Friday, December 9, 2016

Daily Inspiration 12-9-16

Which one do you like better? 
Do I have to? 

-- Terry Minion 

The quote above was a thought that landed in my brain a few days ago and I had to write it down. It seems that we are supposed to always know which we like better when we are presented with a selection of some kind. So, I thought, what if I like them all? What if I see value across the board? What if the fact that they are different from one another doesn't mean that one is better, or even preferred?

This post from Seth Godin's blog landed in my inbox yesterday:

He says that there are "Two kinds of winning. Some can only win when others lose. Others seek to win by helping others succeed. One of these approaches scales far better than the other."

My favorite perspective on this I learned from one of my early mentors, Jim Rohn. He said, "There are two ways to have the tallest building. Tear everyone else's down, or build your own." He mentioned in one seminar that when the destroyer comes around, he says, "I heard about you!" Of course, pushing against him or the idea of people trying to destroy, tear apart, try to steal your clients by pointing out the faults, and more is counterproductive in every case. Besides, are taller buildings better?

I like how Alan Cohen says to act: "Control what you can, but flow with what you can't." I can only control what I think and what I do, but I cannot control how other people think and act. And, one thing that I have learned is that there is no need to join them, no matter what they think they could do to me.

I had a couple of attackers in the last few days, and my first reaction was who do they think they are? It's bullshit, I say. It's all bullshit. (I love that word, and even put it in a song one time on an album I recorded). Well you know, that is how reactions are and that is why it is called a reaction because there isn't much thinking going on, but a whole bunch of defensive ego in charge (another way to see resistance). So, I don't respond yet. I have to gain some more loving perspective.

First, I lay down the rope. Then, I pick it up. Then, I lay it down, and now it is on the ground. I breathe deeply. I realize that this is just someone who is inexperienced and thinks that 1+1 is 2, when it is really 3. I will respond today with a clear head and a loving perspective. The more I get attached to something, including a client, the more trouble I will be in. I just let go of any ill feelings. It's all okay.

I realize that if they think they can steal a client, so be it. If the client will choose them instead of us, then so be it. I love my clients, but I am unafraid. Is one company better than the other? Does it need to be? It's a strong belief in lack that causes someone to tear the other down to get what they want, and I believe in abundance. There's plenty to go around. There's enough for everyone.

I love Alan Cohen's phrase to "control what you can, but flow with what you can't." As much as I control, I will serve and as much as I cannot, I will flow with that river because swimming against the current takes too dang much energy, and you can never ever stop and smell the roses right outside the door..

Winning Is Fun, But It Does Not Require Losers. We All Choose Our Perspectives. 

Spread Some Joy Today--by loving yourself. You are enough. You are magic. You are worthy. You are loved. Yes, you are.

Thursday, December 8, 2016

Daily Inspiration 12-8-16

"I know what I have given you. . . 
I do not know what you have received." 

-- Antonio Porchia 

That is, until you tell me in your own words, or show me with your own actions.

It's Always A Challenge To Achieve True Communication. 

Spread Some Joy Today--by communicating your joy. It's not up to you to worry if others receive it though. Just let it fly.

Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Daily Inspiration 12-7-16

"There is no more courageous act 
than to speak the truth with love." 

-- Albert K. Strong 

Yesterday afternoon, I witnessed a sad event. There were four young boys playing basketball across the street with one of those portable basketball hoop posts out on the curb. I was relaxing in my carport writing some thoughts. I heard the usual yelling with the game going on, the ball bouncing on the pavement. I couldn't see them all or the hoop from my angle. Then I hear, "get outta here you stupid faggot! Then one of them threw the basketball at him and hit him in the back. The victim's hand immediately went to his back as I'm certain it hurt, or at the very least was stinging. The ball bounced off, and it was thrown again hitting him in the butt this time. The kid was the only one I could see from where I was sitting. He picked up his scooter that he was holding on to and began walking home around the corner.

