Tuesday, September 30, 2003

Till Spring...

To Daffodills
By Robert Herrick
---------------------------------------------------
Fair Daffodills, we weep to see
You haste away so soon:
As yet the early-rising Sun
Has not attained his Noon.
Stay, stay,
Until the hasting day
Has run
But to the Even-song;
And, having prayed together, we
Will go with you along.

We have short time to stay, as you,
We have as short a Spring;
As quick a growth to meet decay,
As you, or any thing.
We die,
As your hours do, and dry
Away,
Like to the Summer's rain;
Or as the pearls of Morning's dew
Ne'er to be found again.

Lillies anyone?

These lillies are unbelievable. Take a look here.

How do you spell beauty?

How about some magnolia blossoms? I swear you can actually smell these beauties. You know the routine. Click here.

Extraordinary roses

I have never seen more beautiful roses than these. This will make your lower jaw drop to your knees. Click here.

Rainbows and clouds...

Here are some "Wow" photos of rainbows and clouds from the DownUnder. Well worth the visit. Click here.

Monday, September 29, 2003

Keep away...

from people who try to belittle your ambitions. Small people always do that, but the really great make you feel that you, too, can become great.
-Mark Twain

What is gossip?

Gossip is when you hear something you like about someone you don't like.
-Earl Wilson, Newspaper columnist

First-rate people...

hire first-rate people; second-rate people hire third-rate people.
-Leo Rosten

How true this is!

Lake Erie sunsets...

can spellbound you as much as any Arizona desert sunset. Many of us under-estimate the power of Nature in our own backyard here in Cleveland. We forget the beautiful and inspiring lake to our north. Click here to see what I mean.

Lake George...

is a stunning example of God's artistic ability. Click here to see some great photos of Lake George in the Adirondacks of New York.

Indian rock art...

has always captivated my interests. These petroglyphs are found across the United States and in many other countries across the world. Click here to see some amazing photographs of Anasazi rock art from 600-700 years ago.

Sunday, September 28, 2003

Here are some words producing vivid images

Old Man's Winter Night
By Robert Frost

All out of doors looked darkly in at him
Through the thin frost, almost in separate stars,
That gathers on the pane in empty rooms.
What kept his eyes from giving back the gaze
Was the lamp tilted near them in his hand.
What kept him from remembering what it was
That brought him to that creaking room was age.
He stood with barrels round him -- at a loss.
And having scared the cellar under him
In clomping there, he scared it once again
In clomping off; -- and scared the outer night,
Which has its sounds, familiar, like the roar
Of trees and crack of branches, common things,
But nothing so like beating on a box.
A light he was to no one but himself
Where now he sat, concerned with he knew what,
A quiet light, and then not even that.
He consigned to the moon, such as she was,
So late-arising, to the broken moon
As better than the sun in any case
For such a charge, his snow upon the roof,
His icicles along the wall to keep;
And slept. The log that shifted with a jolt
Once in the stove, disturbed him and he shifted,
And eased his heavy breathing, but still slept.
One aged man -- one man -- can't keep a house,
A farm, a countryside, or if he can,
It's thus he does it of a winter night.

Labyrinths reach inside you...

The labyrinth is a powerful tool for spiritual insight and advancement. Check out these delightful photos of some popular labyrinths in the world.

Our lives...

follow the designs we create and those we inherit at birth. Live out your best designs.

Sacred Places

Want to see some wonderful photos of sacred sites across the world, including some medicine wheels? Go here.

Saturday, September 27, 2003

Oh hummingbird...

Click here to see what I mean.

Images of Morocco

Morocco speaks to the senses in mysterious ways. Click on these links below to see what I mean.

Dusko M Du Swami photos

Morocco Photo Diary

John Sandell

Educate yourself about spiritual groups

Looking for some useful thoughts about whether to join any particular religious/spiritual movement, click here to read a wonderful paper written by psychotherapist Frances Vaughan, Ph.D. on this topic. Perspective is important when exploring religious groups. This article provides just that.

Friday, September 26, 2003

Yep...

Familiarity breeds contempt. How accurate that is. The reason we hold truth in such respect is because we have so little opportunity to get familiar with it.
-Mark Twain

Do!

Better to do something imperfectly than to do nothing flawlessly.
-Robert H. Schuller

Why not?

Some people see things as they are and say "Why."
I dream things that never were and say "Why not."
-George Bernard Shaw

Ah, oh, wow...

Not every day can be the Fourth of July...click here and jumpstart your heart.

Love either way...

Love What You Do.
Do What You Love.
-Wayne Dyer

Incredible butterflies...

No words needed. Just click here.

Thursday, September 25, 2003

Friends

Life without a friend is death wthout a witness.
-Spanish proverb

Faith

I believe in the sun even if it isn't shining. I believe in love even when I am alone. I believe in God even when He is silent.
-World War II refugee

The simple heart...

that freely asks in love, obtains.
-John Greenleaf Whittier

WOW!!!!!

