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The Sound of Silence


Sunset background25In today’s world, we are bombarded with information; sounds of music, flashes of light and color, fluid motion, visions of warm tropical places, imagery of goals worth achieving, memories of childhoods past, scenarios of futures awaiting, temporal aspects of life, emotions and frame of mind, outcomes of poor decisions, rewards for a humble life.   Indeed, all these sensical stimuli invigorate our thoughts, sway our judgment and populate our mind.  Critically, they feed our soul.

And at our core, that which supports all the processing and analysis of this information is what I prefer to call, “The Voice that Matters“.  This voice is silent, yet dominates and influences our actions via our thoughts.  This voice formulates our opinions, guides our lives and determines our future.

Angel_Devil_ShoulderBut just what is this voice, where did it come from and why does it speak in silence?  At the foundation of our being, we are creatures of free will; possessing the ability to think, reason, make judgments, form opinions, reach decisions and implement actions.  The image of the proverbial angel and devil on our shoulders is so apropos.

TruthStill, others identify this voice as our conscience.   And it can manifest itself in our minds as darkness, solitude, light, echoes, angels, demons, perhaps parents, a friend or a person from our past.  Regardless of form, this force of energy materializes whenever we are presented with multiple paths for decision or action.

And truly, this voice does matter, as our lives are impacted as a result of our thoughts and actions.  Rest assured, we are never alone, yet at times, the world certainly can make us feel that way.

“To the degree we acknowledge, trust, leverage and listen to the voice that matters, our lives can be enriched and stretched or constrained and limited.  Even more paradoxical is the revelation that it is our own doing that ultimately directs or creates our future.  We are not soulless victims, but rather, energized gladiators.  Life is not a matter of chance, but of choice”.

Morality, norms, spirituality, integrity and intuition, all feed our internal voice like an engine of sorts, powering our thoughts, guiding our actions and monitoring our behaviors, setting our path forward.  Each of us has multiple futures, determined by the choices we make in life.

The quality of our being is in large part, determined by our resilience in resisting temptation, our resolve to reach and implement moral behaviors, our commitment to authenticity and our willingness to embrace and acknowledge God in our lives.

The real question is which words will you talk… Which path will you walk?  Can you hear the sound of silence?

Hello darkness, my old friend
I’ve come to talk with you again
Because a vision softly creeping
Left its seeds while I was sleeping
And the vision that was planted in my brain
Still remains
Within the sound of silence
In restless dreams I walked alone
Narrow streets of cobblestone
‘Neath the halo of a street lamp
I turned my collar to the cold and damp
When my eyes were stabbed by the flash of a neon light
That split the night
And touched the sound of silence
And in the naked light I saw
Ten thousand people, maybe more
People talking without speaking
People hearing without listening
People writing songs that voices never share
And no one dared
Disturb the sound of silence
Fools, said I, you do not know
Silence like a cancer grows
Hear my words that I might teach you
Take my arms that I might reach you
But my words, like silent raindrops fell
And echoed in the wells of silence
And the people bowed and prayed
To the neon god they made
And the sign flashed out its warning
In the words that it was forming
And the sign said, the words of the prophets are written on the subway walls
And tenement halls
And whispered in the sounds of silence
Songwriters: Paul Simon
The Sound of Silence lyrics © Universal Music Publishing Group
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If My Soul Could Speak


Gary Alan Nelson

Gary Alan Nelson

In the whispers of majestic White Pine trees as brisk gusts of wind caress their soft needles, one can hear the breath of a baby, the admonition of an elder, and even the sails of a schooner on the open sea.  Indeed, we utilize our imagination in many ways, yet when presented situations like this, rarely do we explain what we hear as imaginary.

Our senses translate and perceive what we hear as Real, moreover, as Meaningful.  When one believes there are no coincidences in life, such as this writer, many occurrences and experiences in life hold special, specific or significant meaning and can be associated with events of our past, symbols of our future and warnings of potential danger ahead.

Imagine, then, what one might hear if my soul could speak!  It may tell of faded memories of family who’ve passed on, or fears of my childhood, or the dreams of a righteous father for his children.  Without question, however, my soul would speak of Truth, of Gratitude, of Humility and Perseverance of Faith.  And it would definitely speak of the Glory of God and the unimaginable beauty, peace and love of something known only as heaven.

My soul, you see, is my conscience that guides my thoughts and actions, that inner voice that

Leap of Faith

Leap of Faith

reminds me of the “right” things to do.  It is my “true north” as I travel through life, it is the supportive embrace that comforts me in times of need.  Most importantly, it is my Voice to the world by my actions, interactions, intentions, hopes and dreams.  It defines me to others and protects me as I journey toward eternity.

“My soul is the essence of Who I am, how I think, what I believe and the “rules” I follow as I grow throughout my earthly life and existence.  It is my reference point for every thought I create, my cookbook for this recipe called humanity.  As you’ve undoubtedly read and heard many times, my soul is my Alpha and Omega, my personal universe.  And ultimately, my soul is what remains when my physical vessel can pulse no more.”

I believe the soul is inextricably connected to our physical bodies until that moment of separation that occurs throughout the death process.  The soul is pure energy that is encapsulated within our bodies and then peels away and vaporizes into yet another form of energy as our spirit lives on at death.

