spring came but once in a century instead of once a
year, or burst forth with the sound of an earthquake
and not in silence, what wonder and expectation
there would be in all hearts, to behold the
who always greet and constantly revere the aged, for
things will increase to them: life, beauty,
handful of pine seed will cover mountains with the green
majesty of forest. I too will set my face to the
wind and throw my handful of seed on high.
You Believe in Magic?
At a certain point, life becomes less about who you're becoming
and more about who you've become. What you used to think
of as the future has become the present, and you can't help but
wonder if your life wouldn't be better if you'd just lived it
more fully in the past. But how could you have? You
were too busy thinking about the future!
Once you're past a certain age, you can hardly believe you
wasted even one minute of your youth not enjoying it. And
the last thing you want to do now is steal any more life from
yourself by failing to be deeply in it while it's
happening. You finally get it--not just theoretically, but
viscerally--that this moment is all you have.
You don't close your eyes anymore and wonder who you might
be in 20 years; if you're smart, you study the tape of your
current existence to monitor how you're doing now. You see
the present as an ongoing act of creation. You look more
closely at your thoughts, behavior, and interaction with
others. You understand that if you're coming at life from
fear and separation, you have no reason to expect anything but
fear and separation back. You seek to increase your
strengths and decrease your weaknesses. You look at your
wounds and ask God to heal them. You ask forgiveness for
the things you're ashamed of. You no longer seek your
satisfaction in things outside yourself, completion in other
people, or peace of mind in either the past or future. You
are who you are, not who you might one day be. Your
life is what it is, not what it might someday be.
Focusing on who you are and what your life is right now, you
come to the ironic and almost amusing realization that, yes, the
fun is in the journey itself.
One of my
biggest regrets is missing the Christmas pageant at my daughter's
preschool when she was three years old. On the one hand,
someone working for me didn't bother to tell me about it; on the
other, I'd obviously given off the vibe that I wouldn't care or
didn't have time to go. And now sometimes I think to myself
what I wouldn't give to see that pageant now. I have a
memory missing, and it feels like a hole where a smile should be.
I was ashamed to admit it, when finally I did, that I'd become a
bit like my father, who was so concerned about his career in his
40s and 50s that his emotional availability to his children was
relegated to only one day of the week. On Sundays, I had
him; every other day, I longed for him. Years later, when
his first granddaughter came along, he'd aged to that more mellow
place where being present to a child seemed at last more
satisfying than being present to his work.
I used to feel jealous of the little girls whom he grandfathered
with so much care and attention. I knew that if he had
fathered me the way he grandfathered them, I would have become a
different woman. How horrified I was years later to hear my
five-year-old daughter say these pitiful words: "I miss
my mommy even when she's here."
Seeing places where we have been unconscious before, we have a
desire to do it all again--but right this time! And
in some cases we can. Many people atone for not having been
better parents by being much better grandparents. And that's
often how their children forgive them. But some situations
aren't so amenable to redoing, and some years can't so easily be
made up. That's why it's so important to appreciate that the
best time to be your best is in the present moment. You'll
never have a better chance.
purpose of this book by best-selling author and lecturer
Marianne Williamson is to psychologically and spiritually
reframe the midlife transition so that it leads to a
wonderful sense of joy and awakening. In our
ability to rethink our lives lies our greatest power to
change them. When we were young, we had energy
but we were clueless about what to do with it.
Today, we have less energy, perhaps, but we have far more
understanding of what each breath of life is for.
And now at last, we have a destiny to fulfill—not a
destiny of a life that’s simply over, but rather a
destiny of a life that is finally truly lived.
Can Be Happy
Barthel said, "Happiness is a conscious
choice. It is not an automatic
response." Happiness is an attitude--not
a when and a where but a here
and a now.
Prager said, "Fun is what we experience during
an act. Happiness is what we experience after
an act. It is a deeper, more abiding
emotion." Going to an amusement park or
ball game, or watching a movie or television
program, helps us relax and temporarily forget our
problems and maybe even laugh. But these
activities do not bring happiness because their
positive effect ends when the fun ends.
also observed that people who claim to believe that
a fun-filled, pain-free life equals happiness
actually diminish their chances of attaining real
happiness. If fun and pleasure equate with
happiness, then it stands to reason that pain must
equate with unhappiness. But the opposite is
true. More times than not, things that lead to
happiness involve some pain. He's right.
