Monday, November 30, 2015

Fruits of Our Labor

You won’t be hard pressed to find the pain and horror in our world, most especially if you tune into the news. Humanity as a whole has a rap sheet to span the centuries of the atrocities we’ve committed. It can feel heavy and overwhelming at times to take note of the destruction that lay in our path. But there’s more, more beauty and camaraderie than hate.

I felt as though I was blessed to witness just that as I visited New York, a microcosm of our world at large, over the holiday weekend. The streets that I explored bore the scars of what it means to be a human being, but what shone brighter than that was the diversity, creation, imagination and acceptance that an untold number of strangers joined together to manifest and experience.

It moved me to be a part of a whole that was far from our ideal, what we would call perfect. I’ve no doubt if you stopped anyone on the street they could well have shared with you the ugly truths that were scattered all about, but it was an air of peace and acceptance that permeated the air- not judgement or fear. We were there to inhale and embrace the wonders of life that humanity played a hand in as well.

Magic doesn’t only happen in Disney World. It’s in your everyday life and it’s sprinkled like fairy dust in all the corners of our Earth. I invite you to step outside of your routine, your social circle and norms and take note of the splendor that we as a whole have brought into form. It’s a wonderland to behold that you need only grant yourself permission to enjoy.

I implore you, please pause to tune out the animosity, struggle and strain and dial into moments of enchantment. For your sake, and that of the world, I invite you to open your heart to the gifts that stand before you, and every one of us, with each breath that is taken.

This is my holiday wish for you all.

Be well and happy.  

Monday, November 23, 2015

Human Anatomy

I’ve been listening to a little bit of this and that this past week and I’ve concluded that there are mass numbers of our population that are in need of an anatomy lesson. Don’t worry, I shall keep it quite simple for those that have no interest in said topic, but do trust that it will be applicable to us all.

We have this structure known as a brain, folks. It sits squarely on your shoulders, housed inside a very thick skull. Human beings boast the largest brain on the planet. Here’s where some might want to pay attention, it’s meant to be used. By that I mean its purpose isn’t to sit idle, like an old car in the junkyard that no longer holds any value. Nope, it’s here to be ridden, and hard.

You see our brain model is a souped-up version compared to that of the majority of our fellow earthly inhabitants. Our frontal cortex, aka the front of our brain, allows us the luxury of more abstract thought and reasoning, among other things. For example, when a dog is presented with two bones it does not proceed to pose questions in its own mind- Which one am I in the mood for tonight? Is one healthier than the other? If I chew on this bone now will it ruin my appetite for supper?  But our brains would allow us to do just that if presented with the same scenario, or any other one.

This is a beautiful feature because with that option we can, buckle your seat belts, ask questions! And when we ask questions we just might find ourselves thinking outside the box, or many boxes depending on your storage situation and how often you dare to visit the attic of old beliefs.

Those boxes of things we were told or taught to believe aren’t to sit untouched in the dark recesses of our brain. Fling ‘em open and re-examine the contents. Unless you’ve suffered a lobotomy, you possess a miraculous ability to question, there’s that word again, what once was or currently is being shared with you. You don’t have to foolishly accept the words that fly out of another’s mouth simply because they jive with something you heard twenty years ago or touch on your fear(s).  I’m not suggesting hostile challenge, but that you only pause to ask or research.

Do yourself and the world a favor and use the brain you’ve been given. Question what you believed when you were a child. Question what you believed last year. And question the validity of what you believed yesterday. Question not only the amateur but the expert as well. Question what he, she and they said. Question what might lie on the other side of everything you think you know to be true. Question until the day you die, and your brain ceases to fire.

Any more questions?

Be well and happy.

Monday, November 16, 2015

Never Say Never

Unfortunately we have all said on more than one occasion, “I would never…” As we rise above our fellow man with the buoyancy of our inflated egos, there may well be truth in that statement. You would never fall so far based on your sex, age, ethnicity, culture, wealth, intelligence, family history, health, education or the myriad of life experiences you have traveled. You wouldn’t, but perhaps another might and that’s where we are shortsighted as we stand atop the moral high ground.

I feel a surge of egos rise in defense as the concepts of that last paragraph float into the ethers of awareness. None among us likes to believe that we too might be capable of depraved acts if we were to walk in the shoes of the person we stand wagging our judgmental finger at. But if we’re honest with ourselves long enough, we would realize we could never completely grasp what took that individual to the place where they now stand condemned or criticized, most especially when looking through the lens of intentional shaming. It’s quite simple really, we could never know because we aren’t them and can never understand the cumulative effects of the multiple factors that come into play with whatever action they took. We can assume with an air of authority that we are all knowing, but of course you are fully aware of the clever saying – that only makes an ass out of you and me.

We may never fully know but we can wonder. Perhaps we might better serve ourselves and others if, instead of making grand and noble declarations, we asked questions with an open heart and curious mind. What must that person have endured before they came to that action or decision? What fearful belief or message was the impetus for what they just did? What did they hope to accomplish? What lessons can I learn?

