Monday, December 31, 2012

Reflection

If you do not go within,
You go without.

~Neale Donald Walsch 

*Olivia Engel

Friday, December 28, 2012

Saint Francis

Lord, make me an instrument of your peace.
Where there is hatred, let me sow love
Where there is injury, pardon
Where there is doubt, faith
Where there is darkness, light
And where there is sadness, joy.

O Divine Master grant that I may not so much seek to be consoled
As to console; to be understood as to understand
To be loved as to love.

For it is in giving that we receive
It is in pardoning that we are pardoned
And it is in dying that we are born to Eternal Life.

*Daniel Barden

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Amazing Grace

I received the most beautiful gift today. I suppose at some level it was necessary to adequately prepare myself to receive it. Perhaps yesterdays post was the groundwork needed to insure I was aligned properly to handle so unique a gift. Something so radiant. I won't trouble you with the number of coincidents that had to happen for me to see it (seems it aired a week ago). I will let it speak for itself.

http://ac360.blogs.cnn.com/2012/12/18/mcdonnell-parents-live-through-grace/

It was never my intention to single out a child or teacher. I'm sure each has astonishing aspects to their life's. Still, the dignity on display insists on being shared. While Chris and Lynn McDonnell allow the children to "guide them," I will allow Chris and Lynn to guide me. How could I do less?

* Grace McDonnell

Monday, December 24, 2012

Do Not Pass Go

I have been locked in my own limitations. Overwhelmed by the magnitude of Newtown. Challenged by previous posts (12-10; 11-2; and 10-10). What I had misplaced was the reality of the end of John 14:10; "...but the Father that dwelleth in me, He doeth the work." Because simply put, this is a national issue that isn't going away anytime soon. And it is going to take the efforts of millions of Americans. I can only play a small part. But what part I can play, I can do "better than my best."

One of my tasks is to pray for Wayne LaPierre (CEO-NRA) and those who share his views. To meet fear with love. To be as inclusive as I suggest. Respect opinions that I vehemently disagree with. To look at inane comments from the likes of Mike Hucklebee and accept his intentions as legitimate, no matter how misguided. To realize it will take more involvement in the political process that I detest.

Another task set before me is to remember. Each and every one of you who were taken too soon. To that end, the next 26 posts will end with a name. I will try and honor your memory.

* Charlotte Bacon

Monday, December 17, 2012

Newtown, Ct.

The first post on this blog was about Aurora, Colorado. Now Newtown, Connecticut. It is debilitating. The senseless, horrific killing of 20 children and 7 adults leaves me distraught. I am caught up in the evil of the event. Something I perceive as so preventable just occurred and I feel the urge to lash out. Condemn. Point a finger. I want answers from gun advocates explaining semi-automatic assault weapons being protected under the 2nd Amendment. And 30 round clips.

Dan Holmes, owner of Fine Gardens (a landscaping firm) knew and spoke to Nancy Lanza. He said she was "very proud" when she revealed she had purchased a "high end rifle" (perhaps the Bushmaster .223 used in the killings). Dan is quoted as saying; "she loved her guns" (she owned at least five, including a Glock and Sig Sauer). I honestly wonder how Nancy feels about guns now. She was the first victim of her son Adam's killing spree.

Exactly one week ago I posted (Joy To The World) that negativity was evident at a "jaw dropping level." Four days later it was taken to another level. At this time I am incapable of moving through, past, or around, Sandy Hook. Evil very much works in this way. It (Evil) wants nothing more than to leave utter despair and hopelessness in It's wake. It wants a withdrawal from the battlefield. It wants capitulation. Understanding that, I won't. But give me a moment of weakness while I grieve with mothers and fathers, brothers and sisters, aunts and uncles, grandmothers and grandfathers, nephews and nieces, friends and neighbors...

