A young man shopping in a supermarket noticed a little old lady following him around. If he stopped, she stopped. Furthermore she kept staring at him.
She finally overtook him at the checkout, and she turned to him and said, “I hope I haven’t made you feel ill at ease; it’s just that you look so much like my late son.”
He answered, “That’s okay.”
She then said, “I know it’s silly, but if you’d call out ‘Good bye, Mom’ as I leave the store, it would make me feel so happy.”
She then went through the checkout, and as she was on her way out of the store, the man called out, “Goodbye, Mom.” The little old lady waved and smiled back at him. Pleased that he had brought a little sunshine into someone’s day, he went to pay for his groceries.
“That comes to $121.85,”said the clerk.”
“How come so much? I only bought 5 items.”
The clerk replied, “Yeah, but your Mother said you’d be paying for her things too.”
Color My World
More than a few years ago, there was a song made popular by the musical group “Chicago.” The name of the song is “Color My World.” I have fond memories associated with that song and smile every time I think of it. Long story.
This is certainly the time of year when the world is becoming very colorful with the change in the leaves. Of course, we can find color in every season. It’s all perspective.
If we think about that title, “Color My World,” I wonder what we would say if asked, “What color’s your world?” We would each probably have some similar answers and some very different.
What is it that ‘colors’ our world?
What does that even mean?
The dictionary defines color in the usual way, referring to tints and hues. But it also includes: to change (someone’s ideas, opinion, attitude, etc.) in some way and, it also means character, nature —such as showed himself in his true colors.
Maya Angelou said “Any one of us can be a rainbow in somebody’s clouds.”
I believe that.
So, one place I would suggest that color is added to our lives is with the people in our lives.
I’m guessing you have heard or seen the statement: “The best things in life aren’t THINGS.”
NO, the bests ‘things’ are people, and I would even say our pets. Living entities.
And I would ask you to think about how the people in your life ‘color’ your world. What are the ways that they add flavor to your life?
I’m sure most of you have seen the sign, ‘Salt Life’. It’s very prevalent around here. Salt is used as a seasoning and a preservative for food, to add flavor to it.
So, how do we Salt Life? How do we flavor it? Enhance it?
I would suggest we do so with our personalities, our character. Think of the folks in your life and how they make you smile, and even laugh! Maybe they bring music to your life. We were blessed to experience some added ‘color’ in our lives last week when Janie provided some Special Music for our enjoyment.
Many people actually bring color with their art. Artists in a variety of media share their works with us and that enhances our lives by adding ‘color’.
I like to garden and used to landscape a lot. So, I like flowers, in my house and garden, and I like to share them with my loved ones. This way I’m not only coloring my life, but I’m helping to color others too.
Leo Buscaglia said, “Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring, all of which have the potential to turn a life around.” That’s one way to “ADD SALT” to the people around us. Why do you think hugs are so important to us? We NEED them to survive. And I’ll take as many as I can get!
How many times have we heard of a story where one strangers’ kindness changed someone’s mind who was considering suicide? Or seeing or hearing someone say, “I needed that” to a certain statement that contained a message relevant to them or a reminder that, “This too shall pass.”
And how about our conversations? Do they ‘color’ our world?
Marlo Badenhorst said, “Conversation creates understanding.” We have discussed this at length in class, the importance of understanding what someone is saying and saying what we truly wish to say.
I don’t know about you, but I love a good conversation. If I can get talking with someone who makes me think, I’m feeling very good. Making me think, sharing my thoughts, ‘salts’ my life very much. I guess you can understand why I have book discussion groups now…oh it’s for the folks attending them, for sure, that’s my mission in life, but it’s for ME too! I get just as much from them, maybe more, than those people sitting around the table sharing. And I am so grateful that they have chosen to share their time with me.
But you know what else ‘salts’ my life? Seeing someone breaking through an understanding about themselves. That’s an amazing thing to see and to participate in. Watching someone understand something about themselves that they didn’t before-hand. Receiving an ‘AH HA…it’s priceless. The sharing that goes with that is deep and wonderful.
Animals color my world. I’ve seen wonderful things with my dogs. Many lessons for me and them. They are angels here to help us on our journey. And watching my girls, who went through some very rough times as breeders for puppy mills for 5 years, stuffed in cages with many, many other dogs, sometimes dead dogs. To see how they have come along is a wonder to behold. It proves that love does make a difference. We’ll talk about the gift of dogs in a couple of weeks.
