Most lives are spent waiting. Waiting for dreams to manifest, for trouble to end, and for life to be happy. Golden Zen reflects on the brillance of the NOW and the winks we receive from our Source to remind us we possess it all. Golden Zen is practical and mystical, instructive and reflective. You are my invited guest.

Posts tagged ‘choice’

The Art Of BEING in My Own Business – Part 1

When is it my Business?

In our introduction to this series, we discussed the idea around CONTROL or
the feeling that somehow we are in charge of our surroundings.  In fact, we are not really in control of all that much!

What we do control (or what is our business) is ourselves from the inside out (at least partly), and that is the topic of discussion for today.

Here are 5 things I can list that are my business, and therefore to some degree, are in my control.

1. How I feel about going to work in the morning.
2. How I respond to unfair criticism
3. How I choose to relate to my neighbors
4. Where I spend my grocery money
5. What I say I want when I am asked, “what would you like?”

Let’s take a closer look:

How I feel about going to work in the morning:
Here is the truth of the matter: I don’t really dig going to a job in the morning.  I much prefer my work at home lifestyle.  But, due to unforeseen circumstances, there have been times when “I owe, I owe, it’s off to work I go!” has been my theme song.  How I feel when I go to the closet, slide my jacket on, and grab the keys as I head out the door, is totally mine to own.  I can be grateful for the opportunities I have to make some progress and learn while I do, or I can choose to be miserable because I hate the job, and suffer my way through.  It is my business.

How I choose to respond is my businness
How I respond to criticism:  
It hurts or maybe it doesn’t have too?  The only reason it hurts is because somehow I give it power to hurt.  Unfair criticism is after all, someone else’s opinion.  Is that my business?  What I think of myself and the person who spoke, that is my business.  I can choose, as Eckhart Tolle suggests, to be transparent. Their words find no matter, no resistance, no one to hurt.  If I know who I am, and I am in connection with myself, I am able to allow others their opinion without it having much to do with me.  It may sting for a second, and then I remember, who I am.  That’s all I need to know.
How I choose to relate to my neighbors:
I read a wonderful post this week by a woman who was discussion intention.  She offered to the readers that one of her daily practices was to offer 85 “Rakas”, or intentions or prayers for her neighbors.  She intended that gentle rains of blessing would be theirs. She said she never has to work on peaceful relations with them, because after you pray for them every day, with 85 repetitions, YOU are peace.

No one can drive me crazy.  It is my business to choose, and I can choose to hate, resent, bear grudges, be intolerant, be rude or to ignore, if I want to.  That is my business.
(Of course, I can choose to enjoy also.)

Where I spend my grocery money:  
I personally cannot control global economy, but I can make choices about how I spend my money. I can shop where they supply local options, organic selections, and sustainable solutions.  That is my business.  Or, I can choose to eat at fast food joints and sip on milkshakes while driving to work.  If I want to go to a concert, and money is tight, I can choose to shop economically, and save enough to go to the concert, or I can complain to everyone I know that there is never enough money to do what you want.  How I respond to my bank account – that is my business.  Where I spend my money, is in my control.            
What I say I want when I am asked, “What would you like?”
I personally have struggled with this one most of my life.  I remember when I was married and raising children, my husband would be driving, and the kids would be in the back seat of the mini van.

“Where would you like to go to eat,” he would ask respectfully.  You could hear the kids sigh in the back seat.  They knew we were in for a ride- and not in the van!  “Well, I don’t really care.  Let’s go where you and the kids want to go,” I replied with modesty and charm. 

“Okay, Dad, let’s go to Burger King!”  My daughter loved the fast food joints.  My immediate response was, “Oh honey, not tonight.”

“Anyone for Denny’s?”  Silly husband suggested.  He thought I really meant it when I said I didn’t have a preference.  He assumed that when I said, “not really”, it meant not really.  

I remember years of me not saying what I wanted when asked because I wanted to please others, but really, I didn’t want to take responsibility for pleasing myself.  I wanted someone else to do that for me.  The unspoken deal was this: I please you – you please me. 

Taking the time to be honest, to say what I want when I am asked is my business.


You must have some “doosies”.  Let’s save the ‘What’s not my Business’ for next time, and this time, share your list of ‘What is my business’.  We could learn a lot from each other.

In the Grace of the Moment,

PS. Interested in learning about TRIPLE WIN STRATEGY?  Learn how business is being reshaped through consumersim to global citizenship. Find out how at one of my other blogs: THE BEST LIFE blog for business.

Many thanks to Lynne at flickr for the money photo.  See her photostream at   And thank you to Casey Broadwater for the photographic look into a “neighborhood.”  See her work at


What if we Lost Our Ability to Choose?

My local CHOICES MARKETI shop regularly at a grocery store in my community called Choices Markets.  They carry organic foods and supplements, herbs and oils, recycled toilet tissue and imported bamboo clothing.  They even offer electric scooters to save fuel and nowadays, big bucks.

