Thursday, December 17, 2009

Lessons from the Tiger Woods Scandal


Unless you have been living in a cave the last month, you must have heard the gossip-laden news about golf great Tiger Woods' escapades and so-called scandal.

If you have not heard about it and are curious, just Google "Tiger Woods" news and you will have the next 8 months of reading material covering this public debacle at your fingertips!

Tiger messed up big time - no doubt. And he is suffering the pain as a result. But as I am following this train-wreck coverage the past 3 weeks, I cannot help but think about the true overall lesson inherent in this media circus involving the once squeaky-clean, teflon golfer.

Besides the obvious "lessons" learned involving infidelity and discussed ad nauseum in the media, I cannot get past the greatest baffler of them all:

How could this happen?

Let's face it - as youngsters we ALL want to be Tiger Woods in some aspects of our lives!

Where do you begin? Tiger is materially wealthy beyond belief (estimated net worth of $1BB (pre-scandal), $100MM plus in corporate endorsements alone (anchored by his choir boy, clean, honest image), married to a beautiful ex-model and 2 wonderful children, living in a mansion in Florida, a private jet, young, attractive, marketable, exciting, a legend in the making, and he plays golf - FOR A LIVING!!

Helloooo.... Not too shabby when you lay it out there like that! It is a materialistic climber's Nirvana!

What sticks out to me - and has with many other experiences and observations in my life so far - is that if THIS GUY cannot be happy and at peace with all he has been given, granted, blessed with in this world - who can actually be Happy??

How can he not be?? How can he implode with all he has in his life? The very treasures many of us seek, dream about, covet, and desire he actually possessed and he throws them all away in search of...... What????!!!!

Peace, Joy, love, acceptance, happiness???

I am no psychologist, but I do know that there is a pattern here!

Maybe, just maybe those things we seek - the material treasures and rewards that we use to judge our value, self-worth and measure our accomplishments - are not the right things to pursue if we aim to be truly HAPPY??!!!

Could it be??

Obviously for Tiger Woods they were not enough to provide him peace and happiness and joy.

Would it be the same for us in the same circumstances??

I am willing to bet the answer is YES!! Now granted, hand me a billion dollars in order to try it out and I am darn sure I can stay happy! Lol!

History is filled with examples of wealthy and powerful individuals who, when examined closely, were miserable in their lives despite the very things most of us as humans seek and long to have!

So what can we learn from Tiger here?

Be careful what you seek and wish for - as the achievement of those material goals may not be enough to satisfy what we all need and crave - love, peace, joy and happiness.

Those four treasures above - love, peace, joy and happiness - cannot be won, or bought, or achieved through material means. They come from an understanding in our hearts and our minds of our connections with each other and our pursuit here on earth is simple in my mind:

Love, love, love - and help each other to love!

There is nothing at all wrong with achievements that bring you wealth and fame - I am all for it if that is your goal!!

Just do not expect those accomplishments and all the trappings that follow to bring you to the goal of Happiness!

For it is a long way down from that reality once you get to that pinnacle and realize it is not there waiting for you!!

The amazing fact is that without needing to sink a 50 foot putt or hit a golf ball 500 yards, we ALREADY have that Happiness, Peace and Joy available to us - We just need to recognize it and recalibrate our measurements!!

Stay Strong and learn from Tiger!

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Bonfire of the Vanities


"It has been an ancient custom in many parts of the world that those who are blessed with good fortune show gratitude and humility to the gods they felt made it possible.

They would take the items indicating the trappings of their wealth, like money, jewels, or favorite items and burn them to symbolize how good fortune could turn on them in the blink of an eye.

Anything that made them feel more important than other and fine things they coveted would be burned in this Bonfire of the Vanities in an effort to, if only temporarily, remind themselves of the pain of losing the things they hold so dear.

As is has been for thousands of years, there will be times in our own lives when a bonfire of our own vanities will humble us and remind us WHY WE ARE ACTUALLY HERE.

The souls understand how valuable it is, not only in our own journey here, but the souls' continuing journey there, to help us pick up the pieces of our lives and find HOPE again.

Sometimes it takes longer than they hoped, but no matter when it comes, they stand at the ready to show us that everything in our lives is a CHALLENGE WE WILL LEARN FROM.

Loss is not only confined to the bereaved. We will all suffer losses, of varying kinds and in varying degrees, in the course of our lifetime here.

Although we will never know where our spiritual road will take us, one thing is certain - if we are on the road here, there WILL be a challenge to face. It is the only way we can learn from our experiences here.

No matter what way the circumstances of being humbled appears in our lifetime, it is the only way for God to refocus the way we see our journey here, and to set us again to the GREATER PURPOSE for which we are here.

God has a plan for each and every one of us, and although we will mourn our losses, we must also understand that the experiences are part of the plan!

The souls promise that the struggles we endure here will be worth every second of the pain we feel, because the reward for our accomplishments is an ETERNITY of JOY!

We never know where our lives will take us, so it is impossible to curse our fate when things change suddenly for what we perceive to be the worst.

ONLY God knows the why and how of any life plan, and if we have some FAITH that EVERYTHING is a stone that will build the path of our spiritual purpose here, these bonfires of the vanities will become easier for us, and far less destructive in the course of our lives here."

- George Anderson, "Walking in the Garden of the Souls"

Friday, November 20, 2009

Next Stop - The Land of Hope and Dreams


"Grab your ticket and your suitcase,
Thunder's rolling down this track,

Well, you don't know where you're going now but you know you won't be back.


Well Darling if you're weary lay your head upon my chest,
We'll take what we can carry and we'll leave the rest,


Big wheels roll thru fields where sunlight streams,
Meet me in a Land of Hope and Dreams,


Well I will provide for you and I'll stand by your side, you'll need a good companion now, for this part of the ride..


Now Leave behind your sorrows, let this day be the last,
Tomorrow there'll be sunshine and all this darkness passed,


Big wheels roll thru fields where sunlight streams,
Meet me in a Land of Hope and Dreams,


Well, This train carries Saints and Sinners,
This train carries losers and winners,
This train carries whores and gamblers,
This train carries lost souls,

This train carries broken-hearted,
This train carries thieves and sweet souls departed,
This train carries fools, carries kings,
All aboard..

On This train - dreams will not be thwarted
On this train - FAITH will be rewarded
On This train - hear the steel wheels singing,
On This train - bells of freedom ring...

---- B. Springsteen... Land of Hope and Dreams...

Stay Strong!!!

Sent from my Verizon Wireless BlackBerry

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Sunrise


I was running very late this morning and as I rushed out the door to attempt to catch the next train, I was struck like a punch in the stomach by something so beautiful, so powerful, so very overwhelming that I was literally stopped in my tracks!!


The sun was peeking it's head ever so slightly over the Long Island Sound, and just the mere sliver of it radiated such a massive and encompassing orange glow that I could not take another step toward my car! I was struck motionless by the light and energy that I saw rising steadily over the water!


I literally dropped my bag and grabbed my camera phone, stuck motionless as the sliver quickly became a semi-circle of fire, in a feeble attempt to somehow catch and document this absolute thing of Beauty and spectacular Splendor!


I stood in the driveway staring and felt so moved by this sunrise I cannot begin to explain the emotion of it.
I stood there for at least 10 minutes - awestruck and not wanting to leave!


Now granted, I have seen many a sunrise in my lifetime fortunately and this was certainly not the first one to have moved me with it's beauty and massive strength.
However, for some reason today's sunrise felt different. It felt more meaningful, more beautiful, more of a message to me and now to you --- Every Day belongs to us and we MUST seize it - appreciate it - utilize it and realize that we have a Mission here on earth!
We have a duty to each other to help, assist, encourage, and strengthen every single person you encounter!!
There is NOTHING more important that that - I repeat: THERE IS NOTHING MORE IMPORTANT THAN OUR DUTY TO EACH OTHER!


The picture I managed to muster does not come even close to capturing what that amazing ball of Love, Fire, Hope and Strength conveyed to me this morning, but I hope you can at least gleem just a little inspiration from the photo to help you move through your day with Joy and Happiness and Peace!


Stay Strong!

Monday, November 16, 2009

Two MUST READS - and I mean TODAY!

I just gobbled up 2 books on my Kindle and I have to urge all of you to do the same!!! TODAY!!

