One of the most powerful dreams I was ever given was a visitation from my maternal Grandfather who came to me as an adult, twenty years after he died. Like many ancestral dreams, it was singularly vivid and more lucid than everyday dreams.
I looked into the bright clarity of his eyes, felt the warmth and weight of his hand on my shoulder, and recognized the melody of his thick accent even though I was seven years old when last I heard it.
We cannot banish dangers, but we can banish fears.
We must not demean life by standing in awe of death.
In 1994, I lost my brother Ron. In 2008, I lost my sister Micki. In 2011, I lost both my parents within two weeks of each other.
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A new blog: dreams-symbols-spiritualities
“We shall require a substantially new manner of thinking if mankind is to survive.” Albert Einstein
For well over 2000 years a competitive mindset has dominated the world’s most powerful human civilizations. The goals of our leaders (as well as most members) have been to conquer, defeat or control whatever (and whomever) we can. Those who thought differently were quickly pushed to the side, silenced, enslaved, ignored or demonized.
“I spent 33 years and four months in active military service and during that period I spent most of my time as a high class muscle man for Big Business, for Wall Street and the bankers. In short, I was a racketeer, a gangster for capitalism.
Fairy tales are about trouble, about getting into and out of it, and trouble seems to be a necessary stage on the route to becoming. All the magic and glass mountains and pearls the size of houses and princesses beautiful as the day and talking birds and part-time serpents are distractions from the core of most of the stories, the struggle to survive against adversaries, to find your place in the world, and to come into your own.
Though it’s fearful,
though it’s deep,
though it’s dark,
though you may lose the path,
though you may encounter wolves,
you can’t just act,
you have to listen.
If someone had told me five years ago that I would be living happily ever after on a small farm in western Oklahoma, I would have adamantly denied the possibility. Back then, I was a confirmed city girl. I enjoyed the amenities of city life. Then my husband and I decided to move from our longtime home in the city. We looked at houses in several surrounding communities, but nothing suited our needs or our budget.
It’s time to show our sons how to properly treat a woman.
It’s time to show our daughters how a girl should expect be treated.
Books are door-shaped
helping me feel
One April afternoon a few days after my twenty-first birthday, my parents announced that they were ready to give me a belated birthday present. Wheelchair-bound since birth, I propelled myself into the living room where my parents anxiously waited.
Her world had shattered with the divorce.
Bills, house payments, health insurance. Her part-time job provided little income and fewer benefits. With no financial support, she had finally lost the house.
Forget about your life situation and pay attention to your life.
A tree is like a friend,
a friend that you can sow.
With a small and simple gesture,
thus can a forest grow.
May all that is unforgiven in you
We tend to forget that happiness doesn’t come as a result of getting something we don’t have, but rather of recognizing and appreciating what we do have.
Mindfulness is about love and loving life.
Continue reading “Mindfulness”
This insightful article on how girls and boys confront new and challenging material differently is one that many parents of Mighty Girls have found helpful in thinking about the praise and feedback we give to children. As psychologist Heidi Grant Halvorson writes in Psychology Today, “[In] my experience, smart and talented women rarely realize that one of the toughest hurdles they’ll have to overcome to be successful lies within. We judge our own abilities not only more harshly, but fundamentally differently, than men do. Understanding why we do it is the first step to righting a terrible wrong. And to do that, we need to take a step back in time.”
It is during childhood that you develop many of the beliefs about yourself. Perhaps you grew up feeling like an outsider. Or maybe you had a parent who was verbally abusive. This type of experiences can lead you to believe you’re a loser or a failure. Continue reading “The key to self-esteem”
Christmas renews our youth by stirring our wonder.
The capacity for wonder has been called our most pregnant human faculty,
for in it are born our art, our science, our religion.
“I’ve been thinking about our next trip,” my husband Mel announced on a sunny Colorado morning. “Antarctica is the only continent I haven’t visited.”
I knew this meant he had already surfed the Internet and contacted travel agencies for detailed information. We were going to Antarctica. Continue reading “God’s S.O.S”
Neftalí, who spoons the water from the cloud to the snow cap, to the river, and feeds it to the hungry ocean?
