November 27, 2011:  I love hiking.  I especially love hiking in the mountains.  I love the exercise, the fresh air, the company, the beauty, and, most of all, the view from the top.  When you think about it, hiking is just walking – only just a little harder.  But I don’t get nearly the same thrill from walking that I do from hiking.  Let me show you:

View from Mt. Ben Lomond (Ogden, Utah).

For me, it’s the sense of accomplishment from walking that far and working that hard combined with the beauty of the view and just being in nature for that amount of time.  (Maybe the endorphins from the exercise contribute, too.)  It’s kind of like flying while still standing on the ground.  And I can see SO much from up there.  So when you’re goals feel hard to attain, just know that it will be WORTH it when you get there.  The hard work makes it even sweeter and more beautiful.  And you’ll be able to see everything when you look back.

November 26, 2011:  When I think about the people in my life who inspire me, the reason they do almost always relates to how they treat others.  I am amazed at my friends who are not only genuinely interested and concerned about each person they come in contact with, but who are also able to let each person know that.  They know exactly what to say, how to act, what faces to make, what tone of voice to use, what posture to adopt – and it’s not just a matter of knowing what to do; it’s just what naturally happens because they are AMAZING.  Seeing these people is much of what inspires me to be a better person.  Seeing (and experiencing) the RESULT of who they are inspires me to be more outgoing, to say what I think (sometimes I forget to TELL people when I admire something), and just to let others know that they are important.  I have a specific group of friends and associates that I look to as examples for interaction with people.  If I said who they are, they would be really embarrassed and probably self-conscious.  So I won’t say who they are.  But I believe I’m blessed to know an unusually large number of amazing and inspiring people.  Maybe it just takes that many examples to motivate me.  But it is still a blessing, and I love them all.

November 25, 2011:  It’s a familiar quotation but always worth a review –

“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate.  Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure.  It is our light, not our darkness, that most frightens us.  We ask ourselves, ‘Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous?’  Actually, who are you not to be?  You are a child of God.  Your playing small does not serve the world.  There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you.  We are all meant to shine, as children do.  We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us.  It is not just in some of us; it is in everyone.  And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same.  As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.”  –Marianne Williamson, from A Return to Love, chapter: “Personal Power,” (1992).


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