Archive for August, 2009

Laughing All the Way to Your Colonoscopy

August 31, 2009

Dave Barry

Since I love to encourage people to stay healthy, and laughter is the best medicine, this column by humorist Dave Barry is a perfect fit for my blog! He not only delivers an important message, but does so hilariously. I hope you enjoy it! (umm, the column, not the procedure.)

OK. You turned 50. You know you’re supposed to get a colonoscopy. But you haven’t. Here are your reasons:

1. You’ve been busy.

2. You don’t have a history of cancer in your family.

3. You haven’t noticed any problems.

4. You don’t want a doctor to stick a tube 17,000 feet up your butt.

Let’s examine these reasons one at a time. No, wait, let’s not. Because you and I both know that the only real reason is No. 4. This is natural. The idea of having another human, even a medical human, becoming deeply involved in what is technically known as your ”behindular zone” gives you the creeping willies.

I know this because I am like you, except worse. I yield to nobody in the field of being a pathetic weenie medical coward. I become faint and nauseous during even very minor medical procedures, such as making an appointment by phone. It’s much worse when I come into physical contact with the medical profession. More than one doctor’s office has a dent in the floor caused by my forehead striking it seconds after I got a shot.

In 1997, when I turned 50, everybody told me I should get a colonoscopy. I agreed that I definitely should, but not right away. By following this policy, I reached age 55 without having had a colonoscopy. Then I did something so pathetic and embarrassing that I am frankly ashamed to tell you about it.


What kid doesn't enjoy romping around in an 80-foot long, inflatable colon?

What happened was, a giant 40-foot (more…)

Dan Dunn’s Paint Jam!

August 30, 2009


Dan Dunn

Dan Dunn is amazing. I’m grateful for the talent I’ve been blessed with, but one thing I always wished I could do was draw and paint. I just never imagined doing it at 100 mph!

Here’s some info about Dan from his website:

Dan Dunn has a background in painting, design and caricature spanning thirty years. He has won numerous national awards and been commissioned to draw many famous people during that time. He has drawn caricatures for former President George H. W. Bush, Sting (Gordon Sumner), Jimmy Buffett, Joe Theisman, Fran Tarkenton, Ray Childress, Warren Moon and Houston Mayor Bob Lanier, to name a few. His painting commemorating the brave men and women of the Columbia shuttle mission hangs at NASA.

Dan studied painting at Sam Houston State University in Huntsville, Texas. He specialized in (more…)

The Stress of Staying Stressed

August 29, 2009

I ran across this analogy in the course of my cyber-travels and thought it was worth sharing.


A lecturer, when explaining stress management to an audience, raised a glass of water and asked, “How heavy is this glass of water?”

Answers called out ranged from 20g to 500g.

hand-holding-a-glass-of-waterThe lecturer replied, “The absolute weight doesn’t matter. It depends on how long you try to hold it. If I hold it for a minute, that’s not a problem. If I hold it for an hour, I’ll have an ache in my right arm. If I hold it for a day, you’ll have to call an ambulance. In each case, it’s the same weight, but the longer I hold it, the heavier it becomes.

“And that’s the way it is with stress management. If we carry our burdens all the time, sooner or later, as the burden becomes increasingly heavy, we won’t be able to carry on.

“As with the glass of water, you have to (more…)

An Online Strategy for Building Awareness of Your Life’s Work

August 28, 2009

woman-writing-a-book-longhandHave you written a book that you know will make a difference in the world? Are you an artist or musician who wants to make a positive contribution and touch people’s lives? If so, here are some tips that can help you share your gifts and build awareness of your work.

If you have a book, CD, artwork or other product you are trying to market, you need to build a platform: a multifaceted marketing approach that efficiently and effectively reaches your target audience. Building a platform is a make-or-break factor for publishers considering a book proposal. Authors today are expected to perform the majority of the marketing and promotion for their books.

Starting a blog is your all-important first step. A blog is the linchpin around which every other component of your platform will revolve. The more valuable the content on your blog, the more apt a reader will be to visit again and eventually become aware of your offerings.

What do you write about on your blog? Anything and everything that relates to the work you’re trying to do in the world. Include whatever you feel will add value to people’s lives. Write what you yourself would be interested in

Whatever you write, write from the heart. Be genuine and authentic. Social media is all about building relationships. If you use this strategy simply to sell products, it won’t work. People will see right through you. If you’re not interested in connecting with like-minded people one on one, do not read any further. (more…)

Peter Russell Swims With the Dolphins

August 27, 2009

I was profoundly moved by the story that Peter Russell told me when I interviewed him for my book, Sixty Seconds: One Moment Changes Everything. Here is an excerpt from his story, beginning with his bio. I’ve never gone swimming with dolphins, but now I’d like to!

Peter Russell

Peter Russell

Peter Russell is a world-renowned futurist and fellow of the Institute of Noetic Sciences, a nonprofit membership organization that conducts and sponsors research into the nature of consciousness. He has authored eight books, including The Global Brain Awakens, From Science to God & The Consciousness Revolution. Click here to visit his website.

