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Testimony to Truth – BE the Message


Destiny_QuoteHave you ever wondered, Why you deserve to live?  What constitutes a meaningful life?  How will you realize your destiny as a spiritual being? Profoundly, you are not alone; and therein, lies the secret to salvation.  We are all here to help each other.

That person is indeed, blessed, who knows who they are, why they are, and where they are going.   Blessed to recognize their gifts, value and opportunity.  Blessed to leverage their uniqueness in the world.  Blessed to collectively share their being with others.  Blessed to impact the lives of others in a positive way.caddyshack-01

In that classic of all comedic classics, Caddyshack, Ty Webb (Chevy Chase) rolls out the immortal line to Danny Noonan (Michael O’Keefe) on the golf course;

“There’s a force in the universe that makes things happen; all you have to do is get in touch with it. Stop thinking…let things happen…and be…the ball.”

We have a tendency to focus so much on being the messenger in life, that we lose focus on the message itself.  What better, bold and symbolic way can we underscore the point of our existence, than to let our lives “Be the Message”.   When we let ourselves be the message, we eliminate any and all need for interpretation and our message consequently becomes sublimely and magnificently observable by others.  Become that “method actor” and play out your life with purpose.

If your message is:

Be_Love– Trust, then trust others.

– Kindness, then be kind to others.

– Helpfulness, then be helpful to others.

Friendship, then be a friend to others.

– Forgiveness, then forgive others.

– Love, then love others.

In short, make your life become a Testimony to your core values and endeavors as a human being.  By focusing on the essence of your life and your goals, you create a vacuum for the distractions that this world is so good at creating and functionally, eliminate (or minimize) them from existing in your life.

Our lives then become more vibrant, energized, purposeful and impactful; hopefully, more meaningful.  At the end of our physical lives, not a single soul will wonder what we were about, what was important to us and most importantly, what difference we made in the world.  What better way to communicate without words, than by dynamically portraying our souls’ essence by simply living.  Light begets Light.  Now, that’s beautiful!

 

 

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The Tools of Faith – Loss and Change


shield-of-faithI am a man of faith.  Like many Christians will attest, faith rarely comes easy.  But then again, isn’t that the essence of what faith is about?  It is believing without seeing, it is accepting Truth without any physical, tangible evidence in the real sense of the word.  As an understatement, it is about complete and total Trust.  It is a way to live.

My life has been blessed with loss and change, what I call, the tools of faith.  I have sadly lost many friends, family, neighbors, classmates and cherished pets.  Change has molded my life via education, various jobs, and personal life experiences; all resulting in emotional and spiritual growth.  Yes, I have been blessed.

Many of my losses and changes were very difficult to comprehend and accept, especially the loss of both of my parents.  It is, however, precisely times as these where faith is tested, verified, relied upon and strengthened.  Time and time again, like a steel shield tempered by intense heat and a hammer, my faith has protected me; my faith has grown with me.

I’ve come to understand that the world, by design, is imbued with paradoxes, resulting in a balance of life that is precariously sustained by unknown forces and which yields continuous learning about self, purpose, determination and goodwill.  I cherish the opportunity to learn, with the anticipation of that learning leading to love, compassion, sacrifice, humility and honor.Believe

Tomorrow, September 6th, is a very special day for me.  It offers me a valued opportunity to remember a very good friend’s birthday.  The bittersweet aspect, however, is that this will be the first birthday celebration without the “guest of honor” being physically present.   You see, my friend, Michael Dymond, passed away this year on May 30th and would have been 67 years old tomorrow.

Dymond_Michael_GMike was perhaps, given my extended stay on this rock, one of the nicest and compassionate human beings I have ever met.  He endlessly sported an optimistic demeanor, beamed like a beacon when discussing his family, always lent a hand if and where one was needed, and never, ever missed an opportunity to console, support and help a friend in any way he could.

The world lost a God-fearing and decent human being this past May and accordingly, I am still coming to grips with the loss.  Without fail, loss introduces change.  Whether it be change of heart, relationships, responsibilities, or thoughts; loss and change work together to forge and test your faith.  The good news is that your faith grows and becomes stronger, if you allow it.

In the ongoing tug of war between old and new, difficult and easy, simple and complex, and joy and fear, one thing remains certain; it is the people in our lives that help to make us who we are and who we strive to become.

One of Mike’s favorite sayings when asked how he was doing, was “Just like an Angel”.  Little did Mike know just how right he was.  God bless you Mike.  Leave the “Light” On, I’m not sure when I’ll be coming home.

In the constant battle of good and evil, I choose good; I always choose good.  Be well.

This post is In memory of Michael G Dymond (Sep 6, 1946 – May 30, 2013)

 

Me, Myself and Why?


Lights_Sounds_CityThis world certainly has its share of distractions, conveniences, technology and opportunities.   As an understatement, however, at its core, the world is largely characterized by and graced with solitude, clarity of thought, peace and simplicity.

I had the rare opportunity to experience the latter last evening as a ravenous thunderstorm, packed with high winds, torrential rains and hail, ripped through my northern Wisconsin retreat, knocking out the power for eleven-plus hours.

During that time, I had the privilege to experience the peace of complete silence (after the storm hadNature_Quiet passed), the sounds of nature, the absence of technology and the effect of “time standing still”.  The nearly half-day of biblical heaven served as a time for self-analysis and life review, gratitude and spiritual renewal.

