Leo Tolstoy on God

LEO TOLSTOY ON GOD: "When you look inside yourself, you see what is called 'your own self' or your soul. You cannot touch it or see it or understand it, but you know it is there. And this part of yourself--that which you cannot understand--is what is called God. God is both around us and inside of us--in our souls.

The more you understand that you are at one with God, the more you will understand that you are at one with all His worldly manifestations."

Sunday, June 7, 2015

How To Gain The Whole World And NOT Lose Your Soul: Rise Above Your Basic Instincts

Cecilia Weber, creater of this image,  is one of several artists using the human body to create beautiful art of flowers.
See others human-body art  pieces on this post.
Lust and Greed are  on equal footing. The difference is that  one focuses on a person, the other on a thing.

Human Bodies "formed" into beautiful flowers. 
Lust is defined as having a strong sexual desire for someone.
Greed is defined as having intense and selfish desire for something, especially weatlh, power or food.

But both come from a place of consciousness, where there is a lack of connection with the soul/spirit within.

Once there is a void, there will be longing for something...anything... outside ourselves.

The key to overcoming lust and greed is to rise above our basic instincts and develop a consciousness that sees we're operating strictly from our animal nature, which is instinctual. 

  Recognize this rose, as a rose? Or are you focused only on the naked bodies forming the rose?
"A rose by any other name is still a rose," line from Romeo and Juliet


Yes. Cecilia Weber sees the human body in its totality and as a beautiful object, so she creates beautiful art from the perspective of her inner eyes. But most people who are lusting after someone do not see the human body from those of the eyes of an artist. Most reduce a person to a human frame with parts and lust after those individual parts: breasts, legs, thighs, and buttocks. If we were to just casually glance through Twitter or other social media feeds, we see the extent some are going to today to sculpt various parts of their body, not for functionality, but to create desire and appeal. Those who are born with certain attributes are displaying them without cover...with no modesty...for the world to see. If being vulgar is our new way of showcasing beauty, then we should consider that even our basic instincts are failing us: we've gone over the edge. 

By viewing our bodies in this way, we essentially are reducing our senses to those of animals. They, too, operate from their basic instincts: animals use all their senses to attract and capture the objects of their desires, even if it means preying and hunting them down only to kill and eat them. As humans, we are given more than our five senses.


We are given the power of self-discipline and self control. These can be used to help us separate even more from the lower species in the animal kingdom.

One of my favorite spiritual master teachers is James Allen, author of "As a Man Thinketh." I was blessed recently by discoverng that an entire volume of his works, "Mind is the Master," has been compiled. Yes. I have been exercising my own form of gluttony, foraging through the 866 pages with the behavior of a beast. 
 Yes. I admit: I've been shameless.The good part for you, my readers, is that you also get to read what "Allen says" in this and the next six blog posts of the year. (See the "Coming Up" section on the right side.)  

Here's what Allen says about Self-Discipline:
Click here to read about 'The Wolf Man."(Wolf Researcher Werner Freund)
 "A man does not live until he begins to discipline himself; he merely exists. like an animal, he gratifies his desires and pursues his inclinations just where they may lead him.  he is happy as a beast, because he is not conscious of what he is depriving himself; he suffers as the beast suffers, becaues he does no know the way out of suffering. he does not intelligently reflect upon life, and lives in a series of sensations, longings, and confused memories which are unrelated to any central idea or principle. A man whose inner life is so ungoverned and chaotic must necessarily manifest this confusion in the visible conditions of his outer life in the world; and though for a time, running with the stream of his desires, he may draw to himself a more or less large share of necessities and comforts of life, he never achieves any real success nor accomplishes any real good, and sooner or later worldly failure and disaster are inevitable, as the direct result of the inward failure to properly adjust and regulate those mental forces which make the outer life. 

