Monday, December 26, 2016

Last Week of December

This week, which bridges the old year to the new, is a magical week. We are still flush with the warmth of the giving Holidays and openly hopeful for the year to come. There's no other week like it.
We set out on this journey with little more than our name. If we are fortunate we are encouraged to reach high and follow our dreams. If not we eventually find our own way because life is like that. It has a way of unfolding and coming together just as it should. Eventually we come to where we are. This week. This in-between week where we look back and forge ahead at the same time.
Whatever this past year was to you, either good or bad, remember this - you are the person you are because of all that happened. One small change, one slight modification, and you would be a different you. We will never know what that person would be like, but we do know who we are right now and that's a powerful place to stand.
Orient yourself. Take stock. This next year promises to be another life changer. Play your part and I'll play mine. Each and every attempt we make to love and care about each other is an affirmative statement. Each and every act of kindness and consideration speaks volumes about who we are. You are not insignificant in the grand scheme of things. One single atom's change and the world would be a different place.
So let's celebrate what is and what can be. Love those you hold dear and keep them close. And as far as the year to come? Reach high and far and dream big, my friend, because you never know what it could bring. It might just be the best one yet!

Thursday, December 15, 2016

Evening News

I like how the evening news started adding feel good stories at the end of their program even though the rest of it is a waste land of sensationalism, disasters, and pharmaceutical advertisements. Let's face it, good news doesn't sell ads the way horrible news does. They know exactly what they're doing and how to make the most of it. Sometimes I think the feel good stories are there just to keep them from feeling too guilty about the garbage they feed us. Our maybe it's to prevent the news anchors from slitting their wrists right on the set!
To be sure, the news the networks feed us is such a small carefully selected part of what's really happening out in the world. Once in a while you'll either hear something or see something so extraordinarily heart warming or reaffirming of the goodness of people that it stops you in your tracks. As human beings we have this amazing ability to act out of kindnesses once we understand that selflessness is to life what water is to the drought stricken - life giving.
There's hundreds if not thousands of people out there doing great and wonderful deeds everyday. Let's not let the negativity and hatefulness of the news color what we know about ourselves or keep us from our potential. Inside of each of us is a giving heart. If we live true to our selves and aren't afraid to be exposed to rejection or ridicule we can make a difference. That's the real news. People still care about each other!
I'm not talking about giving money, although sometimes that's exactly what's needed, I'm taking about giving something that's even more priceless . . . yourself! Oh sure, you may not make the news, but to the person you reach out to you might be the best thing that happened all year.
So let's go out there and make our own personal headlines!

Sunday, December 11, 2016


We are a great entangled mystery of fleeting existence and powerful impact. A bit of fading mist with the ability to change the world.
Though we may be dust, my friend, we are the dust of the Universe! We are a galaxy in a thimble. The same life force that lives in all creation lives within us too. To think that there is that of God in such an fragile vessel as mankind is beyond understanding. And yet, that is what makes our brief existence so powerful. That is what gives our lives so much urgency and significance.
We are not nothingness, we are somethingness. Every breath that was ever taken from the beginning of time is still out there someplace. We take it into our lungs everyday and add our own to the mix. We build on the shoulders of all who have come before us. If we fail it is only to the extent that we do not care and will not love. If we succeed it is in direct relation to our understanding of how precious a gift we have.
There is much we can do in our short tenuous lives but there is so much more we can become. To love and be loved, to make this world a kinder place, this is the soul reason we are here. There is no greater thing we can do.
Cherish your life and give from your heart.

Wednesday, November 30, 2016


"I didn't understand the difference between intelligence and knowledge. So I assumed I was an idiot." J.D. Vance ~ Hillbilly Elegy

In some respects I am and always will be a 7B1.

In seventh grade we moved from Shawswick, a country school, to Bedford Junior High. I don't remember being tested, but what I do remember is ending up in the 7B1 class. It didn't take long to realize that 7B1 was the lowest level of the seventh grade class structure. Once that became clear to me I accepted the fact that wasn't as smart as some of the other kids my age, otherwise I would have been put in a higher bracket. It was just a fact of life evidenced by my continual struggle with math and reading.

That classification stuck with me for years. Even when my twin sister and I were accepted at college I figured it was because the school needed the money not because of my dazzling SATs. My family scratched together the additional money we needed to supplement the grants and loans we were awarded along with work study. It was a semester by semester endeavor.

It wasn't until late my Sophomore year in college that a friend majoring in Early Childhood Education suggested I take a skills test. Turns out I'm dyslexic. Not in the totally non-functional way, but in the just enough to flip digits when ciphering math and losing tracking when reading kind of way. Who knew?

So with that little bit of self knowledge I slowly started doing better in my studies. 

I majored in Art. 
I never dreamed of majoring in anything else. Truth is Art and Music saved me, although I never realized it was a special gift. It came so easy I thought everyone could do it. I just thought they put efforts in other more academic things. Of course learning to read music was out of the question.The first time I took Psychology in college I failed. A year later I aced it. I completely made up my final term paper using handmade drawings and diagrams to illustrate my thesis. I had to dig just to come up with a believable bibliography. When I got the paper back it had an A+ on it. The professor requested I see her after class. I bolted. I was afraid my fraud would be discovered. Now I wonder how my life would have changed if I had "fessed up". That was when I realized that I might actually be smarter than I thought.

And yet, it wasn't until after I had graduated from college that I got up the courage to try to read a book all the way through, cover to cover, for the first time. I was 23. I went to the bookstore and picked the thinnest classic I could find . . . The Scarlett Letter. After that I pushed myself to read another, and then another, and then another until I became a consistent reader. Oh sure, I might be slower than most, but now after all these years of reading and continual learning I feel that I truly understand the difference between intelligence and knowledge and the reality of disability vs. potential.

What's really funny is in the end I married into a family of Educators. When I first met my father-in-law he asked me what my career aspirations were. Poor guy never realized I actually made it up on the spot. Turns out what I told him was the exact path my work life took. I've been working in the IT field for nearly 20 years now.

So in the end the 7B1 classification was just a label and not reality. It's my history to be sure, part of who I am and the person I've become. Through persistence and perseverance I have to say I'm feeling pretty confident in my abilities these days and it turns out I'm a pretty smart person after all, if I do say so myself!

Monday, November 14, 2016

Real Friends

Something about clicking a link to add a friend and clicking a link to remove a friend has always seemed too easy to me anyway. Facebook isn't real-life. It's make believe. It's how folks create the life they want to present to the rest of the world. The REAL friends you have are the friends you care about. Friends you call regularly, go out to dinner with, sit on the beach with, take weekends or vacations with, who accept you for who you are, and can disagree with but still love dearly. And then there's your kindred spirit friends you don't see for months or years on end, but when you finally get together it's like time never passed. There's a lot to be said for that. Oh sure, it's fun to get in touch with old classmates, college acquaintances, and buddies from old jobs - but after its all said and done your real friends are right here by your elbow either in fact or in heart no matter what stupid things you might say it do.

