Who’s packing your parachute?


Last Sunday I was watching Joel Osteen’s show(www.JoelOlsteen.com), and he was telling the story of an US Pilot, named Charles Plumb, here is the story:

He was a US Navy jet pilot in Vietnam. After 75 combat missions, his plane as destroyed by a surface-to-air missile. Plumb ejected and parachuted into enemy hands. He was captured and spent 6 years in a communist Vietnamese prison. He survived the ordeal and now lectures on lessons learned from that experience.
One day, when Plumb and his wife were sitting in a restaurant, a man at another table came up and said, “You’re Plumb! You flew jet fighters in Vietnam from the aircraft carrier Kitty Hawk. You were shot down!”
“How in the world did you know that?” asked Plumb.

“ I packed your parachute,” the man replied. Plumb gasped in surprise and gratitude. The man pumped his hand and said, “I guess it worked!” Plumb assured him, “It sure did. If your chute hadn’t worked, I wouldn’t be here today.”

Plumb couldn’t sleep that night, thinking about that man. Plumb says, “I kept wondering what he might have looked like in a Navy uniform: a white hat, a bib in the back, and bell-bottom trousers. I wonder how many times I might have seen him and not even said Good morning, how are you?’ or anything because, you see, I was a fighter pilot and he was just a sailor.”

Plumb thought of the man hours the sailor had spent on a long wooden table in the bowels of the ship, carefully weaving the shrouds and folding the silks of each chute, holding in his hands each time the fate of someone he didn’t know.

Now, Plumb goes around the world giving conferences, and he always asks his audience:

“Who’s packing your parachute?”

The People that is packing our parachutes are the ones that we don’t notice most of the times, the people that do the “small things” for us: the people that is cleaning the streets, cleaning the office, the policeman, the waiter at the restaurant, the cashier at the grocery store. All those people that we sometimes barely notice and that many times we don’t even know their names, are always there for us, even when we don’t even notice them.

You could do many things for these people behind you, but sometimes the best way to do something for them is to say “thank you” from the heart, letting them know, that they are really important for you, that they are doing a great job for you and that you really appreciate it.

A simple way to do this is to do it one at a time, this way we can start by finding one person that does somethong for us, and start thanking one person every day, trying to be aware of all the persons behind you, one person per day, one at a time. you can write them a letter, an email, a text message, you can thank them in person.

I am pretty sure you won’t run out of persons that are now helping you, you may even notice that you are aware of more and more people every day that are there to make your life easier.

I also want to Thank You for reading my posts.

God Bless You

Capt

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Meditation: a scientific approach

During the last decades, there had been several studies about the benefits of meditation. When people in the early seventies started to hear about meditation, they thought it was like a new ORIENTAL religion, and the ones that would practice it would feel good and would try to convince others about the benefits, but most of those were convinced because they coul see a change in the other person. Actually when you meditate, you feel good, and that should be a satisfactory argument, but for us in the occidental world, we need facts in order to believe in certain things, like meditation.

That is why there had been so many studies about meditation, because we know it’s good, but we need to see the numbers, the data, the benefits of practicing it in a way we can understand.

Some studies found that the brain of the meditators have increased the gray mass, like the one published at Psychiatry Research:

Analyses in a priori regions of interest confirmed increases in gray matter concentration within the left hippocampus

They studied prior non meditators who meditate for 8 weeks, and found out extraordinary results for the meditators.

The images also showed a reduction of gray matter in the amygdala, a region connected to anxiety and stress, so meditators not only increased their capacity to focus, but they decreased their capacity to suffer stress in the same conditions that they used have before.

Sindya Bhanoo explains this study in a simple way in the New York times

New York Times: How Meditation can change the brain

There have been other studies to regular meditators, like this one expalined in the BBC which was made to Buddhist meditators:

BBC: Brains of Buddhist monks scanned in meditation study

In the study they found out that the meditators have an high capacity to reorganize the neuronets:

When one relaxes into the state of oneness the neuronets change andr the psychological wall between them and their surroundings. Meditators claim to have a deep harmony between them and their surroundings.

Unfortunately all this studies can’t give you the experience of meditation, that can’t be explained with words, because each one experience it in a different way. So try it now if you haven’t done it previously, and if you already are a meditator, now you know some scientific data of what you are already experiencing.

God Bless You.

The Memory of God Comes to the Quiet Mind

“The memory of God comes to the quiet mind. It cannot come where there is conflict. For a mind at war against itself remembers not Eternal Gentleness…What you remember Is a part of You. For You must be as God created You. Let all this madness be undone for you, and turn in Peace to the remembrance of God, still shining in your quiet mind.”

~ A Course in Miracles ~

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Everything in this A Course of Miracles' lesson is so true, if you put it in practice, it will change your whole life for sure. It is so great and so simple it seams easy, but it is not. A quiet mind is a great goal to achieve, but even to the enlightened ones it wasn't easy at some point.

I don't mean it is not attachable, it is attachable to everyone even for short periods of time, when your thoughts are not present in our minds.

For me the key to start this process is here:

"Let all this madness be undone for you and turn into Peace"

If we have the consciousness to understand this and "know" that there is a madness inside of our minds and that the constant current of thoughts we have all day is creating it, then we would be able to stop it and choose Peace instead

We have around 45,000 to 60,000 thoughts per day, and most of them are the same ones we had the day before, and so on. So how do we stop that endless current of thoughts?

