29 May 2018
grows at our own firesides,
and is not to be picked in strangers' gardens.
Sometimes, I feel
discriminated against, but it does not make me angry. It
merely astonishes me. How can any deny themselves the pleasure
of my company? It's beyond me.
Zora Neale Hurston
have made a pact with my tongue,
not to speak when my heart is disturbed.
I was ten, I got a summer job with a local dairy farmer,
helping out with the afternoon milking as well as with
haying, fixing equipment, and feeding and watering the
horses. My first day started with an instruction to
go out and bring in a cow with her newborn calf. The
rest of the herd was already in the barn for the afternoon
milking. I went out to the back pasture and soon
found the wayward cow, horns long and untrimmed, standing
protectively in front of her three-day-old. This
wasn't the first time I had been around cows, but I was
used to slow-moving, docile beasts. The kind I knew
might step on your foot if you weren't careful, but they
weren't mean or aggressive.
that I was being watched from the barn, I hitched up my
pants and went right after her, confident that a slap on
the rump and a few throaty "git-along" sounds
would soon get the job done. When I was about thirty
feet away, she lowered her massive horns and pawed the
ground like a dyspeptic Texas longhorn. Then she
came right after me.
Luck was with me since the
barbed wire fence was nearby, and I scrambled under it
like a crab scuffling out of reach of a net, finding
myself in a dense patch of milkweed and thistle. I
looked up and saw her huge head, red eyes bulging out of
massive bony sockets, a long ropy string of drool hanging
from her lips.
the next twenty minutes, I scooted out from the safety of
the fence, made a series of wild herding movements with my
arms, and then ran like crazy for safety. We finally
worked our way around the perimeter of the pasture, the
cow chasing me back to the great red barn. There the
farmer, wearing a faded green cap and just the hint of a
grin, came to my aid. He grabbed a thick leather
milking strap, gave the cow a couple of good whacks, and
she turned toward the barn, submissive and defeated.
Somehow that farmer kept from laughing in the face of my
utter humiliation, but that story is still told in our
town, some thirty-five years later, since it so clearly
defines what it means to be a Vermonter.
for most folks these days, being a Vermonter has lost its
meaning--like the lyrics to "Yankee Doodle
Dandy," which no longer have the ring of
familiarity. When one talks of persistence or
thrift, these terms have little resonance in the modern
vernacular. Confronted with a difficult, seemingly
impossible task, an old-time Vermonter would simply settle
in for the long haul. There was simply no
alternative. New England farmers led a parsimonious
life. If something broke, one had to repair it,
since a new model was either not available or too
expensive. And in the face of tragedy, Vermonters
were always steadfast, never wavering in their conviction
or inner sense of self-worth. One could do a lot
worse than to live by the rules of the farm, no one person
rising above the others, no pressing need to develop the
inner self. Hidden desires are often best left
hidden, our darker, more self-serving impulses sweated out
in the hot July sun, our souls bleached white and pure
through hard work.
when your turn comes to bring in the cow and the calf,
don't flinch from the assignment. Run for cover if
you must--I know I did--but stick to it. Keep coming
back to the task at hand, no matter how impossible it may
seem at the time. The old farmer watching you from
the barn is looking for no more than persistence, the
outcome being secondary to matters of character.
Resist the temptation to turn tail and run for the barn.
See it through and life will be your friend, bestowing
riches at every turn.
people behind the words
and excerpts - Daily
Two - Year Three
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all felt the tug at our hearts at one time or
another--that emptiness from deep inside telling us
we want something more from this life.
Sometimes we move beyond it by putting our
fears aside and claiming our heart’s desire.
Other times we continue to disguise our true
identity and build layer upon layer of illusions and
untruths about who we really are.
It’s on this very bargaining table that we
lose sight of the beauty in our uniqueness.
We come to believe we’re not worthy of all
the greatness our heart and soul yearns to enjoy.
many of us, outer experiences and influences play a
heavy part in determining our direction and to some
degree, even our self-worth.
Seamlessly our original visions become
shaped, molded and minimized. A good example of this
is when you watch a young child at play.
They have a curious energy about them.
They laugh a lot, breathe in the adventure of
life and explore the things they want to.
They know no limits.
Anything is possible in the eyes of a child.
They dream big dreams and they believe.
They always believe!
as we grow into life, we slowly lose the child in
allow the “good opinion of others” to cast a
shadow on both our dreams and our capabilities.
reality is we are the experts on our life and no one
knows what’s best for us.
Only we do!
The authentic power to do anything we want
lies within us.
Sadly, we neglect this important piece of child-like
wisdom and step down from the many opportunities
life has to offers us.
Our internal conversation goes something
would they think?
What if I fail?
Who am I to deserve this?
the next time you stop yourself from doing something
that scares (yet excites) you.
I’m sure you’ll have a brilliant excuse
as to why you shouldn’t go for it but make no
mistake there is a tape being played, deep within
the recesses of your mind.