Thursday, November 10, 2016

Our United States

Our United States of America has always been a churning changing place. A delicately balanced, close to the edge, proposition. Each election we give her to another batch of dreamers who we hope will bring her to her glory. It's strange we never believe she is at her best in the present. Instead we are nostalgic for "the golden years" when she was that Great City on the Hill. But if we were honest we'd have to admit that that time only exits in our minds. She has always been in the throes of childbirth, a changeling, an elusive goal.

That doesn't mean we don't hope to make her great, to lift our lamp beside the golden door. But let's not fool ourselves. She is always in the making and never completely ready for the dance. She is a living breathing organism made up of this ever changing political stew of ideas and hopes and dreams. She is not breakable, she is resilient and shapeable.

We are the fortunate children of former immigrants who hoped to give us a better life. A life that has always been more perceived than actual. America is our ideal. A moldable framework we shape over and over again. She is not meant to be rigid institutions or stodgy legislation. She moves, she breathes, she flexes and stretches with the times. Our treasured Constitution is very much alive. We constantly apply it to our changing world. Even when we try to "hold to the original intent of the framers" we're basing our judgement on the current perception of history.

So here's what I have to say during this unsettling time. Don't be afraid. Hold on to your ideal of our country and its people. Fight for what you believe is right. Make your voice heard. Don't be shy. Be active in the making of this great country. Hold elected officials accountable. This is what America is all about. This is what makes Her great. This is what makes US great.

Saturday, November 5, 2016

Being Right

As humans we need to feel special simply because we are ego based beings. It's at the core of who we are. And even though I can only see the world through my own eyes, don't have a frame of reference other than the one colored by my own experiences, and can't divorce myself from myself that doesn't give me a pass to do or say whatever I please.

Relationships are delicate things. The things we say to each other either without thinking, calculatedly, or in total disregard of someone else's feelings are some of the most ugly and unforgivable things we do as a species on this planet. It's a sad commentary on our society that this sort of behavior is so pervasive today.

When conversations devolve into competitions intent on showing off status (who we are, the people we know, what we do for a living, our political leanings, our religious dogmas and all the other things we think make us better than other people) we do a great disservice to the those around us. It's not like anyone else really cares about our status except us. If anything it becomes an obstacle.

But, if we can keep our egos at bay long enough to give each other room to share and talk and participate in the general conversation of life then we learn how important each and every one of us are to our own survival. We all have something to contribute. We all have value and purpose.

That one-sided conversation we were having was actually hurting us and preventing us from sharing our hopes and dreams and experiences. It was keeping us from being close to each other and caring about each other and getting through the tough times despite all our differences.

You see, my friend, in the end "being right" never out weighs being love.

Sunday, October 30, 2016


Knowing our life will end someday should give us new eyes each and every day.

Most times we live life like it will go on forever. And while that's a lie we like to tell ourselves it robs us of the importance each hour holds - these fleeting present moments where we live our days.

What we should fear is not death, but not living life while we have it. Ignoring the sweetness of the days we have. Not to wish away the hours, but make each and every day special with the knowledge of its limits. To love and care about each other. To be there when we're needed because our actions and inactions have consequences that will far out live our lives.

Life is messy. I'll admit it. I'm not perfect. You're not perfect. Sometimes life is just what it is. Don't ignore it or waste it away. It's precious. It's special. It's the one thing you can call your own. You have something more valuable than anything else in the world - life and the freedom to make it whatever your want. It's the only gift you have to give this crazy mixed up world.

And in the end it will be the love you gave, the kindness you showed, and the care in which you lived your days that will live beyond the last breath you take.

Sunday, October 23, 2016

Good Day Bad Day

Sometimes the difference between a good day and a bad day is so small you might not even notice. It cloud be as simple as a smile. As easy as a kind word. It could happen in a heartbeat or it could take all afternoon.

It's less what happens to you, and more what happens inside you. It's that one moment when you realize were all the same. Nobody is better than anyone else. Everyone has the same hopes and dreams and goals and concerns. We're all trying to get to the same place. The place that feels like home. Where we feel like we're supposed to be.

Imagine you and I meet in the hallway at work and suddenly we realize that's true. That the best way to make this crazy world work is to work together. To help each other instead of get in each others way. I help you and you help me. We both get what we need and where we need to go.

I don't think life is the battle we all think it is. I think it's about pulling together. Helping each other. Doing what we can to show kindness and understanding to each other. Sometimes life is easy, sometimes it's hard, and sometimes it's just what it is. Might as well help each other in the process. Might as well do our best to made things better if we can.

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Problem Solver

Paulie said to me, "There are two different kinds of people in the world, problem creators and problem solvers, and you know which one you are, Kris? You're a problem solver!"

Wish that life were so simple.

It's true. I spend most of my time solving problems and fixing things. It's what I do. And for the most part it comes easy to me. I'm not sure why. Basically I just take the time to figure out how something should work and then go from there. It's amazing how things come together if you just take the time to examine it before you set out to fix it.

I learned this from watching my Dad. He knew enough about things mechanical, electrical, and spatial to figure out just about anything, and what he didn't know he just applied basic logic to. He was a master at improvising. If he didn't have the tool he needed he'd figure out how to make another work in its place. He was thoughtful, being sure not to create additional work for himself, and methodical. He was always a few steps ahead in his thinkingy as he went along making sure whatever he did in step one didn't affect the success of steps four and five. These are the qualities that make a good problem solver.

Some people comment about the amount of patience I have when I'm working on something. Not sure if I really am. Indeed there are things I can be very impatient about. But give me a good puzzle, something that takes a bit of logic, strategy, and planning and I could go all day long. It's just flat out fun to me.

So I guess Paulie was right and that's okay with me. It's satisfying to be able to tackle something successfully. You work at something long enough and you'll eventually fix it or at least turn it into something useful. Heck, you might even turn it into something you didn't even know you needed!

So don't be afraid to try. Just take your time and think the problem through. Get creative if you need to. And remember there's no such thing as failure, because you can always apply what you've learned next time.

