

“Guard you heart above all else,” the Proverb says, “for it is the wellspring of life.” Years ago, computer programmers coined the phrase, garbage in garbage out. None of us would knowingly choose to literally eat garbage, would we? So why then is it okay to pour it into our brains. It is one of the greatest battle fronts we face today. Because we are so easily lured by the desire to be entertained, and emotionally preoccupied, we don’t even want to turn it off. But we must. At the very least, we must calibrate the filter from which we allow this junk to come through. For us to ever be who we are supposed to be, we are going to have to uncouple ourselves from what the world is trying to make us into.

Here’s an idea. Try turning off the mindless media for a few days. Start with three days, then five, then a whole week. You will be astounded at the amount of available time you recover. To the point, you will likely feel board for lack of something to do. That is how dependent we have become on data. You’ll have more time to get outside, read a fulfilling book, play with your kids, dig in the dirt, exercise, and even get more rest. You have nothing to lose, and everything to gain.

Greg Tutwiler, CCLC / www.FreedomLiving.org

The Hallway Of Decision

We’ve all heard the statement, “when one door closes, another door opens.” I think one of life’s greatest tragedies is that moment when that door behind us has closed, and we stand at the thresh hold of a new door, afraid to go through. I call that the hallway of decision. Have you ever been there? That new door represents opportunity, possibilities, and advancement; but also the basis for uncertainty, and self doubt, and insecurity. There is this tendency to think we’re safe in that hallway. We can even get comfortable there. We can camp out there for as long as our bank account, or our support system, or the social environment will allow. But it’s a false sense of security. What we think is safe is actually a trap. What was meant to be a bridge becomes an obstacle.

Life is fluid, organic, and unpredictable. When our foundation is altered, we are thrust into the hallway of decision bound for another door. That is how life works. But it’s up to us to progress on through. We are here to be a part of the bigger picture, not live our lives perpetually at the threshold of decision.

Walt Whitman once wrote;
“What good amid these, O me, O life?
Answer.
That you are here—that life exists, and identity;
That the powerful play goes on, and you may contribute a verse.”

Closing and opening doors are part of life’s journey; part of the process of existence. When we allow fear or some other self imposed emotion to keep us stalled in those hallways, we, by default, have taken ourselves out of life. Sure, we move about. But rarely do we stray from the supposed comfort of our little hallway. The “powerful play” of life does go on, with or without us. It is inevitable. We cannot stop the progress of time no more than we can suspend the nature of aging.

Nineteenth century philosopher Rosa Luxemburg wrote, “Those who do not move, do not notice their chains.” Ponder that for a moment. Those who do not move, do not notice their chains. Are there hallways in your life that have been dormant for so long that you don’t even recognize the chains that keep you there?

As I begin to move into my fifth decade of life, ideas like this start to bear more weight. But here’s the hope in all this. You and I hold the keys to the locks that bind those chains. C. S. Lewis wrote, “It may be hard for an egg to turn into a bird: it would be a jolly sight harder for it to learn to fly while remaining an egg. We are like eggs at present. And you cannot go on indefinitely being just an ordinary, decent egg. We must be hatched, or go bad.” Life is the hatching process. The next door might just the one where you get to fly. You’re great verse may be just a door step away. But you’ll never know unless you take a chance and move through it. To take a risk is to risk failure. But to avoid risk is to guarantee failure. Will you take a chance, and take the risk? To stay put offers but one eventual outcome; regret.