Category Archives: spiritual

How to know what kind of a person anyone is



Brazilian actress Fernanda Montenegro…look at those eyes!

This is a follow-up to yesterday’s post, which was focused on Donald Trump. Let’s leave poitics for a minute and think about a broader application—how to know what kind of a person anyone is. The method is the same: look into their eyes and you’ll see their soul.

You know how sometimes you meet a person and immediately you feel uncomfortable? You might say to yourself, “Oh, I’m just being silly.” But stop and take a good look right into their orbs and you’ll realize you can trust what you see. A person with a good, gentle soul will have a kind look, or a sparkle in their eyes, or even something that you can’t name, but you feel it. You feel it with someone who has a dark soul as well.

Unfortunately, many people never give this a thought. Nevertheless, sometimes they’ll say, “Ooooh, what beautiful eyes she/he has!” They might not necessarily make the connection between what they’re seeing in this person’s eyes and their character, but there definitely is a connection.


No thing but innocence in those eyes!

The same goes for that uncomfortable feeling when somebody seems to have a “nasty look.” Don’t brush it off. Sometimes it can save you from a lot of grief, if you were thinking of getting involved with that person in some way, whether business or personal. People who have that look in their eyes are out of touch with who they were meant to be and are blind to who they really are.

Trust your intuition! It’s the greatest thing you own, and you can cultivate it. Words, reasoning, conjectures, opinions are not nearly as powerful or accurate.

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Filed under babies, individuality, spiritual, Uncategorized

Do You Dare?

The whole universe is filled with Love…no…

More than that.

The absolute entirety of infinite immensity is Love itself.

Do you doubt this?

Do your eyes and ears tell you something else?

Eyes and ears know nothing of this endless wonder…

How could they? Can finity comprehend infinity?

The senses are bombarded by shock and horror every day,

So it seems…

But what are the senses?

Should we believe them?

Do you dare challenge them?

Go ahead, challenge them!

You’ve nothing to lose, to be sure,

And everything to gain.

The vastness, glory, unspeakable joy that is,

And that you are.

Yes, this magnificent immensity of Love

Is what you are, ever have been,

And ever will be.

Do you dare?



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Life matters

The-Starry-Sky-Backgrounds-PowerpointI think I began to realize while still a child that there was more to life than meets the eye when my mother would say things like, “When you hang shirts on the clothesline, don’t hang them by the shoulders…hang them by the hem.” Or when she decided that we wouldn’t be planting flowers from seeds anymore…from now on we’d buy them already blooming. Or when she would iron our bed sheets (!). Or when she would tell me and my sister Bertie not to walk around in our bare feet during a thunderstorm (even inside the house). None of it made any sense to me. It just didn’t seem to matter somehow.

I would, on warm summer evenings, lie in the cool grass in our yard and watch the millions and millions and millions of stars twinkling in the sky and think: How do they stay there, up in the sky, without falling? Where does the sky end, anyway? I would think myself into a tizzy over these metaphysical conundrums. Life itself fascinated me and I wanted to know all the whats, whys, ifs, and becauses. In comparison, the laundry, the flower seeds and the bare feet seemed awfully trivial.

Little did I imagine back then, so many, many years ago, that my whole life, in one way or another, would be an ongoing search for answers to the many questions I had about life. I read book after book on metaphysical, spiritual, and esoteric subjects. I joined various groups and organizations over the years, all the while not really making a whole lot of effort to put much of what I was learning into practice. And even when I did, I would desist after a few attempts. What I enjoyed was learning about “truth,” talking about it, thinking about it.

To make a long story short, it took me many decades before I finally realized that life itself was the truth—every piece of laundry, every flower seed, every bare foot was fraught with meaning. It all matters. Everything I’d been looking for was right under my nose—I just hadn’t been paying attention!

It’s really quite true that when the mind is occupied with thinking about things—even spiritual things—we’re not really present, so we’re missing the boat. At this late date, I’m more eager to savor what is, than to think about what it all means.




Filed under my history, spiritual, Uncategorized


downloadIn her book Dying To Be Me Anita Moorjani (of the famous NDE and healing of cancer) talks a lot about pursuing vs. allowing. She says that after her NDE experience, she no longer felt that she had to pursue goals, that it was more a question of allowing things to come to her…to happen naturally.