Adam Lanza was an awkward, socially inept 20 year old. They say he had Asperger's or autism. These are different ways of saying he was awkward and socially inept. By all accounts, he wouldn't look people in the eye. He kept to himself. In the hallways at school it was said he "hugged the wall." I understand shyness and acute sensitivity---as well as being traumatized. I think something horrific happened to Adam when he was 6 or 7. I don't think he was ever able to speak of it until last Friday. The choice he made giving voice to it was cowardly and craven.

There is no going back. Whats done can't be undone. I only ask that if you should stumble upon this blog to honor those who won't: (The Children) Charlotte Bacon--Daniel Barden--Olivia Engel--Josephine Gay--Ana Marquez/Greene--Dylan Hockley--Madeline Hsu--Catherine Hubbard--Chase Kowalski--Jesse Lewis--James Mattioli--Grace McDonnell--Emilie Parker--Jack Pinto--Noah Pozner--Caroline Previdi--Jessica Rekos--Avielle Richman--Benjamin Wheeler--Allison Wyatt.

(The Teachers) Rachel Davino--Anne Marie Murphy--Lauren Rousseau--Victoria Soto--Mary Sherlach--Dawn Hochsprung.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Rich As I Could Be

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HziUgo9qZM4

Emmy Lou Harris sings the lyrics of Dolly Parton. A remarkable life lesson made all the more so for being true.

Update 7-24-13 Original link was removed and I have replaced it with (alas) an inferior.

Monday, December 10, 2012

Joy to the World

T'is the season to be jolly?!? Personally, I have been running into negativity on a jaw dropping level. The "you can't be serious" level. And boy, do I have to watch the self-righteous aspect of my being! The irrational, entitled, or hypocritical behavior seems to beg a rebuttal. The hard lesson is; don't engage! Observe. Reserve judgement. Bite your tongue and try to watch how things play out. If further involvement is required, Life will let you know. Otherwise, let it be.

Difficult? Extremely so. But, without the utmost tact, we are drawn into a battle we cannot win. The inherent trait within most people is to be "right." Forget the facts; their right, you're wrong. Period. End of story. Engagement at that crucible simply leads to frustration. It also has a tendency of monopolizing our thoughts. We mentally work and rework the dynamics of how ignorant the other person is/was. We enlist "allies" as we share the experience through dialog. In a sense, we agree to waste our time on another person's delusion.

If I am deluded, then it's within a perception of Life being a Gift. This Gift begets Gratitude. The Gratitude seems to allow space for a Higher Self, a Cosmic Purpose. Under those conditions, I can see your actions as an opportunity to refine my ability to see the Gift anywhere and everywhere. The more outrageous your self-indulgence, denial, or conceit may be, the more skillful I become moving through it, past it, or around it. And that is a gift we can be joyful about.

Friday, November 30, 2012

A Bridge Too Far

A good and gentle man spent his life in pursuit of enlightenment. Years of steadfast yearning finally lent him a vision. If he could locate and cross a bridge high in the Rocky Mountains, a specific wooden bridge, it would represent the culmination of all his spiritual goals. The man immediately began his journey to the Rockies. Another 3 years passed before the man finally found the physical bridge he had seen in his minds eye. Reaching the bridge, the man paused before stepping onto it. He thanked God that he had located that which represented all he had struggled for. He closed his eyes and sent a prayer of thanksgiving heavenward.

When he opened his eyes and moved forward, he was surprised to see a man on the far side of the bridge coming towards him. As they met in the middle of the bridge, the good man smiled. He felt as though this other man was of supreme significance, so he spoke to him; "What brings you to this bridge at this time," he asked. "I have travelled my entire life to locate this bridge," the other man answered. "Crossing over to where you were, I will achieve, at long last, enlightenment."

