Tuesday, December 16, 2008

A Peaceful Perspective

Here is a peaceful, soothing recording
that is only 6 minutes long.
Listen online, and if you enjoy it,
you can get the .MP3 recording -
for free, by emailing

Monday, December 1, 2008

15 Essential Things to Ask Yourself

Sometimes the questions
we ask ourselves
are more important
than the answers we seek.

To find out the
15 Essential Things to Ask Yourself
visit www.15Essentials.com.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Living Life in Reverse - A Tale for Thanksgiving

Living Life in Reverse by Elizabeth Alraune
If you want to share this story,
provide a link to this blog,
and credit the author, Elizabeth Alraune


Once upon a time, life ended on earth before it began.
To live life in the direction of birth was considered
the way to go because youth and infancy would be
the gift for living a long and prosperous life.

The elders of the community were revered for all knew
that without them there would be no society. They
had the wisdom of their age to know what would work,
and what wouldn’t. They knew they needed to
appreciate the gifts of life because over time
their lives would transition.
They knew that nothing was permanent.

But, over the years, as the generations continued
to move in this direction, many began to fear birth
and conception. Along the way, they perceived
their life slipping away, as they were losing their freedoms,
and they were required to attend school and
unlearn everything that they had ever learned.

As they grew younger still, and drew closer to birth,
they lost their ability to eat, as they had –
often remembering the delicious foods they used to eat.
As they remembered how they used to
be able to feed themselves,
they didn’t appreciate others feeding them.

Often people would become disillusioned by the losses
in their life as they got to the birthing point
of their dreams and relationships. By the time
they reached their late teens, many were cynical
and sarcastic…mourning the fact that they didn’t
appreciate what they had when they had it. Often
one could be heard to say, “Seniors have no idea
how good they have it. The wisdom of old age is
wasted on them.”

They also noted that the parts of them that
they admired changed with youth. They lost
their personality often looking at the
seniors with jealousy. If only they could
be that way again.

One day, the universe wondered if it should
reconsider the order in which life was lived.
It held a forum, heard opinion, and then
a vote was taken. By an overwhelming majority
it was felt life was meant to be lived
in the other direction. It seemed to be
the preference, as many feared birth,
and there had been numerous complaints.

The universe wasn’t convinced but,
listening to those who live life,
decided to change everything
– and let life be lived backwards –
to let people live in the
joy of their accomplishments,
to be able to build on them.

Many now felt that people in their
senior years would be able to
reflect on a life well lived,
and be able to come to the point
of death peacefully – there would be
no more kicking and screaming
at the time of departure.
Death would be welcome,
as they would have accomplished
all that they had come to do.

At first, people seemed to enjoy
the fact that they could live life “backward”.
It had been what they had been wanting all along.
It would be so great.
The first few generations died peacefully,
knowing what it had been like to
live life in the other direction.
They appreciated the universe’s change of heart.

The thing was, though, that as new generations
were being born, the awareness of the
earth’s previous inhabitants was beginning
to fade into nothingness.
There were tales and stories,
but no one seemed to take them seriously.

Youth became a troubling time because every child
was in a hurry to grow up. Youth wanted to
get on with its life. The appreciation of having
needs taken care of, and the appreciation of the
leisure of youth was lost.

Adulthood became one challenge after another.
People were more stressed than they
ever had been in the history of mankind.
If it wasn’t one thing, it was another…
and to make matters worse, they watched as
their parents became seniors and wrinkled
and then passed on, in mourning,
because they had felt that they had not done
all that they could, or should have.

Seniors began to leave kicking and screaming.

Death began to be feared. It was no longer
a peaceful passing from one existence to another.
It had become another reluctant
choice that people were making.

Seniors could often be heard to say,
“Youth is wasted on the young,” and
conversations ensued about what it would be like
to live life in reverse – wouldn’t it be great?

The universe just listened, but this time
did nothing to change the order of life.
“These humans! They don’t seem to get it.
Life is meant to be lived, period.
It doesn’t matter if it’s death first,
and then birth, or birth first and then death.
It’s what’s in the middle that counts.”

The universe always looked for
opportunities for people to realize this simple truth.
It worked on creating a focus on
something outside of the immediate human self,
for it seemed that while humans
were focused on one another,
they couldn’t focus on their death, or
the things that concerned them about the process of life.

The universe recognizing that fear and Love
were unable to co-exist, created many opportunities
for the expression of Love so that people
could be distracted from their fears.

People had seemed to have forgotten
in the middle of all of their concerns
about how their lives were being lived –
why exactly they were living
their lives in the first place.

When Love was ignored,
the universe got creative,
and provided humans with
opportunities to rediscover
why exactly they were here.
It didn’t always occur as pleasant,
but during these times,
as well as at all times,
there was always
an opportunity for Love to show up
and confirm the purpose of life.

The universe noted that while
humans had much to divert them,
they had the ability to focus on
only one thing at any given moment.
The one thing that people
could count on to feel good
with each and every moment that
their focus was on was Love.
It was this thing that would,
when focused on, would
give a human his purpose.

Humans were offered times to
be reminded of their purpose,
and to be reminded that it was
this purpose that was important,
not their life itself.
For the purpose is what
links one human to another,
and transcends each individual’s experience.

If humans remembered that
they were a part of the ever-present Love,
their struggle would be over because
they would recognize that the
experience of life comes through the body,
and that life is not itself the body.
Having this perspective would allow them to
experience the infinite and to
see and feel Love and beauty
in everyone and everything.

In its infinite wisdom, the universe realized
that there was no way it could make humans happy.
Only through the choice of a human’s focus
could a human be,
and truly feel,

At each moment,

if you listen,

you might just hear

the universe whispering,

“What are you choosing to focus on?”

Saturday, November 15, 2008

The Pale Blue Dot - Carl Sagan - A Worldly Perspective

This is extraordinary.

Talk about perspective.

The part that got me the most was
"The Earth is a very small stage
in a vast cosmic arena.
Think of the rivers of blood spilled
by all those generals and emperors so that,
in glory and triumph, they could
become the momentary masters
of a fraction of a dot. Think of the
endless cruelties visited by the
inhabitants of one corner of this pixel
on the scarcely distinguishable
inhabitants of some other corner,
how frequent their misunderstandings,
how eager they are to kill one another,
how fervent their hatreds."

If you would like to see the
total text of this video,
you can click here.

When we are being so focused on
our own little fraction of this dot,
everything might seem like a big deal.
Presented in this light,
it is all microscopic.

Definitely gives me something
to think about.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Is that "W-A-L-R-U-S"? - a Perspective on Words & Communication

Is that "W-A-L-R-U-S"? by Elizabeth Alraune
If you want to share this article,
provide a link to this blog,
and credit the author, Elizabeth Alraune

A few years back, I went to London, England. I needed to get a passport-like photo taken, but the machine I wanted to use was out of order. When I called the company that owned the machine, I asked where they had another location. I was told, “Walrus.” “Walrus?” I confirmed. “Walrus,” was the response. I should have asked for the spelling, but the person had said, “Walrus.” I asked around, and no one knew where there was a “Walrus” until, that is, someone realized that “Walrus” was “Woolworths.” Apparently, the person I spoke with and I both thought we were saying the same thing – but boy, were we not!

Similarly, while I was there, I learned that elevators are called “lifts,” escalators are called “elevators,” what we would call subways are underground walkways for them, and what we would call subways in the US, are called “tubes” in the UK.

We speak the same language, don’t we? And yet, as you have probably realized, there is a great potential for misunderstanding.

In this case, it is quite easy to see how there would be an error. However if one did not know these differences, and did not know that there WAS a difference, can you imagine the frustration?

Asking around for “Walrus” was quite frustrating!

In a case like the above, it would probably be fairly easy to forgive a misunderstanding – and even define the differences. After all, most would recognize that it’s a different culture, and the differences are to be expected.

However, most people who live in a similar place would not be as likely to expect these types of misunderstandings from words. As a result, they would have expectations from a conversation, not realizing that they may define things, or hear something, differently than how the person who spoke it meant it.

What happens in those times when someone tells another “Woolworths", and the other hears “Walrus,” and neither knows what the other thinks they’ve said? Quite possibly there could be conflict, argument, upset. And neither would know how to fix it. After all, weren’t they both saying the same thing?

Hmmm. Does this sound like anything you’ve experienced?

My example is quite humorous in retrospect. But oftentimes when this happens it is not – especially not in the context of close or intimate relationships. We want, and expect, those closest to us to the person we need, do the things we want, and say all the right things. In some cases, this person may think they are, but how you hear, see, or experience it, has you feel otherwise.