Prayers

The fewer the words, the better the prayer.
-Martin Luther

Wednesday, September 24, 2003

Appreciation

I posted this to Jack Ricchiuto's blog earlier this morning, but thought I'd capture it here for those who may also be working to increase their capacity to appreciate what they encounter in life.

I have been thinking a lot about "appreciation" and here is what I have concluded.

Appreciation is predicated on understanding and acceptance. We increase our ability to appreciate life when we understand its significance and meaning and when we resolve ourselves to accept life for what it is, despite what we want it to be.

It is far easier for us to accept (and appreciate) those things in life that align with our current values and understanding, and it is more difficult when we encounter things that challenge what we believe and know.

I pray most days that my own God of self-understanding will help me release what gives me angst in life, which usually includes my mundane worries about family, friends, career and money, my own spiritual evolution and many other things.

Also, genuine community evolves from a space where people are encouraged and rewarded for appreciating themselves and others.

So much of life is a blessing in disguise, even the bumps in the road and the tigers that have us for lunch on occasion.

All that to say, Namaste...

Alley ways

Some years ago while visiting England, I was mesmerized by the many fascinating and beautiful alleys and passageways found in cities across the country. Click here to get a sense of what I experienced.

Sardinia

Just one word. Wow! Click here to see Sardinia is all her breathtaking beauty.

Flower power in the English garden

Check out these spectacular photos of flowers in English gardens. Magnificent! Click here. Be sure to click on the arrow to advance to the next image.

Tuesday, September 23, 2003

Necessity is...

the mother of taking chances.
-Mark Twain

Rules and fun

If you obey all the rules you miss all the fun.
-Katherine Hepburn

Life is...

10 percent what you make it, and 90 percent how you take it.
-Irving Berlin

Results are...

what you expect; consequences are what you get.
-Anonymous

Man is...

the only animal that laughs and weeps; for he is the only animal that is struck with the difference between what things are and what they might have been.
-William Hazlitt

I wonder if that is really true?

Monday, September 22, 2003

Transcendentalism

Ralph Waldo Emerson, Henry David Thoreau, Oliver Wendell Holmes some of your favorites? They were Transcendentists. What's that?

Transcendentalism: A literary and philosophical movement, associated with Ralph Waldo Emerson and Margaret Fuller, asserting the existence of an ideal spiritual reality that transcends the empirical and scientific and is knowable through intuition. 2. The quality or state of being transcendental.

Source: The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language: Fourth Edition. 2000

"Although Transcendentalism as a historical movement was limited in time from the mid 1830s to the late 1840s and in space to eastern Massachusetts, its ripples continue to spread through American culture. Beginning as a quarrel within the Unitarian church, Transcendentalism's questioning of established cultural forms, its urge to reintegrate spirit and matter, its desire to turn ideas into concrete action developed a momentum of its own, spreading from the spheres of religion and education to literature, philosophy, and social reform. While Transcendentalism's ambivalence about any communal effort that would compromise individual integrity prevented it from creating lasting institutions, it helped set the terms for being an intellectual in America."

Source: Martin Bickman, University of Colorado, Boulder

Conquering your fear

The way to develop self-confidence is to do the thing you fear, and get a record of successful experiences behind you.
-William Jennings Bryan

Trust your gut

Modern man's besetting temptation is to sacrifice his direct perceptions and spontaneous feelings to his reasoned reflections; to prefer in all circumstances the verdict of his intellect to that of his immediate intuitions.
-Aldous Huxley

Hope is...

putting faith to work when doubting would be easier.
-Anonymous

Believe it or not

Man is what he believes.
-Anton Chekhov

Handling bumps in the road

Some days you tame the tiger. And some days the tiger has you for lunch.
-Tug McGraw

The moment...

Life is a succession of moments. To live each one is to succeed.
-Corita Kent

Sunday, September 21, 2003

There is life beyond words...

Picture it.

Colorado miracles

Colorado is unique. I could use a bunch of empty words to try to illustrate this point, or I could show you. Click here and see Colorado's miracles.

Mind-blowing floral close-ups

Have you ever gotten REALLY close to a flower? Seen the pollen on the petals? Seen the veins in its leaves? Smelled its sweet fragrance as a hummingbird might? Click here.

Want to see more captured beauty, check out My Gallery (Not mine but David M's)

Letting go...

"Let's try an experiment. Pick up a coin. Imagine that it represents the object which you are grasping. Hold it tightly, clutched in your fist and extend your arm, with the palm of your hand facing the ground. Now if you let go or relax your grip, you will lose what you are clinging onto. That's why you hold on.

But there's another possibility. You can let go and yet keep hold of it. With your arm still outstretched, turn your hand over so that it faces the sky. Release your hand and the coin still rests on your open palm. You let go. And the coin is still yours, even with all this space around it.

So there is a way in which we can accept impermanence and still relish life, at one and the same time, without grasping.

