14 August 2018      

Another week is in our lives, and we're all going through the week right now,
doing our best to make each day one that we can be proud of, one the we can
look back and say of it, "I did something positive on that day."  Here's hoping
that you're able to say that about each day of this new week in our lives.

What You Make of Your Life Is
up to You    Cherie Carter-Scott

It Doesn't Have to Hurt
Iyanla Vanzant

The Reality of Prejudice
tom walsh

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Laws alone can not secure freedom of expression; in order that every person present his or her views without penalty there must be a spirit of tolerance in the entire population.

Albert Einstein

We should never be ashamed to own
we have been in the wrong,
which is but saying in other words, that we are
wiser today than we were yesterday.

Jonathan Swift

The strongest love is the love that can demonstrate its fragility.

Paulo Coelho


What You Make of Your Life Is Up to You
Cherie Carter-Scott

Every person creates his or her own reality.  Authorship of your life is one of your absolute rights; yet so often people deny that they have the ability to script the life they desire.  They often use the excuse that they cannot do what they want to do or get what they desire in life because they lack the resources to do it.  They look past the fundamental truth that it is not our external resources that determine our success or failure, but rather our own belief in ourselves and our willingness to create a life according to our highest aspirations.

You can either engage in the blame game, making frequent use of the statement "I couldn't because. . . ," or you can take control of your life and shape it as you would like.  You can either let your circumstances, be they your physical appearance, your financial condition, or your family origins, dictate what happens to you, or you can transcend your perceived limitations and make extraordinary things happen.  The "yeah, buts. . ." do not produce results--they just reinforce the delusion of inability.  Argue for your limitations and eventually the universe will agree with you and respond accordingly.

Joseph Campbell once said, "The world is a match for you, and you are a match for the world."

By this he meant that when you fully recognize your challenges, your gifts, and your individual reality, and you accept the life path they represent, the world provides whatever you need to succeed.  You, in turn, will discover how you can make your greatest contribution to the world.  When you claim authorship of your life story, the world responds, and genius ignites.

Clearly, the challenge of this rule is to create and own your own reality.  The first moment you are able to do this is an awakening of sorts, since it means the demise of your unconscious life.  I remember vividly the time in my life when this occurred.  It was after I had received my three messages about what I was supposed to do with my life.  Much to my surprise, rather than feeling relieved or inspired, I felt depressed.  After crying for what seemed like days, with hardly any idea why, I came to realize that the phase of my life in which I could float in the murky swamp of "I don't know" was coming to an end.  Once I received the three messages and knew what my purpose was, I had moved out of the safety zone of not knowing, otherwise known as "childhood," into the reality of the adult world.  I knew that once I began consciously to own my life, it would be nearly impossible to sink back into oblivion.  I wept tears of loss, for I had passed through a tunnel of maturity and left my unconscious life behind.  Though sad, I was now ready to take command of my life.

When you begin to live your life understanding that what you make of it is up to you, you are able to design it according to your authentic choices and desires.  You will learn lessons with this Rule, such as responsibility, release, courage, power, and adventure, that will lead you to the life you were meant to live.  These lessons provide you with the essential tools you need in order to take command of your life.

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It Doesn't Have to Hurt
Iyanla Vanzant

Change doesn't have to be hard, and healing doesn't have to hurt.  Often, because we expect a situation to be challenging, stressful, or painful, we brace ourselves for the worst.  The truth is, we are equipped to go through anything.  How we get through it is the result of what we tell ourselves about getting through it.

When a change is about to happen, or when some healing is about to occur in your life, you remember others, the many others who have been where you are going.  You remember their pain, their tears and the hard times they had.  You remember being there for them and being afraid for them.  Now, here you stand, on the verge of a break-up, a breakdown or some other form of a healing or growth experience, and all you can remember is the pain?  Stop the imagination train!  It doesn't have to be that way!  The question is, are you willing to allow it to be any other way?

Whether you are acknowledging something you have denied, accepting something you have resisted, confronting something you have avoided, or healing something that once hurt you, it doesn't have to be hard!  The only thing that will make the experience more painful and more difficult than it needs to be are the things you tell yourself about going through the experience.  Surely by now you know that every thing happens for a reason!  Knowing that, you must be aware that there is something better awaiting you on the other side of this!  If you would stop telling yourself scary stories and stop imagining that monsters lie ahead, the fear, guilt and shame would go away.

Until today, you may have resisted the inevitable by bracing yourself against the pain.  Just for today, stop imagining the worst!  Give yourself permission to weather the storm of an emotional experience without telling yourself how bad or hard or painful it is going to be.

Today I am devoted to moving through all experiences without the expectation of pain!

more on change


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We all have weaknesses.  But I have figured that others have put up
with mine so tolerantly that I would be less than fair not
to make a reasonable discount for theirs.

William Allen White



The Reality of Prejudice

As much as I hate to admit it, one of the most important truths of our time is the fact that prejudice has become extremely visible in our society these days.  Even more than visible, though, it seems to have become much more accepted by many people who don't seem to see anything wrong with it.  I never expected that in my lifetime, I would read about a woman of color having someone call 911 because she was studying in a common area.  Somehow, she "didn't belong there" simply because of the color of her skin.  And many people are okay with the police being called.