The next time you have a disagreement, consider this: Words were just the beginning of your conversation.

- Ask the other person to tell you what they think was said – the words, and the meaning behind the words. Listen carefully for differences in “accent” and meaning.

- Ask for spellings. Is that “W-A-L-R-U-S?” In other words, “THIS is what I have heard, am I hearing your correctly?"

- Ask for pictures, “Can you show me a picture of the elevator, or describe it to me?” In other words, “How does (THE THING YOU ARE TALKING ABOUT) look, feel, sound to you?” How do you know what it “looks” like? How will you know it when you are it, experience it, or see it?

- Take no meaning, or word, for granted. If anything, consider that all that you “know” means something other than what you think.

It’s important to remember that we don’t all hear things the same way, and we don’t have the same experiences. Words are only the starting place for our communications. How someone experiences what we say will have greater impact on our conversation - and its effectiveness - than what we meant, or what we said.

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

There Were Two...

I don't know if this is factual. However,
I would say this is a great example
of how differently people can view the
same situation, given the chance.

It's all about the way you see things.
Sometimes we're so busy looking at things
one way, and being unhappy, that we forget
that there might just be (and likely are)
other ways to look at them.

When you read below, think about these
few questions:

Which employee would you rather have working
for you?

Which employee would you rather be?

If you were in Africa, which representative
would you hope would come into your neck
of the woods?

The answers will tell you a little something
about your own perspectives. There is no
right or wrong. There is only what works,
and what doesn't. What works for you?


Two sneaker companies each send a marketing
representative to a small African country
to assess the prospects of business expansion.

One representative sends back an e-mail saying,
"It's a dead end; everyone is barefoot."

The other representative sends back his e-mail saying,
"The sky is the limit; everyone is barefoot!"


I would guess that many reading this would
potentially think that the second perspective
would be more empowering than the first.
My question would be for which party?

Maybe the African people wouldn't want the
sneakers. You never know. It might not be
something that would work for them.

Just because it works for the sneaker company,
and its employee, and it is empowering perspective
for them, doesn't mean that the Africans would
feel empowered by something that another thinks
would be potentially good for them.

The next time you are trying to be helpful,
and someone is resisting you,
consider that what we personally view as
an empowering perspective,
may not always occur as
empowerment to another.

Monday, June 30, 2008

Learning from Another's Perspective

Today I was reminded of an experience
I had when I was a child.

I grew up with my grandparents, and
my grandmother was losing her sight,
and was in and out of a wheelchair
since she had broken both hips.

What I remember was one day I heard
somewhere - on the TV or radio - that
if you wanted to appreciate someone
who was blind, and what they were
going through, you should walk around
with your eyes closed, or in some way
unable able to see.

I couldn't have been more than eleven
at the time. I don't remember if there
was anything about not being able to
walk, or about wheelchairs, but I
remember, at one point wheeling around
with her chair, and walking around
with my eyes closed.

My grandmother caught me at one point,
and was really upset. She didn't get
why I was doing what I was doing. She
told me that I should be grateful for
my sight. I wish she could have realized
that what I was doing was an exercise
in appreciation, which could definitely
translate into gratitude.

Instead, coming from her perspective
which was a life severely limited by
the changes in her body, she was angry
and, I think defensive - somehow thinking
I was mocking her.

I don't remember much about my childhood,
but somehow I always remembered that.

It must have been the strong emotion
conjured inside of me from the hurt
my grandmother felt in her lack of
understanding, coupled with
my understanding of the intent
of the person who made the suggestion.

I was reminded of this today when I saw
the following video on YouTube.
It is about dining in the dark. It is
about how the other senses get fired
up when the one that many of us depend
on the most is unavailable.

The video is awesome in a few ways,
because besides showing sighted people
a thing or two to appreciate, it also
shows how those who live
with compromised sight, can function
well enough to even be the wait staff.

If you have a couple of minutes,
maybe you want to check it out. Maybe
you'll find yourself with an
interesting perspective to consider
in the process. After all, perspective
is appreciated the most when there
are a few to choose from. Don't you
enjoy the chocolate cake that much more
when you choose it over the carrots? :-)

Have a great day!

Sunday, June 29, 2008

A Perspective on a Book Banning

Did you hear about the teacher who was banned
from teaching until next September because
she had her students reading a book called,
The Freedom Writers Diary? (Click to see
more about the book on Amazon)

Here is the video featured on CNN:
The Story about Connie Heermann

The part that stuck with me the most about
the story is toward the end of the video.
Someone from the community is saying how
she believes that Connie was sending a
poor message "if you're told no, do it
any way. It it feels good do it."

It's hard to know in a relatively short
video all of the details of the story.
Apparently, the teacher sent home
permission slips to the parents. Out of
150, she got 149 giving her permission
to teach the book from the parents.

The trouble came when the school told
her to take the books back, and she
decided otherwise. She decided that
the book was something that the kids
she was teaching should see, and she
acted on her own.

If you think about it, maybe there was
another way she could go? Maybe there
was another way she could have acted
within the environment that could have
been more acceptable?

And, maybe not.

My point here is more about how there
is a presumption that when "I" say so,
that is the way it should be. Forget
what you want, or why you want it, and
just follow ME blindly because I know
what is best.

I am fairly certain that anyone who
might be reading this has had at least
ONE occasion in your life when you acted
contrary to what you were told, because
YOU knew better, and YOU knew why what
you were doing could be of some benefit
to yourself or others - and,
more importantly - YOU were right.

I would never say that the "I" is never
right...but I would say that it is a
wise person and society that takes a
moment to question what is being said,
and why it is being said, and explore
it in a personal context before making
a choice.

After all, with July 4th around the corner,
what better example of this exact type of
thinking is there than the United States?

The colonists looked at what Britain
wanted and claimed. They heard what,
in Britain's eyes was best, but those
who were the US' founding fathers thought

I wonder - did they send a poor message?

I know it's not the same, but pretending
like something doesn't exist, or ignoring
the presence of some behavior or words,
won't make them go away. If that was so,
all of those well behaved adults we have
in our culture would have well behaved

Sometimes the best way to deal with something
is to stare it in the face. I would say
that even though the teacher was wanting
to say "you're not alone," she was also
choosing not to ignore what is present,
choosing instead to face it head on.

It's too bad the school board/community
didn't see it that way. Sometimes we
don't like the answers to the questions
we are asked, but there are times that
the actions taken by the rebel
can produce the results those who are
saying "Shhh" (both metaphorically and by
their actions) are attempting to accomplish.

I haven't read the book, or seen the movie,
but I would be willing to bet the teacher involved
in the story was a rebel of sorts, herself.
Apparently, the language was harsh,
but the results speak for themselves.

My question to that community is this,
"Are things better or worse than they
were 5-10 years ago?"

If they're worse, and you've been acting
the way you've been acting, what do you
have to lose by choosing something else?

Have you ever noticed that there are
times when the more you try to control
something, the more difficult it is to
control? I am sure you've probably
noticed that often times a "bad" thing
only gets worse when you
try to stuff it down.

You may think you're right, and maybe
you are. However consider this:

A champion is only a champion when
he goes up against another, and emerges
victorious. You can claim a victory
in this case, but how do you know
that what you think is best truly is,
if you haven't allowed your theories
and beliefs to be tested?

Of course, this is just MY perspective,
and that is the beauty of it all,
we all get to have one.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

A Perspective on Perspective

Tonight there is going to
be a full moon that
will look HUGE.
Some will think that is
larger than usual
by its appearance.
If you want some more
info about the actual event,
click here.

It got me thinking about
my favorite subject,
(you guess it!)
In one dictionary
perspective is defined as
"view or vista."

I thought it an interesting
definition to focus on in
this context. After all,
it is a literal something
that is being viewed, and
the view - the perspective -
that we will have will be
interestingly skewed.

Someone who knew nothing
about the so-called "reality"
of the moon and its size
could very likely argue
that the moon is larger
than normal tonight. Without
anything to say otherwise,
who would disagree?

That is the way perspective
is sometimes. Sometimes we
view something, and believe
that it is exactly as we
view it to be, because we
have nothing to support a
belief otherwise. Then,
one day, someone, or something
comes along, and gives us
something else to consider,
and we realize that maybe what
we considered "fact" - ie
the moon is larger than normal
sometimes - is actually an

Interesting to note, one dictionary
definition of illusion is
"an erroneous mental representation."

I am not usually one to describe
things in a manner of
"right" or "wrong."
However, if I was going to,
it would be in the context of
what "works" or "doesn't work."
(If it doesn't work, then it would
be "wrong.")

