Friday, December 31, 2004

Haiku Moment
By Don

..spirits walking with us
....bringing balance to life
Haiku Moment
By Don

year end
..time is meaningless
....only love is endless
In tribute to...

I want to give thanks to all those who have
touched my life in some special way during
2004. There are too many to name here, but
I'd like to mention a few who deserve special

1. My dear wife, Mary, for all her ongoing love,
patience, and faith in me--even at times when
I doubted myself. Mary has always been there
to give me the special nudge or encouragement
just when I've needed it. I thank her for all
we have shared together in the past year.

2. Dan Shimp, my childhood friend, who
re-appeared in my life this past February,
after 43 years of not seeing each other. To
Dan, a owe a special thanks for his inspiration
and help along the spiritual path I've traveled
in the last year. Dan has helped me to strengthen
my belief in everyday miracles.

3. Derk Janssen, my Arizona college roommate
and longstanding friend who has helped me along
the spiritual path and has encouraged me to live
a creative life. A special thanks to Derk for being

4. To all my family members, I give a special thanks
for being such an important part of my life in the past
year on a daily basis and from a distance. My thanks to
Dad, my sister Diana, my brother Doug, my sons Jeff
and Jason, my grandson Evan, and my mother-in-law

Love and Sacred Blessings to All!

Friday Thought: Making Friends

"You will make more friends in a week
by getting yourself interested in other
people than you can in a year by trying
to get other people interested in you."

--Arnold Bennett

Thursday, December 30, 2004

Haiku Moment
By Don

..fear rising
....overtaking us in a wave
Haiku Moment
By Don

grasp truth
..within a breath
....then release it
Haiku Moment
By Don

cease suffering
..over clinging will still be
On second thought...

"If a friend is in trouble, don't annoy him
by asking if there is anything you can do.
Think up something appropriate and do it."

--Edgar Watson Howe

Thursday Thought: The Heart Needs
Hold Onto Nothing

The master shines.

He never says "mine."
Gold, stone, earth—
They are all the same to him.

He is not bound by sloth,
Nor consumed by his own activity.

He has severed the knots which bind his heart.

--Source: From "The Heart of Awareness:
A Translation of the Ashtavakra Gita,"
by Thomas Byrom, 1990. Shambhala
Publications, Inc., Boston.

Wednesday, December 29, 2004

Haiku Moment
By Don

fleeting moments dripping sand
....through the hourglass we fall

Haiku Moment
By Don

..on the razor's edge
....beyond myself

Wednesday Thought: Looking to the New Year

Like most people, I have set some goals for
2005. At the same time, I plan to allow some
"open space" for life to just happen. I plan to
spend more time listening to what my soul has
in store for me.

I anticipate that my poetry will continue to help
communicate what the spiritual path teaches
me. If things go as planned, my first book of poetry
will be published in 2005. This is very exciting.

To all those who stop by Conscious Living
and warm themselves at its campfire, I wish
you a very Happy New Year.

Tuesday, December 28, 2004

By Don

Rising from the depths
--Mother Earth's voice speaks
with earth-shattering fury.
She trembles in fear
and proclaims the Medicine Wheel
must regain balance.
Thirty thousand souls return

to their Heavenly womb.
To all lives touched
--we must give our compassion.
To Mother Earth
--we must give our respect
and heed Her warning.

Haiku Moment
By Don

Tiny song bird
--high in the tree
----music plays in my heart

On second thought...

"Those who dance are considered insane
by those who can't hear the music."

--George Carlin
Tuesday Thought: Laugh

"No one gets too old to learn a new way
of being stupid."

Source: Unknown

Monday, December 27, 2004

Child's Prayer
By Don

Three cheers for you, three cheers for me,
May we ever humble be,
By heart we find our way each day,
At times luck has the final say,
Reach out, reach all you know,
Bless us God from head to toe.

One more for the road...

"For long you live and high you fly
and smiles you'll give and tears you'll cry
and all that you touch and all that you see
is all your life will ever be."

--Pink Floyd
Did you know?

"Ring around the rosey
a pocket full of poseies
Ashes, Ashes
We all fall down"

Source: Childrens song about the
Black Plague during the Middle Ages

Monday Thought: Regrets

"If of all words of tongue and pen,
The saddest are, It might have been,
More sad are these we daily see:
It is, but hadn't ought to be."

--John Greenleafe Whittier, "Maud Muller"

Sunday, December 26, 2004

Follow the Sun
By Don

Your life
--like the sun,
begins in the East.
Follow sunshine
throughout our life
--and life's darkness
will fade away.
On second thought...

"We shall find peace. We shall hear angels.
We shall see the sky sparkling with diamonds."

--Anton Pavlovich Chekhov
Sunday Thought: Christmas Real Meaning

"When a group of professional people asked
a group of 4-to-8-year olds, ‘What does love
mean?’ one replied, ‘Love is what’s in the
room with you at Christmas if you stop
opening presents and just listen."

--Warren McLaren

Saturday, December 25, 2004

Christmas Peace
By Don

Early Christmas morning,
the stilling light of the moon beams softly
through shimmering crystal icicles.
They remind us: let our hearts melt on this special day.
Under the tree
--a napping cat, purring with content.
She reminds us: enjoy the moment,
Christmas peace is here.

Merry Christmas

May you be filled with the special
Peace of this blessed day.

Friday, December 24, 2004

Christmas Eve
By Don

Deep in the forest's soul
--Mother Earth gives birth
to fearless love
--melting snow-capped hearts
--ushering forth awakened spirits,
who walk through the night,
till morning breaks in silent jubilation
--and a new day is born

On second thought...

"Christmas, children, is not a date.
It is a state of mind."

