The simple life, are we living it? What makes life simple?

What makes life simple? The simple life, are we living it?

Painting by Belynda Wilson Thomas

My formula for living is quite simple. I get up in the morning and I go to bed at night. In between I occupy myself as best I can. Cary Grant

When do we know we need to go in a new direction, rework, regroup, or re-imagine something? It happened to me yesterday when my daughter said, “I have a few ideas for your children’s book.” My ears perked up and when she said one of the books children love has a jingle, it’s simple and the children love it.

Simple should be easy but it isn’t. We look at children’s books and think anyone could do that. Anyone can but it doesn’t mean it will be easy to create a children’s book children love.

The children’s book I want to write does not have a jingle – yet. It does not rhyme, it is not simple and would not enthrall children? Could it become a concept that might enthrall children? Can it rhyme or have a jingle? Can it be simple?

The answer to every one of those questions is yes. Getting to simple may take a lot more work than I thought it would. It may also be a lot more fun.

Does it work the same way in our lives? Is it true the simpler our lives are the more joy and beauty we experience? We may think moving to the country and raising our own food is part of the simple life. The simplest way to have a hamburger is to pull up to the restaurant and order one. If we are going to raise the calf that becomes the burger we needed to start a couple of years ago. What about the bun, we need to grow the wheat. What about the yeast? Living on our own and providing everything for ourselves is not simple.

Going to a grocery store and buying what we need is much simpler. Could most of us build ourselves a car for transportation? We can buy one which is a simple way of getting a car.

Life is really simple, but we insist on making it complicated. Confucius

My brother has hatched some chicks and when I last talked to him he had 4 live chicks which cost about $250.00 each if he calculated all costs that went into the hatch. They are a good way off from being able to lay eggs for his breakfast.

Self-sufficiency may be a laudable goal but it is not simple to be self-sufficient. Money is what makes our life simple. We have something we can exchange that we agree on the value of. How hard would it be for me to get one of my brother’s chickens without money? What is a chicken worth? What do I produce that my brother wants? What if he wanted to trade his chickens for a cow so he could eat beef and not just chicken? How many chickens is one cow worth? How do you save up chickens?

Money lets us put a price on everything. We trade our time at our job or business for money that lets us pick and choose what we spend it on. We can save it to spend later. We can invest it into assets that will appreciate.

The chicks might be down to one and that makes it a thousand-dollar chick. We don’t always make money in our enterprises. But, if we don’t try and fail how do we learn to do things and get better?

Other people’s blood, sweat, tears, and enterprise have made my life simple. I have many things I couldn’t produce myself that with a little money I can buy. Can life get much simpler than that?

My sister-in-law is buying six-week-old chicks for twenty dollars. Farm fresh eggs are a real treat, but it is simpler to stop at the store and buy my eggs.

Simple is a concept we don’t understand very well. Farming is not simple; living in a city is simple. Exchanging money for anything is a simple exchange. Creating that thing is not simple. Working at a job doing one thing is simple. Going out for a coffee and a hamburger is simple. Growing the coffee and all the ingredients to make that hamburger is not simple.

If we are lucky enough to go to a store and buy anything, someone produced it. We are lucky to live in a country where we can buy the things we need and want.

What does a simple life look like? I think I’m living it and as long as I can pay for what I need and what I want how could it become much simpler?

There is no power on earth that can neutralize the influence of a high, simple, and useful life. Booker T. Washington

Simplicity is complex. It’s never simple to keep things simple. Simple solutions require the most advanced thinking. Richie Norton

 Happiness is not something ready-made. It comes from your own actions. Dalai Lama

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Can anger motivate us to do better or ruin our lives? Can we harness anger as fuel for a better life instead of ending up in bondage and suffering?

Can we harness anger as fuel for a better life instead of ending up in bondage and suffering? Can anger motivate us to do better or ruin our lives?

Painting by Belynda Wilson Thomas

Fear is the path to the dark side. Fear leads to anger. Anger leads to hate. Hate leads to suffering. Yoda

Is anger having an impact on our lives? Is it fear that leads to anger? Fear and anger are brought into being during stressful, hostile, or trying events. It’s no wonder our anger levels may be heightened. Is this not one of the angriest, most trying, and hostile times we’ve gone through? If our anger fuels us to change things like in Jim Rohn’s video The Day that Changed Your Life our anger is not only justified but helpful as it propels us to say “Never Again.” His “Never Again” was to never again be too poor to… He became a part-time multi-level marketing distributor and elevated himself and his family.