Does it change what has come to pass? No, but neither does our judgment and shaming. Attempting to grasp an understanding of another and their choices is not about blind acceptance but is a simple act of compassion that holds more potential for healing in ourselves, others  and is most surely a key ingredient necessary for the world as a whole.  

I’m not asking you to deny your natural human reactions of outrage, pain and disbelief; what I am suggesting is that you not continue to dwell there and then hide behind the comforting shield of superiority because each one of us may have failed the same test if we were capable of understanding what it is like to be “them”. Surely you would want and do deserve the same the next time you stumble and fall.

Be well and happy.

Monday, November 9, 2015


We are a society of swingers. No, not that kind but the type that rides the pendulum of life and all its issues. Republican or Democrat. Gorge on fast food or fast on the latest cleanse. Give our power away or greedily consume the power of those that surround us. Beat children into submission of authority or hand them all the authority. Give all, or nothing, in everything we do or don’t.

Back and forth is the tempo we keep in life and debates. It must be this way. No, that. “It’s my way or the highway,” rings the underlying message that is not discernible to our ears, only our psyche. On and on we go about the glory days of the past, all the while knowing just how far we have come. Without the wonders of modern day we would not be as progressive, nor as regressive we bemoan.

All of this leads me to wonder if we’re missing the point, the one that seems to lie somewhere in between all these extremes. As a pendulum comes to rest it is in a place of balance. It has found the middle ground and perhaps that is the higher ground we all seek. Would we be better served as individuals and a society to ask, “What is betwixt and between point A and B? Do both views have redeeming qualities that can be melded into something anew?”

Of course the comings and goings of life will create a movement that might cause us to go to and fro once more but coming back to center within ourselves and our lives seems as though that might be our greatest test, and possible reward.

This week I leave you with a challenge to identify your role as a swinger on both a personal and global level. Next, the step that requires courage and growth, allow yourself to unearth the virgin middle ground and dare to walk its path for a change of perspective. Who knows, you might just blaze a new trail - if not in the life of others, at least your very own.

Be well and happy.

Monday, November 2, 2015

Perfect Prayer

Most of us understand prayer as a religious practice. While that is obviously true there are many among us that utilize prayer but follow no organized religion, and this is the prayer to which I refer- that which is not linked to a certain religious belief or system. In fact, even the wanderings of our mind and the thoughts we replay are a form of prayer, although often from a place of unconsciousness, as they too are a signal broadcast to the universe.

So many times when humans pause to pray they are very specific about what it is they hope to impact or change. Often it is during moments of deep desperation as we try to influence the outcome of a particular situation….please heal my brother and give him back the use of his arm or help me meet the love of my life, for example. Of course there as many types of prayers said as there are people but more often than not we have our own idea of the perfect ending for the scenarios we choose to pray about.

But here’s the thing folks, our humanity limits our ability to truly know the best way for things to turn out. Our hopes blind us to the bigger picture of what is best for all involved. There are a vast degree of layers and possibilities that may lead to lessons, people, experiences and places that we could never imagine but the soul seeks. I know this flies in the face of convention, but our prayers are best left as generalities.

As ‘Aunt Liza’ sits in the hospital its best to ask that love and comfort find her versus requesting that she find the bone marrow donor she needs. I imagine that some might think this approach cold but in reality it is extremely loving because it is saying in effect, I relinquish control of this situation and trust that the powers greater than me understand best what is for ‘Aunt Liza’s’ highest good, including ‘Aunt Liza’s’ higher self.

“No!” say our fears, “I don’t want ‘Aunt Liza’ to die. I have to pray for her to live!” Yes, this is tough to wrap our brains around, but ultimately we don’t know the whys of ‘Aunt Liza’s’ purpose in this life or who and what she has come to change, influence or experience.

When our prayer is simply for peace, love, comfort and support the potential for how and when that might manifest is endless. It is the ultimate display of blind faith and why many find its concept so very frightening.

I shall push the boundaries even further, I know, with my next insight. Most have no resistance to praying for another in pain or dealing with hardship, but very few are willing to pray for the others that might have caused it. How many are willing to pray for murderers, rapists or terrorists and not just their victims? In those instances I see the numbers on the prayer chain dwindling, but are they not in need as well? The extreme nature of their actions suggest that might just be the case.

I know I’m discussing a mind bending concept for a lot of you, as anger and hatred are not unnatural feelings towards those who have committed such atrocities, but no one who feels love and connection to their fellow man could go to such extremes with ease. Are they not in dire need of love, or at the very least a lifting of the veil that seems to have separated them from us?  Prayers of this nature test our mettle but are again trusting that there are wheels in motion and parts at play that we cannot fathom.

My last thought is to ask that each and every one of you find peace, love comfort and support- no matter your situation or standing. Ultimately prayer’s greatest power, and ours, comes when it is wielded with awareness and love.

Be well and happy.