Posts Tagged ‘love’

Loving Liz

November 27, 2015

Preston and Liz Palmer

Preston and Liz Palmer





When I introduced Preston and Liz to each other at our favorite restaurant some years back, I didn’t realize I was setting in motion an epic love story! Liz recently posted this letter from Preston and gave me permission to share it.

BONUS: Click here to see the secretly spectacular and spectacularly secret wedding of Preston and Liz Palmer.





Here is what Liz wrote:

This morning I woke up and found an envelope on the shelf next to my toothbrush … It contained a letter from my husband and these earrings. The letter said:

Lizzy, I went for a ride after my meeting last night. Driving aimlessly for a while, I ended up at Hard Times Cafe, where a sweet, wrinkly old Native American Indian woman with a braid in her hair approached me with a small collection of earrings. Her husband was sitting outside on the curb making more by hand. I told her I didn’t really see any that I thought my wife would love. She asked in a way you can imagine an old Indian woman in her wise voice would ask, “What is it your wife loves?”

preston-liz-palmer-earringsI thought for a second and responded with reserved pride in my cleverness, secretly hoping to stump (more…)

When I Was the Forest

September 20, 2015

god-and-heart-in-sandThis beautiful love poem to God by medieval German theologian Meister Eckhart succinctly and eloquently expresses the unity of all creation, the origin of all life and the essence of our very being. Of course, those three subjects are simply expressions of the one truth: Everything is God.

The only distance between you and God is the thought that there is distance between you and God. Expand the scope of your vision by looking through God’s eyes, and no matter what you look at, it will be brimming over with God’s loving presence.



WHEN I WAS THE FOREST
by Meister Eckhart

When I was the stream, when I was the
forest, when I was still the field,
when I was every hoof, foot,
fin and wing, when I
was the sky
itself,

no one ever asked (more…)

A Heartwarming Message from Daya Ma on Her 100th Birthday

June 11, 2015

lake-shrine-heart-cloud

This photo was taken at the Self-Realization Fellowship Lake Shrine Temple on January 31, 2014. Why is that date significant? It is the 100th anniversary of the birth of Sri Daya Mata, who served as the beloved president of SRF from 1955 until her passing on November 30, 2010.

Sri Daya Mata

Sri Daya Mata







On the night before Daya Ma’s guru, Paramahansa Yogananda, left this world, he told her, “When I am gone, only (more…)

Today’s Missed Opportunity Is Tomorrow’s Regret

May 29, 2015

super-8-movie-reelsThis afternoon I popped in a VHS tape of some super 8 movies I filmed twenty-five years ago. There on the screen were some family members who are no longer on this earth. Of course, I wished I could step through the screen and give them one last kind word and hug.

The day I filmed them was just an ordinary day, just like today is an ordinary day. Watching that tape was another reminder of how (more…)

Seriously, Why Wait One More Minute?

March 16, 2015

return-from-tomorrow-george-ritchie-book-cover





In Return from Tomorrow, George Ritchie’s detailed and inspiring account of his near-death experience as a nineteen-year-old soldier, he writes:









I was not sure when the light in the room began to change; suddenly I was aware that it was brighter, a lot brighter, than it had been. I whirled to look at the night-light on the bedside table. Surely a single 15-watt bulb could not turn out that much light?

I stared in astonishment as the brightness increased, coming from nowhere, seeming to shine everywhere at once. All the light bulbs in the ward could not give off that much light. All the bulbs in the world could not! It was impossibly bright: it was like a million welders’ lamps all blazing at once. And right in the middle of my amazement came a prosaic thought, probably born of (more…)

Down the Shady Lane We Go

December 24, 2014
Frederick and Augusta Kent

Frederick and Augusta Kent

While I was at my mother’s home in Minnesota for three months this fall, I finally tackled a huge family history project: I scanned and organized more than 3,000 family photos, newspaper clippings and letters. When I came across this photo in an old, lovingly assembled albium, it took my breath away.

Frederick Henry Kent

Frederick Henry Kent








The couple in the photo are my great-great-grandparents, Frederick Henry Kent and Augusta Osborn Kent, who lived in Huron, South Dakota. The above photo was taken during a family trip to southern (more…)

Mission of Mercy

December 23, 2014

we-hear-the-christmas-angels-evelyn-bence





This poignant, uplifting story by Wayne Montgomery left me basking in the glow of a group of soldiers’ selfless act of kindness and compassion. It can be found in We Hear the Christmas Angels, a collection of inspiring true stories compiled by Evelyn Bence.






