Day 99

Comfort is a shelter, a warm blanket, a refuge. Fortunately, we do not need to do anything extraordinary to produce comfort, because it is something that already exists within each of us and all around us. Real comfort can be found in the context of daily living.  It is a grace. We just need to open our arms and receive it. We just need to open our arms and give it.

Friday night I had the privilege of being in the comforting presence of singer-songwriter Chris Wilson.  Chris was playing in a small bistro in the Mirror Lake Inn, in Lake Placid, NY.  It is a beautiful and intimate venue that he has the privilege and pleasure of playing at many times a year.

While we sat and listened to Chris, it was easy to see how his songs and music produce a refuge, a shelter that resonates in the hearts and soul of all who hear him. During a break, I asked him how he perceives song writing to be and how he goes about it. His immediate response was you take what is within you, in your heart and put it out there. He went on to say, any of us can write great words or make it sound like the Rolling Stones but the  real comfort, the real beauty, comes from within each of our hearts and souls.

The opportunity for all of us in the message today is, we all have a song inside of us to give. Much like the line above, We just need to open our arms and give it.

What song will we write today?

”Blessings on your journey”


Day 98 – From my book “Living and Dying”

The energy associated with emotion is very strong and one that can be very difficult to embrace. It will cause us to move out of our comfort zone, and it will challenge us to what feels like a breaking point. It will feel large, in charge, and scary at times, but it has its purpose. It is there to move us toward something new. It is there to make us choose. It is there for our own good, to shock us out of our old patterns. It is there to be embraced and it will move us towards love. The dilemma in all of this is that we have a choice.

In the many years I devoted to limiting emotion in my life, I was in a constant war with myself. In my new experience of embracing and choosing emotion (e=motion) I have blossomed to do many new things and have grown in many ways. It has been challenging, and I do fall off course. But if I were to have to do it over again, I would choose the course of energy and motion.

I have always loved the quote “When in life have you learned the most, when everything was easy or when you were most challenged?” In my experience, all of my major growth has taken place in change and movement from one place to another. Perhaps that is why I chose funeral service. Is there any other experience that challenges us to move from one place to another that is more profound? I think not.

”Blessings on your journey”

Can you smell the spring?

Day 97 – from my book “Living and Dying”

As I look around the field of experience and energy in the world, I see movement towards a new and exciting place. It brings with it feelings of trepidation but underlying our fear, I sense a feeling of hope. It is as if our place in the world has moved a little because it may feel a little odd and strange.

It is a gray and rainy day where I sit today. The trees are just beginning to bud, and you can feel and smell that Spring is here. The birds wake me up each morning, and I watch their excitement and exuberance at the feeder. Any day now, life will burst through the binding that holds it and bring with it a new expression of the same life that has always been there, always connected but hidden from our view through the winter months. I remember last year, and the years before, where I had the same feelings and thoughts, yet I hope that somehow today I will grow and blossom into a better place.

While my view of the world outside reflects the darkness in my mind and darkness in the world around me, I know that if I can find a new thought to hang on to, a new place of hope, a hopeful connection, perhaps I can escape from the damp and dreary hole of self despair. You see, it is the memory of new life that highlights my connection with despair, and I need to remind myself that it is only a thought, a memory of the past. If I can change my thought, I can change my world. When I look out into the world today I can choose to see only new life. I will choose not to accept the memory of despair, because that is not what is real for me today. It is only a trap of my mind, a memory of the past.

”Blessings on your journey”

Today in the news

Day 96

I Just listened to Wayne LaPierre the head of the NRA speak on the news.  It is hard these days to not question everything one person says and today is no different.  The past few days guns and their laws have been a hot topic in the press.  Hearing from family’s in pain, school representatives, students, politicians, clergy, law enforcement, the list goes on, and its the same list every time there’s a crisis. I believe this debate will continue and there probably will be a few changes that should or could be added to the current laws.

Wayne LaPierre said many interesting things today that resonated with me.  He commented as he always does on the 2nd amendment, the right to bear arms.  As a conservative American and one who would do anything to protect my family from any evil, it caused a physical and emotional reaction within me.  While I am not currently a gun owner, I could sense a strong and real connection with my forefathers, the ones who created this protection in the amendment to our Constitution . It also made me realize that while I have this connection with my forefathers through our family heritage of hundreds of years, there are many living here that do not feel or have that (perhaps that is what fueled Trumps win last year).  While I would love to live in a world that does not require or need protection, I don’t feel I’m going to experience that in my lifetime.