The first is George Anderson's "Walking in the Garden of the Souls" http://www.amazon.com/Walking-Garden-Souls-George-Anderson/dp/0425186113/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1258466287&sr=1-1 and the second is "Lessons from the Light" by Kenneth Ring, PhD. http://www.amazon.com/Lessons-Light-Learn-Near-death-Experience/dp/1930491115/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1258466364&sr=1-2.

Both of these books, albeit differently in approach and specifics, deal with the prospect of what happens after we die and more importantly - give us inspiration as to how to find Joy in this life as a result of these lessons!!

Both are fascinating, inspirational, powerful and life-altering in their messages and lessons!

Bring only an open mind and your strong Faith and what you read in these two works will transform your outlook on life INSTANTLY! For the Better of course!!

George Anderson's book is an amazing work on lessons he has learned in his vocation as a spiritual medium. He has joked that he is more like a "small" than a medium.

His lessons are derived from the multitude of Souls he hears from beyond this earth as he connects them with their loved ones still here on Earth. I know it sounds bizarre but I witnessed first hand his ability and amazing gift with our own loss and healing (http://www.fallon.freewebsitehosting.com/) after losing our precious niece and Goddaughter Fallon. His work saved lives!!

Dr. Ring's book is a study on NDE survivors, or Near Death Experiences. His clinical yet riveting studies on the accounts of numerous NDE survivors is couched as such to share the amazing lessons these people learned in their brief time away from this earth - and to stress that you do not need your own NDE to grasp and learn these lessons and benefit from their POWER to change our lives and outlooks in this lifetime!

The accounts of what occurred to these people - all completely unrelated - are amazing in their consistencies, similarities, and shared lessons learned despite all of them being totally separate and different situations, people, lifestyles, circumstances, beliefs, backgrounds, and religions!

You must pick these books up and read them ASAP! For your own happiness and joy!!

These lessons are too valuable to leave unknown any longer!!! For any of us!!

Stay Strong!!!

Thursday, November 5, 2009

The Relativity of "Happiness"

Who doesn't want to "BE HAPPY"?

I mean really - isn't that the ultimate goal we all seek in this life?

Every book we see on Amazon.com has some "secret" to happiness, the "125 ways to GET HAPPY", "Get Happy Now", "Your Way to Happiness", etc...or some variation.

With such an overwhelming emphasis on this seemingly elusive state of being and emotion, and with so many people, experts, pundits and ordinary folk (yours truly) spouting off about "Happiness" and ways to achieve it, wouldn't you think that EVERYONE - or at least the majority of people with access to all this genius, secrets, tips and know how would actually... Be.... Happy!

No?

Think about it - how many people can you name and count who are truly HAPPY? I mean 100%, unadulterated, genuine and all-encompassingly HAPPY?

Not many - if any at all... That I can cite off the top of my head!

Now, I understand there are many, many people that are NOT UNHAPPY - but that is an entirely different thing altogether is it not?

Why is that? Even if you named 2 people that you feel are really, truly happy in their current state, that does not really amount to that many people on this grand world on a strict percentage basis does it?

Again - why is that? Why is happiness so darn elusive and rare in these lives we are leading??

I think I have a theory!

I believe, in my Faith, that we are all Souls. Beautiful, amazing, loving, caring Souls.

Hear me out for a second!

Have you ever been somewhere amazing and beautiful and fun and peaceful in your life? Have you ever spent time somewhere special and spectacular and had to return to wherever it was you came from before you were in that amazing place. Or even more so, had to leave that amazing place for a lesser place?

How did that feel? Crummy, no doubt.

It gets so that you can only really remember that beautiful and amazing place while you are in the lesser venue and dream of how happy you were back in the beautiful place.

How difficult is it to duplicate that feeling of joy and happiness you experienced in the great place in the new place? How happy can you be in the new place having experienced the splendor of the beautiful spot??

It is challenging indeed.

Well, I believe that part of our struggle and difficulty in being happy in this current life is due to the fact that we had once experienced something so peaceful and beautiful and joyous, prior to our existence here on Earth, that although we cannot consciously remember it - we can sense it and feel it and just know that it was an amazingly special place compared to where we are now!

Subconsciously we long to be back in that place of Joy and Happiness and nothing material, earth-made, ego driven or in existence physically can bring us that total and complete sense of peace and love and joy that we have already tasted once before.

How does someone like Elvis Presley kill himself with drugs - when he seemingly has everything we all strive to achieve--- fame, fortune, adoration, wealth and celebrity? The obituaries are filled with unhappy, miserable people who have passed unhappy and incomplete.

Why???

I truly believe that our purpose on the earth is to serve each other - assist and help each other - to learn and grow and develop as beautiful Souls!

And I also believe we will end up back in that beautiful spot we know deep in our subconscious, surrounded by loved ones, experiencing only Joy and peace and love - and finally the true happiness that we seek will be ours!

But not so fast!!

We have work to do here first, people! There is a purpose and reason we are here and we must do our best to grow and develop and love one another until we can get to the greatest Happiness we could ever imagine!

Forget the material trappings and the measures of success we use on this earth!!

The measure of true success is the kindness and love we bring to others, the support and help we offer those who are struggling more than we may be - the growth we seek and achieve in service to one abother and to our God!

That is what we should use as a tape measure!! Because that is all that truly matters after this life is over here on this planet!!

Think about it - when are you closest to true joy??? True happiness?? What brings you closest to that feeling we so desire??

You know the answer!! ;)

Stay Strong and keep your eye on the Goal!!!

Happiness will be ours without doubt!!
Sent from my Verizon Wireless BlackBerry

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Free Play!!

For those of you who are familiar with American Football, the term "free play" means something to you.

For those who are not, a "free play" occurs when a penalty flag is thrown during a play and an impending penalty is signaled on the defense. The play, however, does not come to a stop as the rules allow the play to go on to completion before the penalty is assessed to the offender.

This creates a "free play" for the offense. They know there is a penalty on the defense and that NO MATTER WHAT they will either score, gain yardage, or if they fail to do so, will get the ball back due to the penalty! No worse for the wear!

It is a great feeling that allows you to take a risk you may not take normally - to really go for a big play - throw the ball deep toward the endzone in hopes of a big catch - all the while knowing that if the other team intercepts the ball - it will not hurt your team.

What a great concept huh?

A free play.

Well, I believe life is like a free play in American Football in that we have our spiritual strength and faith to fall back on - NO MATTER what happens to us, NO MATTER what is thrown our way, or what obstacles we must endure, etc!

We have a multitude of free plays because of the fact - that when all is said and done - and that final whistle blows - we will all be OK!

I truly believe that we cannot do wrong when we live rightly in our hearts - when we allow ourselves to be guided by FAITH, HOPE, LOVE and seek PEACE!

We have a plethora of FREE PLAYS at our disposal when we realize that after all of our battles, hard trials, pain and suffering, hurdles, uncertainty, and FEAR here on earth are over - when we reach the Final Goal -- what George Anderson call the "Garden of Souls" - we will look back and realize we had nothing but Free Plays in our lives!

Take the risk - LIVE and LOVE without fear or anxiety or worry!!! Throw the proverbial football all the way downfield and see what happens!! By doing so you cannot be harmed!!!

Do not play your life conservatively in the aspects of love, kindness, Faith and HOPE!!

Let it Fly!!

No harm will come of it! There is nothing to FEAR when you know it is a FREE PLAY!!

And all of our lives are filled with FREE PLAYS!!

Stay Strong!!
Sent from my Verizon Wireless BlackBerry

Friday, October 30, 2009

Ten Years today and Counting.... Thank you, Tiffy!













MY WIFE

Her Blonde hair, her emerald eye.


Her marble skin elicit sigh


Her lips, like pomegranate cleft,


open, smile at me bereft



Of sense or feeling save for pride,

That creature thus could be my bride.

Extrinsic beauty caught my eye,

My heart did stir, my spirit fly,



But beauty out bore beauty in,
Possessed a soul devoid of sin.

And truth did beat within her breast,

With warmth, compassion was she blest.


Whene'er I stumbled through the years,

My bride was there to quell my fears,

With radiant smile, with soft embrace.

She'd mollify my fall from grace.



And seeing faith so strong, so pure,

I'd know that I could strive, endure.

Infatuation at the start,

Metamorphosed in my heart.

Became a love so strong it did.
Supplant my ego rule my id.
I asked that God enrich my life,

He chose an Angel for my wife.

--R.T. Caldwell

Friendly Reminder: Do it Now

Do it Now.

