20 Ways to Be More Positive

There is a lot of negativity these days. With a rise in the Omicron variation of Covid, people around the world are naturally concerned that life could grind to a halt. But protections from the omicron Covid are the same ones we all have lived with for so many months already. Do not succumb to fear, uncertainty and doubt. The world will keep spinning. The sun will rise. Do not let the shadows cover your inner light. Shine with positivity for yourself and for others. Here are twenty simple ways to be more positive.

Think positively

Rid yourself of toxic thoughts

Don’t assume the worse

Overcome regret

Be optimistic

Start with positivity

Focus on the good things

Laugh more

Transform negative self-talk into positive self-talk

Focus on the present

Recognize the positives in your life

Savor the good times

Generate positivity (watch fun videos, listening to uplifting music, read inspirational writing…)

Resist joining in other’s negativity

Learn from mistakes

Integrate positive vocabulary into your life

Accept what you cannot change

Acknowledge your efforts

Don’t label yourself, or allow others to

Keep a Journal

Read Unboxing Your Soul

In this book there are over one hundred reflections in five sections through progressively deeper layers of the Self: Self-Expression, Self-Esteem, Self-Awareness, Self-Actualization, and Self-Transcendence. There are nearly one hundred fifty inspirational quotes and terms to encourage your journey. Additionally, there are two hundred tips for improving your life from general wellness to transcendence. I sincerely wish you peace and happiness on your journey. Everyone’s journey is different, but the broad steps are similar.

On Einstein’s Theory of Happiness

A quiet and modest life brings more joy than a pursuit of success bound with constant unrest. – Albert Einstein

Back in 1922, Albert Einstein was giving a series of lectures in Japan. He had just been awarded the Nobel Prize for Physics in November, 1921. While staying at the Imperial Hotel in Tokyo, a courier delivered a message to Einstein. As is the custom, the courier refused a tip, but Einstein wanted to thank the man. He wrote two notes and signed them, saying something to the effect that I hope if you are lucky these will be worth much more than a tip. One note was the quote above and has been called Einstein’s Theory of Happiness. In 2017, the note sold for around $1.5 million. Although that amount is astounding, the advice is priceless.

In a word, Einstein’s Theory of Happiness boils down to a single word – contentment. There are many variations on the them of “happiness”. There are momentary satisfactions such as hearing a birdsong or enjoying a favorite food. If your life is marked by moments of momentary happiness you might experience a profound sense of emptiness as you mature. Chasing after dreams or doing the “right thing” can certainly make one happy. Feeling as if you have enjoyed a rich life, however you define it, can bring about great satisfaction. As you can see, happiness is not one size fits all. And, as Einstein said, it is the pursuit of so-called success and constant unrest which inhibit the true the joy of living.

Leading up to my agonizing divorce, at this time of year thirty years ago, I was forced to make a series of heart-wrenching decisions. The prologue to that tragic opera are far too personal to share. In the end, I told my ex-wife she could take everything except the refrigerator and our kids, ages three, five and seven at the time. She left us to pursue, as she said – her “happiness”. The day after the divorce I woke to find all three kids had climbed into bed with me. They did this often over the following months. For years, in order to be a successful single parent, I tried to live, as Einstein said a quiet and modest life. I slept on a busted living room couch for over fifteen years, so my kids could each have the privacy they needed. In the darkness of our quiet home, I would puzzle over the twists and turns of the journey we were on, knowing one day our paths would have to diverge. And those days were both the most painful and joyful of all. As the poet Rilke once wrote – “The only journey is the one within”.

True success cannot be defined by others since the scale of success is unique to each individual. Yes there are those who have obvious financial success such as Elon Musk. And millions are dedicated to following the minutia of celebrities’ lives. But does their fame grant them access to some higher level of happiness? No. Don’t measure your happiness against their perceived success. Stop and think for a moment about the times you have said, “If only I had…”. But you didn’t. That path was erased after the next step. Take time this weekend to take stock of your life and the things you can change for the better and those you cannot. Change gives you the sense of what is known as “agency” in psychology. Life is change and how a person deals with change greatly influences their contentment.