--Mary Ellen Chase
Friday Thought: Christmas

"Blessed is the season which engages the
whole world in a conspiracy of love."

--Hamilton Wright Mabi

Thursday, December 23, 2004

Sagely Heartspeak
By Don

I met a sage the other day
--not a single word had he to say,
No need for words
--when the heart is pure,
Love speaks volumes
--when it is sincere.
Thursday Thought: Let It Snow!

Plenty of it in the Cleveland area. Maybe
18 inches or so. As I look out on this fine
whiteness, I declare "Let it snow!"
A Crystal of Snow
By M. Lucille Ford

A crystal of snow is a wonderful thing
With texture as fine as a butterfly's wing;
With network of atoms like filmy spun lace,
Or petal arrangement of fair flower face.
A crystal of snow is a beautiful thing

With the sparkle of drops what to spicers' webs cling
On a bright dewy morn; and the luster of pearl;
Or a diamond gleam on a glistening curl.
A crystal of snow is a curious thing -

With dew of summer - or rain of spring -
And frost of autumn mixed into it all
The flowers of cloudland that earthward do fall.
Snow Stars
By Regina Sauro

And feathery,
Crystal clear
And white,
Six-point stars
Come tumbling,
Softly In the night.

Wednesday, December 22, 2004

Truimph of the Heart
By Don

Our fear is very often worse
--than the reality,
or unreality,
that we fear.
Look into your heart,
examine the reality
of what troubles you.
Your heart's true reality
will always truimph over fear.

On second thought...

"We are not human beings on a
spiritual journey. We are spiritual
beings on a human journey.

--Stephen Covey
Wednesday Thought: Personal Wealth

"A person's true wealth is the good he
or she does in the world."


Tuesday, December 21, 2004

Haiku Moment
By Don

--high atop
the slumbering bluff
Haiku Moment
By Don

Wind chime
--the present returns
with greater clarity
On second thought...

"Mitakuye Oyasin... We are all related."

--Shawnee saying

Tuesday Thought: Love

"Never pretend to a love which
you do not actually feel, for love
is not ours to command.

--Alan Watts

Monday, December 20, 2004

Haiku Moment
By Don

High up
the cougar climbs
the Universe comes into focus

How grateful are you?

Click here to take the quizz.
Haiku Moment
By Don

where eagles fly
truth takes wing

Monday Thought: Gratitude

We can never give thanks often
enough. As I gaze out upon the
beautiful Winter Wonderland in
our front yard, I feel gratitude
in my heart for the seasons, and
for the special cleansing power

of a fresh snowfall.

Sunday, December 19, 2004

Sunday Thought: Prayer

Regardless of our spiritual
tradition, we pray in one form
or another. We might think of
three types of prayers: 1) those
to ask and receive; 2) those to give,
especially thanks; and 3) those
to listen for what God or the
Great Spirit has to tell us.

Over the years, I have found that I
given greatest attention to the
first type, or what some theologians
call 'gimme' prayers. I have been
working on creating a balance among
the three types of prayers in my own
life. Meditation is especially helpful to
me in listening to what God has to say
to me personally.
Winter Spirits Return
By Don

Blustering winds cry
--throughout the night,
their frozen tears form
--mountains of whiteness,
the sky spirits of the North return
--singing high notes till morning,
The Great Spirit paints magnificence
--with just a single color.

Saturday, December 18, 2004

Soulful Obliqueness
By Don


straight lines,
linear thoughts,
all easy answers

--to complex questions,
the soul delights

--in her own unqiueness, and
walks the oblique path to truth,
Flow with your soulful obliqueness.

Saturday Thought: Trust Yourself

"As soon as you trust yourself,
you will know how to live.”

--Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
By Arthur Nguyen

Snow melts childishly
sticks like sugar
numbs my
naked bloodless fingers
was a part of me before
I saw it
throw down my
short days
frightened of this
place which is not mine
Arms are never
long enough to
reach as far back
as we want
But turn your back
and cracked earth grips
with no intention of

Friday, December 17, 2004

On second thought...

Seek authentic power in
your life. What is authentic
power? It is being really who
you are. When we do this, the
authentic power of our being
is allowed to prevail in all we
Friday Thought: The Buffalo

Many American Indian tribes
worshipped the buffalo because
of all it provided to them. For
this reason, the buffalo has become
a well-recognized symbol of
giving, and has been called by many
tribes the "Giver." Let the spirit of
the buffalo fill all of our hearts during
this Christmas Season.
“To Believe...”
Author Unknown

To believe is to know that every day is a new beginning.

It is to trust that miracles happen, and dreams really do come true.
To believe is to see angels dancing among the clouds,
To know the wonder of a stardust sky and the wisdom of the man in the moon.
To believe is to know the value of a nurturing heart,
The innocence of a child's eyes and the beauty of an aging hand,
for it is through their teachings we learn to love.
To believe is to find the strength and courage that lies within us.
When it is time to pick up the pieces and begin again.
To believe is to know we are not alone,
That life is a gift and this is our time to cherish it.
To believe is to know that wonderful surprises are just waiting to happen,
And all our hopes and dreams are within reach.
If only we believe.

Thursday, December 16, 2004

Haiku Moment
By Don

Christmas tree
set me free
I find the divine in thee
On second thought...

Somehow, not only for Christmas,
But all the long year through,
The joy that you give to others,
Is the joy that comes back to you.
And the more you spend in blessing,
The poor and lonely and sad,
The more of your heart's possessing,
Returns to you glad.

--John Greenleaf Whittier
Thursday Thought: Christmas

"Christmas waves a magic wand over
this world, and behold, everything is softer
and more beautiful."