I make a choice to spend a bit more money now on staples, to help me and my global environment stay healthier long-term.

But, my choices have changed over the years.

When I was a child, I chose Mac D’s a lot!  Bring on the Trans fat!

Then as a young adult, I joined the movement for low-fat. 


I bought Cooking Light magazines, years of them and saved them all.  I cooked everything from Alfredo sauce to homemade ice cream – with no fat.  I was an ANTIFAT.

I have since gone on to juices, raw food, vegetarianism, and Ayurvedic.  You name it; if it claims to be healthy, I have probably been there.

It’s a series of choices.

Which way is my choice?

Which way is my choice?





Choice is the signpost of freedom.  Those who are free can choose. 
In times of great stress, they can choose calm.  In economic trouble, they can choose abundance.  In heated conversations, they can choose peace.

Choices are result of responsibility.  Those who are not responsible are not free.  Those who are free are responsible to choose and to be held accountable for their choices.

Last week readers participated in a fun research project where I asked them: would they choose to suck on lemons?  Many said yes.  But when I asked if they would marry for money, it created a bit of a stir.  Morally would it be right?  Or could they say how they really felt with it being public and all?  Some even wrote to me personally discussing love and money.

Life is what happens when we are making plans!

Life is what happens when we are making plans!

Our choices in life are challenging and exhilarating. 
We have a right to change our choices.

We can change our minds.  In fact, we better change our minds. The more you learn, the more you will change the choices you previously swore you would never change. 


And this is where we can get stuck.

We can chose to learn and change and be responsible for that change, or we can stubbornly insist we were right when we made the choice – and if it was right for us then, it is right for us now.
Yesterday’s choices may not be right for today.  Can you allow yourself to make new choices?

Let me give you some examples:

  • Maybe you swore that you would never read the newspaper and fill your minds with such garbage.  And then, you got a job as an editor of the local paper.  What now?
  • You told your daughter she had to sleep with diapers on.  She is now 13.  What now?
  • You swore you would never speed in the car, and now your wife is having a baby in the passenger’s seat.  What now?


Being present and learning to live in the wonderful now is a state of grace that allows for change.
The galaxy is constantly expanding, and so are you.  Maybe it’s time to check in with yourself and see if you still like the choices you made yesterday, or a decade ago?  

Only the beginning of the universe...imagine!

Only the beginning of the universe...imagine!


I love the way Byron Katie deals with this idea in her “work.”  Recently I saw her working on an intimate challenge with Oprah.  Oprah was struggling with resentment she felt towards relatives that repeatedly asked for money.  She felt that the relatives were disrespecting her by continually coming back for more.  Katie suggested that in fact Oprah was the one disrespecting herself and others by choosing to make decisions for which she didn’t want to be responsible.  If her choice in the moment was “no,” she alone was responsible to make it. 

I am guessing you too have updated previous choices to accomodate new moments. This community could benefit if you would take a moment to share your story.  Have you had to make new choices you thought you would never make?

In the Grace of the Moment,



(Announcement: The ABC’s of Golden Zen have gone audio.
Now you have a choice.)

Speaking of a choice – I would love to know your preferences.

1. If you had a choice, would you marry for money or stick with
    the life you have now.  (Assuming of course, you did not marry for money!)
    If you did marry for money – you should write a post about that on your
    blog.  I have a “friend” who would love to read about it.  🙂

2. If you had a choice, would you own a MAC or a PC? ( An IPhone or a Blackberry?)

3. If you had a choice to suck oranges or lemons before you gave a presentation, would you suck  lemons?  (They are great for the vocal chords, but not the best for facial expression)  

It looks pretty at the moment but give her 10 seconds!

It looks pretty at the moment but give her 10 seconds!

4. If you had a choice between eating chocolate when you want to and being a world-class model, would you go for the taste?

5. If you had a choice to live in any other moment of your life, would you choose this moment?

6. If you had a choice to fly with your own set of wings would you still want a Ferrari?

 What a rush!

7. If you had a choice to see more video or hear more audio on blogs, would you still read or pull out the headset?

Your answers are vital.   Feel free to answer one, or answer them all.  You may in fact want to throw out one of your own BIG QUESTIONS and see what response you get.  In fact, if you have blog join in the fun.  Find out what choice your readers would make about things you feel you simply MUST know.  Have some fun!

Stay tuned: Next Monday’s post is all about CHOICES.  Do we really have the power of choice in our lives or do some just like to think they do?  Is life fixed before we get here, or patched up as we go along?  

In the Grace of the Moment,
And smiling,

Thank you to Haunta at Flickr for the lemon shot : and to Neloqua for the lovely set of wings


Are You BIG Enough To Take Up Space?

