Today’s Quote

The ABCs of Life

Accept differences.
Be kind.
Count your blessings.
Dream.
Express thanks.
Forgive.
Give freely.
Harm no one.
Imagine more.
Jettison anger.
Keep confidences.
Love truly.
Master something.
Nurture hope.
Open your mind.
Pack lightly.
Quell rumors.
Reciprocate.
Seek wisdom.
Touch hearts.
Understand.
Value truth.
Win graciously.
Xeriscape.
Yearn for peace.
Zealously support a worthy cause.

~ Author Unknown ~
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Thursday Re-View — Dear Theresa…

grades

Dear Theresa – 7th grade:

Hang in there, young lady. It’s not about you; it’s about him.

No it’s not fair, but you’ll learn as you get older that life isn’t fair, but you make the best of it. Who knows why your teacher is doing what he’s doing. It makes absolutely no sense to take away points from your test and paper grades and give them to the other students.

“They need the points more than you do.”

Absurd. You should be recognized for all of the hard work you put into studying. Each afternoon, you come home from school and study until dinner. Then you dry the dishes (someday, you’ll have something called a dishwasher that does all that for you), help your Mom and Dad downstairs in their factory, then study some more until bed time.

And your teacher has the audacity to take away points from your hard-earned As and 100s. No wonder you’re coughing and having trouble sleeping. You can’t figure out why he would do something so unfair. There will come a time when you’re a lot older that his behavior will have a name – bullying – and it will be in the newspapers weekly, in an effort to stop its terrible consequences. It plays with a person’s head, and that’s not right.

But for now, hang in there, young lady.

You’ll learn what good teachers are during all your years of education. (In fact, do you know that you will actually go through almost 12 years of schooling after you graduate from high school? I know, I know – hard to believe, but you’ll always need to be learning something new, or you’ll get bored…) And you’ll realize that not all men are threatened by women of a certain intelligence.  In fact, someday you’ll not only marry a man who is challenged by them, you’ll raise a son who respects them as well. 

But back to your teachers…

Like Mr. Altemose in 10th grade, who’ll teach you to always look at both sides of a story, and to search for the reasons why people act the way they do.

And Mr. DeHaven in your Senior year, who will tell you that it won’t be easy to get all As once you’re in college, but to always do your best, and that will be good enough.

Or Dr. Markowicz, your English professor in undergrad. He’ll be the toughest prof in the department, and you’ll respect him so much that you’ll welcome all his criticisms in order to become a better writer. You’ll like him so much, that after a year of English Composition, you’ll take him for Latin for two more semesters. The other students will tell you that you’re crazy, but you’ll listen to your Self, and learn more from him than anyone else in college. Pretty strange, since you’ll be a Biology major/Chem minor. He’ll even come to your Open House when you start your optometry practice (what – you didn’t know that you’ll be a Doctor someday???), in order to wish you well.

And Dr. Deglin, the retinal specialist? You’ll follow him like a puppy in order to soak up his knowledge, and he’ll never put you down or disrespect you. In fact, he’ll be glad for someone so eager to learn, and he’ll show you enough retinal diseases that you’ll know them like the back of your hand.

There’s Dr. Ciarrocchi, too, in grad school. You’ll beg him to allow you into a Ph.D. class while you’re in the Master’s Program. When he finally relents, its Cognitive Behavioral Therapy slant will become the foundation of your clinical practice as a psychotherapist. Thoughts matter. They become actions that display your character.

Which brings us back to your (nameless) 7th grade teacher.

Don’t worry about him. He’s a small man, doing small things to you. For whatever reason, and there are no doubt many, all having to do with his insecurities, he has chosen you to pick on. He is abusing his position of authority, and debasing the sacred vocation of teaching. Although it doesn’t feel like it now, he will not be able to stop you from succeeding. You will storm through whatever he tries to do to you and will rise above his actions with your own perseverance.

And you’ll be the better for it.

When there’s an obstacle in your way, go through it or around it or over it or under it. Don’t let it stop you from your dreams.

You are a child of the universe.
No less than the trees and the stars,
you have a right to be here.
And whether or not it is clear to you,
no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should.

With my blessings and love,

Theresa, Middle-aged

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For Belonging

For Belonging
by John O’Donohue

May you listen to your longing to be free.

May the frames of your belonging be generous enough for your dreams.

May you arise each day with a voice of blessing whispering in your heart.

May you find a harmony between your soul and your life.