I expect to pass through this world but once.

Any Good thing, therefore, that I can do or any kindness I can show to any fellow human being let me do it now.

Let me NOT defer nor neglect it; for I shall not pass this way again.

-- Stephen Grellet
Sent from my Verizon Wireless BlackBerry

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Great Article on the Power of Positive Emotion and Thinking!


The more you understand about any subject, the more interesting it becomes. As you read this article you'll find that the subject of Positive attitude is certainly no exception.


Success is in the blood. There are men whom fate can never keep down they march forward in a jaunty manner, and take by divine right the best of everything that the earth affords. But their success is not attained by means of the Samuel Smiles-Connecticut policy.


They do not lie in wait, nor scheme, nor fawn, nor seek to adapt their sails to catch the breeze of popular favor. Still, they are ever alert and alive to any good that may come their way, and when it comes they simply appropriate it, and tarrying not, move steadily on.


Good health! Whenever you go out of doors, draw the chin in, carry the crown of the head high, and fill the lungs to the utmost; drink in the sunshine; greet your friends with a smile, and put soul into every hand-clasp.


Do not fear being misunderstood; and never waste a moment thinking about your enemies. Try to fix firmly in your own mind what you would like to do, and then without violence of direction you will move straight to the goal.


Fear is the rock on which we split, and hate the shoal on which many a barque is stranded. When we become fearful, the judgment is as unreliable as the compass of a ship whose hold is full of iron ore; when we hate, we have unshipped the rudder; and if ever we stop to meditate on what the gossips say, we have allowed a hawser to foul the screw.


Keep your mind on the great and splendid thing you would like to do; and then, as the days go gliding by, you will find yourself unconsciously seizing the opportunities that are required for the fulfillment of your desire, just as the coral insect takes from the running tide the elements that it needs.


Picture in your mind the able, earnest, useful person you desire to be, and the thought that you hold is hourly transforming you into that particular individual you so admire.


Thought is supreme, and to think is often better than to do.


Preserve a right mental attitude the attitude of courage, frankness and good cheer.



See how much you can learn about Positive attitude when you take a little time to read a well-researched article? Don't miss out on the rest of this great information.


Darwin and Spencer have told us that this is the method of Creation. Each animal has evolved the parts it needed and desired. The horse is fleet because he wishes to be; the bird flies because it desires to; the duck has a web foot because it wants to swim. All things come through desire and every sincere prayer is answered.


We become like that on which our hearts are fixed.
Many people know this, but they do not know it thoroughly enough so that it shapes their lives. We want friends, so we scheme and chase 'cross lots after strong people, and lie in wait for good folks or alleged good folks hoping to be able to attach ourselves to them. The only way to secure friends is to be one. And before you are fit for friendship you must be able to do without it. That is to say, you must have sufficient self-reliance to take care of yourself, and then out of the surplus of your energy you can do for others.


The individual who craves friendship, and yet desires a self-centered spirit more, will never lack for friends.


If you would have friends, cultivate solitude instead of society. Drink in the ozone; bathe in the sunshine; and out in the silent night, under the stars, say to yourself again and yet again, "I am a part of all my eyes behold!" And the feeling then will come to you that you are no mere interloper between earth and heaven; but you are a necessary part of the whole. No harm can come to you that does not come to all, and if you shall go down it can only be amid a wreck of worlds.


Like old Job, that which we fear will surely come upon us.


By a wrong mental attitude we have set in motion a train of events that ends in disaster. People who die in middle life from disease, almost without exception, are those who have been preparing for death. The acute tragic condition is simply the result of a chronic state of mind a culmination of a series of events.


Character is the result of two things, mental attitude, and the way we spend our time. It is what we think and what we do that make us what we are.


By laying hold on the forces of the universe, you are strong with them. And when you realize this, all else is easy, for in your arteries will course red corpuscles, and in your heart the determined resolution is born to do and to be.


Carry your chin in and the crown of your head high. We are gods in the chrysalis.


That's how things stand right now. Keep in mind that any subject can change over time, so be sure you keep up with the latest news.

Bill McRea is the publisher of Living Inside Yourself and Living Life. Both sites are dedicate to providing useful information about life and self improvement.

STAY STRONG!!!!!

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Stay Strong: Forgive Someone NOW!

Stay Strong: Forgive Someone NOW!

Walk a Mile...


We have probably heard this saying a couple thousand times in our lifetime.

"Walk a mile in a man's shoes before you judge".

We hear it and understand it - but it is important that we truly grasp the meaning of this wise and powerful proverb.

As we have discussed here many times, it is very simple to get lost in our daily struggles and issues. When we have challenges and problems, we as HUMANS tend to let those problems consume our every waking moment, overwhelm our thoughts and actions - We simply cannot seem to stop obsesssing on the current strife we battle on a daily basis.

We also tend to be quick to judge others who may not share our goals, outlooks, fashion style, lifestyles, etc. It is - unfortunately - human nature to succumb to these judgements.

It may be human nature but it DOES NOT mean that we cannot overcome these tendencies with a little mental effort.

Without getting too deep into the psychological basis or the "WHY" we tend to do this (insecurity, jealousy, competition, fear, ignorance, upbringing, etc) it is key that we UNDERSTAND and BELIEVE that we can change it if we so desire and choose!

Because we can.

Today try to embark on a new mission - a mission to see EVERYONE we meet today as a Brother and a Sister - not someone in need of a judging. Endeavor today to stop the normal (for most - not all) pattern of competition inherent in every interaction.

Try not to see others from a "how does that compare to me" perspective today and going forward - but instead look at them from a "how much are they hurting" or "what can I learn from them" or "is there anything I can do to assist them in THEIR daily battles and struggles?"

Walk a mile in their shoes and put yourself in their place before we jump to conclusions about why they are a certain way - or why they act in a certain manner.

Become a solution for them - and you will be pleased by how quickly whatever you are focusing on becomes secondary in nature!

It is a step toward fulfillment and joy and it is well within our control to make it a REALITY - starting............. NOW!

We never know what a person deals with daily - so provide the benefit of the doubt to those who appear surly, angry, mean, or rude. They are not this way because they WANT to be (in most cases - lol) - and perhaps, just perhaps your influence in their life can help them get past it and move closer to their God-given right to JOY, PEACE and HAPPINESS.

You may never know if it worked - but you can be assured that the effort alone will take you closer to those three places above we all strive to reach!

Stay Strong!!!

Monday, October 12, 2009

Simplify your Life and Find Joy

Life is full of complications, dilemmas, choices, obstacles, roadblocks, unknowns, cross-roads, etc. It is often overwhelming when you think about exactly how complex we make our lives!



There are only 24 hours in a day yet we manage to easily fill up each day with activities, meetings, events, tasks, chores, responsibilities, etc!



Sometimes it seems there is no end in sight and we can sometimes feel the pressure of the life we have created bearing down on us so hard it takes your breath away!!



What can be done??



It comes down to a choice we all can make and control -- a choice to SIMPLIFY our lives!



Get back to the basics and remember what it is that makes you happy!!



Do not continue to add layers of complexities, drama and unnecessary things to your life.



Narrow down what it is you WANT in your life and FOCUS all of your attention to that single desire.



Put aside all else that distracts you from your goal and keep things simple.



Write it down - meditate on it - pray for guidance on it and pursue it!



If you can scale back all else except for this singular focus and purpose, it is amazing how simple your life suddenly appears to you!



You don't have to become a monk or a recluse, just focus your mind on exactly what it is that you want from your life and go after it fully.



It takes some practice but it is achievable!!



Life does not have to be so hard all of the time! Get past your fears and remember what it is you are here on this earth to do!



The Beatles summed it up nicely for all of us... "All you need is................"?????



LOVE - correct!! :)



Love and kindness is all the matters!



Try it and work at it .... You will be glad you did!



Stay Strong!!

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Happy Birthday to The Greatest Man in the World!!











The Decision for God

A Course in Miracles...

A Plan for Peace - RIGHT NOW! Please read all of it -- it is Powerful... Stay Strong!



Do you really believe you can make a voice that can drown out God's? Do you really believe you can devise a thought system that can separate you from Him?



Do you really believe you can plan for your safety and Joy better than He can? You need be neither careful or careless; you need merely cast your cares upon Him because he careth for you.



You are His care because he loves you.