--Norman Vincent Peale

Wednesday, December 15, 2004

Winter Images
By Don

wide awake,
tumbling down
white satin gown,
downhill skiing
very freeing,
sled riding
come out of hiding,
ice skating
no more waiting,
winter is here
sound a cheer.
On second thought ...

Find humor in life. Sometimes the
only response to what you encounter
is a good laugh. That too is sacred
when it comes from the soul.

--By Don
Wednesday Thought: Everyday Sacredness

We're conditioned to look for the sacred on
Sundays, in a church, mosque, or temple, or
some other place with a religious or spiritual
identity. Everything in life is sacred. Every
moment we experience is a "spiritual" moment.
Revel in the magical sacredness of your life

--By Don

Tuesday, December 14, 2004

By Don

silence in my heart grows,
I feel it from my head to my toes,
it makes me happy and warm,
for a moment I lose all form,
like a thick blanket of snow,
the familiar silence I know,
at the onset of this winter day,
homage to life I do pay.
Haiku Moment
By Don

in my hand
a tiny snowflake melts
so does my heart
On second thought...

"The only test of leadership
is that somebody follows."

--Robert Greenleaf
Tuesday Thought: Define What You're For

"To work in the world lovingly means that we are
defining what we will be for, rather than reacting to
what we are against."

--Christina Baldwin

Monday, December 13, 2004

Haiku Moment
By Don

snowflakes falling
rivers grow inside
the flow connects us
On second thought...

"Only those who will risk going too
far can possibly find out how far one
can go."

--T. S. Eliot
Monday Thought: Let Yourself Bloom

"And the day came when the risk it took
to remain tight inside the bud was more
painful than the risk it took to blossom."

--Anais Nin

Sunday, December 12, 2004

Haiku Moment
By Don

Patient heart
--loving intentions
----true happiness
Haiku Moment
By Don

Silent night
--peaceful heart
----the essence of Christ
On second thought...

We reap what we sow.
So, use this Sunday to
sow seeds of love, kindness,
and compassion in yourself.
It's remarkable what you
will reap.

Sunday Thought: Real Fullness

"Being full in terms of physical sensations
- sounds, smells, tastes, and feelings -
is to be full of worldly food; but being
filled with the highest joy - which comes
from a peaceful mind free from the
disturbance of sense-object - is to be
full of the food of the Dhamma."

Saturday, December 11, 2004

Saturday Thought: In-tention

We are what we in-tend in our lives.
What does your heart in-tend for you
this day?

Haiku Moment
By Don

--by tall timbers
----their spirits touch me
On second thought...

Nature's sacred places surround us
everywhere. Tap their special healing
energy. Allow them to touch you and
open your heart.

I discovered just such a place in Pennsylvania:
Cook Forest, which is located about 20 miles
north of Clarion. When you cross the Clarion
River you will see exactly what I mean.


Friday, December 10, 2004

On second thought...

Look for the magical
circles in your life. They
exist everywhere. Each
seeks to connect you with
the powerful energy of
the Universe.
Haiku Moment
By Don

Magical river
----gracing all it touches
Friday Thought: Open Mind

Some times we fall prey to a
closed mind--our own and others.
We need to work constantly at
maintaining a truly open mind.
In that way, we are assured of
grasping the reality that presents
itself to us.


Thursday, December 09, 2004

Why Morning Poems
By Don

Poems set me free,
They help me clearly see,
Poetic words shed new light,
Adding much needed insight,
Thinking with the heart,
From the very start,
Is surely what we need,
Each poem is a fertile seed.
Thursday Thought: Foresight

"Someone's sitting in the shade today
because someone planted a tree a long
time ago."

--Warren Buffett
Haiku Moment
By Don

It's coming...
----seasons change and so do we

Wednesday, December 08, 2004

Wednesday Thought: Action

"An ounce of action is worth a ton of theory."

--Friedrich Engels
Haiku Moment
By Don

--on nothing
----learn to want less

Tuesday, December 07, 2004

Mysteries of the Heart
By Don

Mysteries of the heart...
and awake.
Seek the mystery
of your own spirit,
take it to heart.
Haiku Moment
By Don

--is not rubber
----it cannot be bent
On second thought...

"Winter is a reminder to each of us
to warm ourselves by our heart's fire."

--Don Iannone
Tuesday Thought: Believe in Yourself

"Buried somewhere deep inside of you
is something worth believing in with all
your heart. Guess what? When you truly
believe it, others will too."

--Don Iannone

Monday, December 06, 2004

On second thought...

"All of us need a snow day
in our busy lives...a day when
our usual schedule is halted, and
we allow Mother Nature to cover
us in her beauty and smother
us in her love."

--Don Iannone
Monday Thought: Love

"Trust the power of your love.
It will set you free of the fear
that binds your soul."

--Don Iannone
Haiku Moment
By Don

--uniqueness takes form
----finding happiness in our crystalline structure

Christmas Tree Magic
By Don

Behold the beauty of the Christmas tree,
A perfect evergreen triangle for you and me,
Painted with bright bows, tinsel, and lights,
Surrounded by presents and other delights,
In the corner of room she does stand,
Glowing cheerfully for all on hand,
With the fireplace crackling all orange and yellow,
Inside us we feel all warm and mellow,
Even the birds, the squirrels, and the deer,
Stop by the window with good cheer,
The stage is complete as a light snow begins to fall,
And Santa says Merry Christmas to one and all.

Sunday, December 05, 2004

Winter's Night
By Don

Cold winter's night,
logs of passion burn on,
slumbering cat before the crackling fireplace,
snow-covered deer sleep in the forest,
blankets of fresh fallen snow bring silence...
to an overworked world,
excited heart beats...
thump like drums off in the frozen distance,
we relish a long winter's night with nowhere to go.
Haiku Moment
By Don

Christmas tree
--color extravaganza
----always evergreen beauty
On second thought...