May the sanctuary of your soul never become haunted.

May you know the eternal longing that lives at the heart of time.

May there be kindness in your gaze when you look within.

May you never place walls between the light and yourself.

May you allow the wild beauty of the invisible world to gather you,
mind you, and embrace you in belonging.

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Today’s Quote

wildflowers II

I will not die an unlived life.
I will not live in fear of falling or catching fire.
I choose to inhabit my days,
to allow my living to open me,
to make me less afraid, more accessible;
to loosen my heart until it becomes a wing,
a torch, a promise.
I choose to risk my significance,
to live so that which came to me as seed
goes to the next as blossom,
and that which came to me as blossom,
goes on as fruit.

~ Dawna Markova ~
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Monday Meeting — Footballer Does a Simple Thing…

There was a classy, heartwarming moment at Celtic Park recently.

Celtic capped a title-winning campaign with a 3-1 victory over Dundee United. After receiving their winners’ medals and all the normal celebrations, manager Neil Lennon ran to the stands and gave away his medal to Jay Beatty, an 11-year-old Celtic fan who has Down Syndrome.

Greek striker Georgios Samaras then ran over and picked up Beatty and carried the smiling boy around the pitch to take in applause of the 52,400 in attendance.

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Thursday Re-View — Despair

               funkari

funkari

It is gradual, insidious, cunning.

I slip, slip, slip down into the darkness,
its waves covering me, masking me,
sucking me into its void.

A black hole of nothingness,
where cries of despair no longer echo
but end sharply, cuttingly, abruptly.

An unearthly stillness,
a catching of breath,
then a slow release that’s not a release,
but only more weight,
dragging me down, down, down into obscurity.

There is no light, no sound, no life, no hope.

A stillness, a waiting — not expectant,
but a relenting to the darkness,
its presence a living, breathing, creeping thing.

My soul is wounded, easy prey for the shadows
that wait patiently in the quiet.
All energy, breath, life is sucked dry
with nothing left to give, no desire to give,
no future.

Why struggle?

There is no life, no sound, no light.
There is no future, no hope, no dream.
It takes more than I have to dream.

The sobbing is more than crying —
it is an emptying, a stealing, a taking
with nothing left in its wake.

Cold, dark, damp.
Slimy, keening vacuum.
It waits.

It has all of eternity to feast on this soul.
It licks its lips in anticipation of the
tenderness to be destroyed.

The black hole is more alive than I am,
its eyes watching me, searing me
with a vacant blindness that still sees.
Sees too much.

A rustling – furtive –
a licking, smacking anxiousness
in the murky gloom.

It waits for me, as it has done before.

I have no strength to fight it.
My thoughts are muddied.
The weight of the darkness suffocates,
pushing the air out of my lungs.

My bones – no bones – no shape –
no light – no sound.

Nothing.
There is only this barren wasteland
and I no longer care.

About anything.

I’m exhausted.  I just want to rest.
To catapult into oblivion,
among the stars, weightless,
no control or direction.

I am abandoned.

Is this surrender?
To what end – nothing?  A future?

Must so much of me die in order to live?

And then – on a distant horizon –
the tiniest pinprick of light.
It blazes into my soul
and I breathe…

I am safe.

I can dream.

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My Vacation Within

Royal Clipper
The itinerary of the 7-day cruise says I visited Barbados, St. Lucia, Dominica, Antigua, St. Kitts, Iles des Saintes and Martinique.

I say I visited the bow netting on the clipper ship, the empty deck at night and the inside of myself. My own brand of vacation in the beautiful islands of the Caribbean. Into the islands of my Self.

This trip was not to sight see or interact with lots of people. This was to rejuvenate.

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The quarter moon barely lights the sky as the midnight hour approaches.
The stars, bearers of sparkling light, are thrown across the velvet blanket above.
The waves, dark as the darkest night, pound against the steel hull,
crashing in caps of white froth over and over again.

I sit alone, wind whipping hair across my face as the spray moistens my skin.
A baptism, of sorts, in this, my communion with the sea.

The ship pounds into the swells, up and down, then side to side
as the canvas sails slap and the rigging creaks and moans.
The ocean’s power reminds me of my insignificance as we surge across the wine-dark dark sea.
The ship upon the waves is but a small thing, and I am smaller still.

I sit alone, wind whipping hair across my face as the spray moistens my skin.
A baptism, of sorts, in this, my communion with the sea.