His voice reminds you always that all Hope is yours because of His care! You cannot "choose" to escape His care because that is not His Will, but you can choose to accept His care and use the infinite power of his Care for all those He created by it.



Why should you listen to the endless insane calls you think are made upon you, when you can know the Voice of God is in you?



God commended His Spirit to you, and asks that you commend yours to Him. He wills to keep it in perfect peace, because you are of one mind and spirit with Him.



You have not been asked to work out a plan of "salvation" yourself because, as I told you before, the remedy could not be of your making.



Your part is merely to return your thinking to the point in which the error in deciding was made, and give it over to God in peace.



Say this to yourself as sincerely as you can, remembering the Holy Spirit will respond FULLY to YOUR SLIGHTEST INVITATION:



"I must have decided wrongly, because I am not at Peace.



I made the decision myself, but I can also decide otherwise.



I want to decide otherwise, because I want to be at Peace.



I do not feel guilty, because the Holy Spirit will undo all the consequences of my wrong decision if I will let Him.



I choose to let Him, by allowing Him to decide for God for me."

Monday, October 5, 2009

Back to Basics


It is amazing how life can become so complicated so quickly - often in the blink of an eye!



That is why it is so important to prepare mentally for the overwhelming events life can throw at you.



It is critical to keep positive in both your mind as well as your heart.



Our minds are the control room of our emotions! Think about it - the old saying "ignorance is bliss" is not just a saying - It is a guiding principle in behavior and emotion!



I am not saying bury your head in the sand and ignore life's curveballs and you will be thrilled - but I am saying that there are people in this world who have nothing at all to be joyful about in their lives - I mean downright tragedy and misery - yet they walk around as if they do not have a care in the world!!



How do they do this?? How do people with psychiatric issues seem and actually are happy and joyous? Why can't we do this???



The Mind. Period!



We can control our happiness and emotion if we can train our minds to focus on the positive! Focus not on a current problem but on the solution.



Get back to the basics - recall what truly matters to you -not shoes, cars, clothes, jewelry, etc- not those material goods that will disappear as quickly as they come (as will their allure). I mean getting back to why it is we exist - to assist, and support, and love one another!!



Focus your mind of being there for others, on what is next after the storm, the joy that is sure to follow the pain you may have now -- because it always comes back to love!! Always!!!



And we know for a fact that the storm ALWAYS passes and provides us all an opportunity to be Stronger, Wiser, Kinder, more compassionate, caring, and loving!!



With every ounce of pain there are pounds of happiness and joy and peace that will follow -you just have to know it, Believe it - and see it through!!!!



You will get there - and back to the heart of who you are!!!



God Bless and Stay Strong!





Sent from my Verizon Wireless BlackBerry

Thursday, October 1, 2009

GREAT advice on Staying Positive and Employed!


"This is no time to wallow in negativity. New brain science reveals why staying positive is your best defense against career stagnation."

By Anne Fisher, contributor
NEW YORK (Fortune)

With widespread job cuts and a recession to deal with, it's not easy to maintain a positive outlook at work these days.

But being upbeat, despite the stress, could actually help you thrive during a downturn."Most people make the mistake of thinking that success leads to happiness.

In fact, our brains work precisely the other way around," says Shawn Achor, head of Aspirant, a consulting firm that advises clients like Microsoft (MSFT, Fortune 500), American Express (AXP, Fortune 500), Credit Suisse (CS), and UBS (UBS) on how to keep morale and productivity up in these extraordinarily difficult times.

A positive approach to the daily grind, he adds, "gives rise to resilience, energy, and the ability to influence other people -- all things that create success.

"So if you want to come through this downturn with flying colors -- and maybe even a promotion or a raise -- you need to think positive.

Achor, who is also resident psychology tutor at Harvard, has done 5 years of research into "positive psychology," otherwise known as the formal academic study of happiness.

The field itself has only been around 15 years, but it's made some interesting findingsAmong them: "The two most important predictors of success are, first, whether we believe our behavior matters, that is, whether we think we can make a real difference -- and many people lose that belief in hard times, because so much is out of their control," Achor says. "And second, how do you manage stress? Does it paralyze you, or does it move you forward to action?


"Want to train your brain to stay upbeat? Here are six ways to get started:


1. Practice looking for the good. Achor cites studies showing that people who keep a daily "gratitude list" become happier and more successful over time. "For the next 21 days, every night before you go to sleep, think about three things you're grateful for. Say them out loud," Achor suggests. "If you try to make at least one of them work-related, you're training your brain to let go of the daily hassles and notice the good things about your job" - including, of course, having one in the first place.


2. Have some fun. "Many people think the words 'work' and 'fun' are mutually exclusive," Achor notes. But research shows that bursts of lightheartedness, whether from a smile shared with a colleague or a funny clip on YouTube, actually cause people to think more clearly and creatively."It turns out that, when we're happy, our neurons fire faster and more efficiently," Achor says. Even when you're working flat-out, use something you enjoy - photos of your last vacation, or reading a blog you get a kick out of - as a reward along the way, he suggests.


3. Brighten your office space. Everything around you affects your frame of mind. "Certain environmental cues can trigger your reflexive brain into needless panic, while others can prime you for creative thinking or calm reflection," Achor notes. "The good news is that you have the power to control much of this input. Surround your desk with pictures and objects that lead you toward positive thoughts. Your mood and your brain will thank you."


4. Keep a journal. If you find yourself worrying about bad news, a scary rumor, or a stressful deadline, take three minutes to write down how you're feeling. "Neuroscientists have discovered that verbalizing negative thoughts can act like a wet blanket on a fire of negative emotions," Achor explains. "The simple act of putting emotions into words immediately decreases their magnitude." So dust off that old diary, or open up a Word document, and try it. Just make sure no one else sees it.


5. Invest in people. "Smart people do stupid things during times of stress, like shutting down their social networks to focus on work," Achor observes. "But in working with companies around the world, I've found that the greatest predictor of success during stress and challenge is the quality and quantity of your relationships."Decades of research have shown that close ties to family and friends are among the biggest contributors to happiness, and may even help people live longer. "Now more than ever, take the time to strengthen those connections in your life," urges Achor. "You can start small by reaching out to just one person a day."


6. Think of work as a series of sprints, not a marathon. You know what happens when you've been sitting at your desk too long: Your muscles tense up, your eyes glaze over, and your energy lags. What you may not realize, Achor says, is that after two hours of continuous work, your brain function actually slows and your body starts to rapidly accumulate stress and strain."So try to split up your workday into short sprints of 90 to 120 minutes each, with a 5-minute break in between," Achor says. "Walk down the hall or around the block, call a friend, listen to a calming piece of music, do some stretching exercises, or eat a high-protein 100- to 200-calorie snack. Not only will you feel less run-down and worn out, but you'll see a jump in your concentration and productivity."

And I add # 7.... STAY STRONG!!



Friday, September 25, 2009

The Darkness will lift...


Some nights last longer than others it seems.



Sometimes the night appears to linger on for days.



But no matter the length or the duration of the darkness, LIGHT inevitably, undoubtedly, miraculously appears!!!



It is a given - a true blessing indeed! And one that we must remember when the night's darkness seems to endure and drag on in our lives!



LIGHT always breaks up the darkness - no matter how dark or how bleak the night seems!



It is ONE thing we can all count on when times get tough, when life takes a bad turn, or you feel overwhelmed!



Take a deep breath - step back and remember that regardless of how bad things seem to be at that moment - the LIGHT is coming to dissolve the darkness!



It always does and it always will!!!



Ask for it to come - pray for it to come!



"This too shall pass" is a phrase we use and hear often, but it is one of the most accurate and true phrases ever uttered!



The Night does not last!! The Light is on it's way so STAY STRONG and hold on for it to arrive!

Sent from my Verizon Wireless BlackBerry

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Do it Anyway

Do It Anyway
Sign In Mother Teresa's Office

People are unreasonable,
illogical, and self-centered,

LOVE THEM ANYWAY

If you do good, people will
accuse you of selfish,
ulterior motives,

DO GOOD ANYWAY

If you are successful, you win
false friends and true enemies,

SUCCEED ANYWAY

The good you do will
be forgotten tomorrow,

DO GOOD ANYWAY

Honesty and frankness
make you vulnerable,

BE HONEST AND FRANK ANYWAY

What you spent years building
may be destroyed overnight,

BUILD ANYWAY

People really need help but
may attack you if you help them,

HELP PEOPLE ANYWAY

Stressed Out? Depressed? Solution: Remember what truly matters!