To bring this back to Einstein, he once said, When you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change. And that essentially is one of the keys to unlocking happiness. One’s viewpoint, positive or negative, directly impacts their potential for happiness. Life is ever-changing and happiness ever-present if you can change the way you look at things. Peace and Happiness.

Accepting Impermanence

Poetry is painting that is felt rather than seen. – Leonardo da Vinci

I am creating an entirely new type of poetry. Poetry illuminates my life with tints of stardust. I hope you enjoy my new genre of poetry. There’s more to come.

Poem 01

[Real generosity towards the future lies in giving all to the present – Albert Camus]

Impermanent mortal bodies sheathing transitory life

Are but astral ephemeron

Borrowed from infinity for short-term use

[… The paragon of animals…the quintessence of dust… ]

Oh sacred children born from Eternity

Whose souls can manifest immutable love

But instead are desperate to resist annihilation through acquisitions

Clamor for the past

Claw at the veil of mortality as it slips away

Howling whirlwinds of oblivion

Reduce all to evanescent dust in the end

Remember: You didn’t come into this world / You came out of this world

Recall: You didn’t awaken inthis world / You are awakened by this world

Realize: Spinning outward dissipates/ Turning inward accumulates

Recognize: Our minds’ are the pivots of perception

[Ukeireru – The art of acceptance through awareness of the self and others. The potential for change grows when one accepts reality]

[May you live every day of your life. – Jonathan Swift]

The soul’s liberation

Flows from acceptance

Embrace impermanence

Change forever

FUD – Fear Uncertainty and Doubt

Knowledge is an unending adventure at the edge of uncertainty.Jacob Bronowski

Human history can be measured according to technological advances: Stone Age, Bronze Age, Iron Age; or revolutions: Industrial, Computer, Information. The world has entered a new Age – the Crypto Age. And the revolution began with the It from the Bitcoin.

The original creation of Bitcoin was partially in response to the 2007-2008 Financial Crisis. But Bitcoin’s genesis was rooted in far wider sociological issues. Satoshi Nakamotois the pseudonym of the person (or persons) who wrote the original Bitcoin white paper and who first deployed Bitcoin. Satoshi is credited with being the creator of Bitcoin.

A lot of people automatically dismiss e-currency as a lost cause because of all the companies that failed since the 1990’s. I hope it’s obvious it was only the centrally controlled nature of those systems that doomed them.Satoshi Nakamoto

Bitcoin’s emergence was a big bang event for global socio-economic systems. The coming collisions between the centralized and the decentralized systems will potentially bring about increased economic freedom spirally off in all directions like subatomic particles of crypto-spacetime.

At the start of the path, a lot of traditional media outlets and mainstream financial institutions have tried to create doubt about the safety of cryptocurrency through fearmongering. This negative energy impacts individuals’ confidence in the markets overall. This behavior earned the acronym FUD. Fear Uncertainty and Doubt.

The level of FUD rises whenever there is increased uneasiness and unpredictability. Because it is the big dog in the crypto arena, larger than usual fluctuations in Bitcoin’s price creates corresponding levels of FUD. It is critical to stay calm during such chaotic times.

To help overcome Fear Uncertainty and Doubt read my book – The Tao of Crypto. Free on Cyber Monday – November 29.

Express Gratitude and Grace

Throughout this life, you can never be certain of living long enough to take another breath. – Zen Master HuangBo

This is my Four Hundredth Post – 400!!! I started this blog to rekindle long-smoldering artful fires, and to hurl positive thunderbolts into the gaping void of antagonism and mistrust roiling the world. We all must seize the reins, tillers and wheels and turn the future from the gloomy abyss of despair. Each moment of melancholy holds a few precious grains of joy. Just as darkness shuns the light, uncertainty shrinks before positivity. Strike the steel of confidence with the flint of integrity and light the bonfires of gratitude and grace.