Neftalí, to which mistable land does an unfinished staircase lead?
What does the wind give? What does the wind take away? Continue reading “The dreamer”
There once were two childhood friends who were determined to remain close companions always. When they were grown, they each married and built their houses facing one another. Just a small path formed a border between their farms. Continue reading “The red and blue coat”
Somewhere in every heart there is a discerning voice.
This voice distrusts the status quo.
It sounds out the falsity in things and encourages dissent from the images things tend to assume. Continue reading “The inner voice”
“Good morning, Sam!” says Miss Miller. “How are you? I want you to read today.”
“Yes, Miss Miller,” says Sam. He’s very worried. Sam can’t read.
All the other children can read. But Sam looks at the pages and he can’t read. Continue reading “Well done, Sam!”
Virgie was always begging to go to school with us boys. All summer long she kept asking and asking.
“School’s too far,” Nelson said.
“School’s too long,” Will said.
“School’s too hard,” George said.
“And you too little,” Val said. Continue reading “Virgie goes to school with us boys”
My granddaughter, Nasreen, lives with me in Herat, an ancient city in Afghanistan. Art and music and learning once flourished here.
Then the soldiers came and changed everything. The art and music and learning are gone. Dark clouds hang over the city. Continue reading “Nasreen’s Secret School -A true story from Afghanistan”
It was the end of summer. The katydids were still buzzing when I finally summoned up the courage to ask my dad if I could stay with him and Gramma for the school year instead of going back to California to be with Mom like always. “Your mother would miss you, Trisha, but I will talk to her,” Dad said.
I had a reason for staying. A good reason. Continue reading “The junkyard wonders”
It was Elizabeti’s first day of school. She tried to sit still while Mama braided her hair, but she was so excited that she had to fidget a little.
Mama finished and Elizabeti jumped up. She twirled around and around in her new school uniform.
Continue reading “Elizabeti’s school”
There was once a large country that was ruled by a General. The people believed that their way of life was the best. They had a very strong army, and they had the cannon.
From time to time the General would take his army and attack a nearby country “It’s for their own good,” he said. “So they can be like us.” Continue reading “The conquerors”
Mama Sebona lived on a hillside, a long way from the shop.
To get to the shop, she had to walk along the footpath, down the hill, through the river, in and out of the rocks, up and over the ridge, along the valley and through the mealie-fields to the dusty road where there was a little white shop with a red tin roof under the gum trees.
It was a long way. Continue reading “Mama Sebona’s Shopping”
A jataka tale from India
The King of Benares and the King of Kosala once met on the road. Each sat erect in his chariot, taking the middle of the road. Each refused to make way for the other.
The charioteer of the King of Benares thought to solve this dilemma by letting the older of the two pass first. But on inquiry he found both to be of the same age. Continue reading “A Lesson for Kings”
One by one, the familiar sounds of morning drew Shenaz from her sleep. Her mother breathing life into the fire, the hiss and crackle of the twigs as the flames caught, the whispering of the soot-blackened kettle as the water came to the boil. Continue reading “Cloud Tea Monkeys”
The Royal Bee was inspired by the true story of our grandfather; Hong Seung Han, when he was an illiterate boy in late nineteenth-century Korea. Too poor to attend school, he would eavesdrop at the door of the rich children’s schoolhouse until he was eventually allowed to attend. After he won a national academic contest, the Governor of his province invited him to reside in the palace. There, he tutored the Governor’s young son while continuing his education.
Years later our grandfather attended seminary in Pyongyang under the teachings of an American missionary and became a prominent church minister. In 1905 he wed our grandmother; Pang Seung Hwa. Together they became missionaries in China. Continue reading “The royal bee”
Joyce danced when the rabbits came. There was a ‘he’ buck rabbit and a ‘she’ doe rabbit. They weren’t at all like the thin, grey rabbits Joyce saw in the open country they called the bush. These were fat, white rabbits with pink eyes and fluffed up fur. They were bigger and a different shape. Joyce’s mother bundled them out of her basket and put them together in one wooden hutch. Continue reading “The Bush”
Listen to the noise!
