Archive for September, 2011

Happy 80th Birthday to the Momma!

September 30, 2011

The Momma and me

The older I get, the more I realize how lucky I am to have been raised by a mom and dad who unconditionally loved and cherished me. I thought every kid was loved by their parents that way.

Sure, I’ve got issues to work on just like everybody else but none of them have to do with childhood hurts and traumas. My kidhood was (more…)

Red Tide—Nature’s Light Show!

September 29, 2011

Local photographer Anne Phelps took this photo of a red tide in Encinitas earlier this month. What I saw last night was a multicolored light show!

Two nights ago, an Encinitas-area friend alerted me that a red tide would be visible that night and that perhaps I would enjoy heading down to the beach to see it. She was right! I walked down to Swami’s Beach around nine o’clock and stayed for about an hour. I’d never seen a red tide before, and it was everything it was cracked up to be and more.

Standing on the beach in darkness with a handful of other onlookers, we watched as waves crashed into a reef twenty yards out, producing horizontal explosions of turquoise, (more…)

The Intuitive Art of Wooing Nature

September 28, 2011

Fighting your suffering disrupts the flow of life. Surrender to your suffering and the gates of understanding swing open.

Suffering is magnificent music—the moment you give ear to it. But you never listen to it: you always have a different, private, stubborn music and melody in your ear which you will not relinquish and with which the music of suffering will not harmonize.
Hermann Hesse

No matter how deeply you are wounded, there are great (more…)

Faith + Forgiveness = Freedom

September 27, 2011

How would you feel if someone pumped five bullets into you and left you for dead? Probably a lot like Stephen Watt of Rock Springs, Wyoming, felt. So how did this former state trooper move past his anger and hatred and find peace? The only way he could—through forgiveness. Watt told his story in the October 2011 issue of Guideposts.

A former state trooper turns to God when his bitter hatred threatens to overwhelm him

Stephen Watt

I shifted on the couch, searching for some way to sit without my legs and back aching. I’d lived—if that was even the word—with this constant pain for four years now. But that was only part of what was bothering me tonight. I sat for an hour, pen poised above a sheet of white notebook paper inside a binder. I needed to write this letter, wanted to believe it could make a difference. But the words wouldn’t come.

It was Marian, my wife, who had urged me to do this. “You can’t go on keeping this inside of you,” she told me. There was plenty I wanted to say. I wanted the slimeball who did this to me to know my agony. I wanted to tell him what he’d taken from me—my job as a Wyoming state trooper, my self-worth, my very will to live.

But the worst was the anger, a raw, festering hatred that smoldered inside of me. If only I’d killed Mark Farnham when (more…)

Sweeter and Sweeter

September 26, 2011

Paramahansa Yogananda meditating outside

Have you always wanted to meditate but keep on putting it off? If so, you’re probably also putting off being the best you that you can be. Witness this letter from a Texas man to Self-Realization Fellowship that was printed in the Summer 2011 issue of Self-Realization magazine:

One evening after I’d been meditating twice daily for the first six months I announced to my wife that I was going to bed rather than meditate because I was feeling so tired. Without hesitation my wife grabbed my shirt collar with both hands, and her face only inches from mine, she announced to me that I (more…)

Let Me So Conduct My Life

September 25, 2011

In the CD, My Spirit Shall Live On: The Final Days of Paramahansa Yogananda, Sri Daya Mata shares a vow she made to her guru, Paramahansa Yogananda, that she did her best to live by:

Let me so conduct my life that every moment I can look into your eyes with sincerity, with purity in heart, in mind and in soul.

Whether you are making this pledge to a guru or to God, they are wise words to live by. They are a reminder to reach every decision and choose every action as if God’s hand were on your shoulder. Living with complete integrity is the tangible expression of your love for and devotion to God. Integrity is your spiritual practice made visible.

Sri Daya Mata went on to say:

Let there be no hidden thoughts from you. Let me not try to hide a single motive from you. . . . He was the only one in this world to whom I felt I could go and open my heart and let him behold (more…)

Good Morning from the Ocean and Me!

September 24, 2011

I shot this two-minute video this morning to share the beauty of Encinitas with people I care about. This is where I live and why I live here.

