Friday, February 28, 2014

Kindness is never out of vogue


How easy is it to do a kind deed?  Takes little effort but can mean the world to the recipient. Remember a few weeks ago when we heard from folks interviewed on the news that they were praying for some kind soul to shovel their snow? Some that expressed how grateful they were when neighbors brought their newspapers up to the door?
Those were kind deeds. Today, let each of us do one kind deed. Perhaps begin March with the thought of kindness that begins each day, goes through until we hit the sheets at the end of each night, finding sleep a bit better, hearts a bit fuller, smiles a bit easier that last a lot longer. All because we were kinder of spirit. Actions not reactions to or about what we hear, what is shared, what is done or taught.

Open the door for someone. Help someone put the buggy away at the grocery store.
Grab a shovel or clean a windshield for someone if in the cold states. Mow someone’s yard while they are away on vacation. The trick is to do it without the need for a return kindness, no quid pro quo. Just do it because you can. Because you are the kind of person who wants in some small way to bring a smile to someone’s day, leave something or someone better than you found them..

It’s a feel good moment for you and a little prayer answered for your neighbor. We CAN
make the world kinder, better place. It starts with one gesture.

Recently a friend of mine was greeted by a stranger with the remark “Pleased to meet you” My friend responded with “Why”. A social commentary on the pat, meaningless things we say that we really don’t mean. When I asked about my friend’s response she said… “Well, why would he have thought he was pleased to meet me” We hadn’t spoken a word to each other. I prefer he had said that after we interacted. If indeed he had been “pleased” to have met me.”  OK, so here I am talking about kind deeds, kind words, social graces and I had to stop and think about that response.

You know, someone asks “How are you” but really doesn’t want a real answer. They are just using meaningless social greetings. So I will sit with that and think about how I want to greet the next person I encounter. With a “how are you, (please don’t really tell me) or
maybe with a response more personal, more real. Don’t know yet what that might be but have decided to give it a whorl.

So I will smile as usual but try to connect, really connect with a heartfelt greeting. I’ll let you know how it goes. What works for you? Have you been greeted and felt you were just going through the motions?  I know that I have. I do think that I would like to elevate each encounter a bit. Give a real sincere thank you in the checkout line, or find a way to say hello, in a way that the other person feels that it is not “just obligatory”.

So lets get out there and greet, really connect with people. Be kind, do kind deeds, thoughtful gestures. Do it from the heart, not unthinkingly. Put some good energy out there. Make it a better, kinder, warmer world. One smile at a time. Share a cup of coffee, in real time, in virtual time... coffee is good all the time, a quick connect, a great moment shared. Just be the best version of YOU.

Expect some reactions, some shoot the messenger kind of stuff. Folks are just that way. But never ever ever give up on kindness.


Tuesday, February 25, 2014

The Light is coming:

Let the light in, always. The little seed huddled in the dark is protected from the cold. It germinates silently in the dark, moist soil. Then, when it is ready, the warmth of the newly strengthened sun brings it forth to the surface, to form a bud, grow a wee bit stronger, soak up the light and eventually burst forth and bloom.

There are times when you must plant a seed and wait. Sit quietly and let nature nurture the seed. For by doing nothing, the seed will germinate and bring forth it’s bloom. We do indeed reap what we sew. When circumstances have sewn the seeds of grief, they germinate at their own pace. For each journey back to the light is unique.  There is a season for everything. And so it is with grief. We cannot rush the seasons, nor dictate their length. We must allow the seasons to come, and to change. Just as grief can be a long dark night, eventually the sun will rise again. The hope for tomorrow will return.
Slowly perhaps, but the hope flickers dimly at first, then grows stronger over time.

The message being.

Lend a light. Be the light, for someone in the cold dark space of grief or depression. That space moistened  many tears. They too will benefit from the pull the light has on all of us. Provide them with warmth and light. A waiting bright space where they can feel the warmth. This is in my opinion best done with a warm smile, a cup of coffee, a gift of your time, a gift of your caring silence at times, or the sound of laughter to surround the beauty that remains. 

We do not know the moment when the light will reach them. So remember you are brave, you are a spiritual being having a human experience, be patient, and just offer caring and support. For many, the grief seed is planted deep. The flower cannot be jerked from the soil on demand, nor can the heavy hearted be dragged from their grief. Each are walking their own personal path, some would like to be escorted by warmth, and light and time. Gently nurtured along the way in the darkness into the light of healing….