I couldn't help myself. I got up and walked out to the sidewalk, I wanted to comfort that kid a bit, but he was already down the street. I walked out to the three remaining kids, and I told them, "that was so sad what you did to the other kid. It was just plain sad. There is no need to treat people that way." They took pause if only for a moment and then went back to what they were doing, but I know they heard me, and I know they knew exactly what I meant. I wasn't angry. I was saddened by how cruel kids can be to one another, and I could relate because I had things like that happen to me as a kid. I know how it feels, and it feels so crappy, and you just want to cry, but you're too big to cry now, so you suck it up. But I was crying inside for that kid. I had compassion for him.

This event reminded me of how cruel and harmful we can often be to each other. It could be a boss to and employee, an employee to another employee, an impatient and overloaded mother, a stressed-out father, the bullies at school, or in the neighborhood, the bored and tired cashier at the tax department window that I watched yesterday impatient with a man who was from another country and his English and his responses were a bit slow.

It's easy to justify our position because the other is being an idiot, brain-dead, irritating, and a hundred more, all from our own perspective, of course. Compassion is out the window, and even the most basic kindness is missing from the attempted composure as a servant. All this because we are only thinking of ourselves and everyone else is a downer because they are not acting as perfectly as we would like them to.

You might be going along seemingly fine and then for some inexplicable reason, they turn on you and attack, like yesterday when they are all together having fun, and then they turn on one of their own. Although I couldn't see the others when it happened, I'm certain that only one threw the ball, and the other two were either offering mental and verbal support, as a fellow attacker, or attempting to stay in the group out of self-preservation. One of them left shortly after the incident, so I think my little talk hit home with at least one.

So, today is the anniversary of the day that lives in infamy, December 7th. I didn't plan this tie in, but it does tie in. We attack each other and support each other in the attack, for who knows how many reasons, and all of them good, and some of them perfect, and yet it is still the kids on the street, only with much bigger ammunition.

If those three kids were to put themselves into the shoes of the kid that they attacked, there could be some understanding, but that is not the way the world at large works. We justify whatever we need to carry out whatever we think needs to be done.

Consider the quote above. What would it have been like if the kid that was feeling the need to attack, stopped the game for a few moments, gathered together as a group, and expressed verbally without weapons, how he felt about him at this time and why. It requires courage to set aside the ego, seek a compassionate stance and speak the truth about how we feel and why. This applies to any and all relationships within ourselves and with other people. It requires a willingness to be vulnerable, which is one of the best ways to demonstrate courage.

The older and hopefully wiser I get, the more I see a need for us to have more courage. More courage about ourselves, and more courage about how we can deal with others, get what we want, and have them get what they want too. We think we are so separate from one another, and yet inside, we are all walking wounded in some way. We all want to be treated with dignity and respect. We all want to give and receive love. We just are not very courageous sometimes.

We can't get this from our government, or from anywhere else outside of ourselves. We can follow the lead of the pack, or we can choose to be courageous instead. This is the meaning of courage for me. It takes no courage to attack. It takes courage to speak our truth to one another in love so that they receive it in the best possible way. We need understanding. We all need respect and dignity. We all need love and care. And, we can all use more courage.

I Wish For You Some Extra Courage Today. 

Spread Some Joy Today--by loving yourself enough to love others.

Tuesday, December 6, 2016

Daily Inspiration 12-6-16

"Let me never fall 
into the vulgar mistake 
of dreaming that I am persecuted 
whenever I am contradicted." 

-- Ralph Waldo Emerson 

What would our world be like if we all said what was on our mind and heard what others said about us from their mind, and it was all accepted and presented in the best possible perspective? Wouldn't that be interesting? Perhaps fascinating is a better word.

It seems, at least from my own perspective, that it is far easier for me to criticize others than it is to receive criticism. I know what I like and I can easily discern what I don't like, and speaking it isn't so far from thinking it, yet at least 95% of the time--okay, maybe 85% of the time, I keep it to myself for fear of serving the other what they might consider poison. Even though it is the truth. But, I have learned that truth is a relative term. It's supposed to be solid and real, but it's not.

