Did I Lose Something?

Oh yes, my mind.

Drive-thru banking offers the convenience of not having to exit the car especially in the heat of the mid day sun.   On this particular day, I rolled down the window retrieved the hollow tube and inserted my check as well as my driver’s license in the rather mundane way I have done a hundred some times before.   With fingers fumbling the driver’s license though, it fell to the ground below.

Having to open the door to locate the driver’s license, I instead discovered a diamond bracelet lying on the ground next to it.  Without thinking, I picked it off the ground and held it up to the teller and hit the button to communicate with her.

“I found this bracelet. I don’t know how you can get it back to the rightful owner, but I will send it with my other stuff, ok.”   I told her.

She responded back, “We have a lost and found.  I will put it there.”

I do not even remember actually looking at the bracelet. I simply slid it into the canister with my check and driver’s license and sent it on its way.  I did though wonder its sentimental value and if anyone would think to go back to the bank in search of their lost item.  Hopefully so.

There is such an unsettling feeling to lose something.  Or for that matter, to have something stolen.  I know some people never really get over losing a particular item and most often it is not the material value but rather what it represents.

Do you know how children sometimes carry around a security blanket?   Sometimes even as adults we do the same.   Whether it be a trinket or a valuable piece of jewelry handed down from generation to generation, there can be a special bond associated that when lost can be devastating.

Likewise, there is such exhilaration in finding something we thought was lost. It can be the simplest of things, but to find can be like opening a present from under the tree on Christmas morning.  There is that magical feeling of reclaiming something that we concluded was gone forever.

For whatever reason, I seem to gravitate to finding lost items.  Several years back it seemed to happen quite often that I would find a credit card sticking out of an ATM as I drove up to the bank.   Each time, I would take it inside and give it to the manager explaining someone had left it in the machine.

When I was much younger there was a woman who was getting gas and not realizing that she had put her purse on top of the car.  When finished, she drove away – with the purse still sitting on top of the car.  My friend and I watched as the purse almost in slow motion rolled off and on to the ground behind her.

I was driving and went over to where the purse fell.   Positioning the car on my friend’s side, I told him to pick it up and then to hold on.   We lived in a rather desolate area with very little traffic but knew that she would be down the road a ways already.

Without thinking, I raced after her.  We caught up to her got up beside her and had my friend hold up the purse to his window as I honked the horn.   She looked over but at first did not realize what we were doing.   We were just a couple of punk kids, so I can only imagine her thought process.

At the time I had long hair that was about half way down my back so was used to negative stigmas from people.   But, I am sure when she saw us she did more than a quick  double take.   We were though able to get her to stop on the side of the road. When she did I got out, went over to her car and handed her the purse and walked away.

Several times when I have shared this story someone has asked if the woman said “thank you”, and my response has always been the same.  Does it matter?

In this case, she did not but I take it not as a lack of appreciation but rather as someone who was in shock and did not realize until later that she had forgotten to say “thank you.”  Furthermore, for me, life is rather simple.   It is not about her.

What she says or does not say is not a reflection of me.  I always feel that someone else is grateful, whether they are or not, because that is how I operate myself.  I am very appreciative of all that life has given to me and am quite humble to the fact that so many have far less than I do.

My philosophy is that everyone is doing the best they can, not in terms of pure potentiality but rather the best they can with the resources they feel they have available to themselves at that particular point in their life.  It is not for me to judge what they have going on in their head.   They may be fighting a fight that I could not possibly be able to endure, and they could be doing so on a daily basis.

There are individuals who have endured the most horrific of experiences and yet have prevailed.  There are others who have also experienced something just as tragic and are teetering on the edge.  It only takes one little incident to send them over the edge, and losing something could do just that.

Likewise, by giving something back to someone may be what brings them that slight glimmer of hope that gets them through the day. It may even be enough to turn their entire life around.   It only takes a spark to light a fire.  We never know when someone is in dire need of just a little spark to awaken the flame inside.

And while I do not believe that karma is as simplistic as simply doing something good for others and in return something good will happen to you.  Instead, what works for me is understanding what I like and what I don’t like.  I like it when someone does something nice for me, so why would I not do the same for others?

I’ve often been asked for as long as I can remember, “Why are you so happy all the time?”

What is happiness?  I find it within myself.  I enjoy the nuances that life has to offer, and the experiences that are afforded me.   Happiness to me is living.  Or rather living my life.     The more I concentrate on doing the best I can for myself all of those peripherals become less and less significant.

