Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Being a Miracle

So not pray for tasks equal to your powers.
Pray for powers equal to your tasks.
Then the doing of your work shall be no
miracle, but you shall be the miracle.

~Phillipe Brooks

Of Note: Some lives are for sowing; some are for reaping. The Laws of Karma works in synchrony with the Law of Cycles that way. Better under this scenario to sow love, sharing and gratitude, then the same will be reaped. What can be said for an individual can also be said for a nation. Tomorrow, leaders from 20 countries will meet to discuss the current global financial crisis. Let us send them thoughts of brotherhood and sharing that they might show the same in their reformulation of policy. After all, it's never too late to change ways when in the sowing field where miracles are a common occurrence.

Today's Weather Report: Odd day: first the sun shown brightly, then clouds changed all that and the temps fell, than light snow came down, then heavy snow with large flakes took its place, then 37 degrees and back to cloudy. All within 12 hours. Welcome to northern Wisconsin in the spring. Marie had summer in mind when she took this shot of a green frog on a green leaf. Ah, Green, I cannot wait until we re-acquaint.

News You Can Use Snippet: Working for the government has always been a sure bet. Governments rarely shrink, and the perks are great. The private sector is not always so lucky. In the last six months, layoffs have been massive. But, there are a few bright spots dispersed throughout the carnage. Dentistry, accounting, and beer, wine and liquor wholesaling have actually shown solid growth. Does anyone see a link?

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Evidence of LIght


~Bonnie Sostrom

Of Note: Tonight at 8:30 is Earth Hour! Join us and millions of others in turning out the lights for an hour if for no other reason than to show solidarity. The Light in Humanity will make a difference as the future unfolds. I've great faith in that.

Today's Weather Report: It was cloudy and cool this morning but the sun is peeking out at the moment. If only for a moment. The frost is finally out of the ground, so the puddles have dissipated. Little green garlic and chive shoots are sprouting. They are always the first to say hello in the spring, although it's amazing how many perennials have green bases under the snow. Thanks, Marie, for this surreal shot of your neighborhood in December.

Watch For Change Snippet: I don't watch TV because there's really not enough time in the day. But a new HBO show is making headlines called "The #1 Ladies' Detective Agency" and will be broadcast during prime time. Of interest is the unique premise of the show: a perky black woman named Precious runs a detective agency in Botswana. Yes, that's in Africa. Not only does the audience get to see a story-line about crime solving by a witty, smart detective, but the backdrop is educational and often breathtaking as well. If this goes over well, we can bet that more TV programs will take on global themes. After the unexpected success of Slumdog Millionaire, movies producers have already gotten the message.

Friday, March 27, 2009

Loving the Light


~Og Mandino

Of Note: Many of these quotes, like the one above, come from www.gratefulness.org. That outstanding Website has a WORD FOR THE DAY feature that includes inspirational quotes from many of the greatest minds. God knows, we need all the inspiration we can get. Marie captured this photo of juxtaposed light and darkness. Although we always think of the sun as the source of light, form takes on new meaning when we think of it as darkness.

Today's Weather Report: A partly cloudy 20 degree day with the sun just trying to peek through. A most welcome sun at that. It snowed a little more last night so that a light blanket of white enshrouds the ground. That doesn't stop the cats who know it's spring, no matter what the weather conditions outside.

Watch For Change Snippet: Recently, a local physician received a state-wide award in Madison. It wasn't for a medical breakthrough or achievement, but rather for bringing free music lessons to local children. The story is heartwarming. In 1996 when the physician moved to the area, she began giving violin lessons to 6 kids even though she had only learned to play as an adult herself. Four years later she founded the Northwoods Strings, a program comprised of several instructors who provided free group and individual instruction to Hayward schools' adolescents. In 2007 the program expanded to the Lac Courte Oreilles reservation's Boys and Girls Club and Ojibwe School. 67 students are now enrolled in lessons provided for all the stringed orchestral instruments, and it's still free.

