This thought greeted me as I woke up today:
"Turn the reasons why you can't, into reasons why you can."
I have seven children. (No, that's not a typo!) And one of the things that I have learned about having seven children is that it can get me out of anything I don't want to do.
Want me to bake 40 dozen cookies for the bake sale? "I have seven children."
Want me to go to lunch with you? "I have seven children."
You get the idea.
For you Star Trek:Voyager fans, I'll paraphrase Captain Kathryn Janeway, because having seven children is a little like using logic: "You can use seven children to justify anything; that's its power… AND its flaw."
Because once you throw that card on the table, the discussion's over - it's the ultimate "Get Out of Jail Free" card.
Because if you have seven children, it is believed that your resources are scarce. Money, time, energy, sanity (well, maybe sanity … :-) !!)
Now, that's great when I want to get out of doing something that does not serve my life and values (after all, I have SEVEN children, lol!!), but when it keeps me stuck, that's not so good.
I've done a fair bit while having (not while in actual labor!!) and raising seven, and I've learned that they are the best REASON to do anything, as well as the best REASON to ruthlessly eliminate the crazies (I'm looking at you, 'outlaws'!), the negatives, the time sucks (well, I'm still on Facebook, "Friend" me!), and move forward.
Turn your excuses into reasons:
"I have seven children, so I can't…" (EXCUSE)
"I have seven children, so I must…" (REASON)
Replace my reason with yours in the above example.
One of the reasons that I knew that I couldn't, mustn't stay stuck is because of one question asked by a coach and friend, Steven Barnes.
"What would you tell your child to do in this situation?"
As I thought about the answer, it hit me:
I. HAVE. ***SEVEN***. CHILDREN.
They are WATCHING me and USING me as their model… WHAT AM I TEACHING THEM WITH MY EXAMPLE?!?!? (That is not happy punctuation there, let me tell you! It was a pretty dismayed, horrified thought!)
Do what needs to be done.
Do what you need to do.
Turn your excuses why you can't, into reasons why you must.
Can it be terrifying? Absolutely.
But it so empowering to drive your life without the parking brake on.
Do I have this perfect? No (my children will heartily agree with me - they 'see' me in my imperfect glory every day) ... This post is just as much for me as it is for anyone. That's why my Facebook profile cover photo says, "There is no finish line."
What they also see is me moving forward, one step at a time. Falling down. Getting back up and trying again. I am open to them, willing to accept my mistakes, work out the problems and talk it out (VERY important with teenagers).
I don't want my children to be like me. I want them to be BETTER than me, so *I* have to be better than me - better than I was yesterday, so they can step into their power early in their lives, and project their eventual children still higher.
Turn your excuses why you CAN'T… into reasons why you MUST.
And yes, I know that ending it with "CAN" would flow better, but this isn't about writing flow, it's about getting off your keister ('ass' for those of you who like stronger language) and GETTING THE JOB DONE.
Kaizen!! (Google it!)
Wednesday, June 05, 2013
Monday, November 08, 2010
The Brilliant Lessons of Michelangelo
by: Tom Russell, Source Unknown
Many of them envied his magnificent abilities.
One example was the architect Bramante.
Pope Julius retained Michelangelo to build him a splendid tomb. Michelangelo gladly accepted the project and spent eight months in a marble pit personally cutting and selecting the most perfect stones. When he returned, he found the pope had second thoughts. Bramante had turned Pope Julius against the project. The Pope cancelled it.
Later the idea for another special project entered the Pope's mind. Bramante saw the project as a time consuming trap for which there would be little public recognition. Bramante recommended Michelangelo for the job.
The great artist saw the trap. He knew what Bramante was up to. He wished to turn the project down but did not want to refuse the Pope's request. So Michelangelo went to work. He spent many years doing the slow and tedious labor the project required.
It was the Sistine Chapel.
The inspiration that flowed through Michelangelo can likewise flow through any human being. That is what the inspiration wants to do. It cannot be stopped. It is a living, powerful river that easily circumvents all obstacles.
Michelangelo collected his inner forces for a complete victory. Likewise, we must not fear to face the trickery of some people and expose it for what it is. This is not negative, but intelligent protection and spiritual perception.
In his many books on inner development author Vernon Howard refers to Michelangelo several times. He quotes him as saying, "The more the marble wastes, the more the statue grows." And, "I released the statue from the stone." He chiseled away all that was unnecessary, and David emerged.
Monday, November 01, 2010
Monday, September 20, 2010
Monday, September 13, 2010
Photo credit: Gui Trento
Suppose that Jesus Christ had come to the earth to have his experience, and merely reported to us that God is love, merely reported that God loves you. That was all, just the report.
There was no involvement. You were limited to just the idea that God loved you.
It was not a love that was responsible to you and you could never connect with it. It was not going to dry your tears and be uplifting to you.
It would not direct you, or guide you, or put your feet upon the path. It would not guide you along the way.
It was just a love that loved you from a distance and "kind of waved its hand." That's all you got, a wave of the hand. What kind of love would that be? ~ Jack Boland
Saturday, August 28, 2010
A mouse looked through the crack in the wall to see the farmer and his wife open a package. "What food might this contain?" the mouse wondered. He was devastated to discover it was a mousetrap.
Retreating to the farmyard, the mouse proclaimed the warning: "There is a mousetrap in the house! There is a mousetrap in the house!"
The chicken clucked and scratched, raised her head and said "Mr. Mouse, I can tell this is a grave concern to you, but it is of no consequence to me. I cannot be bothered by it."
The mouse turned to the pig and told him "There is a mousetrap in the house! There is a mousetrap in the house!" The pig sympathized, but said "I am so very sorry, Mr. Mouse, but there is nothing I can do about it but pray. Be assured you are in my prayers."
The mouse turned to the cow and said "There is a mousetrap in the house! There is a mousetrap in the house!" The cow said "Wow, Mr. Mouse. I'm sorry for you, but it's no skin off my nose."
So, the mouse returned to the house, head down and dejected, to face the farmer's mousetrap alone.
That very night a sound was heard throughout the house - like the sound of a mousetrap catching its prey. The farmer's wife rushed to see what was caught. In the darkness, she did not see it was a venomous snake whose tail the trap had caught. The snake bit the farmer's wife. The farmer rushed her to the hospital and she returned home with a fever.
