Friday, December 26, 2008

Beginning Again!

The calendar turns again. A new 12 months, 52 weeks, 365 days, or 8760 hours lie before us to shape as we will. It may seem, after the preceding year, that we have little to do with shaping our days, but of course you know I am going to tell you that we do!

One of the things that last year should have taught us is that we need to pay more particular attention to the details of our lives rather than leaving them to others and trusting they will take care of us. The immense financial melt down, egregious scandals and evidence of corporate and personal greed have battered not only the nation, but each of us individually. The top one percent of those who hold 80-95% of the nation’s wealth may be just fine. The rest of us have probably taken significant hits to our financial well-being. I don’t need to recount the details here. I can’t imagine you are not fully aware of how you have been affected.

I think it may be that we discovered how bad things were because more of us than ever before in history DID begin to take charge of our decisions. I believe we did this because we finally saw a LEADER emerging who declared he was willing to lead if we would all agree to do our part. President elect, Barack Obama, has demonstrated how he will lead by demonstrating his strong sense of self-confidence. He reached out to surround himself with the most qualified persons he could find who will challenge him to think and act courageously in bringing about the change he promised.

Now comes our part in the process. Beyond communicating our ideas (he says he will encourage the millions of folks on his campaign email list to share their concerns and suggestions with him) we must recognize our need to maintain a positive outlook. It is time to do more than simply think positive. It is time to act.

An email I received the other day included an article by Clarissa Pinkola Estes, Ph.D, Author of the best seller, Women Who Run with the Wolves. Part of what she had to say is:

Ours is not the task of fixing the entire world all at once, but of
stretching out to mend the part of the world that is within our reach. Any small, calm thing that one soul can do to help another soul, to assist some portion of this poor suffering world, will help immensely. It is not given to us to know which acts or by whom, will cause the critical mass to tip toward an enduring good. What is needed for dramatic change is an accumulation of acts, adding, adding to, adding more, continuing. We know that it does not take everyone on Earth to bring justice and peace, but only a small, determined group who will not give up during the first, second, or hundredth gale.

Ms. Estes recognizes that we get depressed and discouraged, but urges us to not faint in our effort to be part of the positive change that we will accomplish together. Any effort we individually make will make a difference. No act is insignificant, because none of us is insignificant. Take a deep breath and acknowledge that in a spirit of joy and certainty you act not alone! Hold to the vision of possibility. Keep on keeping on!

Thursday, December 11, 2008

'Tis The Season

Once again Christians turn their thoughts to the joys of the Christmas Season. No time of the year offers quite as much of an opportunity for experiencing joy, excitement and sharing glad tidings.

The rosy cheeks of little children making snow angels in the freshly fallen snow coupled with their eager smiles will melt the most Scrooge-like person’s heart.

The blue star-filled skies lighted by the moon are searched by all for that great sleigh filled with toys and led, maybe, by that fabled red-nosed reindeer, Rudolph himself!

I hope we are never too old for fables and rich legends about the Holidays. I feel that if we have lost that magical feeling, we may also miss the spirit of Christmas. Certainly Christmas is more than Santa and toys and reindeer rushing across the sky. It is also about the continual rebirth of the Christ within each of us.

That rebirth is not simply a symbolic notion. Jesus, speaking to his disciples, as reported in John 14:20 said: At that day ye shall know that I am in my Father, and ye in me, and I in you. Jesus always referred to himself as one with the Father and claimed the same for everyone. He also claimed that he did nothing of himself, but what the Father did through him. Whatever he did was possible for us as well if only we would believe in the possibility. The rebirth of Christ in us, then, occurs as we claim the possibility of demonstrating in our lives the essence of life, health, and abundance.

All religions celebrate similar potentials, so for non-Christians who may be reading these words, I celebrate with you the Spirit of God—by whatever name—blessing your life with all that is good.

Monday, December 8, 2008

The Expectation of Faith and the Impulse of Love

It was in the mid 1960’s that I discovered in the used book section of the Good Will Store in Spokane, Washington the little book of short stories written by Henry Van Dyke. The Blue Flower was published in 1902. I purchased the book because I liked old books and this one was embossed with gold leaf and colored art that made it particularly attractive to me. I was later to discover a story within that book that has lived in my heart ever since. In fact, I had used the story as my Christmas sermon in 1966. I had hoped that our family might make a tradition of sharing the story each Christmas. While that did not develop, the story has continued to move me each time I read it.

What follows is briefer, but based upon that story: The Other Wiseman.

Artaban had missed the appointed meeting with Caspar, Melchior and Balthazar, the three other wisemen who had agreed to go to greet the newborn King, each bringing his special gift.

