Tuesday, August 25, 2020


 In the far reaches of an infinite cosmos, there’s a galaxy that looks just like the Milky Way, with a solar system that’s the spitting image of ours, with a planet that’s a dead ringer for earth, with a house that’s indistinguishable from yours, inhabited by someone who looks just like you, who is right now reading this very book and imagining you, in a distant galaxy, just reaching the end of this sentence. And there’s not just one such copy. In an infinite universe, there are infinitely many. In some, your doppelgänger is now reading this sentence, along with you. In others, he or she has skipped ahead, or feels in need of a snack and has put the book down. In others still, he or she has, well, a less than felicitous disposition and is someone you’d rather not meet in a dark alley. 
 ~Brian Greene, "The Hidden Reality"

Explosive idea, eh? Makes my head spin. That's some coloring outside the lines of imagination. However, this is where science is taking us.

When we were very young, usually before 1st grade, we all colored outside the lines; it's a part of childhood development - the scribbling. Then seemingly overnight, the master of scribbling hands the parent a piece of artwork that shows she’s tried to color inside the lines. It’s a big moment when one will do the proud parent dance as they tape the picture to the fridge.
That switch in coloring skills is a milestone for children because it shows that their motor skills and cognitive skills are developing.  ~Rachel Annunziato, Ph.D., assoc prof of psychology, Fordham University
And Denise Bodman, Ph.D., a principal lecturer at the T. Denny Sanford School of Social & Family Dynamics of Arizona State University tell us:

As children become aware of boundaries, they start thinking and planning around them. Soon, she may color with an understanding of spatial vocabulary such as “above,” “below,” and “between.” When children start coloring inside the lines, they’re learning about cause and effect.

Coloring within the lines is tapping into self-control and confidence with a level of focus and concentration that helps us master many other tasks, fostering confidence.

All that is great in the development of a child or as a newbie to a skill, industry, practice, or purpose. Staying within the lines, following a systematic regimen and order has its value, of course, but it shouldn't be the only message a person gets. It's time to allow thinking beyond the boundaries – without the restraints. To think creatively, behave in an unconventional manner, and to not follow the rules.

Don't get me wrong, you can create some imaginative things within the lines. However, expanding beyond them is like exploring the multi-verse of your mind. Where would computers / the internet be without non-linear thinkers:
  • Augusta Ada King, Countess of Lovelace, an 1800's English mathematician, worked on the Analytical Engine, and considered a computer programmer, even before computers were a thing
  • Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak of Apple
  • Vint Cerf and Bob Kahn – fathers of the internet
Imagine science without...
  • Einstein, Newton, Nikola Tesla, Galileo
  • Marie Curie and her work with radium
  • Rosalind Franklin's work in describing and assisting the discovery of  DNA’s double-helix structure
Where would philosophy be without...
  • Plato and Aristotle
  • Conscious, the Buddha and Lao Tzu (Tao Te Ching)
  • John Locke, who inspired our Founding Fathers with the ideas of a social contract
  • Ralph Waldo Emerson and Ernest Holmes
Where would entertainment and literature be without “outside of the lines color-ers” like...
  • Reed Hastings and Marc Randolph of Netflix
  • Walt Disney and Stan Lee
  • Marlon Brando, Uta Hagen, or Stanislavsky in the acting field
  • Emily Dickinson, Edgar Allan Poe (who many consider the first sci-fi author) or Shakespeare
How about innovations in the painting world without
  • Picasso's "Guernica" in 1937
  • Manet or Monet or Van Gogh
  • Jackson Pollacks "Blue Holes Number 11" in 1952
  • DaVinci's "Mona Lisa" in 1503
  • Salvador Dali, Warhol, Klimt, Vermeer, Kahlo
Innovations in music without...
  • Bach's harmonics
  • Debussy's creation of mood and imagery
  • Gershwin's pop music mix of orchestral and jazz
  • Hildegard Von Bingen, Beethoven, the Beatles
Or the working space culture of Google and Zappos; their employee perks of free food, complementary wellness services, basketball courts, bring your dog to work, and other things changed the idea of creativity and work.

What did they all see outside the lines? Opportunities, innovation, change, the infinite... and love!!!!

Here's a "think outside the box question" some of you might have gotten at a job interview:

You are driving along in your car on a wild, stormy night, it's raining heavily.

You pass by a bus stop and you see three people waiting for a bus:

The perfect partner you have been dreaming about.

