29 March 2016
Parents are often so
busy with the physical rearing of children
that they miss the glory of parenthood,
just as the grandeur of the trees is lost when raking leaves.
takes days of practice to learn the art of sauntering.
stride through the out-of-doors too swiftly to see no more than
the most obvious
and prominent things. For observing nature, the best
pace is a snail’s pace.
Edwin Way Teale
exemplary act may affect one life, or even millions of lives. All those who set standards for themselves, who strengthen the bonds
of community, who do their work creditably and accept
individual responsibility, are building the common future.
John W. Gardner
difference between interest and commitment. When
in doing something, you do it only
when circumstances permit. When
to something, you accept no excuses, only
and Help Live
Rachel Naomi Remen
Many years ago when I was a teaching
pediatrician at a major medical school, I
followed six young teenagers with juvenile
diabetes. Most of them had diabetes since
they were toddlers and had responsibly followed
strict diets and given themselves injections of
insulin since kindergarten. But as they
became caught up in the turmoil of adolescence,
desperate to be like their peer group, this
disease had become a terrible burden, a mark of
difference. Youngsters who had been in
diabetic control since infancy now rebelled
against the authority of their disease as if it
were a third parent. They forgot to take
their shots, ate whatever the gang ate, and were
brought to the emergency room in coma or in
shock, over and over again. It was
frightening and frustrating, dangerous for the
youngsters and draining for their parents and
the entire pediatric staff.
As the associate director of the clinics, this
problem was brought to my door and I decided to
try something simple. I formed two
discussion groups, each consisting of three
youngsters and the parents of the other
three. Each group met to talk once a week.
These groups turned out to be very
Kids who could not talk to their
own parents became articulate in expressing
their needs and perspectives to the parents of
other children. Parents who could not
listen to their own children hung on every word
of other people's children. And other
people's children could hear them when they
could not hear their own parents. People,
feeling themselves understood for the first
time, felt safe enough to cry and found that
others cared and could comfort them.
People of all ages offered each other insights
and support, and behaviors began to
change. Parents and their own children
began to talk and listen to each other in new
ways. We were making great progress in the
quality of all the family relationships, and the
number of emergency room visits was actually
diminishing, when the director of the clinics
discovered the groups.
His indignation was painful. What was I
thinking of to overstep the limitations of my
expertise in such a blatant way? Was I a
psychiatrist? What if one of these people
had gotten hurt by something that was said, or
had become emotionally disturbed? What
would I have done then? Despite the good
results, the groups were disbanded.
There is still a very narrow conception of what
a health provider is. Thinking back on
some of those people and the wisdom, kindness,
and understanding they offered each other, I am
sad. They were not second-class
experts. And having been ill since
adolescence, neither was I. Our life
experience was as valuable as any credential.
I do not think that we will be able to attain
health for all until we realize that we are all
providers of each other's health, and value what
we have to offer each other as much as what
experts have to offer us. In the years
since, groups such as these have demonstrated
beyond question that problems which are not
amenable to the most expert medical approaches
may be resolved in community by the very people
who suffer from them and therefore understand
them. In such communities, the concept of
woundedness breaks down and we are all wounded
healers of each other. We have earned the
wisdom to heal and the ability to care.
In a recent talk, Bill Moyers commented that one
of the most traditional values of American
life--live and let live--can never establish
good health for all. Health requires us as
individuals and as a people to go a step beyond
this. To live and help live.
Remen has a unique perspective on healing
rooted in her background as a physician, a
professor of medicine, a therapist, and a
long-term survivor of chronic illness.
In a deeply moving and down-to-earth
collection of true stories, this prominent
physician shows us life in all its power
and mystery and reminds us that the things
we cannot measure may be the things that
ultimately sustain and enrich our lives.
people behind the words
and excerpts - Daily
Two - Year Three
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What does it mean to live a full life? How do we
stay happy and content in a world that often seems to be
throwing more at us than we can handle? Thirty years in
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prayer, in an effort to help you to figure out just where to
focus your energy and attention when life is being difficult for
you. Use the link to the left for the Kindle edition, or click
here for the print edition.
