Monday, 31 December 2012

Precious

There is a reason God limits our days…
To make each one precious.   
– Mitch Albom

Friday, 28 December 2012

Happiness

True happiness is found 
in simple seemingly unremarkable things. 
– Eckhart Tolle

Wednesday, 26 December 2012

Snowflake

I think we make the whole thing too high falutin.   
Maybe all God wants to do in human form 
is touch a snowflake.    
– Rev. Cynthia Bourgeault

Monday, 24 December 2012

Smarter

At some point our actions become smarter 
and thus the results are 
less of a drag on our wings.  
 – Daniel Ladinsky

Friday, 21 December 2012

December 21, 2012 Chautauqua


From the Editor's Computer



   December 21st - the first official day of winter, the Winter Solstice, the shortest, and therefore darkest, day of the year.

   The ancients knew that it is impossible to fight or retaliate against the darkness.  The darkness always wins when you try to attack it.

   The only way to remove the darkness is to dispel it by adding light.

   Even the tiniest spark or ember of light will defeat the darkness.

   Our world today seems filled with so much darkness, despite it being a festive time of year. 

   Whether it is the darkness of the night (as the days shorten) or the darkness of human actions (recent mass shooting in Connecticut), the only way to deal with the darkness is to add more light.

   The darkness of night is powerless against even a small candle.  And the darkness of human action becomes powerless against the light of love, compassion, and kindness.

   And what does the light of love, compassion, and kindness look like?  A smile...a hug...holding someone’s hand...saying hello to someone on the street...holding the door for someone...letting someone go in line ahead of you...donating to a local organization which benefits local youth...the list goes on and on and on.

   Don’t be discouraged if you don’t see immediate evidence of the darkness receding.  While one small candle causes the darkness to recede, it doesn’t remove it totally.  More light is necessary.

    Just as one tiny spark or ember can start a roaring fire, so too can one kind action by each individual start a wave of kindness that spreads far beyond what we can imagine.  

Beth

Click here to read the complete issue of The Chautauqua.

To contact The Chautauqua, email: thechautauqua@gmail.com.

Wednesday, 19 December 2012

Person

Become a person 
that others want to be around!  
  This is far and away 
the greatest success secret in existence.  
 A man or woman who has become someone 
others want to be around 
holds the world by the tail.    
– Andy Andrews

Monday, 17 December 2012

Surrender

In the state of surrender, 
you see very clearly what needs to be done,
 and you take action, 
doing one thing at a time 
and focussing on one thing at a time.   
Learn from nature: 
See how everything gets accomplished 
and how the miracle of life unfolds 
without dissatisfaction or unhappiness.
 – Eckhart Tolle

Friday, 14 December 2012

Wrong

I have dared myself to take 
the wrong path along the years – 
and then make it an exercise 
to find the right choice within it.  
 – Cecelia Montero

Wednesday, 12 December 2012

Accept


Accept yourself as you are. 
Otherwise you will never see opportunity. 
You will not feel free to move toward it; 
you will feel you are not deserving.  
 - Maxwell Maltz

Monday, 10 December 2012

Irritate


I am willing to release
 that part of me that irritates me 
when I think of you. 
 – Doreen Virtue

Friday, 7 December 2012

December 7, 2012 Chautauqua


From the Editor's Computer


   A couple of months ago, five ball players from Irma, Alberta had the honour and distinction of being named to the Canadian National fast pitch team.

   This is a very special opportunity for these five young men, and a great moment for our country.

   Too often, we hear that people have to take their children to the “city” as there are greater opportunities for them there.  

   The ball players from Irma are not the first ones from a small town to become honoured, or famous.  We can list countless other ones in various areas of life - hockey players, models, and more.  Many, not only from Alberta, but from our own local communities.

   Yes, cities offer more varied opportunities, however, no one can take advantage of all the opportunities out there, not even adults.

   While it is true, there are more opportunities in larger centres, that does not necessarily mean that your child (or children) will have access to, or even experience, the best opportunities for them.

   The advantage of small town opportunities is that there are less options, or distractions, so children can really focus their time and attention on what interests them.

   Another advantage is that expertise is not divided between so many, as it is concentrated upon a few.  Part of the Irma ball players’ success is due to their coach who was able to provide personalized training that suited each athlete’s special talents and areas needing improvement.

   Along the similar lines, there is less competition in smaller centres.  Seldom does a child have to try out to make a team, or be included in an activity.  It is easier to join groups and sports.