An old friend who once saved your life.

An old lady who looks as if she is about to die.

You have only one seat in your car. Which one would you choose to offer a ride to?

Do you pick up the old lady, because she is going to die, and thus you should save her first?

Or do you take the old friend because he once saved your life, and this would be the perfect chance to pay him back?

However, if you do all that, you may never be able to find your perfect mate again.

Think about it. It's a moral and ethical dilemma, but a decision must be made. Save a life? make a repayment for your saved life? or get that perfect partner?

The usual clever, imaginative, thinking out of the box answer is:

I would give the car keys to my old friend and let him take the lady to the hospital.
And I would stay behind and wait for the bus with the partner of my dreams.

There's no best answer...you could use your cell phone to call for help. But, it's designed to make you think, and that's what all this is about - what you think and how you think it.

The only way of finding the limits of the possible is by going beyond them into the impossible.
~Arthur C. Clarke

It's the what if? Envisioning...strengthens the mind, strengthens the intention, and strengthens our relation to any condition as one that will be overcome, changed, adapted, or healed.

Dr. Joe Dispenza reminds us that the brain doesn't know the difference between a real-life event and imagining it, so keeping it up will prepare the perception nodule, like a software program in the hardware - brain. 

You are the programmer, the language is your imagination, thoughts, and feelings, and practice and commitment change your relation to conditions. It's an energy that colors you outside the lines of all that stuff that gets in our way.

Our whole endeavor is to personalize the impersonal, that is, to individualize the Creative Spirit. While we cannot think of God as an infinite person, that is, as a being with any limitation whatsoever, we should think of the Creative Spirit as that Infinite Being in whom all personality is rooted. Thus, each is continuously individualizing God, and thus, also, each is individually using the Law of Cause and Effect. ~Ernest Holmes, "Lessons in Spiritual Mind Healing"

Following the steps or those "twice a day" suggestions are good, but eventually, you must make it your own in order for it to take hold in your subconscious and belief system.

You may cry our, “I'm not clever or imaginative or creative or..." But I would say back to you, "uh-uh, that's a bunch of bull, we all are!"

I am not asking you to change the world, just change the time, place, length, frequency, words in your spiritual practice. Play and find out what works best for you to reveal the Divinity in You, so you can 
vibrate at the speed of the Divine, and bust through, soar and zoom to your best experiences.

Alan Kay (the husband of author Bonnie MacBird) famously said “The best way to predict the future is to invent it.”

Color outside the lines of logic, religion, spirituality, this philosophy, what you've learned about spiritual practice....everything, and make your Universe a multi-verse of possibilities; making the seemingly impossible possible!

Affirmative Incantation
I see wonderfully colorful and mystical variances being uniquely expressed in each of us. And I am no exception. In Nature's great creative diversity, I am a bold, brave, loving, successful and productive example. I am seen, respected and heard by all. I take myself in my very capable hands to share my time, talent and treasures with the world. My intuition guides me to wise, wondrous and mystical ways and I play with an inventive, vibrant and enlightened palate. Whatever happens, I know I can handle it with grace and ease.

Tuesday, August 18, 2020

Seeds of Faith


Do you ever feel like that Billy Preston song:

I've got a song I ain't got no melody

I've got a story ain't got no moral

I've got a dance I ain't got no steps,

Will [I] go around in circles?

Will [I] fly high like a bird up in the sky?


Been wondering that lately? I have...

In honor of National Book Lovers Day, I want to start out with a literary quote that describes what's going on in many heads right now.

It was the best of times, it was the worst of times; it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness; it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity; it was the season of Light, it was the season of Darkness; it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair; we had everything before us, we had nothing before us; we were all going direct to heaven, we were all going direct the other way - in short, the period was so far like the present period, that some of its noisiest authorities insisted on its being received, for good or for evil, in the superlative degree of comparison only. 
~Charles Dickens, A TALE OF TWO CITIES

Today I want to talk to you about the best of times, the worst of times. Whether it is considered heaven or hell...it is merely a state of mind

I have four questions for you:

  • What's your state of mind lately?
  • Are you holding the high watch for yourself?
  • Do you feel your life is sacred?
  • Where are you aiming your thoughts, feelings, beliefs and actions toward lately?

    Don't be afraid to admit it if the last few weeks/months have taken a toll on your faith. Let me tell you a story:

    There once was a man who had nothing for his family to eat. He had an old rickety shotgun, barely staying together, and three shells. So, he decided that he would go out and kill something for dinner.

