Archive for July, 2009

Neal E. Boyd Joins the Paul Potts Club

July 31, 2009

Neal E. Boyd

Like Paul Potts, Neal E. Boyd was in his thirties, an overweight everyman working a nondescript job and living a rather unremarkable life. Then, like Paul in 2007, Neal in 2008 walked out on stage to audition on his nation’s biggest talent show and began to sing. Boy, did he (they) ever! Both Paul and Neal blew the judges and audience away with Nessun Dorma, the opera aria popularized by Luciano Pavarotti‘s performance at the 1990 FIFA World Cup in Italy.


Paul Potts

Like Paul, it wasn’t just Neal’s vocal skill that made him special. It was his passion and emotion and raw vulnerability that touched everyone’s heart. Both men put themselves on the line in front of an audience of millions not simply because they wanted to but because they had to if they wanted to remain true to themselves and fulfill the destiny they felt called to pursue.  One way or another, those ninety seconds on stage would determine the course of the rest of their lives.

Their bravery paid off. Big time. Paul won (more…)

A Wheat Penny For Your Thoughts

July 30, 2009

Lincoln pennies from 1909-1958

The other day at the bank, I was given four pennies back in change. All four were wheat pennies, which means that they were dated before 1959 when the Lincoln Memorial replaced wheat stalks on the back of the U.S. penny.


Lincoln pennies from 1959-current

For you non-numismatists, finding a wheat penny in circulation is extraordinarily rare. For me, it was instant nostalgia. I was an avid coin collector as a kid and kept a box of dixie cups under my bed. The cups were labeled 1945-D, 1945-S, 1946, 1946-D, 1946-S and so on. Whenever I found a wheat penny, I’d toss it in the appropriate cup; I’d make a roll of that particular date when I had accumulated fifty of the little guys. I tracked the quantity of each date by roll and cup on a computer at school, which spit out my wheat penny inventory on large green-and-white barred paper. I was one organized nerd!


Wheat pennies weren’t all I found in circulation. The U.S. mint (more…)

Lisa Genova’s Video Update on “Still Alice”

July 29, 2009



Have What You Want or Want What You Have?

July 28, 2009

person-extending-arms-in-gratitude-on-the-beachInstead of worrying about having what you want, you will be happier and more peaceful if you focus on wanting what you have.

What does that mean? You look for and appreciate the gift in every possession, every encounter, every situation.

You trust that whatever shows up in your life has been uniquely designed by divine intelligence to bring you one step closer to who you are capable of becoming.

You humbly acknowledge that you will only be given experiences that are appropriate for your present circumstances, your life’s purpose, and the level of your consciousness.

You recognize that everything that comes your way presents an opportunity to (more…)

What, Me Worry?

July 27, 2009

woman-worrying-head-in-handsFretting about what could go wrong is a self-fulfilling prophecy. The more you worry about bad things happening, the more likely that bad things will happen. As your thoughts go, so goes your life.

He who foresees calamities, suffers them twice over.
Beilby Porteus

Worry constantly, and your fear will not only be energetically drawing misfortune into your life, you will be robbing yourself of peace of mind as well.

Fear is that little darkroom where negatives are developed.
Michael Pritchard

Whatever you worry about (more…)

The Day Boston Slugger Jim Rice Truly Became A Hero

July 26, 2009
Jim Rice

Jim Rice

Boston Red Sox left fielder jim Rice will be inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame today to celebrate his prowess as a feared slugger and all-around excellent player. But the moment that defined him as a man was the moment he left the field and jumped into the stands to save a young boy’s life. The video and story above are courtesy of ESPN’s Greg Garber.

Another Jim Rice story: Three years after Rice’s life-saving heroism, the Red Sox visited the Twins. My wife, Kate, and six-year-old daughter, Erin, went to a game and sat in the front row in right field. When Rice came to bat, I told Erin that he was big and powerful. When Boston outfielder Tony Armas came to bat, I told Erin that he was just as powerful as Rice. Erin asked, “Who’s the powerfullest? Tony or Rice?” I can’t help thinking of my cute lil’ cub whenever I hear Jim Rice’s name.

Incidentally, in the sixth inning of that game, as Erin stood with her hands on the railing, Boston catcher Rich Gedman walked over and (more…)

Bridal Boogies

July 25, 2009

When Jill Peterson and Kevin Heinz, both 28, planned their June 20, 2009 wedding in St. Paul, they decided to shake things up a bit—literally. The entire bridal party—including seven bridesmaids, five groomsmen and four ushers—entered the church boogying to Chris Brown‘s Forever.