   I personally have found that smaller communities are more willing to support someone who wants to create their own opportunity, whether it is starting a new business, creating a new product, or any other adventure.

   Yes, there are more opportunities in the city, no doubt about that, but the best opportunities are usually found in a small town.

Beth

Click here to read the complete issue of The Chautauqua.

To contact The Chautauqua, email: thechautauqua@gmail.com.

Wednesday, 5 December 2012

Turn

If the river turns and you don’t turn, 
you end up on dry land.  
 – Nina Zimbelman

Monday, 3 December 2012

Keys

People can't drive you crazy
if you don't give them the keys 
- Title of a book

Friday, 30 November 2012

Brag

Birds don’t brag that they can fly.  
 - Swami Adiswarananda

Wednesday, 28 November 2012

Spirit

Sometimes the harder it is to accomplish something, 
the bigger the Spirit that’s trying to be born.
 - Author Unknown

Monday, 26 November 2012

Dwelling

Dwelling on something 
that you don't intend to change
 is not going to do you any good.
 - Author Unknown

Friday, 23 November 2012

Insight

Insight is not a lightbulb
 that goes off inside our heads.
It is a flickering candle 
that can easily be snuffed out.  
 - Malcolm Gladwell

Wednesday, 21 November 2012

Guide

We have all a better guide in ourselves,
 if we would attend to it,
 than any other person can be.   
- Jane Austen

Monday, 19 November 2012

Life

Life is constantly recycling itself 
and evolving at the same time.  
 – Deepak Chopra

Friday, 16 November 2012

November 16, 2012 Chautauqua


From the Editor's Computer


   Sometimes the only way you can move forward is to go backwards, or even sideways. And, no, I’m not referring to our wintry driving conditions last week.

   Sometimes the only way to accomplish something is to stop.  Totally stop.  Not just take a breather, but completely stop doing what you were doing for an extended time period.

   We tend to think that stopping is a counterintuitive response, but is it?

    When we are working on a task and things start getting bogged down and don’t work as smoothly, what is our instinctive response?

  Do we not throw up our hands and want to quit?  Do we not want to run away and hide? 

   So, if we instinctively know that we should stop what we’re doing for a time, why don’t we?

   That’s easy to answer.  Because we’re human. :)

   For some reason we are determined that we must overcome, override, and ignore our instinctive responses.  Even though we feel like we’re hitting a brick wall, slogging through quicksand, or are going backwards, we continue to keep pushing the situation, the task, and ourselves.

   And then the situation becomes even harder to deal with. 

   Yet, if we stop, and shift our focus to doing something else, we can return to the original task renewed, refreshed, and with new insights for moving the task, and ourselves, forward.

Beth

Click here to read the complete issue of The Chautauqua.

To contact The Chautauqua, email: thechautauqua@gmail.com.

Wednesday, 14 November 2012

Joy

Joy can be found only one place at one time; 
right here, right now. 
- Marianne Williamson

Monday, 12 November 2012

Inside

Everything we experience is inside us, 
not outside. 
 - Marianne Williamson

Friday, 9 November 2012

Statement

My life will not be an apology. 
It will be a statement.
 – Andy Andrews

Wednesday, 7 November 2012

Water

You can find ways to adapt to life's 
many changing situations when you flow...
Be flexible like water 
and you will discover indomitable perseverance, 
to stay with the flow of your path...
be like water: formless yet resolute, clear and still, 
seeking the lowest to achieve the highest...
the Path is clear; nothing will obstruct you. 
- C. Alexander Simpkins

Monday, 5 November 2012

Busy

To be free to grow fully 
and develop yourself, 
don't be busy all the time! 
C. Alexander Simpkins

Friday, 2 November 2012

November 2, 2012 Chautauqua


From the Editor's Computer   

   In case you were not aware, there is a United States Presidential election on November 6, 2012.  While I admit I have not been following the coverage (for the past four years!), I am interested in what the outcome will be.

   I happened to catch a quick glimpse of an online article the other day.  The author is an American columnist currently residing in Canada.  The columnist started out by saying she’s a proud American, has always voted Republican, and believed strongly that the American’s were always in the right no matter what the issue - be it local or international.

   However, her perception has changed slightly in the short time she’s been in Canada, and as the Presidential election looms closer and closer, her views on the American way are changing.

