Fantastic Friday

Life is precious and wonderful. You, and what you do for others, make it fantastic!

The Habeeb’u’llah family in South Dekalb county Georgia is fantastic. For the past 18 years this Mother, Father and son have operated “Umoja Souljahs and Project Aza Nia, free of charge and without government funding, at the Baha’i Unity Center, for youth – male and female – all around the community.  Let me share a piece of their story:

Vernada Habeeb’u’llah and her husband, Nasif, and their son Anthony saw a need right where they live – they saw a desperate segment of society lacking solutions to teen drop-out rates, increased teen pregnancies, teen violence, teen suicide, and overall despair almost at their doorstep.  They responded to the urgency by creating this youth program to counter the injuries of hopelessness. The core of the program is two fold: 1.) teach these kids, regardless of race, history as African American males and females to let them know they are descendents of kings and queens and 2.) to develop virtuous character within each child.

The impact was immediate. Grades and deportment drastically improved because every Friday they huddle in a circle and talk about grades and situations in their home and at school.  If there were incidents, they sit together in counsel and come to solutions. Soon each child would keep each other in check so that the bond of respect was tight. Max and his wife, Nadia, joined in as adult leaders. Not one girl in the group became pregnant over the years and not one boy was arrested – that’s fantastic. Each child has graduated high school and college and those still in elementary or middle or high school are model students.

We can make a difference in the world, right where we are.

 

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Miracle Monday

America the resilient. This is what I felt after watching many of the tributes to those who lost their lives and those who responded with heroic courage on 9/11/2001. We are resilient people and this nation is resilient –  God bless us all.

We are blessed – salute that within your heart. I am so grateful for my girlfriend Monica who stopped by to share her love with me. She came bearing gifts – a lovely candle (which I needed) and a packet of sachet pillows for my drawers (stop laughing I mean the furniture kind) this past weekend. It felt so good to just sit and talk for a while which as a residual from our friendship time together set up beautiful flowing happiness for me all weekend long. Love you Monica!

That act of spontaneous love sparked other miracles. Being this is miracle Monday think about what acts you have done that may have made somebody else happy and probably precipitated residual joy for them. What kind act from your heart have you done for someone else lately? Share it with us, please. The reason is that giving to others without expectation of reciprocation is a miracle magnet.

So let me ask again: What kind act from your heart have you done lately?

Do one or more random act of kindness for someone else today. Just do it and make this your Monday Miracle.


“I have found in life that if you want a miracle you first need to do whatever it is you can do – if that’s to plant, then plant; if it is to read, then read; if it is to change, then change; if it is to study, then study; if it is to work, then work; whatever you have to do. And then you will be well on your way of doing the labor that works miracles. ” ~Jim Rohn

Favorite Friday

What a glorious day – may you get to feel every element of your special gifts.  Touch your heart with one hand and touch your forehead with the other hand and say out loud: This is a glorious day and I am grateful to be a part of it.

These words, or some words similar, is what Georgia native, Scott Hunt, blasts to the heavens almost everyday.  His mother, Wynell, author of the book Why Scotty writes about her son’s life lifts after he was paralyzed in a car accident.  In his words, “On August 1, 1985, my life was changed forever!! I was a passenger in a car that was involved in a head-on collision. I was knocked into a coma that lasted for nine weeks. Doctors suggested to my parents that I be put into a nursing home, because they had never seen a person with brain injuries as serious as mine ever come out of his coma. And come out I did!!”

Scotty Hunt, a devout Christian, has a will to live and experience each glorious day.  Now, he is a college graduate and is married and lives an independent, glorious life.

Oh what a wonder-you make my Fridays a Favorite.

Conscious Creation Key #1: Forgiveness

I FORGIVE

 

Pumla Gobodo-Madikizelan says, “Forgiveness does not overlook the deed. It rises above it. This is what it means to be human, [because] it says I cannot and will not return to the evil you inflicted on me. And that is the victim’s triumph.”

I watched with amazed horror when I recently witnessed someone mal-treat another person for harm done nearly thirty years ago. She played the “victim” pompously by refusing to acknowledge the other person with pride. It appeared to me, a voyeur at best, who was privy to the incident three decades ago that she is destined for emotional destruction. She wanted to return the evil inflicted upon her and did it publicly and sadly she thought she was right. It did not matter what I said about giving up the past, she’d release  her supposedly righteous venom and spit it out as a viper snake whenever that person came around. It was sad to see others supporting her. Knowing the futility to trying to intervene, I made my mind up to shield myself and stay away.

Forgiveness – the elixir for happiness – means never having to say I am a perpetual victim.  It means in a healthy way that you recognize that what was done was wrong but you refuse to be manipulated or emotionally tethered to someone’s past wrongs.  It means you have a happy life to live. It means you are healed and have moved on to brighter experiences.

The vise grip of “payback” issues a scar that only love and grace can soften.  Holding malice in one’s heart hurts the holder – YOU! You suffer the consequences of un-forgiveness. Health wise, researchers have connected disease, including hypertension and cancer to a malice-minded state of mind.  Emotional “payback” can lead to depression, despair, suicide, eating disorders, diabetes or auto-immune body conditions which can indicate an inability to forgive.

Serendipity guided me to The Wisdom of No Escape: The Path of Loving Kindness by Pema Chodron, a Buddhist nun.  In the first chapter (titled Loving Kindness) of the book, she introduces me to the state of maitri-loving kindnessChodron makes the point to weave loving self-care and meditation. She says,

“To lead a life that goes beyond pettiness and prejudice and always wanting to make sure that everything turns out on our own terms, to lead a more passionate, full, and delightful life that that, we must realize that we can endure a lot of pain and pleasure for the sake of finding out who we are and what this world is….The ground is ourselves; we’re here to study ourselves and to get to know ourselves now, not later.”       