Now, nearing the end of his life, Artaban was confronted with giving his last of three gifts for the King—a most beautiful pearl--as ransom for a young girl being sold into slavery. His long journey of 33 years seeking the King had brought him back to Jerusalem just at the time of the crucifixion of Jesus. He had already given away his other two gifts, the sapphire to buy food and herbs for a dying man, and the ruby to save a newborn child from the sword of Herod’s soldiers. As he gave his last gift for the King to the girl, the sky darkened and the ground shook in heavy pains of labor. Stones tumbled from the walls of homes along the street. One fell and hit Artaban on the head. As he lay with his head on the girl’s shoulder resigned that his search for the King had ended without his finding Him, the girl saw the old man’s lips move as though in answer:

“Not so, my Lord! For when saw I thee an hungered and fed thee? Or thirsty, and gave thee drink? When saw I thee a stranger, and took thee in? Or naked, and clothed thee? When saw I thee sick or in prison, and came unto thee? Three-and-thirty hears have I looked for thee; but I have never seen thy face, nor ministered to thee, my King.”

Then Artaban as well as the girl heard the words, faint and far away:
"Verily I say unto thee, Inasmuch as thou hast done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, thou hast done it unto me."
His journey was ended. His treasures were accepted. The Other Wise Man had found the King.

As I finished reading this story on Christmas Day 2006 in a flood of tears of deep love and admiration, I realized a Truth about myself. Within minutes I flashed back over my life from birth to the present. I had been told all my life that I could accomplish anything I set my mind to. The circumstances of my birth were special in that I was conceived  to a woman who had been told that her very life would be in danger if she were to carry her third child to term. In my early twenties when I learned of this story of my birth many things fell into place in my mind. I began to realize that there was a great expectation about me; that I was born into this life to make a difference. I flashed forward to a later time in my forties while meeting with a small group of three other persons and in a deep altered state. I was again impressed with the calling that I was here to do something significant, something that would have implications to the course of humanity.

Then I was in the moment of a recent session with a therapist who skillfully freed the lock I had imposed upon myself all my life about the expectation that I was to do something special. That expectation, buried deep in my psyche, had the result of my feeling as though I had never lived up to my potential, that I had let not only myself down, but also those for whom I cared. I could never do enough and often what I did do fell short of satisfaction.

At last I came to a recent day and once again to the story of The Other Wiseman. All of the life story I had just flashed upon was true in one sense, but not as I had believed it all of my 70 plus years! Yes, I am special! And, you are special too. We all are. What I have come to realize is that I am an expression of love. Even though I have not expressed that love as well as I might have in the past, I now feel an overwhelming sense of that wondrous, unconditional love in my being. I feel the breaking apart of limitations and of clouds of darkness and ignorance. I hear not only the commendation, but also the injunction to love even the least of these, my brethren.

I have grown up with an expectation embodied in the faith others had in me and have discovered the impulse of love within my being. No words can adequately describe the freedom granted in this love. It is first a freedom for my own expression, to be who I am and to enjoy who I am. It is the realization that true love is always enough because it will inevitably lead one to doing those things that bring healing, peace and satisfying fulfillment. Will this change the world? Perhaps not. This new impulse of love is my understanding of my gift and the motivation to be that love as clearly and as completely as I am able. Change the world? I only know it has started me on the path of change. To that extent my world, and maybe yours, is changed.

(This is an excerpt from the complete article written for my hoped-for upcoming book: Moments.)

Friday, December 5, 2008

With Deep Appreciation

I was surprised and honored to be notified that the third of my three articles reviewing the Matter of Mind workshop in Denver in October was chosen to be part of Master Djwhal Khul’s December lesson for Vajra Flame members. It is very gratifying to know that my experience reflected some of what Master DK seeks to impart to his students.

Visit the Vajra Flame Foundation website at:

You can find all three parts of the article at:

You can read other references to the book, The Matter of Mind, on my blog at:

While my interest in the work of Master Khul is important to me, this blog seeks as well to share a much broader portrait of the philosophies, principles and concepts for living that help people develop a more complete understanding of their potential. Your comments are always invited.

Thursday, December 4, 2008


While thumbing through the books in my library looking for something seasonal to read, I found something I placed within the pages of a special book awhile back. The book is, Anger, by Thich Nhat Hanh. What I found was a flattened foil Dove chocolate candy wrapper. On the inside of the wrapper were the words:

Keep the promises you make to yourself.

The wrapper was serving as a bookmark for the chapter entitled, Putting Out the Fire of Anger. I think I have learned through the years something about the serendipity of events. I was struck by the fact that I had just experienced a situation about the fire of anger being put out, at least from the former size of the blaze. That led me to thinking about how at times something that has angered us, or someone we care about, had been silently forgotten. Then, almost by chance, we discover it again in its new state of being.

