27 November 2018      

Hello, and welcome to our last issue of November!  We thank you much
for being here with us, and we hope that there's something here in this
issue that will give you food for healthy thought!

Everybody Is a Genius
Matthew Kelly

Listen While You Speak
Louise Morganti Kaelin

Making the Most of Time
tom walsh

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Should you shield the canyons from the windstorms,
you would never see the beauty of their carvings.

Elisabeth Kubler-Ross

Success has nothing to do with what you
gain in life or accomplish for yourself.
It's what you do for others.

Danny Thomas

Growth begins when we start
to accept our own weaknesses.

Jean Vanier


Everybody Is a Genius (an excerpt)
Matthew Kelly

Albert Einstein wrote:  "Everybody is a genius.  But if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing that it is stupid."  The question I have for you is, "What is your genius?"

You see, I believe that we are all capable of doing one thing better than any other person alive at this time in history.  What is your one thing?

I know what you may be thinking.  You may be thinking quietly to yourself that you don't have a genius.  You may be tempted to doubt the idea and think that I am talking only about the extraordinary people.  No.  Everybody is a genius; what is your genius?

Who are the extraordinary people, anyway?  Are they the only ones who possess genius?  Surely we cannot count only those who achieve world acclaim and success.

If genius belongs only to those who invent things that change the whole course of human history, create masterpieces that draw crowds to art galleries for centuries, imagine symphonies that live on in our hearts forever, or become great presidents of great nations or great CEOs of great corporations--if we count only people who set world records and win gold medals, people who capture our imaginations and raise our spirits playing Major League Baseball or Basketball, those who win Oscars and Grammy Awards, and people who receive enormous amounts of public attention for going to heroic lengths to serve humanity--then what is to become of the rest of us?

Are we to march off quietly and join Thoreau's masses and simply lead our lives of quiet desperation?

I think not.

Let me explain from another point of view.

My mother lives in Australia, and probably nobody will ever write a book about my mother.  She doesn't live in the right suburb on the right street, she doesn't drive an expensive car, and she didn't go to the right college.  My mother doesn't make a lot of money, she doesn't have a lot of money, she doesn't wear expensive clothes with fancy labels on them, she doesn't vacation in all the right places every year, and she hasn't had a job outside of the home since she gave birth to my oldest brother.

My mother hasn't invented anything that will change the whole course of human history, she is not the creator of artistic or musical masterpieces, and she has not, and is not likely to, become the great president of a great nation or corporation.  Mum doesn't have any world records, gold medals, Oscars, or Grammy Awards, and she can go to the supermarket without being bothered by the paparazzi.

By all the world's standards, my mother is a complete failure.  But let me assure you, my mother is an absolute genius.

I remember as a child coming home from school.  Every afternoon at three-thirty my seven brothers and I would descend upon the family like some sort of invasion.  Some of us had experienced triumph, and some of us had experienced tragedy.  My mother was able to instantaneously console the tragedy and celebrate the triumph.

As one of eight children, I never felt as though I were being treated as just part of the crowd.  Both my mother and my father had a phenomenal ability to draw the best out of each of my brothers and me.

No.  There will be no books about my mother.  And as I said, if judged by all the world's standards, she is a complete failure.  But you know what?  My mother could not care less what the world thinks.  Most people don't know her well enough to compliment her or criticize her.  And she knows that.  My mother could not care less what just about anybody thinks.  Do you know why?  Because my mother knows who she is, and she knows why she is here.  She has no illusions about trying to be someone she is not.  My mother has discovered her genius, pursued her genius, exercised her genius, and celebrated her genius.  And if you and I can get even the tiniest taste of that peace--the peace that comes from knowing that who we are, where we are, and what we are doing makes sense regardless of the outcome or other people's opinions--then we have discovered our genius.

Have we simply been judging ourselves by all the wrong criteria?

"Everybody is a genius.  But if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing it is stupid."

What is your genius?  We are all capable of doing one thing better than any other person alive at this time in history.  What is your one thing?

Your one thing may be to love your spouse, raise your children, or be a kindergarten teacher.  Your one thing may be to invent something that changes the whole course of human history or to become the president of a great nation.  It doesn't matter so much what form your genius takes as it does that you embrace and celebrate it.

How will you know when you discover your genius?  There are two signs:  joy and a feeling of timelessness.  When I speak and when I write, the hours pass without notice.  This is not work, it is passion.  Is it always like that?  No, of course not.  There are times when to squeeze a single coherent paragraph from my mind takes hours and hours.  But when I experience the joy and the timelessness of sharing these ideas, I know that I was born to share these ideas as a fish was created to swim or a bird to fly.  It is simply a part of who I am.

