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Six Seconds


I need you to do me a favor – and it will only take six seconds.

If you are new to this blog, then you may not have had time to look around. I can make it quick – I write from my heart, describing and synthesizing my world so it makes sense.  Sometimes I need an extra boost from others to not feel that I am all alone.

My world is created just like yours – by thoughts, words and actions. If I can dissect the thoughts that came before the words, I hope that I can change the starting point and end up with something different, created deliberately instead of habitually. 

Standing at the center of my life and helping create it – that is where I want to be. At the center of the miracle!

My desire to connect to others led me to start this blog and to join a project called, Are You a Messenger? (Sorry, the quotation marks on my keyboard don’t work – does anyone know how to fix that?) Anyway, as part of AYAM, I created an Impact Project called Miracle Tokens, which are small bits of wisdom and inspiration that can be shared online or in person after you download and print them.  They boost the mood of the person who receives them, and give you a lift too, because you have shared a smile or caused someone to stop and consider their life.

My hope is that people start sharing Miracle Tokens and begin a conversation using #MiracleTokens to connect to each other. Tell your story on Twitter, FaceBook or Instagram – whatever works. The important thing is to just keep the conversation going.

Here is where you can help – and it will only take six seconds. Visit my page at http://videomsgr.com/sites/110/index.html, watch the video (OK, this part will take more than 6 seconds) and then go on to the content page by providing your name and email address (don’t worry – I am the only one who will use it, and I NEVER spam). Please leave a comment – that is where you can REALLY help me, because that is what the project manager is looking for – if I was able to attract people to my page.

Then download your very own Miracle Token, start sharing on and offline.  And please come back here and let me know your thoughts.

As Joseph Campbell noted, “Follow your bliss and the Universe will open doors for you where there were only walls.” (Look – I found my quotation marks!) Please be my door — right now I feel like I am up against a wall that I cannot seem to penetrate.

Blessings!

 

I Learned Something New Today


 

Hamlet with Yorick's skull

Hamlet with Yorick’s skull (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

“Life is without meaning. You bring the meaning to it. The meaning of life is whatever you ascribe it to be. Being alive is the meaning.

 

 — Joseph Campbell

 

Do you ever find yourself stuck in your illusions – the stories that you create around events, people or issues that live in your head but not necessarily in reality?

 

I found myself in that place just this afternoon, but instead of reacting the way I normally would, I sought guidance first.  From the inside.  And it worked!  Thrilling me enough to race to the computer to blog and share, in the hopes that you might be inspired to step out of your stories too.

 

I was upset about a family situation and a potential conflict with my brother. I dreaded calling him, but felt that I had to share some pertinent information that would not make him happy.  We had been down this road before, and I anticipated the ugly scene in my head, down to the last snippet of anger and stab of hurt feelings.

 

To shorten what could be a lengthy story, I chose to behave differently this time. I made sure that I was calm and collected before I called him, centered and peaceful in my role. I also asked God to lead me to say the words that would convey the information, but not antagonize or upset him. And finally, I prayed for peace on the family and a viable resolution to the issue.

 

After visualizing the healing I wanted to take place from this conversation and feeling its truth, I made the call.

 

There were a few rough spots, but I was very purposeful in choosing not to react with my usual defensiveness. And guess what?  It worked! We had a great conversation, came up with a reasonable plan and moved on to other topics.

 

My take -away from this brief but significant encounter include the following:

 

  • Everyone is invested in their perspective and opinions; Respect that and do not attack or criticize;
  • It is so much more productive to change your own perception around an issue than to try to change the other person’s perspective. If you focus your energy on the other person instead of yourself, you will only get frustrated and run into a brick wall, which is not healing for any relationship. To grasp why this is universally true, see take-away #1.
  • I gave up the need to be right. Instead, my goal was to find a reasonable solution to a problem that concerned both of us. When he sensed that I was not trying to convince him of my position, he relaxed and also became willing to compromise.
  • When I turned the matter over to God and let him lead the way, I did not have to worry about what to say, because it came from my heart.  And God knows my heart better than I do!

 

Try this technique yourself and then let me know how it made a difference.  Change your perspective and change your life!

 

 

Dare to Not Compare


The familiar rush of anger hit me square in the chest. He was doing it again! I turned away quickly, so my face, which was always my mirror to the world, would not give me away.”Another family dinner ruined,” I thought derisively.

My emotions finally under control, I glanced up to see my mother watching me with patient love and acceptance, almost as if she could read my thoughts.  I tried to smile but could not hide the pain that smoldered beneath the surface of my anger.  Why was this so hard?

Sometime later, after the dishes were sent back to the cabinet to rest until needed again, and the kitchen cleaned, scrubbed and tidied for tomorrow, she found me like she always did when I was upset.

“You don’t have to do this to yourself,” she said gently.  I could only stare blankly at my hands, wondering why I was so fortunate to have been born with a twin brother.  As her words sunk into my consciousness, I became sullen, certain as only a 14 year old can, that I would never know my place in the world.

We sat like that, my mother and I, until she decided that I had sulked long enough.  She turned to me, her love light shining brightly in her eyes, and said softly, squeezing my hands for emphasis, “Don’t ever compare yourself to others.”

I nodded but couldn’t stop myself from responding, “I just can’t help it sometimes! We have the same teachers and the same friends, but I can just never do as well as him.”

To her credit, my mother did not lose her calm demeanor, even though laughter was burbling up her throat.  “You should hear yourself,” she managed to say between taking deep breaths.  “You act like everything should be equal just because you were born twins!”

The accusation stung me into silence.  Is that really what I thought? I took a moment to think back over the past few months and it suddenly dawned on me that she was absolutely right.  In a weak attempt to defend myself, I said, “Isn’t that what everyone thinks?”

She shook her head, smiling warmly at me. “No dearie, that is definitely not what everyone thinks.”  She leaned over to kiss me good night, murmured her usual “sleep tight, don’t let the bed bugs bite,” and stood up to leave.  As she reached the door, she paused and patted her pocket.  Her hand found a small slip of paper and she handed it to me, palm up.  I had no choice but to stand up and accept her offering.  “I meant to give you this earlier.”

“Thank you,” I said with a smile.  “You made me feel so much better.”

“I love you,” she said, walking back over to hug me tightly.

After she left, I took the paper and sat on the floor next to my bed. I had a lot to think about and I wanted to write about it in my journal.  I absently set aside the paper and opened my journal, but no words came to me.  I waited but a wall seemed to exist between my usually fluid flow of thoughts and my pen.  After my backside began to go numb, I sighed and moved to sit on my bed.

The note still lay on the floor where I had carelessly tossed it.  Since I was getting nowhere in my journal writing, I leaned over and grabbed it.  It was a single piece of notebook paper, folded in half, with a handwritten note on the outside.

“Open only when you are ready,” it said in my mother’s cursive.

I smiled at her message.  She knew me too well. I would readily dismiss her wisdom if I was still in a snit from dinner. It was only after I calmed down and could review the dinner scene without anger that I would have an open mind to hear her words.

I figured that I had nothing to lose and everything to gain.  So I unfolded the note and read its simple message.  Words danced on the page as their impact hit me square in my heart. The paper fluttered to my lap as I accepted her words and changed the course of my life.

Don’t compare.  Comparison is the thief of joy. Enough said.