Friday, December 31, 2010

LETTING YOUR SOUL CATCH UP IN LIFE

Gundam Sandrock model kit - “Relationships-of all kinds-are like sand held in your hand. Held loosely, with an open hand, the sand remains where it is. The minute you close your hand and squeeze tightly to hold on, the sand trickles through your fingers. You may hold onto some of it, but most will be spilled. A relationship is like that. Held loosely, with respect and freedom for the other person, it is likely to remain intact. But hold too tightly, too possessively, and the relationship slips away and is lost.”

Did you know that practicing some form of relaxation is one of the
greatest gifts you can give yourself? Taking time each day to quiet
your mind and breathe deeply, can make a big difference in how you
feel throughout your day and into the night. And dedicating a day
every week for mental and spiritual renewal is equally important.

We're told that the word "relax" has its origin in the Latin word
"relaxare," which means "to loosen." When we relax, we are in effect
loosening tension, releasing tightly held energy and letting go.
From the state of relaxation we can experience calm peacefulness.

Another great word is the Hebrew word "Shabbat" which, of course, is
a day of rest. But it quite literally means to "quit; stop; take a
break." Whatever you are doing, stop it. Whatever you are saying, be
quiet. Sit down and take a look around. Don't do anything. Don't say
anything. Fold your hands. Take a deep breath... .

Extended periods of rest are a biological necessity. The human body
is like an old-fashioned wind-up clock. If it is not rewound by
rest, ultimately it will run itself down.

A group of Americans made a trip with Brazilian natives down the
Amazon River. The first day they rushed. The second day they rushed.
The next day they rushed. One day, anxious to continue the trek,
they were surprised to find the natives seated together in a circle.

When asked the reason for the delay, a guide answered, "They are
waiting. They cannot move further until their souls have caught up
with their bodies."

Do you owe yourself time to let your soul catch up with your body?

From Lifesupport

Lifesigns Life Quotes

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

CONFESSION OF A MILD HOARDER

I got a confession to make: mild hoarding behavior runs in the family. To give you guys a clearer picture, here is a good example. Last Friday during Christmas eve, the local hypermarket was having a one day blowout sale. Now in order to prevent certain people from hoarding all the discounted goods, like School Lockers at 30% off, they imposed a maximum purchase quantity of 2 items per card member.
There was a nice looking Wood Locker on sale that I was really interested in. In fact, my plan was to get 4 of the Lockers for sale to keep my ever growing collection of Japanese toys and collectibles.
Hence in order to circumvent the purchase quantity limits of the Lockers, I borrowed my uncle's membership card and paid for the 4 Wood Lockers in two transactions, at different cashier counters of course. Luckily the transactions progressed hassle free and without much mental stress as well. So now I got more room to hoard more Japanese toys and collectibles but further down the road I may need to get more Gym Lockers for storage room expansion. Now if only I can find more opportunities to expand my stream of income in order to make my plans to be realized.

THE GIFT FOR LIFE

Decorative plastic plants for sale - “Could the young but realize how soon they will become mere walking bundles of habits, they would give more heed to their conduct while in the plastic state.”

A story about an old Bendix washing machine helped one man get
through the valley of loss. *

His parents acquired the washer when John Claypool was a small boy.
It happened during World War II. His family owned no washing machine
and, since gasoline was rationed, they could ill afford trips to the
laundry several miles away. Keeping clothes clean became a problem
for young John's household.

A family friend was drafted into the service, and his wife prepared
to go with him. John's family offered to store their furniture while
they were away. To the family's surprise, the friends suggested they
use their Bendix while they were gone. "It would be better for it to
be running," they said, "than sitting up rusting." So this is how
they acquired the washer.

Young John helped with the washing, and across the years he
developed an affection for the old, green Bendix. But eventually the
war ended. Their friends returned. In the meantime he had forgotten
how the machine came to be in their basement in the first place.
When the friends came to take it away, John grew terribly upset --
and let his feelings be known.

His wise mother sat him down and said, "Wait a minute, Son. You must
remember, that machine never belonged to us in the first place. That
we ever got to use it at all was a gift. So, instead of being mad at
it being taken away, let's use this occasion to be grateful that we
had it at all."

The lesson proved invaluable. Years later, John watched his
eight-year-old daughter die a slow and painful death of leukemia.
Though he struggled for months with her death, John could not
really begin healing from the loss until he remembered the old
Bendix.

"I am here to testify," he said, "that this is the only way down the
mountain of loss...when I remember that Laura Lou was a gift, pure
and simple, something I neither earned nor deserved nor had a right
to. And when I remember that the appropriate response to a gift,
even when it is taken away, is gratitude, then I am better able to
try and thank God that I was ever given her in the first place."

His daughter was given to him to love and nurture. She never
belonged to him, but he had the awesome privilege of sharing her
life for a while. When he realized that simple fact, everything
changed. He could now begin healing from the tragedy of her loss by
focusing instead on the wonder of her life. He started to see Laura
Lou as a marvelous gift that he was fortunate enough to enjoy for a
time. He felt grateful. He found strength and healing. He finally
knew he could get through the valley of loss.

We all experience loss -- loss of people, loss of jobs, loss of
relationships, loss of independence, loss of esteem, loss of things.
What if you view that which is lost as a gift you were given for a
time? Perhaps that simple choice of trying to reframe your loss will
change sad memories into thankful ones. And perhaps it will get you
unstuck and back on the road to healing and wholeness.

From Lifesupport

Lifesigns Life Quotes

Monday, December 27, 2010

NEVER TOO LATE FOR LIFE

Hotel room number plate - “Love is what makes two people sit in the middle of a bench when there is plenty of room at both ends”

Katharine Hepburn once said, "Life is hard. After all, it kills
you." And it can kill you early if you don't figure out how to
change. Let me explain.

The expression "turning over a new leaf" refers to turning pages of
a book. Just as the plot of a novel changes from page to page,
people, too, can change their lives. Indeed they have to if they are
to live well.

I enjoy reading about ancient cultures. And it occurs to me that
most of the old civilizations are gone. Some have left little behind
except ruins and rubble. What happened? Where are the people, their
music and ideas? Why are they nothing more today than a collection
of stones visited by tourists and curious historians?

The answer, of course, is not the same the world over. But Arnold
Toynbee, in his work THE STUDY OF HISTORY (1987), says that the
great lesson of history is this: civilizations that changed when
confronted with challenges thrived. Those that did not change died.
In other words, when life got hard, it killed off those who didn't
make needed changes. The key to survival is often about "change."

And what about us? What about you and me? It's good to accept
ourselves as we are, but when an unhealthy attitude or a destructive
behavior gets in the way, when we wish we could change something
about ourselves, we had better change. People who embrace change
thrive; those who resist it die.

If you have been waiting for a sign to make that needed change, this
may be it. I am convinced that it is never too late to be the person
you might have been. It's never too late to be happy. It's never too
late to do something different or to do something better. It's never
too late to change a habit. It's never too late to live.

Begin making that necessary change today. Then tomorrow, and every
tomorrow thereafter, can truly be different.

From Lifesupport

Lifesigns Life Quotes

Saturday, December 25, 2010

STEEL AND VELVET FOR LIFE

Christmas is here! Merry Christmas! - “Anyone who believes that men are the equal of women has never seen a man trying to wrap a Christmas present”

An unusual tribute was paid to Abraham Lincoln by Carl Sandburg. The
poet wrote, "Not often in the story of mankind does a man arrive on
earth who is both steel and velvet, who is as hard as rock and soft
as drifting fog, who holds in his heart and mind the paradox of
terrible storm and peace unspeakable and perfect."

Lincoln demonstrated then and now how a person can possess both a
will of iron and a heart of tenderness. Nothing deterred the
president during the American Civil War from his "noble" cause, and
few persons have ever endured more criticism and detractors than
Lincoln. Yet he was no more a man of steel than one of velvet.