It is possible that you turned your back on your genius years ago.  Many people cast aside their genius because it is not spectacular enough or because their family and friends wanted something different for them.  All too often genius is abandoned because it doesn't make us enough money.


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Listen While You Speak
Louise Morganti Kaelin

Language provides the key for many of our current views and beliefs.  Unfortunately, we rarely listen to ourselves with conscious attention and so we miss many clues that could help us understand our behavior.  Here are three areas where it would benefit us to pay particular attention while we are speaking.  Very often the blocks to our success are revealed this way.

1. Words that keep us where we are. (The "I've Fallen and Can't Get Up" syndrome).

Some words, like 'should', 'must' and 'try' keep us locked where we are.  'Shoulds' and 'musts' are typically other people's expectations and not our own desires.  Because they're not ours, they never seem to get done, but we carry the guilt around all the time.  'Trying' is actually a pre-fabricated excuse for not succeeding.  Think back over the times you've used the word try. How often have you not even made the attempt at something if you started by 'trying' to do it?

Recommendation:  Program yourself to have an alarm go off every time you use the words 'should', 'must', 'try' and any others you would like to stop using.  That gives you a chance, in the moment, to look at what you are saying and provides you the opportunity to rephrase it immediately.  Doing it in the moment is immediately freeing.  To program yourself, all you have to do is make a clear and definite intention to notice when you are using certain words.

2. Negating thoughts.  (The "Way We Were" syndrome).

I was recently working with a client on a challenging situation.  During the  hour she had made some insightful discoveries and was able to see that the situation was actually an opportunity and the universe's way of reminding her it was time to move on.  She became very calm and centered and we moved on to other topics.  As we were winding down the call, she again brought up the situation and talked about how angry and hurt she was.  I asked her to stop and get clear.  Was she feeling angry and hurt in that moment?  Her answer was no.  Then why did she say it? Because she was so used to talking about anger and hurt when she talked about the situation that the old tape automatically started playing.  Eventually, the old tape would kill off the new tape she was trying to create and keep her feeling angry and hurt.

Recommendation:  If there is a situation or person that evokes highly charged energy for you, choose to pay attention to all conversations about it.  You can definitely talk about what you 'did' feel (honoring those legitimate feelings), but also bring in your current feelings about it and any understandings gained.  This keeps you in the present and complete with the past, allowing you to build the future you desire.

3. The 'other' half of our history.  (The "If I Don't Acknowledge It, It Never Happened" syndrome).

When we believe something strongly, we usually accept without question anything that supports that belief.  The opposite is also true. When we believe something strongly, we tend to ignore incidents that would break down that belief.  This is true even when the belief is ultimately something that undermines our ability to achieve our goals.

As an example, a client of mine has run into blocks in achieving her goals because of a very critical inner voice, one that was reinforced by her father.  Recently, in talking about her writing, a recognized strength, she said in passing:  "My father always told me I was a good writer.  He was the only one who believed in me."   I asked her to stop and listen to those words.  It took her a few minutes to accept this picture of nurturing and integrate it with the view of the stern and critical father she usually holds.  It was a small step, but an essential one.  By acknowledging "all" of our history, both positive and negative, we make the journey to wholeness.

Recommendation:  Are there people or events from long ago that can trigger your buttons today?  If so, program yourself to have an alarm go off EVERY time you bring up that person or event.  Pay attention to what you say.  Does it conform to your belief around this situation?  Is it true?  If it's true but doesn't support your belief, can you allow yourself to accept it as true? Can you begin to broaden your picture of the person or event?  With this new idea, can you begin to see that the piece that still hurts you was probably about them and not about you?  Open yourself up to the possibilities and remember this is to free you, not them.  As we free ourselves from the past, we are able to make better choices in the present.  And the choices we make here and now are the cornerstone for our future.


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We each receive certain gifts when we come into this life.
These gifts take the form of our special talents, interests,
and attributes, as well as our universal human characteristics,
such as our ability to love and care for one another.
  When we
do our best to live our truth and express ourselves as authentically
as possible, sharing ourselves as we are genuinely moved to,
we naturally give our gifts to others and to the world.

Shakti Gawain



Making the Most of Time

I think that time is the clearest indicator of Einstein's theory of relativity.  In my life, time is always relative.  If I'm doing something that I enjoy, then time flies by quickly, while if I somehow have to do a tedious, annoying task, then time goes by very, very slowly.  But probably the most important indicator of the relativity of time for me is the fact that as I grow older, time goes by much more quickly.