Seth Godin in one of his recent blog posts said it nicely:

"The other person is always right. Always right about feelings. About the day he just experienced. About the fears (appropriate and ill-founded) in his life. About the narrative going on, unspoken, in his head. About what he likes and what he dislikes. You'll need to travel to this place of 'right' before you have any chance at all of actual communication." 

Of course, what he didn't say is that they are us, as we are them. Yet, realizing this can open our mind to consider the other point of view, and perhaps even understand more of their reasoning and perspective. Maybe it will give us pause for just long enough to feel for them before we express our own feelings.

It is always up to us whether we will speak from our mind with our past experiences, our ego with its self-preservation perspective, or our heart. As we express through our mouth the love that is in our heart, we will always speak the real truth, and as this is received by us in this same intention, we feel the real truth. And both are under our full control.

Communication Is Always Enhanced As Our Intention Is Always Love.

Spread Some Joy Today--by speaking the truth of your heart.

Monday, December 5, 2016

Daily Inspiration 12-5-16

"Dogs do not know it is Monday. 
To them, it is only today. 
It is only now." 

-- Alan Cohen 

One of the most notorious acts a human being can do is to label everything. And, yet, we do, don't we? One of the side effects of labeling is association. Now that there is a label, we can freely associate this label with anything we choose. How we associate with this label determines how we will feel about it.

Guess Who Gets To Choose? 

Spread Some Joy Today--That might change things!

Sunday, December 4, 2016

Daily Inspiration 12-4-16

"Does it really matter?" 

-- Alan Cohen 

What a great question, and with minor phrasing changes can even be a guide to peace, harmony, and love.

This is the so-called 'Holiday Season,' with only 27 days remaining. There's a lot to do, a lot going on including travel, seeing people you haven't seen in a long time and such. You have plenty of experience at this, and yet stuff happens, tempers are activated sometimes, and there is also a good deal of love and refreshment, including perhaps some time off of work, and changes in our physical environment.

When those situations that don't feel very good come up, Alan's question is a perfect perspective tool. Does it really matter? Does this thing that is bothering me really matter? In the scheme of my life, does this really matter? What about this thing is causing me to feel upset? Does that really matter?

Some might seek direction from their religious faith by wondering, what would Jesus do? What would Mohammed do? What would Buddha do? And, my personal favorite: What would Love do?

Yesterday, I wrote about all the stuff that we get upset about is just information. It isn't even real when you look at it from this perspective. In seeing it from this perspective, it is so much easier to see how pretty much all mental wounds are actually self-inflicted. Maybe we just get upset because we feel that we are expected to be upset in this situation. But, truly, we get to choose a response or even no response to any and all information that comes and goes. Of course, coming and going is the good flow, and having it get stuck within us is a whole different story.

Does any of it really matter? Is being upset worth the trouble? In my being upset, is it solving anything at all? Does anybody care if I'm upset?

So, now, in our world of duality, let's look at the positive spectrum. You're feeling good. Does it really matter? You're feeling love. Does it really matter? You're sharing your joy with all those around you. Does it really matter? You're in love with life, loving yourself, loving all. Does it really matter? 

There's Only One Person Who Can Answer This Great Question. That Would Be YOU. 

Spread Some Joy Today--That is if it really matters.

Saturday, December 3, 2016

Daily Inspiration 12-3-16

"Help me to be less fearful 
of the measure of time, 
and more fully alive 
in the time that simply is. 
Help me to live time, 
not just to simply use it; 
to breathe it in, and return it 
in acts of love and presence." 

-- Avis Crowe 

What I have learned about life is that it is much more a matter of letting go than in gathering. There is so much melodrama all around us in this world, and even forgetting about the massive amount of outside information, there is as much melodrama within our own thoughts and feelings.

There are hundreds, even thousands of methodologies to try to make sense of it, deal with it, overcome it, and I haven't found any of that stuff that really works as much as letting go. I used to call it not plugging in, and now I call it dropping the rope. In either case, I am releasing the resistance I get from participating in the melodrama of life.

In the medical and psychological world, resistance is more often called stress, and they have hundreds of ways to treat stress, and relieving stress requires none of that. It simply requires letting go. Lay the tug-o-war rope down. Step away. Turn away. Let it go.