I am not thinking, only feeling.
Total peace and contentment, all alone in the night.
Nothing else exists in these elemental moments;
’tis but woman and the sea.

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In the busyness of those ordinary days, I close my eyes and imagine my Self back on deck.

I sit alone, wind whipping hair across my face as the spray moistens my skin.

The ordinary is now extraordinary.  I am at peace.  I am free.

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Chrysalis

My soul sighs as it waits in the darkness.
No light, no sound. Simply being.

What is this waiting?

I inched along, plodding through my life,
minute by minute, hour by hour, day by day.

Joy and sorrow, pleasure and pain,
hope and despair, darkness and light.

Then, I chose the darkness
as I spun my cocoon, my chrysalis, my womb.

What is this waiting?

It’s the in-between time, between where I was
and where I will be, between my past and my future.

My soul sighs as I trust in the darkness, in the patient hope
that I will emerge from this cocoon stronger, smarter, better.

That I will no longer plod along minute by minute,
hour by hour, day by day, but that I will fly.

That I will soar toward the heavens each moment I take a breath,
toward my destiny that was written before I was born.

I will see more clearly, live more authentically, love more fruitfully.

I lived, I died, and I will become again.
I will not pass through this transformation unaware.

I will touch and love and hope and be present,
and alight upon the shoulders of giants.

I will look to those brief rainbow moments that shine
when the sun comes out after the rain.

I will live, and be mindful of all that is.
I choose to be born anew, and I relish this freedom.

What is this waiting?

It is a gestation, a creating, a longing,
a whispered promise.

My soul sighs as it waits in the darkness.

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Today’s Quote

child smiling

A person who has good thoughts cannot ever be ugly.
You can have a wonky nose and a crooked mouth
and a double chin and stick-out teeth,
but if you have good thoughts
they will shine out of your face like sunbeams
and you will always look lovely.

~ Roald Dahl ~
British Novelist
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Monday Meeting — Mother Left Paralyzed by Childbirth Finds an Amazing Gift on Her Lawn

A mother left paralyzed after giving birth has arrived home to find a gleaming $45,000 Nissan Navara complete with a giant red bow parked on her front lawn and a note from an anonymous Good Samaritan.

Jessie Bruton, 27, lost feeling in both of her legs after pressure on her spine caused severe nerve damage while she was pregnant with her third son nine months ago.

The mother of three found the white Nissan Pathfinder outside her house in Oak Flats, south of Wollongong, last month.

Bruton III

‘I had a really bad day… I was in heaps of pain. We came home and the car was there. I didn’t think it was for me. We sat around out the front for ages before we checked if it was open,’ Mrs. Bruton told MailOnline.

The generous donor left a card inside the car saying they hoped the gift would make Mrs. Bruton smile considering what she has faced.

‘My husband Mick was crying, I was crying and my boys were running around trying to find DVDs to put in the car,’ she said.

‘I stared at it for ages, but when I jumped in I realized it had been converted for me. It was pretty amazing.’

The car has been fitted with hand controls and is big enough to accommodate her walking frame, wheelchairs and prams for her young sons – Levi, 7, Nash, 2, and six-month-old Klay.

Bruton I

‘At first I thought my friend Kylie was behind it because she’s been organizing a fundraiser. But I rang a few people and no one knew anything,’ Mrs. Bruton said.

The Bruton’s used the hand-over papers in the car to contact the seller but she wouldn’t reveal who the generous buyer was.

‘Then I thought they did it out of the kindness of their heart so I shouldn’t dig around to find them if they don’t want me to,’ she said.

Mrs. Bruton said she would be ‘forever grateful’ and wished she could hug the anonymous donor.

‘They have no idea what they’ve given me,’ she said.

‘Klay was our last baby, we’d bought a house, I’d finished my certificate III in fitness. Everything was in place and it turned our world upside down. It’s been really hard to rely on others so much.’

Mrs. Bruton, who had been driving for 10 years before she was left paralyzed, passed her disability driving test on Tuesday.

Bruton IV

‘My husband and I went and had a coffee last night and I drove him. I felt normal for the first time in 12 months,’ she said.

Doctors are not sure if Mrs. Bruton will ever walk again unaided, but the former fitness instructor said she was doing as much physiotherapy as possible to help.

Mrs. Burton, her husband and three boys had to move back in with her parents while they raise money to modify their family home.

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Source: The Daily Mail
Blog: The Kindness Blog
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