As a kid of about 6 years old, I remember vividly having this epiphany regarding life in general and it ranked up there with one other enlightening moment that brought me a sense of relief.

The other light bulb that went off in my mind and brought me such "whewwwwwww" relief was that as a Man, I would not have to endure childbirth! That whole prospect freaked me out and after asking my Dad (who must have really been concerned about my state of mind back then) and receiving the definitive word back that I could actually skip that experience due to my gender, I was so relieved. And now having witnessed 2 of my own births up close and personal since that time, I know now that I had every right to be relieved! Lol

My respect and awe remains and grows daily for my lovely wife and all you women!

The other concept that struck me at that very young age was "We all end up in the same place".

I remember vividly grasping this notion while in my sister's room after Church and thinking that no matter what I do or become, I will end up in the same ending spot as everyone else on the planet.

Whether I am President or homeless, all of us will arrive at the same end! I remember thinking that "Nothing" I do in my life can change that - spare me the grave, or alter this FACT!

It was pretty heady stuff at that age but it is a truly insightful concept to remember as adults when you are down about your job, your relationships, your family, situation, your life, etc.

We all have unlimited potential to build a joyous and happy life while we are on Earth - but remember that when the final bell or buzzer (or horn for you hockey afficianados) sounds for each of us - we are ALL arriving at the same place - back from whence we came!

From the wealthiest, most powerful person to the most destitute and humble - it does not matter!!

So how can and does this knowledge help us in our daily lives?

This understanding should give us peace and take some pressure off of us in our stressful, hectic lives whereby we scrap and struggle and aim at goals that we feel will make us happy - only to find that no matter how high you rise, or how much money you have, or the amount of power you wield, we ALL are going to end up in that same resting spot!

What we need to focus upon instead is HOW we live this life!

Do not get me wrong - I am all for ambition, success, wealth, etc.... There is absolutely nothing wrong with these and I seek them myself.

However, in the end what truly matters is what kind of friend you were, what kind of co-worker, neighbor, spouse, parent, sibling, offspring, etc. How kind were you to others, helpful, compassionate, merciful. How did you ACT - not what did you DO. These are subtle but dramatic differences.

I believe that the greatest resume' in the world will not matter a lick when the final buzzer sounds, but the "report card" that matters is how did we help, treat, assist, nurture, console and comfort each other?

I read a story a while back about a child (since grown) who visited his Dad's work one day. He recalls in his later years that what struck him the most back then as he met his Dad's co-workers was NOT his reputation for being a high performer, top producer, or 8 time Sales Champion-- what struck him then and still resonates with him 40 years later is the "way my Dad's co-workers spoke of him as a person". "What a great man". "A great boss". "A great friend". "Supportive - kind-compassionate".
It was clear that his Dad's co-workers liked and respected him not only for his accomplishments but mostly for the way he acted and treated others. It was a lesson for him and it should be a lesson for all of us indeed!

So stop beating yourself up over your career, financial situation, number of sales awards, relationship struggles, the lack of car, houses, money, gadgets!

KEEP striving for all of this success - Just do not replace WHAT TRULY brings us all happiness and peace with that constant drive and importance to succeed and collect material goods at all costss!!

Balance is key!

As Mother Teresa pointed out:

"Everybody today seems to be in such a terrible rush - anxious for greater developments and greater riches and so on, so that parents have very little time for their children. Parents have very little time for each other, and in the HOME begins the disruption of the Peace of the World."

Remember what matters! We all have a purpose - we all have a responsibility to love, care for, and comfort one another!

We are all in this TOGETHER and we ALL end up in the same place in the end - so LOVE, LOVE , LOVE - Seek out each other and provide the STRENGTH and KINDNESS that others may need TODAY - and peace will be yours!!

Stay Strong!


Sent from my Verizon Wireless BlackBerry

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Don't Fight it - Yet still Overcome it!

The battle to stay positive, upbeat and happy is a constant one - every minute seems to matter as forces in our own minds tend to perpetually attempt to remind us of worry, fear and anxiety.

We struggle, battle and fight against this onslaught in an effort to stop from being overwhelmed and overrun by negative emotion.

Quite frankly, it is exhausting!

Well, it does not have to be exhausting if we grasp and understand one thing -- the battle and presence of these negative thoughts will always be there BUT we can ride them out and resist their urges each and every time!

We do not have to flail and continually fight back against each and every negative thought - but instead we can ACCEPT that we will be challenged and allow them to bounce off of us!

KNOW you will be faced with these negative emotions and KNOW that they will pass - that you have the POWER to let them roll off of your shoulders!

Often we are confronted with overwhelming pressure and we panic or overreact!

Be cool in the face of these enemy thoughts -- Be waiting for them and laugh them off!! Accept that they will nag at your mind and try to drag you down - and then HIT them with your FAITH, your Mental Aces in the Hole (MAITH), or simply respond with a prayer - recite it over and over a few times and you will be amazed how quickly these cowardly thoughts retreat!

THEY know they cannot beat you when you UNDERSTAND them and their intentions! And they disappear and wait to hit you again at another vulnerable time!

Forewarned is forearmed they say .. And it is true with our mind and thoughts!

Thought is SUPREME indeed and if you can control and have power over your thoughts - Happiness, peace and Joy are inevitably yours!!

Stay Strong!

Sent from my Verizon Wireless BlackBerry

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Choices

Sounds trite but when it all boils down to it, life is nothing more than a series of choices followed closely by the outcomes and effects of those choices on our lives.

Pretty simple really. All we have to do is make the RIGHT choices every time we are faced with a decision point!

How hard can that be?

Impossible, of course, is the answer and no matter how much we analyze, study, prepare, investigate, and research our choices, inevitably - at some point- we are going to make what is perceived to be the WRONG choice!

No one is immune to it!

But think about HOW MANY choices we make in a day. Sure, some of them seem trivial in the grand scheme of life, but even trivial choices and decisions we make every single day (sometimes hundreds a day) can impact our lives in a major way!

How often have you heard horror stories about someone making a seemingly small choice during their day only to have that choice be the difference between life and death? (Think Sept 11, 2001)

Or how often have you heard of someone's choice saving or impacting someone else's life by what appears to be sheer happenstance? (Think September 11, 2001)

If we break it down like that it can be overwhelming and downright frightening to think that "what time" I leave to catch my train can have lasting ramifications on my life and the lives of others!

Overwhelming, scary, paralyzing, and also fascinating!

Well, I have a way to avoid being overwhelmed, paralyzed, or scared by the cavalcade of decisions we face daily - DO NOT WORRY and follow your heart!

I can hear you now - "What does that garbage mean?". " That is a bunch of hooey". Etc....

Please - Hear me out!

I truly believe we have a guidance system in all of us and that guidance system is operated by a higher Power! Call it what you will! God, the Universe, Holy Spirit, Karma, etc.

I believe that the choices WE SEEM to make, and decisions WE SEEM to choose are actually chosen for us.

Sometimes we do not listen to the right choice in our hearts.

Sometimes we do not even know we CAN listen to the right choice and completely miss it!

As Bono of U2 says in his new hit tune, "How can you stand next to the Truth and not see it...."

Well, that is often us and it is because we do not ask for the right choice to be shown to us!

I will take it one step further too. I believe there are NO WRONG choices in light of what are lives are supposed to be!

A dear friend of mine just made a life altering decision with her career. I happen to believe that she made the RIGHT decision, yet others when given the facts may disagree based on their own life situations, value systems, fears, and opinions.

So was it the right choice to make?

I say ANY decision made with a pure heart of love, Faith and Trust is the RIGHT choice to make!

I believe that if you ask for the answer and you choose in Faith, you WILL NEVER make the wrong choice!

Sure, it may seem wrong at times, but you must look at the big picture and elongate the results before you know if it is "right" or "wrong".

We are led down paths - not by our own doings - but by a higher Power! And we MUST have faith, COURAGE, confidence and Trust that we will be led to where we belong!

I KNOW my friend had been led there and I am proud of her!

And I know she KNOWS it too...

So choose with these qualities in your heart and NO amount of FEAR can ever lead you astray!

Stay Strong and God Bless!

Sent from my Verizon Wireless BlackBerry

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Surrender your heart to God

"Surrender your heart to God, turn to him in prayer, and give up your sins….Your troubles will go away like water beneath a bridge." 

