Archive for April, 2010

A Very Happy Cancer-Free Birthday to David Wagner!

April 30, 2010

David Wagner (before cancer)

David Wagner (before cancer)

Eight months ago, I interviewed David Wagner, internationally acclaimed hairstylist, entrepreneur and owner of Juut Salonspas, the original Aveda salons.

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


David Wagner (during cancer)

Two months ago, after much uncertainty, David received the wonderful news that he was cancer-free. To celebrate his birthday yesterday, he sent out the following letter to his friends and followers. It is a (more…)

My Audio Interview with Julia James

April 29, 2010

Julia James

I enjoyed interviewing Julia James, an international speaker and certified life coach who lives in Vancouver, Canada. Through individual coaching, workshops and presentations, Julia helps business professionals align personal and professional goals, get focused and move forward.

Julia’s signature strength is teaching people how to relax and recharge quickly. She is author of the book, The Mini-Retreat Solution, which I had the pleasure of contributing the following testimonial to:

If you’re marching toward anxiety and burnout, Julia James offers some wise advice: Retreat! A sixty-second mini-retreat can spell the difference between stress and success!

Less than a week ago, the Living Now Book Awards presented the gold medal to The Mini-Retreat Solution in the Meditation/Relaxation category.

Click on the audio player below to listen to (more…)

Arctic Adventure: Predator or Protector?

April 28, 2010

Moments after National Geographic photographer Paul Nicklen slipped into the 29-degree waters of the Arctic Ocean, his head was in the massive maw of a twelve-foot-long, thousand-pound leopard seal. Not exactly love at first sight. But Paul did indeed fall in love with this penguin-eating predator.

Click on the audio player below to listen to Radiolab‘s seven-minute interview with Paul, in which he recounts his compelling, chilling (more…)

We Have All Knelt at Different Graves

April 27, 2010

Deepak Chopra

While reading Deepak Chopra‘s insightful book, The Spontaneous Fulfillment of Desire, this excerpt on page 183 spoke to me. In this passage lies the reason why one religion or spiritual path is not right for everybody.

We are all born to travel our own path; when we find the right one, it feels like we have come home. What works for me may not necessarily work for you and vice versa. Understanding this removes judgment from the equation. How can we judge another’s destiny? The answer, of course, is that we cannot. All we can do is focus on our own journey.

Intention springs from our deepest desires, and those desires are shaped by karma. You and I don’t have the same karma; therefore we dont have exactly the same desires. We have loved different people, knelt at different graves, (more…)

Yay for Cub Squats!

April 26, 2010

Erin and me in our Cub Squat heyday

When my daughter Erin was young, I would occasionally announce that I needed to do some Cub Squats. With a grin, my lil’ bear cub would dutifully jump on my back and I’d do three sets of squats like at the gym, with her body weight substituting nicely for the squat bar. Erin must have been twelve or so when we stopped doing Cub Squats; it was a (more…)

All We Know of Love

April 25, 2010

Love is the language of God. Love is God. You exist because of love. You exist to share love. You exist to be love. We all have within us a divine spark. We all share God’s DNA. Love is your very nature, the essence of who you are.

He who is filled with love is filled with God himself.
Saint Augustine

Love is evidence of God’s presence within you. Every thought of love brings you one step closer to God. Love is far more than a choice you make or an emotion you feel. Love is the (more…)

Small Town Love

April 24, 2010

Silverton, Oregon

I was fascinated by this Radiolab piece on Stu Rasmussen of Silverton, Oregon. Stu, a heterosexual male who dresses in women’s clothing, became the country’s first transgender mayor in 2008. What I found inspiring about Stu’s story is not how he conducts himself but how he was embraced by his community.

Small towns are notoriously conservative, yet when a native son took a giant leap out of everyone’s comfort zone, his lifelong friends and neighbors looked beyond appearances and simply loved the human being underneath.

The last couple minutes of this profile are unexpectedly powerful and touching. I hope you give it a listen.

Click on the audio player below to listen to (more…)

Stand High and Tall and Noble

April 23, 2010

Aligning your will with God’s will calls forth your own innate divinity and dissolves any blocks between your consciousness and divine consciousness. This divine attunement strengthens your resolve and reinforces your capacity to do, to achieve, to become.

Believe in the nature within you, the divine nature, that you are in very deed a son or daughter of the living God. There is something of divinity with you, something that stands high and tall and noble.
Gordon B. Hinckley

No matter what comes your way, you accept it with humility and gratitude, with this three-word homage to God always on your lips: (more…)

Twinkies and Root Beer

April 22, 2010

I came across this sweet story and wanted to share it. The moral to the story? Never underestimate the power of the simplest act of kindness and caring. Oh, and always carry a spare Twinkie!