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Brighter Now

The following link is special, and that is saying something. I feel all my links are special or they wouldn't be on this web site. Yet this one, well, it deserves to be highlighted. And its all because of Byron...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-bYVQeCQ4qs&feature=related

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Undercover

I saw an elderly woman today who looked nice and I said so when our paths crossed. Her response was; "you made my day!" It gave me pause. Taken literally it was preposterous. I can barely make dinner, let alone a "day." Of course I knew what she meant. I had simply allowed her to feel good about herself. But as I pondered, I realized her reaction also validated me. You see, I go around feeling as though I am heir to the Kingdom as a son of God. Somewhat like a prince roaming his Father's realm incognito. I am an "undercover agent." So when I hear, "you made my day," I understand it is Life's affirmation that I am "about my Father's business." (Luke 2:49)

Childish? You bet! Fun? Absolutely. A game worth playing? I certainly think so. Regardless of your take, there may come a day when you feel child-like and in need of some fun. Know the game is open to all without preconditions--you've already met them. So go ahead, "make my day!"

Sunday, November 4, 2012

About Face

Not everything that is faced can be changed; but nothing can be changed until it is faced.
~James Baldwin

Friday, November 2, 2012

I'm Hurtin'

As you move through your life understand the majority of the people you encounter are experiencing psychological pain of some sort or another. Whether dealing with the death of a loved one, depression, alcohol or drug abuse, anorexia, obesity, personal rejection, a family member in dire straights, (ad infinitum) people hurt. They also exert tremendous energy masquerading as though nothing at all is wrong. It wouldn't fit the self-image they wish to portray; ie 'I've got it together.' One example of this being true is what people say when the mental pain becomes overwhelming: "I feel like I'm falling apart."

Don't misunderstand, I am not asking you to be your brothers keeper. I'm not asking that you coddle. I just ask that you become aware. That you extend your vision beyond yourself. Perhaps empathy is your response. Or, you may simply shrug your shoulders. Whatever you decide will be best for you. I realize that your hurt may run so deep there isn't room for anyone else's.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9OXA7zL9WOg

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Top O' the Morning!

This is the day which the Lord has made, rejoice! and be glad.
(Psalm 118.24)

In the morning Father, cause me to hear Your loving kindness
For in You I have placed my trust
Make known to me the path I should walk
For to You, I have lifted up my spirit

I will do Your will this day
Today, the day of completion
When miracle will follow miracle
And wonders will never cease.
(Celtic Prayer)

Most every day when I wake up, these words "jump" into my head. I have been reciting them for the better parts of 35 years. Along the way I have added the 23th and 91st Psalm, the Prayer of St. Francis, and my personal favorite, Desiderata, to the mix. I will usually end my salutation with one of these. I feel more than fortunate that I developed this habit. With the advance(s) in neuroscience providing evidence, little I could have done would have produced such a beneficial outcome. To wit; "Every time you take in the good, you build a little bit of neural structure. Doing this a few times a day-for months or even years-will gradually change your brain, and how you FEEL and ACT, in far-reaching ways." (Buddha's Brain~Rick Hanson PH.D. and Richard Mendius, MD. New Harbinger Publications, Inc. Copyright 2009)

Obviously I have no idea where your initial thoughts take you each morning. Perhaps you arise eager for the day and in bright spirits raring to go! Or, you just might dread the fact it is another work day, the argument with your significant other is still unresolved, your health is lousy and the world, in general, stinks. Most likely you fall somewhere in-between. Whatever the case may be, consider doing yourself a favor and finding some uplifting quote, saying, or truism that resonates with you, and begin your day with it. As I have written elsewhere on this site; "goodness is great, if you're good to yourself." If you, of all people, can't do something nice for yourself, why should anyone else bother? Take a minute or two at the start of each day being good to yourself. Who knows, you just might start a trend.

Sunday, October 21, 2012

20/20 Vision

"Everyone seems to have a clear idea of how other people should lead their lives, but none about his or her own."

The Alchemist~Paulo Coehlo

Monday, October 15, 2012

Reflection

"God cherishs' those who can wait; those who, in darkness, can believe what they saw in the light."