Errors tend to, by definition be
"wrong." In this case, I would suggest
that the "erroneous mental representation"
would be that thing that is having
you feel in some way compromised.

The next time you are in the midst
of something that seems wrong,
perhaps consider that the situation
isn't as "large" as it seems to be,
and consider that maybe there are
some other facts, as yet unknown.
Become aware of the "reality" that
you are arguing for.

If you can take the effort to attempt
to realize a different perspective,
it might be worthy thing to do. In the
end you might feel a heckka of a lot

Recently I was speaking with someone
who had been in a relationship. While
it was good, he was so very happy.
Then, one day, quickly and abruptly
it was over.

He didn't understand it. He knew the
few reasons she had given, and despite
my best efforts to give him a different
perspective, he clung to the conclusions
his perspective gave him - among them
that he wasn't good enough, and because
he had given all he had, and wasn't good
enough, he never would be good enough.

I attempted to explain to him that perhaps
his relationship life wasn't over. Maybe
he was 75% of the way there, and that while
he may not have been "good enough" for her
(which I question, but that is another
conversation) it was ONE person in a world
of many. At the time he was uninterested
in hearing what I had to say about it,
because he was focused on a different
perspective, one he seemed unwilling to
give up.

For some who are reading this, I am certain
you will identify. It hurts when a
relationship ends, especially when you
don't understand it, and especially when you
make it all about you, and your faults,
and inadequacies. I would never say to
point the finger at the other person without
considering your role in it, however, the
same applies in reverse. I would never
suggest that you totally point the finger
at yourself.

There are times in our lives that we must
make choices in regard to insufficient
information. He has a choice to make,
as we all do when a moment like this
appears in our life.

The choice we make will take our life in
a direction that is aligned with that choice.
Some would argue, "it's that I am being
real. I don't want to be delusional."

How do you know that you aren't being
delusional by the choice that you are making
that is having you feel miserable?

Even in the face of someone telling
you something about yourself, consider
that it is their perception which is
grounded in their perspective, their
version of reality, and it doesn't have
to be the one you choose for yourself.

Being caught up in others' realities is
something that often happens, and can be
quite difficult to release ourselves from.
However, if their "reality" doesn't work
for you, perhaps consider that in a "night
or two" you will see the same problem
in a different way. Just like when the
moon will seem to move away. And, when
that happens, you will be able to create
something different that works for YOU.

As a living, breathing human being,
perspective is like breaths we breathe...
there is always another one to be had.
And just like we consciously breathe
at times, we can consciously choose
a different perspective.

If only it was as simple as breathing
seemed to be!

Enjoy the moon tonight. It likely will
be beautiful. :-)

PS the definitions of the words,
came from www.dictionary.com.

Monday, June 16, 2008

Highly Charged Perspective

Once again, an email is behind a post.

I received one recently about Rev. Joe Wright.

Now, before I go a step further, if you haven't
heard about him, let me tell you this topic
touches two things - politics and religion.
When those two things touch, it is always
interesting, wouldn't you say?

I am telling you this because I want you to
know ahead of time what it's about, and also
to let you know that I am not stating where
I stand in relation to the "facts" of the prayer
he gave.

I offer you his prayer, and the ultimate reaction
because I think it is an excellent example of
perspective in action. Everyone who reads what
he spoke of is likely to have a reaction to what
he says, based on where they come from.

For the purposes of this blog, I would say it's
not so much the words that are important, as
much as how he says what he does. Essentially,
he looks at things, and calls them by different
names. One name may seem more positive than
another - and therein lies some of the controversy.

I point to it as a very clear example of how
something could be called one thing by one person,
and another by someone else, and how it is viewed
(as in positive or negative) will depend on the
person's perspective.

I found the whole story at www.Snopes.com
(great site, btw, if you ever want to know if
something is true). You can see it for yourself at http://www.snopes.com/inboxer/outrage/wright.asp.

I tend to think that thinking is a good thing,
and that anything that gets us to question
may likely help us to find the answers we need,
better answers than we already have and/or
better questions.

When playing the role of observer, it is much
easier to ACT in relation to life.
When we already think we know something,
in my opinion, I think we become much
more reactive. I don't know about you,
but oftentimes I think that reaction does
us a disservice. We either are unable to
fully take in something wonderful, or
miss something in our reacting moment,
because we were too caught up in ourselves
to notice.

For example, here's an interesting
thought to consider:
how many of the people who reacted to
Rev. Wright's message potentially
missed an opportunity for
perspective that could have
empowered them as lawmakers?

As always, feel free to let me know your
thoughts, and have a GREAT week!

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

In History is Perspective

I received an email with the following content today.

I tried to find out if the details are accurate,
but I am not sure of the specifics without
spending the time investigating each one.

I did find an interesting link, addressing it
as an urban legend that is constantly being
revamped. You can view it, if you like here.

If you don't do it already,
you may want to check
when you receive an email
before forwarding it on as "fact."
More than once I have found out
that something I received wasn't
telling the whole truth.
(It is said that there is some truth
in many urban legends).

What I find interesting, in principle, is
to consider how things have changed over the
last decades. It is interesting to see
how perspectives change, and was once "good"
or at the very least "acceptable" has become
something very different years later, or
vice versa. What exactly does that say?

Looking at these types of things with an open
mind (I believe) can help to transform ways of
thinking that might not necessarily be
beneficial and/or helpful to individuals,
or society, as a whole.

It's an interesting conversation
for another day. In the meantime,
I share these tidbits as fodder for thought.

Enjoy the ride.

1908 vs. 2008

The average life expectancy was 47 years.

Only 14 percent of the homes had a bathtub.

Only 8 percent of the homes had a telephone.

There were only 8,000 cars and only 144 miles
Of paved roads.

The maximum speed limit in most cities was 10 mph.

The tallest structure in the world was the Eiffel Tower!

The average wage in 1908 was 22 cents per hour.

The average worker made between $200 and $400 per year.

A competent accountant could expect to earn $2000 per year,
A dentist $2,500 per year,
a veterinarian between $1,500 and $4,000 per year,
and a mechanical engineer about $5,000 per year.

More than 95 percent of all births took place at HOME .

Ninety percent of all doctors had NO COLLEGE EDUCATION!
Instead, they attended so-called medical schools, many of which
Were condemned in the press AND the government as 'substandard. '

Sugar cost four cents a pound.

Eggs were fourteen cents a dozen.

Coffee was fifteen cents a pound, and they were actually 1 LB.

Most women only washed their hair once a month,
and used Borax or egg yolks for shampoo.

Canada passed a law that prohibited poor people from
Entering into their country for any reason.

Five leading causes of death were:
1. Pneumonia and influenza
2. Tuberculosis
3. Diarrhea
4. Heart disease
5. Stroke

The American flag had 45 stars.

The population of Las Vegas, Nevada, was only 30!!!!

Crossword puzzles, canned beer, and ice tea
hadn't been invented yet.

There was no Mother's Day or Father's Day.

Two out of every 10 adults couldn't read or write.
Only 6 percent of all Americans had graduated from high school.

Marijuana, heroin, and morphine were all available over the counter at the local corner drugstores. Back then pharmacists said, 'Heroin clears the complexion, gives buoyancy to the mind, regulates the stomach and bowels, and is, in fact, a perfect guardian of health.'

Eighteen percent of households had at least
one full-time servant or domestic help.

There were about 230 reported murders in the ENTIRE USA!

Sunday, June 1, 2008

What does it mean?

Yesterday I caught part of the movie called The Rookie. It stars Dennis Quaid in the role of a man who was the oldest baseball rookie in "30 years," (so it said in the movie). It is based on a true story. It is a very cool story for many reasons. The one in particular that I am writing to mention is a line in the movie that is said twice, once my the father of Dennis Quaid in the movie, and once by Quaid's character himself.

Interestingly, to me, it seems like the inherent meaning in the words (in the movie context atleast) is one that is designed to limit one's options. Funny thing, though, when I heard it, I heard it quite differently.

I want to quote it directly, however, have been unable to find it on the net, and wasn't able to write it down exactly. So, in order to share it with you, I will do the best version I could get, and later (when I get the movie for myself) I will come back and give the correct version.

The quote is "It's OK to think about what you want to do - until it's time to do what you are meant to do." What I heard with that quote is that you can THINK all you want about things in your life, however, when it is time to step up and BE all that you can be, you'll know it, and you'll stop THINKING about all of the what ifs/coulds/shoulds, and ACT.

To me, it was the epitome of allowing life to flow naturally. To me, it meant that when you are doing what you are meant to do, there is very little (if any) thinking involved. It also felt like "meant" equaled something in the Bigger Picture (perhaps yet unknown).