It’s fun and inspiring to see people celebrating life in unexpected ways. Here are excerpts from an story by Michaerl Inbar:

Heinz and Peterson (she’s keeping her maiden name) appeared live on TODAY Friday  to tell their story of how their artistic self-expression on the biggest day of their lives captured America’s imagination and made them Internet stars.

Click here to watch the July 24, 2009 TODAY feature on Jill and Kevin.

After watching the video, TODAY’s Matt Lauer told the couple, “If that was a ceremony, I don’t know how you survived the honeymoon!” He then (more…)

Leap Into the Loving Arms of Destiny

July 24, 2009

woman-in-white-dress-leaping-in-skyWhen you are ready to know your life’s purpose, it will reveal itself by taking up residence in your conscious mind.

From the moment it first pierces your awareness, your calling is as much a part of you as your heartbeat.

From the beginning, I had a sense of destiny, as though my life was assigned to me by fate and had to be fulfilled. This gave me an inner security and though I could never prove it to myself, it proved itself to me. I did not have this certainty, it had me.
Carl Jung

As you do what you are called to do, you will feel a deep and abiding sense of gratitude for the opportunity to serve the world in your own unique way.

You must not let your life run in the ordinary way; do something that will dazzle the world.
Paramahansa Yogananda

If you yearn to live life to the fullest, to wear out rather then rust out, you (more…)

Margaret—Brave Soldier, Brave Soul

July 23, 2009

Donald Schnell and Marilyn Diamond

Donald Schnell told me a moving story about a very brave woman for my book, Sixty Seconds: One Moment Changes Everything. Here are excerpts from his story, beginning with his bio.

Schnell authored The Initiation, a memoir of his encounter in India with Babaji, the legendary deathless guru. With his wife, Marilyn Diamond (coauthor of Fit for Life), Schnell coauthored Fitonics for Life, which offers a comprehensive program for total wellness. He took the name Prema Baba Swamiji after being initiated as a swami in India in 1997. Click here to visit his website.

I met Margaret in a Black History night class at Fayetteville State University. She needed the credit for the nursing degree she was working toward. We were both stationed at Fort Bragg, North Carolina, proud members of the 82nd Airborne. She was twenty-four, five years older than me, a divorced, African-American mother of two—four-year-old Joe and five-year-old “Little Maggie.”

Nobody messed with Margaret. She was a (more…)

Maybe You Should Take Your Eyes Off the Prize

July 22, 2009

ripples-in-pondYour thoughts, words and actions are pebbles tossed into the lake of your daily life, creating ripples that extend far beyond your immediate vision. Each of these pebbles subtly alters the unified field (the complex web of divine energy that we call the universe), presenting you with fresh new opportunities and experiences that can imperceptibly heighten your awareness, expand your perspective, deepen your wisdom and rearrange your priorities.

Hence, by the time a long sought-after goal is within reach, you may not find it as meaningful as it once was. Perhaps your original goal is ill-suited for your current level of consciousness. Perhaps the ripples that would have emanated out would have been incompatible with the ripples produced from other people’s actions in the near and distant future. Or perhaps there is a more desirable and appropriate result waiting behind a door that has yet to reveal itself.

Goals are a means to an end, not the ultimate purpose of our lives. They are simply a (more…)

The GIft of Grace to Those Who Give

July 21, 2009

hand-offering-bouquet-of-daisiesGiving cannot be complete without receiving. Yet many people are uncomfortable accepting gifts. Are you among them? Do you protest when offered a gift or a compliment? If so, you may feel like you are being appropriately humble, but what you are really doing is delivering a slap in the face to the giver. Instead of being empathetic, you are thinking only of yourself.

Think of it this way: Have you ever been excited about giving someone a gift only to have it refused because the recipient did not feel worthy of receiving it? Remember how disappointed you felt? That is exactly how someone else feels when you yourself protest that a gift is not necessary. Why would you choose to make someone feel that way?

You must learn to accept gifts and compliments with (more…)

Andrew Harvey’s Transformation in an Indian Church

July 20, 2009

Andrew Harvey

Andrew Harvey told me a powerful story of faith and transformation for my book, Sixty Seconds: One Moment Changes Everything. Here is an excerpt from his story, beginning with his bio.