Original Source: Sogyal Rinpoche, The Tibetan Book of Living and Dying, pp. 34-35"

Posted onChris Corrigan's Weblog

Creativity

Creativity means being usefully innovative in diverse situations.
-Stuart Nagel

Saturday, September 20, 2003

It has been said...

I returned to Cleveland for a really big homecoming. I remember it well. How they welcomed me...flags waving, bands playing, big parades and everything. Yes sir! Lucky for me I arrived on Flag Day.
-Bob Hope

You've got to be honest; if you can fake that, you've got it made.
-George Burns

I could dance with you till the cows come home, on second thought I'll dance with the cows till you come home.
-Groucho Marx

Get your facts first, and then you can distort them as much as you please.
-Mark Twain

Grand Junction eye candy

My work took me to Grand Junction, Colorado four years ago. It is a beautiful place. The mesas surrounding the city are exquisite works of art. Take a look for yourself. Click here.

Cote D'Azur

Oh yeah. This is the stuff. Have you "done" the South of France? Wow! My wife Mary and I could not get enough of it. Indulge your senses with a short tour of these photos of the Cote D'Azur region. Many thanks to Patrick Krohn, the guy behind the camera. Just click here.

Pecs in all its beauty

Pecs, Hungary is a wonderful city in the southern part of Hungary. I was last there in 1993 as part of an economic development consulting team led by the U.S. Agency for International Development and the U.S. Information Agency. I found this wonderful website that contained some beautiful images of Pecs. I think you will enjoy them.

Note: The server is a little slow in loading images. Also, the site has multiple pages so be sure to next at the bottom to see if there is a "next" page.

Photos By Ferenc Mogar

Friday, September 19, 2003

Flutterbly on a plower

This one is worth a click of your trigger finger on your mouse. Go here. What can I say, but it's Friday...

I got mountains to climb...

Today is one of those days when even the mole hills turn into mountains. Hey, speaking of mountains, click here to see some real beauties. Feel better now?

Different takes on gratitude

In most of mankind gratitude is merely a secret hope of further favors.
-Fran├žois, Duc De La Rochefoucauld

Gratitude is a fruit of great cultivation; you do not find it among gross people.
-Samuel Johnson

One looks back with appreciation to the brilliant teachers, but with gratitude to those who touched our human feelings. The curriculum is so much necessary raw material, but warmth is the vital element for the growing plant and for the soul of the child.
-Carl Jung

TGIF

I have that Friday attitude...must be Friday. A rainy one at that. The treadmill was living hell this morning at 5 AM. What was I thinking? Even Deep Purple screaming in my ears was not enough to make my feet move fast enough. Anyone else out there glad it's Friday?

Thursday, September 18, 2003

If you have ever seen a sunset...

then you know there is really a God. Click here to see some mind-blowing images of sunsets.

Kittens

As I watch Murphy, our "robust" calico, on the sofa in my office, I chuckled thinking of the many moods of cats. Can you think of anything more playful or entertaining than a kitten? Click here to see some wonderful photographs of kittens. I promise they will put a smile on your face.

Why is myth important?

What does myth do for us? Why is it so important?

It puts you in touch with a plane of reference that goes past your mind and into your very being, into your very gut. The ultimate mystery of being and nonbeing transcends all categories of knowledge and thought. Yet that which transcends all talk is the very essence of your own being, so you're resting on it and you know it. The function of mythological symbols is to give you a sense of "Aha! Yes. I know what it is, it's myself." This is what it's all about, and then you feel a kind of centering, centering, centering all the time. And whatever you do can be discussed in relationship to this ground of truth. Though to talk about it as truth is a little bit deceptive because when we think of truth we think of something that can be conceptualized. It goes past that.

-Joseph Campbell

Myths...

...a mythology is a control system, on the one hand framing its community to accord with an intuited order of nature and, on the other hand, by means of its symbolic pedagogic rites, conducting individuals through the ineluctable psychophysiological stages of transformation of a human lifetime - birth, childhood and adolescence, age, old age, and the release of death - in unbroken accord simultaneously with the requirements of this world and the rapture of participation in a manner of being beyond time.

- Joseph Campbell

Many takes on the same thing

There is only one religion, though there are a hundred versions of it.

-George Bernard Shaw

Perennial philosophy

Philosophia Perennis: the phrase was coined by Leibniz; but the thing -- the metaphysic that recognizes a divine Reality substantial to the world of things and lives and minds; the psychology that finds in the soul something similar to, or even identical with, divine Reality; the ethic that places man's final end in the knowledge of the immanent and transcendent Ground of all being -- the thing is immemorial and universal. Rudiments of the Perennial Philosophy may be found among the traditionary lore of primitive peoples in every region of the world, and in its fully developed forms it has a place in every one of the higher religions.

