Crap

Crap has really been on my mind this week. First of all, toilet water backed up into my bathtub. When I saw the brown water, I knew I had a problem and I suspected it was time to get my sewer line cleaned out. Because I have an old house with underground clay tiles for disposing of wastewater, tree roots grow into the pipe looking for moisture. Then every year or two, the roots become too much and I have to have the pipes rooted (cleaned) out. But this time was different. This time the rooter technician found a blockage and recommended I get a camera inspection. So the next day, a tiny camera on the end of a cable descended into the pipe and revealed the problems. Tiles had caved in and created blockages requiring a whole new sewer line. The problems became more evident when excavation began. Crews dug down to the pipes, even descending some 8 feet (more than 2 meters) below street level. They found that some pipes were not where they thought they were. They could only devise an appropriate solution after they dug down and uncovered the mess. Like buried pipes, we have a lot of stuff deep in our personalities that is not evident until we dig down. And when we do, we often find things are not as we thought they were. On the surface, we feel the results of buried problems, but don’t have the full perspective of the location or causes. It’s only when we dig do we get an accurate perspective. When my toilet backed up, all I knew is that I had a problem. I could see the murky water. I could smell that all was not well. I could have ignored...

042: Mauricio in Cuba May29

042: Mauricio in Cuba...

http://media.blubrry.com/gcoyl/p/media.medeor.co/gcoyl/42-Mauricio_in_Cuba.mp3Podcast: Play in new window | Download (Duration: 35:49 — 12.3MB)Subscribe: iTunes | Android | RSSDuring a recent trip to Cuba, I recorded this interview with Mauricio, a young man who wants to be a positive influence in the future of his nation. As a graphic designer, Mauricio and other volunteers produce a small magazine for young people. He also helps develop young people in other ways by introducing them to critical thinking and resources that help them connect to ideas and healthy ways of living. Be inspired by Mauricio’s life and hear some fascinating inside knowledge of life inside Cuba during this historic time. Thank you for your patience as the audio quality on this one is not up to our standards. Like everyone who lives in Cuba, we had to be creative and make due with what we...

Legacy

What will you leave behind? That was the focus of a discussion led by my good friend Jack Woloshun. We were there to talk about the many crossroads in life and the people with whom we share the journey. Have you thought about what you would like to leave behind? What will remain once your flesh and bones no longer walk this earth? How will you be remembered? To demonstrate what’s possible, Jack pulled out a book his daughter assembled for his 60th birthday. She had contacted the many family and friends from Jack’s life and invited them to express their sentiments. The words were anything but shallow, very unlike canned drugstore greeting cards. Rather they were lengthy letters of affection, memories and hope for the future. Jack only read 3 or 4 letters from the book, but what he shared demonstrated what it means to leave a legacy. Jack has spent his life giving to others; he has chosen to be a giver instead of a taker. The letters reflect a lifetime of memories, influence and impact. I think that is what it’s all about. Legacy is something you may or may not have thought of; I think the answer is likely dependent on your age and to what extent you consider your life in the grand scheme of humankind. Legacy is not about leaving a hospital or street with your name stamped on. It’s not about things you did that elevated your ego. It’s not about how many toys you collected. It’s not even about how much money you left to charities or your kids. Legacy is fundamentally about who you are. Your legacy is a replica of how you live your life every day. What would happen if people were asked...

Make a Difference

Do you long to make a difference but find it harder than it seems? Here’s a lovely guest article by Amy Roemer that may convince you it’s easier than you think: On a recent cross-country trip, my family stopped in the tiny village of Folsom in northern New Mexico. The ranching community only has 55 inhabitants and almost no businesses, a shadow of what it used to be. Once it had the largest stockyards north of Fort Worth, Texas, but the town never recovered after a devastating catastrophe. It’s such a small place that when we arrived, we had to call a number to get the museum unlocked. The docent came and was so proud of the museum’s legacy that she eagerly shared local stories. We expected the museum to be about the primitive Folsom people, one of the earliest people groups in North America, but we were in for a surprise! We saw many antiques—from milk jugs and saddles to a dynamite detonator—from the founding and pioneer days in the late 1800s. Many of these were tagged with information—whose house it came from, and which family member had donated it. The sense of community was strong. But what struck us was learning about Sally Rooke—who was the local telephone switchboard operator—and how she made a difference during the Dry Cimarron River flood of 1908. Miss Sally received a call that a massive wall of water was heading down the canyon toward Folsom. She started calling friends and neighbors, warning them to head for higher ground. Eventually, the flood hit and wiped out the town. Sally was washed away from her post at the switchboard; her body was found some 12 miles down river along with livestock and only 16 others. Her phone calls...