Moreover, we all experience both loss and gain.  How we respond is how we define ourselves.  There are opportunities for growth with both.

I may be losing my mind, forgetful as I may be, but I have made up my mind to continue to believe that no matter how absent minded I become I will more often than not find what I am looking for both literally and figuratively.

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Didn’t You See The Horse?

I sat eating lunch with a friend at a restaurant.   It was yet again another gorgeous south Florida day.  As we were engaged in conversation I nonchalantly turned my head and asked out loud, “Is that a horse?”

“That’s not something you see every day.”  I quipped as I peered out the window taking another look realizing there was not one horse but two.   These were not the Clydesdale type that would tower over everything but rather two quaint miniature horses that politely stood next to the table as the family ate their lunch.

I wonder if when finished they offered the two an apple for their good behavior?

Seeing a horse standing at a restaurant is certainly not the norm, at least not in this day and age, but I equate them as being the elephant in the room.   How can we possibly miss a horse standing there?   Yet, every day there is an elephant in the room in one shape or form that goes largely unnoticed.

Several years ago, for example, I was witness to what was by far the most magnificent day at the beach.  Staring out into the ocean I noticed there were these dark spots all about.

What were they?

I wondered the same thing, as I kept straining my eyes trying to figure what it was.   Finally, a big wave rolled in and within the wave was the largest culmination of fish I had ever seen.  The dark spots, I instantly realized, were schools upon schools of fish.  The bigger the wave the more it reminded me of an aquarium as I stood there in total awe of this remarkable sight.

After several minutes simply soaking in the experience, I turned and started walking down the beach. As I did, I happened upon a couple sitting on the beach in their lawn chair covered by an umbrella.   I would have stopped and shared in the experience of witnessing such vast schools of fish with them, but they were totally oblivious of the situation.

There they sat not even looking in the general direction of the ocean. Instead, they had their backs to the water  facing a large cement condo building.   For me, part of the reason I venture to the beach is to be away from the cement and to get back to nature.  To see and feel the water is where I find the greatest pleasure.

We all find pleasure in our own little way.  It is not how we are alike that makes us truly magnificent but rather those special qualities that make us unique.  Each of us have our own opportunities to find beauty in this great big dazzling world that we live in today.

Finding the beauty though is like seeing the horse standing outside the restaurant for all to see.    There they are in plain sight and yet how many walk by without even a clue of what they missed?   It happens every day, people so caught up in themselves they can’t get out of their own way.

While it is most certainly a much easier task to see the beauty in the world when you’re own world is going beautifully.  It is during the times of the most turmoil that the world around appears unsettling.  When life has got us down, it can be quite a struggle to turn that around.  Sometimes it takes a giant elephant in the room for us to finally see what we have been  missing, or quite possibly in this case, two horses.

They are majestic animals, horses are,  who symbolize beauty and grace.   Today as they stood before me I was grateful to be watching something unique, something different.  I am eternally thankful for every opportunity to see the beauty of life that is all around me.

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Hosed? Or Smelling Like Roses?

From dreamland to flying off the bed, it was not until I had my hand on the door handle did I look down to notice that without clothes it probably would not be the most conducive move for me to go outside at 8 in the morning as everyone in the neighborhood is either going to work or walking their dog.  So instead of plunging forward, I retreated from the door and back into the bedroom where I found enough clothes to at least not get arrested, then went back to the front door again.  This time I opened it to the already searing sun and to my chagrin my intuition was correct.  What I forgot last night, I certainly remembered this morning, about 8 hours too late.  I left the water sprinkler running all night.

That is one way to start the day I thought.   Two choices I have.  I can either say to myself, “this is starting out to be a lousy day” or I can say, “well, if this is the worst thing that happens to me all day I’m good.”   Either way, I can decide. I have that choice.

Being conscious of my choice, I decided to spend a few moments meditating on being grateful and mindful of my mindlessness that attributed to me forgetting to turn off the water last night.    I do not spend time questioning why something happens or why someone does something.  Why is such a difficult question to answer and really there so often no real answer to be found.  Instead I tend to focus within, looking at myself and where my imbalances are occurring to correct those by becoming more centered.

Centered I was, and back ready to tackle the morning full steam ahead I charged ahead.   With today being the day I had my appointment with the surgeon (little thing called a hernia), I sent an email via my voice recognition software, instead of typing, to my friend.  I told her that I keep visualizing the hernia healed already and now it’s merely a matter of going through the healing process.  Granted, part of the process is listening to what the doctor recommends and taking his professional advice very much into account in order to do what is best for me both short-term and long-term.