-Aldous Huxley, The Perennial Philosophy

Wednesday, September 17, 2003

Think people when you think community

What is the city but the people?
-William Shakespeare

Memorize this one

To laugh often and love much; to win the respect of intelligent persons and the affection of children, to earn the approbation of honest critics; to appreciate beauty; to give of one's self, to leave the world a bit better, whether by a healthy child, a garden patch or a redeemed social condition; to have played and laughed with enthusiasm and sung with exultation; to know even one life has breathed easier because you have lived--that is to have succeeded.
-Ralph Waldo Emerson

Act

In the arena of human life the honors and rewards fall to those who show their good qualities in action.
-Aristotle

Practice h-o-p-e

Practice hope. As hopefulness becomes a habit, you can achieve a permanently happy spirit.
-Norman Vincent Peale

The glass is half full

I continue to remind myself of this point of view on a daily basis. It's easy to see problems in life. It's more important that we see life as an opportunity on every front. Even a burr under your saddle is an opportunity to learn and adjust.

Tuesday, September 16, 2003

Sports...

is the toy department of human life.
-Howard Cosell

Instructions on being a good Santa

Santa is even-tempered. Santa does not hit children over the head who kick him. Santa uses the term folks rather than Mommy and Daddy because of all the broken homes. Santa does not have a three-martini lunch. Santa does not borrow money from store employees. Santa wears a good deodorant.

Source: Advice to employees of Western Temporary Services, world’s largest supplier of Santa Clauses, NY Times, November 21, 1984.

Hopefully not said of your city

A city of private lives, led in quiet resignation.
(Said of Dresden, East Germany in 1976 by Craig R Whitney. Don't allow this to be said of your community.)

What is management?

The conventional definition of management is getting work done through people, but real management is developing people through work.
-Agha Hasan Abedi, President, Bank of Credit and Commerce International, Luxembourg

Life in your face

I think your whole life shows in your face and you should be proud of that.
-Lauren Bacall

Monday, September 15, 2003

What does rich mean?

If you can actually count your money, then you are not really a rich man.
-J. Paul Getty

Free verse and tennis

Writing free verse is like playing tennis with the net down.
-Robert Frost

How's life?

You must come down with me after the show to the lumber yard and ride piggy-back on the buzz saws.
-W.C. Fields

Bop

Playing “bop” is like playing Scrabble with all the vowels missing.
-Duke Ellington

Don't call me a legend

A legend is an old man with a cane known for what he used to do. I’m still doing it.
-Miles Davis

Art...

is an absolute mistress; she will not be coquetted with or slighted; she requires the most entire self-devotion, and she repays with grand triumphs.
-Charlotte Saunders Cushman

Where do you live?

Tomorrow is our permanent address.
-E.E. Cummings

Sunday, September 14, 2003

Supply-Side Jesus

Would you like to know what the New Testament has to say about economic development? Don't look for it in your King James version. Instead, rush down to your local bookstore and buy a copy of Al Franken's book, Supply-Side Jesus. This will REALLY make you laugh.

Click here to download a sample of what the book has to offer. It will bring tears to your eyes.

Cartoonist Hall of Fame

They made us laugh as children and some even still put a smile on our face as adults. I discovered that there is a cartoonist hall of fame that helps us remember the hands that drew those newspaper cartoon strips and cartoons that were made to move on the TV screen. The cartoon is a wonderful art form...so simple, so bite size, so clever, often very insightful about human nature, and usually to the point.

Go here to learn more about Walt Disney, Al Capp and other wonderful people with the gift of cartooning. My virtual visit helped to remind me that laughter is often the best medicine.

Butterflies on flowers

Betsy, Tyler, Mary and Don made a trek to the Cleveland Botanical Garden on Saturday afternoon to fill themselves with some Nature beauty Cleveland-style. What a great place to expand your horizons about gardening and other aspects of our botanical world. Go here to learn more about CBGardens. The butterfly exhibit is one of the best we've seen anywhere. We felt transformed by the delicate little creatures as they fluttered above our heads. Truly the butterfly is a magical alchemy of color, flight, laughter and drama.

Allow yourself a few moments to bask in the beauty of these winged creatures adorning these scented floral beauties. Wowser! Go here.

For the computer-challenged among us...

Here are some very funny stories about computer users from the Reader's Digest Forum page. I promise they will make you chuckle.

Subject: Computer Dummies

Take heart, anyone among you who believes you are technologically challenged, you "ain't seen nuthin'" yet. This is an excerpt from a Wall Street Journal article:

01. Compaq is considering changing the command "Press Any Key" to "Press Return Key" because of the flood of calls asking where the "Any" key is.

02. AST technical support had a caller complaining that her mouse was hard to control with the dust cover on. The cover turned out to be the plastic bag the mouse was packaged in.

03. Another Dell customer called to say he couldn't get his computer to fax anything. After 40 minutes of troubleshooting, the technician discovered the man was trying to fax a piece of paper- by holding it in front of the monitor screen -and hitting the,"Send" key.

04. Yet another, Dell customer called to complain that his
keyboard no longer worked. He had cleaned it by filling up his tub with soap and water and soaking the keyboard for a day, then removing all the keys and washing them individually.

