Cherish each day

Over the July 4th holiday I took my daughter to the largest colonial celebration west of the Mississippi. I was not sure what to expect, but I wanted to give my daughter a new experience and see how blessed we are with all that we have today.

We walked around and learned how hair was done with waxes and powders. We watched yarn being made on wood spinning wheels like the one in the story of Sleeping Beauty. We saw soldiers loading and shooting muskets. We watched wheel pottery made. We learned how wood was turned into bed posts, candlesticks, bowls, etc. There were so many things that took us back in time.

box2_origBUT. The little booth that will stay with me the longest was the coffin maker. It was a simple canvas tent that had three coffins in a U shape in the tent. That was it. His sweet wife sat outside the tent sewing. I was not sure what to say or ask, but it made me think of the sweet story of Abraham Lincoln as a boy. I said to the coffin maker, “Your simple pine boxes remind me of the story about Abraham Lincoln & that his father put him in charge of making the wooden pegs for his mother’s coffin.”  The sweet man genuinely took in the story and was touched. This coffin maker touches the wood, makes the pegs, puts love and craftsmanship into these boxes. He appreciated his work. He then lit up, “Do you want to see my work?” Not sure what else we would see besides wooden boxes, we said, “sure” and followed him into his tent.

He then opened a binder full of images & he began to tell us a couple sweet stories. He told us how a woman had come to the colonial festival a couple years ago and had passed by their tent numerous times, but did not talk to them or come in. Finally as the day was winding down she & her husband entered the tent. She looked at the pine boxes and expressed to her husband that this simple box was exactly what she wanted. The woman took the coffin makers information & a year later her family contacted him. He made them a simple pine box & delivered it to them when they knew she was close to dying. The woman’s daughter then hand painted the box with beautiful flowers that covered all the sides and part of the top. It was a beautiful piece of art. The coffin maker showed us the picture of the coffin & said, “she was able to see the beautiful work her daughter had done & then she died a week later.”

My heart broke, but then I looked at this sweet coffin maker who took such pride in his work and he turned the page of his album to another story.

Another beautiful pine box that was covered in hand prints, good bye notes, signatures, farewells, all hand written across the simple box. At this woman’s funeral the coffin maker waited in line to see his work complete and thank the family. He said there was a huge line of people waiting & in back of him was a very nicely dressed couple. They were looking at the coffin and the wife said to her husband, “I did not realize they were so destitute & unable to buy her a proper coffin.”  The coffin maker stood there in line & watched what happened. As the couple approached the husband of the woman who had passed they mentioned their concern about the coffin & felt badly that they were unable to help. The husband looked at the couple & said, “This is exactly what my wife picked out.”

The coffin maker beamed as he told us this story and was able to show us the images of all the love that covered his beautiful craftsmanship. He said, “it was neat to see that it gave some closure, others a final farewell message.”

It was a great lesson that we each have our own missions to help one another & this sweet man and his wife have touched people’s lives in a way I would have never imagined. It was wonderful to see the pride in his work, to see the love that he shares and that he knows he is on purpose with his life.

It was also a great lesson that we need to cherish each and every day. We never know how long we have to be with those we love. I would rather tell them I love them and appreciate them in my life than have to write it on a pine box.

Have a beautiful day. -H

Independence for others

With the upcoming celebration of Independence Day here in the U.S. I wanted to share some inspiring stories of people who have helped create “independence” for others. They are an inspiration to us all.

_83986802_1287491Sir Nicholas Winton saved 669 children–taken from cbsnews.com

Winton’s story begins in 1938 in London, where he was a 29-year-old stockbroker enjoying the good life. The son of German-Jewish immigrants, he had been following the rise of Hitler and the Nazis and knew they were on the march. He was convinced war was imminent. Hitler’s troops had just marched into Czechoslovakia and occupied the region known as the Sudetenland, creating the war’s first refugee crisis. At least 150,000 people had fled to makeshift refugee camps that sprang up around Prague. The conditions they faced were dire.

When a friend suggested that Winton cancel his annual ski trip and join him in Prague to see what was going on, Winton decided to use his vacation days and go. The situation he encountered was desperate. Efforts by organizations trying to help refugees were hampered by the fact that most countries in Europe weren’t willing to take them in. Winton also told us he wrote to President Roosevelt asking the U.S. to receive them, to no avail.

