Archive for June, 2011

Are You Ready to Listen?

June 30, 2011

We all hear the voice of intuition, yet it’s often so subtle that we can rationalize ignoring it. But what if that inner voice is clear, specific and strong? What then? In this story from Guideposts, Marty Via heard that voice and knew he had no choice but to follow it. May you find the courage like Marty and his family did to follow your inner guidance wherever it may lead. Turn away from the path you know is yours to trod, and you will forevermore drift off to sleep with these two words on your mind: What if?

I have discovered my own personal key to faith. It’s what people once said I couldn’t do.

Marty Via and his family

Plans have never been my specialty. I’ve basically spent most of my life going from one thing to the next, playing whatever hand I’m dealt. For a long time I felt like that hand was a pretty bad one.

Growing up on a farm, I went to church occasionally, though I can’t say the pastor’s words really got through to me. We were poor, and I was a little guy, but I made up for it in spunk. By the time I could walk, I was up to no good. My teachers said I just never listened.

At age 18 I joined the Army. More discipline problems. I couldn’t stand having people tell me what to do—not exactly a useful attitude in the military.

I got married while in the Army and we had a child. After discharge, I started working construction. But by that point drugs and alcohol were more important to me than family. My marriage fell apart. One day I found myself alone in an empty apartment. I was burned out, miserable. I longed for someone to give me advice, to tell me what to do. I thought about my parents, about the pastor at church when I was a boy, about my teachers, my drill sergeant, my boss. They had all said the same thing: You don’t listen. “Lord,” I said out loud, “I realize I haven’t done a good job leading my own life so far. I (more…)

No Better Way to Spend an Evening

June 29, 2011

Ted Williams' 1957 card

Last week, Dave, a friend of mine from college, drove an hour to meet me in Minneapolis. It was a special occasion: Nostalgia Night. Dave brought with him a few albums stuffed with baseball cards from 1957 through 1965, the golden age of collecting cards as far as we were concerned.

I remember biking home from the drugstore at seven years old with a box of baseball cards—filled with twenty-four packs at a nickel each—and sitting at our family room table lovingly opening each pack, checking each card against my checklist, and organizing them into appropriate piles. My happiness could not have been more complete.

Paging through Dave’s collection of cardboard gods was at once nostalgic, joyous and therapeutic. Dave said it best: “When I look at these cards, I (more…)

Roots In All Directions

June 28, 2011

Your kind gestures may inspire others to act in kind, and perhaps set off chain reactions of good will that karmically circle back to you.

One of the most difficult things to give away is kindness—it is usually returned.
Cort R. Flint

Before your kindness returns to you, it will (more…)

How to Talk to Little Girls

June 27, 2011

Lisa Bloom

In an essay for the Huffington Post, TV host, attorney and author Lisa Bloom advised readers about what not to say when meeting young girls. It’s a great point, and one that has crossed my mind over the years. I could relate when Lisa talks about suppressing the urge to tell a girl how cute she is. Unlike her, however, I’ve rarely suppressed the urge because I hadn’t put any thought into a backup plan. So it was helpful to read her suggestions here. I will put them into practice the next time I find myself in the company of a little girl cub!

Click here to buy Lisa’s new book, Think: Straight Talk for Women to Stay Smart in a Dumbed-Down World

Click here to follow Lisa on Twitter.

by Lisa Bloom 

I went to a dinner party at a friend’s home last weekend, and met her five-year-old daughter for the first time.

Little Maya was all curly brown hair, doe-like dark eyes, and adorable in her shiny pink nightgown. I wanted to squeal, “Maya, you’re so cute! Look at you! Turn around and model that pretty ruffled gown, you gorgeous thing!”

But I didn’t. I squelched myself. As I always bite my tongue when I meet little girls, restraining myself from my first impulse, which is to tell them how darn cute/ pretty/ beautiful/ well-dressed/ well-manicured/ well-coiffed they are.

What’s wrong with that? It’s our culture’s standard talking-to-little-girls icebreaker, isn’t it? And why not give them a sincere compliment to boost their self-esteem? Because they are so darling I just want to burst when I meet them, honestly.

Hold that (more…)

Liberace Lives!

June 26, 2011


Daniel Joseph Baker brings the fierceness to America's Got Talent

It’s a painful refrain we’ve heard countless times over the years: A young person tearfully acknowledges, “I knew I was different growing up.” Fortunately, there are more and more young men and women like Daniel Joseph Baker who shed no tears, who simply and matter-of-factly say things like, “I tried to be normal but it just never felt right,” and “It’s who I am and I’m proud of it.”