When General Robert E. Lee surrendered his army, contrary to the
advice of some of his generals, Lincoln sent an unexpected message
to the enemy commander. "Tell your men they may keep their horses;
they'll need them for plowing," said the president. Then this: "Tell
your men they may keep their rifles; they'll need them for hunting."
When Lee read those words he wept.

For each of us there is a time for toughness and a time for
tenderness. A time for resolve and a time for compassion. An iron
will is not the same as an iron spirit. Another courageous American,
Martin Luther King, Jr. some hundred years later encouraged us to
exhibit tough minds and soft hearts... not the other way around.

I know that mental toughness, particularly an iron resolve and
determination, will often be needed if I am to get where I want to
go. But I also know that a soft heart - compassion and love - will
make the journey worth it.

From Lifesupport

Lifesigns Life Quotes

Thursday, December 23, 2010

KEEP ON SWINGING FOR LIFE

Papercraft sports car - “You don't love someone for their looks, or their clothes, or for their fancy car, but because they sing a song only you can hear.”

They say that opportunity only knocks once. But temptation seems to
pound on my door forever. Even opening up and letting it in doesn't
seem to make it go away. More temptations come along and the beating
goes on.

Those temptations that cause me the most problems are those that
pull me away from being my best self. So I can relate to the Swiss
woman who was served dinner on a domestic American flight. She
opened up her dessert - a delicious looking piece of chocolate
cake - and immediately sprinkled a generous layer of salt and pepper
over it. A shocked flight attendant exclaimed, "Oh! It's not
necessary to do that!"

"But it is," the woman replied, smiling. "It keeps me from eating
it."

She found a way to drive temptation away from her doorstep, at least
for a while.

The most persistent temptations in my life are distractions that
keep me from doing what is in my best interest.

I forgo some much-needed exercise because I "just don't feel like
it" today. Have you ever felt like that?

You may want to quit that reading group, that difficult class or
those music lessons. It's easy to become distracted and get
discouraged.

Or maybe we say we just "can't find the time" to spend with those
closest to us, such as family. We may want to do these things; it's
just that sometimes we need a nudge.

Something baseball great Hank Aaron once said can help out here. "My
motto was to keep swinging," he said. "Whether I was in a slump or
feeling badly or having trouble off the field, the only thing to do
was to keep swinging."

Sometimes we just need to keep swinging. And if we tell ourselves
that all we need to do today is to take one more swing, that may be
enough. We can always take one more swing. And who knows -- today we
might hit a home run.

From Lifesupport

Lifesigns Life Quotes

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

THOSE YOU TOUCH...YOU CHANGE FOR LIFE

Creamy shark fin soup - “Onion soup sustains. The process of making it is somewhat like the process of learning to love. It requires commitment, extraordinary effort, time, and will make you cry.”

Did you know that your money likely has traces of cocaine on it?

A study by Jack Demirgian of the Argonne National Laboratory
revealed that a full 78% of the currency circulating in Miami and
other major US cities carries trace amounts of cocaine. That's
probably true elsewhere, too.

They were only looking for cocaine, but I wonder what else might be
found on the bills? Maybe fast-food products, such as frying grease,
mustard or teriyaki sauce? Tea or coffee? And how about rouge or
lipstick from purses and lint from pockets? Perhaps ink from a leaky
pen? I've found more indistinguishable stains on some of my money
than I care to think about.

What's more, we're told that if they look closely enough, they can
even learn something about where your money has been. To the store.
To the beach. Even hidden beneath a mattress.

Just about anything that comes into contact with money leaves a bit
of itself behind. Then, when the bills rub up against each other in
a wallet or billfold, they share contaminates. Everything the bills
touch will be changed, however slightly.

So it is with us. Everything we touch is changed. I used to play
English hand bells. "Don't touch the bells with your bare hands," we
were told. "Wear gloves." The oils from our hands changed the
quality of the bells.

Everything we touch is changed. And everybody we touch is changed --
even if we're not infected with something contagious. I'm not only
talking about physical touch, either. Often we touch their minds and
spirits and hearts. Everybody we speak to, rub shoulders with or
even smile at...is changed in some minute way. These changes can be
helpful or hurtful, depending on our interaction. It is like leaving
a piece of ourselves behind with everyone we meet, and taking a
piece of them with us.

And even little changes can make a difference. NO ONE is
insignificant in this regard.

Bette Reeves said, "If you think you are too small to be effective,
you have never been in bed with a mosquito." You don't need to be a
mosquito to have an effect on people around you. The question is:
what little part of yourself will you leave behind? How will you
influence them? Will your encounter be thoughtful or hurried?
Helpful or harmful? Intentional or accidental?

There is something awe-inspiring about the influence we have on one
another. Whom will you touch today? What will you leave behind, and
what will you take with you?

From Lifesupport

Lifesigns Life Quotes

Sunday, December 19, 2010

EARLY TO BED IN LIFE

Forklift at work - “I once saw a forklift lift a crate of forks. And it was way to literal for ME.”

I know one man who says he likes work. It fascinates him. He says he
can sit and watch it for hours.

He was probably the same guy who went to his supervisor to ask for a
raise.

"I am already planning on giving you a raise," she said.

"Oh, great!" he said. "When will it be effective?"

"As soon as you are!" shouted the boss. (Do you know that man?)

Someone said, "Find a job that you love, and you'll never work a day
in your life."

Some people are fortunate enough to be able to find a job they love.
But not everyone can follow their bliss into the marketplace. I've
had jobs where my motto was closer to "Early to bed and early to
rise, 'till you make enough money to do otherwise." I had to decide
to at least try to like what I do, since I did not find myself doing
what I liked.

There are benefits to learning to enjoy at least parts of what we do
if we can't do what we love. It stands to reason that the more
pleasure we find in our work, the more effective and successful we
will become. And usually we will make more money. But mainly, who
wants to spend a life dreading to climb out of the bed every morning
only to spend the rest of the day watching the clock tick off
endless minutes and hours?

Can you concentrate more on the aspects of your work that you enjoy?
Can you find ways to develop nurturing relationships in your
workplace? Can you remember why you are working: to educate your
children or to save for retirement? Can you see yourself less as
chipping stones and more as building a temple.in other words, can
you see the big picture of what you do all day? Are there ways you
can serve others in your work environment? All of these techniques
and others can help you to learn to find more enjoyment at work.

It was the mystic Kahil Gibran who put it this way: "Work is love
made visible. And if you cannot work with love, but only with
distaste, it is better that you should leave your work and sit at
the gate of the temple and ask for alms of those who work with joy."

If you can't do what you love ALL of the time, can you learn to
enjoy what you do MORE of the time?

From Lifesupport

Lifesigns Life Quotes

Friday, December 17, 2010

A CONSPIRACY OF KINDNESS FOR LIFE

A wall of slippers for sale - “It's easier to put on slippers than to carpet the whole world.”

Kevin is a boy who might be described as "slow." He didn't learn his
ABCs as fast as other kids. He couldn't compete in schoolyard races.
But Kevin had a way with people. His bright smile and big heart won
him plenty of friends.

My friend Randy, the pastor at Kevin's church, decided they needed a
basketball team for boys. Kevin signed on and soon basketball became
a center of his life. He practiced hard. While the other boys worked
at dribbling the basketball and shooting lay-ups, skills Kevin would
never master, he simply shot baskets. Or more correctly, he threw
the ball AT the basket. He had a special spot near the free throw
line. He threw and threw, and it occasionally went in. On the rare
times that he succeeded, Kevin raised his arms and shouted, "Look at
me, Coach! Look at me!" Randy looked at him. And smiled.