Everyone knows you treat a fever with fresh chicken soup, so the farmer took his hatchet to the farmyard for the soup's main ingredient. But his wife's sickness continued, so friends and neighbors came to sit with her around the clock. To feed them, the farmer butchered the pig. The farmer's wife did not get well; she died. So many people came for her funeral, the farmer had the cow slaughtered to provide enough meat for all of them.
The mouse looked upon it all from his crack in the wall with great sadness.
So, the next time you hear someone is facing a problem and think it doesn't concern you, remember: when one of us is threatened, we are all at risk. We are all involved in this journey called life. We must keep an eye out for one another and make an extra effort to encourage one another. Each of us is a vital thread in another person's tapestry.
Friday, August 27, 2010
|Photo by: RachelFordJames|
Once upon a time two brothers, who lived on adjoining farms, fell into conflict.
It was the first serious rift in 40 years of farming side by side, sharing machinery, and trading labor and goods as needed without a conflict.
Then the long collaboration fell apart. It began with a small misunderstanding and it grew into a major difference, and finally it exploded into an exchange of bitter words followed by weeks of silence.
One morning there was a knock on John's door. He opened it to find a man with a carpenter's tool box. "I'm looking for a few days' work" he said. "Perhaps you would have a few small jobs here and there I could help with? Could I help you?"
"Yes," said the older brother. "I do have a job for you."
"Look across the creek at that farm. That's my neighbor; in fact, it's my younger brother. Last week there was a meadow between us and he took his bulldozer to the river levee and now there is a creek between us. Well, he may have done this to spite me, but I'll do him one better."
"See that pile of lumber by the barn? I want you to build me a fence --an 8-foot fence -- so I won't need to see his place or his face anymore."
The carpenter said, "I think I understand the situation. Show me the nails and the post-hole digger and I'll be able to do a job that pleases you."
The older brother had to go to town, so he helped the carpenter get the materials ready and then he was off for the day. The carpenter worked hard all that day measuring, sawing, nailing. About sunset when the farmer returned, the carpenter had just finished his job.
The farmer's eyes opened wide, his jaw dropped.
There was no fence there at all. It was a bridge -- a bridge stretching from one side of the creek to the other!
A fine piece of work, handrails and all -- and the neighbor, his younger brother, was coming toward them, his hand outstretched.
"You are quite a fellow to build this bridge after all I've said and done." The two brothers stood at each end of the bridge, and then they met in the middle, taking each other's hand.
They turned to see the carpenter hoist his toolbox onto his shoulder. "No, wait! Stay a few days. I've a lot of other projects for you," said the older brother. "I'd love to stay on," the carpenter said, but I have many more bridges to build.
Labels: two brothers
Wednesday, August 18, 2010
Wednesday, August 11, 2010
When you squeeze an orange, orange juice comes out — because that's what's inside. When you
are squeezed, what comes out is what is inside. ~ Dr. Wayne Dyer
Monday, August 09, 2010
The Zen story goes of a man who, fleeing a tiger, jumped over a cliff to escape, grabbed a vine and hung suspended from the side saw another tiger gazing hungrily up.
While the tiger pawed down at him, glancing below he saw another tiger gazing hungrily up.
In a moment of surrender, the man looked to a solitary flower growing from the cliff.
Wednesday, August 04, 2010
A couple, whom we shall call John and Mary, had a nice home and two lovely children, a boy and a girl. John had a good job and had just been asked to go on a business trip to another city and would be gone for several days. It was decided that Mary needed an outing and would go along too. They hired a reliable woman to care for the children and made the trip, returning home a little earlier than they had planned.
As they drove into their home town feeling glad to be back, they noticed smoke, and they went off their usual route to see what it was. They found a home in flames. Mary said, "Oh well it isn't our fire, let's go home."
But John drove closer and exclaimed, "That home belongs to Fred Jones who works at the plant. He wouldn't be off work yet, maybe there is something we could do." "It has nothing to do with us." Protested Mary. "You have your good clothes on lets not get any closer."
But John drove up and stopped and they were both horror stricken to see the whole house in flames. A woman on the lawn was in hysterics screaming, "The children! Get the children!" John grabbed her by the shoulder saying, "Get a hold of yourself and tell us where the children are!" "In the basement," sobbed the woman, "down the hall and to the left."
In spite of Mary's protests John grabbed the water hose and soaked his clothes, put his wet handkerchief on his head and bolted for the basement which was full of smoke and scorching hot. He found the door and grabbed two children, holding one under each arm like the football player he was. As he left he could hear some more whimpering. He delivered the two badly frightened and nearly suffocated children into waiting arms and filled his lungs with fresh air and started back asking how many more children were down there. They told him two more and Mary grabbed his arm and screamed, "John! Don't go back! It's suicide! That house will cave in any second!"
But he shook her off and went back by feeling his way down the smoke filled hallway and into the room. It seemed an eternity before he found both children and started back. They were all three coughing and he stooped low to get what available air he could. As he stumbled up the endless steps the thought went through his mind that there was something strangely familiar about the little bodies clinging to him, and at last when they came out into the sunlight and fresh air, he found that he had just rescued his own children.
The baby-sitter had left them at this home while she did some shopping.
Sunday, August 01, 2010
It's been an interesting 8 and a half months; to the naked eye, there doesn't seem to be much going on... but on the inside... WOW! I've learned a lot about myself and the world around me, and now that I understand a tiny bit how the game is played, I'm ready to hit the ground running.
Winston Andres, a friend on Facebook, posted this status:
I started trudging the personal development path being excited how I can prove myself and impress others. I thought that would be enough to cover up my weak character. Now I know how exhausting and pointless it is...:)My response?
And now, your journey truly begins. Welcome!!Because once you realize that it's not about impressing other people or what they think about you, it's about what YOU think about YOU, then the fun really begins.
Keeping myself under control and under discipline gives me so much to do and think about, I don't have time to mind other peoples' business, and more importantly, I don't want to!
Thursday, October 15, 2009
I sense that Your ways are simple, but not necessarily easy.
I am learning that Your ways are in a different direction than my way.
For too long I have been holding onto meaningless images of:
~ My life,
~ My love,
~ My happiness,
~ My pain,
~ My career,
~ My things,
~ My spiritual journey,
~ My self.
I place my half thought out ideas and imperfections, my hopes and my dreams in Your hands.
Lift me to a higher place.