The movie, several hours later, was followed by Wayne Dyer on PBS, talking about the Power of Intention, and how we can choose to work with Source. He spoke to how it's our free will to choose to work with Source, which knows only positive and good stuff, or not. He spoke of how we tend to get in our own way.

So, then today, I revisited a TED talk with Jill Bolte Taylor. She is a scientist who studies brains, and also had a stroke.

What she speaks of is how she got to experience first hand the roles of the two sides of our brain, and the choice we have as to which part we work from. She provides my favorite word, PERSPECTIVE. It's a beautiful thing. When we are able to see the parts of what drive us, and how and why they do, we are able to interact with them differently than when they are a indiscernible part of our life.

The video is less than 20 minutes, and if you have the time, I think you will find it worth the time to "visit" with her. I have placed a link at the end of this post. She is a great, and even humorous, speaker. In her sharing, I think she actually is a representation of my interpretation of the first quote I mentioned.

She was a brain scientist, thinking about how things worked, until she was given the "gift" of her stroke, until she did what she was "meant" to do. What she has shared is an incredible gift to us all, and without her consciously unintended experience, we wouldn't have received such an amazing perspective of someone so grounded in the body and mind, and yet have a perspective that is so large it goes into the world of things some would call "flaky."

If you are reading this, maybe these pieces will fit into where your thoughts have been recently, or perhaps will begin the chain. Either way, consider that as difficult as change may sometimes seem, it might just be as "simple" as doing something differently, or viewing something in a different light.

Change might be as simple as making a different choice - and doing what you are meant to do could be as simple as making a choice to get out of your own way.

Have a great week!

Jill Bolte Taylor TED Talk

Friday, March 14, 2008

WHO knew.

Before embarking on this entry, I wanted to let you know that the show I referred to in the last post needed to be rescheduled. In a way, I would say that was good, as it might give you more of an opportunity to catch it live. When I get more information, I will share.

In the meantime, I just saw a video teaser from the new movie Horton Hears a Who - Living on a Speck. I didn't remember if I ever read the story, so I went looking for a summary. If you're interested, here is what Wikipedia has to say about it.

I mention it because I think the clip/story is a perfect example of perspective. Have you ever seen a show at a planetarium? I have gone to several shows, and have sat there, amazed by what they show. They essentially show earth - even our solar system - as a speck in the scheme of things. If the solar system is a speck, what the heck are we? Smile.

I am looking forward to seeing that movie. Who knows what the author may have known when he wrote the story. Apparently, there is a piece that shows how when the "whole" pulls together, it can make all the difference in the world.

Since I can't really speak fully to the movie/story at the moment, what I will speak to is what the clip pointed to for me: with a limited perspective, we are likely to discount the things outside of our realm of experience.

Have you ever heard that there are
things we know
things we think we know
things we know we don't know
things we don't know we don't know.

In each of those ideas there is a perspective that propels us forward.

The things we know can be a building block for other things, or it can be a stumbling block to learning new things.

The things we think we know come from the interpretations we have made about a given circumstance or conversation. Ever come to the "wrong" conclusion about something? Then you know what I am referring to. The result can end relationships, create arguments, and create problems. On the positive side, sometimes when we act on what we think we know, we uncover something amazing - by "accident."

The things we know we don't know are the things we may go learn more about, or may potentially stay away from - knowing that our lack of knowledge could get us into trouble. Perhaps there are things we don't even care to know, preferring, instead to leave it up to others to learn. Without an awareness, there may be some cases that perspective could leave us at the mercy of another's conclusions.

The things we don't know we don't know could be the most interesting of the bunch. If you don't know what you don't know, how do you know what questions to ask? How do you even know there is a question to ask? For me, this category is the most challenging. However, when something that I didn't know that I didn't know surfaces, it is like a beautiful gem. Some of the greatest insights I have ever had about myself have come from this category.

I would suppose the beauty of life is to wake up to the possibilities excited, rather than thinking we just entered a nightmare. I know that sounds extreme, but I'd say that many people are uncomfortable without being able to predict what's next. A step in a different direction, is a step out their comfort zone.

I would guess that comfort zones are never meant to last very long. Maybe they're just a rest stop along the way. However, it would seem some people would try to take up residence there, because they like the scenery, and lose what could be coming next, as they'll never want to go there, being so focused on maintaining the moment.

I recently heard that a shopping center that I used to work at in Columbus, Ohio has been mostly vacated. I couldn't believe it. Of course, when I was there was several years ago, and things do change, but I found it kind of sad. I guess no one ever likes to think that things can and do change, to the point of going away, or changing beyond recognition.

However, I am not the same person as I was then, so why would I think that other things would stay the same? It seems to be a reminder to me that things are always changing, and sometimes we just need some perspective to recognize it. Had I still lived in Columbus all of these years, I may never have thought about it the way that I am thinking about it now. It may have happened with a lot less thought on my part, as I, like many others likely did, acted within the framework of the awareness of a Columbus resident, and found a different place to work, to eat, to shop...

I suspect that is why being aware is so powerful. It gives you opportunities to create along the way. And, yet, there is a different type of awareness that one has at a distance. I can see what happened, and yet never had the opportunity to interact with it.

Is one more powerful than the other? I would think not. I would think what is key is more likely how I interact with whatever my awareness presents to me at any given time, rather than what actually happened.

Your feedback and thoughts, as always, are appreciated.

Thanks for listening.

Have a great weekend!

Friday, March 7, 2008

Take a Deep Breath and...

Improve blood circulation and relieve congestion.
Relieve tension, including anxiety and depression.
Balance your nervous system.
Help combat insomnia.
Promote weight loss.
Enhance your intuition.

And of course, exhale...smile.

Ever think about how something so automatic and taken for granted can make such a significant impact on you and you physical and emotional well being?

If not, if breathing can do all of the above, and more, maybe it's worth taking the time to assess the perspective for yourself, and a place to start is with the following radio show with Mimi Bazan as a guest this Sunday, March 9, at 10:00 am EST (you can call in with your own questions if you listen live, or listen afterwards via podcast):


Sunday, March 2, 2008

An Artful Perspective

Oblinski. Have you ever heard of him?

I saw some of his art several months ago, and loved it. There was one piece in particular that stood out to me. It must have been what I was going through at the time. There was a man and a woman in the picture. There were to two mountains(?) separating the man and the woman. There was also a high wire stretched between the two. The man, blindfolded, was making his way across to the side the woman was on.

I thought about it, and considered what it could mean:

Love is blind
Love sometimes means taking chances
You don't know what is coming up next, but you gotta take a chance
You can step into something, not knowing how it will turn out

There may have been a few others, but that gives you an idea. I was looking to find that image to share, but since I never figured out what it was called, I have had difficulty finding it again. If you know what I am referring to, please let me know. I would love to find a print of it.

As always, I am sharing because of the perspective that this artist provides. If you are unfamiliar with him, he has the most unique - and yet "real" - perspective of any artist I have ever seen.

There is one image in which a woman is pulling aside half of her face, as if a curtain (I promise it's not as morbid as it may sound) and behind the curtain you see a woman in a cage. When I look at that piece it makes me think of the many people who are "imprisoned" in their world, or in the thoughts in their mind. There is always something going on behind the scenes, and in my experience many people are different inside their heads than they are with others. Sadly, often, the "behind the scenes" version is sad, lonely, depressed, maybe even feeling guilt.

I wonder what it would take for us to have a world in which who we were inside could be freely expressed on the outside. I think it would have a lot to do with being able to accept ourselves, as oftentimes I think it is the judgement of another that may prevent us from being who we truly are. If we love and accept ourselves, does it really matter what another person thinks?

Probably there also has to be the reality that a person that we interact with really does care about us/what is going on with us. How often has someone asked you how you were today, and you knew all they wanted was the cursory, "I am fine." He or she probably didn't really want to know, and you knew it. Of course, the reverse likely holds true. How did you feel when you asked the question, and got a list of things that were wrong for the person? Did you really want to know? Did you really care?

A few years ago, I started to realize that I was "intuitive." I would practically whisper it to people, if I mentioned it all. What would people think? I was already considered unusual by most who knew me. After a while, I loosened up, in part, because I noticed that when I spoke with people about this, many times they were open to what I was saying. Open AND interested. It helped to give me the freedom to be able to express this part of myself.

Now not everyone would be open and/or interested, however now I accept that and move on, instead of allowing what they think to become a judgement of who I am. I also find that occasionally there are people who WANT to be interested, and maybe just don't know how to express interest, because they have been told that they shouldn't be interested. In those case, I have found if I approach it in a different way, in a way that relates to how they are intuitive (and I believe everyone is), there is a whole different conversation to be had.