You pray in your distress and in your need; would that you might pray also in the fullness of your joy and in your days of abundance. – Kahill Gibran

Some people waste their most precious possession – time – lusting after what they don’t have rather than appreciating what they do have. There is a seemingly endless array of things to purchase. Bright and shiny dreams are on sale 24/7. These are but hollow copies of the true desires for love, peace and joy. During this time of year, negative emotions, such as greed and envy, are hidden behind a gaudy veneer of wish fulfillment. But can a mass produced object reclaim even a single lost second of youth or replace true happiness? See instead the blessings all around. Let your heart dance with joie de vivre – the cheerful enjoyment of life and exultation of spirit.

It’s so much darker when a light goes out than it would have been if it had never shone. – John Steinbeck

I would be remiss if I didn’t mention the horror of the pandemic and pay tribute to the over five million people who have died. A few months after I began this blog, I began reading about a strange illness in China. Having lived in China for twelve years and with a large extended family there, I try to keep current on news of China. As some of you may know, I worked as a managing editor and lead writer for a monthly magazine and weekly newspaper while I was a university lecturer. (Read some of my China Collage). And so, I am fairly skilled at what “China hands” call – reading the tea leaves. Something bad was brewing in the shadowy margins of what wasn’t being said. But no one knew how bad it would get. Now there is news of another ghastly mutation of Covid. We must not succumb to fear. Instead take a few minutes to remember those who have passed. If you have suffered a loss from this disease – add their glowing memory to the beacon you carry into the future.

To accept some idea of truth without experiencing it is like a painting of a cake on paper which you cannot eat.Shunryū Suzuki

Live your truth. Find within you the things that not only enlighten you but empower you. Life cannot be lived in the mind. Life is lived with the senses and sensations of that which is true to you. Words, even these humble few, cannot summon a single grain of tangible reality. Reach out and express the feelings you have for one another. Be present in the moment and truly experience that first sip of coffee; bite of a meal; touch of the hand; good morning whisper. Release the burdens of wants and embrace that which you need – a happy fascination with your own life.

If you are depressed, you are living in the past. If you are anxious, you are living in the future. If you are at peace, you are living in the present.LaoZi

In my writings, I use thoughtful quotes as motes of inspiration around which form the snowflake-like structures of my musings. Draped in shadows of youth and fancy, a splendid panoply of insights have filled my skies with wonderment since my first post; and for these, and you my readers, I will be forever grateful. Live in the present as often as you can. Bring your life into focus. Be thankful for the next breath, and for the beauty that takes your breath away. Find hope in one another. Invest in your future. Unbox Your Soul. And find a travel companion on your spiritual journey. Peace and Love. C.E.Wheeler

The Sense of Wonder

The invariable mark of wisdom is to see the miraculous in the common.Emerson

Wonders abound in the day-to-day world. We only need to untangle ourselves from the biases and illusions binding our senses to realize the small miracles around us. Creative people know the feeling when the veils drop away and you embrace rapture. Personal rituals precede the ecstatic moment when what the Taoist call the Gate of All Wonders opens onto the Way – the clear path. Freed for precious moments from illusions, the eternal light illuminates the landscape and joy fills the wellspring of the imagination. Accepting the oneness of it all brings forth the blessed vitality that stirs the soul. This luminous spirit radiates from the artist’s heart into the work. But this is not reserved only for a limited group of special people – You, right now, have this power within you.

The world is full of magic things, patiently waiting for our senses to grow sharper. – W.B. Yeats

At this moment, what do you see? Look around at the space you are in right now. You may note the table, chair, window, pet, light, computer,… But do you sense the wonder? Can you feel the divine energy connecting you to each of these objects and to the oneness of it all? The illusions of various limitations prevent you from seeing the majesty of the moment. The complexities of life cloud the mind with: social interactions, obligations, appointments, deadlines,… All these are important but they stifle wonderment and weigh down the spirit. You must take time to nourish your spirit through solitude, meditation, daily rituals. These sacred moments summon the glorious now.