    As he went down the road, he saw a rabbit and he shot at the rabbit and missed it. Then he saw a squirrel and fired a shot at the squirrel and missed it.

    As he went further, near the pond, he saw a wild turkey in the tree and he had only one bullet, he had to make this one count. A voice came to him and said "pray first, aim high and stay focused."

    Suddenly, he saw a deer which was a better kill. So he brought the gun down and aimed at the deer.  But then he noticed a rattle snake between his legs about to bite him, so he naturally brought the gun down further to shoot the rattle snake.

    Then again, the voice rang out, "I said 'pray, aim high and stay focused.' " So, the man decided to listen to the voice. He prayed, then aimed the gun high up in the tree and shot the wild turkey. The bullet struck the turkey, then bounced off a bone, ricocheted and killed the deer. The kickback from the shot caused the handle to fall off the gun and hit the snake in the head, killing it. At the same time, the gun going off knocked him into the pond.

    When he stood up out of the water to look around, he had fish in all his pockets, a dead deer and turkey to eat and the snake was dead. All this bounty simply because the man listened to the Divine within and used his power of decision to aim high.

    A shot like that may miss the mark in archery, but in life, when you pray first or use any of your spiritual practices, while knowing the unchangeable Truth that the Universe is on your side, aiming high with your goals, taking small steps, if you must, and staying focused on that sacred Truth, showing the Universe which side you are on, these seeds of faith manifest into an abundant life 

    ...when you discover what faith is, you will find that misguided faith can also cause mountains to fall on you as well. Whatever you have faith in, you create—good or bad. When the principle of faith becomes a conscious activity, your destiny is in your own hands … you go beyond having faith into being faith-full …. Faith isn’t something we have; faith is something we do. Faith is an energy. Faith is the power inherent in what we see or perceive. If faith is the substance of things hoped for, then faith becomes our “seeing” because what we image or see manifests outwardly in form.   ~
    Walter Starke, It's All God; Flowers and Fertilizer

    This seeing that Starke is referencing, may begin or re-start small...

    It’s like a grain of mustard seed, which, when it is sown in the earth, though it is less than all the seeds that are on the earth, when it is sown, it grows up and becomes greater than all the herbs, and puts out great branches, so that the birds of the sky can lodge in its branches. ~ Mark 4:31

    Remember, black mustard seed is very small and very powerful....like our thoughts. However, with nurturing of sun, soil and water, it grows exponentially like our thoughts and feelings. Habitual nurturing makes it grow 9 feet tall like our accumulation of thoughts and feelings into beliefs. And  this 9 foot tall tree is embedded into the ground like our beliefs are nestled in our subconscious, informing the Universe the color and flavor of the experiences to arrive.

    How embedded is your faith? can it survive a pandemic?

    In THE RAVEN, Edgar Allan Poe grieved a lost love, probably his wife, Virginia, when he wrote:

    Once upon a midnight dreary, while I pondered, weak and weary,

    Over many a quaint and curious volume of forgotten lore,

    While I nodded, nearly napping, suddenly there came a tapping,

    As of some one gently rapping, rapping at my chamber door.

    Tis some visitor," I muttered, "tapping at my chamber door —

    Only this, and nothing more." 

    Poe was also mourning his faith in life itself. Indeed lost, he symbolically returned to a faith the size of a mustard seed. But, as the parable per Matthew's gospel continues...

    If there is faith in you even as a grain of mustard seed, you will say to this mountain, move away from here, and it will move away; and nothing would prevail over you. 

    Over so many months have past into this pandemic and it's time to reiterate how to be a conduit to our divine expression, how to return to our faith in life and how to aim high even when everything around you seems to aim low.

    1) Stop Complaining, Start Creating

        Reprogram your conscious mind. When you start to lose faith, ask yourself, "what am I thinking?"

        You can always change the story that's going on in your head and focus on what you want. With thoughts and thinking, choosing what you want to think - shift then happens.

    2) Reprogram Your Sub-conscious Mind

        Beliefs equals action. When you uncover the crap and release them, direct your attitudes to love, joy, compassion, and kindness; those values then will return to you.