One of my biggest sayings these days is "Be True to Yourself." There is no greater freedom and joy than when you are true to who you are in the face of (seeming) opposition. You are unique. Embrace it. Cherish it. Nurture it. I think we are all meant to be different, and yet we spend so much time and energy trying to be the SAME. It takes a lot of energy to conform to something that doesn't fit, don'tja think?

If you agree, consider what it would take to start to be who you truly are. Consider what it would be like to be the same outside as you are inside. When there is alignment between the two oftentimes people find peace. As always, do a test drive for yourself and see what happens. You might just be amazed.

For your reference, here are several links that show Oblinski's art. I hope you will enjoy them as much as I did.






(2-14 oblinski - but other interesting designs/perspective)

Saturday, March 1, 2008

Perspective of Peace

I just read a short tale of a king who offers a prize for the best picture of peace.To see it click here. It is a great little diddy on perspective, and I thought it worth sharing.

It says a lot about what "should" be obvious. I really believe that there should be no shoulds (smile), because they often lead to pain, confusion, and guilt. I find that shoulds often come from the mind of someone else, or something else (like "society"). However, in a case where a should can be empowering, I make an exception.

How can anyone acknowledge strength, if he did not have weakness to compare it to? Or acknowledge peace without knowing what turbulence was like? How do we often know something? Usually it's in the absence of its counterpart.

What is really fascinating to consider, though, is that within everything is everything else. Within strength, there IS a point of weakness. Within peace, there IS some turbulence. The parts of the weakness and turbulence may be tiny, but they are there. The only reason we don't see it or acknowledge it in that moment is because we focused on the more positive attributes, but those parts are there.

I say this because the same thing applies in reverse. The times that we are our most upset, our most frustrated, there is a seed of peace within. In order to find it, it may take everything we have, and maybe sometimes it's a battle that seems unable to be won - or a battle you are unwilling to fight.

I know how it can be. I have my moments. As much as I "know better" at this point in the game of my life, I still go to places that aren't productively creating outcomes that I want. However, the times that I can redirect my energies, it is almost magical.

The next time you are stressed, if you want to get out of it, take a couple of moments to do the following, and you may be surprised.

Take a deep breath in to the count of 3. Then exhale to the count of 6.

Take another deep breath in to the count of 3, and exhale to the count of 6.

Do it one more time. Breath in to the count of 3, and exhale to the count of 6.

You will likely notice that your body has relaxed. It couldn't help itself. And it took a minute, or two, to do. The key is to CONSCIOUSLY change your focus. Before I was aware of the things that I am now, I would feel like anything that I felt was being true to myself, and any attempt to alter it would be potentially seen as a deception.

While there are reasons to be willing to allow myself to feel what I am feeling, there is a point that it can become counterproductive, and feed the very energy that is uncomfortable (the energy that I am holding onto to be "true to myself"). In my work as a coach, I tell people that even if you are fooling yourself - so what? If the focus you have is not getting you anywhere but depressed, why not fool yourself?

There are people that believe that whatever you focus on you get more of. If that is true, then changing the focus if it's something you'd rather be without would make sense, don'tja think? If it isn't true, then what do you have to lose, really?

The next time you go looking for some quality, consider that you already have it and that you just need to awaken your awareness to it. The amazing thing is that a little "water" (thought power) can go a long way.

But don't take my word for it. Try it for yourself, and see what happens. One word of warning though. The first times you do this, you may find that you go back where you were fairly easily. It's the comfortable and familiar after all. If that happens, it just means you'll have to do some considerable redirection. After awhile, though, you'll be surprised. You'll do less, and what you do do will get easier.

For this reason, you won't want to abandon ship quickly, and say it doesn't work. In my opinion, you will be doing yourself, and your life, an injustice.

Have a great weekend!

Thursday, February 28, 2008

My Perspective on Customer Service

Oh Baby!

Just a little bit ago I got off the phone with the Los Angeles Times regarding a delivery problem. Last year, they offered me a subscription for 4 days a week at a very low price. I took it, and for a while I received my paper without much incident.

Within the last few months, though, I didn't receive it for about a month. I didn't call because I really didn't want to be bothered. I had other things going on, and more often than not, the papers were left unread.

However, in the last few weeks, I have called to cancel, and have been convinced to stay a subscriber, being told that my account would be escalated, blah, blah. It sounded good, and I wanted to give them the benefit of the doubt.

Now, mind you, I wasn't paying much for the subscription. However, in my mind it was the principle of the thing. If I was paying, then whatever I was paying for I should be receiving without having to call several times to get it.

The last time I spoke with them, I explained that this was their last shot. If I had to call again, I was definitely going to cancel. My paper was delivered the days it was supposed to be. It was a beautiful thing.

Then this week arrives, and no paper. I called to cancel. Once again they tried to get me to stay a subscriber. I asked what would be different this time. They verified information about where I lived, and so on, and said that they would let the Regional Manager know.

I was told that previously.

What would be different THIS time? All I was told was to give them time to resolve it. My question was, "And then what?" I already explained how much time I had spent calling them over and over. And for what? I was barely, if ever reading the paper.

I told the guy that I was speaking to that if the Regional Manager would call me, then I would stay on as a subscriber. I realize that maybe there are LOTS of problems, and the Regional Managers probably have "more important things to do" than address a single subscriber's issues, however, I have heard that the Times is having difficulties keeping subscribers for various reasons. Regardless of whether that is true or not, wouldn't it make sense that any company would want to keep the customers they have? (Most companies will tell you it costs more to acquire a new customer than it does to keep one). And if my call after call wasn't rectifying the situation time and time again, shouldn't they have some better CUSTOMER SERVICE mechanism than to tell the customer over and over the same thing each time he or she calls after receiving the same ineffective service?

When he said he couldn't guarantee that the manager would call, he said he would cancel my subscription. Ironically, he asked me if I knew of anyone who would want a gift subscription!

I am writing this, in part, because it seems to me that, except in a few cases, customer SERVICE has become a noun, instead of a verb (not that it ever was one - however, there was implied action within the term). It is a word that has very little meaning (in my mind) for most companies. The people who work in the "Customer Service" departments have little, or no authority, and are given preset things to say that in no way empower them, or the people that they are talking to.

I remember another time I was talking to a credit card company (another interesting topic in and of itself) and the person I was speaking to said, "I understand, mam." I was so angry and frustrated at that moment that I said, "You don't understand... anything!"

People are often told that for a person to hear them, they have to feel validated, heard. So, in a case like what I was experiencing, the rep - a "paid voice" as far as I was concerned, since he couldn't seem to help me - was probably told to say, "I understand." The unfortunate part of that, though, is that, unless a person is truly in another's shoes, or has been in a similar situation, something like that can come off in a way that is less than genuine and manipulative.

This is more a function of company policies than that of an individual employee. I feel badly for those who have to work in that kind of environment. They have to deal with the public without any decision making authority, without any real ability to truly help.

I once worked as an Information Operator - the kind that you might call from your cell phone to get a number. In order to me to keep my job and/or be eligible for pay increases I was required to keep my average call length down (if I remember correctly) to 20 seconds or less. Occasionally I was required to help people with directions, and sometimes people called with other issues, and I would do my best to help. Sometimes I would stay on the phone, just to do what I could do in the name of providing "service." Oddly, that was not what I was paid to do, and was often penalized for my more than willing nature (which the callers certainly appreciated).

I lasted in that job only as long as I had to. It really was most unenjoyable. I love to help people, so it was quite apparent I was in the wrong place. They wanted people who could "think," or so they said. I suppose any company can do anything that they want to, do it any way they want to, and call it a "service".

I find myself wondering how does that effect us in the long haul? If companies are focused on the bottom line over the customers who provide the income that provides that bottom line, is it really in their best interest? What could it be like if we had a Miracle on 34th Street world? Just in case you've never seen the movie, Santa at Macy's actually tells people where to shop for Christmas gifts - including shopping at the competitor - Gimbells. After some upset, Macy's decides that it should be the store that helps the customer, and makes it company policy to tell people where to go for the things they need, if what is desired is not within their store. The idea flabbergasts Gimbells, while it brings Macy's even more business! If I remember correctly, Gimbell's counters Macy's move by doing the same thing.

When did this shift happen? When did it become okay for companies to disregard those who they are supposed to be there to help? I am pre-supposing, of course, that companies begin because they want to "help" others. That opens up a whole other conversation, and if I keep going, that will take me down a whole other path. So I think I will end here.

Would, as always, love to know your thoughts!

