Archive | July 2012

SPILLED MILK?

Milk spilled on table

Accidents happen. Every mishap is an opportunity to learn something and to grow in compassion, hope, and wisdom.

To help relieve upset about a mistake, find a beneficial use for it. Responding with care and creativity is a great way to help children stay calm and confident during blunders.  It also nurtures their self-worth and builds resourcefulness.

For example, spilled milk can be used to get ink stains from clothes, clean plant leaves, repair cracked china, polish silverware, soothe insect bites, and even make cool “milk art.”

 

What’s “milk art”?  Try this and see. Suction or wipe up the spilled milk and squeeze it into a bowl. Drop food dye of various colors one-by-one on to the center, on top of each another. Top that off with a drop of dish detergent, and watch what happens. Enjoy the magical swirl. Promise your children that you’ll do it again on purpose, without having to wait for a spill, or future milk spills might not be accidents!

If you don’t have children, consider doing this for yourself. 

Life is good. Use your gifts and live well each day.  

Color swirls in milk.

AMISH GRACE

Amish Rocker

Years ago, I lived in western New York, not far from an Amish settlement. Whenever I saw their horse-drawn buggies, I felt prompted to simplify things in my own life. An Amish rocker I bought back then continues to be one of my present-day touchstones for beauty, reverence, and compassion.

 

 So when I recently came across the film Amish Grace, I was eager to see it.

 

 The film is a fictionalized portrayal of what happened in Nickel Mines, Pennsylvania, on October 2, 2006. On that day, a troubled man, who was not Amish, entered the one-room Amish school there, shot 10 girls, and then killed himself. Five of those girls died immediately or soon afterwards. Five were seriously wounded.

 

 The focus of Amish Grace is not on the violence but on what happened in the aftermath of the massacre.

 

 In the film we see that, on the very same day of the horrific event, three Amish men go to the gunman’s home and offer condolences to the gunman’s widow and her family. They express concern for her young children. They tell her that they hold no grudge or judgment against her. They forgive her husband. They even offer to help.

The world watches in amazement. Reporters ask, “Is the forgiveness real? Or is it an act? If it’s real, how can it be?”

 

 Watching the film, we learn that the forgiveness was real. We learn that the Amish forgive because, from early childhood, they are taught, by biblical readings and example, that they must forgive. But, forgiveness does not always come easily, even for the Amish. In fact, the main character repeatedly screams that she cannot–and will not–forgive the murder of her daughter. It is not until that mother learns that her daughter died showing kindness toward the gunman and praying for him that the mother is able to let go of hating the murderer.

 Another powerful scene is when a young girl declares that she too hates the man who did it. Her father patiently inquires about how the hate feels. “Does it feel good inside?” he asks his daughter.

 

 “Not very good,” the child answers.

 

 The father then teaches his daughter about hate and its consequences. First, he acknowledges the hate that she feels. He makes room for it. Only after showing acceptance and understanding of his daughter’s feelings does he go on to describe how “hate is a big thing with sharp teeth. It will eat up your whole heart and leave no room for love.”

 

 As I watched that scene, I understood: Hate can eat up our hearts and leave no room for loving.

 

 For our own health and happiness, we must forgive. And with grace, we can.

 

LET WISDOM POINT THE WAY

Cairn Pointing the Way

                                                                                                                                                                      Questioning? Looking for direction? Open your gifts and let wisdom point the way. Watch for inner and outer signs today.

 

 

NOTHING IS IMPOSSIBLE

Daisies on a beach

“Nothing is impossible,” Audrey Hepburn said. “The word itself says, ‘I’m possible.” Watch for new growth and new life everywhere, with hope.

IT’S NOT EASY BEING GREEN

Frog

Ever feel like Kermit or this Mr. Froggy? Like it’s not easy being you? No, “It’s not easy being green,” as the song goes… or beige or brown or blue. When feeing down, remember your sweet gift of compassion. Open it for yourself. Compassion doesn’t make life easy but it does help to make everything easier…  and beautiful too.