"Dreams are renewable. No matter
what our age or condition, there are
still untapped possibilities within us
and new beauty waiting to be born."

-- Dale E. Turner
Sunday Thought: Material Possessions

"One thing you’re never going to see is a
hearse with luggage racks.”

--Eric Atchison

Saturday, December 04, 2004

Native Spirit Within
By Don

Before I was me,
I was much more free,
Off the land I did live,
Daily thanks I would give,
New trails I did blaze,
At the stars I did gaze,
Before each day I would start,
Direction I took from my heart,
Everything was alive back then,
But I don't recall just when,
Ancient echoes call out to me,
Now I truly can see,
Somewhere deep inside,
A native spirit does abide.
Haiku Moment
By Don

Breathlessly still
--freezing the candle's flame
----glimpsing peace

On second thought...

"We need people in our lives with
whom we can be as open as possible.
To have real conversation with people
may seem like such a simple, obvious
suggestion, but it involves courage
and risk."

--Thomas Moore (From: Embracing the
Everyday Life)
Saturday Thought: What You Get in Life

"Life's strict rule is this: You get more of
what you focus on. Ignoring this, we abandon
our healthiest, concentrative energies and
court emotional upheaval."

--Marsha Sinetar

Friday, December 03, 2004

Haiku Moment
By Don

Winter voices
--speaking through the wind
----snowflakes to the ears
Haiku Moment
By Don

--deep into yourself
----pay tribute to your dreams
On second thought...

"No man knows he is young while he is young."

--G.K. Chesterton
Friday Thought: Use Your All

"You must not only aim aright,
but draw the bow with all your might."

--Henry David Thoreau

Thursday, December 02, 2004

Haiku Moment
By Don

Time traveler
--hitchhiking between nows
----discovering what lies beyond time
Haiku Moment
By Don

--pleasures of the mind
----distractions from reality
On second thought...

"For everything that lives is holy,
life delights in life."

--William Blake
Thursday Thought: Your Sacred Space

"Your sacred space is where you can find
yourself again and again."

--Joseph Campbell

Wednesday, December 01, 2004

Haiku Moment
By Don

High winds
--freezing temperatures
----winter perches outside my window
On second thought...

"These days people seek knowledge,
not wisdom. Knowledge is of the past,
wisdom is of the future."

--Vernon Cooper
Wednesday Thought: Learning

"In times of change, learners
inherit the Earth, while the
learned find themselves
beautifully equipped to
deal with a world that
no longer exists."

--Eric Hoffer

Tuesday, November 30, 2004

Haiku Moment
By Don

First snow
--white cotton candy
----winter's muffled call
On second thought...

"Remember the past, plan for
the future, but live for today,
because yesterday is gone and
tomorrow may never come."

Tuesday Thought: First is Not Always Best

"The early bird gets the worm, but the
second mouse gets the cheese."

--Steven Wright

Monday, November 29, 2004

On second thought...

"A word of encouragement during
a failure is worth more than an
hour of praise after success."

Monday Thought: Listen to Hendrix

"Knowledge speaks, but wisdom

--Jimi Hendrix

Sunday, November 28, 2004

Full Moon Meditation Walk
By Don

Under a chilly November full moon sky,
From the labyrinth we sought advice from on high,
We walked in silence, snaking our way through,
Not exactly sure what we should do,
Off in the shadows Runningwolf stood,
Watching over us as we did what we could,
In the eye of the sacred circle I left behind my fear,
Too long I've run scared just like a frightened deer,
In my return from the center an insight came to me,
Something I desperately needed to see,
A voice inside me whispered "trust your love,
Don't for a moment question the dove,"
Further it said "let your love lead you,
Let it touch everything in life you do,"
With both eyes closed I continued my walk,
I stumbled my way back where we sat to talk,
Inside the tepee we sat with our shaman master,
Who took us on a journey that made our hearts beat faster,
I shared what I learned that night under the full moon,
I knew within me something was about to change soon.
On second thought...

"The Great Spirit is in all things,
he is in the air we breathe. The
Great Spirit is our Father, but the
Earth is our Mother. She nourishes
us, that which we put into the ground
she returns to us.... "

--Big Thunder (Bedagi),
Wabanaki Algonquin

Sunday Thought: Our Earth

"Treat the earth well: it was not
given to you by your parents,
it was loaned to you by your children.
We do not inherit the Earth from our
Ancestors, we borrow it from our

--Ancient Indian Proverb

Saturday, November 27, 2004

A Birthday Wish for Mary
By Don

Blessed are you with another year,
One filled with love and great cheer,
May you find all that you truly seek,
Climb sunset mountain to the peak,
Allow the little girl inside of you,
Be with you no matter what you do,
Use your ancient wisdom for some good,
Help animals and flowers as you should,
Hold those you love close to your heart,
Never forget them from the start,
And on this special day for you,
Under an Arizone sunset may we rendez-vous.
Haiku Moment
By Don

Sunset point
--aglow in vibrant fleeting color
----tempting the heart to beam with love
Haiku Moment
By Don

Arizona sunset
--raging orange ball of fire
----slipping fast into Heaven
Saturday Thought: Rich Heart

Without a rich heart, wealth is an ugly beggar.

--Ralph Waldo Emerson

One second thought...

"How far you go in life depends on
your being tender with the young,
compassionate with the aged, sympathetic
with the striving and tolerant of the weak
and strong. Because someday in life you will
have been all of these."