And so my friends, provide the light. Gift the warmth of your caring and nurturing to someone in pain. Be not demanding, nor dismissive of the very real sorrow and the desire to linger longer in the comfort of grief. For when the griever is ready, you may have provided the light needed that warms, soothes and reminds another that there is no distance when hearts are joined in love. LOVE WINS.
Angels walk with us along the way... to the light of healing ways always.

“A smile is the lighting system of the face, the cooling system of the head and the heating system of the heart” Author Unknown.

Walk in beauty,
author of:
Down The Hallway
Chronic Pain; Hand in Hand
Healing Heartaches
available at


Monday, February 24, 2014

This Day...

So today we embrace this moment, be it cold, cloudy, windy, sunny or otherwise.
We wait patiently for what is to be, without forgetting to celebrate this very moment.
While we hold our dreams of tomorrow in our hearts, we must not forget to live in the present. To be present in whatever space we find ourselves. While we hold sacred our unique histories, and the memories they evoke. We honor precious memories of those who have gone before us, we, must mindfully live in this moment.

This moment is precious. This day is valuable. We have an opportunity to touch another life. To give thanks for the life we have. To treasure the memories of loved ones, and to appreciate the people in our lives now that we hold dear.

So while we value the future, dream each dream with color and passion. Fill the canvas with all the details of that which we are creating for tomorrow. We must honor today.
As we catch the breeze that fills our lungs with today’s chill air. Watch the wind chase the clouds across the sky. Hear the sounds of nature around us. We celebrate today.

Practice patience. Practice random acts of kindness. Be kind to ourselves. Be kind to others. Wrap this day in tenderness.

Speak softly, feel deeply, dance if you want to, hold up the sky because you can. Offer up an affirmation for peace, contentment, and gratitude, because we should.
Because we are deeply caring people, and the world is better for that.
Our caring matters to self, to others. Others matter to us. Laugh, even if at yourself... it will spark laughter in those around you even in the darkest of times there is humor to be found.

Don't like something? DON'T DO IT.

Take the time to look at the beauty in your life, around you, within you. Do what makes you feel good, then do it more.

Walk on

Sunday, February 23, 2014

Arizona has me preaching this Sunday

Let’s talk today about using religion to foster hate and theocracy. How on earth can we as thinking, intelligent people allow ourselves to be convinced that “religious beliefs by any one group” lead to legislation that discriminates against any other group’s rights? The hot topic in the news is the absurdity of the new law in Arizona that is being driven by the supposed Christians that want to be allowed to deny services to gays. Are we that ignorant that we as Americans are willing to sit back and allow ourselves to once again be hijacked by these very powerful, supposedly religious bigots?
Did we learn nothing from slavery, from Hitler’s hate for Jews? From the religious extremists in the Middle East that kill people because they do not hold the same religious fervor that they espouse? Let’s face it; the religious right and zealots hate almost everybody except themselves. We allowed these same attitudes to drive the Salem Witch Hunts by the self-acclaimed pious believers in the early days of this country. The religious stoned them and hung them. Yet another example of how wrong people can be in the name of their religion.
We marched thousands of Native Americans from their homes, many who died on the Trail of tears, survivors driven onto reservations because their lack of Christianity posed such a great threat to the Governments' want & way of life. They snatched the children from them and forced them into Catholic/missionary boarding schools where “good Catholics” beat them into denying their language, their heritage, and their beliefs. "Kill the Indian/save the man" was the goal. Essentially kidnapping them, and holding them hostage to the Catholic/Christian doctrine. We allowed this.
“Good Christian land owners purchased human beings and beat them into submission as slaves.  Americans allowed that, in fact, we legislated it. Even today, Black Americans are not fully endowed with all the advantages other Americans allow. Do we learn nothing from the wrongs perpetrated in our past? Remember when these same Christians made laws that interracial marriage was going to ruin our county and morally corrupt our children? Change only comes when people just won’t take being bullied and lied to any more. WE elect officials into positions of power and then fall victim to their abuses/lies and mismanagement while having to accept more hatred, and recognition that some folks use religion as a hatchet or sword.
The Religious Right are BULLIES. Make no mistake, they are the most powerful, richest, most narrow minded, hate filled group in this country today. They are the ones who make the laws we must abide by. They see themselves as the moral police, yet they turn their back on their own religious beliefs when it suits them. They too commit adultery, have children out of wed-lock, lie, steal, kill, and then judge everyone else. Can I get an Amen when I remind them to clean up their own act if they want to have power and authority over everyone that does not live by the very beliefs they say are directed by their own God, and then selectively ignored when they so choose? Oh yeah they have built in salvation if they say a little prayer, they can get forgiveness from the big “G”. That was one of the most clever ideas they came up with.
Go for it people. Have your own religious beliefs. Teach your children whatever you want to. Leave the rest of us alone.
“First they came for the Communists and I didn’t speak up because I wasn’t a communist, then they came for Jews and I didn’t speak up because I wasn’t a Jew. Then they came for the Catholics and I didn’t speak up because I was a Protestant. Then they came for me, and by that time, there was no one left to speak up, and by that time there was no one left to speak up for me.” Martin Niemoller

