He who experiences the unity of life sees his own Self in all beings, and all beings in his own Self, and looks on everything with an impartial eye.
~ Siddhārtha Gautama
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I—
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.
The Road Not Taken
Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,
And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveler, long I stood
And looked down one as far as I could
To where it bent in the undergrowth;
Then took the other, as just as fair,
And having perhaps the better claim,
Because it was grassy and wanted wear;
Though as for that the passing there
Had worn them really about the same,
And both that morning equally lay
In leaves no step had trodden black.
Oh, I kept the first for another day!
Yet knowing how way leads on to way,
I doubted if I should ever come back.
I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I—
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.
Photo Credit: Oleg Gordienko
During some point of the journey, they had an argument and one friend slapped the other one in the face.
The one who got slapped was hurt, but without saying anything, wrote in the sand, “Today my best friend slapped me in the face”.
They kept on walking, until they found an oasis, where they decided to take a bath.
The one who had been slapped got stuck in the mire and started drowning, but the friend saved him.
After he recovered from the near drowning, he wrote on a stone, “Today my best friend saved my life”.
The friend who had slapped and then saved his best friend asked him, “After I hurt you, you wrote in the sand and now, you write on a stone, why?”
The friend replied “When someone hurts you write it down in sand, where winds of forgiveness can erase it away.
But, when someone does something good for you, engrave it in stone where no wind can ever erase it”.
Learn to write your hurts in the sand and to carve acts of love and kindness in stone.
Am I willing to forgive and release the wrongdoings of those who have slighted, manipulated or treated me in a harmful way?
Am I willing to forgive myself of my wrongdoings which have negatively impacted others?
Am I am willing to release all thoughts of guilt, blame and shame of myself and others?
How do I feel when I choose to forgive myself and others?
How do I justify not forgiving myself and others?
What burdens of the heart and mind do I carry around when I choose to not forgive?
What are the gifts of forgiveness?
Think of someone you are willing to forgive today, to set free from their wrongdoing(s) and to release yourself from your prison of judgement.
Suggested Format for Your Forgiveness Statements.
(Person’s name) ___________, I forgive you.
I forgive you for not being the (parent, sibling, friend, boss, client…) ____________ that I needed/wanted/expected you to be.
I forgive you for (wrongdoing(s)) _____________________.
I forgive you. I release you with love. I let go with love. We are free.
Sophia, I forgive you. I forgive you for not being the sister that I wanted you to be. I forgive you for ignoring me and dismissing me when we were growing up. I forgive you. I release you with love. I let go with love. We are free.
Sharing our triumphant stories of how we have succeeded in a personal or professional situation can positively inspire men and women to take action for themselves which in turn creates ripples of enlightenment, empowerment and transformation worldwide. In the comments section, I invite you to share your experience of forgiveness. Thank you for sharing and choosing to make a difference.
When you completely forgive yourself and others, you transcend your inner prison of judgement, guilt, blame and shame. Through forgiveness you awaken to happiness, peace of mind, freedom, a deep sense of self-worth, wholeness and confidence. If you are experiencing challenges with forgiving yourself or others, or if you are ready to purge your judgements and enrich the quality of your life, contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org to inquire about your personalized, one-on-one, forgiveness workshop.
Before you speak, think…
Is it necessary?
Is it true?
Is it kind?
Will it hurt anyone?
Will it improve on the silence?
~ Sri Sathya Sai Baba
Do I speak with intention and meaning?
When do I tend to speak incessantly and fill up the silent spaces?
Do I speak with integrity and respect?
When do I tend to gossip or speak critically of others?
Am I aware of the impact I have on others when I am speaking?
In what direction do I use the power of my words at home, at work, socially, in public and with myself?
In the summer season of life learn how to nourish and protect your crops all summer. Sure enough, as soon as you’ve planted, the busy bugs and noxious weeds are out to take things over. Here is the next bit of truth: they will take it, unless you prevent it.
There are two key phrases to consider with the third major lesson. The first is “all good will be attacked.” Don’t press me for a reason. I was not in on some of the early decisions, so I don’t know why. I just know that it’s true. Let reality be your best beginning. Every garden will be invaded.
The second phrase is “all values must be defended.” Social values, political values, friendship values, business values—all must be defended. Every garden must be tended all summer. If you don’t develop this skill, you’ll never wind up with anything of value.
But for those who make diligent efforts to plant, protect, and preserve there are not enough birds, bugs, or other obstacles to destroy all the efforts of last spring.
~ Jim Rohn
What are my core values for my life, my work and my leadership?
How do my values guide me throughout the day?
How do I defend my values when they are being threatened?
“I too, at times, have felt a great hate for those that have taken so much, with no sorrow for what they do.
“But hate wears you down, and does not hurt your enemy. It is like taking poison and wishing your enemy would die. I have struggled with these feelings many times.” He continued, “It is as if there are two wolves inside me.
“One is good and does no harm. He lives in harmony with all around him, and does not take offense when no offense was intended. He will only fight when it is right to do so, and in the right way.
“But the other wolf, ah! He is full of anger. The littlest thing will set him into a fit of temper. He fights everyone, all the time, for no reason. He cannot think because his anger and hate are so great. It is helpless anger, for his anger will change nothing.
“Sometimes, it is hard to live with these two wolves inside me, for both of them try to dominate my spirit.”
The boy looked intently into his Grandfather’s eyes and asked, “Which one wins, Grandfather?”
The Grandfather smiled and quietly said, “The one I feed.”
Which wolf do I usually feed?
How do I personally benefit when I feed the empowered wolf?
How do I personally benefit when I feed the disempowered wolf?
How can I stop feeding the disempowered wolf ?
How do I feel when I judiciously take a stand for what is right?
You were there when we took our first steps,
And went unsteadily across the floor.
