Thursday, October 16, 2008

War or Peace....You Get to Choose

I have a perpetual calender that I check out everyday. Some messages resonate with me very strongly. Some don't. Today's quote has stayed with me all day. The message was "We will never know peace while using our mind to attack". (Hugh Prather)

What I love about this statement is that it is so empowering. I love knowing I have control. I may not have control over the words or actions of other people; or over the weather; or the presidential campaign ads; or traffic, but I do have control over my thoughts.

Something that has become very important to me is feeling peaceful. To me peace is not at odds with anything. Peace for me is...acceptance.....unconditional happiness....There is no resistance to what "is" and no attack of what "is".

If I have attack thoughts, I might be blaming or condemning. I would likely be speaking in my mind to some injustice. I'd very likely be angry. Perhaps I would feel justified in my attack, yet justified or not, I would sacrifice having peace as I entertained my attack thoughts.

You may be reading this and thinking "It's good to get angry at injustices, how else could change take place?" My response is that there's another way to create positive change. Rather than attacking that which you are against, peacefully stand for that which you are for. Mother Theresa practiced this way of being and made a huge difference in the world with this practice.

So, I have a long way to go to be living as Mother Theresa did , yet I realize there is much more peace present in my life now, than there was a few years ago. Like everything worth accomplishing, it takes practice. If you're interested in feeling peace more of the time, I suggest you keep it easy....paying attention to one thought at a time. If your thought does not bring peace, think again.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008


I recently learned what the acronym of LOL meant. I would see it periodically in emails and just didn't understand what it stood for. Finally, I asked someone. I'm not a text messenger, nor am I an instant messenger and my online chat experience is minimal, so LOL somehow got by my internal processor.

Learning that LOL meant Laugh Out Loud did exactly made me laugh. You see, laughing is one of my favorite things to do. I'm good at it. I believe we all have a variety of unique gifts and laughing is one of mine. Some people are good at math, or singing, or riding a unicycle. I have a gift for laughter.

My style of laughter is BIG. I tend not to hold back. My laughter is loud, long and cannot be restricted. I laugh at places where one would typically not know what I mean.....places where most people are being very serious. I don't mean to be disrespectful, it's just that if something strikes me funny, I laugh. I also laugh easily when someone is intending to be funny. Many performers from Hamilton-Gibson Productions, our local theater company, tell me that they can pick my laugh out of the crowd.

I also know part of the gift of laughter (mine and everyone else's) is that it is contagious. If we are open to having our funny bone tickled, then being in the vicinity of a grand laugh will inevitably light a spark in you.

So, I ask you now...."Have you laughed out loud today?" If not, I encourage you to find something or someone that can stimulate a laugh for you. If you have, try it again. Share your laughter with someone you care about. Watch the magic that happens when laughter is in the air.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

The Gift in a Dream

Every once in awhile, I have a particularly lucid dream that has a beautiful message. Last night I had one of those dreams.

The setting was a River Boat. The situation was a travel adventure styled race that was similar to the Amazing Race, a current popular television show. I was a participant in this race.

What I found to be very interesting was that I was not anxious, nervous or frightened of what I would be asked to do. I was also not alone. There was a team of people that were there to help me.

At one point, one of my team members announced that a gift just arrived for me. It was a large square box, about 2ft wide. I immediately noticed Kate written all over the box as if to be extra sure I knew it was for me. I can remember the delight I felt when I saw it. I also noticed that on the brown paper that wrapped the box there were numerous hand painted pictures of beautiful places. The only one I recognized was the Pennsylvania Grand Canyon, located near where I live.

What is staying with me since I awoke was the joy I felt when I saw this package. I was delighted as I looked at all of the small paintings, and was so touched that someone took the time to do this for me.

What I found very interesting was that I was not feeling compelled to rip open the paper and open the box. The outside was plenty for me to take in and enjoy.

The overall feeling of the experience was one of pure peace and joy. When I awoke, the meaning of it all came to me quickly. The main message was to enjoy every step of the journey. Appreciate it all. Take it in and be grateful. Don't rush to get to the finish and see what's in the box. Sometimes it is enjoying the wrapping, and then the process of unwrapping that is the greatest gift.

Another component of the dream that held meaning for me was travel (I love to explore new places); another was the calmness I felt even though it was called a race; another was the team of people I had surrounding me. I knew I was not alone.

So, I take my lessons into the light of day and plan on applying them. I will appreciate every moment as a gift, appreciate the kindness people share with me and appreciate all those that surround me with love.

Monday, October 13, 2008

The GPS for Life

It has been nearly a week since I've entered a blog piece. Life has seemingly been on a different road than the usual one I travel. I spent almost a week in Minnesota for work and pleasure. Now that I've been home for a few days it feels like I am able to catch up with myself.

Sometimes due to the situations and happenings of life, we can get lost and it may take awhile to find our way back to the path we most want to travel. When that happens I check in with my inner GPS.

When I use a portable GPS system in my car I often think about the same concept as a guidance system for my life. My car's GPS has a name.....Ozzie. Ozzie has an Australian accent and is always patient with me when I make a wrong turn, get delayed or even lost. He never gets angry or yells at me. Although he knows the best way for me to travel to get to my destination, I sometimes turn off early or at the wrong intersection, taking me off course. When I do make an un-programmed turn, Ozzie simply says "Recalculating......." and then gives new directions from wherever I am in that moment.

What I love about Ozzie is that he knows even though I'm taking a different route, I can still make it to my destination. There is no judgment, guilt, blame or shame, just a pause and a new start. There is no projection of fear, no explosions in anger and no disappointment. There's simply only acceptance of what "is" and a suggestion for where to go now.

Imagine living your life that way. Let's say you're on your way to a goal and you get distracted. You take an unanticipated turn in a different direction. Instead of beating yourself up for this change in direction, you have a choice to ride it out or tune into your inner guidance and choose again. Your inner GPS does not get angry with you, blame you or become impatient. It reminds you of perhaps the quickest way, but not necessarily the most scenic or the most interesting. Taking a temporary alternate route or even changing your direction completely is treated as an adventure worth exploring, regardless of the length of the time it takes in getting there. You get to choose. The GPS is there to assist you, not to insist you follow its direction.

As long as we hold the perspective of enjoying the ride, whatever twists turns and unexpected explorations we make, the road of life can always be a JOY!