UNDELIVERED GIFTS
by Wayne Montgomery

Have you ever had the experience of almost not doing an act of thoughtfulness or charity, only to discover later that without this action on your part a very important experience would not have happened to someone else?

Whenever I am tempted to be lazy or indifferent in this way, I inevitably think back to that Christmas in Korea, in 1951.

It was late afternoon on December 24. After a cold, miserable ride by truck in the snow, I was back at our Command Post. Shedding wet clothing, I relaxed on a cot and dozed off. A young soldier came in and in my sleep-fogged condition I heard him say to the clerk, “I wish I could talk to the Sergeant about this.”

“Go ahead,” I mumbled, “I’m not asleep.”

The soldier then told me about a group of Korean civilians four miles to the north who had been forced (more…)

As If We Had Known Him for Years

December 22, 2014
fall-2014-self-realization-magazine

Sri Mrinalini Mata and Sri Daya Mata in India in 1961 (Fall 2014 issue of Self-Realization magazine)






In the Fall 2014 issue of Self-Realization magazine, Sri Mrinalini Mata, who is currently president of Self-Realization Fellowship, wrote of meeting Indian saint Sitaramdas Omkarnath in Puri, India in 1961. Here is how she describes the moment when she and then-SRF-president Sri Daya Mata met Omkarnath:









He greeted us so warmly, as if we had known him for years and were seeing him again after a long time of separation.


When I read this sentence, it jumped off the page and into my heart. I thought, Wouldn’t it be (more…)

This Is What a Real Hero Looks Like

October 21, 2014



Jack Mook

Jack Mook


I’ve always been in awe of individuals and couples who welcome children into their home via foster care or adoption. Thank God there are such people in the world who are willing to turn their own world inside out and upside down to give these children the love and care they so desperately need.

Jack Mook, a Pittsburgh police detective, is one such hero. When he learned why two foster children stopped (more…)

I Felt I Belonged to the World

August 26, 2014

Businessman and philanthropist Bill Austin

Businessman and philanthropist Bill Austin






Businessman and philanthropist Bill Austin said something very profound when I interviewed him for a story in Twin Cities Business. He told me:

As a young man, I felt I belonged to the world, but I didn’t know what that meant.






Austin, who was a teenager when he experienced that epiphany, grew to embody that statement. Today, in his early seventies, he leads overseas missions for teams from his company, Starkey Hearing, ten months out of the year to provide free (more…)

Catching the Invisible

August 14, 2014

This beautiful story, written by Lisa Leshaw of Coram, New York, appeared in the June 2014 issue of Guideposts. It’s a wonderful reminder to make the best of every situation you find yourself in, even—and perhaps especially—when you feel scared and alone. It’s also a reminder that you’re never truly alone, that a loving intelligence is always conspiring on your behalf, and that the more you reach out in love, the lovelier your life becomes.


WITH YOU ALWAYS—LOVE, DAD
Trapped in an elevator with a severe case of claustrophobia, she took the opportunity to record her feelings about her father

little-girl-blowing-a-kissOne minute, I was a 31-year-old part-time music teacher. The next, I’d turned into one of my pre-K students, hyperventilating and sobbing uncontrollably, wishing Mom and Dad would come rescue me. That’s what claustrophobia will do to you.

My parents were home on Long Island, though, and I was trapped in an elevator in a Manhattan high-rise. All alone. This was exactly what I’d been afraid of when my best friend asked me to come see her new apartment. Unless I wanted to climb 15 flights of stairs, this metal coffin was my only way up.

So I said a prayer and went for it. I was doing okay…until the elevator car jerked and then came to a halt–between floors. What a cruel trick for God to play on me.

I tried taking deep, cleansing breaths. Feeling faint, I sank to the floor and tucked my head between my knees. Close your eyes, go to your happy place. Maybe because the next day was Father’s Day, I thought back to how Dad comforted me when I was a little girl. “Catch the kiss!” he’d say.