I am not quite certain how the message got misinterpreted by the software but am very glad that I looked down at my phone prior to hitting the send button.   In part, the message read “I’m going to go kill myself”.   Not exactly the message of self-healing.  In fact, totally different connotation all together.

Now I figure at this point of the day the universe is not only laughing with me, but at me.  I am good with that. I love a good joke, and do have a rather sarcastic sense of humor.

Not to be deterred though, and with full speed ahead feeling there is simply too much living to be done to be sitting around letting the day waste away, I figured that after some thoughtful introspection and peaceful from reflection, the next best task to tackle was to blog about the sprinkler mishap.

That I did, or at least tried to do.   The problem was I could not log into the site.  My WordPress account hacked?

That was my first thought especially after the last couple of days.  Two days ago, my email account was hacked sending out spam to those on my contact list.  That was after I had just changed my password. I thought you were supposed to change your password in order to prevent the account being hacked??  Guess not in this case.

Feeling the need to update my anti-virus software I ran a repair tool. Upon completion I needed to reboot the computer. I did, or rather, I tried.

The computer would not load Windows. Knowing the basics, I went through the checklist of options before realizing it was over my head and it needed more tender loving care than I could provide.   So off to the computer tech who could not resolve the issue any better than I could without fully tearing it apart.

Thus, with the computer getting hacked and the focus being on the malfunctioning computer, I figured that had something to do with me not being able to log into my WordPress account. I tried throughout the afternoon but to no avail.

Did I mention that since my computer was down I went back to my old faithful back up laptop?   The only issue with my laptop is, besides being painfully slow, it has the number two key missing.  What is the significance of the two key?  Among other thing it is critically important when entering the email address such as the one needed to log into WordPress.

What I did not realize until just a few moments ago, prior to beginning this piece of writing, is that instead of pasting the @ symbol I pasted the © symbol.   Big difference.  At least, I realized it only seconds before sending an email to the WordPress account recovery team.

Now I’m happy to say  I am back fully present and accounted for.  Well, that was until a mere five minutes ago when I realized I left my groceries in the car.  Did not have much. Just eggs, almond milk and strawberries.

The beauty of today is the opportunities to laugh.  Amusing is how I would say I see the world.  Always something fascinating and always something going on all the time.

However we start the day does not dictate how the rest of the day will transpire.   Each moment though connected is independent of the others.  It is within each moment where the opportunities reside.

Am often asked, “How is your day?”  by one person or another.

That is a rather auspicious question.  In what regard?  Personally, professionally, emotionally, financially, physically, mentally, emotionally, and so on, and so forth.

The day is also a whole story in of itself.  There are many chapters inside that story with some more memorable than others. Again, it is our choice what we choose to remember, as well as what we choose to focus our attention, and our intention.

An equally auspicious label is the declaration of ones political affiliation.   While someone may profess to be conservative or liberal, there are a myriad of layers that are all tied together.   A persona may be a fiscal conservative, but very liberal when it comes to social issues and moderately conservative in terms of foreign policy, and so on, and so forth.

Like life, there are many layers.   Years within a lifetime, months within  a year, days within a month, minutes within a day, and seconds with a minute all telling tales of who we are.   And, where we have been as well as where we are going.

Each provides us with growth and learning opportunities.  Whatever we believe, is.   That too can change as our belief system also has layers.

It can be easier to see the world as beautiful when the world is presenting itself beautifully whether it be on a bright sunny day void of stormy weather or when everything seems to be going our way, just as it can be easier to view a person as loving if they are being lovable.

Far more difficult is it to see the same beauty when there is severe weather in the forecast and in the air, whether literally or figuratively, just as it is more difficult to love those that act in unloving ways.

Whether we see the world as beautiful or not, the world is as it is.  Whether or not see someone as loving, they are who they are.  It is merely our perception of them and our interpretation of the world around us.

Beauty is there.  It is here.  It is everywhere.

Like the flowers that grow in the yard.  The pedals they may be what your eyes might see.  Or, it might be the weeds that you choose to see.

Not everyone sees it.  Not everybody  finds it.  Not all of us appreciate it, in the same way.

Thank you.  I am grateful.

Every Day, In Every Way, Life Gets Better and Better

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If I Die Tomorrow……

Socrates is said to have professed shortly before his own death that the practicing of dying is the highest level of wisdom.

Practice dying?  What exactly does that mean?  And, if you were to die tomorrow what would people say about you?   Did your life have a purpose?