Harvey, an author, teacher, and mystical scholar, has written and edited more than thirty books. His own works include Son of Man: The Mystical Path to Christ, The Sun at Midnight: A Memoir of the Dark Night, and A Walk with Four Spiritual Guides: Krishna, Buddha, Jesus, and RamakrishnaClick here to visit Andrew’s website.

In 1997, my mother sent me a fax from Coimbatore in southern India, where I was born, saying that my father was dying and that I should get there as quickly as possible. I was living in San Francisco at the time. I managed to get a visa within two days and got to his bedside in the next week.

What followed was the most beautiful week of my life, because my father and I were able to communicate at a level and depth and true spiritual height that we had never managed before. All our political and personal differences were drowned in great sweetness and tender communication. And I realized how finely and absolutely he had always loved me, and how much he had always held me in his heart. This was in itself a huge healing. But another healing on an even larger scale was going to take place.

During our time together, my father and I did not talk about anything that had ever happened between us. What we talked about was Jesus. My father spoke out of the depth of his passionate and simple faith in Jesus. Now that he was facing death, he was speaking inwardly to Jesus in Gethsemane—because, as he said, Jesus (more…)

You May Be Right About That

July 19, 2009

Long ago, I knew that my life’s work was to encourage and inspire people to live more positive, healthy lives. Occasionally, I’ve encountered people who disagree with my premises on spirituality and feel compelled to tell me—often very stridently—how misguided I am.

I like being challenged, but only in the spirit of Let’s both learn from this, not in the spirit of I’m right, you’re wrong, and my way is the only way. At first, I tried to answer such attacks, thinking that perhaps we could at least have a cordial discussion even if we ultimately agreed to disagree.


Wayne Dyer

I quickly discovered that I was being naive. I like the way Wayne Dyer handles this. When somebody tries to criticize him in a non-constructive way, he replies with six words—”You may be right about that”—and moves on.

Wayne is a very wise man. Every minute he devotes to a dead-end argument is a minute taken away form his mission of helping others improve their lives. Therefore, I decided to spend all of my time and energy on people who are open to my message and are actively working to better their lives. If someone is abusive, I will (more…)

A True Friend Is a Priceless Gift

July 18, 2009

two-little-girls-huggingJust as each soul is a unique gift to the world, every friend is a priceless gift in your life. A friend is a walking, talking embodiment of God’s love for you. Friends expand your capacity to love and are a constant reminder of God’s blessings.

True friends imprint their essences on each other’s souls. Even as your tears and laughter recede into the swirling mists of memories lost, the heart holds dear every unspoken expression of love that passed between you.

When you meet your friend on the roadside or in the market place, let the spirit in you move your lips and direct your tongue.
Let the voice within your voice speak to the ear of his ear;
For his soul will keep the truth of your heart as the taste of the wine is remembered
When the colour is forgotten and the vessel is no more.

Kahlil Gibran

A real friend is (more…)

Kari Callen Finds Her Courage

July 17, 2009


Kari Callen

After forty-three years, Kari Callen overcame her lifelong inhibitions from being born with a cleft lip and palate to venture on stage for her America’s Got Talent audition on July 15, 2009  and belt out a song from the depths of her soul.

Like Susan Boyle, Kari’s looks appeared to be an impediment to stardom. Like Susan, Kari volunteered that she had never been in a romantic relationship. Kari, however, is very bright and self-aware and apparently is now comfortable enough in her own skin to cast aside her fears and go for broke.

And, wow, what a voice! She received a standing ovation from the audience as well as from the three judges. More importantly than her technical skill, however, was the lifetime of emotion she poured into her song. She sang with such authenticity and vulnerability that I was on the verge of tears. What joy to see (more…)

Spiritual Harmonizers—Special Delivery

July 16, 2009

When these seven postal workers from Richmond, Virgina took the stage on America’s Got Talent on July 14, 2009, I expected them to be good. Then the lead singer opened his mouth . . . WOW! I was mesmerized. After the performance, Piers Morgan, one of the judges, compared him to “a young Stevie Wonder.” I love seeing ordinary people display extraordinary talent and get a real, life-changing shot at well-deserved stardom. Not only that, it’s fun to see a group of friends like this having so much fun together!

Here is an article about the group from (more…)