We all need inspiration to carry us through this new year and new decade. A friend shared this video, which uplifted me life like crazy. If you, like me, have already seen it, I highly recommend you watch it again. It’s provocative, humorous and it’s inspiring.
With his wife and son away from home, he took a gun pointed to his head and like he had spoken, blew his own brains out.
Today is a day for remembering our veterans. Yet we often exclude and even look with shame on those who take their own live. The following is a different take, a brief story which can save our own lives and that of our loved-ones.
He was my cousin. He was my friend. He was a quiet and kind man, with an offbeat sense of humour.
He spoke with subdued meanness about the father he never knew. Perhaps that was a clue. Perhaps that was the beginning.
The last time I saw him, he had returned home from fighting America’s war In the land of Iraq. I asked him, “what are you going to do now that you are home”
He replied, “I want to go back and blow some brains out”
“You’re not serious,” I questioned, wondering if this was an ugly example of his warped sense of humour. He didn’t respond. I don’t think he smiled.
In search of a more loving mood, I change the conversation. But I could not find his smile. I could not find his love.
The day I heard of his fate, I realized I had been speaking to a ghost; for the cousin and friend I once knew never returned from Iraq.
With his wife and son away from home, he took a gun pointed it to his head and like he had spoken, blew his own brains out.
Now I say tearful thanks to him for bringing greater attention to the mental illness that comes from the many wars of our lives.
His broken life sheds light on the millions of mentally ill living with sicknesses our eyes cannot see, struggling to cope with the ravages of life.
As mental illness spreads like a virus, we urgently see the need to learn how to love and how to save another mind, another lost loved-one.
To all desolate war veterans driven to take their own life, thank you for your service. Thank God for your life.
It is hoped that this video will be an encouragement to you or someone you love at some point in your life. Having friends and family with or who died as a result of cancer or other diseases, and being a stroke survivor as well as currently experiencing eye disease, this is very real for me.
Recognize and conquer the fears that stops us.
Can you imagine a voice, without a body, speaking to you out of nowhere, not once but three separate times? That’s what happened to me the first year after my stroke. The voice, who I am sure was of God, said:
You are love
Share your story with the world
For a long time I thought that if I spoke too much about this, people would think I’m mad or just another religious fanatic. Plus, I thought, who am I to think God would speak to me. I couldn’t throw Him away, so I subconsciously decided to just bury him as a minor character in my story, Rising Like a Phoenix.
Without fully understanding why, I also had to bury the book until I could understand and accept its true purpose. This happened just a few weeks ago, when the words in the adjoining poem came out of me. I knew then that for sure I had not written my story but His story.
He woke me up for the first time with the stroke. When I was in the hospital and overwhelmed with love, I was seeing him. I was seeing my true self. When I was helping other stroke survivors as well as other patients, I was being him (as shown by Jesus). I was being my true self.
I was being my God-self, which is our medicine for healing. This is our path, as believers, for achieving the purpose for which we came here. My journey and that of many others are his testimony to that truth.
I am writing a second edition of Rising Like a Phoenix, with a few modifications to better demonstrate this revelation. After this, I will get back to A Path to Success, which is all about how we can be Him, be ourselves, and find our success in life.
Thank you for joining me on this journey.
You get what you are aiming for. If you have no aim, and you are not aiming, you cannot complain when you do not get what you want. As Corinthians 9:26-27 says:
Therefore I do not run like someone running aimlessly; I do not fight like a boxer beating the air. No, I strike a blow to my body and make it my slave so that after I have preached to others, I myself will not be disqualified for the prize.
The table of contents for the lesson on aiming is presented on the left. You can access this first lesson in the “A Path to Success” series here. It is about learning how to aim for the good we want. I still have some editing and refining to do. Nonetheless, I promised I would deliver something January, so here it is.
Below is the first part on the power of aiming based on Napoleon Hill’s research. The remainder of 12 page document is very practical and results oriented, based on my many years of corporate training. I would appreciate any feedback you may have.
A blessed new year to all!
Most of us have gotten so caught up in the negative thoughts of our minds that we stop ourselves from getting what we so desperately want. It’s 2016, and time we consciously join forces with the greatest power that exists, and achieve the good that beats relentlessly on our hearts.