“Weh, weh, wh!” Uzuti is crying. Adelaide is shouting. “Mongi, give me back my yellow pen!” Mama calls, “Shepherd, get up! Come on, Shepherd.” Mr Motiki’s dog is barking at someone coming up the road. Continue reading “Not so fast, Songololo!”
A long time ago before the first white man set foot in the New World an Indian girl called Lalita awoke from a frightening dream. She had seen great white birds crossing the ocean and a mighty wind that shook the trees so hard their trunks bent. She had heard the trees crying. Continue reading “The Song of the Trees”
There is a story told of a king who lived long ago in a country across the sea. He was a very wise king, and spared no effort to teach his people good habits. Often he did things which seemed to them strange and useless; but all that he did, he did to teach his people to be industrious and careful. Continue reading “The stone in the road”
I like my teacher.
Not because she is tall
Not because she is beautiful
I like her
just the same. Continue reading “Why I like my teacher”
One morning, Martin woke up in the worst of moods. Actually, Martin was always in a bad mood. But not for lack of a smiling mother, an affectionate father, a beautiful house, and all those things that usually make us happy. Continue reading “Alfie, the elf, teacher of happiness”
Don’t make a habit of lying.
You will always be alone.
Fire, Water, Truth and Falsehood
One day they went hunting together. They found a large number of cattle and began driving them home to their village. “Let us share these cattle equally,” said Truth as they traveled across the grasslands. “This is the fair way to divide our captives.”Long ago, Fire, Water, Truth, and Falsehood lived together in one large house. Although all were polite toward each other, they kept their distance. Truth and Falsehood sat on opposite sides of the room. Fire constantly leapt out of Water’s path. Continue reading “Sincerity”
There was once a wide, windswept place, near nowhere and close to forgotten, that was filled with all the things that no one wanted.
Right in the middle was a small house, with small windows, that looked out on other people’s garbage and bad weather. Continue reading “The tin forest”
Nature is generous to people.
Respect the much it gives you.
Our big home
We all live here.
People, ants, elephants, trees, lizards, lichen, turtles, bees.
We all share the same big home.
We share the water. We splash and slosh and swim in water.
And, of course, we all drink water.
Whales, dolphins, manatees, penguins, palm trees, you and me. Continue reading “Respect for Nature”
Peace is more than the absence of war.
Look for peace within and around yourself.
Max and Peter were third grade students who lived in the same street of a small town. They had always been best friends until, one day, they had an argument and began hating each other. Continue reading “Peace”
Willing yourself to be happy, successful, wealthy, number one, famous, the top salesperson, or the richest person in your community are ideas born of the ego and its obsessive self-absorption.
In the name of this willpower, people run roughshod over anyone who gets in their way cheating, stealing, and deceiving to accomplish their personal intention. Continue reading “Happiness?”
Rushing to judgment about another may only hurt yourself.
Three Zen masters—one from Korea, one from Vietnam, and one from the United States—have offered powerful teachings to keep us from rushing to judgment about others, teachings that can save a relationship. Continue reading “How Keeping a Zen Mind Can Save a Relationship”
Ten-year-old John McNeil ran barefoot out the door on a windy, cold day in February and headed straight for the 125-foot electrical tower behind the McNeil home. John didn’t realize the dangers of the structure, which carries power from Hoover Dam to the southern Arizona communities. He didn’t know that it carried 230,000 sizzling volts through its silver wires. He wasn’t even aware that he had forgotten his shoes. John suffers from autism, a condition that separates him from reality, forcing him to live within his own thoughts. That day his thoughts were set on climbing to the top of that tower, touching the sky and feeling what it’s like to fly. Continue reading “The Tower”
Mama’s face is chestnut brown.
Her dark brown eyes are bright as bees.
