Sunday

Happy New Year

"Reexamine all you have been told in school or church or in any book 
and dismiss whatever insults your soul."
- Walt Whitman

We humans are a walking contradiction.  We sometimes feel that we suffer from poor self esteem and lack of worthiness and acceptance.  Simultaneously we know in the core of our being we are children of God.  We are expressions of Divinity.  We live in conflict.  We are emanations of the Divine yet we feel less than others.

As we begin this new year let us begin with kind and gentle self reflection.  We know we are loved.  We are children of an unconditionally loving Mother/Father God.  Allow this recognition to start and end each day.

All assessment is an opportunity to grow and expand in consciousness and love.

We are all worthy of love, just the way we are.


Christmas Day

On Christmas Day we have an opportunity to celebrate the essential and core common values of humanity.  In reverence, we recognize that a little Jewish baby boy was born and his expanded consciousness, nurtured by  Divine love embraced all life.  This little boy realized that he was an emanation of the Divine and his profound legacy has touched many world religions and influenced the spiritual development of humanity.  We continue to be guided by the master teachers core values; unconditional love, empathy, compassion, courage, vulnerability, sacrifice and inclusion for all.

As we enjoy our personal and familial traditions, let us humbly remember the source.  We are all brothers and sisters in God's love.  Reflect on the qualities of Jesus and assess your common ground.  Know that as you interact with others on this day you interact with God's children.  When we offer love and acceptance, we offer the warmth of God's home.  We welcome everyone in to the grace of God.

We are all part of the same Divine family.  Let unconditional love be our legacy.


"Peace on earth - goodwill to all"

"It is not how much we give but how much love we put into giving."
- Mother Teresa

"When you give yourself, you give more than you get."
- Antoine de Saint-Exupéry

Please remember on this Christmas season, we are all children of God.  Just as you have pictures of your loved ones on your bedside table, so does God have pictures of each of you in his heart.  You are loved, you are accepted just as you are.  The infinite love of God brings us all emotional safety and transforms all our lives.

Our strength as human beings is in our diversity.  When we respect and honor our differences, the world benefits.  The growth of each of us blesses all of us.  None of us are free until all of us are free.

"If light is in your heart, you will find your way home."
- Rumi

We are one great chorus in harmony.  The music of the universe echoes through the heavens.  "Peace on earth - good will to all."

You are each a gift of joy that God has given to the world.

Share your gift, share yourself and the world will be transformed.


Acceptance

"If every person knew that they were loved and accepted by God exactly as they are right now, 
the world would be transformed."
- Chris Michaels

We have the power to offer acceptance and emotional safety to everyone we meet.  Let us embrace our differences.  We are all unique emanations of God.  Life is change.  We are ever evolving and changing.  Give yourself and others permission to change and grow.

"If we have no peace, it is because we have forgotten that we belong to each other."
- Mother Teresa

The joy, peace and love of the holiday season is a choice we each make on a daily basis.  Life is consciousness unfolding.  When we change our inner life, our outer life changes as well.  When we do our internal, self reflective homework, we become a vehicle for love and acceptance.  Let us acknowledge and accept each other for who we are, children of God.


Gratitude

There is no prescribed set of lessons that bring us peace and contentment.  We each have our own path to discover and experience.  The work of our life is to overcome our common human mistakes that are part of our inherited ego.

I have found that gratitude is an essential aspect of the work.

"We are not human beings 
having a spiritual experience.

We are spiritual beings
having a human experience."

- Teilhard de Chardin

The challenge is to remember our true nature.  We are children of God, emanations of Divinity.  Every day appreciate the blessings of life.  In appreciation and gratitude we are transformed back to our true, spiritual natures.  In gratitude we make a conscious choice to focus on the good, the kind, and the loving in each moment.  We build the foundation of our lives on these grateful moments.

Let us pause and be mindful.  Breathe and be thankful for the life we give and receive in grace.


Light and Love

We can not see the sun's light.  We can only see it's impact on what it touches.  We can feel it's warmth.  Even in my moments of significant stress, I am comforted by the warmth of the sun.

Unconditional love often moves between us, unseen.  In moments we feel the warmth and comfort of unconditional love.  We are often invigorated by these moments.

When we look upon each other in love, God is revealed.  Take a moment to slow down, stop and really look at each other.  See the gentleness in each other's hearts.

In our gentleness and kindness of spirit our Divine connection is revealed.