The more clearly we can focus our attention on the wonders and realities of the universe about us, the less taste we shall have for destruction. – Rachel Carson

Life contains a myriad of moments of amazement. But they are so easily dismissed when one is in a hurry to deal with seemingly endless problems. These unceasing issues arrive in debilitating gray swirls which dampen the spirit and sap the energy. By the days end there seems to be no time for YOU. The inner voice cries out for relief but finds none. There are many paths towards increased inner peace, but they all begin with a change in perceptions. The journey begins with the decision to change focus. Creation opens to those who look on with a sense of wonder.

Youth is happy because it has the capacity to see beauty. Anyone who keeps the ability to see beauty never grows old.Franz Kafka

Each day is an act of creation. Each hour is an expression of spirit. Every minute contains beauty. Knowing this keeps the heart young. Struggles are many and sometimes the rewards are few. But oh the beauties of this divine universe are many. No one can live in a constant state of euphoria. But each of us can wander this world more joyously if we see the inherent beauty of life. Connect to nature and the wonders of life all around. Take an electronic media fast. Put down the devices and simply BE.

Because philosophy arises from awe, a philosopher is bound in his way to be a lover of myths and poetic fables. Poets and philosophers are alike in being big with wonder. Thomas Aquinas

Be big with wonder. Value your happiness and the happiness of those around you. Allow the sense of wonder to brighten your day. The present moment is a wheel ever-turning towards eternity. Today seek out the wonders great and small. The more often you look – the more you will begin to see the beautiful world around you with a sense of wonder. Peace

My next post will be my 400th Post!!! I want to thank all my readers and a big thank you to all of you who follow my blog.

The Divine Madness of Crypto

Money is good for nothing unless you know the value of it by experience. – P.T Barnum

Divine madness, also known as crazy wisdom, is a type of mania – a manifestation of a transcendent enlightenment. Although most often related to spiritual practices divine madness is a form of purposeful activity by aware individuals incorporating the madness into their public personas. The deluge of news centered on cryptocurrency in general and Bitcoin in particular, is a form of divine madness.

Individuals who are fortunate enough to have high percentage returns on cryptocurrency become experience the divine madness of crypto. They seek out soothsayers and pathfinders; spellbinders and foreseers into the decentralized future. One thing is certain – a dynamic new world is arising, the economic tidal impact of which has yet to be determined.

Despite the warnings of crypto-cynics, there is method in this crypto madness. As I wrote in my book, The Tao of Crypto, …. Individual participants’ binary choices within the pulsating global mind summon the dual complementary forces which bring forth the One – the it within every bit – The Tao of Crypto. Harness these forces to enhance the future…

Over the past couple of months, the number of gloomy so-called financial experts speaking out against cryptocurrency has dwindled. Money managing colossi and corporate executives have increasingly spoken glowingly of cryptocurrency as a financial asset class. For the financially minded, the combined market cap of cryptocurrencies is over $2.8 trillion. The market capitalization of Bitcoin at over $930,000,000,000 surpasses that of Facebook (now Meta). How’s that for something “experts” have knocked as total BS and unreal?

A wise person should have money in their head, but not in their heart. Jonathan Swift

Let’s pause for a warning about magical “what-if” thinking. Such as: Bitcoin’s price was $.08 in July 2010 – what if I bought $100 worth then and held onto it – 1,200 Bitcoin X today’s price of around $65,000 = about $78,000,000. That’s quite a return on investment. On March 8th, 2011 Tesla shares were sold at an opening price of $4.92 per share $100 – 203 shares X today $1070 = around $217,500. Buy this retrospective thinking blocks one from seeing clearly.