There’s a lot of wisdom in that thought. In my own life, I’ve found that even when we get the thing we think we want, often there’s no lasting satisfaction. I see people on Facebook (and I do this myself as well) busily promoting themselves, whether it’s their art, their music, their book…whatever, usually with little results. But some people do seem to make it “work”—I’ve seen several friends hold successful Kickstarter campaigns, meaning that they got the money they were asking for.

It seems that it’s a question of how we think and where were are in life that makes us either pursue or allow. I can’t sit in judgment and say one is better than the other. I believe that we do what is right for us at any given moment. It may not be right for someone else, and it may not even be right for us after some time has passed. From my own experience I’ve found that the “pushing, pulling, wishing, and wanting” approach has eventually led to frustration and limitation for me.

Last night I watched a video on YouTube by jazz pianist/educator Dave Frank entitled “How Artists and Content Creators Can Survive in the era of Free Content,” where he discussed the current trend of people downloading music for free on the internet. In his view, this new trend is more about people sharing than it is about money, so, as he said in the video, “…there is an expectation that you’ll share some stuff for free, to be part of the global conversation that’s going on.” Then he said that each one, individually, then decides how to get some payback…but…he himself simply decided to give it all away, to share it as much as possible. He said that the spiritual principle he based his choice on is: “If you serve, you will be served,” and that this principle works just like mathematics. “So what that means,” he said, “is that you put your heart and soul out there to people and try to share something that will be of benefit to them, and then what you need will come back to you.” And he wasn’t just “whistlin’ Dixie,” as they say, because he eventually began to receive compensation for his offerings.

I like his approach. To me there’s something very freeing about it. It follows Anita Moorjani’s prescription of allowing instead of pursuing, and I honestly do believe that there is a law as accurate as mathematics that governs these things.


Filed under art, creativity, individuality, jazz, music, NDE, social media, spiritual, work

Aren’t you curious?

When I was a little kid—and I do mean little, I was around four—I wondered about life. I’d look up in the sky and think “where does it end?” I’d think and think and think about that until it drove me nuts. How could something just NEVER END????

I didn’t know about God. I wasn’t raised in a religious family, and we never discussed such existential matters. Life consisted of the practical matters of eating, sleeping, and watching TV.tumblr_m4ges6JBqA1qk59nco1_500

So how did I catch this curiosity bug? Who knows? All I know is that as I grew a littler older I became “curiouser and curiouser” about who I was, what this life was about, and why I was here. I’m sure I heard about God somewhere along the way, and since the idea of a God seemed to have something to do with my incessant craving for answers about life, I joined the Congregational church when I was around 11 years old. I had no idea about religion, really, and knew nothing about the Bible, but they took me in anyway.

But I didn’t last long in church. There weren’t any answers there, as far as I was concerned. And I didn’t have anyone to talk to about my endless questions. The kids I went to school with, although most of them were from churchgoing families, had no curiosity whatsoever about why they existed and what life really meant. They either accepted or ignored the God they had been taught about in Sunday School, and that was it.

So I had to find my own way by searching esoteric books, delving into astrology and mysticism, spiritually-oriented self-help books, and much more, before I finally stumbled on Christian Science and found the answers that satisfied me.

Why was finding out about life so important to me? I don’t know, but I could never seem to understand why it wasn’t just as important to everybody else. I always wanted to ask them, don’t you want to know? Aren’t you curious?

Well, aren’t you?


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Never give up – ever

By now, practically everyone knows who “Arthur Never Give Up” is. For those who don’t, Arthur Boorman is the disabled Gulf War veteran who suffered knee and back injuries and was told by his doctors that he would never again be able to walk on his own. The video about his amazing recovery has gone viral on YouTube with 7,606,340 hits as of today.

So what really happened to Arthur? After the doctor’s predictions, he became depressed and gave up. He took the experts at their word and accepted the fact that he would never walk again without support. So Arthur, at age 47, became a couch potato and kept gaining weight until he had packed 297 pounds onto his 5’8” frame.0

I’m just guessing at how he must have felt—maybe a combination of desperation and apathy. Maybe because of the doctors’ predictions it never crossed his mind that anything could help him. Maybe he just felt resigned.