We get so uptight about information. Truly. The majority of what we get upset about is simply information. It's funny to think about it that way, and yet, that is what it is.

If we thought of the drama in our mind and out in the world for that matter as if it is information on a long digital reader board like in New York City, we can watch it moving on by even as we are reading it, and then it is gone and more information is coming and going every second of every day. We can just watch it come and go without plugging into it, giving it any energy or attention. Or, we can get entangled in what it means and get very upset about it as we choose. It's all just information.

You got fired. That's just information. What will you do with that information? It can be a problem, a disaster, or it can be a blessing, even the most joyous day of your life. Most joyous day? Absolutely! I know that from my own personal experience. Your spouse wants a divorce. That's just information. What will you do with that information? You can see that as death or a rebirth, or anywhere in between. It doesn't matter what it is, it is just information, and we can treat it that way, watching it, or we can be so involved that we don't know which way is up.

What I have learned from all my experience is to let it go--to let it come and let it go on by. Trying to stop it from coming in is pointless. It will get in. The key is not to worry or stress about defense, or offense, but to take a different approach by rising above it and realizing that this is not me, that these problems only exist in my mind, and that I am not even my mind, but that which is the observer of my mind--that which is my consciousness or awareness.

Once I get to this point of view, I can easily enough allow the drama to come and go without resisting it, engaging with it, or justifying it. As I watch it come and allow it to continue on its path, I am free of the drama. I am free of the turmoil. I am free of the problem. I am free.

Oh, That's Interesting. . . Hmmm, That's Nice. Wow! Look At That Drama! 

Spread Some Joy Today--just for the change of it.

Friday, December 2, 2016

Daily Inspiration 12-2-16

"I wonder if fears really go away, 
or if they just lose their power over us."

-- Veronica Roth 

Another quote by Audre Lorde shares a similar thought: "When I dare to be powerful, to use my strength in the service of my vision, then it becomes less and less important whether I am afraid." 

Does fear ever go away completely? How could it? It is part of the duality of the lives that we live. It is always there. Of course, it is the same with freedom at the other end of the emotional scale. When I am depressed and feeling powerless, fearful, and in despair, does joy, love, empowerment, and appreciation go away? No. They are all still where they were.

So what changes then? It is one word: focus. What I am giving my attention to, my energy to, what I am focusing on. As well, this applies to all those differing levels of emotion in between the top and bottom. We are somewhere on that scale at all times, perhaps even changing positions quite frequently, but they all remain in their good and not so good feeling places, available to us any time we choose to change our attention.

As Audre Lorde said so well, as I focus on my strength and accept my power rather than giving it away in fear, it doesn't even matter that fear is on the same scale. It is insignificant as I focus on what feels empowering.

Have you ever thought how often you might give your power away? What is it to give our power away? We give our power away when we allow others outside of ourselves to convince us of a different reality than we desire, and in our lack of knowledge, self-worthiness, or any number of other similar factors, we feel powerlessness, and perhaps even escape into depression or despair--or maybe even not that far down the scale to the bottom--it might be worry, or anger, or overwhelment.

It could have come from a doctor's diagnosis, a lawyer, a bill collector, government official, or any other so-called authority. In all cases though, we are giving away our own power, and accepting theirs over us.

I believe that we have the ultimate authority within us and that by going within, coming into alignment with our internal Source of all Life, we can reclaim our own power.

I'll end this post with a slightly different perspective on not giving our power away, and is one of the most powerfully stated and empowering quotes I've ever read by Marianne Williamson, from her ground-breaking book, A Return To Love, which I've taken the liberty of presenting in this way:

"Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. 

Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. 

It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. 

We ask ourselves, 
"Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous?" 

Actually, who are you not to be? 

You are a child of God. 

Your playing small does not serve the world. 

There is nothing enlightened about shrinking 
so that other people won't feel insecure around you. 

We are all meant to shine, as children do. 

We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. 

It's not just in some of us; it's in everyone. 

And as we let our own light shine, 
we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. 

As we are liberated from our own fear, 
our presence automatically liberates others." 