"Before a man accomplish anything of an enduring nature in the world, he must first of all acquire some measure of success in the management of his own mind." 
Recognize the bodies for what they form: a beautiful flower.
Lack of Self-Discipline Is Toxic To Our Soul

We may gain the whole world and lose our Soul by not recognizing a strong and unhealthy attraction to someone else for what it is in truth. It is such an unhealthy emotion that right thinking is not involved, when lust takes over. See this piece about a doctor and patient. ((Doctor Began Affair With Patient After Seeing Her Undress.) Others, get into similar trouble when they lose perspective on money and things and people. Whatever the object of desire, it's still lust! Congressman's Rise Ends With a Thud

 "Let not thine heart decline to her ways, go not astray in her paths. Her house is the way to hell, going down to the chambers of death. For she hath cast down many wounded, yea, many strong men have been slain by her."
-Proverb 7: 25-27 


Another beautiful piece from Cecilia Weber: Human Body creating art. 
From the proverb, we can see that throughout the ages men and women have succumbed to lust and often to their destruction. It's time now for us to wake up to Truth and see lust for the role it plays in our lives. 

  • We must get beyond our animal desires and reach for higher goals. 

  • We must begin to view the body as God's vessel, as an entire "entity" here for a purpose, and strive to see beyond the outward appearance.

  • We must remember that self-discipline applies to several areas of our lives: emotion, attitude and behavior. 
Here are meditation, I found in "Metaphysical Meditations," by Paramahansa Yoganada that should work help you to "rise above" if used with sincerity:

  • "Teach me, O spirit, to distinguish between the soul's lasting happiness and the temporary pleasures of the senses."
  • "Teach me not to engross myself in the passing sense pleasures. Teach me to discipline my senses that they may always make me really hapy. Teach me to substitute for flesh temptation the greater allurement of soul happiness."


Saturday, May 9, 2015

How To Gain The Whole World and NOT Lose Your Soul: Overcome Greed!

"Don't be a Shark!" 
One cold January morning, I logged onto my computer, and two pieces of news  immediately caught my attention: 
Billionaire Bill Gates and his wife, Melinda, offering their thoughts on how the nation can solve the growing Income Inequality gap (The Gates on How Philantrophy Can Help Income Inequality Gap) and a Millionaire Assembly Speaker in New York being arrested for allegedly taking bribes. (New York Assembly Speaker Arrested On Corruption Charges)

If this was not the reality of our world today, the disparity of the two pieces would seem like a cruel joke, especially when viewed from the perspective of "Gaining the Whole World and NOT Losing Your Soul" by avoiding Greed and Gluttony. 
I say to you: 
"Greed is more than wanting your fair share in life. Greed is a state of consciousness, where enough is never enough! It's an approach to life that demonstrates a paucity of spirit,  where we withhold a compliment, or don't share a thought because it might give someone an 'edge.' Greed is the biggest illustrator of the veil with which many walk through life and is illustrious of the void that can occur when we walk through life separated from our Soul." 

One story illustrates for us the fullness that occurs as a personality becomes more connected to its Soul, and the other shows the devastation that results when we operate separately, as a personality, from our Soul. Both men were "growing" through life with wealth...but in completely different ways!

Here we have a billionaire, Gates, who acquired his wealth, through stealth,  by utilizing the gifts of Spirit within him. Starting out by knocking on the doors of major corporations, this billionaire learned much about their ways of operating yet wanted to offer something different. Step by step he built his company...and as he built it, his money grew...and grew...and grew...and grew and grew, making his business one of the world's largest companies today, Microsoft.