But then something happened. Something shifted in his thought and he “stumbled” on an article about Diamond Dallas Page, a retired professional wrestler who invented his own Yoga hybrid system—DDP Yoga. Arthur started watching videos and trying to do DDP, falling down and getting up countless times. He also sent Dallas an email telling him his story.

If you’ve seen the video (posted below), you know what happened. Arthur recovered completely. He lost over 100 pounds and now can not only walk, but run. So what happened?

It seems to me that the spark of life that’s in all of us just wouldn’t be silenced. Arthur’s intuition told him that his life was worth something, that he was worth something. It wasn’t just that he suddenly decided to do Yoga. Before he even got to that point, he must have sensed the importance, the sacredness of his own life, even if he wasn’t fully aware of it.

And he didn’t give up after a few attempts. He doggedly kept at it until he saw success. He developed his natural God-given strength through persistence, obedience and patience. What an example! In this day and age of instant gratification and premature quitting, this is exactly what a lot of us need to see and embrace.

Can’t each one of us at least try to do as Arthur did, no matter what the challenge? Before you say “Impossible!” consider that every life is valuable, and that means yours and mine. And that mental attitude is the most important thing, not what your body might be saying (or screaming). I know that his story has had an impact on my own life—he’s a great inspiration to me. Happily, Arthur’s story is now being made into a documentary, Inspired: The Movie, that also includes stories of other people who overcame seemingly overwhelming obstacles. I’m sure it will encourage people who are confronting daunting situations. Thanks, Arthur!


Filed under individuality, spiritual, Uncategorized

The ring

Today I was rummaging through my tiny jewelry box and found a little ring I’d nearly forgotten about. I’d dragged it back and forth between Brazil and the US many times without even being aware it.

It’s an ornate little silver ring with an oval-shaped blue stone in a raised setting. It’s quite a pretty ring, really, and as I looked at it—nearly black with tarnish—I wondered why I hadn’t worn it all these ring

Then I felt a little stab in my heart. And I remembered the day I got the ring. And then, at the same moment, I recalled an event many years before the ring, when I was playing piano in a trio at a fancy hotel in Boston. There were couples dancing on the floor, and I could hear a young woman, pretty and blonde, as she and her partner danced by me, saying to him: “Stop looking around. Look at me. Pay attention to me. Don’t look at the other women!” She seemed really distraught, but was obviously trying to control herself and “lay down the law” to the young man with her, who looked confused and slightly irritated.

I’d felt a stab in my heart that night, too.

Now I’ll tell you about the ring. I was in my fourth marriage, and not happy at all with myself, my husband, or my marriage. I felt overlooked, ignored, and worthless much of the time. I wanted so badly to have a good marriage, and I felt that this was my last chance after three previous failed attempts. In my desperation, I tried to force my husband to pay attention to me, just like the hapless blonde dancer. I made him go with me to an open jewelry stand in the train station and buy me an inexpensive ring. He went along reluctantly, his mind on other things. When we got to the stand, I couldn’t find any ring I really wanted—they didn’t have one with a green stone—so I settled. I settled for the little silver pinky ring with the blue stone, just as I’d settled for a marriage that wasn’t working and never would.

Sometimes I wonder what happened to the pretty blond girl and her partner, or husband. I can’t imagine that it could have turned out well, and my heart goes out to both of them. Her for her neediness, him for feeling cornered.

I forgive myself for being so needy back then, and I forgive my ex-husband for not understanding. I didn’t understand then that everything I really wanted and needed was in my own thoughts, dreams, and feelings, and not in other people’s actions.

So I polished the little ring with the blue stone, and now I’m happily wearing it on my pinky finger.


Filed under individuality, my history, spiritual

Thoughts on Connecticut

Today I’d like to share an article by my friend Gordon Myers. He said it better than I could have:

The news is inundated with reports about the recent school shooting in Connecticut, where it appears a young man with mental health challenges killed many innocent children, some school faculty, and himself. The president gave a speech yesterday, and had to pause in the middle of it because he started to tear up. I thought his remarks were helpful, encouraging, and I particularly loved that he closed by quoting Scripture.

