Fantastic Friday: Make a Difference

Happy birthday, but there is no cake.

But, Lexington, Kentucky altruist Ashley Boydgan is making a difference in the lives of children who face live threatening illnesses and/or children whose families face economic hardship and cannot afford even the birthday cake.  Ashley was profiled by reporter John Yang and anchor Brian Williams on the NBC show Making A Difference for the caring project she started, Sweet Blessings, to support these children by sweetening their day with artistic, customized cakes.

“I was supposed to spend more time making a difference and less time making a living,” says Ashley Boydgan.  The group who works with her to bake and decorate the cakes for special children and families around Kentucky who apply for these cakes do not get to meet the recipients-that does not make a difference. What does make a difference is the giving; the work that they do to add smiles and lighten the load.

Make someone else happier today – look for ways to give others a reason to smile. Make a difference.


Miracle Monday: Encouragement

We all need a pat on the back sometimes.  Let me enthusiastically send each of you a virtual “pat” of love.

I have been hearing from many that these past few months have been trying emotionally. “It seems as if I do nothings right,” or “Why is my life not working right now?” or “What can I do to solve my money issues?” The answer is the same, stay encouraged and full of faith. In every obstacle there is a challenge, but these is also, more importantly, an inner lesson to learn. These teachable moments come at the right time to educate you…they are not for anyone else but you.

You can pass the test, stay encouraged. My “daughter” Jenna attended  the O YOU event, put on by Oprah Winfrey in Atlanta Saturday and they said the same thing I am saying to you. Stay encouraged – keep a joyful attitude.  Be still, find your inner and outer sources of strength.  One compelling way to give yourself a pat on the back is to pause and meditate on one or two things that are good in your life right now.

Why don’t you do that with me, or whenever you can today. Stop everything for five minutes, pause and stop. Next, sit in a relaxing pose and close your eyes. Some have soft music playing at this time or others have nature sounds in the background or you may have a favorite CD of mantras to use that augments your meditation/pat on the back time. I can do this with or without either, depending on my need or the situation at the time.  Just sit and relax and clear your mind.

The twist today is that I want you to think of one or two things that are good in your life right now…feel the feelings – think on only the good in your life TODAY. Feel deeply and with appreciation the good…yes, the good. Then, open your eyes and carry the feelings with you throughout the day.

Tell me how you feel after this meditation of encouragement. Let me hear back from you please.

Be encouraged, you are good and your life is good.

Fantastic Friday

How do you feel when you say out load: I can do anything I want to do?

When I speak those words out loud, I feel a freedom from physical and mental constraints, but many other people tell me they immediately feel a sense of doubt or silliness. I read your comments and want to introduce you to a young man  for whom I marvel at his indomitable spirit-he feels, without a doubt that he can do, and should do, anything he intends to achieve.

Maybe we should ask Kyle Maynard to repeat out loud “I can do anything I want to do.” I am sure he would be hollering those words at the top of his lungs.  Kyle Maynard, whom I have had the honor of meetings and feeling for myself as I talked to him about Climb Every Obstacle: Eliminate Your Limits!, is downright fearless.  He was born a congenital amputee, thus having no arms or legs that are fully developed.  But, this author of the book No Excuses, lives that mantra better than anyone I know.

It was his no excuses mentality that propelled him to become a champion wrestler who recently opened his first fitness center, No Excuses CrossFit, in Suwanee, GA. He continues to train and compete in power lifting and Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. And amidst much debate over his capability to compete in the sport, on April 25th 2009, Kyle made history by becoming the first quadruple amputee fighter ever to step into a cage and fight in Mixed Martial Arts.

Kyle Maynard

What! This man is a wrestler, martial arts expert, a power lifter and fitness genius. What, did you say?  Kyle defies the impossible. He is not done yet, his next quest is to climb Mount Kilimanjaro without using prosthesis. WHAT!  WHY?   “I am climbing for the people who may realize how much potential they have in their lives, says Maynard.

Keep potential alive, live to your highest peak this Fantastic Friday.

Miracle Monday: Giving

“The service we render to others is really the rent we pay for our room on this earth.

It is obvious that man is himself a traveler; that the purpose of this world is not ‘to have and to hold’ but ‘to give and serve.”
~Sir Wilfred T. Grinfell

It is a miracle to give, give thanks this Monday.  There are so many who need the service of kindness that you give at this moment, right now.  The gift of giving may mean that you are not recognized, what a bounty that is. It may mean that the person you serve by giving out of love never says” thank you,” but give without receipt anyway.  Give, make a miracle in someone else’s life – pay your rent.

Abdu’l-Baha adds “Faith is the magnet which draws the confirmation of the Merciful One. Service is the magnet which attracts the heavenly strength.” Giving and service strengthens our capacity; it magnetizes our ability to attract miracles. Therefore, give freely. It is a law of the universe that the flow of giving circulates a continuous flow of energy.  Dynamic exchange and interchange stimulates the current of return since nothing is static.

Giving prompts receiving and receiving prompts giving – that is pure reciprocity.  Give a smile, give a simple prayer, give praise, give a hug, give financial support. Regardless of the pivot, giving with compassion is a blessing to someone. Transform your life by opening your heart to give and receive with gracious gratitude.

Give without remembering and accept gifts without forgetting. Make a miracles yours by giving and serving someone else today.


Fantastic Friday

You know, I muse, life is short or long…depending on how you have lived.

By now you have read or heard some of Steve Jobs life achievements. Wonderful. If you have the time, play his commencement address to Standford University students in 2005. Fascinating, especially at the 9:00 mark.

Maybe you read about or heard that Rev. Fred Shuttlesworth died the same day as Steve Job did; one early morning and the other late afternoon. Rev. Shuttlesworth, (born Freddie Lee Robinson on March 18, 1922) is a civil rights activist who led the fight against segregation and other forms of racism as a minister in Birmingham, Alabama.

A third life giant died on the same day, Derrick Bell, lawyer and advocate. He was soft spoken, but carried a booming voice in the field of justice and equal rights for all.

These three men loved life and lived LIFE! Take a moment to hear their words on YouTube (one has over 8 million views while the other has about 1 thousand). Yet, their message is basically the same – live fantastically – live passionately.

Make some noise! Live!

Have a fantastic Friday.