05. A Dell technician received a call from a customer who was enraged because his computer had told him he was "Bad and an invalid." The tech explained that the computer's "bad command" and "invalid" responses ..... shouldn't be taken personally.

06. A confused caller to IBM was having trouble printing
documents. He told the technician that the computer had said it "couldn't find printer." The user had also tried turning the computer screen to face the printer - but that his computer still couldn't "see" the printer.

07. An exasperated caller to Dell Computer Tech Support couldn't get her new Dell Computer to turn on. After ensuring the computer was plugged in, the technician asked her what happened when she
pushed the power button. Her response, "I pushed and pushed on this foot pedal and nothing happens." The "foot pedal"turned out to be the computer's mouse.

08. Another customer called Compaq tech support to say her brand new computer wouldn't work. She said she unpacked the unit, plugged it in and sat there for 20 minutes waiting for something to happen. When asked what happened when she pressed the power switch, she asked, "What power switch?"

09. Another IBM customer had trouble installing software and rang for support. "I put in the first disk, and that was OK. It said to put in the second disk, and had some problems with the disk. When it said to put in the third disk, I couldn't even fit it in" The user hadn't realized that "Insert Disk 2" implied to - remove Disk 1 first.

10. A story from a Novell NetWire SysOp:

CALLER: "Hello, is this Tech Support?"

TECH: "Yes, it is. How may I help you?"

CALLER: "The cup holder on my PC is broken -and I am within my warranty period. How do I go about getting that fixed?"

TECH: "I'm sorry, but did you say a cup holder?"

CALLER: "Yes, it's attached to the front of my computer."

TECH: "Please excuse me. If I seem a bit stumped, it's because I am. Did you receive this as part of a promotional at a trade show? How did you get this cup holder? Does it have any trademark on it?"

CALLER: "It came with my computer. I don't know anything about a promotional. It just has '4X' on it."

At this point, the Tech Rep had to mute the caller because he couldn't stand it. He was laughing too hard. The caller had been using the load drawer of the CD-ROM drive as a cup holder and snapped it off the drive.

11. A woman called the Canon help desk with a problem with her printer. The tech asked her if she was "running it under windows." The woman responded, "No, my desk is next to the door. But that is a good point. The man sitting in the cubicle next to me is under a window and his printer is working fine."

12. And last but not least:

TECH SUPPORT: "O.K. Bob, let's press the control and escape keys at the same time. That brings up a task list in the middle of the
screen. Now type the letter "P" to bring up the Program Manager."

CUSTOMER: "I don't have a 'P'".

TECH SUPPORT: "On your keyboard, Bob."

CUSTOMER: "What do you mean?"

TECH SUPPORT: "'P' on your keyboard, Bob."

CUSTOMER: "I ain't gonna to do that!"

Saturday, September 13, 2003

African sunsets

The mystery of the African continent runs deep inside all of us. Allow your senses to experience just a small part of the beauty and enchantment of Africa from these wonderful sunset photographs. Go here.

Fall is knocking at our door

Fall
By John Muir

The winds will blow their own freshness into you,
and the storms their energy,
while cares will drop away from you
like the leaves of Autumn.

Our world as God might see it

Take a few moments and allow these Earth images speak to you. It gives me a small idea of how God might see us. Go here.

Expanding your sense of belief

Click here to see some star and star cluster images that will challenge and expand your sense of belief. These are some mind-blowing pictures of what lurks beyond us. Now do you believe in God?

Friday, September 12, 2003

What do we know of ourselves?

On Self-Knowledge
By Kahlil Gibran

And a man said, "Speak to us of Self-Knowledge."

And he answered, saying:

Your hearts know in silence the secrets of the days and the nights.

But your ears thirst for the sound of your heart's knowledge.

You would know in words that which you have always know in thought.

You would touch with your fingers the naked body of your dreams.

And it is well you should.

The hidden well-spring of your soul must needs rise and run murmuring to the sea;

And the treasure of your infinite depths would be revealed to your eyes.

But let there be no scales to weigh your unknown treasure;

And seek not the depths of your knowledge with staff or sounding line.

For self is a sea boundless and measureless.

Say not, "I have found the truth," but rather, "I have found a truth."

Say not, "I have found the path of the soul." Say rather, "I have met the soul walking upon my path."

For the soul walks upon all paths.

The soul walks not upon a line, neither does it grow like a reed.

The soul unfolds itself, like a lotus of countless petals

Butterflies have long inspired the heart and soul

Many of the ancient civilizations believed that butterflies were symbols of the human soul.

The Greeks believed that a new human soul was born each time an adult butterfly emerged from its cocoon.

Butterflies have been used by the Chinese and Japanese cultures for centuries as symbols of joy and the essence of happiness. Both cultures have added them to manuscripts, paintings and drawings for centuries.

Early Europeans believed that the human soul took the form of a butterfly so, they viewed the butterfly with great respect and often with fear.

Northern Europeans throught that dreams were the result of the soul-butterfly's wanderings through other worlds.

