For today, tomorrow and every day…peace within us, peace among us.
“Unity is strength, division is weakness.” – Swahili Proverb
We need more light now, light to see clearly, light to lift our spirits, and light to find our way to unity.
Much in the news has been dark. The good news is that we have a great deal of light within us. We also have reverence, compassion, hope, and love. These gifts and others were factory-installed. Even if they have been covered with layers of fear, hate, and blame, these powerful qualities are a part of our essence. They can be reached. Within compassion there is the kindness we all need to be giving and receiving. Respect is a part of the gift of reverence. We know what hope is and why we need it. Love has healing power, and don’t we need healing?
Today is a great day for reaching inside and bringing respect, kindness, hope, and love into the world; using these gifts everywhere we go; and applying them generously in every way we can.
If we do this day-by-day, one-by-one we can warm the cold “fear/hate/blame” climate that has settled over our land. We can melt the hard divisiveness that has been fostered. We can restore the sense of togetherness and unity we need to be strong and free.
Yes. It will take a lot of one-by-ones. True. But it’s possible. It’s do-able. And there’s much to gain if we do, and much at stake if we don’t. For inspiration, please consider these quotes:
“Together we can face any challenges as deep as the ocean and as high as the sky.” – Sonia Gandhi.
“No doubt, unity is something to be desired, to be striven for, but it cannot be willed by mere declarations.” – Theodore Bikel
“Together we can change the world, just one random act of kindness at a time.” – Ron Hall
Are you in? I am.
“When you have exhausted all possibilities, remember this: you haven’t.” ~ Thomas Edison
There are times we think we’ve tried everything. At such times we may want to give up, especially if we are overtired, overworked, and surrounded by naysayers. Has this happened to you? Is it happening now? If so, please reconsider.
Whether it’s about overcoming a hardship or seizing an opportunity, think again. Edison made at least 1,000 unsuccessful attempts at inventing the light bulb before achieving success. His claim that there are more possible ways to reach our goals and realize our dreams is based on sound personal experience.
Let’s remain faithful to seeking and finding solutions to all of our life challenges and obstacles to our dreams, remembering that, when we think we’ve exhausted the possibilities, the truth is: We have not. There are more. The best is yet to be.
With love, joy, and wisdom,
#dreams #seizing opportunities #perseverance #commitment #Edison
“When life gets you down, do you know what you gotta do? Just keep swimming. Just keep swimming. Just keep swimming.” – Dory, from Little Nemo
What do you do when life gets you down?
Do you “keep swimming?
Or do you hide yourself away?
Or deny the hurt?
Or put on a happy face?
Do you pretend all is well?
Do you do something nice for someone else?
How you you take care of you?
Maybe it is to keep swimming.
Or seek help.
Or find your happy place.
Where is your happy place?
What uplifts you?
What brings you joy?
Consider listing at least 12 things that lift your spirits.
Engage in one or more every day.
A simple but good one is to practice gratitude.
Notice things that you appreciate, even if it’s just a little.
Gratefulness leads to joy.
“The tenth gift is wisdom. Wisdom will lead you through knowledge to understanding. May you hear its soft voice.” ~ from The Twelve Gifts of Birth
When I came across this image, I immediately thought of this wisdom quote in The Twelve Gifts of Birth. For me, the book morphing into nature represents knowledge transforming into deep understanding in a beautiful way. Also, whenever I am in mountains and forests, by the sea, or in any natural setting, many of The Twelve Gifts are stirred in me, among them: wisdom. Strength, beauty, compassion, hope, joy, imagination, love, reverence, and faith are usually stirred and nourished too.
If you can, spend some time in nature today. Everyday. We all need regular doses of vitamin N. Regular reflection is good for us too. There are many ways to reflect. Here’s one way:
Please clear your mind as best you can. Take several deep breaths. Place your dominant hand over your heart and your other hand over your belly. Intend to open your heart and engage with your gut feelings. Tune in.
Now look at the photo. What are you thinking? Feeling? Knowing?
Reread the quote. Consider each sentence. Notice what you are thinking, feeling, and knowing.
Now recall a time when you experienced wisdom resonating, or activating, or growing, or awakening in you. Was it like an ah-ha? Was it an intuitive knowing? What was it like? Have you ever heard or felt an inner “Yes” or “No” or other instruction?
We all have valuable wisdom stories. Perhaps just one or a few seem significant to you. Maybe many do. If you feel inclined to share one, please do. I’d love to hear from you.
With love and appreciation,
~ Mother Teresa
Mother Teresa often spoke of herself as a little pencil, so there are variations of this quote, including one that says we are all little pencils in the hand of God. I love the image and symbolism of us being instruments of the Creator.
This pencil metaphor came up recently while I was replying to a touchstone friend. Suddenly I pictured a fountain pen and felt a rush of joy. I remembered how much I loved using a fountain pen in the upper grades of elementary school. It could be messy. I often had ink stains on my hands. But oh how pretty the writing looked when I used peacock blue ink. So, for me, the pencil metaphor becomes stronger when I think of us as fountain pens. The ink flowing through the pen is an apt symbol for Love flowing through us and out to the world. The messiness works for me too. I mess up. We all do. But we’re all so beautiful too. Inside we’re brighter than peacock blue.