Worldview

"The world is not as it is,
the world is as we see it"
- Octavio Paz

We each see the world through our own unique lens.  We all may think we see the same thing but our perceptions are all unique, complex and colored by our life experiences.  The world we see is a direct result of our perspective.

If you want to change the world, change yourself.  If you want to change yourself, change your perspective.

At any moment we can choose to see beauty, kindness and gratitude.  The world we see is reflected in our perspective and vision.


Servant Leadership

"If your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, 
do more and become more, you are a leader"
- John Quincy Adams

"A man was hiking in the woods when he saw a deer that had lost his leg, and he wondered how it would continue to survive.  He decided to watch a while, when he noticed a mountain lion with game in its mouth.  When the lion had eaten his share, he left the rest of the meal for the deer.  The next day the man noticed Spirit fed the deer yet again by means of the lion.  He thought to himself, "If Spirit provides for this deer then, by all means, It will take care of all my needs as well."  He put his trust in the Lord and waited to be provided for, just as the deer had done without question.  After a couple of weeks during which nothing was provided and now literally starving to death, the man heard a voice: "Open your eyes to the Truth.  Be the lion, and stop following the way of the injured deer."
- Dr. Christian Sorenson

I believe we are called to be servant leaders.  We are here to save others.  When we serve others, we and the entire organization we serve grow and flourish.  We are all capable of empathy, courage and sacrifice. 

Empathy and trust must become our highest standards for our work and our life.  To earn trust we must extend trust and believe in the goodness of people.  We must lead with a balance of heart and mind.

When we work from a servant leadership mindset, we tap into our spiritual well-being.  We have a more expanded view of the possibilities of life.  Abundance of spirit becomes a reality.  Our work as servant leaders leaves us feeling inspired, satisfied, fulfilled and grateful.

All those we serve, no matter their age or nationality, are someone's beloved child and we as servant leaders are responsible for their precious lives.

We need to rebuild our world so our highest priority 
is the care and compassion for all human beings.


Kindness and Compassion

"Do all the good you can, by all the means you can, in all the ways you can, in all the places you can, at all the times you can, to all the people you can, as long as you can"
- Anonymous

I find great joy in giving my life in service to others.  There are many forms of generosity and service.  Kind words, thoughtful actions, a compassionate smile, an empathetic touch, all these can lighten and uplift the spirit.

Our kindness and generosity is an emanation of the kindness and generosity of life.  We are all connected in the spirit of kindness and compassion.


Find the Spiritual in your every day

"A cobbler told his rabbi, "Most of my customers are men who work every day and drop their boots off to me at night for repair.  I often stay up all night to get their boots ready for them in the morning.  Sometimes I am so tired that I do not say the morning prayer.  Other times I just say it quickly so I will have time to work.  Other times my heart just sighs, 'How I wish I had the time and energy to say my prayer.'"
The rabbi answered, "If I were God, I would value that sigh more than the prayer."
- from "A Deep Breath of Life" Alan Cohen

Love for God and love and connection with each other is a heart to heart experience.  Today, it seems, we all lead very busy lives.  We are bombarded with input.  When our awareness is connected to spirit our daily activities can be our prayer.  Connection is our communion with the Divine.

Sometimes I forget that I am more then what I do.  Then I am reminded...

We are not human beings
having a spiritual experience.
We are spiritual beings
having a human experience.
- Teilhard de Chardin

Keep you heart open throughout your activities.
Stay connected to the sacred.




Celebrate Life

I have never liked the word tolerate.  Throughout my life I have heard tolerance used in a variety of interpersonal, human, life challenges.  It never felt right to me.  It never felt human enough.  I never wanted to be tolerated.  I never wanted to be tolerant of you.  Tolerance means to put up with something, to endure.  I guess that is a sticking point but I see it on a continuum.

Tolerance - Understanding - Appreciation - Celebration

Understanding is the beginning of peace and forgiveness.  "Seek first to understand and then be understood." said Stephen Covey.  Understanding is the first step in unity.  Appreciation of your uniqueness is the movement into the joy of life.  We are different.  Hallelujah!  Diversity is the spice of life.  Diversity literally is life.

"...love for all living creatures is the most nobel attribute of man."
- Charles Darwin

Through appreciation we know that all life is valuable.  No one is more important than another.  We appreciate that all of us, no matter our situation in life, have value.

Celebration is the joy of togetherness, understanding and appreciation.  Acceptance and appreciation of ourselves and others leads to celebration.  In celebration, we experience the beauty, honor and glory of each individual soul.  Healing begins with acceptance and as we embrace ourselves and each other, we rejoice in celebration.

