The Beautiful Mystery

This title could be referring to LIFE itself, but here it refers to a book I just finished by Louise Penny called The Beautiful Mystery: A Chief Inspector Gamache Novel.beautiful mystery.jpg

Why I mention it is because it describes a fictional, secluded Canadian monastery of Saint-Gilbert-Entre-les-Loups (Saint Gilbert Among the Wolves) where an ancient order of Gilbertine monks reside and produce the most transcendent Gregorian chants imaginable in the modern world.

The book was okay—no literary masterpiece, but it did inspire me to look for my old CD of Gregorian Chants just to recall hearing the actual sounds of harmonious devotion sung in lower keys.

No luck.  Not even in Billy Joel’s hidden location. So I went online to Amazon to hear a few samples just to remember the vibrational feel of the monk’s chanting. Back when I first purchased my set of Gregorian Chants, I remembered them as interesting, but not awe-inspiring or ephemerally transcendent—or trance inducing as the book had claimed. I’m sure if they had been, I’d still be listening to them.

But I was at least inspired to keep playing Amazon samples of various Gregorian chants and other choral music until I heard some that did feel more ascendant and heavenly. ericwhitacher gold.jpgHowever, they weren’t Gregorian. They were in Eric Whitacher’s hauntingly-beautiful choral album called Light and Gold.

Check that out on Amazon if you get a chance. The very first song sample sold me. It was called “Lux Aurumque” (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D7o7BrlbaDs) .  This Virtual Choir has to be the most amazing thing in the world. The sound on the album Light and Gold is beyond ethereal, but the YouTube version is pretty close to it as well.

Just wanted to share that little discovery I made today with anyone if interested.

This time of year with our political situation in the states, we need all the ethereal assistance we can muster to shift our energies higher and beyond the level of these far lesser beings controlling our world.

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Growing a NEW Culture

petridish.jpg

Dig out your old petri dish, we are going to grow a culture.

Us little bacteria (and there are GOOD symbiotic bacteria such as those that help you digest your food) are replicating and spreading out now with NEW intention over that glass surface. And when we’re done replicating, that petri dish will actually walk away under its own power.

In saying that, I just wanted to mention that another series of speakers are gathering online December 5-7 to discuss the future of our society and what we need to do to build new lines of communication, to create new pathways for peace and prosperity, and to encourage new cohesion among all of us in general to make this present dysfunctional world function as it should.

Vision2020_header.jpg

It is called Shift’s Vision 2020: Illuminating Our Path to a Brighter Future, and it includes many well-known visionaries discussing the present state of our society and what needs to change within it to build a better future together.

I’ve been mentioning these other info sources in post-broadcast form, but this one is yet to come. Why I mention it here without even hearing it is that this online summit offers a FREE-listening for the 48-hours following each speaker, so you have the opportunity to hear them without cost if you catch it during that time frame. You can go to this page to sign up for FREE and to see the schedule of speakers and what they intend to discuss online. http://vision2020summit.us/

I might not catch them all but I do intend to hear a few to see what tendrils that new bacterium is spreading for us.

Here is a sample of the presenters:

Here’s some of what our brilliant Vision 2020 speakers will be sharing with you…

 DeloresHuerta Dolores Huerta focuses on the power to end racism and create a nation of equality and true freedom. Each person truly can make a difference!
 MarianneWilliamson.jpg Marianne Williamson calls us forward to step in and stand up for our country’s founding principles, and the sacred commitment that ALL people are created equal.
 JenniferSiebelNewsom.jpg Jennifer Siebel Newsom calls on you to find and use your voice to stand up for what you passionately believe — to challenge stereotypes and cultural norms, and create equality for all.
 SisterJenna.jpg Sister Jenna offers a dynamic, enlightening transmission on how our thoughts have the power to create our reality — demonstrating that the awakening and shift in our country requires the transformation of our inner world.
 StephenDinan.jpg Stephen Dinan discusses Vision 2020, a powerful movement to educate ourselves and each other — a solution-focused resource for designing and activating the more beautiful world we all know is possible.
 angelKyodowilliams.jpg Rev. Angel Kyodo williams shows how the “American Dream” has been a nightmare for all non-Caucasian people throughout our country’s history… while inspiring you to envision and create a brave, inclusive NEW American Dream!
 JoanBlades.jpgJohnGable.jpg Joan Blades with John Gable introduce a powerful practice for healing relationships that are broken or diminished because of divergent political orientations — offering communication techniques that build understanding across divides.
 ShariffAbdullah.jpg Shariff Abdullah addresses the complex topic of racial injustice… and expresses a vision for a future of equality and economic stability for all socioeconomic classes.
 MichaelLerner.jpgCatZavis.jpg Michael Lerner with Cat J Zavis emphasize the importance of creating social change movements grounded in empathy and infused with love, compassion and spiritual wisdom and practices.
AndrewHarvey.jpg
Andrew Harvey offers insights on sacred activism and how it can lead to deep shifts in our political evolution.