-Job 11:13-166 

Do you have troubles?  Doesn't everyone? 

Consider what Dr. Peale said:  "It makes no difference what your problems are or how many of them you have, you can find an answer. The answer may be what you desire and want, what you have hoped for. But on the other hand, the answer may be something far different from what you expect.

But if it has been hammered out with God, it is the right answer.


There is nobody who has a problem for which there is not an answer through the wisdom and the guidance of God."  

How do we hammer out our problems with God?  You have already taken the most important step in doing so, by tapping the power of prayer.

Lift it up to the Lord by name and need.  Watch and wait in faith for an answer to your prayer. 

The right answer will surely come…even if, perhaps, not in the way you expect.

Stay Strong!
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Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Choices! What are yours?

"The really positive people wake up each morning deciding to love the world, even as they are fully conscious of their own and other people's sufferings"
--- Mark Van Valkenburg


"Bill Genovese is one of those, who despite his own troubles, chose a courageous and constructive life.

As a teen. He coped with the devastating and senseless murder of his older sister. In 1964, 28 year old Kitty Genovese was sexually assaulted and repeatedly stabbed by a man in her Queens, NY neighborhood. While she was being brutally attacked neighbors, who heard the screams but either did not understand the gravity of the situation or did not want to get involved, did nothing.

Bill Genovese struggled with his anger. Two years later he joined the Army and went to Vietnam. There both his legs were destroyed by an explosion and had to be amputated.

He was 19 years old.

Bill had a choice to make at that point and he could have understandably given into his anger and resentment and despair. Who would have faulted him given all he had experienced in his 19 short years on this earth?

Bill determined "not to sit on the sidelines of life".

He chose to love and live and forgive!

"He is grateful for the Blessings God gave him like meeting and marrying his wife Dale, a nurse, having three children, a home, a job, his Faith and eventually grandchildren."

He chose to love.

How different from Bill's are your circumstances today? Your challenges? Your struggles? Your first thoughts as you awake to take on the day?

We have a choice - and not just daily- hour to hour - minute to minute - to change our minds and CHOOSE happiness - CHOOSE joy - CHOOSE peace, CHOOSE to love and live and help and forgive!

No formal applications are needed - just accept it in your heart and minds and it will set you (us) on a path to joy and peace!

Stay Strong - and take time today to really reflect and remember all of your blessings as they often become buried in our perceived daily struggles!!

"I thank my stars every day of my life that I learned it is not money that makes you happy, but rather what kind of life you live. Real richness comes not from dollars, but with "sense".
- Eartha Kitt

(Story partially adapted from the Christopher News Letter)

Monday, August 3, 2009

Ask, Seek, Knock


Stop worrying - simply ask with Faith and Trust and it will be granted to you.. How can it not be??

Stay Strong!

"Ask and you will receive; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks WILL receive, and anyone who seeks WILL find, and the door WILL be opened to those who knock.

Would any of you who are fathers give your son a stone when he asks for bread? Or would you give him a snake when he asks for a dish?

As bad as you are, you know how to give good things to your children.

How much more, then, will your Father in Heaven give good things to those who ask Him?

Do for others what you want them to do for you: this is the meaning of the Law of Moses and of the teachings of the prophets."

(Matthew 6. 7-12)

Monday Blues? Only if you want 'em!




It was 6:25 this morning when I walked into the hallway and bumped smack into my 7 year old daughter. I was very surprised to see her not only awake, but fully dressed in her camp shirt, bathing suit underneath - Ready to take on the day!

"Wow, Sweetie, you are up early today."

" I already ate breakfast and brushed my teeth too Daddy!" She beamed.

"Wow - that is great! I am so proud of you! Why so early today?" I inquired.

" I just want my day to start now" she replied with a bright, dazzling smile.

It was quite the contrast - my daughter rip roaring to get on with her day and her Dad, sluggish, and slowly dragging himself to the shower to start his work week - safe to say with much less enthusiasm than my little girl.

Now, I understand a day spent at the office versus a day spent literally at the beach and pool with your friends, playing, swimming and laughing are two vastly different motivations!

However,my daughter inspired me to get my butt in gear, lose the blah Monday attitude and get charged up for the day!

It is a matter of CHOICE! A choice in our minds that we control!

Which will you choose this morning?

Allow the Monday Blues to control you and run your day, week, life?

Or take control of it and CHOOSE to be happy, strong, enthusiastic, focused, enjoying and appreciating ALL the blessings you have been given this wonderfu day??

Remember - there are many people who cannot enjoy today's sunshine and walk around healthy - smiling and seeking positives! And you can bet they would trade their "Monday" for ours in a heartbeat!

Get it in proper perspective - give thanks for all the Gifts you are experiencing this morning - and go out and INSPIRE someone to have a great Monday like my precious daughter did to me today!

It does not matter what your situation - it is BETTER than the majority of people on the planet and chances are OUR perception of our so called "problems" are quite inflated when you start delving deeper into people's daily challenges!

Inspire someone today - pick them up from the Monday gloom! It does not take much to do it!

You will not regret it for a moment!

And please remember that You are not ALONE - Stay Strong!




Friday, July 31, 2009

It works!!!!


It happened again - and I could not be more delighted!!

We have spoken often on techniques to pull ourselves out of negativity, sadness, anxiety and fear!! We all go through it - some daily, some hourly, some weekly or monthly!!

Regardless of our circumstances, we all face these emotions constantly and seem to be in a never-ending battle against them!!

Well - I have good news!! The battle is Winnable and it is not difficult to do!!

It happened this morning on the way to work!! Negative thoughts crept into my mind, stealth-like but quite powerfully! Worries about my children, wife, health, finances, the future, family, work, the present, terrorism, health care reform, college costs, bonuses, air quality, Big Papi's steroid "allegations", American League East pennant race, radon, etc, seem to wait at the door to our thoughts fighting to barge in and flood our positive emotions!!

We cannot allow this to occur and WE CAN combat it!!

How??

Identify the negative thoughts as they appear --and focus ON what you WANT - not on what is currently going on with your life!

Focus on the good things you have - no matter how small they may seem - and take immediate steps to CHANGE your current situation!

EVERYONE has some good to point to and bolster their strength and courage!

Be it Family, friends, children, spouse, work, charity, health, etc...

Rely on these blessings to surpass any bad thoughts or ideas that surface!

They can be small baby steps - it does not matter - as long as you are embracing the change with enthusiasm, positive emotion, and Faith!!!

Focusing on your current situation and spinning your wheels will only keep you planted like a tree to your current situation!!

Stop that focus and rumination and FOCUS on what it is you WANT to be, have, do, etc!!!!

Practice this and in no time you will be able to immediately thwart those paralyzing fears and anxieties - and move beyond what it is that is currently keeping you from the Peace, Joy and Happiness you rightly deserve!!

You CAN DO IT! This is YOUR life - and YOU dictate how it is going to be!!

Stay Strong!!

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Forgive Someone NOW!




Interesting Link of the Day!

This is a site for catharsis - and forgiveness!

Forgiveness is a TREMENDOUS step toward Joy and Peace!

Check it out - and let it out!

It is amazing how POWERFUL simply writing out your feelings and frustrations, and angers can be! And not only empowering - but uplifting!

http://giveforgiveness.com/forgiveness/?gclid=CLjcksWZ-5sCFQtN5QodqHub-A

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Faith AND Trust - both are necessary!


When you give a problem to God, you exercise Faith.

When you leave that problem with God, you exercise Trust!

Your Faith can grow stronger and you can experience God's victorious results when, after giving God the problem, you TRUST him enough to not take it back and bear the full burden of it alone!

Even in times where God is silent or when his answer to your prayer is "no", you can still have faith, hope, trust, and the ASSURANCE that God is in charge, no matter how things may look!

God WANTS to be in charge in your life! Ask Him to be!

See with the eyes of Faith, face the impossible with TRUST and COURAGE, and have the confidence that God will work on your behalf even if the answer to your prayer does not come exactly as you want it to come!

- Deacon Ralph Torrelli

Stay Strong - God Bless!

Sent from my Verizon Wireless BlackBerry

Friday, July 24, 2009

Get back in the game - overcome the FEAR!


A good friend of mine contacted me yesterday to catch up and in the process, perhaps unwittingly, enlightened me!!

