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Why?

My heart

My skin is white because my parents were white.  I did not choose the color of my skin. I also did not choose where I lived growing up, the religion I was told to believe, the food I was given to eat, or the stuff I was taught in school. Like you, my parents and the society in which I was raised tried their best to mold me into who they wanted me to be.

Of course, I rebelled. Some children stop asking why as they grow up. I may have stopped asking out loud, but inside WHY is always in my heart. I learned early in life to filter my thoughts, experiences, other people’s opinions, through the love in my heart. To do so I had to ask WHY because I was NOT going to be racist. I was NOT going to be judgmental of people who did not look like me. I was NOT going to condemn people who did not go to the same church I did. I was NOT going to discount people who did not believe what I was told I must believe. I was NOT going to live in fear. Or be controlled. Or tolerate injustice, inequality or negative status quo.

From a young age I was uncomfortable with anything but love, and believe me I experienced so much that was not love.  But I chose to ask why, to question everything and everyone who did not align with the positive behavior of love. That is how I learned to walk my LOVE talk. I taught myself what it means to lead with my heart by asking WHY of all that does not feel good and right to my soul.

Love is the Golden Rule

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A woman was standing in line at a local coffee shop when the two women in line behind her began saying derogatory things about her. They cut down her size, what she ordered, her hair, and more.  The woman fought back tears as she tried to imagine how two complete strangers, people she did not know and had never met, could justify saying such hurtful things.

When she reached the counter she told the cashier to pay for two extra coffees for the women behind her. No matter how hurtful those two women chose to be she was not going to stoop to their level. She was determined to treat them as she wanted to be treated even when they did not treat her with the same respect.

Taking the high road is always the right thing to do. She never said one word to the two women but she did post her experience and received overwhelming support. To date the two bullies have not returned to the coffee shop.  They got the message loud and clear and the woman did not have to confront them personally. She knows we cannot reason with unreasonable people.  People who so readily hurt others are hurting themselves so the action that will have the most positive impact is to bring a “higher awareness to the situation than what created it in the first place.” (Albert Einstein) So she choose to spread LOVE – which has a Divinely guided way of paying back the negative deeds of others while allowing us to take the higher road to be the change we want to see. (Mahatma Gandhi)

A Gift of Love

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When my little buddy Austin was born his parents and all who know them were given a gift we did not anticipate. None of the prenatal tests revealed he would have Down syndrome – a genetic disorder caused by the presence of all, or part of a third copy of chromosome 21. Initially, it was easy to go down the road of sadness for how he will be treated, how he will live and thrive, how he will be happy in the world having to deal with physical growth delays and mild to moderate intellectual disability. But it did not take long for sadness to be replaced with deep joy at the gift his parents and all of us receive from knowing their special son.

Austin’s heart is so BIG he comforts those who are sad. He goes up to strangers and gives them a hug. He is always smiling, filled with joy and wonder. He is so connected to the kind, compassionate, loving part of his heart he beams LOVE in all directions. A LOVE so palpable, everyone with whom Austin interacts is touched by his presence and changed for the better. In my book, that makes Austin an angel who was created by LOVE to help teach us how to LOVE one another, with non-judgment, respect and kindness.

Five Ways You Can Change the World

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Personally I am tired of sitting around waiting on someone to rescue us from all that is wrong in the world.  So, here are five things I do each day, that if you do too, WE WILL CHANGE THE WORLD in a very good way.

  1. Make friends with your neighbors, the people at the places where you do business, at the gym, post office, church, you children’s school. People who care for one another look out for each other, respect one another, and build strong, resilient and peaceful communities. Sure it may take time and effort but good relationships improve everyone’s life.
  2. SMILE!  Makes people feel good and you feel good too.
  3. No ego-boxing. We don’t react to negative behavior with more negative behavior. We bring a higher level of awareness to situations. We’re all going through something. Unless we or another form of life is in physical danger we don’t get involved in the bad, rude or inconsiderate moods of others.
  4. Don’t make emotional, fast, or uninformed decisions. We cannot think clearly when we’re angry. It’s been proven by science.  So gather facts, be patient, and make certain the decisions you make are the best they can be based on being informed.  Never forget BREXIT.
  5. Use cloth grocery bags and cut out as much plastic as you can from daily life. We’ve got a real problem with plastic in our oceans. Without clean oceans YOU AND I cease to exist. Let’s not leave this to our children and their children to clean up.

See it really is very easy to make a positive difference each and every day by being LOVE in ACTION.

