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Archive for February, 2009

The last 2 days here in Michigan have been mild; the temps have been in the 40’s and today a light rain in falling. Spring is on its way! Yesterday I went outside just to look around, it has been so long since I have seen my grass and plants, I just wanted to look.  Mostly I noticed that everything is dead, that winter has taken a toll on my lawn and plants, I’m not concerned because I know that they will “spring” back to life soon. I love spring time, with all the new growth and the smells that return with the changing of the season.

As I looked around and was imagining what I might do this year in the gardens I notice that one of my trees’s, a Japanese Maple, was budding. There on each branch where tiny little buds, little pods of life waiting to break free, to feel life for the first time, to soak in the warmth of the sun and sway in the breeze, to experience life as a new.

In a way I am very jealous of that bud, it is changing in to a beautiful creation, transforming in to a wonder before my very eyes, and all it is doing is what it is made to do. No effort is put forth beyond what it is created for. This bud attends no classes on how to be a better bud, or how to make the most of your buddness. Nope, this bud is just doing what it was created for, it is becoming a leaf.

How wonderful of it, how simplistic of it and how grand. This tiny bud is becoming what it meant to become. No self-help books were read no seminars attended, it just is. This bud knows what it will be, and where it will go without being counseled or couched. No amount of positive talk will make it better than it already is and no TV doctor can create a new and better bud that this one. In its simplicity it is perfect and in its buddness it is perfection. I am truly jealous!

Humanity has placed upon itself conditions that create imperfection of the perfect creation. We are created in our maker’s likeness, we are created out of love, yet we find no perfection in our humanness and we find no love in our loveless. Unlike the bud that knows only how to be a bud, we, in our humanness, know nothing about how to be us. We seek others to help define what is already defined, we read and research ways to become, yet the bud just becomes, we try and fail, yet with the bud there is no trying and failing only doing and succeeding.

The complexity of life that we choose to live in has created a loneliness of soul, a loneliness that causes us to search for other us’s, us’s that already know, others that have become. Yet with all the searching we do we never seem to find the us that is truly us. We look to others for help, we cry out to the world, yet no one seems to hear. We cry out to be like that bud, yet we cannot be, for we are us.

I envy that bud, so simple yet so complex. The change it needs to perform is natural and automatic, it has not past to hold it back, it only has a future to draw it out. The bud knows no limits to its change; it will become a leaf regardless of what it may want. The bud of that tree will fulfill its destiny, it will become a leaf.

Humanity is of a fallen nature, we have sinned, and the sin of time holds us back, stunts our growth and creates chaos in an ordered world. We are not like that bud, whose plans must be followed, we are a creation of thought and action, we are a creation of love and hate, we are a creation created for struggles and strife. Yet each day we strive to create a new us, a new world, one in which we can shine and achieve the usness we were created for.

No, I pity that bud in its budness, it cannot think, nor can it choose, it is a bud, simple as that. No I do not wish I was like that bud, I am glad I am me, in all my humanness and chaos I am complete.

The searching for betterment of us is in the perfect plan of the loveness that created the imperfection of us.

 

Paul

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Spring is on its way, it will be here sooner that we think, and that means we will also be getting our gardens ready. Cleaning them out, making room for the new plants and layouts we want to do. Anyone who knows me knows I love to redecorate to rethink my home and gardens. I am forever redoing my gardens, moving and adding things, coming up with new ways to make the outside of my home to look inviting to all. I do the same on the inside; I love to move things around, find new uses for existing items. If I could I would redo my house every 3 years or so, but it takes money, so I settle for just a simple reuse formula.

I am the same with my holiday decorations, every 3 years or so I give everything away and get all new, I don’t like to have the same stuff up year after year. It’s a habit of mine that drives my family and friends nuts. Most people will keep the same decorations from year to year. They go in the exact same spot, year after year. To me it’s silly; it’s a new year, things change. We would not wear the same outfit day after day, so why should we expect our home to.

The same can be said for ourselves, why would we want to be that same person year after year? We need to grow, to expand who we are. Now please read the next line very slowly and carefully:

This does not mean that we change ourselves with whatever the lattes fashion is, we do not sell our morals or ethics off to be in the “In Crowed”. Do stretch yourself, learn more and grow in your faith and your core values.

We are more often willing to do the hard work for others, but not for ourselves. We are more than willing to help our friends tear down walls and build new spaces than we are willing to tear down our own walls. We are willing to do the hard work for others but not for ourselves.

We need to first help ourselves grow before we help others, we must look at our own self and determine what needs to be redone and what can remain. We need to learn to rethink ourselves and to learn to do the hard work that follows.