With the guidance of God, I was able to develop the “A Path to Success” tool (shown below) for learning to overcome negativity and achieving the success we desire.
“A Path to Success,” is an acronym which helps us to create an unbreakable bond with the goodness within ourselves, the good people around us, and the good Spirit which leads us. The principles in this tool were inspired by my life experience, the proven laws of Napoleon Hill, and scripture.
I have learned that it is not enough to know these principle, it is only through effectively integrating them that we see their power to make actual changes in our lives. In other words, information without continued strategies for implementing, and actual implementation, is often useless. That is to say, knowing we must help others, how to do this, and actually doing it are very different things.
Throughout the months of 2016, I will not only share the “A Path to Success” principles but also provide the strategies and training for integrating them into our lives. We will begin this month with the letter “A,” aim for what your heart calls.
A couple weeks ago I was sitting in a room with my 13 year old daughter, my 10 year old nephew, and a group of my daughter’s friends. My daughter was in a foul mood, sulking like an angry cat. She said her cousin called her fat, and this made her very upset.
Like a big woman, her 13 year old friend decided she needed a serious talking to. She said something like:
“You’re not fat. Look at you, tall, with your nice flowing hair. You should be flicking that hair and showing everyone how good you look, instead of listening to baldy [my nephew just got a short hair cut]. Get rid of that sulk! I wanna see a smile.”
My daughter smiled, and I laughed. Everyone laughed, even my nephew.
The point is, life is too short for us to be making ourselves ugly because of an unkind or silly comment from someone else. We all should be focused on letting the world see the light in us (both our physical appearance and our spirit). That is how we bless the people around us.
Each day, we can choose to keep or to give away the goodness inside of us. How are you choosing?
Anyone who has had a disability as well as constant health challenges, yet at the same time is an uplifting beacon of love and friendship for others, deserves a great blessing. Cecilia, a gifted young lady who is visually impaired and a brain cancer survivor, is such a person.
I met Cecilia at the gym about 5 years ago. She was an arts and crafts volunteer, working with children at the gym where I workout. I admired her general love for my daughter and other children, including her gift for making creative little paper toys to put smiles on people’s faces (as shown above) . We became good friends, and shared about our personal health challenges. I admired the fact that she never used this as an excuse to complain or stop contributing to life.
We had been sending a text to each other every Saturday morning, just before we met up at the gym. If either of us couldn’t be there, we’d let the other know. So two weeks ago when she didn’t respond to my text and I didn’t see her at the gym, I was a bit concerned. The same thing happened the week after. I was so concerned that I tried to contact her this past Monday. No success. I knew something was wrong. I feared it was a return of her brain cancer.
On Tuesday I got the call from her dad. He told me about the horrible car accident, and the search for the driver who caused the accident and ran away from the scene. Cecilia was so badly hurt that she was on life support and in a coma for a while. She just recently came out of the coma, and though she is unable to communicate with me, she told her dad to call me and tell me what happened.
Though she is pretty broken up, I thank God that she is alive and is stable now. She is still facing a great battle. Her dad is asking for much prayers.
I have no idea what God has planned for Cecilia or any of us. I can only hope and pray that His plans includes a healing miracle for this inspiring young lady. Please pray with me.
I woke up this morning, picked up my cell phone and using the microphone began to dictate an email to a leadership group to which I belong. I was aware that the dictation can make some ridiculous mistakes; for example ‘an ungodly hour‘ turned out to be ‘an un-call ugly hour.‘ I thought I would correct the transcription when I was complete with the draft. However, as life would have it, my hand slipped, hit the send button, and the email went off.
Ahhhhhh! At first I panicked, for I believed I needed to change what would surely make me look seriously brain damaged. Then my spirit gave me this message I now give to you:
“NO. The mistakes and seeming nonsensical communication stand. Your worst or your best, it’s all a part of you. You must accept both to accept you. The world needs to accept both to know, accept and love you.”
Can you accept the worst part of you as much as you accept the best, knowing both the good and not-so-good is what makes you authentically and beautifully you?