The day before their first game, Coach Randy gave each player a
bright red jersey. Kevin was number 12. He scrambled himself into
the sleeves and wore that jersey almost every day. Everywhere. One
Sunday morning the church worship service was interrupted by Kevin's
excited voice. "Look, Coach!" He lifted his gray wool sweater to
reveal the red jersey underneath with number 12 on the front. Nobody
there minded the interruption; the congregation knew Kevin and loved
him.

I'd like to be able to tell you that the team did well. But the
truth is.they never won a game that season -- except for the night
it snowed and the opposing team never showed up.

At the end of the season, the boys played in the church league's
tournament. As the last-place team, they drew the unfortunate spot
of playing against the best team -- boys who had never lost a game
all year.

Game day arrived. Both teams played their best, but the game went as
expected. Near the end of the last quarter, Kevin's team stood
nearly 30 points behind. It was then that one of the boys called
timeout. "Coach Randy," he said, "this is our last game and Kevin
has never made a basket. I think we should let him make a basket."

The team agreed. Kevin was instructed to stand at his special place
near the free throw line and wait. He was told that when he was
given the ball, he should shoot.

Kevin was ecstatic. He ran to the floor and waited. When the ball
was passed to him he shot -- and missed. Number 17 from the other
team snatched the rebound, dribbled down the court for an easy
basket. But a moment later Kevin got the ball again. He shot -- and
missed again. Number 17 repeated his performance scoring two more
points. Kevin shot a third and fourth time with the same result.

But slowly the other team seemed to figure out what was going on and
the next time they snatched the rebound, a boy threw it to Kevin! He
shot...and missed. Now every rebound came to him and he threw and
threw toward the basket. Time was running down and Kevin still had
not scored.

BOTH teams circled the boy by this time and all of the players were
shouting, "Kevin! Kevin!" The crowd took up the chant. Soon everyone
in the gym was shouting Kevin's name.

Coach Randy was sure that time must have run out; the game HAD to be
over. He glanced at the official clock. It was stopped at 4.3
seconds. Even the timekeepers joined in the mania and stood by their
table shouting with the crowd, "Kevin! Kevin!"

Kevin shot and shot. Everyone was screaming. He attempted again and
again and again and...miraculously, one of his shots took a crazy
bounce on the rim. Everyone held their breath.

The ball dropped in.

Chaos reigned. Nobody remained seated. Everyone stood and cheered as
if one boy had single-handedly won a world championship. Kevin's
arms sprang up in the air and he shouted, "I won! I won!" He had
scored. His team escorted him off the court, the clock ticked down
and the game was over.

That day an undefeated team retained their perfect record. But
everybody won. Everybody. Because everybody had participated in a
crazy conspiracy of kindness that was so compelling, so powerful,
the earth itself might have stopped for a moment to rejoice with one
young boy.

How beautiful it is when we all conspire together in kindness.
Everybody wins.

From Lifesupport

Lifesigns Life Quotes

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

WHO'S YOUR HERO FOR LIFE?

A good breakfast chat - “Life is like a grapefruit. Well, it's sort of orangy-yellow and dimpled on the outside, wet and squidgy in the middle. It's got pips inside, too. Oh, and some people have a half a one for breakfast.”

One of those strange newspaper stories told of a 19-year-old woman
who had been charged in Los Angeles with two counts of
trespassing -- after sneaking into the home of actor Brad Pitt and
trying on his clothes. I suppose we have different ways of adoring
our heroes..

But who are our real heroes? I was given a little quiz recently. See
how well you do:

Name the five wealthiest people in the world.
Name five Olympic gold medalists.
Name the last five winners of your national beauty contest.
Name ten people who have won the Nobel or Pulitzer Prize.
Name the last half-dozen Academy Award winners for best actor and
actress.
Name the last decade's national or world champions in your favorite
sport.

These people, of course, are the best in their fields. But fame is
fleeting and outstanding performance is too soon forgotten.

Now try another quiz:

List a few teachers who aided your journey through school.
Name three friends who have helped you through a difficult time.
Name five people who have taught you something worthwhile.
Think of a few people who have made you feel appreciated and
special.
Think of five people you enjoy spending time with.
Name half a dozen heroes whose stories have inspired you.

If you found the second quiz easier, it may be because those people
who make a difference in our lives are not the ones with the best
degrees or pedigrees, nor are they the most honored or acclaimed.
The people who make a difference are those who care. They may never
have seen a battle; never scored a winning goal; never been featured
in a magazine. But they have been busy helping you to be the best
you can be.

Let's remember and thank our real heroes. And don't be surprised if
someone thanks you.

From Lifesupport

Lifesigns Life Quotes

Monday, December 13, 2010

THE BEST REVENGE FOR LIFE

Water lily in full bloom - “If you have two loaves of bread, sell one and buy a lily”

One person jokingly says she never goes to bed angry. Instead, she
stays awake and plots her revenge.

As one story goes, a group of occupational soldiers hired a local
boy to run errands for them. The soldiers liked to relieve stress by
playing practical jokes on the young boy. They would hide his
belongings, put gum in his shoes, or send him on silly errands.

The boy handled the joking quite well. He never seemed upset by it.
After a while, the soldiers decided that they had bothered the child
enough. They approached him to apologize and to tell him that they
would no longer play any jokes on him.

The boy replied in stilted English, "You stop making joke on me, I
stop spitting in your soup."

He had his revenge. But for most of us, revenge turns out to be more
bitter than sweet. Unsatisfying at best. It "has no more quenching
effect on emotions than salt water has on thirst," one writer says.
And it's true. The desire to inflict hurt and pain remains long
after one has given in to the urge to get even. Bitter emotions are
more often quenched by love and understanding than by fighting back.

Over 400 years ago, the English poet George Herbert said, "Living
well is the best revenge." Good advice - especially when tempted to
get even.

From Lifesupport

Lifesigns Life Quotes

Sunday, December 12, 2010

PLANTING & GARDENING IN LIFE

I recently have a block of a few days off from work and I thought of getting an early start on cleaning the house before the new year. Having done all the necessary cleaning indoors, I had some time to spare on my hands. So I thought why not spruce up my garden at the back of the house. I went to the local hardware store and bought a few cans of paint to invigorate some of my outdoor planters. When I got home, I picked up an outddor planter and decided that I would clean it before proceeding to paint. To my horror I discovered that that particular outddor planter together with most of my outdoor planters as well as the indoor planters have huge cracks in them. I then made a decision to replace all the planters.

I do not have much of a selection when it comes to planters, whether it is outdoor planters or indoor planters in my local nursery. I went online to see what kind of choices are available to me. I remembered my cousin raving about eplanters a while back so I decided to check it out. My colleague has this really nice indoor planter sitting in his office so I thought of getting something similar to put in mine. I found just the right indoor planter for myself on eplanters: a stainless steel indoor planter. Now my office seems a bit fresher thanks to the addition of a live plant.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

LEAFAGE AND ROOTAGE IN LIFE

Gundam Exia Avalanche and Gundam OO Model Kits on display - “One of the surest evidences of friendship that one individual can display to another is telling him gently of a fault. If any other can excel it, it is listening to such a disclosure with gratitude, and amending the error.”

American President Woodrow Wilson once pointed out that "a man's
rootage is more important than his leafage." What others see are the
leaves, the outside. What they can't see are the roots, the values
and principles that ground a person. A happy and fulfilled life
grows from a good system of roots.

No one believed in the solid "rootage" of President Jimmy Carter
more than his own mother "Miss Lillian," as she was fondly called.
She was aware of her son's reputation for honesty, which had become
a topic of curiosity among many politicians and even reporters.
During a 1986 speech at the University of Tennessee, Jody Powell
told a story about a television reporter who grilled Miss Lillian on
this topic.

"Is it true," asked the reporter, "that your son doesn't lie? Can
you tell me he has never told a lie?"

"Well, I reckon he might have told a little white lie now and then,"
replied Miss Lillian.