This note, serving as the bookmark, reminded me of a past anger I had held that was quite deep. At the time the event occurred I promised myself I would not get into a situation like that again. I had worked to clear the negative emotions and to do outwardly what I could to put out the fire. When anger comes about between two or more persons, that fire may not really be out and the atmosphere cleared and ready for rebuilding until the parties can meet and come to understand how to proceed. In some cases only one party to the event will make the effort.

Promising not to get into such a situation again is almost pointless if one does not really resolve the conditions that brought out the anger in the first place. It is not so much a matter of what the other person does or does not do. It is a matter of what you do. You cannot control the behavior of another person. Trying to get them to change what they are doing could only make things worse. And we kid ourselves if we think that trying to make them feel guilty will have any positive effect on us. Our job is to change our own attitude by examining how we might have acted differently in the situation. Then our promise to ourselves includes not making the same mistakes again. It may also include resolving to be more sensitive to what is actually happening in a situation. If the other person comes forward in an attempt at resolution that is “frosting on the cake.” Relish the occasion and do whatever it takes to keep the promises you make to yourself, to put out the fire of anger.

Monday, December 1, 2008

True Wealth

For me my true wealth consists of my relationships—family, friends and associates. I consider myself truly rich in this regard. The Friday after Thanksgiving, as I listened to the broadcast of Andre Rieu in Vienna and the Johann Strauss Orchestra and Choir on public television, the music enveloped me in a blanket of warmth, joy and thankfulness. I thought of my family, friends and the associates who have particularly blessed my life in the past year. Some of these persons probably do not know just how they have brought light into my life. I determined to mention a few of these professionals, whom I consider to be associates and friends, and share them with you. They appear in alphabetical order.

Raven Dana, Certified Life Coach and Clinical Handwriting Analyst.
I have known Raven for 30 years. She was active in the Whole Life Learning Center in Denver. While she says she considers me one of her mentors, after her 29 years of experience I now look to her as one of my mentors. I can count on her for unvarnished comment on whatever I write, consistently adding new perspectives. She keeps me honest in my effort to tell it like it is! Raven is the founder/director of Stress Wizard Coaching. Find out more at:

Jan Engles-Smith, Shamanic practitioner, counselor and former science teacher. I first met Jan when I attended one of her introductory classes. The meditation exercise she led took me to a deep healing place that I have never forgotten. Her wonderful support through our exchanges of communication reminds me that there are special people who care. She serves her students through a native American wisdom and concern for the well-being of the planet. She is the founder/director of Lightsong School of Shamanic Studies.
Find out more at:

Katherine Jansen-Byrkit, M.P.H., L.P.C., Individual, Couple and Family Therapist through her practice, Innergy. In my intensive work with Katherine she skillfully unlocked my inner self and provided the opportunity for me to begin the long journey back to loving and accepting myself. To say I am grateful is not enough, but appreciation is surely given. I continue to seek to honor the self-image I am discovering. Find out more at:

Kathlyn Kingdon, exceptional channel for Master Djwhal Khul. I experienced Kathlyn and Master Khul just this October in a weekend workshop in Denver. This is another step in my opening to the infinite wisdom that enfolds us all. When truth dawns we realize it has been with us always often hidden beneath the veil of fear and doubt. As the veil parts our souls are reclaimed in their spiritual glory.

I was given Kathlyn’s book, The Matter Of Mind, by a long time friend, Pam McKinnie. Pam is the founder/president of Concepts Unlimited, a full service advertising agency that provides “thoughtful design.” Our paths have crossed from time to time for many years—always an insightful and supportive time. She is a participant in the Vajra Flame Foundation, which promotes the work of Master Khul. For more about Vajra Flame:
For information on Concepts Unlimited:

Jacqueline Sinke, certified Health Fitness Specialist with over 16 years of professional fitness experience. She is the owner of Fitness & Function. For all the “spiritual” seeking one might do, it is also necessary to pay attention to the physical body. (Who says that isn’t spiritual too?) I have been taking Jacqueline’s Ageless Conditioning class for three years and I am still alive to tell about it! She specializes in senior conditioning and well-being, though she also works with businesses and individuals to develop personalized fitness programs. She was particularly supportive during my heart repair work in July. For more information:

These are a few of the professionals in my life for whom I am grateful. I consider them each a part of my true wealth. They have all helped me move forward, especially in times when I am inclined to fall backward. So, I wish them success in all they do and rich and rewarding lives. I encourage you to visit their websites and wherever possible I hope you might avail yourself of their services.