Is the point of anger to propel us to change something, or are we getting angry because our expectations are not being met? Are these expectations possible to be met? If we get angry because our dog barks or worse yet someone else’s dog barks we know dogs will bark and expecting them not to is futile.

We may be upset that we have lost control of a situation. In most situations, our degree of control especially if other people are involved is much less than we’d like.  Don’t we feel more powerful when we are angry? Aren’t we more dangerous when we are angry? Aren’t we all scared of an angry person because we don’t know what they will do? Sometimes we let our anger get the best of us and we create situations that wouldn’t have happened if we weren’t angry. If we don’t have self-control our anger can lead us down a dangerous path.

If we let worry, fear, and anger control our lives it will probably not go well. People will make us angry but we can learn to control our reaction. In “Taking Charge of Anger” W. Robert Nay Ph.D. tells us there are five components to every anger episode: trigger, thoughts, feelings, anger expression, and outcome. He says we can break our anger down into these five components and he suggests we keep an anger journal so we can see how often we get angry, and we can take charge of our anger. When we start our anger journal we may wonder if “that” really should go in the journal?

Happiness: The emotion that puts your face in motion. Fear: The emotion that puts your legs in motion. Anger: The emotion that puts your fist in motion. Lesson: Don’t be afraid or angry and you won’t have to run and fight. Unknown

Awareness of our own triggers, behavior, thoughts, and feelings is what we are after. Once we become aware we can do something about it. Don’t we all laugh at the snickers commercials where someone is hungry and angry? We may find we are also dealing with a shortened fuse when hungry.

When I was driving my kids somewhere and they weren’t little anymore I would go sit in the truck waiting for them so I didn’t get angry watching them dawdle. How many families start out a long-planned outing or vacation in an angry mood because someone thinks everyone should be ready to leave before they are?

We may be worried about things and get angry, but if the anger isn’t helpful because it doesn’t propel us to action to change things, or it is things we cannot change we may need to get back to dealing within our circle of influence. We can waste our energy being mad at things we cannot change instead of putting that energy into things we can do and can change.

I’ve started my anger journal and will learn a few things. I hope to learn what are my triggers, thoughts, feelings, anger expression, and outcome. Maybe like Jim Rohn, I can use anger to fuel changes in my life that need to change. Maybe I’ll find most of my anger episodes are over things I have no control over and I need to put my attention back into my circle of influence.

Speak when you are angry and you will make the best speech you will ever regret. Ambrose Bierce

If one lets fear or hate or anger take possession of the mind, they become self-forged chains. Helen Gahagan Douglas

If you are patient in one moment of anger, you will escape a hundred days of sorrow. Chinese Proverb

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Taking Charge of Anger, Second Edition: Six Steps to Asserting Yourself without Losing Control Paperback – March 6 2012

by W. Robert Nay  (Author)4.4 out of 5 stars 29 ratings

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Secrets and Silence: What if your biggest secret became public? Paperback – Large Print, Aug. 29 2020

by Belynda Wilson Thomas  (Author)5.0 out of 5 stars 2 ratings

Seeking to understand others instead of seeking to be understood.

Seeking to be understood instead of seeking to understand others.

Painting by Belynda Wilson Thomas

Most people do not listen with the intent to understand, they listen with the intent to reply. Stephen R. Covey

We have a problem with listening in our society it seems to me. We don’t understand people who think differently from ourselves because a lot of the time we don’t acknowledge they are thinking at all.

Sometimes instead of listening, I find myself just waiting until I can speak again. That isn’t really a conversation, it’s two monologues, and we get more entrenched in believing the merits of our side.

Do many of the answers to living in a civilized society lie in the middle ground? Where has the middle ground gone? Those trying to live in the middle seem to be straddling a chasm getting ever wider.