The reporter spotted the opening. "I thought you said he didn't
lie!" she exclaimed. "Are you telling me that white lies aren't as
bad as black lies? Just what do you mean by a white lie?"

"Well," drawled Miss Lillian, "do you remember when you came in this
morning and I told you how nice you looked and how glad I was to see
you...?"

Those people who care about strong and principled inner lives leave
an important mark on the world. They actually live from the inside
out. Their inner convictions guide their actions. Their inner
principles govern their lives. It's like roots which are sunk deep
into lasting values and sustain the tree through whatever hard times
may come along.

What does it mean to have good roots? I think it means to be strong
enough and healthy enough to do whatever you truly want to do. It
means to be strong enough, at least most of the time, to give your
best to the world.

I would like to have roots that grow deep and strong. I would like a
system of roots that could give me:

- enough strength to forgive those who hurt me;
- enough confidence to overcome any amount of fear;
- enough courage to accept whatever obstacles life throws my
way;
- enough compassion to love even the unlovable;
- enough faith that nothing can shatter my peace of mind.

If I grow good roots, I don't need to worry about the leafage.

From Lifesupport

Lifesigns Life Quotes

Thursday, December 9, 2010

TURN ... AND COME ROUND RIGHT FOR LIFE

Mother and child on plane - “Love the whole world as a mother lovers her only child.”

Not long ago a commercial airliner, whose pilot was new to New York,
landed at JFK Airport. He steered the jet onto a taxiway and
stopped. Then slowly he began turning. First he nosed the aircraft
to the right. Then to the left. Then he turned the plane completely
around.

Finally, over the public-address system, a confused voice asked,
"Does anyone know where Gate 25 is?" Do you think that if he just
turned around enough times he would come out right?

Deciding to turn, though, is something we often have to do if we are
to live fully and live well. For each of us knows what it is to head
the wrong direction in life; and we also know how relieved we feel
to turn around again.

Do you remember the old Shaker hymn, written by Joseph Brackett, Jr.
over 150 years ago?

'Tis the gift to be simple,
'tis the gift to be free,
'tis the gift to come down where you ought to be,
And when we find ourselves in the place just right,
It will be in the valley of love and delight.

When true simplicity is gained,
To bow and to bend we shan't be ashamed.
To turn, turn will be our delight,
'Til by turning, turning we come round right.

It's amazing how many times I turn in a day. I turn up to things I
want to attend and turn down others. I turn in at the end of the day
and turn over all night long. And when things are not right, I can
always turn them around.

Actually, turning is one of the most hopeful words I know.

When I'm not right, I can turn in a new direction. By turning, I do
something about the course I've taken. I may not be able to change
what I've already done; and I may not be able to fully escape those
unpleasant consequences of past choices. But I need not continue in
the same, destructive path. I can turn. I can find my way again.

Turning around is allowed in this life. In fact, it's necessary.
Especially after mistakes and failures. And that's like hope for me.
Like the song says, "'Tis the gift to come down where you ought to
be." But when we don't find ourselves where we ought to be, "by
turning, turning we come round right."

From Lifesupport

Lifesigns Life Quotes

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

FINDING DIAMONDS IN LIFE

With Christmas just around the corner, most of us are probably busy doing some presents shopping to contribute to the spirit of giving. For those who are still wondering about good gift ideas, here is a fantastic recommendation; Man Made Diamonds. These are lab-grown diamonds with no visual differences from the natural ones which come from the ground. In addition, unlike natural diamonds where colored stones are considered a rarity, you can easily find cultured colored stones such as Green Color Diamonds. Last but not least, lets not forget the significant cost savings between 20 to 90 percent as compared to the price of natural ones.

Lifesigns Life Quotes

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

LOVE AND TIME FOR LIFE

Silver spatula - “Clouds may come, but clouds must go, and they all have a silver lining. For behind each cloud you know, the sun, or moon, is shining.”

Writer Gary Jennings said this: "Love and time, those are the only
two things in all the world and all of life, that cannot be bought,
but only spent."

I love that. And HOW I spend my love and time is what it is all
about.

My work and interests require me to spend probably an inordinate
amount of time in front of my computer. At least according to my
wife Bev.

She and I were talking one day about death and funerals and what to
do with each other's remains. I asked. "What will you do with my
body? Burial? Cremation?"

She answered, "I think I'll just have you stuffed and propped up in
your chair by the computer. That way when I walk through the room I
won't even notice that you're gone."

I got the point - too much computer time. And how I spend my time
and my love is all important.

The question I ask myself is this: "Do I generously and freely give
love and time away - and especially to those closest to me?"

Charles Francis Adams was the United States ambassador to Great
Britain during the Lincoln administration. He had the habit of
keeping a daily diary. He also taught his son Brooks the value of
journaling his activities in a diary.

One memorable day, eight-year-old Brooks recorded, "Went fishing
with my father, the most glorious day of my life." It must have been
a glorious day, for the next forty years Brooks repeatedly mentioned
it in his diary. It became a life-long memory.

His father also wrote about the fishing trip. His own diary on that
pivotal day for his son reads, "Went fishing with my son; a day
wasted."

He didn't get it. That one single day he generously and freely gave
love and time away to Brooks may have been the one of the most
important days of his son's life. Did he feel that, as a United
States ambassador, his time was too valuable to be "wasted" with his
children? History seems to show that a fishing trip with his son
paid huge dividends in Brooks' life.

I only hope I will spend love and time so well.

From Lifesupport

Lifesigns Life Quotes

Sunday, December 5, 2010

A BETTER WAY TO LIVE


Green hammock - “The past should be a springboard not a hammock”

Did you know...?

That Joan of Arc was only seventeen when she was riding at the head
of the army that liberated France from the English?

That church reformer John Calvin was twenty-six when he published
his "Institutes" ?

That poet John Keats died when he was twenty-six?

That Shelley was thirty when he was drowned, but not before he left
English literature his classic "Odes"?

That Sir Isaac Newton had largely discovered the working of the law
of gravitation when he was twenty-three?

That Henry Clay, the "great compromiser, " was sent to the United
States Senate at twenty-nine and was Speaker of the House of
Representatives at thirty-four?

That Raphael painted his most important pictures between twenty-five
and thirty?

That Mozart only lived to be thirty-five years old?

Maybe I'm just a late bloomer.

When I was a young man I wanted to make things happen. After a few
years I realized I would have to content myself with watching most
things happen.

Unfortunately, these days I usually have no idea what is happening.

Of course, most of us will never paint a masterpiece, write a
classic or discover an important scientific principle. But why
should we? We're each cut from a unique pattern.

Dick Van Dyke once told the story of a woman taking her nephew to
her Catholic church. She whispered to him as they approached the
pew: "Can you genuflect?"

"No," he said, "but I can somersault!"

I wonder if he showed her.right then and there. I can almost see him
rolling down the aisle in a joyous celebration of the thing he CAN
do, with no regard for genuflecting. the thing he cannot do.

Some people waste lives obsessing on that thing they cannot do,
wishing they were more competent. And some measure the value of
their abilities against those of others, wishing they could
contribute in a bigger and better way.

You and I may never be a Mozart, a Raphael or a John Keats. But
there are things you CAN do to bring beauty or joy or happiness to
your world. Find them. Do them. Celebrate them. Rejoice in them.

I can hardly think of a better way to live.

From Lifesupport

Lifesigns Life Quotes

Friday, December 3, 2010

CAN YOU WAIT IN LIFE?

Wooden woman statue - “Every woman is a rebel, and usually in wild revolt against herself.”

Have you noticed that a lot of us not only want to have this thing or
that, but we want to have it NOW? I heard that the average American
spends one entire year of life watching television commercials, where
they are told again and again that they can have whatever they want
and they can have it now.

