Archive for the ‘Finding your calling’ Category

The times are dark all over the world, and anxiety is high

Sunday, March 15th, 2020
     I am going to start doing regular Facebook Live Streams and offer online counseling/coaching and support groups to help calm that anxiety and isolation. This way people will not have to come to see me in person but can still get my unique brand of help and support.
     I am working on two new books,. One is my second dog book, this one centering on Baltho’s next incarnation, named Hattie, and the lessons I learned with her and the other two dogs and cats, as my mystical insights and abilities became stronger.
     I am also working on another book about my paranormal experiences with animals and the people involved with them. I plan to publish sections on Kindle as they are ready. And then combine these sections into a full book available on Kindle and paperback.
     Here is the start of that new book.Titles are working titles. They may change.
Cloud of Witnesses Series
The communion of the living and the dead
Foreword
     We are living in dark times, hit by tragedies and suffering on every side, much caused by human beings who willfully inflict their short-sighted, egocentric views on others, heedless of the consequences to others who share our planet. Grinding poverty, disease, and displacement from war torn areas is multiplying geometrically. Some of these horrors are caused by natural disasters that batter creation everywhere and cause more even more devastation and population movement. Every time we sign on to the Internet, turn on the TV or radio, or open a newspaper we are assaulted by such horrors. We live in a world terribly out of balance—careening ever more toward the abyss.
     Yet, the still small voice of hope is always there, always calling to us to do better. After opening the box that let all kinds of illness, bloodshed, terrors and evils loose upon the world, Pandora discovered the one thing that remained was hope. I have learned to eat it like bread.
     For me that hope comes from the spiritual world that surrounds us, that calls us to the mystery that all life, past, present, and future, is connected, often in ways that we only glimpse at best. Those we care about, and those who care for us, bear witness to this, even from beyond this mortal world.
     As a Hindu friend who tried to explain her embrace of Christianity to her Hindu parents said, “God comes to me in the form of Jesus.” Prior to landing on that explanation, her parents could not understand why she would reject her Hindu heritage with many expressions of God to follow Jesus. They felt that she was rejecting them. “They now understand that God comes to us in many forms. He comes to me in the form of Jesus,” she explained. “They do not feel condemned if they do not follow him. They do not feel pressure from me. Nor do I push them in any way. We accept one another. We love.”
     That has long been my experience. I cannot tell others what path they should follow. I can only say what is true for me. When I was an undergraduate at the University of Denver at the end of the Vietnam War, everything—every tradition was questioned, every institution was distrusted, most of all, the government. Like Kent State we had the National Guard occupy our campus, with classes cancelled and everyone in fear that the massacre that happened in Kent State might happen here in Denver. I knew members of the Weathermen from the Scholars and Honors program, males and females who believed, or said they did, that our government was so corrupt that it had to be overthrown. Drug experimentation—especially with LSD, speed, and marijuana—was widespread. I was afraid to try any of that myself. I valued my mind too much. But, like my colleagues, I questioned everything, unsure what to believe, including the moderate Christian faith of the American Baptist church I’d grown up in. My immediate family were not very churchy. I found services boring, though I’d made an early commitment at four years old to follow Jesus . . .

6 lessons in happiness from one of the happiest nations in the world

Friday, April 13th, 2018

Natalie Matushenko writes:

I share what I have learned about being happy over the past six years in the hope that it will help others reflect on the changes we can all make to be happier in our lives.

Here’s what I’ve learned:

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What almost dying taught Tracy White about living

Monday, February 12th, 2018

I thought I was leading the “right life”—prestigious college, fancy job in New York City, kind husband, happy child, good friends, nice house…then I got incurable cancer.
The doctor thought I had 15 months to get my affairs in order.

When bad stuff happens to us, even the most enlightened can’t help but ask, “Why me?” I just wanted to understand—why did I get cancer? I needed to believe the cancer was happening for a reason.

Now, two years later—after a no-holds-barred healing journey that blended conventional, alternative, and woo-woo treatments—I was beginning to understand the “why me” part.

One reason I got sick was I was living the wrong life.

More.

The opportunity to fail–the best gift we can give our children

Tuesday, January 9th, 2018

Mo Issa writes:

My parents gave me love, and lots of it, but often faltered in giving me direction. However, the best gift they gave me was the opportunity to fail, and then learn from those failures.

That opportunity not only made me stronger, but also instilled in me a sense of responsibility and independence that has helped me in every aspect of my life.

I look at today’s generation and sense a mood of entitlement. They expect things to be done for them. They shun responsibility and avoid making decisions.

After reading Jessica Lahey’s bestselling book, The Gift of Failure, and with much reflection on my own parenting over the years, I wish I could get my kids back for another four years (yes, I miss them that much!) so that I could change my ways.

I was trying my best as a parent and thought I was a great father. On reflection, however, many factors affected my parenting, not least of which was ego and and a pull to acquiesce to society’s norms.

Do we want our kids to get the top grades, get onto the varsity soccer team, and be around the most popular people because of us—or them? How do we define what is “best” for them, anyway? Is it not based on our criteria and values, rather than theirs?