We are all miracles of Divine love.  Let us see each other in this perfection.


Ashley's Lessons of Love

In my house there lives an angel.  She does not speak.  She does not offer prophecy or ask for followers of her light.  She is not dressed in a white flowering garment.  She is often seen dressed in a pink sweatshirt and pants.  She does not offer her blessing from a holy temple or church, but from a wheelchair.  Identified as severely profoundly retarded since birth, she sits in her wheelchair and emanates unconditional love.  She can not consciously move her body.  She remains calm with a beautiful expression on her face inviting love.  She offers communion and connection to everyone who is near.  

I am privileged to see her every day.  I pause from the tasks of life and she reminds me what is essential.  I am always filled with joy, peace and love in her presence.  She is making her contribution to the healing of humanity.  In her special way she is transforming the world by bringing unconditional love to everyone.  What a beautiful purpose she serves in life.

I find that my life is created by the spirit in which I respond to the world.  When choosing to respond to any situation, check with your heart.  Do you feel peace?  Does this feel meaningful?  Is there joy?  Do we greet everyone with value and respect?  Do we offer kindness and compassion to those in the supermarket lane?  Can we retain our sense of humor in highway traffic?

I am living my life knowing that whatever good I can offer is an act of my love for life.  In the end we will not ask to have more time in the office or the work setting.  We will ask for more time with those we love.  

Use every moment to give and receive love.


Peace of Mind

"It is not easy to find happiness in ourselves, and it is not possible to find it elsewhere"
- Agnes Repplier

Throughout the course of my life, the biggest road blocks to happiness and peace of mind have been the concerns of others, the concerns of the world and myself.  My training and belief confirms that I have been my biggest road block, by far, to my peace of mind.  As I have grown in authenticity and vulnerability, I find that I get lost in feeling sorry for myself and I also get lost in judgement of myself and others.

Even though I have been lost at times, I still have found the true path repeatedly.  The essence of the Divine in each of us always beckons us forward to truth and lights our way.


My Calling

"The purpose of life is not to be happy.  It is to be useful, to be honorable, to be compassionate, to have it make some difference that you have lived and lived well."
- Ralph Waldo Emerson

Recently I have spent time with family and friends who have retired.  They lovingly ask if I am retired and I respond no.  I am now moving into the second half of my 60th decade of life.  I have no desire to retire.  One of the greatest blessings in my life is I get to do work I love.  I feel on purpose.  I feel I am fulfilling the mission God called me to accomplish.  My work brings me great joy.  It moves me forward in my life.  It brings meaning and purpose to each and every day.  

What I do every day is mostly filled with joy.  Even when it is hard, painful and sometimes extremely stressful, below the surface, deeper then my ego, there is joy.

One aspect of my work is to communicate a positive message of hope.  It is my belief everyone can find joy in their work.  All our work, all our lives, contribute to the creation of a beautiful world.

Stories

I love stories.  I love listening to stories, I love reading stories and I love telling stories.  Stories are the wealth of humanity.  Stories are our heart expressing experience.  Stories are how we make meaning of life.  We share our legacy.

When I share a story from my life, I am consumed with emotion.  I am fully in the moment.  I am in the story.  I often experience the sweat and tears that bring great meaning to the story.  Telling stories heals us.

There are stories about my daughter Ashley that repeat often.  I repeat the story to invite my listeners to be fully human.  Because Ashley is so fragile and vulnerable, I comfortably share my vulnerability.  Each retelling of Ashley's story brings enhanced meaning to the experience.  I continue sharing the story that opens my heart and invites listeners to open their hearts.  Each retelling brings me back to her angelic eyes and the Divine presence that fills her life.

I never really know what I am going to say.  The story tells itself, it reveals my essence and it saves my life again and again and again.


LOVE

"The one thing we can never get enough of is love.
And the one thing we never give enough of is love."
- Henry Miller

I am reminded that everything we do is either an act of love or a cry for love.  Love works.  Love is connection and we as humans are "hard wired for connection", Dr. Brene Brown.

Love comes in many forms.  The joy of seeing a baby smile.  The expression of the reception of gratitude.  The serenity of being in the company of someone with whom you can be fully authentic.  The genuine interest we express to someone we share a passion with.  The inspiration when seeing another human meet and conquer a life threatening challenge.  The awe of an Arizona desert sunset.  The transformation of a life spent together with a human being who accepts you unconditionally.  