All of nature has so many things that color our world. We’ve discussed trees and the oceans here. We could list what the other animals teach us, like the geese, who help the gaggle fly long distances as they migrate. They fly in the shape of a V for a reason and take turns leading the migration to break the air current so it’s easier for the others to fly without getting too tired, and did you know geese mate for life and they never leave a fellow goose alone if it gets sick or injured. Always one or two, at least, stop with the injured or sick goose until it can go on. We could learn a lot from our animal friends.
What other ways are our lives blessed? What other ways do we ‘salt’ our lives?
Think of the ways you make your life and the life of those you love more enjoyable. That is how you ‘salt’ them.
Allen Klein. said, “Your attitude is like a box of crayons that color your world. Constantly color your picture gray, and your picture will always be bleak. Try adding some bright colors to the picture by including humor, and your picture begins to lighten up.”
So we hang out with people we like, people who make us smile and laugh, and even dance! We do things we enjoy. Sometimes we even watch a TV show because it makes us laugh, and smile and think even.
But I think one of the biggest ways we ‘color’ our world is through remembering who we are. Not just in a human sense, but even more so, on a spiritual sense.
True creativity is recreating our perception of reality. When we begin to realize that we are truly children of the Creator, we see the world quite differently.
Other people take on a whole new meaning. We are more open and inviting with them. We see the world through their eyes as well as our own and can, therefore be more compassionate and understanding.
We see more similarities in others as we grow in understanding. This helps us understand that we are all ONE. I have often walked down a street or on the boardwalk and noticed how similar people are to each other and to other people I know.
We begin to understand that we have more control of our own lives than we ever thought we had. We realize that life is really about what we give out, because THAT is what we’ll get back.
Elizabeth Gilbert said, “We need to learn how to select our thoughts the same way we select our clothes.” In other words, very carefully, with some forethought.
Our thoughts create our world. Simple. But, you say, I didn’t create war. I didn’t create disease. Well, maybe not you directly, maybe the consciousness of the world, called RACE consciousness, is countering your good thoughts. Or, maybe your unconscious thoughts are battling with your conscious thoughts.
Think about how often we let anger over take those good thoughts. Or thinking some not so pleasant thoughts about someone else. Have we gossiped today? Even in thought?
Have we reacted in a negative way about something or someone? What has been your reaction to the current national and international news?
What are we thinking or even saying about ourselves, to our self?
Maya Angelou said, “You may not control all the events that happen to you, but you can choose not to be reduced by them.”
I understand it’s hard to not react to some things. It’s a lsesson we all must work on all the time. But we can become aware of what our hot topics are, what pushes our buttons, and learn to recognize when the reaction is starting, and then learn to stop or reduce the reaction.
WE know now that there is no need to camp out in the Valley of the Shadow….we are becoming more and more aware of who we truly are and we are learnig to make positive changes in our lives in every way. So we can cut that camping trip short…or not even go there!
Another way we are ‘coloring’ our world is through gratitude.
“We tend to forget that happiness doesn’t come as a result of getting something we don’t have, but rather of recognizing and appreciating what we do have.”
Gratitude is so important to our spiritual growth. We should be grateful for all that the world has to offer to us. Just be thankful for the simple things in your life. The air we breathe, the sun and rain, flowers and trees. The ocean and lake and streams.
All our animal life.
We have food and clothing, shelter. We have ways to get places and meet people. We can think and speak, and hear and see. I’ve often wondered if I had to give up one sense, what I could live without. That is so difficult to answer.
No hearing means no music, something I really love. The depth and breadth of music just amazes me.
No sight means not seeing the faces of the people I love or the colors the world offers us. Not seeing all the beauty around me, not seeing the wonders of the world.
Not being able to taste the good food my friend who cooks so well has to offer. Or tasting the lips of the one I love? Hard, very hard.
And who doesn’t love the smell of chocolate chip cookies freshly baked?
How can we live without touch? Touch is so very important to our emotional growth and stability. Why do you think we all love to hug? We need it!
Gratitude. Simple but mighty. Show it. Give it. BE it.