Monday, February 25, 2008

The Comfort Zone Perspective

At the moment, I am thinking about comfort zones. Specifically, I am thinking about MY comfort zone. Lately I have been antsy. I feel like I am on the verge of a change, and in some ways, I feel like I am holding myself back.

It is a paradoxical thing that happens. We know we want more in life, or want things to be different, and yet oftentimes we are desperate to hold on to the things that make us comfortable - even if they are to are detriment. If it's comfortable, it's familiar, and we THINK it's somehow safer to stay where we are. The only problem is that if we are meant to do something else, or be someone else, and we hold ourselves back we usually get a jolt, a kick in the butt, and have no choice but to make changes.

I share this with you in part because one, I want to see what I can get out of my sharing it, and two, because when things like this happen, how one feels about it has to do with their perspective at the time it is happening. There is a part of me that is focused on the feeling of fear that I have. There is another part that is excited about the possibilities. It's the part that has brought me to where I am now.

I once was interested in a guy who was fearful of getting involved with me, and yet, for a time, we were still moving forward. I asked him at one point how he did that, and his response was that he didn't think about the things that would have stopped him.

I can face these things that are calling me to act, and move forward, or in my comfort zone I can start to feel uncomfortable. It kinda sucks, really. A friend of mine said that she has noticed that things are always changing. Sometimes she says, "Can't I just stay here a little bit longer?" I laughed when she said it, and could totally identify with it.

When I was learning to ride a bike with only two wheels, it seemed that I could ride the bike in the driveway, but not beyond it. The driveway was in between two relatively close houses. My guess is that the "walls" that the houses represented gave me some feeling of safety.

Had I never been willing to venture outside the driveway, I would have missed out on going places that could only be gotten to outside of the range of that pavement. I needed to get out of my comfort (safety) zone. I needed to expand my available options.

I needed to focus on what was "out there" that could be exciting and accessible if I would just get beyond the driveway, instead of focusing on the limited space that I was then operating in. In the end, as scary as it was, I did it, and now I can ride a bike any where, and more importantly, I survived :-).

Had I chosen to stay where I was, my options most certainly would have continued to be limited. As long as I focused on the driveway, I couldn't see what I was missing. I didn't even realize that I was "stuck," as I was riding my bike, after all.

So now what do I do with this? I realize that as long as I am unable to get past my current thoughts, I am stuck. I am living life. I am doing things, after all. But, what am I missing by sabotaging myself, and not allowing myself to move forward? And what are others missing as a result of my not acting upon the things that are calling for me to do them?

My comfort zone is quite uncomfortable, as I find myself back in the driveway today, and looking to find my way out. I'll let you know how it goes. In the meantime, maybe you want to think about what your "driveway" is, and how you might be able to venture out, and find what you've been missing.

Thanks, as always, for listening...
and have a great day!

Monday, February 18, 2008

Facing the Giants

Once again, YouTube has provided me with inspiration for a blog entry. I was wondering how to approach it, as it is labelled as "Christian." I have nothing against it, however, sometimes I find that something with that label can be discounted, or not listened to.

However, as with everything I discuss, this is about perspective. The nice thing about perspective is that everyone has one and, oftentimes, perspectives vary. The whole point of a perspective is to give a person a reference point. By having a perspective, you have a place to come from. For that reason, it's important to be aware of the place that you stand in relation to your thoughts and, therefore,your life. If you discount something based on its label, you may just miss out.

With that in mind, I share this video. Interestingly, you could also label it as "for teens" or "for football fans," and also not watch it. However, with an open mind you may see something in it for yourself.

What I saw was the idea that oftentimes we don't know how far we are from where we're headed, and we get tired, or are hurting from our efforts that seem to be going no where, and we stop. We give up. Sometimes we lose sight of our goal, and it can seem so far away, or perhaps we start with no particular end in sight, so how do we even know where we're are going? Sometimes we may be able to see the end, and that is enough to have us give up. It's too much. It's too far. It's...

Sometimes it's fear of what will be at the other end. What will it mean? In the end of the clip I referenced, the teen is being asked to be a leader. If he knew that what he was doing was going to, in the end, have him stand up and take on a leadership role, would he have done it?

Whatever we do, or don't do, this life is what we've got right here, right now. You can choose whatever you want to choose. That is the beauty of it all. You can choose to stay where you are, you can choose to refrain from stepping up, you can stop anything and everything you are doing. Of course, there will be results that will come from your choices, but you still get to make the choice.

I have found that when I am aware of what I am doing, it helps me to be conscious of the choices I make, and the great thing for me about that is when I am conscious, I am a lot less likely to regret what I have done. The times that I am unconscious of my choices are the times I am likely to be unhappy with myself or the situation.

Sometimes it is difficult being conscious about everything. It is so much easier to be unconscious. It certainly feels like a lot less work. However, I can tell you that the times of being conscious of what I am saying and thinking are getting easier and easier to experience (and more and more frequent).

Just in case I make this all sound so easy, let me tell you that I wouldn't say that it was. For the record, as well, I haven't always looked at things this way, and it certainly isn't perfect now. It is something that I come to see and experience by being open to the things I have found.

I am certain your journey is just as interesting, and even more so. If you're inclined to share, I'd love to hear from you.

Have a great week!

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Be Careful What You Wish For...

You might just get it.

In less than a minute you can see an example of how wishes being fulfilled can lead to something you don't want...Click Here to see the video with Benny Hill.

Do yourself a favor, and take a minute to check it out, before going on.

Hopefully, now that you've seen it, it brought a smile to your face, as it did mine.

Perhaps it also gave you a moment to think about the things you have asked for in your life, and didn't get. What were your feelings at the time? Were you disappointed? If so, consider that there is a different perspective that would allow you to actually be excited.

Sometimes you may think you know what you want, or what's best for you, however, it turns out that there are possibilities bigger and better than your imagination at the time could conjure up. Had it turned out the way you wanted it to, it wouldn't have been nearly as good as it was. Or maybe, if you had gotten what you wanted, it would have turned out the way the video did.

Unfortunately, the outcomes of our actions aren't always so clearly defined. Sometimes we have no clue how it all comes together. I just love the movie It's A Wonderful Life. (I can watch it again and again and...)

In it, for anyone who hasn't seen it, a man gets to see what life would have been like without him in it. In the process he gets to see how the choices he made affected those he cared about and interacted with. He gets to see the difference in those people's lives that HE made.

However little he valued his life (until he got some perspective from an angel in training) he got to see how wonderful his life was just the way it turned out.


The next time something doesn't go the way you want, may I suggest that instead of being disappointed, you consider that you may have actually averted something you didn't want, and wonder what wonderful, better thing might be headed your way.

Have a GREAT day!

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Afraid of the Shadows?

I just saw a video today - http://youtube.com/watch?v=4DH01tAnL6g - that shows a young child who sees her shadow, and cries, from what seems to be fear.

I share it with you because, to me, there is a message about the fears that we have. The child is afraid, it would seem, because she doesn't understand what the shadow is. She doesn't know what it does, or what it could do. She is afraid of the unknown.

It made me think about the fears that we have. How often have you been afraid to do something to, afterward, have it be ok or even better than ok? How often have you acted a certain way not understanding fully the circumstances that you are reacting to?

There are two acronyms that I have heard for F.E.A.R.
Have you heard them?



If you think about it, it makes perfect sense that if we are caught up in fear that we would forget everything, including the potential GOOD outcome, as well as potentially misinterpret what we experience. Of course, not every situation that includes fear would be the same. However, how many occasions is fear an unproductive and undesireable part of the situation?

The next time you are afraid, if possible, consider changing your perspective from what could happen to what you'd like to have happen, and focus on that. Even now imagine a situation, and see and feel how the outcome would be much different than the one that would play out from a fear perspective.

It's so much easier to see things from outside the situation. When you're immersed in fear it may seem impossible, or at the very least difficult, to alter your perspective. However, I can promise you that with practice you will find that you will get over your fears quicker and easier than you ever thought possible. You could even use the image of that video (or think of your own past experience with succeeding in spite of your fear) to help alter what you're thinking about and feeling in that moment.

Wonder if I am right?
Wonder if this is right for you?
Well...There is one way to find out.

Have a great day!

Friday, February 8, 2008

A New Perspective on an Old Message

Several years ago, (around 2001/2002?) I had an email newsletter. While, sadly (for me), it seems that I no longer have copies of all of the issues, I was glad to see that there was one that I still did have. In re-reading it, I thought part of it would be appropriate to share here.

What follows is an excerpt. As with anything I write, it is my hope and desire that what is written will have the reader consider a perspective, perhaps never before considered. Maybe it's for you, and maybe it's not. The world is full of people's perceptions, and I truly believe that the best gift we can give ourselves is the one that empowers our own self the most, and you just never know when you may find one that gives you a reason to stop and consider a change in the way you look at things.

