The Things We Learn From Spirits



I was walking along a path at my favorite park, thinking about everything I needed to accomplish for the day.  This, that, another this, another that…it never ends.  During this brief respite I’ve experienced, I’ve had days where I feel so relaxed and others where I just feel like I am giving it away.  Time, that is.

As I am walking along, my “spidey-sense”, kicks in full gear and I hear this in my head–”You must look forward, never down, but forward.  You cannot see life from the vantage point of your shoes.  Look forward, select a specific view and conquer it.  When you conquer that view, move on to the next and do the same.”

There was more. 

“You always look at the entire panorama.  You can’t do that and expect to complete anything to your satisfaction.  Men try to conquer the panorama of life, but they always fail.  Look forward, pick a specific view and conquer it.  Then, move on.”

You can’t make up perfect advice like that.  Essentially I was being told to have tunnel vision when it comes to the list of things I want to accomplish.  Pick something, do it, then move on to the next.  My experience with spirits is that they tend to speak metaphorically and this message today did not disappoint.  Look forward so you can actually SEE life instead of the ground where nothing happens.  Look out–pick a spot and study it, then conquer it. 

In this particular message, I love the use of the word “conquer”.  It indicates to me that spirit coaches such as mine know a little something about regret and lists that never got done before their time on earth ended.  Don’t complete something–conquer it.  Examine all aspects of it, finish the project and learn from it.  Evolve.  I love that sentiment.

I think often in life we get too bogged down with trivial, meaningless things that pile up in our head until we are set to explode.  This is partly due to life today and the fast-paced road race it has become.  Sometimes we don’t take time to get outside, go for a walk and “listen to the trees”, or in this case, my dear friend John Morris.  John died before Teddy Roosevelt became President, so of course he is not “hip” to the way we live today…

Or is he?  Metaphor aside, I think he nailed it right on the head.  So tonight, let’s all take a deep breath, let it out and resolve to pick something off our list of things we simply have to do and conquer it.  I have a strong sense that you’ll be glad you did.




What Marriage should be.

I wonder often….which is worse….gay marriage or heterosexual marriage between people who have no business being married in the first place? How many “straight” people get married for the wrong reasons? I fell into that category. If marriage is truly an “institution”, then let’s take the word “gay” and “straight” out of the equation and call it marriage. We should celebrate love for what it is. True love is so hard to find in our current society. When it’s there, it should be celebrated. Survivor benefits are a cop out. Let love be love and leave it at that.

PS: What is more embarrassing for a child? Introducing his parents (dad and dad or mom and mom), or having to say, “this is my real dad and this is my step dad and this is my mom’s current boyfriend.” Stability vs. Instability. Once again, the Heteros have done a super-duper job in that category as well. (Sarcasm). Let people who believe in marriage get married. (I’m still not changing my picture to the = sign).

PPS: It amazes me to no end that we live in a country where heterosexuals get divorced at a 50%+ clip, yet a great many feel homosexual couples shouldn’t have the right to marry. Maybe it should be the other way around? (I’m half kidding about my last sentence.) Let people who love each other get married. They can’t do worse than straight people.

The 300-kiloton reminder that life is precious.

A lot of people in Russia woke up this morning, ready to start their day.  I bet none of them thought they would be injured by a meteor.  So often we focus on the dangers of Earth–wars, famine, disease, crime…but we forget that there is something much larger out there–beyond our comprehension.  At the end of the day, we are at the mercy of so many things.  If it doesn’t make you wonder, then nothing ever will.

After I read about the meteor strike, I began to think about all the stupid things that bother me.  The list grew and grew.  I still came back to one thing.  Today, a meteor hit the Earth’s surface.  In an unrelated incident, a huge asteroid came close to hitting our planet.  My point is, we have no control at all over anything when it comes down to it.  We are simple specks in what otherwise is a huge universe that has control of everything.

So….relax.  Today was a great reminder that no matter how bad things are–it’s a waste of time to be angry, upset and disappointed.  You have this short time to enjoy life and make something memorable.  Take some time today to think about that.  If a 300-kiloton meteor isn’t enough to wake you up a little….

Love one another and be well! 

Comes the blind fury.