Thursday, September 22, 2016

Why We Work

Most of us work because we need the money. We have families and obligations and plans and hopes for a better life. But when work is just about money it can suck the life out of you because you start to feel like a widget in a big grinding machine. This is what we've inherited from the Industrial Age.
Trouble is we are no longer in the Industrial Age. We are now living in a Service Economy and the structure and methodology of that past is no longer adequate. What we've lost as a result is the importance of work that has intrinsic value and meaning.
So who's job is it to give us jobs that have meaning? Jobs we can feel proud of where we have the opportunity to make the world better place?
Well, if you're waiting for Corporate America to do it then your going to be waiting a long time . . . like forever! Truth is they can't and never could do this. Sure they can run job pride up the flag pole, hand out t-shirts, and have rah-rah sessions until you think you're going to throw up, but it's not going to happen. It's not going to happen because it's not coming from the place it really needs to come from . . . the actual worker bees. You and me.
I was in a Staff Meeting once and the Operations Manager asked us who the most important person in the company was. People looked around like it was a trick question. I raised my hand, "Erma", I said. Erma was the older lady who cleaned the bathrooms and lunch area. The Manager looked at me and said, "Your absolutely right. If it wasn't for Erma you wouldn't want to work here." She wasn't the brightest person. She wasn't the prettiest person. She did her job to the best of her ability and never complained, because she knew. She knew everything she did made our work lives better.
So the truth is it's not so much what you do, but how you do it. It's something that comes from inside of you. There isn't a company in the world that can make that happen if you don't have it in you all ready. Not Google, not Apple, not Microsoft or any other company.
There isn't a position out there with any company where you can't find meaning and purpose in your work - whether it's solving an internal problem, helping a customer, or simply being kind to a co-worker. You're the only one who can discover the intrinsic value in what you do. Oh, sure, you're representing a company, but more than that you're representing YOU. Who you are. The quality of your character.
You might even end up being the brightest light in another persons life today. Like that cranky old lady who just called because she doesn't understand her bill? She may never hear from her children and be sadder than you know. She might just need a kind and understanding voice on the other end of the phone right now. And you know what? I can't think of a higher purpose than that.

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Rule # 62

It was one of my lowest points. At the time I had three years sobriety. I had just quit the most stressful job I'd ever had because I was having anxiety attacks. I was afraid and uncertain what would happen next, but I was willing to protect my sobriety at any cost.
So, after giving my notice, I drove down to my home town Dunkin' Donuts for an iced coffee and hopefully to run into a fellow recovering drunk there. I wasn't disappointed. There alone at a pink table was one of the crustiest most hard core old timers I had ever known.
I sat down and he immediately knew I was in trouble.
"What's going on?" he asked.
I cried as I explained the situation and how I wondered what I'd do. I had rent, a car loan, and other expenses.
"Well, do you have enough money for today?" he asked.
I figured he was going to offer me money, but I didn't need any so I said, "Yes."
"Then what the hell are you crying about?!" he replied. "Listen, when you get home pick up the '12 & 12'*, go to the middle of page 149 and read what it says. I guarantee the next time you see me you'll be smiling."
"The hell I will old man!" I thought to myself.
But I'm no fool, so I did what he said, and there as plain as day in the middle of page 149 it said - "Don't take yourself too damn seriously."
I'm sure you can guess what I had on my face the next time I saw him.
* The "12 & 12" is the name commonly used for the Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions published by Alcoholics Anonymous

Tuesday, September 6, 2016

Feels Like Home

Sometimes, before I fall asleep, I lie in bed and let my thoughts ramble. Sometimes I get ideas, sometimes I get a feeling, and sometimes I just lie there and listen to the house.

When we moved into our first house in Massachusetts I was surprised how long it took me to feel like it was home. I remember going out to the back yard that fall and lying under a maple trying to feel grounded in the place. A few winters later I remember standing on the deck listening to the trees cracking under an ice storm wondering what would be left. Over time that little house in that starter neighborhood became our home.

When we moved to South Carolina the new house was a totally different style. A beachy open floor plan, lots of light reflecting off the lake with plenty of sunshine and Palm trees. We painted her insides bright colors and kept things airy. For the first couple years I felt like I was living in someone else's vacation home. A mile from the Intracoastal and five miles from the beach . . . I had to pinch myself to think we actually lived there. But eventually it became home.

When we sold that house and built yet another I was excited about the Craftsman design we picked off a website. We made modifications that eventually turned it into a neo-Craftsman meets Low-Country style. We extended the left side to create an in-law suite where Mary's father now lives. I love the layout, the large front porch where we sit for coffee on weekend mornings, the bricked back patio where you can watch the birds take turns at the feeder, the wooden slat fence in the backyard, and the traditional winding neighborhood. At first it felt like we were little kids dropped into a grown-up's house. But it's starting to feel like home now. It may end up being my favorite yet, but I'll let you know.

We live in these structures. They become us and we become them as our lives unfold and change within these walls. We open them to our friends, we hide in them when we feel less social, and hopefully we create memories that will last long after. And sometimes, just sometimes, we have to lay in the backyard under the trees smelling the fall leaves to ground ourselves and feel we are truly home.

Thursday, September 1, 2016

Grab the Hoe!

This morning while I was walking Zoey Mary called me on my cell telling me she had killed a snake that was on the back patio with the hoe and she didn't know what kind it was. Later in the afternoon Mary's Dad was out hanging clothes and saw something he had never seen before and killed it (what ever it was) with the hoe. Tonight while I was getting all the loose items on the back patio put away for the storm I moved a chair and the tiniest of bats fell onto the pavers. Mary wanted me to poke it with the hoe, but I told her to leave it alone. A few minutes later it flew off. After that I went to the front porch to take down the rest of the hummingbird feeders and there was a giant dead bee belly up on the hood of my car. He was beyond any usefulness a hoe could bring.

Don't know what to tell you. It sure was a creature filled day at the house. Looks like I might have to start hiding the hoe.

In case you're wondering the creatures were as follows:

Banded Water Snake
Five-Lined Skink
Brown Bat
Wood-Warping Carpenter Bee

Monday, August 29, 2016


Certainly there is beauty in intricacy. Complexity is full of tantalizing paths and circuitous routes to get lost down. Philosophical discussions, religious apologetics, delicious debates on controversial subjects. They can be enjoyable for a time.
But in the quiet moments, when I seek clearness of mind, I focus on simplicity.
Simplicity is very important. It keeps the world manageable and intuitive. It gives me the ability to quickly assess situations. To bring together events, people, places, and things and consider them in a rational, meaningful way.
I know the world is a complex place. I know my knowledge is limited, but if I can hold such a delicate butterfly as this moment long enough to actually see her wings tremble with the joy of being alive then I'll be satisfied.
Because everything meaningful happens in this immediate, perfect, simple moment and more than anything else in the world I want to be awake to that.

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Pushed or Pulled

You can either be pushed by things or pulled by things.
When pushed you are not quite ready, not quite committed, uneasy and unsure. When pulled you are engaged, your interest has been peaked, your curious and intrigued.
Both of these are doors of the same house. One is the front door, the other the back. It's the same house, but from different perspectives. But here's something you might not know - each of us is that house.
The only difference between the two doorways is fear and faith. I'm afraid I won't be able to pull it off. I'm afraid I'm inadequate. I'm afraid I'm not smart enough, or brave enough, or capable. I don't trust the Universe to guide and protect me.
But let me say this clearly, I want to be fearless not afraid. I want to experience the joy and wonder of going to a place I thought I couldn't go. I want to be pulled into new ideas, new perspectives, and new ways of seeing things from my heart and not kicking and screaming by my heels.
And what do we really have to lose? Looking foolish? Unprepared? Not as polished as we'd like to be? God forbid!
Well, let's get over that as soon as possible, because there's some pretty incredible adventures out there and I, for one, don't want to miss a single opportunity because of what I thought I couldn't do.