Read more about the book here.
for Living Life Fully
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Don't Know What You Want
to Be When You "Grow Up"?
Here Are Three Ways to Find Out
you’re well into your career but still aren't really sure
what you want to be “when you grow up,” join the
mid-life career crisis club! Here are three ways to help you
discover your heart's content.
Forget skill sets, think satisfaction.
book, I Could Do Anything If I Only Knew What It Was, career
guru Barbara Sher points out that finding your passion is
more than just figuring out what you're good at. Reflecting
on her own life as a single parent, Sher realized she was
clearly “skilled” at raising two children and managing a
home on a tight budget. But did she love it? “You live the
good life not by doing what you can do,” Sher learned,
“but by doing what you want to do.”
attention to both past and present-day clues.
famous interview with Bill Moyers, renowned mythology
scholar Joseph Campbell said, “The way to find out about
your happiness, is to keep your mind on those moments when
you feel most happy, when you are really happy – not
excited, not just thrilled, but deeply happy.”
first place to search for clues to your present day passion
is in your own childhood. I once read about a man, who, as a
young boy loved to make sand castles. Guess what he does for
a living now? He runs a company that travels around the
world making elaborate sand sculptures for ocean-side
about today? What so engrosses you that you scarcely notice
the time? Is it watching NASCAR racing? Gardening?
with a broken toaster? Surfing the Internet? Exploring a
museum? Traveling? Helping a friend work through a problem?
Tracing your family history? Organizing a closet?
with children? Get a small pad of paper or dedicate a
section of your organizer to your passion. As something new
hits you, add it to the list.
stumped? Try making up your own “I’d rather
be__________” bumper sticker. Would you rather be
following sports, writing poetry, gardening, shopping,
fixing things, fishing, watching reruns of your favorite
Enlarge your view.
the best way to expand your thinking – and your options
– is by stepping outside the confines of your day-to-day
life. Consider signing up for a class on something entirely
new to you like bookbinding, feng shui, woodworking,
cooking, copywriting, small engine, or computer repair.
reading publications outside your typical areas of interest
or expertise. If you usually stick to news or women’s
magazines, pick up a copy of National Geographic, Antiques
Monthly or Down Beat. Even if you don’t read a
single article the advertisements alone will open your eyes
to a multitude of fascinating ways to earn a living.
remember, “When you love what you do,” says author and
management guru Harvey McKay, “you'll never have to work a
day in your life.”
* * *
Young is Dreamer-in-Residence at ChangingCourse.com,
an on-line resource dedicated to helping you find your life
mission and live it. Her career change tips have appeared in such
publications as The Wall Street Journal, USA
Guardian [London], Reader's Digest, and Redbook, and online
at MSN, Careerbuilder, and iVillage. Valerie specializes in
helping her clients come up with creative alternatives to
having a j-o-b.
Wallpaper! Just click below
the size your desktop is
right-click on the
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in the new
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photo's from a spring
day in Kootenay National Park)
x 800 - 1440
very first problem is to accept our present circumstances as
ourselves as we are, and the people about us as they
to adopt a realistic humility without which no genuine
begin. . . . Provided we strenuously avoid
turning these realistic
surveys of the
facts of life into unrealistic
alibis for apathy or defeatism, they
the sure foundation
upon which increased emotional health
spiritual progress can be built.
Bill Sees It
Sometimes I don't like to
forgive. Sometimes, righteous indignation feels much better
in the short term--I feel justified in being angry or disappointed
in someone, and there's a side of me that likes to feel that I'm
somehow a bit superior to these other people, even though I know
that I'm not. But if they did something mean or insulting or
thoughtless, then I can put myself above them based on their
action, and that makes me feel--in a very superficial and
unrealistic way--that I'm above them.