Like working in our gardens in the spring time, lots of work, lots of junk to toss out, the same can be said for ourselves. But at the end, when all is in bloom, we know the effort was well worth it, and that we have created a welcoming environment for all.

Paul

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Are you like “Old Man River”? Do you believe in just floating along life’s water ways, allowing the current to carry you and the banks of the river to guide you?

Often we think that would be a good way to live, to just sit back and allow life to do its thing, and in truth, sometimes that is ok, sometimes the right thing to do is just that, nothing. But most of the time the “Old Man River” way of life is not what we need to be doing; sometimes the current of life is leading us in the wrong direction, carrying us in to troubled waters and grounding us on troublesome shores.

We need to navigate our ride down life’s river; we sometimes need to use the paddles we have made out of our hard work of change. Life will often toss us in to a raging river of turmoil and try to divert our destination, try to lead us in to the rocks of daily life. It is at times like this that we must learn to command “Old Man River” and tame it.

We are not just passengers on the boat of life, we are its captain, we command our destiny and we ride the rapids with determination and triumph over his waves, “Old Man River” is ours to command!

So when you get in to the boat today, stop to remind yourself that you are the captain of this ship, that you hold the utter and you will steer her will you will her to go. Your ship is under your command, and no one will take the helm from you unless you allow it. Her movements are at your hand and her destination is in your control.

“Old Man River” will not control you today, you will not allow it, and he is following your guidance and allowing you to pass over him in comfort and ease. “Old Man River” is tamed at least for today. As for tomorrow, well you’re the Captain of your ship, how will you steer her when the sun awakes is up to you…

Paul

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Trust, a simple work really, only 5 letters and the meaning is not to complex.  You trust in something or someone, you have faith that it will work or they will do as they say. Trust…

trust

/Ponunciation http://cache.lexico.com/g/d/dictionary_questionbutton_default.gif[truhst] ,

–noun

1.

reliance on the integrity, strength, ability, surety, etc., of a person or thing; confidence.

 

2.

confident expectation of something; hope.

 

Synonyms:

·         belief

·         dependence

·         faith

·         reliance

 

On the surface it looks like a very basic thing, trust… But in truth we all know that it is a very complex thing and a very hard thing to do and to gain. Trust is a gift we give to each other and a gift we can take back very easily.

We go through life gaining and creating trust in others and things. We learn to trust our parents our schools and society. We are told to trust teachers, police officers and our Church. We are taught that trust is earned by our own actions. And we are taught we can break the trust others have in us the same way.  

Trust… Five letters that can control our actions and motives, some care about trust and others do not, some worry about gaining your trust and others are only concerned with breaking it.

Trust can build nations or tear them down, create families or tear them apart. Trust can start wars and bring peace. Trust is a word that has the power to lift you up, or hold you down. Trust is one mighty powerful word.

Trust is one of the most missed used and understood words in the English language, right behind Love. We state our trust in others and things with no value behind it, we give our trust to others who have done nothing to earn it, and we are appalled when that trust is miss used and abused.

Trust…

Think about it, do you really understand the word…

Whom can you trust what can you trust in and do you really trust yourself?

Just something to think about…

Paul

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Rest

Give yourself a break; take some time off from yourself. Allowing yourself a little bit of free time from your daily challenges of trying to improve yourself is very important. It is one of the many steps one must make in the process of self improvement.

Improving yourself takes lots of energy; it requires that we are constantly aware of our actions, inside and outside of ourselves. We must always be analyzing our actions, changing our direction or moving in to new territories. It can be taxing at best and over whelming most of the time. Just like with any exercise, we must take rest between reps, same holds true when we are exercising our intellect, we must rest between reps.

Rest affords us the energy to carry on when times seem ruff, rest fusel our soul and mind allowing you to continue on the process of change.

No one ever said change is easy, it’s not, it is one of the hardest things you will ever do, and change is not a onetime thing, it should be an ongoing process, one that never ends. Some areas of change will be harder than others.

So today sit down and take a rest, let your mind go free, and allow the day to fill you with new energy, than pick yourself up and start on the process in the morning. Allowing yourself time today will increase your productivity tomorrow. On that note, I am going to take my own advice and take the rest of the day off (mentally speaking). I have used considerable energy this morning on my other blog (www.static.wordpress.com) , and feel a tad bit spent. So it is rest for me today, no more changes for me.

Paul

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I know what I want to do when I grow up, do you?

Me, I want to help people to explore their inner depths. I want to help people see their dreams become realities; I want to help people walk along the path that has been set for them from before they were even born. My dream is to see other people’s dreams become realities.