In southern Germany, some say the dead are reborn as children who fly about as butterflies, resulting in the belief that they bring children.

The Irish believe that butterflies are the souls of the dead waiting to pass through purgatory.

Native American Indian legends told that butterflies would carry the wishes to the Great Spirit in heaven to be granted.

Shoshone Indians believed that butterfles were originally pebbles, into which the Great Spirit blew the precious breath of life.

Native American Zuni tribes believed that butterfles could predict the weather. The Zuni also believed that the white butterfly predicts the beginning of summer.

The Blackfeet Indians believe that dreams are brought to us in sleep by a butterfly.

The butterfly is a symbol of the fertility of the earth among some tribes of Mexico.

Born out of the caterpillar in the chrysalis, butterflies were a symbol of rebirth, regeneration, happiness, and joy to Native Americans in Mexico.

The Maya looked upon butterflies also as the spirits of dead warriors in disguise descending to earth.

A dying man in the Solomon Islands has a choice as to what he will become at death and often chooses a butterfly.

Among the Nagas of Assam the dead are believed to go through a series of transformations in the underworld and are finally reborn as butterflies. When the butterfly dies, that is the end of the soul forever.

The Aztecs believed that the happy dead in the form of beautiful butterflies would visit their relatives to assure them that all was well. These butterflies flew around the house and around bouquets of flowers which were carried by Aztec men of social rank.

Read more here.

Butterfly-Inspired Poetry

Transformation
By Kirsti A. Dyer, MD

For years
I remained
Hidden from view
Afraid to show myself
or my true colors.
Cloaked
Concealed
I endured.
Waiting for the spring
with the sunlight
the signal to emerge.
Slowly
Cautiously
I begin to unfold my wings,
finding the courage
discovering my strength.
In awe
I marvel at the array
Deepest sapphire blue
Renewing amethyst violet
Tranquil aquamarine
Iridescent blushing rose
Sparkling
Radiant
I take flight.

Thursday, September 11, 2003

Let Us Remember

Conscious Living is silent today as a special tribute to those who lost their lives on September 11, 2001. May we honor those who were lost and those who served, and may the world find peace on this day two years hence.

Wednesday, September 10, 2003

What does it mean to be a great-grandmother?

Great grandmothering means another generation of love surrounding a newborn child. It means that a new great grandson stands one rung higher on the ladder of life and can see even farther into the past and the future. It means there is one more family member around to offer a hand and a hug when the young one stumbles. It means there is someone around who knows that time ultimately reveals all to those willing to listen.

My mother-in-law Ginny, was just blessed with her fourth great-grandchild. Congratulations to all concerned, including the little fellow.

What is a grandmother?

Grandmas are earth angels,
Grandmas are angels in training,
Grandmas are just ancient little girls,
Grandmas are moms with lots of frosting,
Grandmothers are angels in training.

- Author Unknown

And, the very same could be said for great-grandmothers!

Grandmothers as wisdom-keepers

Hopefully you knew your grandmothers as well as I knew mine. I felt their love--the type only a grandmother can give, which is based on the wisdom they accumulated over the years.

As we grow older, we begin to realize how important all those not so small things were that our grandmothers gave us...a warm kitchen where anybody felt welcome anytime...a hug even when your baseball team lost the game...a story shedding earth-shattering insight into your father or mother...a trip to the attic to see, touch and smell "old things" that gave us a sense of being connected to history...stories of truimph and hope during the Great Depression. At times, my grandmothers didn't have to say a word, the twinkle in their eyes and the lines in their wrinkled faces said all that ever needed to be said.

Let's give thanks for all the grandmothers and great-grandmothers out there. They are our wisdom-keepers.

Tuesday, September 09, 2003

Appreciation...

There is nothing like returning to a place that remains unchanged to find the ways in which you yourself have altered.
-Nelson Mandela

Rest is not idleness, and to lie sometimes on the grass on a summer day listening to the murmur of water, or watching the clouds float across the sky, is hardly a waste of time.
-Sir J. Lubbock

The way to love anything is to realize that it might by lost.
-G. K. Chesterton

Doing the right thing...

Character is doing the right thing when nobody's looking. There are too many people who think that the only thing that's right is to get by, and the only thing that's wrong is to get caught.
-J. C. Watts

Always do right--this will gratify some and astonish the rest.
-Mark Twain

The truth of the matter is that you always know the right thing to do. The hard part is doing it.
-H. Norman Schwarzkopf

Take humor in this day...

Blessed is he who has learned to laugh at himself, for he shall never cease to be entertained.
-John Powell

Laughter is the shortest distance between two people.
-Victor Borge

We cannot really love anybody with whom we never laugh.
-Agnes Repplier

Monday, September 08, 2003

A Visit to a Japanese Tea Garden

My wife Mary and I have enjoyed the Japanese Tea Garden at San Francisco's Golden Gate Park many times. I ran across this wonderful collection of photographs from the splendid garden. Take a look. I promise you won't be disappointed.

