Archive for June, 2012

Adam Lambert—Living the Queen Dream!

June 30, 2012

JUNE 30, 2012 IN KIEV

Back in 2009, an unknown Adam Lambert auditioned for American Idol by singing Queen‘s “Bohemian Rhapsody.” Three years later, in Kiev, Adam performed the same song in concert with Queen—guitarist Brian May, drummer Roger Taylor and, via video, late lead singer Freddie Mercury. A dream team supreme!

I love rags to riches stories like this! Imagine telling (more…)

A “One and Only” Choir of Angels

June 25, 2012

Talk about a day brightener! This soulful rendition of Adele’s song, “One and Only,” performed by students at Staten Island’s PS22, was featured on ABC’s “World News Sunday.” Even more impressive, the kids just (more…)

The Pioneer Spirit of Vernon Pick

June 23, 2012

Vernon Pick (photo courtesy of Pick’s nephew, Jim Hanson of Maple Plain, Minnesota)

The more I read of this brief biography of Vernon Pick, the more and more awestruck I became. How could one man know so much and do so much? I guess some people are just born to wield power over the material world. I am not one of them. The day I build my own dam and power plant is the day I fly to Saturn on a gasoline-powered broomstick.

Pick truly is the definition of the rugged American hero. Although his story reads like science fiction to me, I am grateful that people like him exist. Stories like his inspire me to do the best I can and be the best I can.

The following story was written by Bill Morgan of the St. Cloud Times in my home state of Minnesota.

by Bill Morgan

People knew Vernon J. Pick was in town when they saw his red Ford pickup, long hair, battered hat and torn leather jacket.

In 1942, Pick, a self-educated electrical engineer, bought a 25-acre plot three miles west of Royalton in Morrison County’s Two Rivers Township. A four-story flourmill, built in 1875, and three-frame buildings stood beside the picturesque stream that still flows through the site today.

Pick, who dreamed someday of finding a place to erect a hydro-electrical plant, spent the next decade building a dam and a concrete structure to accommodate a power plant. Pick also used the old (more…)

Wild Bill’s Legacy of Love

June 22, 2012

This excerpt from the book Return from Tomorrow by George C. Ritchie is without question the most powerful testament to the resilience and strength of the human spirit I’ve ever encountered. Every time I hear it, it takes my breath away.

Ritchie was a soldier in WWII who was part of a group assigned to a concentration camp near Wuppertal, Germany, after the war with Europe ended in May 1945. Ritchie’s team was charged with getting medical help to the newly liberated prisoners, many of them Jews from Holland, France and eastern Europe. He writes:

This was the most shattering experience I had yet had. I had been exposed many times by then to sudden death and injury, but to see the effects of slow starvation, to walk through those barracks where thousands of men had died a little bit at a time over a period of years, was a new kind of horror. For many it was an irreversible process; we lost scores each day in spite of all the medicine and food we could rush to them.

Ritchie then relates how he came to know an inmate the American soldiers called Wild Bill Cody due to his long drooping handlebar mustache that resembled that of the old western hero. Wild Bill’s real name was “seven unpronounceable syllables in Polish.” Ritchie writes of him:

He was one of the inmates of the concentration camp, but obviously he had not been there long; his posture was erect, his eyes bright, his energy indefatigable. Since he was fluent in English, French, German and Russian, as well as Polish, he became a kind of unofficial camp translator.

We came to him with all sorts of problems; the paperwork alone was staggering in attempting to relocate people whose families, even whole hometowns, might have disappeared. But though Wild Bill worked fifteen and sixteen hours a day, he showed no signs of weariness. While the rest of us were drooping with fatigue, he seemed to (more…)

Be Glad You’re You!

June 21, 2012


More than twenty years ago, I wrote five poems for Kids Pick the Funniest Poems, a wonderful book that makes kids laugh. One of my poems, “I’m Glad I’m Me,” is on page one and sets the tone for the rest of the book. It lets kids know that in silliness there is strength, and in goofiness there is greatness! Its core messages come through loud and clear:

Be yourself!
Be confident!
Be authentic!
Be proud of who you are!

With all the recent news about bullying in school and with so many kids feeling alienated and isolated, it occurred to me that “I’m Glad I’m Me” should be an anthem and a source of strength for anyone and everyone who feels like an outsider, who feels like they don’t belong and never will. What I hope these children will understand is (more…)

Blue Ribbons and Buffoonery

June 16, 2012

In an e-mail exchange with my friend, Myke Smitley, he said he was impressed that I used my personal life stories to illustrate points in my book, Through God’s Eyes: Finding Peace and Purpose in a Troubled World. Myke wrote:

I was just emailing with a friend–who is a founder and facilitator of seminars for individuals and businesses who are ready for evolutionary truths–about the issue of personal story telling as a teaching tool. He wrote: “As you very well know, it is not easy to declare yourself so publicly. It opens up the door for all sorts of criticism and feedback.”

Although he considers himself a very private person, Myke made the difficult decision to step out from the shadows of anonymity and reveal himself to the world in order to make a more profound impact with his book, The Great Circle: Journey to Where: the Wheel of Destiny Obeys Our Free Will.  He explains his reasoning in the following excerpt from his book:

It is for good reasons that I have mentioned here these personal things about my own psychological dynamics and have again brought up the Medicine Wheel Way. First, I have been (more…)

My Video Interview With Dr. Paul Wong on Meaning and Purpose

June 12, 2012

Dr. Paul Wong

Dr. Paul Wong
is a Psychology professor, Clinical Psychologist, author, speaker and justice fighter. His greatest happiness is to bring happiness to those who are suffering. He is the founder of the International Network on Personal Meaning, the Meaning-Centered Counselling Institute and the International Society for Existential Psychology and Psychotherapy.