The thing about “Rights” is they are rights, not privileges, not guaranteed for some, and denied others. The “Religious Right has attacked the rights of adults to marry as they so choose, they say God forbids it, they say homosexuality is an abomination, but they forget that their own religion says each person is created in the very image of God. Can’t have it both ways now can they. So what happened, did God make some big mistakes and create gays? 

Oh yeah. They declare it a sin. Surly their God is not stupid enough to make the same mistake over and over again. That’s right, they are stupid and think people choose to be gay. They fear it’s contagious. I have to wonder on what day in their own life they decided to choose heterosexuality. Personal agendas, hatred, discrimination, minding the business of others all in the name of Jesus... seriously?

Hell, their own priests have been molesting and raping children for years and the church has allowed it and tried to cover it up. Yes, these are the same Christians that we are supposed to follow, maybe straight into their own belief in hell. Don’t even get me started on that one.
I don’t want the Religious Right to force their own beliefs down my throat, nor to force the entire American public to live by their biblical interpretations. They have been wrong in the past. What makes them continue to think they are right about denying gays the right to use services available to everyone else in the community?
If your religion tells you that you MUST have a bay because of its views on abortion, then labels the child as illegitimate because i’s views on marriage, maybe it’s time to reconsider your religion. You can’t have access to birth control according to the Religious right, but you have no choice according to them about the consequences of not having birth control. Either they want to increase the population to create a new generation of little Christians, or they are just way to interested in sex. Everybody’s sex. Who’s gay, who is straight, who fornicates with whom, etc. ect. ect.
So now, the new focus is on a person’s deeply held religious beliefs being allowed to deny services, which are purchased, to be denied based solely on one’s sexual identity. Are we really going to sit back and say “well, this doesn’t affect me because I’m not gay? Come on people, you’re an American. What is happening to “EQUAL RIGHTS FOR EVERY AMERICAN?” Has it really come to this? Sadly, yes. 

My religion is kindness. 

Other states are attempting the same bills of segregation and hate, people need to pay attention, close attention, as the winter games close, as many we astonished by Putin in Russia and feared for our athletes safety and his intolerance of gays.... now we are needing to wonder what is happening to the rich fabric on our own soils and the children of those who are standing in such hate. Heterosexuals are the parents of those they now are attempting to deny.  People stand UP as you pray today as you walk through this world and face the reality that let no one talk you into believing that another is not walking their own path the best way they know how and in the image of the Creator equally.

This concludes todays service...
May the CReator open the hearts of all in understanding that some things and people should just not visit AZ any longer or show up and show out. How Governor Brewer votes will probably affect how a lot of others vote...
 God sure dont' like ugly and is surely seeing a lot of it these days.

Saturday, February 22, 2014

What are you capable of?

What Are We Capable Of?  We only need to take a look over the vast coverage of the Olympics to see the possibilities of capable, of desire, of want... We only have to look within, or in the mirror to see our reflections to see the infinite potential and possibilities of can, of will during times of strength, times of sorrow, times of desire or need. 

We judge ourselves by what we feel capable of doing, while others judge us by what we have already done.  ~Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

Humans are capable of all things good and bad. We are capable of success, and failure. We each have the capacity to love and to loathe. It is the choices we make that govern the value of the life we live.  We know that our attitude is half  the battle. If we define through our actions the values we hold dear, making the right choice feels effortless. Executing the tasks may pose challenges. But we are strong capable people. So we rise to the occasion, visualize the path we have chosen, march to the beat of our own drum and move forward.