I happen to know this dynamic woman, and she is a powerhouse. At the same time this was going on, she also organized the Hayward Half-marathon (yes, she's a runner.) On top of that, her band, Duck For The Oysters, regularly entertains families at free concerts where all are encouraged to join in square dancing. I know; I went once. No shy participants were allowed. Everyone was encouraged to come on down to the dance floor where young and old alike let their inhibitions down. All left with smiles on their faces.

What did this visionary have to say in Madison as to why she continues to do what she does? Well, the reason shouldn't surprise us coming from a physician--it's all about brain development in children: "In educating our youth, more attention needs to be paid to the right side of your brain with more emphasis on imagination and creativity. Regurgitation is not the way to survive anymore. We need new ideas, new ways to approach things. It's not going to be about programing the computer. It's going to be about coming up with the games."

Thursday, March 26, 2009

St. Theresa's Prayer


May today there be peace within.
May you trust God that you are
exactly where you are meant to be.
May you not forget the infinite
possibilities that are born of faith.

May you use those gifts that you have received,
and pass on the love that has been given to you.
May you be confident knowing you are a child of God.

Let this presence settle into your bones,
and allow your soul the freedom to
sing, dance, praise and love.
It is there for each and every one of us.

Of Note: I don't always pass around email "chain letters" I receive. Bet you don't either. But once in awhile, a good one comes my way that must be sent on. This prayer was in one of those emails yesterday. It asked that the email be sent to 9 others, including the sender. Pretty simple really. Although I'm not a believer in getting the gold at the end of the rainbow in "four days" as promised, these emails and resultant connections with others seem to be a good way to electronically pass around the energy of love. It could be a new way to give riches and become enriched during the curious economic times through which we are living.

Today's Weather Report: The 60 degree days last week were just teasing us into believing that spring was actually here. Though technically spring has sprung, someone forgot to tell the great weather-maker who thinks it's fall with snow showers intermixed with rain currently falling. Points west in the Dakotas are seeing much worse than this, though; so, forget the complaining. I AM grateful for Marie's beautiful head-shots of spring flowers. They renew my faith that spring with warmth and colorful blooms are somewhere around the corner.

Watch For Change Snippet: I've been wondering what the financial crisis might bring in the way of something new. Regulations, more money printed, stimulus spending, etc. are all ideas re-worked from past scholars, none of whom ever witnessed the derivatives mess that has threatened to take the whole system down. So, it was with great interest that I read the Chinese idea to create a new global currency, or actually expend the use of one currently available. In 1969 a new currency called Special Drawing Rights or SDRs was created and has been used on a limited basis by the International Monetary Fund. In a report this week, China suggested that this synthetic currency be expanded for global use though it realizes the implementation would take decades because of enormous technical and political hurdles. But new is new. The idea is now out there and will most likely not go away. The recommendation was unsurprisingly dissed in most financial circles, which have learned how to manipulate the current monetary system so well. But the IMF said the proposal should be taken seriously: "It reflects officials' concerns about improving the stability of the financial system. It's interesting because of China's unique position, and because the governor [of the Central Bank] put it in such a measured and considered way."

Monday, March 23, 2009

Giving and Getting Back


~Grace Speare

Of Note: There is one really good way to give every day....it only takes a couple of minutes and its FREE. Clicking on www.thehungersite.com brings up a page with six tabs. By sequentially clicking through the six tabs, six different causes receive donations. All for a click. The site also has e-cards that often donate a book or food when the card is opened by a friend. As we learned the other day, a habit is established in only 21 days. So make this DAY 1. 21 days from now, you'll be glad you did.

Today's Weather Report: Who told the rain-gods to descend today with cold precipitation and a blustery wind? The predicters say it will be like this all week. Must be spring in the northwoods. I had wished for rain to clear out the rest of the snow in the woods but had in mind something warm. Guess I should have been more specific in my request. At least we are not getting the foot of snow engulfing the Dakotas with winds at 30 - 40 mph! I certainly can't wait until pictures are possible in Wisconsin like this one Marie took last week in northern Texas. Maybe come July!