Wednesday, August 17, 2016


There is nothing stronger than love expressed as compassion. It's what makes us fully human. When we genuinely love and care for another soul we not only elevate the life of that person, but ourselves as well. That's the remarkable thing about it.
There are natural laws of science, there are man-made laws created to keep peace and protect property, and then there are spiritual laws. Laws that when fully embraced produce changes not only in our behavior, but in our very countenance. They guide us and encourage us to treat all life as sacred. To honor that of God in every living thing.
The spiritual law of compassion is no less important. If anything it might even be the most important law you will ever obey. You see, when we obey the law of compassion by carrying for another person our hearts automatically change. We become more whole because we become a part of that person's life. It's an amazing alchemy. The more we repeat compassionate behavior the more whole we become.
I've seen the hardest soul softened by compassion. I've seen my own outlook and experience changed by reaching out and caring. We can get so focused on the events of our lives and our responsibilities that we fly past these opportunities and in doing so we miss so much of what life has to offer.
Take a moment today and reach out to someone else and let them know you care about them as a fellow human being. I guarantee you won't regret it. It might even change your life.

Tuesday, August 9, 2016

Hardware Software Flesh and Bones

My job involves assisting people who use computers to get work done. But in reality I help people and I fix things. Sometimes, when the stars align, I manage to get them both to work at the same time (glory be!).
Believe it or not computers have as much personality as a person. Every machine has its own quirks and each program has its own idiosyncrasies. An error message may not even be related to the issue at hand. Likewise, people can sometimes be regimented, inflexible, and intolerant. And the responses you get may be anything but what’s happening at the moment.
So it's a very interesting dance that I do - this constant ballet between zeros and ones, offs and ons, hardware and software, flesh and bone, spirit and will – sometimes it’s hard to say which can be the more difficult.
But one thing I do know . . . a physical key can only open the lock it was made for, but love from the human heart? That, my friend, opens all doors.

Sunday, July 31, 2016

Fail on the Side of Love

Don't let what you've been told to believe dictate how you act. If you are going to fail in the eyes of others always always always fail on the side of Love.

Friday, July 29, 2016

Our Higher Selves

Let there be hope and not hatred. Let there be freedom and not oppression. Let there be a future filled with endless potential and not rigid ideology. Let us seek to be our higher selves and not succumb to our lesser natures. For when purpose is greater than personality, when the vision is more important than the need to disagree, when the love and care of our fellows is our primary mission then we move forward knowing that we can accomplish anything. From that point forward we can affect the world for good, from that point on we serve a common purpose, by consensus we are united and we are stronger for it.

Thursday, July 28, 2016

Not Alone

This world can be a crazy place. It wants you to believe that everyone is out to get you. It will tell you that your struggle is solitary, that no-one else understands or cares. It will make you feel angry and frustrated, used and abused. It will take away your joy and make your heart old. There are very few things on this earth that have more power over us than fear of being alone, abandoned, and helpless.
But we are not alone.
Everyday we have the opportunity to confront this beast. To call out the Dragon. To expose the fallacy. To shine the Light of Truth on it. Yes, we have that power. The power to choose who we will be and how we will act. To rise above the noise and chatter. To move mountains and shake valleys. To make a world of difference to another human being. To hold a hand, wipe a tear, and share a moment of true connection.
When we share with each other the world is not so scary after all. We just need to take the time to love each other. To accept each other for who we are. To recognize we're all the same. We just need to move out of our closed little worlds and step out into the Light of day. Let's embrace each other and care about each other. Because we're meant to walk together in this endeavor called life and until we actually do that we'll never be compete as human beings.

Friday, July 22, 2016


In technology Middle-ware is a program that goes between an operating system and another program that allows data to be posted from one system to the other. Systems that otherwise wouldn't talk to each other. Something has to bridge the gap. In a perfect world there would be no need for middle-ware.
The spiritual history of mankind is full of middlemen. Go-betweens because people were either afraid or didn't feel capable of meeting God face-to-face. People like Rabbis, Shamans, Priests and the like. We didn't feel safe meeting God without some sort of distance. Truth is we've never been very good at handling things directly. We always look for someone else to intercede.
But I will tell you a secret. There is that of God in everyone. Every time you interact with someone you are meeting God face-to-face. This is why the phrase "Whatever you do to the least of these you do unto me" is so true.
We are spiritual beings in physical bodies. We have the power to effect people, and not only that . . . we have the ability to affect the entire world! You may not even realize the power that you actually have. You are an amazing creature with the power of the universe inside of you. For good or evil you have an affect. For good or evil you can affect another human being who has this very same potential. I truly believe that if we lock arms and combine all this incredible spiritual heritage and energy we can change the world!
Namaste, my friend.

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

This Side of Normal

Did you ever wonder if someone made up the word "normal" just to throw the rest of us off track? Like maybe there is no such thing?
I keep saying to myself, "Once things get back to normal then I'll . . . ", but so far I haven't even gotten close.
I have this deep desire to have a normal life where I have a normal job that pays me a normal wage so I can spend it on normal things and enjoy normal weekends. But what do I get instead? A crazy hectic life with way too much to do and too little time to enjoy it.
Thoreau once said he didn't want to get to the end of his life and realize that he hadn't actually lived. Know the feeling. There's too much grease on these skids for me. Life is flipping by. I barely have time to think. Makes you wonder when all this happened. When did things change? Who's lame idea was this anyway? It's not normal I tell you!
I'm going back to my original motto . . . "Start out slow and tapper off". I can't claim originality for that one. I read it somewhere a long time ago and really liked it. But you can see why. It's got a nice ring to it. A sit with your arms draped over a lazy swing while you push off with your toes feel going on. An eat your Apple with one hand and sip ice tea with the other kind of flavor to it. A just kick back and watch the world go by on a summer evening after a thunderstorm with nothing on your mind but the smell of fresh rain sort of laziness. Oh yeah, I'm liking that idea.

Wednesday, July 6, 2016

What's in a Name

When I was little there was a boy my age who lived across the street whose name was Robin. I remember thinking, "What a funny name. Who would name their child a bird's name?"

Names are important. We grow into them and become them. It's how we identify each other, call to one another, and think of each other. In some basic yet significant way our names are part of who we are.

I started out as Kristie, named after my mother's friend who was a nurse. I didn't become a nurse, but... I do care about people. When I got to college Kristie sounded too immature and childlike so I asked my friends to call me Kris. I wanted to be seen as a grown-up even though my family still called me Kristie and I've pretty much stuck with Kris since then.