In April 2003, I was conducting a “Wisdom of the Dolphins” workshop in Hawaii. We were swimming with wild dolphins off the Kona coast each day. The last day we were there, many dolphins came down the coast in pods of five to eight, which tend to be the size of their family unit. The various pods all gathered together in a single group of about two hundred dolphins in a semicircular bay.

As we arrived in the bay, following slowly behind them, ten of them turned and (more…)

Danyl Johnson: A Star Is Born!

August 26, 2009

Danyl Johnson gets by with a LOT of help form his fans!

Twenty-seven-year-old school teacher Danyl Johnson rocked the house on Saturday, August 22, 2009 with this Joe Cocker version of With a Little Help From My Friends on X Factor, Britain’s version of American Idol.

It only took the audience three seconds to realize that they were witnessing something special. You can have all the talent in the world, but if you can’t connect to the audience like Danyl does, you won’t get very far.

After Danyl’s performance, Simon Cowell gave him a standing ovation and said:

Okay, Danyl, I’ve been doing this for how many years? Eight, nine years? Okay, Danyl, that was single-handedly the best first audition I have ever heard.

The Today show wasted no time inviting Danyl to appear as a guest. And London bookies (more…)

An End to Suffering

August 25, 2009

the-four-noble-truthsThe first of the Buddha’s Four Noble Truths is that life means suffering. It is true indeed. No one escapes this life without experiencing pain and anguish.

The three remaining Truths, however, offer hope and comfort to all souls everywhere: attachment to desire is the cause of suffering; suffering can be overcome; and finally, the path of practice that leads to enlightenment and an end of suffering.

God brings men into deep waters not to drown them, but to cleanse them.
John H. Aughey

Implicit in the Buddha’s teachings is the distinction between pain and suffering. Pain is physical and cannot be avoided; suffering is emotional and can be transcended.

Suffering can be a (more…)

The Clockwork of the Universe

August 24, 2009

Illustration by RinSakura-chan

Perhaps your self-image is in the dumps and you feel empty inside. Or life is good but your faith is beckoning you to go deeper. Perhaps you have suffered a staggering loss or are clawing your way through a crisis. Maybe you view faith as a fairy tale and a crutch. Whether you feel stressed or blessed, whether you seek inspiration or entertainment, examining your core beliefs about God and the universe just might transform your life.

Do you view the universe as a friendly, orderly realm and God as a benevolent, merciful presence? Do you see the world as a harsh, unforgiving place and God as a thunderbolt-hurling, punishing force?

Do you question the very existence of God? Do you believe the workings of the universe are random and capricious and that life intrinsically lacks meaning and purpose?

Do you demand irrefutable evidence of God’s presence that your senses and science can observe and measure?

One can search the brain with a microscope and not find the mind, and can search the stars with a telescope and not find God.
J. Gustav White

While some may argue that belief in God requires a leap of faith, great philosophers throughout history have reasoned that the existence of divine intelligence is logical and inescapable.

Aristotle argued that (more…)

The Best Seat in the House

August 23, 2009

Coincidence is simply God’s way of remaining anonymous, as evidenced by this story by Bonnie Kidder of Lafayette, Louisiana, which appeared in the September 2009 issue of Guideposts.


Bonnie Kidder

I almost hadn’t come to the class at church that night. With four kids and a full-time teaching job, I had plenty to do.

But my 11-year-old son, Brady, was having surgery the next day. I hated to think of him alone in the operating room. I’d been praying for weeks, asking God to be with Brady and his doctors during surgery, but it didn’t feel like enough.

Standing in the doorway of the church hall I couldn’t believe (more…)

Dr. Janis Amatuzio’s First Encounter With Life After Death

August 22, 2009

Dr. Janis Amatuzio told me a remarkable and powerful story for my book, Sixty Seconds: One Moment Changes Everything. It was this experience that first gave her an inkling of the mysteries that lay beyond life and death. Here is an excerpt, beginning with her bio.


Dr. Janis Amatuzio

Known as the “compassionate coroner,” Dr. Amatuzio writes and speaks about her personal experiences and insights regarding life after death and how to apply those lessons to live a richer, more rewarding life. She is a board-certified forensic pathologist and Chief Medical Examiner of Minnesota’s Anoka County system. Midwest Forensic Pathology, the company she founded, provides private autopsy services to numerous counties in Minnesota and Wisconsin. Her booksForever Ours and Beyond Knowing, feature heartfelt stories of otherworldly experiences from patients transitioning between life and death, their grieving loved ones, police, clergy, and others. Click here to visit Dr. Amatuzio’s website.

I introduced myself and told him I had to start a catheter. As I was feeling for a vein, this man looked at me and said, “You know, doc, I died once.” My first thought was, Whoa, he’s off his rocker, he’s sundowning. He read my thoughts like he was reading a book. He said, “You don’t believe me,” with such sadness that I was terribly embarrassed. I said, “It’s not that I don’t believe you, but you know that’s a pretty extraordinary thing you just said.” He said, “I know. But I did.”