Perhaps you would prefer to think of yourself as a ball point pen or a crayon or not a writing implement at all. Maybe you’d rather be likened to a paint brush, or a carving chisel, or a drum, a harp, a horn, or a bell. The possibilities are nearly endless. If you know the instrument that works best for you, please let me know. In the meantime, let’s aim, like St. Francis, to be instruments of peace, love, and understanding.
“Human greatness does not lie in wealth or power, but in character and goodness. People are just people, and all people have faults and shortcomings, but all of us are born with a basic goodness.” – Anne Frank
The story below demonstrates that “people are just people.” It’s also an example of basic human goodness and dignity. The gifts of reverence, compassion, and hope too. As Alan Cohen said, “Scared and sacred are spelled with the same letters… Every negative experience holds the seed of transformation.”
My friend, Kathy, and I had just began an early morning beach walk before class at the University of Santa Monica. She and I were graduate students there. We hadn’t walked far when Kathy stopped and held her stomach. “I think I’m going to be sick,” she said. She looked like she might faint too. I knew she had just started taking a bunch of vitamins and had taken them on an empty stomach that morning. With her leaning on me, we slowly made our way toward the shade under the Santa Monica Pier.
There was a man under the pier. I had noticed him as we approached. He looked like he had spent the night there, actually many nights. I avoided making eye contact.
Once there, sure enough, Kathy was sick. Neither of us had water or a tissue.
Tenuously, the homeless man approached us. “I don’t have any water but you’re welcome to what I have,” he said, holding up a bag wrapped around a bottle of amber liquid.
He was sincere and kind, gentlemanly and generous.
In an instant, that man, and the whole situation of Kathy sick under the pier, went from ugly to beautiful and from scared to sacred. There was nothing “other” about him. Nothing offensive. Nothing frightening. There was nothing to judge. He was one of us, three people with basic goodness who happened to be under the pier at the same time.
With love, gratitude, and joy,
“Abundance is a process of letting go; that which is empty can receive.” ~ Bryant H. McGill
Several of my recent Touchstones have been about letting go of excess stuff – material things and emotional upsets. As often happens, I soon got to experience the topic I was writing about. I was put to the test. Well, as Terry Brooks and others say, “We are constantly being put to the test.” So what happened? And how did I do? you might ask.
After finding a few nice deals in a discount store, I carried my bag of purchases into the neighboring department store, which was extremely busy. In the crowd confusion, I somehow lost my bag from the previous store. Retracing my steps, searching the store, and checking with the staff were all unsuccessful. And at the end of the day nothing had been turned into lost and found.
Because the items were things I wanted to give to my grandchildren, I felt upset with the loss, upset with myself, and upset with whomever found that bag and kept it. For hours I could not shake my feelings of disappointment, frustration, and judgment. I certainly was not “traveling light” as yesterday’s touchstone prescribed. Finally, I remembered that I could think about it differently and bring myself closer to a state of inner peace. I decided to imagine the delight of a parent and child finding an abandoned bag, opening it, and seeing that it contained some things needed by the child for school. To them it might have seemed like something left by a heavenly or earthly angel. They might have felt extreme gratitude and joy.
Did this happen? I don’t know. But I decided to reframe the incident and think of myself as being divinely used. I trusted that whomever found “my stuff” needed it more than I did. Shortly thereafter the emotional upset with myself was lifted.
I hope a little girl is happily wearing the oh-so-soft shirt I selected for Alexis. Please know that letting go is not always easy for me.
I’ll be continuing to work on it.
Join me? Let’s see what happens,
especially when we’re tested.
Just Published, available now as an e-book from Amazon at .99
ABOUT THIS BOOK
Want to enrich your life with more beauty?
Sweeten it with deeper love?
Soften it with kinder compassion?
Brighten it with higher joy?
Refresh it with renewed hope?
Empower it with boosted courage?
Start each day by opening these natural gifts in you with the help of a message from Today’s Touchstone. Like a miniature box of chocolates, this exquisite little book offers a sampling of Today’s Touchstone messages for you to try. Read a few. Then a few more. Get a taste of them. Notice how you feel.
“It’s like a box of sampler chocolates. Delicious!”
This book is dedicated to my readers. Thank you for your comments, questions, personal stories, smiley faces and more. I love hearing from you.
If you’re not yet a reader or familiar with THE TWELVE GIFTS, I published this with you in my mind and heart too.
I hope you will treat yourself to this new book and enjoy the samples so much that you’ll want to receive the full assortment. One freshly-made message is sent each morning at dawn. Each Today’s Touchstone is intended to enrich the day of all who receive it by touching upon one of the 12 gifts celebrated in The Twelve Gifts of Birth and by nurturing that gift in each reader. The day’s featured gift might be strength. It could be courage or compassion. Joy is often celebrated. Some days the focus is faith. Talent, imagination, reverence and wisdom are all highlighted at times. Whatever gift is showcased, each Today’s Touchstone message is life-affirming and nourishing for the mind, heart and soul.
To all… May you recognize your gifts and help others to see theirs.
“Promise me you’ll always remember:
you’re braver than you believe,
and stronger than you seem,
and smarter than you think,”
said Christopher Robin
to his best friend, Pooh.
I now wish
to say the same thing to you.
You’re also more beautiful
than you know
and more talented too.
You’re all this and more.
If only you knew,
you’d feel light, bright, and shiny
like a penny brand new.
May the love in your heart
help you know
this message is honest
and really true.
I believe, do you?