I wonder what would it be like if we never were given names? How would that change who we are, how we see ourselves, or how others see us? It's hard to image and yet sometimes I have a hard time remembering people's names. We all do it. It's embarrassing. I try to make a serious effort to put the face and the name together. Most times it works out, but I feel bad if I can't. And why is that?

Because names are really that important. Over time they become as much who we are as anything else. Using a person's name shows that you care enough about them to remember who they are. That they've made an impression on you. That they matter.

It's so simple. All you need to do is ask a person their name to let them know you care. That someone else knows they exist. And even if you can't remember a person's name after they tell you . . . you can always call them "Friend".

Wednesday, June 29, 2016


Sometimes what lies ahead is more daunting than what I want to deal with. I start thinking about retreating or getting around the issue. Say what you will about facing forward and looking what you dread in the eye. It's not something anyone honestly wants to do. The urge to flee can be stronger than the urge to fight.

I've heard it said the only way out is through, but that's not necessarily true. Some days I can face the things that scare me and some days I can't. It depends... on who's with me, how strong I feel, and how sick I am of repeating the same thing over and over again.

And sometimes things are what they are. It's not that you're weak or self-centered or fearful, you're just too tired to do anything different and the unknown is something you honestly don't know and it looks bigger and badder than the ugly thing you're dealing with.

But eventually the time will come and you'll need to make a change. Sometimes that change will take you to a place you're not ready for, but you will be someday. And when that time comes you can rest assured you're standing on the shoulders of giants - people who felt the same way you do now, but worked through the difficulties and made it to the other side.

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Some Day

Just so you know, someday this'll all make sense. I know it feels like a mess of a crazy quilt right now, but it will. And all those disparate pieces of fabric that were haphazardly stitched together will become something beautiful. Something to be amazed at. Something of true all out wonder because of how it all came together when it seemed foolish to think it ever would. But it will. And when it does you'll realize that nothing happens by shear accident. It's made from all the colorful pieces of life and love and joy and sorrow and the people, places, and things that come our way. Everything that happens has purpose and meaning. It's just that sometimes you can't see it when you're in the middle of trying to put it all together.

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

What Good Can Do

Now let us see what good can do, my brothers and sisters of the heart.

Sunday, June 12, 2016

Orlando Shooting

We must not fail each other. We must stand with all people who wish to live their lives honestly. Who hope for a world of peace and understanding where we can live as who we are and not hide because of fear. I stand with peace. I stand with understanding. I stand for the right of every person to hold their heads high and say, "I have the right to live in peace like anyone else. I have the right to love and be loved like anyone else. I have the right."

Wednesday, June 8, 2016

What to Do

If you don't know what to do, do what you know.

Right Questions

The trick is to find the right questions. Once you know the right questions the right answers aren't far behind.

Friday, June 3, 2016

On my Mind

Pam Purdy has been on my mind for the last few days so I’d like to share a story so you’ll understand why.
In the summer of 1994 I went to a Quaker Conference with a friend that was being held in Amherst, Massachusetts. That Saturday evening we decided to skip the meetings and go to a cookout at a friend's house instead. They had invited a bunch of other people over and requested that I bring my guitar to entertain a little. After dinner I pulled out my guitar. A young woman sitting directly across the deck from me struck up a conversation after the first song.
“Wow, you really remind me of someone,” she said.
“Really?” I asked.
“Yea, when I was a kid my parents sent me to camp on Cape Cod for the summer,” she said.
I had been a camp counselor on the Cape during my college summers twenty years before.
“She had a twin sister,” she said.
My twin sister had worked at the same camp in the kitchen.
“And she played guitar just like you,” she said.
Well, I had been playing guitar since I was twelve.
At this this point I was desperately trying to figure out who this “kid” was. She would have been thirteen at the time and kids have a way of looking very different as adults.
“What was the name of this camp?” I asked. I thought there might be a slight chance there was another camper, another counselor, another camp that might be similar.
“Camp Good News,” she answered.
(Holy Cow!)
“I’m Kris Hillenburg!” I exclaimed.
“I’m Pam Purdy!” she jumped out of her chair.
We met in the middle of the deck in a huge hug. Every one was speechless. Stunned.
So here’s a little history . . . .
Pam came to camp in the summer of '74 not because she wanted to, but because her parents were in the middle of a divorce. When she arrived at camp she was very withdrawn. Sure, she knew what was going on. Her life was falling apart. I knew how she felt. My parents had divorced only three years before that. So I shared with her what had gotten me through.
During that summer Pam’s mother helped in the special activities I came up with, which built a unique bond within the cabin. When it came time for the kids to switch to another counselor my entire group went to the Camp Director and asked to stay with me. Truth is, they told her they wanted to go home if they couldn’t. So I had them the entire six weeks instead of three.
At the end of the summer they planned a hiking trip to Mount Washington in New Hampshire. The morning before the trip Pam’s mother came by to drop off her asthma medication. I was in the daily counselor’s meeting when she motioned for me to come out to talk with her. We stepped out on the front porch of the main lodge.
“I want to talk with you about Pam,” she began.
I got a little nervous. I wondered if I had messed up.
“At the beginning of the summer Pam was so depressed and withdrawn, I was really worried about her and how our divorce was affecting her. Now she’s made friends, she’s outgoing and she’s excited about things again. You know what the worst thing is?” she said.
“No, what?” I asked.
“I envy my own daughter.” she said placing her hand on my shoulder.
I didn’t know what to say.
And now, all these years later, here Pam and I are sitting on somebody’s deck eating hamburgers and hot dogs together.
Pam asked me if I would be willing to spend some time with her the next day. She had started her own carpentry business and was going to be repairing the front porch on an old farmhouse nearby. I couldn’t resist.
When she picked me up the next morning and I got in the car she sat there for a few minutes as if thinking and then said, “I have something to show you. I hope you don’t think it’s too weird.”
She opened up her wallet and pulled out a picture her mother had taken of the two of us from that summer. There we were, arms over each other’s shoulders, baseball caps screwed on, and looking goofy.
“I’ve carried this picture with me for twenty years,” she said. “Any time I had a tough decision to make or I was going through a hard time I’d pull it out and ask myself - what would Kris do?”
I laughed and said, “Believe me, you don’t want to know. I haven’t always made the best decisions.”
“It wasn’t that,” she said. “It was an ideal I could look up to. A higher standard.”
Pretty humbling for me to hear that.
Sadly Pam passed away April, 20th 2013. She was 51 years old. And, as is the way with things, we had lost contact again. But this week, and I can’t explain why, she’s back in my thoughts. So maybe there’s a reason. Maybe the reason is for me to share this story with you. Or maybe I’m just feeling sentimental. Could be. But let me leave you with this one simple thought.
You really never know the impact you may have on another person. Who knows, it might just change their life. I know Pam changed mine.