 

So now you have the opportunity to hear it firsthand for yourselves.

Change is possible!—REAL change!—DEEP change!—change that benefits all of us as loving and caring people.  These folks are going to speak about those grow-able changes petri handthat CAN occur if folks are willing to put the time and effort into creating them—and to create our NEW and BETTER WORLD in the process.

 

Dr. Joe and Lynn McTaggart Discuss Their Research on Unified Field Work

Drjoepage image.jpgThanks to my Facebook connections, every day I have a new informative video to watch, which sure beats watching the daily news!  This particular video that I’ll describe below was very powerful, extremely pertinent to energy work in general, and explains further how we materialize the world around us with our thoughts—including how we affect our own health with our thoughts, so my simply bringing this to your attention is my sole purpose because it further substantiates the saying: “What you think, IS.”

But before I go further, I want to mention that if you also would like to receive his notices and videos directly you simply need to LIKE Dr. Joe’s Facebook fan page: https://www.facebook.com/DrJoeDispenzaOfficialNewsFanPage/

And for this particular video that I’m lynnmctag2.jpgdescribing/transcribing here, where he and Lynn McTaggart discuss their own individual research into group meditations/prayers with amazing results that verify the unified field theory, it is located here: https://www.facebook.com/DrJoeDispenzaOfficialNewsFanPage/videos/2184721391553243/

Here’s the blurb for this video: “A Meeting of (Supersized) becomingsupernaturalMinds: What we Now Know about the Miracles Inside You: Join Dr Joe Dispenza and Lynne McTaggart for a profound discussion on their up-to-the-minute research, highlighted in their latest books:
Becoming Supernatural: How Common People Are Doing the Uncommon  (Dr. Joe)
http://www.becomingsupernatural.com

powerof8book.jpg
The Power of Eight: Harnessing the Miraculous Energies of a Small Group to Heal Others, Your Life, and the World  (Lynn McTaggart)
https://lynnemctaggart.com/the-power-of-8/

***

I’ll just post my notes that I took during video since they are fairly self-explanatory. Statements attributed to Dr. Joe or Lynn are as close as I could catch to direct quotes so I’ll put the entire conversation in quotes, but if I missed a word or two and paraphrased instead, please excuse me. Most are darn close to accurate, and I can only type so fast.  🙂

***

“Joe:  Thoughts are the language of the brain and doings are the language of the body; and how we think and feel creates our state of being. There is a misalignment that takes place that creates disharmony for us and then creates a health problem. Emotions are energy. So when we are living by the emotions of frustration and resentment, it can’t carry the thought of healing because that frequency can’t carry that information to our body—it can only carry the frequency equal to that emotional state.

I want to teach people how to regulate internal states and be able to sustain those states independent of their external environment. ….We are marvels of adaptability and change, so you take a group of people and you have them think differently and focus their energies on the joespiel on body changehigher state of being, and it changes their physical experience to mirror their state of mind/emotion/being….

I want people to realize how powerful we really are, because when they do, they can change their health—change their body chemistry that then changes their cells and how their body reacts to or creates the new physical being…

When people change their energy, they change their life.”  Then he talks about his book Becoming Supernatural and the research he has done in that respect.

“Joe: When we take control of our thinking manifests our being, …we move from being a victim of our life to being the creator of our life.reinvent the self.jpg

“Joe: Our nervous system is the greatest pharmacopeia in the world.” …The stronger the emotional trauma, the more we get caught in it. ….We don’t perceive things the way they are. …We perceive them the way WE are.”

“Joe: When we move from selfishness to selflessness, we transcend our human experience.”

LynnMct4.jpg“Lynn McTaggart: In the act of transcending self-focus, which is also reaching the unified-field experience, the person shifts their energy field to something more beneficial to their personal health….

Get out of yourself—Get into the betterment of the person next to you. Help them to maximize their life and it helps you. When you have good intentions for others, it brings good intentions to you.  This is not altruism…it is simply transcending your own self-focus to create better situations for others.”