Happiness is not pleasure; it's victory over odds
that seem to be insurmountable.
the last three decades Americans have pursued the
almighty dollar, and our real purchasing power has
gone up significantly. However, all studies
indicate that the quality of life has not
improved. In short, the pursuit of the money
does not produce the happiness that most people
seek. Kids say they prefer their parents'
presence over their presents. Husbands and
wives say they want more time together, yet stay so
busy either earning more money or watching
television that time spent with friends and family
has declined. By contrast, the Amish people,
who are a religious, close-knit family group with
few material goods, are much happier because they
have the security of family and friends when
friendships and stay close to your family because
one of these days you will say either, "I'm
glad I did," or "I wish I had."
daily grind can be exhausting--both physically
and mentally. Motivational speaker Zig Ziglar
offers this devotional as an antidote to
jump start your day! You can face each weekday
morning with a power-packed message and end
the day with encouraging words that will
promote restful sleep. Full of motivation and
inspiration, Staying Up, Up, Up in a Down,
Down World is a combination of inspiring
vignettes, humorous anecdotes, well-chosen
quotes, and relevant Scriptures.
Reasons to Play!
2. Time just for me.
3. Connect with old friends.
4. Make new friends.
5. Have extra energy.
6. Learn a new skill.
7. Expand my interests.
8. Expand my world.
9. Think more clearly.
10. Have fun.
11. Sleep better.
12. Be in a better mood.
13. Be happy.
14. Be healthier.
15. Be with my dog.
16. Be strong.
17. Increase my strength.
18. Be independent.
20. Time to problem solve.
21. Reduce stress.
22. Be with God.
23. Be in nature.
Get a suntan.
25. Be me!
26. Sweat out toxins.
27. Eat healthier.
28. Renew my enthusiasm for life.
29. Be powerful.
30. Because I want to!
you play, you benefit from the physical movement,
the intellectual stimulation and the creative
expression. You'll feel better about yourself,
and many forms of active play will actually help you
to get in better shape physically. So while
you may think you don't have time to play, this is
the best thing you could possible be doing.
From her book Permission to Play, 2003.
Life Fully, the e-zine
exists to try to provide for visitors of the world wide web a
of growth, peace, inspiration, and encouragement. Our
are presented as thoughts of the authors--by no means do
mean to present them as ways that anyone has to live
from them what you will, and disagree with
whatever you disagree
with--just know that they'll be here for you
|Eyes Wide Open
sometimes amazes me to find out new things about
people I thought I knew. Yesterday a colleague
told me a bit of her history with her family as a
child, for we were talking about working with
at-risk kids, and her story made it very clear that
she was pretty much at-risk herself. I know
other people who came from backgrounds similar to
hers who have made a lot of their lives, who have
accomplished an amazing number of things in their
lives in spite of their childhoods.
know other people who faced their greatest
challenges in adulthood, when they were fired
unfairly from jobs, when a spouse was unfaithful,
when they went through serious health problems, when
they had to suffer through the death of a loved
one--the ways that we end up suffering are
incredibly numerous, but it amazes me just how many
people are able to come through that suffering not
just whole, but even a bit stronger than they were
think that the thing that amazes me the most is the
fact that it's almost impossible to pick these
people out from others in a crowd. I once
worked with a woman who was battling cancer the
entire time I knew her; because she preferred to
keep that battle secret, none of us in our office
knew how much she was suffering until we came to
work one day and were told that she had passed away
the night before.
of the reasons that I rarely get upset with students
is that I've read papers written by all of them that
have been in my classes. In those papers I
read about violent family situations, lost loved
ones, betrayal, hopelessness, despair, emotional and
physical abuse, and many other things that teenagers
simply shouldn't have to deal with ever, much less
at their vulnerable age. So when I see a
student acting out in my class, I have to step back
and ask myself what might be behind the behaviors,
for I know that many of the kids are hiding very
well situations that might make other people
crumble. It's not always the case, obviously,
but it's often enough true that it would be a huge
disservice to them if I were always to punish or
chastise for every little thing that they do.
easy to watch sports and feel a bit of envy for the
athletes who have had the time and money to dedicate
themselves to training, rather than living a
"real life" like the rest of us.