Here is the entry:
...I am compelled to speak to the power we have as human beings to manifest our lives and our world. I have been on an interesting journey in the last couple of years, and believe that whether or not I have known what I was creating, I've created it all.

Human beings create all of the time. Much of the creation is unconscious. Can you imagine if it was conscious? The difference between the two can be as simple as an awareness of the ability to create. But sometimes it just isn't enough. I read something recently that distinguished elements of manifestation for me. (Perhaps) you've heard the expression "what you think about, you bring about" well, many people create from a place of lack. They think about what they lack as they think about what they want, but because the primary focus is on the lack, guess what they get more of?

Now imagine you could change the way you look at your situation from a lack to an opportunity. It would mean, as an opportunity, it could be right around the corner. A lack, however, how would you know when it no longer exists? How do you begin to measure "enough"?

I have learned that the universe does not know the difference between something imagined and something so-called "real" (that which we, has human beings would call real) - to the universe it all has "reality". If what I just typed is true, consider for a moment what the repercussions are. Think about what your thoughts have been today, yesterday, in the last year, the ones you've had, like, forever - the ones you've had so many times you don't even know you're having them. Think about what they have created.

Next, consider that we do not exist in isolation. Consider that we are all connected (hmm, I think there is a slogan in there somewhere...but, anyway...). Consider that we, at our core, are energy. Energy knows no bounds. Because energy knows no bounds, consider what is possible when you have your thoughts. They just don't stay up in your gray matter. They work their way into the consciousness of the world, creating the world in which we live. Wow, didn't know you were that powerful, did you?

So...where am I going with this? Well, I have been thinking about how I want to make a difference for people, and what I had started with was giving information that people could use that could enhance their lives. I think I always thought there was more to it, but it wasn't until now that I get what that something more is...and that is that people's lives are not enhanced by the focus they put on themselves and their stuff, it is enhanced by a focus on those outside of themselves.

Now, I am not saying that your own life is unimportant. But what I am saying is that oftentimes people think that if their life gets better, their life is better. But what they don't realize is that the lives around them affect their lives. Think about it for a minute: people are growing more and more concerned for their safety. If they focus on their own home, and forget about the world beyond themselves, the world beyond themselves may come barging in.

This really hit home with me as I was reading a book recently. The book, written 30 years ago, was speaking to this exact thing. It was speaking about a different way of looking at the world, and our "family"...it took family out of the "usual", historical context, and brought it to a more universal stage.

We, as human beings, are family. We need to be making a difference for one another. We need to be looking out for one another. We need to be concerned about another's welfare. Our world needs to be more than just about us. If we are to survive, it will be by expanding ourselves, not by contracting.

The world has changed, and will continue to change - whether we like it or not, and whether we want it to or not. The great thing is that we have a say in the matter. It is my greatest desire to see humanity as a whole awaken to its power, and to use it to create a world of Love and rather than one of destruction.

I wonder if you might join me in this idea? As an alternative to random acts of kindness, consider making it a habit to ask people what you can do to make a difference for them, and then do it. If you do it once a day, watch what reaction you'll get, and then watch what happens. Each person has the ability to make a difference for themselves and others when they focus on others. Think about it, with yourself what do you have? One person, you, and it is limited. Focus on others outside of yourself, and what do you have? unlimited possibilities.

With all of this in mind, I am going to wrap this up with the Gettysburg Address, written by Abraham Lincoln in 1863. It might seem to be an odd addition. However, when you read it, consider that the words in [ ] (which are my thoughts) could be what it is speaking about. This corresponds with the macro-vision that I have been speaking of.

Four score and seven years ago [Once upon a time] our fathers [God, Our Father, Higher Being] brought forth on this continent [earth] a new nation [life], conceived in liberty and dedicated to the proposition that all men [all people, everywhere] are created equal. Now we are engaged in a great civil war [man against man], testing whether that nation [life] or any nation [life] so conceived and so dedicated can long endure [can life as we know it continue?]. We are met on a great battlefield of that war. We have come to dedicate a portion of that field [anywhere on earth] as a final resting-place for those who here gave their lives that that nation might live [that life as we know it can continue]. It is altogether fitting and proper that we should do this. But in a larger sense, we cannot dedicate, we cannot consecrate, we cannot hallow this ground [it is already dedicated, consecrated, and hallowed]. The brave men, living and dead who struggled here [people throughout all time] have consecrated it far above our poor power to add or detract. The world will little note nor long remember what we say here, [human memory can be short-lived] but it [God, Our Father, Higher Being] can never forget what they did here. It is for us the living rather to be dedicated here to the unfinished work [the process of learning and growing for which life has been created] which they who fought here have thus far so nobly advanced. It is rather for us to be here dedicated to the great task remaining before us - that from these honored dead we take increased devotion to that cause [the pursuit of life and living] for which they gave the last full measure of devotion - that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain, that this nation [life] under God shall have a new birth of freedom [a renewed vision of life], and that government of the people, by the people, for the people shall not perish from the earth [that people - who are all One in humanity - will allow the cycle of human life to continue].

"Maybe life is about something you didn't expect." - Buddha
As always, thanks for journeying with me on this road.
and there you have it (with a few edits from the original). I hope you found it as interesting as I did. Would love, as always, to know YOUR thoughts. Have a great idea day! with Love.

Saturday, January 26, 2008

Life's Most Beautiful Melodies

The brook would lose its song if you remove the rocks.

I heard that for the first time today.

I looked for attribution, but found none.

What I did find were those words in many places.
Apparently many more people than just myself find them inspirational.

I thought about it,
and then,
as per my usual,
I thought about it
in "real life" terms.

It occurred to me
that the rocks symbolize the
things we need to move around and through in life.
It occurred to me
that someone might hear the "music" of the water,
just as "noise" if their mindset and attitude was
caught up in the unfolding events in their life.

How much noise do I have in my head sometimes?

Enough to drown out any music.

There are so many analogies of things that I have read
that show again and again that through struggle
we as human beings can find strength,
and, yet, when things happen in my life that
I am less than thrilled about,
I tend to be less than happy.

That is, until I catch myself.

Sometimes I need to catch myself
many times.

Someone may wonder, why bother?

The way I explain it is this:
If there is a chance that what we say and think
creates our reality, then it would be in my best
interest to bother. To catch. To correct.

If it is incorrect to believe that what we say and think
creates our reality, then I still have nothing to lose,
Additionally, I don't know about you,
but in general I feel better when I think of good things
rather than things that bring me down.

One friend of mine says things sometimes,
things that he'd prefer not to be the truth of things,
followed by "it's a joke."
I pretty much say to him that there is no such thing.

I wonder if there will be a day that "People" will realize
that everything that we do impacts us. Not in the way
of "right" or "wrong," but in the sense that there is
an impact.

When you bowl, you roll a bowling ball down the lane.
One way or another, your motion with the ball
will have an impact.

You may get a strike, you may get one, you may get none.

All of those, and more, are possibilities. What
you get the first time you go will ultimately impact the
second time, which will ultimately
impact the outcome of the game.

In the absence of any "official" "reliable"
perspective on why we are all here,
may I suggest that we create a perspective
of our own that empowers us and those around us?

If words originate as thoughts,
we have the power to change our thoughts,
and our words,
and then...our world.


Is this THE truth?

I don't know. However, it is the best version
FOR ME to accept to date.

If you find a better one,
for yourself, by all means,
live into it fully and completely.

In the meantime, in the face of the rocks
in your life, I wish you the
calm and peace you receive from
life's most beautiful melodies.

Have a wonderful day!

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Is EVERYTHING manipulation?

I was just reading an article about how stores try to "trick" you into buying more/spending more money. Here's the link if you're interested.

It got me thinking about a book that I have been reading called Trances People Live. The author suggests that when we actually seek to be hypnotized, we are actually undoing some other trance we've been exposed to without our conscious awareness.

If you think about it, there are likely times that you've been "lost" in whatever you've been doing, only to discover that much time has elapsed. Without knowing it, you slipped into a hypnotic type of state. I saw somewhere that there are something like 20+ states to a hypnotic trance. We are in some lighter state of trance more often than we realize.

When you are in a trance state, your mind is susceptible to "suggestion." All suggestion is are words that your mind accepts. If you, as a child, were told over and over and over how difficult you were, odds are you were a difficult child. Odds are, even as an adult (unless you have somehow discovered it, and altered it) you believe that you are a difficult person.

Are you "difficult"? Well...some people believed it, and told you. However, it was what they believed, based on their experience, and then they shared it with you. Your mind potentially said, "well, this must be true I keep hearing it over and over."