Parents were frantically trying to get their children out, so Winton decided to focus his efforts on helping those children. He had no background or experience in dealing with refugees, but was about to take on the Nazis and the British bureaucracy in a remarkable feat of skill, determination and cunning. During the few days he was in Prague, Winton laid the groundwork for an organization to transport children to Britain on trains. He identified people willing to help, met with parents determined to get their children out, and started making lists of children whose parents wanted them to go.

When he returned to London, he set up a fake organization, appointed himself chairman, put his mother to work running a small office, and began negotiations with the British government for permission to bring unaccompanied minors into England. Meanwhile, he looked for families to take them in. He raised money, paid bribes, procured transit papers and, when necessary, forged documents. When Bob Simon asked him about all of that he was unapologetic — saying simply, “It worked.”

Everything finally came together on March 14, 1939, when the first train carrying 20 children left Prague. Neither the children nor their parents knew this was likely the last time they would ever see each other. Six more trains left between March and August 1939.

An eighth train, carrying 250 children, was scheduled to leave on September 1, 1939, but that was the day Germany bombed Warsaw, beginning the Second World War. Borders were closed and transportation halted. The eighth train never left. No one knows for sure what happened to the 250 children who were already in their seats that day. They and their families are presumed to have died in the Holocaust.

The war ended Winton’s efforts to save children. His organization shut down operations and he moved on with his life. He made no attempt to contact the children he had saved. They had been dispersed all over Britain, so he got on with his life. During the war, he served in the Red Cross and the Royal Air Force. Following the war, he worked repatriating assets seized by the Nazis, went back to his career in finance, got married and raised a family.

Rarely did he ever talk about his efforts to save children. When Bob asked him why, Winton said he wasn’t trying to keep it a secret – he just never talked about it. Maybe it’s because the Holocaust had claimed all the children he hadn’t gotten out or maybe it’s because Winton really didn’t believe he had done anything out of the ordinary.

At the beginning of our interview he told us that he’s always felt that, “If something’s not impossible, there must be a way of doing it.” Nicholas Winton found a way to do it in Prague and made it work. Because of him, 669 children were spared and able to have families of their own. Today, some 6,000 people are alive who wouldn’t be if it weren’t for Nicholas Winton.

Fifty years after the war, Winton’s remarkable story finally came out in a London newspaper and on the BBC. The “children” from 1939 found out who had saved them and have been celebrating Winton ever since. So has the Czech Republic and England, where Nicholas Winton became Sir Nicholas Winton after being knighted by the Queen. The original children from 1939 and their descendants all call themselves “Nick’s family.”

 

 

1917-82FSHerbert Hoover–taken from archives.gov

One American will be forever linked in history with Belgium’s travail in that awful war. His name, of course, is Herbert Hoover. After the battle of the Marne, giant European armies bogged down in the trenches, and famine threatened beleaguered Belgium, a highly industrialized nation of 7 million dependent upon imports for three-quarters of her food. On one side the German army of occupation refused to take responsibility for victualing the civilian population. Let Belgium import food from abroad as she had done before the war, said the Germans. On the other side stood the tightening British naval blockade of Belgian ports. Let the Germans, as occupiers of Belgium, feed its people, said the British. Besides, they argued, how could one be sure that the Germans would not seize imported food for themselves?

As the tense days passed in the early autumn of 1914, food supplies dwindled ominously in Belgium. To the outside world went emissaries pleading for the Allies to permit food to filter through the naval noose. Finally, on October 22, after weeks of negotiations, Herbert Hoover established under diplomatic protection a neutral organization to procure and distribute food to the Belgian populace. Great Britain agreed to let the food pass unmolested through its blockade. Germany in turn promised not to requisition this food destined for helpless noncombatants.

Why Hoover? In the summer of 1914 Herbert Clark Hoover was a prosperous forty-year-old international mining engineer living in London—and dreaming of a career of public service in the United States. This orphaned son of an Iowa blacksmith had come far indeed from his humble beginnings in the American Middle West. Rising rapidly in his chosen profession, by 1914 he directed or in part controlled a worldwide array of mining enterprises that employed a hundred thousand men.  By August 1914 he had achieved his goal yet was not content. “Just making money isn’t enough,” he confessed to a friend. Instead, he wanted (as he put it) to “get into the big game somewhere.” Fascinated by the power of the press to mold and direct public opinion, Hoover that summer was negotiating to purchase a newspaper in California. Events in Europe compelled him to abandon his quest. Had it not been for “the guns of August,” he would have entered American public life—and might even be remembered today—as a newspaper magnate.