May your (more…)

Waking Up Full of Awesome

September 23, 2011

Melissa from posted this short essay on August 3, 2011. Six weeks later, it had collected 412,000 views. I know. Awesome. I bet the vast majority of women out there will relate to this. As the father of a daughter who loved to frolic as a kid, I can certainly relate. Melissa was kind enough to give me permission to post her essay here.

The motto of is “Redefine Girly: Let’s change the way we think about our girls.” That starts with changing the way we talk to girls. And it starts with you . . . right now . . . reclaiming your awesome!


There was a time when you were five years old,
and you woke up full of awesome.

You knew you were awesome.

You loved yourself.

You thought you were beautiful,
even with missing teeth and messy hair and mismatched socks inside your grubby sneakers.

You loved your (more…)

Where There Is Sunshine, There Is Also Shade

September 22, 2011

Grief will not be ignored. Turn in any direction and grief is there, fencing you in. Only when you give grief your full attention will it give up its gifts.

Mourning is not forgetting. . . . It is an undoing. Every minute tie has to be untied and something permanent and valuable recovered and assimilated from the dust.
Margery Allingham

While you did not consciously choose to suffer, you have (more…)

Suffering Leads to Empathy

September 21, 2011

None of us can escape suffering. Yet the moment you embrace your vulnerability, you widen your vision and expand your awareness of the entire spectrum of human experience.

Is suffering really necessary? Yes and no. If you had not suffered as you have, there would be no depth to you, no humility, no compassion.
Eckhart Tolle

In this way, suffering forces you to humbly acknowledge that (more…)

The Other Side of Pain

September 20, 2011

No two people suffer alike or for the same reasons. What causes heartbreak in one person may spur nothing but wistfulness and gratitude in another.

Nothing that grieves us can be called little: by the eternal laws of proportion a child’s loss of a doll and a king’s loss of a crown are events of the same size.
Mark Twain

View suffering as an enemy and you distance yourself from the (more…)

No Winter Lasts Forever

September 19, 2011

The moment you recognize the blessings inherent in your suffering, the greater your capacity to transcend your anguish, even as grief and pain threaten to consume you.

Whenever evil befalls us, we ought to ask ourselves, after the first suffering, how we can turn it into good. So shall we take occasion, from one bitter root, to raise perhaps many flowers.
Leigh Hunt

As inspirational author and speaker Andy Andrews humorously (more…)

Night Brings Out the Bright Contrast of Day

September 18, 2011

Hope and faith will always triumph over adversity just as good will always triumph over evil, for implicit in the duality of material existence is the promise that this, too, shall pass.

Good and evil must ever be complements on this earth. Everything created must bear some guise of imperfection. How else could God, the Sole Perfection, fragment His one consciousness into forms of creation distinguishable from Himself? There can be no images of light without contrasting shadows. Unless evil had been created, man would not know the opposite, good. Night brings out the bright contrast of day; sorrow teaches us the desirability of joy.
Paramahansa Yogananda

Rise to the occasion and you will (more…)

Flowers Grow Out of Dark Moments

September 17, 2011

If you believe that you are one with God, that you co-create whatever comes into your life, and that everything happens for a reason, then it follows that hardships are nothing more than course corrections on your spiritual path.

There is no such thing as a problem without a gift for you in its hands. You seek problems because you need their gifts.
Richard Bach

If you could but look through God’s eyes, you would see God’s (more…)

Autumn Equinox 2011 Update From Astrologer Laurie Baum

September 16, 2011

Laurie Baum

If you enjoy astrology, you will like this Autumn Equinox update written by my good friend Laurie Baum, MSW, a psychological astrologer and psychotherapist in practice in Encinitas, California.

Laurie writes a free astrological newsletter about how planetary alignments affect our lives on earth. Click here to e-mail Laurie to subscribe at no cost, or visit Laurie’s website and click on “Free Email Newsletter.”

Laurie is a former newspaper (more…)

Jonathan Livingston Eggshells

September 15, 2011

The approach

My daughter, Erin, and I were sitting on the rocks at Swami’s Beach in Encinitas this morning when a seagull landed near us. Surprisingly, he started walking toward us. We were sure he’d fly away, but no, he kept moving toward us.

The staredown

At one point, he stopped and looked at us for a few moments. We were amused. He looked like a (more…)