Watch For Change Snippet: The day is fast approaching when the predominate hue in America will no longer be white. As a matter of fact, George Bush may be the last white-guy President for some time. Corporate America and its advertisers have taken notice. Companies that spend billions of dollars to influence us on a daily basis are leaping into "visual diversity,"the latest marketing strategy that shows commericals and print ads peppered with people of all races interacting normally. In the past, minorities were either invisible or viewed in subservient roles, said one professor at University of Texas at Austin who has studied the phenomenon. He opined: "Today we are starting to see blacks and whites together, doing the thing people do. Now, advertisers are not in a position of pushing social justice. But to the extent that they can put whites and blacks together in situations, I think that is a good thing." One ad agency executive went even further: "Going forward, all advertising is going to be multicultural by definition, because in most states, majority ethnic populations will no longer exist."

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Life is Love, Enjoy It

Life is a song - sing it.
Life is a game - play it.
Life is a challenge - meet it.
Life is a dream - realize it.
Life is a sacrifice - offer it.
Life is love - enjoy it.

~Sai Baba

Of Note: Marie captured this shot of an inquisitive concrete feline in her rounds at the local nurseries this past week. Now that spring is here, my five cats think that heaven has arrived but would certainly envy this rival, who is already hunting in green grass.

Today's Weather Report: Although the morning started off chilly and damp, the day ended at 52 degrees Fahrenheit. The sun was shining here, but up in Ashland where we went to shop, the clouds hung low. Must be the influence of mighty Lake Superior, which is so vast that it makes its own weather. We were sad to see that Bodine's, the local purveyor of smoked fish and sporting items, had gone out of business. It has probably stood at that sight next to the lake for 40 or 50 years. So it goes.

Watch For Change Snippet: Willa Cather said, "Where there is great love, there are always miracles." Maybe what we are missing in this economic downturn is great love. At least it's something to ponder.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Develop a Good Heart

If we were to draw one essential
message from the fact of reincarnation,
it would be: develop a good heart,
that longs for other beings to find
lasting happiness, and acts to
secure that happiness.

~Sogyal Rinpoche

Of Note: Do you see the glowing at the star-heart of this morning glory? It is the same in the heart of every being at the place where the Soul resides. "Developing a good heart" requires a connection with that Center. Given a consistent linkage, goodwill then emanates involuntarily. Joy is a byproduct and lasting happiness eventuates. When Humanity learns this lesson, the world will change, maybe in an instant.

Today's Weather Report: Breezy and cool today with the sun shining brightly in through the windows. A fire in the fireplace took the chill off the house this morning when the temps hovered at 20 degrees. The old cat, Beaner, gingerly took his first walk around the frozen ponds a short time ago. When he returns, he'll probably sleep for the rest of the day. Marie took this magical shot last year in her garden. We appreciate that she shares her talent with this blog. Thanks, Sis!

Watch for Change Snippet: 1,400 cities have now signed up for Earth Hour, the biggest public climate change event of its kind in history. The United Nations has pledged its support as well. For one hour at 8:30 pm on March 28th, participating cities will turn out their lights. Many individual events are also being planned. Whether one is on board with the climate change concept or not, conservation of resources is an ideal everyone can embrace. To find out more, go to www.EarthHourUS.org. The huge global event is being sponsored by the World Wildlife Federation.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Desiring Others To Be Happy

Whatever joy there is in the world
All comes from desiring others to be happy.
And whatever suffering there is in this world
All comes from desiring myself to be happy.


Of Note: Every once in awhile, no words are needed to explain a very clear message. This is such a day. Marie captured these two dew-clad purple beauties in her garden last May. Even before spring has officially arrived, she's already ventured forth to local nurseries in search of new flower varieties. We look forward to seeing the bursts of color she sends for the blog! After all, my garden does not produce showy flowers until much later, so her contributions make us smile when flowers here are only a dream.