Bill Gates is one of the world's richest men, but if we were to look at his PR in the last 10 years, we would see that his preoccupation has not been to gain more and more. In fact, he seems more focused on how he can give back to the world and share the gifts that were so freely given to him.
We can assume for purposes of this blog that Sheldon Silver,  the millionaire, also was a good man.
He wanted to do good by offering his time, talent and skills to serve the public. He may have had a good life all along, but he wanted more, i.e. he wanted to give more and be more to many. As Assembly Speaker of New York, he had acquired the "whole world" of power...and then...Was it Greed, or the absolute power of power itself? 
According to the charges being leveled at him, he was involved in corruption for two decades! We can only guess at what may have led this man, who, for our purposes, had good intentions when he started out to stray so far from his Truth of serving and upholding the public trust. 
We pray, too, at Namaste' Wholistic 
for Sheldon Silver's vindication

Bill Gates' story is that of a man who, even if he started out wanting more and more, eventually became humbled by his accomplishments and wanted to share his gifts and wealth with the world. (See others doing the same: ("The Giving Pledge" ) The Assembly Speaker's story, based on the charges, speaks of a man who may have become corrupted by the seduction of money, power and greed. In whatever way the story ends for the millionaire in the court of law, we know that he already is having a  day of reckoning with his Soul. We can only support his prayer on the day he was arrested:
                                             “I hope I’ll be vindicated.”   
For the rest of us who are not millionaires, much less billionaires, let their stories be a wake-up call for us. We can learn from these two public men and so many others who lie somewhere in between.

We do not have to search long and hard to see the many other billionaires, unlike Bill Gates, fighting hard to keep their billions to themselves. 

The Income Inequality gap is widening. (Federal Reserve Bank Chairman Speaks on Widening Income Equality.) Many diligent men, like Bill Gates, are fighting hard to close this gap, but just as many are fighting just as hard to keep it open. Many wealthy men on the other side of Gates are working to influence appointment of people to Congress who would ensure they become richer and richer by keeping more and more of their wealth.
James Allen, born on  November 28,1864, was a master teacher and author of spiritual books, articles and journals. Author of  the best seller, "As A Man Thinketh," (1903) and "From Poverty to Power," (1901), his complete works have been compiled in "Mind is the Master." Here's a passage Allen offered on greed, as he and his family fed and observed eating patterns of birds in the Winter.

"If a small quantity of food be given them, they will eat it with comparative freedom from contention. But let a quantity of food which is more than sufficient for all be thrown to them, and fighting over the coveted provender at once ensues. Occasionally we would put out a whole loaf of bread, and then the contention of the birds became fierce and prolonged, although there was more than they all could possibly eat during several days. Some, having gorged themselves until they could eat no more, would stand upon the loaf and hover round it, pecking fiercely at all newcomers, and endeavoring to prevent them from obtaining any of the food. And along with the fierce contention there was noticeable a great fear. With each mouthful of food taken, the birds would look round in nervous terror, apprehensive of losing their food or their lives.
 "....it is not scarcity that produces competition, it is abundance; so that the richer and more luxurious a nation becomes, the keener and fiercer becomes the competition for securing the necessaries and luxuries of life. Let a famine overtake a nation, and at once compassion and sympathy take the place of competitive strife; and in the blessedness of giving and receiving, men enjoy a foretaste of that heavenly bliss which the spiritually wise have found, and which all shall ultimately reach."  
But the power lies within each of us not to be overwhelmed or overcome by these seemingly stronger forces. We must hold to the Truth within us and not be seduced by the world to go the way of the world...and especially not to get greedy as our stock in life begins to rise.  Eventually, with enough people on Earth awakening to the Truth, the good for all mankind can, and will, prevail. 
"...for a man's life consisteth not in the abundance of things which he possesseth."- Luke 12:15  
Moving beyond the lessons of the billionaires and millionaires in the world, we each can begin in each moment to make a choice to eradicate greed in whatever small way we can. 
Please remember: 

  • Greed does not only refer to money, it also refers to selfish thinking.
  • Greed does not only refer to food, it also refers to wanting.                                  more than your fair share.
  •  Greed does not only refer to the rich.
  • Greed also refers to the middle class and even the poor, especially if they also carry a "me first," "me only" mentality.

We all can be greedy in our ways, if we act selfishly towards others and want everything for ourselves.

