Maybe I’m Amazed

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“Our goal should be to live life in radical amazement, to look at the world in a way that takes nothing for granted. Everything is phenomenal; everything is incredible; never treat life casually. To be spiritual is to be amazed.” ~ Abraham Joshua Heschel

Amazing! Life is filled with abundance, magnificence, and miracles.  Rabbi Abraham Heschel knew this to be true.  He was one of those incredible human beings who make us stop to wonder.  Such brilliant and selfless people as he ask us to notice and act upon splendor.  Heschel was a spiritual teacher who was in awe of every aspect of the world and its’ Source.  He called for us to pay attention and then do our part to make the world a better place…in words, in personal kindness, and in works of mercy. Action was a companion to radical amazement for him. When asked why he was marching side-by-side with Dr. Martin Luther King, he responded; “I am praying with my feet.”

“There are only two ways to live your life.  One is as though nothing is a miracle.  The other is as though everything is a miracle.” ~ Albert Einstein

Living in radical amazement is counterintuitive. When one of our prime objectives is to be comfortable, it is difficult to live in awe and wonder. In order to be radically amazed, we must develop a sense of responsibility for the life. And that’s not so comfortable. But when we accept our responsibility as co-creators of everything around us, we begin to treasure the splendor of the world and universe as wonderful gifts.  The miracles will be revealed. We will love, appreciate, and admire our own families, friends, and communities even more deeply. This is far more important than personal comfort.  Let’s become radically amazed as we look around in awe and gratitude for the indescribable magic that is everywhere and everything! When we see it is so, may we answer back with our feet.

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Robert Kenneth Jones is an innovator in the treatment of addiction and childhood abuse.

In a career spanning over four decades, his work helping people recover from childhood abuse and addiction has earned him the respect of his peers.

His blog, An Elephant for Breakfast, testifies to the power of the human spirit to overcome the worst of life’s difficulties. We encourage you to visit and share this rich source of healing, inspiration and meditation.

Contact Bob Jones on Linkedin

Bob Jones’ blog An Elephant for Breakfast

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Let’s Go Fishing

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“Let your hook be always cast; in the pool where you least expect it, there will be a fish.” ~ Ovid

I remember a boy who used to sit on the dock on Lake Vermilion near our home in Danville, Illinois.  He never seemed to have any fish on his line.  One day I asked him how they were biting.  He said he never put a hook on to catch the fish because he was afraid he would hurt them.

Very little happens when we don’t actively participate.  The thing is to always contribute, always be in action, and always get in the mix.  This does not mean that we are supposed to be in control of things, in charge of outcomes, or be the leader of the pack.  It means we don’t sit on the sidelines.  We participate by being fully engaged in whatever way our gifts can be of benefit.  Sometimes we lead as a generous servant, and sometimes we follow obediently.  Sometimes we welcome with open arms, and sometimes we establish safe boundaries.  Sometimes we listen attentively, and sometimes we offer wisdom.  Sometimes we are quiet, and sometimes we are boisterous.

Always we are prayerful.  Trusting fully that everything flows as it was intended.  With our participation, we become co-creators with God.

The magnificent life which surrounds us waits for us to bravely step up right and jump right in.  There is nothing to fear.  When we join in with our community to make things better, miracles start to happen.  We do what we can do and do it well.  We cast our hooked and baited lines into the water knowing that fish will bite.  The great feast is waiting for you.

 

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Robert Kenneth Jones is an innovator in the treatment of addiction and childhood abuse.

In a career spanning over four decades, his work helping people recover from childhood abuse and addiction has earned him the respect of his peers.

His blog, An Elephant for Breakfast, testifies to the power of the human spirit to overcome the worst of life’s difficulties. We encourage you to visit and share this rich source of healing, inspiration and meditation.

Contact Bob Jones on Linkedin

Bob Jones’ blog An Elephant for Breakfast

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Transforming Cheerfulness

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“Be of good cheer. Do not think of today’s failures, but of the success that may come tomorrow. You have set yourselves a difficult task, but you will succeed if you persevere; and you will find a joy in overcoming obstacles. Remember, no effort that we make to attain something beautiful is ever lost.” ~ Helen Keller

People who have been transformed by some significant experience can be so inspiring.  I wonder why they can also annoy us. We have all been around someone who has made an alter call, been on a spiritual adventure or who has found new life in recovery from addiction.  We have encountered those ignited by a self-help course, heard a speech that was life changing or just returned from a retreat.

They want so much to tell us their story and bring us with them on the new-found path.  But they also can transmit a kind of overwhelming morality and seriousness which can make us want to get away from them as soon as possible.  We want what they have found but hesitate in the face of their cheerfulness.  Perhaps it’s because we are afraid to change.

It is easier to accept the challenge of change when we recognize it as a gift.  When received as a gift, change will necessarily lead us to cheerful action.  Helen Keller’s directive to ‘be of good cheer’ is incredibly important.  They call us to do good in the world with a cheerful spirit.

The indomitable Helen Keller.

Cheerful people leave a lasting impact. The joy, mirth and laughter that follow a cheerful soul bring gifts of optimism and a sort of sunrise to the spirit of others. We have a choice. We can be determined to be cheerful or we can be restrained, unremarkable and boring.

When we are unselfish, generous without expectation of paybacks, and welcoming of strangers, people will begin to believe in the truth of our own transformation.  When we treat those who can’t fight back with mercy, love those who don’t love us and forgive those who have harmed us, our new character will shine.

Something beautiful will happen.  The cheerful person with opened arms will soon find them filled with those who have been waiting for our embrace.

___________________________

 

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Robert Kenneth Jones is an innovator in the treatment of addiction and childhood abuse.

In a career spanning over four decades, his work helping people recover from childhood abuse and addiction has earned him the respect of his peers.

His blog, An Elephant for Breakfast, testifies to the power of the human spirit to overcome the worst of life’s difficulties. We encourage you to visit and share this rich source of healing, inspiration and meditation.

Contact Bob Jones on Linkedin

Bob Jones’ blog An Elephant for Breakfast

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