All That Jazz

April is jazz appreciation month, which the Smithsonian (a U.S. National Museum) calls both a historic and living American art form. Since jazz is the most free and flexible of all musical genres, this seems like a good time to examine those characteristics in our lives. Acclaimed trumpet musician, Herbie Hancock said, “The spirit of jazz is the spirit of openness.” I think that’s what many people find so fascinating about the musical form. It is by nature, open. It’s open to ideas, changes, improvisation, expression, collaboration, and creativity. I find it interesting that in playing jazz, a musician can be both part of something, yet unique at the same time. There is the whole, but there is the distinctiveness of individuals. But some people don’t like freethinking, creative expression, or new ideas. No wonder jazz was outlawed in various times and places like Nazi Germany. The Soviets didn’t outlaw it, but they openly criticized it. Even in the U.S., at least 60 communities banned jazz from being played in public dance halls in the 1920s. One has to ask what people were afraid of! Which begs the question, what you YOU afraid of? Like much great art, jazz came out of tremendous suffering. It is the product of slavery, oppression, and struggle. Sounds like the great themes of life, doesn’t it? Sometimes we are tempted to let the hard knocks of life close us down and make us hard. But if we let tough times change us, we can actually become more open, honest and trusting, and graduate to a new level of personal maturity. If musicians had been satisfied to maintain the status quo, we would never have experienced jazz. Rather, many transformed their pain and struggle into life, beauty, and openness; they continue...

041: Changing Your Mindset Apr15

041: Changing Your Mindset...

http://media.blubrry.com/gcoyl/p/media.medeor.co/gcoyl/41-Changing_Your_Mindset.mp3Podcast: Play in new window | Download (Duration: 32:19 — 29.6MB)Subscribe: iTunes | Android | RSSA lovely chat about relationships, theology, the universe, kids, mistakes, regrets, struggles, personal worth, turning a life around, finding positivity and purpose.  Laura Thompson is a wife, mother, and owner of small businesses. Mostly she’s a happy, peaceful, articulate, fun and normal person who thinks about what is real and good and is trying to live life to the best she can. Laura’s essential oils website: http://www.iomaioilers.com A short video on Denmark, named the happiest place on earth: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y_jo69ZTwbE  ...

Tea & Consent

Leave it to the Brits to come up with a clever message about sexual consent. Here is a little video used by British police to explain safe sexual boundaries using a most British staple,...

Know Thyself

How well do you know yourself? We tend to have a view of ourselves we think is accurate and complete. However, it’s just not true.

Fear or Love?

Every now and then you stumble upon a life-defining truth that is simple yet profound. I found such a concept in Neale Donald Walsch’s book, Conversations with God. I hope you too find it helpful in sorting out your motivations and actions. “Every action taken by human beings is based in love or fear, not simply those dealing with relationships. Decisions affecting business, industry, politics, religion, the education of your young, the social agenda of your nations, the economic goals of your society, choices involving war, peace, attack, defense, aggression, submission; determinations to covet or give away, to save or to share, to unite or to divide—every single free choice you ever undertake arises out of one of the only two possible thoughts there are: a thought of love or a thought of fear. Fear is the energy which contracts, closes down, draws in, runs, hides, hoards, harms. Love is the energy which expands, opens up, sends out, stays, reveals, shares, heals. Fear wraps our bodies in clothing, love allows us to stand naked. Fear clings to and clutches all that we have, love gives all that we have away. Fear holds close, love holds dear. Fear grasps, love lets go. Fear rankles, love soothes. Fear attacks, love amends. Every human thought, word, deed is based in one emotion or the other. You have no choice about this, because there is nothing else from which to choose. But you have free choice about which of these to select.” So I ask along with the great wisdom of the universe. Will you think and act from a place of fear or love? Walsch, N.D. (1995). Conversations with God: an uncommon dialogue. New York:...

Do It Anyway

Today I share from the wisdom of Mother Theresa: “People are often unreasonable, irrational, and self-centered. Forgive them anyway. If you are kind, people may accuse you of selfish, ulterior motives. Be kind anyway. If you are successful, you will win some unfaithful friends and some genuine enemies. Succeed anyway. If you are honest and sincere people may deceive you. Be honest and sincere anyway. What you spend years creating, others could destroy overnight. Create anyway. If you find serenity and happiness, some may be jealous. Be happy anyway. The good you do today will often be forgotten. Do good anyway. Give the best you have, and it will never be enough. Give your best anyway. In the final analysis, it is between you and God. It was never between you and them anyway.” – Mother Teresa   Royalty-free image by Amy Burton; retrieved from...