When we impose our likes, dislikes, and values on our kids, we rob them of their individuality and their own experiences. As Lahey says, “When parents try to engineer failure out of kids’ lives, the kids feel incompetent, incapable, unworthy of trust and utterly dependent.” They are, she argues, unprepared when, “failures that happen out there, in the real world, carry far higher stakes.”

I love the title of her book—The Gift of Failure—because learning how to navigate failure really is the greatest gift that we can bequeath our children. Especially when we also give them our undivided love and complete support.

Through failure, they will learn life-long lessons they could never learn otherwise.

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Dads Who Are Staking A Claim In The Parenting World

Monday, November 20th, 2017

While our culture still often treats dads like bumbling babysitters, American fathers are taking a larger role in parenting responsibilities. A Pew Research study indicated that, in 2014, American dads reported spending almost triple the time watching their children than fathers in the 1960s. And millennial dads have been helping to shift workplace culture because they expect to be deeply involved in the child-rearing partnership.

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8 Underrated Qualities To Look For In A Spouse, According To Experts

Tuesday, October 31st, 2017

There are certain important qualities we’re taught to look for in our romantic partners: Are they honest? Are they strong communicators? Are they good at handling money? And the list goes on.

But what about the less obvious signs that someone will make a great husband or wife? We asked relationship experts to tell us what seemingly small things actually say a lot about a person. Below, find out what marriage therapists, psychologists and authors had to say:

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Five Myths about Self-Love

Wednesday, September 20th, 2017

From Sarah Lamb’s insightful essay:

I hate self-help books. Well, I do now. I hate them because they tell us how we should be. They tell us, if we only did things this way—the author’s way—then we will be happy and truly understand what it means to love ourselves. The day I gave up reading self-help books was the day I loved myself for having too much coffee. It was also the day I gave up trying to live someone else’s answer.

It was the day I started to walk away from someone else’s truth.

My occasional overindulgence makes me human. I sometimes stay up past my body’s desired bedtime watching Netflix or perusing Facebook or writing, doing yoga, or talking on the phone. And the next day, when I wake up and feel groggy or wired and tired, I know it was my choices the previous night that led to my current state. I know I caused some sort of suffering for myself—and I love myself for it.

Self-love isn’t what a lot of those self-help books profess it to be, according to my inner guru anyway. It isn’t about being in a constant state of perfection—eating just the right amount at each meal, and exercising before the point of fatigue, and not drinking alcohol at least two hours before bed, and not raising your voice when your best friend pushes your most triggering button.

Self-love isn’t about not having too much coffee. It’s something more than turning away from our humanness—it’s about accepting it.

But before we get there, we have to bust a few myths about self-love that have been floating around since the dawn of the term itself. Some might resonate for you and others might not. We are all guilty of embracing certain ones over others. We all have our preferred conscious and unconscious defenses against this thing that we feel so frightened about.

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10 Weird Signs You’re Stressed Out

Sunday, August 20th, 2017

Stress manifests in a multitude of ways. Some of them are emotional symptoms, like moodiness and irritability, and others may mask themselves as physical issues.

The problem with this physiological phenomenon is that you may simply chalk these issues up as something harmless. Not only that, data shows stress is continually on the rise, making the problem more of a byproduct of everyday life rather than a health complication that needs to be controlled. But there are major consequences if you don’t address your stress: It can lead to heart problems, sleep disturbances, depressive symptoms and more.

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Religion Failed Us—but we Still Need It.

Thursday, August 10th, 2017

from Samuel Kronen’s excellent essay:

To live a religious life, we must engage in a spiritual practice. I don’t think there is any way around this. To remain in contact with that what is beyond ourselves, beyond the domain of our individual thoughts, we must find some way of continually remembering that this connection exists and is always possible to attain.

This can be achieved in many different ways, from charity, to meditation, to some form of deep contemplation, and so on. What is necessary is engaging in whatever practice we choose on a daily basis or something close to it—otherwise we are susceptible to falling astray and moving away from this essential connection.

Try to remember that life is infinitely wondrous and beautiful, and do everything in our power to live in a way that serves this remembrance. This is the foundation of a holy life.

We don’t need to buy into religious lunacy to be close to God. We simply must allow ourselves to be active participants in the grace and artistry of the universe, rather than merely being passive observers in a purely material world.

In reminding ourselves that there is more to life than what we think, we become present to the immediacy of life itself, and in my experience, this expands our capacity for love.

Love is at the core of a truly religious life.

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This Simple Mental Shift Can Enrich Everything In Your Life

Wednesday, May 10th, 2017

Those who are able to shift away from the obsessive chase for more, Twist says, often experience a renewal of sorts. “When you let go of trying to get more of what you don’t really need, it frees up oceans of energy,” she says.

That energy, Twist continues, can then be channeled into a different endeavor: paying attention to what you already have. “When you actually pay attention to nourish, love and share what you already have, it expands,” Twist explains.

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Thomas Ramey Watson is an affiliate faculty member of Regis University's College of Professional Studies. He has served as an Episcopal chaplain (lay), trained as a psychotherapist, done postdoctoral work at Cambridge University, and was named a Research Fellow at Yale University.

In addition to his scholarly writings, he is a published author of poetry and fiction.

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