We can’t even agree on some basic things like when life starts, sex and gender, and if there might be some benefits to both shared values, beliefs, and multicultural ones. We don’t agree on the rules a great society is built on. We don’t agree on the merits of a good leader, or what makes someone a bad leader. We don’t agree on religion, or if there should even be religion.     

We can’t seem to have civil discussions because some people have deemed what the politically correct ideas to hold are, and even if we fall in line on what is politically correct in some areas, probably few of us fall in line with what everyone wants to call politically correct. The list of what we can’t say is growing ever longer and someone is waiting to catch us with a “Gotcha”.

How do we square those who feel the state intervenes too much in people’s lives and those who want more intervention?

Most of the successful people I’ve known are the ones who do more listening than talking. Bernard M. Baruch

Don’t we notice when we buy a car or are looking at a car that the car we want is everywhere? What if we were looking for opportunities, would we see them everywhere? We have opportunities staring us in the face. Amazon would have published my book in 2012 when I first started writing it. It is only in 2020 that I put it out into the world. Mom got the first copy in 2016 and that wasn’t my first draft. What opportunities have I lost by waiting so long? The list of investments that could have been made over my lifetime but weren’t, is long. If I look over my life the string of opportunities I have not availed myself of is a long list. Am I the only one that hasn’t availed themselves of the opportunities that presented? If I had been a better listener and acted on advice I was given…

Have any of us seen someone else start the business we thought of, or doing the thing we were advised to do? Opportunities are all around us but are we seeing them? People are all around us who will share the way they see life if we’ll listen long enough for them to tell us, and not just be waiting for our turn to speak, or interrupting them as they speak.

We were given two ears and one mouth. I for one know I need to seek first to understand before seeking to be understood. It isn’t easy, but then isn’t looking for easy one of the problems we have in our life?

It takes a great man to be a good listener. Calvin Coolidge

There’s a lot of difference between listening and hearing. G. K. Chesterton

It’s not at all hard to understand a person; it’s only hard to listen without bias. Criss Jami

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Listening Well: The Art of Empathic Understanding Paperback – Jan. 3 2018

by William R. Miller  (Author, Contributor)4.8 out of 5 stars 71 ratings

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Secrets and Silence: What if your biggest secret became public? Paperback – Large Print, Aug. 29 2020

by Belynda Wilson Thomas  (Author)5.0 out of 5 stars 2 ratings


Are we focusing on what is wrong or what is right? Are we asking for what we want or focusing on what we don’t want?

Are we asking for what we want or focusing on what we don't want? Focusing on what is wrong or what is right?

Painting by Belynda Wilson Thomas

Our focus is our future and what we focus on will multiply in our life. David Denotaris

This week a funny thing happened. The Eforce (old exercise machine) I started using when the gym closed started making a noise that was more than creaks, squeaks, and squawks it had been making. It sounded like it was coming from the bottom where it glides along a track. One side did not feel right and when my husband looked at it he brought out a part of the bearing. It’s an old machine that is not sold anymore and we couldn’t figure out how to install new bearings.

Kijiji to the rescue. My husband found another Eforce on sale for fifteen dollars within driving distance. We picked it up and I am able to do my morning workout. A little can of lubricant (not WD40) seems to be helping with the squeaks and squawks and the bearings seem to be in good shape.

When we focus on what we want do we often get it? Is this part of our problem in life, we don’t know what we want. Do we focus on what we don’t want instead of deciding what we do want and going after it? When we focus on what we don’t want do we often get more of it? It is easy to think we don’t have enough, things aren’t working out, and we aren’t being treated right. What if what we need is an attitude adjustment? What if we need to focus on the good, the beautiful, the positive, and be grateful for what we have in our life.

It is easy to pick ourselves and other people apart because of imperfections, but what about what is good about other people and ourselves? Things happen every day that can make us unhappy if we focus on them, but things also happen every day that can bring us joy. We can be upset with our partners because of something insensitive they said, a look that spoke volumes or what we thought was inconsiderate. Can we instead think about all the things they do to make our lives better?

We can always choose to perceive things differently. You can focus on what’s wrong in your life, or you can focus on what’s right. Marianne Williamson

My husband found my new Eforce machine on Kijiji. He messaged the owner and set up the appointment to pick it up. Yesterday we drove to a few stores to find a spray lubricant that is supposed to help with the creaks, squeaks, and squawks.