Turns out that when she started a new job about a year ago, she was in a large business meeting with her Superiors, her coleagues and her reports. She happened to be blindsided by being asked by her boss to speak -extemoraneously -on a topic she knew little about and had not been prepared to speak upon.

She did her best but it was a disaster and she left that meeting devastated, embarrassed, and disheartened. She was convinced that she had ruined her reputation, lost the respect of not only her superiors, but her colleagues and direct reports.

It ate at her day and night and she began to fear speaking at those monthly meetings! She avoided them like the plague, made excuses as to why she could not present or speak to the group.

It really wore down on her soul, her self esteem, and kept her living in a prison of fear!

That all changed last week! Finally, tired of this nagging dread and fear hanging over her head, she miraculously stepped up and volunteered to deliver a critical presentation to the same type of group!

She was beyond nervous - beyond apprehensive about the prospect of embarrassing herself even further the week before her event!

Yet, she prepared her presentation as if her life depended upon it. She practiced it over and over - visualized it constantly, anticipated questions, and despite her queasiness that morning - she DELIVERED!!

Not only delivered - but knocked it out of the park!!!

Her words: " People who have not barely uttered words to me since I began came by my office to chat - commenting on my presentation. My bosses both sent me emails telling me what a great job they thought I had done. It was crazy really."

She continued:

"You know what I took from this most? I am the same person I was BEFORE that presentation. Yet, once I overcame MY fear, and delivered what I was capable of delivering - I was PERCEIVED as a different person."

" I am not sure what I feel about that - except I do now realize that FEAR HAS TO BE removed to succeed, to live, to be at PEACE!"

She nailed it!!! FEAR - perceived or real - MUST be ERADICATED in order to live a life of peace!

It is that simple!! And that hard!!

The only way we BEAT FEAR is to SURFACE it - CONFRONT IT - let it make our knees weak, make us shake and quake ... THEN Step up and CONQUER it!!

Fear is in our minds - and CAN be overcome by surfacing the fears (whatever they may be) and then FACING them head on!

That is COURAGE and all of us are much more courageous than we know!

ALL of Us - to a person - HAS the power to overcome any FEAR - any doubt, any perceived weakness!! TODAY!! Inherent in all of us - IF we choose to believe it!!!

Ask the Holy Spirit to guide you - to walk with you - EVERY DAY! Literally ASK Him - in the morning - at night... During the day!

It only takes one request - and it will be delivered to you!

Enjoy the weekend - And be at Peace - because YOU CAN be if you simply ask!

Stay Strong!



Sent from my Verizon Wireless BlackBerry

Tuesday, July 21, 2009


"All my life, I always wanted to be somebody. Now I see that I should have been more specific."

- Jane Wagner





Everybody wants to feel important, that their life means something, that their time spent on earth is more than just passing days.



I believe that God has a unique plan for every man and every woman. Not only has He planted in us the seeds of greatness, but more importantly, a purpose for our lives and the ability to fulfill that purpose.



There is a powerful sense inside each of us that we are meant to do something important, to make something of our lives.



And yet, with the hustle and bustle of executing of our daily lives, we often end up feeling as if we have merely spent energy spinning our wheels and have come no closer to fulfilling our purpose in life.





There is no more desperate feeling than to watch the weeks, months, and years tick off the calendar while we grind away at life not knowing where we are going or what we are even grinding for.





Ask yourself these questions:



Who am I?



What is my purpose in life?



What is the legacy I want my life to leave behind when I die?



Imagine you are at your own funeral, invisible, hovering about.





What are people saying about you? What is the epitaph on your tombstone? Are you happy about what you hear and see? Are you satisfied with the person you became and what you did with your life?



While you still have time, pray about it, meditate on it.



Seek with an open mind what it is that God would have you to do.



It might be too late to accomplish certain objectives; I doubt it, but it's possible.



It is never too late to become the person you were meant to be.





Jeff Young

http://www.friendsofjeff.com/



Sent from my Verizon Wireless BlackBerry

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Person of the Week














In everyone's life - if you are blessed - there is at least one person who enhances the quality of your life simply by existing!


This person is a constant inspiration, uplifter, source of strength, consistency, and joy!



Our family is blessed to have SEVERAL of these people in our lives and we thank God every day that they are part of our family!


Today we are highlighting just such an individual!


This person is ALWAYS there for anyone in need, always smiling and positive, always a sheer pleasure to be around! People seek him out whenever they need a voice of reason, a source of STRENGTH, a show of support! He is there for all of us when we need him - for ANY reason, unquestioning, relentless in his dedication to his family, friends, and even strangers!!!

He is a model of the type of human being we all should aspire to be - and he is a whole lot of FUN to boot (which is a rare combo!)


I could go on and on about the character and kindness of this individual, but it would take volumes and millions of megabytes!


We are blessed to call him family and friend - and our children are extremely blessed to have him there as a role model in being a quality, outstanding person!


This week's Person of the Week goes to.............


Robert O'Toole!!


Thanks, Robert - for all you do! We cannot thank you enough!

Stay Strong!

Friday, July 10, 2009

Perspective is the KEY


We all know how easy it is to become inundated with life's daily minutiae and how quickly one negative thought can become a cavalcade of misery -at least in our minds!



We have to be able to identify that one negative thought that starts the entire process rolling!



Recognize it as it changes our moods to anxiety, fear, sadness, worry, or depression!



And stop it dead in it's tracks!!!



Nothing -and I mean NOTHING - is as bad as it seems!



Focus on your Mental Ace in the Hole (MAITH) when you feel your mood change - FOCUS on action, planning, implementation of what you WANT to do next - NOT on the current situation!



Hope is a powerful thing - and Hope keeps all of us alive, either barely aive or thriving! It does not matter to what degree - All that matters is that we keep Hope close to our hearts, on our lips, and NEVER doubt it's power to deliver us to peace, joy and love!!!



Have a crummy job, or no job? FOCUS on what is next - NOT on the current state! VISUALIZE yourself at your next job - feel it, taste it - and take the steps necessary to put you in that direction!!



Nothing stays the same - so why convince yourself that you will always be in the spot you are today??



Set the GOAL - VISUALIZE the outcome - and take ACTION to make it a reality!



You are not alone - you always have someone willing to help - guide, support, and see you through to your goals!



Change the attitude you have - if necessary FAKE HAPPINESS!!



That is right - FAKE it as if you were on Broadway - but behind that facade KEEP THE SPIRIT OF HOPE and CHANGE alive! It will transform into reality if you simply keep it in your heart and have FAITH!!



More people than you know care about you - want you to succeed, and are there for you in time of need!



And you WILL succeed!! It is inevitable!!



Stay Strong!

Sent from my Verizon Wireless BlackBerry

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

A friend of mine is dying.

He knows it. Everyone close to him and around him knows it - and it seems to be something that no one can stop, avoid, correct or remedy.

It really stinks.

I was thinking of him this morning, as he continues his battle and good fight - surely, albeit slowly and begrudgingly knowing the end is not a question mark any longer.

Fully knowing that his time here is limited and the end result is shortly out of his hands.

You often hear the ubiquitous phrase " live each day as if it were your last" bandied about whether it be on the radio, tv, literature, etc.

It is an American cultural theme and the sheer frequency of it's usage seems to have dampened and de-sensitized it's true meaning, impact and power.

I admit that I understand the concept, and yes I do agree we all should conduct our days in such a manner.

However I do not do this as often as I should and usually brush it off as something "that happens to the other guy". I don't need to do that as I (we) have all the time in the world to treat each day as it were my last! Plus I have other things to tend to - work, bills, children and family issues, etc...

My friend probably thought the exact same way too as he heard the lyrics playing on the radio in his car.

Until now that is...

We MUST remind ourselves that tomorrow is not guaranteed to any of us -- we may not actually have the time that we felt we did as youths - invincible, unstoppable, eternal!!

So, as I prayed for him this morning, I was thinking of the possible regrets he may have and thoughts he may be struggling with today - and it made me incredibly sorrowful for him - and for all of us!

If that were you - in his shoes this morning - would that fight with your family member you stopped speaking with really matter? Would the IRA account, bank accounts, home values, the job titles, resume, second homes, boats, cars matter to you if you were preparing for the final act?

Who would you want to forgive? Who would you ask to forgive you? What do you regret doing to someone that you would not want to take to your next life with you?

Imagine that feeling as you are running out of time - unable to correct things that you really should have corrected long ago. For so long being unable to tell a loved one or a friend what you really feel about them - how much they mean to you - until it is too late to enjoy it with them!