All of us want and need to know we are loved.  To love ourselves and to love each other connects us to the unconditional love of Divinity.

Love is the only sane and satisfactory response to the challenges of life.


Inclusion

Everyone needs recognition of who they really are on the highest level.  When we see the world from the perspective of our Highest Self, we radiate connection, positivity and unconditional love.  We heal the feeling of separation and exclusion.

Inclusion is not about helping people fit into a system or structure that works for everyone.  Inclusion is helping to transform those same systems and structures so that everyone is a better version of humanity.

"Inclusion is about creating a better world for everyone." - Diane Richler


Dreams

When we are blessed with an idea or a dream that will serve the greater good, we must act on this calling.

There have been times in my life that I have heard the small, still voice of spirit calling me to create something that will serve.  I follow the voice, I gather resources, I plan and I present the idea to those who have the ability to help make the dream a reality.  Sometimes we meet with rejection, lack of support or lack of understanding.  This is simply life asking us how important is this dream to you.  Are we confident?  Are we aligned with spirit in our creation?  Rejection is not necessarily an accurate evaluation of the quality of your dream.  Rejection very often is simply a statement of the mindset and heart of the critic.

I value feedback immensely.  Remember, feedback is not evaluation.  Feedback is specific, descriptive, observable, behavioral data about where you and I are together on a shared task.  When we feel rejection, hold fast to your faith that is much greater than the opinions and fears of others.  If you believe in a dream do not be put off by obstacles.

"When you are inspired by some great purpose, some extraordinary project, all your thoughts break their bonds.  Your mind transcends limitation, your consciousness expands in every direction, and you find yourself in a new, great, and wonderful world.  Dormant forces, faculties, and talents become alive and you discover yourself to be a greater person by far than you ever dreamed yourself to be."

- Patanjali


Loving Connection

"It is a terrible, an inexorable law that one cannot deny the humanity of another without diminishing one's own.  In the face of one's victim, one sees oneself."  - James Baldwin


We must transcend the illusion of separation and realize that all humanity is one.  We are all born wanting love and belonging.  Connection is our human birthright.  When we finally discover that our value is innate to being human, we support the value of others.  

It is time for courageous action.  We need to know that our kindness, compassion, and empathy has ripples.  All our actions are contagious.  We can influence our community and ultimately our world by practicing kindness, by engaging and connecting, by being compassionate and empathic.

Gather with your dearest friends and trusted family and discuss-

What is essential?
What is our greatest task as human beings?
What is our hope for our children?

When we do good in the world, we do good for ourselves.

We know from the research of Dr. Barbara Fredrickson that when we create connection, our world view widens.  When our perception increases, we see unity where there once was separation.  Loving connection increases your circle of inclusion and concern.  We become more compassionate and trusting.

Loving Connection Changes Our Hearts and Minds


Monday

Divine Love

The March to Freedom is Irreversible
- Nelson Mandela

We are tempted to return to the old and familiar when we are afraid.  When faced with change, growth and evolution, we are sometimes filled with anxiety and fear.  We think if we can return to the old days, everything will be as it was and we will feel secure.

We can never return to the past.  It is gone.  The nature of all life is to evolve.  We either grow or we die.

We need to use all that we have learned from the past.  All that has helped us grow into a better version of ourselves and continue to move forward.

The only true security is in love...unconditional love.  We can learn from the good Samaritan.  A person from a different culture, an outsider, who saved the life of a Jew who had been attacked and left for dead.  Other people passed him by but the good Samaritan, the outcast, tended to his wounds and took care of his long term health needs.

The ancient message is clearly needed today.

Everyone is worthy of love, everyone is our brother and sister.  We are more alike then we are different.  We are all children of God.  We are united with Divinity when we act from love, when we act like human beings.

Divinity is infinite diversity.  Everyone is our brother and sister.  We are all connected.  Divinity does not exclude.  All humanity is included in Divine love.


Sunday

Still, small voice

I have come to believe that there are moments in our lives when we are humbled and challenged to decide what is essential.  From that moment on we must live from our highest values.  Nothing less than our vulnerability, authenticity, and integrity will suffice.

We must fulfill our souls calling, follow the "still, small voice."  I have come to learn that when we experience moments of great humility we must strive for love, kindness and compassion in all our relationships.  When this is possible, we must forgive and let go with love.

Follow your soul's purpose.  Live a life of meaning.  Trust the "still, small voice."