Today's Weather Report: It's 44 degrees and chilly, though the sun is out and creating long shadows in the remaining snow. The cats now have their tick collars on so they don't bring in "presents" from the fields. We have the first live bird in the house today compliments of one feline, most likely the king of the cats. I'm sure he was very proud of himself--and probably lost the bird when he meowed to let us know.

Watch For Change Snippet: Africa has been treated like a problem step-child for years. Many nations have thrown money at the situation with no real hope of change--more than a trillion dollars to date with little to show for the largess. At the insistence of the African people themselves, the situation may be taking a turn. Unlike the economic downturn in the rest of the world, growth in many parts of Africa is strong because of a stable market for its resources and a strong underground economy. Surprised? I was. While other countries may have ignored the continent except to send aid, China has invested heavily in industry but is also funding needed infrastructure, such as hospitals, roads and bridges. Many in Africa are grateful to be treated like legitimate trading partners rather than victims and would welcome more of the same. No one likes to be a beggar insisted one entrepreneur who little by little was bettering his life and that of his family. International powers might take note of an awakening spirit of the African people. Could be they collectively have much to teach the rest of the world about life, survival and simplicity--and business.

Monday, March 16, 2009

Sailing in the Same Boat

After an orange cloud--
formed as a result of a dust storm
over the Sahara and caught up
by air currents--
reached the Philippines
and settled there with rain,
I understood that we are all
sailing in the same boat.

~Vladimir Kovalyonok

Of Note: I didn't have a photo of a boat, but I did take this picture tonight of a very orange sky. First spying it when going down to the mailbox, I missed the showiest part by minutes. A person has to be fast to get sunset shots--within minutes the scene is gone forever.

Today Weather Report: We have never had such a warm mid-March as this. Today it was 60 degrees! When our little culvert opened, the melting snow started running down the man-made stream. It wasn't opened at 1 pm, but was by 6 pm. I even weedwacked the canes down around the ponds without a jacket, just a sweater. Sometimes falling through the snow, I got my shoes wet, of course. What a glorious day. If you recall, it was -20 degrees just last week in the morning, so this is quite a change!

Watch For Change Snippet: In the future people will not make money the same way they do now. Reading the tea leaves, companies like Lockheed and Northrup Grumman, who traditionally build military planes, have started engaging in more peaceful pursuits. "We recognized five or so years ago that the industry was changing and that the government was looking at more than just hard power," said one Lockheed executive. Consequently, one of its fastest growing sections is the "Information Systems and Global Services Division," which saw revenues rise 14% in 2008 to $11.61 billion. Examples of its worldwide endeavors include a several million dollar contract training peacekeepers in such places as Darfur. Another helped forge the Afghan constitution. These activities called "soft power" were promoted as the wave of the future by Defense Secretary Robert Gates back in 2007. President Obama has signaled that he will continue the progressive trend. One of the challenges of the current economic downturn is to find more of these opportunities that are based on global cooperation, service to the common good and an understanding that we are all sailing in the same boat.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

At the Turning Point

Desire change. Be enthusiastic for that flame
in which a thing escapes your grasp
while it makes a glorious display of transformation.

That designing Spirit, the master mind of all things on earth
loves nothing so much in the sweeping movement of the dance
as the turning point.

~Rainer Maria Rilke
Sonnets to Orpheus: II, 12 (Stanza 1)

Of Note: Spring is finally showing her colors, at least in Texas. Marie sent this view from her churchyard last week. Soon, we will be seeing the same in northern Wisconsin--though "soon" may be a month or more. The change presented by spring is so showy, so grandiose. Over the top, really. I revel in the abrupt transformation every year and know that incrementally more beauty is manifested each year. Not only in my garden but all over the globe. Some may not believe that because of the apparent discord on Earth at the moment. But the Indomitable Spirit can only go one direction in the dance and that's upward and onward.

Today's Weather Report: Alleluhia, it's 50 degrees today! Yesterday as well. For some reason, in the middle of winter, it seems that warm weather will never arrive. But each year it does. Our brains have a way of fooling us that way. More of the same is expected for the next few days so a look-about in the garden will probably be in order--though, nothing but the chives will be peeking out of the ground yet.