First step is be the observer. If we recognize we are not our thoughts, then we can "see" our thoughts as if we will be watching a movie, then we can recognize those thoughts that repeat constantly. The moment we recognize them, they loose strength, and start to dissolve, creating space between thoughts.

Every time we are able to create that space we are creating an opportunity to have the Memory of God.I love this part where it says " The memory of God", which means we originally came from God before we were born, but we start to loose that memory as we grow up and fill our minds with thoughts, rules and concepts.But if we claim our memory back then we will be able go live in Peace.

God Bless You

Life is Denied by Lack of Attention (part two)

Being immerse in doing something Is being immerse in the present , it means you are “living”

When you have no track of time or space it means you are in the present moment.
Try to recall a time when you were doing something and all of your attention was only in the activity you were doing, a time when you suddenly realized time has just passed by and you didn’t notice, it could have been minutes or hours, but you were so immerse in the activity, that you did not let other thoughts get into your mind, you were so busy paying attention to what you were doing that you practically did not have any other thought.

This can happen to to people which meditate; meditators can just be in the meditation with no thoughts in their minds, where there is no need to be aware of time or space.

Those times are a perfect example of what it is to be living in the present moment, in those moments you are celebrating life; not denying life.

But we are all immerse in daily life activities, where we can’t be doing those activities we love, that help us be present, we have to do our shores, that maybe we don’t like that much, or do tasks that others gave to us to do. But those are also great opportunities to be aware of what we are doing, because it is on those times when our attention flies away from what you are doing.

So if we are able to realize it, and you start to pay attention to the activity itself (even though we don’t love doing it), then we start to do things better, because we are conscious of the activity itself, but most important is that we are living in the present, and when we are living in the present, we are alive.

Our ultimate goal should be aware of every moment in our lives, but I believe we can leave that to the enlightened ones, that have reached those levels of awareness. For Us, we can try to be much more aware of what we are now, We can remember this during several activities during the day, and then be aware of them.

Our primary goal is to remember we can be aware of what we are doing, and remember this during the day. As I mentioned before, we can start with little activities, then with others and so on.

At the end it is not that what the things we like doing make us happy, it is that we are aware of what we are doing, and we are just doing it in that particular moment, and that awareness gives us happiness.

Not Every Piece of Advice is the Ultimate Truth

Many times in my life I thought I had found the ultimate truth about something. But after a while I realize that the truth I believed simply did not work for me anymore. What felt true at a certain moment, may not be true later.

For example, the power of positive thinking. When I first read about it I started to consistently repeat affirmations to myself specifically regarding things I wanted for my life. It took some work on my part, maybe because I was still breaking out of my negative thinking habits. Before positive thinking, I did achieve some things that I did not believe were possible. But overall, I couldn’t achieve most of the things I wanted at that time.

For a long time I believed that all you needed to do was to think positively. Then you could manifest just about anything.  I even tried to convince others to do it. But, as in my own experience, some things worked, and some didn’t.

Then I began to understand that positive thinking does not work by itself. Positive thinking is just a small part of the whole creating process. I found out it was not only repeating affirmations, but believing with all your being it will happen. Suddenly, more of the things I wanted started to manifest, and I felt like I finally found the ultimate truth: POSITIVE THINKING PLUS BELIEVEING.

It worked better than just positive thinking, and I practiced it for a while with great success. But suddenly (again) it did not seem to be the ultimate truth anymore. I needed something else. Then I began to receive information about God, Source, Soul, Spirit, and more. They all talked about being connected to something higher than ourselves. This time everything made sense. Positive Thinking + Believing + Connecting to the Source = Truth.

It was at this stage that I recognized that God is not just a channel to get things you’re asking for, it is the essence of everything. When you are connected with God or the Source, your life is a manifestation of God. Of course it includes the things you want to manifest, but is has a higher purpose and it has a true meaning. Because when you are connected with God, you are connected with everything and everyone. To me, that is a powerful recipe for peace.

Now everytime I find “The Ultimate Truth,” I remember to dig deeper and experience for myself what the truth really is. But I will always know that the ultimate truth has a name: God.

Seven Reasons to Have Ear To Ear Smiles

Is the opposite of anger, happiness?

I am not sure about that, but I am sure that if you are happy you can’t be angry at the same time. Smiling has the same effect. When you are smiling you feel happiness, even if it is not a natural smile. There is even Laughter Yoga, which is used to  heal some illness.

So when we smile or laugh there are many benefits:

  1. Smiling changes our mood
  2. Smiling is contagious
  3. Smiling relieves stress
  4. Smiling boosts your immune system
  5. Smiling lowers your blood pressure
  6. Smiling releases endorphines, natural pain killers
  7. Smiling lifts faces and makes you look younger

There is this organization named Lovin’ Life Group which was founded on the belief that appreciating life, having fun and smiling as often as possible will provide an opportunity for living a longer and healthier life.

This company is selling T-shirts with a huge smile printed at the front that is used to inspire people to smile. They sell the T-shirts for $19.99.

I remember once a group of girls offered me a lollipop  if I would give them a smile, which I did. I also remember that I was not smiling before, but after they asked me I had a huge smile on my face, and of course it made me feel great. So I hope in the future we can see more people like Lovin’ Life Group who want to see everyone smile because we all feel good.

So Smile!