When I forgive, there's a huge temptation to make the forgiveness
exactly the same thing: an attempt to put myself
"above" someone else by showing the compassion necessary
to forgive. You've seen it--the people who say they forgive
with a tone of voice that says, "Isn't this wonderful of me
to be such a kind person that I can forgive you for doing
something wrong?" If we're going to forgive, then it's
very important that we be sure that we're not forgiving in order
to make ourselves look better, for that's not true forgiveness at
all, and it will not have any of the benefits that true
forgiveness brings to us.
When I want to forgive someone, I want to do so for both of our
sakes--so that the other person isn't always wondering how I feel
and being uncomfortable around me, and so that I'm not carrying
around my anger or my frustration and possibly keeping another
person at a distance that isn't healthy for either of us.
forgive is the highest, most beautiful form of love.
return, you will receive untold peace and happiness.
For me, the
most important first step towards forgiveness is to
examine closely what I think about what
happened. Very often I feel that somebody did
something in order to harm me on purpose.
After all, they had to know that doing that would
harm me, and since they had to know that, the fact
that they did what they did means that they
purposely did it to harm me, no? My own mental
processes very often build the anger and resentment
to such a point that forgiveness is unrealistically
difficult--it's harder to forgive because of what I
think about what happened, not because of what
Once I do this, sometimes I'm done, and forgiveness
is easy. Other times, though, I haven't really
built anything up--what happened truly was very
negative, and truly was very difficult to
forgive. If that's the case, my next step
tends to be to think about the possible motivations
that might have led the person to do what he or she
did. If I can understand the motivation, it's
often easier to forgive.
This is especially true if I think that the main
motivation was fear. I think that we would be
astonished if we could see statistics about people's
major motivation behind most of what we do. We
do so much out of fear that it's almost impossible
to imagine, and the other people in our lives do so,
also. For me, it's easier to forgive someone
if I recognize that something was done out of fear
rather than malice, because of anxiety rather than a
desire to harm. I know that I've done many
things in my life that have hurt other people, and
mostly I've done them out of fear--never because I
wanted to hurt someone.
Pardon one another so that later
on you will not
remember the injury. The recollection of an injury
is in itself wrong.
to our anger,
our sin, and hates
what is good.
It is a rusty
arrow and poison for the soul.
Francis of Paola
When I feel
that I need to forgive someone else, I also check up
on my own feelings. If I'm angry or resentful,
those feelings (and/or others) usually tend to take
over my mind and keep me pretty stressed out, even
miserable. If my feelings tell me that
forgiveness is necessary, then it's time to forgive
without any delay.
And forgiveness doesn't have to be done
face-to-face. We don't even need to tell the
other person that we're forgiving them.
Forgiveness is simply a letting go of the way we
feel about something that someone else did.
It's not holding them responsible any more, not
dwelling on what happened. It's putting it
safely and finally into the past, where it belongs,
instead of keeping it in our minds when that
strategy really serves no important function at all.
If we know that the other person is agonizing over
what he or she has done, then it is much better to
forgive face-to-face so that we can release the
person from the agony. We don't do so in order
to make that person grateful to us or to make them
feel they owe us something--we do it to let
go. We could even use the words "I'm
going to let go and put this in my past."
For that's what is going to be showing the most
compassion to both the other person and ourselves.
The Toltec tradition tells us that we surrender a
of our life force
when we dwell on any unhealed wounding
event from our past. The
unprocessed emotions surrounding
these events burden us and weigh
heavily on our hearts.
They must be dealt with if we want access
vitality. Ultimately, what we will find is that
is the key to reclaiming all the life force locked in past hurt.
What about when
the person who needs the forgiveness is
myself? What do I do then? I can follow
the same procedure, but to make it easier for
myself, I tend to add something important. I
imagine someone I know who is very compassionate and
I ask myself, "Would this person forgive
me?" And if the answer is yes, then it
becomes much, much easier for me to forgive
myself. I also remind myself that if I don't
forgive myself, then I'm not going to be as good of
a teacher, as good of a husband, as good of a
friend, as I would be otherwise. If I don't
forgive myself, I'm also not much of a role model to
people who look up to me, and I always want to try
to be the best role model I can be. If I
remember these things, then I can keep in mind that
it's actually important for me to forgive myself if
I want to have positive effects on the lives of
other people whom I want to help.
