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Daily · Inspirations


By: Shawn-Eric Brooks

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For a number of years now, I have had a sign above my desk that reads. "If you want to hear God laugh, tell her your plans for the future." This idea has particular applicability when I forget that I am not the sole architect of my life trajectory. Although I firmly believe that my beliefs, thoughts, and actions help to create my reality, there is a power at play in the universe that has the final say. When I either try and deny what actually is, or force my own version of reality (the way things SHOULD be), the results are usually disastrous and the happiness that I think is within reach, somehow slips away.



There are times when I get so enthusiastic and wrapped up in my plans that I forget that there may be another destiny that awaits me. Thankfully, when things don't materialize the way I have determined they should, I am usually surprised and blessed with something that is ultimately better than the blueprints that I created. I still need occasional reminders (sometimes not too subtle) that I would be better served by relaxing into what is meant to be and let go of my concept of what SHOULD be.



Just for today, take a good look at how you may be try to force reality to suit what you believe to be the best for you. Try to relax into the great "what is." Trust that there is an infinite creative power and intelligence at work in the universe that will help you design a life that exceeds your most positive dreams. Trust that God has your best interest at heart. Trust and believe that you are attracting things to you. Trust that God too believes that you deserve the best that the world has to offer. And so it is.
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I was facilitating a discussion yesterday of new students at the university in which I got to questions them about their hopes and dreams and fears about making a transition to higher education. As I have written many times before, I really love working with this population of student because of how impressionable they are and because they remind me of our unlimited potential. And I am a great believer in the educational process. God knows, I would not have committed myself to life-long learning if I didn't feel that education somehow compels us to be more and do more. However, for all the good that education does, I always felt that our educational system was falling short in teaching our students the really important things about how to be in the world.



Would it not be amazing if there was a mandatory curriculum that included how to love yourself and how to love others? Would it not be amazing if we taught students to believe in abundance rather than limitation? Would it not be amazing if we taught students how to overcome the barrage of negative programming that brainwashes them into believing that they are somehow not good enough or worthy of all the good the universe has to offer? Unfortunately, more often than not, young people are rarely exposed to these ideas and at some point may be fortunate enough to stumble on them on their own. And if a child doesn't learn about love and caring and compassion at home, do they learn it at all?



Just for today, connect with the notion that we are all teachers in our own right and that we are role-modeling our lessons to countless others in our sphere of influence. Take some time to focus on the lessons you are teaching.... Are you teaching self-respect, caring, compassion and love or are you teaching something different? Are you a conduit of good energy? Remember that you don't have to have a college degree to teach the things that are most important in life. Remember too that we are all simultaneously teacher and student and we are constantly learning about love. Above all, remember that your sphere presence is an amazing gift to the universe. And so it is.
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I called my sister last evening to catch up with her and find out how she's been. In typical Deborah fashion she indicated that she is "deliriously happy." Deliriously happy... I love that. We then talked about how as Will Rogers stated many years ago... people are generally about as happy as they make up their minds to be. We talked at length about what it would be like to live in a perpetual state of happiness and why it is that we don't decide to be happy all the time. One of the thoughts that I shared was that many people adopt a consciousness of limitation which dictates that there is only a given amount of happiness to which we are entitled.... that there is only so much joy to go around. The question lingered long after the phone call ended.... Why can't we be happy all of the time?

Ironically, earlier in the day, my friend Karin was confronted with a person who was being "scratchy" with her and she told me that the interaction had the potential to ruin her day. However, she made up her mind to not allow it to get to her and decided to have a good day anyway. Both of these incidents reminded me that we choose how we are going to make our way through our day. Although we can start out the day determined to be happy, things can happen to us or around us that could potentially pull us off our game. I guess it is at these times when we need to be mindful about how we are going to respond to the energy around us.

Just for today, take some time to think about the happiness that you allow and create in your life. Think about what it means to develop a habit of happiness. Think about what it would take to develop a happiness response to everything that happens. Remember that in spite of the energy that presents itself to you throughout your day, you can decide to stay happy. You will find that the more you allow happiness into your life, the more you will attract people and situations that will perpetuate happiness. Above all, remember that you deserve every happiness... not in the future.. but in the here and now. And so it is.
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John's nephew Lyle came to visit this past weekend. He is an amazingly creative young man who is about to enter his senior year of high-school. As Lyle lives in a very small and remote town located several hours from a major city, he finds it challenging to express his creativity and passion without standing out in the crowd. Although it is distressing to think about how lonely it must be to feel like you are the only one who doesn't fit in, I am exceedingly proud of him for asserting his style and unique expression and personality no matter the cost. Somehow, Lyle has discovered that it is more important to honor who he is and how he expresses himself than it is to fit in and become a carbon-copy of his peers.