Fill me with Your truth and teach me to follow You.
I am willing to be as You would have me be.
Thank You, God.
Saturday, October 10, 2009
One valuable teacher is extended illness. There is nothing like being really sick to bring you face to face with your inner self. Extended illness is not dealt with by taking a few pills, and taking a day or two off. It pulls at the fabric of your patience in many ways... stretching it, making it stronger, or weaker, depending on your character. Sickness also exposes your flaws, weaknesses and dependencies.
What can you do as the 'student' of this teacher?
1. Recognize that this too, shall pass. Even if it is a chronic illness, know that you will have good days, and bad ones. Keeping this in mind often can help when your frustration rises.
2. Take care of yourself. Take your medicine, eat what you are supposed to [and, more importantly, *don't* eat stuff that you aren't], drink plenty of water, etc. You can't heal [or it will take a good deal longer] if you aren't giving your body what it needs.
3. Don't stress over what's not getting done while you are ill. It will be there when you are back at full strength, or someone else will get it done, if it's important. If you don't take care of yourself first, you may not be here ... and then you know for sure that you won't get it done. :-)
4. Ignore the people who wish/want you to 'snap out of it'. Odds are, they have never been the recipient of the gift of extended sickness. Shrug it off, and file it under, "they just don't understand". This is another good exercise of your patience, tolerance, and restraint. Remember, many people feel helpless knowing that there is nothing that they can do, except perhaps be company for you while you recuperate and grow stronger.
5. When you begin to feel better, do not overcompensate for the time that you were down by rushing around trying to 'catch up'. Listen to your body. It will tell you if you are pushing yourself too hard, in the form of physical symptoms [dizziness, weakness, fatigue]. Not listening is a good way to relapse, and have to start over with your healing. What better way to learn the lesson than to repeat it? :-)
And the best part is, once you have internalized these habits, they will improve your day to day life by lengthening your patience, and strengthening your self-care skills.
What have you learned about yourself when you were sick? How did you deal with it?
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Tuesday, September 01, 2009
Sunday, August 30, 2009
"I have never met a person whose greatest need was anything other than real, unconditional love. You can find it in a simple act of kindness toward someone who needs help. There is no mistaking love. You feel it in your heart. It is the common fiber of life, the flame of that heats our soul, energizes our spirit and supplies passion to our lives. It is our connection to God and to each other." ~ Elizabeth Kubler-Ross
Friday, August 07, 2009
Thursday, August 06, 2009
"99% of the time, in my experience, the hard part about creativity isn't coming up with something no one has ever thought of before. The hard part is actually executing the thing you've thought of. The devil doesn't need an advocate. The brave need supporters, not critics." ~ Seth Godin
Tuesday, July 07, 2009
"Passive-aggressive behavior is passive, sometimes obstructionist resistance to following through with expectations in interpersonal or occupational situations.
It can manifest itself as learned helplessness, procrastination, stubbornness, resentment, sullenness, or deliberate/repeated failure to accomplish requested tasks for which one is (often explicitly) responsible.
It is a defense mechanism, and (more often than not) only partly conscious. For example a worker when asked to organize a meeting might seemingly happily agree to do so, but will then take so long on each task in the process - offering excuses such as calls not being returned, or that the computer is too slow, or that things are not ready when the meeting is due to start - that a colleague is forced to hurriedly complete the task, lest the meeting be postponed."
[Definition from: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Passive_aggressive_behavior]
We all know folks who are like this... you speak with them about a project, or a problem, and they nod, repeat back what you said, and maybe even come up with a solution or two.
Then... they do exactly what they wanted to do - and that is not what you were trying to accomplish.
It can be very frustrating, and depending on the expertise of the offender, you may find yourself scratching your head, wondering if your communication skills are off, or if the person didn't understand you.
To paraphrase an old saying: they understood you perfectly; they're ignoring you.
So, how do you keep your sanity, *and* deal with these people?
1. Do not nag, beg, cajole, wheedle, or plead. Make your statement, and STOP TALKING. Remember, they understand, they're just ignoring you.
2. Don't get angry. It takes you from a place of proactivity, and will cause you to say or do things that you will regret later.
3. Cover Your Assets [Keep records]. If you discussed something, and a plan of action was agreed to, send everyone involved a transcript of the meeting, including who is to do what. If it's not taken, you have records of what you said, and more importantly, what THEY said they would do.
4. Do NOT count on them. No matter what you have to do, make certain that you have a "Plan B" and a "Plan C" [because your "Plan A" - them - is not reliable] to make certain that you get what YOU have to get done, done.
5. Don't take it personally, even though it may seem to be that way. If you do some digging, you will find that they are that way with everyone, not just you.
6. No matter what they tell you, no matter what promises are made, DO NOT LISTEN TO THEM - ONLY look at WHAT THEY ACTUALLY DO. For example, if they tell you that they are looking for a job, but they don't have a resume or portfolio put together, they are NOT looking for a job... they are just telling you that to 'get you off their back', because they don't want to deal with [whatever] issues they have.
7. Seek to distance yourself from them. It may take some doing, and it may take some time, but there are some people that it is best to love from a distance.
What do YOU do when you have to deal with passive-aggresive people? Comments, please!!
Wednesday, June 24, 2009
Be careful not to make the mistake of confusing truth with popularity though. Just because everyone behaves a certain way doesn’t mean that behavior is aligned with truth. When you seek your own truths, you’ll often find that your discoveries are unpopular. Don’t let that stop you. It’s better to be scorned for truthfulness than to be praised for falsehood.” ~ Steve Pavlina
Wednesday, May 20, 2009
A GLASS OF MILK - PAID IN FULL
One day, a poor boy who was selling goods from door to door to pay his way through school, found he had only one thin dime left, and he was hungry. He decided he would ask for a meal at the next house. However, he lost his nerve when a lovely young woman opened the door. Instead of a meal he asked for a drink of water. She thought he looked hungry so brought him a large glass of milk. He drank it slowly, and then asked, “How much do I owe you?” “You don’t owe me anything,” she replied. “Mother has taught us never to accept pay for a kindness.” He said, “Then I thank you from my heart.”
As Howard Kelly left that house, he not only felt stronger physically, but his faith in God and man was strong also. He had been ready to give up and quit.