Assuredly, each person is unique in personality, faith and character.  For me, I choose to spend time, ideally every day, even if but for five to ten minutes, reflecting on my life, events, direction and goals.  It’s a bit of a huddle with myself, strange as it may sound, but golden_waves.jpghas served as absolutely profound time to ground myself as a human being, recognize all I have to be thankful for, and recommit and refocus my efforts to pursue my life goals and “readjust the sails” to stay on course.

It’s my “check the oil” time and it serves to determine that everything is ok, and if not, alerts me to whatever changes I need to make to return to that state of being.

“Without question, we all need that quick check on a regular basis to review where we have come from, where we are, and where we are headed; along with the necessary actions, mindset and change to get us there.”

Dare I say, Prayer Time.  I’ll offer a new phrase as a corollary to the “build it and they will come”; for me, it is “See and Listen with your heart and Respect your Conscience”.  Here is wishing you that slice of quiet time every day to remember who you are, and most importantly, why.  Let me take you there…

Be well.

The CHAlleNGE to Adapt


Photo © Darren Baker / Fotolia

Our sanity as human beings is challenged on a daily basis as we struggle to live a meaningful life. We are constantly bombarded with communication, behavior and challenges to change our views, preferences, behaviors, habits and lives.

It can be unsettling at times as we navigate the waters of our existence. Viewed from a personal development lens, however, we in fact, should embrace change as it provides alternative views of the world, issues and ideas.

What it also critically instills in us, when properly faced and addressed is an inner strength to be open-minded, consider opposing views, learn from others and it also questions and reinforces our core values.

In truth, change can be our friend if we consciously acknowledge its inevitability (and necessity), welcome it as a positive influence and leverage it to grow as a human being, positively impact the world around us and perhaps most importantly, sharpen our self-awareness to strive to meet our potential in life.

Let’s focus for a moment, however, on change itself. Specifically, let’s talk about lizards.

Whoever thought of asking a lizard for advice? Probably no one, however, observing a chameleon to study survival might not be all that far-fetched. Specifically, a chameleon has the ability to change its color to blend in or adapt to its environment. Call it the power to transition, transform, or transcend. According to Webster’s Dictionary, ‘trans’ means “beyond, through, to change or transfer”. Indeed, change is an everyday occurrence (at least for the chameleon).

The rising and setting of the sun portrays one of the most visible and dramatic illustrations of change. You would think that people would struggle with adapting to it. As a result of ‘practice’, though, we have come to understand, react, expect, and ultimately plan for it to happen. We have ‘adapted’ to the change. We have adapted so well, in fact, that most of us probably don’t even think of it as a change event; it just happens…. If only all change could be that easy. Indeed, to the degree that we master any change, it will be that easy.

Consider the following thoughts. On a regular basis, we deliberately and consciously look for signs that read “20 Minute Oil Change”. For many of us, we change the time twice a year. We can’t even make up our minds which way to go; once forward, then once back. We purchase barometers and thermometers that help us ‘measure’ change.   A navigator changes course to adapt to winds and currents. Product manufacturers have it (and us) figured out. They created change ‘machines’ to help us change our bills for coins so we can purchase more of their product. A baby’s birth, the death of an elderly man, the butterfly’s emergence or transformation.

Time changes every second!  Change is life. Life means change.

One of the best books I’ve ever found on Managing Change was quite by chance.  I was rummaging through books on a table in the employee lounge of a company where I had worked.  They periodically “cleaned house” in the corporate library and would free up space by removing “old” books by offering them for free to employees.  I ran across a book entitled: “Managing Transitions – Making the Most of Change” by William Bridges.  It was written and published in 1991, yet as many things are in life, I learned it to be a timeless work of exceptionalism and truth.  I highly recommend it as a trusted and superior reference in dealing with change not only in a business environment, but also equally effectively in your personal life.

Embracing Change can be a Beautiful Thing

In a nutshell, the more we embrace and learn how to deal with change, the better we will be able to manage

it; the better we will be able to adapt to our ever-changing world.  Without change, life ceases to exist.

A C E G H N – Six letters that will Transform your Life


There are many allusions to the dangers of remaining static, i.e., being still.  And as much as life is about creating, maintaining and benefiting from balance, life is fundamentally… about change.  Our thoughts, actions, interactions, goals, interests and growth; are all about change.

Don’t get me wrong, there is change that is harmful, just as there is stress that is harmful.  Changing lanes while driving without looking  to see if it is safe, eating different foods may cause illness or allergies, choosing an alternative decision could prove disastrous in business.  Mostly, however, change is what keeps us moving forward and growing as human beings.

Change exists in many forms, on many levels, however there are three basic types, Developmental, Transitional and Transformational.  Obviously, the last, transformational, has the potential for the largest impact.

From a personal perspective, behavior travels through four stages or quadrants while undergoing change; Denial, Resistance, Acceptance, Commitment.  The most important thing to remember is that you must travel all four stages to reach Commitment.

Interestingly, there is no change without resistance to it.  And, as Pablo Picasso so eloquently stated, “Every act of creation is first an act of destruction”.  In life, in art, in business and in personal growth, change is paradoxically an ending and a beginning.  The essential point is that “letting go” is a prerequisite to embracing something new.  We all need to learn how to let go of things that either don’t serve us well or stand in the way of us growing as a human being.

If you’re not changing, you’re not growing.  And, if you’re not growing, you are as good as dead.  We can all benefit and learn something about life from the butterfly.  And, if you are simply interested in self-empowerment, heed the words of Anwar Sadat, “In the power to change yourself is the power to change the world around you”.

Amazingly, change comes from within.  It’s all about perspective, baby!

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