While I was feeling for a vein, I thought, Well, I’m going to be here a long time, I may as well hear a good story. So I asked him to tell me what had happened. He said, “Well, you know I’ve got blood clots in my legs and they like to travel up to my lungs.” I said, “I know, that’s why it’s so important to get this medication into your veins.” He told me he had had a filtering screen put in his interior vena cava, the large vessel that brings the blood from the lower extremities up to the heart, to stop the clots from passing to his lungs.

“That was two years ago,” he said. “And that’s when I died.” I nodded and said, “Yeah, but you’re here now.” He said, “Yep, I came back to life.” I felt a shiver go down my neck and I remember thinking, What is this? But he (more…)

No Matter Who You Resent, Relent

August 21, 2009

poisoned-cupResentment is the inability to forgive, for which you pay a steep price. Investing your emotional energy in past events prevents you from living fully in the moment. It saps your life force, ages you, and weakens your immune system.

Resentment is like taking poison and waiting for the other person to die.
Malachy McCourt

Cling to resentment and you limit your life. You will never be fully present, fully peaceful, or fully happy.

You may argue that your resentment is justified—indeed, that you are entitled to it. Just remember that every hostile thought you fire off acts as a boomerang.

Your righteous anger takes root and stealthily expands, insidiously choking off avenues of peace and love like a cancerous tumor.

The man who opts for revenge should dig two graves.
Chinese proverb

We cannot carry (more…)

Stricken Kids + Yankee Stadium = Dreams Come True

August 20, 2009

Imagine being a kid with a rare disease that keeps you isolated from life. Now imagine getting a brief reprieve from that nightmarish existence where, for one night, you can simply enjoy being a kid. As columnist Rick Reilly wrote in ESPN The Magazine, the New York Yankees went to great lengths to make that dream come true.


Rick Reilly

The team facing Yankees ace A.J. Burnett a few weeks back at Yankee Stadium has to go down as the oddest in baseball history.

For one thing, it plays only at night. The players have no choice. Even one minute of sunshine can kill them.

They’re from Camp Sundown, in Craryville, N.Y., and they live life on the other side of the sun. All of them have the rare disease known as XP — xeroderma pigmentosum. If kids with XP catch the slightest UV ray, they can and do develop cancerous tumors. Even fluorescent lights fry their skin like boiling oil. Most of them don’t live to be 20.

So how could they take the field at Yankee Stadium? Because this was 3 a.m. Superstar right-handers should be tucked into bed by then, yet there was Burnett, throwing Wiffle-ball splitters and chasing down line drives.

There is no cure for XP. If you’re born with it, you’re (more…)

Good Is the Enemy of Great

August 19, 2009

good-to-great-cover-jim-collinsAuthor and teacher Jim Collins shared a profound observation in the opening sentences of his best-seller, Good to Great: Why Some Companies Make the Leap . . . and Others Don’t:

Good is the enemy of great.

And that is one of the key reasons why we have so little that becomes great.

We don’t have great schools, principally because we have good schools. We don’t have great government, principally because we have good government. Few people attain great lives, in large part because it is just so easy to settle for a good life.

Collins nailed it. Too (more…)

You Cannot Fail!

August 18, 2009

mistake-eraserWalking a spiritual path is a lifelong process. Be kind to yourself and do not get discouraged when you mess up. Taking two steps forward and one step back still moves you in the right direction.

On those occasions when you do fall short of your expectations, view each slip-up as a teachable moment that gives you greater insight into your character and values.

Mistakes are an integral part of the process. By doing something wrong, you learn how to do it right. Not learning is not possible. You will not achieve great things until (more…)

My Interview With David Wagner, Daymaker and Cancer Survivor

August 17, 2009
David Wagner (before cancer)

David Wagner (before cancer)

David Wagner, an internationally acclaimed hairstylist, entrepreneur, and “Daymaker,” is the owner of Juut Salonspas, the original Aveda salons. His best-selling book, Life as a Daymaker: How to Change the World Simply by Making Someone’s Day, has helped generate a worldwide kindness movement.


David Wagner (after cancer)

In this inspiring video interview, David, who was diagnosed with cancer earlier this year, candidly shares how he faced his own mortality and how his cancer experience has changed his life.

Click here to visit his Daymaker website. Click here to view David’s YouTube videos.



We Would Fall Down and Worship Each Other

August 16, 2009

little-boy-and-girl-happy-smilingGod’s infinite love for us is the celestial music of our soul. Every moment presents a fresh opportunity to express it, to give voice to it, to let it burst forth in celebratory song. As soon as you accept that you are bathed in God’s loving consciousness in every moment, you open your heart to knowing true peace.

If you are beautiful and loved, then so is every other person you meet. If your purpose on this earth is to learn and practice unconditional love, then all your relationships become hallowed ground.

If you don’t find God in the next person you meet, it is a waste of time looking for him further.
Mahatma Gandhi

Imagine a child, alone and frightened, wishing it were home, knowing that all will be well, that it (more…)