I Am As Powerful As I Allow My Alignment With The Ultimate Power Within. 

Spread Some Joy Today--by rejoicing in your own power of focus.

Thursday, December 1, 2016

Daily Inspiration 12-1-16

"We are all at once 
both composition and a composer. 
We have the ability 
not only to compose the future 
of our own lives, 
but to help compose the future 
of everyone around us 
and the communities in which we live." 

-- Maya Angelou 

In the last few days, I have experienced two people telling me how much something I did or said to them long ago meant to them, and how they became more as a result. What's also interesting is that I wouldn't have remembered these things until they told them to me.

Of course, we know that our lives affect more than our own life, don't we? And, I think that most of us would hope that we are doing that in a positive way; albeit, we may know that our influence can also cause pain and distress, even without our realizing what we are doing.

I think the reality is that as we live, as we work, and as we relate to other people, it is impossible not to be an influence. And, a great question might be, how am I influencing others or my environment?

In these two cases, as far as I was concerned, these acts and words spoken were out of love and kindness. We would have no idea that it might affect them 20 or 30 years into the future, yet it easily can. And, it need not be something that stands out to us, yet it can seem magnanimous to them.

Who knows how a simple kindness we offer can affect another person's life? Who knows how a loving act can affect another person's outlook on themselves in self-esteem, or even self-love?

I believe that we have the capacity and power to direct our own lives as we will choose. Knowledge can help us understand how this works and may even enhance the process, but we all have the capacity and power at all times. In other words, we create our lives consciously or unconsciously. It is happening regardless. At the same time, we are affecting others as we make our own choices, and as we interact with them.

It makes me think of that phrase about doctors that was inspired by Hippocrates to do no harm.

Seems Like Great Advice For All Of Our Lives. 

Spread Some Joy Today--Yes! Let's do that today. No ill will. No harm. No nasty looks. No sighs of disgust. Just joy. Simply joy. Exquisitely joy.

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Daily Inspiration 11-30-16

"The essence of optimism 
is that it takes no account of the present,
but it is a source of inspiration, of vitality 
and hope where others have resigned; 
it enables a man to hold his head high, 
to claim the future for himself 
and not to abandon it to his enemy."

-- Dietrich Bonhoeffer

Note: A friend sent me the original German citation of this quote,
so I thought I would include it:

"Optimismus ist in seinem Wesen keine Ansicht
über die gegenwärtige situation,
sonderen er ist eine Lebenskraft,
eine kraft der Hoffnung wo andere resignieren,
eine kraft, den kopf hoch zu halten,
wenn alles fehlzuschlagen scheint, eine Kraft,
Rückschlägezu ertragen, eine Kraft, die die Zukunft
niemals dem Feind lässt ,
sonderen sie für sich in Anspruch nimmt."

-- Dietrich Bonhoeffer

"Optimism doesn't wait on facts.
It deals with prospects.
Pessimism is a waste of time."

-- Norman Cousins

[Classic post from 10-30-10]

No matter how optimistic you think you are, there is probably someone to help you strengthen it. For me, that is my business partner, Ryan Stone.

I've always considered myself an optimist, looking toward a brighter future, but a lot of that was smoke and mirrors for a long time. It was a trained response. You see, I got into sales as a career when I was 22 and then at 25 became a sales manager, so I had to learn to be optimistic, to encourage and to be a leader--or try to be a leader. As a newbie in this field, I studied and studied and read books, listened to records and did everything I could to become an optimistic person and lead accordingly.

As a result of the constant study, (which I have yet to stop over 30 years later) I have to say that I think I succeeded for the most part. But, there are days. . . You probably know what I'm talking about--days when you feel pessimistic and doubtful; days when you just didn't get enough sleep, or feel like you need a vacation from the hustle and bustle of life, you know. . . escape!

I have to admit that I have those days. I am also very pleased that they are few in comparison with my past; however, when they come, sometimes I just need a little help from my friends, you know? Ryan is that. He can turn me back around toot sweet and have me laughing and cashing imaginary checks and what not. I think we do that for each other actually. It seems he gets that way too sometimes, and I help him get back on track.