Whatever happened to walking up to a person and asking questions if you're suspicious about something?  Whatever happened to realizing that sometimes in life, you're going to be dealing with a person whose skin is a different color than yours, and it's really no big deal 99.99% of the time?  Why have we seemed to lose the realization that the blood, the lungs, the heart, the spirit of people of different races or religions are the same as ours, and there is no "better" race, no "superior" race, no "inferior" race.


Prejudice does not think logically.  It does not ask why, and remains
on the deceptive surface.  The mark of the sage is the lack of prejudice,
that of a fool, the lack of thought.

Hans-Ulrich Rieker

When our society was evolving, it was being controlled by the people in power, aka, the people who had money.  And they set up the society to favor people just like them--people who thought like they did, acted like they did, believed as they did, and lived as they did.  For that reason, other people--people who didn't value money as much, for example, were sabotaged, and unable to thrive in the system that was built.  I'm a good example, myself--even though I'm Caucasian, I'm kept out of many social situations because of my choice of careers.  When I chose to teach for a living, I consciously chose not to focus on money as an end goal, and for that I'm always going to be a somewhat marginal member of society.  I can't join country clubs, I can't dress in expensive clothes, I don't drive fancy cars, and I can't afford expensive vacations.  That's the reality of my world.

And none of this changes a bit because I have a Ph.D.  I've worked as hard as I can to develop professionally, but it really means little to nothing in the long run, as long as the people who run the show value certain things over others.

But that said, I know that my world is much more positive than it would be if I were a Hispanic teacher, or an African-American teacher.  I'm dealing only with economic inequality, whereas teachers who belong to minority groups are also dealing with prejudice--a prejudice that has become more pronounced and more vicious over the years.

Hell, as a male teacher, I get treated better than most women teachers, much to my dismay.  This kind of prejudice is subtle, but it's real, and it makes life difficult for many teachers who happen to be women.

Prejudices, it is well known, are most difficult to eradicate from
the heart whose soil has never been loosened or fertilized by
education; they grow there, firm as weeds among stones.

Charlotte Bronte

Prejudice in all of its forms is destructive.  If I'm prejudiced, then I lose out on many, many possible learning experiences, friendships, contacts, and opportunities for compassion.  I don't grow nearly as much as I could because my mind and heart are closed off to the sources of much wisdom and love.  Other people suffer from a lack of positive contact with me--they never get the benefit of my knowledge, wisdom, or love.  And I can actively sabotage other people's opportunities and lives due to my wish to act upon my prejudices and prevent certain things from happening just because of a person's skin color, national origin, or religion.

When we focus on our prejudices, we focus on division, not connection.  We reject cooperation because of perceived differences that threaten our beliefs and traditions--we try to make life conform to our version of it, rather than allowing it to be what it is.  Any time that we try to control something out of our control in order to "make" it be something that it isn't, we're doomed to failure and we're going to harm other people with our efforts.

Most people wish to be consoled, confirmed.  They want
their prejudices reinforced and their structured belief
systems validated.  After all, it hurts to think,
and it's absolute agony to think twice.

Jennifer Stone

Our beliefs are simply that:  our beliefs.  When we extend them to other people and the ways that they are, our beliefs can become damaging when they turn into prejudices against people who "violate" some part of our beliefs, or who somehow fit into our negative beliefs.  If we feel that people who wear red shoes are stupid and lazy and criminal, then we're going to treat people who wear red shoes as such--and we're going to lose positive interactions with those people and unfairly subject them to our judgment and discrimination, and possibly even our anger.  This isn't fair to anyone.

Our world needs cooperation, not division.  We need love, not prejudice.  As individuals, if we succumb to the temptation to allow our beliefs to create prejudice within us, then we're most certainly not going to be getting the most out of the many opportunities that we have in the world.  Let us focus on love and compassion and kindness and helpfulness, and we'll find our lives growing richer and richer with each passing day.

More on prejudice.



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If I had influence with the good fairy who is supposed to preside over the christening of all children, I should ask that her gift to each child in the world be a sense of wonder so indestructible that it would last throughout life as an unfailing antidote against the boredom and disenchantment of later years, the sterile preoccupation with things that are artificial, the alienation from the sources of our strength.

Rachel Carson

Most people squirm when they hear the word vulnerability.  They expect to be harmed when they are vulnerable.  These are the same people who go in and out of all kinds of relationships, placing themselves in positions in which they can be hurt, abandoned, rejected or violated in any number of ways.  These are people who do not trust themselves and who cannot trust other people.  Yet, when you think about it, vulnerability is not something you can avoid.  It is our natural condition, and we must learn to trust it.
   When you allow yourself to be vulnerable, it means that you are standing in the power of your authentic self, which has no defenses and holds on to no pretenses.  Your authentic self is the foundation of your power.  It allows you to be innocent while being strong.  It allows you to be strong while being compassionate.  Your authentic self is the part of you that knows no matter what happens to you, you will survive.  Consequently, your authentic self trusts your vulnerability.  It trusts the process of life, and it trusts the resiliency of your spirit.

Iyanla Vanzant
Until Today!


The survival of the fittest is the ageless law of nature, but the fittest
are rarely the strong.  The fittest are those endowed with the qualifications
for adaptation, the ability to accept the inevitable and conform to the
unavoidable, to harmonize with existing or changing conditions.

Dave. E Smalley




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