And in truth, for the most part I do this now. It’s not my full time job, but it is part of my life. As a youth minister I teach my youth that faith is there’s to hold and to run with. Unlike running with scissors, running with faith is a good thing. In teaching the faith to the youth, I am teaching them to follow the path God has laid out for them.

I do it through the two blogs I write. By offering my insights and thoughts on topics of interest (to me at least) I am equipping you, the reader of my blogs, with starting points to learn more, to go that one extra step. I am offering you the ability to build off my central idea, to help create a person who is on the path. Or maybe helping them find the path.

And I do it with my daily life. I try to live a life that follows the principles I offer in my blogs, I try to be what it is I offer up in the blogs. I try to live my life as I am expected to live it, and I try to stay on the path to God.

But I still need to grow up, meaning, I still want to find that one job in life that will allow me to dedicate my time to my passion. I still am looking for where I truly fit in.

The current path I am on in life is headed in the right direction, but I feel it is not the path for me, that I need to discover still one more path. I am looking, searching for that path and at times I feel I am getting closer. But it seems I just am not there yet. But I know where I am headed; I’m just not sure how much further ahead of me it is. Or is it behind me, and I just past it up?

So what do you want to be when you grow up? Me I want to be a healer, a life guide and a teacher. I want to make a difference in the lives of others, than to fade away. I want to be what God created me for; I want to be his servant. And I pray that I am moving in the right direction.

Paul

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Well, today is the first day if feel ok in a few days. I have been suffering with a sinus cold and it has been kicking my butt. Monday was spent at home sleeping the day away and trying to breath, not a fun day, but such is life. Tuesday was a little better, but still much of the same, just less sleep. And today, well I can breathe a bit better, but not 100% yet.

I hate being sick, it’s such a waste of time!

I know people who love to be sick, they love the attention they receive, they crave it and I believe they make themselves sick to achieve that end. I find it kind of sad that someone would make themselves sick, either mentally or physically, what a sad commentary on their life. Now I know some people are already shaking their heads saying that the poop person is not mentally or emotionally stable, and that is why. I was that for a small percentage I would agree, and I mean a small percentage, no more than 1%. No I do not have data to back this up, but what I do have is my personal sampling of family and friends.

The ability for the human mind to control the body is unlimited, we as humans use only 10% of our mind powers, only 10%, a small fraction if the ability of our human mind. So don’t tell me that that the mind cannot control our physical well being. It can and it does!

We have seen this countless times, a mother lifts a car off her child, a child survives in the cold for days without food or water, a father walks hundreds of miles in the wilderness to find help for his family. All acts of the human mind controlling the physical body, allowing it to perform above and beyond its normal abilities. If it can do that, it can also bring on physical discomforts and ailments. The mind is a great mystery and creation of God, who are we to limit its power.

What I find amazing is the ability for the mind to phantom such deception. The ability to control the human and not the other way around, they allow their minds to make them sick, to give them an ailment that will cause the reaction they desire. It truly is a sad condition; one that leaves the human body is shambles. The upside to all this is, if we have the ability to make ourselves sick, we than have the same ability to make ourselves well again. And we have seen this happen as well. People who have made themselves sick to achieve a certain reaction often times will “heal” themselves if the reaction is not achieved, and then move on to a new ailment in hopes of achieving the desired reaction.

The power of the mind is awesome, but can be misused at times. We have a responsibility to care for our mind, and in return it will care for us.

Paul

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The power of a list, we make list for everything

·         Shopping

·         House work

·         Honey do

·         Need to get

And so on, you get the idea, we make list to help us organize our days. People have become millionaires just by teaching us how to make and follow our lists. Think about that for a second, people make millions teaching us how to organize our lives, to list in out and to follow it. What a concept.

I have told you in different blog postings to make list, to organize your life your thoughts and your dreams, to list them and organize them and then to execute them.

List work, it’s that simple. The list provide us with a non-cluttered view of our day, work, life, whatever the list if for. It gives us a direction to follow, top down, and a sense of completion when we cross it off as done.

List allows us the freedom to complete a task and move on to a new task; they allow us the freedom of celebrating small victories in our daily grind. With a list in hand, we seem to have power, control over our own lives. We list everything, sometimes we even make list of list.

What is the hidden power of a list, why do we love them so? I can only speculate but I would have to say that the power of the list is the fact that list are linear, they flow down, they are clean and crisp. Our human nature looks for order in life and in nature. We are drawn to crisp clean lines, and unobstructed views. Lists provide that for us. They are our way of making our day crisp and clean, our way of making a straight line out of all the twist and turns our life brings us.

Some people create calendars or plan every second of their day. Everything must be on the list, or calendar or it’s not done. The day must be planned; they must have every second penned in, no pencils that indicated uncertainty, a chance that things may change. Other pencil in only a few items, leaving the rest of the day to chance, allowing for the ebb and flow of life.