You pushed and prodded, encouraged and guided,
Until our steps took us out the door…
You worry now “Are they o.k.?”
Is there more you could have done?
As we walk the paths of our unknown
You wonder “Where have my children gone?”
Where we are is where you have led us,
With your special love you showed us a way,
To believe in ourselves and the decisions we make.
Taking on the challenge of life day-to-day.
And where we go you can be sure,
In spirit you shall never be alone.
For where you are is what matters most to us,
Because to us that will always be home…
Life is an opportunity, benefit from it.
Life is a beauty, admire it.
Life is a dream, realize it.
Life is a challenge, meet it.
Life is a duty, complete it.
Life is a game, play it.
Life is a promise, fulfill it.
Life is sorrow, overcome it.
Life is a song, sing it.
Life is a struggle, accept it.
Life is a tragedy, confront it.
Life is an adventure, dare it.
Life is luck, make it.
Life is life, fight for it!
~ Mother Teresa
What do I believe is the meaning of life?
What is the meaning of my life?
What are the rules that I live by?
because your thoughts become your words.
Keep your words positive,
because your words become your behavior.
Keep your behavior positive,
because your behavior become your habits.
Keep your habits positive,
because your habits become your values.
Keep your values positive,
because your values become your destiny.
~ Mahatma Gandhi
Are my thoughts, words and deeds in harmony?
Are my habits aligned to my values?
Are my values reflective of my desired destiny?
All the tendencies present in the outer world
are to be found in the world of our body.
If we could change ourselves, the tendencies
in the world would also change.
As a man changes his own nature,
so does the attitude
of the world change towards him.
This is the divine mystery supreme.
A wonderful thing it is and the source of
We need not wait to see what others do.
What change do I wish to see in my own world?
When most people think of learning they don’t think in terms of having to change themselves. They tend to think of learning as…acquiring ideas, tips, techniques, and so on. Seldom does it occur to them that the problems they are facing are inseparable from who they are or the way they think and interact with other people.
Think of a situation, problem or issue that you are presently tackling and then answer the following questions:
- Is my point of view exacerbating the problem that I am facing or is it facilitating resolution?
- What shift in perspective would lead my thoughts toward a solution?
- How do I see myself in this situation? Who am I being?
- Who do I need to ‘be’ to solve the problem…what innate qualities can I draw on?
- How is my behaviour fostering unfavorable results?
- What behaviour would encourage a positive outcome?
- Do I believe I can successfully resolve this issue?
- Do I reach out to family, friends, colleagues, or experts to assist me with this situation?
- What are my first three steps towards a resolution?
Fortunately, following the turbulence of winter comes the season of activity and opportunity called springtime. It is the season for entering the fertile fields of life with seed, knowledge, commitment, and a determined effort.
However, the mere arrival of spring is no sign that things are going to look good in the fall. You must do something with the spring. In fact, everyone has to get good at one of two things: planting in the spring or begging in the fall. Take advantage of the day and the opportunities that spring can bring.
It is the promise of spring that as we sow, so shall we also reap. Faith further provides to us an irrevocable law decreed in heaven which assures that for every disciplined human effort, we will receive a multiple reward. For each cup planted, a bushel reaped, for every good idea given to another, many shall be given to us in return. For every demonstrated act of faith, a multiplicity of the rewards, and for every act of love given, a life of love in return.
Just remember it is a natural characteristic of springtime to present itself ever so briefly, or to lull us into inactivity with its bounteous beauty. Do not pause too long to soak in the aroma of the blossoming flowers, lest you awaken to find springtime gone with your seed still in your sack.
With the intelligence, wisdom, and freedom of choice given to us as humans, we exercise the discipline to plant in spite of the rocks, weeds, or other obstacles before us. The rocks, weeds, and thorns of the world cannot destroy all your seeds if you plant massively enough and intelligently enough. My suggestion is to choose action, not rest. Choose truth, not fantasy. Choose a smile, not a frown. Choose love, not animosity. Choose the good in life in all things, and choose the opportunity as well as the chance to work when springtime smiles on your life.
Spring shows us that life is truly a constant beginning, a constant opportunity, a constant springtime. We need only to learn to look once again at life as we did as children, letting fascination and curiosity give us welcome cause to look for the miraculous hidden among the common.
Get busy quickly on your springs, your opportunities. There are just a handful of springs that have been handed to each of us. Life is brief, even at its longest. Whatever you are going to do with your life, get at it. Don’t just let the seasons pass by.
What aspect of my life, work and leadership is ready for renewal? What does this renewal look like—what is my vision? Do I believe I can have and own the experience of my vision? What personal core values and priorities support me with manifesting my vision? What core values and priorities resist the process of manifesting my vision? What is my first step?
The leader must be awake and fully alert. Like a nighttime traveler attuned to every sound in the forest, the leader must be aware of all possibilities lurking in the shadows. For we can neither challenge nor transform what we cannot see.
What are my blind spots? How are they impacting my life, work and leadership? How do I uncover and transform them into positive character traits, high performance strengths and leadership intelligence?
Mind is the master power that molds and makes,
And we are Mind, and evermore we take
The tool of thought, and shaping what we will,
Bring forth a thousand joys, a thousand ills.
We think in secret, and it comes to pass –
Our world is but our looking glass.
~ James Allen
As I look at every aspect of my life, what personal empowering beliefs are reflected back to me [the areas of my life that I am feeling satisfied and fulfilled] and what personal limiting beliefs am I ready to transform [the areas in my life that I am unhappy and dissatisfied with]?
We see what we expect or want to see. All perception occurs in a rich, dynamic, ongoing context, and a thorough understanding of the perceptual process demands that we understand the roles of expectations, assumptions, and hypothesis, which, taken together, constitute what may be called a person’s assumptive world.