Joe then says this is non-locality….the tapping the universal field aspect where there are greater resources, and in our biology, it taps different chemicals that create a more maximum experience for ourselves.

“Joe: Let go…surrender.  Trusting that the greater mind has good intentions for us all….

Release your pain and suffering recognizing that they do not serve you.  When you get to the end of the belief that you’ve always held, and you finally surrender, that is the moment that something greater begins to step in. You allow the greater flow to enter you and guide you in a more healthful way of being (mind/body/spirit). …”bookintentionexperiment.jpg

Energies of groups are exponentially greater than simply the sum of its parts.  Coherent waves form that amplify the intentions of the individuals—like group meditations, etc. Group prayers.  “Project Coherence” is his group project to create some kind of group effect that is recognizable and measurable.

McTaggart talks about her Arab and Israeli group meditation/prayer experience. How that affected those participating—how they changed their view of each other as they sent each other love frequencies.  Part of what she is finding “is that the group effect is an instant transport into the miraculous.  You don’t need ayahuasca, or a sweat lodge or years and years of training—just put people in little groups and connect them with a common purpose and a unified energy to achieve their goal…and they link in coherence that magnifies the individual efforts into a unified force that achieves the greater goal.”

“McTag: There is something alchemical about people coming together in groups.”

“Joe:  Community is the unifying thing. It creates the greater connection so that when all resonate with that unified frequency, it becomes almost addicting—it’s desirable to them.  The ONE-mind group think—except all are thinking individually for the common cause—they simply have a unified focus and goal.  It is intentional for each mindfulmatter4participant—not forced—they are totally self-desired and willingly/harmoniously joined together for the common good and the common goal. Like bird colonies flying as huge waves that moves together as one unified group. They turn in unison and move in unity toward the same direction. But they are still individual birds.”

Both are trying to do similar things with groups but yet not exactly the same thing; and they are both finding very similar results in their research.

“McTag: You don’t need years of practice to do this (group meditation thing and reach transcendent levels of being) or need to quit your job, etc.  To do this….you just need a group that knows how to meditate and focus together to create a loving field of grace and compassion.”

***

So, there you have this morning’s info drop into my lap. This video is worth hearing and worth putting up with the occasional video distortion—especially if you believe in energy work and evolving consciousness.

Some Comments on Pat Ogden, PhD, from the “S & P Summit”

After reviewing some of my notes taken from that Psychotherapy patogdan.jpgand Spirituality Summit last month, I wanted to highlight Pat Ogden’s approach to treating clients as one that was holistically attractive for many reasons.

I’m not a psychologist, so much of the content and many of the references that these presenters were describing were new to me. Evidently one big influence on Pat Ogden’s professional life was Ron Kurtz who was the pioneer behind the Hakomi method of therapy.

This method sounded so similar to the spiritual approach that on some level of your being, your body/mind/spirit knows what it needs and is working hard to bring that need to your conscious attention—you simply have to listen and allow it to show you what would help to reorganize your health.

ronkurtz.jpgSo here is more information on Ron Kurtz and the Hakomi method:

( http://www.psychotherapy.net/interview/ron-kurtz-hakomi-therapy )

“Ron Kurtz:  Hakomi uses several particular, unique approaches to helping people study themselves.

We believe–or I believe, anyway–that self-study, as it’s practiced even in the East, is about reducing the unnecessary suffering that comes from not knowing who you really are. In fact, Hakomi means, “Who are you?” So, the way we do it is to establish a safe relationship–a “bubble,” we sometimes call it–within which the therapist helps the client feel comfortable, safe, and cared for.

Serge Prengel (the interviewer): So it’s really “Who are you?” in the sense of how you organize your experience.

RK: Yes, and how you do it unconsciously, automatically—things that go on, as John Lennon would say, while you’re doing something else. There are wonderful new books about the adaptive unconscious, and that’s an essential part of my thinking.

SP: That most of the processes happen unconsciously, and that there’s a reason behind that.

RK: Yes. There’s usually a habit that was learned as an adaptation to a situation, and these habits are not necessarily verbalized or even made aware; we have to bring them into consciousness.

SP: So that’s very much related to that notion that Hakomi is about, “Who are you?” And by creating the experiment, you give the person a chance to actually realize the belief that they carry inside.

RK: Sometimes they call it “self-discovery.” Assisted self-discovery–that’s how I like to think of it.