It may seem like we are not trying to make things better when we say we focus on the positive like we are ignoring problems that need to be fixed and dealt with. I am not saying we don’t have to fix situations in our lives, organizations, or the world. What I am saying is if we focus only on what is wrong, we may miss what is right and may get so caught up in trying to fix what is wrong that we dismantle what is good in our lives.

This happens in marriages when people get disillusioned and give up on relationships that were actually working and go looking for more perfect relationships that might not exist.

What if the only thing that really bothers us about our partner is they have ideas about life and what would fix things we don’t agree with. Some people think the state can fix things, and other people think we as individuals need to take more responsibility for our lives. Who is right? These differences of opinion can ruin relationships but do we need to agree to disagree? In a democracy, the majority will decide which direction is taken.

We are living in a time when we are focusing on what people do that is wrong and people will do things that are wrong sometimes even with the best of intentions. There are also many things they do that are right. People are flawed individuals and someone may do the most heroic thing and save lives but also hurt someone because of misjudging them and making wrong assumptions.

My mother always said there is so much bad in the best of us, and so much good in the worst of us, that who are we to judge? Can we look for the best in ourselves and others but also deal with the worst when it shows up?

What we see depends mainly on what we look for. John Lubbock

Make the decision to talk about your blessings more than your problems. Whatever you focus on expands! Unknown

Remember you never have to apologize for feeling however you feel, but words and actions have consequences. Choose them carefully. Lisa Prosen

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Crucial Conversations: Tools for Talking When Stakes Are High, Second Edition

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Crucial Conversations: Tools for Talking When Stakes Are High, Second Edition  Audible Audiobook – Unabridged

Kerry Patterson (Author), Joseph Grenny (Narrator), McGraw-Hill Education (Publisher)4.6 out of 5 stars 2,183 ratings


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We think we know, but we don’t know what we don’t know.

We think we know, but we don't know what we don't know.

Painting by Belynda Wilson Thomas

Before you assume, learn the facts. Before you judge, understand why. Before you hurt someone, feel. Before you speak, think. Unknown

Last night I watched a TV program, W5. A trial thirty years ago where a woman was accused of leaving her baby in the snow and was charged with murder was being revisited. She went to the bank with her older son and left the sleeping baby in the car. When she got back he was gone. She called the police.

That night she had a dream her baby was in the snow in the woods. Her sister in law encouraged her to call the police and tell them her dream. It seems the police officer concluded at that moment she would now show them where she put the baby. The police officer drove around and she told him to drive down a street where they got out of the car and after walking a short way she thought she saw something blue through the trees. Her son’s snowsuit was blue. There he was about four meters into the woods.

The baby was assumed dead. The police officer said he knows what a dead body looks like. A renowned pathologist said the baby had been dead about 27 hours which put him in the snow an hour before he was reported missing. This pathologist’s testimony was discredited because he had two stories that didn’t match. (This pathologist was later discredited in many other cases and parents who went to prison because of his testimony have been exonerated.) Another renowned pathologist is brought in, she says the baby was not likely dead at the time he was found, he did not have the tissue damage that would have occurred if he was in the snow for 27 hours. In cases of hypothermia, it is not evident when someone is dead until the body is warm.

The defense lawyers came up with a likely scenario of what happened and the jury found the mother not guilty and stayed and hugged her after the trial and some have kept in contact with her. There was no follow up on the defense lawyer’s theory of what happened. The case is being looked into again now after thirty years.

The moral of this horrible story is we think we know more than we know. The police officer thought for sure the baby was dead but had he been taken to the hospital immediately may have survived.

People will question all good things they hear about you but believe all the bad without a second thought. Unknown

We assume we know things we don’t know. We assume motive and once we have made our assumptions we don’t seem to look for other answers. We have many situations that happen where we need to ask questions. Why are certain things happening when some people encounter police? What are the behaviors that make each side afraid of the other leading to bad outcomes? Sometimes the simple answer that we jump to is not the right answer even though in our own mind it ticks off all the boxes.

For the police officer, the mother’s dream made her guilty. It seemed he questioned nothing further than that and because he knew when the child was reported missing the child had to be in the snow about 27 hours and after that amount of time would for sure be dead. Had he not thought he knew how long the baby was in the snow, the baby may still be alive.