God Wants Us to Seek Fact

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One of the best lessons I learned is the importance of thinking for myself. Not to follow the crowd or make emotional and uninformed decisions. It is important to form my own beliefs based on doing research to seek FACT. I can’t rely on family, friends or neighbors to do the work for me. I must count on people who have more experience and knowledge in areas where I am a neophyte (novice). One area I need guidance is politics.

I am patriotic. I vote in every election no matter how small. I take seriously the job of electing people who are the best possible choice – those whose character values (honesty, openness, dedication, etc.) most mirror my own. But, to find the best people I must turn off the noise, the biased opinions of those who have an agenda, and seek fact by being careful who I listen to. That is why I watch The Rachel Maddow Show each day on MSNBC.

There is no room for error come November. We can’t think something like Brexit will never happen to us. God wants us to make up our own minds and hearts based on facts. That means God wants us to elect the best people of character.  I find Rachel Maddow inspiring, informative, knowledgeable, and invaluable for getting me the facts I need to vote.

Forgive, But Set a Boundary

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I was recently betrayed by someone who told me what they knew I wanted to hear rather than telling me the truth. The truth would have meant they lost money but honesty would have saved the relationship and my respect for them. Instead they intentionally chose to lie.

I am so GRATEFUL to have learned dishonesty ALWAYS is revealed in time. Doing the right thing, being the better person and choosing the high road is not easy but it is SELF-LOVING. Sure, we may lose what we want (money, power, position, person, a thing) but in the end, standing up for what is right, making ourselves do what we know is best, always results in our peace, happiness, being respected and respecting ourselves.

It hurts this person chose money over me. But their dishonesty is hurting them MUCH more.

And if you are curious, I did forgive, but also removed them from my life. I set the permanent boundary because instead of taking responsibility for the lie, they attempted to create another lie to get themselves out of the first one. When this happens in our relationships WE don’t need any more evidence or to give another chance because avoiding responsibility is proof of who someone really is now, regardless what we want to believe their potential may be.

A Mother’s Love

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My 91 year old mother regularly visits a retirement home. There is a woman she visits who is almost bedridden. Her son does not come to visit and she cannot see well enough to read. So she sits there day after day alone waiting for a visitor to break up the silence and loneliness.

Recently mother told me she is going to get the woman a television for her room so she has something to do, so she won’t feel so lonely. She will have access to news and in some small way will hopefully still feel part of the world outside the four walls of her tiny room.

When I grow up I want to be like my mother, who is the kindest and most thoughtful person I know. I want to be the woman who reads to the blind. Who visits the shut ins. Who is able to buy a television for someone so they can make it until my next visit. My mother is pure love, the kind of love God asks each of us to be.

To Respond, or NOT

On Facebook I was private messaged a pornographic video. It was homemade, shot up close and disgusting. I am proud to tell you I reported it and banned the person from my page. Oh, and I told my mom who was sitting in her chair watching TV.

You and I cannot control other people. We cannot know the reasons they do some of the strange and often abusive things they do. YES, sending porn to someone who did not ask to see it is ABUSE.

I know other people’s behavior can be disturbing but we don’t have to let it disturb us. It is not personal. He sent the video to see how I would respond. I did not and would not. Who wants to engage with a stranger who thinks so little of himself or me that he would send such a thing. No, after so many years of doing it the other way I am so happy to have learned, there is no benefit to engaging because we cannot reason with unreasonable people. To keep our peace of mind we simply report, remove and move on.

Happy for Other’s Happiness

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When you love someone you are happy for their happiness. Well I am super happy for my sweet Barbara. As a private yoga instructor Barbara works with high profile people like celebrities and people in the movie industry. But recently she got to work with one of my personal heroes and a true living legend.

Remember Diana Nyad who successfully swam from Cuba to Florida – the only human being to ever do that? And she did it at age 62. Yep, Barbara did yoga with her.  That so Rocks and I am so very happy for Barbara’s excitement and happiness at meeting and doing yoga with one of her personal heroes too. Life is filled with such wonderful surprises.

Things are Just Things, Unless

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Things are just things unless they take on emotional significance. Such is the case with this ceramic tree of life.

It is very important to my mother because it belonged to her late sister. When my aunt passed away last year mother brought this home and put it where she could see it ever day. It’s been over a year since my aunt passed but to mom it seems like just yesterday. So she is grateful to now have this “thing” that meant so much to her sister.

I told mom today that if it is okay with her, I want the tree of life someday. She said of course. While I truly hope that day is many years off, I know there will be a time when I take this home and put it somewhere I can see it each day. Because this “thing” now has a permanent home in my heart too.