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

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Do You Care or Curse?

Do You Care or Curse?

Ultimately, that is the choice we make with our feelings hundreds of times a day-care or curse? The difference between the two often means happiness inside or despotic misery.  The choice is real, most of the time automatic and situational, but once you begin to pay attention to your feelings and thoughts you will begin to realize that yes you do make one of the choices.

Interestingly, our natural proclivity is to care. You learn how to curse a situation.  Watch the natural choices of a mother in the animal kingdom and you will see an innate caring instinct. But, for survival purposes that mother teaches her young how to curse, or become a predator, in the wild. Humans, who have the added faculty of intelligence, make the same choice-we learn how to curse certain situations based on feelings.

But, human choice to curse is usually made under the guise of the same notion of protection found in the animal kingdom. But, this is wrong. We learn to curse the unknown or what we fear, curse each other as competitors, damn those who are different, curse obstacles that come into our lives as an impediment which was dumped into our lap to make our lives difficult.

The natural human choice is to care. In spite of how often we are bombarded with instances where the volume of cursing is turned up to shrieking noise, caring still happens. Three four and five year old girls decided to sell their own drawings which they made with crayon and color markers to help the tsunami victims in Japan two days ago.

Why did they do it, they cared. A high school baseball coach donated a kidney to one of his players. He did it, in his words, “because I cared.” A young man stops to help an elderly couple after an accident-he cared too.  Teachers teach because they care. Doctors and nurses save lives because they care. Daycare workers care. Architects care about the safety of a structure. Fathers care about their children. When you listen to someone without judgment, you care.

Those who curse care too, but in an inverted way. People who curse measure their care based on past memories of pain which them provokes them to shield caring in a cloak of bitter internalized nonchalance. But, the caring is there not far from the surface if you studied the air of a grumbling curmudgeon.  Reasonably, this is true because it is natural to care. So, even though someone exhibits a hardened shell that looks like they curse the world, a persistent dose of caring attention will usually soften their seemingly bitter heart. They too have happiness inside and a caring sensitivity toward others.

This is not a sentimental musing. Honestly, it is not. F. W. Sears writes, “when w permit ourselves to condemn a thing because we say it is “bad” or condemn some person for any cause whatever, that is taking a destructive attitude toward that thing or person no matter how just we may think our position in the case may be we cannot relate with these negative, destructive currents in our thought world and expect constructive and harmonious effects….”

Make it a practice to care about the bitter and downtrodden, lots of people do.  Pause for a moment to pick out caring moments that others do. Just last week I watched this new show, Secret Millionaire, on ABC. The tagline is giving back never fet soo good.” The premise of the show, from its premiere episode, is for millionaires to live undercover, where others do not know they are wealthy, and spend time in the community with people who are serving are caring for others and then give a portion of their money away to strengthen the work those caring servants are doing which benefit others.  On the premiere episode a woman, Dani Johnson, who was once homeless but became a millionaire, spent time in a food kitchen where two elderly twin ladies prepared hot food for those in the community who needed a hot meal. For the housebound, their volunteers visited with them when they took them their meals; what they did was care because often the visit was more healing than the food. Another lady on the show devoted her time, talent and money decorating rooms and granting wishes for children who were very sick. Even though she was a busy mother and wife, it was her calling to care to decorate these rooms with bright and cheerful motifs to uplift the spirits of the ill child and their devastated parents. The millionaire funded both of these causes with a gift of a check, but as importantly she connected to her heart of care.

You may not be a millionaire, neither am I, but what we do share is a willingness to care. Care just a little more about your neighbor, check in on someone who is sick or elderly, send a card you have not seen or talked to in a while, smile, show your happiness inside.

The main rule for caring is to do something for others with tenderness. Be tender and patient even with the one, human or animal, who has been scarred and appears to curse the world. Let them feel your care.  Make a care investment  everywhere, it is the harmonious thing to do.

Recommended Reading:  The Prosperity Bible (compilation)

What is Love?

Woody Allen makes a point here:

“To love is to suffer. To avoid suffering, one must not love. But then, one suffers from not loving. Therefore, to love is to suffer; not to love is to suffer; to suffer is to suffer. To be happy is to love. To be happy, then, is to suffer, but suffering makes one unhappy. Therefore, to be happy, one must love or love to suffer or suffer from too much happiness.”

Whether you think Woody Allen’s comment is funny or not does not matter (I think it is privately humorous), the question here is what is love?

American relationship/marriage statistics are alarming (if you choose to focus on the divorce probability) unless you counterbalance those data numbers with heart memories. This is one reason I often refer to a book written by Julie Rainbow, Standing the Test of Time, that debunks the myth of divorced, dysfunctional Black families as she tells the story of Black couples who have been married fifty years or more and are still standing together.

I have other reasons for my knowing about love, my parents. My parents were married 53 years (until my Dad’s death in 2008) and his last words on this earth were to my Mom, saying “I love you.” Their eternal bond taught me something.

Adding another personal note, now that I have eulogized two brothers, one my twin, but both whom I loved deeply, I had to ask myself what am I learning about life through this experience?  I have been taught that love is a jewel that sparkles as brightly as you do. Well, I want to dazzle because that is the type of love that I want before I leave this earthly plane!