SP: That’s a very different approach from the more medical-oriented model of pathology.

RK: Yes, it’s totally not a pathological model. It’s a model of, “You want to study yourself? I’ll help you.”

Here’s a YouTube of Kurtz explaining it: https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=11&v=rcRda7-tsXU

***

I guess my comment on this Hakomi method is that it reminded me of the NLP approach coretransform.jpgchampioned by the Andreas (Connirae, Tamara and Steve) called “Core Transformation” where the NLPer takes a client deeper and deeper into what his body says would make him reach a Core State, such as to feel at peace, or to feel loved, or to feel okay, or to feel a sense of oneness with all.

It involves digging layer by layer into the question “What would make you feel closer to this desired state” as they explore the client’s present undesired feeling as opposed to unrealized but desired feeling that would improve the client’s life.  It’s a bit like peeling an onion down to its core point and then doing “soul-parts recovery and reintegration” for the client, which another technique frequently used in hypnosis, NLP, and shamanic healing.

And it’s also far too complicated a process to elaborate on further now, but basically it involves listening more fully and closely to your own body and mind telling you what it really needs and wants in your life to improve your health condition—mentally or physically, or both.makeyoufeel.jpg

So overall, the therapist’s focus is less about the standard clichéd line of: “How does that make you feel?” and more along the line of: “How do you WANT to feel, and what would you need to do or to receive, to feel that way?”

Anyway, my notes on Ogden extended beyond the Kurtz reference, but I’ll have to do it in parts or this will go way too long. But overall, I was impressed with Ogden’s presentation and hoped that others would study her approach to more holistic therapy.

It Comes At a Cost

Everything we do during the course of our lives comes at a cost. That cost is often referred to as Karma.karm2

Karma is the reciprocity factor for our every thought and action.

It refers to the philosophy that the same energy that we expend towards the world around us often boomerangs back to us with seemingly unexpected consequences.

Sometimes the returning energy is lovely—heart-warming and readily welcomed. Other times it is avoided at all costs as we dodge and duck the intended blows to ourselves and our belongings.

karm 1.jpgThis is not to say that we fail to receive the consequences of collective anger when we did not warrant it, because we do. Good people have bad days, as do morally ignorant and ill-advised people have good ones.

But there is always a reaping of what was sown—both good or bad intentions, however if the recipient recognizes the situational opportunity presented, there is also a renewed sowing of better intentions to counter the negative aftermath received.  It depends on how aware they are of the power of conscious intentions to affect their own lives.

I know this sounds like meaningless words—but when we focus our intentions on creating a more loving world, the effect exponentially reverberates throughout the collective morphogenic field.  Here’s a quote from the Lifefield Technique website (http://www.lifefieldtechnique.com/Morphogenic_Fields.html)   better explaining this principle:

“Individually and collectively we constantly contribute to the development of our Universe with our thoughts and the emotional content behind them.  Accessing fields of consciousness, or morphogenic fields is as simple as resonance.  For example, if you carry a morphichigh level of resonance for peace, the chances are that you will access peace easier and draw to you peaceful experiences.  Likewise, if you have a high level of resonance for fear, the chances are equally good that you will find yourself tapping into more fear from that field and drawing validating and fearful experiences into your life.

If you have conscious awareness, you can keep yourself clear enough to be less influenced by negative morphogenic fields and choose to shift resonance to access fields that support your choices of higher awareness.” 

To this above explanation, I generally agree and state also that so much of the world we experience is shaped by the focus on self-interest rather cause effect.jpgthan our shared experience. When we become so self-preserving that we exclude consideration for others, we limit our scope of positive affectation on the world around us.

It’s so easy to feel joy and happiness and wish to willingly share that feeling with others.

It’s also easy to be angered by someone’s cruel words or actions—to wish to react in kind karm dyer.jpgto those lower-frequency energies directed at you. But to act or react in anger or project hateful thoughts, or to wish harm to someone will come at a cost to you because what you project toward others is what you likewise will receive. It may take a little time, but energy has an echoing effect that bounces back at you like sound waves against canyon walls.

If you want to take a risk with your karma, take it with kindness and see what is reflected back from those intentions.

Far better to get hit with a kiss than a fist.

Manifestation of LOVE

There were a few things I wanted to accomplish this morning, including some tiger kit.jpgcomputer-related stuff, so I plopped down in front of the screen and began to type. Max, the 4-month old tiger kitten from the jungles of Sumatra (or perhaps the neighbor’s barn)—the tiny, orange baby that adopted us 3 months ago, was tearing around my room trying to engage me in play and mutual rough-housing.