No one can make you feel inferior without your consent – Eleanor Roosevelt

One of the ways I serve my community is as a teacher.  I teach adults how to start their own business.  Most of them are new entrepreneurs, and writing a business plan is enough to railroad their business before it ever gets on the right “track”. 

There are all kinds of roadblocks: how to research, how to market, and how to read a financial statement. 

The most glaring monster of all is the competitive analysis.  Some students believe knowing that someone else is doing what they are doing, perhaps better than they can do it, is enough for them to throw in the towel.

Others may be doing what you do, dreaming what you dream, or daring to go beyond their limits, but there is always room for you. 



There is a story from Jewish Biblical history where the Israelites were at war with another country.  They sent scouts on a reconnaissance mission.  They returned exhausted, hungry and scared.  “We are like grasshoppers in their sight!” they cried.

They were grasshoppers, or small insects without a hope this side of Eden to win the battle.  So small in fact, I doubt whether the enemy ever saw them!  The soldiers had come to their own limited conclusion about themselves.  They compared themselves to others; a trademark of those who suffer.  They eventually won the battle, but not until the King gave them the pep talk of all pep talks and reminded them who they were.  The enemy knew it already, but the Israelites had forgotten.

Are you using your power to see less of yourself, to feel inferior, to cringe away from a new challenge because you feel insignificant or unimportant?  How is that possible, unless you have your eyes on someone else?

Eleanor Roosevelt said it well: “No one can make you feel inferior without your consent”

No one can make you feel anything about yourself that you don’t feel about yourself already.

This applies to love relationships, starting new businesses, and offering your gifts or talents to the world.

Have you ever heard yourself say, “You make me feel so stupid,” or “He made me so angry?”
Not possible.  You do feel the way you feel, but the feeling was your choice.



All my life I have lived at bookstores.  I love the authors, the ideas, the pages, the print, the smell of the pages, the font, the shelves…shall I continue? 

For most of my life, I left the bookstore confused.  On one hand, I enjoyed meeting the ideas who were hiding behind the covers.  But, I was confused.  I believed that everything worth writing was written by someone better, with more knowledge and skill than I could ever hope to acquire.  How would I ever get published? 

That feeling, that confusion, that trip downstairs to my lower self, was my choice.  No one in the store made me feel it, no author penned their words thinking, “This should put Harmony in her place.”  I had feelings that my worth was meager, so my words were worth pennies at best.

What is your dream?  What battles lie in wait for you?  How have you overcome them?  As always, feel free to share your ideas with us. 

Don’t ask if there enough room for you, but are you BIG enough to take up the space?

In the Grace Of the Moment,


The D,E,F and G of Golden Zen

The ABC’s of Golden Zen – (The first few sentences repeated for context.  To go directly to the DEF and G, scoll down slightly)

I believe I could take any structure: 1-10, the alphabet, types of cars, types of trees, or names of people and share the principles of Golden Zen thinking as an application to that form.  Golden Zen not a belief structure or set of rules or way to “think” really, it is about a way of “being,” which is always vital and alive.

I am writing nothing new.  I am no guru or spiritual leader.  My intention is simply to take the essence of the concepts I am constantly learning and communicate them with my sense of being or my “take on it,” so that others may find a better understanding of the universal truths for themselves.

I chose the alphabet mainly because we rarely use it as adults.  The idea is playful.

Over time, I will write more on most of these concepts, but for our purpose now, I present this overview of Golden Zen.

Today we continue with the DEF AND G of Golden Zen.

D – Deliberate: I thought of the word “determined”, but as I sat with it, determined is the ego I used to be; Ready to make it happen whenever necessary. Golden Zen is different, it is deliberate.  One could say intentional. To be deliberate implies a choice and a responsibility; an inward commitment that is not swayed by opinion, not even your own. 

E – Ego: We could debate this for decades.  What is an ego?  Is it obsession with good looks or the need to win every time?  Maybe.  More to my point it is what distracts me from who I really am, who I forgot I already had become.  Ego is all about the “form” of being human, or being matter. When Ego was looking for work, he/she applied to be your body guard, and life hasn’t been the same since .  Ego is busy protecting what isn’t real anyway, and prevents you from remembering all that is real.

F – Fascinating: Golden Zen gives you the opportunity to be fascinated.  According to a popular online Thesaurus, here is the definition of fascinate:  “To please greatly or irresistibly.”  Applicable synonyms: beguile, bewitch, captivate, enchant.  When you are aware, aware of the moment, you are often captivated.  You have permission to be bewitched by the smallest diversion.

G – Ginger: It had to be.  Ginger made my Zen, my meditation, my scared moments, my humble seeking, get real.  Ginger changed my world with her unconditional loveGinger demonstrates the moment-by-moment lifestyle.  I am forever grateful.

In the Grace of the Moment,


 Photo Credit:


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