I have learned that “love” endures pain. It is an unquestioned face that relationships that mark years of longevity face pain. Even so, the pain of infidelity, disaster, trauma, or other disruptive issues do not destroy the core of love between two people who are devoted to each other.

I have learned that “love” smells different. Sometimes love stinks. But, like you learn to love your baby’s poop, love is the reason. Other times love smells like a fragrant rose, scented by time and passion. Love among two people may smell different from time to time, but each smell you learn to love.

I have learned that “love” ages. The longer you bottle love the more of an aged bouquet it has. Time and stillness together can create a bonus of a barrel of savory love.

What love is is individual. My impression of love is distinct from yours and you can bet yours is distinct from mine. When I was younger I equated love with lust, thus a divorce as soon as the hots cooled off. Now after taking years of celibacy instruction to heart, I have learned that even though love may lead to suffering, I’ll suffer any day for the aged, sweetness of love.

How Happiness Happens

Is it a plane? Is it a star? No, it’s happiness.

Questions surround the quest for happiness almost as much as people question what is up in the sky. The difference oftentimes is that the curious gazers will research and seek answers. How about you?

Are you curious about happiness?

I sure am curious about happiness (joy), especially since being happy and grateful is my daily quest. My inquiring mind wants to know – How Happiness Happens.

Researchers have found that you cannot compartmentalize happiness; meaning, I am happy at home but not a work. No, no, no. Findings suggest that Happiness Happens when you are congruent with your emotions both at home and at work or anytime there is synchronicity with your divine, true purpose.

Marshall and Kelly Goldsmith commissioned a study on happiness and reported their findings in the December 21, 2009 issue of Business Week. One validating point in the article is that “Those who were more satisfied with life outside of work were the respondents who reported spending more time on activities that produced both happiness and meaning.”

Here are some activities that stimulate happiness:
1. Exercise
2. Lovemaking
3. Challenges
4. Hobbies
5. Volunteering
6. Chores
7. Social or Religious Outings
8. Healthy Relationships
9. Travel

The list is not exhaustive, by any means. What may be a “happy” moment for you may be an experience that means little to others. The point is: doing something – either mentally, spiritually, or socially – produces happiness endorphins which stimulate joy.

You are tasked to find your happiness.

Start at Activity #1 – exercise. A moving body is a stimulated body. Fitness experts say that a mere 15 minutes of movement a day is enough to produce enough endorphins to be purposeful.

Activity #2 – lovemaking causes the coupling effect which activates a “rush” of high emotions and a rush of stimulating feelings of belonging, trust, sharing, harmony.

Moving on, solving challenges – Activity # 3 or Activity #7 – require you to engage mental, spiritual, and social muscle. This is good. Any activity that combines engagement zones is quite healthy for your body, mind, and spirit. The operative measure here is actively “doing” something.

Happiness Happens moment by moment when you are actively in a place of deliberate action, appreciation and intention. Spend time with those you love, get busy, watch less television, and find less to complain and criticize about.

“We tend to forget that happiness doesn’t come as a result of getting something we don’t have, but rather of recognizing and appreciating what we do have.” ~ Frederick Keonig

Be happy. Make happiness happen!

The Importance of Thank You

I was talking to a dear friend last night and during our conversation we shifted to saying thank you to each other. She remarked that someone she knew said of her that she cherishes their friendship because she always said a sincere “thank you” to others for what they had done for her or given her.

This caused me to pause and ask myself if I am that thoughtful?

The answer is yes. I make it a priority to thank my friends and family for their kindness. Without fail I express my thanks in a multitude of ways. It is important to me to say thank you and I always do.

Thank you is important for two reasons: 1) It displays a graciousness and consciousness of a kind act from someone else. It reminds you to be grateful – in all ways always and 2) It allows you to acknowledge and accept kind gestures from others.

Both reasons – being grateful and acceptance – form character and character forms the person. It is praiseworthy and important to be known for having the being of a good character.

“Good character is more to be praised than outstanding talent. Most talents are to some extent a gift. Good character, by contrast, is not given to us. We have to build it piece by piece by thought, choice, courage and determination.” ~John Luther

Let me share a few ways to say “thank you:”

1. Say it immediately after a compliment. Acknowledge the words with gracious gratitude. Your response may be just a simple thank you with a smile or you may bridge onto that compliment by saying something sincere and true about the other person.

2. The Post Foundation recommends writing a handwritten thank you note promptly after an interview, getting a gift, or after receiving an award. Handwritten notes are far more powerful than e-mail or text messages – it says that you took a little more time to write the note and that leaves an indelible impression.

3. Make a phone call. Call the person and talk about the gift, award, or kind gesture. Be sure to sit down and have a conversation rather than rush through the acknowledgment.

4. Send flowers or a small gift. Yes, it is appropriate to send flowers or a small, well chosen gift when you have gotten something that is important to you. Two years ago I needed an endorsement for my new book and I was given that endorsement without a fee attached from a powerful figure in my target field. Not only did I send an elaborate thank you note, I sent flowers to her office too. They were impressed so much that we still stay in touch. I have gained monetary and professional bonuses which exceeded the cost of the flowers from my kind act that extended beyond the usual to say thank you.

Thank you is important! You will get more back when you express your gratitude for the good will given to you by others.

Practice the habit of saying thank you. Be gracious, be sincere, be willing to open up and let others see your character.