This situation with Lyle has me thinking about the messages we receive about who we are as individuals and how those messages tend to reinforce the notion that we should somehow be other than. I think about the impact of those messaged on people who haven't developed a self-love that serves to reassure them that they are perfect the way they are. I worry that the constant barrage of negative feedback can weaken the defenses of even the strongest souls and can erode self-esteem. And I pray for divine intervention in the lives of those struggling to develop a healthy self-concept so that they may believe that they are worthy.. that they are okay... that they are loved.



Just for today, think about someone within your sphere of influence who may be needing some love and support in developing a healthy sense of self. Shower them with your love and positive regard. Work to recognize how you may be unknowingly contributing to their struggle and then redouble your efforts to let them know that they are worthy of all the love in the world. Above all, work to remember that you are perfect the way you are and you don't need to do or be anything other in order to be worthy of love. And so it is.
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I used to be obsessed with things that happened in the past. I would lay awake at night and replay conversations or situations from the day (or previous days) that had not gone well. I could literally fall asleep thinking of all of the things that I could have or should have said or done which would have created a different outcome. As one regret would fade into oblivion, another would be there to take its place. Rather than emotionally experiencing the situation once, I would relive it full force again and again.



Another one of my pastimes was to worry about the future. "Ah... let's play a game of 'what is.' The game of 'what if' consists of.... well, to put it simply.... worrying. "PANIC NOW! BEAT THE RUSH!" Even though 99% of the things about which I would worry would never come to fruition, I would spend hours spinning a potential situation into the worst possible outcomes. The problem with this kind of mental pastime is that it causes fear and pain and does not lead to the creation of anything good and positive and wonderful.



Of course, obsessing about the future is just as useless as obsessing about the past. The only real power we have is in the present. If you find yourself dwelling in either the past or the future, use your mental focus to gently bring yourself back to the present. Bless your past and prepare for your future, but use your energy in the "here and now" to create the life that you fully desire. Your "present" is waiting. And so it is.
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If you are anything like me, from time to time you might have a difficult time separating your "wants" from your "needs." To clarify, I define a need as something essential to stabilizing my personal foundation. Needs frequently involve other people, which can get interesting. You see, I have been known to have a hard time communicating what my needs are. Sometimes I think that the other person should somehow know what I need without me saying it. Sometimes I don't clearly communicate the need because I am afraid of the other person's reaction. In both of these situations I am often left frustrated with myself, with the other person and with the need itself.



When you have a need that requires someone else's participation, it is critical to express that need clearly and succinctly. Never assume that they will be looking out for your best interest or highest good. Even in the strongest relationships the other person may be too involved in getting their own needs met to pay close attention to yours.



Bottom line... communication is the key to getting your needs met when others are involved. And it is important that you get all of your needs met so that you may continue to grow and unfold into the magnificent being that you are. And so it is.
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I can hardly believe that we are about to kick off yet another school year at the university. Although I enjoy the summer months when we don't have many students on campus, I find that the energy that young people bring to my work is the fuel that keeps my passion for this work alive. I love the fact that on any given day, I can make a significant difference in the life of a student. In fact, my job is so gratifying to me because there are abundant opportunities to help my students unfold into the magnificent energies that they are meant to be. Whether helping someone through an emotional or academic crisis or helping someone clarify their life's purpose and career direction, I approach each interaction with the intention of sharing my love, care and compassion.

Like many of my colleagues, I share the belief that we are helping to create the leaders of the future. Accordingly, we feel it our duty to help them develop a tool box of knowledge and experience that will help them build a better tomorrow. Unlike some of my university counterparts who are focused on helping build proficiency within a specific academic discipline, my work within Student Affairs allows me to educate students about how to live, thrive and prosper in our world.

Yes, when I speak with students individually or collectively, I try my best to remind them that love energy is what will ultimately determine the kind of life they will create for themselves. The basic truth about life is this... The more love you allow.. the more love you give... the more love you demonstrate not only for others but for yourself , the greater the chance that you will co-create a life that will exceed your wildest dreams and fantasies. Your love ultimately determines who you are, and what you create. And the more of us who focus on the perpetuation of love, the better off will be our relationships with ourselves, with each other, with society and with the world.