    3) Energize

        Commune and unify with the Creative Force of the Universe. We attract into our lives that which honors and supports that unity, dissolving that which doesn't. Our values and integrity are the first cause to the experiences we are having. The word integrity stems from the Latin word ‘integer’ which means 'whole and complete.' Consistent integrity allows your values to inform your words, decisions, choices, actions, intentions, methods and eventually, it will inspire your outcomes and experiences.

    4) Elevate Your Vibrational Frequency

        Commit to keeping your eyes focused on the highest values:  love, forgiveness and gratitude. Energize your faith with AI's (Affirmative Incantations) or affirmations.

    Hold fast to dreams 

    for if dreams die 

    life is a broken-winged bird 

    that can not fly 

    Hold fast to dreams 

    for when dreams go 

    life is a barren field 

    frozen with snow ~Langston Hughes

    At the end of “Tale of Two Cities,” Sydney Carlton, to redeem himself and express his love for Lucie, dies in the place of Charles Darnay. A both selfish and selfless act. he famously tells us:

    It is a far, far better thing that I do, than I have ever done; it is a far, far better rest that I go to, than I have ever known.

    It is a good selfish act to grow your faith and rid yourself of limiting thoughts. And it is a selfless act as you grow faith and rid the consciousness of our world the energy of limitation and lack.

    Step into your highest watch

    Soak in your highest values

    Be the mustard seed and grow or regrow your faith nine feet tall

    You can … you have the power! 

    You are the greatest gardener there ever was or ever will be.


    Affirmative Incantation

    The glory of the Universe resides in me. Within are the highest values, ethics, principles and consciousness of the Most High, the Divine Presence, the Light and Love of the Creative Power. I choose to live in integrity with the highest values of love, honor, peace, kindness, laughter, respect and beauty. I am good enough right now, just as I am, to bloom into realizing my greatest dreams. Wow, I love life!

    Monday, August 10, 2020


    I Realize its all inside of me
    I Realize there are no walls
    In between you and me and this holy word
    no walls between you and me and this holy word   
    ~Laura Berman

    The holy word you'd think we are discussing is love, indeed a holy word. Today, however, it is One.

    One mind,One source, One-ness

    I realize we are united in the One energy

    Ancient Mayans have a greeting:  In Lak’ech Ala K’in
    It means "I am another yourself" or "I am you and you are me." It is a statement of unity - oneness, like Namaste, Wiracocha (Incan) and Mitakuye Oyasin (Lakota). In an LSD inspired moment of clarity and creativity, John Lennon wrote for I AM THE WALRUS on the Sgt. Pepper soundtrack:  
    I am he, as you are he, as you are me, and we are all together.

    In these greetings we acknowledge & honor that we are all divine beings. Even the a-holes in the world. Our diversity is wide and all are included and connected to the One Source. "Really, even the buttheads?" Yep....look, the planets don't look the same or have the same air. Many are inhabitable, and you wouldn't want to visit, but they are all part of our Milky Way, our Universe, and created by the One Source, the singular energy.

    In a social media post, I asked you all to join me with your waffles on the morning I created this post. That day happened to be International Beer Day. So I invite you to have a beer, too...with your waffles. Huh? Beer is one of the oldest drinks in the world and the third most popular overall, after water and tea. It has been mentioned is such ancient texts as The Code of Hammurabi, which included laws regulating beer and beer joints of the time. In The Hymn to Ninkasi, a prayer to the Mesopotamian goddess of beer, the song was used as a method of remembering the recipe for beer. All of these from one of the earliest know societies in our history. You probably know that beer is brewed from cereal grains and many recipes contain fruit. That is why it is a possible good breakfast item. The main reason I bring this up is, like us all of us, beer comes in many unique tastes, blends, colors, formulas, countries, cultures and styles, but they are all still beer.

    I realize we are United in the One energy

    Inclusion and Diversity is what God is about in its unconditional love. Though people can be pretty ugly in their individualized expressions of It, there's a beauty, even in that. And some go about it in strange and sometimes dangerous ways, but again we don't have to like all the likenesses of Spirit, just love the infinite possibilities of them.