First we want it. Then we get it. Then we wonder why we wanted it.
Then we get it again.

The First National Bank in one Midwest American town came up with a
billboard advertising slogan: "Loans make life easier, at FIRST."
Yes, at first they do. But later....

I talked with a couple who will be married soon. They mentioned that
someone in the family gave them an early wedding gift: a course of
study in personal money management. They are learning to be patient
and to save their money for whatever they want. I told them that
someday they may look back on that gift with great appreciation.

There was a study about children, marshmallows and delayed
gratification. Researchers found that children who can delay
gratification by saving marshmallows until a later time turn out to be
happier and better adjusted later in life. We feel better when we are
in control of our desires and, particularly, our behaviors.

The temptation is to have it NOW. One man wrote to me and said:

Steve,
I have learned that everything in life is instant gratification. I
just don't know the instant it will happen. So I just do what is
in front of me to do, be patient, and wait for that instant.

Great advice! I have two questions for you:

1. What do you want to have?
2. Can you wait?

Chances are, if you can answer yes to the second question, you will be
sure to find plenty of contentment and peace.

From Lifesupport.

Lifesigns Life Quotes

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

THE DANGER ZONE IN LIFE

Tiger dreaming of becoming super cat - “People think it must be fun to be a super genius, but they don't realize how hard it is to put up with all the idiots in the world.”

Anger is just one letter short of danger -- it seems to be as true in
English as well as in practice. Dr. Bedford Williams at Duke
University has determined that students who score high on a "hostility
test" are in far greater danger of dying young than their peers. In
fact, those who are prone to anger are in greater physical danger than
those who smoke, have high blood pressure or even high cholesterol.

Not that we should never be angry. It is a normal part of life. We all
get "worked up," "overheated" or just plain "hopping mad" at times.
Those closest to us know it best. (Just ask my kids!)

One little boy said about his mother: "When she starts to act real
weird, you have to look scared and serious. Don't giggle. When mommies
are mad, they get madder when you giggle."

The good news is that simply getting angry does not seem to be the
problem. Well-directed anger can be a helpful emotion. But STAYING
angry is dangerous -- to our health and to our relationships.

Here are four simple steps that can help move us out of the danger
zone when we feel as if our hostility is running the show.

1. Control it. Uncontrolled anger will take over.

2. Talk it out. Don't keep it in and let it fester.

3. Act on it. Do what needs to be done to resolve the situation.
Helplessness will only provoke more anger and, eventually, despair.

4. End it. Just as there is a starting point for anger, there must be
an ending. Make a decision not to prolong destructive hostility.

It can help to remember that for every minute we're angry, we lose
sixty seconds of happiness and sixty seconds of peace. The sooner we
get out of the danger zone, the sooner we can get back to truly
living.

From Lifesupport.

Lifesigns Life Quotes

Monday, November 29, 2010

MAGIC MOMENT FOR LIFE

Shopping for groceries at the cold storage isle - “Death comes to all, but great achievements build a monument which shall endure until the sun grows cold.”

Something magical once happened in Cinderella's Castle in Florida's
Disney World. Children and parents were crowded into a room waiting
for Cinderella's appearance. She made a dramatic entrance and the
children clamored around her.

Whoever hired the young woman to play the role of Cinderella found a
remarkable match. She was perfect. Flawless skin; beautiful face;
bright eyes and smile; and, she was costumed exquisitely. She looked
as if the cartoon character had come to life.

The children wanted to touch her and have her wave her wand over their
heads. She smiled down at them and the room was electric with
excitement.

Electric for everyone except two boys, apparently brothers, who stood
next to a far wall, away from the other children. The older boy held
the hand of the younger, much smaller boy, whose body and face were
disfigured.

The look in the young boy's eyes was that of yearning. How he wanted
to be with Cinderella. How he wanted to be a part of other children.
But he held back, probably out of fear. He had likely been hurt too
many times before by children who didn't understand.

But unexpectedly, Cinderella turned and saw the boys. And she must
have noticed the longing in the little one's face, for she slowly made
her way through the throng, inching toward the far wall.

Then something magical happened. Cinderella did the most remarkable
thing -- something I'm sure she never learned in Cinderella Training
Class. She bent down and kissed the little boy's face. He smiled a
big and beautiful smile. Cinderella kissed him!

Could anything be so wonderful? Cinderella kissed him. Out of all of
the children in that room, Cinderella kissed him. No matter what
happens to him, he'll always have that -- Cinderella kissed him.

And when he looks into the mirror he will always see the face that
Cinderella kissed looking back. Who knows... for months, for years,
maybe forever stings and barbs of life will hurt a little less. And he
will stand a bit taller and feel a little more special. He'll never
forget that...something magical happened...the day that Cinderella
kissed him.

From Lifesupport.

Lifesigns Life Quotes

Saturday, November 27, 2010

WHO OWNS THE BACKYARD FOR LIFE?

Gundam Avalanche Exia and Gundam OO plastic model kits on display - “Could the young but realize how soon they will become mere walking bundles of habits, they would give more heed to their conduct while in the plastic state.”

Vicki Huffman, in PLUS LIVING (Harold Shaw Publishers, 1989),
tells about a man who loved to hunt and bought two pedigreed
setters that he trained to be fine bird dogs. He kept them in a
large, fenced pen in his backyard.

One morning he observed a little bulldog trotting down the alley
behind his home. It saw the two dogs and squeezed under the
fence. The man thought he should perhaps lock up the setters so
they wouldn't hurt the little dog, but changed his mind. Maybe
they would "teach that bulldog a lesson," he reasoned.

As he predicted, fur began to fly, and all of it was bulldog fur.
The feisty intruder soon had enough and squeezed back under the
fence to get away.

To the man's surprise, the visitor returned again the next
morning. He crawled under the fence and once again took on the
tag-team of setters. And like the day before, he soon quit and
squeezed out of the pen.

The incident was repeated the following day, with the same
results.

The man left early the next morning on a business trip
and returned after several weeks. He asked his wife what finally
became of the bulldog.

"You won't believe it," she replied. "At the same time every day
that little dog came to the backyard and fought with our setters.
He never missed a day! It has come to the point now that when our
setters simply hear him snorting down the alley, they start
whining and run down into the basement. Then the little bulldog
struts around our backyard as if he owns it."

That bulldog inspires me when it comes to managing problems. Not that
think I have to fight and impose my will on whatever is in my way. But
I appreciate that little dog's perseverance. He persisted with his
problem until it disappeared.

Dale Carnegie made this observation: "Most of the important
things in the world have been accomplished by people who have
kept on trying when there seemed to be no hope at all." In the
end, it's the persistent bulldog that will own the backyard.

From Lifesupport.

Lifesigns Life Quotes

Thursday, November 25, 2010

DREAM SOMETHING BEAUTIFUL FOR LIFE

Jing Jing resting on the floor - “Laziness is nothing more than the habit of resting before you get tired.”

A mother of a vivacious five-year-old just returned from a meeting of
the National Organization for Women. Stirred by exciting dreams for
the possibilities of womanhood, she asked her daughter what she wanted
to be when she grew up. Little Lisa quickly answered, "A nurse."

There was a time when nursing was thought of as a woman's profession
and the answer somehow seemed not to satisfy. She had, after all, just
returned from a NOW conference.

"You can be anything you want to be," she reminded her daughter. "You
can be a lawyer, a surgeon, a banker, president of the country - you
can be anything."

"Anything?" Lisa asked.

"Anything!" her mother smiled.

"I know," Lisa said. "I want to be a horse!"

Lisa's dream may need some refinement, but there is plenty of time for
that. When do we quit dreaming about the future? When do we resign
ourselves to simply replaying dreams from the past?

Maybe her dream needs to mature a bit, but would you rather have the
optimism of a five-year-old girl who wants to be a horse, or the
pessimism of an adult who says in despair, "I can't be anything at
all"?