LifeSkills Conference Reflections

Thank you to the LifeSkills Conference staff and students and all our Masonic sponsors.  From July 23rd through July 28th, 2017 we gathered at the Masonic Conference Center at Patton Campus of the Pennsylvania Masonic Village in Elizabethtown.  We came together in our passion for respect, responsibility, and healthy relationships.  We focused on servant leadership.  We built a community of kindness, compassion, gratitude, and forgiveness.  Each of us is a drop of water in an ocean of loving unity.

After 6 weeks of recovery from a spinal injury, I experienced a healing.  I was humbled by the limitless dedication and commitment of our LifeSkills Conference staff.  I was uplifted by the trust and open heartedness of all our participants.  Differences were recognized, accepted and celebrated.  From this respect for differences arose a unity of consciousness.  We are of a Divine unity.  We are all made of the same stuff.  We are now aware of this greater spirit.  Our fears are lessened.  we know we are supported.  In our moments together we know we were made of love.  We are blessed when we realize what we are made of and what we have risen from.


We are connected

Something eternal has been born in me.

I have no choice but to nurture it until it reaches its full growth and fruition.

The eternal in me feels like humility.  all that I have experienced, I have made available to others through story, so that we all can grow and know we are not alone.

We are connected.


LifeSkills 2017

Be who you really are.  Be authentic, be of service.  Affect in a positive way the lives of those you love and the lives of all you come in contact with.  Assist in ending the suffering of others.

We are all connected.  "I am in you, you are in me, we are all in the Father."

Our basic instinct is love.

Present yourself authentically to the world.  Be true to yourself.  Share your struggles and your progress.

There is a practical way to eliminate violence.  Simply detach from the need to judge and believe in separation.

Dr. Karen Osterman reminds in her research, "The more I know about you, the less likely to ever think of harming you."

We must close the human gap.

We must become known.

Focus on unity- we are more alike than we are different.

Speak your truth with kindness and compassion.

Practice integrity.

Work for the common good.

Practice gratitude.

Practice forgiveness.

Share what you have (gifts, talents, abundance, life).

Balance personal and work life.

Love each other or at least do no harm.

Love the earth or at least do no harm.

Eat healthy.

Be your best self- stop comparison.

Focus on all your blessings.

Express love.

Pray and meditate.

Listen to the "still small voice."

Every act is an act of self definition.

"Be the change you want to see in the world." - Gandhi

This blog was inspired by the work of Neil Donald Walsch

Love...

The sun sparks
love reaches out it's hand and places it
gently upon your face.

Your fear becomes insignificant 

Heart to heart
each to the other
this is the greatest beauty in the world

Brother, sister, humanity
Joy
Unity
Blessing

- Inspired by Hafiz


Monday

Try

Yoda says "Do or do not, there is no try"

I disagree.

I prefer the old adage "try, try, try again"

My inner voice, my higher self
Whispers "try again"
Forgive
Forgive
Forgive

Even through there is nothing to forgive
All we do is try to love
Love, like God, comes in many distressing disguises
Love can be fear, hurt, anger or pain
At the source, everything is love
All we do is try to love

There is nothing to forgive
Try, try, try again
Love
Love
Love


Sunday

Be Yourself

Our life is a gift.  What we make of our life is a gift back to our source.  Where we serve others in love, we lift ourselves and all those we serve.  The ultimate gift is to be kind, forgiving and compassionate in everything we do and say to everyone including ourselves.

"When Akiba was on his deathbed, he bemoaned to his rabbi that he felt he was a failure.  
His rabbi moved closer and asked why, and Akiba confessed that he had not lived a life like Moses.  
The poor man began to cry, admitting that he feared God's judgement.  At this, his rabbi leaned into his ear and whispered gently, "God will not judge Akiba for not being Moses."  
God will judge Akiba for not being Akiba."
- From the Talmud

Our primary task in life is to be ourselves.  The universe is full of abundance and each of us are of God's unique lights.  The infinite, diversity of abundance does not ask us to compare, measure or evaluate.  Infinite love only asks that we be our authentic self.  Each of us is perfect just the way we are.


Sense of Purpose

"The heart has reasons that reason doesn't know"
- Blaise Pascal

One of the great joys in life is finding our sense of purpose.  Satisfaction can be found in doing what you believe is great work.  The greatness of our work is found in doing what we love.  Great work can be found in service to others, service to nature, caring for the young, caring for the elderly, caring for those in need, tending a garden, keeping your home, contributing to our schools, religious affiliations and communities.