That feeling of regret and missed opportunity pains me already - and it is certainly not something I want to encounter as my days wind down and I have too little time to do the right thing!

Yet - I do not walk the walk, like many of us don't - when we have that time, that opportunity, that chance to DO IT NOW.

My friend is dying and if there is any morsel of goodness to come out of his inevitable passing, let it be that YOU will remember to use the God-given time you have to live, love, forgive, offer your mercy and kindness to those who need it most - serve others and do not wait until time is escaping to make things right!

So please, remember my friend and keep things in proper perspective! Life IS short and the things that truly matter as we look back on our lives do not come with $ or prestige!!

God Bless - Stay Strong and remind yourself daily to "Live each Moment as if it is your last"!

I am sure my friend would agree...

Sent from my Verizon Wireless BlackBerry

Monday, June 22, 2009

Fallon O'Toole McIntyre


Yesterday, June 21st, marked the Fifth Anniversary of God's taking of my niece and God Daughter, Fallon O'Toole McIntyre from this earth.
We are continually humbled and amazed by the outpouring of love and support and comfort we receive from so many people despite the time that has passed since we lost Fallie.
We continue to remember Fallon each day that passes, and thank everyone who continues to keep Fallie alive in their memories, and in their words, and in their acts and deeds.
It is because of you that she lives on and brings the world her lessons of Love and Faith!
Thank You and God Bless!
>>
FOREVER REMEMBERED
Fallon O’toole McIntyre

Although I’ve moved on, I’m really not far.
At night you can see I’m a twinkling star
In your time of need you can feel me near
This is what to look for or what to hear:

I’m in a hug and in a smile
I’m the happy spirit in every child
I’m all things good, pure and true
I’m in each good deed you happen to do

Just look around or look above
My purpose on earth was to teach you love.
If there was one thing left that I could say,
It would be “thank you” for your care each day.

For when you held my hand just right
Or comfort you gave in the middle of the night.
All the hope you had in me I now hold for you
In my eyes of blue you can see what is true.

I hear your prayers and feel your heart
Because of this we will never part.

Our paths will meet again somewhere someway
Until then, my spirit will guide you everyday.
It is in this thought you can rest,
When God sent me, he wanted you blessed.

Your not alone, there’s no good-byes…
In every balloon my spirit flies,
Next time we meet… we’ll laugh and play,
Together is where we will plan to stay.

For now, I’m an angel
looking down from above,
and it is only because of you,
that I had been loved.
-- Kristin Osterman

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

You are not ALONE!

YOU are NOT ALONE!

Certain days it seems like things pile up and pile up on you until you feel like you are at a breaking point.

You feel helpless, hopeless, useless, anxious, lost, overwhelmed -- you feel like you are all ALONE in this universe!

Well I have news for you - You are NEVER alone!

It is easy for our minds to go immediately to the worst case scenario and isolate ourselves from others when we are in trials and strife! It is all to easy to rollover in the face of pain and fear!

Don't Do It!

You are Never alone!!

The Holy Spirit waits for you to ask for His help! That is why He has been given to us by the Lord!

He is ALWAYS with you!! Utilize Him!

He is the answer to all sincere prayer!! He is the Comfort we seek in all times of challenge!!

Never despair! Never fear!

Call upon the Holy Spirit for guidance - and it will come to you!

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

A Tremendous Loss to All; Frank Becerra, Sr.

When Through one man a little more Love,
a little more Goodness, a little more Hope,
a little more Beauty, a little more Joy,
And a little more faith
Has come to the world
Then that man's life has has Meaning


Rarely in life do we encounter a soul as delightful, caring, pleasant and comforting as Frank Becerra.

No matter the occasion, Mr. Becerra was always upbeat, always had a smile and a "twinkle" in his eye. You were always delighted when you would see him at a function, a party, a ball game, or his home - and he always seemed delighted to see you (whether or not he was -haha)!

Mr. Becerra was a gift from Heaven to us all - an inspiration to everyone as to the kind of person we should strive to become and the life we should all attempt to lead.

He will be missed by all who had the true honor and privilege to have known him, laughed with him, and shared time with him. His kind do not pass this way often!

Rest well, Mr. B - and Thank You!
God Bless!

May 27, 2009
Frank Becerra, retired newspaper artist, dies at 82Milt HoffmanRetired senior editor


Frank Becerra Sr., whose artistic talents brought him fame as an editorial cartoonist for The Journal News' predecessor newspapers and for thousands of portraits he did for the community, died Monday at Sarah Neuman Nursing Home, Mamaroneck, after a battle with Parkinson's disease.

A resident of White Plains, he was 82.



More than an artist, Becerra was the newspaper's unofficial goodwill ambassador. In 1982, he was inducted into the Westchester County Sports Hall of Fame in recognition of his sports cartoons and illustrations. The work he did as an artist for charity causes was cited in 1998, when he was inducted into the White Plains High School Hall of Fame. He also was awarded the Luric Werden Golf Journalism Award by the Metropolitan Golf Writers Association.



But his portraits were not restricted to the Lower Hudson Valley.
In 1962, when he painted and sent to the Vatican a picture of Pope John XXIII depicting the "adoration of the cross," Becerra received a warm letter of thanks from the papal secretary of state that granted him and his family "the paternal apostolic benediction of His Holiness."
"My father touched so many peoples lives, not only through his artwork but through his kindness and generosity," said his son, Frank Becerra of Brewster, a photographer for The Journal News. "I am so blessed to have had the opportunity to work with him, and observe firsthand his work ethic. Anyone who has ever met my father knows what a humble and wonderful man he was."



Former Gov. Mario Cuomo once invited Becerra and his wife, Isabel, to the state Capitol, where his drawing of Cuomo was mounted outside the governor's office.



On occasion, he illustrated the scenes during high-profile trials at the Westchester County Courthouse. In 1970, he drew Westchester's answer to Smokey Bear - "Flora the Fawn," a cute deer to illustrate directional signs in the county parks system and urge people to pick up their litter and be careful with fire.



Becerra was generous with his talents, often offering to draw pictures for friends, whether it be of their grandchildren, or in the case of Francesco Spinali, a portrait of the Francesco's Italian restaurant owner that has graced the cover of the menu for more than 30 years.
"It was special because he made it," Spinali said. "He was something special."



One of his best known editorial cartoons depicted New York City banks as octopuses with tentacles trying to move into Westchester and take over local banks. His cartoons concerning the accident carnage on Westchester's parkways helped convince the state to take over and modernize the county-built roads.



Becerra's infectious smile and the twinkle in his eyes drew the comments of a colleague in 1960, when he illustrated the newspapers' 12-part story, "The Year That Christmas Disappeared." In a promotional story, Madelaine Wilson wrote, "How nice they chose an artist who believes in Santa Claus. … Actually, Frank's eyes have a sort of built-in twinkle. It gives him the appearance of knowing something delightfully pleasant which, with a little encouragement, he will share with you."



He was born in White Plains to Theodore and Angelina Tedesco Becerra and, after high school, joined the Coast Guard in 1945, during World War II, serving as a radioman. After three years of service, he studied at night at the Art Students League in New York under the G.I. Bill while working with an ad agency during the day.



He joined what was the Macy Westchester Newspapers in 1954, rising to the post of chief artist for the group when it was called Gannett Westchester Rockland Newspapers, directing all editorial art, illustrations, cartoons and photo retouching. He retired in 1992, but continued to draw portraits of high school students chosen as the Con Edison athlete of the week.



The portraits appeared in the newspapers; the originals went to the students. There were hundreds of drawings of celebrities Becerra met in his career, including Joe DiMaggio, Ralph Branca, Roy Campanella, Joe Louis, Jack Dempsey and Bob Hope.



He and his wife met on a trip to Spain in 1950, and were married two years later.



A considerable amount of art charity work that Becerra did in the community sprang from working next to Isabel in her many volunteer activities, which included White Plains Hospital Center and the former St. Agnes Hospital.



An avid fisherman, Becerra was a familiar figure knee-deep in the Bronx River on April 1, the start of trout season, and friends made it a habit to drive by and wave to him - and he waved back.



Besides his wife and son, he is survived by a daughter, Maria Gallagher of Yorktown; sons Peter, Joseph, Anthony and William, all of White Plains; nine grandchildren; and two brothers.