Year’s later that young woman became critically ill. The local doctors were baffled. They finally sent her to the big city, where they called in specialists to study her rare disease. Dr. Howard Kelly was called in for the consultation. When he heard the name of the town she came from, a strange light filled his eyes. Immediately he rose and went down the hall of the hospital to her room. Dressed in his doctor’s gown he went in to see her. He recognized her at once. He went back to the consultation room determined to do his best to save her life. From that day he gave special attention to the case.
After a long struggle, the battle was won. Dr. Kelly requested the business office to pass the final bill to him for approval. He looked at it, then wrote something on the edge and the bill was sent to her room. She feared to open it, for she was sure it would take the rest of her life to pay for it all. Finally she looked, and something caught her attention on the side of the bill. She began to read the following words:
“Paid in full with one glass of milk”
Signed, Dr. Howard Kelly.
Friday, March 27, 2009
I recently acquired 12 laying hens. This was exciting to me, since the 10 hens that I have are not laying [as far as I know].
I was told that the new hens probably wouldn't lay for a bit, because of the stress of the move.
So, you can imagine my surprise and delight when we got seven eggs within the first 24 hours after putting them in our pen! I held my first fresh egg moments after the hen laid it; it was still warm!! [My best friend said, "Are you gonna EAT it?!? Ewww!"]
And they've been laying ever since [all of 4 days, but, hey, I'll take it, LOL!]!
So, as you can imagine, I've been using lots of exclamation points in my speech lately :-).
Here, chickens are like dogs. Everyone has a few.
So you can imagine the 'Did she forget to take her meds today?'-type looks that I've received in my excitement.
This is how I feel about it:
Life is mostly the small stuff. Many things happen in the course of your life that are only exciting to you; but how many times do you win the lottery? Get that dream job? Or are recognized publicly for your achievements?
Not that often, huh?
Well, for me, celebrating the small stuff... the day-to-day accomplishments ... that makes my life more enjoyable and focuses my attention on what I have, and fosters a spirit in my heart of gratefulness and joy in the here and now, instead of waiting for that time in the future when I'll have 'arrived'.
You know... Things will be perfect when:
... I get that promotion/job
... I finish school
... the remodeling is finished
... the children are grown
... I have $X more money in my 401(k)
and the things is, after the goals have been achieved, I'll still have to continue on.
Enjoying my day-to-day life, and the small satisfactions therein, allows me to face the disappointments more easily [Dang! There's a monster line at the DMV again!], and not to take it too personally.
Thursday, March 12, 2009
It is the mask that fear wears.
Image From: Memory-Alpha
Try it on yourself.
The next time that you get angry, ask yourself, "What am I afraid of?"
And then wait for the answer.
Then ask yourself, "Is this something that I want to be afraid of?" "Is this something to be afraid of?"
The answer will surprise you.
Most of the time, you will find that you are afraid of something that you either:
Have no control over, do have control over and can do something about, or don't *want* to do anything about.
That's when you realize that, either way, you are wasting your time and energy being angry.
Do something about the problem and alleviate your fear.
Don't do something, and accept the situation.
Don't "try" to do something.
To quote Yoda, "Do, or do not. There is no try."
'Nuff said, LOL!!
Wednesday, February 25, 2009
I read this cautionary tale on UrbanMonk.net...
Once a renowned philosopher and moralist was travelling through Nasruddin’s village when he asked him where there was a good place to eat. Nasruddin suggested a place and the scholar, hungry for conversation, invited the Mullah to join him. Much obliged, Mullah Nasruddin accompanied the scholar to a nearby restaurant, where they asked the waiter about the special of the day.
“Fish! Fresh Fish!” replied the waiter.
“Bring us two,” they answered.
A few minutes later, the waiter brought out a large platter with two cooked fish on it, one of which was quite a bit smaller than the other. Without hesitating, Mullah Nasruddin took the larger of the fish and put in on his plate.
The scholar, giving Mullah Nasruddin a look of intense disbelief, proceeded to tell him that what he did was not only blatantly selfish, but violated the principles of almost every known moral, religious, and ethical system.
Mullah Nasruddin calmly listened to the philosopher’s extempore lecture patiently, and when he had finally exhausted his resources, Mullah Nasruddin said,
“Well, Sir, what would you have done?”
“I, being a conscientious human, would have taken the smaller fish for myself.”
“And here you are,” Mullah Nasruddin said, and placed the smaller fish on the gentleman’s plate.
Source: Evan’s Experientialism
Thursday, January 29, 2009
I received this in my email; it's worth remembering...
'What is the first name of the woman who cleans the school?'
Surely this was some kind of joke. I had seen the cleaning woman several times. She was tall, dark-haired and in her 50's, but how would I know her name?
I handed in my paper, leaving the last question blank.
Just before class ended, one student asked if the last question would count toward our quiz grade.
'Absolutely,' said the professor. 'In your careers, you will meet many people. All are significant. They deserve your attention and care, even if all you do is smile and say 'hello.'
I've never forgotten that lesson. I also learned her name was Dorothy.
Soaking wet, she decided to flag down the next car.
A young white man stopped to help her, generally unheard of in those conflict-filled 60s.. The man took her to safety, helped her get assistance and put her into a taxicab. She seemed to be in a big hurry, but wrote down his address and thanked him.
Seven days went by and a knock came on the man's door. To his surprise, a giant console color TV was delivered to his home. A special note was attached. It read:
'Thank you so much for assisting me on the highway the other night. The rain drenched not only my clothes, but also my spirits. Then you came along. Because of you, I was able to make it to my dying husband's bedside just before he passed away.. God bless you for helping me and unselfishly serving others.' Sincerely, Mrs. Nat King Cole
A waitress put a glass of water in front of him. 'How much is an ice cream sundae?' he asked. 'Fifty cents,' replied the waitress.
The little boy pulled is hand out of his pocket and studied the coins in it. 'Well, how much is a plain dish of ice cream?' he inquired.
By now, more people were waiting for a table and the waitress was growing impatient. 'Thirty-five cents,' she brusquely replied.
The little boy again counted his coins. 'I'll have the plain ice cream,' he said.
The waitress brought the ice cream, put the bill on the table and walked away. The boy finished the ice cream, paid the cashier and left.
When the waitress came back, she began to cry as she wiped down the table.
There, placed neatly beside the empty dish, were two nickels and five pennies. You see, he couldn't have the sundae, because he had to have enough left to leave her a tip.