    I realize we are United in the One energy

    This idea of the Oneness of God is not a philosophy of absorption … we do not become absorbed in the universal Self to the loss of individuality. Quite the opposite. We find ourselves …. immersed in a universality, each one being a unique, individual and different manifestation of that which itself is one, undivided, indivisible and whole. We cannot think of the Spirit as static, but as forever unfolding Its divine nature. … Unity does not mean uniformity.    ~Ernest Holmes 
    Oneness does not equal sameness. We are uniquely the same as we are similarly different. We are all vibrant beings living in a vibrant Universe, able to vibrate at the speed of the divine. The Mayans call it huinik’lil ... vibrant beings. It is vibrant beings like like John Lewis who are wayshowers, reminding us of focusing on love, not hate.
    All humans are descended from Adam and Eve. There is no superiority of an Arab over a non-Arab, or of a non-Arab over an Arab, and no superiority of a white person over a black person or of a black person over a white person, except on the basis of personal piety and righteousness. ~Prophet Muhammad, last speech at Mecca
    Character makes the person and it is man, not mankind, that has lowered their character to cast others as less than. Those folks can be loved out of our lives and voted out of our lives.

    This month we are concentrating on consecrating ... declaring and making our lives sacred. That doesn't we leave out the fun, the succulent, the sexy or the relaxed in our experiences. Having grace in life includes health, wealth, love and creativity. Consecration is about living in Truth and seeing that Truth in every individualized expression of the One Mind, even the a-holes. We must begin to realize that we must be inclusive in our diversity. Even as we may bless them to their best (the a-holes), we can bless them to their farthest – out of our lives.

    Last month, I shared my New Thought Declaration of Independence (click on the picture for the text). 
    August 2nd is the anniversary of the completion of the signing of the Jefferson document in 1776. Benjamin Rush, a signer, wrote about the mood in the room that day being far from celebratory, “It was awful and silent as each member was called up, one after another, to the table of the President of Congress, where they signed what was believed ... at that time to be our own death warrants."  Everyone was aware of what they were undertaking - an act of high treason against the British Crown that could cost each man his life. John Hancock supposedly said that Congress, having signed the Declaration, must now "all hang together", and Benjamin Franklin replied: "Yes, we must indeed all hang together, or most assuredly we shall all hang separately."

    They were a great example of Unity in One. The one mind of the colonists to declare independence from the crown. And for us, declaring our independence from hate, even of the a-holes. We are all united in the One Mind, the Big Bang, the Universal Presence, the Elohim, the Christ Consciousness, the Divine Intelligence ….God

    I realize we are united in the one energy 

    Conclusion and Call to Action
    • Set our intention to be inclusive, no matter the idiot we are faced with
    • Focus on loving even when not liking
    • Remember that whoever is speaking is a Divine expression speaking – loving and wise or dumb and dangerous as it may be
    • Listen actively and consciously communicate
    • Be comfortable with the uncomfortable to speak up, protest, vote
    • Know that what each of us resonates, reveals itself back to us – individually and as a culture
    • Choose not to hate the haters hating
    • Be guided by that loving intelligence to imagine the peace and the calm, so you and us all can live it

    The forces of nature are at our grasp in
    the power in the in lak'ech al k'in. Here
    is a poem by Luis Valdez, a writer, director,
    and the father of Chicano theater, called:

    Tú eres mi otro yo.
         You are my other me.
    Si te hago daño a ti,
         If I do harm to you,
    Me hago daño a mi mismo.
         I do harm to myself.
    Si te amo y respeto,
         If I love and respect you,
    Me amo y respeto yo.
         I love and respect myself.

    Whether with the greeting Namaste, Wiracocha, In Lak’ech Ala K’in, Aloha (Divine Presence), Shalom, Tashi Delay (Tibetan-I honor the greatness in you) ... you are actively acknowledging the Divine in all of us. Let us not hate the haters … let us love them, and if we must. love them far, far away.

    Affirmative Incantation
    I am one with Divine Intelligence: empowered by It, loved as It, enlightened through It, experiencing life for It and sitting in joy with It.

    I claim harmony, acceptance, and compassion through the Divine diversity in all forms of Its image and likeness. Every male, female, non-binary, mineral, animal, plant and organism represents a life lived as Spirit. This inclusivity is a sacred oath throughout this Universe that all are created equal in the One Mind.   

    I am equally able to cross any bridge, bringing me to a higher level of fulfillment. I am equally powerful to manifest my best life. I am equally consecrated to heal any and all that requires freshness and renewal. I am equally fit to love and forgive, freeing my life from hate and fear. I am equally empowered to bring abundance, creativity, kindness and respect around me.

    Inclusive, diverse, powerful and successful am I; now and forevermore!