Just for today, spend a minute or two getting in touch with your love energy. Remember that although it is important for you to share your love with others within your sphere of influence, it is most important that you open to the love you have for yourself. Flood any darkness in your spirit with your love. Remember that it is your love that will ultimately create your experience. Agian, it is your love that will ultimately create your experience. For your love has the capacity to heal your life and to heal the loves of all you touch. And just as is the case with my students, your love is a part of a larger collective energy that will help heal our world. And so it is
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I used to be obsessed with things that happened in the past. I would lay awake at night and replay conversations or situations from the day (or previous days) that had not gone well. I could literally fall asleep thinking of all of the things that I could have or should have said or done which would have created a different outcome. As one regret would fade into oblivion, another would be there to take its place. Rather than emotionally experiencing the situation once, I would relive it full force again and again.



Another one of my pastimes was to worry about the future. "Ah... let's play a game of 'what is.' The game of 'what if' consists of.... well, to put it simply.... worrying. "PANIC NOW! BEAT THE RUSH!" Even though 99% of the things about which I would worry would never come to fruition, I would spend hours spinning a potential situation into the worst possible outcomes. The problem with this kind of mental pastime is that it causes fear and pain and does not lead to the creation of anything good and positive and wonderful.



Of course, obsessing about the future is just as useless as obsessing about the past. The only real power we have is in the present. If you find yourself dwelling in either the past or the future, use your mental focus to gently bring yourself back to the present. Bless your past and prepare for your future, but use your energy in the "here and now" to create the life that you fully desire. Your "present" is waiting. And so it is.
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Having grown up the best little boy in the world, I made a life out of trying to please others. Throughout my childhood, I worked to seek the attention and approval of other people, often neglecting my own wants, needs and desires. Rather than being directed from internal stimulus and a strong personal foundation, I looked to others to inform me about who I was and who I was supposed to be. Rather than seeking happiness, I tirelessly worked to make other people happy. It took many years of reflection, work and pain to move to a place where I have deservedly become motivated by internal forces.

Sadly, for years, I lived with no direction of my own. I looked to other people to help define who I was. And I sacrificed my dreams of who I could be partially because deep down inside, I didn't think I was worthy of the best. In short, I learned to make do with less than the best. Unfortunately, it became a habit to settle for less than the best. In fact, there are still times when I have to remind myself that I deserve more... I deserve better... I deserve the best. Fortunately, I have had the epiphany that I am worth all of the good the universe has to offer... without guilt.. without arrogance... without regret. And when I connect with the understanding that I am not treating myself or being treated by others with the highest level of respect and love, I realize that I must bring about a change. For again, just like you.. .I deserve every wonderful thing the world has to offer. I deserve every happiness.

Just for today, take some time to think if you have settled for less in any area of your life. Are you demanding the best? Are you demanding to participate in love-based relationships? Are you spending so much time trying to be and do the best that you have lost sight of the fact that you deserve the best in return? Think about your relationships, you work situations, your physical and your emotional environment. Are they supporting the notion that you are worthy of love? If not, how can you change your energy in order to bring about a more positive reality? The truth is, today is a perfect day to demonstrate your love for yourself by working to create your best life possible. And so it is.
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How many times have you heard yourself saying, "I should have listened to my inner voice," or "Something was telling me that something wasn't right," or "I had a feeling this was too good to be true." All of these are examples of unheeded inner guidance. This guidance or voice can come internally through energy impulses or feelings (both positive and negative) or externally through synchronistic signs or "coincidence" that seems to be a signpost for how to proceed. The reality is, we are all tapped into a higher source that can, and does provide us with insight and direction. The problem is, we don't always take the time to listen to what is coming through or we don't pay attention to the feelings or signs that we get.



When I first started to understand that my higher self was trying to help me along the path, it was difficult for me to distinguish inner guidance from either fearful or wishful thinking. But the more I paid attention to it, the more I was able to trust it and rely on it. If an urge or inclination feels joyful or delightful (surrounded by positive energy, light or vibration), it is probably coming from my inner guidance. When I trust and follow these joyful impulses, I believe they are leading me further along the path to my highest good. Conversely, when I feel an unexplained heaviness or resistance or reluctance to do something, I remember to look closer at the focus of my energy and attention as a possible sign that it is nor serving my highest interest.



Just for today, take some time and get quiet and get in touch with the source of your inner guidance. Cultivate that inner voice and act on what comes through. Ask your higher self for direction or answers to something that you have been pondering and then stay open for the answer. Don't be wed to the answer coming across in any specific form. Pay particular attention to coincidence that might arise in reference to the answers you are seeking. Remember that the more you learn to trust this guidance, the more you can use it to help you create a life most magnificent. And once more for the record... You are oh so worthy of living a life more magnificent. And so it is.
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