  • We all can be  greedy, if all we think about, and talk about, is ourselves and what benefits us.
  • We all can be greedy if we think only about winning and others losing.
Is it selfish to want to be first? 
Is it selfish to push others down, or away, so we can be first? 
Yes. Can this behavior be considered greedy? 
                                            Yes. Yes. Yes.

There are those who believe the world works as they imagine it and that everything in the world has to do with them. Is that selfishness? No. But it is being self centered: This is when we are too interested in ourselves and have little care about the needs or feelings of other people. 
Self -centeredness can turn into greediness when we believe everything in the world happens for us, or is about us. The world is huge! Each one of us has a role to play in it. We are not center stage and should not want to be center stage all the time. That, is an element of greed.

So whether it is that we're trying to grab more money, more food, more happiness or attention, it comes back to something basic: we have a void in our Soul. We need to get back to the connection within.

When we do, all the "stuff" that we seek...whether it's money, food, or attention...suddenly fall off as a dominant force in our lives. Greed? We begin to see the ugliness of it.

For Heaven's Sake: Do NOT start to beat yourself up when you notice your self-centered and greedy behavior! Self flagellation solves nothing! We'd all be black and blue, were we to begin taking score of the many, many times we've been selfish. Accept that your awakening to see greed in your actions and behavior is a gift you are giving to yourself! 

Remember: No one starts out in the world being fully unselfish. No one starts out in the world seeking the best for others as well as himself.

This is a process of evolution. Bill and Melinda Gates were not born that way; as they grew wealthy they saw the uselessness of "mo money...mo money...mo money" as did these countless others.(The Billionaires Who've Signed The Giving Pledge.)
Awareness is the first key to breaking any tendency towards greed, so that you do NOT gain the whole world, then lose your soul.

I leave you with these two well-known biblical passages to help you gain the right perspective:

"Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal. But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust, doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal. For where your treasure is, there will be your heart also."
                                 -Matthew 6: 19-21 
"...Seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness, and all these things shall be added unto you."
                      -Matthew 6:33

Sunday, April 5, 2015

How To Gain The Whole World and NOT Lose Your Soul: Lose the Pride

Credit: Sociedad Argentina de Horticultura

We will not know the truth as to whether the orchid (bird) we see spreading its wings, above, is doing so innocently, or with the intent to display its beauty. With the human judgment we place on things, though, were this a human doing such an elaborate display, we'd think the person was being deliberately prideful. 
Having Pride and Not Having Pride are two sides of the same coin; they are both tricky.

Have too much... and be accused of egotism.
 Sociedad Argentina de Horticultura 
Have too little or none...and be accused of being shameless, even slovenly.
Pride defineda feeling of deep pleasure or satisfaction derived from one's own achievements, the achievements of those with whom one is closely associated, or from qualities or possessions that are widely admired.  

Who among us does not want to have pride?

Without pride, we do sloppy work, because we simply don't care. We go about our days, too, without much purpose or direction. We dress without care and attention to ourselves.

So... we develop pride in ourselves. We seek the accolades from colleagues and others ...well...just because.
Credit: Sociedad Argentina de Horticultura 
As to our friends: who wants to walk up to "friends" you're ashamed of greeting? After all, our friends  supposedly are a reflection of ourselves, especially if we follow the old saying, "Show me your friends, and I'll tell you who you are."

Credit: Wildlife Nature
Our pride keeps us pumped up and often out on a limb with confidence in our own abilities. This is a great way to feel, especially if we truly are the "gods" so many claim. We want so badly to believe these teachings that tell us we can find and reconnect to this "god"  power within us by simply reaching in, and it'll be automatic. 

What these teachers don't tell you is that reaching in is just the start! 

If we're truly dedicated to the search for truth, we will discover that the journey is the way in. And it involves giving up illusions of Ego and our false self in order to reach and fully connect with this inner self.  

