Category: The Art of Dreaming and Positive Thinking

Winning in the Long Jump

Winning in the Long Jump

His legs were short. He walked with a limp. He wasn’t too smart—not smart enough to know that the long jump was a sport for guys different than him. Yet he pursued.

She was overweight. Her feet weren’t so flexible. Her shoulders a little slumped over. Yet, her desire to be a ballet dancer outweighed all of the above. She pursued her dream.

He was told at 15 that he would never become anything. He spent all of his time at the computer playing games and becoming a wizard at them. At 17 he began to develop computer games that made him a millionaire. He pursued his passion.

So many times in my life I put aside what I hungered for in my heart to live a life that took less courage and tenacity. I wonder if I continued in my pursuit of acting, singing, writing, and recording, if I would have made something great of myself. But I never stretched beyond myself to feel the pain of struggle or knew what ignoring rejection meant.

I suppose that rejection of what it took came from a deep-seated knowing that I had struggled enough as a child. I never wanted to go hungry again. I had been rejected by my own mother, when she left my father, and I didn’t see her again for the next six years. I suppose that following a path like theater and writing and recording, where rejection is paramount, was just a little too much for me to fathom after a time.

So, the two things that bring greatness to the surface, deep passion great enough to overcome rejection and the consistent pursuit despite the times when there is no money to live were not in the cards for me. So, does that mean that I’ll never be able really be successful at my own long jump?

You know, I’m not ready to give up on any dream right now in my life. I go back to the idea that God is unlimited. I am a part of that same unlimited God. So, there is unlimited possibility in my life as well.

Do I have to struggle to get my life long dreams? I’m not sure of that either?

When we’re young, everything has a different price on it. Right? As an older man of 52, I don’t believe in struggle anymore. I don’t believe in sacrifice either. I do believe in hard work and preparation. So, every day I do what I can to be prepared for all the things I want in life.

If I’m not prepared, I continue on the path toward being prepared. For instance, I have a book that I wrote about a year ago. I decided not go with the current publisher I was working with because it seemed we were on different pages moving forward with my career. So, I decided to wait on God for the right opportunity.

In the past three months I have had a couple opportunities come up that look promising. (This is where preparation and openness to spirit comes in.) You see, the best things in my life have come not from struggle, but from what had been set before me, as if on a golden platter by God.

And as far as rejection goes, I don’t believe there is any such thing anymore, especially if God is in control of what happens. Rejection is a state of mind. If I choose to feel rejected, then I will be rejected. If I choose to be the person that simply wasn’t the right person for the project, that’s a much better place to be for me. The story isn’t over for any of us, until we make it over. Always remember that.

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A Long and Winding Road

A Long and Winding Road

We may not all remember the Beetles song, “The Long and Winding Road,” because some of you are so young. So, here is the first verse:

The Long and Winding Road

That Leads Me to Your Door

Will Never Disappear

I’ve Seen that Road Before

It Always Leads Me Here

Lead Me to Your door…

            This—to me—is the metaphor of spiritual life.

The prodigal son leaves to go on a journey far away from the protection of his father’s money and love to find that separation from home isn’t all that it’s cracked up to be. Empty handed and beaten down, he returns home.

The husband leaves his wife for the sexy secretary only to find that she is needy, wants a father not a partner, and is completely codependent. The husband begs for the forginess of the wife to return to true love.

The child leaves school to marry his young love and get a minimum wage job, only to find that responsibility and being a young father is much harder than he could have ever imagined. He goes back to his parents and asks for their support until he can go back to school and do what they intended for him.

These hard lessons metaphorically all lead us back to the door of God.

The problem is most of us, once we have made mistakes and have left religion or a spiritual walk, are afraid to knock at God’s door. But I tell you, the scriptures couldn’t make it clearer in the story of the prodigal son, that God is always waiting with His/Her arms open for you to come home into the love that never left you. Don’t waste your time in self-flagellations and remorse, return to love.