“I have walked out in rain and back in rain” –Frost

Another day, another terrible situation for the East Coast.  My thoughts and prayers go out to everyone there.  I have friends who are just now getting back to normal after the Hurricane.  I’m sure we all know people affected.  Let’s reach out to them, give them our support and love and hope for the best.

I do hope the last 12 months have taught the major cities on the East Coast about emergency response and preparing for major events like Hurricanes and Blizzards.  The East Coast is the population mecca of America.  These storms are catastrophic because they affect so many millions of people in such a small area–not to mention the business sector which plays such a vital role in how this country runs from day to day.

We have a tendency to over-emphasize the dramatic on the news and focus less on getting information out there to the public.  (Evacuation routes, what to do when power goes out, etc.)  We need to less naming-of-storms and standing out in 90 mph winds with our rain slicker and microphone and focus more on the human element of these disasters.

These storms are getting worse and they aren’t going away.  We need to unite, work together and rebuild.  To all of you on the East Coast–get ready, hunker in and hold your loved ones tight.  We are thinking of you and praying this passes quickly and that the response is swift and effective.

Be Well.

Why we let our kids win.

I wrote this months ago when I just started on wordpress.  Since nobody read it, and I have writer’s block today, I decided to bring it back!  Enjoy.

Parents will often find themselves in contests with their children.  Today was no exception.  My daughter Kat and I put on these silly plastic discs with Velcro padding and threw a tennis ball back and forth–the object being you catch the ball with the plastic disc, w/Velcro padding.  Ok….so the stage was set for some sort of competition.  Kat, age 6, threw the ball to me and I caught it.  Grandma said, one point for daddy.  I threw the ball to Kat, she caught it…you get the idea.  The “game” turned into a contest to see who could catch the most balls.  The Mayans would be proud.

We played to ten.  The score was Daddy 8, Kat 3, before I realized I needed to suddenly become completely inept at catching things.  Why?  Because kids need to win.  I know, I know, life is a bitch and kids need to learn we can’t always come out ahead.  I don’t care.  In a situation like this, you need to let your kid win.  They need to feel victorious and they need to feel the satisfaction of beating the person who can ground them if they talk back.  More than that, they need feel like they can have something to build on.  “Maybe I CAN throw and catch better than my dad.  The next time I’ll kick his ass even more.”

The final score–Kat 10, Daddy 9.  When the final catch was made, my daughter jumped up and down like she had just won the Stanley Cup.  It was a memory I will never forget.  Kids love little victories because they aren’t little–they are huge.  Parents need to remember that.  Kids need victories to know they are capable.  Just like Santa Claus is engrained in our minds and passed down from generation to generation, “throwing” games like I did today is a ritual every parent is faced with.  And I say, “God bless the ritual.”

I will trade a loss to my child for anything in the world, because I got to see the look on her face when she realized she beat her dad.  The next time we “lace up the skates”, she will be that much stronger and confident.  For those of us lucky enough to have kids, it doesn’t get any better than that.

Let your kids win when the opportunity is appropriate.  It’s a time-honored tradition that has been passed on from generation to generation.  And it’s a good thing.

Eating chips for breakfast is another story….that is one contest Daddy will always win.  And that’s good too.

Be well.

If Thomas Jefferson had liquid paper.

Liquid Paper is one of the greatest things ever invented. We use it to correct mistakes that we have written or typed. They even have colored liquid paper in case you are using colored paper…fascinating. So many times I have looked at my bottle of liquid paper and just said “thank you”. Not out loud, that would be insane, but I have thought it to myself.

Thomas Jefferson didn’t have liquid paper when he was writing the Declaration of Independence. Imagine the pressure–you are writing a document to the most powerful country in the world telling them to fuck off and if you make a mistake, you have to start over. You are alone in a dark room lit with a candle and as you write with your quill on the parchment words that will be forever remembered, you can’t make a mistake. I suppose it required him to think through every thought, every word in the most precise of manner. In the end, Thomas Jefferson was perfect.

