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Teaching Old Birds New Tricks! November 21, 2010

Posted by nrhatch in Animals, Humor, Joke.
16 comments

A young man named John received a parrot as a gift.

The parrot had a bad attitude and an even worse vocabulary.

Every word out of the bird’s mouth was rude, obnoxious, and laced with profanity.

John tried to change the bird’s attitude by saying only polite words, playing soft music, and encouraging the bird to “clean up” its vocabulary.

Finally, John had enough and yelled at the parrot. The parrot yelled back.  John shook the parrot.  In response, the parrot got angrier and even ruder.

John, in desperation, grabbed the bird and put him in the freezer. For a few minutes the parrot squawked and kicked and screamed.

Then, nothing.  Total quiet. Not a peep was heard for over a minute.

Fearing that he’d hurt the parrot, John threw open the door to the freezer.

The parrot calmly stepped out onto John’s outstretched arms and said, “I believe I may have offended you with my rude language and actions. I’m sincerely remorseful for my   inappropriate transgressions and I fully intend to do everything I can to correct my rude and unforgivable behavior.”

John was stunned at the transformation in the bird’s attitude.

As John was about to ask the parrot what had caused such a dramatic shift in his attitude, the bird said, “May I ask what the turkey did?”

HAPPY (ALMOST) THANKSGIVING!!! 

Inspiration:  e-mail from unknown author

Embrace Your Inner Calvin November 21, 2010

Posted by nrhatch in Happiness, Mindfulness, Spirit & Ego.
12 comments

Calvin is the hero of his life, calmly using an internal barometer and compass to mindfully decide what to be, say, think, and do.

Rather than trying to please all of the people all of the time, he listens to his own inner wisdom.  Instead of aiming to please all of the people some of the time, or some of the people all of the time, he follows his own path. 

Instead of looking to others for guidance, he looks within as he strives to be the BEST Calvin he can be.

* * * * *

One day, Allen interrupts Calvin while he’s painting and says, “Who do you think you are?  No one can paint happiness.  It’s stupid to even try.”

Calvin stops what he’s doing, looks up at Allen with compassion, and says, “Have you ever tried to paint happiness?”

Allen snorts, “Why should I try to paint happiness?  It’s just a stupid feeling.”

Calvin considers his response before saying, “I cannot speak for you, I can only tell you why I paint happiness.”

Allen looks at Calvin with disgust, “Well, then, why do YOU paint happiness?”

Calvin smiles, “I paint happiness because it makes me happy.”

Allen considers that response, and arrogantly demands, “TEACH ME!”

Calvin says, “I cannot teach you, but you can teach yourself.”

Allen laughs in derision, “See, you’re not so smart!  If you knew what you were talking about, you could TEACH others.”

Calvin smiled, “It’s not hard.  Silence the mind.  Just be.  Focus on your breath.  With each inspiration, focus on your connection to the peace, love, and joy that reside within us all.”

Allen waved his hand in dismissal, “That’s just a bunch of mumbo jumbo.  I don’t need to do that.  Just TEACH ME how to paint happiness.”

Calvin sighed, “It’s easy.  Feel happy.  Then paint what you feel.”

Quote:  No one saves us but ourselves. No one can and no one may. We ourselves must walk the path. ~ The Buddha

Related posts:  Paint Your World As YOU Want It * A Study Of Contrasts

A Study Of Contrasts November 21, 2010

Posted by nrhatch in Happiness, Mindfulness.
14 comments

In my last post, Paint Your World As YOU Want It,  Allen uses his Ego as the sole measuring stick for life. As a result, he boasts and brags to draw attention to himself and away from others.  Anything he does, he does for external recognition and approval, as he shouts out, LOOK AT ME!

He compares his efforts with the results others attain in order to further inflate his sense of self-importance ~ bolstering his fragile Ego with the thought that HE would have achieved a BETTER result.

The ultimate destination of applause, approval, and accolades from others is ALL that matters to Allen.  As a result, the journey of painting holds no inherent joy for him.

In the words of Desiderata:  Do not compare yourself with others.  You will become vain and bitter, for always there will be greater and lesser persons than yourself.

Bernie, too, is primarily guided by Ego. Because he focuses on how his efforts will be received by others, he lacks confidence and is fearful.

Like Allen, he compares his efforts with the results others achieve, while telling himself he does NOT measure up.  His inhibitions hold him back, and prevent him from fully embracing the joys of life, for fear that others will ridicule him and laugh at his efforts.

As a result of his Ego-oriented mindset, Bernie has crippled himself by giving away his inner power and freedom.  He is a prisoner of life, paralyzed by undue concern about his reputation with others.

We have as many reputations as acquaintances.  None is accurate.  Be who you want to be.

When Calvin shifts Bernie’s perspective from how Bernie views the painting to how the PIGS must feel living there, Bernie enters the NOW and smiles for the first time all morning.

Be Here Now.

Calvin, in contrast to Allen and Bernie, is unconcerned with the Fear, Guilt, and Pride of Ego.

He doesn’t care whether he paints BETTER than others. He enjoys the process.

He doesn’t worry about whether he paints WORSE than others. He loves playing with color.

He enters the NOW, paints one stroke at a time, and enjoys the journey.  He is unconcerned with the destination. Only THIS MOMENT matters.

The world falls away.

When he resurfaces, he sees the reflection of the Present Moment in what he painted. He captured how he FELT on paper. Looking at the painting fills him with JOY and HAPPINESS.

He is oblivious to what others think of his work ~ their opinion of him and his abilities as a painter is unimportant.  He didn’t paint the picture for them. He painted it to capture his own spiritual essence.  It’s HIS world.

Calvin uses an internal reference point to govern his actions and emotions.  He loves the painting no matter what others think of it ~ not because it is a “great painting,” but because it captures how he FELT while painting it.

In words, his mantra has become, “What you think of me is none of my business.”

Calvin travels through life using an internal compass, freed of the shifting impact of applause, scorn, accolades, derision, approval, and disapproval from others.  He embraces life right HERE, right NOW,  without concern for the ultimate destination.   He is confident of his abilities to navigate without looking to others to decide what to be, say, think, or do.

He is comfortable in his own skin.  In words, his mantra has become, “Who I am is who I want to be.”

Calvin is the HERO of his own life.

We each have an Inner Calvin.  To access his wisdom, we need only look within.

Related posts:  Embrace Your Inner Calvin *  Paint Your World As YOU Want It