Archive for October, 2010

Your Own Permission

October 15, 2010

If you are not living an abundant life, chances are that you do not feel worthy of abundance. You probably think you have committed too many mistakes, experienced too many failures and made too many poor choices to deserve God’s blessings. I can relate. Then, while walking along a tree-lined country road this morning, I realized there were three reasons why I needed to work through my resistance:

Self-worth comes from one thing—thinking that you are worthy.
Wayne Dyer

Personal (more…)

Ask Yourself What Makes You Come Alive

October 14, 2010

You will find your ideal career when you deepen your self-knowledge, strike the right balance between intuition and intellect, and learn to distinguish the call of your spirit from the fear-based urgings of your ego. When you are aligned with Spirit and long to do meaningful work, the world is in need of whatever it is you need to do.

To find our calling is to find the intersection between our own deep gladness and the world’s deep hunger.
Frederick Buechner

Until you satisfy your soul’s longing (more…)

Syncing Up With Nature

October 13, 2010

My friend Rich Powell snapped this photo on the Trego Nature Trail when he drove up from Minneapolis for a visit

In an earlier post, I wrote about my attempt to slow down the pace of my life. After spending a week driving down country roads and walking a seventy-five-minute nature trail every day, I find myself naturally moving more slowly and breathing more deeply. It seems only natural to synchronize with nature in this way. I’ve never stayed at a cabin in the woods by myself before and I find that I like it much more than I expected to. I can already tell I’ll miss it when I return to “normal life” in a few days.

Before I arrived here a week ago, I was a little leery about not having TV, phone or Internet access at the cabin, but I’m managing just fine, thank you. I drive (more…)

The Little Joy of the Soul

October 12, 2010

Paramahansa Yogananda meditating

Meditation is not an emptying of the mind. It is the highest form of concentration in which the mind is focused entirely on God. What we call happiness is negligible compared to the inner peace and exultation of spirit we attain in meditation.

Happiness, the province of the ego, is fleeting. Joy, the (more…)

The Muffin Man Strikes Again!

October 11, 2010

More than fifteen years ago, I was riding the bus home from a weekend work shift. Intrigued by the New Age concepts I had recently begun reading about, I decided to make productive use of my time on the bus by stating and manifesting an intention. Since I was a bit hungry and would be getting off the bus in the parking lot of Rainbow Foods, I conjured up the thought of manifesting a blueberry oat-bran muffin, a favorite treat at Rainbow.

I didn’t have a penny on me so I closed my eyes and visualized me finding forty-two cents. I did so with unshakable faith that my attempt at manifesting a tasty muffin would be successful. Trust is key because doubting the process essentially sabotages it. I opened my eyes and thought, Okay, let’s get started. The first thing I can do is look for money on the bus. I looked under the seat and (more…)

Dusty Baker: Managing Mysteries

October 10, 2010

Dusty Baker (photo credit: Christopher Hanewinckel/US Presswire)

Baseball managers aren’t usually described as introspective and spiritual. That’s why I enjoyed reading this profile of Cincinnati Reds manager Dusty Baker by Howard Bryant of A few years ago, I tried to interview Dusty for my book, Sixty Seconds: One Moment Changes Everything because I was aware of his spiritual awakening following his cancer diagnosis. I got as far as talking to Dusty’s father but wasn’t able to connect with Dusty himself. I’m glad to see that Dusty has deepened his awareness of and appreciation for life.

After dealing with personal and professional crises, Reds manager now a “happy” man

“Light a candle,” Dusty Baker says, his lone voice softly skimming the looming silence of the empty church. “I’m sure there’s someone out there you want to pray for.”

He lights a candle, points the flickering matchstick downward in his large hands, the athlete’s hands, dousing it into the cool sand. It is here in the solitude of St. Peter in Chains Cathedral — funded by Ohio Catholics who donated 12 cents per month toward its construction in 1841 — where Johnnie B. Baker, born Baptist in California, raised in the traditions of the southern black church, kneels alone among the long pews and nourishes his spirituality.

After several moments of prayer, he rises and walks gingerly toward the altar, marveling at the Greek architecture, the Corinthian columns and stained glass mosaics, comforted, despite its bruises, by the sanctuary and the ritual of the church.

“I come in here before homestands, sometimes a couple of times a week during the season,” said Baker. “I pray for my family, for my team, and for Barack Obama, because (more…)

Liu Bolin: The Human Chameleon!

October 9, 2010

Love how Chinese artist Liu Bolin gets his Zelig on! He’s definitely found his niche: painting himself into whatever scenery happens to be available. He’s a living, breathing (more…)

The Rhythms of the Woods

October 8, 2010

I asked this handsome fellow to pose in front of the Trego Nature Trail. Oh, wait. That's me.

I’m in the third full day of my Wisconsin cabin retreat. I am happy to report that I am getting attuned to nature’s rhythms. Living and walking amidst the woods in northwest Wisconsin has naturally slowed my pace both mentally and physically. I find myself synchronizing with the absence of natural light by going to bed earlier. I’m even driving more slowly in order to honor the beauty of the scenery; it’s almost hypnotically calming to gaze at the fields of green and gold. (What other colors would they be in Packers territory?) I typically listen to sports talk shows in the car but turning the radio on in the midst of such splendor would seem too jarring.