In the first tumultuous weeks of the war, tens of thousands of American travelers in Europe fled the war-shocked continent for the comparative safety of London—and, they hoped, passage home. It was not as easy as that. Arriving in the British capital, many Yankee tourists found themselves unable to cash their instruments of credit or obtain temporary accommodation, let alone tickets for ships no longer crossing the Atlantic. Responding to the travelers’ panic and necessities, Hoover and other American residents of London organized an emergency relief effort that provided food, temporary shelter, and financial assistance to their stranded fellow countrymen. Eventually the passenger ships resumed their sailings, and more than 100,000 weary and frightened travelers headed back to the United States. Hoover’s untiring and efficient leadership during the crisis earned him the gratitude of the American ambassador to Great Britain, Walter Hines Page. And when a few weeks later the plight of Belgium became perilous, Ambassador Page and others agreed upon Hoover, a man of demonstrated competence, to administer this new mission of mercy. The globe-trotting mining engineer who had done well, and who now wanted to do good, had found an unexpected entrée into the “big game.”

And so began an undertaking unprecedented in world history: an organized rescue of an entire nation from starvation. Initially no one expected this humanitarian task to last more than a few months. Few foresaw the gruesome stalemate that developed on the western front. As Hoover himself later wrote, “The knowledge that we would have to go on for four years, to find a billion dollars, to transport five million tons of concentrated food, to administer rationing, novel relief organization, which went by the name of the Commission for Relief in Belgium (CRB), possessed some of the attributes of a government.

 

1-ken-behring-delivering-wheelchairs-in-chinaKen Behring–taken from Pam Grout’s book, Thank and Grow Rich

The only thing the one-percenters have over the average Joes is this: They already know that accumulating money doesn’t bring lasting happiness. They’ve already figured out that having a gazillion dollars in the bank doesn’t produce the profound contentment after which the rest of us lust.

Take Ken Behring, for example. Growing up in Depression-era Wisconsin in a house without central heat or hot water, Behring fell for the lie that he’d be happy if only he were rich. As a young boy, he mowed lawns, caddied at golf courses, delivered newspapers.

He had spunk and drive and eventually became an uber-successful real estate developer. By the time he was 27, he was a millionaire. And he got all the stuff he thought he wanted: a big house, a boat, fancy cars.

When that didn’t bring any real happiness, he tried “better stuff”: bigger houses, a bigger yacht, fancier cars.

Eventually, that began to reek like the other stuff. Maybe he was going for the “wrong stuff”; maybe he should try “different stuff.” Maybe buying the Seattle Seahawks would make him happy.

Nope, foiled again. He eventually sold his professional football team and started hunting in Africa, flying over in his private jet. When he could, he’d take supplies, books and medicine for the local guides and their families.

LDS philanthropies (the charitable branch of the Church of Latter-day Saints) heard about his trips and asked if he’d be willing to make a detour, to drop off supplies to Kosovo war refugees. After loading up 15 tons of canned meat, they noticed extra room and added six wheelchairs.

While in Romania, Behring, who passed out the wheelchairs himself, was grabbed by one of the young refugees, who had stepped on a land mine and lost his legs. “Don’t leave just yet,” said the grateful young boy, who refused to let go of Behring’s leg. “I want to memorize your face so when we meet again in heaven, I can thank you one more time.”

“It was the first time I ever felt real joy,” says Behring, who has since given away nearly a million bright red wheelchairs. “It changed my life. This [charitable work] is the greatest thing I have ever achieved in my life.”

The good news is that because our financial system us an antiquated cultural story, it can be changed.

It starts with a new definition of wealth: the ease and freedom to be generous. The ease and freedom to pursue your dreams. The ease and freedom to live for the upliftment of all creation.

Choosing the joy and gratitude frequency generates a different kind of capital, one that feeds the soul, one that serves your real desires–to be of service, to be a channel for love, to create insanely beautiful things.

 

 

More Stories–Here are a number of additional examples of inspired people making a difference http://www.rd.com/true-stories/inspiring/the-power-of-1-inspiring-people-making-a-difference/

 

Proof that one person can make a difference. Think about it!! Think about all of the people you have touched or influenced in your life. You truly are part of a ripple affect.