--George Washington Carver

Friday, November 26, 2004

Thanksgiving Sunset
By Don

Early signs a Thanksgiving sunset does make,
Away our thankful hearts it does take,
Through an Oriental garden we behold,
Magnificient beauty quite untold,
Streaks of orange, salmon, and red,
With each stroke our hearts are fed,
Through the dark outline of disappearing trees,
We watch the sunset move toward the seas,
Something inside us changes as we inhale its bloom,
Somewhere out there a new tomorrow looms,
An Arizona sunset is a promise to keep,
One that lives on even in our sleep.
Friday Thought: Change

"Only the wisest and stupidest
of men never change."


Thursday, November 25, 2004

Thanksgiving Morning
By Don

Thanksgiving sunrise in Carefree,
Red boulders stretch toward a pale blue sky,
A morning fire paints yellow laughter on the casita walls,
Opaque shadows linger and dance across the room,
In the nearby junipers, the birds are awake,
Their sweet voices rise with the cherry orange sun,
In the distance, the mission church bells remind us...
To ring true to ourselves on this special day,
Deep inside we know...
Thanksgiving always blooms where grateful hearts abide.
Haiku Moment
By Don

Row boat
--making way
----not waves
Thursday Thought: Give Thanks for Important Stuff

"The ideals which have lighted my way,
and time after time have given me new
courage to face life cheerfully, have been
Kindness, Beauty, and Truth. The trite
subjects of human efforts, possessions,
outward success, luxury have always
seemed to me contemptible."

--Albert Einstein

Wednesday, November 24, 2004

Haiku Moment
By Don

--in living
----purposeful being
Haiku Moment
By Don

--hanging from a cliff
----taking flight from time
On the other hand...

"A brief candle;
both ends burning
An endless mile;
a bus wheel turning
A friend to share the lonesome times
A handshake and a sip of wine
So say it loud and let it ring
We are all a part of everything
The future, present and the past
Fly on proud bird You're free at last.

--Charlie Daniels

Written en route to the funeral for his friend, Ronnie Van Zant of the band, Lynyrd Skynyrd.
Wednesday Thought: The Future

"The best thing about the future is
that it only comes one day at a time."

--Abraham Lincoln

Tuesday, November 23, 2004

Haiku Moment
By Don

Exercise your heart
--open it to others
----extend your love to the world
Tuesday Thought: Gratitude

"At times our own light goes out and
is rekindled by a spark from another
person.Each of us has cause to think
with deep gratitude of those who have
lighted the flame within us."

--Albert Schweitzer
A little story passed along by my wife...

One day a father of a very wealthy family took his son on a trip to the
country with the firm purpose of showing his son how poor people live.
They spent a couple of days and nights on the farm of what would be
considered a very poor family.

On their return from their trip, the father asked his son, "How was the

"It was great, Dad."

"Did you see how poor people live?" the father asked.

"Oh yeah," said the son.

"So, tell me, what did you learn from the trip?" asked the father.

The son answered: "I saw that we have one dog and they had four.

We have a pool that reaches to the middle of our garden and they have a
creek that has no end.

We have imported lanterns in our garden and they have the stars at night.

Our patio reaches to the front yard and they have the whole horizon.

We have a small piece of land to live on and they have fields that go
beyond our sight.

We have servants who serve us, but they serve others.

We buy our food, but they grow theirs.

We have walls around our property to protect us, they have friends to
protect them."

The boy's father was speechless.

Then his son added, "Thanks, Dad, for showing me how poor we are."

Isn't perspective a wonderful thing? Makes you wonder what would happen
if we all gave thanks for everything we have, instead of worrying about
what we don't have.

Appreciate every single thing you have, especially your friends!

Happy Thanksgiving Friend!

Monday, November 22, 2004

Haiku Moment
By Don

Giving thanks
--living thanks
----thanks being
Haiku Moment
By Don

--born anew
----relearning who you are
On second thought...

"Common sense ain't common."

--Will Rogers
Monday Thought: Conscious Responsibility

"A man who becomes conscious
of the responsibility he bears
toward a human being who
affectionately waits for him,
or to an unfinished work, will
never be able to throw away
his life. He knows the "why" for
his existence, and will be able
to bear almost any "how."

--Victor Frankl

Sunday, November 21, 2004

On second thought...

"It takes a very long time to
become young."

--Pablo Picasso
Sunday Thought: Art

"Art is the lie that makes us
realize the truth."

--Pablo Picasso

Saturday, November 20, 2004

On second thought...

"All that is gold does not glitter;
not all those that wander are lost."

--J. R. R. Tolkien
Saturday Thought: Courage

"Courage is grace under pressure."

--Ernest Hemingway

Friday, November 19, 2004

On second thought...

"If you banish fear, nothing terribly
bad can happen to you."

--Margaret Bourke-White
Friday Thought: Learning from Fools

"Wise men learn more from fools
than fools from the wise."

--Marcus Porcius Cato

Thursday, November 18, 2004

Thursday Thought: Defining the Problem

"The greatest challenge to any
thinker is stating the problem
in a way that will allow a solution."

--Bertrand Russell
Lessons from a Butterfly
Author Unknown

A man found a cocoon of a butterfly
One day a small opening appeared
He sat and watched the butterfly for several hours
It struggled to force its body through that little hole
Then it seemed to stop making any progress
It appeared as if it had gotten as far as it could
And it could go no farther.

So the man decided to help the butterfly
He took a pair of scissors and snipped off
The remaining bit of the cocoon.

The butterfly then emerged easily, BUT,
It had a swollen body and small, shriveled wings
He continued to watch the butterfly
He expected that, at any moment, the wings would enlarge
And the body would contract
Neither happened!
In fact, the butterfly spent the rest of its life crawling
Around with a swollen body and shriveled wings.
It was never able to fly.