That Man is You~Louis Evely

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Not Good Enough

"And Moses said unto God, Who am I, that I should go unto Pharaoh..." (Exodus 3:11)

Amazing, isn't it? The most revered, holy and epic figure of the Old Testament (including Abraham and David) was Moses, the Lawgiver. And the first time he meets God, in the form of the "burning bush," as he has a CONVERSATION with God, he's asking who am I to do this? In fact, he carries his excuse's on to such an extent God gets pissed! ("And the anger of the Lord was kindled against Moses..." Exodus 4:14)

So whats the point? Whenever I engage with an individual on an authentic, genuine level, the deeply ingrained feeling of not being "good enough" will surface. Time and again, over and over, this "hidden" secret comes out. Exploring its range and scope usually reveals the obstacles that individual is currently dealing with, or has buried to their detriment. It is so prevalent it is predictable.

As you know if you have read the web section entitled God, I am not a Bible literalist. I do believe the Bible is wonderfully instructive, however. Moses' first encounter with God is a case in point. He doesn't believe he is "good enough" (read chapters 3 and 4 in there entirety to draw your own conclusion). He uses excuse after excuse to avoid what God has planned for him. I believe people mimic Moses in their reluctance to embrace what God has in store for them. Its too big, I'm too small, it can't be done, I'm not the right person for the job... who am I, that I should go unto Pharaoh.

I'm here to tell you, you are good enough. In fact you are the perfect person for the job, situation, event, crisis or reconciliation. You have been hand selected. Ignore your own excuses and focus in on the task at hand. Whatever that "small, still voice" (your very own burning bush) inside of you tells you to do, do! Forget about the results or outcome, thats your ego talking. Do it because its what you believe in, its your dream, or its who you want to be. What you'll find is that it wasn't ever a question of you being good enough, but more than enough.

Friday, October 5, 2012

Leap of Faith

Yes, there are times when you are going to be asked to trust. To make a leap of faith. Believe in something larger than yourself.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JkBSkFyUyv0

You may not "stick" your landing or score 10's on the judges' card, but the fact you did it enhances your life exponentially.

And if you're thinking those ducks never have to deal with life's little "tempests" or "ill winds" take a look...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SEBLt6Kd9EY&feature=related

Notice how they simply regroup and keep moving in the same direction they were headed? Let us pursue our goals with the same perseverance.

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Monday, October 1, 2012

...guilty, as charged.

The view has been expressed by some that this site is overly optimistic, childishly naive. I ask those that feel this way if they have read the very first post; Aurora, Co. 7-20-12? That wasn't an academic exercise. Every feeling expressed was an emotion I have experienced. I have denounced God, raged at the injustice of Life. The only answer forthcoming wasn't question-specific or a counter-argument, simply a statement: "This is My beloved son, in whom I am well pleased." Where does one go from there? How does one integrate that response? Why would that be considered an answer at all?

This site is, among other things, a response to that "answer." It is an acknowledgement of the "Land of Desolation." It is a response to the reality of Evil. Yet, it is above all, a realization that Evil has no claim on me...or you. It is fact many never have that realization. It is true that many get caught in the quagmire. And sadly, I have seen the results of those who don't find their way out.

JRR Tolkien penned in The Lord of the Rings (through Gandalf); "Despair is only for those who see the end beyond all doubt." That is the crux of the matter. We don't see the end beyond all doubt. What may seem an abomination, as inexcusable or unjustifiable may, in fact, lead us exactly where we need to go and save for that abomination, may never have traveled to. That isn't optimistic or naive, thats the reality of any situation. I choose to emphasis that reality. However, if you see that as the height of naivete, then I am guilty, as charged.


The Impossible Dream

To dream the Impossible Dream
To fight the unbeatable foe
To bear with unbearable sorrow
To run where the brave dare not go

To right the unrightable wrong
To love pure and chaste from afar
To try when your arms are too weary
To reach the unreachable star

This is my quest, to follow that star
No matter how hopeless, no matter how far
To fight for the right, without question or pause
To be willing to march into Hell, for a Heavenly cause

And I know, if I only be true, to this glorious quest
That my heart will lie peaceful and calm
When I'm laid to my rest...

And the world will be better for this
That one man, scorned and covered with scars
Still strove, with his last ounce of courage
To reach...the unreachable star.