Death_Ascension_Spirit

Spirit and Soul

You see, I’ve witnessed first hand and experienced so many occurrences and situations that I simply could not logically explain, other than being the direct result of some divine intervention, whether a guardian angel’s influence or perhaps the actual embrace of God upon my life.  Experiences that resonate of goodness and godliness, that indelibly mark my soul as witness and testimony to the “Truth”.

So, in the whispers of majestic White Pine trees as brisk gusts of wind caress their soft needles, listen attentively and you will hear the drama, joy and deliverance of your life, and perhaps others lives.  And make no mistake, it is anything but your imagination at work, but rather, the voices of angels and divine feedback from numerous dimensions of magnitude above what we know as human life.

In those moments of truth, make sure you search for the essence of your being, the path you are travelling and the destination at which your physical life will ultimately arrive.  I ask that age-old and classic, yet oh so relevant of questions…..  WHO ARE YOU?

Be well.

Compassion: The True North of Your Moral Compass


compass_mapThere are few words that evoke crystal clear clarity in visual terms like the image that is created in my head by the word “Compassion”.  I see with my mind and feel with my heart; the emotion of caring when I contemplate the meaning of compassion.  For me, compassion captures the essence of what we (including myself) are about.  Specifically, what we value, what we cherish and what we strive to achieve in the course of living our lives.

Throughout my life, I have been gifted with the ability to join and leverage my senses toCompassion_2 create imagery that has enabled me to generate incredible focus in all areas of my existence toward the Greater Good.  And subsequently, to be able to transform and apply that focus into actionable, observable and achievable outcomes and results.  I know its kind of like a logical and nerdy affliction, however, it is who I am.  To the point, I KNOW who I am.  By fully embracing that essence of my being, self awareness is very tangible, evident and easy to assimilate into reality.

So what exactly is compassion, you ask?  Indeed, it is a burning desire to create outcomes that help people, redeem their noble and innocently directed energy and create synergies to advance good in the world; while overcoming evil, hate, sinister behavior and malcontents.  It is the warmth of the support offered by friends and family; the protective shield against harm; the eternal guard against negativity and destruction.  It is optimism, humility, kindness and yielding.  It is constant, powerful and selfless duty.

“It is no coincidence that at the heart of the word compassion, lies compass.  And what is a compass?; if not a guiding light and beacon that directs us to, and identifies “the way” of goodness, kindness, civility and moral abundance.”

Compassion_4Each of us truly knows, deep down inside our hearts, what is Right, conversely, what is Wrong,  and what things prevent us from creating the reality of our compassion.  We must seek the quiet shores of our mortal oceans, listen to the voices manifested as the whispers of the wind in our minds and commit to adjusting our sails and rudders to point in the direction that our Moral Compass leads us to follow.  But it takes true courage, conviction and intent.  It requires purposeful thought accompanied by deliberate action.

Likewise, Personal Harmony occurs when our thoughts, intents and actions correlate and support our essence as human beings and gifted spirits.  When achieved, personal harmony in our lives reverberate outward as a surreal symphony of accord and fellowship.  This frequency-based harmony in turn, causes others to take notice and encourages them to similarly seek their inner peace and reason for being.

And the most effective approach to discovering your compassion is to focus on others, precisely their needs and their footprints in the world.   What is life, if not a living classroom, led by our Teacher, an environment where He teaches and we learn the important aspects and nuances of our being.  Let others’ challenges, victories and failures be that magnet that drives the “True North” of our moral compass.  And let it point the way for us in our journey; in your journey in this life.

“Compassion for People, Passion for Writing, Living my Conscience.”  Be well.

Only YOU can truly Change the World…

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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.

It’s 9pm – Do you know where your Conscience is?


Most everyone has been witness to a movie or commercial that made reference to “that little voice inside your head”.  Yes, that internal moral compass everyone has that guides and influences decision-making related to nearly every thought we create.

But, what exactly is a conscience?  We can define it, discuss it and analyze it, however, invisible and elusive it may be.  The plain truth of the matter is that it’s just there.   Without it, there would be no remorse, regret or contrition.

I view it as the traffic lights at many intersections in that ‘the light’ sends us messages that we interpret as safe (green), caution (yellow) and danger (red).  In much the same way, our conscience communicates with our brain to let it know whether some thought we have or decision to make is safe, requires caution or should not be made.

The important question to be asked is, “Are you consciously aware of your conscience at all times?”  or worded another way, “Do you read your conscience like a map and use it like a compass when you have more important decisions to make?”

The ability to distinguish right and wrong, the difference between them and the consequences of alternative decisions is the essence of a conscience.  Indeed, it is what makes us unique and special spiritual beings, and children of God.

Intertwined with your conscience is your free will and the associated ability to make choices, or empirically, decisions.  And inasmuch as a portion of your judgment is admittedly learned from your environment, parents, etc., the bottom line is that you are responsible for the decisions you make.

Below is a brief clip from “The Messenger” a movie starring Dustin Hoffman as the conscience of Joan of Arc:

At the end of the day, each of us must reconcile our decisions with our conscience.  If they align well, we are happier individuals, content with our decisions and resulting actions.  If they are out of alignment, stress results.  Accordingly, the best way to be happy is to ensure your thoughts, actions and behaviors align with your core values or morals.

Listening to that little voice is a surefire approach to well-being, inner peace and the pursuit of happiness.  Be well.

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