Tuesday, May 31, 2016


Hey, there are things I just can't explain. Counter intuitive things that people do. At least they don't make sense at the time. But let's face it. We don't read minds. You really can't know what goes on inside of someone else. We barely understand ourselves.

And just when you think you've figured people out you realize it's not that easy. The momentum has changed. It's two outs in the bottom of the ninth with the tying run on third base. Now what do you do?

Well, it depends. It depends whether you're in the outfield or at bat. It's all a matter of perspective. Perspective will determine how you respond to any given situation.

There are things that you can make constant in your life that your friends, family, and co-workers will thank you for. Things that will give your life perspective and consistency.

° Always be kind
° Try not to be judgemental
° Laugh at yourself (don't take yourself so damn seriously)
° Do what you can to help others
° Remember you're not the center of the universe (honestly, you're not)
° Don't be so rigid - things usually shake out in the end

I know it sounds simple, but if we all worked towards these things the world would be a totally different place. And we could stand a little of that right now.

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Circular Thoughts

When I visualize time I don't see it as linear. In my mind I see time as circular. Like the dial of an analog clock. Early to late, young to old, lifetimes to decades, centuries to eons - all continuous cycles of an ever revolving reality. No beginning. No end. Eternity flowing from eternity. On and on and on.
Likewise I visualize the year as represented by that same clock where the hours mark months. The equinoxes and solstices square off in their rightful quadrants. The turning of the seasons. New year turn to old and back again. Completed and repeated. On and on and on.
We are not insignificant. We are the links connecting this time to the next. What we do here, what we say here, how we treat each other is how history will judge us. This minute, this hour, this day, this season, this year, this decade, this lifetime. Perpetuated throughout time, who's invisible hand we hold each and every day.
So for me It's not such a far fetched thought to consider the idea that I will likewise return to that from which I came. Back to humanity's Garden. Where the created is once again aligned with the Creator in ultimate reconciliation and where I will move effortlessly to the next cycle of my existence.
In the meantime I hope to accomplish the work of my life before that time. If I can I will feel that I have done my part in the grand scheme of things.

Sunday, May 22, 2016


Somewhere today some little hatchlings started to grow some feathers so they could eventually become birds so they could someday take wing and fly. Oh, they don't know this just yet. They're too young to realize just how wonderful it's going to be, but that doesn't stop their feathers from growing. And someday soon they'll be fledglings and they'll take that leap of faith out of the nest and they might even fly on the first try. But even if they don't that won't keep them from trying. And trust me, they will eventually fly, because they're birds and that's what they were born to do.

Meant for More

So you've heard the voice inside your head say, "You were meant for more than this." A voice that over time has become so familiar and so dear that where it speaks and where you listen may be the biggest mystery of all. And it's true. We are more than the sum of our parts. Even though it doesn't always feel this way, we are meant for more than this.

Everything that has meaning happens when we are present and open to loving each other. When our hearts and our minds are willing to see that even the simplest event, the smallest interaction, can be life altering - if not for us then for someone else.

But it all depends.

It depends on you and it depends on me. Both of us willing to see past our differences and biases. Both of us making the effort to look beyond our expectations. Both open to seeing each other as we are and accepting each other regardless.

So forgive me when I am less than this. I really want to be more. More loving, more caring, more forgiving. Give me the opportunity to show you who I really am. No, I'm not perfect. You'll see me trip and fall short. But I know in my heart I was meant for more than this - so I keep trying.

Will you make the commitment with me to leave this world a better place because we were here and cared about each other? Really cared? I know it's going to take some effort, but who knows, it might just raise the whole world up to where it's meant to be.

Monday, May 16, 2016

Just Okay

It's okay sometimes for things to be "just okay". It's really hard to maintain a constant rate of speed and excitement. Most times life is amazing, but sometimes she can be messy and cranky and will sass back when you tell her to calm down and take a chill pill. Once she stops pouting and gets over herself she's usually happier and better behaved.

Remember, just because you can doesn't mean you should. Balance is about knowing when to walk and when to run full speed. When to close your eyes and get centered and when to lean into the scary abyss and trust the Universe.

Everyday is different, but you'll know what to do. Just be ready when life calls a time out. Go sit the bench and rest up because you never know, the next round might be totally breath taking!

Tuesday, May 10, 2016

When I Was

When I was younger I created objects with my hands, then when I got older I created songs with my voice, now that I'm older still I create concepts and ideas with my words. It has been a natural evolution where all three flow from the One Creative Force that resides in me.
To be an artist and creator of things is a wonderful gift that we should encourage in ourselves and in others, because we all have the ability to do it.

We live in a world flush with creativity. A world where all of life is sacred and each and every one of us has the ability and gift of expressing that sacredness in everything we do. Actions are creative acts regardless of whether they bring forth works of art or changes in the heart.

My hope is that we begin to see that whether we create good or evil we have the ability to change the world. Let's choose to make it a better place.

Thursday, May 5, 2016

So Proud

I can't help myself. I get excited when people I know, especially people I dearly care about, have successes. Most times it's not a direct benefit to me except for the fact that I thoroughly enjoy it.

I love to hear their stories front to back, beginning to end. Love to see their eyes light up. Love watching them come alive in the telling. Love the fact that life really is full of possibilities. That they've hit one of those little lotteries that happen once in a while to remind us we're special and life can and does have meaning.

All you have to do is keep doing the right thing. Be the person you truly can be. Take the risk to walk through that open door. And most of all be willing to do the hard work it takes to get where you want to go.

You can do it. I know you can. And when it happens (and believe me it will) be sure to share, because you make me proud!

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Rightfully Yours

I assume it would be safe to say that if you pressed your open hand into the dirt, whatever stuck to your palm would be rightfully yours.

And I assume that if the creak of an old door suddenly awoke something deep within the historical memory of your ancestral DNA, it would be wise to listen. Wise to enter that moment where you intersect the spiritual vortex that leads to the crystal clear absolute now.

If we could, for that fleeting moment, be so deeply "in our shoes" that our socks were squishy with the sweat of God Himself, we would see with our own two eyes that the Bush still burns - that our lives are changed! How different we are!

This is the secret of life. To fully live in the present moment. To drink in the Truth that all of life is sacred down to the last crumb of bread in an ant's grasp . . . if we are there and truly awake to it.

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

The House That Holds the Soul

If You would be so kind, my God,
to meet me in this quiet place,
and hold me in the Light of
light and love and hope and grace.
Where Face to face we reconcile,
the only distance that exists,
a veil as thin as dewy mist,
within the mind of man forgot.
In Truth, there is no distance here,
and never was if tale be told,
it only was because of fear,
instilled by those who sought control.
And now their places are mere dust,
and ashes left to blow away,
for all are priests and free to come,
into The House that holds the soul.
Which has no walls or floor nor roof,
and yet is better Home than hearth,
for weary traveled souls as ours,
and all who come to seek the Light.