Have a beautiful day. -H

STOP.

D428_19_015_0004_600This morning I had a bit of a sad and scary situation happen.

As I was driving to the store I noticed a very young boy (maybe 2-3 years old) running down the street through the intersection in front of my daughter and I. We watched him as we turned the corner & noticed a man jogging quickly behind him about 30 feet away.

I instantly pulled over to get closer to the young child and jumped out of the car. I yelled to the man & asked him if the little boy was his child. Confused, we both looked at each other, “No. I don’t know who he is. I just began to follow him after I noticed there was no adult with him,” he explained.

I walked over to the little boy & he turned away from me, screaming and crying, and began to run back toward the intersection. My daughter jumped out of the car and began to run after him. We both followed him into the street, trying to help cars move away and around him while we tried to coax him out of the busy intersection. He did not want to listen or follow anyone.

By this time, another car had pulled over & a few people were calling 911 while we all tried to coral this youngster out of the road and into safety. He just kept his whining.

After we got him out of the street, I began to ask him questions to maybe change his pattern, “How old are you, Buddy?” “Do you know your colors?” “What color is the sky?” and on and on with no distraction or reaction. Just quiet whining. We could not get anything out of him & as we tried to hold his hand, he pulled away.

We tried and tried to get this little child to calm down, to not be afraid and actually trust us a little. We got nothing.

Then, the police officer pulled up and approached us. He asked the little boy a couple of questions, and still nothing but endless tears. The officer reached out his hand and the little boy took it in his. The little boy then crawled into the officer’s arms and they began to walk down the sidewalk in the direction the little boy had come from.

 

runThis made me think about life & the tough situations that may come up. What makes a bad situation worse?? We run! We don’t face our fears. We get scared. We run! What makes us run? Anger, negative emotions, situations that we don’t like, shame, worry… FEAR based feelings.  Life can be like that sometimes. We may not want to deal with a situation and the easy way out would be to run to avoid the pain.

The little boy ran away from a situation, but then was left to his fears. Things got scary. He didn’t feel safe, so he just kept running… into the street, away from people who were trying to help, further from a safe place…

As adults, we can get into similar situations of fear and would rather run than face the shame, the people who want to help us, getting the help we need, etc.

Ask yourself—wouldn’t it be easier to just STOP!!

Stop running. Stop living in actions that are fear based (addiction, depression, avoidance, duality, negativity, anger, etc.).

The little boy would not say a word. He just cried and wouldn’t be calm. He resisted. He kept running, and he pushed away.

A few lessons from this:

-NO one can control anyone but themselves.

-No one can truly help unless someone wants and is willing to accept the help.

-If YOU are in personal trouble, want to avoid life, are living in fear, are acting on addictions to hide from emotions, STOP. Take a breath.

-Only YOU can find the place within that will lead you to feel safe and secure. No one can do it for you.

STOP!! Think about it.

-Only YOU can change where you are headed.

Just like the little boy–he ran and ran–into every street, every direction, away from help, and did not calm down until HE stopped and truly wanted help for himself. None of us could do anything until he was ready to take the officer’s hand and go in a different direction than where he was headed.

That is life. No one can do it for you. There are people who can try to help, but YOU have to make the choices, the directions, the steps that will take you to a better, safer place.

 

-PEACE, hope and LOVE to everyone who needs a hand to hold.  It is tough to see anyone struggle.

Have a beautiful day.  -H

Who doesn’t want “the best!”

s-l300Yesterday I was able to see my six-year-old nephew who had just had a birthday. I asked him if he had got his present because I was not able to be at his party. He responded that he had got the gift, but asked if next time I would buy him the giant ship that goes with the pirate guy I had given him. I smiled and laughed at his sweet innocence. He has no concept of money & that the boat was over $80. He just knew that he wanted something bigger, better and that it went with his character. He wanted the best of everything!!

Kids have a great way of always wanting the best—the biggest ice cream cones, the front seat in the car (because its ‘the best’), the largest toy for a dollar at the Dollar Store…

Yesterday I had all my nieces and nephews over for a pool day because it has been so hot. I watched as they all bobbed up & down in my four-foot, above ground pool. There were about 12 kids jammed into this 18 foot space, but the fun went on for hours. I laughed as the kids fought over “the bigger raft” or wanted a “bigger ball” because “bigger is better!!”