Don't settle for less then your greatness.  Live your life on purpose.  As we commit to our sense of purpose, our life gets better and better.


Love ripples

Our spiritual development is the most important endeavor of our lives.  When we grow spiritually everyone around us is uplifted and enhanced.  Love radiates like ripples in a pond.  Everyone around us is positively influenced by kindness, compassion, empathy and love.  Forgiveness and gratitude benefit everyone.  Every action, every word, every thought is recovered in the energy of the universe and returns to the sender.  Every kindness lasts forever.



Forgiveness

"Don't let your history dictate your destiny."
- Bishop T. D. Jakes

Don't let the pain of past mistakes or disagreements spoil your present experience.  When we dig up old resentments, we put ourselves in the role of victim.

All of life is a learning experience.  There is always an opportunity to see the light or the darkness.  Happiness is a choice.  There are always blessings along with our pain.  When we feel uncomfortable, angry or hurt about something in the past we are re-living a memory.  We are choosing to live in the past and re-create hurt and disappointment.  Chose to move forward.  Rejoice in the present.  Follow the still small voice.  Let go and let God.

Love is the only sane and satisfying response to the challenges of life.  Authenticity and vulnerability remove obstacles.  My daily work is gratitude and forgiveness.

When I focus on gratitude, it is impossible to be unhappy.  Forgiveness offers love to the others and offers life and love to ourselves. 

Forgiveness will save our lives.  Gratitude and focus on the good.  Forgiveness and focus on love brings connection, creativity, and joy.  


Unconditional Love

I believe that one of the best ways to learn is to teach someone else.  We teach best what we most need to learn.  I believe being authentic, being real, being vulnerable is my true self, my best version of my self.

We are all an aspect of unconditional love.

We must close the human gap.  We must become known.  We must renounce the belief in separation and reclaim our unity consciousness.

We are unique and different from on another.  We are not separate.  We are hard wired to connect.

"Oneness is not a characteristic of life.  Life is a characteristic of oneness."
- Neale Donald Welsch


Focus on unity
Speak your truth
Practice integrity
Work for the common good
Forgive
Understand
Share your abundance
Share your gifts
Practice balance
Love each other
Love and respect the earth
Eat healthy
Be your best self
Be grateful
Express unconditional love
Pray
Meditate
Listen to the "still, small voice"


Togetherness

"You know the first moment of dawn has arrived when you look into the eyes 
of another human being and see yourself."
- Talmud

This spiritual experience is what human beings were created for.  We are hard wired for connection.  Empathy is our birth right.  We are more alike then we are different.  In the masters courses I teach, I love to explore everything that everyone in the class has in common.  I also love to celebrate our differences.  I find that when we celebrate our differences, we learn from each other.  We get excited and often want to explore something that is unique to someone else.  I believe in unity consciousness.  I will continue to devote my life to helping each of us find our common humanity.



With my glasses, I can see with precision.  I find it is more important to see with kindness.  Integrity tells me I need to continue to strive to make sure my actions are both accurate and kind.

Life has shaped each of us.  Our view of the world is based on our past experiences and core beliefs.  We bring our feelings and emotions to every experience that touches us today.  Every action we take is a statement of who we currently are and how we currently feel.

Self reflection allows us to see how the world has shaped us.  Our emotions fill us with textures and colors that move us to continue to feel and act or shut down and retreat.

The blending of integrity, vulnerability, and courage allows us to see each other from the inside.


Purpose

When we are no longer driven by the need for approval or fear of judgement...when the light of unconditional love in all humanity shines through our eyes...when we are on purpose...we will be aware that, Providence opens all opportunities, even where we did not previously see any possibilities.  The universe listens and fulfills our dreams.

"When you are inspired by some great purpose, some extraordinary project, all your thoughts break their bonds; your mind transcends limitations, your consciousness expands in every direction, and you find yourself in a new, great and wonderful world.  Dormant forces, faculties and talents become alive, and you discover yourself to be a greater person by far than you ever dreamed yourself to be."
- Patangali

Open your heart...

"The purpose of life is a life of purpose."
- George Bernard Shaw

Follow your "still small voice."  Allow yourself to be moved by what you really love.  "Follow your bliss." Joseph Campbell offered this sage advice to all of his students.  Science has now proven that our heart sends measurable signals to the brain, which respond to this message of love.

We must open our hearts to achieve our full potential.

The fullness of life is found in following our hearts desire.  We must follow our passion.  As we stay connected to our heart, we are connected to life.


There is always a choice...