These debilitating thoughts will play over
and over again and hold you back in life until you
acknowledge what’s going on and choose to re-write
we don’t come to recognize when we’re allowing
self-limiting behaviour to guide us, we’ll
continue to operate from a place of smallness.
And it’s in this place that we don’t
grow from our experiences but instead, we’re held
captive by them.
the saying goes, “if you tell a lie long enough
you’ll eventually start to believe it."
This also applies to any false illusions you
have about yourself.
if you looked in the mirror saw only beauty?
And decided to love the person staring back
at you, unconditionally?
What if you focused on all of your natural
gifts and chose to make this life extraordinary?
…Starting today, right now, you began
living your life on your own terms?
Never settling for anything less than
everything to you?
How different would your life be?
many of us die in our 20’s and are buried in our
forget to take the time, daily, to plant seeds of
passion in our lives.
To chase our dreams and dare to grow beyond
our false illusions about whom we really are.
We get caught up in the cycle that I like to call, creative
sabotage where we find (creative) ways to
undermine our abilities, underestimate our potential
and convince ourselves that we’re not worthy,
capable or ready for the life we could have.
researcher Ivan Yefremov has confirmed, "we
could, without difficulty, learn 40 languages,
memorize a set of encyclopedias from A to Z and
complete the required courses of dozens of
isn’t it? We
don’t even come close to utilizing our abilities
is from a place of love and appreciation for the
unique and special person you are that I say the
following words to you:
Holba was the founder of Dream It-Do It, and a Personal and
is your life. It’s
the only one you’re given.
Look for opportunities to grow and don’t be
discouraged in your efforts to do so.
Make daily deposits of love, passion and
gratitude in your life and choose to be on the
cutting edge of your destiny.
Take some risks.
Uncover the child in you.
Focus on your strengths, collect your history
of broken pieces and re-create your dreams.
Yes, your dreams!
Because they matter and you are worthy!
comes a moment when you must break free and make a
stand for who you really are.
That moment is now.
A bigger life is only a choice away!
* * *
Life Fully, the e-zine
exists to try to provide for visitors of the world wide web a
of growth, peace, inspiration, and encouragement. Our
are presented as thoughts of the authors--by no means do
mean to present them as ways that anyone has to live
from them what you will, and disagree with
whatever you disagree
with--just know that they'll be here for you
we want to infuse new ideas, to modify or better the habits
customs of a people, to breathe new vigor into its national traits,
we must use the child as our vehicle; for little can be accomplished
an interesting and tragic story about something that
happened at the Grand Canyon many years ago. It
seemed that a man named James Owens "was hired in
1906 by the Forest Service to serve as game warden in the
Grand Canyon Game Reserve on the Kaibab
Plateau." At the time, species such as deer
were considered "good," while predatory species
such as mountain lions were considered to be
To make a
long story short, over the next decade Owens killed, by
his own count, 532 mountain lions. And the deer
population boomed, reaching about 100,000 in the next few
years. Unfortunately, the area couldn't sustain that
many deer, and during one harsh winter, thousands upon
thousands of deer starved to death. Owens' efforts
resulted in hundreds dead mountain lions--who were just
doing what mountain lions do to survive--and thousands of
deer who died in one of the worst ways possible. His
efforts to "help" the deer by imposing his own
will over the way that life functioned in this area had
truly terrible results.
almost always what happens when we try to impose our will
and desires into the lives of others. When we see
something and think that we somehow know better how it
should be, and then try to make it that way, we tend to be
playing God, trying to create circumstances that to us are
optimal--even though to others they may be horrible.
don't all go out killing mountain lions to protect the
"helpless" deer, we do find ourselves in
situations in which we have similar choices to make.
Perhaps a son or daughter is having problems at school,
and we see exactly what should be done to solve those
problems. So instead of teaching our child methods
of dealing with his or her own problems, we take the reins
and try to solve the problem ourselves. (And the
chances are good that the problem was more in the
perceptions than in the actual situations.)
great deal of value in watching situations play out versus
trying to impose our will and try to make them turn out
how we want them to. If we can take a step back and
try to understand the forces at play, we can learn a lot
about the forces at work and how valuable they might be to
us if we can learn how they work and the results that they
course, there are times when it's necessary to impose our
will--but only if we're in positions that allow us to do
so in an authentic way. If a department in a company
is ineffective or destructive, it's up to the leaders in
that company to step in and "fix" things if the
entire company is to remain healthy. If a body has a
broken bone or a cancerous area, then a doctor can surely
set the bone or remove the cancerous tissue. Letting
things go in those situations most probably would lead to
worse situations in the very near future.
someone has robbed my home, it's better to let the police
handle the issue than to go out myself and dispense
"justice." If I don't like the job that
someone else is doing but I'm not in a position of
authority, then it's probably best that I let things be
(unless that person is harming others, of course).