Even Jesus had to experience Crucifixion before Resurrection; Buddha tramped through the harshest terrain, with the courage to challenge death, in his search for Nirvana; Muhammad made his way through deep confusion and many desert years before finding bliss (and ultimately Jannah), and with Hinduism, the search for Atman to reach the Brahman state takes decades, if not a lifetime, of dedication.
PhotoCredit: Sociedad Argentina de Horticultura
The search for Nirvana is in the journey

Throughout 2014 we focused on The 12 Powers within man on this blog, ranging from Will to Life itself. While developing these "powers" may help us succeed in our human endeavors, they do not automatically lead us to Wholeness. We can achieve much through confidence in our human abilities and pulling on our innate "powers." But without reaching in, then going deeper, to align with the truth of our being, we are building foundations on sand, not rock. 
"And every one that heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them not shall be likened unto a foolish man, which built his house upon the sand." - Matthew 7:26
Like the prophets, we learn that it's the willingness to give up all and even have a fall from grace that allows for a closer walk with God. As we begin to fall, we become fully aware that  we will never reconnect back to our Souls from the lofty state of pride, fully supported by Ego.
"When pride cometh, then cometh shame...but with the lowly is wisdom." Proverbs 11:2
"The gift" that many get from a seeming fall from grace is finding their true selves and true freedom.

Most of us assume that working hard got us to where we are today. We never knew of another part of us...much less a force within us that "doeth the work."

What force?
"To Bring the sublime into the mundane is the greatest challenge there is."                                          Pir Vilayat Inayat Khan, Alchemical Wisdom
Editor's personal photo of "The Impersonal Life."
"The Impersonal Life," scribed by Joseph S. Benner and first published in the 1920s, provides powerful insights about this other self.  We may know ourselves to be a personality with five senses.  On the inside, though, is the impersonal self:  

"I AM that innermost part of you that sits within, and calmly waits and watches, knowing neither time nor space; for I AM the Eternal and fill all space.
"I watch and wait for you to be done with your petty human follies and weaknesses, with your vain longings, ambitions and regrets, knowing that will come in time; and then you will turn to Me, weary, discouraged, empty and humble, and ask Me to take the lead, not realizing that I have been leading you all the time."

It may take extreme circumstances such as an illness, a death in the family, loss of a job or career, separation or divorce or other catastrophe for us to wake up to the truth within us. In our pain and in our loss, we may discover the fount of wisdom, compassion and truth lying within us. 

We awaken to truth!

Whatever circumstances cause us to wake up, when we do, we know life as we knew it is over. We will never be the same:

Making different choices from the heart of our Soul, we may find ourselves becoming more compassionate, caring, loving, giving, forgiving and generally operating with more conscious wisdom.

That's where we ultimately do wind up: in a place that gives us the "lowly perspective of the wise."

To get there, though, may take us through  "the forever"...

Through the darkest alleyways of our Soul as our stubborn pride does not easily give up ...
Nor does it take kindly, especially in the beginning, to hearing that all of our accomplishments over the years...were not due solely to our skills and abilities, 
but we were dependent upon how much we unknowingly exercised the power within us.

Which prideful Soul wants to hear that?
Credit: Sociedad Argentina de Horticultura. 
Humans certainly aren't amphibans...we want control over our lives!

Which prideful Soul wants to know that its success was not due to its own efforts?

Which prideful Soul wants to hear about the power of the "other?"

Where ever your pride may have taken you to date...

Whatever accomplishments you may have achieved to date...
Credit: Sociedad Argentina de Horticultura
Like the core of this beautiful Digitalis Purpurea, so do we have our core. It's our Soul.
Whatever purpose you may be planning to fulfill...
Whatever still lies ahead of you to achieve...

Begin to acknowledge the Truth of You!
Begin to look within for the Truth of You!

Don't lose what you have...because of something as nebulous...as pride!

You know those "friends" who supposedly are a "reflection of yourself," and the accomplishments you acquired? 

In time: you'll begin to see them as the illusions they are in the light of truth...