A little boy wanted to meet God. He knew it was a long trip to where God lived, so he packed his suitcase with Twinkies and a six-pack of root beer and he started his journey.

When he had gone about three blocks, he met an elderly man. The man was sitting in the park feeding some pigeons.

The boy sat down next to him and opened his suitcase. He was about to take a drink from his root beer when he noticed that the man looked hungry, so he offered him a Twinkie.

The man gratefully accepted it and smiled at the boy. His smile was so pleasant that the boy wanted to see it again, so he (more…)

Fu Manchu: The Hirsute Houdini

April 21, 2010

Don’t think animals can think, reason, plan . . . and even deceive? I’d wager that listening to this tale by a guy who worked with orangutans at a Nebraska zoo will change your mind!

Click on the audio player below to listen to this eleven- (more…)

Iron Woman Julie Moss

April 20, 2010

Julie Moss

When twenty-three-year-old college student Julie Moss entered the 1982 Ironman Triathlon in Hawaii as research for her exercise physiology thesis, she never dreamed that her heroic finish would trigger a personal epiphany, legitimize and popularize the sport, and make her an international icon.

Click here to read Julie’s recollection of the race and of her defining moment.

Click here to read an article about Julie’s return to Kona twenty-one years later to celebrate that historic day.

Click on the audio player below to hear a recent ten-minute interview with Julie on Radiolaab. I was (more…)

Meditation: Falling Awake

April 19, 2010

This insightful double-interview, Meditation: Falling Awake, was presented on The Spirit of Things on the ABC Radio Network. Host Rachael Kohn interviewed Dr. Jon Kabat-Zinn, who says the purpose of meditation is mindfulness, not bliss; and Self-Realization Fellowship monk Brother Satyananda, who makes the case that meditation can produce mindfulness and spiritual bliss.

What is mindfulness? In the interview, Dr. Kabat-Zinn defines it as: The awareness that arises from paying attention, on purpose, in the present moment, non-judgmentally.

Click on the audio player below to listen to the (more…)

Calmly Active, Actively Calm

April 18, 2010

What we call happiness is negligible compared to the inner peace and ecstatic joy we attain in meditation. Happiness, the province of the ego, is fleeting. Joy, the natural state of the soul, is infinite and eternal.

Still your mind in me, still yourself in me, and without a doubt you 
shall be united with me, Lord of 
Love, dwelling in your heart.
Bhagavad Gita 12:8

Enriching your inner life is only half the equation. If the peace and unconditional love you feel in meditation is not (more…)

Begin Again, as Often as Necessary

April 17, 2010

Many people are intimidated by meditation because they fear they cannot sufficiently quiet their mind. During meditation, do not be discouraged if your attention drifts and worldly thoughts intrude. Simply begin again as if you had just begun.

If the heart wanders or is distracted, bring it back to the point quite gently and replace it tenderly in its (more…)

Like Sands Through the Hourglass . . .

April 16, 2010

It’s humbling to admit this, but I was once addicted to . . . a soap opera! I wrote this essay for a Twin Cities newspaper in May 1996. Roman, Bo, Marlena and John, I still miss you guys!

John Black

Jack and Jennifer rescued John Black from the gas chamber in the nick of time. Then Bo was shot while rescuing Hope form Jude St. Clair. A few days later, Peter shot Jude while he and Jack were struggling for a gun.

It was all very exciting but now it was time to say goodbye. It wasn’t easy. Quitting a soap opera cold turkey never is. But I had just started a new job and had less time to devote to such a guilty pleasure. Besides, the story lines I had been following had just been wrapped up. Yes, it was definitely time to say goodbye to The Days of Our LIves.

Publicly declaring my addiction to a soap opera is rather embarrassing, especially since I had (more…)

Striving, Striving, One Day Behold!

April 15, 2010

Meditation is not an emptying of the mind. It is the highest form of concentration in which the mind is focused entirely on God.

We need to find God, and he cannot be found in noise and restlessness. God is the friend of silence. See how nature—trees, flowers, grass—grows in silence; see the stars, the moon and the sun, how they move in silence.
Mother Teresa

In this heightened state, we drop our body-mind consciousness and know ourselves to be divine beings in our own right.

The sun shines, but if I close my eyes, I see only darkness. When I open my eyes, the sunlight is there. It was always there; the darkness existed merely because I had my eyes closed. This is the way it is with the light (more…)