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!


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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