[Written during a Quaker Meeting for Worship sometime in the mid-1990's]

Saturday, April 23, 2016

Let Go

Let go of things you can't change, but be sure to change things you can to make this world a better, kinder, more accepting place. That's the real challenge. Knowing the difference. And remember it's progress not perfection. We do what we can even in small seemingly insignificant ways. Over time the effort gives way to reality.

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Promise and Reflection

Daybreak and sunset are miraculous times of the day. One holds the promise of what is to come and the other reflection on the things that were. Likewise, we begin our own lives with anticipation and hope and we end our days in thoughtful reflection on how we spent it.

It's not surprising that our lives are reflected in nature. We are after all creatures of the earth. And yet of all the inhabitants of this world we seek a life beyond mere survival and existence. We seek meaning and purpose. We seek that of God, whatever that may be.

Now is the time to create goodness. Now is the time to do amazing things. Now is the time to partner with The Light. Don't hold back. Reach high. Lean in strong. Put force behind your convictions. Give all you have to give until there is no more.

There will be plenty of time later for reflection on the way things were.

Saturday, April 16, 2016

The Two of Me

We are a dichotomy. Two apparent personalities. One that strives to obtain and one who seeks the intangible. There's a time and place for both. A balance of earthly purpose and spiritual consistency. To succeed in life and still be true to our values.
Happiness isn't a limited quantity. It doesn't have to be wrestled away from those who have it. It's not measured by possession or position. Oh sure, there are those who will tell you success is measured by what you have, but the truth is it's measured by what we do with what we have. Happiness must be shared for us to reap it's full benefits.
Likewise kindness is not a commodity. It doesn't follow the rules of supply and demand. There is no limit to it's goodness. It only exists in the giving and it's only limit is how much we are willing to give.

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Love and Meaning

Every person on the face of the Earth desires three things: to love, to be loved, and to have a meaningful life. These are the highest goals we can have - not power, not money, not greed. And in the end, when all our trappings have failed to comfort us, love and meaning will hold our hand and remind us that the life we lived was a wonder indeed. On that day she will look us full in the face and say, "Oh, how rich you were my friend and what precious intangible possessions we shared."

Wednesday, April 6, 2016


I had an out patient procedure today and I got to talking to the nurse taking my info. She asked what my occupation was I said, "I'm a computer person, I fix stuff, but really what I do is help people." I told her my mission was to encourage people like the young people I work with who are trying to figure out what to do with their lives. I tell them if you have something in mind, something you love - chase it! The nurse got this far away look in her eye and said, "I wish someone would have told me that. My parents weren't very supportive." I had a feeling it was something other than nursing. Then she said, "It's a wonderful thing you do." And I thought to myself . . . Oh yeah, I'll keep doing it.

Monday, April 4, 2016


The world can be an unsettling place sometimes. Things happen. Unexpected things. Things we can't control. I like to think someone or something does have ultimate control, but it's hard to say. Truth is the only thing we can control is how we respond to things that happen out of our control. And that's okay. It would be too much of a burden on this simple soul to carry any more responsibility than that.

Thursday, March 31, 2016


When I am kind to others I believe the love ripples out like waves in water traveling outward beyond my reach and that, in time, it will return to me with the richness of every shore it ever touched. It's a long term prospect I am willing to pursue and willing to wait for.

Wednesday, March 30, 2016

No Boundaries

True story:
In 1921 in the south of Poland, following World War I, a Quaker nurse had come to a small Catholic village to bring healing and love to the people there. After a time she herself fell ill and subsequently died. Because of their love for this woman and her dedicated service to their town the villagers asked the Priest if she could be buried in the church cemetery, but the Priest was firm. It was a Roman Catholic town, a Roman Catholic territory, and church law forbade that any but baptized Roman Catholics be buried in the Catholic cemetery. The decision was made to have her buried just outside the cemetery fence in an adjacent lot. And so they did. The next morning the Priest was astounded to see that the villagers, faithful Catholics all, had gone out in the middle of the night and moved the fence.
Love has no boundaries. We all need each other. We all belong to the same family. Let's wrap our arms around each other. Let's go out move the fence!

Wednesday, March 23, 2016


So I start out with a simple idea (something positive or uplifting that popped into my head or a snippet of a conversation that day) and then I try to use words in such a way that it takes you to a different place in your thinking. I want you to read it like it's the first time you've ever come across such a notion. And why? Because we take so much for granted when it comes to life. We hold on to our over-worked assumptions. It's like we think we know things before we even know them. But we really don't. We can't. Because life is full of twists and turns and boomerangs - things that come back when we least expect them and change what we thought we knew about them in the first place. And that's what makes writing these little essays so much fun for me. Because to be challenged and surprised at the same time is magic in the making and there's nothing more fun than that!

Tuesday, March 22, 2016


Tonight, before I fall asleep, I'm going to take a few minutes and think back over my day. It wasn't perfect, but I tried. Some days are brilliant flashes of light and some are just "sloggers". Today was somewhere in between . . . and I'm okay with that. It just proves my life is normal.
The house is still. I love the feel of it. Like so many times I laid in bed as a kid - listening to the house. So ends the day with the same quietness from which it woke. The last bit ticks by. I close my eyes.
Good night.

Sunday, March 20, 2016

Remember Who You Are

It's really quite simple. All you need to do is remember who you are.

All You Have

When all you have is love and kindness then you will have all you need. When you reach into your pocket and pull out nothing but an open hand then you will have found something more powerful than all the money in the world.

The action of a pure and willing heart can make all the difference to a wounded soul. To say, "You are not alone. You are cared about and loved." is music to a weary heart.

There is so much you can do. Never let an opportunity pass to be the very person you yourself would need.

Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Take a Hike

I've been following a young woman who started walking the Appalachian Trail (AT) this month. She's the daughter of the woman who owns the local UPS Store where I drop off work packages I return to vendors and such. She and her Mother have a Blog and I'm trying to keep up on it.
I've read enough books on the Appalachian Trail to be an arm-chair-expert. I'd like to believe that I'm still young enough to take on such an endeavor, but time is ticking. I've heard stories of folks doing it well into their 70s. I’ll probably end up a section hiker, but that’s okay. Maybe when I retire I’ll be able to section hike the whole thing in 7-10 years!
There's this thing called "trail magic" on the Appalachian Trail. It's when people from the surrounding areas come out and either provide food, drink, or other necessities to weary hikers on the trail. They say trail magic happens when you least expect it, but from the sounds of it more folks living near the AT are making this magic happen.
Back in the late 90s, when we had our cabin in Vermont, I used to pick up hitchhikers coming down from the Trail to Bennington and on the flip side I’d pick up others going back up to the Trail from Manchester. It was a little thing on my part, but it was a long walk in and out of town for them.
The other thing common on the Appalachian Trail is no one goes by their real name. They all have “trail names”. If you get on the trail without having picked a trail name others will find on for you pretty quickly. I’d probably use the camp name I had when I worked at a Girl Scout camp in Kansas one summer – Dedo. That was my Dad’s nickname. His little sister couldn't pronounce Dale, I guess. I looked so much like him people called me “Little Dedo” when I was little.
Wouldn't it be cool if we could take “trail magic” and turn it into “everyday magic” where we purposefully did things to make other peoples lives easier and better? And what if we called each other by names similar to trail names, but they were our “who-we-really-are-names”, because they stood for our very best qualities? Think about it!
I don’t know about you, but I’m getting the urge to take a hike!
If you’re interesting in following “Ladybird” you can do so here -

