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March, 01 2007

When a great friend passes on

She has gone and no longer hurts and that's a good thing. I wish that I had talked to her more often. I wish that I could have helped a lot more in her final days. I wish that we could still have fun together. That's the bad part. The end. It is so complicated for so many of us. She had the best smile. She could make me laugh when no one else could. She was smart, brave, loving, beautiful (though she would never have thought that). She had great style. She was unique. (She wouldn't have thought that either -- isn't that a shame...we miss something in life when we don't understand our uniqueness, which we all have.) I have wanted to remember one specific memory of all of the years we had together (nearly 30 as good, good friends) and all I can think of was last October. I called her around the second week of the month and when she answered, she said, "Marmie (her special nickname for me), you didn't call me on my birthday (a week before) and this is the first time that you ever missed calling me on my birthday. It was a huge "oops" for me but she said it in such a way that I felt no guilt or remorse even though I had wished that I had called. Of all the fun times we shared, that memory looms largest of all because I believe it says as much about our relationship as anything could -- she could tell me anything and I could do the same to her. That's rare between any two people. I'm not sure that anyone else in the world occupies that very particular space with me. Whatever words we exchanged were always just what we wanted to say and often what we most wanted to hear. Ruthie...you were the best and I am sad today as I think of you. The world has lost part of its zest.


February, 23 2007

Goal -- Excellence

Over the years I have explained and sometimes defended the fact that I was always in search of excellence. (Excellence is not being a perfectionist! It is an intention to do better each and every day and in each and every circumstance.) I feel that as long as I am privileged to breathe the air on this beautiful planet that whatever I do should be productive and contribute somehow to someone and I am always interested in how I can do better. Why not? Isn't that what growth is all about? So it always comes as a bit of a shock to me when I hear someone disdaining good work, innovative thinking and general success. What benefits are in mediocrity? Then there is the subject of just plain happiness, which can be felt for absolutely no reason at all. Hooray! Let it come. I often bask in sheer joy and I could not explain it if I tried. And love is a circumstance that is just there -- I recognize it and my language skills just won't serve me in describing it. The point of all this is that lately I have heard from several people that when they have been at their best -- on top of their game -- blasting on all cylinders -- friends or colleagues (I am going to refer to such folks as the "realists") have decided to do all they could to diminish the experience. These "realists" are anxious to have us join them in their dissatisfaction for life. Please, please don't let it happen. We do not need to stifle our enthusiasm, limit our joy or hold back our creativity. Living in a state of frustration or powerlessness is not sought. Who needs lack in any way in life? It's a fiction that somehow lives on. The truth is: Love is abundant and it's infinite; Excellence is to be appreciated; Joy is powerful and good. Envelope yourself in the wonder of the wonderful and do what you can for the naysayers to make them happier. Maintain your confidence. Keep in mind that the goal is excellence...the state of being is joy...we give love best when we give it as well as receive it.


February, 08 2007

Taking Action

There are times when we just don't know what we should do to accomplish our goal. It happens to all of us -- so the question is: what do we do when we don't know what to do? I'm not being sarcastic when I tell you the answer -- it's DO SOMETHING. The only way to get unstuck is to move in some direction. And staying paralyzed or overanalyzing what the next step should be does nothing to resolve the situation but I promise you if you just make up something and take an action, it will really help you. You will feel better -- and while you reach a better feeling place, the most surprising aspect of all is that the action you take might be just what is needed and, for some reason, your mind just wouldn't let you formulate the plan. Years ago, when I was teaching a class for people about to start a business, I suggested that they stop asking themselves what they could do next and just DO. These individuals had great ideas but nothing was coming about. They argued with me but finally at the end of the session they agreed that each and every day, they would do something for their businesses. The results were astonishing. Helpful people appeared in their lives that could help. Money solutions were discovered. The energy levels increased and the participants became truly exhilerated by possibility. Accept wherever you are and, at the same time, move in a direction. At first, as you see the results, you may be tempted to think it's magic. And I'm not sure that I can explain what happens. It's just that I know with absolute certainty, it's what you do when you previously didn't know what to do.


January, 30 2007

What's with the weather?

I live in Florida now and for the past two days, we have had below freezing weather. Now, I agree that this warrants a warning for pet owners, farmers and even homeowners with pipes to take care of and plants to cover. But beyond that, it is just a fact of life. Except for extreme weather, which can be hazardous (hurricanes, floods, ice, and mammouth snow storms), the temperatures are just a part of living life and should not be elevated to such high drama as has happened in the last few years. The media, your friends, family all talk about it. Here's what happens when you pay too much attention to the conditions outside -- YOU are out of control. We know this and we aren't in as much control on anything as we think we are. BUT -- and this is HUGE...we feel powerless. When we are powerless and in some degree of fear, we turn life over to those forces and each and every time we do that, we sell out a little. Now I know that I have no jurisdiction on almost anything -- I certainly can't change the cold or the rain or the snow but what I can monitor is my thinking. I can choose thoughts that keep me smiling. I can remember events that make me laugh. I can meditate and let thoughts wander in and out of my mind. This makes a difference. Choice is powerful. It leads us in two distinct and different directions: positive thoughts usually lead to positive choices; negative thoughts contribute to depression, hopelessness and that awful stuck feeling. What do you want? It is as obvious as it seems. When you want to be upbeat, you allow your mind to be filled with positive images. And lately that means not paying attention to the weather. Cover your plants, yes. Embrace a different thought than that which may be delivered on the television or radio -- OVER and OVER again. While we are not in control of whether it's hot or cold, we ARE in control of what messages we receive and we need to be more discerning about what those are. Be the master of the message!


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