You probably even began to seek out ways to prove it without even realizing it, and maybe even wondering why you were doing what you were doing while you were doing it. If you've ever been hypnotized, you'd know that that is the kind of feeling you could have from a "post hypnotic suggestion," words that you are told, that your mind accepts, and then acts upon while you are awake.

It is a quite surreal experience to be doing something that you think you don't want to do, or don't understand, and do it any way. Interestingly, if you think about it, odds are there are examples of it in your own life, even if you've never been "officially" hypnotized.

Many of the marketing professionals these days are using techniques that are based in language that is hypnotic. These techniques speak to you in ways that you are consciously unaware of, and propel you to THEIR desired outcome. Unfortunately, if it isn't aligned with who you are, and what you want, after the fact you will find yourself quite uncomfortable with the outcome.

There was a call I received recently from a well-known company in some circles. It is certainly one that I have respect for. However, this call that I received bothered me. When you become aware of the techniques that can be used to make you act, it can be quite empowering, because you can counteract them fairly easily. In this case, though, my awareness was making me feel like the person was trying to manipulate me.

The language that was being used was designed to "force" me into one of THEIR two choices. How convenient for them. While I believe in their products, and believe them helpful and worthwhile, I would rather make a purchase because I wanted them, than to be manipulated into a purchase that I wasn't able to consider at the time.

I am certain my reaction caused the man to halt. He didn't know how to respond to ME. He only knew how to respond to a person who, in an automated fashion, agreed to one of the two choices. It could have almost have been an argument, because he kept trying to make the sale with the preset language choices - except for the fact that I was clear about what was happening, and was uninterested.

Was this a trance, per se? For someone else, perhaps. Unless the person being exposed to this technique is aware of what is happening, this person is inclined to act upon one of the choices being given. It is likely to be almost too easy.

Ever since I have learned about trance, hypnosis, suggestions, and so on, I have seen how they can be beneficial (sometimes it can actually be good to act without our conscious mind having the opportunity to talk us out of it) and I have also seen how manipulative and harmful it can be.

With so much going on in the world as a whole, I wonder if perhaps we have become an easier target for those who know how to manipulate our experience of the world. I wonder if perhaps, because it does seem easier at the time, we want to be manipulated. After all, it would seem that it would be easier, in some cases, for us to be told what to do, instead of having to make a decision or choice.

Just something to think about. If, in the end, I bought that company's product, I would have felt good about it, because I would have known I WANTED IT. Had I bought it without realizing what had happened, the outcome may have still been alright, and yet it could also have been something I would have had to "deal" with later by returning it, or keeping it, and not really wanting to, or...any number of things - all uncomfortable for me in some way.

A conscious choice on my part saved me from having to deal with it any more than I chose to.

In my mind, it's a perspective worth considering and exploring. After all, do you really want to make choices someone else has made for you and your money? Do you really want your perspective of the world to be one that someone else created for you?

What do you think?

Thursday, January 17, 2008

What would you do?

This has a great message.

The original is "religiously tinted."

Sometimes I think that can get in the way of the message,
for someone who isn't "bent" that way.

For that reason, I adapted it to read without the religious references.
If you want to see the original click here.

Imagine for a moment that you see a man fall into a pit, unable to get himself out.

Would you say, "I feel for you down there."
Would you observe, "It's logical that someone would fall down there."

Would you say, "Only bad people fall into pits."
Would you stop and calculate how deep the pit is.
Would you want the exclusive story on the pit.
Would you ask if he was paying taxes on the pit.
Would you say, "You haven't seen anything until you've seen my pit."
Would you tell him, "You deserve your pit."
Would you tell him, "The pit is just in your mind."
Would you feel that his mother and father were to blame for his experience?
Would you encourage himself to believe that with enough inner belief, he could get out of the pit?
Would you suggest that "Things could be worse."
Would you claim that "Things will get worse."

Or would you, seeing his difficulty, take him by the hand and
lift him out of the pit?

There are so many ways to look at things.
Is the way you're looking at a situation keeping you, or someone you care about, in a pit?

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

I didn't really need the flour...or did I?

Today was a fascinating day.

When I consider the facts of the day, I am totally intrigued.

I can trace it back to about 11:00 today, when a friend of mine called, and asked if we could reschedule our 3:00 call for tomorrow. It worked out well, as there were some things I wanted to do, so I easily agreed.

Next, it was a few hours later, and my phone rang with an unavailable number as I was getting ready to go out. Usually I don't pick up unavailable calls. For some reason, this time, I did.

It was someone I hadn't spoken to in months, and honestly thought maybe we never would again. Things got pretty yucky between us last year, and all things considered, I felt it was likely for the best. I had pretty much kissed our friendship good bye, which was a good thing, really, as I was able to speak quite freely with her about what I was feeling about what transpired in the past.

When you have nothing to lose, it's amazing how freely you will speak your mind. I had absolutely no attachment to what happened, or didn't happen. What was even more interesting, was that she has this idea, and it's a really good one. It was one I was going to help with last year, until everything kind of blew up. Apparently, she has made strides in her life since we last spoke, but has not progressed in regard to this one particular thing.

As it turns out, I could have helped her last year, but I can help her even more this year. Is there some reason I answered the phone? Was this it? I am in a different place now in more ways than one, and pretty much told her that I would and could do one of two things: either I could be a "consultant" and tell her what I thought of what she was being told by others who could do work for her, or I could help her myself.

She's a little leery of me helping her, given what happened last year. I don't blame her. However, I know I am in a different place, and I also trust her intuition. I told her to tune into it and determine which way she wanted to go. I have enough going on, I don't really need one more thing.

Freedom. It is a VERY wonderful thing.

So, then, we spoke a lot longer than I really had time for, and wound up leaving home later than I wanted to. When I got to the bank, there was a teller immediately available. Her name? It was the same as the person I had just been on the phone with. Hmmmmm...what was THAT about?

Afterward, I went to the gym, and then decided to go to the grocery store. As I was shopping, I told myself to intuitively guide me what to buy. I was in the aisle with flour. I didn't really need the flour, but found myself picking up a package. A few aisles later, I realized that the package was open. I made a note to myself that I would have to go back and get a new one. For a moment I considered backtracking right then, but decided to complete the rest of my shopping before returning for a replacement.

I completed my leisurely "tour" of the grocery store, and returned to get a sealed substitute. As I turned into the aisle, a woman right in front of the flour looked at me very strangely. It turned out that she said I looked just like her sister, and she had to do a double take! Within our conversation, I asked her what her shirt logo meant, and it turned out that she had her own company, and she was interested in my newest project - www.UnitingVoice.com. I asked for her card, and I will be in contact with her.

It was almost like she and I were meant to meet. Had anything been any different, I may not have met her. Had I not looked like her sister, maybe we wouldn't have done more than acknowledge each other. Who knows?

All of today's events seem quite "coincidental." However, I know better. I somehow feel as though I was being guided in response to my desire to make a difference in this world, coupled with my willingness to do things differently.

Who knows what it will all mean? Maybe it will never be clear, and then again, maybe it will be perfectly clear: just like a person I spoke with yesterday that I met at a seminar I just took. We met the first morning in the registration line, and saw each other frequently throughout (some people I never even saw at all) and then, as I was doing my last pass through, I saw her again. There seemed to be a reason.

When we spoke on the phone afterward, after a semi-lengthy conversation, we gave each other something valuable to "chew" on. It also turned out that we have similar missions in life. I don't know about you, but I LOVE these types of things. I know it's no accident, though. I know it has a lot to do with where my mind is these days, and what it is that lays deep within me.

I have been working on this for months. It would seem that the crops are getting ready to bear fruit, and I am very excited by the possibilities. I have heard that what we focus on today creates our tomorrow.

Oh, one last thing about the call from the friend I hadn't spoken to in months. She gave me a gift today by reminding me of something that I had been told by someone in my family before I moved cross-country last year. This person (funny thing is I don't remember who) said I would be back east by Christmas. Well, Christmas has come and gone, and I am still here! I was a little worried at the time, what if the statement was correct? However, the fact that I am still here, and still standing says a lot, and I am grateful for the gift of the memory - which I would never had gotten, if I hadn't picked up the phone.

One last thought before I go. Any time you consider that what you are doing is for naught, consider that it is like planting seeds. Consider that your thoughts and concerns are like rain, and that in a few days, weeks, months time you will be harvesting the life you planted.

Is it the one you want? If not, consider a different way to look at things...a different...perspective. (LOL, this is getting a little too predictable...smile).

Have a great day, and thanks for reading!