I was having none of it. I wanted to write. I wanted to check the news site, Facebook, etc.

He was having none of my “none-of-it,” and began climbing up on everything in sight, including me. When he’d jump up onto my chest for nap-time, I’d put him back down tiger 4again because it’s hard to type one-handed and he’s getting heavier by the day. He must already weigh what our last adult female cat weighed before she died. He’s going to be a monster—a genuine mini-tiger!

He’s at the “look-at-me-I can-jump-as-high-as-the-counter” stage now, so after repeatedly yelling at him for his numerous incursions onto everything I did not want him disrupting, damaging, or pilfering, I finally just gave in to his last jump-to-my-chest assault and held him to me. He immediately quieted and began purring, then nestled gently into my arms and promptly went to sleep.

That’s all he wanted.

He just wanted to be held and loved. All the acting out—the naughtiness—the terrorizing—it was all because he wanted to be held in my arms and I had refused to allow it. So he made me regret my decision in any way that he could.

tiger face.jpgAs I listened to his deep-throated purr that vibrated against my body with a soothing reassurance that this little creature truly loved me in return, I realized that this fuzzy bundle of condensed, kinetic energy was exactly what I wanted, wasn’t it? Spirit gave me the very thing that I needed to fill that void from our last feline housemates passing away. S/he gave me LOVE.

We cuddled for as long as my arm could hold him; and he was ready to move on anyway as evidenced by the little nip to my other arm when I disrupted him. (We’re still working on that no-biting thing.)  Then he was content to sit on his own and watch out the window.

LOVE is not to be ignored. LOVE is not to be taken for granted.4 month old max.jpg

LOVE is to be gratefully enjoyed whenever it manifests.

If you doubt it, …I have LOVE’s Sumatran enforcer I can loan you.

Being Honest with Oneself

A couple weeks ago I read a man’s revealing blog entry about how his world was suddenly upended by his loving wife dying from a fast-acting form of cancer. He wrote how he simply came apart after her death and spent the majority of his time tipping a bottle. What saved him, he said, was bottoming out, letting everything go, and being brutally honest with himself about every aspect of his past, present, and future without her.

While these words below (inspired by his article) are mine and not his, it was a powerful and hopeful message that needed to be shared—how he slowly rebuilt his life from the ground up by changing how he viewed his role in the process.  I’d like to list his url page of the article here for all to read it directly but unfortunately I can’t locate it again. Sorry. This fictional account is the best I can do.

***

Jack, my counselor, told me he had one rule, and that was to be honest in our talks. “Be honest?” I sneered back at him. The only truth I knew for certain was that I was still sinking in a tar pit of pain over my wife’s sudden illness and death that past year—I raged for half an hour at the unfairness of it all to both of us.  “You want REAL?” I told him, “THAT is very real to me—so there Jack, THAT is my being honest with you!”

My counselor then said to use that very real pain as the starting point to feeling what truth is for me—to use it as the gauge of honesty for every other aspect of my life to help determine what I expected from life in general, and even more importantly, what life might actually expect from me—which made no sense at all to me back then. “What LIFE expects from me?” I yelled, “Screw life! What did it ever do but give me more pain?”

He said that if I could just be honest with myself over what I truly felt for my wife before and after her illness, and allowed myself to feel the real depth of my loss over her death, then I could be honest about other parts of myself as well. That honesty, he said, would help me determine how I wanted to live the rest of my life.

The booze, he said, was keeping me from ‘feeling’ in general because if I never really let myself feel the pain, then I could never get past the pain to move on from there.

The court-required AA meetings helped because other addicts/alcoholics won’t let you lie about what you do or why you do it. They know. They’ve been there. They’ve said and done the same things, and they call you out on your stuff. You can’t hide it from them. You get that real fast. And I needed that.  I needed their truthfulness to help me uncover my own.

But I wouldn’t call those meetings support as much as I’d call it a mirror held up to your face that you can’t avoid.  There you are—twenty or so different versions of you—all gathered in one room sharing stories, shame, and self-loathing.  And there I was with a bunch of other people supposedly just like me—like being called by some other name to tell something similar to my story, like Jim or John or Lori, …or Frank or Jerry—but they were all different versions of me. “Same brand of ice cream, just a different flavor,” Jack said.

Well I didn’t like how that made me feel, so I told them about it. Said I didn’t belong there.