I’m probably one of the few people who I know who have never had a falling away from the God experience. No matter how much I did that may have looked like it was outside the realm of spirituality, I never stopped believing that God was right by my side. So, to tell you the truth, I can’t even imagine what it would feel like to be in the dark without God. That thought scares the BeJesus out of me. (For you nonsoutherners, BeJesus is a southern heightened slang for Jesus.)

I meet people, however, who have told me stories of leaving religion behind because of being rejected from church and pastors because they were gay or had caused some unpardonable sin like divorce. They were treated like cast aways. It’s no wonder they projected that this was God throwing them into the fires of an angry world.

To those people, I say, “The church or pastors aren’t God, thank God.” If they were, I think we would all be a lot more injured than we are.

I guess I was just lucky. When I got kicked out of a church (and I got kicked out of 3), instead of hating God, I just assumed God was leading me to a church that was better or would preach something I needed to know more than the one I was in. Can anyone say, “Hallelujah to that?” That’s how I ended up at Unity and the Centers for Spiritual Living. I wanted to be in a church that didn’t condemn me for being who I was. I researched churches and found that these churches preached of a loving, all forgiving God. That is what I wanted to believe in. So, I learned of that face of God.

Honestly, I don’t know how God found me and kept me so close in a life that could have been destined for insanity and probably death. But I know there is a reason for my life. I don’t know exactly what that is. But I want to be around long enough to find that out. I want to keep waking up every day to the sound of my alarm and thinking: what is going to happen today that is going to bring me a little closer to understanding my purpose here on this earth.

Don’t you want that for your life?

If you do, all you have to do is put away all your old thoughts about God and church and start from the beginning with a new relationship with it, him or her—whatever you choose to call God or your Creator. Start with hello. Read a book that might give you a different perspective on religion than you have ever had before. One that I think is really wonderful is Eckhart Tolle’s book, “A New Earth.”

What Eckhart does is take all the good in most all of the major religions and shares the pertinence they bring to our culture and our society. Then he helps you make great choices concerning your own spiritual journey. What would help you connect with your spiritual oneness? That’s the only thing that is important in this walk. Your connectedness. Not mine.

This is my hope for all my clients, whether they come to me for smoking, weight loss, fears, insomnia, divorce, or you name it. Everything leads to the one and eternal choice: fear vs. unlimited possibility.

Which will you choose?

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Your Own Olympic-Sized Dreams

Your Own Olympic-Sized Dreams

Today we all get to embark upon what we’ve been waiting for, for four years—the Summer Olympics. And despite Mitt Romney’s strangely absurd remarks this morning, I think they are going to find it to be grand and filled with all the wonder we all are waiting for, especially in the swimming, track, and gymnastics this year.

I can’t help but to think about why the Olympics, or any sport, is so important to us as viewers. Why do we get so wrapped up in the viewing and our team winning? Is it because we let a part of us be in the mix? Could it be possible that when a team member from Podunk, USA wins a gold, it somehow means that we are winning a gold, or that we also have a chance at winning a gold medal in our minds? I think so.

There is a saying that when one monkey achieves something on one island, all the monkeys on every other island achieve it as well. The simple fact of one person overcoming obstacles, liberates the whole. It’s a fact!

So, when you challenge yourself at the gym this week to lose that 15 lbs you’ve been wanting to lose for 3 years or quit smoking or stop yelling at every slow driver on your way to work, you actually are changing the fabric of the universe. You have no idea who you will touch in your quest to be a better person.

So, when a young woman of 16 years of age leaps up on to the 4-inch balance beam to do amazing feats like full twisting back flips and one-footed leaps with the other foot touching her head from the back and landing back on the beam with that same one foot with perfect balance, we know that we are part of her own spirit helping her to stay on that beam. We can feel our bodies twitching in our seats to keep her steady. We even feel a sense of concentration. We become one with so many people feeling the same thing at the same time. It’s almost mesmerizing.

This is the perfect connection and power we feel when we watch sports. Yes, it’s exciting and wonderful. But it’s also as spiritual as it is physical. When you get that many people wishing for one thing at the same time, magic happens. The Olympics are magic because we are focused together on one thing. Imagine if that one thing were something like changing the world for the better, what we could do for the world.

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