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I contend that we need four supports in our life in order to feel balanced and keep ourselves in good shape. Balance is so important in life. It is how we maintain and persevere.

We need time to tend to our own care: to eat well, take exercise and nurture our spirit (Whatever that may mean for you – attending church, visiting art galleries, reading good books . . .) What is a good life without time with loved ones? Hearth and Home provide the heart of a balanced life. Time to ourselves for quiet thought, is equally essential.

It is a fact of the life we live, that most of us need money. We must have it for our very survival in this hurry up-keep up world. No hearth, no home without it. Money fuels us. It makes things happen. It creates a comfortable life around us. Money can be very handy for generosity, too. We give more when we have more to give.

We are all passionate beings at our core. And we crave connection to fully express our love. We truly need each other. Susan Jeffers, PhD. said, “I believe our craving in life is not to be loved, but to love…ourselves and others.” I’m calling this the gravity that holds it all together. Without it life is flimsy and can more easily topple (or turn upside down).

There is no more stable ground than purpose. To be of service is what we are all meant to do. Purpose drives us and without it we feel lost. Purpose runs on faith. With faith, belief in something, our lives make sense.


We all want to feel connected.  Whether that’s to our mate, our children, our friends and family, our co-workers, our community, our planet or our God.

I believe that a lot of the discomfort we suffer is when we feel disconnected.  Is that what the explosion of social media is about?  Are people finding the connection they were seeking?  I don’t know.

We are strange creatures, we humans.  And we have been put in odd circumstances. As individualized facets of this whole, there is no one who is exactly like us.  We need no one else to live our lives well. Though we are so much more when we’re connected to another.

We are not dependent, but interconnected.  Our actions have far reaching consequences.  We are all made of the same stuff and have a connection that is not often apparent to our outer eye.

If we believe in this interconnectedness (and it is easy to see if we’re looking) and make an attempt to really feel it, we might never feel alone again.

Here is what some others have to say about it:

“The earth does not belong to man, man belongs to the earth. All things are connected like the blood that unites us all. Man did not weave the web of life, he is merely a strand in it. Whatever he does to the web, he does to himself.”
— Chief Seattle

“The fundamental delusion of humanity is to suppose that I am here and you are out there.”  – Yasutani Roshi, Zen master (1885-1973)

Far from making me feel different and special, my [spiritual] experiences made me feel the same, ordinary, and interconnected. If I felt more spiritual, everyone else felt more spiritual as well.”– Julia Cameron from God is No Laughing Matter

The reality today is that we are all interdependent and have to co-exist on this small planet. Therefore, the only sensible and intelligent way of resolving differences and clashes of interests, whether between individuals or nations, is through dialogue.  – The Dalai Lama

A human being is a part of the whole, called by us, “Universe,” a part limited in time and space. He experiences himself, his thoughts and feelings as something separated from the rest — a kind of optical delusion of his consciousness. This delusion is a kind of prison for us, restricting us to our personal desires and to affection for a few persons nearest to us. Our task must be to free ourselves from this prison by widening our circle of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole of nature in its beauty. Nobody is able to achieve this completely, but the striving for such achievement is in itself a part of the liberation and a foundation for inner security — Albert Einstein

Whatever affects one directly, affects all indirectly. I can never be what I ought to be until you are what you ought to be. This is the interrelated structure of reality.
— Martin Luther King, Jr

The welfare of each is bound up in the welfare of all.  — Helen Keller

When one tugs at a single thing in nature, he finds it attached to the rest of the world. ~ John Muir

We have a stake in one another … what binds us together is greater than what drives us apart, and … if enough people believe in the truth of that proposition and act on it, then we might not solve every problem, but we can get something meaningful done for the people with whom we share this Earth. — Barack Obama

“And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.” ~ Nelson Mandela, Long Walk to Freedom

Let it shine!

I feel blessed that I can do a variety of writing styles.  For a living, I write for business.  Marketing, technical, and content.  Which is, if I may say so myself, a nice range.

But I also really love writing from my heart for this Blog and some of my other projects like the book I’m working on called “Love Letters From Your Soul.”  I hope someday to publish a commercial personal/spiritual growth book.

Fiction probably brings me the most joy and delight.  I love to write rock fiction, or what I like to refer to as romance and passion in the exciting (and now relatively extinct) music business.  With, I always hope, a bit of growth mixed in.

I have to admit, more often than not, I am reading a spiritual/personal growth book.  I do get  into fiction now and again, though. I count myself as a Harry Potter devotee.  And I can gobble up books on Arthurian legend.  Not averse to a good cozy mystery either.  I have seen more than my share of movies and amazing films.  Soap operas have been my secret pleasure for years.  And am proud to count many fine story tellers among my close friends.  So I do know a thing or two about story.

For many years I held the notion that nonfiction expands and fiction is merely an escape.  But I am changing my mind about that.  I’m coming to see that fiction plays an important role in our growth as human beings.

Fiction, when done right, gives an intimate views into the minds and hearts of others.  We feel a connection with well crafted characters.  We see parts of ourselves acting through the story. And parts of others we know.  We may not like them all, but we can come to understand a little more about why they do the things they do. Good fiction makes clear the character’s motivation.  If you don’t buy that you’re unlikely to enjoy the story.  It’s like Science Fiction:  If they give you a good basis for belief, you will follow a good writer just about anywhere out there.