The man acted with well-intentioned kindness
But he didn't understand the consequences.
The restricting cocoon and the struggle required to get
Through the tiny opening, were nature's way of forcing fluid
From the body of the butterfly once it achieved it's freedom
From the cocoon.

Sometimes struggles are exactly what we need in our life.
If nature allowed us to go through life without any
Obstacles, it would cripple us.
We would not be as strong as we could have been
And we could never fly
Have a great day, great life, and struggle a little.
Then fly!

A Relationship is like a Rose
By Rob Cella

A relationship is like a rose,
How long it lasts, no one knows;
Love can erase an awful past,
Love can be yours, you'll see at last;
To feel that love, it makes you sigh,
To have it leave, you'd rather die;
You hope you've found that special rose,
Cause you love and care for the one you chose.

Wednesday, November 17, 2004

By Don

always now.
One more...

"What you do speaks so
loud that I cannot hear
what you say."

--Ralph Waldo Emerson
On second thought...

"Whenever I draw a circle,
I immediately want to step
out of it."

--Buckminster Fuller
Wednesday Thought: Unlearning

"The most useful piece of learning
for the uses of life is to unlearn
what is untrue."


Tuesday, November 16, 2004

In Your Dreams
By Don

Lucid dreams of truth,
Linger long after the night,
Memories of who we are becoming,
Even before we get there,
Recollections of pasts we know
but have not experienced,
All this, and more,
in your dreams.
One for the road...

"When the sea was calm all
ships alike showed mastership
in floating."

--William Shakespeare
On second thought...

"One of the nice things about
problems is that a good many
of them do not exist except in
our imaginations."

--Steve Allen
Tuesday Thought: Intelligence

"Intelligence is what we use when
we don't know what to do, when we
have to grope rather than using a
standard response."

--Jean Piaget

Monday, November 15, 2004

Haiku Moment
By Don

The mirror reveals
--only what the eye can see
----look past the mirror
Haiku Moment
By Don

Helter skelter
--rushing here and there
----simply be wherever you are
One more...

"You may say I'm a dreamer,
but I'm not the only one, I hope
someday you will join us, and
the world will live as one"

--John Lennon
On second thought...

"Ah! what a divine religion might
be found out if charity were really
made the principle of it instead of

Monday Thought: Look Within

"What lies behind us and what lies
before us are tiny matters compared
to what lies within."

--Ralph Waldo Emerson

Sunday, November 14, 2004

Haiku Moment
By Don

We seek
--eventually we are

----without seeking to be
Spirituality in the Workplace
By Martin Rutte
(Reprinted from
CEO Refresher)

The nature and meaning of work are undergoing a profound evolution. Two forces are helping to catalyze the momentum of this process — fear and the emergence of both a more personal and widespread spirituality.

The fear is about losing our job and having to do more with less. And the emergence of spirituality in the workplace points to the desire that there be more to work than just survival. We yearn for work to be a place in which we both experience and express our deep soul and spirit.

Fear in the Workplace

There are several factors causing an increase of fear in the workplace. The first is massive corporate downsizing. The benefit of downsizing is that it does increase profits. Moreover, it cuts the fat and the excess while streamlining the organization. But downsizing also has a downside. It causes pain and suffering. In addition to the pain felt by those people who have been let go, those who are still left are asked to increase production with less resources, in the same amount of time, and for the same pay.

They feel stressed out and bone-tired. They are anxious about the security of their job and often are resentful. And most painful of all, they don't see any light at the end of the tunnel.
Downsizing works in the short-term; in the long-term, what's lost is loyalty, engagement, experience, creativity and the full expression of spirit.

A second factor is that more work is moving offshore. Years ago, it was just manufacturing work. Now it's also service jobs. India and Israel, for example, are becoming key sites for the development of computer software. We thought that there were certain types of work that would always remain in the developed world — that these were "our jobs," like service and new technology development — it's just no longer so.

And what about successful companies laying people off? That's never happened before. The understanding used to be that when a company was in fiscal trouble it would lay off people and when the company was successful, it would keep and even hire people. But with re-engineering and new advanced technology, there is a need for less people, so successful companies are downsizing.

When you put all these factors together, you're taking the work contract — the implicit agreement that I would come to work for you for life, the belief in security of employment — and smashing it. The message is crystal clear, "You don't have a secure job anymore." And that causes insecurity, it causes anxiety, and it causes fear.

There is a growing sense of "dis-spiritedness" in individuals and in the overall workplace. The spirit has been shut down. It can't fully express itself. There is a sense of dis-engagement. It may not be completely quantifiable, but people can and do feel the lack of spirit in their workplace.

All of this doesn't need to paint a completely bleak picture. We can look at these very same factors from another, more useful perspective — the spiritual. The security we thought we got from the corporation is a myth. Real security comes from a connection to that which is truly secure — the spirit. We are in the process of moving from "dependent children" at work, with the parental company looking after us, to really coming into our full, adult Selfhood. From this new reality we can begin exploring and expressing more of our true spiritual selves.

The Emergence of Spirituality

In addition to fear, there is a compelling inner longing for spiritual fulfillment. There are several factors present in society reflecting the emerging desire for personal and collective spirituality.
The baby boomer generation is now entering its 50's. People are reaching mid-life and looking at those issues that are characteristic for this age – issues such as: "What is my legacy?"; "What are the long-term values that I want to leave behind?"; "In what other arenas of life do I want to invest my energies now that I've reached the peak of my career?"; "What is really important to me as I begin to see my parents, aunts and uncles start to die?" These kinds of thoughts are usual for people in mid-life. What is unusual, however, is that the baby boomer generation is so large. When it begins to think about these issues, then society follows. As spirituality emerges for baby boomers, the whole of society is affected.