When I was a child, for example, Christmas always took forever to arrive.  The two or three weeks before Christmas were always the slowest weeks of the year, and it seemed that the holiday never would get there.  The anticipation of the gifts and the holiday spirit made me impatient, and my impatience just seemed to slow things down even more.  For all practical purposes, there were two or three months crammed into the two or three weeks before Christmas.

These days, though, holidays such as Christmas and Thanksgiving are here--and gone--before I know it.  It seems like just last week that we were making our ways through September, and Thanksgiving was weeks away.  Now, though, the day is gone--almost a week past already!  And while I enjoyed it immensely, I do sometimes wish that I could slow time down and spend more of it enjoying a day like Thanksgiving.  And right now we have four weeks until Christmas--but how long do you think those four weeks are going to take?  I know that for me, they're going to fly by as if they were only a week or two, and then we'll be counting down to the new year.

Perhaps this happens because as we grow older, we have many more activities that we're involved in, and our time is full of more to do and to accomplish.  Perhaps as we get a day closer to our death with each new dawn, we start to notice time much more.  Or perhaps we're more patient as we age, and we don't spend as much time in anticipation of the future, which I suppose could slow things down for us.

No matter what the reasons for this relativity, I find it very important these days to learn even more strongly how to spend my life in each present moment as it comes.  I find it important to cherish these moments for what they are--treasures that bring to me wonderful experiences and wonderful memories.  And as time passes more quickly, I realize that it's important for me to slow down--I think that the passage of time leads many people to become far too busy, out of the fear of "missing out" on the potential of their time.  After all, if time's going by so fast, how can we cram in everything we want and hope to do with our lives?

But time isn't our enemy.  It's not really our friend, either--it's pretty neutral.  We each have the same number of hours in each day, and we each can fill those hours with things we love to do, with positive thoughts and energy, or with negative things that bring us down.  And the secret of making the most of our time is the fact that all of our time comes down to minute-by-minute decisions.  How am I going to spend the next hour?  Will I do something that I need to do to keep me healthy, like go for a walk or take a nap, or will I sit down and crank out another hour of work?  Will I start on that new project, or will I continue to procrastinate by watching television?

All of our decisions require careful examination of where we are right now, and what we need.  If we want to make the most out of time, we have to know what will benefit us in the long run.  It's very effective to make lists that help us to see clearly just what we want to accomplish today, tomorrow, or this week, and then our decisions may become a bit easier to make.

Time is relative.  But that's okay--that's the way things are.  We can't base our happiness or our production on time, for time is quite neutral and will never react how we hope it will.  We can, though, do our best to make sure we use our time well by being aware of our own needs, and the needs of others.  That awareness will help us to look back after each period of time--days, weeks, months, years--and see that we have done many of the things we hoped to do, and that we did them well.



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Life is a great and wondrous
mystery, and the only thing
we know that we have for
sure is what is right here
and now.  Don't miss it.

Leo Buscaglia

Upon the Sand
Ella Wheeler Wilcox

All love that has not friendship for its base
Is like a mansion built upon the sand.
Though brave its walls as any in the land,
And its tall turrets lift their heads in grace;
Though skilful and accomplished artists trace
Most beautiful designs on every hand,
And gleaming statues in dim niches stand,
And fountains play in some flow'r-hidden place:
Yet, when from the frowning east a sudden gust
Of adverse fate is blown, or sad rains fall,
Day in, day out, against its yielding wall,
Lo! the fair structure crumbles to the dust.
Love, to endure life's sorrow and earth's woe,
Needs friendship's solid mason-work below.


Let us not get so busy or live so fast that we can't listen to the music
of the meadow or the symphony that glorifies the forest.  Some things
in the world are far more important than wealth; one of them is the
ability to enjoy simple things.

Dale Carnegie




A new way of reading has been here for a while now.  And while we still love our books, if you're like many people, you get tired of lugging around the books that sometimes weigh more than anything else we carry.  Imagine carrying hundreds of books--novels, self-help, history, travel, you name it--and reading them comfortably on a no-glare screen, setting things like text size to your own preferences.  It's a great experience, and it's available to us now for less than the cost of ten books.  And there are plenty of free books to download, especially timeless classics--you can easily get enough free books to pay for the Kindle.  Give yourself the gift of wonderful literature that you can easily bring with you, wherever you go!

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