What do we know for sure that we need to question further? What questions do we need to ask? Why do seemingly insignificant situations end so badly for some? Why do worse situations not end badly for others? Are we asking questions or are we jumping to conclusions because we assume bad intentions because of bad outcomes?

Mind is a machine for jumping to conclusions. Daniel Kahneman

You jump to conclusion, what an illusion to assume you know without the facts, even a coin has two sides to the equation. Wam Zed

In the absence of information, we jump to the worst conclusions. Myra Kassin

Thank you for reading this post. I hope you enjoyed it. I hope you will come back and read some more. Have a blessed day filled with gratitude, joy, and love.

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Thinking, Fast and Slow Paperback – April 2 2013

by Daniel Kahneman (Author)4.5 out of 5 stars 6,835 ratings



Facing our unmet expectations. Are we expecting perfection in an imperfect world?

Are we expecting perfection in an imperfect world? Facing our unmet expectations.

Painting by Belynda Wilson Thomas

The person who is brutally honest enjoys the brutality quite as much as the honesty. Possibly more. Richard J. Needham

How do we focus on what we want in life when what we don’t want in life is where we put our energy? How do we not put our energy on what we don’t want when that consumes us?

Counting our blessings is what we are told to do. Our blessings outnumber our problems and yet our problems fill our minds and grow and morph as we continually think about them.

People tell us about bad things happening as if that is all that is happening. It is easy to judge someone by their worst decision, their worst action, and their worst outcome. The sum of someone’s life is neither the best nor the worst of what they have done but the sum total of their life.

Police departments are under scrutiny right now. Minimizing the problems with policing is not what most people are trying to do. We need police and the areas where problems with police occur the most often are also where police are needed the most. It is these areas where police are the first line of help when people don’t know who to turn to except the police.

Is it the case that the more contact we have with law enforcement the more likely we are to have a bad outcome? Part of the problem may be marginalized areas are under scrutiny the rest of us aren’t under. No one is perfect but do people in poor areas live under a level of scrutiny the rest of us don’t live under. Do they live under this with child protective services, policing, and drug enforcement?

The anger and the brutality against everything can readily from one hour to the next be transformed into its opposite. Thomas Bernhard

Is part of the problem over policing? Is another part of the problem that calling the police is used as a weapon against people who are scared of having the police called on them? Is, “I’ll call the police on you,” a threat used often and to the detriment of communities? Is it something people use against others to make themselves feel more powerful?

It seems to me many of the situations we see with bad outcomes are people calling the police on someone often over small things. Once things are set in motion and people authorized to use force against us confront us situations can get out of hand.

People do not always do the right thing. Police officers are people. We expect collateral damage in wars, we don’t like it but we accept it. Is part of what we have to accept with policing is things will get out of control, situations will escalate, and decisions resulting in death will result?  Even though everyone will agree when looking at the videos different decisions should have been made the outcome of that bad decision is irreversible.

We can use labels that may or may not apply; we can call it many things but what if it’s really a bad decision that ended badly for all concerned?

If those who make bad decisions are held accountable and prosecuted is that the most we can ask for and expect?

We may have expectations that truth, justice, and good decisions should always prevail. Is dealing with unmet expectations a hard truth we have to deal with in life?

No one’s pro-police brutality. Kenya Barris

I encountered among my comrades the most varied human traits, from frankness to reserve, from goodness to uprightness and kindness, to brutality and baseness. Georg Brandes

I see myself capable of arrogance and brutality… That’s a fierce thing, to discover within yourself that which you despised the most in others. George Stevens

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Never Split the Difference: Negotiating as if Your Life Depended on It

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Never Split the Difference: Negotiating as if Your Life Depended on It  Audible Audiobook – Unabridged

Chris Voss (Author), Michael Kramer (Narrator), HarperAudio (Publisher)4.7 out of 5 stars 4,331 ratingsAmazon Charts #9 this week

Being a job-giver is better than being a job-seeker. Why has profit become a dirty word?

Why has profit become a dirty word? Being a job-giver is better than being a job-seeker.