We all need some friends sometimes. One of the most awesome things we can all do is to surround ourselves with people who, for the most part, are uplifting, optimistic, and encouraging. It can make all the difference, I know it for a fact.

Thanks, Ryan! The best partner I can imagine having. I'm blessed.

Optimism Doesn't Care Anything At All About Facts. 

Spread Some Joy Today--Think about the people you surround yourself with. How do they affect you? They absolutely have an effect, the only question is what? Maybe, some more optimistic people could be a benefit.

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Daily Inspiration 11-29-16

"The most revolutionary act one can
commit in our world is to be happy."

-- Hunter Patch Adams

[Classic post from 5-22-11]

Yesterday, I went to an outdoor BBQ event in another city to pay my respects to the people putting it on. It was an absolutely beautiful picture perfect 75 degree California day. There was music playing, tri-tip, hot dogs, chips and drinks along with tables and chairs to take a load off and enjoy the food. It was a free event and most of the people that came were workers. There were raffles with prizes and I even won the first one: a baseball style cap. There were vendors showing off some trucks and I got to see some people I haven't seen in a while. I spent a leisurely hour and a half and had a good time.

As I was eating my food a couple of guys sat down, and I mentioned what a perfect day it was for this event. The first thing out of one guy was, "so much better than the rainy weather yesterday, and I wish it were warmer--it's still kind of chilly for this time of year." And his friend says, "yeah, you'll be happy for a rainy day when it's 105 degrees!" I didn't say anything vocally, but it made me think how humans just love--I mean LOVE to complain about just about everything.

Next time you're out and about, listen to some of the conversations going on around you, or say something very positive and upbeat about something and then listen. It will be interesting and full of complaints I predict.

I was enjoying the beauty of an area and mentioned all the beauty around us and a person with me says, "why is that branch over there cut off like that?" I said, "why in the world, with all this beauty all around, would your eyes go to that way over there to focus on?" They said, "because it's not beautiful, it would be beautiful if that weren't there." I said nothing further.

The more I get into this happier person that I have become and am becoming more of, I see what Patch Adams meant. It truly is a revolutionary act to choose to be happy on purpose. Of course, that is also the key: choosing to be happy rather than having things make us happy. John Mayer says that so well in his song, Waiting On the World To Change. Many people I talk with are doing just that. When the world changes they will be happy. Of course, it never does, so complaints just become a part of our frustrating, disappointing experience.

However, we can change that anytime we like--in a moment it can change. We change it only by changing our thinking about it and making a decision to be happy and to look for the beauty instead of the flaws. That is why I see beauty each and every day now because I have just decided to see beauty where ever it is and the more of it I see, the more of it I see until I see it all the time virtually everywhere I go. It's just a decision, a very simple, yet so monumentally powerful decision.

We All Have So Much More Control and Power Than We Ever Thought Possible.

Spread Some Joy Today--Choose to be happy, just for today. Then, do it again tomorrow. Then again. It's habit forming!

Monday, November 28, 2016

Daily Inspiration 11-28-16

"Receive and ye shall give." 

Check this out from Abraham, Esther Hicks:

"As you set a financial goal, it is not only about the expansion for yourself; it's about the expansion of all of those who are involved in that which you are about. In other words, it creates this nucleus, this machine, that allows so many to begin to thrive along with you. It's much bigger than finances." 

This will make the next level so much more fun!

What Comes Around, Goes Around. 

Spread Some Joy Today--by becoming more joyful. It's an automatic win-win.

Sunday, November 27, 2016

Daily Inspiration 11-27-16

"Nostalgia is a file 
that removes the rough edges 
from the good old days." 

-- Doug Larson 

"Remembrance of things past 
is not necessarily the remembrance 
of things as they were." 

-- Marcel Proust 

I was watching a TEDed video by Clay Routledge, titled, Why Do We Feel Nostalgia? He said that nostalgia used to be considered a debilitating disease. It was named in 1688, and until around 1850 or so it was treated as a disease in some interesting ways.