"We can not eliminate hunger, but we can feed each other.  We can not eliminate loneliness but we can hold each other.  We can not eliminate pain, but we can live a life of compassion."
- Mark Nepo    

We are not powerful enough to change the world.  We can change our attitudes and behavior.  We choose to be kind, loving and compassionate.  We are responsible for everything we think, feel, say and do.  We live in an experience of endless choices.  As long as we live, we can choose again.  We can choose to comfort the uncomfortable, express our feelings, release the joy within our life, give and receive love.  There is always a choice.

A thought...

The only sane, satisfying and sustainable option for humanity
is to live with compassion, empathy and kindness.

Heart

True intimacy is being aware of and meeting the
needs of the those we love without losing connection to our own needs.  
To be truly intimate is to be authentic, vulnerable, courageous,
and compassionate with each other.

"Whatever we touch bears the mark of our heart, because our hands and heart are forever connected.  I was amazed to learn recently that as we form in the womb, the first sign of our arms, known as arm buds, grow directly out of the heart.  Before we even arrive, our arms are small branches stemming from our heart.  This is why when we feel love, we have the impulse to reach and touch.  This is why when speaking from the heart, we tend to speak with our hands.  And when having a heart attack, we feel the pain in our arms."
- Mark Nepo



Happiness

"Ever since happiness heard your name, it has been running through the streets trying to find you.  And several times in the last week, 
God himself has even come to my door, asking me for your address!"
- Hafiz

Everyday is a day for thanksgiving.  It is an opportunity for gratitude.  Expressing our gratitude paves the way for happiness.  Happiness is the loving joy of God impacting our life.  The innocence of happiness can be found in a toddler's infectious laughter, a puppy playing in the snow is pure joy.  Otters playing in the water, bear cubs sliding down a hill or squirrels chasing each other from branch to branch.

Laughter is great medicine.  Healing chemicals are released from the brain into the body when we laugh.  Serotonin and Oxytocin feed the body and joy heals the soul.

"We are created by a love that couldn't contain itself, 
so it spilled over into expressions of itself as us."
- Rev. Katherine Saux


Thank you for being with us

Every day when I go for a walk, I breathe in the fresh air and appreciate the sunlight on my shoulders.  I consciously smile and or say hello to everyone I see passing.

It has become very important to me, especially now, to say something kind, to be kind, to let people know that there is emotional safety in the world.

I experience my heart physically and emotionally.  I want to be as authentic and real as possible as I walk along the path.

When I see old friends, I embrace them.  When I return home, I hug my beloved wife reminding her of all the joy and love she brings into my life.

I want love and affection to pour from my eyes the way the sun warms my shoulders.

I want to continue to learn from children.  I want to continue to care deeply for my friends.  I want to sing, write poetry and remind everyone we are children of God.  We are all evolving.  We are all becoming.

When I awake each morning, I stop in our daughter's room.  I adjust the feeding tube and her monitors, bend down and kiss her head and whisper in her ear "I love you!  I love you!"  I make the sign of the cross on her forehead and thank her for being with us.

I want to thank everyone for being with us.  I love you.


Be the first...

                                                    The first to apologize
                 creates courage

                                       The first to forgive
                           creates understanding

                                        The first to forget
                   creates happiness

Gifts

"There are so many gifts still unopened from your birthday.  There are so many hand-crafted presents that have been sent to your door by God."   - Hafiz

The Divine has given each of us countless gifts.  We are all blessed with gifts and talents.  Our only task in this life is to discover and use in service, all that we have been blessed to share.  What gifts do you share?  Song, dance, writing, activity, organization, speaking, teaching, mentoring, counseling, dreaming, healing, comfort, detail, expansion, investment, conversation, faith, patience, passion, compassion, laughter, love, science, discovery, invention, respect, responsibility, relationship, friendship, integrity, authenticity, vulnerability, peace, unity.

The Divine is one with us and whispers ... "Everything I have is yours."
                                                                                                                                   - Hafiz

Give the gift God created you to be.

Kindness

Be kind and forgiving with no expectation of reward, knowing that one day someone will do the same for you.


Presence

"...I believe that vulnerability- the willingness to show up and be seen with no guarantee of outcome- is the only path to more love, belonging, and joy."
  - Dr. Brene Brown                   

Our challenge is in "showing up," being fully authentic.  For me, this includes being afraid, not knowing the answer, sometimes not even knowing the questions.  Being authentic, showing up, being real, entails loving the process.  Fully engaging in the process of life with all its insecurity.