Whatever the reason for their childhood alienation, it’s encouraging and refreshing to see people confidently step (more…)

You Are the Dance

June 25, 2011

Your capacity to be fully present expands dramatically when you stop identifying yourself as a time-bound human being separate from others, and start experiencing life as a timeless spiritual being at one with all creation.

There are three words that convey the secret of the art of living, the secret of all success and happiness: One With Life. Being one with life is being one with Now. You then realize that you don’t live your life, but life lives you. Life is the dancer, and you are the dance.
Eckhart Tolle

It is your intuition that is your lifeline to Spirit, to the ever-alert, ever-present observer within you. Deepak Chopra describes this “observer in the (more…)

Danny Gokey Will Not Say Goodbye

June 24, 2011

Danny Gokey

Anyone who has grieved the loss of a loved one (in other words, everybody) will relate to the raw emotion of this video by Danny Gokey, who finished third on American Idol in 2009.

Click here to buy Danny’s CD, My Best Days.

I always liked Danny and was saddened to learn that his wife Sophia died of heart disease just a month before he tried out for Idol, her favorite show. She had been excited that he would be auditioning and he decided to go through with it even in the midst of his grief as a way to honor her. He also created a foundation called Sophia’s Heart. Their mission is to help mend and heal the hearts of children and families who have been touched by poverty, sickness, disease, broken homes and broken dreams.

On the foundation’s website, Danny posted this message about his “I Will Not Say Goodbye” video:

On June 28th, 2010 my new single “I Will Not Say Goodbye” was released to country radio. In the music video that was filmed for this song, 3 true life stories were highlighted of people who lost loved (more…)

The Present Moment Is Not in Time

June 23, 2011

The present moment is the only moment you have ever had, and the only moment you will ever have.

My friend, the sufi is the friend of the present moment. To say tomorrow is not our way.

The present moment is both ephemeral and infinite; it exists outside (more…)

Landau Eugene Murphy, Jr.—The Rat Pack Throwback

June 22, 2011


Landau Eugene Murphy, Jr.

In an earlier post, I marveled at how Neil Fullard, a forty-two-year-old bar bouncer in England who had never sung in public, auditioned for Britain’s Got Talent and sounded just like Frank Sinatra. Well, history repeats itself! Just like Fullard, Landau Eugene Murphy, Jr., a thirty-six-year-old car (more…)

The Emergence of Anna Graceman

June 21, 2011


Anna Graceman

I’d wager that when eleven-year-old Anna Graceman walked out on stage to audition for America’s Got Talent on June 21, 2011, you didn’t expect her to play piano and sing like a seasoned professional. Unless, of course, you happened to see her on Ellen two years ago when she made her television debut at the tender age of nine. That’s right, nine years old! Hello? Who are all these children who can headline Vegas before reaching puberty?


We Do Not Remember Days

June 20, 2011

Savoring little moments throughout the day does not slow down time, but it sure feels like it does.

We do not remember days, we remember moments.
Cesare Pavese

Slipping a love note in your child’s lunchbox or squeezing your (more…)

The Majesty of a Falling Leaf

June 19, 2011

In time, viewing every moment as a gift orchestrated by divine intelligence becomes ingrained in your consciousness. No matter where you are, no matter what is in front of you, you see the hand of God at work.

Whoever does not see God in every place does not see God in any place.
Rabbi Elimelech

Look at the world through God’s eyes and the beauty and majesty of a falling leaf will leave you breathless.

We look too much to museums. The (more…)

Everything Has Beauty

June 18, 2011

Look beyond the illusory “negative” aspects of an event and you may discover the golden nugget of divine wisdom lying just beneath the details.

Everything has beauty, but not everyone sees it.

Seek to find beauty in everything you look at and you (more…)

The Mystery of the Perfect Parents

June 17, 2011

This thought-provoking article by Lori Gottlieb appeared in The Atlantic online on June 17, 2011. I agree that parents can unintentionally hinder their children’s growth by being too loving—but only if they don’t practice tough love at the same time. That said, I’m convinced that parents need to follow four ironclad rules:

1) Love and cherish your kids unconditionally.

2) Hold your kids accountable for their words and their actions.

3) Demand that your kids (more…)

Saving a Starfish

June 16, 2011

Can one person make a difference in the world? Absolutely. Simply do what you can whenever you can. That is all that is asked of you.

This gentle video echoes the story that Dr. Francis Collins, the former head of the (more…)

Ten-Year-Old Zara Larsson Wins “Sweden’s Got Talent”

June 15, 2011


Zara Larrson

At the ripe old age of ten, singer Zara Larrson won Talang, Sweden’s equivalent of America’s Got Talent, in 2008. She sang three songs on the show before winning the crown. Yes, she can sing, but where do you get that kind of poise and stage presence in grade school? What’s next, babies emerging from the womb with microphones?

ONE MOMENT (more…)