Tuesday, March 15, 2016

Beep, Beep, Boop

My Uncle Harvey was blind. When I was a teenager I remember him participating in trials of new devices including a beeping softball, talking watches, and other items he'd receive from the VA or other sources. I remember he had a walking cane that made 3 distinct tones depending on the location of an obstruction. If there was a step down it made a low tone, if it was straight ahead it made a medium tone, and if it was overhead it made a high tone. In this way he could "see" where he was going.
I have my vision, but I tend to bump my head when I'm not paying attention, or slip off the curb while I'm looking at my phone, or spill stuff when I reach for a glass with a sideways glance and end up knocking it over.
I guess I should be more aware, but there's just so much going on. How can one grasp it all?
I have this phrase I use when I start feeling disconnected and distracted. I say, "I need to be in my shoes." Meaning I need to feel the bottom of the soles of my feet touching the insoles of my shoes. Here in this immediate moment. Just like that. It's like that beep from Uncle Harvey's cane making me aware that I'm missing something that's right in front of me. I need to stop and appreciate my surroundings, the people in my life, and the things I have.
It's so easy to get caught up in the pace of things. Always moving, always busy, too busy to stop and look around and see where we are.
Guess this is the real curse of our age. We're distracted. Disconnected. Isolated by our own technology and endeavors.
When was the last time you simply stopped to watch a bird fly overhead, or closed your eyes and smelled the cool sweet fresh air of Spring, or looked into a loved ones eyes without a word?
Not nearly enough I tell you. Not nearly enough.

Sunday, March 13, 2016

It's Why You're Here

Our uniqueness is the very thing that makes us alike.
We appear similar and have similar physical attributes, but we can never truly understand what's it's like to be another person. Sure, the human genome has been sequenced, but the human soul never will be. We are a lovely beautiful mess of amazing mystery.
Who's to say what insignificant things may have affected who we are? What triumphs our tragedies imprinted or souls? What historical events stored in our ancestral memory have shaped us? What moment of awe and wonder opened our spirits, called to us, spoke to us, formed us?
Bravely be who you are. Don't worry if others accept you or agree with you. Fight for what you believe in. Follow your dreams. Give your heart and soul to kindness. Never hold back on love.

And understand this - there will never be another you. Being who you are is the one thing only YOU can do. The gifts you bring are uniquely yours. In the end you will change the course of the world just like every person who has ever drawn breath and dared to be themselves. Chase life. Run long and hard at it. It's your destiny. It's why you're here.

Saturday, March 12, 2016

Make Good Choices

Mikhaila always leaves you with, "Make good choices".

It's something she and her friends started saying to each other after a friend's Mom said it as the last bit of advice before they all went to a party.

Believe me, no one wakes up in the morning and says, "I think I'll make a bad decision today." We all do the best we can.

Decisions come from several places. One isn't better than the other. They're just different.

Sometimes we make decisions with our heads. We logically work out the details and check the boxes. It's pretty bloodless. I think of this as "the grown-up method".

Sometimes we go with "the gut". This is the visceral method. It comes from a place that's deep and "known". You may not know why, but you certainly know you do.

Sometimes we make decisions based on the heart, and . . . well, what could possibly go wrong there?! Frankly this method is the scariest. You're just hanging out there hoping your right because how you feel emotionally is the only thing you've got to go on.

Sometimes we foist our decisions on others because they're too hard or we're too afraid to make the wrong one. This is decision by proxy. It's like hearing your parent's voices in your head, which sometimes isn't a bad thing.

And once in a while, when we have no idea how to move forward, we punt and just put one foot in front of the other and hope it all works out for the best. Truth is we're all flawed individuals and sometimes we're just scared little kids hoping we've done the right thing.

So here's my thoughts on all this. I make the best decisions I can based on what I know. I try not to hurt anyone or get in their way. I try to make decisions based on who I am and what I believe. In the end I try to trust the Universe to take any wrong decisions I've made and make them right, because I'm pretty sure my heart is in the right place and in the end nothing is permanent and everything changes.

I really like what Mikhaila says. I always have this feeling of open possibilities when I walk away from her. I really do have choices. I have them everyday. And you know what? Today I'm going to go out there and make some really good ones!

Thursday, March 10, 2016

Life Sucks

I find that when I focus on others and not on myself and I reach out and do what I can things are better. It's not about how much my life sucks. It's about how I can help make someone else's life suck less. It's not about what life has done to me. It's about what I can do for others. It's not about dropping my dreams or the things I want. It's about acting in love because that's what life is all about. Those things will come, but love endures forever. You never know the impact you may have on people, whether for ill or good. Make it good and the Universe will respond. You may never be worry free, but your problems will be in perspective and the love you have sewn will come back to you when you need it. We all know this is true, but misery loves company even if it's for a short while. When we focus on ourselves our lives gets very very small indeed, but when we can put the focus on others it expands and expands and expands.

Tuesday, March 8, 2016


When I came through the door last night I asked my family how they were (just like I do every night). They were sitting in the living room watching the evening news. "We're suffering from diarrhea, constipation, low testosterone, and diabetes", they answered.
We all had a good laugh.
But here's the sad truth . . . in the evening TV is full of pharmaceutical companies trying to sell us drugs and in the morning it's full of lawyers trying to help us sue pharmaceutical companies for the side effects. On top of that we become so desensitized to the content of these advertisements that we don't even blush when the woman in the ad starts talking about erectile dysfunction as she seductively slides across the bedspread in her slinky night gown and come hither stare. (Please, someone, anyone, cover the children's eyes!)
This is how violence, mayhem, mistreatment of others, and things that would normally be unacceptable become accepted. Think about it. How many murder shows can you see in one night and not be affected? Not become numb to it?
All this habitual exposure is making us less compassionate and loving people. We're defensive, argumentative, and agitated. The funny part is we don't even know why, but believe you me the companies that are selling stuff know why because when we're uncomfortable or agitated we purchase stuff that we hope will make us feel better. When we're loved, comfortable, and happy we don't need anything else.
I say we kick the chair out from under these companies and spend more time doing the things that help us walk more gently, speak more kindly, and hold each other more lovingly. We need to understand that we have tremendous power to influence the world when we protect and care for our fellow travelers be they animal vegetable or mineral, like us or different, known to us or unknown.
It's time we became the influencer and not just the influenced.