When I die people will ask not “What did he do?”  but rather “What didn’t he do?”  That is because I have such a lust for life  and a true passion for each and every day coupled with a love for learning.     Everyone has a purpose, and for me, part of my purpose is to speak from the heart; write from the soul; and to lead by inspiring myself, and others, to greatness.

There has actually been about four people that I have met who have died but were eventually brought back to life.  They are a testament to Socrates’ practicing dying.  They literally were practicing.

The first person, he was walking across the street when struck by a car who threw him over 30 feet in the air before he came crashing back to earth with his head hitting the pavement first.  When the paramedics arrived, he was diagnosed as being DOA before they were finally able to revive him.   It took him years to learn the basic necessities of life whether it was to speak, to eat or to drink a glass of water.  His response to that harrowing day when he flew 30 feet in the air?

“It was the best day of my life.”  He remarked confidently.

What?  Why?  How could this be seen as being the best day of his life?

In his own words, “I was such an asshole before” but his personality changed.  He no longer worried.  No longer did his life revolve around work but rather he learned to live and also work.   When his coworkers would get anxious about his leaving at quitting time instead of staying late, he simply laughed.  It was a new found laugh that he never had before the best day of his life.

The next person person was a stunning young woman who strode toward me with such confident strides.  She approached where I was working, and we struck up a conversation.   I asked her the usual general questions that somehow led to her telling of her story.

She was in a car that careened off the road knocking her not only unconscious but when the paramedics arrived she was DOA.   They were able to revive her but when transported to the hospital she was advised by the doctors that they needed to amputate her leg.

Think about it.  She wakes up.  She finds out she was not merely in a car accident, but she died, and then – she is going to have her leg amputated.

Her response?   It was the best day of her life.

Now it took years of introspection to come to this place of reflection, as she stood there before me, telling me her remarkable tale.   She spoke eloquently about how the doctors told her that if her leg was not amputated she would not survive.  And yet, she refused.  As this amazing young woman was telling me this she lifted up her dress to show me the scar where a steel rod was now implanted into her leg.  Her smile glowing as she spoke with such joy and appreciation in her words.

The appreciation she shared was for life’s beauty even in the most troubling of times. To be able to truly see the light a midst what is perceived as being the darkest of days is in of itself a beautiful way of seeing the world.  It is also something I have seen as remarkably similar in every person who has shared their story of being DOA then revived.  Each of them in their own way said, “it was the best day of my life.”

The question I have though is why does it take dying for us to learn to live?  Most of us have not literally experienced dying but many of us have had periods in our life where it feels like the turmoil of the time is such that it is almost unbearable whether it be physical, emotional or spiritual.  It is from these times that we actually grow and become better, or more precisely, we have the opportunity to do so.

Why cannot we see the beauty that is all around us every day?  There is beauty out there just not everyone sees it.  Sometimes it takes the proverbial storm of all storms before we can truly appreciate the sun’s glorious rays.

In following the words of Socrates and practicing dying as he so suggests, I must say that I am eternally grateful for the great myriad of inspirations that have over the years crossed my path and brought me to where I am today.   Having been eternally blessed with a wonderful support system starting with my parents and family, I had the foundation to grow and become as passionate about life as I am today.   With the good fortunate to be surrounded by the most amazing people whether near or far, I have learned from a plethora of divine souls who have graced me with their wisdom and insight that has helped me in so many a ways from yesterday to today.

Whether it be a teacher who inspired me with their passion that shined like a beacon of light; or whether it be a friend who traveled together for years on the road to puberty falling more times than we ran and failing more times than we passed and yet still we found a way to laugh; or whether it be a stranger who out of the cover of darkness they shined a bit of kindness that was just enough to lead the way through and onto another day, there are thousands upon thousands of influential people who have crossed my way.  They will continue to come and continue go their own way, and I in turn will continue to be grateful for their presence and appreciative of their time.

While I am sure it has happened, I cannot recall an instance where I have been hurt by someone.  I am sure that like everyone else I have experienced pain and suffering but it is not something that I focus my attention.   If someone has done me wrong I do not dwell on their transgressions, because I know not what someone is thinking or what ills they are hurting.   Often the ones who hurt the most are themselves hurting the most.  The most unloveable are sometimes the ones most in need of love.

So instead of focusing on the pain, I have chosen to focus my attention on healing myself of any wounds offering forgiveness as part of the process and being ever grateful even when I may not understand at the time the question why.