    Monday, August 3, 2020

    Mother Father ME

    In the movie version of Godspell, Stephen Schwartz added the song, “Beautiful City.” In subsequent stage productions, the song, with re-written lyrics, has been placed in various spots in the second act. One version had the character of Jesus singing it during the Last Supper telling his disciples and the world to have hope and faith, and to carry the message of love, peace and personal responsibility to all.  It begins:
    Out of the ruins and rubble,
    Out of the smoke,
    Out of our night of struggle
    Can we see a ray of hope,
    One pale thin ray reaching for the day?
    So many of us are feeling that way witnessing these conditions of injustice, misogyny, hate, disrespect, disease, unemployment and fear. So we have to ask ourselves:
    Out of the ruins and rubble,
    Out of the smoke,
    Out of our night of struggle
    Can we see a ray of hope,
    One pale thin ray reaching for the day?
    How do you answer that question?

    I read a post by "Clark A" on MusicalSchwartz.com. He described how this song inspired him and some friends:
    We were a Combat Support Hospital unit ... car[ing] for the wounded soldiers and Marines … from [t]he Syrian border in the west to the Iranian border [in the] east...
         I lived in a dorm-like building on the hospital campus and had become friends with a few soldiers from the other unit who liked to go up to the roof  ... and hang out a few evenings a week ... to chill out a bit ...  The rule was that everyone brought a few tunes to contribute, things we really enjoyed … The more obscure the better.  Our perch had a great view of southeastern Baghdad, which is actually a very pretty part of town (if you can look past the destruction), overlooking the helicopter landing pad to the west and the Tigris River to the east. … We took mortar and rocket fire out of there daily, often at night ... providing us with spectacular fireworks displays and a bit of excitement once in a while. 
         ...it was a gorgeous mid-May evening, about 80 degrees and balmy, with a warm, gentle breeze out of the west and a million stars above us...  It was my turn to DJ, and I had just downloaded a long-missed treasure off the internet that I was eager to share with the crew.  We topped off our drinks, sat back to watch a helicopter full of wounded soldiers departing for Germany ... [as] a flaming orange sun settle[d] into the horizon … the sky turn[ing] a million shades of purple and blue.  It had been busy that day patient-wise, and we were all a little frayed around the edges and needing some mental healing.
         I queued up "Beautiful City" for them...
         War does funny things to people immersed in it.  Sometimes it makes you bitter or cynical or angry.  Sometimes things that would normally make you smile, don't.  Things that you'd never worry about fill you with blinding rage.  Suffering that would make a statue cry don't phase you.  And sometimes, a sweet, silly song from a 30 year old musical makes you smile. 
         I'm sure … none of you imagined that four scared and homesick soldiers caught up in the madness of a war in the desert would ever listen to it and feel better, if only for a few minutes, but it happened.  We all saw the city we were in, an ancient and yet modern city struggling to rebuild itself after the onslaught of the American war machine and decades of abuse and terror under Saddam Hussein, in a different way that evening.  We saw past the crumbled buildings, shell craters, and broken windows... and saw a beautiful city that we'd had all around us for so long but had never noticed before.  The white stucco walls, the orchids and roses and other dazzling flowers that nobody knew the names of, the tree-lined boulevards, the shadowed fronds of the date palms.  It was shocking how a song none of them had ever heard before had lifted a curtain from before their eyes, revealing a side of their existence that had been hidden. 
         After the song ended I sat quietly, waiting for their response. Normally we were a pretty talkative bunch, telling stories that corresponded with our song choices ... but ...we sat silently, each looking into the distance, lost in thought, for a moment or two.  It was a moment I'll never forget, nor will they.  It was interrupted by a rocket that sailed right over our heads and forced us to flee the rooftop, but that was ok too.  We'd gotten our break, and that was all we could ask for.
    Out of the ruins and rubble,
    Out of the smoke,
    Out of our night of struggle
    Can we see a ray of hope,
    One pale thin ray reaching for the day?
    Yes, we can....we must!

    It was Parent's Day not too long ago. For all you parents that worked hard with love and patience, time, treasure and talent to support your children; not with just a roof over their heads and nourishing food in their bellies, but with words of wisdom and encouragement, ethics and justice - I send blessings and gratitude! What makes a good parent? The United Nations described parenting on the 2012 Global Parents Day as a “selfless commitment to children and a lifelong sacrifice towards nurturing this relationship.”

    Today is a good day to communicate with a parent. Tell them you love them, appreciate them; thank them for the good and forgive them for the bad (not to condone the bad, btw). 