Teddy Roosevelt said, "Keep your eyes on the stars and your feet on
the ground." I believe that is the way to make those dreams come true.
It begins with looking up and dreaming something beautiful.

From Lifesupport.

Lifesigns Life Quotes

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

GREAT HAPPINESS FOR LIFE

Bright yellow flower - “Don't go for the looks, it can be quite deceiving. Don't go for wealth, even that fades away -- go for someone who makes you smile because only a smile makes a dark day seem bright. Hope you find that person.”

Not long ago I answered a telephone call from an old friend I'd not
heard from for a long time.

"Hi, Steve," he said. "I just wanted to see how you're getting along."

For whatever reason, our paths had simply not crossed for months. It
was good to talk with him. I wondered why we hadn't kept in touch
better.

Toward the end of the conversation, he said, "If you need me in any
way, I'll be happy to help out." And he meant it!

That call came at just the right time, as they so often do. I needed
those words of encouragement. I hung up the phone feeling a satisfying
lump of warmth in my chest.

And that day I re-learned something important about life: life is
primarily about people -- not plans and schedules, not to-do lists and
a million tasks left undone -- it's about people.

To love and to know that we are loved is the greatest happiness of
existence. And happiness seems to be something that is in short supply
for too many of us! My friend reminded me that it is never enough just
to love; we must also express it. What good are our affectionate
feelings toward others if we don't find ways to let them know?

George William Childs put it like this: "Do not keep the alabaster box
of your love and friendship sealed up until your friends are dead.
Fill their lives with sweetness. Speak approving, cheering words while
their ears can hear them and while their hearts can be thrilled and
made happier. The kind things you mean to say when they are gone, say
before they go."

Happiness ... may be just a phone call away.

From Lifesupport.

Lifesigns Life Quotes

Sunday, November 21, 2010

GOD LOVES VARIETY IN LIFE

Wild long green beans - “You can tell a lot about a fellow's character by the way he eats jelly beans.”

I like the story about three ministers and a priest who played golf
together every week. They decided to visit each other's churches. So
the following day, the three ministers showed up at an early morning
mass at their friend's church. There were no empty pews, so they
stood in the back.

When the priest saw them, he whispered to the little acolyte, "Get
three chairs for the Protestants! " The boy looked stunned and sat
down.

The priest pointed in the back to where the clergymen were standing
and repeated, "Get three chairs for the Protestants. " The confused
boy still stared back blankly.

Exasperated, the priest said emphatically, "Please! Get three chairs
for the Protestants! "

The dismayed acolyte stood before the congregation and announced,
"Ladies and gentlemen. This is the first time this has ever been done
in a Catholic church, but let's all stand and give three cheers for
the Protestants! "

Perhaps it's time to give three cheers to those of another faith. And
while we're at it, let's applaud those of other cultures and races,
too! What a beautiful world it is when all are truly part of one
glorious family! And after all, if God doesn't love variety, why is
there so much of it?

From Lifesupport.

Lifesigns Life Quotes

Friday, November 19, 2010

LOOKING FOR BEAUTY FOR LIFE

Pineapples by the roadside - “Life is a pilgrimage. The wise man does not rest by the roadside inns. He marches direct to the illimitable domain of eternal bliss, his ultimate destination.”

Many people like me feel slightly passed over in a world that seems to place a high value on beauty. But a short poem by Anthony Ewell reminds us that physical attractiveness can be over-rated. He writes:

"As a beauty I am not a great star,
There are others more handsome by far.
But my face, I don't mind it,
For I am behind it,
It's the people in front who get the jar!"

Physically, maybe I'm not the stuff dreams are made of. And maybe, as the poem suggests, it doesn't matter. Because I believe there is another kind of beauty in all of us that can be experienced by anybody who digs a little deeper.

Several times I have visited a natural wonder that is one of the largest and most spectacular of its kind in the world. Carlsbad Caverns is an immense series of limestone caves extending under much of southern New Mexico (USA). Native Americans took refuge in the gaping hole that is the main entrance, but they did not venture far. A hundred years ago settlers in the area were attracted to the opening by the awesome sight of hundreds of thousands of bats swarming from the hole every summer evening. Though a bat guano mining operation was set up, nobody explored much beyond the bat's dwelling places.

Eventually, a cowboy name Jim White explored deeper. He returned with fantastic stories of gigantic subterranean chambers, spectacular cave formations and unbelievably stupendous sights. Even in 1915, after black and white photographs were taken of the caverns, many did not believe. The government sent skeptic Robert Holley to investigate in 1923. He wrote in his final report, "I am wholly conscious of the feebleness of my efforts to convey in words the deep conflicting emotions, the feeling of fear and awe, and the desire for an inspired understanding of the Divine Creator's work which presents to the human eye such a complex aggregate of natural wonders."

A whole new world - majestic, wondrous and awe-inspiring - lay hidden from view. Its unimagined beauty can only be experienced by exploring beneath the surface.

And so it is with people. I have found in people a unique inner beauty that can be discovered by exploring beneath the surface. They may not believe it is there themselves, but that does not mean it doesn't exist.

Those outward looks we're usually so self-conscious about don't matter much. Who people really are may be hidden beneath the outer landscape like a magnificent subterranean palace. And when you care to scratch the surface a bit, you can discover what others have missed.

And you will be rewarded beyond measure.

From Lifesupport.

Lifesigns Life Quotes

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

REAL LIBERATION FOR LIFE

Exotic tropical jungle fruits - “Later that day I got to thinking about relationships. There are those that open you up to something new and exotic, those that are old and familiar, those that bring up lots of questions, those that bring you somewhere unexpected, those that bring you far from where you started, and those that bring you back. But the most exciting, challenging and significant relationship of all is the one you have with yourself. And if you can find someone to love the you you love, well, that's just fabulous.”

I had a remarkable conversation with a woman about physical
limitations. Nancy was a sufferer of M.S. She could no longer walk and
spent her waking hours in a wheelchair.

"I'm not 'confined' to the wheelchair," she insisted one day. "It
doesn't confine me. It sets me free."

I had never thought of it that way. And I have never referred to
someone in a wheelchair since as being "confined."

She asked me, "Do you want to know my reason for living?" It seemed
like an abrupt change of subject, but I went with it.

"What is it?"

"To liberate people. To set them free."

She must have studied my face and figured I needed more help. "It's
like me...before I got my wheelchair, I had trouble getting around,"
she explained. "Now I can go places. But other people may be trapped
in different ways. So however I can free people, I want to do it."

"People speak of being 'shut in,'" she continued. "People who have
difficulty leaving a room or a house or a bed are not 'shut in.'
They're 'shut out' -- shut out of activities and shut out of people's
lives. So I try to help people find some freedom, however I can."

I wonder how she'd handle my limitations, though. I can get around all
right, but I hold myself back by my thinking. I say, "We'll never do
that!" or "I just don't believe that is possible" and later find that
somebody proved me wrong. It's my beliefs and attitudes that cause
some of my biggest problems. They are as limiting to me as Nancy's
disease is to her.

"Almost everybody walks around with a vast burden of imaginary
limitations inside his head," says author J. H. Brennan. "While the
burden remains, personal success is as difficult to achieve as the
conquest of Everest with a sack of rocks tied to your back."

It IS a burden, isn't it? Like a sack of rocks. Some people carry the
burden that they will never be able to pursue a passion or achieve a
cherished dream. And some tote around the idea that other people can
experience good things of life, or simply be happy, but they never
will. Our thinking itself can be as much a burden as climbing a
mountain with a sack of rocks tied to our backs.

When I feel "confined" by my thinking, I sometimes ponder these words
from Darwin P. Kingsley, past president of New York Life Insurance
Company:

"You have powers you never dreamed of.
You can do things you never thought you could do.
There are no limitations in what you can do except
the limitations of your own mind."