Go here.

Vancouver in all her beauty

Sometimes I use too many words. It's true that a picture is worth a thousand words. Take a gander at the photos of Vancouver, BC at this website. What a great city!

A rose is not simply a rose...

No flower is more elegant or scented than the rose. If you like roses, you will really enjoy this collection of English Garden roses. They are absolutely spectacular! Enjoy this wonderful eye candy. Go here.

Put an end to mind noise

The sound of birds stops the noise in my mind.
-Carly Simon

Fleeting medal of honor

I once had a sparrow alight upon my shoulder for a moment, while I was hoeing
in a village garden, and I felt that I was more distinguished by that circumstance
that I should have been by any epaulet I could have worn.
-Henry David Thoreau

Sunday, September 07, 2003

Search the sky for answers

When was the last time you walked out into your backyard at 2 AM and looked into the star-filled night sky? When was the last time that you watched the sunrise across the nearby lake? Remember as a child laying on your back in a field with hands clasped behind your head watching the clouds dance in the bright blue sky?

If it's been a while, take a look at these photos. Go here.

Beware the dog that follows you...

Whenever I climb I am followed by a dog called 'Ego'.
- Friedrich Nietzsche (1844-1900)

Dancing skeletons

If you can't get rid of the skeleton in your closet, you'd best teach it to dance.
- George Bernard Shaw (1856-1950)

Speak up friends...

In the End, we will remember not the words of our enemies, but the silence of our friends.
- Martin Luther King Jr. (1929-1968)

Theory and practice

In theory, there is no difference between theory and practice. But, in practice, there is.
- Jan L.A. van de Snepscheut

Saturday, September 06, 2003

Counting what counts

Not everything that can be counted counts, and not everything that counts can be counted.
- Albert Einstein (1879-1955)

Freedom

People demand freedom of speech to make up for the freedom of thought which they avoid.
- Soren Aabye Kierkegaard (1813-1855)

Friday, September 05, 2003

Even more Fall beauty

This one is worth a visit. Check out the Fall pictures on Drama in Nature. You won't be disappointed. I assure you. Wow!

Go here.

Basking in Fall color

Want to get a taste of what is ahead? Cruise Shoe String Travels' website and check out the Fall photographs. Wow.

Go here to see the photo collection.

Fall is...

a wonderful time of the year. The season bursts with color and beauty wherever you look. While I am a die-hard summer lover, autumn is a great time of the year. Celebrate autumn and harvest its beauty

Thursday, September 04, 2003

Doors and windows are...

openings in life, making them magical places. Just how magical? Take a few moments and see what photographer Dan Heller has done with his camera in capturing this magic in a photo series he did on doors and windows in Morocco. I swear these pictures will open the door or window to your soul...

Go here to see the photos online.

Sedona in all its beauty

Sedona, Arizona was just voted the most beautiful place in America by USA Today. Take a moment and inhale the beauty of this wonderfully rich and enchanting place. Take a short photo tour of the Sedona area prepared by photographer Jim Cryder. Go here to see the photo collection.

How about a spa experience in the South of France?

How does the South of France sound to you? It's one of my wife and my favorite places. Here is a spa that we would definitely visit on our next trip to that part of the world.

High in the hills above Cannes, on the vineyard-laden edge of the village of Mougins, Shiseido Spa recently opened its very first spa. The Riviera location seems at first an unlikely match for the Asian-based beauty behemoth – but not really. The south of France is famed for its orange blossom-scented air, skin-caressing sunshine, mood-enhancing wines, soul-elevating cuisine, and the sort of astonishingly clear light that has drawn artists like Picasso to come and record its beauty.

By the way, do the photo tour first...

Want to know more, go here.

Wednesday, September 03, 2003

Tao Te King

He who knows others is wise.
He who knows himself is illuminated.
He who defeats others is strong.
He who defeats himself is powerful.
He who knows happiness is rich.
He who keeps his path is wilful.

Be humble and you will become whole.
Bend and you will become straight.
Empty yourself and you will become full.
Wear yourself out and you will become new.

The wise man does not show off, and so he shines.
He does not make himself known, and so he is noticed.
He does not praise himself, and so he has merit.
And because he does not compete,
none in the world can compete with him.

Source: Lao Tsu

A life energy field streams around and through us...

That is what Lynne McTaggart says in her exciting book, "The Field: The Quest for the Secret Force of the Universe," which presents a highly understandable explanation of life as an energy field that connects and supports all of us. McTaggart's book draws upon quantum physics, evolutionary biology and cybernetics and other "new" sciences as a basis for making her case.

McTaggart is far from the first to argue this explanation of the life force, but she does a better job than most before her who've tried. Her illustrations of how the life energy field works in everyday life get her an A+ from this student.