Concern and involvement with the bio-environment also reflect an emerging sense of the spiritual. The environment is both life supporting and gives us an awareness and consciousness of the whole. It reveals to us how we are interconnected and interdependent. And when you think about that, that's a very spiritual metaphor.

"When the concept of human spirit is understood as the mode of consciousness in which the individual feels connected to the Cosmos as a whole, it becomes clear that ecological awareness is spiritual in its deepest sense." — Fritjof Capra

Yet another factor is the maturing of the scientific paradigm. We thought we could solve all the world's problems with science. We thought we could eventually understand everything through science. But the more we know, the more we find out we don't know. Science has been divorcing itself from the spiritual for several hundred years. However, science without spirituality is like a wave without the ocean. A growing number of scientists realize this and are moving more into spiritual exploration.

These three factors are indicative of the overall emergence of spirituality in our time. Popular culture also reflects this in the growing number of books, movies, and TV programs about spirituality. And spirituality in the workplace is part of this phenomenon.

What Is Spirituality?

I've found that when people ask me the question, "What is spirituality?", what they're really concerned about is, “Will I have 'the Answer'”? or some other dogmatic response. They're afraid that I've already got spirituality defined and that they will disagree with my definition, which will then cause separation. People are afraid that I (or anyone else speaking about spirituality) will shove a particular point of view down their throats. This approach offers the listener no opportunity to search for his/her own truth.

The journey is not about spirituality as "the answer," but about spirituality as "the question." A question allows you to look more deeply. It allows you to search for what's true for you, and in so doing, deepen your own experience. But ultimately, what moving from answer to question does is make it safe and permissible to explore this territory in a way that is useful.

What is spirituality for you? Where is spirit or spirituality not showing up in your workplace? Where is it flourishing? Explore these kinds of questions, at work, for yourself, your relationships, your division and your company. And in this questioning, in this exploration, notice the deepening of your own experience of spirituality at work.

Spirituality in the Workplace

What would a more spiritual workplace mean for people? It would mean that work would move from merely being a place to get enough money to survive — from just earning our daily bread — to being a place of livelihood. By livelihood I mean a place where we both survive and are fully alive. We are alive in that our spirit fully expresses itself. And through our contribution, we allow other people's spirits to be nourished and to flourish. Livelihood has, at its core, three meanings for work: survival (you're alive), enlivening of the individual Self (you're aliveness), and enlivening of the collective Self (their aliveness).

What are the benefits of a more spiritual workplace? One of the primary benefits is that people are more in touch with the Source of creativity. As business people, we realize the value of creativity and innovation. Creativity is a cornerstone of business. It allows us to come out with new products and services that really are of service. It allows us to do more with less. In essence, creativity leads to more efficient contribution.

As we move more into a service and technological economy, we want to continually expand innovation and creativity. But you can't demand that of people. "Human capital" has to be treated differently than "financial capital." You have to create an atmosphere in which creativity and innovation flourish; and that is accomplished through the bountiful expression of spirit. When we are more in touch with the Source of creativity, there is also revitalization, renewal and resilience.

Another benefit is increased authenticity in communication. A lot of the work I do as a consultant is to create a "safe space" in which people feel permission to talk about their truth without fear of reprisal. Businesses aren't accustomed to doing this as a matter of normal everyday practice. However, when the truth is allowed to be safely and respectfully spoken, old problems clear up, new possibilities emerge, and people feel more aligned. They work together in a trusting team.

Increased ethical and moral behavior is yet another benefit. But who cares if a company is ethical? Isn't business just a place where you see how much you can get ahead? In a word, no. An important value of ethical behavior for a business is the development of trust. We trust people who operate in an ethical framework. Employees trust employers. Employers trust employees. And customers who trust a company stay customers longer.

Spirituality in the workplace also promotes the expression of talent, brilliance and genius — talent in the sense of our Divine gifts; brilliance in terms of our intellect and the intensity of the light we have to shine; and genius not as a scarce commodity, but as something that everyone has. Our true job is to connect with that genius. And moreover, spirituality in the workplace also leads to increased self-fulfillment, contentment and a deep sense of belonging.

In most businesses today, spirit and spirituality aren't talked about. The first thing that needs to happen is to make it safe and permissible to talk about it, as normally and as naturally as the many other conversations we have at work, such as: profitability, innovations and personnel issues.

We start this simply by beginning. Talk to those you trust, talk to others in business, talk to your colleagues, but begin to talk about it. There may be an initial fear, but after a while, the momentum will be unstoppable.

Managing in the New Spiritual Workplace

Today, we live in the transition period between the old definition of work as survival and the new definition of work as livelihood. New management techniques and new organizational structures are needed to handle this emerging context.

Management in the survival mode has been based on command and control. The way you get people to produce is by telling them what to do and making sure it gets done. But in a spiritual workplace, productivity is achieved through nurturing the expression of the self and the spirit. Our job, as leaders, is to facilitate the discovery of spirit, to esteem it, to celebrate it, and to hold others accountable for their expression of it. Support your employees and colleagues in being clear that part of their job responsibility is to fully express their spirit, their life purpose, and their gifts.

A senior vice-president of a large utility company told me that one of the roles of companies in the future will be to help employees discover their life purpose and to make sure that their work is consistent with and demanding of that purpose. “Imagine what would happen," he said, "if you had a company in which all the people were doing their life's work. You would have more loyalty, more resilience, more creativity, more innovation, and a deeper sense of self-reliance, self-renewal and self-generation."