    For many of us, our best parent now is ourselves...our best selves, our Divine selves. It is with that inward parent that we now have that conversation where we build a beautiful city within us, in our mind and heart, and thus outside of us.

    Helpful Self-Parenting Tips from Linda Esposito LCSW writing in Psychology Today:
    • Fall in love with boundaries. Define what is OK and what is not OK. Like Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez did about the misogyny she has faced.
    • Take care of yourself. You are what you eat, think and believe. Stress takes a physical toll, so be mindful of what you put in your body, your heart and your mind.
    • Practice mindfulness to help you stay in the here and now … Work your calm plan and your relaxation routine each and every day. ... Learn to self-soothe. Practice deep breathing, relaxation, positive visualization, and thought awareness .... Your central nervous system will thank you. Yes, my friends, so much comes back to having a full-fledged deep spiritual practice
    • Allow yourself to experience vulnerability, dependency and other emotional states. A common tendency is to reject help from others. While self-reliance may have helped you get through childhood, being overly independent is not a healthy coping skill in adulthood. Humans are wired to connect and isolation and rebuffing others won’t help you recover emotionally.
    • Keep the adult tantrums to a minimum by observing your behaviors and how they influence negative interactions. We all project our crap onto others. It takes reflection and self-awareness to analyze how thoughts, feelings and unresolved issues play out.
    • Never underestimate the healing powers of a good night's rest, a daytime nap, yoga, lots of water, healthy eats and quality chocolate.
    • Try and see the world as an inherently safe place where most people possess goodwill. This will help you trust in the order and structure of life, and to trust yourself. A most critical adult skill indeed … having faith in your ability to overcome problems means seeing yourself as a capable, active participant in life, worthy of success, happiness and love.
    Even if your actual parents probably never taught you how to do this ...

    Back to the song:
    We may not reach the ending,
    But we can start.
    Slowly but surely mending,
    Brick by brick,
    Heart by heart,
    Now, maybe now,
    We start learning how.
    Whether it's parenting yourself, your children, your community or the world; we can build a beautiful city of Divine Love, grace, peace and justice. Throughout its various incarnations, the fundamental theme of "Beautiful City" has remained intact:  all of us as a society has within its power the ability to build a truly "civilized," kind and respectful community. It begins by making a personal choice.
    When your trust is all but shattered,
    When your faith is all but killed,
    You can give up bitter and battered,
    You can slowly start to build!

    We can build a beautiful city,
    Yes, we can ….
    Not a city of angels,
    ...we can finally build a city of man.
    ...where all living things contribute in integrity, love, peace, respect and kindness

    Here's something I've said before, reiterated by Tony Robbins:
    Love what is. Whatever life delivers, find a way to love it....even the unlovable...and your life will be magnificent. [You don't have to like and it may well be impossible to like it and seemingly impossible to love it, but do it anyway.]  If you can find grace in your worst experience, then maybe your worst experience has become your best. [A lesson perhaps or a miracle of redemption from which you can draw strength; something that betters your life.]  There's no question we are all going to experience injustice [of some kind and to too many, it might happen too often]. The only question is what will you do with it. Will you become the victim or the victor? The way you become the victor is you overcome it. You don't justify it, you don't support it, but you know, if you have 100% responsibility ...[not for the event, but] ...for what you're going to do with it [then you take that bull by the horns and lead it to where you become victorious].  Everything in our life is a blessing [or a lesson]; even the unconscionable, even the unjust, even the unimaginable. … Put the oxygen mask on yourself ... [continue to live, to create, to express the Divine in you; don't let anyone or anything stop you or slow you down –not the past, your age, your education, your situation of any kind– continue to tell your story through Divine love and tenacity. Vibrate at the speed of the Divine] … so you can truly give back to those [you] love [as well as the country and the planet we all love].
    Parent yourself well. Remember to speak these words of Truth to Power, our affirmative incantation for the week:
    Free at last, free at last; thank God in me, the almighty Divine Love, I am free at last to embody peace, prosperity, health, love, joy, and happiness.
    I do so in the fullness of Spirit and with gratitude in my heart.
    I am free to see It my way:  independent, bold, brave, loving, opulent, succulent; full of laughter, grace and unlimited choices.
    My life is full of fantastic opportunities.
    Here is the beautiful video of "Beautiful City" that I watched to produce this blog:

    Peace and blessings to you all!