Papa’s face turns pink in the sun;
his blue eyes squinch up when he smiles. Continue reading “Black, white, just right”
Susan* bought her 6-year-old son John an iPad when he was in first grade. “I thought, ‘Why not let him get a jump on things?’” she told me during a therapy session. John’s school had begun using the devices with younger and younger grades — and his technology teacher had raved about their educational benefits — so Susan wanted to do what was best for her sandy-haired boy who loved reading and playing baseball. Continue reading “It’s ‘digital heroin’: How screens turn kids into psychotic junkies”
I was scared to death of death. I suppose everyone is scared of death in some way, but I avoided thinking about it at all costs. When my significant other decided she wanted to get a dog, I loved the idea — except I knew that one day I would have to see it die, and so I resisted as long as I could. We ended up with two dogs, and when the first one died, I happened to be 3,000 miles away, which was a great relief to me. Continue reading “A Smiling Journey in Darkness”
Just look at my life! Should I be feeling gratitude, or have I been ripped off? Is the glass half-empty or half-full?I can complain that rose bushes have thorns, or I can be grateful that some thorn bushes have roses. Continue reading “Gratitude: A Healing Attitude”
A happiness that is sought for ourselves alone can never be found:
for a happiness that is diminished by being shared
is not big enough to make us happy. Continue reading “Happiness”
Of the many things that silence can be and do for us,
the most powerful might be its ability to reset our minds and hearts,
a blank canvas upon which to paint the story of our lives. Continue reading “Silence”
Ava’s father believed that myths and fairy tales – like dreams – opened a window into the unconscious. By listening to the language of dreams and old tales, he said, all humans could learn to understand themselves and the world, better. Continue reading “Window”
“I am one. Not half of something.” I spoke those words from a stage in Duluth, Minnesota, where people had braved the frigid temperatures to attend my presentation and book signing. As a single thirty-something, I have finally learned that I do not need to be part of a couple in order to feel complete. Sure, someday, I would like to be married and have a family, but my life will not start then. I am living happily ever after right now. Continue reading “Becoming whole”
Positive thinking is a valuable tool that can help you overcome obstacles, deal with pain, and reach new goals. The benefits of looking on the bright side have been clearly documented. Research studies have discovered that optimistic people tend to enjoy increased marital satisfaction, better physical health, and higher incomes. Continue reading “Why Thinking Positive Thoughts Won’t Get You What You Want”
I believe everyday Continue reading “I believe”
Live gently Continue reading “Live gently”
I usually spend my time talking about the bad habits that rob you of mental strength. After all, it only takes one bad habit to hold you back from reaching your greatest potential. But in addition to giving up those bad habits, it’s also important to perform exercises that strengthen your mental muscle, because with hard work and dedication, you can train your brain to perform at its peak. Continue reading “18 Things Mentally Strong People Do”
I’ve learned that fear limits you and your vision.
It serves as blinders to what may be just a few steps down the road for you.
The journey is valuable, but believing in your talents, your abilities, and your self-worth can empower you to walk down an even brighter path. Continue reading “Freedom”
We cannot live only for ourselves. Continue reading “Fibers”
Little things seem nothing, but they give peace,
like those meadow flowers which individually seem odorless
but all together perfume the air. Continue reading “Little Things”
In this Easter morning, let us look at the life we have been so generously given. Let us abandon the useless baggage that we carry – old pains, old habits, old ways of seeing and feeling – and have the courage to begin again. Continue reading “Easter”
One of the great and slightly strange dangers of falling in love with someone is how we may respond the day they start to love us back.
Some of the reasons we fall in love with people is because we long to escape from ourselves into the embrace of a person who appears as beautiful perfect and accomplished as we feel ourselves to be flawed, dumb and mediocre. But what if such a being were one day turn around and love us back? Nothing could discredit them faster. How could they be as divine as we had hoped when they have the bad taste to approve of someone like us? Continue reading “Love and Self-Love”
Each second we live is a new and unique moment of the universe, a moment that will never be again.
And what do we teach our children? Continue reading “Each second”
The woods were made for the hunters of dreams,
The brooks for the fishers of song.
To the hunters who hunt for the gunless game
The streams and the woods belong. Continue reading “Woods”
I imagined many things when my children were little but I never envisaged a day when they would take part in a hair-shaving ceremony — for me. Continue reading “A Family Affair”