We only reflect the consciousness that we are to the world, and similarly, we attract people reflecting our values or consciousness. Change our consciousness, and our perspective on life changes. We also change the people with whom we have close association. 


One by one, consciously or unconsciously,  these people will have a tendency to disappear...as the ephemeral beings that they are....with the light of Truth. 

Enjoy the journey of discovery, there are countless blessings along the way.  

Sunday, March 1, 2015

How To Gain The Whole World and Not Lose Your Soul: Stop Comparisons (Envy)

"I have learned, in whatever state I am, therewith to be content." Philippians 4:11
Credit: Sociedad Argentina de Horticultura
A spiritual story that has been circulating for decades is that of a king who one day went out into his garden.

He found all his trees looking desolate. When he inquired of the oak tree its reason for sadness, it said it wanted to be as tall and majestic as the pine tree; when he asked the pine tree its reason for discontent, the pine tree said it wanted to be a grapevine to produce grapes; the grapevine... yes, you guessed it...wanted its life taken because it did not bear beautiful, large fruit like the peach tree. As to the geranium, it was unhappy because it was not like the lilac, tall and fragrant.

The king finally found one happy species: a small violet, which was just content to be. The violet told the king: "I know I'm small, yet I thought if you wanted an oak or a pine or a peach tree, or even a lilac, you would have planted one. Since I know you wanted a violet, I'm determined to be the best little violet I can be."

Credit: Sociedad Argentina de Horticultura
With Humans It's Truth!

We can picture the seeming tranquility of the garden, yet tell the tale of discontent among the various bushes, trees and flowers, because we know the truth: it's a fallacy. But were the same story to be told about  humans, sadly, we know:  it's truth.

When we see each of the plants, flowers or trees in the garden, we see them shining and reflecting their glory with what nature has given to them. They don't have a mirror in which to see their image and to compare that image to others around it and become discontented.

When we see a drooping plant, we also know it's not in the best of health and something outside of itself must be causing its demise. For  drooping plants and trees, often it is lack of care to the plant itself or pollution from the environment that's causing the problem. For humans, it's the lack of self care and often preoccupation
with worry or stress.
Credit: Mentors' Channel

Think about those among us, whose stories we do not really know, but who we see dragging themselves around with the burdens of life hatched to their backs. The distortions could indeed come from physical illness, but often it comes from heavy emotional baggage, like envy or making comparisons, that creates disharmony in many areas of us lives.
Credit: Sociedad Argentina de Horticultura

We feel Cheated!

Many of us may feel we weren't served up the right ingredients to make for a happy walk through life. We feel somehow that life has cheated us by making us the wrong height, weight, and/or giving us the wrong color hair or skin. Others may feel they were born into the wrong family, i.e. one of poverty and not wealth..

In truth,  despite all we hear about creating our lives in the moment, were we to trace our lives back to the beginning, we would see that there was a fate, destiny and direction that already seemed to predetermine our lives. And when we look back, we would see that it was a path of mostly good, despite where we may have started out, i.e. rich or poor.
"Everyone on this earth should believe amid whatever madness or moral failure, that his life and temperament have some objective on the earth.
Everyone on the earth should believe that he has something to give to the world which cannot otherwise be given."
G.K. Chesterton. 
Despite the circumstances into which we may have been born, all of life is skewed to keep us moving progressively forward, not backward. This should be the first clue to us that our fate...our destiny ...is one of successful living. 
Credit: Sociedad Argentina de Horticulutura

Life is Skewed to Our Good!

When we begin to experience our lives getting off this path of good and cluttered with unknown "weeds," we also can then trace these back to the times we sought to go against the plan that seamlessly was laid out for us and began to follow or assimilate the plans laid out for another. At those times, we'd find that we winded up going around and around in circles, fighting with ourselves.