How do I get there? How can I consciously create forgiveness and loving kindness? How can I forgive?

  1. Start with yourself. Seriously, start as Chodron says, within you.  Say out loud to yourself – I forgive me. Let that one statement, “I forgive me” settle into your soul and witness the inner peace and calm that comes from allowing this first step to begin within you. Then, forgive others, forgive past hurts.

Be willing to let go and be open to the inflow of peaceful happiness.  Letting go does not mean that you deny the incident. It may not mean that you forget the incident, often you cannot forget. That’s all right; but be open to not allowing yourself to be wrapped in the foil of destructive emotion.

Release pain, gain what is sane. Keep your mental self whole and happy.  This may mean that you also talk with the person and share what you are feeling about the event. You may write a letter of explanation to get the situation off your heart. Do what keeps you whole, release the pain. Consciously create your peace and happiness right now in spite of what happened.

  1. Acknowledge the anger, pain, disappointment, fear, rejection, hurt, dishonor (and anything else) you felt. It’s okay and even appropriate to feel these emotions. You are not to deny any feeling. There is no way for you to release a faceted entangled emotion unless you accept that it is there. Feel the emotion and consciously make the choice to release the stories of the past and create unlimited happiness.

Dee Wallace, actress and healer, has written Conscious Creation. In it she advocates forgiveness for unlimited happiness.  Love yourself enough to allow others to be whoever they are without judgment so that your life, founded on the energy of forgiveness, wholeness, happiness and love, will create a choice consciousness of present joy.

  1. Make the change. It may be hard at first to forgive the “offender” so practice with others. Show loving kindness to the waiter, with a complainer, when you are stuck in traffic.  Smile, whistle and go on about your happy, healthy day. Remind yourself daily that you are a joyful and happy being (Baha’i prayer).  Make a conscious change!

Start paying attention to the good you do and to the “healing” vibrations you project. We’ve all been wronged, so set up a new behavior response that disallows negative-charged emotions.  Forgive, pluck the ego of sanctimoniousness from your inner character and outer display of emotions.

  1. Forgive and move on! I don’t mean surface ok-I forgive. NO, make your forgiveness deep, eternal. Live NOW, be present now where there is no history or past.  Then you won’t be haunted by the past pain or offenders nor reminded of damaging emotions when inevitable future incidents may trigger a hurtful response.

Give unto yourself, this day, forgiveness.

It’s Time to Check In

The days in the 2011 calendar year are moving rapidly; it’s September already!

At the quarter year point, it is time to check in with yourself.  As you know, I have been working with Roy van der Mull,  facilitator for The Passion Test (Janet and Chris Attwood).  Roy is a natural for this process, he is an expert guide who patiently but deliberately moves you to your inner discovery of your valued passions. During our first two sessions, I discovered that my top passions were not what I expected.  Surprise, in these check in sessions with Roy I found out that I had shifted, I had changed.

My endorsement of Roy is clear. He helped crystallize in my heart, mind and soul what new direction I must now take and what decisions I can now make based on the knowledge of my new, shifted passions.  His advice from The Passion Test was “Whenever you are faced with a decision, a choice or an opportunity choose in favor of your passions.” Fuel your passions with the energy of choice, by checking in with what you want and how you feel, and confidently reach your goals.

It is time for you to check in.  ASK:

  • Have my passions shifted?
  • Have my goals changed?
  • What do I base my decisions upon?
  • Are my achievement markers relevant?

Pause for a while today and answer the above four questions. It is time to validate or remove some things in your life as I did.  Seek, do an independent investigation into what is of value to you. Pause to extract your passion(s).  Find a quiet space and set aside the time to discover and deepen your passion. Then, use the remaining quarter of this year to make conscious, practical decisions which support the practice  of your passions.  Be willing to change.

“I am willing to put myself through anything: temporary pain or discomfort means nothing to me as long as I can see that the experience will take me to a new level.” ~Diana Nyad

What pain and ecstasy are you willing to put yourself through? What will you arm yourself with? What power is yours?

Remember nothing can ever hurt you – and with passion in your heart, mind and soul – all the world’s afflictions cannot alarm or deter you.

Live your passion confidently, one decision at a time.

Favorite Friday

Each Friday this post will include something favorite. It may be an inspiring story about a hero, like today, or a favorite poem or joke. The main theme is to inspire happiness, to honor kindness, to solicit a heart response, or fuel a spark of inspiration.

CNN Hero Narayanan Krishman:

He was set for wealth, free from hunger and poverty as an award-winning chef with a five-star hotel group. But, according to CNN, a quick family visit home before heading to Europe changed everything.

“I saw a very old man eating his own human waste for food,” Krishnan said. “It really hurt me so much.  After that, I started feeding that man and decided this is what I should do the rest of my lifetime.”

Krishnan was visiting a temple in the south Indian city of Madurai in 2002 when he saw the man under a bridge. Haunted by the image, Krishnan quit his job within the week and returned home for good, convinced of his new destiny.

“That spark and that inspiration is a driving force still inside me as a flame — to serve all the mentally ill destitutes and people who cannot take care of themselves,” Krishnan said.

Krishnan founded his nonprofit Akshaya Trust in 2003. Now 29, he has served more than 1.2 million meals — breakfast, lunch and dinner — to India’s homeless and destitute, mostly elderly people abandoned by their families and often abused.