There may be elements of that person's job about which I'm
unaware that make it seem like he or she is doing poorly.
never have the "whole story." James Owens
did not have the research available to him that showed the
important dynamics that predatory species add to
ecosystems, and because he decided to play God and try to
eradicate a species without knowing much about the
importance of predation, he also ended up causing the
painful, miserable deaths of the very deer that he thought
he was protecting.
I hope to learn from Owens' mistakes. The next time
that I feel compelled to impose my will on a situation,
I'm going to sit back and ask myself if I know the whole
story, and if I can truly foresee all of the potential
consequences of my meddling. I'm also going to ask
myself if I'm truly in a position that justifies the
imposition of my will, or if I would be much better off
letting people devise their own strategies for dealing
with their problems and then letting them do so.
information about James Owens comes from Best Easy Day
Hikes: Grand Canyon, by Ron Adkison.)
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They who will live for others
shall have great troubles,
but they shall seem to them small.
They who will live for themselves
shall have small troubles,
shall seem to them great.
William R. Inge
Hector didn’t reply for several
very long moments. Jason
felt him searching, looking for something that could
explain one person to another person.
I was fourteen,” Hector finally started, “two years
before my father died, Ana Maria came home from school and
she was crying very hard.
She said that a little boy had hit her and spit on
her and called her names like ‘spic’ and
‘wetback,’ names that I had been called a few times
but which did not bother me all that much.
They bothered my sister, though, and my mother took
her in her arms and comforted her.
As she held her there, I couldn’t imagine a more
peaceful sight, for my mother was the very picture of
peace and calm and love.
The sunlight was coming in through the window from
behind her, and I remember sitting on the couch and
watching them, feeling that deep sense of peace myself,
loving my mother more than ever.
In a few minutes my sister had cried herself to
sleep in her arms, and my mother brought her very gently
to the couch and lay her down on it, whispering to her the
whole time. She
kneeled down next to my sleeping sister and kissed her on
the forehead, and I could see in her eyes all of the peace
that she had just caused Ana to feel.
she stood up and turned to me and I almost yelled out in
fear, because her eyes were now filled with an anger such
as I had never seen before.
‘I need you to watch Ana Maria,’ she told me,
and her voice which had just been filled with peace and
calm and loving words was now filled with a rage that
matched that in her eyes.
‘I am going to that school and I am going to find
out who could do such a thing to my daughter, and why
nobody did anything about it.’
was speechless. I
watched in awe as she went calmly to the closet and got a
sweater, then came over to me and kissed me on the
was even a bit afraid because she seemed like a bomb about
to explode, but when she touched me I felt none of her
anger at all, only love.
I knew that if my father had been that angry, he
would be yelling very loudly and even throwing things
around the room, but my mother was completely in control
of herself. I
think it was the control that gave me the most fear.
I could see just how much anger she had, but if I
had not known her as my mother I would not have seen it at
all. I was
afraid for the people at the school as she went out the
front door. I
watched her through the window as she walked away, and I
could see the energy and tension that she walked with.
I felt that I should call my father and tell him,
or call the school and warn them all to leave before she
got there, but I was only fourteen, so of course I did
came back almost two hours later, and I could see that she
was satisfied with what she had accomplished.
She never spoke another word of the incident to me,
or even to my sister, but I knew on that day that if I
ever needed anyone to support me in any way, my mother
would be there for me with all of her heart and soul.
I could not imagine anyone standing up against that
kind of anger without being very, very afraid of what
might happen. And
she seemed to have no fear of anything, especially when
her children were involved.
a store once, I dropped a jar of pickles that I was
carrying for her. A
man from the store was standing very near to me, and he
turned around and saw what had happened.
He said, ‘That was a very stupid thing to do.’
you ever talk to my son that way!’ my mother said
has dropped something in their lives, and I will not allow
you to insult my son for a simple mistake.’
I thought we were in trouble for sure, but the man
backed down. ‘I’m sorry, ma’am,’ he said.
‘I meant nothing by it.’
there is no meaning behind the words,’ my mother
answered, ‘then perhaps they should not be said at
all.” I have
always remembered those words.
They were full of wisdom—I recognized that, even
mother was a simple woman with very little schooling, but
she was a very wise woman.”
sounds it,” Jason said.
“She sounds like a very marvelous woman.”
course she was marvelous.
She was a saint.
I told you that.”
Hector sounded surprised that Jason could have
forgotten such a thing.
Sorry about that.
in his car heading west, it's easy for Jason to feel sorry
for himself and mad at the world. But then he gives
a ride to Hector and learns life isn't as negative as we
sometimes see it. The friendship between this young
man and his 70-year-old passenger is an inspiring story of
love and of dealing with obstacles in life. It's a
story that you'll treasure long after you've finished
You can read the
first chapter here.
society which scorns excellence in plumbing because plumbing is
humble activity, and tolerates shoddiness in philosophy because
is an exalted activity, will have neither good plumbing
nor good philosophy.
Neither its pipes nor its theories will