Some of the king's wealthiest merchants and courtiers came by and simply walked around it. Many loudly blamed the King for not keeping the roads clear, but none did anything about getting the stone out of the way.
Then a peasant came along carrying a load of vegetables.
Upon approaching the boulder, the peasant laid down his burden and tried to move the stone to the side of the road. After much pushing and straining, he finally succeeded.
After the peasant picked up his load of vegetables, he noticed a purse lying in the road where the boulder had been.
The purse contained many gold coins and a note from the King indicating that the gold was for the person who removed the boulder from the roadway.
The peasant learned what many of us never understand; Every obstacle presents an opportunity to improve our condition.
Her only chance of recovery appeared to be a blood transfusion from her 5-year old brother, who had miraculously survived the same disease and had developed the antibodies needed to combat the illness.
The doctor explained the situation to her little brother, and asked the little boy if he would be willing to give his blood to his sister.
I saw him hesitate for only a moment before taking a deep breath and saying, 'Yes I'll do it if it will save her.'
As the transfusion progressed, he lay in bed next to his sister and smiled, as we all did, seeing the color returning to her cheek. Then his face grew pale and his smile faded. He looked up at the doctor and asked with a trembling voice:
'Will I start to die right away?' Being young, the little boy had misunderstood the doctor; he thought he was going to have to give his sister all of his blood in order to save her but he had chosen to save her anyway.
Friday, January 02, 2009
Stars in the sky
Competing with aircraft lights
and flashy fireworks.
Although the star are outshone
by the lights closer to earth,
it is a fleeting brightness -
quickly lighted, and as easily extinguished.
But the beauty of the stars does not fade;
it only grows more beautiful.
Fireworks are like the lifetime of man-
A loud noise, a bright light, and then nothingness.
Image by Coda
Tuesday, October 28, 2008
Personal Development for Smart People is aptly named. It is not a book for the apathetic, the oblivious, or the stupid.
The first part of this book takes you through the core principles of becoming a whole person, and then, in the second section, it walks you through the practical aspects of applying what you have (hopefully) learned in the first part.
This book revealed to me that while I have enough self-improvement to work to keep me busy (and out of peoples' hair) for a long time, I am on the right track for great many other things, and I need to find people to spend time with, that will encourage me to become a better person.
This book needs to be on your bookshelf and read at least once a year (preferably more often).
Think of it like this...
In ten years, you will be ten years older.
But, if you read Steve's book, think and apply the principles, in ten years you will be ten years older; but also wiser, more loving, enlightened, and accepting of both yourself and others.
Which will put you light-years ahead of the pack.
I say without hysteria or hyperbole, that this is the best, most useful book that I have ever read in the self-development field. (And I have read a lot.)
An 'instant classic'... one that was decades in the making.
Well done, Steve.
Saturday, October 11, 2008
Here are the keys to financial freedom, and (eventual) wealth:
1) Don't spend all that you earn. Save some for a rainy day.
2) If you don't have the money to pay cash, you can't afford it. Save (#1) until you can.
3) Buy the least expensive, quality item that will do the job. Quality only has to be purchased once.
4) Give to others, and allow others to give to you. What goes around, comes around, and all that.
5) Remember, you only have to get through today... so plan for tomorrow, and let it go.
What else am I leaving out?
Friday, August 29, 2008
Christine Kane recently wrote a blog post on the importance of expanding, especially when you are feeling shrinky.
This is so true.
If your focus becomes fractured by distractions, you will not achieve your goals.
Photo by SmellyKnee
'Fractured?' you say. 'Fractured' by what?
Problems on the job.
Arguments with loved ones.
And the million and one other things that interfere with your focus in day-to-day living.
And even if you know this, when you are in the trenches, it is incredibly easy to lose sight of the goals that you have set for yourself.
Especially when, on some days, it seems like Murphy came and brought his whole family *and* their luggage!
All in the hopes of distracting you from your goal.
Photo by Sami Keinanen
Because if you can be distracted from it, you probably don't want it all that much.
Yes, it's true.
Admit it to yourself.
The things that you wanted, really and truly wanted, you focused on, and did not let them slip through your fingers without a serious fight. The things that you 'kinda-sorta' wanted, drifted away without much of a struggle, as you let the rest of your life distract you from it.
And here's the thing:
The moment that you decide that you want something, *anything*, is when your desire and focus will be tested.
And that is when *you* have to decide what is important to you, and what you are willing (and not willing) to do to reach your goals.
Speaking of 'reaching for your goals'...
Check out Christine Kane's newest blog, BeMyRecordLabel.com, where *you* and *your* opinion can be part of the creative process of her newest album in production! Way cool! And the songs are great, too :wink:!
Sunday, August 10, 2008
There has been a death in the family recently, and everyone is dealing with the loss in his or her own way.
The part that is most upsetting about when someone dies is that there are no more opportunities to 'make things right'.
They are gone, and whatever the state of your relationship when the person dies, that is the way it remains. Many people cannot handle that, especially when they have put off saying the hard things, like 'I love you', and 'I'm sorry'.
Photo by: Jim Gordon
One of the things that I have a hard time with is trying to keep up with people, to tell them how I feel about them and what they mean to me, and to apologize when I need to - without my ego getting in the way.
So far, I have been mostly successful in doing this; being emotionally transparent, while difficult, makes things a LOT easier when someone passes away... while the pain (of loss) is still there, the guilt (of not saying/doing things) is not.
Lesson here: Tell the people that you love that you love them. More importantly, SHOW them that you love them.
And don't wait until they are at death's door, either.
Remember, the sick are not always closest to death.
Friday, July 25, 2008
Thursday, July 17, 2008
If you are interested in living a life without being limited by others' limitations, read this blog!
And, be sure to download his Manifesto, A Brief Guide to World Domination, it is short and to the point.
What will you learn by reading it?
- The Two Most Important Questions in the Universe
- Why Ruling and Changing the World are Interrelated
- The Clear Alternative to Being Unremarkably Average
- True Stories from Zen Habits, Kiva, Randy Pausch, and more
- The Most Important Work We Can Do
- Life Lessons from My Singapore Airlines flight to Tokyo
So, take my advice and download this one, and keep reading the blog too!
Monday, June 23, 2008
Alice came to a fork in the road.
"Which road do I take?" she asked.
"Where do you want to go?" responded the Cheshire cat.
"I don't know," Alice answered.