Lists… Good or Bad?

Yes to both, a list can be good and it can be bad. Depending on how the list is used, and more importantly how the person using the list reacts to it. If the list becomes the end all and do all to their lives, that that list is a very unhealthy thing. The list should not control you but you should control it. Now remember I am a strong believer in list. I recommend them, but not as a control factor, but as a way to help you prioritize or view your life. A list should never be considered the master of your life.

So keep making list, allow them to help guide you, but never allow them to control you. Remember the list was created by you, so you have the ability to change it as needed.

Lists are our friends, as long as they remember their place in your life.

Paul

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Yesterday where I live in Michigan, it was a gray and rainy day. A day I call “A cat in the hat” kind of day. You all recall the cartoon, “A cat in a hat” Dr. Seuss’s classic story of two young kids stuck inside on a rainy day. I love that cartoon, it reminds me of my youth, but that’s not the point of this blog. The point is what that means to me now.

“A cat in the hat day” is a day where I want to snuggle up and read a good book or watch an old movie, drinking a cup of hot tea and having a bowl of soup for lunch. It’s a day to just be, not concerning myself with fixing anything, a day without concern. I love days like that, lazy days, days where the mind can take a rest.

I think we all need days like that, days where we can just sit and stair out the window and watch the rain fall, days where the blowing wind will change the fleeting thoughts in your mind and life just drifts by you. Days where nothing seems to happen and nothing really needs to happen, contentment is found in the stillness of the day and the rain falling seems to clear away the stress of life. The clouds covering the sun affect you not and the dampness only seems to call you further in to yourself, Days where the warmth of a cup of soup seems to penetrate you soul.

Times like that, days of nothingness, yet everythingness, seem to renew my soul, and fill with me hope for tomorrow. They allow me to remember the past with fondness and yearning for days gone by.

A Cat in the Hat day is a day of peace and contentment, and days I look forward too. The only regret I have about Cat in the hat days are they do not come often. Sure we get lots of rainy days here in Michigan, so one would think that I have lots of Cat in the hat days, but I do not. A Cat in the hat day has more to with a feeling than the weather. They offer a melancholy feeling that one cannot create with just rain, but rather it takes the soul as well. And thank God, yesterday was just that kind of day for me.

Yes I had to work, and I could not be home reading a good book or watching an old movie with a cup of hot tea and soup for lunch, but it was still a Cat in the hat kind of day for me, I only hope it’s not to long until the next one.

Paul

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As a Catholic I am getting ready to start Lent, a time of reflection and fasting. Lent offers us chance to look back over our life and reflect on what we have done and what we have become. Lent also offers us the opportunity to look forward to reflect on what we want to do and become. Lent is a time of reflection, a time to make new, to be reborn. Lent leads up to Easter, the resurrection of Jesus, It is a time for Catholics to prepare for a new life. As I think about lent, I thought that in truth all of us, Catholic or not, Christian or not, we all can us a little lent in our life. So I thought I would use this blog space to talk about the power of reflection, both back and forward.

Reflection, like seeing an image in a mirror, we have the opportunity to view ourselves as we are, and how we want to be. A little like playing dress up in front of the mirror, like you did when you were a kid, we all did. Put on mom or dads close, look in the mirror and pretend to be the parent, the one in charge. Well reflection can be sort of like that, it allows us to try on new selves, and it allows us to look at past selves.

As I stated above, the Catholic Church sets aside 40 days every year for us to do just that, to reflect. What wisdom the Church had in doing so. And what wisdom we all have gained from it. Weather we do this personal secular lent now or when the Church does it matters little, what matters is that we do it. We set the time aside and we reflect, we take stock in who we where, who we are and who we want to be. We try on new selves, see how they fit, mix and match old with new and reflect on what we see.

This process is used everywhere, from the Church to major corporations to small family run operations. Families do it as well as individuals. This is not a new concept, but one that I feel needs to be restated every now and then. If you are a reader of my blogs you will know that I often return to the idea of reflection. I often call it by different names, but the idea is the same. Take time to look at yourself, take time to learn from your past to create your future. If you are a Christian, use the time of Lent to reflect not only on God, but also on yourself, your relationship with others and God. If you are a non-Christian, set aside some time to reflect, follow the Christian calendar and start on February 25 and continue until Easter Sunday, or set your own dates. But do it, allow yourself the opportunity to reflect, to look back and forward.

Journal about it, keep a record, start a blog, track you progress. It is important that we know we are moving, that our efforts are not stagnate. Lent, a time to prepare for a rebirth, yours and Christ, and a time to reflect on what was and what will be.

Paul

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