Painting by Belynda Wilson Thomas

Young people should think in a different way – they should be job-givers, not job-seekers. Muhammad Yunus

Yesterday I saw a YouTube video by Alina McCloud in it she profiled a small town in Saskatchewan with her dad a Saskatchewan farmer. In a later video she talked with her dad about the reality of farming in Saskatchewan.

Being a Saskatchewan farm girl myself it brought tears to my eyes. We all need to remember we may need a doctor, dentist, lawyer, or police officer in our lives occasionally but we need farmers every day. If we ate today we need to thank a farmer.

When we go to the grocery store with its array of beautiful fruits, vegetables, meats, cereals, and breads it all started on a farm. All that food from all over the world came from farmers working every day to feed us. Small independent farms are disappearing as larger operations take over. Machinery is expensive, the land is expensive, it makes sense farms need to become larger operations to make money. Farmers can’t feed us if they don’t make money. No business can operate at a loss. We may want bargains but we need to beware of the price of some of our bargains.

The other week a cattle rancher in America was saying he was selling his beef for $900.00 that cost $1200.00 to get ready for sale. “We can’t keep doing this, if we are going to continue to feed people we have to do it at a profit.”

Profit is a by-product of work; happiness is its chief product. Henry Ford

Profit is both the reward for successes and the incentive for further action. Without profit none of us have a job, and worse yet we eventually will not have food. When did making a profit get to be a bad thing? Research tells us that workers who work for non-profits often make more money than people who work for organizations making a profit. How is this even possible? Is it because many of the costs of non-profits are paid for by subsidies from taxpayers who are working in the companies that make a profit?

Where did we get the crazy notion that making a profit so we can have a well-organized company is wrong? For-profit child care centers are becoming a thing of the past. Why, and what do they mean by not for profit? No one is doing work for free. The expenses still have to be paid, workers have to be paid, and rent has to be paid. Why, is getting an exorbitant salary as the head of a non-profit, often higher than what an owner of a for-profit company of the same kind would get, better?

Do we need to think about encouraging more people to start their own businesses and to quit thinking about profit as a dirty word? Is it better to be a job-giver than a job-seeker and is this what we should be encouraging our children to try and do?

I believe in capitalism. I need to make a profit, but I would like to do it with ethics, dignity, morals. It’s my dream. Brunello Cucinelli

To get profit without risk, experience without danger, and reward without work is as impossible as it is to live without being born. A.P. Gouthey

The substance of the eminent Socialist gentleman’s speech is that making a profit is a sin, but it is my belief that the real sin is taking a loss. Winston Churchill

Thank you for reading this post. I hope you enjoyed it. I hope you will come back and read some more. Have a blessed day filled with gratitude, joy, and love.

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The Price of a Bargain: The Quest for Cheap and the Death of Globalization Paperback – Oct. 19 2010

by Gordon Laird (Author)5.0 out of 5 stars 1 rating

Courage and strength are needed to live a good life. Are we courageous and strong?

Are we courageous and strong? Courage and strength are needed to live a good life.

Painting by Belynda Wilson Thomas

Courage is the mother of all virtues because without it you cannot consistently perform the others. Aristotle

If we are to live good lives we have to have a degree of courage. We have to stand by our convictions, be impeccable with our word. Do our best, act on our well-chosen values. We will demonstrate a commitment to good causes by active participation. We will refuse the temptation to comply with, assist with, or ignore dishonest, coercive, cruel, bigoted, wasteful, or deceptive words or practices encountered during our everyday activities. We will be willing to speak truth to power to right a wrong. Doing the right thing may be a defining moment in our lives. We may courageously overcome or at least control bad habits and addictions.

That is a tall order and none of us will probably be consistently courageous in everything we do. We will make mistakes of judgment.  We will believe things that are not true and may even feel others have no right to their opinion who do not believe what we believe. Even though we won’t be perfect we will lead better lives if we are more courageous than if we are not.

We may truly believe we are doing the right thing and be wrong. We may find as life goes forward that going with accepted beliefs is not correct. One of the problems we have is who do we listen to when deciding what is the right course of action.

There is so much information out there on so many topics we may not know what to believe or who to listen to. Epistemology: How do you know that what you know is true? How do we know what someone tells us is true, or what we read or listen to is true? What about conflicting stories, new reports, biased arguments that may be based on a kernel of truth?