It is a study in understanding.  In the best cases, it can open us up to the experience of being the same. Seeing how we all share the same DNA and our motivated by many of the same things.  Even someone who appears to lead a live very different from ours.  It creates bridges into other worlds.  And has done so long before the Internet.

Story is a very powerful tool for learning, history, growth and motivation.  At the heart of all stories is a person, an entity, a living, breathing creature.  Relationship and struggle are the playthings of story, reflecting life as we know it.

At its best good fiction gives us a view of oneness. It talks of unity and how we are all the same.  The more we can feel that the better for all of us (for the one of us.)

I have been running lately.  More than usual.  Doing two jobs – one much harder than my usual one.  Seems like everyone wants me for something, all the time.  I’ve even had things to do after work!  Today was the first day I took a real lunch – away from my desk.

I find this a difficult way to live.  Perhaps there are some who’ve become accustomed to it.  That might be even worse: to be numb to the time and connection missing.

I encourage those who live in this constant stream to take some time this weekend to really relax and see how it feels.  Can you do it?  Think about steps you could take to find more time in your life (outside of vacation) to slow down a little and listen to your thoughts.

Some may be resistant to that, but there’s really nothing so scary in your thoughts.  When you take the time to listen, sometimes, you will find they calm down. All they really wanted was a little attention. You may still, afterwards, be moving at the same speed, but there will be a calmness at the center, reminding you.  You might be more willing to take those steps to bring more quiet into your life.  All from taking a little time.

Even if it’s just a minute or two here and there. Honor your thoughts’ need to be heard.  We can all find a little time to pay more attention.

Debbie Ford wrote this week about the rituals of Rosh Hashanah and the value of being connected to something.

When we’re connected, she says, ” . . . we’re not run by our fear, worry or pain.”  We can choose what we want to be connected to. Our faith, spiritual practices and rituals remind us of this, of the good there is in life.  They give us something to plug into.

There are lots of choices we can make to help us feel connected. Debbie suggested that we look for the blessings and opportunities in our lives.  I contended that if we set our sights on seeing all that’s right and stay alert for opportunities we will see more and more.  This provides us with visible proof that our lives are blessed and opportunities abound.  Making us feel more blessed.

There was someone in my life today who was annoying me.  Taking advantage where she shouldn’t, not being grateful enough.  But instead of getting grumpy about it, I can see it as an opportunity to be more understanding and forgiving.  I don’t know this woman’s story, what her predicament might be.  I can feel blessed enough to give her some space to be who she is and allow her to take what she needs.

I believe the trick is to not let these little (or big) inevitable trip ups side track or take you too far off kilter. I don’t know about you, but I’m always stumbling on things that are missing from my life, annoyances and opportunities that don’t play out the way I’d hoped, walls I walk into.  With connection we can remember and come back to Center.

For some reason, many of us will cling to the one thing that goes wrong in a day.  I know I do that.  I’ve been having a great day, things have been going my way, plans are moving ahead, maybe even a few delightful surprises along the way. Then someone says something cross to me, or I realize I may have made a mistake.  Maybe something comes in the mail that reminds me of a dirty piece of business I must deal with.  I fall off the wagon and start feeling bad or disappointed.

Sometimes all you can do is try to breathe and reconnect.  Maybe this business, when taken care of, will lead to an opportunity.  The relief of taking care of it may well be a blessing. Mistakes are always opportunities to learn something new and often turn out to be good for us in the long run. With my friend this morning, it was a good opportunity to evolve and expand my capacity to love.

This reconnection or choice to plug back in, doesn’t keep me from dealing with the situation at hand.  It just gives me a sunnier day in which to do it.

The more connected we can stay to the idea of blessings and opportunities, the easier it is to go through life and the more we can enjoy!

Very powerful things, intentions. They dictate how we go about our lives, what our priorities are, and the ultimate effect of our actions.

Some cultures speak of Karma.  I believe that comes directly from our intentions. If you put out generous and loving intentions, you are likely to get the same back.  Though it’s not always in a linear, tit-for-tat exchange.  The energy in intention bounces around and can easily get you from behind!

I was reading Sharon Salzberg (one of my favorite and most under appreciated authors).  She was talking about how the Buddha taught that these intentions and consequent actions were what defined a person’s life – not their caste.  A radical view then, Sharon said, and a radical view now.

Our intentions or motivations are what truly outline what we do and who we are.  Though they are not readily apparent from the outside.  We can never be completely sure what another person’s intentions are.  The motivation could be greed, revenge or generosity or caring, but it would look the same, externally.

The beautiful thing is that we can each decide our intention. It is always our choice.  And this, more than anything else, shapes our world.

Sharon says, when we understand our connection to all things, we can’t help but want to do good.  To set our intention for such.  It’s not something we need to strive for, it is something that comes from within, naturally.

Though we can practice.  Sharon suggests meditation to listen to and practice control of our thoughts. Then we can make more conscious intentions. You need to know where you’re going if you have any hope of getting there.

I’m off to the beach this weekend.  I’ve set my intention to feel loving toward the people I will be with and to be safe on the road.  I want to rest into the present moment and spend some quality time, in the sun, with the ocean.  Amen.

I wish for you to choose more and more loving intentions and smooth sailing ahead.

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