We all can have our opinions if this is a healthy way of thinking, but I smiled and thought to myself, “We should want the best!” Each and every one of us should want the best for our life. This doesn’t mean we need “bigger” houses or fancier cars or “bigger” paychecks,  but we should want to do all we can to expect and want bigger things for our lives. We should have hopes and dreams. We should desire to learn and grow each day. We should strive for greatness in every opportunity we can.

This is our one life!! We should suck the beauty, bliss and every good thing we can out of every moment! We need to make each day the BEST possible.

Save someone else

thorpe-park-rollercoaster-1My husband and our family have been on a rollercoaster of emotion for about four years now. My husband had been with the same company for about 15+ years when the company decided to sell and he was left without a job.

We stepped on to a rollercoaster (metaphorically) that we were unsure where it would take us. It has been a ride full of surprises, ups and downs, dark corners, highs and lows. It has been hard on all of us. My husband has gone through four job changes in the past four years and it has been a seriously emotional ride. My daughter has been wondering if we are moving, especially since we packed the entire house up a year ago. We still wonder if we are going to have to move to this day. That is a hard way to live. My husband has been on hundreds of “great” interviews, to then hear he made it to the top 3 out of 200 candidates, only to have it go to someone internal. This happened not only once, but numerous times. He took a job that was “easy money” leading a non-profit organization, but the politics that went with the job sucked the life and enjoyment out of the position & he decided he was done. He then kept looking and looking to the point that we literally used up all of our savings,  in debt and we were about out of time & would have to sell everything including our home.

Just in the nick of time (literally we had a couple of weeks) a friend reached out & had a lead on a “hard selling” job & my husband took it. This was so out of his comfort zone, but he did it. He did not enjoy it, but he became really good at it. You can be good at something, but that doesn’t mean it feels the void of doing something worthwhile. Where a JOB is just a JOB, a paycheck. He continued in the position for over six months & the company loved him BUT, it was just a “means to an end,” & he did not feel like he was making a true difference or “leading” which is where his heart has always been.

My husband then mentioned going back into the retail world and leading people because he loves that arena. I knew he wasn’t truly happy selling and I wanted more for him. I wanted to support any direction he felt he needed to go. He reached out to a previous retail chain that he had worked for & they literally created a position for him to co-manage the local store. It is a giant, beautiful store with hundreds of employees, but it is a beast!! When my husband ran the same location years before he ended up in the hospital. Yikes!! I honestly have been a little worried. It is a beast with lots of people, lots of expectation, lots of work. My husband has been there for a little over a month & it has been full of ups and downs.

I honestly keep looking upward and asking God, “When do we get to get off this rollercoaster of emotions. This is tough.”  I keep praying things will get better.

superman-logo-sketch-t-shirt-sheer-11This morning as my husband was leaving to work, I was half asleep, but I remembered something I read recently and mentioned it to him. With a huge amount of HOPE in my heart, I said, “I read something that may help you today…be SUPERMAN. Find someone you can save today. Find someone you can lift with a smile, a kind word, a compliment. FIND SOMEONE YOU CAN SAVE!! He said, “That is a great idea. I will”

I think anyone in any situation, good or BAD can begin to change their perception of their own reality by changing the situation for someone else. My husband has truly been a “godsend” to this store. The people have been so happy to have him back in the store, to enjoy the light he has to offer. He knows people just need to be watered & he is really good at that. I think the superman idea was a reminder that he is making a difference every day in the lives of those all around him. He just needs to get outside of himself and find ways to help them.

We all can do that in our own lives. Whether you just say hello to a stranger, ask how someone is doing, send a happy message to a friend, pick flowers & take them to someone who is alone, smile at someone who could use your light…find someone to save. I love that!!

Have a SUPER day.  -H

 

 

A Wise Man Once Said…

I have heard many great authors from years of old, but I just re-read a classic full of wisdom and reflection, The Majesty of Calmness by William George Jordan. 

Here are some great wisdoms from this great little book. This is a quick read. I originally heard it on an audible book, but my husband’s friend gave him a small hard copy, which is where I pulled these quotes from. This book was written in 1900, so take the time to read and understand the depth. It is a great read.