Another new management function will be helping people unleash and express their full, creative spirit. One of the ways to do this is to reconnect people with their artistry, whether that's music, painting, dancing, poetry or cooking. Poet, David Whyte, author of The Heart Aroused, goes into companies and reads poetry. Boeing Aircraft is one of his ongoing clients. The managers he works with begin to realize other aspects of themselves. Poetry helps them delve more deeply into their creative self, and it helps contribute to new insights, both personal and corporate. (Another great way for you and your employees to reconnect with your creativity is to read and do the exercises in The Artists Way, by Julia Cameron.)

An Invitation

The next phase of the evolution of work has begun. Spirituality is becoming more openly recognized as an integral part of work. If this is something that speaks to you, that you want more of in your workplace, I invite you to jump in!


Martin Rutte is a speaker and consultant on spirituality in the workplace. He is committed to reconnecting business with its natural source of creativity, innovation and genius. As President of Livelihood®, a management consulting firm in Santa Fe, New Mexico, he explores the deeper meaning of work and its contribution to society. Visit for additional information.
Sunday Thought: Religion Versus God

"If God is one and if spiritual awakening
across all cultures and all religions is the
same, then why do we have so many religions?'

One to think about for all of us.
Haiku Moment
By Don

Higher being
--seek yours
----in your heart
Haiku Moment
By Don

--is not your essence
----you are

Saturday, November 13, 2004

Haiku Moment
By Don

--not giving what we have
----giving what we are
Haiku Moment
By Don

--a thief stealing joy
----mice eating life's seed corn
On second thought...

"Information is not knowledge,
knowledge is not wisdom, wisdom
is not truth, truth is not beauty,
beauty is not love."


Makes you wonder what's what!
Saturday Thought: Non-Doing

"Besides the noble art of getting things done,
there is the noble art of leaving things undone.
The wisdom of life consists in the elimination
of non-essentials."


Friday, November 12, 2004

In Praise of Poets

This week's picks are
William Wordsworth
and Robert Frost. Both
were blessed with the
special gift of painting
pictures with words,
and then evoking feeling
with those pictures.
Haiku Moment
By Don

Song bird
--filled with love
----sings to his heart's content
Others First Today
By Don

Through this world we walk,
Often we fail to walk our talk,
Peace and happiness wait within,
Don't be afraid to give in.

So much we pretend that we know,
So little love we really show,
Take a moment in this day,
Help someone else find their way.
One more...

"People take different roads seeking
fulfillment and happiness. Just because
they're not on your road doesn't mean
they've gotten lost."

--H. Jackson Browne
On second thought...

"The best way to cheer yourself up
is to try to cheer somebody else up."

--Mark Twain
Friday Thought: Happiness

"If you want to be happy, be."

--Leo Tolstoy

Thursday, November 11, 2004

The Happy Choice
By Don

So long we walk
though life with sorrow,
So long our tears
prevent a happy tomorrow,
A glass half empty
when more than half full,
In search of words
that make heart strings pull,
The difference lies
in how we choose to be,
That little decision
can truly set us free.
One more...

"Wisdom ceases to be wisdom
when it becomes too proud to
weep, too grave to laugh, and
too self-full to seek other
than itself."

--Kahlil Gibran

Comment: Wow! I really like
this one.
Thursday Thought: Let Yourself Wonder

"Wonder is the beginning of wisdom."

On second thought...

"I prefer the errors of enthusiasm
to the indifference of wisdom."

--Anatole France

Wednesday, November 10, 2004

Closing Cycles
By Paulo Coelho

One always has to know when a stage comes to an end.

If we insist on staying longer than the necessary time, we lose the happiness and the meaning of the other stages we have to go through. Closing cycles, shutting doors, ending chapters – whatever name we give it, what matters is to leave in the past the moments of life that have finished.

Did you lose your job? Has a loving relationship come to an end? Did you leave your parents’ house? Gone to live abroad? Has a long-lasting friendship ended all of a sudden?

You can spend a long time wondering why this has happened. You can tell yourself you won’t take another step until you find out why certain things that were so important and so solid in your life have turned into dust, just like that.

But such an attitude will be awfully stressing for everyone involved: your parents, your husband or wife, your friends, your children, your sister, everyone will be finishing chapters, turning over new leaves, getting on with life, and they will all feel bad seeing you at a standstill.

None of us can be in the present and the past at the same time, not even when we try to understand the things that happen to us. What has passed will not return: we cannot for ever be children, late adolescents, sons that feel guilt or rancor towards our parents, lovers who day and night relive an affair with someone who has gone away and has not the least intention of coming back.

Things pass, and the best we can do is to let them really go away.

That is why it is so important (however painful it may be!) to destroy souvenirs, move, give lots of things away to orphanages, sell or donate the books you have at home. Everything in this visible world is a manifestation of the invisible world, of what is going on in our hearts – and getting rid of certain memories also means making some room for other memories to take their place.

Let things go. Release them. Detach yourself from them. Nobody plays this life with marked cards, so sometimes we win and sometimes we lose. Do not expect anything in return, do not expect your efforts to be appreciated, your genius to be discovered, your love to be understood. Stop turning on your emotional television to watch the same program over and over again, the one that shows how much you suffered from a certain loss: that is only poisoning you, nothing else.

Nothing is more dangerous than not accepting love relationships that are broken off, work that is promised but there is no starting date, decisions that are always put off waiting for the “ideal moment.” Before a new chapter is begun, the old one has to be finished: tell yourself that what has passed will never come back. Remember that there was a time when you could live without that thing or that person – nothing is irreplaceable, a habit is not a need. This may sound so obvious, it may even be difficult, but it is very important.

Closing cycles. Not because of pride, incapacity or arrogance, but simply because that no longer fits your life. Shut the door, change the record, clean the house, shake off the dust.

Stop being who you were, and change into who you are.
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