News You Can Use Snippet: A minister in Kansas City is on a mission. His program, A Complaint Free World Inc., is distributing purple bracelets that teach people how to end their complaining. Folks are responding enthusiastically and 6 million have been distributed to date. How does the program work? Very simply. If a person finds themselves complaining while wearing the bracelet, they have to switch it to the other arm. The goal is to go 21 days without a switch. Of course, it's not easy to break the all-to-human habit of complaining, but the program sponsor finds it can be done. The secret? New habits can be formed with 21 to 28 days of practice. So like anything else, it's practice, practice, practice. The enterprising minister is also sponsoring a complaint-free cruise next month and a complaint-free trek to Tanzania this summer to build a birthing center. He summed it up this way: " In good times, people often take for granted what they have, and whine about what they don't have. Bad times make people more grateful."

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Understanding That Brings Peace



~Helen Keller

Of Note: Three major projects are taking my time these days and thus the blog has seen fewer entries. This is most likely a passing phenomenon. Thus, I promise to blog as often as possible without creating too much anxiety on this end because it is a joy to communicate in this way--out to the universe. In the quote above Keller speaks to the fact that understanding precedes peace not the other way around as so many think. When we move to the values that engender right human relations, then peace will prevail. Succeeding generations will wonder why it took us so long to figure it out.

Today's Weather Report: Spring has arrived in Texas apparently because Marie sent several colorful pictures this week of blooming flowers. What a wonderful world that she can take pictures on her iPhone and send them on directly, almost in real time. Here in the northwoods, it was -14 degrees Fahrenheit this morning but Jim said it should be the last time. Think I've heard that before! But full moons and subzero go together, and by the full moon next month we should definitely be past this extremely cold winter. After all, it will officially be spring by then.

Watch For Change Snippet: Planning for a peaceful future takes a group who believe that a world where right human relations prevails is not only possible but exists. After all, energy follows thought. Using the ancient psychological technique of AS IF, they meditate on this dynamic future. Some day, we will thank these forerunners for laying the groundwork that brought an upward shifting to a worn-out world where loving understanding was the exception rather than the norm. It would follow then that history would not be a good indicator of the future. Even now, studies are showing that experience is vastly over-rated and can be a liability in times of change. A professor in France who designed the study said that managers with 10 or more years of experience collectively generated higher costs, more errors and missed more deadlines. Another academic speculated that these men and women get set in their ways and can't change. If these were the only people creating the New World, we'd be in trouble. Thankfully, another group has the matter in hand.

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Right Where You Are



~Ram Dass

Of Note: This ethereal shot was taken not far from my front door a few years back and captures the scene exactly as it was that evening. Had I not been at that exact location at that moment, I'd have missed this mystical interplay of fog and twilight. One could say I was in the right spot at the right time. Ram Dass would say that we all are. Every day is of our own making for the purpose of the evolution of consciousness. The location is simply the backdrop to the real story of our interrelationships and resultant lessons. If we get too focused on the backdrop, the message might fly right by only making it necessary to return another time. Better to catch it the first time around in whatever place we are.

Today's Weather Report: In the 30's and cloudy. Apparently, the promised snowfall passed us by leaving a skating-rink where our driveway usually is. Jim went out to run yesterday on the road leading to the house and came back after only 10 minutes because of the slippery conditions. Today he went out to the main road and had better luck since the black top is now free of all ice. The houseplants know spring is coming and are sending out a myriad of of new shoots. The bonsai maple hasn't changed it's appearance yet from two sticks with buds, but the day is soon approaching when little leaves will begin to unfurl.

News You Can Use Snippet: Students at the University of Maine recently announced a prototype of an matchmaking wristband mounted with a series of LED lights called a "Friend Finder." Apparently, the gadget is first programmed with information about the wearers interests and tastes. Then, when another user with compatible interests is within 30 feet, the lights flash--"allowing humans to mimic the romantic signaling of fireflies." Must be that students at the University of Maine had too much time on their hands this past winter. Or maybe, this is merely a joke. Certainly meeting new people has not gotten so hard that we must mimic fireflies in their romantic pursuits which some might consider an evolutionary digression. Nope, Facebook is fine, but I'm not too sure about flashing bracelets.