CWO0V63U4AIyymc“Everything that is great in life is the product of slow growth; the newer, and greater, and higher, and nobler the work, the slower is its growth, the surer is its lasting success. Mushrooms attain their full power in a night; oaks require decades. A fad lives its life in a few weeks; a philosophy lives through generations and centuries. If you are sure you are right, do not let the voice of the world, or of friends, or of family swerve you for a moment from your purpose. Accept slow growth if it must be slow, and know the results must come, as you would accept the long, lonely hours of the night–with absolute assurance that the heavy-leaded moments must bring the morning.”

 

pexels-photoTHE POWER OF PERSONAL INFLUENCE      “But his unconscious influence, the silent, subtle radiation of his personality, the effect of his words and acts, the trifles he never considers, is tremendous. Every moment of life he is changing to a degree the life of the whole world. Every man has an atmosphere which is affecting every other. So silent and unconsciously is this influence working, that man may forget that it exists.

All the forces of Nature–heat, light, electricity and gravitation–are silent and invisible. We never see them; we only know that they exist by seeing the effects they produce. In all Nature the wonders of the “seen” are dwarfed into insignificance when compared with the majesty and glory of the “unseen.” The great sun itself does not supply enough heat and light to sustain animal and vegetable life on the earth. We are dependent for nearly half of our light and heat upon the stars, and the greater part of this supply of life-giving energy comes from invisible stars, millions of miles from the earth. In a thousand ways Nature constantly seeks to lead men to a keener and deeper realization of the power and the wonder of the invisible.

Into the hands of every individual is given a marvelous power for good or for evil, the silent, unconscious, unseen influence of his life. This is simply the constant radiation of what a man really is, not what he pretends to be.

Man cannot escape for one moment from this radiation of his character, this constantly weakening or strengthening of others. He cannot evade the responsibility by saying it is an unconscious influence. He can select the qualities that he will permit to be radiated. He can cultivate sweetness, calmness, trust, generosity, truth, justice, loyalty, nobility–make them vitally active in his character–and by these qualities he will constantly affect the world.”

“No individual is so insignificant as to be without influence. The changes in our varying moods are all recorded in the delicate barometers of the lives of others. We should ever let our influence filter through human love and sympathy. We should not be merely an influence, we should be an inspiration. By our very presence we should be a tower of strength to the hungering human souls around us.”

(another great book that talks about the influence and importance of one person is Andy Andrew’s book, The Butterly Effect–great, interesting, short read)

 

Monarch-Butterflies-Migration-season-The-Chromologist-564x480FAILURE AS A SUCCESS:     “Our highest hopes, are often destroyed to prepare us for better things. The failure of the caterpillar is the birth of the butterfly; the passing of the bud is the becoming of the rose; the death or destruction of the seed is the prelude to its resurrection as wheat. It is at night, in the darkest hours, those preceding dawn, that plants grow best, that they most increase in size. May this not be one of Nature’s gentle showings to man of the times when he grows best, of the darkness of failure that is evolving into the sunlight of success. Let us fear only the failure of not living the right as we see it, leaving the results to the guardianship of the Infinite.”

 

walking-path-to-the-mountai_med-2DOING OUR BEST AT ALL TIMES:     “If a man honestly seeks to live his best at all times , that determination is visible in every moment of his living, no trifle in his life can be too insignificant to reflect his principle of living. The sun illuminates and beautifies a fallen leaf by the roadside as impartially as a towering mountain peak in the Alps. Every drop of water in the ocean is an epitome of the chemistry of the whole ocean; every drop is subject to precisely the same laws as dominate the united infinity of billions of drops that make that miracle of Nature, men call the sea. No matter how humble the calling of the individual, how uninteresting and dull the round of his duties, he should do his best. He should dignify what he is doing by the mind he puts into it, he should vitalize what little he has of power or energy or ability or opportunity, in order to prepare himself to be equal to higher privileges when they come.  This will never lead man to that weak content that is satisfied with whatever falls to his lot. It will rather fill his mind with that divine discontent that cheerfully accepts the best–merely as a temporary substitute for something better.”

