Archive for January, 2012

For Heaven’s Sake, Get Connected!

January 15, 2012

In church today, the minister offered a surprising analogy:

Connecting to God is similar to connecting with the Internet.

His reasoning was thus:

If you have a top-of-the-line computer, you may be able to do all sorts of amazing things with all the software you can dream of. Yet even though you can accomplish great things, your capabilities will be limited until you connect to the Internet and gain access to a universe of information and (more…)

Carly’s Voice

January 14, 2012

Carly Fleischmann

Imagine being trapped in a body that is constantly on sensory overload. Imagine not being able to speak. Imagine that your legs feel like they’re on fire, or like a hundred ants are crawling up your arms. Imagine that the world, even your own family, considers you mentally disabled. Imagine that you are still you, intelligent and capable, but unable to express yourself in any way for eleven years. Until . . .


In the aftermath of her appearance on ABC’s 20/20, teenager Carly Fleischmann has (more…)

Rick Reilly: I Believe in Tim Tebow

January 13, 2012

ESPN sportswriter Rick Reilly

You may not believe in Santa Claus or the Tooth Fairy, but like writer Rick Reilly, you can believe in Tim Tebow. Bravo to Reilly for regularly highlighting the positive side of sports and athletes.


Tim Tebow with Jacob Rainey, one of the many people dealing with health problems Tebow hosted at Broncos games this season (photo courtesy of Tim Tebow Foundation)

I’ve come to believe in Tim Tebow, but not for what he does on a football field, which is still three parts Dr. Jekyll and two parts Mr. Hyde.

No, I’ve come to believe in Tim Tebow for what he does off a football field, which is represent the best parts of us, the parts I want to be and so rarely am.

Who among us is this selfless?

Every week, Tebow picks out someone who is suffering, or who is dying, or who is injured. He flies these people and their families to the Broncos game, rents them a car, puts them up in a nice hotel, buys them (more…)

A Hug From Richard

January 12, 2012

In her book, Heart Prints; Walking on Holy Ground, Julie Ireland Keene starts off a chapter titled “The Faces of Angels Among Us” with a heartwarming story about her son who died far too young. All the elements line up so perfectly that it would be a stretch to attribute it all to coincidence. You make the call.


The wise words of Rumi: “Sell your cleverness and purchase bewilderment” apply to an experience I had several years ago that remains vivid, consoling, and bewildering. For quite some time I had been focused on releasing the grief concerning my son Richard’s sudden death at age nine. For far too long I had carried the hundred pound weight on my heart and with the help of my dear friend Ione along with spiritual teachers such as Elisabeth Kubler-Ross, Stephen Levine, Ram Dass and others, I made great progress. I took care of my unfinished business with him, dealt with guilt over not being a perfect parent, and was able to see the wonderful gift of having this dear loving soul in my life for nine years.

I had always dreamed of Richard in his nine year old earth suit. However, after I had gone through the process of releasing the pain but keeping him close in love, I had a dream of him as a (more…)

When Life Kicks You Down, Kick Back

January 11, 2012

The business of professional sports is unforgiving. It is a pure meritocracy, with no excuses tolerated for poor performance: You’ve got problems at home? I’m sorry to hear that, but I don’t want to hear about it. Leave your personal life at the locker room door and go do your job.

It’s an environment that is ripe for feel-good stories of redemption and triumph. Like this stellar story by writer Rick Reilly about San Francisco 49ers placekicker David Akers.


David Akers had a rough ending to the 2010 season. Professional and personal turnarounds made for a different story in 2011 (photo by Jason O. Watson of US Presswire)

This is the show-stoppingest year for QBs in NFL history, which is how San Francisco 49ers kicker David Akers’ story ended up in 4-point font.

Too bad. It would look nice on Paramount Pictures’ summer schedule.

Yes, Akers, 37, had the finest kicking season in NFL history this year, but that’s just the riding-off-into-the-sunset part.

The crying-in-the-shower part was exactly a year ago last week — wild-card weekend — when his Philadelphia Eagles were about to host the Green Bay Packers. The day before the game, doctors found a tumor on the ovary of (more…)

By George, Hand Me the Splendid Torch!

January 10, 2012

George Bernard Shaw

People occasionally ask me how many hours I work, assuming that I must be putting in at least sixty hours a week. I just laugh. Yes, I am often at the computer from early morning until late at night but that doesn’t mean I’m piling up the billable hours. Far from it. I devote far more time to my life’s work than to my work life.

My life’s mission is to encourage and inspire people to live more positive, loving lives. I do that through writing books, posting on this blog, and talking to people whenever the occasion presents itself. Yes, I enjoy my work life but my life’s work brings me joy. Big difference.

This is the true joy in life, the being used for a purpose recognized by yourself as a mighty one; the being thoroughly worn out before you are thrown on (more…)

The Beauty of Nature, the Peace of Gratitude

January 9, 2012

Louie Schwartzberg

Louie Schwartzberg
, an award-winning cinematographer, director and producer, has chronicled nature’s beauty through time-lapse photography for thirty years. In the above ten-minute TEDx video, he offers this profound wisdom:

When people see my images, a lot of times they’ll say, “Oh, my God.” Have you ever wondered what that meant?

The “Oh” means it caught your attention, makes you present, makes you mindful.