Friday, March 6, 2009

High Spots in Our Lives

There are high spots in all our lives,
and most of them come about through
encouragement from someone else.

~George Adams

Of Note: I have no idea who George Adams is, but he hit the nail on the head with these words. When looking back, how often can we confirm that one person has stood out as helpful during a rocky time? Usually, the light of helpful words or actions still shines many years later. In like manner, the Soul irradiates our path to the summit with loving promptings. We ascend not in darkness but in light. With gratitude. Just like with our friends.

Today's Weather Report: Puddles of water outside the front door greeted me this morning upon rising. The cat who looked out with me appeared puzzled at the sound of dripping off the roof. Then, he went tearing off over the melting snow to points beyond. Until the frost goes out of the ground, the road will be like mush and almost impassable. The only way to traverse the lane is to go fast and not stop for anything. Getting stuck is NO fun, let me tell you--unless you like to play in mud puddles.For some reason, Marie's pictures of Big Bend National Park are attracting my attention this past week or so. Must be because they were taken last April, and we long for April up here in the defrosting northwoods of Wisconsin.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

The Path is One

Upon the mountain paths,
one cannot walk either to left or right,
but only straight ahead.
One can neither jump in the abyss,
nor climb upon a steep rock.

The Path is One and the
destination is seen from above.

~M. Morya
Heart, 521

Of Note: Imagine Beings in another dimension looking down at humans in the chaos they've created on Earth. What would they see? It would be my guess that they would see helter-skelter activities motivated by selfishness. Another way is available, that of the straight Path. At first this direction seems restrictive. That is an illusion. In actuality, it leads from the unreal to the Real, from the suffocation of death to the liberation of immortality. A few have followed this Path in the past, but now, humanity has readied itself as a group to follow. When that occurs, a glorious future is guaranteed.

Today's Weather Report: Finally, the cold snap has been broken. The same cold we were experiencing dumped 5 - 8 inches of snow on the eastern seaboard, and school was even out in Washington DC. With partly cloudy skies, it looks like we may get the same here shortly. Marie must know paths well because she takes such great pictures of them. This was taken at Big Bend National Park last spring.

News You Can Use Snippet: Today is Square Root Day: 3-3-09. For the math handicapped, the square root of 3 is 9. The last was 2-2-04 and the next will be 4-4-16. I heard on the news this morning that this event only happens three times a century. Most certainly that is wrong because we will see 5-5-25, 6-6-36, 7-7-49, 8-8-64, 9-9-81 before we start over in the next century. Isn't it interesting that the difference between square roots increases by odd numbers and creates this sequence: 3 - 5 - 7 - 9 - 11 - 13 - 15- 17 etc. Numbers have so many mysteries to impart if only we knew the key.

Monday, March 2, 2009

Continuous Benevolence

The heart that has consecrated
itself to right human relations
radiates benevolence continuously,
independent of volitional sendings.
Similarly, the sun rays are not
sent with premeditation.

~M. Morya
Heart, 63

Of Note: You know how we try to be good all the time? Many times we are not successful, but many times we are. The Great Teacher Morya tells us that if our lives are consecrated to the will-to-good, the heart radiates benevolence involuntarily just like sunshine. This is our future as we strive toward ascent. Oh, how the Earth will sing when Humanity crosses this threshold.

Today's Weather Report: More below zero temps, and we are talking WAY below, like 25 degrees! The same is expected for tonight. Whatever happened to global warming. It seems to have missed us up here in northern Wisconsin. I will be editing my husband's book for the rest of the week so these blogs will be shortened a bit. There have been many, many edits over the last 5 or 6 years so no tears will be shed if this is the last time. Marie provided this luminous shot of a Texas sunset from a stroll last fall. Thanks for sharing!