Gazing down at the Namekagan River on the Trego Nature Trail

The centerpiece of my retreat, which my hosts, John and Kristin Anderson, have so generously extended from four days to eleven, is (more…)

Henry David Thoreau, I’m Not

October 7, 2010

My Wisconsin cabin retreat

In a recent post, I wrote that as I was driving down a busy highway to the ginormous Mall of America, the thought crossed my mind that it would be nice to leave the fast pace of the big city behind and retreat to a cabin in the woods.

I was speaking metaphorically, so imagine my surprise when my long-lost friend, comedian Kristin Anderson, posted on Facebook that I would be welcome to use her family’s cabin. Wow. I lobbed Kristin a phone call to make sure she was serious, got directions from her husband John (founder of JDA Design Architects), and off I went on a two-hour trek into Wisconsin.

I got to the cabin in the evening as darkness was falling. It was a cozy, quaint little home away from home and a welcome change from the hustle and bustle of Minneapolis. After some reading, I turned out the light early and just listened in the darkness to . . . nothing. It was totally quiet, almost eerily so.

The driveway to the highway

I drifted off to sleep but awoke around three o’clock. It was so quiet that every little (more…)

Miss Iowa Goes to Washington

October 6, 2010

Love this story by Jayson Stark of One minute, Katherine Connors is relaxing in a hair salon in Iowa, the next minute she’s throwing out the ceremonial first pitch at a major league baseball game in Washington D.C.!

Katherine Connors, aka Miss Iowa, became somewhat of a celebrity at Nationals Park this past summer, thanks to Nationals pitcher Miguel Batista (photo credit: Rafael Suanes/US Presswire)

It was one of those tales that gave a whole new meaning to the expression “the beauty of baseball.”

It all started with [rookie pitching sensation] Stephen Strasburg feeling “discomfort” while he was warming up for his July 27 start for the Nationals.

Whereupon ever-erudite reliever Miguel Batista was forced to head for the mound instead and found himself getting booed by 40,000 people who hadn’t planned on turning their life savings over to StubHub to see Miguel Batista pitch.

Whereupon Batista, afterward, would utter the words that changed Katherine Connors’ life: “Imagine,” he said, “if you go to see Miss Universe, then you end up having Miss Iowa. You might get those kind of boos.” Uh-ohhh.

So the next day, 1,000 miles from the scene of the quote, Miss Iowa USA, Katherine Connors, was hanging out in a salon, getting her hair done, when the texts started.

“They said, ‘They’re talking about (more…)

Set Your Intentions

October 5, 2010

Your outlook on life will change dramatically when you set your intentions and affirm them repeatedly every day. To get started, select one to three intentions and place them firmly in the front of your mind:

I am wealthy beyond measure.
I am (more…)

Olivia Archbold: In the Arms of the Angels

October 4, 2010

Only fourteen years old, Olivia Archbold mesmerized the crowd at her 2010 Britain’s Got Talent audition with her lovely rendition of Sarah McLachlin‘s haunting song, In the Arms of the Angels.

Here is Olivia singing Kate WInslets (more…)

Diving Headfirst Into a Promise

October 3, 2010

There’s a long and poignant history of major league baseball players promising sick children to hit a home run for them. Many of those stories have happy endings. This is one of those stories. Written by New York Yankees outfielder Brett Gardner, it appeared in the October 2010 issue of Guideposts.

This Major Leaguer had little chance of hitting a home run . . . until he visited some kids who gave him hope

New York Yankee Brett Gardner and Alyssa Esposito

I’m an outfielder for the New York Yankees, and I can do a lot of things to help my team win a ball game.

I’m blessed with great speed—I leg out bunts, steal bases and stretch singles into doubles. I’ve learned to be a disciplined hitter—I draw walks and I get on base. I’m pretty good with the glove too—I get to a lot of balls because of my speed.

What I definitely am not blessed with is power. I’m no slugger. One look at me and you’ll know why.

The official Yankees’ guide lists me as 5’ 10,” 185 pounds, but that’s generous. When I walked to the plate the night of May 15, 2009, I had one career home run to my credit. And I (more…)

Nobody Need Wait a Single Moment

October 2, 2010

When I was a kid, I thought that people were good and kind and that anybody who treated others poorly was the exception, not the rule. I was naive.

Now that I’m grown up, I see that my glasses had a bit too much rose-colored tint to them. But I’m still naive and I like it that way. I still believe that people are essentially good and kind, and that they especially tend to act that way when others are in need of help.

Ultimately, it’s up to (more…)

Juggling Living, Breathing Human Beings

October 1, 2010

A friend of mine sent me an update on her caregiving challenges that took my breath away, not only because of the magnitude of what she’s dealing with on a daily basis but because of the grace, beauty and wisdom contained in her final paragraph. With her permission, I am sharing her words so other caregivers can find hope and inspiration in her compassionate approach to dealing with loved ones who can no longer take care of themselves.

You may know that for seven years I’ve been caring for four elderly members of my family, in various states of illness and decline, and slowly cutting back [my workload]. Our 99-year-old died around the first of the year; a very good thing for her, as life was miserable.

My husband is now 91 and in seriously failing health, with congestive heart failure that we’ve not been able to stabilize, and advancing prostate cancer. The drs. are having a hard time finding the right balance of diuretics and beta blockers, and I’m concerned about adding two more serious drugs (that block testosterone production) for his prostate cancer.  He loses abilities from week to week, and you will understand that he is number one priority for my time.

In addition, I’m caring for my very (more…)