Nostalgia is often associated with the idea of the 'good old days.' Remembering fondly something from the past and wanting to be there again, and so we are feeling that place now as we spend time in the past feeling.

I spent several hours on YouTube yesterday afternoon watching many of the Kennedy Center honors of famous musicians and so enjoying the musical tributes given them from other famous musicians. I think I went through at least a half of a box of tissues and felt emotionally drained when I stopped. And, obviously, I absolutely adored watching them with the volume up trying to see through my teary eyes of joy. I think my favorite was Steven Tyler leading a medley of Beatles hits from the White Album as an offering to the honoree, Paul McCartney. Number two was Heart doing Stairway To Heaven for Led Zeppelin. They were both spectacular.

This caused me to remember musicians and groups that I've experienced in person over the years like, Elvis, Boz Scaggs, Rick Nelson, The Eagles, Tommy Emmanuel, Paul McCartney, Celine Dion, Neil Diamond, and more. I remembered one of the earliest when I was invited to a senior prom by a girlfriend who lived in Tiburon, now a very high end area across the bay from San Francisco. Their prom was held in San Francisco and they had three groups playing, all of them along one wall, taking turns. This was 1968, and there was Tower of Power, Sons of Champlin, and Vince Guraldi. Wow. I was blown away. Our proms had Ralph Rawson and his orchestra. . . so sad. I went to five junior and senior proms, and four of them had Ralph Rawson.

As I sat down trying to remember all the artists I've experienced in person, I found some really hard to remember, and I'm sure I haven't recalled them all. Then I thought about what I was doing and started laughing, so though I was thinking of something else, I decided to write about this mind wandering through the somewhat cloudy waters of nostalgia. Then I thought, what makes something memorable? I answered because I'm the only one nearby, that what makes something memorable is that it is something that is incredibly easy to remember.

Then, I thought, duh! You can see the depth of my analytical mind. This came up because I was putting in some mental labor trying to remember more of the artists that were not memorable. One of those was Donny & Marie Osmond. I had sort of forgotten that show for the most part, although they put on a heck of a show once I remembered, and yet some of the artists or groups came to mind in a heartbeat. Interesting how memorable my memory is.

Is It Real? Or, Is It Memorex? 

Spread Some Joy Today--by letting your emotions run freely for a while. Nostalgia, Yestalgia, whatever.

Saturday, November 26, 2016

Daily Inspiration 11-26-16

"Quit trying to be a better person.
Love and accept yourself just as you are, 
and you will become better without any effort." 

-- Alan Cohen 

I love this quote by Alan Cohen. As I found this quote, I saw another on the subject of grace. And, even though Alan's latest book just published is titled, The Grace Factor - Opening the Door to Infinite Love, I thought I'd share something about grace from writer and theologian, Frederick Buechner:

"Grace is something you can never get but can only be given. There's no way to earn it or deserve it or bring it about any more than you can deserve the taste of raspberries and cream or earn good looks or bring about your own birth." 

"A crucial eccentricity of the Christian faith is, the assertion that people are saved by grace. There's nothing you have to do. There's nothing you have to do. There's nothing you have to do." 

He continues, "The grace of God means something like: "Here is your life. You might never have been, but you are, because the party wouldn't have been complete without you. Here is the world. Beautiful and terrible things will happen. Don't be afraid. I am with you. Nothing can ever separate us. It's for you I created the universe. I love you." 

Of course, we get to choose to accept the gift or reject it or ignore it. I dearly love the last part: "Beautiful and terrible things will happen. Don't be afraid. I am with you. Nothing can ever separate us." To accept this grace is to accept unconditional love.

I think when we accept this gift, that is not an exclusively Christian gift, but a gift from the God that is God to all, our path is open to enjoy this life that has been given, for it was given us to enjoy. Beautiful and terrible things may happen, but we get to determine that and choose as we will, and I believe that as we accept this grace and this power, we will most often choose the beautiful.

Enjoy The Grace You Are Given As You Choose, For Grace Is In The Choosing. Paying It Forward Might Be Fun. 

Spread Some Joy Today--by injoying yourself, while enjoying all that is around you.