“The path of truth, higher living, truer development in every phase of life, is never shut from the individual–until he closes it himself. Let man feel this, believe it and make this faith a real and living factor in his life and there are no limits to his progress. He has but to live his best at all times, and rest calm and untroubled no matter what results come to his efforts. The constant looking backward to what might have been, instead of forward to what may be, is a great weakener of self-confidence. This worry for the old past, this wasted energy, for that which no power in the world can restore, ever lessens the individual’s faith in himself, weakens his efforts to develop himself for the future to the perfection of his possibilities.”

“Man should never be contented with anything less than the best efforts of his nature can possibly secure for him. Content makes the world more comfortable for the individual, but it is the death-knell of progress. Man should be content with each step of progress merely as a station, discontented with it as a destination; contented with it as a step; discontented with it as a finality. There are times when a man should be content with what he has, but never with what he is.

But content is not happiness; neither is pleasure. Pleasure is temporary, happiness is continuous; pleasure is a note, happiness is a symphony; pleasure may exist when conscience utters protests; happiness–never.

Man is the only animal that can be really happy. Happiness represents a peaceful attunement of a life with a standard of living. It can never be made by the individual, by himself, for himself. It is one of the incidental by-products of an unselfish life. Place other things higher than your own happiness and it will surely come to you. You can buy pleasure, you can acquire content, you can become satisfied–but Nature never put real happiness on the bargain-counter. It is the undetachable accompaniment of true living. It is calm and peaceful; it never lives in an atmosphere of worry or of hopeless struggle.”

 

May you continually learn and grow in all you do.  Peace to you.  -H. Find your own copy and read the whole book. It is a quick read, but it is full of wisdom for life.

So much to learn

498852229You never know how you will be impacted by those who come into your life. What will you take away from those experiences of meeting new people or even going a little deeper with those you are surrounded by. We need connection. We need to learn from others and their stories.

Over this past weekend I was able to have my daughter get together with two different girls from her online academy. It was so fun to meet kids with different personalities, backgrounds, to understand their own hopes, to hear about their aspirations, to listen to their dreams. It was inspiring.

12One of our new friends had already performed at a famous theater here in Utah as the lead. She sings, dances, sews, knits, plays the piano and guitar & is taking aerial silks. It was fun to get to know her & learn of her many talents. It was also nice to meet her mother who was from Ukraine. At one point during our afternoon I asked this young girl if she ever thought she would visit her mother’s home country to get a better understanding of her mother & her history. The girl looked at me and said, “the country has been ruined from war and I don’t know if we would ever go back. It is not like it use to be.”  It was wonderful to listen to stories of how her mother grew up with a father who only put vegetables in the garden and not “beauty.” I took this young girl to a local nursery to pick out some flowers & make our own little pot of “beauty.”  She walked the nursery saying, “my mother loves flowers. She would love this one. She loves petunia’s….” It made me have a whole new appreciation for “beautiful flowers.”  When we dropped off our new friend, I looked at her mother’s flower pots that she had all over her yard & I thought about her perspective on “beauty” and I smiled at her pots and pots of flowers.  We take so much for granted.

 

20151201183649-young-woman-opening-curtains-hope-window-free-leisure-relaxing-lisht-brightOur other new friend has been suffering from an unknown illness that has put her in the hospital numerous times, has been through three surgeries and still wonders if she is going to be okay. She still has flare ups.  We sat at an outdoor eatery & talked about her experiences & how she wants to go into medicine even further because of her illness. She said it was the hardest to see her parents go through everything with her. She was an incredible girl with so many hopes and dreams. I sat and listened to her explain how she had read about a doctor who spends most of his year in third world countries and how she would like to follow in his footsteps. My admiration for her dream soared. She talked about constantly learning about medicine, learning more about homeopathic medicine, trying to find different ways to cope with her illness. She was so strong & so alive & so smart and beautiful. She lit up talking about playing the guitar & piano & is constantly learning new things. She was an inspiration.      I thought to myself, she is so young, has learned so much & continues to pursue anything and everything her heart desires. If we could all be like that!! Maybe being sick, wondering if you may live and always searching for answers leaves you aching for more of what life has to offer.  I am sure every day is a new day filled with possibility for her.

 

Spending a few hours with these girls made me see there is always so much to learn from everyone you meet, every day you have. We have so much to learn in this life. We have so many things to pursue, to read, to aspire to see, experience, to dream, to be grateful for…its a beautiful life.

Every single person you meet may have something to share with you, so listen. We can all learn so much from one another.

Peace, love and beauty to you today.  -H