He advocated for better enforcement of the current gun laws, which he feels is not being done to the extent of the law. He also advocated for having guns present in the hands of well trained individuals in currently banned school zones. His argument was the only thing to stop a gun in the hands of a bad guy was a gun in the hands of a good guy.  Now, while that idea makes me shutter just a little bit, he said if not, take the guns out of the White House, the Capital, the stadiums and public areas and from the entertainers and those who pay for that protection.  Interesting thoughts.

The conversation will continue with the intent of keeping our loved ones safe. But, maybe the conversation isn’t about guns at all, but more importantly about changing what our country wants to be and believe in. I send all my love to those affected by the series of events that have rocked our world this week and in the pastweeks and months.

“Blessings on your journey”

Three things!

Day 95

1. There will always be factors and people that we cannot control; how we respond can determine the quality of our lives.

2.  There’s always more than one right answer, path, possibility, nuance, or flavor – so insist upon none.  Insisting on details, always limits you.

No matter how good we are at controlling our circumstances, there will always be factors and people that we cannot control. How we respond to these experiences to a great degree determines the quality of our lives.  Life can be and is designed to be meaningful, fullfilling, joyous, purposeful, peaceful, loving, etc. (add your adjectives here).  While at times we are challenged and feel broken do not be dismayed.

3. Do not be dismayed by the brokenness of the world. All things break. And all things can be mended. Not with time, as they say, but with intention. So go. Love intentionally, extravagantly, unconditionally. The broken world waits in darkness for the light that is you.   L.R. KNOST

”Blessings on your journey”

Be the spark

Day 95

This morning while watching the news I caught an ad with Lester Holt about their news station responding to people in times of despair. In it was a glimpse of a woman wading through flood water, commenting on the help of neighbors and community during the natural disaster.  Her comment struck a chord with me as she said, “this is what America is all about”  I assumed that meant what I was seeing, people helping people, people running to those in trouble to save them and to help or at the very least make a difference in their lives.  This idea of helping those in need has always been a very big part within me.  When I’m able to help a neighbor, a family member, a stranger, I feel good inside and can see and feel the appreciation from those who I’ve helped, in fact you could see it in her comment.

The troubling part of this comment of “this is what America is all about” is, we don’t often respond like this unless it’s happening to us or in our own backyard.  I think we have been given to believe the government can do it better or even more disturbing that the goverment is responsible.  Also, if we put it on the government, we can believe it’s not our problem and have someone to blame too.  At this point, I’m not feeling confident that our government can accomplish anything.  While I am not in a position to change that today, I hope that with all the disruption and conflict we see everyday we will emerge in a better place.  I also believe the old ways of conducting business needs to change, and I feel this disruption and conflict may very well be the necessary energy we need to create change.

I believe, first and formost, that caring for each other is what America is all about.  Whether it’s giving of your personal time, money, friendly or angry thought, it begins with us.  We are the ones who can bring change and love to the world.  Be the spark!

”Blessings on your journey”

Questioning reality

Day 94

You can never be deprived of your perfection and holiness, because its goes with you wherever you go. You can never suffer, you can never be alone and nothing can destroy your peace of mind. How bout that!  This idea of a new reality could eventually overcome completely the sense of loneliness and depression.

Depression is an inevitable consequence of our error in thinking. So is anxiety, worry, helplessness, misery, suffering, and intense fear of loss. The scary thing to me is we have invented many “cures” for what we believe to be the “ills of the world.” But the one thing they do not do is to question the reality of the problem.

For years (a lifetime so far) I have been working on questioning the reality of my problems with some success. I have written about it, prayed about it, meditated about it, and counseled about it only to learn its effects cannot be cured.  It cannot be cured because the problem is not real. How bout that!  It is not real because deep within us everything is perfect, ready to radiate through us and out into the world. This idea, this new thinking can cure all sorrow, pain, fear and loss because it will heal the mind that thought these things, the mind that thought these things were real and suffered out of its allegiance to them. Although some days are easier than others, we cannot give up because Living and Dying is a challenge. A challenge we have asked for, and one that opens the door to living a spiritual life in a human experience.  Take a few deep breaths and feel that connection with our perfection and holiness.  Make it a big part of your day.

“Blessings on your journey”