"Then," said the cat, "it doesn't matter."
"If you don't know where it is, you can't get there from here."
Wednesday, May 28, 2008
and for the most part, my spring garden is planted. In late March, I began the task of selecting plants.
As I wandered through the local garden stores, all kinds of vegetables caught my eye, and I purchased with glee, looking forward to having fresh vegetables that I didn't have to pay an arm and a leg for; especially veggies like bell peppers... if they are green, they are expensive. If they are yellow or red, the price climbs to obscene levels. They actually cost more than meat... what are they doing, mining them like coal?
So, I'm in the stores, happily buying cantaloupes, watermelon, cucumbers, sweet potatoes, and herbs.
And, oh yeah.
What kind of garden is it without tomatoes? If you look through the gardening catalogs, you will see that there is a tomato in almost every color under the sun.
Fortunately, my gardening ignorance is being mitigated by my neighbors, who have assisted me every step of the way ("Do I spread the lime on the ground clockwise or counterclockwise?"), so I have a list of the types of tomatoes that do well for this area.
But, as you know, the only way to create a fool-proof plan is to eliminate the fool.
Armed with my list, I buy the tomatoes on it. Celebrity, Best Boy, and Homestead. I also pick up some Golden Delicious (a yellow tomato), because it actually gave me three tomatoes last year, when the rest of my garden went AWOL and turned into a weed patch.
I plant my tomatoes (with instructions followed), and pick out the suckers, and trim them so that I can weed around them. I am rewarded with lush, beautiful-looking tomato plants, full of blossoms, and little tomatoes. And that's when I realize that they need to be staked.
No problemo, thought I. I'll head over to Wal-Mart, and pick up some stakes, and tie them up.
When I get to Wal-Mart, I realize that I don't have a clue as to how many tomatoes I have, so I call home, and asked one of the girls to go outside and give me a head count (so to speak).
75 red tomatoes of various kinds.
25 yellow tomatoes ... and two more pots of tomatoes staked on the front and back decks.
I bought and planted a lot, thinking that my Black Thumb™ would kill off most of them, and I'd have a few left to eat, can, etc.
I have 100 tomato plants (!!!), and while I figured out what it is going to take to keep the plants off the ground once they start bearing heavily (No one has that many stakes in stock; and I wasn't going to drive across three counties trying to buy up tomato stakes when gas is $4/gallon!), I have learned two valuable lessons:
One: Never shop while you're hungry. Experienced gardeners know that even if you have a large family (which I have), you don't need a whole lot of tomato plants to keep them swimming in tomatoes.
Two: Even if you don't know what you are doing, your 'What If?' scenarios should always include how will you handle success; when what you've been working for comes to fruition, sooner and in greater quantity than you dared hope for.
Are your systems in place to handle it all? Is your plan scalable? Can you get help?
Perhaps I'll open up a 'Bubba Gump Tomato Factory'... send recipes, LOL!!
Monday, May 26, 2008
Why do I say this?
Because I have noticed that one thing that stops me and many others from achieving their goals in life is the idea that, if you can't do something right, you shouldn't do it at all.
That idea is totally bogus. It is simply a high-sounding way to procrastinate, to avoid doing 'that which must be done'.
Think about it... nothing and no one starts out being the best. They may have talent, or skill, but it takes lots of trial and error, going over the basics, and in general, being willing to not know what you are doing until you are able to learn how to do it well.
We all know this, and yet, we hold ourselves back, afraid to make a mistake, or to seem less than perfect.
And, one day, we look up, after waiting until we can 'do it right', and realize that X number of years have gone by, and you are still no closer to achieving your goals than you were X years ago.
I say this to you, as well as to myself:
Do it NOW. Mess it up, you can always redo, retool, start over. You'll learn from your mistakes (and you'll make plenty), and, before you know it, you'll look behind you, and realize that you have come much further than you ever thought you could.
Don't let the naysayers (no matter how close they are to you) tell you that you can't/shouldn't do it. Don't listen when they pick apart your failures. Instead, look at their lives. What have they accomplished? What failures have they bounced back from? Or, is their life a string of compromises, things done to please others, always taking the safe (and sometimes uninteresting) route? Do they make fun of others who are on the path to achievement? Do they find ways to 'take the wind out of your sails'?
We all need people who will pull us back from the edge when necessary, but the best friends are the ones that know you, love you, understand and support your goals. The most valuable friend knows that sometimes, instead of pulling you back from the edge, they need to push you over.
Tuesday, April 15, 2008
"When was the last time you embraced a situation that you didn't like?
Did you complain through the entire experience or did you run away
from the situation altogether? If you did either, you missed a wonderful opportunity to be something that you've never been before. It just might have been that one thing that you had been wishing for."
This quote hits a little too close to home; the way that all good quotes do :-).
It reminds me not to listen to the voices; to stay the course and do the things that need to be done to achieve my goals.
Saturday, April 12, 2008
These past two months have been pretty difficult for me. I can’t say why here, but suffice it to say that it has been a struggle to keep writing. Posting, as you can see, has suffered even more.
One of the things that I have learned, and that I strongly believe, is that when things are the hardest, when it feels like you cannot endure any more... that is when you are closest to a huge breakthrough. Those of you who remember your childbirth lingo know that it is called “transition”, and it is the time that you are closest to birthing. It is also the time that you feel most like either calling a halt to things; ‘we’ll meet back here tomorrow and finish up’, or to beg for a cesarean, because you can’t take it anymore. But you’re right around the corner from holding your new baby in your arms.
I *know* that I am in transition... for what, I don’t know yet. But I still feel the pressure to get it all done... some of it is external, some of it internal. Knowing it hasn’t made it easier to bear up under it. There are plenty of times that I feel like getting under the bed, taking the phone off the hook, and ignoring everyone and everything.
But that doesn’t solve any problems, does it?
No, it doesn’t.
Well, as they say, "When you find yourself coming to the end of your rope, tie a knot in it and hang on!"
Friday, April 11, 2008
Thursday, April 10, 2008
Wednesday, April 09, 2008
Saturday, April 05, 2008
Recently arrived in my email:
"We're in a Race Against Time! This is the central theme
of the DIW methodology. Speed is an essential component
to successful realization of the fruits of Debt Freedom.
It is not a casual stroll.
While we're paying off debt, time is our enemy.