Her thinking fits with Fritjof Capra's "Web of Life," Gary Zukav's "Seat of the Soul," Meg Wheatley's "Leadership and the New Sciences," and my Arizona friend Derk Janssen's concept of the "innate energy matrix," or IEM as he calls it. The thinking also coincides with my Cleveland friend Jack Ricchiuto's idea that space is not empty, instead it is filled with the questions that comprise and shape our lives. Many of her ideas mesh well with Aristotle and other philosophers.

There is much to fathom here. These ideas require us to plumb bob the inner depths for signs and understanding. Call us "New Agers," if you like, but more and more people are arriving, by different paths, at the view that everything and everyone in life is connected by a supporting and guiding life force or energy that sustains us. This thinking is causing us to rethink our lives as networks, or webs of life as Capra says. It is helping us to understand our need to become better stewards of the Earth and all associated with it. It is helping us to see that matter and energy originate from the same "life stuff." Yes, this thinking has huge consequences for communities, economies, and organizations of all sorts.

So, let's think about this stuff, and try to apply these ideas to our everyday life. Let's launch some amazing experiments in interconnectedness.

Befriend yourself fully

"Our habit of being a fair weather friend to ourselves--of pushing away or ignoring whatever darkness we can--is deeply entrenched. But just as a relationship with a good friend is marked by understanding and compassion, we can learn to bring these same qualities to our own inner life."

-Tara Brach
Author of Radical Acceptance: Embracing Your Life with the Heart of Buddha

Tuesday, September 02, 2003

Daily nuggets of gold

The eye sees only what the mind is prepared to comprehend.
-Henry L. Bergson

It is not the answer that enlightens, but the question.
-Decouvertes

It is not what name others call you that matters, but what name you respond to that truly determines who you are.
-Swahili Saying

Success...

I know the price of Success: dedication, hard work, and an unremitting devotion to the things you want to see happen.
-Frank Lloyd Wright

Success is to be measured not so much by the position that one has reached in life as by the obstacles which one has overcome while trying to succeed.
-Booker T. Washington

Destiny is not a matter of chance, it is a matter of choice. It is not a thing to be waited for, it is a thing to be achieved!
-William Jennings Bryan

Ask the right career questions

Like many bloggers looking for stuff to blog about, I stumbled upon the Howard Community College (Columbia, MD) website and found a nugget that is worth sharing. Here are three essential questions folks should ask themselves in assessing future career paths that are in synch with their personality:

1. Are you?
2. Can you?
3. Do you like to?

Howard used these three key questions to organize its career clusters and orient them to students. Here is an example from their Arts and Media Career Cluster:

Are You?/Can You?/Like to?
Intuitive/Amuse others/Solve problems through self-expression
Creative/Sing, dance, draw, act, write poetry/Work alone
Intense/Entertain others/Attend plays or concerts
Original/Design interiors/fashions/Work on crafts

Go here to learn more.

Monday, September 01, 2003

Writing, publishing and research cluster in Cleveland?

Why not?

Why shouldn't Cleveland area writers, publishers, researchers and other related knowledge workers form an industry cluster around what they do? I know so many people whose work directly and indirectly relates to this cluster. I'm talking about a "talent-based cluster." Moreover, this is a creative cluster.

The connecting thread for this cluster is a set of core competencies employed by many in the same and different industries and markets. It's a "functional" cluster.

These "free agents" provide an important "value-added" service to many other companies, industries and clusters in the Greater Cleveland area.

Is it possible? Most definitely it is. What will it take? First, a desire for these free agents to work together as a network of professionals. Second, they must find a common way to relate to one another. Third, they must discover or create a way to add more value together than they do separately. And finally, they must learn how to use both collaboration and competition as tools to advance their talents and the cluster as a whole.

No, don't create another trade or industry association. No, this is not a union or a guild. It is an industry cluster much like biosciences, metalworking, automotive, and finance and insurance.

Bloggers are even a part of this cluster. So are consultants working in various fields. Freelance writers are a part of the mix. Independent researchers fit in. Desktop publishers and others using their computer skills to advance writing, publishing and research are a part.

Like the idea? Want to add your thoughts? Email me and let me know. Maybe we can set up yet another blog to discuss this topic.

Corporate world victims rebound

Life in the corporate world has never been exactly easy. Today, it takes a lot of "luck" to survive and thrive there--most of which you will definitely need to create for yourself. Many want to know: "Is there life after my fizzled corporate career?"

The answer is yes, most definitely there is...but you will need to take stock of yourself in a way you may not have in the past. First question must be: "What makes me happy and what type of work gives me joy?" Read more about how others have survived and managed a rebound after being dumped by their beloved corporate employer. Go here.

People create their own luck

Chance and luck are not the same thing in life. Chance events shape our lives everyday. According to psychologist Richard Wiseman, people create their own luck, or how they convert chance events into positive outcomes for themselves. Read more about this idea here.

Advice on jobs and careers

Think "calling" first, career second, and job third. A string of jobs does not necessarily constitute a career and a string of careers does not necessarily constitute or reflect a calling.

With that ordering in mind, you are sure to be focused on work you love that will afford you growth both internally and externally.
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