The “my” means it connects with something deep inside your soul. It creates a gateway for your inner voice to rise up and be heard.

And “God”? God is that (more…)

Lori Anne Yang’s Open Apology to Her Eldest Daughter

January 8, 2012

Lori Anne Yang

My friend, Lori Anne Yang, wrote this insightful post for her blog. I encourage all parents to read it. Hopefully, Lori’s wisdom will prevent them from making parenting mistakes that they will later regret.

by Lori Anne Yang

The artistic stylings of Lori's youngest daughter, Harper

There is a sweet little drawing of a smiling face scribbled on the wall next to my bed. The artist is my youngest child when she was about three years old. At the time I calmly told her that walls are not for drawing, and then complimented (more…)

A Special Olympics and the Special Olympics

January 7, 2012

Derek Redmond's dad, Jim, helps his son cross the finish line

Derek Redmond’s dad, Jim, helps his son cross the finish line

There’s something about a race that brings out the heroic spirit. In the 1992 Olympics in Barcelona, British runner Derek Redmond tore his hamstring in the 400 meter semi-final but refused to quit. He got up and hobbled along as best he could until his father ran onto the track and helped him cross the finish line as the crowd gave him a standing ovation. I couldn’t help but think of Iron Woman Julie Moss as I watched this video.

Twenty years after Jim Redmond carried his (more…)

Six Minutes

January 6, 2012

This afternoon at the place where I volunteer, I overheard two women I know who are a bit older than me mention that they were tired and dragging. Since I’m a certified massage therapist, I asked if they’d like a neck-and-shoulder rub in the lunchroom. (I do three-minte shoulder massages for yoga students at a nearby yoga studio three times a week in exchange for free classes.) Both enthusiastically accepted my offer.

During the seated-chair massages, each of which lasted about six minutes, I learned that one woman’s husband had been (more…)

The House of Prayer

January 5, 2012

It’s been said that coincidences are God’s way of remaining anonymous. A good illustration is this story by Wanda Priddy of Pearcy, Arkansas, which was featured in a Guideposts e-letter. Click here to sign up for Guideposts‘ free Mysterious Ways newsletter. You’ll also be able to download a free e-book, Mysterious Ways: 9 Inspiring Stories That Show Evidence of God’s Love and God’s Grace.

My son was dying and I needed comfort so badly

All I learned about prayer I learned at 218 Maylott Street. That was where I grew up, raised by my grandma, Mama.

I would lie in bed at night listening to Mama pray for me. “Lord, let Wanda know you are always with her.” Those comforting words stayed with me after I moved out.

It was the comfort I desperately sought at my youngest son Ronnie’s hospital bedside. He was very ill and not expected to make it through the night.

If only someone would (more…)

The Mother of all Reunions!

January 4, 2012

What a poignant, heartwarming story: A mother is reunited with the daughter she was forced to give up seventy-seven years earlier. Can you imagine their first face-tp-face meeting? “My baby!” cries the ninety-five-year old. “Mommy!” shouts the seventy-seven-year old. What a joyous, emotionally charged day that must have been! Here is the full story from an article by Amy Taxin for


Minka Disbrow, 100, stands in her apartment in San Clemente, California. Disbrow, who was raped at age 16, has lived to be 100 - long enough to meet the daughter she gave up at birth 77 years earlier and to learn about the six grandchildren she didn't know she had. (Photo by Jae C. Hong of AP)

For most of her 100 years, Minka Disbrow tried to find out what became of the precious baby girl she gave up for adoption after being raped as a teen.

She hoped, but never imagined, she’d see her Betty Jane again.

The cruel act of violence bore in Disbrow an enduring love for the child. She kept a black and white photograph of the baby bundled in blankets and tucked inside a basket.

It was the last she saw of the girl — until the phone rang in her California apartment in 2006 with the voice of an Alabama man and a story (more…)

My Video Interview with Paul Streitz, the Blue-Collar Buddha

January 3, 2012


I had the pleasure of working with entrepreneur Paul Streitz on his new book, Blue-Collar Buddha. I hope you enjoy our three-part video interview.

You can read a sample chapter from Blue-Collar Buddha at the end of this blog post.

Click here to order your copy of Blue-Collar Buddha.

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As founder and CEO of Advanced Lighting Systems, Inc., a manufacturer of LED and fiber optics used in entertainment and architectural lighting, Paul Streitz established himself as an industry visionary and the go-to-source for high-tech, high-touch creative lighting solutions for everything from the Grammy (more…)

Waking the Wizard WIthin

January 2, 2012

In church yesterday, the minister offered an intriguing analogy that I hadn’t considered before. He used Harry Potter as an illustration of Self-relaization.

At the start of Harry’s story, he was living with a family that treated him poorly; his room was a small closet underneath the stairs. He felt alienated and alone. Life was miserable. Ah, but then Harry (more…)

Ben Breeds Love

January 1, 2012

Ben Breedlove

Ben Breedlove was only eighteen years old when he died of a chronic heart condition on Christmas night, 2011. While it’s tragic that he has left this earth, the video he made just a week before his death has literally inspired millions. His description of his near-death experiences has made the peace, love, and joy of the other side more tangibly real to those he left behind.

Click here to view the video tributes others have left in the days after his death. Undoubtedly, Ben has changed people for the better—made them (more…)