I have always valued being fully present.  Presence for me is soul awareness.  This soul awareness, this presence involves deep levels of listening, to myself, to others, to nature, to the "still small voice."  Presence involves staying open to learning beyond my current identity, beyond my preconceptions of what is and is not, what should and what should not be.  Presence involves letting go of my ego and my ego attachments.  It involves letting go of control.  Being fully present invites me to participate fully in the miracle of life.


Recipe for a Miracle

For a miracle, take one act of compassion, throw in a pinch of kindness, a grain of forgiveness, and a handful of gentleness.  Add a little bit of peace, a cup of serenity, and it will happen.

For miracles are here, always, waiting to be discovered.  Waiting patiently it sits in the center of your life, eager to be unmasked.

Love, Kindness, and Forgivenss

"Ignorance does not yield to attack, but it dissipates in the light, and nothing dissolves dishonesty faster than the simple act of revealing the truth.  The only way to enlarge one's power in the world is by increasing one's integrity, understanding and capacity for compassion."
- Dr. David Hawkins

My life experience has taught me that love, kindness and forgiveness are the only sane and satisfactory responses to ignorance, hatred and negativity.  Sharing our truth is showing the light of our spirit.  I believe in and try to practice authenticity and transparency in all my interactions.  I try to speak my truth with love, kindness, integrity, and compassion.


Intention

Our intention is a significant part of the value of our actions.  I find that the educators that I am blessed to interact with are dedicated to service.  The service is an intention and action of love.  They seek to uplift the lives of all those they teach, counsel and mentor.  The world sees excellence as dedication to the highest standards.  The educators I am blessed to work with are dedicated to the standards of respect, responsibility, authenticity, integrity, passion, commitment, compassion, empathy, vulnerability, service leadership and healthy relationships.  Every action we take within these standards brings grace into our lives and the lives of all those we serve.

Appreciation

My life has taught me that all of us, all living creatures, want to be recognized.  We want to be appreciated.  We want to know someone is happy we are here to share this life with them.  I find it beneficial to acknowledge others by seeing them as their best self.  Spirit radiates from all life.  When we recognize and appreciate each other, we all feel the healing of separation.  Together, in appreciation and acknowledgement, we feel peace.



As educators...

"A man has made at least a start on discovering the meaning of human life when he plants shade trees under which he knows full well he will never sit."
- Elton Trueblood

As educators this quote sums up our life of commitment to our students.  As educators our life is service and legacy.  We serve through dedication, detail, inspiration, motivation, tough love, discipline, forgiveness, compassion, empathy, and creativity.  Our legacy is formed in every student who believes in themselves, who learns to work with others, who finds their purpose, who serves their country and community, who leaves the world a bit better because their teacher did that for them.

"The seed never sees the flower."
- Zen proverb

As educators we are seed planters.  We plant seed after seed believing in the process of life and education.  We practice a faith as deep as nature itself.  Every action, every word, every lesson has ripples generations after us.  Every student we impact affects the world and all its people.

As educators we play a significant role in the health and healing of the world.  
Everything we do matters to someone.



Fellowship

"For those who have suffered, tolerance is not a political position or even a principle.  For those of us who have suffered, who have hauled ourselves into the sun, anything exhausted beside us is family."
- Mark Nepo

Mark Nepo, one of my favorite authors, speaks to the comfort and fellowship of recovery and healing.  Knowing we are not alone is comforting.  Knowing we are not the only one is healing.  In therapy, in recovery meetings, in healing circles we listen to others tell our story.  There is a universality to health and healing.  When we risk being authentic and vulnerable, we find that others have been down a very similar courageous path.

"We have not even to risk the adventure alone
for the heroes of all time have gone before us.
The labyrinth is thoroughly known...
we have only to follow the thread of the hero path.
And where we had thought to find an abomination
we shall find a God.

And where we had thought to slay another
we shall slay ourselves.
Where we had thought to travel outwards
we shall come to the center of our own existence.
And where we had thought to be alone
we shall be with all the world."
- Joseph Campbell


Connect, Join, One

God hears our prayers.
In our tender moments we achieve
connection
with the Divine.

Empathy, Vulnerability, and Kindness
join
heart and mind.

In these Holy moments
we are one
with God.


A New Year

Be Kind To All Life

Respect The Sacredness Of All That Exists

Show Compassion

Be Willing To Forgive

Seek Understanding

Surrender Your Perceptions

What Is Essential?