Simply, there is no answer to the question, “Why?”, and so I will not attempt to talk about the “why” behind this. But I would like to write today about what we can do. These sorts of situations leave people feeling helpless, powerless, and afraid. I do not believe that more fear is the antidote needed in our lives. So rather than echoing the fears that are justifiably being echoed across the country, I want to share a few ideas that I find helpful, beginning with an incident where a “school shooting” in New Hampshire was successfully averted.

I am a member of the First Church of Christ, Scientist. I believe in one God, and Jesus as the promised Messiah. My church was founded in the late 1800s by a woman, Mary Baker Eddy, who herself was a devout follower of Christ Jesus. The following is an excerpt from a biography titled The Life of Mary Baker Eddy by Sibyl Wilbur, first published in 1907, and describes an incident when she was little more than 20 years old, the same age as the man responsible for the tragedy yesterday.

While Mary was attending the academy an incident occurred which was long related by old residents of Tilton [New Hampshire]. A lunatic, escaped from the asylum at Concord, invaded the school yard, brandishing a club and terrifying the students who ran shrieking into the house. Mary Baker advanced toward him, and the pupils, peering through the windows, saw him wield the club above her head. Their blood tingled with horror for they expected her to be struck down before their eyes. Not so. She walked straight up to the man and took his disengaged hand. At her request he walked with her to the gate and so, docilely, away. On the following Sunday he reappeared and quietly entered the church. He walked to the Baker pew and stood beside Mary during the hymn singing. Afterwards he allowed himself to be taken in charge without resistance.

This story, from the 1840s, had a very different ending than the one we read about yesterday. They both involved young men with mental health challenges carrying weapons into a school full of many young children. But this story from the 1840s ended with the man voluntarily turning himself before any harm was done. I think everyone can agree that that is the best resolution to these kinds of stories. The reason I believe that story had such a powerful turnaround to it was not because of any special person involved, but because of the power of God’s love, and a fearless obedience to the teachings of Christ Jesus. More on that in a moment. Next, I also want to share a short, one-minute video clip. This scene took place in a courtroom in 2003.

This scene shows part of the trial of Gary Ridgway, known as the “Green River Killer,” a serial killer who confessed to killing 71 young women over the course of two decades. This clip shows Mr. Rule, the father of one of the young victims, speaking to Mr. Ridgway with, remarkably, nothing but unconditional forgiveness, despite the fact that the man he is forgiving murdered his own daughter. The full video goes onto say that, while Mr. Ridgway had seemed emotionless and unaffected by everything else that happened in the trial, especially by the rightful condemnation of the victims’ families, he was clearly and visibly affected by this man’s miraculous sense of forgiveness. Indeed, shortly after hearing these words of forgiveness, Mr. Ridgway – for the first time – confessed to the murders, tearfully. The thing that most struck me in Mr. Rule’s comments was when he said “what God says to do is to forgive.” Again, here is another instance of a transformation made possible by fearless obedience to Christ’s commands. Lastly, I am also reminded of a famous quotation from the Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., where he said this:

“Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.”

There are many discussions that are taking place and will continue to take place about the recent school shooting – about how to prevent this kind of thing in the future. People will talk about gun control laws, metal detectors in schools, mental health warning signs, and so on. Whatever solutions we come to, I think the most important question, a question that searches deeper than any metal detector ever could, is what motivates our actions? Are we motivated by fear? By a desire to live in a bubble? Or by ostracizing all those who seem scary? Or rather, can we be motivated by the same kind of unconditional love that we see in these examples? These examples prove the power of that kind of fearless love.

I do not believe that the dark shadows of fear, hatred, and ostracization can do very much to calm or comfort people – least of all those already “at risk” with mental health challenges. But the unconditional, agape love that Christ taught and demonstrated does transform lives and characters. That kind of love motivates people to stop short of committing heinous acts in the first place, and motivates people to take responsibility for their own actions. This is the kind of brotherly love that forgives in the face of the worst hardship and pain, the kind of sisterly love that offers to hold someone’s hand and makes a stand for the best in them even when they seem most scary or out of place. This is the kind of Love that recognizes the unity of all mankind, as Malachi puts it: “Have we not all one father? hath not one God created us?” Jesus himself is perhaps the greatest example of this kind of Love and forgiveness, as he was someone wholly innocent who did not hesitate to forgive those attacking him right in the midst of the pain. That forgiveness transformed the world.