It all comes down to a simple fact:
forgiveness is the result of a decision.
Whenever we make decisions, it's important that we
know everything we can about a situation, and then
make our decision in a carefully considered
way. Too much information may paralyze us, but
not enough information will make our decision less
than an informed one. Something that the heart
will tell you for sure, though: forgiveness is
always the right decision, for everyone
involved. Forgiving someone doesn't mean you
have to trust them in the future or even necessarily
forget their transgression, but it does give you the
best chance of getting your own life on a very
of the most important elements
of living life fully is
awareness-- awareness of our surroundings, of other people
and their motives and fears and desires, of the things that
affect us most in our lives, both positively and negatively.
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Simply give others a bit of yourself;
a thoughtful act, a helpful
a word of appreciation,
a lift over a rough spot,
of understanding, a
timely suggestion. You take something
out of your mind,
garnished in kindness out of your heart,
and put it into
the other person's mind and heart.
Charles H. Burr
use the word "love" but we have no more
understanding of love than we do of anger or fear or
jealousy or even joy, because we have seldom
investigated what that state of mind is. What
are the feelings we so quickly label as love?
For many what is called love is not lovely at all
but is a tangle of needs and desires, of momentary
ecstasies and bewilderment. Moments of unity,
of intense feelings of closeness, occur in a mind so
fragile that the least squint or sideways glance
shatters its oneness into a dozen ghostly paranoias.
When we say love we usually mean some emotion, some
deep feeling for an object or person, that
momentarily allows us to open to another. But
in such emotional love, self-protection is never
very far away. Still there is
"business" to the relationship:
clouds of jealousy, possessiveness, guilt,
intentional and unintentional manipulation,
separateness, and the shadow of all previous
"loves" darkens the light of oneness.
But what I mean by love is not an emotion, it is a
state of being. True love has no object.
Many speak of their unconditional love for
another. Unconditional love is the experience
of being; there is no "I" and
"other," and anyone or anything it touches
is experienced in love. You cannot
unconditionally love someone. You can only be
unconditional love. It is not a dualistic
emotion. It is a sense of oneness with all
that is. The experience of love arises when we
surrender our separateness into the universal.
It is a feeling of unity. You don't love
another, you are another. There is no
fear because there is no separation.
you go out-of-doors, draw the chin in, carry the crown of
the head high, and fill the lungs to the utmost; drink in
the sunshine; greet your friends with a smile, and put
your soul into every handclasp. Do not fear being
misunderstood and do not waste a minute thinking about
your enemies. Try to fix firmly in your mind what
you would like to do; and then, without veering off
direction, you will move straight to the goal.
your mind on the great and splendid things you would like
to do, and then, as the days go gliding away, you will
find yourself unconsciously seizing upon the opportunities
that are required for the fulfillment of your desire, just
as the coral insect takes from the running tide the
element it needs. Picture in your mind the able,
earnest, useful person you desire to be, and the thought
you hold is hourly transforming you into that particular
individual. . . . Thought is supreme.
a right mental attitude--the attitude of courage,
frankness, and good cheer. To think rightly is to
create. All things come through desire and every
sincere prayer is answered. We become like that on
which our hearts are fixed. Carry your chin in and
the crown of your head high. We are gods in the
Let every creature have your love.
with its fruits of meekness,
and humility, is all that we can
ourselves and our fellow
creatures. For this
is to live in God, united with him,
eternity. To desire
good to everyone, in
the degree that we can
each person is capable of
us, is a divine temper,
God stands unchangeably
towards the whole creation.
a year of one-sentence reminders
of ways that we can
make the most of our lives each day that we live.
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novel of life and learning; Walker's fascinating journey
will remind you of all that is good in this world.
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David agrees to
give 70-year-old Hector
a ride west, he can't imagine the lessons he'll learn
about his life.
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and spending, we lay waste our powers," wrote
Wordsworth over 150 years ago. And we're still doing
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