   First off, by being out of country, and no longer totally immersed in the culture, she can now see that the Republican Party is not as great as she always believed.  In fact, she admitted that it is quite laughable (not in a good way) right now.

   She also has realized that what they have always been told about the American way of life is not necessarily true, and she cited some examples that pertained to her life in particular.

   She even thanked Canadians for opening her eyes and showing her there is a different way to live and be.  By being in Canada, she now realizes it is possible to be an individual and still be nice to others.  She has also noticed that it is possible to be an individual, support private business, and still do the right thing for everyone - i.e. our universal health care system.

   You don’t necessarily need to leave the country to get a different perspective of your life.  Maybe all you need to do is go somewhere closer - that you’ve never visited before, such as the park in your own community - for an hour.  Notice what is around you.  Talk to someone you’ve never talked to before to find out their point of view.

   It doesn’t take much to gain a different view of the world around you.  All it takes is the willingness to see things with different eyes.

Beth

Click here to read the complete issue of The Chautauqua.

To contact The Chautauqua, email: thechautauqua@gmail.com.

Wednesday, 31 October 2012

Mental health

Mental health comes 
when we allow our psyche to be,
 trusting the process to unfold...
We stop having inner battles...
Our inner being finds its natural balance, 
like water finding its level, 
and we function in harmony 
with ourselves and the world.  
C. Alexander Simpkins

Monday, 29 October 2012

Friday, 26 October 2012

Individuality

Don't be afraid to be yourself.  
 Live your individuality to the full - 
but for the good of others.   
Don't copy others in order to buy fellowship 
or make convention your law. 
- Dag Hammarskjold

Wednesday, 24 October 2012

The way

Don't believe what your eyes are telling you. 
All they show is limitation. 
Look with your understanding, 
find out what you already know, 
and you'll see the way... 
- Richard Bach

Monday, 22 October 2012

Listen

No one will listen to us until we listen to ourselves.   
- Marianne Williamson

Friday, 19 October 2012

October 19, 2012 Chautauqua


From the Editor's Computer


   Ever wish you could discover the elusive secret to life?

   Truth is, it isn't that elusive, nor is it really a secret.

   The answer is breathe! 

   Think about it for a moment and you'll see that it is true.  No breath = no life.  You stop breathing, you stop living. Literally.  It's as simple as that.

  • As long as you are breathing, you are alive.
  • As long as you are alive, you can make any choice you want . 
  • As long as you are breathing and can make any choice you want, you are free.
  • As long as you are free, you have no need for excuses. 
  • If you have no excuses, you have nothing stopping you.
  • If you have nothing stopping you, you are fully present and alive.

   From ancient texts to the most modern science, there is agreement that the heart is the true “brain” controlling the body.  It has been proven that our hearts react to external and internal stimuli before any other sensor in the entire body.  Actually, the heart reacts just before there is any measurable external or internal stimuli!

   The rate at which your heart beats determines what signals it sends to the brain and the rest of the body’s systems.  The signals that are sent, determines whether one is healthy or not.

   The only way to consciously change the rate the heart beats is by consciously changing the pattern of the breath.

  • By breathing slower and fuller, the heart rate slows. 
  • When the heart rate slows, the heart sends out the proper messages. 
  • When the proper messages are sent out, the body responds better. 
  • When the body responds better, your thinking gets clearer.
  • When your thinking gets clearer, you make better choices.
  • When you make better choices, you relax and your breathing gets fuller and slower.
   So, the answer to anything and everything in your life is to breathe!

Beth

Click here to read the complete issue of The Chautauqua.

To contact The Chautauqua, email: thechautauqua@gmail.com.

Wednesday, 17 October 2012

Margin

I love a broad margin to my life. 
 - Henry David Thoreau

Monday, 15 October 2012

One

It takes only one person to change your life
...you.   
- Ruth Casey

Friday, 12 October 2012

Extremes

When you spend your energy 
trying to maintain the extremes, 
nothing goes forward...
Just let the extremes go.   
Don’t participate in them… 
  – Michael Singer

Wednesday, 10 October 2012

How

The beauty of embracing deep truths 
is that you don’t have to change your life; 
you just change how you live your life.  
 It’s not what you’re doing; 
it’s how much of you is doing it. 
 – Michael Singer

Monday, 8 October 2012

Thanksgiving


Let us be thankful 
that we have something to be thankful for.   
That pumpkin pies are once more in fashion.   
That turkey is cheap enough for the poor man’s table.  
That the cranberry crop wasn’t ruined by the frosts.   
That the country is still quite safe 
in spite of the politicians.   
– Good Housekeeping magazine, 1888

Friday, 5 October 2012

October 5, 2012 Chautauqua


From the Editor's Computer


   As you go about your daily life and interactions, are you like water?    