Carol reminded us last week of the powerful, yet simple prayer that we all can use…”Thank you.” Just close your eyes, take a deep breath and say THANK YOU.
We are followers of Jesus, and the teachings he gave to us. Particularly the stories of the miracles he manifested, we find him giving thanks to the Creator in advance of his request.
When Jesus gives thanks in advance, he affirms the fundamental Truth that God as Source is infinitely present
Another way to color our world is through forgiveness; of ourselves and of others. Carrying around the burden of anger, guilt, regrets is a weight we do not need. Forgive yourself for things done, or said, or not done or said. We all do the best we are able to do at the time with the knowledge we have. No one is perfect, and no one is expected to be. We are Spiritual Beings in Human Expression.
Forgive. Let go of whatever it is and Let God take over.
We color our world by recognizing happiness in our lives. Sounds simplistic, doesn’t it? Yet, have you considered if you are happy? Do you know what happiness is to you?
The Buddha said, “Happiness does not depend on what you have or who you are; it solely relies on what you think.”
Think about it. Let me know what you come up with.
Surprisingly enough, if we organize our homes, we can organize our lives. That helps to “salt’ our lives tremendously. How you ask? More time if we aren’t looking through stacks of paper, old mail, clothes we can’t wear or haven’t worn for years. When we release these items, we allow for energy flow…Chia. I’m sure you have heard of it, and Fung Shui. It’s all about energy.
When we clear out our homes, we really clear out our minds too. We take control of things in our lives, we take responsibility for our lives. If we have an unorganized home, most often we have an unorganized mind.
Not messy as in not clean or unhealthy. Messy as in, not knowing who we are or what we want from the Universe. And if we don’t know what we want, the Universe can’t give it to us. Those stacks of things can keep us from going deep into SELF. Busyness takes over.
You have heard of chakras…that’s part of our bodily energy flow system…we need to keep it flowing by keeping the chakras open. If you feel blocked, there are people and ways to open them and get them flowing properly again.
And receiving what we would like from life would surely ‘color’ our lives, right? We have to give to receive.
Some of you may have heard of Circulation Day. It’s something many Unity Centers do. It’s like a big yard sale, without the ‘sale’ part. Everything is free. People come in and take what they need. We’re thinking of doing this in the spring, so keep us in mind when you are spring cleaning.
When can ‘color your world’ is to let go of things we can’t control. Everything is temporary. Some people say to ask ourselves this question, when something challenging us comes up-“Is it a matter of life or death?” In other words, it’s probably NOT the end of the world. So, it will pass.
And can we do anything about what other people think and say and do? Not really. We can BE ourselves and sometimes that makes a difference to us or others, but we can’t change them, or their negativity or behavior. Only they can do that. We can be a Lighthouse for other thought.
So we do what we can control we take care of ourselves and our behaviors and thoughts. And, we remember we cannot change others but we can change who we choose to spend time with, in most cases.
The idea expressed by Don Miguel Ruiz ‘who’s business is it is explained further by Richard Carlson, “Minding your own business goes far beyond avoiding the temptation to try and solve other people’s problems. It also included eavesdropping, gossiping, talking behind other people’s backs, and analyzing or trying to figure out other people. One of the major reasons most of us focus on the shortcomings or problems of others is to avoid looking at ourselves.”
Again, the only person we can change is ourselves. Color your world.
Did you know a FEELING lasts about 45 seconds and is then released? An EMOTION, on the other hand, is a feeling with a story attached to it, and that emotion can last for as long as you keep feeding that story without letting go (that’s how people stay angry at someone or something for 20, 30, sometimes 40 years.. oy!).
So watch your emotions. Let go. AS Byron Katie would ask; Is it true? Not any longer, it’s not. IT, whatever IT was, happened in the past. Let it go. Be in the NOW.
Raise your awareness to the difference between a feeling and an emotion the moment it occurs, and let go of the story and emotional drama before it grabs a hold of you.
Tell yourself you will not stress yourself out over things you cannot control or change.
Color your world with peace, gratitude, harmony, and love.
And here’s a few idea on how to do that…
Think less Feel more
Frown less Smile more
Talk less…Listen more
Judge less, Accept more
Watch less, Do more
Complain Less, Appreciate More
Fear less, Love more