After all, they travel the world to compete, seeing
wonderful new countries and staying in nice hotels
and living a life of apparent luxury. It falls
into a clearer perspective, however, when we learn
of some of the obstacles that many athletes have
gone through to get where they are. Lance
Armstrong's cancer battle is one of the most famous,
but there are Olympic gold medallists who have
suffered life- or career-threatening accidents;
professional football players who have overcome huge
obstacles to finish college and move on to the pros;
athletes everywhere who were told as children that
they were wasting their time, that they'd never
reach their dreams.
woman in the next cubicle may be raising three
children on her own because her husband left her and
her children, yet she comes to work every day for
the sake of her children, even though she's worried
about their health care and their well-being.
The man at the register at the supermarket may be
like a former neighbor of mine, who went through a
long battle with melanoma, but never burdened his
neighbors with that fact. Your waitress at the
restaurant may be trying to put herself through
nursing school while living on meager wages,
sleeping only three or four hours a night.
That man who's fixing your car may go home to a wife
who has been ill for years and who can't work, so
it's up to him to support them both, and that's why
he has a second job that we don't know about when we
see him fixing our car.
is not as it seems. We know that. But it
may make our lives easier--and richer--when we keep
in mind that we're surrounded by people who have
made their ways through obstacles that we can't even
imagine going through. We're surrounded by
courageous, resilient people who haven't given up
when times have been hard--or who aren't giving up
even though times are difficult for them now.
If we can recognize this fact and allow it to be a
part of ourselves, we may find that the strength we
recognize in others can help us to get through our
own difficulties, for we have many role models all
around us, even though we're blind to them as role
models simply because we don't see their
problems. But there's no need to stay ignorant
of this fact--let's start looking at the people
around us as the amazing and wonderful human beings
that they are, and not just as anonymous people whom
we don't know.
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right-click on the picture that appears
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He was going to be all that a mortal should be tomorrow.
No one should be kinder or braver than he tomorrow.
A friend who was troubled and weary he knew,
Who'd be glad of a lift and who needed it, too;
On him he would call and see what he could do, tomorrow.
morning he stacked up the letters he'd write, tomorrow,
And thought of the folks he would fill with delight,
It was too bad, indeed, he was busy today,
And hadn't a minute to stop on his way;
More time he would have to give others, he'd say, tomorrow.
greatest of workers this man would have been, tomorrow.
The world would have known him, had he ever seen tomorrow.
But the fact is he died and he faded from view,
And all that he left here when living was through
Was a mountain of things he intended to do, tomorrow.
|Help us to keep
our roads safe; please pass this on and remind
people that thousands of people die each year
because of this, and hundreds of thousands are
from "The Dangers of
Distracted Driving," by Ker Than, TechNewsDaily
The U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT)
recently launched a website, www.distraction.gov, to
educate the public about how dangerous distracted
"At the U.S. Department of Transportation,
we heard America’s call to end the dangerous
practice of distracted driving on our nation’s
roadways," a statement on the Web site reads.
"Distracted driving is a serious,
life-threatening practice and we will not rest until
we stop it."
The Web site cites several university studies
that show, among other things, that using a cell
phone while driving delays a driver's reactions as
much as having a blood alcohol concentration at the
legal limit of .08 percent, and that driving while
using a cell phone reduces the amount of brain
activity associated with driving by 37 percent.
A 2006 study by researchers at the University of
Utah that involved a driving simulator showed that
people who talk on their cell phones while driving
are as impaired as drunk drivers. In fact,
text-messaging drivers may be even more dangerous:
While some of the participants crashed their virtual
vehicles while sober and chatting, none of them
crashed while drunk.
Texting while driving can also increase the
likelihood of running over and killing pedestrians,
a 2009 study by the same team found. That research,
which involved 21 teens and a driving simulator,
found that texting while driving or even fiddling
with music players while driving increased
"lane position deviation" and rapid
changes in speed.