   Water flows along, taking the path of least resistance, finding the easiest route to get to where it wants to go.  It exerts little effort, it just flows as it is naturally inclined to do.  Water is not impeded by obstacles in its path.  While it may appear to be momentarily stuck, or blocked, ultimately, it flows around anything in its path.

   While water is very soft and gentle, it is very strong.  Through persistence, it wears away at the most unyielding materials in its path. 

   Water conforms to its surroundings, yet at the same time, it creates its own form.  It stays within boundaries, however, it is not rigidly confined to those boundaries if conditions change. 

   Water, especially flowing water, is vibrantly alive. Debris can build up in water, yet if the water continues to flow, it isn't long before the debris is left by the wayside.  It is searching, extending, always moving forward, constantly changing. 

   Yet, water never loses its essence.  No matter what happens, or where it flows, water is still ultimately water. 

   Or are you like a boulder in a stream bed? 

   A boulder is stationary, never moving, stuck.  It tends to act more like a hindrance than a benefit to those in its path. 

   Also a boulder is subject to everything that comes its way.  It is constantly battered and attacked by the debris and the environmental forces around it.  

   Its rigidity is its downfall.  It neither grows nor expands into new territory.   The changes it does experience are forced on it from external sources. 

   A boulder gets left behind as life teems around it.  Unable to move or defend itself, the boulder keeps getting more and more worn down, until it is a mere a reflection of its former self.  It loses its essence as more and more pieces of it are worn away.

   Are you flowing forward? 

   Or are you stuck in the mud?    

Beth

Click here to read the complete issue of The Chautauqua.

To contact The Chautauqua, email: thechautauqua@gmail.com.

Wednesday, 3 October 2012

Energy

When you are feeling depreciated, angry or drained, 
it is a sign that other people 
are not open to your energy.   
– Sanaya Roman

Monday, 1 October 2012

Distracted

[W]hen a lot of things start going wrong all at once, 
it is to protect something big and lovely 
that is trying to get itself born – 
and...this something needs for you 
to be distracted so that it can be born 
as perfectly as possible. 
 – Anne Lamott

Friday, 28 September 2012

Letting

True mastery can be gained 
by letting things go their own way.
 – Wayne Dyer

Wednesday, 26 September 2012

Resist

Do not resist the natural course of your life.   
In this way you will never weary 
of this world. 
 – Wayne Dyer

Monday, 24 September 2012

Smile

A person says more with a smile
 than with words. 
 – Gregory Dickow

Friday, 21 September 2012

September 21, 2012 Chautauqua


From the Editor's Computer


   This is my depressed stance. When you're depressed, it makes a lot of difference how you stand. The worst thing you can do is straighten up and hold your head high because then you'll start to feel better. If you're going to get any joy out of being depressed, you've got to stand like this.” (Charlie Brown, Peanuts by Charles M. Schulz)

   Are you concerned about how others are treating you?  Look at how you stand or sit.

   Do you slouch and try to hide yourself like a turtle retreating into a protective shell?

   Or is your head hanging to the ground, like Charlie Brown’s, as if to hide it like a frightened ostrich?

   Perhaps your chin thrust forward, along with your chest, as you puff up in an attempt to intimidate like a bulldog?

   Shape-shifting isn’t a mythical ritual that only special healers can accomplish.  All of us change our shape (stance) every day, mostly unconsciously.

   When we are happy, we are more open and our movements are more expansive and free.

   When we are with someone we like, we lean in closer like a family pet waiting to be petted.

   On the other hand, when we feel threatened in any way, we go on the defensive and our hackles are raised.  We hiss and growl, snarl and attack like a cornered beast.

   One of the easiest ways to make a change in your life and your interactions with other people, is to change how you stand or sit around them. 

   Looking people in the eye when you talk to them, and not retreating, will go a long way to making people approach you in a friendlier manner.

   We can all do our best to stand tall, yet flexible, opening to others, and life around us, as a flower stretches and opens to the sunshine.

Beth

Click here to read the complete issue of The Chautauqua.

To contact The Chautauqua, email: thechautauqua@gmail.com.