It isn’t what we don’t know that gives us trouble; it is what we know that ain’t so. Will Rogers

The sincerity of one’s belief, the volume or frequency with which it is stated, or assurances to “believe me” should not be rationally persuasive by themselves. It is hard to sift through everything we know, hear, and read. Is it possible to get comfortable with uncertainty and knowing we don’t know, instead of thinking we know things, we can’t know?

Even when we don’t know for sure what the truth is, can we be courageous in our questions and our actions?

By what criteria do we evaluate reasons? How are those criteria themselves evaluated? What is it for a belief to be justified? What is the relationship between justification and truth? Harvey Siegel

There are three kinds of lies: lies, damn lies, and statistics. Mark Twain

I am the wisest man alive, for I know one thing, and that is that I know nothing. Socrates

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How We Know: Epistemology on an Objectivist Foundation by [Harry Binswanger]

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The Sacredness of Questioning Everything by [David Dark]

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The Sacredness of Questioning Everything Kindle Edition

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Does true health begin with our thoughts? Are we grateful for all the health and happiness we have in our lives?

Are we grateful for all the health and happiness we have in our lives? Does true health begin with our thoughts?

Painting by Belynda Wilson Thomas

He who has health has hope, and he who has hope has everything. Arabian proverb

Love is in the air this lovely May morning. The birds were chirping early this morning and going for an early walk was a wonderful way to start the day. The trees and flowers are in bloom, the air is crisp and clean, and bunnies are laying in the grass.

Yesterday my package of essential oils arrived to make Thieves Oil. Legend has it that four thieves were caught robbing the dead during a plague. The judge wanted to know how they were able to rob the dead without getting sick. The punishment was being burned to death and he promised them they would not have to pay that price if they told him their secret. They were unemployed spice merchants and used spice oils to protect themselves. The judge kept his word having them hanged instead of burned alive.

Of course, when something is handed down there are variations to it. Some say there were four thieves and four ingredients but I was told five ingredients by my sister who swears by this and has been using it for ten years. The essential oils she uses are clove oil, lemon oil, cinnamon bark oil (she uses cinnamon leaf because cinnamon bark oil is really expensive), rosemary oil, and eucalyptus oil.

To keep the body in good health is a duty… otherwise we shall not be able to keep our minds strong and clear. Buddha

There are also varying measurements but I like the idea of the Marseilles Thieves Oil recipe which is equal parts of each oil. This is then diluted 1-10 in a carrier oil. I used olive oil but there are lots of other choices.

What am I expecting it to do? It is a question I am asking myself. I bought it mostly because right now the oils were in stock and later they might not be. I also bought dry mustard powder so I can make mustard plasters if we need them. It is somewhat like stocking the pantry it makes us feel prepared and in some degree of control.

Listening to Wayne Dyer yesterday he said, “Some people say what if it’s only a placebo effect?” What if it is? He says, “Give me some of that placebo.”If he has hemorrhoids and someone says a crystal will heal his hemorrhoids he wants a crystal chair. I’m looking at it much the same way.

Is there a downside to having a few essential oils in my pantry? Putting a drop or three in my diffuser can’t hurt and maybe it will help. Making a cleaner with Thieves oil to clean door handles and surfaces and maybe putting a drop or two in a mask to wear to the store or use it as a hand sanitizer when none is available to purchase.

We have to go about our business and we have to do it as safely as we can. Some people swear by cutting an onion and putting it by their bedside when they are sick. What can it hurt? People may laugh at what people do to protect themselves but if it helps who laughs last?

Oil of oregano helps with colds and flu, or is that just the placebo effect? I don’t know but if I get a tickle in my throat out comes the oil of oregano. Our mind is very powerful and can convince our body to heal. Is our mind our most important healing tool? Does true health begin with our thoughts and does being grateful for health and happiness make a difference?