Tomorrow is yet a life time away and on that, and each and every new day, that I am fortunate enough to wake, I will not let but one go to waste.  I will in each one find some way to live my purpose and to be of service to another.  Whether it be great or small it matters not as long as I am lending a hand, offering a bit of generosity and practicing always kindness to one and to all.

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Are You?

“I am worthy.”

You don’t hear that very often do you?

More often than not it is a slip of the tongue that takes one form or another of the phrase “I’m not good enough.”   This short sentence is quite powerful, though.  How many times do you hear people say things like:

“I can’t do that.”

“They won’t like me.”

“I’m going to get hurt.”

or, one I heard most recently

“I’m so self conscious.”

All of these have something in common.  They are all limiting beliefs for one.  Also how does it make you feel when you hear someone say any of these to you or to someone else?

Listen the next time you hear it and listen to what words they emphasize the most?  A lot of times you can literally hear their voice change when they hit  the action verb.  It is an action, too because it is reaffirming what they are thinking thus thoughts become action.

I have been very conscious of my own thoughts as well as the words that I choose to speak.  Throughout the day I focus my attention on my thoughts. If I have a negative thought I try to first recognize that I am having it then questioning why I am having it.  A question I often ask myself is, “Is that true?”

For example, if I think that I am going to struggle because of an unexpected bill I will ask myself if that is true.  Next, I focus my attention on gratitude instead of lack by being mindful of all that I have to be grateful for literally in my mind saying “I am grateful for” and making a list of each of them. I continue the list until the feeling of the initial negative and/or limiting thought fades away.

Another tactic I use is if I am encountering a period where my thoughts are not aligned as I know they should be I will sit quietly and meditate or I will actively do something for someone else.   Sometimes doing something for someone else is as simple as making a phone call. We often forget how much a phone call can mean for a person especially if they are not in the best of health.

There is a woman that I call about every week, and I am so appreciative of our conversations.  It is a beautiful reminder of keeping myself centered, because I could not fathom calling her while she is bed ridden and complain to her about anything menial that may be happening in my life.  No matter how she is feeling, whether she is in pain or not, she is always cheerful and happy to be alive.  What then do I have to complain about?

A Buddhist monk once told me the reason why meditation is so important.  He professes to the theory that through meditation we are able to control our thoughts.  Without meditation our thoughts control us.

Throughout the day we have not only our thoughts but the thoughts of those around us.  We can choose which of these we listen to or not.   The more we focus on listening the more we hear the individuals words and how powerful they are.

There was a woman I was working with recently who kept saying that she “can’t” or she “won’t” succeed, and the exercise I asked her to do was to literally count and keep track of every negative thought.  She began and quite quickly realized that most of her thoughts were not in line with where she wanted to be.  She is normally a very positive person but she has some situations of late that have knocked her off her game.  Luckily for her she is ready to get back into the game and work on getting back to where feels good about herself.

The great thing about is that once you change yourself the whole world looks differently.

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We are Change

I have no interest in changing the world.

I cannot in due consciousness spend my hours ever dwindling on that which I have no control. Instead, my intention is to grab the helm while I can and steer my own vessel to calmer more peaceful waters. By keeping my compass centered internally laser focused on improving myself by building upon each and every day, like laying bricks, with today being the solid foundation for tomorrow and tomorrow’s tomorrow achieving ever more rewarding results than the one I had today, I will continue to be the captain of my ship thus changing my world. And, the world of those around me. As they too are charted in the same direction. That is how We Change the World.

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Sometimes, the end is just the beginning; and sometimes, the bitterest of goodbyes may be the introduction to the sweetest of hellos.

This is the end…..

My friend. The end.

Thanks to all who participated in making the last 30 days so memorable.  During this time, I have consciously made it my intention to be of service to 30 random people and it has certainly worthwhile.  Every day is an opportunity for learning for me, and through this experience I have been able to expand upon so many different things.

I have been able to not only practice hypnosis but also traded to be hypnotized myself.   I was fortunate enough to assist someone with a writing project that positively impacted their professional career.   And, getting an updated profile picture will hopefully help someone else make a great first impression that will in turn connect them with their next professional opportunity.

It is all about opportunities.  Every morning as the sun rises on another day so too is the availability to choose how we are going to spend the day.   For me, my choice was (and is) to find ways to be of service and to help others.  In turn, I gained more than they did probably by simply enjoying the experience of living in the moment and being present.

The end is really just the beginning. The beginning of something new.  Another new horizon to be looked upon with great anticipation for whatever beauty may arise.

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