The truth is that when we're on the wrong path for our lives, it causes all sorts of disruption in our lives. We struggle and strain to get through each day. This is not only the case for those born into poverty, as even when poor, people adjust to a rhythm of life that brings a certain element of peace to their days.

In spiritual circles, we often hear these words:"Let Go and Let God;" "Divine Order," and "All Things Work Together For Good." These are not just vain repetitions but are Truths: there is a path of good...a fate...a destiny ... a purpose ...for our lives.

Cultivate the Right Attitude

By resting in this knowledge and by cultivating the right attitude towards life, we would find our lives flowing in the right direction; moment by moment, as we are indeed co-creating the next stage of our lives with the Spirit within us. When we work against the grain of this, then disruption and chaos cannot fail to ensue.

Often, we resist because we don't think the path where we're being led is on an attractive roadway. We don't want to go! What we often do then is fight with our own Souls in order to get to some place where we truly do not belong. The truth is that we're not solely responsible for doing this.

The societies in which we now live seem to want to re-program us all to be noticed by the world. In terms of success, many in leading motivational roles seem to want us to be visibly successful...wearing and showing our success for the world to see. Indeed, many unformed and uninformed people are getting into the motivational arena because of the financial gains they can get from people who have lost their way through life. Many are promising us and  pointing us in one direction: to visible success.

Watch Out! There are many "false prophets" 
Credit: Sociedad Argentina de Horticultura

Over the years, I've benefited greatly from the teachings of spiritual luminaries, such as Deepak Chopra, MD; Rev/Dr. Michael Beckwith;  Dr. Wayne Dyer; Gary Zukav; Michael Singer and others. I've pointed out on this blog over time the wisdom of these teachings and have promoted their books and others on this page and in other posts. But today, the motivational field is getting crowded with confusion. Some are pushing mind-control techniques, which may serve us in the short-time to reach specific goals, but do nothing to help us achieve Wholeness. 

 Those seeking sincere answers to the separation they feel from their true selves (Souls) often spend thousands of dollars following people who take them to bridges leading to nowhere! To many, it seems, finding Wholeness means teaching you ways to program your mind. That is so far from the Truth! Your mind often is part of the problem separating you from Wholeness.  While controlling your thoughts and programming your mind may lead you to obtaining a financial windfall and getting the trimmings of success, it will not lead you to Wholeness. For That: Search Within! 
"Seek ye first the kingdom of God and his righteousness; and all these things will be added unto you." Matthew 6:33

Be as sturdy and simple as an apple tree. Do what YOU do best!
Learn to Differentiate Truth from "Fiction" 
We must learn to differentiate between motivational teachings for success and finding the Wholeness we seek by reconnecting with Soul.
I now tell  people with whom I share spiritual insights that following their simple traditional religion ...where they may be able to honor the Eucharist or do simple rituals ...is the best way to stay connected with the goodness within themselves. 

Although I've studied many different spiritual paths, I find the essence of who I am resonates with traditional teachings. I love the Bible and find so much comfort in the words of those who have gone before. After so many years of study, I know now that elaborate, world-wide Soul seeking is not at all necessary to find wholeness. To stay connected to ourselves (our Souls) moment by moment, day by day, we must stay aware of the Presence within us as we go about our daily tasks.There is no escape from thinking of God throughout the day: He is all in ALL that we do! We must recognize his works and not let our EGOs take credit! Meditation and prayer in the early morning and at night also serve to help us stay connected. For the sake of community, I recommend church attendance. Local churches work hard to keep their membership going. Your presence always would be appreciated by regular attendees. Going to church, mosque, temple or synagogue, we also can find reinforcement for our path with like-minded people.