Now THAT sets me free! Free to live. Free to risk. Free to move
forward. Free to be...me.

It's real liberation.

From Lifesupport.

Lifesigns Life Quotes

Monday, November 15, 2010

LIVING LIFE TO THE FULLEST

Squeeky soft toys for sale - “Our inventions are wont to be pretty toys, which distract our attention from serious things. They are but improved means to an unimproved end.”

A great story comes out of American baseball. Even if you don’t like or understand the game, I think you will enjoy this story.

One night, a Dodgers minor league team coached by legendary Tommy Lasorda was leading a Tucson, Arizona team by one run in the eighth inning, but Tucson had the bases loaded with two outs. According to Don Martin in Team Think (Penguin books, Ltd., 1993), Lasorda decided to pep up his pitcher, a left-hander named Bobby O'Brien.

Lasorda slowly walked out to the mound and said, "Bobby, if the heavens opened up right now and you could hear the voice of the Big Dodger in the sky and he said to you, 'Bobby, you're going to die and come up to heaven, and this is the last batter you're ever going to face,' how would you like the meet the Lord, getting this man out or letting him get a hit from you?"

"I'd want to face him getting this guy out," O'Brien replied.

"That's right," said Lasorda, "you would. Now, how do you know that after you throw the next pitch you're not going to die? This might really be the last hitter you're ever going to face and if it is, you'll want to face the Lord getting him out."

Lasorda figured it was just about the best pep talk ever and he strutted confidently back to the dugout. O'Brien wound up and threw the pitch. The batter lined a base hit to right field, knocking in two runs.

Lasorda was beside himself. "Bobby, what happened?" he asked.

"It's like this, Skip," said O'Brien. "You had me so worried about dying I couldn't concentrate on the batter!"

I know that many people are worried about dying. In fact, they are so concerned about it they can't even enjoy what is right before them. But there are other people who, when they think about their own death and how little time they may have left, actually live more intentionally and more fully.

Dr. Elisabeth Kubler-Ross, a long-time student of death and dying, put it like this: "It's only when we truly know and understand that we have a limited time on earth -- and that we have no way of knowing when our time is up, we will then begin to live each day to the fullest, as if it was the only one we had."

It's true; all of us have a limited time here on earth. But we DO have today.

As for me, I just want to live today as fully as possible -- as if there were not going to be many more tomorrows.

From Lifesupport.

Lifesigns Life Quotes

Saturday, November 13, 2010

A MONSTER TO HUG IN LIFE

Delicious food for lunch - “There are three types of friends: those like food, without which you can't live; those like medicine, which you need occasionally; and those like an illness, which you never want.”

One couple spent a holiday driving in the mountains. "Every time you
race around one of those narrow curves," exclaimed the wife, "I just
get terrified."

"Then do what I do," suggested her husband. "Close your eyes!"

We are all afraid at times, but closing our eyes may not be the best
way through fear. I've found it better to open my eyes and try to
experience those fears.

You've heard of facing your fears; how about embracing them?

I think one man's experience with fear can help.

In 1972 David Miln Smith had such an opportunity. Smith, an
adventurer, author and professional speaker, decided to spend a night
alone in the famous St. Michael's Cave on the island of Gibraltar as
a test of courage. In his book HUG THAT MONSTER (Andrews and McMeel,
1996), he tells of hearing strange sounds all around him as he lay
there in the pitch-black, damp, deserted cave. Most frightening was
the fact that he came to believe he was not alone!

Fear became panic and he was afraid he was losing his mind. Then
suddenly, as he was approaching his psychological breaking point,
Smith thought to himself, "Whatever the monster looks like, I will
hug it." That simple, almost silly thought brought great relief to
his restless mind. He soon fell into a deep and peaceful sleep until
morning. He learned that embracing his fear, literally or
figuratively, allowed him to subdue it.

We each have our nights of fear, don't we? We all encounter monsters
of some sort. We may fear spiders or insects, heights or crowds,
abandonment or loneliness, the future or death. And most of us are
occasionally visited by shadows of these monsters in the dark of
night.

The next time you're afraid, try "hugging the monster." Face it and
embrace it. It's hard to feel afraid of something you're hugging! And
you just might be surprised at how quickly it slips away and at how
confident you begin to feel.

That beautiful spirit Eleanor Roosevelt said, "You gain strength,
courage, and confidence by every experience in which you stop to look
fear in the face." But after looking it in the face, how about
embracing it? Just imagine yourself putting your arms around whatever
is keeping you awake in the night. Make it your friend. because it
is! Whatever you fear, once faced and embraced, will actually make
you a better person.

Now. do you have a monster to hug?

From Lifesupport.

Lifesigns Life Quotes

Thursday, November 11, 2010

LIVING IN THE SAME BOX FOR LIFE

Colorful pillows - “Fear can keep us up all night long, but faith makes one fine pillow.”

David Wallechinsky in The Complete Book Of The Olympics (Penguin
Books, 1984) gives us a story that is worth retelling.

It is 1936. American Jesse Owens seems sure to win the long-jump
competition in the Olympic games. The previous year he had jumped 26
feet, 8 1/4 inches - a record that will stand for 25 years.

As he walks to the long-jump pit, however, Owens sees a tall,
blue-eyed, blond German taking practice jumps in the 26-foot range.
Owens feels nervous. He is acutely aware of the Nazis' desire to prove
"Aryan superiority. " And as a black son of a sharecropper, he knows
what it is like to be made to feel inferior.

On his first jump, Owens inadvertently leaps from several inches
beyond the takeoff board. Rattled, he fouls on his second attempt,
too. One more foul and he will be eliminated.

At this point, the tall German introduces himself as Luz Long. "You
should be able to qualify with your eyes closed!" he says to Owens,
referring to his upcoming two jumps.

For the next few moments, the African American and the white Nazi chat
together. Then Long makes a suggestion. Since the qualifying distance
is only 23 feet, 5 1/2 inches, why not make a mark several inches
before the takeoff board and jump from there, just to play it safe?
Owens does and qualifies easily.

In the finals, Owens sets an Olympic record and earns the second of
four gold medals. But who is the first person to congratulate him? Luz
Long - in full view of Adolf Hitler.

Owens never again sees Long, who is later killed in World War II. "You
could melt down all the medals and cups I have," Owens later writes,
"and they wouldn't be a plating on the 24-carat friendship I felt for
Luz Long."

Luz Long made his mark in world history and taught the rest of us a
valuable lesson.

Someone else put it like this: "We can learn a lot from crayons. Some
are sharp... some are pretty... some are dull... some have weird
names... and all are different colors.... But they all have to learn
to live in the same box."

From Lifesupport.

Lifesigns Life Quotes

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

BOUND TO FORGIVE IN LIFE

Revoltech Sweet Dreams Pocco Action Figure - “Sometimes the best way to figure out who you are is to get to that place where you don't have to be anything else.”

Writer Norman Cousins said that life is an adventure in forgiveness. I
think Fr. Lawrence Martin Jenco would agree.

In 1984, Fr. Jenco traveled to Beirut, dedicated to help the poorest
of the poor. On January 8, 1985, he was kidnapped by Shiite Muslim
extremists and held hostage for 564 days. He endured imprisonment,
beatings, illness and heartbreaking periods of sorrow and loneliness.
Several years after his release, he wrote a book (BOUND TO FORGIVE,
Ave Maria Press, 1995) about his experiences in captivity and, more
importantly, about the power of love and forgiveness.

Fr. Jenco tells about being taped like a mummy from his ankles to the
top of his head each time he was transported from one place to
another. He described being forced to breathe only from his nose as
his mouth was stuffed with a cloth and taped shut.