What if life had liquid paper? A correction fluid that you could use to correct mistakes that you have made, or terrible things you have said and done. You could pull out the bottle of Life’s Liquid Paper and cover it up, go back, and begin again. Wouldn’t that be great? No one would be hurt, and if they were it wouldn’t last long because Life’s Liquid Paper would cover it up and let you re-do it.The truth is, when we use regular liquid paper WE know we made a mistake. WE know what we wrote under the cover up of dried liquid goo. It may not appear to the reader of your document, but you know what the mistake was.

I wonder what the Declaration of Independence would look like today if TJ had Liquid Paper at his disposal…Would he have thought twice about saying “When in the course of human events…”? Would we see correction after correction? Would the document be half as good? I don’t think so. Jefferson was forced to think long and hard about every move, every stroke. Liquid Paper would have hindered his masterpiece.

Life’s Liquid Paper would cover up mistakes, but you still would know they were there. The question is, would you take measures to correct the mistakes, or would you cover them up and hope those who view your life will settle for the change and never hold you accountable? We have Life’s Liquid Paper, but many times we don’t know it. We have phrases like “Just Kidding” or “Don’t get mad but…” or “No offense”. And we have the greatest cover of them all, “I’m sorry.” Apologies do make us feel better and they are required and the right thing to do when you do something bad or wrong. I am not suggesting saying “sorry” isn’t enough. It is though in a sense Life’s Liquid Paper. You can cover your mistakes with the phrase, but you still know deep down what you said or did. What will you do with that knowledge? Will you accept the cover up, or will you think longer and harder before you do and say something?

Our lives are like a Declaration of Independence. We write a part of our document each day and just like Jefferson, we have no idea the effect it will have on the world around us. Jefferson didn’t have liquid paper, and neither do we when it comes to living. If we took the same care in our own lives that he did when writing his masterpiece, Life’s Liquid Paper would never be necessary. I feel each mistake I make and I take steps to correct them when needed. As I continue to write the great document of my life each day, I begin to look ahead to the sentences I want included. I do not know how they will turn out, but I guarantee one thing–as I hold the quill to the parchment, I will give every thought, every word the greatest of care.

Just like Jefferson did.

Call it sad, call it funny but it’s better than even money.

“I have walked out in rain–and back in rain…” –Robert Frost

Quote of the day: “Drought my ass!” This is compliments of a customer of mine, who like me has been watching it pour for the last 18 hours. It’s incredible how it can be nearly 60 degrees on January 29th in Michigan. Well, actually I shouldn’t be surprised–Antarctica and Greenland are half gone. (Don’t tell Congress.)

Superbowl Sunday is coming up which brings me to today’s topic. The TV Commercials. There was a time when they were awesome and probably the highlight of the game. I remember Spuds MacKenzie, The Bud Bowl, Budweiser’s “WhaaaaaaatsssssAhhhhhhhp” and all the hilarious Fed Ex Commercials. The novelty was there and the commercials truly were a thing of art–quickly making their way into the American fabric by Monday morning.

Now though–I just don’t get as excited about Super Bowl Ad’s. Watching Justin Timberlake and Elton John drink a Pepsi, or Snooki doing tax forms for H and R Block just doesn’t do it for me. Actually, the last few years have been horrific for SB commercials. Let’s hope this year is different. That and, let’s hope Go Daddy spends a TON on Danica Patrick commercials again.

DO you watch the Super Bowl? If so…are you into the commercials? Do tell!

16. That is the number of times I have passed a jar of Nutella at the grocery and paused, momentarily, before walking away resisting the temptation. I just can’t get myself to do it. I hear good things. It’s endorsed by my daughter and half her first grade class…I just can’t get myself to buy a jar of Nutella or anything with the word marmalade on it.

Last but not least for now…my 2013 “recycling like a mofo” project is proceeding wonderfully. I have always recycled, but this year I am taking it to a whole new level. I’m not a Greenpeace freak who tries to fit all my garbage in a coffee can for the year. Anything plastic, aluminum or paper gets recycled…period. And that is a ton of trash. Do you recycle? Is there anything that prevents you from doing more? Does your city still make you separate items or can you toss them all in one container?

Today is an audience participation day, my friends. Bring me your best comments and I will shower you with love and gifts. Or just love. Yes, probably just love because I am short on cash. Not like, stalking love. Friendly love that makes you smile. I forgot what I was talking about….