Credit: Sociedad Argentina de Horticultura
These Digitas Purpureas may bloom, thrive and stand out for a season...but they, too, eventually pass on.  
My strong advice: Without much contemplation, don't go following the mirage of success so many contemporary programs are promoting. Many borrow bits and pieces from traditional religions, and may do a few things right, but overall offer nothing but confusion.
"Leaders, teachers, and philosophers speak and work for a season and then fall silent and powerless. He [God] abides. They die but He lives. they are lights that glow yet are ultimately extinguished. But He is the true Light from which they draw their brightness, and He shines forevermore." Alexander Maclaren, as related in "Streams In the Desert." 
Sociedad Argentina de Horticultura

Our Seeds Already Have Been Planted

The seeds for our trees of life may have been planted at our birth, but those trees are growing into perfection every day as we walk through the world. Born pretty, beautiful, ugly or just plain, our lives will unfold the way it should, no matter how much we strive to fight against the destiny and the purpose that was laid out for us.

Credit: Mentors' Channel

By emulating those we admire, we can improve ourselves. But we should take extraordinary care in not losing ourselves by fully copying someone else and trying to fit into an image that does not honor our truth. It also makes no sense to go through life sour and seemingly burdened because someone has something more in one area or another than we do. In every area of life, there always is someone with something more or less than we have in our lives.

We can begin by observing the microcosm of our family, then branch out to observing our friends, then to our community ...then the country and then the world. Essentially, that's how many people exponentially we'd have to compete with in order to even the score.

Would any of that make sense?

Who gets to decide what's the best...what's beautiful or what's not?
Credit: Geology Page
(Look at the mineral/crystal images above and below: doesn't each  have a beauty all of its own? Should the topaz be a flouride, or the flouride, an amethyst?)

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 "For the body is not one member but many. If the foot shall say, Because I am not the hand, I am not of the body; is it therefore not of the body? And if the ear shall say, Because I am not the eye, I am not of the body; is therefore not of the body? If the whole body were an eye, where were the hearing? If the whole body were hearing, where were the smell?But now hath God set the members every one of them in the body, as it hath pleased him. And if they were all one member, where were the body?" 1 Corinthian 12:14-19 

Think of Yourself Like A"Piece of Equipment"

Many of the man-made tools and equipment we've made to facilitate our lives are intended for specific purposes. As one example, let's think here of various pieces of equipment at a gym. Can we for a moment imagine the pain, misalignment and disjointedness that would occur,  were we to use the wrong equipment for parts of the body that they were not intended to support?

Credit: Sociedad Argentina de Horticultura
In a way, we also should view ourselves each as "machines," designed for certain roles in life."Made in the image and likeness of God," we are each programmed for a specific purpose. Like the man-made machines, which are constantly being perfected, we also day-by-day are programmed for improvement and success.

When we realize that our different gifts are intended to be used for different purposes, we can understand fully why disharmony often results when we try to take over what does not rightfully belong to us.

Don't Fit Badly Into Your Own Life!
Credit: Mentors' Channel

Have you ever seen people fitting very badly into their own lives? On the surface, they may appear to be successful, but you can certainly detect the lack of joy from their ill-fitting lives. Do you wonder how they get through their days with so much unhappiness and lack of peace?

Even when we have achieved our own stripes in our own way in life, we may cling to feelings of discontent because someone, somewhere, is doing something different.

Envy has to be the surest way for us to lose the blessings we've been given and destroy every ounce of good that came our way through our own striving. Do not lose what you have earned through your conscious efforts by needless comparisons and envy!

We should go within ourselves and ask the following questions about what we're doing or planning to do:
Am I in sync with my Soul? 
Am I following my own path?
Am I being truthful to my own skills and talents?

Get Back To Wholeness Through Acceptance of Your Own Gifts 

When you're able to answer a resounding YES to these questions, then you're on your way back to wholeness. Even if you've strayed a far way off course, by steadily listening and re-connecting with your Soul, you'll get back onto your intended path. You'll be back to the peace and the success that was intended for your life.

Be content with the path that was laid out for you! Get back in touch with your Soul!


Personal Authenticity: "To Thine Own Self Be True"...

"To Thine Own Self Be True and it must follow as the night, the day, Thou canst not then be false to ANY man."
William Shakespeare.