He tells of times when his captors said they were going to kill him
and he waited for the bullet to go through his head. Other times he
was dressed up and told he was going home, only to have his spirits
dashed when he was later informed they were teasing.

He remembers being chained hand and foot, donning a plastic bag on his
head, and left in a two-foot by six-foot closet. And he remembers his
stench when he was denied washing for over four months.

He was later asked what lesson those of us who haven't been in such a
position can learn from his experience and apply to our daily living.
He said, "Just look at the madness that goes on in the world today. We
lug our hates and our bigotry and prejudices from generation to
generation and we pass [them] on.... We [must] stop and look at each
other and say, 'I am so sorry for the hurt I caused you. I ask your
forgiveness. ' And then [we must] extend forgiveness and... receive
forgiveness. Somewhere along the line we are going to have to do that.
We're all bound to forgive."

Fr. Jenco has forgiven and can attest to the power of forgiveness. And
though our hurt may not be the same as his, it is no less real. We,
too, are "bound" to forgive. For when we covenant with life to
earnestly forgive whatever hurts come our way, we see amazing results.
We find inner peace and, often, improved physical health as well. As
Dr. O. A. Battista says, "One of the most lasting pleasures you can
experience is the feeling that comes over you when you genuinely
forgive an enemy -- whether he knows it or not."

I've come to realize that genuine forgiveness is crucial if any of us
will find peace. Whether or not it restores a broken relationship, it
sets our own hearts free. Those who will be bound by the promise to
sincerely forgive, will be freed from the bonds of the past. Those are
Fr. Jenco's words: "We're all bound to forgive." And those who are
bound to forgive are bound to be happy.

From Lifesupport.

Lifesigns Life Quotes

Sunday, November 7, 2010

GETTING IT RIGHT FOR LIFE

Beautiful flower pot craft products - “We are all apprentices in a craft where no one ever becomes a master”

A young boy was sitting in the back seat of the car eating an apple.
He poked his father in the front seat and asked, "Daddy, why does my
apple turn brown?" His father answered, "When the skin is removed
from the apple, air reaches the flesh of the apple and causes
oxidation. This changes the apple's molecular structure and results
in a brownish color.

After a long pause, a small voice from the back seat asked, "Daddy,
are you talking to me?"

I know how that boy feels. Sometimes I want answers to some of those
confusing problems we all run up against. I want someone to explain
how to get through difficult times or tell me what to do in a tough
situation. I just want to get it right.

But I think I identify a bit more with the father whose daughter
asked him if he would help her with some homework.

"I'm sorry," he replied. "It wouldn't be right."

"Well," she said, "at least you could try."

Problem is, I don't always have the answers I need. And nobody else
seems too, either. So I blunder ahead worried that I'll never get it
"right."

But I'm beginning to learn something about not knowing what to do and
making a poor choice. That is -- I don't HAVE TO always get it right.
I don't have to always know what to do all the time. All I really
need to do is try my best, learn from the mistakes and go on.

The affable Dr. Leo Buscaglia once said, "No one gets out of this
world alive, so the time to live, learn, care, share, celebrate, and
love is now." Which is pretty hard to do when you're waiting for the
answers first.

So you got it wrong. You made a mistake. So what? Forgive yourself
and try again. Even if you don't get out of this world alive, you can
get plenty of life out of this world if you're not too worried about
always getting it right.

From Lifesupport.

Lifesigns Life Quotes

Friday, November 5, 2010

THE WAY WE SEE IT IN LIFE

Black laptop computer - “It isn't a matter of black is beautiful as much as it is white is not all that's beautiful”

The eye doctor instructed her patient to read a chart on the wall. He
looked at it and read, "A, B, F, N, L and G."

The doctor turned the light back on and wrote in her notebook.

"How'd I do, Doc?" the patient wondered.

She replied, "Let's put it this way -- they're numbers."

"But Doc," he argued, "this is the way I see it!"

Much of my happiness or unhappiness is a result of my perception.
"This is the way I see it," I tell myself.

I see some problems as challenges that energize me to action and
others as obstacles that stop further progress. It's just the way I
see it.

And sometimes I see new situations as fun, and other times I see them
as fearful.

The busyness of my life can be OK if I see it that way, or it can be
a major source of stress. And an unexpected intrusion in my schedule
can be an irritant or, if I see it that way, possibly the most
important thing I could do that day.

Even an embarrassing mistake can be the beginning of a new learning
or an occasion to berate myself. It's in the way I see it.

One of the greatest blocks to my happiness is forgetting that it is
not always about what is happening to me -- it's more about the way I
see it.

Like Marcel Proust said, "The real voyage of discovery lies not in
seeking new landscapes, but in having new eyes." It's in the way we
see it.

From Lifesupport.

Lifesigns Life Quotes

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

WHAT I PRAY FOR IN LIFE

Dell replacement component shipment package - “Creative thinking should be viewed as an essential supplement to, though not a replacement for, critical thinking.”

Many years ago I found a short story about Mahatma Gandhi that I have gone back to several times. It has given me hope and courage. Even if you are not one to pray, I think you will discover that it is useful.

We remember Gandhi as a leader in India's struggle for independence. It is hardly an exaggeration to say that he brought the British Empire to its knees without firing a shot. He was a small man of great courage. His non-violent resistance was fraught with danger and the cause eventually claimed his life.

Gandhi once spoke about the source of his courage. He related a story about an incident that occurred in South Africa. There was a law directed expressly against Indians in South Africa that he had gone there to oppose. His ship was met by a hostile mob that had come with the announced intention of lynching him. Gandhi was advised to stay on board for his own physical safety. But he went ashore nevertheless.

When later asked why he made such a dangerous decision, he explained, "I was stoned and kicked and beaten a good deal; but I had not prayed for safety, but for the courage to face the mob, and that courage came and did not fail me."

I believe he went after the right thing.

Like you, I know what it is to be afraid. I'm afraid of accidental injury, dismemberment or death. I've been afraid of a pending medical diagnosis. There must be a million different faces to the fears of life.

I'm tempted at these times to hope for, and pray for, a way to avoid the danger ahead. I want to be safe, secure and healthy. But none of us is always safe, secure or healthy. So, like Gandhi, I think the best prayer is for courage to face whatever life may bring. And I am convinced that the courage will come and not fail me.

From Lifesupport.

Lifesigns Life Quotes

Monday, November 1, 2010

EVERYTHING COUNTS FOR LIFE

Company staff transport bus - “Transport of the mails, transport of the human voice, transport of flickering pictures-in this century as in others our highest accomplishments still have the single aim of bringing men together.”

Early 20th Century African-American poet Countee Cullen spent the summer of his eighth year in Baltimore, Maryland. Shortly after he arrived he noticed a little white boy staring at him. Countee smiled, but the little boy did not smile back. Instead, he stuck out his tongue and called him a hurtful, racial slur.

Cullen later wrote a poem that included his recollection of the summer when he was eight. In it, he says this:

"I saw the whole of Baltimore
from May until September.
Of everything that happened there
that's all I can remember."

The white child likely soon forgot the episode. And he probably never was aware of the pain he inflicted on the young stranger. But the truth is... everything counts. EVERYTHING. Everything we do and everything we say. Everything helps or hurts; everything adds to or takes away from someone else.

Educator and writer Leo Buscaglia put it like this: "The majority of us lead quiet, unheralded lives as we pass through this world. There will most likely be no tickertape parades for us, no monuments created in our honor. But that does not lessen our possible impact, for there are scores of people waiting for someone just like us to come along; people who will appreciate our compassion, our encouragement, who will need our unique talents. Someone who will live a happier life merely because we took the time to share what we had to give. Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring, all of which have the potential to turn a life around. It's overwhelming to consider the continuous opportunities there are to make our love felt."

How truly amazing life can be when we know that... EVERYTHING COUNTS.

From Lifesupport.

Lifesigns Life Quotes

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