 Man of La Mancha~Lyrics by Joe Darion         

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Miracles

Why should the miracle that produced me end with my birth?
Og Mandino~The Greatest Salesman in the World

http://www.flickr.com/photos/drsteve/3605799368/

 The astonishing dynamics of a simple drop of water. If the most fundamental element can create wonder, is it wrong to call it miraculous?

Friday, September 14, 2012

The Wounded Healer

One possible explanation...

Could this be "legitimate rationale" as to the "why" of pain, loss, bereavement?

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Face to Face

You needn't save face before your friend.
Your friend will save it for you.

~Jean Cocteau

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Our deepest fear

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

~Marianne Williamson~A Return to Love

Friday, August 3, 2012

Aurora, CO 7-20-12

Where is the gift in these senseless murders, Pat? What of Gift-Gratitude-God now?

Fair question to ask. It seems sacrilegious to answer. I must try though...

The Gift is your anger. The Gift is your grief. The Gift is the impotency with which you rage.

The Gift is your torment. The Gift is the endless, sleepless nights of anguish. The Gift is your tears. The Gift is to weep from the depths of your being. To weep and weep...

The Gift is the realization there is no justice. The Gift is the futility of life. The Gift is utter despair. The Gift is the knowledge that life is no longer worth living. The Gift is you loved your lost one more than life...

The Gift is your heart breaking. The Gift is you are shattered. The Gift is you are broken. The Gift is nothing matters, nothing...

The Gift is that one day, someday, something does matter. The Gift is you don't have to remember to breathe. The Gift is you sleep for three hours. The Gift is you taste the food you put in your mouth. The Gift is nothing has the power to hurt you anymore...

The Gift is you let moments slide by and didn't express your love. The Gift is you fooled yourself thinking there was always tomorrow...

The Gift is life is so fragile you won't be fooled again. The Gift is you won't waste another moment. The Gift is you celebrate the life that touched yours so deeply. The Gift is sharing the wonder of their memory...

The Gift is they are your forever companion. The Gift is you take them everywhere you go. The Gift is you show them everything they didn't get to do, or see, or be...

The Gift is nothing can be created or destroyed, only transformed. The Gift is this is true. The Gift is your heart knows it... 


Reincarnation: Boy was WWII pilot  (5min)

Then Almitra spoke, saying, We would ask now of Death.

And he said: You would know the secret of death. But how shall you find it unless you seek it in the heart of life?

The owl whose night-bound eyes are blind unto the day cannot unveil the mystery of light.

If you would indeed behold the spirit of death, open your heart wide unto the body of life.

For life and death are one, even as the river and sea are one.

In the depth of your hopes and desires lies your silent knowledge of the beyond; And like seeds dreaming beneath the snow your heart dreams of spring.

Trust the dreams, for in them is hidden the gate to eternity."
~Kahlil Gibran The Prophet



Come, follow me. We shall be free!
Submerged in oceans of emotions
Depthless, unfathomable
'Ol Man Grogs

Just a mellow old river cruising along
Twisting and turning and singing my song
It's not always happy, lively or gay
But there's usually truth in what I say

This river has loved life and that's a fact
I've dipped in the valleys and dived in the cracks
Been down a mountain, gave life to the trees
Running since birth for the wide open sea

I've seen it all and talked to most
Lot's say life's over once I reach the coast
I just chuckle and wind away
Happy at least that they've had their say

I feel different but don't tell them so
Who believes what a river knows?
Others claim that I have let it slip
While dodging a rock or hitting a dip

They say I sing while I jump around
Of bottomless depths and a joy unbound
Where rivers meet to pour out their essence
Merge into one and gain Omni-presence

Where death of one's nature is not death at all
But a blender of blessings where each river must fall
So onto the ocean, come follow me
We flow back to God, our true destiny.

~WPG


End of the World ~ Skeeter Davis (2min)
Lyrics written by Sylvia Dee after the death of her father 

This Little Bird ~ Marianne Faithfull  (2min)