As for the innocent children lost, I refuse to believe that God has, even for an instant, stopped cherishing them, nurturing them, protecting them, and holding them dear, as the “apple of His eye, under the shadow of His wings.” I believe that the light of those dear children’s lives continues to shine brightly in the Kingdom, and that nothing can ever extinguish that light. As St. Paul puts it, “I have become absolutely convinced that neither death nor life, neither messenger of Heaven nor monarch of earth, neither what happens today nor what may happen tomorrow, neither a power from on high nor a power from below, nor anything else in God’s whole world has any power to separate us from the love of God.” That beautiful and innocent light may have been obscured from view for most of us yesterday, but as Jesus promised that “the kingdom of God is within you,” I know that those children live on, eternally, within all of our hearts, and within the mind of almighty God, where they are forever kept safe, joyful, and free.


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Is it really the “end” this time?

There’s a lot of buzz around about December 21. The end of the Mayan calendar. The end of the world, some say.

Of course there have been lots and lots of other predictions of the so-called “end of the world” and I’ve laughed them off, as most of us have. But this one seems to have a different tone, if I can put it that way. Instead of people talking about the earth burning up or being destroyed (although some are doing that), there’s more and more talk about that date being a time of transition—a transition into a higher consciousness, which will consequently create a better world. Could this be true?

I’ve been around long enough to have seen radical changes in the world. I grew up in the USA in the 1940s and 50s, and there’s no question that those years were very different from the 60s. Then the 70s, 80s and 90s brought further change, some of it drastic, some more subtle. But now that we’re in the 21st century, a lot of us have noticed that things seem to be moving much faster than they did in earlier decades. The speed in technological development alone is pretty mind-blowing.12

Also, when I was a kid I don’t remember anyone (although I’m sure there were some isolated cases) worrying about where the trash would go when we ran out of places to put it. There was never a thought about avoiding eating animals, for the most part. People just didn’t concern themselves with these things. Life was limited to their own little milieu—their family, their jobs. People would read the newspapers, but there was very limited awareness that we were all part of a global family. We had our own little lives, and that was it. There was hardly any “consciousness raising” going on.

Nowadays there seems to be a mad dash toward things spiritual—people aren’t satisfied any more with “I was born, I lived, I died.” In rapidly increasing numbers, they want to understand why they are here, what is this life all about…what’s the point? The internet is overrun with “spiritual coaches” seeking to help people gain some sense of who they are in the overall scheme of things. Many people are opting to be “spiritual” rather than “religious.”

What’s going on?

Well, first of all, loads of folks are finally discovering that materialism doesn’t satisfy. It did for a while, but now it doesn’t. They’re also finding out that believing that all there is to us is a physical body moving among other physical bodies—some who are seemingly very close to us, such as family—isn’t enough. People betray us, leave us, or they die. Sooner or later such things will happen to us, even though we may have lived for years having been spared, for the most part, from such events.

When our lives no longer satisfy, when we find ourselves in an upheaval that we can’t resolve—whether with our work, our relationships, our health or a combination of things—then it’s time to become aware that we are being coaxed out of what we thought was all there was to us, and to start looking at the broader picture. What we really want is to find something real, something we can depend on, something that will make and keep us happy and harmonious.

So what about December 21? Some, who have observed the speeding up of our consciousness here on earth over many years are saying that that date is a turning point when things will speed up more, even dramatically. Maybe this explains why people are so madly searching for the truth. What do you think?


Filed under special days, spiritual, technology, Uncategorized

The invisible bank

Imagine if there were a big invisible bank where you could withdraw everything you need, like love, courage, support, supply, encouragement, joy, contentment. You’d just go to the invisible ATM, stick in your invisible card, and take as much as you wanted.

Well guess what? The Source we all come from is that bank, and we don’t even need to go to the invisible ATM to get all that good stuff—we carry it around with us all the time! And because it’s invisible, nobody can take it away from us. It’s built-in, indestructible, and lasts forever.

How about that?



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