Each lottery ticket also holds the promise of potential riches. But only someone who is truly mad would buy $100 in lottery tickets and be one hundred percent certain that riches awaited. However a very real opportunity for success can be found when the divine madness of hopes and dreams is tempered with healthy doses of pragmatism.

Predictions for Bitcoin’s price over the next few months range from a 25% gain to double/triple – the sky is the limit. No one knows for sure. I would never offer financial advice to others. But I will say – anyone interested in finding their way through the new decentralized world ahead should embrace a at least a touch of the divine madness of crypto if they want to make informed decisions about the near future. Compare this quote attributed to Bill Gates in the early 1990s – “The Internet is just a passing fad.”. To the following recent quote from Bill Gates – “Bitcoin is a technological tour de force”. When considering whether or not to allow a little crypto madness to take hold, remember what Abraham Lincoln said, “The best way to predict your future is to create it”.

To learn more check out my book. The Tao of Crypto.

The Flowers of Autumn

Autumn is a second spring when every leaf is a flower. Albert Camus

The magic of autumn has filled the air with golden ripeness. The shortened days and chilling winds add a pleasing crispness to life. All around, Nature paints the scenery with exuberant sparks from a blazing palette. The seeds of spring have long since matured or turned to dust. The season crackles with nectarous vitality. In the lengthening evenings, there is time for reflection on past harvests and plans for the future. But the flowers of Autumn can bring bouts of melancholy as well. One can become disheartened mulling over the implications of mortality which drift down like golden motes on a late afternoon.

No spring nor summer beauty hath such grace as I have seen in one autumnal face. – John Donne

The list of “what ifs” has shortened considerably, but a few gold dust dreams endure. No one knows how many heartbeats they have been granted. But the songs of those beats – symphony or dirge; march or rumba – play out in the great hall of the soul. The hesitant preludes of youth give way to melancholy ballads and, if fortunate, glorious romantic concertos. The sultry sizzle of summer inevitably yields to the intimate mellifluous mellow whispers of autumn. And chase gives way to grace.

Nature’s peace will flow into you as sunshine flows into trees. The winds will blow their own freshness into you, and the storms their energy, while cares will drop away from you like the leaves of Autumn. John Muir

Jubilation calls from the sparkling cerulean vault of the sky to the shimmering mirror of the deep. Come join Nature’s sensual feast. The journey has been long but is not over. Linger in Autumn’s joyous embrace. Celebrate both the fruits of fortune and the spices of misfortune. Read from the forest’s red-orange pages scattered across the ground. Thrill to the crinkle and crack. Appreciate life’s vintage ambrosia with its moldering undertones of decay. Gather up morsels of accumulated wisdom before the long shadows of twilight fall.

You are never too old to become younger! – Mae West

The joys of Autumn can be all too brief for some. A single misstep or unforeseen malady can strike one down and bring down winter’s cold breath at the back and icy fingers along the spine. But Autumn can also bring a rejuvenation of the spirit. The restorative tonics of acceptance and forgiveness reinvigorate the soul. Time slows. Equilibrium is achieved. Happiness flourishes in the splendor of gratitude. Age becomes simply a number again and not a symptom.

Maturity is when all of your mirrors turn into windows. – Henry David Thoreau

The vibrancy of uncounted days powers Autumn’s hope-filled moments. Do not look back at the tender buds of spring or lament the passing of midsummer’s passions. Abandon stubborn grievances Set down the lash of discouragement. Peer into the heart’s looking-glass and see your true self once again. Look through the window frame of the flowers of Autumn and find the innocence of youth smiling back. Peace.

Creating Yourself Anew

Life isn’t about finding yourself. Life is about creating yourself.George Bernard Shaw

Where are you from? This is one of the first things people ask when they try to get to know one another. But this simple question can be one of the most difficult to answer. I read an interesting article the other day that made the distinction between people who view the world from anywhere and people who view the world from somewhere.