He’d pucker his lips, blow a kiss and laugh as I ran around our living room, grabbing handfuls of air, trying to hold on to the invisible. Had I ever told him what those moments meant to me? I might never get the chance. Not if I suffocated in here…or if the cable (more…)

Nothing But Pain

July 6, 2014

homeless-man-on-street-despairI was moved by this story by Becky Lee, which was printed on Quora. It’s taken me a while but I’m getting better at looking past a person’s appearance and circumstances, perceiving their needs and, when appropriate, trying to connect with them on a meaningful level. Becky’s story reinforces  a great truth: every human being is in need of caring, comfort and kindness. Like Becky, I do what I can when I can, knowing that even the slightest bit of attention and loving concern can change a life.

Seek to do brave and lovely things which are left undone by the majority of people. Give gifts of love and peace to those whom others pass by.
Paramahansa Yogananda



JUST TAKE EVERYTHING
by Becky Lee

I was recently sitting in a doctor’s office waiting for an appointment. A man approached the reception desk with no shirt on, using it as a sling around his leg.

He was sweating profusely and he stunk. He was dirty. He looked like a bum. He was pleading with the receptionist to get a doctor to see him because he didn’t have any pain pills.

The receptionist and I smirked at each other and everyone in the waiting room shot each other a knowing glance . . . as if we were all thinking, “Oh, brother.”

The receptionist patronizingly explained that he would have to make an appointment and the doctor was too busy to renew his prescription. She refused to ask. I felt like rolling my eyes at this man. I mean, HELLO DUDE, make an appointment and for God sakes put on a shirt and have some self-respect. He disgusted me.

At that moment the man dropped to the floor and looked up at the sky. He started to weep. I mean REALLY WEEP. I will never forget what he said.

He said,   (more…)

A Photo Shoot for Gerdi

June 14, 2014



In February 2014, a few months after Gerdi McKenna was diagnosed with breast cancer, one of her friends organized a photo shoot for a (more…)

“I Saw His Heart”

May 26, 2014




Given that my dad succumbed to Alzheimer’s, I was especially touched by this On the Road segment from the CBS Evening News on May 23, 2014. Here is the transcription, courtesy of CBS News.


AS MAN’S MIND FADES, HEART COMES TO THE RESCUE

Doris and Melvyn Amrine

Doris and Melvyn Amrine


Remembering 60 years back is hard for anyone, but for Melvyn Amrine, it’s especially challenging.

Melvyn was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s three years ago. For his wife, Doris, it’s been hard to watch. But she says something happened recently to remind her that the man she fell in love with is (more…)

World Premiere of the “Through God’s Eyes” Video Trailer!

May 20, 2014



I am pleased to present the brand-new video trailer for Through God’s Eyes: Finding Peace and Purpose in a Troubled World.

As I mention in the video, I’d be happy to send you a free c (more…)

Seriously Bittersweet Love

May 10, 2014

Lori Anne Yang

This story by my friend, Lori Anne Yang is not only exquisitely crafted and beautifully written, it powerfully conveys what is possible when you consciously choose to break toxic, dysfunctional patterns of your upbringing and awaken to a joyous new way of being in the world. Not only will you transform your relationship with your life partner, but with everyone in your life, and with life itself.

May Lori’s story help you find the strength and inspiration you need to free yourself from the quicksand of old habits and debilitating drama, for beauty waits patiently, lovingly at the edge, reaching for your hand.



SERIOUSLY BITTERSWEET LOVE

seriously-bittersweet-chocolate-torteI sit knees to chin in the preschool chair in my darkened church basement-turned-bistro at a community gathering of music and storytelling. In my role as church lady, I replenish the dessert table when the selections become low. One beautiful cake is ominously labeled ‘Seriously Bittersweet Chocolate Torte” Emphasis clearly placed on the underlined word ‘bitter.’ Fair warning.

I admit, I am tempted. I have been trying to lose a few pounds, but I have a serious addiction to bittersweet chocolate! I smile as I notice the inner argument I am having with my willpower is not unlike my struggle years before to quit my addiction to some seriously bittersweet love, emphasis on bitter. The kind of drama-filled, roller-coaster, anything-tamer-than-a-dish-throwing-argument-is-boring kind of love.

You see, I come from a long and proud lineage of seriously bittersweet lovers. Of difficult husbands and the women who throw stuff at them. It’s in my DNA. Passed down from my nimble forefathers artfully dodging projectiles launched by my foremothers in stories that have become family lore. Great-grandma pitching the sugar bowl at her chronically tipsy, but still impressively agile husband; sugar exploding into a sparkling crystal constellation on the freshly scrubbed cabin wall behind him. My tiny, diminutive grandmother chucking the cast-iron skillet at grandfather, who (more…)