In time, some calamity or another will threaten
our ability to make debt payments, and our
Friday's unemployment report reveals 80,000 U.S.
workers lost their jobs in March. The unemployment rate
rose to 5.1%, the highest since September 2005. Many,
if not the overwhelming majority, of these workers have
debt, have children, and a non-working spouse. They have
lost this race against time. With luck, they may find another
job and another opportunity to start the race... anew... but
much farther behind.
Coincidentally, a friend of 24 years called on Friday.
He had been offered a generous severance package
in exchange for giving up his hi-tech job after 14 years of
service... and agreeing not to sue the company.
It took him about 3 seconds to decide to take the money
and run. Next month he'll be a statistic in April's
He has a 4-year old child and a non-working spouse...
but he has no debt.
Almost one year ago to the day of his layoff notice, he paid
off their last remaining debt, their mortgage. His family has
been living debt-free ever since, and stuffing their savings
accounts with all of the cash that used to go to debt payments.
Coupled with his severance, this is enough cash to pay for
their reduced cost of living expenses for 3 years or so.
He achieved Debt Freedom in the nick of time.
He knows he must find another job. Children aren't cheap.
But... he has time.
If you're casually strolling your way to debt-freedom,
you're losing the race.
Greg Moore is the Creator of the Wealth Building System
'DebtIntoWealth -- Lessons from My Journey to Debt Freedom'
"My husband is due to retire from the Navy in just two
years at a young 42 years old, and right around then,
using your system, we'll be completely debt free, which
means we could literally never have to work another day,
if we choose." -- Andrea Davis, South Korea
Get YOUR plan to get Debt Free today! Click:
Why am I posting this?
Mainly because financial stability means the difference between whether Murphy just pops in for a minute, or brings 'extended visit' luggage :-)... and financial stability also brings peace of mind when the wolf comes knocking at the door.
Reduction/elimination of financial fear... it's a good thing :-)
Thursday, April 03, 2008
Once you know the 'Why?', the 'What', 'How', 'When', 'Who', and 'Where' eventually all fall into place (not necessarily in that order).
Otherwise, (without the 'why?' answered) what you are trying to do is meaningless, because you are more likely to fail to count the actual COST of what you want.
Knowing why you want something can help you to keep your priorities straight when you come to a fork in the road.
For example, when you get an opportunity to work on a project that will meet your goals, but will compromise your character and intergrity, you will find it easier to say 'no', because it doesn't line up with who you are. Conversely, if you haven't clarified why you are trying to do this, the what [you are willing to do to get it], and who [you are - character and ethics], won't be sufficiently strong to resist the siren call to compromise yourself.
Do you spend enough time with your family and friends?
Do you have no time to rest and recuperate because what you are doing is getting in the way?
Have your relationships died, decayed and/or mummified?
Have you become a Snuffleupagus? (Before November 18, 1985)
These are all signals that your 'why' isn't clear enough.
If this is true for you, the only person who can decide to change it is you. Your family, friends, acquaintances and coworkers may all be on your back to change, but ultimately, you have to decide to make the change, and stick with it. You do this by deciding what is important to you, and making clear, conscious decisions in the moment to not compromise your principles and convictions to achieve your goals.
I won't lie; this isn't always easy (depending on your goal, it isn't ever easy, even when your 'right way' is clear. But if you keep the end in mind (your goal), you will develop the habit of reminding yourself that the right thing isn't always easy, and the easy thing isn't always right.
Wednesday, April 02, 2008
another piece of the puzzle will fall into place.
Especially if you talk with people, and ask their opinion about things.
I was speaking with a gentleman today, and the conversation turned to why people lie about things that aren't even important.
His answer totally floored me.
"Reputation", he replied. "People want to be seen a certain way."
Whether thay actually are that way or not. They present themselves that way, and then go on about their business, and you believe that they are the way that they presented themselves to be. And you treat them accordingly.
To tell the truth, maybe it is naive of me not to have thought about that, but anybody who spends any amount of time with you knows what you are like.
Unless you are a sociopath with incredible acting skills, people will figure out in short order that you are not who you represent yourself to be.
So, why waste time with facades? And add the moniker "liar" to your list of imperfections?
Any ideas on this one?
Tuesday, April 01, 2008
If you are on the internet, you know that April Fools' Day began in earnest yesterday, what with people on the other side of the International Date Line starting the fun.
On Twitter, you could hardly believe anything you saw...
In email, practical jokes abounded...
In person, whoopee cushions sounded out...
LaughingSquid declared yesterday "Annoying Internet Day", lol!!
I was tempted to tell my dh that we were expecting another little one... but that wouldn't have phased him...
Or, that this one time that I played the lottery, and I discovered that I won ... but, he would have looked at the calendar immediately, lol!
Soooo... we just had a quiet April Fools' Day, and even the children behaved themselves.
Yes, they did. No fooling!
How was your day? What did you do?
Monday, March 31, 2008
Lazarus Long/Robert Heinlein on Duty v. Expectations:
"Do not confuse “duty” with what other people expect of you; they are utterly different. Duty is a debt you owe to yourself to fulfill obligations you have assumed voluntarily. Paying that debt can entail anything from years of patient work to instant willingness to die. Difficult it may be, but the reward is self-respect.
But there is no reward at all for doing what other people expect of you, and to do so is not merely difficult, but impossible. It is easier to deal with a footpad [a thief] than it is to deal with a leech who wants “just a few minutes of your time, please - this won’t take long.” Time is your total capital, and the minutes of your life are painfully few. If you allow yourself to fall into the vice of agreeing to such requests, they quickly snowball to the point where these parasites will use up 100 percent of your time - and squawk for more!
So learn to say no - and to be rude about it when necessary.
Otherwise you will not have time to carry out your duty, or to do your own work, and certainly no time for love and happiness. The termites will nibble away your life and leave none of it for you.
This rule does not mean that you must not do a favor for a friend, or even a stranger. But let the choice be yours. Don’t do it because it is “expected” of you."
Sunday, March 30, 2008
From The Group News Blog... [LowerManhattanite]
"Take a moment to take care of yourselves...and others.
You may have noticed my (LowerManhattanite's) scarceness over the last week-and-a-half or so. You may not have. I know that I've missed many of you and very much missed contributing as much as I would have liked.