You can subscribe to Dr. Wong’s Positive Living Newsletter for information regarding Meaning Conferences and other INPM events as well as for words of wisdom and inspiration on positive living. Click here to subscribe to this free monthly newsletter (scroll down to the bottom of the page for the sign-up form).

Dr. Wong’s blog, Total Fitness and Practical Spirituality, explores various issues related to spirituality and health. More specifically, it examines the potentials of total health benefits of translating Christian spiritual principles into physical exercises and daily activiies.

You can find Paul on Facebook here and on Twitter here. View videos on Dr. Wong’s YouTube channel, Personal Meaning, by clicking here.


Paul, I’d like to focus today on the International Meaning Conference on July 26-29 in Toronto. This is the seventh such conference, which is held every two years. It’s sponsored by INPM, the International Network on Personal Meaning. (Click here for the conference website.)

First of all, can you tell us when the INPM was founded, why it was founded, and what its mission is?
INPM was founded in 1998. The mission is to advance the vision and mission of Viktor Frankl, which is healing through meaning. Everybody has to have meaning and purpose in their lives, so I think that is a worthy cause. Now we added the word “flourishing,” so  the mission is healing and flourishing through meaning. We want to not only provide a cure for human problems but also offer hope for human flourishing.

Why is this upcoming conference worthy of people’s attention?
Because this is one of a kind. It is the only international conference focusing on meaning. The second unique thing about this conference is that (more…)

A Saintly Visit

June 8, 2012

My friend Judy, who has shared her stories of prayer and healing with me in earlier posts, has been blessed by a number of encounters that can only be described as divine intervention. Here is one such powerful story.


Paramahansa Yogananda (Courtesy of Self-Realization Fellowship, Los Angeles, California)

Having graduated from college Phi Beta Kappa, Magna Cum Laude, I was feeling confident and excited to be accepted into a local nursing school program. I was used to long hours of study, and at the age of twenty-seven had an ample supply of midnight oil to burn.

My first day in Anatomy class, I was shocked and surprised to realize that science was very different from my undergraduate major of liberal arts. On the second day of class, we were given an anatomy test. I got an “F.” Now mind you, I had breezed through years of schooling with straight A’s. To instantly go from academic all-star to embarrassing flop threw me for a huge loop. What if I can’t do this? I thought. What if I can’t make it through?

I had just moved into a new apartment near the school. It seemed like ages ago that my parents and friends had proudly sent me off to conquer the world. In two short days, my confidence and excitement had vanished without a trace. The only thing I felt was terrified.

I sank down on my couch, completely overwhelmed, and inwardly asked God for guidance and reassurance. Hours passed. I continued meditating until a (more…)

From Goth to Great—Andrew De Leon Captures the Hearts of America

June 6, 2012

Andrew De Leon

Imagine feeling like an outcast your entire life. Imagine being rejected by your peers for being “different.” Imagine feeling like you have nothing to offer the world. Imagine not knowing what it’s like to feel loved and accepted for who you really are. Then put yourself in Andrew De (more…)

Summer Solstice 2012 Update From Astrologer Laurie Baum

June 5, 2012

Laurie Baum

If you enjoy astrology, you will like this Summer Solstice 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 and news magazine reporter who is profiled in the books Psychic New York and The 100 Top Psychics in America. She is the author of five books:

A to Z Acrophonology: Discover the Power of the Letters in Your Name

Everything You Need to Know About Your Astrology Sign

Whispers from the Cosmos

Sacred Mysteries of Egypt

Astrological Secrets for the New Millennium

Laurie also offers counseling appointments by phone. She will answer your questions about major life decisions and talk with you about the reasons you have incarnated, the lessons you are here to learn, where you are on the wheel of karma, and the psychological developmental cycles you have been through and are going through. She will look at current influences on your health, finances, relationships, career, and any relocation plans that may be necessary. She also will look ahead with you at the next seven years of your life. A reading with Laurie can help you take the next step in your life. Sessions, which are available via landline phone or Skype (audio or video), are digitally recorded.

To make an appointment, click here to e-mail Laurie or call her at (760) 753-7676. Click here to visit Laurie’s website for more information.


The summer solstice, the longest day of the year, arrives on Wednesday, June 20th. This is a time to take advantage of the power imparted by the changing angle of the Sun to energize your positive thoughts, affirmations, intentions, prayers, hopes and dreams. Use the days leading up to the summer solstice to (more…)

Living the Dream

June 3, 2012

In church today, the minister used an entertaining analogy to make an intriguing point. He recalled that during a cross-country plane ride years ago, he was trying to concentrate on a talk he was preparing but that his eyes kept being drawn to the movie that was being shown, even though he wasn’t wearing any headphones and couldn’t hear a word that was being said.

That was one way to experience a movie, he pointed out. A second way to experience a movie is to watch it and listen to it in a theater. In that environment, it’s easy to be drawn into the movie to the point where your consciousness is so absorbed in it that your own problems and concerns disappear for a while.

Then he said, “But there’s a third way to experience a movie, and that’s what everyone here is doing right now.” After the congregation’s laughter subsided, he went on to explain that even though the (more…)