Be all that we chose to be. Turn quickly away from the choices that would diminish our good life, our good thoughts and deeds.  We don’t have to hate our enemy, we have only to refuse to be like them. We can refuse to emulate their actions.  We can choose to suffer jealousy for what others have, or anchor ourselves in gratitude for what we have. 

Gratitude unlocks the fullness of life. It turns what we have into enough, and more.  It turns denial into acceptance, chaos to order, confusion to clarity. It can turn a meal in to a feast, a house into a home, a stranger into a friend. Gratitude makes sense of our past, brings peace for today, and creates a vision for tomorrow.  Melody Beattle

While we are capable of great successes, we can choose to see small failures as opportunities to grow. We have the capacity to grow stronger each day, through each experience. We can choose not to become a failure because every effort is not an instant success.

We consciously decide not to pursue every capacity that we have. Just having the capacity to do something does not mean we have to do it.  Not all potential is meant to be executed. As always, make each a good choice. 

Live life to it’s fullest. Be strong, enjoy each day. Do not waste a single moment.
Strive to reach your full capacity for change, for coping, for goodness, for good health, love, friendship, and success in all that you dream to be.

BE ALL THAT YOU CHOOSE TO BE. Achieve your capacity for GREATNESS.

 Have a magnificent weekend...

Today is National Margarita day!  enjoy with Jose or without, just enjoy the flavors of life!


Thursday, February 20, 2014

Adversity, Challenge, Opportunity

Adversity, Challenge or Opportunity?

When I hear someone say or assume they have no power over their own life, when someone says that life is too hard. I think, hard? As compared to what? When I hear of someone walking away when they should have stayed, I wonder... who's needs are being met...

So life is not always easy. If it were, would we be able to identify the good times? What would we use to benchmark our good days against? Are we not always comparing and contrasting? A great meal is noticeable only because we have had a few that were somehow less than good. If they were all perfect, we would only consider them food, not great food.  So we know how good a day is, or an experience is because we have something to compare it to. This works the same for employment, relationships, illness, dying, death and grief; in fact, in every facet of our lives.

We need life’s challenges because they let us grow, they provide opportunity. They encourage us to stretch mentally, physically and emotionally. We are not paralyzed by challenges, but rather we discover who we are by the way we face them, and overcome whatever adversity they may hold.  The very measure of who we might become is determined by the way we demonstrate our mettle during tough times. The way I see it is, challenges faced and conquered let us know greatness. Adversities overcome, allow us to know and recognize our own strengths.

"At the timberline where the storms strike with the most fury, the sturdiest trees are found." Hudson Newsletter

The trees there may be wind bent, shy on leaves, but they are rooted deep. They are strong and sturdy. A person who has never known real adversity can not know himself fully.  That rare bird cannot advise a friend for he has no firsthand knowledge of how to stand strong in his most vulnerable moments. He cannot bring to the table his wealth of experience staring down the jaws of trouble. On the other hand, we face big problems and come up with GREAT solutions. A chance to test ourselves against all life throws at us. We not only survive, we thrive. Because we are those trees at the timberline. We have been blown and tossed by life’s storms. We sink our roots deep in the good earth and
stand tall.

"The pessimist sees difficulty in every opportunity. The optimist sees opportunity in every difficulty."  Winston Churchill

Facing the challenges gives us a life that is interesting, but overcoming life’s adversities is what makes us stronger, our lives more meaningful.

In closing, we do not ask for the lightest load, but rather the strongest back to carry the load. We find in ourselves, the ability to face any adversity, to rise to each challenge before us, with our own inner strength. Sometimes we have to use our voice to speak what is needed, to take a stand, to advocate, to demand, to get in the face if you will until things are made right. The knowledge that we are strong, that we are already enough. WE all posses or can find a "can do" attitude if we want it badly enough. WE all can be the force during times of heartache, during times of adversity, challenges and change !

The force you are... walk on.
 ~ ~ ~
My prayers go strong for a life long family who stood by, advocated for the matriarch who left this world this morning at 2:31am. May she walk on as she is reunited with so many... I love you all and am with you in spirit. It was not an easy walk for any of you, and "not like the brochure said it would be". 
RIP Jean... finally you are free from pain. May the reunion be glorious, the girls will be fine...

~ ~ ~ ~ 

Walk in beauty,