“Accept it,” they said. “We are alcoholics. You’re an alcoholic—lying is what you do, especially to yourself.  That’s who you are because that’s the most comfortable way to be—at least it always has been. Problem now is that even lying doesn’t work for you anymore.”

They were rough with me at times because I was so stuck in denial—claiming I was the victim here—why couldn’t they see that? One guy even pointed to me and said, “You want to keep seeing this same lying sack of shit staring back at you every time you look in the bathroom mirror? NO? Then change what you’re doing—change what you’re thinking. Because if you can’t accept the living proof of who and what you are sitting here all around you—if you can’t stand to think that you’ve been lying to yourself and to everyone you say you loved day after day for most of your life, then don’t expect your future to be any different. It’s your choice. YOUR choice, man!”

The “Your choice!” repeated over and over in their own stories. It’s always your choice. It’s your decision. “No one makes it but you,” they kept saying. “It isn’t really about life’s unfairness, or how much you miss your wife,” one of them told me. It was about being honest with myself about what I was feeling—what I still AM feeling about it all, and deciding if that’s what I want to feel in the future.

“If you can do that,” my counselor who led the group said, “if you can be honest with yourself, then you can pull yourself together and get on with your new life without the booze. But it’s really up to you.”

And as a parting shot, another guy who looked a lot like my sleezy Uncle Charlie, who was the last person in the world I ever wanted a lecture like this from, told me, “If you aren’t willing to help yourself buddy, don’t expect us to help you.”

Well, a couple years later I can tell you that it wasn’t easy by any means. Some days are still a struggle, but eventually I learned to view that past history of my previous self and life in a different way—what Jack called “in a more constructive manner”—one where I could refocus on how I had survived those painful life lessons, and use that survivor mentality to help me feel good about myself again, …which was far better than feeling so rotten all the time, where I simply wanted to numb myself into la-la land with the booze.

But maintaining the what Jack had named “lesson-filled, boot-camp view” of my previous life which he said I had successfully survived, was a difficult choice that I had to keep making day after day—sometimes every minute of the day for awhile, until I grew more comfortable in my new skin.

And getting to know this new me who thought and acted completely different from the old me, was the hardest part of it, because I finally realized that for 42 years I’d basically been doing nothing more than lying to myself, so I hardly knew what truth looked like, or even what being truthful felt like.

In fact the more I considered it, I’m not sure that I had ever been honest with anyone, let alone being honest with myself back then.

Was everything I’d said and done in my entire life a lie? If so, then wasn’t any part of it real? And what part of me was the real ME who was actually worth knowing? To figure that out, Jack tried to flip my mind again to see WHO it was that I wanted to become, to know how to get there. He said it was like creating an image of the new and better me that I would simply have to GROW into. But how could I do that?

Jack framed it to me this way: If I were the adult parent of a newborn ME ready to be introduced into this world full of challenges and wonders, what kind of parent would I truly need to be to successfully raise baby ME into a solid, well-balanced adult? Would I need a critical, demanding, drill sergeant constantly condemning ME and beating me down for my failings, or a nurturing, caring, coach continually encouraging my daily progress and raising me up to feel good about myself?

Not a tough choice, really. I didn’t need to feel any worse about myself than what I’d already been feeling.  What I needed was to feel more loved and supported than I had actually felt throughout most my childhood. Jack agreed. He said what I needed to help me succeed in my new life direction was my own loving guidance and support, not more self-condemnation.

Per Jack’s instructions, every morning now when I look in the bathroom mirror, I ask myself this question: “How are you going to encourage the best from that young kid in you today—how are you going to parent yourself to become a strong and loving person?”

Then I look right into my own eyes and say the words of a speech I’d memorized for doing this daily self pep-talk, “How can I express myself in more compassionate ways—in ways that other loving and caring people want to share in—ways that help them to recognize the goodness of my heart so they want to become more a part of my life?”

“How can I be a good person?”  I ask the ME staring back in all my imperfections. And that’s the goal I set for the day—every day—just trying to be a good person in some way—trying to help somebody or to do something nice for somebody else, because it makes me feel good when I can do that. And the more good I do for others, the better I feel about myself. Funny I know, but that’s how it is.

Well, as you can see, I’m still working on that goal of being a better person. But I wanted others to know that being honest with myself was a key to clearing out the garbage from my life. Think about it: You got to keep taking out the trash to keep from stinking up the house.

And if that ain’t being honest, …then I don’t know what is.