Since Steve's illness and leaving us a year ago, the one truism we've all come to know is that “Life intrudes”—in good ways and bad. For me, life has intruded in a veritable multitude of ways in the last fortnight. Good...bad...but mostly it seems, the supremely distracting “What the f***” variety.
It has seemed overwhelming at times, and yes...it got me down, but in the end, I have my wits about me and can take care of myself. That last statement rings loudly in my head because what put that in hard perspective for me was some unfortunate news I received about a peer. Someone I worked with for a couple of years a few years back, a tremendously talented, dazzlingly attractive person with the world pretty much an open oyster for them—stardom, money and the works—and that person is now literally incapacitated by mental illness."
Read the rest here ... and remember to take care of yourselves :-).
Saturday, March 29, 2008
“One ought never to turn one’s back on a threatened danger and try to run away from it. If you do that, you will double the danger. But if you meet it promptly and without flinching, you will reduce the danger by half. Never run away from anything. Never!”
~Sir Winston Churchill
Tell yourself repeatedly:
"I am moving through my fears, and I am free."
Remember that the resources you need come to you when you need them. Even when you don't know where they will come from.
Speaking of resources, I am a novice webmaster. I need to change my homepage to reflect my three blogs. And while I'm doing research, I'm not finding what I need.
What I want to do is have my main homepage (www.laveda.info) have an excerpt of the latest blogpost of each of my three blogs, and change automatically as I keep posting, so that a newcomer to my site can get a taste of what I write about. WordPress MU has been suggested, and while it will do what I want, it is beyond what I can do, programming-wise, and write, too!
Any suggestions on forums, websites, etc. that provide tutorials on how to do this? I'm tearing my hear out here (and I didn't have that much to start with)...
Saturday, March 15, 2008
From our parents to us, and then to our children.
Friday, March 14, 2008
“We have the need to be accepted and to be loved by others, but we cannot accept and love ourselves. The more self-love we have, the less we will experience self-abuse. Self-abuse comes from self-rejection, and self-rejection comes from having an image of what it means to be perfect and never measuring up to that ideal. Our image of perfection is the reason we reject ourselves the way we are, and why we don't accept others the way they are.”
~ Don Miguel Ruiz
Thursday, March 13, 2008
Give your parents a hug and a kiss, and tell them you love them....
Parents don't always make sense, but they love you...
Wednesday, March 12, 2008
[I'm filing this one under 'you always get what you need in your email...', because I didn't write it; although I could have! - LaVeda]
Mom, Mommy, Mama, Ma
Dad, Daddy, Dada, Pa, Pop
Long term, team players needed, for challenging permanent work in an often chaotic environment.
Candidates must possess excellent communication and organizational skills and be willing to work variable hours, which will include evenings and weekends
and frequent 24 hour shifts on call.
Some overnight travel required, including trips to primitive camping sites on rainy weekends and endless sports tournaments in far away cities!
Travel expenses not reimbursed.
Extensive courier duties also required.
The rest of your life.
Must be willing to be hated, at least temporarily, until someone needs $5.
Must be willing to bite tongue repeatedly.
Also, must possess the physical stamina of a pack mule and be able to go from zero to 60 mph in three seconds flat in case, this time, the screams from the backyard are not someone just crying wolf.
Must be willing to face stimulating technical challenges, such as small gadget repair, mysteriously sluggish toilets and stuck zippers.
Must screen phone calls, maintain calendars and coordinate production of multiple homework projects.
Must have ability to plan and organize social gatherings for clients of all ages and mental outlooks.
Must be willing to be indispensable one minute, an embarrassment the next.
Must always hope for the best but be prepared for the worst.
Must assume final, complete accountability for the quality of the end product.
Responsibilities also include floor maintenance and janitorial work throughout the facility.
POSSIBILITY FOR ADVANCEMENT & PROMOTION:
Your job is to remain in the same position for years, without complaining, constantly retraining and updating your skills, so that those in your charge can ultimately surpass you.
None required unfortunately.
On-the-job training offered on a continually exhausting basis...
WAGES AND COMPENSATION:
Get this! You pay them!
Offering frequent raises and bonuses. A balloon payment is due when they turn 18 because of the assumption that college will help them become financially independent. When you die, you give them whatever is left. The oddest thing about this reverse-salary scheme is that you actually enjoy it and wish you could only do more.
While no health or dental insurance, no pension, no tuition reimbursement, no paid holidays and no stock options are offered; this job supplies limitless opportunities for personal growth, unconditional love, and free hugs and kisses for life if you play your cards right...
** AND A FOOTNOTE? **
THERE IS NO RETIREMENT -- EVER!!!
If you are fortunate enough you will become grandparents :)
Tuesday, March 11, 2008
Lately, as I've been going through different things, my eldest child [who is almost 18], is dealing with similar things.
Learning that people aren't always how they present themselves to be, etc.
I've spent the last 18 years eating right, trying to model proper behavior and attitudes [not always succeeding, but trying], and keeping my children safe.
If you had asked me all those years ago, if by the time they were this age, what my job would be, I would have answered, "None."
Because once they are grown, your job is over, right?
Nope. As I am learning, the job changes from being a worker, to being management, to becoming a consultant.
I thought management was hard. Compared to being a consultant, it was a walk in the park.
Monday, March 10, 2008
1) Worker = Promises: deliver competent performance in a domain, over and over.
Ages 0-7 years (stages can overlap ages, depends on the child and the parents)
Changing diapers/toilet training
Feeding, bathing, grooming, dressing child
Getting child to doctors'/dentist, etc. appointments
Social visits arranged and executed
Teaching child proper social skills - dealing with elders, other children, and appropriate-to-the-situation behavior [indoor v. outdoor voice]
Teaching child how things work, and the way that the parent wants things done (ie, chores, etc.) and why
2) Manager = Requests: please do x by time y with condition of satisfaction z.
Child can be given an assignment with instructions, and child can carry it out with minimal supervision.
If there are questions, parent is asked for clarification.
Chores, etc. are posted, and done with minimal nagging, reminders, etc.
3) Executive = Declarations: bring forth, generate something new, lead.
Child can be given an task, with specific goals, and they figure out how to get the task done.
Child helps with figuring out how to achieve family, as well as personal objectives.
4) Consultant = Offer suggestions, guidance to help client achieve their goals.
Child is now responsible for their own decisions and choices.
Parent can give suggestions and/or advice, but is restricted to watching, as opposed to direct
Is there anything that I've missed on this one?