The values of some people are rooted to a certain location and time, such as their hometown. They are die hard fans of the things they grew up with, like local sports or cuisine, These folks self-identify with geographic-based definitions. Somewhere folks look back nostalgically on an imagined golden age where the light shined a little brighter. To them change is often seen as a deficit to their lives. And sadly somewhere people can hold on to prejudices and other negative ideas learned in childhood. They see the world at large through a narrower locally focused lens.

Anywhere people live in a more self-determined way. Change is not only accepted but sought after. These folks don’t identify as deeply with their place of birth and regional affiliations. Their identity is mobile as are they. People from anywhere are more individualistic and globally focused. Most have moved away from their hometowns. They struggle to purge their views of preconceptions of others which they may have inherited from their family and childhood friends. People from anywhere view the world through a wider universal lens.

Today you are You, that is truer than true. There is no one alive who is Youer than You. Dr. Seuss

Just as Yin and Yang contain portions of their compliments, the views of somewhere people also contain elements of the anywhere perspective and vice versa. Being proud of your origins is not negative in anyway, just as having a more international viewpoint doesn’t make one nobler. There are often crucial economic aspects to remaining a somewhere or becoming an anywhere. People live where they can find a job. Finding a job and putting down roots are seen as a positive sign of maturity.

As a single father of three, contractual worker on a low rung of the economic ladder, my options for mobility were extremely limited. But I wanted my children to understand the wider world outside my hometown. And so we: watched international movies; enjoyed Japanese cartoons; shopped in various Asian supermarkets; learned to cook foreign dishes; read writers from other countries… In this way, today my kids see the world beyond the neighborhood where they grew up.

I was inspired by my Uncle Curt. My Dad’s older brother traveled the world for various jobs as a pilot/mechanic. He visited dozens of countries, spoke five languages had adventures from the tip of South America to the North Pole from the Sahara Desert to the Sumatran rain-forests. At his core, my uncle carried the universal truths of honesty and integrity. His mind was opened to the wider world when he was a boy growing up deep in the backwoods of Kentucky where my paternal ancestors were from. Uncle Curt, my Dad and his brothers would listen to broadcasts about the world on a crystal radio they built themselves. Those broadcasts filled him with wanderlust. He joined the Navy before WWII and afterwards he explored the world. Standing in my Dads garage, he once told me, “You’ll never see the world living on this corner.” At that moment I became an anywhere person.

I am proud to say I have had wonderful people from over seventy countries read my blogs since I began. Thank you. I cannot tell you how much you all mean to me. When I was a little boy, I would look through the Atlas and imagine what life must be like in various countries. My grandma bought us National Geographic magazines, and I could see more of the world. In museums I learned more about the incredibly varied cultures around the world. Living in China for a dozen years, I got to experience daily life in a very different society. But some things have remained a constant whether one is a somewhere person or an anywhere person, we all want to live a better life no matter where we are from. If you live your life sincerely and with integrity, you can create yourself anew. PEACE and LOVE.

Happy Birthday Bitcoin

Money often costs too much. Ralph Waldo Emerson

Bitcoin is now a teenager. Happy 13th Birthday Bitcoin!!!

On 31 October, 2008 Bitcoin’s anonymous creator(s) Satoshi Nakamoto posted Bitcoin’s genesis foundational white paper titled “Bitcoin: A Peer-to-Peer Electronic Cash System”.

What is needed is an electronic payment system based on cryptographic proof instead of trust. (Bitcoin white paper)

Shortly thereafter on January 9, 2009 released the code and Block Number 0 – known as the genesis block.

The price of Bitcoin finally crossed the $1 one dollar threshold in February 2011. As of this writing, a single bitcoin is trading for $61,100. So do the math. And the cryptocurrency revolution of information, media, banking, finance, commerce, etc. has just begun.

So celebrate the birth of Bitcoin by getting a little cryptocurrency for yourself. To quote Satoshi Nakamoto – “It might make sense just to get some in case it catches on.”