When we change the way we think, we change our lives. What most people do not understand is how powerful our thinking is and how involved it is in our health. Bob Proctor

When we change our daily lives – the way we think, speak, and act – we change the world. Nhat Hanh

True health begins with your thoughts. Thinking about comfort, strength, flexibility, and youthfulness attracts those qualities into your life and body. Dwelling on illness, fear, disease, and pain does just the opposite. Your work is to notice and change your thoughts and move them in the direction of health and happiness. Christiane Northrup

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A Beginner's Guide to Essential Oils: Recipes and Practices for a Natural Lifestyle and Holistic Health (Essential Oils Reference Guide, Aromatherapy Book, Homeopathy) by [Hayley Hobson]

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A Beginner’s Guide to Essential Oils: Recipes and Practices for a Natural Lifestyle and Holistic Health (Essential Oils Reference Guide, Aromatherapy Book, Homeopathy) Kindle Edition

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Asking questions. Are we asking the questions how, what, who, where, when, and why?

Are we asking the questions how, who, what, where, when, and why?

Painting by Belynda Wilson Thomas

Asking, “Why?” is the key to everything. Question always. Answer the why. Vicki Gould

I’m reading How to Think like Leonardo da Vinci by Michael J. Gelb. In it, he tells us to think about our problems or question what we are concerned about in our personal or professional lives and ask. What? When? Why? How? Where? And why?

What is the problem? What are the underlying issues? What are the preconceptions, prejudices, or paradigms that may be influencing our perception? What will happen if we ignore it? What possibilities may exist that we haven’t yet considered? What problems may be caused by solving this problem? What metaphors from nature can we use to illuminate i?

When did it start? When does it happen? When doesn’t it happen? When will the consequences of it be felt? When must it be resolved?

Who cares about it? Who is affected by it? Who created it? Who perpetuates it? Who can help solve it?

How does it happen? How can we get more objective information? How can we look at it from an unfamiliar perspective? How can it be changed? How will we know that it has been solved?

Where does it happen? Where did it begin? Where haven’t I looked? Where else has this happened?

Why is it important? Why did it start? Why does it continue? Ask why, why, why, why … to get to the bottom of an issue.

Isaac Newton, a true visionary of his time (the late 1600’s), was a man looking in many directions for answers to questions most people didn’t know to ask. Will Craig

Michael J. Gelb says Leonardo da Vinci’s questions were often striking in their simplicity. Why does the hammer blow cause the nail to jump out? Why is the sky blue? We need to ask awkward questions like why is the Emperor naked. Why is this a problem? Is this the real issue? Why have we always done it this way? We should aim to ask questions that have never been asked before.

Finding illustrative metaphors in nature was one of Leonardo’s favorite techniques. When he designed the magnificent spiral staircase for the French King’s chateau at Blois, he was inspired by the twisting shells of the conchs. His design for musical pipes similar to the recorder, was drawn from his study of the human larynx. Andrew Graham Bell was inspired to invent the telephone by modeling the ear. Velcro was inspired by the burs that were stuck in my dog’s beard yesterday.

Most human innovations are inspired by the question “What if…?” Some of the happiest people in the world have asked “How can I get paid for doing something I love?” What if we can’t get paid for doing something we love, shouldn’t we still do it, because we love it?

According to Michael J. Gelb, Leonardo da Vinci was not satisfied with his work. Obviously the reason for not doing things because we will not do it well enough is not a good excuse if someone who is considered a master was not satisfied with their work. Perhaps we are not supposed to be satisfied with our work, because if we get satisfied, why would we continue doing it? If we knew we’ve already done our best work, painting, writing, or invention, what is there to strive for?

Are we asking the right questions to get an empowering answer?

Questions are the root of everything great I have done in life. The most creative ideas every experienced are often conceptualized by asking simple questions. Jeff Shinabarger

The wise man doesn’t give the right answers, he posed the right questions. Claude Levi-Straus

The man who asks a question is a fool for a minute, the man who does not ask is a fool for life. Confucius

Thank you for reading this post. I hope you enjoyed it. I hope you will come back and read some more. Have a blessed day filled with gratitude, joy, and love.

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How to Think Like Leonardo da Vinci: Seven Steps to Genius Every Day

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How to Think Like Leonardo da Vinci: Seven Steps to Genius Every Day  Audible Audiobook – Unabridged

Michael J. Gelb (Author), Doug Ordunio (Narrator), Random House Audio (Publisher)4.5 out of 5 stars 269 ratings